Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nature (Invincible Summer)

In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.

Albert Camus

iPhone Nature 2 1-8_Snapseed

When our winter days are cold and dark I hold tight to moments like this knowing summer will come again.  I took this Whidbey Island photo on a picture perfect August day as we hiked along Ebey’s Bluff after lunch on the beach below.  The warm, salty sea breeze and sparkling blue water were enough to make the day memorable but what you can’t see is the pod of Orca Whales that swam and played just off shore.  I’ve had the good fortune to spot whales before but this was my quietest encounter and the first time I could enjoy the view completely free from boat traffic and small airplanes buzzing by to follow their every move.

Posted today as part of Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge:  Nature

2015 in review

Here it is – my WP year in review. 🙂  It was sweet to see that my busiest day of 2015 was on my Grandma Emma’s 97th Birthday and her “round the world virtual birthday card” was the third most read post of the year.  My #1 was one of the first posts I wrote in 2013 about my favorite places in Washington State and #2 was Grandma’s 96th Birthday Card.  Family and travel resonate with all of you and I truly value your support and friendship.  Thank so much to all of you for a wonderful year here at Northwest Frame of Mind!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 23,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

A Surprise Every Day: Shaking Up December With Hipstamatic (week 2)

I’m pretty sure I read hundreds of “how to” articles before starting this blog in January of 2013 but only one piece of advice really stuck in my head,  “never apologize.”  At first I thought this was just a throwaway line from the kind of person who thinks manners don’t matter on the internet but once I got to the content part of the post I actually agreed with what they had to say.  People choose to spend their precious free time reading blogs for many reasons but most of us are connected by the desire to experience something different.  A moment to look through someone else’s eyes, take an armchair adventure around the world or escape into a new piece of fiction.  Of course you can’t truly escape when your chosen blogger spends most of their post complaining about the very same things that drove you to find escapism entertainment in the first place.  Opening each new post with an apology for being late or not keeping a regular publishing schedule is a surefire way to drive people away so all of this is my long-winded way of acknowledging my postings have been few and far between lately but I’m trying not to bore you with apologies.  This blog has become my creative home and I am so thankful that you’ve chosen to spend a few minutes of your free time reading and watching as I continue to explore my corner of the world.  I treasure the friendships and conversations that have grown from such a diverse global community and while I can’t promise multiple posts each week I can promise each one will be full of something that interests me and hopefully entertains you. 🙂

I started this random photo of the day series in February as a way to shake myself out of a creative rut and spark some new ideas for the year ahead.  My plan was to find one thing interesting in each day and take a photo that I would then post “as is” without any post-processing, shifting my focus toward composition and storytelling instead of editing.  I decided to take each photo with my iPhone using Hipstamatic and its “shake-to-randomize” feature further removing myself from editing choices because part of the fun of the app is that I don’t even know if the image will be black and white or color before it “develops” and appears on the screen.  I really have to take what I get so composition is everything.  In the beginning I wasn’t sure how long I could continue the one photo every day pace but somewhere around the 6 month mark I decided to finish the year.  Now I’m thinking about a fun way to recap the entire series once we reach February 2016 but don’t worry, I won’t republish all 365 photos!  Maybe a top ten post or some greatest hits.  Any ideas?

The first photo this week is a corner of our mantle decorated for the holidays, and Monday’s picture made me think somewhere out there is a sad little princess missing her sparkly tiara.  You’ll have to take my word for it that this was bubble gum pink with lots of glittery rhinestone accents. Tuesday brought the darkest day Seattle’s seen in the past 10 years.  Apparently there is a light measuring device on a rooftop at the University of Washington and we’ve been setting records. 😦

Wednesday’s photo is a close up of Ryan’s sling and Thursday you get to see what I saw looking up while Finn did his business on the tree trunk below.  Friday night I walked past this lonely piano wishing someone was playing it and Saturday morning found me finishing this custom order for a lucky young girl’s Christmas present.  Our Etsy store has been keeping me busy but we’re off to a great start and I can’t wait to share the new items we have ready to list next month!

