August 2009

Before the Storm

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I got so excited Monday evening when the clouds rolled in and the sky became a beautiful backdrop for my shoot. This family was so fun to photograph. I’d turn from photographing one of the kids to find mom and sis making faces and doing silly things to make bro laugh. Rather than cringe about having their pictures taken, they all embraced it. I love that!







And then it rained cats and dogs.

Our B’more Friends


This is India’s friend from pre-kindergarten. The two of them would play every week and us moms got to become really good friends. It was so nice to see this family again and catch up on all the latest adventures.

Later that same day we got to visit with our friends the Reads. We ate a great meal, made butter… you know, the normal things you do with food junkies. These are our CSA farm friends, and we miss them dearly.
Here are a couple of shots with them. Their little girl had a joint 1st b-day party with Ezra. Looks like I didn’t blog about that event. Huh.


CSA- Community Supported Agriculture

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I first became aware of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) while we lived in Boston. My friend Anna and I joined a CSA. We were lucky to have a neighborhood group so we could take turns driving out to the farm, about a 45 minute drive, to pick up the food.

The farm was a 3 acre clearing in the forest directly east of Walden Pond (yes Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond). We would first head to the storehouse to collect whatever the farmers had harvested that morning. Everything was displayed in baskets and on tables in this cool shed dug into the side of a small rise. It had three walls in the soil and was always at least 10 degrees cooler than the forest surrounding it.

Next we would harvest the rest of the share. Mind you, we would harvest 8 shares. We would pick raspberries, beans, tomatoes, flowers and bunches of herbs. It all depended on when things were ready. It took about 2-3 hours to pick all 8 shares.

Our girls would help a bit, then run off and play among the herbs and munch on peas or carrots. This is where India learned to eat snap peas. I was amazed! She loved them (why wouldn’t she?) and I soon became a huge fan of working the farm.

One of my favorite memories was picking up our shares on a rainy day in August or September. Zach came to help, since Anna had already moved to NC and I was about 5 months pregnant with Ezra. We had to pick tomatoes, and raspberries. The rain came down in torrents as Zach filled a bag with golden cherry tomatoes. He probably had to pick 8 pounds.

India and I stayed in the car and when the rain began to ease, we jumped out to harvest some raspberries. The sun began to shine from behind the clouds. We were just commenting on our luck when we arrived to the huge raspberry patch. The bushes were well over my head on either side and a loud humming could be heard. The bees had come out to pollinate while the sun shone. India was a bit frightened but I tried to play up the fact that the bees were busy with their thing and wouldn’t be bothering us. She was a brave 3 year old and decided picking (and eating) a few raspberries was worth the risk. It was an ideal setting. The damp air, the warm sun, the humming bees, and the tasty raspberries. I haven’t seen a raspberry patch its equal since.

While in Baltimore, our good friends the Reads worked the CSA. They just happened to move into our ward about 8 months after we did. They actually lived on the farm in a little rundown cottage that would often be plagued with ladybugs. I remember keeping India home from preschool so we could spend a nice day at the farm. On the porch helping Nick split the garlic, getting it ready to plant. We would often compare notes about different CSA’s. My one experience lending a bit to the conversation.

Now here in Denver we have finally joined a CSA. Apparently purchasing a share it is akin to getting your first born into a good Boston school… or camping out to buy concert tickets. Thankfully I remembered to get on the waiting list sometime in February and we actually got in!

It has been nearly impossible to work the 3 hours required for our share each month. India has been really helpful, but the rain, the baby and a groggy preschooler has made us seriously behind. Thursday at I finally remembered to ask how I could fulfill my hours without working the field. I am now making a photographic record of each item of produce for the farm. This is some of what we picked up this week:

Projects… projects…

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I thought maybe I would send out a birth announcement for Zed… and maybe I still will. If I do send out a card I probably shouldn’t show it here on the blog until after they are sent. But it has been over a month now and still nothing out in the mail. Just this photograph burning a hole in my project folder.

I made about 16 of the card pictured below to use as thank yous for shower gifts and meals. I then started printing on some old colored note cards that came in a little metal box I picked up at the Goodwill. Some are yellow, some are blue. As I was printing, I kept justifying the time I was spending by thinking they would be his own personal stationary… for an infant?? and a boy?? He probably will never use stationary. I just couldn’t justify printing 100 to send to friends and family as an announcement.

I should make a few more, and actually use the floundering postal system to send out a card and photo of our new little man. But another part of me says “Why bother?” I’ve got the blog, email, and should probably save a tree or two… The cards are made on note cards from the Goodwill. They could even be called vintage note cards.
I think what I’ll do is compromise. I’ll send cards to those I don’t think read my blog. So if you are a stalker, and never comment, you may receive one.
These were printed on a nice, $2.50 per 20×30″ sheet of hot pressed printmaking paper. I think it’s Arches… not Arches 99, which is my favorite. For my books and cards, a smooth paper with just the right amount of texture is perfect. It’s gotta feel good. For a book, the feel is essential.

Whenever I make cards I make them odd sizes. That means I never have an envelope to fit the cards. Typically they will fit in a business envelope but are too short. This is the solution I came up with a few years ago, in Baltimore. First I cut the ends off the envelopes. Next I glue a piece of one of my many handmade papers (from my ever growing collection, thank goodness we live nowhere near a Paper Source) to close off the cut edge. I did this as a solution to a quick, inexpensive 4×6″ print packaging for the prints I had made from the Halloween party I photographed. For those I even pasted on a business card.
This time ’round, I decided that took too long. So rather than cutting the end off, I just stuffed them and folded the excess over and licked them down. No extra paper, no glue; hardly any extra time. It worked like a charm. Why hadn’t I thought of that earlier??

On to the next project I never posted. This was made just a day or two after Earth Day. I’m a bit behind on things lately- go fig. In any case, Zed has worn this onesie several times, but it wasn’t until last week that I actually photographed him in it. Just so you know, this is appropriate everyday in our home. Don’t you know? every day is Earth Day.

One more project.
We were getting ready for our neighbor’s birthday party. While searching the aisles of Michaels I found what I had looked for a year ago when I made a memory game. At that time all I could find were flat circles, but I really wanted blocks. Well, they were staring at me and I couldn’t help but buy them and try to figure something out for our neighbor. I figured a memory game might be too young for her.

Talking with my other neighbor (who received the memory game last year) about finding the blocks she asked if I would make it a multi-sided memory game. Hummm. Good idea. That’s when I thought of making a multi-sided puzzle.

I asked India what her friend likes. She said Barbie. Humm, not making something that looks like a Barbie toy. But Barbie is all about fashion. So I found the iconic fashion photograph by Richard Avedon. You know the one. Taken in the late 50’s early 60’s, the model in a white dress with black gloves surrounded by elephants. So elegant.

We also decided that our neighbor really likes Zed and her new dog. The photo of Zed was easy. I had to sneak over to take a photo of her dog. The last image was of a pink flower. India helped make the box beautiful with all my many paper scraps.

puzzle_inside puzzle_outside