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Monday, January 31, 2011

Picture Winter - Days 30 and 31

You know, I'm really a little down today. It's like the let down after Christmas. Picture Winter is over. :(   I think I may have withdrawals from this everyday prompt! There's a couple of other options I'm checking out to see if I want to continue with daily prompts or not. I'm doing a 365 this year, so I am taking pictures everyday and the prompts do take some time in thought and actual picture taking. So I'm not sure what I want to do yet. The next class will be Picture Spring. This is not the first year for Picture Spring so it will be a little different. There will still be email prompts, a gallery to post our photos in, but it is self-paced.  Several of the girls are all going to start on April 1st so they can keep together on this project. I'm planned to join them. Can't wait!

Day 30
Yesterday we were to seek simple signs of hope that Spring is on the way. Signs that give us hope can so easily be overlooked. I posted three pictures because I just couldn't decide on one sign of Spring.
These are Jonquils from my Mom's yard. Hers are always up earlier than mine. Jonquils are one of my very favorite spring flowers.
My Japonica bush has some buds on it. I think it's a little confused by all the unnaturally warm weather we've been having. I hope the upcoming freeze doesn't set it back too much. I love this bush, except for those long and sharp thorns.
And, this is an off-shoot from my Flowering Plum tree. It's barely out of the ground, only about 3/8" high. I love the redish color of the small shoots.

Day 31
It's never too late to start a deliberate plan of focus for the year. We were to choose a word that we would like to focus on this year. I chose "TIME". I've really been aware that I need to better use my time each day. Each minute is a gift from God and I am working to use that gift in a better way. 
There's no way I'll be able to summarize this class. I have certainly learned a tremendous amount from these amazing, talented ladies. They have been helpful, encouraging, and a true inspiration! I've been on a journey around the world with them. There were photos from the Netherlands, Canada,  Paris, Germany, and from coast to coast across America. I've been brought to tears several times through their beautiful captures of a moment in life. I'm so very thankful I decided to take this class and I will definitely be taking another one.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Picture Winter - Days 27, 28, and 29

It sure doesn't feel like winter here today!!  Yesterday it was 70 degrees and sunny!   Beautiful, but a little too warm for me. Today, mid 60's and cloudy. You know how I like the cooler weather. But, my Picture Winter photo class marches on.

Day 27
Today, hands were to be the subject of our shot. I decided to recreate  a photo from our wedding day. We placed our hands on top of a Bible opened to the Book of Ruth. Here's our hands almost 39 years later. Our hands have changed a lot with wrinkles and brown spots.  Under the photo in our gallery I added the caption "still together, still in love."

Day 28
Winters can be dark and dreary months.  The beauty is in the details, waiting to be captured. I went for another trek through the woods. I love getting outside everyday with my camera. I see so many new things each day and I pretty much walk the same area. I have two shots that  I really like. I love the colors and the details in them. I couldn't choose, so I posted both in our gallery. Nature, even in the dead of winter is just gorgeous.
This first one  is lichen growing on a tree! I think it's just beautiful! Someone mentioned it looks like coral and it does!
 And this one is mushrooms growing on a tree. To be honest, I didn't know mushrooms grew on trees until I took this shot and then looked it up on the Internet. This bunch of mushrooms was about 12 inches long. It's kind of weird looking, isn't it?
 
 
Day 29
Today, we were to seek out our name. However we wanted to capture it in a photo. My first thought was the quilt that I embroidered my name on in the late 1950's. I was probably around 5 yrs. old. I have already blogged about it here if  you'd like to see it. Anyway, I just couldn't find a good way to photograph it so the name showed up well. Then I thought about jewelry with my name on it from when I was a teenager. I liked that, but several others had already posted jewelry by the time I took my pictures. So, I changed my mind to puzzle pieces that spelled my name. The ABC puzzle is one I bought for the boys to play with when thy visit. I think they've all liked to play with it and Drew loves to carry around the "T" because it has a train on it! He loves trains. It's amazing all the creative ways these girls photographed their names.

