Saturday, December 31, 2011

No Looking Back

Picture the Holidays Day 30 - No looking back

Picture the Holidays Picture The Holidays - Day 30

We gave the past its due, now it's time to turn toward the future. There is so much to look forward to with new beginnings on the horizon. There's no turning back's full steam ahead in the best possible way! Today's challenge is to visually translate the idea of moving forward.

Onward ho!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Toast!

cin cin

Picture the Holidays Picture The Holidays - Day 29

As the year draws to an end, we often look ahead to the New Year, making resolutions, setting intentions, eager for a fresh start. But today you are not going to toast to all that is to come, instead I'd like you look back on the year that's passed to honor the journey. Raise a glass (of whatever your magic elixir might be), sing a song, give yourself a hug, anything to celebrate you and where you've been. You've come a long way baby! And you made it.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Through the Looking Glass

Picture the Holidays Day 28 - Through the Looking Glass

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 28

As you know by now, I am big on perspective. As in, a slight change in it can make all the difference. Sometimes turning something on its ear is the most refreshing shift in how it's perceived. Just like with life, a photographic image isn't always as it seems. When you use a tool to alter your creative vision on purpose, the results can be surprising and illuminating.

Find something, anything, that changes the way things look today. Shoot through your water glass, a window, or even through something that's not quite as clear as you'd like it to be, just to see what happens. There is beauty in mystery. It's your job to discover it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Breath of Fresh Air

Picture the Holidays Day 27 - A Breath of Fresh Air

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 27

The weather outside might be frightful (I wouldn't know because I live in Southern California), but even with winter's chill, fresh air is the best medicine. After shopping malls and gathering indoors so much this month, braving the elements, even just to snap a photo can be a perfect change of pace.

Shoot one of Mother Nature's gifts today. Something that boasts of the season and showcases the splendor of the great outdoors.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Day After

Picture the Holidays Day 26 - The Day After

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 26

If you have a mess on your hands today, never fear. There is beauty to be found even on those days! As you go about the big tidy, be aware of the order that rises from the chaos. There is a visual respite there waiting to be discovered.

When you see it, you'll know. Your lens will know what to do.

It is actually two days after Christmas as I write these words, and the scene here is my dining room table which served as gift wrap central and makeshift photography studio throughout the holidays and this project.

Monday, December 26, 2011

This Magic Moment

Picture the Holidays Day 24 - This Magic Moment

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 25

Chances are today you'll find yourself amongst family or friends celebrating one another and this glorious season. I don't have to remind you to take your camera, that's for sure! But even while you're in documentary mode, try finding something off the beaten path.

Turn your lens toward something that sheds light on the day. A detail, angle, or perspective that tells the story beyond any traditional portrait.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Picture the Holidays Day 23 - Enchantment

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 24

No matter what your background, your beliefs, your outlook, your age, there’s bound to be a level of enchantment to be found. Muse on all the ways you can visually translate some sense of awe and wonder during this time of magic.

Allow yourself to get swept off your feet today and look at the world around you with the eyes of a child! Capture your shot today with wide eyes.

Today has been about as jam packed as it could possibly be, so I'm pretty much phoning in today's entry. I may find another way to interpret this idea, but I was truly enchanted by the way the light reflected this ornament. If you look close enough you can see the reflection of the whole room.

There will be time for more reflecting later, but for now Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Life is Sweet

Picture the Holidays Day 23 - Life is Sweet

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 23

Ah, the sweet smell of holiday baked goods. Therein lies the blessing and the curse. But today, let's focus on the good stuff; the loving kindness that comes from the baking and the mouth watering satisfaction of the devouring.

Shoot a sweet treat today that you long to share and/or savor.

This entry will be short and sweet. For today's prompt I took a pic of the pignoli cookies I bake every year. At nearly $33 a pound for pine nuts, it is a once a year treat for sure. You can find the recipe here.

Friday, December 23, 2011

You are Getting Sleepy

Picture the holidays day 22 - You are Getting Sleepy

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 22

It's around this time of year that we really need to rest.

Rest?! Now? I can't rest now...there's so much left to do...

That might be true and in fact, that's exactly why I encourage you to take a break.

I'm giving you permission to shut down today in order to properly reboot. Even if only for 10 minutes at your desk during your lunch break. Or when you put the baby down for her nap, or right in the middle of what you are doing right now even. Because your prompt today is to capture rest, however you can manage it, I'm holding you accountable. Tricky, aren't I?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Attitude Adjustment

Picture the Holidays Day 21 - Attitude Adjustment

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 21

Sometimes all you need is a little nudge to help you readjust your attitude. Today, let's show a side of you that might be last on the list of to-dos. Get silly, sassy, sexy...whatever you need to lighten the mood!

Today you're encouraged to show a little (or a lot) of "sassitude." Get creative and show off your wild side, whatever that looks like to you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wrapped With Love

Picture the Holidays Day 20 - Wrapped with Love

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 20

Whether you've even begun to wrap presents yet is beyond me, but there is nothing more beautiful than the gifts all wrapped up in anticipation of being unwrapped and enjoyed. Today find a gift adorned in its holiday best!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Make a List

Picture the Holidays Day 19 - Make a List

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 19

I don't know about you but I'm big on lists. If I don't write it down, chances are I won't remember it! Lists are for to-dos and don't forgets but they can also be for hopes and wishes (especially in the season of giving and receiving).

Today, share your list in one way or another. Focus on the whole or on a tiny yet significant part. Give us a glimpse into what you jot down to help you remember.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Picture the Holidays Day 18 - Recharge

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 18

Chances are today will find you amidst the hustle and bustle of the crowd. All the more reason why you need to remember to recharge when you need it. A day of pre-holiday madness can really take it out of you.

Today I encourage you to tune in to your needs and when it's time to take break, heed the call. A simple recharge is sometimes all it takes. Take a deep breath, have a seat, relax your shoulders and allow for a little down time. It's called self-love and we all deserve it. Especially this time of year!

I'm exhausted.

Somehow I managed to stay awake in church yesterday, but the journey to and from was actually a bit scary as I seriously struggled to keep my eyes open while driving.

Perhaps my little burst of domestic energy on Saturday did me in, or maybe its just the cumulative effect of long work days that extend into past my bedtime evenings pursuing my avocation. It is probably both of those things, plus a heavier than usual load of stress - also cumulative. Enough is enough, my body seems to be saying to me.

There were certain things that HAD to get done yesterday, and I can't say what they are because they are Christmas secrets. I did get them done, but not before I took a four hour nap under my grandmother's quilt because I was needing a little extra measure of comfort.

Waking up at 6:30 p.m., I figured I'd be up half the night. No. I finished up my little Christmas project, took a picture and posted to my blog and by 9:30, I was back in bed dozing off. Even with all that sleep, this morning I was nodding at my morning pages and spilling coffee in my lap.

It is sort of hard (and maybe a little creepy) to get a picture of yourself sleeping, which is what I need to recharge right now. So, for today's prompt I'm going with a different sort of recharging. That is, mainlining enough caffeine to get me out the door this morning and refueling as necessary throughout the day.

I don't recommend it as the ideal way of recharging, but a girl has to do what a girl has to do.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Warm Glow

Picture the Holidays Day 18 - Warm Glow

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 17

Nothing beats the warm glow of candlelight. There is something so sacred about lighting a candle, especially during the holiday season. I have started using candles in my every day life for a number of reasons. Each time I strike a match and burn a candle I am reminded of the power of intention and how my own attention can make such a difference in my daily life.

Today, capture the glow of a candle to signify what is meaningful in your life. Make a wish, set an intention, pray, meditate and shoot.

As Christmas draws near, time is speeding up and I'm beginning to wonder if I'll have time to finish all these projects I have in process. It was good that I took the time to get the house in some semblence of order and cleanliness yesterday. Even though I'm not decorating this year, I will be glad to have my house back in order without my Christmas gift assembly line and makeshift photo studio cluttering up my front entry way.

Again, I'm later than usual with my blog entry today and now its more than my mom who is checking on me - I'm getting emails from people wanting to know what happened! :)

This morning, I had very little time because I wanted to hear an author who was guest speaking in one of the Bible classes at church. I want to write more about this author, her book, and how it fits in so synchronistically with all that has been on my heart this past year. It will take more time than I have now, but I promise before year end I will write about it.

One by one my Christmas decorations seem to be making it into my living space because of the Picture the Holidays project, and today's image features one of my favorite holiday decorations that I put out every year. This folding gothic style mirror was a Hobby Lobby purchase when the boys were still living at home and I usually put it on my mantle with garland and candles to reflect the light.

My boyfriend called just as I began to shoot, so there was no meditating or praying while I captured the image, but the candles are still burning. My only "intention" was to get this one done before midnight so I keep up my streak of daily posting.

