Monday, December 22, 2014

Hello

This is just a short post to say hello :-)

I'll be back with a better post in a day or two about what I've been up to with my book and stuff like that. I just wanted to say hello.

Have a great day!

How Far Will You Go To Avoid the Doorknob?

Cleanliness is very important around the home and this is especially true during the winter cold and flu season. I try to do my best to keep surfaces like countertops and tables wiped down and I wipe over the doorknobs too just to be safe. When I'm really on the ball I try to keep my laptop cleaned off. Lol. I forget about my laptop sometimes to be perfectly frank. In the end though, it's all about staying healthy.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Spotlight: A Respect for Light: The Latin American Photographs 1974-2008

I love photography and when I get the chance to see the work of excellent photographers it's always a special treat. In A Respect for Light: The Latin American Photographs 1974-2008 by Mario Algaze, published by Glitterati Incorporated, http://glitteratiincorporated.com , the legendary photographer's work through the years is highlighted. It's a major retrospective of his work and it's a delight to gaze upon each photograph.

Mario Algaze
Photograph © Javier Silva

Cover: Sendero iluminado, Cuzco, Perú, 2002

As I said in the beginning, I enjoy photography very much and love all varieties, but I have a special appreciation for a beautiful black and white photograph. There's just something so moving about how the light and shadow play upon each other to create something of beauty. It's very fitting that Algaze's book title plays upon this element of the light in his work as the examples found in his book are stunning. There is a cinematic quality to his work and he is well-aware of this himself. In the foreword by Vince Aletti, Algaze is quoted as saying:

"I am a film director wannabe, a hibernating Truffaut, wanting to come out one day."
(From A Respect for Light: The Latin American Photographs 1974-2008 by Mario Algaze, published by Glitterati Incorporated,

He also says:

"The most important ingredient in my photographs, is a very early morning light, a magical light, which on most days only allows you about an hour to work. There's a certain quality before 9:30 in the morning, where light hits in a forty-five-degree and there are long shadows and soft light."
(From A Respect for Light: The Latin American Photographs 1974-2008 by Mario Algaze, published by Glitterati Incorporated,

La movida, Cartagena, Colombia, 1987

El principe del solar, Ciudad de Panamá, 1994

As I looked at each photograph I picked up on what he says about the light. Many of the images caused me to think of times when I've been out walking early in the morning and how the light is so pristine at that time of the day. There is a crispness to the light in the morning which is not there as the sun gets higher in the sky later in the day. When the sunlight is bright, it engulfs everything and photographs look very different. Algaze's use of shadow and light is extraordinary.

Salón de té, Montevideo, Uruguay, 1993

Plaza Mayor, Madrid, España, 1981

Salón de billar, Boquete, Panamá, 1994

Desaparecidos, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1984

This book would be a great Christmas gift for anyone that loves photography...whether you get it for someone else or for yourself. It's an intriguing book to return to again and again.

A Respect for Light: The Latin American Photographs 1974-2008 can be purchased here.


*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Product Spotlight: Driving Test Success Gift Card

I've been living in England for a few years now and I've become quite acclimated to life here for the most part. I go about life day-to-day basically as I would back home in Georgia and just get on with living. However, there's one thing in particular that I did back home that I have yet to do here. I've never driven a car here because:

1) I'm used to driving an automatic car
2) I don't have a driver's license in the UK

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Book Spotlight: Mister Finch: Living in a Fairytale World

Creativity is an amazing thing and it comes in a variety of different forms. Some people express their creativity in bold ways and some show theirs in quieter ways, but we all can express ourselves. Then there are those people who express themselves in ways that make you think that they were surely gifted with an extraordinary skill to create beautiful things.

Author & Textile Artist - Mister Finch


One of those creatively gifted people has to be Mister Finch, a wonderful textile artist who lives in Yorkshire, England. His debut book, Mister Finch: Living in a Fairytale World, published by Glitterati Incorporated, is a wonderfully whimsical trip through an enchanted world of bumblebees, toadstools, hares, and so much more.

Mister Finch: Living in a Fairytale World by Mister Finch copyright© 2014, 
 published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com

This amazing book showcases the fantastic one-of-a-kind creatures that Mr. Finch creates in his Yorkshire studio. He draws his greatest inspiration from nature and British folklore and deftly incorporates fairytale elements into his work which creates this magical world where storybook characters come to life.

From Mister Finch: Living in a Fairytale World by Mister Finch copyright© 2014,  
published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com

Throughout this delightful book, readers are treated with a glimpse into Mister Finch's wonderful studio. The vibrant photographs give us a look at his tools that he uses to create his whimsical creatures. There are brightly colored pins, buttons, and fabrics that are the tools of his trade for his sewing, but they take on a beautifully artistic aura with the turn of each page. I found myself being enthralled by the creative space which Mister Finch has created for himself. After seeing the pieces that go into making each of his lovely creatures I was even more impressed with how he pulls it all together. There is a beautiful charm to the various hares, toadstools, moths, and all of the other creatures that he creates with such unique artistic flair.

From Mister Finch: Living in a Fairytale World by Mister Finch copyright© 2014, 
 published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com

Also throughout the book, Mister Finch gives us readers an insight into the inspiration behind his work. I love this quote from the book because I think that it does a very good job of describing what he wants to achieve with his work.

From Mister Finch: Living in a Fairytale World by Mister Finch copyright© 2014, 
 published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com

He writes:


" I'm fascinated by wanting to create things that look like they come from somewhere else; something that has been unearthed in an attic or found in a secret hidden drawer. I want to inject a bit of old-fashioned magic back into the world. "
  From Mister Finch: Living in a Fairytale World by Mister Finch copyright© 2014, 
 published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com
 

From Mister Finch: Living in a Fairytale World by Mister Finch copyright© 2014,  
published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com

Mister Finch describes so perfectly the feeling that I came away with after reading this book. I would say that he has definitely created this other world quality with his work and I'm glad that he's bringing it into our world.

 Mister Finch: Living in a Fairytale World can be purchased here.


*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Recharging



So this is another one of my Friday Photoshop things. It's a good way to unwind at the end of the week and this week especially with all of the harsh news from back home, we all need a little bit of this. No, we don't all need Photoshop in our lives, but we need something to give our minds a rest just for a minute. Everyone has their way of choice...one of mine is Photoshop.

This photo above kind of sums up what I plan on doing this weekend for the most part. I love trees and even in the colder months when they're bare they still are beautiful to me. It's like they're taking a break and recharging until they sprout out with new leaves again in the springtime.

I won't be recharging and hibernating all the way until spring...nope, I have things to do, mainly to finish writing my book and to keep blogging here along with many other things :-)  But for this weekend I plan on being quieter and more inward so that I can recharge and be ready to go forward with what needs to be done.

Back to this photo...it's a view of the tree behind my house. And as usual, I played around with the different effects on Photoshop and this is what emerged from my play.

I hope that everyone has a great weekend. Have a great time and be safe!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Christmas Product Spotlight: Sugru

Christmas is only three weeks away from today. Wow! It's coming so quickly. As we head towards that day I've been slowly but surely getting my Christmas shopping done. It's always fun to have little extras or stocking fillers for the loved ones on your list. One of my favorite things that I've been introduced to this year is Sugru.

Sugru is the world's first mouldable glue which turns into rubber. It feels like play dough. It can be used to fix all kinds of things. I've written about this great product in an earlier post here.



Recently I've received a packet with a variety of colors that I didn't have before. So when I'm fixing up things around the house, I'll have even more colors to choose from!

Check out the video below to learn about the many things that you can fix with Sugru:



Also, throughout December, the folks at Sugru will be sharing 24 neat ideas for how Sugru can help make the most of your home during this festive season. Take a look here to find out about all the cool ideas...some are techy, some are crafty and some are just downright clever!


Disclosure: I was sent a sample of this product for review. All opinions are mine.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Visiting Bath Once Again


Today I thought that I'd share another one of my Instagram pics as I'm fond of doing now and then. I took this photo this past Friday in Royal Victoria Park in Bath. If you've visited me a few times here you'll know that I love going to Bath. It's probably my favorite place that I've visited here in England. I like it because the architecture is so beautiful and even though the traffic can be kind of a nightmare it's still calmer than London. I like London a lot too, but sometimes the noise can get to me. I love London for the museums, theatre, and Covent Garden, etc. It's a great place to visit, but when I want to be laid back a bit, Bath is my place :-)

Another great thing about Bath is that it's not that far away from where I live. It's in the next county, which is Somerset, but it's just over the border so it's easy to be there in a pretty short time. Also, the drive through the country in order to get there is so nice. I'm a country girl at heart...always have been and always will be :-)

I've been going to Bath for years, but this was my first time visiting Royal Victoria Park. I'm gonna have to go back when it's warmer, but getting to see it with some of the fall colors around was a treat. It was a nice way to spend the day after Thanksgiving.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, December 01, 2014

Hello December

HELLO DECEMBER!

