Practice

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Applied Kim Klassen’s ‘dreamy flowers’ preset

There comes a moment in every life when the universe presents you with an opportunity to rise to your potential. An open door that only requires the heart to walk through, seize it and hang on. The choice is never simple. It’s never easy. It’s not supposed to be. But those who travel this path have always looked back and realized that the test was always about the heart. The rest is just practice. ~ Jaime Buckley

They say practice makes perfect. But I’m not looking for perfect. I’m looking for joy. To find it I will practice; through patience, trust, love, listening, exploration, and expression. Will you join me?

Linking up with Kim’s Texture Tuesday HERE.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

xo

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Applied Kim Klassen’s ‘dreamy flowers’ preset

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

Cookbook Review – Sunday Suppers

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In the month of March (which flew by, right?!) I cooked out of Sunday Suppers, by Karen Mordechai. The recipes are not just about supper though. The book is named after the communal kitchen Karen runs in Brooklyn, NY. Their intent is to bring together food, gatherings, and community. Learn more about them on their website HERE.

I found the book at Petals & Pop in Seal Beach, CA. More than just a floral shop, you can find all kinds of lovely things in there including cookbooks and magazines. So many recipes fill this book’s pages, along with eye catching photography. Find the book HERE as well as on the Sunday Suppers website.

I began exploring the cookbook with this recipe for Shakshuka

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The recipe called for Harissa sauce. Normally I don’t go out and buy a little known ingredient just for one recipe. I usually substitute something I already have on hand. In this case I did buy the Harissa, and am glad I did. It is deeply flavorful, but not too hot, and is now a regular item in my fridge. Next up, I made the Fig Tart with honey…

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This was delicious. I did add a bit of Agave syrup to the filling to sweeten it slightly. It was fun taking pictures of this too, and if I may have a little braggadocios moment, my photo is better than the one in the book! Then we tried the Whiskey-Glazed Ribs with Winter Slaw, and thick fries with Pink Peppercorn Aioli…

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Brian made the ribs and they were cooked to perfection! I would serve this for company. The winter slaw recipe worked well also, but I did add a touch of Agave syrup to sweeten just a tad. We decided not to prepare the fries per the recipe in the book – we’re not big on fried foods. So, we used sweet potatoes and baked them. For dessert this same night I made the Date Cake with Toffee Sauce…

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This was sooooo good! One small note. The recipe calls for soaking the dates in some hot water for 30 minutes, then puree. However it doesn’t specify whether or not to strain the dates first, and there was quite a bit of water. So, I did strain the dates, reserved the water, and slowly drizzled the water into the dates when processing until the mixture was the thickness of baby food. Worked perfectly. Next up was Tortilla Soup

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This was my first time making tortilla soup and this recipe turned out great. Wonderful fresh flavor. Note here, the soup does cook down quite a bit so that’s something to keep in mind when thinking about the number of portions. It also had a bit of heat, which we love, but if you don’t, you could either reduce or eliminate the red pepper flakes. The cookbook also includes a recipe for Everything Bagels. I had never made bagels so decided to try my hand…

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Brian couldn’t get enough of these right-sized babies! This is going to be a regular thing around our house maybe once a month on a Sunday. Such a treat! Then Brian decided to try the Mustard And Peppercorn Roast Beef with Tomato Gravy…

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I wish I had taken a picture of the roast as it came out of the oven, but Cest la vie! One thing let to another and before I knew it, Brian was dishing up our meal. It was beautiful! This was delicious and I made a root vegetable gratin to go with it. Yum! Next up was Chili, Texas Style…

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The recipe calls for both Ancho chili and Chipotle chili in adobo sauce. I thought this was going to flame my lips off, but it was just the right amount of heat. I decided to top each serving with a little grated cheese. Easy to make and I will go back to this one again.

There was only one recipe I attempted that didn’t work out, which was their Apple and Olive Oil Cake. I actually think there’s something wrong with the recipe. It calls for 5 cups of sugar for a 10-inch springform baked cake. I knew this wasn’t right, but followed the recipe anyway. The center of the cake never baked through. In addition to that, the picture of the cake that accompanied the recipe in the book that I found a bit misleading. It shows some sprigs of thyme in the picture, hinting that there is thyme in the cake, but there isn’t. However that would be a good idea. Also, the apples slices on top of cake reveal a red edge, indicating the apples were not peeled, but the recipe calls for peeled apples. The idea of this cake is good though and makes me want to go back to it and fix it’s problems. Will get back to you on that!

Overall, a solid cookbook that I would recommend. Now for the month of April I will be exploring this book that I found at Anthropologie

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The Kinfolk Table by Nathan Williams (shown here without its book jacket). The recipes read well and the photographs are awesome! I’ll let you know next month how it all went. Until then, Bon Appetite!

