Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Monday, December 11, 2017

Snowcapped


I had only to step outside my apartment to capture this last Friday. We love our random snows in Birmingham. We especially love it when it comes and goes quickly without lost of power. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Who Knew!



Friday morning was set to be the time the magical and very talented flower ladies were to decorate Independent Presbyterian Church from top to bottom for the 68th Annual Holiday House Tour. After all, that has been the day for 68 years. What could go wrong? Well a surprise Alabama snowfall that's what. Friday morning, our city got about 4 inches of wet fluffy snow. Those with four wheel drives made it and the show went on. Some had to catch up on Saturday morning. The doors opened at 10 and except for a few icy steps, everything went perfectly as planned. The addition of snow to the outside decorations was a photographer's delight!

Please come today ( 1-5)  for the tour of the church, tea in the Great Hall, then visit  the five beautiful homes. You may purchase tickets online, at the church or any of the homes. All proceeds benefit the Children's Fresh Air Farm and the STAIR reading program at IPC. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Change In Plans


Well the weather through us a curve ball here in Alabama, and was suppose to be a "light dusting" proved to be a delightful fluffy snow day. That meant no schools, no Lessons and Carols and no just about anything but staying inside and enjoying watching the snow fall. I did venture out several times, just around my apartment for photos so you'll be seeing a few for the next few days. It will be back to business as usual tomorrow I hope!


For my Birmingham area readers, I hope you will attend Independent Presbyterian Church's 68th Annual Holiday House Tour. You can purchase tickets online, at each home or at the church. Saturday and Sunday the church will be open for you to see the exquisite floral decorations and have tea in the Great Hall. All proceeds go to fund so many wonderful projects such as the Children's Fresh Air Farm and the STAIR reading program. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Christmas Tradition


Today will be the  11th year I've attended the exquisite Service of Lessons and Carols at the Advent School. Under the direction of Richard Phillips, this beautiful service is the true beginning of the Christmas season for me. For 9 of these years, my two grandchildren Eva and Davis took part in the service as students then as members of the Choral Ensemble as well. I will miss seeing their sweet faces but look forward to sharing the service with friends. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Birmingham Rouge - en pointe


Last weekend, my granddaughter Chappell danced in the Magic City Nutcracker, Vestavia Dance. I photographed from the audience as a very proud grandmother but will share some special photos from the performance this week!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Simple Pleasures


I'll confess right here, I"m a garden shop junkie. I am already a frequent flyer at local garden shops in Mt. Brook, Crestline, Homewood and Southside. Now I can add, my Forest Park neighbors, Shoppe Birmingham. I'll remain true to all of them, but right now I'm loving the photo ops (not to mention the gifts) at Shoppe Birmingham. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thankful


I have a lot to be thankful for this day. I've just returned from my trip to Paris and as much as I wish I were right back there, I"m very thankful I'll be joining friends and family over a lovely meal that was easy to buy for and prepare. If you are an American in Paris, you can get most of your favorite items at Thanksgiving in the Marais, but you will pay the price! My ex-pats friends, Randy and Steve tell me the new Costco in Paris has been a game changer. It's really not so much about the food, but the fellowship and taking the time to reflect on our blessings.

For my American readers here and across the globe, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

These Guys


Just arrived at Sweet Peas Garden Center in Homewood, these guys made me smile.  Put a candle inside and you have instant Christmas spirit!

Sweet Peas Garden Center
2829 Linden Avenue
Homewood AL 35209

Land o Cotton

Forgive my absence! I've just returned from a fabulous 8 days in my beloved Paris. I'm weary but have so many photos and good memories. If you'd like to see those, please visit Paris Through My Lens. 

Meanwhile back in Alabama, cotton picking season has just past. I found this photo taken at a cotton field at Auburn University a few years ago. I'm a city girl in a cotton field is a sight to behold!I think cotton bolls are very photogenic.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Welcome To The Neighborhood!


