Sunday, February 27, 2011

.good morning sunday :: No.6

The house is super quiet except for a hushed voice of the narrator on the History Channel.  The husband forgot to cut the t.v. before he went to bed.  The light outside is still a little dim making it pretty dark in here.  But it's okay because. . . it's quiet.  Peaceful.  yay.  Well it's Sunday friends.  Already.  I'm hoping to get my Good Morning Sunday posts back up and going.  So here's one for today.
  • Hoping to make a trip up to New Bern, NC today.  Not sure what I'm going to find, but I hear it's a neat town to visit.
  • I found out yesterday that the Amy Grant video my Grandfather starred in has been nominated for a Dove Award for Short Video of the Year.  Make sure to stay tuned on April 20th!
  • I'm thinking about borrowing a copy of this book, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating.  I read a tiny bit of it while at work the other day and fell in love with what I read.  NPR has a great page about it here.  
  • Looking forward to my trip to the Post Office tomorrow to pick up my new little photo buddies
  • My favorite children's book illustrator, LeUyen Pham, has two new picture books out that are just too cute!  For those of you who have little girls, or once was a little girl yourself, you will need to check them out.
  • Etsy put out an article a few weeks back that I thought was so interesting.  It was about vintage photos taken in the 1920s in an Australian police station.  The images are of individuals who had their brush with the law and whose portraits were taken while in custody.  Probably some of the best mug shots I've ever seen.  I would have loved to have known who their photographer was because he, or she, had a great eye!  The photographs are amazing!  Some funnier than others.  What's neat is seeing their wardrobe, the women in particular because you can see that style reemerging in the fashion houses of today.  The original post is in French, so I have a translated version here for you to read. 
Have a wonderful week ahead my friends!  Spring is almost here!  Woo hoo!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

.a year of mornings.

a new book :: a year of mornings
I love books.  I love books with pictures.  I love books about pictures.  I love books about people taking pictures, and sharing pictures, and . . . well you get the idea.  I first came across a copy of A Year of Mornings, a photo book based on the collaborative photo blog of Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes, back during the holidays last year.  I didn't purchase it right away.  Honestly, I felt guilty for wanting to buy it (why?!  I have no idea.) so I waited.  That is until yesterday.  The year long documentation of mornings between two friends living 3191 miles apart is such an inspiration.  Their images reflect those quiet mornings we savor while at the breakfast table when the light is soft and very simply, perfect.  I needed this book.  It reminds me that it's okay to photograph stuff that we would normally blow off as mundane.  Not every photograph that we take has to be worthy of an art exhibit.  So, with that renewed frame of mind, I too shot a photograph before noon to document what my day consisted of.  Rags (aka the hubby's former white t-shirts) and furniture polish.  Not quite the glamorous side to the domestic life, but hey, at least my furniture's shiny! 

morning shot :: rags and polish

. be the storyteller.

I have learned a valuable lesson over the course of the last week or so.  Several lessons, actually.  But the one that stands out in my mind the most is this: when we no longer have stories to tell, we are not really living.  It is the stories of our lives that truly make up who we are.  I don't know about you, but I'm hoping my life makes for a good read.  I think back to the stories my GrandDad shared with me. . . over and over.   Ha! He knew they were pretty interesting and had even started to write his own memoir.  The title he was going to give it was Stories from the Sea Chest.  While he was in the hospital, I happened to find that sea chest in the spare room of his home.  When I opened it, I had expected to find typewriter paper bundled up with tales from his time in Egypt or Kure Island.  Instead I found an old pair of binoculars, and a lot of other odds and ends.  It was the binoculars that I thought were so interesting.  A glass piece was missing, but otherwise, it was still very much intact.  What did he see through these?  Where did he get it?  I'm sure if he were still here, sitting there in his worn, yet comfy green chair, he'd start his conversation with, "Oh, I haven't seen those in years.  It reminds me of the time when . . . "

Let's open up that heavy old door to that room filled with all our memories.  Pull out an old volume, the one coated with a thick layer of dust.  Open it up.  Do you remember any of these stories?  Do you have pictures?  I LOVE the ones with pictures!  What were your favorites?  I'd love for you to tell me about them.  Have I ever told you about the time I took a Greyhound bus from Nashville to Los Angeles and back?  If you ask, I will.  What new adventures would you like to embark on?  Tell me about those too.  Sit with me awhile friend, I have time.

