Saturday, August 30, 2008

ETSY PLUG - Yellena

One of the most talented artists I've ever seen - on Etsy or elsewhere - is Yellena James. Her imaginative work is done with pens, inks and markers. I was taken with her work the first time I saw it, and bought myself the above print, "Breeze." It is as stunning in person as it is on the screen - so detailed and alive you can almost see it moving.

I'm about to digress. A few years back I saw a Henry Darger exhibit at the Andy Warhol Museum. Overall, I'd have to say his work is pretty creepy and too inappropriate to post here, BUT, I was mesmerized by the flowers he drew. They were huge and cartoony and beautiful, almost beyond imagination. This print by Yellena, "Lush," reminded me of those flowers immediately and I've been lusting after it since.

What I love about Yellena's work is that her scenes look otherworldly, but somehow still familiar. Like dreams. The above, "Cloudburst," is a good example.

"You and Me" is one of Yellena's latest prints. I love the sort of tea-stained looking clouds in the background. I'm sure it looks fabulous in person, as do all of Yellena's quality prints. You can find them all in her Etsy store, and if you are interested in learning more about this amazing artist, visit her blog.

Friday, August 29, 2008

California Camping Adventure, Part III

I awoke every morning to brilliant sunlight flooding the meadow to our right.

I sat between those trees and read my book. Is there anything more perfect in this world than peace, quiet, sunlight, and a book?

Only if it's the last book in the Twilight series! I held off reading Breaking Dawn for two weeks (I don't know how) so I could savor it on my camping trip. I'm so glad I did.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

California Camping Adventure, Part II

We arrived in California on Saturday and met my grandpa in Bridgeport. There we compared gear and packed up what we would take in with us. The next day we headed over to Kennedy Meadows, the area we were going to be staying in.

Kennedy Meadows is a beautiful area at about 5,000 ft. There are many many campgrounds along the road there, and even a little restaurant and general store. We stopped to grab a bite and a beverage before starting our adventure.

The pack station is also in Kennedy Meadows. They loaded up all our gear onto 4 mules (my grandpa doesn't pack light) and set us up with some horses and a guide. I had never been on a horse before and I really enjoyed the 3-hour ride up the mountain. My horse's name was Janice and she was kinda on her own program - she broke into a run at one point for no reason - but was sure-footed and sweet.

We arrived at about 7,500 feet in a pristine wilderness area to set up camp. This shot is looking toward our site and there is a slope down with a creek running right behind camp. Looking the other direction you see the most gorgeous meadows I've ever seen, and a cabin from the original land owner.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

California Camping Adventure, Part I

I'm back! I made it out to California, a week camping, and back again before being eaten by a bear! I've got lots of photos to share, so I'll start with one I took on the two-day drive out. This was in Nevada near a rest stop on I-80. I loved that you could see the mountains through the empty windows and doors. It sort of sums up that stretch of highway - deserted.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

And I'm California

Tomorrow I leave for a two-day drive to the California wilderness, where I will be camping for a week with my husband and my grandpa. They will be hunting during the day and I will be relaxing at camp by fishing and reading and cooking (of course). The last time we drove out was in January, and the conditions were a little less than favorable.

Multiple blizzards, in fact. I hope it's all a bit more pleasant this time. It's sure to be warmer.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mom's (not so) Little Helper

I was shooting those new cheese plates earlier this week. Little Bear became interested when she saw me take the cheese out of the refrigerator, and was pesty the rest of the afternoon. Every time I'd leave to get a prop or some such, I'd return to find her trying her best to reach the cheese without climbing up on the table (we've been working on that). When I brought out the tomatoes, it was too much for her to bear (no pun intended) and she reached over to smell even while I was watching. Naughty, but adorable.

She got her head stuck between the chair and the table at one point. Have I mentioned she's quite a goofy dog?

I couldn't resist some doggie portraiture while the camera was out. She was sitting so pretty, staring at the cheese and tomatoes. I find when I bend down with the camera, she moves, thinking I am playing. So I've gotten in the habit of putting it on autofocus and just lowering the camera, taking a guess, and shooting. I took this one in that manner, and no, it isn't in focus in the right parts, but I still like.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Cheese Plates

I promised you more glass cheese plates and here they are!

