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Entries in photography (92)

Monday
Oct152012

What I Am Passionate About...

Each capture is a snapshot into someone else’s world. And it’s powerful, to hold the very things in your hands that someone else once cherished. Moments, people, great loves, celebrations, the little pieces that make up someone’s life. The privilege of granting you access into these lives is not one that should be taken lightly. Or at least I don’t think it is. You become a keeper of these moments, even though they were not originally yours, and as keeper your responsibility is consideration. Who were these people? Where was this landscape? Why was this moment so special to someone? Because the people of the past are just like you...they were people. They had a home, they loved someone, they had friends, they had favorite things to do on weekends. To me, these old photographs are a reminder that life is simple and the things that are truly important are universal to us all. So I take a minute to stop and consider the lady in the floral dress or the picturesque lake that someone captured so pristinely. They will live on a bit through me and as I consider them, hopefully it will remind me to take better notice of those around me in the present. 

The Blogging Your Way Bootcamp e-course presented me with the question: What are you passionate about? I decided to tackle the question in a post and share one of my many passions. Photographs are some of my most cherished possessions including vintage ones of people I don't know and places I've never been. I scrounge antique stores for them. I dig out old family albums for them. They inspire me. They make me think about the past and history and how things from long ago can still be relevant in my life, in everyone's lives. What are you passionate about? Does history inspire your creative spirit just like me? Do you also collect old photographs of people you don't know and places you've never been?

Wednesday
Oct102012

A Catalyst

Sometimes when you fall out of routine and slowly loosen up on your responsibilities, it is just easier to stay in that new state. No routine, no obligations, sounds pretty carefree, right? Not necessarily. I fell out of routine with this blog during the summer and the hardest part was doing what I'm doing now...simply writing. When I created that new world for myself, a world in which I didn't need to blog everyday or check in with comments or tweet to followers, I slowly was amassing this mountain of a roadblock between the problem (more about that in a minute) and the solution (dealing with the problem by posting). At first it felt good to not have that responsibility but quickly that morphed into feeling crummy about myself (I'm lazy, I have nothing good to say, What else are you really doing that is so important?) Not blogging wasn't really the answer and I didn't feel great about it but it was still the easier path, the road of least resistance. How many of you are familiar with this road? I'm not proud to admit it but this lack of action has been my way of dealing with some issues in the past. What I can be proud of, is that today I'm changing that by showing up here.

So what is this mountain-sized problem that I was faced with this summer, that I am still facing now? Inspiration, motivation and passion! I fell out of love with my blog this summer and it became something I was forcing myself to do. I started my blog at a very impressionable time in my life and I have changed so much since then. My goals as a creative soul, as a human being, as a maturing adult are growing and adjusting and that means this blog is going to grow with me and become something different. I think during this summer I was a little scared to change it and also confused about how I was exactly going to change it. Why alter something unless you have a crazy, new, amazing idea right? Wrong. I post here to help myself grow, to help identify my inspirations, to act as a visual storyboard for the creativity brewing within. If this is a dormant space, I too feel a bit dormant.

For weeks I have been meaning to blog, to get back into that old routine. I just needed a catalyst. I knew that once I started sharing again, my problem would slowly start to work itself out naturally. This week I started a blogging e-course to help reinvigorate my creative soul. Holly Becker, the writer behind one of my favorite sites Decor8 also teaches a blogging bootcamp called Blogging Your Way and I have always been intrigued when I heard it mentioned across the blogosphere. A few weeks ago a reminder for her latest course showed up in my inbox and I jumped on the opportunity. It was the sign I needed. Let's get back into this! It was my catalyst and I'm hoping that the work I put in here will be a discovery into my new inspirations, motivations and passions. Lauren Elise Crafted may change a bit in this process but after writing this post, that change is no longer worrisome to me. My blog should reflect me. Moving forward, the road isn't exactly clear but I must say I'm excited for the journey. If you choose to tag along, I hope we can share and encourage each other.

The images are a few shots I took this morning of my desk. I recently reorganized my room and am in the process of hanging artwork and surrounding myself with my most treasured items. The goal is to keep the things I love nearby so that I can draw inspiration from them when I'm feeling unmotivated.

P.S. Thank you for bearing with me. I know this was a long post but it feels good to be open and honest.

Tuesday
Jul102012

Tips for a Simple Summer Tablescape

It has been heating up here this week in Southern California. We got by for quite awhile without getting past the mid-90s. But 100-degree weather has finally hit and with that we can officially welcome in summer. We actually have been quite lucky here. I know some parts of the country are stifling right now. I have family on the East Coast who have updated us on the extreme heat in New York and Connecticut. And my friend from Washington, D.C. had high temperatures, high humidity and no power for three days. I guess us Southern Californians cannot complain too much. Have you been dealing with extreme temperatures? How are you coping?

Since the heat is definitely upon us now, I thought I would share this simple summer tablescape that I styled a few weeks ago for Houzz. I will share the DIY for the tablecloth here on the blog soon but for today I thought I would just focus on some simple entertaining tips to use during these hot months.

When it is this warm, I think it's important to keep things as simple and easy as possible. Designate a linen drawer to hold your summer go-to favorites. We have had these red gingham napkins tucked away for ages but there is something casual and uniquely summer about them. They compliment the blue and white palette nicely and were just the right pop of color to keep things interesting.

Incorporate your food into the decor as well. Since red was my complimentary color, these diced tomatoes made for a lovely spread and focal point. The best part is once you are done admiring them, they can be shared and enjoyed. If you are having guests, write out names on scrap pieces of paper and clip with a clothespin. It is a simple detail but it will stop the wind from blowing them away.

Instead of laying out your silverware, just store it all in a mason jar. For an easy summer meal, the casualness is welcome. A bloom or two always makes an evening more special. Clip a few buds from your garden and display them in a used glass jar. This white peony was the last pretty remnant from a wilting bouquet. It got to have one last hurrah for this dinner. The jar is actually a repurposed balsamic vinegar jar from Trader Joe's. The shape was perfect though and it looks very vintage.

You can never go wrong with white dishes. They are timeless and can be used all year round. Against the blue and red backdrop, these white plates really popped. It makes the tabe look so crisp and fresh.

But the best suggestion is to not get caught up in the details. Focus more on enjoying the meal and your lovely guests. It may be hot this summer but with a refreshing drink and good company, the days are sure to be a delight. What are some of your summer mealtime routines? What are your go-to pieces for easy entertaining during these hot months?  

Friday
Jul062012

Washington Park in Denver, Colorado

Happy Friday everyone! For my American readers, did you all have a nice Fourth of July holiday? I had a long day at work so by the time I got home, ate some dinner and watched a few fireworks I was ready to call it a night (and then wake up super early the next day). So mine wasn't too eventful. I hope you all had a safe and fun day.

I want to share a few of my Colorado vacation pictures today. Summer is synonymous with time spent in the park and outdoor picnics. While in Denver we visited a few parks because we had Scout with us and she limited what we could do indoors. Scout appreciated romping around outside and getting out of the car (we spent a lot of hours in the car). Denver was very hot while we were there so we gravitated toward shaded spots on the lawn. A favorite destination was Washington Park (or Wash Park as the locals call it), recommended by my Denver friend Nic. The neighborhood is just what I enjoy: old homes with lots of detail, big overgrown trees lining the streets, big sidewalks and plenty of photo opportunities. 

This old high school was right across the street from the park. It was beautiful, looking so collegiate with the ivy climbing up the brick walls. No high schools look like this is Southern California. Since we don't have any extreme weather, our schools are really spread out with multiple buildings and a lot of outdoor areas. To me, this is a school out of the movies. On the right, is a wrought-iron gate in the Washington Park neighborhood. Look at all of those green trees!

Just one of the many old homes I feel in love with here. Even in the middle of the day on a Friday, this felt like a lively community. So many people were at the park, most of them walking, jogging, rollerbladding and biking. The people of Denver are very healthy. Even in the minimal time we spent there, I saw this to be the case.

There were two small lakes in the park and ducks and geese were cooling off and sleeping in the shade.

It is a pretty picturesque spot.

Scout has obviously seen birds before but this might have been her first encounter with ducks. She was very intrigued...but from a safe distance of course. I wouldn't mind having this park as my view everyday. What a lovely park to walk in and get inspired.

Scout had the whole backseat to stretch out in during this road trip. She does great in the car but after a few hours she would get antsy. And she was quite content when we got home. She missed looking out her windows at our yard with all the lizards and birds. 

I'm so glad my friend Nic recommended Washington Park. Have you ever visited? Have you ever been to Denver? How did you like it?

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday
Jul032012

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.