Thursday, February 19, 2009

We have a winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered the February Give Away!

I printed the entries out, folded them all up to the same size and put them in a kitchen container for the selection. The lucky winner picked out was the very talented Julie Magers Soulen! She will be receiving one each of the three cards listed!

Thanks to everyone who participated! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rekindled love for the library

This may sound funny, but recently I rediscovered the library. As soon as I entered the main room that houses the major collection of books, I felt welcome, as if I had arrived home after a long departure.

It seems silly that I was gone for so long. I grew up in the Queens Library, and I remember making a steadfast resolution that one day I would read ALL the books there. (I didn't realize at the time that there were new titles constantly being added to the Children's Room.) I participated in the summer reading contests and fell in love with series such as The Babysitter's Club by Ann M. Martin and the Fear Street series by R.L. Stine. The maximum a member was allowed to borrow was 25 books, and I usually was at the max at all times.

I received books as gifts as well, and one day I stamped all the books I owned with "Jennifer's Library" and glued strips of paper to the back cover where I could stamp a date and loan my books out to my friends. (How fitting that this was one of the first things I photographed with my first 110 speed camera!)

In eighth grade I tutored a first grader after school who was learning English as his second language. Each week I'd bring a new collection of books from the library for us to read together.

In high school I still managed to read for leisure, but not as much as I used to. Even now, certain books stand out to me: I read Into the Forest by Jean Hegland, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton and The Challenging Garden (a book of fiction which is out of print and I can't remember who the author was, but I remember the green cover and the leaf dripping with a droplet of blood).

When I went to college, reading for pleasure pretty much disappeared. The college library housed academic texts, and that's where my focus was concentrated. But I missed the world of fiction and
was estatic when I had the chance to interview Adriana Trigani of the Big Stone Gap trilogy when she appeared on campus. I ate up her stories and advice and began buying books at a steady clip. The buying continued up until last year, when that too slowed because there was no time to read between work, pastry school and sleep.

Now that my schedule has settled down and I'll be making the switch to being a full time pastry chef next week
, I decided to give the library a chance. Five years ago I had attempted to get a library card, but being a new resident, I didn't have the driver's license or power bills to prove I was a Connecticut resident. I returned three weeks ago to the library, and received my card. I instantly began to walk around and began collecting books that jumped out at me. It wasn't long until I had an armload and I made my way to the checkout desk. I marveled (and was a bit embarrassed) when they scanned each title I was checking out and printed out a receipt of the due dates. It had never occured to me that the old stampers would be obsolete.

So now I have a new resolution this year- to use the library to its maximum. To help save money, I'm not going to buy any more books, and I'm also going to try and actually read all the titles I acquired but never had time to read while in college and grad school.

And the best part: I feel like a kid again.

*The photos above were taken super quick with my phone. They are some of the books that live in our apartment.

Monday, February 16, 2009

6th in the 6th - I've been tagged by Allie!

I've been tagged by Allie of AllieArt4Children. The tag is to take part in the 6 by 6 game.

Choose the 6th image out of your 6th picture folder from your computer and blog it. Then tag 6 more people to do the same.

So, here is the 6th photo in my 6th album:

I group my folders by years, and after that various projects. My sixth folder was old photos of my family that I've scanned. The above photo is circa 1920s, and is my grandfather's family in Germany (he is in the top row, far left). He was born in 1908, so he must be in his early or late teens here. This was taken before he left for America.

I tag:

1. Nicki of Magic Rainbow Dreamings

2. Christina of Inspiration Flirtation

3. Michelle of Urban Artist Lounge

4. Rob of Irrational Ravings

5. Bella of Bella McBride Designs

6. Annette of Dragon House of Yuen

P.S. there is one day left to enter the giveaway!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

February Give Away!

It's that time again! Up for grabs this time around are three spring photo cards from my shop.

To enter, please leave a comment below about how you are preparing for spring. Are you undertaking a massive spring cleaning effort? Planning a garden? Launching a new product line in your shop? Deadline to enter is Feb. 18, where I'll pick a lucky winner! Good luck!

