Friday, December 31, 2010
I found a magic bottle on the eve of a new year
Sitting quietly and gleaming like a dream that knows no fear
I begged the bottle's pardon but there is something I must ask
You've lost your stopper bottle how will your magic last?
I have no cork, I'm open, she answered quickly back
The magic pours into me then fills up every crack
It shines into and through me dear for all the world to see
As long as I am open the magic stays in me.
May your New Year and all the years to come be filled with magic and the belief n the potential we all carry inside as long as we stay open.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
I'm headed to the river at twilight again tomorrow with some photo friends. This shot of the Alamo was taken late at night which is why you don't see the throngs of visitors you normally would. I found a new place to park downtown and you can practically see the walls of the grounds around the Alamo from where you park. So...if anyone is in town and needs a tour guide, give me a shout.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
You're probably saying what the heck does that title mean. Well...that's the first thing that came to mind when I was taking this image. The Christimas lights along the bridge and the reflections reminded me of the Rolling Stones logo. It just so happens there were resident ducks landing at the time I was taking the photograph and it added a bit of lip like texture across the middle. If you look closely you can see their little Loch Ness impressions on the river. This image was taken late night/early morning down along the river walk here in San Antonio. Myself and several photography club buddies had just about free run of the place because it was mid week and middle of the night. It was a real treat though. We could set up our tripods where ever we wanted and the only folks walking through our long exposure were us, if we weren't paying attention. I'm headed to a different part of the river this weekend. Now that I've got my feet wet, so to speak, I'm anxious to see how the next shoot goes. Needless to say dear followers, I'm likely to share some with you.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I decided to work on a photo assignment this afternoon. Tic Toc and all that implies. So, I'm setting up the clock and watch, getting out the tripod, fiddling around to get started and the whole time that old song Time Passages is running through my head. "I go drifting through those time passages". As another birthday draws near its a good time to cast my line into the time passages and see what I might have forgotten about. Something I still needed to work on? Some place I had forgotten to remember. Some book I was supposed to read. Some memory I was supposed to remember to remember? As much as I love living around vintage things I'm reminded that remembering the past is wonderful. Living in the past can be a waste of the life you have now. Cast your line back by all means. Then cast your gaze around where you are right now and make these moments memorable.
Friday, November 26, 2010
After a wonderful Thanksgiving lunch I took a stroll to see what I could see. That's one of my favorite things to do..see what I can see, like the bear went over the moutain. I found this little guy perched on the edge of a fence post. I thought at first it was a cicada husk but no, it was a Gray Tree Frog. I've heard plenty of the little guys but this was my first chance to get up close and personal, so to speak. He was very patient. Large groups of family members took photos and debated exactly what he was. A venomous, Brazilian Vampire Frog that caused instant aging if he spat suddenly at you or a toad. What he was was a little bit of magic, just hanging out on a warm afternoon enjoying his Thanksgiving.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
A strawberry field with a Simpson's sky. Where else would you put a sofa? Sometimes I know right away that something needs to be photographed. Those are the times when I kick myself for not having my camera with me. Luckily, this sofa stayed in place for several days and gave me a chance to get to it. Why is there a sofa in the middle of a field? I've no idea. But I had the feeling I'd stepped into someones dream. Were they about to arrive and watch the sky change like channels on a television? Had they sat on the sofa for hours until chased off by rabid squirrels after their Cheetos? Whatever the dreamers status, the stage stayed empty long enough for me to capture this sofa in a dreams solitary moment.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
While recently grumbling about being an "artist" or rather not being an "artist" a good friend shared some advice. "Let your freak flag fly", she says. I knew immediately what she meant. I so admire artists and crafts people that have a confidence in their work and set about embracing and expressing it without fear. That's what I'm aiming for. I'll capture images that speak to me and trust that in sharing them others will see the whimsy,magic,beauty and sometimes ugly with new eyes. Following my instints and turning on my "noticer" will help me fly my freak flag and become the artist I know I am inside. Thank you all for your continued support.
I chose this photograph because, well, have you seen a more freaky cherub in your life? He stood at the corner of a building in Glasgow. The artist clearly had a vision he wanted to share and had his freak flag flying.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Just outside the gates of Dryburgh Abbey in the borders area of Scotland, waits a view of my perfect Autumn day. There are trees waving a last goodbye in brilliant colors. A lovely stone wall with bits of moss as mortar. A further fence to keep the sheep and cattle off the abbey grounds. The view is all the more precious because there won't be another like it for me once I return home. South Texas seasons don't so much "turn" as casually glance over one shoulder and then another. So I throughly enjoyed my Fall in Scotland. Cold and rain, sunny days with a jacket still required and so many colors I felt like I had a seat next to a forest fire that burned without damage. Almost Thanksgiving and I sit here in the cottage with all the windows open and the sun shining brightly. Dreaming of a cool, damp beautiful Scotland waiting for my return.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I'm back and about half way through doing the intial edit of gobs of photographs. I didn't want to wait to long to start sharing them with you all. Hope this one gives you some shivers even though Halloween has passed.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I'm headed for my favorite place on earth. This will be my first trip with my "big girl" camera so I expect to spend gobs of time editing once I get home. You, dear followers, will be sure to see the cream of the crop so stay tuned. Give me a couple of weeks and I'll return full of haggis,whisky,peat fires,beautiful countryside and all that is Scotland to share with you all. See you soon.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I don't only photograph kittens and ducklings, honest. I had mean ol wrestlers a few posts back. But there was something about this little guy that just begged capturing. So I spent some time getting down on his level today and have the rug burns on my elbows to prove it. Observations about kittens: They're speedy. Their noses get dirty and require wiping if you want that "kitten calender" shot. They grow up really fast so if you want to capture them at their teensiest you better get busy. This little guy is still waiting to be named offically. Latest thinking is Whipper as his tail is a bit of a windmill.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
My Great Grandmother bought this Singer treadle sewing machine from a door to door salesman in 1915. She's been singing in my family ever since. My mother and I'm sure hers learned to sew on it and it retains pride of place in Mom's home even today. The wood finish has worn thin where countless yards of fabric have passed over. The felt strip sewn around her neck to hold pins has worn the Sing off of "Singer". I can remember it being a treat as a child to get to work the treadle. It took a bit to catch the rhythm and then off you go. Tha thunk, tha thunk, tha thunk providing a base beat to the music of the making.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I spent yesterday afternoon soaking up some vintage/antique/used/chippy/historical/salvaged/re purposed/old atmosphere. There is a great architectural salvage store not to far from work so I headed there after work. Its in a old warehouse right next to the railroad tracks just west of downtown. Its not the best part of town but that part of the adventure right? I headed in and asked the owner if she minded if I took some photographs. She was very welcoming. So I snooped to my hearts content. Stacks of old lumber. Piles of window weights. Bathtub feet lined up like ducks in a shooting gallery. Each piece old, made to last and fulfilling that promise. Their home may have come down around them but they wait, ready to step in again. This image was a stack of old mirrors culled from dressers and medicine chests. They sat quietly, huddled together reflecting the salvages dreams around them.
Monday, September 13, 2010
What an adventure. As you know, this isn't a typical image you are used to seeing from me but you've got to experiment, right? I got the chance to watch and photograph the Luchadores, or Mexican Wrestlers performing on the deep west side of San Antonio Friday night. We are talking total cultural immersion here. The crowd was screaming. The wrestlers were hollering back. The announcers were calling the play by play in Spanish and a great time was had by all. A couple of camera club buddies and I were given free range to take as many photos as we liked. We could do anything short of crawling in the ring with them. This was my first experience as a photographer as a separate observer, as a recorder, not a participant. The music and language and crowd roared around me and because of the language barrier I felt like I was moving in a bubble through the crowd. Buffeted and surrounded but separate as well. On the way home after I'd put my camera up I started to feel the atmosphere humming against my body that I didn't feel at the time. What did I learn? Sports photography isn't my calling. Night photography is challenging (note to self, get over this before the haunted Scotland tour). Everybody needs to get out of their comfort zone every once in a while. The broader your horizons the better.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Nap: a short sleep
I'm really good at sleeping. I don't over sleep or sleep excessively but when I do sleep, I do it well. I think of a nap as a special treat. To lay down in a comfortable spot with a feather pillow and let go. Close your eyes and let worry dream away for a bit. I don't often indulge but a nap fits my idea of luxury. Shut down the list of things to do. Let the pet hair pile a little higher. There isn't anywhere else I need to be or anything else I need to do but nap. Just love it.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Ornament = anything that beautifies or adorns
I keep these tiny vintage Christmas ornaments up year round. They hang from an old bracket in the hoosier cabinet that is my desk. As I sit working at my computer I catch site of them out of the corner of my eye. They shimmer and wink. They are hardy yet delicate, fragile and so old. Their hair thin bales keep them suspended and dancing. They make me smile and remind me, delicate doesn't mean weak and fragile can still last for a very long time. They beautify and adorn my life.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I spent part of this afternoon mending yo yos in a quilt top my Grandmother made. This was my Dad's mother. I had only met her twice before she passed away. One of my memories of her though is connected with this quilt. I can remember cutting circles of cloth with her and placing them in a glass mayonaise jar. Once the jar was full I'd take out a circle, fold over the edge and begin a gather stitch. A pull of the thread and as if by magic the yo yo was made. As I stitched today and tightened that thread I pulled back memories that aren't always at the front of my mind, but they are there, and can be drawn from the past with just a simple needle and thread.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
When the word Tangle was mentioned the first thing that came to mind was this enamel bowl where I keep my yarn scraps. Yarn scraps, you ask? Yes, yarn scraps. Some two inches, some a couple of feet. If it's left over from a project I'm going to stuff it into this bowl. What makes us keep things? We all know that it can get out of hand. But do you know anyone that doesn't keep something? Maybe its our inner squirrel planning for the day we may need just that right piece of yarn. Secreting it away to stave off a future shortfall. Is it instinctual, this need to nest and plan for just in case?
I know one thing. It is very liberating when I can bring myself to release little stashes of something I didn't really need to keep. Rubber bands,rusty paperclips,salt from take out dinners. I guess they kind of weigh on me. Because I've kept them, I've got an obligation to use them. I'm all for upcycled and recycled,repurpose and reuse but I also believe that if I can let somethings go I make room for something different and fresh to inspire me. So, take a good look at this image of my tangle of yarn scraps. I'm setting them out in the garden tonight for the birds and squirrels to do what they do best. Put them to use.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Does your mother do this to you? "You don't want these old things do you?" "I'm going to just give these away." "You didn't know I had those?" Mine does and did and now I've got a new collection started. Black handled scissors. Heck, one of them is even mine from high school home ec. Did you grow up with these sewing work horses. Sturdy and sharp, pratically indestructable. They do however age, just like the rest of us. Not quite as sharp as they used to be and a little loose in the joints. They rattle a bit when shaken and the black is going silver. Its hard to get rid of something that still has use. Even if all it does is serve to remind you of that first pattern you cut out or aided in Barbies first haircut. They don't take up that much room and serve as time travel aids ever time I see them.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
I not only got back to nature, I got right down there in it. It seems like a really good idea at the time. It was cool. I had yard clothes on so it didn't matter that I was soaking wet when I got up. I was one with mother earth. The birds sang and the world was reflected in each dew drop. Then I got home.... My arms and chest are covered with little itchy bites. While I was communing with nature, lying on my belly some wee beesties were feasting on my vulnerable soft bits. The lesson? I have no idea because I'd do it again in a heart beat.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
A couple of weeks from now my father will celebrate his 80th birthday and he's still growing strong. Thanks to Dad I have a love of gardens and an appreciation for all things home grown. Not only does Dad share his bounty with family but the people I work with and friends get to enjoy fresh tomatos and peaches,cabbage and just about anything else that he grows. Thanks Dad.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
It seems like such a humble thing. A tool to be used without thought. A thing that is almost invisible in its use. The humble Door Knob. How many times a day do you touch a door knob in some form? Out of the room,into the bathroom,out of the house,into the office.... You reach, you grasp,you turn, you pull. All on automatic pilot I bet. I know I do. But, what if, for even a handful of those contacts we turned them into something else. Something with more purpose. We might take those fleeting moments to become mindfull. Reach and remember something for which you are grateful. Grasp and acknowledge that you have turned the iron off, nothing to worry about half way to work. Turn and dispense with negative repeatitive thoughts. Pull something into your life that brings you wonder. Embrace those Door Knob Epiphanies one entrance and exit at a time.
Monday, June 21, 2010
I got a message today from a stack of bowls. Let me tell you what the largest one told me.
"Hello Dear, I've been elected to speak for the stack. We have collectively begun to be called 'Ironstone Maidens' and we need to discuss this with you. Decades ago we had a purpose in life. We served and held, sang when washed and gleamed. But just recently, the last couple of decades at least our jobs have changed. Once so practical we are now merely decor. While its nice to be admired we miss the day to day knock and ring of utensils. We never get to catch up with the soup spoons any more and you know how outrageous they can be. We implore you. Take us down, dust us off and let us work. You've never really tasted vegetables until they've cooled in our embrace. Yours most sincerely, The Ironstone Maidens."
Have you used your ironstone lately?
Friday, June 18, 2010
Defined as: to go from place to place; make a journey.
I think I've mentioned before that I think of myself as a "noticer". To see and be somewhere new is a wondrous thing for me. New things to catch a glimpse of out of the corner of my eye,whip my head around and spy a hidden gem. Its a bit of a joke among those I travel with. If there is some wildlife to spot, an abandoned building barely glimpsed, weird weather phenomenon about to appear, I'm the girl to point it out. This well used case is home to my maps and travel journals. Visted place names are highlighted. Village names are spelled out phonetically in the journals so I can whisper them aloud once home and make them appear again. Travel is magic for me. It makes me more than I would otherwise be. I hope you can travel with me.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Have you ever noticed if you say the word BOOK slowly,its like a kiss? Go ahead try it. I LOVE books. Paperback,hardcover,new,used or garage sale find. A world you can hold in your hand. A world someone else was so enamored of they wanted to write it down for you. They worried about just the right word or turn of phrase. They wanted you to see in that world what they did. Pick up a book. Kiss this world away for a bit and discover another place to be,in the pages of a book.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Have we talked about my love of bone buttons? I've got jars of them sitting around the house. I've been known to tap old buttons against my teeth to determine if they are bone or not. Do I let the fact they've been sitting in that jar in the antique store since God was a boy? Oh hell no! Tap tap tap, SCORE! Wrap em up, I'm takin em home.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The Cypress Sisters spend every summer at the river. They cool their weary feet and knees in the cool, flowing water. The perch dart, then nibble and provide a pedicure. The girls sing their siren song into the wind and we all return each year to hear it sung again and again.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
This photo safari was another afternoon spent on my ongoing search for the ulitimate cliff/hills photograph for a camera club assignment. This is The Devil's Backbone. Part of the Hill Country north of town. I captured limestone hills,cedar trees, smoke from brush burns and I just know there is a rattlesnake or two in there. Did I mention the sunburn? Its not the same as the Scotland I love so well. But it isn't concrete and manicured lawn either and that is just fine by me.
Monday, May 31, 2010
We'll build you a cavern, a bower miles from the sea. The homes, now empty shell and limestone will sing the water song to heaven. Your prayers,hopes and dreams will lap at the feet of your god. Carried in the grotto song.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
A ball of yarn always reminds me of a birthday present. All wrapped up and the contents unknown. There's magic in all that potential. I have great admiration for those who can create wonderful things from wool. I'm very much a beginner when you mention knitting. But I can look at the ball of yarn and the No.3 needles and dream big.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Time is a magical thing. In this photograph, The Faerie Falls. it slowed so as to allow me to see the flowing water, like liquid silk, soft and dreamy. Some of my favorite places are the small hidden nooks and hollows or hallows if you prefer. Places, that if you drive by too fast, or drive instead of walk, they are only a green blur. I set out to find tall majestic cliffs and hills and turned around and found The Faerie Falls instead. A favorite author of mine, Karen Marie Moning wrote "both forward and backward doth time fly, wither thou art, remember". So I'll slow down. I'll look before me and behind, ahead and back, into the future and return to the past.