Here is a video that I want to share with you.  This was filmed by Grant Howard and Kip Kubin, the two wonderful souls who gave my Grandpa the chance to be a music video "star."  You two are angels. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

.better than a hallelujah.

Back in Wilmington.  I want to thank all my wonderful friends for all your love.  It has been a long week.  I am exhausted, and yet my soul is refreshed and blessed.  My sweet Grandpa Bill Evans, a wonderful family man, a genuine friend, a brilliant artist and blacksmith, bid farewell to this old, tired world around seven o'clock on Saturday morning.  He went peacefully.  The song "Better Than a Hallelujah" was the last song he listened to before his spirit was lifted to the clouds.  This song has special significance to us because he was involved in the actual music video for Amy Grant.  So, if you would, please stay a moment to watch the following two videos.  Again, thank you friends for all your love and support these last few weeks.  They mean the world to me.  

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

.away for a little while.

Hello my friends.  I just wanted to let you know that I will be away from my blog for a little while.  My GrandDad has fallen ill and I am planning to leave here today to be with him.  Life is so fragile.  Time is equally so.  Spend them both of them well.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

.soak it all in.

the boardwalk

the sea

superman & the sun

spring is on the way
It was such a beautiful day yesterday.  Clear blue skies, temperatures just slightly under 70 degrees.  The wind was exhilarating.  This was prime beach weather for our family.  Although we didn't brave the waters by taking a swim, we walked around, allowing our child the freedom to play without having to wear a heavy jacket.  As my hubby scoured the shore for seashells, my daughter rolling around in the sand, I gazed out towards the sea, my heart and mind swollen with emotion.   I'm soaking it all in.  Everything. It's been three months shy to a year since we embarked on our journey to the sea.  So much has happened since that day that it almost feels as if it was just yesterday that we were loading up the car with no real set plans as to how or where we would end up.  As frightening as it all was, it was so worth the risk.  Sometimes, we need to tell ourselves, just do it!  And I am so grateful, so so very thankful that we did.  Things are truly falling into place. . . slowly, but surely.  Every day, I am reminded that we should be thankful for even the littlest things that we so easily take for granted.  The warm sunshiny days in winter, the first signs that Spring is on her way, the soft and gentle gaze that say I love you without words ever being uttered, the excitement in your child's voice as she points to a streak in the sky and cries, Superman!  Let us make a point, every day, to take note of the little wonders in life we so often pass by. . . and treasure them.

Monday, February 14, 2011

.happy valentine's day my lovelies.

Happy Valentine's Day my beautiful friends!  Can you believe we're already half way through February?!  It's crazy.  Alrighty, so today, I wanted to share with you a handful of blog sites that have the word LOVE in its title.  Here are the ones I hand picked for ya!   
Make today the day that you blow kisses to your sweet's heart, give a trillion times more hugs & smooches to your kids (whether they be human, canine, or feline), give someone a wink just because, and  remember that random acts of kindness to a complete stranger is always, always a beautiful thing.   xoxo

Friday, February 11, 2011

.etsy on vimeo.

This morning, during my little stroll down Cyber Lane, I came upon a cheery little place called Vimeo, and today, what I found there was so amazing!  Etsy on Vimeo!  It was there that I found some of the most interesting and talented folks, all of whom happen to sell their wonderful wares on Etsy.

This video happens to be my favorite!  How can you not love "geeks who make geekery"?

Here are some other videos I think you'll enjoy!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

.k miller actions.

