I'm Making Portraits!

A couple months ago I was given the opportunity to shoot some Senior Portraits! This is Cate.

And a couple weeks ago, her mother called me back to have portraits made of Cate and her sister Megan!

Oh, how I enjoyed doing this!  I really hope I get to do it again.  I want to photograph children, families, siblings, seniors, babies (eek!)!  From the session to the editing, I LOVE doing this!!!


Seeing in Monochrome

It's funny how I am influenced by my husband without even being aware of it.  A couple weeks ago he painted a giant mural for a client who runs the Traditional Martial Arts Institute in Pantego, Texas.  As the mural progressed, he'd send me images to look at.  It is a monochromatic mural, filled with meaningful symbolism for his client.  I finally got to see it in person yesterday.  I think it is one of his best.

It was during the time he was working on this mural that I decided to rework some photos I'd taken in Puerto Rico this past Summer and have them framed for our home.  I originally processed them in color, but this is what I ended up with.  At the time, neither of us saw the connection.



Music Man

Right now, I'm in the middle of creating a series of photos of objects I've been collecting for years while out walking.  It's kind of strange how they they turned out monochromatic, too.




I didn't see this correlation until about an hour ago, when I uploaded the images of that mural.  What about you?  Are you influenced by the people around you?  How so? 


Heirloom Re-Do

This was my dad's dresser when I was too little to see the top of it.  It's from the sixties, really solid, made of pecan.  I have been craving color for a while now (every piece of furniture in our bedroom is some sort of wood), so my husband and I decided to give my favorite heirloom a little color.  

Sorry about the crappy iPhone pic, but this is what the dresser looked like BEFORE.

The first thing I did was give the whole thing a sanding. Especially the top, where the finish was flaking off. Then I painted the entire thing in two coats of latex paint. I chose an old Martha Stewart color that Sherwin Williams used to carry.   It looked really minty and gross when I finished and I didn't think I was going to like it.  Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this part of the process.  Believe me, it was pretty ugly.

After the paint was completely dry, my husband removed some of the paint to let the finished wood underneath show through.  He did this by using lacquer thinner.  This stuff is very smelly, so we did it outside and he wore gloves for the whole process.

I like how he just went over the parts that might have naturally been worn off with time.

After the distressing was finished, he painted on a thin layer of oil based glaze in burn sienna on sections of the dresser.  (Don't cover the whole thing, because it may dry before you are able to rub it off.  Just do section by section.)

Then he quickly wiped over the layer of glaze with a clean rag, leaving some in the cracks and crevices of the dresser.  This dresser was perfect for this process, because as you can see - LOTS of crevices.  He went through a LOT of rags.

This is what it looks like after most of the glaze is removed.  He repeated the painting and the wiping until all of the dresser was antiqued.

See the difference the glaze makes in the color?  The drawers have been warmed up quite a bit, so I really love the color now.

When the glazing was finished, a layer of lacquer (in satin) was sprayed on to protect the finish.  Make sure to do this BEFORE you put the hardware back on.

Here it is in it's happy little home!
I say "we" gave this dresser a face lift, but it was really my husband, Scott, who performed his magic.  He does this kind of thing for a living, you know.

Now, what can we paint next?!


Typewriter Painting

Last week we had the luxury of spending every day "funkifying" our house!  We painted and painted and painted and it was SO MUCH FUN.  While we still aren't finished (one project almost always leads to another), our house is becoming more of a reflection of our family - which is a LOT less monochromatic and a LOT more colorful.  So I thought I'd share a few projects that may inspire you to funkify your own house.  Or at least add some color.

The first project was to paint one of my three typewriters.  I have a portable Remington Quiet Riter (which may be a future project), a beautiful black 1930's Royal (that I'm not touching - perfect as is), and this one.  Could use a little brightening up, don't you think?

Behold, the Royal HH, cir. 1954, that I bought at an Estate Sale a few years ago.

First thing, use blue tape and painter's plastic to protect the delicate innards of the beast.  I wanted to be able to use this typewriter (you can still find ribbon for it!), so I completely covered the carriage (that's the part with the roller on it.)

I sprayed the whole thing with spray paint I picked up from the hardware store.  I just love this turquoise color.  Very fifties, don't you think?

Uh, oh!  This is what happens when you hold the spray paint can too close to the typewriter.  Also, I didn't move around the machine enough when I was spraying.

