365-Day Project, Art, Creativity, Mystery, Photography, Uncategorized

Day 122 – Step Away from the Sandpaper

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. – Thomas A. Edison

I wish I had something witty to say, but the words just aren’t there today. Or here. Or anywhere. I think I’m stuck in the technical details, which has a tight grasp on my mental facilities. But I did manage to break free long enough to capture today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture.

Can you tell? Do you know?

What Is It?!?


What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 121)

Oh so many perspectives and a story to boot! Yesterday’s picture was inspired by something I use for multiple hours on end, it’s so familiar to me that I hadn’t stepped back far enough to discover that it had some of its own beauty. It looked like the bottom of a potato masher or a grate. Or a wavy knit mesh weave. Or metal fence mesh. Was it a speaker? No. How about the glow from a table lantern? Or … a cookie. Glow from a candle holder? No, no, and no. Chocolate icing? Not chocolate icing. Ice cream sandwich? Not food. Wood basket? No. Any type of wood? Not wood. Part of a shoe? Not part of a shoe. Chocolate, white or dark? Neither. Pedal? Nope. Plastic?

Ding ding ding! Yes, it’s the plastic backing of my office chair. You could say it’s got my back!

But wait, there’s more. We’ve even got a story to go along with this mystery picture, thanks to Terry. What an imagination, I just love it! Enjoy!

It’s a vintage cheese grater which Doris found in a junk shop in Prague. It had been there for some time. The owner did not remember buying it so it must have come with the shop when he bought it and that was back in the 1930s. Doris was intrigued. She took it to a dealer who specialised in cheese graters. It meant a trip to Paris but she had an itch that needed scratching so Paris it was going to be. The dealer said he needed a bit of time so she left it with him and came back the next day. She could tell that he was trying to contain his excitement. The grater was a prototype, hand made by the inventor of the cheese grater, Henri Le Clerk.

It was priceless!

Le Clerk was driven to invent the cheese grater because his wife was sick and tired of scraping her fingers on the sandpaper that everyone used to grate cheese before the invention of the cheese grater.
Le Clerk never got around to putting a patent on the cheese grater. Like Howard Florey who developed penicillin, and Jonas Salk who developed the polio vaccine, he simple gave it to the world.

His wife was proud of him and that was enough to make him happy.


I can’t wait to see the story that’s behind today’s mystery picture. Terry, you’ve got me hooked! 🙂

365-Day Project, Art, Mystery, Photography, Uncategorized

Day 100 – Release the Kraken

Perseverance, secret of all triumphs. – Victor Hugo

I have been trying to explain to my son that perseverance pays off, that it’s sticking with something even though you don’t understand, even though it’s difficult, that you just don’t quit because whatever you’re doing isn’t simple … and once you figure it out, you’re triumphant … and nothing beats that feeling of achievement.

Such is life. There’s no instruction booklet, and “simple” is merely a word in the dictionary. It’s the hard stuff in life that makes us stronger, ready to accept – and persevere – through life’s challenges. Like fractions and decimals, which is Ian’s current nemesis. (And I can so empathize, that proverbial light bulb never lit up until *after* my math tests.)

Now that I’m 100 days into this 365-day project, you’d think it would be easy for me to figure out what I’m going to photograph. Not the case at all! But I persevere! (And so do the rest of you with your 365-day projects, congratulations on making it to Day 100!)

Today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture is ready for you to guess. My muse led me to this. Do you know? Can you tell?

What Is It?!?


What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 99)

The last time I posted this subject (yes, sneaky me), it was guessed right away. This time around, the angle I happened to photograph, made it look like a Ruffles potato chip, so I thought I might as well see what it looks like to the rest of you. And here are the results: close up of a paper towel or napkin withe the wavy ridges (or foam on a latte), a cracker or cookie, crumbs, waffle cone, and a pizzelle. Funny, most of these are food items! But what you saw (and what Gail finally guessed after I gave a hint), is the ridges on the top of a seashell. Albeit a different seashell than the previous post! I just happened to look at it differently. 🙂


365-Day Project, Art, Photography, Uncategorized

Day 99 – Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer

Unbeing dead isn’t being alive. – e. e. cummings

I cannot help but think of the popular “ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall …” song as today marks 99 funky picture posts. I’m sincerely amazed I’ve stuck with this project so consistently. Yay me!

Lately I’ve had a streak of posting pictures that no-one has been able to guess (including Gail!) and I’m wondering if today is when the streak ends. I’m “iffy” about the picture, wondering if it’s “guessable” again. We shall see!

Today’s “what is it?!?” picture was inspired by the angle I was looking at this subject, not the ordinary view you’d take. Can you tell? Do you know?

What Is It?!?


What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 98)

The other day I was walking by my car when I looked at one of the wheels and thought, “hey, I bet a close up of that would be a great what is it picture!” So I quickly took a picture of the subject.

It might have looked like a leaf from a Magnolia tree, a trumpet flower leaf, paper, or stone, but what you saw was part of a wheel’s hubcap. The angle is what caught my eye.


365-Day Project, Art, Creativity, Mystery, Photography, Uncategorized

Day 98 – The Study of a Napkin

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe. – Lao Tzu

Most of the workday, I work in silence, only the sound of my keyboard clacking away, or one of my three cats whining to go outside on the porch. Or for treats. Or for attention. Today it’s so nice outside that I’ve got the doors open, so I’m listening to lots of birds singing and talking to each other. Unfortunately, the AC just kicked on and that’s like the most unsoothing sound around, much less the noise of the interstate close by. Serenity now! Serenity now!

… which means time to close the door.

Today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture is ready for you to guess. I was walking by and it caught my eye. Do you know what it is? Can you tell?

What Is It?!?

ImageWhat Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 97)

I so hesitated in posting yesterday’s picture because I had posted the same subject just a few days ago, even though the image was vastly different. But surprisingly (to me), nobody caught on. There were several guesses, just not the correct one! Here’s what it looked like, but wasn’t: corn-on-the-cob-holder that looks like corn, pasta, dishtowel, a yellow sponge, a gadget used to open pickle jars (:-)), apron, pot holder, and a handy wipe.

Yesterday’s image was inspired by its pattern, which was the corner of a napkin. 😉


365-Day Project, Art, Mystery, Nature, Photography, Uncategorized

Day 97 – Why Not?

Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not. – Pablo Picasso

Patterns are everywhere, especially in nature. Take a close look at any leaf, or the markings of a cat, the ripples in the water … they are simply all around us. My mind’s eye is always on the lookout for these natural works of art. And sometimes not so natural, but intended.

Today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture contains a pattern that captured my attention. In turn, I captured that vision for you to now guess. Can you tell? Do you know?

What Is It?!?


What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 96)

Yesterday’s picture was truly a “why not” spur-of-the-moment photograph. The subject in question just happened to be right there where I was working on my painting. Although there were guesses, nobody figured out the mystery identity. It looked like a loofah, sponge, pollen, and a cheesecloth; however, it’s really part of a foam brush paint roller. I liked how the image looks like it’s smiling. 🙂


365-Day Project, Art, Mystery, Photography, Uncategorized

Day 96 – It’s All Fringe to Me

Learning never exhausts the mind. – Leonardo da Vinci

What a glorious day! The sun is shining, birds singing (they’re ultra happy with me since I filled up their bird feeders), a gentle breeze, and it’s not overly hot. In just a few days, or perhaps tomorrow, the heat and humidity will make being outside unbearable. So I’m putting up with the pollen (that has coated everything once again, that’ll teach me for washing the cars!) and enjoying the great outdoors. I’ve even picked up my paint brushes and paints, not that I’m a great painter, but practice does make one better.

Just like taking these mystery “what is it?!?” photographs! Today’s subject called out to me, said “hey, look at me closely!” So I did, and now it’s your turn to guess what this is. Do you know?

What Is It?!?

20130406-2013_04_06_4542What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 95)

Funny, sometimes I post photographs that I think y’all will figure out right away, and you don’t. Other times, I post pictures that I’m sure will never be guessed, and one or two guesses later, I’m ringing the “ding ding ding” winner bell! Go figure. Such was the case with yesterday’s picture. It still remains a mystery! But not lacking guesses, oh yes indeed, there were bunches. Let’s go down the list: rope, floor mat, woven basket, sweater, weaved rug, rope (again), hair (I think it looks like Barbie hair), Chianti bottle wrap, yarn, beach bag, woven hat, wicker seat, woven blinds, soft rope, covered cork board, trivet, belt, bookmark tassel, part of a sandal, Berber carpet, and a re-useable bag. Looks like so many different things!


So here’s the reveal! Yesterday’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture was inspired by a pretty pillow with braided fringe. Yes, what you saw was a close-up of the braided fringe. 🙂

365-Day Project, Art, Mystery, Photography, Uncategorized

Day 95 – Two Shots

I think I’ve discovered the secret of life – you just hang around until you get used to it. – Charles M. Schulz

Today I’m posting a picture that I’m sure is just way too easy, but my mind is basically a big bowl of jello right now, and my muse has run away and hidden in a nice, safe place. I was the lucky recipient of two shots today, one on the left side of my neck, and the other in my left shoulder’s trigger point. Fortunately, I’m pain free for the day, but unfortunately, a walking zombie, with no inclination to pick up my heavy camera and figure out just what in the heck to photograph today!

So I reached into my “in case” bucket and pulled out today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture. This is a two-shot picture, meaning even if you figure out what the “thing” is, you’ve got to figure out “where” or “what” it’s on. Can you tell? Do you know?

What Is It?!?


What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 94)

I had several views to choose from for yesterday’s subject, but I chose the one that aesthetically was the prettiest. Perhaps I should have chosen a different one, as it was guessed fairly quickly. It definitely looks like glass that was cracked, but it wasn’t a cracked iPad. (Been there, done that, it sucked.) It also wasn’t chicken wire, blue glass with silver strands of paint, or a cracked windshield. However, the guesses of “broken glass” were close enough, as this was a picture of the side of a blue candle holder, with a “cracked-glass” design.


365-Day Project, Art, Blogging, Creativity, Mystery, Nature, Photography, Uncategorized

Day 94 – Mystery Muse to the Rescue

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. – Mahatma Gandhi

It’s so hard to believe that 94 days have already passed this year, that I’ve managed to come up with 94 funky images, that this ritual of blogging has become just that: a daily ritual. I look forward to posting, even when I don’t feel that great (like today, the gloomy weather and pressure have given me a throbbing headache), even when I have no idea what item will be my subject for the day (like today). I’m calling my muse, “help me, help me!” That dirty rascal has escaped once again, but maybe my muse will make a surprise visit at some point. Pretty please? Honestly, I’m typing this post with no picture! Oh no! (It’s 1:37 p.m. right now, I’m on another conference call. Another one!)

Yay! My muse came back. It’s now close to 4:00 and I have my mystery “what is it?!?” picture ready for you to guess. This one might be easy, but I love the picture! I had a difficult time picking which picture to post. So do you know? Can you tell?

What Is It?!?


What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 93)

As I mentioned yesterday, the picture I posted was not originally intended as a mystery “what is it?!?” picture; it’s actually one of my favorite images I’ve posted so far. Although it wasn’t guessed right away, Dan finally guessed on Facebook, and Gail guessed here on the blog. But first, the guesses: is it mold from something in my fridge? No! Hair on a chia pet? No, but I can certainly see that. The middle of some flower? Technically, it’s not the middle. X-ray? Nope. Blades of grass? Not that either (but that’s what it looks like to me). Bristles from a hair brush? No. Lily flower? Not a lily, but …

… it is a flower. But not just any flower!


What you saw was part of a bottlebrush bush flower (Callistemon), which is a vibrant red. Here’s the original view of that image.


365-Day Project, Art, Creativity, Mystery, Photography, Uncategorized

Day 93 – Groovy Bubbles

Leap, and the net will appear. – John Burroughs

Being a photographer, I take many, many pictures, and so far, this year, I’ve captured more images and memories than ever (trust me, it takes a lot of shots to get *the* shot for these daily pictures). But my photography life is now two distinct living projects: the macro photography for this “What Is It?!?” blog and what I now refer to as “normal” photography, such as landscapes, wildlife (my kid & hubby included), family events. and so on.

Finding the time to go through all of these photos, my oh my! So thank goodness for corporate-wide hour-long conference calls. Seriously!

Today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture was taken during a “normal” photography session, it did not start off as a macro picture, nor was it ever intended. It just happened. There’s just something so delicate and whimsical about the feel of this image, especially with the cyan coloring applied. Will it be a giveaway? Or will it stump you? I guess we’re about to find out …

What Is It?!?


What Was That? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 92)

Yesterday’s picture was a prop that I thought of, and was inspired by a previous guess of “the outside of a colored Easter egg.” First, I will tell you all of the guesses that were made: Palmolive, shampoo, dew, pollen, aloe, bottle of Sprite, some oily substance (you’re onto something), Simply Green cleaner, infused cooking oil of some sort (Olive) (well, you could say it’s infused oil but not with what you’d think), or a lava lamp. It was Gail’s guess of food coloring that rang the ding, ding, ding bell. Actually, what you saw was a mixture of oil and dyed water, which I then shook in a clear bowl and took pictures of. It was the colored Easter egg guess that made me think, “hmmm, what if I took some of this leftover Easter egg dye and mixed it with some oil?”  Pretty groovy bubbles.


365-Day Project, Art, Creativity, Mystery, Photography, Uncategorized

Day 92 – The Stuff Is Everywhere!

The sun is new each day. – Heraclitus

I have become thoroughly enthralled with the sun lately, taking as many pictures as I possibly can throughout the day, just to see what surprises are in store. These surprises are massive sun spots (yesterday’s looked like a heart), or flares, sometimes both. I now view the sun as I do everything else – a mystery waiting to be revealed.

Yesterday I decided to take a picture of something that is very, very prominent this time of year in the region I live (Northern Florida), I even talked about this on my personal Facebook page. How daring I’ve become! I thought it might be a giveaway, funny thing is, it wasn’t and I’ve still got friends guessing today.

But for today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture, I suddenly had an idea of something to photograph, thank you muse! That was simple, and I’m pleasantly surprised with the outcome. The question is, can you tell what it is? Do you know?

What Is It?!?

ImageWhat Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 91)

First, I’ll tell you what yesterday’s subject was not: not chenille, nor any type of fabric. It also wasn’t the surface of a colored Easter egg or egg shells. It wasn’t bread or a gold medallion. And it wasn’t a gold Hershey’s Kiss wrapper. But yum!

It’s springtime here in Tallahassee, Florida. What happens during this time? Lots of budding trees, plants, and flowers. What does that produce … EVERYWHERE and on EVERYTHING?


Pollen. Yellow pollen. This is what my outside dining table looked like before I removed said pollen. Interesting patterns, but yucky stuff!