Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
There is this great web blog I found that gives me daily tips on my photography: Digital Photography School. The author is brilliant --- really knows his stuff --- knows how to explain it for everybody --- makes it fun to learn and try out new techniques --- it feels like I have my own personal photography teacher. Great stuff.
Also, I can't say enough good about the Shutter Sisters blog. The inspiration to be found there is incredible. I have learned much just by seeing what others are doing.
There is also the Me Ra Koh Photography blog --- which offers a mix of inspiration and technique. The author hosts some great photo contests too ... with prizes. I love prizes.
In digital photography, the learning never ends ... and the technology is always changing. It has been my art form for years, but only recently have I begun to take it seriously. I truly love it (my sewing machine is now dusty with neglect). My best friend and I have decided that it is time we take this whole photography thing to the next level, so we are enrolling in UMaine's ART 182: Photography and Digital Imaging for Spring 2008. Very exciting!
Well, I hope you find some inspiration in the links listed above as well. And don't forget, there is always Flickr ... one could spend an entire day just browsing through that sea of photographic bliss. Have a great day.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Anyway, we are praying for (and manifesting) a quick sale. So are our neice and nephew ... as I promised them ice cream and a movie once our house sells. They are so looking forward to that ... and funny thing is, I'd do it for them anyway. But they don't need to know that.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Goodness we love pumpkins. And in Maine, you generally "pick your own". We went to this big 'ole farm in Corinth, called Thomas Vegetable Farm. At 15cents a pound, I am not sure I will be going back though. It is a reasonable price to be sure, but there is another great place - Rocky Ridge Farm - also in Corinth - that only charges $1 per pumpkin no matter the size! (For you Mainers, their # is 207-285-7764 and they are really great folks).
Fall has begun. The oranges, reds and yellows of the season are showing up everywhere. And I am excited to use my new camera to capture as much of it as I can. I treated the above photos in picnik with two of my favorite filters. I am quite partial to giving everything a 60's/70's feel (one of the filters that picnik offers). There is so much to learn about photography and about post treatment of digital photos. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed ... but I do love photography enough to give it my all.
Fall also seems to be a time for saying "goodbye". So many loved ones in my life have passed away in this season. And this fall is no exception. Today we are saying goodbye to our dog Jenny. Likely the most loyal doggy friend that I will ever meet. Back in 1997, I purchased her from the local humane society to join us in the move to our first home. We bought a house out in the country, and I wanted a country-type dog to join us. She was perfect. She loved walking with us through the fields and the country roads. She loved chasing some critters and protecting others. She never left our sides for anything and slept in our bed at night. We loved her and she loved us. And saying goodbye really sucks. But it is time. Though she can still wag her tail and go for walks ... she is clearly in pain ... and I do not want to prolong it just so that I can have a few more weeks with her. I rather see her pass from this world still able to "smile". But I will miss her greatly. Goodbye my loyal friend. I will surely see you again. Until then ... I hope you are playing fetch in heaven with Colby, Sarah, Heidi and the rest of our beloved crew.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
I received news today that Haitian Roots has been unsuccessful in reaching Isaac's bio family since the recent hurricane that has devastated Haiti. Folks from the organization were planning to meet the family in Petionville, Haiti next month in order to enroll Isaac's biological sisters into school (through our sponsorship). But access to Petionville from Petit Goave (where Isaac's bio family resides) is impassable at this time due to the severe floods washing away the bridges, etc. So, a representative from Haitian Roots has been trying to call them to let them know what the alternatives are ... and to make other arrangements. Yet, they have been unable to reach the family thus far.
Perhaps the phone lines are down --- which is an ongoing issue even in the "nicer" parts of Haiti. And perhaps the family is safe, sound and secure in knowing that we (Haitian Roots and I) will find a way to reach them eventually. But that is not what makes my heart ache. Rather, it is the alternative to that which keeps me from sleeping. Life is so fragile in Haiti. Families constantly walk a fine line between life and death. And communication across any distance is sketchy at best. So, I do not know how the family is ... and it may take a long time before I do. And I officially hate that. I mean ... really hate it. I feel angry about it. Angry because a family that I love so dearly ... a family that my son will one day embrace as a part of his own ... is so far removed from us ... living in a volatile climate (socially, politically and geographically) ... and I have no control over any means to assist them in a time of great struggle.
I don't really know where my fear, anxiety, and anger are coming from either. The feelings seem to remind me of the ones I had while waiting for Isaac to come home --- impotence, lack of control, anger at the dangers that exist in Haiti, love, love, love, and the attachments that come with love .... the longing ... the desperate want to know that all is okay ... the want to "fix" all that ails them ... the want for the power to make it better ...
