Thursday, July 29, 2010

Woodland Village

While we were in Cape May a couple of weekends ago, we stopped at a garden center that had a little village of shops next door.   Here are a few pictures from that beautifully landscaped area ....

(click photos to enlarge)

wooden bridges


flowers and stones and shops

vintage baby carriage holding an "Imagine" sign

BumbleBee Bakeshop

World of Butterflies

Bright and cheery Blackeyed Susans

Window boxes with flowers and flags

sweet signs

hanging baskets


winding sidewalks

Paper Expressions Store and Rose Bushes

White coneflowers


White hydrangeas


Pink flowers and birdfeeders

So much prettiness, all in one spot ......

"Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come."...Chinese proverb


Monday, July 26, 2010

Blurb .... The Joy Of Creating Your Own Photo Books

"I know every book of mine by its smell, and I have but to put my nose between the pages to be reminded of all sorts of things." ~George Robert Gissing

"To be reminded" .... isn't that part of the wonder and attraction of photographs?   To capture a moment in time ... and then to remember it.   A few months ago, my sister Nancy sent me a link to a photo site named Blurb.   Her daughter Hannah had made some photo books through the site and had been pleased with their service.   One day, I took the plunge and skeptically started working with the Blurb templates, making a book of my own.   I did not have high expectations.   The first book I made was a softcover one that only had 30+ pages.   I entitled it "Small Towns of the Eastern Shore".   It included pictures from a visit Gary and I had made to the towns of Oxford, Vienna, Tilghman's Island and St. Michael's.   Since it was my first attempt, I did not realize that the files needed to be saved in as large a format as possible.   I saved those files as jpegs instead of png's and therefore was not able to use the full-page templates but had to put several photos on most of the pages.   Still, it was a wonderful thing the day the book arrived in the mail ... and  I held something in my hands that was my creation.  Here are a couple of pictures of that first book ...
(click photos to enlarge for better detail)

My next book was entitled "Pennsylvania" ... and included photos from our trip to Scranton, PA .... Steamtown ... and then home through Hershey and Lancaster and Strasburg.   For that book, I knew I needed to save the files as png's ... and thus I was able to use a lot of the full-page templates.  This time, I chose a hardcover book with dust jacket ... and there were about 110 pages.   Here are some photos from that book ....

And then my third and most recent book featured photos from our trips to Washington, DC.   This time, I ordered the largest landscape size available ... a true "coffee table" book ... measuring 11 x 13 ... hardcover with dust jacket ... and having about 136 pages.   I was so pleased when it arrived.   The large size is well worth the extra cost ....

If you love photography and are looking for a site where you can create your own books, I highly recommend Blurb.   I always spend a few dollars more for the high-quality paper.   And remember to save your photos in as large a format as possible .... png files normally will work well.   File size won't matter as much if you are ordering the small books.   But if you want the large, coffee table sizes, you will need your files to be as large as possible.     With all three of my books, I edited each photo that was included, so there are many, many hours represented here.   Literally hundreds of hours.   But well worth the effort.

To make your own book, visit

Many thanks to my friend Linda who actually purchased a copy of my Pennsylvania book.  I never dreamed anyone would want to buy a copy.   What an honor and encouragement, Linda.   Thank you.

"Oh, it's delightful to have ambitions. I'm so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be any end to them-- that's the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting."
— L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables)


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cold Spring Village -- Part 2

More photos from Cold Spring Village ...

"When the fiddle had stopped singing Laura called out softly, "What are days of auld lang syne, Pa?"
"They are the days of a long time ago, Laura," Pa said. "Go to sleep, now."
But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa's fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods,…
She was glad that the cozy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago."

a bug catcher ....

"Oh no, I never do much ironing, except the outside clothes. We must not iron out the fresh air and sunshine, you know. It is much more healthful not to, the doctors say.” Seriously, there is something very refreshing about sheets and pillow slips just fresh from the line, after being washed and dried in the sun and air. Just try them that way and see if your sleep is not sweeter. "
(Laura Ingalls Wilder)

Country Store

The Village craftsmen make and sell their crafts in this store

"Every job is good if you do your best and work hard. A man who works hard stinks only to the ones that have nothing to do but smell."
(Laura Ingalls Wilder)

The Book Binding Shop ....

The Book Binding Girl

"...and Jo laid the rustling sheets together with a careful hand, as one might shut the covers of a lovely romance, which holds the reader fast till the end comes, and he finds himself alone in the work-a-day world again."
— Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)

So Pa sold the little house. He sold the cow and calf. He made hickory bows and fastened them upright to the wagon box. Ma helped him stretch white canvas over them.

So they all went away from the little log house. The shutters were over the windows, so the little house could not see them go. It stayed there inside the log fence, behind the two big oak trees ...
(Laura Ingalls Wilder)


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