Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Pencil, Paper and Curiosity...

It has been years and years, too many years, since I've sat down and tried to draw or sketch.

Photo above...My attempt at art...please don't laugh...or at least don't laugh too loudly.

My mother was the artist in the family, she studied and majored art in Italy. Of course having been born and raised in Italy where else would she have studied? She had an opportunity that many budding artist could only dream about.

I wish I had inherited her talent, she was gifted while I, in comparison, am scarcely mediocre. Yet mediocre or just plain bad, I had dabbled in art throughout my life, so I'm not sure why I laid it aside nor do I fully understand what motivated me to pick up my pencils again and push them around on a piece of pristine white paper. Perhaps it was curiosity ?

Faces have always been difficult for me and I would never attempt to do a portrait drawing of a living person and certainly never of anyone I know. The girl in my sketch is of my own imagination and does not exist; thankfully so, as she has a number of facial abnormalities which would be rather unattractive on a living human face and a prime candidate for facial reconstructive surgery.

Photo above...Yep, I really need more practice...lots and lots of practice!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Can You See Me Now ?

Photo above...Can you see me ? Adolescent hawk sits atop fence post taken from about 120 feet away, camera on full zoom. Hmmm full zoom? Ya coulda fooled me !

Photo below...Can you see me now ? At perhaps 100 feet, camera still set at full zoom. You can make out some of the hawk's markings but not his personality.

Though I like my little aim and shoot Cannon PowerShotA70, I really long for something that has a more powerful telephoto lens. For ages I've been attempting to get some fantastic shots of our local hawk family however my photo results have always been a dismal disappointment.

Photo above...Oh shoot ! I've been spotted ! I remain stock still as the young hawk watches me, wondering just what danger I might pose.

Photo below...Well hello there ! I suddenly realized that not only was junior keeping an eye on me, but mom or dad also kept a wary eye open.

Photo below...Parent hawk atop telephone pole and this is just about as close as my mini telephoto zoom will allow me to get. Since this was taken on a very overcast day, the sky was darkly gray and this was as much as I could lighten it through the use of my Picasa Photo editing...without casting a garish glow over everything.

I've read my camera manual and realize I can adjust my settings to allow for closer zoom capacity but at the cost of picture quality, definition and clarity. I'm not sure it would be worth it.

Photo below...Adolescent hawk on fence post. Shot taken from about 30 feet away using all the zoom that my instant zoom is capable of .

Photo below...Slowly, steadily I crept up another 5 feet or more. Notice how junior is keeping an eye on me? No really, that's his face in front...really !

Photo below...and Juniors mom or dad is also keeping me under close surveillance.

Photo below...And stealthily I creep closer.

Photos below...Cautiously, quietly, carefully...hardly breathing I inch closer and closer.

Photos above and below...At this distance, less than 15 feet of the young adolescent hawk, I felt extremely nervous knowing that the slightest thing could startle and send the youngster flying. Isn't it beautiful ?

Photo below...Meanwhile mature parent hawk continues to scrutinize my every move.

After taking this last shot of mom or dad, I turned to watch as junior flew away. Either he was tired of this slow paced game or he got the message from his guardian that it was time to vacate the premises.

I was disappointed at how far away junior appeared in the photos as I was so close I felt I could have almost reached out and touch him or her. And these were with my zoom set at max; junior would have been little more than a pin speck on normal setting.

Countless shots have been discarded because I was not able to zoom in close enough, while many more photo opportunities were missed as I could not get close enough. Well if I can't afford a fancy new camera, perhaps I should check out a telephoto lens for my camera ? But then they're not cheap either and with all the money my etsy shop is raking in I might be able to afford a dime store magnifying glass. LOL

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Desperately Seeking...

I've been lackluster about a lot of things this past holiday season, had hoped that with the start of the new year my creative batteries would recharge and I'd be eager and raring to go. But...well not so much ! Maybe I'm tired, burned out or just simply bored ? Or maybe, during this past cold spell, all my energies and exuberance had been put on ice ?

It has always been the custom with my family that our holiday decorations remained up and on display until after the Epiphany (aka Three Kings Day) which traditionally falls on Jan. 6th. This year was no exception. So last week was spent taking down wreaths and holiday decor and carefully packing them back into their boxes to be stashed away for next year.

One of my holiday treasures is a small tree purchased about 4 or 5 years ago through A cute folksy, country type decoration featuring tiny lights, some lengths of raffia, and 9 small mushroom birds. Nine ? Rather an odd number, why not 12, make it a dozen ?

Have no idea why the powers that be decided 9 was good, but I've always had to display this little bit of decor up against the wall as there were not enough little birds to adequately adorn the small tree.

I've searched the Internet and have not come across a source for these cute, chubby little fellows and would greatly appreciate it if anybody could direct me to a source where I could purchase least 3 more. However I do want to avoid the wholesale importer that will require me to place an order for 999 of these little guys, as I merely wish to fill out the miniature tree, not start my own mushroom bird farm. : )

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Where Have All The Lizards Gone ?

With our cold spell I've noticed that all the lizards seemed to have disappeared. Not sure just where they are hiding but I'm sure they're moving very slowing and are trying to keep as warm as possible. As John and I removed the frost-cloth from our lovely poinsettia plant I found a small tree frog clinging to the white cloth. He or she was still alive but barely moving, for a brief moment a pang of pity swept over me and I wanted to bring the little fellow inside to warm up, but then I could just imagine him getting loose only to be found weeks later as a desiccated mummified little froggy. No he is better off outside facing the challenges that Mother Nature sends his way.

Below are a few photos I took early one frosty morning...funny that for us in the deep south, something as common as frost would become an object of such fascination !

Photo above...Our once deep green yard is white with frost...the pepper plants have wilted and will soon be tossed in the compost pile.

Photo below...More crystallized grass, frosty white and crunchy underfoot.

Photo below...In the early morning a car passes down our road, headlights on. Our neighbor's pond is crowned with a steamy mist of fog.

Photo below...The water temperature is much warmer than that of the air, creating an eerie vapor of fog floating above the water's surface.

This old gal is really looking forward to some warmer weather...guess I'll go make a cup of hot tea or hot chocolate and curl up by the fireplace. To all of you I say; "Stay warm. Stay healthy."

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

And Just How Cold Was It ?

Just how cold was it ? Well, if we had a pumpkin patch the pumpkins would have had frost on them. When my hubby got up at 6:30 Wednesday morning the outside thermometer read 26.5 Fahrenheit degrees. For Florida that's cold...too cold. We have hibiscus bushes, orchids and palm trees, we're not supposed to have frost.

Photo below is taken of our outdoor thermometer at 8:30 a.m. ... just how cold was it...well it speaks for itself.

At 8:30 a.m. I stepped outside and snapped a few photos, the temperature on the thermometer had risen to a balmy 33.3 degrees Fahrenheit, but there were signs of frost everywhere I looked.

Photos below...The yard covered in icy crystals of white frost.

Photo below...More icy grass, thankfully we covered our little tropical Wax Jambu tree, but we won't know for awhile how much damage it has sustained. We almost lost it last year and I don't think the frost was this bad nor the temperature this low for this long.

Photo below...Even my Italian oregano was covered in frost and it was in a large planter placed close to the house.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Many Thanks to GiggleBot

Can't recall how many weeks ago, perhaps even a few months ago, that I posted on an Etsy forum's thread. The thread was seeking shops interested in being featured on a blog and as we all know, this can be wonderful advertisement and free as well. For many this is a great win-win situation, the shop gets a free plug and the blog gets something to blog about.

Photo above...Vintage Glass Leaf button...makes for a stunning necklace clasp ! Is available at my shop

However my downfall is that my shop is one of supplies and most bloggers are searching for those who exist on the creative end of Etsy's roster, the artists and crafters. Invariably my request was overlooked time and time again, but I could understand and certainly couldn't blame them.

Then out of blue I received an email from another Etsian, Gigglebot asking if I was still interested in being featured on her blog. Of course I was, would be crazy not to. So I replied positively and also mentioned that not many are interested in featuring an Etsy supply shop as supplies are not intriguing as say a glass blower, or a wood carver's interview would be.

Anyway I filled in the pertinent information and kept my fingers crossed, hoping for the best...and the best is just exactly what I got. I could not believe the incredibly wonderful feature that GiggleBot did. Her lead in was fantastic, very professional, which made me wonder if she was a professional in the advertising business, if not she should be as she seems to have a natural talent for it.

To visit GiggleBot's website and read her interview just click on any of the links that I've placed in this post or you can also copy and paste the URL below.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Fantastic Revelations...

Photo above...Wondrous little thank you cards from FrenchRevelation

I tend to be one of these people who seldom win anything, so it was a complete surprise when I saw the email that proclaimed me a winner in a blog giveaway. Could it really be ? Did they make some mistake? Me? Really? Really... me ?

Photo above...One of my lovely prizes, 8 little cut-out mini note cards from FrenchRevelation

As it turns out Lady Luck finally smiled my way and I found I had won my choice of not one but 2 items from FrenchRevelation . FrenchRevelation has incredible handcrafted cards, note cards and tags, it was a hard decision to make with so many lovely things to choose from. After what seemed like a very long time of flipping from page to page and clicking on item after item and back again, I decided upon some absolutely adorable mini note cards.

Photo above...I adore the sweet little cut outs and the lovely color of these note cards.
Photo below...My second prize is this marvelous set of mini thank you cards. I think anybody receiving one of these little "Thank Yous" will feel very special indeed.

Thank you FrenchRevelation I am really ecstatic about my lovely prizes. There are many more beautiful cards , lovely note cards and pretty gift tags at FrenchRevelation I encourage you to please click on one of the many links in this post and check out this extraordinary handcrafted card shop. You may also write down this URL or copy and paste if you prefer :

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...