Hope life is treating you well. Thanks so much for stopping by.

xo

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

Homework – In or on a Crate

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(applied Kim Klassen’s ‘moodwsing’ preset)

The assignment this last week was to create a still life in or on a crate. I was gonna take a pass on this assignment. I don’t have a crate and wasn’t about to run out and buy one. I had some woven bins but they were small. But then I got to thinking, My still life objects could be small enough to fit so decided to give it a go.

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(applied Kim’s ‘days of old’ preset)

Once I set up my scene, I decided to take pictures from different points of view and try out some of Kim’s presets.

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(applied Kim’s ‘within’ preset)

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(Kim’s ‘within’ preset also applied to this one, which I tweaked a bit…well maybe more than a bit!)

 

At the end of the day I’m glad I didn’t pass up on this assignment. It gave me a chance to think outside the box…or I guess inside the box in this case!

Thanks so much for popping in! Have a great day.

xo

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Endure & Endear

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(processed with Kim Klassen’s ‘moodswing’ preset)

I’ve been reading Mark Nepo’s “Seven Thousand Ways to Listen” (you can find it HERE) and he touched on this concept of enduring and endearing. It occurs to me that we all do this. Enduring hardships in life, yet endearing ourselves into the fabric of life…this is our work.

And it is not easy. My siblings & I endured a mother who was distant and aloof – for me more figuratively, for some of my siblings quite literally. Yet we continue to reach out to each other, endearing ourselves into this thing called family.

I’ve had cancer…twice. I’ve endured the pain and fear of the disease, the treatment, and my mortality. Yet I continue to endear myself into my life journey and struggle to remain open to the lessons I am to learn.

Understanding this has affected the way I view others. We all have a story to tell of how we have endured, yet endear.

Linking up with Kim’s Texture Tuesday HERE. Check out all the link-ups to view some amazing photography.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

xo

Posted in Inspirational, photography | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Ah, Saturday

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The sky greeted us with this lovely view as we were on our way to Four Spoons for breakfast.

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While waiting for our food, Brian did his usual thing…taking pictures of me taking pictures!

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I am so attracted to commercial kitchens. Some wonderful meals come out of this tiny little kitchen.

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After breakfast we headed toward the Pike Place Market, which was teaming with activity.

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Brian & I both took a lot of pictures

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Looking at flowers through the wind break

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Such a riot of floral color

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Tons of fresh fish piled high

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And all the seasonal favorites

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Great signage in the market

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Current yet classic. We are so fortunate to be in such proximity to this great market.

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Street musicians

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Card tricks (this guy had such a great personality)

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A view through the window at Beecher’s Cheese. Separating the curds from the whey.

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Brian & I keep talking about moving to Southern California, but when we have a day like today with the weather and the market, I question our sanity!

After the market, we spent the afternoon hanging out at home

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(used a fun painterly app here called Toon Camera)

Then we got motivated to remove the covers from outdoor furniture on our front deck.

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We usually don’t do this till May, but we’ve had so many fabulous Spring days here in Seattle I just decided to go for it! We spent the remainder of the afternoon out there.

Hope your weekend was grand. Thanks for stopping by.

xo

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

The Tulip Shoot

For those who missed the 3 short videos I posted on IG and FB, here are all of them rolled into one

This last weekend Brian & I were playing in the studio with our toys. I had the idea of photographing tulips on some burlap, wood, and twigs and he wanted to try out his new slider doing a video of my little set up.

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His slider is a pretty cool gizmo. Your camera is attached to this motorized head, which sits on this long slider attached to a tripod. Not only can it pan from one end of the slider to the other, but the camera head itself can also rotate to maintain your focal point. Kind of amazing.

I had set up my still life on the floor as I wanted to do a lot of “from above” perspectives. Here are my tulips

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Processed in LR applying Kim Klassen’s ‘grimmest’ preset. The next two are also processed with the same preset.

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Besides the tulips with their bulb still attached, we had also bought some cut tulips at the market and played with those

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Processed in LR with Kim Klassen’s ‘chocolate’ preset applied

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No preset here. A la naturale!

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Processed in LR with Kim Klassen’s ‘dark light’ preset applied

I thought Brian did a superb job with the video, don’t you? He did have me do voice-over work for them. Not really my thing, plus I was nervous…but I did it!

I’m hoping he and I can collaborate more with photography & video in the near future. Fingers crossed!

Linking in with Kim Klassen’s Friday Finds HERE. Hope you will take a peak. Lovely work featured there.

Posted in Inspirational, photography | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Homework – Make & Take

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Our Be Still 52 homework assignment was to make something and then use that something in a still life. I’d been looking for either a tea towel or napkins that looked like blue ticking, but could not find any so I decided I would make my own blue ticking tea towel! Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve been in a fabric store so I got a little carried away and bought 2 yards of blue ticking, a red and white check fabric, and a nice striped fabric. I then pulled out my roto trimmer, mat, and guide that I haven’t used since my serious quilting days and began cutting.

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I also decided to cut off the selvage, and instead of hemming the “tea towels”, I decided I’d like the edges frayed so I ran them through the washer and dryer, which did a fine job of fraying the ends.

