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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Along the Path

I am now selling prints of my photos! I recently opened up a little online shop, Cheery Hill Photography, at Fine Art America and thought I ought to post about it on my blog. (I included a tab on my blog for easy access.) Fine Art America does lovely work! So far, I’ve seen a couple of prints, the greeting cards, and a canvas in person.

I’m excited to share my photos with whoever will welcome them into their home.

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I had the pleasure of attending the Rabbit Room Retreat at Laity Lodge last weekend. The weekend included a stop for Texas bar-b-q, sessions on Tolkien and Flannery O’Connor, good conversation over mouth-watering meals, an intimate in-the-round concert, a hike up to a scenic overlook, star gazing in open fields, discussions on community and creativity, time with dear friends, breathtaking scenery, and so much more!

Words don’t begin to express what a magical and restful time I had. Here are some photos instead:

Driving through the Frio River is like a baptism.

Driving through the Frio River is like a baptism.

Great Hall, Laity Lodge

Great Hall, Laity Lodge

Great Hall overlooks the Frio River. The river is an astonishing shade of turquoise.

Great Hall overlooks the Frio River. The river is an astonishing shade of turquoise.

Consider the wildflowers...

Consider the wildflowers…

We had perfect weather for sitting outside.

We had perfect weather for sitting outside.

Wildflowers were in bloom. I was very happy.

Wildflowers were in bloom. I was very happy.

The hike up to Circle Bluff

The hike up to Circle Bluff

One view on the way up

One view on the way up

View from Circle Bluff

View from Circle Bluff

Threshold

Threshold

Blue Hole -- The water is 40' deep here!

Blue Hole — The water is 40′ deep here!

Winding Road

Winding Road

Morel Mushroom

Morel Mushroom

Texas Bluebonnets

Texas Bluebonnets

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush

 

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I love walking in the woods any time of year, but there is just something peaceful about the woods in the winter. It could be that I usually have the woods to myself, or that the loudest noise is the crunch of the snow under my boots.

The downside to walking (and taking photos) in the winter is, of course, the cold. On the bitterest days, I don’t last long before I have to head back to the car and turn up the heat to revive numb (and sometimes blue) fingers. But it’s all worth it.

Here are some photos from recent walks in the nearby State Park:

Underneath white birches, our faces toward the sky  We will make snow angels with our white horse standing by. ~White Horse, Over the Rhine

Underneath white birches, our faces toward the sky
We will make snow angels with our white horse standing by.
~White Horse, Over the Rhine

The Magic Hour

The Magic Hour

Warm light on a cold day

Warm light on a cold day

Candlelit Hike

Candlelit Hike

Frozen Twilight

Frozen Twilight

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All Shall Be Well

My friend Julia Bloom, who is also one of my favorite singers and songwriters, released a new song yesterday. It was an honor to be able to collaborate with her by contributing my photography for the video. The lyrics are from Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love, and the melody and harmonies are simply beautiful.

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Winter Berries at Sunset

Winter Berries at Sunset

I’m taking a cue from Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy and Katie at Cakes, Tea and Dreams and asking the question, “What’s saving my life right now?” I love this discipline of focusing on the positive things, as little as they may seem.

This verse comes to mind:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

This one, too:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)

Here are some of the things that I am thankful for, or, that are saving my life, this winter:

  • Lighting candles. I bought a couple of brass candlesticks in November and lit tapers every time I had friends over during the holidays and burned through several candles. I light them when I’m home alone, too. The glow from just two candles can fill an evening with comfort and warmth.
Candles are meant to be lit.

Candles are meant to be lit.

  • Hosting family and friends. In December, I hosted a Christmas party for my small group, a Lessons and Carols service, dinner and movie nights, Christmas Eve with my parents, brother, sister-in-law, and six-year-old niece. In January, I hosted a pizza and game night, spent an afternoon watching movies with my niece, and hosted my small group. I love having people over and I love making memories in my little house.
Late night pie

Late night pie

Morning at home

Morning at home

  • Lavender Body Butter. Minnesota winters are dry, resulting in extremely dry skin. My hands  I bought a jar of this body butter at a roadside stand on the Old Mission Peninsula while on vacation in Traverse City, Michigan two summers ago and it was well worth it. I’m sensitive to harsh chemicals and fragrances, and lotions tend to make my skin drier. This body butter is fabulous. On my desk at work, I keep a bar of hard lotion that my mom made from many of the same ingredients.
  • Hot Chocolate. I love coffee and tea, both. But this winter I rediscovered my childhood love: hot chocolate. I gave Smitten Kitchen’s Decadent Hot Chocolate Mix to my coworkers last Christmas, and made some for myself as well. I have savored many marshmallow-topped mugs this winter.
Cuppa Hot Chocolate

Cuppa Hot Chocolate

  • 5ft inf. I don’t know how or when I discovered this website and Instagram feed, but I’m sure glad I did. The cheerful and creative arrangements of flowers and objects are like Vitamin D for my soul.
  • Sunsets. A couple weeks ago, I noticed that the sun set after I got off work. That is a hopeful sign indeed. The darkest days are past and spring isn’t far off. While winter is lovely, I savor the little signs of warmer and brighter days ahead.
The sun sets after 5 pm!

The sun sets after 5 pm!

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I hope to write some posts soon, but in the meantime, here is some photographic proof of what I’ve been up to…

Opera Under the Stars (Clouds is more like it.) Shattuck was the perfect setting for this!

Opera Under the Stars (Clouds is more like it.) Shattuck was the perfect setting for an outdoor performance of La Boheme!

My first (hopefully only) accident...

My first (hopefully only) accident that resulted in a two-week stay at the shop for my Giant.

A lot of game playing, including this favorite: Puerto Rico.

A lot of game playing, including this favorite: Puerto Rico.

Enjoying time on my "front porch," here with lemonade (yes, I made it!) and some good books.

Enjoying time on my “front porch,” here with lemonade (yes, I made it!) and some good books.

My first soccer match! My 12-year-old cousin and her team were in town for a game.

My 12-year-old cousin and her team were in town for a soccer match!

Picking strawberries on the 4th of July!

Picking strawberries on the 4th of July!

Enjoying an outdoor lunch at the bagel shop/

Enjoying an outdoor lunch at the bagel shop.

Cheery cherries from my very own trees!

Cheery cherries from my very own trees!

I ate some good desserts...

I ate some good desserts…

The Piper Warrior that I flew!!!

Early one Sunday morning I flew this plane…

Enjoying the lovely blooming trees, like this gigantic Dogwood.

Enjoying the lovely blooming trees, like this gigantic Catalpa. (That’s a two-story Victorian home in the background for comparison.)

I saw the Oh Hellos at First Ave with some friends. So much fun!

I saw the Oh Hellos at First Ave with some friends. So much fun! (This is a photo I took when my cousins played here in 2010.)

Enjoyed an annual birthday tea party with a couple of friends. Last year's theme: Alice in Wonderland. This year's: Downton Abbey.

Enjoyed an annual birthday tea party with a couple of friends. This year’s theme: Downton Abbey.

Stopped in Mantorville on my way to Whitewater State Park and ended up being talked into attending the afternoon melodrama at the Opera House: Dogsbreath Deveraux the Dastardly Doctor or Nurses Foiled Again! There was plenty of booing, cheering, and sighing.

Stopped in Mantorville on my way to Whitewater State Park and ended up being talked into attending the afternoon melodrama at the Opera House: Dogsbreath Deveraux the Dastardly Doctor or Nurses Foiled Again! There was plenty of booing, cheering, and sighing from the audience. Too fun!

The view from Inspiration Point at Whitewater State Park. (At least I think it was...)

I did make it to Whitewater and went on a short, but scenic, hike to Inspiration Point.

I welcomed a few new paintings by my artist friend Jennifer. The one on the left, Wild Blue Yonder, is the most recent addition to my home gallery. I love it oh so much!

I welcomed a few new paintings by my artist friend Jennifer. The one on the left, Wild Blue Yonder, is the most recent addition to my home gallery. I love it oh so much!

I also attended at local showing of Jesus Christ Superstar with a friend. Her son’s doctor played Jesus and her friend played Judas. I didn’t have any close ties to the cast, but they did a wonderful job!

I’ve added some things to my list of things to do, such as see Pride and Prejudice at the Guthrie. Did you know that this year is the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice? Definitely a great reason to see the play! (Who wants to go with me? Mom?) Also, thanks to Audrey’s post over at Minnesota Prairie Roots this morning, I would love to go to Walnut Grove to take in the Little House celebration.

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Finally! And I’m not complaining about the heat and humidity this year.

I started this checklist over a month ago:

  • Take at least one flight lesson at the regional airport.
  • Visit more State Parks. [For the first time ever, I bought a pass!]
  • Buy a new bike–maybe a road bike…
  • Join the local cycling group for some rides.
  • Take up geocaching again…or letterboxing for the first time.
  • Get in a few rounds of disc golf.
  • Buy a grill and learn to make good burgers.
  • Make lemonade and ginger ale.
  • More game nights!
  • Host a reading circle. [Anyone want to join me?]
  • House projects: library and basement. And organizing…everything!
  • Make more ice cream! [Try different flavors, like beet. Yes, beet.]
  • Read, read, and read some more.

Concerts and Events:

  • Art House North Event–Bach, Black Gospel, and the Blues by Andy Crouch
  • Jason Gray Concert
  • L’Abri lecture–Films That (Should) Prompt Discussion by Denis Haack
  • MN Opera–La Boheme, outdoors @ Shattuck!
  • Codex film by Micah Bloom @ Trylon Microcinema in Minneapolis
  • Oh Hellos show @ First Ave

*Ongoing / in progress
*Completed!

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