Tuesday, February 7, 2012


~willing subject 2~

Bored with me yet? No! Don't answer that. ☺

Bored with my photography experiments yet? Okay. You can answer that one. I'll try to be brief. The sunlight was shining directly on kitty's forehead. I took that photo...

and nearly left it at that. Not as interesting a shot as the first. Yes, there I am tucked under my blankie reading my book. The first is a zoomed shot not a cropped shot.

The days are so much longer now and the light is changing fast. This morning I looked around and knew that I was saying goodbye to most things Christmas. The lights, the mercury glass tree, the cranberry wreath...all gone. This is what I have instead.

A much simpler look with touches of red for Valentine's Day.

Perhaps the more interesting shot... My Valentine from a dear blogging friend still holds up after three years. I adore it! Laura, those apples? As fake as fake can be.

Thanks for looking! Feel free to speak your mind.

Love Vee

Monday, February 6, 2012


It was an odd weekend. The photography book that Catherine suggested in comments last week arrived. I sat directly down to it with my camera in hand and a willing subject.

~willing subject~

Later in the day, my niece brought over bacon whoopie pies. Bacon? Yup, you heard correctly. They were pretty good. I ate it, but I don't know what's wrong with the good old-fashioned chocolate ones or even *pumpkin.* John really liked them and ate the rest of my share.

So you're probably wondering about the photography. So am I. I have the settings so snarled that I have to return to the default settings and start over. Lots to learn; lots to confuse.


Congrats to the Giants fans. That was a rough game for the Pats fans to watch, which was why I bailed at 9 for Downton Abbey. Oh poor Mary! She certainly has got herself in a world of trouble. If I start praying for her, would you please remind me that she's just a character in a story? =) And that little snake in the grass Patrick. That was unsettling. And poor Mr. Bates! 

So did you watch the game or Downton Abbey or both or nothing or something else entirely?

Love Vee

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Problem of Pain

This week, and for several weeks prior, my thoughts have been about pain. Not my own physical nor spiritual pain, but real pain that was endured by a family member until she passed last week and the emotional pain of her family who stood watching. She lived with scleroderma for much of her adult life. Her extended family, myself and others, knowing that suffering was ongoing, were driven to prayer and in our ignorance found ourselves questioning why. Why does God allow pain? Because my mind has been compromised...see the following quote...I recognize that I don't think clearly or see enough to come to grips with such things. I fall on my faith; I fall hard on my faith.

Love Vee

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sweet Brown Bread Recipe

Oh there were some sweet photography suggestions in comments on yesterday's post. Read them and learn... Thank you so much to everyone who offered valuable advice. I now have a book on the way and perhaps photography will pick up around here. Perhaps. Probably not. I'm no photographer. Like everything else, I pretend.

And I'm no bread baker either. Pretending again.  Does that not inspire confidence?

This recipe is as close as I've been able to arrive to the sweet brown bread served at King's Landing in New Brunswick, Canada. Since the flavors and textures have lived in memory alone, this is not quite there, yet it is close. Does anything ever live up to the memory? We'll ponder that another day. And, who knows, maybe I'll work on it again when I weigh under a hundred pounds and need to gain weight in a hurry.

One more point: though I'm sure that this would be delicious with New England baked beans, it is not the dark sweet bread that comes in a can expressly for that purpose. (I like that stuff, too, but why reinvent the wheel!)

Vee's Sweet Brown Bread *printable recipe* (to make and bake in a Bread Machine)

If you try this, please let me know? I'd love to know what you think of it.

Love Vee
Edited to Add:

HappyOne gave this a try. Check it out @ Life is Good-Smile.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Alicia, your photography is incredible. I have yet to figure out how you do it and I have tried. Specifically, I can not understand how the room and the view beyond the room are equally crisp and beautiful. It's as if they are both one amazing space.

Do you think I've provided enough adjectives there? Anyway, that's what I'd say if I were brave enough to comment at Alicia's.

Recently, Alicia provided a link to a house tour of her home on Houzz. It's a fun way to spend a little time, if you have a few minutes today or over the weekend. Always those crisp, delightful photos. (You'll have to visit Posie Gets Cozy to find the link as I just sent you to the main page.)

Usually when I am trying to photograph a room, I get blur. I really get blur when the view beyond the windows is captured. Either the blur is outdoors or indoors, either way...blur...blur and mud.

Case in point...

I was trying to capture the great graphics on the Hans Brinker book as well as the barn star on the fence outside. The barn star is out of focus and a bit blurry, though it shows up better than the book. I think that the camera really focused on the throw because that seems to have been picked up well.

Since I didn't achieve what I wanted with the camera alone, I went to Photoscape.

Once there, I added backlighting and bloom. At least I can see Hans now. ☺

So this is a question for my friends who take photographs all the time...you know who you are...everybody? Give me your hints and tips. I'll be forever grateful.

Edited to Add: Karen is entering a new venture that completely intrigues me. You can find out more on her post today titled The Accidental Photographer.


Yesterday, my hubby made a comment about February's picture on one of my new calendars. You may recognize it. Apparently, neither of us is too fond of the picture of snake lovers. 

