gettin’ our party on in april.

march’s journey is complete. we have traveled from darkness to light. literally, here in sweden. the time changed last night, so we are now  livin’ it up with much longer days. tonight, it’s almost 7:30 and the sun is still shining. in a month or so, it’ll be 10:30pm and the sun’ll still be shining. ya gotta love the long summer days in sweden. and we deserve them after living through the long, dark winter nights for 5 months. yep.

so, for now, we say goodbye to the darkness. goodbye to march. and goodbye to march’s journey, which for me, has been a journey inward. i had no idea how much the daily word prompts would affect and inspire me, but they did. i believe that i experienced the time before easter (= lent) in a whole different way this year. and it was something that was good for me, though it didn’t feel that good all of the time.

march has been a crazy month. super busy. filled with work and lots of worry. many moments were wonderful. and many moments were tough. yet, the month has been transformative. i’m not sure how yet. but, i am certain that i have learned a few more things about myself. and about life. needless to say, i am more than happy to move on to a new month in the morning. but, i move on, stronger than i was before i embarked on this photo journey. and ready, more than ever, to see what comes next.

first, though, here’s a little collage of all of my photos from the march challenge. a little peek at my journey through march.

march 2013

i am so thankful for all of you who have been following along, whether you’ve been reading & commenting, posting pictures on instagram or your blog, or showing me some love on Facebook and/or instagram. i feel so honored to be part of such an inspiring group of people from all over the world. it is truly amazing to have this cyber-connection with people, and it is something that fuels me and energizes me. i cannot really express the joy you all bring me, just by visiting me here. sending out love to you all.

now, for those of you who are into this photo challenge thing (and i encourage you to be into it. hehe!), i’ve got a great one prepared for april! i took advantage of all of y’alls creativity again, and used your words to create the list. so, once again, april is a collaborative effort. love that.

drum roll, please…. here it is!

april

i decided, before i asked for your help, that the theme for april would be something celebratory. after such a long journey of ups and downs in march, it was time to celebrate being alive. plus, it’s the beginning of spring up here in the northern hemisphere and mother nature inspires us to celebrate life. so, that’s what we’re gonna do in april!

“they” say that practicing the power of the present moment, of seeking to be present and grateful each day is something that can transform our attitudes, our health, and our perspectives. so, in april, come what may, i’m planning on finding a way to celebrate life. i’m planning to live life to the fullest in one way or another. every. single. day.

and i invite y’all to join me!

seriously, though. why not spend 30 days finding a way to celebrate life? why not snap a photo of something worth celebrating every day? why not get those creative juices flowing now that spring is on its way (or find ways to celebrate the next stage in life, as fall begins to creep up on you southern hemisphere-ers)? why not push yourself to be a little artsy? why not?

if you decide to join me, the only thing i ask is for you to:

  • let me know you’re participating – here on my blog (comment below), on belovelive’s new Facebook page, on instagram (@lizslens), or on twitter (@elre74).
  • use the hashtag #bllphotoaday on your photos
  • try to snap a picture each day & use an original one (no throw-backs, unless you just have to. that’s a part of the challenge)

now, there is no pressure here. if you begin the challenge & then wimp out… no biggie. i’ve done that soooo many times. make it what you want. all i ask is that you give yourself a chance to express yourself. and if it’s not for you, then no prob. if you feel stressed out, skip a day or two & come back to it. it’s all about you – being creative and celebrating your life.

not totally on board yet?

ok. well, here’s why i love these photo challenges = what you get out of it:

  1.  the community – if you share your photo,use the hashtag (#bllphotoaday) and explore other people, you will meet some pretty cool fellow artists from all over the world. i guarantee it.
  2. the juices – creative juices start to flow. overflow, even. you’ll find yourself taking pictures you never thought you’d take. you’ll beging to develop your artist’s eye, and start to see art every freaking where you look. downside: you may annoy people you are with because you want to stop & snap a photo every few feet/meters.
  3. the roses – looking for a way to capture the theme word for each day teaches you to slow down. to notice things you don’t normally notice because you are usually too busy flitting about. you begin to see that every day holds something beautiful to discover.

save the image on your phone, or on your desktop, or on your facebook page, or bookmark this post. check out the word for the day – all of them are a variation of/connection to love… hence, the 28 days of love.

now, this list may look challenging. i think it is. i’m a little freaked out by it. but, i’m gonna see what i come up with. no need to just take pictures of the same old stuff over & over again, right?

