On Cloud Nine

On Cloud Nine

While window shopping in New York City last week this window caught my attention.

I love the complimentary colors; blue and orange.  The view through the glass adds

a bit of depth and reflection and gives a perception of floating with the clouds.  I’d like to

give credit to the person who created this display, but I unfortunately don’t remember

for certain what store window this was.  My best guess is

Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue.

Graffiti Artist

My family and I visited New York City yesterday.  My husband and sons went to Yankee Stadium to watch Notre Dame play Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl.  My daughter and I stayed in Manhattan and shopped, went to Central Park, took a carriage ride and went to see the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular.  As the day was intended to be a special day with my daughter I did not take one of my “good cameras”.  Before we left home, however, I decided that I just couldn’t survive the day without being able to capture “that moment” that we might stumble upon.  So, I grabbed our little family point and shoot Sony Cybershot and all 7.2 mega pixels that it has to offer.  Of course, there were about 1000 opportunities to capture beautiful moments, but I didn’t have my “real camera” so I relied on the little point and shoot when my daughter allowed me the opportunity.

It actually proved to be quite fun.  She wanted me to take pictures of everything!  And she found such great pleasure in so many things that we took our time and stopped to shoot despite the fact that I knew I had no control over the light entering the camera or how the images would turn out.  I kept thinking to myself that if the images were OK, the saying that I’ve heard so many times; “no wonder you take good pictures, you have a nice camera”, would prove worthless once and for all because taking good pictures is not the act of a camera’s automatic settings.  The camera doesn’t control composition.  Good composition in addition to knowing how to use a camera’s manual settings to control the light, motion, white balance, etc. that are being captured, are skills necessary to successfully make a good photograph.

So, with all of that said, take a look at what I captured with the little point and shoot camera.  More to come over the next couple of days too!

The images below are of Bagdon using spray paint, plaster knives and various other objects to create art.  My daughter and I were mesmerized by his work, the process he used and his talent.  When I asked if he had been formerly trained in the techniques he was using he explained that he was a former graffiti artist.  Simply put, it was really cool!

First Part of the ProcessFirst Part of the Process

Making StarsMaking Stars

Using the Tools to Create DetailsUsing Tools to Create Details

The Finished Piece The Finished Piece – a little crooked as I was holding my daughter’s hand at all times and taking pictures with just one hand – it can be done!

The “quality” of the images is not great as the resolution is so low.  I was happy with the overall outcomes, however.  You get the idea of what Bagdon’s creative process was and how he worked without having to look at completely inadequate compositions.  You might be thinking, “why didn’t she just use her cell phone”.  Well, because I didn’t want to run out of battery.  😉


The Mystery of Self

This image was taken in a small New York City Restaurant.  One wall of the restaurant was covered with a vintage mirror.

Self portrait in vintage mirror.  The quality of the mirror (scratches, bows, etc.) distorts the image and makes it have a mysterious, almost supernatural feel.




The Pigeon at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

During a recent visit to New York City my mother, sister and I took a quick peak inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  When exiting the church, this pigeon was sitting on the steps outside.  It reminded me Mary Poppins.  Do you remember the scene when she takes the children to the city and they meet the poor woman on the steps feeding the birds?

I intentionally shot this so that there was no room to the right of the frame.  I was able to get so close to the pigeon that it seemed as though he was just standing guard and no intention of leaving.  I shot the pigeon at several apertures, but F2.8 was my favorite as it made the stairs just fade away.

His post.

Our Actions Affect Others

We don’t set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people’s hearts. – Pema Chodron

Someone I saw during a recent trip in NYC that I had to stop and photograph. When I asked if I could photograph him, he said “why not?”.

Our Baby is Five

Our baby is 5 years old today!  Even as blessed as we feel about having her in our lives, I have a confession to make.  When we first found out I was pregnant with Gracie we were in shock, me especially.  Sam had just learned how to tie his shoes, we could travel without a diaper bag, or stroller, life was good, and we were running a man to man defense.  I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel of toddler hood, and thinking about the possibility of going back to work part-time.  And then, on our 10th wedding anniversary, with a 7 year old and 5 year old, we found out that I was pregnant.  This wasn’t what we’d planned and we were overwhelmed.  I cried for a couple of weeks.  When I went to the doctor and they placed a huge red AMA* on my chart and read me the list of risk factors associated with pregnancies in women over 35 as though I had committed a serious crime, I began to panic.  I wondered how in the world I would manage this new test of patience, sleep deprivation, etc. with the closest family being 1,000 miles away.  I was being selfish and silly but I didn’t realize that until further into the pregnancy.  This simply wasn’t in my plans and the surprise threw me for a bit.  And then, after much thought and prayer, I realized what a blessing had been bestowed on us and I began to embrace the pregnancy and the thought of the additional love within our family unit.  Once Gracie arrived, there were no more negative thoughts, just awe and wonder and thankfulness.  We, as a family, are thankful each day for this little bundle of personality, sassiness, silliness, attitude, beauty, and love that we were so graciously blessed with 5 years ago.

I mentioned the word blessing a couple of times in the above paragraph.  The name Grace means blessing.  This name was given to our daughter because that is what she was to our family, a blessing.  We like to think, that after my father passed away after an 8 month battle with esophageal cancer, he got to heaven and told God that I needed a daughter for the years to come.  He requested a blessing for us that we didn’t know we needed.

To celebrate Gracie’s birthday my mother, sister, nieces, and I took Gracie to NYC to visit the “American Girl” Doll Store. We had a very fun lunch at “Ellen’s Stardust Diner” at 51st and Broadway.

Trumbls, our waiter at “Ellen’s Stardust Diner” is an aspiring actor. Here he is singing to Gracie. To learn more about “Ellen’s Stardust Diner” and their support of aspiring actors, actresses and musicians, visit: http://www.ellensstardustdiner.com/.

Gracie and her look-alike “American Girl” doll. She had such a special day! If you haven’t already done so, visiting the store is a worthwhile trip for mom’s and daughters. To schedule lunch, dinner, or tea you can visit the “American Girl” store website at: http://store.americangirl.com. There are stores in several major cities.

Birthday breakfast. Gracie decided to sway from the traditional birthday breakfast of Great Grandma’s Kuchen recipe and have pancakes this morning.  She’s a girl who knows what she wants, even when she has a summer cold and an ear infection.

Attempt number two…..


A Man and His Cello in Central Park

There is a woman on Facebook who posts daily, if not multiple times a day, that I love to follow.  Her page is titled “Humans of New York”.  Her photos are fantastic and they totally capture the diversity and uniqueness of humans living in New York City and the surrounding area.

During a recent trip into the city we strolled through Central Park.  This is just one of many fascinating sights and it reminded me so much of “Humans of New York.”

A Butterfly

My children and I visited the American Museum of Natural History in New York City  today.  We each had our personal favorite moment of the day with mine being the butterfly exhibit.  I love butterflies, and in another post I’ll tell you more about that.  But, tonight I am SO tired and am just posting one image to give you a peak into the fun we had.

To learn more about the butterfly exhibit, visit: http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/butterflies/?src=e_h.

One of Many Observed