Monday, February 29, 2016

The Color Yellow in Winter

Looks like the color train went off the tracks last week doesn't it? The photographer was busy trying to bring another project in on time and could not spare time for distractions you see. But here we are today doing a scavenger hunt through the house to celebrate the color yellow for this week.

Flowers are usually a reliable source of color. However, on Saturday I bought a bunch of daffodils in bud but they failed to open. Sigh. On Thursday I cut several branches of forsythia hoping to force them inside to have yellow blooms but they too failed me. But the tulips? Yes, they are wonderful.

For this week it is a series of still lives. Desk Still Life.

Tea Still Life - an unpretentious one from the kitchen. Just a note about dishwashers and long term use. That teapot and mug were bought as a set but the teapot does not go through the dishwasher and has maintained it's happy yellow hue.

Sewing Room Still Life

Chocolate Still Life.

Pretty Tea Cup and Plate Still Life.

Oriental Still Life.

Still Life from the Closet.  Back story needed here - I was putting away the camera for the day when in walked #2 son from work. Lo and behold, he was wearing a yellow tie so I could not resist. In trying to rustle up something yellow to put in his pocket I opened a closet and found this small lego truck instead. I liked how the blue of the little man picked up on the blue pen in the pocket.

And to close, another photo of those beautiful yellow tulips.

That's it for this week's feature color. For those who may be wondering this is all about my practicing photography and finding bursts of color to get through the long months of winter.

How do you manage winter?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Color Brown in Winter

 Brown is seldom thought of as one of the glitzy, exciting colors. Perhaps, because of that, we tried a little harder to come up with a brown variety. Yes, they were all found within the home studio arena. Somehow if there are lots of ideas for what to photograph the weather sends a dismal day so the out and about shots are curtailed. Never mind...

For today's tour with the color brown we can imagine we are on a road trip...

On the Bay to Birdwood Run in Adelaide, South Australia.

Let's don the brown threads

but throw in the iconic Akubra and the Brown and Wills oilskin jacket in case the weather turns on us.

Let's remember to include in the picnic basket the cups and saucers along with some oatmeal biscuits (cookies) and nuts to snack on.

Out on the open road we start to hum along...

It's a fine ride but sundown is approaching and we start to salivate about seeing this pair of pears.

We pull off the road and are lured in by the aroma of freshly baked and nicely browned bread.

 It is indeed time we were sitting down for a fine dinner.

Time to hang up the hat and boomerang for the night.

And let this old brown eyed lass go to sleep for the night.

To dream of all the other things we were going to feature today. Oops. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wednesday Winter White 0217

Another Wednesday, another opportunity for fresh winter white images. sigh.

On Monday, it snowed.

This chap made the best of it...wasting away again in Margaritaville.

The next morning the temperature was quite a lot warmer and we had melting.

Of course the melting came with a good dose of rain.

By Wednesday (today), we were all feeling like this.

But with a quick rehousing we could be rejuvenated with a snap of the fingers (or a snip of the scissors to be more accurate).

Meanwhile outside, the weather is so delightful but, nevertheless...

Frosty went on a search and rescue mission hoping to find spring - well the Easter Bunny comes a close second!

No caption needed.

When all else fails, stop everything and have a cuppa and a bikkie.

p.s. an afterthought from the red posts. The finale of the dancing tulips series. Since photographing this I have been stuck with the earworm "The Last Waltz" by Engelbert Humperdinck. Many long years ago I took piano lessons - I didn't learn classical but modern instead. My mother loved hearing me practice this tune and I still waltz, solo, around the room and think of her when this song comes to mind.

I will leave you with this one encouraging thought: we are now one Wednesday closer to spring!

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Color Red Runs on in Winter

Today was another snow day and, having no other obligations, I wanted to continue my fun with red.

The dancing tulips are a good antidote to that white stuff outside and a handful of valentine candies and the paper parasol add the touch of whimsy that I need on a day like this.

These tulips are certainly providing me with lots of inspiration.

Meanwhile outside, yep, more snow to be cleared and shoveled so some absurdity at the end was called for.

Birds of red feathers flock together.

Red, it was everywhere I looked.

