Sunday, October 28, 2012

From the Ground Up

1-365 October 21, 2012


“Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives.” Brene Brown The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Suppose to Be and Embrace Who You Are


Rather than give a day-by-day account of my Shutter Sisters Oasis experience, I am going to focus my reflections on themes and stories within the story. With that said, the image above was taken on day 1 of Oasis as I and four other intrepid photographers destined for Palm Springs converged at gate 19 in the Dallas-Fort Worth airport.

We'd figured out in advance that we were all on the same connecting flight to Palm Springs and after a flurry of text messages and scanning the crowded gate for tentative waves, a look, a familiar face, we all found eachother.

Within seconds of the last one arriving, one of the girls began coralling us into a huddle and we knew exactly what to do. The iphones came out and we started snapping pictures of our feet.

I don't know who started this thing about shooting photographs from "where we/I stand" but it has caught on and some of my Oasis friends have taken it to an absolute art form.

I'm sure our little circle of bowed heads must have looked odd to passers-by who probably assumed we were having a pre-flight prayer. Judging by so many comments made over the course of the week by my cohorts, there was a lot of fear in anticipation of this event but not on account of airplanes (or what can go wrong with them).

There was a reason Brene Brown's latest book Daring Greatly was a current favorite among the "sisters" - encouraging each of us to push beyond shyness, introversion, insecurity, etc... to play in what Brene refers to as "the arena."


IMG_0506


If I heard someone mention how outside this event was from their "comfort zone" once, I heard it a thousand times. As much as we all wanted to be there together, there was something about it that also scared us to death. For those of us quaking in our Chuck Taylors (also a "thing" among the sisters) at the thought of putting ourselves, our photography, and our art out there among infinitely talented, cool, awesome people the phrase "daring greatly" had become something of a mantra.

IMG_0506

And so I thought it was appropriate to include a quote from Brene in today's post.

In fact, the entire reason I found myself at Shutter Sisters Oasis in the first place can be traced back to my discovery of Brene's work. This blog evolved from a combined interest in photography and the desire to connect to a community of folks with the same interest.

Community and belongingness are key components in Brene's findings on what helps us live happy, whole-hearted lives. Here just slightly over a year later after discovering the Shutter Sisters, this idea of community for me has gone from the abstract to the tangible. That transition was only made possible by a willingness to take a risk, be vulnerable and show up in the arena as Brene suggests.

While I don't know who started the whole "from where I stand" thing, I do suspect I know why. It is a mindfulness thing - a way of saying, here I am in this place, at this time, with these people (or alone). It is a way of grounding oneself, if you will, in the moment - being ok with, and honoring what is as a way of combating feelings that arise from believing that things are not what they are supposed to be.

From where I stand, here in my jammies after noon on a Sunday and being perfectly fine with it, I'd say it works.

#fromwhereistand

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hanging Over

6-365

It was nearly 2:00 a.m this morning when the plane that was bringing me home from a week of fun in the sun with the Shutter Sisters at the 2012 Oasis gathering touched down.

Naturally, I slept in and woke feeling a bit hungover from all the creative, emotional, social, and intellectual stimulation all mixed together in an environment vastly different from my own day to day world. It was quite a cocktail, I will tell you that. It kicked my butt (in a good way, of course).

With no food in my pantry and quite hungry, I threw on some clothes and grabbed the copy of Artful Blogging that had been patiently waiting in my mailbox for my return and headed to Waffle House. I hear that's a good place to nurse a hangover - not that I would know anything about that.

After I'd slammed back the first of many cups of coffee, I was delightfully surprised to see frequent Flower Art Friday participant, Donna Heber, featured in the magazine. Congratulations Donna! I know you must be thrilled. The article was beautifully done.

Seeing as submitting my blog to Artful Blogging is on this mental list of "things I'd love to accomplish with blogging/photography," I saw it as an affirmation from the universe in my post-Oasis overwhelm. I don't feel ready yet, and I'm not even sure it will be with this blog, but one day maybe I will.

To mark the moment, I whipped out my still new iPhone and snapped a shot with the Cameramatic app I learned about at Oasis. It allows you to shoot square format images in higher resolutions than you can with instagram enabling you to do more things with the images than just sharing them in the IG community. (It also has some cool filters and frames as well)

Today's image represents day 6 of my new 365 project. Most of you who read this blog know what a 365 project is, but for those who might not it is simply a personal photography project where you take one photograph every day for a year.

There are many flavors of 365 projects and groups out there - some loosely structured and others more specific.

For my project, I'm going to use my iPhone exclusively and I'm not going to join a particular group with restrictions (such as self portraits only). Just one picture a day that says captures something about my day.

