Friday, August 26, 2016

The Fresh New Look!

Lake County

I thought I should create a new blog since I’m now living in California instead of Sri Lanka. It was a struggle to think of a new name - the list started out simply enough and then got downright silly -  Lucy’s Letters, Lucy’s Lake and Latte, What Next, Lucy in the Sky, Nap Time! 

Choosing the name for a new blog made me want to STOP!
The name drove me crazy until one of my faithful followers wrote to me, “The reason the blog helped the wedding business was it was interesting. Not all your blogs were wedding related...you wrote about a lot of things and it helped draw attention to the wedding business...directly and indirectly. I think it would still work that way. And you could still write about weddings or about your life, alternating.” 

That felt right. So I chucked the new blog and gave Lucy’s Buzz a fresh new look. After all, that was the fun part of making a new blog - designing it. It took me two days and a major headache to get it how I wanted. The fun had quickly turned mean on me - too many variables! Font type, size, background colors, how to let people make comments, a new photo for my profile updating my google account. The list went on. And on. And on.

I will still write about the weddings that Lipton Jayawickrama, my partner-in-crime, is doing and I’ll write about living in the land of drought and sunshine - the Great California!

Clear Lake, California

Love getting your comments!

I put up a new FaceBook page as soon as I landed in California. It’s https://www.facebook.com/Pets-People-Portraits-by-Lucy-Llewellyn-Byard-1596010617391039/?fref=ts Not much has been done to it, but look at it and like it. It will transform along with me transforming into this next chapter of my life.

Continue to check out our Sri Lankan wedding photography and videography, travel photography, portrait photography, female photographers, commercial photography on our FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/ShadeTreeProductions/

© ShadeTree Productions, Lucy Llewellyn Byard








Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Two Sexy Girls - Decades Later!

Disneyland 1983

Now!

How can it be that my dear friend Penny Bracken and I hadn't seen each other in at least 25 years?

Thank goodness for Facebook, we connected through our good friend Ray Gorman. Ray, Penny and I were a force to be reckoned back in the 1980s. Through a serendipitous turn of events we were brought together to do business and design and sell jewelry. Ray was the brilliance behind the Gorman Design Group and Penny was the driving force. I just went out and sold the hell out of a wonderful product.

The three of us would meet and laugh like crazy, for Ray was on the level of Robin-William-funny. We also bantered back and forth ideas for a new line of jewelry to add to the others. We did this over the years and made memories that we will never forget.

Ray and me at the
San Francisco Gift show 1983

Penny and Ray (left, center)

While I was in Sri Lanka, I connected to Ray through Facebook and he told Penny about my overseas adventures. A month later Penny wrote me with the sad news that Ray had died. How could that be? I had just chatted with him the week before. Penny and I were both devastated. The planet had just lost one of its best humans.

Now that I’m back on California terra firma, Penny came from her now home in Minnesota for a three-day visit. WOWO! Our first hours together were filled with histories, laughter and Toby wondering why the hell we were making all that noise! I talked so much my voice got hoarse. I listened so much that I got excited from all the freshness of my friend. We had shared a lot of history! History that took us both on different paths. History that was inexplicably linked.

We’ll need another rash of visits to really catch up. Of course during this first visit Penny offered me help for anything here at my new little abode. She owns three successful resale businesses (and the buildings!) in Rochester, WN, so when I showed her the garage full of stuff, she knew exactly what to do. We ended up taking a car load of goods to the Lucerne thrift shop and then drove around Clearlake just to inhale the views, the communities and the bus routes that I could explore once she’d gone.

View from Konacti

After the jam-packed day, we sat watching (actually talking during) the Olympics when the earth rocked! Jolted! Two hard ones. Penny and I looked at each other and blurted “Earthquake!” As Penny bolted for the door, I said, “Put your shoes on.” She did. Then she said, “Get Toby’s leash!” I did.

Outside, the neighbors gathered and waited for an aftershock. Toby, excited with his leash on, thought he was going for a walk. We calmed down in the ensuing minutes, somewhat confident that was all we were going to get. Penny called a friend, and I took Toby for a walk just up to the corner where we talked to the neighbor and his dog. “The epicenter was over the hill. It was a 5.1,” he told me. I looked online and sure enough the epicenter was only 22Km away. Gulp.

So we not only had a fun adventure with Penny here, she rocked our world!

Toby loved Penny as I knew he would. I think he’s sad now that she’s gone. I am! But I know she’ll be back and the adventures of the two sexy 60yo+ chicks will continue!


Morning love!

Toby's scoping out Penny's biscuit.

They talked the same language.

Penny's departure



Yes, she's really leaving.

Sad me.

Sad boy.

Friends really are forever.

To check out Penny's very hip resale stores go to FaceBook:
https://www.facebook.com/KismetConsignment/?fref=ts

Stay tuned for my next adventure!


Monday, June 20, 2016

Open Mic Night!



When I moved to Sri Lanka in 2002 from Southern California, I lost my poetry manuscript ‘Women Stuff’. It stayed lost for the 14years I lived there. I mourned those loss of my words, thinking I would never get them back.

I moved to Northern California in April this year. Just last week I unpacked some things and found the manuscript! How fabulous is that? Could you hear my sigh of relief?

My new neighbors. Ciarrighi and Larry, and I became friends immediately. Yesterday they invited me to go to Open Mic Night at the Community Center. Why not, I thought. It would be a good way to meet people. Closer to the evening I wondered if I should break out some poems to read. Why not?

Lots of people showed up. They were friendly, the food was good and there was some great music. One man from South Africa, songwriter Fletcher sang stories. Wonderful stories. The band Fogg played all my favorite oldies! Fogg got the crowd on their feet and onto the dance floor. One musician, Jim Arvantis, spellbound the audience with his playing and singing!

I was so glad I went!

In case you're curious, I’ve added some videos to this blog.Thanks to Ciarrighi for my videos!

Lucy Llewellyn Byard - A Thousand Tsuru
https://www.youtube.com/embed/FJnlITutnh4

Lucy Llewellyn Byard - When I Think of You
Lucy Llewellyn Byard - Scene From a Restaurant Window
https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZNKZUiCYcDI

Singer Songwriter Fletcher - Homegrown Tomatoes

The FOGG


Cheers!
Lucy




Friday, April 1, 2016

What a Difference a Mac Makes!

A friend is letting me use his computer. A PC. I first scraped the dust off it and cleaned the keyboard so I could see the letters. Now, I'm not ungrateful. It is nice to have a computer but I'm finding that finding my way around a PC is giving me headaches.

For example; I don't know how to get my photos from my iPhone onto the laptop. Or how to download my pictures from my Canon camera. I'm finding it easier to figure out public transport in San Francisco than PC-syncing with my iStuff. Its even more difficult than figuring out what trash goes into what recyling bin. Or finding the spellcheck to spell recycling properly (hey, I got it right this time!)

THEY say that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. I've always thought THEY were wrong, but in this case THEY might be right. I've been a Mac girl for a good 25, maybe 35 years. Could be longer --seems I can't sync my brain to the PC either. I just can't make the switch!

The hunt is on for what Mac computer to buy. If I was searching on a Mac, it would automatically point to the proper one. This crusty old PC won't even tell me where a Mac Store is!

So, the search goes on!!

Note: Sorry no photos.The blue chair at the top is something I took off the internet to buy online. Thought I'd put something up there! Next blog I'll either write it on my iPhone, which gives me access to photos or write it on a new Mac computer.

Note #2: For people in California, I'm now doing portraits of pets and people! See my new FB page
https://www.facebook.com/Pets-People-Portraits-by-Lucy-Llewellyn-Byard-1596010617391039/

Note #3: To book your Sri Lanka weddings, homecomings, waleemas, all your events; call Lipton at 0777.387735. He and Jeshan will capture your moments!

Check out our Sri Lankan wedding photography and videography, travel photography, portrait photography, female photographers, commercial photography on our new page at https://www.facebook.com/ShadeTree-JM-Photography-1550847388566974/ and at our website at: http://www.shadetreeSL.com
© ShadeTree Productions & J&M Photography

Cheers!
Lucy

Monday, March 14, 2016

What's a Girl to do in the City?




