Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Picture Fall: Day 21

"The yin and yang of stark contrasts create a notion of a fine balance."
-Valerie Kent

Outside our apartment, just before the sun sets and the storm begins...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Picture Fall: Day 20

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive."
-Anäis Nin

Taking three engineers on a hike through the mountains results in the nerdiest conversations ever. Despite the discussions about video games, fractions, the weight of rocks, and the chemical makeup of plastic, I enjoyed trailing behind the boys, feeling thankful that we have such wonderful friendship connections in our lives. 

We slowly made our way over the wet rocks and through the mist, only to find that Table Rock was still surrounded by fog. We stopped for a snack and to take pictures at the summit anyway. Luckily just after this photo was taken, the clouds dispersed for a second, so that we could make out the outlines of the surrounding landscape.

Picture Fall: Day 19

"Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."
-Les Brown

To me, this is a beautiful, beautiful mess. It's the last few scraps of paper cut for my projects for the Epworth Craft Fair. For weeks I've been printing, cutting, and gluing. And, the end is almost in sight. Regardless of how well the products sell, it has been fun to work towards a goal like this.

What goals are you close to achieving?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Picture Fall: Day 18

"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop."

When I need creative inspiration, I find that taking a break usually does the mind good.

This week Rob finally figured out an arrangement to put my bike on the trainer here at the apartment. Although I'm no Lance Armstrong, I do enjoy a good spin. My mind goes completely blank as I pedal, which is sometimes quite a relief for my overactive brain. Our new setup allows me to watch shows on my laptop as I ride, which, I hate to admit, is all the motivation I need to put on my exercise clothes.

Picture Fall: Day 17

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."
-Thornton Wilder

Yesterday I was stuck in traffic during my errands. Apparently the interstate was shut down nearby, and all of the tractor trailers, etc were being redirected down my neighborhood streets. As I "patiently" waited to move from one stoplight to the next, I found myself overwhelmed with gratitude for supermarkets and superstores. I have more than six different superstores in a half mile radius from my current home. Not only am I able to pick up everything from fruit, meat, and cereal to laundry detergent and prescriptions at one spot... I also have choices of which brand to buy and which version is cheaper. Bounteous goodness, indeed.

Picture Fall: Day 16

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.
-Charles Dickens

Really struggled with this prompt. But when I walked out on our porch, I was struck by the contrast of the shadows of the railing against the wall.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Picture Fall: Day 15

"The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts; therefore guard accordingly."
-Marcus Aurelius

As cliche' as it sounds, these days I get much joy from looking at the front of our refrigerator. I've carefully curated my collection of photos to include only my favorites... only the ones that make me smile. [Side note: these were the same photos I chose to display at school near my desk, knowing that they would lift my spirits after a hard day!]

And, this particular message has been displayed on the whiteboard for a couple weeks. I am inspired every time I walk by.

Picture Fall: Day 14

"The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery."
-Anais Nin

Inspired by Julian Bialowas' untitled photo from last week. I set out to create my own. My camera skills are not nearly as impressive as Julian's; luckily, I've got Photoshop on my side.  :)  Still a pretty neat image, I think.

Picture Fall: Day 13

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow."
-Helen Keller

This particular tree can't decide whether it wants to be yellow or green. I'm partial to both.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Picture Fall: Day 12

"For fast-acting relief, try slowing down."
-Lily Tomlin

I know it's not Christmas season yet. But, yesterday my moment of relaxation was a spontaneous craft project. Inspired by thoughts about this year's Christmas cards, I pulled my paper craft stash from the closet and whipped this right up, while Rob and Thomas played video games in the background. Of course, only after hanging it up on our mantel and stepping back to admire my handiwork did I realize that we used a pennant banner in our card last year. Maybe I should try to think of something else... Any ideas?

Picture Fall: Day 11

"There's something strange and powerful about black-and-white imagery."
-Stefan Kanfer

I've been admiring these furry stalks on my daily walk to my Sylvan job. Patiently waiting for just the right Picture Fall prompt. When I read about this challenge to capture textures in black and white, I knew exactly what my subject would be.

What have you been admiring lately?

Friday, November 11, 2011

11.11.11 at 11:11:11 am

"Every second is of infinite value."
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Although November 11, 2011 is an oddity on the calendar, it's just been another regular day in my world as of late. At 11:11 am today, I'm still in my pjs, trying to decide if it's worth getting in the shower today... really, I'm thinking, is it worth blow-drying my hair? 

I've got daytime television on the background because I work better with noise. Right now it's the Rachael Ray show. But I'm not really paying attention... I've got quite the to-do list for my freelance gig. Creating flyers, posting image on the website, researching advertising opportunities, and more. 

