Lego creations, and other stuff

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life38 Comments


Can you guess what movie we watched for Family Movie Night last weekend? Cole and Dan picked up a used copy of Men in Black from a sale at the library, (and Field of Dreams, too) and we watched it on Saturday night. There was a time in Cole's life where any content about aliens was not a real good fit if we ever wanted him to sleep, but now? You might as well call his room "Area 51." The boy loves aliens. And Will Smith.


In and around my lamenting the end of my job at Simple Scrapbooks, I've been relishing my new camera. Now, for those of you who didn't know, I bought a new camera a few weeks ago, (and am selling my old Nikon D200 and three lenses) and I sort of feel like a little girl again.

I'm taking pictures of stuff that technically, I don't really need pictures of, like this old camera my parents gave me:


Or Dan, reading the paper last Sunday.


And it's not even that any of these are that good. I mean, look at the blown highlights on that stool. GEEZ! But I'm just enjoying grabbing a camera and seeing through it again.

For example, Dan was working on cleaning out our shared office closet, and says to me, "You need these for anything?"


Ahhhh. My old stash of floppy disks. Hmmm. Let's see. Well, I have no way of using this technology, so the answer would be… no. But let's see if I can take a shallow DOF shot and make 'em look cool!

I'm definitely needing to learn how the focus points work on this camera. Focus, and holding a camera still are real high on my "Problems I Have as a Photographer" list.

It was weird though, to flip through and look at these floppies. Even brought back some bad memories, like this one:


The Blattner Chart job was one of the single most heinous freelance jobs I ever took on. It was a monstrous, oversized chart, that went on for what seemed like an eternity of pages with multiple hanging tabs, columns and indents. It was for a St. Paul law firm to use as an infographic in some court case. To leverage the horror of this job, I built the document in Pagemaker. It's all a bit hazy now, but I remember some yelling, and a few choice f-bombs tossed my way. I almost never freelanced again. (Sorry, Mick, I appreciated the money though!)


Ah, here's a good one: Sheer Class. It's hard to believe I would take a job from a company called "Sheer Class." Where does a designer draw the line, really. But apparently, even Sheer Class needed coupons, flyers and business cards. (And no, it wasn't an escort service.)

One thing it affirms for me though… any freelance clients I take on now will: a) not swear at me; b) not have a stupid company name, and c) very likely not be lawyers. (Okay, if they're paying, maybe they can have a dumb name. Money is money!)

The point of my post today? There isn't one really. All I know is that I'm wrapping up my job, there is a massive snow storm on the way to St. Paul, and this time, last year, we were here:


Where's Chippie? Mama needs a hug.

Cathy ZielskeLego creations, and other stuff

38 Comments on “Lego creations, and other stuff”

  1. #1
    Rhonda Hestir

    My almost 7 year old is a LEGO and alien freak, too! We haven’t ventured to watch MIB, yet, though..sleep thing, you know. But I would love to know where to get those MIB LEGO characters…I guess EBAY by now, huh?

  2. #3
    Karen G

    Love today’s post, feeling like you. Live in ND and we have that storm that is coming your way and this time last year we are also at Disney World. Sure wish I was back there. Keep enjoying your camera. Everything is a stage. The good things end, but so do the bad.

  3. #4

    Love the random pictures cathy…Glad to see I am not the only one who takes them.
    I live in MN about 20 miles north of Grand Forks and that storm is definately heading towards you. We don’t have much snow coming down but that wind is fierce! Time to throw some soup on the stove and bundle up for an evening in. : )

  4. #5

    Waiting, like you, in the Twin Cities… Wishing, like you, for Orlando and warmer climates! Also, living in a house filled with Legos and a few old floppy disks…Hug Chippie again for both of us!

  5. #6
    Wendy H

    My husband bought me my Digital Canon Rebel for Christmas 2006. I still feel the need to use it OFTEN, where my daughters friend will now say “NO MORE PICTURES!”. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my camera! I also LOVE my new lens, which I got for my last birthday: From Amazon) Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

    I hope you have some good movies and room on your Memory card for this next snow storm.

