Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sharing a Moment: Partly Cloudy With Stripes

I'm going to be experiencing withdrawal when I get back into my classroom next week. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to snap "fromwhereistand" pictures or get in some awkward (and unladylike) position to take an iPhone photo for Instagram.


This morning, I decided that I would have a farewell-to-the-pool day. I talked my daughter (who is 16 and sometimes too old to be seen with her mom at the pool) into joining me. It was a nice day....

It wasn't too terribly hot, the pool was cool, and umbrellas were nearby for shade. (Now that I think about it, I may have to say good-bye to the pool one or two more times before September rolls in.)

I linked up with Shutter Sisters today to share a moment in real time. To see what others are doing, click here.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Color My World

When I'm on vacation, I love looking at the taupes and whites of the sand and the blues and greens of the ocean. Just a few weeks ago, I fell in love with a shade of blue that would show itself in the jumble of breaking waves and froth. I even pointed it out to my husband (who politely acted like he knew exactly what area of blue I was talking about).

I figured it would be just about impossible to stand in a paint store and select the right color from memory, so I kind of stood there in an attempt to memorize it. And then, today as a matter of fact, I found this (drum beat please)....

The ColorSnap app from Sherwin-Williams ...!

As you can see, I've already been trying it out and was able to match my ocean colors to Sherwin-Williams paint colors.

See that little picture of the ocean on my Jamaica page? To find my color, I just ran my finger along those ocean waves until I touched the shade I was looking for. Then a little menu popped up that let me "view color details and save." That's how I know that THE color I love so much is Tranquil Aqua and that Refuge is the other color I liked in the ocean.

With names like those, no wonder I liked them!
As you can see, the waters in the Gulf weren't quite as blue (although still beautiful).... But the airport definitely has some blue in it - Leisure Blue to be exact.

I'm so glad to finally have names for these beautiful colors! And when I get ready to paint again, this little app will come in real handy. Plus, it's fun, which is really why I like it so much. And it keeps me from doing other things around the house, like laundry and school work.

The app's also available for Android and Blackberry. Go play. Have fun. Paint a room if you feel like it. And if you already knew about this cool app, shame on you for not telling me!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Time's a Tickin' ...

and I'm realizing, way too real, that my daughter will soon be heading off to her future. To college and career and one day to a relationship that will most likely lead to marriage and parenting. That all of this is going to eventually take her away from me (at least physically), and I get kind of weak-kneed and teary-eyed just thinking about it.

As a parent, I know that my job is to guide her into becoming the woman she will become. That my job is to provide for her a safe environment ... to make sure she has a roof over her head, food to eat, and clothes to wear. That my job is to help her realize her gifts and talents. That my job is to make sure she understands how important it is to be educated and prepared to work, so she can enjoy her independence in life. That my job is to keep her safe....

And that's where I pull up short and take a deep breath and slowly let the breath out again because I can't keep her safe forever. There will come a time when she will be on her own and will have to make her own choices and take her own steps to be safe and independent and successful in whatever way she feels makes her successful.

And I have to have faith that I've done my job and that God is looking out for her.

Looking at her now, I know that my husband and I have done everything we can to get her to that point. We even have two more years to spend with her here at home before she heads off to college. I know that those two years will go by so fast, I won't know what happened to them. Like the water going down the drain with the garbage disposal on.... Swoosh, clatter, and just like that, she'll be graduating from high school.

Can you tell that I'm terrified a bit at having to let her go? Can you tell that tears are pushing against my eyes at the thought of it?

* sigh *

Growing children.... It's such a mix of ecstatic love and a mournful realization that envelopes you when you realize that your children really do have to grow up. And that means that one day they'll be leaving to take their part in the bigger world. Without you....

I know that I'll miss her daily presence. I know that I will cling to her voice each time she calls. I know that I'll be counting down the days or weeks until I see her again. But I also know that she'll be ready. And maybe, maybe, in two years I'll be closer to being ready, too.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

They left when I wasn't looking

The baby birds that were in this nest...

finally hatched ...

and ate a bunch ...
and flew away. Luckily, just in time,
since we desperately needed to close the garage.

I really wanted to get closer for my pictures,
but every time I did, the mama bird flew away,
and I just knew that I was stressing her out.
So I stayed away as best I could.

I was amazed at how and where she built her nest.
Right in the middle of a silk flower arrangement
that I had relegated to a shelf in the garage.

Oh, and she took bird seed out of the bird seed bag
and put it in another flower pot that was close to the nest.
I guess there were some days that she just didn't want to go out for dinner.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mixing it up, again....

Do you have to be in a creative frame of mind to create, or do you begin the process hoping inspiration will follow?

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a couple of 8x10 canvases. My goal was to practice creating layered backgrounds of paint, text, and images. After settling on one color of stamping ink (the others were hiding in a very logical place but remained elusive for the duration of my project), I got busy. I painted the background blue, then added some white and yellow using bubble wrap. I then used Stampin' Up's "Close to Cocoa" ink pad to stamp some images on the background.

Little by little my creative spirit had other ideas. Instead of practicing backgrounds, I created another girl. This one sparkles (thanks to a few embellishments I used).

8x10 mixed-media art
All images are the property of Roban Johnson.
High quality, archival prints should be available soon!

I've been trying to decide whether to post my artwork here or on another Web site. I'm still waffling a bit, but if you want to see "sparkle" girl in more detail, click here for my art-only Can-Do Girl Web page.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mosaic Monday 7.16.12

Have you ever had one of those vacations that you really didn't want to end? My husband and I just got back from a trip to Negril, Jamaica, and are definitely still on island time. Where we stayed, the Westender Inn, was pure bliss.... tucked away on the western tip of the island, with the ocean just steps from our door. I loved the wildness of the waves as they crashed onto the coral. As the tide changed and the waves got bigger, thunderous booms echoed as the water hit the rocks. I sat mesmerized one day watching water spouts burst up from the ground, sending tiny slivers of cool droplets my way.

We didn't plan any excursions other than a trip to Rick's to watch the cliff divers. I would even forego that in the future. I was truly content to stay on this rocky shore.
My husband is already trying to figure out how to get back down there. It truly was a little piece of paradise. This post has a few more photographs from our island adventure.

For more mosaics, visit Mary at Little Red House.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday 7.15.12

My husband and I don't vacation much. At least he doesn't. A short trip here and there just about sums up his travels. Last week, though, we traveled to Negril, Jamaica, and stayed at the Westender Inn. Talk about secluded and out of the way. This place is barely on the map. Way over on the western tip of the island, an hour and a half drive from the airport.... But when we got there, ahhhh, paradise. No glitz and glam, just a secluded spot where ocean waves crashed just steps from our room.

With that said, it wasn't too difficult to find inspiration for this week's Scavenger Hunt...


Water was easy to find on the island.... This was one of my favorite reading spots.


One of the many flowers at the Westender Inn.


The tidal pool, freshly cleaned.... and refilled by the ocean.


On our way back to the airport, I spotted these guys. Their bike wheels form a figure 8.


The Westender could be a synonym for "calm," but I liked this picture best.
I snapped it on the way back to the airport.

I opted to leave the Canon at home this time. All photos were taken with my iPhone.

I'm taking part in Scavenger Hunt Sunday hosted by Ashley Sisk at Ramblings and Photos.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I tell you, I've been going a little crazy taking pictures lately. Instagram has a lot to do with it, plus all the handy little editing apps on my phone make it so easy to be creative. This week Kelly Kardos at Just a Click Away told me about a photography scavenger hunt hosted this week by Sarah Halstead. I couldn't resist actually having a purpose to this madness, so here's what I came up with:


This is a HUGE flag that was hanging inside a building on July 4th. The flag itself took up several stories in the atrium. Beautiful reminder of our country and the freedoms we hold so dear.

View from Above

This river makes me smile. You can't imagine how many times I've driven over it and wished I had my camera with me or had time to stop to take a picture. I'm thinking I should get my own inner tube or raft and float down it like these two are doing. Nothing like a lazy Sunday on the river.


This picture turned out a little grainy, and I feel like I'm about to tip over just looking at it. But the mosaic really was beautiful. I took this at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, last week.

Something Tiny

We were so worried about these little birdies last week that we had to leave our garage door open for a few days and nights, so the mama bird could get back in. They flew away during that time, too. I'm kind of missing them.


I am in love with sunflowers. This one is definitely vibrant, so I had to share it with you. I love that tiny drop of water in the middle. Do you see it?

I think the idea behind Scavenger Hunt is to find everything that week and post on Sunday. All of these were taken this week except the one of the baby birds, which I took last week. I tried to find some other "tiny" things to photograph, but I kept coming back to the babies.

Mary, at Little Red House is host to Mosaic Monday. I may not get around to visiting until the weekend. Until then, have an amazing week. I hope to.

Friday, July 6, 2012

A few scraps here and there...

My grandmother was a gatherer
of fabrics, trimmings, and buttons
When visiting her she would put her hands on her hips
and say, "Rob, let me show you what I bought...."
Then she would make her way into the other room
where she would pull lengths of fabrics
from dresser drawers and cedar chests
showing me patterns and buttons and trims
Her stream of small talk never stopping
not even for a breath it seemed

Like my grandmother, I, too, am a gatherer
of papers, trimmings, and buttons
When my sisters visit I put my hands on my hips
and say, "Let me show you what I bought...."
Then I make my way into my studio
and flip through portfolios of papers
ephemera, and other embellishments
I had gathered throughout the year
My stream of small talk rarely stopping
except for a breath now and then

Thinking about her, I realize that we are a lot alike
my grandmother and I
talkers, gatherers, planners
I was named for Queenie Anne
(although I only got to keep the "an" in her name)
and we were born just one day a part
both lovers of justice and balance and beauty.

Queenie Anne at her surprise birthday party....

and with my mom.
I love the expression on my granny's face.

Luckily, I became the keeper of my grandmother's buttons.

(I fell in love with the two fabrics shown above.)
And just like that, I was thinking about my grandmother.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I'm not actually on my front porch ...

I'm off celebrating with my family
and maybe with a friend or two.

If you're celebrating Independence Day, enjoy it!
If not, you can make up your own celebration and call it the 4th of July anyway.
Because today really is the 4th of July.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Telephoto Tuesday

We just spent a great weekend with friends. Ate delicious food, strolled around two beautiful cities, and even took in a Boston concert while we were there. (Now that took me back a few years!).

When I saw this car, I thought I was in another country. Monaco maybe.
I thought it had a regal look to it with all that chrome and shiny black.
And the bird on the hood.

The car wasn't the only thing that caught my attention.
There were plenty of bikes around with this being a college town and all.

 Before we left, we went by our friend's dad's house.
It's really just a two room cottage he created out of a garage.
You'd never know a car had ever invaded that space though.
It's that cute.

Outside, he had created an amazing bed of sunflowers.

It really was a great trip. I tend to be a homebody and a book worm,
but thankfully my husband makes plans like these to get me out into the world.
He's good about things like that.

Tomorrow's the 4th of July!
I think we're ready to celebrate.