Showing posts from January 3, 2016

3,000 Photos of Friends Having Fun

It's Friday. For some,  this one is the end of the first week back to work after an extended festive holiday. Certainly then a cause to celebrate. We made it to the other side. No matter how much you love your job, by the time Friday arrives it's time for a change of pace. Not just for a break to recharge the batteries,  but to tackle some of the work you have at home as well as to connect with family and friends. From family dinners, to special occasion invites and house parties, we fill the spaces in between weekend responsibilities with fun, love and laughter. And it all begins tonight. Before us are two whole days to fill however we choose. What I love most about Friday,  however,  is that my husband and I have set it aside as a time to catch up. When we have walked in the door at the end of the day,  put away coats, emptied out lunches, we grab a cocktail and head for our chairs to chat. Points of interest, recaps and anecdotes fill the time before supper. Also o

How to Become a Professional Photographer

For most people a camera is a toy, a hobby used to record momentous occasions, candid moments or good times.  We use it to record the special times, the places we've been and the people with whom we've shared it all. I've certainly never considered myself anything more than an avid amateur photographer. At least in the years during and since working for a local newspaper where in addition to editing and writing I photographed everything from the grip-and-grin shots to sporting events.  Prior to that even the label of amateur didn't apply. Looking back on those grainy shots of the past I'm really sorry that I didn't know a little more about what makes a good picture. Tiny subjects in the centre of the photo,  boring landscapes, and absolutely no concept of lighting and contrast were the hallmarks of my work. It didn't help either that my first camera was a Polaroid. A few years in journalism, however,  showed me that had I considered it, I might have

Tips for Designing Appealing Static Ads

A new year begins and with it the season of sales. Retailers are offering promotions and discounts to clear out inventory and encourage consumers to spend.  Following the heady commercial pre-Christmas days,  bargains and special rewards are the only ways to entice people to part with money in January. As winter winds blow and snow storms through, staying home, cuddled and cozy,  is far more appealing than heading out for an item you might want, but don't necessarily need. The carrot dangled before you better be a big one to change that view. My husband and I (well if I'm to be honest, my husband) are currently in the middle of a fairly extensive renovation project. A dismal back kitchen and its upstairs room have been on the honey-do list since we purchased the old century house 35 years ago.  Honey must have decided that it's do or die time as he has finally thrown himself into the project screw guns blazing. As he struggles through crawl spaces, insulates in sub-

90 Inspiring Photos for a New Year

When a new year is upon us I often think of it as a time for change, not just within myself but in the pattern that seemed to define the previous year. For example, 2006 has been stuck in my memory as a time of extreme tragedies and profound sadness. Loss and grief seemed to be everywhere. As editor of a community newspaper I saw most of it and to this day, listing the things that happened raises the eyebrows of people who didn't know. As we counted down to 2007 then  I celebrated what I had to believe in my heart would be a better year. And it was — remembered only for its optimism, hope and good times.  From that point on I put a lot of pressure on a new year that followed a less than satisfactory one to be kinder. Looking back on 2015, however, I wasn't really sure what to expect. For the most part it had been 'normal', a mix of what's expected in life.  The year took a nose dive in December, however, and I strode into January with the great need to lea

780 Photos of Walking for Fitness and Fun

Well, first I should probably extend a belated Happy New Year and wishes for all the best in the upcoming year.  2015 ticked away its final minutes on a Thursday evening, leading into a long weekend for everyone. For a fortunate few, today, Monday, Jan. 4 is actually the first day back to work after an extended break between Christmas and the new year. Back to the grind, back to routine, back to reality. That reality often includes as well a return to exercise and healthy eating which might have lapsed over the holidays, or the resolve that you are going to finally set yourself on a positive lifestyle track. I fall somewhere between these two groups. I know what I should eat and have made the changes at this point that I feel are most important without taking all the fun out of life. Well, my life anyway. I do a bit of yoga, walk when I can, make it a point to take extra trips up and down our stairs and sneak in some lunges and squats during the work day. But I know that if I