wednesday wonderfulness

Some fun, some DIY, some pretty. Have fun, lovelies! I'm in NYC tomorrow and friday for a photo expo. And then on Saturday, the last wedding of the year! So ready to be caught up, yo.
And that's probably enough to keep you going for a while...


to my sister on the day of her marriage

Or, what my toast would be if I could actually think instead of bawling like a baby.

I don't remember the day you were born. To me, you've always been there. I can't remember a day when you weren't a part of my life, my sidekick, the voice of reason when I was being silly, the giver of ideas when I was boring. I DO remember, though, that I learned to read before you did, and there would be times when you wanted to play and I refused. I was lost in a world with ann of green gables or the little house on the prairie, Eventually you learned to read and we would both retreat to our corners, lost in our books. Even now, 25 years later, when we see each other one of the first questions is "what have you read lately?" Normally for you it's something serious, grown up, about economics. For me? Not so much.

pageant barbie and vdoprincess

There was this one time, years ago, when you convinced me that if I put milk in a jar and shook it really hard it would taste like a milkshake. You lied. It tastes like foamy milk. And that is disgusting. There was another time when you ALMOST had me convinced that you were older and I was younger. Almost. I didn't quite fall for it, though. I didn't want to the younger one, so I was going to resist.

Little known fact: you are FREAKISHLY stubborn. Every fight or battle of wills that I can recall from when we were kids ends with you winning. One time we were fighting over who had to put away the wagon, and I was tired of giving in to you, so I flat out refused. That danged wagon sat in the driveway for THREE DAYS. I think one of the parents ended up putting it away?


Remember when we pretended that we were poor people? Our little pretend house was on the hillside next to the trash pile, and we used clamshells for our dishes. I don't know why we decided "playing poor" was a fun thing--don't most people pretend to be rich? But we did that, too. With our dressup clothes. Our LEGENDARY dressup collection. I blame mom for the fact that we're now all clotheshorses: we seriously had the best dress up collection of anyone in our ENTIRE homeschool co-op. As well as an entire shed in which to keep them. And when we weren't playing dressup with ourselves, we were using the skinniest of our baby dolls (no, barbies weren't allowed) and pieces of fabric draped and pinned and creating fashion shows like that. Fact: an actual baby dress can be folded and converted into quite an impressive empire-waist, off the shoulder gown for a smaller doll. I have no idea why I remember that, but I do.

And then we got older, and we put aside the dressup clothes. Well, sort of. I guess we just got less extravagant. We started playing "dress up and pretend this family is perfect, this life is perfect, this is what is expected of us." We were good at that, too. We didn't know it wasn't normal. Remember that conversation we had, in Oklahoma City, where one of us broached the thought: "Maybe it's not normal to spend your entire childhood worried that your mom is going to leave, knowing its a very real possibility. Maybe that's had a part in shaping who we are." We honestly, genuinely, had never considered that before.

It was less than a couple of years after that when we had the conversation that's written on my brain in which we both swore: "I would rather be single forever, then hurt anyone else that much." We were serious. All we saw out of marriage was great, great pain. And there were no rewards that we could see.

In the past couple of years we've watched guys come and go, we've seen the dating disasters (bridge jumping, anyone?), and I've heard you ask, in all sincerity: "what if I'm broken? What if I just can't love?" I promised you that you're not, that you're fine, that it's not you, it's them.

Throughout all of this you've remained of the most focused, motivated people I know. Despite the fact that no one encouraged you to, because "women didn't need it" you got your undergrad, earned your CFP, and start grad school next spring, all while working full-time running your own business. I am continually in awe of that.

I think that if there were one verse that, in my mind, encapsulates you, it's that one from Psalms: "Who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? ...He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not...he that doeth these things shall never be moved." You've taken on incredible challenges that you didn't have to, and the stuck with them, because you're a woman of your word. Or maybe because you're stubborn. (see above.)

