Monday, January 23, 2012

Ladybug Ladybug

I found this tiny lady taking shelter on the porch screen tonight:



She's pretty tough to still be hanging in after all the cold weather we've had.



I love finding little things and using the camera's zoom to see new details about them. For example, I always thought ladybugs had perfectly round spots, but as you can see, they're more like splotches:



I had to relocate her to the woodpile, as me noticing her meant the clean-up crew also became very interested in making her acquaintance:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Please Don't Break the Internet

I'm not a group-joiner, but I despise censorship, so to show my support for those fighting to protect the internet and our freedom of speech, here's a video to watch:

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Toy for Me?

Whenever a package arrives at my house Cole believes it's for him, as evidenced by this conversation we had the other day:



Cole: Woof! (translation: Is that a toy for me?)
Mom: It's Lisa's new book.
Cole: Whine. (But I'm not allowed to play with books.)
Mom: The books are not for you, pal.



Cole: Whimper. (You didn't buy me a toy at all?)
Mom: No, sorry, boy. Next time.



Cole: Arroooo. (Okay, so next time, can I get two toys?)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tiny Web

While walking the dogs I almost stepped on a shiny little patch of ground, which turned out to be this:



No spider occupied the tiny web, which was only two inches across. While uploading the picture I decided to crop and enlarge it, to see if I could bring out more detail:



I couldn't believe how tiny the dew drops were on each strand of the web. So I cropped and enlarged it again, hoping to see a bit more detail of that cluster of silvery light in the center:



Just light reflecting off the dew, I guess. Beautiful thing, to think I might have crushed you under my sneaker!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bokeh Pine

I'm playing with the bokeh technique of photographing something with a blurred background. Here's an original photo:



I liked the look, but I thought stronger colors might give it more wattage, so I darkened the exposure about 25%:



Now I can't decide which I like more. How about you?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Found It

I've been looking for an unusual fountain to use as a model for one that will be part of the story in the third Lords of the Darkyn novel. I needed something very simple/primitive that still had great visual impact, but I wasn't having much luck. I've discovered most fountains are very ornate, and those that aren't are kind of clunky-looking.

During a recent road trip I got off the motorway and stopped at a little mall in a strange town to pick up some lunch, where I saw this:



It may only be a mall fountain, but for my story the design is absolutely perfect. I love when stuff like this happens.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

Where the Butterfly People Dine



Another shot of a portion of the tea room where we celebrated my kid's birthday. I could spend a week in this place and never get tired of shooting it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cards So Far

In response to popular demand, here are all the cards that I've made so far for my Thousand Cards Project, along with more details than anyone probably wanted to know:



The majority are photograph cards, which I do on days when I'm too busy to attempt something more complicated (and since all the photos are originals I've personally snapped, I feel they do represent part of my artistic ability.)



These two were made with a couple of toys my daughter outgrew; they're two tiny stuffed animals dressed as a bride and groom. I couldn't let her throw them away and have been saving them for a couple of years. That they are a cat and a skunk must have been some designer at the manufacturer getting a bit cheeky. The ball and chain each is cuffed to was totally my idea, though.



I'm really proud of this card, the first in a series of ten poetry cards I'm making. The front was cut from last year's calendar, which I'm recycling, and sewn to a piece of antique yakuta cloth left over from a quilt. The blanket stitch around the edges was hand-done. The fragment of poetry is the first two lines of my favorite poem (somewhere I have never travelled by e.e. cummings) and I plan to make cards for the rest of the poem and then place them in order in a quilted holder, which will create a new way to read the poem. I've been very leery of trying mixed media, and as a first attempt I felt this was a real leap for me.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pendantive



The second steampunk-inspired pendant I've made; this one was a gift for my daughter on her birthday.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Thousand Cards Project

The Japanese have long believed that folding one thousand origami cranes is a labor of love as well as a way to get a wish. I happen to love origami, and have folded quite a few cranes in my time, but I've never attempted a thousand of them.

While we were out with our daughter on her birthday, I saw this display of a thousand cranes (and I apologize for the poor quality of the shot; I was shooting through a dark screen):



Seeing the cranes and recalling the legend behind them made me wish I could create a thousand of something. I thought of quilts first, but they're very time-intensive, and I wanted to do it in a single year. I might be able to paint a thousand watercolors, but I suspected I'd get very tired of painting. I have stacks of magazines with creative projects and techniques that I've been wanting to test drive, but most require a lot of time, too.

Then I thought of a project that would allow me to use virtually any technique I wanted to try; one I could work on easily every day. I even had a book in my collection to give me at least a thousand ideas:



ATCs, or artist trading cards, are miniature art works that have become very popular with artists, crafters and other creative folks. The only restriction is the size of the card, which must be 2.5" X 3.5" (63 mm X 89 mm.) You can make the card out of any material using any technique you want, which allows for endless possibilities.



Since I'd already started making ATCs this year for my story prompts project, I decided to run with this as my annual art project. Thus my goal for 2012 is to make 1000 cards, or about three per day. I'm really excited by this challenge because I think it will help me acquire some new skills, give me a daily reason to rediscover art, and result in a neat collection that won't take up ten closets in my house.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Koi





Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It Was All A Blur



Found this on my camera this morning. Don't know exactly how it got there, but it pretty much sums up the holidays.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

Water Lily

Same flower, different angles:





Sunday, January 1, 2012

Wishing You