Saturday, December 31, 2011

Feliz Año Nuevo

However you end up saying it ... I hope everyone has a kinder, gentler 2012, with more love and compassion!

Thank you for your wonderful feedback throughout the year, and for including me in so many Etsy Treasuries ... love it!

Here's my last photograph upload for 2011:

Peace and Love in 2012
(unedited iPhoto)

Saturday, December 31 ... Happy Birthday, Karen!

Besides it being Karen Smith's birthday--does that woman never age? I mean, really--it is also the final day of Project 365. Each day this past year I've thought about what to photograph to upload for my challenge of a photo du jour.

It seems fitting that I would have photographs of clocks ... time pieces ...  mechanisms to measure the passage of time ... as the sand runs out of 2011.

By next blog entry, I'll devise a new challenge or project, but for tonight I leave you with the tick-tock of these beautiful vintage keepers of time.

Timely Pair
(unedited with effect filter)

Tick Tock Tickitty Tock
(Photo edited with Fresco effect filter)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Project 365: getting oh so close ...

The other night I was trying to take a photo of myself to send to the maker of the felted scarf I was wearing.  I make jewelry and I seldom get to see how the pieces look on the wearer, so I wanted Anneke to see how lovely her gifted scarf looked worn.

I clicked my ol' iPhone camera a few times and I looked at one of the images that was blurred. It was like there were two sets of eyes or eye glasses. It struck me that I liked that image the best. I've included it unedited here. I've since played with different effect filters, but they all seemed to shortchange the dual reality of the image.

Ironic that later that same evening I watched a documentary on PBS about American photographer Francesca Woodman (Apr 3, 1958-Jan 19, 1981.) Many of her 800 mostly black and white images were of nude models or of herself. I learned that those photographs where she had staged a scene, weren't self-portraits, but she stated she knew exactly what she was trying to convey. She had a good deal of photography background for her young age, and although her images were ahead of their time, she used a medium format camera and most of her prints are 8" x 10", which "works to produce an intimate experience between viewer and photograph."

In many of Woodman's photographs the women are blurred, due to movement and long exposure times, and appear to be merging with their surroundings, or whose faces are obscured. Some are somewhat unsettling, all provoke a response.

Francesca Woodman's body of work has an identifiable look about it. She was driven to tell a story, to stage the photograph to illustrate a point of view. I, on the other hand, simply capture a moment ... a snapshot.

I realized--yet again--that I am a snap shooter, not a conveyor of a story. It's not to late to change, if I wanted to illustrate a viewpoint. I regret that my photographs don't provoke an emotional response, other than, "Oh, isn't that lovely." Hmmm, maybe something to explore in 2012.

Anyway, I heartily recommend you do a little research into the photography of Francesca Woodman, who accomplished so much in her 22 years of living. A book Francesca Woodman, was published this year, and I'm sure PBS will repeat their documentary. I understand Francesca's work is garnering critical acclaim and interest.

To return to the subject of Project 365 and today's photograph upload, here I am ...

"Reality Shift"
(unedited iPhoto)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 362 ... I know, I know I already uploaded 362

BUT ... I'm uploading photographs right now, which happens to STILL be Day 362. However, by the time I finally launch, it may be Day 363. The choice is yours.

I took a photograph of a utility pole seemingly right smack daub in the middle of the branches of a tree. The branches look like arcing electricity; well, sort of. So, I decided I would play around the photograph and changed it to B&W, and then applied a Negative effect. I rather like how it enhances the electrical charge. I wish I knew how to introduce selective areas of color, but I'm not that sophisticated ... yet.

I also had a rather drab photograph of some icy leaves, so while I was in a negative frame of mind--so to speak--I added the negative effect, without changing it to B&W first. I like how it looks uber icy!

Hence, I'm uploading a bucket load of negativity tonight!

(Manipulated iPhoto)

Frozen Botanical
(Manipulated iPhoto)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day 362 and it's raining

At least it's not raining cats and dogs. Just rain; better than snow. Last time I let Suki out back to do her thing, it appeared as though the rain and warmer temperature was melting the last of the snow.

However, I'm including a "snowflake" in one of the photographs. This kind of snowflake I can handle, thank you very much!

