CY365 Week of Aug 17 Photo A Day

IMG_449611. Sunflower (Sunday+flower)
20130814-20130814-IMG_473412. Play (well, many hours of play ahead—Introducing our new little BOY! –Neko)
IMG_450113. Remember being a part of the clean plate club?
20130815-20130815-IMG_489014. Bonus (butterfly. I ‘cheated’ and have a number of images from one days visit to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, which I knew would satisfy themes) And as a REAL bonus, here is a link to the entire visit!
20130815-20130815-IMG_486215. Floating –resting gently…
20130815-20130815-IMG_491216. Eye Catching
20130815-20130815-IMG_478417. Pink

Have you looked at my newly redesigned photo galleries? Tell me what you think!

CY365—a photo prompt for every day of the year. My photography website. MyFLICKR photo page. Follow me on Facebook. @rteest42 on Twitter

A picture is worth a thousand words….

…Except when it isn’t. When you can’t put your hands on a photo when you need it, does it exist? (If a tree falls in the forest….?)

I am many things—(Mom, wife, Gigi, quilter, genealogist, photographer),— as well as a picture framer. The genealogist in me gets crazy when old photos are not preserved, when names and dates are not recorded or when people don’t respect the treasure trove of history they possess. There is hardly anything sadder than wandering through an antique store, and coming upon boxes of old studio portraits, being sold for a buck or two.(That could easily translate to old quilts made by long ago family members that end up under cars, under dogs or in the Goodwill bins, I suppose.)

The first photograph was taken, with an eight HOUR exposure, in 1824. We’ve come a long way, baby. Now we take photos with our telephones—an object that didn’t even exist for at least a quarter century beyond the first photo. (or longer, if you believe Bell invented the phone, not Meucci)2010-MAY genealogy-10

What is the value of this graven image? It is to record history, a moment in time, to hold onto a moment, to jog ones memory, to remind, to reminisce….

I have lamented before that I feel that this generation is going to be the most photographed ever and yet possibly, the most ephemeral.  The generations to come will realize our folly and fix it, but this current moment….We take photos with phones, and upload to Facebook. We don’t print. We don’t have high quality images. We have the ability to shoot at 18+ MP yet are recording life at way less than 1 MP. We neglect to upload from our pocket digi until the card is full, and if we are shooting at low res, because we don’t see the value in high-res…well the camera could be stolen or the memory card could fail before we upload the 679 photos that we’ve shot over the course of the life of the camera. (How many cries of “OMG, I lost my phone, my computer crashed “do you have to hear before you realize it could happen to YOU, too??)

We record every bitty thing that happens, but yet. (and yes, it IS on FB….what of it? How do we know we will ALWAYS have access to it? We don’t know. “THEY” can tell us what they like, but….THEY can change the rules, too.)

About a week and a half ago, another woman came into the store, needing to frame an enlargement for a memorial service the next day. The problem?

The woman said the only photo she had of her lovely granddaughter was of her pressed closely into the arms of a second person. And it was a photo from a phone. By the time she had the image cropped to just her, and enlarged to a size large enough to sit by the coffin in at the church, well…. It’s just damned depressing! Why? A beautiful 20-something woman, and her grandmother doesn’t even have a good photo of her.

What is that false vanity that causes current obituaries of 98 year-olds to have a photo taken in 1967 run beside the article, looking as they did—once upon a time, but not in the way that anyone who spent time with them in the last half century might remember…

The number of photos that are brought to me of Grandpa, or Uncle Bill, that are no more than badly lit snapshots– taken with a glass in hand, three empty cans and an empty dessert plate on the side table under that horrid lamp– that are fuzzy, out of focus, poorly lit, and faded–originally a 126 negative (long trashed) and really shouldn’t have survived past the first culling of out of focus shots….now represent the last and final memory we have? That is what becomes the 16×20 graveside image for all the mourners?

There was a blog posted the other day that spoke of taking photos now, not waiting till you are the right weight, etc…and a comment, that the photos of one person’s mom are mostly chemo and post-chemo photos, because the idea of mortality seemed to have reached over the ledge of vanity….

Are there photos of you? Nice enough ones. Not photos where someone snuck up and stole a shot of you before you could put your arms up. Not photos where you feel you look the best you will ever look, because that photo isn’t going to happen, ever, because you know one day you will feel more worthy of being on that side of the camera, but not today. Do you have hands-on access to photos—actual printed copies—of the people in your family?

Can you think of, and find, the most recent photo of you that you LIKE? Is it over a year old? Then you better do something about it.

2012-11-NOV 19-116My current favorite photo of ME.

