Monday, October 31, 2011

No Tricks, Just Treats Giveaway

This Halloween I won't be handing out candy, or even carving a pumpkin, which makes me sad.  When the kids were little, they got to each pick out a pumpkin design idea, most of which weren't in those pattern books you can find everywhere these days.

The requests ranged from eagles to animated characters and everything in between, and it allowed me to get my inner artist on and have fun creating something special for each of them.  In our old neighborhood, we had lots of kids come to the house to trick or treat, and I loved hearing them ooh and ahh over those fun pumpkin creations while I ooh'd and ahh'd back at their creative costumes.  I would spend hours on each pumpkin and then hustle to get the kids dressed, eat dinner, do homework, and then hit the neighborhood for some good old fashioned trick or treating.  A few of those years it was just me and the kids, as Mr. Tide was out of town for work.  I have no clue how I was so organized back then and seemingly so disorganized now...ahh youth!

I still decorate for Halloween, and the first year we moved here I even carved an elaborate pumpkin, which neither of the kids really seemed to care too much about.  And since we don't get any trick or treaters, because we live on a private lane where there aren't any young kids, well it just seems a little silly to go all out.  Or maybe I've just gotten lazy?!

So this year, in the spirit of treat or style, I've decided to host a Giveaway.  Yup, come trick or treat here on my blog.  I will be giving away one of my 8 x 12 photos (or if you prefer a 5 x 7) to two of my readers.  

All you have to do is visit my website by clicking HERE , pick out the photo you would like should you win, and then come back here and say trick or treat and tell me which image you would like using the file name on the bottom right of each photo (you have to click on the image in order to see the file name).  And if you've seen an image on my blog that isn't on my website, never fear, you can pick one of those too!

If you would like more chances to win, you can do any of the following:

1.  Add the Giveaway to your sidebar, and come back and leave a "separate" comment telling me you did so.

2.  Tweet or Facebook the Giveaway for another chance, don't forget to leave another comment letting me know.

The Giveaway is open to everyone!

I hope each of you has a very Happy Halloween and I will randomly draw both winners names on Friday and post their names that evening!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Simple Minded

Thank you everyone for your wonderful support, and I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only one with too much holiday decor...for every season!

After donating some of my fall items, I have found that the pieces I decided to keep mean even more to me and look even better now that they can stand alone.

I've decided that my new approach to holiday decorating will be more simple minded, kind of like me!  I have always incorporated natural elements into all of my holiday decor, but I feel like now I will put even more emphasis on bringing the outdoors in, and trying to embrace the less is more philosophy that I am so drawn to these days.

I find that everywhere I turn I am seeking simple, clean lined items that are easy on the eye and super functional, like these cute little white cafe au lait style bowls I picked up yesterday.

I had passed by these many times at Target, and I really loved them but talked myself out of them each time.  Then, while surfing blogdom the other day I saw these on someone else's blog and thought, you know I really should just buy them.  I can't remember which blog it was...sorry...that would be my simple mindedness that I mentioned earlier.  Whoever it was, they had found these on sale and picked some up...I was not so lucky, at my Target they weren't reduced.

While I was at Target, searching for my perfect little bowls, I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in quite awhile.  Her daughter and our son Bugs had gone all through school together, and as parents of older kids know, once your children leave middle school and beyond, you hardly ever see the parents anymore, so it was nice to catch up.

She looked great, which she always did, and she had her arms full of stuff for her house, which was always beautifully put together.  When I told her what my mission for the day was, she mentioned that if I could wait until Sunday, the bowls would likely be on sale here too.  Not a snowball's chance in you know where of that happening.  Along with my simple mindedness, I'm also horribly impatient.  And the thought of slogging my way back over there, which is about 1/2 hour away to save maybe $4 just wasn't enough incentive for me to wait...sorry Mr. Tide! ;-)

After walking through my living/dining room for the past few days with it looking a lot like a bad, bad photo studio a la lighting equipment and props scattered all around, I finally had had enough and set to clearing out some of the chaos.

Things are looking better in there, but I still have a few tubs of stuff to put back in the garage, but that will wait until tonight or tomorrow.  My mission today, besides a meeting I had earlier today, is to go buy some new walking shoes.  Ever since we returned from Europe, where we estimate that we walked between 6 and 8 miles a day...sometimes more, I have tried to continue that by walking at least 2 1/2 miles every day.  It's not nearly as much fun to walk down our little lane instead of the streets of France and Germany, but where we live is beautiful and quiet, so I can't complain.


Before I gave all of my props and equipment the 'ole heave ho out of the living/dining room, I did take a few more still life shots, just for the heck of it.

I wanted to create a few that had a feminine edge to them, so I used some of my great grandmother and grandmother's antique pearls, and of course some pink roses from our rose bush.

These will be the last roses of the season, which always makes me a little sad, but I know they will be back next spring looking and smelling as wonderful as ever!  The winds of change showed up last night, quite literally as it was a blustery evening, and today there is a chill in the air and gray skies which look a little too much like snow for my liking!  

I got a lovely email from Lili today and she said that up her way in Maine they are expecting a record snowfall this weekend!  And Joan did a post today showing the 2 inches of snow they received last night!  EEK, can you imagine?!  The thought of snow in October is way more frightening than least for me it is!

I hope each of you has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beauty in the Breakdown

I'm so glad you all enjoyed hearing about my new camera bag in the last post.  I'm in no way affiliated with Kelly Moore but wanted to give a shout out to a great company.  I hope that those of you who said you might be looking for a good camera bag will have the opportunity to own one, I know you will love yours as much as I love mine!

This week is one of those crazy weeks where you have a list of emails, phone calls, and appointments that stare you down each morning when you wake up.  I am slowly addressing each of those, but there never seem to be enough hours in the day.

When I feel buried by "real" life stuff, I sometimes do the complete opposite of what I should be doing, and veer off into projects that could playing around with photography.  I blame people like Kate for this, since she always posts such gorgeous pictures, both her own and those of others, on her blog.  In a recent post she included some amazing images from flickr and one of those was a still life that was breathtaking.

I've been enamored with still life photography for a long time, really since the first time I stumbled upon an example of it in a cookbook of all places.  I've longed to recreate what Dutch Masters of old captured in their paintings, the subtle use of light and shadow, vivid colors, and an almost 3-D quality that draws the viewer in.

The people who are really good at this type of photography make it look amazingly easy, but it is not.  It takes more than a simple knowledge of photography, there are also things like lighting, angles, and most importantly...composition to consider.  The end result should draw the eye to one primary part of the image, similar to having a star of a show, and the other pieces are simply supporting characters meant to create a sense of place and scene.

Texture and background are also important, and I've used a variety of textures, mostly by Florabella and Kim Klassen.  If you haven't signed up for Kim's very generous and always lovely free textures, you really should.  

I think that to really become a master at creating images that resemble artistic master paintings, it wouldn't hurt to have a background in art, which I am sorely lacking.  I feel like artists have an innate sense of composition, color, and lighting, which are all things I have to study and think about.  The other key ingredient is to have the proper lighting equipment.  I've been fortunate to find used lighting equipment (a soft box is a must when you are starting out with still life photography) through friends and contacts who were getting out of the business.  Lighting is crucial in creating the look you want in the finished image.

The process of breaking down an image has become a key element and driving force behind taking my photography to the next step.  If you surf the web enough and stare at enough photos you begin to see the way certain images come into being.  From there you can create your images using your own sense of style.

Although there were other things I should have been doing, this wasn't really a waste of time, I will be adding them to my portfolio on my website, so it was kind of like doing work! ;-)

And speaking of beauty in the breakdown, the wonderfully wise A-M posted an article about decluttering (you can read it here) on the very day I had done some decluttering of my own.  Having 7 bins, yes I said 7, of fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving decor was feeling like a wee bit too much...well that and the fact that Mr. Tide snidely said, "so...fall is your favorite time of year?...because you have more bins for it than you have for Christmas!" I knew it was time.

I've always been someone who goes through my things regularly and gets rid of them.  Moving 6 times in 7 years when we were first married makes you appreciate the notion of packing light.  But even though this house is much smaller than our last, and we did get rid of a ton of stuff when we moved, I've been a bit neglectful about taking stock and getting rid of things as frequently as I once did.  Throw in the fact that my parents both passed away and so I inherited a lifetime's worth of their stuff to boot, and well, things had gotten little out of hand when it came to my holiday decor hoarding.

So I sat there in my living room, surrounded by tubs full of stuff, some of which we had had since we first got married, and some of which my parents used to decorate their own home, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  Right then and there I broke down...something I almost never do!  Mr. Tide came to see what was wrong, and I blubbered and sputtered about how it was just hard, getting rid of things that held memories from a simpler time.  He of course told me not to get rid of the stuff if it made me sad.  I explained that I was ready, it's a complicated emotion, but that it was just hard letting go.

By the time I got my shower and we loaded up the huge bin (I emptied 3 bins total) to take to the donation place I was fine...I felt lighter really, like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.  So when I read the article linked above I knew I had made the right decision, I was ready to get rid of something old to welcome something new into my life...a little breathing room perhaps!  So there really is Beauty in the Breakdown, and sometimes it's best to Let Go!

If you would like to learn more about creating Still Life Photos, click HERE

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kelly Moore Love

I'm so glad to hear from the comments on my last post that I'm not the only one that gives directions based on old landmarks!  If we all stick together, we can convince others that our way is best! ;-)

I was going to wait and post this tomorrow, but after reading a post today (more on that later) I decided that the fates were telling me to post this tonight!  See that beautiful leather bag in the photo above?  Well that is my lovely new Kelly Moore camera bag.  The truth is that it's not all that new now, you see I bought it just before we left for Europe last month.

If you don't think that a trip to Europe, with the responsibility of carrying all of my camera gear won't break in a new bag in a big hurry, well you'd be very wrong, I put this baby to the test, and it passed with flying colors!

But there is more to this bag than just good looks...though it does look uber chic in the 2 photos above as it is enjoying the views of the Neckar River from the terrace at our hotel in Heidelberg, Germany doesn't it?!  Just me and Kelly, my gear, and a cool San worldly isn't she?!

Yeah, she's a seasoned traveler now, but before she flew across the ocean, visited lovely train stations, and learned a little French and German, she had quite a story to tell.

I think you can tell a lot about a company not only from their products, but how they treat their customers.  In my frantic, and frugal ways, I thought I would simply use my big camera backpack for our trip, but then in a moment of panic just days before we left I had a change of heart and went searching for the perfect camera bag which wouldn't be too bulky and could disguise itself as a purse...providing me with everything I needed to look cool while still being able to capture everything I wanted on our trip.

I went online and searched for reviews or anything I could find on camera bags that would suit my needs and I kept coming back to Kelly Moore bags.  The reviews were good...check #1, and they were just so darned amazing looking...check I was sold!

I went online to the Kelly Moore website and found that the bag I wanted, the B-Hobo was out of stock in the color that I really wanted (Walnut), so I decided on the mustard color instead.  Off my order went into cyberspace, and then I realized that I probably should have opted for a faster shipping I wrote them an email and asked if they could expedite my shipment...No Problem was the happy reply I received back, so I was already loving this company who would now have to scramble to help me out for being dumb and not ordering it the faster way to begin with.


I was content...well for a few hours anyway, but I really wanted that walnut brown bag, so I did a Google search and low and behold there it was, in stock, calling my name but on another website...Adorama's website to be exact.

Now I know what you are thinking, fickle me, just suck it up and get your mustard bag and quit being so picky right?!  Nope, I wrote Kelly Moore again, and instead of getting what I deserved...a nasty gram saying, "look lady, make up your *&%^ mind!"  I got a lovely note that said, "sure, no problem, we can cancel your order and let you purchase it from Adorama, and we will refund your credit card right away!"  Oh baby, can you say customer for life...of course that was before I had even checked out the bag to see if it was worth its salt.

After wearing, stuffing, re-stuffing, and hauling my beautiful walnut brown Kelly Moore bag from castles to opera houses, up and down steps, over cobblestones, through train stations (like the gorgeous Strasbourg train station pictured in this post), through airports and beyond, I can unequivocally say that this bag rocks!

It held my passport, cell phone, tickets, credit cards, money, lip gloss, perfume, brochures...oh yeah, and my camera gear too, which included a big honkin' L series 100-400 mm telephoto lens, my 5D Mark II body, my L series 24-70 mm go to lens, my remote, spare batteries, and both lens hoods.  And it was easy peasy to grab things when I needed them, change out lenses, and it made me look like I knew what the heck I was doing!

In all seriousness, I can't say enough good things about this bag, I love it and I would carry it as my everyday purse if I wasn't terrified of wearing it out...which I doubt will happen, but when you find something you love, you want to have it always!  Yup, that's how I feel about this bag.  

But what I love most about this bag is how nicely I was treated by the company that makes it.  I was given the royal treatment and that makes me love it even more!  Tonight when I went about my usual blog reading I came across a post on Di's Blog about Kelly Moore.  It seems that she is more than just a great photographer, bag designer, and accomplished business woman...she's a pretty special person HERE and you'll see what I mean, good things really do come to good people!

And for those of you in need of an amazing and truly workable camera bag that kicks butt, go HERE and order yourself one, you won't regret it, I promise!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments about my last post!  I read each and every one of them (thank you Droid!) while Mr. Tide and I were away helping our daughter who ended up taking a trip to the emergency room last Thursday in the wee hours of the morning.  Unfortunately for her, she has inherited some of my reproductive issues, and suffered a ruptured ovarian cyst...ouch!  She is feeling much better now, and thankfully she has a wonderful roommate who took very good care of her until we could get there the following day!

The house pictured above is what we call the Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Baby Bear House.  For those of you who live in southern Maryland, it is a sort of landmark.  I'm not quite sure where it got its name, or who owns it, but I think most people who know of its existence have always called it by that name.  

I actually took the picture at the request of a friend of mine who has always loved this little unassuming house.  I think it resonates with her, and with me, because it is so simple, yet so charming.  When my kids were little they had a joke that I only liked run down houses.  It's true, I do love a fixer upper that has tales to tell and wears her years with pride.  I think you can just feel the love and happiness that once filled their rooms and even the yard when you look at them.  Can't you just hear those screen doors slamming as children darted in and out, chasing lightning bugs in the summer or going to fetch wood to feed the stove during the winter?

Anyway, it's a present for my friend, whose birthday is coming up.  She doesn't read my blog every day, so I think I am safe to post it.

I guess landmarks are what help us to find our way.  Long before GPS' showed up on everything from our car's dashboard to our smart phones, these were the coordinates that let us know where we were and how to make our way back home.  Mr. Tide still laughs when I give directions based on where things "used" to be.  You know, you turn right where the Ford Dealership used to be, next to Mr. So and So's house that was torn down years ago, the one with the big front porch, and then you go down the hill by where we used to buy our penny candy, and over the old railroad tracks that no longer exist?!  Seems simple enough...right?

A sense of place, I think that's why we use directions that link us to our past, and why we would want a picture of the Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Baby Bear house...before they tear it down and put in a doggone Wawa or self storage place!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

When One Door Closes

Just like the old saying goes...when one door closes...even if it is a beautiful door, and one you didn't really want to close...

You have to be ready for the one that opens.  Because the door that opens may take you to places you never imagined, and lead to opportunities you never knew existed.

A place where you can spread your wings and fly, or simply sit and rest awhile.

You may have noticed that I have not one, but 2 of my galleries now set up on my sidebar with flash.  Mr. Tide decided that it was time I spread my wings to fly and after lots of discussions where I said things like, "but that seems pushy, and in your face," I think I am finally ready to close the door on being afraid to put my photography out there, and instead, to embrace this new venture fully by promoting myself.

I am also thrilled to now be represented by a wonderful gallery, and extremely supportive man named John Zaccheo!  John is an internationally acclaimed artist and has become a wonderful mentor for my fine art photography.  Thanks to my dear friend Mary Beth, who introduced me to John, I am now shutting one door and leaving behind the comforts of the "known" world, and stepping through another door in search of new and exciting adventures.

Sometimes it is scary to put yourself out there in the world, but if you don't then you will never know how high you can fly. 

When one door closes, do you bang on it and hope that it will reopen?  Or do you go in search of the next door, hoping and knowing that what lies beyond it may be far better than you ever though possible?  I dare you to swing that next door wide open and walk inside.  You may be the only one who knows you stepped inside, but do it anyway, do it for you!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Look Up

While in France we visited the Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle, a 15th century fortress, and a beautiful blend of French and German styling.

It is set high atop a hill in the Vosges mountains, and it has a commanding view of the surrounding Alsatian countryside and even the Black Forest region of Germany.  Throughout history the castle has served as both a French and German stronghold, but in 1899 it was given to Kaiser Wilhelm II von Hohenzollern, who set out to restore the castle to his ideal of what a German castle from the middle ages might have looked like.

As we wandered around the castle, trying to imagine what life must have been like way back then, I couldn't help but look up and take in the beautiful artwork and intricate woodwork that filled nearly every ceiling.

The walls were also adorned with interesting objects like the antlers pictured above as well as artwork.

In this room a carved dragon held court, hanging beneath a beautiful wood and plaster ceiling.