  6. #7

    I’m totally feeling you, Cathy. We were just in the Happy Place a couple of months ago, and even when I see pictures of other people’s children there it makes me sigh.

  7. #8
    Jeannette P

    LOL My 4 yr old saw the Lego guys & climbed into my lap thinking he was going to get to check out more really cool Lego stuff.

    I love Cole’s imagination! It’s pretty cool!

    I just bought a Phat camera strap from etsy for my new camera & it makes it even harder to set down. THe strap is super cute & my new camera is super FUN!

    We’re supposed to get a snow storm starting at 5pm. We’ll see if it actually comes here. I for one am getting tired of shoveling. Mostly because the snowbanks are too high for me to throw the snow on anymore without more of it falling back onto the driveway & sidewalk. Twice as much shoveling. You’d think I’d have saved & purchased a snowblower by now. Haha

  8. #9
    Katie Scott

    Hey Cathy : 1. Next time you are in Orlando: a. call me so I can run over there & say hi (we’ve got Disney passes); b. take Coley to Universal for the MIB ride – it is SO cool; and c. make sure to hit Lego Land in Downtown Disney. 2. My first Sony digital camera took floppy discs as the memory card & I have a ton of them & I’m not sure I’ve got a computer that still takes them – got to check on that. 3. The lawyer graph thing sounds like fun to me – I once made a chart for a case that was like oh, maybe 40 feet long and we stretched it all out in mediation – of course it was longer than the room so we had to circle the room a few times – the mediator on the case still says he remembers that one every time he sees me (it was like 14 yrs ago). But I did it in word perfect and it was literally cut & pasted – I sometimes thing the lawyer thing & scrapbooking have a lot in common – telling stories with words and pictures.

  9. #10
    Judy in Huntsville[al]

    Am so sad for all of you at Simple — when my -next-to-last-issue arrived i had sad moments off and on for DAYS – hoping [and praying] a new direction will open up for you soon! ~ J
    ps – i started highlighting my EOYOL album bi weekly in January [on my blog] – should last all year…thanks for the wonderful album!

  10. #12
    sue Treiber

    The first thing I loaded onto my kids’ new iPods for Christmas was MIB. They love that movie and watch it over and over.
    Give Chippie a scratch behind the ears πŸ™‚

  11. #13

    Wow… that picture of Dan reading the newspaper is so ‘Pottery Barn.’ Have you spoken with them? Their name isn’t stupid. and they’re not a law firm. Swearing? Who knows, but two out of three is pretty good, isn’t it?

  12. #14

    We were just at EPCOT last weekend and waited OVER AN HOUR to see those characters at that same spot… move along, move along… 5 in all…. because my 6yo daughter loves Pluto! But, of course, they hand you a PhotoPass (aka RIPOFF) card and you do your best to get decent digital photos that are identical if not better than the ones that the WDW employees get. Then you walk out with that bleary-eyed, “I just waited HOW LONG for WHAT?!?” look.

    Ah, good times…

  13. #15

    My boys do the same thing with their “Lego guys”! I pull Lego guys out of the washer all the time. I’ve spent thousands on Lego sets…some of which I think they only played with the little guys, LOL. Got smart to that, I buy the Lego guys on eBay!
    Tennille in Indiana

  14. #16

    Every now and then, like today when I woke up to 4 more inches of snow, I close my eyes and think “if I were in Disneyland, where would I be?”

  15. #17

    Holy crap, Cathy! Look how much Cole has grown this year! I am taking a lot of random pictures right now for Project 365, so I know what you mean about the ones you wouldn’t ordinarily take.

  16. #18

    “I’m taking pictures of stuff that technically, I don’t really need pictures of…” But those are the best kind of pictures. I take ones like that all of the time.

  17. #19
    ~ alli ~

    I work for lawyers and they’re really not all bad. I promise!
    (and hey – money is money!)

  18. #20
    Stephanie Kourianos

    Wow, I remember that trip you took to Disneyland! Didn’t you lose a camera at one point? It’s weird that I know these details about someone I’ve never met personally. I guess that shows that I read your blog daily and apparently remember it in great detail! This is a surprise for me as well! HA! too funny.

