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

Little Red Tin Cup

Do you see it? Isn’t it gorgeous?! I found this most perfectly imperfect little red tin cup at our local antique mall this week. I also found its companions, the vintage valentines and little red edged hanky, which are lovely too.

Oh, but that cup. So battered and rusty, I imagine it’s had quite the life. Now it gets to retire to my shelf with many prop friends, only working the odd job here and there helping me make art. What a deal!

And the metaphors are abundant. I could go on about its battered beauty or how what it’s surrounded by makes a difference, but I’ll save that for another time. Today I’m just glad the little red tin cup came home with me.

Grace,
brenda

Never Too Far

Any Jason Castro fans reading this? He made top four on American Idol in 2008. He was a favorite of mine then, and still is today. I have some of his music on my personal “hope-full” playlist (what, you don’t have one of those? you should definitely get one).

Anyway, I’ve had his song Wait for a Miracle on repeat since Monday morning and I’m alternating between tears and joy every time it plays, but it’s soooo good!

To think…I’m never too far from a miracle. My circumstances, my feelings…

my heart

can change in an instant.

Such HOPE!

I’ve embedded the song below if you wanna hear what I’m talking about.

Grace,
brenda