best of 2008

So one of my favorite parts of the end of the year is sorting out all of my favorite photos from that year. I love going back and looking through all the weddings, reliving my favorite moments.
Well, did the math, and I think we took about 50,000 pictures last year. Of those, these are my favorites. This is a wholly subjective collection; I'm sure someone else would pick entirely different images. But for whatever reason these are my favorites. Please enjoy.
Warning: this is freaking long! Seriously: there were 200 some pictures, so it takes a while to get through them all.

best of 2008 from Laura Dye on Vimeo.


goals 2009

It's good to write these things down, right? This way I can see how overly ambitious I actually am! (Or perhaps what a procrastinator I am.) So last year I completed maybe half of my list. I accomplished many things that I didn't even think I could, which is completely exciting. So here go my goals for 2009.
  • Lose 20 pounds. This will be the year I am finally confident in a bikini. I have no idea how much I've lost this summer, but I felt crazy awesome in a bikini this year! Wooo! (fact: friends who tell you that you look awesome help. Seriously. You have no idea.)
  • Shoot 25 weddings Well, I shot either 22 or 23. That was PLENTY.
  • Throw three "grown up" parties, starting with an Oscar party. FAIL. Had an Oscar party, and there I STOPPED. I have people over all the time, but maybe "grown up" parties are beyond my abilities.
  • go swing dancing, finally. FAIL.
  • Mail Christmas cards before Christmas. Ha! Another year without sending Christmas cards.
  • Make 90% of my christmas gifts. FAIL. No time. Really.
  • Read one non-fiction book per month. I think I managed this, if you average it out.
  • Buy a new computer for the business. Ordered it 5/11/09
  • Run that 5k, finally. FAIL.
  • Sort and organize my clothing collection. Completed! Getting ready to do it again with the move.
  • Have an art show of just my work. FAIL.
  • Start writing that book I've been mulling over in my brain. FAIL.
  • Adopt a bulldog. Didn't happen. But we did get a bunny.
  • See a broadway show. FAIL. Despite two New York trips.
  • Take a mini-trip with le husband. (Or a full-length one, but I'm not stretching too hard here!) Also didn't happen.
  • Visit LA! (Lauryl and CS, this is to see you guys.) Visited Michigan instead.
  • Have a garden It's in progress! 05/09
I'm sure I'll add to this as I think of it.

So. There was much that I didn't do in 2009 that I originally thought I wanted to. But there were tons of other things I did that I'm super-proud of. I'll get it all written up eventually.


Christmas present pictures at long last!

This is the Twinkle Hoodie from Twinkle's Big City Knits. I couldn't find buttons to match the color, so I did fabric covered ones.

These are both the Princess Capelet from the same book. The one on the right I used a vintage pin to hold closed; for the yellow one I threaded satin ribbon through the knit. She tied it several different ways, resulting in several different looks.


a christmas tree!

I've been loving our christmas tree this year, and wanting to take pictures, but just not taking the time. Tonight, however, I'm blowing off work for a little while to get the house ready for family, and had to pause and just love all the white lights.

So please excuse the clawed garland on the lower left-hand side. The LewisCat thinks that it is AMAZING, and has made it his personal mission to take it all off. I'm trying to spray him with water when he does, but since I'm gone so much, he's quite crafty.
So here's the story on my tree: in previous years I've done a gold/red/silver/clear thing, but after last year's amazing Blueprint cover, I decided that red needed to be replaced with pink. Well, I haven't been able to find any pink ornaments in the stores. At least none that were the right shade. However, I was able to pick up a ton of them in the thrift store, so there we go. And my previous red tree topper wouldn't go, so I found a vintage star thingy for $2 at Salvation Army. (And people say I have expensive taste!) All the garlands are an exhibition of my one OCD tendency: I can never find the garland that I like, so for the past three years I've made family members string tiny glass beads and create my own personal garlands. My tree was delightfully decked this year before it got attacked. 
After looking everywhere for pink wrapping paper that wasn't baby-themed, I caved and bought red-and-white awesomeness, planning to add pink ribbon. And then I went to Ikea, where I discovered this amazing pink and red paisley. That reverses to orange. How freaking awesome is that? I just can't believe I didn't buy out the store. 
Anyway, don't expect much from me--the inlaws are in town this weekend, so we're busy. But expect pictures of Christmas presents after they leave; I plan to make recipients model! Woo! 