every day you’ll find a word that has something to do with life… use the words for each day as a prompt. i’m not gonna give any suggestions for each of the words. i’ll let you interpret them how you will. some are tough. some are not. just snap a shot of something that represents or symbolizes the word of the day. reflect on it a little. it will come to you. and whatever you do, it will be a beautiful expression of you.

so, with no further ado… let the party begin! it’s time to dance on the tables, drink champagne, laugh till our bellies hurt, breathe in deeply, appreciate what’s around us, and soak up every little moment of life. it’s great to be alive!

here’s to snapping photos! cheers!

peace.

spring break staycation.

me quote

when i got home from work tonight, it hit me. since i took off 2 weeks from work and then,plans changed, i now have 2 weeks of freedom in front of me… beginning right now! i’m thinking that staying at home is gonna be perfect – though i may go back to work the second week. anyway. i also realized that many people have easter/spring break next week, and since i’m off too, i’m getting a spring break! so, tonight, i’m planning my spring break staycation!

as i sip my wine and watch apollo 13 (space nerd alert) on tv, i am also surfing through pinterest. oh, how i love to waste time on pinterest. and i’ve decided to create my spring break 2013 bucket list. the things i wanna do, now that i am gonna have a a little bit of time. so, here’s what’s on my spring break agenda. it may not be palm trees and sunshine, but it still fells pretty damn good to me. just like george eliot says, i don’t need to go anywhere in order to have my days filled with adventures.

here’s how i wanna spend my spring break:

76eaafb5d4cf40fdf94227d5a6aec37d f2c2814b9498270372880749ac864534 00f41fe9901a13b664f39539f1cc5b3e 0741f9b9149e36ac7e74c3a53d41e39c fca61c6a13499d4136fd09908dbdf1d4

670a51f4df23868d57926b9544eaf580 0b7cf4fd46df41211284fbdba140ac4d let the fun begin!

goodnight! peace & love to each of you.

ok all you artsy, photo-lovin’ people out there… it’s time for 28 days of love!

that’s right. after a month off, i decided that all i really needed was a little break. a breather, you could say. and, i’ve had that now.

sooooo…. beginning tomorrow on the first of february, i’m ready to get back in the game. i’m excited. i’m pumped. i’m rejuvenated & refreshed. and i’m ready to fall in love with photography all over again.

yep. i’m ready to embark on a photo a day challenge again.

of course, after creating my own list in december, i just couldn’t go back to someone else’s list. plus, it’s february – a month that lends itself easily to a pretty obvious theme. so, put those two together & bam! belovelive’s 2nd photo a day challenge was born!

here & now, i officially invite & challenge you all to join me in this photo challenge.

all the cool kids are doing it, ya know. hehe. seriously, though. why not spend 28 days thinking about love? why not snap a photo of something you love every day? why not get those creative juices flowing in the middle of the gray winter (or the warm, sunny summer for you southern hemisphere-ers)? why not push yourself to be a little artsy? why not?

if you decide to join me, the only thing i ask is for you to:

  • let me know you’re participating – here on my blog (comment below), on belovelive’s new Facebook page, on instagram (@lizslens), or on twitter (@elre74).
  • use the hashtag #bllphotoaday on your photos
  • try to snap a picture each day & use an original one (no throw-backs, unless you just have to. that’s a part of the challenge)

now, there is no pressure here. if you begin the challenge & them wimp out… no biggie. i’ve done that soooo many times. make it what you want. all i ask is that you give yourself a chance to express yourself. and if it’s not for you, then no prob. if you feel stressed out, skip a day or two & come back to it. it’s all about you – being creative and focusing on love.

not totally on board yet?

ok. well, here’s why i love these photo challenges = what you get out of it:

  1.  the community – if you share your photo,use the hashtag (#bllphotoaday) and explore other people, you will meet some pretty cool fellow artists from all over the world. i guarantee it.
  2. the juices - creative juices start to flow. overflow, even. you’ll find yourself taking pictures you never thought you’d take. you’ll beging to develop your artist’s eye, and start to see art every freaking where you look. downside: you may annoy people you are with because you want to stop & snap a photo every few feet/meters.
  3. the roses - looking for a way to capture the theme word for each day teaches you to slow down. to notice things you don’t normally notice because you are usually too busy flitting about. you begin to see that every day holds something beautiful to discover.

