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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking back, standing still, moving forward ...

Hello, my friends!

In any given year there are challenges and joy. Our job is to focus on the joy and figure out how to make it through the challenges so we can find pleasure in the things we do, the people we meet, and the dreams that guide us.

I definitely had my difficulties this past year, both professionally and personally, but one thing I know is if I hadn't, I would not have rediscovered my love of photography. I would not have published The Stroll every week for an entire year! I would not have found Kim Klassen who so gently helped me learn Photoshop and find the love to continue playing and experimenting with it.

I can credit those who challenged me because they gave me cause to find something to ground myself, to believe in, to use as a creative outlet. So looking back, I have shot thousands of images, processed many with textures. I have made new friends through the Flickr community and I have pursued getting some of my images in a local gallery/gift shop. Recently, have set up an Etsy shop where I will make some of my images and greeting cards available. I will continue to add items, so do check in from time to time to see what's new.


This is one of my prized images that I took while on a stroll with my Flickr friend, Juli earlier this week along Clear Creek in Golden, Colorado. I can't even begin to compare my talent to Ansel Adams, but I like to think this is a shade of his style. As I stand still and reflect I realize while taking the time to practice, shoot whenever the muse takes my hand, and receive wonderful feedback from my friends, I am getting better. Looking through a lens has helped me look at life differently. There is beauty in everything, even the dying flowers, brush, and trees of winter. Unpleasant things can help us move in a different direction, a direction that is likely more appropriate.

As I look forward I chose to view the horizon full of possibilities. I'm confident I will find a new job, one that I can be happy and fulfilled in for a while. Photography will remain my spiritual grounding process. And I will continue to learn new things along the way. I've already begun watching the Adobe Illustrator tutorials on lynda.com. I will begin the new year in two inspiring classes: Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers and Ali Edwards' One Little Word 2012. My word is ABUNDANCE. Abundance comes in many shapes and sizes. I know this already, but I'm looking forward to discovering more. More friends, more money, more joy! It can't get much better than that!

With these thoughts, I will leave you with a couple images I caught yesterday on my evening walk with Kobi. Closing the year with the beauty of the waning sun and winterscapes.



What do you see when you look back? What reflections when you stand still? And what will you look forward to as you ring in the new year?

Happy New Year to all!
laf

Monday, December 26, 2011

White on White: Fun in the Snow!

It wasn't a particularly productive day, although I did get my resume updated for a particular job and I'll be submitting soon. Otherwise, I watched a movie, cleaned the kitchen, and made some homemade rolls. Mmmmm, at least the house smells delicious.


Then I took Kobi for a walk. The following is our adventure. First, he excitedly ran through the snow that came up to his shoulders. It flew into his face as he ran.


He laid in his, "I'm watching you and waiting" position as two other dogs approached.


The Spaniel was definitely ready to play! And Kobi was quite happy to accommodate.


As we moved on and the other dogs and their owners went their way, Kobi went into one of his crazy spells and ran and ran in circles. I managed to get him in motion. This is my favorite!



And he found a stick! I've never seen him pick up a stick and carry it before. So glad I captured this.

He continues to keep me amused, which helps keep my spirits up. Of course, after playing in the cold, he is sound asleep now on his chair. As they say, a tired dog is a good dog.

Texture thanks to Parée Erica: Cream Bokeh Swirls on all.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

To all my friends and family - Happy Holidays!

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This morning it occurred to me that it is not my job to go looking for the perfect picture. It is my job to be ready when the image appears.

It was then I noticed the sun glistening on the icicle hanging from the porch overhang outside my front window. It's also up to me to decide if the image would benefit from enhancement or if I want it to stand alone. In this case, it made a beautiful night time snowy holiday greeting when I added Paree's texture.

So, this my friends, is my Christmas/Holiday wish for you—be ready when the image appears. Translate: be ready when your dream presents itself. If you're not noticing the good when it comes, you might miss it—in a flash.

I am so grateful for all of you who have been there for me over this past year. I'm thrilled to have met new friends on Flickr who have encouraged me to try new effects and keep taking pictures. I am paying attention that sometimes I must reach out to bridge the gap with those I love. And of course, I may miss opportunities if I don't pay attention.

May you all recognize the good in your lives and tell those who are important to you that you love them.

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Frohe Weinachten! Joyeux Noël! Happy Hannukah!

Parée Erica’s Xmas 2011 Challenge
Texture thanks to Parée Erica: Snow Room

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Many Muses Musing - JOY

Linked to Many Muses Musing. Today's theme is JOY. Also linked to Kim Klassen's 12 Days of Textures and Lisa Gordon's Creative Exchange.

I created this photo of glass candle globes at Baylear on Pearl a couple weeks ago with Juli (Catgirl007). It was fun to see that Kim's textures turned red to green, then I brushed out the texture color on one of them to create quite the festive image.



It was quite a joyful day today! I chose to enjoy my "vacation" from a full-time job. ;->

Started out meeting my friend, Diana, for coffee. We both decided to brave the snow ladened roads and we both experienced a challenge getting out of our own neighborhoods. Now, what is more important than meeting a friend for coffee(!!) that even snow won't keep us from cancelling. We had a wonderful time. Thanks Diana for treating!

I came home to finish shoveling my driveway. Since we got about a foot of snow last night, I opted to help my elder neighbors out by shoveling their driveway. I am always concerned when we get this much of that white stuff that if they have an emergency they need to be able to get out quickly. While I was out there, another neighbor was also shoveling out. Pierre's dogs, Spirit and Seled, were out enjoying the stuff. But what caught my eye was that Spirit was just sitting in the snow! In fact, I couldn't pass up the photo op. By the time I got back to the house, grabbed my camera, Spirit was still sitting there. It was wonderful!



After I clicked a couple of times he started running toward me and I capture the most wonderful in-motion as he plowed through the snow! I'm really jazzed this the one below. This is pure JOY! I wish I could bottle that!



Okay, now it's time for some hot cocoa, a bit of TV (not just as background noise), and dinner. Oh, I guess I should eat! I don't think I got lunch. Ha!

Textures thanks to Kim Klassen and her 12 Days of Textures: wonderfulmagicstars and inspiredmanifesto (Spirit running); annabelle (Spirit sitting in snow); and providence and wonderfulmagicscripted (candles).

An evening of Christmas cheer

This is a lengthier post than usual, but there is a treat at the end if you love a great sugar cookie! There is nothing like SHARING sweets at during the holidays! Linked to Many Muses Musing.

My youngest son, Scott, came over last night to decorate the Christmas tree. I surprised him with one of his favorite meals--creamed turkey on toast. He was thrilled. But before we got to the tree, he fell asleep on the couch. I wondered if we'd actually get to decorating, but when he woke up he asked why I let him sleep. Well, one reason is he can be a bit grumpy when I wake him. This way he got is rest from a full day fixing cars and I didn't get blamed for disturbing him.

It all worked out. He went down memory lane with the ornaments and I made sugar cookies. Yummy! See recipe at the end of this post.

Then I took some close-ups and pics of him which was a challenge as he continually dodges the eye of the lens. What is it with my family? My mother hated to have her picture taken, hence there are very few flattering images in the archives. First, a beautiful ornament--one of my favorites on the tree even though I bought lots of Hallmark ornament for the kids over the years. Then one that I brought back from Germany when I visited my birth-brother many years ago.



Well, I just can't resist posting a picture of Scott. I'll have to take it up with him later, but I love him and just gotta give him at least a microsecond in comparison to the furry four-legged I post all the time. But, as you can see, I got him in there too. I don't think he's too happy about having a new earring!! But Scott is definitely amused. ;->

Sugar Cookies (thanks to my friend, Jerry)

2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 c butter
1 c vegetable oil
1 c white sugar
1 c powdered sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 c flour

Step 1: Beat eggs and vanilla in mixing container, add butter and oil; mix well.
Step 2: Add soda and cream of tartar, mix; add regular and powdered sugar, mix
well.
Step 3: Add flour and mix well.
Step 4: (suggested, but not necessary)
I like to make my own refrigerator rolls like Pillsbury makes by rolling logs in wax paper, then slice and back. Best if frozen at least a couple of hours.
You can roll into balls, place on baking sheet, and press with the bottom of a glass to flatten slightly.
Step 5: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Don't let bottom brown too much.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Many Muses Musing - PEACE

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Linked to Many Muses Musing. I haven't been very good at keeping up with the wonderful prompts, but made time today for PEACE. Textures thanks to Kim Klassen and her 12 Days of Textures: storm and providence

I took this picture of Kobi at bedtime last night. He looked so sweet, but then he always looks sweet and especially when he's sleeping. I don't love him too much, do I? Well, truth be told he does bring me peace and also much amusement.

I added the Christmas ornament, clipped from one of my Pearl Street Mall images taken a couple of weeks ago.

I hope this Holiday Season brings much peace to all of you.
Thanks for stopping by.
laf

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Wooden Shoes

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I finally got bitten by the Christmas Spirit bug this afternoon when I saw at King Soopers that Christmas trees were on sale for $14.95. After buying my groceries, I stopped by the golf course where Phillip works to see if he could help me get the tree home. He said "yes." For those of you who know the story behind recent times with him, you know this is quite a step forward—for both of us. It brought tears to my eyes. And he helped me get the tree in the stand as well.

I haven't had a real tree for several years. There are so many reasons and most of them seem unreasonable now. Anyway, I called Scott to see if he'd come to help me decorate, but he didn't have room in his schedule this evening for that kind of spontaneity. Neverthelss, he said he could come tomorrow. Well, if I don't get impatient, that will be really nice to do together. I know, I know, I should wait. It will be a real treat to decorate with him.

In the meantime, I pulled the tree skirt out that I made when the kids were little and placed the wooden shoes. There is quite a story there. When I was little I had wooden shoes from a visit to Holland. I was born and adopted in Stuttgart, Germany. I have a picture of me when I was about three standing beside my dad, but only his legs and shoes are in the picture. If I can locate it, I'll post in the next day or two.

Now these red hand-painted wooden shoes are not the same shoes I wore then. My original ones were not painted. These were given to me by my birth-brother when I met him many years later. I told him my wooden shoes had been given away and he kindly replaced them with these.

Today was a day of giving, receiving, and remembering kindness. When I take time to remember, I realize I am truly blessed. What helps you remember that you are blessed?

Textures thanks to Kim Klassen and posted to her 12 Days of Textures: annabelle and lola.

Also linked to Lisa Gordon's Creative Exchange.

Don't miss my One Little Word 2012 post. Fun info there on how to manifest goodness in the New Year!

One Little Word


It appears since I got laid off from work, I am not capable of an original thought! Well, that's not entirely true, but I'm following LeAnne's idea and I'm posting here my One Little Word: Abundance, my front cover design for the project, and an invitation to check out Big Picture classes.

I'm participating in Ali Edwards' "One Little Word 2012" class. It looks like great inspiration for the New Year and so much potential for personal transformation! Come join me and let's see how the new year unfolds!

Click HERE to create your free account. They offer lots of other classes as well (by all means explore to find something that interests you), but the price for the One Little Word is only $36 for a full year to pursue your One Little Word of inspiration. If you use this "refer a friend" code (E1BF106E) when you register for your first class, we'll both get a discount on our second class.

Brushes, texture, and overlay thanks to Kim Klassen, Pixel Dust and Shadowhouse Creations.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wooden Roses Make More Magic

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I know with all the holiday lights, decorations, and baking going on in many homes, this doesn't seem very festive, but I'm still having fun with the roses from Creations Art and Gifts. And Kim Klassen offered two new textures today for her 12 Days of Textures celebration.

I'm thinking tomorrow I might go out and find some Christmas spirit. It's also time to bake my favorite sugar cookies. So there may be some surprises in store for my blog tomorrow.

Textures thanks to Kim Klassen: moremagic

Posted to Misty's Shoot.Edit.Submit and Kim Klassen's 12 Days of Textures.

12 days of Christmas evaporating!

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I was wanting to participate in Kim Klassen's 12 Days of Christmas - each day she is providing a new texture and of course the idea is to use the texture and post the image. I've been so crazy busy that I haven't had time to even get started and today is already day 5! Does it count that I used two of her textures in this image? These roses are made of wood and I got them from Vickey at Creations Art and Gifts. My work is officially in the shop! First day in, two of my gift cards sold. Yippee! It might just be an omen of good things to come. I mean, they have LOTS of gift cards there. And someone found mine! It doesn't take much to please me.

By the way, do you think a print signed upside down is worth more than one signed properly, in the bottom right corner? Silly me, I signed in the bottom right corner, but I had the image upside down. ;-> It's all about creating a process and not letting the excitement and nerves get in the way.

This last week simply evaporated. And although, there's a part of me that feels I should keep working at this new business venture, I will be taking a break. I'm sure Kobi will be happy to take me for a walk and encourage me to take more pictures! Hopefully, I'll even get The Stroll out on Sunday.

Textures thanks to Kim Klassen: annabelle, zuzu

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Last minute holiday cards! Limited inventory - Order now!

Jumping right in with a new business venture! Do you need some last minute holiday cards? I can ship tomorrow if I get your order today by 8pm MST!!

I have seven designs, four of which seem to be popular already for the holidays. Inventory is limited as I had no idea exactly what I was jumping into. First come first serve. Please use the number in the upper right corner of thumbnails.

Order information:

I’ve attached the 7 designs I currently have (the last image is the back).
Dimensions are 4.875 square with a 5 x 5 white envelope, printed on a high quality digital silk cover stock.
Singles will be packaged in a clear bag with flap.
Multiples will be package in a ziploc bag since I havn’t gotten to the packaging for multiples.

Single: $4.50 ea.
Pack of 12 (Sampler: 3 ea of any 4 designs): $2.50 ea. ($30.00)
Pack of 24 (Sampler: 3 ea of any 4 designs): $1.95 ea. ($46.80)

Shipping: Priority Mail $4.95

Thanks so much. I look forward to hearing from you!
Order directly: Email me at
I haven't gotten an online store set up yet, but am working on it. ;->

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's been a whirlwind!


I'm exhausted, but excited. It's been a whirlwind 5 days. When I learned that the owner of Creations Art and Gifts would make room for my work, I had to go figure out how to get those images out of my computer and produce quality prints and greeting cards—quickly. There's more to it than meets the eye. I've framed three of four prints. Hobby Lobby only packaged three of the four pieces of glass, so I will finish framing the fourth tomorrow. Also, I designed and order business cards.

In addition, I will be packaging 8 unframed prints tomorrow and 25 greeting cards will be ready on Thursday. Still 10 days of Christmas shopping left once I get these placed!!

The learning curve is steep and I've still got lots and lots to learn, but the good news is once I have some of these things in place it will be easier.

I think I'm ready for a vacation! But the next step is to research some online venues to generate sales. As a fellow photographer suggested, there are folks who wait until this last week or so before Christmas to make their purchases, so opportunities are still yet to be had for the short term.

Thanks to all my friends out there who have sent well-wishes. I really appreciate that you're in my circle.

Hope you're finding joy in your days.

laf

Friday, December 9, 2011

Abundance comes in many shapes and sizes

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Today was the first day of the rest of my life. I didn't have work to go to and at the beginning of the day the only thing I had scheduled was lunch with one of my treasured former colleagues. On the way to meet Jill I observed that the Rocky Mountains were obscured behind a white haze. It occurred to me that remarkable things are there even if we can't see them. I translated that to my dreams are out there even if I'm not sure what they are. There are good things in store for me even if I can't see them yet. Signs that I am hopeful. Lunch with a good friend was a wonderful time.

I stopped to see another friend who after many years making clocks from obsolete computer parts is seeing a breakthrough and her business, Makin' Time Computer Art Clocks, is beginning to take off. She is always busy preparing clocks for stock, participating in art shows, and being active in the community. She sent me off with a contact in Louisville who owns a creative art store, Creations Art & Gifts.

In a heartbeat, I stopped to meet Vickey, owner of Creations. I wasn't even prepared. No business cards. No samples of my photographs. No nothing. I just wanted to see what the shop was about and if my photos would even fit in there. I walked away with more hope after Vickey immediately shared with me the best way to display photographs from advice on framing; a discussion about the disadvantages of framing with glass; and to send her the link to my Flickr portfolio to see where to go from here. Vickey also suggested some framing vendors I could contact. She sent me off with a thank you gift, the yellow wooden rose.

Then I stopped at pARTiculars, a little art shop in Lafayette--right in myback yard! Suzanne talked to me about how the shop works. They are a coop. There are 25 owners and ~20 artists represented there. After I made a small purchase, she printed out their Consigning Artists Application. I found myself jumping into new possibilities and was hopeful that I might even be able to get some things ready for last minute holiday shoppers. I mentioned that I'd been laid off and wondered if I could get some items in before their open house next week. Unfortunately (for me), everything they consign goes through a jury process first. They won't be doing a jury before Christmas. Nevertheless, what a grand possibility. Something to think about and prepare for. Suzanne suggested I talk to Jackie Friesth about greeting card packaging. After sharing that my body did not seem to be in agreement with the thoughts I was trying to hold about "all good things," Suzanne picked up a tiny box and handed it to me saying, "This is my gift to you, the lemon and lavendar will help you relax." Inside were the tiny little beeswax lotion hearts she sells under the label Thirsty Hands. What a gift! Abundance is presenting itself already and I am welcoming it.

It was a marvelous day and I don't think it's over as I discovered Jackie has a creative framing art show this evening. I still have an hour. If I hurry, I can get to meet her!

Yes, abundance comes in many shapes and sizes. I loved photographing the rose and heart beeswax lotions to symbolize this day. I am grateful.

Thanks also to Pixel Dust: abstract, acceptance, intensify Hmmm ... I smile when I think of my choice of those textures.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's a holly jolly Christmas!

I guess I'll have a lot more time to play in my Photoshop sandbox — I got laid off today. I'm doing fine and have confidence there is good in all this. There's got to be a pony in here somewhere. And I'm going to spend a few days looking for it! ;->

This photo was taken through the window of a restaurant on Pearl Street Mall on that famous frosty night I wrote about previously. I'm looking forward to processing and posting more images from that evening yet. Keep your eyes open. ;->

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Linked to Pixel Dust Photo Art Friday.

Textures thanks to Pixel Dust: vintage wine label 3, impressionist music, holy grunge

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Sweet Treat - 3D Framing Instructions

I guess Photoshop is my sandbox! And I'm having a ball playing.

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I've been asked several times how to do the 3D framing that I've used on many of my photos, so I thought I'd post it here. I can't take credit for this as I learned it from EleanorT67 who learned it from Bonnie5378.

ALWAYS MAKE A COPY OF YOUR IMAGE

1. MAKE BACKGROUND LAYER - be sure this is selected in your layers panel
2. GO TO SELECT & > select ALL
3. GO TO SELECT > modify border > choose pixels (eg 5)
4, GO TO SELECT > inverse
5. GO TO SELECT > modify > contrast > choose pixels (eg 65)
6. GO TO EDIT & on that drop down select stroke - - (eg 15)
7. GO TO SELECT to > de select (or command d on the mac)
8. TO CREATE A SECOND FRAME LINE > do steps 1 - 7 again
9. TO REMOVE FRAME LINES FOR 3D EFFECT > Select the eraser tool and erase the frame line around the primary object in your image.

Play around with line (stroke) thickness and spacing between double lines.

Resize your image for Flickr or your blog.

While I'm at all this I save images for the rollover effect. Rather than rewrite those instructions, I'll refer you to Kim Klassen's mouseover tutorial. She is an excellent teacher. This is where I learned how to do it.

Have fun playing!

Textures thanks to Pixel Dust: Lovers Lament

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

More from Pearl Street Mall

 Last night, Juli and I met for the first time. We'd connected on Flickr and we quickly made arrangements to meet for a photoshoot. Little did we know the night we chose would be the coldest night ever. We started out at Boulder Bookstore, but quickly went looking for a coffee shop. It didn't take long to find Starbucks. Good thing they are like gas stations and can almost be found on every corner. Once inside and settled with our coffee, Juli began eying photo opportunities. I almost felt like an understudy, clicking away a the things she passed up. It was rather funny actually, but only a difference in our capture styles. In the process I got lots of interesting pictures. This one is from inside Starbucks, looking out.

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After getting to know one another and warming up, we wandered outside to find captivating night lights, but those bright lights you see through the window at Starbucks were everywhere. They made it almost impossible to get the pretty colored lighted balls hanging from the trees in the mall. A bit frustrating, but we walked a bit to see if we could find the proper angles. Both of us were finding the cold unbearable. Juli suggested we ducking into Bayleaf on Pearl feeling Boulder Bookstore was just too far back to wait. It turned out Bayleaf was a photographer's haven with treats for the eye at every turn. The spools below were the first thing that called to me. The first picture was a fuzz because my lens fogged up because it was so much warmer inside than outside. My second picture wasn't much better, but I'm thrilled at how sharpening and texturing improved the image.

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We must have spent an hour in that shop clicking away. Taylor, the sales associate, paid us no mind. She called to us once asking if we were doing okay. Of course we were. We warmed up and had a visual feast. I love the violin and the wooden characters below.

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After a bit nature called and the shop didn't have a ladies room, so we moved on to the bookstore to get our parking cards validated. Since they required a purchase to do so, we modeled some warm hats for each other before making final purchases. I got a nice little alpaca knit beanie and Juli picked a fleece lined bell-shaped hat that covered her ears. We were happy campers who had a grand time. Bidding farewell in the parking garage, we agreed to do it again. What a fun time in spite of the freezing temperature.

If you missed Part I, check it out here .

Textures thanks to Shadowhouse Creations.
Textures thanks to Kim Klassen

Starbucks door: Shadowhouse -  D2011SS-3 , 6, 7
Spools: Kim Klassen - thursday
Violin: Shadowhouse - Square 75, October Square Set-3

Monday, December 5, 2011

Night photo shoot on Pearl Street Mall

I am certifiably crazy! I met a new Flickr friend, Cat Girl 007 for an evening photo shoot. We scheduled this about a week an a half ago ... BEFORE the weather turned giving us a HIGH of 11º, which meant by 5pm when we met it was colder. We met the challenge anyway! And by the time I drove home at 8:30pm my car registered -3º. Like I said, I'm now certifiably nuts!!

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I didn't catch the shop name where these Christmas balls hung. By the time I caught a few shots, my fingers were frozen. Nevertheless, this image reminds me to celebrate the beauty of the season.


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We ducked into a neat little shop called Bayleaf on Pearl to get warm. We must have spent an hour in there, just the two of us, snapping away. The young sales associate, Taylor, didn't seem to mind. As I chatted with her a bit, she said it's no problem as long as we don't post anything with labels—something called product sourcing. That was new to me. I learned something.

I got other interesting shots ... will try to get them posted tomorrow! Don't miss Part II here .

Textures thanks to Kim Klassen: phoebe
Linked to Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday: Theme: Celebrate
Linked to Lisa Gordon's Creative Exchange.

Bird Brooch

Oh, I'm falling behind on keeping up my blog. I know I could let my post of this stand alone on Flickr, but I love it so. So here it is. This sparkling bird takes up permanent residence on my black winter pea coat. Sadly, I rarely wear that coat much as I don't get dressed up very often. Makes me think I should pull out Tweet, Tweet and take him for a ride some day soon.


Posted on Macro Monday.

No textures here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Stroll December 4, 2011 - My Camino!

Here is the December 4, 2011 issue of The Stroll: Observations While Out Walking (and sometimes driving).

Finally, I have been able to synthesize over 500 photos and write the accompanying commentary for My Camino. As some of you know already (those who follow my blog and Flickr), I didn't quite make the intended goal of 50 miles in five days, BUT I did accomplish 35 miles in four days!

It was quite an adventure. I hope you enjoy this issue.

http://www.theelementalpress.com/The_Stroll_120411-1.pdf

Thanks so much for taking time to smell the roses and take each step of this adventure with me. ;->

Friday, December 2, 2011

He's faking ;->

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Kobi found a new corner in the living room last night, so I put down a towel and pulled out a pillow I got for him when he was a puppy. He scratched and tugged and turned until it was all rumpled, but comfortable, before he settled down.

