Tag Archives: photography

Pacific Spring

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Pacific Spring

“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it.”

 

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I grew up on the Pacific shore bathed in a swirling mélange of earthy aromas, briny sea mist, beach kelp, weathered driftwood, live crab boiling in pots on creosote soaked docks, and the smell of prolonged dampness that permeated every living thing.  Brightly colored nasturtiums, seemingly the only flower that survived in the sandy soil, sprung up ubiquitously in yards and planters.  An ambitious gardener might have daffodils and calla lilies struggling in a border strip around a scrubby patch of grass, but that was the extent of coastal cultivation in a landscape where skunk cabbage, Scotch broom, salal and moss held sway over the land.

Our regular excursions to “the Valley” to visit relatives were like incredible journeys, visitations to an enchanting world replete with verdant fields and flowering trees and plants and flowers of every sort and variety that filled the air with a soul caressing redolence which gently lingered in the stillness of the valley air. The tidy patchwork of farm fields, symmetry of tree lined streets and ordered planning of nature expressed in the multitude of fastidiously tended gardens resonated deep within me giving way to a life-long appreciation of the capacity of nature, to influence and enhance human experience.

Holiday Entertaining

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A Celebration of Hearth and Home

I love the holidays, especially Thanksgiving.  There is nothing quite so satisfying as a house filled with the aroma of roasting turkey, the lively banter of family and friends and the carrying on of traditions.

My menu is strictly traditional with roasted turkey, dressing made with toasted pecans and pork sausage, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry chutney, fresh green peas and roasted beans.  When it comes to desserts, we are a bit less traditional opting for a creme brûlée with fresh raspberries.

Please, you’re welcome to come along and join the party!

 

Autumn Cathedral

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Autumn’s Great Procession

This photo was taken near the Buena Vista Ferry that crosses over the Willamette River. I saw the stunning colors in a grove of deciduous trees along the road we were traveling; it was in coming to a full stop to take a photograph that I noticed the long rows of plantings that seemed to stretch forever; the Cathedral-like feeling was striking… the long red carpet extending down the aisle to a gothic arch framed in green garland prepared for Autumn’s Great Procession. It was breathtakingly beautiful in the afternoon light and I hope I’ve captured a bit of that presence in this photograph.

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Oh No, I’ve Turned Into One Of “Those” People…

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the kind who visit cemeteries and take photographs of headstones.

Crawfordville, Oregon

Crawfordsville, Oregon

So, what sparked this trip to the cemetery?

 Well… I have a photograph of my father with his grandfather and uncle that was taken c. 1930 in Brownsville, Oregon.  I love the photograph as much for its family history, as for its composition.  The imposing figure of my great-grandfather who, as a church pastor, loomed large in family lore, my great uncle with his boyish nonchalance, graceful fingers gently poised over the Collie dog, and the mysteriously resolute curly haired moppet, my father, holding a “golden apple” are as endearing as they are enigmatic to me.

Geil Men

And so it was, after a lifetime of knowing I had family in the area, I decided to make the pilgrimage to Crawfordsville, the location of the Union Cemetery where the earliest members of my family to come to Oregon from Rockingham County, Virginia are buried.

 Union Cemetery, Crawfordsville, Oregon

I cannot count the number of times I’ve driven up and down Interstate 5 past the exits to Brownsville and never once stopped to explore the area.  I had not heard of Crawfordsville until my research into my family history.  It’s a quiet, quaint and beautiful place tucked away along the Calapooia River.

Union Cemetery, Crawfordsville, Oregon

It was in Crawfordsville that I found the headstone of my forebear, Henry Ralph Geil. The headstone read, “A Man who walked with God.”

Henry Ralph Geil

To my surprise I found another headstone for my great great grandparents.  I had no idea they were buried here.

John S. Geil

John S. Geil, 1859, and Alice (Shank) Geil, 1864, who came to Oregon from Rockingham County, Virginia.  Alice (Shank) Geil was the daughter of Gabriel Shank, a Lt. in the 10th Virginia Regiment who carried his regimental flag in every major battle of the Civil War.

John S. Geil, Alice Shank Geil

After visiting the cemetery we drove into Brownsville.  It is a beautifully preserved little town that I will surely go back and visit again.

Brownsville, Oregon

Brownsville, Oregon

Brownsville, Orego

Creative Photo-editing; Confessions of a PicMonkey Junkie

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Circles, Circles, Circles

I recently read an article in a quilting magazine that said circles are popular!  With that, I decided to have a go at circle making to see what the appeal was.  I have lots of fabric scraps left over from various art projects (Chieko Mamba) which I used for this project.  On the surface this type of work seems too simple to be very interesting, but I was a surprised to learn there is more to putting the fabrics together in a pleasing way than I thought.

First I made a 7″ x 7″ square and then applied the circle design.  I cut a 9″ x 9″ square of contrasting fabric as a back which would leave 1″ on all sides to fold up for a binding.  I sandwiched a piece of batting in between the front and back and stitched into place.  Below are the results… nice, but nothing to get too excited about.  I knew what I had to do… make an appointment with Dr. PM.

Serengeti

Here is what the original looks like after going bananas with the PicMaster... who just happens to be my new  BFF!

Blue Serengeti 

It could be an Italian mosaic or  French Country curtains or whatever…

Blue Serengeti framed miniature

Actually, this does get me excited; I am so intrigued by the endless possibilities of photo-editing… it’s just amazing what can be done with an original image to make it more interesting or just different for the sake of being different. I’ve added a gallery of miniatures at RemnantWorks where customers can choose a design and then have it printed in any color that suits their decor.  What a great option to provide!

Welcome To My Garden

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Summer Garden

in the Pacific Northwest

Today is Labor Day and I’ plan to spend some time working in the garden.  The season is winding down here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and I have some clean-up to do, although there is still quite a bit of color left to enjoy.  I have found that many creative people are also avid gardeners; I think this may be related to the shared elements of color, design and hands-on work that are common to both pursuits.

Last year I created a video of my summer garden.  I had a particularly nice garden (some years are better than others) and wanted to be able to remember it during the nine months of gray we tend to have in this part of the world… and thus my video was born. I hope you enjoy watching it, too.  Happy Summer!