Tuesday, July 7, 2015

INSPIRATION A to Z (B - Bake)

This post is the first in a blog series where I’m exploring various aspects of INSPIRATION. When I chose INSPIRATION as my word for this year, my first thoughts were about finding, acting on and (in some cases) limiting INSPIRATION. I also knew I wanted this word to motivate me not only in my scrapbooking and crafting but also in my physical, spiritual and intellectual goals. During my FUN year last year, I published a two-week series entitled Where Does My Inspiration Come From?, which looked at the many different sources of INSPIRATION specifically for scrapbook layouts. However, in this series, I’ll be sharing a word for each letter of the alphabet (from A to Z) that relates to INSPIRATION along with my random and in-depth thoughts on that word and the various ways it relates to INSPIRATION in our lives.

B is for Baking

Baking is defined as "to cook (food) by dry heat without direct exposure to a flame, typically in an oven or on a hot surface." Bread is probably the most commonly baked item. However, when I think of Baking, the first things that come to mind are desserts - cakes, pies, cookies. I have always enjoyed Baking and can remember being the "official cake baker" in our family once I learned to cook and bake. 

My favorite cake-baking memory also involves one of my first recollections of INSPIRATION and creativity on my part. I don't remember who found it, but we had purchased a cake pan in the shape of a van. My Daddy worked for the telephone company and drove one of those very distinctive Southwestern Bell vans for many years. For his birthday one year, I baked him a cake and colored the icing to re-create the look of the telephone van. I even took a snapshot of the cake with the photo that I used for INSPIRATION. (Although it's not a great photo, I love it!)


Of course, Daddy really liked the cake!


I have lots of memories and stories about Baking that have been the INSPIRATION for many layouts, including a letter to my Grandma about pecan pie, my memories of magic cookie bars, and baking with my twin nieces


Almost anything can be the INSPIRATION to get me in the kitchen Baking - a holiday, a celebration, a new recipe, a get-together with friends, a photo, a story, etc. I don't remember what prompted it, but one year in December, I took a day and had what Robbie affectionately calls my very own "bake-a-palooza". . . resulting in a table full of yummy stuff. We packaged most of it up and spent one Saturday before Christmas delivering it to friends and various families in our church.


Helen Keller once said, "Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.” For me, the smells associated with Baking are comforting and remind me of good times with family and friends, holidays with lots of good food, and a sense of anticipation knowing that something good is coming soon. Baking is a calming and rewarding activity.

When it comes to Baking, I almost always use a recipe because the right amount of each ingredient is important to ensure everything comes out fluffy or moist or crusty or crumbly (or whatever the desired outcome depending on the dessert!). However, in the past several months, I have not had much INSPIRATION for Baking (or cooking in general). I think part of it has stemmed from the fact that our recipe bookshelf unit had gotten to be quite a hodgepodge with books and papers stuffed in so tightly that pulling something out had the potential for causing an avalanche.


I decided it was time to tackle this project, so I pulled everything off the shelves, and set to work organizing and rearranging. We also decluttered and ended up with two small boxes of recipe books that we sold to a used book store! Now all this Baking and cooking INSPIRATION is much easier to access!


While I was working in this area, I went ahead and cleaned and decluttered the Coca-Cola shelf unit above it, too. My favorite change was replacing the rooster pie plate with one of my scrapbook layouts with a Coca-Cola theme!


Robbie is the best example I know of when it comes to merging Baking and INSPIRATION. Rather than always following a recipe, he's often simply inspired to create or try  to re-create something on his own. If we have something we particularly enjoy at a restaurant, he'll make notes on a napkin so he can try to duplicate it at home. Earlier this week, he was inspired by some berries we had in the fridge that needed to be eaten or used up. He cooked them with cherries I had picked up on my latest shopping trip, whipped up a dough, and baked us a yummy cobbler. (Served with a scoop of ice cream on top, of course!)


In summary, Baking is often the result of INSPIRATION, and Baking can be associated with comfort, nourishment, and good memories, thus the two together make life more enjoyable (and tasty).

Do you enjoy Baking? Please share your thoughts on Baking and INSPIRATION in the comments.

Click HERE to see all my INSPIRATION A-Z posts, or click a letter below to see individual posts.

