This 365 day project features photos that include words (actual or implied),
text, books,
writing, letters and numbers, signs, libraries, and.... well, you get the idea.


day 92 of 365

A little library humor. Given to me by my library co-workers for my birthday yesterday. Thanks, ladies!


day 91 of 365

This is a page from my great-grandmother's guestbook, which sits on a shelf in my living room. I've recently been corresponding with a long lost cousin (read all about it here), and found that her family is featured in the guestbook in words and photos. They've been right there all along, and I never knew who they were. Now their words and images have come to life, and that's kind of magical.


day 90 of 365

These old concrete street posts will soon be a thing of the past. They were installed decades ago to combat street sign theft, and have become an iconic symbol of Cape Cod. But state law mandates they all be replaced by 2012. They're a little funky, and often you can't read the name of the street. But they're ours, and we'll mourn the loss of them for a little while.


day 89 of 365

I participate in the monthly RAW Amateur photo contest. There's a theme each month, and it's been really interesting to see what people submit and what the judges (who are professional photographers) have to say about the entries. Though so much of art is subjective, and I don't always agree with the final choices, I always learn something about technique and composition.

This month's contest theme is "The Items We Carry," and we are supposed to depict things we carry in our pockets and bags that people don't usually see. Right away the contest was flooded with photos of people's guns, and it turned out that a gun rights group had gotten wind of the contest and decided to make a political statement. The debate raged in the comments forum, and it generated more feedback than any other monthly theme.

So the above is my submission for this month's contest. It's not a particularly great photo, but more of a political statement of my own. Title it "the pen is mightier than the sword" or "books, not guns." An infinitesimal gesture in a crazy world.


day 88 of 365

My very cool and funny brother sent me a care package of kitchen utensils and knives for my birthday (with the appropriate warning label inside). Why did he do this? Because at Thanksgiving he was shocked and mortified that I didn't have any decent carving knives and didn't own a meat thermometer. Me, nearly 52 years old (next week!), and not a knife sharpener in sight.

Here he is, struggling with the Thanksgiving turkey using inferior kitchen tools.

Thanks, Tom, for all my wonderful new toys! I promise to watch the sharp edges, and cook up something fabulous soon. xoxoxo

PS: I wonder what the postal service would have said if this box had been opened for inspection?

PSS: You can see photos of the whole Thanksgiving gang here.


day 87 of 365

I'm participating in C&C Photography's Spring Photo Workshop. The above photo is an eggxcerpt from the photo assignment this week. You can see all my eggxciting photos HERE.


day 86 of 365

I was in Worcester today for the Digital Commonwealth conference, and on the way there spotted this rocket in a tiny little park behind the Auburn fire station. It turned out to be a monument to Rocket Man Robert Goddard, and this was the site of the first liquid-fueled rocket flight in the world. Here's a little 2 minute video:

You learn something new every day.


day 84 of 365

I love this word -- SPLASH! It's so positive, so action-packed, so memorable. It's filled with light and boldness and watery freshness. So this rendering, in brick, underfoot, seems sort of paradoxical.

Andrea at Hula Seventy has compiled a list of favorite words submitted by readers -- check them out and see if your favorite is among them.


day 82 of 365

Are you in need of salvation? Forgiveness? Redemption? You can get it here, right across from the supermarket on Route 28.

Oh, and you can probably return your cans and bottles while you're at it.

Happy Sunday!


day 81 of 365

Fasten your seat belts and lock your car doors. Hannah's on the road.


day 80 of 365

Sort of an icon here on Cape Cod. This motel greets you right off of exit 6, but it's not the place to stay if you're a starry-eyed tourist. Click the photo to see up close.


day 79 of 365

A view of my bedside table. I'm reading Jane Eyre for the umpteenth time, and re-watching the Masterpiece Theatre adaptation of the book. Some local ladies have started the Bronte-Along group, for those of us who are a little obsessed with the Bronte sister's books and films. Yesterday I created some photo collages as part of the Bronte-Along project. You can see them posted on my other blog.


day 78 of 365

Where have all the pay phones gone? Long time passing. (Sing it with me!)


day 77 of 365

I'm dreaming of cold drinks on a summer day. Maybe a big glass of iced tea with slices of lemon and orange. Or maybe a Ginger Mint Julep like I saw in one of Kyria's 365 project photos. That's it! Here's a recipe. Sit back, put your feet up on your beach chair, and enjoy. But first, we have to wait for the sun to come out and the ground to unfreeze. Until then, we can dream.


day 76 of 365

A stormy weekend -- lots of rain and high wind. A good day to stay indoors. But I went out anyway to see what the ocean was doing -- it was gray and turbulent.

