Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

I hadn’t taken a photo all day. I was cleaning up some sewing stuff, preparing to head off to bed soon after. I was about to take another iPhone photo when I somehow convinced myself to dust off my dslr camera and external flash. Sweet Bailey was lounging in his chair and I couldn’t resist taking a photo of my darling sleeping cat.

Day 147/365 - Sleeping Bailey

Sleeping Bailey

I only took four shots (one with the incorrect light setting) and it took hardly any time.

Note to self: Use your real camera more often.

The iPhone is perfect for capturing in the moment happenings, like this one*

Day 117/365

Gimme my damn beer!

but it can’t beat a dslr camera in picture quality, especially indoors in crappy lighting.

*Before all the animal abuse groups start contacting me about being a terrible cat guardian, no alcohol was actually consumed by Bailey. He was just licking the top of the bottle.


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I’ve taken a bunch of photos the past several years that get transferred from my camera to my computer and then I forget about them. I figure why not post them for random people to stumble upon every now and then. I mean, I intended for this blog to be about photography, sewing, and calligraphy, so I might as well share some photos….First up in the ‘Photo Dump’ Series is Ottawa, Canada.

**Please excuse the poor quality of some of these photos, especially the ones taken at night. I only brought my old point and shoot digital camera, which doesn’t work very well in low light situations.**

I went to Ottawa, Canada in Winter 2012 (soon after I started this blog) for a work thing. My first visit to Canada was some time before 2010, when I went to Montreal for several days with a group of friends. I loved Montreal! So I was excited to head to Ottawa even though there wasn’t much I knew about the city. The only things I knew about Ottawa were (1) their hockey team is the Ottawa Senators, and (2) there is a canal that freezes in the winter and I SO BADLY WANTED TO GO SKATING ON THE CANAL! I first learned about the canal years ago while watching some hockey special on TV. It looked so cool and I have always wanted to go ever since, but really, why would I go to Ottawa?

Enter: a project in Ottawa that I happened to be able to work on.

I actually worked on this project for over a year before I was sorta required to go to Ottawa. My boss joked early on in the project that if I didn’t do well, then they would send me to Ottawa in the dead of winter as punishment. Little did he know I was secretly hoping I could go when it was frozen over so I could go ice skating on the canal!!! Well, the stars aligned and in the Winter of 2012 I was beckoned to Ottawa for a week. Holy Moly, it was FREEZING! FREEZING!!! Although, all of my coworkers (that I finally met in person for the first time) kept reminding me that they were having a “warm” winter. I was severely unprepared and under-dressed for my week in Ottawa. ‘What do you mean thin fleece gloves won’t be warm enough? Isn’t a peacoat a winter coat?’ Hey, at least I had my LA Kings tocque to keep my ears and head warm!

Our last day of meetings ended early and while most of the people booked it out of there for their designated weekend at home, I had the rest of the evening to myself since I wasn’t flying home til the following morning, thanks to the lack of direct flights between LAX and YOW. As I left the office I decided it wasn’t “too” cold at the moment so I went back to the hotel to put on as many layers as I possibly could (including two pairs of knee high socks) and hightailed it to the nearest skate rental.

A coworker warned me that the canal ice is very different from rink ice and oh boy, he wasn’t kidding. I looked like an amateur skater out there. With the ice shredded to sh*t, the sun slowly disappearing, and the temperature rapidly dropping, I slooowwwwly made my way down the canal just trying not to eat it.

Bridge over the Canal

Bridge over Rideau Canal

I made it as far as I could before I realized I was losing feeling in my fingers. The trek back to the skate rental kiosk was a bit painful since my legs were so cold and I couldn’t really feel my feet. I kept telling myself that this was an opportunity of a lifetime for a SoCal girl! I didn’t have any regrets being in so much discomfort because it was totally worth it. Skating on a frozen canal in the dark? LOVED IT! (I should add that my  mom would not have approved of my solo skating adventure in the dark.)

Rideau Canal at Night - 1

Home Stretch of Rideau Canal

I quickly got a beavertail (another recommendation from a coworker), ran through the ice sculpture exhibit (part of Winterlude, an annual  Winter festival….I don’t even know…), and made a pitstop in a coffee shop to warm up a bit before heading back to the hotel to regain feeling in my extremities.

Winterlude Ice Sculpture - 1

Ice Sculpture at Winterlude

The next morning I walked around the City for as long as I could stand it (not very long) and got more photos of the Canal:

Rideau Canal in Daylight - 2

Rideau Canal with Chateau Laurier hotel in the background

As well as the Parliament building:

Parliament Building

Parliament Building….are you kidding me?! Could it be any fancier??

My next trip to Ottawa several weeks later wasn’t nearly as exciting. The newness had worn off. The “warm” winter rendered the canal closed for skating. I made sure to stay indoors for as long as possible.

If you’re interested, additional photos from this trip can be found on my Flickr account, including a selfie of me on the Canal; I had to get proof that I was actually on the Canal despite how unflattering or terrible the photo is. If you ever have reason to visit Ottawa, I highly recommend going for one day during the winter so you can experience skating on the Canal! Especially if you’re like me and have never skated outdoors. It’s amazing!

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I think from this point on I’ll only be blogging about the “365 Photos*” that I am most “proud” of or like the best or are actually worth blogging about….you get the idea. Part of the change up in documenting my progress is two-fold: (1) it is time consuming (also read: I’m lazy) to blog about each and every photo, especially when I’m getting accustomed to writing descriptions when I post the photo to Flickr, and (2) I don’t think it’s really necessary for me to blog about a photo of my dinner or other totally random photo from an exceptionally boring day.

With that said there are two photos from this past week that I really like and I think are worth sharing with everyone who happens upon my blog.

Day 61/365: March 2, 2013

I’m not sure how much the rest of the country (and world) paid attention to the Endeavour Space Shuttle making its journey to its final resting spot, but LA was abuzz with excitement because it was a pretty big deal when it happened. Not only is it awesome to say that the Space Shuttle is on exhibit in your city, but it was also a huge undertaking just getting the Space Shuttle from the airport across the city to the California Science Center. As an engineer myself, one that deals with roads, cities, utilities, etc, I thought it was very impressive. I’m actually surprised I waited this long to see the shuttle, but earlier in the week I decided it was time we see it!

I gotta say, seeing the shuttle in person was awesome. You know it’s huge, but then you see it in person and you’re overwhelmed with its size. And then you realize, holy shit, this thing was in space……numerous times. I was trying to find different angles and details to take photos of. I eventually captured this one as I walked along the back of the exhibition hall:

Day 61/365 - Endeavour

There are a ton of other exhibits at the California Science Center, but they’re mainly geared towards kids so we scooted out of there soon after exiting the Shuttle exhibit. On our way out this gazebo-type art installation just outside the building caught my eye.

California Science Center


Technically not part of the 365 Photos, but definitely better than most of the photos I took this week.

Day 62/365: March 3, 2013

Several months ago I was at Sew Modern and saw fabric with a fleur-de-lis pattern and just had to buy it. My mom had recently given me an old pattern for bow ties, ties, and cumberbunds so I made a bow tie for my husband. I recently finished it and then couldn’t figure out how to actually tie it. All the diagrams and sketches didn’t make any sense at all. I finally searched for a video and the first YouTube video I found was PERFECT! I tied it on the first try! So, if you want to know how to tie a bow tie, check out this video. Since the bow tie is a bit too big for my husband I tied it around my cat:

Day 62/365

Bailey looks so classy (and comfy) in that bow tie, doesn’t he? I really want to make a kitty-sized bow tie for him. My husband wants none of that, but I keep telling him to think of it as a bow tie collar. That makes it ok, right?

*see all other  365 Photos on Flickr here.

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I can’t believe so many days have passed by between posts about my progress on the 365 photos project. Here is a mosaic of photos I took recently. Descriptions of each photo are on Flickr if you are so inclined to know what is going on in each photo.

Days 47-55 Mosaic

1. Day 47/365, 2. Day 48/365, 3. Day 49/365, 4. Day 50/365, 5. Day 51/365, 6. Day 52/365, 7. Day 53/365, 8. Day 54/365, 9. Day 55/365

I have given up on the “Purple Theme” for the month of February. Seriously, if I had kept up with it, you’d probably see 20 shitty photos of ugly purple flowers. Since I truly enjoy taking photos of my cat, I have reverted to taking a lot more photos of my sweet Bailey. In order to not bore my small readership, my goal from this point forward is to take photos of him in different positions and situations.

Only two of the photos in the above mosaic were taken with my dlsr and one of them actually didn’t come out that well despite using an external flash. My kitchen definitely has the worst lighting and I had a lot of difficulty figuring out how to best bounce the flash while still lighting the subject (my cat) with a dark background directly behind him. (wedding photography is so far out of my reach…..bleeerrrrggg.) Four of my iphone photos were edited using a filter and I actually like how all of them turned out, although I do admit that using a filter feels like cheating. Does anyone else feel this way? The remaining 3 photos were taken with my iphone and edited using Snapseed, which I discovered is free! I want to do a future post on some before/after comparison with using Snapseed. The floral photo from Day 50 is a good example that I will use.

