Saturday, November 15, 2014

10 on 10 November

~Henry Rollins

I've been struggling these last few months with a lack of creative inspiration. Nothing seemed to catch my eye or spark a desire to go out and shoot. I took a hiatus from Facebook, Flickr, and my blog; I flaked out on posting my '10 on 10' compilations each month; even my IG presence was fairly low. I basically stopped showing up. I thought, erroneously I now know, that by limiting my exposure, my presence online that the pressure to 'create something new" would be lifted from my shoulders. That I would feel free to create as I pleased with no thought as to whether it would appeal or please anyone else.  After all, I reasoned,  this was my year to 'Breathe'; to 'Be Still', to focus on me.  In reality quite the opposite happened. I stopped creating all together except for the occasional IG post, and even some of those were forced.  After a few months of this I realized I was missing something: interaction with my fellow creatives, my on-line friends, my cheering section on IG and Flickr and here on this blog (oddly, said with tongue firmly planted in cheek, I still don't miss my daily FB fix.) I knew I needed a push to get back to creating but I had no idea it would come in the form of trip to Southern California to join with 10 other women at 'Gather, California', a creative retreat put together by Kim Klassen and Xanthe Berkeley. When first told of this trip in mid-September I hesitated in even asking my husband if I could possibly attend. His business/travel commitments were reaching an all time high and with 5 kids still at home it's rarely an easy thing to coordinate all their activities even when we're both available. But, I did ask and he said, "yes!" It took a little bit of coordination with my husband and my in-laws but all my responsibilities were covered! 

I truly can not put into words what those three days have meant to me. Even more than the inspiration I've received it's the friendships that have begun that are the real blessing. I hope to post more about Gather and what it meant to me at a later time, but for now here is a glimpse into the beauty, acceptance, joy, and love that defined my time at "Gather, California"

Golden light.  
The lovely and completely fab Xanthe Berkeley!

Gifts from the sea.

The beginnings of a beautiful mandala.

No trip to the beach is complete with out a sand-pail full treasure.

A little bit of biota still life play!

The theme for the retreat (at least for me)!

In the LAUNDRY ROOM! What I wouldn't give for that laundry room!

Another theme...perfectly fulfilled with love!

Attention to detail.

Mindfulness put in practice.

Messages in vintage bottles.

I do hope you've enjoyed this little glimpse into my time at 'Gather' this past week.  I am so thrilled to be back here, in this space, sharing with all of you! 

Please continue on the "10 on 10" blog loop and visit the lovely Connie. And don't forget to leave her some comment love while you are there!

Friday, August 15, 2014

10 on 10 August

This summer has gone by far too quickly for my liking. I can't believe that it's almost time for us to start back up with our homeschooling and for my TWO oldest children to head off to COLLEGE! Yikes! How did that happen.  I don't feel as if we've actually hit our summer stride yet, but the calendar doesn't lie.  We had a fairly quiet summer around here with mostly local adventures for the family. However, my oldest daughter and I spread our wings a bit embarked on a short weekend trip to Seattle.  We went as a way to elaborate her graduating high school and for both of us to visit a dear friend whom we hadn't seen in over 4 years.  It was a fabulous weekend weather-wise. The temperatures were in the mid 80's; quite the heat wave for Seattle but such a relief for us as the temp's back home were hovering around 106' all weekend! We walked everywhere and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Here are a few highlights of our Seattle visit all taken on my DSLR.  I have quite a few more on my iPhone and some of those are actually my favorites but those will have to wait for another post.

The famed "Gum Wall" . We could actually smell it before we saw it. Yes, it really grossed me out!

Seattle's Great Wheel. 

A lovely ivy covered building downtown. 

Clear skies and an iconic sign. 

The berries looked delicious!

There were flowers everywhere!


The flowers were extraordinary!

Mt. Ranier, as seen from the top of the Space Needle. It was such a clear, gorgeous day

The hardest working man in Seattle. In front of the Seattle Art Museum. 

Thank you for following this month's 10 on 10 blog hop.  Be sure to check out Kathleen Ries's beautiful post and  be sure to leave some comment love!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

10 on 10 June

And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days.
~James Russell Lowell

June. The beginning of summer. Holder of so much promise and expectation. The start of slow days and and root beer floats; staying up late and sleeping in.  No other month reminds me of childhood as much as June.  I can still recall the expectation and thrill of the last day of school and the beginning of summer vacation: 12 weeks of unstructured, unbridled fun. No worries more bothersome than how to get to the community pool and how many blue 'Otter Pops' were in the package.  Oh, that life was so simple still how much more we'd truly live.  
Last month I missed the 10 on 10 Blog Hop. Life took over. Just a little bit of illness, a little bit of stress, but enough to keep me away from my camera and this blog.  Now that our homeschool has put aside the books for summer, I'm hoping that I'll get some 'me' time to pursue those things that I enjoy; those things that help me stay grounded and sane, namely reading and puttering in the garden and creating, either with my camera or with paper.  
This month we celebrated a milestone in our family: we graduated our oldest daughter from high school!  Her actual graduation was May 23rd, but her party was this past weekend. We were celebrating more than her completion of high school. We were celebrating a 13 year journey that she and I have been on together and I wanted to make it special. However, my daughter really didn't want much fuss made over her.  A simple open house with simple decorations was all she wanted. So with that in mind,  I used what I had: a vintage 1950's era globe as a centerpiece on the table and a map from a collection of old Nat'l Geo maps to make a pennant banner.  The day was so busy I only managed to take a couple of photos of everything, and half of those were on my phone. 
This month's images a a hodge-podge. A little from the party and a few from the days that followed. I hope you enjoy them.

