All Wrapped Up

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As a laid back tree hugger I really do try to re-use and recycle paper and plastic.  I find myself in a crunch when having to wrap a gift because I don’t buy wrapping paper.  Today was one of those days.  I went through our paper bin using tissue and newspaper for the wrapping, fashioning a rosette from newspaper to adorn a paint chip gift tag.  Pretty!

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Scanning Negatives

Albuquerque, NM

Yesterday I went to visit my friends at the college photo department.  The darkroom was busy with students enrolled in the winter session learning analog photography and printing.  I took my negatives from the roll of Kodak Ektar 100 that I shot in Albuquerque, NM last month.  The TA for the department is always so helpful and taught me how to scan my negatives using the high end scanners at the college.  I came home to play with the files and was quickly dismayed at how they looked…..a very ‘blue’ cast to the scans.  I tried to ‘fix’ it but was not happy with my results.  I then did a little searching/researching on the internet and found a Photoshop tutorial that explained why they looked like this and where to start my editing of the scans.  So much to learn!!! But I ended up happy with both of these photographs.  I hope you like them too.

Albuquerque, NM

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Love and my Rolleiflex

Rolleiflex 3.5 TLR

In November 2011 my Rolleiflex 3.5 TLR and I found each other.  Since then my love for her has been slowly evolving.  After shooting my first roll of black and white film I knew that I had found a treasure in her.  In December I was in Albuquerque, New Mexico and I decided to put a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 color film in her.  A new love was born!  When my 28 year old son saw the prints come out of the processing envelope he was in awe of the color.  All color prints he has ever seen made from film negatives are now old and ‘vintage’.   “Mom, I’ve never seen ‘new’ pictures before, these are awesome!”  I think so too.

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Albuquerque Plaza, New Mexico

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She’s All Ruffles & Roses

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I am really enjoying my new sewing studio.  A well lit and open space which allows me to play and create to my heart’s content.  This little outfit is in anticipation of my little grandniece due in May.   The pattern for this reversible dress and ruffled diaper cover is from The Tie Dye Diva.

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Sewing a Purse Insert/Organizer

I have been wanting a purse insert/organizer for some time.  I hate having to take all my things out of one purse to put in another.  This seems like such a clever way to keep everything in ‘one’ purse and then just move the insert from purse to purse.  I drafted my own pattern and made this prototype.  It has lots of pockets, a key fob and a sturdy bottom.  Next one I’ll put some sort of handle to make it easier to life out of snug purses.   I’ll have to tweak the pattern a bit but I think I’m going to enjoy my new ‘purse’!

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My DIY purse insert.

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Purse insert in my pink purse.

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All this fits!

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My Dream Sewing/Craft Studio

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Well my wonderful husband has finished building my beautiful new sewing table with plans we pulled off the internet via Pinterest and Ana White Homemaker.  There were a few glitches along the way and a couple things he still has to work out (like sanding down the legs a bit ).  He also put up a matching pegboard for my sewing tools and i made a fabric covered bulletin board to match.  A few more decorating touches and my sewing/craft studio will be everything I’ve dreamed of!  Next time a tour of my almost finished art/darkroom studio upstairs 🙂

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Childhood Memories of Crystal Cove and a sketch

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After weeks of a wonderfully mild summer, the heat slammed us yesterday with temperatures of 108 and high humidity. There was no option but to pack up, stop for picnic supplies and head to the beach.

When I was a little girl my dad would take us to Treasure Cove several times over the summer. The whole area is now Crystal Cove State Park, but in those days it was just a horse ranch on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean along the Orange County coast. My dad would wake us before daybreak announcing to all that it was a beach day and get ready: which meant put on your bathing suit, your Keds and get into the big green Buick. We’d arrive just as light was dawning where my dad would jump out and unlatch the gate into the ranch and drive in to a small parking area. Years later there was a bucket at the gate and he would deposit a dollar for the parking. Many times hands were out with the horses and would wave hello as we kicked up dust along the dirt road. The road is paved now, the ranch and horses gone. Yesterday it cost us $15 for day parking.

Getting down to the beach was a big ordeal which usually included tears. My dad would carry my little sister and brother while my other sister and I followed along behind him on the steep narrow trail. I don’t remember how my mother got down there. I was too scared to pay attention as to how she got down. My parents, and I, didn’t know then that because I only had vision in one eye, the climb down was treacherous as I couldn’t (and still can’t) judge depth perception. Most of my climb down was on my butt and in tears. Now there are stairs and handrails to guide us down.

Once on the beach my dad would prepare us a feast. He’d hand us a warm tortilla filled with eggs, beans and chorizo while my mother poured us milk or juice. Once our bellies were full and we’d warmed up, off came our sweaters and Keds and into the ocean we ran. I remember only coming out for lunch or to explore the tide pools at low tide. This was OUR special beach and when we’d run into family friends there I always felt as they had come to visit us at the beach. It didn’t occur to me that they might be there just to enjoy the beach for themselves!

Our last family outings there were in my teen years where it became more important to be wearing the cutest bikini and eyeing the cute boys on the beach. In those days I would set my towel far away from my family and turn up my transistor radio to the most popular station on the AM dial. It was a pink radio…so cute.

Yesterday Rudy and I went down for the evening. We splashed in the surf and walked along the beach. We watched the sun go down while eating a luscious dessert of cheesecake with cherry topping. It is still my beach and I can still see my family there on the beach. I see my dad blowing up surf riders for us kids and my mom under her big hat and umbrella. I see my sister and I up on top the big rocks getting our sneakers soaked. I see the red coleman cooler box with our lunch and the little grill where my dad fixed our morning breakfast and evening hot dogs. And on the cliffs above I see the little girl I was; clinging to the rock cliff as she makes her way down. It was a beautiful evening.

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