penny threads.
beautiful ideas. beautiful things.
29 June 2010
Just when you get comfortable...
...your whole world goes topsy turvy. I believe that the strength of a person lies in their ability to adapt to and benefit from change. Unexpected change, at that.
Recent changes include moving into a house with my younger sister, Miriam, who just graduated highschool and needed a roommate, my parents deciding to get divorced after an almost 20 year marriage, a new job as Internet Product Manager of Gunslinger and personal assistnat to owner Melissa and seperating from my boyfriend of two years, whom I still love very much.
My life is nowhere near where I thought it would be. But I don't feel bad for that. I am done wasting time feeling bad for the things I have and have not done. At this point I am focusing on moving on and hopefully, moving up.
My decision to move in with my little sister was not completely unselfish. The opportunity afforded me a roommate as well, to share a beautiful old house with tons of potential and closer to my mother's house. It allowed me to control many of the variables in my life that I previously had no control over.
My parents' divorce, though heartbreaking for both of them, was a long time coming and is, I believe, for the better. I think that they will both be happier people.
My new job, well, is wonderful and challenging and a huge opportunity for me. For those of you that know me on a personal level, you know that I hated my past job as a bookkeeper at a place that afforded no potential for advancement or pay raises for that matter. The working conditions were less than savory, in fact the store manager just recently got fired for stealing. It had been suspected for a long time but never had it been able to be proven. You can imagine how frustrating it would be to work with someone knowing how dishonest and two-faced they are.
And the last development is the hardest to endure and adjust to. I won't discuss the details here other than to say that it was probably the hardest decision I have made thus far. But I do believe that in order to be fully able to make someone else happy, one must first feel fulfilled and satisfied in their own soul. I was not and am not but am currently taking steps to reach that point. And I hope that we will both be better for it. that I've gotten all that out there I want to share some sneak peeks of my new daily routines and my new house.


One thing that I would like to target and change about myself is my health and fitness. I have not been happy with my weight and appearance for some time now so...I woke up at 6:45 am to join my mother in a 2 mile speedwalk with handweights on a road with plenty of hills and length. It was quite a workout, one that I plan to commit to at least 3 days a week to start.

After the workout I showered and then cooked breakfast for Miriam and I. A part of changing my appearance is changing my diet. So, after wanting to try it for a long time now, I got some turkey bacon.


Verdict: It's pretty good. It does taste more like spam than actual bacon but for 65% less fat than bacon, I'll eat it! It's a good source of protein and is VERY low in saturated fat compared to bacon. So yay for the turkey.

After breakfast it was time for the unfun boring stuff: cleaning. Let me just say that the only reason I enjoy doing it now is that it stays that way for a long time. I got around to some much needed organizing of my craft stuff and my bedroom.


My new studio and crafting area is setup in half of our breezeway, which gets tons of natural light and ventilation. Perfect!


I have setup wine bottles and dried flowers along our windowsill in the breezeway along with this lovely beaded Mona Lisa curtain I got years ago.


Cleaning is always pleasantly interrupted by the antics of my new little kitten, Ponyo.


She is such a doll and I love her sooooo much! I spoil her rotten which is fine by me. She's getting quite fat and sassy too.

I did get sidetracked for a couple hours when organizing some fabric and idea struck me.


Had to get it down before I lost motivation. It is now available for sale in my Etsy shop: I have a lot more in my head like this. So definitely keep a look out for some new artwork and creations.


Just outside of our breezeway on our front covered patio is a nest of mud swallows who have 6 babies that just started flying yesterday!


Thank goodness, because the momma would get so threatened every time we sat out there and fly close to us chirping angrily. Now that the babies have flown the nest we can evict them so that they will set up house elsewhere.


We are going to eventually fill our patio with plants and flowers.


And this little stone planter that runs the length and down the side of the patio will be filled with herbs and pepper plants someday.


We've got a Mona Lisa print in our living room as well, just above our fireplace. I can't wait for winter already, with images of crackling fires and s'mores roasting dancing in my head.


Some thrift store finds that make up the decor, which will be finished sometime soon I hope.


Our primary focus right now is the living room and kitchen. We are working on finishing up painting the kitchen and then will be painting the living room. I can't wait to show you it when it's all finished!


My sister and I are also learning French. No reason really, other than we both wanted to learn it and it's fun. She updates our little marker board in the kitchen with phrases and pronunciations every few days. It's slow going but I'm making some progress and have added a few phrases to the little I knew already.

