2019 The Year of Seeing Green: Week 12

The year of seeing green?  Living green?  Sharing green?  We try for all three here but I still had a hard time settling on one for this post so after a day spent typing and deleting variations I finally acknowledged my best days happen when I can see something green so “seeing” it is.  Of course time with family, a good book, meal etc will brighten any day but everything just feels easier for me to enjoy when surrounded by pretty shades of fresh green life.

Is there a color that makes you happy every time you see it?  Or does the absence of a certain shade make joy harder to find?  I’d love to hear your favorites,  or maybe even a little story about what color means in  your life!

This set of seven photos were all taken with my iPhone and edited using the following apps: 3/17 & 18 – Stackables, 3/19 – VSCO + Word Swag, 3/20-23 – VSCO.

Blossoms and Time

The creative process is not like a situation where you get struck by a single lightning bolt. You have ongoing discoveries, and there’s ongoing creative revelations. Yes, it’s really helpful to be marching toward a specific destination, but, along the way, you must allow yourself room for your ideas to blossom, take root, and grow.
Carlton Cuse

I’m looking at a calendar tonight and am shocked to admit it’s been one month since my last post… wow.  I can honestly say it’s not for lack of desire, I miss everyone here, and I’m really tempted to say it’s because I’ve been allowing myself room for ideas to blossom which is partly true but really the biggest obstacle has been time limitations.  I have plenty of new ideas and future post topics are scribbled on notes all over my office but in reality I’ve been buried in work and family obligations and after three years of illustrated posts it’s actually happened – I’ve run out of pictures.  Yikes!

Now that our days are longer and our weather is (a little) drier I have a healthy list of places I want to visit and photograph so things should improve soon but in the interim I hope you enjoy this pretty view of cherry blossoms snapped quickly last night while Finn pulled and tugged on his leash trying to chase every single bird in the neighborhood. 🙂


A Surprise Every Day: Shaking Up April with Hipstamatic (week 3)

Another busy week has come and gone but over all it’s been a good one here in our little corner of the Pacific Northwest.  While my days fly by in a blur of work, family, driving and if I’m lucky a little bit of blogging I’ve been trying very hard to recognize those quiet moments that tell stories and make me smile.

We started our week with a Sunday tour of the Seattle Underground with my brother Erich and his family.  We had a great time wandering through Pioneer Square and If you’re ever in the city and want to learn why the buildings in Pioneer Square have entrances, sidewalks and skylights below the streets, what happened after the entire business district burned to the ground and how a large part of the downtown is now built on fill from 4 huge re-grade projects I suggest signing up for a tour.  Monday’s photo is a close up of Ryan’s favorite Solar System place mat after from the cousins Sunday breakfast. Ryan’s always been fascinated with science and natural history but he also has a full-fledged boy crush on everyone in the Marvel Superhero universe so Tuesday’s photo is our Corn Flakes box promoting the new Avengers movie The Age of Ultron and Thor.

Wednesday’s photo is my current library book, Foxglove Summer.  This is the latest book Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series and another great story filled with mystery, snappy dialogue, social commentary, life in London and a bit of the supernatural.  Thursday is a cleaning up an after dinner shot and here’s the view from my kitchen sink.  You can see two of Ryan’s elementary school art projects and a blue bowl left in our house by the previous owner.  Together they hold the bits and pieces I find scattered around the house along with some beach treasures.

You might have heard the latest Star Wars teaser clip came out this week and Friday afternoon found me thinking about the day 38 years ago when my Aunt Maryellen drove me 3 hours round trip to Seattle so we could see the first movie together. Sadly that theater was torn down several years ago but this beautiful building still stands a few blocks away.  In 1916 The Coliseum opened as the first theater built specifically for showing movies in Seattle and though it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places the inside has been completely re-worked into a retail store.

My photo-a-day week ends with this shot of Finn in our backyard Saturday morning.  We were outside together cleaning up a planting bed behind our deck and right after I took this shot my blogging friend Andra Watkins called. Andra is in town this weekend as part of a west coast tour promoting her latest book Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444 Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace (click here to see my Amazon review). I can’t wait to meet up Sunday afternoon but when I answered the phone I said I was outside with my face in the ferns. I’m sure she thinks I’m weird but hopefully I can explain what I really meant in person. 🙂

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.  For variety I downloaded some new lenses and filters this week 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 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!

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!





1 Day 1 World Project 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm


One of the fun things about this 1 Day 1 World project is that it is pushing me to try new things while looking for interesting posting material each week.  So far I’ve taken you with us to enjoy waterfront festivals, local beaches, neighborhood church signs and the streets of Seattle.  Last week I wrote about Ryan’s Tae Kwan Do class and this week I looked more closely at the area around the Rec Center on the way back to the car wondering where a narrow path off the parking lot would lead us.  A few steps in and we couldn’t see the city buildings or hear traffic on the roadway but we found twisting trails, huge ferns and some weathered benches.   I had no idea this green space existed in the middle of such an urban setting but am happy the city quietly continues to maintain the paths for those who are curious enough to take a look.

Last week was full of interesting entries here at the 1 Day 1 World Project and included posts from  bloggers in England, Poland, Singapore, Canada, Netherlands and Australia as well as the States of Washington, Oregon, California, New Hampshire, Illinois, Wisconsin and Texas sharing their 6:00 hours.  Now if you have a photo or story to share about your 7:00 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 7:00 pm post will remain open for submissions until the end of Saturday, June 28th and a new post for the 8:00 pm hour will open for entries Sunday, June 29th.

To discover some great 7:00 pm views click the links below:








Happy as a King



For Love of the Game

Donna on the rock


Travel Theme: Statues


The Santuario de Guadalupe in Santa Fe, NM is the oldest shrine to our Lady of Guadalupe in the United States.  I wrote a little about the history of this place in a Black and White Tuesday post about the Church here and today, as part of Alisa’s Weekly Travel Theme:  Statues I have a view of  the beautiful statue at the entrance.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

What is family? For some, family is defined by genetics. For others, it is simply those with whom you share a bond of love.  Or maybe it is nothing less than an expression of the universality of human experience…

Josh R. – The Daily Post


I don’t know about you but my family generates an amazing amount of laundry every week.  Aren’t you a little curious about the family that inspired this piece of outdoor sculpture at the Shidoni Gallery in Tesuque, NM?

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Family

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

For this challenge, get out there and take a picture demonstrating the concept of focus. Depending on your skill level or type of camera, tinker with the manual settings, use the auto focus feature, or play around with an app.

Daily Post August, 23rd 2013


This week’s photo challenge is all about Focus.  My skill level and camera are both pretty basic and I can’t really tinker with the manual settings but I do like to have fun with apps so the last suggestion above is the direction I decided to follow.

Tuesday’s Photography 101: Finding Your Focus post by Cherie and Matthew George is full of great information and tips for new photographers looking for help when it comes to depth of field and aperture.  For those of us who frequently take photos with our phones the end of the post contains descriptions and links to several apps  that can give our images more interest and dimension during the editing process.

Using this “new-to-me” information I bought the BigLens app mentioned in the final quick tips section and have had fun all week experimenting with iPhone photos.  After using the aperture and filter selections in BigLens I finished with a frame in Snapseed.