Posted on June 6, 2022
Well it is June already, but since there were not too many people blogging, and I had a sick baby in my arms all weekend, I opted to request that we wait a week and blog late.
Luka takes up my play days, and unless I get to play with Luka along, I really don’t get to go out as much as I did in the past. However, I love having that one day a week with him, where we can continue to bond and grow closer. His little face lights up bright when he gets to see his Nuala and Granda. There is such big smiles that it just brings such joy to my heart.
Suffice to say I have not got out this month because he is on the 7th week of being sick. The one nurse said to me that day cares are “evil” and I tend to agree. You no sooner send him back to day care and he is off sick again. I guess one has to start adding up how many days you are paying for day care that he is not actually going.
That said I did get one walk in this month. My goal was to see the new babies in the wetlands, but honestly by the time I eventually got to see them they were juveniles already. Here is a few images from my walk.
It was good to get out and walk again. If I had planned to do it this weekend I would have been in trouble. We have a tropical storm passing over us and dumping a huge amount of rain. Nothing else to worry about although Richard did say that some cars in Miami were up to their windows.
Thank you for joining us, 30 Minutes in the Life is a circle blog and we have some very talented photographers in the group. I always love looking at the sneak peaks and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what she has for you this month Kristina from Hello Olivia Photography is up next, and I look forward to seeing what she has to share.
Posted on April 25, 2022
This month flew past so darn quickly. I have a busy work schedule closing down a clinic and trying to keep up with everything else that is going on.
In the middle of all of this our company plans a Staff Retreat. A staff retreat is always appreciated. Our work is busy and our locations are far apart, so it is always good to be able to reconnect and have a bit of fun.
A year ago we went to a studio for some team building time together as part of our staff retreat. This year we went back to the same place. I loved it.
If you are ready to get messy, Board and Brush is the place to be. It is an art studio with a difference. You are creating a wooden piece of art. You can go traditional, you can go all out, you can even use glitter.
Last year I made a coffee box, this year I wanted something a little different. So per the instructions I signed up and I was given a link to choose my artwork. Since I gave the coffee box to Cameron and Kathryn last year, I decided to get Amy’s feedback on what they might like. She said she would like a tray. So that is what I picked.
The day arrives and it starts out with coffee and donuts at Dunkin Donuts. I missed that due to a serious accident blocking my commute. So no problem. I did a U-turn and found another route to follow and arrived just as everyone was setting up. I checked in and was shown to my project.
I had taken my camera, but opted not to use it because it was going to get messy and I did not want to appear like the camera queen. So I used my phone. All pics shown below are taken with my iPhone 11.
Welcome to Board & Brush, where you are guaranteed to get messy and have a whole lot of fun. First things first you need to check that your template says exactly what it is supposed to say. If you are happy, your template is whisked away so that it does not get messy. Then the fun begins.
If you are doing one of their classes the option to additionally enjoy yourself is there. Ours was a morning class and the beverage was coffee. I am not sure that I would want to add alcohol to the mix. I tend to get serious about my art projects. But back to the fun part….
On the table in front of you, you have a selection of tools – a hammer, some chicken wire, 2 types of meat mallets, some screws and a piece of chain and you are going to spend some time destressing your piece of wood. Now I learned from the last time not to do any destressing where you are going to have text, because the paint can bleed. So I opted to use the chicken wire in the corners, and to take the mallet and bash up the edges of the tray.
My coworker had a blast destressing her box. This box was similar to what I turned my coffee box into last year. I went with a very dark ebony and did they writing in a cream color. My coworker turned hers into a movie night box.
Next step is to take some sandpaper and smooth off all the rough edges and get rid of the little pieces sticking out.
Gloves on for this part. Now we are going to stain the wood. There were a variety of different stains going from a dark ebony to a light natural wood, and also including some gray stains as well. Amy had said to keep the tray just light the picture, which was a light center and darker edges. So I choose a lighter stain for the wood.
You’ve picked your color stain, next up is to pick up a brush and get busy staining. It is such a neat feeling to get into the project and watch it slowly come to life. Of course, my first move was to tip the stain over. Luckily the paper is thick and I was able to just pull it up from where it landed.
Once that was done you had the option to leave your article as it was or to accent it. For me that was to do a color wash. I wanted the edges of the tray a darker brown to the inside. This is the messy part and it takes some concentration because you do not want to mess the color on the inside of the tray. They decided to test it on the back of the tray to make sure I was happy with the color. What happened was that she went outside the lines, (my lines that is) so I ended up doing a color wash on the entire base of the tray, along with the sides. For some reason I forgot one inside and had to do it at the last minute. Anyway, you paint on the color wash and then take some paper towel and wipe away the excess of the paint, making sure that you are happy with the end results.
Next comes the stencil. First you have to choose the color that you want on your project, and as you can see there is a huge variety. I opted for the same color I had painted the edges. I wanted it to pop on the lighter wood.
Taking the stencil apart is probably the hardest part of the whole project. I, of course, choose a project with a lot of words and there had to be some careful maneuvering to make sure that all the little pieces stayed in place. First you take off the back. Then you lay down your stencil. Then you have to peel off the front. All the while you are making sure that it is not sticking to the plastic. My coworker and I tucked the plastic up under the paper.
Once the stencil is in place, you then take one of these sponge brushes and dip it in the paint. Then you get the excess of the paint off the sponge by wiping it on the brown paper. Then using a tapping motion you begin to cover the letters of your stencil. Once you are finished you repeat the process.
Next comes the ripping off of the stencil. Then you have to take one of those little sharp cutting knives and remove any parts of the stencil that has stayed behind. Like the center of the “e” or the “h” or the “g”. I spent a bit of time with a sharp knife, cleaning up a couple of bleeds that happened when I was lifting these little pieces.
Suddenly you have a project that is starting to take shape. But we are still not finished. Once that is done you take your sandpaper and gently sand the text to get a destressed look. I did not do it very hard, and probably would not do it given the choice again.
Next step is to grab some cloth out of the silver bucket and to start waxing your project. The wax smells strong and when finished it feels like it has brought out the color of the wood and leaves a nice shine on the project.
Last but not least, I got to play with the power tools. Actually, it was not working well for me so I had a friend help me. I had to screw in handles on the side or the project and holding and trying to screw in the little screws is not a one man endeavor.
Finally, I have a finished project. All I have to do is put their stamp on the back of the tray and I am done. I love this kind of activity and I hope we get to go back there again next year. However somewhere in-between I would like to go back on my own and do a 3 hour project, where there is a bit more involved. Below is the project that I would like to create next time around.
Since our class was a 2 hour project this was not an option for me, but I love the idea of building a charcuterie tray for myself.
I am grateful to our decision makers that they chose this venue again for our staff retreat. It is fun and you get to walk away with something of your choice. Added to that we ended off our day with lunch at a local restaurant. From there I headed to the day care to pick up my little man and have some Luka time. Overall I give the day a 10 out of 10.
If you have a Board & Brush near you, I would encourage you to check it out and see if there is something you may want to do. And a shout out to our local Wellington team, who are efficient, helpful, encouraging and super organized. They were awesome.
Thank you for joining us, 30 Minutes in the Life is a circle blog and we have some very talented photographers in the group. I always love looking at the sneak peaks and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what she have for you this month April White Photography is up next, and I look forward to seeing what she has to share.
Posted on March 28, 2022
Just a heads up – this post is more than 30 Minutes. There was way to much going on on my time out.
We have a wee bit of Irish in our bloodline. My grandmother was born in Halifax, Yorkshire. Her father Michael Nolan, was born in York, Yorkshire of Irish Immigrants. My great grandparents emigrated to South Africa where my mother was born, as was I and my children. However, I do hold onto that tiny bit of Irish history.
It was St Patrick’s day, and so we dragged out Luka’s “My first St Patrick’s Day” bib and headed to the local parade. We grabbed some starters at a local restaurant, some beers and Guinness and family time until the parade started. I have to confess when I go to a parade like this, I honestly expect to hear and see all things Irish. Sadly I was disappointed. Green beads, green outfits and loud hooting does not make it Irish. The parade was not great and so I spent more time people watching, which seemed a lot more interesting.
I needed a low key photo for my 52 Frames project so the two images that you see in black and white were my choices for my low key images. I eventually decided to submit the image of the young lady.
Here are some images from the St Patrick’s Day outing.
The wind picked up, the dust was blowing everywhere, Luka was tired and getting dust in his eyes and Amy was getting stressed. We tried to find a seat at a restaurant and they took forever, and then only gave a seat for 2. He wandered off to try and find out if he could seat four. While we were waiting for the table, the police opened the cross roads, and so we abandoned the table and crossed the road heading back towards our car. Richard did not want to leave with all the traffic so we wandered down the road, and came across an outdoor Italian restaurant playing Irish music and offering corned beef and cabbage. So we hung out there for a while and had another beer. Just before we finished it started spitting, so we packed up and headed to the car as quickly as possible, each of us agreeing that we were glad that the parade was over and vowing we were not getting caught again next year. I needed Irish music, lilting laughter and good beer. Perhaps there will be another time. Or perhaps, we can plan to visit Ireland.
Thank you for joining us, 30 Minutes in the Life is a circle blog and we have some very talented photographers in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month, Kristina Dominianni is up next, and I look forward to seeing what she has to share.
