Monday, September 27, 2010

I'm Ready for My Close Up!

Yesterday proved to be so much fun! I got to play model for one of my favorite photographers! Ok, let me start from the beginning: A good few months ago I was playing on Facebook when I spotted a photography ad. I clicked it (always curious how good they really are) and was mesmerized! This lady was spectacular! I loved how she captured her subjects. She did weddings, engagements, families, senior portraits and lots of just-because sessions. I saved away her info for the future and told my friends I'd found the ultimate photographer---and she was local! Well, fast forward to the wedding I went to September 4th. This real sweet gal was discretely running around and taking photos. Well, turns out that it was my dream photographer! Her work was stunning and I decided to shoot her a little email of praise. Since then we've been emailing back and forth. Well, a week or so ago she announced she was part of the Leafless Diaries Project and needed models. Leafless? I went to the website and found out what this project was all about. Basically, 500 empty diaries are being distributed over the 50 states to be filled up with personal, and anonymous, entries from folks all over. Cool! Once you write in one you can then follow the book's path around the United States. Well, to go along with the dairies, there's something called the 50/50 Project. And this is where the photography comes in. One photographer is selected for each state (my favorite lady was chosen!) and they take photos of folks to represent their state proudly. The photos aren't fancy, and to keep with the anonymous theme the eyes will be censored. Click on the 50/50 link for some examples. Modeling was free and she was asking for folks from the city so I wandered over there yesterday. It was so good to finally meet my photographer in person! Lots of smiles all around! I also met, V. V is a super chic, super sweet lady who is on tour around the US meeting with locals and accompanying all the photographers. She is one busy lady! As I asked about her travels she said that Montana was only her 16th state! She has a lot more miles to go! After the chit chat we got down to business and started snapping photos. Some were serious, some were sweet, and they got me laughing so hard that some photos are down-right silly. Before I left, they offered me a chance to write one of those diary entries and I did so willingly. The photos will make it on to the 50/50 site at some point, and a few of these will be chosen for Leafless' published book to be released in a year or two. Cool! My photographer will also be posting some of them on her blog, so hopefully I can show you how they turned out! What an excellent Sunday! Cool people, a fun project, and a little modeling. Nothing makes you feel so glamorous!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Photo Challenge: Age

Friday is upon us! And that means it's photo challenge time! This week's theme from RAZMATAZ was Age. I chose to photograph an antique of mine. Hanging off a shelf in my living room is this pair of old crampons. We aren't sure their exact year, but they were made in West Germany if that gives you a clue. :) Hanging next to them is a photograph of my favorite mountain in Peru that we hiked around last summer. Thankfully the crampons we used during that mountaineering adventure were from the 21st century. There are huge leaps and bounds made every year in the world of mountaineering gear, but I always enjoy looking at what they used back in the day, whether it was 10 or 100 years ago. :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I'm in Heaven!

So after the wind and rain and hail was finished punishing our fair city this morning, I braved the chill and wandered down to our Farmer's Market. It turned out quite pleasant as the sun finally came out and I was surrounded by other market-goers. My favorite part? Well, along with the delicious carrots and the three ears of sweet corn...I bought dessert. Yep, fancy dessert from a pastry booth. I just couldn't say no after she told me what it was! So I handed her the money while she packed it in that little brown box.

What is it? Bundt cake! But not just any bundt cake, mind you. It's a mini bundt cake made out of the following ingredients: Coffee (oh yes!), Chocolate (a must!), and Irish Whisky (whaaa? Ok!). It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! It stood out in the lady's booth because it was the only black dessert! (I need the recipe for Halloween!) So, I stuffed my face on the way home and only got a photo taken after it was half devoured. Oops! I've never eaten something so fast! And I just had to share it with all of you. :) Black Bundt Cake = swoon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Photo Challenge: Closer

It's Friday! So that means it's Photo Challenge day! This week, RAZMATAZ's theme was Closer. Yay for zooming in on details! I took the camera to work to see what I could find. The photo was taken in one of the chemistry labs on campus. Though I graduated with a Chemistry degree a few years ago, I don't often get to use that knowledge at work these days. Sometimes, though, I get lucky and get to work in this lab and analyze samples. The photo is of a collection of brown chemical bottles that were out on the lab bench yesterday, empty and waiting to be refilled. I love the brown glass and the little thumb-hole handles each one has at the neck.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sunshine and Sunflowers

What a delightful day! The sun was shining bright, warming up the valley to a pleasant 76 degrees. The foliage is just starting to change in town, adding red and orange halos to the tops of very green trees. The river rippled only slightly as it flowed through town, not hindered by tubers, swimmers, kayaks or even a breeze. The entire day, inside and outside, seemed quiet. Like everyone is enjoying this calm, hoping to make it last, before the harsh hand of winter sweeps through. I spent most of my hours indoors today, but at least with a view of the mountains and sunbeams; interrupting computer tasks with a Mom and Daughter lunch half way through the day. Fed on good food and company, I finished up my list of tasks and headed out on foot to walk back home. The walk home is one of my favorite parts of any day. I like to make my steps near the river where I can smell the clean air and join the string of other walkers and bikers as we mosey our way into the evening. I tend to get caught with a smile on my face as I pass others. :) At the end of today's walk I was greeted with some very nice words written in pastel chalk on the concrete: You Are The Only Expression of You That Will Every Exist. Quite true! With a nod in agreement, and a few photos taken of the flowers nearby, I continued on. Now to warm tea and conversation as the evening marches on. I hope you all had such an enjoyable day!

An entire patch of sunflowers appeared one afternoon a month ago,
grew likes weeds, and are now blooming. These two were very
photogenic in front of our old train depot.

More sunflowers along with these little purple flowers.
I love them planted together!

It was hard to get all the colors to show up in this photo. (I only
had my camera phone!) In this bed there are a wonderful
mix of reds, purples, yellows and oranges.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A New Kind of Celebration

Last Friday found me celebrating something I had never celebrated before. A new co-worker of ours who joined in the Spring had called in and asked if everyone could get together. What we would celebrate with him? The end of Ramadan! This was new to me! We had been aware that our new Libyan employee had been fasting, but we did not know how he'd commemorate the end of fasting. He explained to us that this day was like Christmas for him and he wanted to spend it with his new "family" at work! So, we all grouped ourselves into one of the offices and enjoyed the treats he'd brought: cake, fruit salad, figs and dates. He explained that to break the fast you eat the figs first then move on to the other stuff. Fun! He was dressed in traditional attire that day and looked stunning in striped satin pants and vest, white tunic, felt hat and sandals. And the smile he wore was wonderful! He was so pleased we could all get together. We ate and ate, talked about the holiday, learned words in Arabic and took lots of pictures. It was just like a little Christmas in the middle of September! Finally, we picked up plates of left overs and retreated to our separate corners of the building. I loved the experience! I was able to learn about a new holiday, learn new words, learn new traditions. We were all able to celebrate with a friend whose family is miles and miles away (who he had to call at 3am the night before to make up for the 12 hour time difference!). There was an atmosphere of giving and understanding and comfort and friendship that day. It was a heart-warming celebration and I'm glad I participated. It is amazing how much you can learn from those around you, and I felt honored that our sweet new member of the team considers all of us part of his family. *insert warm fuzzies here*

Yes, sadly the only picture I obtained myself
was of the cake. Though it was quite delicious!

Many blessings! (If only I could remember the Arabic version of that phrase...)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Photo Challenge: Reflection!

Another Photo Challenge Friday! This week's theme from RAZMATAZ was Reflection. As I figured out what to photograph my eye kept glancing at my stack of ash trays near the front door. I love these glass beauties. Am I smoker? No. I instead inherited them from my wonderful Grandmother years ago. I remember loving them as a child because the glass balls along the rims reminded me of beads on beautiful, jewel-toned necklaces. I now enjoy looking at them every day on my way out of the house as they reflect the sun coming through the window. :) Now that I've "reflected" on my past, here's my photo:

Have a great Friday everyone! And go visit all the other challenge participants!

A Day for Indulging!

Though the rain has not stopped for hours, and I am both soggy and chilled, I am smiling. It is such a day for finding the beautiful bits! The sky is grey but it is making those manicured lawns out there just pop with neon green color! Everyone's shiny rubber rain boots look like little pieces of candy walking around campus. The air smells clean and feels crisp on the face. Students today are quiet, and humble, and interesting. I took a walk around this place a few minutes ago, and on the indulging theme bought a ridiculously expensive cookie at the market. I could have bought a whole box of them for the price at a grocery store, but this cookie is just what I needed. Frosted and delicious and in the silly shape of Montana. Sometimes you just gotta go for it. I munched that amazing dessert all the way back to my office, enjoying every expensive bite. Did I have a sappy grin on my face? Yes. Did I look like a fool to passers by? Probably. Did I care? Not a bit. :) Ah the power of a cookie on a cloudy day. :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I Just Had to Show You This Place!

This photo was taken by Kristine Paulsen, the wedding photographer that was present this last Saturday at the wedding I went to. I just had to put it here so you can see what that church looked like! Amazing!!

Click on the image to make it bigger!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Wonderful Day for a Wedding!

Yesterday I curled my hair, put on the nice jewelry, and slipped into my new favorite silk dress. I felt so glam! I was headed to a wedding downtown in our biggest, fanciest Catholic church. I was playing my sister's date at a mutual friend's event. We sat in pews adorned with dried purple flowers, and rich purple ribbon. A procession of pale-pink adorned bridesmaids made their way up the aisle along with the two cutest flower girls I've ever seen. The bride was gorgeous and the groom so handsome! I enjoyed the ceremony (both traditional, but fun and modern) and watching the couple laugh and cry and hold hands. I've never seen two people that happy to be getting married! We laughed with them, shed tears and held our hands up to bless them. After the ceremony, a little girl in pink ran down the aisle to pull the bell rope. The bells chimed and chimed announcing the happy event to the whole city. We waited outside on the steps to blow bubbles as the giggling couple came running out. It was marvelous! The reception that followed was up in the mountains. We sat outside with wine, meeting new people and telling stories as the sun went down. The food was superb, the cake: amazing, and the couple: completely charming! I was so happy to be a part of this great day! Unfortunately, I was not able to snap too many pictures. The following will have to suffice!

Here's the dim inside of the church. One of the most beautiful places I've ever been!

Waiting on the steps.

A very charming guest at the ceremony!

Me having fun!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Few Runners Up

While I ran around with my egg trying to find a suitable picture for the Friday Photo Challenge, I took a few odd ball photos. My dear cat was a good sport and tolerated being in my "egg studio." I just had to post these!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Photo Challenge: Egg! Egg?

What a unique theme from Chania this week for the Photo Challenge! My interpretation follows:

Sorry I have not written more posts in between the photo challenges. Life has been suddenly busy around here. I'll get back to it soon! :)

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