Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Some of My Own

OK, so here I am with kitty cats on the brain, and I’ve been doodling them on the backs of my old business cards at work - - dozens of them -- on scraps of cardstock when no business cards were on hand, and then, on some heavy brown craft paper which I folded together and cut into small books I made even more of these kitties (those I’ll use multimedia and collage to finish up. Just for fun, not for sale.) Here are a few of my original sketches and some finished products of one kitty….these will be in my Etsy shop eventually.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Let’s See, Etsy!

Theme: What’s New, Pussycat?

(Etsy is a site where people who make things can sell them. It’s an online shopping mall. Hundreds of shops offer wares unlike any you might see offline. Each week I will feature some of the items which have caught my attention. Prices are very reasonable, and I encourage any who are interested to consider shopping at Etsy the next time you have a gift to buy.)

Today I am featuring some kitty cat items from my list of favorites for sale on Etsy. I’ve never considered myself a cat person most of my life, (and am, in fact, deathly allergic to them) but I am lately so fascinated by these creatures. I wish I could have one of my own. Perhaps that is why I’m drawn to these.

[from top to bottom: 1. Kitten with Scissors by Suspect Shoppe, 2. Little Kitty Aqua by Chet and Dot, 3. Cheeky Blue Cat by Anke Weckmann, 4. Cat Bird by boygirlparty, 5. The King of Swamps by Annejulie's Garden, 6. Cat’s Pyjamas by Yellow Monday, 7. Grumpy Blue Cat by Anke Weckmann, 8. Cleo by Suspect Shoppe.]

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Treasury Made the Front Page of

Ok, first of all I must explain what a Treasury is. When I first joined Etsy in order to set up a shop, I kept reading about them in the Forums. “I got a Treasury!!” was a common message along with the link to view it. I never really understood the big deal about them, and no one could really answer me succinctly when I asked.

Basically, Treasuries are thumbnail lists of items for sale on Etsy; like a contact sheet. You choose a title based on a theme you have in mind, and fill it with items available on Etsy (often from your own list of favorites.) There are 333 Treasuries at any given time on Etsy, and snagging one is actually difficult and cause for celebration. They last for 3 days, normally, then disappear for someone else to snag and set up.

The front page of Etsy is ‘made’ from one of these Treasuries and the mystery as to how one gets chosen by Etsy Administration for this honor is almost mythical among members. So, the other day I thought I’d try my hand at obtaining a Treasury, and I did it! Success at getting one was a huge excitement for me. But then today it was my Treasury which made it to the front page, (pictured here) and I can’t tell you the joy it feels to know I have helped all these wonderful artists get added to other members’ lists of favorites, and hopefully sales. I’ve been featured on the front page before, and resulting traffic and recognition is vastly significant. It’s a great way to be discovered out of the thousands of shops on Etsy.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

As The World Flickrs

Episode 1: The Beautiful ‘Problem’ with Film

(Flickr is an international photo-sharing site which is directly responsible for inspiring me to be better as a photographer, and to see things with new eyes. The source of impressive talent is vast and continues to show me how much more there is to learn. Each week I will be featuring one or more of my ‘faves’ or a specific artist.)

This week I’m featuring three of my favorite examples of light entering the camera where it should not. The results could potentially ruin an entire photo, or even a roll of film, but in some cases, it actually works to become part of the composition in such a lovely way, either by leaving images of the actual film’s paper backing on the photo itself, or by leaving a simple light leak. These ‘problems’ happen quite commonly with plastic, or ‘toy’ as they are known, cameras. I have a few, myself, and some need lots of duct tape, while others I allow to leak. [top to bottom: Untitled, by Nicolai Morrisson, N°5, by RougeRouge, and Summer Dreams in Japan, by Jordi Gual.]

Sunday, April 13, 2008

As many of you know, Polaroid has shut its doors, perhaps for good. There are plenty of reasons, as far as I’m concerned, that this is terribly wrong. Last summer while on vacation at the family beach house, I brought one of my Polaroid cameras (the SX-70) and a stack of various expired films (Time Zero, sx-70, and something I’ve never found since, called “700”.) The combination of the old camera, instant film, (expired, old and worn at that!) and a foggy location led to some of the most dreamy photos I have ever made. Most did not truly ‘come out’ beyond a very overly exposed, faint image amidst a sea of cream. But it was these which I worked with; doing what I call ‘scanning the heck outta them’ in order to drag out, kicking and screaming (some with ghosts of the past) any sort of detectable image; and one which often appeared frightening, surreal, or downright ancient. One of the photos is so hard to believe came from a camera at all...had I not taken it myself, I am sure I'd be completely skeptical.

I thought the processing for the web was difficult…heck no. The processing for something ready-to-print was another animal altogether, as much of what I have prepared to see online tends to print out quite darkly. So the necessary adjustments are what I’ve been working on, and it’s starting to come together. (These are printed out on 8.5x11 inch photo rag paper.) Eventually I am going to do some books of these spooky dreams. At least for myself, and in this small way, I am continuing to give reason and validity to this wonderful film I don't want to believe is really going away.

[These photos will soon all be for sale in the smacshop]

Thursday, April 10, 2008


This chair was set out in the hallway of my building, (occasionally this is done when someone is moving, or doesn’t want something for one reason or another to give others the opportunity to just take it before it’s set out on the street for pickup.) I’d see it disappear and then reappear a few days later, over and over. Guess people were taking it in, then changing their mind; it never seemed to be accepted anywhere for long. Maybe the chair was rude.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Trading With The Bucketman

Danny Hoskinson is a wonderfully creative talent who I discovered accidentally while browsing Flickr (a photo-sharing site where I am a member.) His claim to fame (and he is well-renowned in the arena of folk art) is his medium, and his method of using and creating with it: I’m talking buckets. Yes, I said buckets. The big industrial plastic ones. He melts them down and creates wonderful, delightful, frightening, and wild creatures which decorate his home (even his truck!) and its surroundings. I imagine anyone visiting him deep in the woods of Polk County, Tennessee will wonder if they are dreaming. But you can see for yourself at his website that I am telling it like it is.

I am the proud owner of his lioness knife with sheath (pictured here) which I traded two prints of my photography to acquire (also pictured.) The photo does not do it enough justice, it has a lot of weight, and the smooth glossy, though wrinkly texture is beautiful! It hangs on my wall, and blows me kisses every time I look at her, and should I ever need protection, there is a knife hidden in that sheath, and I mean a KNIFE. Think Crocodile Dundee.