Storybook Styles

I have recently walked by these houses in a posh neighborhood. No taste for luxury stuff, but I enjoyed the unique architectural styles and the absolutely enchanting settings.  Wanting to share the images, but I have privacy concerns for the owners of these houses. So I decided to give them a make-over, and make them storybook-like.
We all grow up reading stories. Story books are the main source to initiate preschool education for our little ones. Nowadays there are countless colorful storybooks available and easily accessible to young readers. With colorful visuals, the learning experience is fun and intuitive. The textbooks used in schools are also color illustrative and visually informative that really facilitate understanding and stimulate creativity.
For my generation and from my culture, we learned by memorizing words and sentences. Our textbooks were mostly paperback and the illustrations are mostly black and white. We studied textbooks the same way how people are memorizing Bible verses. Through frequency and repetition, knowledge is injected into our brains and impressed in our hearts. This old-fashioned education style, in fact, also worked. I can very well quote some of Confucius‘ wisdom and apply it in my daily life.  If it is true wisdom, it lasts forever. Except that my good memory is gone with the wind and I cannot adopt the same method for my continuous education anymore. Luckily what I want to know about photography is mostly through visual and physical exercises, not too much reading.
I also began to think, instead of writing a flat journal, how about making an illustrative storybook. I meant storybook, not just photo book. The photobook contains photos and captions. A storybook has photos and stories but the stories can be written like what we read in the fairy tales.  We can dramatize it and illustrate it the way how it was done in storybooks. There will be a core story woven through and that is our life. There will be drama, i.e. our up and down days. With the storybook approach, I would see Up as a gift from the fairy. When I am Down, I can perceive it a temporary visit from the wicked Fox and you know, the bad guys will eventually fall into the terrains. People said, when we are growing older, our heart becomes younger. Maybe I am being recycled now… but I cannot deny that I certainly have lots of fun bringing these houses into my storybook.
The sky is not necessarily to be blue in the storybook realm, is it? Tudor-style house is usually not my favorite, but I cannot take my eyes off this one. It is nestled in the thriving evergreen and shrubs. Down the street but secluded enough to be away from the traffic. A charming combination.
It is now towards the end of the year, I am sweeping away the old dust left behind and am earnest to start something fresh and new. I don’t bother to contemplate new year resolutions anymore. There are simply too many things that I want to do and I always expect the unexpected. If it is good, embrace it. Otherwise, paint it, color it and change it. It is the same basic idea for the photographers to perform post-processing and bring new life to the pictures.

If we can all make our life a colorful storybook and read them like our grandchildren do, I think we won’t have time to pant over pains and aches. Our hearts will be light and our minds will be soaring in the blue sky.

Maybe I have been surrounded by wood-framed houses too much and too long, I feel Mediterranean style of white stucco walls are refreshing. It looks clean-cut and steadfast. The tile roof is classic and never goes out of style unlike the shingle or composite roofs that we have here, earthy, natural but not long-lasting.

Cannot get enough Tuscany, the terra cotta color seems to always popped up in front of me. The entrance door with black cast iron hardware reminds me of my old business and the stone trim adds antique flare. How many houses still have this chimney that Santa would be in favor of and bring your kids more Christmas presents:-) On these cold autumn days, don’t you crave that cozy sunshine and blue sky? and the colors?

I show this one, not for its architecture, but for the squash Geese on the front porch. I have never seen squash looking so much like geese, maybe only in the storybook. But they are real vegetarian geese! People in this house must be creative and have a good sense of humor. Don’t you love that? I tried to blur most of the area and make the geese and pumpkins more showy. I bet the trick-o-treaters have bombarded this house on Halloween night.

I will continue to keep the storybook in my mind and I hope to share more pictures and stories with you.


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