Posted on February 28, 2022
How did we get to the end of February already. Clearly time is flying. At least I am having fun. As I think I mentioned sometime back, I kind of lost my desire and energy to go out and take photographs. I am trying to be a bit more determined, but Mr Luka is taking up a good deal of my time. Three weeks ago when I had him I thought I would take him for a walk. That wasn’t the worst experience, but it could have gone a lot better. I did not get the images I would have got on my own. In all honesty I just wanted to get out and walk. We are going to revisit this option, perhaps in the coming weeks but maybe a smaller park.
Two weeks ago, with some determination, I took my camera along. I packed in my zoom lens, my wide angle lens. my 28-135mm and my Lensbaby sweet 35. I did not pull any of them out at the house, but when I came to leave I weighed up going to the shop or going to the sunset. The sunset won. I was able to see some “sunset” friends again and just relax and laugh and enjoy the moment. Honestly you just have to grab that “happy moment” where you can
I always like to stop at the “pond” first because very often I will get nice reflections across the water. This particular evening I was looking for a depth of field image so spent some time playing around with the branches of the tree. Ultimately it was not the image I used .
Heading down to the waters edge I always love silhouettes. Normally I try to get people but there were not too many in the right position.
There are all sorts of critters around at this time of night and I am always on the look out. The picture above was the tail end effect of a duck diving. See two below for the same duck looking at it’s refelction.
I had really got there just before the sun started to set. Added to that there was this thick band of clouds that the sun got behind and stayed for a while.
Fly by’s are always fun and the question is, how many images you can take of birds flying by. If you look at my drive I took about 30. At times the grackles do their murmuration and that is such a treat to watch. They were out this evening but unfortunately not playing in the direct sunset set.
The clouds to the side of the actual sunset were stunning and I kept moving my camera back to them. I hoped that the final sunset would infuse them with color.
Looking directly at the sun as it emerged for a brief second before setting, gave me the opportunity to get this lens reflection.
While the birds were flying by the duck about was playing in the water. At it’s own risk because there are gators hanging out.
I have learned through error, not to walk away when the sun has set, because very often the next 15 minutes could change the outlook of your images. As the sun set below the horizon the sky came alive and the colors were amazing.
Cruising in the sunset takes on a whole new meaning in the Everglades and this guy was hanging out. I was up on the high road looking down on the low road, so I had a better view of the gator paddling along in the water. I kept thinking “lady if that gator comes up where you are sitting at the very edge of the water, some parts of you are going to be missing”. Lucky for her he did not swim her way, but these guys are lurkers and quickly slip under water. I would not want to be the one sitting on the edge of the water at sunset.
My friend and I hung out chatting until the very end of the sky show and were super glad that we had done so.
I love the beautiful sunsets that I am privileged to view in South Florida. The Everglades is out west location for doing that. I can do it from home but there are trees in the way so it is very much sky and no horizon. The Everglades gives me the view of the setting sun and that is a real treat for me.
Thank you for joining us, 30 Minutes in the Life is a circle blog and we have some very talented photographers in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month, Lupji Photography is up next, and I am hoping that he shares his new addition to his family. Congratulations to you and your family.
Posted on January 31, 2022
Welcome back to 2022 and a new year of 30 Minutes in the Life. Last year we took a sabbatical for the last few months. We were all worn out and, to be honest, I had a new baby in the family and he was taking up a good deal of my time. We have been so excited to watch Luka grow over the past few months and I have been equally blessed that my daughter has allowed me to spend so much time with him. He is such a sweet boy and he brought light into my soul after an incredibly tough year.
But January came around and once again, I wanted to start the year on a positive and healthy note. I was back to work and Friday’s are my only day to play. I wanted to go and walk but I also wanted to see Luka, so I suggested to Amy that we meet at the Japanese Gardens and take a walk through them and have lunch at the gardens. That way I get out to walk and I see my boy as well.
The added bonus was that I went back to her house so that I could watch him while she did some studying.
The Japanese Gardens are beautiful and the weather temperature was perfect so we were able to walk through them and not feel like a bit drip. However, it was a little dull and overcast. If I were walking by myself I would take about 2 hours to meander the gardens but I forgot that I am walking with Amy the road runner. We zoomed through the park at a super fast rate. Apparently she was hungry and wanted to get to the lunch stop 🙂
So here are some images from Morikami Japanese Gardens.
My 30 minutes technically ends here but I am going to continue with our walk through the gardens.
If you haven’t taken a walk in nature for a while, I would certainly encourage you to do so. As we head into another covid filled year, getting outside into the fresh air is a good way to restore harmony to your soul, and to just refresh in general.
30 Minutes in the Life is a circle blog and we have some very talented photographers in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month. Ashley Soeder Photography is up next. She is sharing a delightful new puppy so I can’t wait to see what images she has to share. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Webpage or Instagram page. Definitely check out her incredible art.