Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day 122 of POTD: We're Watching You!

Just thought I'd have my husband take a picture of me, and me of my dearly beloved (my husband!)

These are two more photos from the little Museum of Art on the UND campus. No water for this week's theme. . . but we're watching all of YOU play in the water!

To answer a question from Becky, these photos were shot through the window of a piece of art at the Museum. I'll post the whole "structure" later today.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Day 121: Eagle (eye)

My husband and I took a little trip to the local Museum of Art on the University of North Dakota campus. This is a Native American carving in alabaster.

My husband really liked that people commented yesterday on what a good "eye" he has for photography!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Day 120: Patriotic Puddles

When I told my husband the theme for this week is "water", he pointed to a puddle in the parking lot, and said "There's some!"

So he gets credit today for this idea of photos of patriotic puddles!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Day 119: Trying very Hard to Behave Today!. . .

. . especially since Becky so sweetly gave me this award:

It's the Arte y Pico, and you pass it on to five other bloggers who inspire you.

And it's so easy to find 5 inspirational bloggers, because I'm inspired by all of you!
I'm passing it on to:

Debbi at NorthernExposures Debbi posts incredible action shots of her very talented daughters, and portraits that have the most lovely coloring and lighting ever. Debbi has taught me about RAW and custom white balance.

Jeanne at Creative Bliss and Heather at JoyRevisited are incredibly talented digiscrappers, who also fill their blogs with all kinds of other very creative craft projects that make me want to play and play and play! It's no surprise to me that the titles of their blogs include the words "Joy" and "Bliss!"

Gypsy Girl at On the Go Photo is inspirational for her adventurous and loving family. She's the mother of 6 boys, 1 very sweet daughter, her husband builds golf courses, and they travel all over the place! Vicariously, looking at her photos, satisfies some of my wanderlust!

In Mandy's work,the mud pie princess, you see divergent thinking in action! I love the quotes she includes, the lighting and composition of her work are breathtaking, and she challenges me to expand my perspective beyond the predictable.

These are five that happen to rapidly come to mind right now. But what I love about doing the POTD, and hanging out at the playground is the generosity of sharing from all of you, of your knowledge and creativity!

I think we average about 35-40 posts a day on the POTD thread; every night is another treasure trove, whether it's from the postings, or the comments. These days, I actually WORRY about when I go out of town; I don't want to be cut-off from my fellow bloggers!

Since this week's theme is water, I thought I'd add water to these teacups and float buds in the water for these photos. My daughter is going to be a bridesmaid this summer for one of her best friends. There's a shower next weekend, and my daughter, Dianna, asked me to pick up some teacups at thrift stores for her, to be used as part of party favors. For weeks, I've had these cut flowers, starting to wilt, and thought I'd get one more photo op out of them.

I set them on a mirror for an extra little reflection.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Day 118: Pouting about the Snow

Well, because they closed the roads for a dumb blizzard (17 inches of snow!) between me and my CHILD this weekend, I'm pouting. This is how I'll pout: I'm posting a picture about the child I was, long ago and far away. . . When my 2 girlfriends and I played "Super Barbie!" Except

they were playing Sweet Elegant dressed up fancy Barbie, and I was playing Super Barbie, swooping over their heads, hawk-like, with totally clever shrieks, and my friends got mad. My bf (whose name happened to be "Becky") grabbed--and beheaded--my Barbie and tossed her head into the general clutter of her back porch. I stormed off, martyr-like, and some THING came over me, and I picked up the head and dropped it in my pocket. Secretly. But carried on about how "My Barbie's head is lost, lost, L-o-s-t. . . .!"

I went home. And on the way, down the alley, my stubborn self buried the Barbie head in the dirt. This was back in the days when a Barbie was a Big Deal; it wasn't like my family could go out and buy another just because my Barbie's head was "Lo - 0 - 0 -s-t!!!!" Becky's mom made her clean up the whole porch from corner to corner. . . ummmm, . . . searching for the Lost Head.

It took me years to admit to my friend that I'd buried my own head!

And in spite of all this, wonderful Becky (of POTD) likes the way I look at the world???? Hopefully she won't change her mind after this, and before all of Blogger World I promise never to bury my head in the ground and blame it on her! (Becky, I'll pass on the trophy tomorrow, if I don't get it done tonight!)

PS My DH says this photo is scaring him about me!

Friday, April 25, 2008

117: POTD --A Conch Shell

No children. . . . but no weird dolls either! Just a pretty conch shell as we brace for the snow tonight. Where or where is spring?????????

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Day 116: Soul Communications & Wisdom Prophecy Convergence

Oh woeful day! Apparently, I missed a conference last week in the other city along North Dakota's Red River. I missed the Atlantean Workshops where I could have discovered how to communicate with souls and ghosts, discover why Archangels are visible, and get Personal Messages.

So I took this photo to mark this omission on my part. And I just want to say to the neighbor across the street that it really IS ok to let kids come over to my house on Halloween to trick-or-treat, and I really do have much better pajamas than this. Somewhere.

And in honor of that person who shall remain nameless to protect her anonymity (yesterday's post), who snuck into a casino to take bathroom pictures, but whose initials are JESSICA BELL, I used this photo to play with her beautiful actions (shown here, bronzed action for PSE with a pattern overlay).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Day 115: On the road from ND to MO

All I got, a few photos, out the front of my car window, while driving from ND to Missouri, a few weeks ago. We went to my son's school for "Mother's Weekend." This first one is an ugly casino in a desolate spot, and UNLIKE OTHERS WHOSE NAMES I WILL NOT MENTION, I didn't sneak into the bathroom to get renegade photos!

Water reflected. Blurry. . . can't get much at 75 mph.


No cute kids nearby so I can take their photos to be on theme this week :( .

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Day 114: Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! Check out this web site: It's got some really good suggestions to recycle, use less energy, basically to reduce your carbon footprint on the earth. And the best thing is you can put in your own zip code, and find out where all your local places are for recycling batteries, compact fluorescent light bulbs (without releasing mercury in the water supply), etc.

I found out that this weekend in my town, I can drop off old printers, computers, monitors just a few blocks away from where I live! They can be recycled (without my having to pay a fee!) in a way that's a little more environmentally-friendly.

Here's a photo of a "happy spot" in my yard. It's my compost pile! Now's the time of the year I can take the composted soil from last year (black gold) and put it on plants in my yard. I can throw leaves, vegetable waste, (even coffee grounds!) and clippings in it to start a new batch. It sounds weird, but composted soil smells really good! It has a nice, earthy smell that hints of spring and new life! TFL (but check out the link above!)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Day 113: More from the Wacipi

I'm glad you enjoyed yesterday's poetry from Scott. I'm posting a few more photos from the Wacipi, just because they're so much fun to play with! I used 2 EasyActions on them, one a rustic charm action, and Antique on the last one. TFL!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Day 112: Poetry from Scott

Well, this is cheating.

Photos I didn't take.

Of my funny, sweet son who is in the US Navy, stationed in Japan right now.

He's also a young bachelor, so I was surprised when, he sent me, his MOTHER for heaven's sake, . . . .
this slightly risque poem. He gave me permission to put it on my blog, and since the theme this week is "children", this is what my "child" sent me:

Silky and smooth, bitter and sweet,

I love to nibble at your feet,

The lines and contours of your ears,

My tongue has traced oe’r the years

With lips I’ll devour on the hour,

And thighs to sate my late night taste,

You’re my treat, you’re my honey,

You’re my discounted Easter Bunny.

Chocolate Cheeks, Dark and deep,

Cause my hungry heart to leap,

Hard candy eyes, soft cocoa bands,

Melt in my mouth, and melt in my hands,

50 cents on the dollar,

Doesn’t make you any smaller,

You’re my sweet, you’re my honey,

You’re my discounted Easter Bunny,

A little crunchy, a little stale,

Some chocolate dust has left you pale,

A hollow frame hides a hollow soul,

Chomps and bites have taken their toll,

But when I eat you up, don’t fear,

You’ll live fore’er in my tummy here,

You’re my treat, you’re my honey,

You’re my discounted Easter Bunny

I call it “Ode to a Discounted Easter Bunny”

Well, it made me laugh! I set up this last photo to go along with it.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Day 111: UND Indian Association Wacipi Powwow

Nearly 400 Wacipi Dancers are competing this weekend in the UND Indian Association Wacipi Powwow. Dancers come from all over the US and Canada, but primarily the midwest. There will also be 9 invited drumming groups, coming from as far as Connecticut. Dancing and drumming are an important part of American Indian culture and the dances have both strong personal and spiritual dimensions. In addition to the drumming and dancing is honoring. According to Johnette Gillis, the Wacipi coordinator, "Honoring specials is a way for those going through a transition in their lives to give back to the community and say "thank you" to those who have helped them along the way." This weekend will include graduation honoring, and the ones I've seen in the past were marked by the graduate giving gifts to those who were important and helpful to him or her, and is quite a moving ceremony!

Even though some of these shots may look like people are "standing around" they definitely are not! These are most definitely action shots, with this entire gym in a blur of motion, to the sound of the drums. It's all quite stunning and moving!

Oops! I forgot to add this, about yesterday's post: In yesterday's post, my "what is it?" is a stone lion statue. If you look closely at the buildingon the Mizzou campus in the photos above the lion, you'll see that there are two these lions in the archway. This is the history behind the lions:

School of Journalism Lions
— Two stone lions located in the J-School archway, a gift from the Chinese government in 1931, were carved at the birthplace of Confucius and are more than 600 years old. Walter Williams, who started the world's first school of journalism at Mizzou in 1908, made certain that the Missouri Method reached students outside the U.S. by training journalists from China and bringing a World Press Congress to Missouri.

Earlier this year (February), I posted a picture of a statue I have at home. tomboymamma had written this comment:
"I believe your statue is a Chinese fu dog (sometimes spelled foo dog) which is really an imperial lion (guardian)."

In case you can't make out the detail clearly enough to read the inscription above the archway, here are the words:
"Wise Shall Be the Bearers of Light" and is meant to be a constant reminder of the duty of journalists.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Day 110: More of Mizzou

Which of these two photos do you like better? The first is closer and shows more detail; the 2nd gives a little more of the context. Both are shot with my 18-135 mm lens, in manual mode, RAW, wb: sunny; f/4.5; exp 1/200; 18mm. This is the journalism building on the Mizzou campus, and I took these photos a few weeks ago.

And this is my "what is it" for this evening.

Thank you Heather. And I agree. I like this cropping much better than the one I posted yesterday (the first picture in the post.)

Yesterday, Pat wrote: "I THINK that your little blue flower is a glory-in-the-snow, or chinodoxia." Pat, you are amazing! I looked up chinodoxia and saw photos that show a flower that looks very similiar to what this flower will look like when in bloom.

But then it hit me! What the heck! I'm showing you a bulb and asking you to guess what it will be when it's a fully bloomed flower! What's next? We'll show you a seed and ask you to tell us what the flower will be?????? And there you are, getting really close to the actual flower anyway! You're amazing!

It's actually a scilla, and this is what the internet says about it, "Siberian Squill is an ugly name for a very beautiful little flower. However, we can also refer to it as Scilla siberica, which is slightly more elegant. The colour is an intense Prussian blue, and it has three to five star-shaped blossoms suspended from each stem.

Not only is the flower lovely, the plant is incredibly hardy: it really does grow in Siberia. It is also one of the very best bulb plants for naturalizing (i.e. it will not only come back year after year, it will gradually increase and multiply). Also, it's very cheap to buy. How can you lose? Get some!"

Siberian. That makes sense. No wonder it grows in North Dakota!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Day 108: French Angel


Here's my "What is it?" portion of today's post. This is obviously a little flower; do you know what kind it is?

It's the very first flower to bloom in my yard each year.