So it is not a small thing that you stood in front of us yesterday, pledging your life to this man, this James, this wookie. He knows you, your neuroses, your foibles, and your strengths, and he still loves you. Perhaps more incredibly, he knows your sisters and yet still loves you. Above all, he's convinced you that it's worth taking a chance on being hurt. Again. That much. For that, I salute him.
::my sister is married::
I love you, my dear.


project 52, week 28

project 52, week 28

I have my grandma's personality, they say. Because I'm always happy and smiley. I have my dad's eyes. I walk like my mom. But my laugh? My laugh is all my own.


in which I share my terrible taste in music

I'll freely admit to having the worst possible taste in music. There was a time when I actively sought out new and interesting artists, sharing finds with the alacrity of a zealot. Now, however, indie music has a place on my priority list somewhere above exercise and below dishwashing. So my already dubious preferences have received a healthy influx of the radio, and things are EVEN WORSE. With that exceptionally alluring intro, how could you not want, therefore, to know what it is I'm currently playing on an endless loop with my iPod? I'll be honest: much of it is rather techno-tinged, and quite upbeat. I need stuff that keeps me awake right now. And these songs make me bounce in my chair without tempting me to attempt singing along. So. Click on the top image if you want to download a copy of my current ear-candy, and let me know what you think.


wednesday wonderfulness, I'm too tired to think

Guys, right now I'm so tired that I just don't care how behind I am. I need to KEEP WORKING, but I can't seem to make myself do it. I was in exactly this place at this time last year, and I know that if I just keep going I'll get through it, but who knows how far behind I'll be by the time I manage it.
Anyway, here's what I have. Not a ton, will have to do.


in which I obsess over garland

I've started my Christmas shopping already (no, 95% handmade is NOT HAPPENING this year) and I'm trying to do a lot of it on Etsy. I keep running across amazing garland-inspired pieces that I look at and think "I could so make that." And even if I don't, fabric garland? Just so HAPPY! I'm wondering if I have time to integrate some into the decor for my sister's wedding this weekend.... STOP. STEP AWAY FROM THE SCISSORS. Ok. I'm alright now. :D
How sweet are these cards? I think they would just make fantastic little "just because" cards, too. (Without the front message, of course.) Also from AllieRuth: letterpressed handkerchiefs. I KNOW. My brain just exploded from the adorable, too.

Aiiie! This is the garland that started my obsession. I love the idea of using fabric--with finished edges--instead of paper, because it will last forEVah, and you can wash, iron, and generally love on it for years. Also from SparklePower: alphabet posters. I want. Now. Please.

I love the pale monochrome fluffiness of this garland. I think it would add a great layer of texture to any party setup. Also from HankandHunt: cupcake flags! Love. Pretty without being twee.

All images belong to the etsy shop owners. Please click on the images to go to the original listing. And do it: all three of these shops are adorable and deserve their own posts.


sometimes pop music just makes monday bettter

So this morning I'm pretty much looping the album that this song is from. It's the perfect mindless background to get a lot of work done.


self-portrait sunday

project 52, week 27

project 52, week 27
I don't have a story this week; my weekend has been too crazy. Wedding season is almost over, you guys! My sister is getting married less than a week from today (woo!) and then one more wedding and then...done. Until it all starts up again in the spring.

For now, you can see the circles under my eyes, we now know what I'll look like in 20 years. But it comes down to the same thing that always matters for me: LOOK AT THAT LIGHT.



wednesday wonderfulness

I should really count up how many volumes of this I've done! I know it's been a bunch, and for me, anyway, it's a sort of bookmarking feature. When I need to find something I know I loved, I can search my archives, and it usually turns up. So...yeah. I pretty much keep this blog for my own sake. So I can remember.
And that's all for now.



According to safari, these are my top twelve sites. I should be embarrassed by some of them, I think.
L-R from top: facebook, apple, twitter, scrabble help, mail, guilty pleasure, here, blogger, weather, collages, white house, two bright lights.

What are your top sites by amount of time actually spent, not what we THINK we spend?


beauty out of trash

I spent this weekend in a car, I swear. Left Friday morning at 7, got into Canton Ohio by 3, spent the evening with family/sourcing props for a photo shoot. Saturday morning we drove up to Cleveland, arriving by 8:30, spent the day shooting with the always-fantastic Attack Cat, headed back to Canton for a family birthday. Sunday we left by 6 am to make it back to the east coast in time for a family shoot. If you do the math, that's 16 hours of driving to spend 39 hours with family. Of that, a bunch more was spent in the car, but that's a whole different story.
ANYWAY. I'm not trying to make you feel sorry for me. (I'm firing the person in charge of scheduling soon, I promise.) I just want to explain a) why I was in Ohio b) why it was kinda a big deal for me to stop my car just to take a picture.
See, I'm always driving by these beautiful sights and I think "man, that's incredible. I wish I had my camera...oh wait! I do! But so-and-so is waiting for me..." Or my to-do list is epic, or I'm just TIRED. And so I let slip another perfect moment.
Saturday morning, as I was driving down the street in Cleveland, already 15 minutes later than I wanted to be, and we passed a huge parking lot enclosed by a very boring fence. But then we came to a section of fence that was...flowering. Normally I would say "Oh cool!" and keep driving. But I knew I didn't HAVE to be there for a little while longer, so I turned the car around and drove back.
When we got close to the scene of trees and earth that was woven into the fence, I was shocked and thrilled to discover it was all created out of trash. Plastic bags, cans, soda bottles, and leftover twist ties had been pressed into service to create a scene of color and life. So there I stood, the early morning sun streaming through blooms made out of refuse, snapping, trying to capture the incredible serendipity of that moment. Light. Crisp air. Trash. Redemption. Seeing things I'd never have noticed if I hadn't just stopped.
It crashed over me, and all I could do was click the lens and be grateful.


