Monday, November 30, 2009

Spotlight Photos!

Happy post-Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope that all of you here in the US are recovering from your weekend food comas nicely and that everyone else had a wonderful weekend. I'm here to show off a few weeks worth of Spotlight Photos (who's a slacker? This girl! Sorry for the delay!).

Spotlight Photo - My Town's Premier Attraction


From Kerry's visit to the University of Oregon:



And Ginger's trip to Nova Friburgo in Brazil:



Spotlight Photo - Places of Worship

I loved Heather's photo of this quote - I think that it sums up the spirit of our little group. "Making friends of strangers" - while I don't actually know anyone here, I feel like I have friends all over the world through the connections made through our blogs :)



NanU had a beautiful cliff-side shot of a little French church:



Spotlight Photos - Faces and Smiles

Honestly, with this theme, I could've picked one from every blog that I visited. This was such a fun topic - you really can't help but smile when looking at all of these happy faces. Here are a few of my favorites:

I loved Barry and Linda's vampire:



Since Christmas is just around the corner, I had to include one from Kent's hunt for the perfect tree:



Here's a wonderful blast from the past from Scriptor Senex:



And my personal favorite this week from Redlan - this could be one of the cutest little girls that I have ever seen!



Have a fantastic week, everyone!

Best,
kate :)

Member Voice - Mark for the Townblogger Team

December 4 - a few of my favorite things - by town blogger team is our first pre-Christmas theme. Mark (of Bagman and Butler Fame) has honored us as the guest member voice - GingerV
Mark your on ...

....Aside from the fact that I can't quite remember the words to These are a few of my favorite things and so I'm loudly singing, "Rainbows on lollypops, birds of a feather; gingersnaps, sourkraut don't go together, when I fly kites I hold tight to the strings, these are a few of my favorite things!" Well...it fits with the music. Go ahead sing it out loud and see!

Anyhow, Ginger asked me to write something clever to get us fired up for Fridays shoot
and I really am fired up. Because you can do anything with it! Variety! Anything you want! As long as its a favorite, of course. For me it was really fortunate because December 4th was my grandfather's birthday and I had planned to do a thing about his paintings no matter what the theme actually was.

In fact (here's a secret) -- when I decided to do a series on my grandfather I secretly wrote to the Shootout Team (at least Ginger) and tried to kidnap the theme and change it to "ARTWORK." Then I realized that since his art was my favorite, I didn't need to!! It fit anyhow.

So you can do anything! Dig into your archives! Go shoot the sky, your pet, your spouse, your sweety...whoo hoo! This should be fun to see the different things and approaches people take! For me, one of my favorite paintings my grandfather did long ago was of my mother as a young girl at the lake where I grew up. Fortunately he was in an impressionistic period at the time. It hangs on our livingroom wall.
See you all Friday!

Was that okay?

Mark

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Housekeeping -

imageI have been following several conversations in comments and via email and during the night when I was supposed to be sleeping I was thinking.

Lets look at all of the following as a brain storm, okay? Please give additional suggestions as you think of them…. GingerV

It seems to me that we have developed two groups within our members, those that love posting photos and dialog within our standard process [post on Friday, spotlight your town with photos, post at least once every 3 weeks, but more it better, post a “I’m not here” post, etc.] and those that love the idea, but find it difficult to participate within our ‘guidelines’ [have time constraints, travel for work, have illnesses within their families, are just plain tired, don’t take their cameras in their back pockets everywhere they go, etc.].   I really don’t see why we can’t have it both ways.  We can have a list of gang members on this site for group #1, and MrLinky for group #2.   

Right away I ran into problems with this…

I went to the MrLinky site and didn’t understand one word of it.  Is there anyone who understands how to set us up an account?  Is there anyone willing to set this up for the TownBloggerTeam web site?  AND explain to us all how it works, very clearly so even oldies like me can understand!

I see this solving several problems.  No one has to ‘monitor’ everyone’s participation, if you want on list #1 you say, “put me on #1” (and by being on list #1 agree to full participation?) and when you want off you say, ‘take me off’ and can still participate by way of MrLinky when you want, if you want.  ANYONE who wants to post via MrLinky can  - no waiting list. (?)  [ChefE may need to add something here because there may be reasons we want an informal list / limitations being maintained and this is outside of my knowledge of the process, and we don’t want sites that advertise – commercial or private, do we?]

