Archive for the ‘autumn’ Category

Vermont Observations

The Browns River in Underhill, VT

The Browns River in Underhill, VT

Yes, rivers in Vermont have WATER in them! This is the Browns River, names for my husband’s family who settled this area in the late 1600’s, Indian raid and all to Montreal. Lots of history here, as well as all of New England.  In all of our travels this summer we passed this sign:

23818572

…which as I looked for other pictures realized we have crossed it many times in our 40-plus years of travel and never realized. More here.

So after 6 months some observations about our new home on the other coast…..

Local news – we arrived right at the end of the legislative session….for a week we had complete coverage of the major bills, pros and cons, what all the provisions were, and when they would take effect. Very different from Tucvson/Arizona. reminds me of living in Maryland where bhe national news WAS the local news.

GREEN……watched a full-blown spring develop, which was so incredibly gorgeous and reminded me of how much I have missed the seasons. Had to wear my heavy raincoat once, otherwise my jacket was fine. Weather was wonderful, and on days when the humidity is down, it is glorious. So far we are handling the humidity!

Over heard a discussion of several adults at a show we had gone to, lamenting the fact that a “big box” store was coming to the area – small town idea of a big box store coming in to town – Dollar General. But hey, Big Lots is huge!

No Target store anywhere in the state, and only two Walmarts in the state. I do miss Target, but if I have severe withdrawals, I can go across the lake to Plattsburgh,

Very few chain stores/fast food places – CVS for pharmacy, 1 Walgreens in the county, mostly mom-and-pop stores – bookstores, restaurants, really nice for a change to support locally.

Yellow traffic lights mean to “speed up,” and since there are not a lot of center turn lanes, you wait for your chance and GO.

Everyone loves Bernie – Feel the Bern! – including a barn painted to support our senator and presidential candidate.

Candidate Bernie Sanders

Candidate Bernie Sanders

There is water all around. WE’VE HAD A WET SUMMER SO FAR, so the corn crop has suffered, as well as early fruits. Very interesting to be back in solid rural farm country, with farmers’ markets all over.

What was once solid rural now still looks rural, but as you go off the main streets, you can see the new development. The commercial development has roads leading off the main drag, and then everything for parking lots and inner roads are well-developed. Easy to get around.

It is so easy to get somewhere else – trip to the Hudson River Valley was only about 200 miles away –  easy to see a lot of things.

Really friendly people, even at DMV! In order for hubby to qualify for his handicap sticker, by state law he had to do a driver’s test to prove with a disability he could still be a safe driver.

Because of humidity, odors tend to hang in the air more….like skunk and manure……

Lots of mom-and-pop motels – very few of the motel/hotel chains until you hit the bigger cities. Tree bark is completely different, and nearly every gas station has a full-service deli….

Dress Barn – fantastic colors, very bright, as opposed to many of the softer southwest colors. Road grades are interesting – we thought out west 7% was steep – highest we’ve come to here has been 15%.

I’ve got to get to all of my pictures……November is turning out to be pretty warm (high low 502 today), so I’m sure soon we’ll be staying in a lot! A couple of quick shots of autumn, looking west over Lake Champlain to the Adirondacks.

Autumn from Overlook Park, Spear Street

Autumn from Overlook Park, Spear Street, looking southwest

 

Lake Champlain, looking northwest, from Overlook Park, Spear Street, Burlington

Lake Champlain, looking northwest, from Overlook Park, Spear Street, Burlington

 

It All Started with the Yucca…..Wednesday Work in Progress

Albuquerque Outdoors - http://outdoors.itsatrip.org/

This new piece has had an interesting origin…..we were in Cornville , AZ visiting friends, and our driver wanted to stop in the high desert and see about getting some yucca stalks for walking sticks. If you look at the picture, the stalks are what’s left after the gorgeous blooms are done. They are evidently extremely strong and hold a lot of weight. So we have two collected stalks in the car, and I’m thinking, hmmmmm – these could make interesting wall hanging “hangers.” Turns out we got as a gift two really strong, perfect-height-for-hiking sticks from another friend we were off to visit, so I decided to keep these two, one as a walking stick for me (I just need it for balance) and one for a potential hanger for a wall piece.

I was looking at it today, as I was kicking around another weaving piece. It would make a good “topper” for a new piece. I had in mind a set of seasons pieces, and then suddenly I got the thought to create the fabric and weave them all together for a year of seasons.

Here are two samples of some of the weavings I have done with marbled fabrics. The first is my very beginning one, Gaia 1: Interdependence. The second is  Gaia 3: Autumn.

All of a sudden the design was in my head, and I sketched it out, something I don’t normally do. Here it is:

Creating the fabric will take some time, and I know with other projects in the pipeline, I won’t get to this until mid-September. Hubby is the main marbler, so he will have his work cut out for him. I will need to also watch the proportions in this piece – ever mindful of Michael Kors and Nina Garcia from Project Runway…..

Stay tuned for progress. In the meantime, here’s a few stories for past weavings in the Gaia series.

Sunday Stories: Autumn

Sunday Stories: Gaia 2

Sunday Stories: Gaia 1

Monday Marketing – Preparing Collections

So one of my goals over these ninety days is to look at the pictures I have developed over the last couple of years, analyze the licensing materials, and determine ten collections that I can develop. According to the research I have been doing, I am going to need twelve to fifteen different collections. I have some ideas, but I need to get them organized, set up folders, look at what needs to be enlarged, adapted, and so on. I also want to see what can cross over to Cafe Press and potentially Zazzle, so I get as much mileage from some of the pieces.

Whew. There’s a lot there. One of the things I learned in the lynda.com classes was about Bridge – a program in Adobe Creative Suite that let’s me easily look at all my images and organize them easily – something I really need to do.

Now to get started….and DON’T EVEN THINK OF COPYING THESE IMAGES – ask if you have something in mind.

Botanicals: I have a LOT of photos that could go for calendars, prints, cards. Interesting – as I’m writing this, I realize I really haven’t given much thought to WHAT these could adorn. I have been through numerous stores, looking at design, but I’m not sure I have really thought about extending these pictures into more than two items. Hmmm. Food for thought.

(don’t even think about copying….)

Black and White: prints, cards, kitchen items, gifts, fabric designs.


Indigenous images: I love taking regional designs and seeing how I can interpret them through marbled fabrics that have been digitized. This would make good regional products. Cards, calendars, prints, fabric (if the repeat works), gifts.

Art Deco Revisited: taking images in the public domain and embellishing them with marbled fabrics that have been digitized. Cards, calendars, prints, fabrics, gifts. The designs are from a public source, in this case the Dover book on Art Deco Designs.

                                              Original                                                                                                                With the digitized marbled fabrics

Abstracts: digital manipulation of marbled fabrics to create a new design, in this case “Moons.” Prints, cards, calendars, potentially fabric, gifts.

Inspirational: Taking either marbled patterns or images from nature and creating inspirational/motivational prints and cards, t-shirts, calendars.

Seasons: digital marbling, as well as nature images that could be used in fabric, cards, calendars, prints. Pictures here could overlap other sections.

Nature: Places around the country and the world, cards, calendars, gifts, prints.

Southwest Designs: since I’m in the southwest, and I know how popular many of these images are. This one is already set in repeats. Lots of fabric possibilities here, as well as simple gifts.

Holidays: (valentines, etc) Got nothin’ here, and I know companies will want to see holidays, so I have a great place to start.

Interesting. That’s potentially ten collections. In my mind there were more, until I actually started listing them. Next steps: take this list of collections and go back into the stores to see how else these prints could be used. Stay tuned for the progress here.

