Cheese (on film)

I was going to save the best of last, but I really couldn't contain myself.  When picked up my negatives and cds last week, I knew the second I saw this picture that all my messing around with 35mm film was worth it...

Look at that face!!  Oh, come on, it's just too cute for words.  (FYI, Antoine was so sweet!  He hoisted Cheese up on his shoulder so I could get a couple pictures of Cheese positioned perfectly with the magnolias.

The classic "Cheese-ignoring-the-camera-and-me" face.

"What?!  Did you say carrot, Mom?  I'm listening now!"  Seriously Cheese?!  You are too adorable for your own good sometimes!  Also, I love how his name tag is just so perfectly positioned, though a accident!

*photos taken at French Park

I was out of commission yesterday with a horrible headache, so I'm a little behind with posting, but stay tuned for more photos and weekend recap later this week!


Spring Grove (on film)

Happy weekend everyone!  Today my sis is having a garage sale and my mom is helping out.  Then we're heading over to Crafty Supermarket for a bit and grabbing something tasty for dinner!  And Antoine and I will be hitting the gym hard to work off said tasty food!  But I felt like this might be a good day to do a rare Saturday post since, you know, I've got three different rolls of film to share with you all.   

So, my lovely sis lent me her SLR and I was really excited to start shooting on a more manageable camera.  So where's the first place that comes to mind to snap some photos?  You know it, Spring Grove.  I know what you're thinking, enough with Spring Grove already!  Oh well, it's done.  It happened.  But I promise to take a break from Spring Grove for a least until May.  (Hehe!)

Shooting with the newer, not-so-confusing-and-dysfunctional camera went well and I was pretty pleased with how roll two turned out.  I think these were a big improvement on the first roll.

I'd say roll two turned out "fairly well".  But make sure to stay tuned for the third and best roll later this week.  There's some really sweet shots that I can't wait to you to see!  


Experimenting with Film

Lately I've been wanting to play around and experiment shooting with 35mm film, for several reasons.  Mainly because it's so easy to go overboard with a dslr, trust me I know.  Just hand me my camera and put me in front of some flowers and a half hour later I've got easily 150 shots.  But it's totally different with a 35mm, as I quickly found out.  Whereas usually I'll take 2 to 4 shots of one subject from slightly different angles, that's really not an option with film.  Well, it is, but it'd cost you a fortune in film and processing fees!  Also, I like the idea of shooting with film because there's something nostalgic about it.  And I like that dreamy, yesteryear quality it has.

So, in January I picked up an ancient and hard to use manual SLR and went to experimenting, shooting with some equally ancient film.  And the perfect day to experiment came in the form of my brother-in-law's surprise birthday party.  After a surprise brunch at Crave (meh!), a group of us went to the Taft Museum of Art, which is free on Sundays.  It was Antoine and my first visit to the Taft and we had a good time.

After the Taft, Antoine and I headed over Findlay Market to pick up some goodies and just walk around for a bit.

Then we headed over to Newport to see a movie, though I couldn't tell you what we saw...because it was January and now it's almost May!

This was the only roll I shot on this particular camera.  It wasn't user friendly and most of the roll just didn't turn out well.  Plus it jammed on me when I was rewinding the film, tearing off some sprockets.  But then my wonderful sister got me a bunch of film for my birthday and let me borrow here not-so-ancient SLR.  So, stay tuned next week for a couple posts "on film".  But until then happy Friday everyone!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  Any good plans?!  My mom is coming into town this weekend, so we've got a couple fun little things planned!


