HAPPINESS CARD #1

I’ve got a new edition of Happiness Cards with some new images along with old favorites. I’ll be showing all 30 over the next month. Here’s the first:

We are shaped by our thoughts. We become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. Buddha
We are shaped by our thoughts. We become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.
Buddha

DAHLIAS, My Favorite Flowers

             Dahlia

They’re my favorite flowers today because I’ve been photographing them every weekend, but probably it will be begonias next. I’m fickle when it comes to flower favorites.

We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same. Carlos Castaneda

Did you know that these beautiful flowers are the national flower of Mexico and the City Flower of Seattle? The ancient Aztecs used the tubers as food and the stems as siphons and straws. In fact, the Aztec name for dahlias translates to “water cane.”

I slept and dreamed that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. Rabindranath Tagpre“If you’re lucky enough to have them growing in your garden, Sunset Western Garden Book recommends cutting them for indoor enjoyment early in the morning or evening. Placing them into into 2″ to 3″ of hot water and leaving them there until the water cools will prolong their life.

Dahlia Dahlias most need good soil, adequate space (depending on variety), low nitrogen fertilizer and staking. But if you have them growing in your garden in the Northern Hemisphere it will soon be time to prepare the tubers for winter.

Dahlias Some dahlia trees have been found that are 20 feet high! There is some dispute as to who named the plant, but no argument about its being named after Anders Dahl, a Swedish botanist who studied with Carl Lineaus.
Dahlia 3These photographs were taken at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens and more can be seen on my website, www.happinesscards.net. Copyright Connie Fledderjohann, 2015

A GROWING BUSINESS

There are enough Happiness Cards out in the world that everyone in Hajduboszormeny, Hungary could have one, or Pudsey, England, or Alice Springs, Australia. In fact, everyone living on the Mendocino Coast, where I make my home, could have 3 cards, even the kids. Amazingly, I’ve sold and given away more than 29,000 and just took delivery on 9,000 more. A dozen are new photos and quotations: Here are four of the new ones:

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else. Emily Dickenson
To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.
Emily Dickenson
Love is friendship set to music. Joseph Campbell
Love is friendship set to music.
Joseph Campbell
When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully everyone is blessed. Maya Angelou
When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully everyone is blessed.
Maya Angelou
When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others. Peace Pilgrim
When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.
Peace Pilgrim

www.happinesscards.net

24,000 AND COUNTING!

I was blown away when I added up the numbers. There are 24,000 Happiness Cards somewhere out in the world spreading happiness. It all began 15 months ago with a wish to share my flower photographs with more people.

The first cards were 2″x3″ photos that I printed on my trusty Canon printer with an inspiring quotations that I glued to the back of each picture. I gave them away one at a time or left them around town for people to pick up. They were a hit.

A friend who saw them encouraged me to box them up so they could be sold and others could join me, so I did just that. If only 10% of the 24,000 cards have added to happiness in the world, my mission has been accomplished, but I’m not stopping there.

Last week I placed a new order for 8,700 cards, and thought you might like a sneak preview of some of the new ones:

When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others. Peace Pilgrim
When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.
Peace Pilgrim
The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware. Henry Miller
The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
Henry Miller
We are shaped by our thoughts. We become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. Buddha
We are shaped by our thoughts. We become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.
Buddha
To serve is beautiful, but only if it's done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind. Pearl Buck
To serve is beautiful, but only if it’s done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind.
Pearl Buck

                          www.happinesscards.net

CALLAS on DISPLAY

Those of you who know me, or are familiar with my photographs, know that one of my favorite flowers is the calla or more commonly known as the calla lily. (Botanical name is Zantedeschia) It’s not actually a lily which is why they are often referred to  as “callas.”

I’ve been drawn to the elegance of these flowers for some time and have shot many photos of them. Here are a few of my calla photographs:

3 White Callas3 Callas-1-3

Callas for video-4

Calla with shadowWhite Calla Vert

Single pink and white calla-1Single pink and white calla 2-1

2 color azaleas-1Calla 2Calla 1

But I’m not alone in finding artistic merit in callas. Two of my favorite painters, Georgia O’Keeffe and Diego Rivera have both used the them in numerous paintings. Take a look.

FLOWERS ON A LIGHT BOX

Begonia on Light Box 1
Begonia on Light Box 1

I hadn’t dragged out my light box in a long time. Finally on Sunday I admitted to myself that my work was getting stale, and I was taking the same photograph over and over. Hmm…why not try my light box again? It lives in a corner in my garage, and takes a bit of effort to set it up,  I somehow summoned the energy to bring it inside, cut some fast-fading begonias, and came up with a few good shots.

begonia 2

 

Rhododendron on Light Box
Rhododendron on Light Box

WHY FLOWERS?

Flowers are love embodied. Look deeply at the color. Feel the vibrancy. Put your nose a little closer. Look deeply. Fall inside. Start your life over right here, right now, inside a flower.” ~ Lao Tzu

 Tulip

Of all the extravagant beauty on our earth nothing is as colorful, varied, ubiquitous and downright flamboyant as flowers. They are not only lovely to look at, but our very lives depend on them. Most of our food comes from plants that flower, are pollinated and grow into fruits, vegetables and grains. Often the grains are fed to animals many people eat.

For a photographer flowers are perfect subjects. They can be shot on location or brought into the studio. They pose endlessly, don’t move around and need no breaks. Each blossom has its own distinctive characteristics. Their varied forms allow me to emphasize detail in a macro photograph, delineate abstract features in black and white, or portray a group of blossoms in all their brilliant color.

Luther Burbank, well-known botanist, wrote, “Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful’ they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.” How true!