Abandoned…

While traveling around Northern Alabama, I encounter many abandoned buildings–homes, businesses, barns.  Some of the buildings obviously lack love and care, and passersby watch them slowly fall to pieces. It seems time stands still for some other buildings since there are no visible signs of neglect (other than overgrown grass and bushes).

I often wonder why these buildings are empty and alone and what stories they have to tell.  This intrigue led me to create an “Abandoned” swap in the “A Thousand Words” group on swap-bot.  It was for this swap that Midteacher sent the package I received yesterday.

She sent several photos of two abandoned buildings.

"Abandoned Building" by DBW aka Midteacher

“Abandoned Building” by DBW aka Midteacher. Edited in Pixlr with canvas overlay.

This is a building Midteacher passed on her way home [from work].  She loved how it was falling apart.  In her note she wrote that “the roof caved in from last winter’s heavy snow and then, sadly, it was torn down this summer.”

Here’s another slightly different view:

Abandoned Building

“Abandoned Building” by DBW aka Midteacher. Edited in Pixlr.

Here’s an old barn found on her friend’s property:

"Old Barn" by DBW aka Midteacher. Edited in Pixlr.

“Old Barn” by DBW aka Midteacher. Edited in Pixlr.

And here’s a view of the silo:

"Silo" by DBW aka Midteacher. Edited in Pixlr.

“Silo” by DBW aka Midteacher. Edited in Pixlr.

I sent SilverD, my “send to” partner, a notecard featuring an older photo and a building we pass three times a week, but finally stopped to photograph a month or two ago.

"Abandoned on a Corner"

“Abandoned on a Corner”

SilverD thinks the building was an old store or saloon. It also looks like a home with many additions. I’m not sure.

Here’s the altered photo in black and white:

"Abandoned on a Corner"

“Abandoned on a Corner”

Its neighbor is also abandoned.

"Abandoned's Neighbor"

“Abandoned’s Neighbor”

Though perhaps not as abandoned.

I have a whole collection of “abandoned buildings” buried on my computer. Perhaps, when life slows down a little, I’ll take the time to pull a few and share them.  Maybe, by then, I will know some of the stories. 😉

Until next time…

 

Autumn Happy Mail

I hope you’re not tired of reading about autumn, because I received a bit of autumn happy mail today and I have to share!

Swap-bot’s Midteacher sent a swap in an autumn-themed envelope with a gorgeous autumn card and photo.  Autumn was not the theme of the swap, but it is not unusual for swappers to send extras that the receiver will enjoy. Of course, my love for the season is no secret.

I will share the swap items tomorrow, but for today, let’s just take a look at the envelope and the autumn extras.  Here’s the pretty mail art:

Zentangled Leaves by Midteacher

Zentangled Leaves by Midteacher

Just seeing this envelope makes me smile.

On the inside was a card designed with one of Midteacher’s photos and embellished with paper, ribbon, and other items.

Fall Card made by Midteacher

Fall Card made by DBW aka Midteacher

I mentioned Midteacher’s card-making techniques in a post earlier this month.

She wrote a special thank you note inside which made me feel warm, fuzzy, and appreciated.

She adhered a little photo  inspiration to the inside of the card:

Photo Inspiration by Midteacher

Photo Inspiration by DBW aka Midteacher

And added a photo featuring her favorite autumn mug and a crunchy, frosty pile of autumn leaves:

"Leaves and Tea," Photo by DBW/Diane aka Midteacher (swap-bot)

“Leaves and Tea,” Photo by Diane aka Midteacher

Now, I have to make a decision: Should these go on my “Fall Wall” or should they be used in my journaling?  Maybe, they should go on the wall until I’m ready to use them in a journal. Hmmm… I’ll figure it out later. For now, I’ll just enjoy the little happy-makers.

“See ya” tomorrow…

 

Autumn Has Flowers Too!

At the mention of spring, we imagine an explosion of blossoms in many, many colors. At the mention of autumn, we think of the changing of trees.  But autumn has flowers too, and that was the point of the photo postcard swap in which my penfriend Beckra and I participated.

On a walk in the woods, Beckra captured Ladies’ Tresses which is a kind of orchid.  She writes that it is “great that when autumn brings some relief from Arkansas heat, it also brings flowers. We call it a second spring.”

Ladies' Tresses, photo by Rebecca R. (aka Beckra)

“Second Spring.” Ladies’ Tresses, photo by Rebecca R. (aka Beckra)

She points out that in this photo the blooms have not fully unfurled.

When I was at the Nashville Zoo last month, there were flowers everywhere.  In addition to some “still flowering” rose bushes and hydrangeas, there were mums everywhere (I think they’re mums).

