Archive for October, 2011

October 31, 2011

Moving Monday::2 Week Countdown

by heatherkp

Wow, it’s really only two weeks away now.  The last week my head has been in a fog from grief, stress and a cold!  We are closely watching our eldest cat to see what the fate of her coming with us will be.  She was diagnosed with both cancer and kidney failure early last week and we just don’t know how long she will be with us.  It’s a matter of time and we are just trying to enjoy each day we have with her.  It feels as though all the world is conspiring to make sure this move is bittersweet!  Although so many wonderful things have fallen into place there have also been challenges.  That is life though and I’m trying to embrace the process.

This week we have had some help packing, made sure the storage unit is reserved and are starting to say our goodbyes to people we love here.  We have also submitted our change of address with the USPS (recommended 2 weeks ahead of time).   We’ve begun to line up our moving help, this time enlisting the help of lucky friends and family:)  On Friday before the bad weather I went to my community garden plot and pulled out most of the plants that were done producing:(  I had a pretty great yield from a 10’x20′ plot!  Saturday was a great day for packing since we experienced the freak snow storm that hit the DC metro area (all of the north east).  I thought surely we would be out of here before we saw snow but I guess not!

Next up we will begin to pack clothes, toiletries, staple food items and small furniture.  We will also begin to notify our utility companies.  I’ve only gone to buy groceries one time in the past three weeks since we are trying very hard to use up what we have on hand.  If the weather cooperates this week I will also dig up a few special plants from the yard to take.  In the past I’ve taken far more garden plants but I’ve found that as a Master Gardener, plants tend to find their way to me through other generous gardeners.  So far over 40 boxes have been packed.  My mom gave me a good push and a reality check, she seemed to think we have a lot to do and I thought we were doing pretty well.  Either way, we will get it all done by the 12th but I feel like we are pretty close to being on schedule.

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October 24, 2011

Moving Monday::Slow Progress

by heatherkp

This past week has been a roller coaster ride, quite literally!  On Saturday October 15th I photographed my first wedding “professionally”.  I feel it was a great success, still working on editing the photo’s but with my husband as my backup/assistant we covered the event well with over 850 photo’s shot.  I’ve narrowed it down to 25o for the couple to choose from.  Next thing on my ride was taking the train up to NYC for a quick visit and interview!  I arrived on Sunday PM, checked into Noliatan on the lower east side.  I was lucky enough to go see the de Kooning retrospective at the MOMA on Monday AM and then interviewed in the afternoon.  No, this doesn’t mean we have changed our minds about moving, if the job works out it would be a telecommute situation.  I did a bit more visiting with friends, family and museums on Tuesday before returning home.

Once home I wasn’t able to focus much on the move as we quickly realized there was an increasing problem with our middle furbaby, Leo.  We took him to the vet Thursday and discovered the problem he was experiencing was oral cancer.  This was a devastating blow and we spent the next 2 days loving and caring for him as best we could.  We made the difficult decision to put him down on Saturday afternoon.

In the midst of all this there hasn’t been much packing going on but since we now have a departure date of November 13th we have a bit more time.  We also managed to book our moving truck and get rid of a few more things.  Will all the challenges we are facing I’m not sure I will be posting as much to the blog.  I am in no state of mind to be rambling on about much with such a hole in my heart and trying to balance the moving situation.  I will just post when I feel up to it.  Once we get settled down a bit I hope to return to a more regular posting schedule but some of the ideas I’ve got for the blog have now been moved to the back burner.

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October 22, 2011

Silent Saturday::RIP our Beloved Leo

by heatherkp

1995-2011

October 19, 2011

Working Wednesday::5S Methodology

by heatherkp

I recently learned about a fascinating methodology used in Japan for organizing the workplace.  I have a love of most things Japanese and this methodology is one I feel could be effectively implemented by many business’s or individuals even though it’s primary application seems to be in the manufacturing sector (Toyota and Canon are examples of Japanese companies that have implemented this system).  I tend to better remember systems that employ a simple name mnemonic‘s.  Apparently the Japanese agree!  Here’s how the 5 S Methodology works by the following phases: sorting, straightening, systematic cleaning, standardizing, and sustaining.   I think it’s so simple it’s brilliant!

  • Seiri or Sorting

  • Seiton or Straightening (setting in order / stabilize)

  • Seiso or systematic cleaning

  • Seiketsu or Standardizing

  • Shitsuke or Sustaining (sustaining the discipline or self-discipline)

Main objectives in the 5S methodology include improve productivity and quality.  Another benefit is that this system encourages each person to take ownership of every item and their surroundings.  This is where personal creative participation should be encouraged (weather it be getting the children involved or the employees!)  Health and safety improvements can be included as additional benefits.  As with all systematic changes that individuals or companies may choose to adopt, they must be clearly understood by all participants and there should be clear goals associated with the implementation of such a system for it to be effective.  If you would like to learn more about this methodology check out Wikipedia to start with.  From there you can find many other informative articles related to “lean principles“.

October 14, 2011

Fabulous Foto Friday::Evading A Tornado

by heatherkp

I was on a photo adventure yesterday regardless of weather.  I am renting a Canon 70-200L lens for the week for a wedding I’m photographing tomorrow (1st time as a semi-pro wedding photographer!!).  I needed to get the feel for the lens so I took an afternoon drive in the country to a few of my favorite spots and dodged the raindrops and apparent Tornado warnings!  I had no idea, I was listening to a Toni Morrison book on CD (A Mercy) so I didn’t hear weather reports or see anything too crazy, I was in my bliss. Here are some of my shots using the above lens.

