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Category Archives: Project 365

Thought I’d FINALLY get around to showing you what ate up all my time from the end of October right up until the Christmas holiday. It began with a simple thought: We need a new refrigerator.

Refrigerator Wall - Before Renovation

You see, our current 12-year old, side-by-side refrigerator never really worked in the space (a kludgy layout we inherited with the house) for several reasons: (1) The right hand door couldn’t be opened all the way since it hit the nearby counter, (2) the fridge itself stuck out just enough that the drawer in the corner could not be opened more than 3 inches, and (3) items in the fridge would FREEZE if placed too close to the freezer side. Efficient, no? 😉

Both hubby and I are avid cooks despite our kitchen being on the small side (old home circa 1929). Over the years we’ve done our best with minor renovations to improve overall functionality and efficiency. However, one area remained a major item of frustration and with nothing left to change, it clearly was time to take it on.

So off we went looking for a new refrigerator and when we realized a better-designed model, in the size and depth required to fit the space DID NOT exist, my husband says the words every wife longs to hear: ‘Why don’t we knock out the cabinets so you can get the fridge you want? And, while we’re at it, why not reconfigure the pantry as well?’ Damn, I LOVE that man! 🙂

Pantry Area - Before Kitchen Renovation

He’s known for years I’ve been coveting refrigerators made by Liebherr (a German company), ever since I learned of their green technology and amazing efficiency. The thought that I could actually have one in my kitchen, well, that was almost too much to comprehend! Little did I know, the PERFECT Liebherr model was patiently waiting for us to discover it on the floor of our local appliance showroom. To be fair, Jim spotted her first and came up to me with his ‘Stop looking, I found the fridge’ devilish grin.

I thought,‘Yeah, surrre ya did, honey,’ as I followed him through the aisles. Gotta hand it to that boy, when he’s right, he’s RIGHT! There she stood…a 48″ wide beauty in stainless steel, complete with wine refrigerator, freezer and more fridge space than you can imagine. Drool…the salesman chuckled as I hugged the fridge. I’m not kidding. Right there, in that showroom, for all to see, I hugged the fridge. I’m a fridge hugger!

However, before we could take the plunge, we needed to consult with a contractor to make sure it would (a) fit in the space and (b) work with what we ultimately wanted to do. So, we met with the contractor, explained the design of the space, held our breath, crossed our fingers and expected to hear ‘Nope. Can’t do it’ but, instead got, ‘Go buy yourselves a fridge’. Seriously?! Woo hoo! 🙂

Wait, it gets better. We were able to purchase the floor model, on tax free weekend, for a song! Things were lookin’ good! Signed the contract at the beginning of September but with vacations and schedules, work would not begin until the end of October.

The following slideshow of images (31 in all) is just a taste of the project from start to finish.

Please Note: Unfortunately, I cannot control how quickly the images advance. HOWEVER, if you hover your mouse over the slideshow area, a set of controls will display allowing you to STOP the auto advancement of the images. Then, you can use the forward and back arrows to scroll through the images at your leisure.

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Long story short, a whole lotta work spanning 8 weeks with various contractors (seven subs total) and city inspectors (3 in all), plus long days, design changes, on-the-fly planning, dirty fingernails, many trips to Home Depot, Lowes as well as the local hardware store, lumberyard, and TWO paint stores, endless material searches, hours of demolition, sanding, measuring, cutting, nailing, priming, painting, tiling, grouting, caulking, cleaning and organizing! Whew! 🙂

Refrigerator Wall - After Kitchen Renovation

When all is said and done, the blood, sweat and tears were SO WELL worth it!


“Fly Girl” (Crane Fly, Female) Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/10, 1/125s, ISO 640

Fooled you! It only looks like a giant mosquito! 🙂

Turns out it is a female Crane Fly – totally harmless. They don’t even bite! (And, coming off my recent yellow-jacket-sting-to-the-palm, trust me, that is very good thing!)

I came upon her while trying to fish a live frog out of the pool (I wasn’t successful as the wily amphibian kept diving to the depths to elude my net) and came eye-to-eye with the largest fly I’d ever seen.

Truth be told, at the time I had no idea what mystery beast was staring back at me. No matter. As far as I’m concerned, ‘Shoot first, research later’ is a fine motto to photograph by.

I just thought it was just so darn cool. I mean, seriously, just look at those fabulous iridescent wings!

