Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summertime Photo Scavenger Hunt Linky: The Boy's Team Logo (item 15)

It's the end of June and time for the first linky for the 2016 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt. Please add a link to a post about the Scavenger Hunt. Either one written for today or one from earlier this month. Also, if you don't have a blog, feel free to link to your flickr or any other clickable photo sharing site where you have pictures. And please try to go visit a few other participants and leave a comment. It's all part of the fun!
***Edited to add: Apologies if the technology is not working for you; it's acting up for quite a few people, but working for others. You can always email me at if you can't link up, and I can add your link. Hopefully I'll get it sorted out! *****
My post today is a tale of two team logos. .  . and the choices a young man makes as he grows up. 
My son Henry is a very talented soccer player. Not EPL talented, but talented enough to be pursued by minor league teams here in the states, such as the Burlingame Football Club (second photo) or Lane United in Eugene, Oregon. Both are the lowest level feeder clubs for a MLS team. He would love to play for either of them - he loves being on the pitch, and he tells me that he is playing the best soccer of his life. 
But he is also a young man who will be graduating from University in a little over a year and knows that he needs to be building a resume and making contacts to start a career in his chosen field of sports business. 
So he applied for a summer job with the San Francisco Giants baseball team and had what he thought was a terrific interview. He waited and waited to hear back from them. His email and voice mail remained silent, and he asked whether we would be okay with him playing soccer and taking classes if a job with the Giants didn't come through. I said, "Of course!" I told him that he's only 21 once and the possibility of playing professional soccer is amazing and something he would never regret doing and would be able to talk about for the rest of his life. 
And then the email came with a job offer from the Giants. And Henry accepted the job. And he works every home game, wearing his employee badge with the San Francisco Giants logo. He's making good contacts and learning new skills  and hoping it will turn into a regular job upon graduation.
But if it doesn't, I'm hopeful that the clubs give him another chance. Because even though I'm proud of him for making the "right" choice, the adult choice about what team logo to wear this summer, part of me hopes that he still gets a chance to someday be able to tell his kids and grandkids about the year he played professional soccer . . . 
Link up your scavenger hunt post below and don't forget to visit a few other participants when you get a chance! My other scavenger hunt posts can be found by clicking this link. Also, it's not too late to join the fun. You have until the end of September (approximately) to find the 21 items on the official list. You can find all the list and all the details here. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Snap! Some dogs love water!

This spring, Clara volunteered at a wonderful animal sanctuary in southern California called Living Free. One of the projects she took on was refurbishing the pond in the "big dog park." She had to clean it out and fill it. She usually brought one of the dogs with her to the park while she did the work, and this one loved playing with the water while Clara filled the pond. I thought these action photos made a good foursome to share with Helena's snap meme this week.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt Linky Coming on Thursday!

#2 A footprint or paw print
Follow the footprints back here on Thursday to link up with a post about the 2016 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt. You can write and link a new post or link up to a previous post.It's just a terrific opportunity to see who all is participating and how the hunt is going. Looking forward to see you on June 30th!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Wishing you a peaceful Monday. . .

Sharing another one of my favorite photographs from my trip to Japan. I love the reflected clouds and shadow of the tree, as well as the koi. It's a dreamy dream that touches my soul. Hope this gets your week off to a peaceful start.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Artful Assemblage with Tim Holtz: Class Review

