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Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

Flower with Bee During the time it took my camera lens to focus on a vermilion-colored blossom, a bee landed on it, dove into the center headfirst, and then flew off. Hurriedly, I pressed the shutter button. “Did I get the shot or not,” I wondered. On playback, I was pretty happy about getting a decent photo of the flower, but capturing the image of the bee made me even happier. Happiness comes into our lives in different degrees. Grab and appreciate every bit you can get.

#1 – The Science of Happiness
Called “An Experiment in Gratitude,” this video of a project from SoulPancake depicts the relationship between expressing gratitude and feeling happy.

#2 – Genius Ideas
Genius Decorating Ideas Discovering clever new ideas, especially those that involve upcycling, makes me happy. Check out these “31 Genius Ideas For Reimagining Home Decor.” It may be too late for me to build a Lego wall for my kids, but there’s still time to do so for my grandkids!

#3 – Just Peachy
Crab Salad With Peaches and AvocadosMaking homemade peach ice cream is a fun summertime tradition for my family. But after drooling over 62 Fresh Summer Peach Recipes, I’m going to make my family even happier. I’m shaking up my peach recipe repertoire. How does a Crab Salad with Peaches and Avocados sound to you?

#4 – Quiet, Please!
10 Most Beautiful Places to Read Books If you love to find quiet places to read, you’ll appreciate the Top 10 Most Beautiful Places to Read Books. They include both quaint and impressive libraries from around the world.

#5 – Your Choice
“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Go now and spread joy!

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Acorn Woodpecker “Splish, splash, I was takin’ a bath . . .” sings an Acorn Woodpecker as he splashes around in the top tier of my backyard fountain. Goldfinches stop short of landing on the rim once they eye the big fellow dominating the cool water. Oblivious to other approaching birds, the woodpecker takes a leisurely bath, shaking and lifting his wings periodically. During the drought, my little fountain has become a center of much activity. Small and large birds, butterflies and other insects all make use of the fountain. For their sake, I continue to run it during these times of water conservation. Little water is wasted, as it uses a recirculating pump and is set on a timer. More importantly, my husband adds only bird-safe algaecide to the water. I am ever cognizant that the plants in my garden are not the only living things struggling to survive during the drought.

#1 – Through His Eyes
Photos by Trey Ratcliff Whether it’s your people-watching fix, your travel-itch, your appreciation of nature, or your love of photography, you’re bound to find a photograph in this portfolio that mesmerizes you. Take your time as you scroll through the textural and color-rich photographs taken from around the world by photographer, artist, writer and adventurer Trey Ratcliff.

#2 – Unflabby People
The 10 Habits of Highly Unflabby People GQ Magazine’s article on The 10 Habits of Highly Unflabby People is a good reminder about how the “little things” add up. If you follow the author’s tips, you could potentially save 10,142 calories a week!

#3 – Nailed It!
Baking Projects From Pinterest That Went Hilariously Wrong We all do it. We all see something on the Internet or in a magazine and say, “That doesn’t look too hard to make.” I’m not going to lie, looking through the photos of Baking Projects From Pinterest That Went Hilariously Wrong made me chuckle. As a tester of recipes for this blog, I’ve had my fair share of creative disasters.

#4 – Tips, Tricks, and Hacks
Life Hacks Imagine 466 pages of life hacks for you to investigate. Some of them are very intriguing as well as clever. LifeTricks is an online community that allows people to post “tricks, tips and life hacks for absolutely everything!”

#5 – Do More
“Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.”
― William Arthur Ward

Go now and spread joy!

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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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