My Blog has moved!

Hello friends, followers, family and fans. I have moved my blog to I’d love it if you join me on my journey and continued to follow my blog and all the exciting adventures that are to come.

Sign up for the RSS Feed, follow via email or just check back periodically! I can guarantee you won’t want to miss out.

All of my content from here has been transferred over to the Evergreen Hiker, so no worries you can still access my articles from there!

Thanks for all the support on the Joyful Shoehorn over the years.




September Sunset in Seaside

The Oregon Coast can have some of its most spectacular sunsets in September when the clouds begin to build and the breeze becomes cool. This photo was taken in Seaside, Oregon on the north Oregon Coast just after the sun fell below the horizon.

Seaside, Oregon sunset

Running the Eugene Marathon Half

Last Sunday all of my hard training came together as I crossed the finish line at Hayward field for the Eugene Marathon half. After 13.1 miles I was exhilarated to have finished my first race in 02:27:48. My legs were a tad tired – my hips started hurting around mile 12 – but otherwise I felt good and I even finished a few minutes under my goal time. Surrounded by cheering crowds with cowbells, I couldn’t image a better way to finish my first half marathon then on the historic field in Eugene with my mom (this was her first half-marathon too) by my side!

My next goal is to run the Eugene Women’s Half Marathon on August 26, 2012 in under two hours.  Here’s to long summer evenings pounding the pavement!

Here are few photos from my race:

My Mom and I as we wait in the corral for the race to start.

Runners hit the street for the Eugene Marathon

Runners hit the street for the Eugene Marathon

Running the Eugene Marathon

Trudging on around mile 8

Almost to the finish line at Hayward Field

My mom & I with our half marathon medals after finishing!

Have you ever run a long distance race? What is your best tip for new runners?

Not Your Paint By Numbers Art Scene

Numberism Art by Sienna Morris

Over the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of traveling to Portland, Oregon a handful of times and exploring the city’s thriving arts scene. From live theater performances to art walks, café concerts and plays, Portland houses hippies to hipsters and everyone inbetween for an unforgettably creative gallery for the arts. One of my favorite art vendors to stop by is the huge, eclectic Portland Saturday Market along the Willamette River. Featuring hand-made goods, jewelry, paintings, glass art, ceramics and so much more, the market is a wonderful showcase opportunity for all the local artist.

On my most recent trip to the Portland Saturday Market, my friends and I stumbled upon the most amazing booth – Fleeting States Studios by Sienna Morris– where we all made an thorough donation.

Using numbers to build images frozen in time, Sienna Morris creates numberism art that evokes emotion and aww in its imaginative projects – this is no simple kids’ paint by number.

Each image is created using only numbers and each string is painstakingly thought out to represent the mathematical, scientific or numerical representation of the image. The amount of thought and precision that goes into each creation just blows my mind.

The most extraordinary piece that I viewed in Sienna’s booth was her creation called “A Cello.” The strings are drawn with the hertz frequency along the notes, the wood of the bow is drawn with the Pythogorean comma and the body of the cello with the speed at which sound travels parallel to the grain of wood! View this amazing work of art here.

Falling to Pieces by Sienna Morris

Falling to Pieces by Sienna Morris

Sienna created her first drawing in 2008 titled “Falling to Pieces.”  My friend Sarah purchased a reproduction of this moment frozen in time, which is built using the numbers of the clock, 1-12. The image represents a moment in time that is precious and intimate, yet quickly disappears like the numbers falling away from the two faces.

Midnight by Sienna Morris

Midnight Special by Sienna Morris

Bioluminescences by Sienna Morris

Bioluminescences by Sienna Morris

My friend Dani purchased for her sister, the piece titled “Bioluminescence.” This drawing is much more complex then the first. The fireflies’ abdomens are drawn with a chemical formula for their bioluminescence, while the light coming from the fireflies is drawn with the speed of light (299792458 meters per second). The girl is drawn with the numbers of the clock, 1-12 to represent the moment in time.

My friend Bre bought from the booth’s display, a piece titled “Midnight Special,” which depicts a Billie Holiday-esque image of a young lady holding an old fashion microphone. This image is also created with the numbers 1-12 as part of her time collection.

Finally, I purchased the beautiful intro piece, “Et Memorium.”

I highly recommend stopping by Sienna Morris’ booth at the Saturday Market or viewing her collections online.

One Year of Adventures

This week I celebrated my one year blog-o-versary! Woot Woot!

With 233 (make that 234) posts, 21 pages and three re-designs, it has been quite the journey. I am thankful for every view, every comment and every follower who has joined me along the way. I hope to continue bringing great adventures from my travels, more photography snippets into my life and maybe a few surprises along the way – not to mention 10 ultimate hikes!

I think what has impressed me most this year is just how much I learned and grew. From my writing and how I connect with people to my photography and organization, each post is a learning experience that I savor.

5 Great Things I have learned this year:

  1. Blogging pushes me to try new things
  2. There is beauty everywhere! Even in spider webs, fog & spandex
  3. I can’t cook and people love that (one of my top posts for the year is this burnt mess)
  4. Words can lead to self discovery
  5. Stories and photography bring people together

While my life has certainly gotten busier since April 2011, I am still excited for another fantastic year on The Joyful Shoehorn!

Let’s take a look at where in the world the past year went?

5 iPhone Apps for Outdoor Photography

As much as I love taking photos with my real camera, my daily photo snapping buddy is my iPhone. With its ease of use and extreme portability, my smart phone is the hidden weapon in my pocket and with today’s advance app technology it is possible to get awesome outdoor photography from this simple little camera.

Do you use your phone as your camera too? What is your favorite photo app?

Here is my top 5 iPhone Apps to use to take and edit my outdoor adventure photos:

Dynamic Light photo of Spencer's ButteDynamic Light

Do you hate it when you take a photo on your phone and the colors seem duller than reality? With this powerful photo tool, turn your dark and colorless photos into vibrant images. Using the same properties of HDR technology yet with only one image, Dynamic Light brightens shadowed sections of the image and increase the color contrast to bring out the complexity of the image.

To use the app you can either take a photo directly in the tool or upload an image. With the sliding scroll adjust the intensity and use special filters to optimize the scene.

Dynamic light is my favorite app to use for landscape photos on cloudy days. The way the app adjusts the light and shadows of the clouds is always breathtaking.

This app cost 99 cents on the App Store.

Luminance iPhone AppLuminance

Enhance, dramatize, and color correct your iPhone photos with this all-in-one photo editing application. Luminance with its simple interface, makes editing your photos effortless yet without skimping on editing capabilities. Offering built-in filter presets like Twilight, X-Process and Cold Tone, Luminance makes it easy to change the look of your photo. But the best part of this app is the detailed sliders its offers to edit with precision. From split toning to adding Vignette and editing contrast, let Luminance be the professional photographer in your pocket.

This app costs 99 cents.

Sweet Creek Falls with Slow Shutter SpeedSlow Shutter Cam

This app works just like the title describes. Use Slow Shutter to take long exposure images right on your iphone. From low light settings to beautiful cascading waterfall photos, the app allows you to choose the shutter length to augment your photos further. The one difficultly with taking slow shutter images though is that you have to hold completely still or your photos will appear blurry from the movement.

To capture this photo of Sweet Creek Falls in Oregon with my Slow Shutter app I had to kneel on the ground and prop my hands and phone on my knees to hold still enough to get the shot. A challenge, but well worth it for the photo affect!

This app costs 99 cents.

Snap Seed

Fine tune your photos with this easy iPhone tool to create natural looking photos with the clarity and definition of an expensive camera and editing software. From image sharpening to grid straightening and ambiance to white balance, Snap Seed sets you up for photo success. However it doesn’t come cheap. I scored this app on a special when they were giving it away for free, yet it regularly costs $4.99.


Offering a growing number of unique filters that add texture, ambiance and feeling to your photos, Instagram is the granddaddy of iphone photography apps for me – plus its FREE! With a built in social platform, the app allows you to share, comment and create with your fellow iphonegraphers.

So now that you have all these beautiful outdoor photos that are edited with creativity share them on Instagram and add to the growing community of iPhone togs!

Find me on Instagram @KelseyIvey!

Other iPhone photo apps to check out:

  • Photoshop Express
  • SnapBucket
  • Color Effects
  • Photosynth


Young enough to still remember using film, I have been taking photographs since I was a kid. With each snap of my camera and each year, I find myself falling in love with the craft more and more. As part of the Hostelbookers “7 Super Shots” photo project, I was nominated by the best Philadelphia Photographer, Picture Philly (okay the only one I know, but he’s still pretty awesome), to show off some of my favorite work.

Participants post their best photos for seven different categories. You can check out the official rules here.

Below are my favorite photographs for each of the categories. Some are from my travels and others of home, but each hold a dear memory and snap shot of life exactly how I remember it. Enjoy!

A photo that takes my breath away

Snowy Neuschwanstein Castle near Fussen, Germany

I had the joy of visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle (the castle Disney based his design around) at the very beginning of winter in 2008. Through the snow and fog from town you could just barely make out the castle framed against the trees and sky. To reach the castle for a tour, my travel buddies and myself took a horse drawn carriage due to the buses being shut down thanks to the fresh & unexpected snow. Definitely a fairy-tale experience.

A photo that makes me laugh or smile

Covered Bridge near Cottage Grove Oregon

Chest bump jumping photo at Covered Bridge

This photo is from my jumping covered bridges tour of Lane County. Taken with a 10 second self timer, my friend Sarah and I attempted to chest bump in the air at this bridge near Cottage Grove, Oregon. It always makes me laugh. I hope it brings a smile to your face too.

A photo that makes me dream

Bubbles at Yachats Beach sunset

Photo through a bubble at Oregon Coast

By pure luck I snapped this photo back in 2006 at the Oregon Coast. On a family vacation, I captured this photo through a restaurant window, through a bubble of a man blowing bubbles at sunset. The photo still blows my mind to today.

A photo that makes me think

Sunlight breaking through the trees in Oregon Coast range

Sunlight breaking through the trees

If you follow my blog regularly you probably saw this photo not that far back during my recent trip out Highway 36 from Eugene, Oregon to finish my jumping covered bridges tour. This photo always brings questions to my mind about life, nature and God. Nature can be so serendipitous & wonderful.

A photo that makes my mouth water

Cape Town vineyards

Cape Town vineyards

I discovered with this assignment that I don’t take many photos of food. But this photo still makes my mouth water all the same. The vineyards at Constantia Uitsig in South Africa produce some of the most delicious wines and I had the joy of working for them for three months in 2010. This photo brings me back – I can almost taste their crisp, light & refreshing Sauvignon Blanc.

A photo that tells a story

Overturned police vehicles in Athens, Greece riots

Overturned police vehicles in Athens, Greece riots

This photo is from my trip to Athens, Greece back in 2008. I was studying abroad in Italy for three months and as a final hurrah, a couple friends and I decided to delay our flights home to take a quick vacation to Athens. Unbeknown to us, the day we arrived – the night streets covered with riot police – a 15 year old boy was shot & killed by the police. For the next few days heavy riots broke out across the city and country. Destination attractions shut down, transportation closed and we found ourselves in the middle of it. Read more about my experience caught in the Greece Riots in my article in Ethos Magazine here.

A photo that I am most proud of (aka my worthy of National Geographic shot)

Montana's Big Sky

Montana's Big Sky

Whether this photo is National Geographic worthy is up to the society to decided, but it is by far one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken. While leaving Yellowstone National Park to the north in Montana, the sky romantically left this beautiful painted effect across the plains. I could have stood there in the middle of nowhere until there was no light left in the sky to watch this art worthy vista unfold in front of me.

I’m nominating the following five bloggers to participate in 7 SuperShots: