Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring is coming, really it is

The last few weeks in northeast Ohio have left its residents wondering when, oh when will spring arrive. There was a brief taste of summer followed by many days of what felt like fall.
Today was a true taste of spring after a very wet Monday. These are some of my random views this spring Tuesday. Here's to many more mid-70s days and lots of sunshine!
A tree in my yard on a sunny, but windy day.

I just love my tulips!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Powder Necklace - A Review

Powder Necklace
By Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
280 pages

I just love when I have no preconceived notions about a book and delve into and really find myself enjoying it! That was just the case with Brew-Hammond's Powder Necklace.
If I were to put it into a category I would call it a "coming of age" story, but it is also a story of the different dynamics that make up a family in our world.
Told from the narrator, Lila's, point of view this international story follows the path a young Ghanaian girl takes as she travels to the homeland of her parents - something she has no knowledge of and back to her native London and then to New York.
Add to this mix the fact that she is prepubescent, sheltered and her parents are divorced and living on different sides of the world.
The writing is conversational,and although written from the context of a very young girl it is not elementary. The writer/narrator is wiser than her age.
Because we have all been children of this age we can relate to some of the issues she faces as she wants to assert her growth, but her parents understand that she still needs nurturing and guidance.
The story is also an eye opener for Americans or Westerners as the narrator presents the harsh realities of life in Ghana.
One scene I truly enjoyed for the written style of bringing the reader into the story was Lila's return to London as she compares the two places "Where everything in Ghana had some red it it - from the soups we ate to the dirt roads we bumped along - everything in London was black, ash or brown."
With passages like this Brew-Hammond draws the reader into her world and you absorb it - seeking to see, hear and feel more of this young girls life.
To learn more about the author and the book, visit here.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Picture Inspiration - The Shape of Surprise

Loved the way the straight bricks, began to swirl as if in motion!

Silencing your inner doubts

Reflections - my shadow
If we're honest with ourselves we all a doubting Thomas swirling around in our heads denouncing our abilities, and if you are lucky you take those threads of doubt and tie them into a knot which is thrown out the window. But there are those occasions when Thomas is persistent and you stop creating for fear of failure.

I can say that Thomas has a semi-permanent residence in my head and at times I really let him hang out a little too long. Recently I have found that participating in groups with like minded individuals and having the courage to post what you have created does a good job of ridding us of the Thomas' in our head.

Over the last four months I have had the pleasure of participating in a number of online forums for photography over at Big Picture Classes and the community I have found there is awesome! Just think, you are interacting with hundreds of like minded people and you share your work and you receive thoughtful remarks that give you that little boost of energy you need to keep trying.

In life all things are a challenge and whether you succeed depends on your passion, persistence and commitment to the task at hand.

So today I'll post a few shots from my journey with Big Picture Classes. I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring Daffodils

Well spring is finally fighting to show her lovely face in Cleveland! She has pushed aside her warmer cousin summer, after her brief visit on Sunday and now she is settling in for a few weeks. Well that is what we Clevelanders pray! No more rushing from winter directly into the warm grasp of summer. We want to relish in a few weeks of breezy spring days where the birds chirp a little louder, the flowers gracefully bloom and we still need a windbreaker.
These are the days I am longing for and the sight of these lovely daffodils offers hope. Here's to spring! How is your spring unfolding? I'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love - A Review

I'm so happy I read this book and didn't buy into the hype surrounding the movie! I found it to be a very interesting and enjoyable read.

I enjoyed Gilbert's writing style - it was very conversational, and engaging. 

Her descriptions transported me to Italy and were so engaging at times I could really see where she was. The same was true with each of her destinations.

I would give this 3.5 stars.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

A Day at Wildwood

Sunday I spent a few hours at Wildwood State Park playing around with Manual Mode on my Nikon DSLR and taking in the beginnings of spring.

Over the last few days I have played around with Storyboards thanks to the tutorials offered at the Coffeshop Blog. While I haven't been doing a great deal of writing I can say I have been working my Muse, and I'm having fun!

Here's a sample from my day at the park. Enjoy! Comments are welcome!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Welcoming Spring

Dropping in to offer you a view of my ventures by the lake yesterday. As I continue to seek out my Artistic Muse I have taken up photography again, and yesterday I took a walk around the lake for a little while to try and capture nature. I'm not sure if this is a Groundhog or a Beaver, but I found him to be rather interesting.
Much more to talk about later, but for now -take a gander at Bucky! I named him that because I assumed he was a beaver.

I'm also pretty proud of the watermark I created, thanks to the free tutorial offered by Kim Klassen over in her cafe. If you're looking for help with texture and Photoshop, stop by she has some very helpful information.