Eight years ago I created a homemade book for granddaughter Anna for her third birthday. You know those blank white books you can buy in an art store or school supply? I photographed Baby Doll doing all sorts of things around the house and yard and swing set. I even had the photos printed on PAPER and mounted them on the pages and wrote a caption for each shot.
Anna wasn’t a collaborator then as it was a surprise for her.
You get the idea of the book I made. And I thought I could make another one, no problem. HA!
Today her sister Maura (5+) thought it would be a great idea to make a book together, starring her Bitty Baby and Chelsea baby dolls and her AG Clare. I thought it sounded like a good idea, too.
Only problem, Maura suddenly got into some unnatural poses and grimaces and it didn’t look right to me. Also the dolls seemed to have more vacant stares than good old Baby Doll (originally belonging to their mother Erika) who seemed MUCH more cooperative and responsive to my direction (plus it was my direction alone previously)
But I can learn from the experience of the photo shoot. The results did not match my vision. But Maura had a blast and likes the pictures and we all had a great laugh. Erika thinks my efforts are funny. I think it is good to show the outtakes sometimes, too.
I showed today’s pics to her mother Erika and she said she loved them all. Her brothers and sisters are the one who said that Maura looks like a Bobblehead in the one (due to Grandma’s angle and perspective)
Maura liked the photographs, just fine by her.
So here is what we came up with and for me it is back to the beginning and reworking the shots and getting Maura to ease up on the posing. Will see what we come up with on the next attempt.
Ooops down one subject
And the Bobblehead shot.
The super awesome guest blog I mentioned yesterday, Anna 10+ (almost 11)is the photographer. It’s fun for me when the family contributes to the blog effort. Thanks Anna! (Photographed with an iPad.)
Anna and Michael and their Mom and Dad went to the Laurel Highlands this weekend. They toured Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater , checked out Steeler’s Training Camp at the end of the day and visited General Braddock’s Grave.
Saturday early evening they came to Pittsburgh to pick up the two younger ones, Jack and Maura, and left early Sunday morning. We were 16 for dinner Saturday night with family and friends coming to see them. Today the house is really quiet. :-(
But on Friday night they stayed at the Historic Summit Inn Resort in Farmington, PA.
Michael said the doors had real keys! Here he is with Mark and Erika.
One of the “few remaining ‘porch hotels’ in America.” Built in 1907, The Summit Inn is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Love how she moved to take the photo of the sun behind the red flower
I like the drain pipe line and puddle
And she must take after her grandmother, photographing what was on the table.
Salt and Pepper Still Life
Thomas Edison and Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone stayed at the Summit Inn in 1917. Their names are signed on the Hotel Register. (Dad Mark has that photo)
Leaving for Pittsburgh. A shot from the van window showing motion. I see the snack bag reflection.
A few months ago, I was knitting a little baby blanket which called for 4 skeins of yarn. My granddaughter Anna loved how the blanket felt to her touch.
She asked if I could make her a blanket. A big one. Certainly.
Eleven skeins later (and a lot of time sitting in the knitting bag, not being knit) summer break from school and a few long swim meets ( I perfected knitting a toasty blanket in 90 degree weather by draping it on an adjacent chair) the handknit blanket got finished!
I was returning home today (Tuesday) and completed the final stitch at yesterday’s swim meet. Phew! Anna would ask me how her blanket was coming along. I promised myself, I wouldn’t start another new project until this one was complete.
When we got home, Anna put it in the washing machine and sat and watched it for awhile. She set it for “quick wash” and then it had to be dried. it’s 100% man- made polyester (I know some knitters will disapprove it’ s not made with natural fibers )
But she said she didn’t like it, she LOVES it!
What else could a grandmother wish?
Monday night at the washing machine. Watching the time.
Tuesday morning. Piano practice.
The blanket reminds me of a chenille bedspread from the 1950’s. It is soft and squishy. Because the yarn is variegated, the color falls in random splotches.
Bernat Pipsqueak Yarn, Color Sittin’ Pretty
Pattern is the old basic dishcloth. Knit on the diagonal
Cast on 4 stitches.
K 2, YO, Knit to end. Repeat until half your yarn is used.
Then to decrease. K 1, K2 together, YO, K2 together, knit rest of row. Repeat until last four stitches then bind off.
Thought these two photos of Anna at the Dive Meet Monday afternoon, illustrate the concept of freezing a moment in time.
I shoot singly, not in a burst, try to anticipate the moment to click the shutter. Shot these with my 70-200 Canon lens. It was a hot day.
How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside–
Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown–
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!
Robert Louis Stevenson
Maura at 5 1/2 finally learns to pump
There are lots of ways to mark the passage of time. You rip the calendar pages off and suddenly a whole year has passed!
When I was at school, I saw there was a missed call and a voicemail from my DIL Erika.
Later when I didn’t have students I listened on the phone’s speaker.
The message was a
howling/animal crying and then my granddaughter Anna(10) saying, “Henry, stop it. That’s enough. ” Then some more doggy crying and Anna saying, ” Aww Henry don’t feel bad.”
When Erika got on the phone when I called back, she said that Henry ran to the computer first thing this morning and was sad he wasn’t featured on the blog today, celebrating his first birthday.
So Anna took some photos and I PROMISED Hnery would be on the blog before the end of the day. Forgetful Grandma!
The thoughtful breeder, Diana McKenna, remembered and sent a card via email and E forwarded it to me. Screen shot below.
Here is the photo of the family getting ready to take Henry back to Ohio from Michigan. Thanks Diana.
Erika sent a photo of the birthday Airedale biscuits she baked for Henry’s first bday. I’ll have to get the recipe.
One year old today. Anna took these photographs and sent them through her Mother’s phone to me.
Henry loves to hide bones. Big ones!
Thanks Anna for the photos. Nice job.
“One is the loneliest number ….”
One unicyclist Pittsburgh Marathon last May
One handstand by Anna my granddaughter in Hardy Virginia
One reader in Bryant Park NYC
One friend at her window
One seal watcher in Central Park
One tulip by St. Patrick’s Cathedral NYC
One nun in NYC
Laura is ONE August 7, 1984 Grafenwoehr Germany
I saw Three Dog Night in the early seventies. No kidding.
Double digits. Oh my!
I remember the day I became a grandmother. (along with FF Marlene) What a lovely day. The day you were born.
Now your dad is taking photos of you learning to play the cello and sending them to me on the phone.
Photographing you has always been fun. Documenting your growing up! Here’s a little slideshow to celebrate YOU!
lots of love, Your grandma- FF Ruthie
p.s. There are hundreds, probably thousands of photographs of you in my archives. When you were born I bought my first digital SLR camera! It was hard to choose for the birthday post.
Here are some of my favorites.
Maybe you remember Anna celebrating her birthday on 10-10-10, doing the Hula Hoop
Photographed by Anna (9+) with the iPhone. When I am staying with the family ( since I am out of school for the summer), I get help documenting-
“for the blog”.
You might remember Anna found the pick up truck full of mannequin legs last winter and captured the scene with her mom’s iPhone.
I like that she changed up her angle on the second shot and found the unfortunate figure beneath the plane at the bottom of the sink
The number of Jelly Beans in the Jar is 528 so Gloria came in as the winner tonight as she guessed 500 and didn’t go over the total amount.
Thanks everyone for looking and guessing.
I’m on the left and Maura
asleep on my iPad on the right. You can see the computer hinged lid. Maybe an iPad, too.
(corrected by Maura, what is really happening in the picture she drew)
Here’s a photo I received from my DIL on Thursday. My youngest granddaughter Maura (4) drew a picture. There is another version where we have ears, and I mean EARS!!! Maybe I’l lost that one, too.
When I visit in Ohio, I sleep on a mat in Maura’s room. She gets her Hello Kitty Sleeping bag and camps out, too.
So she drew herself sleeping on the right, while old Grandma(me) is next to her on the left, BLOGGING on the computer! She always says, “you can do the blog in my room.”
It is cool that everyone wants to contribute to the effort. Thanks supportive Family!!
When we gathered in to Aunt Linda’s and Uncle Frank’s to mourn the passing of Aunt Theresa, there was lots of food to share and it kept pouring in from generous neighbors and friends and relatives.
Anna’s other Grandma, Marlene, sister of Aunt Theresa, Aunt Linda and Aunt Georgeann wanted to acknowledge the excitement and accomplishment of Anna(9) qualifying to swim Freestyle and Breaststroke in the Junior Olympics in Ohio next weekend. Marlene bought a cake- a 3 pound 12 ounce cake! (We read the label, didn’t we Aunt Linda?)
Because the occasion was the gathering in and remembering Theresa who had passed, I never took my camera out of the car.
