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Day 102 of 365: Art and Love

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Day 102: Art and Love! My subjects for today! I have mentioned before that I find inspiring quotes on a website called BrainyQuote.com. I found the Art Quote of the Day to be interesting as well as inspiring. Here it is, “Every picture shows a spot with which the artist has fallen in love,” by Alfred Sisley.

Take the photo above for instance. I just love this beautiful grass! It is oftentimes hard to find beautiful images in the winter, but this grass has ALWAYS called to me. It calls to me saying “please make a picture of me.” This grass is so textural and its beauty is intensified when the Montana wind blows through these stands of grass and when the suns starts to showcase them as it sets!

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Above is a different photograph of the same grass that I love so much! We have had a what feels like unusually LONG winter and I will welcome spring “with bells on” when it decides to come. In the meantime I will actively search for more winter time beauty!

What do you find beauty in? Whether you are an artist or not, we are all capable of falling in love with art whether it is in nature, on canvas or on the side of a train car!

 

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Day 101 of 365: Gratitude

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Day 101: I am talking about gratitude today! For those of you that have been following my blog, and I love you for that, you know that I have just taken on a new business venture. That venture is an art printing service. Since I made that commitment and announcement 3 days ago, I have made connections with 3 different artists that want to utilize my business. It is AWESOME! I had one artist tell me that I am going to be very busy and I take that comment to heart and HOPE that I am busy!!! I told him that I want to be the “artist friendly” art printer person!

I am grateful that this COULD be my niche! Everyone needs to have a purpose and to feel useful. I feel that this is that avenue for me. As a photographer who has been struggling to make a sustainable living at it, I was in search of a way to support my LOVE of photography. I really want to buy a nice macro lens and cannot afford it right now, unfortunately! After my recent purchase of a large format printer, affectionately called “the Beast,” I saw an opportunity to not just use it for my own purposes, but to turn it into a money making venture, so I did! I could not be more grateful for this opportunity!

There is a website that I go to often for inspiring quotes, BrainyQuote.com. I found a great quote about art and gratitude written by Friedrich Nietzsche that says, “The essence of all beautiful art, is gratitude.” I believe that as an artist and a photographer, I actively look for beautiful light in our landscape in order to capture and preserve an image for posterity. This has become my passion, it feeds my soul and for this I am grateful! I am also grateful that I have been given this art printing opportunity in an effort to help other artists make their art.

What are you grateful for? Let me know!

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Day 100 of 365: Top 10 ways to decrease anxiety and stress!

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Day 100: Top 10 Ways to decrease anxiety and stress! I am feeling some anxiety and stress these days! My new business venture and all. My blog post yesterday illustrated that. I am going to list my top 10 ways to decrease anxiety and stress. These have helped me and hope they will help you too!

  1. Get enough sleep. For some people it might be 7 hours for others it might be 9.
  2. Exercise everyday. Whether that is yoga or aerobics or strength training, whatever works for you. Endorphins are released during and after exercise, “runner’s high.”
  3. Eat 3 well balanced meals everyday. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For those of us that regularly exercise, we should eat your largest meal shortly after our workout. Remember protein is great for feeding your muscles, watch your sugar intake, it is not good, usually goes straight to fat, if not used right away for energy.
  4. Limit alcohol and caffeine. They can make anxiety worse, plus too much alcohol and caffeine can negatively affect your sleep, which is not good.
  5. Take time out when needed. Take a break or a “chill pill” by meditating or doing some relaxation techniques, like deep breathing. I also pray for guidance, but I know not everybody does.
  6. Keep a positive attitude. Replace your negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Start your day with self-affirmations, they help, trust me!
  7. Realize that there are lots of things that are OUT OF YOUR CONTROL!
  8. Take deep breaths and COUNT TO 10.
  9. Stay well connected. Get together regularly with friends and family.
  10. Recognize what your triggers are that make you anxious or stressed. I keep a daily journal that helps to defuse my anxiety and it also helps me to pinpoint the triggers.

I really hope this helps! I just read an AWESOME blog about anxiety by “the Nerdy Lionwhich helped me and I know will help you.

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Day 99 of 365: Drinking from a fire hose!

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Day 99: Drinking from a fire hose! Have you ever felt that way? Well I am feeling that way right now! I am launching a new art printing business! I have been a photographer and have been selling my landscape art and my portrait services, but NOW I am starting an art printing service on art paper and on canvas. See my Art Printing and Contact Page

What I am feeling right now is that I MIGHT be biting off more than I can chew or drinking water from a fire hose and nearly drowning, but hey I have a great printer and I have paper and I have canvas. What is the BIG deal? It is venturing in to the UNKNOWN that is the BIG DEAL. I ask myself questions like how many people will want my service?- and can I keep up with the orders when I get them?

This reminds me of an episode of the “Big Bang Theory” when Penny is selling “flowers to adorn one’s hair” and she starts to sell them online and is shocked and surprised when she gets lots and lots of orders! She begs Sheldon, Howard, Leonard and Raj to help her fulfill all her orders. It was funny!

Now I know that my husband works full time and won’t be able to help me so it is all up to me! He doesn’t know how to print on paper or canvas for one thing, plus he doesn’t know what looks good and what doesn’t!

All I know is that I have God on my side and He will guide me along the way, so I should not be so apprehensive, right? Right!

Let me know if you have ever “felt like you were drinking out of a fire hose!”

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Day 98 of 365: What is your least favorite feature?

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Day 98: What is your least favorite feature? That is the topic for today! I cannot take credit for this photo, got it from the free photo library, wish I had taken it though! It’s great, which is quite funny because freckles are my least favorite feature! I must say I like it on others, but not on myself!

