Carmens’ tableau

28 07 2009

This weekend Regina and I joined Karen at her lake house for a girls-only retreat. Our friend Carmen drove all the way up from South Carolina to join us and Sue happened to be in town from Alabama and stopped by to join us for several hours on Saturday. En route from South Carolina, Carmen bought this beautiful bouquet as a lake house warming gift for Karen at a farmer’s market in Petersburg, VA. She called ahead to see if we had a vase available. Since we were already out running errands, I hunted an appropriate vessel (without even knowing the color scheme of the bouquet) and found this beautiful glass vase on clearance at a local Michael’s Crafts for just $4.00! Karen had the fabric handy in our project stash to serve as a table scarf (thanks to Sue for suggesting we scrunch the fabric). I added the glass bowl and Carmen added the yellow and purple bell peppers. She then declared, “what a lovely tableau.” I teased her about her “fancy college word,” but it was a perfect noun for the finished result. I have to admit I don’t remember ever hearing anyone actually use that word—maybe in college in Art Appreciation 101 class, perhaps? And in the end, as you know—I love any opportunity to shoot a photo, so this was a photographic-can’t-not!

Floral arrangement courtesy of Carmen Mezzacappa.
Photo © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Carmen's Tableau





Early morning at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

23 07 2009

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C.

Click here to view images from July 20, 2008.

Click here to view images from July 22, 2007.

For more Kenilworth photos, click here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Kenilworth Collage 7232009





Craft project: The Monet Chair

20 07 2009

My friend Karen inherited this rocking chair from her grandmother and took it out to the lake house a few weekends ago. She has often declared, “I’ve never met a little chair I didn’t like!” Since the fabric wasn’t in great shape, she asked what I thought about painting something on the chair to make it more whimsical. And, of course, I took on the challenge with gusto!

Over the July 4th weekend, I painted a base coat of metallic blue, green and gold paint (finally, a use for all those little bottles of fabric paint I bought when such-and-such store was going out of business!). My initial plan was to paint sketchy leaves or swirly abstract shapes on top in a lighter color. After the base coat was completely dry the next day, I thought that it was starting to look like the water in one of Monet’s paintings of water lilies at his garden in Giverny, France. I shot some record shots of the chair after I was done. Karen loved the idea of turning it into a “Monet chair,” and it was her idea to split up the painting with the Japanese bridge on back of the chair and the water lilies on the seat. We found one of Monet’s many water lily paintings on the web, including one with very bright blue/teal and green combination of tones in the water. I did a screen grab of the painting and superimposed it over the chair in Photoshop to see what it would look like. She loved the effect—so guess what my project at the lake house this next weekend is? I’ll shoot some during-and-after shots so you can see how it turned out. I’m estimating it will take about 3-4 hours to complete.

Monet Chair





Blooming in the garden today…

17 07 2009

Song of the Flower

I am a kind word uttered and repeated 
By the voice of Nature;
I am a star fallen from the
Blue tent upon the green carpet.
I am the daughter of the elements
With whom Winter conceived;
To whom Spring gave birth;
I was Reared in the lap of Summer and I
Slept in the bed of Autumn.

At dawn I unite with the breeze
To announce the coming of light;
At eventide I join the birds
In bidding the light farewell.

The plains are decorated with
My beautiful colors, and the air
Is scented with my fragrance.

As I embrace Slumber the eyes of
Night watch over me, and as I
Awaken I stare at the sun, which is
The only eye of the day.

I drink dew for wine, and hearken to
The voices of the birds, and dance
To the rhythmic swaying of the grass.

I am the lover’s gift; I am the wedding wreath;
I am the memory of a moment of happiness;
I am the last gift of the living to the dead;
I am a part of joy and a part of sorrow.
But I look up high to see only the light,
And never look down to see my shadow.
This is wisdom which man must learn. 

— Khalil Gibran

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.    
http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135

Blooms7172009





Orange you glad(iola)?

15 07 2009

About the title—admittedly, very bad. I had to go with my first thought. Sorry.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

http://cindydyer.zenfolio.com/p270076135.

OrangeYouGladiola





Re-post: Rhymes with Orange

15 07 2009

DCUC Cover 2Why I feel the need to revisit orange: I’m working on final changes to a conference program for a client. The conference is next month in San Francisco. The client is working on conference signage and just asked if I knew what PMS (Pantone Matching System) ink color would be closest to the color of the Golden Gate Bridge. I googled “what PMS color is the Golden Gate Bridge?” Apparently the Golden Gate Bridge people have answered that question many times before. It’s PMS 173! See the background info in the two links below. Hmmm…Now I’m thinking I might change that red-colored bar at the bottom to something closer to PMS 173! I need a color pick-me-up—who doesn’t? So here you go!

http://goldengatebridge.org/research/factsGGBIntOrngPaint.phpPMS173Swatch

http://www.flickr.com/photos/telstar/2903029/

________________________________________________

Original posting, January 30, 2009:

For several months now I’ve been trying to catalog my images better, bit by bit (there are thousands and thousands of photos). While organizing my garden photos folder I noticed that I have a plethora of orange-hued flowers so I put together this collage of all things orange-ish to brighten your winter day.

Tangerine. Coral. Day-glow orange. Push-up popsicle orange. Sunset. Pumpkin. 70s shag carpet orange (I did window display at a department store while in college and there was multi-shaded orange shag carpet in each window. Do you know how hard it is to design around that color scheme? I covered it up every chance I got—with a decorating budget of zilch, unfortunately. I asked for $5 once for a huge set of markers and my boss freaked out).

Orange peel. Safety orange. Salmon (did you know that the “l” in salmon is silent? The correct pronunciation is “sam-uhn.” Don’t believe me? Click here).

Frou-frou-big-bowed-bridesmaid-dress-apricot (yes, I had to wear one once upon a time). Carrot. Persimmon. Vermilion. Orange-red. Rusty can orange. Burnt orange. Tomato. Panama Brown orange (the color Dad insists his old diesel VW Rabbit was—sorry, Dad, it was ORANGE).

After a week of designing at the computer in a cold basement, pausing only to look out at winter gray skies (save for that remarkable sunset on Wednesday), I needed a jolt of color to inspire me. What better color than orange?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

rhymeswithorange





Re-post: Cool and Green and Shady

15 07 2009

This shot of one of our pond plants (the center “poof ball” is a type of Dwarf Papyrus, as I recall) reminded me of a song from John Denver’s “Back Home Again” album. It’s called “Cool and Green and Shady.”

Saturdays, holidays, easy afternoon
Lazy days, summer days, nothing much to do
Rainy days are better days for hanging out inside
Rainy days and city ways make me want to hide
Someplace cool and green and shady

Find yourself a piece of grassy ground
Lay down, close your eyes
Find yourself and maybe lose yourself
While your free spirit flies

August skies, lullabies, promises to keep
Dandelions and twisting vines, Clover at your feet
Memories of Aspen leaves, trembling on the wind
Honeybees and fantasies
Where to start again
Someplace cool and green and shady

Cool and green and shady
Cool and green and shady
Cool and green and shady
Cool and green and shady

Words and music by John Denver and Joe Henry