Thursday, January 3, 2019

Happy New Year!

OMG, it's 2019!  Where has the time gone?  Has it flown by for you as well?

Here in the Pacific Northwest we have been blessed with minimal weather systems, just a lot of rain really and no snow!  Knock on wood.  I'm pretty sure we already have enough water up in the mountains for next summer.

It's been really quiet here with the bird feeders down.  I miss my birds, but not the mice or squirrels.  I do see some interesting wildlife from time to time still, such as the illusive Hermit thrush, who comes out and dances around the water hole, singing.  I'm not sure what that's about, but it's entertaining.
A deer came through the other day and grazed the lawn until I was spotted in the kitchen!


I honestly haven't done anything new with the house in months.  I know you all have enjoyed my many handy-gal upgrades on a budget, but things have come to a bit of a standstill.
I have applied for a weatherization program that is for senior citizens and the low income.  I am very excited about this opportunity, if it happens, so I have put all projects on hold for now.
If accepted, I could have additional insulation added to my walls and floors!  They also seal the windows and doors.  It's a very exciting prospect to think I could actually be warm next winter!

The process of qualifying could take a while and the work won't begin for months, so I'm ready to wait.  After they complete the work I may have some finish work to do.  After that I hope to repaint the kitchen and go from there.
I'd also like to install a propane fireplace stove and remove the wood stove, this year or next.  While I love a wood fire, it's only me here to do the work.  I get the wood split and delivered, but I stack it, haul it, clean the chimney and stove myself.  I don't really want to get on the roof in my 70's, so I'm planning ahead.

In my creative life I am leaving behind the metal jewelry work.  It was a fun and amazing five years learning and creating, but online sales were down last year and I don't seem to have enough time to get out to galleries.
So I'm taking up photography again!  Returning to my roots in black and white.  I may have mentioned this in my last post after my trip out to the coast was such a success.  Looking forward to returning!

So it's winter in the mountains and things have slowed way down.  I hope this finds you all enjoying your own creative paths. 

Here's one from my most recent photo shoot at the nearby lake.

copyright JG Photography 2019 - All Rights Reserved


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Finally Fall



Fall is finally here!  I was so relieved to see the rains come right on time, like Mother Nature knew exactly what we needed.
The fire was extinguished and peace is restored!!

As is the norm, I have been spending Sept. and Oct. preparing for winter.  Getting the rest of the firewood in, cleaning the chimney and wood stove, gutters, and now raking leaves.  
I have pruned the trees and brush as well.

We've had some really nice days this late, 60 degrees and sunshine!  Unusual.  This week we're dipping down into the high 30's at night and waffling between the 40's and low 50's during the day.

The mold season didn't last long, thank goodness!  But I found that my air purifier that I purchased when it was so smokey came in real handy during that time.

I made my trek out to the Washington coast in mid Sept. and thoroughly enjoyed my short but very fulfilling stay out there.  The weather was fantastic, perfect clear mornings for shooting and way less people on the beaches.  I really enjoyed experimenting with my infrared filter and the film camera.  Shot over 300 images!

copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved Jeni Gray Photography

copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved Jeni Gray Photography

 When I got back I narrowed those down to about 60 for the website. You can view the rest of them at www.jenigrayphotography.com .
This will be my go to site for this year.  By early next year I'll have a stand alone site where I'll have more control over the printing process.
I changed the name of my facebook page from J Gray Design where I primarily promoted my jewelry creations, to Gray by Design so I could share all of my creative endeavors.  I don't get a lot of business from facebook, so it seems logical to invest less time there.
I did create an Instagram account, however, as I heard it was a great way to promote yourself.  So find me there @jenigrayphoto where I am posting one black and white image a day.

I didn't get as much done on the old house this summer as I wanted to that couldn't wait till next year.
This winter I might paint the kitchen, it's nearly time.   

I'll be working this winter on my newest blog Gray By Design where I'm writing about the creative process.  I'm still creating jewelry too.  So it will be great fun to have lots of projects on those long dark days of winter!

Hopefully by early next year I'll have LightRoom for editing photos on my new computer.  That had to be upgraded first, have I mentioned that I think I've been living in the dark ages?  LOL.  Artists should upgrade their equipment and skills from time to time I guess.

I turned 62 last month so I'm happy to report that I don't feel like it!  Or at least how the masses portray it.  I have very physical work, exercise, walk, eat healthy and sleep great.  I cannot financially "retire" until I'm 70, so I best keep up the great health!  I live simply, affordably and will even have my house paid off in six years!  

Thanks for following along this journey with me!
Till next time.

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