Tuesday, August 26, 2008

082608 The heART factory is open for business!!!

This awesome location is in the heart of Maineville- located across from the fire station on Foster-Maineville near the corner to rt 48. Just wait until you see the inside!
Lynn Hastings is a highly qualified art educator and a magnificent artist specializing in drawing painting and jewelry. She is offering a wide range of art enrichment classes for people of all ages. Register now at www.theheartfactory.com or call 513-253-6495 to sign up for these amazing classes!
Lynn is one of my closest friends and I have been fortunate enough to learn the tricks of this trade from her. Take advantage of this amazing opportunity to foster the artistic talents we know you are capable of. Morrow and Maineville Ohio are lucky to have her here- she is one of a kind in this community!
This band is amazing! Josh Pilot band rocked out in the heat and really drew in the crowd last Sat.
Just a few finishing touches and the space is complete. It is already so fabulous!
The ice cream social was a BIG hit! There were a ton of visitors - be sure to schedule your classes early!

This amazing table is made from a door, epoxy, and crayons! Too cool! She is so creative!

Visit www.theheartfactory.com for more info on classes and registration!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

080508 Hocking Hills camping trip (0726-072708)

These two shots are from my amazing husband- Nicholas Viltrakis (http://www.nicholasviltrakis.blogspot.com/). Each year a group of our friends goes camping. This year we visitied the Hocking Hills region in central Ohio and it is awe inspiring. The whole place was filled with caves, gorges, waterfalls, and huge rock formations. Go check it out if you like nature and haven't seen this place!

Here I am in the obligatory campfire/flashlight shot... To set the mood.
Here was our campfire.... Nicholas has been toying with long exposures. The flashes you see are from his speedlight. He ran around the group flashing in the 13 sec it took to expose this image. Neat huh?

These photographs below were taken by me with my trusty purse camera the Canon SD1000. You can see the big difference in exposure when shooting with a point and shoot seen vs. an SLR right here. I miss my big camera big time! I'm so excited to upgrade- I'm getting Nicholas' 30D and he gets the 40D as soon as it arrives.
Here is Nicholas...
This is Jenny, Marshall, and Nicholas in Ash Cave.

There is a waterfall (tiny) right in the center and the sandstone is so soft you could carve it with your fingernail...

Looking up from around the campfire.

080508 The day my camera died (071808). RIP 20D

So I got the 'error 99' about 30 sec after my beautiful sister shot this wonderful image. It was a tragedy. My 20D would not stop snapping it's shutter. Even after it was turned off. The only way to stop the incessant snapping was to take out the battery. Nothing I could do worked to solve the issue. When we got home and checked some posts online we discovered it is a typical issue with the 20D. The shutter has a lifespan-and since mine was bought used from a prominent photographer (David Ziser http://www.digitalprotalk.blogspot.com/) we decided the camera was just suffering from old age. This error costs about $200 to fix so we decided to upgrade to the new 40D instead. If anyone is interested in a cheap broken 20D let me know!

080508 Family vacation to the Poconos (071308-072108)

This is my family- the cousins on the Brandon side that is (plus 2). We have been traveling together since we were young. Thank you Nikki for all your careful planning! The Poconos are in eastern Pennsylvania and consist of a string of beautiful wooded areas, lakes, and mountains. It used to be a hot honeymooner destination for people looking to escape the cities. It is still fabulous. I think that in the fall or winter it would be remarkable! The weather was perfect for us. Hot enough to swim in the daytime and cool enough for a jacket at night. It was a quite a trek to get there from Cincinnati, but the area was luscious and secluded. A very nice and relaxing trip was had by all. It was great to reconnect with everyone as adults. We have always been close and hopefully always will be.

This is our view of the lake from the big back deck. This is Lake Natalie. The deer were like pigeons here. They practically ate from our hands. It was cute. We named our frequent visitor 'Tinkles'. (Check out http://www.nicholasviltrakis.blogspot.com/ for photos of Tinkles).

The blueberry bushes were everywhere! We picked so many and make plenty of blueberry pancakes, yum!

It was a prime spot to meditate and relax. I love being outdoors and it was a beautiful breezy atmosphere! (Summer breeze- make me feel fine)

My brother, Steve, was training for a triathlon. He swam across the lake. He kinda had to walk halfway because it was so shallow.
He placed something like 36th out of 250 in his class in the New Jersey triathlon, btw. Go Steve!

Nicholas is always picking me flowers. I love him so...

We rowed all around Big Bass Lake. It was a super fun excursion. We had a beautiful time.

We came upon an island, it was fantastic from afar. We decided to dock and conquer.

We discovered it was covered with goose turds and really sticky flowers. Needless to say- we were scrubbing our feet for days. It was so named 'Goose Turd Island'.

Later in the week we went to a place called Bushkill Falls. It was a really cool spot to visit. We hiked up and down the falls- there were 8 total.