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.

Premium Hollow Book Boxes: Poe, Hobbit, Little Women, Ring Holders, Hearts, Two Book Stacks

Edgar Allen Poe Hollow Book Box – A great place to store secret treasures! This handmade box is made out of a real book.

Edgar Allen Poe Hollow Book Secret Booksafe Magnet ClosureEdgar Allen Poe Hollow Book Secret Booksafe Magnet Closure

“Edgar Allen Poe – Complete Tales and Poems” includes magnet closure so the book stays closed when upright! The dust jacket is on the book. It is a LARGE hollow book with the stash spot measuring 7.5 inches x 4.5 inches x 2.2 inches deep.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott Handmade Hollow Book Box! Bright purple and gold. This book is beautiful, compact yet can host a deep secret stash spot for hidden valuables.
Little Women Handmade Hollow Book Box

Little Women Handmade Hollow Book Box
Magnet closure is easy to install in this book – use this custom order listing to have me create one for you today!

The Hobbit – This classic in a large, beautiful print has been decked out with black velvet lining the stash spot.
The Hobbit Hollow Book Handmade Booksafe

Tomorrow Is Forever – Vintage black hollow book circle cut to hold a ring! Black textured paper lines the stash spot. Option left open to include ribbons to tie rings to.

Tomorrow is Forever Ring Proposal Hollow Book Box HandmadeTomorrow is Forever Ring Proposal Hollow Book Box Handmade

It’s such a neat title, isn’t it?

Harry Potter Half Blood Prince Hollow Book Ring Holder Proposal Box – Cut to the Unbreakable Vow chapter with a ribbon to hold rings.
Harry Potter Unbreakable Vow Engagement Ring Hollow Book

This is the inside of a recent custom order heart shape ring holder with ribbons. It turned out even better than imagined. The book was small and blue with gold detail.
Heart Cut Out - Custom Project
I want to cut more hearts!

Neverending Story Circle Cut Ring Holder Proposal Engagement Box with Ribbons – This beloved children’s classic The Neverending Story has been transformed into something new!

Neverending Story Hollow Book Ring BoxNeverending Story Hollow Book Ring Box

Finally, I’m happy to announce that I am making multiple stacked LARGE hollow books! Here is one of my favorites so far, made with two Harry Potter books. The Harry Potter Hollow Book Two Stack Large Secret Storage Box!

Harry Potter Double Stack Hollow BookHarry Potter Double Stack Hollow Book

Harry Potter Double Stack Hollow Book

This one is made with vintage books:
Two Book Hollow Book Box Handmade

This one is also made of vintage books – blue mystery ones!
The Secret Journal of Doctor Hudson

Double Stack Large Hollow BookDouble Stack Large Hollow Book

Making hollow book boxes (and seeing myself get better at it over time) is really enjoyable.

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)

Sleeping In Tents: 2012

I love sleeping in tents. I’m in one right now! I have power, wireless internet, and sparkling snowflake lights for ambiance. Hehehe… and I will be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the frogs croaking.
Tent!
Do you like sleeping in tents?

Luna Moth / Actias Luna

The luna moth is one of the largest moths in North America. I found one (injured, half of one wing ripped off) clinging to the side of my car tire yesterday evening. Exciting!
Luna Moth
Luna Moth

I vaguely remember seeing one in Minnesota when I was a kid but I sure didn’t get to take photos of it to remember it like I did this time! Its colors and shape are so inspirational. Maybe a luna moth inspired nuno felt scarf is in order… bright greens, yellows, white and rusty rose!
Luna Moth

It was so fun to hang on to it for a minute. When I was done taking photos and oo’ing at its colors I carefully left it on a tree not far from where I found it. Too bad its wing was torn. Good luck Luna!

Nuno Felted Vampire Bite Scarves – Two New

I made two new “bloody vampire bite scarves” recently. I LOVE making these scarves! These are the nuno felted version where I use soft merino wool roving in natural ecru (white / cream) and two shades of red as “blood” and white silk gauze fabric.

One of them has a lot of “blood” on both sides and bite marks going horizontal.
Vampire Bite Scarf
Vampire Bite Scarf     Vampire Bite Scarf
View the listing for the More Blood Vampire Bite Scarf on Etsy

The other has less “blood” and bite marks going vertical.
Vampire Bite Scarf
Vampire Bite Scarf     Vampire Bite Scarf
** This scarf was shipped to Sweden!

The reds are bright and the silk adds a lot of beauty to the scarves, causing certain areas to be semi-transparent. Both of them measure 90 inches total – 70 body, 20 fringe – and the width varies between 4-5 inches. Light, warm-yet-cool, and very soft, these scarves are a great accessory to utilize all year long. If you don’t want to show off your bite marks all the time you don’t have to. There are many ways to wear it that make it look like any abstract sort of red and white nuno felted one of a kind handmade scarf…

Vampire Bite Scarf

Be sure to check out the scarf section of my shop for all I have available and examples of what I can make. If nothing I currently have listed is exactly right, contact me to discuss a custom order. I would be thrilled to create something unique for you!

Rescued Mr. Tree Frog

This little tree frog was hanging out in the basement so I scooped him up, photo’d him and let him go back outside. He was so cute to have around for a few minutes. Photo post!

Tree Frog

Tree Frog

Tree Frog - Rescued!

A Visitor From The Outdoors

I found this moth inside today! He was clinging to the lace curtains next to the window above the kitchen sink.This is the 3rd one I have seen so far this spring.
Moth
Don’t you just love his big, hairy antennae? After some quick research (I looked up hairy antennae moth, lol) I found out this is a male Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus)! Apparently females have much smaller antennae.
moth1
Carefully cupped in my hands, I carried him outside. I was lucky enough to capture such a nice photo of him in my hand before he picked up his big, dusty wings and fluttered off into the trees in the back yard.
Flying Moth
“Come back and visit anytime”, I said. I love visitors from the outdoors!