Tuesday, July 29, 2008

#26 Happy Valentine's Day from Oreo the Kitten

Okay, I know it's early for Valentine's Day, but remember, I'm making greeting cards using my photos, so I have to think way ahead for holidays! Today was photo shoot day with the kittens, since I was home from work. To do these kinds of photographs, it takes two people. Allyson positions them and captures their attention while I lay on the ground in every imaginable strange, uncomfortable, and sometimes painful position to get "just the right shot". Keep in mind, these are WILD kittens. They do let us handle them a bit, but they still don't come to us on their own, and when we catch them, they always want to run back to Momma and the litter mates. So here I am, in 101 degree weather, laying on the ground to get the perfect photos of our little fluffballs. We started our photo shoot with Oreo - she's the easiest, and she is super photogenic. Isn't she sweet in this little wicker Valentine's basket? She'd only jumped out 50+ times before I got this photo! But I do believe it was worth it, don't you? :)

I also got Halloween and Christmas photos with both Oreo and Rowdy, too. We attempted to photo Niko. Um...NOT happy. He gave a totally sour look
the brief 3 seconds he was in the basket. Then he ran to the step and when Allyson tried to go get him, he told her just what he thought:

P.S. Pick up Oreo's valentine cards here.

#25 The Gaze

Allyson shot this great photo of Boots, the momma to our kittens. In the actual print, her fur looks like it comes right off the paper, almost as if you can reach out and touch it. She's looking off in the distance, probably doing a bit of bird watching. :)

We've also seen something very interesting lately. A couple of nights, we saw a cat we THOUGHT was Boots, but something didn't seem right - the face looked different. The kids got a video of it on the porch playing with the kittens one night, and when the cat saw them at the window, it ran off. Boots would come right up to the window. I told them it was probably Boots, and they just startled her. They *insisted* it was a different cat.

Well, this morning, they were proved right. When I opened the curtains, Boots was laying right in front of the window on the table. I saw Niko take off across the porch - playing with what I assumed was one of the other kittens. A moment later, this full grown cat came running across the porch with Niko. It stopped right in front of the window. It's NOT Boots (who was still on the table). But it looks just like her, only it doesn't have that little bit of white striping as far up the center of the nose as Boots has. It's a tad bigger than Boots, but otherwise the rest of the markings are the same. And it's eyes are not as big of round as Bootsie's.

So it's official - we have another cat visiting, and it's obviously a cat Boots is okay with as she doesn't fight with it and allows it to play with the kittens. Perhaps it's Bootsie's mother? Grandmother came to visit her grand-kittens? When I go outside, it runs off. But it comes back at night sometimes.

Here's a few more photos I'd like to share. The first one is Max and Boots on the porch. Looks like she's having a talk with him..."Hey Boy, you see that cat food? Now I want you to keep your big ole nose away from it. It's mine....all MINE!"

And the final photo - Lady, the matron of the house. What a look she has going on..."I used to be the only one...then you brought in an indoor cat and this puppy that grew twice my size and pushes me around. Then you adopted this outdoor cat, who has since had kittens, so there's MORE for me to keep up with. My God, what happened to simplifying life? UGH!" :)

P.S. Check out the new kitty wrestling slideshow on the bottom of the blog!

#24 All Tuckered Out

Rowdy plays the hardest and sleeps the hardest. Here he is all tuckered out laying on Momma. If you hold him in your arms when he's sleeping, his head will drop backwards over your arm as he totally zones out. Such a sweet little kitten, he is. :)

#23 Yesterday's News

Here on South Dixie Lane, we recycle a lot. We also don't buy a lot of commercially made toys. Why, when yesterday's news makes a good paper ball for playtime? :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Pet's 10 Commandments


1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.

4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as Punishment. You have your work, your friends, your
Entertainment, but I have only you.

5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.

8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I might have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.

10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me.
Please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't
Make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so. ALWAYS!

Take a moment today to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them. Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience without God's critters~

Now please pass this on to other pet owners. We do not have to wait for heaven, to be surrounded by hope, love, and joyfulness. It is here on earth and has four legs!

#20, #21, and #22 - Hope you all aren't tired of kittens!

Oreo and Rowdy are laying together under the bush, and as usual, Oreo is awake, watching over her best buddy. It would be nice, wouldn't it, to know that while you rest, someone is always looking out for you to make sure you stay safe.

This is the first time Rowdy has seen a tennis ball. This is actually photo #2 of a couple I shot of him giving the ball "the look". He never did approach it, and never has played with it. I guess he has an inherent dislike for tennis balls. LOL! Check out his stance - he is NOT comfortable at all. Maybe someday he'll warm up to it. His sister, Oreo, already has played with it several times. And of course, Max, our German Shepherd, is *extremely* jealous I gave the kittens one of his new tennis balls. :)

Below, Rowdy continues his stare down with the tennis ball. Once again, it's his expression that makes this photo priceless! Oreo had actually started playing with him at this point, as if she were saying "C'mon boy, lighten up! It's just a BALL for pete's sake!"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I got him! #19 The Hummingbird

Okay, so it's not the best photo in the world because I had to use the zoom and he was moving and so was I...but at least you can finally see one of these birds I've been chasing for a week! Click on the photos to see the larger ones so you can see him better.

These little birds are SO fast. I saw two fighting in front of the Hibiscus bush so I was aiming just in case they came back and one did. He was only there a second and then was gone like a flash.

Of course half the times I'm on the back porch (without the camera) they still come up to my wildflowers and "hum" right in front of me...almost as if they're saying "Ha ha...you can't catch me!". :)

InJoy, Jai

Saturday, July 26, 2008

#18 Half-Full

So I have this HUGE green plastic cup. Meant to be a margarita cup for parties, but I bought it to put rocks in and do a ring display at the gallery. Since the gallery's closed now, I have the cup here. I was sitting there looking at it yesterday, and I told Allyson I thought Oreo might fit in there!

So here we go to the porch. Allyson grabs the kitten, I grab the camera, she positions Oreo in the glass, steps back, and I start shooting. Oreo was none-too-thrilled with this ordeal, but being the good little future-model she is, she went ahead and put up with it. I got about 4 good shots (all shown in a previous post).

Using this particular image, I designed a greeting card. This one goes into my humorous category on JaiCards.Com, for sure! The verse for the card says "You can look at life one of three ways...Half-full...Half-Empty... or Full of Cat! Have a great day!"

So I'll leave you today with that - have a great day. :)


#17 Keep Your Tail Up

An interesting shot of Niko, the shy one of the three kittens. Here he's heading down the drive, very cautiously. Since all of my photos are also being made into greeting cards, verses come to me instantly sometimes when looking at them. The perfect verse for the card hit me this morning as I was looking at this photo for the third time. "Sometimes life is scary. Take a deep breath, Keep your tail up, and simply take it one step at a time. You can do it!" (thanks Niko, for your sweet inspirations!)

BTW, you can get a signed, limited edition print this week on Ebay. --Jai

#16 On the Block

Here's Rowdy again, posing on a cement block under the bushes. It's hard to get good photos of him unless he's sleeping - he's....well....ROWDY! LOL

Last night I put a piece of plastic drain pipe on the porch. Talk about HILARIOUS...all three of them were going through it from one end to the next, having a ball. These nightly kitten parties are better than TV! Of course they don't do it during the day when I'm out there with the camera...sigh.

Below is Rowdy's encouraging greeting card, available from http://www.JaiCards.Com. The verse reads: If someone or something tries to stop you from achieving your goals, remember this: If there's a roadblock, you jump over it, walk around it, crawl under it, or get on top of it.


It's "Guess What It Is" Day!

Time for a little weekend fun...

Take your best guess as to what this is a photo of - leave your guess by clicking on "comments" below.

This is an actual photo - it has not been edited, altered, or created by computer...it's straight from the camera!

I never would have guessed it, myself. I was sitting right there when Allyson shot the photo and showed it to me, so that's the only way *I* know what it is and the only way I'd believe it!


Friday, July 25, 2008

Thank God It's Friday!

I must say, I'm certainly learning a lot about photographing kittens! Oreo is by far our best model. Rowdy won't sit still long enough, and Niko still isn't too fond of us. I think Oreo might be on the cover of Vogue next. :)


#15 Double Blossom Orange Lily

What a gorgeous flower...full of rich orange and yellow coloring. It's in my neighbor's garden. I thought it was a tiger lily, and she explained it was a double blossom orange lily. I thought it looked "fuller" than a normal lily - well with two blossoms, one embedded inside the other, now it makes sense why it's much more filled out than most of the lilies I see.

Below I've shown the image on the birthday greeting and note cards we've designed for JaiCards.Com.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

#14 Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Muffin...YUM!

Oh how YUMMY and HEALTHY too! I made these muffins on Sunday. DELICIOUS. FILLING. And even good for you! It involves one of my favorite ingredients...bisquick! I love that stuff. I love making neat things with it. I actually have a stash of cool muffin recipes using it. This one involved the trial and error of combining two recipes to make one. I was very pleased with how they turned out.

Of course I had to take a photo. I even made up some recipe cards (greeting and note cards with the recipe inside) on our new site http://www.JaiCards.Com. Go check it out if you have a moment...there's not a whole lot of choices there yet, but there will be by the end of a year!


---Oh? You want the recipe? Well SURE...I'm happy to share!---

2 cups of Bisquick Baking Mix
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons of peanut butter
3/4 cup of quick cook oatmeal

Grease or line 12 muffin cups. (for larger muffins, use only 10 muffin cups).
Mix all ingredients until well blended. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

*For added flavor and color, sprinkle cinnamon
and sugar on top of each muffin before baking.
**For added sweetness, you can add 1 teaspoon of vanilla into the mix.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Kittens Return...#12 Dreaming and #13 Niko, A Wild Kitten Portrait

Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.

The kittens have returned to the porch! The first photo shown here is Oreo. She and Rowdy had been asleep and I interrupted by laying on my stomach on the concrete to get some photos (the positions we'll get in to get that "right" shot!). She was still kind of out of it here, and looked like she was a bit off in dreamland. "Someday, yes someday, I'll be a big kitten and I'll go anywhere I want and catch mice just like my Momma..."

And now for the second photo. I finally was able to get close enough to Niko to capture him in a picture. Oh, he was NOT happy though. This was the best face he made for me this morning. Check out the 3rd photo below - not a very clear picture, but you get the drift of his "mood" toward me being there with a big ole camera lens in his face! :)

InJoy, Jai

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

#11 The Poser, a yellow & green parakeet photo

Okay, so this photo wasn't shot on Dixie Lane...it was taken at our local pet store. This brightly colored yellow and green parakeet posed for Allyson and I. Looks like she's saying "Oh come on, you know I'm beautiful! Admit it!" What can I say...beauty comes in small packages. :)


P.S. Cards and prints of these images are available here and a variety of other products with this fine feathered beauty are available here. Stock photo available for licensing here. Limited edition signed and numbered 8x10" photo prints are available here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

#9 Yellow Wildflower & #10 Sunburst

Here's two photos Allyson shot recently. I don't know how she does it, but she has this uncanny ability to get unique lighting/colors in her photos! The sunflower appears to be on a background hued with purple, yet the flower itself is pure in color! Same as with the yellow wildflower, except its background is a blue/green hue. I thought they were very interesting, so they have made it into our 365 project!


P.S. Get cards and prints with either of these photos here, and purchase the royalty-free stock photos here.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

#8 Squirrel Breakfast - set of 3

This morning I caught this little fella having breakfast on his corn cob. First he ran from me, so I had to squat down on the ground and pretend to be invisible. It took a minute, but he came back out and I got these three shots of him. Click on the photos to see the larger version.


P.S. Cards and prints with image #3 are here and you can pick up the set of royalty-free photos with unlimited use here.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

#7 The Good Ole Days

We haven't seen the kittens in 3 days now...but I've been searching for them! I snuck around the back of my neighbor's shed to see if they were back there, and I saw this pile of antique glass soda bottles. I thought the contrast between the greenish colored bottles and the red tray would make a nice photo.

