Kira Joya’s Blog

Flower Girl

Posted in Flowers, photography by Alissia on May 30, 2009

Sunflower
Yeah, that’s me..the flower girl! I have decided that I’m going to buy flowers once a week and practice arranging them. I need the practice…it’s been soooo long. I really love it! I would have to say that flowers and plants are my passion. They even rank above jewelry making. Of course, after I make the arrangement, then I will spend some time practicing my flower photos…I also love, love, love that!

Yesterday I bought two bouquets at Trader Joe’s…they really have nice flowers. I found a bouquet that I really liked and the wheels started turning…what can I do with this? It had Queen Anne’s Lace as a filler or accent flower…I love that. They really add dimension and movement to an arrangement. Side view arrangement As I turned around to put the bouquet in my cart, Kira picked up another bouquet and decided that we needed to have sunflowers. I love sunflowers, but I really wanted the other bouquet. I compromised…I said she could pick the flowers this time, but next time it would be my turn. She agreed…hopefully she will remember that next time. ( I won’t count on it.) Anyway, we walked away with a Sunflower bouquet and a Wildflower bouquet.

I wouldn’t say that the arrangement was the best I’ve ever done, but it was pretty good for not having done it for almost a year. I uncovered the Oasis in the basement and went to work…trying to keep in mind all of the tips I learned in my Floral Design classes at Longwood Gardens. SunflowerI filled a bucket with water and let the Oasis absorb the water. When I pulled it out of the water, I cut it with a knife to fit the container…making sure not to cram the edges of the Oasis, but cut them to ensure the best water absorption by the flowers. I got out my floral scissors, which I am careful never to use for anything else, and went to work. I had a lot of flowers to work with…Sunflowers, Lilies (which I was unable to use), purple Mums, Yoko Ono Mums (green mums), Wax Flowers (little pink filler flowers), Solidago (yellow filler flower), Babies Breath (which I think is overused and didn’t use in this arrangement), white spray roses, Salal (greens), and a few blades of floral grass. SunflowerI try to really look at the flowers to see where they want to go…where they seem to fit best in the arrangement. I wait to cut until I have measured the height I want the flowers to be….sometimes I still move them, but not too often. Continually moving them turns the Oasis to mush and then it doesn’t hold your flowers. Usually, I also try to use all of my greens and flowers if possible…it wasn’t possible this time since the lilies were trashed and I don’t generally use baby’s breath. All in all, I’m pretty happy with the way the arrangement turned out. These are the best of the photos of the Sunflower Arrangement…I took one of the whole arrangement, but the photo turned out to be less impressive than the arrangement itself. I think most flower shots are best close up, so that’s what I usually do. I plan to keep practicing using different flowers and containers, so stay tuned…there will be plenty photos of each arrangement.

Wax Flower Close-UpSide View arrangement


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I’m Back

Posted in Flowers, Kira, photography, Yoga by Alissia on May 21, 2009

Wow! It’s been quite awhile since I have written. Try as I might, I just can’t keep up with everything. I was completely sidelined by a cold that has been knocking me around since right before mother’s day and is still hanging on. I think that it’s at least partially a detox reaction from all of the things I have been doing to rid myself of the Candida. It’s been about 2 weeks now and I’m feeling better, but am ready for this to be gone!!

I am beginning my year long yoga teacher training course in June. I’m so excited! I know I am going to learn so much. I am debating about whether or not to Blog my essays and experiences. I think it might be good for me, but some topics can be really personal…I’m not sure if I want that displayed all over the internet. I have been thinking that I might do it anonymously…we’ll see. I have already finished my first essay and spoken with the director of the program about the lifestyle changes that I want to make over the course of this year. I have a list of ten personal things that I would like to work on. I am trying to approach this with a completely open mind and by being completely honest with myself. I have barely started the program and yet, the questions pop up. I’m going to hold off on discussing the actual issue that I’m working on right here, but the response was this…that I am in the wrong because I expect too much. I should not have expectations. Yikes! Really? I thought that was part of being human. Humans have expectations. I’m not sure how to live my life without expecting things from people and from events. I guess this will be the first experiment.

The interaction with my new teacher also started me thinking about how much of yogic philosophy comes from a woman’s point of view…my guess is not much, if any. All of the yogis who wrote all of these ancient texts were men, right? Things change a bit when coming from a woman’s perspective. This I know for sure. Women come from a much more feeling – centered place. Would yogic philosophy be different if more women were involved from the beginning? My guess is, yes, a little bit. I am just beginning my yoga journey, so I don’t pretend to know much about yogic philosophy yet. I’m just asking questions…that’s part of any educational journey. One of the things that I learned so well in college was to look deeper…take nothing at face value. I plan to take all of the information like a sponge, absorb what I need, and squeeze out the rest. I think that any path you take needs to be adapted to work for you as a person.

