Photo of the day: Adorable AND smart!

by DaniGirl on October 19, 2014 · 0 comments

in Photo of the Day

Oh babies! So! Many! Babies! on the porch lately. I’d ask where they’re all coming from, but with three of my own, I’m pretty sure I’ve got that part figured out.

This handsome fellow was so curious and interested in me and my camera, but he was not at all interested in having those fake glasses on his face. In his mouth, yes, but not on his face. I think he figured he was less “Clark Kent” and more “SuperBaby”.

Brainy boy on the porch

The weather has turned chilly, so these may well be the last chubby, naked baby toes on the porch until spring thaw. I can hardly wait!


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An ode to two t-shirts

by DaniGirl on October 16, 2014 · 4 comments

in It IS all about me

They came from the clearance rack at the Gap. It’s really rather astonishing what a large percentage of my clothes come from there. I’m sure I didn’t pay more than $6 each for them – just plain old cotton t-shirts, one in a nice cool magenta, and one in utilitarian navy blue. I’ve had them for four years at least, probably more.

Man, I love those t-shirts. They are the perfect fit – a bit of a scoop to the neckline, fitted ever so slightly at the waist but not too clingy, and falling to my hips. A bit of a cap sleeve. A decent heft to them, so they’re far from tissue thin, super comfortable to wear under something else or by themselves. And they don’t have that ubiquitous and infernal wee pocket that most t-shirts seem to have over the breast. Who ever decided that we need a pocket there? I swear, it’s the very first thing I check for in a t-shirt and makes it an instant and absolute “no” in my books.

Seriously, I adore these t-shirts. They go with almost everything. Favourite t-shirts ever. I wash them, wear them again, wash them, wear them, winter spring summer and fall. And of course, one of these days they’re going to fall apart from so much loving.

The pink one already has three little holes near the belly button. (Do you get those mysterious holes? I thought it was just me, until I read a long thread somewhere of women lamenting about the tiny holes they get in their t-shirts right about where the button hole for your jeans is. Are they from grease splatters? Overly sharp zippers? Very targetted moths?) I still wear it and pretend I don’t see them. Actually, I pretend that YOU don’t see them. Lalala, this is my favourite t-shirt, it will live FOREVER!

It’s not that I haven’t tried to find suitable replacements. Every time I’m in a store that might sell t-shirts, I try on a few likely candidates. In three years of looking, nothing has come close. Each season that the Gap brings out a new line of t-shirts, I get excited – maybe THIS will be the year that they bring them back. Modal cotton – nope. Slub tees – nope. Crew neck, everyday essential, contemporary fit, fluid, luxe – nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. I went downmarket to Old Navy (nope) and upmarket to Banana Republic, and left singing Macklemore under my breath. (‘I’m like “Yo! That’s fifty dollars for a t-shirt!’ That’s a hella DON’T!”) I ventured farther afield to other stores in the mall, to the grocery store, Costco, even once to a few shops in Westboro. (I won’t make that mistake again. Yikes!)

No luck. Three years of (albeit idle) searching, and the very best t-shirts in the world live in my closet, slowly being eaten away from the belly button out. Now I’m stuck with the age-old dilemma – wear them and love them every day until they fall to pieces (probably sooner than later) or savour them, pulling them out only for special occasions like when you need the perfect t-shirt to wear under your hoodie to go to the library?

Ha, I did a search on Flickr to see if I could find a photo of me wearing them. How about this one from early 2010? So I bought them at least FIVE years ago!

365:365 Fini!

Do you have a favourite and irreplaceable piece of clothing? And do you have a secret dealer for the perfect t-shirt? We may be nearing a time of crisis – I think they’ve only got another three or four years left in them…


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I‘ve had a rush of babies on the porch for portraits this month. Lucky me!! Babies are a lot more work when it comes to portraits: they are terrible at listening to directions, I have to get down on my belly to see them eye to eye, and they have the disconcerting habit of suddenly giving over to gravity and tipping over. No other age group has quite so many drool marks to photoshop out, and I don’t generally have to jump up and down and make animal noises to maintain the attention of teens and pre-teens. Babies don’t even laugh at my knock knock jokes! However, they are truly delightful to work with, because when you get that shy smile you feel like you’ve really earned it.

All the babies I’ve had the joy of meeting this month have been of the girly kind, and then this handsome fellow showed up yesterday. You KNOW I have a soft spot for boys!

Photograph of a baby boy on a wagon in the leaves

Isn’t he just about the definition of autumn adorable? He’s a perfect match for my wagon and that hair!!! *love*


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I have a new obsession: mason jars. And the only thing better than new mason jars is vintage mason jars. Not really so good for food storage, but really quite fantastic for storing other beautiful things, like say sea glass. And sunflowers.

Photograph of sunflowers in a vintage mason jar

Sunflowers + porch + autumn colours + vintage mason jar = happy. :)


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I wasn’t really planning a walk in the woods for today, but I’m glad I made the time for it. There is something about the whispering of leaves in the wind and the gurgle of rushing water (in this case, the Jock River) and the beautiful colours of fall that resets your soul, yanno?

And of course, there are photos to be taken. I have photos of leaves, of acorns, of fallen birches and red oak leaves against a blue sky, but it was this photo that was my clear favourite. It is both exactly what I tried to capture and something completely unexpected.

leafy bokeh

(I kinda wish I had moved the watermark to another spot for this one. Oops!)

I focused on the leaves in the bottom left and opened my aperture really wide to throw the background into focus. The circular pattern comes from shape of the aperture blades on the lens, and that blur is commonly called bokeh. More expensive and higher quality lenses generally make more desireable bokeh. I rented a very expensive lens (that I ended up returning unused because it was broken!) a few weekends ago, and the bokeh was AMAZING. Unfortunately, I only took about six pictures before I realized it wasn’t working properly. Oh well. I’ll get one of my own once that lottery win comes in, and in the interim I like this bubbly bokeh just fine.

Have you been out wandering in the woods lately? I highly recommend making some time to do so!


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We stood in line for two hours for our turn. They ran out of hot dogs at the concession stand and I had foolishly not thought to pack any food. And yet, we all agreed – the wait was well worth it. For what? To decorate and then launch our pumpkins across a field to a giant billboard target using a medieval catapult called a trebuchet at the annual Smashing Pumpkins festival at the Cumberland Village Heritage Museum.

First, you decorate while you wait for your turn.

A 10 photo essay on pumpkin smashing

Simon’s says, “I have a death sentence” on one side and “Simon wuz here” on the other.

A 10 photo essay on pumpkin smashing

Not to be outdone, Tristan’s says “I believe I can fly.” (I do love their senses of humour, my boys.)

A 10 photo essay on pumpkin smashing

After almost an entire afternoon of waiting, it was finally our turn!

A 10 photo essay on pumpkin smashing

You yank on the cord, which pulls out the pin, which releases the lever that is counterweighted on the opposite end. Gravity works its magic and the non-counterweighted end of the lever flings the pumpkin, tucked securely into a little hammock, to sail across the field toward the target.

A 10 photo essay on pumpkin smashing

After each launching one, I let the boys launch mine together.

A 10 photo essay on pumpkin smashing

Can you see the incoming pumpkin?

A 10 photo essay on pumpkin smashing

Bulls-eye!! (Ahem, this may or may not have been MY pumpkin. We watched probably a hundred pumpkins get launched, and I was thrilled to capture this photo of one of the ten or so we actually saw hit the bulls-eye!)

A 10 photo essay on pumpkin smashing

Is that crazy fun or what? Beloved is Googling “backyard trebuchet” so we don’t have to wait in such a long line next year. Sorry neighbours – you’ve been warned!

Disclosure: The City of Ottawa is a sponsor of this blog. This adventure was inspired entirely by our own whims, however, and we bought our own annual membership to facilitate this blog post.


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Photo(s) of the day: Apple picking with three beautiful boys

5 October 2014 Ah, me boys

It was a madly busy but wonderfully photogenic September, and I’m just now starting to catch up. Back a few weeks ago, we went apple picking at one of our favourite places, the Log Cabin Orchard near Osgoode. I was delighted to capture three very different portraits of three very different boys. Each pose and [...]

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Photo of the day: More Peace Tower!

4 October 2014 Life in Ottawa

Can you tell I’ve been hauling my camera around with me at lunch time this week? This season is so brief, and the mild weather has been such a gift, that I can’t help but take as many pretty autumn photos as I can. Like this one! I loved how the colourful maples perfectly frame [...]

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Ottawa’s Hidden Treasures: The Peace Tower

2 October 2014 Ottawa's hidden treasures

You know how some treasures are hidden in plain sight? Ya, like this one: The Peace Tower. How many photos do I have of the Peace Tower? I started counting on Flickr and stopped when I got to 40. I gaze upon it every single day, several times a day, each day that I am [...]

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Photo of the day: And baby makes three

28 September 2014 Mothership Photography

Some babies are jolly and full of chortles and some babies are more reserved. And then you have babies like this little charmer who came to the porch for portraits yesterday. She watched me and my camera with careful contemplation for most of the morning, neither smiling nor crying. In the vast majority of the [...]

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