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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Photo Of The Week

I'd like to start posting on Sunday a photo that I've taken the previous week. 
I take so many and don't seem to get to share them with you!! 
This will be a short post with
a photo
and
maybe a small explanation.


Blue Dragonfly
This is my first dragonfly picture.
They usually don't stay still long enough for me to capture.
I took this with my Finepix point and shoot camera. 
Aren't his colors and his transparent wings beautiful!!

Exploring With A Camera - Repeating Patterns

It's time again for another Exploring With a Camera with Kat Saloma at KatEye View.  This exploration involves finding repeating patterns. If you think about it repeated patterns are everywhere, but unless we really stop and look for them, we often just don't see them.
One of most common repetition patterns is in buildings.  I live out of the city and I just couldn't make myself go down town to photography patterns.  It is so hot and going down there with all that concrete and still, humid air was just unthinkable.  So I visited a nearby small town and took this photo of their county courthouse.  I've always liked the clock tower and you can see many patterns here...the windows and their facings, the decorative brick work and arches, and even repeating clocks.

I also found a simple repetition at a local playground, in the bars and in the shadow. I love to find interesting shadows!!

Not only do these spindles, on my daughter's lovely porch, repeat a pattern, but they also repeat colors. 
When you first look at the above photo you see a staircase. It's in an old courthouse built in 1874.  It's a beautiful one with a handcarved railing, but when you look further you see repeated patterns...the spindles in the banister, the wood strips in the bead board, the steps, and you can even see repeated shadows below the steps.
This one is not an exact repetition, but I just loved the canoes all resting, waiting to be out on the water.

Look around you today, find a little repetition and enjoy the beauty of it!!  Then come join us at Kat's Exploring With a Camera, it is so fun and I'm learning so much!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Splashing Good Time!!

The last few days have been wonderful!! My daughter-in-law, my youngest grandson and I traveled to my daughter's house for a visit. I've been playing with all four of my grandsons. It doesn't get any better than that!! I think the highlight for everyone was a morning at the pool! 
Jake has always loved the water!

 Drew has no fear!! He loves the big pool!

Josh just has fun whatever he does!!

 Aaron loved to jump into the big pool.

Patty and her boys playing together!!

I'm not much of a swimmer, never have been!  You'll find me sitting on the edge with my feet in the water taking the pictures!!

Their pool time ended with a fun game of ring-a-round the rosie!! 

We just had the best time.  We played in the water, ate lunch by the pool and just relaxed!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Finding Your Eye Photo Journal ~ page one



I’m taking an online class with The Kat Eye View called Finding Your Eye. The class includes photo and journaling prompts to help discover more about our photography style. Our first assignment was to create a photo journal. I decided to keep my journal on my blog and share my journey with you. The first photo journal entry was to help us understand more about why we take photos.

Why to I take photos? That’s a tough question! I had to think about this for a while. I thought about what photos I was drawn to, whether they were mine or others and I realized I am drawn to photos of small details. I’ve always been drawn to the smallest or tiniest things. For instance, when I cross stitch I love the smallest count linen and the stitches, when I quilt I like making the smaller blocks, and when I painted, years ago, I painted on the inside of seashells or on small porcelain pieces. So I suppose this naturally carried over to photography.

I've included some examples of my favorite photos. We had a nice shower yesterday. After it stopped, I grabbed my camera and went for a walk. Look what I discovered!! I have no idea what these are. I’m assuming some type of insect home. They are attached to a tree branch. They are tiny, only about ½” tall and look like perfect little pottery jars to me.  If you have any idea what they are be sure and let me know. This picture says it all! This says why I love to take pictures! I love to discover new and beautiful things in nature.



As I take photos I’m discovering the tiny details that I would never have seen without my camera in hand. Until I seriously began my journey in photography about six months ago, I had never really looked under a mushroom or seen the details of a sand dollar or the veins in a leaf. I love the surprises that come when I upload them to the computer…the ant on a flower or the shadow of a bee. When I’m out “looking” through new eyes it’s the gasp and the “oh wow” when I discover something new that keeps me going!

Discoveries like this! 
These look like tiny little fairy boxes! I found them growing on a small bush. And once again, I don't know what it is. I suppose it's a seedpod. Another beautiful mystery of nature.

I'm looking foward to what will be coming up next!!
Thanks for stopping by!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Exploring With a Camera - Window Reflections

I'm linking to Kat's Eye View  Exploring With A Camera.  I love these explorations, they're more than just prompts to encourage our photo taking, they're opening our eyes to new and different views of the world around us. Kat explains it much better than I can, you might want to visit her site.  She has a great web site with gorgeous photos and photography information.  By the way, she has a great sounding class coming up about finding yourself in your photography Find Your Eye E-Course.  I'm going to take it and can't wait for it to start! The current  exploration is window reflections. Reflections are just something else our eyes tend to pass right over, unless we're looking for them, then you see them everywhere. I played tourist this weekend, when downtown and walked around taking pictures. I took so many window reflections that I had a hard time choosing a few to show you.  But, I finally settled on five.  Hope you will indulge me that many!!