"masala" of the Color actions

When it comes to tweaking my images to give it a little more oomph! I love love LOVE using the Photoshop actions created by the talented Kim Miller, aka Capt. Mouffette.  This quirky gal from Portland, Oregon, has created four fantastic action sets, with a fifth one on the way.  Catering to those who adore film and it's "vintage" quality, many of her actions give your images that surreal look that has become so popular, especially with the resurgence of lo-fi photography. One of my personal favorites happens to be the masala action from her Color set.  They are extremely reasonable to purchase with prices ranging between $10 - $20 per set.  If you get a chance to pick up a copy of Shutterbug's February issue, she's featured on page 36!  So, take a stroll over to Kim's blog, and should you make the best purchase decision of the year by buying her actions (check out the FAQ section prior to purchasing to make sure your software is compatible), be sure to join the Flickr group here.  Happy Thursday folks!  

"humboldt crud" & "daydream" of the Color actions

old ford
"meniscus" of the Monotone actions

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

.if you love sigur ros. . .

 . . . you will love Amiina too.  The musical talents that come from Iceland make me think that perhaps I need to reconsider our possible vacation plans to warmer locations to this beautiful island just below the Arctic Circle instead!  And speaking of music and beautiful landscape, a clip from the documentary film Heima

Monday, February 7, 2011

.february's struggle.

So already, I realize that trying to do this Character Project every day this month is a lot harder than I had expected.  That does NOT mean that I have given up!  It will be a work in progress.  And since we're still on the subject of characters, I wanted to direct your attention over to one of my favorite photographers, and a video of a wonderful character in her life.  I think you'll agree that we can truly see where she gets her creativity and zest for life from!  

Thursday, February 3, 2011

.Character :: David Eller.

When I first decided I wanted to embark on this "Character Project" adventure, one of the first people that came to my mind to photograph was this man:  David Eller.  A long time friend, David is a man of many talents.  A artist, actor, filmmaker, musician, crypto-zoologist (this one being my favorite!), and adventurer, to name just a few.  If I was given only one word that I could use to describe him, that word would be passionate.  When you sit down to a conversation with David, all the emotion that one can possibly possess about a certain subject is animated before your very eyes.  Ideas flow from his mind like the rushing waters that make up the Niagara Falls.  That energy he puts forth into a project is contagious.  One cannot help but be drawn  to the vivid imagination that is all his own and not be excited about it.   In one conversation, he talked about a show for children that he created, the main character being a frontiersman by the name of Cactus Jack, who goes out introducing kids to the people and places that make up the Old West.  Currently, the show airs on Public Access Television in Nashville, Tennessee.  After  having watched a couple of episodes alongside a very picky critic, my three year old, we were impressed!  The catchy opening song sent my daughter into a dancing fit, caught up in laughter and having a good ol' time.  And so, it was this Cactus Jack character that I wanted to capture late last February, on a very chilly afternoon.  Unfortunately, our photoshoot was cut short when my brand new camera killed over.  This was when I learned that you should always, ALWAYS bring a backup.  So, here are a just a few of the shots we took that day.  We already have plans to shoot more this year so be on the lookout! 

Cactus Jack

.for the love of film.

Mystery.  I think that's the word that would best describe why I still have a soft spot for analog film.  The convenience of digital, I think, takes away so much of the emotion that one has in the moment they snap a photograph.  With a push of a button, we can immediately critique an image and in seconds shoot some more until we believe we are satisfied.  Film teaches us patience, something that is truly lacking in our instant world today.  Even with instant film, there is still a wait!  :D

Earlier in the week, I found this wonderful video via Elle and thought that you beautiful souls would enjoy it too!  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

.Character :: Henri Cartier-Bresson.

The images made by photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, also known as "the father of modern photojournalism," continue to inspire millions who, with their camera, attempt to capture life in this world as it unravels before them.  Many of us strive to be more in-tuned with our surroundings that we can pick up on the beautiful amongst the mundane, hoping to have pressed the shutter button in time to capture it.  This was something that Cartier-Bresson not only mastered, but lived.  Having come across the following two videos, I cannot help but feel a deeper admiration for this man's work.  His philosophy on photography, as well as thoughts on his own images gave me greater insight to what the craft meant to him.  Experiences, memories, caught in a fraction of a second.  "Life is once and forever."  Here are two excerpts from documentaries filmed on the master photographer.

Click here to learn more about Henri Cartier-Bresson.

.love peeps.

Need I say more? 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

.Character :: Bill Evans.

His name is Bill Evans.  

To many, the man they know in this photo is Bill Evans.  A blacksmith and storyteller, a gentle heart and fiesty soul.  Well, for me, personally I prefer to call him Grandpa.  If there is any character I have the pleasure of knowing, it is truly him.  Not many people my age can say that they remember sitting on top of an anvil, in an old blacksmith shop, everything covered in metal dust, with a forge dating back from the 1800s still in use, watching their grandfather working on a cast iron pot that a client brought in for repair.  "What's wrong with it Grandpa?  It looks fine."  Carefully inspecting the antique kettle, never taking his eyes off of it, he answers, "There's a hairline fracture running down the side of it, and I'm trying to figure out how to seal it without having to apply too much heat to it."  Of course, being the 9 year old that I was at the time, you tend to ask more questions.  "Why?"  Eyes still roaming over the pot, he patiently answers, "Because it's nearly 200 years old."  Oh.  It was at this moment that I truly realized just how unique my Grandfather was.  If there is any man who could rattle off chemistry equations and tell you about his time in Kwajalein in the same coversation, it would be him.  

In the late 1950s, equipped with an engineering degree and a background in welding, my grandfather took on a dredging job that required his family to move from Nashville, Tennessee to the South Pacific.  It would be there, in the Hawaiian Islands that he, his artist wife Chris, and their three young children (the eldest being my father) would call home for over 30 years.  Venturing away from the life as an engineer, my Grandfather later opened up his own blacksmith shop in Honolulu, Olde Harbour Forge.  He worked primarily as an ornamental blacksmith, specializing in hammered bronze and copper.   He had clients ranging anywhere from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel to the Doris Duke estate.  When you stepped into his shop, as one journalist from the Honolulu Advertiser once noted, it was like stepping into Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, The Village Blacksmith.  Many years later, back in Nashville, in a much smaller shop, not quite as nostalgic as the original, I watch my Grandfather work on a new sculpture, this one consisting of several angels made of hammered copper.  With my camera in tow, I lean against the same anvil I had once sat upon over 20 years earlier, watching him solder several pieces together.  Later he walks over to a table where several almost-completed figures lay side by side, awaiting their final assembly.  "And this one here," he says, picking one of them up, "I've styled her hair to look like your Tutu's."  I lean forward and notice that sure enough, the gleaming angelic figure he cradled in his hands resembled my Grandmother.  "I love it Grandpa."  He looks upon it for a moment, smiles, and then gently lays it back on the table.  All of a sudden a little voice pipes up, "I wanna see Grandpa!  I wanna see Tutu!"  My little three year old, who's accompanied me on our trip to see her Great-Grandpa, lifts her arms up to be carried.  As I pick her up, she too leans forward and gives her approval, "Ooh, pretty."  The following photos are some of the images I captured that day, last Spring.  


*added on 3/5/11:  

  Hello friends.  I wanted to share with you that the wonderful man in this post, my Grandfather Bill Evans, passed away two weeks ago today, on February 19th, 2011 around seven o'clock in the morning.  He went peacefully, his final breath leaving his body as the song Better Than a Hallelujah finished playing on the CD player. During his final days, he was surrounded by loved ones who adored him.  He was an amazing craftsman.  A fantastic storyteller.  A loving family man.  A loyal friend.  A kind stranger.  He will forever be the perfect example of a true gentleman.  And I will miss him terribly. . . ~Kathy