Monday, June 17, 2013
In the past year, studying photography has taught me about a zillion things, and not all of them have to do with aperture, shutter speed and ISO. For one thing, I'm learning patience-- that seems to be the A-#1 requirement. If you rush a Miracle Man you get rotten miracles... and if you rush a photography student you get rotten photos. (Incidentally, my entire life philosophy is based on The Princess Bride.)
I went out for a walk today on one of the nature trails that run alongside the Boise River, just hoping to get something I liked. One image. Because, another thing I'm learning is that anytime I go out hoping to find something to photograph, I'm golden if I manage to capture just one shot I want to look at over and over, and maybe even share with people. It doesn't always happen, but when it does, it's awesome.
It was about 94 degrees out there and I was traipsing along the gravel path getting rocks in my shoes and wishing I'd thought to wear a hat, slap on some sunscreen and bring a bottle of water. I was not feeling patient. It was mid-afternoon, which is not usually the best time to take photos, anyway, because the harsh sun is beating down, overexposing the highlights and stripping all detail from the shadows. I took a few shots, but I just wasn't feeling it. The only things that caught my eye were a beautiful orange bird that appeared for about a nanosecond before she hid in the trees, and a lovely yellow butterfly that was flitting around so quickly it wasn't worth even trying to photograph him. But I did, anyway, and got a few blurry photos of leaves, like a big green smear of paint across a canvas.
The butterfly continued his happy dance. I started walking back toward the road.
"Oh, c'mon, dude, I just want to take your picture! Why don'cha land for a minute? Give a girl a break!" I kvetched as I headed toward home. And then... he did. He landed on a leaf not six feet away from me, his wings spread perfectly, the glaring sun filtered by the canopy of trees overhead. And there he sat while I snapped photo after photo, moving a little closer with each one, until I was just a few inches away and had to switch my lens to macro. The gracious little butterfly held his pose far longer than I ever would have hoped, then resumed his journey as soon as I stopped shooting. All I could say was "Thank you!" but I said it about a dozen times as he flitted away.
So, I learned something else about photography today, and who knows, it might even translate to other areas of life: It never hurts to ask for what you want.
Oh, and always carry water and sunscreen. You just never know...
Thursday, June 13, 2013
I'm so honored that the awesome folks at Ranger Ink chose to feature my Fathers Day card on their blog! This one's for my Dad, John Ledbetter, and it's made with a bunch of Ranger's cool products-- Sticky Back Canvas, Watermark Resist Ink, Distress Paint, a giant Manila Tag...
I do love my Ranger stuff.
I hope you'll head over and check out the tutorial!
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Waaaaaay back in 2003, I was visiting some friends in Portland and spent an afternoon at Powell's Books (a.k.a. "The 8th Wonder of the World"). It was there that I found a book called Collage Discovery Workshop, which a decade later is still on my Desert Island List, and which I credit for taking me from "stamper" to "multi-media crafter." That book was, of course, written by the amazing Claudine Hellmuth, whose delightful art has been inspiring me for ten years now. Claudine has a way of breaking down mixed-media techniques that makes them so much fun and so completely un-intimidating that you truly can't wait to try 'em out!
Claudine also happens to be a fabulous teacher and downright awesome lady, and when she asked me to contribute a project to her upcoming Technique Toolbox class through Big Picture Classes, I... well, when I finished jumping up and down with excitement, I said "YES!" about a dozen times.
Check out the video. This is going to be EPIC:
Create a faux tintype image transfer, make art with Elmer's glue and a plastic bag, create a gesso chalkboard—these are just a few of the amazing techniques featured in this class! Technique Toolbox is your chance to brush up on these (and 22 more) mixed-media techniques with nationally known collage artist and illustrator Claudine Hellmuth as your guide.
Technique Toolbox consists of 25 instructional videos and 25 professionally designed "recipe cards" that outline each technique. You'll file these printable recipes inside an adorable handmade toolbox you'll create in class. And, that's not all! Claudine has invited 20 fellow artists and crafters to create exclusive projects with her techniques, giving you plenty of ideas for creative, real-world applications—from scrapbook pages to wall décor.
To read the rest of the class description and to register, click right here!
(Holy cats, I'm in AMAZING company!!!)
I'll be taking Claudine's Technique Toolbox class myself, and I so hope you'll join me! We'll have a blast and learn a lot of clever stuff that we'll use in our art for years to come. It all begins on July 15, and we'll get five week's worth of art-y goodness!
Have a fantastic day!
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Thank you so much to everyone who left a comment on my Ranger Ink Melt Art Mania project! Your kind words mean so much to me, and I wish I could send every single one of you a big bag of goodies!
The winner of the spectacular melt art package from Ranger Ink is....
Lisa from A Mermaid's Crafts!
Thanks again, everyone, and a huge thanks to Ranger Ink for being so generous
Friday, May 31, 2013
Over at the Inspiration Emporium, our May challenge is Don't Quote Me (or, actually do, because we asked our friends to create art using a favorite quote).
For me, this was a perfect opportunity to strut my geek cred, hence the wonderful, hopeful quote from one of my heroes, Carl Sagan...which of course led me to think of "Billions and billions of stars..." which led to a non-Christmasy use of the fabulous Tim Holz Sizzix Star Bright 3D die.
I love how the new metallic Distress Paints gave the star a distressed, industrial look. I used all three colors, made a little puddle on my nonstick craft sheet, and blotted up the paint with the star, which was cut from Grunge Paper. With a little Wendy Vecchi Embossing Paste for texture and some Dylusions stenciling, the background got all cosmological and big bang-y. Bazinga!
Today's the final day of the Don't Quote Me challenge, so if you haven't already, please be sure to link in your project at the Inspiration Journal, and you might just win a $50 shopping spree at Inspiration Emporium! SWEET!
Enjoy the last hours of May, you guys, and have a fantastic weekend!