Urban love note.




Easy as…


I didn’t wander with my camera today. My creative efforts, instead, were directed at fashioning a photo light box out of a sheet of white muslin, two desk lamps, white poster board, and a cardboard box.

The idea is to create a stage with soft, even light, without harsh shadows, for small items to be photographed clearly.

I measured and cut and taped. Once the box was assembled, I considered my first test subject. I tried a pompom, a marble, a feather (when you have kids, these items mysteriously appear in your home along with other odd things like bulk packs of fluorescent popsicle sticks and rainbow tubes of glitter glue).

I popped online to procrastinate before putting away the light box setup, and came across the WordPress Discover Challenge: One, Two, Three!. By this time it was 10:30 p.m. and my brain was beginning to short circuit, so I used my new contraption to photograph – quite literally and with no deeper meaning whatsoever – one, two, three beads.

Well, I’ve never claimed to produce fine art. But at least my homemade light box works.

Dear Santa: Long-johns, please.


I detest the cold.

I’m cold all the time. I’m the one in four layers of clothing when everyone else is comfortable in a hoodie. I’ll go swimming only if it’s hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk. I sleep wearing socks and slippers, with my pajama pants tucked into my socks so they don’t ride up (this baffles and frustrates my hot-blooded husband, not only because I’m sure he would prefer a sleeping partner in a more advanced state of undress but also because he’d rather not be sweating beneath a comforter and a duvet in the middle of summer).

Though I like autumn, I start groaning when temperatures fall below 12°C. Dread sets in when it goes below zero, and the phrase “windchill factor” makes me want to curl up with my hot water bottle and hibernate in my well-padded bed for the rest of the season.

The late fall, at least, is beginning to look different to me now that I’m learning to see through a lens. I’ll actually venture outside. On purpose. And if I’m holding my camera, busy looking, I pay less attention to the blood freezing solid in my veins.

This morning we woke to the ground sparkling with frost. The leaves in the photo above were illuminated by a shaft of early morning sunlight glinting through a gap between the backyard fence boards. I tried to catch the rim of frost before it melted away moments later.

December’s almost upon us. Winter will provide some unique photo opportunities. Perhaps with some additional layers, a balaclava, and maybe some hot potatoes in my pockets, I’ll be ready.




This is a close-up of a cylinder-shaped crackle glass lamp that’s been sitting on a table in our living room for years, dutifully providing light while collecting dust and dead bugs. I’m so used to this lamp that it’s become more or less invisible to me unless I have to replace the light bulb (at which point, you’ll be glad to know, I usually also remove the dust/bugs).

I cheated a bit by adding a filter during processing so the tone would be more interesting and bring out the texture.

It’s curious what I’ll notice when I actually take the time to look.