On Friday, I had the great good fortune to take a class with Tim Holtz called artful assemblage. The class focused on learning how to use a variety of Tim Holtz products to make a three dimensional collage. We played a lot with distress crayons and distress collage mediums and used ideology ephemera, letter press and found relatives. I absolutely adore the collage I created. It features my one little word for 2016 and focuses on the idea of growing from a willful child to a brave woman. I meant to feature my current age (55) but that didn't really pan out. I did however include the year of my birth (1961) and the year I graduated from high school (1978). 
I love Tim Holtz and use his products a lot (you can see many of my Tim Holtz creations, as well as class and book reviews by clicking and scrolling through this link). I first met Tim almost 15 years ago, when he was first starting out, at a Club Scrap retreat. He spent the entire weekend with the group and showed himself to be a funny, talented, genuine, generous person. And he's still the same, as well as a very gifted teacher. Tim is a self-taught, hands-on artist who began his career as a demonstrator at some chain craft store, so he's not long on design principles. He's also a brilliant business person and inventor who works with a variety of different manufacturers to try to get the highest quality product at a reasonable price. So he makes stamps with stampers anonymous, cutting tools with tonic, ink products with ranger, etc., rather than doing everything with one company.
The class reflected all this. The class was short on collage design theory but long on fun and other learning. This worked for me because I've taken (and taught) collage classes. I learned all about distress crayons (which I had sampled before but not really understood until this class). I also learned an amazing new tip - place your paint and glue/medium brushes in a baby wipe while you're using them to keep them fresh without becoming water logged. For our $85, we got three hours of amazing, personalized instruction, all the supplies for the project, a bonus apron and a bonus stand for our canvases! A huge value in my opinion.
One of the joys of Tim's classes is that he brings everything! I walked in with absolutely no supplies and was able to complete a project that I loved. Another joy is running into friends. Cindy McCool (pictured above) lives near me and we used to get together at least once a month to make art together. We'd lost track of each other recently, so it was quite a treat to walk into the classroom and spy her there! Although we were not sitting anywhere near each other and there was a huge variety of supplies to choose from, there ended up being a lot of similarities between our two projects. I guess that's what comes from being art sisters who have spent so much time together.
All-in-all, a terrific class and a terrific day!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Enjoying an (un)planned summer

Wild Heart - found at the beach
For the first summer in a long time, I'm approaching the holiday without too many plans. I often teach or have big plans to write or travel or do other work. But this summer, I didn't sign up for any much of that. Sure, I've got a few things to do, here and there, but mainly I have time to do whatever I want or to do nothing at all. And I'm really enjoying it.
Wild Heart - found on the bluffs
So what have I been doing?
Cleaning out the garage and doing some light gardening - both feel very satisfying. 
A little reading, but not as much as I would like.
A lot of TV watching - binge watching Justified (OMG - this show is so good; I'll be sad when I finish it this weekend) and Bloodline (season 2 not as good as season 1, but I enjoy sharing this with Henry) and soccer, soccer, soccer (Euros and Copa Centenario)!
A little blogging (again not as much as I would like).
A lot of photo scavenger hunting (including my finds for item #1 a wild heart).
Some scrapbooking (traditional and photobook)
What am I still looking forward to this summer?
More scrapbooking, sketching and art journaling
Getting reacquainted with my camera and lightroom
More blogging and reading
More home improvement (hardwood floors downstairs and cleaning the upstairs rugs)
And, today, I'm heading to a class with Tim Holtz!
Enjoying this (un)planned summer so far. What about you? Did you make a summer plan? Or not? How's it going so far?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Scarpbooking Variations: New Apps and Old Styles

#8 A Scrapbook Page or Art Project
I met some friends at the last remaining local scrapbook store last week and had a wonderful and productive time finishing the last of the pages for Henry's sports album. These pages are from his college soccer team's victorious trip to the national tournament.
Very traditional and basic pages made with cardstock and stickers. But that's the tone of his whole album. And I still have to add journaling. But I'm so proud of myself for getting caught up on this mammoth project. Plus, it ticks off item number 8 on the Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt. 
I still really enjoy making traditional paper scrapbook pages, and I'm looking forward to figuring out what photos I still have to scrap and which ones I need to print to scrap. 
But I'm also branching out into other types of scrapping, including:
  • shutterfly photo books - I'm working on uploading my photos from Japan there and will create a 12x12 hardcover book with those photos.
  • chatbooks app -  Deb Turtle's mentioned this app and shared a code for a free book (CFA6GXG7). It actually is free if you choose the slow shipping (which I did). I created a 60 page book with 60 photos from Henry's college life, all pulled from my iphone. I haven't received it yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing it and will give a review once its here. I think he'll like the book, and he's not that quality conscious - LOL! Anyone else tried this yet?
  • I also got a notification for a new app called Parabo. If you use the code "amaze," you can get 25 free 4x4 photos. They're supposed to be on high quality matte paper, suitable for display. I did have to pay shipping for this one, so it wasn't actually free. But still reasonable, and I'm looking forward to seeing how they turned out. I printed my favorite 25 photos from Japan, and I'm thinking of matting them together in a grid and putting them on display somewhere (maybe the bathroom, actually!). Anyone else used this service? 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Snap! Interesting Japanese Folk, Part 2

