Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Week 45

Week 45 blogsize

I'm almost to the end of this project, wow what a year and what a lot of photos!!!

#309: New Lens: I got a new, fast lens! Super excited, so I had to play with it on our drive to a friends for dinner. It's an older lens, but has a macro setting I've been playing with as well. It's the Nikkor 35-70mm 2.8, boy are those fast lenses heavy :-P

#310: Blue Potatoes: These potatoes were in our CSA box!!  I've never seen blue potatoes, boy are they purple!! They even produce purple juice when I was cutting them.

#311: Home Brew Bucket Kit: We are big fans of GROUPON, and this deal was on there the other day. It's a home brew starter kit!  We wanted to tack on another winter hobby to our lives... so this fall we will explore the world of home brewing beer!

#312: Lonely Dinner: Dinner is pretty simple on the nights Kyle has class.... I did enjoy toasting my bread and melting the cheese though :-P

#313: Hydrangea Bloom: Just playing with my macro in the back yard. I love hydrangea's they are so beautiful!

#314: Friday Night Gallery Set Up: Friday night I spent the evening helping my fellow Twin City Photography Groupers set up for our Hilton Gallery Show. You can see one side of my grid wall in this photo, the two on the left hand side.

#315: Gallery Show: Saturday I spent the majority of the day working the Hilton Gallery Show. We had framed work and unframed work. I actually sold one piece before the weekend was over! An 8x10 matted photo of  my boat garages!!!

Happy Summer!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hilton Gallery Show

316 hilton showdaisy hilton 2

I spent this weekend working with my fellow TCPGers (Twin Cities Photography Group) at our first independently ran Photography Gallery!

Since I was part of the admin team, I was pretty involved behind the scenes along with 5 other gals. I worked it Friday night, setting up and checking artwork in.
314 friday setup gallery room 2 my work

Saturday I was there from about 2pm til 10:30 and again on Sunday from 11ish to about 7:30, checking out work. It made for a long weekend, but fun to be out and about, and helping out a great group!  We had three rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn, in downtown Minneapolis.

Room 1:
gallery room 1

Room 2; my work was in this room. If you look to the left you can see my two pictures: Mississippi River Bridge and Harriet Sunrise
314 friday setup gallery room 2 my work

Here are my other three pieces I had in the show: Lake Superior Shore, Quiet Harriet, and Boat Garages:
my work

And then room 3 had some bigger pieces, a cash bar, as well as live music on Saturday evening:
gallery room 3

We also had unframed pieces for sale by the enterance in the hallway:
315 gallery show
If you look closely you can see my 5x7 boat garages kind of sticking out in that first basket.

I was a little discouraged when we were closing down and checking out inventory that I didn't sale anything all weekend, until a fellow photographer came to check out her work and also wanted to purchase one of my prints!!!! She bought the 8x10 matted print of the Boat Garages :-) that made my weekend!  As a group we did sell a total of 53 items and sole over $1000. 20% of that is going to a program TCPG is starting this fall called F/10, which is a 2 year after school photography class for inner city kids, I believe starting their freshman year of high school.

Overall it was a great time and I'm excited for our next gallery. We learned a lot :-)
daisy hilton
Happy Summer!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Week 44

Week 44 blogsize

#302: REI scratch & dent boot: We were at REI looking at bikes for Kyle (since he is going to start biking to his NEW job!!). I was wondering around the store while he was test driving a bike and found this pair of hiking boots, in my size on the clearance rack. I talked about REI's scratch and dent thing here.

#303: Bunny Family Night Trip: I had a photography group meeting that ran late this day and didn't get a picture. When I drove up to the house I saw a family of 5-8 bunnies wondering the grass. So I quickly grabbed my camera (and tripod since it was dark out) and tried to capture all the bunnies. They didn't really like me snapping my camera at them because they began to hop away. But you can see a few little bunny silhouettes in this photo.