My mom creates these by melting (or slumping) wine bottles in a kiln at high temperatures. They retain their shape and make very cool serving pieces. We've never offered the blue ones before and I think they are particularly stunning. They are available now in our Etsy store for $15.

This is a dark green glass one that my mom added some decorative beading to. The garnet color of the beading really plays nicely with the color of the glass. It is also available in our Etsy store, for $20.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Intoxicated Collection

I have a new mini collection! It's called "Intoxicated" and features four photographs that invite the viewer to imagine an night of imbibing. The images show the same scene, each more altered than the previous, as you might see things as you became increasingly intoxicated throughout the course of a single evening.
To see the entire colletion, visit my Web site or my Etsy store.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

ETSY PLUG - Hollyhawk

Etsy abounds with folks who are only putting a little effort into their craft or who are still trying to figure out who they are as artists and business folk.

Hollyhawk is a great example of a true craftsman (or craftswoman? craftsperson? not sure what you prefer, Hollyhawk). Her store, her products, her packaging, her business cards - they all reinforce her professional identity as a creator of gorgeous handmade leather works.


When I ordered this cool cuff, it wasn't hard to trust that Hollyhawk's products would live up to their representation in her Etsy store. This is every bit as hip, sturdy and well-made as it looks. I have tiny wrists and was concerned that maybe this wouldn't fit well. But the button and elastic closure that Hollyhawk uses adjusts easily and feels very secure. I couldn't be happier with it.

But here's the easiest reason to love Hollyhawk's work. It is simply beautiful.

I love all of her designs. And I'm really feeling the need to add one of her colorful cuffs to my collection. The are perfect for summer.

Though, if you are into something a little more subtle, these cuffs still have big style.

And if cuffs are not so much your thing, you might enjoy Hollyhawk's other products, such as this pouch and this wristlet. These, like her cuffs, feature Hollyhawk's detailed workmanship and lovely, functional design.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sea Birds, Part II

I dreamed about the ocean last appropriate.

Some of these are a little burned out, but I actually like them for it. My friend Katie had the idea that if I threw some potato chips around, they would come. Worked like a charm.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sea Birds

When I was in South Carolina a couple of weeks ago, I of course went to the beach for a day. And though the thought of sand in my camera terrifies me, I did bring it along and got some shots of the birds. I have quite a few, actually, but I'm having trouble narrowing them down. Here are some of the most straightforward. Look for more bird pix in the coming days.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Goodbye, Ramcharger

A few weeks ago, we realized the Ramcharger had cracked a head and we didn't think replacing the engine (again) was a sound financial investment. So we decided to donate it to the National Kidney Foundation. We took part of a day to clean it out (it had been a reserve for empty bottles and cans, years of newspaper, dirty socks and sweatshirts, and pennies and Uno cards).

It was sad to realize our old friend was going to part ways with us. But with a new XTerra and the reliable Honda, there was just no need for the Ramcharger to stick around. Still, it was upsetting. Today, I watched as the guy came to tow it away, and was glad I had at least taken some photos to remind myself of the good times we had.

May you find peace, wherever you go, Ramcharger.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tropical Foliage

These are some leaves on my folks' canna plants. I love how tropical they look. That's one thing I sure do miss here in Wyoming - tropical foliage.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I Don't Even Know What Day Of The Week It Is

Sorry folks - I know on Saturdays I usually have an ETSY PLUG for you but I kinda lost track of my days since I returned from South Carolina on Wednesday.

Instead, I have puppy pictures!

My parents just had a litter of fox terrier puppies, and boy are they cute. My photos don't do them justice at all. They squirmed a lot, but I sure tried.

They were five weeks old when I got there. My parents are keeping them in one of those plastic swimming pools in the living room. As you can see, they can look over the edge but can't hop out yet. That won't last much longer.

They were just starting to eat puppy chow mushed up with milk.

They were just starting to play with toys. Their teeth were coming in and it made their gums feel better.

They were also being left outside for short periods of time. At first they would all just sleep in a pile, for security I think, but after a couple of days they were active outside, playing with each other and already hollering to come back in.

Bath days were especially adorable. This is the only boy out of the six. We were calling him Sheriff, but that's sort of a temporary thing, so we can tell them all apart and know who we're talking about. Mom did the washing.

I was in charge of drying them off with a towel. They were interested in everything on the counter.
I then handed them off one by one to my dad, who finished drying them with a blow dryer.