Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You are full of Joy - scrapbook page


A new page, something different for me. Not my favorite I've ever made, but I wanted to play with a homemade mask (the swirls) and glimmer mist (the orange spray). I cut the mask on my cricut with scrap paper and just laid it on the kraft paper underneath then spritz with the glimmer mist. It needed "something else" so I used platinum pens to draw the lines/dots. I wanted to stitch those with embroidery floss, but I'm seriously too lazy of a scrapbooker anymore to spend 3 hours on stitching LOL.


Photographer smackdown - Day 2!

Courtney picked the theme today of "'Round the house". This was a puzzler for me. Because to be fair, there are a lot of round things around here.

I really wanted to be clever and have a photo of a round house kick, but Ahem. I can't do one of those, it'd be more like a round hospital kick, and a back brace, and a trip to the emergency room. Now hubs, he can do a roundhouse but after a full day of wrangling windshields, I kinda have a hard time asking him to do 900 kicks in the back yard.

So, I went with plan B:
Photo smackdown day 2
Around my house.

You'll find these about everywhere, on the coffee table, end table, my desk, the scrapbook room, kitchen counter, heck, you probably will find them in the bathroom. And they're never empty, they're always 1/3 full because I can't drink them fast enough to keep them cold. Once they warm up, they're icky. Every couple days I have a little diet coke scavenger hunt and round them all up for recycling day.

I have issues.

Theme for tomorrow?

"This is what Life looks like"

Courtney? Know anyone giving birth? Because that's a guaranteed win!

Bite me last day of June

Today is an important holiday for us all for 3 reasons.

1. The year is officially 1/2 over. Hey..., look at the bright side, it's now closer to next Christmas than last Christmas.

That's not helping is it?

2. Today is the first day that your Christmas lights on the house are no longer up late. Now they are up early. That's what you're creepy neighbors with an old truck and 4 chained up dogs in their front yard across the street are saying anyway.

3. Today is my birthday.

Of the three, I think 1 and 2 are more exciting.

It's a "monumental" birthday, which takes me back to my first monumental birthday. #10:


The best that I can recall about this birthday is that:
1. it was in the front yard of our old yellow house, which at that point had been painted tan, but was still yellow in my head.
2. My friend TJ blew off the day (or forgot she claims) but I was so MAD at her.
3. Joann wrapped my present in tinfoil, and I thought that was very clever and weird.
4. those overall shorts gave me a massive wedgie.

Nothing important planned for today except that I will probably play with my new flip I bought myself for my birthday present. Technically it's from Gene but he's not mastered this "internet" thing without me yet. Wanna know how many times I've told him "This is the password book, I hide it right here, these are passwords to all the accounts. If I die, you need this." After at least 3 times, I told Tanner where it was. I'm hoping Tanner will do a good job taking care of him in his ancient state.

Yesterday sucked big green donkey butt. I was having a *really bad day*. It involved mailing a registered pkg to *china*. Oh, the first person didn't tell me it had to be in a box. Without shiny tape. *sigh* Then I had to go to the DMV to get a new license, which while i was there, I decided to clear up some paperwork, which meant a trip to the courthouse for some certified copies of stuff I thought I had already, but, alas, I did not.

And those were the fun parts.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer Photo Smackdown - Day 1

Summer photo Smackdown!

Day one out of the gate, I chose the phrase "Color my World". I'm a color freak and find myself punching all my color. I have a VERY HARD time making soft photos with muted colors. Love them lots, mainly because I look at them like a monkey looking at a football.

I chose to make mine more difficult and add a little oomph to it by making it all summer images.

Be sure to check out Courtney's blog for her version of the theme. Her pick next. I'm anxious to see what torture she has in store for me!

I heart Faces "Wedding Bells" entry

I heart Faces is having a wedding themed contest this week that is judged by suppastar, Jasmine Star. Well, I certainly couldn't resist since I had Sarah and Jack's photos sitting right here on my desktop as I worked on them today. So, I'm submitting my official entry! {and a quicky sneak peek for Sarah and Jack - which won't see it because... they are in Belize. Don't we just hate it when that happens?}

Sarah and Jack

Look ma, it's summertime!


