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

Garden Daily & A Texture Too!

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Taken w/ 70-300mm zoom @ 300mm, f/8.0 @ 1/60 sec. Applied Kim’s DreamIt texture and her SonnetSample that I converted to black & white.

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared my garden daily photos so thought I’d combine that with my Texture Tuesday offering above.

Though I must confess I have not taken pictures every day in the garden, I have been out there most days.

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Finally got the pond up and running again and the water lilies expressed their gratitude with a few blossoms.

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Mister frog’s throat is a bit clogged so not spitting right now. I shall get out there this week to give him a tonsillectomy!

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This variety of Foxglove called Digiplexis ‘Flame’ is new to the garden this year. I fell in love with it at a nursery on Vashon Island.

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Meet Scherazade! Not as big as a Stargazer, but every bit as stunning.

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I’m not really a fan of the blooms on hosts, but looking at them at this angle makes me reconsider.

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I keep thinking my Nelly Moser has finished blooming for the season and then she pushes out a few more. My good fortune!

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My Lace Cap Hydranga continues its show through the summer.

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The Chickadees that were born here on the property have gotten quite comfortable around me. So lovely to have them here.

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Have a beautiful week everyone. Thanks so much for stopping by!

xo

 

Posted in Gardening, Inspirational, photography | 12 Comments

Road Trip – Bodega Bay Lodge

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The picture above was taken from our room at Bodega Bay Lodge. The room at this beautiful lodge was quite spacious and comfortable, and their landscaping would make anyone swoon!

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I became obsessed with this old birdhouse on the property. It greeted me every morning right outside our sliding glass door to our room. Must have taken a 100 pictures of it!

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Lots of grasses have been planted on the property, which gently sway with the ocean breezes. Right next to the lodge is a wetlands preserve.

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Many species of birds and wildflowers grow here.

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Lovely groomed paths invite exploration.

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Brian wondered through there for quite awhile, taking pictures of birds and flowers.

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After that we hopped into the car and drove just a little up the road to Bodega Head. There were a couple of painters there with their easels up, making their own pictures of this beautiful area.

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If you are considering a vacation to the Northern California coast, I would highly recommend this place. I know we will be back one day.

Thanks so much for dropping by. Hope your weekend was lovely.

xo

Posted in Inspirational, photography, Travel | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

A Family Affair

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. ~ Jane Howard

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Whenever I spend time with my family, a kind of giddy buoyancy comes over me. They lift me up with their love and laughter, their strength and insight. Getting together isn’t always easy as we all live rather far apart. My sister Linda lives in New Mexico. My sister Darlene lives in San Diego, CA. My niece Cindy & her husband Gary live in Texas and my niece Anny & her fiancé live near San Francisco, CA. But last Saturday we experienced the gift of time with each other. My nieces had a reception to attend in Washington and had the opportunity to carve out enough time to come to the house for dinner. My sisters decided to make the trip up too so we could all be together. Such a joy. Brian had the scathingly brilliant idea of putting on a crabfest! So off he went to Uwajimaya for the best Dungeness crab the area has to offer!

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The picture above represents half of what Brian brought home. We had a total of 10 crabs. When he got home, he made pies, including this lovely nectarine blackberry pie. So good!

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The following day I picked up my sisters. We got home and settled in. They caught up with their email and phone calls. Ah technology!

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(Linda on the left, Darlene on the right. Aren’t they stunning?!)

Once everyone arrived and got comfortable, it was time to start cooking and cleaning the crab. Here’s Brian giving lessons to the guys,

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At first they seemed a bit apprehensive,

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But then they really got into it,

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The work in progress,

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Ah, success!

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Yay!

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While all of this was going on, my sister Linda whipped up the lemon arugula salad.

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Then we dug in!

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(Linda on the left, Gary in the middle, Cindy on the right. Love these beautiful smiles!)

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(The engaged couple, Jaime & Anny. So happy for them)

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(Gary & Cindy. Such a cute couple)

We had a lovely dinner and a great time together. For me, time seemed to slow down. I looked around at everyone, drank in the love and laughter, and gave thanks for this beautiful family.

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My sister Linda stayed on a couple more days, which was awesome! We took a nice walk through Discovery Park.

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The following day I took her through the Pike Place Market and stopped in The Pink Door for lunch.

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So much to be grateful for.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you all have enjoyed your week. Don’t forget to give your family a big, big hug!

xo

Posted in Cooking, Inspirational, iPhoneography | Tagged | 3 Comments

Road Trip – After Cannon Beach

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After only one night at Cannon Beach, we continued South on Hwy 101. Our first stop was at this stretch of coastline.

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I’m particularly drawn to the ocean.

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Always feels like I’m coming home when I walk along its shore.

I was quite surprised when we came upon these sand dunes.

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Though the area is called the Oregon Dunes National Forest, it is actually in Northern California, off Hwy 101 near Reedsport.

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Along the side of the road was this wonderful rickety fence…

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shadow dancing in the sun. Continuing South, we found ourselves hungry and followed the directions of a sign that indicated a restaurant was ahead at the Elk Prarie Campground in Orick, CA.

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Unfortunately the restaurant was closed for remodeling, but the area did offer opportunity for a little picture taking. This one-room schoolhouse, now a historical landmark, was built in 1893. It conjured up images of young children, restless at their desks while teacher laid out the lesson plan for the day.

We also discovered why this area was called Elk Prairie.

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There were all these Elks, just hanging out! They barely gave us a second look.

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I’d never been this close to these magnificent creatures before. Quite a thrill. Our next stop was at Richardson State Park, in the Redwood Forest.

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There was a lovely groomed trail to walk among these mighty Redwoods.

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A little technical stuff about the photo above. The lovely starburst effect is achieved by stopping the camera lens down. I was using a 24mm lens so I was at f/16. The number of blades in the iris of the lens determines the number of rays that come off the light source. Cool huh? Also, I was able to achieve great detail in both the shadows and the light areas by creating an HDR (high dynamic range) image from a bracketed set of shots I was able to take because my camera was stabilized on a monopod. I simply imported the 5 shots from Lightroom to Photomatix, an easy to use application that creates HDR images. Once done, it can be saved back into Lightroom. I’m hoping to do more of this type of imagery.

After this, we decided we wanted to get onto Hwy 1. Following the sign that stated it was a mere 24 miles West, it actually took us about 1 1/2 hrs to get there! The little road switched-back all downhill. We were exhausted when we finally hit Hwy 1.

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We only made one stop along this stretch of highway because the decision to take this route added another 3 hours to our journey that day. 10 hours later, we finally arrived at Bodega Bay and checked into the lodge.

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But that’s a story for another post :-)

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by. Wishing you a lovely week ahead.

xo

 

 

 

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

A Sense of Adventure

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Taken w/ 24 mm @ f/4.5, ISO 500 @ 1/40 sec. Kim Klassen ‘Felicity’ Texture applied at multiply 100%.

I love taking pictures of bicycles.

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The minute I see one, I gravitate toward it.

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It could be a new bike.

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Or an old one.

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Or even just parts of a bike. I’ve got quite a collection of bicycle photos growing!

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At the age of 9 I received my first bicycle at Christmastime. I didn’t know how to ride a bike.

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And since my dad didn’t believe in training wheels, he spent the whole rest of that day teaching me how to ride it.

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I finally got the hang of it. As summer rolled around, my brother and I would hop on our bikes and take off. We would be gone all day.

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An innocent time when kids could be gone from the house all day and no one worried.

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That bike had awakened in me a sense of adventure. Of traveling under my own steam. I still feel that way and every time I see a bicycle, I am reminded of where it all began.

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This is me on Christmas day 1963. Can you see how hard I am concentrating?

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Where are you off to today? If you are in the neighborhood, please stop by.

xo

 

I’m linking up with Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday. Lots of wonderful images to look at if you would like to take a peak.

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

Road Trip – Cannon Beach

Kite Flying

This was our first time in Cannon Beach, OR. Since we can drive there from Seattle, WA in a day it beyond my understanding as to why it has taken us so long to get here. This is an amazing stretch of beach.

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People from all walks of life stroll along its shore with seagulls doing much the same.

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Reflections

There was a power I felt in this place that I cannot adequately describe in words. Maybe the formidable Haystack Rock, a 235 foot sea stack at the shore, has something to do with it. I kept taking pictures with my “big girl” camera, getting some wonderful images but still not capturing what I was feeling. I then switched to my iPhone and using the Hipstamatic app, where you can switch to different lens / film modes with a shake of the phone, and I took a series of pics that get closer to visually represent what I was feeling.

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We got there late in the day so we missed seeing the tide pools that are revealed at the base of Haystack when the tide is out. We strolled the beach for quite a long time.

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Before we were ready, sunset came upon us.

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The next morning we were up early, grabbed some breakfast and hit the road again. It would be a long 10 hour drive to our next destination.

Thank you so much for stopping by and allowing me to share a bit of our trip. Hope the summer has been treating you all well.

xo

Posted in Inspirational, iPhoneography, photography, Travel | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Gone Fishing

We wanted to send a dear friend some salmon so of course we headed to the best place for seafood, Pure Food Fish Market in the Pike Place Market in Seattle. We decided to buy a whole fish, sending half to our friend and taking the other half home. Here’s a quick video of our “fishing” episode!

Posted in photography | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments