Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Finds

Finding things of beauty in the ordinary. That's been my challenge this week. You see, I found another photography class this week; Slice Of Life, given by Darrah Parker. First, we threw all the rules out the window! This class is not about composition, the perfect light, correct exposure, or razor sharp focus. This class is about looking at what we have, what we've collected, and what has special meaning to us. It's about photographing the ordinary little things or moments in our daily life. Lately I've found myself being rather tired of perfect images. Yes, they have their place. Yes they are beautiful, but it has taken some of the joy out of my photography. It seems photography has become more work than fun. It's so refreshing to walk away from that and just have fun with my camera!

This week I've walked through my home several times each day just looking and I've taken pictures of what I've found; things that matter to me.

Day 1
In the bathroom I have a collection of sea shells. They matter to me because they remind me of happy times at the beach with family. I've only been to the beach four times; most recently this summer with our two children, their spouses, and our five grandsons. It was the most wonderful week! My shells also remind me of the quiet morning walks I took along the beach; just me and a bright blue bucket.

Day 2
This is what you see when you walk in my front door. A folding table with everything I need to finish a Project Life album I'm working on. I've put it front and center because I'm determined to finish this album. Each day for a year after my 60th birthday I took a picture of my feet wherever I was and I also took a picture capturing light. Now, I'm working on the album and have so far completed six months. 

Day 3
When I sit down it's either on the couch or in the chair next to it. I consider this "my corner." Between the couch and chair is "my basket." A rather large one 8"w X 28"l. Big enough to hold all the good stuff I need near me. It may not the prettiest way to store anything, but I want these things within easy reach. The basket contains magazines (Artful Blogging and Bella Grace, my favorites), clipboards with bits and pieces I don't want to lose, notebooks filled with thoughts I've scribbled down, brain game books to keep the old brain active, small legal pads where I jot down quotes, password notebook, and a pouch with my pencils, pens, bookmarks, clips, and other small items. Beside the basket are two three-ring binders; one that has photography class work and the other has writing class work. You can look in this basket and know what I enjoy; photography, blogging, and writing.

Day 4
This clock matters to me because when I look at the time, wind the clock, or hear it's chimes I feel loved! Several years ago my husband brought home this Howard Miller clock from a pawn shop auction. Jerry told me that when he saw the clock up for auction, he thought of me. How sweet is that! He's not a spontaneous gift giver, so that makes the clock all the more special and so does the fact that he had never bid at an auction before.

Day 5
I really think nostalgic should be part of my name since it's definitely part of who I am. I don't pine away for the old days, but I do enjoy keeping old things around me and remembering. This corner of my sewing/scrapbooking/craft room makes me feel nostalgic. The quilt I made has fabric scraps from four generations; my grandmother, my mother, my daughter, and me. Some of the fabrics are over 70 years old. We made most of our dresses and our girl's dresses. The four outside blocks on the quilt show the four generations. I love to look at this quilt and remember the dresses, aprons, and blouses that we made and wore. I also keep a lot of memories hanging on my bulletin board that I made using an old dresser mirror. It holds special cards, photos, vintage sewing supplies, and other small keepsakes. The dresses hanging from the lamp and on the board were made by my mother for my Barbie doll.

This week has had me thinking deeply about my home. Here's what I've discovered:

  • There's a lot of things lying around that I have no connection with anymore and just need to get rid of.
  • I enjoy my home. It's comfortable, sometimes messy, but it's my refuge from the business of the world.
  • I need to slow down, open my eyes, and find the beauty in the ordinary things of home.

You'll probably be seeing some more of my class pictures next week.



  1. Love what you write here. I'll take everyday and fun over perfection every time! Love those pretty seashells and that quilt is just gorgeous. I've never been a paper project lifer but I've just downloaded Becky's app and am loving the digital version. Have a lovely weekend, Cathy. :)

  2. I so agree with you, Cathy, about the quest for the perfect picture every time. It can be a strain and take the fun out of photography! Sometimes we just want to have fun and capture the simplicity of everyday yet meaningful things. I liked hearing about yours and the importance that lovely quilt has for you and how it holds memories of four generations.

  3. Wonderful post, you have a gift for putting your thoughts and feelings in writing. Love your collection of shells and Project Life Album seems to be a great journey... to declutter, discover and finding beauty in oridinary things.

  4. I love finding beauty in the ordinary- & its not hard if you just look around. I enjoyed reading why these things are secial to you.

  5. What a great post Cathy, enjoyed hearing your thoughts and seeing what means most to you. I like your thinking on this and it sounds like a fun and informative class. Love the photos and the reason behind them, it speaks YOU.

  6. These are wonderful glimpses into your everyday self, Cathy. I feel like I've gotten to know you better. I know what you mean about trying to create "perfect images." It's a lot of work, and the result often feels flat...and not "me." I'm looking forward to seeing more of your photos from this new class.
    PS - I love your basket of "stuff." It's very practical, and actually, I think it looks great!

  7. What a wonderful photography exercise. I really enjoyed this. I may have to try that out sometime. My favorite here was the Sea Shells. I relate to the Ocean (my favorite place to visit) and I just liked the composition of that photo. It was fun to read why you valued the things you took the photos of.

  8. I love the love for your home that comes through with every image in this series. Your personality and the things that are meaningful to you come through so strongly.

    And there is definitely a lesson here for me - I have a hard time taking photos of ordinary things, especially my home - even though I love our space. I have this idea that my images need to be grand or artsy and just really have difficulty taking photos of things that are more personal.

  9. Isn't it fun to collect and look at inspirational mags? I too love them. Visiting from Friday Finds.

  10. I loved reading your post, and enjoyed your photos very much, especially the shells and the clock, and the memories that go with them. Visiting from Friday Finds :)

  11. I loved this small view into your home and learning a bit about some of the things you treasure. It was a nice visit. Thank you for sharing.


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