March Instagram Roundup

Sometimes the random iPhone photos I post on Instagram don't make it into a proper blog post, so I thought I'd share a few in a roundup.  Here goes...

Sherman exploring the tub. (Don't you just wanna yank on that tail??)

 Orange cat on a bathtub

Got a first taste of spring early in the month while tagging along with John on a trip to Newport News. I love it when the trees turn white and the air smells blossomy-sweet.

 Flowering trees

Got another little fix while pit-stopping at A Proper Garden in Powell on my way back from an appointment.

 Flowering plant

Last year I bought a bunch of this 60's print linen in the clearance section of JoAnne's (score!) and decided to use some of it to make some freelance-at-home loungewear.  I found this great crochet trim at Sew to Speak.  I think it really adds a nice finishing touch to my cropped pants! 

 60's floral print fabric

I signed up for a dress fitting class at Sew to Speak and I got lucky: I'm the only student!  I have instructor Gail Kelley all to myself!  Hopefully I'll be able to show you my finished dress next week. (thanks for the photo, Sew to Speak!)

 Learning how to alter a dress pattern

It's the 20th anniversary of Phoenix Rising Printmaking Coop, and I attended their annual board meeting/party earlier this month.  The flowers in the windowsill caught my eye! Columbus is sooo lucky to have Phoenix, and I can't wait: I signed up for a class this summer that will teach me how to print my own books on the Vandercook letterpress (squeeeee!)

 Bouquet of flowers in windowsill

Another adventure with John, this time tagging along on his overnight in Syracuse NY. It was snowing like crazy, which I loved.  We spent most of the day holed up in this cafe that had great tea and AMAZINGly delicious sandwiches. Hopefully there is a next time, because we want to explore the Museum of Intrigue.

One of my 48 house projects (I am a third of the way through this 2018 goal!!) involved finding a spot for my old friends.  I didn't want them to spend the rest of their lives in boxes.  They now hang out on a shelf in my studio where we can say hello every day.

 Stuffed animals on my shelf

When I was in the hospital recovering from my appendectomy, I made many laps around the halls on my floor. This sign was tacked to a bulletin board and I thought it was the perfect way to illustrate the difference.  I'd never really thought about it before. I guess the trouble starts if the tall kid feels cheated for not getting any boxes.

 Equity / Equality

Spring inside! The tomatoes are doing well.

 Tomato seedlings

My little old girl.  She'll be 18 this fall.

 Brown tabby cat

I cannot resist the pansies when they first show up at the garden centers! 

 Bright magenta pansies

I realize there are a lot of plant photos in this post, but I think I'm finally ready for spring, and I'm so glad it's on its way. Even all the rain hasn't been bothering me... I know sunny days and short sleeves are around the corner. Happy Friday, everyone!

It's March?

So it is!  Sorry I've been out of the loop.  A bit about what's been going on lately...

 Glacier Ridge Metro Park

February brought some snowfalls I loved, and I finally got to do some cross-country skiing!  Unfortunately my boot came apart mid-trip, and I wound up up having to walk back. It's okay, I was out in the snow, which made me happy.

 My cross-country skis
 Glacier Ridge Metro Park

I sang again for St. Francis of Assisi's pasta dinner fundraiser, this time with guitar instead of piano (thanks, Colin!). I'm beginning to think I like singing with guitar better than piano.  A BIG thank you to everyone who came out that day, including my amazingly supportive neighbors!

 My neighbors

I was so happy, the Pope got a big smooch.

 The Pope gets a kiss

Early in the month, John officially became a Delta MD88 captain, and I tagged along on his first trip.

 Captain John

I also had MY first flying lesson of 2018. I flew us to lunch at the Urbana airport.

 Aeronca Champ

My tomato seeds came and now I can get them started. My favorite gardening author, Gayla Trail of You Grow Girl, offers her own garden's seeds for sale on Etsy, and I just love knowing my tomatoes literally got their start in HER garden.

 Tomato seeds from You Grow Girl

I started some sewing projects. Since I freelance from home, it's easy to spend waaayyy too much time in my pajamas. Yes I could change into work outfits, but I like my pjs!  So I thought maybe if I sewed up some pajama-esque, work-y loungewear, maybe I would feel less slovenly yet still enjoy one of the huge perks of working from home.  I found this 60's linen print in the clearance section at JoAnne's and think it will make the perfect home-office twinset: cropped flared pants and a halter swing top.  Will model it for you when finished!

