Friday, December 30, 2011

Little Messages

Whenever I ride in an elevator I really never look at my fellow passengers.
Nor does anyone really look at me either.
We stand with our faces looking at our feet
or we check our smart phones.
Really..  Anything to avoid eye contact
The elevator doors slide open and we all shuffle out.
Emerging from the underground parking, we hit the main level and go our own way.
 Today, the doors slid open and there stood a woman wih her back
to all of us.
She was admiring the tile wall that faces the bank
of doors.
I've walked by this wall numerous times and never really took pause.
Today I stopped.
I paused.
I was inspired by the obvious joy that she was experiencing.

Little messages
there for the taking.
To brighten a day.
Its good to take pause.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Originally uploaded by Rain City Girl

It sits in my heart
It calms my being
It brings Joy
It soothes
It helps me breathe


Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Ever met a Chocolate you didn't like?
Me either.
There is something about chocolates that
make for
This painting is for my friend Janice.
She's a Christmas baby give or take a couple of days.
We Christmas babies can easily get overlooked
and all smooshed in
with the holidays.
Not forgotten
Our loved ones remember but ya know - its not the same as having the big fanfare, special day
during the
So, this is for Janice's day -
in celebration of her love of leopard shoes,
fashion and especially
chocolate dogs.
Happy Birthday, my friend.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hope Less. Realize More.

Ever really given this word consideration? 
I'm giving up HOPE - it's a good thing really.
Danielle LaPorte says it so perfectly. 
When you speak of hope - and this word lands out there in the universe.  What does it really say?
"Hope hangs out on the sidelines... just, you know, hoping. While expectation, optimism, and pragmatism are on the field playing the sport of life. Full on."

 I'm banning
from my vocabulary - really. 
Instead of:
 "Gee, I HOPE I can make time for that". 
"I sure HOPE I get this done".
I'm trying to use positive action words - hero words.
"Gee, I want to make time for that, its important to me."
"I will get this done"
Point taken.
Reframe it - rethink it - resay it

"When you move beyond HOPE, you take responsibility" 
So with that said
I am chosing to lose HOPE.
Its not that easy.
I catch myself still hanging on to HOPE.
But really
I'm better off without it.
Read Danielle LaPorte's
HOPE less.  Realize More.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Double exposure fun

its raining
I'm playing with camera aps
Classic TOY2
has a lot of fun things to play with.
Double exposure will take one photo then click a second and put them together in one.
I've played a bit with this before and its fun to see what you end up with. For the photo above I took a pic of my book then of the scenery in front of me.
the Double Eye lens will take two photos also. However, it creates a diptych either horizontally or vertically depending on how you take the shot.
Have some fun and see what you can create

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Happy Note

"Today is Great
Tomorrow is Even Better"
I get these little notes of wholesome positive-ness
on my iPhone
every morning
thanks to Louise Hay
What a way to start the day;

I think of it as a
from the universe.
Sometimes they seem to fit perfectly - like
I was sending some sort of vibe out
there that needed to be commented on.
Sometimes they are just really
nothing but pure happy random-ness.
Either way
it makes me


And that's a pretty fine
way to start
the day.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Out with the Girls

yesterday i was out with the girls
we kicked around a flea market
shopped some
cute stores like City People on Sandpoint Way. gee, you want cool stocking stuffers thats the place to go
for sure
lunch, coffee, chat
spending time out with the girls is good for the soul
dont you think?

Saturday, December 10, 2011


What's with the whole list thing anyway?
I have lists for every
I write it down
whatever in the world "it" is.
are my favorites.
Is it because I'm afraid I'll forget?
or, maybe I just like little scraps of paper around
with words on them.
I guess words have to land somewhere - why not on a list?
That way - the intent is there.
It is front and center and begging
in a way
to be
My favorite trick is to write something on the list that
I have just
Then, I get the rush of joy of immediately
Crossing it off.
Just because
it feels good to accomplish something
to be done
and yes,

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Encaustic on birch panel

A Christmas Poem From the Dog

Eyeing hydrants, digging holes,

Drinking from the toilet bowls . . .

Playing games of "tug-o'-war,"

Putting scratch marks on your door . . .