As a child we often had a boiled egg for breakfast, eaten out of these red eggcups. A timer was required or else the desired soft boiled egg became too hard cooked to dip the soldiers in.

Random red collection. With my London Transport bus pass I, 100% New Zealand made, could travel wherever, maybe even as far as the Lucketts Fair. That would have been a long trip so a little chocolate would be necessary to give sustenance.

The Mardi Gras style ceramic mask was purchased on a vacation to New Orleans in the early 1980s. It needed an American bus in the photo.

Purchase of the die cast metal vehicles was a Saturday morning ritual for my husband and oldest son as they walked over to the local street produce market when we lived in London. Now, this many years later, they make great small props for my photos.

Red; so much fun for a mid winter diversion. I hope you enjoyed seeing the results.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Color Red in Winter

As you know by now I am currently exploring color in my surroundings. I try to remember a tip from my beginner class about making the photo tell a story. Tonight I want to try to do that with what I am sharing with you.

Today is Valentines Day so it was a natural that I would focus on the color red for today's post. A week or more ago I heard a short interview on the radio about the custom of giving flowers and what they mean. What was said was that red roses mean "love" but red tulips mean "I love you". Now I did not verify this but in the week when the price of red roses dramatically increases I thought I might go with the concept of red tulips. I had been searching for a small red packet of coins that had been given to me years ago by a Chinese friend as a good luck gift to receive for Chinese New Years. That red packet would have been a great prop for a photo but I have not yet found it. But I did come across this red ring box which came with this ring, a first wedding anniversary gift from my Valentine. It seemed like a good combination with the red tulips.

Now I have a series of photos to tell a story. Yes, I know this is meant to be about red; they say robins have a red breast. But, the American robins? That looks more orange to me but for the purpose of my red story lets carry on with it being red. I was having breakfast a few mornings back when I happened to glance out the window and notice a lot of activity at the bird bath. Some years ago I had bought a heated birdbath for my feathered friends for when the temperature is so low that the water sources for them are frozen. To be able to plug it in I have to have it on the deck and the birds seldom find it. But this morning they did. And they had a grand time.

There was robins everywhere; some holding their place in the bath for too long so their friends and family had to wait in line.

Meanwhile, up on the roof, watching and waiting...

until seizing their chance, the starlings moved in.

This robin hung in there and waited. Success! Soon the starlings tired of the overcrowding and headed back to search the lawn for treasure - those blurry dark blobs in the background here.

And once more the robins could continue to swap stories around the water cooler to close out my little story. I was taking my photos through the glass doors, afraid that if I opened the door for a better quality photo I would scare away this lovely glimpse of nature.

Moving on to story number two, the dancing tulips.  If you often buy tulips you will know all about what happens to them. Several painters and photographers I know are very challenged by these flowers as they just do not hold a pose for very long. I arranged the tulips in the vase on Friday night and they had a graceful sweeping look to them peeking only a couple of inches above the top of the vase.

On Saturday morning when I walked in the kitchen to start the day they were standing upright at full attention as I opened the blinds on the door.

By this morning, Sunday, they are even taller and now they are opening up. I'm expecting that by tomorrow they will be past their peak.

Looking round the house to find red is not difficult. Here is a Little Red Schoolhouse quilt I made in about 1983. We were living in Colombia (South America) at the time and I had plenty of opportunity to sit and stitch. This quilt was hand quilted by me - and there have not been many (any?) that were done that way since as it takes a lot of free time. In front are three small clay depictions of some of the better known red tile roofed churches in Bogota.

Another of my red and white quilts - this one I call "Strawberries and Cream" and made in 2013.

The backs of my quilts are more fun now than they were when I made the Little Red Schoolhouse. I have flipped a corner here so you can see.

To close out I'm again showing something that is called red - a red cabbage - but which does not quite fit the color that we all think of as red. This cabbage had been bought a couple of weeks back when I was planning my purple post. But somehow it did not get used for the color purple. A few days later as I was cutting into it to cook at dinner time I paused a few minutes to marvel at the great pattern the cross section showed.

Oh red, it is not hard to find you. What was much harder was finding the time to do you justice. I may have to pick up this story again in another few days.