Friday, March 30, 2012

My Ben.......

Ben just photographed last week........Looks great doesn't he!
Back in October 2011 I noticed Ben was having some problems with his tongue and wasn't wanting to eat his food.....we took him to our Vet.....after bloods test were done we still didn't know what was going on with Ben....he started to get better so we assumed is was okay, but around Christmas time after he got a new toy football and was playing with it about a week later the symptoms came back.  We went back to our Vet at that point he recommended that we see a neurologist, because he suspected nerve problems around his left side of his face.  We went to see the Neurologist and she checked him out all good and the only thing she found was his gag reflex wasn't good.  The Neurologist gave us several options to go with including a MRI or extensive x-rays and blood test or try some antibiotics....being that we thought Ben's general overall health was good and that he had gotten over it in the past, we decided to go with the antibiotics.  Plus the cost of the MRI or x-ray/blood were very expensive.
Ben was on the medication for a month and was getting back to his old eating habits. 
All of this occurred in late January.
Just to give you so info on Ben's personality.....He is an 11 year old black golden mix...friendly, outgoing, energetic, a happy dog. And he is a momma boy.  He is by my side all day long.  When I am not home he waits for me by the window.
Anyway....we took Ben back to the Vet a week ago, because we are having to feed him with a fork (his choice of utensil) he couldn't pick up his food with his tongue.....the Vet told use he would need a day or 2 to further research the nerves in his tongue and cheek to see if there is something we could do....but the unfortunate consensus was the my Ben has a brain tumor and there isn't anything we can do.   Being in denial and not wanting to believe the Vet I went online to see what I could learn and I kept running into dead ends.  The symptoms that Ben has I couldn't relate it to anything I had read.  So when we hadn't heard from the Vet we decided to make an appointment to get the blood work done to rule out everything else.  Yesterday we went back and our Vet, he was going to call us and when he learned we were coming in he waited to talk to us.  He had been in contact with the Neurologist and pretty much confirmed that Ben does have a brain tumor and there isn't anything we can do.  Mom and I kept hoping that this wasn't a tumor, we didn't want to believe that our Benny is dying.  I think that if our own Vet hadn't been through it just recently with his own dog, Mom and I wouldn't have accepted it....
Just yesterday morning Ben and I went for a short walk and he loves the snow and he was rolling and running and having would never know he has a brain tumor.
So now.....well he is back on the antibiotics in hopes of prolonging is long he has we don't know...the Vet is surprised he has made it the 6 months so far...he had said that he dog had similar scenario and overnight his dog couldn't walk and had to be put I will do whatever it takes to keep Ben happy.  Mom and I are heart broken and are trying hard to deal with this the best that we can, taking it one day at a time.  I really hope the medicine helps and the Vet says as long as the medicine is working he will stay on them.
So now we go back to our daily routine of sorts and what will be will be.....lots of love and TLC.
I went back and forth on whether I wanted to do this blog, but I choose to for 2 reasons...1 if someone as a dog or cat going through the same thing it might help and 2 I want everyone to know that Ben is an awesome dog!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Easter's on it's way........

 Easter is just around the corner. So now is the time to start thinking of giving that special someone the Lily that will last a lifetime. I have several lilies in my Etsy shop that would look great in any home or office. I also have more savings and flowers on my website. Check my promotion page for even more savings.

I have added a new photo to my Etsy Shop.  Stop in and check it out.

As usual this time of year I start to get anxious about doing shows. I have lined up 12 Arts and Craft Festivals this year. I have been accepted in all but 2 right now. Some I have done before and some are new. I have 5 festivals in Maine, 4 in Massachusetts, 2 in Connecticut and 1 in New Hampshire. Check my 2012 Schedule for times and dates. I will be posting them as the dates get closer.
I will say that the Saco Sidewalk Arts Festival is planning to be a huge event this year, as they are celebrating it's 250th birthday.  There will be lots of artisans and other activities about. June 23rd is the art festival date.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Oriental Lily

I hope everyone had a great weekend. 
This stunning beauty is an Oriental Lily that was growing in my neighbor garden.  I hope to plant some this year. 
I spent the weekend mostly chillin......I have been so overwhelmed with e-marketing that I just had to stop and take a couple of steps back..... 
I have been getting ready to photograph my Mom's stuffed toys that she makes using various fleece patterns.  She will be having her own Etsy shop soon.  We just have to get everything photographed and desciptions made.  I will let you know as soon as her shop is up and running. 
I just found out yesterday that I have been accepted into the Etsy Maine Team.  I am very thrilled about that and looking forward to part of the team.
I am pretty new to the Etsy community and I have to say I am very excited about selling my photography there.  There are alot of great ways to promote and sell my photography. I am looking forward exploring and meeting new people.  I should have done this sooner!  

Monday, March 19, 2012


While visiting Florida back in 2010 we stopped at the Black Point Wildlife Drive Refuge, which is part of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.  This Tricolored Heron was one of many many birds we saw on our trip.

And while I am on the topic of birds....I am thrilled to have seen my  Eastern Bluebird pair returning last night checking out the birdhouses.  I hope this year to get some better photos.

Friday, March 16, 2012

West Quoddy Lighthouse

West Quoddy Lighthouse
Lubec, Maine

So here it is.....I photograph this scene last October and though it wasn't raining the clouds refused to leave or even part some....the color version wasn't working for me so I decided to go black and white.  I used Nik Silver Efex and with some tweaking I like what I was seeing.  The clouds were looking good and in general the scene popped, but I wasn't completely satified.  In Silver Efex I tried toning, but still wasn't quite what I wanted.  So I tried Topaz Adjust and used the brown tone which is the photograph below.  I know which one I like, but which do you like.  Your input and any comments are truly appreciated.

Have a great weekend...Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring is in the Air!

It's time to start planting those Pansies

Okay so not quite time yet here in Maine to plant the Pansies, but soon......I just can't wait to get out in the garden and get dirty!  I have big plans for additions to the garden this year and I am so eager to get started.  I will post a photo of my garden after the snow melts and then I will post the garden throughout the season.  Hopefully in April I will get back to posting my "Flower Power Friday".
Last year my garden went astray because I was too busy with the cookie and photography business. Now with just the photography which I hope to be busy with, there will be enough time to devote to my garden.

I have recently started eating healthier (I miss my junk food) and I'm exercising....Very hard for me to believe that I have actually been doing this for over 2 months and I am keeping up with it.  With that said I am off to the soon as the ground thaws. 

TIDBIT:  I am also working on a book that will have something to do with my garden.  Which I hope will be out in time for Christmas.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Black Vulture

This lovely Vulture was photographed back in 2010 on my Florida trip.  He was at the Anhinga Trail just inside the Everglades National Park.  We were told that we needed to cover our tires and windshield wipers because they will tear them up.  When we left there was a car with several of these Vulture all over it.  Hope they had plenty of spares.
I first processed this in Silver Efex and then added a texture layer to give it an ominous feel.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

She Sells Seashells by the Seashore........

Wow!  Where has the time gone?   Sorry I have been out of the loop, but I have been doing alot of thinking and editing and revamping of my whole structure.  What is working and what is not what needs to changed and how can I improve.  What stays and what goes........I still have alot of work ahead of me, but I finally think I am on the right track.  Social media was and is fun, but became very overwhelming to me....with all the different networks out there and trying to figure out which one(s) to choose was crazy.  I don't want to spend all my time on the computer....I am after all a photographer and I need to get out there and photograph and I have kept a few choice networks and photo sites that I hope will work out and at the end of the year I will re evaluate and decide what stays and what goes.......I do know that my WebsiteTwitter and Facebook will be constants, but 500px, Fine Art America and Etsy will be determined.

Chambered Nautilus (Nautilus pompilius)

This is a new series "Seashells".  I have been an avid seashell collector my whole life.  I only collect seashell that have no living creature inside the shell.  Seashell collecting is great fun if you preserve the life inside the shell and only collect the shell that is empty.   For years I have had all these shells and wanted to do something with them, but wasn't sure what.  It dawned on me to use my texturing techniques with the shells to give them more dimension.  I will be adding more to the series as time allows.  Believe me when I say I have lots of seashells to share.
I'm back and I will be posting often........keep in touch and share your thoughts.
Have a wonderful day!