Blog Archives

The Henri Cartier-Bresson Award

My work on the Power of SHe project has been nominated for a HCB Award!

For all the details please stop by http://tdphotography.me/2013/the-henri-cartier-bresson-award/ – it also includes a big THANK YOU to the Avenue Community Center for believing in me and my work as a photographer.

Advertisements

A Woman’s Razor, a Tool of Oppression?

When I was young, I shaved my legs every day; EVERY day.  Spring, Summer, Autumn, AND Winter; every day.  The media told me that having smooth, moisturized, soft legs was an important part of being pretty – and as a teenager and young person I bought into it.  I believed the myth of beauty society fed me.

As I came into adulthood, I still shaved – though not with the same frequency.  I spent a great deal of my time as a young adult sick and in pain… pretty just wasn’t as important when you hurt so bad that you can’t get up and down stairs without dissolving into tears.  But I still shaved and moisturized.  It was part of being a girl.  We couldn’t have people thinking I actually grew hair on my legs.

Then I became a Mom.  And yes, even then I shaved my legs.  By then it was just one of those chores you do.  Going swimming?  Better shave.  Wearing shorts or a skirt?  Better shave.  Just part of the self-grooming routine.  Something I didn’t think about.  Something I did in a rather robotic fashion, another member of the trained masses.

I want my daughter to grow up knowing these things are choices – even if we don’t always feel they are.  Not all Women shave.  In some parts of the world it would seem odd to do so.  My daughter believed this until she was three.  Then one day she laughed, astonished, at the ridiculous notion that a Woman could choose not to shave.  That was the day I stopped shaving my legs.

Lily-Ann has other Women in her life who are non-shavers, my sister for one.  But clearly this was something she needed to see with more frequency.  It may seem like a small thing, but I needed her to know that we have a choice.  We don’t have to shave.  We don’t have to buy into the view of beauty that the media is selling, we can choose something different.

I may be the odd Woman out here in North America, sporting hairy legs all year long – without shame and, quite frankly, with a little pride.  And yes, it may seem like a strange thing to take a stand on…  but I couldn’t let my daughter grow up thinking she has no choice, that she has to go along with whatever ideals society sets before her.

She has options and choices.  We all do.

Sure, I could have kept on shaving – but she shocked me out of it.  Sometimes, that’s what we need.  Something to shock us out of that robotic state we get lulled into.  Something to bring us back into personhood.  A sudden splash of cold water, a bucketfull dumped on us while we lay half asleep, lounging in the sun.  Something to remind us we’re alive, and we have the right to make these seemingly small, seemingly insignificant, choices for ourselves.  And sometimes, those small choices end up being some of the biggest.

my hairy leg out in the sun

Out working in the yard, clearing away the Winter ick. My hairy leg enjoying the Spring sunshine.

The Power of SHe on FB

As of yesterday afternoon, my Power of SHe project has made it’s way onto facebook.  This?  This is your official invitation.  🙂

For those of you who’ve been following this blog for some time know all about the Power of SHe, for those who don’t, here’s the press bio for my little art instillation:  The Power of SHe is about how we, as self-identified Women, define ourselves in light of how society and the media seek to define and confine us.

I’ve been working on the Power of SHe for some time now.  It’s been exhibited twice, and continues to grow.  I believe it is a very important body of work, and something we desperately need.  So I hope you’ll join us as the journey continues.  The more the merrier.  Let’s force a shift from art project to movement.  We can make change happen!

http://facebook.com/PowerofSHe

Misadventures of a snowbound photographer

Tonight I have to direct you towards another url.  As I’ve already chronicled this particular misadventure on my photography website.  I do promise though, the many photographs of our frosty day are well worth the visit.  I know you’ll laugh as much as we did as we battled the environment to get these important shots.

http://tdphotography.me/2013/an-unexpected-snow-filled-adventure/

Hip deep, completely stuck, immobilized in the snow and ice.

Hip deep, completely stuck, immobilized by the snow and ice.

 

And a big thank you to Jamie for not only volunteering as my assistant today, but for capturing the entire thing with her iPhone.  LMAO

Seek no more

On Thursday, February 28th I felt a sudden need to light a candle and to send love out into the universe.  I didn’t know why I needed to, I just knew that I had to.  So at 4:30 I let my daughter choose a candle and we lit it together.  Shortly after that things became all to clear.