I don’t know if we are still having Spotlighted Photos – there hasn’t been any for several weeks, but if that continues, the person doing that task could decide how many of group #1 & and how many of group #2 would be included…. it is there time after all – looking at as many blogs as they have time for.

Anyone from either group can visit and comment on all posts.

While I am at it, I had one more thought – what if we expanded to poetry / short stories / and or Photos still focused on our towns and the people in them.   (short stories, 500 words or less?  This is now at 478 words as an example.)

Any comments are going to be copied an inserted into ‘Discussion part 2’

Talk to me!

Friday, November 27, 2009

FSO Guidelines

A reminder for members who missed it the first time- Gordon posted this asking how everyone felt about how we approach deleting members who are either have busy schedules, or are not serious about posting weekly assignments. 39 of you responded that these guide lines seemed fair.

If anyone sees there name is missing from the list is free to request to be added back. Mistakes sometimes happen, so please be forgiving. Unless you request yourself be removed I would leave you a note, or email you before removing you.

Sincerely,

Chef E

SURVEY - FORUM- Posted: September 19th, 2009, by Gordon

I. Do you visit this blog weekly? If so, leave a comment, here.

I suspect that many have their own links to member blogs and very seldom come here. As you visit member blogs please ask them to come and participate in this survey.

II. What criteria should we use when considering dropping links of members?

We automatically drop members if they don't post for three weeks running without a sensible reason. Chef Elizabeth is doing a terrific job at documenting activity of our membership. Without her, we would be frustrated by visiting blog after blog with no weekly shootout posted.

III. Should we expect members to at least leave a post saying that they will not be participating on a particular week, or that their post will be late?

These things seem to be common courtesy to me.

IV. Would you like for us to organize a group email list to send out info like this in the future?

I think frustrations have been reduced as many who were not seriously interested have been eliminated, but, we don't want to lose anyone. I consider this to be a group of worldwide close friends. Give us your general thoughts, without pointing fingers at anyone.

I apologize to anyone who has been dropped in error.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

The 'My Town Blogger' wishes you all on both sides of the ponds a very blessed day today! Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or other holidays, may it all be full of blessing!

Some have and will be busy during the holidays, and a few post are missing here and there, but I am sure it will all get back to normal after January. We understand the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Even Gordon has had computer issues and let me know yesterday.

I am also looking for some shots of Christmas decorations around your town for a special 'Christmas Banner' if you would like to send them to me... elizabeth@cookappeal.com, and thanks!

We just hope you and the families are doing as well as possible. Love and Peace to you all!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Member Voice - Sarah

"I am really thrilled to offer up the theme this week "Faces and Smiles". I am a Mom of five, artist and teacher. Running my own preschool... I get lots of opportunities to shoot happy faces. I have discovered that I have a passion for catching faces when folks are not looking, fun, candid shots. I live in North Idaho, Coeur d Alene. It is a tourist area... we have a wonderful lake for summer fun and winter skiing is just a short drive away. With all of the summer fun here, I get lots of wonderful chances for people shots. I hope that you have some fun with this one!! I can't wait to see all of the faces from your town!
Let Fly with the smiling faces." Sarah

This Thursday is Thanksgiving in the USA, is it Thanksgiving in your town / country also? For me Thanksgiving means family and friends, friendly faces, lots of smiles and that's why the blogger team picked Sarah's topic for this week. If your country is not celebrating Thanksgiving this week no matter - have fun with the topic, if raining go to the mall, if snowing sit in the reading room of a book store - anywhere there are children there are smiles - help yourself to the photos. GingerV

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Member Voice - Kent

By living in one of the most famous, most photograghed cities of South America - no THE WORLD - I don't know if this weeks topic is an advantage or disadvantage. Kent in Montana (http://tresoaks.blogspot.com/) chose My Town's Premier attaction for this weeks topic. He tells us, "Since we all live in such different places, I thought a good theme might be to show what your hometown is most noted for. For example, the town where I grew up is Greensburg, Kansas, the town now most famous for being blown away by a tornado in May of 2007. So a photo set of tornado damage, or maybe some of the incredible rebuilding effort would be appropriate. Before the tornado though, this little town was most noted for having "The World's Largest Hand Dug Well". It was advertised on billboard signs, and even on the city signs as you entered town along highway 54. So that would be the picture I'd use if I still lived there. All towns have something they are known for. I guess a picture of a big apple might suffice if you live in New York City. Or if you lived in Atlanta, the 'Big Chicken' would work.The way to inspire yourself is to think, "If someone local saw your picture, would they recognize the subject as being from your hometown"? Happy shooting this week, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's hometown." Kent..
GingerV

The New Banner
The new banner is up. This will be an on going process that will change periodically. Creating this banner takes time to place, view, and get a feel for balance and which pics fit the design. In order to have this at a good dpi, the right size, and clear each time; I have to take care exactly how many fit into the space.

