observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

  • Welcome to my photo journal

    Living on Vancouver Island in B.C. Canada Diane loves the scent of forests and rain, the rhythms of the sea, and holds discoveries and stories in high regard.

    Where mornings begin with a drum roll! --Diane M Schuller

    Updated each Monday ... simply an online journal of an ordinary life. Come on in to enjoy a breath of West Coast air.

    Van Isle 360

    Yet again, I’ve slipped in keeping posts current. In the next few days I hope to post at least two short ones to show you a few things I’ve been up to. Back on June 9th we got together at the home of one of our neighbours, along with several others they had invited, to watch the second leg of the 2013 Van Isle 360. This sailboat race, as the name suggests is done in several legs with contestants racing around our island. “The Van Isle 360 runs every other year on the odd year and attracts some of the top sailors in the Pacific Northwest.”

    It was a bit chilly that morning with a strong wind so the conditions were ideal for the racers. I was surprised to see that many of the crew members sit on the edge of the boat with legs dangling over the sides — I imagine that was to keep it from keeling over the other way! When we watched them through the binoculars the crew members all seemed quite at ease with that situation.

    If you’re interested in seeing all the photos I took that morning, visit my Dropbox link where all the thumbnails will appear: click on the first photo to view it at a decent size and simply use your right arrow key to see the rest of the images. You’ll see that I was also quite smitten with their woodpile so took photos of it as well! Enjoy.


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    Susan - June 19, 2013 - 9:38 am

    My neighbour was planning to sail in this. I must catch up with him and see how it went.

    lisa - June 19, 2013 - 11:39 am

    Diane, these are beautiful.
    I would love to be on one of those boats! 🙂

    Sherry at Still and All - June 19, 2013 - 4:44 pm

    What fantastic shots! What an incredible location for a sailboat race and how lovely to be able to watch from a friend’s place. I would have been in my glory. Thanks so much for your sweet comment on Still and All. Glad you have been living life for real rather than vicariously. Me too. We have that in common! Cheers, my friend.

    dinahmow - June 20, 2013 - 4:13 am

    Beautiful, Diane. The perfect first-coffee drool!

    Shirley LeMay - June 20, 2013 - 10:16 am

    What a wonderful day of sailboat watching. I am always amazed how the crew keeps the boat from tipping over. And the various knots they tie! Such beauty in these captures.

    Candace - June 22, 2013 - 10:39 pm

    Something so romantic about sailboats. In the 80s, I used to sail a lot…but never in a location like this. Beautiful shots.

    words, marvelous words, and rain too

    “In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” ~Aristotle

    “Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.” ~Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

    {bee on rhododendron, above}

    {busy bee blurred in background, above}

    April Rain Song

    Let the rain kiss you
    Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
    Let the rain sing you a lullaby
    The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
    The rain makes running pools in the gutter
    The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
    And I love the rain.

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    Candace - May 31, 2013 - 9:38 pm

    They’re gorgeous, they look like they should be in a magazine promoting nature. I love the first one with the postcard texture. I hope you received my postcard, I sent a couple others at the same time and I know they received them but they were in the US.

    Michele at Sweet Leaf - June 1, 2013 - 4:31 am

    Beautiful garden pics, Diane. I love the quotes you added. And that Unwanted book looks really good, too. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Gabriele - June 1, 2013 - 7:06 am

    My garden is wildly green and damp. I can watch it grow. If the sun would come out i’m afraid there would be a riot out there. Your pictures show the whole beautiful story of my garden, too.

    Sherry at Still and All - June 1, 2013 - 3:02 pm

    It’s raining heavily as I read your wonderful blog and I’m happy for my garden. We’re so very far behind you it’s not funny! I adore the rich colours and beautiful shapes of your flowers and I hope to see some of mine at some point this summer! There is not much to photograph these days of that nature…Your blog is a sight for sore eyes, Diane!

    Susan - June 3, 2013 - 8:29 am

    I’ve been complaining about the rain this week. Thanks for getting my perspective back on track with the Langston Hughes poem. It looks like I may have a garden by August, until then my garden is growing in my dreams.

    lisa - June 3, 2013 - 10:52 am

    What a beautiful post and images, Diane.
    Truly the magic of spring.

    Susan - June 10, 2013 - 5:46 pm

    What a coincidence Diane, I just posted some rain pics and the exact same poem today! Great minds think alike. :). These images are exquisite! Nice that we won’t have to water the gardens for a bit!

    the fallen

    I’ve always loved how flower petals look when they have fallen, particularly when they pool like these have done.

