Getting Back To The Basics

A place to show the changes in our yard, our garden, our home, and our life.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Underwater Photoshoot with Seth Casteel

Yesterday was a very fun and exciting day! I had made arrangements for a photo shoot with Seth Casteel with Little Friends Photo,  who also has a facebook page for those interested.

Seth is well known for his underwater photoshoots that have been getting a lot of publicity lately. I caught wind about a month ago he was coming to the pacific northwest and I pushed myself to the front of the line and managed to line up a photoshoot with him and the girls. I told him about my two girls, about Violet and her special needs regarding other dogs and her reactivity towards them. He picked out a quiet location in Gig Harbor and did his first ever underwater photoshoot using mother nature as a back drop - the Puget Sound.

It's going to be a while before I can post the pics online and share with friends and family. Seth posted one yesterday on his blog and on his facebook page so here's one sneak peak of the final product:
'Creature of the Sound'
(featuring Sadie)

So that picture will just have to tide me over until the rest are ready for viewing.  That and the pictures I took during the photoshoot. The girls had a blast.

Violet seriously rocked the photoshoot. I thought for sure it would be Sadie who'd rock it and Violet was more iffy. Well Violet really did GREAT, swam out like a champ, and dove down DEEP with her eyes wide open looking for that ball. Color me proud!

Violet really had a blast. Seth was really good at getting her out there without any pressure.

Sadie did great but she didn't dive as deep as Violet. The sinking ball perplexed her. She still had fun though :)

Many thanks to the photog as well as Jackie and Danny for coming along and helping out. Couldn't have done it without my helpers! And as always, there's a few more pics than what it shown off here:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Update on Gramma's House

Dad and Brenda have moved in to the Noon Rd and the house is looking great.
It is very bittersweet to see the changes to the house.

The kitchen, looking at the mudroom entrance
African mahogany wood cabinets, granite counter tops

Looking from the mudroom, through the kitchen and into the dining area

Standing in the Dining room (back of house), looking through the living room (front of house)
The floor is laminate, made to look like wood flooring

View from the living room (front of house) back to the dining and kitchen area

Back where the washer/dryer used to be is now an office space, closet, and bathroom

Upstairs, looking down at the kitchen/dining area. New carpeting on the stairs and upstairs space. The new banister is beautiful.

To the right you see a door which is the laundry room. It's a good sized laundry room. Curious to see the set up once complete to see how the space is used.

The room to the right of the image is the master bedroom. This is the space that used to be Gramma's bedroom and George's bedroom. The space is now combined to include a large bedroom with high ceilings, a walk in closet, and a master bath.

Master bath
View from the master bedroom. Aubrey's room on the right, bathroom straight ahead, laundry room on the left

Aubrey's bedroom and bathroom

Jackie got a new bike. If she kills herself on it I'll re-kill her

Flowering Cherry Tree, I think? Robbie planted it.
The front yard is still under construction. A front porch will eventually be completed here.

And as always, more photos can be found here:

Espalier Fruit Tree Trellis DONE!

And it is done! It looks great. Now I just need the fruit trees to grow faster so they can have a presence on the trellis.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Trellis - Espalier Fruit Trees

So we have a trellis! This was put up for the espalier fruit trees that are in the ground - they aren't big enough to shape into anything note worthy yet. They will eventually take on a rather free form fan shape.

To see my prior post on the espalier fruit tree adventure, click here.

The trellis - not completed yet but looking fantastic

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Back Yard Landscape Update

Well we broke ground last September and the yard is getting closer and closer to being complete. As of today we're about 70% done.

June 2008 - when we moved in. Before we had dogs and they destroyed the yard.

July 2010 - before the chain link fence was replaced with the cedar fence, and before the large overhanging trees in the neighbors yard (left) were removed.

September 2010 - cedar fence goes up

September 2011 - Chaos began

October 2011

January 2012

February 2012

June 2012

The hot tub and pergola (to go over the hot tub and obscure the view from the neighbors) still needs to go in (bottom left), the trellis along the left side fence line needs to be built, and a few small things still need to go in the ground. Most importantly, everything needs to mature and fill in nicely.  That last part requires patience. Like, 5-10 years worth of patience. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangeas

In our landscape plans are spots for two hydrangeas. Violet and I went shopping together and she helped me pick out one called 'Vanilla Strawberry'. Vi has good taste in pretty plants.

Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangreas are beautiful, in my opinion. They are a new variety of hydrangea and the price tag offered a little bit of sticker shock compared to the other varieties available. The new stems come up a dark red color instead of the usual dark brown or black color. The flowers are cone shaped and start out white and then go to light pink then darker pink, giving you a nice rainbow of colors as the flowers mature.

We purchased two and put them in the ground. The two blue chairs pictured below will eventually have to be moved. These beauties are expected to get around 6' tall and 4' wide.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Copyright Shame - You Are So Busted

I take a lot of pictures. I expect that inevitably my photos will start getting snagged for various things. Between my garden and my dogs there are a lot of pics out there for people to lift and use in some fashion without my permission. So when I learned today that someone had indeed lifted one of my pictures and used it as their own photo without my permission, I wasn't really all that shocked. What DID surprise me is the fact that it was a company (vs an individual) that lifted it and that company then went on to put a picture of my dogs on the front of their product packaging to sell said product.

I am pretty well networked in the online world. The person who brought it to my attention was not a neighbor. Far from it. Cathy is from Ontario, Canada. Her husband went to the store and picked up one of those screen doors you tack on to your door and is held together by magnets. When she looked at the package she sent me a message basically stating: Hey, I bought this product and the picture on it looks a LOT like your girls.

I was a little doubtful. Maybe a weird coincidence but would a company really lift my picture off the internet and slap it on the front of their product? Short answer - yes. Because that's exactly what they did.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

If that picture looks familiar, it should. I made a post on this very blog last August talking about Magic Mesh that we purchased. I took a picture that the Miracle Mesh Company really seemed to like.

Exhibit C:

This certainly isn't the first time the internet has come in handy for finding instances of copyright infringement involving someone's photography. This article was posted just a month ago about a photographer named Meagan Kunert who used another photographer's wedding photos and claimed them as her own as a way to advertise her photography skills on her website. The social media then proceeded to hunt her down and in the end the photos were taken down and her name is now forever associated with shamed in the photography world.

The moral of the story? Yeah, the internet is a place where photos get stolen left and right but the internet is also a fickle creature. When you have friends all over the world, you have eyes all over the world. And sometimes those eyes can lead you to a lawsuit.