I've tried to do this before, but my record is something like 50ish days before I gave up. It should be easier with the iPhone. I had already intended to start one at the new year, but decided that starting with my first day at Oasis would be an even better point in time to anchor this project as I believe it was a turning point for me in many ways.

I may not blog about each and every 365 image, but I imagine that these photos will feature prominently in my blog in the coming year.

Much more will be written about my Oasis experience in the future, but it will take some time to assimilate the lessons as well as the photographs.

For now, it is good to be home albeit a bit overwhelming at the moment with so much to do in the coming weeks wrapping up projects so I can focus on some personal ones that I've been back-burnering for far too long.


Friday, October 19, 2012

From Above

Over at Beyond Layers we were challenged to shoot from above. This is on my front porch. I just love mums and adore autumn vignettes.

Just a few more days until I board a flight to Palm Springs. There is so much to do!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Life goes on.

Don't forget to vote for Flower Art Friday. Voting ends tonight at midnight. FAF will be back the first Friday in November. Can't wait to see some lovely fall color in our gallery.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Flower Art Friday #25 - October 12, 2012

cousins

Today's image isn't exactly flower art, but there are flowers in it. :) You may (or may not) have noticed that I've been a little absent from the blogosphere lately and part of the reason for that was a lovely visit I enjoyed with my youngest son and his precious bride this past weekend. Aren't they adorable?

family pic

They have a new pup named Summit (after the famous U.T. Basketball coach, Pat Summit) and wanted a "family portrait." I also took the opportunity to get shots of the "cousins" grandogs Summit and Crockett for the Happiest Hounds of Middle Tennessee book I'm shooting and designing for the benefit of Happy Tales Humane.

We had a wonderful time with them and capped the weekend off with an early birthday dinner for my mom, where I got to practice my newly acquired pasta making skills and indulge in a little tablescaping. I'm so proud of myself in that there are NO NEW DISHES in this setting. I am amazed at my restraint (but honestly, I didn't have time to shop. LOL)

Mom's birthday dinner. Table is set.

The book along with a web project I'm trying to wrap up before I board a plane to the long awaited Shutter Sisters Oasis experience are consuming most of my time and energy. The next couple of weeks are going to be extra chaotic as I'm pressing to finish these projects, along with making myself a tutu (more on that after Oasis).

After missing my Snapshot & A Song Linky and being unable to find time to create some flower art for this week, I decided that something has to give. So, I'm going on a little hiatus until after Oasis and this will be the last linky in October.

Flower Art Friday will be back in business November 1st and I'd like to challenge everyone to be on the look out for some beautiful fall color and share it with us then. Foliage is fine, too. After all, "Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower" says Albert Camus

I captured this lovely bouquet of "flowers" in my office parking lot this morning. This image and the tablescape were both captured with my new (yea!) iPhone 5! That said, you'll probably be seeing quite a bit iphonography here in the months to come.

upload

Those of you from "Down Under" are probably getting some lovely spring flowers right about now, but please join anyway. Yellow, red and orange flowers would be lovely compliments in a fall themed gallery. But, we are loosey goosey with the rules here, so do what you like. :)

I'll post the winners from this week's linkup at that time.

Ok, now for last week's winners - all pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Mona


Ruth


Andrea


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!







Thursday, October 4, 2012

Flower Art Friday #24 - October 5, 2012

think pink

Welcome to the 24th Flower Art Friday! The gallery opens early Thursday morning and stays open until midnight on Saturday.

This week's theme is pink in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month In addition to sharing your pink themed floral works, I invite you to also share on your blog personal stories or messages of support to those you may know who have been affected by this disease.

Now, let's have a look at last week's top reader's picks.

Mona!


Evelyn!


Gunilla!



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

Photo Art Friday





Monday, October 1, 2012

M-M-M Mosaic Monday

garganelli mosaic

For Mosaic Monday, I thought I'd share some yummy image I shot during an Italian cooking class I attended this weekend. I just realized that there is no Mosaic Monday this week, but I'm going to share anyway!

The classes are conducted by Chef Paulette Licitra in her home, and this was my third class with her.

This was the second time we made pasta from scratch. The little pasta shapes above are called "Garganelli" and we dressed them with a broccoli rabe pesto.

40 clove chicken mosaic

We also made "Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic." Although the number was not arbitrary it took about 3 heads of garlic to get the amount shown here.

schiciatta duva mosaic

For dessert, we made "Schiciatta d'uva" which was a sweet surprise. I never would have thought to put rosemary or olive oil in a dessert, or squash grapes into a pizza dough for that matter. It was incredibly delicious!




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