I got down on the floor to take some pictures. He opened his eyes, but was clearly tired, so I waited until he closed his eyes again. He's definitely faking.

Textures thanks to Shadowhouse Creations: Square 10, 59

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The gift of a snowy day

Another snow storm came in last night, so today started out with shoveling the driveway and an hour and a half drive to work. Now, to put that in perspective, my drive is normally about 25 minutes. Nevertheless, all I could see on my way to work was the beauty of white, how the snow cloaked the trees, and the cloud cast a haze over the landscape.

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So, you tell me ... what else should one do when driving at 1 mph for 11 miles! Below is what I would have seen for all that time if I hadn't been picking up my camera periodically to capture the beauty.


Textures thanks to Pixel Dust: Feelings and Unconditional. Also, adjusted levels and added poster edges filter.

Linked to Pixel Dust's Photo Art Friday .

Linked to Lisa Gordon's Creative Exchange.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Grateful for my faithful companion



This was taken on the last day of My Camino: walking 35 miles in 4 days before Thanksgiving. Kobi walked 27 of those miles with me! What a trooper.

The day I walked without him because dogs aren't allowed in the Heil Valley Ranch, I missed him.

I would talk to him along the way and often he led at his own pace, stopping to make sure I was coming. So sweet.

Posted to Mortal Muses: theme "Gratitude"

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Everyone has a calling ...

"Everyone has a unique calling and it's really time to listen to that. That's what the future is going to be. It's time to get ready for it, and help contribute to it, and make it happen." ~ from the video


I've been saying for a long time, "If everyone were working at something they really love to do, we would be living in a very different world." One day I will be working at something I really love to do. Oh, I guess I am ... my photography! I'm just not making money at it ... yet. ;->

I first saw this video linked from Joelle Brandt's blog, An Artful Endeavor. Thanks Joelle.

Barn at Grasso Park in Superior, Colorado

One more from my short 3 mile stroll along Coal Creek from Superior, Colorado yesterday.



This is the barn at Grasso Park. "It is intended to illustrate a small family farm operation typical of the turn of the last century. A number of buildings used by long-time coal miner and farmer Frank Grasso are located on the site, including a small house, barn, root cellar, privy, woodshed and a bungalow. There are also three pieces of machinery all used in farming operations around Superior in the old days. Grasso Park is an inviting environment for all but it is especially attractive as a place for children to explore and for family picnics."  ~ description from Superior Historian, Volume 2, Issue 2 Summer, 2004 August, 2004

Textures thanks to Shadowhouse Creations: Stained5

Waning fall berries and such

A short 3 mile stroll along Coal Creek from Superior, Colorado yesterday. Some of this trail winds its way through high class residential and the Coal Creek Golf Course. It was interesting to see how the other half lives, but all I can think of when I see homes as large as those in this neighborhood is, "I'd hate to have to clean them!"

Pretty soon all the highlight colors of fall will be gone and we'll have to enjoy the muted greens, blues, grays of winter.

And yes, I'm in avoidance of culling 500+ photos from the four days of My Camino and getting serious about writing about the experience. Not sure I'll get to it this weekend, but hope to be able to report on it soon.





Textures thanks to Kim Klassen: musiclovin and phoebe

Linked to Lisa Gordon's Creative Exchange.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Yummy abundance

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Post Thanksgiving dinner always provides for abundant meal options. This was tonight's dinner: baked butternut squash with butter, nutmeg, and cloves stuffed with turkey and peas in gravy. Yummy, yummy!

Textures thanks to Kim Klassen: nutmeg, lyrical, cinnamon, brokenbook

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Artsy Crows on Heil Valley Ranch

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I couldn't resist playing with the crows and make something a little artsy.

Had a blast showing Scott how to manipulate photographs. He thought this was pretty cool. And we're enjoying watching Tom Hanks in Big and Kobi is competing for time by throwing his red ball for me to play with him.

It's a great day!