If you were packing to escape the potential ravages of Sandy right now…. could you lay hands on the photos that mean something? And are there copies on line somewhere? Because it is a blend of both real and digital that creates our world. Digital, cloud-based is all fine and dandy…as long as it isn’t corrupted, and hard copies of photos are great as long as they aren’t burned or flooded…

There was a time, yes. The one existing photo of your great grandmother was standing on the front porch, baby in arms, squinting into the sun so the photo could be taken. Or this, of my Great Grandparents posed precariously in the porch door, at the edge of stairs so they could have a lovely photo. (And aren’t they cute?)

MMFrank

There was a time where photos were not part of every participant with a phone. But that time isn’t today. Do your loved ones a favor and get on the other side of the camera on occasion. And hit up CVS and print some photos for Grandma’s Brag Book while you are at it.

(Here are a few of my older blog posts about how you can organize your photos, places to save them on-line, etc. )

https://secure.smugmug.com/signup.mg?Coupon=PMfvFGKyQzxgg –ONLINE, UNLIMITED STORAGE, plus the ability to order PRINTS of all your images! This is where I have all my photos; my photo web-page rteest42.com is powered by Smugmug!

http://aliaslaceygreen.com/2011/01/04/joseph-kevin-casey/#comments

http://aliaslaceygreen.com/2010/01/31/one-month-in/

http://aliaslaceygreen.com/2010/02/14/sitting-in-front-of-the-tv/

http://aliaslaceygreen.com/2010/03/28/cyber-flinging/

Capture Your 365 (CY365)

This year it took a few weeks, but I decided that I wanted to do another Photo A Day for the year!

The year of 2010 I didn’t use prompts, and while I enjoyed finding photos, sometimes my mojo was missing, but I really did love the constant thinking about how to see and what I saw…. Last year, I did a month or so of prompted photos.

I discovered this group,  http://captureyour365.com/ and have decided to attempt the year with their prompts. 

I am not holding myself to always using their words. I am also going to look at the weeks words as a whole, as opposed to only that day. I just finished my first complete week, and I am going to slowly fit in the first few weeks prompts that I missed.

Enjoy these photos! Join the group yourself if you like!

Bright

BRIGHT

 

Image

A DOORWAY

Image

PEACEFUL

Image

REPETITION

Image

EQUAL

Frozen

FROZEN

Image

SNUGGLE

Image

PASSION

Image

HANDS

 

The Process of Elimination….

…is a difficult matter….

I am asking for help in choosing which photos I print for the two show and sales coming up in MAY 2012, because I can’t print them all!

Linked here and on Facebook will be a number of photos. LIKE them, but PLEASE, LIKE only one of each group. I will use your thoughts and voting to help decide which to order next.

If you are leaving comments on the web page that the photos link to, please simply type LIKE in front of your choice, before making other comments (and comment on all, that’s fine)

Comments and critiques are welcome! Give me REASONS for choosing A over B….Remember, this is about people buying photos to hang on their walls. They will be selling for very affordable prices, (an 11×14 metallic is under $30!) but WHAT will sell, is the question!  What “I” am most fond of and would put in an art show doesn’t always correlate into other peoples, “I want that for my wall!”  (Go figure!)

I am even going to look into a way to make one of you a winner, and draw a name at the end, so you can choose your favorite print to own….but I have to investigate a randomizer (point me in the direction, if you have one!) –ONE ‘entry’ per person, no matter how often you comment, if I do do this–

(And as a shameless plug, you are able to purchase any of these images, or any others on the site, even if you can’t make it to the HEART OF VIRGINIA FESTIVAL or FORT CLIFTON show! Ordering is simple, and my lab is awesome!)

Visit and become a fan of my facebook page and begin voting!  Or, go to this page, and leave comments if you aren’t on Facebook. The photos on this page aren’t broken into smaller albums, though, so try to choose only one of every ten or so to be your LIKES… I know, I am making it hard…. but it’s all in fun, and just to hear what people think.

THANKS!

April 1st is no fool…

April 1st is no fool.

Today, most of this country would agree spring is here to stay. The flowers are about three weeks ahead of schedule down this way. We have officially finished the first quarter of the year!

It is a day where one must be careful of what gossip you are quick to spread because the pranksters are out in full force—I already see that a favorite quilt site is ‘no longer selling fabric’ and Lowe’s has figured out to permeate the house with the smell of bacon, without actually cooking….

But I digress.  For me, it is an easy 1/4 way point to check in on how things are progressing with my WORD of the year, “MOTION” and all those pesky resolution-type things.

MOTION –Yesterday, Arlie and I participated in the Monument Ave. 10K… We walked with a few spurts of running. Our times were 1:39:55 and 1:40:11 respectively. Timmy was supposed to join but he had to work Sad smile

 

IMG_1367

I woke up today with no real pain—a bit of stiffness—other than blisters on the second toe of each foot, and sore toenails. Yes, I said toenails. Definitely proud of our accomplishment and I look forward to doing it again!

I have finished the first two items on the CEO Challenge at my not so-LQS, Quilting Adventures

2×4– need to take a shot of this totally quilted but no one else is awake to hold it…

420538_3465942251249_1351800130_33570497_82274195_n

Spinning Plates

untitled-M

(I would say the next one is easy, it requires so little…but…. there IS a reason it ended up on the UFO pile, right?)

The idea to be creative every day has actually not been terribly hard, if you allow for lack of photographic proof on a daily basis, and have a VERY elastic understanding of CREATIVE!

These are some of the more obvious creative days I’ve had this month.

Layla at the Park

2012-03-07 LAYLA-40

Layla in disbelief at the story this Easter bunny is telling her.

2012-03-025

Maymont

542824_353552524688044_101961379847161_979477_1965247015_n

More Maymont Images

Appomattox River

545639_356994144343882_101961379847161_988696_778855604_n

More Flower images

I entered this photo—

The Decisive Moment

2009-10-NYC-51-M

in March’s Photo Show at PRAC, in Petersburg, VA.  I won Honorable Mention!  See more New York City photography.

Ok, so there. I did accomplish something.

However, Yesterdays don’t count anymore and all that. Today is the first day of the rest of your life, etc etc.

I didn’t make much progress on the cleaning/decluttering/organization stuff. BOORRRRRRIING….

I am focused this next few months on Photography.  I have three events coming up. Two show and sales–

The Heart of Virginia on May 5th, and the Fort Clifton Festival on the following weekend, the 12 and13 of May. (Can’t find a better link…this is an issue….)

Then, in June, I am having a photo exhibit down at PRAC and still have to settle on what I’m showing!!

(can’t you see the cleaning/organizing/decluttering being pushed away, AGAIN!!??)

P is for Puzzle…

The first of 6 bi-monthly quilt challenges is finished! Today other participants will also begin the great unveiling of their works of art.

The challenge from Three Creative Studios:

The word “PUZZLE”. No other requirement, other than not posting the completed quilt until at least today.

I decided that I would participate because I require deadlines to get things happening. And stretching is always good for the soul.

At approximately the same time, another quilt group (QuiltArt) I am a member of began discussing two topics, which eventually merged into another challenge. Topic one started in early January and was about your ‘word’ of the year. A lot of artists on the site had come up with the idea of a word that might pull their year into focus. It could have even been focus! Or create, or freedom, or finish. There were so many words, and so many interesting and unique reasons for them. Someone (inevitably) suggested that this word become a challenge quilt.

Someone mentioned that this was the 15th year of this online group. Eventually the powers that be decided a challenge for the Quinceanera of QuiltArt would be a 15” x 15” square quilt, hopefully utilizing some of the knowledge we had gained during our time there, and possibly, if we wanted to, incorporating our word of the year.

Well, I am all about killing two birds with one stone. So, here is my quilt, “P is for Puzzle,” which coincidentally was created 15” x 15”  so it can be for both challenges.

My idea was that I wanted to use my word of the year was a crossword puzzle. (Words, you know. And puzzles. See how easy?)

Anyway, devoted readers of this blog (all 3 of you) may recall my word this year is BALANCE.

Many pages of graph paper later I discovered it was almost impossible to have the word BALANCE become the center word in a 15 x 15 letter crossword. At least it was if I wanted the other words in the puzzle to have any connection to quilting, art, or me.  And finally, that seemed kind of OK. After all, my favorite quote of all time is– “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.” (John Lennon, Beautiful Boy, 1980)

Life is a balancing act; no matter how much you strive to to lean one way or the other, in order to center yourself, some part of your life may become out of balance. But still you manage to carry all of the parts of you, and some parts tilt to one side for a while, and others get pushed off in directions you wouldn’t have chosen or expected.

I had originally wanted (visualized, really) striped fabrics, but I have put the restriction on myself that nothing may be purchased solely for this series of challenges. None of my fabrics spoke to me. They didn’t do what I envisioned.

After letting go of the stripe idea, two fabrics immediately found their way into my newly opened eyes. They incorporated my favorite color palette, they balance roughly across the color wheel as complementary, they offer both rest and movement.

p is for puzzle p is the puzzlebalance passion

Quick tips on the construction. After finding the fabrics, I cut two 8×8 squares of each and made a large 4 patch. Then I painted with a wash of Dynaflow, Pebeo and Golden acrylics to get a slightly more cohesive color.

I quilted a simple grid pattern, 15 one inch squares, I then dug through my ample scrapbooking, rubberstamping, art and jewelry supplies to find enough letters to spell out my words. Timmy drilled holes in Scrabble tiles for three of the words. They are my words for the two challenges and my word of the year.