I stopped in Rocket Bakery on Garland for a medium mocha, extra shot, a day or so before Christmas. I love established neighborhood coffee shops, where regulars pop in and use their laptops in the back, while sipping their "regular." I don't know names yet. I don't stop in regularly enough to recognize or be recognized. However, I did ask the name of the manager so I can approach her after the holidays about the chance to display my photographs on the coffee shop walls.

Whilst there, I whipped out my trusty iPhone and clicked a shot or two, one of which includes the snowflake.

Well, get on with it, Kay! Quit your dilly dallying! Yes, ma'am.

Paper snowflake in front door
iPhoto Rough Chalk effect

The angles worked for me on this photo.
I loved the distressed paint on the handrail

I enjoyed how the light caught in the
carved details of the old buffet or sideboard.
I can envision my photographs
displayed on these
marigold color walls!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 361 of 365 ... so close to the end!

Today I will be uploading a few photographs that aren't exactly black and white, but are very monochromatic in their fashion. I rather like the patterns unencumbered by color.

What do you think?

Day 361 (only 4 days to go to completion of challenge)

I stepped out of the car a few nights
ago while Mel parked in the
garage and I saw this

I'm entranced by the everchanging patterns
in the glass blocks in the bathroom
(my niece thinks it a little questionable
taking my camera into the bathroom)

Melting snow around a grate by the Courthouse

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 358 AND the Day Before Christmas ...

Let me tell ya, I will be so glad when the holidays are over. I attempt to put some brakes on the mania, evoke some detachment, maintain some breathing space. Nonetheless, I get swept along with the take no prisoners momentum. My children are grown, although now I'm reluctantly guilt-ridden by not doing something special for my grandchildren who live at a distance. The days leading up to Christmas were fun when my family was young--and I was younger. The holidays still provides enjoyable experiences, but with less emphasis on the gift-giving, perhaps more enjoyment of the memories of traditions past. But, why fight it, eh? It's here, and it's almost over.

About a week ago, I went to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and did a little gallery hopping. Mel and I had lunch at Bonsai Bistro, which had been recommended by one of the gallery owners. I loved the shadows cast by the condiments, and was equally attracted to the angles and lines of the ceiling and lighting at the Spirit Gallery. The artwork there was well-executed, thoughtful, and provocative, so much of my attention was on the artwork. But then I looked up and started taking photographs.

Feast for the palate and feast for my eye!

Edited with an effect filter

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Solstice ... AND ... Day 355

Only ten more days to go in this daily photo upload. I think there were a number of days I missed uploading, but I think I've uploaded in excess of 365. I'll have to go back and count.

AND, today is winter solstice; the shortest day of daylight is done and on to adding more light in our days! Whooppee!

Mel had to drive over to the commissary to pick up groceries this afternoon, so I tagged along for the ride. It was a gorgeous day and I needed to get out of the basement, started to feel like a mole! I remembered to take along my camera, and had an opportunity to take some photographs of the frost/ice on tree branches and weeds. It was such an odd visual because the ice didn't encircle the branches, the ice formed in ribbons. Perhaps the wind was blowing as the ice froze, so it froze at an angle? I'm not sure, but it made for interesting shots. Unfortunately, my camera is giving me attitude, and when I changed the exposure from Tungsten lighting to bright daylight/snow, the camera slipped back into Tungsten mode, so my photographs are B-L-U-E. Hey, one works with what one has.

This one has been edited with a Cutout effect

I was quite taken with how the ice edged the leaves

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day 351 and counting down the days ...

Sometimes one needs the aid of a calculator to determine a correct number. (keys)

I don't know what I would do without the use of a computer to efficiently take care of biz; even if it's just monkey biz! (keys)

I press the little number keys on my smart phone to connect with family and friends and to find out if my sweater buttons are in yet. Hmmm ... buttons. Buttons are very similar to keys in some instances. But I'm not going to work up a sweat over it. I might work up a sweat if I were to wear my heavy sweater in the summer, but it is c-o-l-d now; no sweat. (keys)

I can let myself in someone's home, even if they aren't present; they being Mel and Steve. (keys)

Oops, sorry! That last statement is out of context. Why?

Because today's photo upload is of two different examples of keys. Back at ye ol' thrift shoppe I came across a beautiful vintage organ. I loved the calligraphy used on the sound effect pulls. It seemed to complement the scrolled wood.  I wondered about all of the beautiful music that must have been played on those keys. Then, as luck would have it, I came across an old typewriter with letters and punctuation keys. Did someone write the Great American Novel on this typewriter?

The key thing to remember is that there are fascinating things to photograph wherever and whenever. Don't you agree?

Echo Horn   Melodia   Celeste

Visible Writer ... TAB RIGHT

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 350 of 365 ... from bare bones to bare metal

While out the other day, another frosty cold day just north of Spokane, I took a photograph of a rusty old metal barrier. I loved how there was an edge of ice crystallization along the edge of the metal. I liked, also, the geometry of the shapes of the metal and shadow. Of course, I was also visually attracted to the deteriorating paint.

So, without further ado, here is the photo upload for Day 350.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 347 of 365 ... Just Bare Bones

Everyone in the house was rather under the weather for Thanksgiving, so Sunday we roasted a cute li'l turkey; had homemade stuffing, baked potatoes, broccoli, and pomegranate seeds. It was delish.

However, this blog entry is about the day after, when I stood at the kitchen counter pulling off the meat still barely clinging to the bones I had simmered to make turkey soup. I love turkey soup.

I don't mind the task of cleaning the bones in preparation for the next step of making soup.

For some reason, the bones really mesmerized me. Each bone had a purpose and was shaped to facilitate the muscle, tendon, or blood vessels that constituted the bird. There was an elegance to the contour of the bones, and it was interesting to see where they were hard and dense, and where they were spongy to accommodate fitting into or against another bone to facilitate range of movement.

Through some momentary mental disengagement from my menial task, I felt witness to a plan that involved me and my species, other vertebrates, and creation on a grander scheme than turkey soup. It was comforting to know that Something greater than me knew how to put together all of the pieces in the eternal puzzle.

I have to admit I've never looked at a turkey in quite this context before. I felt moved to save a couple of the bones and see what kind of photograph I could make with them.

So, the photograph for Day 347 is of bits of turkey carcass. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 344 or maybe 345 ... is it Sat or Sun?

In any case, my sister was busily decorating her living room Christmas tree today. She asked if I wanted to help, but although I was grateful to be invited, I seem to have become better as an observer. I'm not exactly "bah humbug," just preferred to watch as she carefully arranged the lights, hanging little ornaments that pleased her.

There were some obvious favorites: angels, mice, cows, little houses. She added ornaments gifted to her by friends and relatives. There was even a metal wire star I had made for her years ago.

She had ornaments crocheted by our Mom, which got us to reminiscing about the colorful bubbling oil tree ornaments we once had as kids, the green and red craft paper chains we made, popcorn garlands, used Christmas cards we cut apart, added TONS of glitter and recycled into ornaments. Mom even had discarded wallpaper sample books, from which we cut all sorts of things. Mom launched us early into the joy of crafting, making things with our hands, making re-use of all sorts of materials ... Oh! The crumpled up aluminum foil ball ornaments, with red glitter! Just remembered them.

It was a pleasant time spent. Thank you, Mel. Your tree is splendid and festive!

I'm uploading another ornament. It has no personal significance whatsoever, other than my son Paul's nickname is Ducky. No, I don't know how he came by the name; some things are best left unknown, especially regarding Paul. So, when I saw these ducky ornaments, I thought of Paul. This one's to you, son!

Ducky Santa has been edited with
a Watercolor Sponge effect

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's a B-r-r-r-r Day 342 of 365

I went up to Colville, WA today to meet with Emily Long, young entrepreneur and owner of Loft, a consignment shop. She had contacted me through my Etsy shop to invite me to display/sell some of my photographs.

It was a foggy and very cold 1.5 hour trip up. Mel was driving, while I gawked at the landscape, the fog, and crocheted. I had charged up my camera battery the night before and I was ready to have a finger-depressing good time!

I wasn't disappointed. I had several opportunities on the way back to Spokane to stop and click away.

One of the places was Loon Lake. We pulled into a cabin rental resort on the lake, closed for the season. There was snow all around, and it even snowed a little while I wandered around the waterfront and among some apple trees. Mel stayed warm and cozy inside her car; smart woman.

Here are but a few of the shots for Day 342 upload:

Busy, Busy, Busy Day 341 of 365

Time now is as a river swollen by snow melt higher up in the mountains; it's raging past, cold, dangerous in its unseen debris. Sometimes I feel swept along with the increased pace, my roots wrenched out of the embankment, a loss of control or context. Whoa! That thought certainly didn't go the way I intended, but I'll leave it as it stands. Hmmm, strange.

But, yes! I am busily swept along with the season. I've made most of my photograph greeting cards, newsletter, et cetera. Now just to personalize, seal the envelopes and mail those suckers!

Tonight I was digitally browsing through the images I've captured lately. I don't think I've shared this one. It was the back of an old brick boarding house, or apartment structure in Cheney across from the Mill. You know me and texture; this image had it for me. No effect filter used on this one.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Making Choices ...

I like mailing out a holiday greeting card implementing one of my own photographs. In all regards, I seem to have dragged my feet, or my butt, or both, this year. I suppose because it has been a regrouping, re-characterizing, trying to get a grip sort of year. (By the way, I've rather given up on trying to get a grip, as my hand gets so tired and it hardly seems worth the effort. So, I'm trying out going with the flooooooow. At times, it too is rather tiring. But I'm doing the best I can with what I have.)

And what I have right now are five or six different images I'm considering for The Holiday Card.

Because I'm lagging behind the tick-tock clock, I made a hard right into the World Market on Division in North Spokane. It struck me that they might have some interesting tree ornaments. I had a ball clicking away with my iPhone camera--of course, I hadn't given it forethought so didn't have my Canon--at all the traditional and non-traditional ornamentation.

I'll share with you the ones that did NOT get chosen. I want my family and friends to be the first to see The Winning Photograph. You understand, I'm sure. Yes?

Because I've been on an effects tangent, these images are no exception. They are all edited with one effect or another.

I have so much fun playing with such simple tools. I wonder what would happen if I expanded my meager knowledge and REALLY got serious about creating with my digital images. Oh La La!

But, I know have printed out my cards and am busily addressing and adding personal notes.

'Tis the Season!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Egads! December!

And the second day of December, no less! It has been a busy, productive morning. A lot of time has been spent on my poor, limping along computer, catching up on my jewelry blog, adding new items to inventory. I noticed that my photographs have been featured in three different Etsy Treasuries in the last couple of weeks. Hooray!

I meet next week with Emily Long, owner of The Loft in Colville, to address our mutual expectations for an upcoming exhibit of my photographs at her shop. That will be exciting, no? Yes!

Last Christmas I used one of my photographs as the image on my holiday greeting cards. I would like to do so again this year, so am going through images to find one that speaks Christmas. I've been toying with a couple of ideas, but I MUST make a decision NOW! Time's a-wastin'!

But here is today's image:

A rather subdued Cheney, WA landscape.
Loved the motion and color of the sign and the road stripe.
The vertical trees and the receding white road markers
seem to mitigate the sign being dead center.
Attracted to the undulating landforms and stubble,
and the curve of the arrow and the road.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Just 30 more to 365 ...

I love wandering through thrift shops and second hand stores. Not because I like antiques, I don't. BUT I do like the stories or potential histories that different objects seem to impart that cause me to stop and linger.

I was reading an interview of a contemporary young artisan who makes handsome leather and fabric handbags and shoulder bags out of discarded yardage she gleans from thrift shops. She said unknown people had a specific purpose for buying that piece of fabric. So, when she finds and uses the yardage, she feels like she's giving it a second chance to become something finished, functional and beautiful. I really liked that thought process. That idea of a baton being passed, or creativity realized or manifested.

Oops! Got off on a tangent! But that, too, is another reason I wander thrift shops ... it makes me question things about myself, about others, about our connections.

I came across a couple of objects that "spoke" to me:

This bust was in a glass case, so I photographed
it through the glass. I was taken with
the exotic woman, the abacus, the brass bells.
Was there an actual woman who posed
for the carving? Did someone actually count
on the abacus? How were the brass bells used?

The French white wrought iron grate; did it adorn a home?
How old was it? Older than me?

This is a detail of a massive cut crystal chandelier.
What is its provenance?