So far, I am doing well. I have many hopes and goals that I have set for myself and I feel as if I am on the right track. I hope you'll stay tuned during my journey. I will try to keep it interesting.
Much love and well-wishing to all of you!
Ciao for now,
Renea Hanna.
Penny Threads. Penny Pictures.
05 May 2010
A Scene Can Invoke a Sound.
That's what I definitely feel like lately. It has been a very busy couple of weeks. Lots to mention, including the loss of our community in the passing of a very notable local character. Out of respect, I won't disclose any details, but know that there was a community wide shock and sadness and I spent some time last week participating in some activities in honor of his memory.


One of the events was held at my most frequented place in town, aside from my workplace, Mulberry's Wine and Cheese Bar on Main Street. While I was there with Jonathon (he works there as the panini chef)helping set up, Sandra needed some photos taken of the bar for a spot in a Western magazine. Luckily I brought my camera, as I always do, and I got to take the photos. I know it's not a huge thing but I am super stoked to see my photos in print, however unprofessional they might appear.
I am also working on some signs for categorizing the wine. Sandra, Mulberry's creator and owner, had the brilliant idea to categorize the wine by regions and countries and gave me a stack of wine crate boards, a list, and told me to get to work. So much going on and coming up, I don't want to bore you. You'll hear about it all as it happens. PLUS! I am hoping we get to go on a river trip this weekend...sunday? Laura, if you're reading this, we'd like for you and James to go if available! Let me know.


Anywhoooooo....I went off on a tangent. As you have probably noticed I have been taking a lot of photos lately. I find it very calming to venture off and get lost in clicking around life and so have been allowing myself some time with Dolly, the camera, and nothing else. I really want to get to know it.
I don't have a tripod yet, so I have really been focusing a lot on my control when shooting in low lighting situations.


This really conveys to me a very quiet moment. And it was. There was the light. Me. And the stillness. I still feel that when I look at these.


At this point I was crouched on top of my desk, balancing myself up high enough to swoop in on this beauty. This was the remnant of one of the bouquets Jonathon had gotten me. I like to dry them all and this one seemed to have quite a presence. I just love the textures!

Alrighty, I'm off to bed. Thanks for stoppin' in and keepin' in touch. I have been meaning to ask all of y'all what your favorite part of spring is. I'm curious. Leave me a message and let me know what you're enjoying most and what you're looking forward to! Much love well-wishing!
Ciao for now.
Renea Hanna.
Penny Threads. Penny Pictures.
29 April 2010
What I've been up to...(Pt. 2) a lot of down time with friends and family. Like I mentioned in the last entry...I am going through some creative dead time...not sure exactly what's wrong but I'm kind of just laying low and enjoying the people around me hoping that it returns soon. I have had the urge to start writing again, however that's a different story for a different time. I have a poem beginning to crawl from the depths of my head-vault and I am trying not to be anxious for it to take form. They scare easily you know. *wink*


So as I said...downtime. This past week Jonathon and I got to spend some time along together on his family's ranch while they were in Houston for the circus. It was really needed and I enjoyed being with him one on one. Not that I don't enjoy everyone else, however, when you're in love with on one time just brings you that much closer. I feel more myself when it's just him and I.


I love him so much. I don't express it in the most convincing ways sometimes...but I really do. We've been together almost two years now and I can't imagine anyone else being in his place.
Awesomely enough, the weather was absolutely gorgeous during out days together and one day in particular we spent outside a lot.


We went for a walk to the back pond that had filled up with water after having been bone dry for about two years and played a little fetch with Pachuca, Jen's lab. She's obsessed with fetch...and as Laura would say, that is an understatement. I love this pic...looks like both Jonathon and Pachuca are waiting for me to pick up the ball and throw it. LOL!


After our walk we headed back to the cabin and I had the urge to be out on the tank in the paddle boat. It felt like a great day for being out on the water. Jonathon and I emptied the rainwater that had filled the paddleboat and then shoved off.



After pushing off and drifting away from the shore we soon discovered that we had no steering capabilities and just went in circles. Upon closer examination Jonathon discovered that the rudder was not attached! Oh no! So through a series of paddling forward in a semicircle, drifting and paddling backwards in a semicircle we got close enough to shore for Jonathon to pull us back in and try to reattach the rudder.


We got it back on, however, when we shoved off again it dug into the mud and got stuck. We decided that it was pointless and having discovered that through a little patience and maneuvering we could get back to shore just fine we decided that paddling in lazy drifty circles around the water was better than giving up and not enjoying the water at all. So we threw our misgivings to the wind and drifted on.


