31 December 2017

The Art, Science, and Craft of Great Landscape Photography

The Art, Science, and Craft of Great Landscape Photography49. The Art, Science, and Craft of Great Landscape Photography by Glenn Randall

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I've read many photography books over the years and generally they are either too simple for me containing little I don't already know or are dry, technical reads (that still don't offer much that is new to me) that aren't very useful.

Randall's book delightfully delivers on its title's promise. It is a book written for photographers who already know the basics. He covers how to predict where rainbows may appear, nighttime and aurora photography, calculating where the moon or Milky Way will appear in relation to your foreground to name a few.

He gives practical examples using his own experiences and mishaps shooting and processing images.

Enjoyable text that does get into science and geometry coupled with a lovely selection of his landscape images. Makes me want to spend more time in Colorado.


12 years ago on TTaT: Books - 2005

29 December 2017

Life of Art SitRep #411 Island Life, Geometric Meander with Monogram

Continued working through steps to new store approach and saw ways to incorporate some ideas with my existing designs which is encouraging.

Created 50 and Fabulous gift wrap, gift bag, plus size t-shirt, and stickers, and added those to a new 50 and Fabulous Party Supplies and Gifts collection:

Created The Beach — My Favorite Place collection:

Rocklawn Arts blogged New Tropical Island Beach Turquoise Water Photo at Rocklawn Arts and New 50 and Fabulous design at Rocklawn Arts!

Created new Beautiful Island Life collection including a luggage tag, stickers, tote, mouse pad, flask, laptop sleeve, iphone 8 plus otterbox case:

Created Black and White Geometric Meander Home Decor collection with pillow, LED candle, tripod lamp, bathmat, bath set:

How was your week?


10 years ago on TTaT: Snowprints

22 December 2017

Life of Art SitRep #410 50 & Fabulous, Tropical Beach

So, over the past few weeks I started re-arranging my store, shifting my approach. Over the past week, I've really doubled down on leveling up my shop. It's still going to take time but I'm working through courses I'm optimistic will help.

Mostly I've stopped being so stubborn about my approach. We'll see how it goes starting with some niche products I created this week.

I've already learned a few things as well as being exposed to someone else's workflow which I find curious in how different it is to my product creation habits. I expect I'll end up combining pieces with my workflow for the most efficient process for me.

Before tackling the courses, I created a couple more Shower Curtains:

Also created a new Cool Geometric and Abstract Shower Curtains collection:

Rocklawn Arts blogged New Custom Shower Curtains at Rocklawn Arts!

Culled 6 more photos from last week's shoot, rated rest.

Created a variety of 50 & fabulous items:

Also created some Tropical Island Beach Turquoise Water iPhone cases, power bank, and USB charging hub:

I expect I'll have links to collections for all of those products next week.

Also watched "Lens Cleaning: Two Minute Tips with David Bergman,"
"TIP Rules for Fast Image Selection HP" by Jared Platt,
Vanessa Van Edwards talk "Worrying is Not an Investment in Failure Prevention,"
and Rachel Rodgers Best Year Yet: How to set goals, make a plan & get the results you want in 2018 webinar.

How was your week?


10 years ago on TTaT: Bowties: not so tough

15 December 2017

Life of Art SitRep #409 More Shower Curtains

For the first time in almost 2 months, I shot 81 photographs & 6 videos. Culled 34 photos. I have been distracted lately.

Created some more Shower Curtains:

Rocklawn Arts blogged New Sherpa Blankets at Rocklawn Arts!

Did some work on my photography archive and some other behind-the-scenes store maintenance.

How was your week?


10 years ago on TTaT: 46

13 December 2017

Winter Walk

Yesterday, I went for a walk in the snow while it was snowing.

Peaceful, quiet.

Also wet as the snowflakes accumulated and melted on my jacket, fortunately waterproof.


12 years ago on TTaT: The truth I can't deny

10 December 2017

How to Sit

How to Sit (Mindfulness Essentials, #1)48. How to Sit by Thich Nhat Hanh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A slim pocket sized volume about the basics of meditation. I thoroughly enjoy Thich Nhat Hanh's straightforward writing style.

I found reading it to be meditative and calming as well.


10 years ago on TTaT: A bit of business from last year... (Aptly a list of books I read.)

03 December 2017

The Artist's Way

The Artist's Way47. The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Though Cameron makes a point of saying you don't have to believe in God to benefit from the book (true), I suspect you'll get more out of it if you do believe in a higher power of some sort. You'll have more buy in for some of the affirmation language and exercises strewn throughout.

I checked it out from the library and was trying to plow through it in 6 weeks. I don't recommend this. I got up to week 9 of the book but then needed a break from it for a good while before checking it out again and finishing it.

If you suffer from low grade depression, there are a lot of questions in the book that will highlight it. Actually I recommend the book to mental health providers as many of Cameron's questions are better screeners for depression than the typical ones they always show on prescription drug ads.

This is definitely a what you put into it is what you'll get out of it sort of book. I have been good about writing in the morning (though not 3 pages worth) but I am not that great about doing the artist dates. I'm working on it which is apt/ironic since my mindset is more workaholic than I'd realized.


