Tag Archives: photography

Nature Was My Co-Pilot

29 Jun

I’m glad I finally mastered tuning into my crappiness-mood meter and became aware of when everyday madness escalates to the point where I need to extract myself from the universe in an epic-booster-ejector-seat fashion.

When that bad mood strikes, I usually need to act fast otherwise it can just suck up my entire day and snowball into a disaster. It ends up just ugly and feeling like a Gremlin who got fed after midnight. Then I’m just upset that I’m upset, and that it sucked up my time. The cycle sucks. So when it happened this week … I was on a mission to stop it.

Nature was my co-pilot.

I usually turn to the beach as it is my staycation destination every weekend during the summer. However, with the gloominess that’s taken over I made other plans and the sun managed to join me. I hadn’t been to this place before, so I was pleasantly surprised by the huge expanse. I love it when you can find a mini forest in the middle of a big city. And I loved it even more that this trip to the gardens was free.

You see the fact that I found my escape for free was bonus! There are not a lot of freebies that are really “free”. There’s this thing called restrictions apply, limited access, between the hours of 1-2 only, buy one to get one free, or free to enter but pay for parking.

This was absolutely free … free and beautiful.

Even though every house plant given to me dies, and I can’t keep basil alive, I truly appreciate the beauty of the gardens and flowers that others grow. This garden in particular provided a multitude quiet-thinking spots in kaleidoscope surroundings that plenty of people enjoyed. It provided me with a sense of mindfulness and time slowing down. As I sat on the beach chairs overlooking the pond, I enjoyed checking out the scene, overhearing conversations, and listening to the birds.

I usually take to the water, the track, or the punching bag, and that helps release the frustration that comes with bad mood syndrome. The garden was a less-active and slower approach, but it still managed to help turn things around. By the time I got home there were no traces of foul moods and the peacefulness of the garden came home with me.

Buen Camino, my friends.

 

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Bob Ross Would Have Been Proud

21 Jun

Sometimes it’s a sigh of … am I ever gonna get there? Other times it’s a smile that creeps up because the feel-goods take over and I see the possibilities.

I keep looking at my vision board on a daily basis and see the pictures and hope I had for myself at the beginning of this 2019 journey. I’m reminded, another day, another set of possibilities. And sometimes when the day ends I’m not always a step closer to the goal, and sometimes that’s a real bummer.

But when I get a chance to keep the promises I made to myself, the frustration of not reaching certain goals fizzles out. Knowing that I’m keeping my word and committing to new experiences adds substance to my life and keeps the momentum going. Doing something different, something new once a month  provides me with comfort at the end of the day that I’m doing whatever I can to be better than I was yesterday. I’m trying to keep the Yes, Man on a roll because these are avenues I can control and it finally feels like something is going my way. 12 months. 12 new somethings. And number six was pretty cool.

It comes at a time when I desperately needed a turnaround.

As rejections kept floating in, I enjoyed this new artistic experience that put me in touch with artists and their visions. I’d never been to a chalk festival. It was one of those I’ll-get-around-to-it-one-day adventures … and the day finally came. And I was so glad.

 

I got lost in the color, skill, and imagination of all these murals. My intention was to see them create, see what they came up with, and I left feeling inspired to jolt myself passed the slump and find creative awesomeness. They start with nothing absolutely nothing and they come out with these incredible works that make you pause. The talent made you stop, just to admire the hard work. Feeling the artists’ vibe helped get rid of some of the funk that often comes with the lows of writing when the highs are not really working its magic.

It gave me something to look forward to as an independent artist. It helped to know that alternate platforms can also bring you closer to your goals. People discover your art in unexpected places, just have to keep getting the courage to put it out there. At the end of the day I was glad I kept my word, my resolution promises. This new chalk festival adventure helped align my perspective, and appreciate the mural artist even more than I already do.

I think Bob Ross would have been proud.

Buen Camino, my friends!

Inspired by Hanna-Barbera … Duct Tape Adventures Return

3 Sep

I look forward to this adventure every year, it takes me back to my seven-year old self, the one watching Hanna-Barbera cartoons on Saturday mornings.