#304: Green Feet: Kyle was wonderful and mowed the yard while I spent the evening editing a photo shoot. It was almost time for bed and we were all relaxing on the couch. I looked over to see Harpo snoozing away but his feet were glowing green, it was so funny. I love how he almost looks like he's spitting his tongue out at me in this photo.

#305: University of St. Thomas: Kyle's summer class is on a Wednesday and runs until 9:30. During the school year his class ends at 9 so he can catch the 9:20 bus. Since this one runs later I have been picking him up after class. This day, of course it was night again before I was able to get a photo, but I snapped one of the area I was sitting in waiting for him to get out, class ran late this evening.

#306: CSA Strawberries: We picked up our first box of CSA veggies. These strawberries were delicious!

#307: Dinner Burger: I love grilling out in the summer time. Homemade burgers are WAY better than any bought from a restaurant because we can make them just how we like them. This night we mashed some of our scallions and green garlic in the burger so we got some nice flavor with every bite.

#308: REI Scratch & Dent Sale: Saturday we got up early to secure a spot to enter the member only sale at REI. It was a beautiful morning and we only had to wait 30 minutes, get our ticket, then head back home for two hours until we were able to enter the sale.

Happy Summer!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Annual Sale

Last Saturday, Kyle and I, dragged ourselves out of bed to hit the line for the REI: Annual, Members Only, Scratch & Dent sale.

We just became members of REI (a sporting goods/outdoorsy retail place) this past winter. It's a $20 member fee that lasts forever. You get lots of 20% coupons in the mail, special events (such as the scratch & dent sale) and you get a dividend of what you purchase back at the end of each year.

-Okay, sorry if this sounds a little commercial-ish... I'm just a huge fan-

One of the best things about REI is their return policy, and being a member just helps speed that process along. Since anything you purchase when your member card is swiped is recorded on that so when you go to return something without a coupon you don't have to wait forever for it to get looked up in their system. So they take back ANYTHING and everything... thus resulting in the scratch & dent sale. One example: when we first moved up to Minne-snow-ta I was wanting fingerless gloves, some fun colorful wool ones. Well Kyle found me some at REI our first Christmas... which was... um... 2007, yes.  Well this past winter when I took them out of their summer hiding place I noticed the knitted thumb hole was starting to come unraveled. But luckily since Kyle bought them at REI two years ago, I was able to return them and get a brand new pair!!!!!!!!!  Sweet huh?

So the annual scratch and dent sale is just this garage sale type environment, where members can come and rummage through their returns and score some pretty great deals.  The catch was this....
They started handing out tickets at 8:00am. The store didn't open until 10. So you go stand in line to get a ticket to find out when you can enter. They had all the S&D items in a back room. We arrived at 7:30am.

There were people that camped at the front of the line... this is a big deal, obviously. Not sure if you can see because they begin taking them down, but at the very front of the line stood about 10 tents. This picture was taken a little after 8, you can kinda see the guy in the green vest going down the line handing out tickets. Luckily our ticket read: 10:25am! Turns out they allowed 80 people in at a time, for a 20 minute interval. Sweet we were the second group!  It's important to get their early so you have a better picking at the items.  So we got our ticket at 8 and heading home to shower and relax until 10:15ish. Of course we left the house about 9:50... and there was a line formed to get in at our designated time, but that was okay. It was hilarious hearing the 'ooooh's and 'aaahhh's as the first group left the room in preparation for the second (our group!) to be allowed to enter. We saw a fancy running stroller, lots of tents, sleeping bags... all walk out the room before we even had a chance to get our grubby little paws on them. LOL. Oh I forgot to mention that there was also a 5 item limit. But shoes were unlimited, which from my 365 picture last week (which you haven't seen yet because I'm a little behind at posting that) you will see I got a pair of S&D hiking boots at their other store. They have some S&D items sitting out year round, shoes especially, this is just the big sale when it's all together and big stuff like tents, cloths, sleeping backs, bikes, etc.   okay, okay I'll keep going so you can hear what we got.

We didn't really have anything in particular to get, a few backpacking items we were hoping to score, but not setting our hearts on it like the kid behind us in line that had been looking at this tent for the past two years and was hoping to get it today...
Kyle got some hiking boots
I got a tank top and a cute little hand bag
I also got a head light for hiking
Kyle got a saw/pocket knife
And our best score was a HRM (heart rate monitor) for Kyle!! Now we can both keep track of our HR and calories burned while working out.

They were pretty good deals about 75% off regular price. Each item had a tag on it that read what was wrong or why it was returned. The HRM just stated "customer said it did not work with his equipment". His shoes said "fabric pulls up in right heel" which we couldn't get it to pull up so that was fine. My shirt said "too small, we now make talls" and the head light "customer says it doesn't work, it does" and it did I put batteries in it and it worked just fine. My bag just had a missing magnet on the outside cover, where there are two magnets there's only one.

Anywho that was our exciting Saturday morning!

Happy Summer!

PS: All three of those pictures were taken with my new Canon Point and Shoot :-)

CSA Box #1!!!!

I'm a little late on blogging this... but I just have to share!! Back in February we signed up for a CSA (which stands for Community Supported Agriculture) with Driftless Organics.  There are many, many CSA's to pick from around the Twin Cities... just look at the list here. We spent much time looking at the different ones, the main priority was for it to have a pick-up location near us, the second requirement was for it to have half shares. We weren't sure if we wanted to get a box every week, so we thought since this is our first year of participating we would find a place that allowed you to purchase a EOW box (every-other week). So to explain it clearer for those that have never heard of it. You purchase a 'share' or CSA with a local farm and they deliever a box full of veggies, organic-homegrown-goodness to your pickup sight and you pick it up once a week, or in our case, every other week.

Last Thursday was time to pick up our first box!!!!

We had lots of goodies in our box:

~notice the bonus addition... the ladybug~ :-)

Asian Green Mix
Blue Potatoes
Bunched Spinach
Russian Banana
Fingerling Potatoes
Green Garlic
Purple/Green Kohlrabi
Red Leaf Lettuce
Red Radishes
Rosemary or Oregano

So the only stinky part of this was... most items needed to be eatten within a week! Well that stinks because we don't get our next box until 2 weeks from now (actually more because we won't be able to pick it up in 2 weeks so we're getting it the next week thus twice in a row for two weeks, then back to regularly scheduled pickups, yes confusing I know)

We finished the strawberries first. Mainly because this is what was instructed in our newsletter: "Strawberries - have been slow coming because of all the rain we’ve been getting. Wetness also means they won’t keep long, so eat them all on the way home!"

Oh yeah I forgot to mention, each week our farm gives us a newsletter with information on storing and cooking each veggie, what's new on their farm, and some fun recipes to make with our CSA veggies! It's a pretty excited ordeal and we are super happy to be a part of one!!

I'm already super excited for our next box!!

We had two salad's a day for the next four days!

The Asian Green Mix that we mixed in with the lettuce and spinach was WONDERFUL! It had this unique flavor in it that I just loved, and made it so I didn't have to use any dressing (I'm not a fan of dressing anyway). Yum Yum!

This was also the first time I have ever heard of blue potatoes!!!

And they were scrum-diddly-umptious!!!  We sliced them and baked them. Threw a little green garlic, scallions, and rosemary on them!!!

Happy Summer!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Weekend Gallery!!!

If you're looking for something to do this weekend, hop on over to downtown Minneapolis and see some great photography for sale and support a good cause!

Artist's Reception Saturday at 6pm - live music, cash bar, FREE admission!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Week 43

Less than ten weeks left of my project!!!

