Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

December 31, 2011

Photo Hunt Wrap Up


I imagine this is how many of us may be feeling after this season of celebrations.  As we wind down 2011, I hope that 2012 brings you peace and joy.  2011 was not a wonderful year in many ways, but it had its great points too.  One of the great points for me on this blog, was starting the photo hunts.  I just love seeing all of your creativity.  October’s Idiomatic Photo Hunt was the most popular of the year.

Now I’ll bring you, in order of submission, the wrap of December’s holiday-themed photo hunt.  Not as many of you participated this time around, and I attribute that to how busy this month can be.  Thank you so much to those of you who did find the time to participate.

Nye was the first blogger in with her photo hunt.  I loved the holiday warmth in her photos, especially the “treat” shot with the Christmas lights in the background – all ready for Santa’s arrival!

Scott Thomas, provider of our bi-monthly photo assignments, was next.  Scott’s hunt had a strong Disney theme once again, and showed some of the millions of Christmas lights Disney World displays this time of year (I wonder what their electric bill is like for December???)  Scott also had to be creative with his shot for “frost” because strangely enough, there’s been a distinct lack of it here in the northeast this month.

My photo hunt  was third, and you can see it here if you missed it.

Continuing in order of submission gets a little confusing here.  If I go in the order of comments to my original blog post, Michaela is next, although her hunt published after the next few bloggers since she scheduled it to post on the due date.  It doesn’t really matter who was next as long as you go see them right?  Michaela’s hunt featured her beautiful creativity and gorgeous use of light.  Still marvelling at the fact that she was able to find pretty shots of frost down in Texas while I’ve barely had any here in Massachusetts!

Dawn’s hunt showed some really  cute and creative pictures.  The wooden reindeer cut-outs in the spotlight are very sweet and the firetruck decked in Christmas lights was a really neat sight to see!

Dawn then kindly pointed out to Ellen that it appeared she had taken plenty of shots for the photo hunt without even realizing it!  Ellen then quickly cobbled together a post for the hunt and I’m glad she did! Ellen is yet another southern blogger who was able to find a shot of frost and her pictures of the treats her family enjoyed are fabulous.

It appears that Deb was one of the few northeast bloggers who was able to get the elusive frost shot!  She took a gorgeous shot of exactly the type I was thinking of when I included frost as a photo hunt item.  You can feel the holiday joy in her collection.

Our last photo-hunter for this month was Carol.  Her Christmas card is one of the cutest I’ve seen and I’m going to take her word for it that there is actually frost in her frost picture!

I’d like to throw an invite out to everyone who had an issue with trying to take a frost picture for the hunt this month to keep your eyes open for pretty frost patterns this winter.  If you’d like to send me a link to your pictures, maybe I can do another frosty wrap up at some point this winter!

Thank you once again, everyone, for your participation in this month’s hunt.  I hope you’ll have a chance to visit all the hunts and leave the participants some comment love!  If you’d be so kind, please let me know in the comments of this post if you’d like to see the photo hunts continue in 2012 and  if you have any suggestions for improving the hunts.  Have a very happy new year!

June 5, 2011

June Photo Hunt

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 8:15 pm
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Hi everyone!  I’m a few days later than the last time around, but I didn’t forget about the Photo Scavenger Hunt.  As you may recall, things have been a bit chaotic in this part of the world, but I needed to turn my thoughts to something other than the tornado that recently ripped through this area.

My list for June’s Photo Hunt:

  • a colorful bird of your choice ( no BUGS for this one, Brian!)
  • a grad – of any sort
  • a dad – of any sort
  • something purple
  • a butterfly
  • a funny face

       BONUS: a cow, bull, heifer, calf or ox.  Extra bonus points for my favorite, the belted galloway.

As usual, please interpret this list however you like!  Straight-forward, creative, cheeky, snarky and humorous interpretations are all welcome.  My goal with these hunts is to get you out and shooting, so new shots are preferred, but if you have a perfect shot in your archives that you’d like to use for a couple on this list, that is fine too.  Just like with Scott’s assignments, please leave me a link to your photos in the comments of this post. Sunday, June 25th will be my deadline, but extensions and late submissions always accepted!  If you wouldn’t mind spreading the word in your blogs, tweets and Facebook, I’d greatly appreciate it.

August 23, 2010

My Mystery Photo Subject

Filed under: Travel — Karma @ 6:29 pm
Tags: , , ,

Did you read yesterday’s blog entry?  Because if you haven’t, you should really go back and read it before you read this one.  All set now?  Okay, good.

A seal? Beach Blanket Bingo? Hot air balloons? Naked sunbathers?  No, it was none of those things, although any would have made interesting photo subjects.  Well, Scott, maybe not naked sunbathers!

Here is my mystery photo subject as I first saw it:
Blue Heron 1

Coming around the bend in the little, misty harbor – there on the very edge of the bank.  Do you see it?

Blue Heron 2

I was so happy when I saw it standing there!  What a beautiful, tall bird!  I suppose they may actually be quite common, but I’d never had the opportunity to photograph a great blue heron fairly close up.  I quietly stalked the bird, creeping closer and closer, snapping picture after picture, never sure which one would be my last, closest picture.

Blue Heron 3


This one, as it turns out, was the closest I got….
Blue Heron 4

…before it flew away:

Hey, Plainmama could be the owner of that boat in the background!  Although very soon she would have to change the name!

Speaking of other bloggers, the first view I actually got of that heron was on Sunday morning as I made my way down the beach in the other direction.  Rebecca the Housewrecka, another blogger from my town, was winding up her vacation just down the road from me on the weekend that we arrived! Small world, huh?

I saw it silhouetted like this, so I wasn’t 100% positive it was a heron at the time, but I was pretty sure as I watched it fly away:

Funny side story about Rebecca and me: Although we live in the same town, we did not know each other at all until she had a photo selected by the Pioneer Woman for one of her photo assignments of the local barber shop in our town, which I also happened to photograph for Scott’s “Hometown” assignment.  (Becky – I couldn’t find your shot from P’Dub – want to leave a link to it in the comments?)  My sister spotted the shot on PDub and told me about it.  We followed the Flickr link to her blog, which I read and started commenting on. Then, one night in town at a summer concert, I saw a woman walking through the crowd with this adorable puppy.  I suddenly made the connection and walked up and asked her if she was who I thought she was – and she somehow knew who I was too!  We figured out we were vacationing in the same spot when I recognized a view on one of her blog posts as being from this place that I love.  Small world indeed!

July 15, 2010

New Photo Assignment Time!

Filed under: Photo assignments,Travel — Karma @ 10:26 am
Tags: , , , ,
It is time for another photo assignment over at Scott’s place!  I love photo assignments.  I love the creativity involved in coming up with the shots, and I love seeing what everyone comes up with.  This time, Scott has generously given us almost two months to get our assignment done, even longer if you consider the early hints he’s given us along the way, beginning with a sneak-peek when he recapped May’s exposure assignment.  The new assignment is a travel photo essay.  He didn’t want anyone to worry when they heard the word “essay” since our common enthusiasm is photography, so he followed up with a post explaining exactly what was meant by photo essay and has included some great links for inspiration on the assignment page.

When I first saw that it was going to be a travel photo essay, I lamented that I didn’t have any exotic travel locales in my foreseeable future.  The last time I actually boarded a plane was 5 years ago when we took the girls to Disney World.

(Goofies at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival)
Since then, my travel has been limited to the New England/ New York area.  Not that I haven’t had some fun destinations and photo opportunities!

Back when Shrew was actively blogging, Jennifer, Renae and I joined her for a beautiful time in Newport, RI:

(L to R: Shrew, Renae, Jennifer)

Mason, NH has become a regular destination for Jennifer, Renae and I as well.  We try to go a couple times a year to a lovely little place hidden away in the woods called Pickity Place where you will enjoy a wonderful luncheon made from the freshest ingredients, many grown right there in their gardens.