:-)


Standing Strong

As we start a new month and indeed the last month of 2014, I'm committed to standing strong. I do my best always to stand strong and live a good life, but in light of all that happened this past week with Ferguson, I feel the need to recommit myself. Like many, I'm disturbed by not just the case in Ferguson, but in the ever-growing list of others, such as twelve year old Tamir Rice, who are losing their lives at the hands of police. Some will bring up other statistics to deflect from the issue at hand. I am not here to debate any of it. There are many, many more eloquent writers who can analyze the whole thing much better than I can and the essays and articles are out there available for everyone to read. I've read dozens and I've learned so much or I've nodded my head because something has resonated with my own life experience.

I know that I'm late with this post, but this isn't a race. It's never too late to say how you feel even when you don't feel that you have the adequate words to describe your feelings. I'll just say this, the decision by the grand jury was a disappointment, but here's the thing. I'm gonna hold my head up and stand strong.

By standing strong I mean that I am going to live my life and do my part to help. I have no idea how, but I know that I'll find it. Being me and showing up as the best me that I can is a start. There is a lot of work to do, so showing up and being ready is where I will begin. My mind is in planning mode, so please forgive my vagueness. It's so cliche, but like many others I just want to help make things better.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Product Spotlight: The Hanging Lantern Company

It's getting to that time of the year again and I'm excited! Christmas is just a month away. It's such a festive time and each year I can't wait to get the decorations out. Decorating for Christmas always takes me back to my childhood and those memories include the sights and smells of that special time of year. I remember going out to gather holly and cedar to decorate the mantel and how that cedar smell to this day reminds me of Christmas. There were lights and a variety of ornaments on the tree that made it all so special. The traditions that surround Christmas are what I love. As an adult, I've carried the traditions of my upbringing with me as I've created my own traditions in my home now.

I have a variety of decorations that I spread throughout the house and it's always wonderful when I find something new to add to my decorating traditions. I've recently been introduced to a wonderful way to decorate using products from The Hanging Lantern Company.  They have all kinds of hanging pendants and table decorations that are just gorgeous! They glow from their internal lighting and cast beautiful shadows around the room and create a wonderful atmosphere.

Photo courtesy of The Hanging Lantern Company

These beautiful decorations will make your home look so festive and magical. The added feature of the illumination makes them extra special and sets just the right mood. The LED buttonlites help to create that lovely warm glow. I love the rich, warm colors of each piece and the laser cut detail is just fantastic.

The glow that's been created in my home

The decorations arrive packed flat and all you have to do is fold them at the pre-scored markings and put the various tabs through the pre-cut slots. It was simple! And I'll tell you, getting the chance to do this little bit of assembly made the experience feel like I had a hand in the creative process, in a way. It made me remember the fun of assembling the various parts of our Christmas decorations as a child so it was so satisfying. Even if you're not particularly into the assembling of things like I am, you'll still have no problem with these lovely products. There are simple instructions that guide you along the way and as I said, it's simple to do.

 Gingerbread house, Rosso Christmas tree, and favour box

Christmas Tree favour box

I'm going to love having these beautiful decorations from The Hanging Lantern Company around my house for years to come. Here's to adding new traditions to my Christmas decorating!

You can find out more about The Hanging Lantern Company here and you can see their full range of Christmas decorations here.

*Disclosure: Decoration samples were sent to me for review. All opinions are mine.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Spooky and Blurry Photos


Today is another photo day. As you know if you've been here before, I love snapping a pic from time to time. I used to mostly take photos on my point and shoot, but lately because of the convenience, I've been taking photos on the fly with my phone. I'm kinda retro in some ways so I held out on having a smart phone for a while. My camera on my "vintage" cell phone was a joke and everything and everybody came out looking kinda strange. It wasn't my questionable photo skills....ha ha...in that instance it was the phone. I still take some blurry photos...don't we all. Lol. But sometimes they come out pretty good.

