Animals in Monochrome

Can you believe January is o-v-e-r?! Didn’t the year just begin yesterday?

Now that the pesky start of the semester out of the way, maybe, I can make time for other important things, like blog posts, poetry, and photography.

It’s been months since I shared one of my monochrome swaps.  The latest–completed earlier this month–was ‘animals in monochrome” in the “A Thousand Words” group on swap-bot.  Grstamping, my partner, sent an envelope full of black and white goodies that someone quickly claimed for his collection of animal photos. Seriously. I was left with the note about the photos. I was “allowed” to scan them, at least.

Grstamping has been focusing on photographing animals lately, so she had a lot to share.  She sent a number of aquatic animals– [Click an image for a closer look]

And birds–

And cute rodents–

Squirrel

“Black Squirrel” by Grstamping

Chipmunk

“Chipmunk” by Grstamping

I’m torn between the chipmunk and the octopus tentacles as my favorite.  It’s hard not to love “cute,” but the tentacles are interesting.

I shared photos of our sweet-natured donkey and horse, Esau and Barnabas.  They’re always game for a photo opportunity.

Esau in Black and White

“Say Heehaw, Esau”

Barnabas in Black and White

“Smile Pretty for the Camera”

“Animals” was actually the seventh swap in the monochrome series hosted in our little group.  I’ll get around to posting “Trees in Monochrome” and “Clouds in Monochrome” eventually.

If you want to see the earlier monochrome posts, click the links below:

Happy Last Day of January!

Mount Fuji and the Goddess

Mount Fuji

“Princess Tatsuta (Tatsuta-hime),” from A Collection of Takehisa Yumeji’s Pictures in Woodblock Print (Takehisa Yumeji mock-hanga she), about 1935. Color woodblock, published by Kyoto Hanga-in (O-Edo edition). The British Museum.

My penfriend, Beckra, who is putting me to shame in the area of snail mail, sent this postcard with a holiday greeting and update on her academic life.  She included this with well wishes for the new year, referencing the Japanese legend that it is a sign of good fortune to come if one dreams of Mount Fuji at the turn of the year.

Beckra also noted “how the woman’s clothing has its own mountain-like monumentality…” I see that. Do you?

I wanted to know more about the print itself, so I did my own mini-research on the print.

The inscription reads:

Last year the rice was dear, and we lacked for our daily food; this year the rice is cheap and the farmers are suffering. For Princess Tatsuta. Poem by Du Fu.

This is from the curator’s comments:

Tatsuta-hime, Shinto goddess of autumn and the harvest, is manifested as one of Yumeji’s svelte modern beauties in a high-waisted kimono with long swinging sleeves, posing before a distant, barren Mt Fuji. The woodblock print is based on a two-fold screen of the same title (Yumeji Kyodo Bijutsukan), painted in 1931, which may have been intended as a pair with ‘Ode to Mt Haruna’ (‘Haruna sanpu’, 1930). This last depicted a similarly dressed woman as Sao-hime, goddess of spring, standing in front of a landscape of Mt Haruna, the site for Yumeji’s planned Institute of Industrial Arts (Sangyo Bijutsu Kenkyujo). Both screens were exhibited at the Shinjuku Mitsukoshi Department Store just before Yumeji went on an extended trip to USA and Europe (May 1931 to September 1933).

The artist is quoted as saying about Princess Tatsuta: ‘She’s the crowning woman of my life. She’s Miss Nippon! (Takahashi Yoji, ‘Bessatsu Taiyo 20: Takehisa Yumeji’ (Autumn 1977), no. 116, p. 105.)’ The inscription is an adaption of lines by the Tang poet Du Fu (712-70), dedicated by Yumeji to Tatsuta-hime, and can be translated as follows: ‘Last year the rice was dear, and we lacked for our daily food; this year the rice is cheap and the farmers are suffering (Takeda Michitaro, ‘et al’. ‘Nihon no meiga 9: Kiyokata, Shoen, Yumeji’, Tokyo, Kodansha, 1977, [Yumeji] no. 20, text p. 97).’ The print is from a posthumous edition.

Literature:
Smith, Lawrence. ‘The Japanese Print Since 1900’. London, British Museum Press, 1983, no. 63a.

There are many stories packed into this beautiful postcard.