Is it just me or has February FLOWN by? March arrives this Friday! This part of the year always bums me out because it feels like all I do is work. The next work holiday isn’t until Memorial Day…..waaaahhh! I have a lot of vacation time saved up (4 weeks!), but I’m just not quite ready to splurge on an awesome vacation. Recently I was talking to my coworkers about low cost vacations and they gave me a great idea. Actually, they pretty much planned my itinerary. I ran it by my husband and he seemed pretty excited as well since it would cover spots that neither of us have visited. Hopefully we can go on this vacation in late March or early April; I gotta plan it around some upcoming submittals. Ok, is “submittal” really not a word? Because we use it ALL THE TIME in my line of field.

Enjoy the last week of February, everyone!

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It’s February! Which means keeping track of the “day” will be much more difficult since I can no longer easily reference the day of the month. Sheesh, life is rough.

Day 32: Feb 1, 2013

I was thinking during the day about what to photograph when it dawned on me that I should try a theme this month. First I thought about taking photos of something red. But then I realized that was way too easy. Hello, red in February? I might as well take photos of hearts everyday. Man, I am so lame sometimes! Then I decided since love is a theme in February I should take photos of the color I love the most: purple.

Day 32/365

That is a photo of some fabric I have had for months. I’ll post soon about what I did with it. It looks kinda nice in the photo, but don’t be fooled! It was a disaster to work with. And I still have a lot left…..ugh, what I am going to make with it? Suggestions are welcome!


Day 33: Feb 2, 2013

Had brunch with the fam at Terranea Resort. It was my first time there and holy moly it is niiiiiiiiiice. As we were leaving I saw this flower:

Day 33/365

I asked my dad, the nature lover, what kind of flower it is, but even he didn’t know. I actually didn’t really care, I just wanted to take a photo of it since it’s purple. I would have taken more creative shots of it, but while I was taking this photo my dad mentioned that it definitely attracts bees and I almost screamed since I am terrified of bees!!! TERRIFIED!!! Yep, there were plenty of bees buzzing around happily. I shudder just thinking about it.

Day 34: Feb 3, 2013

I finally got a new phone! After I polled my friends on Facebook I decided to get the iphone5. A couple friends pointed out that the Samsung Galaxy S III is oversized. After a quick trip to a local Sprint store I concluded the SIII is too large for my liking so I opted for the iphone, which I can control in one hand. Here is one of the first photos I took with my new fancy schmancy phone:

Day 34/365

I’m very impressed with the quality (although I realize it doesn’t compare to my dslr). The white balance looks decent in this photo and I didn’t touch it up at all. By the way, this is my mini sewing box that I keep near my sewing machine. It originally housed a variety of individually packed brownies from Fairytale Brownies, which were a Christmas gift from aunt to our family. The box was really nice and I didn’t want to throw it away so I decided to repurpose it as a mini sewing box. It’s the perfect size for some frequently used items and I love the flip top for easy access and stow away.

Did you notice the Laduree box peeking out from under the sewing box? Am I the only nerd that kept the box after devouring some seriously delicious and overpriced macarons? The box is so pretty I just couldn’t part with it! I have some other sewing stuff stashed in this box as well, but since it doesn’t have a flip top, it is a bit of a hassle to access stuff stored in here.


Oh boy, we’re full on in February! There are a couple things I’m looking forward to this month: (1) President’s Day Holiday and (2) Valentine’s Day. I’m not normally a romantic person, but this year Die Hard 5 opens on February 14th!!!! YESSS!!!

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This week has been all sorts of busy. I traveled to Flip-Flip-Flipadelphia for a work training session and was there for less than 48 hours. I can’t complain too much because I really wanted to attend this training program and I am very glad that I was allowed to go. I was worried it was going to be super cold, but the weather wasn’t too bad at all. I took some piss poor photos, but at least I’ll be able to remember this week as the “it’s tired in here” week.

Day 28: January 28, 2013

I’m terrible about figuring out what to eat when I travel. Do I want to overpay for a sad, limp sandwich before I board a plane or during the flight? I was *this* close to getting the cheese and cracker snack on the plane, but really, $9 for some measly pieces of cheese? Instead I bought a couple granola bars in the terminal and then toughed it out. Not gonna lie, that was not the best decision I made that day. All throughout the flight I couldn’t wait till I got to the hotel to receive my complimentary cookie:

Day 28/365

A cookie never tasted so good! Why don’t more hotels offer a free cookie upon checking in? The guy in front of me DECLINED the cookie! I almost jumped to the front desk and asked if I could take his cookie. Oh, and yes, I did have a cookie for dinner. That’s what being an adult is all about (and eating in bed, jumping on my bed, spoiling my dinner…do I need to continue??)

Day 29: January 29, 2013
A view from my hotel room.

Day 29/365

I have no idea where my hotel was relative to any Philadelphia landmarks, but it looks like we were in the downtown city part. I think the last time I was in Philadelphia was on my 8th Grade trip, where we visited all the famous historical places on the East Coast that we learned about during the school year. That was a long time ago and the city has definitely changed since then. I sorta wished I had time to bum around the city, but I’m sure I’ll eventually make it out there again to do the most important thing you could ever do in Philadelphia: Eat at Morimoto.

