Flower Power

If you follow my photo site on Facebook, then you heard about my daughter’s boyfriend ambushing us on Valentine’s Day. I picked her up from college for a weekend visit and he was waiting for our arrival with a bouquet of beautiful flowers.

Unfortunately for her, and fortunately for me, her dorm does not allow flowers in the dorm rooms. Something about them being a fire hazard. I asked her if they realize the flowers are in water…she rolled her eyes. So, pretty flowers got to stay with me.

This morning before work the sun was streaming in through my glass block windows and created a great light effect. I was lucky enough to have a few minutes before I had to leave to snap a few photos.


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Liberate Your Art

This is the first year I’ve participated in the Liberate Your Art postcard swap. Such a very cool idea! I have absolutely loved it, it was such fun to receive artwork in my mailbox from all over. The swap, organized by Kat Sloma from Kat’s Eye Studio, consists of sending Kat 5 postcards along with postage and address labels. She receives postcards from all over the world (1290 of them!) and then mixes them up and sends them out all over the world. (Ok, that’s a really simple way of explaining it – it is way more work than that!) I think this was the coolest  thing I’ve been involved with and can’t wait to do it again next year!

This is a pic of the postcard I sent. I haven’t seen it posted anywhere yet, so I have no idea where it went. I would love to find out! (Info about my cards is posted at the bottom of the page.)




The first postcard I received was from Sassy at sassyangelac.com. She shared some yoga with me: the Warrior Pose.


My next card is a painting by Suzanne Sperlwww.sperlygirl.com. The quote on the back of the card reads: “get out of the way – step on up – step into your greatness – let your light shine – let your love show” – kebmo


My next card reads: “Go your own way” by p’shaw design with this quote on the back: “You get whatever accomplishment you are willing to declare.” – Georgia O’Keefe.


My fourth card is from Deanie Houghtaling from Wildsandsphotography.blogspot.com. Deanie loves carousel horses and the horses pictured on the card are from the Arizona State Fair in Phoenix.


The last swap card comes from Judith www.hollowjb.wordpress.com and is a colorful scene of parasols and patterns.


And my last card came from Kat Sloma herself, thanking the participants in the Liberate Your Art 2013 postcard swap. Kat’s card is beautiful blue design called “Adorned and Alone. Kat’s website is www.kateyestudio.com.

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I plan on framing all of my postcards together with a simple black frame. I’m hoping to find a special frame at the Goodwill and give it another life. Kat has put together a slideshow of all of the artwork used in the swap. I will post a link as soon as I can. Overall this was a great opportunity and I loved participating.

Liberate Your Art Swap Participants

A little about me: I am a single mom to two redheaded teenagers. My daughter, who I lovingly refer to as “Margo”, is pictured on my postcard. This was a photo that I took of her for her senior portraits this past fall. She will be entering Northern Illinois University this coming fall and I will so miss my photo buddy. Now I will have to drag my son around for photos. He will love that, I’m sure.



The next photo on my card is a monument in the cemetery where my father is buried. I was taking photos around my hometown last fall and the colors of the fall trees were just spectacular.



Living in Chicagoland we get to experience all four seasons – most of the time. This past fall was when I decided to start taking photos a little more seriously, and it was a good time since I love the fall months the most. Color is very important to me – I just love bold bright vivid colors and this fall we had an abundance of color in the fall leaves.



This final photo is kind of an homage to my daughter who is a big fan of the TV show Doctor Who. I took this photo in the same cemetery where my father is buried and I spent the better part of a beautiful fall day. Although I am not a religious person, I love sculptural angels, and photograph them every chance I get.



In addition to photography, I am employed by the local school district, and also run a social enterprise called Blanket Statements where for each blanket purchased an additional blanket is donated to a women’s shelter to help women in need.

There are many ways to contact or follow me:

Leslie A Photography: www.leslieaphoto.com, www.facebook.com/leslieaphoto, email: leslie@leslieaphoto.com

Blanket Statements: www.blanketstatements.org, www.facebook.com/blanketstatements, email: info@blanketstatements.org

April 15th

Today is tax day. I did mine, myself, for the first time ever. Mailed them out last week. I’m quite proud of myself actually. So today was going on like a normal day…work, out for photo taking at lunch, more work this afternoon – then I heard the news.

Bombings at the Boston Marathon. At first I thought it might not be anything too serious. I hoped it wouldn’t be anything too serious. It turns out it is something serious. My heart is saddened. I know Boston. I’ve wanted to live there for years. Ever since visiting there in high school back in 1981. I thought it was just a fabulous town.