I have so many wonderful ideas floating around in my head since I've seen such creative and gorgeous photos, that I'm thinking of going back through the gallery and trying some of their ideas. I would like to get 3-4 photos for each prompt and put them into an album or have a book made at Shutterfly. Only two more days and it's sad.  I feel like I know these girls! They're wonderful photographers and they leave such wonderful comments that are so encouraging!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Treasures On Thursday

Treasures from the past!
I couldn't decide if I like the color or the black and white photo, so I posted them both.
These items  belonged to my grandmother. Her loose powder box. The bottom says "deluxe dusting powder." The scent was April Showers. There's still a little bit of powder in the bottom. An old fan that came from Cain's Drug Store in the town where they lived. My grandfather had dated it 1957. And also her glasses. I just had to try them on. It's really strange. I could see very well out of them. How strange is that!
I'm very sentimental and nostalgic and I love having family treasures!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 24, Day 25, and Day 26

Slowly we're winding down the month, and I'm sad. I have really enjoyed this!

Day 24 - Obscurity
On Monday we were to take a picture of something frozen, slushy, icy, cold, wet and take it in such a way to disorient our self.Such as, what is it or which way is up. Quite a challenge for me. I did cheat this day and use an old shot. It was dreary and misty with no ice or slush. Yes, wet, but no ideas there! My shot was of the frozen puddle in the neighbor's driveway.
I felt so guilty that I cheated that I went out later and took a few more shots. I like them too.
reflection of trees in the creek

rings from drops of water
it looks icy but it's not

Day 25 - The Magic Machine
Today, we were to find the beauty in the technical. Take a shot of our computer or whatever device that makes it possible for us to join the glorious web. I'm offering my excuses for my not so good shot today.
(1) took husband to have knee surgery today
(2) had to get up a 4 a.m. to take husband to hospital
(3) stressed :)
(4) I just couldn't get inspired today

Everyone was so creative, there were some beautiful shots. Yes, they were of a computer and they were beautiful! I just kept looking at my computer and that's all I saw...my computer. I tried to take a shot of the little green, red and yellow blinking lights on the front. Do you know how many shots you have to take to get one with them all lit up. Fifty or so!  When I uploaded it to my computer, I noticed the spot on the touch pad that has worn smooth by my finger. OK, that's a different view and I though that would work. But the shot wasn't to focused, a little blurry. So, I used Picasa to soften the edges. I used to much softening affect and went to cancel, but I hit the "save" button instead. On top of that, I had already deleted the shots from my camera. To tired to take fifty shots again, so, I just settled for what I had, posted it and learned a few lessons. Focus better and don't delete those shots until I'm through. So here it is. The "not so good shot" of my lovely computer!

Day 26
Today was a little easier. We were to find a beautiful mess in our homes. The mess part is not hard, but the beautiful part was a little trickier. I went with my basket of notebooks beside my chair. I have always been a list maker and a note taker. I just can't seem to keep all my notes in one notebook. So the mess is not the notebooks in the basket, but what is inside the notebooks is the mess.

I have to show this picture, too. My husband asked me the other day how many notebooks I had within my hands reach. Here's the answer.
 I have to stay away from the office supply aisles. There are just too many cute notebooks to temp me. This was my latest purchase. It's really cool, it's made from stone. Yes 100% stone. I've never seen pages made out of stone and look how flexible they are!
I think this is neat, but I can't decide what to write in it!

Only five days left in my photo class. I'll sure miss it! Actually, I might get back to my quilting or scrapbooking and quit spending so much time on the internet looking at everyones great photos.  :)

Bee In My Bonnet Giveaway

One of my favorite sites to visit is Bee In My Bonnet which belongs to Lori Holt.  You'll notice a new button on the right side of my blog. Isn't it cute with the vintage pattern!

 She is having a giveaway on her site to celebrate her new blog look. She's giving away three of her quilting patterns.
This is one I would pick if I won. I love paper dolls. I remember spending many hours playing with my paper dolls as a child.
Paper Dolls Quilt pattern by Lori Holt

Not only does she have a great site but she has a site that looks great. This time it's so cheerful with red gingham. Who doesn't love gingham! I know that I do! 

Here's a few things about her and her site
1. She is a designer of fabric and quilting patterns
2. She has cool tutorials, family ideas, and even recipes
3. There's always inspiring and beautiful projects...she has cute seasonal projects
4. She's a quilter...I love to look at her quilts!
5. She has a playlist on her blog...we like the same music!
6. She likes all things vintage...does that sound like me!
7. She likes the 1930's fabric lines...my very favorite fabrics!
8. She even has book suggestions...I'm reading one of her suggestions right now.

It's just a fun site to visit! If any one these things appeal to you, stop by and give her a visit! And don't forget to register for her giveaway!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Picture Winter - Days 21, 22 and 23

Time for more photos. The last couple of days has been easier for me. I thought of something fairly quickly. Now getting the right pic was not that easy. I showed my Mom the gallery of today's prompt and she was truly amazed. To see such talent, to see a little bit into other's lives and visit far away countries is just amazing!