    I’ve been taking a few photos lately so I’ll share some in the next few days — and will even include flower petals still on their respective plants! How does your garden grow?

    “Softly and still it grows and grows, petal by petal, leaf by leaf.” ~~ Susan Coolidge

    “It’s at the edge of a petal that love awaits.” ~~William Carlos Williams


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    lisa - May 30, 2013 - 5:55 pm

    Our garden took a bit of a beating last night, with some very bad storms, but today the sun came out, and by the end of the day, things were looking better. I actually love seeing all the petals on the ground, especially from the cherry trees. So beautiful, and so are these photographs, Diane.

    Wishing you a wonderful evening!

    Sherry - May 31, 2013 - 5:20 pm

    Beautiful images, Diane! Love the rich colours. We just planted our garden and, for the first time, I am growing flowers for cutting. I’ll let you know how I make out with the holihocks. Thanks again for sharing them!

    Susan - June 10, 2013 - 5:48 pm

    I love seeing all this glorious color both on the plants and off! Magnificent!

    This is just to say

    One of my favourite poets is William Carlos Williams and one of my all-time favourite poems is his, “This is just to say”. It’s a favourite of millions or billions of others. Here’s a copy of the poem with my own ‘poem’ beneath his ‘talking back to it’ and using his as a model.

    This is Just to Say


    I have eaten

    the plums

    that were in

    the icebox


    and which

    you were probably


    for breakfast


    Forgive me

    they were delicious

    so sweet

    and so cold

    ~ ~ ~


    This is Just to Say


    I have finally laughed

    right out loud

    expressing joy

    without you here


    and knowing

    you always said

    to me

    be happy


    Forgive me

    I tried to return in time

    to hold your hand

    in your hour of death.


    Still missing you Mom.

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    Sheila Marie Delgado - May 13, 2013 - 11:49 am

    Lovely Diane…

    Susan - May 13, 2013 - 5:53 pm


    Sherry - May 14, 2013 - 6:27 pm

    Oh my goodness, Diane. That got me right in the gut. So simple, so powerful, so deeply felt.

    dana - May 19, 2013 - 4:08 am

    absolutely beautiful & powerful.

    lisa - May 19, 2013 - 5:09 am

    This brought some very big tears, Diane.
    It is truly so beautifully written.
    I love my mom almost 13 years ago now, and there is not a day that goes by, that I don’t miss her.

    Andrea - May 20, 2013 - 4:50 pm

    I got your postcard. Thanks so much. You will probably get mine at the end of this week or beginning of next. Let me know when you do! Nice poem and photo!

    Ms. S - May 22, 2013 - 10:01 pm

    Beautifully said and such an evocative photo. Hope you are well. 🙂


    andrea - September 3, 2013 - 4:11 pm

    I have tried to return a thousand times to hold Adam’s hand in his hour of death.

    Liberate Your Art 2013 — the blog hop

    I recently took part in  a postcard swap organized by Kat Sloma along with 216 other artists around the world. The general idea was for any visual artist of any medium to take photographs of their art (or if their photographs are their art) and have postcards made either of a variety of images or just one. We each sent 5 postcards to Kat and she sent each participant 5 postcards from other artists plus one from herself.

    Can you imagine the excitement waiting to see whose art and what type of postcard would come in the mail? Checking the mailbox each day became such an adventure and was always full of anticipation. I love opening the mailbox finding a real piece of mail, from an actual person (artist) including a handwritten message — what a treat. The blog hop mentioned above is like a finale for the swap so a link appears at the end of this post should you wish to visit other participants also blogging about their participation in the swap.

    Each of the postcards I chose to send were entirely different from each other (and sorry I didn’t photograph them before sending them out). Since each one was unique in its image, I chose to write a unique message on the back of each one as well. So far, however, I have not heard back from anyone who received one of my postcards. A bit disappointing but those whose postcards I received made up for that disappointment. If you did receive one of my postcards please don’t be shy — say “Hi”. {UPDATE: I found one! One of the lovely recipients posted my postcard on her blog! I see the card was a bit damaged in transit but that adds character.} It was delightful and surprising to see each postcard — and in one case, to actually feel the postcard — what a unique experience. So here are the unique works of art on postcard that I received:

    First to arrive: This beauty from Natasha Papousek of musingsofahennaphile. Natasha wrote an inspirational quote on her postcard plus this message: “My art made it to you! And I hope it makes you smile.” It certainly did. Natasha actually added a textural element to her postcard by adding the little gold glittery dots. I still run my fingers over the card to feel it. That is art to enjoy visually and texturally.