Week 43 blogsize

#295: Tomatoes: I think we had hamburger's or chicken sandwiches this night. Point being, I had a photo shoot this morning (which I usually use a picture as my picture of the day) but the mom had requested me to NOT use any photos on blogs or facebook so... I quickly remembered around dinner time that I needed to capture a photo for my 365 project :-)

#296: Harpo Play: Since Harpo turned 3 he instantly became an old fart! But every once in a while he'll still have a streak of playtime in him. A short streak but I still embrace it and remember back to the day he would NEVER stop playing :-)  ahh kids grow up fast :-P

#297: Diet Dr. Pepper: We don't buy a lot of soda, heck I don't DRINK soda ever unless we go to the movies. But for some reason I had a craving for some Dr. Pepper so we bought a big case at Costco, of course it is diet to not interfere with my ever present duty to try and get back to my 'wedding weight'. :-P shesh

#298: Harpo: I wonder HOW many times Harpo has made it in my 365 project :-)

#299: Waterproof Point & Shoot: WOO HOO, I had been wanting a new point and shoot for a while, just to have an extra camera around, something to throw in my purse in a split second. We were suppose to go on a canoe trip this weekend, which led me in the direction to get a waterproof camera (I wish I had this when we went snorkeling in Mexico)... it arrived in the mail and I was all set to canoe.... too bad the weather was crummy and we cancelled the trip. But now I have another point and shoot... don't worry Nikon - I will never leave you, Canon was just the better choice this once!!

#300: Ticket to Ride: So instead of camping and canoeing with our newly married group, we had a game night at one of their houses.  This is 'Ticket to Ride', which has become a very popular game at our get together-s. The girls are in playing, while the boys were getting the campfire going.

#301: Harpo making friends: Saturday evening we went over to another friends house. They recently got a new puppy: Gilligan. Harpo had a fun little play date while we played games. We attempted to get a picture of the two of them, this was the best we could do. Of course Harpo was an old fart again and didn't' want to play as much as Gil did :-P

Don't forget to STOP...

and smell the flowers

There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments. 
-Janet Kilburn Phillips

'Just living is not enough,' said the butterfly. 'One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.'
-Hans Christian Andersen

A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.
-Gertrude Jekyll

smell the flower

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What a week... or two

Wow I just sat down to go through one of my memory cards. If you know me, I'm not one of those that has pictures and pictures stuck on memory cards. I'd like to say I'm pretty good about keeping up and *cough* blogging regularly. But lately I have been busy and haven't been on top of things as much as I would like to. I am over a week behind with my project 365... BUT I have taken a picture each day!!! My photography website has been a pain in my side... but that is probably because I am so picky :-P  It is coming together, I have a few finishing touches and of course the regular on-going maintenance. But check it out, it's getting better each ftp upload :-)

Going through my pictures right now I couldn't help but just share this one with you.
crispy clear harpo

It's not my picture of the day for when I took it, although I think the one I took is of Harpo. But this was just one of those moments I wasn't paying a bit of attention, aimed my camera down and squeezed the shutter. I just love how sharp it turned out and how vivid it was. He's such a cutie ba-tootie! Something about that evening outdoor light just made the colors pop and somehow I got his eye focus spot on! Which doesn't always happen when dealing with moving targets.

Alright, gotta get back to work!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Week 42

10 weeks left! WoW I just realized that!!!  I've been pretty busy lately getting things together for my photography business and preparing for the Photography Gallery I am volunteering with which happens at the end of June, if you haven't checked out the webpage you can see it here, I have a picture on the 10th slide. Sorry some of this weeks photos are boring, I have a few product pictures in there, turns out I didn't take any other pictures than the business pictures... but hey at least I didn't miss another day!

We have some wonderful news!!! Kyle just accepted an offer for a new job!! We'd been praying about it for about a month now and as each step of the interview process progressed, our hearts got a little more hopeful! God is GREAT!  We had both been looking for a change in our lives, I had applied to school and that didn't work out; we were just kind of in a stuck place. So this new job is an answer to many prayers. I hope it's a smooth transition and everything he's been hoping for!! God is paving the way for us, next thing you know we'll be starting a family... HAHA not so fast. :-P  But this new job is a stepping stone to that point :-)
Week 42 blogsize

#288: Game of Croquet: Some friends of ours invited us to their 3rd annual Memorial Day (well the day before memorial day) BBQ. We had a fun time playing croquet, bags, blowing things up, and eating good food!