A(Art)  B(Baking)

Monday, July 6, 2015

INSPIRATION A to Z (A - Art)

This post is the first in a blog series where I’m exploring various aspects of INSPIRATION. When I chose INSPIRATION as my word for this year, my first thoughts were about finding, acting on and (in some cases) limiting INSPIRATION. I also knew I wanted this word to motivate me not only in my scrapbooking and crafting but also in my physical, spiritual and intellectual goals. During my FUN year last year, I published a two-week series entitled Where Does My Inspiration Come From?, which looked at the many different sources of INSPIRATION specifically for scrapbook layouts. However, in this series, I’ll be sharing a word for each letter of the alphabet (from A to Z) that relates to INSPIRATION along with my random and in-depth thoughts on that word and the various ways it relates to INSPIRATION in our lives.

A is for Art

Art is defined as "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power." It is also defined as "works produced by human creative skill and imagination" and "creative activity resulting in the production of paintings, drawings, or sculpture."

It's easy to draw the connection between INSPIRATION and Art because Art is often the result of some type of INSPIRATION. A painter might be inspired to start a new canvas after observing a beautiful landscape or purchasing a new set of watercolors. A drawer may be inspired to pull out a sketchbook to capture a skyline in the distance or the expression on a child's face. A poet might be inspired to record the emotions resulting from a traumatic or euphoric event.

There are many different types of Art - visual arts, literature, performing arts, applied arts - encompassing everything from drawing, painting, and sculpture to assemblage, tapestry, and mosaics. Art includes photography, video, graphic design, and animation along with dancing, singing, and acting. Art also incorporates storytelling, journaling, and poetry. And, although there is some debate about it, I believe scrapbook layouts can also be considered Art.

Art is meant to be appreciated. While I have always valued literature, I can't say that I truly appreciated the visual arts until more recently. I'll never forget my first trip to New York with my friend Elinor in 2001. When we walked into the room at MOMA that houses Claude Monet's Reflection of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond, Elinor sat down on one of the benches intent on staying a while and soaking in the huge painting covering an entire wall, pondering Monet's INSPIRATION, and enjoying the beauty of this piece. I, on the other hand, was ready to move on to be sure that we saw everything in the museum during the time we had there. Now, however, I think I'd take time to sit a while . . . but not too long, of course, because I'd still want to see as much as I could! (I miss my friend Elinor but just know that she would be happy to hear that I've learned to slow down and appreciate Art!)


As I mentioned in a previous post, Robbie and I recently visited the Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas. The exhibits ranged from artifacts to paintings to bronze sculptures to photographs, all chosen to "tell the vast and multifaceted story of the American West."

I really enjoyed our morning touring this museum, and I was reminded that INSPIRATION involves being stimulated or motivated to do something. For example, I was inspired by Helena's Pairs meme to take a photo of this entire lithograph . . .


. . . and a close-up of part of the lithograph.


On the other hand, when we viewed this saddle that belonged to Pancho Villa . . .


. . . Robbie and his brother were inspired to have a little horsing-around FUN!



The subject of art also brings to mind a book I read a couple of months ago that involved imitating or copying art. The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro is a novel set in Boston and centers around Claire Roth, a painter who creates art for a company called Reproductions (which sells reproductions of famous paintings). Claire is approached by a renowned art gallery owner to create a forgery of a stolen Degas painting. The difference and legalities between copying artwork and creating forgeries is a central component of this story and lies in who is credited for the painting. If an artist recreates a famous painting and sells it as a copy, that's legal. If, however, the artist recreates the painting and sells it as an original, that's forgery . . . and illegal.

While I enjoyed The Art Forger, I have to admit that I did not like the way it was written. The chapters alternated between the story of Claire and the Degas painting forgery, the story of Claire's past and an incident involving Claire, her boyfriend, and an incident that caused her to be shunned by many in the art community, and the story of Isabella Stewart Gardner collecting art 100 years ago. I've read books like this before, but in this case it was annoying that the current story kept eluding to things in the past that had not yet been revealed. So, I did something I don't think I've ever done - I read it all out of order. After I was several chapters into the book, I skipped through and read the entire story of Claire and her boyfriend. Then I skipped through and read the story of Isabella Stewart Gardner, which was told in the form of letters to her niece. After that, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the chapters containing the story of Claire's current predicament.

The one thing that I most enjoyed about the book, as is often the case, is that I learned something new. While the painting in this story is a fictional one, the story of when it was stolen is actually based on a factual incident - the 1990 robbery of great art works from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum, which incidentally has never been solved. The museum continues to investigate any leads into this theft! During our discussion at the library book club about this book, I also learned that an estimated 30 to 40 percent of all artworks in museums today are possible forgeries!

In summary, Art makes our lives infinitely rich and more interesting. Art provides INSPIRATION and is often the result of INSPIRATION, thus the two are intertwined.

What types of Art inspire you? What type of Art is the result of that INSPIRATION? Please share your thoughts on Art and INSPIRATION in the comments.

Click HERE to see all my INSPIRATION A-Z posts, or click a letter below to see individual posts.

A(Art)  B(Baking)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

April Top Five #1 - Easter

As part of my year of INSPIRATION, each month I am challenging myself to scrap my Top Five (photos or stories or events) from the previous month.

My Easter layout was inspired by materials in the BPC 15 Minute Layouts class, but it (of course) took me much longer to complete (approximately an hour).


Honestly this is not one of my favorite layouts, but I really like the FUN photos and am glad to have them preserved in our 2015 chronological album. And I'm thrilled to have used a few older supplies, like this title block and the layered flowers and circles that have been in my stash several years.


The last few days have been very productive around here, so I'm feeling extremely optimistic about catching up with my Top Five layouts by the end of this month! How are you doing on keeping up with scrapping this year's stories?

50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 - Niagara Falls

I checked off #36 (See Niagara Falls) on my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 list the last week of May when Robbie and I took a road trip from Texas to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, with stops along the way in Mansfield, Missouri, Akron, Ohio, Buffalo, New York, and Hodgenville, Kentucky.


We arrived in Niagara Falls in the early evening of Memorial Day, when most everyone else was heading home after a long holiday weekend. We only stayed two nights, but it worked out perfectly because the holiday crowds were gone and the summer crowds had not yet arrived. We were able to stroll along and take lots of photos of the falls. I've seen photos of Niagara Falls but really didn't have a feel for the layout of the three falls until I was able to see it all in person. I was awed by the sheer power of that much water tumbling over the edge.



It was a beautiful day, not too hot, a little overcast at times, sunny at others. We spent most of the morning just enjoying the view.


We had lunch at a restaurant across the street. It's amazing how much better a hamburger and french fries taste when you have a view of Horseshoe Falls.


In the evening we took the elevator up to the restaurant in Skylon Tower.

 
The restaurant revolves, so we had a wonderful panoramic view while we enjoyed a scrumptious dinner.


Then we headed up to the observation deck, which we had almost completely to ourselves. We, of course, took more photos of the falls.




It was the perfect day, just the two of us enjoying the scenery, good food, beautiful weather, and each other. Here we are . . . at arm's length.


As usual, we captured a few reflections photos, too.


And finally, here's a look at the completed page in my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 mini-album.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Three Scrapbook Project Completions

I've completed three more projects for item #37 (Complete 10 Scrapbook Projects) on my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 list.

I knew when I set the goal to complete our 2011 Chronological Albums this year that I wanted to pull a bunch of photos from my 2011 storage binders for a Photo Album Scrapbook documenting our nieces and great-nephew's visits here that year. I used a two-up album like the ones I've used for several other Photo Album Scrapbooks documenting visits in previous years.


I am scrapbooking and journaling stories from these visits for our 12x12 albums, so this small book simply holds photos with a title card for each section.



I also completed two Shutterfly photobooks. The first one is filled with photos of the four times we were together with Robbie's brother and his family last year - in Pennsylvania for the Philly Non-Sport Show, in Ohio on our unexpected trip in July, in Ohio again for a long weekend in October, and in Texas when Robbie's brother came down to help us celebrate Robbie's 50th birthday.

The second book showcases photos from this past March's spring break trip when we all enjoyed a week here in Texas. I should point out that I had some help with this book. Our nephew, Thomas, enjoys photography and has begun scrapbooking his travels. When they left here in March, I told him I would prepare the 2014 book and he could work on the Texas trip. When I called him early last week (so we could get these projects completed while there was a free photobook code at Shutterfly), he had all the photos uploaded and a book started. We took turns working on the book throughout an entire day. Since we were working long-distance there were lots of phone calls and texts and uploading to a family Share site, but it was a ton of FUN and he did a fabulous job on this first project!


The completion of these three projects means that I'm halfway to completing this item on my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 list! Have you completed any FUN projects lately?

Happy Independence Day

God Bless America!

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY Y'ALL!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Camp Scrap Technique Tag

I'm really not a "messy" crafter. I'm not a big fan of having dirty inky paint-smeared hands and having to worry about covering my work surface with a craft mat and making sure I have plenty of paper towels on hand. However, I do have supplies that cause all these types of "messiness," so today I pulled a few things out to try  some of the ideas in the mixed media and technique sections of this week's Camp Scrap 2015 class materials.