And if you’re looking for resources, I regularly read Tara Reed, who writes an art licensing blog. Also, I have purchased materials from her about licensing (disclosure: if you purchase anything through this site, I do receive a small commission as part of her affiliate program). Also, her “Just Ask” calls are filled with great information from a wide variety of experts in the field. It’s another resource for you.  July 2011 Ask Call Replay

China – The Ming Tombs

Ah, the part of me that is into cleaning and organizing is having a ball with undiscovered-in-years stuff! As part of my goal of getting all my slides to CD, this last bunch that went off are all of the area around the Ming Tombs outside of Beijing. I think we spent the morning at a museum and then took the bus ride to the tombs and had a packaged picnic lunch before touring the tombs. It was a glorious late October day, and autumn was in full color in the countryside. I actually have very few pictures of inside the tombs themselves, because, after all, they were tombs. I was taken with the stories and the countryside, so that’s what I focused on. The main story is that the tombs were discovered by accident by workers digging in the area. As you will be able to see from the pictures, this was a major tourist 30 years ago, and I’m sure it still is. The Clay Army hadn’t been discovered yet, which gives me another good reason to go back to China someday.

The statue I am standing by is one of many that lined the road to the tombs. These in themselves were gorgeous works of art. If I had been sketching at the time, I don’t think you would have gotten me away from them.

This next picture shows the line of statues – look under the elephant’s trunk. Keep in mind they lined both sides of the road.

Notice the similarity of drab colors, except among foreigners. The green in front is the Chinese Army visiting. This is the entrance to the tombs.

The gorgeous autumn countryside.

Again, old meets new.

Botanical Gardens – Part 2

Still lots of photos from Thursday’s trip to the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Plus some cool art the kids at school have done, and lots of great images from a bookbinder’s convention here in Tucson. All in good time…….To recap, I was looking for texture, color, interesting combinations, trying some new things for framing beyond centering items, and playing with my exposure settings. No color touch-ups.

Pineapple rooted and growing – I will need to try this.

I love the orange against all that green.

This is one of the more successful pictures of this fountain I have gotten – you can see the water dripping.

I love the variety of greens as you head up to the sky, with the first pomegranates.

Interesting lines with the stones.

My zen garden – one of my favorite spots in the whole garden.

Another shot of the zen garden.

Great leaf, lots of greens – and so big!

I really like the composition of this one – I’d like the purple to be stronger.

I love the light and shadow in this one.

Great lines…..

Spider plants

These look so velvety.

More fence throughout the garden.

I want to take the gate and work with it some more in a collage.

Let me know what you think – ideas, suggestions, improvements……….

Photo Friday – The Botanical Gardens

It is so good to be back doing some photography, some Photoshop, and just generally playing around. Hubby and I went for a two-hour stroll through the Tucson Botanical Gardens, since it now is mid-80’s, and you can be out and about and not feel like you’re burning up.

Took the camera and just looked at texture and framing. Color has not been adjusted at all. I did play around a bit with exposure…discovered that on the camera, so had to try it out.

It always amazes me that no matter how many times I go to the Botanical Gardens in Tucson, I always find something new.  Yes, it’s still comparatively green here in the desert, even in mid-October. Take a look, and let me know your favorites. What would you change, which ones do you like, what suggestions do you have for framing?

So what do you think?

One More….


I did another piece last night that reminded me so much of a New England autumn during peak weekend. Here’s the result (it looks even better large):

Week 2 Photoshop

I couldn’t wait for school to let out so I could come home and work on this week’s lesson. I chose two photos, but I have started working with the one of Mt. Mansfield in Vermont taken from the Underhill side of the mountain. This goes way back to when we were dating, and the picture has started to fade with age. Plus, it just hints at the vibrancy of a Vermont autumn. Here’s the original:

The first thing we had to do was apply the Auto Contrast – which did give some improvement to the clarity of the photo.

Then we worked with the Levels. I was able to get the reds of a New England autumn really pop out. Moving the sliders – I had a spot on each end of the histogram that was empty, so I moved the slider on each end. Then by moving the middle slider I was able to get the reds.

The final thing I did was work with Curves, which I am used to as a result of touching up eBay photos each week.

Overall, a good effort. I need to work with a lot more photos to get really good at this, especially being able to read the histogram for all its information. I did notice that all the pictures I “restored” over the winter holiday look pretty good, so I’m thinking that Curves adjustment is a good one.

We are marbling in the big tray tomorrow – send good thoughts – it would be great if it worked!

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