 1960's linen print fabric

Yes it's still Christmas in our house.  Yes it's a real tree.  Yes it's crispier than crackers.  No we do not leave the lights on when we leave. But we love the lights so much and it still smells so wonderful. Until I move to a forest of pine trees, the tree stays up until... well... last year it was late April.  The year before it was June...

 Christmas tree

Finished a few books and am starting All the Light We Cannot See. I didn't know if I'd like this one or not, because I sometimes have a tough time getting through stories set in other time periods, particularly war settings, but I just love this one so far. 

 Books

I had my appendix taken out. It was my very first time staying in a hospital or having any kind of surgery, so I didn't know what to expect. Of all the hospital first-times one could experience, I'm glad it was an appendectomy and not something worse.  Still, it felt weird to sign the "you might not wake up again" waiver and say goodbye to someone I love. Needless to say, I was very happy to wake up. And tomato soup never tasted so good.

 Hospital gown and tomato soup

I'm still on the mend from surgery, but everything's going well, and the sunny warm weather last week, while a bit disconcerting for all the obvious reasons, made me happy. I've been enjoying some sofa time too (with kitties), which feels like a luxury.

 Cat on a couch

It's also given me some time to start Italian lessons on Duolingo...

 Duolingo Italian

Anything new with you? Lemme know!  As always, thanks for reading... Cheers!

 

Photo Organizing Tips

A few of you wrote to me after I posted about my new year's goals to ask how I sort my photos.  Apparently just about everyone in the universe has piles and piles of images on their phones and computers, and/or paper envelopes full of prints and negatives in boxes. It took me a while to figure out a system that worked for me, but since it does, I thought I'd share it. *Although I write here about digital files, the same process works for film.

 A pile of photos

1.  Once a month I download all the photos from my phone and cameras onto my computer and into my photo software. I use a program called Adobe Lightroom to organize photos on my computer, but iPhotos or whatever program you currently have is fine if it works for you, and as long as you can rename your files and sort them into folders and subfolders.

2.  I download all those files into a folder I call “TO SORT”.  Creating this folder has helped enormously because I know exactly where stuff is that I haven’t looked through yet.  Here I weed through the images, getting rid of duplicates, etc.  If I have 5 photos of the same thing, I’ll pick the best one to keep (two if I can’t decide).  Then I delete the ones I’m not keeping.  Be ruthless!!!

3.  I've created a folder structure organized by year and month, with special trips & events having a folder of their own within that particular year.  I found this to be the simplest solution.  I thought of trying to group stuff by category: garden photos, flying photos, etc, but I liked having a chronological order instead.  I can always tag or label my images to reflect a category if I want to.  I put the number of the month in front of the name or they’ll arrange themselves alphabetically and, thus, out of order.

Photo Sorting Screenshot.jpeg

4.  Once my “TO SORT” folder of images is culled, I’ll add them to the proper month’s folder (eg, 04-April), and then rename the images once they're in the folder.  I name each image with the year, month, and then a sequence number: 201704-01, 201704-02, etc.  You should be able to automate this process within your photo software.

5.  After I've sorted & renamed files, I make sure to back up my hard drive and then I delete images I don't still want on my phone.

* The secret to making this work is to be diligent about setting aside time to do this.  Start NOW with the new system, and then just catch up with the rest slowly.  Yes, I am overwhelmed with years of a backlog, but now I just spend 10 minutes every morning going through photos.  Eventually they’ll get done. It’s amazing, too, how many photos I'm able to delete after some time has passed because I'm not as emotionally attached.  Also, because I’m so sick and tired of the mental energy required to hang on to everything forever, I’ve gotten kind of fired up about getting rid of anything that I don’t truly love.

* At the end of the year, I delete everything off my phone except my few favorites from past years.  If you take a ton of photos, try doing this more often :-)  I also look through & delete images from my phone when I have a few random minutes, say, waiting at the doctor's office or standing in line somewhere. It beats wasting time on social media.

