Flashes of Happy

Life is an emotional two-steps-forward, one-step-back dance right now, so when I’m ahead, I grab my camera and do my best to nourish my soul. This week I was able to take Beth’s advice below and run with it, grabbing some wonderful flashes of happy. Celebrate with me, won’t you?

Flash #1 ~
There’s a new grandbaby on the way! My daughter created the board for the announcement below and brought our precious big-sister-to-be Rae-baby over for the pictures. I don’t usually photograph things that move (and boy did this one move!), but we all had a great time and are happy with the results.

Flash #2 ~
I also managed to make another still life photo earlier in the week. We’ve had a lot of rain and the sun just hasn’t been cooperating with my work schedule, so light is scarce when I’m home. But even though I only captured the single image below, the cheery yellow makes me quite happy.

Flash #3 ~
Did ya see it?! Did ya see it?! Did ya? Did ya? See what? Well Jurassic World of course! I’m a total dork I know, but I actually got a little misty during the fly-overs of the island as the theme music swelled. Twenty years ago I cuddled with my then 6-year-old daughter as we watched part of the original on TV, marveling at the dinosaurs, with a blanket to hide under during any scary parts of course. Oh the nostalgia! 

So did you grab any flashes of happy this week?

Grace,
Brenda


I’m celebrating the extraordinary ordinary today with Barb Brookbank’s Sunday SundriesDo you have something to celebrate? Come join us!

Coffee & Change

I began learning about still life photography from Kim Klassen in 2010. She truly is an amazing instructor and has given me the tools and inspiration to take my art beyond what I ever dreamed. This month marks the end of Kim’s year-long Be Still – 52 class, and I’ve learned so very much. I can’t believe it’s nearly over! Below is my take on the Week 48 – Coffee & Change prompt.

Coffee and Change

Well, as you can see, I’ve actually done 4 takes. Kim has recently offered for purchase two collections of her amazing Lightroom presets. These presets allow you to change the mood of your photos with a single click, or give you a jumping off point in expressing your own style.

Kim has some wonderful before and after photos featuring  The Studio Preset Collections on her website, along with detailed info on how you can get them.

The mug and plate for this shot came from Pier 1, and that’s actually my personal journal. And yes, I really did drip coffee on it on purpose. But those chocolate gooey butter cookies? I have no idea how they taste because I can’t eat them…sadness. They sure looked good though!

Oh, and I do have a favorite Coffee & Change edit. What’s yours?

Grace,
brenda


Kim Klassen dot com

 Joining Kim today for Texture Tuesday.

Descent

Descent – Haunted, Choked, Strangled, Shattered

Much has happened in me in the month since I last posted. Honestly, I didn’t expect I’d continue the blog, much less share this. Yet here I am.

I created the photo series above a couple weeks ago, during a time of intense depression and anxiety. It depicts my progression…descent…into grief since I started counseling in January.

I don’t have any answers, no resolution to these feelings yet…the process continues. But today is a better day; the anxiety has left and the pain is less intense. I’m grateful for the reprieve and for the art that speaks when I don’t have words.

Grace,
brenda

Celebrating My Art

Bunting Vignette for Be Still – 52

 

(A shout out to Karen at Katie Claire’s Cottage for the tutorial I used to make the paper bunting in this photo.)

I’ve been catching up on my still life class assignments/prompts this weekend. My art truly is therapy for me. It lifts my mood and gets me moving, and refills that special place in my soul that empties when I’m too long away.

Side Light – Organic for Be Still – 52

Just like I need hope, I need my art. It reminds me that there is purpose beyond the get up, go to work, pay the bills, clean the house, do the laundry, buy the groceries, rinse, repeat.

Chippy, new to me table for my own little still life studio space

 

Oh, by the way, yesterday I was blessed to find the perfect table for the corner in my office that I’ve set aside as my still life studio. Both photos above were taken there…so exciting!

So I’m celebrating my new little studio space and this God-given gift of my art today. May your day be filled with blessing and celebration too.

Grace,
brenda


I’m linking up today with Sunday Sundries by the fabulous Barb at Keeping with the Times.com

 

Stages

A week after Valentine’s day I came home from work to find my beautiful gift roses all fallen and wilted.

I’d let the water dry up.

I quickly snipped their stems and gave them water again, hoping they’d revive, to no avail.

Except for one.

My counselor and I have been talking about things I need to spend some time mourning. Consequently, I’ve been thinking about the stages of grief lately. Seeing my roses variously wilted spoke to me of those stages, with the single bloom defiantly, expectantly…hopefully…facing upward. So as the metaphor emerged, I turned the flower toward the light…it’s only true source of hope.

Grace,
brenda

Journaling

I have an on-again/off-again relationship with journaling, mostly because of my perfectionism. I’ll start a journal, keep at it for awhile, but eventually stop. Then because I missed so many days and things have changed so much since I stopped and I don’t have time to fill in all the gaps in the story, I feel I have to start all over. I’m embarrassed at the number of journals I own that are a quarter full.

But…my counselor suggests I journal, so I will try again, and in true fashion I’ve gone overboard…

Okay, so in my defense, this photo came about from a still life prompt in The Studio, but, well, yeah. It’s no wonder I give up…so much pressure to use all these pretty things!

I have two goals to accomplish in journaling: to take time to write what I’m thinking and feeling and mulling over, and to capture my thoughts and other details throughout the day. I have attempted this most recently using digital tools, but it’s just not working for me. So here’s my two-fold plan, totally nabbed from, ahem, inspired by Emily Freeman’s recent post. I’m ditching digital for analog, giving Morning Pages a try in an attempt to corral my swirling thoughts, and using the Bullet Journal method as a daily collection tool. Perhaps I’ll use my pretty things, perhaps I won’t.

Grace,
brenda

One by One

Teardrop petals fall one by one…

I enjoyed making this photo yesterday…the styling, the shooting, the editing. Today though a metaphor emerged, coming from a sadness I didn’t know was there. It’s a sadness at injustice and evil, at the Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross, at events a world away which suddenly became very personal. After all, I claim the name of Christ so I too am of the nation of the cross.

Other voices have spoken much more eloquently than I ever could, but I too must speak.

I will speak of 21.
21 whose crime was faith, whose sentence was a gruesome death.
21 fallen, one by one.
21 walked to the beach by their captors, 21 forced to kneel in the sand.
21 with time to consider their families, friends, spouses, children, before the end.
And what of those 21 families…what anguish must they feel?

Why does God let this happen?!!

He answers with His own Message Signed with Blood to the nations of the world…the blood of Jesus, drops spilled one by one to save and restore.

 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” (John 3:16-18, The Message)

“God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public—to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. This is not only clear, but it’s now—this is current history! God sets things right.” (Romans 3:25-26, The Message)

And what is God’s message to the 21…to their families?  He says, “I will set things right.” In the end evil will be vanquished, and these 21 overcomers will be avenged.

Come quickly Lord Jesus.

brenda