Day 7 ~ after the fall

on 13.10.14

Today I gather. I scoop. I find what has fallen, and gone unnoticed.  I may not be as big of a collector as Tracie West, but I do collect.  She collects hearts, feathers, grocery carts {insert smile} and other things that tickle her fancy.  I collect  naked tree branches, acorns, leaves, and eggs, beautiful but abandoned.  I have a nest or two that I fill with these little egg treasures.  I envision what I look like when I find these natural wonders: like a dog with a tilted head.   How did the bird get out of the egg without breaking it completely apart, hmmmm.  Yes, today I gather, I find what has fallen. 
                                  The poetry of the earth is never dead. ~John Keats

Don't forget to check out Tracie West.  What has she found. scooped. gathered. 

Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?

on 12.10.14

I came across this video, and knew immediately I had to share it.  It is in spoken word form, and the message is amazing!  I have several friends that I know through technology, because of technology,  rethinking their use of technology.  They are trying to consciously reconnect with people in old school ways.  I love what they are doing, and I am purposely trying to partake in those old school ways as well. But for me it is not an issue, personally.  You see, I do love technology, to the extent I would call myself a techie.  I love electronic gadgets.  I do. However it is a love/hate relationship, because I do not love what technology does to people, or should I say, what people choose to let it do to them.  I agree, it's a CHOICE.  I have strong opinions when it comes to this.  I despise people using their cell phones in the car, talking or texting.  It boggles my mind that we are so cavalier with peoples lives including our children, and ourselves.  Actually what I should say is I despise cell phones, PERIOD. When the cell phone craze began, I was confused, is not the telephone one of the most despised things among people.  It's always ringing, why are they calling me, can't I have a moment of peace, and on and on the complaints went.  We had answering machines so we could avoid answering the phone, so we could choose who we wanted to talk to.  Then came the cell phone. Now we REALLY can't have a moments peace, even when we are outdoors.  We can be reached where ever we go.  Suddenly people are so important, that they are on their cell phone in the store, in line at the coffee shop, in a restaurant, on a picnic, at a concert, in church.   It makes no sense to me.

We know cell phones today are used for more than just talking.  They connect us to the world wide web instantly.  I get it.  Information is at our fingertips, and convenience is just a swipe away.  I get it.  I also get the safety issue.  That is why we do own a cell phone, a slider without internet access.   There are four of us in our family, and one cell phone is all we have ever had.  We used it for emergencies, like when somebody was leaving, or if we left the kids at home, or we went out of town etc.  It wasn't until my daughter graduated and went on a 6 month trip to Asia, that she purchased her own cell phone, again with no internet access.

Certainly there have been moments when we wished we could look up an address, or a phone number, or looked to see what restaurants where in the area when visiting.  But still I am glad that we have resisted.  Well most of us, eventually my daughter did get a smart phone at her cost.  And very quickly she was drawn into the world of constant distraction.  It is a bone of contention between us.  She knows absolutely no phones at the dinner table, and if she brings it out too much, I will say something.  I warned her that if she started dating a guy who took out his phone during dinner, I would scream a high pitched squeal until he put it away.  I adamantly taught the kids never to use their cell phone in the car, always pull over.  They seem to agree, but it doesn't hurt that they know if they did use it while driving, I would come unglued.

So while I don't have a smart phone, I do have an iPod, and an iPad.  Both of these rely on there being wi-fi if I want to connect to the internet.  You see, I love photography and thus iphoneography. Since I didn't have an iPhone, I had to wait until Apple finally put a real camera in their iPods, which didn't happen until 2012.  I have over 10 pages of apps on my iPod, almost all of them photography related.  I love it.  I took a year long self portraiture class that taught me a lot.  It was all online, but through it, I have made many online connections with several lovely creatives, several if not most who run in the same internet, blog, flickr, instagram, circles that I do.  It's a whole community.  In a very short time, I will be flying to the Oregon coast to hang out with several of them in a beach house.  That would not have happened without our digital connection.  So it is not the technology that is bad, but how we CHOOSE to use it, and how we ALLOW it to change us.  I digress.

Day 6 ~ Subtleties

on 11.10.14

One of the best things about autumn is color! Everywhere you look there is vibrant color: yellows, oranges, reds, browns, and greens.  Truth be told I am a cool color person, with one huge exception. autumn.  This time of year I change like the weather. I can't get enough of these warm colors.  These colors that are purposely avoided in my garden are suddenly welcomed with open arms.  I'm weird like that.  Todays prompt has to do with capturing an image in monochrome or all one color.  It was a little challenging for me.  I have been trying to use my prime lens more, but it does not auto focus, and I like to shoot at wide open so my images sometimes don't have the sharpness I desire.  Working on it.    