wednesday wonderfulness

May I just preface this by saying that I can't WAIT to post pictures of all the Christmas gifts I've made! But for now you'll just have to excuse my absence and trust that every possible moment is spent either editing or frantically working on gifty goodness. So, here you are.
And that's all for now, folks! 

another chance to vote

I've submitted another image to jpg mag. Vote please.



review: Australia

So I've been excited about this movie since the first time I heard about --Baz's first film in twelve years! I am SO in. But of course, I'm a Luhrman fan, and if he made a film about the reading of the dicionary, I'd probably watch it. So I wanted to go see it opening weekend, but there just wasn't time, and I haven't had time to see it since then. I mean, a three-hour movie? Plus the critics have been ravaging it. But le husband convinced me friday night that I wanted to make time, and I am so glad we did. 
It. Is. Gorgeous. Just about every frame of the film could be framed and hung on the wall. One major complaint that I've heard is the painted sets, but I loved them. Definite throwback to major Hollywood epics. So yes, this film is over-the-top, and yes, it's sentimental, and yes, the characters aren't wildly nuanced. But ohmyword I loved it. It was gorgeous. Nicole Kidman's costumes are amazing (I want a parasol!), Hugh Jackman is insanely ripped (seriously--in this film he makes Wolverine look puny), and the images are absolutely lovely. The light! So, so gorgeous. I want to learn to shoot like that. 
Anyway, totally worth the $10 ticket price, and I may go see it again.


wednesday wonderfulness, the craaaazy edition

So there should be more, seeing as how I've missed this for TWO WEEKS now. But (excuses, excuses) I've just not had time to prowl around and find goodies. So here, in no particular order, is the wonderfulness I've been hanging on to, some of which I wanted to arrange into more focused posts, but that's just not going to happen. Here goes. 
Just so you know: I can't post pictures of Christmas gifts right now, because people would see them before the big day. So expect a flood of pictures post-Christmas. 



Threadless is currently having a holiday $5 tshirt sale. Get over there!

In other less exciting news, today we're shooting our last wedding of the year. Don't look for me to resurface from the bog of end-of-year edits in which I find myself for about another week or so, but I promise I'll be back before too long, with pictures of all the gifty goodness I've made this year! 


my grown up christmas list

It's more a dream list than anything else--price was decidedly no object! (Although it's not all expensive.)

my grown up christmas list by vintagechica


do bloggers dream of unlimited shoes?

I know I do! So I've been thoroughly chastised this week for my lack of bloggage; trust me, I know and I feel bad. I'm a bit slammed right now, trying to get all my engagement shoots edited and printed in time for Christmas cards. We did three shoots this weekend; engagement shoot on Friday at the beach (going to be amazing!), wedding on Saturday (lovely!), and engagement shoot on Sunday afternoon (absolutely gorgeous and cinematic). And did I mention that the inlaws were in town this weekend? Um, yeah. It was intense. But good.

Anyway, this image is from the November issue of Domino, and it's the closet of the head designer for JCrew. And it's gorgeous. This is the closet that we want (and my sister totally had, for a while, darn her). View the enlarged image--it's amazing.


today I'm thankful

And not just because it's thanksgiving day. I'm thankful because I've so much to be thankful for. I try not to talk about religion much here on the blog, but on days like today, when my heart is overflowing in wonder at the greatness of my God, I have to think of the verse, "the blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it." I've been blessed much more richly than I deserve, and its humbling. So with that in mind, today I'm thankful:
- for my health. Yet another year in which my biggest complaint is a cold!
- for my family. We've been through a lot with both sides of the family this year, and much as I sometimes want to string them up by their toenails, I love them all, and wouldn't trade them for the most functional family in the world. (A functional family would so have nothing to do with me!)
- my business. A year ago today I was hoping to shoot maybe six weddings this year and maybe someday do it ful time. Today I sit looking back at a year in which the majority of my income has been photography, and looking ahead to a year that's going to be twice as busy. Wow.
- my shoe collection! I know its silly, but I really am thankful for my shoes. I love them.
- our little house. I love where we live, and I love having marshmallow roasts in the backyard.
- our church. Its so good to be involved in serving again.
- that the election is over! Somehow this time around I just wanted it to end!

There's more, but I'll stop now. Happy thanksgiving, all.


glove love

Add instant glam to any outfit this holiday season with a pair of gloves. I'm currently loving adding a touch of old-world charm to modern looks (wait until you see our Christmas pics!), and they're just so fun to wear. Plus if, like me, you suck at taking care of your hands, well, gloves are perfect. I was poking around on etsy yesterday and favorited a ton; by posting these I can un-favorite them and thereby remove temptation. Click on the image to go to the posting.


shop now open!

So after the art show I had several people interested in purchasing prints of my joie de vivre print. Rather than try to handle all that manually, I finally got around to setting up an etsy shop. The famous "jumping orange umbrella" shot is there, as well as a couple of my other prints, and I hope to add more soon. My goal with this is to challenge myself to shoot images that are universally appreciated, wether you know the subject or not. If you have any suggestions, do let me know!


since I knew you were coming I baked a cake

Actually, when cold weather strikes I feel the need to bake. So I checked out The Pastry Queen Christmas from the library and yesterday I tried making her Apple Spice Layer Cake with Caramel Swirl Icing. Um, YUM! Incredibly delicious, and there are about 10 other recipes I want to try out. I may have to buy this one...
Side note: don't worry, le husband and I shall not eat the whole thing. We each had a piece (I narrowly avoided eating it for breakfast!) and I'm dropping the rest off at work. 

wednesday wonderfulness, a day late

I sort of forgot yesterday was Wednesday. What with the art show and everything, Monday just sort of disappeared, leaving me a day behind. So anyway, here we go. 
And I have to stop now. Work must be done. 


swf iso lbd

That is the title of a thread that was started in a forum I frequent; she has a ton of Christmas parties to attend and wanted a go-to little black dress. Well, I read somewhere that you should spend as close to $1000 as you can afford for your LBD. She doesn't have that sort of budget, and neither do I. So here, in no particular order, is an assortment of dresses both black and colored that could be the solution to your holiday festivities for under $100.

Only available in hot pink, but is a very forgiving style, enabling you to pig out at the buffet or disguise those extra holiday pounds. I like the idea of wearing it with gray tights and gray suede booties. Maybe dress it down by throwing a fitted velvet blazer over top? $69.44 at Ann Taylor

Ok, I love the retro feel of this dress. I'm pretty sure it could be fab in the office, and dress it up by taking off your cardi, adding a shoulder full of sparkly vintage pins, and a vintage slip with lace edging showing underneath. Also wrap a satin ribbon around your waist several times and secure it with a brooch. Add sexy shoes and you have sparkly holidayness! $39.44

Ok, so she manages to make this look very stewardess-esqe. But it has very good lines. Tailor it perfectly, add a pair of seamed hose and peep-toe pumps, and you have a very restrained/sexy look. $39.44

Ok, not sure what's going on with this pose. I think she has to go quite badly. However, the sheath has fabulous lines. Add bare legs and a shoulder full of sparkly and I think it could work. $79.99

It's a little clown collar-y. But add a wide patent belt and a pair of sexy maryjanes, and I think you might have a winner. $49.99

This one needs an iron. But for day add matte black tights and a black turtleneck and you have a very mod look. For evening a dramatic necklace and a wide, corset-y belt could be the answer. $74.99

Um, so this dress is perfect. And it's all of $30. Amazing. 

This is a bit more of an obvious cocktail choice, but navy is fabulous neutral option. Red shoes? Fab. $59.99

The Sophia dress, although potentially overused, is actually quite a flattering style. Add some good accessories and I think it could work. $69.99

And this one is just perfect. $59.99

What is your solution to the holiday dressing madness? 


report from the art show

So the Starbucks Avant-Grande art show was last night. I was the only Barista from my area to submit anything, but it was completely worth the two-and-a-half-hour drive. Some of our DC friends kindly came out to support me, although sadly I didn't get any pictures of them, and my sisters drove up with us, so we spend most of the drive laughing until we cried. Seriously.

The show was held at the House of Sweden, which is the cultural building next to the Swedish Embassay. There were many drinks, many people, and much fun. I didn't sell my piece, but I did have several people who wanted to buy prints, which may actually result in my getting my act together and selling prints on etsy. Also, more pictures from the evening here

Oh, true story: le sisters arrive at our house 10 minutes after we were supposed to have left, only to find me running around in my underwear squealing "I don't know what to weaaaaaaaaar!" (Remember the cool outfit I planned? Well, the dress made me look like a sack of lumpy pink potatoes.) I was almost resigned to skinny jeans and a leather jacket with a fedora, but they rescued me from such banality and reminded me of clothing items I forgot I owned. And red lipstick made it all better.

The model posing with the shot. J has been laughing at this whole situation: her fifteen minutes of fame and you can't see her face! 

Me looking shadowed next to the print. 

How the gallery was set up. I love this shot! (All pictures taken by le husband. I wasn't carrying the camera AT ALL for once.) 

Me networking. I really enjoyed getting to talk to all the other artists, as well as many attendees. 

The trio of terror. 



in defense of my slackerliness

So le husband was gone most of the week, hunting, and I spent the whole time working like a madwoman, trying to get caught up. Then we celebrated our anniversary last night (twas lovely!), tomorrow night is the art show, and I'm still a few photo shoots behind. So...blogging will continue to be sporadic for a little while, but I'm hoping to come back soon with some fabulousness including updates on the Christmas gift making. In the meantime, here are some blogs that I'm adoring and obsessing over. 
Also loving: new restaurants, baby gift knitting, baby converse (!), the new Candace Bushnell book, holiday preparations, taking Christmas pictures, meatloaf sandwiches, trying new recipes, my fat orange cat, and fedoras. 


in which she wishes her feet were smaller

(see also: wasting time on Ebay.) 

news non-flash

So le husband is gone through Wednesday of this week (our anniversary!) and I'm living it up in the way that only my family can: working constantly. The timing is perfect, because I have a TON of work to catch up on right now (no, I haven't touched Nanowrimo), so it's good to get it all taken care of, or at least try. Anyway, I'm back to my pictures. (Almost caught up! Yay!)


more boringness

So that blog post from yesterday? I fleshed it out and turned it into a photo essay for jpg. Vote for it if you feel like it. :D

what to wear for a parade?

what to wear to a parade

Where you can't carry a camera bag because of Secret Service security measures.
Since Joe Biden was at Return Day yesterday, there was security (which is a first, of course). So anyway, it was raining, and this was my attempt to stay warm and cosy without looking like a slug.
gray hat: thrifted
black leather jacket: thrifted
black wool sweater: thrifted
black tee: thrifted
yellow pants: H&M
black converse: gift
black scarf: ebay
earrings: walmart