Day 30: January 30, 2013
In hindsight I could have walked around the city before heading to the airport, but instead I got to the airport early and then found out my flight was delayed a couple hours so I had a lovely dinner at Au Bon Pain. I splurged and got dessert (Congo Bar….WTF?) and a huge bottle of water to go along with a surprisingly tasty sammy.

Day 30/365

Thank goodness for free wi-fi in airports, otherwise I would have gone c.r.a.z.y. Seriously, how did we ever make it through torturous layovers and soul-crushing delays without free wi-fi in airports??

Day 31: January 31, 2013
The last day of my 2-year phone contract before I am finally eligible for a phone upgrade.

Day 31/365

It has felt like a lifetime ago since I got a new phone. Two years ago I was convinced that I didn’t need or want a smartphone. Boy was I wrong. I plan on either upgrading to a Samsung Galaxy or an iPhone. The biggest decision is whether I complete the upgrade in-store or online. I’ve had problems in the past with sales people in stores not knowing the correct info, but I want a new phone **right now** and I don’t want to wait a couple days longer for a phone to be shipped! However, my husband correctly pointed out, “if you go to the store, then you’ll have to talk to people!”  *sigh* what can I say, my mom taught me not to talk to strangers and I took that advice to heart 🙂

I’m writing this on Friday evening, and can I just say how relieved I am that the weekend is here! Thursday and Friday in the office were rough. I made myself a red eye on Thursday morning: black coffee with an espresso. It was like a shot of adrenaline in the arm! It definitely kept me awake during the morning and then I needed some yerba mate to get my second wind. I’m definitely looking forward to sleeping, then sleeping, and then more sleeping this weekend.

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Day 24: January 24, 2013

Most of my coworkers don’t drive to work because we have to pay for parking, the cheapest is $6/day (actually, people who drive everyday get the monthly deal, which is $80-90/month). We’re actually pretty lucky because if our office was on the other side of the freeway, and in the DTLA core, then parking can easily reach $200/month. Since most of us don’t drive to work our lunch options are limited to what we can reasonably walk to. In the off chance that someone does drive in, our lunch options expand mightily!

One of our favorite lunch spots is Papa Cristos, a fantastic Greek place (seriously, look at their Yelp Page) that has been around for decades (if you’re a fan of The Shield, then you’ll appreciate (or be terrified?) that it is located directly in Byz-Lat territory). I never fail to order the gyro sandwich, but am always tempted by the dessert counter. This time, however, temptation got the best of me and I added two “homemade” Baklavas to my order. My husband is always jealous when I tell him I had Papa Cristos for lunch so I brought the baklavas home so we could enjoy them after dinner (I’m such a good wife!):

Day 24/365

How I was able to keep working the rest of the afternoon without opening these tasty treats is a mystery, but they made it home unopened and they did not disappoint!

Day 25: January 25, 2013

I totally phoned this one in. The lighting was terrible and I was too lazy to get up and walk across the room to get my dslr, so instead I used my shitty digicam, which was within arms reach, but is absolutely terrible for taking quality photos in low lighting:

Day 25/365

Bailey likes to sleep under the coffee table when we’re watching TV. If we start paying attention to him, then he’ll stretch and roll around and basically look utterly adorable. This photo doesn’t do it justice. Believe him, he knows how cute he is.

Day 26: January 26, 2013

Bailey sure does enjoy laying on his back. I tried to frame him in a modest position so his kitty-bits weren’t fully exposed for the world to see.

Day 26/365

Day 27: January 27, 2013

I finally went on my first photo walk! It took me awhile to get over feeling so self-conscience for taking photos in public. I combined photography and exercise by taking photos along my favorite walk. It rained overnight, but cleared up mid-morning. It was still a bit overcast, but the sun was creeping through the clouds. You can check out Flickr to see  all of my photos during my walk to and from and all around Runyon Canyon. The photo I’m sharing for my 365 photos is of the Michael Jackson auditorium at the local elementary school.

Day 27/365

I felt it was appropriate for this photo to be in black and white. I remember walking by the day they put his name back on the building and thinking it was such a shame. Call me a Debby Downer and a music hater and yes, I realize he went to this school for a little bit, but I just don’t think we should be naming an elementary school auditorium after an alleged kiddy-diddler no matter what kind of contributions he made to the music industry. Just goes to show how much celebrity reigns supreme. *getting off my soap box now…*

Hope everyone had a good weekend. Can’t believe it’ll be February on Friday! I was just thinking earlier this week how long this month seemed, but now I’m beginning to think it flew by. Now I understand why earlier in the week my coworkers were sorta freaking out about some deadlines in early February….hmmm, it is just around the corner. Whoops! Maybe I should start being worried too about all the work I have…

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