i’ve convinced you now, huh? you’re dying to join in & you just can’t wait any longer, right? well, here is the list.

february photo a day

save the image on your phone, or on your desktop, or on your facebook page, or bookmark this post. check out the word for the day – all of them are a variation of/connection to love… hence, the 28 days of love.

now, this list may look challenging. i think it is. i’m a little freaked out by it. but, i’m gonna see what i come up with. no need to just take pictures of the same old stuff over & over again, right?

i’m not gonna give any suggestions for each of the words. i’ll let you interpret them how you will. some are tough. some are not. just snap a shot of something that represents or symbolizes the word of the day. reflect on it a little. it will come to you. and whatever you do, it will be a beautiful expression of you.

thanks for reading! i hope you play along in february. and if you do, let me know!

happy snapping! peace.

belovelive photo challenge: over & out.

it’s over.

back in the end of november i decided to create my own photo challenge, inspired by december holidays and happenings. i figured out some important & key words, looked at dates, and created a little image with the prompts. then, i invited y’all to join in. and many of you did. and some of you even stuck with me through the whole month!

it has been amazing & inspiring in a whole new way. seeing all of y’alls photos and interpretations of the prompt for the day was absolutely fabulous! you guys are creative and fun. i picked up a few new friends on instagram and was honored to feel even more of a connection with others.

but, alas, the fun must come to an end. the belovelive december photo challenge is over. i have no plans to create a january one. actually, i didn’t really give it much thought, i just didn’t do it. at least not so far. however, i am also considering NOT even taking part in any photo challenge in january. i can’t decide how i feel about that. i did a challenge all throughout 2012, and it was always a wonderful experience. so, why would i not take part? i don’t know. i’m just not feeling it. perhaps i can use my creativity in another way. hmm… what do you think? should i take part in a challenge? or create something? or just photograph spontaneously? i can’t decide.

anyway, to all of you who took part in the photo challenge i created, i send you a heartfelt thank you. it touched my soul and enlivned my days to follow your artistic expressions. thank you so much!

no matter what i do, you can be sure that i’ll keep snapping my cameras and posting them all over. hehe. i’d love it if you’d do the same! let’s keep in touch in 2013!

day. 23 peace.

day. 23 peace.

day 24: silent

day 24: silent

day 25: family

day 25: family

day 26: black "red the blood of angry men. black the dark of ages past." ~lyrics from les miserables

day 26: black “red the blood of angry men. black the dark of ages past.” ~lyrics from les miserables

day 27: meditation

day 27: meditation

day 28: role model... my dad.

day 28: role model… my dad.

day 29: nature

day 30: memories

day 30: memories

day 31: you. (a shot of me from all 4 seasons in 2012)

day 31: you. (a shot of me from all 4 seasons in 2012)

and with that, december is over. 2012 is over. and belovelive’s photo challenge for this month has come to a close. i hope that you have had a beautiful, meaning, and wonderful december, and a peaceful & blessed holiday season! best wishes for the new year and a new chance to begin to make your dreams reality.

peace i send to you, my fellow artists.

getting down to business.

i shared with y’all a few days ago that i had been asked to be the photographer for a band during their upcoming gig on friday night. well, i’m completely over the moon with excitement because i love their music & i love that i have an opportunity to do some photography for more professional reasons. (eeee!!!)

so, that got me dreaming a little. ya know, sometimes i can be a little materialistic. hehe. and since i am working to make my writing & my photography a little more serious these days, why not get down to business and get a fun camera strap & camera bag which seem to suit me. yeah. why not? there’s nothing wrong with a little funky, fun accessory for my camera, right?

well, i’m dreaming about this series. putting it on my wish list.

i can just imagine myself, carrying my little black bag with the orange polka dots inside, as i board a plane for india, ready to embark on a spiritual & cultural journey, documenting my trip all along the way… the people, the customs, the religions, my reflections… and then, after india, a village in africa. the urban jungle of nyc. the tropical paradise, bali. the shrines & temples of the east. the holy ground in jerusalem. mexican festivals. greek islands. parisian sidewalks. scottish castles. the american heartland. the wild west. irish cliffs. the australian outback. caribbean beaches. northern sweden. and everywhere in between.

yep. me, my camera (with its polka-dotted strap & bag), my moleskin notebook, & my love. traveling. photographing. writing.

oh man, i am so ready to get down to business.

dream big, my friends. peace.