I think that’s all I have to say on that for now. I am realizing that with summer coming and a yoga teacher training starting, I may have less time to work on the blog and website. I’m going to do the best that I can to keep up. Overachiever? Who? Yeah, that’s me. Anyway, this is for my family that may check my blog to see what’s going on, I thought I would share some photos from our Mother’s Day weekend in New Jersey…Gallery style….you can look if you’re not family too. Just click on the photos and they will enlarge.

Backyard Photos

Posted in Flowers, photography, WAHM by Alissia on April 30, 2009
Little Toad We Found Hopping Around our Backyard

Little Toad We Found Hopping Around our Backyard

I love taking pictures. We saw this little toad in our backyard and I ran inside to get my camera. It was the time of day where the lighting was perfect. Is it a little silly? I get excited when I see an animal that I don’t see very often. I was so close to him and he just let me take his picture. There were a few times where he decided he needed to get away from the lady with the camera. He started hopping and startled me. Through the lens, the toad looks a little bigger and, for some reason, it was more unexpected.

Dogwood in my backyard

Dogwood in my backyard

I so love springtime. I really do look forward to this time of the year…the month or so where the trees are all different colors and covered in flower blooms. We are lucky enough to have two Dogwood trees in our new backyard… and I’m lucky enough to not be allergic to springtime. I don’t even know what I would do if I were allergic to flowers and pollen…I love them so. I guess I would just deal with it.

Photoshop adjusted Dogwood

Photoshop adjusted Dogwood

I am trying to practice photographing flowers and blurring the background. I seem to do alright, but the lighting never seems to be quite right. I always have to play with it a little bit in Photoshop. (I’m trying to learn my way around…there’s so much to learn!) Here I decided to play with color a lot. It’s the same photo as above, but cropped a little more and the color is exaggerated for a dramatic effect. This version is pretty too, but in a more retro way. I usually prefer the more natural photos, especially of flowers.

I am slowly learning…maybe I should take a digital photography class, that might help. Anyway, I just wanted to share these photos of spring. Since it’s gone in a flash (as evidenced by the high temps of this past weekend) it’s nice to capture it on camera. It’s possible you may see me again later today, I may try to do 2 posts…I guess we’ll see what the day brings. A day in the life of a work-at-home mom…things are always changing and surprising me.

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A Hard Days Night…

Posted in Flowers, Gardening, Kira by Alissia on April 27, 2009
Colombines

Colombines

Well, it hasn’t really been a hard days night, but I have been working like a dog. I planted one of my flower gardens this weekend. I planted peonies, colombines, lilies, and a butterfly bush. Gardening really is hard work, but it hurts so good! I love it! There is nothing like that feeling of being tired from actual physical labor. You know, the kind of tired that you felt when you were a kid in the summertime…when you ran and ran and ran and then finally collapsed in your bed against your will at the end of the day.

More Colombines

More Colombines

When I was done planting, I decided that I wanted to take some pictures to share on my blog. The photos of the whole garden were a bit anticlimactic since most of the flowers are not in bloom yet. I decided to take a few close-ups of the Colombines. So gorgeous, aren’t they? I love that deep blue! I’m a sucker for some blue flowers.

I’m not going to write any mind-blowing composition this evening. Even my hair is tired. I just wanted to share some pictures of my weekend. It’s amazing how the sun and warm weather can infuse joy into your life…I just want to express my gratitude to mother nature and say bring on the summer!

Kira...talking as usual.

Kira...talking as usual.


Kira's muddy shoe...I had just polished them, UGH!!

Kira's muddy shoe...I had just polished them, UGH!!

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Holiday Happiness

Posted in Flowers, Gardening, Kira by Alissia on April 15, 2009
Ranunculus

Ranunculus

I saw these Ranunculus at the store and instantly knew I was buying them. They are one of my favorite flowers. Yes, yes I have lots of favorite flowers, but Ranunculus and Hydrangea top the list. I wanted flowers for the table anyway…so why not! A little yellow Ranunculus, a little white freesia…a gorgeous springtime centerpiece. When I get some really beautiful flowers, I love to try to capture them on camera…to play with the angles and lighting and see what kind of shot I can get. I think I did alright here…I’m not a pro or anything, but I really like to play with the camera.

