Wednesday, October 1, 2014

You could win an iPad Mini in the month of October!

Thursday, September 25, 2014


By 2013 RHS Social Butterfly Joann Miller 

OMG! September is almost over.  Have you done the SELFIE challenge yet?  A couple of weeks ago Hatquarters issued a social media challenge for #SelfieSeptember.  If you did it, great (jump to the bottom) but for those who are still scratching your heads over this don't panic!  A selfie is where you take a picture of yourself.  Yep.... It's ALL about you!

Giggling at Canasta with the Scarlet Sophisticates Chapter in Woodbridge VA.
Pictured are Charlotte Large, Deborah Brockert and Joann Miller. 

Did you know that selfies have been around since the 1800's?  Back in 1839, Robert Cornelius created a daguerreotype of himself.  How did he do it?  Because of the slow process at the time he was able to uncover the lens, run into the shot for a minute or more, and then replace the lens cap.  

But let's fast forward to modern cameras. How many of you remember setting the timer on your camera so you could then run around to be in the shot. Yep! That's a selfie or more likely an usie (term for a group shot)

Lucky for us, today's digital cameras allow us to just point and click.  Plus, we all tend to have a device with us that can grab a picture at any time. For example, most of us have cameras in our cell phones. Perfect for those selfie moments.

Of course, taking our own pic is easier said than done, so I thought I would give you some tips to help you create a fabulous selfie. 

1).  If your device has a front facing camera it is easiest to use that as you can see what is in the frame.  But if you can the rear facing camera is, usually, a better option in terms of picture quality. So it pays to experiment how to hold your device for that selfie without seeing what image is being captured.  
2).  Look at the camera lens!  That might sound obvious, but if you are using the front facing camera as mentioned in tip 1... we tend to look at the image displayed which makes us look in the wrong place.  Use that image to frame the shot, but then look at the lens before you click!
3). Angles make a difference.  It's easier to hold the camera away and down but who wants to look up your nose?  Play with where you hold your camera.  Consider holding off to one side.  Or consider tilting your face.... You have options!
4). Want to take a full body selfie?  Hard to do as your arms aren't usually long enough.  Consider posing in front of a mirror and shooting that image.  True your camera will be in the shot but sometimes this is what you need.
5). Take a bunch of shots!  For example, I tend to blink a lot, so when I take a couple of pics in a row.. sure one might have my eyes closed, but not all of them.  Or I might try out different facial expressions to find that realistic smile.  Usually, I can get a shareable shot, but if not, I just try again till I do.

So go ahead and take that selfie. Then, share your image with all of us. If you get it done in the next couple of days remember to use the hashtag #SelfieSeptember.  Can't wait to see you!

Want to send a comment or ask a question?  Find me online at or via email at

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sue's Corner: Been There, Done That

A message from Exalted Queen Mother, Sue Ellen Cooper
“Been there, done that.” 
We’ve all said it. So much of life consists of repeated experience. Even enjoyable activities can lose their luster if they’re repeated often enough. We are more likely to find pleasure in novelty than we are in the familiar things. I was thinking about that the other night when I heard the first distant “booms” outside. It was time for the Disneyland fireworks. No big deal; every single summer night at 9:30 a fireworks show occurs high in the sky over the amusement park. Around my house, we’ve been able to set our clocks by it for over 20 years. Although we can watch the entire show from our front window, we never even give it a glance anymore. We’ve been there and done that.
But then I remembered how thrilling fireworks shows were when I was a child. And then I thought about how few chances most people ever get to watch such an extravaganza in the sky. So I put down my book and went to the front window, sat down in the window seat and watched the entire show, trying to experience it as if for the first time.
No, I’m not going to say that I was flooded with the utter delight that I felt watching fireworks once upon a time. But I can tell you that I truly enjoyed it. The vivid colors sprayed across the sky in seemingly random sequence, accompanied by the booms and pops of the different types of fireworks were nothing short of gorgeous. Just when it appeared that the show was over, the sky was spangled anew with a fresh crop of glittering explosions, building to an extravagant finale. It was truly beautiful to watch and I felt a little let-down when the sky reverted to black. What a lovely interlude in the evening. How good it felt to realize that it is possible to enjoy something that I have seen so many times.
Now I’m wondering where else in my life I’ve allowed the “been there, done that” attitude to creep into my psyche. With all of the chaotic, disturbing events going on in our world today, it’s foolish to overlook any opportunity to soak up little bits of joy to cheer the spirit. I’m going to keep a close watch on my attitude. I think it needs an “adjustment.”