31 December 2010

Life of Art SitRep #47 Learning stuff & applying it

Every week, I work towards creating a life of art for myself. This is the zigzag filled journey.

Play along in the comments with your own pursuits if you'd like. (That's where I'll cheer you on.)

*******
This week, I

•Shot 273 photographs: xmas decorations, xmas day, snow falling, snow scenes, and a few self portraits.
Happy New Year!

•Looked through some 1800 shots and selected 4 to prep and enter into Pop Photo's December 2010 Challenge to shoot from a moving vehicle.
•Made list of goals, ways to improve/grow Rocklawn Arts in 2011.
•Worked on squidoo lenses, added some sidebar widgets.
•Published Harry Potter lens.
•Zblogged calendar sale.
•Tweeted some sales.
•Watched a slew of re-aired workshop segments on Creative Live:
*Zack Arias: studio lighting on white seamless; studio lighting theory; gear, money, building your studio; light modifiers.
*Tamara Lackey: photographing kids segment I hadn't seen before.
*Jasmine Star wedding workshop: styling details before wedding, wedding itself, and group shot after wedding.
•Watched "How To Control A Drop Shadow," "Creating Fantasy Images" Photoshop tutorials.
•Listened to Going Pro #22 podcast.
•Finished reading The Digital Photography Book: The step-by-step secrets for how to make your photos look like the pros by Scott Kelby.

*******

How are your pursuits going?


A year ago on TTaT: The best way to begin anything

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30 December 2010

58. The Digital Photography Book

58. The Digital Photography Book: The step-by-step secrets for how to make your photos look like the pros by Scott Kelby (4.5/5)

Very handy book. Kelby writes as though giving tips to a friend out on a shoot, so he gives settings, equipment suggestions and the like without lots of theory. I find this approach particularly helpful with his Photoshop suggestions. (He's written whole books on Photoshop so I hope my library has some.)

His sense of humor was... well, not mine... at the beginning of the book, but after that you'll just need to survive some dumb jokes on the first page of each chapter. The tips are well worth it.

I already know a lot of this stuff, but I still jotted down a bunch of pages with info I want to look at again.


A year ago on TTaT: Vestigial lists

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28 December 2010

57. Bridgman's Book of 100 Hands

57. Bridgman's Book of 100 Hands by George B. Bridgman (4/5)

p.27 Bridgman's Book of 100 Hands

It's a great reference for drawing hands, but it's not a "how to" book. Instead he describes and illustrates bone structure, muscles, and tendons along with all manner of drawn hands in all sorts of positions. If you're good at replicating something you're looking at, then this book will be very helpful. If you want a step by step, draw this sequence of steps to create a hand, this is not the book for you.

I drew several of Bridgman's hands, the rest of which you can check out here to get a feel for the drawings in the book.

Though it's Bridgman's Book of 100 Hands, my copy says it has 484 illustrations, various views of those 100 hands one presumes.


First time I've posted on this day in the history of TTaT, w00t!

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25 December 2010

If you celebrate...

Merry Xmas! To all my blog buds and lurkers, I hope you're having lovely holidays!


First post on xmas day in over 5 years of TTaT, w00t!

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24 December 2010

Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward Legos

(Click to embiggen.)

Have a merry, merry everybody!!!


3 years ago on TTaT: Pretty much it

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23 December 2010

Life of Art SitRep #46

Every week, I work towards creating a life of art for myself. This is the zigzag filled journey.

Play along in the comments with your own pursuits if you'd like. (That's where I'll cheer you on.)
*******
This week, I

•Shot 238 photos, 27 of a Lego holiday scene. Stay tuned, it'll be up tomorrow morning!
•Saw a performance of The Santaland Diaries. Very funny, recommended if it's being put on somewhere near you.
•Watched most of Zack Arias' "Getting Started on White Seamless" and all of "An Introduction to HDDSLR with Vincent Laforet: Day 2- Lighting and Camera Support" mini replays on Creative Live. Also watched about 2/3 of John Greengo's class "Fundamentals of Digital Photography: Week 6- Focus!" on focus and lens sharpness.
•Watched "Change Image Perspective By Virtual Cropping," "Fixing Color in Indoor Images" Photoshop tutorials.
•Listened to GoingPro podcast #21.
•Tweeted some sales.
•Drew and scanned last sketch of the year. Not sure I'm going to continue next year since I received so little feedback. If you're digging it but have been lurking, speak up!

*******

How are your pursuits going?

Two years ago on TTaT: Today was better

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22 December 2010

A Holiday Treat: The Prom: Take Two (part 3)

(The sequel to Hamlet was my undoing: Part I, Part II, Part III)

The Prom: Take Two (part 1, part 2)

All right peeps, here it is, the final installment of this saga of adolescent angst. Happy Holidays!

Part 3:

The rest of the details fell into place; my hair was done, I was dressed, and Mom was making me pose next to a bowl of pink flowers. The front door was open and Jake appeared, looking perfect. He'd chosen a classic black tux with a vest instead of a cummerbund. We stood together in front of the mantle as Mom fired off more shots.

As we drove to Liza's to meet up with the limo, Jake commented, "Ya know, some tribes in Africa think having your picture taken steals your soul."

I did know that but was at a loss for what to say. "Hmm," I murmured. For once, his brooding nature seemed a little less appealing, because I knew we had several more photo ops ahead of us.

The blue limo we'd rented took up most of Liza's driveway. Jake parked across the street, and we walked over to join the group: Liza and her date, and two other classmates going as friends. After other various parents had their fill of couples and candid shots, the six of us lined up against the limo for group photos. Without question, I had the best-looking date even if he didn't like having his picture taken. The six of us squeezed into the limo, boys across from the girls, and went to dinner.

We met up with Samantha and some others at a swank restaurant; she'd swung us a good deal through a family connection. When we split up the bill, we figured it with a 20% tip, and though I assured Jake of this, he wasn't convinced we'd left enough. As we were leaving, I saw him duck back in and add a twenty to our tip.

As our limo pulled into the school parking lot, I watched other girls struggle out of cars and limos. Next to the red carpet the principal was announcing couples' names from a podium. Parents and underclassman stood beyond a rope watching everyone arrive. Because I was sitting in the middle, I focused all my energy on sliding across and climbing out gracefully.

I was relieved by my relative success. Jake and I walked down the red carpet arm in arm with none of the purse-dropping, shoe-losing, or tripping I'd seen minutes before.

Down the hall, outside of the gym was the professional prom photographer's setup. "Let's just get it out of the way," I suggested, hoping he could be a sport for one more photo. Liza and her date stood side by side and arm in arm under the white latticed arch. Click and they were done. When the photographer saw Jake and I, there must've been a glint in his eye that I missed. He put a stool under the arch and told Jake to sit. Jake rested his left foot on part of the stool and kept the other on the ground.

"Now you stand between his legs," the photographer directed me. If he's going for most awkward pose, he's succeeding, I thought to myself.

The photographer ducked behind his lens and popped up again. "Put your hands on his thigh, one over the other. Just like that, good. Now you," he pointed to Jake, "put your left hand over hers, and put your right around her waist." I turned my head to see how Jake was doing: he was as uncomfortable as I was.

"Straight ahead, please, and Smile!" The photographer commanded. Click. "Ok, you're done!"

We untangled ourselves and escaped into the gym. The juniors had truly transformed it from a basketball court to a ballroom. Jake stepped out the back for some air, and I caught up with some friends. "Stand up, turn around," "Let me see your dress," "You look great," they said in rapid succession.

Jake returned, and we danced a few dances, but it clearly wasn't his thing which I hadn't anticipated. Maybe it was the clothes. I loved to dance, but even I was feeling a bit subdued by my dress. Throughout the evening I kept pushing my strapless bra up, while sliding my dress down as inconspicuously as possible.

We went outside and looked at the stars for a while. His brooding guy persona had overtaken him. It never occurred to me that it might be difficult for him to be back at school, hearing about our college plans when he hadn't been able to go the past year. I was just there to have a good time, dance, and look good. Though there were some significant lulls, I mostly succeeded.

After the dance, none of our limo group had plans to stay up all night. None of us were dating seriously, so no one felt like watching videos until 6 AM. After the limo dropped a couple people off, the rest of us rode back to Liza's.

As Jake drove me home in his car, I sucked hard on a spearmint LifeSaver. He got out first, opened my door for me, and walked me up the front walkway I never used. The light was on over the front door. I scanned the windows wondering where my parents were and if they were awake. This was it. If either of us was going to make a move, it had to be soon.

As I reached the step in front of the door, a bush rustled, and a bat flew towards us. I jumped aside, and it flew between us dropping a load of guano in its wake. Jake let out a startled laugh, and I looked at him to assess the moment.

Unsalvageable.

"I had a really good time tonight," I managed.

"Me too."

"Thank you for coming," I added warmly.

"I'm glad you asked me," he admitted.

Really? Then maybe there's... Oh, right, there's still this gulf between us, and it's streaked with fresh, wet bat shit.

"Well, goodnight," he said.

"Goodnight."

He turned and walked a few steps. When I opened the screen door, he stopped and looked back at me. "If you ever feel like doing something, give me a call."

I smiled and said, "Ok," and then, "Drive safe," before I stepped inside.


Two years ago on TTaT: It's going to be a long week.

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21 December 2010

A Holiday Treat: The Prom: Take Two (part 2)

(The sequel to Hamlet was my undoing: Part I, Part II, Part III)

The Prom: Take Two (part 1)

Part 2:

Asking turned out to be the easy part. I figured out what I was going to say, he was actually home when I called, and he agreed to go without any hesitation even though the prom was only a week away. After calling Liza to say we wanted in on the limo rental, there wasn't much I could do: stores would be closing in a few minutes if they hadn't already, and none of them would be open on Sunday.*

Mom picked me up from school on Monday, so we could start the dress hunt. I was at a serious disadvantage shopping this close to the prom because all the boutiques in the county networked so that no two girls would end up at the same prom in the exact same dress. In addition, I had no idea what I wanted since I hadn't given it any thought other than having some vague Prom Dress conception. The first two stores had nothing that I liked, so we got back in the car.

When I walked into the third dress store, there was Missy Fallon, the closest person to an arch nemesis that I had at my school, which is to say mainly that I disliked her immensely. She acted like an airhead, tormented people to elevate herself, and ruled her own clique. If my mom hadn't been with me, I would've ducked back out before Missy could see me.

I took a resigned breath, walked to a rack as far from her as I could, and started looking at dresses.

"Hey, Claire. Can I help you find anything?" Missy asked from behind me.

She works here. You're fucking kidding me.

"No. Thanks. I'm just looking right now," I replied.

"Ok." She was as chipper as ever. "You might want to check over here too. We've got some great dresses that will work for the prom that you could also wear to a semi-formal at college next year. I mean, why get a dress you can only wear once, right?"

"Right," I replied weakly. Apparently she couldn't tell I had my heart set on a Prom Dress.

Mom held up a few dresses she thought I would like. I took two and headed for the dressing room. Missy followed handing me her practical wear-more-than-once dress pick for me. "This would look great on you," she said. It was a short sheath cut dress in rayon with spaghetti straps. I admit that I liked its blues with hints of maroon and green. It was not the first nor last time someone would get excited by the prospect of dressing me up. Missy was eager and expectant, so I decided to try hers on first to get it out of the way.

I closed the curtain and took off my jeans and rugby shirt. I put my arms through the straps and tried to wiggle the dress down. It was too narrow and bunched up at my shoulders: I was stuck. I was trying to ease it off when Missy spoke from the other side of the curtain, "How's it fit?"

"It's too tight."

Her fingers closed around the edge of the curtain, peeling it back so she could peek in. She stifled a short giggle and said, "Here," as she opened the zipper along the side seam and stepped back out. The dress slid easily into place finally covering my underwear. Stupid hidden zippers, damn dresses!

"What do you think?" Missy asked.

I stepped out because my cubicle had no mirror. In the large three-sided mirror of the dressing area, my bra straps loomed conspicuously, and my cheeks were still flushed a violent red. The dress was fine but not at all what I wanted, and after my last few minutes experience with it, I never wanted to see it again.

"I think I'm going to try some other things on," I said as I pulled the curtain as closed as it would go on both sides. From then on, I scrutinized the dresses carefully for zippers, buttons, and fasteners of any kind before trying to put them on. Still nothing suited me. I was frustrated, worn out, and ready to give up.

"You could always wear a tux," Mom offered from the other side of the curtain.

I laughed because the idea had appeal, but said, "Nah," because I didn't have what it took to pull it off. Besides, I wanted to show off how great I could look if I felt like it.

Needing a respite, I pulled my jeans and shirt back on and took another circuit of the store.

"This looks comfy," Mom said, fingering some fabric. "Here, feel this." The rippled material had an easy stretch to it. It might actually be comfortable. When I pulled it off the rack, Mom added, "I didn't mean you had to try it on."