Does this sign prohibit us completely from doing these things, or give us carte blanche?


day 75 of 365

Here's a "vintage" photo of me from about 10 or so years ago, when I was the Director-Reference Librarian-Children's Librarian-Cataloger-Historian-Archivist-Janitor at the Plumb Memorial Library in Rochester, Massachusetts. I just found it while going through old photos yesterday, and remembered this day when I did a special program with the Brownie Troop. It's hard to believe that these girls are now about ready to graduate from high school! Time flies. It got me thinking back on some memorable librarians from my past.
  • There was my great-Aunt Anne, who ran the James White Memorial Library in Freetown, and bore a fleeting resemblance to Almira Gulch in the Wizard of Oz. But she ran her little one-room library with dedication and tenacity.
  • And there was Grace Eastman, who was Director at the East Bridgewater Public Library for many years. We were neighbors; I babysat for her grandchildren; and she indulged my passion for books. She was lively and intelligent and maybe just a bit eccentric -- she had an interesting habit on hot summer days of mowing her lawn wearing her slip and carrying her purse.
  • And Anne Petterson, the Director of the Stoughton Public Library, who was a mild-mannered librarian by day and on the weekends took to the skies as pilot of her own airplane.
There are numerous others who, from all appearances, could blend into the woodwork of the stereotypical librarian -- a little musty, fusty, and drab. But don't believe it. Behind those glasses beats the heart of a poet, a dancer, an artist, a conductor, a pilot, an explorer, and an adventurer. Don't let the costume fool you.

I just recently ran across this list of 85 reasons to be thankful for librarians. Have you hugged your librarian today?


day 74 of 365

I seriously considered having just ice cream for dinner, but my inner nutrition counselor advised against it.


day 73 of 365

I got a new telephoto lens, and this was the first shot I took. Oops! But like many happy accidents, I kind of like it -- it looks like some form of hieroglyphics or ancient sky writing. Here's what I was actually going for.

I'll need lots of practice, but this will expand my photo toolbox. Yay for new toys!


day 72 of 365

I've been sitting through lots of long meetings these past few weeks, so this call to action by artist John Eric Byers speaks to me.


day 71 of 365

Lambert's Fruit Co. at sundown. Big, bold, and lusciously orange. It used to be a boring barn red, but no more.

I'm on a mineola and kiwi kick lately, but am up for a new fruit adventure. What do you recommend?


day 70 of 365

This lady was created out of found objects -- making her almost as beautiful, complicated, and fascinating as a living, breathing woman. You can see her at the Fuller Craft Museum.


textures & layers

Several of you have asked about how I create the vintage kind of effect I get in some of my photos. The header for this blog is an example of 3 layers combined to create a specific vintage look. About a dozen of the almost-70 photos on this blog have been "texturized."

I don't use Photoshop or PSElements because my older computer doesn't like them, but you can certainly use those programs or other editing software to create the same effect. I use Picnik, which is available online in a free version but to do layers you need the premium version (a bargain at $24.95). As far as I know, you can't do this in Picasa -- if anyone has had success with it, I'd love to hear how you do it.

To create the layers, you need to use find a texture you like. There are tons of free textures on flickr for downloading -- just make sure you follow their guidelines for use. Then upload your photo and a texture to Picnik and drag one photo on top of another and play with the layering tool, curves, and other effects until you get it just right.

Click here to see a very short but sweet tutorial on layering with Picnik.

Careful now. You just might get addicted.

To see some really interesting texture work, check out the flickr group Textured Tresors. There's everything from the sublime to the ridiculous, with some really wonderful images in between. I'm new at it, so bear with me as I hone my skills.

day 69 of 365

For all you Trekkies out there who've been wondering, I've discovered the secret gathering place of the Vulcans. And here I thought they didn't drink.

Happy Monday. May the force be with you!


day 66 of 365

"How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like kleenex?"
~~ Julia Child

Luckily there's Pain D'Avingnon. So delicious.


day 65 of 365

Graffiti has an amazing way of finding and filling almost any blank space. While I don't love the whole defacing aspect of graffiti, I find much of it to be very beautiful. I found this on an old stone building on one of the creepiest back roads on Cape Cod. The road winds down behind the airport, and mostly people dump trash and old furniture there. You can see a larger view of the building here. Oh, and check out this picture to see how nature has worked its magic on one wall of the building.

This photo reminds me of this song -- it's been playing over and over in my head.


day 64 of 365

Still trying to lighten up! I saw these book lights in a local bookstore and coveted them, even though I could turn all the lights on in the whole house while I'm reading and no one would care. Does anyone remember (or own) the Itty Bitty Book light? In my married days I had one of those, and it probably kept my marriage going for a few years longer than it would have lasted otherwise. But now these colorful beauties come along, and I want one in every color.

I'm shining a little light on myself over on my other blog. Come over and visit! And share something about yourself.


come on over

I have another blog where I post -- usually weekly -- on all kinds of topics from the weather to fine art. I've been tagged by Kyria to share 10 things about myself, so if you want to know more about me, come visit me at a little light reading.

day 63 of 365

As promised yesterday, I will shake off the darkness from my photos and seek the light.... or how about some lightning? I saw this wonderful graphic sign on the side of a truck. Such a great depiction of the ability to harness the power of lightning, right in your bare hands. I would love to create a logo like this for librarians. Any artists out there?

I looked for some lightning quotes to go along with the image, and found these 3 to share.

Here's Mark Twain, likening lightning to the power of words:
"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."

Or Henri Cartier-Bresson, and the lightning-fast instant of capturing a photo:
The creative act lasts but a brief moment, a lightning instant of give-and-take, just long enough for you to level the camera and to trap the fleeting prey in your little box."

But I think I like George Carlin the best:
Electricity is really just organized lightning."


day 62 of 365

Since I shocked you with leeches the other day, here's a little something to soothe your frayed nerves.

I took other photos in and around Harvard last week. You can see them here. I have to admit, seeing them all together, they're a little dark. I'll lighten up in the week ahead, I promise.