Each photo was taken with my iPhone 6 using Hipstamatic’s “shake to randomize” function then posted without any additional editing. If you like a particular combination and want to try it at home just click on the image to see the lens, filter and flash used.  For variety I continue to add new lenses and filters so if you want to try Hipstamatic but are unsure how to start let me know and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.




Bloggers Unite for Peace

I’m back online tonight after a full day of work on my big project to share fellow WordPress Blogger Uncle Spike’s heartfelt message of peace from Turkey.

Uncle Spike's Adventures

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil
is for good men to do nothing.”
Edmund Burke

Here are some ways to add your support to this message of peace:

1) Publish the following statement on your own blog
2) Post a link to Twitter and/or Facebook
3) Reblog this post or any post that replicates this statement
4) Request to be 
added to the signatory list below by adding a comment or mailing 


~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

We are normal, everyday hard-working people with a common hobby, blogging. We hail from far and wide. We reside in different lands, on different continents. We speak different languages, eat different foods, and are of varying ages, professions…

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A Surprise Every Day: Shaking Up March With Hipstamatic (week 3)

Just when we thought this strange, sun filled winter would last forever spring arrived and brought some much needed rain to the Pacific Northwest.  This week was exactly how March should feel in Washington with lots of fresh green growth, wet petals on the ground and flashes of bright sunlight.

Sunday set a record for one day March rainfall and I spent most of the day inside working through my never-ending to-do list with a brief dash outside for a photo of rhododendron leaves from the back deck.  Monday’s photo documents some of the pretty cherry blossoms knocked to the ground after Sunday’s rain and Tuesday evening I stood under the scoreboard at Ryan’s middle school to read and appreciate the new banner hanging from the scoreboard.  “Where sportsmanship is an expectation. So please, let the players play, let the coaches coach and let the spectators be positive.”

A dry Wednesday brought the opportunity to photograph one of our red azaleas ready to flower and just when I thought I didn’t have an interesting subject for Thursday’s photo I drove by this old willow tree.  A quick dash through Heritage Park and I had my shot for the day.  Friday was the official first day of spring and I captured the wet change of seasons looking over Westlake Park in Seattle while Saturday found John in a quiet moment enjoying some welcome sun in what is typically Finn’s favorite spot on the stairs.

Each photo is straight from Hipstamatic’s “shake to randomize” function and posted without any additional editing. If you like a particular combination and want to try it at home just click on the image to see the lens and filter used.  I’ll be back next Sunday with 7 new photos and maybe even a few new favorites!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Depth and Compassion

Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.
Albert Schweitzer

Processed with VSCOcam with c3 preset

As John, Ryan and I work through the challenges and rewards of living with our newest family member Finn, compassion is always on our minds.  Bringing a rescue dog into the family has been an eye-opening experience but we are fully committed to providing him with the best home and second chance at life he could imagine and in return the loyal, loving dog he was meant to be is slowly starting to emerge.

We don’t have any information about Finn’s early years but we do know he was abandoned in California and rescued from doggie death row by a group dedicated to transporting dogs to no-kill shelters around the Pacific Northwest.  When we found him at his second shelter he was under weight, anxious and full of fear, lashing out at any new person or animal that approached him.  Something clicked though when we came to visit and he surprised his foster mom by cautiously approaching us, then sat quietly on the grass waiting for a carefully placed treat.  When he happily followed Ryan for a short walk around the yard we knew he was the dog for us but daily life is much different from an hour in a sunny yard and these first three months together have been anything but quiet or easy.  They’ve been full of learning and compassion but very little quiet.