Usually Fridays are slow, but not this morning. Hopefully things calm down this afternoon because I'd love to venture outside and maybe do a little Christmas shopping (or window-shopping!). 

Picture Fall: Day 10

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
-Virginia Woolf

Lately we've often been having a house guest over around dinnertime. Rob's friend Thomas is regularly been at our apartment working out or just hanging out. My initial reaction is, "oh no, my go-to frozen stir fry meal is just not going to cut it." But, then once I realize I can justify making a big bowl of mashed potatoes and that we'll have rousing conversation along with the meal, it's hard not to embrace the extra mouth to feed.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Picture Fall: Day 9

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
-Albert Camus

It brings me such joy to finally live in a place that has vibrant fall colors. I'm amazed as I drive around town. I hope that the colors never cease to amaze me.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Picture Fall: Day 8

"It's sad to grow old, but nice to ripen."
-Brigitte Bardot

This has been Rob's nightly cocktail, as of late.

[Btw, I took almost 50 photos of this dang soda can, and I still know nothing about manipulating the light with the manual settings on my camera. I don't know why these concepts won't stick in my brain.]

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Picture Fall: Day 7

"falling leaves hide the path so quietly."
-John Bailey

Look at that bokeh in the background...

Monday, November 07, 2011

Picture Fall: Day 6

"I'd like to die with my boots on."
-Daniel Berrigan

I'm a day behind. So sue me... It just takes a day for me to marinate on the daily prompt before I know what and how to post about it.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Picture Fall: Day 5

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

This week I ran across this really inspirational website, called Operation Beautiful. It's a message that we all need to be reminded of. And, often!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Picture Fall: Day 4

"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate."
-Oprah Winfrey

How fitting that yesterday's theme was "early morning"! Although not our usual routine, Rob and I certainly had an early morning. We woke up at 3 am for the opening celebration of the new Greenville REI. We sat in line in front of the store in the cold and the rain, waiting for the 10:00 opening.

It was worth it though because I won a doorprize (free Vibram FiveFingers shoes!), and we each got a free CamelBak waterbottle and $5 REI giftcard.

Although I decided not worth it to go again this morning. Rob and Thomas, however, did.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Picture Fall: Day 3

"Each day comes bearing its own gifts.  Untie the ribbons."
-Ruth Ann Schabacker

Usually we're captivated by what's inside the packaging, today I took a second look at the organic forms of the discarded bubble wrap. [The present from my sister-in-law wasn't bad either :) ]

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Picture Fall: Day 2

"O bed! O bed! delicious bed! That heaven upon earth to the weary head."
-Thomas Hood

When I read the Picture Fall prompt first thing this morning, I grieved over all of my comfy and stylish furniture that's still sitting in my house in Georgia. How could I take a photo of our ugly futon couch or our ghetto air mattresses on the floor? I spent two minutes in a pity party for myself and our makeshift living situation. Then I knew it was time to get out of bed... and, I argued with myself... can't I just stay here for a few more minutes?

Whack! I got walloped on my head with a big dose of gratitude... wrapped in the blankets with my head on the pillow, I always feel so cozy, so warm, so safe. Even in the midst of the chaotic and less-than-perfect, I am surrounded by blessings.

What's the last time you realized you were given blessings in disguise?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Picture Fall: Day 1

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
-Albert Camus

My mom and I are taking the Picture Fall class from Big Picture Classes. I'm looking forward to appreciating this season to the fullest. 

I love the sound of crunchy leaves. Do you also go out of the way to step on the fallen ones?

Almost camping...

"Camping: nature's way of promoting the motel industry."
-Dave Barry

Friday night, Rob got off work early so that we could head up to North Carolina to go camping. After packing up the car (gosh... it takes a lot of gear to go camping!), we were on the road with plenty of time to arrive before the gates closed at 8.

We arrived at the given address about 7:20, only to find a dark and completely empty parking lot. Apparently we were not in the right place. Luckily I had printed out the park maps, so I could direct us to the other campsite. The estimated time of arrival on the GPS was 7:59 pm. However, in the dark and fog, it was not easy to drive fast. We breathed a sigh of relief when we drove through the open gates.

However, due to car trouble (luckily not ours!) and scary weather reports (roads were already being closed due to ice!), we decided to take our camping trip back to Ricky and Heather's house in Hickory. We put up our tents in their basement. With a heater, real bathrooms, and a TV to watch college football, we had ourselves a much more comfortable camping trip.

On Saturday we made the executive decision to play outside, so we headed to a local corn maze. After our lengthy orientation to the maze, it was our turn to get "corn-fused." This was quite a difficult maze, and we were proud of ourselves for making it out in just over an hour and thirty minutes.

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