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Posts from the ‘Finished Projects’ Category

Barn Photo Series: Nash Farm, Grapevine, TX

I was over in Grapevine yesterday doing some rock climbing and decided to stop over at Nash Farm to check it out. I’d found it on the internet this past week while searching for barns to photograph. If you like taking photos of old farms or enjoy seeing some of the area’s heritage and history, I suggest checking it out! It’s open to the public every day from dawn til dusk. Here’s some of my final selections from what I shot:

Here’s some more pictures of things I discovered there!

Beautiful, fully restored farm house. Even the interior was fully restored with gorgeous vintage wallpaper and furniture of the era.

Right near the house was a small vegetable garden – I would love to have one like this someday.

I also met a cow. She was a little shy at first…

…but soon was quite curious!

View of the whole barn

The quintessential farm cat decided to befriend me as I wandered around the farm. He made for some wonderful photos!

I dream of one day having a chicken coop – the sound of them clucking was so peaceful.


Sunset over the old farm house as I was leaving

Waving goodbye!

Wildlife/Nature Photo Challenge

A friend of mine on the We Will Create website recently posted her first entry of her genre-a-month photo project. Her theme was wildlife – and her pictures and stories so inspired me! Since my plans for barn hunting didn’t quite work out as expected yesterday, I took a little detour to shoot some wildlife and nature. Here’s some of the highlights, lowlights and things I learned…

I’m happy to announce I saw my first armadillo close-up on this trip! I also learned that they are fast little devils… and that you shouldn’t assume you can just walk up to one, tap it on the shoulder, and ask it for a photo… Well, you can, but this is all you will get… (forgetting to use my zoom lens did not help either).

For next armadillo sighting I had my zoom lens handy (70-200mm). I managed to get a little closer with the right lens in a moment that he stopped to think to himself “oh my gosh! I think that human is following me!” and then promptly ran off. However our lovely winter background of deadness really doesn’t do much to help things..

After another hour or so I came across yet another armadillo! He was foraging for food on the edge of a tree line which thankfully had a rare patch of green soft grass. I quietly sneaked up to him, a little at a time. I was able to get some decent shots of his butt at least… oh animals and their rudeness!

At the closest I was about 6 feet away from him… which is when I learned how hard it is to get a clean close up shot when you’ve got twigs and branches and brush and tall grass all over the place.. this one below was the best of the bunch. The sun was also really harsh and not helping things. I conclude that nature is very inconsiderate.

Right here is where you would be seeing my really gorgeous macro shot of a beautiful golden butterfly sunning it’s wings… however you will not see it because butterflies are really kind of bitches about having their picture taken. Didn’t get a single shot – just as soon as I was almost close enough, they took off. Such a tease. I decided to work with a spider instead, who was a little more accommodating (although not by much).

Mr. spider was about 3-4cm long. I didn’t quite get the focus right – yet another factor to have to consider on top of the issues of ugly natural backgrounds and horrible harsh sunlight.

Later in the day I found a great little pine forest with plenty of mushrooms and pine cones to practice macro photos on (and way more convenience since they don’t move!) I did a little light study on this mushroom.. moving from more frontal light all the way to backlit. It was fun to see how different each direction made the image feel.

I came across this little finch-like bird who was just flitting about on this dead tree by the lake. Finally an animal that is not camera shy! For about 10 minutes I photographed him while he flirted for my camera.. it was definitely a lot of fun. Still working on trying to get the right settings to get clear shots of birds in action… they usually end up looking like strange alien things hovering in the air…

He unfortunately seemed to share the same animal rudeness of the armadillo in mooning me a lot…

I did manage to get a few really pretty shots of this little guy though – slowly he let me get closer. This one below was one of my favorites.

I also learned that cows are boring… especially on flat ground.

I learned that sometimes just when you are coming up on a cool ominous-looking scene of a beach with ravens on it… some stupid kids come walking by noisely and chase off all your subjects.

I learned that sometimes making a shot better is as simple walking around the subject to see if there is a better angle with less clutter…

This last shot was inspired by a similar shot my friend took (mine on the left, hers on the right).. the diagonal shadows must have stuck in my mind, because as soon as I saw them out on the trail I instantly thought of her image and decided to take a version of my own! Thanks Alyshia for getting me inspired for this trip! It was a great learning experience and a lot of fun!!

December: The Finale Poster

Look Into Your Heart and You will Find…

I can’t believe it – but it’s finally done. A whole YEAR of creative projects and blogging! It doesn’t feel at all like a year… in fact it flew by with all the fun I had with it! I was hoping to get this posted on the last day of LAST year – but you know, sometimes you just have to put working aside to enjoy some good memories with loved ones. That is really what life’s about, after all!

So, on this first fabulous day of 2012 I give you my final project from 2011… a poster design with the theme “looking inside”. It’s actually been really wonderful to start out my new year focusing on the idea of looking into the heart. The theme actually ended up carrying into our new year’s celebration last night, as we took a few moments to reflect on 2011. We shared things like our biggest disappointments, what we were most proud of, and what we were ready to let go of in the coming year. It was wonderful to take a moment to think about things like that, to share them openly with each other, and to listen. I was certainly most proud of this project.

The idea that is has helped to inspire even one single person to take on their own project in 2012 means more to me than anything really. I hope that if you are reading this – and are in a place in your life where you miss doing a lot of the things you used to do or have a list of new things you’ve been putting off for years – that maybe it helps encourage you to take hold of your creative spirit. Look into your heart… Get out there and do and be and live all the things that excite you and fill you with passion. We only live once, after all, so we might as well fill our days with the things that fill our hearts.  Goodnight Friends!


November: B-17 Necklace

Happy to finally be posting November’s finished project! In the last post you saw the raw laser cut airplanes, and tonight I covered them with pieces of sectional charts. These convoluted looking maps are actually quite well-organized with a TON of essential information for the pilot’s flight planning. They include special symbols and information that enable them to safely navigate from one location to another while keeping on-time. This one below shows just a small area east of Dallas – look at all that stuff!

With a trip to Hobby Lobby after work to pick up some hardware for the necklace and some Mod Podge, I was ready to get this thing done! The craftsmanship I will admit is leaving something to be desired right now. You can see the paper looks a bit rough around the edges.. and the Mod Podge did not stick to the metal as well as I’d hoped. I’ll have to experiment some more to find a method that will make these more wearable. But for now, We’ve at least got SOMETHING done!

(Finished Piece, still needs some refinining it seems – but not bad!)

October: A Beginning’s End

I apologize for October’s final project being a little late! It took me longer to get all the materials than I’d expected. To refresh you, the cards for this month were “Found Object Art” and “Things That Blow Up”.. oh and what a marvelous combo this has been! I have enjoyed brainstorming so much that it has left me with a plethora of other ideas that I will have to return back to and finish down the road… including more elaborate, large-scale versions of a few of the bullet tests I did earlier this month. I was really enjoying creating with bullets, but then the egg theme took me another direction that I really got excited out…

And here you have a deadly nest indeed… a dangerous beginning that is surely to lead to an end. I didn’t really have anything in particular I wanted to say with this – I don’t usually create things with the motive of sending a message. I have always been the type that falls in love with something visually and just wants to see it created – particularly if it involves throwing extreme contrasts together in some strange harmony. It’s been a long time since I’ve actually made anything like this – oooh say, 5 or 6 years since I was taking sculpture classes at community college? Gosh, I didn’t realize how much I missed it… and how much it gets me back in touch with a part of my creativity that I had forgotten.

I suppose some will like it, others will think its dark, or weird, but whatever the case – I enjoyed making this one a great deal!

P.S. A BIG Thank you to Claudia for sending me the fabulously well-rusted barbed & bailing wire! =]


Illustration Practice: Vintage Camera!

Hi all! Just a little aside from the monthly project… thought I’d take a minute to share an illustration I did for work last week. While my hand-illustrating skills are pretty decent, I have not really taken the time to explore computer illustrating much. Texture and style have always been a bit of a weak point for me in computer illustrations, so I’ve decided to make it a small side project to try and do more of these for my design jobs at work – whenever applicable. So here’s the first, a peppy little vintage polaroid camera for a feature on our website about some of our recent favorite photographers. Not bad if I do say so myself! =)

September: Screen Printed Cereal Boxes

A few days late getting this one posted, but I am happy to reveal to you my vintage cereal characters screen printed on mini cereal boxes! To remind you, the cards for this month were “Screen Printing” and “Stuff In My Trash”. After collecting quite an array of trash in my laundry room, an idea finally popped into my head to do prints of the cereal characters we all love on their respective boxes. I started out researching the original characters from back in the day and did some simplified versions of my own based on those.


I only managed to get a few shots of the process – I was so focused I found myself forgetting to stop to take pictures of everything!

I will likely do a printing party soon with a few of my friends who are interested in learning the process, and have them help record the entire thing so I can put up a basic step-by-step post for anyone else who is interested.

Below are a few shots of the taped up screen ready and being put into the press. The reason we tape up the screen is because the pink/purple chemical stencil (aka emulsion) does not go all the way to the edge, so you must block those areas so the ink doesn’t get through. It is also to help in clean up.The close-up shows the design area where the ink will pass through onto our printing surface.

I’m pretty happy with this basic one-color clamp-on press I got with my kit from Ryonet. I was a little worried that just clamping it to a surface might not be strong enough, but it definitely does the job! I have one of those tiny, useless bars at the end of my kitchen.. and I’m happy to have finally found a use for that thing other than collecting endless amounts of clutter.  It’s great for clamping my press to (though a bit high, so I have to use a step stool to print!) Best of all, for someone in a tiny apartment like myself, this press just unclamps and can be stored in my patio closet. Very little fuss and muss.

Since I only have one screen and a one-color press, I did some paint washes underneath before printing the black ink on top. I really love the messy feel it gives them and how it keeps the printed box from competing too much. To finish them off, I decided to trim the edges so that the cereal box itself was more subtle. I like the idea of someone looking at the printed design first and then realizing after that it’s actually printed ON a the cereal box of that character. I think Tony the Tiger is probably my favorite one – which is your favorite??

Meet Barry the Feltie Cat!

Howdy folks! Just wanted to take a quick minute to share the newest addition to my needle-felted family. Meet Barry! Now don’t let his solemn color mislead you… he definitely has a curious side. A real free spirit, he loves being out in nature, romping in the tall grass, pouncing on small bugs and of course having a good nap in a spot of afternoon sun.

I’ve been working on Barry for – oh gosh – a few months now in my spare time… a foot here, a tail there. It’s so rewarding to finish one of these little guys after anticipating it for months! Hope you like him! =)

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