An Autumn Rose

I’ve been working on some really cool fiber stuff these last few weeks. But I can’t share about those, yet. In the meantime, enjoy a photo of one the last roses of the year from our backyard. It smells just as lovely as it looks.

Fall Rose

Quick Glimpse

In the last two days I’ve managed to photograph a whole lot of pieces from several large portfolios and sketch books. Still have many more to go. I converted my work space into mini photo studio. More on that later. But for now here’s a quick glimpse at one of my favorite pieces.


Great Photo How-To

Still working on digitizing and archiving three very large portfolios from the WestWind Studios. So I’ve been doing lots of research on photographing sketches and stumbled across this one.

One of the best how-to’s I’ve seen for how to photograph artwork. Not to mention it made me feel like I was back in photography class in college.  Now if I could just find that much open wall space in my house.

Irene’s Story Continues

Life continues to get in the way of doing somethings like blogging. I’ve been pretty busy with kids, family, holidays and business details. It’s all good, just kind of crazy some days. Allergies have run amuck in our household and everyone has been stuffed up. A chaos of toys, clothes, papers, and pet hair has taken over the house and I really don’t want to deal with it. I am dealing with it, but I don’t want to. I went to an art retreat with my art group a few weeks ago and I have yet to unpack. All the above mentioned things have left me with little motivation to clean and settle my art supplies back into their homes, hence no art has progressed. But I have managed to shop for some really cool items. One of them was a board like this one. Nope, not from QVC though. I knew Costco had them a few months ago and I really wanted one but we didn’t have funds for anything extra at the time. So this last week I managed to get over to the store and went straight to the shelves that housed the boards and found one, the floor model. I didn’t care. I grabbed it and pulled the tag off the shelf that had the price on it, for the cashier. Then I got over to our local bead shop on Saturday and fed the bead monster inside me. It was needed.

But with all that I have been visiting my in-laws once a week to photograph paintings. Irene’s story continues to unfold for me and I am loving it. Her story would make a great novel. Maybe someday it will. Her self portrait was pulled out of a second ‘Paintings Closet’ and I could stare at this for hours and still not see all the symbolism. Silent Shrine was in memory of the bombing of Hiroshima and it is an amazing piece of work.  The Mystic creeped me out, but so far that is the only one.

Self Portrait Silent Shrine Mystic

I head back this week again with both the boys in tow. The older one is off for the week. So they get to have some quality fun time with Grandpa which will probably involve some water balloons and/or water guns. I’ll be sure to pack a change of clothes for them.

At some point this week, I hope to reassemble my work area and get back to work on something creative.

First Batch

I got through the first batch of photos of Irene’s paintings this past Saturday. We hooked up a flat screen monitor to the laptop so I could actually see what I was working on, and thank you Lord for RAW data and Photoshop! These came out so darn good. Right now we are displaying them on my Flickr page (click on the West Winds Studio set) but eventually they will have their own website and flickr page. Eventually, we’ll get them in some sort of order as well. Right now, these are the ones from the middle and bottom shelves of the ‘paintings closet’.

Here’s “Luna Moths” and “Devil’s Paintbrush”,

Luna Moths DevilsPaintbrush

We looked briefly through a few boxes of her things on Thursday and there is such a treasure trove of amazing stuff. I had to put it away or I wouldn’t have gotten any actual photos taken.

I’ll have more of my own stuff in the days to come. Deadlines are next week, so my goal is to get stuff done on time.

Catching up

Oh this poor blog! I really didn’t intend to ignore it so much but somethings just can’t be helped. We’ve been a mighty busy around here with lots of family stuff, business stuff, and Advent/Christmas activities. So what I have here is a bunch of little random stuff, just to catch myself up.

A  few weeks ago most of our household came down with a horrible flu – was it the swine version? No confirmation on that. It was just in the ‘really not fun’ category. But when I came out of that tunnel of rottenness, I suddenly started having ideas for projects. Woo-hoo! Dried up creativity has left the building!

On the topic of inspiration, I went to Joann’s yesterday and picked up an issue of “Sew Somerset” and I’m really diggin’ it. Lots of cool ideas and very inspiring. Reason I was at Joann’s was to get some cord for making brown scapulars for church. They came out pretty cool.

Brown Scapular

I finished a piece up in November. I originally created it for another show but didn’t’ make the deadline due to the monster job of the summer. At the moment it’s hanging out in downtown Northville, in a gallery window with several other pieces from my art group.


The other fun thing I’ve been playing with is this little-bitty camera that I received as an early birthday present. It’s digital and takes not perfect photos, which is what I love about it.

Little Leica Dali Fence Tree Painting Minox Leica Pinwheel

For the most part our boys keep me busy all day long and I haven’t had a whole lot of extra time for the art. And the actual paying graphic design jobs always take precedence over the fun art as well. But hey we are grateful to have those paying jobs – so I am not complaining!

Green Things

Someone asked me last night how the gardening was going. So I thought I would photograph a few things that are growing out there. I have an art project near completion that I will share soon. It’s for a juried show so I don’t want to give anything away until all is done. I also need to finish it up because I have to create a proposal for an actual fiber art job for MSU. It’s to complicated to explain right now but nepotism has it perks, sometimes. I’ll share more on that one after I get the job underway. Oh! Victor has been taking a drawing class and working on his comic book skills. Check them out on the Flickr site. So in the meantime, here’s some happy green and growing things.

wet dandilion Potato sprout Tomato flower Lettuce Broccoli Iris


Back in college, I took lots of photography classes. One day my professor showed us how to do Polaroid Slide Transfers. I didn’t participate in that project at the time because I was just flat broke and couldn’t afford anymore supplies. Since this was one of many classes I had with this professor, he took pity on me and waived me from doing the project. But I always remembered the project and wanted to do it.

For my last birthday, Victor got this for me from the world of Ebay. It’s a Vivitar Slide Printer. They don’t make them anymore but it’s the cheaper version of the Daylab.

Vivitar Slide Printer

It took me several months to finally get to the project, get everything together to use it and find directions that didn’t come with it. Not to mention finding a place to get the slides developed. But at long last, I worked for two evenings on it and had a lot of fun (after a short bit of frustration and learning). Memories of the darkroom and photo chemicals came back to me as I opened the processing prints (I missed those smells!). After the first night I got some cool prints and one transfer that I can say was somewhat successful.

Drying image transfer

People usually use certain types of watercolor paper for the negative transfer but since I’m into the whole fiber thing I was trying it with white cotton. I have some other fiber ideas to try down the road but I decided to keep it simple first time out.

Night two went a little more smoothly. The boys liked to push the big blue button and make the thing flash. I got several more successful images this time around since I had worked out some of the kinks of the machine. I know that I need use darker slides because it likes to overexpose some. Here are some of the cooler images I got. The first one is the original on photo paper and the second is the image from the negative on the fabric. This one in particular I opened the developing image to soon. Teach me to watch Chuck at the same time. It’s a close up of my grandmother’s sewing machine, in case you were wondering.

Polaroid Transfer sewing 01 orig Polaroid Transfer sewing 01 cloth

This one is of an old clock. Like the above ones, the first is the original on the film paper and the second is fabric.

Polaroid Transfer Clock 01 orig Polaroid Transfer clock 01 cloth

I know you may be wondering what I am going to do with these. Well, I do have a project going on right now but I’m not sharing just yet. These photos are cool because you can go back and color the negative transfer with different mediums (ie. colored pencils). The original photos can be put into a warm water bath the images can be seperated from the photo paper and placed onto almost anything else. So lots of fun to be had here.