Friday, December 28, 2007

Noah's best friend

Steve, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Steve taught us how to play "Shadows of Camelot." If you like Settlers of Catan and have an interest in King Arthur, you'll love this game. My favorite aspect of it is that the entire group who plays are cooperating to defeat the board. The idea is that the cards and the way the board is configured requires a group effort to go on quests and defeat them. So each time anyone triumphs, we all cheered because it was a group victory.

There is the possibility of a traitor which adds to the level of intrigue. Sort of like a player who "shoots the moon" in Hearts.

Game board is gorgeous and all miniatures are meticulously crafted.

We had such a good time!

Shadows of Camelot

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My husband loves me.

Jewelry, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Before all the excitement, we had shiny bows. Tomorrow (technically today, the 26th) will make 365 days of photo-shooting. Woo-hoo! I'm sure I'll keep posting photos here. But I may not post every day.

In the meantime, I hope your day was as relaxed and enjoyable as ours. And if you get the chance to see "Juno" (the movie), I recommend it!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Place Cards

Christmas Place Cards, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Caitrin is really on a roll creating these. I love the card holders (from Pier One Imports).

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Cincinnati Ice Rink

Cincinnati Ice Rink, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Yesterday's excursion to the downtown, outdoor rink. (Three of our kids are the ones holding hands in the center.) All the skating you want for a $2.00 fee and $2.00 rental. Grater's (famous Cincinnati ice cream) is outside the rink, conveniently enough. :)

Blue and orange

Aronoff Nutcracker, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

I took Caitrin to see the Nutcracker on Thursday and forgot about my photos. I have two others from the Aronoff Center that were inspired by jayfish's style of photograph. You can see them here and here.

Graham cracker gingerbread house

While I already posted photos of gingerbread, I liked this one that I snapped the other day best.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Project 365: a whole new view of my life

I started posting a photo a day last year the day after Christmas. I'm now a few days away from the end of a year's worth of photos. There are many more than the 365 a year represents on this blog. There were days I couldn't contain myself and posted more than one. Of course, later in the year, I found it harder to keep up and perhaps missed a day or two and then made up for them later. I'm proud of the fact that I stuck with it regardless, and continued to post pictures even when I got bored of my own world and uploading photos.

When I began the project, I worried that I couldn't sustain a year long daily project. Peer pressure in the kindest form drove me to the commitment anyway. All my online buddies were 365-ing so I wanted to join them. It's been amazing to see their worlds through photos after only knowing most of them through words for the last seven years. I also met a whole new bunch of bloggers through 365: Scrivener, Jo(e), Jayfish, Ianqui, Billie, and Overread. I learned a LOT from their photos. Clearly this was a crowd who knew a thing or two about photography. I spent a lot of time studying their pictures.

I devoted myself to my camera. It went with me in my purse, backpack, pocket or car. It popped out into my hands at a moment's notice. The kids got to the point where they were suggesting subjects in the grocery store or along the side of the road. I have leapt from the car into traffic, have climbed trees, tables and chairs, have scooched down under bushes, behind walls and in between rock crevices and I've boldly taken photos of perfect strangers! I got much more interested in angles, shapes, shadows, above and below points of view as well as the much touted "bokeh." :)

Everyone says that using a camera with that much regularity will change how you see. And naturally I expected to "see differently" by the end of a year. But I don't think I really grasped what that would mean when I began. For instance, today I'm absolutely fascinated with reflections. I can sit by myself looking at windows, the sides of cars, puddles, shiny table tops, rearview mirrors, stainless steel coffee makers, brass door knobs, tire rims, sunglasses, and on and on... totally entertained, without doing anything else. I enjoy the way colors change and shapes shift. I found myself staring at Jon's glasses and not his eyes just yesterday, enjoying the way the Christmas lights danced on the lenses.

In a philosophical way, it's utterly cool how reflection changes my perception of things I take for granted. I love that. Plus, I'm hooked on the shiny.

I didn't expect photo-taking to change how I see my family. But it has. I'm much more aware of the delightful facial expressions, the stuff they do that is important and insignificant that really captures their personalities and my memories of them. I wish I had known this earlier in their lives! My favorite photo of Caitrin, for instance, is one where she is eating at Chipotle (a scene I'd never have thought to shoot before).

I also got hooked on macro shots. I think seeing things right up close in a way you don't when you are living with them makes me appreciate ordinary objects more. Even something as simple as the silver ring at the end of a notebook or the way my blind looked from the side view all rolled up - these were delightful surprises this year. I was thrilled that I could see!

This year was also filled with Big Events in our lives. Johannah's theater, prom, graduation, and departure to college, my education and graduation, Noah's first year of college, Jacob's marching band, his broken arm, Caitrin sewing, Liam's lacrosse. I've been to California, South Carolina and Chicago.

It's great to have records of all these that are more than posed shots of people standing together! That's what's changed. I take more photos that give a feel of an experience, not just snapshots of people I want to remember. Still, it's been a demanding year in terms of pictures.

I'm glad that the daily-ness of it is coming to a close. I've been obsessed for most of the year and my energy level for uploading, editing and selecting photos has suddenly come to a halt! I have other things to do on the computer and that extra effort to get the photos off the camera, onto the computer, edited and posted feels like work now.

But I always love having the photos so it's rewarding. In fact, just creating this post and finding the photos to include has reminded me of the really amazing spectrum of experiences, color and moments that I'm glad I have on record!

It seems fitting that at the end of a post about a year's worth of photos, that I'd link to my favorite one. Ironically, I don't have to. My banner for winter on Julie Unplugged is my favorite photo of my 365 experience. But since it is cropped in the header, let me post it in full here.

P.S. If you participated in Project 365 and would care to share what you've gotten from it, I'd love to hear it in the comments or with a link to your blog where you post your thoughts.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Portrait of Caitrin

Portrait of Caitrin, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

She's reading Little Women.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Festival of Lights: Cincinnati Zoo

Last night's trip to the zoo, taken on top of the van with all the pretty reflection...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

La vie en bleu

La vie en bleu, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

A quality macro finally.... My little camera has been wimping out lately.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Presbyterian church

Presbyterian church, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

This is the one I visited with the family about two years ago which is in Olde West Chester.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Jaunty snowman

Jaunty snowman, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Gretel, Hans and the mean old witch

To pass the time indoors, we made gingerbread houses.

Snowstorm on Red Mill

Snowstorm on Red Mill, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Our house.

Friday, December 14, 2007

It takes two cell phones

It takes two cell phones, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

to conduct a social life that includes both college and high school friends. (That's her high school yearbook which just came out last week... six months late.)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Red light, green light Christmas

My little camera has worked hard this year. Not quite the Ampersand effect, but close. Notice the "bokeh"!! :)

Angles alight

Angles alight, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Yeah, we suck at hanging lights.

December sky

December sky, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

I can never get enough of bare trees against midwestern skies.

Christmas dog

Christmas dog, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Rocky at his ease.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Scrounged Poetry

Co-op Class, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

I created an activity for writing where you gather words from various sources, put them on little word tickets and then create poems with them using artwork as the source of inspiration. This is one of my students using a Van Gogh painting for his poem.

Tree decorating

Christmas in Los Angeles, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Sunday night we decorated our tree. We bought these little reminders of our year passes to Disneyland back in 1996. Seeing as Jacob will be visiting the happiest place on earth in a few short weeks, it seemed appropriate to feature or little pair here.

Raptor Rapture

Raptor Rapture, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Liam took a class about raptors at the zoo on Saturday. This is Sarah, our favorite zookeeper.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Poisonous, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Buckeye feather

Buckeye feather, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

(Scarlet, grey and white)

Discovered this cardinal semiplume on top of the bird feeder when I went to add seeds.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bikes in snow

Bikes in snow, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Picked up Johannah at her dorm today and this is the scene outside. Loved the bikes still lined with snow.

Mossy walk

Mossy walk, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

What a difference a day makes. This was yesterday at about 1:00 p.m. By 2:00, it was overcast. And by nightfall, we had our first snow (see next picture).

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Photographer in training

Photographer in training, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Last spring, I took all the photos for a friend's shower (for her future daughter in law). I sent them to her and of course posted one on this blog. She loved them which made me feel really good.

Last night we were both at the same cookie exchange and I began taking photos of cookies (close-ups) when Paula (my friend) sidled up next to me to ask how to take good close-ups, like I had at the shower. We both played with our point and shoots, I showing her how to work the settings and what to do to steady the camera. Easy stuff.


She went wild! We could hardly pry the camera from her hands. :) This little Christmas village shot started simply enough, but the next thing you know, she wanted the Christmas tree lit up. A flashlight would not do, the spotlight was too bright. So they rigged a diffuser with this Pier One bag and that's when I knew what my photo of the day had to be. :)

Brava Paula!! (Compliments to lighting director, Susan)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bruins blow it

Bruins blow it, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Watched until the bitter end...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Working into the night at Panera

I am now up to date on my photos. This is from last night where I sat with my back to the warm fire while working, working, working on Brave Writer. (I did manage to squeeze a little Scrabulous in with she who will remain nameless. You know who you are. [g])

Photo comes from photobooth on the MacBookPro, hence the grainy quality.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Little red barn

Little red barn, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Our neighbors have this wonderful birding set-up in their backyard. I love the Christmasy red and green, and the attentive placement of bird bath and feeders.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

No longer fall, not yet winter

No longer fall, not yet winter, originally uploaded by juliecinci.


Veins, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

I've gotten a lot of mileage out of my African violet collection this year in pictures.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Horses and light

Horses and light, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

The llama's friends. More photos from the llama and horse farm can be seen here. It was a fun day of photography.

In need of orthodontia

Orthodontia, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Our favorite llama to visit. From our remaining working farm up the street.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Lighting the tree

Lighting the tree, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

I preferred these trees against the night sky to the big Christmas one.

In hats

In hats, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

It was 35 degrees downtown on Friday night after Thanksgiving, the traditional night that Cincinnati lights their big tree and Santa descends from the sky to the cheers of small children. We all waited over an hour for the anticipated lighting while getting frostbite. There were thousands shivering while inane speeches were offered by Banks, Companies and Government. A band played and local ice skaters skated (we could only see them on the big screen as it was too crowded).

The anti-climactic moment finally came once the crowd chanted "Light that tree!" The result: a not very well lit huge tree. Don't even want to post a photo of it. The whole experience: small town Cincinnati. :) We had to laugh (and then head to a restaurant to eat hot food and drink hot coffee).

I thought it amazing that Noah and Caitrin were still smiling about 45 minutes into the experience. :D

Petting the horse

Petting the horse, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

I'm in a habit now of posting favorite shots from one day to cover a couple of 365 days rather than daily photos. It's how I'm making it to the end so I press on.

I loved how this one turned out in the almost dark of Friday night.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Showing us how to be men

Men and boys, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Five in the same room

DSCN4068.JPG, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Who are those gorgeous kids?

Four of five, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Time for football

Time for football, originally uploaded by juliecinci.


Thanksgiving, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

A table large enough, with family enough. Thankful.

Placecards by Caitrin

Placecards by Caitrin, originally uploaded by juliecinci.


Centerpiece, originally uploaded by juliecinci.


Euchre, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Johannah taught the kids how to play euchre, an Ohio card game. She's home!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Christmas Parade in Hamilton

Rose Parade Bound, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

Jacob's marching band got to practice parade marching on Saturday at a local city Christmas parade. That's him, on the saxophone with the glasses just beyond the two trumpets. Loved the green and red against their uniforms.

Buckeye dog and his boy

Buckeye dog and his boy, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

On the day of the big OSU v. U of M game, we got up early to go to a local Christmas parade (check out photo above). Prancing around our yard was this little guy sporting an OSU tee. He belongs to our neighbors. Liam scooped him up for the photo op of the day: Even the dogs root for Ohio State!

(Oh, and they won)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Blueberry Hill

Blueberry Hill, originally uploaded by juliecinci.

I guess I'm in a foodie mood these days.

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