Still Life Portrait of Grandma

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The Be Still assignment was intriguing. Make a portrait of someone without the actual person being there. The idea was to gather things that might convey something about that person. I thought of my grandmother. At her death, her garage was filled with boxes of everyday things she collected from old dust pans, to shoe forms, canning jars, and old linens. She grew up in a boarding house so I think these common things reminded her of those days, with the traveling salesmen coming through town staying a night or two, their bags filled with all kinds of things a household on the Kansas prairie might need.

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She had 3 boys, always wanted a girl, and got her wish with her first grandchild, me. She loved to read and thought it was an important past time,  so as a child I always received a book from her at Christmastime.

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She taught me how to make pinwheels and how to can. She loved music and would always have the radio on when she worked in the kitchen.

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But none of these material things can express my most cherished memories of my grandma. She had a youthful spirit and a kind heart. She had a sly smile and her laugh was infectious. She had soft eyes that would look at you with a kind of pride that made you stand taller, and she hugged you with her whole body and spirit.

Linking up with Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday today. All the images here have Kim’s breathe preset applied and her Magic 091 texture added. I think I applied it with soft light blend mode at around 35% but can’t quite read my processing notes as Peg, our cat, threw up her breakfast on my notebook! Oh well, back to reality.

Take care,

xo

Posted in Inspirational, photography | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Road Trip – A Field of Happiness On The Road Home

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Leaving Sacramento, we hit Interstate 5 heading home when we saw it. A huge field of sunflowers.

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We instantly pulled off the freeway and wound through the farm roads to this field of happiness.

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I think it completely impossible to feel sad when looking at the face of a sunflower. How about you?

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We were there for almost two hours taking pictures, leaving only when the light became too harsh to photograph.

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I love the boldness of this flower, standing tall and saying with all its beauty revealed, I am here!

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It was the perfect ending to our road trip adventure.

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Our road trip ended in June and I’m still thinking about that field of sunflowers.

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I’m planning on printing some of these images and hanging them in our hallway. Should be a welcome sight in the middle of winter when everything outside is gray and cold.

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Many thanks to all of you for coming along on our road trip. It brought joy to my heart to share it with you.

Today rings in the first day of Autumn. Wow how the summer has flown by.

Have a great week,

xo

Posted in Inspirational, photography | Tagged | 8 Comments

Friday Finds

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This is my first time participating in Kim Klassen’s Friday Finds. What is it? Well, its a weekly celebration of what we have found, discovered, uncovered in the past week. It could be unique treasures, special moments, life lessons, nature’s bounty, etc…. you get the idea. For my first Friday Find I have a unique treasure and a bit of nature’s bounty to share, as well as some photo processing experiments. The picture above is of an old scale that I found this last week at one of my most favorite shops in Edmonds called Bountiful Home.

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Owned and operated by Todd Waddell, Bountiful Home is full of unique treasures, some antique, some not, but all beautiful and presented in a manner that delights the eye. In addition to the little house filled with these lovely things, he also has a garden and nursery in the back yard. Every time I go there I am filled with joy and usually find something I must bring home like this scale. The following pictures were taken at different angles and processed differently to create a unique mood. The very first picture at the top of this post is straight out of the camera with no processing at all.

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applied Kim Klassen’s ‘Dark Mood’ preset in Lightroom.

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applied Kim’s ‘Days of Old’ preset in Lightroom.

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applied Kim’s ‘Grey Mist’ preset in Lightroom.

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applied Kim’s ‘Melancholy’ preset in Lightroom.

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applied Kim’s ‘Olden Days’ preset in Lightroom, then applied Kim’s ‘Everyday’ texture in Photoshop. I posted this to Flickr this week and shared in Kim’s Texture Tuesday. It wound up being featured in Flickr Explore with over 8,000 views! Crazy.

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applied Kim’s ‘Summer Haze’ preset in Lightroom.

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applied Kim’s ‘True Grit’ preset in Lightroom.

So which of these do you like? This exercise taught me a couple of things, presets don’t work with every photo and I for one am not as fond of the low contrast, desaturated look. Personal taste.

Oh, and the peanuts…they are my nature’s bounty part of the share this week. Brian & I were walking through our local Farmer’s Market and saw this bunch of peanuts with their green tops still attached. I’ve never seen them like that before and there was quite a crowd around that stand marveling at them! The simplest things can bring the greatest joy.

Hope you have discovered something joyful in your world today. Thanks for stopping by. Oh, and if you live anywhere in or near Edmonds, WA I hope you will stop by Bountiful Home.  You will be glad you did!

xo

Posted in Inspirational, photography | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Road Trip – Yosemite

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Our original plan was to tour through Devil’s Postpile monument, but it was quite a bit further out than we realized. Instead we chose to visit Yosemite. This was our first visit to this fabulous National Park, but it won’t be the last. So much to offer here. At the base of the mountains are paths to stroll through. Many Sequoias grow here. The two trees on the right of the image above are Sequoias, which are noted for their cinnamon colored bark. Sequoias don’t get as tall as the California redwoods, but they live longer. The tallest Sequoia found so far is 379 feet. The oldest Sequoias are over 3,000 years old. They owe their long life span to its very thick tannin-rich bark, which protects them against fire and insect damage.

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The roots above are from a Sequoia that fell centuries ago. As you can see, the roots do not run deep, but they can span 150 feet wide. The width of this fallen tree was about 20 feet.

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After admiring the Sequoias at the base of Yosemite, we decided to drive up to Glacier Point. The fog was intense up there and it was quite cold of course. Kind of felt like we were on another planet.

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If you look closely you can see a structure just below the rock face. That is The Ahwahnee Hotel. I’m thinking that would be a fabulous place to stay in the summertime.

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As we began our drive back down, we came across this fabulous view so of course we stopped to take pictures.

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As we drove further down the other side of the park, we ran across a lovely meadow.

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Such delicate flowers.

8_DSC4211We were also surrounded by these beautiful leafy plants. Great texture.

Next week I’ll be sharing the last stop on our road trip. Stay tuned!

xo

 

Posted in photography | Tagged | 4 Comments

Cookies & Milk

Cookies & milk was the photo challenge at hand,

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so she gathered her staples and laid out a plan.

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She measured and mixed and and she stirred, then stirred more,

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till it all came together as she had done once before.

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She rolled out the dough and cut into shapes,

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then set in the oven and watched as they baked.

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Once they were done they were laid out to rest,

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then with some sugar she got them all dressed.

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As she laid out the scene and looked at the goodies,

she thought

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“all we need in this life is love… and some cookies.”

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Ok, so maybe I got a little carried away with this Be Still assignment, but I’m thinking the class is just as much about having a little fun as it is about trying to take good pictures!

Thanks for stopping by.

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xo

Posted in Inspirational, photography | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

More Garden Images

Seems I’ve neglected sharing more of my garden daily images so thought I’d play a little catch up. These images were all taken the first part of August. I just love seeing the little bee butt here!

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The image above was the very last of the Nelly Moser clematis blooms. The art piece pictured below hangs above the tool shed door.

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This is a little water bowl located in the shade garden in back. There used to be a little heart with the letter ‘I’ on it, but a crow made off with it!

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This woman’s head pot is something Brian & I found in a shop in Portland, OR several years ago.

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Not all of my herbs are doing as well as I would have hoped for some reason, but the rosemary is looking quite lovely and should provide a wonderful herbal addition to the Fall & Winter meals to come.

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This was the very last of the broccoli from this season. Nothing like fresh broccoli!

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Of course the word pool fountain is still going strong.

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This was the very last of the magnolia blossoms from our evergreen Brown Betty magnolia.  We has so many blooms on those trees this year.

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It won’t be long now before it’s time to put the garden to rest. I’ve already begun Fall clean-up. It has been a beautiful summer this year. Truly grateful.

Hoping you find some beauty to admire in your world today.

xo

Posted in Gardening, Inspirational, photography | 4 Comments

Road Trip – Meeting Family in Middletown, CA

It’s been a tough couple of weeks but am back to continue sharing bits of our road trip with you. Thanks so much for continuing to visit the blog. I appreciate your support so much.

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On the last day we were in Bodega Bay, we were able to arrange a visit with my brother Buck & his wife Heidi. We met in Middletown, CA. On the way there we passed this very cool barn, which had some interesting artifacts around it. Of course we stopped to take some pictures. Sure wish the owners had been home. Would have liked to have met them. As evidence of their obvious sense of humor, we saw these ‘cactus people’ growing on one side of the barn

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The owners had carved faces into several of the cactus. Really brought a smile to our faces.

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We arrived in Middletown a little earlier than Buck & Heidi, but filled our time taking pictures of this lovely United Methodist Church.

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I was particularly taken with their windows.

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I love the reflection of the trees and shrubs in its windows.

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Once Buck & Heidi arrived we went over to the vegan restaurant in town, Chef Steve’s. Awesome food!

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Buck & Heidi are both creative people. Buck is a member of a band and plays drums. Heidi is a mixed media artist who, with a friend, has participated in the EcoArts Sculpture Walk that has taken place in Middletown every year for the past 12 years. After lunch they took us to this year’s exhibit.

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EcoArts is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the visual arts, visual art education, and ecological stewardship for artists, residents, and visitors to Lake County, CA. Images shown here were some of my favorites. Unfortunately this heart piece was not in the handout so cannot tell you who the artist is. It was probably a last  minute entry.

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The piece above is Heidi’s and her fried Karen Mantele. This plaster of paris piece represents Archangel Ariel, known as Protector of Nature with a mission to heal the earth, animals, and plants. The sun was pitched high in the sky that day so lighting wasn’t the best to take these photographs. I can tell you a lot of work went into this piece. Quite detailed.

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The large nest is by Mary Mattlage.

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This is one of Heidi’s favorite pieces in the exhibit by Lisa Kaplan.

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I found this piece to be quite intriguing. by artist Reeba Barrows using fabric, home grown bamboo, and fishing line to create her sculptures.

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This amazing interactive piece is by Diego Harris, made from scrap metal. If you talk in one end, the sound travels through the horn and out the other end. Amazing!

