Mindfulness Challenge Week 14: Connection

connection

Connecting the Years

In my daughter’s collection of doll clothes are a few items kept from my childhood.

This tiny embroidered dress is one of them; I can clearly remember dressing my own dolls in it when I was her age.

I’m happy I kept it.  It somehow connects her childhood with mine, the years in between disappearing for a moment.  It is also a connection of how many of the things I loved have become the things she loves.

 

#createmindfulness2017

 

Mindfulness Challenge Week 13: Beauty

beauty

Beauty, Unexpected

Fresh flowers are beautiful, without question.

There is a certain allure that comes with age as well.  Forgotten flowers, with their papery petals and crinkled edges, are no less beautiful.  Faded hues turn sepia and thin  veins become more evident.  Their layers are compressed, holding on to the last drops of moisture, the last moments of life.

Time is a fragile beauty.

Mindfulness Challenge Week 12: Perspective

salt perspective

Salt

Photography is all about perspective (as is life).

Mundane objects can become surreal art through a macro lens.  Tiny details, normally overlooked, take on new possibilities when studied and appreciated.

The morning sun on the kitchen table changes colours, creates reflections, and lights up salt shakers.  Suddenly, salt is art.

Salt is also an accidental self-portrait…  Look closely.  🙂

#createmindfulness2017

Hope Springs

ice

It seems counterintuitive to think of ice as a sign that winter is coming to an end.  But these odd formations have appeared in my backyard, below the eaves of my house.  They are the result of snow melting from the roof.  Although it is still cold enough that it freezes, this gives me some hope that winter is near its end.

There are many ways to enjoy winter in Northern New Brunswick:  skiing, snowshoeing, skidooing, skating, and sledding.  By the time spring officially arrives, however, I am ready for its end.  I crave flip flops and walks on the beach, campfires and balmy summer nights.  I am done with all the whiteness and not being able to see around corners when I back out of my driveway.

We are not done with winter weather yet, but at least there are signs that it is beginning to end.

Mindfulness Challenge Week 11: Balance

balance

Balancing Act

My daughter wanted to do a photo shoot with her American Girl Doll, Rosie.  In one of the shots, the doll is literally balanced on a bicycle.

Life and parenting are a lot about balance:  Time spent between work and family, between taking care of the house and taking care of the children, and between busy schedules and time for relaxation.

Making this photo was about balance, too:  Stealing a few creative shots while also setting up fashion shots for the doll.  I got to take pictures and spend time with my daughter; my daughter got to play dress-up and share this with me.

#createmindfulness2017

Mindfulness Challenge Week 10: Imperfection

imperfection

Transformation

I’m a little behind on my photo challenge…  Quite apt for this theme:  Imperfection.

This little beach find is perfect for my imperfect theme.  It is slightly cracked, softened by the sea, speckled by the sand, and faded by the sun.  Yet it remains intact, traces of vitality evident in its lines and shape.

Once a vibrant protector of life, it is now vacant.  But the story of life resides in its curves, the scent and sound of the sea still alive within it.

It is imperfect, but it is still beautiful.

 

 

Patterns from the Past 

Behind a bookshelf in what was once my sisters’ room, this floral wallpaper is a remnant of our childhood. Faded and discoloured by sunlight and time, it is a memory of a little girls’ room.

Matching paper lined the walls of my room, the flowers a cornflower blue. The paper was chosen and applied by our mother; we each had a bedspread to match, crocheted by our Memere.  These were the rooms we played Barbies in, made friendship bracelets, and spent hours with a phone glued to our ears.  These rooms were where we giggled late into the night during sleepovers, where we told our secrets to our locked diaries.  They were also the rooms my sisters and I would sometimes make a bed on the floor so we could all be in one.

The shelf that revealed the wallpaper is now in my daughter’s room.  This paper will be peeled and sanded away to prepare for a quiet shade of cream that better suits my parents’ house these days.  But for a little while, we are reminded of the sweetness of a moment in time.

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Mindfulness Challenge Week 9: Touch

touch bw

The Things We Touch

Every day we put on clothes, we pick things up, we cook, we slide our fingers across our keyboards and our phones – mindlessly.  And yet, in each of these is a touch, a texture, a temperature.  The fabric we wear is stretchy, silky, or soft; the dishes are cool and hard.  Food has endless textures:  bumpy, crumbly, or even slimy.

How often do we notice?

What if we paid as much attention to the water running over our bodies in the shower as we did the pillow we lay our heads down on each night?  What if we were as mindful of the softness of the scarf we wrap around our neck as we are the tag that scratches at our back?

Here is what I do notice:

  • A new book, its pages crisp and clean
  • The warmth from my children when we curl up on the couch
  • The weight and softness of the throw I cover my legs with while I relax
  • The heat of a fresh cup of coffee
  • A pair of fuzzy reading socks
  • A hot bath
  • The almost-spring sun as it heats the inside of the car
  • Ice-cold water during hot yoga (and the grip of my mat during asanas)
  • The smooth keys of the keyboard while I type
  • The curved edges and ridged buttons on my camera

This mindfulness challenge began to help create more awareness in my photography; it is helping to create more awareness in my life.

#createmindfulness2017

Mindfulness Challenge Week 8: Possibility

possibility

Projects

New yarn, craft supplies, patterns…

These are the materials that become the projects that become the process that become the product.

This is possibility.

Possibility is creativity and potential.  It is a motivator and a series of choices.  Possibility is positive thinking, expectation, and hope.  It propels us forward.

Possibility is inspiration.

#createmindfulness2017

Mindfulness Challenge Week 8: Simplicity

daisy17

This is Simplicity

This photo was taken a number of years ago.  Rather than making a new one, I chose to use this one as it represents simplicity to me on many levels.

I’ve always taken pictures, but this is one of the first photos I took with my DSLR.  Even though the camera became more complicated, my style did not.  Photography for me has always been focusing on a few simple details, cutting out anything that does not add to the subject matter.

A daisy is that most common flower, found growing wild, picked by children who pull the petals off, and gathered by women in wedding bouquets.  They are grown without fertilizer or fanfare.  Daisies represent purity, innocence, cleanliness – perfect for the theme of simplicity.

In art as well as photography, a palette of black and white is also simplicity itself.

This photo is  a reminder to pare down the elements in a composition; a reminder that sometimes, simple is best.