Monday, October 11, 2010


This is for Macro Monday.  I really do not like snakes, but when seen this close up, he (she?) almost looks friendly. 

32/365 "The Pond"


"Waiting for Breakfast"

"Blending In"
Walked the dogs between 7 & 8 a.m. with my camera tucked inside my over-sized jacket pocket.  Crossing the small bridge near my home, I saw what I thought might be a bird at the far edge of the pond - I thought it might be part of the dead trees in the water - then it moved.  I used my zoom and many of my shots were blurry.  I used the guard rail as my tripod while the dogs kept trying to eat the goose poop (yuck).  It was a bit of a misty morning and I find it interesting how the early morning light quickly changes the intensity of the colors.  Not as clear as I would like, but my camera does have it's limitations.  I also wonder if I had taken it off the automatic setting, what could I have done that would have improved these photos?  I'm starting to want to get out my manual and read it ... soon, very soon I will try to find the time.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Black & White Rose

"Black & White Rose"
"Climbing Red Rose"
I entered the 1st rose in the Inspiration All Around Us Challenge.  I usually paint for this challenge, but I am busy taking an "Imaginary Trip to Paris" (with Laure Ferlita) on-line watercolor class this month.  I took this photo in Northern Michigan and always liked it.  I thought it was unique to look at the rose in black & white - is it still as pretty and interesting?

31/365 "Relaxation"

A month of picture taking every day accomplished and I'm still having fun.  11 months to go for the "365" challenge.  This is also my entry for the "Alphabet Challenge".  Letter F for feet.  I totally forgot to post a photo for E last week, so I will do it below: E for Evergreen.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

30/365 "The Donkey & the Horse"

"Beast of Burden at Leisure"
"Too Busy Eating"
While out doing errands yesterday, I took a wrong turn (or did I) and ended up on a road I had never been.   The little donkey up above was so cute - he didn't pay any attention to me until I squatted for a better angle.  When I stood up, I scared the daylights out of him and he took off running behind his bigger buddy who was busy eating.

Friday, October 8, 2010

29/365 "The Fishermen"

"The Fishermen #2"
"The Fishermen #1"

"The Conversation"
I drive by this "big water" (as my 2 year old calls it) everyday and am so excited to see the trees starting to change color.  I love the white boat amongst the colors - just so glad I had my camera!  I tweaked the "Fishermen #1" w/ PhotoShop - this is really more realistic to what I saw.  "The Conversation" is not touched up at all.  I will be entering one of these photos in in the "Weekend Reflections" Challenge.  Which one do you like best?  Should I crop the 1st one so there isn't so much "white" water at the bottom?   ---  Thanks for your suggestions.  I cropped and put the new version of "The Fishermen" on top.   Thanks for the feedback.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

28/365 "The White Horse"

"The White Horse"
The White Fence & Horse

This scene in our neighborhood never ceases to amaze me.  I have photographed it a number of times.  I would love to paint this using soft blues for the shadows.  I played with Photo Shop a bit in order to create a bit of a blue hue on the bottom photo.  I know both are a bit overexposed, but I am shooting these mid morning and I like the glow it gives the white horse.  Some day I will have time to get out earlier, take my camera off auto, and learn the computer tricks.  Some day isn't here yet.  

I followed the suggestions of fellow bloggers and created a black & white version of both.  It really does look great.  Thanks!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Poetry, by William R. Bednar

An Earth Poem
Sun, take me.
Earth, do let me rest
Or seep into your soil,
Your healing breast.

My son writes quite a bit of poetry.  Above is one of his few "pithy" ones.  This may be a stretch, but I am submitting it to the new monthly art challenge "In the Moment".  It is a challenge open to poetry, art, and photography.  If one reads a  poem from the blog and is inspired to paint a picture from it, that is also encouraged.  To find out more, please check it out.  The challenge word for this month is "labor".

As a young girl I often felt this way baling hay under the hot summer sun.  We always seemed to be in a  race to beat the storm clouds that were hovering on the horizon.  My sisters and I worked all day and ended our day with calloused hands and itched all over.  Oh, how we wished for brothers! ;)

27/365 "Old Red Barn with Hay Bale"

"The Old Barn"
"The Red Barn"
"The Hay Bale"
 Drove by this barn taking my daughter to school.  Before 8 am, the blue sky was streaming in through the red barn slats - it was so beautiful.  By the time I returned, the light had changed.  I also saw a herd of different colored and marked cows in the pasture surrounding a bale of hay. I will definitely have to get some gumption up this weekend and get up with the rising sun.  So many possibilities...  The first sepia image is for the Black & White Wednesday Challenge.

