Archives for the month of: November, 2010

I turned my phone’s ringer off a few days ago and dedicated my holiday weekend to editing six years of photos – hundreds and hundreds of frames of heart shapes that I’ve found as I went about my life. I’ve been up and down memory lane so many times this weekend that my feet feel weary. 213 images made the final cut for possible publication within my very first solo photo book. A title change came along too, but I’m still playing around with that.

The image I choose for the cover was taken at the Phoenix Art Museum nearly a year before I moved to Arizona, while visiting my sister and her family. I like it. I have laid out the book and will self-publish a few copies and send them off potential publishers. This is a whole new process to me, and despite being a bit scared of the rejection letters showing up in my mailbox, I’m excited to be moving solidly forward on this project. Who knows what comes next, but seeing the edited body of work in one place is pretty freaking cool.

Here’s the book cover at it stands at this moment…

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I spent most of yesterday baking dishes for Thanksgiving and working on the final photo edit of my “Still My Heart” project, a collection of images I have captured of ramdom heart shapes over the last six years. This body of work truly simply evolved. It was not a project I created for myself. I’m not a real girlie-girl kind of girl. I don’t wear pink often nor have I ever been one to idly draw hearts while doodling…so it is fairly amusing to me that I have become known for my heart project. I love that friends send me pictures they have taken of hearts or they show me heart-shaped vertebra collected while walking on a beach – some have even taken me to locations where they found a heart they wanted to share with me.

My connection to the project has cycled through variations of love, hate, awe, pride, annoyance, and ambivalence. I have tried to stop photographing the hearts – even called the project ‘over’ in May 2009 and got a tattoo to celebrate, but (!!!) the project won’t stop. Yesterday, I found three more hearts to consider for the book. Sigh. Here is one from last night’s fire. I find the metaphor a strong message for me at present.

…and a collection of images from a most beautiful Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by Eve and Lisa. There was much to toast and plenty of bubbly to keep up with us!

The magical makings of Butternut Squash Chorizo dressing. Beyond awesome!

A ‘family’ tree.

In gratitude for…

…all that comes my way…and all that moves on.

…the beautiful dinner last night with a friend.

…the very crisp chill this morning.

…chocolate colored flannel sheets.

…influence and inspiration.

…knowledge gained this year.

…the yin and the yang.

…the delicate power of choice.

…Love, on my terms.

…the evolution, of life.

…banana bread.

…pairing lightness and darkness.

…hidden treasures.

…the evolution of my life.

I liked today. It was a good day. The new photo instructor started, a bittersweet reminder of the amazing transition I am moving through in my professional life. I had a lovely dinner, drinks and conversation with my dear friend Jennifer and a new friend we met at the bar of 47 Scott…and I am one step closer to publishing my first photo book – a five year odyssey that I am ready to send out into the world.

Sometimes, life can be so pleasantly random when it feels like it is spinning ever so slightly out of control.

This is what I imagine the surface of Mars to look like, as seen from a fly-over.

An homage to plastic plates, drying in my dish rack.

Some cool shots from last Friday. I liked a lot of the images and had a hard time editing them down for the blog. Enjoy.

‘Oklahoma’ has long been my favorite musical. As a young girl, I loved Shirley Jones. Years later I would be on a cruise with her and her family…and while the rest of us waited in mass lines like cattle waiting to depart the ship, she sat with her family sipping champagne near the door and was first off the boat. Fame does have some benefit, I suppose.

This photo is for my dearest friend on this planet – Becki – who is at this very moment preparing to leave Morocco after two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I am so full of pride to know her. She has overcome huge obstacles to be successful in her post, as every female PCV in a Muslim country must do. I’ve heard the unedited versions of her stories about cultural misunderstandings, inadequate trainings, and the insane situations of sexual harassment she has endured – and it has only made me admire and respect her more and more. Becki has a thing for spirals, which I found myself spinning into the flour tonight as I rolled out pastry dough for the quiche I made for dinner tonight (it smells heavenly as it bakes). You can read all about her adventures on her blog, Shwiya b shwiya, where she has her Flickr photo feed. She’s just rad.

The All Souls Procession 2010. It was positively magical.

My new friend Lori recruited Mamta and I to volunteer to flip pancakes at the 8th annual Desert Harvesters‘ Mesquite Milling and Pancake breakfast. I had a splendid time after I learned how different mesquite flour is to work with. Good thing I finally figured it out because I was floundering and totally losing my friendly bet with Mamta as to who was the better flipper. I’m so glad I was invited to be involved. It was a great community event.

A group of Mennonites attended the event, which I always love seeing. I did notice that their group did not include many younger folks which made me curious about the retention of young people within the religion.