"Mums the Word"

“Mums the Word”

And there’s always, always something blooming on our beautiful campus. This caught my eye while I was having a very rare moment to chit-chat with my friend, Meli.

Campus Bloom, iPhone Photo

Campus Bloom, iPhone Photo

I was grateful to see some pink dancing with the oranges, yellows, and reds of autumn, but I decided on “typical” autumn colors for the swap.  I played around with a couple of photos in the iColorama app and ended it up with way too many versions, so my hubby and son helped me select some of the edits. From their selection, I sent three or four to Beckra. [Click an image for a closer look]

 

“Behind the Glass” was inspired by an autumn photo Beckra sent to me.  “Van Gogh” is my favorite of the set, probably because he’s my favorite Impressionist.  “Nautilus” and “Ray” tie for second.

The advantage of a late fall here in Northern Alabama is that everything is still so beautiful and brilliant, but I have a feeling that is going to change with the blink of an eye, so I’m pretty sure this is going to be my last autumn post for the year. Until next year, I’ll just enjoy this year’s photos. 😉

Fierce Woman: “Ride, Sally Ride!”

Some time ago, I coordinated a “Fierce Woman” photo swap.  A fierce woman, for the purpose of the swap, was defined as: a mover and shaker in science, music, politics, history, art, dance, theatre, literature, activism (etc.) who inspires other women to strive for excellence.  Participants had to find a quote by a fierce woman and capture (or choose from their collection) a complementary photo.  Tynkerbelle aka Zoey aka Peppie, shared a shot from a launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  She appropriately paired the photo with a quote by Dr. Sally Ride (1951-2012) who was the first American woman in space (1983).

Sally Ride by Tynkerbelle aka Zoey Rayne aka Peppie Selders

“All Adventures…” by Tynkerbelle aka Zoey Rayne aka Peppie Selders

Being a “wordsy” type of woman with a son who is both “wordsy” and “sciencey,” I have to keep up with space, astronauts, and a lot of other science stuff that usually holds my attention for only a few minutes at a time.  I enjoyed being able to share Zoey’s photo with him and teaching him about Dr. Ride, but I learned a little something myself.  While I knew Dr. Ride was a physicist and (of course) an astronaut, I did not realize that she also had an undergraduate degree in English.  Of course, that did my English professor heart a world of good! I tell students all the time that a degree in English can place them on the path to any career they desire.  Dr. Sally Ride is evidence–with a degree in English, one can soar!

All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary.

I keep the photo inspiration on my desk as a reminder that it is natural to be afraid when I venture into new territory, but I shouldn’t allow fear to keep me from moving in the direction of my dreams.

What’s your favorite “fierce woman” quote? Share it in the comments, and maybe, I’ll make some photo inspiration with “your” quote.

Series Two: Children’s Book Illustration Postcards 6-10

As promised, I’m back with more children’s book illustration postcards–swaps 6-10.  The postcards below are from various parts of the world and include some of my favorite characters and/or themes–teddy bears, Classic Pooh, Moomin, and Alice in Wonderland.  I was very pleased to be introduced to Rosalie and Truffle (the pink pig and the brown boar–see public swap #7).  Amazon’s description:

Love at first sight does exist! Rosalie and Truffle fall in love when they meet under an apple tree. But their well-meaning friends and relatives discourage them from meeting again. As time goes by, and Rosalie and Truffle improve their lifestyles with yoga and dancing, they realize that neither material growth nor physical perfection guarantees happiness. At last they return to the apple tree and reunite.

Rosalie and Truffle, Truffle and Rosalie is an endearing story of love and trust, with wonderful illustrations. And the story is narrated from both points of view: flip the book over to read the story from the other perspective. This is a charming gift book, perfect for Valentine’s Day or for any special occasion.

Aside from their story of self-discovery and love, they remind me of strawberry and chocolate ice cream.  Yum!

BLC PC #6: From Swededreams (USA): Happy Birthday, Kirsten. From the American Girls Series. Kirsten and her friends traded scraps of cloth so everyone could make a colorful design on a square of white muslin. The designs they made from the bits of cloth slowly grew in their hands the way wild violence bloomed on the prairie. Hallmark.

BLC PC #6: From Swededreams (USA): Happy Birthday, Kirsten. From the American Girls Series. Kirsten and her friends traded scraps of cloth so everyone could make a colorful design on a square of white muslin. The designs they made from the bits of cloth slowly grew in their hands the way wild violence bloomed on the prairie. Hallmark.