The theme of our daughter's grad party (iPhone)

My husband's handiwork on our pantry door. (iPhone)

My 1950's era globe.
Fun little bubble bottles in honor of the Graduate!

At the Sketchbook Project's Mobile Library in San Francisco.
My oldest daughter's sketchbook was part of the library.

She was completely taken with all the sketchbooks. 

As was her sister!

One of my favorite drawings!

Another of my favorite drawings!
The window of the San Francisco Center for the Book: the host of the mobile library.

Thank you for visiting. Please click on through to see Kim's lovely submission for this month's 10 on 10! And don't forget to leave a little comment blog while you are there!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


We've been a busy family the last couple of months.  My son fished his 2nd year of college, my oldest daughter graduated from high school, and we've finished up our 14th year homeschooling.  I'm not complaining. This is the life I love, but it can be overwhelming at times with little time for myself to just sit and be still. To breathe.  I am a the sort that NEEDS quiet time.  I guess you could call me an introverted extrovert. I love busy happy times with friends and family but I need the balance of time to myself enjoying quiet pursuits. I don't get much of this at all.  And then, when I do take the time for myself, I feel guilty for doing it.  One of my hopes/goals for this year was to blog more.  The year started off well and then: Life. Reality.  Sitting in front of a screen trying to write a blog post while my children are calling my name, the dog is chewing up EVERYTHING, the phone is ringing and the school books are staring at me accusingly just doesn't work for me. SO this blog and my good intentions of being consistent fall to the wayside. I didn't even participate in the 10 on 10 photo project last month. That was disappointing.  But, this is a new a month and with that comes new possibilities for adventures and photo ops.  I also signed up for Kim Klassen's newest offering: Be Still 52 .  A new 52 week online class designed to inspire creativity and quietness in life. Like all of Kim's classes it promises to be filled to the brim with great information, projects, challenges and insight into her creative process while at the same time showing how quietness and Being Still is important when life gets hectic or rough around the edges.  I am hoping that this summer I'll be able to take time for myself, guilt-free, to play with my camera and really breathe.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

10 on 10 April

April again! with its wonder of gladness,

April with its haunting joy, and swift-stinging tears,-

Month of mist and music, and the old moon-madness,

Month of magic fluting, the spirit only hears,-

'April again!' 

Many of the old buildings of this gold mining town have been restored and offer a wonderful look into the past. 
An inviting vignette outside a little shop specializing in vintage and shabby chic goods. 
Just strolling along. 
Panning for gold!  
Her biggest piece!
This one struck it rich! 
The roof of the blacksmith's shop.
The barn.  
Trademark: "I Am For Women" on the side of an old hand-cranked washing tub/wringer. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

10 on 10 March

Welcome to this month's edition of the 10 on 10 blog-hop. Can you stand a few more garden pictures? Despite the rainfall we've received the last couple of weeks (still not enough to get us out of the serious drought from which California is suffering) things are still fairly dry but shhh! don't tell my garden that. Spring has arrived in my area and evidence of it is everywhere in my yard. I've filled and re-filled my bird feeders, planted seeds, done a little indoor gardening (if you follow me on IG then you know all about my family heirloom casserole dish turned planter), trimmed all my shrubs and planted violas in my herb bed.  I still have to prep my three other raised beds for more planting but that will come in the next few days/weeks.  The light has been just gorgeous in the afternoons and early mornings; enough to make me want to sit in the sunshine and bask all day long. Alas, that option is just not in my near future.  But I do get out in it to a little every day.  The young girls and I have enjoyed tea and Winnie-the-Pooh on the patio, sidewalk-chalk shadow art in the side yard, and blowing bubbles. And Sunshine has hoisted her flag in a certain tree, declaring it her own!

Sunshine's flag. 
Birch tree leafing out.
Gorgeous morning light shining through the plum tree.
A different plum tree on the other side of the house. The blossoms on this tree are nearly gone!
A shamrock plant!  I get one every year in honor of St. Patrick and my Irish heritage.
A little anemone that just sprouted up!
Ladybugs are always welcome in our garden!
Bubble blowing on a very windy day!

Our St. Patrick's Day celebration would not be complete without a Leprechaun trap. Maybe we'll catch him this year! 
A thunderstorm and the Easter bunny: even our refrigerator art shows signs of spring!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed another glimpse into my world. To keep following the blog-hop, click through to check out Kristina's beautiful blog and see a bit of her world!