Pumpkins for Autumn and Halloween Decorations Brighten the Day

Mixed Pumpkins
As Winter gets closer, the mornings are darker and a little grayer. I’m more aware of it because I have to walk Annika a little later every day. As we walked through our neighborhood plaza this morning, I spotted these colorful pumpkins and realized why I love the color orange at this time of year. I was surprised to see so many varieties.
Here are a few more orange pumpkins, plus  white ones as well. I do love this time of the year, especially when I see such lovely bright colors.

Monochromatic Photography

I have a fascination with monochromatic photography right now. My photography class took a field trip last Friday to see the Edward Weston photography exhibit at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California. Most of his work was done in black and white, and I love it. I couldn’t wait to do the same. I took the photo above on my morning walk, and the one below is a close up of a spider web in my neighbor’s yard. I’d been eyeing it for several days, and this morning I took out my cell phone and snapped a picture.

This is Luna. I took his photo in an ice cream shop we stopped at during the field trip. He was a beautiful dog and not at all interested in us, as you can see.

This last photo is the bark of a tree I saw at the Bowers Museum. The original was in color, but I was able to edit it in black and white. In fact all of these photos started out in color, and I changed them to monochrome. It really is amazing to see what you can do with a digital camera. This wasn’t my first time trying monochromatic photography.  Two years ago while in Zion National Park, I took quite a few photos in black and white and loved the affect. I wrote two posts, Monochromatic Photography, and Another Monochromatic Day. Take a look if you would like to see those photos. Edward Weston was a world renowned photographer, and I had fun trying some of his techniques. He of course did not have a digital camera, and we learned that he didn’t manipulate his photos with editing, which makes his photography even more amazing. The exhibit is well worth seeing.

Polishing The Brass




Recently, I went to one of my favorite blogs, Inspired by Charm, authored by Michael Wurm Jr.  His post in the DIY section on August 27, titled How to Polish Brass, caught my eye. Michael points out that brass and gold are again popular for home decor, and he explained a fast and easy way to clean brass. I immediately thought of some lovely brass pieces we virtually gave away at a recent garage sale, and was suddenly glad that three pieces had gone unsold.

This experience provides yet another example of why it’s difficult for people to clear out cupboards, closets, and garages: We fear that as soon as we get rid of something, we will wish we hadn’t.  My mother had given us several brass pieces to garage sale for her, since she was tired of cleaning them the traditional way. Although I was a little sad to see my parents’ brass collection go, I also hadn’t wanted the chore of polishing them.

Now, after reading Michael’s blog post, I bought the inexpensive product he recommended and gave it a try. He was right … It was easy, and the picture above shows what I accomplished in a couple of minutes. I couldn’t help but remember the hours my parents, especially my Dad, had spent cleaning brass. Since Mom had saved a few pieces, including two large bells, I quickly shared Michael’s advice with her.

This afternoon she called to say the brass bells were shining, and she couldn’t believe how easy the job was. Later she texted to say her kitchen sink, faucet, and taps were also now shining like mirrors, and she was happily polishing her way through the house.

Thanks to Inspired by Charm, I can easily keep our three remaining pieces of brass clean and polished. If you would like to read details of how to shine brass quickly and easily, do check out Michael’s posting.