Sunday, April 03, 2011

Natural Lighting - Leah Naomi

So one of my friends on facebook mentioned that this fantastic designer designed his wedding announcements, so I checked it out and am officially obsessed with her work. Her name is Leah Naomi (her site is: and she's all about "natural light photography". I've been studying her photography and i've noticed how she has an amazing talent with using light. It also helps that her house seems to be white and altogether adorable. If you're really into beautiful photography, I would totally suggest checking her out!

And btw...if anyone has any sort of article online that would teach me how to capture this amazing lighting, please feel free to comment!

Photoshoot at Liberty Park

So this last weekend I had a mission reunion in downtown SLC. With time to spare beforehand, I relaxed after work by stopping at Liberty Park and taking some pictures. The lighting was perfect!

I'm still trying to get used to my SLR. I'm better at photoshop than I am at taking pictures...that's why some of them probably seem very much digitally edited. I hope you enjoy! Comments/critiques are gladly accepted.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How to draw a tree

So, speaking of dreams, one of mine is to become an award-winning graphic designer that puts her fingertips on the keyboard and mouse and MAGIC happens. It's true. But, I realize that the first step to becoming fantastic is practice. And having drawing and visualization skills. Two of which I struggle with. So, I decided to face one of my biggest drawing fears (other than drawing people) and draw a tree. I remembered in my sixth grade art class, that drawing a tree is all about splitting the branches apart. But as I started, it just wasn't looking right. So I restorted to my trusty advisor as I always do...Google...and my search results came up with this: A tutorial on how to draw trees.

I started with a blank piece of paper, and an idea. I want a new blog background, and I remembered this beautiful tree with a moss-covered bench that I saw the other day while running over by Tumwater falls, and it became my inspiration.

(Quick side note: I've always had a fascination for beautiful things in nature. It's my favorite kind of photography.)

Here's what I came up with!

Now on to the drafting stage in illustrator. Wish me luck!


For christmas, I recieved the book "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho from my brother Kent. Before opening it's pages, I had expected the book to be one of those fantasy adventure books that both Kent and I enjoy reading, such as the Wheel of Time series or Harry Potter. But as I opened its pages, the first thing that grabbed my attention was the introduction. The author talks about how we all have a personal legend in our lives to fulfill, and that we need courage to achieve our dream. But then he noted the obstacles that each of us face that we need to overcome such as the obstacle of the world telling us since we are children that we can't fulfill our dreams. Then there's the obstacle of having to potentially hurt those we love in order to fulfill it. Along with those comes the fear of defeat, and failure. The last obstacle is to have patience and faith. The author also shares his viewpoints on how to overcome believing in yourself, realizing that those you love are truly rooting for you and your success, learning to go forward and overcome your fears, even if failure is looming in your face, and to trust in God.

I have always been a person with what I deemed to be "unrealistic expectations" for my life. A little along the lines of what every LDS girl has been taught to dream of since she was little...the white picket fence with a large spacious house in a beautiful neighborhood. Inside was the perfect happy family. A handsome, intelligent, romantic and spiritual husband who was an incredible father to my children, that enjoyed life and was always happy. Then I would have my little angels, obedient children who loved their parents and always did their homework, who were so talented and smart, and who all had big dreams for their own lives. We all would work together as a cohesive whole to create a family unit full of love, joy and compassion. As i've grown older, and served a mission and graduated college, I've started to ask myself, are these dreams possible? And I start to doubt my own fantasies. I know that it is possible to achieve our dreams if we are constantly working at it, but other factors have to be kept in mind:

1. Disney's idealistic world of happily ever after isn't necessarily reality. We can be happy, but happiness is something learned through experience, mistakes, and truly feeling sadness. After all, we have to know the bad to be able to understand the good. Pain for pleasure. Grief for joy. So of course, we can have that happily ever after, but it won't come as easily as it might have to sleeping beauty or snow white. This is something that I had to learn the hard way on my mission. I have to learn to be happy with what I have, and constantly strive to be a better person. A handsome prince may come into my life and sweep me off my feet, but a kiss won't fix all my problems. Happily ever after comes after a considerable amount of hard work, happiness, and sadness.

2. Humans are imperfect creatures, and we can't expect perfection from a being who is imperfect. What I mean by this, is we need to realize that sometimes people will disappoint us. Children are naughty, husbands make mistakes, and the wife sure isn't exempt from the imperfect list (though she may sure think she is sometimes). One thing that is in our control though, is our capability to love, teach, be patient, be kind, and most of all be forgiving to those around us. The savior is the ultimate example of this. In a world full of imperfect people who disappointed him, he came and saved us from our imperfections, with a perfect and forgiving love. So the sooner we learn to love with all of those necessary qualities, the sooner we'll discover the beauty in those around us, and the love and joy that was missing in our lives that we kept at bay through being overjudgmental, unforgiving, and disappointed.

So I guess in the end, my dreams aren't unrealistic, but they can come with a different view of the world. That perfect family can be the perfect one for me, with a husband full of quirks that I love, who is trying and I can see only love for. Children who are learning, making mistakes, but are the angels of my life and will always be there for me, as long as i'm there for them. The house doesn't matter honestly, as long as my family is comfortable and happy with food and shelter, all the riches in the world couldn't buy a situation more perfect than people who look at each other with love and respect, who are able to overcome, and choose to find joy in their lives.

I, like you, have dreams. Some of them may not be big and fancy, but no matter what a dream is, it is achievable. So go, make your dreams come true.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Vintage much?

2 Things I have been obsessed with since graduating 2 days ago, and all of a sudden having a ridiculous amount of free time that I haven't experienced for the last 5 years:

1. Cross-Processed Lomo Effect on Photos (for an example, and how to do it, go to: love love love love this effect!)


I have found some of the most amazing hand-made items on this website! I'm a little obsessed with the vintage feel right know, neutral color palette, vintage furniture and chandeliers, vintage wallpaper...anyways, etsy is my vintage heaven. I especially love how whenever I open the front page they have a different color theme that shows! So wonderful.

A few things I love on etsy:

ALL the pillows by iviemade:

3. Oh yeah, there's another website I forgot about:

I love the ideas for photographs and designs. So beautiful and quirky at the same time!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

So long, farewell!!

So I just thought I would write my last blog post for a year and a half. I'm about to embark on such an exciting adventure that I thought I would blog about it, and then check back in a year in a half. I'm probably going to laugh at it all, because i'm such a silly face sometimes.

I finally finished my talk today, and pretty much my entire list of things to do...minus my final packings ups. Oh, and can I just say HOW MUCH I am going to miss my babay kitty?? this iz why:

She's my little catbert. She loves to watch the mouse move around. The best part is she purrs like a motorboat the entire time. Aww, it's wuv! I feel like i'm leaving behind my baby. Be strong Jenessa, be strong. Big girls don't cry over kittens.

note to self: clean computer screen.

You know what else i'm going to miss? My family. I love my family. So so SO much. It's awesome that they've all pretty much gone through what i'm going through, so they'll know exactly what to write, and what to do when I get home and am all awkward and stuffs. I've been noticing the past weeks how much my parents do for me. It's kind of ridiculous how amazing they are. My mom hemmed both my skirts today, even though she had the flu. And my Dad did my taxes...I worked in 3 states this year. Not a small job. But really, so amazing.

Dad: "Carolyn, what do you want for dinner?"
mom: "i'm gonna eat you"
Dad: "That's kind of weird."
Mom: "I've been reading vampire books. Rawr!"

I don't want to say goodbye to anyone. I want people to just be like, "hey! I'll see you later!" and be all happy and pretend like nothing's happening. Goodbyes are always so sad and awkward, and they make me cry lots on the inside.

I am going to have an awesome hello coming up though! I haven't seen one of my best friends Tim Richards in over 2 and a half years...since before his mission! We're going to hang out monday or tuesday. No hugs though. From here on out, pretty much all boys have cooties.

Speaking of cootie heads (that's what i'm going to call all boys from now on), Krissa sent me the best letter ever today. It was super short, but absolutely perfect. She gave me her exact schedule on temple square for monday and tuesday (it's like she can read MINDS!) And she also gave me some advice: "in the MTC, don't drink the orange juice, and don't develop crushes on any boys or teachers." HAHA classic Krissa! I know it was all from experience. Love her! I'm so excited to see her in a couple days!!

Tonight was my last night of not being a missionary, so guess what I did? Yep, I went to the bar....just for kareoke though sillies! haha gotcha thurr.

Oh, and today I totally missed michael may's rugby game. I feel soooo bad/mad at myself. My Dad was like, "you have too much to do! Don't go!" but I was like, "no! I've been waiting for months to see him cuss out the other people!" (that's pretty much the entire reason I wanted to go, to see mike get angry and yell at the other people. He's probably the funniest angry person I have ever seen. His anger makes me that weird? Yes. I just answered my own question. That's kinda weird too.) Oh, and after seeing him today I realized I'm going to miss him a lot. Like, a ridiculous amount. :(

Valentines day is so poopy. I ate a lot of chocolates to make myself feel better. Which actually did the opposite. blech.

And I guess this is goodnight, and goodbye. I love you bloggie, and i'll miss you and your pretty paris and old paper background. Be good while i'm away. Don't forget to write! Say your prayers every night. Jesus loves you. <3

VIVA ITALIA! eh, and viva MTC too I guess.

(From February 18,2009 until April 21, 2009)

Sister Jenessa MilesItaly Rome Mission

Provo Missionary Training Center

2005 N 900 E

Provo, UT 84604

(For letters from april 21st, 2009 to August 2010)

Sister Jenessa Marie Miles

Italy Rome Mission

CP 11/282 Montesacro

00141 Rome RM


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Can't sleep

I'm pretty sure it's because of that pepsi I drank a few hours ago. I really should have learned by now to avoid caffiene. Curse you restaurant chains that only offer diet soda with caffiene!!! *shakes fist*

I've realized the past few weeks that I am such the classic case of ridiculous girl. I wish guys could read my thoughts rather than actually make me tell them what's up and that i'm thinking really overemotional things which made me try to pick fights. I also want to talk about my "feelings" all the time. I was watching this cartoon with my cousin today and there was a teenage girl on it who was acting the same way I do. Embarassing. I don't know if i'll ever change though, or if i'll just develop ulcers from trying to fight it.

I'm really tired right now. I should probably try to sleep. I have to wake up early to go and be beautiful for an ad for my friend. Then i'm going to the temple. I just want to sleep so I can have a good day tomorrow.