World of Glass {Icy Photoshoot}

Hello, dears!

I realize I just posted kind of a wintry photoshoot, but AHH, I love these pictures too much to save them for later! I’d say this is one of my favorite photoshoots I’ve done in a while. 😀

We were supposed to get a bunch of snow last week, but it ended up mostly turning to ice. I was rather disappointed at first, but when I actually went outside, oh my goodness it was STUNNING. It looked like everything was coated in glass, every twig was dripping crystal. Enjoy these photos of an icy wonderland!

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Walking in a Winter Wonderland {Snow Photography}

Hello, dears!

Guess what? Last Sunday we got eleven inches of snow, AHHHHH! Since church was canceled and it was Mom’s birthday, we just stayed home and had possibly the best snow day ever. IT WAS MARVELOUS. I took heaps and piles of snow pictures, and I can’t wait to show you a selection of my favorites!

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Various and Sundry Sisters Photoshoots

Heyyy, guys!

Megan and I (and my little sister Carmen) have been doing quite a few photoshoots recently, so I thought I’d combine them all into one post for you today! I shall go in roughly chronological order because that’s how I uploaded the pictures. 😉 Also, Megan took all the pictures of me except the “selfie” ones, using my Nikon D3400. Alright, onwards and… upwards? XD

I did this photoshoot back in December when I went to the “island” (a patch of trees in a field) to collect greenery for wreaths. For some reason I decided to do a photoshoot of myself while I was there? I’m trying to get better at “selfies” because GOODNESS they are hard, especially without a tripod. Thus I only have two of those pictures to show you. XD

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(This caption thingy is NOT cooperating so I guess I’ll have to use it instead of deleting it.) Thankfully these two pictures turned out alright at least!

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Ooh, I love this next photoshoot! Megan and I went down to the pond at our new farm one day (see more in this post) and it was absolutely breathtaking! The snow on the trees, the crystal-clear reflections… ahh, isn’t it beautiful? The perfect backdrop. 🙂

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HEH HEH. And then we have this. XD Here’s an at using the self-timer, but it failed so hard it actually worked. XD I turned around just at the wrong time and IT CRACKS ME UP.

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Here’s another little “selfie” photoshoot. When no one else is available to take pictures of, at least I have myself. 😛 It… still didn’t work out the best. It was really hard to stay in focus with self-timer, not to mention getting to the right place at the right time! Morale of the story: SELFIES ARE HARD. Find a sibling if possible. XD

Anyway. I was trying to go for one of those stock photo, Pinterest-y pictures but it turned out blurry. -_- Other than that I think it looks kinda neat, though. I do kind of blend in with the fence post… XD

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AHA! An in-focus picture! Way to go, Allison. And I even jumped at the right time! Wow. *shakes head in wonder*

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This doesn’t exactly fit since it’s just a hand (in case you thought it was a face…?), but oh well, it was in the same photoshoot. AND IT’S NOT BLURRY. SO. Plus you can see how crooked my fingers are. XD This perspective makes them look shorter than they are, though.

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Ooh yes, this photoshoot was probably the most successful in terms of quantity. 🙂 We went for a walk at our new farm and found that the smaller pond was frozen enough to walk on! It was soooo fun, and I’ll have more pictures in a later post. This time Carmen obliged me and we did a little photoshoot. 😀 I love how you can see her reflection in the shallow puddles of water on the ice!

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Once we start she always gets really into it and has all sorts of ideas about how she should pose and stuff. 😉

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Look at this strange ring of bubbles!
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Okay, hold on here, guys – only one more photoshoot to go after this. I hope it isn’t getting too long. Anyway, Megan and I did this one when we were rebaling at the new farm. We had to stack I think over 300 40-pound bales in a semi trailer which was rather hard work… except when it wasn’t. Then we took pictures. 😉 I thought the walls of the trailer would make a neat background and I think it did! How about you?
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HA HA. We sometimes wear masks if the hay is too dusty, and it was that day. It kind of looks like a party hat, eh? An awfully strange one, to be sure.
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OKAY. LAST ONE. This is a related photoshoot because we did it that same day. I think. It was snowing
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I love the contrast in these pictures!
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Heh heh, I was trying to look at the snow on my hood which resulted in me crossing my eyes. XD
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I had the idea of doing some of those rather cliché but pretty snow-blowing pictures. 😛
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BAHAHA THIS IS HILARIOUS. I look like I’m singing a very solemn song to the snow. XD
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YAY, YOU MADE IT THROUGH! What do you say – are you getting tired of sisters photoshoots yet? Do you like shooting and seeing portrait photography or other photography better? Also, what was your favorite of these photoshoots?
Have a beautiful day, beautiful person. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!
***Allison***

