Sunday, May 31, 2009

And the winners of the RideTheWave Giveaway ARE...

to be announced tomorrow!

(POST EDIT: Do read this fun little story, but winners have now been chosen and are listed at the bottom of this post)! :)

Here's why. Betty and her family are in bed, (& Jhon was coerced into picking the winner last time). And I can't very well do this alone... there would be no one to verify that I didn't cheat! Besides, that's no fun.

So... what about Betty?? Betty is my *wonderful* neighbor who knows everyone, and always seems to be there for... whatever (like when you move in during fall & don't have a leaf rake yet, or when you're expecting a photo delivery from UPS but will be away working on the river... you know... neighbor stuff). She's always happy to help, and has some good advice too. Betty is going to help us find out who won the photos (unbeknownst to Betty at present time).

It'll go a little something like this... I'll take all the "Saturday people" and assign them a number starting with the first comment=1, and so forth. I'll compile a list, knock on Betty's door, and simply say, "Hi Betty! Pick a number between 1 and ______." She'll either smile & pick a number, or she'll stare at me _______ly. In the latter case, I'll explain the Giveaway and the whole story and then ask again. She would save herself time to just spout a random number with no concern as to why, but... she'll enjoy the story behind my latest antics. Always does.

At this point, I will flip over to the "Sunday people" page on back. All the Sunday people will have been assigned a letter... but we'll have to start after "B" (obvious possible problem).

"Ok Betty, pick a letter between C and ____."

TaaaDaaa! Winners determined, neighborhood & general life updates accomplished (they're in there somewhere, rest assured), and I'll come post the results.

But, as you can see, this must be done tomorrow. The fate of all this is in the hands of Betty, and I would hate to wake her-- she might not be so friendly about picking your entry then. Besides, that would just be... very unneighborly. And I like Betty.

And now... random and completely unrelated "Cute puppy pictures!" Who doesn't love puppy pics? This adorable little sweetheart belongs to one of the guides I worked with on the river last summer... and I was happy to be a sit-in Mom for "Munchie" at any time. The only thing as cute as her face, was watching her bound and bumble about, learning about our big world!

Now... good night and Good Luck! And THANK YOU for taking part in my giveaway and for all your wonderful comments! This was definitely a great addition to the weekend and a catalyst for wonderful things! I appreciate you.

Betty wasn't HOME this morning so I had to wait! Can you believe it? She's always home. Well, when I went over again, I DID get that update I said I would! A BIG one! She had to go to court to testify b/c a few days ago she was walking about town and happened to see a whole big episode of some guy resisting arrest and getting tazed! Betty sees everything. Anyway, I took the list, she was more than happy to participate (got a good laugh out of it). I had the list so she couldn't see names, and had my system (even had in mind to pick alternates in case those w/no profile info won and didn't come claim their pics). As it turned out, that was unnecessary-- she debated her numbers for just a second, had no hesitation with choice of letter, and... voilá! I circled the winners and took a couple quick pics on the step!

And the winners ARE...

Saturday: Marg Hamilton

Sunday: Kathy M.

Congratulations ladies!! Marg, you've won "After the Rain" and Kathy, you have won... well, you tell me what you've won. Go choose any 8x12 or smaller, and let me know! And please email me (link under my profile) or Etsy convo me with the addresses you would like your photographs mailed to.

Again, thank you ALL so much for participating! I really do wish I could give photos to all of you, just for being so wonderful!! I will do this again.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

2Day Ride-the-Wave Giveaway!

POST EDIT: Wow!!! Speaking of giveaways, I am so honored and just... stunned! I visited the wonderful blog of talented watercolor artist, Laura Trevey, to see her giveaway!
You'll never believe what it is!! Go see--->!

My weekend plans ended up being very different than originally intended... and I was bummed. But, after a while I got to thinking... I'm never online on the weekends-- I'm either doing art events or working on the river raft-guiding. So, I decided to "ride the wave" that followed the "rain" I've been given this weekend, and have some fun with it! I put together a kind-of-last-minute, possibly-hairbrained idea...

