Monday, October 31, 2011

Off to go trick or treating with the neighbourhood kids

The kids were beside themselves with excitement and enjoyed their first experience trick or treating. If we did not live in this neighbourhood we would not have being doing this so it's nice that we live in a little community. Here's a photo of the kids heading off to meet up at the end of the street. More photos to come tomorrow.

I have a 30 day trial for Adobe Lightroom 3 so I was playing around with the photo to give it a more dramatic effect. It's supposed be scary...... or maybe that's the kids even when they're not dressed up.

A day early....

Look what turned up on my doorstep last night.......... scary stuff!!! Since I was giving them all lolly pops I said I had to take their photo...they were hamming it up for the camera and having fun. I think they were visiting the neighbours across the road because they lived in another suburb. Good practise for my low lighting photography, no flash just the outdoor light at the front door. Hopefully it is not raining tonight for our little Trick or Treat as I want to try and get some good photos.

Friday, October 28, 2011

National Bandanna Day for Can Teen

Today is National Bandanna Day to support the charity "Can Teen" for children living with Cancer. The kids got to buy their bandanna's at school last week and James naturally picked a red one which is his favourite colour and Sienna pinked a pink one which is her favourite colour.

This charity is particularly important to us and to our school community as one of James' little class mates is going through a very tough time at the moment diagnosed with Leukemia. I think any time anyone gets very sick it's horrible and scary, however when a child gets sick it just seems so incredibly wrong on all levels. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family to help them get through a difficult road ahead.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Getting ready for Halloween

Last year was the first time we something for Halloween, as one of the mum's from school who is Canadian decorated their garage like a haunted house and had an open invitation. They made it a gold coin donation for charity and I think they were shocked at the amount of people that turned up. This year I don't think they are doing it as I haven't heard anything. I would freak out if that many people queuing outside my house. This year when we moved house my new next door neighbour told me she organizes a "trick or treat" in our little 4 street estate for Halloween. The kids have been looking forward to it since we heard about a few months ago. Last night the little note was dropped in our letterbox saying we will be meeting at the end of the street on Monday to go trick or treating.

In anticipation of such an event, a few weeks ago, I bought some skeleton costumes from Spotlight for the kids to dress up so this afternoon Sienna kindly gave me a quick demo. When I say quick, I mean quick, the demo was over after 4 photos so I didn't get the chance to do anymore after that. She has some spider rings for her fingers which are cute as well. Here's a taste of her costume and I look forward to having something different to photograph. Oh how I dream of my Halloween pictures like Karen Russells however you just have to look at the location of her treat or treating with those quaint American bungalows. Looks like a Hollywood movie set. We'll be doing an Aussie Treat or Treat and it will be nice to meet any other mums in the estate too. Stay tuned for some photos next week.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Decorating kid style

Before we moved I had collected a few decorating ideas from peoples blogs and one of them was to paint blackboard paint on a wall (nothing new about that) however above the blackboard was a display of hand drawings and artwork. I'm half way through this project as I have painted the wall with blackboard paint, bought and hung all my Ikea frames, purchased an Ikea rail and plastic cups to put the chalk and rubber in etc. so 90% there. I have also bought a piece of timber to frame the blackboard however this needs to be painted before it goes onto the wall and I need to screw in the rail and pop the cups on to hold the chalk.

Lastly we need to do the artwork and pop it in the frames. Here's a few pictures of the day the blackboard was ready to write on, the kids were so excited and as soon as they got up in the morning they were at the board. As with all things sharing these things can be tricky, my side, your side, my chalk, your chalk (you get it), so I get my own blackboard bit in the middle with James having the left hand side and Sienna having the right hand side. The frames weren't up in these pictures but to give you an idea what I have been up to. This wall is in the kids hallway and you can see it from the lounge for supervision.

The first day Sienna drew a picture of a cloud with lightening and rain on the garden. James being a boy drew an x-box controller of some sort (he is obsessed about that and I cringe every time he mentions it). Another day Sienna drew a friend of ours who does dancing, her friend and their teacher (not that she knows the friend or the teacher) but it seemed that what you do at dance school. Soooo cute. The first picture was "curing" the blackboard by rubbing chalk all over it before they could draw. James got bored half way through and left Sienna to do the grunt work.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Practising Low Lighting Shots

I am currently doing Karen Russell's course which is great the second time around as there is so much to learn. She has put out a "Making the Shot" issue for "low lighting" which can be purchased if you are a past or current student of hers. Based on the fact that past and current students have a basic understanding of photography having taken her class and also it's a bit special and something she has as an "advanced" suppliment to her class for her photography students.

Here's a couple of photos taken of the kids reading in bed last night. These photos are definately an improvement on what I could have taken before reading this 62 page document.

These photos are taken without flash, the main bedroom light is off and only the bedside lamp on while they are reading. I set a custom white balance setting for James room and then a new custom white balance setting for Sienna's room. Both kids were very helpful letting me do some homework and they got to read a bit more of their story at the same time so it was a win-win all round.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Queen Elizabeth's Visit to Brisbane

It was Brisbane's turn for the Queen to visit our State and I understand she was flying up from Canberra this morning and flying back tonight. Her schedule is full and I would be exhausted at my age however she seems to be more a "people person" at the moment than I recall her in the past. Not that I recall her really but it's not everyday you get a visit from the Queen. These photos were courtesy of my sister who took them from her office rooftop with her zoom lens. The Queen is dressed in "pistachio" and Anna Bligh was dressed in "red" and you can make them out standing on the boat. (Click on the photo to enlarge it). The Queen greeted people at Southbank Parklands and then had a private function for special guests including people and volunteers who were and still are affected by last January's terrible floods.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday BBQ

I had the family over for a BBQ today which was really lovely. The weather was perfect which makes it all the more nice to enjoy the backyard. I made some focaccia and butter (in my Thermomix) and also on Friday I made some home made french vanilla ice cream which we had with the cake for dessert. The kids played twister, jumped on the trampoline, bocce and totem tennis.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Outdoor Entertainment Area

During the day my outdoor entertainment area is fully shaded and therefore any time I take photos of it, it's pretty dark and around the house is bright sun. Tonight after a big sweep and tidy up and lawn mowing I took a photo of it complete with my new Ikea BBQ trolley which I put together this afternoon. I have a small bar-b-que which is perfect for us but need somewhere to put the plate of meat, onions, oil and tongs etc. when you are getting ready to cook. Also I've thrown in a couple of photos of Sienna in her Granny's garden this morning.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Veggie Garden

My tomato bush has produced it's first little tomatoes so I'm hoping that I get a bumper crop like my first bush did at my old house. We are also growing lettuce, coriander, spanish onion, leek, spring onions and will definitely put in a cucumber plant as we had heaps of success with that last time. Nothing better than walking out and getting some salad greens for your lunch.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Whale Watching on Moreton Bay

For the last 2 years we have taken a trip to see the whales out on Moreton Bay. We drive to Redcliffe and catch the "Eye Spy" boat out for the day. It's an all day thing from 10am to 3pm and morning tea, afternoon tea and lunch in included. We saw quite a few whales but I am yet to see a whale breaching out of the water. We did however witness a mother feeding her baby. The mother is vertical in the water with her head down towards the ocean floor and her tale above the water and the baby is the opposite, so head up towards the sky. We watched this whales tale above the water for about 20 is quite rare to see it and it was very comfortable getting close to our boat. We had a great day out and as it's a long day got the kids to bring some activities to keep them occupied.