Thursday, April 30, 2009

reflect / transform

L - Nikon / T- phone pic

I've been reflecting a lot lately on change, aging, love, motherhood, talent, the future, the past, etc, etc and remain wordless. Honestly, I probably never will have the words. I don't have the talent for expressing myself like so many of you do. So once again - wordless. / the theme for our final project in drawing is "transformation". this college freshman is working on "spreading her wings". i had my roommate take a photo of me and along with some reference of wings i am going to create a self portrait of myself with wings.

p.s. these words from her tonight make me sad. It's strange – the closing of her freshman year almost makes me sadder than when she first went away in the fall. Why? Has anyone else had this experience with their child?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


solo post – L

I have no words tonight – not one. If I could figure out how to express it I would.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

happy / heart

L - Nikon D60 / T- phone pic (click to see the sketch)

Aren't pansies the happiest little flowers? The symbolism associated with the pansy is "merriment" and "you occupy my thoughts" - seems appropriate because of their cute little "faces". I'm sure you know that Pansy flowers are edible – they have a taste reminiscent of grapes and mint. I've never actually used them in a meal myself but have had them on a salad at a fine restaurant. Have you ever used pansies in your food? / i am so busy right now. sorry i haven't been participating in the blog very much lately. this is a project i am trying to finish up for my 3D class. we were given the assignment to create a soft sculpture and i chose to make a 3-dimensional soft heart out of red velvet with purple crocheted veins. it's hard to tell what it will look like at this point but you can see my pencil sketch and parts of the sculpture. in my head it was really cool... i hope i can carry it through.

Monday, April 27, 2009

fruits of labor

solo post – L, Nikon D60

“Faith sees a beautiful blossom in a bulb, a lovely garden in a seed, and a giant oak in an acorn.”
- William Arthur Ward

As some of you know, my brother has been planning and preparing a neighborhood garden.
No this is not my brother's garden but it's what he hopes his will look like soon – on a much smaller scale of course. These photos were taken at a very nice community garden in B'ham. There were strawberries, onions and many, many different types of lettuces and beans, even fava beans. I had not had fava beans until just recently when I bought some at Trader Joes. They have a buttery texture and slightly nutty flavor. I thought they were pretty tasty. These strawberries were looking so ripe and juicy I wanted to pick one right then and there.
I love the concept of community gardens. So many families don't have the space to plant a nice garden, or the full sun that is needed, so this gives those who want to grow their own food a place to do just that. It engages young people and families, even seniors that may now live in a retirement home. And what a great learning experience for children. I feel like every community should have at least one area for a big garden like this. It cultivates greenspace and inspires environmental stewards and in these economic times would be of great value to many of us.
After seeing this garden, my brother was concerned that he didn't raise his beds enough. He considered digging up the plants he already had in the ground to redo his beds. So far he has planted tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, and lettuce. He's going to plant beans and potatoes too. His chickens are still too young to put outdoors but they are a part of the project as well. What would you include in a community garden? He hopes that his neighbors will pitch in and help keep the garden producing all year long like they say they will – many voiced interest but you know how that goes. Do you have any experience with community gardens? If it all grows/goes well it will be so rewarding on many levels - and everyone will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


solo post - L

I had a relaxing weekend visiting with my brother in B'ham. The weather could not have been more ideal for a weekend of outdoor activities. No, we didn't work in the garden like we had planned. We put the wheelbarrows aside and went walking through someone else's gardens – the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. We also went to one of the largest art festivals B'ham has – Magic City Art Festival. So much to marvel at. At the festival we saw works of art created by the hands of talented artist and at the gardens, flowers and plants with details so tiny and perfect that only God could have created such magnificence. There was art I coveted for my walls, as well as plants I desired for my garden. I came home with ideas.
What did you marvel at this weekend?
meaning of flowers: white poppy - sleep, rest

Sorry T has been absent. The year is almost over for her and she's been busy with final projects.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

smiling color

solo post- L, Nikon D60

Elk asked this morning, "where do you see colors in your world that make your heart sing?" These are the colors I'm seeing right now - how could I not smile each morning.

