Thursday, July 31, 2014

July Linky for 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to the July Linky for the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt, and
Welcome to the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco's beautiful Golden Gate Park!
When I put item #19 (a public garden) on this year's list, I did it because I wanted to challenge myself to get out and photography this beautiful space.I drive by here everyday on my way to work and park behind it, but I have never before gotten out of the car to photograph it.  There are beautiful beds and a flower clock.
But the star of the show is the conservatory building, built in 1878, which houses rare and endangered plants. You can click on the photos to enlarge them and see them in much richer detail.
Even though I got there early, there were already cars and people there. Still, I was happy with the shots I got and happy that I finally wandered around this area.
What about you? What have you found on the scavenger hunt this year? Below, please link directly to a blog post about the scavenger hunt. It can be a new post for this weekend or a link back to one you put up already. Also, feel free to ask any questions. And do try to visit some of the other participants. I'm so happy that so many people are playing along this year.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

ZIZO #30: Frida Cat

Welcome to this week's entry for Helena's Zoom In Zoom Out photography meme, where participants present a close up and a shot taken from farther away. My zoom in this week was an easy choice - taken while my kitten was napping. But I really couldn't decide on my zoom out shot. Should I choose this one?
Or this one?
Or how about this one?
Aw, heck, I'll just include them all! Isn't she cute? She's half way between a tortoise shell and calico and is fitting in just fine. To check out other zizo pairs, click here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Scavenger Hunt Finds; Not Quite as Expected.

As I drove in to work the other day, I spied this bus in a parking lot. And I decided to make a u-turn, stop and take a photograph for the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt Item #20. It's not exactly what I had in mind when I placed this item on the list. I was thinking more of a hand-painted bus carrying a mariachi band around the country! But I did like this, and I thought it was a step up from a regular city bus with a picture on the side. Here's another one which was not quite as expected:
It's a nice enough photograph for #8 a tatoo on a person. I spied this young woman while waiting outside the baseball stadium recently and decided to snap the photo. When I put this item on the list, I had great plans for doing a whole study of people's tattoos. I wanted to set up portrait sessions for people I knew who had tattoos, and I wanted to walk up to strangers and ask "Can I take a photograph of you and your tattoo?" But somewhere in the hustle and bustle of the summer, I never talked to my friends. And I somehow became too shy to ask when I saw people with great tatoos. So, I will settle for this one. And ponder the possibility of doing a tattoo study some other time.
So, what about you? Are there photos that you have taken for the Hunt this summer which weren't quite what you had expected?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Coming soon! Scavenger Hunt Linky!

Don't forget - if you're participating in the 2014 Summertime Scavenger Hunt, I will host a linky this weekend (starting Thursday morning, California time) for people to check in and link a post about their scavenger hunt experience. The more the merrier!
And,yes, I would have loved to use this for #11 A horn, but I didn't take it, so I won't be using it. Hope to see you this weekend!

Let's Talk: How do you shop?

I got an email the other day that one of my favorite on-line shops, Scarlet Lime, was having a sale. Since I was in the middle of working hard on a project for work, I decided I deserved some retail therapy and went over to have a look. I filled my basket and was really happy later that week to open my box of goodies. I bought two Christmas 6x6 paper pads and a Tim Holtz configuration box, both of which were in the "clearance" section; a few scarlet lime pens and white sakura pens (both of which are essentials in my tool box); a fine point paint brush (something I needed); and a Dina Wakley stencil (a splurge). I think I probably spent less than $30 (including postage). I don't shop very often (probably four times a year), but I realized that this was a fairly typical shopping haul for me.  I get a few things that I've wanted to try out or know I will use eventually from the clearance aisle; something new and fun; and a few essentials. And I began to wonder how the rest of you shop? Is there a method to your madness? Or are you an impulse shopper?
Let's Talk is a semi-regular feature encouraging frank discussion of issues that fellow bloggers might find of interest. All points of view welcome!

Latte or Margarita - your choice!

