Thursday, April 30, 2009

Things of Interest

Today is a bit all over the place. Yesterday I found this aspen seed hanging in a web by our sliding glass door. Then today I noticed that the tree branch I had used in my flower arrangement had leaf blooms coming to life. That's pretty cool. The last photo is of a cake my son and husband made for the Boy Scout Blue and Gold Banquet coming up this Friday. The theme is pirates. It's topical. Apparently it went from a pirate ship in the ocean to one that had been attacked by other pirates. It's half done here, but my son brilliantly used a toothpick for a sword. I'll follow up with the finished product in my next post.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What Happens When I'm Inside Too Long

Well, this is what happens when I've been inside too long. I'm supposed to be resting to recover from the flu - Ha! Went blog surfing instead and found a photo of Ikebana flower arrangement and thought it was cool.

I watched a video and gave it my best shot at making my own. It's my understanding that the basic idea is to take plants and make very simple clean arrangements using the lines to do the talking. Also, there's ways to bend the plants. These stems aren't even close to being large enough to use the bending technique on. I tried. However, to save myself a little frustration, I did choose a few branches with some natural bends. These are probably a bit crowded and busy to count, however, I thought they were pretty cool. Especially the way the juniper (very prickly) branches fell into the one vase.

Not bad overall considering I only have a few spring upstarts and left over winter plants to work with.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Schizoid Montana Part 2

Well, here it is just in time for the snow to melt again. Sigh. This state seriously needs to make it's mind up weather wise. I'll be saying that again next year as well.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wave of Creativity

We have been working on some interesting things at our house lately. This is a droplet of wax I found while cleaning up after the guys made candles. I liked the arrow pattern in the middle. All the other droplets were very monotone in color.

I took that opportunity to finish up my cloth dinner napkins. Once I had finished sewing them, I decided to see if I could fold them. The bottom photo is the result of that. Not too bad really. Then I decided to see if I could stand them up behind a glass. /No, I was not bored :) / The result is what I call a glass dress. There's probably some technical term for what I did for surely I'm not the first person to figure out this looks really cool. Sort of like a kimono.

Unfortunately, I still haven't found the time to put together my etsy site. When I do, I will post a link. Hopefully next week!

Schizoid Montana Part 1

This blog is actually referring to the weather. These were taken a couple of days ago. In fact, just yesterday, it felt like it was 80 degrees out. It snowed today. One of those good old fashioned coming down for hours storms. We have about 6" of it on our porch right now. I will post photos of that tomorrow. I really never know what quite to make of the weather here in the spring. It's been known to snow in July. Last year, it snowed in June. Once again, I find myself wondering when the snow will be done for good.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Two Perspectives of Safety

Well today it occurs to me there is a dichotemy to my photographs. One showing the relative safety of a cocoon keeping whatever is inside safe until it can emerge as an adult. Then below you have the clean up site from the Bozeman explosion. Also cordoned off in it's own way, and yet a reminder of how unsafe life can be. Unfortunately that may be what the two images have in common. A reminder that no matter how safe things seem, life is fragile and there are no guarantees.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Little Trouble Maker

Today I noticed my cat kept watching something in the window so I went to see what was up. I found him swiping at this poor little lady bug. No worries, though. The lady bug got away and went to hang out by the window latch.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'm a Broken Record

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, once again I would like to know where spring is. Well, technically it's here since this is pretty much par for the course for a Montana spring. This chunk of ice sculpture is hanging off of our water spout. Fortunately, it's still a bit open so the water can make it through when it melts. If it melts.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What's a little spring snow?

Well here you have it. A lot of spring snow. The top shot is of our lilac bushes in the back. Completely bent over. After I knocked the snow off of them, I spent another hour shoveling 2 feet of heavy wet snow off of our back and side porches. Fun!

The shot below is of the bushes between us and our neighbors. I didn't knock the snow off of them. I hope they're resilient. I hope it all melts soon!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Our Easter

Well this is a brief visual of our Easter day. The eggs were painted a couple of days before and my son wanted to put them out for decoration.

Later we went to Bozeman Pond and fed the ducks. My husband pointed out this moss covered stick. It's pretty cool.

We also found the earth worm below in our driveway. It's pretty huge. A nice relaxing Easter overall.

Sprouts and Eggs

Well this is an eclectic entry to say the least. The first photo is proof of why you should not use an air pump to empty out an egg. Chris blew apart three of them. Hawk got one. The rest we painted. I'll try to post those soon.

Below are the daffodil sprouts that showed up on Easter weekend at the Bozeman Public Library. Just in time for it to snow the next Wed. Good thing they are resilient.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Secret Life of Boards

These two photos were taken on my back porch. I never realized it was teaming with so much life. (Or growth in the case of the moss. We definitely need to restain it.)

Small Treasures

The two photos above are of a braconid wasp nest that I found in one of our lilac trees. I had been taking pictures of the new leaves that were starting to show when I noticed it. I did prune the branch so I could get a more favorable angle. It's empty.

The photo below is of a stone fly. He was crawling around on the house when I got home. Apparently Spring is here. It was a beautiful day today in more than one way.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Cat on His Back

Pretty much since the moment we picked up our kitty from the shelter, he's loved to sit across our shoulders. This is cute as a kitten. He now weighs roughly 13 pounds. Kind of hard to do it for long. So I snapped a few shots while it lasted. I thought the effects below were neat. I accidentally accomplished that when I tried to use the curves function in Photoshop to lighten the photo some.

Darkling Beetles Next Generation

Here's another shot of the darkling beetles. This time they're pretty much full grown. Not very big. The larvae there is huge. My son said his teacher thinks they've laid eggs already. That would be my guess, too. (Does that make us Grandmas?) I lucked out and was able to get this shot through the screen covering the container.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Busy - In My Own Way

I took this photo a couple of days ago after we went sledding. The ice was melting off one of the trees. Gorgeous.

This is the trouble my kitty gets into. How high do I have to put these things up? I think I'll be back to child protective locks here. Sigh.

I found this material at JoAnn's. I'm making a set of 4 dinner napkins out of it. I'm hoping to sell them on Etsy. I'm going to get the store set up this weekend.

All of that and I still managed to find time to update the photos on Who knows where?! The title of this entry is linked to the current gallery there.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What Boredom Leads To

Well, I know it should lead to an update of my site so I can link to a fresh page. But not today. Today it led to photographing a fly in the snow. Turned out awesome. I don't normally bother with flies unless they're markedly different than a housefly. Most of them aren't and I couldn't tell them apart and they're kind of boring. (Horseflies aside. Swat those bad boys.) However, they always look cool in the snow. I thought this guy was dead, but he moved. Insects can survive cold temperatures it just slows them down.

Then I decided to mess around with a technology I recently stumbled across called High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. It's been around a few years. Seems like it's on the way out right now. It makes photos look like paintings. Makes the colors very vivid. Well, I wondered if it would work with macro photography. It's been mainly used with beach scenes sunrises or sunsets and night shots of villages or cities. In other words, large scenic shots. Basically you take two-three shots of exactly the same subject and switch out the light space in between each. Then there's a macro in photoshop that will line that all up and merge it. It's kind of cool. I have yet to get it to work just right. I shake a lot. Even so it's recommended that you use a tripod, so it doesn't take much to get off balance in between shots. I'll have to do that. In any case, I used HDR with a shot I took of my pen and binder on my desk. I then added the ink outline filter in photoshop. Not too shabby.

The last shot I couldn't even begin to explain. It started as an HDR and just went through all kinds of crazy filters. I often just mess around - sometimes for hours - just to see what I get. By the time I'm done, I don't know what I did. The main steps involved glowing edges filter, tilting the image, polar coordinates filter then I took a piece of that and cut and paste and did a stamp filter to copy bits of the image over and over again. While no longer anything close to being recognizable as a photo, it would still fall under the heading of abstract photography. Although, there is a branch of that which just involves photographing a piece of something to get the pattern of it as well.