All images Copywrite Heather K Powers

I’ll be shooting some serious love shots tomorrow at my friends wedding, fingers crossed that my results do not disappoint!

October 11, 2011

Texture Tuesday::Duet of Dahlia’s

by heatherkp

Last week I took my new Canon 60D out to the National Capital Dahlia Society‘s demo garden (which happens to be right next to the Master Gardeners demo garden:).  This is the time of the year when Dahlia’s are at their most spectacular!  I had taken a few other trips to the garden but didn’t have the time or equipment to dedicate to a photo shoot on those occasions.  Last Thursday was perfect weather though and I was not disappointed!

Dahlia’s were the flowers I wanted most at my wedding.  I tried to  locate a local farm who could supply us with all the flowers but I couldn’t make that happen.  I did have Dahlia’s in the wedding though and in my bouquet.  They are one of my favorite cut flowers and I find all the different forms spectacularly beautiful with their folded petals that unfurl and open to the sun.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed visiting this garden every fall to see these beauties while living here.  Maybe someday I will grow some of my own.  For now they will be everlasting in my photo’s.

Today’s images are edited using layers of Kim Klassen’s textures.  Check out her blog for other amazing photo’s and textures!

October 10, 2011

Moving Monday::Packing, Lists and Inventory

by heatherkp

Another week into the moving progress and we’ve got over 24 boxes packed!  We did a little calculation and determined that if we pack 4 boxes a day on average (6 days a week) then we will have over 90 boxes packed in the next few weeks.  When we moved here 6 years ago we had over 90 boxes, my goal is to have less this time!  I prefer to pack a little bit at a time rather than try to cram it all into the last week or so.  This week I’ll be packing linens, china, un necessary kitchen items, more nick nacks and some clothing.

Here’s how I’m doing this::each box gets numbered and assigned a code according to size (A, B, C) then I list a short inventory of the contents making special note of valuable (sentimental or monetary) items.  This way I’ve got a very good idea of what’s in each box, where it goes and this inventory can serve insurance purposes if needed.

Now for the exciting news, fingers crossed we very well might have someone to rent our house!!  We will know for sure soon but it looks promising and this will allow us to determine our exact date of departure.  I’ve been secretly hoping for a specific date and it seems like things might just be pointing in that direction.  We’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime I’ve had some big non-moving related events happening!  This past weekend my brother and sister in law came down from NY (to help and attend) for my parents belated 40th wedding anniversary celebration.  The party also happened to fall on my husband and I’s 7th anniversary.  It was a beautiful setting in my parents Japanese garden, the weather was perfect and we had a blast!  It was a great occasion to spend time with family and friends especially in light of our pending departure.

My next mission is this coming Saturday, I’m photographing my first wedding!  I’ve got a few nerves about this but I think it will be fine, I’m up for the challenge.

October 8, 2011

Someone I Love

by heatherkp

Today I celebrate 7 years of marriage to my wonderful husband.  I am blessed to be married to a very talented and smart man who always believes in me and who I am lucky to say is my best friend.   Thanks babe, here’s to the next 7 years of adventure together!

Photo taken by Liz Power Photography

October 5, 2011

Wednesday Words::Disiderata a Poem

by heatherkp

Go placidly, amid the noise and the haste and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly and listen to others even the dull and ignorant, they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble, it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of times.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.

But let not this blind you to what virtue there is, many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself especially do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love;  for in the face of aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentile with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have  a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God; whatever you conceive him to be.

And whatever your labor and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all it’s sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

I found this poem in a book not so long ago, it was written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann.  I enjoy the somewhat outdated language and the universal message, I hope you do too.

October 4, 2011

Textile Tuesday::Experiments with Bits of Cloth and Thread

by heatherkp

 

In the midst of the moving madness I’ve managed to continue to do a bit of textile work.  Expanding upon my rust experiments I’ve done some scarf dying.

This is a detail of one end of a long narrow scarf.  I am so intrigued by the metallic shades, rainbows and oxidation that occurs on the fabrics.  The effect here partially washed away after I rinsed the fabric.

I’m embarking upon the exploration of natural dying, slowly trying to learn a bit more about it because I’ve never really done much of it but am now very interested.  It seems a natural progression bringing together my interests in gardening, sustainability and textiles.  I’ve started with onion skin collected (from my local CSA) over the last couple years (because I don’t need to MOVE them!), both yellow and red.

I got a variety of hues and shades on both fabric and yarn varying from a green gold to a warm pale brown.  I experimented with silk, cotton, wool and linen and used alum as a mordant.

I’ve also been experimenting with the process of natural dying via bundling bits of dirt, bark, lichen, leaves and other debris in fabric Ala India Flint.  These experiments haven’t been tremendously successful but it’s new and fascinating to me so I’m enjoying the process.  I think it’s time I get India’s Book “Eco Color” though so I don’t waste too much time and fabric in the learning process.  I did have some faint success with fern leaves and with mud so far though.

Finally I’ve been trying my hand with a little textile and mixed media assemblage.  This is a work in progress that I’m playing around with.

…PS…Knitting season has returned (I usually put down the needles in the summer) so I’ve picked up the needles again and have a couple projects going (they are gifts so I can’t show them yet).