Dia de los Muertos


My dear friend Sandy loaned me her wonderful Day of the Dead dolls to play with this week. These dolls are incredibly detailed for their size, they are only 1 1/2″ tall. They are meant to represent the spirits of loved ones who have departed and are symbolic of the 3 day celebration that is largely celebrated in Mexico, and other parts of the world.


The celebration begins on October 31st, All Hallows Eve, when the children make a children’s alter to invite the angelicos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit.


On November 1st, All Saints Day, the adult spirits come to visit. Finally, on November 2nd, All Souls Day, the families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives.


The three-day fiesta is filled with marigolds (the flowers of the dead); muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations.


Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back  hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuati. The holiday has spread throughout the world. In Brazil dis de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain there are festivals and parades and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones.


I think this celebration is a wonderful tradition. It not only offers an opportunity to celebrate the life of loved ones who have departed, it is also a reminder that death is part of life and the importance of living passionately in the here and now.

These dolls are supposed to bring good luck. Clearly Sandy is one lucky lady for having such a fine collection of these lovely dolls, and I feel pretty lucky to have spent time with them this week. Thanks so much Sandy!

Many thanks everyone for stopping by. Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Kim’s Friday Finds today. Hope to see you there!


Posted in holiday, Inspirational, photography | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Texture Play


Applied Kim’s ‘pumpkin grunge’ texture, soft light @ 47% and also SJGP Artisan’s ‘etched’ texture, multiply @ 27%

So, yesterday I shared 3 images from my Be Still assignment. This image was the one I said was my favorite. I decided to play with it a little more by pushing up the orange saturation in Lightroom, then applying the two textures listed above in Photoshop. I cannot get over the transformation! Just another example of why it is worth our time playing in the post-processing world. For me, this is a big part of the “making” of a picture vs “taking” a picture. The biggest leap for my photography has been my learning to use the processing tools, whether that is Lightroom or Photoshop, or even the processing apps for the mobile devices. And besides, it’s fun!

Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m linking up with Kim’s Texture Tuesday today. Stop on by if you have a moment.

Have a great day.


Posted in Inspirational, photography | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Still Life Painting Inspiration


Taken w/ 24mm @ f/10, ISO 500 @ 1 second. Applied Kim’s ‘moodswing’ preset

The lesson this last week was to look to still life paintings for inspiration. My still life above was inspired by this still life painting by Mary Datum

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 11.24.18 AM

I chose this painting for a couple of reasons; the subject is pumpkins and I’m rather obsessed with them right now, and the lighting was dramatic. I feel like I need more practice with more darkly lit subjects, but rather than go with the rich orange saturation that the painting has, I wanted to go more moody and desaturated. I expect I’ll be playing with this image a bit more but am pleased with the overall result. After shooting the subject with the crop similar to the painting, I decided to get a little closer.


Taken w/ 35mm @ f/5.6, ISO 500 @ 1/3 second. Applied Kim’s ‘moodswing’ preset

And then even closer


Taken w/ 34mm @ f/5.6, ISO 500 @ 1/2 second. Applied Kim’s ‘moodswing’ preset.

This last one is my personal favorite. What do you think?

Hope you have been enjoying the fall season. This last week I’ve felt temperatures drop and found myself turning on the heat in the house. Can winter be far behind?

Thanks so much for stopping by.


Posted in Art, Inspirational, photography | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Every Leaf is a Flower

Autumn Leaf (1 of 1)

Taken w/ 35mm @ f/4.0, ISO 500 @ 1/800 sec. Applied Kim Klassen’s ‘every day’ texture with multiply blend mode @ 62%. Font is Bayern Handschrift.

This quote says it all for me. In the Spring I get excited when the fresh green leaf buds begin to open, but it pales in comparison to the gold and crimson colors of Autumn leaves. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the season is short. It seems just when the Fall color begins to make its appearance, heavy rains and wind begin stripping the trees bare. A few of my trees are already bare. Fortunately my Maple tree out front still has quite a lot of leaves left. I’m making an effort to enjoy every minute of it.

Linking up with Kim’s Texture Tuesday today. If you have a moment, be sure to check out her site. Lots of lovely images to see in the link up.

Hope you are enjoying whatever season you are currently in.

Thanks so much for stopping by.


Posted in Gardening, Inspirational, photography | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Turning In


I was out in the garden early in the morning, doing some Fall clean-up and feeling a bit of a chill in the air. I decided to take a break and grab some hot tea. As I sat there looking around I noticed it.


The gold and crimson of Autumn is turning, fading.


Tree branches are going bare. Soon there won’t be any work for me out here. The season is turning in and I feel myself turning in as well.


Another garden season has passed, another year. So much has happened. I am reflecting on all I have learned. Time to examine my truth, like a bucket, to see if it still holds water.

Has some of your truths shifted over time?

Thanks so much for stopping by. Wishing you a beautiful week.


Posted in Gardening, Inspirational, photography | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Texture Tuesday Spirited!

Spirited (1 of 1)

This time of year my attention turns toward Halloween and I think this still life captures the ‘spirit’! The image was taken w/ 35mm @ f/5.6, ISO 500 @ 1/320 second. I applied Kim’s ‘monday’ texture @ soft light 100%. The font is called ‘a charming font expanded regular’.

Linking up w/ Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday today. You can check out some beautiful images by other talented photographers HERE.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Happy Tuesday!


PS – Many thanks to all of you for your prayers and well wishes with regard to my back. I am happy to  report that I have been pain free for 5 days now and the doctor & I have a game plan going forward. Thanks so much again. I feel blessed to be part of such a caring community. xo

Posted in holiday, Inspirational, photography | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

More Playtime in the Greenhouse


Continuing from Friday’s post, thought I would share more of the images I’ve taken in my ‘new’ space.







This experience has reminded me of the importance of celebrating where we are right now and appreciating what we already have. I’ve had this greenhouse for 10 years and all of the items in it are things I’ve had in other areas of my home, studio, and property. I will try to be mindful of this in a more observant and celebratory way.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Wishing you a beautiful week where ever you are.


Posted in Gardening, Inspirational, photography | 5 Comments

4 Things and a Recipe

4 Things Ingredients (1 of 1)

Normally I don’t post to the blog on the weekend, but I just finished my latest ‘Be Still’ assignment and am excited to share. The assignment was to incorporate 4 things into a still life: a loaf of bread, twine, scissors, and linen. I thought I’d take a little artistic license. Rather than a literal loaf of bread, I thought to include ingredients for a quick bread…pumpkin bread to be exact. Been craving pumpkin bread for a week now so decided to use this assignment to get this out of my system!


This triptych was a lot of fun. I like how each image focuses on a different part of my original image.

And so dear reader, a gift for you for taking the time to look through this post…


the recipe for my pumpkin bread!


The first 3 images have Kim’s ‘dark mood’ preset applied. Normally I wouldn’t think of using such a dramatic preset on a food shot, but I quite like the look on these. Helps tell the story I think.


This last image has Kim’s ‘within’ preset applied, though I did tweak it a bit.

Hope you all are enjoying your weekend.

Thanks so much for stopping by.


Posted in Cooking, Inspirational, photography | 21 Comments

Friday Finds – A ‘new’ place to take pictures…in my own backyard!


Do you have a place in your home or on your property that you really haven’t thought much of…and then one day you see it in a whole new light? Well, that happened to me this week. I’ve had this little greenhouse for 10 years now. It’s been a great space for storing outdoor cushions, hand tools, and germinating seeds. But this week, while putting away the cushions, I suddenly noticed how lovely the light was in the space. With the rainy season fast approaching, I was suddenly excited at the prospect of having a new place to take pictures in that would be natural light and out of the weather. So I began reorganizing the space and pulling items from the house and studio to create little vignettes in the greenhouse.


This old butterfly kite is one of several that I’ve had in my studio. It is the smallest one and fits perfectly in the greenhouse.


I bought some annuals a couple of days ago that are waiting in the greenhouse to go into outdoor containers. Why not give them a little company with a couple of baby boo pumpkins!


The dried hydrangea blossoms are from the shrub behind the pond in the front yard and the bird nest under glass is from the birdhouse that I cleaned out this summer after the baby chickadees fledged.


I must have spent a couple of hours in this greenhouse taking pictures. I will share more of those on the blog Monday.

My mind is now full of ideas of other pictures I can take in there, perhaps a big photo session for each season. Perhaps there is a place in or around your home that deserves a second look. Wander around and see what you can find!

Linking up with Kim Klassen’s Friday Finds today.

Thanks for stopping by.


Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Taking it Easy on Texture Tuesday


Taken w/ 35mm @ f.3.5, ISO 500 @ 1/80 sec. Applied Kim Klassen’s ‘within’ preset and her ‘monday’ texture @ linear light 55%, removing most of that from the coffee cup.

Just one picture for a quick post…didn’t want to miss Texture Tuesday! A month ago I was having some serious back problems, but thought I was on the mend. Until yesterday. Well, to be honest my back was feeling a bit tight since last Friday. I was stretching, being cautious and then I lifted a small 10 lb. box from the car yesterday and the was the straw the broke the back. I’ve had to cancel working out for this week and will see the doctor again on Thursday. So, I’m sitting in my garden, drinking coffee and trying to remain calm as I contemplate the long term effects of the condition of my back, the treatment that could be available, and the lifetime limitations this might entail. Taking deep breaths and focusing on all I have to be grateful for on this fine day.

Linking up w/ Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday HERE.

Thank you for stopping by and be sure to make time for yourself. Take care.


Posted in photography | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments