December 31, 2014


Tonight, I celebrate 730 consecutive days of creativity. On January 1, 2013, I challenged myself to take one photo each day. For the past two years, I've learned to slow down, to pay attention, to rejoice in the unexpected. As I continue to experiment with images and words, I have been truly humbled and grateful for all of your encouragement. As the year ends, I look forward to new inspiration and new ideas. Happy New Year!

"The end is just the beginning." ~ T.S. Eliot

730 Days of Inspiration

2014 in Color

2014 Project 365

"Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever... it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything." ~ Aaron Siskind

Although there were big events in 2014, the year's beauty truly rests in the tiny moments of discovery. My second year of Project 365 taught me to be ever observant and patient. Again, I experimented with composition, light, angles and editing, yet some of my favorite images were taken in one shot -- surprising moments that caught my eye. As always, my photos reflect a profound appreciation of nature and the seasons, as well as my favorite things. At the end of 2013, I observed that what was conspicuously absent in my photos what my love of sailing. After that year's hiatus, 2014 provided several wonderful opportunities to capture the beauty of a white sail against a blue sky or a brilliant sunset. Yet, in 2014 the obviously missing factor was photos of my beloved Paris. To make up for not traveling to France this year, I began a series called "French Fridays." Although not part of Project 365, my French Friday posts were some of the most popular features on this blog. I hope to return to France in 2015, but in the meantime, French Fridays will continue along with other thematic features to be revealed in the new year. I hope you continue to follow me on this journey of creative discovery.

December in Pictures

This month, I joined my colleagues in the December Photo Challenge. Although it was nice to have a prompt to guide my focus each day, it was also limiting. I struggled to be creative, to remain true to my own aesthetic, while fulfilling the requirements of the daily challenge. For two years, I've considered participating in the FMS Photo A Day challenge online. I'm still debating....


December 31, 2014 (364/365): "Celebration"
(#decemberphotochallenge Day 31: Fun)
First, a Champagne cocktail with a splash of lavender liqueur...
... and a view of the Milwaukee Art Museum at  Harbor House.
Next, La Réveillon à Lake Park Bistro.
It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere (here in Milwaukee) ...
... but it's Midnight in Paris - Bonne Année!
Menu: Coquilles St. Jacques 
followed by Tournedos de filet mignon
Le dessert: Profiteroles & Champagne...
... with a view of the Eiffel Tower!
Joyeuse Année!
Que 2015 sera pleine de joie et de grands aventures!

December 30, 2014


 December 30, 2014 (364/365): "Hope"
(#decemberphotochallenge Day 30: 
Your Winter Wonderland)

I had hoped for a white Christmas, but no luck. Today it's definitely cold enough to snow (subzero wind chills). If we can't have a winter wonderland outside, I can enjoy this one. It was a Christmas gift for my mother-in-law. The colors caught my eye since she decorates in gold for the holidays, but what I loved best is the message: "Give a Little Hope: Portions of the proceeds from this item benefit shelters across the county. It is our belief that everyone deserves a safe and dignified place to call home. In the true spirit of the season, we have partnered with shelters for the Give a Little Hope Campaign to provide temporary and long-term shelter for youth and families." ~ Pottery Barn.

December 29, 2014


 December 29, 2014 (363/365): "Sunrise"
(#decemberphotochallenge Day 29: Sky View)

"Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise."
~ Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

December 28, 2014


 December 28, 2014 (362/365): "Words"
(#decemberphotochallenge Day 28: Words)

“For last year's words belong to last year's language 
And next year's words await another voice.” ~ T.S. Eliot

Every day for the past year, I have posted a photo along with one word that best captured the spirit of the image and its corresponding post. Last year's photos were sometimes parallel images to those of 2013, improved by light, angle, focus, or editing. Last year's focus was ambitious if occasionally repetitious. I have three days to decide what next year's voice will be.
December 27, 2014


December 27, 2014 (361/365): "Good Night"
(#decemberphotochallenge Day 27: Night Time)

“Good night! Good night!
Far flies the light;
But still God's love
Shall shine above,
Making all bright,
Good night! Good night!” 
~ Victor Hugo

December 26, 2014


December 26, 2014 (360/365): "Unbroken"
(#decemberphotochallenge Day 26: Gratitude)

“America’s fighting men and women sacrifice much to ensure that our great nation stays free. We owe a debt of gratitude to the soldiers that have paid the ultimate price for this cause, as well as for those who are blessed enough to return from the battlefield unscathed.” ~ Allen Boyd

I have been anticipating the release of the Unbroken film with conflicted emotions since I read riveting biography of Louis Zamperini -- juvenile delinquent, college track star, 1936 Olympian who shook hands with Hitler, WWII Air Force captain, survivor of a plane crash and forty-seven days drifting over 2000 miles on a raft in middle of the Pacific Ocean, tortured prisoner of war for two and a half years, recovered alcoholic and PTSD sufferer, inspirational speaker, coach, and philanthropist. As I turned the pages last year, I continually reminded myself that Zamperini was going to make it through all of these harrowing trials, knowing that, at 97 year old, he consulted with Angelina Jolie in the making of the Unbroken film. Sadly Louie Zamperini died last summer before yesterday's film release.

I knew that this film would be hard for me, but I kept telling myself that if Louie could survive all that he went through, I should be strong enough to watch. Unfortunately, the movie focused more on the horrors of Louie's experiences and less on his remarkable character. Though to be fair, how could such an extraordinary life be depicted in just two hours? Despite my disappointment in the tone of the film, as real photos of Louis appeared on the screen in the closing sequence, I found myself in tears. I felt a rush of emotion for the brave men and women of The Greatest Generation whom I will always honor in humble gratitude.
December 25, 2014


December 25, 2014 (359/365): "Christmas Morning"
(#decemberphotochallenge Day 25: Morning)

Looks like Santa came!
December 24, 2014


December 24, 2014 (358/365): "Adore"
(#decemberphotochallenge Day 24: Christmas Eve)

"That's what Christmas is all about!"

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'" Luke 2:8-14 (& Linus Van Pelt)

December 23, 2014


December 23, 2014 (357/365): "Scarves"
(#decemberphotochallenge Day 23: Scarf)

I forgot about all the nice scarves I have.
Why don't I wear these any more?  Time to revisit them.
This is a great video: 25 Ways to Wear a Scarf
December 22, 2014


December 22, 2014 (356/365): "Jesus' Birthday Cake"
(#decemberphotochallenge Day 22: Tradition)

Ever since I little, we had a cake and sang 
"Happy Birthday" to Jesus each Christmas. 

Now we continue the tradition with Alec & Chase

2012 at Grandma's - Sweet :)

2013 at Grandma's - Sassy! (Too much sparkling grape juice!)
December 21, 2014


December 21, 2014 (355/365): "Peace"
(#decemberphotochallenge Day 21: Peace)

"You can't change the wind. You can, however adjust your sails."
(Good advice for inner peace,
during the holidays and throughout the year.)
December 20, 2014


December 20, 2014 Photo (354/365): "Top"
(#decemberphotochallenge Day 20: Tree Topper)

Angels and stars are lovely, but predictable.