photographer. artist. author. singer. songwriter. musician. teacher. student. humanitarian. visionary.

Posts tagged “trees

Five Months Later…

I can hardly believe it’s been five months since I’ve been away. Where has the time gone?!

I’d like to say that I’ve been off doing great and honourable things since graduating from college back in May, alas; I’ve merely caught up on 300 crime shows and have picked up a nasty sugar addiction. I’m talking- waxing 3 bags of bubble gum in 4 hours- no kidding. SHAMEFUL.

But let’s not focus on that. 😉

Today is Christmas, and Josh and I are pulling another all-nighter. He’s at his computer station, and I at mine. He’s gaming, and I’m working on editing some pics for my new Etsy shop. I’ve wanted to open an Etsy shop for almost ten years now. At first, I didn’t have enough inventory, and quite frankly, I wasn’t up to the standard of photography that I was utterly pleased with- not enough to sell my work. (But that was 10 years ago.) And then “school happened”. Now, more than 20,000 pics are held hostage on more than 5 disk drives. I could dig through the heap and salvage years of work, or, I could start all over and create a whole new body of work: I’ve chosen to do the latter.

It might seem crazy to want to start all over- especially having spent the last decade developing my  personal style and techniques, but for me, my art does more than mark a time in my life. My pics/images tell stories. (You artists and photogs out there know what I mean.) I want the stories to reflect who I am at that time. I’m not the same person I was even five years ago. So, I want to start over. I feel like I’ve grown as a person and an artist, and so I want my pics to reflect that.

I’ve added a new TAB at the top of my page ^up there^- it’s my ETSY tab. Clicking on the pic there will go directly to my ETSY site where I’m offering my prints for sale. In the past, I wanted to sell prints for the generalized reason of “simply wanting to”. Now it’s a matter of being able to return to school or not. My school is withholding my transcript until I pay down the current balance, which is just under $1,300. I don’t have many options, and so I’ve decided to finally open my ETSY shop so that I can sell my work and pay down my school balance. I’m hoping to be able to do this by May of 2017 (4 months from now). That’s a pretty tall order, and once again, I’m racing against the clock. If I don’t do this now, I’ll have to take another 6 months to do it (which means I’d have to wait until January 2018 to return to school), but I really can’t afford to do that.

Once my transcript is released, I’ll be able to apply to Fort Hays University, where I’ll be working on my Master’s degree in Educational Psychology. A lot is riding on this! So, I have a heck of a motivator to get out and get some fresh shots 3 times per week. I’m aiming to add 300 pics or so to my ETSY collection over the next few months. In short, I’m going to be pretty busy. 😉

I’m looking forward to popping in to everyone’s place and seeing what you all have been up to. Sure have missed everyone and I hope everyone has a WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS! ♥

Etsy Shop: Monochromejunkie

etsy-collage

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Second Etsy shop: Early Perfection

etsy-store

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White Noise: The Blistering Silence

And lots and lots of rain. Taken today through my window: Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon (film) 35/2.4
RaininginmyHeart


Newsflash: Blood Pressure People

“Why does this bathroom smell like pee?” says Josh. Well I don’t know Josh. Why would a bathroom smell like pee?

I’m obviously in one of my sardonic moods. Perhaps I’m tired of lying on the living room floor, bleeding profusely. Silly me, I didn’t factor in that Black Seed Oil actually accelerates blood circulation. Black Seed Oil is a essentially a panacea that is extracted from black cumin. It’s said to “cure everything but death”. (And PMS.) Because well, I’m still a &^%$#!

But as the saying goes, “this too shall pass.” Except I don’t think it will because I’ve noticed that I’ve been a &^%$# for quite some time now. I’m hoping this goes away after I graduate.

In other parts of the world, apparently, “simming in sea” is good for “blood pressure people”. I’m guessing it’s also good for “blood sugar people” and “heart and lung people”. I honestly don’t know how people find my blog sometimes but I swear, one day, I’m going to put together a post strictly on key word searches.