The Forest Park neighborhood is delighted to welcome our newest business, Shoppe, to the Clairmont Avenue area. Owners John Draper and Mark Thompson have transformed the existing house into a charming garden and gift shop featuring soaps, Danish handmade tapers, gardening supplies and gorgeous pots and containers. Outside in the greenhouse, a delicious array of plants and topiaries. I will be back to shop for gifts and more photos!

Shoppe
3815 Clairmont Avenue South
Birmingham AL 35222

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Dripping with Autumn Color


A stroll through Oak Street Garden Shop is a delight in the fall. So far, we still have very warm weather and now turning leaves, but this place is dripping with it. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Close Only Counts in ....


Recently my friend Matt and I visited Sweet Seasons Farm in Valley Head, AL. The Mannings have a beautiful home surrounded with pastures for their sheep, plus a  lovely wedding and event venue. Of course we had to explore the barn and the assorted  buildings housing chicks, puppies, geese and this interesting wall of horseshoes collected from near and even Europe!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Made With Love


The Friends of Triangle Park, in my Forest Park neighborhood, donated funding to make this the sweetest little park. It's got a secure playground and wide open grassy area for running and playing. The picnic tables and benches are adorned with these handmade tiles by families who cared enough to make this park a year round favorite for our community.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Sweet Shadows


Last Friday, my photo buddy Matt and I drove up to Valley Head AL to Sweet Seasons Farm. Thank you Paulette Manning for a warm welcome and tour around your beautiful farm and event venue. These shadows knocked me out.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Hurricane Sunday




I slipped out a side door at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens' Antiques in the Gardens on Sunday afternoon. The rain slacked off, and I was able to catch this pretty waterfall in a small courtyard. Yes, it's October and Birmingham is still warm and humid and GREEN!


Thank you to all my friends near and far who inquired about our safety here in Birmingham as Hurricane Nate blew through. Thankfully we escaped with just some rain and wind on Sunday. We are grateful but still heartsick for the many still suffering from the past hurricanes. Please give to relief efforts for all of the islands affected.


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Loosey Goosey


Yesterday, my photo buddy Matt Hunter and I trekked north to Sweet Season's Farm in Valley Head AL. I"ve been trying to get up there and meet Paulette and Richard Manning for over a year. Today I finally made it. What a beautiful farm and event venue. Planning a wedding? You might want to check out their website HERE. Paulette gave us the full tour and the geese honked, posed, then waddled off. More to come.

Monday, October 2, 2017

October is.....



Meet Frances, whom I call "Francy Pants". She's so full of spunk and personality! I had the good fortune to photograph her with her brother Hill a few weeks ago.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Escher Called...


Yesterday, I paid a visit to Oak Street Garden Shop in Crestline Village. While snapping pumpkins, I looked up and spotted the light and shadows. Without the blue sky and clouds to give the viewer a sense of place, this BW comes across as an M.C. Escher!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Boys And Their Stuff


Sometime, when I go for a shoot for one thing, I find a treasure when I leave. Boys and their stuff. I loved this.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Saz


Sometimes the best photos are just outside my apartment door. My neighbor, Sazerac is our vigilant watchman.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sunset in the Ham


We don't have a showstopper NYC skyline, but we love it just the same.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Where Artists Create - Donna's Cast of Characters

These make me smile every time I see4 them. For more of Donna's delightful characters, please visit her Etsy Shop!  My apologies to Donna for the corny titles I gave her work. I hope to be forgiven.


A grate man is hard to find.


This guy doesn't fit the mold.

VJ: What is the inspiration for your work?

DSS: Humor and whimsy are the emotions that started me wanting to create my quirky assemblage sculptures. I'm influenced by folk art, masks and sculptures from different cultures, characters, and animals from movies and nature; and even by facial expressions and gestures that I see in other people.


The Red Feathered Woodpecker


VJ: If you could explore another medium, what would that be:

DSS: Just recently I started using driftwood to create my assemblage sculptures. Using driftwood gives my sculptures a more primitive and tribal look. This allows me to further explore and be inspired by art from a greater variety of world cultures.


Her brain is like a sieve. So is mine.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Where Artists Create - The Studio







 Donna Sophronia-Sims' studio, is so small that it was difficult to get a wide angle shot. These detail shots will give you and idea of the delightful collection she keeps stacked on shelves on all four walls!


VJ: Tell me about your creative space

DSS: My creative space is a detached metal building in my backyard. I"m surrounded by found and discarded objects waiting to become something beyond their original purpose. I have to modify and join all of the pieces together. While I"m working one sculpture it is not unusual for me to glance over at another object on the shelf and  have an idea speak in my head. In addition, listening to lively music keeps me energized and drowns out other noises that could be distracting.






Thursday, September 14, 2017

Where Artists Create - Donna Sophronia-Sims


Meet my friend, neighbor and talented assemblage artist, Donna Sophronia-Sims. Donna creates what she calls found object robots and assemblage art dolls. Her studio is a small shed in her back yard that is chock full of found objects waiting patiently to become another whimsical creation.

VJ: How would you describe your work?

DSS: My robots, art dolls, and driftwood sculptures are assembled from old, damaged, rusty and recycled objects made of metal, wood, plastic and fabric. I may use the whole object, or modify it and use only fragments. I tinker with the found objects trying out different arrangements, until my intuition tells me it's right, into a complete work of art that reflects my humorous and whimsical goal. Some of my sculptures are attached to a base and some hang on the wall. 

It's fun and challenging to figure out the best way to join all the pieces together. Sometimes it's simple and sometimes complex. My pieces are primarily joined together using nuts, screws, rivets and adhesives. Steel objects are joined together with weld tacks. I use power tools for drilling or dismantling different parts.

Come back tomorrow and meet some of her Cast of Characters!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Where Artists Create - Driftwood Dude


This guy should put a smile on your face. He's the work of Birmingham assemblage artist Donna Sophronia-Sims. We'll poke around her tiny studio this week. Come back tomorrow!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Rain, Rain, Rain...


Hurricane Irma is promising to send a deluge to Birmingham on Monday and Tuesday. Whatever she sends our way, it can't compare to the devastation she and Harvey have brought to so many. Please share whatever you feel you can to the recovery efforts for those affected inTexas, Florida, as well as those in the islands. Not to be forgotten, those in Mexico as well as those across this world who have lost everything due to earthquakes, tsunamis, and flooding. There are so many in need.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Where Artists Create - Emily's Gallery


To view all of Emily's amazing large scale charcoal and egg tempura botanicals on Belgian linen, please visit her website below.






I will be teaching From Snapshots to Creative Photographs at Vestavia Hills UMC's Conservatory of the Arts tis fall starting Thursday, Sept. 7- Oct. 5. To register, email Ellen Bryant at coa@vhumc.org. This class is designed for amateur photographers who want to improve their photographs. Working knowledge of your camera is required and any camera type from point and shoots to DSLR. Message me with any questions. Please share! Thank you.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Where Artists Create - The Technique


Emily Morgan Brown's charcoal and egg tempura botanical paintings on Belgian linen panels are breathtaking. I asked if she used acrylic paint and was amazed to learn that she used egg tempera which she makes herself using the dried flowers that serve as her inspiration in the paint. 









VJ: What is the inspiration for your work?

EMB: The idea for my work on linen stems from the ancient technique of grisaille (grayscale) painting. During the late Middle Ages and into the Renaissance as sculpture became increasingly popular, artists were commissioned to paint large frescos and panels to mimic the look of relief sculpture. 

I'm also really inspired by texture and movement, which is how I chose the linen and decided to let it hang loose on the wall like a tapestry. In an effort to be true to my subject matter, letting the flower move with the air feels more natural to me than trapping it in a frame or stretching it stiffly over bars. 
And of course, there's something inherently inspiring in using a technique and medium from the Old Masters 700+ years later.