My friend Paul Burditch called me. I haven't heard his voice in 13+ years! Paul was the conduit for taking me to the Maldives to do an article for Sport Diver Magazine on the maiden voyage of the Four Seasons luxury dive yacht. 

We stayed in touch all those years and when he heard that I was returning to California, to San Francisco, where he lives, he said he would welcome me with open arms!


True to his word, he did. After meeting at his incredible flat, we Uber'd our way to the de Young Museum's opening day of the Oscar de la Renta exhibition. Oh swoon. To be in San Francisco, even on a rainy, cold, blustery day, let alone see the new de Young Museum AND the art of the iconic fashion designer, was heady stuff. 

It was one thing to see de la Renta's dresses on the red carpet at the Academy Awards, on TV, but to see them up close was exciting as hell! Pee your pants exciting!

Luckily Paul is a member of the museum and we zipped right in, with headphones that gave us and audio tour. 

The first room of de la Renta's couture designs was breathtaking. The lighting was incredible and the sleek mannequins perfect for showcasing each outfit. 



The wedding dresses made me think of the dresses in Sri Lanka, especially the extravagant Muslim wedding dresses. The texture of the materials, the beading - intricate knotting of a dress that Former First Lady Laura Bush wore - had me wanting to reach out and touch them. Oh how I wanted to.



My friend Mano Caderamapulle, one of the top fashion designers in Sri Lanka, would love  the exhibition. Simply love it. 

De la Renta's different periods were all represented. There was so much to love; his Spanish period, Russian period, the Garden period and Asian period. Seeing who loaned each gown was interesting as well. My friend Joanne is an Assistant Professor at Kent State University of Fashion and there were several gowns lent to the exhibition by them. Perhaps Joanne helped select them!








The exhibition ended all too early for me. I'll just have to go back. In fact I'm thinking of getting a de Young membership. It's the only way to go!


View from the Observatory 
 
Note: Most of the photos were taken by Paul as my iPhone died early into the exhibit. Thank you, Paul. We had a great time!

If you miss me, you can contact me at: llbyard@me.com. If you need photos taken in San Francisco, please contact me!

Contact ShadeTree Productions & J&M Photography for all your Sri Lanka photography/videography needs at 0777387735. Lipton and Jeshan will capture your special moments. 

Visit our new studio at 20 Gothami Road. 
Cheers! 
Lucy

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Lucy's Buzz USA

HI! I'm going to try and write this blog on my iPhone. Not easy typing with one finger. But here goes...

San Francisco is cold as cold can be. My bones are as cold as Toby's nose! Last night I slept under 2 blankets and a heavy as hell duvet. I was cemented down by the weight of them all. 

I've been sleeping on a full sized mattress of which Toby plops down right in the middle. Wrong!

Today is trash day and I captured the trash truck to show my friends in Sri Lanka. Everything is recycled. I had to take a course on what was what!

My grandson took me to lunch. I'm so amazed by him. He's grown into a really cool man while I was in Sri Lanka. 

I took the ferry across the Bay to see my daughter and son-in-law. What crack ups they are! Apparently Toby kept checking the door to see if I had returned home. He wasn't alone though, he was with his new BFF Rocky, an English Springer Spaniel. It took Toby two days to figure out that he is bigger than Rocky and can intimidate him by standing over him. Fun to watch! Rocky doesn't mind. His tail goes 100kph!

So this is enough for now. Let's see if I can post it with some photos. 

The trash truck and the recycle cans. 

Coconuts at the grocery store. Odd looking!

Waiting for the ferry to go see my family. It was pouring rain outside and the ferry employee let me sit inside and wait for it to arrive. I read the online schedule wrong and got there 1.5hrs early so I was glad to be out of the rain. There's a Farmers Market in the Ferry Building but it was super crowded and not a seat in sight! Pictures next time!


The ferry!

My silly grandson! No selfie with my daughter. We were too busy chatting!

Toby already has his favorite chair!

This is 1/3 of the aisle in the grocery store. ALL ICE CREAM!!!

Toby and I on our daily walk. Resting after climbing the stairs (see below). 


The stairs!

I hope you all keep in touch. And if you need photographers for your special day give Lipton and Jeshan a shout at +94 777387735

Cheers from San Francisco!
Lucy


Monday, February 22, 2016

Surprise! Surprise! A Road Trip!




