Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Learning To See

One of the things I've noticed about taking pictures is that the more you do it, the more you begin to really see the world. By Saturday morning, these tulips were beginning to fade, but there was such glorious sunshine streaming in through the library window, that I thought I would take advantage of it and shoot some pictures.

I like the fact that the tulips are not perfect -- they are showing their age, which makes them interesting. I tend to like interiors and furnishings that show their age, too. Maybe I just feel a kinship with them, because I'm showing my age as well. But in truth, I've always loved old things.

I also think that a room ought to include something that is just slightly jarring or out of place. Maybe it's a pillow in an unusual color, or a piece of art that is quirky or not of the same time period as the furnishings -- picture a great piece of modern art in a room filled with antiques. I also love to mix rustic or naive with more formal furnishings. It makes you stop and really look.

I've learned so much, too, from all the pictures of your homes here in blogland. Seeing the ways you use color, or trim a pillow, or fill a shelf with lovely things -- all this has taught me to look beyond the first glance and really see the details. And after all, as Mies van der Rohe said, "God is in the details."

Do you have a photo that shows the details in your decorating? Maybe it's some lovely fabric, or a tabletop vignette, or a hutch full of dishes... I'd love to see your favorites. Send me a link or a photo, tell me what you love about the details, and I'll gather them together for a post later in the week.


Note: I'm looking into making some note cards and art prints from these photos, so maybe you will be seeing an etsy shop in my future. Even if I don't ever sell a thing, I'm having lots of fun, and just enjoying the whole process. Thank you so much for your kind encouragement! :)
Edited to add: you can email me your photos --


  1. No worry, I feel confident you will sell your work.

    Those pink tulips really make a statement.

  2. Mary, saw your tulip on Wine on the Keyboard--my vote's for you!


  3. Have no worry, Mary! Your work will definitely sell. Best of luck, Janie

  4. Beautiful photos of tulips. I am serious - not just putting down words ... those are really nice images. The light is so, so good and to a photographer, it is all about light! Really, really nice... and I love the color of these tulips.

    Your tulips are beginning to fade??! Hmmm.... Out here in cold country Iowa we don't even have tulips yet! They are beginning to break through the ground and if we get a few warm days we will start to see them.

    There is a little town in Iowa called Pella that has a HUGE tulip festive every May. Pella is a Dutch community and, of course, when you think of Holland you think of tulips.

    As far as seeing, you are right. When you do photography you begin to really see a lot more details and, well, things you never noticed before. I am rambling, but I sure enjoyed those images of the tulips...

  5. Mary, you do such a wonderful job!! The color of the tulips is amazing. Thanks for that burst of pink :-) Rosie

  6. The photos of your tulips are breathtaking! What a fine job you are doing with that "new" camera!

    This is going to be fun, showing how we love to decorate...count me in and I will email you a picture of my favorite thing.....

    And, as for selling your notes in a shop and wondering if they will sell....ARE YOU KIDDING US? They will fly out like hotcakes, believe me....When you start this shop, BE READY...because it is going to be soooo fun for you and for us, too!! I am looking forward to all of it !!

    hugs, bj

  7. Gorgeous pictures of the tulips. Just breathtaking.

  8. Just gorgeous, Mary. Don't you love to play with the light when you're taking photos?

    I think you'd do well selling notecards and such. You take such great pics.

    Nice to see a whole series of the shots of the tulip you submitted to the photo of the month on my blog!

  9. Mary,
    Beautiful tulips! I'm with you, all of these talented ladies (including you) have taught me so much.


  10. Mary, I would love to send you a few photos of my house and its "quirks". Is there an email address on your blog that I missed?

    I enjoy your blog every day and think is photography is outstanding.

  11. Oh my, your photos are incredible! I'm such an amateur, I pale in comparison. Thanks for commenting about my favorite photo of the month.

  12. Mary..I think you are a great photographer...all of your photos look so gorgeous!
    I can't wait to see a future Little Red House etsy shop!

    On Friday I am hosting my 200th post giveaway so make sure you pop over for coffee then!

  13. If anybody would like to email me photos of your decorating details, send them here --


  14. Go for it Mary! You definitly have an eye for photograghy.

    Have Fun!
    Karrie and Karla

  15. Your tulips are beautiful as is your photography.

    Love the decorating tips in this post. I, in my usual way, had never thought of these things. I love it when someone spells it out for me.

    Hope that you get lots of photos...I love seeing what others are doing with their spaces.

  16. Gorgeous tulips Mary! There are beautiful details in photos. You seem to have the knack for catching them all! So excited for you to make notecards with them.
    Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  17. HiMary!
    Oh, the tulips are gorgeous! My friend Anke gets her photos made into cards at you'll have to go peek around. Also vista print has some great prices and options. The bird photos you take with some of the verbage would be fabulous for cards too.. like the bluejay with his mouth full.. your quotes are just perfect with those!
    Whatever you choose to do, I know you will be successful!!

  18. hello Mary, a camera is like a third eye. It's amazing how much beauty we can see through a camera, and a print. I'll find pictures to send you.

    Have a great day, jeannie

  19. Mary, I'd like to do notecards with some of my pictures, too. I haven't done anything about it yet! I really need to look into it.

    Love love love your tulip photos!

  20. "God is in the details" is one of my favorite sayings. So true, so true! Your photography is wonderful and the sentiment is correct, take a second look around.

  21. Newcomer to blogging here and I just stopped in to visit your space! Your tulips and the way you captured them on film is striking! I'm learning, but is a slow process! LOL! I would love to send you a few pictures and will try to get them to you in the next few days! Enjoyed your blog & hope that you don't mind that I added yours to my favorite list, so I can check back in on it! Rhonda :)

  22. mary, You have such a good eye. The tulip pictures had such great light. Nice job! Peggy

  23. Mary I agree, things that are perfect and "by the book" just don't seem a tad boring. I always love when someone throw something unexpected into the mix.

    What a great idea to gather examples together and post them. Don't hesitate about the Etsy thing. Jump right in the water's fine.

  24. I completely agree with you on learning to see :) It can feel very challenging to put your art out there for the world to judge and buy. But if you don't take a chance you can't succeed :)

  25. Oh, Mary -

    How wonderful! Isn't it amazing how much we miss until you look through the lens of a camera? And once you've seen it - you get hooked! You've caught the bug! And your photos are amazing!

    I think an etsy shop is a wonderful idea!!!


  26. I wholeheartedly agree with this and you take lovely photos.

  27. Gorgeous pictures!

    I'll have to think about what picture to send you.... hmmmm...

    rue :)


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love to hear what you have to say!