Saturday, January 31, 2009

ETSY PLUG - The Crafty Devils

I'm not the sort of person who usually tosses whatever utilitarian accessory that comes with what I buy. I'm pretty cheap, that way, I guess. But when I saw these beautiful iPod cozies from The Crafty Devils, I REALLY wanted one. And my super-cool husband got me one for Christmas.

I'm a sucker for beautiful leather and a bright, graphic print. Seattle-based duo The Crafty Devils deliver on both, as well as quality workmanship. My iPod fits snugly in its case (I would have to hold it upside down and really shake it hard for it to fall out), but I don't have to muscle it in there. It is the perfect size. And look at that lovely stitching.

If your iPod doesn't rate its own garage, then check out the gorgeous wallets The Crafty Devils have to offer. Cool enough to suit a girl or a guy.

Though if you are a girl, you might like their purses. They look so sturdy and pretty darn cool.

For more items, including hip cards and jewelry, visit their main Web site.
They also keep up a blog to promote other awesome artists on Etsy. They are very good at finding awesome products that you may not be familiar with. In fact, I'm off right now to check out some of those links!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Breakfast - Blueberry and Lemon Muffins

I confess there was a time in my life when I wanted to be a food photographer. But when I tried shooting food on my own, it was much more difficult than I could have imagined. I think a lot of it is in the details. Recently, I tried shooting food again, with much more success. Maybe I've learned a thing or two? Maybe it is dumb luck. But I did take to heart some encouragement from Everyday Moments from the first time I posted a photo of my breakfast. She told me I should do an entire breakfast series, and that gave me the courage to try again. Thanks so much to her and to all of you who encourage me! So here is installment No. 2 - Blueberry and Lemon Muffins.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thinking of a Little Sun

My brain needs a little break from the snow and the cold today, so here's a photo that reminds me of warmer times.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

ETSY PLUG - FLYoung Studio

I've been dying to share the art of the wonderful and talented Heather Young with you all since I first saw it, but I had to get a piece in my house first.

My super cool mother gave me the thing my heart desired most for Christmas, "Sweet Tea." I just hung it in my house this week and I think it looks like Heather painted it just for that spot. It is perfect. I smile every time I catch a glimpse of it.

I stumbled upon Heather's work on Etsy one day and checked out her shop. It was filled to the brim with gorgeous, graphic food prints, particularly of the coastal Southern persuasion. Food is one of my greatest passions, and now that I live in Wyoming, my favorite things are hard to come by. I loved that with Heather's prints I could see, even if I couldn't taste, the food that reminded me of home.

Speaking of, I'm pretty sure I'll have to have "Big Shrimp" up on my walls one day, though the budget is not allowing that right now.

I included "Sweet Tea" in a treasury soon after discovering it, and convoed Heather to let her know. I assumed she had been on Etsy for some time, as her work did look a bit familiar to me, but it turned out she had just joined. We started visiting each other's blogs and chatting a bit, and her warm, friendly manner made me appreciate her art all the more.

I've also been lusting after these square canvas prints from Heather's "Eat Your Greens" series. Alas, Heather's printer has discontinued the perfect little 6X6 size, so if you want them, you had better head over to the shop and scoop up the rest of the inventory fast. Especially if you want that Kiwi or that Okra. I'm being very good and sticking to my budget but I don't know how much longer I can hold out.

After the success of the "Eat Your Greens" series, Heather did another on red foods, called "Rockstar Reds." It came out very recently and she made only one 6X6 of each print, and since she can't find another printer to do the same size, they are one of a kinds! There are four left in her store, including the above "Strawberry Slice," so get them now!

The multi-talented Heather also has as second Etsy shop featuring her pen and ink drawings. She does custom drawings of people's homes if you just send her a photo. She also has prints and cards of scenes from Savannah, the lovely city she calls home.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Try, Try Again

These are decidedly NOT good photos, but I was in love with the way the water looked at Guernsey State Park that day. The ice chunks in the first one, and the cracks along the ice in the second one were just beautiful.
I'm not from Wyoming, and have in fact only lived here 2 1/2 years. I've photographed a lot of things for the first time since then. Take the ice above for example. Sometimes I get things right on the first try, but sometimes I shoot and shoot knowing I'm just not getting it. It is frustrating, for sure, but I seem to remember my dad saying something about "Try, Try again." So when I get the ice shot from the cliffs just right, I'll let you know.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

