trips to the moon

buildings

It was a nice day.  It’s been really quite beautiful the last few days, moderate temperatures and pretty breezes.  I met up with the Moon Gang this past Friday at the Orange Circle.  You know the Orange Circle is really not very far from me and it made me wonder why I don’t visit more often.  We had our coffee, we visited the local library where I bought two books for a total of 1.00 and they were both about film photography.  Just really pretty hard bound books.

We found our shadows and I thought we should photograph them because this week in we shoot with soul we are finding our shadows and I have done this before and I have been into shadows, light and reflections for so much of my life, they are just very intriguing and beautiful but when I’m purposefully looking for them they seem to be everywhere I look.  The first shadow MoonDazi nearly protested because the ground was so very ugly but she agreed and we held hands.  I wanted to hold hands but said “I can’t because I have to hold the camera too”  Then our youngest and I will just say it…the smartest of the Moon Gang said, “just stand on the end”

IMG_1849

And right there in front of us was a reflective bank window.  So we also took our reflection on this day too.

IMG_1850 2We then stumbled into a local market.  The sign read something like, oh gosh, I can’t really remember but something like “the most unique market”  So you know, that pulled us right in.  They had cheese, and meats, and local goodness.  The store is called Provisions  – an Uncommonly Good Market, actually…giggle.  Now that I think of it…that’s what it said “An uncommonly good market”  Yep, that’s what got us inside.  When we got inside we looked around, I bought some chocolate and Moon Spinner bought a jar of pickles and a date loaf.  We shared the date loaf.  MoonMama bought some fried cheese that had some spice to it.  I got us a plate of pickles and I thought it was going to be just a bunch of different pickles but what it really turned out to be was a platter of pickled things.  Like, water melon rind, beans, fennel, carrots, cauliflower and there were a few pickles too.  We shared all the food and it was a little spicy for me because I don’t eat much spice so Miss Moon Spinner had spotted a local ice cream place and she doesn’t eat sugar but she wanted so badly to go inside there and have us try it out so she could live vicariously through us.  Well, after the spice I thought creamy chocolate might be a good idea.

IMG_1851

IMG_1852

The ice cream had us at homemade, fresh and hand crafted.  It was called a la minute hand crafted ice cream.  The flavors were really unique but I stuck with what they said was a popular one, mint chip, the salted caramel  was tempting but since Moon Mama ordered that one, I knew I could have a bite.  It was better than mine by the way.  So next time.  But the crazy thing about this place is, the ice cream starts as a liquid cream and they use LIQUID NITROGEN to freeze it up fast! It was crazy scientific stuff.  It tasted pretty good, worth the experience with the Moon Gang for sure.

IMG_1861

IMG_1866

We then sat by the fountain and enjoyed our ice cream.  We found our shadows again.  Only this time they were in much prettier surroundings.

IMG_1872

I could have spent hours and hours and days and days at the circle.  Pippi had fun too in the antique malls.  We even found two feathers, my favorite heart feather and another tiny one sitting on a hedge that I took a picture of these darling houses that live in Orange.  I for sure want to visit again and hopefully sooner than later.  The day was good, we found, feathers, hearts, shadows, reflections and books about moons. We laughed, we talked, we ate, we drank and we prayed.  I’m thankful for the moon gang.  They get me outside of my box.

pippi

houses

simple bits that make me smile

yesterday, it was the dust floating in the perfect light.  I decided to place a song with it.  A very pretty song. The song is called “Stewed Bark of an Old Tree” it’s by Devendra Banhart it’s about a minute in a half.   The video is just dust but the song is really beautiful and actually the dust is very beautiful too.  I taped it because it was like magic and very peaceful and worthy to be noticed.  A blessing in my day.

Today, it was when I picked up second born from school.  You know, the MoonRebel boy.  He said this “mom, I saw a feather today at school and I thought of you”  I asked if he picked it up.  He said “no, I didn’t have time and besides it was just a seagull feather”  to which I said, “seagulls are special, they remind us we live by the ocean” I also made sure to let him know it’s things like him telling me he saw a feather and thought of me that make my day.

