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Challenge # 16-2013 MMDT Photo Challenge: Texture


As I promised this second challenge of August would be a continuation of the first challenge in that I was taking all my photos on the one trip, with both challenges in mind.

We were to be “Inspired by Texture” to take photos that would show how light is reflected and shadows created with our subject. Include some distant shots for the overall location and lots of detail shots to show off the textures. 

Once again, my subject is Ohio’s Amish Country, and I’m taking a look at the things that are unique to the area, a contrast between The Simple Life of the plain people and what we might do in our lives.



When I think of texture I think of…

“The tooth” and weight of paper…is it smooth, or textured? Is it fine or rough?

“The touch” of fabric…is it soft and cuddly or ridged and velvety?

“The taste” of food…is it creamy or chunky? Is it flakey or crisp?

“The tang” in the air from fresh picked apples in the orchard and the whiff of fresh cut hay or even

“The tableau” of the patchwork patterns in the quilts or farm fields on the landscapes before me… 

These are the things I thought of as I sought the items for this challenge on Texture as I visited Amish Country.

The Amish are a plain people, but they are in no way primitive. Their homes may not be cluttered with the things we find necessary to live, but there is skill and craftsmanship in their furniture, woodworking and quilts. They are known for their baked goods as well as their baskets. Buying food in bulk or fabric on the bolt is the norm. You expect to see buggies, but they are on foot as well on bicycles. Laundry on the line is also part of the ‘texture’ I see when I travel these roads. You can see horses pulling ancient farm equipment to plow fields for planting or collecting the mounds of hay. 

Come with me and perhaps you’ll hear the steady clop of horse’s hooves on paved roads or feel the sweet juice of a fresh peach dribble down your chin. Imagine yourself relaxing in a bentwood hickory rocker as you take in a further look at this Amish Country of Ohio with me.


Mosaic Moments Paper Tiles:Carob creamchocolate cream, med. raspberry, dark raspberry,  pear crushdeep spring green, light aqua, med aqua and brick 

I chose Black Mosaic Moments 12 x12 Grid paper because many of the traditional Amish quilts are done on black with bright, bold color patterns. 

I used a slight variation of page pattern #73


The Journalling:

The Simple Life


It was a peaceful Thursday afternoon in July; sunny, hot and humid driving through Wayne and Holmes Counties in search of beautiful pictures to tell the story of this community and how we interact within it. Farms, foods, quilts, baskets and stores where we shop, what we buy and a different way of life.  These are a few of the simple pleasures in my life, a reflection of the ‘Simple Life’ of the plain people.  This is my Ohio; won’t you come in and stay awhile?                                                                          2013




Here are a few of my thoughts on my photos.

Quilts: It is the contrast of lights and darks and medium tones of fabric that create a texture in the pattern of quilts. It is the tiny even stitches that bring another texture that I’ve included of each quilt on each page and let that dictate the color palette.

Baskets: The shadows and patterns inside a basket created by the sun shining through.  Or the weave and grain in another basket pair as they sit partially in sun, and light.

Ribbon: the gingham bow with the close weave of threads making up the design.

Wooden rockers: the hickory bentwood rockers, first in the details of the wood knots and textures as it is curved into shape, or the row of silent chairs awaiting a weary visitor, eager to take those who would sit a spell to a comfortable rhythm of a peaceful day.

Stores: The family simple ‘run from home’ bulk food store in the country and the larger cheese factory in town. Both are popular places to shop. On the Cheese factory/store the amount of decorative trim and architecture adds so much visual texture to the tourist’s experience. The gingerbread work, cutwork, and wood trim details is reflective of a Swiss style common in the homeland of many of the first settlers to this area.

Wheat: as it is harvested to dry in the fields, once it is baked intro fresh loaves of a variety of breads, in the color and surface of the crust or the details of nooks and crannies of a slice of goodness.

Oatmeal: the lights and darks of the grain the shadows and highlights as it awaits being used.

Ball Canning Jars: Stacks upon stacks of wrapped jars ready for canning season. Backlit by a strong morning sun reflecting through brings attention to the name and design embossed on the outside of the jar.

Corn Field: Up close you can see the individual stalks and leaves it fades to show only the tassels on top and in the very distant view you see the way the color changes as the field follows the contour of the land.

Mowed yard: looking down at the yard to see how creative one person has been in cutting the grass to form a plaid of darks and mediums and lights in the grass.

Fresh Peach: the light showing off not only the curvature of the peach but in close the very fuzz hovers above.

Spices: from the bulk food store the texture of the mixes, the deep color and fine grain of another and still one more with interesting shapes and pieces. We probably never look close up to see what we’re using, but should.

Bicycles: had to include the bike for Tami…she has a thing for bikes you know! These metal machines of transport, a seemingly modern convenience are a stark contrast to the buggies and horses and people on foot, but they are sturdy and meant for work with their attached bags for purchases along the way.

Barrels: show off their roughhewn outer surface as they await being put into service. Each plank unique in color as the sun of the early morning catches and reveals its surface.

Doll Clothes: While many will purchase these typical dresses and aprons as a decoration, a token of their trip to these parts, they are in fact just the right size for all those ‘modern’ American Girls dolls. I think this is one American girl the company has missed, but someone else has already filled the niche!




My first two pages were intended as my challenge presentation, but I went ahead and completed a third for my own enjoyment as I had several photos I really liked, that really do represent this area to me, and are memories I want to have to remember in the days to come just in case the modern ‘English’ world continues to encroach on a much simpler way of life.  I hope I’ve been able to paint a picture and a feel for this area, for those who have been I hope it is a warm memory, for others, a place you want to experience. Any time you’re in the neighborhood…be sure to stop by….





Shared by Andrea Fisher on August 16, 2013 | Memory Date: August 15, 2013
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Story Cheered By:
Janet, how kind of you to stop by and leave such a kind comment! We'd love to have you share one of your layouts here on Journella, too! Hope to see you again!
Posted By: Andrea Fisher  |  September 11, 2013 at 5:58 am   
There isn't anything I don't like about your designs and use of color. I know we are in September now but when I took the time to look this up, all I can say is WOW! The reason I went searching is when I saw the middle just gave me a warm fuzzy feeling! Looking down the road at the beautiful farm house and the gorgeous fields around it were awesome. Glad to see that you couldn't quit with just two pages because adding the third one makes it a wonderful package. (It's not in my nature to choose just a few pictures, so I love the Mosaic Moments concept.)
Posted By: Janet Shetley  |  September 11, 2013 at 5:13 am   
Love it! We just got back from a short trip to Amish country in Illinois. So many beautiful sites to see. Love the colors used, beautiful photos and the arrangement.
Posted By: Julie Oconnor  |  August 23, 2013 at 12:06 am   
beautiful and amazing! I love those fabrics
Posted By: Candy Spiegel  |  August 21, 2013 at 1:51 am   
BRILLIANT! I ditto what Heather said. You are just so both a photographer and a scrapbooker! I love the three page spread and how it is all tied together. The colors are just perfect! My favorite pictures are the ones of the basket, the grains, and the chair. And the scenes of the farm down the road (gorgeous!) and the house with the clothes on the line are beautiful. The grass is so perfect and green. And the page pattern is PERFECT for these photos. Kudos! My friend and I are going scrapbooking down near an Amish area in Wisconsin in early Sept and I hope my photos turn out 1/2 as beautiful as these! Wonderful work! HUGS!
Posted By: Lori Hanson  |  August 19, 2013 at 9:11 pm   
Andrea! You are such an inspiration! Your story telling is so amazing. You are detailed oriented and it shows in your work. As always, great job!
Posted By: Shannon Nixson  |  August 18, 2013 at 2:08 am   
Heather your words are so nice...but you spoil me...we can't have me going around with a swelled head! Now, If you can get those dogs of yours to start your car...I WILL expect to see you!! Tami, the story with the canning jars is that they were stacked outside the store 6 feet high...something you couldn't do anywhere but down there. Although I took an "away" shot on this, I'm glad I went back in close for the close shots as there was more contrasts with the light in close. Thank you both for the wonderful comments and cheers!
Posted By: Andrea Fisher  |  August 17, 2013 at 7:42 pm   
Andrea, I've said this before, but I'll say it again. It's no wonder you were chosen to be team captain! You do such a great job with your story-telling, your presentation and your photography. It leaves me in awe every time! I agree with all of Tami's the papertiles and how they unite the whole 3-page spread; love the dresses, the grains, the quilts and how you color-coordinated your pages. My favorite picture is the clothes line sequence. I just LOVE everything about these pages!! You are an absolutely brilliant photographer, and I told the dogs to go start the car...we're going to Ohio!! Fantastic job!!
Posted By: Heather Cartland  |  August 17, 2013 at 4:51 pm   
Oh my does the designer in me love this! It reminds me of a magazine article about Amish Country. I want to go there and see all the grains and the bread... the baskets and quilts and those cute little Amish dresses. (My favorite image is the one of the glass jars.) I love the use of colored squares. This page could be called the "Colors of Amish Country"- But, I like your title (The Simple Life). :)
Posted By: Tami Potter  |  August 16, 2013 at 1:11 pm   

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