Global Giving

We've chosen not to have any advertising on our blog - okay, except Marcia's inspiring book!! - but we do support the idea of Global Giving.

Basically, what they do is match donors with nonprofit organizations around the world.

What do you have to give?

Artists Bill of Rights

Photo of the Month - December

Hi Folks:

The subtitle for this post should be ‘The Evolution of G.L.I.T.T.E.R.’ She’s our Christmas tree and has been for the past six years. You can read more about GLITTER, FREIDRICH, FREDERICA, FREDDY and FRED here if you like: Being Green – Celebrating the Holidays.

GLITTER was a little sprout of a thing when we first brought her home, but she’s certainly spread her branches since then, as you can see here (NB: we were away for Christmas in 2013 and so GLITTER didn’t get decorated). That’s the same salt crystal lamp, so you can use it to gauge her growth. With her pot on the floor she comes up to about waist height on Mike, a little higher on Marcia. No need to cut a hole in the ceiling (yet), but she is heading in FRED’s direction. Continue reading “Photo of the Month – December

Happy New Year!

Hi Folks:

Today is the first day of 2015. We posted this quote from Howard W. Hunter on our blog a couple of years ago, but it’s worth sending out again.

“This year, mend a quarrel.
Seek out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust.
Write a letter.
Give a soft answer.
Encourage youth.
Manifest your loyalty in word and deed.
Keep a promise.
Forgo a grudge.
Forgigve an enemy.
Try to understand.
Examine your demands on others.
Think first of someone else.
Be kind.
Be gentle.
Laugh a little more.
Express your gratitude.
Welcome a stranger.
Gladden the heart of a child.
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.
Speak your love and then speak it again.”

Have an amazing day and an incredible year!!


Happy Holidays!!

Hi Folks:

Whether you celebrate Christmas or Festivus, Solstice or Saturnalia, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or something entirely personal, we wish you and those close to you a safe and happy Holiday Season, and a New Year with as much joy, love, adventure, peace and excitement as you can handle!!

With Hugs,
Marcia and Mike.

P.S. Terri Windling has a wonderful post on Holiday traditions over at Myth and Moor.

2014 Festival of Trees at the Empress Hotel

Merry Christmas!

“Can’t” vs. “Yet”

Hi Folks:

While the title of this post sounds like something involving a court action, it’s really about a matter of perspective. In a powerful talk by Dr. Carol Dweck given at TEDxNorrkoping (below), she explains the difference between rewarding positive results (and punishing failure) vs. encouraging development. When people are given a specific endpoint and they either pass or fail, they either become used to looking for/needing rewards to keep going or become so disillusioned with their potential that they simply stop trying. Instead of that black/white approach, Carol advocates motivating and encouraging progress, no matter where we are in the moment. Doing so repetitively creates an atmosphere where the gains are internal and there is a process of life-long learning and growth. It’s definitely something we should be teaching our children, and also something we can share with others and remember for ourselves. Truly outstanding.

You can see Carol’s Stanford University profile here, and her Brainology website here.


Home for the Holidays

Hi Folks:

Perry Como famously sang, “There’s no place like home for the holidays!” A similar message is expressed in other seasonal songs, like Chris Rea’s “Driving Home for Christmas” and Jim Brickman’s “Coming Home for Christmas”. The video below, however, is perhaps closer in mood to the Charles Brown classic, “Please Come Home for Christmas.”

We won’t profess to know much about the complexities of the current war in Columbia and how it affects people as disparate as the army, the guerrillas, the coca farmers and other ordinary citizens… but at least one group is working to open lines of communication, to go beyond prejudices and fears and to get people on both sides to see each other as fellow humans. It’s a start, and getting people to meet, to talk with one another, is an important step in an overall goal of peace. That is something we can all celebrate.


2015 Photo Calendars

Hi Folks:

This is the fifth year now that we’ve made our MS Word photo calendar templates available, and as with the past couple of years, we’ve also created a series of templates and calendar images you can use with Lightroom or other graphics software. I created a template in MS Word that allows people who don’t have Photoshop, Lightroom or the equivalent to make their own photo calendars, so we’ll cover that first; the Lightroom stuff is at the bottom of this post. I used MS Word 2007 to make the template, but saved it as both a Word 2007 file and a Word 97-2003 compatible file. Basically it’s a series of tables, one for each month, that look something like this:
Continue reading “2015 Photo Calendars

Photo of the Month - November

Hi Folks:

We’ve been working on our 2015 photo calendar templates here at Chez M&M and they’re almost ready, but we wanted to take a short break to include our favourite image(s) for November. It came down to two and we couldn’t decide, so we uploaded them both. As with October’s Photo of the Month post, we’re using the NextGen gallery plugin to display them. Both images were captured with our (Samsung Galaxy S4) cell phones. The one is an image Marcia captured in Beacon Hill Park on her morning ‘commute’. It was a perfect morning, and very little Lightroom work has been done with this image. The second image is of ‘someone’ we pass often. It’s an example of pareidolia (with thanks to Wikipedia – do remember to support them!) but the wisdom in that ancient eye is unmistakable.

Okay, that’s it. Now go out and make some photographs!


Creative Commons Licenses

Hi Folks:

I shared this on the message board for our local photography group and thought I’d post it here as well. I received this link (Yahoo Starts Selling Flickr Users’ Photos) from a family member the other day, and since it’s likely to kick up a lot of controversy I thought I’d add a few notes here. Sometimes companies try really hard to shoot themselves in the foot, and sometimes they seem to prefer to go for the head shot… Be that as they may.

First of all, Yahoo is not doing anything (technically) illegal, nor have they changed their Terms of Service or anything to get people to give up their copyright. Rather they’re using permissions some people have already given them (and everyone else), perhaps without realizing it. We come back to Copyright vs. Usage Rights. Continue reading “Creative Commons Licenses

Christmas Cards for Addie

Hi Folks.

This is Addie:


To read about Addie and to learn more about her life, click on the image to read the article from Tracy Saelinger on Today Health

Continue reading “Christmas Cards for Addie

Free Hugs for Devonte Hart

Hi Folks:

You’ve probably seen this image floating around the net, but if you haven’t it’s worth sharing again. We highly recommend you click on the photo to read the story behind it. We’ll wait.

Portland Police Sgt. Bret Barnum hugging 12-year-old Devonte Hart

Portland, OR Police Sgt. Bret Barnum hugging 12-year-old Devonte Hart – click on the image to read the story behind it from The Oregonian/OregonLive.

Continue reading “Free Hugs for Devonte Hart