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Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

Pipevine Swallowtail Pupae Living to evolve and evolving to live, a butterfly’s short life is one of purposeful change. From egg to caterpillar to pupa to adult, the butterfly develops through a process of metamorphosis. The Greek word metamorphosis means to transform or to change shape. How is your metamorphosis going? Are you a butterfly, yet?

#1 – Who’s Got the Button?
Augusto Esquivel's Button Art Augusto Esquivel clearly has a button and, in fact, he has millions of them. Using sewing buttons and monofilament, this Miami-based artist transforms the function and appearance of buttons into three-dimensional sculptures and portraits. In his own words, I realize how insignificant and small a simple sewing button can be as it lays in my grandmother’s sewing box, but at the same time how unique and precious it can become as part of a work of art. Like an atom in a molecule, each button serves and shapes the whole. Click here to go to his website and then click on a year to see button pieces completed that year.

#2  - Work It Out
Hit the Gym Motivations Need a little motivation to exercise and change your body? Here’s All the Motivation You Need to Hit the Gym from the Daily Zen List. If you don’t belong to a gym, don’t let that stop you from exercising. Open your front door and just start walking!

#3 – Food With A View
22 Incredible Restaurants with Insane Views Transform your dining experience with a visit to one of the restaurants listed in 22 Incredible Restaurants With Insane Views. If you could travel to any one of these restaurants in the world tomorrow, which one would you choose?

#4 – Make It a Beautiful Day in Your Neighborhood
If anyone tried to change the world for the better, Fred Rogers, host of the children’s television program Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, did. Themes of self-acceptance, acceptance of differences, grace, and kindness resonated with both children and adults. Watch this old, but inspiring 5-minute video as Mr. Rogers accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award.

#5 – Change
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Wayne Dyer

Now go and spread joy!

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Taos Turquoise Door Doors open and close. That’s their job. They let things in and they keep things out. Using doors as a metaphor, how well do you monitor the door to your soul? Do you allow joy to effortlessly blow in to your soul like a fresh breeze? Do you allow prejudice and hate to sneak in through your door? Do you lock and bolt your door never letting anyone or anything in? You do realize, of course, that you have the ultimate power over who or what enters and who or what you keep out. Be mindful. Be present. And yes, doors are better than walls.

#1 – How A-Door-Able!
60 Ways to Upcycle Doors Creativity rules when it comes to upcycling doors. Check out these clever ways to decorate your home and garden using old doors.

#2 – Joy of Cookies
The cookie monster that resides inside of me craves as much cookie information as I can get. Watch this animated TED-Ed video on the chemistry of cookies and if you’re like me, you’ll want to bake some cookies right away.

#3 – Photo Contest
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest It’s not too late to enter the 26th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2014. The deadline is June 30th of this year. Check out your competition by looking at 30 Most Incredible Entries on 2014 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.

#4 – Beggar or Philanthropist?
When you look at this man in the photo, what do you see? Don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions. To some people, he may appear to be a beggar, but to others, he is an extraordinary man. What do you think? Inspirational Man

#5 – Follow Your Bliss
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
Joseph Campbell

Go Now and Spread Joy!

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Santa Fe Blossoms They were everywhere, but nobody knew their name. Pretty trees covered with delicate rose-like blossoms decorated the streets of a town I recently visited. Fixated with their beauty and wanting to plant one in my own garden, I asked around for help identifying the trees. I even carried a photo of the blossoms on my smartphone. No one could tell me the species of the trees, not even people who had lived in the city for their entire lives. Many responses sounded like, “What trees? Oh, those trees. Don’t know.” Some people didn’t even realize the trees were in bloom. How could this be? How could trees that make our world more beautiful go unnoticed? And how could we take the world around us so much for granted? We see, but are we seeing?

#1 – Possibilities
Fun DIY Craft Ideas Do you throw “junk” away only to discover similar items cleverly refurbished and for sale at thrift stores, flea markets, and “vintage” stores? Do you think to yourself, “I wish I hadn’t thrown my _______ away. If I’d only known it would make such a nice _______, I would have saved it.” Where you saw lack of potential, someone else saw possibilities. If everyone could see such transformative possibilities, there would be less waste in our landfills. Use your imagination. To get your creative juices going, here are a few Fun DIY Craft Ideas. What happened to the child in you who built forts out of pillows or made cakes out of mud?