Bran Everseeking, who was known to some as Thomas Dunbar, was a treasured friend.  At 4:15 his wife, Naomi, had posted to FB that he was having a heart attack.  It wasn’t until later that evening I would learn of it…  after seeing another post she made at 6:04.  Bran had left this world for the next.  Gratefully I didn’t learn the news until after Lily-Ann had gone to sleep as with it came a slurry of tears.  It honestly felt like some cruel joke.

The last couple of days have been absolutely draining, and I really have no words – which is why this post is more dry facts than anything else.  I’m simply trying to relay information without breaking down again.  For now all I can share are images, something I believe Bran (as a fellow photographer) would appreciate.

The candle I lit at about 4:30 on Thursday, burned until 4:54 Saturday morning.  I know this, because the change in light woke me from a troubled sleep and I saw the last ember go out.

Goodnight my dear, dear friend.  Know that love follows you from this life into the next.  Seek no more.

Reflection

We are now one week away from our trip to WDW.  Time to get all the detail work done in preparation for TEN DAYS away.  Time to pack, and see if there’s anything else we need to pick up before going.  Time to write up info sheets on each member of our animal family for Riki and Kate (who will be staying here, and watching over them all).  Time to buy food and meds, enough to last all the dogs/cat/parrot.  Time to prepare games, and activities, and toys for two days of sitting around in airports.  Time to decide on our budget, and to get some American money.  Time to decide what things will have priority and what will be an “if we can work it out” thing.  Time to get everything in order.  Time to finish sewing, time to put away other projects, time to admit I didn’t get everything done that I’d hoped to…  time to start getting excited as our trip is really just around the corner.

I’ve never been to Disney World, but I did go to Disneyland when I was nine – with Gramma, Grampa Bear, and Devan.  And I’ll be honest, with my memory issues I don’t remember hardly any of it.  I wish I did.  I was old enough that I should remember it…  but there really are so few moments that made it into my emotional memory that it’s barely a blip.  That makes me sad.  This trip though?  Even with my terrible memory, I’m sure will be one I keep with me for the rest of my days.

While the girl was at school this afternoon, Damon and I headed out to visit with Karla – our travel agent.  We talked over a few things.  And she put my mind at ease over a couple things I was unsure of.  After hanging out in her office for about an hour and a half I really do feel set to go.  Now it’s just a matter of getting all the little details arranged, then we’ll be off.

So, with that on my mind, here’s my challenge shot for today:

jan21

With the challenge being “reflection” I could have gone a few different directions… I thought about taking another snapshot of Kid Kid – and talking about how our children reflect what we put into them.  But then I thought about the huge number of photos I already have on this blog of her.  LOL  So it occurred to me (after changing into my pjs) that I could go completely literal.  So I grabbed the mirror that belonged to my paternal Grandmother, who passed when I was too young to really know her, and photographed the reflection of it’s reflection.  I love this little mirror.  It feels like I’ve always had it, and I always feel beautiful when I look into it – even with pjs, chipped nail polish, and damp hair.  😉

photo a day challenge for january

A sweet story and a building project!

I had three completely unrelated things to share seeing how I needed to post a photo for challenge days 18, 19, and 20…  but then I realized I could very honestly share a project the three of us worked on today and have it fit for all three topics.  Yeah, it may be a bit of a cheat – but it’s not a huge one, especially considering I did grab snapshots on both Friday and Saturday, even if I’ve decided to only share a series of images from today.  LOL

But first?  First I have to share a really quick little story that is super cute and totally warmed my heart.  😀

On Friday I was over at my parents place – watching everyone so Mom could go with Dad to an out of town gig.  When Marie, my sister (whom Lily-Ann is named after), got home she came upstairs as usual then asked for my attention.  I stopped working on supper and looked over at her:  “Yes Marie?”

“Moby.”

“Yes.”

“Moby, look.”

And with that she held up the index finger on her right hand as if to say just one second.  Then she bent WAY down to where little Thor (one of my puppies from the Avenger litter whom is now my Dad’s puppy) was standing, and gave him a little pat.  She then stood back up.  “Moby.”

“Yes Marie?”

My sister, who has never been much of a pet person and who does her best to just ignore the other two dogs in the household, gave me a great big grin and an enthusiastic thumbs up.  To which I replied “Awwww….  Marie!  I’m so glad you like him.  He’s a cute little guy, isn’t he?”  She nodded in approval, which made me feel awfully wonderful.  😀

Okay…  now onto my challenge photos.  😉

So, I need to share for something I bought, sweet, and someone I love.  Well…  here are the girl and her Dad working together to put up the last couple of shelves in her room (which he and I started putting up while she was out with my sister Riki earlier today).  I think this series of pictures covers all three challenge topics pretty darn well.

jan181920a

jan181920b

jan181920c

jan181920d

jan181920e

jan181920f

 

photo a day challenge for january

TJ Bown, Summerset Abbey, and Water.