  19. #21
    shari (tigsnbitz)

    You can send the snow our way…we are about 45 inches below the average for the season here in Denver. It’s been a beautiful, warm winter but it is REALLY dry.

  20. #22

    My husband can occasionally be found playing Lego, even when the boys aren’t in the room playing too.

    I’ve always been a fan of yours, but think I like you even more knowing you are capable of dropping an eff-bomb (I thought I was the only cursing scrapbooker).

    Your pics are inspiring. My digi-rebel is shoved in a drawer while I am mostly using my point and shoot. Time to dust her off and take some pretty, or at least random, pics.

  21. #23

    I don’t know if it’s just me but, WOW, doesn’t Cole look like Dan.
    Sorry it just struck me and I ahd to say it.
    Keep smiling Cathy.

    Sharon (UK)

  22. #24

    Cathy, whether your posts have a point or not is not important……I enjoy reading them, almost every single day, whether they have a point or not! The point, for me, is to read some funny, some wise or just some everyday words, written by somebody whose words I truly enjoy. πŸ™‚

  23. #25

    Hi Cathy, Sorry for the non-scrapbooking/photography related question but that reading lamp behind Dan totally caught my eye! May I ask where the lamp is from? Need to replace our reading lamp that keeps hitting us in the eye. Thanks!

  24. #26
    Jennifer Larson

    I teach high school in the Twin Cities, and right now I can sense all my students, who have two big things due tomorrow in AP English, saying a collective OMMM, trying to get a snow day tomorrow. Fat chance, but nice spiritual sentiment.

    Stay warm! Loved the photos.

  25. #27
    Kathryn Whittaker

    Hi Cathy,
    Just a question…since you love Chippie so much, how come you don’t have a warm, fuzzy, furry friend of your own? Just curious.
    Kathryn (who enjoyed DYL very much, thank you!) K

  26. #28

    Sending a mug of hot chocolate your way from across the river in Mpls. And pouring in a whole bunch of Bailey’s to make the evening a little better…

  27. #31
    Shanon Gibson

    My sweet husband has promised to buy me a digital SLR while we are on vacation in the states next month! I am so excited but I know I need to find a good book because I have no idea what I will be doing. We are in Germany for 3 1/2 more years (my sweetie is in the Air Force) and we have been to some amazing places so far but would love a better camera to capture it all. Good thing my girls are camera hams…2 years and 1 year old! So I will have plenty to teddy bears to take pictures of and learn the finer art of photography.

    I never made charts, thank goodness, but I used to make retirement and change of command programs in Microsoft Publisher. Boy, I miss those days. I found that to be much more enjoyable than my actual job.

    Take it easy and I am sure you will have plenty of work rolling in, you are far to talented!

  28. #32
    Debbie Blaker

    Cathy, I recently found out SS is no longer going to be published. I’m sure you have heard how awful all your fans are feeling about this. I’ve bought your books, took your class on Big Book and studied SS every time I received it to see your layouts and comments. Are you going to be involved in another magazine, I’m sure your followers will hurry to buy it. Maybe you could use that in a job interview. Are you doing anything on the Big Book sight? But then maybe you are glad for a rest. If that is so and you begin doing anything scrapbooking again, please let me know because I will be there. You do brighten my days, you can tell your fam that one too. But seriously you will be missed. Thanks for all that you have done so far. Have you though about making templates. I just started taking a class with Jessica Sprague and was looking at templates at different sites and didn’t see anything too exciting but I bet you could come up with some great ones. I hope you’ll have another class soon. Well I just quit rambling, I haven’t been to bed yet and it’s 5:30. I’m not weird just health problems mess up the sleeping habits. Hope to hear about your plans soon.

  29. #33

    Hi Cathy,
    i read your blog every day and it was nice to see, that you own a Camera from dresden, because thats the city where i life in germany! So Greeting from germany says#

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  31. #37

    Just stumbled upon your blog and I am glad that I did. An organized classroom is something that always makes me smile. Thanks for sharing.

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