self-portrait sunday

project 52, week 26

project 52, week 26
(I'm halfway done! Can you believe it?)
There are some moments you know are momentous as they happen, and so you record them on your brain, remembering what you were wearing, how you wore your hair. There are others that are only important in retrospect, so you're lucky if you can pinpoint them at all.
I remember, back when I was just starting out in this photography thing, reading an article about how to build your business, and one of the points it made was the importance of referring to yourself as a photographer. If you don't take yourself seriously, the article said, no one else will. So I had business cards printed up with "Laura Dye, Photographer" on them. (They're the same ones I still use.) And tentatively, awkwardly, quaking on the inside, I began to introduce myself as a photographer.
"What do you do?"
"I'm a photographer."
It seems small, but it was a big deal, to me anyway.
The thing I don't remember is, in my mind, much more important: the day I first thought of myself as a photographer. I don't know when or how it happened, but somehow it did. I slipped from being someone who takes pretty pictures, an imposter with a shiny electronic toy to being, in my own mind, a photographer. I know my camera blindfolded, I can tell you how to properly expose a sunset AND a person, I know how to make you look like you jump like mike.
I don't know everything--not yet. I'm working on it, and it's a longlong way away. In fact, I now realize just how far away I am from where I want to be.
But I'm a photographer. Everything else? That's just gravy.


wednesday wonderfulness

First off, happy birthday to my sister, the lovely Porkchop! And after that...some good stuff!
Anyway, enjoy, lovelies! Another crazy week ahead, so posting will continue to be spotty.


over-the-knee boots for beginners

So yeah, I broke down and bought over the knee boots. And I love them. But they're a little tricky to wear without looking like a slut. So...it finally got cool enough here to bust out the layers, and I attempted to get them broken in. Fact: over the knee boots are WARM. And I love them.
black angora DKNY hat: thrifted
black tee: target
black Paper Denim and Cloth faux leather jacket: marshall's
dark wash "jeggings": Marshalls
black Guess boots: Shoes.com

Yep. I'm busting out the black again. :D


self portrait day

week 25

project 52, week 25
Everyone has at least one irrational fear, and many much more rational ones. My silly one is the fear that one day I'll become one of those stories you read about in the newspaper where their skin has grown into the couch. It's outlandish, I know, but every time I eat too much or exercise too little I think "I'm that much closer to being the 400 pound woman!"
My other fear is much more rational, although people think I'm being melodramatic. I'm afraid that one day I'll go crazy. You see, mental illness runs in my family. And most of the time I can just avoid thinking about it, but sometimes it forces itself to the forefront of my mind, and I realize what I can become.
I've told my husband that if I start slipping he's to drag me to the doctor and get me checked out.
For my part, I keep myself in check. I've seen the downward spiral of depression, seen the days spent in hiding, wanting to die, failing to eat. So my refusal to wear sweatpants, my insistence on makeup at all times? Those are my defenses, my way of making sure I'm still alive, I still care, I'm still in touch with reality. I'm afraid, deathly afraid, that to "let myself go" will pull the pins out, and my life will come screeching, sliding, crashing down around me.
And don't think I'm exaggerating. You've only got to face down a crazy person once, only had to have dishes thrown at you or clean up shaven hair once to know you don't want to be that. Ever. And you'll do whatever it takes not to become it.


wednesday wonderfulness

Some fun, some DIY, some pretty. Have fun, lovelies! I'm in NYC tomorrow and friday for a photo expo. And then on Saturday, the last wedding of the year! So ready to be caught up, yo.
And that's probably enough to keep you going for a while...