Meet The National Geographic Traveler Of The Year – Part II – Palestine

Last week I attempted to introduce the works of Heather Finnecy, a photographer from San Francisco who set off on a quest to photograph women of Middle East. Heather was 2014’s National Geographic’s Traveler Of The Year. I had all intentions to continue sharing her work last week. What I didn’t anticipate is between Ramadan, work, play, volunteering, with bits of spiritual moments here and there, I wouldn’t be left with any time to dedicate to this blog.

So today I pick up where I left off.

Last week we peeked into the lives of women in Lebanon and Jordan. Today we embark on a journey to Palestine.

Make sure to visit her project site From What I Can See for a complete gallery showcasing her journey into the Middle East.


The Laisoon Sisters

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Ruba & Family

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Work-It Girl

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The Wall – West Bank

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Visit here for a deeper look into the restricted territories of Palestine!

Meet The National Geographic Traveler Of The Year – Part I

Heather Finnecy

Meet Heather Finnecy.

A photographer from San Francisco set out on a journey to photograph the women of Middle East, in territories many would steer clear of. “As an American, I found there was a hole in the imagery and information that I received about the daily lives of women in the world,” she says. “So I decided to set out and see for myself what it was like.” In her quest to find out what it is like for women in other cultures, she visited Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Kuwait, UAE and Afghanistan.

I want to share some of her work with you and I encourage you to visit her project site From What I Can See to view all photographs captured during her Middle East itinerary.

I’m grateful for people like Heather who’ve taken the initiative to walk into unpopular territories exposing a side of the Muslim world unbeknownst to many in the West. Contrary to images of fear, chaos and oppression propagated by Media in our daily lives, her photographs show a rather different perspective of the Middle East – a more modern side. It provides a lens into the lives of women who are striving for their aspirations and dreams just like us. “I believe that every time I go to a new country and I connect with a human there, I am making the world smaller,” Finnecy says. This is so true! The more I travel, the more I realize people essentially everywhere strive for similar things in life. We are more alike then we think we are in spite of our differences in race, religion, culture and traditions. Recognizing this “commonality” we share with people from other parts of the world helps create a bond. And once we establish a bond, we will learn to fear less and respect more. For we only fear what we don’t know.

There’s so much of her work I want to share but I want to leave plenty for you to view on her website.

Since there are a plethora of photographs, today’s post is dedicated to Heather’s journey to Lebanon and Kuwait.

Beirut, Lebanon

Shop Girls

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Streets of Beirut

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American University of Beirut

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On the Waterfront

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See more photographs of Lebanon here




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See more photographs of Kuwait here

Tomorrow we will take a peek into Heather’s journey to Palestine and Jordan.

Some Creative Product Designs

…that may have slipped your radar!

Wooden Camera iPhone Case – $7.99

wooden camera iphone case

Retro Pointer Finger Cursor Icon Pixel Mouse – $18.42


Zombie Cookie Jar Head – $39.95

zombie cookie jar

Pick Your Nose Party Cups – $9.00

pick your nose

Grandfather’s Ice Tray – $6.99

ice tray

Collapsible Bucket – $29.99 (I need about a dozen of these!)

collapsible bucket

Macbook Air Cover Decal – $19.94

macbook cover

Glass Cream Carton – $24.99

glass carton

Coke Can Glass – $6.77 (pack of 4)

coke can glass

Twist Whisk – $10.00


Really Cool Rolling Pins – prices vary, via the Etsy Shop

cool rolling pins

rolling pin1 rolling pin2

iPhone Keyboard Dock – $9.99

iphone keyboard

Tetris Sticky Notes – $9.26

sticky notes

Head Tissue Box Cover – $17.95

head tissue box

iPad Arcade Cabinet – $59.99

iPad arcade

Digital Peephole Viewer – $88.84

Digital peephole viewer

Mini Shopping Cart Organizer – $3.19

mini shopping cart organizer

Salt n Pepper Switch Dispenser – $10.89

salt n pepper

Kate Spade Salt & Pepper Phone Dispenser – $26.99

kate spade salt pepper

Mudroom Ideas

The more I think of a new house, the more I brainstorm about the entryway, realizing now more than ever how important mudrooms are!!!