 

Public #6: From Mollypop (USA)--From Pleasant Lands 1936. Illustrators: A. Gladys Peck and Eleanor Osborn Eadie

Public PC #6: From Mollypop (USA)–From Pleasant Lands 1936. Illustrators: A. Gladys Peck and Eleanor Osborn Eadie

BLC PC#7: From Eloise (Mexico)--The Family from One End Street, 2004. Cover illustration by Eve Garnett. Puffin.

BLC PC#7: From Eloise (Mexico)–The Family from One End Street, 2004. Cover illustration by Eve Garnett. Puffin.

 

Public #7: From Am-Sophie (Germany): Rosalie and Truffle by Katja Reider. Illustration by Jutta Bucker

Public PC #7: From Am-Sophie (Germany): Rosalie and Truffle by Katja Reider. Illustration by Jutta Bucker

 

BLC PC #8: From Ladybug (Canada)--The Tiny Seed, 1987, by Eric Carle.

BLC PC #8: From Ladybug (Canada)–The Tiny Seed, 1987, by Eric Carle.

 

Public #8: From Milkiss (Korea)--Moomin Characters

Public PC #8: From Milkiss (Korea)–Moomin Characters

 

BLC PC#9: From Sarah (USA)--Heidi by Johanna Spyri, 1956. Cover illustration by Cecil Leslie. Puffin.

BLC PC#9: From Sarah (USA)–Heidi by Johanna Spyri, 1956. Cover illustration by Cecil Leslie. Puffin.

 

Public #9: From Jennifer (USA). From Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Illustration by George Soper. "At this the whole pack rose up into the air, and came flying down upon her."

Public PC #9: From Jennifer (USA). From Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Illustration by George Soper. “At this the whole pack rose up into the air, and came flying down upon her.”

 

BLC PC #10: From AmyD (USA)--Classic Pooh, "HMS Piglet," A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard

BLC PC #10: From AmyD (USA)–Classic Pooh, “HMS Piglet,” A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard

 

Public PC #10: From Widelo123 (USA)--From the cover of Hello, Mallory. Baby-sitters Club #14, 1991.

Public PC #10: From Widelo123 (USA)–From the cover of Hello, Mallory. Baby-sitters Club #14, 1991.

Many of the participants in this “new” series of children’s book illustration swaps also participated when Marjan hosted the swaps.  They are so appreciative of the swaps’ return and that makes hosting them extra pleasurable.  Thanks, Marjan, for laying a strong foundation; thanks swappers, for joining in and spreading postcard happiness!

I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with swap #11.

Until then…enjoy these!

Series Two: Children’s Book Illustration Postcards 1-5

Back in June I posted a five-part series on the children’s book illustration postcards I’d received through 122 consecutive weeks of swaps hosted by Marjan.  She ended the series in December 2015.   I really missed the swaps, so as I reviewed my blank CBI postcards “crying out” for new homes, I knew it was time to start the swaps again.  Marjan gave her blessing and the swaps began (again) in July.  I host the swap every two weeks–in the “Book Lovers Congregate” group (BLC) on swap-bot and as a public swap (which means any swap-bot member can join as long as she/he meets swap criteria).  I hope to eliminate the public swap eventually and only host in the group, but so far, the public swap participant roster is three times longer than the group’s.  For now, it’s been fun hosting in two places.  Besides, I have more than 300 blank children’s book illustration postcards to share with the world; I plan to host the swap until I run out of postcards…or steam.

We just completed the 10th swap.  Here are postcards from the first five swaps–with illustrations of books from Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States of America (USA).

BLC Swap #1: From Ksenia (Israel)--

BLC PC #1: From Ksenia (Israel)–“What’s the Story?” Ksenia found this postcard at an illustration exhibition. There was no story attached, but it feels like a children’s book illustration, so it counts. 😉

Public PC #1: From Marloucat (Netherlands)--De Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson and Avel Scheffler.

Public PC #1: From Marloucat (Netherlands)–De Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson and Avel Scheffler.

BLC PC #2: From Owlsinathens (Vienna)--Findus flyttar ut (Findus Moves Out), by Sven Nordqvist.

BLC PC #2: From Owlsinathens (Vienna)–Findus flyttar ut (Findus Moves Out), by Sven Nordqvist.

Public #2: From Pikkis (Finland)--From Nu skall har bli andra bullar by Gunilla Hansson.

Public PC #2: From Pikkis (Finland)–From Nu skall har bli andra bullar by Gunilla Hansson.

BLC PC #3 From PeggyO (USA)--From The Children's Own Readers. Book One, 1929. Illustration by Marguerite Davis.

BLC PC #3 From PeggyO (USA)–From The Children’s Own Readers. Book One, 1929. Illustration by Marguerite Davis.

