Saturday, June 30, 2018

2018 Open Photography Competition & Show

Here are the photos I submitted to the 2018 Open Photography Competition of the Allied Arts Council hung at the Spruce Grove Art Gallery.

Spring on Rose Glow
17x17 inch frame
12x12 inch Color photo

This was taken in spring as the beautiful burgundy leaves were emerging from this very grey wooden branch.  The bush is the a variety of the Japanese Barberry called Rose Glow. 

The feedback I received on this photo was
  • nice use of depth of field
  • great composition - use of rule of thirds
  • the highlight on the leaf to the right of the center of the flower is a bit distracting
This was a composition and photo I had taken for Macro Mondays.  I just created a pleasing composition with the shapes of the objects. I had no idea how these chess pieces relate on the game board.  My grand nephew educated me a bit last summer.  The short one in the front is the Pawn, the next one is the Knight and the tallest is the Queen. It would have helped to have them sitting on chess board.  I know better now.

Small to Tall
14x14 in frame
8x8 inch B&W photo

The original was shot in color as the pieces are beautiful maple hard wood pieces.

I converted it to black and white for this show.

This is a Rose taken at the Muttart Conservatory for another Macro Monday challenge.

It was just so well lit when I shot this flower. 

Sunlight on Rose
14x14 inch frame
8x8 inch Color photo

I loved how the dark mats and the dark background in the photo really work to make the rose the centre of attention and focus.

This photo has been gifted to the Compassion House for an auction.  I thought the pink rose for cancer fundraising quite appropriate.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Mosaic Monday - Recent Photos

I took these yesterday.  The top photo is a Chipping Sparrow sitting high up in a tree.  It took me a while of listening to locate him.

I took photos of roses in a rose garden down the road from my house.  Most of them were passed their prime but some were fresh.  They are so pretty and smell wonderful.

The bottom is a Summer Azure butterfly at the wetlands.  When their wings are open they are a pretty blue. They flitter about so and it was impossible to take a photo during flight.

I received these dishcloths from a friend.

I have not tried them yet so I will post a review once I have used them.

Here's a review which sings their praises.

I am working on setting up some tools for my photography.  I was wanting a back drop stand that would collapse and carry easily.

I researched some DIY options on line and then went shopping.  It was pretty easy doing my shopping in the plumbing department.  Cutting with a hack saw was easy.

I set it up with the sides being 3 feet and the top pieces are 1 foot or 2 feet.  This one is set up at 5 feet.

The PVC pipe has letters printed on them so I checked out a solution which is acetone.  I will get some of that today.

I will make a carrying bag to hold all the pieces.

I watered a friend's garden and plant pots over the weekend.

I picked some pansies and placed them in this small crystal vase.

I was working on my Macro Monday challenge (line symmetry) and created this image.  I placed the vase on a large mirror and captured the reflection as well as the real object. The background is the ceiling and the gradient aspect happened naturally.

It was too large for the challenge but I think it turned out really well

I took this sunset when I was visiting Mom and Dad for Father's day.  They have a lake in their town and I had researched where the sun would set.  I thought that I could this kind of shot.

As they headed for bed, I headed out with my camera.  With sunset at 10:10 pm it took a while for the sun to be at the right height.  You can see birds on the water.  There was lots of waterfowl. The reeds provide a wonderful foreground for this shot.

Sharing with Maggie at Normandy Life who hosts Mosaic Monday #89.

Thru my Lens #149 hosted by Mersad at Mersad Photography.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Photo Competetion Invite

I have 3 of  my photographs in this competition.   I dropped them off yesterday. I found out there are 45 participants in the show all the art will be displayed in the gallery.  The reception is Saturday, June 30th where the winners will be announced.  I will be there. 

I would like to invite all those in the area who are interested to attend. 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Craft Kingdom - Project 1 - Geometric Painting

This is my first project from the book - The Craft Kingdom.  Check out my first post.  Find a link to the book here.

I hope that you are inspired to do art today. Check out the book at your local book store.
I chose Geometric Painting on page 14 of the book.

You will see that I chose a second hand canvas.  Many of these are showing up at thrift stores now that painting nights have been the rage.

I primed the canvas with plain white acrylic paint.   It took 2 coats to cover the previous color.  I made sure that I switched the direction of the brush strokes to make a nice even end result.

I used washi tape left over from previous craft sessions.  You must press the edges of the tape very carefully to ensure the paint does not bleed under it during the painting.  I placed my tape to ensure there was a natural focal point where I will place my flower accent.

I chose acrylic paint in colors that worked with flower accent I had selected.  For painting the smaller spaces I chose a small paint brush.

You will see that I added a few pieces of washi tape as I started painting.

Once the painting was complete I let it dry some before I added the gold.  I had a gold flower in my accent so I decided to add it to the painting too.
I use gold acrylic and spattered it onto the canvas by rubbing an old toothbrush against a old butter knife.

Once spattered I let it dry completely.

Once dry, I removed the tape and revealed the wonderful design.

I created the flower accent with 6 silk flowers held together with a black brad.  The I added a piece of 3D foam tape on the back and adhered it on the focal point I had created.  Remember to sign your art work.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Recent Photos

I set tea out on the balcony this afternoon with the small round table and the white patio chair.

With the weather, it was iced tea instead of hot served in a crystal glass.  Goodwill offered 10 glasses for $2.00 this week.  I filled a few holes in my collection.  A couple cobalt blue glass, this crystal and a few wine glasses for photography.

This daisy arrangement has lasted so well.

The background is a wicker hat with a yellow organza ribbon and a coordinating Gerber daisy. 

I worked quite a few hours today framing the photos for the photography competition at the end of the month.  I prepared a how to on the basics.

The gallery had very specific requirements for the preparation of the frames for hanging.

* Must use pivot hangers placed one third from the top of the frame.
* A paper dust cover on the back.
* The wire must be attached as shown with no sharp edges to scratch the wall.
* Bumper pads on the bottom corners.

I still need labels.

I will drop off these pieces on Saturday June 23, the reception is held Saturday, June 30 at 1:00-3:00 pm, they will be on display till Friday, July 20th

Cash prizes and a ribbon are available for winning.

Spruce Grove Art Gallery, 35-5th Avenue [Located in the Melcor Cultural Centre on the east side of King Street Plaza].  Here's a sneak peak to the pieces I am submitting.

I have seen this bush several times at a few locations over the last couple of weeks.  I just love the cluster of small flowers.

When I take a photo then I am compelled to come home and find the name for it so that when I post it I have the right information.

This is Physocarpus opulifolius 'Summer Wine' commonly known as Ninebark.  My sister informs me that there a many varieties of this bush with different colored blooms and leaves.

Sharing with Share Your Cup #294 hosted by Jann at Daily Cup with Mrs. Olson.

With Tuesday Cuppa Tea hosted by Ruth at Antiques and TeaCups.

With Bernideen's Tea in the Garden.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Craft Kingdom - Book Arrived

I was contacted a while ago asking if I would do a blog post featuring this wonderful book.  If so, they would send me a copy of the book, The Craft Kingdom.

I was contacted on June 10 for contact details so after some consideration I trusted and sent off the information.

Yesterday, a neighbour let me know that I had a UPS notice at my mail box.  I quickly checked it out and dropped by the UPS pickup place and brought the book home.  Exciting!!!

I will read the book and decide which project(s) I would like to feature on my blog.  Keep an eye out here for more details in the upcoming days.

A quick perusal of the book leaves me wanting to dig in!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Recently at My Place

We had a great BBQ on Sunday as a fund raiser to send kids to music camp.

The spread of food was wonderful.  The salads were delicious with great variety.

The meat in forms of burgers and hot dogs was well done.

As you can see I had a plate full which was delicious.

I finished this book last week.  I did not connect as much with this one as I do with the One Thousand Gifts.  We are all broken in some way and how we use that to connect with others serves us well.

I borrowed it from a friend a while back.

I returned it this week with a few Nifty Note cards as a thank you.

I found this DVD series of all 4 seasons at the second hand store a while ago.  I have seen some of the shows on PBS TV several years ago but did not get to watch it in an orderly fashion.

I absolutely loved this shows.  The story is set in 1860s. The main character Laura Timmins raised in the poor hamlet of Larkrise moves to the post office in the market town of Candleford.  She works for her mother's cousin Dorcas Lane who has inherited the post office from her father. It is very unusual for women to own businesses in this time.  There is a couple of sister who own a dress making shop in Candleford as well.
It included stories of love, heart ache, being responsible, working hard, learning big and little life lessons.

I have been to the wetlands often.

In the top left is a Red Neck Grebe, a Barn Swallow on the right top.

This little bird with fuzzy edges I believe is a fledgling Robin.  It sat very very still and I think it was scared stiff.  I hope it got the courage to move.

The American White Pelicans are also at the Beaumaris Lake in the north end.  I heard someone saw a Loon there.

This is one of the images I prepared for the Macro Monday Challenge - Hand Tool.  I am starting to be able create a bokeh background regularly.  This my jewelry wire cutters with a bit of gold wire.

I am sharing with Mosaic Monday #87 hosted by Maggie at Normandy Life.

Mersad who hosts Thru My Lens #147 at Mersad Photography.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Cards - Thank You

I made cards for the ladies who have been working with me on a website project.

We had our final meeting today and I wrote each of them a thank you for the work the put into it.

The photo here is a spring blossom on an apple or plum tree.

I love the contrast of colors on this rose bush.  They are almost Christmas colors.

I'm not sure the fuzz adds anything to it but it becomes part of the natural world for a while.  I expect rains will come to clear the clutter.

The Alberta Rose in in full bloom and they are everywhere.  This one has a little antennaed visitor.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Recent Events

We had our Summer BBQ for our women's group on Monday night.

I prepared some door prizes.

This is a box of photo cards from my own photos.  I included a few images from my upcoming Simple Nature 2019 calendar.

I put in 12 cards and then created a insert to provide details and fill the additional space in the box.

Turned out really well.

On the weekend as I was working on photos, mats and frames for my photo show at the end of June I was forced to evaluate what I had in stock.

I found several frames which would not the type required for gallery shows. I decided to fill them with photos and donate them as prizes for the BBQ.

On the right is "Bright Sparrow" which was framed in a float frame 6x8 inches.  The frame as a claw hanger and a wire stand.

This is a Spring Blossom in wonderful shades of pink.

This is a plastic frame 8x8 glass which held one of the photos I printed for consideration in the show at the end of the month.

Photographing frame art is difficult and challenging. The reflections of what is around just appear hence the plaid of my shirt in the right hand corner.

These were well received.

We played some games in guessing flower plants and the names of birds.  We also played the first letter game which I love.

I won a couple of prizes related to gardening.  A yellow watering can and a box for seed packets.

The table cloths where aqua. Don't you love the nature napkins we had at our place settings.

The table center pieces were vases filled with daisies and baby's breath.  Our theme was "Bloom where you are Planted".

Our guest spoke about seeds holding the power to grow and how we can use our power in Christ to bloom where we a planted in different phases of our lives.  

I was lucky enough to bring home one of the centerpieces so I am enjoying fresh flowers on my table this.  Thank you.

I have all green lights on the new internet modem installed yesterday.

I have to say that living with out internet is becoming difficult as much of the information we use is only available there.

Addresses, reviews, email, websites.  I was lost for a while but I am back on-line.

Sharing with Share Your Cup #293 hosted by Jann at Daily Cup with Mrs. Olson.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Pretty Things, Delicious Food and Family

My sister was out to visit for a couple of days.

She brought gifts she had picked up for me recently.  This is a nice classic shape flower pot.  My plant shelf had taken a spill recently due to my lack of attention so a new pot was in order.  I love it.

Next to it is a 15 minute timer which I purchased for my photography because the sand was yellow which will be a nice addition to my cobalt glass photos.  She also encouraged me that I could scrape off the black letters on the outside of it.  Indeed I was able to so now they will not be in the way during my photography!  Thanks.

The other flower pot was in the shape of a watering can!  Really lovely and it's yellow!  How perfect.

I switched out the plants until it all worked.

The plants are doing so much better closer to the window.

I am very happy and I remember to water them regularly.  I expect they soon will need a feed of plant food to keep then healthy.

She also brought a wicker hat which did not work for her purposes.

I hung this in the bathroom where I have had a winter snowman hanging year in year out.  It was time for an update.  I had recently made that decision and then the wicker hat arrived!

I will have to decorate it with some flowers I expect but have not decided yet what they will be.

Sunflowers are my first thought but not really fitting with the bathroom so I will think on it some more.

We had a good walk in the afternoon to a high end second hand store but came home empty handed.

Spent some time on photography door prizes for the barbecue on Monday.  More about that later.

We cooked a wonderful supper for ourselves.  Steak, mushrooms and onions, coleslaw, and asparagus.  It was delicious.

We headed over to my other sister's to visit, pick up some art from my niece and look over some sewing machines.

It was a wonderful couple of days.

Christmas Card Challenge - June - Brown Gingerbread

The prompt for the Christmas Card Challenge for June is Brown Gingerbread.

I selected a plaid designer paper which had a nice variety of colors.  It has brown, green, pink, blue and ivory.  For this set of cards I selected blue, pink and green card bases.  I cut the designer paper to leave a small border and adhered it to the card front.

I cut the gingerbread men with the Sizzix Gingerbread Man die from warm brown card stock.  I coordinated the pieces behind the gingerbread for eyes and hearts with the card base. I used my white opaque marker to create the marks around the edge of the die cut.

I adhered the gingerbread to the card front.  I then made 1/8 inch holes in the top of the card with hole punch.  I then pulled a length of Martha Stewart brown seam binding through the holes and created a knot in the center of the card.  I trimmed the ends with scissors.

With a great pink option on the back of the DSP I was able to create six cards which a just a bit different from one another.

I finally threw out my white gel markers.  They have not worked from the beginning.  I will have to find a fine white marker because this gingerbread is a regular accent for my Christmas cards.

Exchange Cards - Tiny Flower Confetti

I made a couple of these cards for my Card Exchange partners for June.

I could not resist a small bag of these pretty hard plastic tiny pink  flower confetti when I saw them the other day.  They are just so cute! But I am in the mode of getting rid of supplies so I told myself not to hoard and just enjoy using them.

I found some inspiration on-line. I started with a 4 inch square of white card stock. I created a hand drawn square with a handwritten greeting using black markers. Then ripped all the edges.   I adhered the tiny pink flowers with Zots Bling which were the perfect size!  I adhered 13 in no particular order onto the greeting layer.

I then chose some strips of pink card stock in 3 colors and adhered to the the card front in various widths.  I trimmed them to the card edges with scissors.  I place 3D foam tape on the four corners of the greeting layer and placed on the left hand side of the black card.

These are off to my Exchange partners.