Thursday, October 30, 2008

Featured on Personal Treasures

Today, my etsy shop was featured on a truly inspiring blog, Phyllis Mufson's Personal Treasures, all about creativity, and the creative process. Phyllis is a fellow etsy artist, with two beautiful shops, Personal Treasures and mufi jewels. 100% of the proceeds from her shops supports her husband's volunteer work with orphaned and refugee children of Liberia, West Africa. Please visit her shop and find a treasure for yourself or that special someone, and help a child in the process. Here are a few of the lovely items available from Phyllis's shops:

Phyllis is also a career counselor and certified life coach. Please visit her blog for informative and uplifting articles.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Work - Photo Collage

Lately, I have been experimenting with adding layers and textures to my photographs, and with combining several photographs to make a collage. I really enjoy creating a mood or telling a story by combining the photographs. Here are a few of my newest collages, which are also available in my etsy shop:

Butterfly Cross

Nutkin (Anyone else a Beatrix Potter fan?)

We'll just sail away...

Dinner and a Movie


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

One of my favorite things about being a mom

One of the best times in my day is when we are all riding home from school. I love hearing about their day - who they played with, what they learned. The excitement in their little voices makes me smile, and it is awesome to see them feel proud of themselves. More often than not, we also have quite a bit to laugh about together. And sometimes there is a lot for me to smile and laugh about to myself. These little moments a such gifts, and I am grateful for all of them.

Today, our first grader had an in-school "field trip." There are several of these a year, and the children absolutely love them. Here is my daughter's description of today's field trip on owls and bats:

"This is something so cool about owls! When an owl eats a mouse - owls don't have any teeth - so he just swallows the mouse whole. Then, the fur and the bones and the teeth of the mouse go into one part of the owl, then the meat goes into another part. The owl doesn't use the bones and teeth and fur. The owl waits for a while, then he throws all of that up. I made the promise not to say 'gross' or 'yuck,' so I didn't say those words."

I asked her if her field trip teacher had mentioned owl pellets.

Her response: "Oh, yes! They look like poop. She brought two of them and broke one of them open so we could see what it looked like inside."

My second grader: "What did it look like inside?"

My first grader: "It was cute!"

I am very happy that they are fortunate enough to have field trips like this. They love animals and nature already, something that we enjoy sharing with them. And hearing about owls and bats from someone other than bird-and-animal-obsessed me is awesome! Hopefully their love of nature and exploration will continue. I am looking forward to having more and more adventures together.

Featured on The art of Craft!

This week, my shop is featured on The Art of Craft, a very interesting blog, in which the authors highlight other etsy artists and provide valuable information for artists of all kinds. The authore of The Art of Craft are very talented, as you may see in their etsy shop, pastperfect (incredible photography and beautiful photographic gifts) and qbranchltd (jewelry, photograph mats, and hancrafted toys). I appreciate so much, the exposure and the opportunity to write about my motivation for my photography. Here are a few of my favorite items from The Art of Craft's shops:

Thank you, again, The Art of Craft!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Our Project Unveiled!

A friend of mine and incredible photographer from the amazing POE team, JenMcGuinness, and I have started a new blog called Ordinary Matters. Our goal is to take and post one photo a day for one year. It is an effort to be creative every day, and it's also a lot of fun. It is interesting to see what each of us comes up with (we don't speak to each other about what we are shooting for that day), and often amazing how the two photos compliment each other. Please follow along with us on this incredible journey!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I've been tagged again!

I've been "tagged" – a great way to introduce yourself to other bloggers. ArtyAllSorts tagged my blog a few days ago. I am to reveal 6 secrets and tag 5 other bloggers, so here goes...

1. I am much more socially and politically liberal now than I was when I was in high school or college. (Not really a secret.:)

2. I am addicted to chocolate milk (1% with "quick" added).

3. I stole a piece of bubble gum when I was about five years old from the teddy bear grocery store near our house. Got caught by my mom chewing it that night. She and I talked about it, and I returned to the store and apologized.

4. I would LOVE to be an official photographer for the ONE organization. (I am working on this one!)

5. The day I met my husband, I introduced myself twice. (Think Bridget Jones. Yes, I am a little goofy at times. Thank goodness he thinks it is cute!)

6. I am a little shy, but also seem to have this habit of really speaking up when I feel strongly about something. (A combination that has led my husband, on numerous occasions to say, "Maybe you should let me handle this.") Good decision on his part!

I am tagging:

Pandy's of Lake Sunapee
Klymshyn Design

Fun, fun, fun!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Christmas Gift for my Amazing Children

A couple of Easters ago, the Easter Bunny brought our children a book called First Prayers. We got into the habit (one which we need to resume) of reading a few each night. This is one which my children absolutely love:

The little cares that fretted me,

I lost them yesterday.

Among the fields, above the sea,

Among the winds at play,

Among the lowing herds,

The rustling of the trees,

Among the singing of the birds,

The humming of the bees.

The foolish fears of what might pass,

I cast them away,

Among the clover-scented grass,

Among the new-mown hay,

Among the hushing of the corn

Where the drowsy poppies nod,

Where ill thoughts die and good are born -

Out in the fields with God.

~Louise Imogen Guiney~

We read this so many times, they memorized it. What a sweet sound to hear. My goal is to create a piece of art for them using photos my husband and I have taken, combined with the poem, and give it to them for Christmas. Just one of many instances of them teaching me, and reminding me of what is truly important.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A new project is coming up......

A fellow POE member, Jen McGuinness and I are starting a new project today! Please stay tuned for more information! It will be interesting and so much fun! I am so happy to be working with her on this!

Tackle It Tuesday

On most days, I feel a bit intimidated by my "to do" list. I saw this feature on Andrea Baker's blog (visit her etsy shop here), and today is the day I am going to try it! Not a very long list, but I am starting small since it is my first day. :) To learn more about "Tackle It Tuesday," look here.

1. re-attach our fall leaf decorations on our front steps
2. put recycling into recycling bin
3. clean the childrens' bathroom
Here are my "before" photos:

Yes, we ran out the door this morning, but at least their teeth were brushed! And no, I am not going to show the pile of recycling "before." Too embarrassed! Be back in a little while with the after photos!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


We had a great time at our local botanical gardens the other day. Part of the fun was seeing the treasures my children collected. Here are a few images from our day for you to enjoy...

Prints of the photos above are now available in my etsy shop.

My etsy shop and Reach Out Childrens' Fund were included in a blog feature today!

Phyllis Mufson, another Etsy seller (PersonalTreasures) posted a feature about gifts for children which benefit charity, and included my shop. What an honor! She also highlighted Reach Out Childrens' Fund (ROCF), the primary organization my etsy shop benefits. This couldn't have come at a better time, as ROCF is in desperate need of funds at this time to continue the childrens' lunch program. Please check out the ROCF blog to read more about this incredible organization and see firsthand who your purchse would help. 15% of the profit from each purchase in my shop goes to ROCF. Take a look at some of my newest listings below, or visit my shop. Find a gift for yourself or a loved one and help someone else today!

Friday, October 10, 2008

I've been tagged! What fun!

I've been "tagged" – a great way to introduce yourself to other bloggers. LittlePeanutShop tagged my blog, so now it's my turn to tag a few other bloggers.

Here are the rules:
Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
Share seven facts about yourself on your blog – some random, some weird.
Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

Here are my seven random facts:
1. I love, love, love U2. (Like faint, scream, shake, love them. Picture the crowds seeing the Beatles. Just kidding about that last part.)
2. I am sarcastic. (It runs in my family. I am not proud of it, and I am really trying to work on setting a better example. Trying as hard as I can to shield the children from this.)
3. I think that Pulp Fiction should have won Best Picture.
4. I love to cook, but it takes me ages to make most things. (I can, however whip up an awesome PB&J in less than two minutes! Crust cut off and everything!)
5. I haven't watched television in probably three months.
6. Sometimes I cry while reading Hunwick's Egg.
7. I really. really, really love Anne Lamotte books, especially Operating Instructions, Plan B and Travelling Mercies. I hoped I would be able to meet her while we were living in California, but it was not to be!

