Friday, November 13, 2015

Fairytale Photoshoot

I think, that deep down, everyone has a little bit of Peter Pan inside. We never really want to grow up properly, and we all want a chance to play at being princesses and princes and warriors and fairies and adventurers, now and again.

I'm always reminded of this when I pull out costumes and jewelry for friends, with the useful excuse of a camera in my hands!

This summer two friends and I seized the chance to transition from prosaic college students to spritely faeries and noble royalty for one glorious afternoon. I'd like to share a sampling of the day's gems!

(All of the jewelry is available for sale on my Etsy shop, and if it's sold I can usually make more!)

Of course, we started with an adventure.

"It's a dangerous thing, going out your door--" especially when fences are involved.

Thankfully, no one was hurt, and the fact that these photos of the fall exist make us very happy.

All a summer dress needs is a cloak and some jewelry and it's fit for a princess!

C. is wearing my Aurora Rhinestone Circlet made with champagne colored silk--
inspired by Princess Aurora in the show Once Upon a Time.

The splendour falls on castle walls
And snowy summits old in story:
The long light shakes across the lakes,
And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

O hark, O hear! how thin and clear,
And thinner, clearer, farther going!
O sweet and far from cliff and scar
The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!
Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying:
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

O love, they die in yon rich sky,
They faint on hill or field or river:
Our echoes roll from soul to soul,
And grow for ever and for ever.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.

(from The Princess by Alfred Lord Tennyson)

The circlet is made out of braided wire, and the Enchanted Evenstar necklace was originally designed for a custom bridesmaid set.

I was glad to get a close-up shot of this necklace. It's another Enchanted Evenstar design, and still carries a summery beach feel, even when we are in the middle of the woods. (Then again, another friend described it as a necklace for an Ice Queen, so to each his own).
This rhinestone and white satin headband was on my workbench as an unfinished Aurora Circlet, but the three of us decided that it works very well as a simpler headband.

"This picture is basically a movie poster."
"YES I've always wanted to be in a movie!"

Portrait of a Queen. (I think that some of these pictures need short stories to go along with them!).

Once upon a time...
"She's like Little Red Riding Hood, without the Red."

"Now, an Elf."

I told them to act like a dragon was flying towards them. Their response was not quite what I expected.

The woods here are, to quote Frost, lovely, dark, and deep. But they are so dark and so deep that we were happy enough to stay on the paths at the skirts of the little forest.

One of my favorites-- L. makes a wonderful princess.

The circlet is braided gold wire, the necklace has several flowers and bright green leaves, and you can even see the clasp I forged myself for the cloak. (Haha, you can also see how off the seams on the cloak are, but let's not talk about that, eh?)

A beaded bracelet, and one of the silver rhinestone rings.

This is an armcuff in forest greens!

No play-acting involved: this one IS a spritely fairy, with or without her costume.

Braided cuff and Star Flower ring. :)

After an hour of exploring the woods and depleting the small box of jewelry I brought along, we did a brief "normal people clothing" shoot:

This ring is one of the most difficult pieces I've made. It began as nothing but strands of sterling silver and a stone. Several hours of soldering and polishing later, and it's almost exactly what I wanted! The stone has a tiny bit of wiggle, so it's definitely a technique I need practice on. But this is a piece of actual fine jewelry. ^_^

The park has these fabulous giant stone frogs. We had a Thumbelina moment.

There is nothing quite like summer days and dressing up! Thanks so much to my lovely model friends!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Having Fun with Calligraphy -- Thank You cards

I may be behind in posting any artwork from my classes and recent commissions and very behind in updating the blog with pictures from my Shop, and extremely behind in posting about small arts and crafts projects/tutorials-- but that's not going to stop me from making a just-because post with one of those countless just-because projects!

I had some thank-you cards that needed to be sent. Normally I use some of the dozens of handmade cards my mom collected during the couple of years she swapped cards at her friend's Stampin' Up parties (stamping version of scrapbooking parties). But I didn't have any because I was at school!

I did have a set of Tombow brush pens for calligraphy, though! I made these "Thank You" cards one night after class when I really needed to chill. (The scanner took away the awesome shimmer of the silver gel pen, unfortunately).

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Semester in the Life of My Family

Last spring, during my sophomore year, I took a black and white film photography class.

To be honest, the only reason I took it was because it is a requirement for my program. I wanted to spend my time taking a class in a medium that I wasn't acquainted with. Why was I required to take a film photography class? For many years, my camera has accompanied me nearly everywhere I go. I don't plan on doing photography full time-- and, besides, who even shoots in film anymore? Why wouldn't they allow me to take a digital class? Or one with color?!

In the end, I learned so much in that class. Film forces me to be deliberate and thoughtful with every shot, and developing my own film and making my own prints in a darkroom (hour by excruciating hour) taught me more about the mechanics of the camera (and optics in general) than I ever would be able to learn from book knowledge. Working in black and white taught me to pay attention to light. It's so easy to lose track of color value when you're focused on hue and saturation.

The worst thing about film is that sometimes the film doesn't advance and you spend half an hour with chemicals developing the strip and you unfurl it just to see that it's completely blank...

I've happily returned the old film camera to my family and still take five shots "just to be be sure I get a good one" on my digital camera, but I will never regret the training of "old-school photography!"

One of my ongoing projects for the semester was to document the crazy stuff that my family gets up to. Apparently family photography is normally too cliche for art departments, but my family is so big and eccentric that the professor told me to run with it. The hardest part? Avoiding cute, personal, and emotional portraits. It's not artsy enough.

This project was also the perfect reason to travel home to be with my family more than usual! :)

Ready for the photo dump?

(These are scans of the negatives that I inverted in Photoshop-- believe me, the physical prints are much better!)

(For some reason some of the pictures are blurry. Just click on them; the full-size images aren't.)

Fierce battles with my Lord of the Rings weaponry

It's a real thing: we have a giant whiteboard in our garage which is constantly full of interesting information. Here, my brother is playing with a 3D-printed hypercube.

The wall has everything from software notes to a lost-wax casting explanation to a Sierpinski triangle doodle to pi written as far as a cousin could remember-- and a shark claiming to know nothing about any of this.

That's just what happened to be on the board that day.

When he was five, all he asked for for Christmas was a globe. Now he knows all the states, their capitals, and most of the countries in Europe, just because it's his jam.

Our littlest superhero and her best friend in the whole wide world!

We love our unicycles, a lot. Someday these two will be ready and willing to go on the hiking trails with me!

My seven-year-old brother has perfected the art of cookies, and won't tell anyone what his magic recipe is.

Catan is pretty much our favorite pastime, ever. There are so, so many good memories of hours at that table.

Breakfast is never boring.

He loves to snuggle. With Mom, he has "Hugga Tima." I get "Hugga Time." Ben gets "Hug Timey..." Every person has their own name for snuggling.

Blanket forts with GeoTracks trains running underneath.
Modelling one of my circlets!
We've had this poster of Albert Einstein my entire life.

This is the first photo that I ever printed in a darkroom-- and probably my favorite photo... :)

No trickery here-- remember that this was taken with a film camera!

If there are only four or five people at the table, it's empty-- and we're allowed to read while we eat.

READ MORE-- there are more photos if you expand this blog post!

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