Thursday, August 30, 2012

Flower Art Friday # 19 - August 31, 2012

sand dune flower

Welcome to Flower Art Friday #19! The gallery opens early Thursday morning and entries are accepted until midnight each Saturday.

Today's image was captured on my trip to Florida last week. I was fascinated by these pretty flowers growing in the sand dunes. It is inspiring how life and beauty can spring from such adverse conditions. I used a little Topaz Labs Black & White Effects plug in to create the effect, but other than a bit of cropping that is all the processing I did.

Ok, now for last weeks top three picks!

By Ann at Image Artistry


From Pieces of Contentment


By Andrea a Scrappin' Shutterbug


Congratulations winners! Grab your badge!

flowerartfriday


Before we get this party started, here's just a quick reminder of the rules before we begin.


Flower Art Friday is a weekly gallery featuring your floral themed creations. We will have themes from time to time, but these will only be suggestions and you may feel free to deviate if you like. Obviously the theme revolves around flowers,and works submitted can be photos, digitally manipulated photos, textured photos, or mixed media collages.

Check out my resources page for information on some great sites that provide free textures, clip art, and tutorials.

The rules are pretty simple. Your link should go directly to your blog post or flickr post, and I ask that you post a link back to my blog in return. Post only your original work, and give credit appropriately to the source of images, clip art, or textures you may use in your piece. It would be awesome if you would grab my badge and include it in your post.

flowerartfriday


You also get to vote for your favorites. I will feature the top three picks on my blog next week, so if you participate please note that you are also giving me permission to repost your photo here. I will also be sending you a little email reminder to come back and vote and when the winners are posted.

Ok, let's link up!








Today's Linkups

kimklassencafePhoto Art Friday


Join by August 31 and get your first year of Creative Cloud membership for only $29.99/month. Valid for existing CS product owners.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Snapshot & A Song #4 - Anywhere I'm Going

santa rosa sunset

Thought I was alive only when it hurt
And it took that ride to the edge of the earth
I thought I was strong, I thought I was tough
I took just a little and I called it enough.

I could stand here and complain
Or make a path of the pain

Edwin McCain - Anywhere I'm Going

I have definitely been going anywhere and everywhere this week, starting with a trip to Destin, Florida for a work related conference. It was a nice trip and I managed to make time for a little photography while there, but other than one morning beach walk before the conference started, I didn't really take that much advantage of the opportunities available for greater enjoyment of the local that were available.

Part of it was simply due to the conference schedule. Sessions started early, and evening activities went late, so all I really wanted to do in the off time was take a nap.

beach2

And the other part was just that I just didn't really feel like venturing out on my own in such a romantic location. As the waves swept along the shoreline, so did waves of sadness and grief touch upon the edges of my heartache. Sometimes I get weary of trying to hold on to faith that this is just normal for the circumstances and it will get better in time. I'm starting to get a little impatient with it.

The reading material I brought along also probably primed the pump for these feelings to surface as well. I checked out Carry Yourself Back to Me from the Amazon lending library several months ago, and even though the story was actually quite engaging, I kept forgetting to go back to it. But, it made perfect airport/airplane reading and by the time the plane touched down in Nashville, I'd finished it up.

The story line, set in Florida by the way, was about a singer/songwriter dealing with the sudden departure of her long term boyfriend and that event coinciding with other deeply personal losses and crisis which, of course, she had to handle alone on top of her grief. Without giving the whole story away, I will say that the ending was a happy one and it did NOT involve reuniting with the one who had abandoned her.


beach1

Keeping the faith that things are as they should be and that there is a happier ending in store at the end of this path I'm building from the pain is what gets me through each day and the day after that, and the day after that.

I chose today's song because of the theme of growth through pain, written from the perspective of someone in the middle of the darkest parts. It is always darkest before the dawn correct? And, it also corresponds to this desire I have to find some meaning behind all this, what lessons I was to learn, and how it all fits together for the greater good to come.

Plus, I thought I was erring a little heavily on the side of estrogen, and thought we needed to infuse a bit of testosterone into the lineup. Edwin McCain is one of my favorite singer songwriters and I have so many special memories of seeing him live with my sons and on the Cayamo Cruise, too. I'm quite excited he will be on the boat this year as well.

There is another reason Edwin has been on my mind lately, but I'm not ready to reveal that just yet. But, I will eventually.


Anywhere I'm Going is from Edwin's latest release, Mercy Bound, and I chose it not only because of the theme of growth through pain, but also because of the rather odd synchronicities that seem to be daily occurances in my life these days.

In fact, I'm a little late getting this post out today because I am fairly well exhausted, not just because of the trip, but I had an especially full Saturday that had me leaving the house at 9:30 a.m. and not returning until 11:00 p.m.

The activities of Saturday all relate in some way to where I'm going and where I've been and was chock full of those odd synchronicities I mentioned. There was so much packed into this day that I couldn't possibly squeeze it all into one post and do it justice so I will review the different happenings in separate posts throughout the week.

For now, I'll leave you with these lyrics and call it a night.