 

Giddy for Planner Goodies

Teachers and professors love their students and their jobs, but our returning from winter “break” is rarely easy.  The “vacation” is less of a break and more of an opportunity to “catch up” and plan for the last half of the academic year somehow, along with the holiday preparations and festivities.  I wasn’t looking forward to Week 1. I needed more time. To think. To just be.

Amazingly, I got through the week and ended a lot stronger than I thought I would–ahead of the game for Week 2.

What made returning to work a little brighter?  A wonderful planner package from a friend/colleague, Cy. Just seeing this box stuffed with goodies made me giddy.

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Planner Box Put Together by Cy

I didn’t go through the box carefully right away. I wanted to wait till I could take my time and appreciate the items one by one.  After a much-needed two-hour nap Friday afternoon, I emptied the box and all the goodies.

Interested in a closer look?

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Paper for Planners

Cy had this paper cut for use in her planners. Because I liked it, she shared some (read: a lot) with me.  Some of the paper has now been punched for my 7-ring classic planner and my disc-bound planner.

Sticky Things!

Sticky Things!

One can never have enough sticky notes or washi tape for planning.  I don’t know where most of these came from, but I know the washi tape sample and the washi tape (story tape) roll came from PaperPlusCloth. Cy had the “Dream Big” post-its cut for use in planners. The tiny size works for me!

Christmas!

Christmas!

I’m ready for Christmas 2016 with these goodies! The package was originally intended as a Christmas gift, but the winter break was too short and too wet, so we could never find a time to get together.

Notecards!

“Girlfriends,” by Ty Wilson

These “Girlfriends” notecards were designed by Our Own Image, a company that is no longer doing business. I’m a little sad about that. I like their work and mission to create “products to celebrate life and family events.”  I’ll have to give a closer look at the notecard another time.

Planner Clips, Labels, and Elegant Notes

Planner Clips, Labels, and Elegant Notes

No planner is complete without planner clips, quick note sheets, and labels for quotes and motivational phrases.  The gold glittery planner clip was made by Cy. The yellow and gold planner clips were made by Bumble Bee Mom Designs.

Pouch

Pouch

I love having lots of cute pouches to keep the “little things” together, especially since I do some planning and a lot of postcard and letter writing away from home. It’s nice to have pretty pouches for the supplies I keep with me.

Pink and Purple!

Pink and Purple!

Let’s just say, “love!”

Foxy Foxes

Foxy Foxes

I’ve really been “digging” cute foxes lately, so I really appreciate Cy for including these in the box. They fit perfectly in my planners.

Foxes in My Planner!

Foxes in My Planner!

I forgot to include the mini fox clips in the “fox” photo, so I’m showing them to you with a peek at how I used the other fox items.  The bags make great planner pockets.  The planner charm pictured was also made by Cy. She gave me that for my birthday.  🙂

"Sweet Girl" by Cy

“Sweet Girl” by Cy

Cy has gotten into making washi tape “dolls” for her planner. I covet every one of them so far. She made a glamorous doll all decked in purple for me last semester (I still have to give her hair), but these are copies of another of her dolls that I l-o-v-e. I will be cutting these out and making bookmarks and embellishments with them. The copies do little justice to these little girls made with pen/marker,  washi tape, and torn natural papers.  They are A-dorable!

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“The Complete Artist’s Way”

Last but far from least, Cy included a collection of Julia Cameron’s three Artist’s Way books in one-volume.  She had to stop me from buying The Artist’s Way several times, assuring me she had a copy in her storage she no longer needed.  I wasn’t expecting a brand new book still wrapped in plastic!  I suspect she never made it to her storage, but I’m looking forward to this journey!

I’m already having fun with every item in the box. I’ve punched the papers, list pads, and notes for my Arc and my DayTimer. You see (above) the foxes are having their own kind of fun.  I have too beautiful journals for my Artist’s Way journey.  I’m looking forward to playing more.

Journals!

Journals!

I’ve been a “planner” since the late ’90s, but somehow dropped the [good] habit after Hurricane Katrina.  I picked it back up last year because I was beginning to forget too many important things. Sticky notes and iCal were not working for me, so I’m happy to be reacquainted with organized planning.