I made a stencil from freezer paper for my large P (for Puzzle, Purple, and my name, Patricia!) and used Dynaflow and Golden Interference paint to color. I played around with some of the decorative stitching to create something of an Illuminated P. Random unused squares have been painted or had glitter applied.

I am happy with the way it turned out, and anxious to see what the next challenge will be!

In other quilting/photo news, I chose this photo for the latest challenge on Dgrin… the fabrics I used for the quilt above just happened to be sitting on the ironing board and I spotted the light….the challenge was SILHOUETTES…2010_FEB iRon-16 copybw

(Looking for some 27-thing encouragement?? Hey, guys, the Olympics are still on. Find something to do that you can take to the couch!!! Mending those clothes that you didn’t fling but needed buttons maybe??)

27-Things will be back next week, just in time for Spring Cleaning!!!!!!

Sitting in Front of the TV….

…Once every two years or so, I regret that there is only one television in the house, all the way at the other end down in the den. I LOVE the Olympics, and really want to spend my free time watching them.

In order to not totally blow the next two weeks on flinging, I think that I shall endeavor to work on the following –recipes and photographs.

These two 27-thing fling projects can take place on the couch while keeping up with the latest in Vancouver.

RECIPES:

I have a two shelf area under the bar in the dining room that has scraps, clippings, binders, cards and books of recipes. The problem?? Don’t use them. For the most part, I cook from memory.

In order to Fling this area, gather all your recipe stashes (in a laundry basket maybe??) Grab a paper grocery bag (because it will stand on the floor neatly) a pair of scissors, some blank recipe cards (or index cards), another container to hold the ‘keepers’ and a good spot in front of the tube.

Some books should be easy. If you haven’t cracked the cover by now, it probably needs to go to Goodwill. If someone in the house is allergic to the main ingredient, or dietary restrictions eliminate over 50% of the recipes from contention, fling it.

If you remember there is one GREAT recipe in the book, grab a recipe card, and bookmark it for now.

The cut-out, magazine tear-outs and back of food box recipes that threaten to overtake you should be next. Have you made it? Why not? Would you make it again? Do you NEED a recipe to make it?

Fling or save, as needed.

When you have whittled down to a more reasonable pile, decide how you prefer your recipes. Do you want a box, with cards? Do you like a binder? A note book? A computer program? The transcribing, entering, creating of a new and useful to you recipe center can be done now, while you sit in front of the TV, delegate to another time, when you have the appropriate materials. (If someone gave you the recipe, remember to note it’s origin.)

PHOTOS:

This is going to be a multipart and on-going fling. Since we are in front of the TV, it’s going to be about real, hard copies of physical photos, printed on paper; not digital files.

Gather ALL your photos. The shoeboxes, the developing envelopes shoved in the bottom drawers, the photo albums that haven’t been updated, the desk drawer of stacks. Wherever and whatever state, bring them ALL together.

Paper garbage bag, of course. Manila envelopes, file folders, or plastic bins, and a Sharpie to label with family member names. You will also need a ballpoint pen.

First, as you open each envelope, DO NOT THROW OUT THE NEGATIVES. SAVE THE NEGATIVES. DO NOT FLING THEM!!! If you think you know the date/subject, write it on the envelope.

Second, DO fling any photo that is obviously out of focus, dark, blurry, or otherwise an epic fail. If it is with the subjects eyes closed, and the photo following has their eyes open. If the group shot was taken 13 times, save the 2 or 3 that are ok.

The only reason to save such poor image is—IT IS THE ONLY PHOTOGRAPH YOU HAVE OF THE EVENT OR THE PERSON. AND IT HAS GREAT HISTORIC SIGNIFANCE. See, that eliminates most of the reasons for saving the bad ones.

Next, fling the duplicates of photos that you really only need one copy of. If its a photo of your 5 year old and the neighbor boy, make a pile of the neighbor boy and give the pile to his mother when you are finished.

Other duplicates should be handled similarly. A grandma file so she can have photos. (You know she’s been asking) A long lost cousin file, a file of photos that you know have no negative but need to be scanned because other people would want a copy.

Make a Christmas pile, and a vacation pile. A school events pile, a pets pile. Whatever categories work for you. Now, give them away. If you see a relative once a year, and have for years on end, gather those photos, write a note, and ship them off to your relative. You have a copy, they have a copy, and memories will be recalled fondly. (Don’t ship the negatives and DON’T send the blurry ones!!!)

Oh, and before you give them away, or file or display? Do the genealogist a favor and DATE AND IDENTIFY the photos.

(And not as my great grandmother did. I own too many photos of 6-12 people, with notations like this on the back:

“Allison. Susie Smith’s house in Great Kills, Sunday, June 15, 1932.”)

Part two later. Don’t do anything rash with your photos while waiting. Enjoy the Games and Go, TEAM USA!