Saturday, June 24, 2006

Second Post -- Family photos this time

One of these days, I will learn HTML and figure out how to get these photos uploaded right the first time I try. ARGHHHHH!


I took a series of photos of the family that I wanted to share, especially for the sake of you on dial-up who won't get the e-mail versions.

This is Lydia and Sailor the dachshund leading the way on a family hike one evening on our recent camping trip. Those 2 are so compatible with each other -- Sailor is quite a lot like having a 3rd teenager in the house.

Jake and Alice were the clowns of the trip. It's a good thing these 2 love each other -- their senses of humor can leave me speechless sometimes...

Here is a sample of what I mean... Lydia is just a little afraid of heights, so OF COURSE these 2 had to freak her out by pretending to dive off the top of South Falls, a drop of "only" 177 feet.

Um, yeah... right...

On the other hand, she's sort of cute...

...and he's pretty darned photogenic as well...

...and Lydia and Sailor are none the worse for wear after all... (if Sailor looks a little weird in this photo, it is because he was jumping about 6 inches into the air as I snapped the shot)

... AND he's pretty nice to me too. I think I'll keep him.

Yet another new Art Hobby

We had the best of Good Times this week as we went camping at Silver Creek Falls State Park, just outside of Silverton, Oregon. It has become a tradition in our family to spend Alice's birthday (which also happens to be the first day of summer) up there, sort of as a practice run for any trips we may take later in the season. I can't believe we are home again already, but I took a bunch of photos and have been having fun reliving the moments as I edit them.

I think this is one of the best photos I have ever created. It is actually a digital composite of a series of photos I took at the base of South Falls, the tallest Fall in the park at 177 feet. I am slowly learning some of the more intricate tricks my imaging program can perform -- too fun!

If I keep on at this rate, I will NEVER get "caught up" with my scrapbooking though. grumblegrumble...

The Falls are my favorite spot on the planet (so far!) and I am thrilled to have finally, after 24 years of photographing them, gotten an image that approximates the beauty of the actual place. The next time we go to the park, I will have to try the same trick with North Falls, which is my favorite of the 10 in the canyon.

The conditions on this day were perfect. I hope this picture makes you feel as I did at that moment -- as if I were standing in the middle of a bowl of golden light.

This one isn't quite so good. I think there was just too great a difference in the light conditions between where I was standing (UNDER the waterfall!) and what I was trying to photograph. Nevertheless, I think it is cool that I have finally discovered a way to capture the entire view -- from below my feet to high above my head -- in a single image.

Now, if this had been Lower South Falls, I would have been close enough to the water to put my hand in it.

Some day I will go back without the dogs (unfortunately, no pets are allowed in the canyon) and attempt to capture ALL the falls. What a wall display THAT will make!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Why I Don't Make Teddy Bears...

Will you just look at this poor little creature?? Too much blush, bad embroidery, and, to add insult to injury, his little ears are SO out of alignment. His nose could have used another line or two of stitching, and his eyes aren't indented evenly.

On the other hand, after an afternoon's work in front of a movie -- one of my last solo afternoons before my girls are out of school for the summer -- he is finally assembled and no longer lying in fragments under my cutting table where he has lived since approximately 1998. This is definitely a Good Thing.

All the "quickly doable" old projects from under the table have now been completed. I am longing to begin something new, but there are still quite a few dolls to be worked on. Most of them are pretty cool too, so it's not as if I don't *want* to finish them. (Except maybe that white/white doll who is causing me so much grief -- WHY does she hate everything I do for her??)And I really do NEED to get these girls out of my work space if I ever want to have any hope of sanity in there.

It's way more fun to start something new though, LOL!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I do not need another hobby.
That being said, I had 22 years of photographs that needed re-archiving (is that a word?) and so I went -- reluctantly! -- down the scrapbooking road. OK, I confess, I love stickers!

Now I have gotten into digital scrapbooking. As much as I love my scissors and glue (and stickers!), I have to say that this is way more fun.

What is it about the computer screen that I find SO addicting? Honestly, I can (and have!) sit here for hours! Maybe it's because computer stuff makes me feel smarter. hehehe...

It is also something of an "instant gratification" thing, as these are so much faster and more fun to do. I know, I know... they are VERY basic layouts, but I find that I actively dislike the current trend of throwing everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink in with a simple photograph in a layout. TOO MUCH!

On the other hand, now I'm afraid I have developed a desire for a copy of Photoshop...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Please welcome "Poppy"

I am working on overcoming my chronic "Fear of Finishing". It is very common for me to get to a certain point in a successful project and then freeze -- I don't dare touch it again for fear of ruining it. Hence, the pile of nearly completed objects under my cutting table...

This morning I forced myself to pick up this former "Baby so Beautiful" and finish her. I managed to do some minor damage to her wings, but I FINISHED her ANYWAY. I am tickled to death with her -- her customizations are totally out of my own head. I probably would have done things differently if I had had a "real" plan before beginning, but hey, I learned a few things to try on the next one. And there will be a next one -- this is too much fun. The new victim is getting her bath at this very moment.

So here she is. Please meet "Poppy", the flower fairy. I had an interesting time getting a photo of her -- I think her green skin confused my photo editing software, LOL. These colors are pretty true.

The detail that gets the most smiles is the little spider and web in the upper right of her bustier.

I think she wants something in her hands, but no ideas are coming to me yet.

I had to use my largest drill bit to make the holes to insert her wings. THAT was scarey! Now that I look at the photos, I think I want to add some more of the microbead tattoos to her back. The rear view is a little skimpy compared to the front...

I really like the closure on her bustier. Even my daughters now admit that she looks sweet in it.

The green and orange fabrics are silk charmeuse from my stash that were part of a Kool-Aid dying experiment years ago. I LOVE that shade of orange -- I knew I would find just the right project for it one day!

Now, does anyone have any tips on how to glue on a wig without getting glue all over the hair???

This poor baby has spent the last 10 or so years in the bottom of my daughter's toy box. She is a grimy mess, but isn't she pretty??

Roses come to mind immediately as a flower for her, but I think I want to let that stew for a little while. She has such exotic coloring that perhaps a more exotic flower (or butterfly?) would be more fun...

Friday, June 02, 2006

Fairy Baby update

She is completely painted now -- it was SO hard to stop. I was just having way too much fun. Dinner became nothing more than pita burgers as I completely lost track of time. Bless my family! They understand that when I am "in the zone" I am useless for much of anything else and are usually willing (and hungry enough) to eat what gets shoved in front of them.

Here is a close up of her face. I am pleased with the way her tattoos show in the photo as they are quite subtle in real life. The highlight on her lower lip is not so pale however. I think it's just the way the vinyl is catching the light from the window.

Didn't her skin tone turn out great?!

I'm about half way done with her costume. The plan is for her to be a little goth-ish flower fairy. Is that too big a contradiction? Her wings still need a few more embellishments -- I need to take a photo of the back view so you can see how they blend into her body. It was scarey drilling the holes to insert the wings. It took the biggest bit I have to make a hole large enough. They looked HUGE, but a little more Aves around the hole and blended into her skin holds the wings nicely stable.

Her tights fit perfectly, and the underbodice is just the right color. In spite of my daughters' protests ("She's a baby Mom!") she will have a bustier of lavender silk dupioni embroidered with silk ribbon, and then an underskirt of "flower petals" made of silk dyed with Kool-Aid.

I can't wait for her wig to get here.

Honestly, I haven't had this much fun on a project in years.