I enjoy my planner and taking the time to plan out my weeks, months, and year.  I add stickers and washi tape and other embellishments because it gives me joy to flip through my planner and see all the pretty. I’m a “minimalist” when it comes to decorating my pages; I need as much space as I can to write everything down.

Just FYI (because I know this matters to planner girls)–I’m using my original leather DayTimer given to me [free] as part of a promotion the company was doing in the late 90’s.  The quality is simply way above par.

Thanks, Dr. Cy for the happy package of goodies and for making the first week back a bit brighter!

[Note: Sorry about the quality of the pics. Phone pics in dim lighting don’t always work–especially if you refuse to use the flash].

Nature Photo Challenge: Pacific Sunset

We’ve reached the final day of the nature photo challenge.  I’m a bit proud of myself.  Seven blog posts in seven days! I applaud those of you who blog daily, but blogging every day for a week was quite a feat for me.

I had a little trouble deciding on today’s photo.  A moon shot?  A tree lined path? Another flower? A rainbow peeking out from the clouds? Far too many choices.

Today, I leave you with a sunset, an appropriate end to the challenge.

"Pacific Sunset," July 2005

“Pacific Sunset,” July 2005

This is another photo from Maui. Hubby and I were on a yacht (with others) on an evening tour around the islands of Maui and Oahu before ending at the Maui Ocean Center.  We were graced with this beautiful scene before everything became pitch black over the waters.

The weekend is mere hours away, and I’m dreaming of sunset Friday and a period of rest.

You can find other photos posted for the challenge by clicking the links below:

Until next time…

Nature Photo Challenge: Autumn, of Course

"Falling for Fall," Northern Alabama, November 2015, iPhone Photo

“Falling for Fall,” Northern Alabama, November 2015, iPhone Photo

What’s a nature photo challenge without a nod to my favorite season?  I didn’t shoot very much this past fall.  It rained constantly, it seemed, so I missed most of the brilliance.  This is one of the very few photos I captured.  The reds and browns against the blue sky reeled me in for a closer look.

Here’s an edit of the photo:

"Falling for Fall," Edited in Pixlr

“Falling for Fall,” Edited in Pixlr for iPhone

Click on the links below (or use the previous post button a few times):

Just one more day left for the challenge.  See you tomorrow!

Nature Photo Challenge: Fun with “The Fly”

The Mighty Mississippi, March 2012, New Orleans

“The Muddy Mississippi,” March 2012, New Orleans

Did you expect an up close and personal photo of an insect? Sorry to disappoint. 😀

I captured today’s nature photo at “The Fly” on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon just before the “official” beginning of spring–almost four years ago.

“The Fly,” formally known as “The Riverview,” is the waterfront part of Audubon Park in New Orleans, located behind the Audubon Zoo.  It’s a great place for small gatherings, hanging out, and casual walks.

I played with the photo a bit in PhotoShop and in various iPhone apps.

Here are some of my monochrome favorites:

Mississippi River

“The Muddy Mississippi in Black and White,” New Orleans, March 2012

Purple

“The Muddy Mississippi in Purple,” New Orleans, March 2012

The Fly Dark Sepia

“The Muddy Mississippi in Sepia,” New Orleans, March 2012

I love water and trees, so this nature scene was a given.

Interested in other photos I’ve shared for the nature photo challenge?  Click on the links below (or use the previous post button a few times):

Tune in tomorrow for Day 6’s post.

Ciao!

Nature Photo Challenge: Tiny Pinecones

I woke up just after 2:00 a.m. this “first day back after a holiday” morning with a headache.  As usual, I couldn’t go back to sleep till about 10 minutes before the alarm.  Then, I was hit with nausea.  And one complication after another.  I took a deep breath and started praying.

I know how easy it is for a bad morning to turn into a bad day, and I am not up for a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”  I can’t stop today; I need to smile and get things done.  The nature photo challenge is just the panacea I need.

Today, I share tiny pinecones. I think they’re from the hemlock tree.  These are the cutest! They’re about one half inch to one inch long.

"Miniature Hemlock Pinecones," June 2015

“Miniature Hemlock Pinecones,” Northern Alabama, June 2015

This photo was captured with my iPhone while on a campus walk.

If you want more information on the hemlock tree/pinecones, check out these sites:

To see the other photos I’ve shared for the nature photo challenge click on the links below:

Enjoy!