going to return day

So here's the thing: If you grew up in a tiny state called Delaware, like I did, you grew very accustomed to people asking what state you were from. And still they ask: everyone thinks it's somewhere near Vermont, when (in case you didn't know) it's south of DC. As in, my dad's farm is ON the Mason-Dixon line. So anyway, one develops either an inferiority complex, or else a huge amount of state pride due to the fact that you live in a tiny (600,000 people!) state where they throw pumpkins for fun and eat something called scrapple. For me it's the latter. And my favorite tradition of all is Return Day. 
See, Georgetown, DE, is the county seat. And in the 1700s, when Delaware was settled, since there was no radio or newspapers, people came to the county seat two days after the election to hear the returns. Well, Georgetown has kept the tradition going, and turned it into a big production with a ceremonial burying of the hatchet and free ox sandwiches. The highlight is the parade to which all the candidates are invited and they then ride in antique horse carriages together in a show of unity. (The carriages were collected by this gentleman.) 
So anyway, when we owned the restaurant in Georgetown, we would be open that day and it was the single busiest day of the year. I haven't been back in a few years, but I've long wanted to go and just take pictures. 
Well, there's one other tiny detail. You know Joe Biden? Senior senator from Delaware and now vice-president-elect? Well, he has gone to every Return Day since he's been in office (30 or so years) so he wasn't planning on missing this one. 
I almost didn't go just because I knew security would be such a hassle, but we did go, and got cold and wet in the drizzle, and loved it. My pictures aren't phenomenal (I'm hoping to go for the whole day next time, when it will be smaller and less strict) but they're mine, and they make me happy. 

am I the only one who thinks the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce need to rethink their address?
So am I the only one who thinks the Chamber of Commerce needs to rethink their site address? 

the parties started early in the law offices along main street
West Main Street in Georgetown is lined with old homes as well as homes that have been restored and turned into offices. On Return Day, most of those are hosting a party of some sort. This guy got started a little early on the beer. 

this is his country too
As always, I'm obsessed with the faces. 

you know, one day she too can be president
She got me thinking, but I'll save it for another post. 

and his

this is her country
Georgetown has a huge latino population, and we were right behind a hispanic family. I loved the fact that in this formerly veryvery racist area, these people are assimilating and adapting the cultures of dead white men to make them their own. 

I love a band!
Bands are the best part of parades! 

former delaware governor Mike Castle
This is former governor Mike Castle, and, on the right, former Governor Tom Carper. If you think it's weird that governors show up to be honorary grand marshalls in a podunk parade in a town of 5000 people, read this interview with Biden about life in The First State. Seriously, it's only three counties. 

another favorite float
For some reason I loved this car full of people wearing candidate masks. 

my favorite float

one of the amazing vintage carriages
One of the amazing carriages. 

more biden
This is my Biden shot. 

the vice-president elect
This is J's. He's very proud of it, and rightfully so. It's a decent picture. Fact: today I learned that primes are NOT good if you are smushed into a crowd and cannot move or change your angle at all. In such an instance, you need the flexibility of a zoom. Because of the strict security, though, I only brought the one lens. (Turns out I COULD have brought my camera bag. Ah, well.) 

So there you go. If you want to come out and witness this awesome tradition for yourself, there's always a spare couch!


wednesday wonderfulness, volume 15

So I was going to post a "I'm sorry I have no links for you today" apology, but then somehow, some popped up. I don't think you'll be disappointed. 


pictures of the two of us!

We did a photo shoot with friends on Saturday, and at the end they grabbed a few of us. I'm thrilled, because we have very few with both of us. Please excuse the lack of hands on my part; I'm wearing my new favorite shirt which happens to have the longest sleeves in the world.

All these were taken by Alison, and she did an awesome job!

what I wore on election day

someone said I look french. I'll take it as a compliment
I was feeling super-stressed today, so I came up with a super-fabulous outfit to compensate. The skirt I just picked up this weekend, at my favorite vintage store, and it's actually a vintage petticoat. Lovely, no?
skirt/hat: fave vintage store
white tanks: rugged wearhouse
belt/jacket: thrifted
shoes: ebay

an apology

I'm sorry, I know posting is sporadic at best. But don't expect it to improve. Nanowrimo is kicking my tail, and I'm stressing about numerous other overdue responsibilities. So le blog will have to languish for a bit.