Sunday, December 20, 2015

An Art Deco Christmas

Last weekend I went to a ladies luncheon at the Mayo Hotel in downtown. One of Tulsa's famous art deco era buildings, it was nearly torn down a few years ago. Saved from the wrecking ball, it's been restored to its former glory. (More info here:

The main reason I wanted to attend this function was to see the building. My husband, his secretary & I checked it out as a possible venue for an event we were heading up a few years ago. At that time, they were almost finished with the first two floors; so it wasn't suitable for our purpose. I wanted to see the finished project and of course take pictures. I love photographing interesting architecture.

The lobby is grand, with a gorgeous staircase being the first thing you see. Well, usually. Right now the first you see is the art-deco inspired Christmas tree.

What better place for Santa to hold court than the centerpiece staircase! Some organization must have been having their Christmas party there. I saw refreshment tables set up and parents taking their kids up the stairs to be photographed with the elegant Elf of Christmas. I'm assuming the foil streamers are just a background for the Santa throne and not part of the usual decor. Coz that would be...tacky.

My son said he looks like he needs a big Game of Thrones sword in his hand. He is striking a rather sort of "Winter is Coming" pose.

I love this unique view of the Man in Red.

The tint on the next shot reminds me of my own childhood pictures with Santa, wearing my little burgandy coat with the white furry trim.

Now, back to the Mayo...
Our event was on the fourth floor. A silver deco tree sparkled in the reception area there..

What a beautiful restoration they've done. It's so elegant with such a sense of history.

I guess the lighting and chandeliers were the most fascinating to me. I took so many pictures from different angles, it was hard to choose which ones to post. Might get a little repetitious from here on...

It was so windy & cold last weekend that I wasn't up for exterior shots. When the weather is warmer, I think another photo-trek to downtown will be top of my list.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Needs a Caption

I passed this scene on my way to work last week. I thought it would make an interesting picture, so the next day I brought my camera.

Once again, I enjoyed experimenting with some effects in LightRoom.

I posted two of the pictures on FaceBook and invited people to write a caption. Here are the contributions...

It's lonely at the top.
Ring side seating for sale.
On the outside, looking in.

Stopping at the bars after a hard day at the office.
Put up a fence to keep me out, but to keep Mother Nature in.

Obamas "empty chair."
Cowboy office.

The FB interaction was fun and I'm glad I got these shots. Yesterday the chair was gone.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Sleeping Sisters

I just finished two dolls for Christmas gifts. They're from the same pattern but made from different fabrics & trims. I wanted to get pictures before they go to their new homes and used the opportunity to play with some LightRoom effects.

This is a Barbara Schoenoff  "Blooms" pattern. I used fabric & trims I had on hand. Cost for these cuties: $0 (even the pattern was a gift from Barbara). That's always fun, not from a money-savings standpoint, but because it's so satisfying to create from your stash and see what you come up with!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Red Cup Perspective

I had a blog in my head about this and was going to write it over the weekend. It was not an opinion on who was right or wrong, but would have been a launch point to, hopefully, delve into deeper issues. But the news from Paris this weekend put things in perspective and certainly knocked The Red Cup off the newsfeeds.  Life has a way of weeding out what is not all that important after all.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

An Autumn Saturday Morning

Before the last leaf floats to the ground, I wanted to get these pictures posted. I went out on an early morning photo jaunt a couple weeks ago to the place where it all started..."it" being the re-awakening of my love of photography.

About 8 years ago I woke up early on a Saturday morning and decided take a walk with our little "point & shoot" on the bike trail close to our church. One of those photos turned out so pretty, I got interested again in taking artsy pictures. Which led to a better camera, which led to a class, then another class, then a certification, then another camera, then a better lens...

So here are some things you might see early in the morning...

Warning: watch where you walk/run...the spider webs hang between branches, just about face-height!

The geese honking overhead.

The bikers biking.

The joggers jogging.

So pretty how the sun illuminates the turn of the trail.

Same spot, different shutter speed. (I didn't just stand here taking pictures of other people exercising! I walked the trail a bit and came back to this spot. I liked the composition from this angle best.)