One Crow 2x over Heil Valley Ranch

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I captured several photos of this crow in Heil Valley Ranch, Colorado. Superimposing one over another made for a nice image of flight and freedom. Kind of how my feet feel now that they're out of boots!!

What I know for sure after my trek -- I'm very grateful for comforts of home! A warm bed, electricity, and hot baths. Hot cocoa, homemade soup, and jammies.

I'm sure you're wondering if I made the 50 miles. Well, no. I did 35 in 4 days when my feet hurt so badly, I called Bill to pick me up (Tuesday 11/22). I was only ~1.5 to my car at the trailhead, but I had to make a choice.

Yesterday morning I discovered that I must have had a blister under my baby toe nail when I clipped it and suddenly it was seeping clear fluid. I know, nasty. Nevertheless, there was no way I was putting any more mileage on feet that couldn't walk in a shoe! Better today.

Looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner with Scott.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Textures thanks to Shadowhouse Creations

Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm Ready!

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The only thing missing is Kobi. I've got maps, food, clothing, and camera all ready for my trek. Will start My Camino tomorrow morning. If you've been following me, you know the plan is 50 miles in 5 days culminating in enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with my youngest son, Scott the day after I finish. Too bad I don't have a maid to fix the meal!

I'm really looking forward to this time to reconnect with my soul through the earth. It looks like the weather is going to cooperate -- well, in general. There are snow/rain showers forecast for tomorrow, but at the 50º temperature point, I don't see it as a real show stopper.

After Thanksgiving I plan to synthesize all my photos and create an extended Stroll with images, reflections, and inspiration. In the meantime, I will be signing off for the evening soon. Planning on no internet and no TV. I guess that leaves reading, writing, eating, and sleeping! Boy, life used to be so simple!!

I'll miss you all, but I'm so looking forward to this time.
Take care. I'll be back.

Happy Thanksgiving!!
Thanks for stopping by. ;->

Textures thanks to Pixel Dust: impressionist music and soft swirls texture 3

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Camino talisman

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I'm getting ready for the big trek -- aiming for 50 miles in 5 consecutive days (11/19 - 11/23). No overnights, but no TV and no internet, so I'll be out of pocket for a while.

The talisman for the pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago in Spain is the scallop shell. I have one, but couldn't figure out how to attach it to my pack, so I had this one that I like that I acquired a very long time ago -- worn by many tumbles in the sea and sand. I love how it looks like a "C," could be for Camino. Maybe it was waiting for just this event.

Textures thanks to Kim Klassen: shadesofnovember

My Happy Boy - Texture Tuesday

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Kobi shows me there are lessons to be learned about hiking and life. He is happy just to be out walking this great land of ours. It doesn't matter if it's windy. He just trucks on down the path happy as a clam. And about that big dust devil in the distance; it looks like a big Kobi just walking along too, stirring up the path. ;->
Textures thanks to Kim Klassen: phoebe and scriptedautumn

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Stroll November 13, 2011


Here is the November 13, 2011 issue of The Stroll: Observations While Out Walking (and sometimes driving).

My hike yesterday was a test of endurance and a testament of character (or sheer craziness!). When I got home, I learned on the news that the wind gusts were up to 75mph where I was! Nevertheless, as always, I found beauty. And Kobi is a real trooper for a little guy.

http://www.theelementalpress.com/The_Stroll_111311.pdf

Thanks so much for taking time to smell the roses and discover the open spaces with me. ;->

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day Tribute


I'm late to the party at 8:17pm on Veteran's Day, but decided to post this archive photo in honor of my father Colonel Lawrence G. Forbes who graduatued from West Point with honors, served 27 years in the U.S. Army, and retired in 1966, and lived to be 90.

I was fortunate to receive one of two flags given to my brother and me at his funeral in 2008. He is buried at West Point Cemetery. It was the most moving funeral I have ever attended.

The Scotsman is a cologne decanter that I gave Dad for Christmas in the 70s. The books on the right were written by his father in the early 1900s. The dolls were gifts to me as an adult by way of his travels during his latter years. The tile is the family crest. Of course, a major part of Dad's life was his 56-year marriage to my Mom who died in 1996.

I miss them.