August break, Day 7

everything better

“Today is…” a kick-back-and-appreciate-life kinda day on my August Break…

And a cuppa tea or coffee (take your pick!) always makes everything better, don’t you think?

And another thing that makes everything better is spending a little quality online time with Dotti Rinehart and Terri Porter and the rest of the remarkable women behind the Focusing on Life blog: Judy, Kim, Carol, Leigh, Linda, Kelly, Susan, Cathy and Deanna.

I always find something to delight me — or inform me — or challenge me — or sometimes even comfort me — on this collective blog. And oh the visual treats! They just keep on coming.

And while each contributing photographer/writer has her own aesthetic and voice, they all blend and complement each other beautifully on the blog.

This past winter Dotti invited me to contribute a guest post. It was quite a thrill to be included in such an accomplished group.

If I were ever to meet Dotti (and you never know, maybe some day I will!), I’m sure she would serve me tea in one of her huge assortment of mugs and we would have a grand old chat about books and granddaughters — and photography, of course. We would sit on her porch and then she would show me her garden. I would be in heaven. I am such a fan of the magic Dotti makes with her phone and her DSLR.

I also feel very fortunate to own an actual piece of FOL herstory. Last year I entered their giveaway and emerged the lucky winner of one of Terri’s collage posters — a striking collection of colourful barrio doors. It is now mounted and hangs on my wall for my ongoing viewing pleasure. (I do so love pictures of doors and windows!)

Here are some recent FOL posts I’ve particularly enjoyed and admired, both for their insights and their imagery.

I want to mentionĀ Carol Hart here too because she is a former member of the group whose photography chops are also impressive. As is her garden!

So if you’re inspired by women who talk about the joys and frustrations of their creative lives — and all the rest of their lives — with candor and courage and compassion, and take splendid pictures to boot — then stop in at Focusing on Life for a wee while. You can also join in by adding your photos to their flickr pool and participating in their monthly themes.




Lessons from a life afloat…

She must find a boat and sail in it. No guarantee of shore. Only a conviction that what she wanted could exist, if she dared to find it.

Jeanette Winterson

I was honoured to be asked to contribute a guest post to Focusing on Life (FOL) , a collaborative blog by a group of women whose photography and writing I’ve long admired.(Thanks, Dotti!)

In my post, I share some key life lessons I’ve learned from living on a sailboat in southern climes part of the year. This lifestyle is our dream — we love the freedom, enjoy the new experiences that open up to us every day and embrace living with less. It’s not for everybody, that’s for sure, but we all have our own dreams and places where we feel most alive and at home with ourselves. What’s yours?

Click here to read my guest post.

Focusing on Life has as its goal “to create a caring community for people who are passionate about photography and life. We hope this will be a place that will inspire, teach, nurture, support and accept one another; a place where we can grow in our craft and as individuals.”

Why not come over and check out FOL? And while you’re there have a look at some of the other posts. I’m sure you’ll be inspired and delighted by the talent of the regular contributors and guest posters too. If you like what you see, you’ll want to become a regular reader and part of this wonderful supportive community.