Archive | May, 2012

Season of Heat

26 May

Summer. Sun. Sand. Shakes—mango, coconut, watermelon (not all together, though :P). And sweat.

I could do without the last, actually. 😆

But how apt that in this sweltering heat, Summer is the theme of this week’s WordPress Photo of the Week Challenge!

Here’s my take on it:

Summer: Sunny haze, Soccer field, Stick in hand, and all the time in the world to Seek adventures. AweSome!

Travel Theme: Summer

But wait, we haven’t had enough of summer yet; there’s more!

How funny is it that my new WordPress-friend, Ailsa, invited me just last week to participate in her own photo challenge on her blog, and her theme was… surprise, surprise:  Summer! I promised her that I’d join in, and I always keep my promises. 😉 So here we go—Summer, Too:

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Now let’s see how many S words I can come up with for this one: Summer = Sun, Sand, Sea, a Sprinkling of Seawater, and a lovely fruit Shake.

Ssssweet! 😀

Oh, and let’s not forget… the Summer Song (perfect for those long drives to the beach)!

Hope you have a super day today, my dear friends! Sssee you sssoon!

Hands

23 May

I have always loved taking photos of hands because I think hands can tell many stories (ever notice how difficult it is to speak without moving your hands? Try it. ;)). In direct correlation, I think hands can reveal so much about the body and soul that are connected to them. They can reach out and they can block off. They can flutter about or they can hold steady and calm. They can give or they can take.

I can’t imagine a world without hands. And a child’s hands—ah, a world without that, to have and to hold, would be a bleak and dreary world indeed.

Speaking of little hands, there is a saying, “From little acorns mighty oaks do grow.” In little hands, acorns speak so much: what a wonderful metaphor for the future of the world lying cradled in the faith, love and hope of pure children’s hands.

And that brings me to my take on this week’s WordPress Photo of the Week Challenge, with the awesome Hands theme:

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And today, I end this with a wish for you in the words of William Blake:

To see the world in a grain of sand,
And to see heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hands,
And eternity in an hour.

And this beautiful song of Jewel:

May you have a handful of happy hugs this Tuesday evening / Wednesday morning, my dear friends!

Monday Madness

22 May

Okay, so this is coming a bit late, but there is so much awesome-ness happening today that I couldn’t imagine not sharing it with you!

First of all, let me invite you to a whole week-long party that’s guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing while you grow your skills! I love taking photos and I love writing, and I think that if you put photos + words together, what you come up with is the complete story of a precious moment forever documented not just for you and those you hold dear now but for all the generations yet to come. Add art to the mix of photos + words, and you have all that you need to make your creative muses celebrate! 🙂

So if you’re looking for an incentive to finally use all those amazing photos you have in your hard drive, and to jot down that story that you’ve been tucking in your memory bank before it fades away, you’ve got 1..2..3… no wait, you’ve got 7 chances to do it, while having enormous fun too, this coming week.

Come join us at our annual 7 Days in May Challenges, and whether you’re a veteran who’s done this in the past four years or it’s the very first time you’ve heard about this, you are totally welcome to jump in at any time this week (and if you could do so every day, that would be awesome!).

{Click on the image above to check out our challenges! }

Three New Products!

Every Monday, we have new products at the JessicaSprague.com Shop, and this Monday I have three! (And did I mention that new products are 25% off on Mondays? Yeah!)

Here are Wordlets (don’t bother googling what they are because I just invented the word, heehee), perfect for use at those times when no other word comes close to capturing the emotions we want to convey:

Wordlets Vol. 1 – The A to N Collection

Wordlets Vol. 2 – The O to Z Collection

And if you’d like to grab both volumes in one go at a better price, here’s Wordlets Bundle – The A to Z Collection:

{ Clicking on the images will bring you to the product page in my shop 😉 ).

And let’s not forget the awesome oh-so-inspiring art of our creative geniuses at JessicaSprague.com!

This awesome layout is by Tracy, one of our new Creative Team members:

This amazing layout is by Jen P:

And this wonderful layout is by Jana!

Alrighty then! With all that eye-candy and all the excitement of 7 Days in May, I wish you a madly wonderful Monday! (((hugs)))

Shooting the Blues

19 May

Blue happens to be my favorite color (robin’s egg blue that leans more towards blue than green, to be exact, but I pretty much like all the shades of blue). Perhaps that’s why I’ve never associated blue with sadness. I mean, I can shoot the blues but I can’t sing them. 😉

And so I did. Shoot the blues, that is. At the San Francisco’s Pier 39. And it was just what I needed for the WordPress Photo of the Week Challenge with the theme Blue. (Betcha you guessed that immediately, right?)

So here we go with the last of my backlogged photo challenges: BLUE, for you!

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For the record: I think this was the first time I actually saw this kind of silvery-blue fish. Pretty awesome really, those creatures.