It was a crazy holiday weekend…not much time for anything work or jewelry related. I bought the flowers for the table for the big family dinner on Sunday. It was my first time hosting a dinner like this one…for 17 people. I did most of the cooking, with some help. I think it was pretty successful…everyone is still alive, so that is a plus! It was exhausting, but well worth it!

Over the course of the whole holiday, I believe we did 4 egg hunts and dyed eggs twice…I think I’ve had my fill. The second time we dyed eggs, Kira was done in 5 minutes…and she had a whole dozen eggs to color. She would drop one in, take it right out and put the next one in. She just wanted to get up and play. Needless to say, most of her eggs were really light. When she got up, I thought I would re-dye some of them…I think it’s fun to dye eggs. Of course, I got caught and she was not happy with me for changing her eggs.

So that was my holiday…some flowers, some family, some food, and some eggs (lots and lots of eggs.)

Kira dying Easter eggs

Kira dying Easter eggs


Ranunculus and Freesia

Ranunculus and Freesia

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The Good, The Bad, and the Bunny

Posted in Flowers, Jewelry, Yoga by Alissia on April 4, 2009
Magnolias

Magnolias

Since I didn’t have time to write yesterday, I think I will start there. It was a really beautiful day in terms of finding food for my soul. First, I made up my mind that I was going to get some pictures of the magnolia trees in bloom. I just had to. The magnolias are only around for such a short time that I had to try to capture their essence on “film.” Of course, you can’t capture the fragrance in a picture so it’s much better to be there to see and smell them.

Then, I was in my car, all by myself (which is very rare, might I add) and my husband called me to tell me there is a rainbow just ahead. Sure enough…there it is! I get very excited by rainbows…almost emotional. They are just such a reminder of all that is good and beautiful in the world. I almost brought my camera too, but didn’t.

Lastly, and an amazing end to any day, was the monthly 2 hour candlelight yoga class. I joined this particular studio last month because I was intrigued by a candlelight yoga class once a month. It really is phenomenal! There is a short class on yogic practices in the beginning of the class, then the yoga practice itself, and then there is extra meditation time at the end. You leave the class feeling energized and whole once again. It makes me happy I am making the decision to follow this path.

Necklace from the materials I bought the other day

Necklace from the materials I bought the other day

Then we get to today…a little different than yesterday. Today began with lots of doubt and frustration. I kept looking at the necklace that I made from the materials I bought the other day and feeling that it just wasn’t right. Is it too boring? I know there are a lot of jewelry makers out there so my pieces have to be interesting. I know I am just at the beginning of this venture and absolutely have to get a thicker skin. I need to take some classes so that I can take my work to the next level. There is only so far I can go with bead work, because woven work and seed beads just aren’t my style. I really want to incorporate more wire and metal into my jewelry. I feel that’s what is necessary to keep my pieces looking modern and young. So sometimes I doubt myself a bit and then I talk myself out of it….you can do this!

Today I had frustration with the business part of this endeavor as well as the artistic part. I am not finding it easy to find craft shows where I can sell my stuff. I guess I just didn’t realize how competitive it was. It’s hard to find the info you need to even find craft shows. Many of the deadlines for this summer’s shows are already past. I’ve never done a craft show before, so I’m not sure I want to do a juried show yet. I would like my first one to be close to home, not too small, not too big…laid back. It seems like the craft show people take this stuff very seriously. Don’t get me wrong, I take myself seriously, but come on!!

And then…there is all the internet marketing stuff I have to learn. What have I gotten myself into? There it is again..you can do this!! I chose to do things this way…to learn as I go. I guess all of this doubt and frustration is all part of the learning process. I would rather go through it and learn from it, than stay in one place and live my life afraid of being a failure.

The bright spot in my day…Kira. I took her to the library to take a picture with the bunnies from the Luv-N-Bunns bunny rescue center. This was the best bunny I have ever seen. He just sat there and had his picture taken with all of these kids. He didn’t try to hop away or anything. Of course, Kira was the child that wanted to pick the bunny up. As I tried to take her picture, I could see her start to struggle. I was the only one who knew how badly she wanted to pick up that bunny. She ended up not moving the bunny…I don’t think she knew how heavy it was going to be.

This is Kira trying to pic up the bunny instead of just getting her picture taken like everyone else.

This is Kira trying to pic up the bunny instead of just getting her picture taken like everyone else.

I guess from now on I will have to do a better job of keeping up with my posts…this is rather long. Kira is telling me it’s time for the tea party…I’ll let you know how it is.

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