Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Where have I Been? (A Simple Moment)

It's late. I'm tired. Ready to crawl into bed. My computer is neatly tucked under my bed. I had planned to turn it on tonight, read some blogs and write a post. Maybe catch up with my ZIZO's; maybe blog about the weekend crop I went to in Eugene, Oregon; maybe brag a bit about my girl's running success or share an uplifting story from my morning walk.
I meant to do that last night, too. And the night before. And Sunday morning, too, truth be told. But I just haven't had the energy. I've been busy.  My work-work has been draining; my kids keep me hopping; and I've actually been reading. I didn't plan a blog break, but other things called to me instead. I haven't forgotten about my blog or my blog friends. I've been taking pictures; storing memories; planning posts in my head. And I know I'll be back. Because my blog, and all of you, are an important part of my life. Even if other things are taking precedence right now.  See you soon.
I meant to link this up with Alexa's Simple Moment meme, but I keep getting an error message when I try to go to her blog. Anyone else having this problem?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Art Journal Page: Art Song

My job has been very stressful lately, so today I decided to run away to my art studio. I finished up a bunch of backgrounds for my 2013 Learn Something New Everyday faces journal and came really close to finishing my December Daily (will blog those later). 
Along the way, I put bits and pieces aside to use in my art journal. I drew a bird; added some background colors; doodled here and there; and finally declared it done!
And I'm really happy with it. Love the colors, love the symbols. The major journaling reads "Keep a song in your heart and art in your life."
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

ZIZO #14: A World in a Puddle

It's been rainy around her lately. That path on which I walk to work is wet and puddles have formed.  When I stop and gaze into a puddle,
I see the reflections of eucalyptus trees, an entire world in a puddle.
And I find the perfect pair for this week's zoom in < zoom out meme, sponsored by Helena. To see other pairings, click here.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Shooting Track

Light. Focus. Emotion. Story.
Those are the things I look for when photographing sports. Although I know how to find these on the soccer pitch and the baseball diamond, shooting track has been much tougher.
But I'm getting better.
I was pretty frustrated with the results from my first track meet.  The only good shots I got were taken with my longer lens and when I got up to move around the track.
So, for the second time out, I decided to use my long lens, my monopod and to move around to try to capture more of the overall track meet experience. But always focusing upon the four keys.
Light . . . 
Focus . . . 

Story . . . 
Emotion . . .
I think I'm getting better at this! 
{Inspired by my friend Becky who posted these reflections on shooting tennis}.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

ZIZO #13: Eggs!

Clara's chickens have started laying! It's very exciting. The Buff Orpingtons lay brown eggs; the Americaunus lay blue-green eggs, and Laverne (the white leg horn) will lay white eggs. I had fun photographing these eggs for this week's version of zoom in < zoom out, a photography meme sponsored by Helena.  See more here.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Thoughts on 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt

The first day of spring has passed, and I've been having thoughts about summer, which leads me to thoughts about the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt. I've really enjoyed hosting this event for the last few years, and I'm looking forward to doing it again this year.  Interesting items to add to the list have been floating through my mind and ideas about how to structure it have been simmering there as well.
For those of you who haven't participated before, I host this event starting on June 1 and running until the last day of summer (September 22, 2014). I post a list of about 20 items for people to find and photograph during the summer. I encourage people to blog about their finds, and I host a link-up once a month. The original idea was to create a list which gets people out and about during the summer months to explore places they might not otherwise go, but I also include items which are somewhat challenging to find. The time frame is long enough that most people are able to find most of the items without being too stressed. It's become a way for people to open their eyes and be aware of their surroundings and also a way to see the great variety of items found around the world. There's usually about 60 participants from all over the globe, which means some people are actually participating in the summertime scavenger hunt during the winter (those in Australia and New Zealand).
The scavenger hunt is free and open to everyone! If you don't have a blog, you can put your images in a flicker account or any other photo hosting site that works for you. The only rule is that the photo needs to be taken during the time frame of the Hunt (no using old photographs from your archives).
You can click on this link to see all my old scavenger hunt posts. The 2013 list is here. You can click on this link to find the 2012 list. The 2011 list of items is clickable here. 
So, I was wondering if you have any feedback on the last few hunts. Any suggestions for what to do this year differently than before? It seemed to run pretty smoothly last year, so I'm leaning to using the same format. But I'm definitely open to suggestions. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Weekend Ramble through the Random

1. We recently got rid of our 2000 Toyota Avalon and replaced it with a BMW SUV. I was surprised by how sad I was to see the Avalon hauled away. It was still running (barely), but definitely time to let go. But we owned it for 14 years. I remember when we bought it and loved driving it; loved teaching Henry to drive in it; and remembered when he drove it alone to High School for the first time. Sigh. Oddly, I have often felt a strong attachment to my cars - my first (a 1963 Chevrolet Valiant station wagon, which I blogged about here); the first new car Paul and I ever bought (a red Chevy nova) and even my current BMW (which Paul bought me as a 25th wedding anniversary present). Have you ever had a strong attachment to a car?
2. My new favorite iphone app may be "Collect - Everyday Photo Diary . . ." It's a really easy way to record a photo for each day in the month and leave a brief note about it. Plus, it prompts you if you've forgotten. I'm really enjoying it. Have you tried it? Got any other good iphone apps to share?
3. We're full-on into track season here. Last weekend, we spent a wonderful, sunny, exhausting day at the "Dublin Distance Fiesta," which culminated in a distance medley relay, followed by a full-on, line dancing party in the infield. This weekend, Clara is participating in the Santa Barbara Easter Relays. We stayed home, but are monitoring the website for results. Relays are fun!
4. Meanwhile, back at home, Clara passed her driver's permit test, so she can begin to learn to drive with a parent in the car (or a driving instructor). She can apply for her actual license in September.
5. Spring is here. The weather is warming up. The hens are almost 5 months old (I think). They've gotten much bigger - fat and happy.  But, still no eggs. When will they start laying???
Photo Credit: Becky Ruppel (thanks Becky!)
6. The boys are back in town . . . I picked Henry up from the airport on Thursday evening. He's home from college for spring break. And so are many of his friends. A bunch of them went to the high school baseball game yesterday, and my photographer friend Becky captured these three. I'm so happy to have my boy home. We have a date this afternoon to eat burritos and nachos, while watching his Oregon ducks play in the NCAA basketball tournament. It makes my heart happy.
What's making you happy this weekend?