(The gift shop at Pickity Place decorated for autumn)

New York City has also become a fairly regular travel destination for me.  For the last few years, a bus trip to NYC for the day has been arranged for a very reasonable price through my work.  I’ve taken advantage each year it has been offered.
Central Park, NYC

(Central Park as viewed from the top of Rockefeller Center)

Of course, Cape Cod, a mere two hours away, is fairly regular destination.  My mom lives there, so my sister, girls and I make regular visits.  Hubby and I have the anniversary trip as well.

(Race Point Lighthouse, Provincetown, MA)

Mystic, CT was another fairly local destination I had the opportunity to enjoy recently.

(Sailboat docked in Mystic Harbor)

I’ll be doing my travel assignment for Scott when I go on vacation with my family in August for our annual week at the beach in Maine.  When we were children, virtually every summer our parents took us on vacation to Maine.  For many years, we went to Hills Beach in Biddeford, Maine, a little known gem of a quiet vacation place.  When condos started taking over the cute little cottages we used to rent, my parents started looking for places on Cape Cod instead.  After many years of taking my family to Cape Cod for our summer vacation, I yearned to return to the place of my youth, and started searching the internet for the possibility of finding a cute little cottage on that beach, and I was lucky enough to find a tiny place with this for the view:

Unfortunately, this sweet little place has gotten uncomfortably small for my daughters who had to sleep in a tiny loft.  Fortunately, I found a place for this year’s vacation just a few houses away that was still within our vacation budget.  I can’t wait to see what I will gather for this assignment with my new camera!  I’m looking forward to seeing what all of you will come up with as well!

March 30, 2015

Black and White Challenge Day 1

About a week ago, Robin over at Breezes at Dawn, kindly invited me to participate in the Black and White Photo Challenge. As I’m sure my regular readers know, I find black and white photography difficult because, for me, photography is so very much about the color. This is part of the reason I accepted Robin’s invitation, because it would be a true challenge for me. The “rules” of the challenge are quite simple:

1.On 5 consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in black and white.
2.Each day invite another blogging friend to join in the fun.

As I’ve often been known to do when it comes to blogging challenges or photo assignments, I like to find a way to make them my own. In a couple of Robin’s posts for this challenge she used a technique that selectively colors one small area of a black and white photo. Robin explained to me this technique is actually called “focal black and white”. It is something I’ve been meaning to try for a while now, and as it often the case, just never got around to it. I had a feeling in a cool editing program like Lightroom, there had to be a way to do it. I searched, I discovered, I tried!

So, for my black and white challenge, it will actually be a “focal black and white” challenge. I’ve chosen 5 photos to present in black and white with a pop of color somewhere in the shot for emphasis and fun. I will post one photo each day this week, Monday through Friday, starting today.
As far as inviting blogging friends, just as Robin did, I am inviting anyone who would like to join in to please do so! Maybe even make yours a “focal black and white” challenge if you’re interested in giving it a try.

Here is my first photo that I tried this technique on:

This is my daughter Meghan and her ballroom partner Brandon at a ballroom competition that I attended (and took LOTS of photos of and fully intended to blog about, but have yet to do so, **sigh**) last weekend. I thought the intense look on Meghan’s face with just the red lips was a good place to give this technique a try.

July 25, 2013

Summer ‘Round the ‘Ham

Summertime in Wilbraham. A simple small town with simple tastes.
One of our most famous tastes (at least in the northeast):
Home of Friendly's

We feel pretty strongly about ice cream around here. In fact if I ever tell someone I’ve just met where I’m from, they say, “Oh yeah! Home of Friendly’s!” as it so clearly proclaims on the Massachusetts Turnpike. (Click here to see a photo of that proclamation that I took for one of Scott’s assignments way back when) In fact, Friendly’s just set a Guinness World Record to do with ice cream.
A World Record!

I’m not 100% positive, but Friendly’s may have chosen to do this in conjunction with the fact that our town is celebrating its semiquincentenial – 250th anniversary – this year.
There have been a variety of events around town this summer (and had I been aware of Scott’s assignment earlier I might have made more effort to get out and photograph them!) including a parade, a town-wide tag sale, an antique car “hill climb” (sorry Scott, I bet you would have liked to see photos of that!) and there is a picnic/festival still to come this August.

In addition to eating ice cream, we like to go the movies too. This theater is not in Wilbraham, but it is very close to the town line.
I know you can go to the movies any time of year, but we enjoy seeing many of the big summer releases and like going at just about any time of the day since there is no school or work for the girls and me in the summer.

Other things I enjoy about summer happen right here in my own backyard, literally:
pool time
(I tried very hard to use the self-timer on my camera to take a picture of myself lazily floating on that raft, but that was as far as I could get in the 10-second maximum allowed by the timer!)

What’s nicer on a warm summer evening than kicking back like this?

Well, Scott, I don’t think I’ve compelled anyone to book their next summer vacation in the Home of Friendly’s, but I hope you’ve enjoyed a look at summer in Wilbraham!

July 18, 2013

Jumping Back in with Cee!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:44 am
Tags: , ,

Cee has returned with more questions about Sharing Your World. Here are my Week 23 answers.

Are you mostly a clean or messy person?
I think I am a messy person who would like to be a clean person. The usual state of this house is clutter! Then I get bursts of energy, wanting things to be clean. But it is a losing battle. The people (and animals!) that I live with, take no time in undoing the cleaning that I have done. Case in point: I spent a good part of my day yesterday on a cleaning binge cleaning things that haven’t been cleaned in a while and un-cluttering a lot of clutter. This is only a small example, but look at how my husband has left this kitchen this morning after making his breakfast – and no, he wasn’t running out the door to work afterward:
messy kitchen
Everything he cut, cooked and ate with are still in place and his shoes are in the middle of the floor. This is a small mess, mind you, but an example of what I fight against.

As a kid was there any kind of candy that you didn’t like to get? How about now?
Yes! ICK!
I detest any kind of candy with black licorice. Same goes for coconut too! Been that way as long as I can remember.

Do you believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets?
Heck, I believe there is extraterrestrial life on this planet! 😉
Jose Jalepeno

Have your blogging goals changed?
I don’t know if I ever really had blogging goals. I really started blogging just to have a place to share my photos and tell my stories. I also wanted a place to participate in Scott Thomas’s photo challenges, which I continue to do. His next assignment is due next week – I’m hoping to go out and take some photos for that today. I hope you’ll think about participating in the assignment, and maybe answering some of Cee’s questions too! Tell me your answers in the comments, or write a post of your own!

March 18, 2013

Stripping Away the Color

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

When Scott announced his photography assignment for this month, I wasn’t sure I would participate. Black and white photography!I thought to myself, oh dear, not a favorite for me.
For me photography is all about color – yes, composition and subject are huge parts too, but I just didn’t know if I could find any of my photos that would be interesting enough to present in black and white. I don’t react well to black and white photography as a general rule. I’ve had this pre-conceived notion in my head that black and white is always moody.
However, to show my support of Scott’s tenacity for bringing us new assignments every other month ( I know how much work it is to write those wrap-ups from when I did the photo hunts), I decided to peruse my archives to see if I could find some shots of interest. I believe I still like these photos better in color, but I can see some appreciation of the subtleties of black and white as well.
In this first picture, Meghan had asked me to take a picture of her in an arebesque on pointe so that she could use it for an art project.
In removing the color from this photo, I noticed shadows both on the walls and in the mirrors that I hadn’t seen in the color version. I think that adds some interesting movement to the shot that wasn’t in the color one. The Christmas decorations still hanging on the walls are little less emphasized in the black and white version as well.

For this photo, it occurred to me that Teddy could make a good subject for black and white photography since he is really a study in contrasts to begin with.
Teddy has a truly expressive face, and at times it is quite comical, but black and white seems to bring an unusually sorrowful look to his usually clown-like face.

I chose to include this last shot in the black and white assignment because when I originally posted it in color in the “What Winter Means to Me” assignment, my mother happened to comment on how much she liked the “black and white” photo of my backyard! There was very little color in the original, so I decided to see what it would look like completely stripped away.
The photos don’t look extremely different, but I think the black and white looks more like bad weather is imminent.

For a transitional month, so lacking in natural color, this black and white assignment turned out to be one that I could work with afterall! I am, however, very much looking forward to the colors of spring!

Scott’s assignment isn’t due until this Wednesday the 20th if you think you’d like to join in!

August 26, 2011

Rainbow of Summer… in Maine

Filed under: Photo assignments,Travel — Karma @ 10:03 am
Tags: , , ,

The posts have been pouring in for the August Photo Hunt.  There is still time to get yours in – due date is this Sunday – but I was thinking I should get mine posted today while I still have power!  What a summer it has been around here: first a tornado, then a microburst, an earthquake this past Tuesday (though I did not feel it), and now Hurricane Irene is projected to hit this area some time on Sunday.  What form it will take by the time it gets here no one really knows, but with this summer’s track record, it doesn’t look good.  At the very least, I am expecting to lose power again.

I hope my sister doesn’t think I am stealing her idea (she mentioned in the comments section of the Photo Hunt that she would find me a rainbow of colors on Peak’s Island while she was on vacation) but while I was still going through my photos from Maine, I realized I had all the rainbow colors in some of my favorite things about summer.


I eat usually 2 lobsters a year – one on vacation and one at our dear friends’ summer party, so a boiled lobster is the perfect representation of summer red.


Flower planted by the owner of the cottage where we stay  and…

a monarch along a path I walked.


These seem to be some wild snapdragons that I found on one of my walks.


wild green on an ocean-side path


Big blue sky and ocean and…

…look at all the blue I found when I looked at my family’s beach gear: bathing suits, towels, chairs, umbrella and float!


pre-dawn sky from my up-before-the-sun morning


My “selfie”- this shot was actually inspired by the picture at the end of this post by KD.  If you haven’t read this post, you really should – go read it, I’ll wait.  Like KD, in this picture I am makeupless, feeling good and very content.  I am at peace when I am at the beach, and I hope it shows in this picture.

I will continue reading your posts as long as I have power this weekend!  The worst of the hurricane is supposed to come on Sunday, and I have to return to work on Monday (kids come back to school on Tuesday), so I’m not sure when I will get the recap of all the beautiful assignments posted.  In the meantime, check out the links in the comments section of the hunt post.  People have submitted some really beautiful pictures so far.  If you haven’t posted yours yet, I hope to see it soon!

August 1, 2011

Big Summer Potluck from the Non-Food Blogger’s View

Last summer, my sister went to a food bloggers’ event called the Big Summer Potluck.   She asked me if I wanted to go with her, since it was a 4 1/2 hour drive to Buck’s County, PA.  I was relatively new to blogging at the time, and definitely not a food blogger, so I declined.  She found a friend to accompany her and came back raving about all the wonderful food, wonderful presentations and wonderful people.  When she learned that the event was to take place again this year, she again asked me if I’d like to go along.  I hesitated at first, still not sure with not being a food blogger, but she reassured me that it would be fine since I do write a blog mostly dedicated to photography, and hey – I do  throw a food post out there every now and again.  This time, I accepted.

What was a one day event with about 40 people last year, expanded to a full weekend with about 70 people this year.  Our weekend began with our arrival at the beautful home of Three Many Cooks:

One of the nicest parts of the evening for me was finally meeting Erika of the Ivoryhut in person.  My interaction with Erika goes back to the days of the small photo community that formed around the now seemingly defunct Shrew’s Daily Shutters and when the Ivory Hut was still a little WordPress blog like mine!  She gave me a nice warm hug. I don’t know if it was 8 seconds or not but it definitely helped raise my seratonin levels! **wink to the BSP-ers**  Erika and Maggy, from Three Many Cooks, were the main organizers of the event.  I snuck a little photo of the two of them from the windows while they were having a little photo shoot :


Speaking of windows, I think it is impossible to take a bad photo at this house due to all the huge windows and the amazing light.    For example, here is the appetizer spread from Friday night:

I’m having difficulty keeping all the names and faces and blogs straight of the people I met this weekend, but I am pretty sure I recognize Karen from The Peche and Tracy from Sugarcrafter in this shot.  If any other BSP-ers are reading this post and find yourself in this or any of my other pictures, please leave me a comment to let me know.

Colleen from Souffle Bombay made these for Friday night:


Individual frozen chambord margaritas! LOVED!

For dinner we had chicken or veggie enchiladas:

One of several fabulous desserts was my sister’s Raspberry Mojito Sorbet!

The full day of events on Saturday took place at Linden Hill Gardens.  The morning was already warm and sunny when we arrived for breakfast:

The names that I think I have correct in this shot are Ethan from Tastes Better with Friends, Ken from Hungry Rabbit NYC, Brian from A Thought for Food and Amber from Bluebonnets & Brownies.

Our scheduled events for the day included keynote speakers Shauna Ahern, Gluten-Free Girl, who spoke about writing blogs and not being afraid of being real, and award-winning photographer Penny de los Santos, who spoke with beautiful emotion about finding the moment in photography and regaled us with amazing stories of her photography assignments.  Additionally, we had time to explore the lovely grounds of Linden Hill (I will have an entire separate post with many of my pictures from the gardens), and a chat with Pam Anderson, cook-book author and one of the Three Many Cooks and Justin Schwartz, an editor who has published many books by famous chefs.

The days’ events took place in this large barn on Linden Hill’s grounds:

We were treated to cocktails and munchies later outside the barn:

Wendi, of Bon Appetit Hon figures prominently in the middle of this shot as she seems to contemplate what she should eat next!  The next thing most of us ate was paella with chicken and sausage cooked in an enormous pan over a fire:

While we waited for dinner to finish cooking, I amused myself taking pictures of the unusual chickens in the coops behind the barn.  Unlike Brian and Ken, I chose to stay outside of the coops while taking my pictures, so the slight blur you see in these shots is from shooting through the chicken wire:



After dinner, there was more time for picture-taking and socializing before we headed back to the hotel for the evening.

For breakfast on Sunday, we were invited back to the beautiful Anderson home. After good-byes and hugs, Jennifer and I began our trek back home.

It occured to me that it was a very rare occurance for me to be west of the Berkshire Mountains, so I pulled out my camera and took a few shots as Jennifer drove, and we approached our home state:


So, my impressions as a non-food blogger at a food blogger event? Wonderful presentations – check!  Wonderful people – absolutely.  Wonderful food – yes, with this caveat: it was a gluten-free event, most likely due to the fact of having Shauna as our guest speaker, plus the additional gluten-free bloggers who were probably attracted by this fact.  I did feel that much of the wonderful creativity of food blogger baked goods that were raved about from last year were stifled by the gluten-free approach.  It was a kind-hearted attempt to allow everyone to partake in the food offerings, when in reality there were still people who could not nosh on many of the main foods, due to other allergies.

Am I happy that I attended?  For sure.  It was a wonderful opportunity to go to a place I’d never been, meet new people, try new foods, pick up some blogging tips, spend time with my sister and take, or in Penny’s words, make lots of pictures.  Thank you for this experience to the wonderful folks of BSP2!  (And no this blog post is not SEO optimized, under 250 words or monetized! 😉 )

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