I’ve told you about this before, my love for these kinds of races and the origin of it all …

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Cartoons were a big deal to me back then, that’s where I got most of my fantastic ideas. And this one — the Wacky Races —  has always stayed with me. So when I heard about this cardboard boat regatta down by the beach a couple of years ago, I jumped at the chance to participate in the fun. It’s actually turned into a family tradition. Something I hope my kids will look back on fondly.

The entire process jazzes me up. From conception to creation to craftsmanship. The annual cardboard boat regatta challenges the small artist I have in me. I’ve learned to enjoy the process, the trials and errors, the measure twice and cut once philosophy, the entire duct tape process, being present, and enjoying the building part with my kids was one of the many takeaways from this experience. I’ve been grateful enough to remember it every year. The actual race takes about five minutes so enjoying every bit of the process leading up to that helps slow time down and increase the gratitude factor. I’m glad I can remind myself of this, but feel even happier that I’ve introduced my kids to this life lesson. So it’s a win-win.

Creativity happens here and I’ve learned that it involves duct tape. I look forward to the seven rolls of duct tape that make my vessel seaworthy. This year it was five rolls of Gorilla Tape and two of silver duct tape, not that it matters or anything, but thought I’d share the supply list in case you wanted to get creative too.

The multiple trips to the local Do-It-Yourself Hardware Center become a weekly adventure during our creative process. I enjoy seeing whether or not the finished product meets my kid’s expectations. Most of the time it does, last year, it was so amazing that I even patted myself on the back. This year was a little trickier, considering inspiration came from Despicable Me 3, Gru’s car, and his minions of course. But we managed and came up with this …

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Gru’s Car/Speedboat

Cardboard and duct tape. Total Festivus Miracle! And not only was the creative process enjoyable, we also ended up winning our heat. For the second year in a row, after losing the first few years, we paddled our way to the finish line first, without sinking and eventually placed third overall in the parent-child category.

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Making it to the finish line … smiling all the way.

But in addition to paddling our way down the pool, hanging out with and talking to the other boat makers was so much fun. I enjoyed seeing some of the masterpieces and listening to the inspiration behind it all.

 

 

My son really enjoyed the Star Wars vessel and my daughter loved the Moana boat, but I have yet to recover the picture for that one. My favorite was of course this white one.

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AMAZING!

 

I couldn’t believe it when I saw this whole boat made out of cardboard, but it was only for display and not for racing purposes. The creative process on this one must have been great.

 

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Everyone ended up having a good time. Don’t know if they were inspired by Hanna Barbera, but something inspired them and the inventiveness came through in the form of cardboard and duct tape creations. Remembering that the process and being present were just as important as paddling to the finish brought sunshine to my heart.

Buen Camino my friends!

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Good Match

22 Feb

 

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Oreos match with everything …

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post.

 

 

Taking A Moment …

12 Oct

I decided to take a minute … And this is what the universe sent me.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest

28 Sep

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Whether it’s happening in The Great Outdoors, or sitting in front of my computer ready to start writing Chapter 1, The Quest is always a good road trip to self discovery.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post.

 

 

 

Daily Post Challenge: Zing!

12 Sep

This conversation definitely has some zing!

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Look Up

13 Jul

Hanging around trying to look for Nemo and Dori when this ginormous dude just happened to pass by … I had to look up.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post.

 

 

I Thought Of A Couple Someones

8 Jul

 

It made me smile.

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When I saw this mural at the book fair I had to stop and smile.

You know, there are those days that catch you on the blind side even when you’re looking over your shoulder, they still flatten you right out. So when I saw this it made me smile.

Sometimes the universe sends you little signs here and there, just to let you know that even if you’re missing something there are other things that you have in abundance. Even when you can’t see it, there are little things like this that give you a moment.

And sometimes all you need is a moment during a really crappy day to help you turn the corner, a moment of breath to realize … yeah I got that.

So I stood in front of it, took a deep breath, and thought of someone I loved … a couple someones.

And then my kids ran out of Goldfish Crackers and were like … let’s go already mom.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abstract

27 Apr
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To my four-year old daughter … this is pretty obvious … pretty concrete what she’s talking about and communicating here. However sometimes because of lack of sleep and parenthood in general, things tend to fall under the abstract category. But the sunlight shining behind the painting totally clues you into this masterpiece.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post