Thank you to the response I received on my call for photos!

We have many to choose from and it will be fun surprising you with new banners every two months!

~ Chef E

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Member Voice - Rebecca

This week I picked places of worship because I was thinking that so many churches & synagogues (etc.), have such interesting architecture and symbolism both indoors and out. In addition, there is often much history surrounding the older buildings used for worship as well, adding to the interest. Whether simple or ornate they are often designed to speak to the soul. But by all means get creative and go beyond just buildings and architecture if you'd like!Image attached or link
Thanks, Becky

Spotlight Photos - Skylines

Greetings, all! I'm here, once again (albeit nearly Tuesday at this point...where, oh where, do my weekends go??) to bring you the Spotlight Photos of the week for the Skylines theme. Since it was my theme, I'd like to start by saying 'well done' to everyone! I loved looking through everyone's blogs to see each individual take on the theme...the variety was great - and just what I was hoping for. Farms, mountains, cities, oceans - you guys rock.

Anyway, as hard as it was, I picked out a few of my favorites for this round. Enjoy!

Kathy in CA brought us a few shots from her hometown of Dublin, including this awesome shot of the Sybase headquarters - the reflection off of the windows is great!

I have a soft spot in my heart for New York City, so I had to pick one of Mark's shots of the World Trade Center in 1971.

Next up is a shot of Paducah's downtown through the windows of their awesome Performing Arts Center from Patience:


How could I pass on picking this beautiful shot from Shabby Girl of Verda Valley in the Tuzigoot National Park?



Finally, my personal favorite from this week comes from Doreen in Grand Rapids. The colors! The lights! Swoon...



Again, great job, everyone! It was hard to pick so few :) I'm looking foward to seeing the next round of pictures - have a great week!

-Kate-

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Member Voice - Kate

November 6 - Skylines by Kate
"My topic is up to bat this week and I picked Skylines. One of my favorite things to see when I go to a new city is the look of their skyline - and for me, skylines can be the look of a small-town Main Street or the giant buildings of a huge city's downtown or a field full of corn. What is the "skyline" that you think of when someone mentions your town?"
Kate-
Centro Rio de Janeiro from the bay harbor by GingerV

Monday, November 2, 2009

Park Landscapes - Spotlight Photos

Hey, everyone! I would say "happy Monday", but really...is there such a thing? I loved everyone's shots this week and being given the chance to pick out the Spotlight Photos this time around - I'm sorry if I didn't comment on everyone's work this week, but I spent most of the Halloween weekend in a Sudafed-and-fever-laden stupor. I'd read someone's blog, look at the pictures, comment (I think) and then move on to the next blog...and then spend the next 10 minutes wondering if I actually HAD commented. It was a very confusing Sunday :)
_
Anyway, here are my picks for the Park Landscapes Spotlight Photos (in no particular order):
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This one is from Kimberly's visit to the Olympic National Forrest in Washington state. I love the almost eerie beauty that all of her pictures had...

The next one comes from Emma's trip to the Grand Canyon - such an adorable shot of her son and husband :)

I'm pretty sure that Jessica had more fun with this topic than anyone else - take a look at her bright, fun park pictures with her and her friends if you haven't already gotten a chance!




This lovely beach shot comes from Sarah Lulu at the Coff's Harbour resort...being stuck in Kansas and, therefore, about as far from the ocean as I could be, I think that I have a natural attraction to all things beachy :)



Jen showed such beautiful contrast between "old" and "new" playgrounds - the bright jungle gyms and slides were so fun, but I just loved this picture of the cutout children:


Finally, Sarah showed us Tubbs Hill in Couer d'Alene. I loved the winding start to the hiking trail that she used to introduce all the different things that her park had to offer:

Well done, everyone! I'm off now to dip myself in hand sanitizer in the hopes of killing off whatever cold/flu/whatever I've picked up this time. Have a great week!

-Kate-

PS - My topic is up to bat this week and I picked Skylines. One of my favorite things to see when I go to a new city is the look of their skyline - and for me, skylines can be the look of a small-town Main Street or the giant buildings of a huge city's downtown or a field full of corn. What is the "skyline" that you think of when someone mentions your town?