Wednesday, September 30, 2015

It's Fall, Y'all

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game
~ Joni Mitchell

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sunset Over Post Falls

I found my way to the top of a hill tonight.
Come stand beside me.

[click for a larger image]

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Wha Dat?

This ... seems ... alien

How 'bout from this angle. What is dat ting?

Ooooo. Head massager!

This is how good it feels.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


I got to spend the day with this lovely young woman.
She gave me a bit of life when some of mine had seeped away.

Love my daughters!
So grateful to be their mom.

Plus ... we played in my Studio for a while and will soon have a new Mystery Box Challenge to reveal.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Self Portrait Week 38: If I Were a Peanut

My creative energy is completely depleted this week! So this week's self-portrait comes with a little help from the Peanuts gang.

I think I'll go back to my childhood name on this one:

Mimi the Peanut

Maybe I'll try to recreate this look in a real photo!

You can create your own character here: Get Peanutized

Thursday, September 24, 2015

On My Mind

Sometimes, all I need is that air that I breathe
And to love

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Grandma's Doily

I posted about this beautifully crocheted square doily on my old website on October 8, 2002. The doily was part of my inheritance from my mother. It is large -- about 19" square, and made from cotton crochet thread. Thread crochet is a technique I've tried, but have not been very successful with. I have trouble feeling the correct tension. So I can really appreciate the work it took to create such a gorgeous piece.

I'm not certain who stitched this doily, but I believe it was created by either my maternal grandmother, Bertha Steinbrecher, or by my maternal great grandmother. My best guess is that my grandmother stitched it, because I know that while her health was failing, she turned to thread crochet as a means of keeping herself occupied. My mom had stored this doily in her linen closet for years. She rarely displayed it.

I found a way to display it ... in fact, today, I gave it a new place of honor over the living room mantle.

I stitched the doily onto some red velvet. The velvet came from curtains that belonged to my parents. And even these curtains have an interesting history.

In the 1980s, my mom wanted to open a daycare center in Moscow, Idaho. She and Dad searched quite a while for a suitable building. They finally decided to buy the Old Grange building on Main Street. At the time, it was a huge, stinky, crusty, dark, smelly bar! But in it, they saw the bones of a strong building. With the help of a team of talented architects and builders, they transformed the bar into a daycare center, gymnastics studio, apartment, workshop and series of offices.

The heavy red velvet curtains from the original Grange stage were in the building when they bought it. They hung floor-to-ceiling before a full-sized stage. Being the thrifty people my parents were, Mom rescued the curtains and washed them. She used them for costumes for the kids — a robe for one of the three kings in the Christmas pageant. I somehow also inherited pieces of those curtains, and used them for years as curtains in my bedroom. Now they've gone through another transformation as the background for this doily.

So now I have a three-generation piece hanging in my living room:
*  crocheted by a grandparent
*  curtains from a piece of my parents' history
*  framed by me

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Self Portrait Week 37: Goodbye Summer

No more need for a sun bonnet.
Time to get out the sweaters.


Photo Lessons I Learned:

  • I made sure I had a solid color surface behind me, and the the hat didn't completely blend into the door.

  • I noticed how much the brim of the had was casting a shadow on my face and tilted my head to the light.

  • In editing, I made sure to bring out the texture of the hat, which also brought out some of the wood grain in the door.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Cookie Love

I reached the end of the day, and felt an urge to bake a small batch of cookies.

As I took them off the cooling rack to put in the cookie jar, I found this little bit o' love.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Caught Up In Words

I took the entire day to sit and watch movies. Rare indeed.

My hands always want to be busy. For the moment, I have no needlework project in motion. But I did have some scrap paper on the side table. I found myself doodling ... writing down phrases from the movie that slid into my ear.

I was caught up in a web of words. Thought I'd share them.

A poem of redemption ... of sorts

I expect to be impressed
You have a positive outlook on life
I like the way it sounds
The mind is it's own place

That might be a bit too much
You said I'm fearless
That's imagination!

When do we start?
The summer is young
Never had a chicken do me wrong
You're not missing much

Sweet old place you got here
Who plays the piano?
Here goes ...
I would leave all the windows open to hear that kind of playing.
When I was writing, I listened to all kinds of music
Why'd you stop writing?

Use the imagination
You draw from your own experiences
Who among us truly knows the ways of love?
We'll cry over anything

Take it easy with that
I don't know why I'm always surprised - I just keep hoping
That's enough

You know what I'm talking about
It's Magic Time!

Bless you, Sweetheart
:: whispered ::  I think he likes me
It was a plot
It's really important

It's turning out to be a lovely day
I'm seeing things with a clear eye - and I like the view
Why don't you join us?
Have a seat

Most times, real life doesn't measure up to what's in our heads
     but every now and then it comes pretty close
If it's all the same to you, I'll stick with real life for a spell
I don't believe in last chances ...
I've had too many of them

If you don't mind, it's a personal conversation
What do you want?
I'd settle for more nights like this
One of the great pleasures life has to offer
     is their own search after the heart
Take care

Your ears look like they could handle a soft whisper
I was able to dance in the moonlight
A night like this certainly puts you in the mood
If you're not too tired, you might want to set a spell
Sleeping under the stars has never been a hardship

I'll play
Come on!
One door closes, another one opens
They gave me my life back
I already got my miracle

I'm glad you're writing again
I'm glad you read it
I respect consistency

So long, partner
Promise me something
Never stop looking for what's not there
I promise

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Do You Remember ...