Although today the sun is not golden and it’s more like a foggy, dirty day, not the pretty crisp rainy kind of gray day but more of the hazy, dirty kind of day.  There will be no shadows today, but if we are really paying close attention, like second born, feathers may be found or the old stand by…hearts.

coloring with miss moonspinner – juxtaposition

cadet blue

Juxtaposition. I have seen this word a lot in the photography world and I knew what it meant simply by seeing examples through the years when other photographers place two images next to each other for comparison or contrast. I have been working with my cousin for…eh hum…cough, cough….a few years now on a project I call “coloring with Miss Moonspinner” Basically a few years ago I picked us both up a big box of crayons and we were to pick a crayon out of the box and seek out that color. At first we were ON FIRE, we cracked the first several colors out. Then we became just a tiny bit relaxed and we share this trait she and I where we are not in any big hurry for things so we would laugh about how we have been carrying cadet blue around for, well….at least a year now. Last week she sent me her version of cadet blue. I thought, “Oh man, pressure is on. I now need to go seeking my cadet blue. “She isn’t placing the pressure on me, nope. She truly wouldn’t mind if it took me another few months to find the perfect cadet blue match up! But then I saw in my fall project our assignment this week is to present a juxtaposition. SOOOOOO I present to you cadet blue along with a few other of my favorite match ups from the last few years. In a snail’s pace we will finish because we have made that promise to each other that we would at least finish the box of crayons. And although this isn’t two photographs that I took to compare and contrast, it’s a project I hold near and dear to my heart and I’m big on community and working together.  Working together for ME, is far better than working alone.  I take it as opportunity to grow by learning techniques from others and hoping I too can inspire them every so often.  This is why I also love working with Christina on this fall project.  She has introduced me to new books, new apps, and even photo language I wasn’t exactly familiar with.  Working with other creatives is a win/win for me.

timberwolfthis is called timberwolf and what you can’t see but I know is, there is a  tiny chip of paint missing on the fender, it looks like a dot here but it was a dark pink heart and if you notice, Miss Moonspinner had pink hearts on her timberwolf colored knee socks.  It was perfect!

turquoise blueThis is turquoise blue, I nearly had a heart attack when I opened my inbox to see her photo, it was a turquoise glass container that spilt out shiny silver glitter, my shot is Miss Moon Shadow in the pool with her shiny glitter skirt and turquoise top, the water in the pool also reminds me of the translucent vase the glitter is spilling out of.  We never discuss our ideas.  We just take picture and match them up.  I’m always happily surprised when they go together so well.

blackThis is black!  Isn’t is just so wonderful?  I think so, all the way down to her mickey mouse band-aid.  In these match up’s she will always be the photo to the left and I’m to the right.  One day, we will complete this project and in the meantime we will have tons of fun matching our images together.  I wonder what amazingness Christina came up with??  Let’s go SEE

Keeping it Simple and using the Light…Natual light.

IMG_9941

ISO 2000, 5.6 1/5000

Sometimes being a mom, a part-time working one who works half the day then takes the other half to pick up one set of kids at 2 and the other at 3, it doesn’t leave too much extra time to take photo’s then write about them plus, cook, clean and find time to be healthy.  So these pictures are certainly simple and for sure taken in my own backyard and in the bathroom, and kitchen window however as boring as these images may seem there is a story behind each one.  Not only is there a story but I’m rather proud of myself with this prompt because I shot on full manual.  When I went on the PNW retreat Deb also shoots a Canon so she showed me how to shoot on the BIG letter M.  I mean I have shot on M before but just sort of half crazy cause I will dial this way and that until it looks decent and sometimes it can take lots of dials to get it right.  Oh, the revelation!  I just need to center the line inside the light meter, just place it in the middle and all is good.  And these my friends are straight out of the camera, no touch ups or photo editing which hello is not really my expertise (yet) anyway.

The first image is of a special pierce of jewelry.  It was a gift from my mom and it was bought while she was in France visiting my sister.  My mama knows I love birds and well, it has a bird on it.  It also has some very powerful words in French.  I had no idea what the words meant until my little sister came home for a summer and interpreted them for me.  In English it interprets “Little of us have the strength to change the story”  And these words are powerful and true.  Do you have the strength to change your story?  Think about that?  It takes enormous strength to change your life story, rather than just take it for granted living it with no real effort is far easier.  Now I love the necklace even more.  And I took this image in my very own backyard.  I hung it from a tree branch and the wind kept swaying it back and forth so long story short…was not easy to shoot this on manual and manual focus!  But this one looks pretty decent in the natural backyard sun light.

These next two images were taken in our down stairs main bathroom.  We have two bathrooms in this house but this is the family favorite.  All five of us prefer it and use it most often.  It has a nice deep tub, beautiful natural sunlight, sparkling white subway tiles (when clean) and now perfectly deep black walls.  It’s kind of dramatic now that it’s been painted black.  So I took a pretty red rose from one of my rose bushes grandpa left me.  The smell, oh how I wish you could inhale this rose, it’s perfect.  I took it using two settings.  I show you both.

image 3

ISO 2000, F4, 1/2000

image 4

ISO 2000, F/20, 1/60

My last images are at my front kitchen window.  In the morning it gets the very best light but by late afternoon which is when I took these images the lighting isn’t as spectacular yet still it’s okay.  I use this window when I bake in the afternoons and I shoot photo’s of my food.  And it’s of a feather that I have stuck inside of a potted plant.  Because if you know me.  You know I also love feathers.

image 1ISO 2000, F/29, 1/6

image 2ISO 2000, F/8, 1/25

And this is my version of the lesson natual light, which technically is more of a photo prompt than anything else and if you want to see how two people who live in two very different places view things in natural light, visit my friend Christina at 22limes

things lately

photo (21)

What I’m reading?

This week I decided to read “Catcher in the Rye” again for maybe the 3rd time. Not really sure. I know I read it twice as a teen/young adult but then I think I read it again when my oldest read it in high school. So my friend Lisa wanted to read this book before she turns another year older and really we don’t have too much time so I offered to read along with her. Chapter by chapter. And I’m only in chapter five but as I’m reading along, I’m reminded why I love this book so much. I know it’s can be sort of controversial and all, and when I say that what I mean is, it seems people either really love it or despise it! I have not found too much in the middle about this book. I’m a lover. I loved this book so much that I remember wanting to read it aloud to motorcycle man when we first got married. I think it lasted a chapter and we decided it wasn’t a good idea. I personally don’t like how Holden uses the GD word so much so reading that aloud wouldn’t come easy for me. I know call me up tight but I just wasn’t raised thinking those two words ever went together. However that being said my grandpa used to say that little phrase from time to time so it also reminds me of him so in some ways I get it.

I also know some of you think Holden is a big whiner but I just think he really says what maybe lots of us are thinking, and in all actuality he is thinking it too not really saying it aloud so much. We just get the privilege to hear what’s inside his head. So that’s it about what I’m reading lately.

photo (20)

What I’m I teaching?

A few weeks ago another friend was asking about a photography class for her daughter, who happens to be a good friend to my littlest and only girl. So naturally I offered to teach her a few things in regards to photography. I’m not a technical photographer so mostly I teach them creative things they can do with the camera. We have been meeting once a week so far. The first week we just ventured in a park, I also told them to keep their eyes open for hearts. The second week I had just learned myself double/triple/etc. exposure on my digital so I taught the girls how to do that too, I made them take notes that week and this third week I told them how filling the frame can make a huge difference to lots of images. So teaching these girls has been fun. I’m hoping they like it as much as I do.

IMG_6508the three awesome students did this triple exposure

IMG_6303 2

 

Don’t they look like the best most fun students ever?IMG_6023

 What is going on with these animals?

They have fleas like you wouldn’t believe! We are and have been treating them with the flea stuff (frontline) But still they itch like little mad men. We went to Pet Smart to see what on earth we could do different. They said to treat our yard and also our home. This week Rich spayed the front and back yard, I flea bombed the house but on top of that we got flea powder and dusted under the sofa cushions and dusted the two rugs we have in the house. I will also take a tiny flea comb and sit with Pablo for nearly an hour, combing fleas out of his hair. Max’s hair is far too long and shaggy to do this with and the cats don’t seem as itchy as the dogs. Long story short. I feel for the dogs. I want them to just relax and not be scratching every few seconds. On a positive note, the flea bomb and spaying the yards seems to have eliminated the ant problem we were also having.

 

Happy things lately!

I sold two pictures on crated and my heart immediately knew these prints were sold to people I love.  It just works out that the people I love show me some really great support and I feel very blessed.  So I’m happy to know my little sponge holder fern print will hang in Aunt Tina’s place somewhere and my Hope rose will hang in cousin Jodi’s place.  Just feels so good to know family supports my love of photography.  Truth be told, I would give them a print if they asked, I feel bad they are paying for these things but at the same time I feel very touched by the gesture.  It sure was fun to have my feature interview week with the hours, where I got to explain the a little about my noon pick and add some extra pictures to share.  I got a phone call from a friend last night who visited my FB page and felt compelled to actually call me and tell me just how great my pictures are and how I should quit my day job.  Nearly made me cry but I’m sort of emotional this week if you know what I mean.  And as you can see the happy things that happened all have to do with what I love to do, that should say something.  Maybe one day I will listen.

 

what if

what if

every single day

i only

just

took a picture of this plant

IMG_5828

this potted plant

IMG_5834

who sits on the shiny white tile

IMG_5839

by the sink

in the kitchen

just this plant

i photographed her

IMG_5840

i wrote about her

i admired her

i tracked her growth

24 hours

each light different

with each hour

she would change

don’t you want to see her bloom?

what if she bloomed when I wasn’t looking?

what if

every single day

I ONLY

just

did this?

Would you still be interested?

IMG_5836

sometimes its all I need

IMG_7327

sometimes its all I need

just this

watching a potted plant grow

each day

its different

its new

its reaching towards the light

its opening up

its skin is soft

this is what I love about nature

plants

birds

insects

animals

all constant reminders

of the cycle

the hope

the life

the death

sometimes its all I need

(taken with 20D so different from the 70, nice and grainy and soft, not nearly as vibrant)

control

IMG_3682

Control

I have no control

I have all the control

I woke up in the middle of the night with this word on my mind

I wanted to push control off the cliff

I wanted to drown it

I wanted control never to exist

However

The harsh reality is

We are either controlling

Or

Being controlled

Is freedom such a thing?

I think not.

It’s fall and fall can feel new

I need 18 more readers and voting will be closed by October 2nd but so far we have a clear winner and honestly I don’t see many more votes coming in but one never knows.  It’s the one thing I thought for sure wouldn’t win. And the one thing I thought would get the most votes barely got any.  Isn’t that the way life goes!  I’m wondering how much time I have to prepare myself before that 100th reader subscribes, it could be months…who knows?

paperIn the meantime I tried my wood photo transfer this weekend and I don’t have the patience to deal with it.  The image was coming off along with the paper and I’m sure if I had more time I would experiment with different papers and different techniques.  I think it will be as simple as having my images put on a foam board.

wood trans

Aside from that, I made the conscious effort to NOT read Emma this weekend knowing the month was quickly coming to an end and the deal was to read this book in one month’s time.  I joined that book club and I wanted to try something new.  I ended up realizing the book wasn’t so bad at all.  I actually found myself giggling at some points.  However it’s not what I call an easy read (not for me at least) and it’s not what I call a book I can’t put down.  So the book is due in a few days and I’m thinking the movie sounds like a swell idea.  That too would be something I normally wouldn’t do….watch a movie like Emma.

emma                                                   That’s me, not really reading Emma

Do you know what I did instead of reading?  I finished the first season of Mad Men!  It’s for sure my new obsession.  Ask anyone who knows me really well, I’m always obsessed with something, it’s normally short lived and completely involved.  I do see myself finishing the series on this one though, it’s just too good not to.  And Audrey , I did make it to the carrousel episode and let’s just say Mr. Don Draper nailed it.  I was like “yep, that’s what photos are all about, exactly!”  He does have a heart after all.

don draper quote

Also I didn’t just watch episode after episode, I decided my fall is a time of NEW.  Fall arrives and  and things feel new again,  the school year begins, new routines work themselves out so why not clean a little and feel that feeling of change/new/.  I’m the queen of clutter; well some would call me that.  I like to say I’m very, very sentimental.  Debbie ,   I still have the fall leaves you mailed me a few years ago in the same glass jar. So I save things, like leaves, shells, feathers, dried flowers, rocks and you know those sorts of things.  So I had to take lots of deep breaths and release a few things.  The leaves were not one of them.  I like to stack books, magazines, papers and leave pens out so I can write a note on a whim.  I have to admit even more than my children,  I’m the biggest contributor for the messes in our home.  My dining table I usually fill, full of mostly my stuff. It takes me a great deal to keep things in order once I get them in order, It’s basically a hamster wheel (neat, piled, picked up, dumped)  I am what I am as much as I try and be the organized, live simple kind of gal….I’m just not made that way.  I can admit though it feels good, like a big deep breath and I’m sure I can keep it this way for at least a few days!

clean

Check out that clear table, even the top of the hutch is less cluttered

roundempty for now but soon to be filled

And last but for sure not least….the pumpkin, it continues to grow!

pumpkin day 28.

Super mom or super tired?

journey

I’m a mom.  I think it’s the biggest most important job I have.  I love my motorcycle man because he helps to remind me of really important things.  You see last night as he cut the raw chicken into strips for fajitas, I chopped the onions and peppers.  I mentioned to him that I skipped tanning.  That sounds strange I’m sure tanning, the red haired freckled Pippi Longstocking look alike tans??  Let me just explain a little about the tanning.  My tanning salon has something called red light treatment; it helps people with a number of conditions, eczema being one of them. So I try my darndest to fit in a session every single day if possible.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.

pippi

So he asks me “why?”  (me) “well my sister she left her ipad here and so I had to come straight home and make sure the house was unlocked so she could get in, then while I was here I decided to do the dishes, and clear off the table, and strip our sheets, water the garden and did a quick blog entry.  Before I knew it, it was time to get Dylan  (Let me tell you. I can get stuff done FAST when I put my mind to it, I think it’s a MOM SUPER POWER)  So…then I picked up Dylan, then I picked up Abbie, then I went to the grocery store to get the stuff for our fajita’s and when I got back, I vacuumed and I snuck in an episode of Mad Men and then…well before I knew it, it was time to make dinner……so I didn’t tan today.”   Rich replies, “The tanning place is right next to Fresh and Easy, why didn’t you just take Abbie and go while you were there in the same parking lot?”  (me) “well Abbie hates sitting in the waiting room waiting for me, so I didn’t want to torture her again”  He so quickly could tell me what was going on here.  “You put your sister and your daughter’s needs before your own, like you always do.  Everyone else is always so much more important than you.  It wouldn’t have killed Abbie to sit there for 20 minutes; you could have just opened the slider for your sister and been back on your way.”  He makes it all so black and white and it all makes such perfect sense when he explains it.  I really took a pause for a moment.  This goes hand in hand with the class I’m taking.  I’m (learning) how to change this about me.  It’s not easy, it feels so natural to me to put everyone’s needs in front of my own, isn’t that what we are supposed to do?  This is not easy, this is really hard but I have to change my way of thinking. I’m not aiming to become a SELFISH crazy woman but you know….balance.

super mom

This year my word was LOVE.  It’s a powerful packed word that can change the world.  The biggest, strongest word I know but next year I think my word should be CHANGE.  It will take action and courage but that’s what we are here for….. growth.  If we don’t change how can we grow? Reminds me of a really great song by JJ Heller.  And strangest thing….change is our word this week in Now You Workshop.

love

grow

How many of you have been in this similar dilemma? oh and remember to vote.  I’m keeping voting open for one week.  Just look for the post that is titled VOTE!