“Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open.” Dali Lama

All Time Favorites: Angular

I know I’m not alone in feeling sad the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenges have come to an end.  I’m not the most prolific blogger these days but this recurring event has been both my favorite online group activity and source of inspiration when my creative well is dry.  Not only did the prompts push me to new exploration but reading the varied responses in real-time was another eye-opener, there are so many ways to interpret one small word or idea and this international community never failed to deliver fresh perspectives.

Since the final prompt is All Time Favorites I went to my stats to find out your Photo Challenge favorite and was surprised to see the #1 post in both views and comments featured a photo that I re-worked and posted a second time just a few weeks ago.  I guess it was a favorite of mine too and the opening quote is a perfect fit for today’s message.

Below is the original post from November 2014 for your repeat enjoyment:

“Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open.” Dali Lama

“Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open.”

Dali Lama

Libraries have always seemed like magical places to me and the freedom to walk aisles full of stories and information is a luxury I never take for granted. Through my childhood, school years and now as an adult materials I’ve borrowed have opened my eyes to new possibilities and points of view prompting even more questions and the reward of yet another trip to the library.

This exterior walkway around the Seattle Public Library is a popular place for photographers as well as a meeting space for Library patrons and pedestrians hoping to duck out of the rain on a spring afternoon and I’m posting it today as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Angular.

Good-bye Weekly Photo Challenge, I promise I’ll keep my eyes open for new angles and situations.

My Year In Pictures: January Week 4

Wow, after 2 years and 730 daily photos I can finally say this project is finished!  I’ve enjoyed the practice of taking and posting one photo for every day of the year but now that it’s over I’ll admit to feeling a little overwhelmed by the pace of creating 30 new photos every single month.  Scaling back to a few per week seems a lot more realistic and I’m looking forward to a lighter schedule, posting when I want and jumping back into some of the challenges I’ve missed.

Instead of 7 images and 1 full week we’ve got a super-sized gallery of 11 to finish out the year and I like the stories that they tell.  We start with a street performer in Seattle, a sleepy Finn and a beautiful sunset.  Ryan and I sat together in the car on a clear, cold night unable to leave this view while the radio played an acoustic version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity.  My last 7 shots are an exploration of the soft blues and grays that make up so much of our Pacific Northwest winters.  For editing I reached back to some tried and true favorites so you see one shot processed with Oggl and the rest were finished with VSCO.  All images were shot with my iPhone 7+.

If you’d like to see the whole year again I’ll have a dedicated page posted soon to join my previous years recaps from the 1 Day 1 World Project and A Surprise Every Day with Hipstamatic.

1-21-17 Marching in Seattle

Saturday morning John, Ryan and I dusted off our hiking boots and stepped out to join the 175,000 marchers in Seattle and 3 million marchers world-wide raising their voices in support of our rights, our safety, our families and our communities.

From the Womxn’s March Seattle page:

Washington State’s Mission

Our mission is to bring diverse women together for collective action. We are angry, sad, scared, and frustrated, but we are also hopeful that our love and power can overcome the challenges ahead. We are at the beginning of something momentous, but first and foremost, this is a continuation of the struggle that women of color, people of marginalized identities, sexualities, abilities, backgrounds, and experiences, have faced and have been fighting for decades. We are most powerful when united. Our mission is to support and amplify these voices on January 21, 2017, in our state and in Washington, DC. We hope you join this powerful new anti-racist, pro-woman collective force!

The National Mission

On January 21, 2017 we will unite in Washington, DC for the Women’s March on Washington. We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.

The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us–women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.

In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.

We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all. HEAR OUR VOICE.

This is an INCLUSIVE march, and EVERYONE who supports women’s rights are welcome.

The mood was peaceful but determined and I was happy to hear that zero arrests were reported after marches in all 50 states.  Truly a day to remember and a place for all of us to build from as we go forward.


My Year In Pictures: December Week 3

We’re deep into the holiday season now and depending on your point of view I expect you’re having a wonderfully festive time, scrambling to keep up with expectations, tired of shopping or you’re one of those people who finished everything before Thanksgiving.  Guess where I fall. 🙂

This weeks set of images are filled with what I saw between Seattle, Ryan’s holiday band concert, our home and some small town shopping before the first matinée showing of Rogue One.  A must for all Star Wars fans!

Red tones are in all shots, Santa is in two (can you see the tiny one?), lights sparkle, lambs dance and giving books is a great idea.  The mysterious silver triangles are the one outlier this week but I liked the view below the bleachers after Ryan’s concert and spent some time taking pictures while the kids stacked chairs.

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: 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.

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 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: Grid (Seattle’s Great Wheel)

This week, let’s take the humble grid out of the shadows, and make it the star.

Michelle W. The Daily Post


I’m always amazed by how much weight can be supported by such delicate grid work.  Watching these viewing cars float in circles above the Seattle Waterfront was almost as much fun as our ride on a sunny summer day.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Grid

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

Well, it’s Monday morning and our staycation week is over but sorting through my new photos to find one image from each day has been a fun trip back through our latest adventures.  Our goal was to visit at least one mountain, island, river, beach and city while trying new things and as of today we accomplished just that.  Our feet need a rest and the laundry is out of control but we’ve got plenty of happy memories stored away and a long list of places we want to revisit when summer changes to fall.

Our week started bright and early Sunday morning with a hike up to Wallace Falls.  We made it all the way to the upper falls and the view down was spectacular but my favorite part of the day was the climb through old and second-growth forest.  This shot is from our last rest stop along the river on the way back down.  We spent Monday exploring Port Townsend and Fort Warden on the Olympic Peninsula, a pretty ferry ride from Edmonds.  I’ll have plenty of photos to share over the next few weeks but this view is of the caretaker’s house next to the lighthouse at Pt. Wilson.  Tuesday found us a little closer to home enjoying lunch on the deck and a walk through Carkeek Park in Seattle.  Inside the park we found this little orchard and some of the trees had bags tied over the young apples as part of an art project to be revealed in September.  We’ll have to go back to see the final results.

Wednesday was our “in-the-city” day with a trip to the Seattle Aquarium, lunch on the waterfront and a ride on the Great Wheel.  Thursday was our 21st Anniversary and my aunt Maryellen joined us on a beautiful hike up the Ira Spring trail near Snoqualmie Pass.  This peaceful view of Mason Lake was our lunchtime reward for climbing the 3.5 mile trail straight up the mountain.  Our sandwiches, fruit, trail mix and chips were just enough fuel to power our trek back down to the forest service access road and by the time we made it home pizza on the couch was the perfect dinner.

Our final adventure of the week was a trip to Whidbey Island and a hike through Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve.  We enjoyed another ferry ride followed by coffee and cinnamon rolls in Coupeville before heading to Ebey’s Landing for lunch on the beach and a hike along the bluff.  I could write a weeks worth of posts about this day but today you get an image of Ryan winding up for a rock skipping throw before flying his kite while whales jumped and swam past our picnic spot on the beach.  What a day!  I knew it would be hard to live up to Friday but Saturday definitely took a turn for the worse and I’m sorry to say my aunt’s sweet little Prius will never be the same…  She’s alright though so everything can be solved with a little time, a little luck and some creative thinking.

Even though I was away from WordPress last week I posted plenty of new photos on Instagram and Facebook so if you’d like to see more of where we’ve been please stop by and take a look. 🙂

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 and filter 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 Everyday: Shaking up July With Hipstamatic (week 1)

I have a quick little recap today since we just got home from a weekend away with family celebrating the 4th of July.   Ryan is spending the next 5 days with his Grandparents and John and I are on our way to pick up some take out for dinner so we can sit on the deck until dark.  The laundry and grocery shopping can wait till tomorrow!

Our week started with a Sunday trip to the Edmonds fishing pier for a walk while wishing crabbing season was open so we could throw in a few pots.  Monday night’s image shows how badly Finn wants to walk on 2 legs, or at least be a little taller so he can scare a squirrel and Tuesday’s photo is of a broken arrow I found on the side of the road by our mailbox.  Hmm…

Wednesday is proof that even though Ryan is now taller than me he is still a kid at heart and can’t pass a toy sale without stopping for a good browse.  Thursday is the one and only spider web I will every post here (I really don’t like them but for some reason I took three shots of this early morning web) and Friday afternoon I found some hungry Seattleites lining up in this strip of shade to enjoy their hot dogs.  The week ended with a fun family BBQ at my brother and sister in law’s home celebrating the 4th of July.  Fireworks were banned due to extreme fire danger but I saw stars in my wine glass all night long. 🙂

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 and filter 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.