I love close-ups. I’m really hooked on macro and still learning the difference between the two.
I know in photography-speak, it’s about the lens but the only specifically macro lens I have is for a glorious, old Nikon film camera.
So these days, everything is just an experiment for me.
This is what my phone camera can do macro-wise. (I do love a photograph where the content is interesting, but impossible to identify.)
Sometimes, I miss what could have been a great close-up until I mess with the crop feature in my editing program, turning it into a close-up. Is this cheating?
Of course, there are those photos you never, EVER want to see any closer or bigger!
But there are the really fun shots too, like when the subject just cries out to be photographed up CLOSE!!
And last, but definitely not least, my favorite all-time close-up, courtesy of my dear friend Tracie!!!
I have not looked through all the former “pull up a seat” photos posted so maybe this “seat” has been done before. (By the way, THIS seat was just photographed two days ago, in the dead of winter here in the Northwest!! My Primroses think it’s SPRING!!!)
Anyway, here’s my story!
Many years ago, we had to replace a broken toilet. In the 3 days time this old “throne” sat hidden (we thought) out by the side of the house, waiting to be taken to the dump, our only mean neighbor reported us to the City for having an unsightly yard. (I was not her first “target”. Several others had been on the receiving end of her ire before.)
It’s not like we live in a gated community with a HOA (Home Owners Association) or anything. Our street was still in the country, with horse ranches until not that long ago. And, you had to come all the way onto my property to even see the toilet.
Anyway, the city launched a “public nuisance” charge against me, gave me three days to remove it, and threatened a $500 a day penalty if I did not.
Well, that just pissed me right off.
SO I researched, found some Architectural Digests and various landscaping design articles using old claw-footed bathtubs, and yes, toilets, as Yard Art.
I planted the bowl and tank of the former throne with lovely, long-stemmed flowers, alive with color, and placed the toilet prominently in my front yard for all to now see.
I put a bathroom reading style magazine rack right next to it with all the articles demonstrating clever uses for old toilets.
The City was stumped and the neighbor was furious.
I left it there for 3 whole weeks, just for good measure, and only removed it out of respect for all my other neighbors who now had to see it every day.
Hey, I am a proud Child of the Sixties. Do I know how to protest and rebel or what?
For your listening pleasure but be warned, this video has harsh images from the times back then…(only one I could find)
Posted these recently for the theme of “action” but it was so delightful watching these two “flower girls” burn off some energy waiting for the dang wedding to start, I thought I’d share them again for movement.
I made the mistake of looking further in my files and found this…
And this…(not a very clear shot but I have waited for YEARS to see one of our wild turkeys fly!!)
But then I remembered the wonderful train trip we took from Seattle to San Diego…
Can’t stop now. This challenge had stimulated some serious movement in me!
Next, I found this,,,
Normally quite docile, this batch of my bugs is very fast moving and cleaning their home has become a two person job. James has to watch them while I refresh their terrarium!
They usually just wait patiently on the screen lid while I clean, except when..and I’m not making this up…I play Pink Floyd. Then they line up like these guys, and no kidding, will sway in time with the music. Little line dancing Extasotoma’s!! (One time I even tried posting a video of this dancing phenomenon on YouTube. Hey, I thought it was cute. But was turned away because I didn’t have the rights to Comfortably Numb. I didn’t know. It was just playing on Pandora while I was cleaning.)
And then there is the movement you don’t want to see!!
Or lastly (honest,) the movement that absolutely CANNOT happen!!!
There’s my submission for this topic, Movement!
I had fun!
I’m a Professional Childbirth Attendant. Almost 40 years so hundreds of births now.
But my photos are not about that kind of labor.
This is called Zen Bead Embroidery.
You start with a color theme, or maybe a single button or charm or bead.
Next, collect and collect and collect some more, beads, buttons, rocks, shells, charms, tiny trinkets of any kind, until you have a gathered a bowl or box or pile full of the colors you want to use.
Then, settling as much as you can into a Zen mood, you simply start sewing things onto whatever size canvas/cloth you have chosen. No plan necessary. This is a moment to moment experience. No rhyme or reason. The only patterns will be those that occur to you or that simply emerge as you labor. There is no right, no wrong, and there are no mistakes.
You will spend however many minutes or hours you wish in each stitching session…until you know you are done.
Don’t worry if you cannot muster that Zen feeling. The stitching will assist you.
Or, if you have ever sat through someone’s labor and childbirth, you will already know how.
Frame, if you wish.
If you figure out that you actually like doing this, you can even choose an image, and let yourself fill it in, Zen Bead Embroidery style.
And then, you can frame it, or keep it, or give it to your son, your original, 10 pound “labor of love” and tell him it is a “once in his life time” gift!!!
A Photo a Week Challenge: “Fruits of your labor “
Recently I responded to a photography challenge from
Of course, the BLUE is what caught my eye but the whole thing inspired me to write up the short version of a wonderful art experience I had a few years back.
My long-time friend invited me to join a yearlong project, along with seven artists. (Please notice I did not say seven other artists, as I am maybe an interesting craft person, at best. But I was honored to be in the company of these true artists!!)
The project was rotating Altered Books.
An altered book is a form of mixed media artwork that changes a book from its original form into a different form, altering its appearance and/or meaning. Wikipedia
This was our assignment. Choose a color theme. And then find a book to “alter”…. meaning just that…a book to change in any way you want.
We informed each other of our chosen colors (blue, red, green, orange, pink, brown, purple, yellow) and set off on our 12 month journey with each other.
Our procedure was to start our own book, work on it for a month or so, and then mail or take it to the next person on the list. Then they would work on our book, in our color, and we would work on the book we received, using that color. The process is brilliant because you are thinking about all your co-artists throughout the year, watching for. and gathering, ideas and supplies for each of the others’ color themed books. (It was cool that our particular group also knew each other so the ideas we had for each book could have personal meaning, as well as working in that person’s color.)
After a month or so, working with the new color, we would mail or take that book to the next person in our rotation, and so on until we had each worked on every other book.
The thing I loved most was as each new book arrived, it was like opening a birthday gift. Discovering the current month’s color and seeing what the last person had done with it was so exciting. And of course, as we neared the end, we got to see the project almost completed, with many different interpretations of that color and of each person’s style of “altering”.
Sometimes the words on particular pages were used as a focus for the altering.
Other times, it was the actual structure of the book (pages glued together and cut out in shapes).
And there were even some very clever “pop-outs” so when you turned a page, something surprising would happen.
Since BEADS and BUTTONS are my primary craft addiction, I used a lot of those. But because we were emailing like crazy, sharing tips and checking in, we were learning new techniques from each other along the way (photo transferring, different washes, newly discovered glues, cool sticker sources, Exacto knife methods, etc.).
With each book we signed, left a book mark, or in some way identified our contribution.
We didn’t return the last book we worked on to its owner. Instead, we brought it to a gathering on a previously planned weekend. We met at a cabin on Hood Canal, so we could open our own books in front of each other. Every book got hours of attention, each page turned, a new gift! We got to talk about what we had done and why, how we had altered, what each color meant to us, etc.
And of course, this was a celebration, so there was food and wine and music too!!!
All in all, it was a memorable experience, one I would love to do again in my life. What a fun way it would be to get to know other Bloggers!
I just had another great idea! What if we did a rotating altered photo album. I know, I know, it would be easier online but what if we each found an actual photo album or scrap book, each picked a theme, (trees, babies, sunsets, politics, whatever!!) and then rotated our albums, sharing our own photography in that theme.
Think of the great coffee table book we could each end up with!
Well, I first thought of the song Sara Smile by Hall and Oats, which is a great song musically, hard to sing, shows off their talent, but it just wasn’t interesting enough for this challenge.
Then I remembered this crazy video from a while back. The creativity around this video and despite his reputation, the artist himself, really makes me smile.
So enjoy Gnarls Barkley-Smiley Faces