Mar 112015
 
Are photo albums a thing of the past

In this age of digital everything, are physical photo albums a thing of the past?

A LONG Winter and Now:  Bronchitis

I recently shared how my husband and I survived this LONG winter.  I really should have said “mentally” survived!   The day before I shared the long winter post,  I went out snowshoeing with my friend and our two dogs for an hour or so.  It was a bit longer than planned because even before we started, I commented I felt I was getting a cold.  That afternoon we were hit with a big ice storm (yes, ,more crappy winter weather!) and in the evening we lost power until nearly noon the next day. 

I am sure it was just coincidence but I woke up in the cold house with whopping, nasty chest cold!  Bronchitis to be exact. 

Why??
Why me??

Today is Day 8 and it has let up a bit but not to the point I can be really busy and actually move around a lot and “DO” something.   It seems if I move a lot, like dash up the stairs, I have a 15 minute coughing fit.   I am very fortunate, in that I am not working outside the home and do not have small children.  However,  I am in my 50s and this has really “Socked it to Me!”.   (You may need to be a child of the 70s to get that Goldie Hawn line.)

Photo albums a thing of the past

“SOCK IT TO ME” (source)

Sorting Photos

Okay enough “Poor Me”, so what does all this have to do with PHOTO ALBUMS?

You see, I have been an avid photographer for years.  I even developed my own black and white way back in the day so I have DOZENS and DOZENS of photo albums.  I also have HUNDREDs of printed pictures, needing sorting, labeling, filing and framing.  Some stacks go back 3 or 4 years.  These are mostly travel photos along with some family and artistic attempts.   Not all will go into albums, it’s also time to update the gallery wall.

With this bronchitis, I have barely gotten out of my PJs, or bed for that matter, meaning I have been unable to tackle active, productive projects like sanding and painting.  Looking around,  I decided it is time to get out the boxes of photos and empty albums and get to work on them.  Nice quiet, non-stressful activity.  This will also be a MAJOR de-cluttering / organizing task that is SO LONG OVERDUE!

Photo albums a thing of the past

Sorting and Filing is well underway.

 

photoalbum4

This is most but not all of my albums. Looking from top to bottom, you can almost see the “History of Photo Album Styles”. The top row are the peel and stick type!

 

Photo Albums

I love printed photos. 
Do you?
I love to look at them. 
I love to touch them. 
I love to remember and reminisce over them.

Will my daughter and the next generation value photo albums and the memories they hold as much as I do?

Are printed photos and photo albums following a similar path as music?  I distincely remember my first stereo receiver, turntable, cassette deck and then CD player.  Now all gone.

A couple of summers ago, at the encouragement of my husband and daughter, I sorted through all of my albums, selecting HUNDREDS of  important pictures and sent them to be digitized. I have them on both CDs and a dedicated hard drive.   I did the same with the literally hours and hours of family and vacation video we have on 8mm.  It was an expensive venture but it is very important to me that we preserve these memories.

To date, neither my husband or my daughter have taken a look at what we now have on digital.

Is that not a telling sign?

 Is the effort of labeling and filing photos, in order to capture memories of precious times together, now a  futile effort?

I have also realized I have not printed and filed away our pictures from the trip we took in August of 2013 to Prague and Vienna.  Should I bother?  Will this be the last of my photo albums?

Maybe I am just getting old and old fashioned.

Yes, we are all busy.  Life is moving so fast.   Maybe too fast.

Capturing special moments seems to be no longer all that special.  It is instantaneous.  Then it is on to the next “special” moment. 

Regardless, I will continue to tackle this task over the next few days when I need to sit quietly and watch NetFlix or listen to a book from Audible on my phone.

Do you still print photos and fill photo albums?

Do you think photo albums will go the way of records and CDs and maybe even DVDs?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Joan

( Did you happen to note the irony in the last sentence before my question? )

 

 

Oct 162014
 

Book Club “Retreat” at Limberlost Forest Reserve

A couple of weekends ago, Mr. Nice and I headed a few hours north of Toronto to  Muskoka “Cottage Country” to spend time with our book club friends.  I think you will love my photos of the amazing place where we stayed.  It is an idyllic location every autumn lover would dream of.

book club retreat

Autumn in Muskoka, Ontario

Here in Toronto, the autumn colours are showing their loveliness.  But north of the city, in “cottage country”,  the fall colours have been spectacular since late September.  Friends in our book club rent a cottage / lodge every year the weekend before the Canadian Thanksgiving at the Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve near the lovely town of Huntsville, Ontario.   This 3000 square foot lodge is a very spacious with SEVEN bedrooms and is on Buck Lake!  Buck Lake Lodge is the ONLY cottage on the lake.  Needless to say, the location is spectacular.

(BTW: NO affiliation)

The Good Friday Book Club is comprised of 4 married couples and 3 ladies whose husbands don’t care to participate. So seven bedrooms was just perfect.  The common area is large and spacious and the kitchen is well equipped which is important to this group of literary “foodies”.

The Lodge

book club retreat limberlost common area

Common area: There is nothing fancy making it oh so homey.

The decor has some very cool lamps made of birch logs and an elk head on the wall.

book club retreat limberlost

One of the fun birch log lamps

book club retreat limberlost

The smiling elk can be a bit creepy

In the common area the dining table is so PERFECT!  And so is the view!

book club retreat limberlost

Don’t you just love this table!

book club retreat limberlost

The pictures are not magazine worthy but there were 11 of us!

book club retreat limberlost

The view from the interior upper balcony. So nice to wake up to!

 

Let’s get outside!

book club retreat limberlost

The main entrance is on the level of the deck. Below the main floor is a sauna and 3 bedrooms as well as an exit outside to the lake.

 Can you spot Chester, my fur baby, and his little nose between the rails, wondering what I am doing?

Around Buck Lake

There is a trail in the woods, near the lake’s edge encompassing the lake.

No more words are needed.

book club retreat limberlost

Winter is coming

book club retreat limberlost

Mirrored silence

book club retreat limberlost

Golden splendor

book club retreat limberlost

Courageous fern

book club retreat limberlost

Morning Mist

book club retreat limberlost

Autumn glory

book club retreat limberlost

Nature’s Mirror

IMG_0476

Alone in the woods

book club retreat limberlost

Brillance at every turn

book club retreat limberlost

View from a lookout close to the lodge

By the way, we really did have a book club meeting and the book we discussed was Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.  In this first book of her trilogy, the world she writes about is as far away from this idyllic setting you could possibly get!

book club retreat limberlost
Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood

I hope you enjoyed your visit to Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve and the sampling of photos I have shared.

 

If you like photos and photograhy PLEASE stop by at my Silent Sunday Linky Party
every Sunday beginning at 6:00 am EST.



It is my new venture and I am so keen to see inspiring photos!

 

I love comments and especially dialogue with readers.
So please leave your thoughts and questions below.

Joan

Feb 162014
 

I live in Canada: aka “The Great White North”.  By no stretch of the imagination is Toronto a place where we are buried in snow for 6 months.  But every so often we get a particularly nasty winter.  This is one of them! It started with early snow, then a Christmas ice storm, followed by cold, snow, cold, snow, and more cold and snow! It is in winters like this when February can be the most debilitating month of all!

A few weeks ago I shared my post “MISSION: Colour” where I pulled a gorgeous colour out of a painting and used the colour, “Maxi Teal,” to paint my foyer table.

DSCN2048

I love the VIBRANT colours in this triptych painting!

DSCN2047

I selected SW “Maxi Teal” for the foyer table from some brush strokes  in the lower area of the painting,
.

Another predominant colour in the painting is GREEN!  There are so many shades but I seem to be particularly drawn to shades of APPLE GREEN!

Greens

So Many Beautiful Greens!

 I stumbled across a very cool website (http://colors.findthedata.org) which describes colours, provides the hex value and even gives you specific matching paint colours from Sherwin Williams and Pantone!

Apple

Apple Green!

Here’s what it had to say about Apple Green:

‘Apple Green’ is a shade of Green that is 100% saturated and 71% bright.  For reference purposes, Apple Green has the hex value #8DB600.  Searching for paints similar to Apple Green?   Sherwin Williams® carries a paint called ‘Electric Lime‘, which is 95% similar to Apple Green.   Additionally, Pantone’s® color #376 is a 95% match.

 Isn’t that cool!  But it makes me wonder, “Who wrote up all this information?” 