Public #3: From Jeepermom (USA)--From the Tale of Benjamin Bunny, 1904. Peter drops the onions he has gathered.

Public PC #3: From Jeepermom (USA)–From The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, 1904. Peter drops the onions he has gathered. “Presently Peter let the picket-handkerchief go again.” Illustration by Beatrix Potter. The World of Peter Rabbit.

BLC PC #4: From DebR (United Kingdom)--Cinderella, 1964. Series 606-D-Well Loved Tales. By Vera Southgate, Illustrated by Eric Winter

BLC PC #4: From DebR (United Kingdom)–Cinderella, 1964. Series 606-D-“Well Loved Tales.” By Vera Southgate. Illustration by Eric Winter

Public #4b: From Karen07 (USA)--Something to Do, 1968. Cover Illustration by Shirley Hughes. Puffin.

Public PC #4: From Karen07 (USA)–Something to Do, 1968. Cover illustration by Shirley Hughes. Puffin.

Public #4: From Karen07 (USA)--The BFG by Roald Dahl, 2007. Cover Illustration by Quentin Blake. Puffin.

Public PC #4b: From Karen07 (USA)–The BFG by Roald Dahl, 2007. Cover illustration by Quentin Blake. Puffin.

BLC PC #5: From Jeepermom (USA)--From the Tale of Peter Rabbit, 1902. Mrs. Rabbit in the woods.

BLC PC #5: From Jeepermom (USA)–From The Tale of Peter Rabbit, 1902. Mrs. Rabbit in the woods. “Old Mrs. Rabbit took a basket and her umbrella, and when through the wood to the baker’s.” Illustration by Beatrix Potter. The World of Peter Rabbit.

Public #5: From Karen07 (USA)--Street Fair by Marjorie Fischer, 1949. Cover Illustration by S. Dyson. Puffin.

Public PC #5: From Karen07 (USA)–Street Fair by Marjorie Fischer, 1949. Cover illustration by S. Dyson. Puffin.

Public #5b: From Karen07 (USA)--Avalanche, 1959. Cover illustration by Alice Evers.

Public PC #5b: From Karen07 (USA)–Avalanche, 1959. Cover illustration by Alice Evers.

That’s it for now.  Tune in tomorrow for swaps six to ten.

Ciao!

Photo Inspirations!

A few years ago, I began a series of  photo swaps that required pairing a photo with an appropriate quote and making the quote part of the photo. My partner for the recent round, in October, was Diane, Midteacher on swap-bot. We swap quite regularly, so if you have been following Pics and Post for a while, you may have seen her work many times before.

Midteacher sent three quote photos.  She used the first photo, captured on a morning walk, to make a card:

"Morning" by Diane, swap-bot: Midteacher

“Morning,” photo by Diane (swap-bot: Midteacher)

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive–to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.

Oops. Forgive her typo on the word “precious.”  She’s still working on getting the crop right with her photos. Digital photography is pretty tricky when it comes to printing on standard 4×6 paper.  I created templates in Pages (for Mac) and Photoshop Essentials to avoid losing critical parts of photos or having them cut off at the edge.

I’m intrigued by Diane’s card-making techniques.  She typically uses card stock, torn paper, fabric, metal, paint, metallic paints, and other embellishments.  As soon as I have time, I’m going to work with some of the tips she shared with me to make my own unique photo cards.

Diane shot this photo at an apple orchard:

"Apple Picking," photo by DBW (swap-bot: Midteacher)

“Apple Picking,” photo by Diane (swap-bot: Midteacher)

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.  –Buddha

And this one on another foggy morning:

"Foggy Morning," photo by Diane (swap-bot: Midteacher)

“Foggy Morning,” photo by Diane (swap-bot: Midteacher)

Believe you can and you’re halfway there.  –Theodore Roosevelt

I’m pretty sure integrating quotations is my favorite thing to do with photos. I sent Diane at least three photo inspirations; I’ll share them in posts later this month, so keep your eyes open.

If you need more inspirational photos, head to  P.H. Fitzgerald’s 365 Polaroid Quotes on Flickr. You’ll especially love his album if you like vintage Polaroid shots.  His work makes me want to find the Polaroid camera I know is buried in a box somewhere and put it to work.

Until tomorrow…

Found! More Monochrome Photos

While I was looking through computer files yesterday, I stumbled upon photos from two monochrome swaps I was supposed to blog about way back in 2015! Yep. Last year’s “should-have-blogged” list is even longer than this year’s, but I have no plans to “catch-up” on those posts.

