Friday, January 29, 2010

Three Generations Searching for an Ugly Old Car

Maybe it's not so ugly, but it is getting pretty old. This lovely addition to our driveway is a '96 Subaru Legacy Wagon with 164k miles on it. Yes, a wagon for a 17 year old seems a bit odd. But, if you knew my girl, it suits her...there is nothing ordinary about her. Her mission from the get go was to find something ugly, as if she was looking to adopt an orphan animal.

The three of us including my dad started this quest a few weeks ago. Searching local lots, calling car guys we knew, perusing the papers and searching online sites. All this looking and we found ourselves circling back around to a dealer only a few blocks away from home. Believe me, there isn't much to choose from in the "cheap" category. Taking cars out for test drives, we took turns driving.  Each of us with our own point of view. I went first to get the feel while she played with the knobs and gadgets. Pop Pop was there for his experience. He knows cars... We all agreed that this was the one, hoping our choice was right and luck will be with us.
Savannah has always been good about putting something away from all the years of helping me at People's Choice and at the mall.  Her part time job at Wendy's added enough to her savings account to make it work. So, we walked into the dealer and said we wanted to take the Subaru home. Filling out the paperwork and letting the transaction settle in was fun and exciting. This was a BIG deal and I was so happy to be able to do this with her and to watch her realize it was actually happening.

She is a good and careful driver, but of course there is no way to stop the worries. We won't forget this rainy day. Over 3 1/2" had fallen and the creek was flooding. The water was close to the bridge and started flowing up Broad Street before cresting. Later that evening we got word that two brothers, her high school class mates were in a terrible accident. These two boys continue to fight for their lives. A horrible reminder of the fragility of life. Please be careful on the road...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Antique Garden

Spent the last few hours creating a little romance. These soft pastels contrasted with the antiqued silver capture a sense of time passed.
Translucent clay has been my long time base. Just a smidgen of color will achieve that soapy feel. Baking at a slightly higher temperature gives the beads a  bit of a crackle. Sometimes it's tough to decide what style of ear wires to make. The supply of 20 gauge is low, so not too much fooling around. This was the second or third attempt to try and form a good marriage between the beads and the essence of the design. Although these were pretty in shiny sterling I decided to stick to the original mission for the Antique Garden.
I had to see the results from a dip in the liver of sulfur bath!
Maybe I will make another group and keep them shiny?
Oops, have to make another blue pair already. Gave them the daughter test. Having a 17 year old around equals honest feed back. Savannah reacted violently positive and asked for a personal treasure. She has been in a blue mood lately. Hair streaks I mean not the other kind of blue...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Adventures in Photography

It's best to take pictures outside, right? Nature has to cooperate though. The sun is out and it's not raining making today a qualifier of criteria to cart all that stuff to the back patio to take some new shots for the website and Etsy shop.
A list of supplies to get started. A table so the bending over won't kill the lower back, back grounds and props. Then you hall out the goods. If you are lucky like me, its jewelry so easy to carry a lot at at time.   By the time you get positioned to actually get the camera in hand much time has passed. Shoot a bunch and run back inside to upload and see if the results are good, passable or a true failure. Back and does this background look? What about this camera setting? Who needs exercise on a photo shooting day? And then there is the cleanup, of course my favorite part of the process.

I try to do it this way on occasion, but get frustrated with the timing and the hassle. I need a dependable photo studio on demand. Here is mine perched on top of my favorite storage cabinet. I can shoot in my jammies as I did today. Glorious! No clean up either...ah now that's sweet.
There is never enough light in my studio. I have four panels of awful fluorescent lighting  in the ceiling. Quite undependable with lights flickering on a whim. I also have a torchiere floor lamp with a powerful 300 watt halogen bulb. All this and I add these great shop lights mounted on a tripod to pour direct light on the sides of my photo cube. It gets hot in there with everything lit up in full force.  The studio is a renovated one car garage attached to the house, so it's not a gigantic room.

After many many years of trial and error. My trusty Fugi FinePix S602Z digital continues to serve me well. Although, adding a really compact point and shoot is on the list for taking to shows.
Here is one result of yesterday's efforts.
Although I am happy with a shot here and there, satisfaction never really comes. There is always room for improvement. Lots of articles to read on technical items from camera settings to what is best for websites and then the ever important slide shots for shows.
Truth is, this part of the job is just one more reason I love what I do.
Never a boring day.

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