Thursday, August 30, 2012

Weird Head?

So, you might be thinking...why shoot a wig head in a dry lake bed?  This image has so much more to it than one would imagine at first glance (like most of them do).  When I see this picture, I see the blazing hot earth beneath a cool, calm, bald head.  I see the juxtaposition of hot and cold and of man made product against the organic background.  I bought this styrofoam head while I was wig shopping with a dear friend as she prepared herself for chemotherapy.  She wanted to buy her wig before she lost all her hair so she would be ready when the time came.  I couldn't resist buying a few of these heads for two reasons, the first was so my kid could color it and play with it (which she did and loved it) and the second was so I could turn a shitty situation into an artful outlet (which I did).  
The calm face represents the brave face my friend wore throughout all of her chemo and radiation treatments.  She was cool and calm once the shock and horror wore off.  The cracked earth represents the cancer that attempted to consume her.  It was unexpected, overwhelming and the cracks seemed to keep spreading and spreading as she learned more and more about not only the side effects of chemo and radiation but about her new infertility, her push into menopause, the burns and then scarring from her radiation and the permanent effects to her immune system.  However, in the distance, the sky is blue and welcoming, her future is bright and beautiful and she defeated the cancer and remains at peace now.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Girls Best Friend

Here's my favorite shot of my best friend, Zoe.  She's been on my mind a lot lately as she's aging and showing her illness more everyday.  We used to love those days at the park, running into the water (only chest deep because she's chicken), sniffing wildly at every turn, snapping at flies and joyfully running off-leash up and down the trail with me.  Although we still enjoy each other, our walks are shorter, she sleeps most of the day and I can see the cancer gradually wearing her out.  I'm happy I immortalized her on one of her happy days, don't miss that chance with your best friend (no matter if yours happens to be furry or not)!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Special Little Places

I have always been drawn to private, little places.  When I was a child I was obsessed with building forts, whether it was leaning my mattress against the closet door and hiding inside or creating a personal retreat out of our old shed or creating an environment made completely of didn't matter as long as it was something I could call my own.  Now that I'm grown up, I still love these little places, I just don't build them in the snow anymore--I just hunt for bistro tables and chairs at estate sales (that's a fancy word for a garage sale, smile) and happily set them up around my home.  Even if I rarely sit in these chairs, they make me smile just looking at them.  They are an option...always waiting and always a reserved table, just for me.  

Monday, August 27, 2012


"Words mean stuff," the hub always tells me and apparently they do, so do exclamation points!  I would argue that magnets and stickers are pretty powerful as well.  These little guys hold quite a bit of power--they can bring a child to tears or pure elation in a matter of seconds (depends if you're removing them or adding them to the chore chart).  What words motivate you?  Does adding the exclamation point help?  Try it!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Food Porn

Everyone loves a little food porn now and then, eh?  I wanted to share my yummy dinner with you by showing you a piece of Hoki fish wrapped in some lemon verbena (that's growing in my front yard) and a lemon (and there's a pad of butter under that lemon).  It was so pretty that I decided to wash my fishy fingers and shoot it for you.  Bon Appetite! 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Farm

This homey little scene really made me smile today.  What a contrast from the glitzy lights of the Strip, eh?  This is just one of the wild and wacky things about living here...from neon to nowhere in less than an hour.  Fabulous.  My favorite were the baby peacocks though, sooo cute!  My friend wouldn't let me buy them (sold for $50 each) knowing the hub would kill me!  Oh well, I did enjoy my visit to the tiny farm.  Thank you!  

If you live here, it's worth some fresh eggs and a chuckle:

Friday, August 24, 2012

City of Monoliths

Here's one of our more lovely monoliths, The Palazzo.  It stands preening against the black sky like a new toy in a pile of old ones.  About half a mile down The Strip stands the older, less shinier part of town but to me, has so much more character and charm (in spite of the homeless population, prostitutes and gangsters).  These new places just don't "feel" the same, although I do love the fabulous restaurants they host.  It's one of those things that people have on their checklist when they come visit...see all the shiny places, people and things; however, the next time you come, add this to your list, "eat a fried twinky on Fremont Street with a guy dressed as Elvis!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Martine Franck

The art world lost a great photographer this week with the passing of Martine Franck.  She was married to the famous Henri Cartier-Bresson but was a magnificent photographer (and Magnum member) in her own right.  How could I resist sharing her landscape of sunflowers?

Please take a moment to enjoy some more of her work on Magnum's website:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Thousand Prayers, A Tryptich

As I put my daughter to sleep tonight I thought about what image I wanted to capture for my blog.  I sat and listened to her fall asleep, her breathing became more and more relaxed and her little fingers and legs would jerk as sleep overcame her...and I thought about how much I loved her and how happy I was to have her.  This usually takes me to prayer, to tell God how grateful I am for being so blessed.  So, tonight I pulled out a very special candle that I bought at a Greek Orthodox church last year (at their infamous Greek Festival--a must, by the way).  This candle is made of the drippings of hundreds of prayer candles that were recycled to make single pillars.  I love to light it an imagine the thousands of prayers this wax has heard, to be part of the collective faithful moves me and brings joy to my soul.  This time, I said a prayer of appreciation for all the goodness in the world, in spite of the rest.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Fun with candy...that's one way of looking at it.  Another way is, "let's torture ourselves with our favorite coconut candies while we are on a diet."  At least the image turned out pretty cool...or maybe I'm just starving?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Red Hand Bandit

This image is something I call the "Red Hand Bandit" and I'm sure you can see why.  This red hand has been both vexing and amusing me for months, and, it's NOT the only one!  There have been 3 sightings in the Summerlin, Las Vegas area and I'm terribly curious who is responsible.  Do you know?  Have you ever seen one in your neighborhood?  Are you equally vexed and amused?  I'll post more images of the Red Hand as I see them.  This was captured at Rampart and Summerlin Parkway.  Most importantly, is it art?

Sunday, August 19, 2012


I'm back in the desert after a weeks surrounded by the lush landscape of beautiful Oregon but I still appreciate the little green around me here.  I have flowers to enjoy, a generous herb garden, cooling trees around me and a tiny strip of coveted grass in my yard.  This is my temporary home, I must embrace it for what it is and not long for something else or I'll be forever disappointed.  My life is on the move and as long as I can appreciate the things around me, I'll always be content.  This is not always easy, but always necessary...perspective is a choice, right?

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Farewell for now, Portland.  Today, the cherry on top of my organic ice cream sundae was the thrill of meeting Fred in the airport on our way back home.  What a crap picture, I know, I know, but I didn't want to freak him out by whipping out my 5D with the ginormous lens and asking for a snapshot, so I settled for my iPhone.  By the way, once the hub recognized him in the airport I stalked him through security and then I patiently waited for him to come out of the men's room and chased him as he walked into a Kiehl's store to ask for his picture.  I was so giddy that I was shaking afterwards!  He was very sweet and terribly shy, I felt like a complete freak but also satisfied with my trip-capping experience!  Yay Portlandia!  I might even be inspired enough to start composting!

Friday, August 17, 2012

50 Cent View

Here's my 50 cent view du jour...not bad, eh?  This was taken at Cannon Beach, OR and what a beautiful place it was.  Here's a 50 cent view for you to enjoy...

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I could have shared amazing shots of gorgeous, coastal landscapes today but nothing tickled me more than this hippiemobile.  How great is this van?  I love the stickers and the color of this sucker and it came with a surfer inside...but he is surfing right now, sorry, you missed him.  I saw this "Visualize Whirled Peas" bumper sticker when we lived in California and this is the first time I've seen it since, it's awesome...more Vegas residents really need this message!  I admit that the first thing that came to my mind is my whirled peas face mask (no, I'm not joking) smells like pea soup but makes me feel like Cinderella (I look fabulous until midnight).  I hope your world has some peas today...peas out! (OMG, I can't stop myself, help me, peas!)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Soul

What is it about some places that just make your soul happy?  For some people it's the warmth of a tropical place, for others it's the stillness of an old lake, and for others (like my hub) it's the restless waters on the cool Oregon Coast (Siuslaw River pictured here).  It's really amazing how I can so clearly see a sense of calm and peace come over him as we came into view of the moving water.  He instantly his soul was happy. (and that makes me happy too!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Flowers and Wine

The theme du jour really was flowers and wine...and wine and flowers and then some more of each.  I love the idea of using wine barrels as pretty much anything but these planters are absolutely gorgeous.  The whole trip has been a reminder to us of when we lived in Anchorage and everything was in bloom on steroids all summer!  What a gorgeous setting these were today at Erath winery...yummy wine too!  Oh, dinner in Eugene tonight was at a place called "Belly" -- probably the best soft tacos I've ever had (no kidding), wow.  Good food up here, I'm telling ya!  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bike Town

It's no surprise that hippie-Oregon is home to eco-friendly bikers and that signs like this one are everywhere but I was a little surprised that it still feels very dangerous to ride a bike in Portland.  These old, narrow roads just aren't wide enough to support the kind of infrastructure that's established in other bike-friendly towns such like I've seen in Europe, like Stockholm and Copenhagen.  A bike path does not always equate to a safe environment...hopefully that will change.  I honestly struggled with what to share today because there were so many fun photo ops today!  I loved the "Chicken and Dumplings" neon sign on the historic highway, the fifty shades of green in the parks, the cool rock music night club with red and blue lights glowing in the night, the AMAZING ice cream shop in Alberta called "Salt and Straw" (a MUST), or the cool looking "Vaudville Theater" that appeared abandon at this time.  Lots of fun choices but I think I'll leave Portland with the feeling of eco-loving, bike riding, organic eating, easy going people most of all...which is what will bring me back.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Portland Hotel

This is some of the grunge I have been craving...a cool hotel in West Portland had this sign in the lobby.  I know, it's silly but I love the rusty old sign so much, it oozes character.  I did struggle between posting a beautiful picture from our day hike through the rose garden and forest park and this but this is the kind of stuff I love.  It's tactile, gritty and love love!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Photo Booth

I just had to share the photo booth pix from last night...soooo much fun!  I highly recommend it for any party.  In fact, I want to own one of these babies, what a hoot!  I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard to construct, eh?  The costumes are what really made it fun, like these glasses, or a viking hat (ahem).  It's off to Portland tomorrow.  Lots of beautiful scenery to capture and (hopefully) some street fun too!  See you then.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Shape of a Martini

Here's a shot I took last year but never posted.  I think it's fitting to post it on a Friday night in Vegas, especially since we went to a party at THE Hotel, in a swanky suite.  The hit of the party was the rented photo booth.  You're never too old to enjoy a silly shot with friends.  I hope your weekend shapes up to be fabulous too!  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Urban Flower

This little guy is my homage to my favorite local (Las Vegas) artists, Joseph Watson (  His art is so fricken cool!  He creates urban masterpieces full of soul.  His trademark urban flower (as I'm calling it) is a beautifully painted, blue flower that grows out of urban cracks.  It can grow out of concrete and bring beauty to any environment, just like art does.  It's a lovely concept and his paintings never cease to impress me.  I really feel like Joseph is our blue flower in Las Vegas.  Check him out and look for the little, blue flower.  It'll make you smile too!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I don't know what it is about round shapes that make me so happy.  I'm sure there's some Freudian theory that has something to do with ovaries or my mother's breasts or something ridiculous like that (come to think of it, my mom does have huge boobs...hmmm).  Anyways, I always find myself smiling whenever I see bubbles, bouncy balls, and balloons.  I prefer softer architecture, with curves instead of sharp edges and I like curves in nature, like the curve of a tree branch, the petal of a flower or the brilliant, bright sun.  I wonder if I make more of an effort to surround myself with these shapes I might find a little more calm and relaxation.  I wonder what my husband would think about a round bed?  Hmmm, maybe not.  Enjoy some bubbles soon, seriously, they are fun!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I'm seeing stars

How can you not love these tiny gems?  I am reminded of that scene in the (fabulous) movie "Amelie" where she sticks her hand in the bag of coffee beans with such private joy.  I would love to squish all these little pasta stars in my hands and later, in my mouth!  Fun!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Curly Q

Today I received a package from a dear friend who is deployed in Afghanistan...yes, SHE sent ME a package!  Silly girl, I am the one who has been bugging her for her deployed address so I can send her a package, eeesh!  To my delight, I opened a colorful bounty of the softest scarves, a beautiful, hand-made dress for my daughter, a hand-stiched purse and a gorgeous blouse.  I wish you could touch this's as soft as a baby chick.  What a gorgeous contrast these colors must be against the desert landscape.  I certainly understand what draws the Middle Eastern women to this rich palate.  Now, for you "rule followers" I know that a "curly q" is not exactly a proper shape, and to you I say, live a little!  Smile.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Geometric Apple

The world is full of eye-catching shapes and they are often made of the simplest an apple.  I will spend this week capturing colorful shapes and I will try to do this by also capturing the everyday.  I believe that when you begin to open your eyes to the simple beauty around you, you start to appreciate everything a little bit more.  Your neighbors garden might look a little prettier, a balloon blowing in the sky will catch your eye or the spinning tires on a bicycle might make you smile...try it!  By the way, this apple was part of gift from my dear friends, and it was delicious, thank you, Lesa & Hank!

Technical comment (for Allison & Jen): I created this cool, blue color cast (in Lightroom) to make the apple pop more and make the background look a little more even, it was very white on top and very gray on the bottom...agh!  Thoughts?

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Today I am wrapping up my "tree week" and I'd like to finish with one of my favorite poems about trees, by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray,
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair
Upon whose blossom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems were made by fools like me
But only God can make a tree.

Here's a fun fact for you (since I love fun facts), Alfred "Joyce" Kilmer was a chemist and physician who invented Johnson's Baby Powder.  Crazy!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Natures Designs

I've always loved palm trees because they make me feel like I'm on vacation (not as much as they used to--they are all around me now).  There are quite a variety (as you can imagine) but they share a unique characteristic in that their leaves/palms grow in a deliberate criss-cross pattern (necessary but still cool).  I love the patterns in nature and this is one of my favorites.  The gray color is neat too since the palms are always so green and the trunk is usually a beautiful orangey-brown.  Lots of contrast makes this one one of my fav's.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Lone Cypress

This is my photo of the famed "Lone Cypress" on 17-mile drive in Monterey, California (Pebble Beach).  It's truly a sight worth putting on your bucket list.  I took this shot in 2008, when we lived in Monterey (best place on Earth) and only edited it today.  I could stare at this image all day...why haven't I printed it yet?  OMG!  MUST PRINT CYPRESS IMAGE...another thing on my massive to-do list!  How many things are on your list and how many images have you failed to print, hmmmmmm?  The down side to digital, eh? Of course, I used to print doubles of all my rolls of film and I can't tell you how many thousands of crap pictures I still have in boxes, because it just feels wrong to throw away a snapshot in time, no matter how crappy the picture.  For some reason it seems even worse to bury images on my hard drive, never to be enjoyed...must print image soon!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Twig and Berries

Crass, I know, but it still makes me chuckle!  As I was walking to the Vassa Museum in Stockholm I spotted this silly scene and couldn't resist snapping a shot.  I know Euro-humor enough to know I'm NOT the only one who thinks this is funny, nor do I think these boulders were placed there by nature...ahem.