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

Cookbook Review – Plenty

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This year I decided to participate in an Instagram Group hashtag #nowyoucooks, established by @CathySly. The idea is to pick a book to cook through each month and post a picture of item(s) we made. This idea is right up my alley; I love to cook, Brian & collect cookbooks and love exploring new recipes. I also saw this as an opportunity to work on my food photography and if I was lucky, to create a blog post of the experience. For both January & February I chose “Plenty” by Yotam Ottolenghi. Yotam is a well known chef in London. To learn more about him, you may check out his website HERE. The book focuses on vegetarian fare and has lots of lovely photographs. If you are interested in purchasing the book, you can find it on Amazon HERE. For my first recipe…

I went for this “Very Full Tart”

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With red & yellow peppers, eggplant, sweet potato, zucchini, onions, and tomatoes, we found this dish satisfying – to the eye and the palate. Quite easy to make. We will be making this again!

Next up was this lovely “Pear Crostini”

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This called for chervil and chèvre  but I substituted thyme for the chervil and goat milk cheddar for the chèvre (Brian is not a fan of chèvre ) This was absolutely delicious and I think it would be good as either an appetizer or a dessert.

Though we have our own recipe for hummus, I decided to give his version a try

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Personally we found the recipe too heavy-handed with the Tahini and I had to compensate by adding lots more garlic and lemon juice. Sure was pretty though.

Since pasta is my weakness, I had to give the “Crunchy Pappardelle” a go

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I used Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper Pappardelle for the pasta. Other than that I followed the recipe verbatim. With Spring asparagus coming up, that would be a nice substitute for the broccolini used here. Quite good and super simple to make.

Next was “Mushroom Lasagna”

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Again, easy to do. When putting together the sauce, I kept feeling like it was too thick and that maybe the amount of ricotta called for wasn’t enough – but it all worked out beautifully. The only thing I would leave out was the tarragon called for. I love tarragon but it is such a strong and distinctive flavor and I felt it was a bit overwhelming for this dish. Next time I will substitute thyme.

Then we gave the “Soba Noodles w/ Eggplant & Mango” a try

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I could have eaten the whole thing all by myself! So good. We wound up pairing this with some Pok Pok chicken wings for a Super Bowl dinner. All the flavors went well together.

We had some beets laying around so decided to use those to make the “Beet, Orange, & Black Olive Salad”

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I would never have guessed to pair black olives with beets and oranges, but boy was this good! I did use arugula instead of the chicory for the greens. A nice spring mix of greens would be good here too.

Last, but not least, I whipped together the “Multi Vegetable Paella”

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This is a great recipe! It is easy and flexible as far as ingredients go. I also added some prawns to this. So, so good.

All in all a great book. If you are vegetarian, or just looking to add more meatless meals to your repertoire, I would highly recommend Plenty.

For this month, I am cooking out of this book

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“Sunday Suppers” by Karen Mordechai. I’ve already tried 4 recipes from this book so I’m off to a good start! Will post a review the first part of April. Until then, Bon Appetite!

xo

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

My Cup Runneth Over with Spring

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Kim Klassen KK_1111 Texture applied

My heart goes out to all those in the East who are still buried in snow. Perhaps these images will brighten your spirits. Mother Nature has decided to grace us in Seattle with an early Spring.

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Kim Klassen Cherish Scripted Texture applied

I really didn’t want to believe it at first. I’ve been fooled before by a false Spring.

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But the Cherry Blossoms have bloomed all over our neighborhood

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So pink and delicate

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My heart is filled with joy. Hope yours is too!

Linking up with Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday today. It’s been awhile! Thanks for stopping by.

xo

Posted in Inspirational, photography | Tagged , | 20 Comments

Mid-Century Malaise

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This year marks the 4th time we have traveled to Palm Springs in February to enjoy the mid-century modern event. This event takes place twice a year, the large event in February, and the smaller one in October. With all the mid-century architecture in Palm Springs, this makes for an ideal location to appreciate all things from this era. This year I was particularly excited about going to this warm, dry climate as I had been suffering from the flu, with some symptoms still lingering so I thought I could “dry out” sort of speak. Brian & I, along with 5 dear friends rented this lovely mid-century home

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It was the perfect size with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms

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Original homes from this era were not generally that large, and this one was no exception. At some point it was tastefully remodeled and served our needs perfectly. The first day we did some grocery shopping and basically settled in for the week.

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The first night we had a bit of company, but still found time to simply hang out by the pool.

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We had cocktails and enjoyed the lovely fire pit.

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I hit the sack early that night. Brian & I had gotten up early that day so I said goodnight to everyone and headed to bed. Sadly, in the morning, I woke up with major congestion and coughing like crazy. I decided to take it slow, knowing we would have a tour later that day and a Tiki party to attend. The light that morning was incredible.

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And outdoors was lovely too.

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The whole week I pretty much had this breakfast.

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But long story short, I was sick the entire week! My poor friends had to endure my coughing and nose-blowing the whole time – getting a reprieve only when I went to bed, which was early every single night. My saving grace was my friend Sandy, who is always prepared and packs things like DayQuil and NiQuil, Bayer aspirin in a cute little tackle box. Her meds got me through the lectures and events we had signed up for. Which was wonderful. One of the big events was the Sunnylands Tour & Visitor Center

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Here is the entrance to their winter home on the estate

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There were no pictures allowed inside but I can tell you it was quite beautiful. If you are not familiar with the Annenbergs, they were quite extraordinary, generous inviduals.  To learn more about Walter Annenberg click HERE to learn more about Lenore Annenberg click HERE and to learn more about the Annenberg Foundation and all their good works click HERE.

We also went on a couple of walking tours of some neighborhoods. The picture below is typical of the homes you might see visiting Palm Springs.

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Yep, including classic cars. We also toured Frank Sinatra’s first Palm Springs home – Twin Palms

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His famous pool

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The the groovy recording equipment he had installed in his living room

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All of the tours were great, but for me so exhausting. It seemed I was getting sicker and sicker as the days progressed. I went to bed early every night and every morning I woke up hoping to feel better. We were greeted by quite a few birds singing their song every day.

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And every evening offered a magical painting in the sky

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By the end of the week all I wanted to do was go home. I went to the doctor the next day. I was diagnosed with an ear infection, sinus infection, pink eye, and strep throat. No wonder I felt so lousy! The good news was that all of this could be cured with antibiotics. One week later I am happy to report that I am quite well.

What I learned on this trip is that when your body decides to be sick, it won’t matter whether you are on vacation or not! I’m also taking a tip from my friend Sandy and filling a little tackle box with all manner of meds!

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Sure hope this post finds you all in excellent health! Take care and thanks so much for stopping by.

xo

Posted in Inspirational, photography, Travel | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Homework – Breakfast

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Last week’s Be Still 52 assignment was breakfast. I had seen this egg in a blanket idea on IG and wanted to give it a try. You know, this is more difficult than it looks! Tasted good though.

But I have to say, I have a particular fondness for muffins so on the weekends I like taking the time to bake up a batch.

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This last weekend I decided it would be fun to make my own muffin liners by tearing parchment pieces and tucking them into each well of the baking tin.

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I’m pleased with how they look, but I gotta tell you, it took quite some time tearing out 12 liners and getting them filled! Sometimes I can make life so difficult for myself!

A new lesson will be coming on Wednesday. I will be chanting “simple, simple, simple” as I work on that!

Thanks so much for stopping by.

xo

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

Around the House

“There’s no place like home” ~ Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz

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A lovely thing happened Sunday. The sun came out for a little bit, sending some welcome rays of light through the house

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So, thought I’d share a few of the pictures I took around the house with you today

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The sun didn’t last long. I think it saw its shadow and hid! Oh well, it was lovely while it lasted. There really is no place like home.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

xo

 

Posted in Inspirational, photography | Tagged , | 7 Comments