Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dos de Mayo

If you live in the St. Louis area and want to come to celebrate Cinco de Mayo three days early, then come to the Cherokee Street Cinco de Mayo Celebration this Saturday on May 2.  The events run from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Cherokee Street and will feature live music, authentic Mexican food and drinks, art (you can find me at the St. Louis Craft Mafia table--apparently we'll be right next to a mechanical bull, yes!), and street entertainment.  This is my first year vending at the festival.  I think it's going to be an awesome time, so come on by!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

After the Rain

I will never cease to be amazed by all of the wonderful things I can find right in my own backyard--and by backyard I mean patch of grass separating apartment from parking pad.  Yesterday it rained, so today I really wanted to explore the yard and photograph what I was sure would be lush, beautiful growth.  Mother Nature did not disappoint.  I used my macro lens and had so much fun looking at the water beads still balancing on the delicate leaves of the clover and dainty petals of, well, the gorgeous purple weeds.  Weeds get a bad wrap, I think.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Worthy Attempt

It's been about 7 months since I first started making coasters and note cards out of my photography.  I don't think I'm alone, as a crafter, when I say that lately I've become a little bored with looking at/doing the same thing.  A couple weeks ago I decided it was time to expand and experiment with a couple ideas I'd been wanting to try.  First, I wanted to make magnets out of my photos.  I had found some small tiles Leftovers, and I thought they'd be the perfect item for this project.  I was excited to finally make something out of a reclaimed good.  I painted the sides and made tiny prints...and that's where the fun stopped.  The tiles have curved edges, so it was difficult to know exactly how small to trim the prints so they wouldn't hang over the edges.  Plus, the Mod Podge seemed especially difficult to work with on the small surface.  I managed to get a few tiles assembled and let them dry for a day before applying the magnetic back.  However, I made the mistake of buying a roll of magnetic sheet.  I should have known, because I experienced this when I bought my first roll of cork, but I had a really tough time measuring and cutting the sheet because it kept curling up.   How am I supposed to cut a straight line?  And then to try to get it the exact same size as the tile back...sheesh!  I was able to cut a couple crooked squares, which I assured myself were just for a practice run, so it's ok that they weren't perfect (I'm surprised I was able to convince myself), but once I got the magnet back on the tile, I realized that that stick on the tile was quite weak, as was the magnet itself. Then I ditched the sheet idea and went with strong magnetic circles.  I distinctly remember standing in the magnet isle of Hobby Lobby fretting over which magnet size to get.  Fearing that the large circles were too big, I opted for a smaller size and would put two on each tile back.  I also bought a tube of Gorilla Glue--I didn't want another magnet sheet incident.  I thought my problems were solved, but little did I know just how gosh darn difficult it is to work with magnets and Gorilla Glue.  Positive and negative attractions meet strong glue that puffs up three times its size as it dries.  You can use your imagination, but just know that it was a downright mess!  It makes it a problem when I expect to be amazing at anything I try for a first time.  One of my cats, Francis, decided to give me moral support, so that helped.  Here's the result!

The other project I decided to attempt was a photo box.  Ideally, I wanted to use a cigar box so I could keep up my new "reclaimed goods" mantra, but I decided to experiment on plain wood boxes bought at Hobby Lobby.  I bought a gorgeous stain and went to town.  That was messy, too, but certainly not as frustrating.  My mistake in this project, though, was using a spray mount for my photographs instead of Mod Podge.  The spray mount just didn't want to adhere to the oil-based wood stain (duh, Julie).  Overall, I thought the boxes turned out pretty gorgeous.  None of them sold at the show I was in over the weekend, but I'm happy with them.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The New Era of this Blog

Hello Friends,

As you can see, it has been exactly a month since I have posted anything to this blog.  I'm having flashbacks of being a terrible journal keeper as a teenager and early 20-something.  I think the reason I've had trouble keeping this blog up to date is because I originally thought it could only be about my photography and the functional art I'm creating.  Not that it can't be about that--I still want it to be that--but since I hadn't done anything new with my work until this past week, there was basically nothing I thought I could blog about.  Aaaaaand, I'll admit I had the touch of the lazies, too.  You're totally dismissing the first excuse now, aren't you?  I can live with that. I've decided, moving forward, my blog is going to be dedicated not just to my work, but to my life in general--my family and friends, my interests aside from photography, and random thoughts.  I have a lot to put up today in order to play catch up.  I hope you enjoy.



Last year for Mother's Day, Joe and I bought each of our moms flowers to put in their gardens.  While at the nursery, I got inspired to put a little planter of our own on the front porch full of marigolds (which was my grandma's favorite flower) and greenery.  The flowers were fun to plant and looked great on the porch--I loved the combination of yellow, orange, green, and white.  I took several macro shots of the blooms, and one day I was lucky enough to find a spider the size of a pin head in its web and photograph it.  The web was gone the next day.  I think it's so neat that I have a shot of something that will literally never be in existence the same way again.  Well, this year, Joe wanted to step things up and turn our porch into a mini garden.  He chose some edibles he'd like to grow (he's the cook in the relationship), and I chose the flowers (I'm the one who can only think about what flower she's wants to photograph next in the relationship). We're growing spinach, basil, mint and a fig tree for the food items.  Side note: Joe's dad has a fig tree and the figs I've eaten from it have been a-m-a-z-i-n-g.  I love when they're green, not when they're the nasty Newton filling.  For the flowers I chose zinnia's, my favorite flower, and lavender, my favorite smell.  I'm really hoping the lavender will attract butterflies and bees.  Bees (?!), you ask?  Yes, bees.  Cause, you know, of the bee shortage.  Oh, and we're growing cat grass for Francis and Sherman to munch on.  The spinach will be ready to eat in a couple weeks and the mint could be used anytime for some mojitos and juleps, but everything else is still really tiny.  The zinnias won't be emerging from the soil for a little while, still, and Joe thinks the lavender might be dead.  I'm not so sure.  I'll be PHOTOgraphing the PHOTOsynthesis and keep you posted.  Because I know you really, really care about my front porch garden.