Mother’s Day

Mother . . . we all had one.  Mothers vary in shape, size, age, and race.  Some are shy.  Some are exuberant.  She was the one who gave us physical birth or adopted us. Perhaps the woman who acted in the role of a mother figure in your life is the one you really view as your mom.  Whoever she is/was, she is one of the most significant persons in our life.

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Happy Mother’s Day

I never fully appreciated my mother until I became a mother myself.  Mother has been in heaven almost two years . . . I still miss her.  She shaped me.  She loved me.  She sacrificed for me.  She believed in me.  She was my champion.   I will always be grateful for the privilege of being her daughter.

 

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October Words

Like the savory aroma of homemade soup on the stove, certain words make me hungry for the fall season.  I call them my October words.  Here are a few of them:  colored leaves, apple cider, sweaters, plaid, pumpkins, fall festivals, blessings, juicy apples, acorns, pine cones, hay bales, crisp weather, pumpkin pie with whip cream, fuzzy slippers, freshly baked cookies, and flickering candles.

Crisp-Fall

” Crisp Fall”

Recently, I saw this quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald,  “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”

“Autumn, the year’s last lovliest smile.”  Unsure who penned those words, but I like them.

“Autumn Smile”

Warm colors of red, orange, and gold seem cozy now that summer’s heat is a memory.  Anne, the main character in Lucy Montgomery’s book, Anne of Green Gables, said of October, ” I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”  I agree with Anne.  October is a wonderful month.

“Basket of Apples”

What are your “October words?”  If you would like to see more seasonal images, check out my website at http://www.stephaniehalstead.com.  Thank you for taking “A Second Look”.

Watch the Leaves Turn

It’s that time of year in my part of the world.  Summer vacations are finished except for the good memories that linger and maybe a bit of sunburned skin.   Big yellow school buses are on the roads again.  School has started.

Leaves Turn

Growing up, I looked forward to the beginning of a another school year.  Never used pencils.  Pristine, unmarked notebooks . . . I really enjoyed getting new school supplies!
It was a time for embarking on an adventure, a bit nervous and excited all at the same time.  The months ahead promised new experiences and new things to learn.

The world now is much busier than the one I grew up in as a child.  So many more options, so many more distractions.  Although I no longer have homework assignments, my “to do” list keeps me busy.  That is okay to a certain point.  As a busy adult, I miss the wonder of running through colored leaves as a child.  At this stage of life, I need to remember that even if everything doesn’t get done . . . I still need to take TIME to be STILL and watch the leaves TURN.

How busy are you?

Thanks for taking “A Second Look”.  More autumn images are available at http://www.stephaniehalstead.com.

Taste and See

I just returned home from the natural candy store.  Yes, I am referring to the local produce market.

Surrounded by the vast array of colors, shapes, and textures my creative spirit goes into overdrive. Unfortunately, on more than one occasion, this has resulted in more fresh fruits and vegetables than we can store and eat before it spoils!   I did better this morning.  Bought just the right amount, although I confess I wanted one of everything in sight!  Some of my friends just look at me and shake their heads when I tell them how the beauty at the produce store excites me.

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Taste and See

“Use glass, mirrors, and other reflective surfaces for a fun way to experiment when taking pictures.”  For day seventeen in the Photo101 course sponsored by WordPress, I chose to use a mirror underneath this pear.  This image also illustrates my love of macro photography.

The green background is a piece of burlap fabric.  A shallow depth of field directs the eye to the star of this image, a beautiful pear.  A few drops of water slowly roll down to the mirror.

Growing up there were certain foods I didn’t like, sometimes because of the look or smell.  It did not matter how often my family told me it was delicious.  Not until I actually tasted the food, was I was convinced it was good.  Psalm 34:8 reminds me that I personally can taste and see God’s goodness when I take initiative to investigate Him and open my heart to Him.

Thanks for taking “A Second Look”  Look for more images of fruits and vegetables at http://www.stephaniehalstead.com.  Cherries, blueberries, apples, pumpkins, gourds and strawberries are on display there now.  

Not Your Grandmother’s Quilt

No, my grandmother’s quilts did not look like these!  A friend and I saw creativity, beauty and humor expressed in delightful ways by very talented women this past weekend at the Quilt Fever 2015.  This event was presented by the Florida Cabin Fever Quilters Guild, Inc.

Fabric, buttons, and thread brought together, and sewn into amazing, yes, breathtaking art.  No two were alike.  There was something for everyone’s taste.  My favorites did not run toward the traditional (there certainly were some beautiful ones), but to ones with vibrant, jewel tone colors.  What an extravagant feast for the eyes and for the soul!

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 Embellished with buttons.

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Can you count the endless circles?  Do not know the name of the quilting artist of this beautiful, fun one.

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 This one was displayed by a vendor.

My young grandsons would love this one above or the one below.

Dogs I Have Known

“Dogs I Have Known” by Marilyn Clayton, Belle Isle, FL

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This exotic one was a small quilted wall hanging.  What colors!  Such detail!  Talented woman!

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You could purchase and make this kit with a butterfly theme.  No, I am not a quilter, just an admirer.

Autumn Memories

“Autumn Memories” by Ellyn Intemann, Orlando, FL

This was just a portion of a larger quilt.  As a cat lover, this one appealed to me.

Buttoned Down Stars

“Buttoned Down Stars” by Kate Elliot, Casselberry, FL

This was one of my two favorites.  I returned to it several times.  The photo does not do it justice.  The colors were brilliant.  Each time I looked at it I saw something new.  Really good art beckons you to look and look and look again.

Ray Steve and Josie

“Ray, Steve and Josie” by Ann Turley, Fallbrook, CA

I rounded the corner and came upon these three giraffes.  I laughed out loud immediately and then laughed some more.  I have beautiful things in my home, but not anything that makes me laugh every time I see it.  Do you have things that cause laughter to just bubble up in your soul?   A few minutes later, another woman came around the corner and saw this quilt.  Her reaction?   Spontaneous, out loud laughter!  This was my second favorite.

My grandmother’s quilts were made by hand, not machine like most of these.  Times were hard.  Fabric choices were limited. Quilts were made to be pretty, but more than anything they meant the difference in getting some sleep on a very, very cold winter night. They were their own special form of art.

Thanks for taking a second look.  http://www.stephaniehalstead.com


Happy Birthday to You and You and You!

It’s someone’s birthday today or tomorrow.  Maybe it is yours!

I have always thought birthdays are special in a way that no holiday is.  There are probably hundreds of thousands in the world that claim that same date on the calendar with you.  When it’s YOUR birthday, somehow it is a day more special than the other 364 days in the year.

So, in light of that here are a variety of the birthday images I have created.  Two of the images include names on them to give you an idea how a personalized one looks.  Thanks for taking “A Second Look”

For:  Anyone 🙂

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For:  The man in your life – brother, brother-in-law, uncle, husband, son, cousin, good friend.

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For:  Your mom, sister, aunt or best girlfriend?

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For:  Anyone who like flowers.

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For:  That special little girl in your life.

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For:  The beach lover

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For:  The organic gardener, fruit lover in your life, or someone whose favorite color is orange or blue.

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For:  The one who likes the uncluttered look.

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Most of the images on my website can be customized.  Many more images available at http://www.stephaniehalstead.com   Contact me through my website if you are interested in ordering.  I ship anywhere in the continental United States.

Artistry in the Forest

Autumn-RoadIt was early morning when the artist invited me into his studio.  He had combined reds, corals, yellows, oranges, greens, blacks and browns in his work.  His art took my breath away!  God is the master artist.

As mentioned in my previous post, it has been a dream of mine to go somewhere in the Fall, so I can see multiple trees with colored leaves.

Well, God granted me my heart’s desire in early November.

Sharing this adventure with my husband, my sister and brother and their spouses made it a very special time.

Hope you enjoy these images from North Carolina.

Thanks for taking “A Second Look”.

http://www.stephaniehalstead.com


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