First Birthday Portraits – Ariella

This is our birthday girl, Ariella

This is Ariella with her brother Brady.

Let me tell you, to get either one of these sitting still for more than 2 seconds is quite the achievement!

So it was Ariellas first birthday and her mom took us all to the park where after a few pictures, she let Ariella play with her very own cake as is tradition in some families for a first birthday.

From here, I’ll just let the pictures tell the story. 

Nom, Nom, Nom, mmmmmmm.

“HEY! What are YOU doing here?”

Nom. nom, nom, nom, nom……mmmmmmmmmmmm (x 2)

And this is where the picture is blurry because I couldn’t help but laugh my butt off at the fun mess this little princess was making! This was all her doing, no help from us or her brother!

Thanks for joining in Brady!

Happy First birthday princess!

An Early Spring

Ok, so spring made an early appearance here in Mid Missouri.

We’ve had consistant, beautiful weather since mid March, which is rare here.

This has put all of our foliage and flowers ahead of schedule by a few weeks. Fun for me and my camera.

On rainy days, I’m now painting.

I love being creative.

And just a reminder for all of my local peeps, Spring Art Walk on Main street in St. Charles is this weekend, April 27 – 29,

See my Facebook page for more info.

Have a great day!

Stay Inspired

 I took this picture when walking around the Missouri Botanical Gardens with my daughter.

She pointed out this beautifully simple, non-flashy, yet stunning delicate flower that I probably would’ve otherwise passed by.

I hope you stay inspired!

To purchase a copy of this print, contact me through my Facebook page or email.

Liquidity

Well here we are in 2012! Happy New Year everyone!

 It’s been a busy year for me, don’t take that as a complaint because it’s not, I consider myself blessed and thanks to all of you who contributed to a lovely year!

So yesterday, I took a few shots of my favorite goofy, experimental, ‘what the bleep are you doing’, thing that I reserve mostly for winter when the landscapes tend to not be as beautiful and I’m not out driving around trying to find something to shoot with my camera. Here are a few results.

Fluid Beauty

Doesn’t this look like a mushroom?

Like glassy jewels….

Just like water flowing past us, time is fluid.

Don’t waste it, tell people you care about how much you love them.

I hope your year to come will bring you pleasant surprises.

Ever Changing

Good morning!
Ever had one of those moments in life, where you go somewhere, and then decide you were better off where you were? Yep, me too. Luckily some things are flexible.


This is a picture of a tree near the entrance of a conservation area I frequent. I’ve taken many pictures of this tree and it never ceases to amaze me how the same tree, on different mornings, with an ever changing sky, can look so different.
I love that about nature! Ever Changing, yet always present.

I think I’ll post some of the other pictures I’ve taken of this tree from time to time.

It was a Beautiful, Strange Day

Have you ever had a day where you saw more than one strange thing and just said WTF?

This last Monday was one of those days. It was a gorgeous day, the last day of a busy 4 day weekend for me.

Earlier in the morning, I walked a spectacular golf course with colors abounding.

It was so beautiful it was downright spiritual.

Then I met up with a great friend I’ve known since I was 16, (which was only a few years ago? HA!).

We had breakfast at a small town pub and then decided to explore the countryside.

Along the way I saw a tree with these laying under.

They look like alien brains!

Maybe I’m just too much of a suburbia girl that I’ve never seen this before but it was downright strange.

Anyone know what these are?

 

We were exploring Missouri wine country.

I live very close to Missouri wine country but not close enough!

I don’t say that because I’m a wino, I say that because Missouri wine country is downright beautiful.

Its made up of rolling hills looking over river bottoms, and small towns with quaint stores.

 

This is a winery just down the road from where that friend of mine lives. (It was taken a few days before.)

But on the day that we were exploring the countryside, we saw these and said “What the….?”

These are in someones yard, smack dab in the middle of one of those tiny quaint towns. I’d guess the population to not be more than 100 or so. 

More exploring, down gravel roads (in my formerly clean black car) and more beautiful color.

Again, if you knew how many pictures I took on this day, you’d laugh at me. 

 You’d say, “You’re so Craaaazzy”.

So my friend and I, we head back to the small town pub where we had coffee & breakfast.

Thats also where we had lunch.

There’s no Mc’y anything in this neck of the woods (Thank God).

I then give my dear friend a hug and we promise to get together again soon.

And I head home.

(The following were taken with my cell phone, G2 was put away resting after one heck of a workout, so that is why they is not the best quality.)

On my way home I see this:

 And you’re saying, “So?”

(Don’t you just love how I read your minds?)

I pass this road fairly often.

So imagine my surprise when I saw a tree taller than all in the land, towering over everything else.

Originally, I thought I was really losing it. That someone as visual as myself has missed this towering tree after all of these years.

Then logic set in and I realized I would have never have missed this tree….So….wtf?

Then I got closer.

(For the record, I was sitting at a stop light when taking this picture.)

So….its a pole, not a tree at all,

Nothing connected to it.

Except for what I can only assume are fake branches.

and I said…..

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm……

Today, it’s all about You!

 

Hello! Today I’d like to try something different.

I would love to hear about YOU! Yes, you!

One of the things that attract us to artwork, whether it be photography or something different, is the emotion or memory it stirs.

Sure, sometimes its about aesthetics but most of the time it’s not.

So this is where you come in.

See this picture below?

Does it stir a memory or memories for you?

If so, what are they?

Does it stir a feeling or an emotion? If so, tell us about it.

Maybe, just maybe, you don’t like to go outside and you’re a complete homebody or city person and this just doesn’t stir up any emotion or feeling at all,

thats o.k. too.

We all have different experiences & perspectives in this tapestry of life.

Rules, there are no rules. Just tell us all about your memory short & sweet, OR,

if this has inspired a longer tale, you can link the story about your tale in the comment section below.

For now, I will save the memories that this picture reminds me of for later.

Today I want to hear from you.

Just a Big Drip…

This is starting my busiest time of the year. And so far my schedule is chock full of stuff to do! Between birthday’s of little ones, one of my BFF’s moving back ‘to the area’ from too far away, taking photos of the gorgeous autumn colors, taking people photos, art & craft shows, oh and that thing called my 40 + hour a week job, things are crazy busy…and I love it.

BUT did that stop me from goofing off about a two weeks ago? No! It’s hard to believe I know, ME goofing off, the embodiment of all things serious. BAWAHAHAHAHa…

Ok, enough of that.

I had been mentioning during my White Chicken Chili recipe how I don’t like to use flash as it can cause shadows, and just isn’t as natural looking as (duh) nautural light, yadda yadda yadda. THEN while making my Grape Salad recipe I announced that in having to use my flash in my kitchen due to the lack of natural light, I found that flash could be fun!?

 Ok, stay with me here folks, I have a point coming soon.

Well this is the result of my fun. Yes I’m entertained VERY easily. This is a good quality though I assure you.

It ends up when using the flash to take pictures of water it freezes that nano second in time and you see what is really coming out of your faucet.

Elegant simplicity….

Sparkling jewels…. 

 And on this one, after a little photo processing magic with the colors, something interesting…

And Bubbles, you can see the air bubbles in the water. Is it just me, or is this actually pretty?

With this post I hope to make a point, besides the fact that I can be entertained by dripping water. 

First, that beauty can be found in the most ordinary things. Things that we never even really see in our everyday lives. Partly because its so mundane, so, well, ordinary that we don’t really ‘see’ it. Its there, to wash our dishes, to wash our hands, to fill that glass of water & quench our thirst, or in my case, to wash the grapes that I later ate to nourish myself (and immerse myself in yummyness)!

Also to remind those of us with running water that in some parts of this gorgeous world we live in, running water is a luxury. I don’t think it was until the disaster in Haiti that I ever even thought of that. We get so busy with our computers, our kids, our jobs, the TV, the Iphones, Blackberries and our everyday busy-ness, we forget how lucky we are and how beautiful IT really is.

Today, take a moment to appreciate the ordinary things in your life.

J’s Senior Pictures

A few Saturdays ago, J & I went down to Historic Main Street to take her senior pictures.

Its a great place to not only shop & eat, but there are a great variety of textures & colors to make for a pretty good selection of photos.

In this case, we looked in between the shop buildings for ally ways that leant texture and color.

Ok, now this one was actually in a totally different location. I love this one though. The background is natural and subtle and it was a cloudy day which is the best natural filter. The clouds act as a diffuser to the sun, spreading the light out more evenly which cuts down on the amount of shadows that direct sunlight can cast on faces & elsewhere.

Then, there were the doorways…

I thought that this doorway would be too busy or loud but theres no harm in trying and I’m so glad we did.

This green door was really not all that attractive either, it was dinged up, a bit dirty looking but again, something told my brain it had promise, so whats the harm in trying?

This ended up being one of my personal favs. I may be a little partial though too since I gave birth to the subject in this picture!

Don’t even get me started there, I’m bound to become a blubbering mess over how fast my little baby girls have become all grown up like I did here.

Moving on….

 

 

This photo was taken next to a fairly boring stone wall. I wanted to jazz it up a bit and make it modern & edgy so I did that with a little post processing magic.

 Then we had some more fun. It was actually J’s idea to jump, it’s great to have a daughter that is creative too. It was also her idea to make this a slecective color photo so I taught her the process and she processed this one herself. 

And lastly, my very favorite one. This one will be the one hanging on my wall. I love how this one catches her beautiful eyes & her peaceful demeanor. (She’s peaceful when she’s not hyper & talking a mile a minute.)

All in all, I would say the day was a success. We laughed a lot, experiemented with photo opportunities and ate some of the best italian food for lunch. We were both happy with the pictures we were able to get and we had a blast together. It was a great day.

Help! My Melanin is Missing!

 

Ok, so I’ve never had much melanin, but.. 

 Its time to stand up and say something, for all of us Melanin lacking people!! I’m tired of being quiet!

To all of You who were blessed with a thing called Melanin, please read this….