#289: Patio Garden: Another year of the patio garden... someday we hope to have a real garden, but we have some more house projects before we build one of those. This year we planted two tomato plants, a pot full of banana peppers and a pot full of jalapeno peppers. This is our first time growing peppers so I hope they are a success!!  Here's last years patio garden.

#290: Potted Flower: When I was home a few weeks ago, my mom sent me home with two big pots to plant in and set on our front patio. Memorial Day we got some flowers (a little more than needed, but hey it's our first time - we're learning) and planted two pots (ended up being 3 since we had so much left over). This is a flower from the pot.

#291: Audio Book: When I went home to Missouri I checked out a few audio books out from the library. I have never heard about this author: Stephanie Bond, but the cover looked interesting and it was a mystery, which I love. She has a series called Body Movers, well I listened to the 2nd and 3rd books in the series and decided I should get the first one before moving on. Here I am sitting in my car waiting to pick up Kyle from the bus stop and remembered I needed a picture for the day.

#292: First Product: I sold my first product and got it all packaged nicely!!  Of course I had to take a picture of it cuz I'm a dork like that :-)

#293: 35W over the Mississippi River: More and more of my pictures have been taken with my camera phone lately. Maybe that's a sign I need to get back into taking 'real' pictures. Anyway this is taken while going over 35W (a highway here). This is actually the bridge that collapsed a month before we moved to Minneapolis. In the picture you can see the Stone Arch Bridge and downtown Minneapolis.

#294: Product Image: I got some of my products printed! This is a specialty collage I am calling 'The Flower Box'. My sample is an 8x8 Canvas. Sadly I was so busy this day that product pictures were the only pictures I took.... at least I picked up my camera, right?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

End of June Gallery

Check out frame 10 on my photography group's Gallery Announcement webpage:

Notice anything familiar?  :-)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Week 41

Week 41 blogsize

#281: Prairie Dog at the MN Zoo: I got us free tickets to the MN zoo through the libraries museum pass program. These prairie dogs were so funny! There were so many of them!!

#282: Nuttin' - I actually blogged all evening and totally forgot to get a picture :-(  only day two out of 289 days that I have missed (so far, I hope it's the last)

#283: Soy Sauce: We bought this ginormous thing of soy sauce when we lived in Atlanta from Jan. to Aug. of 2007. THIS is how much we have left, lol. Looks like we will get through it someday. I actually pulled this out last month when we were talking about it with some guests and noticed on the bottom "refrigerate after opening" lol ooops.  But I figure if we haven't refrigerated it in 3 years it should be fine, haha.

#284: Backyard Iris: There was one iris bundle growing when we moved in, although I had never seen it bloom. Last summer I transplanted a few from my boss's garden. This year I have a bunch! They were all toppled over, but this weekend we got some of those rod/wire things so now they are all standing up pretty.

#285: Joe Mauer Statue: I went downtown to meet Kyle after work for HH and dinner at a restaurant we had a coupon for. Minneapolis is covered in Joe Mauer statues, here's an article.

#286: Backpacking Gear: We laid out all our gear in preparation for backpacking. We've never 'officially' gone backpacking so we wanted to make sure we had everything we thought we needed before we loaded up our packs. I'm looking forward to camping at some fun places this summer and backpacking some Minnesota trails.

#287: Backpacking lunch: We backpacked/hiked this day at Lake Maria State Park. Since it was Memorial Weekend, there were no campsites available but we were able to practice walking 5 miles with our packs on. Not too bad, Harpo was a bit tired at the end and he wasn't even carrying anything, lol. We stopped to use our new burner to cook lunch!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Beautiful Flower

For the first time I have irises growing in my back yard.
284 backyard iris

Happy Spring!