We drank a couple beers and enjoyed the view, relaxed and trailed our feet in the water. Pachuca was stuck on shore and was pacing the perimeter of the tank, thinking, "You guys! I want to go too!" At one point it looked as if she was going to swim out to us! Silly puppy.


I have been toying around with reflective surfaces as well and really liked the way this one came out. I hope to be utilizing some more reflective sufaces soon such as chrome on vehicles and windows. I also have some ideas with mirrors as well. Anyone else have any reflective surfaces I should play with?



When we finally headed back to shore (because we ran out of beer, should have brought more out there) Jonathon played a bit of fetch with the crazed and left out Pachuca while I snapped some photos.





Spring is obviously still in full bloom here as you can see. I am enjoying all of the colors and vibrancy. I will shoot it while it's here because soon enough it will be too hot to be out for long and then it will be fall. Looking forward to some great summer adventures though it looks like the beach is out of the question due to that horrendously horrible oil leak happening in the Gulf of Mexico right now. Such a thing just breaks my heart and it's moments like that when you wonder how much longer you'll be able to enjoy the beauty of this earth if we keep up the way we are. My heart is heavy with that this week.


The time we got to spend together this past week was amazing and fun filled and intimate at times. I could definitely feel my love for him deepen and it was a reminder to me to enjoy his company more than I have been. Every day is a gift and nothing is guaranteed. If you love something...well by golly, make time for it and cherish it while you have it!

Ciao for now you wonderful people. I hope all is well with you and yours and if it's not, I hope that it will be soon and that you can have the foresight to see the sun will rise again and things will get better.
Much love and well-wishing.

Renea Hanna.
Penny Threads.
Penny Pictures.

P.S. I am also having a sale in my Photography shop Penny Pictures! Buy one print and get another of your choice for free! Go check it out and show some love. ;D
26 April 2010
What I've been up to... a lot of down time with friends and family. Every now and then I need to take a step back and recharge. Sometimes I have to wait for the storm to pass and for my drive to return. So here it is in photos, because that was the one creative avenue I felt at ease with...


Modeled the awesome head wrap that Betsy of O Bella Naturals sent me for my birthday. I just love it and you'll see it in some later photos on an adventure with my lil' sister.


I spent some time at my mum's house and got some great shots of her Clematis Vine that's making it's way up the patio trellis'.


I am also toying around with the idea of abstract macro shots of things found in nature, like the one here of this dandelion. I really like the way the black and white interact without needing the explanation that it is a tangible item. It is just there, this little piece of interest, asking to be noticed.

My younger sister, Miriam, and I decided to go on a little photo walk and see what we found.


She's so pretty and she doesn't even know it. Silly girl. It's a pretty cool thing to be able to admire a younger sibling. She's pretty amazing and I'm sure those of you that know her will agree.


The sun was setting as we were walking and it provided some really great photo opportunities. The past couple of weeks I have really enjoyed experimenting with lighting and how to manipulate it with the camera. It's been challenging and so much fun! Most of the time the sun in my lens inverses everything and it's impossible to tell what the photo will look like until I view it afterward. I just love the unpredictability of that!


We came across a tree that had long fallen in the lake and decided to venture out onto it. I sent the little sister first. She's expendable. Hehe. Totally kidding.


I then left Dolly (my camera) in her capable hands and ventured out myself. It was fun and my bare feet felt really good on the trunk. That sort of connection really helps when you feel sapped and uninspired. It does for me, anyway.


The lake on our family's ranch is just gorgeous right now. It is full and bustling from the recent rains we've had. I grew up swimming in this place. My brother and I and our cousins would all venture down there with floaties and flipflops and towels (unsupervised, the best part) and spend the whole day there only going home because of the growling in our guts.


It really felt good to get back to the roots and stomping ground and soak up some of the amazing energy and life out there. It's a quiet place with lots of beauty to enjoy. My studio is actually located on the same property so that world of possibility is right out the door, be it for the better or for distraction. ;)

I will be posting more of the past week so stay tuned. I am off to bed now. Darn that 8 am doctor's appointment.
Y'all have a good evening and sweet sleep when you do drift off.
Ciao for now.
Renea Hanna.

P.S. Right now until Midnight on May 2nd I am running a BUY ONE GET ONE sale on my Penny Pictures Etsy site! Go take a peek...a lot of the ones you see here are there for sale and if they're not, just ask. Ciao!