Saturday, December 28, 2013

iPhoneography Love: Trees

winter trees

We could never design a building as beautiful as the trees. ~Pietro Belluschi

I turned this standard iPhone tree photo into a much prettier version of itself by using my camera apps: Snapseed (Retrolux filter) and Lenslight to add my faux moon. Aren't camera apps amazing and wonderful?

How is everyone? The holidays are keeping me from my normal blog time, and we're also planning a vacation to Florida in two weeks - my blog posts may be sporadic until later in January. Until then, I'll try my best to post/visit when I can but it may not be as often.

Have a great weekend! Did you have a good holiday? I'm wishing everyone a very Happy 2014!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays to You

Christmas cheer

Christmas cheer

Christmas cheer

Here are a few of my cheeriest Christmas iPhone images from the last couple of weeks...all of these were processed with camera apps only. I use them more often than I do Photoshop these days!

May your holiday be filled with magic, sweetness, and joy. Best wishes to all my wonderful blog friends!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Smitten With Anthropologie

Oh, be still, my beating love for Anthropologie knows no bounds. Words can't describe how much I love this store. I literally feel giddy when I walk through its doors, and when it's finally time to leave I don't want to walk out because of how happy it makes me to be there. All the pretty things!! The colors, the textures, the perfect presentation of every tiny, little detail, staged to's a feast for my eyes. Does anyone else feel this way when they visit this store, or am I the only weird one?? :)

I visited the Anthropologie at Reston Town Center this past week with my daughter, and I couldn't stop snapping photos with my iPhone. I tried to be discreet and none of the employees seemed to be bothered by it. Based on the 100,000+ #anthropologie photos on Instagram, I'm thinking they're probably used to it by now.

My dream is to visit the Anthropologie store in Manhattan, which I hear is spectacular (and not one but TWO floors of visual nirvana). I'm sharing a video below about the Anthropologie designers...this would be my dream job if I were young again, and knew then what I know now about myself, and what I love.

Thank you for stopping there a store where you are that makes your heart beat faster? Please share!

Kim Klassen dot Com

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It Dawned on Me This Morning

December sunrise

Taking a moment to look at the sky or taking a few seconds to abide with the fluid energy of life, can give us a bigger perspective——that the universe is vast, that we are a tiny dot in space, that endless, beginningless space is always available to us. ~Pema Chodron

Yesterday, I happened to walk by our front windows as the sun was rising...I saw the incredible colors and ran for my camera. Yes, that was me in my robe and pajamas, out on our front porch taking photos! My neighbors are probably used to this by now.

The colors took my breath away. Moments like this always make me stop and be present, if only for a moment...maybe that's why they're so special? As I stared at that magical sky, my brain grew still, my breathing slowed down, and my to-do list became unimportant. I soaked in the brilliance of the coral sky, the starkness of the bare trees...they looked vulnerable, as if they were reaching for something. The cold air stung my cheeks and filled my lungs, waking me up much more effectively than a cup of coffee would. The only sound I heard was the hum of distant morning traffic. I imagined that even the birds were stunned into silence, their feathers fluffed up in the cold, perched on those very tree limbs I was staring at.

Suddenly, my day seemed more promising and my heart felt full. A moment in nature, even if it's just on a front porch on a Monday morning, can change my perspective in an instant. Isn't it wonderful how that works?

I'm linking up today with Kim's Texture Tuesday - I used her "Cora" texture at Multiply/50%.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful

winter snow

winter snow

We got some wintery weather this past week as a snow and ice storm blew through the Northern Virginia area...we don't usually have storms like this so early in December. I hope it's not a sign of more bad weather to come! I snuck outside with my camera to capture a few photos of the pretty ice...sadly, the "pretty ice" destroyed a lot of trees in our area, and we even lost power for a few hours during the storm. I'm grateful it was only a few hours, though - many others had no power all day, which would get chilly very fast in these freezing temps!

I'm still in denial about Christmas being here in 12 days...I'm not ready! I must tackle my Christmas to-do list and get things crossed off. Thanks so much for stopping by - I'm linking up with Kim's Friday Finds today.

Kim Klassen dot Com

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Oh, Christmas Tree

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I'm officially "claiming my blog" at Bloglovin, which requires that I post the link above...follow me there if you wish!

I hope things are merry and bright where you are - they are here, and I'm loving the lights on our Christmas tree. Things are also very busy! My blog time has dwindled as I scramble to finish my holiday to do list. Are you ready for the holidays? Remember to breathe!

christmas tree

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Art of Opening Up

pink rose

I sit before flowers hoping they will train me in the art of opening up. I stand on mountain tops believing that avalanches will teach me to let go. I know nothing, but I am here to learn. ~Shane Koyczan

Remaining open is a challenge in this life, but I think it's key to growth and evolvement...I say this not because I've grasped this concept, but as a reminder. It's natural, I think, to want to close our hearts harden them against being vulnerable. Throughout my life I've instinctively done this again and again, but at least I'm aware now when it happens...for years, I did it unconsciously.

I think it's a type of self-preservation to put up those walls, because life can be brutal and hard and we want to protect ourselves from pain. A hurting heart never feels good. But remaining open lets all the good stuff in, too, and there's so much good out there.

I like that the above quote describes opening up as an's very true. Like any art form, it takes practice to develop the skill. If you walk away from the practice sessions, you will never become good at it. I'm still an amateur at opening up, but I aspire to one day be a professional. And I agree completely with Shane Koyczan: there is so much to learn, if we'd only remain open.

I'm linking up today with Photo Art Friday, which has a monthly prompt. The theme this month was "open". I played around with my rose image, using Bonnie's "Heavenly" texture at Vivid Light/43%. I also added a texture with some handwriting for the background, and used the cutout effect.

Click on the button below to visit Bonnie's Pixel Dust Photo Art site - she has another prompt coming up in January. It's a lot of fun to play around with altering your images - I highly recommend it! It's a good exercise in being open, and letting go. :)

Pixel Dust Photo Art

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hold Still for a (Photographic) Moment

Old Town Alexandria

Old Town Alexandria

Old Town Alexandria

Old Town Alexandria

Did everyone have a good Thanksgiving? Ours was wonderful...a quiet weekend spent with family. We laughed, we ate, we walked, we ate, we watched movies, we know how that goes. It's back to reality this week, along with realizing that Christmas is only 22 days away! Eek, I must finish my Christmas shopping.

I'm linking up with Texture Tuesday today and thought I'd share a few photos from our visit to Old Town Alexandria a few weeks ago...I didn't realize I hadn't shared any images from there yet. We discovered a tiny park in the middle of the town and it was so fact, while we were there, two professional photographers were also there taking family portraits. A perfect spot!

For the last image above, I used Kim's "Sybil" texture at Multiply/50%.

All the trees are officially bare's time to seek out alternative photo opportunities for the next several months. I think it's time to start practicing my indoor photography until spring! Thanks for stopping by.

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still. ~Dorothea Lange