Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Last Day of October!

That's the only significance of today, right?

Last night was the yearly Family Fun Night (aka 'Carnival') at Sunshine's school. This is our last year there, so I purposefully didn't take as active a role as I normally would... or that was the plan, anyway. I'd only signed up to do some decorations and to work in the silent auction for an hour.

BUT... then the silent auction coordinator got swine flu. No, I did not volunteer to take it over (aren't you proud of me?). But on Thursday morning when the power went out, I went in to the school a day earlier than planned to get some decorations made and see how else I could help.

Yeeeah. That whole 'no real active role' notion? Overcome by marker fumes, apparently, as I wrote out 60+ bid forms and estimated the value of the donated auction items. Yesterday I did manage to get some decorations made and hung up before diving back into auction stuff. I was at the school from 8:30 am to after 10:00 pm, except for two fairly brief stops at home to potty the dogs.

Needless to say, I was utterly exhausted by the time I got home last night. Stiff and sore from being on my feet for sixteen straight hours, brain-dead, but still very caffeinated. Got into my jammies and drooled on my keyboard while I surfed facebook like a zombie. Couldn't even think about sleep until after midnight.

Was still very tired and creaky at seven this morning, so stayed in my pajamas nearly all day. Does it say anything to how exhausted I was, that around 2:00 pm I noticed for the first time that I'd put my pajama bottoms on backwards last night, and it took another hour or so to work up the energy to do anything about it?

Bookman also wore himself out by spending quite a bit of time inside the dragon mascot outfit. He did a great job, letting kids hug him, giving high-fives, posing for pictures. Inside a mascot outfit, he's free to use those *ahem* amazing dance moves...

On a related note (if I may bore you with just a smidge more auction chatter), I donated a portrait session, 11x14 print, and be-yooo-tiful 11x14 frame to the silent auction. I put a minimum bid of $30 on it because that's how much the whole gift cost me in actual dollars (I got the frame for half price), and if it were to 'sell' for less than that, I'd just as well give the money directly to the PTA. At the right is a picture of my item alongside other auction items.

Get this: TOTAL STRANGERS bid on it. People I do not know! How cool is that? It ended up selling for only $20 less than the total estimated value, which for a PTA silent auction is really good! Most things go for about half their estimated value, so I'm kinda grinning about that. The person who eventually won it is a fellow PTA Board member, which is cool. I'm already familiar with her kiddos, so photographing them will be relatively easy.

Off to watch Year One with the family!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


So in addition to getting my new website up and running, I've been working on another project--a collaboration on the illustration of a childrens' book about battling cancer. My friend Guerin did the character sketches, and I'm helping take those sketches from paper to PAZOW! My first transformation was a Chemo Dragon, representative of chemotherapy drugs. The first pic below is Guerin's drawing as he sent it to me (he sent it bigger, of course):

Now here's a small version of my interpretation:
Pretty cool, huh? The book hasn't been submitted to any publisher yet, and won't be until we get most/all the illustrations done, so it'll be a while before you can look for it in your local book store, but it's kinda fun. It's coloring book to the nth power. :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New website live!

I've been volunteering/donating my portraiture skills to friends, family, and PTA for the past few years. Finally enough people asked, "Why aren't you making money for this?", that I decided maybe I should give it a try.

For about three years, my web site at has been more of a portfolio of an assortment of skills, among them book covers, graphic design, web design, photography, and flash animation. It had no real purpose, except to show my students when I was teaching a class on web design, or photography, or graphics, or flash. It now has a purpose.

For the past three or four days, I've been brushing up on my Flash skills (it's been a long time since I taught it), and cranking out a new and improved website, this one a home for my portrait photography. Rather than an entire site in a single flash animation, I split it up into separate pages, so the browser buttons work, and individual pages can be bookmarked. And I'm very pleased with the result! Still working on getting pictures into the gallery.


Please visit the site and test out the gallery, and send me a note from the contact form, help me find any kinks in the plumbing sooner rather than later.

Woop! Woop!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

She's a King-Fisher!

[British accent] Beautiful plumage, eh!?


Friday evening was the much-anticipated wedding of David's sister, Michelle King, to her long-time beau, Cory Fisher. After a few 'What to do with Lucy' glitches on Friday morning, we managed to get on the road to Tulsa by noon-ish. We checked into the hotel by 5:00, relaxed a bit, found the rest of the family down the hall, then got dressed and headed to the chapel.

Now, before we left home, David asked if I had the video camera. I said yes, it's in my camera bag, and of course I take my camera bag pretty much everywhere we go. Didn't give it another thought.

Until we were all standing in the the small vestibule of the chapel minutes before the wedding was to start, and Rosaleen, running through a verbal checklist, ended by pointing to the bag over my shoulder and saying, "And you've got the video camera."

I blinked at her for a moment, processing several things at once: 1) She said 'the' video camera, not 'a' video camera, 2) 'the' video camera is expected to film the ceremony, please, 3) David has never operated the video camera, 4) that means I'll be filming the ceremony, 5) OHMYGOSH I never checked the camera to see if the battery was charged!!!, and 6) it's been more than a month since I last touched it so chances are slim that it will have enough charge to film an entire ceremony.

After a few moments of mental stammering, I blazed into action, finding a corner by a power outlet, tearing into my camera bag, discovering that the camera battery in fact had ZERO juice (!!) and quickly plugging it in to charge for the few scant moments left before the bridal party started lining up.

All worked out in the end. There was a power outlet at the side of the altar area, so I was able to film the entire ceremony. The angles are a little odd sometimes, and the camera spazzes a few times while I plug and unplug it, and without a tripod the entire thing is a bit shaky, but it's a decent record of the event. While they finished taking pictures, I was also able to find an outlet in the reception hall, so I got lots of video of the reception, too.

I was actually relieved to have something meaningful to contribute. I'd been feeling bad that we couldn't get there early to help with flowers or food, as the rest of the family had done. I do wish I'd been prepared to film it (known to charge the battery and bring a tripod), but as crazy as the preparation stuff was, with family coming into town from North Carolina and Great Britain, I can see how it fell through the communication gaps. Besides, family and friends know well that I always bring the cameras. I may leave the rescue asthma meds in the car or at the hotel, but I will definitely have the cameras.

The professional photographer didn't stay for the reception, so between videotaping and dancing and dancing and more dancing, I managed to get some good still photos, too.

To the right is a particularly sweet photo of David and his sister. And yes, that's my goober Sunshine, too. More reception pics if you're interested.

The dancing machine gene must be genetic (but if so, where did we get it, Erin?). As soon as MJ's 'Smooth Criminal' started, the reception video starts bouncing around because I just could not keep my booty from groovin'. The rest of my family soon congregated on the dance floor and proceded to boogie. (By the way, call it heresy, but the Alien Ant Farm version of that song is WAY better than the original.) We tore up the floor, and at the very end of the night, we were the last ones still dancing, along with David's big sis Maggie.

All in all, it was a beautiful wedding!