Photography and Me

RT at Night
Fairy Princess, Painting with Light
Two Views Walker Lake, NV
Barbetta, ITSA Studio

I've been busy, which has been mentally and physically challenging. Yet, I always say you do not learn much unless you stretch and test your limits.
I am learning more about photography and got a B in my recent course. I did not take the introductory class; but, I plunged into the intermediate one, and part way through realized I was maybe in over my head. Still, 895 out of 1000 points was pretty decent and  I'm very happy. An over achiever like me likes to get straight A's; but, as my dear DIL reminded me the grades do not go on the certificate. Not that I am trying for a certificate; since, I'd be about 80 by the time I could complete enough classes, LOL!
A real problem with getting better with photography is that I'd feel the need for a new camera. Since I get a lot of neck pain when lifting even light objects, I'm not sure I could handle the extra weight of a Canon 6D especially with one of those wonderful glass lenses. Still, a girl can dream. I really need to get a lot better before I could consider that step, though. I've included a couple of my best recent images in this post. I hope you'll see me get stronger at photography over time.
The best part about learning this stuff is appreciating the vision and artistry of others. So many people with great imaginations and talent.

Writing Posts in My Mind

 Alas, the blog got bumped down in my priorities recently. I've been writing posts in my mind, but they somehow have not made the way to the page. Today, I got some photos into my computer and thought that this page about scrapbooking should get me back in the groove.
As many of you know, I do love Debbie Hodge's classes/magazine, Masterful Scrapbook Design and Get It Scrapped
Right now on MSD, a color magazine and classes are the topic. I ran into my scrap room when this class came out and grabbed a few supplies. If you don't know me, you may not realize that primary colors are my favorite color scheme. I picked up a red, white and blue clock paper and what I thought was a similar hue dotted paper and settled on wood veneer for my yellow. As I laid down what I had found on the kitchen table, I noticed right off that the blue ink on the dot paper might have been the same hue to start but printed on a cream based paper vs. the white used in the clock face paper so had a greenish cast. I thought it would still work if I used more blue papers and separated the two patterned papers with some contrasting color.

The red and orange take on a bit of the underlying blue hue bit I liked the transparency, so I decided to live with it. I determined that my main color story despite my minor deviations was a split complimentary one on an 18 color wheel. Unfortunately, there are several "color theories" around or, fortunately (if you like options), so it can get a little confusing. It's a topic that I will possibly explore in a future post. At any rate, I decided to use blue-green and red/pink and red-orange and use wood veneer that one can view as either a neutral or the yellow of a basic primary color scheme. Grey and white were are used as my other neutrals.
I then gave some thought to the story. I was thinking of time for bed and considered photos of my sweet grandson and looking through the photos inspired my final page.
At this point, I had the basic page structure with photo, title and the start of an embellishment triangle. A journal entry and it could be considered complete.
However, maybe it was my inner Nichol Magouirk? (only because I know she likes to use some border strips and some stamping) Not sure what prompted me except a feeling that it did not feel quite finished. So...
Here is the final result. I used a small border strip that had my color story in stripes. A border remnant gave me another line of definition between the pattern papers and echoes the arches of the clouds and the circles of the clocks, the principal ribbon print, the bottom of the journal strip and the polka dot paper. The fuzzy ric rac ribbon echoes this, too. The ric rac repeats greener shade of the blue-green polka dot paper and repeats the soft texture of the velour wings and foam clouds. The shape of the clock hands repeats in the red arrow label, the small veneer arrow, the chevron of the blue-green ribbon strip below the photo and the actual clock hands in the print and the clock veneer embellishment. Circles recur in the prints, the epoxy stickers, the clock and camera lens shapes and the details of the translucent ribbon. Stars sprinkle across the page giving the sense of movement through time as does the clock with wings. This motif repeats in a paper clip at the top cluster. The clock with wings is watermarked stamped in the patterned papers. The stars and clouds draw attention to the sleeping baby. 
Black would have been too harsh a neutral with the pastels on this page. I chose gray instead, and it shows up several times in the papers, title alphas, border strip, a cloud and the twine.  The alphas and twine have a similar feel with diagonal stripes. The two photos and the camera epoxy make yet another triad theme within the page.
I think it is a success. I had a scary moment when I stamped with a bit of gray into the watermark image on the clock patterned paper. It looked much too dark. Ink Refresher lightened that up but stretched the paper to ripple it. Once dry, I attached the layout with plenty of strong dry adhesive to a thin sheet of patterned paper and saved the piece. Necessary, since I could not find another sheet of the patterned paper to redo the page!
I know scrapbookers often enjoy the process of the page and hope my effort in this blog post was interesting.
Lots going on right now. Retirees do wonder how they fit in life when they worked, and I'm no exception. However, I am finally getting around to clearing up that backlog of my life that's, at least, eight years old. It feels good. Now there's time to play and create, which is wonderful.

Pocket Page Scrapbooking

 Now here's a trend that I have been slow to embrace, Project Life (Becky Higgins phrase and products) or Pocket Page scrapbook pages.
I was challenged in a class at Big Picture classes to scrap an event using this technique. I found these photos of Amanda and a dance recital and went for it. I found some WRMK divided page protectors in my stash and the photos made me think of a collection paper pad from Jenni Bowlin.
I found it very challenging and expensive. Even using my stash, the reprinting of the photos used a lot of ink and paper. 
I think the result is fine and I'm likely going to try this again. I actually think pages that include several disparate photos might be easier for this technique.
I like the idea of journal cards. They let me use my Adobe Illustrator skills!
Some thoughts I had on the process:

Difficult. Event was a dance recital with terrible pictures (poorly lit room, back light, camera phone and red construction posts in background). Not sure where program is. Difficult to think of what to journal.
I found I thought of all the pockets as separate but coordinated pages, a bit like a mini album. Easier when photos could work together like the triptych on bottom of page.
I wanted each page to stand somewhat on it's own but also, like a two page LO to work with the other side. I think if it had not been a single event I would not have felt so compelled. I had chosen my paper because of the colors of the costumes and because that rose paper turned horizontal reminded me of the roses in the mouths of the dancers on my first page.

So, enjoy and do post comments about what you do and do not like about pocket page scrapping or why you have never tried it.

Teddy Bear Museums

 Korea is the place for Teddy Bear enthusiasts. While there are a lot of museums in the world that feature Teddy Bears, there are only 13 devoted solely to Teddy Bears (according to the info I got in Korea). Google has not been helpful on this matter; so, I'm going with that as fact. Korea has eight of these teddy Bear Museums!
I toured Jeju with a family of four and the kids were teens with no passion for the bears. Needless to say, while I went by the one on Jeju Island I did not visit the Teddy Bear Museum there.
However, Seoul was a different matter. My women physician friends from the USA were open to all sorts of adventures. Since we had already got to the N Seoul Tower, with a Teddy Bear Museum at its base, we were going to make it a fairly complete experience with a whirlwind tour.
I loved the historical scenes and famous characters displayed at the museum and would encourage anyone who visits Korea to drop by a museum.
Korean people are warm and friendly and have a delightful sense of humor. It's no wonder they have embraced the All-American Teddy Bear with their own unique flair!
Here's a tour for you. From historical events to pop culture - the Teddy Bear stars in the presentation of Korea.


Are you dedicated to creating wonderful art? If so you are really in for a treat! Today's guest is April Bey, an exciting visual artist,...