Thursday, July 28, 2011

Managed to finish my first blog for Birds and Blooms.  Had to work with one of the editors closely to get to know the program.  And the original item I had written, which I love very much needed to be pared down.....after all, I wasn't writing a story, I was highlighting an anecdote.

Kind of like life:  sometimes we are very dramatic and we feel that the whole world needs to hear our version of life, in minute detail.  In this case, paring out the fluff parts worked.  I have definately learned some focusing lessons.  But......

Improved living?  Sure, buying that camera was about the best personal move I have made in a long time, and I am really enjoying the learning part.  I am sure if I hadn't had that ability to take great pictures I wouldn't have the nerve to speak up to Birds and Blooms when the invitation showed up.  Found some terrific websites with wonderful information.  This blog is awesome.  Take some time if you want to check it out.
And now to show off some of my pics: 


These are all just for fun, haven't done any editing yet.  But it was great trying to get the shots.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Birds and Blooms

I am excited today because first of all, Harry Potter!  What a visually amazing conclusion to the series.  Just awesome.....but I digress before I even get started.  Second, and perhaps more important, I am going to respond to a request for a blogger from Birds and Blooms.  And yes, I am blogging about it to mentally determine if I would even qualify as a blogger for my favorite magazine.

The original purpose here was to give myself a sounding board for my watercolors, but I haven't picked a paintbrush up for a couple of months.  Instead it has been a good way for me to clarify my feelings about my surroundings, and with what goes on in my life,  facing changes I may need to make.  After all, life is too short and this latter half  is about doing what I love, or trying new things that I think I will love.  Thus a writing class this year, the new camera and teaching myself how to watercolor...and now, responding to a request from Birds and Blooms.

As a 'when I have time'  photographer I wonder if I would even qualify as a part time blogger for Birds and Blooms; after all, I am just learning how to use a decent camera,  and I just recently learned how to blog. Still, I love to write, I love my home with the plants all around, and the deck.  I love the hummingbirds approaching me when they are ready for more of my homemade nectar and I spend so much time looking at the magazine wishing I could do what those people do that I think well, why not?

If you know me you know my favorite thing is to sit on this deck to watch the hummingbirds and the finches; I keep the water hose handy to spray the neighborhood cats that also enjoy watching the hummingbirds and the finches.  For now Dawnee has  the camera that we share; hopefully when I get it back it will come with a new lesson from her on the next thing I should try to make the photos great. So I will need to wait for my weekend to take anymore pictures (Monday and Tuesday this week).

When it was my turn with the camera last week I took an awesome photo of a hummingbird resting in the nearby trees.  I am fascinated because his beak is parted, wings are ruffled from the breeze, and he just stayed there and posed for me.  I have included it with this blog.  It is my goal to paint this one for myself.  But the beauty of it as a photograph is breathtaking.  I fear to touch the paint with this task in mind and  I intend to study the photo while I am on my deck, protecting the birds from the cats and designing a painting that will display what I see in the photo.

I am excited about adding photos from surrounding area, with the idea of  visiting Chris and Lisa in northern Washington and perhaps traveling down to crater lake.  Blogging for Birds and Blooms would just give me the excuse I need to meander the valley and coast with camera at hand.  I could say it was for Birds and Blooms, but I would be able to take pics of things I want to paint and actually get to write about them!  Sounds like a win-win from my viewpoint.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Food, Cameras and Hummingbirds

So, spending my weekend with cooking and the new camera.  Cooking comes naturally to me, and I know when to glean ideas from my friends and family, and then put my own spin on them.  Thus, tonight I ate the best pasta salad I have ever had.  I am including the recipe, a form of bragging.
I think the key to the flavoring was in the marinated chicken and the use of the tuscan italian dressing.  Awesome.

1/2 package of pasta shells
three chicken breasts, cubed and marinated, then saute'd with mesquite and  cilantro and olive oil.
Sliced radishes
Cut up roma tomatoes
Blanched broccoli, cut very small
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
Can of  olives
Beau monde, salt for seasoning

Used David's recipe for dressing, chose Tuscan Italian Dressing, Cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of sour cream, mixed, blended, mixed again and blended until creamy.  Use as much as you want.  I like a lot of dressing.  That's why I am so hip, or hippy.....or a hippy.  Don't know which.

Then, to the camera.  I have always been intimidated by cameras that were more than point and click.  Give me a dial with choices and the freeze is in me, not in the shot I have taken.  So, Dawn dumbed it down for me and the first efforts were using just the basics.  People have no idea how difficult it is to stay still and try to operate a camera which is virtually a right handed piece of equipment using my left hand as my dominent side.  Thus the use of the tripod was an advance into the 21st century for me.  Who knew?

(And for those of you who don't understand the difference, try borrowing my left-handed scissors to cut out a pattern.  You will know what the meaning of a cramped hand and frustration.)

So, I am attempting to include examples of the pictures I was taking today with this wonderful canon camera.  Feeling goals come on for some of the painting ideas I have.