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Malabar Farm’s Maple Syrup Festival in Photos

We had a super fun time this weekend at Malabar Farm, part of the Ohio State Park system and located in Lucas, Ohio near Mansfield and Ashland.  It was their Maple Syrup Festival and my 11-year-old son wanted to learn all he could about tapping maple trees for tree sap and making it into sugar and syrup. He loves the pioneer and native american historical demonstrations and anything that has to do with ecologically self-sustaining yourself. It was a lot of fun for the kids, and I thought it was a great opportunity for not only photos with my family, but for Breathe Beauty Art and Photography as well. Set back in the forest near Malabar Farm’s historical Pugh Cabin and Louis Bromfield‘s Sugar Shack, it was the perfect environment for relaxing and taking photos with nature. We also crossed Malabar Farm and went to the actual farm itself, something we do several times a year since my son is an avid conservationalist. He loves to learn about Bromfield’s life, check out the wind turbines, the solar compacting trash can, solar panels, the historical mansion. He is enthralled by care for the environment (you can find him on Twitter @environmentlife) and the education that this Ohio State Park offers is incredible. If you’ve never been, check it out at www.malabarfarm.org.

I just love to go to take photos. I guess we all have our favorite things and mine of course is taking photos! Tim, my fiance, actually took some of these photos as well. View the slide show below to see photos of Malabar Farm, the Maple Syrup Festival, and my family enjoying the day. I think the girls’ favorite part was the maple sugar leaf cookies, maple popcorn, maple fudge, chocolate walnut fudge……

If you like my photos of Malabar Farm, please inquire with me at breathebeautyartandphotography@hotmail.com

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My Top Ten Favorite Photos I Took in 2010

The year 2011 is officially underway and I hope to take more photos and improve my skills as quickly as possible. This year I was so blessed with being able to spend time in Florida as well as be able to see the glories in all the various seasons in Ohio.

Here are 10 of my favorite photos from 2010, I hope you enjoy. Let me know what you think, or if you have other favorites!

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Apple Orchards and Apple Cake

Visiting the Apple Orchard

Another favorite part of the Autumn Season for my family is anything that has to do with APPLES!  Yesterday, Tim and I took the kids to Mitchell’s Apple Orchard (a family owned orchard in our small town) and we picked our own apples. They gave each of the kids a small little apple bag so they could each fill their own. We trodded back down the lane to the fruit orchard, watching our three-year old’s glee at picking apples from the tree. Red delicious apples were falling all around us, literally. They were underfoot, falling down, and in the trees. With the suns rays shining down onto the apples though the leaves it was almost like we had stepped into a fairytale from a distant past time.  We also chose some granny smith, which are my son’s favorite (not sure if because of the taste or because he loves that color green).  We were the only ones in the orchard and we felt like we could skip around between the rows and discover all that nature provides. I loved seeing my children so excited over something so quaint as a fruit orchard. They also had to run over to the grape vines (mostly done for the season) and see if they could pick a grape. It was again like shopping at the “nature store” and all of it was provided to us for free from our glorious Earth! How can nature produce such colorful, bold, sweet candy? We had so much fun during this hour, discovering nature, loving the outdoors, taking photos, laughing. And we did it all for $6 (the price of the 1/2 bushel bag that we also filled to bring home). The kids started eating their apples as soon as we got home. I was pleasantly elated that they were excited to eat apples instead of asking for candy.  Life doesn’t get much better than making these kinds of memories. I am sure we will go back at least one more time soon.  For now, I’ve got lots of apples to bake with. Tonight I made an apple cake that we will eat after dinner with vanilla ice cream.

About Apples

Besides being lovely to photograph due to their vibrant colors, apples are also a great snack. They are full of pectin and provide dietary fiber, potassium, beta-carotene and Vitamin C! 

Apple Recipes

Apples  are great raw and cut-up with peanut butter. They can always be used in fruit salad. And there are a million baking recipes where sweet apples become soft cinnamon flavored delights.  Try the link below for many apple recipes and start baking!

http://www.joyofbaking.com/AppleRecipes.html

Apple Cake:

3/4 cup (75 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans

1 pound (454 grams) apples

1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 cup (195 grams) all purpose flour

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk

1/3 cup (50 grams) raisins

Glaze: (optional)

1/3 cup (85 grams) apricot preserves or jam

Apple Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter or spray with a non stick cooking spray, an 8 inch (20 cm) square baking pan and then line with parchment paper or wax paper.Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly brown and fragrant. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack and then coarsely chop.Peel, core, and coarsely chop the apples. Toss with 1 – 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract and beat until fully incorporated. Fold in the chopped nuts, raisins, and chopped apples. If the batter is thick, stir in the milk.Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in preheated oven for about 35 – 45 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.While the cake is still warm, prepare the glaze. Place the apricot jam or preserves in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat until liquid. Remove from heat and strain the jam through a fine strainer to remove any fruit lumps. Alternatively, place the apricot jam or preserves in a small bowl and heat in the microwave. Using a pastry brush, spread the warmed preserves over the apple cake.Serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Cover and refrigerate leftovers. Reheat before serving.Makes 6-8 servings.Sources:Alford, Jeffrey & Duguid, Naomi. Home Baking. Artisan. New York: 2003.Rosen, Michael J. Baking from the Heart. Broadway Books. New York: 2004.Slater, Nigel. The Kitchen Diaries. Fourth Estate. London: 2005.
 
Apples and Children

Apples orchards are a great family fun activity and superb for catching family photos for autumn.  There are many other things after the orchard that you can teach your family. Apples were first brought to the New World by the pilgrims. Tell them the story of Johnny Appleseed and how he went from state to state and planted the apple trees. Where I live in Ohio, we love to talk about this because he actually came through our area planting seedlings.  The Johnny Appleseed Heritage Center is located in Mifflin area, Ohio and information can be provided at http://www.jahci.org . Children love apples and they often are used to represent learning. Did you give your teacher an apple?  Try this link for apple coloring pages for your children.

Go to page:http://www.leehansen.com/coloring/Seasons/pages/apples.htm

Apple Photos

My favorite colors are red, yellow and orange and so I love to photography the natural beauty of red and yellow apples while they are still on the tree, in a child’s hand, or in disarray on the ground. My apple photos, which will be up soon in my online store, are available in any size, on canvas, on gallery canvas, framed, on matboard, and in assorted note card packages of 10! Lovely for autumn decorating and for writing those thank you or thinking of you notes. Watch for them at my artfire store: http://breathebeautyartandphotographybyerin.artfire.com

Happy Apple Hunting!!

  

 

 

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The Domestic Violence Fight Must Continue!

Domestic Violence impacts 1.3 million women a year who are victims of physical assault by someone they know. Most cases are never reported to the police. It is time for women to stand up for themselves and for other women. There is no reason that any man should ever emotionally, financially, or physically abuse any woman. I know as women we tend to forgive, forget, and see the positive in anyone. In other cases maybe women are just scared, feel that they will lose their children, or fear not having any money and being homeless. However, if you are victim of any kind of abuse (and yes mental and emotional counts!) you will see that after the hard part of leaving is over, and if you find assistance from a shelter and/or a support group, that your life will certainly start to take on a new meaning. You’ll wonder why  you never left sooner. It will take a long time mentally to overcome the effects of emotional, physical, and financial abuse. I know this because I am a survivor of abuse. The trauma to your body (I have many health related problems including fibromyalgia, body aches, and TMJ in my jaw from a punch) can be long-lasting and your emotional state can take even longer. Try to seek out only the most positive people in your life. Do not allow pessimistic or negative people to infiltrate your new life. Do not dwell on what has happened, but focus on growing a new life and finding yourself again because most certainly you have lost yourself. Please seek out help and restore your life before it is too late. If you have children, it is very important that you do this; however, please focus on also doing it for yourself.

In honor of all who  have fought or are still fighting domestic violence, I have created this original photo artwork and written a motivational quote based on my own thoughts as a survivor. It is being sold in my online store as a print, framed or unframed, matted, printed on canvas, or maybe a set of notecards to assist with awareness would be something you might purchase. Fifty percent of each sale will go towards domestic violence awareness efforts for women both locally and nationally.

For more information on domestic violence and to see the wheel of abuse, please check out this link below.

http://www.ncadv.org/files/DomesticViolenceFactSheet(National).pdf

Keep fighting! We are worth it!


Autumn Days in All their Splendor

Autumn Acorns and Fall Foilage

Today in Ohio it was a gorgeous Autumn day, with sunshine and warmth. We spent some time outside today crunching acorns underfoot and their crispness reminded me of acorn collecting days as a child. My own children and I scavenged through replacing tops, finding sprouts and imaging new Oak trees trying to grow into the sun. The leaves on the trees are melding into yellow hues, with patches of vibrant red and orange. A drive through the countryside had us dreaming of lovely oil paintings and beautiful photographs. One of the best things about Fall are the colors, and of course the acorns. I’ll be heading to bed dreaming of tiny squirrels filling their homes for the winter.


Boats Docking (Black and White-For Sale)

Black and White Fine Art Decor--Boats in Dock


Finding Happiness

I love photography, especially nature and outdoor photography. I enjoy trying to tell a story by taking a photo. I savor the feeling I get when making photographic memories. I like playing with light and angles, and taking photos of those little things that can sometimes get lost in the big world. I also love to find run down and historical buildings and houses. If you get past what it has become, you find traces of the most wonderful intricacies that no longer exist in this cookie cutter world.

I hope you join me as I photo document my world and grow my Breathe Beauty Art and Photography business.

Leave me comments and let me what your favorite type of photo is!