A Cash Cow.. sorta..

•May 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

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Ever wonder why we associate tulips with Holland? I wasn’t sure myself, so I decided to look it up.

From http://www.historyofholland.com/tulips-of-holland.html:

The word “tulip” recalls one of the strangest popular follies that has ever been seen in the world, which showed itself in Holland toward the middle of the seventeenth century. The country at that time had reached the height of prosperity; antique parsimony had given place to luxury; the houses of the wealthy, very modest at the beginning of the century, were transformed into little palaces; velvet, silk, and pearls replaced the patriarchal simplicity of the ancient costume; Holland had become vain, ambitious, and prodigal.

After having filled their houses with pictures, hangings, porcelain, and precious objects from all the countries of Europe and Asia, the rich merchants of the large Dutch cities began to spend considerable sums in ornamenting their gardens with tulips – the flower which answers best to that innate avidity for vivid colors which the Dutch people manifest in so many ways.

…Bulbs of the favorite tulips of the rarer varieties rose to fabulous prices; some constituted a fortune; like a house, an orchard, or a mill; one bulb was equivalent to a dowry for the daughter of a rich family; for one bulb were given, in I know not what city, two carts of grain, four carts of barley, four oxen, twelve sheep, two casks of wine, four casks of beer, a thousand pounds of cheese, a complete dress, and silver goblet.

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Wow! Who knew? The tulip was the precursor of the Prada bag! An elite symbol of wealth that seemingly was available to anyone. At least here at the gardens in Holland even the ‘less than wealthy’ can enjoy their beauty. Unfortunately, our trip ended up being about a week or so too late so see them all in their full glory, many of the bulbs had already dropped and soon will be sleeping again until next spring.

 

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Happy shooting,

Nique’

Visa NOT Required

•May 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Even though it looked and felt as though we traveled half-way around the world this past weekend, truly it was just a few hours away. Imagine windmills, wooden shoes, and rolling hills… and WIND! OMG, the wind was crazy in Holland, Michigan this past weekend! But hubby and I braved the cold and got some great pictures.

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Although this windmill isn’t a working one, it looked so beautiful on this hill (with tulips down below of course) standing guard over the gardens.

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I’ve had fun with photoshop actions in the past but this one is one of my favorites.

 

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I’ll be posting some more shots from our all-to-brief trip soon!

Happy shooting,

Nique’

In a galaxy far, far away…

•May 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

In a galaxy far, far away, a long, long time ago, there was a blog… (ok, the in-house nerd will be stepping way from the the keyboard now) although I stepped away from blogging for a while I’m back. The focus will be different but like everything in life change can be good. Last week I splurged… a huge splurge for me (and my family) and bought a Canon XSi 

yes, a Canon Rebel XSi – the forbidden fruit for many years. Besides chronicling my daughters growing up though, I want to use it to better myself as a photographer. With that in mind, I’ve challenged myself to make a point of using this gorgeous camera every day for the next year. Better some mediocre pictures than it becoming a rather large dusty paperweight. Welcome to my life through pictures

I am a complete novice at, and have only used ‘point and shoot’ cameras up to this point so I welcome your advice and hints and hope to see a real change over the next year. This should be fun!