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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Walk and Click Wednesdays #22 & Tales from Kobi

It's time for Walk and Click Wednesday! It's so good to see you all linking up. Thanks for making this party a success!

Last weekend Mom took me to a new place on her Walk and Click adventure--a place called Westminster Hills Dog Park. It's a 420 acre park full of trails where I could roam off-leash and meet all kinds of new friends.

mouseover to see before image

This is a cool view of the Rocky Mountains, but Mom had to do a lot of work to remove the telephone poles and lines. Looks much better now.


I met so many new friends out there that Mom couldn't possibly take pictures of them all. And there was a pond that she just couldn't persuade me not to go wading in since there were already some other dogs paddling around in it. She finally called me out, but not before my bottom half was black and stinky. Good thing she kept walking long enough for me to dry and let some of the pond scum fall off. I didn't really mind, but she wouldn't have been too happy to have that all over her car!


And I ran into excentric Uncle Teddy with his green sweater. I never could understand why my smaller relatives wear sweaters, especially when it's 60º outside! I love just going au naturale.


There weren't many things for Mom to photograph out there except pups and mountains, but isn't this a pretty cool yucca seed pod?


Didn't get Mr. Golden Boy's name, but he was having a ball romping circles around me. By this time, I was getting pretty tired and we were just looking to get back to the car.


We were almost there and I just had to visit with Golden pup ... we learned his name, but unfortunately Mom forgot now. He was only 12 weeks old and already a little bit bigger than I am. Pretty timid, this one.

I slept all the way home and lucky me, got a bath, so now I'm nice and clean and sweet smelling!

My mom loves seeing every one of you who join in this linky, so thanks for coming. I love seeing her smile as she reads your posts. Now that she's working full-time it may take her a little longer to visit each of you, but she will ... promise! ;->

~~~~~

I look forward to seeing you here for Walk and Click Wednesdays. Can't wait to see what you saw on your strolls.

Please join me in the adventure. The only "requirement" other than those below is that you go out walking and take some pictures. Please keep in mind that you don't have to walk, take pictures, process them, and post all on Wednesday ... take the weekend before to explore and a few days to process your photos ... then link up.

Walk and Click Wednesdays (WCW) Guidelines:

Are you new to Walk and Click Wednesdays? The party will open on Wednesday and close on Saturday at midnight.

Here are just a few guidelines to keep everyone on target.
  • Please link directly to your WCW blog post or the specific flickr image, not to your main blog url or flickr stream url. Please do not link to an online shop.
  • Please link back to laf Custom Designs. I'd love it if you'd share my WCW button on your blog (it's over there on the sidebar--see it?--just under the Friends Who Love It Here icons). It will also serve as a reminder to you since I know you all have a lot going on in your lives.
  • Please visit the other WCW participants and share the love. Gotta get this party goin' on.
Have a great weekend and find some time to walk and click. ;->




Saturday, January 26, 2013

Creative Expression: Dream Board 2013

Running a little late on getting my Dream Board completed this year (usually a New Year's Day party project), but today I was finally able to meet with my friend, Sharon. We had a grand time catching up on life and working on our respective projects. It was interesting how we went periods of time concentrating so much that the silence surrounded us like a comforting blanket.

Click the image to see a larger version. 
Images are those that "spoke" to me from magazines. Derivative creation is original.

I find it amusing that I liked the image (top center) of the eyeballs. I wonder if there is something about visioning in this year that I have not contemplated. Most of the rest of this piece speaks to my One Little Word: Contentment, I do believe. I look forward to more time out in nature and must take time to read more. Now that I've found work, I think I can relax into some pleasure reading. And of course, there must always be "a Place for Paws (and Pause). ;->

Some of the text that may be too small to read even in the larger version:
  • Our focus is clear
  • Seeing the light
  • A handful of no regrets
  • Growing dreams ... working wonders
What I find with creating dream boards is that often I choose some pictures that have no immediate connection for me; I just like them. But amazingly, as the year unfolds it often all becomes quite clear.

Afterward my friend and I shared some soup and bread (sorry to say it wasn't my best!) and chat a bit more before she headed home before sunset.

I did add a layer of Kim Klassen's paperlove to help make the colors pop since they were a bit flat in my photo.

Update: If you've never done a Dream Board or Vision Board, it's easy. Just flip through some magazines (they don't have to be current, and older ones can be found free in a variety of places). Don't over-think it, just  choose things that grab your attention, that "jump off the page" for you. Then arrange them on a poster board in any way you like; glue them down. There you have it. Easy. It's fun to see what emerges/manifests as the year progresses.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Walk and Click Wednesdays #21: Tom Frost Reservoir

It's time for Walk and Click Wednesday! Thank you all for joining in last week. Looks like we're growing! Pass the word that it's fun to Walk and Click, discover new areas of your town, city, state and gather together to share. There are so many benefits: increased awareness, metaphorical lessons, a sense of peace and joy in discovering the beauty around us. I'm looking forward to seeing what you've found this week.

I was finally able to enjoy my Walk and Click without the pressure of the job search! OMG, what a wonderful feeling.


This past weekend as the weather warmed, I adventured to Broomfield again. I found a new pond ... Tom Frost Reservoir. The first sight that greeted my eyes was an abundance of geese ... yes, more geese ...


and ducks!


And even caught a duck in flight!


I loved the metal sculpture "Lotus" by Matt Cartwright (2006) ... it's a lovely bench cocooned within the metal structure.


I met Goldie and her owner, Sheryl ... we enjoyed part of the walk together talking about our dogs, our work, and learning that we had quite a bit in common ... our age and a history of knee problems! lol Fortunately, mine have gotten better for the habit of walking that I have developed over the last year and a half.


Amazingly, we saw these sled dogs in training while pulling their owner who were riding bicycles. They must have passed us at least three times. Fun times.

Please know I'm so grateful for each and every one of you who join in this linky. Now that I'm working full-time it may take me a little longer to visit each of you, but I promise I will. ;->