I really enjoyed photographing the people in Japan, as well as tourist attractions, architecture, and nature. The bottom row are typical workers. The top row includes people dressed up to work with tourists: a group of Samurai that stopped for ice cream and to take a selfie and someone willing to transport tourists in a rickshaw. Linking up with Helena's Snap! photography meme this week.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Snap! Interesting Japanese Folk, Part 1

When we travel, I try to do more than just take photographs of the standard tourist attractions (although I do take plenty of those shots). I also enjoy taking photographs of interesting people I see. So, I thought I'd share a couple groupings of interesting Japanese folk as part of Helena's Snap! photo meme. I took the first photo at the Inari temple, spied the second pair trying to decide which bus to take in Kyotoa, and the last two at a baseball game. More interesting folk coming next week.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How's the hunt going?

Item #12 A Window, Option 1
It's been so much fun to watch the 2016 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt Facebook page and instagram hash tag filling up with Scavenger Hunt photos. For my blogging friends out there, how's it going?
Item #12 A Window (option 2)
I know I've seen a few posts, but I just wanted to check in. Let me know if you have any questions. So far, I've got seven and one alternate found (although I haven't blogged them all yet). Plus, today I'm going to go crop with friends, so I'll be able to tick off number 8 very soon.
1. A "wild heart" - a naturally occurring heart (like the rock above, but it doesn't have to be a rock)
2. A footprint or pawprint
3. A sk
eleton, bone or x-ray
4. A book or magazine read during 2016
5. A porch or deck
6. A camper (caravan)
7. A family gathering
8. A drawing, art project, artistic photograph, scrapbook page, greeting card, or art journal page created by you.
9. Someone playing with, in, or around water.
10. A bicycle

11. Fresh produce
12. A window
13. The moon
14. A buffet of food
15. A team logo16. A map showing a trip taken during the time period
17. Twins
18. A supermarket cart, basket or trolley full of groceries 
19. A seasonal cocktail or beverage20. Someone laughing
21. A photograph of you with a newspaper or calendar page from the time period covered in the Hunt. Note: you may not use a substitute for this item.

Alternatives - if you're having trouble finding any of the above, you may substitute from this list (but you may not substitute for item #21):
alternative 1: a lighthouse
alternative 2: a baby (human or animal)
I'll be hosting a link up at the end of the month. And, if you haven't started yet, no worries. There's still plenty of time. The summer solstice is still about a week a way, and the hunt lasts until September.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

A Visit to the Deer Park (Nara, Japan)

One of the delightful places we visited in Japan was Nara, home of a temple and a large park where the deer are considered sacred. They wander among the tourists (including large groups of Japanese school children).
They are very tame, and they have even been trained to bow if you offer them a deer cracker.
One of the things I did on my vacation was to keep a travel journal, where I wrote about the day's activities and added simple water color drawings and sketches. Here's the page I did about Nara.
I really enjoyed the process of sketching during the trip, and I"ll be sharing more pages, along with photos of some of my favorite places in Japan.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Cheap Amazon Books and First Summer Read

SPSH  Item #4 A Book Read in 2016
I'm making reading a priority this summer, and I have finished my first book! 
It was a very fast read in the psychological thriller genre and generally well-written. I think the very end of the book took a few wrong turns (no spoilers), but on the whole I'm glad I picked it up. Especially because it was very cheap! 
I bought it off the Amazon website, choosing the "used paperback" option. The book only cost .97. Even with $4.00 for shipping, the book was still the least expensive one I have bought in some time. It arrived in very good condition and quickly, even though it came from the U.K. The book had not yet been released in the U.S when I ordered it, so I took the used paperback option. I used to do that a lot when I was buying out of print kids books for my son. I think I'll do it more in the future. Maybe you can do the same.
The book also qualifies as Item #4 on the 2016 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt. I wrote a post about my summer reading plan here if you want to check it out.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Snap: Japanese Street Hole Covers

While traveling in Japan, the variety of street hole covers caught my eye. I decided to take pictures of them in the hopes of turning them into an entry for Helena's weekly photo meme called "Snap!" that features a visual set of photographs. The first photo was taken in Tokyo on the street where our hotel was located; the second features deer and was taken in Nara, home to a park full of wild, sacred deer (blog post coming sometime this summer).The third was taken near an amazing bamboo forest (blog post coming sometime this summer); and the last was a fairly typical one taken in Kyotoa (but I loved the characters).
Thanks Helena for hosting this meme. It's something that I do think about and have created other sequences for almost every week, even if they didn't make their way to my blog. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Did I mention I went to Japan?