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At least I’m not like “Bitter Ben” who is always bitter about everything. (You’re my here, Bitter Ben.)

I’ve managed to wipe out 3 major Lifetime Fitness and Wellness assignments (PMS-style- flat on my back) as well as a 5 page Criminology report, a Discussion Board posting and am getting ready to dive in to my Therapeutic Intervention with Substance Abusers II report. I’ve discovered that wine makes all of this better. Especially the last one. (Catawba Rose, to be precise.) We had a bottle left over from our trip and well, we’re just not going to let that sit around in the fridge with all this homework going on.

Josh is in the kitchen, knocking out a web page design assignment and I’m getting ready to study for my 4 chapter Criminology test that I must take tonight- after-

“HOW MUCH WINE DO WE HAVE LEFT?”

“Probably another cup,” Josh replies.

– after another cup perhaps. Brian Bob has been gone for weeks now. 😦 He pops in from time to time to re-up on smokes, money, food, and then he’s out again. I miss him so much! He’s my only son- the big seventeen. I remember being his age though. I wanted to be with my boyfriend- what 17 year old girl just wants to hang out with her Dad?! So, Dad let me go. I moved in with my boyfriend’s family early on. I didn’t think about how my Dad would feel- not really. And now I do, with a bittersweet smile and tears in my eyes. Life has come a full circle. Bob is spending most of his time with his girlfriend, Amanda, and I am happy for him, and her too. Doesn’t life have a funny way of catching up with you?

Brian Bob and his little lady (So busted- behind the bushes).

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Sanity Restored

It’s 4:52 a.m. and I’m typing very quietly so I don’t wake Josh. The past 24 hours have been astronomically crazy. I can’t get into the intricate details because a lot of it has to do with his family members, and for confidentiality sake, I can’t divulge that information.

But I can say that the police showed up at my door, having received a report that Josh was a “missing person” (yeah, from me too lately!) and I discovered that it was a concerned relative who hadn’t heard from him in a while that had reported him. Things are straightened out now, but boy-wasn’t that fun?

And on that note, I’m so very happy today. Josh and I have restored our closeness and our bond. I have a big, goofy grin on my face- I have my BFF back! I was a complete and utter mess without him. When relationships break down, it’s common to paint oneself in a positive light and make the other person out to be the villain. I did the same thing at first- I wanted to blame him for everything that had gone wrong. It took many days of agony, silence, tears, and absolute heartbreak to see how wrong I was in my own faults and failures. I was angry and always picking at him. I treated him so unfairly (I hear him snoring so I can type louder) really, I did. No man can live under a woman’s tyrannical thumb: it had become unbearable between us. The split did us both some good. He had moved in with friends and on the positive side, had started going to church and stuff. On the negative side, he was being monitored heavily by his friend’s wife who was a boarding type of landlord who controlled what he watched on TV even down to how he dressed- um, that’s taking “tyrannical” to a whole ‘nother level and in the end, he felt as if he were a foster kid all over again. She thought she was helping him really, but he’s had enough of people in his life telling him what he does and doesn’t need to do.

I want him to have his own space and so we’ll be setting up a small construction trailer on the property here so he can have his own area- I feel strongly that he needs that- apart from me even- his own “home” with a door that he can lock and have his privacy. He’s never had that! He’s always lived with people and been under their rules, including me, and I’ve always been very protective of him in his life- he’s been through the wringer- so it’s high time he have his own place to call home in this world. I’m happy for him. :0) He’s happy too.

Neither of us want to jump right back into the relationship we were in, because it was a damaged and broken relationship. It does neither party any good when you hook back up and “pick up where you left off”- especially if that was a bad place. But Josh and I have the unique ability to shape ourselves around each others’ feelings, needs, and sensitivities and above all- remain friends, no matter what. So, if we have a bit of a breakdown in our friendship/relationship, when we do reunite, it’s with a whole new respect and appreciation for one another.

It’s been a long day and I’m going to hit the hay. We have to move much of his stuff to his new place and I’m wiped out. I love this picture of Josh that I took out at Pounds Hollow Lake in Southern Illinois from our recent camping trip. Seldom have I seen him look so naturally happy such as he was here. It’s one of my favourite pics of him. xo

ImageJosh/50 MM/Southern Illinois/Pounds Hollow/Rim Rock Trail/Camping trip


Gargoyles and Other Distractors

I grew tired of being afraid of the gargoyles on Spring street. Maybe “afraid” isn’t the right word; intimidated is closer to how they make me feel. I’ve seen those gargoyles there (at Industrial Nightmare– a haunted house attraction) for the better part of a decade and I’ve looked away every time I see them. They’re hideous. Lately, because I’ve been a bleeding wound from the breakdown of my relationship with J- it’s made everything seem worse than it actually is. Red lights seem longer, curious and inquisitive glances seem harsh and judgmental, time drags on painfully.

As I was driving by today, I saw the gargoyles. I practiced exposure therapy on myself- and it worked! I got out of my car, camera in hand (Lensbaby attached), put on my hazard lights, got out of my car and walked out into the street (yes, actually in the street) and stood below the gargoyle. I studied it briefly then fired off a round of shots. (I reasoned with myself: I’m not afraid to go into abandoned houses, quite the contrary- I love the “ache” that fills the gutted-out space and the stories they sometimes tell. I feel right at home in an abandoned house so there’s no reason why a gargoyle should intimidate me.)

Perhaps the truth is that I see a bit of my own nature in this creature:

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When I hurt like I’ve hurt this past month without Josh- the world seems colder. I was alright to simply die inside and I really didn’t care much any more. Love is a funny thing: with a bit of it tucked safely in your pocket, you can take on the world. Without it- it’s a chore to breathe.

Josh came by today. We went for a walk across the creek and up over the train tracks. I was so happy to see him! All of the blame and accusations that have been gnawing out my heart melted away and I became very aware of my own fragility: I had taken him for granted and it really is that simple. This is something that can only be realized after the fact; when all of the chaos has died down and words have ceased and there’s only the echo of your thoughts to contend with.

I came across this picture today:

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Happiness was so easy back then! Was that really only eight months ago?
Time can seem so cruel.

I’ve been lost in a sea of pain, but there’s a new layer to me that I felt earlier, as I was folding the clothes: a quiet strength that I never knew I possessed. My strength has always been as loud as thunder- very present and very obvious. This came in a whisper and it said, “This is the way things are now. Pick yourself up and carry on.”

“Your absence is so loud,” I said to Josh.
He held me for a moment. It was enough.

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Lensbaby Composer/Double Glass Ops./shot in monochrome/5.8.13/natural lighting/manual- taken on my walk along the creek


Black and White

I’m thinking about setting my camera to monochrome and not shooting in colour (or allowing myself to) for one whole year. I know it sounds crazy but that’s the kind of thing I like to do. When I look out into the world, I see in black and white. I see lighting mostly- shadows and ranges of exposure- tonal ranges. I can stare off in a room full of people and be in my own little world (I’m sure it looks like I’m deep in thought) but really, I’m converting a branch, a table, a moving mouth into monochrome and watching the shadows and lighting change places in my mind.

This is what my creative eye is doing no matter where I go or who I’m with and I rarely deviate. When I went to Southern Illinois with Josh, he wanted to fish, so he fished; but I wanted nothing more than to run up into the hills with my camera. Blossoms were opening up everywhere and colour was shooting to life all around me but the most beautiful thing I saw was a stark branch, unadorned and unassuming.

I painted it black and white in my mind and it was so very beautiful. I gave it a pretty pink coat in Photoshop, but I shot it in monochrome in natural lighting- all manual, naturally.

I call it simply:

 Blush

ImageI love the dancing bokeh in the background.

Specs: 50 MM 1.8 II/manual focus/manual exposure/natural lighting
Shot in monochrome/Canon Rebel T3i/Sh. sp.: 1/800th sec
F/ 1.8/ISO 100

I was inspired by the cranberry hue after seeing my friend, Ingz, from Redbubble (THE most amazing fine art site in the world- don’t waste your time at Fine Art America/FAA)  do the same in one of her pieces. She’s an amazing artist- so clean and elegant. I’m expecting some new equiptment soon- particularly another Lensbaby and this time, it’s coming with the pinhole/zone plate. I could just cry. :0) (Thanks again for all of your prayers in that department, Soul Walker. XO)

Maybe I’ll accept my own monochrome challenge.
(We’ll see.)


Beauty for Ashes

I am so very grateful today, for amazing friends (and foes alike) who have dropped me to my knees in prayer in gratitude (and agony), breathing encouraging words into me through emails, chats, and such. I can’t express my gratitude properly, but I feel new life and new love springing out of my heart today, and I can’t believe how fast it’s happened.

To everyone who’s walked me through the broken glass in the past few days, and whispered truth and love (and shared your own stories of betrayal, heartache, and ultimately, forgiveness and love- regardless), please accept my collective THANK YOU. I love you guys, and although I’ve been emotionally devastated recently, every email and talk has been another stitch in my bloody heart. I’ve made it through the storm, and I can see the shine on the horizon. :0)

I know it’s not much, but I often say “thank you” and “I love you” with photos and art. I saw this peculiar string tied around a tree in the forest the other day. I don’t know the story behind it, but it made me smile, and strangely, filled me up with joy.

Thanks again, everyone.
I love you guys.
xo

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Matrimony

She said, “Yes.”

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Based on a true story.
(Somewhere.)

 

Van Gogh inspired.

Spring Mill Park in the Wintertime

Brianna, J,  and I headed out to Spring Mill Park today. The place was completely abandoned (which was perfect) so we had it to ourselves. I have to say, I wasn’t missing the cheesy period costumes (women churning butter, old men at the apothecary, etc. etc.).

It was an excellent opportunity to get reacquainted with shooting in monochrome using the 50 MM + all manual controls (focus, exposure, etc.) I’m a stickler for manual focus.

Speaking of period costumes, here are a few shots from today:Image

That’s right. Real men carry their womens’…necessary things. 

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The heart of Pioneer Village.

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An interesting growth atop the entrance to the garden.

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Josh composes a shot using the trusty “road warrior”, also known as the Canon G3.

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A quick self port. in the ladies restroom. Yes, those are pajamas…

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Josh carries Chance in his jacket. All together now…”Awww….”

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And this is why I’ve fallen in love all over again with the 50 MM. This bench shot is straight out of the camera. (Had to lay on my back in the snow to get the shot- but I got it.)

f/3.5
ISO 100
1/49 sec.
manual focus
manual exposure


Forgiven

 

Wow. 
So my school had penalized me for dropping my two classes (College Algebra and Public Speaking) due to the car accident that I was involved in on October the 1st. Although it wasn’t my fault, they put $1,380 back onto my balance (meaning that’s what I now owe them) as well as a transcript and registration hold. Without help, I could practically kiss college goodbye. 

But I’m a fighter and I simply refuse to go down like that. I wrote a compelling letter simultaneously to the Dean, the bursar, and the director of financial aid, begging them to help me, and asking them to not allow me to fall through the cracks of society and become a statistic of “what could have been”.  Two days later I received a letter from my adviser stating that the balance would remain, but they lifted the registration hold, allowing me to return for the spring semester. (!) I know a handful of people who have had to drop out altogether for similar holds and situations- this is nothing short of a miracle. 

So, I’ll get to return in several weeks to finish up my degree. I’m ecstatic. 🙂 
I’m not crazy about math, but I’m going to give it my best shot. This will be my fourth semester of college algebra; the first three were developmental and I didn’t receive credit, so this will be somewhat gratifying.

I have three weeks to play in the snow before the madness begins!

Let it snow…  

 [Taken today, on my snow walk.]

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