~~~~~

I look forward to seeing you here for Walk and Click Wednesdays. Can't wait to see what you saw on your strolls.

Please join me in the adventure. The only "requirement" other than those below is that you go out walking and take some pictures. Please keep in mind that you don't have to walk, take pictures, process them, and post all on Wednesday ... take the weekend before to explore and a few days to process your photos ... then link up.

Walk and Click Wednesdays (WCW) Guidelines:

Are you new to Walk and Click Wednesdays? The party will open on Wednesday and close on Saturday at midnight.

Here are just a few guidelines to keep everyone on target.
  • Please link directly to your WCW blog post or the specific flickr image, not to your main blog url or flickr stream url. Please do not link to an online shop.
  • Please link back to laf Custom Designs. I'd love it if you'd share my WCW button on your blog (it's over there on the sidebar--see it?--just under the Friends Who Love It Here icons). It will also serve as a reminder to you since I know you all have a lot going on in your lives.
  • Please visit the other WCW participants and share the love. Gotta get this party goin' on.
Have a great weekend and find some time to walk and click. ;->




Sunday, January 20, 2013

Creative Expression: Geese Walking on Water

Several days ago, our sub-freezing temperatures began to thaw, but McKay Lake in Broomfield, Colorado was still frozen. It seemed to make a nice resting place for the geese.

Click image to see larger view in Flickr

If you look closely just below the tree line, those little black dots are all geese huddling together on the ice. As I got closer, they got more skeptical and cautious ... standing, walking, and honking ... moving away from me.

It was such a pristine and peaceful place with a bench at the end of a mini-pier. I sat for a tidbit enjoying the crisp air and the sunshine sparkling on the ice while listening to the quiet.


While walking back to the car with Kobi, I caught the light on the waning cattails ... there's something about them that I just love.

Textures thanks to Pixel Dust: Brown Rice Paper, Etched in Stone

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Walk and Click Wednesdays #20 continued: Good News Update!

I know this is a bit unusual for Walk and Click Wednesdays ... having two posts, but I've been a little busy! But I wanted to share my news and post a few of my own images.

I did it! I got a job ... not just any job, but a good job. I start working for NITA - National Institute for Trial Advocacy as an Executive Assistant to the Executive Director on Monday, January 21!

I couldn't be happier ... really nice new boss and colleagues, great pay and benefits, good location ... all spell A BRIGHT NEW FUTURE. Remember my bright new future artwork I did on the last day of December? Well, I'm on my way. Yes!

Last Saturday, I even found the Boulder Creek access from my then-potentially-new-employer in 17º cloudy, gloomy weather. I wanted to pretend that I could pick up a walking path nearby for daily or occasional breaks.


The path.


A place for lunch.


The ice ledge.


Frozen in motion.

It will be much prettier in the spring ... well, at least a different kind of pretty. And I won't feel like my behind was frozen during a half hour walk!

If you want to link up with Walk and Click Wednesdays this week, by midnight Saturday ... please do so on this post.



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Walk and Click Wednesdays #20: Gathering Hay

It's time for Walk and Click Wednesday!

But I'm not ready. Oh my. How did it get to be Tuesday and I'm exhausted, but a good kind of exhausted. So, I'm opening the link up for you to get started without me. But please come back Wednesday evening for my image updates and good news.

Image taken December 2011

In the meantime, know that I've been gathering hay and just haven't had a chance to bundle it.

PART II: Images and Good News Update
I decided to post it as a new blog post, so please go here!

~~~~~

I look forward to seeing you here for Walk and Click Wednesdays. Can't wait to see what you saw on your strolls.

Please join me in the adventure. The only "requirement" other than those below is that you go out walking and take some pictures. Please keep in mind that you don't have to walk, take pictures, process them, and post all on Wednesday ... take the weekend before to explore and a few days to process your photos ... then link up.

Walk and Click Wednesdays (WCW) Guidelines:

Are you new to Walk and Click Wednesdays? The party will open on Wednesday and close on Saturday at midnight.

Here are just a few guidelines to keep everyone on target.
  • Please link directly to your WCW blog post or the specific flickr image, not to your main blog url or flickr stream url. Please do not link to an online shop.
  • Please link back to laf Custom Designs. I'd love it if you'd share my WCW button on your blog (it's over there on the sidebar--see it?--just under the Friends Who Love It Here icons). It will also serve as a reminder to you since I know you all have a lot going on in your lives.
  • Please visit the other WCW participants and share the love. Gotta get this party goin' on.
Have a great weekend and find some time to walk and click. ;->




Sunday, January 13, 2013

Meet Mr. Goop - The Gluttonous Squirrel

As I was making my coffee this morning, I looked out the kitchen window and saw Mr. Goop hanging out in the tree with a frozen hot dog!! (The high today was 16º!!) I wonder where he found it. The only thing I can think is I live in a neighborhood with other Mr. Goops who tossed their leftovers. LOL I am constantly seeing squirrels in my yard with big wads of food and can't for the life of me figure out where they're getting it.

Textures thanks to Pixel Dust: Virtually Vintage
click image to see larger in Flickr

I remember learning this poem about manners when I was young and every time I encounter gluttony or poor manners, it comes back.

Just a couple close-ups here since the details are a bit hard to see in the collage.



Hope you are enjoying your weekend and finding a good treat to eat!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Creative Expression: Just Child's Play

There's something about Hugh Laurie in House that I just love. Is it that he gets away with things the average bloke can't and still keeps his job? Is there just something endearing about him being himself regardless of how rough the edges are? Is it that he always figures it out in the end and saves a life? I don't know, but I had fun creating a new piece of art while the story unfolded in the background.

Textures thanks to Pixel Dust: Brown Rice Paper, Sweet Thoughts, Impressionist Music, Drops of Jupiter
Shape brushes thanks to DesignFruit: Shabby Shapes 
Click image to see larger view in Flickr 

I used multiple effects in this piece: the transform function to make the curved object, which I discovered is only in CS5 and above; clipping mask; blending two photos from my trip to the northern Colorado prairie last weekend; multiple textures at different blending options; and shadows, glows, and bevel and embossing.

It's just all child's play for me now! Thanks so much to Kim Klassen for getting me started and all my Flickr and blogging buddies for inspiration. ;->

Friday, January 11, 2013

Creative Expression: Dance like nobody's watching!

Joining Bonnie at Pixel Dust Photo Art for Photo Art Friday! Her theme is entrances/exits or any piece of art. I think dancers do both ... enter and exit ... in style. And each of us can practice dancing through life daily. ;->

Textures thanks to Pixel Dust: Perfect!
Textures thanks to Lenabem-Anna: texture 209

Short and sweet today ... just a little piece of art and a quote. ;->

“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.” ― Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Walk and Click Wednesdays #19: Lessons from the Road

It's time for Walk and Click Wednesday!

Here is my Lessons from the Road post promised several days ago. This is the same adventure on which my Bald Eagle photos were taken ... and mostly I drove and clicked, but I was reminded that if I had left earlier in the day I would have had some time to walk. Next time. If you missed it, you can also find reference to a website for more information and directions to the area.


Lesson 1: No place to hide.

In northern Colorado one finds lots of open space and the prairie lands are quite flat. The lingering snow gives the landscape some texture and variety, but I felt very exposed out there in my white Toyota! I stopped to give Kobi a little walk, but found that I prefer a path and the protection of trees, not a dirt road. And sometimes I just need to hide behind a closed door.


Lesson 2: There is protection in the flock, especially when everyone looks the same.

It was incredible to watch this flock of Canada geese circle and gather and land in the field to find their winter food of grain. There were so many more ... but zooming in made for a more interesting picture. Can you recognize your friend, Bert, in all of those guys?


Lesson 3: A blended family can be the perfect family.

I loved the juxtaposition of the mule against the horses here. Oh, and the donkey is being a bit coy ... just as some family members can be. Anyway, this grouping reminded me that it is possible to develop good blended family relationships as I have with my former husband and his wife and kids.


Lesson 4: Sometimes you just don't blend in. 

How can black cows possibly blend in with the golden corn fields as their backdrop? It reminds me that sometimes we just don't blend in and we're not supposed to. We're supposed to stand out, shout our message, and celebrate the gifts we bring to the world!


Lesson 5: Sometimes the middle of the road is the best place to be.

As I approached these cows that were beside the road, I thought, "you guys are on the wrong side of the fence." I stopped to take pictures and allowed Kobi a moment to stretch his legs, which didn't last long because I felt so self-conscious with those cows staring at me. Upon reflection of this photo, I couldn't help but think there is a time and place to just be in the middle, at neither extreme.


Lesson 6: You may feel lost, but chances are you're not.

Out there in the middle of the northern Colorado plains, I began to feel lost as the sun lowered in the sky. I was looking for the highway, but it wasn't materializing. I noticed those nasty fears cropping up. What am I going to do if I don't find the highway? How am I going to get home from here? Well, I do have some extra food for me, but no dog food. And it's freezing; I don't have any blankets. I kept going because finally I had seen a sign a ways back indicating the highway was in the direction I was going. I began to wonder how the early pioneers who discover this western land ventured across this land in their covered wagons and on horseback. I mean, really, I was nervous in a car!


Lesson 7: You can build your home anywhere you want.

As you can see from earlier pictures, this area of Colorado is very desolate; but, this brave soul built a dream home in the middle of it all. On a more esoteric level, I am reminded that I can create home anywhere ... that sense of belonging ... of safety ... of fulfillment.

Thanks for joining me today. Hope you have found a place to walk where lessons are revealed to you.

~~~~~

I look forward to seeing you here for Walk and Click Wednesdays. Can't wait to see what you saw on your strolls.

Please join me in the adventure. The only "requirement" other than those below is that you go out walking and take some pictures. Please keep in mind that you don't have to walk, take pictures, process them, and post all on Wednesday ... take the weekend before to explore and a few days to process your photos ... then link up.

Walk and Click Wednesdays (WCW) Guidelines:

Are you new to Walk and Click Wednesdays? The party will open on Wednesday and close on Saturday at midnight.

Here are just a few guidelines to keep everyone on target.
  • Please link directly to your WCW blog post or the specific flickr image, not to your main blog url or flickr stream url. Please do not link to an online shop.
  • Please link back to laf Custom Designs. I'd love it if you'd share my WCW button on your blog (it's over there on the sidebar--see it?--just under the Friends Who Love It Here icons). It will also serve as a reminder to you since I know you all have a lot going on in your lives.
  • Please visit the other WCW participants and share the love. Gotta get this party goin' on.
Have a great weekend and find some time to walk and click. ;->





Saturday, January 5, 2013

Small Stone: Extraordinary Sighting

Day 5: Small Stone project with Satyavani Fiona Robyn and Kaspalita Thompson at Writing Our Way Home.

This is the moment I wish I had one of those super duper 800mm lenses ... and could carry it!! My apologies for the blur, but at least I had the wherewithal to capture the moment. I've never seen a Bald Eagle in the wild ... I mean, I've never seen a Bald Eagle at all!! And not only did I capture one, but I got a pair! I was quite far away ... taken with a 55-200mm and cropped.


Did you know the Bald Eagle has a body length of 70–102 centimeters (28–40 in). Typical wingspan is between 1.8 and 2.3 m (5.9 and 7.5 ft) and mass is normally between 3 and 6.3 kilograms (6.6 and 14 lb). Females are about 25 percent larger than males, averaging 5.6kg (12 lb), and against the males' average weight of 4.1kg (9.0)? (Source wikipedia).


Today was just one of those days I needed to get in the car and go. I headed north, thinking I'd go to Laramie, Wyoming. I don't know why, I just pointed the car that direction. Then I tried to find the scenic route. Boy, did I manage that ... and felt a little lost, but I'm grateful because I hit the jackpot.

This sighting was near Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, a 28-square-mile park and conservation area located 25 miles north of Ft. Collins, Colorado. The land was purchased in 2004, which was opened to the public in 2009. I will definitely have to go back and walk the trials of Soapstone Prairie when the park is open in the spring!

Small Stone: Don't be afraid of feeling lost. It's in the void miracles happen.
I think this is one I need to heed.

Come back tomorrow for Lessons from the Road!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Small Stone: A Lesson in Play

I've already missed three days of the Small Stone project ... don't think I have the energy to keep it up every day even though it is just a small daily observation, but today this dog in the snow made me laugh out loud.

Textures thanks to Pixel Dust: Brown Rice Paper
Textures thanks to Paree Erica: Sky Blue Stars

I was driving home from meeting a dear friend for coffee/lunch. A young gal crossed at the light I was approaching and instantly as she got to the other side of the street her dog dipped into the snow and rolled around with a passion I only know right now in my artwork. It was a pleasant high for the day. I only wish I'd been a bit quicker with the camera and gotten the action of him rolling on his back. ;-> But driving was the top priority, right?

Small Stone: Sometimes you just have to drop everything and roll around in ecstasy ...  no matter the weather, no matter who's watching!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Creative Expression: Face Art

My friend, Karen Merhinger, said it best in her Healing Grief and Living Fully newsletter ... "When we express ourselves creatively, our vital energy flows, we are in the moment, and our hearts are open."

I have experienced this ... hours pass as I create my "little pieces of art" that I discovered during my Reverb '12 project. I feel productive. I surprise myself as the creative process unfolds and shows something evolving out of nothing ... out of the blank canvas. One might consider this a bit of a self-portrait ... the side I'm willing to share ... the side I want to focus on. Yes, there is a darker side. I try not to let it take over.

Textures thanks to Kim Klassencherishscripted, now, bestill
Textures thanks to Pixel Dust: Etched in Stone

I have been asked what I've been doing to keep busy while I look for work ... I must say, I've been staying busy with my creative expression. It is the one thing that draws me in even though there are lots of other things I probably should be doing ... cleaning house, organizing, purging. Ah, the life of a creative ... a life a little bit crazy. It all begins with the question: I wonder how you do that?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Walk and Click Wednesdays #18: Willow Run and Metzger Farm

It's time for Walk and Click Wednesday! Don't forget to change your copyright date to 2013! ;->

I decided to explore a new area ... Broomfield ... a neighboring city in the Denver Metro area. So I tootled on down to where I thought Metzger Farm was. I couldn't seem to find a trailhead, but finally parked on a side street where I was able to pick it up.


As I got out of the car, I saw these vibrant red berries ... the sun shown on them so beautifully.


I followed the path and a sign indicated it was Willow Run Open Space. Quite amazing ... all this open land in the middle of a city.


Today was not a day of friendlies ... we passed several dogs and their owners and as I asked, "Is he friendly?" was told no several times. Darn. No pup play for Kobi. Around the bend on this trail, I saw what looked like a loose dog cross the path ... it wasn't a dog at all! It was a coyote!! It all made me keep a tighter rein on him than usual.


As I looked back from whence I came, stopping to take some pictures, Kobi sat patiently ... just watching intently. Yep, that's my rough and tough little boy ... doesn't even mind sitting in the snow!


I loved how the sun glowed on the dried brush poking its head through the snow. And the geese honked above as they said to one another, "hey guys, we're going this way." Occasionally there was the lone goose who seemed to be slightly lost honking his way back to the flock.


After crossing the bridge, I found Metzger Farm Open Space! A beautiful little spot beside a frozen pond that just opened to the public November 10, 2012.


It was a grand day for a Walk and Click even at 30º ... the sun shown heating the day and while Kobi and I kept moving we created our own warmth.

Thanks for joining me today. Hope you all had a wonderful New Year's Day!

~~~~~

I look forward to seeing you here for Walk and Click Wednesdays. Can't wait to see what you saw on your strolls.

Please join me in the adventure. The only "requirement" other than those below is that you go out walking and take some pictures. Please keep in mind that you don't have to walk, take pictures, process them, and post all on Wednesday ... take the weekend before to explore and a few days to process your photos ... then link up.

Walk and Click Wednesdays (WCW) Guidelines:

Are you new to Walk and Click Wednesdays? The party will open on Wednesday and close on Saturday at midnight.

Here are just a few guidelines to keep everyone on target.
  • Please link directly to your WCW blog post or the specific flickr image, not to your main blog url or flickr stream url. Please do not link to an online shop.
  • Please link back to laf Custom Designs. I'd love it if you'd share my WCW button on your blog (it's over there on the sidebar--see it?--just under the Friends Who Love It Here icons). It will also serve as a reminder to you since I know you all have a lot going on in your lives.
  • Please visit the other WCW participants and share the love. Gotta get this party goin' on.
Have a great weekend and find some time to walk and click. ;->
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