Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Double dog dared ...


... and dog tired!

I just completed my first double dog dare thanks to the support and accountability of the Squam Artworkshops Community. In January they kicked off the challenge on their new blog and I decided it was just the incentive I needed to complete a task that had been weighing heavily upon the grey matter.

You see, I take a lot of pictures ... but said pictures live in various virtual folders on two computers and two back up hard drives. Knowing that one day the Apple cloud will evaporate (not that I'm in the cloud yet) and a solar flare will wipe out the contents of all of earth's computer hard drives (and yes, one day pigs will have wings ... in fact I'm sure there is one over on Youtube somewhere ...) I've been living on the edge worrying about the demise of this vast photographic record of my family's life.

Okay, so I am motivated by apocalyptic fears but here is a time when fear and angst were put to good use:

my double dog dare - completed!
one is a Blurb Book and the other from Shutterfly

I completed not one, but TWO photo books! The main project - my double dog dare - was to retrieve (yes, woof woof!) the 365 images from a daily self portrait project spanning 2009 and 2010. I had just completed the first Unravelling course with Susannah Conway and a group of us decided to stay together for either a 365 or 52 (one photo a week) project. That I completed that project is proof I am nothing if not a terrier holding onto the end of a sock. Once I commit, I commit.

I admit, once that year was through I was relieved to step away from the task of a daily photograph. But a year later and I realized how that practice made me more attentive to the details of my life. Each day of that year is vivid in my memory because I took time to celebrate it.

february 27 - books

I also discover shifting though a year's worth of work I could identify aspects of my changing style and interests. Many of the images are pretty dreadful in terms of technique but they do chart my progress as a photographer; looking at a large body of work, I am able to identify my true strengths and can begin to more mindfully develop my interests and skills.

And because I had my camera already out, I took lots of pictures of daily events with Cowgirl. I had been making photo albums for her but somewhere in 2009 things fell apart. So a side dare was to begin reconstructing those missing years into photo books. Spurring me on was the fear of one day handing Cowgirl a back-up hard drive saying "Here is your childhood."

For Cowgirl's book I used a fun template in Shutterfly called Project Life, a digital scrapbook designed by Becky Higgans (her products are here if you would rather make your own) which allowed me to type in stories and text to create a more personalized book. (The one thing I like about Shutterfly is your projects stay there indefinitely; a book I made years ago is still available to reprint or even edit should I want more copies for family members.)

Of course I am caught up through August 2009 ... many more books to complete ...

And did I mention I've committed to another 365 project?

feb 21 - studying
feb 21

february 22 - dragons
feb 22

february 23  - stormy day
feb 23

february 25 - distortion
feb 25

february 25 - star student
i think i deserve to be star student

Which means another book at the end of 2012 ...

But this is what you get to see when you complete your dare:

Okay, I just dare you not to want to jump up and take action now! You know you feel a mighty woof coming on. (Thank you Jen Gray, you are a Joy Warrior extraordinaire!)


  1. Yay! Awesome, Lis! I'm so impressed and inspired that you got these books created! This line, "Spurring me on was the fear of one day handing Cowgirl a back-up hard drive saying "Here is your childhood." gives me chills!

    I too love taking photos but get real stuck when it comes to printing. I have only printed photos once after getting my first digital camera, 8 years ago, as a wedding gift. The photos were from our honeymoon. After that, so many photos, but no prints! I think this needs to become a late spring / summer DDD! I know who I'm going to look to for inspiration! You! ^_^

    1. Do it! You will not regret it once you have the book in hand ... yes, let me know and I will be sure to keep nipping at your heels to get this ddd accomplished!

  2. oh how true this rings.
    2010 and 2011 have been waiting for me.
    someday i say... someday...
    so you inspire me, to believe that it IS possible. hurrah!
    i have a feeling the inspiration will even trickle into some kind of action. no bets on when though. right? no pressure. right?

  3. oh I love this
    awesome you!
    the video made me dance!!! and laugh

    love and light

  4. *squeeeeeeeeeee**

    omGEEEEE!! i totally knew you could do it...totally!!

    SO proud....*sniffle*

    that video totally rocked and totally makes me want to get off me arse...


  5. ~i can't see the video...hhhmmm...will try on our other computer!?!

    you my dear are a true warrior at heart...discplined...tried and true...your are the proof in the pudding it can be done...hehehe...you should be patting yourself on the back right now...i have almost 12 years...shun...hiding face in hands...shaking head...of photos on hard drives and external hard drives...this has been on "my list" of things to do...but just never get around to doing it...i have made others books as gifts but never treated us as a family to pictures actually being printed...

    i am in awe at the moment and love what you have created and accomplished...i wonder if i started working backwards, that it might not seem as challenging?!? your little will be able to look back one day at the unique beautiful spirit of her mother and forever be thankful you set out on such a journey...thank you for sharing this with us...something I NEED TO DO...much love light and blessings be with you and yours~

  6. woo-hoo! so glad for you - it does feel so great to complete a project - now you can soar, like the superhero you are!


  7. It's beautiful, Lis!!! What a magical treasure to add to the chest :) You inspire me beyond imagining, dear friend-

  8. Oh WOW Lis, what a project and how exciting to hold your own books in your hands. Of course, having read this post, I went on to create a Blurb book too, as I was so intrigued ( just a small one of my favourite Instagram pictures to begin with )- you are an inspiration my friend. I think this making books thing may well become an addiction, I have discovered that I am not content with having lots of digital images and posts, I want the physical reminders, to hold my work in my hands :)