2019 The Year of Black and White: Week 11

While the easy title for this week’s post was “Black and White” I could have also added something about it being the last full week of winter, or how my earliest memories of enjoying photographs were with books full of black and white images.  All of these would have been accurate but sometimes simple is best and that’s how I ended up with the title we see today.

As for this being the last full week of winter – yay!  I am so happy to turn the corner into spring that if it means the return of allergies and weeds in the yard and I’ll gladly take them in trade for longer days, warmer air and lots of pretty colors bursting out all around.

As for why I chose a monochrome theme it’s simple; black and white images capture and keep my attention in a way that color doesn’t quite match.  Many of you know that I take and post most of my images in color because the seasonal palettes of the Pacific Northwest really shine in vibrant, natural shades but when it comes to quiet storytelling or a photo to think about after you walk away black and white gets me every time.  As an early reader my favorite storytelling books contained pretty color illustrations but I also spent hours of self-directed, non-fiction book time at my Grandparents house engrossed in their Time Life book collection studying photographs of people leading daily lives long before I was born.  The decade volumes that interested me most were the earliest ones that included photographic illustrations because they were a first hand look at how people really lived before I was born and they were all in black and white creating a mysterious feeling of strangeness blended with familiarity.  I puzzled through the text as best I could and then “read” the photos filling in the blanks with what I thought was happening.  I can still remember my favorite pages and if I close my eyes I’m sitting on Grandma Emma’s living room floor in front of the fan with root beer and popsicles ready to learn about a new decade.

The photos above weren’t meant to be just like those old favorites, instead they’re quiet little moments of people and places that I thought benefitted from monochrome’s simplicity.  I’ll continue to post black and white weeks once or twice through the year and hope you’ll enjoy them as much as my big, bold color collections.

All photos were taken with my iPhone and editing apps used are Hipstamatic, VSCO and Stackables.  As always, if you have any questions about techniques or filters used please ask in the comments below!

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2019 The Year of Looking for Light: Week 8

I know February is coming to a close when I can hear birds again in the morning but daylight hours are short and it’s too cold for spring flowers to fill the gardens.  We’re turning the corner but we aren’t there yet!

Because my mornings and evenings are still fairly dark I’ve been looking back to unpublished photos filled with light and warmth so I can share something with a little optimism instead of gloom.  I like to think of it as a balance to the chilly gray pattern we’ve got to endure for a few more weeks and the thoughtful Debra of breathelighter phrased it perfectly when she said:

You know the warmth and beauty you’ve enjoyed before will return, and that can keep us going. Impatiently, perhaps, but still going!

So I guess it makes sense that I’ve spent this week looking back for beauty anticipating what will come.

This set of seven photos are from two October days at Marina Beach Park in Edmonds, WA.  One foggy day drew me to the contrast of autumn colors against cool gray mist but I also wanted to capture the same viewpoints filled with bright sunlight so the next time the sun came out I returned to the park to try again.  Do you have a favorite?

I’ve planned one more autumn photo to share on Instagram later today and I think the rest of February will be spent looking back at past beauty while dreaming about what is to come.  My fingers are crossed March brings us sunshine, flowers and new opportunities!

All photos taken with my iPhone 8+ and edited in On1.

Autumn Color in the PNW

The Reds and Greens of Autumn

The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.Unknown

Autumn Color in the PNW

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”– L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Autumn Color in the PNW

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.”– Stanley Horowitz

Autumn Color in the PNW

“A fallen leaf is nothing more than a summer’s wave goodbye.”– Unknown

Autumn Color in the PNW

Earth Day 2017

If we do not permit the Earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food, either. — Joseph Wood Krutch

I hope everyone took a moment today to appreciate, acknowledge and protect the earth around us.  Happy Earth Day all.

Dogs are our link to paradise…

Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.

Milan Kundera

My goal for today was to write an Earth themed post for the Weekly Photo Challenge but I’m still in the previously mentioned photographic dry spell and unless I wanted to recycle another forest related image my options were limited to new product shots for our Etsy store and Finn from last weekend.  Hmm…

My next thought was to look for quotes that contained both the words “earth” and “dogs” as a way to tie my one new shot to the challenge but all I found were hundreds of dog quotes.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good dog quote but what I really wanted was one perfect quote that brought these two things together in a way that made it seem like this was my plan all along.   Like I set out to take a shot of Finn lounging on the grass (earth) to illustrate my carefully prepared essay.

Now it’s posting time and I still don’t have a beautiful mother earth essay but I do have a dog photo, a quote that speaks to me and a story about Saturday afternoon on our grassy hill.

Many of you know we adopted Finn as a rescue dog.  He’d been facing doggie death row, was afraid of everything, could barely tolerate people touching him and any sudden movement or new interaction set him off into fits of barking.  Anything to keep the fearful object/person/smell/animal/car far away but the one thing he relaxed for was looking at John, Ryan and I together.  It’s been a long road for Finn as we’ve slowly introduced him to new people, a few kind dogs, several trainers and his friend and walking buddy Colleen.  Basically anything we could think of to give him a chance at a normal life and the opportunity to just be a dog.  He’s slowly become comfortable in the backyard but last weekend was the first time he successfully relaxed in the front yard.  Yay Finn!  He was with us for hours as we tried to reclaim flower beds from weed-pocalypse 2017 and dutifully followed me around and around when it was time to clean up the buckets, clippers, yard waste bins and rakes.  We were both tired, the sun was out, the grass was dry and the little hill in our backyard looked like a nice quiet place to sit and catch our breath.  For a few special minutes we were not bored, we were at peace.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Earth.

Hellebore

Processed with VSCO with wwf preset

While local garden centers are filled with pretty displays of spring bulbs and primroses I’m starting to worry about the mostly dormant state of my own yard.  Plants that usually bud and flower in early February show no signs of growth and my weeds are the only green things that look truly happy but this one brave hellebore is giving me hope for a brighter season to come.

Taken with my iPhone 7+ and edited in Snapseed and VSCO.

For more examples of mobile macro photography please enjoy Sally’s latest post over at Lens and Pens by Sally.

My Year In Pictures: December Week 1

Now that we’re into December I can officially start the end-of-project countdown!  After two years of taking and posting daily photos it’s time to try something new and even though I’ve learned a lot about social media accounts and refined my view of the quiet little moments that bring beauty to our days I’ve also been overwhelmed with the pace of keeping up with this commitment online and in real life.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the aspects of blogging and posting that I truly enjoy and being honest about the things I’ve missed by being spread so thin so with these points in mind I’m working toward a new workflow and focus that should make all of us happy.   After this weekly wrap up post I’ll write 9 more to get us into February and then it’s on to something new.  I’ll share more as we get closer to the end but I’ll tell you now we’ve got more than one change-up in the works – Spring 2017 is going to be great!

My week of photos above is a mix of several small moments.  I wandered around my parent’s garden after Thanksgiving admiring how pretty it still was this deep into Fall and I tried to take a picture of the big Christmas tree in Downtown Seattle but was put off by all of the advertising wrapped around the base so I decided to focus on the ornaments instead of the overall spectacle.  Then we went to get more of my Grandma’s things out of storage and I couldn’t resist falling behind the group to admire the view down this dark hallway.  My last image of the week is of the lovely marble top on this antique washstand from Grandma.  It’s going to fit right into our collection of old and new furniture and John has great plans to set up a pretty holiday bar.  Cheers to the season!

I’ll be back with a new post in a few days but if you don’t want to wait please join us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to learn more about any of the images but you don’t follow me on these accounts please feel free to click here for IG, here for Twitter and here for FB or select a photo from the Instagram previews in my sidebar.  You don’t need an account at either place to view my photos, everyone’s welcome.

 

 

My Year In Pictures: October Week 1

October is here, the weather is changing and my thoughts are turning to late garden color, cozy accessories, movies and spooky lights.  My week in a nutshell!  After ignoring our yard for much of the summer I had fun at some end-of-season plant sales and shipped my first warm scarf of the season from our Etsy store.  John’s favorite tree turned from a soft green to brilliant orange and red within 24 hours, Ryan and I enjoyed a matinée of The Magnificent 7, the wet Seattle sidewalks are back and John has started decking out the house for Halloween.  How did you spend your week?

I’ll be back with a new post in a few days but if you don’t want to wait please join us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to learn more about any of the images but you don’t follow me on these accounts please feel free to click herefor IG, here for Twitter and here for FB or select a photo from the Instagram previews in my sidebar.  You don’t need an account at either place to view my photos, everyone’s welcome.🙂

My Year In Photos – May Week 5 & June Week 1

After nearly 1.5 years of taking and posting daily photos along with a 2 year tradition of regular weekly wrap-up posts here on the blog I’m finally throwing my hands up and admitting this time around I’ve totally blown my self-induced deadlines.  I hope you like this super-sized post covering two weeks in one!  As you can see from the size of the gallery above I am still keeping up with a daily photo routine but my writing time has really taken a hit so today I’ll keep the commentary to a minimum and let you enjoy the photos. 🙂

May ended on a good note and my first seven images reflect some of what filled our days.   Gardening, sunshine, music and donuts.   The first photo is a “work in progress” shot of one of my new baskets while the second is from my Memorial Day walk along the waterfront.  The third is a close up of a lamp I admired and the fourth is one of the hardy clover plants that thrive in our yard.  The fifth photo is a screen shot of my in-car entertainment for the day and the sixth is how Ryan and I chose to celebrate National Donuts Day. Our week ended with a fun afternoon at the theater watching a stage production of Billy Elliott and a walk through Issaquah, WA.

June started with frosty Root Beer Floats at this 50’s themed diner and then you see Finn searching for two stray Samoyed dogs who appeared on our porch looking for fun.  Tuesday I was happy to see this hydrangea opening and Wednesday found us back at Children’s Hospital for another Orthopedic check-up.  Ryan’s healing is continuing to follow the slow and steady plan so our fingers are crossed that by the end of the summer we may know if he can avoid surgery.  Thursday you have a close up of this small wood statue my father-in-law brought back from a trip to Peru in the 1960’s, Friday is a collage of the finished baskets and Saturday was my Birthday.  We enjoyed a relaxing day at home, John cooked a fantastic dinner and for a mid day break we took a ferry ride over to Kingston for ice cream and a walk along the harbor.  I thought this photo really captured the temperamental nature of June in the Pacific Northwest.  Every day brings an unpredictable mix of sun, clouds, rain and wind so we dress in layers and always have a spare jacket tucked into a bag on the side.

Coming soon I’ve got a great set of new photos almost ready to share here from our latest adventures and if you’d like to follow along in real-time don’t forget I post my daily photos on InstagramTwitter and Facebook. If a once-a-week blog read is more your speed my weekly recaps will continue here along with caption notes containing editing information for each photo.