October 10th, 2011 by carriagehouse
August 17th, 2011 by carriagehouse
Plans are well underway for the 2011 Fall Photography Weekend coming up on November 11-13 here at the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast in Jefferson Texas. After our wine tasting social hour, our resident photographer, Tom, and photographer, Craig Swancy from Weatherford TX will be taking all of the participants out for a Painting With Light Demonstration.
Craig told me this morning, “I’m ordering my goodies today to build some fun things for the Fall Photography Weekend at The Carriage House in Jefferson. We’ll bring some color to your night time exposures. Tom and I will present a few new and interesting tools to those who plan to attend. I can promise that we’ll keep it it simple and certainly show you how to make these fun tools on a really small budget.”
To see a sample of their work, check out this video. If you would like more information on the Fall Photography Weekend, please give me a call at 903-665-9511.
July 2nd, 2011 by carriagehouse
So while we were in Natchez, Mississippi, I grabbed Tom’s camera and played photographer for a while. I had been toying with the idea of taking up photography for sometime and wanted to see what it was like being on the other side of the lens.
It is a lot harder then it looks.
My college sweetheart was a photographer whose name was also Tom. Apparently today, he is on the Dallas Morning News photography staff and his work has earned him a Pulitzer Prize amongst manyother awards. I obviously didn’t marry that Tom but later met a different photographer by the name of Tom and married him. It is clear that I have a type that I am attracted. Tom’s who carry cameras. I have spent my entire adult life around photography and can compose a shot as good as any one but I can’t shoot the picture. I don’t know the mechanics of a camera.
So this week while in Natchez, I picked up Tom’s camera and took my first photo. I would love your honest feedback. How did I do? Let me know on our Facebook page
May 11th, 2011 by carriagehouse
The Carriage House Bed and Breakfast’s very own crazy Italian Chef Tom, also known as our crazy photographer Tom, spent hours over the last few days trying to capture a hummingbird at one of our five feeders. It was quite a spectacle to see the big guy dressed all in red (hummers like the color red) trying to sit perfectly still to get the money shot. What do you think? I think he did pretty good!
If you love photography as much as Tom does, then check out our upcoming Photography Weekend, June 10th through 12th held here at the Carriage House B&B in Jefferson Texas. This weekend is geared for photographers of all skill levels and for photographers interested in outdoors/ nature photography and architectural photography. For more information check out our website or call us at 903-665-9511. We have only a few spots left!
April 4th, 2011 by carriagehouse
Congratulations to Sam Wilson!
Sam is our 2011 Spring Photography Weekend Photo Contest winner. Diana Check’s photo took second place and Marie Hansen-Lai’s photo took 3rd place. A great big round of applause to all three of these fine photographers and to all of the photographers who entered the contest. You are all winners to us!
Once a quarter, the award winning Carriage House Bed and Breakfast in Jefferson Texas hosts photographers of all skill levels and all equipment types for a weekend of photography demonstrations, photo walks, and tours with plenty of time in the schedule for sight seeing and exploring. Our June Photography Weekend is scheduled for 06/10/11 through 06/12/11 . We will be posting the agenda for the June 2011 Photography Weekend in a few weeks. So that we can take advantage of the longer days and the magnificent summer light, we will have a brand new agenda for both the June and September events. We will post these agendas on our Photography Weekend website page as well as send them out by email. If you are interested in being added to our email list, please click here.
March 29th, 2011 by carriagehouse
Voting for the 2011 Spring Photography Weekend Photo Contest at the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast in Jefferson Texas has started! These photos were taken during the 2011 Spring Photography Weekend that took place March 18 -20 2011 here in Jefferson Texas and the Caddo Lake area. Each photographer was allowed to submit one photo to the contest and our winner will be based on popular vote. So if you have not voted yet, please do. The pictures can be found at http://www.carriagehousejefferson.com/blog/2011-spring-photography/
Each quarter, the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast in Jefferson brings together photographers of all skill levels and equipment types for a fun filled weekend full of photographic technique demonstrations, photo walks and opportunities for networking. Jefferson is a beautiful old antebellum Southern town preserved to a period in the late 1800s. The brick lined streets, buildings and Greek Revival homes are conserved from the town’s rich steamboat days. Caddo Lake is the most photographed lake in Texas and is a collection of swamps, bayous and sloughs. The entire area is a protected wetland under the U.N. Ramsar Treaty and is filled with birds and critters of all types. Our photographers are always amazed by this target rich environment. The Photography Weekend is kicked off with a wine tasting and finishes with a photo contest.
We will be hosting our next Photography Weekend June 10 -13, 2011. Please check back often for our sumemr agenda.
March 22nd, 2011 by carriagehouse
The 2011 Spring Photography Weekend has come and it has gone. It is a little bittersweet to tell the truth. I made some new friends and enjoyed the company of some old acquaintances (thinking of you Craig). I also had the opportunity to visit with just some of the most amazing photographers. We broke bread together, drank wine together, and plied the waters of Caddo Lake together. Now I feel a little like Dixie and The Bug standing and whimpering at the gate. Where have all of my friends and the weekend gone?
The air Friday afternoon was super charged with excitement while we waited for the photographers and their grips (think significant others) to arrive. One by one, cars began to pull into our parking lot, and the weekend participants began to arrive. The weather was perfect and no sooner then people got here and dumped their bags, then they scattered to go and explore the sights of Jefferson Texas. I don’t blame them. The town was blooming with brightly colored Redbuds, Dogwoods and Wisteria. It is safe to say that Mother Nature was showing off for our folks.
The Photography Weekend kicked off with a wine tasting sponsored by Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards at the Museum of Time and Measurement. It feels very appropriate to have this group of intrepid explorer’s social hour in a place that is full of maps. Gerald Jones from Los Pinos always does a nice job talking about the Texas wine industry and everyone got a giggle out of some of the names of the wine. One of our gentleman kept confusing the name of the wine called All My Exes with All My Ex Wives. Hmmm. Inquiring minds want to know the story there. Another one of the gentleman kept licking the glass. Sam, We would have gotten you seconds.
This weekend was the Super Moon. The moon was the closest and the biggest that it has been in 18 years. That was the reason why we picked this weekend out of all of the weekends of March. Tom took everyone out after the wine tasting and demonstrated a type of night photography called Painting with Light. The photographers lit up the historic steam train and the city of Jefferson had turned the lights on the old railroad trestle for our group. I can’t wait to see some of these pictures!
Saturday morning, we got the photographers up for a sunrise photo walk of the Historic Riverfront District. Jefferson is so beautiful when the morning sun kisses the old historic structures. The spring light is so soft and it falls lightly as dappled sun rays through our East Texas canopy of trees.
After breakfast, the day belongs to the photographers and their traveling companions to do as they please. We had several people who took the old steam train, and others went shopping. We had a couple of romantics that took the horse drawn carriage ride through the Historic Riverfront District, and of course several went out to shoot more pictures.
The climax of any trip to Jefferson is a boat ride on Caddo Lake to see all of the critters and birds. Unfortunately, the lake (swamps) had been full of bass boats and spring breakers all weekend and they had scared many of the animals and birds back into the woods. It is a shame! Many of the gators, turtles and other critters are up from the winter nap and are both hungry and frisky. In other words, they are busy and active. I was so hopeful that we were going to get some great action shots of the lake. A few of our folks did get some nice shots of Egrets and Herons in flight. You can always count on those birds being out there no matter how busy the lake gets.
We closed out the weekend with another big social event. Glory Dayz restaurant held over the play “Gangster Apparel” for one performance for us. It was a funny, funny play. Several of our guests the prior weekends went to see it and had given the play rave reviews. I was very anxious to see it and was not disappointed!
As an industry, we talk a lot about the differences between hotels, motels and B&Bs. In fact, our industry trade group has a campaign going on right now called a Better Way to Stay. The hope is to educate the public about the differences between all these different types of lodging and accommodations. The truth is at a Bed & Breakfast, it is about the experience. Most innkeepers go out of their way to create amazing experiences for their guests. Each person that walks through our door comes to us with a different need. Maybe it is a new bride and groom celebrating their honeymoon. We will try and make their stay as comfortable and romantic as possible. It could be that a couple of girlfriends or sisters have come to stay with us. We will make sure they have plenty of places to sit and visit and help them plan fun activities that they can do as a group (Paraffin Wax Foot Massage Party anyone?). No matter why you travel, we will do what we can to make sure that you find that a Bed & Breakfast is a Better Way to Stay.
These Photography Weekends that we put on are an example of this. Here at the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast, we try and create a perfect environment for photographers to learn, network and explore East Texas. The Photography Weekends are all about building an amazing experience not only for our photographers but for their traveling companions. Believe you me when I tell you that this is not something you would ever find at a hotel. Frankly, a hotel provides you with a room. That is it. At a B&B, you get a room but also an incredible breakfast and an experience that you won’t forget.
As for our photographers that came to Jefferson this weekend to experience spring in East Texas. Well if you will excuse the cliche, a good time was had by all.
March 21st, 2011 by carriagehouse
Wow! What a fantastic weekend!
We had a blast with all of the photographers that came out to Jefferson, Texas this past weekend for the 2011 Spring Photography Weekend. I will write my recap on this amazing weekend later, but right now, I want to remind all of our participants that the Photo Contest Page is now live on the Carriage House B&B website.
For anyone who participated in this weekend’s event, please upload your favorite photo to the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast website. On the left hand navigation bar, please find the link for the Photo Contest page. Complete the form and upload your photos. We will add your photos to the page by end of each day. You can submit your pictures up until 3/28/11.
The winner will be won by popular vote. Please have your friends, family, coworkers, and photo club buddies vote on your picture. The winning picture will be announced on Facebook, Twitter, email, this blog, and the photo contest page. Voting will end 4/4/11 and the winner will be announced 4/5/11.
For complete rules, please go to the photo contest page. I can’t wait to see all of the submissions!
March 2nd, 2011 by carriagehouse
You can’t help but notice as your drive around town this week that Jefferson is beginning to gear up for some thing really big. There is a feel and impression of busy preparation everywhere you go. Vendors are beginning to set up down at the bayou and trash cans are being set up all over town. Street cleaners are out vacuuming the streets and the Sysco and beer trucks seem to be everywhere. It is beginning to feel a lot like Mardi Gras…everywhere you go.
Last night, Tom and I went to Auntie Skinners for dinner. It was Tuesday night steak night after all. We had the opportunity to sit down with some of the folks on the Krewe of Hebeand talk to them about all of the Mardi Gras planning that is being finished up these last few days. I am not sure that these people are going to get any sleep between now and Sunday night. There has been a phenomenal amount of work that has already been done but now it is crunch time and so much has to be finished up in the few days leading up to the big party.
Myself, I am going to the grocery store today and will begin my food prep for this weekend. My plan is to prepare as much as possible in advance and have it waiting for the weekend in the freezer. I am also planning on making a King Cake for the guests that are staying here. We will have it sitting out on the front porch for everyone to enjoy. So as you can tell there is a ton of work and busy preparation going on here at the Carriage House as well.
Tom and I made a quick trip back to Dallas first part of this week so that we could make a presentation about our Photography Weekends to the Plano Photography Club. I went into a little bit of a culture shock. No one had a Mardi Gras tree up. There were no ads or billboards for King Cakes. There were no beads for sale in the stores. It is almost as if Mardi Gras doesn’t exist outside of this little New Orleans influenced bubble that I live in.
If you are planning on coming out for the Mardi Gras Upriver celebrations this weekend, you will need to plan a day trip or look for a hotel room in Marshall. All of the hotels, motels and Bed & Breakfast in Jefferson are completely full. I have also heard that all of the lodging in Uncertain is full as well. We will open up our calendar for reservations for next year’s Mardi Gras this coming Monday, March 7th. You can call us at 903-665-9511 to make your reservation.
Laissez les bons temps rouler!
February 27th, 2011 by carriagehouse
Tweet…Tweet…Tweet. Chirp…Chirp…Chirp. Chevy…Chevy…Chevy. Chevy what!?!
The mornings and afternoons are a cacophony of bird song here at the Carriage House as all of our feathered friends gather at one of the feeders for their meal.
One of my favorite things about this area is the birds. No matter the season, we always have birds. Different birds in different seasons but always birds. In fact, it was a soft summer day spent on a Go Devil boat on Caddo Lake capturing pictures of the wetland birds that sealed the deal for us. The birds convinced us that this is where we wanted to live.
For me, there is nothing more relaxing then sitting out in the Carriage House courtyard, drinking my morning coffee and watching the Yellow Finches, the brightly colored Cardinals, and the Swamp Sparrows play and eat at the bird feeders. Even the scavenging squirrels, hanging upside down from a tree and stretching their little bodies as long as they can to get a seed from the feeder, are a joy to watch. I didn’t realize that the Carriage House B&B also served a gourmet breakfast for our feathered guests as well. I guess you can say that we do whatever it takes to keep our guests happy. Even our feathered guests are special here!
If you are a bird-watcher, the Jefferson area is a birding playground for you. The Big Cypress Bayou Wetlands and Caddo Lake area are home to many different native and migratory birds. Some say that over 250 species of birds live in this area. The months of seasonal transition, November and March, are also months of bird transition. Soon our winter birds will leave but our summer birds will arrive. We will miss all of our winter friends but we can’t wait to see who shows up for the warmer months.
Monthly, the Caddo Lake Institute sponsors a bird banding outing at a farm close to Caddo Lake. This event is open to public. In fact, the next bird banding event will be Saturday, March 19th, which is during our Spring Photography Weekend. So I am sure some of our photogs will want want to be out there to capture this amazing spectacle. I can’t wait to see and post some of the shots these folks get.
These pictures were taken this weekend in the courtyard. Tom had so much fun sitting out there with his camera just shooting away. It was a bit of a trick only picking two pictures to post. I liked this cute little fella. The little yellow finches are so cute!
Oh and the Chevy call. We have a Mockingbird that hangs around here who sings, Chevy…Chevy…Chevy. I guess he works for the car dealership in town.