Yesterday I wrote about how I've been away from my blog as part of the ebb-and-flow of the creative process. But, there are other reasons - like work and kids and travel. Yea for travel!
Paul and I went to Japan for two weeks (one week based in Tokyo and one week based in Kyoto). It was amazing. I will no doubt blog more about the trip over the next few months, but I wanted to share one of my favorite photos, taken in a temple garden in Kyoto.
Have you been anywhere lately?
Got any trips planned for the summer?

Monday, June 6, 2016

Caravan Photo Then & Now and Thoughts on Returning to Blogging and Photography

Caravan Photo, 2013
2016 Item #6 A camper or caravan
When I put this item on the Scavenger Hunt list, I wasn't thinking about this vintage caravan that's parked around the corner from my house. I was mainly scrambling to come up with items that paralleled summer vacation ideas. But then I saw it when taking the dog for a walk and snapped a picture. It reminded me of when I first saw the caravan three years ago, took the top photo and wrote this post. 
Three years ago, I was a much more avid photographer and blogger. I spent more time with my camera and crafting words to tell stories and capture feelings. I miss that so much. 
And that's one of the reasons I decided, after much thought, to host the scavenger hunt again this summer. It's a great reminder to take photographs and visit blogland. I'm still working on getting 'round to visit blogs. I'm still working on figuring out whether my big camera works (it was treated as a chewtoy by the dogs one afternoon) and how to get photographs from it to the computer (my software was destroyed in my last hard drive reboot). But, those are all goals for the summer. ror now, I'm glad to be back to taking photos and blogging.
I know from reading blogs that there is an ebb and flow in being a blogger. Some people leave and return. Some leave and take to facebook and instagram. Some seem to disappear entirely. I'm glad that you haven't left blog space entirely. I value your friendship and your posts. And I'm glad to be back among you.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Hunt is On!

#19 A Seasonal Cocktail or Beverage
The 6th Annual Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt is off and running! Lots of people are posting to the instagram #rindas2016scavengerhunt and tons of people are active over at the facebook page.  There's even been a few blog posts, such as this one  by BJ and this one by Alicia. I, myself, have already found three items from the list. Paul and I have made it a fairly regular practice to head to a little tapas place in the harbor on Friday afternoons to enjoy their fantastic Sangria, pictured above.
#11 Fresh Produce
I also took a minute on Thursday to snap a photograph of what we got in our weekly "community supported agriculture" box: fennel; nectarines; rosemary; strawberries; kale; red onions; lettuce and squash.  This is about the fourth year we've been participating in this program, and I love it.
I thought twins would be hard, but Deb Turtle has already posted a shot on instagram. Also thought skeleton or x-ray would be challenging, but that was before we found out that Catherine is an OR nurse and posted this to the facebook page:
So, how is the Hunt going for you? Are there things that are hard to find? Things that are very easy? Feel free to post a link to any blogpost in comments, and I'll come take a look.
In the meantime, here's a terrific graphic created by Julie Kirk of notes on paper:
Enjoy! And let me know how things are going for you.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Summertime Reading