This week's inspiration

Over at Inspiration Flirtation, the theme for this week is valentines. I've been in a crocheting type of mood lately, so I decided a simple heart would work well. :)

What will your valentine be?

Updated 2-12-09:
I tried making old fashioned paper valentines tonight. A little heavy on the glitter, eh? ;-)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Photoshop Tutorial at Allover Art :)

I was lucky to find Ruth of Allover Art via Twitter. Ruth is a talented artist who creates oil paintings, pet portraits, and hand-painted pendant necklaces. She has an etsy shop that you should definitely check out!

Ruth let me participate in her Workshop Wednesday feature on her blog. I provided step-by-step instructions for toning photographs using the Levels, Threshold and Curves features of Photoshop. I hope you'll mosey on over to her awesome blog (she has a GREAT resin tutorial posted too- can't wait to try that out!) and I hope the Photoshop tips help you out! :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Official Debut of Second Etsy Shop

I decided to separate my crystal sun catchers from my photographs, and opened Fairy Crystals.

Since I registered the shop last month, I've been slowly photographing, cataloging and stocking the sun catchers in their new location. I still have several more to list, but there is a decent amount available at the store now.

I really adore creating these tiny works of art. I travel to many stores to buy quality beads (I've even gone as far as Burlington, Vt. for one style of bead!)

They are perfect for hanging off the rear view mirror of the car or in a sunny window. When the sunlight hits the crystal at the right angle, beautiful rainbows cascade across the room.

I hope to launch fairy crystal earrings later this spring, for a fun way to bring a bit of sparkle everywhere you go. :)


It was really amusing to see the comments posted on my last blog entry, Two Truths and a Lie! I hope I won't be disappointing anyone today! ;-)

Here are the answers:

1. My wedding was DJ-ed by a country music award winner.
TRUE. Our wedding was DJ-ed by Aardvark Audio. One of the owners, Ron Lamoreux, won the following: "In 1989, after winning the Connecticut Country Music Association award for 'Vocal Group of the Year 1988' and the Country Music Association of America, Colony State's Region award for 'Vocal Group of the Year 1988', the Country Music Association of America flew them to California where they brought home the national award for 'Vocal Group of the Year 1989'." Pretty cool, huh? He is also a registered justice of the peace, so in case our priest was a no-show, he could have married us too! ;-) (If you want, you can read more about them here.)

2. I used to be the editor of a 27,000 circulation newspaper.
TRUE. I was the editor of The Herald Press, the Sunday edition of three Connecticut newspapers.

3. I once interviewed Johnny Rzeznik of The Goo Goo Dolls.
FALSE. I interviewed Robby Takac of The Goo Goo Dolls. Johnny was unavailable for interviewing that day. ;-)

Thanks for playing!!! :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Let's play two truths and a lie!

Can you guess which one of the following three is incorrect?

1. My wedding was DJ-ed by a country music award winner.

2. I used to be the editor of a 27,000 circulation newspaper.

3. I once interviewed Johnny Rzeznik of The Goo Goo Dolls.

Leave your guess in the comments below.
I'll share the answer on Tuesday!

What are your two truths and a lie? :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Entrecard Top Droppers

Perhaps you've noticed the little Entrecard box on the sidebar of my blog. I've been using Entercard for about two months now, and I've been introduced to a variety of great blogs that I may not have found otherwise.

The way Entrecard works is that you "drop" on other blogs that have an Entrecard spot. For every drop, you get a credit. When you earn enough credits, you can "spend" your credits by advertising on other people's blogs. You also earn credits when people advertise on your blog. The more popular your blog is, the more credits you will need to advertise there.

In January, these blog readers were my Top Droppers - thank you for stopping by so often! :)

Photojournalist !
Tialey Vintage Clothing
Ruth's Creations
Life's Perfect Pictures
Green Roots Photography
Jenera Healy Photography
Through The Lens

Friday, February 6, 2009

Welcome to Inspiration Flirtation

My friend and neighbor Christina has started a new springboard for artistic creativity. Named Inspiration Flirtation, each week a "seed" will be posted on the blog. With that in mind, readers are encouraged to create something inspired by that "seed." (For more information, click here.)

I think it's a great idea, especially since I feel like I'm in a photographic rut right now!

The first week's theme is "ice," and after thinking long and hard, trying to sketch things out (boy am I rusty at that!) and photograph the obvious, I decided to play in Photoshop for this week's inspiration:

(You can double click on it to see it larger!)

Thanks Christina for finding a cool way to inspire all artists! :)

My First Blog Award

I received this pretty award from Allie - my awesome 365 photo a day partner.

Proximidade is described as follows: 'This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes for self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!'

This blog award should be sent to your favorite eight bloggers and they, in turn should forward to eight of their favorites. You should include the text for Proximidade (above) in your announcement blog.

And so I award the following eight bloggers for their Proximidade attributes:

Green Bean Baby Art

The Thoughts of a Poor Woodsman


Dragon House of Yuen

Beaded Tail

I want to Taglia-tell you something

How to Disappear Completely

Buttons and Pears


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Interview with Joanna's Photography

One of the best things about being on Etsy in the past year is the ability to connect with other very talented artists! Meet POE member Joanna from Joanna's Photography. I absolutely love her nature photography and the hues she focuses on. She also has a lovely 365 Photo a Day blog.

Jen: How do you incorporate your favorite colors into your work?

When taking photo I usually try to look for color scheme, that fits my idea of what this photo can show. I like to use the tones of earth- so there is a lot of greens, browns, reeds, etc. in my work. But sometimes I like to break that rule and after picture is taken I play with it, try different color profiles. And only when I find the one that adds to the image's look and feel I decided to stay with it. I like to change the highlights and shadows-to hide and show, what I feel is important in my photograph.

Jen: What is your favorite type of photography to create?

Joanna: I find the most satisfaction in macro photography. Capturing details and enlarging it over the actual size creates very interesting effect. And of course- it brings out the fine detail, texture or shape, which not always are being noticed with bare eye.

I do like to use extension tubes for my macro photography- sometimes by putting those in between camera and macro lens. This combination lets me get even closer- more more specific detailed shot. And many times- much more interesting.

Jen: While your main subject is flowers, how do you decide what else to photograph?

Joanna: Most of the time I just go on like a photo walk. Take my camera, grab whatever I may need- and go. Sometimes it's just a stroll though neighborhood and sometimes I make trip to specific location, like local old mill, or old garden.

I like to have camera with me, even if I'm not planning on taking photos- for example, while visiting friends- I always think- you never know,what is going to come up!

There are also those situations, when I have an idea in my head for some time and just look for the right subject and right set up. I get easily inspired by whatever is around me.

Jen: Is photography your day job or something you do on the side?

Joanna: I work with photographic equipment and in small photo lab in my day job- so they actually relate pretty close. But my taking pictures is not my main day job.

Jen: Where can we find your work?

Joanna: My main portfolio at this moment is still listed in my Etsy store (
I have smaller store on 1000markets ( and artfire (

Soon I am planning on having my website up and running and hope this is going to be the main place all viewers and photography lovers can go to see my work and find information about what I do.

Check out more of Joanna's work at her Etsy shop:

Buy Handmade

Help the bunnies!

I just found out that Annette of Dragon House of Yuen has donated a beautiful rabbit bag for the Buckeye House Rabbit Society Spring Raffle! Tickets are a $1 and help the bunnies! Entries must be postmarked by March 31.

Monday, February 2, 2009

We have a winner!

Wow! We had a record number of entries for the last blog give away! Our lucky winner (randomly drawn) of the free photo scrabble tile necklace is WonderfullyMade729!

Congratulations! I will send a necklace of her choice out as soon as I hear back! :)

Thank you to EVERYONE who entered! :) We'll have a new give away coming up again soon!