Day 21
Now this one was hard. Most winter days are dreary and overcast we have to work harder to bring light, color or shape into our shot. Wow, I was really lost! I'm too new at this. I bundled up, grabbed the camera and went for a walk in the woods. I took about 75 pics and really didn't feel good about any of them. As I was crossing the yard headed back in, I turned around and looked back toward our barn. There is a row of cedar trees and the morning sun was peeking through the branches. I had seen several photos for earlier prompts that had a sun burst or sun flare. (I'm not sure exactly what it is called.)  I gave it a shot and brought a little more light through the tree. I was pretty satisified.

Day 22
I was leaving town to go to a crop meet this morning, so I was worried about the prompt and getting my photo. I was so relieved, at the prompt. An easy one for me. The heart of the table in the home is love. So what is the centerpiece of your table. Ahh, got that one. The centerpiece on my kitchen table is a vase of colorful flowers. The thing that is so special about my centerpiece is the vase. It belonged to my Grandmother. On Sundays, she often picked fresh flowers from her garden and took them to church in vases. I'm sure this vase went to church many times.

Day 23
Today, we were to look around you and discover what's  hanging around to help us celebrate life. She called it "high strung".  It took a little thought and walking around the house, but I finally saw what I wanted to shoot.  I titled my photo "lovingly strung high". It's three dresses that I wore as a child hanging from a shelf. Delicate, vintage, antique dresses, yes Antique...about 56 years old. I've shown my dresses before as one of my Threasures On Thursday,  here. The center dress was my Easter dress made by my mother. The small photo on the shelf is of me wearing the dress. I treasure my Mom, the dress, and the photo. It's a celebration of my life.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

PICTURE WINTER - Days 18, 19, and 20

As I mentioned last time, we are now getting prompts that make us really think. Tuesday's photo we were to pay attention to one subject that tends to keep showing up in our work - something that captures our eye, time and time again, and begs to be the center of attention for our creativity. It seems like lately droplets of water kept showing up in my photos. They fascinate me. I try to see how close I can get with my point and shoot camera using the macro button before it blurs. This one focused pretty well on the limb and drop. Lots of ideas were posted on this prompt. The center of others creativity included children, birds, pets, landscapes, trees, doors, light, barns and many others. Lovely photos today!

Wednesday we were to capture something that would give a peek into our world or a photo that told a story about us. Many of the photos today were emotional and powerful. So many people have difficult things they deal with every day, like Alzheimer's, diabetes, and just the many struggles of life. So many chose to share these with us through their photography. It really made me count my blessings.


I had a really hard time with this one. I just couldn't find a good way to express who I am. But, one thing kept coming to mind, my life has always revolved around thread. I started out sewing as a child, making my own clothes in high school, then my daughter's clothes. (I have a son, but there's not much to sew for little boys. He loved t-shirts and jeans.) In my early married life I learned to cross stitch. I would stitch every day and eventually this passion led me to work for a company that publishes cross stitch leaflets. I no longer work and my attention has turned to quilting. For generations the women in my family have quilted, either out of necessity or just the love of beautiful quilts. I'm quilting more now than anything else. If you take a peek  into my life  or home you will always see threads of some kind, usually quite a few sticking to my shirt, jeans or socks!!

Today's prompt was to find something "frosty". Either literally or figuratively. Another hard one! Today it is raining, there is no frost around. My husband suggested that I post a self-portrait because when I want to I can throw a pretty frosty look at him. This is true!! We Mom's know how to give "the look"! I thought of frost in the freezer. But it would be a little embarrassing to show all the frost built up in my freezer. But as I looked I noticed this frost on an ice cube. Had to take the picture quickly before it melted. I think it worked. It looks pretty cold to me!
In our gallery there were photos of frosty outdoor scenes, window panes, glasses, mugs, and even inside a freezer. There was even one photo of a co-worker throwing a frosty look. She and the photographer were good friends and she was the model for frosty. I guess my husband wasn't too far off in his suggestion! These girls are so wonderfully creative. I spend way to much time everyday looking at their photos!

Treasures on Thursday

Here again with another treasure.

First, let me apologize for the quality and color of the photos. I've taken pictures of this quilt for three days. But it is so dark and dreary, I just never could get a good shot.

