Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Angels Among Us...

Since I was not sure when Jen would return to do this, I took it upon myself to create a collage of some of the 'Angel' photos.

I found it hard to just pick a few, because all of them are adorable, meaningful, and just so darn good!

Hope you like it, and the new banner for New Years. I made the background out of mediums in my art box, nd if you want to see them closer, just click on the photos to enlarge them!

Happy New Year from the 'My Town Blogger' Team, and hope you all enter the new year feeling anew with LOVE, HOPE, STRENGTH that Sara Williams shared with me in an email.


Chef E

Saturday, December 26, 2009


To kick off the new year our assignment is UNDER CONSTRUCTION. The first thing that comes to mind might be building sites of construction companies, or construction projects that we are involved in.

However, the possibilities are limitless. Maybe you would like to feature the construction of your new year's resolutions.

Another idea, to paraphrase a popular saying, " It takes a village (or town) to raise (or build) a child."

Maybe some of you, literally, have a new life under construction.

A recent thought, posted on my blog "Meandering Moments of My Mind" was, "Our best should, forever, be under construction and improving."

Perhaps, our artists and poets could share artwork or verse, not yet finished.

My Town Shoot-outs is ever evolving, so maybe personal thoughts about our progress could be featured.

I am always fascinated with the steps of "doctoring" a photo by some of our talented photographers. Maybe you could show us how the amazing final products are arrived at. Patty, I demand that you participate in that. Well, maybe, demand is a strong word. Please!!

I'm excited to see your takes and shots on the assignment.
One of the appealing things about our group is the diversity in evidence each week. I am honored to have chosen the first theme for the year. Do us proud as we welcome 2010. Happy New Year!
Thanks to all. Gordon

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has participated in the FSO. January will mark one year since Reggie Girl and me started the shootouts. Wow! How a year changes things. We lost Reggie Girl (still alive and kicking but no longer a member), and many people have come and gone. But mostly people have stayed.

Due to my time restrictions and crazy newspaper job, you have also lost me, at least as a Friday shooter. But thankfully other people picked up the ball and kept things going. Gordon is still an adviser. ChefE, GingerV, and Sarah have made great administrators. Jen also worked as an admin for some time and did a wonderful job as our photo editor.

I want to thank all of you for your hard work. And believe me, it is hard work. And the pay is not that good.

I also want to thank the participants. We have some wonderful shooters and I have seen a lot of you become better photographers. Sometimes seeing is learning. But this is not at all about who has the best photographs or techniques.

The FSO was designed to share, meet, laugh, and enjoy. The best things that we can give each other are a part of ourselves. And everyone has done that so well. Also, being able to go around the world in an hour or so is a pretty good deal to me.

I hope that the FSO continues in 2010 and beyond. Change and growth are good. There will always be stumbling blocks, but I have confidence that your team administrators will keep things moving along.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Send me photos for New Year Banner!

Any funny, or festive photos you feel spoke about your 2009 year!



Chef E

Do not forget 'Angels' by Kim is the theme...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Members Voice- Angels

Angels are:

Divinely inspired, shimmery, feathery beings that show up on tombstones, in church stained glass, sculptures and paintings.

Divinely appointed people in your life that bring kindness and acceptance.

Divinely created beings; cat, dog, horse or human that ministers to the soul or proclaims a message that needs to be heard.

There are Angels everywhere!

Best Regards,

Kim Jozwiak

Monday, December 21, 2009

Some Favorites...My Town Dressed for Christmas

This beautiful shot by Gordon!!

This Swordfish dressed for the season by Heather cracked me up...

This one by J9 is just so cute..I loved it!!

This darling Bear was captured by Rebecca!

Look at that beautiful face, dancing the Nutcracker!! Wonderful Kathy!!

E is feeling a bit under the weather today, so I am pinch hitting with a few of my favorites!! I so enjoyed everyone's pictures..Merry Christmas to each and every one of you! May your holidays be filled with joy and peace!! Truly, Sarah

Friday, December 18, 2009

January 2010 topics

Please make a note of our future topics by glancing at the 'Future Topics list' on the side panel and a ways down, take a look at the 'suggested topics' list and see what will be coming up later in January and February. By adminstrative decree, I moved Gordon's suggestion up to the top because I thought it gave us a lot of room to work with New Year's Day. Check out the rest of the list and see if your name/suggestion is coming up and let me know if you want to change your suggestion or clarify it in any way - Please email me if you have a new suggestion or a change - gingerv@gigalink.com.br

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Weather: Photos of the Week

Hello, friends. It appeared that Photos of the Week were not happening. Even though I am not on the Administrative team now, I have not forgotten the password. I started this feature months ago, so maybe it is more interesting to me than others. Hoping that I will not step on someone's toes, here are the choices for the week.
Let me remind you that Photos of the week is not a photo contest. Hopefully, it is a cross section, representing different types of photos you posted. Thanks to all of you who posted this week. Merry Christmas. May your trees be surrounded with family love and joy, this holiday season. Gordon

Jessica's horse is ready for a warm stable.