“She’s so Fly” (Crane Fly, Female) Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/10, 1/80s, ISO 640, Built-in i-TTL Flash, -0.7EV

I guess someone has to give all those pretty butterflies and moths a run for their money! 🙂

I can’t believe I haven’t posted in a week! For shame! 🙂

Well, we survived the 3-day art fair despite the hot & humid temps and sparse crowds. Another indication this economy is hitting artists quite hard as there were fewer vendors than ever this year. Many we spoked to confirmed sales were down for them as well. Not good. Please support your local artists!

"Tempest" (Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' aka Black-eyed Susan) Nikon D300, 105mm, F/9, 1/160s, +0.3EV, ISO 320

“Tempest” (Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ aka Black-eyed Susan) Nikon D300, 105mm, F/9, 1/160s, +0.3EV, ISO 320

"Lady Macbeth" (Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' aka Black-eyed Susan) Nikon D300, 105mm, F/9, 1/200s, +0.3EV, ISO 320

“Lady Macbeth” (Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ aka Black-eyed Susan) Nikon D300, 105mm, F/9, 1/200s, +0.3EV, ISO 320

I’ve actually been in sort of a photography lull, finding myself seriously lacking in inspiration. After a few days of feeling this way, I decided to kickstart my creative juices by shooting only in black & white. Removing color from the equation immediately forces me to look at my world a little differently and it wasn’t very long before I found a lovely subject.

Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ (aka Black-eyed Susan) is a fairly common perennial flower and so far, my small clump has managed to elude the radar of the resident bunny! As lovely as they are in color, I find their stunning form is even more evident in black & white, especially when lit so beautifully in late afternoon.

"Much Ado About Nothing" (Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' aka Black-eyed Susan) Nikon D300, 105mm, F/9, 1/160s, +0.3EV, ISO 320

“Much Ado About Nothing” (Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ aka Black-eyed Susan) Nikon D300, 105mm, F/9, 1/160s, +0.3EV, ISO 320

Not much was done in post except for some petal cleanup (who likes spots on their crisp white flowers?) and tonal changes to accentuate all the details.

"Romeo & Juliet" (Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' aka Black-eyed Susan) Nikon D300, 105mm, F/9, 1/100s, ISO 320

“Romeo & Juliet” (Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ aka Black-eyed Susan) Nikon D300, 105mm, F/9, 1/100s, ISO 320

Oh, I would be remiss if I didn’t give a big ol’ nod to my pal Shakespeare for helping me with the image names. Thanks, Bill! 🙂

My first photographic love will always be flowers and, if they are pink and they are peonies, well then, in my book that is a winning combination for sure! Good thing we are in peony season then, huh? 😉 

I particularly like the unusual perspective and backlighting of this gorgeous blossom. Deliberate underexposure created the dark background, while a gold reflector highlighted that wild yellow center which otherwise would have been lost in shadow. This ranks up there as one of my favorite peony shots. Ever

“Take a Bow” (Pink Herbaceous Peony, Unknown Variety) Nikon D300, 105mm, F/8, 1/200s, -0.7EV, ISO 640

So, there it is, folks. The final Project 365 image! 🙂 

The concept seemed simple enough at the beginning…post (at least) one image every day for 365 days. Never could I have known the journey I would take!   

Here I am, 365 days (and 396 images) later, the task complete. Woo hoo! Elation abounds! 🙂   

Will I stop? Yes and no. I will not commit to posting an image every day for a year. Been there, done that. I firmly believe projects need a finish, otherwise, what’s the point?   

However, I have found that I do love posting my images and writing stories to go along with them, so I will be continuing with the blog. Hooray! 🙂 I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the people I have met along the way and am especially grateful to the ones who took the time to comment and encourage me to be a better photographer than I was. You guys are awesome!! 😀 

As I look back over the year, I can clearly see that my skills have grown by leaps and bounds from that first day. I have become quite comfortable with all the equipment I am fortunate to own and I have been pushed to go beyond my comfort zone. Yes, there have been lows but more often, there have been highs. I couldn’t be happier with the body of work I’ve been able to create! 

My goal for the blog from this day forward is to continue posting images and commentary a few days a week. (To stay in the loop, I highly recommend subscribing to receive notifications of new posts via email). Creatively, I need a break and I want to get back to the days when shooting is something I consider fun and not a requirement. I’ve learned I need to find a happy middle ground.  

I hope you all continue to follow along, continue to inspire me with your images and continue to tell me what works and what doesn’t. Without you, I’m merely a girl with a camera and no purpose. What’s the fun in that? 😉

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