One Year Ago Today

One year ago today we had our first look at the house that would become our Arizona home!

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July 3, 2013 found us looking for a house to buy in Arizona after having bravely sold our California home without knowing for sure where we were going.  We were pretty sure Prescott was the place- we had good friends here, we were were looking for a small town and a simpler lifestyle- but we needed to find the right house! Our realtor wasn’t much help, but our friend Debbie found a house just listed online that seemed to fulfill our requirements (one story, 4 bedrooms, open floor plan, easy maintenance). We got the realtor to get us in- and the rest is history! I knew it was the place when we walked in the door- it just felt like home. We ended up making an offer, but lost out to another buyer. Dejected, we drove back to California without having bought a house and talked about renting until we found the right one.  A few weeks later, the other buyer’s deal fell through, and we got in the car to drive back to Arizona to visit the house again and make an offer. On August 24, we moved in!

Back in California, I spotted this table runner at Pier 1 and bought it for our Arizona home.  I love the Southwest colors and how it looks it with my Trader Joe’s sunflower bouquet.

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I took these shots for Be Still 52, Week 7, a lesson on depth of field and a softly focused background.

 

 

 

 

Hot, Dry, and Windy

Yes, I’m talking about the weather here in Prescott!

Dozens of these (very photogenic) little things blow up to my front door every day.

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And now we seem to have a mini- tumbleweed on the front porch settee.

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Bring on the monsoon- we need rain!

 

Contrast

I was uninspired yesterday, but was in a photography mood.  I had been intending to photograph some huge leaves that came in a Trader Joe’s bouquet, so set them out and started shooting. When it was time to edit, nothing really appealed to me.  I ended up merging two photos and adding a Flypaper texture to create the image below.  It is nothing like the leafy, green, backlit shot I envisioned, but I like the contrasting shades and textures.

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The second photo practically begged to be taken! I was planning to do a photoshoot with an old milk bottle on my dining table (and I sorta did. . .).  But for the first time in this Arizona house, I was captivated by the light! I love the contrast of the light and shadow as the late afternoon/early evening light came pouring through in the sliding glass door. This is why I love photography- it’s those unexpected moments!

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Happy With Apps

I’ve become a mad collector of photo apps for my iPhone- it’s amazing how many there are! I think I need to stop until I fully understand the ones I have.

starfish

I took a shot of this starfish on my bathroom counter. In Snapseed (my go-to app that I mostly DO understand), I cropped it to a square, sharpened it a bit, converted it to black and white and added a vintage filter, which added some warm tones.  I then added a texture in Mextures and the text in Phonto.  Pretty simple!

I’m linking up with Barb’s App- Happy Wednesday!

Keeping With The Times

Negative

My friend and fellow photographer, Carol (infocusdaily.com), and I have been talking about the use of negative space in our images.  In looking through some still-life photos I took Saturday, I found one that definitely has negative space- more than I usually use in my photos. This was taken in my current home studio- the hall bathroom- that’s a shower curtain in the background!

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The Brothers Again

We’re still missing our sweet grandsons a lot!  We’re so grateful for the wonderful visit we had and are already planning our next trip to Yellowstone to visit them. We’ve received two phone calls from 3 year old Henry (one unknown to his mother!), which lets us know he’s still thinking of us.

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Scrub-a-dub

This old washboard has been with us at every house we’ve owned- always sitting in the garage.  I think we bought it at a garage sale or maybe an antique store and intended to hang it in a laundry room.  I have it by the fireplace in this house, but think we might actually hang it this time.

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Warmth

One of the things I love about our new house is our living room/mancave.  We no longer have a formal living room, but instead have an open floor plan with a “great room” (we never call it that)- where we sit by the fire in the evening and watch TV.  It’s designed for comfort and warmth, with recliner couches, a fireplace with a gas log, and a TV. I have added flowers and some decorative touches to dilute its mancave-ness; it suits me as well as the male members of the family.

This photo shows my gerberas in front of a lantern (with a battery operated candle in case of power outages). You can see fireplace bokeh in the background.

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Little Visitor

This little bird stayed at our sliding glass door for the longest time; I’m not sure if he could see in or was studying his reflection. Eventually, another came around, and they both flew off.

Waiting to see which of my friends will tell me what kind of bird it is. . .

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Textured with several textures from Kim Klassen’s waterfront collection.

Lumpy (and bumpy)

I’m having one of those uninspired days today, so I went to Flickr again for inspiration.  One of the challenges was lumpy, so I photographed one of the sea shells my father brought back from the South Pacific during World War II.  I obsessed for awhile over whether this shell was bumpy and not lumpy– but ultimately am just calling it lumpy for the challenge.  Say those two words long enough and they don’t sound like real words anyway!

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Playing With Shadows

I think this just might be the last post with my dried up flowers. . . On the third day of my quest to find good light, I noticed the shadows cast on the wall by the bottle and dried flowers in my living room.  As I focused on the shadows, the camera also focused on the texture of the wall- which I didn’t want it to do.  I never completely solved this problem, but did add some texture to the image of the single bottle- which diminished the problem somewhat.

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Yet again . . .

I spent three days with my tripod set up in my living room (actually, it’s still there) and pointed at my tiny arrangement of dried flowers. Warning- there will probably be one more post with these flowers.

Here is a macro, converted to black and white with a bit of split toning for warmth.

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Dried

The formerly pink flowers on one of our shrubs outside have dried in an attractive way, so I’ve been making little arrangements of them. I converted this shot to black and white to eliminate the green wall behind- and added a texture at very low opacity.  Last night I dreamed that I was photographing carbonated water in front of newly painted white walls in our living room, but that people kept drinking the water. Psychoanalyze THAT!

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Macro Playtime

Santa was good to me this year- especially in the photography department!  Under my tree, I found some Cokin ND filters, a download code for onOne’s Perfect Photo Suite, and a ballhead for my tripod!!! Within a day or two, I had the ND filters figured out and the new software installed, but attaching the ballhead to my tripod required a trip to the hardware store for the correct sized Allen wrenches. Yesterday, I put the ballhead through its paces when I used it to set up some macro shots.

The first is a detail shot of a small Christmas tree made from gold wire, and the second is (obviously!) a pinecone.

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‘Twas the day after Christmas. . .

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas! We had a great day- full of gifts, cooking, and eating- and we even caught a movie! It was just the three of us- my husband, our son and myself.  We were sorely missing a big chunk of our family (our daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons), but were able to connect with them through facetime, texted photos, and a phone call. All in all a lovely day.

Today’s photo is a detail from the beautiful and fragrant sage wreath made by our daughter for our front door. It is so pretty- and so special to us because she made it herself!  Thanks, Caity! <3<3<3

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Textured with ecru from Kim Klassen’s Cloth and Paper collection.