I'm going to see my brother in B'ham this weekend so I don't know if I will get a post up or not - I'll try. I think he is going to put me to work preparing his garden - he's planting a vegetable garden. I have my work gloves ready... but I have in mind some festival browsing and a trip to the botanical gardens.
I want to wish all of you a beautiful weekend. - L

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

happy earth day

solo post - L , Nikon

"I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." -John Muir, Preservationist, 1838-1914

My favorite time of day is at dusk when the light is changing and wildlife is rustling about. I enjoy sitting down by the creek and just letting the stress of the day fade away. Ours is a dry creek bed, but one day I would like to create some sort of water feature down there to give the impression of a real creek. However, I might never come in if I do that. I would build a fire down there and sit for hours with a cup of tea just enjoying the trickle of the water, and the bird song...
Did you get a chance to get outside today- to feel the sun on your face, maybe a breeze through your hair and to appreciate the beauty of nature around you?

Monday, April 20, 2009

fresh flowers / fresh new book

L - Nikon / T - Nikon

I sure enjoy coming home and there still being a couple of daylight hours left. I like walking around the yard in the late afternoon sun, watching the birds and seeing what flowers I can cut and bring in. That's one thing I love about this time of year - being able to have fresh flowers on the table. The spring blossoms are on their way out and I want to enjoy them as long as possible, so tonight I cut snowball viburnum and coral azaleas blossoms to put in my vase. They won't be suitable for cutting next week I'm sure, but new flowers, like the hydrangeas, will be on their way soon. / i'd had this book, "the effects of light", for a very long time and had started reading it over a year ago, but i picked it up again over spring break and enjoyed reading it when i came back to school. one line that really stuck out to me was when one of the characters who is talking about her father, an art historian, and says, "i think just about every artist who ever lived is making art for one reason: to show what it's like to be alive, what it's like to be really here." it's neat to think about art in that way, the common aim with so many different styles and genres of art but a binding force between all artists.
now it's time to start a fresh new book.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

point of view

L - Nikon / T- Nikon
not coincidental picture posting - we took these on the same day - just different view points

click to view larger - see her little white smile marking.

I drove up to Athens yesterday afternoon for a spontaneous visit with T. We met at the bookstore because T had finished another book and was looking for a new one to start, then to TJMaxx were she had picked out 2 littles dresses she wanted. After shopping we went to the local coffee shop and sat outside in the warm sun. It was a perfectly beautiful day and we had no time schedule so we sat and talked, and talked - she told me what was going on in her life and I gave her my point of view on a few things she was dealing with, she told me about her new classes for next year, etc and I told her about my late night workings and how sore I was from boot camp that morning, then we decided to go out for dinner. We wanted to try the new mexican restuarant, Taqueria Del Sol, but it was closed. So we went across the street to the famous "The Grit". As we walked back to the car we noticed that Taqueria Del Sol was open. This was the 2nd time we'd tried to eat there. Maybe next time we'll pay attention to the hours. / after dinner i took mom to my favorite thrift store, angora. i always find things there that i want. today it was a beautiful mannequin head that i coveted, she really spoke to me. but she was $80. guess i'll have to save my money. we still had daylight so we decided to drive to watkinsville just to see what we could find. she'd see lots of beautiful old homes and farm land and i'd see abandoned house possibilities. we did see some places that we'd like to explore more closely another time. we both saw lots and lots of cows. i had mom pull over ... there was the cutest little calf i'd ever seen right by the fence. he was all brown except for his face which was all white face. he was dancing around so playfully. the minute i got close he ran away. we stood there just observing the way cows interact, or rather don't. there were alot of babies running around but none of them would come up to the fence. we took some photos and by this time the sun was fading so we drove back to my dorm and mom went home. it was a nice day.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

workout / worked out

L- Nikon / T - Nikon

I started boot camp today - early - 8am on a Saturday morning. A lady at work roped 3 of us into signing up with her for a 6 weeks boot camp. It was held outside, down by the river. The air was cool this morning and the mist rose off the water as the rowers passed by. But I was soon shedding my outer layer of clothing because of the hard workout. It was pretty brutal - full hour without stopping. But it feels good to be sore and tired and I assume I will improve my performance as time goes on. / i'm really into this book sculpture thing, so i was really excited when i got to try my luck at it again on part three of our 3D design texture project. we were supposed to draw or paint a visual texture, so while i was playing around with my book and doing what we used to do in middle school (flipping up the pages to make a flower-type thing) i had a revelation. bamboo! it worked out pretty well (except the "bamboo" got a little squished as i added more and more "stalks") and i got a good critique on it in class. our next project is body modification... wish me luck! haha

