Friday, May 31, 2013

52 Photos What are you Eating

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Our assignment this week is to photo what we are eating.  Sounds like fun!
I have a sweet tooth and never pass up a chance to eat sweets, so it stands to reason my photo would be something sweet.

This week we celebrated my husband's birthday. His mother, who is a wonderful cook and baker, made cupcakes with the help of her grandson.  Thankfully my huband knows how to share!  I'll be eating this one as soon as I finish this post.

"Never eat more than you can lift." -- Miss Piggy, Muppet extraordinaire
So what are you eating?

Check out Sally's Blog to see what others are eating.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Around The Yard and Beyond

In this post from the 52 Photos series I shared a photo of the wheat field across the road from us. One commenter said her husband called it crappy wheat--to which I must politely disagree. Another commenter asked for photos as the wheat progressed, so I obliged.

The wind was blowing at a pretty good clip  making the wheat sway. 
 By the end of June this wheat will have turned a beautiful golden color. I can't belive how fast it has grown!

Last fall I left the Halloween pumpkins in the front garden because I was too lazy.  Now it appears they are sprouting...which makes me very happy. Crossing my fingers for a pumpkin or two.

Our Japanese Bloodgood--a lovely tree, especially when the sun shines through the leaves.

The door to the playhouse, painted years ago. These friends are now Sophomores in high school and the playhouse sits empty. 

A perfectly round nest sitting in the crutch of this dead tree.  And inside the nest....

The mama bird, perched high above on the roof of our house was giving me fits for getting so close.

This is our house. It was a cloudy day when I took this photo, and the color didn't quite come out right. It's a brighter yellow than this.  It's such a cheerful color and always lifts my spirits when I turn into the driveway.

I'd love to know whats in your yard. Take a look and share it with me.
And a question about Blogger.  I can no longer see the spelling/grammer button on the toolbar.  I used to be pretty good at spelling in my younger days, but not so much anymore, and I always relied on this tool.  Does anyone have a suggestion as to where it went and how I can get it back?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

AJE Earring Challenge

It's the reveal date for Art Jewelry Element's Earring Challenge for weeks 19 and 20.
In keeping with my goal to feature different bead/component artists, both earring pairs are made with components from Cathy Dailey who makes the most darling rustic charms, pendants and more.
'Gloria' made with Cathy Dailey's sterling silver cross charms, fasceted ruby 'Berry Bliss' czech beads, and silverish 'Mercury Marbles' Czech beads from Arte Bella Surplus, and a mix of brass and copper components to add a look of graceful aging to the earrings.

'Under the Apple Tree' made with tiny sterling leaf charms from Cathy Dailey, Czech Beads form Arte Bella Surplus, and sterling ear strings from Fusion Beads.

I took a bazillion photos of thes earrings but had a difficult time capturing the sweet charms because the sterling reflected the light so much. Need to practice on that.

I'm enjoying the AJE Earring Challenge so much, especially since I'm featuring some wonderful artists, but I haven't made anything other than earrings since December. Something else I need to work on.....
Please stop by the AJE Blog to see what everyone else made. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

52 Photos Reminisce

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This week we are to capture a photo that takes us back to our childhood.  Since my dad was such a saver I have many things I could photograph, such as the ceramic pots and pitchers I made in high school art class, or the Disney lunch pail I used while in grade school, or a tiny tea set my sisters and I enjoyed with Pepsi M&M's and cookies, and so many more.

But the thing that makes me reminisce about my childhood is this....

Dad kept probably close to 100 of these reel-to-reel and 8mm movies.  I remember we would break out the projector and the screen when company came to visit. We only had three TVchannels and this was something different and fun. Plus, mom would always make a large bowl of  popcorn for us.

I remember the sound of the film passing through the projector, and I can still recall the musty smell of the large screen, both of which my dad still has.
I loved watching these old movies, especially the ones of my mom and dad when they were a young couple living on the east coast. They are even more special now since mom passed away. 

Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you have a chance to fondly reminisce about your own childhood.
Be sure to visit Sally's Blog to see what memories were stirred up this week. 
And please say a prayer or two for the residents in Moore Oklahoma.

Friday, May 17, 2013

52 Photos Looking UP

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This week our assignment is to look up.

Sally says: 'There is a whole world above us that we sometimes miss seeing because we simply forget to look up.'

I love looking at houses, especially ones built before the age of the Rambler, or Ranch house.
Most every city has  at least one street lined with beautiful old houses and large trees. Even our tiny town has a street or two like that.  One warm sunny day I took a walk and actually remembered to take my camera, snapping photos of the more interesting architectural elements of some of the houses along 6th street and around town. And since Sally asked us to look up, you will only see the top parts of some of the photos.

This beauty is only a couple blocks away from where we live. At one time, as it sat idle, I wanted to turn it into a bed and breakfast. Thankfully someone purchased it and has done a lot of work on it.

This beautiful Italianate home is currently without an owner. The yard is overgrown and I fear this beauty will fall into disrepair. Such a shame.

I just love this turret and the other elements!  Who knew roofs could be so fascinating??!! The owner takes loving care of this home.

Isn't this gingerbread trim sweet?  I've loved this home since I was a kid.

This low-slung American Craftsman home is gorgeous and well-kept. I decided to show the entire home just because...

Another turret.  The home needs some loving care but still keeps it's character.

My favorite house of all, this beauty was owned by an older woman with a bazillion cats. When she passed away the home was gutted and redone from the inside out. Now it  has a new owner who takes great care with this beauty.

Another favorite.  An elderly woman lives here by herself.  She and her late husband are German, and owned a bakery on our town when I was a child. I have fond memories of that bakery, and I loved to hear this couple talk with their German accent. You can see the home needs a bit of love.

Another American Craftsman House. It's a beauty and has stood the test of time.  I hope the new owners take good care of it.

You can see I get a little giddy about architecture, and I hope you enjoyed these photos.
Thanks for stopping by!

Be sure to check Sally's blog to see what others saw when they looked up.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mothers Day

This cute card came all the way from North Carolina from my oldest daughter. It's a pop-up card.  Sweet!

And the foxes move when that tab on the right is pulled.

Wishing all the mothers a Very Happy Day!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

AJE Earring Challenge

       Today is the reveal for weeks 17 and 18 of the year long Art Jewelry Earring Challenge.
Last time I featured beads from Heather Powers, which was fun.
So this time I'm featuring earrings made with handmade components from Kristi Bowman.
'Ancient History' made with Kristi Bowman's textured copper shard charms, rustic brass components from Fegin's Daughter, and tiny lampwork beads from Pebble Dreams, and Vintaj brass components.
'Medicine Woman' made with Kristi Bowmans textured copper shields, tiny lampwork spacer beads by Silvertwisted, and Vintaj chain and earwires.
I had so much fun featuring these wonderful artists, and I hope to be able to keep that trend going for a while.  Thank you for stopping by. Please check out the Art Jewelry Elements blog to see more earrings.

Friday, May 10, 2013

52 Weeks Hope

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“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
~ Emily Dickinson

This is what I see every Sunday morning at my church, and it gives
me hope.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16

One of the many stained glass windows in our church.

Up in the balcony this gorgeous window shines to passers by.

What gives you hope? Check out Sally's Blog to see more.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Paper or Plastic

There you are in the grocery checkout line and the sacker asks ‘Paper or plastic?”.   This should be easy to answer, you would think.  As the sacker politely waits for an answer you quickly sift through all the information you’ve read about the long-debated issue.  Paper is biodegradable but the harvesting makes a larger negative impact on the environment.  Plus it takes lots and lots of trees, not to mention the habitat destruction. OK, plastic it is.  But wait, your memory suddenly flashes pictures of plastic bags stuck in power lines, trees and fences, littering streets, sidewalks and gutters. And you are now leaning toward paper.  During all this, you hear in the background a faint grumbling from a long line of customers, and maybe even the drumming of fingers from an impatient cashier.  The grocery store begins to fade away as angry faces mixed with images of huge landfill piles and scarred earth swirl around in your head.  Suddenly you hear a loud voice.  “Use cloth bags!”

OK that might be a little dramatic, but I have found myself trying to decide between the two. I do have reusable bags, and if I was a better planner I would have them placed so they are at the ready when I go to the store. I'm not that organized, but maybe you are.

Just a caution on cloth bags, while they are kinder to the environment, according to many studies these bags can harbor dangerous bacteria including E-coli and salmonella if not properly washed regularly. Also they risk cross contamination if meat juices transfer to fruits and vegetables, or to the bag itself.  Your best bet is double wrap your meat and use a separate bag designated for meat only. Buy bags you can wash, and wash your bags at least once a week.

 All photos are from Tree Hugger. And click here if you want to read more about the debate of paper and plastic.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Just Call Me Plain Jane

So I have noticed that lately my blog has been all about challenges and not much else. While the challenges help me in may ways, I miss sharing the day to day stuff. Today I'm switching it up with a subject that I hope I'm not alone in experiencing. 

Thanks to my dad, I have very fair, sensitive skin.  When I was a kid I was always itching, but back in the 1960's, and  with our family having no medical insurance, 'itching' wasn't a thing you went to the doctor for.  Fast forward  to adulthood, experimenting with the latest greatest makeup and cleansers coming out at warp speed, my skin was a mess; red, itchy and loaded with pimples and splotchy patches.  Even then I never thought to see a dermatologist.  It was about 10 years ago around the age of 40 when I had enough of wasting money on products that made me miserable. I bit the bullet and saw a dermatologist who put me through an allergy test. The results were an allergy to fragrance and several other ingredients, plus I was diagnosed with rosacea. Her answer was to throw away every product and start new using the products you see in the photo.

At first I wasn't thrilled with this at all. The Free & Clear and Vanicream products are expensive and have no scent at all, and until recently I couldn't get them at my local pharmacy. I'll admit there was a time where I was feeling a bit sorry for myself.  But soon I realized these were actually working and I was no longer itching, plus with a prescription for rosacea my skin was looking better and better, and I no longer agonized in the cosmetics aisles on what will or won't work for me.  I will never be able to wear perfume or have wonderful smelling hair or skin, and I still have issues with sunscreen and haven't found makeup that works for me, but that's OK.

But what I really want to share is why these products work. They are formulated without dyes, lanolin, fragrance, parabens and formaldehyde.....FORMALDEHYDE?? Check the labels on all your makeup and toiletries. Look them up on the web. Some are very frightening.

Besides the products above I use Tide Free laundry detergent.  If you have a similar story and found safe cosmetics and toiletry brands please share them with us here in the comments.

Friday, May 3, 2013

52 Photos Abstract

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Our assignment this week is to take an abstract photo by focusing on the visual language of form, color and lines.  I had a bit of a difficult time trying to figure this out...should it look like the real thing only changed in some way? Or should it be something real but transformed so as to be unrecognizable unless it was explained to the viewer?
According to one photography site, abstract does not represent the subject in a literal way, rather it communicates primarily through form, color and curves rather than detail, and evokes a strong reaction in the viewer. 
 Clear as mud?

My first stab at abstract photography using Picasa editing tools. A pretty photo with wonderful form, color and lines, but not quite what I'm looking for.

Again, edited with Picasa, and I do like the photo, but still not there.

This is  more what I was looking for. A close up of a glass votive with sweet little bubbles in the glass and a bonus reflection of a window. It makes me think of  the lovely bubbling brooks we sometimes see on our travels (well without the window).

The original photo.

Thank you for sticking with me through my trial and error.  I even tried Photoshop Elements for the first time but that takes a lot of practice and muddling around, which I did not have time for.  I'm still not sure I got right but it sure was fun trying.

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. – Ansel Adams

Please visit Sally's blog to see more Abstract photos.
As always, I enjoy your comments.