~ s n o w y ~

Eeeeek, I’m so excited to show you guys these pictures! 😀 It snowed 6 or 7 inches while we were up at the new farm, and it was GORGEOUS. ♥ Good thing I brought my camera, heh heh. I also brought the macro extension tube set I got for Christmas and it worked splendidly for taking pictures of individual snowflakes! Sooo pretty.

Anyway, I guess I’ll let you see for yourselves now, huh?

I love this little snowdrift sculpture on the roof. 😛

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Isn’t this neat? It’s kind of hard to tell, but it’s snow on a wooden staircase.

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Dripping icicles are great fun to take pictures of. 🙂

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I think this one’s neat too. ♥ It kind of looks vintage to me – does it to you?

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There were some cute birds by the hay rebaling barn and I got some… okay pictures. They wouldn’t let me get too close, and I was only wearing tennis shoes in the snow so I didn’t WANT to get too close or my feet would get completely soaked. XD

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Ohhhh for some reason I love this picture. ♥ REMEMBER THOSE DOUGHNUTS?

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Snow + Cows = Photogenicness. Sadly I took this out the car window so it isn’t as photogenic as it could be.

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I quite like how you can see the snow falling so clearly in these pictures!

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The falling snow… the wooden fences… the covered trees… ahh, I think I can safely say snow looks even prettier down there than up here, and that’s saying something. XD

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Alright, now for my favorite part – the close-ups!

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Look, you can see the invidual snowflake(s)!

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Snowflakes are incredibly beautiful. ♥

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And now for my pride and joy… ta-daa!

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Isn’t it so beautifully delicate? I just LOVE zooming in and being able to see the intricacy of each snowflake. ♥ So far this is definitely my favorite part about that lens set. I’ll hopefully do a review of them once I take more photos with them and figure them out a bit more, but they’re quite neat so far!

One thing I will say – you have to use manual focus which is difficult when taking such close-up pictures. Even a tiny movement can make the subject blurry. But other than that, I love them!

I hope you enjoyed these pictures, dears. 😀 Which ones were your favorites? Did you get snow where you live too?

***Allison***

P. S. Guys, if you love photography too, you should definitely check out Roxanne’s photography challenge! I probably won’t be doing it since, as I keep saying, we’re pretty busy with the move, but it looks super neat and I’ll bet it will be great fun!

Ahem. I Have an Announcement.

Warning: this is going to be a loooong post. Our cat Jinx is prepared to dive in with you if you’re ready to go with him. All set? Okay.

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POOR THING. This was not my doing. It was my siblings’ (but of course).

Ahem. GUYS. I HAVE SOMETHING TO TELL YOU. Something I have been waiting to announce for almost a year. I am super excited but also super sad to say…

.

.

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.

.

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Of Snow, Ice, Snowmen, Puddles… Etc.

Guys, buckle up for a TON of pictures! This may be one of my longest posts to date. XD

It snowed last Monday/Tuesday, and I just went photo-wild. XD I got a few neat pictures of the snow, but most of the pictures were actually of icicles or ice. So anyway, have a seat and take a peek, won’t you?

Phew, I don’t know where to start! Let’s see. I guess I’ll start with some pretty, icy pictures.

Ice:

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It looks like rain drops only… ice drops!

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Love this one!
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The poor pussy willow buds got rather frozen. 😦

Next up…

Snow:

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It didn’t snow very much, but it still looked pretty!
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Maggie!
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Heh heh, I drew this horribly deformed smiley face in the snow with water.

My three youngest siblings made this hilarious but cute snowman. XD After I took these pictures, they made him a “Snow Cool” sign.

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They used icicles for the mohawk, a carrot for the nose (obviously), sunglasses for the… uh, sunglasses ( XD ) and a smear of dirt for the mouth.

After most of that snow had melted, what do you know? It snowed AGAIN! (And then melted super quickly but oh well.) The most amazing thing about this snow was the snowflakes. I mean, they weren’t even snowflakes, they were more like snowballs! They were the biggest flakes I have ever seen – a whole bunch of snowflakes bunched into a clump, some of which were quarter-sized or bigger. I tried frantically to get a good picture that showed how big they were, but I didn’t really get any. 😦 I did get some pretty pictures, though!

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We have a nice view of this silo from our deck. 😀
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There you can kind of see how hard it was snowing!
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Fluffy. 🙂

Ooh, yay! Now I get to show you the…

Icicles

After we finished gathering eggs, I ran back to the house to get my camera. I noticed the lovely icicles hanging from the chicken house roofs, and I just HAD to get some pictures. 😉 I’m so glad I did! It took quite a bit of patience and a high shutter speed setting to capture the drops falling, but I had SO much fun experimenting!

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Woohoo, two at once!

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These icicles are on our house, and I took this picture at sunset.

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And that leads us to…

Water Drops

After I had taken quite a few icicle photos, I noticed that the drops sliding off of them were splashing into a puddle. I decided it would be fun to take pictures of that too! Instead of kneeling down in the wet snow, though, I got a (rather dirty) measuring pitcher from the chicken house, brought out something to sit on, and started taking pictures. This also took quite a bit of patience, like the icicles. I got a whole bunch of blurry or boring pictures for every good one. But again, it was so exciting when I DID get a good one! Hee hee!

(Note: I edited these pictures a good bit – they didn’t look like this straight from the camera. 😉 )

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And now for my very favorite one. ♥ Ohhh my goodness I love it so much!

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And last but not least, we have…

Everything Else

I took several not-so-snowy pictures that I wanted to include too.

Quite a few robins were hopping around this puddle, waiting for spring to come, I guess. 🙂

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I love how you can see his reflection.
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This was a fun one! I made everything black and white except for the robin’s pop of color.

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I was pretty tickled to get this next picture. I saw two robins fighting in the puddle all of a sudden and quick pressed the button – and it actually worked! I love it when that happens. 🙂

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This is neat, don’t you think?
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I rather like this one too.

I shall end with this promise of spring. This poor little beauty was stuck face down in the snow when I rescued her, but she’s still so bright and cheery for all that! Daffodils are such incredibly hardy, resilient flowers that can spring back after even such cold trials as this snow. Sometimes it’s hard to be a daffodil, isn’t it? It is for me…

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Aaaaannnd I’m finished! Maybe it wasn’t so wise to put all those pictures in one post, but I just wanted to try and see how it worked. XD What do you think? Was that way too much or did you heartily enjoy seeing all those photos at once? Or are you indifferent? XD

If you actually got through the whole thing, which category or picture was your favorite?

Thanks for reading (and persevering)!

***Allison***

Snow Day Doughnuts {+Recipe}

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Yesterday it snowed (though a rather disappointing amount), and Mom decided to make snow day doughnuts with us! She and her sisters used to make them on snow days with their mom when they were girls.

It was a lot of fun to do, and it wasn’t actually that hard – just time consuming. Make sure you plan ahead before making doughnuts because it takes most of the day to let the dough rise the two or three times required.

After mixing up the dough, Mom rolled it out fairly thick.

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Since we, ahem, didn’t actually have a doughnut cutter (which my mom noticed a little too late XD ) we used a round measuring cup for cutting out the doughnut and a bottle cap for cutting out the hole. It actually worked quite well!

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We put the cut out doughnuts on an extra table board which was big enough to hold them all but still portable.

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Don’t worry, we made more than this. 😉

 

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We didn’t forget the doughnut holes!

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Next we needed to fry them – the fun part! Make sure to slip the doughnuts intothe hot oil very, very carefully to avoid getting splattered: don’t plop them in! Watch the middles of the doughnuts and flip them over every so often to see if they’re getting browned. You have to be quick because once they’re done, they’re all done at once.

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This is what an unglazed doughnut looks like. Pretty tempting, huh?

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But take a look at these! YUMMY! Let the doughnuts cool and drain on some paper towels for just a bit, then take a knife and fork and coat them in a delicious glaze.

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Yikes, this isn’t the best picture ever, but oh well. 😛

 

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Never forget the poor yummy doughnut holes!

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Let them dry on a metal rack, like we did, or hang them from a wooden dowel, and then DIG IN! Ohhh they taste so good! This recipe made about 50 doughnuts for us, so we froze the extras in Ziploc bags to have for Sunday morning breakfasts. Mmmmm!

Okay, are you ready for the recipe now? The doughnut recipe was handed down from my Grandma and the glaze recipe is from Mennonite Country-Style Recipes & Kitchen Secrets (but we always call it Esther Shank’s). Mom and Dad grew up Mennonite, so we use this cookbook a lot! It has a lot of great, classic recipes as well as some more unusual ones, and it also has plenty of tips and tricks for cooking your best. If you’d like to see the Amazon listing, click here.
(*Sigh* Since I’m not a food blogger, I therefore don’t have the fancy “Print this Recipe” button. 😦 XD )
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Doughnut Recipe:
  • 1 c. Crisco, butter or other shortening
  • 4 c. milk
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 4 packages of dry yeast (4 tablespoons)
  • 4 tsp. salt
  • 14 c. flour (add to desired consistency)

Heat milk. Dissolve yeast in warm water and mix into warmed milk.Add 3 cups of flour to mixture and beat until smooth. Set back and let rise about 2 hours.

Cream butter, sugar, and salt, then add eggs. Add to yeast mixture. Stir in the rest of the flour and let rise until dough doubles in size.

Roll out the dough, cut, and let rise again. Fry in fat or oil at 375 degrees. Glaze (see below).

Glaze Recipe:

  • 1 lb. powdered sugar (3 1/2 cups)
  • 6-8 tbsp. boiling water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Mis until smooth. Pour into small, deep bowl and dip the fried doughnuts with a fork and knife. They should be well covered with a thin coat of glaze.

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And there you have it! The perfect snack to go with your snow day. (Or any day, actually.)

Do you like doughnuts? (Hint: the answer is yes.) Have you ever made doughnuts before?

I hope you enjoyed this post, and thanks for reading!

***Allison***

P. S. True, it was a disappointing amount of snow, but I actually got quite a few fun snow/ice pictures, if I do say so myself. 😀 Stay tuned!

A Few Flurries {Snowy Photoshoot}

It snowed! I’ve heard that some of you guys got tons of snow, but sadly we didn’t get very much – only an inch or two. 😦  Never fear, though, I managed to get several snowy pictures for you guys. 😀

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Snow always makes things so bright and cheerful in its own way. 😀

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I noticed this forlorn little nest “tied” to the branch. It wasn’t actually tied, but there was some baler twine pieces tangled around it, so it looked that way. 🙂

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Mini mystery picture challenge: What is this? It’s probably pretty easy…

Maggie found a fallen branch that was apparently quite delicious, because she proceeded to devour it… well, chew on it, anyway. XD

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Ha ha, I love this picture! XD
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She looks perplexed. XD

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Aww, Maggie girl! ♥

Strangely, that felt like a short post… I guess my normal posts are fairly long or something. Remember back in the days when I would post one picture and say like, two words about it? Heh heh. I’m glad I “outgrew” that. XD

Ahem, as I was SAYING. Um… what was I saying? Hmm.

Well then. Have a lovely day, dear readers! ♥

OH WAIT. The questions. Which picture was your favorite? How much snow did you get (if any)?

Okay, I’m really leaving now. Farewell!

***Allison***

County Fair Photo Entries 2016

Greetings and salutations! XD

Our county fair opens in about two weeks, and I’m so excited! These are my entries for the photography section of the fair. (The fair categories are in bold). The links will take you to the post where the photo was first featured on my blog. Enjoy!

Abstract: {Flower Overload, Part 2}

Action: {The View from the Roof}

Artistic (which means creative photo editing): {CWWC}

Close Up: {More Snow Pictures!}

Humorous: {Bunny Therapy}

Landscape: {Vacation, Part 1: Niagara Falls}

Patriotic: {Boom, Crackle, Bang!}

People: {The View from the Roof}

Pets: {Meet Casey the Kitten}

Pictorial: {Mystery Revealed! #8}

Rural (Um, I’ll take out the county name): {Gone Fishing}

Wildlife: {BIBPC  #2: Praying Mantis’ Feast (and Other Critters)}

There we go – a few photography highlights from 2016. 🙂

Which photo was your favorite? Do you have an annual fair where you live? Do you enter things in it?

**Allison**

P. S. Hayley and I are renovating Art Lab! We’re adding a few more artists to the group and starting it up again. We’re also going to collect and repost all of the Art Lab posts onto the official Art Lab blog, so you can scroll through the posts with ease. 🙂 You can follow it if you like! Hopefully there will be an Art Lab post up tomorrow. 😀