Tuesday, September 29, 2009

open studios virtual tour

A friend turned me onto Cloth Paper Scissors earlier this month (thanks, Terry!). I don't know how I've missed this great publication all these years. I won't miss it going forward. In it, I learned of their sister publication, Studios. This I've gotta have, as I love looking at other people's work spaces. I study the organization, the practicality, the comfort, colors, you name it and I'm enjoying it & learning from it. Then yesterday, I discovered the blogs for these publications. Better yet, they are hosting a virtual open studios event this Saturday! What a great way to get to see others' studios while sharing my little slice of heaven. Grab a cup of coffee Saturday morning & join me as we take in the sights!

Virtual Open Studios Tour, beginning Saturday, October 3, 2009.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

rule of thirds

It was a beautiful day here today, so before the sun set, I grabbed my camera and enjoyed the fresh air. Since my primary goal was to enjoy the moment, I kept my photo-shoot simple using the rule of thirds.

I liked how the shadows played on the wood path...

Here they played on the fence. If you squint a little, can you see the face ~ forehead, eyes & nose?

Last winter was tough on my climbing roses, but somehow my favorites hung on and blessed us with a handful of blooms this year. This might be the last one of the season...

Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

FP dragonflies & 100 days

It's been awhile since I posted. Unwanted family drama visited, taking my time & energy. Before that, I was able to play a tad, and the last two nights catch up on some sleep, so I'm back & ready to engage again.

Here are a couple of dragonflies I made using Friendly Plastic (click on the image to see a closer view). I added glass beads to the bottom one before coating with gloss glaze. The effect is a little like the veins on real wings. The top dragonfly shows the veins that were part of the original metal charm I used to press into the FP.

Did you know, counting today, there are 100 days left in 2009? Time flies fast. Life passes quickly. Get out there & enjoy it while you can! And don't forget to come back & visit!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

what's your focus?

I got my first camera while in junior high school. I think I sent away for it from one of those ads in the back of a magazine. Unlike the pink-paddled breast-enhancer (you know them.... you'd squeeze the paddles together in front of your chest) that only gave me sore arms when it promised a larger bosom, the cheap plastic camera actually worked. Here's what was probably the first picture taken with that camera (my sis took it ~ it's of me ~ age 14).

In high school I received a 110 pocket Instamatic as well as a Polaroid self-developing camera. It wasn't until digital came around that I decided to invest in something new. I chose an Olympus Camedia C3000. It was one of the best non-SLR cameras available in 2001 and worked well for me for several years. It still works, but this year I wanted something more ~ something with more zoom that I could easily carry with me. Not finding one camera to fit both needs, I purchased two. In my purse, I carry a Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS Digital Elph. When I'm after good photographs, I use my Canon PowerShot SX1 IS. The SX1 IS is as close as I could find to an SLR without the price tag, challenges & higher learning curve of an SLR (I hope to get there someday).

Anyhoo..... to the point of this blog post... The auto-focus of most cameras zeros in on what is exactly in the center of your viewfinder/ LCD screen. What if that's not the section of your photo that you want to be the sharpest? For example, here's a picture I took without thinking about the auto-focus.

The fence is more in focus than the metal ring. This was not my intent. When I realized my mistake, I went back for another photo. This time, I shifted the camera so a portion of the metal ring was in the center then held the focus button half-way to 'lock' it. I then shifted the camera so the fence was again in the center of the photo and snapped the picture. See the difference?

Is this earth-shattering? Umm, no. It is something, however, that novice photographers might easily forget. Discovering a problem when we get home and view the photo on our computer monitor is not the time to shift the focus. Whenever we can, it behooves us to take a few moments before taking a picture to think through everything, then after snapping the picture, zoom in to view the photo on the camera's LCD screen before moving on.

Happy photographing!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

let your life speak

This evening I finished reading "Let Your Life Speak - Listening for the Voice of Vocation" by Parker J. Palmer. It's insightful and thought-provoking. As I thought through what the author had shared, I noticed I'd highlighted & tabbed at least a dozen pages. With that much good stuff, I decided to share a few paragraphs. I went to the publisher's website to find the correct form to request permission. That's where I saw notice that it will take approximately 4 to 6 weeks to process my request. I'm not that patient, so must forgo sharing the paragraphs I'd selected and opt instead for just one sentence (which I hope won't get me in trouble with copyright laws).

"We are here not only to transform the world but also to be transformed." ~ Parker J. Palmer

You can read more about this book on Amazon.com (and I suppose several other sites that sell books). It's a great little book that I highly recommend. My thanks to Patti Digh for suggesting it.

Oh, and yes, I need a fourth category for my blogging (see yesterday's post) entitled "other." {smile}

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

a little organization please

Taking a cue from Melissa Haren who hosts a delightful & diverse blog, I'm going to put some structure around my blogging. I intend for this to not only help me stay on track with my goals, but be informational (and with any luck, inspirational) for anyone who reads my blog as well. My focus will be on three main categories:

  • arts & crafts (greeting cards, jewelry, mixed media, etc. made with Friendly Plastic, metal, polymer clay, acrylics, UTEE, the possibilities are endless... )

  • photography (anything from composition to camera settings to links to some great pictures &/or informational sites)

  • aromatherapy (information about essential oils, etc.)
Each week, I intend to learn something new &/or play in at least one, if not all three of these areas, and pass along that knowledge/ share the results with you. Are any of these areas you're interested in?

Please come along with me, and if you have skills and/or knowledge you'd like to share, I welcome it! If you have questions or comments, post them! I'm determined to engage & experience this life we're given and I'd love to do that with like-minded souls.

They say when you know you must teach others, you put more focus on retaining what you learn. I'm going to test that theory {smile}.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

volunteers, reflection, remains & whimsy

I wondered around our yard with my camera today. As I didn't plant any veggies this year, I was delighted a month or two ago to see volunteer tomato plants growing from the previous year's fallen tomatoes. What a luscious treat a ripe tomato is eaten fresh from/in the garden!

Here I caught my reflection, along with the clouds, in the water of our pool.

This is the remains of a clematis flower. As beautiful & interesting as the blossom itself, don't you think? Looks like something Tim Burton would dream up.

And what would a garden/home be without some whimsy here & there? This is just one of several smiles we've sprinkled about.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

time & the holiday weekend

For most of us, this is a three-day weekend ~ WOO-HOO! Here at our house, we're doing home maintenance projects & enjoying time with family. We've also set aside play time for creating. I'll share a photo or two in the next couple of days, but just want to plant a couple seeds this morning for everyone....

"Do we really need more time, or do we simply need to use our time more wisely?" ~ Amy Jones

"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot." ~ Michael Altshuler

I hope you have a wonderful & creative holiday weekend!