And I think you'll be glad I did-- a couple of lucky readers will benefit as a result of my weekend. I'm hosting a TWO-PHOTO-GIVEAWAY this weekend; one to be awarded for Saturday and one for Sunday.

The giveaway will revolve around my mental "theme" of the weekend, so to speak. Saturday I will be giving away "After the Rain" (click link to see listing details in my Etsy shop).

And Sunday, I will award the lucky the winner the photo of their CHOICE from my Etsy shop! Winner may choose any print 8x12 or smaller.

To ENTER the Giveaway:
Simply leave a comment on this post indicating which day you would like to enter. Wow-- you only get to enter one day?!? Sounds kind of harsh, right? I thought so too, so, here's the deal: you MAY enter both days but it will require 2 separate comments to be left-- 1 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday. For purposes of determining Sat vs. Sun, any comments left after midnight CA (Pacific) time will be considered Sunday, and any left after midnight on Sunday will be considered "not an entry" (but always appreciated). Can one person win both days? NO--the whole idea is to give more people more of a chance!
Winners will be chosen randomly, probably using one of those random-chooser-service-thingies (if I can find one and figure out how to apply it). Otherwise I will just have to devise some creative way of picking a random winner fairly (like out of a hat, but... hopefully I'll think up something more interesting).

So, there it is!
When does the giveaway officially begin?

NOW! Go!
Good Luck, have fun playing, and have a fantastic weekend!

(and for those who were wondering what happened after that little "launch" above...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Still Blushing...

Thank goodness I started climbing back out of my "poison-oak-ogre" hole and back into computer world when I did! Otherwise I would have missed the incredibly touching words the lovely Mrs. French wrote on her beautiful blog *Bliss*

I'm flattered, I'm touched, and yes, I am still blushing. Thank you.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

And these are just a FEW of the artists I admire & respect...

So, for those who grace my blog with your presence regularly (thank you!!), you know I've been talking, for some time now, about doing a blog post featuring some of the artists I admire & respect. Although delayed (thankfully, I already had it nearly finished, as I recently ran into a "poison oak of the throat & mouth delay"-- NOT on my highly recommended list)... the post is finally here!

I think the hardest part of all this was picking just a few among those I've come to think so highly of. To that end, I "categorized" this post to include "paper art" (photography, painting, etc...). Having said that, I struggled with that task and so, even though I admire many more than those listed here, this is still going to be a bit of a long post! And... I'm going to have to do another post sometime in the future to include so many other art forms like pottery, woodworking, textiles, etc... Then, I will need to do a post to catch some of those I missed, and then... I can see this could be a bit of an ongoing process! So, let us just call this "Admiration, Post #1," shall we?

While I could very easily go on and on about the merits of each artist, I will attempt to keep this somewhat brief... Some time can be spared by explaining ahead of time that each of these artists has at some point inspired me with their attitude, contribution to others & society, and are all genuinely *nice* people (I don't care how "talented" someone is, if attitude/treatment of others leaves somewhat to be desired, I have little interest in featuring or praising their efforts). Quite the opposite of that, these artists commonly go out of their way to share a kind, encouraging word with those they meet along the path, spreading positive energy for all to enjoy. So... the traits discussed below are in addition to those just mentioned...

**Click on any artist's shopname or artwork title (any underlined, cream-colored text) to be taken to their shop or particular piece in a separate browser window. I'm sure they would love your visit!**



Lyse's creations exude imagination and a poetic, dreamy quality. With a style all her own, her work looks as though the digital photography age somehow spilled onto the canvas of a renaissance painter, resulting in a beautiful, other-worldy (yet somehow familiar) Greek or Roman tale... with a modern twist. Stunning, and truly eye-catching.



I'm calling Jazz Mizzell

Allie's caring and playful spirit (demonstrated so very well in her photography) hides something bigger and deeper... a compassionate heart of gold on a mission to make a positive difference in the world around her. The title of her shop reflects her strong dedication to improving the lives of suffering children-- 15% of purchases from her shop benefit the Reach Out Children's Fund (not to mention the other charitable projects she's been a part of). This artist cares and seeks out the good and beauty to be encouraged-- and her work shows it... beautifully.



The Steps of Savannah, GA

Michelle's gorgeous work is as diverse and many-faceted as her wondeful personality (see her shop for lots more examples of what I mean). Her creative, bustling cityscapes and classic surf photos are closely intermingled with beautiful photos of delicate, young ferns unfurling in the soft light of morning. Don't let the cool city girl side fool you... there is, indeed, that very caring, compassionate side that's working to make a positive difference too. Another artist with a heart for charity, she donates to the Humane Society and was one of the talented artists in the "Paws for Charity" Art Book.


In a gorgeous, off-the-grid, Colorado homestead, Julie lives the conservation life we all strive for, and dream of achieving someday. Her dedication to nature shows in her gorgeous photography, and her lifestyle. I also deeply respect her attitude of love and just general appreciation of her life (which she is so wonderful to share with us through her work). Beautiful... on all counts.


Gary is one of those inspiring souls who finds beauty where others see ruin, opportunity where others see hardship, and makes good fortune in life where others may be blinded by the bad. This approach shows in his photography clearly, but if you get to know a bit about him, you'll see it is a choice or way of being that runs through his whole life. Though I had to choose these two photographs for this (I just love these), you would do yourself a favor to have a look at some of his barn photographs as well.
His incredible photography reflects not only dedication to "find the beauty and good" in unexpected places, but also the incredible scholarly dedication he has applied to his craft. He has devoted many hours to study every detail that comes together to form his final creations, from in-camera techniques, to post-processing, right down to detailed study of paper. And when I say he has studied papers, I don't mean he's well informed... I mean he can discuss the qualities, uses, and individual traits of papers as though they are friends he knows personally. And perhaps they are...


The most wonderful quality of Karen's work is the simple, almost understated elegance of her gorgeous watercolors. Anything more would detract from the innate beauty of the color and image... and she knows that. I would be remiss to muddle it up with too much text... rather, I will let you just take a moment to get lost in the feeling of her work-- so unlike the hectic, overstimulated movement that seems to overwhelm our modern society. Quiet... still... peaceful...ahhh...
I find it no surprise that Karen's work has been chosen for the first Design Style Guide (a wonderful interior design team I'm actually an admin for) Giveaway. You could actually win a gift certificate for some of Karen's work to still and quiet *your* space-- visit the great DSG blog here: Design Style Guide Giveaway #1


The Wanderers
What I admire most about Quwaa's work is his willingness to highlight subjects that are not always considered "beautiful" and are too often ignored. I think far too many people in the art world of beauty and prestige (and, indeed, our world in general) turn a blind eye to the plight of those struggling. Yes, I know, there are those who live homeless by choice (I've met a few with very interesting stories!), and yes, there are those out to scam you out of your money (just as so many corporate giants do all the time-- they advertise though, so it often gets a nicer spin), and those that are truly scary (ranting obsenities, etc...), but there are also some really genuine, nice people just down. Down like most of us have never imagined, and just had really bad things happen and could use a little help from a caring stranger... or the acknowledgement of a smile, a hello, just to be treated as... you know... a human with feelings. Quwaa's work embraces the "less glamorous" artistic beauties of life and our world... and does so compassionately and beautifully.

Green Island Studios

Life Is But Light In Many Hued Reflection
Kissing with Golden Face

Look at that bubble!! Go investigate her bubble series-- it's beautiful and thought-provoking! Ok, we all know that person (or many of them actually, in our circle)... they do this, dabble in that, find time to teach, write for this, that & the other thing, turn out new, amazing works constantly, AND still manage to be a good friend, supporter, and helpful person as well!
Jo Bradford is one of those people-- she teaches photography classes (as well as marketing her own amazing works on multiple sites), writes for multiple blogs, is well-read in poetry, classic & modern literature, always responds to messages with a kind reply, and answers those pesky "how to" questions from people like me! ;) Speaking of questions, Jo, I've been on a search to find the "More Me's" store so I can keep up with folks like you... could you just mapquest that to me? Many thanks.


Ok, a moment of heartfelt confession here: This next artist started with a similar "big family, small budget" background as I did, and truly represents "where I was headed and what I was sure to become" when I grew up (minus the "Mom" part). Scientist, artist, conservation speaker... a caring, motivated person making a big difference. The path was well mapped out and I had done significant work to put myself well on it. "And then"... famous last words, right?
While I'm still very much striving to bring about positive change through my photography, my lofty biology dreams & accomplishments were shifted sometime in University. And, don't get me wrong, I am very happy with my life. But I think sometimes you can't help but admire those that are doing what you originally thought you would. At any rate, her efforts are certainly to be admired regardless...

Another accomplished artist who falls under the "When do you ever sleep?" category, Molly engages in a loooong list of pursuits that ends with this sentence: "She is also part-time Research Laboratory Coordinator for the Laboratory for Ecophysiological Cryobiology at Miami University." Yup, she's motivated and smart! Molly is a passionate conservation speaker throughout the U.S. and (soon) Mexico, an ILCP (Intl. League of Conservation Photographers) Affiliate Council Member, a Zoology PhD candidate, a biologist, ecologist, a teacher (who's taken time to help her students earn various acceptances & recognitions), photographer, and... oh yeah, she's a Mom with two young children (luckily Dad plays a huge role there)! While she has always been very kind and I hold her motivated efforts in the highest esteem, I must begrudge her, as well, for not divulging the location of the "More Me's" store. Charge on, Molly!

Charge on ALL! You're lovely, talented, and very much admired & appreciated for all that you are and all that you do!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Chasing Lady Bugs

Whoever said chasing lady bugs was just a waste of time? That person obviously never took the time to watch a lady bug... or a snail... or anything smaller and "less important" than him/herself.

Buying and selling useless crap we don't need that uses resources we don't have to bolster self-esteem destroyed by advertising... now that's a waste of time. The sooner we realize and embrace that concept, the better off we all will be. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying everything material is useless. But honestly, how many of the same shoes in different colors do we really need? And must we really replace a hardly-used-thingamajig with the latest-and-greatest-thingamajig (adding the old one to yet another landfill)? You get my point...

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, filled with time well-spent on moments instead of "things."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day to Me!

Tulips for the Luncheon by Laura Trevey

Wow! What a wonderful Mother's Day morning! As you all know if you've seen my work, "For Mother," I treasure that relationship dearly. Technically, I'm not a Mom. I've been told I'm motherly from time-to-time and, though some precious little folks have adopted me as "another Mom," I don't have any children of "my own." I have, in the past, had children with four legs and fur, but can't have pets at our house now. Still, the "Mom" part of me is very honored and touched today! A lovely lady by the name of Laura Trevey has made my day! She has featured my work (with some very kind words) for her Mother's Day post on her wonderful blog, "Bright, Bold, and Beautiful." By the way, her blog title perfectly describes her work-- as you can see, she is a talented artist! If you can spare a moment, please pay her a visit here and help me thank her by leaving a nice comment for Mother's Day.

Last, but definitely not least, I hope your Mother's Day is WONDERFUL-- filled with smiles and treasured moments!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Showing at the Stockton Art Walk- Friday

Hello my dear friends! I keep telling myself, "Today, after I finish _____work, I will catch up with blog-friends!" Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, I face facts that I still have ___, ____, & _____ that were on my to-do list for today, but I'm getting veerrrry sleeeepy.

I need more... ME's! I need to be able to delegate this 5 hour project to KennaA, that 5 DAY project to KennaB, and these 5 assorted tasks to KennaC... and then it would all get done! In the real world, I realize that I'm exhausted, pushing back some of the "less-time-sensitive-but-should-have-been-done-by-now" projects to tomorrow or next week, and go to bed. grrr. So, since it seems that I can't visit blogs and comment individually just yet, I'll passify myself with at least sharing updates here. Hope they are "worthy." :)

The good news is... it's good news that's keeping me so busy-- invitations to some events, acceptance notices to others I've applied for, lots of getting ready for this show or that show, and, oh, yeah, working. Things are going! Going well, going fast, GOING! I think I might blink and realize summer's gone though-- that would be a shame.

The news for THIS weekend is that I have been invited to participate in the Downtown Stockton Alliance Art Walk. It will be taking place on Friday, May 8 from 5-8pm at various businesses/venues in Downtown Stockton. My work will be on display at Hotel Stockton.

Then, it's take down and head back to Sacramento, sleep a little, and leave the house by 6am Saturday morning to head up to the Placerville Certified Farmers Market. Sunday, I'll find myself in Davis at the annual Whole Earth Festival (scouting for next year, found out about it after the application deadline this year).

Until then, to fill my "spare time," I'm taking a Bookkeeping/Quickbooks class and attempting to "beat the template" of my web building program into a functional photography website. haha. Hope to be able to "introduce" it soon.

So, can't leave you without a photo-- I think you'd throw tomatoes or something. This is from a scouting mission I did a few days ago for a photo-shoot/collaboration project involving dancers and yogi in nature. Wrapping up the discussion by the edge of a lake, we found ourselves captivated by a single, peaceful duck. Not pushily-begging for bread like city park ducks, just... hanging out. At some points, I was crouched by water's edge and it would quietly swim up to within a couple feet of me and just... be. Perhaps 30 minutes long, this was one of those peaceful, yet thrilling experiences when time just fades into tranquility, and segmented things like minutes stop their disruptive "march" and everything just... flows.

What wonderful company to share the end of a day with. A very willing model, this beauty seemed to know when the photo shoot was over. About 30 seconds after I took the last photo, it silently flew off, literally into the sunset. It was one of those moments in nature when everything just feels... beautiful and right with the world. Hope this adds some of that feeling to your day today.

Sending smiles and warm wishes,

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Great Rainy day at IndieSacramento fair!

So, I tried to stay optimistic as I left the house yesterday booth-ready and bound for the bi-annual IndieSacramento fair. I couldn't help wondering as I reflected on yesterday's weather... would it rain again all day today? Should I have been on the river instead? With all the rain, flows were running a swollen 5000 cfs... taking the adventure level on the South Fork up a big notch we haven't seen in years (in non-river lingo, 5000 cfs= whole river changes, waves bigger, holes bigger, hits bigger-- everything's faster and a lot more exciting)!

Rainy day at an arts & crafts fair, on the other hand, does NOT indicate a better-than-normal day. But... who could have known back when booking? So, might as well try to stay optimistic. Well... it worked. While I did (unfortunately) miss the chance to do an extra-exciting river trip, my day went well! I had the most *lovely* booth neighbors you could ask for (wonderful fellow Etsy folks, both kind and talented on either side), there were many good sports out braving the rain to visit us all, and I did surprisingly well for a rainy day. So... came away feeling very grateful.

I did, however, notice a different trend in requests. Typically, I get requests of "I LOVE this, but... can I get it printed BIG?" Yesterday, comments went more like, "Oooh, my Mom would love this, but things are kinda tight right now... do you have that in a small one?" I can relate to times of wanting to get something really nice for Dear Ones, but finding yourself needing to save for other things... like basic bills and food. So... to help those that are finding themselves in a pinch this Mother's Day, I'm holding a Mom's Day Combo Sale in my Etsy shop! All the details are there, but basically it means a nice Mother's Day gift of any 8x10 or 8x12 photo PLUS a fine art photo greeting card to complete the package for $20.

I hope this bargain helps some folks get the photo "Mom will LOVE" for years... without having to settle for a smaller version. Because... where would we all be without the wonderful loving Mothers of the world? I get sentimental thinking of the HUGE difference my Mom and Nonnie have made in my life, not to mention all the other Moms who have "taken me under their wing" and positively influenced my world.

Thank you MOMS!!! Hope your Mother's Day is filled with LOVE and fond memories!