A Surprise Every Day: Shaking Up December With Hipstamatic (week 4 – the Christmas edition)

In the few hours left before our New Year’s Eve countdown I’m here online to recap a 7 day stretch that was filled with Christmas.  We spent last full week of the month surrounded by festive displays, holiday decorations, good food, and family.  Next week will bring a fresh start and end of the year recap but today let’s slow down and look back to where we were 10 days ago.

Sunday started with our annual walk through Downtown Seattle to see the holiday decorations and visit Pike Place Market.  Our last stop of the morning was at Beecher’s Cheeses for their amazing Macaroni and Cheese before driving over to the Pacific Science Center for our IMAX 3D showing of Star Wars.  Ryan was beyond happy and later said this was one of his “best ever dream days.” 🙂  Monday brought us back to reality but after dinner John delivered a nice Gin & Tonic with a straw so I could continue to work on an Etsy project while sipping my cocktail.  Tuesday you have a glimpse of our Christmas tree and Ryan’s 1st Grade holiday ornament next to my tiny disco ball sparkling in the lights.

Wednesday’s photo is a close up of the Santa Mail Box in our town plaza and on Christmas Eve I had to snap a photo of Ryan’s awesome “Believe” shirt.  Friday afternoon we took a walk along the waterfront at Sunset before sitting down to Christmas dinner and Saturday morning we were on the road to my Parent’s house for a fun weekend filled with family, plenty of food and more presents.  All in all a great week!

I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable New Year’s Eve and a fantastic start to 2016!

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.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh (Pike Place Market)


I’m pretty sure this “fresh” sign is meant to advertise freshly caught fish at Seattle’s Pike Place Market but each time I walk up this ramp I read the two signs together and think “fresh restrooms” below…

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Fresh.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Express Yourself

Don’t keep all your feelings sheltered – express them.  Don’t ever let life shut you up.

Dr. Steve Maraboli

Walking through Seattle’s Pike Place Market on Christmas Eve I deliberately looked away from the brightly colored food and flower stalls to spend some time watching people and their surroundings. The traditional market attractions are always a treat to see but the people who bring vibrancy and life to this part of town leave their mark in more ways than one and signs of creativity and self-expression are on every corner.

Express Yourself 3.

The walls of the old brick alley leading to the infamous Gum Wall are covered with an entertaining mix of graffiti and the combinations of 80’s popular culture, bright colors and daily self-expression caught my attention.  I’ll admit I had to look up the definition of “swone” in the Urban Dictionary but the contrast of the harsh black and white next to the Jane Fonda aerobics poster made me laugh.

Express Yourself 2

Here we see political commentary about corporations and campaign donations next to a shout out to the Seattle clown J.P. Patches. The live and unrehearsed J.P. Patches Show was one of the longest running locally produced children’s programs in the United States and ran on Seattle television from 1958 to 1981. As a kid I thought J.P. and the gang were going to be around forever and households from Seattle to Vancouver, BC tuned in every morning and afternoon for a mix of family friendly humor and gag jokes interspersed with some racy double entendre to keep the parents watching too.

Express Yourself 1

We also stopped in front of the original Starbucks to listen to the entertaining Squirrel Butter perform their original blend of music influenced by Appalachian, early country, jug band and blues artists from the late 1880’s through the 1950’s.  Charlie Beck plays the banjo, fiddle and sings while Charmaine Slaven provides guitar, vocals, feet (clogging) and Square Dance calling.  They met at an Old Time Gathering event in Portland, OR and have been performing together throughout the Seattle area since 2005.

Since I have the opportunity to express myself every time I sit down to write a post many of you have a pretty good idea of what I like to see and share so today’s post about self expression is a great chance to look a little closer at some fresh choices outside of my usual point of view.

iPhoneography Monday: Nature (Pike Place Market Flowers in December)

iPhone Monday 1-5-15

The long arcade full of beautiful bouquets and local flower vendors is one of my favorite parts of Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA but our wet winter days mean these farmers need to be creative if they want to fill their shelves year round.  Once the fall flower season has passed most booths transition to fragrant greens and dried flowers and the prices can’t be beat with large arrangements starting as low as $10.00.  Early tulips will be here before we know it and if you’re in Seattle on the first day of Spring I hope you’ll get a chance to join the fun as market volunteers and community members pass out 10,000 daffodils to lucky people around the Downtown core.

For more images of nature viewed through mobile devices please visit Lens and Pen by Sally’s delightful weekly challenge.

Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Photo Challenge: Black & White (Post Alley)

iPhone Monday 12-15-14

While the tourist attraction part of this stretch of Post Alley makes me squirm (chewing gum stuck to the walls) I can’t seem to stop looking for new photo opportunities each time I visit Seattle’s Pike Place Market.  Last Friday I was drawn to  the bright winter light and how each group of people spent so much time staring at old pieces of gum…

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

iPhone Monday: 2-24-14

iPhone Monday 2-24-14

The 4th week of each month at Lens and Pen by Sally’s phoneography challenge is devoted to Challenger’s Choice.  There are several categories participants can use for inspiration including Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel. This week I’ve selected Street Photography so could post this image of a happy couple strolling through Seattle’s Pike Place Market on Christmas Eve and I really hope his brown shopping bag holds the last few items on their gift list.

Travel Theme: Work

Work 1

Fresh flowers are scarce during Pacific Northwest winters but the hardworking families at Seattle’s Pike Place Market use creative combinations of fresh and dried flowers to keep their stalls full year round.

Work 2

Christmas Eve in front of the Original Starbucks.  Inside, customers enjoy hot beverages in bright red cups while the street musician wears a red Santa Hat, playing for tips and giving thanks.

Posted as part of Alisa’s Travel Theme:  Work.

Black and White Tuesday: 2-11-14

B&W Tuesday 2-11-14

This close view of a totem pole is from one of two popular 50 foot cedar poles at Victor Steinbrueck Park near the Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA.  Seattle Architect Victor Steinbrueck is credited with spearheading the preservation movement to protect both the Market and Pioneer Square districts in the 1960’s and twenty years later a small parcel of land adjacent to the market and overlooking the Seattle waterfront was developed and landscaped as a city park.  The  new Market Park was dedicated in 1982 and featured plans for two large totem poles designed by Victor Steinbrueck and carved by James Bender in the style of Northwest Coast Indian Art.  The finished poles were installed in 1984 and after Steinbrueck’s death in 1985 the park was renamed to honor him.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

Wandering with my camera, I often find my eye drawn to strange bedfellows. Juxtapositions. Foils. Unexpected pairings.

Michelle W. The Daily Post


Growing up in the Pacific Northwest I was fascinated by stories of hunters and scientists finding possible Sasquatch tracks in the woods.  There was even a TV show in the 1970’s that we would watch, huddled under blankets, while “big foot” tried to crash into a mountain cabin terrifying the campers inside.  Now I know it was just an actor growling in a smelly, shaggy suit but the idea of an 8 foot tall hairy creature roaming the woods looking for food was enough to make me afraid of dark windows for years.  Portraying Sasquatch in a Santa hat wouldn’t have had the same sensationalistic effect but it could have saved me from some sleepless nights…

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Juxtaposition