Rolling over, playing dead,

Getting dog hair on your bed . . .

Scaring folks who bring the mail,

Chasing cars, as well as tail . . .

Barking, begging, heeling, howling,

And also, on occasion, growling . . .

Romping through a field of grass,

Sneezing, snoozing, passing gas . . .

Sniffing everything I see,

Peeing on the Christmas tree . . .

Woofing, wagging, chomping, chewing . . .

These are things I sure love doing!

(But I'll try not to do that tree thing . . .)

Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lunch Date

I have a standing date with my Mom.  We go to out to lunch.  We try for once a week, but sometimes schedules don't mesh and it doesn't work out.  But, we try really hard to never miss.
Yesterday, we hit our favorite bakery in Olympia -
The Bread Peddler

Every morning they make beautiful artisan fresh breads and pastries, soups and sandwiches.

Mom and I ponder all the Delicious choices in the cases.


We were early enough that finding a seat wasn't hard. Its a great place to linger over lunch.

We ordered and chose our seat by the window.  The sun was streaming in and the atmosphere was warm.


We didn't have to wait too long before lunch arrived.

French onion soup for me and a delectable sandwich for Mom.  The bread was crusty goodness and the soup dripping with its cheesy topping. Soul food for the last day of November.

This is the final week for Photo Meditations with Susannah.  This week, we are focusing on telling a story with our photos. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bokeh People in Wax

I personally love bokeh.
Bokeh is the out of focus areas in photography that lie outside of the depth of field.
Many photographers love to shoot bokeh in their work. You will often see bokeh as the little round circles of light that glisten in the background.  But, I have come to love the other stuff that is out of focus in the background - especially people.

Snow Day
Inspired by Urban Muser's
Snowy Fence
encaustic on birch 8x8
 I'm taking a little break from the portraits.  I needed something that is not so tight.  I love the portraits and will continue, but I need something else too. Something for the in-between time when the wax is cooling.
Since I am so in love with bokeh people in photography, I decided to try bokeh people in wax (encaustic). 

Inspired by Picture This/Patty's
The Skaters
encaustic on birch 4x6
Thank you to my Flickr friends for their inspiration.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I keep messing with her.  I make little tweaks here and there.  Sometimes all I really do is mess things up. 
So, for now... she is done.
I keep learning more from each painting that I do.
Each one is its own teacher.
I'm learning to look at things as shapes rather than a nose or a mouth - just shapes and color.
Its hard to adjust my thinking.
Practice makes perfect.
Practice every day.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I was thinking about time today. 
For some reason about 6 weeks ago I stopped wearing a watch.  I've worn a watch for years and I own several.  But, for whatever reason, I stopped wearing one.  Just unconsciously stopped.
Without a watch I find I no longer struggle with time.  It took a a little while to adjust to not having time on my wrist.  I find that really there are enough clocks in my life - iPhone, car, the little one on the mantel, the one on the stove...
I have come to peace with the idea that there is time and space for everything I want to do.  And you know what?
There is.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Me & Bess:: The First Roll

My first roll with the Bessamatic.  I could never have imagined I would have had as much fun with this as I did.  This was an amazing exercise in mindfulness. 
First - wow, no zoom.  I'm a zoom-a-holic so this was a really good exercise for me.
Second - Only 36 exposures.  I had to think about, frame and really look at each shot - every corner of the frame and pay attention to the composition.  There were several I would have taken with the digital but they did not make the cut for one of 36. 

 I never would have imagined that this camera would have been such a conversation piece.  I had several people stop and talk to me about my camera and shooting with film.

I chose B&W film for no good reason except that it was the film of choice for my Dad.  Being this is his camera, it seemed fitting to at least start in B&W - ISO400.  Not to get too technical because I'm not but I shot at 1/60 and an aperture of 2.8 or a shallow DoF.
The Bessamatic actually chooses aperture and shutter speed together.  I'm not sure I can choose separately.  

I took my time.  I had some people stopping and waiting for me and I would tell them it was OK to pass.  It would take me a while to get everything all good to go.  As I look through the viewer, inside is a light meter that needs to be adjusted for the proper exposure.  Got to twist a little dial, focus the lens - steady stance and yes, hold my breath as I pushed the button.  