26/365 "The Stable"

"The Stable"
Tried to capture the warm sun hitting the inside of the horse stalls.  I had to use Photo Shop a bit, but I am going to try this again.  Not sure if early morning would be better.

Monday, October 4, 2010

"Going Down" from Hair - Will Bednar

This video is my son Will performing last year. I tried to put it below my post from earlier today - "Shakespeare & Nostalgia" - but I am just not computer savvy enough.

"Shakespeare & Nostalgia"

The Sunday Creative Challenge prompt this week is "Nostalgia".

I believe the Tales from Shakespeare book was published no later than 1912, and written by Charles & Mary Lamb (brother & sister) and published by (NY) Gilbert H. McKibbin. It is a retelling of Shakespeare - a version I am very much appreciative of as it isn't the easiest of reading for me - however - I do love the stories.  The Macbeth book was published 1907.

My grandmother was a school teacher before she was married.  I love this book as it has her handwriting in it and notes she took for class.

Below are a few beautiful illustrations from the book:

King Lear - Lear Banishes Cordelia

As You Like It - Orlando & Rosalind
Romeo & Juliet - The Parting
A Midsummer Night's Dream - Titania & Bottom the Weaver
My son played not only Bottom but also Puck when he was younger.  Great memories of him quoting Shakespeare (with an accent!) at such a young age.  Below is a You-Tube video of him this past year performing a song from "Hair".  Video was from my little camera, so the visual isn't that great, but the sound is good.  Not exactly Shakespeare - but he is definitely a performer. click here to see.  (or go to a later post on this blog - I had trouble loading it inside of this post)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

25/365 "Accessorizing - A New Twist"

"Accessorizing - A New Twist"
"Charm Bracelet?"
Should I wear this with my new little black dress?

The 365 Challenge - "It's all good!"

"Magnolia Tree Seeds"
What has my experience been so far with the 365 Challenge? And what do we consider our best photo so far?  Madeline Bea of the 365 Challenge has asked all the "365"ers these questions.

One photo every day for a year.  Less than a month, and I feel my observation skills have improved.  I notice shadows more and how they can play into an overall composition, I look up and down more as I walk - the above is a perfect example.  I think about words and how I might be able to capture them with a photo.

Is the above my best photo?  Maybe not.   But it is an example of my viewing the world a bit more closely.  Of capturing the beauty of the moment and saving a bit of it for posterity.

The network of bloggers who share my interests and kindly comment, help keep me motivated.  Visiting their blogs always inspires me to keep trying.  It's all good! ;)

24/365 "Boundless Energy"

"Boundless Energy"
I need to tap into his secret of "boundless energy".  It might just be "Don't worry, be happy".   (I liked the pattern the shadows made...)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

23/365 "Grace in Motion"

"Grace in Motion"
I never tire of watching the horses in our neighborhood.  I love hearing their whinnying from my yard, seeing them standing under the trees during the heat of the day, and offering them a treat from my hand every now and then. 

"Escaping the Sun"

"A Classic Pose"

"A Classic Pose"
This is for the "Weekend Reflections" challenge.  Taken at the end of summer - not sure if these girls have ever watched the show "Charlie's Angels" - but I think they've got the pose down!

Friday, October 1, 2010

22/365 "Inspiration or Intimidation?"

"Inspiration or Intimidation?"
I've purged a number of cookbooks (around 75!) and kept a select few (about 35)  The "keepers" are well worded and have beautiful, helpful photos.  I have a new "mission" to cook with more variety these days.  I have my list, thoroughly examined my pantry, and am ready to shop.   But first, let me order that pizza because I am going to be too tired after all this cleaning and shopping...