The photo above is from my Instagram account. One of my new favorite hobbies is to lift photos off of my Instagram account and share them here after I've played with them a bit. I didn't do much with the one above though except add a retro frame to it like I remember from back in the 70's as a kid.

This photo is one that I took a few days ago as it was getting darker and darker. It gets dark really early here in the colder months. It's like somebody drops a big shade on things at 4:30 pm. Anyway, I was looking out and I wondered if I could snap a photo of the bottle on the windowsill in the dark. The bottle is actually blue, but because I took the photo with the bottle lined up with the street light, it turned this golden brown color. It glowed. The photo is kinda blurry, but in this case I think it adds to the picture. A friend told me that she liked it because it looked spooky. Ha ha! I'll take a compliment any way that I can get one ;-)

I hope that you enjoy looking at my retro-esque, spooky photo. Have a good day!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Really-Random-Playing With Photoshop-Badly-Friday


Hello :-)

So this is my really-random-playing with Photoshop badly-Friday photo ;-)

I've been working on my book a lot lately so I decided to take a break and let my mind wander and man did it wander. LOL. This is a picture that I took a few days ago. It turned out quite blurry and it was originally a black and white photo. Since it was blurry already I decided to play around with it a bit. I think it kinda looks like the world turned blue and you're looking through a screen door or a window screen. When I was growing up we had screens on the windows and screen doors that kept the bugs out but let the breeze in. So this is giving me a kinda trippy nostalgic memory of my childhood years of peering out the screens...and this time I'm looking out at a blue world ;-)

It's weird and I know it's not anything brilliant, but sometimes I just like to play. Play is good.

This visit into my Friday wandering mind is brought to you by me.....LOL!

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Trees In Every Season



I took this picture a couple of weeks ago-ish and I just thought that I would share it here. 

As I've mentioned before, I love fall/autumn.
 I love trees a lot and I think that they're beautiful during every season. 

 In the springtime, they're bursting out with new bright green leaves...
In the summer, they're in full greenery and offering shade from the hot sun...
In the fall, they put on a show of various colors and shed their leaves...
And in the winter, they stand leafless, but they're still so beautiful.
I often think that trees without their leaves look like beautiful, stark sculptures. They're so dramatic as their prickly branches pierce the grey skies. 
What's not to love? :-) 


Introducing GUILD, an Exclusive Photography Networking Platform from FotoVisura

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


FotoVisura - an international networking platform for photography, 
is pleased to announce an open call for photographers to join GUILD
 

FotoVisura's Invitation Only Annual Membership



GUILD is an invitation-only annual membership on FotoVisura.com for photographers, editors, curators and organizations worldwide. A photographer’s GUILD membership includes a hosted website with access to an exclusive networking platform and resources to further a photographer’s work and career.

GUILD provides access to an exclusive networking platform for photographers, editors, and institutions to connect, share work, and promote news. Eligible applicants are photographers who are not exclusively represented by an agency and are working in media, editorial, advertising, fashion, entertainment, music, fne art, book publishing, online/mobile media, public and private engagements, as well as NGOs and corporate companies.

Judged by Whitney Johnson, Director of Photography at The New Yorker and Adriana Teresa Letorney, Co-founder of FotoVisura, the open call is free and does not require a FotoVisura account. The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2014 at 11:59PM EST. FotoVisura will announce the results on January 15, 2015.

A group of awarded applicants will be invited to join for 2015. Five photographers will be selected as winners and receive a one-year sponsored membership to GUILD, as well as professional advice and guidance from the FotoVisura team.

For an annual fee of $295.00, photographer members will receive resources that include:


  • A hosted website with templates and customization tools;

  • Access to the FotoVisura international networking community and its resources, including the public archive, local motion news feed, and the industry index;

  • Access to a file drop box with 100GB of storage;

  • Access to submit to the FotoVisura GUILD Grant;

  • Full Scholarships to attend the FotoVisura Photo Editing Workshop, if accepted.

FotoVisura has collaborated with leading  fgures from companies including news organizations such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, National Geographic, NPR, CNN, Bloomberg Businessweek, Huffington Post and Stern; book publishers Thames & Hudson, Aperture,   powerHouse Books and Daylight  Books; galleries including United Photo Industries, Brisbane PowerHouse Gallery and the Center for Photography at Woodstock; international photo festivals   including, MOPLA, GUATEPHOTO, Photoville, and the New York Photo Festival.

To apply, please visit http://www.fotovisura.com/about/guild 

About FotoVisura Inc.:
Founded by Adriana Teresa and Graham Letorney in Brooklyn, NY, in 2008, FotoVisura Inc. is a creative frm specializing in technology and production initiatives. FotoVisura Inc. is based in Stowe, Vermont.

About FotoVisura.com:
An international networking platform and resource for photography, FotoVisura.com provides hosted websites with access to resources, including photo-editing workshops with leading editors, residencies, exhibition opportunities, and a news feed to promote work. FotoVisura.com has more than 5,000 members worldwide, with dozens of notable discoveries including Sebastian Liste, Justin Maxon, Katie Orlinsky, and Erin Trieb.



*Press release text used by permission of FotoVisura.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Flowers



Hello :-)

I wanted to share a photo of my bouquet that's been blooming out over the weekend. They are gladiolus. Aren't they just gorgeous? I picked them up at the store the other day and they're just blooming like crazy now. 

Have a great day!

Product Spotlight: Sugru

I love fixing things! If something is broken, I'm always willing to give fixing it a try, just to see if I can. So when I find something new to help me patch things up, I'm always excited! Recently I've tried out this cool product called Sugru. I really love it!



Sugru is this really great play dough-like substance that you can mould into various shapes to fix things. It's like a magic putty and is similar to a superglue in a way! It comes in little pouches and there are all of these great colors. It's great to fix broken toys, so it'll surely come in handy as we go towards Christmas and beyond. It'll make a great stocking filler too!

There are so many great uses for Sugru from protecting phones to creating things to fixing a variety of things. I patched up an ipod charging cord and I'm loving the results.




One use that I'm definitely going to try is patching up my winter walking shoes. They're always springing a leak especially during the cold, wet winter, so I think it'll be great to have a way to block out the elements a bit.

Check out this fun video to see some of the cool uses for Sugru.




To learn more about Sugru, please visit their website here.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Book Spotlight: Hollywood

There's that old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. It's a cliché, but it's very accurate. Sometimes a picture can say more than words ever could. I think that pictures of people are the most intriguing, because for that moment in time we get a glimpse of who they are. Usually this is achieved in photographs, but sometimes other mediums can yield the same kind of result.

Hollywood by Don Bachardy, copyright © 2014, published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com

In the new book, Hollywood by Don Bachardy, copyright © 2014, published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com , readers are given an opportunity to enjoy an unguarded look at some of Hollywood's biggest stars of the past and present through a beautiful series of paintings and drawings. Portrait artist Don Bachardy is a life-long Hollywood native and has moved within a community of industry moves and shakers for over five decades. He has had access to some of the legends of Hollywood and in this book he presents many of them in portraits of vibrant color or in beautiful pencil and charcoal sketches.

Patrick Swayze - From Hollywood by Don Bachardy, copyright © 2014, published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com

Each of his subjects are eager to have the chance to sit for him as he puts their very essence down on paper. The sittings can go on for hours, but the finished product is extraordinary.

There is also a foreword by writer Armistead Maupin who also sat for Bachardy. He speaks of the experience and the intimacy that it creates between the artist and the sitter and how not much can be hidden from Bachardy's intense artistic gaze.

Teri Garr - From Hollywood by Don Bachardy, copyright © 2014, published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com

This intriguing collection of portraits includes Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth, Katharine Hepburn, Mia Farrow, Bette Davis, Patrick Swayze, and many more. Each painting or drawing is signed and dated by those sitting for Bachardy, so it's a wonderful trip through time as the you see when the portraits were done. I really loved how realistic all of the portraits were as I turned page after page. Don Bachardy is a very talented man indeed. He was able to make each drawing and painting look as if they were a photograph in some ways. The detail is astonishing. He truly captured the essence of every face. Along with the movie stars depicted in the portraits there are other influential figures in Hollywood featured as well.

Katharine Hepburn - From Hollywood by Don Bachardy, copyright © 2014, published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com

Interspersed throughout the book there are also abstract paintings by Don Bachardy that are beautiful and vibrant. They marry perfectly with the free flowing nature of the entire book. This is definitely a book that art lovers and film buffs will love, but it's also just a gorgeous work of art that many will enjoy.

Hollywood by Don Bachardy can be purchased here.


*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fall Color Overhead



Hi :) 

I wanted to share this photo that I took a couple of days ago when I was in the town centre. I was walking along, I stopped, and looked up...and saw all of this loveliness. I do love fall!

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Book Spotlight: Kensington Gardens Treescapes




I love going to London and when I do, I have some favorite places that I enjoy visiting when I am there. One of those places is Kensington Gardens. It's truly one of the jewels of London.

Mark Zytynski's new book Kensington Gardens Treescapes is a breathtaking collection of photographs that beautifully illustrates how gorgeous the gardens are throughout every season.  Kensington Gardens is a photographer's dream with its tree-lined paths and amazing panoramic views.

Kensington Gardens has over 4,000 trees over a vast area of 240 acres of land. There are many wonderful old trees there that are strong foundations that help form the history of the gardens. Kensington Gardens is a peaceful, green space right in the heart of busy London. When you're walking within its borders you get the chance to block out the hustle and bustle of the city for a while. It is a wonderful experience.


In Kensington Gardens Treescapes, readers are given a chance to enjoy the wonderful things that the sun does year-round in the gardens. We are shown the leaves accented by the sunlight in all of their splendor. There are the tree branches which form varied shadows along the grass as they reach for the sky. One of the many things that I love are the photographs of the artistically beautiful tree trunks in winter. They stand like glorious statues of nature.


Within the book, readers are not only treated to beautiful photographs of the various trees, but also there are tree facts and notes interspersed here and there, along with maps and poetry.

This is a really lovely book that is full of vibrant photographs that make the gardens come alive for those who haven't visited yet. And for those like myself who have visited before, it's a wonderful keepsake to enjoy until we are able to visit again.

Kensington Gardens Treescapes is available at all good bookshops and online retailers, such as Amazon.

Find out more about the book here .

*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Book Spotlight: Playground: Growing Up in the New York Underground


Playground / Book Cover


It's always interesting to read something or watch a film about a way of living life that is so different from your own. I think that this is one of the many strengths of creativity. We can be transported to another time or place with the turning of a page or as we watch the opening credits of a film. In those moments we can either find a bit of ourselves or we can bear witness to the lives of people who were just that little bit different than ourselves.

Author: Paul Zone
In Playground: Growing Up in the New York Underground by Paul Zone,© 2014, published by Glitterati Incorporated, http://glitteratiincorporated.com , readers are treated to an intriguing photo memoir by Zone as he recounts his time in the early days of the New York punk scene. Paul Zone was the lead singer in a band called The Fast. Because of the circles that he traveled in, he had great insider access to big names in the punk scene, such as Blondie, T. Rex, The New York Dolls, and so many more. He also rubbed shoulders with others artists such as Alice Cooper and Patti Smith. 

Debbie Harry (Blondie) / Max’s Kansas City, 1975

Dee Dee Ramone (The Ramones) & Connie Gripp / Max's Kansas City’s kitchen, 1975

One thing that I found so brilliant about the photos in this book was the fact that Zone took them with a 110 Instamatic, a Brownie, and a Polaroid camera. He wasn't using top of the line equipment, but it didn't matter because he got some really amazing shots. He did an excellent job of documenting a slice of 70's New York City. There is such a truth to Zone's photos and it's the ultimate peek behind the scenes of an intriguing time.

 Tish & Snooky / Manic Panic, St. Marks Pl. 1978

David Johansen (New York Dolls) / Max's Kansas City, August 1973

In addition to the photos, Zone tells the stories from his own life with a realness that I totally respect. He doesn't sugar-coat anything and yet alongside the grittier things there is also evidence of fun times that Zone and his contemporaries all had in the New York underground.

Crayola / Max’s Kansas City 1977

Wayne County / Coventry, Queens NY 1973

I was enthralled throughout the book because as I mentioned in the beginning, it's so interesting to get a look into a world that you do not know. Everyone has a story and in telling our stories this is how we hopefully understand a bit more about each other.

Playground: Growing Up in the New York Underground can be purchased here.


