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 on random Mondays ... simply an online journal of an ordinary life. Come on in to enjoy a breath of West Coast air.

    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.

    Tweet thisFollow me on TwitterPin thisshare on Facebook
    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.



    Tweet thisFollow me on TwitterPin thisshare on Facebook
    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

    Tweet thisFollow me on TwitterPin thisshare on Facebook
    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.

    In the meantime …

    A little sweet to tide you over while I’m in the process of making some major changes behind the scenes of this little place on the web. Please allow me approximately a week to get things re-organized and settled in. I need to have things complete in time to showcase the results of the Liberate Your Art 2013 postcard swap in which I participated. Please check back soon.

    Tweet thisFollow me on TwitterPin thisshare on Facebook
    andrea - April 30, 2013 - 9:43 am

    How can you possible improve it????

    Susan - May 1, 2013 - 2:45 pm

    Will do! Thanks for the cupcake! Although it is way too lovely to eat!

    Debi - May 1, 2013 - 3:38 pm

    I agree with Andrea – how could you possibly improve this amazing place?

    William Charlebois - May 1, 2013 - 4:01 pm

    I want to jump into this picture and eat all of the icing from the cupcake! This photo radiates happiness to me, and that is a wonderful thing.

    Kelly @ JAX does design - May 2, 2013 - 7:53 am

    Mmmmm, cupcakes! Your new blog design is looking great – simple, pretty, and elegant 🙂 Looking forward to seeing it all done. AND, I want to see pictures of your home with all the new paint colours!

    I never got off my butt to participate in the postcard swap 🙁 I’m going to do it next year for sure!

    lisa - May 2, 2013 - 8:38 am

    I looks forward to seeing your changes, Diane.
    I am sure they will be wonderful.
    Thank you for the cupcake too, and yes, I’ll have another please! 🙂

    Jo Murray - May 3, 2013 - 1:45 am

    I look forward to seeing everyones’s postcards…it will be fun.

    There is only now

    “The present moment is the substance with which the future is made. Therefore, the best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment. What else can you do?”  -Thich Nhat Hanh

    I took oodles of photos this spring during the herring spawn seen from the beach below our place. I thought you might like to see some of the photos I took of the voracious and opportunistic seagulls — literally thousands of them descended upon the area during the peak of the spawn.
    flock of seagulls www.dianeschuller.com

    seagulls by www.dianeschuller.com

    Sun-warmed, it was a perfect day to photograph, observe, and take in the feeling down at the beach. The gentle whoosh-whoosh of the sea against the shore was muted by the squeal of the frenzied gulls overhead. Many, either tired or with full bellies, stood on the beach and waited. Taking in a deep breath, the salt air was infused with a fishy hint of the presence of the herring and their spawn. The kind of day you don’t want to walk away; you simply want to remain and be in it.

    There is only now. And look! How rich we are in it. ~ Vanna Bonta, Shades of the World

    Have yourselves a lovely weekend!

    Subscribe to Diane Jarvis-Schuller by Email

    Tweet thisFollow me on TwitterPin thisshare on Facebook
    Gabriele - April 13, 2013 - 10:43 am

    What a hullabaloo! We are lucky to live by the sea and to experience the ecosystem there. Beautiful pictures..

    lisa - April 13, 2013 - 1:31 pm

    They are really beautiful, Diane, and so are your photographs of them!

    Candace - April 14, 2013 - 9:52 pm

    Those are great photos. Seagulls are so fun to watch with their funny antics. I’ve got birds on my blog right now, too. Lately, birds are my favorite thing to photograph.

    Susan - April 15, 2013 - 10:44 am

    Wow, fantastic Diane! So much to feast my eyes on here!

    Sherry Galey - April 17, 2013 - 9:25 am

    Wow, you really captured the gull frenzy! I love that last image, especially. It’s a beauty.

    Carola Bartz - April 28, 2013 - 9:18 am

    Again I find these photos quite fascinating – in my head I added the sound and it was almost deafening… Was it? Stunning photos of the seagulls.

    Susan - April 28, 2013 - 4:56 pm

    What an amazing cast of characters you captured here! I love how well you got some in mid-flight. What a day you had!

    William Charlebois - May 1, 2013 - 4:06 pm

    I have always wanted to live by the sea. The waves breaking upon the shore in a never ending cadence speak of timelessness and in turn hope. These photos of the seagulls are stunning in the way they capture the life of the sea.

    Of Course it Hurts …

    hoar frost2nd-8255

    Of course it hurts when buds burst.
    Otherwise why would spring hesitate?
    Why would all our fervent longing
    be bound in the frozen bitter haze?


    The bud was the casing all winter.
    What is this new thing, which consumes and bursts?
    Of course it hurts when buds burst,
    pain for that which grows
    and for that which envelops.

    Of course it is hard when drops fall.
    Trembling with fear they hang heavy,
    clammer on the branch, swell and slide –
    the weight pulls them down, how they cling.
    Hard to be uncertain, afraid and divided,
    hard to feel the deep pulling and calling,
    yet sit there and just quiver –
    hard to want to stay
    and to want to fall.

    Then, at the point of agony and when all is beyond
    the tree’s buds burst as if in jubilation,
    then, when fear no longer exists,
    the branch’s drops tumble in a shimmer,
    forgetting that they were afraid of the new,
    forgetting that they were fearful of the journey –
    feeling for a second their greatest security,
    resting in the trust
    that creates the world.

    This poem “Of Course it Hurts” by Karin Boye was discovered at Shawna Lemay’s blog, Calm Things. I couldn’t help but be inspired to reproduce it here for your pleasure. Shawna is a writer, poet, and a fine photographer and her blog has many interesting and creative perspectives. I don’t get much time to visit other blogs on a regular basis, but it’s always a treat to pop in and see what Shawna has presented.


    ~ ~ ~
    Subscribe to Diane Jarvis-Schuller by Email

    Tweet thisFollow me on TwitterPin thisshare on Facebook
    Sherry Galey - April 10, 2013 - 9:07 pm

    So nice to see these beautiful images of yours. I especially love the bud. That is what I love most about spring — the buds. I feel the same as you about finding it hard to get around to all the wonderful blogs out there. I have decided to put more emphasis on my own photography right now. It is just too easy to go admire everyone else’s and not do your own! And there is so much else to life as well, right? But I do like to maintain at least a small connection with those who produce thoughtful and beautiful work on their blogs to show them my appreciation.

    Susan - April 11, 2013 - 8:11 pm

    Beautiful images, beautiful words! I may have to borrow that poem…

    William Charlebois - May 1, 2013 - 4:08 pm

    Now you went and did it. Trees are my special muse even though they aren’t often found in my digital art. The poem accompanying your photos is so wonderful.