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It was a great day that ended all too quickly. The next morning we would leave Bodega Bay and head to Yosemite, CA.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.

xo

Posted in Art, photography | Tagged | 4 Comments

Art for the Table

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Recently Brian & I finished a little art project and when I shared some of the work in progress, my Facebook friend Beverly Lewis Cazzell (see her fabulous photographs on her Flickr site HERE) said she would love to read about my process & I thought, what a great idea for a blog post! Thank you Beverly!

First a little back story. Brian & I were cleaning up our studio space when we ran across a roll of canvas we had completely forgotten about. It was left over from our early days of stretching our own canvas panels. Leave it to us to make things as complicated as possible! Thank goodness those days are over! Anyway, we decided to make a set of 8 placemats with some of the canvas. Brian would make 4 his way and I would make 4 my way. So, he cut the canvas to size and I turned over the raw edges and used fabric glue to secure. Then I painted 2 coats of Acrylic Gesso to both the front & back, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly.

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Once dry I collaged the front of my placemats with old book pages, torn randomly and applied with Acrylic Gel Medium, matte finish. Once dry, I stenciled different designs to each of the mats. After the stenciling dried, I applied a light coat of Acrylic Fluid Titanium White paint, using a baby wipe to blot the paint so that some areas were more covered than others.

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Once the white paint dried, I applied an Acrylic Fluid Transparent color to each mat. When that dried I used an assortment of rubber stamps and Stazon permanent ink to randomly stamp designs on the mats.  Then I applied a few cool postage stamps, that my niece Cindy & her husband Gary sent me (boy do they have my number or what?!), here and there using Acrylic Gel Medium, matte finish. Once dry I applied another Acrylic Fluid Transparent color over that, dabbing with a baby wipe like I did for the white paint layer. Once dry, I also applied a contrasting color of Acrylic Fluid color here and there, dabbing with the baby wipe as before. I finished by applying an Acrylic Copper Glaze over the surface, applying more heavily around the edges as a vignette, and lighter in the center, using my trusty baby wipe as before. The following 4 are my finished placemats.

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And what of Brian’s placemats you ask? Well, he chose to go completely abstract. He used acrylic paints & mediums as I did. I so love the playful nature of his pieces, and his color palette is wonderful. Here are his four.

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And there you have it! Thanks so much again Beverly for your blog post idea. We still have quite a bit of canvas material left. Any ideas of what else we can do with it?

Hope you are having a lovely week. Thanks so much for stopping by.

xo

Posted in Art, Educational, Inspirational | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Be Still

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Taken w/ 70 – 300mm @ f/5.6, ISO 500 @ 1/800 sec. Applied Kim Klassen’s ‘Cherish’ texture, soft light @ 100% and her ‘Magic Film’ texture, soft light @ 58%.

Even the busy hummingbird

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Taken w/ 70 – 300mm @ f/5.6, ISO 500 @ 1/800 sec. Applied Kim Klassen’s ‘Cherish’ texture, soft light @ 100% and her ‘Magic Film’ texture, soft light @ 34%.

takes time to be still.

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Taken w/ 70 – 300mm @ f/5.6, ISO 500 @ 1/640 sec. Applied Kim Klassen’s ‘Cherish’ texture, soft light @ 76% and her ‘Magic Film’ texture, soft light @ 40%.

In the stillness you can feel your life open.

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Taken w/ 70 – 300mm @ f/5.6, ISO 500 @ 1/400 sec. Applied Kim Klassen’s ‘Cherish’ texture, soft light @ 100% and her ‘Magic Film’ texture, soft light @ 24%.

In the stillness you can hear your heart sing.

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Taken w/ 70 – 300mm @ f/5.6, ISO 500 @ 1/200 sec. Applied Kim Klassen’s ‘Cherish Scripted’ texture, soft light @ 100% and a second layer of the same texture, soft light @ 100% with a gradient mask applied. Be still text is 1871 Dreamer 2 Pro Regular.

In the stillness you can see your soul shine.

Hoping you are able to carve out moments of stillness in your day today.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Linking up w/ Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday today. Hope you have a chance to stop by her Cafe to see all the lovely work there.

xo

Posted in Inspirational, photography | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Road Trip – On The Way To Point Reyes

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One of our day trips from Bodega Bay was intended to be Point Reyes. Not because of anything we had read of the place, but just because it was on the map near where we were staying. On our way there we passed through this small little community near Tomales Bay.

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A near abandoned community, that clearly is / was a fishing town.

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Old ships and boats, landlocked now, speak to their history.

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I was mesmerized. Before and after each image I took I closed my eyes to listen…to the voices…of the fishermen saying…”we are and have always been a part of the sea.”

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Those voices stayed with me all the way to Point Reyes, which honestly I wasn’t impressed with. An old town trying to cater to the tourist with their old style store fronts. But this place, continues to haunt me. This last picture above I’m particularly fond of. Of course, the old gas pump is cool, but what drew my eye was the fact that the top of the gas pump was was the same color as the hull of the boat in the background. Things are truly tied together in this town.

What are you tied to this lovely Monday?

Thanks for stopping by. xo

Posted in Inspirational, photography, Travel | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments