Tuesday, June 28, 2011

All good things must end

First of all, here's my quilt -- finished after a very long time sitting in the quilting hoop!  The quilt is actually a bit more turquoise than the photo shows... I had some lighting issues when I took the picture.  (One thing I have learned from my "silly photography" class is how vital it is to have good lighting -- but  knowing that is one thing, and achieving it is something else entirely!)

Here are some detail shots of the hand quilting:
shrines detail2shrines detail1shrines detail3

My "silly photography" class is now over, and I have to say it was a fun way to get me to read the manual for my camera!  Here's my final image for the class, which I processed with two layers of  Kim Klassen's "golden" plus one layer of Shadowhouse Creation's "faux daugerrotype."  Check out Kim's Texture Tuesday party to see all the wonderful images that people create with her textures each week.
flower and bee

For me, the hardest assignments in this class were the ones involving strangers.... like the day we were told to take at least 100 snapshots of random people on the street.  I was planning on taking daughter #2 into the city for some shopping anyway, so I figured I could easily do both at the same time.  Let me just say that our shopping expedition was much more successful than the photography!   Although my eye is beginning to see things I might never have noticed before, I was stopped again and again by an inner voice that said, "don't go too close, you might offend someone."  I saw so many interesting things that day:  a toddler sharing his ice cream with a dog, a street vendor dozing in his chair, a little boy in front of a cupcake display trying to make a decision, a couple walking arm in arm oblivious to the crowds on the street.... but I was too afraid of intruding to capture any of those images.  How do street photographers get right into the scene and shoot?  

Here are the pitiful best of my shots that day:
(cupcakes sans little boy -- I didn't want his mom to think I was a stalker!) 

nyc2silly 6

(I cheated here... this is my daughter!)

Sigh. Maybe I should stick with bees and flowers... and quilts!
dead roses
(I used two layers of Kim Klassen's "golden" and one layer of her "dreams")

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Teaser

Oh, I'm so excited I can hardly stay in my body.  I finally finished the hand quilting on a piece I've been working on for three years.  No, it's not that complicated or intricate; the amount of time it's taken to finish is merely indicative of how busy my life has been over the last few years!  I can't show it until I've put a binding on, but here's a glimpse:
silly 8.2

More soon.... I hope!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Silly Portraits!

My silly photography class is so much fun.  Luckily, one of our assignments this last week was to do a portrait.  This was serendipitous because that is the theme for Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.  You can click here to see all the amazing images that are submitted.

One of my daughters was willing to be my guinea pig subject, so we went outside so I could get the right light, and this is the result....  I used Kim's pourvous, warmly vintage and serendipity textures to give it a vintage feel.

Now I have to give you the back story. I love this photo, but it is not the one I intended to take that day!  It was the other daughter who was my subject.  This one was most definitely not cooperating.

Daughter #1 and I were on a roll (so to speak), and I was getting some nice images:

Then, daughter #2 decides to come outside with snacks... and the dog.  Now I can't tell you how many snaps I have of #2 with a goofy expression on her face -- I think she is constitutionally incapable of smiling directly at the camera.  The mood changed abruptly:
sam 1ali sam 2ali sam 3

The party moved out onto the lawn, daughter #2 decided to put up her hair, and I captured this:
portrait of sam
She is nothing if not mercurial.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A walk in the park

I've been working on finishing my quilt, so I'm being quiet on the blog front.  (That's a good thing... remember push-pull.....)

Well, I can't be too quiet!  I took this photo yesterday, while I was out on assignment for my Silly Photography Class with Steve Sonheim.  I used three of Kim Klassen's textures to give it a vintage feel:  serendipity, chamomile and magic scratches.
butterfly with serendipity and chamomile

But that was just for fun.  My assignment was to find an interesting (yet safe) spot to close my eyes and shoot 20 pictures without peeking, and then choose one to submit to the class pool.   I decided to kill two birds with one stone, so I worked on this while walking in the park with my dog, Jackson.... in retrospect, not a great idea!

Most of my photos looked like this:
crooked trees

This was my best shot :
silly photo 1

 I like how I captured some bokeh, but for the life of me I don't know how I did it... in other words, I don't think I could replicate it.  Well, maybe this class will help me understand my camera a bit better and have some fun along the way!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


The end of the school year is always bittersweet -- even now, when most of my kids aren't in school any more.  Today my quilt group has its final meeting of the year, and that always makes me a bit sad.  My quilting friends are the nicest, most creative and giving group of women anywhere, and the thought that I won't see them for three months always makes me feel like I'm being cast adrift.  This year, though, there is some consolation in the fact that my wonderful online community never takes a break!

In that slightly woeful vein, here is my submission for Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday link party.  The task today is to use text on your image:


I used Kim's "warm sun," "pour vous," and "grey slate" textures on a photo I took of my daughter Sam in Rome several years ago.  I have been teaching myself to use photoshop elements over the last year, and am now at the stage where I can use layers and textures pretty easily.  The trick is to do so artfully, and I'm still working on that part.

Of my three children, two are passionate about the arts.  One is a singer and actress and the other is a visual artist.  When they are both at home, life is a pure joy.  Ali never stops singing, and Sam is always drawing.  I have to admit that there are moments when it can be aggravating, as in when the songs are so loud I can't focus on paying my bills, or when my best pens mysteriously go missing, but that is small price to pay for the energy and creativity they surround us with.

Here is Sam's latest painting.  I love how she focuses on the eye, and the whole piece looks so abstract until you come closer.  Bittersweet is the word here, too. Sam is going away for the summer to study art at an artists' dream school.  She went there last summer, too, and had a secret wish that we would just forget to pick her up so she could stay there forever.  I'm happy Sam can live the life of an artist for a few months, but if truth be told, I'm also very jealous!

sam's painting

Here is the latest finished page in my art journal -- it just about sums up how I'm feeling these days...:
05282011 journal