Come and in and let's chat!
Latte or Margarita - your choice.
Two sides of my summer.
Both photos taken on the same day.
I wish I could say they represent what a balanced life I am leading, but really July has felt more frenetic than balanced. I had a lot going on and threw myself whole-heartedly into one activity after another - be it finishing a very long law review article or meeting my book group for drinks and a mid-summer catch up. I've had very little time for blogging, blog reading or creating art, other than keeping up with the Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt.
If you could stop by and we could chat, I'd tell you that, although I'm glad that so much is getting accomplished, I have worn myself out a bit. I'm feeling a bit under the weather and spent most of yesterday in bed. Upstairs I can hear Paul painting the dining room. We've been having two of the bathrooms renovated, and the contractor was nice enough to patch some of the dings and divots in the walls there while he was doing the drywalling the bathrooms. I would tell you that while it will be really nice to have the two bathrooms done, it has been no fun living in a construction zone for the last two weeks (with about one more week left on the horizon).
I'd tell you that I got a new kitten from the kitten nursery, and while Frida is the best kitten ever, there is some work to taking care of her (especially figuring out how to make sure she gets along with the rest of the menagerie). She and the big cat are just fine together, and the dogs probably won't hurt her, but they're sooo big relative to her that I'm still being cautious about having them all out and about together.
I'd tell you that my son Henry's internship is going along much better since he asked if he could work with the marketing department (in addition to the research and evaluation work he's been doing). He seems to understand the purpose of the marketing work much more than the evaluation work. He's also playing soccer on two teams and spending a lot of time with his friends; he dropped his summer school class, as he was too busy to do it justice. Clara is moving along with her summer assignments for school - finished The Road; struggling through Beloved; ignoring her online writing class. But she is having a great, great time with  friends. The latter is really important to me; it is great to see her happy. Plus, she's spending a lot of time volunteering (which means I'm spending a lot of time driving her around).
If you could stop by and we could chat, I guess I'd tell you that the summer is going by too quickly! That I can't believe that July is almost over and that I'm hoping August will be quieter, but know in my heart of hearts that it won't be. So, I'm just going to do my best to enjoy it and be grateful for all the good that's going on. And know that I will miss all the hustle and bustle once the fall rolls around.
Finally, I'd stop running on. I'd stop and ask how your summer is going. Is it quiet and relaxing? Or hectic and fun? I know both can be good and I wonder which you prefer.
And, before you left, I'd remind you that I put up a linky at the end of the month (this Thursday) for everyone who's doing the Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt to check in and let us know how it's going. It'll be there all weekend, and I'd urge you to stop by.
Let's Sit and Have a Cup of Tea is a virtual gathering hosted each month by Abi of Creating Paper Dreams. Click here to see what everyone else is chatting about this month.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


On the coast just north of me, there is a field which occasionally erupts with purple and white long stemmed flowers called agapanthus. Every time it does this, I resolve that I will go out with my camera and take some photographs. I dream about getting some models to go with me. And yesterday, it happened. But in a most unexpected way.
I went out to the field about an hour before sunset, hoping to catch the best light. And, before I knew it, these four young ladies showed up - unannounced and unplanned. They live nearby and had decided to come down to the flower field and take some photos of each other on their iphones.
Lucky for me, I live in a small town. And I happen to know these beautiful girls, and they agreed to pose for a few shots before they went on their way.
Now that's what I call serendipity! And a great reminder to go out with my camera and take photographs. To capture the moment. Because you never know what you might find.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Creative Scavenger Hunt Finds

As Clara and I picked up a friend of hers for a trip to the City, I looked across the street and asked her friend "are all those flamingos usually there?" She assured me they were not, and I asked Clara to pull over so I could take a picture. (Yes, Clara was driving; she has her driver's permit and is getting in lots of practice before she takes her driver's license test in September). The sign says "You've been flocked." Apparently, a prankster had planted a couple dozen flamingos in a neighbor's yard and left the sign. When I uploaded the photo later to instagram and facebook, I noted something unusual in the background. What is that? My gosh, I think it's an elephant! 
Now, here's my question . . . was I photo bombed by an elephant?
As the summer moves close to its half-way point, I'm pondering the more elusive elements on my 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt list. I have found 14 of the 21 items so far, and I think many of the remaining ones (an urban street scene, a bakery, a rural landscape) will be easy.  I think the hardest one for me to capture will be will be a sunrise, but I also think a photo bomb might be a bit difficult. 
So, do I call this a photo bomb . . . maybe one taken with creative license.
There have been some other creative takes on the scavenger hunt that I have really enjoyed. . . 
Amy of the Over At Our Place blog recently published this post called "Lateral Thinking," which included this parade of pelicans:
Julie Kirk, of Notes on Paper, used her typical wry wit to write this post about birds on wire, made of wire, hanging on wire and eventually birds on a wire.
Scrapbook Annie posted about this wonderful day out scavenging photos which included someone juggling invisible balls.
So, how is the hunt going for you? What items have been difficult for you to find? Have you engaged in lateral thinking or creative scavenging?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

ZIZO #29: Nibbler

Once a week, I go to the local Humane Society to walk dogs. I've been doing it about a year and recently received my purple lanyard, which allows me to walk any of the dogs at the shelter. Each dog has a color level, associated with their size and behavior. Green dogs are dogs which any of the trained volunteers can walk; yellow dogs tend to be timid and need extra understanding; purple dogs tend to be big and strong. This is Nibbler, a big happy (and very strong) overgrown purple puppy. Clara and I love working with him. He's smart as a whip and is actually fairly easy to handle if you know what you're doing. He wants to please and loves treats! I've learned so much about dogs in this volunteer job and wonder how much is applicable to life in general. No matter what the color level of the dog, each one is wonderful and would be perfect companion for the right person. I sometimes wonder if the same thing isn't true for humans . . . 
These photos are part of the zoom in zoom out photography project, hosted by Helena. To see more of this week's entries, click here.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Me on Monday

I've been incredibly busy, and my friend Sian from High in the Sky has the perfect meme for blogging your weekend when you've been super-busy called "Me on Monday." You simply post a photo and a list of the kind of weekend you had. For me, it was an
adopting a kitten (welcome Frida!);
World Cup watching;
baseball game attending;
Clara away at residential cross country camp;
living with bathroom remodeling;
egg coddler buying;
massive laundry; and
working on a law review article 
kind of weekend.
How was yours?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pioneer House: Summer of Color Week #5

front of house
back of house
It is week #5 for the Summer of Color, hosted by Kristin at the Twinkle Twinkle blog. The color palette this week is red, royal blue and a pop of light blue. I've been creating little, tiny houses this summer (click here to see them all), and this week's is called "Pioneer House." Two happy-go-lucky, star crossed lovers have made it their home. I'll be sad when this challenge ends next week. I've had so much fun creating these. You can see other entries for this week at this link.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tourists! (a scavenger hunt find in one photo and twenty words)

Mom taught me that it's not nice to laugh at other people, but, oh how these tourists make me chuckle!
Linking up this find for item #4 (a group of tourists) on the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt with Abi's monthly meme called One Photo and Twenty Words. Click on the photo above to enlarge it and get the full effect.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

ZIZO #28: Sea Anemone?

Helena hosts a weekly photography meme where bloggers post a pair of photographs - one zoomed in and one zoomed out. It's a wonderful way to capture the world. I took this close-up recently. And it reminds me of a sea anemone. But it isn't.
It's a fantastic dahlia, from the Dahlia Garden in Golden Gate Park.
And I wasn't the only one who decided to photograph these beautiful blossoms!
Do you ever run into other photographers stalking your ZIZO's? And did I fool you today?

Monday, July 7, 2014

What's your style?

I love swaps. I love sending things out in the mail and receiving things from around the world. I signed up for Sian's "pile of post cards" swap and will be mailing out my selections tomorrow. I've also been working on a progressive swap called "Faces in the World," where I receive a semi-finished face and add what I want to complete it. I recently received this face:
And turned her into this:
But that's not what I wanted to write about today. I wanted to write about another swap I just joined, sponsored by a blog called A Swap for All Seasons. The swap called for me to send a card, a tag and some items from my stash which are "in my style." 
Hmmm . . . what would that be exactly? I think my style is mixed media, which includes a lot of my own photography and ephemera collected in my travels. I use a lot of women and a lot of quotes. I like stamping, inks and paint. So, I went through my stash and came up with two cards and two tags which I think capture my style. They're at the top of today's post.
And here are the items I gathered from my stash that I think capture my style:
It was a fun exercise, and I hope my recipient likes my style! LOL! How would you describe your style? What card and/or tag would you select to represent your style? What would you put in a "destash package" that represented your style?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I love a parade!

Friday was the 4th of July, America's independence day. My small town celebrates every year with a parade down Main Street. I think it says a lot about who we are as a community. The parade starts with a color guard, where veterans and boy scouts present flags:
 Our mayor, Farmer John, drives a tractor pulling a hay wagon (our version of a "float"):
We have representatives of the local Marine Reserve, the local library (the librarians even do a choreographed routine with book return carts) and low-rider cars:
We are an agricultural town, with ranches and cowboys, so we have lots of horses in the parade:
We also have a large Mexican-American community, which was well-represented:
And, I was thrilled to run into Smokey the Bear, the mascot for fire safety in California, as it meant I was able to cross both parade and mascot off the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt list.
After the parade, we watched the World Cup match with friends and then shot off some fireworks to complete our independence day celebrations.
Sorry for the photo heavy post, but I hope that all the photos give you a better insight into the place where I call home. Do you think they do?