Friday, November 14, 2014

Poem: Life Drawing

intuitive collage


Shape of a treasured memory
Hue of a hidden fear
Shade of an unfilled destiny
Tone of a tender tear

Contour of a fragile thought
Erase of a word that stings
Portrait of a soul that's lost
Sketch of a hope that clings

Value of a loving touch
Texture of a smile that's kind
Circle of a permanent scar
Oval of a light-filled eye.

©Sherri Brannon

I follow the wonderful dVerse blog, a 'poets pub' that encourages blog poets like me to post poetry on a weekly basis. They provide themes and/or prompts. I've never participated before but today's prompt caught my eye immediately because it's a subject so close to my heart.

I hope it's OK that I share a poem I wrote awhile back while immersed in an art class I was taking. I love painting so much but find that it's the first creative outlet to go when my life is busy. I haven't painted in a long while but am hoping to start up again after our move. It's the art form I'm most drawn to but also the most afraid of.

The poem came to me while learning all about lines, colors, and shapes...our lives are filled with these things in the form of joys, challenges, triumphs, and heartbreaks. The art piece is a collage I did using cutouts from books and magazines - it also has a piece of my personal poetry journal in it.

If poetry is your thing, please visit the dVerse blog and participate! Thanks so much for stopping by.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Last Night's Birds (A Poem)



I'm in a new space,
a childless house, its
pulse slowing, then silent.
There's a kinship with
the fading flowers, clustered
yet alone, muted in tone.
A feeling lingers, enveloping my heart,
like a flittering moth yearning for
the vast night's jar stars, and I,
the lonely watcher. Or, like the
maple tree in my back yard aching
for yesterday's birds and
those birds, in turn, searching
in vain for the air.

The November air hangs sharply
on the edges of burning leaves.
I rake up their withered flames, my
mother heart cracked lengthwise,
my memories wisping skywards, my
love mingling with the wood smoke.
I seek comfort from non-human things:
fungi blooming shyly on the forest floor,
glass ponds beckoning as mirrors.
I stoop to gather my words in the woods,
uprooted in tufts of pungent earth.
Hope's gentle hands hook gently
around my waist, holding me up as I
harvest my sorrow in gutted fields,
among pine needles and tree shadows.

Sherri Brannon ©2014

It's been quite awhile since I felt the urge to write, but this poem has been percolating for felt good to write about my empty nest feelings. My daughter is doing well and adjusting to her new life in New York City, and that makes me feel good. It really is true what they say: all a parent wants is for their kid to be happy! It's that simple.

Life is a whirlwind right now - it's a time of letting go while embracing new and exciting things. Isn't that the pattern of life? Oh yes, indeed.

Big changes are ahead and I will be incredibly busy for the next several months. We have decided to move to Florida earlier than planned and are now prepping our Virginia house for sale. We've lived in this house for 18 years so there's a whole lot of de-cluttering and home improvements going on! We are downsizing in a huge way. I will post occasionally if I can, but I'll mostly be taking a blog break at least through the holiday season. Life sure keeps you on your toes, doesn't it?

My photo was taken with my iPhone...another lovely landscape capture while on a country drive. I will miss the back roads of Virginia so much when we leave! I used both the Distressed FX and Stackable apps to get the painterly texture (and birds) in the image.

Thank you for stopping by.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

App Happy Wednesday: Fall Landscapes

Distant farm.

Red Barn

Red roof.

Cornfields and hayrides.


I've gotten so many lovely fall captures with my iPhone in recent are some of my favorites which I'm sharing with App Happy Wednesday. Click on the icon below to visit and join in! Fall landscape photos are my absolute favorite, especially the ones I come across while out on the back country roads of Virginia.

For all of these photos, I mainly used DistressedFX and/or Stackables to create the beautiful textured feel. I love the bird options in DistressedFX - they add so much to a country landscape.

Thank you for stopping by!

Keeping With The Times

Friday, October 24, 2014

Rhythm of the Seasons

Virginia country roads

Virginia country roads

Virginia country roads

Virginia country roads

Virginia country roads

Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night; and thus he would never know the rhythms that are at the heart of life. ~Hal Borland

Hubby and I drove to the Virginia countryside last weekend and I got so many great photos...there's just something about back country roads, especially with autumn showing its presence! I love it when we drive down a random road and stumble upon a gorgeous's so incredibly quiet. There's no traffic sounds...just the songs of birds, or silence. What a wonderful moment it is to experience good for the soul.