I think I've mentioned before how much I love quilts. I also love houses, anything with houses! I had seen a picture of this quilt and never could find the pattern. Now it would be so easy to find, but this quilt was made before the internet was available to me. So I sketched out my own and used mostly scraps from my stash. I did have to buy the border and backing fabric. Here's where it gets funny. After I finished the blocks I went to JoAnn's for the border fabric and guess what I saw...the pattern! I sure wish I had found it earlier, it would have been a whole lot easier to make.

My grandsons and I like to pick a house we would live in. I always pick the blue house on the right, top corner. If you notice all the other houses, the windows and door fabric match. But, not the blue one. I did that on purpose to represent me. You see, I'm a little rebellious at times, always have been! I still don't go in for trends and fads, I'm just me!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Update on my PhD Challenge

I've been steadily working along on my red and white snowman quilt.
I was able to get all the rows joined and I'm working on the sashing that goes between the rows. I'm making good progress just sewing a little each day!


I was just wondering
how many spools of thread I've bought
how many bobbins I've wound
how many pins I've touched
how many needles I've threaded.
I imagine those numbers would be staggering!
Tomorrow I'll show you a treasure I created with fabric and thread.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Picture Winter - Day 16 and 17

I'm always excited first thing in the morning, I jump up and check the photo prompt for the day. Let me tell you, they are getting harder. More thought is having to go into the process. But, that's good for the brain, right?

Day 16
Today we were to to consider ways you can evoke some kind of emotion in a picture incorporating a towel, or towels. Uh, towels! I was kind of lost. Who thinks about towels! But, as I meditated about towels :) I had a fond memory of wintry, snowy days when I would play outside. I would come in with frozen hands and Mom would have a towel warmed to wrap around my hands. I remember doing the same thing for my children. I threw towels in the dryer to wrap around their cold hands and feet. Warm fuzzy memories!!


Day 17
Landscapes this time of year are stark and barren.  We were to capture some kind of starkness today.  So I looked up the word "stark".
stark - barren, desolate, having few or no ornaments
This is hard to me. I think of stark as barren dessert or something like that. So, I grab my camera and coat and out I go. Looks pretty desolate to me...no sunshine...foggy! But, what do I take a picture of? It didn't take me long to start taking pictures. I took 81 in fact, but deleted over half of those.

My first though was an old abandoned railroad trestle at the edge of our property. I liked this angle and made it black and white. I like the way it turned out...barren and desolate.

Next, I found this vine. I seem to like water droplets in my pictures. But this fit the prompt too. It is decorated only with water droplets and a web. I used the macro so the background blurred completely.

And last, this is a picture of my barren wisteria vine against the winter sky. I love the curly branches that look so wild.

I was damp and cold when I came in 45 minutes later, but excited about the pictures. I now have pictures of things, that before this class my eyes would not ever have seen!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Picture Winter - Day 13- - 15

Our snow is melted now! We have muddy yards and dirty cars. I miss the snow, I enjoyed each day walking outside and taking pictures. I took over 200 pictures during the snow! Crazy, huh!! I was glad to have some real wintry looking pictures for Picture Winter.

Day 13
We were to take a picture of our idea of controlled chaos. Since I've been shopping for staples once a month, my pantry can be very chaotic if I don't keep it under control and in some type of order. I didn't realize just how colorful my pantry is. I also laughed at that little rebellious box of Jiffy mix that is upside down!

Day 14
We were to  walk outside and scour the landscape for a bit of forgotten beauty. Then pull the focus in tight and see what we could find. It was suggested that we look for something other than just snow and icicles, but I just couldn't help myself. We so rarely have so much beautiful snow!

This is a close up shot of the snow on the bricks by our front steps. I was amazed at the edge when I pulled it in close.

And this one is now my favorite shot that I have taken for the class so far. I was trying to get a shot of the water dripping off the icicle, but my camera wasn't fast enough. I was also blinded by the bright sunshine this day. I took about a dozen shots of the icicle and then went in to see what I had gotten. I loved this one with the water drop just about to fall. When I cropped in closer and adjusted the contrast this is what I got. I love the sunburst in the water drop and the details of the icicle.

Day 14
Today, we were to celebrate the blues. By taking a picture and then using editing to create a blue wintry picture. I'm a little handicapped here, since I don't have Photo Shop or a good editing program. So, this picture was the best I could do. It is blue and it is wintry.

Our prompt for today involves towels. I'm not inspired yet.
 What to do? What to do?

Thanks for stopping by!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Treasures On Thursday

I'm late. I'm late for a very important date!! I'm late with my Treasure post! But, for a good reason...I wasn't home today. Having been in the house for several days due to snow and the fact I just didn't want to get out in the cold, I decided to brave the elements and go shopping. I went to a thrift store, called Savers. I've never been there before. It's nicely organized and I did pick up a couple of toys for the grandsons to play with when they're at my house. Then down to Hobby Lobby. I must have not been in my grove, because I bought nothing there!! On to JoAnn's Fabrics. Did pick up some fabric I need for padding my ironing board, resoling my slippers and three boxes of Christmas lights at 70% off. Stopped and got a little lunch at Scholsky's, my very favorite fast food sandwich and then headed toward the grocery store, only to drive right by it and pull into a flea market, Blue Suede Shoes. I did pick up a few random things, which of course are treasures to me!

I purchased Little Golden Books for my collection.  I must still have Christmas on the brain, I bought The Nutcracker and The Twelve Days Of Christmas. I also bought a  jar with a vintage "Ball" lid that has glass in the center, a large card of buttons and two small cards of buttons and a candle holder.

I had just mentioned to my sister this past weekend that I had seen a jar lid with a glass center. And I found one today. I'm now going to look for a Ball jar to put it on.

One booth had several of these wonderful cards of buttons. They are about 9" by 12".  I loved them. I'm crazy about buttons. I looked through them so many times. Some of the buttons cards were up to $70. Of course mine was not anywhere that costly and the booth had 30% off, making mine about $10. The buttons on the expensive cards were just gorgeous, especially one that was all glass buttons. I'm wanting to frame this for my sewing/craft room.

I love the tones of browns and all the textures. The one in the center and the button to right of it have little gold flecks in them.

They had these vintage cards of buttons at the same booth for only $1 with 30% off. Couldn't pass them up!!

And lastly the pottery candle holder. I really needed a new candle holder for this ball I have. It didn't sit very well on the one I had.  I thought it matched pretty good.

I had a very fun day just browsing around. You know the saying,
"One man's trash is another man's treasures!!"

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Picture Winter - Days 10 - 12

It's time for a few more Picture Winter photos.
Day 10
Our prompt was to focus on balance in 2011. We were to take a picture of something balanced either literally or figuratively. I had a hard time with this prompt. I couldn't come up with any ideas. Then, as I was eating breakfast, I saw the oranges and apples in a bowl on the counter. Have you ever watched the show "A Minute To Win It?" Well, sometimes they have to stack fruit. So, I though why not, stack fruit to show a need for a more balanced diet. It was a little harder than I thought to balance the fruit!

We have just had 6" of snowfall in our area. We normally do not get much at all, so this has been a real treat and a great photo opportunity. As I wandered around in the snow, I began to see things that were balanced. Like the snow balanced on top of the garden light. He looks like he has a warm little cap.

I was ready to come in when I pasted our old gym set. I loved how the snow balanced in the gym rings. The rings are about 6" across and the snow had balanced about half way up the ring. It was fun trying to take a shot through the ring, even though it was harder than I thought because the wind was blowing.

Day 11
I enjoyed this prompt. We were to express our love in shape, color or just a feeling. There were so many wonderful photos and thoughts on our love. I love buttons, all shapes and sizes. These buttons belonged to my Grandmother. I sewed them on a wreath that hangs on my sewing room doorknob. I think of her when I pass by. She loved to sew and quilt and passed the love on to my Mother and to me.

I posted two photos today. This one really warms my heart. My 8 yr old grandson has seen the Polar Express many, many times. He's seen the conductor punch words on the children's tickets. He drew my husband and me this picture and used a heart-shaped hole punch to punch his message. Such a special message of love!


I was once again out in the yard and saw where the snow had melted into a perfect heart.

Day 12
In the quiet of the winter months, sometimes the world around us feels dormant, barren, and even lifeless. Look for magic today. Of life. Of hope. Of beauty. That was our prompt. Hard to find signs of life in the middle of winter. I know it's there, but I wanted to find something beautiful. After I had taken shots of "life" in the yard I headed in. I walked along the sidewalk and saw this beautiful sight. The snow is melting off the roof and dripping on them and freezing. I think this is my favorite photo of all I've taken for the class. I was proud of my point and shoot camera. It really took a sharp close-up picture.

Here's one of my other shots. My hostas are still alive under the snow. Last years stems are showing through. I liked the shadows of the stalks. It kind of reminds me of a white sand beach.

I spotted this little bit of moss growing in the crack of a rock in my shade garden.  
 

 I'm enjoying looking at life through a camera.