CCC Structures

Guernsey State Park has absolutely gorgeous structures. The top image is of the museum, and the bottom is of the 'castle,' a shelter area for parties and picnics. I love how these buildings feel like they belong in their environment. That was one of the goals of the Civilian Conservation Corps when they constructed them in the 1930s. They wanted to blur the line between man-made and the natural world.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One Frosty Morning

I think afternoon light is my favorite, but there is something to be said for morning light, too.
Here's a couple more of Guernsey State Park, early one frosty morning.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I spotted this little guy at Guernsey State Park the other day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Coal Cars

I managed to get up early one day, mostly because I had to drive my husband to work, and stopped by Guernsey State Park on the way back. The morning train happened to be chugging along, carrying coal as most of them do here.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

ETSY PLUG - Smacshop

Today I wanted to share one of my super cool Christmas presents from my super cool husband, this print from smacshop.

This photograph moved me the first time I saw it. I normally go for happy, colorful art that makes me smile. But this piece struck a deeper nerve - it tapped into loneliness, emptiness, and the ethereal nature of things - but not in any sort of depressing way. Instead it feels honest. It makes me acknowledge those feelings, I suppose, without drowning in them. Sort of like a good, but sad, song.

Smacshop has several other photographs that speak the same words to me. I think this one, "Reject," is particularly strong.

I love that Susan, the artist, shares stories about her works that melt their sinister edges, just a bit. "Nice Dirty Bathroom" was actually taken at her family's beach house. It is really the variety of cameras and the expired film that Susan uses to create, or unearth, these darker stories from benign locations and objects.

Though Susan is incredibly talented at telling dark little tales, she has other skills, too. Her illustrations are bright and thoughtful. They sometimes involve scanning the hand-drawn/painted artwork into the computer and then combining it with a blend of digital painting and her photography, in order to texturize and create new dimension for the piece. You can also find these in her Etsy shop.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

RIP Basil

My husband is usually pretty good about keeping my plants alive while I am gone, but we suffered one loss while I was in South Carolina this time - the little basil. Thank goodness I took these photos right before I left.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tagged Again

I had the pleasure of being tagged by Paperhill while I was away on vacation.
I recently gave seven things about myself that you might not know, so I think I'll share seven things about my trip to South Carolina, since I have no pictures of my time there.

1. I had to get my camera repaired, so I sent it off right before I left to go to S.C. Hence, the lack of photos. It was painful to be without it.

2. It was so warm there (in January, mind you) that the snakes were even out. I found one of my folks' dogs battling one in the backyard. It was not poisonous, thank goodness.

3. My grandpa was out from California, and he and my mom and I had a great time learning how to play Texas Hold'em. My pile of pennies osculated between tremendous and completely nonexistent.

4. One of my best friends is pregnant and I got to see her baby bump!

5. I took a whirlwind trip to Jacksonville, FL to visit my sister and see her new baby and to meet her husband. I got to see the adorable Joshua turn six months old! It was very much worth the long drive in the pouring rain and annoying interstate construction.

6. My parents had a litter of Fox Terrier puppies last summer and someone drove down from Pennsylvania to pick up the last one while I was there. If those people hadn't come, I would have liked to take the adorable Solitaire home with me (like I need another dog, but she was so sweet and well behaved).

7. I was supposed to help my mom take down the wallpaper in her kitchen, but we never got around to it. There's always next time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Year Resolutions

I know I'm a little late, but I've been pondering just what New Year's Resolutions I should make. They mostly concern my art/work.

1. Keep a schedule - My days are so different now that we've moved. I'm going to try to get up when my husband does (oh so early) so we can eat breakfast together. He no longer comes home for lunch, so now my days will be structured around my art in the morning and the house in the afternoon, until I get all my rooms painted and all my boxes unpacked.

2. Put together my studio and stay organized - I finally have a room all to myself, but until I pick up furniture from my folks that I plan to use in it, it is mostly piles of supplies on the floor and the closet. That must be resolved so I can move ahead.

3. Follow through - It seems I have no end to inspiration, but I find if I don't get things out on paper (or whatever media I am using) right away, they fade. Or go on the list of things-to-do. And the list is looong. So I resolve to work on my inspiration when it hits.

Oh, there are plenty of other things I should do or that I should give up - drink less caffeine, generally be more patient, spend more wisely, exercise more often- but that's all part of the continually self-improvement plan. My art goals are a priority this year.