wednesday wishes

i can want this one, right? Another one to my list. i might be considered the crazy camera lady if i add this one to the camera bag? It's the panasonic Lumix GF1 with interchangeable lenses. you're probably wondering what the heck is she talking about. it's basically a point and shoot with panasonic lenses you can switch out.

look at her with at all angles, here. she's got a vintage feel to her but don't be fooled at her size or the fact that she appears to be a point and shoot. she packs a powerful punch and provides you with these images, by craig pod on a field test through the himalayas, and more here and here.  proof positive that the good things indeed come in small packages. on a professional level this can be a great back up. it will deliver the same images but if i show up to session or event with this little thing clients will wonder if they're getting what they paid for. indeed, it will but i would recommend this little jewel as a mommy's got to camera, as well as, a fantastic one for travel.

{Hey T...you might want to reconsider my other suggestion, this little one is a mighty fine alternative to tranditional SLR's}


more from the pisa road trip

uploaded by liza.
first i want to apologize. 52 polaroids is delayed due to a minor setback with the scanner at the local photo shop. the owner is working on it. he said it will be down for a week, which was a couple of days ago. in the meantime, i was playing with these pics from our trip to pisa couple of weekends ago.

there's a great amusement park dedicated to Pinocchio, Parco di Pinocchio. it was like walking through the pages of the book...dreamy.

enjoying all things vintage and uncommercialed on a cold and wet day.



espresso, originally uploaded by liza.

military man is consuming a lot of espresso. he's enjoying all the outdoor cafe breaks and i love to see how happy he's been, lately. we enjoyed the best cafe break today on our way back to the support site from our new rental home. a cafe we completely stumbled upon off the g.p.s. course. the up down cafe... very chic and trendy but most importantly a very good patissceria {pastry shop}. it was busy. italians ordering the most beautiful pasteries, like baba, corneta, graffa, wrapped up in pretty little packages. we sampled a few of our own. the graffe with creme was to die for. military man had a cornetta, while girl wonder munched and sipped on her pastry and juice. freshly squeezed red orange juice to be exact. i love how they eat here! i'm sure the dessert tables of their family and friends were adorned with a few of these beautiful pieces of culinary art for sunday dinner. can't wait to have a few of those.

caution! just a friendly warning...keep reading if you want to read about photography, otherwise your visit stops here.

i was action happy, again. i felt very inspired and went ahead and modified a few of today's pics. the first was modified using miabella actions but first i played around with the brightness, contracts and levels features of photoshop because i felt like it was too dark. once i was happy with that i applied pink sunset pop from the summer skies set. i tweaked it a bit more to get it where i wanted it and applied pw's quick edge burn action. be careful the edge burn is very dramatic, at least for me. that can easily be altered by sliding the opacity tool to lighten or darken it to your liking.

so, once again...here's before

and after.

i like and appreciate both but really happy with the final product.

here's another set of before's and after's using miabella summer skies actions. this one is from the inside of our soon to be rental. i used blueberry skies and faded edge actions making sure to adjust levels of opacity, brightness and contrast to my taste.

here's girl wonder before...

and after.

what a doll!


finding love in pisa

uploaded by liza.

i did some major editing today on the almost 500 pictures i took of our road trip to pisa. i'll post about that trip later because i can't decide what pictures to post of the family. my finger needs to stop clicking or maybe we need to start taking video. i couldn't resist this one, though, and the other version is my state of indecisiveness, lately. i can't decide which one i like more.

if you're wondering what actions i used because pictures don't normally come out looking that way, i heavily relied on the pioneer woman. she is so generous to post a set of actions for free on her website. you gotta love a country girl.

okay, here's the workflow... on these two pics i had to crop quit a bit. the image of the both of them was really far away and the background was over exposed or washed out. for the first one i made my own adjustments to the brightness, color and contrast before i applied pw's edge burn action. that helped with the over exposed background and made the couple stand out.

the second version was also processed the same with the exeption of applying pw's seventies actions and tweaking it a bit. i usually adjust the effect so that it's not so drastic. the edge burn action was applied last and voila an image with a vintage feel. i REALLY like them both.

this last one screams VALENTINES DAY. hope you catch his arrow!

{{if you're wondering, it's not me and the military man but our travel buddies we just met during orientation.}}


around here

2010 snack time

Well, first of all, apart from the road trips and looking for a home to live, we've been living a normal life with it's own routine. wonder boy has been going to school and doing great. we've been having play dates, going to kindermusik classes, grocery shopping, doing laundry, budgeting, keeping with new year's resolutions and the many other ones that fill the day. whew! may i add, that budgeting has been the most important one be-cause, i've got to shop and we have a new continent to explore!

one of the newer things that i'm doing is studying italian. just started this week and i. love. it. i feel like a co-ed, again, but it also has me thinking of going forward with a master's. crazy isn't it? can i fill my plate with anything else. i will definitely try. i think it's the right thing to do, now. i'll keep exposures running but with financing four children {i have a step-daughter} through college, weddings, first cars, etc...a second {steady} income will be welcomed. so, i'm checking out my options and dusting off my BA in foreign language education and will be working on an appropriate master's.

one of my new year's resolution is to get my sugar level under controll. i've always expected that i may have a minor issue and it's not a body image concern. i think i have a problem and it's scaring me a little bit. just yesterday i was walking in a daze, my eyes felt glazed over. i came home and prepared myself a healty snack with some green tea and felt much less groggy. oh, the wonders of hitting forty. hmmm..... wow, i've gotten really personal. i must have a lot of things on my mind.

oh, by the way, have i told you that i was a high school spanish and french teacher in my previous life? well, i was... among other things. a woman's heart holds many secrets...this is a minor one.


polaroid weekly : no. 3

i'm still getting a hang of this polaroid thing. it's a bit fuzzy.

artwork, homework, little works of art get hung on our walls from kitchen to kitchen, house to house. each one an example of the changes in the kid's lives. here's a big change...wonder boy has so much HOMEWORK...yes, homework in the 2nd grade should be banned. well, at least while we're here. i'm trying to make polaroid weekly a fun exercise in photography. shooting with a polaroid keeps you aware of light and reminds me why digital is wonderful.

now, in choosing what to shoot.  i chose this little corner of our temporary living quarters because it's proof that kids take with them what they want. wonder boy was working on still life art at his previous school and on a whim while painting at home he whipped up this miniature masterpiece in watercolors.

thank you, mrs. woods for getting it right.


off the roman path

i have been slow to post pictures from italy. honestly, how many pictures of the colosseum can you see that haven't been taken before? this is my version. a series i'm naming © off the roman path which i've also posted on flickr. hopefully, a fresh perspective of scenes near famous sites that have been passed over.

the middle child of ancient artists and architects, slightly overlooked but beautiful in their own right.


roma 4

roma 5

these last two you've probably seen before but they are absolutely breathtaking at night.

roma 9.jpg

the 'wedding cake' building, officially known as il Vittoriano...

roma 11

and the trevi fountain, the most difficult place to photograph because of the colossal amount of people posing and taking shots all at once. i will never get tired of visiting it, though.

the first few pictures aren't labeled because i can't remember and i took these from the top of a double dutch tour bus. the audio wasn't plugged into by ear. enjoy all the same.


polaroid weekly: retail therapy

i've been doing a lot of this...indoor shopping. never imagined that there would be an outlet mall and gargantuan mall close to us. that's not the sort of shopping that i envisioned doing while living here. but growing up as a mall rat, i will confess that i felt a little giddy shopping during saldi invernali (deep italian winter discounts). apparently, there are two times of the year where all stores run sales: winter and summer...and i'm loving it. we've all benefitted from this national clearance.

yes, i said it a mall rat. mom and her best friend started us early (my sister friend + i). they'd pack us in a rented stroller and spend an entire day shopping, while we would terrorize the racks. we learned from a very early age to bypass the front racks and barrel our way to the clearance racks. it's called passive aggressive haggling. i tried to stay in the italian stores only but couldn't pass up the big H. they were practically giving the merchandise away. well enough, about that.

praying for better weather so i can venture off to a ruin or two. ciao!


52 polaroids

a new project inspired by some great polaroid photographers. this little beauty has been in the bag with little use for almost a year. a mother's day present from military man.

so, here's the debut to polaroid weekly

no. 1

...the green machine.

this adorable fiat qubo has taken us everywhere. the color is hideous, yet, handy. there's not many highlighter green square cars in the parking lots. we spot it from a few kilometers away. we're secretly going to miss it when we have to return it to the rental agency. then we're back to just white.

it's raining again. it's actually misereable, wet and cold...very cold. i was hoping to do a daily photo project but i seem to be more motivated and inspired on sunny days. go figure...floridian.

wonder boy starts school tomorrow. we met his new teacher today, even though classes had resumed. we were lucky enough to catch her without the kids in class. boy wonder saw the classroom first hand and asked his own questions. after asking my own questions i found out that she's from my hometown...the one we just moved from...graduated from the highschool i attended freshmen and sophomore year. i consider this a sign that things will be all right. it breaks my heart that he starting another school in only 4 months of being in a new one. he was at his old school for four years before we moved out of florida but he's taking the change with a lot of maturity. i'm shocked at how good he's taking it. what a strong man he will grow up to be. i'm proud...very proud. now, wonder girl is having a tougher time. it's hard being four and yanked from your little world. she grew very close to her teachers and classmates. she still sings all the preschool songs and hymnals she learned while there. i'm sure going to miss that little uniform.

it's been a busy monday. we also did some house hunting and saw some homes...villas...that were off the hook. the cold and rain wasn't what i imagined italy would be like but these houses...now, that's what i'm talking about. the first house we toured is owned by a retired couple. the husband must have been marlon brando's voice coach for the godfather. loved the raspy voice. the house had a citrus orchard and two kitchens. the second home is a dream...alabaster walls, fireplace, pizza oven, wrought iron handrails, arbor over the front porch and views of the mediterranean. the landlord is adorable, too...the son of the owner toured the home with us toting his italian/english dictionary. he must of been in college and pinch his cheeks adorable.

well, i've digressed. catch 52 polaroids on tuesdays.


happy new year! buon anno! auguri

...as they say over here. wishing everybody all the best in 2010.

what can i say but i've been at a lose for words, lately. the move has me dazed and confused and a bit overwhelmed over the newness, the shift in expectations and the reality of it all. the novelty of living in italy has NOT rubbed off...no, not yet. the shift in expectations comes after realizing that housing arrangements will be tricky and complicated if we don't play our cards right. living anywhere outside of the US, space is an issue...knew that coming in...but really scared on the parking arrangements. i have seen the tight spaces that i would have to squeeze my car into on a daily basis and i'm convinced that parallel parking will become my specialty. finally, the reality of living outside of your comfort zone will either make or break me. i'm rooting for the former.

the weather in the area is wet and cold this time of year and getting out to explore the sights has been numbered. honestly, between the wet weather and our two week orientation we've had little time to take in what the local economy has to offer but at the same time we have all the information we need to make the transition a smooth one...information overload! now, it's just a question of what we want to do first.

today's wet weather kept us indoors the whole day. but we woke up in great spirits after ringing in the new year at a local restaurant dancing and eating alongside our warm and welcoming italian hosts. we felt right at home.

so, what do you do with three small kids while you're cooped up in temporary lodging with the basics? well...put on a puppet show! yeah, i was voting for curling under a blanket and reading that book you see in the picture but who am i kidding.

military man and i were treated to two shows. boy wonder and wonder girl each directed their own. pictures were encouraged...good thing.

what do you if you don't have puppets? well...make them yourself! love the swords made from pipe cleaners. see them on the good ship lollipop. that was girl wonder's ship.

boy wonder was orchestrating some sort of pirate tactical mission to blast the purple pearl. it was a great show!

now, it's off to bed for enough rest before our day trip into rome.