Sharing the beauty of the world through photography and writings.
"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. " .... Ansel Adams
Welcome to my blog for photographers and nature lover's around the world. I hope you enjoy my chitter chatter about life, nature, gardening...and a little bit of kitchen.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

One Little Word 2013 - DO

On the last day of the month, my January project for the One Little Word inspiration is complete...for now.  I know that as I move through this year of 'ME'...(yes, I've decided it might just be  All About Me) I will probably have to revamp what it is I will DO in 2013.  I worry some of the actions I associate with this Little Word are kind of redundant of each other but I believe I can and will adjust as I move forward.

I tried to put the actions in order of how I wanted to tackle them but it was difficult because several of them I need to now in order to get to some of the later ones. Again..I may adjust.  Or take a week or two a month and focus on a couple different ones that might be good to flow together.

I have a job that demands way too much of me and like a silly little person, I put it first too many times. I use an excuse..maybe...for not doing some of the things that I am just too exhausted, mentally, to do when I get home...or on my days off.  So...I do NOT DO.  Yet, when I do DO, it feels great.  It energizes me.  It makes my soul and my heart smile...if only until I get up and do the entire routine again the next day.

It took me almost two weeks to really decide what my word would be this year.  DO seemed to be the one that would direct me towards what, yes, what I really need to do.

A big part of the issue is that my job requires me to run around like a chicken with it's head cut off and therefore, I take that same concept home with me, I do things quickly, I do them sloppily and not in an organized manner.  Therefore, DO Organize.  This one I have really been able to tackle already in January although there is still a bit more to do but it's on its way and it definitely has helped.  DO Organize is definitely one that I will have to work towards on a monthly...even a daily or weekly order to allow myself to move forward with every thing else I need to DO.

This also brings me to the DO Slow Down.  As Kim indicated in one of her last week's posts, Be Present.  Slow down.  Pay attention.  Enjoy. Bringing us to Do Focus so these two could work together  once I have a month of slow down.  What better month than February before the hustle and bustle of the upcoming spring months.    Two DOs that I will have to work hard at, leaving behind the chaos at work, enjoying the every day simplicity of every day life...away from corporate.

April brings DO Travel because...I do have a trip to a wedding on the East Coast that I will travel to and I hope it can be in a slow manner of driving and enjoying the countryside that I have enjoyed in so many years, parts of which I have never seen.  This of course goes along with DO Discover of June..another month in which I have new travel plans...but the intention of the Discover is also to do regular, hopefully weekly, discovering of more local destinations in hopes of Doing the May Little word involved with job living situation (I continue to believe that by then my house will sell thus giving me some financial a certain extent).

All of these should work together and help improve myself, my photography and more than anything, my attitude in its entirety, thus helping make it through the second half of the year DOs.

Can I say...I am excited.

I can't wait for tomorrow when I begin incorporating the next, very needed, DO.

S    L    O    W          D   O   W   N___________________________

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Beyond Beyond - Point of View - Day 1

So excited to be back with the Beyonders in 2013 and so determined to try to keep up.  As I go through these exercises I realize how much practice I need at some things such as creating templates, making the pictures fit within them.  So determined to 'DO' it this year.  Learn.  Create. Expand. And..keep up, not get behind, not miss so much inspiration from the very inspirational Kim Klassen.

Our challenge this week was to set up a shot and photograph it without moving it, but instead move us, move our camera, allowing us to get different viewpoints.  Allowing us to see how different things can be if we just 'look at the world from a different angle'.   Truly a lesson to learn for every day life.  Falls within that 'if you don't like the way things are, look at them differently'.  (Just wish it were that easy for some things.)

My Tom Clark Gnomes are very dear to me.  I do have ONE very nice collection of them.  Some that are out every day.  Some seasonal that come out when it is time for them to visit.  Some...that are still packed up from the last move.  I've always had a thing for gnomes.  A fascination.  Since I was a child roaming the woods of New Hampshire.  Since I read the book 'The Gnomemobile".  What ever happened to that book?

I took more than ten pictures.  l believe I limited myself to thirty minutes as instructed.  I love shots where I can shoot 'through' things...framing them...thus the center left picture although I wish I had her face a little more in focus and the flowers a little less.

One of my most favorite captures are reflections...whether it be in windows, on a rainy road, in water...or through a mirror...thus the bottom picture.

It was a fun project.  Next time I think I would use my 28 - 300 with a macro so that I could get some better close up, detailed shots. day two.......

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Texture Tuesday - 01 22 2013

My free and easy texture use for Texture Tuesday.

I just love these awesome, lucky suitcase finds of mine.  They've been a great asset to my 'sometimes portrait sessions' especially with the little ones.  And the fragrance.  You know the one?  Reminds me of my grandma.  The sunflower...another prop that just seems to love to rest right amidst the yellows and reds of the suitcase.

I added a preset of aged photo in LR, took into PSE and duplicated the layer in multipy mode and lowered the opacity.  Then I added a layer of KK-ugglovebandw.  Awesome crackly texture making the old suitcases..even more antiquated and awesome...if I do say so myself!!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Beyond the Layers of Tulips

Oh is winter.  Wintery blues slowly setting in.  This upcoming week will bring us highs in the single digits and lows in the...well...the real lows!!!

Stir crazy.
Stir crazy.
So. Stir. Crazy.

My 2013 you may know is 'DO'.  For January - DO organize.  Part of that organization is to clean out my emails. Part of those emails are catching up on my Beyond Layers challenges...before the 2013 portion begins.  (Can't wait as it will include some lightroom challenges also.)

Winter cold.  Keeping me inside.  Perfect opportunity to 'organize', catch up, clean out. Create. Refresh. Just need a kick start. Kim Klassen to the rescue.

Kim gave us a tulip picture for us to create with.  What a wonderful way to add some brightness to the winter dull drums and take the mind off of being cooped up inside.

A layer of tulips, a layer of KK Break Away, a layer of my 'barn texture', and yet another layer of KK Shes loving you, framed with the awesome rose color of the tulips.


Hopes.  Hopes of tulips popping through the slowly unfreezing ground. But first, single digit temperatures for highs, hopefully followed by snow falling temperatures to cover up the dull brown of winter and wet the creative palette with a snow shoe hike outside.

Stir crazy.
Creative thoughts..all cooped up.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Sum Up - January 13, 2013

 I put up Christmas this week...but I just couldn't be Mr Snowman back in the box.  I have several.  Many I collected when I lived in Texas...where snowmen don't grow.  My way of hanging on to some awesome childhood memories maybe.  This has always been one of my favorites...because there is a bluebird sitting on his shoulder. (I painted him myself!)

It's Winter here...of course,'s January.  The southside of my house overlooks a village park.  My property is lined with some very old, awesome trees.  This is the second year in a row that this little one has used it to bury in the snowbanks in hopes of staying warm and camoflouged from the hawks and owls that might frequent.  During the summer the tree is surrounded by hostas which I am not fond of but can't bear to remove because the little furry ones use it for cover during the summer months. This picture was taken Friday night.  Saturday morning the snow was gone as we had our couple of days of January warm weather (above freezing marks). I am sure it is just temporary.

There is an abandoned home next door to me, which is owned by some lady that insists on not living in it but pays the taxes every three years just to keep possession of it.  Why, you ask?  I was hoping you would be able to answer that. the barn like garage behind the house...on the north side of my house (not quite as pretty as the park on the other side).  This is what sixteen inches of snow will do to it.  Sad in a way.  See the garage door?  It was a wonderful place for photography.  (Secretly hoping I can salvage it somehow..despite boy toys guffaws at me. LOL)

Work was crappy this week. (Go figure)...and so I broke open this bottle on Friday night.

I did work from home on Saturday....gggrrrrrr.

...and looked forward to a viewing of another Packer win at some friends.

Green and Gold...Go.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


My baby turns 23 today...about 1 PM today.  

Happy Birthday, Sam.

I am so proud of all my children.  I'm sure I've said it before...and will continue to say it many more times.  I am a lucky person that way.  My children are all awesome in their own personal way.

I can't say Sam was the best baby ever.  He joined the world teething and was sure to let us know with sleepless nights for what seemed like three years.  I have to say he has always been good at expressing his thoughts.  Like his mom, he likes to write.  He hasn't been trouble free but he is a survivor.  Still at that stage of discovering the world and what he wants to be, he seems to be in 'his' place right now...for now. 

He has an awesome love of music and like his mom, has been a Packer fan most of his life (if even just on the sidelines being a native born Texan).  

He's had his share of 'troubles' but he is strong.  He always seems to be surrounded by many friends and has no problem making them.  He loves to enjoy life and enjoys his video games and sports.

He is my more sensitive much as a macho little boy can be. 

He lived with his awesome big sis for a while and it truly amazed me how connected he became with her and her oldest daughter, my granddaughter, Ainsley.  He will be an awesome dad some day. I can't wait.

But twenty three.  He said to me the other day ' I'm getting old'.  Too funny.  You have a long way to go, sweetie.  A good life lays ahead for you...because you are strong and that is what you want.  You are a survivor and an awesome, awesome person.  Don't ever let anything make you believe otherwise.

I love you, sweetie. 
Happy Birthday, Sam.

 Sam, Zoey and Stephanie (his sweeties)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

One Little Word 2013

I know!!! It is about time.

Happy New Year.  Happy Happy 2013!!  I just know it is going to soon as I get off my duff and DO IT !!!

Work has already put me in a rut.  The holidays were great. (More on that later.)  They rocked...except once again, I take a week off and come back to the person quitting...third one in a year.  This makes a restful holiday...over really fast.  As a result...I delayed the start of everything I had a passion to begin in 2013.  Well...enough is enough is enough. pep talk.  

This. Is. Step One.
Picking my 2013 little word.  It has taken me four weeks to figure it out.  In my mind, I've changed it umpteen times. Today...on my way home from I admired the awesome fog at 4 pm (created by the 45 degree weather in january as it hit the cold banks of snow).

DO.  DO.  DO.

Just do it.  Stop procrastinating.  Stop letting work block you. It's a new year.  It. Is. Going. TO ROCK.

I promise.

I've been lazy over the past year.  Maybe rightfully so what with a year of exhausting hours.  The summer was hot and dry and although I had a couple awesome road trips, I just didn't seem to have the energy.  I want the ole' me back.  The young energetic one.  I know it's just because I let myself go. I continuously felt like I needed to take time to rest.  Yet...I rested too much I think.  I let negative work spread to my home life.  I can't do that this year.  I have a couple more awesome trips scheduled this year and in between I must DO what I want and love.  Photography and writing.  I can not put my life on hold anymore.

  1. DO - Organize (so drastically needed)
  2. DO - Connect (with my family, friends and ME)
  3. DO- Discover (I so need some new challenges, new learning, new techniques)
  4. DO - Be Creative(in my photography, in my writing, and in every day life)
  5. DO -Learn, (new recipes, new techniques, new places)
  6. DO - Focus (on my blog and photography)
  7. DO - Volunteer (somewhere)
  8. DO - Artists Date more regularly
  9. DO - Travel (to new places)
  10. DO - Read (more)
  11. DO - Workout (back on a regular schedule)
  12. DO - Improve (my work situation, my home situation) I DO what I want and need to do.

Follow my tag 'One Little Word 2013 - DO'

Do you have a word for 2013 that you want to live by?  I'd love to hear about it.  I'd love to help you along.  Let me encourage you encourage and inspire me.