30 November 2012

Project Blizzard

Ta da!

"Project Smile" began in 2010, if memory serves correctly, thanks to another photographer, who, like me, battles depression during winter months, due to lack of daylight. (Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD)

The project goal was to capture photos of things that bring smiles, thereby creating a natural and fun tool to fight depression. I participated the entire first winter and then was heartbroken (and depressed!) when it didn't continue in 2011. Because I love snowflakes and winter (even though it's a difficult time for me emotionally and sometimes even physically), I launched my very own project, taking the new name of Project Blizzard because, as it turns out, the name Project Smile already belongs to a very worthy charity, as well as numerous dental charities that provide impoverished children with toothy smiles.

Before the first page of November 2012 ever opened, I came up with an idea to shoot the sunrise every day of this month. Ever since I moved to Colorado, I've noticed November sunrises are THE best. Plus, sunrises make me smile. Sunrises give me a reason to get up each morning during the cold, dark winter.

The first winter I did this project, my participation lasted from September through March. Last winter, I needed only three months, November through January. I'm pretty excited I was able to stave off unwanted SADness again this year until now, and I'm hoping this tool will help others who suffer similarly.

So here's to another hopefully winning battle this winter...

actual November 11 apres sunrise

On November 11, the sunrise was completely clouded over.

same shot with a graduated brown filter filter

Two hours later, the sun finally popped out, and I made good use of a graduated brown filter.

the most bleak and lonely place I could think of

November 26 was yet another gray day, with hints of snow instead of sun. In addition, I was scheduled for a medical procedure that day. So before my appointment, I drove to the most bleak and lonely place I could think of for my ugly sunrise. When I got back home, Photoshop to the rescue!

Photoshop to the rescue!

Thanksgiving in Grand Junction was a reminder of my childhood in New Mexico, with mountains on the east side and more brilliant sunsets than sunrises. While the Grand Junction sunrises were nothing to write home about, the sunsets illuminated my soul and my creativity, while bringing back a most precious humorous memory. (The Elk Charmer photo is my hilarious memory, NOT The Lizard deleting his blog!)

sky ablaze

over the rooftops

courtesy of my Elk Charmer

Full moon the last two days of November provided a spectacularly different type of sunrise.

November's full moon

sea of pink

Many more things made me smile this month.


Multiple colors of Christmas cacti are blooming in the same pot!!!

must spray...

My windflowers, decimated by mealy bugs during the summer, were tricked by our Indian Summer throughout November into sprouting all over again. They may have earned themselves a trip inside the house next freeze!


On November 3, Greeting Card Universe informed me one of my cards had been selected as Card of the Day.

Front page!

I don't typically get on the internet too much on weekends, but this, I had to see!

indoor happiness

During the first weekend of November, we had snow and brrrrrr cold. I replanted some itsy bitsy little pots a co-worker gave me in a Secret Santa exchange nearly a decade ago.



Coming up!!!


They're growing! They're growing!

Getting close...

On moving day at work, I couldn't closely monitor the hit count on my most popular pattern, the Light Rail Snowflake. Sure enough, during a box-shuttling trip, the counter advanced.

Darn!  Missed the magic number AGAIN!

My first 100K post.

Full house!

My second 100K post came five days later.

It will be a while before #3 hits six digits.

Once again, I missed the zeroes.


In August, I began a commissioned project to benefit the Colorado Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. On November 10, I finished tiny bear #12!

Peppermint Stripes in Vail

Christmas lights...

Red Hot Pokers in Vail

Oh, how I love Christmas lights!

Sunrise in Vail

And snowflakes! Oh, how I love snowflakes!

2012 Christmas Tree

I'm not so good with The Lizard's video camera yet. But I love our little four-foot, 17-year-old fiber optic tree! (Music is a perenial favorite: Christmas Eve/Sarajevo by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.)

first tiny present beneath the tree

Our first tiny present beneath the tree. (Shhh! It's a surprise for The Lizard!)

Goin' Sleddin'

curious arctic guest

NOTE: I had to close this post to comments due to the high number of fake fans attempting to post comments with dangerous links.


  1. There just are no words to describe you! YOU are a ray of sunshine!

    1. Thanks Marigold! I just realized when I came to comment that I didn't have the video properly embedded when you saw it. So you didn't see it! :(

  2. Oooh, a tiny present for a cyclist...so many exciting possibilities there!

    Deb, you have absolutely cram-jammed this post so full of wonderful images I can't possibly comment adequately. Those sunrises and sunsets just fill my soul with gladness (they've been spectacular here as well this month). I LOVE Christmas lights too - with a ridiculous fervour - I can sit and stare at them and forget everything else (and sometimes do, once the Christmas tree goes up). And sprouting plants have got to be one of the most exciting things in the world.

    Congratulations on your 100K post views, and having your card featured. (I love that image.)

    Fact is, you rock! :)

    1. Thank you, Sue! Same thing, though. You didn't get to see my video. :) But I'm glad you liked everything else!

  3. Blessings sweetheart! All the pictures are lovely! Sorry to hear you suffer from SAD. They thought I had it before they realized I was bipolar and had PTSD from a near death kidnapping and assault. Huggles.

    1. Thanks, Michelle. What a horrible experience you have gone through!!! Thank heavens you survived and have this crafty journey to carry you through any dark memories. I like the word huggles... thanks for transmitting it!

  4. I like your creative way of fighting depression. A tiny present under the tree? That definitely made me smile. :)

    1. Yes, a tiny present beneath the tree! Makes me smile, too, every time I look at it, anticipating The Lizard's reaction when he opens it on Christmas eve!!!

  5. As someone who loves color gradation, those little bears are awesome! As someone who struggles through the winter, I have loved your sunrise calendar for 2012. I have it right by my bed, and I love to look up and see the colors there.

    1. Aaaw, Margaret!!! You lifted my spirits now! I love that something I created is making someone else smile! That makes the dark days of winter more bearable!

  6. Wow, every sunrise in November! That is so impressive. Maybe I'll try for the rest of December... In my little slice of the universe, the angle of the sun at sunrise is best in December - so I always make that my sunrise month.

    You make me smile!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Thanks, KB! I'll be looking forward to your sunrises, because, YES, you do get magnificent color!

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