Lipton told me not to schedule anything for this last Saturday. For the whole day and night.

Hmmmm, what could he be planning?

After almost 14years of being together; friends, photo partners, business partners, companions, mother/son, he knows me. He knew that the one place I’ve always wanted to go to was Minneriya, to see the elephants.

And that’s where we went! Yippee! I was so happy, even though I knew that it was totally the wrong season and that we’d be lucky to see any elephants. For them to gather it has to be the dry season, with little water in the park except for some in the lake. Now the lake is full to the brim and there were storm clouds gathering (instead of elephants) – more water for the elephants.

The 4-hour drive up to Minneriya wasn’t too bad, except for the construction at Kurunegala. Even early in the morning it was a pain, and I was sure all our tires were going to explode from all the potholes.

Buddhi, our friend and photo editor/album designer, came with us, so that added a bunch of fun and laughter! When we turned into the Minneriya National Park we all giggled and took photos of the park’s sign. I think we were just relieved that the drive was over.

The first thing we saw was a darling little deer lying contently at the edge of the parking lot. It’s the first time I’ve ever petted a deer. So super. When Buddhi petted it, the deer closed her eyes, loving the attention. Nice start!


 

Lipton chose a comfortable jeep, thinking of how one of the more uncomfortable ones would rattle my bones. He then chose a tracker and we were set to go.

I chose to stand, let the wind whip through my Annie Lennox hairdo. It was delightful, except when we’d plow through dips and potholes and I’d knock into the metal bars I was trying to hold onto. I actually haven’t checked for bruises, but I was sure I’d be covered. Lipton suggested I sit down but I wanted the full ‘tracker’ experience.

All of a sudden the real tracker tapped the roof and the driver stopped. There in the middle of a clearing was a big bull elephant, about 25-30 years old the tracker told me. He was munching away at a tree and some grasses. So lovely to see a Sri Lankan elephant without chains on! It made my heart sing.

 



Very slowly the bull walked toward the jeep, munching grass while he walked. I was excited. We all were. I’m not sure if Lipton or I had the camera, but whoever had it was clicking away.


Apparently the driver got scared with the elephant being so close, so he started the jeep’s engine and took off. Goodbye Ellie.


Throughout the journey we saw the national bird; a Jungle Fowl. It looks like a rooster, but with brilliant colors and a wonderful gold crest atop its head that shines as if spotlighted. I actually spotted that! Woohoo – what a tracker! I also spotted a fox trotting across the road, disappearing quickly into the jungle. At that moment there was also a peacock in full bloom perched on a tree branch near the jeep and a young monkey that was up to posing for the camera. All three creatures at the same time!






 

We got drenched from a giant downpour and so we knew we wouldn’t see any more elephants, but we were happy with our giant bull’s appearance. And so knocked and battered from the jerking jeep, we arrived back to the park’s center.

Since we were so close to Dambulla, we decided to go see our dear friend Laki Senanayake at his place, Diyabubala. I had just called Laki the day before to say goodbye to him, that I wouldn’t make it up to see him. Great! Another surprise! Seeing Laki was better than seeing a whole herd of elephants. He’s been a dear friend for the almost 14 years I’ve lived in Sri Lanka. I love him to the moon and back and loved spending time with him in the calm of Diyabubula.

Laki's giant sculpture that greets you
at the entrance of Diyabubula.


It was a glorious day. Thank you Lipton, my dear, dear, dearest friend. There are no words to describe how much I love you and will miss you. Hurry up and get your USA Visa!

For the curious – ShadeTree Productions is continuing, collaborating with Jeshan Njthjyanandan – into ShadeTree Productions & J&M Photography. These guys are awesome, talented, creative and super!

To book your weddings, homecomings, waleemas, all your events; call Lipton at 0777.387735. He and Jeshan will capture your moments!

Check out our Sri Lankan wedding photography and videography, travel photography, portrait photography, female photographers, commercial photography on our new page at https://www.facebook.com/ShadeTree-JM-Photography-1550847388566974/ and at our website at: http://www.shadetreeSL.com
© ShadeTree Productions & J&M Photography