10 years ago on TTaT: Here's what's in it for you

01 December 2017

Life of Art SitRep #407 Cyber Week

Hmm, not too much to report this week. Mostly I've been promoting my designs and Cyber Week sales @RocklawnArts on Twitter.

Rocklawn Arts blogged Cool New OtterBox iPhone X Cases at Rocklawn Arts! and Cool New Speck Presidio iPhone 8 Plus Cases at Rocklawn Arts!

Also started a bit of research which will hopefully set me on the most useful track.

Created a Feminist ornament:

How was your week?


12 years ago on TTaT: This is a job for energy-conserving Claire!

25 November 2017

The Mystery of Sleep: Why a Good Night's Rest Is Vital to a Better, Healthier Life

The Mystery of Sleep: Why a Good Night's Rest Is Vital to a Better, Healthier Life46. The Mystery of Sleep: Why a Good Night's Rest Is Vital to a Better, Healthier Life by Meir H. Kryger

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


It contains a lot of good information, but the presentation bummed me out*, so my rating averages out to a three.

I'd recommend reading it out of order. Use the contents and index to find what matters to you and then skip to chapters 18-20 for some helpful info.


*In which case I mean how often he repeats that women are affected more by sleep disorders than men, are more likely to be misdiagnosed, and often suffer the consequences more when a male sleep partner is actually the one with the disorder.

There's nothing inaccurate in that assessment, but I didn't leave the book feeling more optimistic than before I started it.

8 years ago on TTaT: Thanksgiving haiku: Back to the Future

24 November 2017

Life of Art SitRep #406 Black Friday

It has been a busy week as I try to prepare for Black Friday.

Looking for sale info? Stop by Zazzle's Black Friday page* to see current sales and the countdown to Black Friday sales.

I shifted gears from reorganization to adding new products, creating collections, and revising tags on Metal Prints and Acrylic Wall Art after doing some research. Many things on my to do lists remain unfinished, but I made some decent headway.

I created several new Women's Plus Size Shirts with protest designs:

Added designs to and created a new collection of Cool OtterBox iPhone X Cases:

Also started adding designs to new faux fur Sherpa blankets. See the Cozy Classic Sherpa Blankets collection:

Finally, I started adding designs and photographs to new Speck Presidio iPhone 8 Plus cases. I love these because they fit all the iPhone Plus models between iPhone 8 Plus to 6 Plus: 8/7s/7/6s/6 Plus. See the Cool Speck Presidio iPhone 8 Plus Cases collection:

Stop by Zazzle's Black Friday page* to see sale info when it goes live!


*Affiliate link through which I may receive a commission from Zazzle if you purchase something. I would be most grateful if you left/enabled your browser's cookies.

10 years ago on TTaT: Stoked

17 November 2017

Life of Art SitRep #405 The Overhaul Continues

Less is more? Probably. Something I should keep in mind as I reorganize Rocklawn Arts from grouped by design to grouped by product. That is, I probably shouldn't move everything for all product categories as I've been doing thus far.

May be time for a pause in this venture in any case since there is a lag between moving products and them being visible to the public in their new locations. You can take a look to see how my shop is evolving.

All of the mobile device cases, laptop & tablet sleeves, flash drives, and electronic accessories are now in the Cases category.

The Home category is shaping up with subsections for pillows, plates, and fleece blankets so far.

I created an iPhone X wood case with a Black and White Gingham Pattern:

Moved Ornaments to a subsection of Holiday Designs.

Created some new folder images for the new categories. In some cases, it was more time consuming than it should have been. Photoshop's continued revamps of their selection tools are most irksome! Very frustrating when you know something should be dead simple and yet it is not.

How was your week?


12 years ago on TTaT: It's just my nature

10 November 2017

Life of Art SitRep #404 Overhaul

This week may not look like much, but I made a critical mental shift wherein I've started changing my approach including a major overhaul of my store's layout. Rocklawn Arts still contains all the products it did before though there are less categories visible on the home page.

On the Products Page, you can see all the product types under the Department drop down menu and all the categories under the Category drop down menu. When you choose a Department, new subdivisions will appear in the drop down menu.

Basically I'm transitioning from categories grouped by design established over years with thousands of products to categories grouped by product type. It will be an ongoing process. Right now I'm working out what my top level categories should be.

Last week this seemed utterly daunting, but this week I began with smaller steps. I rearranged the categories some, made all but 6 invisible to improve the appearance on mobile devices.

I added subcategories to the Calendars folder and used product images for the category images.

Also redid the Fabrics folder some, reorganizing and adding a few invisible subcategories available in the drop down menu.

Made several subcategories in Winter Photos invisible though their products still appear.

Moved red & green designs to Holiday Designs category. It's still subdivided by design rather than products for now.

Created an iPhone X case with a Prussian Blue Watercolor Scale Pattern:

Made Striking Case-Mate iPhone X Cases collection:

Rocklawn Arts blogged New Striking Case-Mate iPhone X Cases collection.

Spent some time soaking in some business education and doing a bit of research.

Also made monthly backups.

How was your week? Have you backed up lately?


10 years ago on TTaT: In case you didn't know, I support the WGA