So I "fixed" it. 

It is a wonderful thing when the calendar presents just one clinker. I've had others where every other month was a nightmare. 

So that's all the Valentine's decorating I've done. I must find a few more and get going. Time's already flying.


Guess what?! I believe that I have discovered the recipe for sweet brown bread. I'm sharing tomorrow. Bring your own plate and coffee...


Oh, and Happy Ground Hog's Day, too!

Love Vee

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Snowflakes...lovely things...do you believe that no two are alike? I do, though I now know that they can be very similar.

Jill sparked my curiosity a few weeks ago with her discussion of snowflake photography. I had to wait for days to have daytime snow; at first, I used a velveteen pillow to capture snowflakes. I soon learned that the nap of the fabric was very unattractive when enlarging snowflakes. It looked like this.

The snowflakes were intriguing enough that I wanted to try again, which I did. More waiting for daytime snow and then snow came yesterday (today, too, for that matter). I was out on the deck in my pajamas capturing snowflakes using first green paper then red paper.

I was appalled to realize that a snowstorm is like a battlefield. All those flakes hit the ground and most blow up on impact. Terribly sad.

Every now and then one would land intact...

Sometimes, various objects landed.

I even saw a skier...

and a skater!

You know what? I'm beginning to think that I don't have enough to do. =)

Have you been wasting time on anything lately?

Happy February!

Love Vee

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sally Lunn Bread

Before I forget, I want to give credit to Kim (Kim Klassen) for the If Only background and Karen (The Graphics Fairy) for the beautiful swans. We have such amazing resources in Blogdom! If you haven't signed up for Kim's weekly download, try it and you'll be playing in no time.

This is the last of the Memory Bouquet using the same If Only background. It makes for a soft, romantic look. I used the photomerge function on Photoshop.


As you may know, I am on the search for a particular bread recipe. I've now made bread three times in the effort and each time brings me closer to that elusive recipe. I have learned some things. One is that to have sweetness one must have more than a titch of sugar. The other is that eggs do add that extra body to bread dough that I am looking for. The last is that this can not go on. I like fresh bread way too much.

Cheryl @ Thinking About Home suggested that Sally Lunn bread might be close. It is certainly a delicious bread and so easy to make. No kneading!

Notice the bread handle? Why I stuck that extra bit of dough on there, I have no idea. It certainly wasn't to make it attractive. =)

Can you see the texture? That is definitely what I am looking for. See that butter? Cabot, thank.you.very.much. The best ever! (No, Cabot is not paying me to say this.) Do you have a favorite butter?

If you'd like to try Cheryl's recipe, you'll find it right *here.*  She's titled the post "Snowly and Sally Lunn." Perfect for a snowy day as we're enjoying today.

I also wanted to thank you for the encouraging things you said about my tag project yesterday. You are the best!

A wonderful Tuesday to you...

Love Vee

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dare to Dream Different Art Challenge~Quill Cottage

This art challenge has taken me way beyond my comfort zone so I am sitting here chuckling at myself. I am not by nature a creative person. Not.at.all.

When Miss Sandy *first mentioned her challenge,* I had just posted about my word for the year, which is "stretch." Somehow I thought that it would be a good way to practice. And it proved so true. I have stretched — hours and hours of stretching.

The challenge, as I understood it, was to create a tag or a piece of "art" using any of the images that Miss Sandy provided and the word "dream."

Let's have at it, shall we? My picture story...



So I learned a few things. I am learning that it takes layers and layers of practice. 

And I learned that one can take a sad song tag and make it better. 

Thanks so much, dear Miss Sandy, for encouraging me to try something new. I  had fun! 

Please visit Quill Cottage and see what others did with the same images. 

Love Vee

Very Near

Ever wake in the wee hours of the morning feeling unsettled, ill at ease? It happens to all of us, I think. It happened to me just last night. When it does, I can usually calm it with prayer or perhaps the humming of a hymn like "He's As Close As the Mention of His Name" by Gordon Jenson. This song is what came to me as I lay there flipping through my mind's Rolodex at three in the morning.

In the very thought of Jesus
His presence can be found
He's as close as the mention of His name
There is never any distance between my Lord and me
He's as close as the mention of His name
He's as close as the mention of His name
He's as close as the mention of His name
Jesus, Jesus
In my hour of struggle
So many times I've found
He's as close as the mention of His name
Just to breathe the name of Jesus
Can turn everything around
He's as close as the mention of His name.

John tells of a time when every night such anxiety would come upon him that he would have to get up, have a glass of water, walk around, and perhaps read before getting back to bed and to sleep. He was so exhausted from this nightly routine that he finally said to the Lord, "I don't care what happens. I don't care if I die. I am not getting up again." And that was the end of it.

Anxiety can come upon us at any time, though Believers have the remedy and the promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He truly is as close as the very thought of Him. That is powerful. Further, He is present whether we are aware or not for He is always present and He is always willing to show us through as we yield to Him.

A blessed Sunday to you...

photo source: Dover Publishing

Love Vee