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the details of life

The Soar! photography assignment for February was to photograph the details of someone’s life. Here are the current details of my boys’ lives:

I loved taking these photos and I hope to repeat this assignment every year. Wouldn’t a photo book of all these photos make a great high school graduation gift? I can also imagine my boys looking through their detail books with their own kids and telling the stories of their childhood. That motivates me to take more detail photos of everyone in my family. I love the idea of sitting around sharing family stories and a detail photo book seems like the perfect inspiration to make that happen.

My son wears a Medtronic 522 insulin pump, and to fit that pump I make a pocket that is about 4.5 in tall and 3.5 in wide. I sew the pocket onto the back of an undershirt because he was only 1 when he started on the pump and I did not want him to push any buttons. He is now 4 and we still use this method because it works well for us. Sometimes he wears his pump in his pants pocket, but having it in his shirt is still easier because he doesn’t get tangled in the tubing.

I don’t have step by step photos right now, but the next time I sew some pump pockets I will update with more photos.

1. Cut two rectangles: one 6 in x 4 in and one 5 in x 4 in.

2. Place the rectangles on top of one another lining up one of the short  sides. They are the same width so those sides line up, but since they are different lengths only one of the short sides will line up.

3. Using a 1/2 ” seam allowance, sew along the matched short side, leaving an opening for turning in the middle. In other words, sew from the outside edges toward the center, but do not stitch the center closed.  I usually leave about 1 in open in the center.

4. Align the other short sides. This will make a bubble because the rectangles are different lengths. Flatten the fabric so that the short side seam is not at the edge of the rectangle anymore. The large rectangle now folds over and the seam connecting the two is about an inch from the edge. Sew the other 3 sides closed.

5. Turn the pocket right side out through the opening you left in the first seam.

6. Sew a piece of hook and loop tape (Velcro) to the pocket between the short folded edge and the first seam.

7. Decide where you want the pocket on the shirt and sew the other piece of hook and loop tape to the shirt. I have found that if the top of the pocket is at about the bottom of the arm holes it works best. Placing the pocket too low on the shirt makes it pull and stretch more.

8. Stick the pocket to the shirt with the hook and loop tape. Topstitch the pocket in place, again with about a 1/4 in seam allowance. Begin and end the stitching about 2/3 of the way down the hook and loop tape. If you stitch the pocket all the way to the top on the long sides it is hard to get the pump in and out. The hook and loop tape will hold the pocket closed so the topstitching is not needed at the very top.

365 project day 39-41

I’ve been chasing light the last few days. I am loving these photos, and they are each a different kind of light. What they all have in common is that I am getting in tight. A great place to start to improve your portraits- get really close.

February 9, 2010: day 39

Light from a flourecent lamp with a cream shade:

February 10, 2010: day 40

4:45 on a winter afternoon light:

February 11, 2010: day 41

7:45 on a winter morning light:

i ♥ kisses

This week’s challenge over at i heart faces is kisses! Here is my favorite smooch photo:

Unfortunately, my all time favorite kiss photo of these two has a super distracting background. When I get better at Photoshop I’m going to fix that photo up as well 🙂

what is so

Each soar! exercise so far has amazed and surprised me. What at first seems simple and straight forward blossoms into an incredibly powerful experience.  And I am so grateful to be able to participate fully by  both doing the assignments and reading about others.  Action, reflection, discussion, observation- very inspiring and honestly life changing. I feel like I am finding my place in the world, and I know it is the right place because it feels comfortable, yet interesting. Part of finding MY right place is by actively participating in the soar! activities. And part of it is reading how Jennifer, Linda, and Lindsay are walking away from the same assignment with completely different insights. Authenticity is important to me, and I feel that I am giving myself authentically to my dream of portrait photography. It feels so good. I want to encourage everyone to follow along with the soar! exercises. No matter what your creative passion is, no matter if you are interested in starting a small business or not, these activities are an amazing (and free!) opportunity for personal growth and personal creative insight. A very powerful opportunity.

For me, blogging about my experiences is another very important part of the process. First, this blog is my time for reflection.  Action is so important, but the real power is in the combination of action and reflection. Second, writing on my blog is often my first step in saying it OUT LOUD.  Once I share it with the world through writing it is easier for me to say it with my voice, which makes it easier for me to live it. No matter what “it” is. My path to authenticity.

So this is what I’d like to share from my first business building exercise. An agreement with myself and the universe: Right now I agree that I will ride the ride and not give up or be let down by difficult times. That I will believe in my place in the universe, and I will do my best to put myself in the best place I can be.

Wow. Thank you so much Charisse, Jen, and Karen for sharing with me. Exploring my feelings for a self portrait gave me focus, taking the photo gave me freedom, and sharing the photos on my blog gave me confidence. But reading your comments was the most powerful part. Your words gave me perspective, new insight, comfort, and happiness. I have always believed that each person’s life is truly a unique experience and I embrace and appreciate different ideas and values. But I am amazed at the different things you each saw in my photos and in me. Not only did I learn about myself with this exercise, I learned about the world. I am just beginning to understand how humans can have such very, very different thoughts, yet be so very much the same, all at the same time. The earth is a marvelously wonderful place.

Just two activities into this soar! adventure my feelings have already started to change. But at the very start what I felt most strongly was excited and exposed. Excited because I am passionate about photography and living a creative life. Exposed because I have not expressed my passions openly before. Exposed because most of my life I have not viewed myself as a creative person, and being a creative person seems risky. A creative person seems more susceptible to judgment, criticism, and failure. This photo really captured what I was going for, and I love what Charisse, Jen & Karen added!

Choosing an object to represent my feelings was much more difficult. Maybe because I usually live life honestly and in a straightforward manner. If you want something, then get it. If something makes you feel bad, then get rid of it. Representing my feelings with something other than myself is more circuitous.  I actually didn’t have the words to describe my connection to the egg, it just felt like the right thing. Again, thank you so much to Charisse, Jen, & Karen for putting words to my image for me. You all got it even when I didn’t know what I wanted you to get: “fragile, nourishing and nurturing, and peeling away a protective outer shell to reveal a softer, yet still firm, existence….somewhat of an unveiling.” Yes, that is exactly it.