"Anywhere I'm Going"


I could be right or I could be real
I could be burned or just tempered steel
I followed my pride right into the rain
But I couldn't outrun the blood in my veins

'Cause every tear I've ever known
Turned out to be a stepping stone

Anywhere I'm going takes everywhere I've been
I've done a lot of living, I wouldn't care to do again
I wouldn't change a mile I swear of the road that'll get me there
Anywhere I'm going

Thought I was alive only when it hurt
And it took that ride to the edge of the earth
I thought I was strong, I thought I was tough
I took just a little and I called it enough

I could stand here and complain
Or make a path of the pain

Anywhere I'm going takes everywhere I've been
I've done a lot of living, I wouldn't care to do again
I wouldn't change a mile I swear of the road that'll get me there
Anywhere I'm going

Anywhere I'm going takes everywhere I've been
I've done a lot of living, I wouldn't care to do again
I wouldn't change a mile I swear of the road that'll get me there
Anywhere I'm going, anywhere I'm going



Ok, so its time to link up. Here's a few rules before we begin.
 
  1. Please give credit to the songrwriter and/or group - preferably with a link to their website
  2.  Link to your blog post or flickr page, not simply to your blog.  
  3. Tell us a little bit about your image and the meaning the song holds for you (more of a guideline than a rule, but it would be nice if you would
  4.  Include a link back to my blog, and using my badge would be especially cool
 
 
snapshot and a song
 
Ok, let's get this party started!!









Join by August 31 and get your first year of Creative Cloud membership for only $29.99/month. Valid for existing CS product owners.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Flower Art Friday #18 - August 24, 2012


Welcome to Flower Art Friday #18 The gallery opens early Thursday morning and entries are accepted until midnight each Saturday.

This post will be short on words or explanations because I'm actually writing this from my hotel in Destin, Florida. I'm here for a work related conference and it has been a long day, with two long days to follow. Then Saturday...OMG Saturday is booked sun up to sundown. I am looking forward to see what you guys have in store for me this week...but it maybe Sunday before I'm back to see!

So without a lot of fanfare, here are this weeks winners!

Live, Love, Travel


Marcie Scudder



Cherie at Heart and Soul Reflections



Congratulations winners! Grab your badge!

flowerartfriday

Before we get this party started, here's just a quick reminder of the rules before we begin.


Flower Art Friday is a weekly gallery featuring your floral themed creations. We will have themes from time to time, but these will only be suggestions and you may feel free to deviate if you like. Obviously the theme revolves around flowers,and works submitted can be photos, digitally manipulated photos, textured photos, or mixed media collages.

Check out my resources page for information on some great sites that provide free textures, clip art, and tutorials.

The rules are pretty simple. Your link should go directly to your blog post or flickr post, and I ask that you post a link back to my blog in return. Post only your original work, and give credit appropriately to the source of images, clip art, or textures you may use in your piece. It would be awesome if you would grab my badge and include it in your post.

flowerartfriday


You also get to vote for your favorites. I will feature the top three picks on my blog next week, so if you participate please note that you are also giving me permission to repost your photo here. I will also be sending you a little email reminder to come back and vote and when the winners are posted.

Ok, let's link up!








Today's Linkups

kimklassencafe


Join by August 31 and get your first year of Creative Cloud membership for only $29.99/month. Valid for existing CS product owners.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Little Synchronicities


A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about being called to stand in for a photographer who was working with a local no-kill animal shelter (Happy Tales Humane) on a fundraising photobook.

It was a fun and rewarding experience - especially since the feedback on my images was super encouraging. So much so, that I began to see that there might be a potential calling for me in the area of pet photography.

As it turns out, the other photographer had to bow out and I was asked to take over the entire project! There was a last minute scramble to get contracts together and negotiate my fees for the project in time to schedule enough shoots to finish the book and have it done in time for Christmas! Whew! Well, we got it done and I'm really happy about it.

The whole things came together so quickly and yet it fell in line so easily, I'm certain I was meant to get involved in this.

As if I needed another sign from the universe, I received in my mailbox last Friday, this beautiful post card - my first postcard delivery from Kat's "Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap."


Well, that gave me a few little goosebumps and I was covered in them by the time I had a look at the website of the artist - Pointypix.com. Not only is Nicola a talented artist, but she is apparently very much into making the world a better place for animals.

How cool is that?




Join by August 31 and get your first year of Creative Cloud membership for only $29.99/month. Valid for existing CS product owners.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Snapshot & a Song #3 - Don't Need Much to Be Happy

At the end of the day

Don’t need much to be happy
Four walls and a roof overhead
Books and food in my belly
Cool sheets upon the bed
- Mary Chapin Carpenter

Today's photo was taken just a little over a year ago, right around the time that photography took its place as an integral part of my every day life. I had just discovered the Shutter Sisters blog and found there was a term for the type of photographs I was being drawn to take. "Expressive Photography" is a term that truly says it all.

Like so many I've met (mostly virtually) on this journey over the last year, I picked up a camera during what was a dark time in my life. Making photographs and sharing them was a way of being "heard" and "seen" when the words just couldn't capture what was going on inside.

And, in those dark times, it seemed especially important to collect images that represented what I enjoyed, what I was grateful for, what meant something to me. Not long after, I began this blog and found that what I wanted to share was beauty and joy. Although I haven't avoided darker subjects and have admitted to my struggles, I didn't seem to want to dwell on it. Rather, I seemed to have more of an overwhelming need to document the good - as if I needed to reassure myself that life was indeed beautiful, worth living, and mattered.

When faced with loss, disappointment, epic stress, it is the little things that get one through the day, and that is what Mary Chapin Carpenter is expressing in the song I chose for today. I'm not 100% sure if I shared today's image on this blog before or not, but it is the image that popped into mind when I first heard the lyrics to this song this past week.

Chapin Carpenter's lastest release, Ashes and Roses, was born from a period where she suffered great loss and illness. To be honest, I had not noticed that she'd seemingly disappeared from the scene. When I saw she was playing the Ryman, I thought it would be great to see her there. So, I bought a ticket and got a great seat. It was only after further research that I learned of her new release and discovered these new songs that resonate so clearly with the emotions I'm experiencing now.

I often struggle with how much to reveal about my own personal and not so positive experiences in this space, and then I consider how much I am helped by those who are willing to reveal their soft, hurt, and vulnerable sides to the world. This CD has already been so helpful to me and I'm grateful that it was there for my discovering.

Here she is performing today's song. Enjoy it take a moment to appreciate those little things that bring you joy and comfort. Welcome back Mary, we've missed you.



"Don't Need Much To Be Happy"
by Mary Chapin Carpenter

Don’t need much to be happy
Four walls and a roof overhead
Books and food in my belly
Cool sheets upon the bed

A fire that warms up December
The sound of a thaw in the eaves
Sometimes it’s hard to remember
How tough we are to please

All in good time
Somehow I find
Days that still shine with light
All in good stead
I’m safe and I’m fed
With dreams in my head
Good night

The feel of my hand being taken
Driving at night all alone
The breeze on a warm summer evening
And coming home

All in good time
Somehow you find
Days that still shine with light
All in good stead
You’re safe and you’re fed
With dreams in your head
Good night

Don’t need much to be happy
A friend to soften a fall
And something to show for my labors
After all

I had to learn to be grateful
I had to learn how to see
Mistakes that might have proved fatal
Are gifts I now receive



Ok, so its time to link up. Here's a few rules before we begin.
 
  1. Please give credit to the songrwriter and/or group - preferably with a link to their website
  2.  Link to your blog post or flickr page, not simply to your blog.  
  3. Tell us a little bit about your image and the meaning the song holds for you (more of a guideline than a rule, but it would be nice if you would
  4.  Include a link back to my blog, and using my badge would be especially cool
 
 
snapshot and a song
 
Ok, let's get this party started!!









Join by August 31 and get your first year of Creative Cloud membership for only $29.99/month. Valid for existing CS product owners.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Flower Art Friday #17 - August 17, 2012

sunshine

Welcome to Flower Art Friday #17! The gallery opens early Thursday morning and entries are accepted until midnight each Saturday.

Today's image is a shot I took of my deck Zinnias this weekend. These flowers seem very happy on my deck and they sure make me happy to see first thing in the morning when I look out the kitchen door.

The stamp and the texture (Dream It) are from Kim Klassen and the stamp bears my message to all of you who come here and leave your beautiful flowers for me each week. Flower Art Friday has become the sunny spot of my week and so inspriational!

For processing, I relied heavily on Topaz Labs - mainly Adjust. I focused mostly on the HDR and Grunge presets adjusting saturation, and playing with the sliders until I got a look that I liked.

Now for last week's reader's choice winners!

Mona gets top honors this week with this colorful and beautifully composed image.


Henrietta Hassinen is back with these red beauties


And finally, we have this warm, lovely, vintage piece from Anki-itte.


Congratulations winners! Grab your badge!

flowerartfriday


Before we get this party started, here's just a quick reminder of the rules before we begin.


Flower Art Friday is a weekly gallery featuring your floral themed creations. We will have themes from time to time, but these will only be suggestions and you may feel free to deviate if you like. Obviously the theme revolves around flowers,and works submitted can be photos, digitally manipulated photos, textured photos, or mixed media collages.

Check out my resources page for information on some great sites that provide free textures, clip art, and tutorials.

The rules are pretty simple. Your link should go directly to your blog post or flickr post, and I ask that you post a link back to my blog in return. Post only your original work, and give credit appropriately to the source of images, clip art, or textures you may use in your piece. It would be awesome if you would grab my badge and include it in your post.

flowerartfriday


You also get to vote for your favorites. I will feature the top three picks on my blog next week, so if you participate please note that you are also giving me permission to repost your photo here. I will also be sending you a little email reminder to come back and vote and when the winners are posted.

Ok, let's link up!








Today's Linkups

kimklassencafePhoto Art Friday


Join by August 31 and get your first year of Creative Cloud membership for only $29.99/month. Valid for existing CS product owners.

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