The photos below are from two swaps for the “A Thousand Words” group on Swap-bot: Clouds in Monochrome and Trees in Monochrome.  My partner for both swaps was Tynkerbelle aka Zoey Rayne aka Peppie Selders of Captured Adventures.  Since so much time has gone by, I don’t remember much (read: anything) about the photos, so I’ll just share them and hopefully you can figure out what I don’t remember.

This is my favorite photo of the bunch:

"The Horizon" by Zoey Rayne

“The Horizon” by Tynkerbelle aka Zoey Rayne aka Peppie

Zoey took a creative approach to the next photo–man-made clouds from a “factory.”  While growing up in Algiers–Westbank New Orleans–we could see the emissions from the factories in Chalmette, Louisiana which was across the Mississippi River.  As a really little kid, I always imagined that’s what clouds were made from.

"Man-made 'Clouds'" by Zoey Rayne

“Man-made ‘Clouds'” by Zoey Rayne aka Peppie

Now that I know better, I’m a bit suspicious about what those emissions did to our environment and our health. More than once, those companies had to fork over dollars to the residents because of mishaps that released dangerous toxins into the air.  Where’s Erin Brockovich when you need her?

And now, we turn from factories to trees.  Here’s an original tree photo:

“Zoey’s Tree,” Original, Photo by Tynkerbelle aka Zoey Rayne aka Peppie

And here’s the monochrome edit.

Tree in Monochrome by Zoey

“Zoey’s Tree in Red,” Photo by Tynkerbelle aka Zoey Rayne aka Peppie

I wish I knew more about these photos. Perhaps, there’s a note or letter somewhere that gives more details, but there’s no way I’m tackling the giant 2015 box of mail.  Not tonight.  Not anytime soon.  For now, let’s just enjoy the pretty.

Autumn’s Appeal: Photo Postcards

I’m not sure where autumn is hanging out, but it certainly hasn’t made its way to Northern Alabama.  I’m finally seeing a little color in the leaves, but I’m still seeing way too much green for November.

Back in September, I’d had high hopes for the usually brilliant autumn, so I set up a postcard swap to celebrate the season.  By the time the swap deadline loomed, autumn was still pretty scarce in this part of the USA, so to uphold my end of the swap, I had to send my partner an older photo.

I shot this photo late last autumn.  I don’t even remember the circumstances, but as I was scrolling through photos, I was drawn to the burgundy leaves.  I also like how this photo looks “right” no matter which way I turn it.  🙂

Autumn's Sympathy

Autumn’s Appeal

Fortunately, I can always count on my swap-bot friends to deliver.  My penfriend Beckra, shared her “experiment” with photographing through a rainy window with gratitude for autumn colors on rainy grey days.

Rainy Autumn Day by Beckra

“Rainy-Day Autumn” by Beckra

This photo is so gorgeously abstract!  This shot actually inspired an edit of one of my own photos for another autumn swap (I’ll share that in a few days).

As I was decluttering my desk two days ago, I found a photo Beckra captured last autumn.

“Luminous Autumn”

Doesn’t this one look like a painting?  I appreciate how Beckra captured the multicolored awesomeness of autumn in both photos.

I was finally able to get a bit of this year’s autumn about a week ago when we visited the Nashville Zoo to celebrate the birthday of one of my little one’s friends.  I found these beautiful leaves as we were exiting the zoo.

Tri-Color Autumn

Finally Autumn!

The zoo was decked out with pumpkins, mums, and other fall decor, but none could compete with the artistry of Nature being herself.

Until next time…

Happy World Post Day!

I just found this gorgeous postcard in a stack of mail that came while I was away at a conference. Amy, Eclectonote on Swap-bot, sent this postcard for a World Post Day swap.  I almost forgot about World Post Day! Gasp!

Mailbox

Mailbox

The swap called for sharing postal-related postcards.  I

My “send-to” partner, Maria–who lives in Moscow–probably won’t receive her cards for a while, but when she does I hope she loves the postcard featuring the vintage postal boxes in our campus post office.  When I returned as a faculty member to my alma mater four years ago I was tickled pink that the mailboxes I knew as a student were still there!

Vintage Post Office Boxes, Photo by Me!

Vintage Post Office Boxes, Photo by Me!

My box was #57, so I made sure to include it in the shot.

World Post Day is celebrated on October 9.  According to the Universal Postal Union, its purpose is to “bring awareness to the Post’s role in the everyday lives of people and businesses, as well as its contribution to global social and economic development.” You can find out more on the UPI’s website.

I have a busy Sunday ahead of me, but that won’t stop me from taking a few minutes to write some happy mail!  Will you join me?