Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Playtime and New Work

I may or may not be obsessed with Photoshop. One thing I have really learned over this past year is how to use Photoshop in conjunction with hand-drawn things to combine elements and really open up an endless amount of opportunities. These past few weeks in particular I have spent my afternoons just playing: scanning in drawings, tweaking them in Photoshop, adding things, taking things away, working with no real plan. I've played with photos as well, and have been really into out-of-this-world galactic textures. A few of the things created during this playtime turned out kinda neat, so I added them to my shop. Here are a few of them:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Beard-Green Cemetery

So I have a not-so-secret love for cemeteries. I have blogged about it before HERE. There's just something about them that is so... grounding. Absolutely no pun intended. Last summer when I visited Dawes Arboratum, I stumbled upon the Beard-Green Cemetery and was enthralled. Many of the graves are so old that any and all lettering has completely worn away. The cemetery is the final resting spot for the first settling families of Licking County (yes that is the name of the county and oh yes do I absolutely still giggle about it) and it's just an all-around cool place.

Upon reviewing my photos last summer, I noticed something pretty strange in one of them:

In the upper right corner, clearly behind the trees, it looks like (to my fantastical mind anyway) a pair of ghost legs! Here is the same photo zoomed in a little:

Now, I don't know what it is. It's weird, it's kind of cool, it really intrigued me. 

So when I visited Dawes last week, I made it a point to stop back at Beard-Green and took one million photos. Much to my dismay, I didn't notice anything other-worldly. Aside from the quiet beauty that is just resonating from the place. Here is a little photo tour:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tuesday Adventures

I'm loving this idea already. This past weekend I got excited on Sunday night, knowing that on Tuesday  I could spend an unlimited amount of time wandering around the world and getting lost. After debating over a few places to visit, I decided to go back to Dawes Arboratum, which I visited last summer for the first time. Last summer's visit was kind of a weird one, because it was the day after a HUGE storm (which I now know was called a derecho) blew through Ohio. Driving to Dawes was tricky enough, because going through the small town that it's in was like driving through an obstacle course... tree branches, power lines, pieces of houses, you name it, it was everywhere. Then when I got there, the place was pretty much torn apart. I'm guessing half of the workers that were there trying to clean everything up weren't even supposed to be there. There were even portapotties that had been turned upside down.

This summer's visit was much more peaceful. It was a beautiful sunny day, there weren't that many people there, everything was just perfect. Just thinking about it right now makes me want to go back. The grounds are so diverse, with everything from a Japanese garden to farmland to a redwood forest to open fields full of wildflowers... and woods. I put in my headphones, got lost in the music, and got lost at Dawes, for almost four hours. Here are some of the things I saw:

Now where to go next Tuesday... 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Random Obsessions

One of the first Etsy shops to make me stop dead in my tracks was Raceytay Fine Art Photography. Tracey's photos are pure magic and the moods she creates are like something out of a dream. Don't even get me started on her eye for color. But aaaaaanyway, I stop by her shop fairly frequently to take in the delicious inspiration and this week I was browsing her photo sets. My absolute favorite set is this one, showcasing the beauty of the four seasons:

Four seasons photography gift set by Raceytay.

Gorgeous right?? While browsing through these, a thought occurred to me... why have I not put together photos as sets before? I created one set with four fair photos that just kind of went together, and sold a few right away. So why not play with the, oh, 2200 photos I have saved in my Adobe library? Thus, a new obsession was born. Here are some of the groupings I have created so far (all are available in my etsy shop):

Spring Rain

The Ocean Enchanted

Little Wishes

Ad Centrum Mundi


Heaven and Earth
I did a pretty good job of littering my Facebook page with these as I finished them... I get randomly very excited about new projects like this. It was like I was seeing the same photos I've looked at thousands of times in a completely new light. Yay for new obsessions :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tuesday Adventures

It occurred to me several times over the course of this past year that I probably took more day trips with my camera last year, even though 40-50 hours of my weeks were occupied by my day job. What the heck. At that time, the little trips were kind of like an escape from reality, which is maybe why I did it so much more often back then. Since reality nowadays is pretty cool and there is no need to escape from it.

I have wanted to go to the Holden Arboratum (it's almost a three hour drive from Columbus) for over a year now. Ever since I visited Dawes Arboratum last summer (you can read about it HERE), I have wanted to explore every place similar to it within a reasonable driving distance. I've been meaning to make it a once a week (at least!) ritual for oh, eleven months now? Better late than never right?

So yesterday, Tuesday Adventures was born. Why Tuesday? Because back when I was working, we would joke about how Tuesdays were the worst day of the week. At least Mondays are supposed to be awful, because it's Monday. But what about Tuesday? It was awful in a different kind of way. Not anymore. Now that is Adventure Day. It's important to take time out of your week for yourself. Go outside. Talk a walk. Feel the breeze in your hair. There are always going to be things on your mind that you "should" be doing (especially if you are trying to support your own business), but sometimes you need to turn your mind off, even if it's only for an hour or so, and relax. Do something fun. Go on an adventure.

Holden was no disappointment. I scream sang Tori Amos (found my old From the Chiorgirl Hotel CD in my car) for the last hour of the drive because I was so excited. It was completely cloudy and overcast at first, and thank the lord I brought a sweatshirt because it was actually chilly and felt more like fall than summer.

Within a couple of hours, when I was wandering around deep in the woods, the sun started to come out. Even as an adult, the woods are still magical to me. When I was young, we had woods in our back yard. We weren't allowed to play in them due to several reasons (a creek we weren't allowed to go in, poison sumac, other scary things that can be found in the woods). Plus to get into them you had to go down this huge hill that was covered in plants and trees and skunk cabbage so they weren't even really accessible... unless you entered from the neighbor's yard. I have two younger brothers and sometimes the three of us would "go on a tour," which meant we would wait until our mom was not looking out of the kitchen window (sorry mom if you are reading this) and run into the woods via our neighbor's yard. The thrill of being someplace we weren't allowed to be plus the natural magic of the woods? It was one of my favorite things to do and was honestly like our own private kingdom. Kind of makes me sad to think that a lot of kids nowadays would rather visit magical lands in video games instead of doing what we did back in the 80's, when kids were just kids. There was no Netflix, no iPads, no XBox. Just bikes, roller skates, sidewalk chalk, the woods.

Here are some of the things that I saw on my first Tuesday Adventure:

There were so many different kinds of flowers. The air smelled unreal. I'm smiling just thinking about it.

I hiked a trail down into a little valley and found this stream at the bottom. I sat on a rock right in the middle of it for a while, just listening and being present.

There was a huge field of these, about two feet taller than me!

The sun started coming out when I was deep in the woods, leaking light onto the trail.

It was so incredibly quiet, except for the sounds of birds and the leaves in the wind.

Lookin' good, Holden Arboratum.

Tons of "frog pads," as I called them when I was little.

The perfect summer day.

I discovered that I have a random obsession with Queen Anne's lace. Who knew.

Water droplets caught up in a spider web. Spiders terrify me. This is beautiful.

The bench under this willow tree was like something out of a dream.

Fields upon fields of wildflowers. Love.

 I am already looking forward to next Tuesday :)