Ideas and Inspiration for Our Guest Bedroom

When we first moved into our house almost every single room was beige.  And beige just happens to me the worst color in the world, in my opinion.  I hate it.  So we started, slowly but surely, painting the various rooms in our house.  We immediately started with our living room (grey) and our kitchen (a mossy green).  Then in 2010 we updated our bedroom (one of the few rooms that wasn't painted beige) and in 2011 we livened up our dining room.  The only rooms left untouched in the house now are the bathroom and the guest bedroom.  The bathroom, which is the only other non-beige room in the house now, needs a little more than a coat of paint.  It's the only room in the house that wasn't remodeled before we bought it, so it is going to take more time and money to update than we have at the moment.  Since the bathroom is on the back burner at the moment we decided to tackle the guest bedroom this summer.

The guest bedroom is the room in the house where we just kind of throw stuff and store it...when we don't have guests.  The door is kept closed most of the time, so we kind of forget about it.  Most of the furniture is from my college/post-college days, but it's fairly decent stuff that just needs a little face-lift.  Here's some of the ideas I've been throwing around in my head regarding the guest bedroom:

     1.) Currently I have a slightly awful Indian inspired(?) comforter on the guest bed.  I loved it when I was seventeen, but now it's just an eyesore.  I'd like to swap that our for a nice down comforter and an oversized granny square afghan.  I found this excellent sunburst granny square tutorial from Nittybits.
     2.) Using this tutorial I've started working on an afghan.  I'm going for lighter shades in the center with a cream colored square surrounding them.
     3.) We recently purchased the color for the room during Sherwin William's big anniversary sale.  It's called Silver Peony.
     4.) We're planning on framing some of my photos and I'm leaning towards these Ribba frames from Ikea.  I love when a frame comes with a mat (of course I'll use our mat-cutter at work to customize it perfectly)!
     5.) Antoine has a pretty impressive collection of Rob Jones posters, most of them White Stripes or Raconteurs, and they're scattered throughout our house.  Yet there's still a bunch that we haven't hung, so we're planning to use the extra wall space in the guest bedroom to hang up the remainder and I like the idea of clustering them together like this.  This post offers some great tips and tricks to hanging multiple frames.
     6.) We've got an existing desk and hope chest in the room that are in desperate need of refinishing.  I love these stairs and the idea of using different shades of stain to create a pattern, though I can't afford to pay a professional to do it and I don't have the skills to do it myself, at least not on that level.
     7.)  Something like this is a little more my speed.  I saw this "before & after" project on Design Sponge and though, hey, I could do that on my desk!  
     8.) & 9.) So, my idea is to do an abstract geometric design on the top of our desk using various shades of stains (brown tones - #9 is a quick mock-up I made using Paint) and then stain the rest of the desk in a coordinating shade.  We'll see how it goes!
     10.) I've also become mildly obsessed with the idea of making a lamp shade out of 35mm slides.  I found this pretty handy tutorial.  I just love how the light shines through the slides and illuminates them.
     11.)  Here's a better idea of what the color will look like on the walls (though this is not our guest bedroom), using Sherwin William's color visualizer.

It's my hope that once it's updated it won't be the room we just close the door to and forget about.  I'd like to keep the door open and use the room (mainly the desk) a bit more.  We shall see!


Weekend in Instagram

In Instagram, my weekend consisted of only two things really: creatures and flowers.  Friday night started off as it usually does, with Gui and Cheese vying for my lap and my affection (or in Cheese's case, more food).

He thinks his pitiful looks will make me forget the fact that I just fed him, but they don't.  Instead I just laugh at him!  I'm such a nice mom.

Saturday started off the way Saturdays around here usually do, a little sleeping in and a little more time relaxing on the couch with Antoine and the creatures.
It's a rough life.

Then I miraculously managed to talk Antoine into making some of his famous chocolate chip cookies for a book arts potluck I had to go to at noon while I got ready!  He's so awesome.  Once the cookies were done I headed over to Spring Grove Cemetery for a bit until my potluck.  I recently borrowed my sisters film slr to experiment shooting with film, so I brought it along to experiment with.  I enjoyed it, but I'm kind of nervous to see how the pictures turned out.  When I ran out of film and it wasn't noon yet, I decided to just walk around and snap a couple pictures with my phone.

Then I headed over to the Northside for the CBAS annual meeting and potluck.  I recently became a member so this was my first time going to an event.  It was a good time with great food and nice people.  And a really cool speaker from a local journal, Forklift, Ohio.

While I was away Antoine spent most of the day working on the yard, so we treated ourselves (and Cheese) with a nice walk in French Park and then some whippy dip from Hold the Nuts, my favorite ice cream stand.  Then we decided to completely break our diets and get some pizza.  But it was so worth it! 

On Sunday, Antoine had to head to Louisville to pick his brother up from the airport, so I decided to head over to Spring Grove for a long walk in the beautiful weather.  Okay, I'll admit it...I'm a little obsessed with Spring Grove.  It has quickly become one of my favorite spots in the city, and I don't think it's hard to see why...
This was the first time I went to Spring Grove and did a couple of their walking paths (to burn off Saturday night's pizza).  They have three different paths, a one mile (yellow), a two mile (blue) and a three and a half mile (red).  I started off with the 3.5 mile walk, which took me to so many parts of the cemetery that I've never seen before.  I had no idea the place was that big!  After the 3.5 mile path, I decided to finish with the 1 mile loop, which took me past some more familiar spots.  It was a beautiful day and I had a great long walk.  I'll definitely be going back again soon, and hopefully bringing Antoine with me next time.

We finished off Sunday by relaxing a bit (after Antoine did some more yard work) and grilled some burgers and potatoes on the charcoal grill.  Tasty!  So, how was your weekend?  Did you get out and enjoy some of the gorgeous weather?!


In Bloom

As far as taking pictures goes, it's no secret that flowers are my thing.  I love them, photographs of them, and the way I feel when I'm taking pictures of them.  They're like my photography crack, I can't get enough!  Oh, and they smell good...always a plus when you're getting up close and taking a picture of something.  Almost everyone knows of my affinity for orchids; they are my favorite flower and taking pictures of them just makes me happy.  Like kid-in-a-candy-store happy.  But only a few people know of my intense obsession with Magnolia trees.  If you've been in the car with me while they are in bloom you've probably witnessed my fascination first-hand, as I nearly go off the road ogling them and saying "Ohhh, pretty!"

As anyone who enjoys magnolias as much as I do knows, they bloom and then in the blink of an eye they are gone!  I know it's probably for the best, considering the danger of me driving a car when they're in bloom, but still it is bittersweet.  They are so beautiful yet fleeting.  And each year, when it comes to photographing these beauties, I just always seem to miss them when they are at their prime.  Not this year though!  I made a promise to myself this year that I would not miss out on taking some magnolia pictures.  And when it comes to taking pictures of magnolia trees in Cincinnati there's no better place to go than Spring Grove Cemetery. 

And that's why, for the last couple weekends Antoine and I have been going to Spring the hopes that the magnolias would be in bloom.  Alas, each time we struck out.  And when we went to Cleveland for the weekend and I heard rumors of gorgeous weather in Cincinnati I just knew they would start blooming without me.  And they did.  So, Antoine and I made plans to leave work early on Wednesday and meet up after work to take pictures...and of course, the forecast naturally reported thunderstorms.  Because the universe was conspiring against me.  So, on Wednesday while the weather was still decent I decided to take a long lunch (using some overtime I had from the day before) and spent an hour and a half running/driving around Spring Grove, frantically taking pictures with the biggest smile plastered on my face.  It was windy and at times cloudy, but I didn't care.  I was so happy!

Now, I may have gone a little overboard!  In a matter of an hour and a half I took a little over 260 pictures...90% of which were of magnolias.  I know, I have a problem.

Here's some of the other 10%.  Does anyone know the name of the middle flower on the bottom row below?  I found them just as I was getting ready to leave and I didn't see a sign saying what they were.  There were white ones and purples ones.  It was a low growing bush and the flowers kind of hung their heads down like little bells.

I hope I didn't overload you all with too many pictures of flowers?!  It is kind of difficult to narrow down your favorite photos from 260 or so, especially when you really love the subject.  Happy Monday everyone!  Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!


Pierogies and Hot Dogs

Cleveland really has become my favorite Ohio city when it comes to food!  You've got fun comfort food places like Melt Bar & Grilled and Lucky's Cafe.  You've got a slew of Michael Symon spots (of which I've only been to Lolita, but it was pretty awesome).  And then there's Sweetie Fry, which definitely doesn't disappoint on the sweet treat front.      

There's also a plethora of deliciousness within Cleveland's own West Side Market.  Located just south-west of downtown Cleveland in Ohio City is a chaotic haven for food fans known as West Side Market.  One of the best parts of West Side Market, in my opinion, is Pierogi Palace...and my sister will wholeheartedly agree with me on this.  Their homemade pierogies come in a wide variety of flavors ranging from traditional potato and cheese to creative bourbon chicken, bbq pork and peanut butter/banana. My favorites are the loaded baked potato and the bbq pork.  So tasty!  And, the best part, they're not too bad calorie-wise and they're really filling.  I highly suggest you check Pierogi Palace and the market out the next time you're in Cleveland, though a word of warning...the market on a Saturday is not for the faint of heart, that place is crazy packed on the weekend!

After a quick stop by the market to stock up on pierogies, you can continue driving further west for about 5 or 10 minutes and find a little unassuming dive bar called Happy Dog.  And there you will find awesomeness in hot dog form.  Oh, and about a million different things to put on top of said hot dog (or veggie dog)!  Don't believe me, here's the list of 50 or so toppings!  And the best part, you can pick as many as you want and it's only $5 for the dog.  And for $3 you can get a basket of fries or tater tots with any of 19 different dipping options. 

Happy Dog magic, complete with delicious dogs (and veggie dogs, so says Amanda and Aaron), awesome toppings, a great beer list, righteous tots and fries with some pretty kick-ass dipping options.  Of their sauces, my favorites are the roast garlic aioli, the bacon balsamic marmalade and the Brazilian chimichurri.  So good!

A close-up of Antoine's dog, complete with bacon, blue cheese slaw, grilled onions and a fried egg.

My dog with bacon-balsamic marmalade, grilled onions, brie, bacon and blue cheese slaw.  Yum!

Happy Dog also serves up some great live music.  Sometimes you can find great local musicians there, like my wonderful cousin Christa, also known as Uno Lady, or her talented boyfriend Tony Cross' band, Little Bighorn.  I highly recommend Happy Dog and my talented musical family members, if you're in Cleveland you should check them out!

Also, Happy Friday everyone!  Does anyone have some great plans in the works?  I'm planning to hit the gym for the first time since my ankle injury and maybe get some reading in.  And hopefully enjoy the wonderful weather we're supposed to have on Sunday!


Lake View Cemetery and the Garfield Monument

While we were up in Cleveland this past weekend we took advantage of the warm-ish weather and went to the Lake View Cemetery.  I had never been and was really just expecting a standard pretty cemetery.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Lake View Cemetery is home to the James A. Garfield monument.  I'm not a Garfield history buff by any means, but as far as Ohio monuments, this one is pretty cool!

The monument building contains a statue of Garfield, beautiful mosaics and stained glass, and, in the lower level, Garfield's casket.  Oh, and the building is dotted with dog-like gargoyles.  Gargoyles are cool, you can't deny that so don't even try!

The rest of the cemetery was pretty nice as well, though no Spring Grove.  Still, I'd definitely recommend it...if you enjoy pretty cemeteries, like I do.

In other news, I have the day off from work.  Yay!  Antoine has to take his brother to the airport, so we both took the day off to do something fun together...just for the heck of it.  It's like playing hookie, but not!  Happy Thursday everyone.  Stay tuned tomorrow for the last of the Cleveland-related posts (I swear!).