* For those who have film and actual photographs, this system still works. Just use envelopes with the month/year system.

  An older box of my photo envelopes

An older box of my photo envelopes

If you are feeling ambitious, you could get archival sleeves to store your negatives, and even have them scanned so that you can get them into your computer. (If you're local to Columbus, McAlister Photoworks does this, and if you're not getting giant pro-level scans, it's pretty inexpensive.)

  Negative sleeves

Negative sleeves

I hope this helps!  If you have a different system that works for you, please share it... I'd love to know how others tackle this overwhelming task.

Instagram Round-up: Tucson

A few photo friends and I decided to meet in Tucson a couple weeks ago to talk shop, pick each other's brains, share new work, meet up with our photo mentor, and attend photographer Masao Yamamoto's lecture and exhibition opening at the Etherton Gallery. (And also do whatever else we felt like doing.) We created our own conference, and are already thinking about next year's plans to meet up again (all photo friends are invited!)  It was truly an inspiring week. Here is my short collection of Instagram images from the trip:

 Our Lady of the Pinecones

Our Lady of the Pinecones.  This little backyard shrine was tucked into an alcove at our Airbnb. She wound up meaning a lot to me, coming to represent the guardian of all the new ideas and plans for my art projects that surfaced during this trip. I don't have to worry about a thing, because Our Lady's got my back. 

 Fox on the mantel

This little guy was the first thing I noticed when I walked into the living room of our Airbnb.  He is the CUTEST.  

 Backyard planter

Backyard greenery.  I loved this.  It took us forever to figure out that the building behind this planter was a garage.  We thought it was the host's house because it looked too pretty to be a garage, so we were extra quiet and didn't walk around the yard.  The house manual kept mentioning a garage though, and finally we went looking for it, only to discover that it was staring right at us the entire time.  Lol!

 Swan's house

Swan's house.  Four years ago I took a photograph of this tree.  I thought I should take one this time too.  I loved spending the morning on Swan's back porch, soaking up all I learned during my photo consult and waiting for Elizabeth to finish hers.  (While eating delicious, fresh-out-of-the-oven vanilla poppyseed pound cake.) (And helping Catherine un-stick a cholla from her finger.  Those things are crazy!)

 Prickly Pear

Prickly Pear cactus, photographed on the drive up to Phoenix.  We chose to go the long way that wasn't a highway, so that we could stop if we saw something interesting.  There wasn't all that much time in between leaving Tucson sprawl and entering Phoenix sprawl.  But oh well.

 Tanoue Shinya 

We visited the Phoenix Art Museum, and got through it in a bit of a hurry as we were going to meet another friend of mine for lunch.  Even in a hurry, though, there is always something that makes you stop and really look.  I loved this sculpture by Tanoue Shinya. It reminds me of waves on a deserted island that's the texture of maple tree helicopter seeds.

 Cornelia Parker,  Mass (Colder Darker Matter)

I'm always drawn to big installation pieces, even if I don't understand what they're necessarily about. Things hanging from the ceiling, something that takes up an entire room, maybe video and sound and three-dimensional objects all combined into an experience.  This one was very straightforward and so beautiful: Mass (Colder Darker Matter) by Cornelia Parker. These were the charred remains of a church that was struck by lightning.  It even looks like it's in the middle of exploding. Mass. Science and religion in the same word.

lisa-sette-gallery-claudia-retter.jpg

The Lisa Sette Gallery.  After lunch in Phoenix, we popped in to see what exhibits were up and chat with Lisa a bit.  Of course, what do I photograph... ?  the doorway on the way out.

 Orange patio table and chairs

Patio chairs and table at the Airbnb. This was my favorite place to sit.  Sunshine-y but shady, and big enough for us all to share our projects, drink tea (or Woodford, depending on when you stop by), and cheer each other on to do all the good work we want to do this year.

 Kitt Peak

Kitt Peak, looking out from my favorite cliff.  I hemmed and hawed about whether to drive all the way out there or not, but after taking Elizabeth to the airport I just couldn't NOT turn west instead of north.  I hope it's in the cards this year to go back and stay for more than a couple hours.

Thank you, Tucson.  You never fail to deliver just the right mix of art, outdoors, great company, and a kick in the pants to get my work done!