"No, I know," I replied as I carried it to my dressing room. It was a short green dress with puckered stretchy material for most of it, ending with loose cascading material landing above the knee, strapless with off-the-shoulder poofy bits like folded bows. It was comfortable.

Missy stood nearby as I looked in the mirror.

"Do you have this in blue?" I asked.

"Let me check."

Mom looked at me in the dress and said, "I like it," in a tone that meant she really did. I changed back into my clothes.

Missy returned and delivered the bad news, "Someone already bought it in blue. This is the only color we have it in."

I sighed and contemplated more dress shops, dressing rooms, and agony. "What do you think of this green?" I asked, holding up the dress for Mom to consider.

"I like it, I think it's good," Mom replied.

At that point, I'd had it and decided it was good enough. "Ok, let's get it."

"I'll take that for you," Missy said, as she took the dress and retrieved the hanger from the dressing room. "Ok, so you'll need shoes, hose, and a strapless bra," she continued. The blush returned to my cheeks; I desperately wanted to leave.

I glanced at the display of white shoes and dismissively said, "I don't think white shoes would look good with this."

"No, of course not. You get 'em dyed to match the dress," Missy explained.

"Really?" I looked to Mom for confirmation.

After finding a simple pair of flats, I plunked the shoe box down by the cash register. Mom suggested we get the rest from somewhere more reasonably priced. I was immensely relieved: I couldn't face any more embarrassment spawning from my ignorance of formal wear.

At least I had a dress...


*We did have a mall, but nobody bought their prom dress there in those days.

(names changed)

A year ago on TTaT:

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20 December 2010

A Holiday Treat: The Prom: Take Two (part 1)

(The sequel to Hamlet was my undoing: Part I, Part II, Part III)

In matters of romance, sometimes you want a second opinion. In high school, it's all about choosing the right person to ask, the one who will confirm the decision you want to make.

My best friend Liza- I reluctantly give her that title now as our friendship was based more on convenience than compatibility, trust, or supportiveness; it would not survive her dull letters* to me in college and her vocal homophobia. Liza would be noncommittal at best, "I guess, if you want to," but her tone would convey, "Well if you have to ask a boy to get a date, go ahead I guess, but your credibility will be even lower if he says no," as well as, "He graduated last year. Why would he want to go to the prom?" and even "Why ask him? What makes you think he'd say yes?"

She'd never known Jake to say more than hi to and didn't know much of anything about our friendship. Liza hadn't read the perfect note he'd written in my yearbook the year before that began: "What ho, Horatio?", referenced ice cream and graveyards, and ended with his phone number. She didn't know that if he was out when I called, that I could tell his parents were pulling for me as I left a message. I hadn't told her about the time Jake and I drove an hour to see a concert of women's world folk music because an old friend of mine was in the group; Jake was moved to tears (a subtle few) by the music and freely admitted it as part of his rave of the performance. Most of the things I liked about Jake were qualities Liza disdained: asking her opinion was out of the question.

My theater buddy Samantha was different. The previous fall we'd both been kings in the worst Shakespeare play I've ever read. She was no stranger to risk-taking.

"Sam! C'mere for a sec," I yelled over the intervening sophomore heads. Funky Cold Medina, a song I hated, was blaring from the DJ's speakers across the cafetorium. I'd been at the dance for a couple hours; I'd gone alone but was really enjoying myself with my friends. It got me thinking...

"Do you think it's worth going to the prom?"

"Yeah, it's gonna be great," Sam enthused. "We're going all out with the decorations." The junior class had decided to transform the gym, committing their time and talents to the task, so they could afford a live band.

"Do you think I should ask Jake?"

"Is he still around?" she countered. Apparently I kept talk of him close to the vest with everyone because I liked him.

"Yeah."

"Cool. Sure, ask him."

It was Friday, and the prom was a week from Saturday. Sam nodded to some people behind me.

"You don't think it'd be weird if I asked him?" I pursued.

"Look," she began with finality, "I asked a guy I only met once before. It's not a big deal. I'm gonna go and have a good time."

I needed to stop being a wuss. "Right," I said, because she wasn't going to indulge my waffling anymore. Sam plunged back onto the dance floor. If I was ever going to go to a prom, it was going to be with Jake, so I just had to suck it up and ask him.


*e-mail still had a few years to go before becoming mainstream.
(names changed)


A year ago on TTaT: Last minute wrapping tips redux plus bonus tips

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19 December 2010

Sketchbook, page 60

(Other pages)

The process of filling a 120 60 page sketchbook and posting it all by year's end. Here we are at page 60, woo!

Rocket with force field in space illuminated by off-page star

I'm thinking of continuing this series next year, albeit without the fill-one-particular-sketchbook restriction. Does that sound like something you'd be interested in? I haven't received much feedback on the sketchbook drawings, but the comments I have gotten give me the impression there are lurkers following along. Yes, no?

Either way, it's been fun.


A year ago on TTaT: 45. Abelardo Morell

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18 December 2010

52. The Art of Non-Conformity

52. The Art of Non-Conformity: Set your own rules, live the life you want, and change the world by Chris Guillebeau (3/5)

Round-the-world travel aficionado and blogger Chris Guillebeau has written a book that condenses a lot of the ideas presented on his blog. Though I received a free copy of the book (Thank you, Chris), I have mixed feelings about it.

If you're familiar with Chris's website and message of unconventional living (live the life you want, not the one you feel you're supposed to, and don't be afraid to pursue it in unconventional ways), I'd skip the first chapter. It was a turn-off for me for 3 reasons:
1. The parables he used didn't quite fit the situations he applied them to in my opinion, so they got on my nerves.

2. He wrote that he "doesn't want to waste anyone's time" which immediately made me think, "Get on with it!" The moment you say you don't want to waste my time, you're wasting my time by not delivering your ideas directly. A more detailed table of contents would accomplish the same task.

3. In line with that, he aggressively discourages people not open to the idea of unconventional living from reading the book. I understand niche marketing, the idea of velvet ropes to encourage your "right people" (those into your idea) to stay while encouraging those who aren't to move on to something they are into. However, I don't think that applies to books. Not in the same way it does to websites at any rate. The book itself is the red velvet rope, its cover will either lure people in or turn them away. There's no need to turn anyone away with your words. If you really want to spread an idea, you don't discourage anyone from coming into contact with it. They may disagree in the end or give you a bad review, but how else can you plant seeds of ideas or raise ideas for discussion?

There's a saying I see most every day: "Books invite all, they constrain none." I believe in that strongly, so his first chapter irked me. Am I simply the wrong audience then? I don't think so since I've been following his blog for quite some time with interest.

The college versus blogging chapter also killed me even though I agree with a number of things he said. It's true that a college education isn't necessary to perform a lot of jobs, but having a degree will make it easier to get most jobs and tends to yield larger paychecks over your lifetime. So unless you're sure you're going to be self-employed your whole life, keep that in mind.

Also remember that Chris has those pieces of paper if he ever needs them.

More importantly, college is about learning critical thinking. You can learn a lot on your own but it's also very useful to get feedback. The alternative graduate year he proposes is just general knowledge, more like what you'd get in high school or frosh/soph years college. I'm all for lifelong learning, but his suggested program is in no way a grad program. Grad school is for learning specialized knowledge. Go to iTunes U and look through the free course offerings there or read up on your topic of interest with books from the library.

Another benefit of college is networking. If you expect career help, research that aspect before picking a school. I received fellowships from my undergrad school which helped me pay for grad school (where I met a network of people I worked with after graduation). A lot of it is using the resources available.

Chris describes his college experience as an 80% waste of his time. Like most things, I believe that what you get out of something is related to what you put into it. Maybe he took the wrong classes or didn't go to a challenging enough school or just wasn't into it.

You don't have to have a degree to succeed, but be aware that not having one can present you with a lot more hoops to traverse in traditional work realms. If you're great at networking, rock on, you can probably talk your way into the opportunities you want. Just don't be that person who is insecure because you didn't go to college. I know too many lovely, smart people who have hangups because of that.

My favorite chapter was number 9: Radical Exclusion and the Quest for Abundance. The most useful thing I took from the book is the idea of a to-not-do list, a way to minimize time sucks that are unhelpful or even toxic to you.

He also talks some about his travel hacking in the book which I enjoyed. I wanted to know more about his relationship with his wife though. I understand wanting to preserve her privacy, his too, but it seems a missed opportunity to talk about unconventional relationships and pursuing dreams when you have a partner who is not involved in them. From the blog, it doesn't seem like she travels with him to most of the countries he visits, so how does one maintain a relationship when one's dream keeps you apart? What happens when ten to twenty thousand dollars a year goes to fulfilling one partner's goal without the participation of the other? How does one maintain balance and equity in the relationship?

I suspect I will get the most practical use out of the resources that didn't actually make it into the book. I'm looking forward to checking those out.

Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to read your provocative book, Chris.


5 years ago on TTaT: Higher altitude

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17 December 2010

Life of Art SitRep #45

Every week, I work towards creating a life of art for myself. This is the journey, full of zigs and zags that are collectively, thankfully, progress.

Play along in the comments with your own pursuits if you'd like. (That's where I'll cheer you on.)
*******
This week, I

•Arranged wooden chairs into living room tableaux outside (y'know, like you do) and also relocated the picnic table and its chairs into another scene so it will not ruin my background (once it's covered with enough snow for me to photograph it).
•Prepped Footprints in Snow, made it black and white and uploaded it. Created product line:

•Zblogged $30 off iPad/iPhone cases, $20 off necklaces, $10 off premium ornaments sale:
$30 off iPhone and iPad cases. (iPhone case for $17.95, iPad case for $29.95)

$20 off necklaces.

$10 off premium ornaments.

During checkout, enter the coupon code: NEWPRODSZAZZ

Offer is valid through December 20, 2010 at 11:59 PM PT.
•Tweeted, FB'd, zblogged Footprints in Snow links.
•Overhauled online sales spreadsheets.
•Revised my American Southwest lens a little.
•zblogged 15% off official Harry Potter products sale.
Tweeted various sales and did some other online promotion.
•Watched some of Jasmine Star Creative Live mini-rewatch. Posing bride & groom for photos, working in small spaces for variety of looks.
•Watched all of Zack Arias Creative Live mini-rewatch. Woman in fish tank. Safety first, yay! (During my time on film sets, safety was often second to getting the shot.)
•Watched most of "Jason Hoppe: Photoshop CS4 Mastery Week 15- Scrapbooking Extravaganza" on Creative Live.
In case it hasn't sunk in, Creative Live is awesome. Watch courses live for free, pay for downloads later. (They usually re-air live classes later on the same day to give people in other time zones a chance to watch it free too.) Check out their End of year sale. Great for someone creative in your life.
•Watched Grunge Backgrounds and Blending Modes, Using Adjustments You Never Thought About, Blending Modes and Adjustment Layers Photoshop CS5 tutorials.
•Listened to GoingPro podcast #20- networking at conventions/conferences.
•Drew and scanned 1 sketch.

*******

How are your pursuits going?


Two years ago on TTaT: The Hustons

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16 December 2010

A Holiday Treat: Hamlet was my undoing, Part III

(Part I, Part II)

Once I got my directorial bearings, we started running concurrent rehearsals. I had 45 minutes to work on a short scene with Jake and my friend Melanie. In the scene, the characters were basically making out while exchanging some lines. They wanted a chance to figure out some choreography first, and since I had no idea how to approach the scene, I sat back and watched. They would kiss, then he would kiss down her neck so she could deliver her lines; he would look up to deliver his. Jake rocked back on his heels, and they consulted their scripts. Melanie wasn't into him, but it was still hard to watch detachedly as they orchestrated kissing and line delivery no matter how professionally.

"What do you think, Claire?" they asked.

Shifting my gaze up from the floor in front of them, I said, "Yeah, I think that'll work."

When we showed the scene to the director, she said, "That's a hundred times better than before. I should send all the hard scenes to you first." I smiled weakly not relishing the thought.

Once the play was over, there were only a couple months of school left. I joined the prom committee, not because I cared much where it was held or what it looked like, but because it would be another activity I could put on my college applications the following year that wouldn't take up much time. Jake and I were still hanging out, so I was hoping he'd ask me. Technically, it was my junior prom and he was a senior, but our school was so small that we only held the one prom each year.

Sitting in study hall doing my pre-calc homework one day, I overheard some seniors talking about the prom. "Nah, Jake's going. Justine's coming back for it."

It was a world of slow-mo in that moment. His ninth-grader girlfriend from the fall who'd moved back to Texas was going to travel 2000 miles to go to the prom with him. My prom. Un-fucking-believable.

My backup boy had gotten his balls together and asked his dream girl who said yes, so he wasn't available either. My best friend had a third-party proposition for me.

"Would you consider going with Jason?"

I rolled my eyes and sighed heavily. "You've got to be kidding me."

"We could all go as a group. It wouldn't be like a date," she assured.