I am struck by the simplicity of light in the atmosphere in the autumn, as if the earth absorbed none, and out of this profusion of dazzling light came the autumnal tints. 
~Henry David Thoreau, 

Tracie West lives in California.  Not only are they having one of the worst droughts, but they are having much higher than usual temperatures.  I believe she said the other day was 98 degrees. Wonder what colors she found to capture?  Be sure and check it out!

day 5 ~ little reminders

on 6.10.14

Here we are, day 5 in Picture Fall, such a great way to slow down and purposefully enjoy autumn. Our prompt this week has to do with words, reminders, little whispers that speak to us.  The word i chose, did not find me, but it is a word that whispers to me often.  create. do. i don't know why i procrastinate creating, but i do.  i often spend a lot of time preparing, learning, dreaming and then nothing. or maybe a little something but not completely.  i get so excited about creating that i think i get lost. sometimes i want to create but perfection gets in the way. sometimes i want to create but there is fear. i need to stop thinking and start doing. create. do. don't wait. jump in. create. do. 

Tracie West is very attuned to finding hearts and feathers, wonder what word found her?

Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Day 4 ~ morning light

on 3.10.14

Well it is 2:00 am and I am just writing my post.  I just got done watching the movie Ragamuffin about Rich Mullins on Netflix.  If you have the desire to watch a great movie, you can't go wrong! I have a lot of opinions about it, but I will get on with the post.
So our prompt today is morning light, beautiful, moody, sunny, rainy, gloomy, bright, soft morning light.  The goal was to find something that whispered the quiet reassurance that we need individually to ease ourselves into the day.  Well the fact is, I am not a morning person.  It sounds like a great idea, but it just isn't the way I was made.  I am in fact a night owl.  I have to make myself go to bed at 1:00 am (that is my self inflicted curfew), otherwise I could easily be up until 3:00 am.  
When I do get up, it isn't pretty.  With short hair, I look like I was licked by a camel.  I shuffle my feet for the first several minutes I am up.  I don't eat breakfast very often, and I don't drink coffee. The one thing I do is drink a chocolate protein drink from Bolthouse, that is my nod to breakfast.   I can't jump into the days activities until I have showered. Sometimes I am too tired to shower. Sometimes I end up back in bed, just laying there wishing I knew what it was like to get up in the morning and feel brand new, refreshed, renewed.  After a short time, the guilt gets to me and I get up, don't pass go, do not collect $200, and jump in the shower.  It is amazing the effect it has, a new person, ready to take on the world.  My kids have never been fond of the "after shower mom" as they called me, that mom likes to get busy.
I love the idea of morning.  Honestly I think that if I lived near the ocean, I would be more of a morning person.  Summer has a similar effect on me.  The outside calls my name, the sun, the birds, the morning coolness, and the sound of a distant lawn mower (remember I sleep with my window open).  I love the idea of getting up, sitting on the deck, reading, while nibbling on ........toast?   I do get up early, very early, when we go camping, does that count?  
So when it comes to the whisper that I need to ease myself into my day, it is clearly outside.  So to capture morning light, I did just that, I went outside.
I wonder how Tracie West captured her morning light, no doubt beautifully!

Day 3 ~ finding beauty

on 29.9.14

Today is day 3 of Picture Fall, and I am loving it!  Our assignment today was to focus on beauty that often goes unnoticed.  In autumn, there are so many beautiful colors, lots of texture, changes in the weather, and of course changes in our environment. With all these things happening at once, it is easy to overlook the details.  God is in the details, and I don't want to miss them!  When I read the assignment, something immediately came to mind. It is a detail that has always been very important to me.  I will go to great lengths to make sure this detail is not overlooked.  My family likes to tease me about this particular detail, but I happen to love this detail.  So are you curious?  Ok, ok, the detail is none other than............................. the dried vine and stem left on a pumpkin.  Can I get an amen? You know the tiny corkscrew twigs that you can never find on a pumpkin in the grocery store, let alone a stem.  I admit it, I drool over these, and the more left on the better.  A pumpkin without it is just unworthy, it's like a Christmas tree without needles. You feel me?   I have a feeling there are more of you out there that agree with me than my family realizes.........
Don't forget I am doing this project with Tracie West . So head over to her blog and see what details she captured this week.

                          “To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” 

                                                          ~ Mary Oliver

small stuff

on 27.9.14

Don't sweat the small stuff, instead make note of it, capture it, revel in it, and count it as a blessing.  I spotted these feathers, well actually, I walked past these feathers, and then I turned around and went back to the feathers. You see my friend Tracie West is a feather finder, I am not.  I normally would have kept going, but she inspired me, so I went back.  I made note of it, and then I captured it.  This ones for you!

Day 2 ~ get comfy

on 26.9.14

Today is day 2 of Picture Fall.  We were told to get our easy chair, get comfy, and to capture an image that shows the true comfort of our soul.   My favorite place to be is always somewhere outside.  If I can't go outside, then I want to bring the outside inside.  The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is open curtains, and windows.  Much to my husband's dislike, I even open windows in the winter with the heat on.  I need to hear the outside.  The ideal place for me would be near the ocean, as in look outside, and see, hear and smell the ocean.  Instead I live in the mid-west, no where near the ocean, so I settle for the next best thing, creeks, rivers, and lakes.  This picture was taken in a beautiful wooded area of town, near a beautiful man made lake called Canyon Lake. We have a creek that runs right along side this wooded area, spilling in to Canyon Lake, and supplying the beautiful sound of running water, that I love! This area is stunning especially in the fall.  Grab a blanket, or chair, pack a picnic, sit at the waters edge, and enjoy a great book, oh the life!   So you see, my easy chair does not belong inside, nor do I. This image does capture where my soul finds comfort, in and among God's creation! This quote says it best.

God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars. ~Author unknown

       Here is a snippet that says it well.

Nature inspires my everything. She inspires my solitude, and my writing and my art. She lifts me upon her welcoming wings and soars me through the sky of possibilities. She colors my day, brightens my soul, and calms my nights. She is fierce and beautiful, strong and delicate — an unrelenting Queen so generous of advice and never weary of new beginnings. In spring a colorful maiden, in winter a wise old lady, in autumn a looking-glass to my falling-leaf self, and summer a warm blossomed benefactor, comrade to the sun. A constant companion — sometimes indifferent, sometimes nuzzling me with her genial breezes and raining drops of heaven onto me. To close my windows and shut her out is error and melancholy. ~T. G.

    Don't forget to visit the 
    heart seeking,
    feather finding 
     Tracie West 
       and see  
       her interpretation.

Day 1 ~ the quintessential fall

on 22.9.14

Today is day 1 of our fall collaboration! The quintessential fall, the ever beautiful fall leaf, falling leaves, wind swept streets with leaf swirls, all symbolic of this time of year. Where I live here in the mid-west, our colors tend to be the brightest yellow, with a touch of orange, and the occasional red. If I had my way, there would be far more Maples, and Oaks around here, I digress.  Fall is the only time of year I embrace warm colors (I'm weird like that), and boy do I embrace them, I mean I can't imagine a fall without them, can you?  
I couldn't stop at just one, so there are a couple extras.  The first leaf I came across, came with its own smiley face. Now that's a find!  Don't forget to check out Tracie West's fall finds.  

          Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~Albert Camus

What does Autumn, gratitude, and Tracy Clark have in common?

on 21.9.14

What does Autumn, gratitude and Tracy Clark have in common?  Inspiration, that is what they have in common!  Autumn is one of my favorite seasons, it never ceases to inspire me!  It inspires me to nest, to revamp, to create, to get cozy, to get baking, to romanticize the everyday, to wear a scarf, to embrace warm colors, to make lists, to read a book, to watch You've Got Mail, and really to enjoy every moment before winter hits.  It makes me giddy, slaps a big smile across my face.  All of these things lead me to gratitude.  There is so much to be grateful for, so many blessings that we take for granted. Some blessings are huge and very noticeable,  and some we see everyday, and thus go unnoticed.  And what does all this have to do with Tracy Clark?  Well, she is the creator behind the Picture This workshops. These are not technical classes on how to take amazing photographs, these are classes to inspire, to help you look beyond the noticeable. The description of the class states its purpose as such "to encourage and inspire you to celebrate the season of gratitude with an open heart and a poised lens".  I took the Picture the Holidays in 2010, and it was great! I have always planned on doing the Picture Fall class, but have yet to do it.  I asked Tracie West if she would be interested in doing it with me, and she said YES! So autumn 2014, here we come!  We will be posting our own interpretations of the prompts on our personal blogs every Monday and Friday.  If any one else would feel so inclined to share their own autumn inspirations, feel free to leave a photo in the comments or a link to your photos.  

See you Monday.

p.s.  I was watching You've Got Mail while writing this post!

Day 1

on 5.9.14

This is day 1 of my 28 day fitness challenge to lose 4% of my body weight.  I am participating in the boot camp that can be found on the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans website.  The program uses burst training, so first thing I had to do was five 30 second sprints.  I would call my pace more of a jog after the first sprint and each one after got slower and slower.  Thirty seconds is a long time to sprint, just saying.  

I'm jumping in........

on 28.8.14

Weight loss, what is it good for....absolutely nothing, oh ho oh.  Ok, we all know that isn't true. Weight loss has eluded me since my first child was born 23 years ago, and not for lack of trying.  A couple of months ago I came across a website called Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans, and I fell in love.  Every month they put out a calender that focuses on a specific area or goal.  The first one I did was a month of squats. Just look at the corresponding day and it tells you how many to do of what.  Very simple, and each month is something new, I was interested! The following month I decided not to do their current calendar and instead picked from their past calendars, also a cool feature!  About a week ago I received an email from them stating they were going to be doing a "back to basics weight loss challenge" in addition to their monthly calendar, so I checked it out.  It turns out there is a cool website called dietbet that hosts challenges for anybody wanting to start one and or participate in one.  The person who starts the challenge, sets the fee, and also the goal.  If you meet the goal, then you and the other winners split the pot. Money as a motivator, hmmmmm.  So the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans opened a 4 week challenge that costs $25 and the goal is to lose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks.  So if you weight 200 pounds, then you would need to lose 8 pounds in 4 weeks.  There are no rules for losing the weight, and the weigh in is every Wednesday.  Before joining the dietbet, be sure and read how their weigh ins work.  They have a few rules to prevent cheating.  If you are not interested in the dietbet, you can still join in on the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans website.  They have already released their monthly calendar for September, Buns and Guns, check it out. I decided to sign up for the weight loss challenge, will you join me? 

love notes

on 26.8.14

Do you love real mail?  I do!  I love finding a surprise in my mailbox, anticipating what it might be, to hold it, smell it, tear it open, and savor its contents.  This is where digital loses me, and I think people lose out.   I did a real mail exchange with a wonderful group of ladies I did a self portrait workshop with, and it was always thrilling to find that little something in your mailbox!  I need to make it more of a habit.  This is a project called Love Notes that is done quarterly.  Here is the dish from Jennifer Belthoff, the host.

This project will run for three weeks beginning on Sunday, September 7th  
All you will need is:
  • 3 Post Cards
  • 3 Stamps
  • Something to write with
  • The willingness to send some mail to someone you may not know

You will be matched up with a fellow Love Notes participant.  Each Sunday for three weeks, you will receive a writing prompt to respond to on a post card.  All you have to do is respond to the writing prompt and drop it in the mail before Friday of that week.  Its as simple as that.   

So how about it, will you join me?  


on 14.5.14

A couple of months ago, I asked 2 friends from high school who live in different states if they would be interested in joining me for a fun year long photography collaboration project.  They both said yes!  The idea was since we all live in different places, we would have a weekly theme, using our mobile devices, to contrast the places we live.  We post our weekly theme on Tuesdays, and it has been a lot of fun thus far!  It is always exciting to see how each individual interpreted the theme, as well as the differences in where we live, the flora, the culture, and our lives in general.  Below is the photos from last weeks theme, mornings.  To check out more, click 3 only.  

South Dakota :: California :: Wyoming

simple. details.

on 17.4.14

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. 
~ Leonardo da Vinci

this one is my favorite

taken with iPod 5

The Contemplative Gardener

on 15.4.14

Tarrnation Farm was featured in the April issue of Country Living  This quant little farm can be found in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire.  I am so going to stop there if I ever make it that far!  Just look for the hand lettered sign on the side of the road.  The owner, Reggie Tarr, bags all his vegetables in paper bags, and sells them for $5.95, and artful bouquets of flowers start at $9.95.  That's it in a nutshell.  Oh and it's self serve, just leave your funds in the coffee can on the counter.  I love it! The owner has more important things to do like tending to his beautiful flowers, and landscape.
I love his house with the weathered shingle siding, and the perfectly colored doors surrounded by God's amazing creation. Perfecto!  To read more about Tarrnation Farm, or see more of the photos, click here. 

Photographs by MAX KIM-BEE

store find

on 13.4.14

Be still my heart......I found this store via fvf. They interviewed the Bailey's, and took beautiful photographs of their store.  Here is a brief description of what they said about the store. 

"Housed in a converted English barn in the Herefordshire countryside, Baileys Home and Garden exudes a simple, utilitarian and effortlessly stylish aesthetic that infiltrates every corner of its homewares emporium. Worn wooden floors creak under your feet as you browse chandeliers made of antlers, alongside crates filled to the brim with pinecones and shelves lined with candles, stationery and an organic beauty range."  ~ fvf

A lovely description for a very charming store.  Who wouldn't love to stumble upon it while strolling on their bike along the fields of yellow Rapeseed flowers, while visiting England......I digress.  Here is a link to their store Baileys Home and Garden, it says they are not shipping internationally, yet.  To read the interview and see more amazing photos, click here

All photography by : Rich Stapleton for Cereal Magazine & FvF 


finding color :: green

biking lane. green.

old door. character. green.

lucky find. green.

simple. stems. green.

cherry bean. green.

breakfast. kids are hard on dishes. green.

industrial beauty. someone deserves a raise. thanks for picking color with style. green.

art. by me. green.

used stuff. great finds. one mans rubbish is another mans treasure. green.