It didn’t seem like a time to take photos. But of course when the cake came out and Marlene was videoing our singing Happy Junior Olympics to you, I felt compelled to take a photo and slipped out the trusty old iPhone and took one shot. This is it. Of course we are so proud of Anna. On the left standing up and smiling is her Mom, Erika. And cousin Shannon, in the red on the right was very gracious. Lots of love and affection over this past week.
You know how Anna (9) likes to borrow her mom’s iPhone and take photos?
She was the photographer of the pick up truck full of legs post in case you missed it.
So I said I would put her photo on the blog but I needed her to explain how she took the photo and I would add that information on the post.
See the second photo. She drew the little symbol- to turn the camera so it faces inward? I photographed her iPhone sketch.
That was how she explained it. Oh yes, she said told me she had mirror goggles. I like how she thinks about composing a photograph.
She enjoyed being guest blogger so much. I think we need to get her a camera!
Last week when I was in Columbus visiting the family, I noticed my youngest granddaughter Maura’s baby dolls all lined up on the ottoman in the family room.
There wasn’t much available light and the auto flash went off on the iPhone as I shot the picture.
We were in Kiddie Land at Kennywood Amusement Park in West Mifflin, PA. There were several rides my granddaughter Anna couldn’t ride with her brothers and sisters because she’s grown too tall.
She squeaked by into this one.
Here are fellow bloggers posts for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth.
One roll would suffice. It was on the list of supplies for this crafty kitsch!
Last week in Pittsburgh, granddaughter Anna saw a pot of flower pens that Aunt Lala made years ago. They are corny but cute and definitely appealed to an 8+ year old.
The old pens still wrote after all those years!!
Anna was fascinated with the pens in the pot and asked if we could make them when I came to Ohio. After a fun trip to the Crafts store for the supplies and brief instructions from Laura, we set up shop. Didn’t even use a full roll of floral tape.
There are rolls and rolls left. We made a pot for her mom, her other grandma, for Aunt Lala, for Anna’s desk and a new one for me which I might take to school again for our sign-in counter. Laura made some for me to take to school years ago, too.
If you seriously want to make them for any reason I found instructions just now online here at show
After making them with Anna and looking up instructions, I see people create them as favors and as pens for wedding guest books and such.
You can see her peeking through the finished pots of pens.
And just moments earlier, this was the peaceful scene. Not sure why all the honking and general nastiness from the Canada Goose in the above image..
A grandmother and her granddaughter by the Allegheny River. (Unidentified subjects)
What does down mean to me? It’s something I prefer not to be.
I’m Down by the Beatles is a favorite
Down on the Corner by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
The Stars Look Down by Rush
Lots of songs with direction.
We all know plenty of people who try bring us down. One thing I know- I used to shoot a lot of single gloves and mittens on pavement, a baby shoe in the gutter, scratch-off lottery ticket, manhole covers, sidewalks that are stairs. Brides pushing the down elevator button to the lobby.
I used to hear,” I’m down with that.”
Here’s my response to the weekly photo challenge: down. Looking down at my granddaughter Anna as she’s playing in the grass at Aunt Linda and Uncle Frank’s house. I have her in focus in another image with the feet blurred but I selected this single shot for down. Original file not available so it’s a cropped screen shot from an online photo gallery I don’t use much anymore.
Here are the responses of fellow bloggers for this week’s challenge: down.
To see fellow bloggers responses to the challenge click here
* and my photo classmate and new blogger Francine in Retirement posted a classic Pittsburgh image in response to the weekly challenge here
Anna is eight years old today. I remember going to the hospital in the dark, and then watching the sunrise over the Monongahela River from the window. Then I went to school after she as born and everyone was so happy for our family. It was a happy day. Here is a portrait of her with Murphy the Airedale when she was one. It hangs in her bedroom.
And a recent photograph of Anna and Murphy….
The artist of the painting , Alison Zapata, is a new mother herself and paints wonderful pet portraits. Her website is here
A new manual pencil sharpener and left-handed Anna hard at work sharpening every pencil she could find. I thought of the pencils at home that need some new points to write lists, notes and phone numbers. She needed a sharp pencil to complete her homework. Mary suggested the manual as the electric ones break easily or host a crayon. Nothing like a new can of sharpened pencils to represent possibility.
Putting her fingerprints all over Aunt Linda’s curio cabinet, Maura was so excited. This is from the archives(March) a follow-on to the doll theme from Saturday. I found this series. None a perfect shot but putting them together you can feel her delight.
Maura Clare McGrath 17 months old!