Lisa Hannigan’s “I Don’t Know” video

29 10 2012

A fellow blogger (quilt and sewing artist Wendi Gratz of Shiny Happy World) shared this very creative video on her latest posting and I love it as much as she does. Be sure to watch it to the end—the tune is catchy and the paper cutwork is amazing!

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Franck & Kris

29 10 2012

On Saturday, September 29, I photographed Franck and Kris’ wedding, held at their home on a lovely fall afternoon. The entire event was pretty unique, very laid back and a lot of fun.

Franck and Kris each have two sons who served as attendants. The most memorable moment—Franck’s eldest son piloted a remote control helicopter around and over the guests during the ceremony and it delivered the rings to the bride and groom. He had been practicing all week and Franck told me before the ceremony that he wasn’t sure if Kris would give final approval for this unorthodox delivery of the rings, but at the very last minute she agreed!

The officiant was Kris’ very tall brother, who wore a bright orange suit—I heard that it was custom made and had something to do with celebrity Johnny Knox but I didn’t get the entire story. And finally, the bride wore a bejeweled black evening gown (a first in all the more than 100 weddings I’ve photographed), but it worked beautifully for this event and she is very photogenic as is her handsome husband! Once the music started, the dance floored was filled and stayed that way the entire evening with a very lively bunch of guests. Hats off to Franck and Kris for creating a memorable and very personalized special day for their family and friends!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Craft Studio: Bedazzled beaded bracelet in blue

28 10 2012

Last weekend during my beading birthday bash I created this cuff bracelet for my friend Dawn. I used a blank wire cuff, 24 gauge non-tarnish silver wire, and an assortment of beads in various shades of blue. The star of the show was a piece of inexpensive square glass—the kind you get in bulk bags to fill vases. You can buy the bracelet blanks at Michael’s in a two-pack for $2.99 (you’ll get one of these and another style that I haven’t found a use for yet). I just discovered they’re available in a blackened-silver and a bronze color, too. It’s an extremely easy project and takes an hour or less to complete!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





A few more Ginkgo photos

27 10 2012

Learn more about the beautiful Ginkgo grove at the Blandy Experimental Farm here.

The following narrative is excerpted from the brochure, “A Guide to the Ginkgo Grove,” published by the State Arboretum of Virginia at the University of Virginia’s Historic Blandy Experimental Farm.

The Story of the Blandy Ginkgo Grove
The Blandy ginkgo grove is one of the largest collections of ginkgos outside the tree’s native China. Given their autumnal glory, a visitor might assume that Blandy’s ginkgos were planted solely for their beauty. But this grove is the happy result of a scientific experiment.

Dr. Orland E. White, Blandy Experimental Farm’s first Director, began collecting ginkgo seeds in 1929 from a single “mother tree” on the University of Virginia grounds in Charlottesville. After these seeds germinated, Dr. White’s students planted over 600 ginkgo saplings to determine the sex ratio of this tree. Most plants are both male and female, but like holly, persimmon, and other species, ginkgo is dioecious, meaning a tree is male or female, but not both. Dr. White hypothesized the sex ratio would be 1:1. He did not live long enough to find out if he was right, but of the 301 trees that survived to maturity and for which gender could be determined, 157 were female and 144 were male. Statistically speaking, this does not deviate significantly from 1:1.

A Living Fossil
Ginkgo biloba is often described as a “living fossil.” It is one of the most primitive seed plants found today, and it’s the only surviving representative of its plant family (Ginkgoaceae) and order (Ginkgoales).

The earliest ginkgo leaf fossils date from 270 million years ago. During the Jurassic (200-145 million years ago), the era of dinosaurs, ginkgos were already widespread. And by the Cretaceous (145-65 million years ago), ginkgos grew in what is now Asia, Europe and North America.

Ginkgos disappear from the North American fossil record about 7 million years ago, and from the European record about 4.5 million years later.

Western scientists first learned of the ginkgo in the late 1600s, when living trees were found growing in cultivation near Buddhist temples in China. Thus, the sole remaining member of what was once a dominant plant group remains a link between the present and our geological past.

The Silver Apricot
The word “ginkgo” originates from a Chinese word meaning “silver apricot.” When mature the fleshy ginkgo seed—ginkgos don’t form fruits—has roughly the size and appearance of a small apricot. Historians trace the earliest documented use of ginkgo as a food and herbal medicine to 11th century China, and it is still widely used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine. It’s important to remember that if eaten raw, gingko’s fleshy seeds are poisonous, and we ask visitors not to collect ginkgo leaves or seeds for this or any other use.

Research shows ginkgo extract has three important actions on the body: it improves blood flow to most tissues and organs; it is an antioxidant which protects against cell damage; and it blocks many of the effects of blood clotting that have been related to a number of disorders. Western medicine has recently focused on Ginkgo biloba to protect against memory loss, but clinical trials have not confirmed this.

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Let’s Chip It!

27 10 2012

Thanks to fellow Pinterest-user, Vanessa Lam, I learned about Sherwin-Williams new color-palette-generator at http://www.letschipit.com. I can see that this new toy is going to be a huge waste of time huge benefit to my design, craft and photography projects. I love collecting color palettes to reference on my Pinterest boards, but now I can create my very own. Here’s my very first palette using a photo I shot at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens a few years ago. Way too much fun to use!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Corey Frye’s interesting take on the “Bucket List”

27 10 2012

I subscribe to Corey’s blog and thought this post he made this past January was a really great take on the “Bucket List.” We should all heed his advice! Click on the link below:

http://afrenchfryeinparis.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/my-bucket-list-twist/





Ginkgo tree “web”

26 10 2012

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.