in b&w

When I grow up

When I grow up, I want to travel around the country with really old cameras and take portraits of anyone who will let me.

For now I'll settle for V with a new camera.

V a little sepia 001

There's nothing finer than having someone's permission to capture their essence in a photo.

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She doesn't let me photograph her so much these days, but occasionally she can be talked into it. 

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I can't wait to see what she thinks of these when she's older. They are so her.

More from the chair

More of Zasha in her chair.

Zasha loves her chair

Today is R's birthday! We're going to the science museum today. Hopefully he'll find time to play with his birthday present. And I'm sure there will be time for chocolate cake and ice cream...

Editing this to add this photo of Catnip (secretly called "titty cat" by some of us because she is, erm, anatomically correct) at V's insistence.

Catnip loves her chair

This kid never fails to make me laugh.

V is for...

I saw this great photo yesterday and wanted to do one like it, so I asked V to lay on the floor of the foyer and let me take a few pictures. Before I even laid down I realized that it wasn't going to work because I had my 50mm lens on the camera and I couldn't back up far enough to get the shot. I also quickly realized that she would not be patient enough for me to go get the best lens for the job and switch them out, so I just went with what I had.

I shot these in color, but b&w white really works best. Normally I might think a shot I take is decent or pretty good. Rarely do I think, oh yeah, I totally nailed that one. And if I do, I even more rarely say it out loud. But for me, this one is one of those perfect shots. Wall worthy.


V is for Violet

If you look at the large size, you might be able to see that she has Topaz written on her arm and the remnants of a kitty nose and whiskers on her face. She was pretending to be a cat I used to have named Topaz. Such a sweet girl. Today she's off with her daddy to ride the merry-go-round while I get some yarnie stuff done. Gosh, at the love!

Love her

I just came across this - it was taken at the end of October. I was shooting pictures for the banner for November in B&W.

I love this picture. She's holding in her hand these little nuts from one of the trees in our backyard, giving them kisses. Sometimes she'll pick one or two up off the ground and bring them in the house to take care of them - she calls them her Nutbabies. She'll give them a bath in the sink and some felt food and then tuck them into a little blanket she has so they can sleep.

Nutbabies 003

Better On Black

How I love her.

Got Wood 4 You

I had a great birthday! Thanks so much for all your well wishes. It was lovely.

Some nice people even gave me birthday presents - blog readers, I mean. My friend Sarah, who I met through Etsy/Twitter and lives about five minutes away, gave me some roving that I'd admired at her house a couple of weeks ago. As I was spinning it, V saw it and asked me not to sell it, but to make her a hat out of it. I couldn't say no to that.

So I made a hat from it, which I'll show you later - it's so pretty! Lots of colors. It'd be a shame to show it off in black & white.

I spun the yarn really thick and thin because I love that look and I'm going to start offering more of it in my shop. Makes great baby hats and I know a lot of photographers use that kind of handspun yarn for photography props. But I've also made a cowl for V out of it that is really pretty too and I'd like to make my own hat out of it sometime soon.

Anyway...last week I got a lovely little package in the mail for my birthday - a really cool set of double pointed needles that I'd admired for a while. Nikki is one of my Twitter contacts and she, her husband, and a few of her kids have their own Etsy shops.

Nikki's son Artemas has an Etsy shop called Got Wood 4 You - he made these DPNs out of the branches of a pear tree that fell in their yard. This is an awesome repurpose if I ever saw one.

The coolest DPNs I've ever seen

They are wonderfully crooked. I didn't have any trouble knitting with them at all - but then I love working with DPNs. They make me feel like a real knitter. And these needles made me feel like a super knitting pioneer woman.

These wonderfully rustic double pointed needles would make a truly unique Christmas present for your favorite knitter. Artemas also has lots of other really cool one of a kind things in his shop, including wooden buttons and handmade spindles.

Door's unlocked

Another with the Diana.

Door's unlocked

I hope you & yours have a happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. If you've taken any black and whites lately and catch a minute on Friday, come by and leave me a link. Friday's my birthday and I'd love lots of lovely b&w's to peruse.

(And just ignore this, please.)--> A3552MW7H5ER

Lofts from the high $100's

This guy was on the corner spinning this sign around.


Notice the shorts? Yeah, that's November in Georgia for you. Though today it's cold enough for a nice sweater and squishy socks.


He seemed to be having fun spinning the sign around.


At least as much fun as a person can have standing around with a sign advertising real estate that's obviously not selling.