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And now I have several “tea towels” to use in still life work, like this one here.

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Of course I have way more than I need so am tying the rest into bundles that I will probably give away at some point.

I am looking forward to using these towels in my food photography as well, like this one

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You know I used to be able to whip up a batch of biscuits in about 10 minutes, then pop them in the oven. This batch took an hour because I had to stop so many times to take pictures! If you are a photographer looking to slow things down and be in the moment…do food photography!

Thanks so much for stopping by.

xo

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

Clearing My Mind At The Shoreline

When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm that is bewildered and confused. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

_DSC8927It’s not always “bad thoughts” but often it is too many thoughts, overlapping, mushing together…and I can’t make sense of it. So I have to go to the shore. This is my favorite place.

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It’s 15 short minutes from my home. I know a bench awaits me there.

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Every one honoring someone who has passed, who has loved this place, set where I am sitting now. And I love that in some instances, like this one, I can no longer read the person’s name. They are now etched into the sea breeze. I can breathe in their legacy.

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I walk along the shore, watching the ferry boats come and go, and wonder, where is everyone going?

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I search out into the distance, but am left with myself.

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I watch the seagulls fly and wonder…could I fly too? How do I catch the wind beneath my wing? Am I flying now?

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I love watching the geese. They don’t worry about what their purpose is. They fly South for the Winter, and pick at the ground for worms and grubs in between. It’s clear…for them.

_DSC8958In the meantime, the ebb & tide of the water haunts me.

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In these moments I can sit like these birds, perched up high, just wanting to catch a glimpse of the horizon, the breeze off the water.

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I listen to the water, lapping upon the shore…shhh…shhh, and feel the truth.

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Sometimes I feel like this crab I saw below the surface, trying to climb its way over the break wall. The easier way is to simply crawl around. Sometimes we can make things much more difficult for ourselves than it really is.

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We can’t always see the path clearly.

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But if we look into the deep, we see our own reflection…and know the truth. It lies within.

All images were taken in my favorite local place, Edmonds, WA and I applied Kim Klassen’s fabulous “dreamy flowers” to each, intending to create the dream-like quality that visits me nightly.

Linking in with Kim’s Texture Tuesday HERE. Please check into this site to see the beautiful art people are creating. Takes your breath away.

Thank you for stopping by.

xo

 

 

Posted in Art, Inspirational, photography | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Connecting in SoCal

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It was a quick trip last weekend. Wanted to see my son’s face and touch base with my friend Jana, so off I went for two days to SoCal. Had a lovely lunch with Dave, but boy was it hot down there. 94 degrees! So, what do people in SoCal do when it’s too hot? They head to the beach of course. So off to Seal Beach we went

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There were street musicians to see along the way. And then there was the shoreline

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Besides the usual frolicking in the water, kids were even asleep on their towels in the sand

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(did a little painterly effect on this image, just to preserve the anonymity of the children.)

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It was a stunning day, with a nice cool breeze. I really didn’t want to leave, but needed to get back to the hotel and get a bite to eat and settle in for the evening. On the way back though I did discover a little nursery so of course I had to stop in. This gentle orange tabby cat followed me all over the nursery.

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And then it was time to go. In the morning I took advantage of a little morning light seeping into my hotel room

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There’s something about a hotel room early in the morning that seems to set a reflective tone for me

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After taking pictures, I showered, dressed and was off, heading down the coast to see my friend, Jana.

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Anyone who knows Jana, knows that she loves to cook, loves to nourish others, and so more often than not you will find her in the kitchen

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After breakfast, we headed out on foot to explore some shops in the area. This charming little French inspired shop caught our eye

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I did find a little treasure that unfortunately I couldn’t include in my bag since I went with carry on luggage and the item had little scissors. Jana will be sending that along later.

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Here’s a little peak inside the shop. So much eye candy!

And that was that. Quick trip but so glad I went. My next trip will be in April to see my friends Barbara Hurst, Terri Porter, and Barbara Carroll. Until then I’ll be sticking close to home, taking pictures and gardening.

Thanks so much for coming along with me on my little journey. Have a great day.

xo

Posted in Inspirational, photography, Travel | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Gettin’ My Happy On!

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I’ve been in a bit of a funk all week. No real reason. Nothing negative going on. Just feeling, eh – ya know? I realize it is part of human condition, but boy it can sure mess with your head when it happens. I had a hard time motivating myself to take pictures, and then the pictures I did take and share, well I got it in my head they weren’t good enough and thought of deleting them. Geez!

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But then I was in the garden yesterday, cleaning out the hellebore bed and suddenly found myself smiling at these beautiful flower faces.

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I stopped what I was doing, harvested some of these flowers, set up a still life, and started taking pictures.

Now that I’ve got my happy back, looking forward to the weekend. How about you?

Linking up with Kim’s Friday Finds HERE.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

xo

Posted in Gardening, Inspirational, photography | Tagged , , | 15 Comments