Friday, May 21, 2010
She stood, arms akimbo. This word popped up today. I remember reading it frequently and knew its meaning but got to thinking, I don't remember ever saying it out loud in a sentence. This image reminded of it again this afternoon.
The butterfly stood, arms akimbo, waiting for me to make my point.
In or into a position in which the hands are on the hips and the elbows are bowed outward:
I dare you. Use it in a sentence and fascinate your friends.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
She was a rebel sunflower. While the others were taking their time turning their faces, she whipped around and raised her head. "I'm ready for my close up. My place in the sun. I'll follow you all the days of my life and my seeds will whisper your name when eaten"
Monday, May 17, 2010
I left work this afternoon with the intention of chasing a thunderstorm. I drove east out of town following the billowing clouds. I exited off the interstate and took a right on a road I'd never been on before. I followed the one lane road for several miles past fields and farms. I began to wonder if I would be able to find my way back. Finally the sun started breaking through behind me and began to highlight the clouds ahead. I pulled over at a field gate and got out and started taking photographs. I'd taken perhaps a dozen and kept reminding myself to be open to the beauty around me. That's a mantra I use when I head out to shoot. That kicks in the "noticer" part of my brain and small details become clearer to me. As I repeated the mantra and took a photograph I got a surprise. Just emerging from the cloud background was a black and white ribbon of movement. The ribbon rolled and boiled and became hundreds of American White Pelicans headed north for the summer. They formed and reformed ribbons and kettles and masses of birds. Always headed in the general direction, north. It was an awe inspiring sight and impossible to caputure in one photograph, but my, what a memory. I set out with one intent but allowed myself to be open for more and was rewarded for that. I'll continue my practice of asking to be open to the beauty around me and I will revel each time it is revealed to me.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
I'm drawn to old, worn, well used, well made, pieces of the past. They aren't just tools or hardware,cloth or lace. They are the people they served and the people that used them. They are the craftsmen and women that made them. They are the searchers like me that crow when they find them. Stashed away in old coffee cans in the garage because they were too good to toss away. Or perhaps snipped from the edge of a pillow case too yellowed and stained to present to company any more. The older I get, the more I appreciate things that have aged gracefully before me. Reminding me. I am well made. I can serve a purpose for the people in my life and there will be those who will appreciate me as I age.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
I've always said that I want to live in a old stone cottage. I'm officially modifying my wish since I know "the universe" is working to make my dreams come true. You might think, ok, here's where she asks for a stone cottage in good repair. Any stone cottage in any repair is just fine by me. In Scotland is my first choice but I'm open to other options there as well. This old cottage was in the river bottom farm land West of San Antonio. There's just something about a nice compact,just enough space, kinda home that appeals to me. I'll share any that I find along the way with you all.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Yesterday my photo safari was an attempt to find a site from my past. I had a vague idea of where I was looking but I had last been there in high school and was driven there on a bus. So before dawn I set out to find a remote park on the banks of a river that frequently floods. I was driving around randomly trying to stay open to those magic moments that, if you are open for them, allow you to make memorable photos. I was headed down a dead end road because I knew the river flowed that direction and, I found it. The park I remembered. Years overgrown and now fenced as private property. Through the rusted fence I could see the sloping river bottom land and an old picnic table. The image in my head is still clear, as a before and now I have the after as well. The wildflowers around the fence were bright and glorious. This image reminds me of a ceramic tile that a woman that loves color would have in her kitchen.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I've heard stories about ranchers leaving old boots on fence posts to indicate the days work is done and they are at home. To honor the boots themselves for a job well done when they've been worn beyond repair. These gloves grace the fence posts along a planted field. Perhaps farmers hang gloves instead of boots.