Meant to auto-post this for Thursday, June 2, but missed that step in posting! So I'll just leave this here for now. Scavenger Hunt list is in the next post.
One of the items I put on the list for the 2016 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt List was #4 A book or magazine read during 2016 because I think of summer time as a time to catch up on reading. This photograph doesn't count as my entry because I took it before the official start of the Hunt, but I did want to blog about summertime reading. I do most of my reading on my kindle, but I also listen to audio books, and I even have one physical book (I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh) that is in the mail to me. I'll probably photograph that one for the Scavenger Hunt.
I always start the summer with a reading plan. This summer, I wanted to start by finishing a few books that have been hanging around for a while, almost done. And I did that. I just completed The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian. It is a very fast read by the author of Midwives. It covers a disturbing subject (trafficked sex workers), but does so in a reasonable way. It's not literature, but it is a page turner and definitely provides food for thought. 
I am also almost done with Lets Pretend This Never Happened, a memoir by blogger Jenny Lawson. It's funny and quirky, but best done in small segments. I think I will finish it in the next few days, though, to clear the decks for the things I'm really excited about starting. I still have a few others "in process," including Denali's Howl and The Art of Fielding, but I'll move on to new books instead of finishing those.
Of those cued up on my kindle, the two I'm most interested in starting are The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin and Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa.
On the audio books side of the board, my book group read Girl at War by Sara Novic. It was a very fast "listen." I found the story, set in Croatia, of a child, caught up in the Yugoslavian Civil War very compelling and well written. I didn't know much about that particular portion of contemporary history (save for a memorable episode of the television show ER), so I was glad to have read it and definitely recommend it. 
I was also happy to finally finish off listening to We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Jay Fowler. The book was interesting and unusual, but I'm not sure it was ever clear what it wanted to be (an animal rights book? a family story?). Entertaining, but a bit overlong. 
I have two book cued up on my audible account - The One-in-a-Million Boy by  Monica Woods and A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie. The first is a novel, and the second is a Scotland Yard detective mystery that is part of a series. I have also just added Before the Fall  by Noah Hawley.
My summer time selections have been highly influenced by the Modern Miss Darcy Summer Reading Guides (find the minimalist version here, which includes a link to a much longer guide).
So, do share. Do you make summer reading plans? What's on your bed stand (real or virtual)? Have you read anything good lately? Any reactions to the things on my list?

2016 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt: The List!

In the northern hemisphere, summer officially begins a little later this month. And, with summer arrives my annual Photography Scavenger Hunt. The idea is simple. I post a list of 21 items for you to find and photograph before the autumn equinox on Thursday, September 22, 2016. The list is intended to be challenging, but not impossible. Hopefully it encourages you to go on a few outings; always it requires you to be observant. You can read more about how items make the list by clicking on this link
For those of you with blogs, post your photographs and share your adventures in finding the items. For those without blogs, keep track of your finds in some other way (a flicker account, a shutter fly album, etc.) if you want to be able to share them with the group. (It makes it easier to share if you "label" or "tag" your scavenger hunt posts, as you do them). Once a month, I'll host a link-up so people can visit your finds, but feel free to post about the Hunt whenever you like. 
There's only two rules: no fair submitting photographs taken before the start of the Hunt and have fun. 
Newcomers welcome - the more, the merrier! No special photography skills are required - I love seeing everything from snap shots to fine art photography in response to the list. 
For pictures I take on my iphone, I'll be posting to instagram using #rindas2016photohunt. There's also a facebook page  (with big thanks to Kathryn Trotter). Ask to join, and she or I will let you in.
So, without any further ado, here's this year's lists:
1. A "wild heart" - a naturally occurring heart (like the rock above, but it doesn't have to be a rock)
2. A footprint or pawprint
3. A skeleton, bone or x-ray
4. A book or magazine read during 2016
5. A porch or deck
6. A camper (caravan)
7. A family gathering
8. A drawing, art project, artistic photograph, scrapbook page, greeting card, or art journal page created by you.
9. Someone playing with, in, or around water.
10. A bicycle

11. Fresh produce
12. A window
13. The moon
14. A buffet of food
15. A team logo
16. A map showing a trip taken during the time period
17. Twins
18. A supermarket cart, basket or trolley full of groceries 
19. A seasonal cocktail or beverage
20. Someone laughing
21. A photograph of you with a newspaper or calendar page from the time period covered in the Hunt. Note: you may not use a substitute for this item.

Alternatives - if you're having trouble finding any of the above, you may substitute from this list (but you may not substitute for item #21):
alternative 1: a lighthouse
alternative 2: a baby (human or animal)
Let me know if you have any questions. Also, if you're new to my blog or the hunt, let me know. And if you're a blogger, leave a link to your blog so I can add you to my feedly reader.