It's really tiny. The bud is a little bigger than the size of puffed rice. I always hope that we've mowed the lawn one last time at the end of summer, fairly short, because this flower multiplies throughout our yard, and the first mowing will pretty much eliminate it. We probably won't have to mow for about 6 weeks though.

I used my all-time favorite lens, my macro lens. The thing about a macro lens is that positioning is really important. With cut flowers, I can put them in my sink, on a table, whatever, and use my tripod to get a nice parallel position to the part I want ot have the best focus. When the flower is growing in the ground. . . it means I have to get on the ground. I took a mat out to the yard with me, spread it out, and lay on my stomach.

Well, just prior to doing this, I'd taken my good old dog for a walk. I always worry about walking her too far, because I don't want to carry her 13 1/2 year old, 35 lb, puppy self home when she gets too tired. She was fine. But at one point she was a little too exuberant, and pulled my back out a bit.

You know where this is going, don't you?

Well, after lying on the ground on my stomach, it was time to get up.
But I couldn't.
Not too embarassing! Plus, my husband is out of town till Monday night. So I started rapidly calculating how long it would take before anyone noticed I was missing, and come look for me! What if I had to lay out on the ground all night, with rabbits hopping over my body? And then I realized that DEW would get on my beloved Nikon D40 and my MACRO LENS!!!!!! Ok, inch by inch, THAT got me up!

You're wishing I had a picture of this, aren't you? Well, THAT wasn't going to happen! (I thought about it, but I didn't have a tripod with me to set it up with a timer!) So next time, I'm taking my cell phone out with me!

Just for fun, thought I'd include this old photo taken with a point and shoot, in France, in 2004. I did some slight editing, added a bit of texture, and decided to post it, along with wishing I could go back to France with my DSLR now! (Even if the French Metro Swat team scooped me up in one of their "raids".)


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Day 108: What is this? And digiscrapping!

I tell you, my fellow POTD'ers, you're just smart! Yesterday's "what is it" was sesame seeds! Now today, I've included the "answer" at the bottom of this post, so don't scroll down yet if you want to try and guess. I'll put a "digiscrapping" layout between this, and the answer. In part, it's not a far "what is it," because this is only a portion of it.

Now, this is a digiscrapping layout from week 3 of "Digi in Deep" at In this layout, we learned these things:
  • Install a Photoshop .pat file
  • Create a custom background from pattern adjustment layers
  • Use Photoshop to “fake” a shallow depth of field on a photo
  • Create a multi-photo effect using masks and a .png frame
  • Experiment using text as texture
  • Create a lacy edge on a scalloped circle
  • Use the Rounded Rectangle tool to create a journaling block
  • Use the Burn tool with grunge brushes
  • Create semi-transparent ghost shapes

Ok, now this is the photo that makes it obvious what the first photo in this blog actually is. The first photo shows just the awning over the perch of this birdhouse. My sister sent me this birdhouse a year or so ago, and I have it in my yard in what of my little gardens. So far, no birds yet this spring, have taken up residence.

Sometimes birds don't like our yard much. These huge, nasty, black birds, or crows, take up residence and terrorize all the other birds. AND my dog. AND my daughter! Occasionally I declare war on them, sit in my yard with a garden house and squirt them as they dive bomb poor old Bonnie (dog, not daughter). Mostly, the birds win and I go inside thinking Dark Alfred Hitchcock thoughts about them.
(note: this does NOT mean that if they were dive-bombing my daughter, I would not protect her. She's just smart enough to go inside and not wage futile wars against birds.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Day 107-What is this?

Note to self: I should probably know for sure what something it is before I post it for this week's challenge of "What is this?" Nah, that might not happen!

You had such good guesses yesterday! And I think Becky's is the most accurate. This is a larger, more distant, view of this polished agate/rock thingy. I don't exactly know what it is, and have wondered if it does contain some kind of fossil in it. But I think it's a slice of agate, polished. It may not be clear from this photo, but the bottom is flat, and the top is more dome-shaped.

I'm pretty sure you'll figure out what this is: