Self Portrait - The Onion

So here goes. . . Self portrait work has become such a blessing and creative freedom in my life this year which leaves me wondering where I was before I found the liberation that inspires me now. Being able to create and use emotions to express myself and give them life has been such a fulfilling journey!! I still have so much to learn and such a long journey ahead of me but I look forward to every single bit of it!!

The Onion Challenge

"Technically" I am supposed to wait to share this image teehee. I have recently taken on a new collaboration with an INCREDIBLE friend in which we challenge ourselves to create within a specific theme with no parameters other than interpreting the theme and how it translates to us. Our very first ever theme challenge is the Onion.

To ME when I think Onion I think layers. . . I am inspired by the color purple and depth and of course I wanted to incorporate my version of the challenge into a self portrait. We have a time limit of two weeks to conceptualize, create and share. I still have about a week and a half before the time frame is up so it is likely that many more Onion inspired pieces will be created BUT this one has been SO over the moon inspiring to me. Not because it is perfect. . . it is FAR from it. BUT this is my very very first image I have ever created that I conceptualized, shot all the elements myself (rather than stock images) AND composited into a single piece!! AND THAT WORKED OUT LIKE I HAD ENVISIONED IN MY BRAIN!!! That my dear friends is BIG DOINGS!!!

If any given person could actually look into my brain and see the crazy things that go on in the world of my imagination I fear they would likely run screaming most days. Turning those thoughts into something tangible and having it work out as I had imagined is MAGIC!! I am truly proud of myself for making this image happen.

SO this is me. . . channeling my inner Onion lol.

AND since it is inspirational Monday and the incredible Brooke Shaden has challenged us to not only create a self portrait but also to step outside our box, I have decided that fate has tempted me to share this piece that I just finished this morning before watching her Monday video and share to it here (which likely would mean that nobody will ever see it so "technically" I haven't "shared" it on social media LOL. Not that my amazing collaborative buddy would be upset because she is THE BEST but only because we don't want to taint each other's artistic interpretation of the Onion until we have both created our vision lol. . . BUT there is also likely to be other images created by me so it is quite possible that this one will never be shared anyways <<<<<< that is me justifying things. . . I do that LOL.

The Little Match Girl

She took the little maiden, on her arm, and both flew in brightness and in joy so high, so very high, and then above was neither cold, nor hunger, nor anxiety - - they were with God.
— Hans Christian Andersen

As an early teen I remember reading the story of The Little Match Girl and thinking to myself that it had to be one of the saddest things I had ever read in my life. . . the struggle of this tiny girl trying to make it just one more day all alone. . . So much suffering. . . but as an adult it has come to be a short story that holds so much more meaning and is honestly such a beautiful tale that truly touches my heart. So I decided to make a portrait representation of The Little Match Girl with Piper as my amazing little model.

I must admit I have been so incredibly inspired by my dear friend Sue Sonnenberg and her new book Discarded: A Journal For The Creative Soul. . . it is rare that something touches my soul that much and this book has been what my inner me has been trying to say but couldn't put into words. My amazing friend has painted such an incredible creative journey through her own experiences and it is just raw inspiration. . . it makes me want to create. It makes me want to get out the ideas that are bubbling in my head. . . I want to be more of the artist that I have always felt was there just super far down that I couldn't ever make come to the surface and what better time to do that than now?!? What am I waiting for?!? Nobody is going to invite my inner creative to shine the way I wish it to. . . I need to do that and be OK doing that. . . so I shall <3

New Year - New project of AWESOMENESS

It's a brand new year which brings with it new grand ambitions, goals and projects and among several other projects this year I have put together an amazing blog circle with some pretty incredible ladies that I admire and respect. I am so super excited about this wee little group and everyone in it!!!! 10 photos each month on the 10th. . . easy enough right?!? But more than that it is an amazing group of photographers collaborating together to promise to not only blog but to put ourselves out there. To shoot regularly and give our blogs a huge kick in the booty (not to mention behind the scenes we have a ton of fun joking and getting to know one another better. . . bouncing ideas, sharing our days and our work. It is beyond inspiring and motivational) It is always an amazing day when you find your tribe. . . your people that understand the same need to create. . . the fear of putting yourself out there. . . the joy in accomplishment and the incredible magic that comes from having like minded people to support your goals and ambitions and frankly make you feel a little less odd (or that your version of odd is exactly PERFECT.) That is power!!! 

SO here are my top 10 images for the past month (or from the past 3 weeks because I wasn't shooting much before than lol). I am so excited to be creating again after taking such a long break away from the camera in 2017. It truly feels like coming home!

Ok. . . ok. . . so for those that were counting there are "technically" 11 images on this page BUT I must point out that I have never been famous for following rules AND it is my blog SO why not?!? lol

Thank you all so much for popping by and viewing my favorite image from the past month!!! NOW if you would like to see what my amazing "tribe" has been up to head over to the amazing Miss Tanya Moon's blog. Her brilliant use of light and shadows completely blows me away!

vvvv P.S. I also found this to be crazy inspiring so had to add it!!! vvvv

Wednesday Window Art & Finding the Light

Aw. . . my dear old blog, always patiently waiting for me to find time. . . always here waiting to be utilized. Is this the year? Will I start using you and actually stick with it? I promise I will try!! If nothing else as a place for me to journal my thoughts and day. . . or not, it might just turn into pictures. Who knows. BUT you are mine and I shall try my best to harness my little corner of the internet this year, not for social media purposes, not for "look what I can do purposes" but just for me.

I have committed myself to two new photo projects this year that I am pretty excited about. My dear friend Laura invited me to join her 365 photo challenge and my friend Aimee has asked me to join her in a 52 week challenge (which should be easy considering the 365). I haven't shot in such a long time. . . I feel like my entire year has gotten away from me and capturing those precious moments and documenting my life while doing the one thing that brings me the most joy just wasn't a priority. In all honesty the loss of my nephew really threw me in a tail spin. I didn't want to look at the world and all the beauty in it. I didn't want to see beauty in a world where my Sky Thai wasn't in it. I felt like a failure for not having captured more moments of the people who were no longer here. . . the ones I should have been trying to capture the most because now I will never again have that chance. I needed time. Silly really because ultimately all I truly lost was more memories. 10 months of nothing. My kids are getting older, my life is changing as people and life tend to do and I missed it. . . once again. But sometimes a break is good. It makes you see what truly matters and where you heart lies and I hope I never have to feel that way again to realize what my true calling is and that is journaling my daily life. Not just for me but for everyone else. Devoting your entire self to learning and growing a craft just to throw it away is a crying shame. . . so here I am, rambling. . . in a safe place and I plan on doing that often because I have a voice and my feelings do matter. . . so here I am LOL.

After 10 long months I decided to pick my camera back up (which required a vast amount of dusting to be completely honest. . . so sad). Saturday, Dec 23. . . that was the day I decided. It wasn't a cognitive decision, more of a "hey, lets take a picture" and I realized, hey, I missed this. So here I go, on another adventure an I can't wait to see where it takes me. 

My shy one.

"He said, "Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." - Roald Dahl

Window art

"The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment." - Pema Chodron