Sunday, September 25, 2011

Make a Wish

I just can't seem to catch up these days. I feel like I'm spinning my tires most days; other days feel like I'm just going through the motions because I can't catch up anyway.


I haven't even managed to post weekly goals for myself because it hasn't seemed like there is time to devote to creativity. That isn't to say I haven't been creative. I have. But it seems so small scale compared to what I was able to do over the summer. Sure, going back to work is going to limit my creative time, but I feel more limited this year than I have in years past. That's probably a result of a packed schedule and of being sick for three weeks...

So this week, instead of trying to post goals, I'm simply going to post creative wishes. If they don't come true, then c'est la vie. But if they do, I'll feel like I've accomplished something!

Wish #1: Accomplish my next iPhoneography mission. Can't wait to see what it is for this week!

Wish #2: Post a pic a day to Flickr.

Wish #3: Post a new print to Zazzle. (I did this yesterday and it was chosen as one of the day's best!!)

Wish #4: Process more barn pics from our drive to Hershey.

Wish #5: A new wish...start gathering my thoughts for NaNoWriMo. That's just over a month away. I know I won't be able to accomplish NaNoWriMo; my life is just too hectic and I'm not willing to stay up all hours to meet daily goals. But maybe I'll continue last year's NaNoWriMo so I feel like I'm doing something by way of writing!

So that's it. My wishes for the week. I think I can make all of them come true, so I'm feeling fairly confident about this week!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

iPhoneography Mission #4...And Why I Copped Out

Mission #4: Capture the opposite of a smile.

Funny how life works sometimes. I had the perfect opportunity this week to truly and completely fulfill this mission. And perhaps if I were a different person in my heart and soul, I would have taken full advantage of that situation. I'm glad I'm not that person.

Last Friday night, we lost one of our students, Sabrina, in a tragic car accident. I wasn't close to this student; she had been in my class two years ago and we still smiled and greeted each other in the hall, but she wasn't stopping by my classroom to visit me or anything. Still, the loss was hard. Every loss of a young life with promise and potential is hard.

Her funeral was on Wednesday, and that morning was somewhat surreal. I had duty at the front door of the school, which means that I act as a bouncer/greeter. I let faculty and students with good reason in; I direct visitors to the main office.

As I stood in the foyer of the high school, I looked out at the steps and saw Sabrina walking up them. I blinked, and it was another student. Perhaps the blond hair and my thoughts played a trick on my mind. But then it happened again. And again. And again. And when I went upstairs to monitor first period study hall, it happened again.

Perhaps I got to witness part of her farewell visit. I believe everyone who gets taken too soon gets to have a visit such as this...

Fare Thee Well in Elysium, Sabrina...

If I were a different person, a harder person, perhaps I would have taken pictures of grief. I would have been able to fulfill the mission tenfold.

But I'm not that person, a fact for which I am glad. So I copped out this week. Instead of fully delving into the mission, instead of stepping outside of my boundaries and meeting the challenge, I played it safe.

I think I made the right decision.

I started by recruiting my little guy. He loves to mug for the camera, so I thought this might be a perfect way to meet the mission. "Show me your sad face," I coaxed...

Um...yeah. He got to giggling and mugging so hard that he wasn't really frowning at all. And in my head, I thought that I should capture a picture of a frown, so I tried to fulfill the mission myself...

Meh...not bad but too lippy. Maybe another shot?

Good grief! What's the matter with me? I was just trying too hard and it just wasn't working.

So I regrouped. I've been playing with what I'm going to be for Halloween this year, and I decided to use the tools at hand to come up with something. I also decided not to be so literal. The opposite of a smile doesn't have to be an outright frown, after all!

I decided to try to bare my soul, to try to capture the inward sadness and anger and fear. It's not my way to be so open with those emotions, though, so I played dress up with makeup and my Halloween wig. It made it easier to capture those emotions, somehow...

The Ice is Thin

Underneath My Lucid Skin

I think these are the most raw pictures that I have ever taken of myself. Maybe I didn't cop out on this mission so much, after all...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

iPhoneography Mission #3

I love these iPhoneography missions!

I find that I am a certain type of photographer when I hold my regular camera in my hands. Perhaps more traditional? (Though many of my shots are through a window at 70mph.) Barns, trees, nature, portraits.

But with my iPhone, I snap pictures that are different, that are outside of my box, so to speak.

So Laura's idea of doing these weekly missions has been a wonderful one for me! They allow me to explore other avenues of photography that I might otherwise miss out on. And I am very scattered when it comes to creative pursuits; I like to try everything. This gives me that chance!

Mission #3: Find jagged edges or points of intersection.

Points of Intersection (First three snapped while we were stuck in traffic as a train went through town...twice):

Lens: Jimmy
Film: Blanko
Flash: Off

Film: Roboto Glitter
Lens: Ina's 1969
Flash: Off

Lens: Kaimal Mark II
Film: Kodot XGrizzled
Flash: Off

Lens: John S
Film: Ina's 1969
Flash: Off

Lens: John S
Film: Ina's 1969
Flash: Off

Jagged Edges:

Lens: John S
Film: Ina's 1969
Flash: Off

Lens: John S
Film: Ina's 1969
Flash: Off

Lens: John S
Film: Float
Flash: Off

Jagged Edges AND Points of Intersection:

Lens: Lucifer VI
Film: Blanko
Flash: Off

Obviously, I used the Hipstamatic app for all these shots (I'm addicted) and with the exception of what you can tell is my current favorite combo, I shook my iPhone and just let the combinations be random.

This may have been my favorite challenge so far. I cannot wait to see what next week brings!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tick Tock Tick ...


Someday I shall feel healthy. And someday I shall catch up with my life.

That's why I've seemingly disappeared from this blog. Bronchitis has taken its toll on me and on my life. I fall asleep while in the midst of just about any activity that allows me to sit. I am so behind in just about every facet of housekeeping and work.


But I have been keeping up with processing pictures, and I'll try to do better with this blog next week!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Coughing Up Creativity

This has been a difficult week. I have bronchitis and a sinus infection, and I can say with all honesty and no melodrama that I have never been so sick in my life! I'm finally on the mend, but I still have a hard time breathing deeply. And my medicine makes me feel like I've been on a bit of a bender. Which would be cool if I were still on summer vacation...and still eighteen!

So it's been hard to do tons of creative endeavors. I didn't even set goals this week, as I knew that I may not meet all or any of them. I decided to just see what happened and worry about getting better over getting creative.

I found, though, that being an invalid gave me the chance to just sit and create, though. So it kind of worked in my favor.

The big thing that I have been working on is making book page charms for my Etsy site. I haven't posted anything for sale there in over a year. I used to sell earrings that I made, but I found that I made more sales to friends and family, so I took down all my listings. Now, however, I'm getting back in the game. I also decided to list everything at low prices. With the economy, people don't have the money to throw around. And I know that I sometimes feel a pang when I see something I really want but don't feel that I can spend the money on it. I wanted to price the charms so that people can skip the pang and feel the joy of being able to purchase.

I also had the urge the other night to paint. I have an old oil painting kit (Bob Ross, baby!), and I just really wanted to pull it out of the coal bin and see if the paints were any good. I had started a piece a while ago by covering a canvas board with pages from a book, but I had set it aside because I didn't like it. I decided to add paint to it and just see what happened. I started with a black gesso, and withing moments of the first brush stroke, my three-year-old was asking to help. I gave him a small brush and we went to town! We coated the whole canvas with the sheer, black gesso. Then we started adding color. I let him pick each color and let him tell me where to put them. It was messy so much fun! We layered gobs of paint on. I stipled it around with my brush. He painted "roads that look like Mousachusetts" with his. At the end, I scrapped off paint with my painter's knife and here's what we ended up with:

Poor quality since it's from my iPhone, but you get the idea...

The one project I did plan to do almost didn't happen. Laura and I have started doing iPhoneography missions each week. This week's mission was to "Minimize the horizon." I wracked my brain...and then my body was wracked with coughs, so it started to feel like this mission just wasn't going to happen. And to top it off, I just couldn't think of how to even meet this mission! I started with the idea of framing something in the foreground so that the horizon just faded behind it. A fledgling grasshopper on my front porch provided my original inspiration:

I really, really like this shot...but it didn't fit the mission well enough. I decided that this would be my Plan B in case I didn't get a chance to get any other shots. And with the bronchitis, I didn't know that I would get any other chances.

But then Hubby and the little guy saved the day! He needed to run to Lowe's and had mentioned that he wanted to go to the Chinese buffet at the mall. I had planned to loaf about the house in my jammies, but as soon as the little guy heard the word "Chinese", he was all in! I threw on some clothes and off we went. Along the way, I decided to try to capture some horizon shots for the mission:

Ultimately, though, I chose the next one to be the official shot of this mission:

Horizon, Minimized

I'm so excited to see Laura's post and see the results of her mission! I'm sure they're going to be wonderful! And I'm just as excited to see the mission for this week! I purposely avoided looking at her page until I finished this post, but now I'm off to see what she's created and what we can look forward to for the coming week!

Creative wishes and germ-free hugs!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

On a Butterfly's Wings

A dear friend of mine suffered a tremendous loss in her family today. It's been an inevitability, but that has made it no less difficult.

I am so sad for her and her family. They had such strong and fervent hope for a different outcome; I think everyone who knew the story did.

And to me, it remains a story of hope, of limitless courage.

With my heart heavy, I turned to my own source of solace and created an image for my friend. As I did, the words that follow formed in my mind. And I feel in my heart that this is what truly comes to pass...

Swallowtail was born and looked around the garden in sadness. All was bright color around her while she was plain and dull. She lamented that she lacked the prismatic colors of her peers. When she learned that her life was to be only a few days long, she was devastated.

A gentle voice spoke to her from above. "Weep not. gentle butterfly. I have not given you the colors of your sisters nor the long life of your brothers, but I give you instead the most important job in my garden. For you, sweet spirit, are to carry upon your wings the souls which are called from their lives too soon."

Swallowtail bowed her humble head. And in time, she performed her most important job...

In memory of a beautiful, little life...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

After the Exploration

Once you start something that you find pleasurable, it's hard to stop!!

The other day, I participated in an iPhoneography mission. The mission was to "Visit a farm and explore a worn path." I posted those results previously...

...but I didn't post everything. After I left my chosen path, I kept snapping pictures because, quite frankly, I was just having so much fun!! Here are the pictures that I took after my mission had officially ended:

Did I climb this gate to get to my worn path?

Why, yes...yes, I did climb it. Twice.

My captive audience. They were a little put out that I had free reign to explore...

Some of the girls...

Returning to the farm...

One of the pieces of necessary farm equipment. I just liked how it looked...

Fuzzy trees and cloudy skies


Ahhh....I needed that!

This week's iPhoneography mission? "Minimize the horizon." Hmm...I love that these missions provide me with a new challenge...and i think that this will definitely be a challenge!! Woohoo!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Front Page News!

Picture me. Now, picture me a little taller and a little skinnier. Good. Now, picture me doing a happy dance. Oh, yeah....

That was me last night! I was going through my emails and I saw that I had gotten one from a contact on Flickr. Checking it out, I discovered that she had captured a screen shot from Flickr and saved it for me. Here's what I found:

My First Front Page

My Original Post

Wow. Okay, so how Flickr works is they have an "Explore" page where computer-generated algorithms select random uploaded pictures to feature. The Front Page is where a very small selection of these "Explored" pictures are featured.

In other words, a broader audience gets to see my image and more traffic is drawn to my photostream.


Will it change anything for me? Not really. I may get some new people watching my photo uploads on a daily basis. That's cool. I'll get to ride the high of Front Page status for a day or two. Who wouldn't want that?

Otherwise, it's back to business with more pictures!