Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Thank you!

All we have of freedom, all we use or know -

This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.

~Rudyard Kipling, The Old Issue, 1899

Scrapbook Pages Completed

I'm finally getting around to posting pictures of the pages I finished at the scrapbook retreat. In case you don't know, I am working on individual scrapbooks for my four grandsons. I want them to each have a scrapbook of the good times we had together. Therefore, when we're all together, I scrap each of them a layout of the occasion. So if you think you're seeing repeats, not really, just similar layouts.
Aaron lives close to us, so we we were able to go to church with him on Easter and then later that afternoon they came over for dinner and to hunt eggs.  This paper just happened to match Aaron's shirt so well. Notice the flower in the left corner. My sister saw this and showed us how to make it. The other three grandsons, came the next weekend to celebrate Easter and hunt eggs. I need to buy paper for their layouts.

Aaron was old enough this year to enjoy the egg hunt. He was pretty excited when he discovered that some of the eggs had prizes.

 All four boys went to the Wonder Place, a play area with different stations. We had loads of fun. Above is Jake's layout.

 Josh's layout

Drew's layout

 Aaron's layout

At Christmas time we did so many fun things. Since I wanted to include a lot of pictures, I just wrote a numbered list in the upper right corner of our activities and numbered the pictures that matched that activity. The layout above is Jake's.

Drew's layout

Josh's layout

Aaron's layout

And the last layouts are of the twins' (Drew and Josh) fourth birthday party. They had a Thomas the Tank Engine Party. I was excited when I found this paper for their layouts.

I need to journal on their birthday pages, but I wanted to go ahead and post them with the others.

I would say I accomplished a lot!! I hope I can keep the momentum up and finish some more!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Exploring With A Camera - Form

I'm linking to exploring with a camera again over at Kat's Eye View. This exploration was about form. Photos are 2D but we are usually photographing 3D objects...objects that have form. Angle and lighting are used to help show the form on our photo!

The things I love to photograph seem to be in nature. I just don't have much luck with buildings and don't like to shoot people at all!! They neither one seem to come out like I want them to! I Just love to grab my camera and head outside, usually on our property or the nearby woods. I don't venture to far since there's so much to see and discover right outside the front door.

So my exploration of form is of the trees around our home.
This image was the first that caught my eye! A very deformed looking branch! This started my search for different forms in trees. In case you're new to photography, just as I was a few months ago, the blurred dots you see in the background are called "bokeh." When someone first complimented me on the beautiful "bokeh" on one of my photos in Picture Spring, I had to google the word!!

I look at these trees and can't help but wonder, what would have caused this!

What made this tree twist and twist as it grew?

Was there a vine wrapped around the tree at one time?

This is looking up a tree that has been damaged. It is split from the ground up. I wonder, was it disease or maybe a lightning strike. Someday, it will fall due to its damage, but today it stands straight and tall and beautiful!

The trees in our pasture have a lot of their roots exposed. Maybe from the soil washing away, I don't know, but they have fascinating forms. I liked the circular form of this one.

And then, I found this!! A heart shape in the root of a tree. I love the touch of green and white! And I would have never seen it if I had not been "exploring with my camera"!!!

I couldn't believe it when I found the second heart shape in the roots!

There are forms, even in dead trees. This stump has such beautiful circles and colors. It's really pretty amazing!

And there's even beauty in a very rotten tree stump.

As I looked back over these images, I realize how long life is for a tree and how short life is for us!! May we spend a moment or two each day in thanks for what God has given us to benefit from and enjoy!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Treasures On Thursday

I posted earlier the picture of the bloom on my lily that I took yesterday.
Surprise, it is open in all it's beauty !!

One of the definitions of "treasure" is a collection of precious things. What could be more precious to find than a collection of lilies.

"Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."
Luke 12:27

After The Storm

We've been experiencing some rather scary weather the last few days. Everyday it seems we're watched our televisions, watched the web, and praying for our safety. Tornadoes are not unusual in our state, but this many tornadic days in a row is definitely not the usual. We have been fortunate, we've not had storm damage here. But, after the destruction in Joplin we are definitely being more cautious and aware of the possibility of damaging storms.

After the storm system passed yesterday, and I mean right after, the sun came out. I grabbed my camera and went looking for beauty after the storm. I knew with the sun coming out so quickly, there would be sparkly water droplets. Water droplets amaze me! I just wish I had the macro lens needed to produce the breathtaking images of drops that I've seen!

This first image is as the storm moved out and the sun began to break through!!  After I downloaded the picture, I noticed the flock of birds.
 My hostas have begun to bloom. They are such unusual blooms on such long, leggy stems.
And I have one azalea bloom. Yes, only one, my azalea bushes bloomed earlier this spring and for some reason this one bloom was there. I love to find surprises as I wander my shade gardens.
 The lily blooms are getting closer everyday to opening.
I can't wait to see them!!

A closer look at the bloom covered in drops of water.

The cedar trees are usually a great place to find drops, and I wasn't disappointed! There's a little sun flare reflected in the drop.
I didn't realize until I looked at this picture, how detailed and beautiful the needles of the cedar tree is. Everyday I am amazed by the beautiful things in nature that God has given us to enjoy. I'm so glad I'm looking closer to what's around me!
This one is one of my favorites!! The light was so special! Look down in the right corner and see the sun flare in the water droplet!! I was pretty excited about this one.
As I was walking around enjoying the beauty of nature, I began to think of how we all face storms in our life, some more severe than others. But, if we lean on God and seek his counsel, we will come out of the storm stronger and yes, more beautiful.

There is such beauty after the storm!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Scrapbook Retreat

This has just been a wonderful spring. I've enjoyed another special, fun weekend. I attended a scrapbook retreat with some very wonderful friends and family. We just had the best time. We cropped, we laughed, and we ate. We meet at a great place the...
A great facility in a beautiful location.
Of course, you have to have all your supplies, the Cricut cutter, pens, paper cutter, photos and a 12 x 12 box to take home the finished pages.  The photo box and 12 x 12 box are from Creative Memories. Love them both.
 Oh, and we must not forget the best part...the retreat gift and snacks!!
The morning of our second day, my sister, Judith, and I went out for a walk and took a few (really a hundred) pictures. There's a garden with a wonderful fountain.
Near the fountain is the rose garden. There are two large beds of miniature roses.  Every color you can imagine.
It had been raining very hard, so most of the roses were drooping, but we managed to get some good shots. The white one in the center of the top row is very tiny, about the size of a quarter. They were all so very delicate and beautiful!!
 We decided to wander further around the lake.
We found a couple of geese that didn't mind us taking their pictures.
Near the lake we found this walking trail. It was a beautiful trail complete with a boardwalk. It was so so peaceful and quiet. Since it had been raining earlier the only sound was the rain dripping off the trees. It was a very cool and refeshing walk.

All along the trail was a small creek. We found this small waterfall. I love waterfalls, they're always beautiful and the rush of the water is a wonderful sound.
Further down the trail was this nature center. On one side was the most beautiful Oak Leaf Hydrangea bush. I've never seen one before except in pictures.
The new blooms were as beautiful as the old brown withered bloom from last year.
After the walk it was back inside to crop. For all of us it was a very productive weekend. I was able to complete 24 pages. As we finished our pages, we laid them on these tables for all to admire. You can see some of mine up the right side of the table.
The weekend helped to inspire me again. I have slacked away from scrapbooking lately. I've set up a table in the living room so I continue to scrap at night. I'll post some of my finished layouts soon.

Thanks for spending time reading my blog. I love that you read it and love when you leave comments.