It was very dark in the castle, and not a good place to use a tripod, so some of the images are a little grainy but they still convey the beautiful and masterful artwork found on the ceilings and walls of the castle.

The colors still remain vibrant and look as if they were applied just months ago, and not hundreds of years ago.

My favorite room was the main dining hall which had an intricately painted ceiling.  It must have been magnificent to dine under that gilded ceiling when the chandeliers would have illuminated it with candlelight.

In the fall issue of Romantic Country I wrote an article about a guest house in Napa where the homeowner had commissioned an artist to paint the walls and ceilings of her French inspired kitchen.  It truly made a statement and was beautiful to look at.  

After visiting Haut-Koenigsbourg castle I began to wonder when it was that painting ceilings fell out of fashion?  Rarely do we see hand painted ceilings in decor anymore, yet they truly can add a whole new dimension to a room's style and decor.  Maybe it has become too expensive to create works of art on a ceiling, or maybe we have just forgotten to look up.  Somehow I hope the trend will find it's way back in, so that hundreds of years from now people can tour a home and marvel at the craftsmanship and artistry of the time, and not just gaze up to find a blank canvas.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Take Wing

I took these shots of the juvenile eagle a few days before I left for Europe.  I was sitting down by the water enjoying the beautiful weather when he or she graced me with their presence by flying down the creek in search of lunch.  We have since found out that there are several juveniles who nest somewhere way up at the head of our least that's where we think they nest since in the 4 years we have lived here we've not been able to locate the actual nest.


I have a new appreciation for wildlife photographers and the skill it takes to nail a shot, especially when what you are trying to shoot could care less that you want to take their picture.  And swinging around a heavy telephoto lens, and trying to get a good shot while something is flying all around is a talent I've not yet mastered, but hope to.

Still, I loved this second photo, something about it just spoke to me, so unlike the first photo I didn't do anything to it but crop it and convert it from color to black and white to give it more visual impact.  For me, it embodies strength, grace, and an almost angel like quality, and I feel peaceful when I look at it.  I thought it would be fitting to post it today, since today would be the 34th birthday of my dear friend Dan who passed away a little over a year ago.  I'm sure his angel wings are equally as strong and majestic.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

La Bicyclette

Thanks everyone for your sweet comments!

And is there anything quite as lovely as a pink bicyclette?!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Breaking the Rules

What a crazy couple of weeks since I have been back.  First of all one of the stories I wrote for Romantic Country made the cover!  This is the second time this has happened, another story I wrote made the cover of the last issue.  And even though I just wrote the story and didn't take any of the photos, it is still exciting to see them make the cover!

The talented Dan Mayers was the photographer, and Fifi worked her magic doing the styling on this beautiful home featured in the latest issue of Romantic Country.  And the homeowner, Sharon, who I now consider a friend, was so thrilled to see her living room on the cover...who wouldn't be right?!

Sharon owns a great store in Occoquan, Virginia called Brambles and if you are ever in the area, I highly recommend stopping by.  I did a post on her shop awhile HERE to read it.  The same time and effort she has put in to creating her shop is evident in her lovely home.  And her hand painted furnishings and artwork are simply beautiful!

I know that those of you who read Romantic Country will enjoy getting a peek inside Sharon's home, and I want to thank her for letting us invade her house to create the story!

(picture of us taken by my daughter)

Last Saturday, Mr. Tide and I ventured up to our nation's capital, to meet up with my bloggy friend Traci and her husband Jeremy from Atlanta.  Our daughter also tagged along as we strolled through the American History Museum, where we even got to see Julia Child's kitchen which has been on display for awhile now. 
We also managed to avoid the demonstrators and the pepper spray which was all taking place just a few blocks from where we were...phew!

Our daughter headed off to meet a friend for dinner, and the four of us went to Old Town Alexandria for a yummy dinner together.  It was great getting to spend time with both Traci and her husband, especially since we have known one another for several years now, both through our blogs, but before that through Garden Web, where we connected over kitchen remodeling.

So there you have it, I broke my own rule and posted a picture of myself, which I never, ever do!  Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age, or maybe I just don't give a damn anymore, hard to say which it is.  Either way, I'm glad I have a photo to remember the day, which was great fun!

Who knows what my next post will be, I'm going buck wild folks...I tell ya, it could get crazy around here!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Shadows and Light

I thought we would take a little break from Europe and talk about photography and a local sale going on in southern Maryland this weekend!

When it comes to taking photographs, I feel that trying new and different stuff is the only way to find what works best for you.  As a self taught photographer, I am slowly learning the terms of photography, but I doubt I will ever be an expert, heck I can barely remember which lenses I own, but I do know what I like.  And what I love doing is playing around with the settings and trying to grow as a photographer through pure luck and lots of trail and error.

In the photo above, it was early morning the other day when a heron landed right on the dead log by the end of our dock.  The fact that a heron did this is nothing new, but the fact that it let me and 2 boisterous dogs come clamoring out of the house without freaking out and flying away is nothing short of a miracle!  Herons are skittish birds in the wild, and they will fly off at the drop of a hat, screaming loudly at you as if to say, "you scared the heck out of me and I'm outta here!"  I have lots of pictures of heron butts to prove this!

This heron however, was quite content to perch on the log long enough for me to extend my telephoto lens to it's full 400 millimeters so that I could try and see every feather.  Of course I realized after snapping a few pics that my ISO was way too low and so the pics were going to be very blurry.  As a general rule, and without using a tripod, your shutter speed shouldn't be any less than the length of your lens.  So if you are using the 400 mm your shutter speed shouldn't be below 1/400th of a second.  This is the number that you can see when you look through the viewfinder, on my Canon it is in the lower left of my screen display. 

So I quickly bumped up my ISO, which makes the light sensors more sensitive, meaning you can have less light and still get a good image.  And voila, I got a great shot of the heron!

When shooting wildlife that is apt to move off quickly, you don't have a lot of time to stop and see if you got a good shot, you tend to just snap away and hope for the best once you are done.  So besides changing my ISO, I also switched to TV mode for a few shots.

In TV mode, you can set a fixed shutter speed, one that is quick enough to capture something in low light.  These images can often be dark, but if you shoot in RAW format, you can sometimes lighten things up and still have a fairly sharp image.  This is a great trick if you simply don't have a tripod for low light situations.  I actually used this trick while shooting in a castle in France, and even though the images looked almost black on my LCD screen on my camera, and I wasn't sure I would get anything out of them, I was pleasantly surprised when I got home and manipulated the exposures in Photoshop...I got some wonderful images by using the TV setting 1/125 while using my wide angle lens which is a 24 - 70 mm.

Anyway, that is all a very long and boring way of saying that I like trying these different settings, and learning the capabilities of my equipment.  The image above was taken using the TV setting and I decided not to lighten it, I loved the dramatic effect that I got as much as I liked the first image.  They are both different and each have their own appeal, at least to me anyway.  Sometimes photography is about shadows and light as much as it is about the subject matter.

Ok, enough camera gobbledygook for one evening, but before I go, I want to tell you about a sale going on this weekend in my neck of the woods.  My friends Susan and Julie are at it again, pulling together a fall show that is sure to help you find those early Christmas presents!  

The flyer below will give you all of the details, and if you go, please tell them Kat says hello!  I will be up in DC meeting a bloggy/Garden Web forum friend of mine (for the first time) who will be in town from Atlanta!  We've been friends for a few years now, and I can't wait to meet both Traci and her husband!  

I hope you each have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

French Flowers

Is there anything more wonderful than stumbling out of your hotel room to wander the Saturday markets on the streets of Strasbourg?!

Well I suppose it would be better if you could do it every Saturday, instead of once every 5 years or so.

These pictures are pretty much straight out of the camera except for lightening a few of them, but none of them have had their hue and saturation levels altered.

The closest I normally get to something like this is when I visit Whole Foods every few weeks and wander around their beautiful flower department.

Which isn't really quite the same as having vendors meticulously displaying their wares on a sunny Saturday morning in northern France.

Creating beautiful vignettes that make you want to buy one of everything, or if you don't have a place to put one of everything, snapping a bunch of photos so that you can drink it all in even after you return home.

There are fresh cut stems you can arrange yourself, or dainty little bouquets to take home and enjoy...or maybe give to a friend.

I would like to be the friend who receives a gift of french flowers.

Perhaps a fall bouquet with russet leaves and some flower I don't know the name of.

Or a little zinc container filled with a single rose, hydrangea, and berries.

It doesn't really matter which ones you select since they are all so lovely and elegantly displayed.

Even pansies look a little more special at the flower market.  

Do you have a flower market like this in your town?  If so, please make up the guest bed for me and leave a light on...I might never leave!