The pool took like 12 minutes to warm up. I suppose those three 100 degree days probably didn't hurt much in that department, but on the other hand, my first sunburn wasn't all that bad. The one I got on top of that, now that one hurts.


Tanner is out there every day and has somehow mastered how to put the pool cover on all by himself. I need to watch because that has to be an amazing feat.

Yesterday, the wedding went really well. It was a simple and beautiful wedding. The officiant was the groom's brother, the site at a local park that's really beautiful, more like a reserve than a park (there's no swingset here), everyone wore nice clothes that you could wear again (we love non-bridezillas) and the bride, well, she had one of the most beautiful dresses I've ever seen in my life. It had a lace overlay that was all beaded and very heavy. It was GORGEOUS, but so was she.

Today, a little bit of rest, a little bit of swimming, and a commitment to Gene that we'd start working on counter tops. ERGH.

I have the WHOLE MONTH of July off, so I'm going to get caught up with every single solitary shoot that I have to get edited (and there are several). I have 2 that are almost ready to load, and I'll share those photos with you soon.

In the meantime, my lovely friend Courtney Paris (Courtney Paris Photography) and I have started a little challenge with each other. It's the photographer smackdown. Each day this week, we offer up a phrase for each of us (taking turns) and the next day we'll post on our blogs, the results that each of us come up with! I'm excited for what we each come up with. Courtney is a very talented photographer from Louisville, Kentucky. She specializes in weddings, kids, families and does boudoir, which I have never dipped my toe in that water! She's braver than I. She's also very active in an organization called "Now I lay me down to sleep", which is kind of sad, but a loving gift she gives to new parents that have just lost their new babies.

I got to start the smackdown with the phrase "color my world". I've got in mind what I'm going to do, and I have a big assignment ahead of me today to have for you tomorrow morning!

Game on Courtney!
Game. on.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Rural Roadside Distractions



These pretty orange flowers have been littering the highway lately and completely distracting me from my impeccable driving. Tanner and I stopped today and it took a little maneuvering, but with my long lens, I finally got "close enough" to get some beautiful shots.

My grandma had a patch of these flowers in the corner of her yard. I have no idea what they are (anyone? anyone? Bueller?) but I liked them as a kid. They are so bright and cheery looking, and they seem to thrived without making it to botanical gardens or manicured lawns.

I like that wildness. Reminds me of me. :)




Farmers commonly refer to these as "weeds". I'm a girl... I think they're purdy.


One year, when I was 10-ish, my grandpa had a field of clover. It was a sea of purple and green, and when you walked by, and the wind was right, you could smell the sweet clover.

That and my cousin and I used to pluck the petals and bite the nectar. LOL


Apparently I'm not the only one that thought it was a good idea.



This is not a flower, but I named her Petal. Does that count?
Someone else very coldly named her "15"

How rude.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The winner is.....

"Cecelia---Sis---Mom said...
The pool, popsicles and ice water. LOL
Mz Cece...
Congrats! Email me your address at: lana at ceasefirestudios dot net and I'll get your box of wonderfulness out to you asap!!

R.I.P. - See you on the other side folks

RIP Farrah Faucett

She was a beautiful woman - and not just on the outside.

RIP Ed McMahon

Most famous sidekick of all time. His job was to laugh, or make sure you laugh, all at the right moments.

RIP Michael Jackson

I have the most to say about MJ. To say I was a fanatic was putting it midly. I was In Luuuuve with MJ. I know, he was odd even then, but his music was incredible, and he was cute, and I was 13.

He will forever be known as the Prince of Pop, and like it or not, he changed the way we sang, danced and the performance you got to see.

In 1983, Thriller was the the best selling album. Well, and every album since then. It sold 27 million copies and was #1 for 37 weeks straight. To put it in perspective for you, all top 10 albums of 2006 did not make as much as Thriller... COMBINED.

Wanna know some irony?

I never did own that album. I had one I copied from someone else.

The summer between my 8th and 9th grade years, I went to the Victory Tour in KC. It opened on a Friday if I remember correctly, and I went on Saturday. It was a lottery, and it was a crapshoot if you got tickets. You had to buy 4 at $30 each, and that was A LOT of money, but it was my birthday gift from my parents.

One of the most incredible concerts that I've ever been to.

I got really dehydrated!

This is the way that I choose to remember Michael. The guy that invented the moonwalk and pushed the envelope of creativity with his music.

I know that he had a really screwed up personal life and I will just say that I hope that there are many people out there, will find a little peace with his passing.

You wanna know something weird?

I found out about Farrah in the car, and MJ in line to see this guy:

This is John Edward. He's a VERY GOOD psychic medium, communicating with those that have already passed. So that was *very odd* day.

All of us kids bought my mom a ticket to see him in KC (it's like 6 times as much as MJ in 1983), and I went with her. We got there early, and got a front row seat. He read the ppl right next to us, I thought he might pick up on us, but alas he did not. In fact, at one point I thought he was getting ready too and mom had to nudge me. My heart about jumped out of my chest. heh. No, it was not taped, he now has some online thing called infinity quest.

Mom and I had fun, regardless of no reading, and decided that we want to go back next year. I'm hoping some of the rest of the family will go with us!

Had to get up early to take the cats to the vet for a bath and medication. (the mice got to go too), and then we bombed the house for buggies. sweet. Mack was *not happy* Everyone is taking a nap now.

Tanner and I killed time around town for a while, then came home and swam in the pool. It warmed up FAST. It's wonderful, I absolutely love it twice as much as the pool last year. I see myself out there a lot.

Ordered my own birthday present. LOL. Bought a Flip ultra U1120 video camera i've been wanting. I really wanted the waterproof case, but they don't make it for the u1120, so we're going to rig one for ourselves. Ghetto style. LOL.

Electronics + water = disaster. Game on.
Sarah and Jack's wedding! Outside. Cross your fingers for fair weather.

Thursday, June 25, 2009



You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

I have a couple confessions


Meet Pepper.

You've met her before. She's Tanner's mouse and by default, she's part my mouse, mainly because I make sure she doesn't die when Tanner is not here. Also because I take her out and put her up to my ear and let her swear at me in tiny mouse talk.

Yesterday, Pepper and her wheel came out and sat on my desk while I worked. Yes, I know, I need to push all my papers to the side on my desk... or clean it. Something like that.

I read once, that you can train a mouse to live on a surface and it will never leave it, but you know, I think finding random Pepper nuggets on contracts and precious family photos would be just a little too "adorable" for me, despite that little Ratatouille face.


BTW, mice are pretty hard to photograph. They move constantly and any good picture of Pepper is still just a little big blurry.

Unless you catch one in a trap.

Which we did last night.
And this morning.
And I heard one in my furnace closet.
I hope it's the same one I heard under the dishwasher this morning.


It's NOT THE SAME as Pepper. Nope it's not. These guys get into your drawers and poop in your kitchen towels or right in the middle of a spoon.
Pepper just poops in your hand when you pick her up.

oh stop!
We have soap. We use it.

So this might seem a little surprising to you, but when the snake moved in under the house, I was a bit relieved. As long as he is big enough not to get into the house, we can live a coexistent symbiotic relationship for years to come.

You see, right next to my very tiny flower garden {that I have to weed EVERY SINGLE DAY} I noticed a hole going under the foundation wall, leading up to that, was a long trail.... ie, there's been some traffic of the snake-ish variety going in and out.

Around the time that I noticed that, I noticed considerably less chewing or rustling noises next to the cat food storage container. And inside my wee little noggin, I settled down knowing there was a big fat and sassy snake, living under my house, feasting on manna from heaven.

We made friends.
{Of the "admire from a distance" variety}

But lately, I've noticed that the trail leading out, is starting to fill back in with crabgrass and clover and I started to worry that Mr snake left. Then yesterday, a mouse had a party and invited all his friends.

The same day, Tanner admits to running over a snake with the lawnmower while mowing the back yard.

I'm crossing my fingers that the problem is only that "the" snake got too fat and can't fit back in the hole. In the meantime, it's war.

Game on beoytches.

Project 365

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tips for Momtographers - get down low

My new favorite camera angle is one where I'm not even looking through the eyepiece.

This is a perspective that anyone can shoot, with any camera at all. All you do, is sit it on the floor, and push the button. Now my camera is a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) so my lens is close to the bottom of the camera, so if you have a point and shoot, your perspective might be slightly different but just play until you get something you really like.

You'll need your camera to be on auto focus, unless of course, you'd like to lay on the floor. Also, if you're using an slr, be sure to put your finger over the eyepiece as light can leak into sensor and make your photos very under exposed.

The resulting effect is a distinct depth of field (DOF) that's extreme and helps draw more dramatic attention to your subject.





Amanda + Derek

You don't have to do this angle just on the floor or ground either.



Try sitting it on a table top, dashboard, counter, on a vertical wall or any flat surface. You can have fun and get some really cool "from the hip" perspective photos of your friends while you're out for dinner or the kids at the park while they think the camera is sitting in the grass.

So don't be scared to get your good pants dirty, get down in the grass and look at your world from a different angle

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A story about soup


It seems way too sweltering today, to talk about tomato soup. The only bowl I want to dive into, is a bowl of ice cream or a 5500 gallon bowl of too-cold water. Regardless of my wants and desires, I'm going to tell you a little story about a can of soup that changed my outlook on the life.

When I was little I fell mostly to the care of my mother and grandmother. Once I got big enough, and my mom got a full time job, I spent many afternoons after kindergarten at the neighbor's house as they were a temporary baby sitter. Most of the time tho, I spent those afternoons at my grandmother's house where she taught me to read and write my letters, let me have ice cream and/or cookies out of her kettle cookie jar, or watching Gilligan's Island or even my favorite - the Brady Bunch.

One afternoon tho, there was no one to take care of me. I don't have any idea where everyone was. My older sister is 5 years older than me, so she had many afternoons of babysitting from about age 10 on, but she was not there. No grandma, no mom, no neighbors, no friends.

That left me in the hands of one person.

My dad.

Now when I was little, there was no male figure I was more scared of than my dad. It could be a big long sad story if I let it be, but I got over it several years ago and just let it go.

I will just say that a.) my dad did what he knew to do. It wasn't the best he *could* have done, but it was all he knew and b.) later on in life he softened up a lot. Most of that had to do with 2 little girls that came late in all our lives, my sisters Torrie and Amber. They ended up with a pretty good dad.

That day, I probably was around 6 or 7 years old and honestly, I don't even remember speaking to my father until that day. Now let's be fair, I don't know for sure that hadn't, it's just that I don't remember it. I did my best not to engage the man that was home every other weekend (he worked away during the week).

The only other thing I can remember that happened that day (other than the horror of being stuck with my dad for the day) was lunch. Dad had to make me lunch. Dad never cooked. Oh yeah, once in a while, before he found out about the diabetes and the high blood pressure, dad and mom would be in the kitchen together making mashed potato donuts (for the record, they did have mashed potatoes in them, and man were they good!). Later in life, my dad made a real mean chili and it was one of those things that he was "assigned" to make. I really don't even remember him grilling, but I know he did when I was little because we have a photo of him doing just that.

That day, without asking me what I wanted, my dad went to the kitchen cabinet and pulled out a can of tomato soup and started to make it for me.

Now don't forget, I was scared of this guy, and there was NO WAY in heck, I was going to tell my dad that I didn't like something, or that I wasn't going to eat something he made for me for fear I might get a whipping.

He made it with milk, not water. We're talking approximately 1975, so good old whole milk, no one had even heard of skim back then. It was nice and thick and creamy when he sat it down in front of me with a small stack of saltines.

One look at the yucky pink soup.
One look at great big, ginormous, mean man.

I took the easy route. I ate the soup.

What I didn't expect to happen, was falling in love with tomato soup. I remember my mom being shocked when she asked him what he fed me, and when he told her tomato soup, she said "she won't eat that" and he told her that I did. I think I even got the stink eye from my mom, because let's be fair, I had no problem being a picky eater in her presence.

Over the years, I've eaten hundreds (thousands?) of bowls of tomato soup. Somewhere along the line, I figured out that the best tomato soup, included a big gooey grilled cheese sandwich for dipping, and it's always best served in a coffee mug so you can sip it like a tomato-ish hot chocolate... and it ALWAYS must be made with milk. Unfortunately, it's usually skim milk nowadays

It has never failed, that from age 6, to now, every single time I eat a bowl of tomato soup, my mind travels back to the day that my dad made me lunch, and how if I hadn't been so scared of him, I would have never figured out that I love tomato soup. I try to remember that moment later in life when presented with a big thick calamari steak or a plate of buffalo. How will I know I hate it, if I don't at least give it a taste.

It's something I try to instill into my kids, but most of the time they don't play along. I'm hoping someday they'll grow out of it.

Exactly one year ago today, my dad passed away after a long illness. He died at home with all of us there, and his dog, Gunner, in his lap. I just wanted to share a happy memory that I have of him instead of focusing on anything sad, or bad. I've not thought about it much today except for right now, and this will be the last I will discuss it for the day.

Long before the end, I forgave my dad for the too harsh spankings, and for not being around, so I hope that if you read this, you'll know I am only speaking of him as the man he ended up being... kind of quiet, but loved his friend and his family. Loved the outdoors. Loved old movies and the TV. Thought my mom was beautiful. Believed in God and asked to go to heaven.

Prayers answered.

And guess what?

I really don't like tomatoes. :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Jon and Kate + 8 - *sad panda*

I just have to say, I watched Jon and Kate's big announcement and I'm sad. Not because of their actions, or the slow deterioration of a show, but because there's a family that you could see unravel over time. None of it is a big shocker in the end I guess, but it is disheartening to see J+K end it.

Kate has gone from pleasant to maniacal, then you could see a marked difference in her attitude. It was then that I knew something was going to happen. She was trying, but it was too late. I also have noticed that Kate has really been working on her appearance. I noticed this months ago and that raised a question in the back of my head, because someone that's working on their appearance, wants to "advertise".

Don't think Jon's off the hook with me. Jon, I have decided, is a moron. Not because he has a girlfriend, but because when they interview together she'll say something and it goes right over his head. SISTER, I have soooo been there done that.

I'm just hoping that when this all cools off, the result is not that Octomom will be the controversial replacement. Lord help us.

Patting self on back!


Guess what folks? No. GUESS!

You've been tolerating me not
only for exactly 2 years,
but exactly 500 posts!

Go me!

I'm really proud of this blog, and proud of sticking with it for so long, and proud of the things that I've shared (and restrained myself from sharing lol).

Sooooo... In celebration of that, I'm going to be giving away a cool box of goodies this week! It's going to be packed with Stuff Lana Loves! Many of these things, I've talked about, or shared here, and I want you to know why I love them to. Hint: scrapbook goodies, kitchen goodies, and a couple special surprises.

To enter, all you have to do, is leave a comment letting me know your favorite ways of beating the heat this summer! Cuz srsly, we need ideas.

I will announce the winner on Friday. Only ONE ENTRY PER PERSON... spread the word, anyone can enter. You have to come back to check to see if you're a winner.

That's it. See how easy and agreeable I can be?

Super mondo update

Welp, we've had a busy few days, so let's just do the big bulleted list-o-grievances so we can move on to more exciting stuff.


  • My email has decided to be an ass. Actually, it's my host, being an ass and my email got tangled up in our big wrestling match. If you have emailed my reneee@.....com email since Um... Thursday-ish, I probably didn't get it. Email me at the designerslibrary@.... .com email address only from this point on. If you need to get ahold of me, and don't know either email address, well, what the heck? :p Just comment here and I'll get in contact with you. Thinkhost and I? We're gonna throw down.

    This morning, my other email started to act up on me, then the internet. Bahhh.. it's been a long day.

  • Speaking of long days.. I was so happy this morning that there was sun, breeze and laundry all on the same day. good deal right?


    I went to the clothesline, and it was still wet on the ground but I can deal with that stuff. Looked at my clothes basket and what the heck is in there? *closer inspection* It's *a.flea.* OMG, I hate fleas more than any other living creature. Yes folks, they are that bad. I've been treating the cats, as I've seen a few but to see them jumping around on the ground as you walk, well that's just too over the top for me.

    So Tanner and I got around (we didn't have internet to distract us anyway), and headed out the door for Tall-mart in search of flea yard treatments. Found.. enough to cover 20,000 sq ft. And a spreader. That has to be the worst job EVER. I came in covered in pesticides. Blech. On the upside, it's supposed to kill ants and grub worms too. I have both. I'm a big believer in just letting my "grass" do what it's going to do and cutting it to look acceptable. Dude, I live in the country. But fleas? That crosses the line!

  • My sister-in-law, Laura, graduated from college on Saturday. GO LAURA. She received a BS in something I completely don't understand, and she got a 3.86 GPA so woot. BTW, it took her around 6-7 years, and in that time she worked full time, kept up a house, had 2 babies and school full time. THAT girl is wonder woman.


    This is my very beautiful SIL Laura. What you can't see, is how long her hair is, I think it's longer than mine even. She only produces red-heads btw, I guess that means SHE has the dominant genes. whew. *thank god* ;)


    This is her oldest red-head. Stephanie. She looks hot and sweaty from running and running with her cousins and friends. It was at a really cool park called "Celebration Park" in Gardner. quite possibly the best kids park I've ever been too. Why didn't they have cool stuff like that when I was a kid!?


    And here's Stephanie showing me her very "unique" bright orange fingernails. heh.

    My other in-laws made it back from PA for the festivities, and they brought along their little active elf, Ester. Ester the active elf. It has a certain "ring" to it doesn't it?


    See, she has the cutest little elf face.


    And she goes, goes, goes!

    I'm slowly working on Ester to come move in with me. Give it time. Before you know it she'll be saying to her mom "You suck! I want to go live with Aunt Lana and Uncle Gene!!" and her mom will say, "WONDERFUL, let me get you a bus ticket." and then I'll be stuck with a 14 year-old, hysterical girl.

    I'm gonna rethink my master plan.


    Even my favorite cowboy was there.

  • Sunday was Dad's day, and so we stayed the night in KC. Sunday we went over to Steve and Laura's to share dad's day with all the dads (including Laura's sister and her family).


    Here's a slightly over exposed photo of 4 dads. That really don't want to play along and have their photo taken. But pfft on them anyway. {Not to mention my SIL's elbow in the corner hah. oops }


    And here's three of the {incredibly tolerant} women they got stuck with. Poor fellows. We look entirely too happy.

  • Saturday morning we "stopped by" Debbie and Duane's to pick up the pool. They had one they weren't going to use, and we needed one. The choices seemed obvious. So we went 1.25 hours in the wrong direction to pick it up. heh. It's over twice as big as the last one. This better be worth it!

  • Why do brides all want the same wedding date? In the past month, I've had brides fighting for 2 different dates. Feels good to be fought over, but life might be so much easier if they would call me first and let me pick their date for them. LOL

  • I planted 2 trees on Saturday morning. Those big maples. One looks all wilty, I hope he makes it.

  • Gene unofficially signed up for his class reunion this late summer - fall. It's his *mumble mumble*30*mumble mumble* TH reunion and the ONLY ONE he's ever wanted to go to. I keep begging him to start a blog with some of his old stories. I totally would link to it here. hehe. He's got some awesome stories of mischief from his "childhood". OK, maybe I won't link here.

  • I have some fun stuff coming up. Just watch the next few days. This week I have so much to get done! A bunch of pics to edit, a house to get cleaned up, a pool to set up, a wedding on Saturday (please don't rain), flowers to plant and so much more!

OK, there. I think that should get me caught up for now. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

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