21/365 "The Last Hurrah"

"Vibrant Display"
Rain, rain, rain here in the southeast.  There are more flowering bushes than flower gardens here in North Carolina, however, black-eyed susans are resilient even in this (summer) weather of heat and little rain.  Most of my "b-es" are gone, but I did notice this last one reaching up towards the rain.  In Northern Michigan I enjoyed leaving a few of my dead flowers uncut - they were pretty once again when the snow fell upon them for the first time.
"No More Plumage"
"Hanging in There"
Almost hidden under the heavy, wet leaves was this last spot of gold.  But I know this patch of hardy flowers will be back next spring.  This really isn't a last "hurrah" - they will be back stronger and more plentiful than ever.  I know as I have tried to eradicate black-eyed susans in the past.  I learned pretty quickly it is much easier to just go with the flow.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

All are invited to the third annual "Willow Manor Ball"

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Third Annual Willow Manor Ball! The festivities will begin at 12:00 a.m. EST, this Thursday, September 30. Everyone who leaves a comment on Thursday, will be included in the drawing for two elegant door prizes. A Mr. Linky widget will be provided if you would like others to visit your blog, to see your special date and elegant attire. I can't wait to see what you creative bloggers do with this!

The above invitation is from Willow of Willow Manor.  (click to see her blog)  Everyone is invited.  I'm looking forward to a most magnificent ball ... actually, my first EVER Ball!  I feel a bit like Cinderella.  And did I mention that ANYONE can view all the festivities that are going on by visiting Willow's site?  There is even a "Linky" available to easily see who is wearing what and WHAT is going on!

At first I didn't think I would be able to attend - very busy with kids and all. But once my girls heard of the event, they got busy and helped me with my wardrobe. Of course, once I received word that my youthful fantasy of dancing with Patrick Swazey on the dance floor was about to come true as he accepted my invitation (he has had enough of sadness and sorrow and wants to return to this realm just for The Willow Ball), how could I not join in the revelry? My husband must work, but he has informed me he will be waiting up for my return.

But what to wear?  Well, My girls found a number of worthy (and some not so worthy) works of art... Here were a few of the contenders... (oh, and all photos are from Google images)

After a lot of nail biting (no, my nails are all beautifully polished), I mean deliberating on my part, the girls defending their picks, and my husband (after drooling after the gold concoction), we "somewhat" unanimously selected this one:

I liked the soft material and the image of the folds as I am tossed and twirled by Patrick, well I just can't wait! I arranged for the designers to make my dress in a deep red - very much like dress #1 (above). 

My shoes, no problem.  If I'm going to dance, then I am going to be practical!  I was lucky to be able to get these shoes in silver... all the better to match my diamonds necklace and earrings.  These are dance shoes with a flexible sole (and my legs, of course!)

Many hairstyles were considered.  But after many oohs and aahs, my girls and I decided an up-do wouldn't be sensible - not with the way Patrick Swazey dances.  So it was a fierce battle between 3 styles...

One that is pretty close to what I have now...

Well, this one I couldn't get past the cleavage...

And this one my oldest daughter and I thought was charming and befitting of the event.  My diamond clip is  a bit smaller in order to not compete with my jewelry.  But, really, can one honestly have too many diamonds adorning their body?  I did need to go in for a few hair extensions, but the result has been well worth it...

And last, but not least, by any means... the jewelry.  I fell in love with this little number.  I also slipped the photo of it into my husbands wallet... :)

Well, there you have it.  I am giddy with anticipation and waiting for the car to pick me up... Oh, I almost forgot... my mode of transportation.  This one was quite easy.  My favorite, sexy little car is a jag, but for this evening I added a little twist...

A vintage Jaguar...

So, ladies, get ready to be dipped and whirled by Patrick, as only he knows how.  After all, I'm sure I will need a few breathers!

It's about time to leave and I am trying to finish folding the last of my laundry and I'm worrying about how will all these chores get done.. Oh, look - Patrick has arrived.  "Oh sweetie, I'm just not sure I can make it ... there is ...  so much ... to do...  What's that?"  Patrick has leaned over and his lips are an inch from my ear (that is why I am so flustered - wouldn't you be?)  He is whispering...

"And the night shall be filled with music,
    And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
    And as silently steal away."

Oh my, I think that might be from "A Day is Done" by Longfellow (or edited by him, not sure which).  Either way, I was not aware that Patrick, along with his obvious talents, was a poet as well!

As I collect my wrap (and my heartbeat gets a chance to slow down a bit),  Patrick is bowing low over each of my daughters hands (insert lots of giggling) and saying goodnight.  He places my hand in the crook of his elbow (and oh, my ... these amazing arms of his), and my cares really have slipped away...

Don't forget to go to Willow's blog and check the event out for yourself.  And if you couldn't make it this year, maybe you should pencil it in for next. 

And remember, if you are able to make it - wall flowers, beware!  Nobody is safe sitting in a corner when Patrick is around...