Thursday, May 28, 2015

Visiting in an Enchanted Garden

About a half hour from my home is a beautiful estate called Filoli. It is surrounded by gorgeous gardens.
Yesterday I had the great good fortune to meet my friend Alison of Life in the Slow Lane who was visiting from Spain. We have met twice before (once in Spain and once here in California), and we always enjoy our time together.
We wandered through the gardens, sharing laughter and stories , before having lunch at the cafe. I learned that one of Alison's favorite flower is this one:
It's an aquilegia, commonly known as columbine or granny's bonnet. Besides visiting with Alison, it was also wonderful to spend time with my camera. I have many more photographs to share over the next few weeks. But, today, I just wanted to say "Thanks Alison for coming to visit and giving me a great reason to go visit Filoli!"

Monday, May 25, 2015

Me on Monday

We've got a three day weekend here in the States (what the rest of the world seems to call a "Bank Holiday"). It's Memorial Day, and we're celebrating and remembering those who served in war. Thinking about my dad today and waving hi to Sian from High in the Sky with a check in on my (ongoing) weekend.
What kind of a weekend was it?
It was graduation weekend at the Law School where I teach. The highlight might have been the special ceremony for Latino law students that took place the night before.
That's me, with one of my favorite students and a group of mariachis (and one of my colleagues, Bill Hing, singing with them) featuring another of our graduates.
It was also a CCS Track and Field Championship Weekend watching my girl and her team mates.

It was also a volunteering at Guide Dogs; visiting with friends and eating at an unusual "Islamic Mandarin" restaurant; watching baseball on TV; catching up on paper work; chatting with the boy on the phone; planning for Peru; and writing a draft of an article for the symposium I'm attending this upcoming weekend kind of weekend.
A very busy weekend indeed!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Peek Inside my Art Journal

I had some spare time today, and I decided to do some work in my art journal. This is a page thinking about my daughter's plan to study abroad this summer in Peru. I started with a heavily textured orange and blue background. I drew South America free-hand and then covered the rest of the page with white paint before adding ephemera and journaling.
And here's a page I did in my travel art journal a few weeks ago when I went to visit my son in Oregon. It features a group of flags on a flag pole, each representing something on my mind at that time.
Even though I set an intention to focus on photography this month, it's nice to continue with other artistic pursuits like art journaling and photography as well.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Scrapbook Friday: Scrapping from a Sketch

I'm continuing to scrap (currently working on photos from 2014) and sharing layouts on my blog on Friday. Most of my layouts are grids or modified grids. But occasionally I like to mix it up and use sketches to break me out of my rut. I found this sketch over at Stick it Down. It features photos from Mom's Weekend at my son's fraternity last year. We had a fun time, but I didn't really have that many photos. I started with an assortment of green and yellow photos because those are the colors of the University of Oregon. I added touches of blue to pull everything together. Stick it Down has three sketches a month - a one page layout, a two page layout and a card. Have you visited there before? Know any other good sketch sites?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Bit of Random

Right now, my days are just packed! 
*The kitten nursery has started up again to take care of litters of motherless kittens that arrive at the local humane society and are too young to fend for themselves. Like last year, I will be volunteering once a week with my daughter Clara. Get ready for cuteness overload. We are also still volunteering at Guide Dogs for the Blind. For those of you who asked about the blue bottle of liquid in this still life post, it's a ChX wash that is used to clean dog's ears and lots of other things (it reminds me of how the Grandmother used Windex in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding).
*I am done teaching classes for the term, and I spent many many hours grading exams. This week there's celebrations and graduation to get to. Plus, I'm on the bargaining team for our faculty union, and we're working on creating a new compensation structure. It's an interesting and stressful assignment, but will be very satisfying if we can work something out. I also agreed to teach this summer. I'm putting together a negotiation class that focuses both on basic skills and on cross-cultural issues. It will be a jam-packed  five weeks.
*Most of the TV shows I watch are over for the year. Loved watching the Mad Men series finale. As a result, I'm reading more (and listening to more books on Audible).  Right now, I'm reading Denali's Howl (a nonfiction book about a fatal climbing expedition to Mount Denali in Alaska) and listening to All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. 
*I'm doing a lot of traveling. Last weekend I was in Chicago. I'm heading to Seattle at the end of the month and then to Detroit the following weekend. All work-related, sadly.
*Clara's got a few more weeks left of school, and she's struggling to keep her head above water. The Junior year of High School in the U.S. can be very stressful because the grades are key for university admission. She has been suffering from a hip injury for most of the track season and not competing. But, she did come back to compete in the season finals. She decided to run the 3200 meter race because (oddly) it puts less stress on her hip than running 800 or 1600 meters. For someone who didn't run all season, she did great. She notched a personal record and qualified for the sectional championship. That will take place this Saturday. This summer, Clara will likely go to Peru for a Spanish immersion/ community service trip. More on that later, if it comes off.
*We lost another chicken. One of the Buffy's succumbed to something. On the upside, our dog Aria's leg is healing nicely. In another month, we hope she will be running along the beach again. 
*And, I'm getting really excited about June 1 and the start of the 2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt! Read more about it here.  There's an instagram hashtag at #rindas2015photohunt and a facebook page called Summertime Picture Scavenger Hunt 2015.  Come on over and join there if you want. But, as always, the main portal for the hunt will be right here at Gallo Organico!
*Not too much time for creative pursuits right now, but I do have some scrap book pages for you on Scrapbook Fridays this month, so please come on back then.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Scrapbook Friday: Companion Pages

This year, I'm recommitting to scrapbooking and sharing my pages on Fridays here on my blog. I'm currently working my way through my photographs from 2014. As regular blog readers know, I usually scrap double page layouts and put lots of photographs on each page.  But sometimes I only have enough photos for a single page. On those occasions, I might make two very different pages. Or I might make a companion page.
Like this one, about building our chicken coop. They are somewhat related, in that Clara did start her egg business as part of FFA (the subject of the first layout). I used matching color blocked backgrounds on both, but different stickers to distinguish them.
So, what do you do? Are you a one page scrapper? A double-page spread scrapper? Do you worry about how your single pages look next to each other?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Some Favorite Scavenger Hunt Photos

The 2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt is coming on June!!! You can read details here. Every year, the scavenger hunt leads me to some wonderful photos and stories. Remember trying to find a pirate in 2011? I do, and I was thrilled to stumble upon this one in Seattle, Washington. But not as thrilled as I was to find a unicycle with Deb of Paper Turtle (you can read that story here).
In 2012, I found this somber border in Belfast with Sian of From High in the Sky, which I blogged about here.
We searched for dinosaurs and tilted at windmills in 2013.
And last year I found a group of tired tourists in a lovely public garden.
I don't know what stories I'll collect this summer, but I'm looking forward to it!
Feel free to share news about the arrival of the Hunt and this year's official image on your blog:
And feel free to reminisce in a comment below.