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Entries in family (8)


Hiking with my Diana Mini

Before I left on vacation I sent in a few rolls of undeveloped film to be processed. Two of the rolls were shot with my new Minolta camera and the third was an unknown black & white roll. It was unknown because I couldn't quite remember what was on it. It had been sitting on my shelf for months. The suspense really builds up when you have a roll sitting that long. I start to dream up these grandiose sequences and magical images.

I felt like a kid at Christmastime as I opened up my files to see my photographs. What memories had I captured? It turns out that I had shot this roll with my Diana Mini over a period of a few months. Some of the shots were taken inside and they turned out really dark but a handful were shots of a hiking adventure my family took in the local mountains.

The Diana is a toy camera so the images aren't super perfect and crisp. But that is also the beauty of the device. You don't quite know what the results will be but that is the fun of film.

This last one is of my stepdad. There is something ghostly about him moving across the white rocks.

It was fun to relive this memory. It was a really lovely winter day and it felt good to spend it among nature. In our busy lives we can sometimes forget about these little moments. I am so glad this adventure got preserved. Do you have any film rolls lying around? Are you anticipating what those images will look like?

This film was processed and scanned by Richard Photo Lab in Los Angeles. 


New Month, Back to Blogging

Hello friends who I haven't talked to in forever. Yes it has been a long bout of silence here on the blog. I hate posting inconsistently but it was really nice to vacation and set my computer aside. We all deserve a little technology break to rest and refuel our creative juices. Of course a technology break still means the iPhone and camera are by my side but I am proud to say I used the internet quite minimally. Do you allow yourself to get away when you're on vacation?

So our vacation consisted of a trip to Denver, Colorado. My Mom and I drove up there to see my brother and his band perform in downtown Denver. We spread the trek out over a couple of days to minimize hours in the car, stopping in St. George, Utah and Grand Junction, Colorado as well. We passed through some truly beautiful country. And such an eclectic mix too. Utah has some spectacular rock formations and Colorado has an impressive drive through huge mountains. I had never been to either of these states so I really appreciated broadening my view of our vast country. Have you ever been out that way?

Here is a sneak preview of my trip with a lot more pictures to come. I actually took more film shots than digital ones so I'll need to wait a bit to get those developed. But I'll be sporadically recounting the trip through my images in the weeks to come.

Somewhere in Nevada I believe before reaching our first stop in St. George.

At a look out point in Utah on day two of travel.

Besides vacation pictures, I have DIY projects and other photos to share. This week may be back to the grindstone with work but I am glad to get back on track with blogging. I missed it. Have a good Monday night! 


New Discovery: Dear Photograph

Hi blog friends! How are you all doing on this Tuesday? I have some new inspiration to share today, a blog I stumbled upon a few weeks ago called Dear Photograph. Have you heard of it?

Dear Photograph
It was 70 years ago when my mother dipped her toes in Lake Cavloc, Switzerland along side her father and sister. Beauty was all around them and so were the echoes of youth. My mother’s view has changed now that she lives in a nursing home. Wouldn’t it have been something if the waters they had danced in had washed the fountain of youth over them… Peter

This project was started by Canadian artist Taylor Jones as a way to remember and pay homage to the past through old photographs. The challenge is 'to take a picture of a picture from the past, in the present.' Originally Taylor was posting his own family photographs but soon he was receiving submissions from all around the world. The photographs are undeniably powerful but each photo also has a corresponding caption that can be just as moving. The author addresses the picture, beginning with 'Dear Photograph' as they recount humorous moments, reminisce about loved ones or even express their own hopes and dreams. 

Eight years ago our world rejoiced when we said “I do”. This year, my first without you here, I know the heavens rejoiced too. I’m so glad I had those seven years with you because those seven years will define who I am for the rest of my life.
Miss and Love You Always, Brandi

This is such an inspirational project and a meaningful way to connect with millions of people all over the world. I have always enjoyed going through old family pictures myself, actually it is quite a pastime of mine. My family, on both sides, is lucky to have old pictures and memorabilia. I count these keepsakes as some of our most important treasures. I had family that was from the Chicago area and also family from Pennsylvania and when I see those old neighborhoods and family houses, I long to visit them. See how things have changed. See how things are the same. Just standing in a spot that a relative once stood in, taking in a scene that someone else did years ago, is such a powerful thing. And this project proves just that.

My father was born and raised in this house in 1946. On his wedding day, in 1971, he bought the house from his parents to marry my mother and raise my sister and I. With hammer and nail, he altered every room to meet all of our needs and wishes. This past September he died at the age of 65 and now the house and his lifework are for sale.


There is something so universal about this idea. Something in all of us is curious about the past. Something intrigues us all about our histories, about the people who are responsible for us being here. I think this is why it resonates with me and with the millions of others who have visited and contributed to the blog. 

Be sure to visit the Dear Photograph blog and see more of the submissions. Each one is special and so personal. And because the blog has been such a success (blogs really do change the world!), there is now a Dear Photograph book. So fantastic and such a deserving project! I look forward to following along to see how Taylor's idea continues to grow and inspire us.


Easter Hike

Happy mid-week everyone! Southern California went from having perfect, clear weather this weekend to being cloudy and rainy today. Fluctuations like this are business as usual here but at least the holiday was spared from the gloominess. On Sunday my family went on a hike in the local mountains to soak up the sun's warm rays and to spend our Easter outdoors in nature. Outings like this call for a camera of some sort but I didn't feel like lugging around my dSLR, especially since we had Scout along for the fun. It's hard to be dog wrangler plus family photographer at the same time. So I opted for my more compact Fuji Instax camera which gives me instant, tangible pictures.

I'm in the last set of pictures on the left with Scout. Can you see me? I am very camouflaged.

It was a really fun hike and I'm glad I have these little photos to remind me of the trip. Scout especially loved splashing in the water and cooling down in the stream. She usually dislikes water but for whatever reason, being out in nature changed her mind. Whenever our family gets together I feel like we always go on long walks or hikes. Does your family do that? A family that walks together, stays together maybe.

How was your Easter weekend? Did anyone else go hiking? 


My Lovely Christmas

Hi friends! I am afraid it has been quite awhile since my last post. Far too long in fact but this month has been a busy one for me as I'm sure it has been for all of you. The holidays are sure a bustling time. For me it has mostly consisted of my part time job at Anthropologie which, at times, has felt like a full time job. In my spare time I got in some Christmas shopping and found some great presents for my family and friends. My brother has been home on winter break from college and so we have spent a lot of time together which I love and cherish. I have also been relaxing when I can, reading a lot of good books and watching a bunch of old movies. Although I haven't officially declared a vacation for myself, I guess I have built it into my schedule a bit, hence the silence here in blogland. Forgive me. But I am so excited about 2012 and have a lot of exciting things planned so I guess I'm gearing up for the new year by allowing myself a break.

Today I wanted to share some of my pictures of our home leading up to the holiday and some shots on Christmas Day. Christmas is a simple affair for our family but I wouldn't have it any other way. It is about surrounding yourself with loved ones and enjoying your time in their company. And we managed just that quite successfully I think. 

A favorite Santa since I was little.

You may remember some of my mantle decorations from last year. We spruced it up a bit differently this year including this awesome silver owl that my Mom found. Now the Santa on the right is truly my favorite. He has adorned the top of our Christmas trees since I was a baby. He might be a bit unconventional, usually you see stars or angels up there, but I find him quite perfect. He is showing his age though and we actually have to rubber band him to the tree.

This festive garland is a recent addition to our holiday decor thanks to my Mom. She put it together using vintage Christmas postcards she found while antiquing. Sadly I haven't had much time to be crafty lately but I was super excited to see her creation. 

Christmas booties!

My stocking on the right and my brother's bear stocking. I want my brother and I to be in our 70s and still using these two guys. 

This is one of Scout's stockings. Yes, her toys actually overflowed into a second stocking this year. She is quite spoiled. Again, I think she got the most presents out of everyone. 

Our mantle. I have actually never had a mantle before. The houses that we lived in previously did not have fireplaces so seeing all the stockings actually hung up is still quite a novelty for me.

Here is Scout with one of her new toys. She was so excited that she tuckered herself out and eventually had to nap away the afternoon. And David experimenting with one of the new cameras I got him. It's called the Lomokino and it actually shots little videos with 35mm film. David has been talking about shooting some videos so I cannot wait to see what he creates with this.

And finally David and I wearing our new Christmas scarves and holding the two cameras that I bought him. I'm holding a vintage one, an old Kodak Brownie, that I got for $10. We think it is in working order though and hopefully we can get a chance to test it out. But for $10, you can't really go wrong, even if it is just a decor piece. 

So that was a peek into my holiday. How was your Christmas?! I wish all of my readers a merry holiday time and the happiest of new years. I am so thankful to have my blog, a place where I can come and be creative and open. And I cannot thank you all enough for visiting and sharing and commenting. It all means so much to me, words cannot really describe. So continue to enjoy your holidays and time with loved ones. I know I will which probably means that my posting will be sporadic this week but I'll get back on track in the new year. Take care dear readers!