Thank You

Wetplate / tintype

I just wanted to say thank you for all the wonderful comments! It was very inspiring for me to read what you all said and reminded me why I love blogging. Thank you for being here and reading, it means so much to me! Oh, and I replied to all the comments :)

This is recent tintype I took of Alex. I'm really pleased with it so I thought I'd share it!

♥ anne


Just some thoughts...

Hello there! I'm happy to have some time this morning to post here. These last 6 months have left me feeling less than wonderful but I sense a shift coming. Raising five kids, ranging from teens to toddlers to babies, is not easy. I mean, it is really difficult. I try to explain it to people and emphasize the hardships but my words never do it justice.
I'm not complaining about life but to pretend it's an endless series of precious, magical moments* would be a lie. I read how other women romanticize motherhood and God bless them if they really feel as though their hearts are constantly bursting but I honestly don't feel that way most days. But I don't think it has to be super special all the time. I certainly have moments throughout the day in which I feel blessed but they are just that, moments. Then it's back to being a referee, a taxi, a cook and a milk bar. Maybe these ladies are just pointing out those fleeting moments?
Sometimes I think I should be talking about motherhood here on my blog more often, seeing as how I do have 5 kids, but I always end up back at the same thought which is basically "what would I say?" I would never give advice as I am no authority on parenting. And the whole parenting style stuff is not for me. I don't like labeling. I had our first son at 20 so being a mother has simply been my life for almost 17 years. I suppose I could talk about being a young mother and what that was like or maybe my 6 six years homeschooling or natural birth vs hospital birth or maybe some more controversial topics like immunizations and circumcision. I have opinions and thoughts on all those topics but you'd end up feeling like Woody Allen in line at the movies in Annie Hall and say to yourself, "What I wouldn't give for a large sock with horse manure in it" haha! That may be a little extreme but I think/hope you get what I'm saying.
Anyway, one topic I would like to start posting about is feeding a large family on a tight budget. I feel like this is one area in which I might be able to give advice or helpful tips. I remember back when I just had my two oldest kids and I was hanging out with my friend who had 5 kids and she was making sandwiches and it took a whole loaf to feed her family. I was floored because a loaf lasted us a week. Now I'm in her shoes and it's pretty gnarly. Let me know if you'd be interested in reading about that and I'll start working on it.

Oh and I had listed this skirt in my shop last month but after wearing it yesterday I decided I didn't want to part with it. Now I'm really happy no one bought it :)

I had planned to tell you about Neil Young's concert that we went to Wednesday but I've run out of time. Plus, he deserves his own post!

*Don't let these photos I took yesterday fool you! I know they look peaceful but the day was the exact opposite of how they look! They are proof that looks can be deceiving. I won't bore you with all details, you'll just have to take my word for it.

Happy Friday
♥ anne



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♥ anne


This and That

Blood moon 2015
Hello! It's been a while! I'd like to say I've been up to really exciting things but it's just been everyday life that has kept me busy. I'm sure you all watched the moon the other night, wasn't it fantastic?!
Maggie has been teething and I've basically been a walking zombie for the last couple weeks due to very little sleep. Today she learned to climbed out of her crib so my life is going to be changing drastically. To be honest, I don't know what to do now for nap and bed time (I always nurse her and then lay her in her crib and she goes to bed). I'm very worried that I'll have even less time to myself now.
The purse graveyard. I have four purses with broken leather straps that need to be repaired.
Yummy soup I made last week. I got the recipe via Posie Gets Cozy.
Red shouldered hawk
Red shouldered hawk
The other day I was watching two hawks circling around my house. I was observing them for quite some time and was trying to get a shot of them. I saw one swoop down and land nearby so I ran over and was looking for it as quietly as possible. I had just given up when I happened to glance above me and there it was! It stayed long enough for me to take a couple pictures and then it was gone. I was so thankful for this close encounter!
I make beans once a week. It's an incredibly inexpensive way to feed a family of seven and the leftovers make for yummy lunches the next day.
I wore a sweater this morning for about 30 minutes! Then I got hot.
Yesterday's breakfast. Poached eggs are so delicious. I find it crazy how preparing them differently can make such a difference in how they taste. They seem like a delicacy when made this way.

Have a nice rest of the week!

♥ anne


Let Love In

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, San Diego 2012

I spent this rainy morning listening to Nick Cave. This is a picture Ruben took on his phone last time we saw Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds in 2012. This was one of the best shows I've ever been to and I love this shot so much. If you are already a fan of his music then I need not tell how amazing it is but if by chance you've never listened, well let me encourage you to do so asap. You could start with this album, it has a lot of mellower songs but all the albums are wonderful. Enjoy!

Oh, and have you seen his tintype from Sundance? Pretty rad.

♥ anne


Wet Plate Collodion

It's now been a year since I first became interested (obsessed) in the wet plate collodion process and I am finally at the point where I am able to start practicing this amazing, fascinating and complicated art.

Last February I took a two day workshop with Will Dunniway where I learned about the entire process from mixing chemicals, pouring plates to developing, fixing and varnishing. It was intense and it solidified my desire to move forward with this art.
I have slowly been acquiring all the necessary things and it's taken many months, lots of patience and a ton of help from family and friends and Will. My dad has helped tremendously and even though he doesn't read here I can't fail to mention him and all his encouragement and financial aid.

This is a plate from the workshop taken on Will's camera by the master himself.
With this type of photography the whole thing must be done while the plate is wet which means you need a darkroom close by to develop. Our friend Erick made me an awesome mobile darkroom for my birthday! You can't see the outside in this picture but it's really pretty!

This last weekend I poured my first plates. I had some major chemical problems but I was able to get a few decent plates. I have a lot of practice ahead of me but it is a dream to even be at this point!

Our friends Mike and Vanessa. (Vanessa moved which is why she is blurred)


After Ruben had sat for 5 photos he made me sit for one. We call this one "Dust Bowl Annie" hahaha! The camera got moved while the plate was being exposed so I'm blurry.
tintype / wet plate

My daughter Alex had the best shot. I'm pretty pleased with this one. I'm still working on getting a perfect focus but again...practice, practice, practice! 

That's what I've been up to! If you are interested in seeing how the whole process works, HERE is a detailed video. It demonstrates the process on glass instead of plates but the steps are still the same. 

I hope you enjoyed this post because there will be more like it in the near future!

♥ anne


Local Plants Part II

It's time for the next installment of local flora. All photos of plants in this post (with the exception of the passionflower) were taken in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa and most of these grow in the Talbert Nature Preserve.
Sticky Monkeyflower (Bush Monkeyflower)
Turkey-tangle Frog-fruit (Garden Lippia)
I'm pretty certain this little beauty is Southern Tarplant which is a native, rare endangered species.
Small Horseweed
Peruvian Pepper Tree
Albizia, plume acacia, Stink Bean (not native)
Toyon (California Holly)
Blue Elderberry
Pampas Grass (not native and invasive)
Tall Flatsedge

I'm really enjoying this ongoing project and as I type I hear a hawk calling outside which is make me eager to get out there and take a walk. Speaking of birds, I might as well post a few pictures that I recently took at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine.
Black-necked Stilt
Cooper's Hawk
Great Blue Heron

I hope you enjoyed this post! You can read Part I here.

♥ anne