Do you remember that song "Found a Peanut"?

Found a peanut
Found a peanut
Found a peanut one day
One day I found a peanut
Found a peanut one day

It was rotten ...
Ate it anyway ...

Today I found an old fortune cookie
It was stale
Ate it anyway

At least it had a good fortune:

My energy is slowly returning.
When it does, I can go on a photo safari around my neighborhood ...
or maybe around my yard ...
OK, just inside my own home.
And I'll get back to my weekly self-portraits.

Until then ...
I suppose stale fortunes will have to do.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Act Two

A Family Dispute in Several Acts

Act One:  Unhappy family members bring legal action against trustee of family education trust
(That would be me)

Act Two: The Empire Strikes Back

:: scratching head ::

No, that's not it.

Act Two: Trust History is revealed today

Act Three: I'm exhausted. I need a spiritual retreat.

Act Four: Wait a couple weeks and I'll find out.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


All month long I've been intensely dealing with this issue:

In my parents' last years, they chose to live near me. I helped them with doctor appointments and meals and gave them their final rides to the hospitals in which they died. I was reliable, responsible, mature and steadfast. I did right by them.

After they died, they named me as the person to take care of and distribute their worldly goods and their nestegg. For over 15 years, I took on the job as family trustee. I did right by them.

For the last three months, I've been winding down this job. It's become intense this month as I did research and writing and working with professionals to pave the way for the trustees who will take over this job. I did right by them.

I'm really glad my parents trusted me with their lives and their goods. And there was a degree of satisfaction to be able to help so many of their grandkids go to college. But now ...

:: sigh ::

Now I am so ready to move on to the next stage of my life without the burden and responsibility of caring for someone else's finances. 

I'm ready to rest in Dale's arms.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Time for a Refill

I've been spending an awful lot of energy
cleaning up messes caused by other people.
Time to refill
my emotional reserve.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


This is inspired by my cousin Andy who posted a photo of a beautiful tomato this afternoon.

Thanks, Andy!

Monday, September 14, 2015


I'm considering doing a series called, "Stick It In Some Light."
I'd take random objects, place them in beautiful light, and take photos of them.
Beautiful light helps just about anything look good.
Even a tabletop through a filter of a back of a restaurant chair.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Autumn Color

I bought a flowering plant to bring a pop of color into our dining room. I was drawn to the red tips on these yellow flowers.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Self Portrait Week 36: Ooowieeeee

I've been stressed out over some extended family business, so my creative juices are not running high this week. On top of that, I got this giant blemish right on my brow line. Believe me, it's looking better today than a couple days ago! So what was I to do to create a beautiful self-portrait? Make the blemish the star!

Truly. I have no shame when acting the fool.


Photo Tips I Learned:

  • Seriously, go with the flow.
  • I like to watch home design shows. One of the best tips I ever learned was that if you have an ugly feature in your home that you don't have the time or budget to change, don't try to hide it. Turn it into a focal point. I did that in my bathroom. We have an old gold formica counter top. We didn't have the time to revamp the entire bathroom and tear it out. So I painted the walls a very pretty yellow in the same color family. Now the ugly feature looks like it belongs in the room and doesn't look as ugly any more. So I applied that principle here. Don't try to hide it; use the blemish as the focal point.
  • To look truly miserable, I frowned and tried to cross my eyes as if looking at the blemish. It helps that I look sweaty, too. Tilting my face down slightly, putting my forehead closer to the camera, accentuates the blemish and gives me the strangely proportioned face I wanted.
  • I cropped in very tight to make the photo long and to accentuate the strange proportion of my face. I wanted to cut out all light around my head and get my eyes right at the top third of the crop. I made sure to crop into my eyes and chin so no edge of my face was touching the edge of the photo. I kind of wish my wrinkles showed up more.
  • To take it to the next level, I removed other blemishes so they wouldn't compete with the main attraction. Then I added more dark circles under my eyes in editing!  What woman does that? I would not make a good spokesmodel for a cosmetic company!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Friday, September 4, 2015

Self Portrait Week 35: Labor Day Weekend

The end of Barefoot Season


Photo Lessons I Learned:

  • This week my inspiration came from a photo by Laine Apine on Flickr. That photographer's photo was much darker and had a more shallow depth of field.

  • I first tried this photo in afternoon light. It was too bright and left much to be desired. So I waited until the following morning when the light was prettier.

  • I had to put a black backdrop behind the stool I was sitting on to block out some of the light and part of my back yard. I also cloned in some black in a few spots where the light was shining through the deck slats because it was distracting.

  • In editing, I darkened the photo quite a bit and added more contrast. I like all the tones and texture that come out in the deck, even though my legs are slightly blown out.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Candy Dish

I saw the reflection in the morning light ... grabbed my camera ... took some shots.

Then I noticed the strange color balance that turned everything into shades of blue.

Ooooo! I like!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Last Rose of Summer

In August, my daughter Jodie challenged me to complete one blog post per day. I did it! It felt good to be "back in the saddle."

So for September, I'm going to challenge myself to - at minimum - a blog post every-other-day. Who knows? I may be able to replicate my August habit and post daily again.

Now Autumn is sneaking up on us. It's quite likely this will be our last rose before the frost kicks in.