    Second to arrive: A lovely photographic work of art by Mel of ispeakmelsh all the way from the UK.  On the back was an inspirational quote plus a lovely and meaningful handwritten message. Thank you Mel. I love the bold colours on her art.

    Third to arrive: A unique work of art from William Charlebois titled, “Abercrombie Moose”. When I visited his website, I could see he has a very unique style and, being very familiar with moose, was pleased to receive this particular work of art. This is art that makes a person smile — and muse a bit too.

    Fourth to arrive: This cute little red head from fellow Flickr-ite Carola Bartz. I’ve always been intrigued by red heads and the gal Carola painted causes me to grin each time I see her. Carola wrote a lovely Eleanor Roosevelt quote in her own handwriting. This particular postcard has a bit of a story. I had the postcard for a couple days already and while spreading the postcards out I noticed something on the surface of this one. When I looked closely, I could see there were lip marks on the face of the red head. Yes, no kidding! Someone along the way must have loved the painting by Carol Bartz and actually kissed the postcard but left behind very distinct lipstick marks with their lipstick!

    The fifth postcard to arrive: This artistic photographic art from Duck Island Guy. He wrote one of my favourite quotes by Marcel Proust in his own handwriting on the reverse. Check out his website for more interesting photographic art. The method he uses to enhance his art certainly makes a person want to look deeper but I can’t help but be drawn to those dramatic clouds and the couple on the beach.

    The final postcard to arrive was from Kat Sloma, who organized and did all the work putting this together for all of us. It’s titled, “Adorned and Alone”. Isn’t it a beauty? I love how she has adorned the tree with the blocks of watercolour — Kat is a very inspiring artist. Thank you Kat for all you’ve done once again in getting artists together to liberate their art and share in this exciting project.

    Talk about a handful of unforgettable art and I was fortunate to receive each one. Each year Kat creates a video using one image from each artist — the video alone is beautiful and incredibly inspiring. Don’t miss her video. I just watched it and the art will amaze and inspire you — I promise. One of my postcards is featured at exactly the 1:00 minute mark at the beginning (the one of the swans). I’m going to let Kat tell you about the video because she explains it so well:

    “Enjoy this year’s video, which includes one piece of art from every participant. The collection is an amazing tribute to the individuality and expression that comes through art. (Be sure to watch it in HD if you can, it looks awesome! Also note that there is a pause partway through, as the songs change, so don’t stop watching too early.)”

    The thumbnails below allow you to hop around to many of the blogs belonging to the participants who, like me, will show you the art they received and likely tell you something about it.



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    Sherry - May 9, 2013 - 9:58 pm

    Well, it’s early Saturday morning and I’m a bit tired…but I stayed up to join the blog hop for Liberate your Art right at the beginning. Thank you for being the first to comment! I love your post and all the gorgeous pieces you received. What incredible variety. I love yours all together on the piano. I can’t wait to start going through the blogs. I only heard from one person who had received mine so I hope to find more. I know you do too. But I’m sure wherever they are they just love them! Sweet dreams…

    Linda - May 9, 2013 - 10:14 pm

    Such fun to see the art that came your way.

    Mel - May 10, 2013 - 1:18 am

    Thank you for your kind words – what a thrill to see my card here! 🙂 I do hope you track down the recipients of your cards, I’m hoping to spot more of mine during the hop too. I’m really grateful to you for contacting me to let me know you’d received mine x

    Snap - May 10, 2013 - 4:27 am

    I love mail call! 😀 I’m enjoying the hop to see what was in everyones post. Fun!

    Katie - May 10, 2013 - 4:48 am

    so many good ones! They look great on your piano!

    Jan Smith - May 10, 2013 - 5:04 am

    Wonderful post…What wonderful art you received!.. I’m enjoying hopping around all the blogs to see what lovelies everyone else got in their mail 🙂

    lisa - May 10, 2013 - 5:16 am

    Each of these are just beautiful, Diane!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Sherry Smyth - May 10, 2013 - 6:09 am

    Wonderful collection of art…I’m so glad I participated this year. I’m eager to think about what I’ll create for next year — and what I’ll receive in return!

    Kat Sloma - May 10, 2013 - 6:50 am

    It’s so much fun to receive art as mail, isn’t it? Don’t be too disappointed that you didn’t hear back… just know that your art brightened someone else’s day. They too were anxiously awaiting the art at the mailbox, even if they weren’t comfortable reaching out to others they don’t know. Thank you so much for participating this year! It was great to have you.

    Tammy - May 10, 2013 - 8:15 am

    I am so enjoying the blogs. You can tell the true story tellers…fantastic to see the project through your eyes. Hopefully your cards will pop up soon, I’m sure they were works of art that are going to be treasured for a long time.

    dana - May 10, 2013 - 8:16 am

    hopefully thru the hop you will find out where your cards went to. Beautiful post!
    cheers, dana

    Stacie - May 10, 2013 - 8:36 am

    Wonderful post, I love the collection you received. It’s always so much fun to be able to look forward to the mail arriving, excitedly checking when the postcards start to show up!

    seabluelee - May 10, 2013 - 8:42 am

    What a beautiful collection of art you received! I love seeing them all lined up on the piano. Like you, I was disappointed not to hear from anyone who received my cards, but Kat’s comment above is of some comfort. And maybe some of them will turn up in the blog hop.

    Karen - May 10, 2013 - 11:24 am

    Last year I only knew where one of my postcards ended up; it is a bit disappointing. Hopefully, you’ll find one or two on the blog hop!

    Suzette - May 10, 2013 - 12:22 pm

    I love the wonderful postcards you received and I’m understanding how you feel having not heard from anyone myself as to where my postcards landed. But, I know they’re out there somewhere and I hope they made someone’s day. I hope to find one or two of them in the Blog Hop…I hope you do too! Take care…

    Cathy H. - May 10, 2013 - 2:18 pm

    Beautiful cards! I love the way you displayed them and also included the backs, great idea!

    Leslie A - May 10, 2013 - 3:01 pm

    I enjoyed your blog post! So nice to visit everyone and see more art in action!

    Carrie - May 10, 2013 - 4:34 pm

    What a great collection you received! Love that first one so much.
    This was my first year – I look forward to sharing my story tomorrow xx

    Carola Bartz - May 10, 2013 - 6:11 pm

    Diane, you wrote such a beautiful post!! I love how you put all of the cards on your piano. And I still have to giggle about the lipstick on my card… 🙂

    Natasha - May 10, 2013 - 6:46 pm

    Love how you presented your cards and what you said about each one. Beautiful! I’m so glad you got one of my cards and appreciated the glitter dots!

    It’s been such a thrill to be part of this project! Hope to see you again next year (if not sooner!)

    Candace - May 10, 2013 - 7:00 pm

    They’re all so pretty, Diane! I got one from Natasha last year. It’s fun to see familiar names again…from last year’s swap as well as many bloggers that I know from the blogosphere.

    Andrea - May 10, 2013 - 7:27 pm

    They are all wonderful. I wish I could see your postcards. I still have not found mine yet either.

    m - May 10, 2013 - 10:37 pm

    I love the postcards you got! One was from my friend, Bill, so I am biased! 😉

    Chelle - May 11, 2013 - 5:24 am

    You received some great ones. I love the way you’ve presented them.

    Michele at Sweet Leaf - May 11, 2013 - 6:35 am

    Diane, I do still have some postcards left, and I would be happy to send one to you in Vancouver (One of my favorite places!) Just send me your mailing address and I’ll send you some Beauty-by-Mail Liberate Your Art Post Cards. Cheers!–Michele at Sweet Leaf

    Carlyn Clark - May 11, 2013 - 12:48 pm

    What a lovely collection you received!

    catie an - May 11, 2013 - 7:48 pm

    Hi Diane. thank you for visiting my blog and for your sweet comments. I love your photography. It is so wonderful to see the depth of the art that has been sent out. I am so lucky to be a participant this year.

    hula~la - May 11, 2013 - 8:32 pm

    What an AB FAB event! ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS! And I totally dig your piano display case! Nicely done!


    Juana - May 11, 2013 - 9:43 pm

    Thank you for your visit and comment.
    It’s been fun visiting everyone who participated.

    Sheila - May 11, 2013 - 10:44 pm

    Hello Dianne,
    I wanted to thank you for the comment you made on my blog. You made my day! You received such a lovely bunch! It amazes me, how even though we get art from so many different people, it seems as if they all go together.
    I love the story about the postcard kiss! And I think your swans are lovely. They envoke a sense of peace, and remind me of days spent at the lake… feeding ducks and birds of all kinds.

    I tried to subscribe… but i get an error. Thought I should let you know. Oh, the subscribe tab does not work, but i did get subscribed on your sidebar. ( I am so glad.) I am having such a hard time getting my blog link to work. and I have no idea how to put the Liberate badge on my sidebar… need to do some more reading.
    Happy Mother’s day to you!

    Mandy Kopelke - May 12, 2013 - 1:31 am

    Hi Diane, love the way you presented your lovely posties. I hope you find out who received yours, I have found one of mine on FB 🙂 Still looking for the others…

    Valerie-Jael - May 12, 2013 - 2:05 am

    Glad you enjoyed this fabulous postcard swap, too! Valerie

    Joanna Urbani - May 12, 2013 - 8:21 am

    Wonderful postcards, all of them. This was such a fun swap!

    Sheila Hughes - May 12, 2013 - 1:38 pm

    What lovely art you received!! I like how you photographed the back as well. See you during next year’s swap! (Don’t forget to photograph yours lol :)) xx Sheila

    Kristina - May 13, 2013 - 9:11 am

    What gorgeous cards you received. Such a fun swap!

    Tracey Fletcher King - May 13, 2013 - 4:31 pm

    your work is just beautiful and I am glad to come to the hop late as it meant that I read your wonderful Mother’s day post as well… looking forward to my next visit…xx

    Sonya Versluys - May 13, 2013 - 6:25 pm

    Beautiful artwork and I LOVE the thought you put in to displaying each and everyone of them for us to see. Especially all the quotes. I especially love the “Aim for the concept, not the reality” quote–it’s a sentiment I try to embrace. Cheers!

    Prairie Jill - May 13, 2013 - 11:28 pm

    What a beautiful collection of cards! I’m already looking forward to next year’s swap!

    Eileen - May 14, 2013 - 5:56 pm

    Those cards do look neat, all lined up on your piano. What a fun thing to participate in. I can well imagine you haunting your post box for a few days. Normally I only pick my mail up once a week!

    What Mae West said …

    Mae West would approve I’m sure.

    All the ‘background technical updating’ has been completed for my photo journal. You’ll notice a bit of a change to the facade but the biggest changes occur in the background. I see a few of my links (on the widgets at the bottom) need some adjusting but I’ll need some time to figure those out. So yes, I’m photographing food yet again. What I really wanted to share with you is that I’m quite delighted with the artful postcards I’ve been receiving as a participant in Kat Sloma’s Liberate Your Art 2013. I’ll be doing a post towards the end of next week to show you the cards I received and tell you more about this interesting little swap.

    Next week is the organizational meeting for the new book club I’ve joined — definitely looking forward to that. Looks like a fun and interesting group.

    This morning, after we had coffee on our deck, I joined the Newcomer’s Friday walkers on a really beautiful walk along Craig Bay. Wow — great scenery, varied and engaging conversation, learned a few things from the biologist who was walking with us, and saw some rare lady slippers (wild forest plants).

    The sun is shining, the sky has been a cloudless blue wonder all day, and I am headed into the backyard with my book to enjoy the sun.

    Have an active weekend!

    “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” — Mae West

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    Gabrielle - May 3, 2013 - 3:32 pm

    What kind of muffins are they? They look good.

    Candace - May 3, 2013 - 3:59 pm

    Hi, Diane. It’s looking good. I’ll be posting my postcards on the Blog Hop, too.

    hula~la - May 4, 2013 - 5:27 am

    Hello Diane ~ Muffins look yummy! Did you receive one of my postcards from the LYA swap? Thanks for stopping by my blog. The original piece that I made my postcards from is on there. I’m joining in the POSTCARD BLOG HOP next week. Can’t wait to see everyone’s.

    HAVE A GREAT DAY! It’s gorgeous out!


    Steve - May 4, 2013 - 11:44 am

    Wow, these look tasty! Beautifully shot , as always. I’m sure you’re enjoying life on Vancouver Island.

    Jo Murray - May 5, 2013 - 9:52 am

    Lovely to visit your blog, and to see all these wonderful photos. Mae West was right!

    Carola Bartz - May 5, 2013 - 12:56 pm

    These look very tasty, yum! Your food photography is amazing, Diane.

    Susan - May 8, 2013 - 6:57 pm

    So Diane, I really think you should write a cookbook! And it should definitely include all your wonderful food photos!

    Susan - May 8, 2013 - 9:29 pm

    I’m working on a new site. Creating a new look has been inspirational and challenging. Thank you for Mae West, her advice will be part of my planning as I move forward.

    Juana - May 11, 2013 - 9:48 pm

    Oooh … these look so delicious. Love how the background disappears and only one muffin is in focus.