Here are the seven people I'm tagging:
whimsical creations
This Mom's Life (Andrea Baker)
Joanna's Photography
Mystique Island Photography
New England Quilter

Fun, Fun, Fun!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

POE Team tribute to lovely and amazing birds

"I was always a lover of soft winged things." Victor Hugo

This quote captures perfectly how I have always felt about birds. I remember looking with my mother at two sparrows huddled together under the eve of our apartment building on a cold morning when I was about six years old. At that moment I fell in love. Walking through a garden or a park takes me forever, as I try to spot and identify each bird I hear. My husband has caught me more than once crouched down on our back porch, binoculars and camera close by. Thankfully, he is amused, instead of being concerned.

Birds amaze me with their strength and fragility, and their beauty, both in appearance and in song. They lift my spirits and are a comfort and a joy to me. They are ever-present companions, reminding me to keep looking up.

As always, I am in awe of the talent of my Photographers of Etsy teammates. Clicking on the highlighted words will take you to each artist's etsy shop. Enjoy these delightful and amazing photographs.

My inspiration to post a POE bird feature came from this beautiful barred owl portrait by JMcGuinness. The expression in the owl's eyes is so touching. You may see more of Jen's incredible work here.

These lovely feather photographs are by Pam Hardy of alwaysartistic. The feathers are from her sun conure, Jesse James, who may be seen here. The texture and colors in these are amazing. There is a softness and gentleness that is comforting.

This dramatic ttv is by Donna of gothicrow. I was struck by the contrast between the bright orange sky and the dark silhouettes of the birds and the angel. This hauntingly beautiful photograph hints at a connection between birds and the heavens, which really makes sense to me.

This incredible tufted titmouse portrait by RobertSocha demonstrates so well both the fragility and incredible strength of birds. The colors and composition in this photograph are amazing. Titmice are also one of my favorite birds.

This lovely portrait of a swallow by SharonKayDesigns is very striking. The lighting allows you to truly appreciate the details of the swallow's beautiful shape. The starkness of the bird and rope contrast well with the soft beauty of the water.

This beautifully composed portrait of an American Goldfinch is by Holly of orioneclipsed. The alertness in his eyes and his round little body are enchanting.

This is a lovely Eurasian Tree Sparrow portrait by PastPerfect. I love his beautiful brown feathers against the magenta background. There is also a bit of humor in this photograph. It is as if this little one is overseeing the activities below.

This beautiful "Bluebird of Happiness" by Roberta of uncommondepth has such an ethereal quality, it immediately caught my eye. The dreamy background is perfect to highlight this incredible mountain bluebird portrait.

Cardinals have always been very special to me, so this photo by Amy of ara133photography, is one of my all time favorites. I love the muted colors, and the way her feathers are fluffed out to keep her warm. There is an incredible tenderness to this portrait.

This incredible ttv is by Ellen of theeye. I love the blue and black, and the silhouette of his round little body is absolutely precious.

This final incredible photograph is by Jenn of jennsphotography. I think it is romantic, and the colors are absolutely lovely.

Thank you, so much Jen, Pam, Donna, Robert, Sharon, Holly, PastPerfect, Roberta, Amy, Ellen and Jenn for sharing your incredible talent with us!

And now, a few bird quotes that I love....

A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked. Anias Nin

I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn. ~Henry David Thoreau

When nature made the blue-bird she wished to propitiate both the sky and the earth, so she gave him the color of the one on his back and the hue of the other on his breast. John Burroughs

"Do you know," Peter asked "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories." Peter Pan

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tiny Treasures

This afternoon while I was working on some photos of two card sets I have made, I was joined by a little helper. We had an awesome time together and found some amazing things right in our own back yard. I feel honored that she wanted to help and spend time with me, and I treasure this time immensely. It is indescribable to make discoveries together. What we accomplished together means more to me than she will ever know. Here is some of what we found......

Can you see the lizard?