This photo was taken in North Little Rock Argenta district that has been newly restored. The building was built in 1928. Love the trolley in this one. The trolley takes you across the Arkansas River between Little Rock and North Little Rock.

I decided to take the trolley ride and caught our reflection in a store window. I'm the first person to the left of the white window frame, you can barely see my head and arm.

This was taken on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Library. The reflection in the window is an old train depot built in 1899, it is now the  Clinton School of Public Service.  The depot is a beautiful building with lots or architectural detail.

The next two I might have cheated a little on. The glass in this building is reflective where you can see out but not see in. This makes these reflection so much more clear.

This one fascinates me.  This long glass area is an elevator shaft. I am looking at the point of the square. Does that make sense??  Makes for an interesting reflection, trying to figure out what is real and what is reflection.

I've been thinking about my style of photography. It makes sense that my photos reflect who I am and what I like, but I never really thought about how much you can learn from a person by looking at their photos!  Of all the reflections shots I took, I decided on those that reflected what I enjoy most, I love exploring, old buildings, and nature!!  Thanks Kat for opening my eyes a little further!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Peach Jam

If you're just joining in, I blogged about making freezer jam on Wednesday here. I showed you how I love to eat the strawberry jam on Thursday here  and the cherry jam on Friday here.  Today, I enjoyed the peach jam!  And there's no better way to eat peach jam than on angel food cake!!

Just in case you're wondering, they're all fabulous on toast, too!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cherry Jam

I'm still jammin', well, eating jam that is!!  Here's the best way to eat cherry jam...pour it over Yarnell's Cherry Yogurt!!   Sad to say, but Yarnell's which was based in my home state of Arkansas has in the last month gone out of business.  I love their yogurts!  I did stock up on some of their yogurts when I heard the news!!  But, before long I'll have to start sampling some of the other brands.

I didn't see the reflection of the jam in the spoon until I uploaded the image.  That was a nice surprise! 

CHERRY JAM ON CHERRY YOGURT ~ DELICIOUS!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Strawberry Jam

 This is my favorite way to eat homemade strawberry jam...on pancakes for breakfast!!

Yummy says it all!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Fruity Kind Of Day

As many of know I love Big Picture Classes!!  I'm taking Picture Summer right now and today's prompt was "juicy fruit".  After exploring the kitchen I only had a very tired looking orange!  So, I went to the store to buy fresh fruit.
I came home with strawberries

peaches

cherries and the makings for freezer jam!
 It's so easy to make freezer jam!!  The instructions are on the insert inside a box of Sure-Jell.  It's a little messy, but you do get to nibble while you work!! 
You just cut up the fruit
mash it


add the sugar.
And  yes, it takes quite a bit of sugar!!  That's why we like jam...it's sweet!


heat up the Sure-Jell and stir it into the fruit. That's it!!


This is the first year I've tried cherry jam. It really looks so good, such a dark rich color!

Don't they look delicious all ready to eat! I enjoyed today! I love to piddle around the kitchen and make things other than meals, It just seems lately I haven't taken the time! Other things just get in the way! But, today I combined two things I enjoy photography and cooking!!

Fun Weekend - Part 2

We took a short trip with another couple, Charlie and Earlana, to DeGray Lake in Arkadelphia, AR.
We haven't been to the lake in several years. Recently Mr. H has been trying to get our boat ready to use again. It's just been sitting in our barn. Well, all it took was a new battery and it started right up! Our friends have a Sea-Doo that hasn't been running well, so they took that. We decided this way if there was trouble we could help each other.
It's a beautiful lake, but it was pretty windy and the water was white-capping! We didn't gripe about the wind though, because it was in the upper 90's and humid.  The wind coming off the water helped to cool us down!
You grandkids will want to know that Gramps can still get up on skis.
He just popped right out of the water and skied for a long time across the lake!! You'll have to excuse the quality of the pictures, the water was very rough and the boat was quite bouncy. And no, I didn't take the new camera!! Not about to get it that close to any water!!But, you get the idea, he's skiing!
Yep, and he still loves to swing outside the wake!!  If you look closely you can see the red ski rope. He's almost up even with the back of the boat as we are turning!



While we ate lunch, we watching a catamaran. I've always thought they would be fun, until I saw how long it took him to get everything ready to set sail!

