Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Week of Color

This has been an interesting week over at Beyond Layers. Each day, starting this past Monday, we were asked to keep our eye out for a different color. If you're here from Beyond Layers, you will know these photos, but there is a tad more info here and a rainbow mosaic as the finale!

I'm am forever amazed at what happens when I put out an intention to do something. It usually happens and I'm usually pleased with the outcome. It's like write it down, make it happen.

I did miss Monday, which was green, but combined two colors when Tuesday was yellow, with my bananas.

Wednesday I almost forgot. I visited a friend at Panera Bread. If she hadn't gotten a smoothie I never would have seen the array of straws that included the day's color pink. I ran for my cell phone as it was the only camera I had on me that evening. I was pleased with the outcome.

Thursday was blue. I struggled a bit with what I wanted to capture. The sky, flowers, books, a scarf, and finally I settled on the treasured teapot my oldest son, Phillip, made for me in 2006. I love the shape and the wonderful glaze he chose.

Friday was red. The can my colored pencils live in is red, but that didn't seem very interesting so I focused on the red pencil. I love how macros turn out; how really getting close up helps me see things differently. It only occurred to me now that I could have made this a black and white and revealed the red pencil. Hmmm ... so that's what you get, but don't miss the before image.

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Today is Rainbow Saturday. I discovered chalk and crayons in addition to my colored pencils and just couldn't decide which rainbow I liked best so you get them all and then a mosaic too.



Colored Pencils

And here they are all together.


It's a full week when I work all day, process an image a day, and sometimes find things to do in the evening like have coffee with a friend, take a class, and go to a gallery showing of a friend's photography. But, I love it all.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Drawing a bright future

We all have our ways and beliefs for living this life. It's important to follow whatever guidance that serves us. I find the use of Runes, Medicine Cards, and Angel Cards provide suggestive guidance that helps me straighten out my mind (sometimes). As many of my friends know, I often go astray, but I keep trying and when I pay attention these tools help me stay more positively focused.

While I was sick (ah, I'm feeling human again!), I drew the Butterfly Medicine Card, which indicates transformation. This applies to so many avenues in my life right now that when I read the invitation to do the Butterfly spread, I was ready.

The meaning to me is still evolving and is personal, but I think it is interesting to outline the spread. Maybe some of these ideas will speak to you.

You are changing
Emerge into your new state of being
Honor your transformation

East (right): the seed
Open yourself to miracles
Use new eyes
Believe in magic
Embrace life's wonders

South (bottom): early doing
Have a plan
Use common sense
Honor the strategy that works best for you

West (left): coccoon/higher purpose/transformation
Accept the gift of grace
Surrender to the flow
Don't give up--give over

North (top): rewards to be gained/manifestation
Be loyal to yourself
Be true to others
Bolster your integrity

Anyway, not only was it good for me to have this spread to focus on, but I had a ball creating an artistic piece with the image. I think this goes along with my One Little Word 2012: Abundance as well. I've fallen behind on that project, but it's still there ... sitting in my mind ... germinating. And I think some of these concepts of transformation play a part in guiding me toward that abundance. Of course, abundance isn't just about money. It's about being. About fulfillment. Satisfaction. Growth.

I think this may be my year of discovery.

I hope there is something here that piques your interest and makes you wonder or consider a new way of doing things. Wishing you all a great week!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Black and white-color combos

I took a very short walk with Kobi today at Legion Park that overlooks Valmont Reservoir and power plant (Boulder, CO). I've got a full-blown cold and more than a half hour doing anything just saps my energy. I know I'll be better soon as colds just run the course. The good news is I'm eating lots and lots of wonderful veggie soup. Yum!

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Yucca pods
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No textures, but I'm loving playing with black and white color combos.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Couch-bound ... Black and White

I've been couch-bound for a couple of days and still recovering from an invasive bug (a cold of sorts), so wishfulness or maybe wistfulness takes me back a couple of weeks when I was able to take a walk on one of the many Boulder County foot/bike paths.

This reflection of bare winter branches in a placid pond with melting ice brought me peace as I sat drinking in the day. I wondered what it might be like to visit such a place on lunch hours and regular weekend jaunts.

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As I continued on, I found something that made me smile even thought my conservative self might usually consider this defacement of property. I enjoyed the lines and shadows and the symbology of the words painted beside the opening in the concrete wall.

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I went with black and white on these because they seemed likely candidates for Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers challenge this week. She has a way of coming up with ideas that help me stretch and consider other ways of processing the pictures I take. Thanks Kim.

Used Kim's texture on both images: paperlove

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

German Gold Poundcake ... mmm, mmm, good

I guess I didn't kick the bug that was going around the office as I'd thought. I've been feeling a little weak, but I still made this luscious loaf cake ... a new recipe that I altered a bit by adding Bailey's Coffee Creamer and a dash of orange peel.

No textures, but inspired by Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers assignment "Whisper."

