Spring, Continued |{the serenity project}

This is our third month of “stay at home” (now called “stay safe”) orders. And I do feel things moving forward, ever so slowly.

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I know it’s cliché to say Spring is a time of renewal and hope, but I do think it’s appropriate to consider it as such at this time. I’ve been very thankful that we can get out most days and walk or bike. It really does help, mentally and physically.

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We are so fortunate to live in a neighborhood that’s safe, with lots of good walking trails and plenty of nature. The animals have become quite used to us humans among them these days!

In the midst of all this, we are planning yet another move. In less than a month, we will be out of this house and in transition once again. The “limbo” period this time is long and uncertain, but we’re here for it.

Life is moving on, and moving forward, one way or another.

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Stay safe, my friends.

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The Serenity Project is a monthly collaborative photography project. Please continue the circle to Jillian Baudry, photographer in the south of France to see what brought her some peace this month. I know it’s beautiful!

Loving Kindness | {the serenity project}

Well, folks, we’re all in this together.

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Which feels weird, I know. Usually crises such as these are weather-related, which is a local phenomena. It’s odd to text with my friends in Arizona, Virginia, Florida and know we are all going through the same thing. We’re all stuck inside, “homeschooling” (or attempting to) our kids, reading the books on our TBR list. We’re all social distancing and avoiding crowds.

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It’s uncharted territory.  And while I have faith this will blow over and be but a memory (albeit a strange one) soon, a part of me is definitely anxious about it all.

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For the past several years, I have been interested in meditation and living a more mindful life, though that’s not to say I have been a regular practitioner. It’s been hard for me to make it a practice. But when I remember, one of the types of meditation I have found to be helpful and accessible is Loving Kindness. If you’re not familiar, basically think of a person in your life and keep them in mind as you silently say:

______ May you feel safe and protected.

May you be free from physical and emotional discomfort.

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you live your life peacefully, joyfully and with ease.

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People to think of for this meditation: Yourself, first and foremost. A close friend or family member. Someone who has acted as mentor for you. A neutral person (such as a barista or cashier). A difficult person in your life. All living creatures. All of the above.

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{bonus: if you say this slowly, or repeat it twice with two people in mind, it takes about 20 seconds. Just saying.}

These times, like all times, are uncertain. But we will get through it.

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Enjoy your time at home, as best you can. There is a certain comfort to it.

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(all photos shot with a Nikon F100 and Lensbaby lenses, with the exception of the last image. Film images: Porta 800 metered at ISO 200. Final image shot with Lensbaby Velvet 56 through a Nikon D750)

The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project. The photographers aim to bring a sense of peace and calm with their imagery. Please continue the circle to Pam Douglas, still life photographer to see what brought her some serenity this month. I know we can all use some!

 

Giving Thanks | {The Serenity Project}

We spend Thanksgiving every year with my in-laws in South Carolina, dividing our week between my mother- and father-in-laws’ house and my brother- and sister-in-laws’ house.

My daughter always loves time with her Oma, Papaw, uncle, aunt and especially her little cousin.

One of the things I most look forward to is the quiet afternoons at my father-in-law’s property. They have a lot more land than we do (and more than I would ever want, really) and I enjoy wandering around and taking photos in their yard. The light is perfect this time of year, and though his gardens are lingering between fall and winter, there is always something to capture.

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Meanwhile, my daughter hunts for treasures with a metal detector, and this is becoming one of her favorite parts of our visit.

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I guess you could say we both hunt for treasure!

The Serenity Project is a monthly collaborative photography. The photographers who participate hope to bring a sense of peace and calm with their imagery. Please continue the circle toWendy May, NE Scotland hobbyist photographer. Hopefully she has found some serenity during this most busy time of year! 

Happy Holidays!

 

Something New | {The Serenity Project}

Almost every photographer I know has experienced a “rut” before. A time when you don’t want to pick up your camera, or maybe you DO want to create beautiful images, but the motivation just isn’t there. It can be so hard to overcome this. If I’m honest, I haven’t been “feeling” photography for a while now. Sure, I still pick up my camera, but I often don’t feel motivated or inspired.

I decided I needed a little push and signed up for Tracey Clark’s Picture Nature Class. I’ve followed Tracey for a while (she created the Shutter Sisters blog which I followed when I first became interested in photography years ago). The class consists of daily prompts for 40 days.  I have to say it has been so motivating for me to get out and shoot! The weather has been great too, which has also helped bring it together for me.   Here are some of my favorite images from this experience so far.

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Sometimes it’s good to branch out, try something new, meet new people (even if just virtually), get out there and enjoy the lovely fall weather.. just pick up the camera and GO!  It’s nice  to think outside the box a bit and stretch myself creatively.

The Serenity Project is a  monthly collaborative photography project. Please continue the circle to my friend, Joan Newton Showers, Charlotte, NC to see what brought her some serenity this month.

Clickin Walk 2019 | {The Serenity Project}

One of my favorite photography events every year is Clickin Walk. This is a walk that takes place at many locations all over the world over one weekend. It is sponsored by Clickin Moms and mostly female photographers participate. I love photo walks, and I especially love to take them with other photographers. It’s wonderful to chat about photography (and life!), visit with friends old and new, and see how others see the world through their lens.September 13, 2019-ECC_7149-Edit

This year our walk was at the gardens. It was a treat to walk around the garden in the evening, the weather cooperated, and it gave me an opportunity to bring out my macro lens.

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I didn’t take too many photos this year, but here are two of my favorites:

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It’s an event I look forward to every year, and I have now had the chance to participate in three different states. Who knows where I will be next year at this time, but if there is a Clickin Walk near me, you can bet I’ll be there!

Do you enjoy photo walks? Did you attend a Clickin Walk this year? I would love to hear about your experience!

The Serenity Circle is a collaborative photography project. The photographers who participate wish to bring a sense of peace and calm to their imagery. Please continue the circle to the beautiful work of  Janet Broughton, still life photographer to see what brought her some serenity this month. 

Albuquerque Getaway | {the serenity project}

We took a trip to visit my mom in Albuquerque this month. I’m so glad we had a chance to go! I didn’t think we would be able to make it out there this summer with my husband’s schedule, but we were able to squeeze it in right before school started.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of our favorite things to do wherever we travel is visit the local botanical garden. I love walking around with my family, taking photos, enjoying the beautiful weather. Albuquerque is hot, but not humid, and the blue skies can’t be beat. It all makes for a lovely day.

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During our visit we also made a trip up to Santa Fe to see Meow Wolf, which is an interactive art exhibit. It was unlike anything we have ever done; it was a lot of fun and a very unique experience! My daughter really enjoyed it.

And we spent plenty of time with my mom. She and my daughter are very close, and they enjoyed many Monopoly games together.

These are her hens and chicks. She has grown them for years and they have really taken over their little space!

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(I hope in our next house we have a sunroom, as I would like to print one of these on canvas and hang it in there! Part of my heart is always in the Southwest wherever we live, and I love having those reminders in our home.)

All in all it was a nice respite from our busy summer. Now school is back in session and we are looking forward to fall. Summer slipped through our fingers much too quickly!

The Serenity Project is a group photography project. The participating photographers aim to bring a sense of peace and calm to their images. Up next is Joan Newton Showers, Charlotte NC. Please continue the circle to see what my friend Joan has to share this month.

 

Rain | {The Serenity Project}

We have enjoyed some beautiful spring days, but we have also had our share of chilly, rainy days.

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I am a person who doesn’t mind the rain though. The good news is it brings us so much greenery and pretty flowers. I can NOT wait for the peonies in my front yard to bloom!

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Seeing all these beautiful flowers make me think about future gardens. Someday I would love to have my own cutting garden so I can have flowers in my kitchen that I have grown.

I haven’t had much success with growing things in the past but maybe someday.

 

For now, I enjoy what is popping up around me.

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The Serenity Project is a collaborative monthly photography project. Up next is Wendy May, Scottish Photographer.  Please continue the circle to see what brought her some serenity this month. See you next month!

 

Spring in Ohio Isn’t Bad |{the serenity project}

Now that we have come around to spring, we are approaching our first full year in Ohio.

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I have really enjoyed the seasonal weather, as I have mentioned here before.  And Spring has been a very welcome change!

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There are so many beautiful flowering trees and plants here, and we have had some pretty glorious days to get out there and see them.

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It’s been a treat to get out and enjoy nature. We have really enjoyed seeing what is popping up in our own yard!

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The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project that aims to bring a sense of peace and calm to imagery. Up next is Maibritt Olsen, Fine Art Photographer, USA. Please continue the circle to see what Maibritt has to share this month!

Sunday Afternoon | {The Serenity Project}

 

Our typical Sunday goes something like this: a hike or other activity, lunch, and running errands such as grocery shopping. But we always allow some time for reading, relaxing, and maybe watching a movie in the afternoon.

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(image is freelensed)

Reading has always been a big part of my life and I always wanted a space dedicated to reading in my home. Finally, a few years ago we found we had room for a little nook. So I bought a chair and small table and lamp. Where the space is in our house varies; for a while it was in our master bedroom, then it migrated into the office, which is where it is to this day.  My mother gifted me with this book quilt at Christmas and it’s the perfect addition to this space. I don’t always read in this spot (sometimes I prefer to lie on my bed), but I do love a Sunday afternoon curled up with my books. It’s  a nice way to end my weekend, and start the week.

 

The Serenity Project is collaborative monthly photography project. The participating photographers aim to bring a sense of peace and calm to their images. Please continue the circle to Janet Broughton, creative photographer in the North West of England to see what brought her some serenity this month. 

Winter | {The Serenity Project}

I won’t lie-it’s cold outside! But the world is so peaceful and quiet with the ground blanketed in snow.

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I have really enjoyed photographing winter in its many forms.

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I know many people do not enjoy winter, but as I find myself living in Ohio by way of Florida, Phoenix, and  South Texas, I am appreciating it this year. I hope we continue to enjoy this season as long as we are living in a place that has a winter.

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I’m finding a peacefulness in this season, an acceptance as we wait for spring’s arrival. And I know we will enjoy that too!

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The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project. The women who participate aim to bring a sense of peace and calm to their images. Up next is my very talented friend, Nadeen Flynn, Northern California Fine Art Photography. Please continue the circle to see what Nadeen captured this month.

Christmas Time | {The Serenity Project}

Years ago, an old family friend told me he liked to look at the Christmas tree without his glasses on because the lights were blurry and beautiful. I am also very nearsighted, and can’t  in fact recognize my own husband two feet away from me without my glasses on, but can find my way around the house ok without them at night.  The other night, I walked downstairs for a glass of water without my glasses on and was surprised to see our tree still lit and beautifully blurry. I was reminded of this friend, and enjoyed a few quiet moments by our tree in the middle of the night by myself. I wanted to recreate that feeling, that moment, those lights, with my camera. I freelensed this image. Christmas lights are fun to photograph in all sorts of ways.

Christmas for me is a time for family and reflection on the year behind us, as well as the year to come. It’s about good food and time off work together, movies and games, and hopefully some quiet moments too. But mostly about spending time with those we hold close to us and gratitude. I’m so thankful to have the people I do in my life, and for the Christmas seasons we are able to share together during our time on this earth.

I  am wishing all of you a peaceful  Christmas and holiday season, however you celebrate,  with family and friends you hold dear. Hope you find some serenity and quiet moments,  and plenty of good food also.

 

The Serenity Project is a colloborative group photography project. Participating photographers aim to bring a sense of calm and peace to their imagery. Please continue the circle to my good friend,  Iris Nelson, Metro Phoenix Photographer

 

Fall is Here | {The Serenity Project}

We have had what I think are probably unusually warm days this year. Of course, being new to Ohio, I really have no idea of what is “normal”.

But, a few days ago, the temperatures really plummeted and it is truly starting to feel like fall!

I  love it! I think this will be our favorite time of year here, and I look forward to having annual traditions in line with the season. Apple picking! Fall festivals! Hay rides! Corn Mazes! Hiking!

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(The one stipulation being, of course, that we live somewhere where there is a fall! But for now, we are just going to enjoy it here!)

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It’s a beautiful time of year.

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I love the coziness at night too. We love burning candles year round, and this time of year I enjoy the fall scents.

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The Serenity Project is a collective photography project. The artists who participate in this  monthly circle aim to bring a sense of calm and peacefulness to their imagery. Please continue the circle to Wendy May to see what brought her some serenity this month.