They serve multiple purposes. For instance, mudrooms could be the doorway into your house and on most occasions, “extended” congregation points for folks entering/exiting your house. If done right, they can be the statement first-impression of your house. You can hook people’s attention long enough to talk them into taking their shoes off (keep your house dirt-free!) You can cleverly design your mudrooms so shoes, clothing and other items remain hidden (keep your house odor-free!) At the same time, mudrooms can be where everyday items are easily accessed without the need to search for them around the house (keep your house clutter-free)

Here are some mudroom ideas I want to share with you. Do you see yourself investing in a mudroom?


source unknown


Must-Know Photography Tips and Tricks

Watch photographer Lorenz Holder demonstrate some creative photography tips & tricks!

If you like taking pictures like the rest of us humanoids do then drop what you’re doing; these videos are short and loaded with brilliant ideas.

7 Smartphone Photography Tips and Tricks

These days most of us use our smartphones for photography for on-the-go editing and sharing convenience. Here are 7 ways you can make your smartphone photography stand out. Get ready to be the crowd pleaser on Instagram!


7 DIY Photography Tips Using Household Objects

These might need a little planning ahead of time but most objects are bound to be lying around your house as we speak. Make sure to grab a pair of stockings on your next trip!


7 Simple Photography Hacks

And if you’re more on the serious side of photography and want to learn some creative ways to photograph your next wedding session then this is the video to watch.

If you liked what you saw then do not forget to follow The Cooperative of Photography for more creative ideas!

Let your imagination go wild

If I could, I’d bring out the child in everyone by passing out these coloring books on birthdays, or better, host a coloring party with my close friends. And let everyone’s imagination go loose!

Johanna Basford, the UK-based creative mind behind these adult coloring books, has already sold a million copies containing detailed and vivid imagery brought to life on a piece of paper.

“Every piece I create starts life as a simple pencil sketch, evolving into a rambling pen and ink drawing usually spanning several sheets of paper. I love the tactile nature of the materials I use and the joy of smudgy fingerprints.”

Her books are priced between $10-$20 and have already made a statement in Paris outselling French cookbooks.

See it for yourself.





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Available on Amazon for your visual pleasure!

Industrial Designs

I swear Tumblr is like a vacuum!!! If you get in the way of it, it can suck you in.

A couple of weeks ago I ran across #IndustrialDesign on Tumblr. I made the mistake of clicking on the hashtag. Since then, I’ve been hooked. This is news coming from someone who’s more of a vintage fan, you know, stuff you find on the other end of the spectrum.

So…since this blog is about anything & everything random that resonates with me, I will now take you into the world of Industrial Design!

Auktionstipsetvia Souda; Source

3-legged magazine table1 3-legged magazine table2

via IndustrialDesignIdeas; source

cool bookshelf

via cool stuff; source

cool grill1

cool grill2

cool grill3

cool grill4

via ippinka; source

edgy floor bookshelf1

edgy floor bookshelf2

edgy floor bookshelf3

via make stuff; source

wave cabinet

wave cabinet2

wave cabinet3

via make stuff; source

ishi desk1

ishi desk2

via take over time; source

megalith table1 megalith table2

via occupy design; source

modular brass candle blocks

via Souda; source

pethouse design pethouse design2

via pentadesk; source

papilio chairs1

papilio chairs3

via Outside The Area; Source

Embracing Touch Seat Collection

via style taboo; source

geometrical sofa set

geometrical sofa set2

via Industrial Design Ideas; source

And I can totally see myself lazy’ing on this giant boxy cushion chair!

More to come on this trend…stay tuned…


Sancaklar Mosque

I’d like to take this opportunity to invite Amre Arolat Architects to build a mosque like the Sancaklar Mosque in Houston! This gorgeous 7,500+ square feet mosque was built in 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The building was designed as a response to the Sancaklar family who wanted to build a mosque on a site overlooking the Buyukcekmece Lake. The design aimed at representing purest forms of light and matter, just as a primary inner world, free from all cultural burdens.

Enjoy photography by Thomas Mayer

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reblogged from Souda