Looking between the weeds to the pond. The reflection of trees on the pond makes this look like a stormy picture.

On the road a few miles away...

A quiet neighborhood in a nearby small town yielded up a purple door.

And then it was back home to tackle the Saturday to-do list!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Searching for Pelicans

Let me start this post by saying I have the bestest, most patient husband in the world. He indulges my wild _____(bison, moonrise, sunset, bloodmoon, wildlife, nature) chases, driving the car until I spy what I'm looking for and yell, "stop here!" Today it was pelicans.

Pelicans in Oklahoma? you ask.
That's exactly what I said!

Last year, I read somewhere about a Pelican Festival at Grand Lake. For some amazing reason, because I can't remember what I walked into the next room for, I remembered this and looked it up last Thursday. It was happening Friday & Saturday. Apparently, the American White Pelican stops at Grand Lake every year on their migration to the coast. Thirty-four years we've lived here and never heard of this. Not being interested in another small town festival, I suggested a Sunday drive to see if we could spot the pelicans on our own.

Thus began The Great Pelican Quest of 2015.

I found a map online with clip art of pelicans indicating common sighting places around Grand Lake. I knew we were in business.

Top down and coffees in hand, we enjoyed a Sunday morning drive 68 miles to the northeast. (Yes, we missed church. We discussed spiritual matters on the way. That counts.)

First stop on the map.
No access, no birds.

After a detour to Monkey Island, where the beautiful Shangri-La Resort is located ("island" should = easy access to water - and pelicans - right? Wrong. Only if you're rich.) it was off to the next clipart location. It was sort of a campground/picnic area. We pulled in & drove as close to the lake as possible. Here's the scene:

Park the convertible near some trees.
What is that noise?!?! We look up & it's full of blackbirds or crows.
Hubby says, "look, pelicans!"
Me: Whaaa? Those aren't pelicans!
Hubby: "not them - look there!"
A beautiful, perfect V of  white birds glide slowly & smoothly right over our heads.
Me, tripping out of the car, grabbing camera:  you think those are pelicans? they don't look like pelicans!
Hubby: Yes, I'm sure! Those are pelicans!
Me: aaagh!!! I'm not ready!!!!! Dang it!!  
Camera's not on, not set for shutter speed, ISO is wrong. I was thinking we would see them flocked on the embankment and I could set up for a beautiful shot, like in the pictures I Googled!

Now, lest you think these could be those gulls that always hang around the lake, keep scrolling....

This is not a Klingon "Bird of Prey" by the way.

 We ventured to other spots that were clip-artted with a pelican on the map and this is what we saw:

An abandoned picnic table.

Some renegade gulls (I'm not exactly sure what they're really called in these parts).
"Renegade" because here's the rest of the community..

Sailboat Bridge - so named because it's arched to allow the boats to pass under.

The Cherokee Queen (right), an old-fashioned paddle boat that tours the lake. CQ must be the Empress of the two. Supposedly, it will take you on a lake tour of pelican viewing during the festival. Maybe that would be worth the price next year.

The paddle wheel up close (with Lightroom effect).

So then I said to hubby "let's drive to the dam. There's a pelican clipart on the map at the dam"
He stopped here.
Me: That's not the Grand River Dam!
Him: "Yes, it is."
Me: you're kidding, right? 
Him: "That's the dam. You wanted to see it. There it is."
(I think he was done with the pelican hunt by this time).

And yes, he was kidding. He knows this area. He rides his Harley all over northeastern OK.
Here's the real dam. The other was just one of the gates.
No pelicans though. According to the map, they should be around here. But. No.

Here's a shot I thought was interesting.
Hubby: "You left the door open - those motorcycles can't get by!"
Me:  I thought they'd be in the bathroom longer!

And finally, on the trip home....

Hubby: "You better hope the wind doesn't catch that lens & you drop your camera!"

I didn't drop the camera. And we did have a nice time - driving on this beautiful day, talking, being goofy, enjoying the sights.

The pelicans?

Further research has yielded up another location to try next year :):)