Friday, February 25, 2011

Shadow Portraits

Over at Mortal Muses, this week's challenge theme is Shadow Portraits. I have always loved taking photos of shadows, in any form...whether people, objects, etc. My camera and I love to play with light and what better than shadows? Happy Friday everyone! For this week's Friday Five I wanted to share five of my shadow portraits. I like that it adds a certain mystery to the shot...a certain anonymity.
Fallbrook, CA
Dana Point, CA
Granby, Colorado
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
San Clemente, CA

They may not be the world's most creative shadow shots, but I still like the different take on a people photo. I like that it adds a certain anonymity to the shot.
Happy Friday! ♥

Picture Inspiration

This week is the beginning of Picture Inspiration, a 52-week long 'photo-centric community' hosted by Tracey Clark. I am honored to be one of seven moderators chosen by Tracey for the class of over 400 members.
I have taken three online classes with Tracey - Picture Fall, Picture the Holidays and Picture Winter, you can see my photos HERE. There is something so unique and special about these classes in that an incredible community forms among the members. Everyone is inspiring and encouraging each other, and forming friendships through the shared passion for photography.
I have seen so much growth among the photographers in the class, as we all develop a personal style and step outside our comfort zones. We are all able to step outside those zones because of the support and encouragement from the group. My photographic confidence level has grown exponentially due to all the kind words from the members and Tracey herself. I was stretched, challenged, and learned to think outside of the box like I never had before.

But Picture Inspiration is a bit different from the other classes. The idea emerged from requests for a continued community setting after Picture Winter concluded. Instead of a daily prompt for a month, it is a year long with 52 weekly prompts and provides that same atmosphere. Entering Picture Inspiration this week was like walking into a coffee shop and being greeted by many familiar faces. It feels like home and I cannot wait for what is to come.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Puppy Love

My brother and his girlfriend just got a puppy, an American Bulldog who is actually a cousin to my parent's American Bulldog, Tucker. They named him Chinook, pronounced sha-nook named after a type of hop (they are beer connoisseurs, clearly). It is also a type of salmon and a warm Canadian wind. They love to fish and they love beer, so two of the three are very fitting!
Ahh that face! Won't be small for long...
EWWWW girl kisses!!
Sorry for making you look like a girl, buddy.


Breathe. Let Go. And remind yourself that this very
is the only one you know you have for sure.
-Oprah Winfrey
There are times when things just get to be too much, too stressful, too painful, to the point of feeling like someone is standing on my chest. I find myself at times holding my breath - with too much on my mind, unable to sort through my thoughts, and having to remind myself to breathe. It seems like such a simple thing, it is inherently programmed into us and should not require any thought. But it is as if I am waiting for something to change, as if when I release the air from my lungs the tension and stress and pain will leave along with it.
There is something in nature that reminds me to take a breath. The beauty, the ease of which plants and flowers move, the consistency through which they grow & die and repeat the cycle again and again. I am reminded to take a breath of fresh air, admire the abundance of beauty surrounding me, and that life is a cycle of ebb and flow. Nature forever be my muse in photography and in life.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Coffee Date

Hi friend! And hi Tuesday! MMM raspberry tea. Pull up a chair, I will brew you a cup, or coffee if you prefer. The tea is delicious, and from my friend Georgia. Both lovers of tea, all things crafty, holidays, and any excuse to give a gift, we decided to do a Valentine's Day gift swap. It was so much fun...the rules were simple, make a Valentine's Day decoration, and add something edible to enjoy. Georgia is incredibly crafty and an inspiration with the beautiful items she creates!

As my gift to her, I made her a multimedia painting on a 5"x5" canvas. Something I have never really done before but had a lot of fun with it! Man this tea is delicious. Thanks Georgia!
If we were meeting for coffee today, I would tell you to head on over. I am tired and don't have the energy to get dressed, so feel free to stay in your comfy clothes and snuggle under a blanket.
If we were meeting for coffee today, I would ask you "what you did for Valentine's Day?" Because Mondays are long days for Brent and he starts early the next day, we both agreed we would rather celebrate over the weekend. Saturday we rode bikes to the coffee shop down the street, grabbed iced lattes, and hit the beach for a picnic, sunshine, reading, and relaxing. That night from the comfort of home we made a three-course fondue dinner...cheese with apples and bread, oriental beef broth with veggies, chicken and shrimp, chocolate fondue, and champagne. (Okay so we were too full for the dessert fondue, so we are actually having that tonight) YUM! He surprise me with tulips on Friday and roses on Saturday.
And my gift?
A bracelet and necklace from Dogeared, paired with a card from him that said, "I love you to the moon and back" and "Our love is infinite" - I am so so lucky. And I love the dogeared stuff because they all have some kind of special meaning behind them.
Are you reading anything right now? I am reading House Rules by Jodi Picoult. She is such a talented writer and I can't put it down. It is extra fascinating to me because the main character is a boy with Aspergers Syndrome, so at times it is like reading about my cousin who is autistic.

♥ Enjoy the rest of your week, thanks for having coffee with me! ♥
And thanks of course to Amy of Lucky Number Thirteen for hosting Virtual Coffee!
*The I Love You card is by Crafty Fanny

Monday, February 14, 2011

♥ Happy Valentine's Day! ♥

There are many reasons I love Valentine's Day. For one, it brings back fun memories of giving and receiving valentines in elementary school...the excitement of carefully picking them out at the store, distributing into everyone's homemade holders, and gleefully reading each one as I stuffed my face with candy.
Another reason I love Valentine's Day, I can't get enough of all the hearts, the reds, pinks & purples, the sappy cards and of course the surplus of chocolate and candy. And I love walking around the downtown shopping area and seeing all the store windows decorated.

But my very favorite part of the holiday is the opportunity to express my love for those who mean the world to me. While romance is a big part of the day, I like to think of it as a day for love of any kind...shared between parents and kids, significant others, pets and owners, siblings, friends...
This year I spread the love by sending out homemade valentines and chocolates.
I hope that above all else, you were able to spend time with those who you love!
Happy Valentine's Day! ♥ ♥

Thursday, February 10, 2011

10 on 10 - February Style

February 10th and time for 10 on 10! 10 photos on the 10th of the month, 1 photo every hour for 10 consecutive hours. This month, I still took a photo every hour, but I focused on the hearts and love around me in honor of Velentine's Day and National Heart month!
See some more 10 on 10 projects from other participants HERE.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Virtual Coffee

Good morning! I love having coffee or tea on Tuesday mornings and chatting. Today I am sipping some peach tea in my favorite purple mug siting in my favorite chair, and listening to the birds singing away in this windy, grey day.
If we were actually meeting to have coffee and chat I would ask about your weekend. Ours was jam-packed between Brent's birthday and Superbowl. Friday was Brent's actual birthday, just the two of us had sushi and saw the Black Swan. It was a really good movie we both loved it, but I did not expect to be so freaked out by it! We met there so we had separate cars, and driving home alone my mind was playing tricks on my and scaring me. I was very proud of myself for baking a cheesecake for the first time, it came out wonderfully and Brent enjoyed it.

Saturday we were able to relax, then we met a few good friends for dinner at a Caribbean restaurant. That was my first experience with Caribbean food...good but spicy. Sunday was brunch at Brent's parent's house for another birthday celebration. Huevos rancheros with homemade tortillas and the works. His sister is 4 months pregnant and we had a blast coming up with ridiculous name ideas (it is a boy). Back in the car and headed to Long Beach for a Superbowl party at our friend's house. Busy weekend but fun.
If we were really meeting for coffee, I would ask if you have ever heard of Kina Grannis? I have been following her for awhile and have even seen her live. But I love this cover she did with Boyce Avenue of "Fast Car"I am excited for Spring...can't wait for the bustling farmer's markets on sunday filled with my favorite fruits, the hillsides of wild mustard and wildflowers, fruit pies, Easter Sunday...

My mom is coming to visit today, I am very excited. We always have so much fun together, and even though she only lives an hour away I miss here when she is not here. I hope you have a great rest of the day and a wonderful week! Thanks to Amy for hosting Virtual Coffee! Visit her beautiful blog ♥
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