I have to wonder how much money he made doing that. And if people walking by talk to him or not.


Or if anyone who saw him there with his sign thought, oh wow! A loft in the high $100's! Exactly what I need to buy today!

If you've taken your own b&w photos this week, please link to them below. I'd love to come by and see them!

Stuck at home

Yesterday I was honored to be on the Scoutie Girl blog. I did an interview on art and process and inspiration and things like that with the brilliant and lovely Amy of doobleh-vay and one of my all-time favorite Etsy shops, Little Alouette. So please check it out if you have a moment.

And if you would allow me to lead you in another direction, I'd love for you to check out my new friend Susie's shop - MishMish Market. Susie does lovely watercolor prints, some with personalization available. She's also participating in The Miracles of Hanukkah Sale this week and that's how I ended up buying this print for V's room just a few minutes ago.

So, unless you're Alexis, who has heard just a wee bit, or Kim, who has heard the whole story, you might not know that I've been stuck at home for a few weeks now. I blame the recession and my own procrastination.


See a few weeks ago, I had an errand to run so V and I were in the car. We were on our way home and I decided to drive around a little bit and see the sights because I still don't know my new hometown very well.

So I was keeping up with traffic and all was well when we all came to a police roadblock. The officer let the car ahead of me through, but had me pull over. So he could give me a ticket. For speeding. I fail to see how I could've been speeding when the car ahead of me was not but I decided to keep my mouth shut - which was probably a good idea since the officer kindly informed me that my Tennessee license plate is expired.



Two citations and a couple of days later, we got to add a third. On his way to work, R was not even out of the subdivision when he was ticketed for a rolling stop in the neighborhood.

Oops again.


So that's about $350. Normally I don't like to complain because I feel like this blog is my happy place. I've seen in the news that counties are not making enough money in taxes. So it seems logical to me that they would think they need to go out and get that money from somewhere. But should anyone from my local police department happen upon this post (not likely, but you never know), I would like them to know that we will have to find that money somewhere in our budget. And that means that we will not be spending it in our local shops. So you're not really generating tax revenue; not from me anyway. I won't just charge it and forget it. I am staying home and not spending money.


Now, how do I do that? Stay home and not spend money? Easy - I'm a procrastinator. I still haven't gotten my new tag yet. And, because I fear another ticket, my car is in my garage. I haven't driven it since. I'll get it soon, but first I had to get my birth certificate. I know I have one here somewhere, but I couldn't find the box it's in from the move. But I got it and I was all ready to go get my license/tag when I found out that I also need my marriage certificate to prove my name change. So now I have to order that.

And it's on my to-do list, so I'm sure I'll get that done by January, February at the latest. (I'm only half kidding.)

So I'm stuck at home. That doesn't bother me too much - there's no place like home to me. But V asked me the other day why we never go to the park anymore. She will again, just not yet. Instead, we'll work our way through Preschool Art this winter and hang out in the backyard whenever there's a small patch of sunshine. I figure that if nothing else, it cuts down on the chance that we'll be exposed to H1N1 - a silver lining if I ever saw one.


Metal works

These photos were taken at the Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, as were the rest of the photos I've shared this week.

v 009

The property was bought in 1850 - six acres. It's a quiet, lovely place with lots of beautiful magnolia trees. When I was a kid, my grandparents' neighbors had a huge magnolia in their yard. We played under that tree for hours. I remember scrubbing the fuzz off the underneath of the leaves with my thumbs and wishing I could climb all the way to the top.

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When we were there, there was a photography club taking photos. Also young women jogging. And families checking out the history. It felt serene - more like a park than a cemetery. Margaret Mitchell is buried there.

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The sun was really high in the sky while we were there, which made for some fantastic light beneath the shady trees - though the only shade I had for the photos in this post is in the next one. This picture looked fine on my computer, but here on R's laptop it looks a little dark. May have to revisit that one in Photoshop. What do you think - too dark?

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I have a few more pictures from Oakland that I'll try to find time to blog this weekend, but now I'm on the lookout for another photo-taking adventure. No idea right now where that will be! Gotta talk to R about that.

Do you have any b&ws you'd like to share this week? I'd love to see them! Please link to your post or photo below. You can also add them to the flickr group as well. And happy weekend!


I don't usually have good luck taking photos of flowers in b&w. But I like these.

This one was in full sun, which I usually try to avoid, but I think that works because this poor flower is on her way out...

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This one was in the shade and was so pretty! I wanted to pick it. I love Gerbera Daisies. It was hard to make every petal distinct - and they aren't all distinct. But good enough, I think. I might have worked some Photoshop magic, dodging and burning and all that. But I didn't.

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It was just the other day, but I can't remember what color these flowers were now.

Whew - what a day!

Today was busy busy! I've had my nose to the grindstone all day, and I have a long list of to-dos for tonight. But I wanted to mention that tomorrow morning I'll post a Mr. Linky so you can share some of your black & white photos with me (I can't wait!).

And I wanted to share this photo with you. I like it. It reminds me of Spaghetti Junction.


R was off work today and will be tomorrow and I'm hoping we'll go some fun places between now and Sunday evening so I'll have lots more good photos to share.

Around the block

V got a bike for her birthday, so I took her outside to ride for a bit on Sunday afternoon.

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It's still a bit big for her, so after a while she wanted to take her trike for a ride around the block.

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Was really wanting to stop and take pictures of these in b&w. But V's a girl on the go and I had to keep up.

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Around the bend, we came to this yellow and green lawn, which I thought would look pretty cool in b&w.

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Feels a bit surreal to me.

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Deb, one of my twitter contacts gave me a link to a great post on the Digital Photography School blog on different ways to convert color photos to black and white.

And I found this blog, K AB A K UBA, with some pretty intense b&w photography via another twitter contact, LensBaby. (Have I mentioned before how much I want this LensBaby with the plastic optic? No? Well, I do. Hopefully Santa reads my blog [or Lensbaby. ha].)

The animals

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now, where would you go? What would you do?

v the animals 090

Right now - at this moment - I would go to NYC and take lots of pictures in b&w.

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Street scenes, buildings, bridges, shops, food, potholes.

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I'd summon the courage to ask people if I could take their photographs. I'd pay them if I had to.

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I'd look for light and shadows, for joy and sorrow, for good and evil. And I would photograph it.

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But ask me tomorrow and you'll likely hear a completely different answer.

Pantry letters

Did you get your issue of Kids Craft Weekly today? I did. So V made some pantry letters. I asked her what her favorite letter was and she said C A T, so she did those. Please note the fading kitty cat stripes on her arms.


V is usually more of a I'm-going-to-do-what-I-want-and-not-what-you-tell-me-to-do kind of girl when she's crafting, but she loved this. So far, despite her ever-increasing ability to read, she shows little interest in writing. But that's fine - she'll get there when she's ready. Nota bene what was once a kitty nose and set of whiskers on her face.


Doesn't she look sleepy? That's what happens when she wakes up at 6am, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. If you suggest a nap, she will scoff at you. And if she took one, she wouldn't go to sleep easily tonight anyway so there's really no point.

I could use a nap, though.



I'm thinking of doing November in B&W again this year. Though I'll still have to take pictures of yarn in color, I want to make an effort to take lots of pictures in black and white and then I'll post them weekly - and I'd love it if you'd join in. More details to come; it's still early yet.


I think this autumn is going to be much, much better than last year's.

July 1st in b&w

I'm always afraid when I take portraits of other people. I so want to capture their essence. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't.

But in these four photos, I believe I have truly captured the essence of V as she is today. I was taking pictures of my yarn in color and she wanted to hold it for me (that's when I took the picture that is the header for my soon-to-be-open Etsy shop). But she was being so sweet and so thoughtful, that I switched to b&w mode just to see what would happen.

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In the next two I asked her to show different emotions. She loves it when I do that because eventually it leads to me asking her to be silly and she gets to jump up and down and act crazy. I have lots of V jumping in the air shots. A lot of times she won't smile when I ask for happy (or she just opens her mouth wide), but that day she gave me several big grins.

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This is her sad face. This is so very V when she pretend pouts.

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In this one, I wasn't directing her; we were very relaxed and not talking at all. I like the soft focus, her hand on her cheek, and the position of her head. Not your typical portrait of a 3-year-old - it's my favorite of the day.

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If you have a b&w to share, please leave a link in the comments below - I can't wait to see them! You can also join my group on flickr and add your b&w photos any time of the month. Thanks!

V loves buttons

V was playing in the living room with her buttons when I took this. She plays with them a lot, sorting and counting and also gluing them to her pictures.

buttons in bw

If you have a black and white photo you'd like to show off today, please leave a link to it in the comments. I plan to have a b&w day the first of every month and I also just set up a flickr group, so please feel free to add your favorite b&ws there any time of the month.