#2 – DIY Father’s Day Gifts
40 DIY Father's Day Gift Ideas Don’t take your father for granted. Show him how much you care and how much he means to you by making him a special gift. Brit + Co. provides some great ideas in their post titled 40 DIY Father’s Day Gift Ideas. Dad is sure to love anything you make, but the Whiskey, Caramel, Marshmallow, and Bacon Bark looks really good to me!

#3 – A Splash Of Sea Water
Photo of Magnified Drop of Water What’s in that gulp of sea water you just swallowed? “Not much?” you say? Well, check out this photograph of “one dip of a hand net” into sea water by David Littschwager. It’s been magnified 25 times. Read about all the aquatic flora and fauna you take for granted, too!

#4 – Being Grateful
Rainbow Thinking: What Are You Grateful For? Writing in a gratitude journal is one way of keeping life in perspective. No matter how bad your day has been, there’s bound to be something for which you are grateful. The site Rainbow Thinking focuses on gratitude by allowing people to anonymously submit entries about what they are grateful for and by posting the submissions of other people. What are you grateful for?

#5 – What Makes It Different?
“You can take for granted that people know more or less what a street, a shop, a beach, a sky, an oak tree look like. Tell them what makes this one different.”
Neil Gaiman

Go now and spread joy!

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Birds Flying High: Santa Fe Sunset The sun gives off a golden glow as it lowers itself in the sky. This glow creates a striking contrast to the mountains, turning them into a dark amorphous shape. With bright light reflecting off cirrus clouds, the sky resembles a Martian atmosphere. Birds flying by add focal points to an already interesting sunset. So, when is a sunset not just a sunset? The answer: When you take the time to notice it.

#1 – Soar
Blue Santa Fe Sunset Just minutes after selecting my lead-in photo of birds flying across a sunset, I accidentally came across the lyrics of Christina Aguilera’s song Soar on my computer. The first three stanzas of the song powerfully remind us to be true to our authentic selves, to listen to our hearts, and to forge our own paths - good thoughts to share during this graduation season.

When they push when they pull, tell me can you hold on?
When they say you should change can you lift your head high
And stay strong?
Will you give up, give in, when your heart’s crying out that it’s wrong?
Will you love you for you at the end of it all?

Now in life, there’s gonna be times when you’re feeling low
And in your mind insecurity seems to take control
We start to look outside ourselves for acceptance and approval
We keep forgetting that the one thing we should know is

Don’t be scared to fly alone, find a path that is your own
Love will open every door it’s in your hands, the world is yours
Don’t hold back and always know, all the answers will unfold
What are you waiting for, spread your wings and soar

Songwriter(s): Aguilera, Christina; Hoffman, Robert D; Holley, Heather
Copyright: © MUSIC OF WINDSWEPT
© POP FUTURE MUSIC
© UNIVERSAL MUSIC – CAREERS
© XTINA MUSIC

#2 – Sing Your Song
My Song by Kristen Jongen Here’s another inspirational interpretation of the need to “sing your own song.”
Author, speaker, and artist Kristen Jongen shares her “Courageous Poetry and Art to Feed Your Soul” on her site Soul Soup.

#3 – Birdbnb
Airbnb Birdhouse Ad Campaign Modeled after actual homes listed on Airbnb, an online platform for travelers looking to find a variety of lodging experiences, these birdhouses were featured in an ad campaign called Every Traveler Deserves a Home. See photos of the original homes and their birdhouse look-alikes.

#4 – Travel Tips
24 Travel Tips That Will Change Your Life Forever Flying high in the sky . . . on an airplane? Wherever and however you travel, it helps to be organized and prepared. 24 Travel Tips That Will Change Your Life Forever lists ideas, some familiar and some I’ve not seen before, that make traveling easier. You’ll wonder why you didn’t think of some of them first!

#5 – Fly Free
“Your wings already exist. All you have to do is fly.”
Unknown

Go now and spread joy!

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Pink Peonies Consider the proverb, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime,” and then consider how it might relate to someone who appreciates beauty and tries to capture it. Thus, in my case, give me a flower and I enjoy it for days; show me how to capture its beauty, and I will enjoy it forever. Many thanks to my sweet sister-in-law for the lovely bouquet of peonies and for the beautiful memories it created.