No worries!  Just let the paint dry, then go over it with some fine sandpaper.  My husband is a spray paint expert, so I'm letting him do the sanding.

This is how far you should hold that can.  That's about a foot away!  And keep it moving so there won't be any ugly drips.

Ta Daa!  Wait, I really didn't like that big brown patch in the middle.  I decided to paint that part too - very carefully!

I did some taping with the blue tape and trimmed some off with an Exacto knife.  I also taped the heck out of those beautiful green keys.

That's better!  Here she is in her home.

And here's her first glamour shot!  What a beauty!
If you have an old typewriter, you may consider painting it.  If you have any questions about your typewriter, here's a webpage that will answer some of them - including where to find replacement ribbons.  The paint I used for my typewriter was Rustoleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover 2x in Lagoon.  The blue tape I was referring to is Scotch Blue Painter's Tape.  You can find it and the spray paint at any hardware store.


Easy as Strawberry Pie

It's been a while since I've shared a recipe out of my mother's magic recipe box, so I thought I'd share something that I've made a few times since strawberries have been in season here in Texas.  This is a simple recipe and is unbelievably delicious.   Here's the recipe:

And here's the blow by blow:

Put the 1 1/2 pints of strawberries in a pot and mash.

I've used store bought pie crust and home made.
For either one, get it in the oven now,
so it will be cool by the time you need to put the filling in.

After the strawberries are mashed up, add the sugar and the cornstarch.
Stir this over medium heat until the mixture thickens.
I've made the mistake of doing this for only 5 minutes, like my mom says
on the card, but I find I need to stir and heat for atleast 10 minutes.

This is how it should look when it is thickened enough.

Add the rest of the strawberries, the almond extract and the lemon juice and stir.
Let this mixture hang out until it is cooled to room temperature.
Your pie crust should be finished and cooled by now.

Pour the strawberries into the pie crust and put it in the
fridge for atleast 30 minutes to chill.  This is when I make
the whipped cream to top it with.  I just use whipping cream
that you find in the dairy section by the half and half and whip it
with my hand held mixer.  While I'm whipping it, I add
a little sugar to make it sweet.  I prefer this to Cool Whip
(too many mysterious chemicals) and it's so easy to make.

When you serve it, just add a big spoonful of whipped cream on top,
and there you have it!

You might end up licking the plate clean.
I hope you love this pie as much as I do.  Let me know how it turns out, okay?


Hello..... Remember Me?

I’ve been sooooo busy that I haven’t put any time into my blog.  So to catch you up to date, here’s what’s happened over the past, um, few months.

Since my last entry I have taken a weekend trip to Oklahoma City to see my dear friend, Lynne.  She took me to the OKC library book sale, where I snagged so many great books I filled a giant suitcase (thank goodness it has wheels!). 
My favorite find.

Too cute!
I’ve painted a mural in my niece’s new "big girl" room in anticipation of her becoming a big sister. 
iPhone Pic

iPhone Pic
I became an auntie again. 
Herbie III
 I’ve painted a huge mural with my husband, Scott, and was reminded why I love working with him so much.


 I’ve visited the CTC Auto Ranch with my girlfriends (yes, I hang with the kind of girls who love old rusty cars, too). 

I’ve taken a photography class and have finally moved the dial on my camera from fully automatic to M (woo hoo!).
I learned about panning!

My Favorite Image
I’ve taken engagement photos for a friend.  
My favorite shot.
I’ve seen Arcade Fire in concert and still cannot get their magical music out of my brain (and the crowd was the best crowd I’ve ever seen a concert with). 
Perfect night.
I went to a wonderful Estate Sale in the Arlington Heights section of Fort Worth and found some beautiful children’s books. 

 I’ve started taking Spinning classes at the YMCA and have fallen in love with cycling again.   Reunited with some of my favorite people in the whole world, who started the Carrollton Music Hall of Fame.

 I’ve purchased a new lens (Canon EF 50mm f1.4) and flash (Canon Speedlite 430EX II) and learned how to use them. 
I shot my first wedding, with the generous help of my photography instructor, Clay Crowell 
Such a beautiful couple!

This will probably be used for an ad for my photography.

They did this instead of lighting the unity candle.  It was so beautiful!

OH, and I was published!

I promise I won't wait so long to post on my blog.  I'm really good about updates on my facebook page (www.facebook.com/annadykemaphotography), though.  Go ahead and "like" me.  All my FB friends get a discount in my shop!