As I look at this photo, it reminds me of the good ole days back at my grandparents house...sitting on the front porch on a hot summer day and sipping on a cold soda....ahhhhh....a nice memory!


P.S. Get cards and prints with this image here or purchase the royalty-free stock photo here.

Friday, July 18, 2008

#6 The Edge, a dragonfly, up close and personal!

When you have come to the edge of all light you know, and are about to drop off into the darkness, one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.

Yesterday I frustrated myself trying to photograph a hummingbird visiting my flowers. I haven't been able to photo him yet! But this big ole dragonfly was more than willing to pose for a photo. I actually have photos of his face up close and personal, but I chose this one for my photo for the day because of the intricate, lacy pattern in his wings and the streak of golden yellow on his tail. Here's a close up photo of that effect:


P.S. Cards and prints with this image can be acquired here, or purchase the royalty-free stock photo here.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

#5 Make a Wish

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. Start on your journey toward great things...make a wish today!


Allyson took this photo out in the front yard. I think it's a pretty cool shot, don't you? :)


P.S. Get cards and prints with this image here or purchase the royalty-free stock photo here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

#4 The Heart Thief

Yesterday we got to spend some time with the kitten we've named Rowdy. It was his day on the front porch while the other two hid. Rowdy was really, really shy, but Allyson (a.k.a. The Kitten Tamer), managed to be petting and holding him within about 2 minutes.

Look at those eyes! I've named this one The Heart Thief, because he WILL steal your heart, he's so precious!

Below I've included a photo of The Kitten Tamer in action as well. :)


P.S. Get cards and prints with Rowdy's sweet little face here, or purchase the royalty-free stock photo here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

#3 Got Wheels?

This photo was taken right after Allyson and I got our new camera. We were actually waiting and stalking birds. My neighbor feeds the birds at the big tree right between our two lots. Seemed the birds knew what was up, so they all disappeared. In order to not call this venture a total waste of time, I turned around and started playing with the zoom, shooting some other things.

This is a shot of my neighbor's carport, right after he changed out his motorcycle tires. He left the old ones propped against the wall. I thought the black color of the tires looked quite striking beside his wife's beautiful flowers! (Click the photo to see the larger version.)


P.S. Cards and prints are available here, or purchase the royalty-free stock photo here.

Monday, July 14, 2008

#2 This Ain't Good Morning!

"I've lost my brother & sisters, a big dog tried to sniff me, and my food bowl is empty. Tell me one thing good about this morning 'cuz I haven't found it yet!"

This is one of Bootsie's kittens. She's been climbing the screen on my office window this morning. If we go near the window, she hisses at us...she's scared as she's been separated from the other two kittens. I found Boots and took her out front to the baby, then snapped this photo after she jumped up on Bootsie's chair. She is NOT looking happy. What can I say...it's MONDAY! :)


P.S. Cards, prints and more with this image are available here or purchase the royalty-free stock photo here.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

#1 Dinnertime! A frog enjoys his dinner

It's amazing what you can see on your street that's cool enough to photograph. Can we get 365 days of neat things? Sure thing! Keep watching....:) Both my daughter Allyson and myself photograph things here - right on our corner lot - all the time.

I'm sharing one of my recent favorites as my photo #1. Allyson says, "Mom, the tree frog is on the window!" I asked, "Did you get a photo?" "No." Well, of course I had to rectify that! By the time I got the camera and got to the door to go outside, the frog had jumped off the window. I saw him on the porch, so I waited to open the door to see where he was going to go...he jumped right toward me and landed here on the small accent windows alongside the door.

Gently, I pushed open the door and stuck just the lens outside and started shooting. I got this picture totally by accident...it was the first one I shot and I had NO CLUE the little guy was sucking down a bug the size of his little belly!

I've titled my first photo for this project "Dinnertime!" (we think his eyes are bigger than his stomach!).


P.S. Purchase the royalty-free stock photo here.