Saturday, April 20, 2013

Focusing On Life 52 Weeks~ Week 16 ~ Take A Walk

This is the view through the front door
from the inside of what used to be our children's playhouse 
 turned garden shed.
I designed and decorated this old door to look like stained glass
using the lead lining in the tube and stained glass paints back in 1991.

You see, for the prompt this week we were told to take a walk.
So I did.
Down Memory Lane.

I did not realize at the time how difficult this walk would prove to be.
This past week we began the monumental task of cleaning out and tearing down this old shed.
As much as we hated to do it, the floor had rotted out after it had settled lower onto the ground and some of the trim boards and roofing and siding had bad areas too so we decided to order a new one to replace it.

But during the course of this week my emotions went the way of the demolition.

Upside down and inside out.
And I soon realized,
Nothing would ever replace it.

The year was 1991
the shed was original to our house
dirt floor ,open door, typical old outdoor tool shed.
We had covered the failing wood shingled roof with tin prior to this
and after building a larger outdoor storage barn/studio  the year before,
decided to convert this into a playhouse for our daughter
who had just turned 7. 
 Our son who was 2 at the time, would later get a fort of his own, complete with trap door.

We had salvaged the door from a renovation we had done on a rental house and cut it to size.

Ready for occupancy except for the front steps.
We planted some camellias in bright pink
and even added some pink gingerbread trim to match the wraparound porch on our house.

Inside, I painted the floor with porch floor paint and stenciled designs around the perimeter.
My husband built 2 bunks onto which we placed air mattresses and even a handmade quilt.
We hung a closet rod to hold all the dress up outfits.
There were storage drawers and boxes to hold items like play food and dishes,
dolls and clothes, art and craft supplies.
No this was no ordinary playhouse, it was a dream house.

There was a ladder to a full carpeted loft above for even more play area.
There were sleepovers out here, more plays and pageants than I can count with neighborhood kids, food was cooked in the play kitchen, babies were fed and bathed and put to sleep and imaginations were nurtured.

With the exception of the first 4 photos taken this week,
the rest have been culled from photo albums and scanned .
It was the process of looking through those albums
seeing all these pictures
finding myself way down memory lane
 that a flood of emotions came over me
taking me back
making me realize the significance of losing the playhouse.

I found myself wanting to go back to these days,
even if just for a little while
duck my head and enter
sit to a tea party with my hostess
most likely dressed in a gown, play makeup and all,
and just soak it all up.
Enjoy every moment without feeling like there was something else I should be doing,
places I needed to go, errands to run, work to do, half distracted
the way most mother's feel at that time in their lives.

Since that is not possible,
I will have to content myself with these photos
and all the wonderful memories
have a good cry
and start over with my grandchildren.
Tea anyone?

I would also like to thank everyone for their comments last week, I have been unable to respond yet and visit everyone's posts but I will work on catching up over the next 2 weeks as I will be away again next week at Art and Soul.
Now you can take a walk, over to The Studio Sublime to see all the other great posts.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Focusing OnLife 52 Weeks~ Week 15~ Aged Beauty

It was a beautiful sunny warm morning
All of the vendors were busy spreading their wares
on tables and blankets and even the dew kissed ground.
The hunters and gatherers, wide eyed with anticipation
already scanning the vista, the aisles of treasures
just awaiting their moment of discovery.
Excitement was in the air along with the smell of
fresh donuts, kettle corn and breakfast fare.

A small crowd had gathered in front of one vendors table
always a good sign, drawing others in
something wonderful must be here, so much interest.
As I glanced quickly so as not to miss out
she called to me, so loudly I could hear no other call
"May I see that brass pin?" I found myself saying
reaching past the other hunters who were suddenly quiet.
"I'll take it"

 Burying my treasure in my bag until later
I walked away, giddy over what I had found
But it wasn't until much later, this week in fact
with the aid of my macro lens
that I came to appreciate her true aged beauty.
The intricate handwork which went into her creation
what I once thought was just silver filigree in the background
showcasing vintage rhinestones and pearls,
turned out to be a labyrinth of seed beads
in mother of pearl and silver lined crystal.

Behind every aged beauty lies a story
a past history
a mystery to unfold
I will wonder about hers.

To enjoy some more aged beauty head on over to The Studio Sublime.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Focusing On Life~Week 14~Up Close

 Looking at any object up close transforms it into an unidentifiable landscape,
a scary terrain seemingly from another planet
complete with hidden caves and stalagtites

 It can even sometimes take on human characteristics
like these hands and fingers which seem to reach up out of the ground to grasp an object

You can see well defined patterns and rows of shapes that would otherwise go unnoticed

And textures not visible to the naked eye

You begin to wonder,
what am I looking at?

Then suddenly it all makes sense.

Head on over to The Studio Sublime to get up close and personal this week.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Focusing On Life 52 Weeks~ Week 13~ Have Faith

My faith runs deep and strong
It sustains me in uncertain times
Calms my fears
Quiets the noise in my head
Directs me in the ways I should go.

I have faith in a power greater than myself
One who holds the master plan that I am not privy to
I realize that each of us has to walk our own path in this life
Find our own way
Deal with the pitfalls and obstacles and detours
Inherently ours alone.

That for as much as we would like to spare someone
the experience of what we perceive to be mistakes and bad decisions
and the subsequent growing pains sure to follow
we must let them go
 and  hold onto the faith that we are all right where we should be
when we should be there
learning exactly what it is we need to learn
every step of the way.

Join the rest of the faithful at The Studio Sublime

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Focusing On Life 52 weeks~ Week 12~ Observe The Curve

Much like a roadmap,
a sewing pattern is a guide,
full of twists and turns and curves,
stop signs and markers and directions
taking you on a journey.
A little confusing at the start perhaps,
even overwhelming at times
but if you trust in the process,
and in the mapmaker's skills,
have a little faith,
you will end up right where you need to be.
This past weekend, I was lucky to attend The Sewing and Quilt Expo in Lakeland with my Mom.
I have been inspired to do a little more sewing ever since going to the ACC show in Baltimore a few weeks ago with my friend Bette.
At that show I fell in love with several handmade garments, gorgeous tunics and jackets that were unfortunatley WAY out of my price range.
When I saw the sewing expo advertized I jumped on the chance to go and I was not disappointed, as a matter of fact, I wish I had found out about it sooner as they offered many classes over the course of 4 days,  a good number of them in garment construction.
I may try to get to the one in Baltimore when it comes there and pick up a few classes  if I can get away.
I was able to pick up several designer patterns and some wonderful fabrics that I don't usually see in the average fabric shop.
I opened one of the patterns and immediately saw the answer to this week's prompt.
I have also wanted to use the posterization affect on a photo and the graphic nature of this photo lent itself perfectly to that.
Observe the rest of the curves over at The Sudio Sublime.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Focusing On Life 52 Weeks~ Week 11~ The Possibilities Are Endless

"Each morning we are born again.
What we do today is what matters most"
Buddha's Little Instruction Book
 When pondering this weeks prompt,
The possiblilities are endless,
I thought, had I been home I might take a picture of a new block of clay,
or perhaps my stash of beads or art supplies, all affording endless possibilities
of creation.
But then I thought a little deeper, and took a picture this morning of the sunrise and then this evening of the sunset, the hours between, the possibilities are endless as to what we make of them.

How many do we foolishly waste on unimportant things,
always taking for granted there will be another one right behind it?

I hope to be ever mindful that I have been given this day,
 this hour,
this minute, only.
Go explore all the other possibilities at the Studio Sublime

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Focus On Life 52 Weeks~ Week 10 ~ All Wrapped Up

Wrapped up and trapped in their own skins
kraft paper camellias

Frozen in time
Never to realize their full potential

Yearning to open and bask in the warmth of the sun

To show their true colors

Alas only to find they are
a faded memory of what will never be

Youth and beauty lost.

This week's prompt was all wrapped up and while this initially conjured many other ideas,
when I saw my camellia bush, which stands a stately 10 or so feet tall by my front door,
covered in buds that never had the chance to open due to the freezing weather, I knew I had my subject.

Since this is a photography challenge, this week instead of shooting several photos, I chose to stick with one and experiment with some post processing to see what I could evoke.

The last photo is the photo I used in it's as shot, straight from the camera condition.
This shows me that when you take the time to frame the photo right when shooting, you will have a good strong dynamic image to work with which is then open to many opportunities to explore in post processing with very little effort.

Now grab a cuppa, wrap up in something warm and cozy and head on over to The Studio Sublime and visit all the other talented photographers on this journey with me.
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