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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

It’s a simple life I live, but one full of happy moments. Here are just a few that made their way onto my camera this week:

1. Sharing the Cozy Chair.

DSCN2508

2. Rainy days at home.

DSCN25433. My merry minstrel.

DSCN27474. Optimistic tomatoes.

DSCN27505. Surprise white bleeding hearts.

DSCN27536. The best scones ever. (Archer Farms!)

DSCN27627. My garden’s first flower.

DSCN27648. Pointy ears.

DSCN27659. A beautiful view on a gorgeous 70-degree day.

DSCN276810. Mulberry season.DSCN277011. Anything Charley Harper.DSCN277312. Foster kids.DSCN2777

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Now that Jeff and I have committed to living in Indianapolis for the foreseeable future, it’s a good time for us to focus on what we love about Indy and why living here rocks. For me, one of Indy’s greatest assets is the wealth of public spaces. This is why I would like to start a series of blogs focusing on some of the area’s best (and usually free) public attractions..

On a gloomy winter day, the conservatory at Garfield Park is a great place to visit to get your fill of greenery and humid air. Throughout most of the year, the price to visit the conservatory is a piddling $1. However, a special holiday display jacks the price up around Christmas time. Yeah, you do have to fish around for an extra two dollars, but you also get to push open the peppermint candy striped doors to this:

If you’re into poinsettias and trains, then I guess this is the place for you to treat yourself to some excitement!

Seriously, though: I love plants. And while train sets and festivity is all fun and good, the best parts are beyond the next set of doors. There you’ll find:

Orchids of every color and size, tingeing the soily scent of the room with springtime fragrance.

You’ll discover some pretty amazing feats of nature.

You’ll meet some attention craving koi.

(be sure to bring along your favorite hand model.)

You may end up in some pretty poses…

And if you’re really lucky, on the way home you may just run across a festive dinosaur or two (or five):

At $3 a person, I’d say that Garfield Park Conservatory is money well-spent.

Stay tuned for more on what Garfield Park and Sunken Gardens has to offer during warmer months.

For more information, visit http://www.garfieldgardensconservatory.org/

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Holiday Cats

It’s that time of year again…

Time to put on your Sunday best…

Time to enjoy special feasts…

Time to hang the wreaths…

And time to relax among the boughs of a beautiful Christmas tree…

Oh yes, and time for Evie to be as photographically elusive as ever.

Happy Holidays.

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One fine day last summer, we were roaming around downtown Cincinnati on a trip to visit Jeff’s sister, looking for something to entertain us. Downtown Cincy isn’t always the most happening place, you know. While passing by some store fronts, a display of brightly designed skateboards caught Jeff’s eye, and he beckoned us back for a look. We were pleasantly surprised, and looked for the name of the store: Harper Studios. Hmmm. We tentatively ventured indoors, and were greeted by a small gallery space packed with art that instantly won us over.

Of course, the first thing I noticed was that everything was animals. Then, I noticed the incredibly unique minimalist style and the vivid colors. Things just kept getting better and better. These weren’t just paintings of animals, they were works dripping with personality and insight, full of charm. It was impossible not to smile as I recognized the quirky little habits of all the wildlife I love personified in these flat, two-dimensional images. Geometry and nature were fused into one medium which was guaranteed to win me over. We left with a catalogue of Charley Harper’s works, and kept coming back to enjoy the fun images time and time again that weekend.

Last Christmas, I had the great fortune of receiving not one, but three Charley Harper prints! They seem to blend in naturally with my decor and color scheme, and I never get tired of admiring them. Thank you Ang, Trese, and Jeff!

So who is this Charley Harper guy, and what is his studio doing hiding out in downtown Cincinnati?

Well, I’ll tell you.

Charley Harper was born and raised on the family farm in West Virginia, where he no doubt developed his keen perception of the quirks of nature. He left home to attend the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where he met his wife and fellow artist Edie, and where he stayed on for years as a teacher. Eventually he worked in the commercial art world before opening his very own studio. He became immensely popular before he died in 2007, and his works can be seen in books, posters, and displays across the country. Since I fell in love with Harper’s gallery last summer, I’ve been more aware of his works popping up in random places. Walking through the education building at the Indianapolis Zoo, a Charley Harper print would catch my eye. Perusing photos of interior design spaces, I get excited when I notice a Charley Harper book artfully placed on a coffee table. And of course, at the Cincinnati Zoo there is a wealth of Charley Harper waiting to be noticed by the zoo-goer in the know.

What is so appealing about Charley’s works? Well, it has something to do with the way he takes an impossibly dense natural situation, and breaks it down with mathematical simplicity into a scene that instantly reflects the complex beauty of nature. Each image tells a story. As Charley used to explain it: “I don’t try to put everything in, I try to leave everything out.”

You’ll just have to see for yourself what we mean…

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Spending time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house was something that I always took for granted. It seemed that the house would always be there, my grandparents would always be there, we would always have another holiday to gather as one big, happy, extended family. Thanksgiving would be turkey, Christmas would be ham and presents. Easter would involve epic egg coloring, and Fourth of July grilled black hot dogs. The coming of August would bring hot air balloon races flying overhead, and hoards of cyclists passing through the neighborhood. Halloween meant chili and trick-or-treating as far and as fast as our little legs would carry us. There would always be many reasons to visit Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

With time came the inevitable changes. Family events became fewer and further between, and never seemed to last all day and all night like they used to. Eventually, the house emptied itself of living souls completely, leaving behind only a lifetime of collections that crowded each room and stood as colorful relics of days gone forever.

I brought my camera to Grandma and Grandpa’s house today, to try to capture a bit of the dwindling spirit that made this home such a vibrant place, teeming with life on countless occasions. My goal was to focus on those details that may have stood out to me twenty years ago. I wanted to capture the feel of leaning over the upstairs banister looking down, and the hesitation of a child peering down the basement stairwell, looking for monsters.

I couldn’t capture the scents of the place: yew, Irish Spring, musty carpet, freshly popped popcorn. But if you stare at the images long enough the memory of it might come back to you. You may even begin to remember the feel of knees burnished by orange carpet that was plush and bright long before I ever crawled across it. You might begin to feel the impossible heft of the door, inseparable from the squeak of the hinge and the beep of the alarm at ready. You might hear my grandfather’s laugh, and footsteps receding in the hallway, stepping down two steps, then immediately stepping back up two steps to the kitchen. You might rediscover a long lost part of yourself in those red tiled floors and brown striped upholstery. It’s worth a look to see.

I began writing this blog with long drawn out captions, attempting to describe the significance of each scene I had chosen to capture. I decided instead that the photographs could speak for themselves, or silently hold their mysteries forever.

Before long these images will be mere reminders.

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Kitty Feet…

 

 

Books!

 

 

Calm Scenes…

 

 

Speckle Feet…

 

 

Corny Sisters (hey you wanted to be included)–


 

 

Mac Photo Booth.

 

 

Cool Hats:

 

 

Christmas Sparkles

 

 

Early Mariemas Presents!

 

 

And Love Notes ♥


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Christmas Photos

Here are just a few of the many reasons why my summer was simply amazing…

Kitties…

Under flowers…

And tiny marsupials…

Shiny things..

Mi amor..

Animals, animals..

More amor (+ animals)..

Cool trees in fave places..

Mud..

And, of course, more kitties..

The End.

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