I know some of you would like the recipe, so here it is (credit to The Good Housekeeping Cookbook):

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3.5 cups cake flour (I used regular flour)
1 cup milk
6 egg yolks
1.5 tsps baking powder
2 tsps vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
a dash of almond extract and a dash of dried orange peel
Use 1/4 cup Bailey's Coffee Creamer + 3/4 c. milk, instead of 1 c. milk

Preheat over to 350ºF. Grease and flour 10-inch Bundt pan or two 9: x 5" loaf pans. Into large bowl, measure sugar and buter or margarine; with mixer at high speed, beat until light and fluffy. Add flour and rest of ingredients; at low speed, beat until well mixed, constantly scraping blwol with rubber spatulas. Beat at high speed 4 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl.

Pour batter into pan and bake in Bundt pan 1 hour or in loaf pans 45-50 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pa; cool completely on rack. Makes 1 ring or 2 loaves.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A touch of color

A couple more quick efforts at black and white with a touch of color for Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers.

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Finding amazing captures in the oddest places. This is in the bathroom at work. I know it's not in focus; I took it with my Blackberry in a hurry. But it was an image that gave me a chance to play with revealing color in a black and white.

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And this at the Dairy Queen shop nearby. What else is there to do but take pictures of the food when you're by yourself? ;->

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hope sees the invisible ...

Kim Klassen has a way of inspiring in a way I have not experienced but a few times in my life. She draws me in to hear what she's saying with her quiet, gently way. She draws me out of my shell to create things I had no inkling were inside me.

This week's theme is Black and White and creating brushes, otherwise thought of as stamps. The image here is a window waterfall at work. The background is rather unexciting, but it offers a canvas for the sheet of water flowing inside the frosted sheets of glass. I'm having fun with my "hope" theme, so the quote I chose reflects a manifestation of hoping.

mouseover to see with a touch of color ...

Used two layers of Kim's texture seriousmagic.

Short and sweet for now.
Pleasant dreams, my friends.

Holding Hope Lightly collage

Last night I posted a philosophical missive on holding hope lightly. If you are interested in the whole story you'll find it there.

Today, I discovered Pixel Dust Photo Art's Statement Frame, which she suggested using as a canvas. And thanks to Krist Adams' circle dots and texture thanks to Kim Klassen: evolve.

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This canvas inspired creativity to be bit artsy. I went back a couple weeks to find the images that complemented the background. The geese treed lightly down a sandy hill toward a local pond. The rocks and branch seemed to be a child's sidewalk art. And one morning as I got to work I noticed the frost on the bushes. This image portrays holding hope lightly better than pancakes! ;->

I continue to hold hope lightly by doing my art and "watching" movies that have been inspirational to me—movies about you girls who stepped out and followed their dreams. Definitely chick flicks, but if you like that sort of thing, check out Brave New Girl and Ice Princess. The singular message in both movies is "put more you in it." I like that.

Hoping you all have a "light" weekend.

An Obsession: Stages of a pancake

If it's not Kobi, it seems to be pancakes I'm taking pictures of lately. I'm overtaken by an obsession.

Pancakes are pretty interesting to photograph. They start out as a thick liquid batter. Then bubble themselves into light, fluffy, warm pillows. I like to smother mine in butter, sugar, and syrup.Yummy.

A question came to me earlier today. How does one hold hope lightly?

Have you ever wanted something so badly you felt wound up tighter than a spring? You want the boyfriend to call. You want to attend a conference you can't afford and are wishing for a windfall. You want that new job, but they haven't called you for an interview. You met a new potential client, but they haven't committed. You want to pay off your debt yesterday because three years down the road feels too long. You want to feel better when you caught the bug that's going around. Does this sound familiar? I've experienced all these things at one time or another.

So how do I hope without obsessing? How do I hold hope lightly?

Make pancakes. Seriously. Then take pictures. Do something that engages my mind. Write about it. Live my life.  It kind of goes back to the Serenity Prayer, but different.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Maybe it's the next step; holding hope lightly. Maybe it's about doing the work and releasing the outcome, and remaining positive that good things will come. Maybe the answers will look different than we think, but the bottom line will be the same.

Maybe the boyfriend you're expecting a phone call from won't call, but you'll meet someone new who will. Maybe you'll be able to afford the conference because someone can't make it, so they gift you the registration. Maybe they haven't called for the interview because  they have to go through the process, which just takes time. Maybe that potential client hasn't committed because she is scared, needs to save up the money, or wants to wait until she knows what she wants to accomplish. Maybe you just have to take paying off that debt one step at a time and it's having patience and perseverance that you are to learn. And about getting sick and hoping to get better in the snap of a finger. Well, that just ain't gonna happen most of the time! <sigh> But you will probably get much needed rest.

I know if I stay so focused on another's action or something that is out of my control, I am paralyzed. But I also know it's really challenging to hold hope lightly. I just keep hoping. Hoping that it will all work out just the way I want it to. This way doesn't allow for serendipity. It also doesn't allow for something better to come along. I must be ready to receive with open hands. The tight spring. The clenched fists. These don't allow me to accept unexpected good.

I'd love to hear your stories of holding hope lightly.
Happy weekend to you, my friends.