In the brief teaser I tacked onto yesterdays blog post I let you know there would be a special interview today, and I’m not going to disappoint!  I had the chance to ask author TJ Brown a few questions in regards to her new release Summerset Abbey and the series it kicks off.  So, let’s jump right in!

TD:  Was there a certain event or idea that inspired the book?

TJ:  I have always loved the Edwardian period, but after Downton Abbey aired, I really wanted to write something in that period. I told my agent, we should pitch an Edwardian and she asked me what I had in mind. 5 weeks later I had a contract for a three book Edwardian series!

TD:  I know this is your first foray into historical fiction, did this pose any particular challenges or did you find it was a natural fit for you?

TJ:  It actually isn’t my first foray into historical fiction. Six months prior to getting the Summerset Abbey contract, I got a contract for a young adult series set in the 1920’s. So even though it won’t be out until June (Born of Illusion, June 15th!), I wrote it before the Summerset Series.

I honestly never thought I would be a historical writer, even though I love history and reading historicals. I just thought I had a more modern voice and the research intimidated me. But I had this idea that wouldn’t go away and once I wrote Born of Illusion I was hooked. Of course, Summerset is in a different time period, but before I started writing it, I figured that I had done so much research for the twenties, surely ten years prior couldn’t be that big of a difference could it? Was I ever wrong. 1914 England was a whole different world than 1924 New York. I had to start the research all over again! And I love it!

TD:  Can you tell me a little about your process?

TJ:  Usually, I start with a concept for a plot. Just a sketchy idea. Then the characters’ come. It’s rather like putting together a puzzle. And then my plot constantly changes and develops as I write. I’m not quite a seat of my pants writer, but the Summerset books have been unusually organic for me.

TD:  How many books do you foresee in this series?

TJ:  I am contracted for three but I have an idea for a fourth that my editor likes. Nothing is set in stone yet, and it may not happen, but I do have a fourth Summerset book in mind. We’ll see! But four for sure.

TD:  Do you have a favourite character or is there one who resonates more with you than the others?

TJ:  Victoria. In all of my books I have at least one over the top character and in Summerset Abbey, Victoria is the one. She is smart and imaginative and she says almost everything that comes into her mind. I adore her. Even though all girls are featured, Bloom in Winter is her book, and I had such an awesome time working on it!

So there you have it folks!  TJ Brown on her new book, Summerset Abbey, her process, and on writing historical fiction.  Now all that’s left is to drop a few details.  😉

Summerset Abbey is available at:

Book Blurb:

  • Summerset Abbey
    1913: In a sprawling manor on the outskirts of London, three young women
    seek to fulfill their destinies and desires amidst the unspoken rules of
    society and the distant rumblings of war. . . .
    Rowena Buxton
    Sir Philip Buxton raised three girls into beautiful and capable young women
    in a bohemian household that defied Edwardian tradition. Eldest sister
    Rowena was taught to value people, not wealth or status. But everything she
    believes will be tested when Sir Philip dies, and the girls must live under
    their uncle's guardianship at the vast family estate, Summerset Abbey.
    Standing up for a beloved family member sequestered to the "under class" in
    this privileged new world, and drawn into the Cunning Coterie, an exclusive
    social circle of aristocratic "rebels," Rowena must decide where her true
    passions-and loyalties-lie.
    Victoria Buxton
    Frail in body but filled with an audacious spirit, Victoria secretly dreams
    of attending university to become a botanist like her father. But this most
    unladylike wish is not her only secret. Now, Victoria has stumbled upon a
    family scandal that, if revealed, has the potential to change lives forever.
    Prudence Tate
    Prudence was lovingly brought up alongside Victoria and Rowena, and their
    bond is as strong as blood. But by birth she is a governess's daughter, and
    to the lord of Summerset Abbey, that makes her a commoner who must take her
    true place in society-as ladies maid to her beloved "sisters." But Pru
    doesn't belong in the downstairs world of the household staff any more than
    she belongs upstairs with the Buxton girls.  And when a young lord catches
    her eye, she begins to wonder if she'll ever truly carve out a place for
    herself at Summerset Abbey.

For more check out TJ at http://tjbrownbooks.com/

TJ Brown, author headshot

Author TJ Brown – Hooray for MomWriters!


Now, as if that alone doesn’t make one heck of a blog post, I still have more for you!  That’s right… we’re still in the middle of the January Photo Challenge – and I’m not one to give up on a challenge.  So here we are.  😉

The challenge today was to photograph water.  Easy peasy, right?  Yep.  Here’s the girl, immersed in the stuff:

kid in the bathtub

My little bathing beauty.

Let’s hope tomorrow is a LITTLE more of an actual challenge…

photo a day challenge for january

Something I’ve bought?  Well…  I guess there’s at least a little bit of thought to go into that one.  😉

 

My bag, a glimpse into my life.

Rogers, who we are registering as Aes Sidhe Captain America, left us to go live with his forever family.  Of course, they have a thirty day trial period to ensure things work out first, but I’m confident in this placement.  I really do think he’s a perfect fit for them…  and the picture they sent me earlier this evening – of him all snuggled in for a snooze under his new Daddy’s chin, the two of them laying together on the couch – just further cemented it.

It’s always a weird few days after someone leaves.  Whether it’s a puppy going to their forever home, or a client dog who is returning home after being a part of our pack for several months…  when someone leaves the entire dynamic of the house shifts.  And that’s happening here now.

So…  onto today’s challenge:  “in your bag”.

My bag used to be a purse.  Because I used to be a girl.  Now I’m a mom, and more fierce than any girl…  Grrrl, gurl, or Woman works for me.  And my bag is not a purse…  it really is a bag.  And instead of a compact, lip colour, and moisturizer I carry a spare pair of pajamas for the kid, snacks, reusable bags, cloth pads, and cute princess and fairy bandages.

A person’s bag (if they carry one) can reveal a lot about that person.  You really do get a real quick glimpse into their life and the things that are important to them.  Amidst the papers and bits of “stuff” one just naturally accumulates (that needs to be cleared out every so often) are bits of treasure and parts of a life well lived, or wasted, depending on your point of view.

pjs, strawberry bags, dog paw wallet, treats, cloth pads in a plastic baggy... all the momcentials.

…all the essentials in one place.

Tomorrow?  “Something you’re reading”.  After that?  “Happiness”.  Something that having all the right things in your bag can help ensure… at least when you have a little one about.  😉

photo a day challenge for january

A glittering sparkling sea of tulle

I had full intention of sharing a little of our daily routine today, just as the January photo a day challenge demands…  however, our routine wasn’t routine.  In fact, our routine simply WASN’T.

Early this morning I got a phone call from my sister.  She wanted to take Lily-Ann out for breakfast and then for a walk down by the river.  The girl has been aching for some time with her auntie, and I was more than happy to make things work.  So the girl and I jumped out of bed, she picked out some clothes (I sent her back to pick out something different – a summer dress just doesn’t work for a walk in the snow), got dressed, threw on her outerwear, and she was ready to go!

So what did I do with my kid-free morning?  I worked on a tutu her pre-k EA had commissioned.  🙂

Last year I made a purple, plum, and black tutu for Rhonda’s Halloween costume.  She was a wicked fairy.  It turned out wonderfully.  I made it extra long and super wild.  It ended up being such a big hit that she keeps it at school to wear every so often, just for fun (and has even lent it to some of the other staff – both male and female).  Well, last month she asked me to make another one for her… this one with a water theme.  And I have to say, it’s turned out beautifully!

It was the most complex tutu I’ve done to date, with five different colours of tulle.  All various shades of blue, including one earthy blue that was covered in sparkle.  I alternated lights and darks so that while Rhonda walks it will look like ocean waves, cresting and flowing – light to dark.  It’s a very elegant tutu.

Lily-Ann and I dropped it off for her at school on our way to Lily-Ann’s classroom.  Rhonda was just thrilled, and I’m sooo glad.  Damon even overheard her raving about her tutus when he went to pick the girl up after school – which made me feel pretty good.

tulle, elegantly flowing from dark to light and back again

the tulle elegantly flows from dark to light and back again, like the ebbing of the ocean tide kissed by the glittering moon.

I really do love working with tulle.  Tutus are one of my very favourite things to sew.

I really do love working with tulle. Tutus are one of my very favourite things to sew.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll be a little more successful with the challenge topic.  After all, with such an open topic I’m sure the bigger problem with be narrowing it down.  😉

photo a day challenge for january

%d bloggers like this: