Category Archives: photography

Morning Beauty

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Happy Weekend!  Just thought I’d pop in and share a few photos I took earlier in the week.  I’m trying to get back into a morning walk routine – not only for the exercise, but so I can also enjoy fresh air, birdsong and nature regularly. That said, rising earlier and getting out for a walk was particularly well-rewarded on Tuesday.  It was a foggy morning, and as I walked in a particular area I was treated to the sight of dozens of dew-laden spider webs. What a stunning sight!

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I also saw some thrill-seeking adrenaline-junkie snails climbing up these dried brush stems – a good four or five feet off the ground.  It made me giggle to see those daring snails.

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And yes, the California drought continues but (plant) life goes on.

I’ve been missing doing photography lately – particularly nature photography.  I hope to get back to this beloved pastime soon, and will be sure to share the best images here.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Warm regards,
Melody

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Marcelino’s Garden

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In my mind the word “art” encompasses so much more than mediums like drawing and painting.  I think artful endeavors also include things like cooking, working with textiles, making music and so on.  Some of us have green thumbs and bring beauty to the word via plant life.  My father-in-law, Marcelino, is one of those people – gardening is his art.

I’ve been a fan of my father-in-law’s garden since I first started dating my husband nearly 18 years ago.  I’ve enjoyed countless visits to my husband’s childhood home over the years, where his parents still reside, and during each visit I take time to admire my father-in-law’s “living canvas”.  His garden is a bit different each time I visit, and I always enjoy the arrangement, the colors, the scents, and the textures.

He moves some of his plants around, includes a variety of both ornamental and edible plants, and cultivates a playful feeling in his garden.  Chile plants and tomatoes help to nourish loved ones – beauties like roses, calla lilies and geraniums give our eyes something to feast on.  And while the contents of Marcelino’s garden are primarily plants accented with garden sculpture, you may also find a chandelier hanging from an avocado tree or see an old plastic toy lizard left over from my hubby’s childhood glowering menacingly at you from the crook of a tree.  Those whimsical touches are among my favorites.

The photos in this post were taken over Easter weekend.  I used a macro lens on my iPhone to capture these “up close and personal” images of some of the plants that my father-in-law nurtures and tends to.  I hope you enjoy them, and I hope you’ll join me in celebrating Marcelino’s favorite way to make art…

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Tomato plant

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Amaryllis

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Cactus

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Passion Flower tendril

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Rosebud

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Tiny orange chile

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Dandelion

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Seedling

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Chile flower

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Calla lily leaf

I hope you’re all having a great week thus far…

Warm regards,
Melody

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Haiku: Winter Tree

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Though branches are bare
there’s such beauty to be seen.
I love life’s details…

I hope you’re enjoying the season, dear readers.  And if you happen to live in an area that’s been walloped by ice, cold and snow this winter, hang in there!  Spring is just around the corner…

Warm regards,
Melody

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Haiku: A Glorious Sight

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This glorious sight –
a perfect blend of colors!
Nature brings me joy…

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week thus far, and I hope you enjoy your weekend!

Warm regards,
Melody

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My Blog’s 3rd Birthday!

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Yep, it’s true.  My blog is now three years old! I launched my blog in August of 2010, and have been blogging away ever since.  I’ve really enjoyed creating art and craft projects to share with you.  I’ve also enjoyed baking up recipes to entice you with, and am happy to have shared some of my other interests and adventures with you as well.

From trips to hole-in-the-wall restaurants to far-flung locales like Peru and Ireland, I’ve posted some of my images and experiences getting out and about in the world.  What fun!

I’ve also posted about my furry baby bunnies, Cypress and Pinto, and have shared my goofy pet mom pictures of them taken at holidays like Easter, Halloween, and Christmas.

I’ve tried to make giveaways bountiful, because winning free things is so much fun!  Many of you have won goodies over the past three years, and I hope you’ve enjoyed them.

Now What?
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As I embark on my 4th year of blogging, I’d love to know: what would you like to see more of?

Fine art?  (Photography, collage, drawing, assemblage, etc.)
Crafts? (Card making, jewelry, gifts, tags, etc.)
Recipes? Do you prefer savory recipes, desserts, or both?
Giveaways? What are your favorite types? (Gift cards, books, art supplies, etc.)
Photo haikus?
Travel?
Ethnic markets?

I value your input, dear readers, and would appreciate you leaving a comment sharing some of the things you’d like to continue to see , and/or things you’d like me to consider adding or beefing up.

Onward!
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I’m looking forward to more shared creativity and fun. Thanks for following my blog!  I look forward to your comments and feedback.

Warm regards,
Melody

p.s. If you’d like to “give my blog a birthday gift”, please consider making a donation to my Art Supply Drive to benefit at-risk children.  Details here.  Thanks!  :]

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Reader Participation Haiku & Giveaway!

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This month’s haiku is a bit different.  Instead of me writing the haiku, I’m hoping YOU will.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a haiku based on the photo above.  I took this photo at the Monterey Bay Aquarium last year, and would like to see which words it brings to your mind.  I hope you’re ready to compose a haiku, because I’m combining this reader participation haiku with a giveaway!

Wait, what’s a haiku again?*
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A haiku is a poem with three lines.  Each line has a set number of syllables.

Line 1 – 5 syllables
Line 2 – 7 syllables
Line 3 – 5 syllables

Here’s an example:
To write a haiku,
remember five seven five.
I hope you enter!

Giveaway – The Artist’s Way
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To submit your haiku, simply comment on this post and include your haiku.  All those who enter will be entered in a giveaway.  The winner will receive a softcover copy of the classic book The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron.  You may post multiple haikus if you’d like, but only one entry will count per person.  The winner will be drawn at random, so don’t be shy or feel like it’s a competition.  I’ll announce the winner on my blog on Tuesday, July 16th, so write/comment/enter today!  🙂

Happy Haikuing!

Warm regards,
Melody

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Haiku: Imperfect Beauty

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Such gritty texture –
love the vintage wood and paint.
A sign from days past…

Are there any other fans of vintage out there?  Do you like things that are worn, chipped, rusted, or otherwise distressed, like I do?  I just think there’s something special about these worn looks – a story lingers in imperfect surfaces.  I feel that way about wrinkles and scars on bodies, too.  They tell part of our story…

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, dear readers!

Warm regards,
Melody

Also posted in haiku, life in general, poetry, writing | 4 Comments

Haiku: Floral Beauty

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Tiny bloom beckons,
intricate and colorful.
A heavenly sight…

I hope you’re all having a great week thus far!

Warm regards,
Melody

Also posted in art, haiku, inspiration, life in general, nature, poetry, writing | Tagged | 6 Comments

Haiku: Tiny Bloom

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Such a tiny bloom
About the size of a dime.
Your beauty awes me…

Have you spied any tiny treasures in nature recently, dear readers?  Do tell!

Warm regards,
Melody

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Joshua Tree National Park

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I recently took a trip out to Joshua Tree National Park for the day, and wow – what a sight! It was my first time there and I was gobsmacked.  My eyes and brain worked overtime to take it all in and process it.  I think I would describe it as a Salvador Dali-esque landscape because it looks kind of surreal.  What was so darn strange about it?  I mean it’s just a plain ol’ desert, right?  Wrong.  The trees and rocks are crazy!

The trees are (naturally) Joshua trees for the most part.  Twisted, “hairy”, and spiky, they were everywhere!  These crazy, odd-looking trees spread out across the landscape as far as my eye could see.  And while you might not think rock formations would boggle my mind, they did.  In direct contrast to the smooth, flowing rock formations I saw years ago in Zion National Park, these rocky wonders were spectacular in their own way.  Instead of a large formation comprised of a few larger pieces and some smaller pieces, many of the rocky formations looked as if thousands of rocks had been gathered and carelessly piled up.

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From macro shots of plant life to sweeping shots that drank in the horizon and the sky, I happily wandered, examined, and captured images.

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I’m generally not much of a desert girl – given that I wilt in the heat and burn after about 5 minutes in direct sunlight – but I loved my time at Joshua Tree National Park.  I hope to return, and will plan on staying longer next time.

Have you ever been to Joshua Tree National Park?  Are there any other National Parks you particularly love? I’d love to hear about your adventures and favorites…

Warm regards,
Melody

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