Tag Archives: iphone photography

Odom Thanksgiving at Kate and David’s House!

The Big Thanksgiving Cookie – it’s a family tradition!

 The Big Thanksgiving Cookie – it’s a family tradition!Thanksgiving doesn’t officially happen until November 23rd, but this year the Odom family had the gathering a little earlier than usual.  As all of our kids get older and everyone moves out of the general Birmingham/Jasper area, we are getting creative with how we celebrate and where!

Kate and David outside their new home in Athens, AL!

This year, my niece Kate and her husband David wanted to host the family at their new home in Athens, Alabama.  Kate and I kept in touch the week of the gathering via text message down to Kate making sure we had pumpkin pie covered for my daughter Emily.  (I thought it was so sweet that Kate remembered how much her cousin loves pumpkin pie!)  Their home is beautiful and there was plenty of space for everyone to spread out and enjoy each other’s company.  But you know where everyone gathered, right?  Yep…the kitchen!  I told Kate that they have the same situation we have at our house…the end of the island is right in front of the refrigerator and that’s where everyone wants to stand!  Of course, I said this as I was standing there opening a bottle of wine!!

Everyone was able to be there this year except for my daughter Anna Marie and her hubby Ryan.  They were in town last weekend from Colorado for a family wedding so couldn’t return again this weekend.  We were also missing my nephew Dustin and his daughter Maddie.  They always make the gathering more lively!  We missed them all.  But we are working on a cousin reunion in December when everyone is back in town so stay tuned!

Our gathering was just what this family needed…great food, great wine (thank you Perry’s Steakhouse!), the tradition of our Thankful Tree, group photos and of course, the big cookie!  I didn’t take as many photos as I normally do…surprise…but here are several I took throughout the day.  Happy “early” Thanksgiving, everyone!

 

 

 

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Black and White Photo Challenge

You’ve probably seen the black and white photo challenge on Facebook these past few weeks.  You get tagged, you post one black and white photo a day for seven days, they can’t be of people and you can’t describe the photo (“no words”) – and you tag someone else to challenge.

I got tagged a week ago and decided it would be a good time to go through some of my photographs.  To say I take a lot of photos would be an understatement!  I used to think my dad was nuts when he would use up an entire roll of film on a single flower.  Now I get it!  And with digital photography now…gosh…just keep snapping away until you get the image you are looking for!

The challenge made me remember what it was like to take photos with film.  I remember buying black and white film at times to experiment.  I always loved the effect and the detail of the photos when I would have them developed.  And speaking of getting photos “developed,” it was always interesting to see what the final result would turn out to be when you picked them up from Walmart or Walgreens.  For the most part, you just never knew!  My dad took so many photos from the time he moved to Bangkok, Thailand for his work and bought his Leica camera.  This was around the time he met my mom.  Going through his photos and slides is always such a treasure to me.  It’s like seeing the world through his eyes at that point in time.

These days photo editing lets us take color photos and turn them into black and white, or sepia or other artsy variations.  The photos I used in the black and white challenge all started out in color but I used my Camera+ app to convert them and get them just right.  I am still amazed at the detail that comes through with the conversion.

Here are the photos I used in the challenge, only this time I’m breaking the rules and telling a little more about them!

Day One – Taken at a winery in January 2010.  This was our 25th anniversary trip to Napa and the wineries were pretty empty as the holiday and new year’s rush was over.  We received tons of extra attention from the wineries since they weren’t getting a lot of traffic.  I loved the way the wine barrels were lined up at this particular winery and the lighting was just perfect in this cave where they were all stashed.

Day One – Black and White Photo Challenge

Day Two – My husband and I visited Ft. Worth, Texas earlier this year and visited the Stockyards.  We heard about the daily walk of The Herd and positioned ourselves directly in front of where the herd made their turn.  We couldn’t believe the horns of these magnificent creatures!  It felt like this one was looking right at me and saying “take the picture already!”

Day Two – Black and White Photo Challenge

Day Three – This is a portion of the Four Little Girls monument called “Four Spirits” on the corner and across the street from the 16th Street Baptist Church.  It was unveiled in September 2013 and received a lot of traffic.  Everyday leaving work, I would pass it and see all the people taking pictures and paying respects to the four little girls who were killed when the church was bombed in 1963.  One evening I left work early and spotted the monument virtually empty.  Fortunately, I had my camera with me and pulled right up and was able to take a number of photos including this one.

Day 3 – Black and White Photo Challenge

Day Four – In 2011, I was attending a conference in Washington, DC.  My colleagues and I were able to take some time to tour a little and it was unanimous that we wanted to go to Arlington Cemetery.  Seeing all the white tombstones stretching across all the hillsides was a sobering sight.  Everyone in our group was silent but emotion was visible on all of our faces.  Converting this photo to black and white, I believe, shows this emotion.

Day Four – Black and White Photo Challenge

Day Five – This was taken on a very cold day after a little snow in Alabama.  The birds were going nuts in our backyard and flying all over the trees most likely in search for food.  Our bird feeder was empty so I’m sure this was their way of telling us to get it filled again!  This little guy decided to pose for my camera despite all the flying and chirping going on!

Day Five – Black and White Photo Challenge

Day Six – For our 24th anniversary trip in 2010, Eddie and I went to Callaway Gardens for the weekend.  We toured the beautiful grounds one day and found this beautiful chapel – the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel.  What I love most about this photo is the reflection of the chapel in the water.  Such a beautiful place!

Day Six – Black and White Photo Challenge

Day Seven – My last photo is of my favorite subject…my puppy, Lucy!  Lucy loves the snow and this was photo was taken on our back deck where she was frolicking and trying to eat the snow.  I think the coldness of the snow makes her frisky!  This is one of my favorite photos of her too with the snow falling on her black ears and one caught in flight right in front of her left eye.

Day Seven – Black and White Photo Challenge

If you like photography, I would encourage you to take a few photos and convert them to black and white.  Then, compare the color and B&W photos side by side and notice the difference in detail and dimension.  This black and white photo challenge was just what I needed to take a critical look at my photography.

Happy Fall Y’all!

My first picture of my favorite tree this year…still a little green but beginning its fall color show.

It’s finally fall!  This morning while I was walking my pup Lucy, it was a cool 50 degrees, sunny and the wind would blow just ever so slightly.  A few times, while we were walking the leaves would fall off the tree and float by us.  Listening to the wind and the rustle of the leaves was so calming.

It’s been a little rainy and dreary these past few weeks.  Around the end of October, I always start to watch my favorite tree in my neighborhood.  I wrote about it last year in a post called,  My Favorite Tree.  It’s just such a gorgeous tree and when the leaves start changing, they change quickly and then before you know it, they’re gone.

Two weeks ago, I noticed a spot on the top of the tree that was beginning to turn orange.  I knew the tree would begin its color change soon.  This past week, I began taking a photo of the tree everyday as I left my neighborhood.  The first day was a brilliantly blue and sunny day, much like last year when I photographed the tree.  I stopped my car just across the street and took my first photo of the tree this year.

Over the next three days, the colors kept changing against a gray sky.  We had some rain and wind so I began seeing more and more leaves falling and covering the ground below the tree like a gold blanket.  I was so hoping the tree would be able to turn completely orange and gold before the leaves began falling.  But still…this tree is beautiful to me no matter what stage it is in.

Today, I was coming home from running errands around 4 p.m.  The sun was starting to set  and was catching the gold and yellow of the tree as I drove up.  I stopped briefly to capture one final photo this year.  I know in the next few days, all the leaves will fall and the tree will settle in for a long winter’s nap.

Today’s photo of the tree – it has already lost most of the leaves from the back side. In a few days, it will be bare.

Tales from the Thrift – Part Two

J Crew statement necklace for $1.99 – thrift store find!

As you read in Part 1 of Tales from the Thrift – I love a bargain!  I’ve been perfecting my thrifting “style” over the years and I believe I’ve turned a new leaf this year when it comes to the hunt.  This happened when I began photographing my finds and keeping track of these new-found treasures.  When I find something these days, I ask myself a few questions…(1) do I really like the item?  Sometimes it’s a name brand item but it’s not my style.  This could be clothing, dishes or glassware, jewelry or collectible items.   (2) Will I use it?  This could mean, does it go with any of my collections or is there a spot in my house that needs sprucing up and this would make the difference?  Will i wear it?  and finally (3) Is this something I can I’ll use while entertaining or for an event?  For instance, I host an annual cookie swap party, so is it something that I could use as a theme for that party or another?

This past year, I’ve lucked up on a lot of great jewelry at the thrift stores!  Last year, I wrote a post about all the vintage Christmas pins I found.  I have a collection so this fit right into my criteria and I do love using them during the holidays.  This year it’s been about silver jewelry and pearls with a dash of statement necklaces!  During one trip I found two very different pearl bracelets…one gray wrap bracelet ($2.99) and the other a white pearl and gold cuff ($3.99), still with the original tag on it, I might add!

On another trip, there were a multitude of silver jewelry to choose from and I walked away with another bracelet and 3 pairs of earrings.  The bracelet was really an exciting find for me.  It’s a Mexican Cabochon link bracelet with all the markings on it.  I paid $9.99 for it which was a steal when I’ve seen them for as much as $80 on Ebay and other online places!  I have two others already, one from my mother and one I found in an antique store.  I paired all three together for a beautiful look recently.  The earrings I found are all very vintage looking and very timeless.  One pair is a drop pearl, and you can’t go wrong with pearls!  The other two can be change based on your wardrobe – casual or dressy.  I like stuff like that!

Finally, I love a good statement necklace!  I have several I’ve collected over the years and I look for unique pieces that you don’t see coming and going.  This amber stone necklace has a Chico’s tag on it and if you’ve been shopping at that store, you know these are rather pricey!  When I saw this one I knew it would be a great fall piece because of the color.  It was $5.99!   The other statement necklace is from J.Crew and was $1.99.  I plan to wear this over the holidays because it has bling! (This photo is posted at the beginning of the blog post.)

Chicos statement necklace – great fall color!

Finding Mexican made items is also something I’m always on the lookout for, especially talavera pottery.  It turns up here and there and I’m always thrilled!  Recently I found this planter for $2.99.  I have several in various colors and designs and I love adding more to the mix.  I also walked into the thrift store a few days before Day of the Dead this year and found these punched tin lanterns.  They were perfect for my dining room altar and are marked Mexico.  Timing is everything plus when I find things like this I always have the belief that they were there just waiting for me to come and get them!

Fiesta dishes are also a love of mine!  A few years ago I decided I wanted a set in every color I could find at the time and Kohl’s had a great sale and I took advantage of THAT sale!  I’ve been able to find various Fiesta vintage pieces while thrifting.  A few weeks ago I lucked up on bowls, mugs and plates in three colors.  Each were priced individually at $1.99.

Wow…I still have more to share so I guess there will be a Part 3 after all!  Stay tuned for more Tales from the Thrift tomorrow!

That Awkward Space Above Your Kitchen Cabinets

That space between the top of the kitchen cabinets and the ceiling – my original display with vine wreaths and lights.

There’s that space between my kitchen ceiling and the kitchen cabinets that I’ve always wondered about.  I guess if I had known more about building a house when we built ours I would have asked for more storage in the form of cabinets all the way to the ceiling.  But that was a long time ago and I digress…

Instead, many years ago I was at a friend’s house and I noticed she had a similar situation and she did something very simple and creative…she unwound a grapevine wreath and added white Christmas lights and voila…problem solved!  I got home determined to so something similar.  I went to Michael’s and bought two wreaths and thought it would be a simple project for a Saturday afternoon – one hour max!  Wrong!  First of all, those dang wreaths would not unwind the way I wanted them too so I ended up separating them into sections and using brown pipe cleaners to put them together side by side by side.  Next I began wrapping the lights around the separated wreaths and was making headway.  I had several extra strands of lights from Christmas that I decided to use.  Of course, I tested the lights before I wound them.  I finished up and placed them on top of the cabinets, plugged them in and…a section right in the middle of the display wouldn’t light.  Really???!!!  Yep…I then remembered why these lights were in a bag and in the attic!  I should have introduced them to the trash can!  So after a quick trip to the store for another set of lights, unwinding the bad lights, rewrapping the new ones…it was now 3 hours later and I was finally finished! Yay!

Over the years, I started adding things to the top of the cabinets.  At first it was pretty sparse but over time I was loving the look!  It was a nice way to display things that I loved.  I didn’t turn the lights on all the time either.  Usually they were plugged in over the holidays and on special occasions.  With just the under the cabinet lights on, it gave the kitchen a really cozy hue.

Now…over time, as you can probably imagine, things get a little…well, dusty.  And not just a use a Swiffer and get rid of the dust dusty, but sticky dusty from cooking and all that goes on in the kitchen.  I’ve taken everything down on occasion to clean it all off but it’s been awhile.  These past two weeks, I’ve really noticed that everything had a cloudy and fuzzy look so I pulled up a bar stool and took a closer look.  UGH!  The wreath and lights looked like they were growing fur!  Not good…

So today I retired the wreaths – to the garbage – and bought some cute little LED lights, cleaned off the top of the cabinets – more UGH – and washed EVERYTHING from the top of the cabinets.  Some things had to be washed twice!  I got rid of some items, and added others from around the house.  It turned out to be a fun project and tonight I’m sitting in the kitchen really enjoying the finished look.  Now…on to the next project!