2019 The Year of Mountain Tops and Flowers: Week 9

It’s sunday afternoon and the sun is shining but the air is still too cold for comfort and I am really ready for winter to be over.  I know the calendar says we’re a few days into March and warmer days are coming soon so I’m pinning new PNW hikes to my Pinterest page and when some of the mountain snow melts we’ll be off to new adventures and happy trails.

If you’re interested in PNW hiking, west coast road trips, easy but tasty recipes and plenty of fresh new cocktails there’s plenty to see on my Northwest Frame of Mind Pinterest page. Is anyone here on Pinterest?  I’m looking for new boards to follow and would love to join some like-minded pinners!

Since I didn’t travel to a beautiful mountainside this week I’ve resorted to perusing photos from last summer and editing my favorites in this vintage-look combination from Hipstamatic.  If you’re interested in which processes I used just ask in the comments, I’m happy to share my steps.

What do you do when the weather is too cold to enjoy being outside but you’ve got a bad case of cabin fever.  I turn up the heat, look through favorite pictures and make plans for our eventual return to outdoor living.


2019 The Year of Crisp White Snow and Icy Blue Skies: Week 6

What a change from last week’s soft pinks and rosy afternoons! This week passed by in a frozen shade of blue all due to a sudden return of winter.  We’ve had snow days, ice coated roadways and a first for this blog, icicles.  Brrrr

All the images above are from my yard with the exception of the icy road photo so I guess it’s no surprise I’m feeling restless and housebound when that’s what waits for me at the end of our driveway.  After two weeks of quiet rest I was ready to go out and resume life but instead I’m watching weather reports, trying to figure out how long this school year will be once all the snow days are factored in and feeling generally a little grumpy.

All is not bad though, we’ve got a warm house, plenty of food, stacks of books to read and some dry wood ready for a nice warm fire.  So instead of focusing on what’s gone wrong here let’s turn things around.  I’d love to hear how your week was!

Editing note:  All photos were taken with my iPhone and the first six images were edited with Hipstamatic using the Anne-Marie + Hackney + Cadet Blue Gel combination.  The final image was edited in Snapseed.

Nightime at the Edmonds Fishing Pier

2019 The Year of a New Daily Photo Project: Week 1

Will 2019 be my year of living dangerously?  No that’s not it… a year of self-control, or reckoning, discovery, relaxation?  Sigh, I’m terrible with resolutions.  Honestly whenever I try to think of a theme or title for the new year all I come up with are overused movie quotes and sad memes.

In the end though while this leaves me with a descriptive problem it’s not really a feeling problem.  I always have an idea of where I want a new year to go even if part way through something turns in an unexpected direction.  Would a pre-selected 2019 theme effect any of this? Doubtful.

Why am I talking about this?  Well, if you follow me on Instagram I just posted my best 9 grid from 2018 and even though I spent the year sharing a variety of images the landscape and scenery photos were by far your favorites.  Which made me think, even though I felt overworked and tired all year-long there were plenty of beautiful days to remember.  Maybe I should look back and name the year at the end instead of trying before it’s even started…

Instagram BestNine

So I spent some time thinking about two year-long photo projects I shared in 2016 and 2017 and am now ready to give it another try.  My hope is that every week or month or season I can identify a theme among the shots to give me more of a picture of what really happened and where the year is going…  Are you up for watching my life unfold 365  images at a time?  There will be some fun times ahead, Ryan is graduating from High School and planning a gap year before diving in to college. We’re taking a family trip to Iceland and I have a big list of PNW hikes I want to explore so I know parts of the year will be pretty fun.  What else I’ll have to share, well we’ll just have to wait and see.

As with past year-long photo challenges I don’t plan to post here every day, I’ll save that for my Instagram and Twitter accounts, but you faithful blog readers will get one weekly recap every Sunday.  My week in all its glory. 🙂

After a long introduction, this weeks recap will be short and sweet.  We always start our new year on the beach and even though I had to work this year we made it to the waterfront before sunset.  There were several more early evening walks to enjoy as we continue a warmer than usual winter and my week ended with the company of a great friend and a nice glass (or two) of wine.  How was your first week of 2019?

I know my blogging has been light in the past year so many of you aren’t used to seeing much activity here but I’ve missed you all! If you feel like reconnecting and would like to follow along, or even post your own weekly images with a chatty recap feel free to share and link here.  I’ll update each post to include mention of your lovely photos.

My Year In Pictures: March Week 2

A quick scroll through my photo files highlights an interesting color trend that peaks about this time every year.  Once our highly saturated strings of lights and holiday decorations are put away it takes me about six weeks to reach for strong colors again so January and February appear as soft months filled with ivory, blue and gray. By mid-March I’m ready to brighten things up again and true to form this week marks the return of brights.

Sunday afternoon this colorful gumball machine caught my attention and Monday morning Finn and I returned to the camellia tree to find these two blooms side by side in the grass.  Tuesday I added some new Dryer Ball colors to our Etsy store and by Wednesday evening I could see the drive home would be long and wet.  Thursday brought the first of two big windstorms and here someone’s party balloon was abandoned in the middle of the street.  Friday was a strange day and marked the first time I had to evacuate two separate buildings because of (false) fire alarms.  In the rain.  Saturday started out with clear blue skies but a second storm was on the way and Ryan and I found this lonely seagull down by the beach watching the wind blow.

Coming soon I’ve got a great set of new photos almost ready to share here from our latest March 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.

My Year In Pictures: March Week 1

Wow, we’re only a few days into March and already I feel like it’s living up to its reputation of coming in like a lion and (hopefully) going out like a lamb.  I’ve had enough of the lion and am sitting here impatiently waiting for some lamb time.

The last Sunday of February was pretty quiet and I thought I’d capture this peaceful scene of this salt water marsh across the parking lot from our gym before the winter browns turn to green.  I had great plans to find something fun to photograph for leap day on February 29th but the day was crazy busy and by the end I was just happy I’d snapped this shot so I could find my car in the parking garage…  Tuesday morning Finn and I discovered why we’d heard so many chain saws when we found this newly installed but unused power pole by our front yard cut into pieces.  What a waste of a nice tree.  Wednesday I stopped to snap this pretty pink camellia and did you know Thursday March 3rd was National Anthem day?  I didn’t, but now I have this flag photo to remind me next year.  Friday’s shot is the big bowl of oranges on our kitchen counter and Saturday is a behind-the-scenes peek at my days work winding a big basket full of these 100% wool dryer balls.  This photo was snapped part way through the process so if you’d like to see the finished product the new listing is ready for viewing in our Etsy shop!

Coming soon I’ve got a great set of new photos almost ready to share here from our latest March 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.

My Year in Pictures: February Week 3

I’m so happy February has an extra day this year!  Really, I’ll need more than one day to catch up but I’ll make the most of what I get. 🙂

The third week of February started on a sweet note with Valentines day falling on a Sunday.  We celebrated with a trip to the Lego store and finished the evening with a wonderful dinner by the fire.  Monday was a holiday here in the US but I still had to spend some time at work so my quest for an interesting photo subject brought me by this retro-styled turntable.  Tuesday you get another image from my morning walk with Finn and a little more insight into the invasive Ivy that is slowly swallowing the neighborhood.  Wednesday brought Ryan and I back to the Orthopedic clinic for a treatment plan and Physical Therapy referral and by Thursday I was really ready for some blue skies and sunshine.  Rain returned Friday morning but I have to admit it added a pretty shine to these fern fronds and Saturday afternoon we joined my family for a pizza party celebrating our parents February birthdays.  This garden window view is of their back porch.

If you’d like to follow along in real-time I post my daily photos on InstagramTwitter and Facebook but 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.