Thursday, April 16, 2009

spring blooms

solo post - L, Nikon

A week or so ago I posted a spring preview and said I would post when the azaleas were in full bloom. Well this is the only photo I have at the moment, but as you can see the azaleas are vibrant* red when the sun hits them just so. The trees now have their spring green leaves and the grass is at it's greenest ever; the red maples display a multitude of colors from light green to dark red; the hydrangeas that have looked dead all winter are now full of bright green leaves with the hopes of wonderfully large blooms in the summer; the viburnum is loaded with white blossoms that glow - I can see them from my kitchen window as I wash dishes at night. Everything looks the prettiest to me around 6pm when the late afternoon sun is in the direction I am facing taking this photo here, but unfortunately I haven't been getting home that early.
Oh, and I've noticed a new visitor to the bird feeder this week - the sweet little goldfinches - a sure sign of spring.
I hope to get some more photos over the weekend and get back on track with my blogging and visiting all of you - seeing whats blooming in your world.

*sort of looks like I have applied hue saturation to this photo - I didn't, it's sooc.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

tiny / enormous

L - Nikon D40x / T - Nikon D40x

The weekend was so busy we never got around to posting our photos on Saturday. But I hated to let them slide by the wayside - they're so cheerful and springy.
My mom used to collect these little flocked Kunstlerschutz German animals (they're not in production anymore). She made a merry-go-round that she put them on and brought it out for Easter - I always loved it. It had a rabbit, lion, squirrel, camel, duck, monkey, leopard, beaver, goat, horse and even a little hedgehog. I don't know what happened to the merry-go-round but I found the animals over at her house not long ago so I decided to do a little photoshoot with some of them. / i took this last year. mom doesn't usually tell me what to post but today she did say she wanted something Easter-like so i immediately thought of this photo. mom and i had been traveling back from an outlet mall, i think, and we past a parking lot filled with a lot of huge ornamention that must have been used at putt-putt courses, or the like. so of course we pulled over. i love this bunny - i call it cotton candy. it's been pretty popular at my festivals - printed really large the bunny is quite impressive and bold.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

eggs / chicks

L - Nikon / T - Nikon sigma 30mm lens

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend - enjoyed some glorious spring time weather too. T was home for the weekend and we had a nice time together - but the weekend flew by. We dyed some Easter eggs, but I didn't really plan ahead - just sort of made it up as we went along - so the egg decorating wasn't very creative but they were still pretty. The most exciting thing to happen this weekend was getting the chicks. It was an affair I did with my brother but I'll tell you more about it on my other blog - it was quite the experience./ sadly i missed the trip to visit the "chicken whisperer" to pick these cute chicks out, but i had the pleasure of playing around with them and hearing their cute peeps when they returned home. i took it upon myself to name them, this one being penny for her copper color (which doesn't look so copper here). they were all so adorable, i sort of wish they wouldn't grow into hens.

Friday, April 10, 2009

observe / watch

L - Nikon / T - Nikon

I've been putting out little bits of dryer lint, string and various things for the birds to use in their nest. I think they'd like that don't you? I wish there was a place where a bird would build so that I could witness more carefully their procedure in building. Last year, my brother and his family had a great time observing a bird family - right from a big picture window they could see the nest in a gardenia bush. The twins were 7 years old. What a great learning experience for them. They got to see the mother sitting on the nest and then the eggs after they hatched and watch the mother bird feed the babies all the way until they left the nest. Have you ever had an experience similar to that? / my friend william helped me prepare my little egg plant to grow (not that it was hard or anything). we had plans to give it a name but have since postponed them until one of us has a revelation that will suit him/her perfectly. it will be fun to watch the plant inside grow day by day as the plants outside leaf out and flower. the huge tree we have right outside our dorm window has transformed before our eyes in what seems to be only days. it's crazy to think georgia weather is so erratic that it's snowing one day and seventy degrees the next.. i like my little plant, but i wish it would actually flower in it's tiny egg pot! it's only supposed to sprout ]:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

fast growing / fast reading

L - Nikon / T - Nikon

See the land, her Easter keeping,
Rises as her Maker rose.
Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,
Burst at last from winter snows.
Earth with heaven above rejoices...
-Charles Kingsley

I'm so happy to see my ajuga plants coming up. I keep dividing the plants, trying to get them to cover the slope along my path in the back yard. It grows along the ground, quickly spreading by runners, and soon creates a thick carpet of foliage that's really pretty with it's purple spikes and dark purplish leaves. Ajuga is a great plant because it will grow in full shade or full sun - how many plants do you know that do well in either sun or shade and tolerate drought? And it's an excellent plant to use for erosion control due to it's extensive root system. Can't beat it. / i go through books rather quickly. i'm already on my fourth one since spring break and i'm almost finished with it! if anyone has some suggestions of either classics i should read before i die or modern books that they think i would like to check out, they would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

we're honored

solo post - L , portion of the painting, Queen Kodi / the subject

Tonight I want to give a little plug for a very special project that I was honored to be a part of - The Paws for Charity Art Book. The book was created by the hard work and dedication of Sara Harley and it's now available on Blurb as the staff's #1 pick. Please check it out and share with as many people as you can. One hundred per cent of the profits from the sale of these books are donated to the Avon Crusade for Breast Cancer. If you are a pet lover I feel sure you will enjoy this beautiful book, and if not, I bet you know someone who is. The book features work from artist over 19 U.S. states, 2 Canadian provinces, and 3 locations in the UK. You can see teasers on the website. I am so tickled to be in the mix with these talented artists. Click on the icon to the right of the post - I hope you will help support this important cause - thank you.
For more information you can read the press release.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

blue skies / gray skies

L - Nikon / T - Nikon, one year ago today

It was so cold today it felt more like February than April but looking at the forecast it looks as though we will have a sunny and warm weekend. I'm looking forward to it.
T's phone, it turns out, is fine but somehow the internet service didn't get hooked up so she can't send photos to me. That's got to be fixed or I'm afraid this will become a one-sided blog. Tonight I asked her to send something from one year ago. One year ago we were on spring break. We went to Hilton Head with sun bathing in mind, but the weather was chilly and not the best for enjoying the beach. So we had to think of alternative activities. We had fun rummaging thrift stores, ate out at great restaurants, took a 1 hr boat trip to Daufuskie Island and explored the island by golf cart, even went to a spa to have a massage and facial. Turned out to be one of my favorite spring break trips. We took a lot of awesome photos and just had fun being very spontaneous. Do you have a fun spring break you'd like to share? / this photo was taken on our trip to hilton head island one year ago, exactly, for spring break. however unfortunate the lack of sun was for my tan, it was nice for photographs.
we bought this wedding dress at the local salvation army on the island for twenty dollars, went to the beach on that cold and steel-gray day and shot a lot of photos. we had some onlookers but i didn't even care, it was fun. i used the tripod and remote for some of them and mom shot some - we came back with many i was happy with but, as is often the case, not until afterwards did i think of some other things i wished i had done with the shoot - wish i'd pushed a little further, know what i mean?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

spring preview

solo post - L

I did a little freshening up around the yard this weekend so that it will look nice for Easter. I wanted to dress it up for Easter. We always want to be dressed in our very finest going to church on Easter Sunday don't we? At least it used to be that way, remember... ladies would wear hats and some would even wear gloves; little girls wore bonnets and frilly dresses; little boys would wear little shorts suits and ties and men... I don't think they dressed much different Easter Sunday than any other Sunday, but it was always a time to dress especially nice. At this time of year, when the sun shines a little warmer, many of us will get anxious to "pretty up" our yards as well. In the south it seems God does his own beautifying of the trees and bushes - dressing them in their finest around Easter time. See these azaleas? I think they're holding back until next weekend when they'll be in full bloom - bursting with color. I bet even the hardwood trees will all have tender little leaves on their branches by then. I did my part by putting a fresh layer of pine straw on the ground and I got anxious like everyone else at the nursery and brought home a few flowers to plant, although I know it's best to wait a few weeks (even in the south we've had snow in April). In fact, tonight I'm hearing predictions of freezing temperatures tomorrow. So this is just a preview. I'll show you my yard in it's spring glory next weekend - that is, if the dropping temperatures don't damage the blossoms this week. / i thought my phone was fixed but it won't send photos now. tell evee happy birthday! i can't believe she's 10yrs old.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

intoxicating / delicious

L - iphone / T - phone

Ah it was glorious to wake up to the sun (it's been awhile since the sun shone so brilliantly). I so enjoyed my day today - sunshine at the breakfast table, strolling through a nursery stocked full of colors and scents, some hard labor, reading in the hammock, and dinner and dessert with T.
There's something intoxicating about browsing through a nursery - I literally get a light-headed, wonderful feeling there. Today I bought some lavender plants, some basil and some red geraniums, plus some bales of pinestraw. That's where the labor part comes in. I wanted the yard to look fresh and pretty for Easter. It feels good to work hard - to get hot and tired and thirsty and then be able to relax in the hammock with a good book. While I was relaxing I got a call from T - she was in town for a short time and was coming to have dinner with me. First thing she said when she sat down at dinner, "oh I have stories to tell... boy stories." There's nothing that makes me happier than for her to tell me stories. It was a short visit, but nice nonetheless / yesterday my phone stopped working. it's my life-line. i tried to get it fixed in athens but had no luck (they were plain rude and would not even give me a temporary replacement), so i decided to drive home today, feeling a little anxious not having a phone, to see if dad could help me. they were more helpful here or it's just better sometimes to have a parent around. i lost most of my contacts which didn't make me happy, but i was happy to get my phone back in working order. with that taken care of i went to have dinner with mom at mellow mushroom. we shared a tasty piece of 'death by chocolate' cheesecake. i came home real quick to take a shower because the hot water has been out at the dorm. it was late but i had to head back... i have 2 portraits to complete.

Friday, April 3, 2009

fly / flight of fancy

Sorry for all of the bird photos lately, but I was excited yesterday when I saw that I had captured this bluebird in flight - heading to the new bird house my dad built. There are 5 other bluebird houses, all mounted at the specified height on trees in the back yard (it is said that bluebird houses should be mounted 5 ft off the ground) and I think this one is higher than that, but I guess the new construction is appealing - no previous tenant's mess to contend with.
Next I'll try to capture the cardinals. They usually build in my azalea bushes. Did you know cardinals mate for life? / work still in progress

p.s. When I saw T's pic for today I chose the bluebird photo that I took yesterday to put with it, so I have to admit, it wasn't truly synchronicity this time. - L

Thursday, April 2, 2009


solo post - L click to see larger (the bird is a little camouflaged)

Just yesterday I saw a blue bird at the bluebird house, a chickadee gathering bits off of the crepe myrtle tree for a nest, this tufted titmouse checking out the Martin House, and I been hearing the woodpecker every morning too.
The little titmouse checked out several of the holes in this martin house and then flew away so I don't know if she decided on it or not. I wouldn't think the she would like this location because according to research they don't usually build in birdhouses - they like natural cavities in trees - and they like their nest to be up high, more than 8 ft. But because the martin house is up high maybe it has some appeal to her - we'll see.
I can tell the birds have been busy at work finding new homes and building their nest - there is a lot of activity going on in our yard. I just wish that I had the time, and the patience, to figure out where they each are building. I'll keep trying.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

spring - wonders i saw today

solo post - L

"Hail in the Spring, a start of new beginnings.
Creativity awe-inspiring gives a reason to be living.
Plant life showing life anew, a wonder to be found.
New born lambs playing in the fields, birds nesting all around
People enjoying the sun and the warmth, feeling good to be alive.
Spring gives a purpose to our lives, a touch of Paradise."
- Kay M. Sutton, Bring in the Spring


The photos on the left are taken by me, Leslye, the mother. The photos on the right are taken by my daughter, Taylor – unless otherwise noted. Comments are always welcome. thanks
If you care to visit, I, Leslye, have another blog - AutumnSun where I ramble around different paths and pleasures of my own.