Category: Photography

Camera Gear Update : T5i

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I upgraded to a Canon T5i DSLR camera. My love for photography has been renewed a bit! I find myself shooting more freely. I look forward to shooting more product and life shots in more detail. I was struggling for the past year at least with my Rebel XTi because it was getting so old and used that the grip wore off, my best lens broke so I was using a zoom lens that lacked clarity and had an old filter stuck on it, and then finally the camera developed some dust spots inside that I could not easily clean out myself and I got really tired of editing dark blobs out of all of my photos. So I moved on and could not be happier with what I got for the money I spent. Did I mention that I can record HD video with it? I’ve already put up a clip demonstrating magnet closure in a hollow book box. I look forward to making more video clips, maybe some how-to videos, other creative video projects and publishing a lot more photos with this handy tool.

Lovin’ Summer

Cucumber

This summer has been spectacular so far! I can barely keep up with documenting the highlights of life in between all of the events, traveling, family time and working on my shop. Here are a few photos and tidbits I decided I must stop what I’m doing and share…

I love this duo … a nice rain cloud pouring out its contents and part of a rainbow. I have seen at least 6 rainbows and very bright sun dogs this summer since it has been so rainy in Minnesota.

Backyard Rain / Rainbow

Colorado supplied this lovely, bright sun dog. I love that state more each time I visit – this time I got to check out some southern areas around the San Juan mountains (Durango, Pagosa Springs) and stayed down in Farmington, NM. That mountain desert feeling is awesome.

Sundog in Colorado

Colorado

Colorado Pagosa Springs Overlook

I buried a pallet and planted lettuces in it – spinach, chard, arugula, romaine, and a few leaf varieties. It worked out well, I’d do it again. A big salad is on the menu tonight.

Sprouting Lettuces in Pallet Garden

Sprouting Lettuces

Garden

Lettuces

Shine on, sun. Shine on. Next weekend I’m going to see a huge fireworks show from a boat, on a lake. Boom!

Asparagus Season, Oh My Favorite!

Asparagus Habitat

If you look closely at the top photo, in the upper left hand side you can see the asparagus growing out of the ground. This is in “lake country” Minnesota. I grew up here just like this asparagus 😉 It lives really close to the lake and has some big spears because the plant base is fairly old. I think it’s going to get moved to higher ground this year because the thick grass that likes to grow in the soggy soil is really hard to keep out of the asparagus patch.

I love roasted asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. It works perfectly in a stir fry and I’m really wanting to try and make pickled asparagus this year if I can harvest enough out of this patch.

Asparagus Spring 2014Asparagus Harvest Spring 2014

This was my first cutting of 2014. I’m savoring it.

Asparagus Harvest Spring 2014

Farm Felt Baash Needle Felting Retreat

Felted Flock

New Friends

I attended an artists’ retreat on Saturday (March 29, 2014) — the Farm Felt Baash in Kasson, MN. It was held at a beautiful farm owned by Amy of Needle & Felt.

Lamb Cuddling   Lamb and I

See this black lamb with white markings on his head that I am holding? Well, I won the opportunity to name him over on Amy’s blog. Although the lamb was really nice and calm in my arms I decided on the name Rebel. Winning the ability to name a lamb is one of the coolest things I’ve ever won! =)

The Farm Felt Baash was an event all about sheep and needle felting wool. There was a small group of 6 of us so we all got to chat a bit throughout the day and, I think, become friends. It was such a great feeling to be in a room full of needle felting enthusiasts.

I’ll show you around the farm and show off a few of the animals. The rustic red barn was so charming!
Sheep In Pasture   Barn

Amy decorated her home for us SO beautifully:
    Beautiful Decor   Beautiful Decor

Daffodils

The sheep have it made – a large pasture, a large indoor barn stall with lots of hay, other temporary stalls and obviously loving caretakers.

Lambs - Rebel

Sheep

Lamb

They share their home with a few goats as well. I learned that goats can be very lovable. While Amy and the other women who attended the retreat were standing out in the pasture one of the adult goats came up and was getting petting. He also came over to me and untied my boot laces! 😉
Goat   Goat Untying My Boot Laces

Baby goat… look at those ears!!
Baby Goat

Whenever I ask people the question, ‘So why do you have goats –what do you get out of it?’ they say how they would like to do this or that, but really…they just have goats. Their hearts are just won over by them.

After hugging on sheep and goats, we played around with a variety of fibers, felting needles and other tools. I decided that I would like to get some spiral felting needles!
Bright Wool Testing New Needles Felting Needles

We ended the afternoon by each creating a needle felted sheep (or whatever we wanted) and creating a temporary ‘flock’. The final photo is at the top of the page. Here is my sheep in the works:
Working On My Lamb For Our Flock Group Project

The event was from 10am – 5pm, which is quite awhile, but the time just flew by because I was having so much fun. I left Amy’s farm even more inspired to have sheep some day, more inspired about needle felting, more knowledgable about different fibers, and most importantly, feeling warm inside because it was time well spent with like-minded artists. I look forward to attending another retreat at Amy’s some day, and/or attending other similar artists’ retreats.
Fun fun fun!!

Holding Lambs (Me, Mary, Anna, Melanie)

A Little Ray Of Sunshine

I’m in Minnesota and it’s been a very, very cold winter. One thing I like to do at this point (end of January, the thick of it!) is look at some photos from spring/summer and remember what it’s like to feel really warm while standing outside. I offer you a little ray of sunshine…

Sunflower

A Little Bit Of Sunshine

A few days ago I purchased some new house plants, pots and dirt too. That helps the winter blues! I’m also trying to make as much new art-stuff as possible so that when the weather does warm up I’m more able to be out in it.

Appreciating The Little Things

Snail
I was walkin’ along at a good pace out on some Missouri conservation department trails and, out of the corner of my eye, who did I see? This guy! A snail! Perhaps a brown garden snail? I have seen more slugs on land than snails in my time so I considered spotting this guy a real treat. We are both lucky that he did not meet the bottom of my shoe.

Later on, down the path, I discovered a turtle. A thought entered my mind… to go get the snail and put it on top of the turtle for a photo (“Weee!”)… but I figured that the snail had somewhere to be and the turtle looked like he was hungry…. so I let them be.

I love getting out for spring time nature walks and appreciating the little things.

An Even Ten

Hollow Books
Custom order of 10 hollow book boxes for groomsmen!

Here is the awesome feedback I received about this set from the customer:

We are using these books as groomsmen gifts and know they will add the unique touch we were looking for. She really made an effort to seek out each book to connect with each of their personalities/interests. The books are beautifully crafted and overall a great idea. Her communication throughout the process was much appreciated–overall a great experience and purchase! 🙂

To see more information about my book sets check out this section of my Etsy shop.