Wednesday, October 21, 2009


George and I headed up to Tulsa last week.  He had to work the basketball game and in the meantime, I did a little bit of exploring.  The genious that I am...I left my GPS at home, and while my phone is a great 3G phone with a fast internet connection, I have yet to master more then the basics with it, since it's a step below an iphone.  Anyhow, I decided to do what I did before google maps, GPS and all that, and just drive around aimlessly exploring.  I was rewarded by finding (or more of stumbling upon) the Philbrook Museum of Art.  I'd heard of this place, and seen pictures of it.  It's an amazing and enourmous Italian Renaissance villa, former home of Oklahoma oil pioneer Waite Phillips and his wife Genevieve Phillips, built in 1926...way before GPS :)  I did a bit of exploring in the gift shop and in the lobby, however it was 4:00, and the museum was closing at 5, so I decided to come back another day to check out the exhibits.  They are supposed to have a stunning African American, and Native American art collection.  They also have a stunning garden and Koi pond (see photo below...not mine though)!  Supposedly the most photographed place in all of Oklahoma, and I can see why!

So next time I go to Tulsa, hopefully I can check it out...I still need to visit the OKC Art Museum as well, which is just a few blocks away!  The cafe there is AMAZING though...for OKC.  Instead, I met up with a friend at McNellies, home of the $3.00 burger and fries, and then headed to the game where George hooked us up with courtside seats!  So, while I didn't get to check out the gardens, I did snap a few pics of the up on the panorama section of my website where you can view a larger version( Check it out!  This one is MY photo of the Philbrook:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Pieces!

Just finished up two new pieces...I have been inspired by a cool Seattle artist named Doug Landreth - I discovered his work after my friend Geoff suggested I check it out a few years back. I definitely have a different style in my photography, but I am using the same concept, photoshop with lots of layers and textures, very collage like. Let me know what you think! I am particularly digging the one with the dinner plate hibiscus. I generally stay away from anything too grungy or industrial opting for a softer look in my photos, but I like my new venture down this path, and I think I will continue to explore it. Of course these pics are posted in the "fine arts" section of my website so you can check them out there. I have been working on the "places" section of the site as well, so stop by and check it out! It's a work in progress, but I'm getting there!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Travel and Food

Soooooo....I'll admit I haven't been keeping up with the blog lately. I am working on my photography website and have been dedicating most of my time to that. Aside from that, George and I have been travelling quite a bit this summer, first Chicago, Seattle, and last of all Hawaii, so that's my excuse. :) But in the spirit of keeping up my photo blog, I'll post a few pics I took on my point and shoot while travelling to remind me that there is seafood out there...just not in Oklahoma! I love to take pictures of my food!

First stop was in Hawaii on Oahu's North Shore in Haleiwa. While there are some great sites to see, this place was a must on my list. Cajun Fish Sandwich grilled on a french baguette with fries, and best of all was the WASABI RANCH! You can't get that in OK!

Next up was what I had been waiting for. I was in Hawaii in February and had planned to head up to the shrimp trucks, however I came down with the flu, so I'm thankful that we were coming back in a few months. According to my Uncle Fred who lives on Oahu, Romy's is the only place on the N. Shore with genuine Kahuku shrimp, but Giovanni's has the best tasting shrimp. One day I'll try for the Kahuku, but for now, gotta go with the taste. I could have had 10 more plates! I am convinced that it's the only place on earth with shrimp that good.
Eventually, we made it back to Oklahoma, and had to try Eischen's....famous for their fried chicken. We had a friend who was moving to LA from OKC...(lucky girl!) so in honor of her, one of her last meals out was at this little joint, which was nearly 40 minutes away from downtown, and in the middle of nowhere.....literally. I think the only signs of life were at this place...unless you can count the skunk that one of our friends saw! Besides their fried chicken of which they cook over 800 a day on weekends, their claim to fame was being the oldest bar in the state of Oklahoma.

So the picture doesn't make it look that good.....

And this was my first time having fried okra....

I later discovered that Okra has really beautiful flowers, I had seen them growing around the city here, but I thought they were some kind of hibiscus...well they are related, but what a surprise!
So.....what's my take on the fried chicken????
Well...Eischens is going to be on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the food network on September 7th! So I'll leave it to Guy Fieri to let you know....or you can come visit me in OKC and I'll take you there!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


George and I travelled to Chicago last weekend for his brother Robert's graduation from the police academy. It was so nice to get away to a big city, with good food and entertainment, and good photography options! So, I have to break in here and post a panorama picture of downtown Chicago and Buckingham Fountain. This is my first panorama work (actually a combination of 7 photos and some serious Photoshop skills)....but I'm pretty stoked about the outcome. :) Click on the photo above for a closer look.

Surprisingly, Chicago is not an intimidating city like I first thought. It's easy to navigate, and I felt pretty comfortable there. Our first night there, we headed out towards Navy Pier, which was built on Lake Michigan in 1916 for the Navy, which is now an entertainment district with a great view of the city.

We were also lucky enough to stumble upon a free art show at the East River Art Center, where they even had the artists there discussing their work. It was great to see a REAL art show...I have to give Oklahoma credit for their Paseo Arts District, but they've got ways to go.

The next morning we went to Robert's graduation, I unfortunately forgot the battery for my camera, so I don't have any pictures. We ended up going to the John Hancock Center the next day, and got in some great views of the city at 100 stories tall, and on the 44th story, America's highest swimming pool.

The rest of our visit there was spent exploring the city, and eating great food that wasn't fried! FYI - Oklahoma has a lot of fried food, and not much 'fresh' cuisine per say. Although, I have to admit the famous "Chicago Dog" was well worth the extra calories.

That being said, I'm very much looking forward to our next trip....Hawaii!

Turner Falls, Davis Oklahoma

For the weekend, George and I decided to head down to Turner Falls, about an hour and a half away from OKC in the Arbuckle "Mountains"...FYI they are more like rocky hills. It was a neat place. From the moment we turned off the highway, it seemed like we had entered a different state. Oklahoma is very flat but also very green right now due to the recent thunderstorms. It was a nice getaway for us and the dogs. Turner Falls is a 77 foot waterfall, formed by the natural springs of Honey Creek and has been described as one of the three geological windows from our past, also including the Grand Canyon and the Black Hills of South Dakota. While I can't say it rivals the Grand Canyon, it was a fun place to visit.

We took in the first truly beautiful scenery in Oklahoma so far (besides the sunsets) Frio enjoyed making a splash while Kimo watched from the sidelines being very careful to avoid the water. He eventually made it in for a treat though. Those pupperonis must be worth it.
Frio played almost the whole time in the water, but eventually it was time to dry off and go for a hike.

There a a few caves in the area that were somewhat unimpressive, but overall we were quite happy with the falls! It was a nice getaway from the stereotypical Oklahoma of beer, beef and.... bad scenery.

Monday, June 1, 2009


Aloha friends,
WELCOME TO MANGO HILL PHOTOGRAPHY - by Brandy Waterstraat. Please sign my guestbook! I love feedback about my work or the website, and I love to hear from YOU. Thank you for your support. Mahalo!