Sun flare through our favorite white rhododenderon.

Wordless Wednesday 5-15-18: Let the Sunshine In

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Summer Dreams in Bellingham, WA

Wordless Wednesday 2-21: Wishing…

Shades of Blue: Part 1

If you’ve been with me for a while you might know I take all my photos with my iPhone and if you are a details person you’ve noticed I typically tag each photo or post with the editing app used in case a reader wants to try something new with their own work.  I’ve got more apps than I want to count and each has at least one unique feature that inspired me to download but when it comes time to edit images and post my results I skip over all of them and open one of these favorite three every single time.

In no particular order my favorites are Snapseed, VSCO & Hipstamatic.  Sometimes Oggl substitutes for Hipstamatic if I want to process a straight out of the camera shot into something with a Hipstamatic filter but really I like the immediacy of shooting and finishing all in one.

Snapseed is a great easy-to-learn app that quickly offers subtle balance corrections, straightening, cropping and some fun filter effects if you want a more dramatic change.

VSCO also offers corrective features, a large library of soft and pretty filters that mimic film photography and has a vibrant online community full of like-minded photographers.

While Snapseed and VSCO are my apps for subtle changes Hipstamatic is where I go to explore small moments in time.  When I’m overwhelmed and tired of the chaos that comes with a busy life I like how the square format directs my focus to just one or perhaps two things.  It’s a photographic chance to slow down and take a breath while tuning out distractions.  I know some people find the editing heavy-handed but I like it for just that reason because when I use Hipstamatic I’m not trying to capture a realistic image of the moment, instead I’m exploring how each little square is a work of art hidden in the day.  The lens/film/flash combinations add a painterly quality that transforms something easy to overlook into something that makes me think.

All of this is a long-winded way of introducing my next series of posts.  For months I’ve wanted to post more regularly but I was out of new pictures to share and as a result out of anything interesting to say.  Now I’ve got a series of Hipstamatic images ready to go and I thought I should give you a little behind-the-scenes insight into why they were shot this way.  Over the next week or so I’ll have several posts full of images from my daily escapes outside but instead of big, beautiful PNW vistas these are small in scale and more personal. Now you’ll see the one element in a big space that drew me in instead of a panoramic shot with something for everyone.  I have those too and will share them another day but this week will be all about Hipstamatic and shades of blue.

All photos shot with my iPhone 7+ using Hipstamatic and the Elijah/Love 81 combination.

 

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: 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 Pictures: September Weeks 3 & 4

If you’re a follower of my Instagram feed you already know I’ve moved on from summer photos to fall and we’ve all been enjoying pretty leaves, gardening and seasonal changes so I’m pushing the fast forward button here and posting the last two weeks of September together in one fell swoop.  I really don’t like to fall behind schedule, especially if it’s a self-imposed one so these two-week catch-up posts are not my favorite but after replacing my computer, being surprised by a new operating system,  working through a phone (camera) fail and finally setting up a new phone my carefully maintained photo files were a scrambled mess.  On the surface I’ve been faithfully taking and posting a new photo to social media for every day of the week but behind the scenes it’s been nothing but aggravation each time I try to write and illustrate a new post here on the blog.  My fingers crossed things are sorted out now so going forward I’m hoping for fun and easy writing to finish the year. 🙂

Most of these new photos are really a best-of highlight reel from our summer vacations and as you can see they are focused on my favorite warm weather activities:  hiking and relaxing by the water.  The last two are hints of what is to come with a view through the trees in my backyard and a creepy skull to note the first day of October.  Halloween is John’s favorite holiday and the decorating blitz has started so if you’re a fan of all things spooky I’ll have plenty more to share throughout the month.

Next week we will be back to real-time posts 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 Pictures: September Week 1

As soon as our first hike to Second Beach ended two years ago a return trip has been at the top of my vacation wish list.  Our first visit was such a lovely surprise with a quiet beach, warm temperatures, and wide open vistas  we couldn’t help but remember the area as always being bathed in sunshine but this year we were pleasantly surprised with a complete change in circumstances.  After days of record-breaking heat the winds shifted during our hike through the forest and brought this amazing fog just in time for sunset.  I’ll admit we were hoping to watch a summer sky filled with orange and pink but instead I think we were treated to something even more magical.  This week’s post is one more break from my typical weekly recap style but I took too many pictures to only share one from the day so I hope you enjoy this series of seven. 🙂

Next week will be a return to more real-time photos and recaps so if you’re curious about where we’ve been this month I’ve been keeping up with my daily share project 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 August Week 5

Keeping with the style from my last post this final August catch-up will also be a simple combination of location notes and lots of pretty pictures.  If anyone wonders why we love living in the Pacific Northwest this series of Olympic National Park photos really illustrates the best of what we enjoy on a daily basis.  It’s not all rain and fog around here. 🙂  In a typical year this part of the state is a little cooler and wetter than where we live along Puget Sound but this year has been anything but typical and we managed to visit during some of the hottest days ever recorded in the park.  These seven photos cover one full Saturday beginning on Ruby Beach followed by a steamy hike through the Hoh Rainforest and a visit to the Hoh River for some cool mountain water.  We had dinner in La Push before starting our final hike out to Second Beach hoping to catch the sunset.  More from the beach next week…

I’ve been keeping up with my daily share project on Instagram and Facebook so 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 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: July Week 2

While there are two different ways to view the lack of regular entries on my posting calendar the end result is the same… I’ve fallen woefully behind in my recap schedule.  The good news is I’m keeping up with my daily Instagram/Facebook/Twitter pictures so there are plenty of new images to write about and I plan to do a lot of writing over the next three days so we should be caught up soon!

The second week of July began with a flurry of pre-vacation activity and ended on a driftwood filled beach in a quiet corner of the Pacific Northwest so if you’ve been following me on social media you’ve already seen a lot of pretty Lopez Island pictures but I’m really looking forward to sharing them with everyone here.  Sunday was our day to catch up with yard work and Ryan’s turn to grumble and groan about the fact that this is our second summer with a push-mower.  Monday is a shot of some pretty Mahonia berries in our front yard and Tuesday and Wednesday are scenes from my evening errands to the library and grocery store for books and BBQ sauce.  Thursday morning I shared this super soft throw blanket in our Etsy store and Friday’s picture captured the moment we left clouds behind and sailed out to sunny skies.  Saturday brought a hike along this rugged beach where the kids explored, flew kites and gathered walking sticks.

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.

My Year In Pictures: July Week 1

In the middle of a super busy week my thoughts turned to holidays and games as an escape from our over scheduled days.  Looking at the gallery above you can rightly guess this has been a challenging stretch!  Not only are there 3 holiday related images and 2 game photos there is a moment of staring at the sky through summer leaves and if you count closely you might notice there are only 6 images instead of 7…  yes, I missed a day but in the spirit of moving forward I’ll just fess up and carry on hoping I keep better track next week. 🙂

We started our 4th of July holiday on Sunday the 3rd with a great family BBQ at my parent’s house so the first three photos are from the holiday, the party and the inevitable laundry after everyone left for home.  I found a minute to relax on the lawn enjoying summer breezes and blue sky before settling down to dream of game nights and our upcoming family vacation.  Ryan and his cousins are getting older, do you think they’re ready for an evening of Ouija by candlelight instead of Monopoly and Scrabble?  I’m sure I’ll have a few stories to share after our trip to the San Juan Islands next week…

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.  Since we’ll be in and out of internet access for a few days this may be your best chance of keeping up with our island trekking 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: June Week 4

Strawberries, flowers, sail boats and lazy days at the lake – this week’s set of photos is all about summer memories new and old.  The week started with this pretty shot from my parent’s garden followed by one of our tiny wild strawberry plants caught in the middle of an evening sunbeam.  Next is a scan from an old film photo of our sweet dog Maxi who was the perfect combination of black lab and border collie meaning she was smart as a whip, devoted to her pack and always ready to play.  This was taken about 15 years ago at a lakefront party when Ryan was baby and Max took a few minutes off from nanny duty to enjoy the sun.

Wednesday I stopped to laugh at this set of fridge magnets, there’s one for every situation, and Thursday night I made a quick trip to the nursery for a few more flowers so we could finish our deck pots.  Friday evening John and I took a walk around the marina instead of working out at the gym and Saturday I couldn’t resist one more shot of this beautiful view.

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.

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.