Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hole in the Mountain

Hole in the Mountain
 This is one of many abstracts in my Color Reflections Collections.  I use natural light and objects that I find in my kitchen to create these photos.
This photo I call "Hole in the Mountain", because that's what it reminds me of.  But it can be anything you want it to be.  That is what I love about this collection, because everyone sees something different in each photo.  What do you see in the photo below?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

What it takes to run a Cookie Business from Home

Oatmeal Raisin Cransin
 Running a business has it's highs and lows like any job, but there are these little details that have to be taken care of when you have your own business.  Rules and regulations that you have to follow in each state.
I live in Stetson, Maine.  A small town in the middle of nowhere.  The property I live on used to be a cow farm so the land is well fertilized for any kind of garden, but it isn't good for the well if a so called vien crosses path with the well.  Causing very minor issues, but enough to get my water sample denied.  The only solution is to add bleach directly into the well.  Which I did last year and was suppose to be good for several years.  Not so.  So I had to do it again this year, but I had to wait until the temperatures were above freezing.  So I tried to take the well cap off and the bolt heads broke off.  I am not a handyman, but I am pretty capable of doing some handy work.  I called the local hardware store to see what I could do to get this cap off, and they suggested a screw extractor.  Sounded good.  I got it and went right to work to get the bolts out.  It wasn't working.  Prior to working on getting out the bolt I had sprayed some WD-40.  I guess that may have loosen the cap enough that I gently hammered the cap off.  Right now there is a bucket and concrete block on top of the well.  I don't want any unexpected visitors, if you know what I mean.  So now the cap is off and Saturday night we stocked up on water and then added the bleach into the well.  Sunday morning I started up the garden hose to get the bleach flowing through the system and flushing out of the well.  So I figured to move things along faster I would really do a deep cleaning on the kitchen and get it ready for baking in May for Markets. So I rearrange things, organized the pantry, organized my business supplies, cleaning containers, counters, stove, and so much more.  I'm exhausted!  Every hour or so I would smell the water coming from the garden hose outside and the water from the kitchen sink.  It gets a little annoying sniffing the water and smelling the bleach.  After awhile your not sure if you smell it anymore or not.  After 7 hours and gallons upon gallons of water I got 99% of the bleach out of the well.  It will take an additional day or 2 to completely get all the bleach out and then I can take a water sample to the water lab and pray everything is good.
Live and learn, trial and error.  It is all a learning curve.  I hope I don't have to do this every year, because I dislike wasting all that water, but I have to do what I have to do to run my business.  I will also to my water testing in October when it is closer to renewing my license and the temperature are still above freezing.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Little Something Sweet

Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Chip

Coconut Cookie Filled with Dark Chocolate Ganache

I thought I would add a little sweetness today.
These are 2 varieties of cookies I sell at the local Farmers Markets.  I will be attending The Rockland Farmers Market starting May 19th Thursday from 9am-12:30pm and I will also be attending the Brewer Farmers Market starting in May (exact date to be determined).  This market runs Tuesday-Saturday 8am-1pm, but I will be there on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  I can sell my photography at both these markets too which makes it even better.  I am pulling out all the stops to market my photography where ever I am.  I will tell you that newsletter sign up sheet will be out right in front!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Something Wicked This Way Comes

I photographed this tree a few days ago when I went to Rockland.  When I photographed this tree it was late morning and the lighting was a little harsh as were the shadows.  I like the composition, but not the lighting.  I tried it as a black and white, but that wasn't working for me.   Then I tried toning it and again almost there, but not quite, then I decided to try the Flypaper Textures which worked and I am pleased with the end results.  I really like the branches distorting in different directions gives the tree alot of character. This is one of the beautiful flowering trees in the spring.  Speaking of Spring.  Happy Spring!  It is finally here, but here in Maine we are expecting 2-5 inches of snow tomorrow.  Go figure.  Really even though Spring is here we do nothing in the yard until May.  When we are not contending with snow in the Spring we have the mud season, and it is senseless to do any yard work until May.  This is were you have to be patience on the nice days.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Which one???

Window 1

Window 2

Window 3
 So which on do you like better?  In my Photoshop Elements 8 it shows you how to do some HDR, but I know there are far better software out there to get and I will, but until then I thought I'd try Elements 8 to see what it had to offer.  2 of these photos are an attempt at HDR and the 3rd isn't.  Which one do you like and does it have any resemblance to HDR?  I can take criticism very well so let me have it.  Just know that when I do get the right software I will be off and running!  In the mean time I am playing around with the concept.  Your input is appreciated.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Weeping Branch

Weeping Branch
 I am really enjoying this photo.  It almost has a painterly quality to it.  I was going through some old photos and came across this one and I worked it in photoshop alittle adding some contrast, then added Flypaper Textures and this is the end result.  The flypaper textures I used were..beowulf overlay, muscatel soft light, peach blush soft light and fly 18 multiply.
What are your thoughts on this photo?  Check my website for the companion piece.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Friend or Foe

Gray Squirrel
 This is my favorite Gray Squirrel photo.  Some people love them some people not so much.  A lot of people have stories about the evasion of Gray Squirrels on the bird feeders.  I have heard many stories about the infamous Gray Squirrel.  Some people want to destroy them, but most don't.  They very smart and for me fun to watch.  Unfortunately I have no Oak Trees on my property or near by so I rarely see them.  Instead I see and hear the nasty Brown Squirrel who has a mean temper and will chase you away.  Example I was out photographing the field near my house and notice these 2 Brown Squirrels chasing each other.  I position my self to photograph the one who climbed into the tree and within seconds I heard rustling in the grass in front of me and about 10 feet away was the other Brown Squirrel ready to chase me away and away I went, but not without a few photos.  Now on the flip side of that story is the Gray Squirrel who nicely posed for me on a picnic table at a campsite in Florida.  Now who is the more photographic squirrel?

Brown Squirrel

Friday, March 4, 2011

At Attention Soldier

This one of my favorite bug photos.  While I was out photographing my Azaleas in the Spring I came across this Soldier Beetle.  So I started photographing him and then I realized he might be dead, so I tapped lightly on the flower petals and "At Attention" he came.  In my opinion there is nothing good about photographing a dead beetle in a beautiful Azalea.  So I was very thankful he came around.  I guess it was too early in the morning and he hadn't warmed up yet.  I absolutely love this photo.  The colors are rich and bright and the Soldier Beetle looks great too!

At Attention
Soldier Beetle

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's March!!!!!

The sun is out, I hear the constant dripping of melting snow coming off the roof and the temperatures may get into the lower 40's.  Yeah Spring is on the way and my day is getting better and better all the time!  A couple of photos that remind me of Spring and what I can look forward to.

Fledgling Sparrow
I have a pair of Sparrows who have been nesting in my barberry shrubs for the past several years and this photo is one of their fledglings.  There has been a group of Sparrows hanging around the bird feeder all winter and I wonder if it's the whole family.

These are some Siberian Irises that I grow in my garden I also have them in purple.  Looking forward to seeing them in the spring.
I almost feel like singing , but I don't want to spoil the mood.

The past few days I have been going through my photos and inventory getting ready for shows which will be here before I know it!  I have an aweful bad habit of waiting until the last minute.  But I always get the job done and ready to go!
This weekend if I get my paper in time I am going to be having me a hand coloring party.  I like the textured black and white hand colored, but I think I am going to hand color them without the textures to see how I like it.
Well the Cookie business will be kicking off as soon as May 1st.  Yicks!  Still waiting to hear from the Brewer Farmers Market.  Hopefully soon.
I am getting so anxious and excited about getting this season under way!