And as I watch my son take in every sleeping breath ... knowing that he is safe, warm, healthy and happy ... I cry over what could have been. And I am not sure why. There was never an "alternative" life for Isaac. He was and always has been "our boy". So, I don't ever wonder about what his life might have been had he stayed in Haiti. As God knows, it was never an option. But tonight, I wonder. Tonight I cry thanks that he will never have to struggle for food, shelter, clean water, or safety from hurricanes. But then I remember that the reality for his bio family ... and the two sweet bio sisters he has in Haiti ... is vastly different. And it pains me. I pray that they are safe, warm, healthy and happy tonight too. And I pray that I hear from them soon. My heart is aching over the unknown ... just as it did when I was waiting for Isaac to come home. Perhaps that is why I am so emotionally charged over this. It brings me back to a time when my heart ached daily over not knowing how my baby was ... a time I normally try not to think about.
But to believe and to have faith that all is "well" ... is a powerful thing. I think I should exert my emotional energy into positive thinking, rather than in to despair.
And I ask my readers to please send some love, karma, and prayers to all those families who struggle in Haiti ... and throughout the world ... with a special prayer that we hear some good news soon.
P.S. I chose to post the above picture of Isaac within this post because it serves as a reminder to me of the amazing little boy who has bound together the lives of two seperate familes, in 2 different countries. He is a gift to so many ... and to the world.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Anyway, check the list out. There is some GREAT stuff there. Enjoy.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
But finally, I was inspired to give it a go when Lisa from The Bunny Log spread the word about her Autumn Postcard Gocco Swap. Thanks Lisa.
So. last night I made over 50 of these sweet little bubble-baby-fairy postcards. And I am so happy with them. Certainly there are some things I now know that I could have done differently ... but these are sweet just as they are ... and I will get the hang of this in time. In truth, it was SO much easier to use my Gocco then I ever could have imagined. There was no reason to be so afraid of it. Lesson learned: "Just Do It"... nothing ventured, nothing gained.
I made some extras for Etsy and will post them soon for those who find these as sweet as I do. I also made some extras for me, of course ;)
Have you tried something new this week?
Friday, September 5, 2008
I am addicted to making these sweet pinback button sets! I cut up vintage childrens books (that are way beyond repair) and I use the gorgeous illustrations to make these 1.25" pins/buttons. They are so darn cute ... and I think I could make them all day long ... because I just love the artwork in vintage books ... and can't wait to see how each button turns out.
Isaac and I already have our own little collection of favorites stashed away ;) I can see that this could get very out-of-hand if I let it. But they are just perfect for sporting on all of the tote bags that I make and use.
Anyway, I have them for sale in my Etsy shop right now. Just $6 for each set, plus shipping. They are perfect for school bags, totes, purses, jackets, etc. And especially for gift giving! I hope you enjoy them.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Print Liberation: The Screen Printing Primer by Nick Paparone. Perfect for beginner level screen printers. Comes with some ready to use art. So well written and engaging --- with lots of photo inspirations.
Mother Teresa by Mary Cobb. Yes, this book was written for younger people ... but I just love this DK Biography series. Each book gives me such intriquing insight into their subjects without putting me to sleep. There is plenty of wonderful info (and pictures)contained without overdoing it. For $4.99 each - I recommend everyone treat themselves to one. I have enjoyed Harry Houdini, Ben Franklin, Annie Oakley, Marie Curie, and Joan of Arc. All well done.
The Digital Photography Book. by Scott Kelby. A must for anyone interested in improving their digital photography. I carry it around in my camera bag so that I can refer to it. Surely, I will eventually outgrow it, but for now it is like carrying around my own personal professional photographer coach in my backpack.
Books I am looking forward to loving (on Pre-order):
Screen Your Stuff: A Fun, Funky Introduction to Silk-Screening Your Tees, Totes, Towels & More by Levy and Georgelin.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling. I am certain that if this woman wrote a book on the art of paper towel designs ... I would read it.
SO... what are you reading???
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
My favorite part of our "camp" adventures was the brief intro-to-digital photography class that I gave. Partly because I love photography, and partly because I love seeing the world through the eyes of children. As you may recall, we planned on hosting a photographic art exhibit at my home for the kids to show off their work to friends and family. Sadly, that didn't happen, as summer came to a close far too quickly. But I promised the kids that I would post their favorite shots here as another way of exhibiting their work (so please be generous in your commenting :)
And now for our show. Enjoy ...
Fast Forward by Meaghan.
Meaghan's ATV by Sydney.
Little Blossoms by Meaghan.
Duck by Sydney.
Misty Morning Fog by Meaghan.
Princess Sydney by Sydney.
Bravo ladies! Well done.
These young ladies took many shots ... but chose these as their favorites. I think their personalities certainly shine through in their choices. Again, great work girls. Keep photographing!
And for the audience, I hope you enjoyed their work and will leave comments on your faves. Thanks so much :)