So, after I post this and before I go to bed, I think I'll go sit and enjoy a quiet (if only brief) moment of contemplation and prayer.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Season of Lights

Picture the Holidays Day 16 - Season of LIghts

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 16

They call this the season of lights for many reasons and there are ample opportunities to shoot light in it's many shapes and shades. There is nothing more compelling than a literal Bokeh of holiday lights. The first time I captured lights like this, I was as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning! My guess is you'll feel it too

Friday, December 16, 2011

Got Gifts?

Picture the Holidays Day 15 - Got Gifts?

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 15

We've made it to the half way mark of the season already. Time if flying by! Since this is the season of giving, today is the day for putting some of your beautiful photos to good use. We are creating gift tags and/or mini note cards using our photos. That way your tag will be just as special as the gift inside.

The first part of this process is to shoot an image or images that you'd like to use for tags. You can make unique tags for each gift or you can choose one image and use it on all your tags this season. It's up to you!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sincerely Yours

Picture the Holidays Day 14 - Sincerely Yours

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 14

This is the one time of year where the near lost art of letter writing is revived. And even that might soon vanish with all the options of e-cards and email. As much I love e-everything, nothing can replace a greeting crafted by hand.

You are encouraged to slow down a little today and appreciate all the hand written epistles you come across. Whether they are to you, or from you, revel in the delight of letters and cards. Signed, sealed and/or delivered, capture sentiments crafted with love.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Simply Divine


Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 13

No matter what holiday you celebrate, chances are there is something divine about it. There is a reverie this time of year for forces far grander than ourselves. We honor our family, friends, connection, love, light and a source that makes it all possible.

Find a way today to translate the truth for you. Share the divinity in your life, whether it be through an obvious symbol or an overall feeling you carry, work on bringing it to your photography today.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Shaping Up

Picture the Holidays Day 11 - Shaping Up

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 11

I believe that once you open yourself up to something, that something just keeps coming! Little shifts in how we look at the world around us can reveal a whole new world to us and our lenses. No matter how much I see it happen in my own life, it still delights me. I'm surprised daily at what I find.

Pay attention today, in your comings and goings to the shape of things. See if what you find reminds you of anything else. Nature works in mysterious ways like that, have you noticed?

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Whole Lot of Happy


Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 12

t's been said that smiling is contagious. I think it's true. Smile and the whole world smiles back at you. Well, maybe not always. As much as I hate to admit it. this time of year can bring out the crabby in people. But, let's not focus on that! Let's let a big ol' grin work it's wonders on us so that in turn we can smile, smile, smile!

Today, wear a smile and search for the people or things that smile back and capture a happy face!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Twinkle, Twinkle


Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 10

Twinkle lights, fantasy, wishing and whimsy; they are all a part of the season. The trick is translating the ambiance we see with our eyes and the glow we feel in our hearts into effective photographic images.

Don't be afraid to let the light in for shots that sparkle! An extra slow shutter speed (way beyond what you can normally hold by hand) can make for amazing photos that shine! Try capturing something today that twinkles!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

It's a Sign

Picture the Holidays Day 9 - It's a Sign

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 9

There is nothing more fun than discovering the right word at the right time. It may be meaningful and telling or it could just be something random and entertaining. Signs can warn us, lead us, remind us or even state the obvious. Whatever the case, it's our job to interpret the signs as they pertain to our own lives. What the signs really say is up to us.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Reflecting on the Holidays


Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 8

Reflective surfaces can be creative muses in your photography. There is no way of knowing exactly how the reflection will translate. That's what makes it so much fun!

Have you ever looked into a mirror as a means to see things a little differently? Look around and see how unique the world around you can look in reflections. Mirrors, glass, metallic surfaces all offer us opportunities to see and shoot with a unique and often unexpected perspective.

Shoot something in a reflective surface today and see what you find. It could be you looking back at you, or it could be some other kind of seasonal magic. It's all in how you look at it.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Express Yourself

Picture the Holidays Day 7 - Express Yourself

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 7

Being (and staying) balanced can often be as easy as checking in with ourselves from time to time. Tuning into our own body and mind is a simple emotional gauging tool we often overlook. Today, take a few moments to be still. Breathe in and out and just allow yourself to be and to feel. (I'll wait)

Well? How are you today? What is your body saying? How about your mind? Your heart? Listen to the shouts and the whispers and take it all in and then exhale. Now, get your camera and interpret those feelings

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Every Little Thing

Picture the Holidays Day 6 - Every Little Thing

Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 6

Begin this day with eyes wide open to the tiny wonders that are constantly swirling all around you. Even at the most ordinary time of day, while doing the most mundane tasks, little moments of enchantment will reveal themselves. Find some small delight today.

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