Ice, Ice Baby

141209 Ice

So this is the view from upstairs this morning.  It looks a little worse now.  The weather predictions were right so far and I have done a little planning ahead.  I’ve been watching the squirrels slide on the ice below the feeders and Sophie walked herself this morning (with difficulty) because I wasn’t going to venture past the shed door.  I loaded up the chickens last night, bought some groceries in the afternoon ready to hunker down and stay put.

I absolutely LOVE these days, especially this close to Christmas.  This year all of the gifts I give (well, most) will be handmade.  My list is not long but as with everything else I wait until I’m under a lot of pressure before I do anything.

141209 Maille

I’m still playing with chainmaille, it’s so calming to make and so beautiful when finished.  I can do it while having my morning coffee or pick it up when I have a few minutes.  It’s one of those things that is mindless, repetitive.  Another form of meditation.

141209 Wool

Then there is this stack of wool.  I’ve been mulling this over for a couple of weeks now.  I finally have the patterns I need and all of the material gathered in one place.  I see sewing in my future.

Snow/ice days are such a blessing of time for me.  They are extreme crafting sorts of days.  It may be a throwback to childhood when you had the day off from school and had nothing but the day ahead of you to do whatever you wanted.  There were games, books, the great outdoors.  It seemed as if those days were gifts allowing big blocks of time for pastimes you only had minutes to usually do.

The other aspect is having blocks of time before the holidays.  It’s a time when I do the most baking.  Snow outdoors?  Bake some cookies.  Smells of cinnamon while warming the kitchen to a cozy temperature, something that’s more of a treat than the norm.

So I will be the ultimate multi-tasker today doing things that need to be done (laundry) interspersed with things I love to do.  It makes me think the weather should last the rest of the week.  Just think of what I could accomplish!

 

You’re Never Too Old

I received a link to an article about a nursing home’s calendar project.  They had photographed their residents in classic film roles for each month.  It’s awesome.

I worked with the woman who sent it to me a few years ago in a therapeutic rec. position in a long term care facility.  She and I did an event weekly for a while that we called “Glamor Shots for the Elderly”.  Once a week we would bring in our boas, hats, jewelry and makeup and doll the girls up for their photo session.  The room we used had ceiling high windows facing south so I used nothing but natural light.  I have to tell you this was a huge hit, not only with the residents but with their families.

Tony DepinMany of these residents were on a hospice wing.  They were all more than game to play dress up with us and would pick out their best outfits to come in for their “photo shoot”.

AntoinetteWhat started out as a lark turned into something that they really looked forward to, and gave their families a photograph of the playful side of their people.  We made them feel beautiful and special for an afternoon and I believe we sent prints of the images to the families for holidays.

Dot BI have to say this was one of the best photography related things I have ever done.  Maybe not so much for the images as for what it did for the people we photographed.

It’s been a long time since I’ve worked in long term care but my friend’s message, “Joanne, when we run our own LTC center we are totally doing this!” made me think I should really think about doing this again.

 

 

 

 

#nofilter

131114 SunsetThis was the sunset over Enfield last evening.  I was stunned with its beauty and for the first time, after photographing it, I realized why so many people use the hashtag “nofilter”.  I manipulate images all the time before posting them – to me that’s part of the fun of Instagram.  Take a mediocre image and play with it a little then post.  Instagram says it all for me – Instant.  I have to say that most of the time I try to post something that is worthy of a look and take time in composition, exposure, etc. even if it is on my phone.

When I stopped to photograph this last night it was with that usual little panic about finding the right spot (as I’m driving), then that level of frustration about using a phone to try to do justice to the scene.  I took 6 shots, I deleted 4.  As I photographed I would look at the finished result and think to myself, “Is this the best representation of what I am seeing?”  Honestly a panoramic would have done a better job to relay what I was feeling about this sunset sky, the enormity of it but in the end this was what I got.  I posted it with just a comment about its stunning beauty and felt many of the people who saw the image probably would have seen this sky in one iteration or another.

Some times nature is so beautiful it defies words or photography.  When I see stunning photographs by excellent photographers I doubt their authenticity sometimes.  In this day of Photoshop it is easy to doubt.  At the same time I think we need to trust that the people who are posting wonderful photographs are giving us what they want us to see.  Everyone’s idea of beauty is their own and by sharing what they think is a beautiful image should be taken just for what it is – a glimpse into their soul.