After lunch, Charlie got his Sea-Doo out on the water. We were on the bank watching him, so we could go get him if he had trouble. He played around for a while and then it quit and of course he was not near the shore when it did. We started to get on the boat to go get him when Mr. H noticed that it was taking on water. We couldn't start it because part of the motor was under water. He had to turn on the bilge pump to pump out the water, which took a long time!!! In the meantime, the wind was blowing toward us and Charlie on his Sea-Doo just slowly drifted to shore. And I mean SLOWLY! He just lay back on the seat and sunbathed till he got close enough to swim to shore! So much for helping each other out!!

They all wanted to go back out in the boat, but I didn't. I really didn't want to be in a sinking boat in the middle of the lake. But, they convinced me it was OK and we'd stay closer to shore. I should have known better!! We get back out, Mr. H gets into the water to ski and the boat won't start and there's more water coming in. The solenoid had gotten wet. They were finally able to  get the motor started using a pocket knife!! Don't ask me what they did, I was just so thankful it started. He turned the bilge pump back on to get rid of the water, which by the way wasn't much!   Yet!!   Now, just get me back to shore and out of this boat, PLEASE!!



And that was the end of our boating. Loaded them both up and came home. But, we did have a very good time!! I'm so glad we tried out the boat before we got anyone else like grandchildren on board. We'll have to find out the cause of the leak, probably just a dry-rotted gasket somewhere. We'll be trying it out again I'm sure!!
 
On the way home we got off the interstate at Malvern because Mr. H wanted to show me the Ouachita River.  He thought I might want to take pictures!!  I'm so pleased that he thought of that!  I think he may be getting used to the idea of me carrying my camera everywhere we go and that I love to take pictures.  Anyway, it was special that he thought of that. 
It's a pretty river, lots of boulders and rapids.
 
As we were turning around to head back home, I spotted this wrecker on top of a sign.  I thought the grandboys would like to see it!
 
All in all, a very fun weekend!!  Hope you had a special one also!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Weekend Fun - Part 1

This post is pretty much to share some pictures with my family of this weekend.  So, if your not interested I understand, but I will say, there's some pretty quilts to see! 
On Saturday I when to a quilt show with my Mom and Dad.   There were over 200 quilts on exhibit. There were also vendors booths set up with such fun things to look at and buy.
I always find something I want to buy.  I found a booth and fell in love with all her quilts and patterns. She incorporated embroidery blocks into the quilt.  I've done one other quilt with embroidery, you can see the finished quilt here.  I bought two of her patterns. One has embroidered wild flowers and the other has a quilt hanging for each season.  You know how I love the seasons.  The pattern came with the cute little hanger to display them.  They are going to be fairly small.
I also had to buy another basket.  I have two already, but I really love them!  They are handwoven in Ghana, Africa using "Elephant Grass" that has been colored. The handles are covered with goat hide.  These baskets are woven by single women who need to support themselves and their families.  I would love to have one of each size and shape.  They are so beautiful!


A little family information for those of you who decided to read and aren't family. My Dad has Alzheimer's. He's at the stage where he doesn't want to be away from my Mom.  He loves to go places with us, but after about 15 minutes he's ready to go.  We had only gotten to the second vendors booth when he said, "have you seen enough yet"?  We just laughed and found him a place to sit down.  I think he had a great time.  Every time we saw him he had someone to talk to!! My Dad is on the left in the above photo. I'm sure the men he visited with got quite on ear full!!  He does love do tell his stories!!  The only complaint we got after that was that he was hungry.  Those with Alzheimer's are very schedule oriented.  You eat at the same time, watch the same show, and go to bed at the same time. We did pass his lunch time up a little, but he survived. I took him a small candy bar to tide him over.

The quilts were beautiful!  So many wonderful works of art!  And yes, I believe quilting is an art!!  I can't imagine how many hours were put into the quilt above.  All those little pieces were hand-appliqued!
Here's another with tons of applique.  Blue is my favorite color and this quilt had the most beautiful blue fabrics.

Ladybugs delight me!  I think this is the cutest small quilt with that lovely ladybug!

This  one was a favorite of my Mom and me.  Gorgeous hummingbirds in every block!  Wonderful colors of fabrics and exquisite applique!!  You could spend hours looking at all the tiny details! 

I just realized as I'm scrolling through these, that all the pictures I took are of appliqued quilts.  They were so impressive! I love the oriental feel of this one.

 Here's a closer view of the quilt blocks.

I love the fabrics in the sunflower quilt! 

The blocks in this appliqued quilt were striking against the black background!

This was my favorite block in the quilt!  I really like hearts!

We're finally through looking and Mom has gone to get Dad so we could go get him some lunch!!  By the way, I got to drive their new car!! It has the handicap license plates on it and she couldn't find her temporary tag.  It drives so nice!!