About Me

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Hi I'm Laura Hickman. Writer, sewist, baker, fairytalemaker. When I'm not writing a delicious fantasy with my husband Tracy Hickman, I'm up to my elbows creating with yarn, frosting, cloth, or paint. I love playing with my grandkids, outdoor photography & travel. Join me at http:// bakingoutsidethebox.com as I share my creations including my Baking Outside the Box mix method for all sorts of fabulous desserts. Invictus by William Ernest Henley, is my favorite poem. Especially the final stanza: It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

Friday, June 9, 2017

A New Day

So happy to be back at the looking lens.  This is the blog that has my heart.  I love capturing pictures.  It's been tough the last few years as my darling cameras became outdated.  For the last little while I've been using my phone for everything including my recipe blog; Baking Outside the Box.

Things have happily improved in the camera department here.  As of Tuesday of this week, I am now the proud owner of a new camera and so thrilled to feel the weight of a real camera in my hands again.

I'm still working on the 'ramp up' as so many things have changed since my last camera. However, I will soon be off looking for things to photograph and share.  I hope you'll drop by occasionally for a look at my visual adventures.  -- Laura

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Autumn Peaks

Here are pictures fresh from my little camera.  The Alpine Loop, the road over Mount Timpanogos was so alive and vibrant with fall colors yesterday that I've gleaned a few favorites from the many I took and I've laid them out here for you to enjoy. The mountain air was lightly crisp, but the sun still felt warm on my skin.  It was a perfect autumn day.  I wish you'd been there.  - Laura
I was expecting fall colors, but they were so amazingly rich.  This picture almost, but not quite, does it justice.

Ok, I just couldn't resist this one in back and white, despite the fall colors.  I love the strong lines in it and the punctuation of the waning moon in the morning sky.
Many of the pines were decorated in aspen leaves and looked quite festive.

This glorious scene was taken near the summit. Snow on top already!

The Golden Path.

This splash of red caught my eye.  I love the details in nature. It might be Columbine, which I adore.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Summer Bits

I just have a few photos for you.  The last couple months have been busy and difficult.  But much has improved and so I will share just a few little 'bits of summer'  tonight with you.  Wishing you all deep peace, Laura

I'm sure you can tell by the tulips that I took this one in early May and am just now sharing it here.  I had just gotten my 'new' (used) iphone and this is the only decent picture I've managed to take with it so far.  (Flower beds, Oquirrh Mountain Temple.)

I've titled this one, 'Shy Bow'  and sadly, it is the only rainbow I've captured this summer.

 Here is a picture of a volunteer basil growing in the shadow of one of my tomato plants.  I built this little guy a self-watering vase and transplanted it.  It's thriving on my kitchen window sill.  Turns out, it is a Lettuce Leaf Basil and I am thrilled.
Oh, and If you want to see a picture of the self-watering vase I designed, click here.

There was a 'Vintage White Market' up at the Salt Lake Fairgrounds a while back and I came across this charming fellow.  I had a horse just like him as a child.  Oh the adventures we had in the back yard!

 This is a picture of the plume of smoke above the massive Levan fire (and placid cattle) last July.  (Levan itself was not on fire though!)

Here is a recent photo of one of the limbs on my apple tree. This little Fuji is loaded with crisp apples that are almost ripe.  (The fact that they are a little green hasn't not stopped me from enjoying them already. :)  )

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sun, Sand & Sea

It has been far too long since I posted here.  I have a good many more pictures that I should share than the few today.  Perhaps I will have to post again soon.  

It's been a very busy year so far.  
  • There's been more travel for work than usual. 
  •   The game 'Sojourner Tales'  is making its way here on a slow boat from China. 
  •  I'm also happy to announce the fist book, 'Unwept', from the 'Nightbirds Series'  came out at the beginning of this month. 
  •  Most of my photographic time has been dedicated to my homemaking blog: Baking Outside the Box.   I credit it's recent success to the crochet designs I've shared and also it seems that many of my entree recipes are popular with the Paleo crowd.  
  •  We are prepping for three big convention appearances in a row beginning mid August and ending mid September.

I've had the privilege of a bit of voluntary travel, i.e. vacation, too.  Below are a few pictures from these two journeys.  The first is from a short trip to the Bahamas and the second set are from the annual family reunion at lake Powell.  
As always, if you want a better look at the photos, just click on them.

These fellow were sailing just off the stern end of the ship.

I love pictures of lighthouses.  I've thought about them a lot as one is featured in Nightbirds.

Here is some brain coral in the shape of a heart that was still damp from the surf.  

This charming star fish (with friend) was about a hand span across in width.  He was tumbling about in just a few inches of water.  I was enchanted.

Now here we are at Lake Powell.
Tracy and I found this dead tree while kayaking.  I have a thing for dead trees.  Something about structure, I guess.
Here is a wide shot of 'Dead Tree Pond'.


And this 'magic casement'  is an arch I'd never seen before.  It's in Dry Creek Canyon.  (Which is quite wet!)
The phrase magic casement is a reference to Keats 'Ode to a Nightingale'  as follows:
The same that oft-times hath
Charmed magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas in fairy lands forlorn.

Wishing you all peace and sweet dreams. -- Laura

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Waiting for Spring

There are only 4 photos I deemed worthy of sharing with you this month. Two of them are of old houses just outside Beaver, Utah.  I took them on the way home from a visit to St. George.
 I don't know why, but I'm drawn to old houses, abandoned cars and dead trees.  They make me feel wistful and I wonder about the life that once moved in them.  Please remember to click on the pictures to get a better view.  Hugs, Laura

 I rescued this bit of 'lost wool'. It was looking a bit forlorn on the grass beside the car.  I had jumped out of the car so quickly I'd dumped it off my lap onto the ground.
This is literally the leaf from a book.  It fell onto the table out of my journal where  I'd tucked it last fall. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Year's End 2013

I have many photographs  from the final quarter of 2013. (And one or two surprises.) Out of the several hundred I shot these are the ones I wished to share with you.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

In October I headed down to the little lake near my house to plein air sketch/watercolor with  my friend Deb, who is an artist also.

I adore this handsome Chinese Gander.  His wife is a Snow Goose and he is wildly protective of her.  I love watching the pair of them together.

Winding my way through autumn on the Alpine Loop.

November was "Adventure Month" .  Tracy and I appeared at the Singapore Writer's Festival.  The flight was 22 hours plus 4 hours layover total in San Francisco and Japan. (yes 26 hours!)  We lost  a Tuesday and got two Mondays in return....I want my Tuesday back.
Singapore is a fascinating mix of old and new.  A shining, clean, safe city...just like a big port city should be. (New York and LA take note!)  The cherry on this cake for me is that while everyone may speak several different languages, the national language is English.  It was a delightful week full of a fabulous variety of Asian food, long walks and fascinating people. 
The architecture is a fascinating blend of colonial and ultra modern.

The hotel.

 I found the building facades to be absolutely delicious.

They were starting to decorate the entire town and the airport for Christmas.  I couldn't resist this fellow.  

Caught this sunset in the Narita, Japan airport, waiting for our long night flight home.

After a week at home for me and quick trip to Indianapolis for Tracy, we headed to Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada for another appearance.

In the distance you can see the Canadian Rockies.

I don't think I've ever understood how flat and wide-open (and lonely-feeling) the land is to our north.  Excellent land for cattle and wheat.
On Sunday we got to take a road trip and we stopped in Cardston to get this picture of the Temple.  It is a very small town, but not nearly as tiny as Glenwood, pictured below.  
Here is the main street of the town my Grandparents settled after immigrating from England.
To get to Glenwood, you must be going there on purpose, for it isn't on the way to anywhere.  It is still surrounded by wheat farms just as it was in 1911 when my mother was born.

Here is a house at the edge of town.  Amazing view, but oh, so desolate.

Here is first of the surprises: a picture of my mother, Jennie at 13. (Obviously not from my camera!)

I couldn't resist stopping to take a picture of this abandoned church on the roadside just outside of Glenwood.

Sunset in Lethbridge.

And finally we come to December.  
Here is a lovely accidental photo I call 'Christmas Secrets'

You know how I love rainbows.  But they are scarce in winter.  So I will make-do with a sundog.

On my birthday, (Dec. 7th) I woke up to a beautiful snow.  It makes me think of New England.
Later that day I dropped my camera.  Ouch.  It is at a camera hospital. A kind friend has lent me a camera.  Hopefully there will be something worth shooting in January.

Surprise #2: A gift I recently received;  I took this picture of my friend Dezra in spring of 1974.-- Almost 40 years ago. 
'For Auld Lang Syne, my dear.'  Happy new year.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A View of Summersend

Summersend is the name of the house where the main character, Ellis, lives in our Nightbird's series that will debut next summer.  It also describes how I feel during the warm days of fall.  It's as though summer is giving us a backward and regretful glance as she leaves to give-way  for autumn who will succumb, too soon, to winter's embrace.
Here are a few photos from the season just past and a glimpse of the cover of the first Nightbird's book. (Click on the pictures for a larger view.)
I absolutely love the cover.  The publisher and artist were very considerate of our suggestions.  It will be out next July.  She is holding a witch moth.

Early in the summer we took a long-overdue trip to Florida.
I found this fellow calmly strutting on the lawn near our room.

I was so surprised to see this pod of manatees while on a boat that I nearly missed taking the shot.

I had the opportunity to take a week long watercolor class from Osral Allred down at Snow college.  He was a wonderful instructor. (He is a Spring City artist.)  I enjoyed taking pictures of some of the structures in and around Ephraim.  

I love architectural details!!!!

Here I am at Nasa with Robo-Naut.  It was our second tour of Nasa.  We got the cool tour this time and we got to walk around the Mock-up of the International Space Station as well as see what the inside of a Soyuz space capsule is like.  It is cramped!  (Incidentally, I thought the movie 'Gravity' portrayed things quite well.)

I found pretty little 'Portia the Praying Mantis' on my window screen at home.

A visit to Albion meadow to see the wildflowers is my favorite day of the season.  This year the flowers were an absolute wonderland.
Which way to point the camera?

This handsome moose kept his eye on us as he ate lunch and I kept a respectful distance.  I didn't realize until later that his mate was foraging in the background.  He was on guard-duty.