#1 – Edible Flowers
Edible Flowers on Chilled Pea Soup Small flowers and flower petals rested on top of a chilled pea soup. The waiter said, “Eat the purple one separately. It has a wonderful oyster flavor.” Indeed it did. After tasting the unique flavors of these edible flowers, I decided to do a little research into which flowers growing in my garden were edible. If you would like to learn more about edible flowers, check out this article in What’s Cooking America. Please pay particular attention to the “Do’s” and the “Don’ts” sections. I was pleased to discover that peony petals are on the edible list. Not that I would eat my lovely bouquet!

#2 – DIY Gifts For Moms
Perfect DIY Gifts For Moms Picture your mom relaxing on Mother’s Day with a gift you made for her. From fragrant flaxseed and lavender eye pillows to soothing lotion bars, you’ll find something nice to make for your mom on Buzzfeed’s 22 Perfect DIY Gifts for Stressed-Out Moms.

#3 – Re-Inventions
10 Everyday Inventions Made Better I want this table! I love the fact that creative geniuses not only invent items that change our lives, but they also re-invent things. They take an existing idea and improve upon it. Check out 10 Everyday Inventions Made Better.

#4 – Aerial Photographs by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Aerial Photography of Yann Arthus-Bertrand To earn a living in Africa, French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand decided to become a hot-air balloon pilot. This decision changed his life. As he viewed earth from above, he appreciated both its beauty and its destruction. 27 Amazing Aerial Photographs by Yann Arthus-Bertrand provides a glimpse of some of his aerial work around the world. On the flip side, his documentary Home views the impact that man has had on Earth.

#5 – Picture Perfect Quotes
“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
― Ansel Adams

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
― Marc Ribou

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”
― Eudora Welty

“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”
― Dorothea Lange

“The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness.”
― Yann Arthus-Bertrand

“Always seeing something, never seeing nothing, being photographer.”
― Walter De Mulder

“You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.”
― Joan Miró

Enjoy your weekend. Now go and spread joy!

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Red Roses Dozens of long-stemmed red roses sit on my kitchen table. The gift of these magnificent flowers symbolizes love, but for me they also represent a passage of time. I am a firm believer that every birthday is special and should be celebrated without hesitation. With another big milestone birthday under my belt this week, I remain philosophical. Getting old does not scare me, but the mere thought of not being true to myself, of living an unauthentic life, does. I may no longer be “younger than springtime,” but there’s still plenty of spring in my step, enough curiosity to keep me engaged in the world around me, and an immeasurable amount of space in my heart with which to welcome love and joy.

#1 – Never Stop
25 Things You Should Never Stop Doing For Yourself No matter how old you are, you need to strive to be true to yourself. Along that line, Marc and Angel’s list of 25 Things You Should Never Stop Doing for Yourself, is an excellent reminder for all of us.

#2 – Simple Beauty Tips
Beauty Tips Some of the best beauty products are right under your nose and in your kitchen. According to InStyle, “Honey has exfoliating natural enzymes and is loaded with humectants, which reduce the loss of moisture.” Check out InStyle’s 20 Timeless Skin-Care Tips to learn about other simple beauty tips.

#3 – Art and Our Inner Child
Javier Perez Ecuadorian graphic designer Javier Pérez, brings out the inner child in all of us when he combines everyday objects with a few touches of his own to create whimsical scenes. Check out his fun Instagram Experiments series.

#4 – Wonders Around The World
Iguazu Falls View breathtaking wonders around the world in spectacular high resolution by taking 360° virtual tours at AirPano. Scroll through the selection of sights at the bottom of the page and select which attraction you would like to “travel” to. For maximum enjoyment, watch in full screen mode. Listen to the enchanting background music as the camera pans through each scene. Click on different icons that appear on the screen to enter rooms or to view scenes from different angles. Simply incredible! To see the complete list of virtual tours, click here.

#5 – The Fountain of Youth
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
Sophia Loren

Enjoy your weekend! Now go and spread joy!