From Dictionary.com

melanin  [( mel -uh-nin)]

A dark brown coloring found in the body, especially in the skin and hair. Produced by special skin cells that are sensitive to sunlight, melanin protects the body by absorbing ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

Note : The amount of melanin present in the skin determines the color of a person’s complexion: people with a large amount have dark skin, whereas those with very little have fair skin. Melanin is also responsible for tanning.

So basically when I was created, someone forgot to dump in a generous helping of melanin to my genetic makeup. My mother, God love the melanin hogging woman, can be outside for 5 minutes and her skin glows with her melanin doused genes. My father however, passed on every single bit of his melanin lacking genes to my sister and I.  I don’t fault him, he didn’t have it to begin with. I blame mom for keeping so much for herself.   (Don’t worry mom, I’ve since forgiven you!)

 And before I begin the “awareness” part of this post, let me preface it by saying I’m not a terribly vain person. Yes I do bathe, and I do like to look nice, but thankfully, I don’t obsess over it, I am who I am, and I’m good with me.  

Having said that, I must now venture on to the awareness part:

For some reason, people think its ok, when you’re pale, to make public statements about it. Its usually when in the company of more than one person, better yet, a group of people, when someone decides its ok to exclaim, “Dang, you’re pale, why don’t you tan more?” For some reason  people don’t consider the rudeness of this type of statement before they speak. My theory is when they go in the sun Wha-la, they no longer look like the walking dead,  so they ASS-U-ME I can do the same thing. Well guess what Einstein, I can’t.

 Let me explain. First I’m going to repeat something from above:

 Melanin is also responsible for tanning.

 Its simple science, Melanin, or lack thereof, is responsible for my paleness.

 When you make your ‘pale’ comments or ask things like, “Are you a recluse? Don’t you ever leave the house?” you are, possibly unknowingly, bringing back all of the teasing in grade school, all of the self conscious memories of youth like a speeding freight train, to the present. Just because you can go from pale, to a more tanned state with a little exposure to the sun, does not automatically mean all of us can.

Think for a minute about your most self conscious issue with your body. What is it? NOW imagine if I point out your most self conconsious issue in a group of people and go on and on about it. Get the idea? It is very hurtful. I am surprised almost daily, by the amount of people who don’t consider this.

 Usually we all have something about ourselves we wish we could change and even if we’ve moved on, and in our wisdom & age accepted ourselves the way we are, whatever that issue was, that “thing” can still have stabbing effects on your psyche if someone points it out in a rude tone. So please remember this: Just because I’m pale as the moon does not mean I can help it.

Let me give you an example. I once joined a tanning salon, I would burn after 10 minutes, so I would go 8  minutes at a time, increasing the minutes a little at a time, 3 times a week, FOR 3 MONTHS. Oh I could tell a difference, every extremely pale person can tell when their skin shows an ever so slight, almost imperceptible glow! But after 3 months, and who knows how many minutes of my life, I would still be asked the same rude, pale questions.

Heres one more thought, if melanin protects you from the harmful effects of UV rays and a person has only a smidge of melanin, it not only means it would take  10 times as long to tan, but in the meantime, said person is 100 times more likely to get skin cancer than melanin blessed people. I have to say, in the long run, I think I’ll be glad I didn’t give in too  many times to the pressure of others saying “why don’t you tan more?” Why expose myself to those dangers if, in the end, I’m the only one who could tell? I gave up fake baking to hopefully save my future self from suffering from skin cancer, call me silly!

So the next rude question is, why don’t you go spend your hard earned money on the tanning sprays? Let me tell you, I tried it once, before a trip to Florida where I was afraid people would really gawk. Once in the tube, I HATED to not be able to breathe. Yep, that’s right, You’re enclosed in a space age tube and you can’t breathe lest you inhale tanning chemicals. When the gusts of paint stop, you turn around, and still enclosed in an airtight tube, you can “breathe” for a few seconds before the next gust of paint starts, only, you still have these paint particles floating everywhere so you’re still inhaling them. Not my idea of a good time. Oh and the result of this paint torture? One of the sprayers was clogged! I kid you not. I had streaks down the back of my leg! Being the positive person I normally am, I am truely thankful it wasn’t the sprayer that covered the face! 

Still, STREAKS….

down

my leg. 

Yep. That looked really nice!

 I can definitely accept my situation & I see the humorous side. 

Once, after watching the movie “Dances with Wolves” with my melanin blessed husband, G1, I decided to give us both American Indian names. I dubbed myself, “Glows in the Dark” and we laughed hysterically for a while. He still lovingly calls me by the name at times. I also volunteer myself  as a guage for my friends to compare their tans to, because like I said earlier, I’m me, this is who I am. 

It’s only when people ask previous stated pale questions with a tone in their voice that conveys they think you actually have a choice in the matter that it can come across as insulting. I find myself wanting to proclaim,

 “I’m not an animal!!!” 

 So all I ask of you is to think before you speak when talking to us Melanin challenged people of this world.

We have feelings too.