Redlan's clouds have, not only, silver linings, but gold as well.

Kerry captured fall transitioning to winter.

Jama had the My Town spirit in our weather shoot.

Ginger's lofty view of the peaks wrapped in white.

Cindy braved the elements to make us all shiver.

The fat man is already in Queenmothermamaw's neighborhood.

And finally, Elaine sends best wishes to all of you.


Thank you for your patience. Have a great week.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 18 - My Town dressed for CHRISTMAS - by TownBlogger Team

DSC_6171 The idea for this week’s topic came from the need to fit our Town-Shoot-Out to how busy we are this month and what we are busy doing. There is not any of us that don’t admire how our town celebrates the Christmas Season – it becomes just a matter of carrying our cameras in our back pocket so while we go about shopping or to tree lighting ceremonies or going to school plays or pageants, or watching our children and grandchildren participate in the church choir, we can snap some photos to share. GingerV

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Member Voice – Emma and Weather

December 11 - (Christmas season) WEATHER by Emma

Ever since I was a little girl, I've been interested in the weather. I remember being in 5th grade and wanting to be a meteorologist. I would open up my parents' encyclopedias and read about any word I could think of that had to do with meteorology. When watching TV, I would actually sit for hours just watching The Weather Channel. My parents DSCF0185had a big screen TV and I would stand in front of it (and in front of the meteorologist) and give my parents the forecast. I never wanted to be a storm chaser. I just wanted to be the meteorologist in front of the camera like I pretended to be in front of the TV. Coincidentally, I would sit glued to The Weather Channel any time there was as much as a thunderstorm watch, because I was TERRIFIED of tornados. I know it's a funny mix to love meteorology yet be terrified of tornados, but I'm a funny girl. ;) I'm not sure what peeked my interest in the weather, but I've never let go of seeing a big cumulus cloud and wondering how long it would be until the storm rolled in.

When I think of trying to photograph weather, I think about, again, any type of clouds, the sunset, a beautiful snowfall...should the weather cooperate for us, I thought it would be a fun topic to catch on film! :)


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Photos- My Favorite Things

When Gordon ask me to post these last night I looked at the choices and thought, it must be hard choosing the ones for this post, because I liked all the photos at each site I visit each week. So many talented people in our group!

Scriptor had this amazing bird, and it seems to be telling us something- Happy Holidays!

Not sure why this came out so small, but it's beauty and purpose is rather large to me- Thanks Shabby Girl!

Simply Heather- Angels were always part of the Christmas tree in our house!

Oh I am sure this got a chuckle or even a belly laugh out of most of us! Thanks Barry & Linda, it reminded me of my fathers sense of humor...

I had chosen this photo for the FSO banner, and smiled when I saw it in Gordon's picks. Sarah, I cannot wait to see all of our Christmas photos for this next weeks theme chosen by Redlan!

I hope I did an okay job with this Photo feature, Thanks Chef E! AKA Gordon's Shadow

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Member Voice – A Christmas message for you - By Redlan

Hello to all!  It's Christmas!  It's the biggest holidays on the Philippines' calendar.  My country has earned the distinction of celebrating the world's longest Christmas season.  Christmas carols are heard as early as September and the season lasting up until Epiphany.
There are different Christmas traditions in the Philippines.  Traditionally, Christmas Day in the Philippines is ushered in by the nine-day dawn masses that start on December 16.  It is known as the Misa de Gallo in the traditional Spanish and in Filipino as Simbang Gabi.

misa de gallo

The Filipino Christmas would not be complete without the traditional Philippine Christmas symbols and decorations.  Christmas lights are stung about in festoons.  For Filipinos. Christmas Eve on December 24th is celebrated with the Midnight Mass, and immediately after the much-anticipated Noche Buena- the traditional Christmas Eve feast.  Some would also open Christmas gifts at this time. 

gift giving

How about you guys?  How Christmas is celebrated in your country/state/city/town?  I would love to know.
This Christmas, I created a paper art Christmas tree of our group.  I hope you'll like it.

xmas tree

I also made some photo Christmas postcard too.  I will give it to the first 7 commentators of this post.  You can contact me through email.

xmas photo card
Happy Holiday to all!

PS- Anyone that has not submitted Christmas photos for the Banner; it is not too late. I can fit more, and the background is Ike & Mike photo I took for fun. If anyone has any photos for upcoming Holidays please send them and I will create files, and any suggestions for Holidays you celebrate outside of USA, please let me know! Chef E, elizabeth@cookappeal.com

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mr. MckLinky Information..

My Town..MrMckLinky

Hi everyone!! After much discussion we have decided to add the Mr. Mcklinky to our weekly Shoot out. I'm popping in to fill you in on the details and how it works. I have also added instructions on the new page! I will add a link to the main FMTSO blog!

Each week if you have posted a Shoot Out, you will then go to the Mr. MckLinky page and add your name to the post for that week. When you go to that page you will see a part that says, "You are next..click here to enter you link" click there and you will be asked to add two things.. your name and a link to your blog..

Example...name..Sarah Cottage Garden Studios
link.. http://cottagegardenstudiophotos.blogspot.com

Once you have entered these two things and clicked "enter your link"..your name will pop up above on the list! This way we can see who has posted a Shoot out and if you click on each name it will take you right to their blog..no guessing! Please do not post your name there if you have not posted a shootout..but please use the links to go visit those who have:)

I think once we have tried it once or twice..everyone will see how easy it is to use! Please feel free to email me at cottagegardenstudio@gmail.com if you have any problems or questions! Namaste, Sarah

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Discussion part 2

I was going to copy over all the comments – but whoooo! Way too much to read.  I did a count of yeas and nays from emails and comments, and ended up with 9 yes / 3 nos / 2 well whatever makes you happy makes me happy – I put them on the side of yes to MrLinky.  (even though my personal preference was no change) 

index_linky-2_7_1 A statistical cross section of our gang voted 11 / 3 for MrLinky.

I am inserting email dialog with Sarah for you to read , maybe will start to make this easier to understand – going back in time!

From: Sarah S. - It really is pretty simple and I would not mind taking care of it weekly...  The members would only have to go to the page and add their link.  Would be more than happy to set up another blog…. Here is the Mr.linky to one photo group that does this you can see what it looks like.... http://lisaschaos.com/loving-life/ scroll down and you will see MrLinky in action…this site will have another one tomorrow if you want to see an open one as it grows…..  Sarah

On Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 10:39 AM, Ginger vanStaveren wrote:  Seems very complicated and I am not sure about adding something that needs more weekly care – this would be to eliminate some work …. 

Maybe a new website for the MrLinky with a link to that list on the current site would be the best bet….   Lets think about this before jumping into it. 

One thing though if we have to add a new link every week it would need to be on Wednesday – some international members post early on Thursday which to them is Friday

I think I have a problem with visualizing (I am always visual in my understanding of things) how this helps all those that don’t want to post every week … Definitly we need to do something so the really busy members have an option.  That would be the goal to keep enjoyment high, members coming back week after week, and if possible increase communication.

Keep track of the blog post and comments, and we will decide before the end of this week…. Okay?….

From: Sarah S. Sent: Sunday, November 29, 2009 3:21 PM
Subject: Hi...

There are two ways to do this....add a weekly MrLinky to the regular blog site...or create a new blog for that purpose. Basically how it works is ...

I or someone else would create & add the code (from MrLinky) to the blog each say Thursday evening...all the members would have to do is add their name and blog link to the post. This will create a list on the post of each member that is participating that week. (if you don’t post you don’t go to the website!)  This list will allow each member to click on the other links and go right to each members FMTSO instead of guessing about who is participating. The only part that is at all complicated is posting the link every week...  I don't think I would have any problem doing that for the group if you would like.  Let me know what you think….Hugs, Sarah


  • I will ask Sarah to create a MyTown – MrLinky web site.
  • There will be a link to that site on our current MyTownBlogger site – under the header. (I don’t know if this is wise – ?)  I will suggest that you make this MyTown – MrLinky web page a favorite for your use on Fridays.
  • We will try and have this operational this week (Wednesday) but if time doesn’t allow …..
  • Maybe we can run for a few weeks and see how it works – work out kinks before we declare it the new way – WE will keep the member list on the side panel – after the new year you can ask ChefE to take you off it if you like.  Basically I would like to keep the list to help ‘the others’ check out our personal blogs.