It really couldn't get any worse. Jason was the biggest geek in our entire school, and he'd only been there for a year. Farmer Ted would've had a better shot. Jason was in my grade, but he was short, spastic, had eyebrows like Spock, and an unbecoming (and out of date by then) mullet. His locker was close to mine, so I would say hi to him and exchange a few sentences now and then. My niceness had come back to haunt me.

"You won't be stuck with him all night. We'll hang out. It'll be fun," my best friend reiterated.

I told her, "No. I'd rather not go at all." There was no way I was going to go with him just for the sake of going. I would not let that be immortalized in innumerable prom photos.

Unfortunately, I was still on the prom committee and had agreed to help decorate on the day. At least it went quickly because there wasn't much that needed to be done to the banquet hall we'd rented.

I'd decided to go see Pretty Woman by myself that night, but at the last moment my mom insisted on coming. I was livid, but tried to find solace in her buying the tickets and snacks. I'd wanted to escape for a couple hours, to wallow or laugh if I felt like it, to get sucked into a story and forget my life for a while, but that was hard to enjoy with my mom next to me. Instead, I leaned away from her in my seat and scowled through the previews and beginning of the movie. I resented her for imposing; I did not want or need a shoulder to cry on.

The next day, I had no regrets about not going. No one had any great stories, and I never liked dressing up; without the right guy, it wasn't worth the effort.


(The sequel The Prom: Take Two starts Monday, December 20th.)


(names changed)

5 years ago on TTaT: Yesterday's matinee

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15 December 2010

A Holiday Treat: Hamlet was my undoing, Part II

(Part I)

"How about LA Story?" I suggested.

"It was really good..."

"Oh."

"...I'd see it again. Really," Jake finished.

I should've believed him. When I finally saw it on video a few years later, I cursed myself for trying to be so accommodating: LA Story would've been the perfect chaser to our Hamlet experience. Instead we settled on The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. Jake kind of laughed when the gynecologist eased his glove off pre-exam; I avoided watching most of the uncomfortable scene. A molesting gynecologist intro does not a date movie make, if we were even on a date. He was still trying to pay for everything, but otherwise we were just friends.

With spring came the spring play, Noel Coward's Hayfever. There wasn't a role suited to me, so I wasn't cast. This had always meant relegation to the tech crew, or at best becoming the stage manager, if I still wanted to participate. Several of my performer friends were seniors: this was my last chance to work with them, but stage managing held no allure. Fortunately, the director was ready to try something new: she offered me an assistant director position. I would help her out, be another pair of eyes at rehearsals, and even work with the actors on my own. I was nervous. She was only 24, but that was enough to separate her from us; they would listen to her. I told her I'd do my best.

Even though I was directing, I still participated in the warm-ups, voice classes, and other theater exercises. Hayfever included several romantic entanglements, so it was important the cast feel comfortable with each other. Not all the actors would have to kiss, but we all had to go through the almost kiss exercise. In boy-girl pairs, we were supposed to move in as close as possible as if to kiss; knowing there would be no kiss was supposed to help us feel more comfortable in close proximity. The director would call, "Switch," and we'd turn away and change partners.

I was pleased to find I wasn't the most self-conscious person there. I could trust in the rules of the exercise, but some of the guys couldn't. One started to pull back when we were a foot apart, and another was so twitchy I couldn't get within three feet of him. With Jake, there was no pulling back. The slightest lean forward would accomplish the task, but then he turned his head and walked away. It was time to switch again.

(NEXT>>>)

(names changed to suit my whims)


A year ago on TTaT: Astley & Fitch

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14 December 2010

A Holiday Treat: Hamlet was my undoing, Part I

Because nothing says holiday cheer like teen angst. If you haven't been reading TTaT for five years or digging around in my archives, this tale will be new to you. I'm posting it Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week. Its sequel will go up Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week. (If you'd rather read it all right now, go here.) Enjoy!

Hamlet was my undoing: Part I

Rehearsals for the play were coming along, my Horatio to his Hamlet, but we lacked the chemistry of steadfast friends because we'd only just met. Jake was new, not the been-here-three-years-still-new of my small town, but the just-moved-here-for-his-senior-year new.

"What ho, Horatio!" With the paucity of male talent at my school, it was not unusual for girls to end up with male roles.

"Here sweet Lord, at your service." To seed this bond we were to portray, we were given homework: spend time together, perhaps in a graveyard. We agreed with ease.

He picked me up in his little rust-colored car one afternoon, and I directed him to my favorite cemetery in town. We sauntered through the 100 year old tombstones together; mostly I listened to him talk because I didn't know what to say. I'd always loved this graveyard, so it's no wonder I had trouble summoning the fear and awe required for some of Horatio's early speeches. After a stretch of silence as we walked, Jake suggested ice cream.

We drove to a nearby shop, and he insisted on paying for me though I protested. This was the beginning of years of baffling male behavior: the leftover need to pay for women even when they're not on a date. At the time, I really wasn't sure what it meant, if anything.

Rehearsals continued, and since Horatio isn't in many scenes without Hamlet, I saw a lot of him. He was refreshingly tall and nicely proportioned for his moderate frame, dirty blonde, with a longer section on top that flopped across- just the thing to run your fingers through. Sometime along the way, I discovered the distasteful fact that he had a ninth-grader girlfriend. She was also new that year, so maybe that was part of the bond. It's actually possible he told me this when we first hung out, thereby making the ice cream issue all the more baffling.

The Hamlet experience was intense for nearly everyone involved: it's a heavy play. Our performances went well and left us charged with adrenaline at each curtain call. We had one performance left- we were to be part of a Shakespeare festival comprised of high schools from all over the county- when Jake got some bad news: his girlfriend was moving back to Texas in a couple weeks.

"That's too bad," I said, while inwardly doing the math. She'd be gone early to mid-December leaving Jake plenty of time to get over her, so he could take me to the prom.

(NEXT>>>)

(names changed)

Three years ago on TTaT: Scrooge was more generous on page 1

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12 December 2010

Sketchbook, page 59

(Other pages)

The process of filling a 120 60 page sketchbook and posting it all by year's end continues:

Abstract face


Two years ago on TTaT: Quick ways to donate even if you have no extra funds

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10 December 2010

Life of Art SitRep #44 In spite of the wonky

Every week, I work towards creating a life of art for myself. This is the journey, full of zigs and zags that are collectively, thankfully, progress.

Play along in the comments with your own pursuits if you'd like. (That's where I'll cheer you on.)
*******
This week, I

•Struggled with various sites acting up. Wonkiness a la ronde, for the grr. But I persevered and things eventually worked themselves out somewhere in the ether (or perhaps at banks of servers).
•Made Blue Bokeh, a cyanotype of Bokeh in Spring. I really like it in blue. The Blue Bokeh product line is now available with everything from iPhone cases to binders to Keds shoes:
Blue Bokeh bag
Blue Bokeh by RocklawnArts
Make a photo bag on Zazzle

•Made River Water Ripples hi-top and slip-on Keds; After Hockney - Black and White slip-on and hi-top Keds.
•Managed to delete some and rearrange the remaining featured items in my shop. Finally, yay!
•Overhauled my Rocklawn Arts lens and added more items to my American Southwest Scenes lens.
•Submitted links/products to 3 lenses and posted the link to mine on forum for store link submissions.
•Approved 17 link submissions. I can see how this could become addictive (links sometimes come coupled with praise). It has a practical side effect though. While people submit links to promote their stuff, it puts my stuff in front of more eyeballs.
•Tweeted, FB'd, zblogged (at last!) Blue Bokeh folder link and Sandstone Fins Close-Up folder link.
Tweeted some 1 day sales.
•Watched "HDR Pro in Photoshop CS5" tutorial.
•Watched more of "Experimental Portraiture with Jeremy Cowart" workshop on CreativeLive.
•Drew and scanned 1 self-portrait.

*******

How are your pursuits going?


A year ago on TTaT: Heifer International

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06 December 2010

Tulips, to the left!

"That was good, real good. Just like that on opening night. OK, everybody, take five!"


Two years ago on TTaT: Auditorium

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05 December 2010

Sketchbook, page 58: Self-portrait

(Other pages)

The process of filling a 120 60 page sketchbook and posting it all by year's end continues:

Self-portrait

Um, so I guess my cargo pants are pretty baggy, eh?


A year ago on TTaT: Gettin' My Groove On... (vol. xiii)

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04 December 2010

So damn polite

The last time I got a haircut was in August. Most of it was too short at the time, so I just left it to grow out. Curls tend to work their way back around so it takes a long time for it to look noticeably longer. And anyway, it's winter and I hate having a cold neck.

My bangs recently hit a shaggy stage though. They were hanging down and kind of bothering me so I gave them a flick to the left and then to the right. I really don't play with my hair much, but just then, someone said, "Are you Claire Skinner?"

My stomach did a quick jump as I anticipated...I wasn't sure what (probably all the questions I hate to hear). I looked up from my plate of jello, mandarin oranges, and an orange slice to the man who had stopped next to our table. "Yes?" I scanned his face quickly trying to place him. Nothing.

"Jeremy ------," he kindly offered before awkwardness could set in. "It's great to see you."

We'd gone to high school together. And middle school. And elementary school for that matter. We'd been friends on the bus in the early days until his family moved across town. By the time my family moved putting us on the same bus route again in 8th grade, we were hanging with different cliques. The honors track I was in had had a segregating effect although we did still see each other in band and sometimes gym.

"Hey," I said, "How's it going?"

"Really well, thanks." He gestured to the table behind me where his family sat. "I've got twin daughters, and that's my son."

I looked over my shoulder and nodded. His kids were probably between 6 and 10 which kind of threw me, but then we're not that young anymore.

He drove the point home when he said, "So it's been 19 years since we've seen each other. Crazy, huh?"

"Yeah." In the moment, all I could think was He's good with math. (It seems less impressive in retrospect. I just hadn't thought of how long I've been out of high school at all this year.)

"That is a long time," my Mom said. Right, so, while he's dining with his beautiful family (his wife was at the buffet), I was eating with my parents. "So how's your Mom doing," my Mom asked.

"She's doing well, she's in Florida now."

"Oh good," Mom said.

Jeremy's wife passed behind him with her dinner plate, so we wrapped up our conversation with "Good to see you's."

I had been thinking of getting some ice cream after my fruit and jello, but I really didn't feel like it anymore. I just wanted to finish and get out of there before some follow-up question got me completely flustered.

"Shall we take our fortune cookies to eat and play our game at home?" Mom suggested.

I replied with an emphatic, "Yes." When fortunes come with Chinese words to learn on the back, we take turns, unintentionally although assuredly, butchering their Chinese pronunciation and then guessing what they mean with what should be a simple hot/cold system. Often these games become heated because our minds do not work similarly.

I was not about to display our craziness in front of someone I hadn't seen or probably thought of in 19 years. That sounds ridiculously lame now that I write it out.

In any case, after an unusually long wait for our check, we got up to leave. Jeremy and his family were back at the buffet. I looked over but didn't want to disturb them.

As I was zipping up my jacket by the door, Jeremy came over, a plate of food in one hand, to say "It was really good to see you."

"Yeah, you too." He's taller than me, I thought to myself. Maybe 6'2".

"So are you going to have a reunion next year?" Mom interjected.

Mom, what are you doing?! As someone with no desire to go to a high school reunion, I did not want to give anyone the impression otherwise.

"Yeah, it'll be 20 years. That'll be wild," Jeremy answered.

"Yeah," I said weakly.

He held out his right hand, which I was not expecting, but I grasped it for a nice shake as he looked me in the eye and said, "It was really nice to see you."

"It was good to see you too."

He could not have been more polite and from the snippets of conversation I overheard, his family seemed lovely. Heck, they said grace before eating, or rather someone said they should say it, Jeremy agreed, and then I think they all said it to themselves.

Walking out to the car, Dad joked that Jeremy's wife was going to want to know who that woman was he was talking to.

I dismissed it, feeling pretty damn scruffy, with a simple, "No."

Mom agreed, "No, they were secure with themselves and one another. They treated each other with respect."

"That's true," Dad said. "They even had nice interactions with their kids."

All this is to say, if I still hate being recognized by people from my past, which I do, then clearly that's all me. Whatever feelings of loserdom that cropped up came from me, not him. (Did I really have to be flicking my hair just as he walked up?) He didn't even ask any of my trigger questions. Really just so damn polite.

Mom relayed our final interaction with Jeremy to Dad since he'd gone ahead to warm up the car. Then she said, "A very polite, friendly adult." Her appraisal could have referred to either Jeremy or me. After a pause, Dad said with a bit of mischief, "You mean Jeremy?"

Ha ha. I know I'm not the "friendly" one. It's not that I don't want to be friendly, I just don't have extroversion going for me (or a variety of other things). I can be awkward but polite though dammit.


Two years ago on TTaT: New Neighbors

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03 December 2010

Life of Art SitRep #43

Every week, I work towards creating a life of art for myself. This is the journey, full of zigs and zags that are collectively, thankfully, progress.

Play along in the comments with your own pursuits if you'd like. (That's where I'll cheer you on.)
*******
This week, I

•Shot 122 photographs from car.
•Prepped and created Sandstone Fins Close-Up product line:

•Added calendar sale info to my store intro.
Get 40% off calendars until December 17, 2010 at 11:59 PM (PST) with code: 40CLNDRS2011

•Made Desert Wave card with customizable "Wish You Were Here" message:

•Picked featured products from categories. Figured out 'top picks' feature and set 3 items. Set store front to display featured products rather than newest.
•Added my store link to squidoo lens of zazzle tutorials, tips, tricks.
•Made tweaks to my squidoo lenses. 140 pix is good size for 4 products across.
•Watched "Crowd Conversion" webinar.
•Watched "Enlarging an Image" Photoshop CS5 tutorial.
•Watched "Editing Published Products", "Matching products in product descriptions", "Add Zazzle products on your Squidoo lens" tutorials. Read "Posters without huge blank white areas" tutorial.
•Watched some of "Experimental Portraiture with Jeremy Cowart" workshop on CreativeLive.
•Listened to Going Pro #19.
•Listened to Havi's Bohemian Salon teleclass about transitions.
•Tweeted, FB'd, blogged a variety of sales over Thanksgiving weekend. I'm torn: on the one hand, I realize that massive sales devalue my work in the eyes of potential customers; but on the other, that's just how Zazzle works. As long as I offer my work through them, I'm subject to their sale whims, so I may as well mention them so as not to be a jerk, right?
•Drew and scanned 1 sketch.

*******

How are your pursuits going?

A year ago on TTaT: Hiccups and epistaxis

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01 December 2010

43. Half Empty

43. Half Empty by David Rakoff (4.5/5)

Y'know, I enjoy The Daily Show, but I only watch it very sporadically. I am very grateful, however, that I once again stumbled upon an episode with David Rakoff as a guest (still making John Stewart laugh I might add). I thoroughly enjoyed his book Don't Get Too Comfortable four years ago and I was not disappointed by his latest offering.

The cover of Half Empty sports the label, "WARNING!!! No Inspirational Life Lessons Will Be Found In These Pages" which is accurate, more like lessons in misanthropy. Naturally, I felt a tremendous sense of belonging as I read. I recognized so much of my own outlook in his words, have been several of the places he writes about, and grokked most of his references. For me the book is full of "YES!" moments. (This perhaps does not bode well for my mental health, but what are you going to do?)

In ten first person essays, Rakoff intelligently covers a lot of territory with wit. How can you not love a chapter title like "The Satisfying Crunch of Dreams Underfoot"? Or a sentence like, "I am in a canvas that Edward Hopper never felt bummed out enough to paint."

Love you, David Rakoff.


A year ago on TTaT: If you liked this post, please share it using the links below.

28 November 2010

Sketchbook, page 57: Something Fantastic

(Other pages)

The process of filling a 120 60 page sketchbook and posting it all by year's end continues:
"Something Fantastic"


A year ago on TTaT: Nothing but good attitude

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26 November 2010

Life of Art SitRep #42

Every week, I work towards creating a life of art for myself. This is the journey, full of zigs and zags that are collectively, thankfully, progress.

Play along in the comments with your own pursuits if you'd like. (That's where I'll cheer you on.)
*******
This week, I

•Shot 117 photographs. Shots from car, full moon with flatiron-style building. So cold and windy outside!
•zblogged, Tweeted, FB'd my zazzle shop's Black Friday Deals. The sale changes every two hours starting midnight (PST) on Black Friday until the following Tuesday, so I'm not going to list them all here. Visit my Rocklawn Arts blog to see what sales are coming up:
Black Friday Sales

•Tweeted, FB'd, zblogged 40% off calendar sale:

Enjoy a cool, unusual photograph each month with a Rocklawn Arts Photography Calendar for 2011. Each art photo has a white border, so when you’re done with the calendar you can cut it apart and frame or hang the photos without mattes if you like. It’s a great deal for 12 original pieces of fine art for your walls.
Get 40% off my art photography calendars until 11:59pm PT November 30, 2010.

Enter the following code at checkout: 40CLNDRS2011


This calendar was named one of the Top 15 Zazzle Calendars for 2011.

•Finished making iPhone and iPad cases for all remaining suitable photographs.
zblogged new iPad and iPhone cases as well as free shipping offer:
Free shipping is available for orders greater than $50.
During checkout, enter the coupon code: FREESHIPFORU
Offer is valid through December 31, 2010 at 11:59pm PT.
•Published 2nd squidoo lens, American Southwest Scenes.
•Discovered a new flash panel on RedBubble that doesn't crop my images. Added it to my TTaT and Rocklawn Arts blog shop pages.
•Made new horizontal, vertical card templates with message to make customizing easier for customers.
•Added CSS code line to remove coasters from sidebar. They're matte finish and not recommended for color photography.
•Noticed "medium" in title for North Window stamp wasn't capitalized so I fixed it. OCD much?
•Revised zazzle store intro a bit.
•Watched most of "Children's Portrait Photography with Tamara Lackey," a three 8-hour day weekend seminar on Creative Live. Did not at all expect to get completely sucked in. Fascinating and informative. Took tons of notes.
•Watched Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus. For a moment, felt beautiful not in spite of my flaws but because of them.
•Added links/products to 4 lenses/blogs.
•Drew and scanned 1 sketch.
•Watched 1st "Crowd Conversion" video.
•Tweeted, zblogged Thanksgiving day postage sale.

*******

How are your pursuits going?


Two years ago on TTaT: pre-thanks

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25 November 2010

Thanksgiving haiku: Back to the Past

Happy Thanksgiving, blogpeeps!

Teenagers lined up
for a Thanksgiving portrait
many years ago.


Feel free to share your own Thanksgiving haiku in the comments! Or yes, you can comment on the lovely stylings pictured above.

Thanksgiving haiku of years past:

In case you're a midnight shopper, here are the Black Friday Deals for my Zazzle shop which begin at 12:01 AM PST tonight.


A year ago on TTaT: Thanksgiving haiku: Back to the Future

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23 November 2010

Hay-scented fiddleheads

Hay-scented ferns


5 years ago on TTaT: Chip, chip, chip

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21 November 2010

Sketchbook, page 56

(Other pages)

The process of filling a 120 60 page sketchbook and posting it all by year's end continues:

Samurai Jack

He's got a longer jaw but I ran out of space because I started drawing from the bottom up.


4 years ago on TTaT: I know where I want to go

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20 November 2010

Fish sculpture

Fish sculpture


A year ago on TTaT: Dance Dance Revolution: from ridiculous to sublime

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19 November 2010

Life of Art SitRep #41 iPad and iPhone cases

Every week, I work towards creating a life of art for myself. This is the journey, full of zigs and zags that are collectively, thankfully, progress.

Play along in the comments with your own pursuits if you'd like. (That's where I cheer you on.)
*******
This week, I

•Shot 172 photographs from car. (I wasn't driving.)
•Created iPad and iPhone cases for 13 of my images in my zazzle store. These are pretty rad. I'm working through the rest of my gallery.

•Tweeted link to iPhone and iPad cases with free shipping offer:
Free shipping on iPhone & iPad cases until November 30, 2010 at 11:59 pm PT.

Use code: NEWZAZZCASES

•Made horizontal and vertical iPad and iPhone templates to simplify their creation in the future.
•Blogged Binder Sale:
Get $9 Off Custom Avery Binders from Rocklawn Arts.

Use code: AVERYCUSTOM1

Offer is valid until December 31, 2010 at 11:59pm PT.

•Submitted links/products to 6 lenses/blogs/directory.
•Added column to online sales file for clarity since items can have earnings and referral bonuses. Also separated out my first account from my main one so I can track totals without extra math. Spreadsheet tabs FTW. :)
•Worked on new lens. Wrote intro for it, and created draft version in squidoo. Made small edits to existing squidoo lens.
•Added link voting plexos to my squidoo lenses.
•Zblogged, tweeted, FB'd Double Arch folder link.
•Listened to GoingPro podcast #15, #16, #17.
•Watched "Boosting The Sky In Your Landscape Images" and "Using Layer Styles and Smart Objects" photoshop tutorials.
•Read The $100,000 Circle ebook.
•Drew and scanned 1 sketch.
•Tweeted, FB'd, blogged, zblogged, emailed some folks about 1 day 50% off free shipping sale.

*******

How are your pursuits going?


A year ago on TTaT: Dance Dance Revolution: The Philosophy

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18 November 2010

Funky red tulip

Not what I picture when I think of tulips, but a tulip all the same.


Three years ago on TTaT: Go go Mux!

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17 November 2010

Orange tulips

It's been totally dreary the past couple of days so I thought I'd perk things up a bit with some orange tulips.


Two years ago on TTaT: $50 for general admission?!

15 November 2010

50% off AND free shipping on all card orders! Today only! (ETA: extended 1 day)

ETA: Offer extended until 11:59pm PT November 16, 2010. (If I'd known this yesterday, I would've just said so.)

If you'd like to show your support for my photography without spending much, today would be an excellent day to do so. Get 50% off AND free shipping on all card and/or postcard orders, no minimum! Offer valid until 11:59pm PT tonight (November 15 16, 2010).

Customizable cards: add your own greeting if you like!
Postcards

Enter the following code at checkout: ZAZZLECARD50

Non-religious winter cards (You can change the greeting to make them Christmas cards, thank you notes or anything you like):

Birthday card (Again, you can change the greeting to anything you like):

There are also many customizable blank cards featuring architectural details, urban and desert landscapes, abstracts, flowers, and more.


5 years ago on TTaT: Tidbit

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14 November 2010

Sketchbook, page 55

(Other pages)

The process of filling a 120 60 page sketchbook and posting it all by year's end continues:

Stetson hat


A year ago on TTaT: Dance Dance Revolution: The Journey

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12 November 2010

Ten, Eleven, Twelve

"Ten, eleven, twelve," she said, "That's today."

"Um, not exactly," I said with a perplexed look on my face.

"1910, November the 12th. Year, month, day: that's how your grandfather always said it," Mom explained.

"Ah, except it's not nineteen-ten."

"That was his birthday. It's not hard to do the math..."

I got it before she finished her thought. "He would've been 100 today."

She teared up and turned her attention to a shelf of knickknacks in front of her as we stood in HomeGoods. I placed my hand on her back and rubbed it back and forth for a moment. My eyes started to water, more a physiological empathy (one that frustrates me because it is difficult to subdue) than a resurgence of grief for the just over 10 year old loss.

Just then, Dad pointed out a kind of creepy, toothy snowman on the top shelf that made both Mom and I laugh. The spell was broken and we went back to browsing.

Life of Art SitRep #40 Rolling along

Every week, I work towards creating a life of art for myself. This is the journey, full of zigs and zags that are collectively, thankfully, progress.

Play along in the comments with your own pursuits if you'd like. (That's where I cheer you on.)
*******
This week, I

•Tweeted, FB'd, blogged Redbubble 15% off sale:
Rocklawn Arts on Redbubble features my photographs on cards and in various print formats: unmatted, matted, laminated, mounted, and framed.

Get 15% off my art photography at Rocklawn Arts!

Use code: RocklawnArts_is_on_sale_1424

Offer ends November 14, 2010.
•Used photographs Epimedium Flowers, Two Oriental Poppies, Double Arch, and Cloudy Sky With Sunburst to create product lines of various customizable items:
Cloudy Sky With Sunburst bag
Cloudy Sky With Sunburst by RocklawnArts
Create a bag at zazzle.com

•Created vertical & horizontal ornament templates.
•Made ornaments for all suitable images:

•Made variations of both color photograph calendars wherein I swapped out January's Raging Fire with Double Arch. I had a logic to how I selected which photographs would be particular months, but I did not consider that Zazzle displays calendars with their cover and first month by default. I thought I'd be able to change it to show the front and back covers, but I don't see how to do it at present. Anyway, Raging Fire might put people off checking out the rest of the images, so I made the new versions:

•Tweeted, FB'd, blogged Two Oriental Poppies, Cloudy Sky With Sunburst, and Epimedium Flowers links.
•Added links/products to 4 lenses and 1 directory.
•Revised tags and adjusted product descriptions for remaining 12 product lines. DONE. (Well, until I discover something else I need to change.)
•Adjusted zazzle store CSS code so envelopes won't show up in sidebar product type list.
•Updated my squidoo lens.
•Noticed Desert Silhouette, Sandstone Fins, Double Arch all had AZ listed instead of UT for card and postcard. Grr. Need to pay more attention when I'm copying & pasting stuff apparently. Fixed 'em.
•Made video of my kinetic sculpture in fall.
•Drew and scanned 1 sketch.
•Watched "The Acid Rain Effect" and "Placing Your Logo On An Image" Photoshop tutorials.
•Blogged, Zblogged, FB'd, tweeted Vets Day Sale.

*******

How are your pursuits going?


5 years ago on TTaT: Why should I wait?

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