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Hummingbirds A dumpling-shaped hummingbird perched on a feeder and uncharacteristically took his time sipping nectar. After every sip, he looked around leisurely. When another hummingbird frenetically approached the feeder, the first hummingbird remained calm and shared the feeder with the newcomer. The plump little bird said to the busy bird, “Hey dude, what’s the hurry?” The other bird did not pause and continued to feed. The plump bird made another attempt at communication and said, “Whoa! Slow down dude. There’s plenty of food for both of us. Life is short. You gotta take some time to savor the moment.” The busy bird stopped and, without a word, he flew to a perch and sat down. He looked across at the plump bird and replied, “Thanks. Thanks for the reminder.”

#1 – Bird’s-Eye View
Bird's-Eye Views of the World Have you ever wished you could be a bird soaring through the sky? Imagine having a bird’s-eye view of the world and, if you did, how spectacular Niagara Falls would appear from above. Check out the photo series How Our World Would Look If You Were a Bird and see some pretty incredible landscapes.

#2 – Crocheting for Tortoises
Now, I’ve seen it all. I don’t know whether tortoises really need sweaters or not, but since I have been flexing my new crochet skills to make things for my upcoming grandbaby, I appreciated these clever and funny attempts at trying to keep tortoises warm.
Crochet for Turtles

#3 – Gift of GIFS
Nature Gifs A “graphics interchange format” or GIF (pronounced jiff) is a compressed image file format, which allows images to be transported quickly over the Internet. This technology allows us to see limited movement or animation on websites. Lucky for us, because we can view funny bloopers or cute puppies on Facebook or watch impressive nature scenes from 14 Reasons Why Nature Gifs Are Your New Favorite Thing.

#4 – Organic Foods
Organic Foods Fact or Fiction If you’ve ever questioned whether it’s worth spending extra money to purchase organic foods, you may find answers to some of your questions in Organic Food: Fact or Fiction from YOU Beauty.

#5 – Pooh, Piglet, and A.A. Milne
A.A. Milne Quotes

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like ‘What about lunch?’”

“Sometimes,” said Pooh, “the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.”

“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

“What day is it?” asked Winnie the Pooh. “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh.

Enjoy your favorite day! Now go and spread joy!

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California Poppies A morning stroll leads me past a bend of wildflowers. Small spikes of purple lupines contrast beautifully with rounded mounds of orange poppies. One by one,  the tightly-wound poppy buds gradually unfurl as the morning sun warms them. Larger petals catch the breeze and flutter about like dancers with capes. They dance to the sweet melodies of birds, adding perfection to the moment. The day is young, but this day holds promise. How can it not, with such a beautiful beginning?

#1 – Making Napkin Roses
Making Napkin Roses Beautify your home by bringing fresh flowers indoors and make these napkin roses to add a lovely touch to your spring table. Written instructions here.

#2 – Fruit Hacks
Fruit Hacks I can vouch for some of these hacks and am curious to try some of the other 21 Fruit Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier. I’m game for anything that makes life easier, aren’t you?

#3 – The House on the Hill

Behind a Little House

Manuel Cosentino

Italian artist Manuel Cosentino visited a little house on a hill, over a two-year period, to photograph it against dramatic natural elements. Although the little house stands small in stature compared to the vastness of its backdrop, it acts as an anchor to the perpetual motion of time and weather. To see more of Cosentino’s Behind a Little House project, click here.

#4 – Would You Stay Here?
Giraffe Manor in Kenya If eating breakfast with giraffes sounds like an interesting way to start the day, then you need to plan a visit to the Giraffe Manor in Kenya. I’m not keen on any type of “before you die” wording and I can’t figure out why people don’t just say “while you enjoy life.” That being said, after viewing 48 Epic Dream Hotels to Visit Before You Die, I added a few more places to visit while I’m enjoying my life!

#5 – No Matter What, Wildflowers Still Bloom
“No matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere.”
Sheryl Crow

Have a lovely weekend. Now go and spread joy!

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Goldfinch acrobatics “And for my next trick, I will perform a double rotation with a half-twist . . . ” That’s what I imagine a Goldfinch hanging on a nearby wire is saying. As other birds wait patiently for spots on the bird feeder, this particular bird preens and performs acrobatics. He (I believe it is a male, because of its brilliant color) sports a showmanship flair and a touch of attitude. My creative juices recharge and I feel inspired as I stroll through my yard. My garden hums with vibrant energy as baby squirrels scamper from branch to branch, as blossoms flutter in the breeze, and as birds fly about and fill the air with song. Where do you go to recharge and gain inspiration? (Click on the photo if you want to see this little bird up close).

#1 – Random Acts of Kindness
Random Acts of Kindness Kindness lives in all of us. For some of us it’s always on the surface of our hearts. For others, it may require a direct tug of a heart string. Acts of kindness rarely make the news, unless they are on a grand scale. But in my opinion, every act of kindness is significant, because small ripples of kindness create big waves of good. Check out Moments of Human Kindness and you’ll instantly feel better.

#2 – A World of Hope
A World of Hope March 8th is International Women’s Day. CNN asked women to complete this sentence: “Build a world where I can . . . ” Click here to read answers from men and women around the world and see what kind of world they want to build.

#3 – Repurpose! Repurpose! Repurpose!
28 Creative Ideas for Repurposing Old Items My husband will confirm that one of the most frequent phrases he hears me utter is, “You’re not going to throw that away are you?” Being big on repurposing and upcycling, I always like to share any repurposing inspiration that I come across. Here are 28 Creative Ideas for Repurposing Old Items that just might save a few things from being discarded.

#4 – Inspirational Quotes
Miles Davis Quote If a walk outdoors doesn’t inspire creativity in you, maybe reading 10 Quotes To Inspire Your Inner Creative will help.

#5 – What Do You See?
“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity . . . and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.“
William Blake

Now go and spread joy!

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Ellie's Belly “Arggh! Who put the baby fat back on my body?” I exclaim as I peel off another shirt and toss it on top of the “No-Longer-Looks-Good” pile of clothing. I hate cleaning out my closet. Standing in the middle of my closet with my midriff showing, while in the midst of spring cleaning, I think it would be fair to say that I’m experiencing a midlife crisis. I know exactly who put the baby fat back on my body. Chastising myself for allowing it to happen, I vow to get on the treadmill and lift weights today and I might even do it again tomorrow.

#1 – Get the Hang of It
Closet Organization Cleaning out a clothes closet is a task for the decisive. Don’t assume that things fit. Try on everything, because, not only do styles change, bodies do, too. As you come across clothes that haven’t been worn for a while or items that “kinda” fit, you need to make decisions. If you haven’t worn an item of clothing for a year or more, there must be a reason for that: too small, too large, wrong color, bad style, poor condition, needs to be altered, sentimental attachment, or whatever. Honestly, just get rid of the item. Yes, get rid of it even if it still sports a price tag. It’s taking up valuable real estate in your closet!

If you don’t have a clue which clothes you wear regularly, load all your hangers in one direction on the rod – the necks of the hangers either all facing the front or all facing the back. When you wear something, turn the hanger around and put the item back on it. In a year’s time, after all the seasons have passed, take a look at which hangers haven’t been turned around. Eliminate those clothes from your closet.

The items of clothing that “kinda” fit, ones you would definitely wear if you lost 5 pounds, get a six-month reprieve. Put them on specific-colored hangers. Place a sticky note on the backside of your closet door indicating the date for the final judgment. When that day arrives, try on everything on those hangers and make an honest decision whether they go or they stay.

#2 – Simplify Your World
Clever Tip Looking for ways to organize or simplify your world? Read 40 Clever Life Hacks to Simplify Your World and decide which ones you want to try. Being skeptical about some of them, I did a little online sleuthing and found these amusing “Life Hacks Debunked” videos from Mental Floss.

#3 – Swapping Clothes
Spring-Autumn by Qozop Would you be willing to swap clothes with one of your elders? In his photo series Spring-Autumn, photographer Qozop asked his models, pairs of young and old, to swap clothes. Scroll through the intriguing before and after photos and ponder Shakespeare’s paraphrased line “clothes makes the man.”

#4 – Wall Art From Upcycled Magazines
Upcycling Old Magazines Three words describe wall art made from rolled-up magazine pages: clever, colorful, and customizable. Imagine all the design variations you can make using this technique. I knew I saved old magazines for a reason!

#5 – Clean Your House
“We are used to cleaning the outside house, but the most important house to clean is yourself – your own house – which we never do.”
Marina Abramovic

Now go and spread joy!

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