All this made me realize how fast I am with a digital camera.  Too fast I realize.  Point, zoom, shoot and go.  Not near as much thought in each shot.  On a day like this with my Nikon I would click off maybe at least 150 shots.
 My husband and I concluded the shot above and the next one both have a face in them.  The above is on the table in the middle and the below is in that flag like looking thing at the top.  Gnome like I think - not sure really...

   I had some trouble with the film progressing and I had some, well many exposures in one frame. There was a point that the film just didn't move I guess.  I just kept taking photos thinking that maybe the counter was not working.  In all I think I took about 50 shots in my roll of 36. 

 These really aren't in any order other than maybe interestingness. 

 I found it took about three or so shots to get used to all the steps that I needed to complete before taking the photo.

 The next two are my favorites.  They each have about 10 shots or so on the one frame.  This is where old Bess got a little cranky and was showing her age. 

 When I got the photos back, I got 13 prints out of 36.  The rest of the film was blank.  So, my conclusion is to keep shooting until I feel the resistance that indicates the end of the roll.
I love the light leak too.  The guys at the camera store put a new foam pad at the hinge area to stop the leak.  But they said I could always take it out if I want.

I loved, loved, loved this experience.  The mindfulness and thoughtfulness that it brought.  It taught me so much about my photography that I can't wait to start on another roll. 
I've decided that this is going to be my project for next year.  I'm going to call it 26 - The Film Project.  More on this later.  Think about playing along with me starting in January.  The only rules so far is that you have to shoot with film.
So check back - More details to come.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Retro Love

Every old camera has a story.  Ever thought about that?
Think of the images it has taken.  The moments in time that it has captured.  How, in its lifetime it has seen so many things and preserved those moments.
 I had a home run day last week.  I went to our family beach house for the day with my Mom. 
There on the shelf in the garage in an old brown leather bag was the Voitlander.  I absolutely could not believe my eyes.  After my Dad had passed away, my Mom had donated all of the old cameras to the local Thrift store.  Heartbreaking to me at the time, but I had not spoken up for them.  Included in that lot was also a Polaroid (yes, double heartbreaking).

 I reached up for the bag thinking it was empty.  My Mom was standing beside me and was sure it was empty.  As I pulled it off the shelf - I could tell it was too heavy for empty - but what was inside?  There she was, the Bessamatic - I don't think at that moment there could have been anything better that could have happened to me.  I was grateful that day and I am still feeling grateful as I write this.  How cold it be true that this camera was there?  I know what I believe.
This camera took literally thousands of photos.  As a family, we took a lot of photographs. 
My Dad was an artist and he took hundreds of photos for reference as well as documented trips and all kinds of family moments.  This was the camera.  This was his love and there it was waiting for me on the shelf in the garage. 

It was in its original case, all pieces and even had the instruction book with it.  The zoomar lens is perfect. 
I'm not sure when this camera came into our lives.  My Mom remembers that it was given to my Dad by a family member during the early 1960's.
I grew up with this camera.  I never really got to use it, but it took lots of photos of me.
I've taken it to the local camera store - Kenmore Camera.  They all have been so kind.  I took it out for the first time, yesterday.  I had a very special photo walk through Pike Place Market with it.  I will share more about my experience tomorrow and I'll share the first set of photos that I took with it.
If you are interested in a little more information on the Bessamatic you can click HERE
and visit The Camera Collection.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Day at the Beach

 It's light, color, texture week for Susannah's Photo Meditations class. 
I feel kind of light deprived sometimes living in the Pacific Northwest.  Seems like if I wait for a sunny day, I don't get out much this time of year.

 Yet, there is this delightful softness that only a cloudy day can bring.

 A day at the beach for me is total bliss.  This is where I grew up.  This beach is along the Pacific coast and as you can see is realitivly desolate. Its beautiful. It holds a special place in my heart.
I took a day - my camera, my dog and my Mom.  We left early so we could spend the whole day at the family beach house.  I wanted to practice some of the things we are learning in Photo Meditations

Pattern and the red rule
Texture and negative space

Texture and color, rule of thirds
Texture, color and light

Photo Meditations
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