Friday, December 9, 2011

Lights of the season

From shutter sisters:  Have you captured a little twinkle magic....or maybe some inspired holiday cheer....this year? Share with us today.

Reflecting on the season

From a prompt at paper coterie:  Shoot something or someone in a reflective surface.  It could be obvious like a reflection in a mirror or it could be something more subtle.  Like this:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Shine your light

From shutter sisters:

"We are all good at shining the light on others. Singing praises, commenting on the beauty of everyone else's art, photos, and lives. Why do we forget that our own light is so very precious and needs to be nurtured and deserves to be praised? Have we been conditioned to hide our own light?  Forget about tooting my own horn, ugh, no way. But why not? If I cannot believe I am worthy then who will? Allowing myself to stand in my own light is something I am truly working on.

We each have our own special gifts to share with the world, rather than being shy or embarrassed by that, why not shout it out instead! Today shine the light on YOU. Have you done something new or exciting with your photography? Go ahead, tell us! Show us! Celebrate it! Whatever it may be, share it with us here today. Say yes to you and your light."

I've been playing around with Photoshop Elements, and having fun with it.  Learning a new software program is intimidating to me, and usually frustrating, causing me to give up.  Not this time.

My first attempt at combining a background, text, and an object into one photo

Learning textures in Elements

Making a collage in Elements

Express yourself

From a prompt at paper coterie:  " 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.

While at work this morning, I sat at my desk, closed my eyes, and focused on my breathing.  The first thought that came to me was,

Be still and know that I am God.

I felt calm and at peace, and thought, "Nothing is too hard for me.  I can overcome any obstacle or accomplish any task."

And too, "It feels good to just not think, to concentrate on inhaling deeply, exhaling forcefully, and to focus on the words "Be still and know that I am God.  To still the running thoughts."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Every little thing

From paper coterie, "Find some small delight today."

To a photographer, light is everything.  I love the interplay of afternoon sun streaming through my bedroom window and the shadows it creates of the lampshade on the wall and picture frame.

At the same time, the light is also highlighting one of my photos from my garden.

Sparkle and shine

From a prompt at shutter sisters: "Today share with us how your part of the world is shining."

Monday, December 5, 2011


From a prompt at shutter sisters.  Part of your aliveness is paying attention to where you are now.

A vignette quadrant of textural applications
I stayed in for most of the day, taking photographs of objects in my home, and processing them, using textures, in Elements.

This is about paying attention to the details of the objects that surround you, those objects that you stop noticing because there they sit, quietly and unobtrusively.  Such as this lamp, tucked away into a corner of the living room, and rarely even lit.  It is a thing of beauty, of stillness and quiet contemplation.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holding onto gratitude

From a prompt at paper coterie:  "Take a few minutes to focus on all the things that you have to be grateful for today and then, choose a perspective in which to capture at least one of those things in a photograph."

Grateful for indulgences, like silver hoop earrings, mercury glass votives, and a gold, glittery "Believe", objects on my bureau.

Grateful for choice, freedom, faith.  

Grateful that I have the strength and courage to leave a relationship that is making me deeply unhappy.  And holding onto a hope that I will choose a better man to enter a relationship with next time.

All you need is love

From a prompt at paper coterie:  "Today, focus on love.  Feel it.  Be it.  Capture it.  Share it."

A present from my boyfriend, who carried it out
of the woods in New Hampshire after a hike

Some women may receive gifts such as jewelry, perfume, roses and chocolate.  My boyfriends give me rocks.  No, not those kind catching the light in its many diamond facets on your finger.

Rocks.  Don brought me a white quartz one, about the same size as the one above, from Maine.  Warren delivered a boulder.

They are in my garden, placed carefully in the flower bed at the end of my driveway.

Sometimes, it surprises me that on this road with frequent pedestrians, that no one has taken them.

You see, I'm not a material girl.  I want things from the heart.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Metal sculpture, National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
Washington, DC

How have I stretched myself?

The definition of stretch is "to draw out or extend to the full length or extent; to extend from one point or place to another; to lengthen or extend through tension."

Learning to ice skate has given me confidence and pride.  As a child, I had tried it and failed.  I just gave up, thinking, "I'll never learn."  Finally, at age 50 I am doing it!  And it's fun.

I first picked up a camera at age 17, when I received as a gift a Canon AE1 SLR camera.  My exploration in photography has been sporadic through the years, but the interest has always been there.  Now I'm trying to push it further, learning more about the features of my camera and also learning more of the post process.  As for the latter, I've been having fun with Photoshop Elements.  As for the former, I still need to sign up for a class.

Engaging in therapy these last two months has been difficult, but enlightening and rewarding.  It takes courage to face the demons in your past, and to learn how to conquer them.  It's a process of liking myself more.  That, let me tell you, feels wonderful.

Mariposa Grove, Yosemite

Friday, December 2, 2011

Every step you take

Another prompt from shutter sisters.  As they explain, "Today, I encourage you to think about your story.  Study your past.  Look back upon your own stepping stones.  Remember that you have been led to this place. That you have traveled far to get here.  That every part of your journey holds some responsibility in why you are here.

Let's see some sort of stone or pathway or your own feet even...something that honors every step."

Both images from White Horse Beach, Plymouth, MA

Kelly and I, at about age 5, but separated by 28 years

One of the biggest joys in my life is my daughter, Kelly.  How did I get so lucky?  I often look admirably and astonishingly at her and think, "Where did this girl come from?"

Well, guess what?  She came from me.  That's right.  Me.

It's been a rewarding and fulfilling, challenging and scary, journey during these 22 years.  Despite my missteps and failings, I think she turned out pretty well.

Kelly is the type of woman I wished that I could be.  Gregarious.  Humorous.  Beautiful and intelligent.  Sunny and upbeat.  Ambitious and ballsy.  As they say, "No flies on her."

Super powers

Inspired by a shutter sisters challenge on the super powers that one acquires as a photographer.

Superman has the super powers of speed, flight, strength and x-ray vision.

Spiderman has strength, agility and a certain "spidey sense," among other traits.

The Hulk has a physical strength that increases in correlation to his level of anger.

What are my super powers?

I can take you to places around the country and world that you've never been.

Tower of London bridge
I can make you smile.

I can show you the meaning of faith.  And a mother's love.

Wood sculpture at the Worcester Museum of Art
I can help you to remember your childhood.

Boys having fun on the slip 'n' slide.  Oh, the joys of summer!
I can give you a new perspective.

Morning dew on a fading rose

I can bring you back to an important part of history.

The Korean War Memorial in Washington, DC at sunset
I can show you the beauty of discarded things.

Debate, a sculpture at the Andres Institute of Art, NH

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Inspiration and creativity

Creative?  Not me.  Artists, musicians and designers are creative.  Not me.  Right?  This is the message that I accepted about myself for most of my life.


I am creative.  In photography.  In gardening.  In interior design.

One of my favorite photographs of flowers in my garden

The driveway bed I created in 2010, during the month of August

One of the front rooms in my home, redesigned in 2010
The process of photography - exploring, capturing and editing - leads to inspiration.  The images speak to me.

Tree reflections in a pond.  They speak of stillness.

A glowing orange sky at sunset in late November.  A promise of better things to come.

A stack of canoes outside a boating house on the Charles River.  Order, harmony and precision.

Tall grass rustling in the wind.  Soothing sounds of nature.

A brown edged rose.  Decay.

Shoots poking from the ground in spring.  Renewal.

Frost on leaves scattered on the lawn.  Change is a comin'.