Friday, November 29, 2013

Focus On: Giving Thanks

An unexpected blog post. 

Sally Russick sent us the phrase "Giving Thanks" as a photo prompt for this week's Focus on Life series, 

As others have stated before, it's been a great experience participating in this photo blog experiment. And sometimes, it brings out things you would not have expected. 

When pondering "Giving Thanks" I first decided to go with something traditional like my family, or more specifically my husband's health, which had been in question at this time last year. He is feeling fine now, and for that we are all very thankful. 

But I have recently featured him in this blog, and he might not have wanted another picture illustrating some "random" concept so soon. 

Like many people, I am thankful for so many things.... health, family, my career, living in a free country, the beautiful country side, loving pets, a house that manages to still be standing after about a hundred years or so, many many things.  

So I decided to feature my sketch book. I have never kept a sketch book before, and I have been adding to this one at least once a week since the end of July. I have always been interested in art, I design jewelry, I do other crafts, and for most of my life I have thought that I could draw, but badly. So I decided that I could only improve by giving myself permission to try.   I am so thankful I decided to do that. I am finding this an enjoyable journey. Click on a thumbnail to find out what others are thankful for. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Focus on Life: Centerpiece

Wherein I reveal my not-so-secret passion. 

When Sally Russick sent out this week's photo prompt, I was tempted to create a pretty table decoration for next week's Christmas Market, take a picture and call it done, but I kind of coasted on the deeper meaning of last week's "reflection" theme, so this one better be a more serious reflection of ME. 

What centers me? What is my center? What gives me joy, peace, contentment?  

Just one stack of books that sit in my bedroom waiting for me to read them 

I took apart a stack of books (yes, this was originally just one stack, teetering precariously on my dressing table.) When I put them on the bed, they made three shorter stacks. To be fair, I do use my Kindle quite a bit, so that had to join the picture. 

Why books? I have had a love affair with books since childhood. I chose a profession that involves books every day (I'm a Librarian.) I love to read, and I love to learn. Of course there is more to me than reading. Oh yes, family, art jewelry, pets, but somehow, I return to books as my center. 

And what's in the books? I love novels, so there are lots of those, but there is also humor, biography, history, gardening, music.... I'm sure there is more. 

Can't wait to find out how others represented their centers. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Focus on Life: Reflect.


This week, we received the following from Sally Russick who has been coming up with interesting ideas for us to use as photography inspiration points for almost a year.

  REFLECT: The start of the Holiday Season is coming up quickly whether we are ready or not, so before jumping into all the hustle and bustle let's take a moment to slow down and reflect on all the joy, peace, happiness and love we already have in our life. 

I reflected on this theme, and decided that I would go for the literal photographic interpretation...I love photos of water reflecting light, foliage, and the sky. I also found an opportunity to show the moon reflecting sunlight, and the clouds reflecting the moonlight. And, as my husband pointed out, without reflection, we wouldn't see anything. Deep, no? 

But that thought is about as deep in thought as this blog goes.  I'm not sure how I would reflect my reflections on life in these pictures, but I hope they prove to be soothing and a suitable lead in to our busy holidays. 

Monday I went out in the morning to look for reflections. 

First I found a really cool effect of the sun reflecting off of power lines.

Then I found a small stream, you wouldn't notice it but for the reflections it showed.

Reflecting on this guy, he was so cooperative, letting me take tons of pictures.
He is a Muscovy duck, likely a pet, because these ducks aren't native here. 

A traditional "upsidedown trees" shot. 
But today, I tried something a bit different, I was looking for reflections at the other end of the day. 

If you look closely, you can see that there are geese in this picture,
 and they generate a little pool of reflection around them. 

Sunset on the water. Enough said. 

Moonlight reflecting on clouds, seen through the last of the leaves.
Goodnight Moon. 

See what the others are doing with reflection. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013


I subject my own work to a do-over challenge. 

I have been trying to clean up, rearrange and finish things. In the process of doing that, I found things like this. It was actually in a bag of things that had fallen on the floor, swept up, and were waiting to be sorted.  

Cute little rosebud pendant made with polymer clay, but it's a little bumpy, and do you see that the color from the red clay has transferred onto the white? 

I used some acrylic craft paint, and finished it with some embossing powder and Mod Poge Dimensional magic. 

Not sure where this is going, but it is a great start for something that had been going to go into the garbage!

Oh yes, and that IS the top of a Jeannie Dukic box top I used as a photo background. The finished piece still needs some work - I used a very thin wire as a loop at the would never hold up as a pendant. Also, it was not quite cured when I snapped this picture. You can see some opaque areas on the glaze that went away eventually. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Focus on life: Industrial Photography!

Making Art From Industry.

Sally Russick's prompt for this week was Industrial Photography. While out on a mission to drop my daughter off at work and pick up a few groceries, I visited a small industrial area near her workplace.

To introduce our topic Sally Says : "It is amazing how something perceived as cold and [its] purpose is to perform a function can have a beautiful soul."

Not sure that I have found any beautiful souls but here is an assortment of sights from our nearby industry. I played with them a little to enhance their features. 

First a little introduction:

We have an Industrial Drive, but precious little industry is on that road. 
Some artsy play with industrial scenery: 

Just a little "retouching" with this one. 

Using PicMonkey's "Warhol" effect. 
Everybody seems to remember to display the flag. The rest of this picture turned out more interesting for me in pixilated shapes.

Kind of looks like sand castles.

A row of imposing cement trucks.

Ready for tomorrow's job.

Click here to see what others have done:


Friday, November 1, 2013



Sally Russick has tasked us with the "chore" of taking photos of seasonal things. Halloween-y things. Maybe spooky, creepy (or spoopy, crepy) things. Ah, well, unless you consider this creepy
This little guy  hitched a ride
on the mail one cold day.
(and maybe you do) you will have to accept the pumpkin my daughter and her coworkers made for the Hannaford Supermarket pumpkin decorating contest. Some of the other ones, too.

Alice in Wonderland.
 (Excuse the fact that Alice's leg is beside her on the pumpkin -  It's been in a busy store for a week!)

The competition:

 I may be prejudiced, But I like Alice in Wonderland best! Unfortunately, they did not win. 

Find out what others did with this prompt by clicking on the thumbnails.