I started by creating a tag with a patterned paper base. I embossed red hearts on it, then used distress inks to darken the light blue background. I stamped a few places with a lined background stamp, too. It turned out fairly good, so I decided to use it on a card.


I covered my card with two different patterned papers, embellished the tag with some washi tape strips, a ribbon, a brad, and a few stickers, and added an embossed sentiment. It's definitely not my usual look, but I'm proud of myself for trying something different. (And Robbie said it looks really good!)


I'm sending this off to a dear friend of mine who enjoys seeing what new things I'm creating. Now that's something I definitely enjoy - sending handmade items to friends and family!

The 4-Hour Workweek - book review


I have mixed feelings about recommending The 4-Hour Workweek. On one hand there are lots of great ideas in this book for living the lifestyle of your dreams, however I have some misgivings about some of the suggestions and methods described in the book.

Let me start with a few of the things that just don't sit well with me:

*I don't like the author - I think he comes off as arrogant and he does things that are "not quite" unethical but certainly push the limit. For example, when he won a kickboxing championship it was because he studied the rules and realized if he pushed his opponent off the platform three times he would win. He also used extreme methods to lose weight in one day, then put the weight back on before the next day's match, so that he was competing with lighter weight opponents. (I realize these things go on in sports quite a bit, but I still think they are pushing the line.)

*Also, the author was already making very good money ($40,000/month according to him) when he began implementing the systems in this book, automating much of his business, and living his dream life.

*His suggestion "don't ask permission, ask forgiveness" implies something wrong has been done (otherwise why would you need forgiveness), but that doesn't concern him if it leads to the ultimate goal of finding freedom to live life on your own terms.

*He recommends becoming "an expert" in your field by joining the right organizations, speaking for free, and reading books. Then you can state on your website (or promotional materials) that you are a member of such&such organization and are a regular speaker at such&such event/university/etc . . . thus you are "an expert."

*The idea of  "geoarbitrage" (leveling global pricing and currency differences for profit or lifestyle purposes) is not new but is heavily advocated in the book. This is not so much a negative, but it was coupled with notes on how to gain income tax exemptions while enjoying luxuries at a much lower cost - a win/win both ways . . . except for the country (that's not getting those tax dollars) that allows you all that freedom in the first place.

On the positive side, there were some really good takeaways from the book:

*I love the idea of not deferring "retirement living" until the end of your career but rather enjoying travel and other activities now, even if only on a short-term or "mini-retirement" type vacation. The idea is not to make retirement the goal, but rather to make the desired lifestyle the goal.

*The suggestion to think about the life you want to have and to create a list of what your life would like if you could do whatever you wanted is a good exercise for clarifying what you're working toward.

*When making decisions, I like the idea of asking "what is the worst thing that can happen" and "what steps you could to take if that thing happened" is a great way to help determine whether or not to pursue a particular course of action.

*The book is divided into sections based on a progression of steps (the DEAL) that lead to a richer life:
Definition - Define what you want.
Elimination - Eliminate unnecessary tasks & interruptions.
Automation - Automate as many routines and tasks as possible.
Liberation - Gain freedom over your own time through owning your own company or possibly negotiating to work remotely.

I like how Amy Tan's review sums up by noting that after reading the book and taking a sabbatical, she "returned to a more efficient work/life balance in general." I think that's a great take-away from the book.

Have you read this book? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

April Top Five #3

As part of my year of INSPIRATION, each month I am challenging myself to scrap my Top Five (photos or stories or events) from the previous month. When I posted my INSPIRATION review and plans earlier today, I mentioned that I was hoping to catch up with this challenge. As usual I am not scrapping these in order, so this is actually the first layout I've completed from my April Top Five list . . . but it's actually number three on the list.

The design of this layout is a scraplift of Ashli Oliver's grid layout in the Camp Scrap 2015 class materials. As I watched Ashli's process video, I knew I wanted to try it to tell this story about our tomato crop.

I especially enjoyed putting together these mini-clusters using small photos, paper scraps, and a variety of embellishments.


Did you sign up for the Camp Scrap 2015 class? If so, what are you inspired to create with this week's INSPIRATION?

March Top Five #3

As part of my year of INSPIRATION, each month I am challenging myself to scrap my Top Five (photos or stories or events) from the previous month. As I mentioned in my post earlier today, I'm a little behind on this goal but hoping to catch up this month!