My Year In Pictures: February Week 2

Finding the right words to describe February in the Pacific Northwest is always a challenge for me.  Some days feel like winter while others bring a mix of spring-like skies, rainbows and thunder storms.  In truth it’s a month of contradictions as the snow fans fear their last chance of a white blanket is slipping away while spring lovers are teased with little glimpses of green growth followed by surprise freezes.  Life goes on however regardless of what the day brings so we dutifully carry coats, umbrellas and sunglasses at all times and continue to explore the great outdoors.

My week started in the backyard tending to some long overdue clean up under the watchful eye of my faithful companion Finn.  Monday was the first day of Chinese New Year and Tuesday morning started at the post office mailing our weekend Etsy orders.  Wednesday afternoon I decided to crawl underneath a huge rhododendron to snap this shot of my bashful hellebore that finally decided to bloom after 4 years of nothing but a few green leaves.  Thursday is a glimpse of how Ryan is spending his recovery time on the couch and Friday is a bit of what Finn and I walk past every morning.  By Saturday afternoon Ryan really had to get out of the house so we picked up a frozen yogurt treat and drove to our favorite overlook by the Edmonds ferry landing.  A true February image filled with sun, clouds, rain and gusts of very cold wind.

If you’d like to follow along in real-time I post my daily photos on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook but 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.




It’s a New Year and I have a new challenge! My Year In Pictures: February Week 1

As promised I’m back with another daily photo project!  If you were with me through my last year-long photo series the format and tone of this new challenge will remain the same but to keep things interesting I’m spending the year experimenting with all the photo apps I’ve collected but not used on a regular basis.  Some weeks will follow a theme, some weeks won’t but every day I’ll post my new image to Instagram and once a week I’ll return here to write a recap.  Each photo will be captioned with the date and processing application used so if you see something you like you can try it out for yourself.

Since I’ve committed to a daily Instagram share I thought it would be fun to start the month with a spur-of-the moment Instagram processed image so here is my Monday morning shot of this stuffed orange monkey.  Tuesday’s photo is my viewpoint looking down on the lunch crowd at a Seattle cafe and Wednesday I went back to the scene of my last blurry cherry blossom image to try again.  Thursday I liked the cheery yellow circles in this light fixture,  Friday I walked through the Westlake Station Bus Tunnel and Saturday Ryan and I drove to the waterfront to watch a pretty winter sunset.  He is still on crutches but we found a way to get back to our beach. 🙂

If you’d like to follow along in real-time my daily photos post on both Instagram and Facebook but by the following week I’ll have them ready to share here as well.

A Surprise Every Day: Shaking Up January With Hipstamatic (week 4)

Today I’m going to jump right into my last “shake it up” recap so we can get to my final thoughts about this project and start talking about where I’m going for the next phase of my photo-a-day challenge.  Sunday was a little too cold and wet for my comfort but perfect for this pretty hellebore and Monday afternoon I rode an escalator that took me right past this shiny glass wall and a peek into this fancy bar.  Tuesday I walked past a cute sign in front of a wine store and Wednesday I was really happy our new car has heated seats.  Thursday I went shopping for a US map and stopped to admire this antique world map while Friday I stopped to watch these two men walking on a newly installed glass awning.  They’re braver than me!  Saturday I’d hoped my final picture would be of something special or at least a pretty sunset but my errands took longer than I’d planned and I was out picking up pizza for dinner when the sun went down.   Hipstamatic must have felt bad for me so it served up this lens/filter combination transforming my Tuscan Chicken pizza into a colorful little slice of the world.  All in all a good way to end my first full year in pictures.

Daily journal writing is something I’ve never been very good at.  I enjoy pretty notebooks and pens but after a few days of planned writing my creative spark fades and I get tired of recording the same old things.  My closet shelves hold stacks of slightly used notebooks so when I decided to try one last version of keeping a daily record I didn’t have high hopes for a successful outcome.  This time I came at it from a different angle though looking for something to shake me out of a stretch of boring photos and with a desire to move forward with new ideas instead of placing my creative focus on looking back.    Since another notebook project could be set aside too easily I thought posting my process in this public space might keep me more accountable and about six months into the project I was able to admit that I wasn’t going to stop until I’d reached a full year. Now that the initial year is complete I’m actually ready to start year two!

In order to keep myself on track I decided to start with a structure that was as simple as possible while still producing an interesting product.  Hipstamatic was my favorite app at the time so I challenged myself to explore everything it had to offer in a random fashion.  I activated the “shake to randomize” setting, agreed that I would avoid all post processing and placed my focus solely on composition by selecting small objects and moments to tell my daily stories.  Even though Hipstamatic went through a major upgrade part way through the year I stayed away from the shiny new features and continued to shoot using classic mode in order to maintain visual continuity from start to finish.  By the end of the year I amassed a collection of 365 photos and stories  that I hope will be a great reminder of this unique period in time.

The daily photo routine isn’t always fun, some days I just don’t feel like taking pictures, but apparently I’m not ready to walk away yet so this post is also an introduction the next phase of my photographic journal.  I’ve spent the past 12 months shooting daily images in a square format limiting myself to one iPhone app so for a change of pace the next 12 will be wide open, both literally and figuratively.  Square photos really lend themselves to small views of solitary objects or quiet moments in a busy environment and while I enjoy this style tremendously it’s time to stretch a little and try something new.  Going forward you’ll see a mix of everything ranging from traditional landscape and portrait orientations to circles, fish eye and panorama.  I’m sure there will be a few square images every month but it’s time to open up the point of view and show you a little more of what’s around me on a daily basis.  I’ll be experimenting with all the apps I’ve collected but not explored in depth as well as work through new themes for as long as they hold my interest.  There may be a week of daily dog photos, a week filled with black and white, a week of interesting signs I’ve passed or maybe even a week of new bottles of wine.  The point is to have fun and show some aspects of the Pacific Northwest that live outside of a small, square frame.

My final change, and what really will make this new project a challenge is how I’ve decided to share the new photos.  Instead of filing each photo away until it’s time to write a recap I’ve set a goal to post everyday on Instagram with a quick caption of where we were followed by a weekly recap here on the blog in a format that will be similar to what you’re used to reading in the shake-it-up posts.  If you’re a daily photo person I hope you’ll stop by Instagram to follow along but if this is too much to keep up with then don’t worry, you can still get your weekly recap right here. 🙂

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

I know I started this random photo a day project as a way to acknowledge the good in every day but there are some weeks when I just want them to hurry up and be gone.   This week was definitely one of those and while nothing terrible happened sometimes a series of complications can really put a damper on normal life.

I started the week appreciating the small signs of a new season in this patch of heather and heuchera in our backyard but this Monday morning photo of water where there shouldn’t be water meant trouble I didn’t want to deal with.  The plumbers came and went leaving behind several holes in my office wall, laundry room wall and laundry room ceiling but we can now say the pinhole leak has been found and fixed.  Now to fix the sheet rock…  Tuesday night we sampled a new candle blend that will debut our Etsy shop in the coming weeks and Wednesday I started to work on end of the year tax preparations.

Thursday I was back to looking for signs of spring and found our temperamental Christmas cactus ready to bloom.  This plant is from a cutting that started with my grandparents so whenever it flowers is fine, we’re simply happy to see it’s still alive and living with us.  Friday’s photo is of a small Tibetan bell that hangs from a lamp in our living room and Saturday night I found this concert program from one of the many David Bowie concerts I attended and thought it was a nice collection of images to remember him by.

For those of you who’ve asked about Ryan he’s still on crutches and will most likely be for several months.  His primary care Dr. referred us to a specialist who ordered more tests and referred us to yet another specialist so after a solid week of phone calls I think he’s finally booked to see someone who can really help.  Poor guy!

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.

A Surprise Every Day: Shaking Up January With Hipstamatic (week 1)

We’ve reached the final month of my first year-long photo of the day project and even though I still have 4 weeks of images to share I can tell I’m going to miss at least a few parts of the process when we’re finished.  In truth this has been a love/hate relationship from the beginning as I couldn’t help but worry about the days when I was sure nothing photo worthy would happen while still enjoying the challenge of making something from all that nothing.  The 365 day photo bug has caught me now so as soon as I settle on a good theme for another year’s worth of pics I’ll let you know but this will be the last month of purely Hipstamatic photos, it’s time to explore some new ideas. 🙂

The first full week of January began with a bit of freezing rain and a few snow flakes. Monday you can see I spent a few days working on a new ombre striped blanket for our Etsy store before acknowledging there was a missed stitch within the first few inches.  Time to take it apart and start over… This blanket is actually a pretty combination of blues and grays but the photo processing changed them to red and white.  Tuesday is a photo of the orange I had for an afternoon snack and in honor of National Bean Day we added green beans and butter to our Wednesday night comfort food dinner of Pork roast and Parmesan risotto

Thursday evening was Ryan’s first home wrestling meet which got off to a great start and ended with another serious injury.  This time it’s his leg.  We left the gym and drove straight to the Dr. for an exam and x-rays to learn nothing is broken but today we’ll hear the results of his MRI.  At this point we’ve been told to expect about a 6 week recovery period before he feels back to normal.  Friday afternoon was one of those “nothing interesting is happening” days but I put an extra bit of effort into looking for something to appreciate and found this view into the bottom of a glass elevator shaft.  I’m ending the series with a shot of Ryan’s new crutches propped up in the corner of our living room.  Hopefully I won’t fill the next few weeks with crutch photos but every time I look at Ryan there they are.  😦

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.

A Surprise Every Day: Shaking up February With Hipstamatic

February is a strange little month.  The big family holidays are over, our days are short and wet, someone is usually sick and I’m running on empty when it comes to creative thoughts.  I shouldn’t be surprised as the same things happen every year but once again we hit the end of January and I realized I’m out of interesting blog material.

The only thing that changed this year was my decision to find a way through the block, one day at a time.  I spent an evening in the WordPress reader looking for inspiration and while I found the web is full of enthusiastic bloggers who document their year with photo-a-day projects I wasn’t ready to commit to 365 blog-worthy photos. I should however be able to handle the shortest month and its 28 days so then the next challenge is how to make these 28 photo opportunities into blog posts that are interesting to write and read.

Regular readers might know that Hipstamatic is my favorite photo app but I’ve been stuck in a creative rut using the same lens and filter combination (Jane & Robusta) for most photos and not investing the time to experiment with everything else the app has to offer.  This month I’ve decided to branch out and activate the “shake to randomize” setting on my iPhone so each time I shake my phone in Hipstamatic the app selects a new lens/filter combination. I can’t see my final image until after I’ve snapped the photo and I’m committing to taking and posting 1 photo from each day without any additional editing so what you see will be what comes out of the camera and as much a surprise to me as it is to you.  Instead of a new shake-it-up post every day I’ll recap each week on Sunday and if you like the finished results the lens and filter combinations will be noted for every photo.

Feb. 1st was a fun day filled with junk food and Superbowl 49.  Even though our Seahawks didn’t win the game we made the best of the afternoon and enjoyed a huge pan of nachos for dinner.  My Feb. 1st photo is of the couch in front of our television.  Even though we all got flu shots this year poor Ryan still came down with an unfortunate case of influenza and after 10 days of misery we spent Feb. 2nd at the Dr’s office.  He’ll get better with rest but it could take up to a month before he is feeling back to normal.  Feb. 3rd is a shot of our fruit bowl (looking a little sad with its old limes and lemons) and Feb. 4th is a close up of Finn in the car with me waiting for Ryan after wrestling practice.  Feb. 5th is homework at the kitchen table and Feb. 6th made me laugh out loud.  The text “We Will Be Unafraid” was an unplanned surprise from the RTV Shout film and looks right at home underneath my little Lego Wonder Woman ready to take on the world with her lasso of truth and borrowed sword. Saturday the 7th is a quick peek at the trinket shelves in our local Goodwill after I dropped off a box full of donations from our last closet cleaning binge.

I’ll be back next week with 7 new photos… wish me luck!