About Me

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Great Falls, Montana, United States
I love creating art. I love the Creator! And through that love, I find a little slice of heaven on earth and I give Him all the glory! It's a great adventure and I'm excited to see what's around the bend! Come join me, won't you?
Showing posts with label Leslie McNeil Photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leslie McNeil Photography. Show all posts

Thursday, April 10, 2014

the timeout room ~ spring 2014

hello ~ spring!

spring? really?  i think so...  i think!  at least there are buds on the tree branches!  

it's coming.  it's coming!  of that i am sure... with mud... and mud puppies! 
me?  i've taken a bit of a break from blogging lately, and slowing down to take in... 
we have a spare room at work, which functions as an extra 'guest office' when travelling staff from other offices visit, and it is also a storage room. it has no windows, just a hard tiled floor, storage cabinets, bare walls, and a desk with the bare amenities. so... we call it the "timeout room!"  

a bit of a timeout... {kind of like me} kind of like our spring! but see that green grass...?  well, it's pushing it's way through, reaching for the light, and that's kind of how i feel.  it's been darker, gloomier, and colder than i prefer... but the green continues to push...

and push. 

and push ~ its way upward...
and so am i!  

taking some time out.  inside and out.
psalm 23 tells me He leads me to lie down in green pastures... and still waters. spiritually. mentally.  physically. 
would that also mean 'out to pasture?' hmmm.  i don't think so.  at least ... not yet!

but i am {and have been} taking a 'timeout'  of sorts. to think. contemplate. read. gather up, look inside... think about some goals.
i have been creating.  it's sanctuary for me, whether taking photos, writing, drawing, watercolors, sewing and quilting... 
a time for every season.   
and a timeout so i can... pray more.  nearly. clearly. and dearly.
listen.  And give thanks. in all things. 
i also turned 56 this april. and i am excited about that.  it also means in a mere twenty eight months i will retire!  at least from my current career.  i have serious thought to give this... and i truly look forward to it.  after thirty years working in the federal court system, i have other ~ more artistic goals, dreams, plans, and hopes to pursue.  to go running after. to begin new plans.  a bed and breakfast out in the country? perhaps?  summer art shows?  volunteer?  illustrate?  become a professional photographer?  and... pick and choose my work hours... perhaps learn about what it takes to give and teach online classes?  teach more in person even! [love that!} and...  to dive into a body of work i truly am excited about. 
to learn anew. {and to learn ~  h o w ! ...} 
but for now.  but for God.
i will bloom.  

even in the timeout room!

blessings to you all,

Thursday, December 5, 2013

tender mercies ~

hi there friends,

i ventured out into the bitter cold morning today a few minutes before i went into my office.

to see what i could see along a stunning {and stinging} cold, wintery morning along the river.

to thank God.

to embrace the bitter cold, and rejoice in the magnificent glory of the Creator.

and be glad for warmth. for love. for tender mercies.

little did i know when i took this picture today, just how much i would need to hear the words that follow... written by one of my favorite authors, susie larson.

"May God Himself surround you with His tender mercies and grace today. May He heal your soul so you can live by faith. Where you once reacted out of your insecurities, may you respond in faith knowing you possess all in Christ. Where you once white-knuckled your worries may you release every care to Him and lift your hands in praise. You are not made for this world. You're only passing through. May you live as the divinely loved and called soul you are!"

{thank you}
blessings upon you all ~

Monday, July 22, 2013

the joy of hollyhocks ~

hi friends ~

so i've been scouring the neighborhood on my way to work, hoping to find hollyhocks, but more importantly, to find access in which i could photograph them.  shouldn't seem so tough.  and it's not, really.  it's just a matter of seeing.  and timing.  and light.  after all, it's a short season.  and the days are getting noticeably shorter.

i was happy to find pretty ones in an alley in my neighborhood.  so first thing after supper, i went for a walk with camera in hand. 

i love these flowers.  they are nostalgic for me.  of a childhood spent making doll-like figures with the blooms for skirts and dresses.  i always think of that when i see hollyhocks.  and how we played with those stems, and pulled the petals off...  now i just want to capture them on camera so i can study the layers of light.  the shadows.  the color, textures and holes in the leaves...  for painting.  watercolor.  stitching.

and also to experiment with a fixed, 50mm prime lens for my canon camera t3i.  i've had it since i purchased the camera, bought on excellent advice from a pro photographer friend to photograph my quilts... but haven't really figured it out, because in order to do that i have to use it way more!  so i'm changing that this summer season.  i hope. 

they are so graceful, don't you think?

and, if you'd like to use these images ... please do so.  all i ask is that you let me know... and acknowledge where you got them if you do use them.

enJOY!  have a great week.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Snowy Mountain High ~


It's a pleasure to bring you some photography shots of beautiful, blue, cold... Montana this past weekend. 
We stopped at friend, Jane's place, on our way home from church services on Sunday, and as Brian was whipping her snow blower into shape, I was getting into my own whipping,  trekkin' through the snow, just tryin' to stay the course through the deepness of the drifts, and uneven terrain.  I had a few mishaps... {what's a little snow on the clothing, but a chance to be 'refreshed' I ask?!} ... but did manage to get back up!  {or Brian would have been trying to snow-blow me out of there!}
Jane's horse barn tucked into the hillside
We got back on the road, and a half-mile away I asked Brian to pull over... and I hopped out for a fast couple shots.  The drifts are the only evidence of the wind blowing... whipping too.  I don't last too long out in the raw elements, as it was about 10 above {maybe} on a chill factor.  But I made the most out of my 8 minutes outside... 
The Little Belt Mountains in the background {above picture}... that is where my son's ranch is.

The Highwood Mountain Range {below} ~ beautiful.
I'd really love to watercolor this scene...
And these lonely mailboxes out on the open prairie...
John Denver in my mind...?  "Take me home, country roads... "  {maybe if you have a shovel, or a good four-wheel drive ~ lol}.  Or... a good tractor snow-plow, as I think these folks did.  Still... I'd live out in the country again, in a heartbeat.
Beautiful.  Stunning.  The Majesty of the Seasons at His Hands.

{and it is now melting!}  as we have 47 degrees the past couple days.  Nothing last forever... not even cold  weather!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dancing With Bright Eyes

The latest.  A paintstik background, rubbed with numerous rubbing plates, and lots of different colors overlapping each other on some hand dyed fabric you're not sure what do with! Let the paint dry, and heat set it with an iron. Add a curved border.
Add a little bit of couching.  Use several yarns!  Why not?
Use a pretty batik backing you've had in your stash for five years.  Yeah, baby!
Take a look at your fabulous bookstore of quilting inspiration.  Courtesy of Patsy Thompson's "Hyper quilting" (a must-have for any serious or beginning quilter, I might add).  Decide on a motif.  (Practice first but not on your original piece!)
Go over it with another line of quilting, using a different, but fun color of thread.  Add some bling baby!  Move your feet -- I mean, use those feet! Click here: (#20 or #39 Bernina feet), or use use the search function on the blog to see more info I've posted on both of these feet).  Sew add a bit of couching onto the curved edge border, and why not on the binding, too?  Yahoo!

And take it outside into the garden area, so it can perform a happy dance with your sunflowers. 
Or dance the Mambo yourself!
And celebrate!

You're Done.  Nice finish!  EnJOY the fruits of your labor.


Friday, June 24, 2011

A Sweet Spot

"Be content with who you are, and don't put on airs.  God's strong hand is on you; he'll promote you at the right time."  
1 Peter 5:6 (The Msg)
A sweet spot in my garden; photo by Leslie McNeil June 2011
Daisy inspiration from my flower garden. 
Thank you, God for your DAILY inspiration. 
Your timing is perfect.
(Applause! in the background) 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


"My Symphony"  
by Wm. Henry Channing
illustrated by Mary Engelbreit in this charming little book:
To live content with small means;

To seek elegance rather than luxury, 

and refinement rather than fashion; 

To be worthy, not respectable; 

wealthy, not rich;

To study hard, 
 think quietly, 
talk gently
act frankly; 

To listen to stars and birds, 
to babes and sages, 
with open heart, to bear all cheerfully, 

do all bravely,
await occasions, 
hurry never.
... To let the spiritual, 
unbidden and unconscious, 
grow up through the common.

This is to be my symphony
--Photography by Leslie Vaskey McNeil--

I hope you enjoyed this personal illustration  created just for you using some of my favorite photographs and charming poetry.   
I'm excited to be playing with lots of new things in my sewing studio, and I have been planning a few more tips and hints to share.  I hope you'll visit again next Monday as I'm off serving our most gracious God at the 
Women's Tres Dias tomorrow evening! 

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