Friday, September 12, 2014

friday finds ... welcome home


It is Friday once again ... and time for another Friday finds with Kim Klassen.  "It is a place to gather and share ... a place to cherish life's simple pleasures".  Doesn't that sound like such an inviting place?
 

"the soul should always stand ajar,
ready to welcome the ecstatic experience ..."
~Emily Dickinson~

I have been absent from blogging home for some weeks now ... so much has been going on here and i have been pulled away from my big girl camera ... meetings, decisions, appointments, oh my ~ but more on my exciting news next month.
And in the midst of it all, i started Christina Greve's new Lifestyle Photography Workshop ... an amazing birthday gift from my husband ... and i have promised myself at least five hours a week of camera time to learn, experiment and just have fun!  
Now that i have started the class, it looks like i am going to need five hours a day!!
This is THE perfect time of year for photowalks, no excuses, the days are cooler and there is a hint of autumn in the air ... perfect!
So out I went ... no agenda ... no time restraints ... my camera around my body and a water bottle hanging off my bag.  As I walked I found myself looking beyond the ordinary ... focusing on all the delightful details.
As I walked past a quaint home downtown, i came to a sudden stop.  I knew I had found my Friday find!  
The zinnias were in full bloom and surrounding a fence with delightful white chippy paint.  Who wouldn't love to be welcomed home everyday to these blooms?
I must have been there on the sidewalk for nearly an hour photographing these beauties ... not caring if the homeowner had thought that I had completely lost my mind ... well ... maybe I had ... smile.  I was certainly lost in my own little world and enjoying every single second of it! 
One thing that photography has taught me is to slow down and enjoy the beauty that is offered to us everyday. 

If you have a few moments, be sure to click on Kim's adorable button that will lead you to more delightful finds.


Kim Klassen {dot com}
until next time ...
Nancyjean

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Finds ... let your dreams take flight

It is Friday once again ... and time for another Friday finds with Kim Klassen.  "It is a place to gather and share ... a place to cherish life's simple pleasures".  Doesn't that sound like such an inviting place?


~let your dreams take flight~

My find this week was the "Eyes to the Sky" festival near my hometown. Actually the festival was held in July, but i just now found them in LR waiting for me to view them ... oh where does the time go?
Once a year hot air balloons from all over the country find their way to this small town and light up the skies.  Fortunately mother nature provided perfect weather for their flights ... one by one they ascended into the skies. It is so peaceful watching as they slowly ... silently ... drift away.




Then as night fell, the magic happened ... the famous balloon glow.  On the count of three, all the balloons light up the night.  It is such a wonderful experience lying there watching these gentle giants glowing in the summer evening.  


I have to say that this big guy was my favorite!  He just made you feel all good inside.  


And then there were the USA and World balloons ... they hold a very special meaning for me.  You see, right now I am holding tight to a secret that i am just so excited to share with the whole wide world  ... but i can't ... not just yet.  
But i can tell you that these two balloons are a hint ... USA and World.  For now that is all i can say ... but soon the time will be right and i can share my wonderful news!!  

If you have a few moments, be sure to click on Kim's adorable button that will lead you to more delightful finds.
Kim Klassen dot Com

until next time ...
nancyjean

Friday, August 8, 2014

friday finds ... butterfly days

I love Friday finds with Kim Klassen ... "it is a place to gather and share ... a place to cherish life's simple pleasures" ... doesn't that sound like such an inviting place?


"Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, 
but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."  
~Nathaniel Hawthorne~


Today i set out in search of butterflies.  All the bright summertime flowers are in bloom and the day was perfect.  I grabbed my 70-200 f2.8 lens with the 2X extender and off i went.  These were gifts from my husband this year ... he "gets" me :~)

But no butterflies ... the harder i looked the more i got discouraged.  An hour went by, and all i had were shots of flowers.  And as pretty as they were ... they just were not butterflies.  Finally i gave up and sat down to rest.  


And then,  just as stopped pursuing them ... not one ... but two beautiful monarchs flew right in front of me.  I sat there quietly shooting photo after photo of these delicate creatures.  


They danced their way from flower to flower while i happily clicked away.  I brought home over one hundred photos of these beauties.  
I have found that photography has taught me to slow down and be patient ... be still ... and that perfect photo just might appear.  

If you have a few moments, be sure to click on Kim's adorable button that will lead you to more delightful finds.


Kim Klassen dot Com

until next time ...
nancyjean


Friday, August 1, 2014

friday finds ... Mettawa Manor

I love Friday finds with Kim Klassen ... "it is a place to gather and share ... a place to cherish life's simple pleasures" ... doesn't that sound like such an inviting place?

It was Garden Conservancy Days here in Illinois last weekend ... select private gardens open their doors to the public.  Love these days ... it is my chance to see what lies beyond those long driveways and gated properties.  This years garden was totally enchanting ... Mettawa Manor ... home to Donna LaPietra and Bill Kurtis.


It took us over an hour to reach Chicago's North Shore, but as I drove down the mile long driveway, I knew that I was in for a treat!  
After we parked, I walked down this lovely path to find the owner herself welcoming every visitor to her 65 acre estate.  Parasols were available to use on the sunny day, even a first aide kit for that nasty mosquito bite or cut. She asked us to feel at home here, to sit and enjoy the views on her many benches scattered through out ... oh and not to forget that when we got to the main home to be sure to enjoy beverages and ice cream on her back porch!  Such a gracious hostess!  



As we passed one of many lakes and turned the corner ... there it was ... Mettawa Manor.  It was a picture perfect day with the blue skies and white puffy clouds ... just perfect for a garden walk.  


Also on the grounds is the original home built in 1927 ... gorgeous!


All the architectural detail of the home was breathtaking ... everywhere you looked was total perfection.



And all the ponds and lakes ... six of them!  There was a pond for turtles, another for frogs and of coarse the lily pond.  There was even a aqua theater!


Each of the gardens were absolutely enchanting ... not one detail had been overlooked.   I think i counted over twenty gardens ... each one had a theme ... the walled garden, the bronze garden, the golden garden, the silver garden, the cutting garden, the secret garden, the flower drying garden ... and on and on!  

The marble garden statues overlooked the garden beds ... stunning!


 Even their orchards were teaming with fruit.   


 As I walked around the grounds for over two hours, I realized that this was the only watering can i saw ... too funny!  This also happened to be one of my favorite shots of the day ... just love the dappled light!  

Most states have Garden Conservancy Open Days each year ... you can get more information here.   I can not wait till next year what other gardens are hidden behind those gates! 

If you have a few moments, be sure to click on Kim's adorable button that will lead you to more delightful finds.


Kim Klassen dot Com

until next time ...
nancyjean

Friday, July 25, 2014

friday find ... a little hollyhock

I love Friday finds with Kim Klassen ... "it is a place to gather and share ... a place to cherish life's simple pleasures" ... doesn't that sound like such an inviting place?


"as for hollyhocks ... we shall never have a garden without them ...
both for their own sake ... 
and for the sake of old~fashioned folks
who used to love them."
~henry ward beecher"


I found myself lost in my garden once again this week ... always discovering something new.  My hollyhocks made their debut ... and this double really took my breath away!  I guess i am one of those "old~fashioned folks" who loves old~fashioned flowers. 

 I so hope you do not grow tired of my flower photos ... it is just that i can not get enough of them.  
Maybe it was the long cold winter that seemed like it would never end, that makes me appreciate my flower gardens even more this summer.

 Everything is alive with color ... such a good thing!  So i try to get out and enjoy each precious sun filled day ... and let it soak in.

If you have a few moments, be sure to click on Kim's adorable button that will lead you to more delightful finds!



Kim Klassen dot Com

until next time ...
nancyjean

Friday, July 18, 2014

friday finds ... ta da!

I love friday finds with Kim Klassen ... "it is a place to gather and share ... a place to cherish life's simple pleasures" ... doesn't that sound like such an inviting place?


"it was not anyone's birthday, 
but Bramwell Brown had a feeling
 that today was going to be a special day"
~old bear by jane hissey"

Guess what ... it is such an exciting day ... i completed my very first quilt!  Ta Da!

I found that i just love to quilt ... the exciting fabrics to touch and discover ... the precise measuring and cutting (measure twice, cut once) ... the pressing that gets the fabric nice and crisp ... the sound of my new bernina humming away ...  All such fun!
  
I decided to tackle just a crib size for my first quilt ... i thought that with a smaller project, i might just get it finished and not find it lying in the back of workroom.

Good decision!

Now i wonder who will have the next baby shower?


~old bear~

If you have a few moments, be sure to click on Kim's adorable button that will lead you to more delightful finds!


Kim Klassen dot Com

until next time ...
nancyjean

Friday, July 11, 2014

friday finds ... a beautiful surprise


I love Friday finds with Kim Klassen ... "it is a place to gather and share ... a place to cherish life's simple pleasures" ... doesn't that sound like such an inviting place?


My find this week was a beautiful surprise ... a bouquet of loveliness from my wonderful son.  And it was for no reason ... it was one of those  "just because" gifts. 

Isn't that unexpected gift the best kind?  


"nearly all the best things that came to me in life
have been the unexpected ...
unplanned by me"
~carl sandburg~


If you have a few moments, be sure to click on Kim's adorable button that will lead you to more delightful finds!

Kim Klassen dot Com

Until next time ...
nancyjean