Finn reacts to most people, animals and noises with an overwhelming urge to keep everything away.  His bark, teeth and claws are on full display and it’s all he can do to keep breathing while he fights to stay safe.  We’ve enlisted the help of a wonderful dog trainer with a background in rescue animals to help us find our path through this fear and we’re slowly building some shared trust while comforting Finn with the knowledge that he doesn’t have to fight everything.  We will take care of the big scarey stuff.  With a steady diet of good food, lots of sleep, regular exercise, consistent care and engaging activities his health is improving, anxiety levels are dropping and he’s up to a normal weight so I can see that our positive reinforcement approach is starting to show real results.

When we first talked about adopting a pet we knew we wanted a dog that would be big enough to join us for hikes through the forest and fun afternoons at the beach while still being small enough to fit comfortably in our home.  While Finn meets both of these conditions he still isn’t ready to safely spend the day hiking.  As a compromise I’m working my way through the overgrown side of our backyard, carving out trails where he can hunt, dig and explore to his heart’s content.  Our yard isn’t fully fenced so we are careful to provide appropriate supervision but he’s already spent hours next to me on a long lead supervising the work then jumping and diving through ferns looking for squirrels.  These two photos are from last weekend’s work session and if I have time before the Superbowl starts today we’ll keep digging into the brush to extend his range a little farther into the yard.  We know there are months of work and conditioning ahead before we can attempt an all day outing but my goal is for a beautiful summer hike with a happy dog by our side.  I’ll keep you posted!

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Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge: Macro (Summer Hydrangeas)

iPhone Monday 12-8-14

December in the Pacific Northwest means plenty of wet days and early sunsets.  Today’s 8:33 hours of daylight passed far too quickly but these bright blue Hydrangea flowers remind me that summer is just a few months away. 🙂

Posted as part of Lens and Pen by Sally’s Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge:  Macro.

iPhoneography Monday: 8-25-14

iPhone Monday 8-25-14



I snapped this cute little bunny enjoying an afternoon snack outside the Lopez Islander Marina during our visit last month.  Rabbits are everywhere in the San Juan Islands today even though they are a favorite attraction for the tourists the critters aren’t native to the area and are seen as pests by the local farmers.  The first rabbits were brought to Smith Island around 1900 by a light house keeper hoping to supplement his  income with meat sales to the Seattle area but when the next keeper arrived he wasn’t interested in keeping up the small business and let them roam free.  No one is sure how they traveled between islands but today they can be seen wherever grass and food are available.

Posted as part of Lens and Pen by Sally’s Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge:  Animals.

1 Day 1 World Project: 4:00 am – 5:00 am

1D1W 4a 1

I guess a series of 24 posts coming together exactly as planned was too much to hope for and I should really be feeling lucky I’ve made it through the first 16 hours without anything going seriously wrong but I can’t help but be a little frustrated by this one… Maybe it serves me right for thinking we were through the hardest part.

The past few weeks of late night posts have been fun because I knew we could go back to bed for a quick nap before starting the day but this week I thought it would be best to just stay up and keep moving.  Since I can’t think of getting up for real without a big cup of coffee one of the thirty Starbucks in town seemed like the perfect place for an early morning photo. A quick internet search found several that open at 4:30 am so the plan was to get up Thursday morning for a Venti Latte and a few photos before heading home for an early workout and a great start to the day. Unfortunately a stomach bug kept me hiding under the covers until well after 4:30 and when Friday came and went I still didn’t feel well enough to even think of coffee let alone get up early so by Saturday morning the pressure was on.  I set the early alarm one more time and at 4:20 John and I set out in search of hot coffee and blueberry scones only to find a locked front door instead of a warm coffee shop waiting for us.  Yes, they open at 4:30 Monday – Friday but it looks like Saturday is for sleeping in and they don’t open until 5:00 am.

I took one blurry photo of the closed drive through lane and blame my lack of caffeine for the out of focus sign.  Feeling sorry for ourselves, I took another photo of our empty Starbucks cups once we got home.

1D1W 4a 2

I hope your early morning hours were happier than mine this week and if you have a photo or story to share about your 4:00 am hour I’d love to see it.   Please tag your post 1 Day 1 World Project for easy reader searches and/or link your post in a comment below so we can all enjoy the view. Together we’ll build a virtual 24 hour day filled with images from around the world.

If you’re new to the 1 Day 1 World Project please take a look at my introductory post here.  This 4:00 am post will remain open for submissions until the end of Saturday, August 30th and a new post for the 5:00 am hour will open for entries Sunday, August 31st.

To see more 4:00 am views from around the world take a look below:

H The Blog

Margaret-Rose Stringer

The Ad Dad

My Life Lived Full


Trina’s North Germany

Behind The Willows

We Live In A Flat

1 Day 1 World Project: 3:00 am – 4:00 am

1D1W 3a

I’ve been worried about this 3:00 am week since the beginning of the 1 Day 1 World Project and as of last Saturday didn’t have a single good idea for what to do but Mother Nature came to my rescue with the rare, simultaneous occurrence of a Super Moon and the Perseid Meteor Showers.  Of course I don’t have a camera that can really capture these nighttime events but thanks to the magic of the iPhone and Oggl here is my best shot.

Because Ryan refuses to be left out of any of these photo opportunities I set my alarm for 3:30 am Monday morning and with big travel mugs of  hot chocolate the three of us set out to find the moon and some meteors.  It was hard to get away from the city lights but we persevered until everyone saw a few shooting stars and I got one workable photo of the moon.  I hope you like it!

If you have a photo or story to share about your 3:00 am hour I’d love to see it.   Please tag your post 1 Day 1 World Project for easy reader searches and/or link your post in a comment below so we can all enjoy the view. Together we’ll build a virtual 24 hour day filled with images from around the world.

If you’re new to the 1 Day 1 World Project please take a look at my introductory post here.  This 3:00 am post will remain open for submissions until the end of Saturday, August 23rd and a new post for the 4:00 am hour will open for entries Sunday, August 24th.

For more 3:00 am views from around the world take a look below:

Small Blue Green Words


Bungling Housewife

Behind the Willows

My Life Lived Full

Textile Ranger


We Live in a Flat

Trina’s North Germany

1 Day 1 World Project: 11:00 pm – 12:00 pm

As we get deeper into the late night hours of this project I’m starting to worry a little about finding original material to share.  I have a few things in mind for the seriously late hours but 11:00 pm is just not in my usual comfort zone and while the creative challenge is a great one it’s clashing with my natural state of over planning for everything.  🙂  I’m happy to report we have a few night owls posting their activities here each week so fun posts are rolling in even if mine are a little sleepy for the next few hours.

This week has been particularly busy one though and when I realized it was almost 11:00 pm on a Tuesday I knew I had to make the most of the fact that I was still up. John and Ryan were in bed and I didn’t feel like taking photos of a mid-week mess or going for a drive to see what was happening outside so I started walking around the dark house looking for something interesting to photograph. I know my iPhone native camera isn’t great in low light conditions but I liked how the glow from a small lamp illuminated this painting and decided to experiment with some Hipstamatic filter + lens combinations.  If you have a chance to click on the first image then scroll through it’s a little easier to see how each setting change captured a different element and color palette.  Do you have a favorite?

If you have a photo or story to share about your 11:00 pm hour I’d love to see it!   Please tag your post 1 Day 1 World Project for easy reader searches and/or link your post in a comment below so we can all enjoy the view. Together we’ll build a virtual 24 hour day filled with images from around the world.

If you’re new to the 1 Day 1 World Project please take a look at my introductory post here.  This 11:00 pm post will remain open for submissions until the end of Saturday, July 26th and a new post for the 12:00 pm hour will open for entries Sunday, July 27th.

To see more unique views from the 11:00 pm hour take a look below:

1 Day 1 World: 11:00 – Midnight