Mason Cooley wrote,

The sheen of ocean gleams on the blue fish-plate.

And so it does, doesn’t it?

Now if, like me, seeing all that beautifully glistening blue makes you imagine the b-l-i-s-s of floating peacefully along, gently rocked by the ocean’s rolling waves, then I’m guessing you’ll love how Enya’s Caribbean Blue brings you perfectly to that place of cool, calm comfort:

All this blue around has made me curious: What is blue to you? Does it bring to mind something extraordinary and uncommon (Blue Moon)? Someone beloved (Blue Eyes)? Love (Mr. Blue)? The wonder of the heavens above and oceans beneath (I see skies are blue, red roses too…)? Sadness (Singing the Blues) or happiness (Blue skies, nothing but blue skies…)?

I personally think blue is cool. But then, you knew that from the first sentence of this post, right? heehee.

Hope today turns out to be cool for you, both literally and figuratively, my dear friends!

(Un)Focused

19 May

There are busy days, and then there are busy days. The kind that seem to rush past in a blur, and when we finally get the time to sit back and take a deep breath, we abruptly find ourselves at the end of the day. Ever have that kind of day? I have many of them.

Luckily for those of us who get caught by the daily rush, there is a way to get through them and survive and even come out victorious at the day’s finish line, cheering and whooping and dancing amidst the confetti rain. I’m not talking about sticky-tacking the hands of the clock when no one’s looking (though I will admit the prospect of doing just that is deliciously tempting, if only it would work. Ha!). And, tempting though it is, too, to follow the day’s hasty pace and charge through our To-Do list with a Tasmanian-Devilish burst of speed, I suspect the answer doesn’t lie there either. Often the blur is something we have no control over anyway, so to go rushing blindly isn’t going to make it go away. So what then?

Ahem. We were talking about solutions, right? I like to think the answer lies in applying the Shooting Principle. And in case you feel you have to google that, don’t bother: I just invented it right now (haha).

The Shooting Principle of Life

Basically, the Shooting Principle is all about coping with life’s quick pace the same way one would when shooting a photo. If you move around too quickly, or if you don’t hold steady, or if there isn’t enough light (or a tripod to keep your camera steady otherwise—but then how many of us walk around with a tripod on a daily basis, right?), you’ll get a blurry shot.

Yeah, so? How does not moving quickly, holding steady, and working with light translate to the business of real life?  Stay with me, my friend. It’s going to make sense in a bit, I promise. 😉

See, I think, in much the same way, if we rush through the day without taking the time to be grateful for all the blessings that are easily overlooked in the hurry and flurry, if we allow ourselves to be thrown out of whack by unexpected occurences or unforeseen problems instead of staying steadily on track, if we forget to take the time to light the day with moments of both calm prayer and cheerful humor, then our life would be a complete blur.

So the answer, then, lies in keeping ourselves focused, even and perhaps especially when we are caught in the midst of the daily rush. That’s the key word then: Focus. In the midst of trying conditions, the only way to avoid getting lost in the blur is to keep focused. Train our sights on our goals and keep working steadily along. (Let’s see now: Get laundry done. Check. Get the groceries shopped. Check. Get dinner cooked. Check.). Choose to look at the positives and let the negatives fade away. Know what needs to be done at each moment and strive to complete that before going on to the next. Then, even if the blur continues, that which is the object of focus remains standing and triumphant.

Amazing, isn’t it?

Timely, too, that the WordPress Photo of the Week Challenge that I need to catch up on has Unfocused as its theme. Here’s my take on it:

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Amazingly, there actually exists a song about Frames & Focus! Here you go:

And so, this is where I end for now, as I focus on today’s To-Do List (still full as always, but now with one backlogged WordPress Photo Challenge less and just one more to go before I’m all caught up… Yay!). In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful day filled with the right lights, intense focus amidst the daily blur, and lots of good times to capture with heart and hands and perhaps even a camera lens! 🙂

Together = Priceless

18 May

Forgive me for being absent for quite some time… I just got back from a family vacation on the West Coast, and had two weeks of net-free, real life adventures, family bonding and together-time!

And now, to do the accounting:

Pounds Gained = 6 (alack!)
Days Spent Trying to Get Rid of Jetlag = 11
Wordpress Weekly Photo Challenges to Catch Up On = 3
Family Bonding & Happy Adventures = Priceless

More than worth any cost, for sure! 🙂

So apt, then, that the first WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge that I need to catch up on is themed Together. Here’s my take on it:

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(I especially love that the mom and dad are holding hands while pushing the stroller… did you notice that too? Awwww! :))

And resurrecting an oldie but goodie to celebrate love and togetherness:

Have you gone anywhere together with loved ones recently? Was it awesome, too?

Here’s wishing you loads of happy together-times!

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