I'm sharing a few for Friday Finds. Today, I'm going to Williamsburg, VA for a weekend trip and hope to have some more great fall images. I can't wait to share when I get back! Thanks for stopping by.

Kim Klassen dot com

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Landscape Yields

autumn signs

autumn signs

autumn signs

autumn signs

autumn signs

autumn signs

autumn signs

The red leaves take the green leaves’ place, and the landscape yields. We go to sleep with the peach in our hands and wake with the stone, but the stone is the pledge of summers to come. ~Emily Dickinson

The colors of fall make my heart beat, so beautiful. In the mum photo above, I used Kim's "cora" texture at Multiply/20%. So many autumn photos, so little time! I hope your world is filled with color, wherever you are. Thank you for stopping by!

Kim Klassen dot com

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Beginnings of Autumn

autumn finds

autumn finds

autumn finds

autumn finds

You don’t have to go looking for pictures. The material is generous. You go out and the pictures are staring at you. ~Lee Friedlander

Nature makes it very easy...especially in October. The challenge becomes picking a few favorites out of the hundreds of photos I'm taking. That's not a bad problem to have...these are a few from last week when the trees were barely starting to turn. They're getting much more vibrant with each passing day! More to come - have a wonderful weekend.

Kim Klassen dot com

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Decorate Your Own Soul

wild daisies

wild daisies

wild daisies

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul, and you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t mean security, and you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises, and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open, with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child, and you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans. After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much. So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really can endure…that you really are strong, and you really do have worth. ~Veronica A. Shoffstall

Being out in nature with my camera offers me much joy and comfort as I adjust to my daughter's move to New York heart aches a little, but I also know I'll be OK. I like that age and wisdom give us the tools to plant our own gardens and decorate our own souls. When I feel sad or down, I let it flow through me and then I carry on. I go out in search of my own flowers, and when I find them my soul smiles and I feel so grateful. Gratefulness is the key to life.

These little daisy-like flowers are everywhere right now - maybe they're just weeds, but to me they're absolutely beautiful. So cheery and bright!

Thank you for stopping by - in the final image above, I used Kim's "mere" texture at Soft Light/20%.

Kim Klassen dot com

Friday, October 10, 2014

Green Joy

sunlight and green

sunlight and green

Plants cry their gratitude for the sun in green joy. ~Terri Guillemets

Soon everything will explode into brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges, but for now I'm basking in the last of the summer green-glow. These images represent all I'm feeling emotionally right now: oh-so-grateful for the sun on my face, overwhelmed with the beauty of the green, sad to see it go, excitedly anticipating the change of color that's coming...I feel a jumble of both joy and sadness that creates an overflowing heart lined with a soft sadness.

My daughter officially moves to The Big Apple tomorrow...autumn is the perfect season for her to leave, because the feelings of fall perfectly match my real life emotions. Her new life in NYC makes me very happy for her...what an exciting, new path she's on. And I will look forward to visiting the city! But it's also a bit sad and bittersweet as I adjust to her living far away. Life is constant change, just like nature's seasons. The secret to life is how we adapt to it...and thank goodness for Facebook, texting and Skype! My daughter will be hearing from me quite often. :)

How is fall coming along where you are? Bask in the beauty of it!

Kim Klassen dot com

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

There is Something in the Autumn

fall leaf

There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood –
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.
~Bliss Carman

Well, that quote is absolutely perfect to describe how I feel about I think I'll just tiptoe out of here with my rhyming heart, put on my flannel scarf and fall boots, and continue my search for beautiful, October colors! And if you happen to see me out there, just ignore the foam mustache from my Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha, OK? :)

Happy autumn, everyone.

(I used Kim's Anna texture at Multiply/30% for my image.)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fall Fungi







The jewel is the awaring presence, not the object being seen. That’s why we can be bored and disappointed while gazing at the Swiss Alps and ecstatic and blissed out over a crumpled cigarette package in the gutter. The beauty is in the quality of the seeing, the awareness, the presence, not in the object being seen. ~Joan Tollifson

I'm never bored while on the hunt for pretty mushrooms! They can be very elusive, so you definitely have to be 'present' while looking for them. I think the mushrooms may have peaked in my area, that the temps are cooling down, I'm not seeing as many. Here are a few I've stumbled upon in the last few weeks. I will continue my search for the month of October - maybe I'll get lucky and find a few while out enjoying the fall foliage.

I'm trying to get back into a blog routine...October is the prettiest month of the year, so I'll definitely be blogging the autumn colors! Thanks so much for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

App Happy Wednesday: App Stacking


I took this photo with my iPhone while we were driving down a Florida highway (as a passenger, of course). It was taken through the window while going about 65 miles an hour. These types of photos are perfect for apps like DistressedFX...the imperfections in the image (window reflections, slight blur, etc.) can be covered up beautifully with the 'grunge' this type of app offers.

For this particular image, I first cropped it in Snapseed. I then moved it into Distressed FX to add the first set of birds and choose a few filters...then I saved it into my camera roll. Next, I created a new blank canvas image with a creamy vanilla color in BubbleWrap. I moved the blank canvas image into DistressedFX and added a different set of birds. I moved that image into iColorama and used the Mirror option to shuffle the birds around in a way I liked. Next, I moved the shuffled bird image along with my original image into Imageblender where I merged them together. The last step was to move the merged image into Pictapgo to slightly sharpen it and change the tone to my liking. Voila! An app-stacked photo I'm very happy with.

App stacking is so much fun - it really forces you to exercise your creative brain. I'm always so excited when I come up with a new idea and it turns out well.

Thank you for stopping by. I've lost my blog groove and real life will keep me busy for the next couple of weeks. After that, I hope to be back on a more regular blog schedule. I have mushroom photos to share...I continue to be on the hunt for them daily! :)

Keeping With The Times

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

App Happy Wednesday


I feel as if I need to dust off my blog...going away for two weeks has put me in a sort of uninspired limbo. I'm having a bit of a creative slump and hope I snap out of it soon.

Meanwhile, I had a wonderful time in Florida and wanted to share a photo for App Happy Wednesday. This old, rusty truck was a happy find while I was down south. I used only Snapseed to sharpen the structure and brighten it a bit.

I hope to get my creative groove back very soon...thank you for stopping by!

Keeping With The Times

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Little Sunshine


Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine. ~Jeffrey Glassberg

And on that note, I'm taking a two week hiatus from my blog as I head down south to enjoy some Florida sunshine. Back soon! :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Swoop and Soar


Happier of happy though I be, like them
I cannot take possession of the sky,
Mount with a thoughtless impulse and wheel there
One of a mighty multitude, whose way
And motion is a harmony and dance
~William Wordsworth

Wouldn't it be wonderful to fly? How lucky birds are...they swoop, and soar, and see things from a perspective much different than ours on the ground. William Wordsworth expressed that perfectly.

I'm sharing another image I created using a bird filter in Distressed FX...they added so much to my photo! I also used Mextures to create a subtle grunge, and then put the image into Luminance (Classic filter) to give it that wonderful glow. Oh, I also added a sun with Lenslight! I love color, so I'm very happy with the sky results.

Keeping With The Times

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

App Happy Wednesday: DistressedFX


Lone tree.

Overhead the birds are calling, their cries seeming to fill the air. As I watch, they rise, flinging their bodies against the sky, intent upon the moment, spinning and turning like embers or smoke upon the air. I envy them, this life of theirs, the way they live so free of themselves, they are without past, without future, an exaltation of life beating in so many parts, rising up into the infinity of space. Watching them I find I want to weep, and yet I have no tear. ~James Bradley

One of my favorite apps, DistressedFX, has recently offered an in-app purchase of additional bird filters...I love them. They often make a so-so landscape image look perfect. Here are two images I've taken recently using the bird filters from DistressedFX. I highly recommend this app! In addition to birds, there are many textures offered that add a distressed or more grungy effect to your photos. Click HERE to visit the DistressedFX website and find links to purchase.

For the first photo, in addition to adding the DistressedFX bird filter, I also put the image into Mextures to give it that beautiful mood. In the second image, I used only DistressedFX - I added the birds and also brought in a custom texture I already had in my camera roll.

Please click below to visit App Happy Wednesday, and join in!

Keeping With The Times