The Camp Scrap 2015 class began yesterday, and this week's topic is "Recipes for Success." I took INSPIRATION from May's recipe of using a grid design to complete my layout. Unlike May, I did not use the same size blocks for my grid, but rather started with three photos and added papers to fill in the remaining spaces.


I used the black and white pieces as title and journaling blocks and did a little re-arranging before adhering everything in place.

Journaling reads: Since we like to lay out all the pieces first when we work a puzzle - 3000 pieces is our limit because it covers the entire big table!

INSPIRATION - June Review & July Plans

June did pan out exactly as I thought it would. In all honesty, I got caught in the middle of some family "dynamics" that caused serious rifts among several members of my family. I have a general rule that I don't allow my down times and blahness to leak onto others, so I posted less frequently last month and spent a good deal of time doing the things that help me maintain my emotional health - reading, journaling, organizing, cleaning, and crafting. Here's a look at the INSPIRATION items I had planned for June.

June Review
1. (March & April) & May Top Five -  I did not make much progress on my Top Five during June. I only have two of the items on my March list completed (I'm Delivering Sunshine and Mineola Trip mini-album) and none from April or May.

2. Pocket Page Scrapbooking & More Class - I actually cancelled my retreat and classes at Scrappin' Goodtime. I am extremely grateful to  my friends for their understanding despite the fact that this disrupted their plans as well.

3. Rinda's 2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt - Robbie and I enjoyed an impromptu weekend away and I found 21 items on this year's list - which you can see HERE. The photo I shared for item #6 (a metal bridge) was actually taken in Waco on our way to San Antonio. However, I captured quite a few other shots for this item along the River Walk.




4. Creative Live Ditch Your Day Job Class - I watched and took notes on the entire two-day class, Ditch Your Day Job, at Creative Live. I enjoyed the information and INSPIRATION despite the fact that I don't have a day job to ditch!

5.  READING FOR INSPIRATION - I am about halfway through the book Writing in the Margins: Connecting with God on the Pages of Your Bible by Lisa Nichols Hickman and am thoroughly enjoying it. I also found INSPIRATION in Walking in this World and The Creative Habit. 

My other endeavors in June included creating 5 layouts, 1 card, 1 mini-album, and 2 photobooks.  I  published 9 blog posts (+1 on the Scrappin' Goodtime blog) and listened to interviews on The Painted Guru Summit. I painted our ceramic sun and have almost finished painting another metal piece to hang on the patio (I'll share it when I'm done!). I also started working my way through the 15-Minute Layouts class at BPC.

For the month of July, I'll be exploring and acting on INSPIRATION in several ways:
1. June Top Five - I'm challenging myself to scrap my top five (photos or stories or events) from the previous month. Although I haven't done as well as I'd hoped with this challenge, I do have quite a few completed layouts in this year's album. I only have four stories on my June list, and I'm hoping this month I'll catch up on this challenge. Here are the stories I still want to scrap:
March
(3) 3000-piece puzzle
(4) Huey UH1 ride
(5) "I just saw a lemon"
April
(1) Easter
(2) those little green arrows
(3) putting in the crop
(4) annual get-together with Cheri
(5) Michelle's clowning-around birthday
May
(1) National Scrapbook Day
(2) Starting Karis & Mason's collections
(3) Laura Ingalls Wilder Homes & Museum
(4) Niagara Falls
(5) Meeting Karen
June
(1) Impromptu Trip to San Antonio
(2) Briscoe Western Art Museum
(3) Painting & Crafting
(4) Thomas's Sea Cadet Graduation

2. Camp Scrap - I've signed up for May Flaum's newest class, Camp Scrap 2015. May's classes are always FUN and filled with INSPIRATION. This year's class has four components - cards, layouts, mixed media, and techniques.

3. Flow 30 Day Journal Project - I'm also signed up for the Flow 30 Day Journal Project, which I discovered through The Painted Guru Summit. This is a free project offered by artist and therapist Lisa Sonora. I haven't yet decided how much I'll participate in this project, but I am an advocate for journaling and always feel that it helps me when I'm going through a difficult time or need clarification in my life (both of which apply to me right now).

4.Rinda's 2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt - I'm challenging myself to complete the Scavenger Hunt again during the month of July!

5. Blog Series INSPIRATION A-Z - I've been contemplating and making notes for a blog series on INSPIRATION, which I hope to begin soon.

I'll also be celebrating my birthday this month and reviewing my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 list. I'll be sharing how I'm doing on a few of the items on that list later in the month, but you can always track my progress HERE.

What kind of INSPIRATION did you enjoy in June? What are your plans for exploring and acting on INSPIRATION in July?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Scavenger Hunt Finds

I had to smile when I read through the 2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt list that Rinda posted on June 1 because I had captured many of the items on the list during our vacation just the week before! However, the rules state that photos must be taken between June 1 and September 22, so today I'm sharing photos I captured in June. 

I have 21 photos to share, which in essence means I completed the hunt in one month! There are three items that I did not find, but I was able to substitute the three alternatives for those. And I have to admit that one photo is a little bit of a cheat stretch. Nonetheless, I'm giving myself complete credit for this year's hunt! Here are my June finds, all of which (with one exception) were captured on an impromptu overnight road trip to San Antonio. (Click on the photos for a larger version.)
 
1. A bouquet of flowers - As we were strolling along the River Walk, several dinner boats passed by, and one of them had a bouquet of flowers on the table!

2. An ornate door knocker

3. A person walking a dog - The River Walk was pretty crowded during the day and evening, but Sunday morning as we were dining al fresco, a family walked by with their dog. They were rounding the bend of the river before I could grab the camera and snap a photo.

4. People playing a board game or card game

5. Architectural columns - It is extremely difficult to get a photo of the Alamo without tourists in it, but with some patience I was finally able to capture this shot of the front door and the columns on each side.

6. A metal bridge - This was actually my first find of the hunt. On our way to San Antonio, we stopped in Waco at Buzzard Billy's for some Monster-Ella Cheese Sticks. Up the river a little ways is a railroad bridge. If you look closely, you can just see the driving bridge beyond it, and even farther is an old suspension bridge for pedestrian traffic.

7. A turtle - This might not look like the photos others are posting, but these are definitely my favorite kind of turtles.

8. Someone "plugged in" to social media - I was hoping to find someone with ear buds or headphones, but this guy was definitely plugged in and oblivious to anything else going on around him.

9. A tent - This tent was one of the displays at the Briscoe Western Art Museum.

10. A college or university - There are so many options for photographing a college or university, but nothing screams Texas like a new football stadium!

11. A cellular tower or television satellite dish - I'm really not sure what kind of dishes these are, but we found them along a stretch of the 130 Toll Road where the speed limit is 85 miles per hour. (Robbie pulled over for me to capture this photo on our way back home!)

12. A public restroom, bathroom, or toilet - Found along the River Walk.

13. A merry-go-round or carousel

14. A traffic signal - I knew it would be easy to capture a traffic signal, but I had no idea I would find one designed for boats on the San Antonio River!

15. A flag pole with at least three flags on it - There were flags on flagpoles all over San Antonio, with one or two flags, but we didn't see any with three flags . . . until Robbie spotted this optical illusion. The small flag at the bottom is actually on a flag pole miles away.

16. A panoramic view, taken while standing someplace high in the air - Our room at the Hilton Palacio del Rio was on the 16th floor overlooking the river. I captured this panoramic with my iPhone, although I apparently didn't keep the little arrow moving along the horizontal line, which resulted in some of the buildings appearing to lean one way or the other.

17. At least two people wearing matching outfits or uniforms - I actually captured several photos for this prompt, but my favorite is this one of two Alamo Rangers.

18. An overloaded truck, car, bicycle or other vehicle - This is the only photo not taken on our impromptu trip; I actually found it on one of the Dallas freeways the following weekend.

19. A ticket booth - The movie theater ticket booth inside Rivercenter Mall.

20. A natural body of water - According to our river boat guide, if you follow the San Antonio River south from this point, it'll take you all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

21. A photograph of you with a sign reading "2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt" - I had a small printout of this year's list in my pocket as we enjoyed our time in San Antonio. I folded it up so that only the title showed so Robbie could snap this photo of me!

 Alternative A: People eating outside - Most of the restaurants along the River Walk offer outside dining, so this was an easy alternative to find.

Alternative B: Someone holding an umbrella - The weather was absolutely beautiful, but rather warm hot, so I wasn't surprised to find someone sheltering under an umbrella.

Alternative C: A rocking chair -This little grouping along the River Walk looks like a great place to take a break. (You might recognize that chair as the one from #8 above - Robbie pointed it out to me as we were leaving our hotel for the river boat tour. When we passed it again later, it was occupied, so I was able to check off two items in the same spot!)
 
I had so much FUN hunting for the items on this year's list that I'm challenging myself to find them all again in July! (Thanks for the INSPIRATION to be observant and take photos again this summer, Rinda!) 
 
Are you participating in the hunt? Which items are you finding the most challenging to locate?