Sandra Louise Dyas Photography


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Day 2 of Moffitt Kitchen Renovation

I must say it is truly exciting but like everything that is exciting comes the stress, too. It is a challenge to navigate my house. My routines have been disrupted. The day begins at 9am for the men and therefore I am up, too.

Today the kitchen wall came down and the new space is really wonderful to see. More light will come in because there will not be the wall that blocked it.

Last night I was invited over for a scrumptious butternut squash soup and roasted vegetables with a yogurt mint sauce, cheese and good bread, wine and wonderful company. Matthew created our supper and Jamie and Matt and I enjoyed the evening together. There are perks in this upheaval of space.

Sort of the color my lower cabs will be

Monday, January 12, 2015

Moffitt House Renovation 2015

This project has grown, morphed, changed as time as went by. Not really knowing for sure how it would turn out, I knew I was ready for a big update for my tiny galley kitchen. When I bought this house in 1992, first thing Mom said was "You should tear out this wall and expand your kitchen." I however liked the charm of the little nook space (later painted an incredibly beautiful blue with the help of Melanie).

So it goes. 23 years later and now my Mom is gone... I hope she can see what is happening in this tiny space. I think of her everyday.

Mark Russo showed me a kitchen he had designed and it had dark red laminate cabinets -- I was sold. First I wanted the upper cabs to be made from my Dad's cherry lumber (we made a bed - or I should say Steve Bullard built a beautiful cherry bed for me from that wood) but it was so complicated to figure out how to get the lumber, etc -- that I made the switch to maple cabinets on top and a beautiful green laminate on the bottom cabs. I love GREEN.

 The countertop has been a big dilemma. Still as of right now, no choice. Stainless steel was my first choice. Too pricey so I decided on Marmoleum. This is a product that some of you might remember from growing up. It was used for floors and countertops and still is. It was invented before laminate. I grew up with it. It uses the stainless steel edging around it. Problem was I had already chosen the green bottom cabs and there just is not a good "color" in my mind, to go with the cabs in Marmoleum. The closest I can come is black with little white stuff going thru it. But I think it may be just too dark. Thoughts?

Where the Microwave Used to Be

Tiny apartment size gas stove -- anyone?
I am getting new appliances and for the first time in my life, a dish washer. The city of Iowa City has loans for people who live here and are below a certain income. It is low-interest. Now that my mortgage is finished (YAY!!!), I am going to begin a new loan. It is now or never, I am not getting any younger.

Will keep you posted maybe if I can on the process.

Note the extra amazing beautiful painting of Birdie, my cat, by Gabrielle Karras

Monday, December 1, 2014

Robert W. Dyas (Uncle Bob) May 4, 1919 - November 10, 2014

Robert W. Dyas in the Field (photo by his student Damon Ohlerking) 1970
My dearest Uncle Bob (Robert W. Dyas) passed on November 10th in the evening soon after Jamie Elizabeth Hudrlik and I left his side at Northcrest in Ames, Iowa. He was 95 and one half years old. Uncle Bob touched so many lives as a professor, uncle, brother and friend. He was married to dearest Aunt Lu (they were married in 1956) who passed away in June of 2004. We will all miss him dearly and his spirit lives on in each of us. This photo was taken in the field by a student of his, Damon Ohlerking, in 1970. The inscription on the back of the photo says "my teacher". Bob retired as a Distinguished Emeritus Professor in 1989 from the Landscape Architect Dept. at Iowa State where he taught from 1960 - 1989. My Uncle Bob meant the world to me.

Uncle Bob Dyas and Myself, May 2007, Ames, Iowa
Dick, Bob and Jack Dyas on the Dyas Farm, September 2005

Robert W. Dyas Obituary with Links

Robert W. Dyas ARCHIVES at Iowa State University 

Jamie Elizabeth and Uncle Bob, Chait Gallery, Iowa City, Iowa 2010

November 16, 2014
Silver Star

Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Captain (Infantry) Robert W. Dyas (ASN: 0-1288027), United States Army, for gallantry in action while serving with Company K, 242d Infantry Regiment, 42d Infantry Division, in action on 15 March 1945 near Althorn, France. While leading his Company under heavy enemy mortar and small arms fire, in an attack upon German positions near Althorn, France on 15 March 1945, Captain Dyas was wounded in the arm by an exploding mortar shell. In spite of the pain, Captain Dyas refused medical treatment and continued to command his Company. Making a reconnaissance of enemy positions, he drew a sketch of the German installations and, running more than 250 yards to the rear, oriented his Executive Officer as to the enemy situation, enabling him to assume command of the Company without delay. The courageous leadership and outstanding devotion to duty exhibited by Captain Dyas inspired his men to overcome all enemy opposition and reflect distinct credit upon himself and the armed services of the United States.
General Orders: Headquarters, 42d Infantry Division, General Orders No. 53 (May 7, 1945)

Action Date: 15-Mar-45

Service: Army

Rank: Captain

Company: Company K

Regiment: 242d Infantry Regiment

Division: 42d Infantry Division
- See more at:

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Charles D'Ambrosio - Poets & Writers Magazine

New York City called. I said YES, would LOVE to. Picked up new-to-town, Writer's Workshop faculty member, Charles D'Ambrosio, and we drove outside of Iowa City to make some photographs for the prestigious literary magazine Poets & Writers

I never know what to expect when I meet someone for the first time, let alone meet them and then spend a few hours shooting their portrait. Charley is a down-to-earth, witty, smart and fun person. It was pure pleasure and I am proud to say the magazine liked my work. You can buy a copy of the Fall/Winter 2014 issue at Prairie Lights Bookstore, your very own LOCAL bookstore. You can also buy Charles' newest book Loitering - and go to his book reading at Prairie Lights on November 17th as well. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"Long After I'm Gone" Old & New Collages & Constructions

Two rooms of my collages and constructions, dating back to the mid-1990s to the present. The exhibition is at Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa in the Hall Perrine Gallery, Thomas Commons.