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So the great thing about a blog, and specifically a blog that is for the most part unread, is that if I don’t post for 6 months, no one cares. I can basically write whatever I want, although you will never find anything political here, because just no. But I do like to share about things I make, or pug thoughts, or whatnot. So it’s a win-win, really.

It’s been two months since we lost our Buddy pug, and that means there are no pugs in the house. I am feeling a huge void where the pugs used to be. We are going to start the process/conversation of adding a new pug after we get back from RAGBRAI. I feel like only a part of myself without them. I went back through my IG posts and up until April, Buddy was pretty much 90% of the posts. I just miss him so much. Nothing is the same.

RAGBRAI is what? Six weeks away? Oh wait, 5 weeks and one day until we leave. I haven’t really prepared at all. I should be ultra-excited and I am, but I guess it still seems far off. One of our riders can’t make it because of an injury so that’s been a disappointment. But I know it will be great and I am excited to visit Burlington for an overnight. So yay!

Quilting is taking over around here! I have really grown to love it, even though I said I would not take it up. But two sewing machines, two work tables, ALL THE RULERS (may have a slight addiction) and all the fabric have taken over my office. I really shouldn’t call this an office anyway. Studio? Sounds pretentious. Work room? It’s not really work. Fun room? Hmmmm.

Cycling has not been what I wanted it to be as far as mileage. It’s different working at the bike shop. I guess it’s like photography was – it was awesome until it was a job. LOL. Anyway, I am grateful for my job but it has made it more difficult to ride when I want. But I did get in 55 miles yesterday between riding the e-bike to work (it’s not 100% cheating) and coming home to a plea from my husband to ride with him. And the thing is, a “nice relaxed spin” with him is a suffer-a-rama for me. So 31 miles later, I was absolute toast with fiery feet. I have to do something about that before RAGBRAI.

I have gotten to visit all of the kids in the last month or two which dramatically cuts down on the riding time, but totally worth it. The NE kids were great. Ez is growing up to be a sweet, polite, and quirky guy, just like I hoped he would. Gabe is a rough-and-tumble 2 year old who is on full speed all the time. Got to see Dono play baseball and he had an RBI or two and scored. He’s a funny one and I love his quirkiness. Definitely an marches to his own drum, which I love. Bowen continues to race BMX and loves bikes. We found an old beater 24″ MTB that we are fixing up for him. Can’t wait to take him on the trails. And Keke my sweet is so amazing! She’ll be 1 in less than two weeks and she is absolutely just a joy to be around. I am pretty blessed now that I stop and think about it.

Maybe if I posted more I would have less words and more pictures. 🙂

This quilting thing…

So I said I would never do quilting. Because I guess when I was young, it was what old people did. I don’t know. I never knew anyone who quilted. No one in my family did that I know of. But then several people I ride bikes with quilt. And then Lea decided we should quilt. I started basically because she wanted to do it and I was sort of helping her. Then I made a tiny pug-sized quilt as a practice for one I wanted to make for Keke. And I liked it. Then I made Keke’s quilt and liked that. Fast forward to now and I’m a little obsessed possibly. It’s weird. Never saw it coming. I have too many hobbies as it is. But there’s something really satisfying about making a quilt, and making it out of little pieces of fabric. I also like that you can make mistakes and it still works, and you just forget they’re there. It’s good for people like me who tend to be self-critical a lot. I give myself some grace and room to make mistakes with quilting, unlike most things I do. I like it. I’m on the hunt for a new sewing machine now, something bigger and more able to do the quilting, which I enjoy. My Husqvarna Viking Emerald 118 has been awesome, but there is not a proprietary walking foot for it, and the (kind of) junky one I got is not cutting it and the harp/throat space is small. So I’m looking at the Juki TL2010Q (like everyone else) but I’m also looking at the Brother PQ1500SL which is similar, and can be gotten for a little more than half of the Juki. Either way, one of those are on my radar. I’ve done way too much online research and now I just need to wait for the right time. So, until then, my Husky and I will get things done the best we can. Anyway, here are some (bad) photos of my progress so far. I really need to get some good pictures of these things.

New Year, New Things

So it’s 2019. Already. Next thing you know, it’ll be 2020. Doesn’t 2020 have kind of a science fiction feel to it? Or is it just me, being a child of the 1970s? Anyway, it’s only been 7-8 months since I’ve posted. New things are coming this year, though, and this will be my main outlet for them. Since my last post, I’ve started working at Atlanta Trek in Peachtree City and let me tell you, I love working in a bike shop. Which I’m told, you have to, because you won’t get rich doing it. But getting rich isn’t on my agenda, so I think we’re good. And new for 2019, I’m out of the photography business, per se; however, I’ll still be doing photography. Freelance commercial jobs are definitely a possibility, and family stuff, travel stuff, bike stuff. All the stuff I love. Also, I’ve been quilting. I really said I’d never get into it, but it’s too late now. It’s done. I’m hooked. Thanks to my friend, Lea, I am in to the point of dreaming about new sewing machines and I already have a giant (to me) collection of gadgets. Rulers, Aurifil thread, patterns, guides, sprays, cutters, seam rippers, and it goes on. I love it though. Here’s what I love. I love that it is forgiving. In knitting, if I messed up, more times than not, I was just done. But in quilting, things can look pretty bad, but once you get it put together and quilted, get the binding on, it all of a sudden looks pretty good. It’s like having a baby. You forget the pain once you see the precious little angel there all cute and stuff. So, yes, there will be quilting this year. If all goes well, I will be posting cycling adventures, and RAGBRAI is at the top of the list again! This year, my husband has agreed to come along, so it should be fun! Expect to see all the stuff from RAGBRAI! All of this to say that I’ve got stuff in the works. If I remember to post, it should be fairly interesting to those of you who are fans of cycling, quilting and the occasional travel or whatever photography. Here’s to 2019! Let’s make it great.

some photography : Fujifilm X100F

So I got a new camera! I upgraded from my Fujifilm X100S to the newer and much-improved X100F. I had a love/hate relationship with the X100S. It had a lot of good qualities but I just could not get to a point where I loved it. I loved the idea of it, but with practical use, did NOT love it. The autofocus was slow, the images didn’t look like I wanted them to, it was awkward, I don’t know, I just did not connect with it like I should have (or thought I would have). But in the last couple of months, I decided I was going to get it out and make friends with it anyway. And I did, pretty much. I did love it for travel, and that’s what I wanted it for. I got some of these shots with it before I traded it:

But then I got the bright idea to trade up to the X100F. I didn’t NEED it, but it does have a lot of upgraded features that made sense for me. Faster autofocus (it’s SO much better), better and larger sensor, you can charge it through USB, can change ISO on the camera as opposed to the menus, it macro-focuses automatically, better Auto-ISO parameters, a joystick for autofocus point selection, but still has the charm and good looks of the X100S, still a good travel size, and still has similar controls, so it’s familiar. So we went to Arizona last week and I took it with. Ran out of battery power once because I forgot to charge the battery when we got done with one activity and the extra batteries I ordered were delivered about two hours after we left the house, of course. Nevertheless, I was really happy with the ease of use and the photos that I got. I am loving the X100F. No hate yet. 🙂 Hope I never get to that point.

First two are from my backyard. I’m digging the macro feature.

 

Lost Dog Wash Trail, McDowell Preserve, Scottsdale, AZ:

 

Pinnacle Peak Park hike, Scottsdale AZ:

 

Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home, Scottsdale, AZ: 

 

Pretty flower at the villa where we stayed:

 

Old Town Scottsdale: All in all, I think I’m going to be quite happy with this camera and I’m looking forward to getting out and shooting. That’s the main thing, isn’t it? 🙂

Valentine’s Day at Central Bark – Atlanta

For Valentine’s Day at Central Bark, we did some Valentine photos for the doggie day care kids, with all proceeds going to SAVE. So here are some of my favorites!

 

more rescues!

Here are some of the rescues who weren’t at the Valentine’s Day sessions. These guys go to a vet that’s local to me, so I head over there when I can and grab their photos.

rescue dogs!

I started working with a new rescue Southern Animal Volunteer Effort (SAVE)  recently. They are just starting out and asked if I’d be willing to help and it’s been so much fun. Such sweet dogs. A couple of puppies and a couple of older ones. Here are some of the rescues. So so cute. 🙂 These are from our Valentine’s Day Sessions at Central Bark in Atlanta. More of those to come!

thanksgiving in the mountains…yes, it’s january.


We got to spend Thanksgiving in the North Carolina mountains (and I WANT TO MOVE THERE) in 2016 (see? I can’t even say “this year” at this point). It was a perfect day – we were able to eat outside and it was great. I also had the opportunity to visit a waterfall or two so that was fun. I am enjoying the waterfall photography. I am just loving the mountains and the outdoors and the Western North Carolina area. Ah…the mountains.

 

rocket the cat

I did a digital painting of Rocket, my daughter-in-law’s parents’ cat. He is a rag doll and is absolutely stunning. I did this from iPhone photos that my daughter-in-law sent me. We surprised the parents pretty good! I was happy to do it – I think it turned out well. 🙂

 

2018. catch up. rethink.

Another new year. It’s here! One week in, already. I have been neglecting this blog, social media and my photography website for so long, but it always seems to end up like that, doesn’t it? This year, though, really seems to be the year where I either do something with all of the bits and pieces of all of the things I dabble in or move on to something else. To say I feel like I’m spinning my wheels is an understatement. My birthday is on January 3, so every year, while we are all in the middle of the new year’s resolutions and intentions and all of the other things – the restarts, rethinks, recommitments – all of it, I also tend to think about the fact that I’m not getting any younger (the more birthdays you have, the more real that gets) and time is wasting. I’ve hit a little bit of a milestone birthday (not telling which one) and I really do feel like I need to consider where I’m going and what I’m doing. In that process, where right now I HAVE NOTHING FIGURED OUT, I need to figure out in which direction I want my photography to go, what things are worth spending a lot of time on and which are not, what is IMPORTANT, how I can somehow serve others with what I have to work with. So….all of that to say, as a baby step, I am going to make a commitment to post on this blog once a week. It’s really for me, as an accountability thing. So, the good part is that I have plenty of stuff to post since I’ve been hoarding it all for months. 🙂

I’ll start us off with some waterfalls from October located in Transylvania County, North Carolina (I mean seriously, is that not the most fun?) where my son and his wife live. I did discover a new love of hiking during the taking of these photos, which is something I plan on continuing in 2018. Then next up will be even more North Carolina hiking/waterfall photos from Thanksgiving. I’m going to write a list of blog posts now. Who knows? Maybe one of these days someone will find this stuff useful! Sidenote: these photos were shot with the Fuji X100s which after 3 or 4 years, I am still trying to love…