Tag Archives: inspiration

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRAY

History always has a few tricks up its frayed sleeve. It’s been around a long time. Terry Pratchett

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRAY - A window display wolf shredding the curtains

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRAY – A window display of a wolf shredding the curtains

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRAY - Tangy leaning against  a fav spot showing frayed thread from his scratching.

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRAY – Tangy leaning against a fav spot on the sofa showing frayed thread from his scratching.

When I think of the word – fray – what often comes to mind are images of the persecuted, the lonely, the frazzled, and the homeless. I know that we can see it all around us and, perhaps, in our own lives too. One thing the word reminds us to do is to count our blessings and find the good and joy in even things that could make us feel so down.

I didn’t think I could come up with suitable shots but, lo and behold, I dug deep and found a few. I hope you like them. The first shot is an Anthropologie store window dressed for the holiday season; depicting a wicked wolf tearing up the frayed curtains, trying to ruin our fun. The second one is of our family cat, next to his favorite scratching post, the right arm of one of our sofas. I caught a glimpse of Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness book behind his head and it’s perfect; I highly recommend reading Tony’s book.

“It is of course a magic carpet.”Abdullah had heard that one before … Does it welcome a man home to his tent? Does it bring peace to the hearth? Or maybe,” he said, poking the frayed edge suggestively with one toe, “it is said to never wear out?” Diana Wynne Jones

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRAY - A window display collage of a wolf shredding the curtains

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRAY – A window display collage of a wolf shredding the curtains

I was walking around Rockefeller Center, during the last Christmas holidays, when my eyes caught a series of remarkable displays in nearby shop windows. I took a ton of pictures of the figures in the intricately created displays and saved them. I was thrilled when I found the photos above; perfect for the assignment. While the wolf/fox(?) might be trying to wreck havoc in some fairytale, in real life, frayed items of clothing are precious in the eyes of people who have nothing but the clothes on their backs. My dear friend and fellow blogger, Nicole Melancon, shares a fantastic series of shots of children in frayed clothing in Ethiopia.  They remind us to be GRATEFUL and to GIVEBACK! You must take a look and support her peace efforts.

I told Nicole that her beautiful pictures and post brought back memories of my trips home and elsewhere; it’s quite common for children to wear clothes shipped from far away countries. Often the clothes are sold in the marketplace for pennies… When feasible, some care agencies provide the clothes for free. They are appreciated and valued by the families and kids. Hope (See Gilly’s post on Hope ) is something that people hold onto in poor areas and the clothes offer a glimpse of opportunity and possibility for more. Some kids go naked when such aid is unavailable.. Both set of photos reminded me of the war in Nigeria when shiploads of clothing arrived from aid countries. Nicole also recommended an inspiring book worth reading –  The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz. You won’t regret checking out both Nicole’s  and Gilly’s blogs, and reading Jacqueline’s book.
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Weekly Photo Challenge: In Silhouette

“The dark-veiled silhouette; that solitary form patrolling without visible strain or vainglory, a demented dreamland of fearful potential.” Kathryn Hulme
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Weekly Photo Challenge: In Silhouette

Weekly Photo Challenge: In Silhouette – Nature, a Church and Sade

Weekly Photo Challenge: In Silhouette

Weekly Photo Challenge: In Silhouette – More nature by the Hudson River and a Church in France.

A Silhouette can be described as an “image of a person, animal, object or scene represented as a solid shape of a single color, usually black, its edges matching the outline of the subject… typically presented on a light background … or none at all.” I’ve always found them fascinating to look at even though, and I’ve shared some of these in another Silhouette post,  I rarely think of using the technique when I take pictures. I’m not sure why, but I will pay more attention. How about you? Do you look for silhouette moments?

The word has an interesting history and is taken from the last name of Étienne de Silhouette. Étienne was a Minister of Finance in France in the 18th century. Because of an economic downturn during that period, he had to impose severe taxes on the wealthy, people looked for cheap ways to do things and his name was co-opted to represent anything made quickly and cheaply. To make sense of the term, we can look to the fact that cut paper silhouettes were the first way of capturing figures in early photographic portraits and forms.

“Rocks were not simply decorative silhouettes. They were part of the earth’s bones, with an anatomy of their own, caused by some remote seismic upheaval.” Kenneth Clark

Weekly Photo Challenge: In Silhouette

Weekly Photo Challenge: In Silhouette – This collage of human and structure silhouettes is from Wikipedia. The rest are mine.

There is also evidence that silhouettes were used in Ancient Egypt and Greece to create art forms; mainly in creating portraits of the human shadow… and perhaps shadows in nature. Over the years, they continued to gain popularity in traditional portraiture, Art illustrations, early theater and Movies, graphic design, sports shooting, and photography; they remain a popular technique in photography. The term is often used in the fashion Industry to express the form and fit of a designer’s vision.

As I sifted through my photo collections to find images that might fit this challenge, I was reminded of a cameo brooch my mom had when I was little. It was a black silhouette portrait of a woman from the chest up set against a pink background. They were very popular at one time and probably served as my earliest understanding of what a silhouette looked like. Another was catching a glimpse of my shadow at dusk and, of course, cutting those paper dolls and forms in kindergarten. Do you remember your first memory of a silhouette? Or the first time you caught a glimpse of your shadow in the setting sun?

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

“Summer has filled her veins with light and her heart is washed with noon.” C. Day Lewis

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin' - Can't beat sunrise in Hawaii

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’ – Can’t beat sunrise in Hawaii

What does summer lovin’ mean to me? Summer is about relaxation, fun foods, and lounging about with loved ones at exotic or favored locales. I can’t help it, but summer puts me in the mood for … a vacation.

When I think of summer, I dream of languid days spent at a beautiful tropical beach, with clear blue water, palm trees tossing their fronds in the wind, and freshly squeezed lemonade served in a tall glass filled with ice. Sounds simple enough eh? But that’s not my reality at this moment, so I’ve chosen to inhale some summer loving from this photo shared by my dear friend, Karen Asplund Velez, lawyer, writer/blogger at Solodialogue.

“Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.” Russell Baker

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin' - with blooms and  more.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’ – with blooms and more.

What does summer lovin’ mean to you? I asked a couple of friends and while most agreed with my position, hanging out poolside or beach-side won hands down. Something we tend to take for granted, once the warm weather kicks in, is the vibrancy of summer floral colors and clothing. I love the bright yellow, red, white and pink flowers blooming in gardens and by the roadside in my area.

I love that I can walk on the aqueduct, and be greeted by pretty flowers and gaily dressed kids running along the trail with mom and dad sweating away as they try to keep up. To cool off, a serving of lemonade, ice cream or even freshly cut mangoes and pineapple help complete celebrating the joy of summer. What about you? What do you cherish about the season? What annoys you about it too.

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