*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Happy Weekend

Taken somewhere in Wiltshire, England

Today I thought that I'd share this pic that I grabbed from my Instagram account. I posted it a couple of weeks ago, but since we're really getting into fall now, I thought that I might share it here too. Recycling is good  :-)

Fall is my favorite season by far! The colors are just breathtaking, it ushers in the festive season and you can wear sweaters and cute boots! Hee hee.

I took this picture through the windshield on a rainy Saturday two weeks ago. I loved how the raindrops made everything kind of blurred and trippy...kind of like an impressionist painting.

The leaves here seem to slowly be changing. Some places are more colorful than others, but I'm hoping that everything comes alive with color soon. When that happens I'll do my best to snap a few pictures and share them here. So watch this space! ;-)

Have a great Friday and a Happy Weekend!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Little By Little

Today, I'm here as promised to share one of the main things that I've carried with me from the Ken Burns Q&A that I attended at the US embassy in London a few weeks ago. Well first of all, let me just say, it was an incredible experience and I'm so grateful that I was able to attend the event. It was quite the experience to get the chance to hear such a great filmmaker discuss his work in such an intimate environment. We watched excerpts from his PBS series The Roosevelts and then the actor Stanley Tucci conducted a Q&A session with Ken Burns about the series and his work. You can read my post about that here.

I loved the whole evening, but what I truly took to heart were Ken Burns' words about his creative process in making his films. He spoke about how long it takes to complete one of his documentaries. The truth is that they can take years to complete from start to finish and they are usually about big subjects. Before I heard him speak, I had thought about his many documentaries and how detailed and thorough they are, I couldn't help but think about how daunting it must have been to get started on such huge projects. That hugeness is enough to stop many of us in our tracks before we even get started. I often think of the things that I want to write or am in the process of writing and sometimes I'm wondering if I have it in me to get it all written out.

Here's the thing though. Ken Burns said something very simple that interestingly enough was similar to something that I had read somewhere a few days before. I call it the little by little thing. When he said that this is how he shows up to do his work it was a co-sign in a way to what I'd recently read. Mr. Burns said that he doesn't worry about the work. He just gets up every morning and puts his pants on one leg at a time and shows up to do the work day by day. He doesn't make himself crazy worrying about brilliant inspiration striking like a lightning bolt because it doesn't happen like that. He said that the moments of brilliance can come in the most normal moments. The day to day showing up to do the work is how the "magic" of creativity is born.

On some level, I understood this already. As I write my book, the thing to do is to sit down and just write. The words will come and the story will unfold as it is supposed to and I'm not going be scared into thinking that the things that I want to write about are out of my reach. They are my stories so I'm going to write them in the way that I know how. If some brilliant plot twist comes to me, that's great, but if not, I think that I'll still be able to tell a good story :-)

It was a pleasure to be in the presence of such a creative man like Ken Burns and seeing him at this point in my life was just the inspiration I needed in order to soldier on.

I'm no great advice giver, but if I can offer any advice to anyone as they pursue their dreams I'd simply say....keep swimming...keep going day by day! That's what I'm gonna do! :-)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Slight Delay

Hey there!

So, I know that I said yesterday that I'd post today about what I gained from the Ken Burns Q&A, but I haven't been able to get it up today. I had a physical therapy appointment for my leg and I didn't get back as quickly as I thought I would. Now that I'm home, I'm beat. I apologize for not getting the post up today, but it will definitely be published tomorrow.

I thank you for your understanding :-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Getting Back Into the Writing Groove



This week I'm getting back into the groove of working on my book. I've been veering off lately for one reason or another, so it's good to get back to it. I want to share more about my writing in general here on my blog, so I definitely plan to do that more. Previously I've dipped my toe into this pond of talking about my writing here and here. I've found that when I write about writing on here, it gets my mind clicking over in a much more creative way. My word nerd self shows herself. Lol! 

This is a very short post, but I just wanted to check in. In my next post I'll share something that I've taken to heart recently about writing my book. It was because of something that I heard Ken Burns say during the Q&A session that I attended a few weeks ago at the US embassy. What he said really resonated with me. It's about showing up to do the work.

I'll be back tomorrow to share more about it. I have to get my thoughts right. Sorry for the cliffhanger. I'm a little bit frazzled today. I'm having one of those days :-)

Have a good day wherever you are!