The previous post was titled “MISSION: Colour” and as it suggests, it is just the beginning!  I have since begun adding colour in my living room.  We updated our living room in 2012 with new flooring and furniture.  Being forever “safe” we chose  cream coloured sofa and chairs so it is easy to accessorize.  However, at the time, I played it safe with golds and greys and a bit of pale turquoise.  That was the case until I picked up this little birdie last summer at HomeSense (the Canadian version of  HomeGoods).  He has been adding a perfect pop of colour to the coffee table or the mantle.

greenbird

I love this little guy!  Doesn’t he make you smile?

As part of MISSION: Colour, I decided the easiest way to add colour to my living room would be to change up the pillows.  I have been sewing for decades so whipping up pillows is no challenge to me so I will not provide any “how to”  instructions.  But basically, you cut the fabric, add the zipper and sew up the sides!  (I imagine all my the non sewing readers are thinking “Easy for her to say!”).   I headed to my local  FabricLand where I found the most vibrant “jewel” coloured upholstery fabric in a soft chenille finish.  AND of course it was on sale so I bought a variety of colours.  I plan on making new covers for most of the cushions in  both the living and family room (which also has a “safe” palette).

Today, I would like to share the Apple Green lumbar pillows for the chairs.

Here is a look at the living room in December 2012.  This was taken shortly after new flooring and furniture, before drapes, before hanging any pictures and before the Apple Green Bird.  🙂

living room progress

A very safe colour palette.

I loved the look and still do but lately I need COLOUR!

Here’s a sneak peak on what I have done so far! But stay tuned because there are lots more colours to come!

green pillow

I am loving the change already!

The drapes in the picture are from FabricLand and were less than $90!  They look so posh and custom made!  The table in between the chairs is my Paris Table updated using chalk paint and the Mod Podge graphic transfer method.  It has not sold yet (.. and maybe won’t be!)  Check out post here.

In the fall, my husband visited his elderly parents in England.  His mom has always been a bit of a hoarder which sometimes can be good when you are the recipient of some old books from the early 1900s (not the bottom 2).  Titles from Victor Hugo, Thomas Hardy and Dickens! 

Doesn’t Apple Green look amazing with Crimson Red?  I love this combo! 

bird books

Sneak peak of my Green Apple Bird and a couple of his friends on the mantle.

The little white birds are part of a set of 4 napkin rings given to me several years ago.  They are so adorable!

That little green bird makes me smile and has been a wonderful source of fresh colour in the living room.  So on a recent trip to HomeSense, I spotted this adorable matching squirrel in my other favourite and inspiring colour TEAL!  Time the Apple Green bird had a friend!

squirrel

I also love TEAL so I picked up a friend for the bird!

Stay tuned for more splashes of colour as I continue on to the next phase of MISSION: Colour!

Do you have a colour that makes you smile and feel happy the way Apple Green does for me?

If you do, please share!  Just like Apple Green, reading comments also make me smile and feel happy!

Joan

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Jan 112014
 

Beginning with this post, I am going to share my love of reading by writing about my book club and as time goes on, the books we are reading and the food we eat at our meetings.  I have added a tab / page at the top where I have listed the books the Good Friday Book Club  have read to date.

To be honest, our Book Club is one of the most dearest, important aspects of my life.  The bond and dedication the members have never ceases to amaze me.  As the main organizer, I am often taken aback at the importance our little book club has in each members’ life.

A Bit of History

Our book club began as a group of moms whose children were involved in competitive dance.  It came to light we were all dying for some non-dance related fun and mental stimulation.  Our daughter, Miss Nice, was involved in Competitive dance for 12 years!  Needless to say, the studio was like her second home.  As dance parents, we saw many children grow and mature into lovely teens and adults.

We watched Miss Nice grow from this

2002 "Sweet Nothin's" The most adorable 5 year olds ever!

2002 “Sweet Nothin’s”
The most adorable 5 year olds ever!
Miss Nice is on the left

To this:

2014 Gorgeous!

2013 – Gorgeous!

It was at the dance studio where I met my most amazing friend Grace. One night, while waiting for our daughters to finish lessons, I noticed she was reading a book I had recently finished. We began discussing it and other books we had both read and liked.   I also could not help noticing all the notes and scribbles in the margins.  She was preparing for an upcoming book club.  As time went on, whenever  we met up, we always seemed to get into book discussions.

About a year later, she told me her book club was falling apart.  I have always thought a book club would be fun, so we decided to propose starting one with the studio “dance moms”.  The response within our dance-mom circle was incredible!  This was in February  and Dance Competitions are mostly in the early spring months so when we tried to find a free date, it was difficult. 

We finally all agreed to meet Good Friday, 2009: our first meeting.
The book was “The Glass Castle” by Jeanette Walls. 

book

Now nearly 5 years later, we are still at it and oh how we have evolved!  You see, Grace has a Masters Degree in English Literature and she takes her reading and discussing very seriously!  Along the way, we lost a few lovely members but we also gained a few.  With Grace’s leadership and encouragement, we have all grown and we are now much more discretionary, insightful readers.   Not to mention, we all seem obsessed with our book club!  NO ONE EVER wants to miss a meeting!

Unlike many book clubs, ours now includes MEN! 
I know, this sounds almost sacrilegious to many book clubs but for us it works.  

I had the most appropriate house for hosting because all our darling dancers could  dance and carry on in our large family room while we met in the living room.  As such,  Mr Nice was always there and he too is an avid reader.  After a couple meetings, other hubbies wanted to participate.   So we now have 4 men and 7 women.

I believe what makes our book club special is our original connection to each other was dance and not much else.  We don’t live in the same neighbourhoods, we don’t work together and now, only Grace still has a child in dance.  The occupations in the group are also far reaching… Accountant, speech therapist, opera singers, teacher, engineer, real estate, etc.  So each of us brings a very unique perspective to the discussion.  

Our meetings are a blast! 

For each book, we try to pull out a theme or food or drink .  Sometimes it is easy and sometime not. 
One of the best meetings was when we read Eat Pray Love
We had a YOGI! come in and lead us through yoga class! 

Our next meeting is in a couple of weeks and the book is Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. 
Interestingly, since Glass Castle, this is the first non-fiction book we have read.

Devil

Have you read it?

Are you part of a Book Club? 

What has been your favourite book to date? 

What was your least favourite book discussion? 

I would love to connect with other book lovers and book club members! 
Be sure to leave a comment and follow me on Bloglovin or Pinterest where I will be setting up a book board.

Happy reading!

Joan

Sep 072013
 

Today’s a rainy day which is perfect for the projects I have in mind.

In this post I’d like to introduce another of my past times: reading and our book club.  For me personally, painting furniture and books are a perfect combo.  You see, I really love to paint and I really love to read.  But often, reading makes me feel restless and guilty that I should be doing other things… like painting.  This is where audio books come in!

Listening to a good book and painting is a perfect marriage! 

Hours can slip away!  I can be busy and my mind is still working.  If is is a book club selection, we always have the physical book so we can make notes and references in the books.  (Yes, we write in our books!)

Tonight is our book club meeting which my hubbie and I will be hosting.  This meeting’s book is Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.  It is  incredibly well written with intricately crafted threads.  I am sure the discussion will be very stimulating.

cloud atlas

Book Store

To the left, is a photo of the book cover most of the book club members will have tonight. To the right is our copy of the book. Tonight, no one will have a cover like ours.  Because no one less has this guy living with them!

cody_ 001 copy

Cody: He devours books!

my cloud atlas

My copy & the SECOND replacement cover! 

 

 

In addition to our great conversations regarding the book, it is also an opportunity to be with some of the most amazing people I have had the fortune of befriending.  We’re a very eclectic group who were initially pulled together through our daughters’ participation in competitive dance.  Over the four plus years, the membership has been organic, losing some and adding others from other friendship circles.

We even allow husbands! 
and wow are they keen!

In addition to loving books, we love FOOD!  Not just any old food:  good foodie food!  Being a potluck affair, we often try to develop a menu in theme with the book.  For example, for tonight someone suggested “SOAP”… a food a futuristic character was forced to eat or steak tartar since cannibals are featured.  These were mostly jokes but we’ll see.  The best example of having a theme had to be Eat Pray Love.  Dishes from each of the countries were featured: India, Italy and Indonesia.  The best part was I brought in a yogi friend and we had a class in our family room!  So fun!

As I continue to develop the blog I will include posts about our book club and our crazy, wine-infested meetings.  But right now, I have a ton of stuff to do including reviewing my notes for tonight’s meeting.

If you’ve read Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, I’d love to hear your comments!

 Posted by at 10:23 am
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