Lake Maria State Park - Backpacking

Saturday morning we woke up early (well kind of, we slept in a little) and headed north west about 50 miles to Lake Maria State Park (pronounced mariah... not sure why though). From talking with our buddies at REI they suggested a good beginner backpacking place of Lake Maria. So we thought we'd check it out. Given that it was Memorial Day weekend, of course every state park in the state, well except about 5 were booked. Although all parks have a few spots left open for first come first serve. We didn't think we'd get one, but we thought we'd prepare in case we lucked out. We got there at 10 til 10, when the office opened to see if they had any camping spots left. No luck, which was okay because we planned to hike anyway. (and we had plans the next afternoon which actually worked out better because we would have been in a mad rush Sunday morning to get home and back to a friend's house for a BBQ). Funny how every holiday weekend, we are stuck LOOKING for a place to camp, nothing like waiting for the last minute. But if we wouldn't have waited in the past we never would have gone to Blue Mounds State Park or Charles Lindbergh State Park.

Anyway, we really just wanted to get some experience backpacking. While I was home visiting family, my brother had given me his old sleeping bag and a small tent... thus giving us 'pretty much all we needed to backpack' LMAO!!! HAHAHA  yeah right... until we found the wonderful world of REI!  We got packs,  towels, clips, rope, a kitchen sink, backpacking burner, deflatable mugs, etc!!
286 backpacking gear

After all that THEN we were really ready to backpack, lol. We loaded our packs Friday night, then Saturday I weighed them to see where we stood. Kyle's = about 19 lbs, mine about 12 lbs. Not too bad. Everything for one night camping.  And even though we didn't camp it was still nice to walk 5 miles with our packs on to get a feel for it. Kyle and I did great... Harpo was DONE by 1:00. LOL
hiking trail

Here we are with our packs:
backpacker kyle backpacker daisy

The mosquitoes were bad in the shady swampy areas, but like all other hiking trips we just pretty much high tail it through the shade then relax when we make it to blazing sun where there are no mosquitoes.
marshy board walk

After about two or so miles we decided to go back to the jeep and unload our sleeping bags and tent (well kyle had the tent, we each had our own sleeping bag in our pack) to somewhat mimic if we were to arrive at a camp site unload those three things, then go back out. Really we couldn't tell a difference in weight, but we thought we'd give it a try. While loading back up we made an AWESOME discovery!
clip whitsle
Our chest clips have WHISTLES! Isn't that totally awesome!  We have a whistle, compass, thermometer combination, but now ti's great to know there is always one there!! After blowing them for a little bit and getting our joy out, we figured we should probably stop before someone things we're in trouble, lol.

All the state parks, well I think all of them. Have a 'Hiking Club' really it's just a designated trail and about halfway through (the farthest part from the parking lot usually) there is a password!
hiking club
I have been keeping track of the passwords we've encountered. They sell a book, well hiking club membership and you write out all the passwords and I think after a certain number you get a free night of camp or something. I just need to buy one of the books, which every place I try they are out...

After some more hiking and finding some crazy fungi:
crazy fungi

We decided to stop to cook up some lunch. We wanted to test out our new backpacking burner
287 cooking up lunch

and since REI was having their 'biggest sale of the year' we also got some freeze dried food to try. For lunch we had Turkey Tetrozzni.
lunch time

It actually wasn't too bad, just tasted like a hot dish (or for those of you non Minnesotans that is the same thing as a casserole).  We also tried some desserts. I was actually REALLY excited about this, but not too impressed.
freeze dried ice cream sandwich freeze dried ice cream
Although the ice cream sandwich was the better of the two and actually tasted like an ice cream sandwich minus the chill and the softness.

I can't close without a picture of Harpo :-)
All images are copyright of Daisy Simpson. It is unlawful and illegal to copy, scan, alter or edit the images in any way. This depreciates the photos value as well as my reputation, I take great care in capturing and editing each image and they are each important to me. Thank you for respecting my passion and my copyright.