When I was growing up I had the “triple whammy”: freckles, red hair and braces! Boy was I ever teased, endlessly! Names like “railroad tracks, choo-choo cherry, and Howdy Doody.” Now I just have the double whammy, red hair and freckles. It is funny how when you get older people don’t make fun of you anymore. I guess maybe it is because there are more red heads on the planet than when I was little. With freckles comes fair skin, usually. Sunscreen is a must for me, which can be a drag, but so important. Foundation is good because it helps to cover them, thank goodness!

All of my 4 kids have freckles, but only 2 have red hair. My daughter has beautiful long red hair and freckles. I tell her quite often that she is gorgeous! I hope she believes it! She is forever being called a “ginger” by her brothers (not by the other red haired brother) and she still HATES it to this day! South Park has not been kind to gingers! Those of you that have seen the show know what I mean.

Well, now you all know what my least favorite feature is! I am proud to be of Irish descent, however! I realize that not all Irish folks have freckles, but I know I got my freckles from my Dad whose parents came to America from Ireland, so there you go! Let me know, what is your least favorite feature?

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Day 97: How to stay focused!

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Wildflower up close

Day 97: How to stay focused! Now my message is two fold! I am going to talk about how to stay focused on your day to day mission as well as on how to stay focused when you are using your camera.

On how to stay focused with your day:

  • Keep a journal and list what will be on your agenda, the night before.
  • Check off those things that you get done.
  • Keep any deviations from your agenda on your calendar so you can get back to them on another day.
  • Add any things you did that were not on your agenda, keep in journal or on your calendar (day planner).
  • At the end of your day, evaluate what you got done and give yourself a pat on the back for what you did get done!

How to keep your images focused: (Using a typical DSLR, I use NIKON)

  • Choose a focus mode, manual(M) or auto-focus(AF).
  • Auto focus is more dependable than manual, especially for people like me whose vision is NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE:(
  • Choose an auto focus area, ie., face priority for portraits; wide area- for landscapes; normal area (center area will be focused)- use a tripod; subject tracking- for moving subjects.
  • Choose your focus points, those little squares or dots that light up in the view finder. You can choose from 1 to 51 focus points.
  • When the auto focus lock in activated, every time you place the focus point on the subject you want in focus and depress the shutter half way, the subject will stay in focus until the picture is taken. (Hope you follow me!)
  • Get to know your manual!!! It helps greatly!!!

Focus is crucial in landscapes as well as portraits (especially the eyes)! I would say that staying focused in your day is also crucial in getting things done, right? Hope this helps!

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Day 96 of 365: What we need more of in this world!

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Day 96: What we need more of in this world! Yesterday’s post was a bit on the negative side, so today I thought I would write about something more positive. I don’t mean for this to sound cliche, but what I think we need more of in this world is LOVE.

Our world has become so snarky lately. In America, ever since our election in November 2016 we have been living in a hate filled environment hell bent on destroying our country and our President. I have never seen any other President in my lifetime treated with so much disrespect and hatred. I may not agree with his style, Tweets and ill chosen words sometimes but he wants our country to yes become “great again.” Our country has been starting to turn around and that is a reason to be happy. There is a hatred so strong that rational vision has been BLINDED. I say that we need to open up our eyes, minds and hearts and give love a chance to enter! Filling our hearts with love helps our attitude, our outlook and our mental and physical health.

I am going to close with a wonderful quote from the bible, “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” – Proverbs 3:3-4.

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Day 95 of 365: The 10 Things I am Worried About.

 

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Day 95: The 10 things I am worried about. I have been thinking about what our world has become from where it was when I was younger. There is a lot that has been worrying me. I often think about these things because my 4 kids will eventually have children of their own and I worry and fear that their world won’t be a good one. Here is my list of my worries about our current world:

  1. Lack of respect for others, in general and with any difference of opinion.
  2. Lack of one on one, face to face communications, because of cell phones.
  3. Lack of self responsibility.
  4. Lack of open discourse, inability to listen and hear other view points.
  5. Lack of tolerance for different opinions and beliefs.
  6. Lack of work ethic, giving up too easily.
  7. Too much vindictiveness and hatred.
  8. Lack of respect for ALL life.
  9. Lack of kindness, courtesy and manners.
  10. Lack of religion, morality and values.

As I am getting older I am readily seeing changes in this world and almost all of them are NOT good! I don’t even see myself as a negative person but it is hard to stay positive with all these unfortunate trends in our world!

Today I am saddened by the death of Reverend Billy Graham. He was such a positive force in our world! I am happy that he is with God now!

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Day 94 of 365: The 5 Things You Need for Spring!

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Day 94: The 5 Things you need for Spring! Many of you may be TIRED of the unending winter like I am?! Snow and cold weather and wind since September, YIKES! I have had enough:( Here is my list of 5 things you need to welcome Spring:

  1. A new fun pair of sunglasses, important for style and eye health.
  2. A new pair of foot-friendly walking shoes, again important for foot health.
  3. Your camera or phone, to welcome all the green grass and delicate spring flowers that will be popping up and they will!
  4. A good friend who will go on nature walks and enjoy the sun and awesome sights with you. Tell your friend to bring a camera too! Walks are great exercise and important for physical and mental health!
  5. Bring your SUNNY attitude with you and drink in the colorful, living beauty of Spring!

If you have any ideas for what else you might need to usher in Spring, I am all ears! I realize we have more winter to come, BUT it never hurts to get ready.

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