When my then fiance and I decided to get married – we eloped due to all sorts of issues – the first place that jumped into my mind was Boston. I loved it there. We did elope there – met a justice of the peace in the Boston Public Garden on the fourth of July. I don’t have any photos since we were alone there. It was a good time, though. Boston on the fourth of July. We ate lunch in the Union Oyster House. With Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. There were there fresh from the parade.

We walked all around town. Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, Old North Church, Paul Revere’s House, the Commons. I love it there. Today I am saddened. It hits close to home. I know this city, I’ve been there. My heart is saddened for the good people of Boston.

I took these photos over the weekend. They seem appropriate today.

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Oh I love a rainy night…

That is a flash-back reference to my high school days working at Tin Cup Restaurant, which was a country western themed restaurant/bar. Cue up some Eddie Rabbit on the juke box, and enjoy this set of photos I took while vegging out in the passenger seat on the way home last night. It was going on midnight, and I’d had more than a full day’s work, and the colors and reflections of the lights just hit me the right way. I hope you enjoy them.


Super busy snowy week

We’ve all had them. The week that just gets away from you. My kids are involved in activities at school. The girlie just finished up her last high school musical – The Wizard of Oz. Best high school production I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen quite a few, as well as played bass in a lot of them. Their technical elements and costumes were just spectacular. I wish I could have taken photos, but they had a real paid professional there taking photos and I didn’t want to intrude. Story of my life – never wanting to intrude.

And the boy is in baseball. Every day baseball. So I am spending long hours in the car waiting, mostly without internet connections because the high school seems to be in some sort of pit where no connections can be made. I did spend a lovely couple hours sleeping in the sun in my car the other day. I enjoy the sun.

It’s also been a busy week health-wise. Doctors appointments, tests I’ve been putting off for years, finally getting things taken care of. It feels good to know that is all done. Just the waiting on results now. My doctor is over an hour away (and a tank of gas) so while I was down there I took advantage of the snowy day to stop into a forest preserve I’ve never investigated before. Got some lovely photos. Tried to sneak up on the wildlife, but they heard me coming a mile away, as my 14 year old mini van is squealing something terrible. I think I need a Prius. I’d be able to sneak up on nature then for sure.

Here are a few photos:

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Social Entreprenuership

Do you support social enterprises?

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Probably the first one that jumps to mind is Toms Shoes. One for one. But there are many, many, many, many others. Yesterday I wrote about The Feed Projects and their bags and other items that support feeding the world’s hungry. Tom’s puts shoes on the feet of children worldwide that would otherwise be barefoot. But there are so many more out there – small little companies that were founded by people who envisioned a better world for all.

In reading up on the Feed Projects/Target partnership, this quote in the USA Today (March 11, 2013) caught my eye: “There’s no question that consumers globally expect companies to do more than just make money,” DaSilva says. “Companies are expected to support issues and be good citizens. That is the cost of doing business today.” That quote is by Alison DaSilva of Core Communications, a pubic relations company that helps businesses carry out cause-marketing and corporate social responsibility efforts, from a 2010 study done by Core.

They claim 81% of consumers want companies to give them a chance to buy a product that benefits a certain cause. 

As a person with a social enterprise myself (Blanket Statements), I want people to be aware of what they are purchasing and who it is benefitting. Yes, The Feed Projects collaboration with Target will undoubtably benefit people people worldwide by the additional purchases, but it will also benefit Target – a large corporation who is looking at the appeal of cause based products to younger consumers aged 18-24 years old who overwhelmingly choose products  over another based on whether or not they support a good cause. So it is a win-win on both sides here.

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But bear in mind that there are social enterprises for almost every purchase you are looking to make. It may be easier to buy that item while you’re in the big box store, but that purchase is in a lot of cases mainly affecting that corporations bottom line. And what has that big box store done for you lately?That toothbrush you just bought? If you had visited Smile Squared your purchase of a toothbrush means another is donated to a child in need. A child who otherwise wouldn’t have a toothbrush or access to any dental care.


Rethink your purchases. Spend a few minutes and find a way to make your hard earned dollars spent go farther. A great resource is the Social Enterprise Database put together by Give to Get Jobs. There you can find thousands of companies – social enterprises, L3C’s, B-corporations, and other social businesses. You work hard for your money – make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck. And that doesn’t mean buying the cheapest items out there.

Do a bit of research – in many instances the items are of better quality, workmanship, and cost virtually the same – but do some much more good in the world. And purchasing items made in the USA means you are helping to get this country back on its feet.