Happy Halloween!

30 10 2018

I’m still alive – it’s just been a year of insanity + procrastination. So trying to get back into the art thing. Here’s a lil’ cat and ghosty creature surprised by each other on Halloween night.  Hand drawn ink with digital color.

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Leu Gardens

28 03 2018

A couple months ago before the cold hit, I did a quick little photo trip to Leu Gardens in Orlando (Winter Park, really). I’ve always loved this place! Pieces of it were still closed from the hurricane, but there was plenty to see.

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Sky Whale

23 01 2018

I did this for an art trade at the suggestion of someone who liked whales and wanted a whale with a fantasy element. We both have a photography interest that overlaps with nature and stars, so this is what I came up with. Art trade ended up not happening, but I thought I would at least share here.

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Star Wars

1 01 2018

Happy New Year! I’m a -little- obsessed with Star Wars right now. Just a little. Tried a slightly different approach than usual for this sketch of these force kiddos from the OT and the new one. I realize everyone has one eye that’s sized wrong and not sure how that happened and why I didn’t see it earlier! Oh well.

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Happy Holidays!

24 12 2017

My little X-mas card design for this year – the year I got to meet an alpaca in person! Merry Christmas!

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Revival

21 12 2017

I didn’t abandon you, WordPress! Life is just kicking my ass in unexpected ways right now. A most unpleasant curveball this December. Life is certainly never easy. Anyway! I promise to update more frequently after this. For now, some of my fav recent photos:

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Blue Springs squirrel, backyard hawk:

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Supermoon (slightly not full):

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Flower at Leu Gardens:

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Fall décor in Michigan:

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Fireworks in Boca Raton:

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Shell Wall Hanging

23 10 2017

A couple years ago I picked up some awesome shells at Cumberland Island and made a bunch into candles (see post here), but I had some cute smaller ones leftover and wanted to put them somewhere they could be seen. So I came across this really plain, cheap shadow box at Michaels and decided to make a display.

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(Forgive the crappy photos; there are all with my cell phone.) I just left them in there for a few months until I got off my butt to work on it.

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This is so easy, you need only a few supplies: the shadow box (obviously), a brush, whatever paint you want, sandpaper, aluminum foil to use as a palette for the paint, and newspaper to protect your workspace. Craft stores sell little $1 bottles of cheap acrylic that would have been perfect, but I didn’t have those and didn’t feel like making an extra trip, so I just used real acrylics (I don’t recommend, waste of money, plus the black tends to dry glossy, which isn’t what you want.)

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I wasn’t exactly sure what color scheme I wanted, so I did a few mock ups in Photoshop (I have green walls). This is the one I decided on.

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So simple! And the final product on the wall:

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So, maybe I went too easy with it because you can see a couple little blops of white paint on the glass. Oops! I probably could get those off. Also, this is after it’s been up for a couple weeks… see the line below the bottom shells? That’s sand/shell particles. I cleaned the shells and brushed them off repeatedly, but still – so FYI you probably will have to open the case and do that a few times.





Dessert

25 09 2017

The hurricane and residual work chaos threw me off my stride, but I did do this little painting I’ve been meaning to do for some time. Why a fork/knife/crumb-laden plate? Can’t explain it, just wanted to.

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For kicks I took cell photos (the above one is from the crappy cell too) of the progress.

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Pics above are in natural light – ala hurricane power outage.

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Dessert – yum.





B-Day Part 5: Hardy House & Manchester Ruins

30 08 2017

I’m overdue with this final b-day post after spending a week in Pennsylvania (which means more travel posts in the not too distant future!) and then facing the nightmare that is work after missing a week. But…here we are!

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On our way home, we stopped outside of Atlanta near Sweetwater Creek to visit the Manchester Mills ruins. I do love me some old ruins!

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This is also where they filmed a few minutes of one of the last Hunger Games movies…there’s a short scene right at the ruins.

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It’s fantastic to look at, but they do have  fence surrounding it. Frustrating! Also I’m not sure if there are paths or not on the other side of the water (we only had 1 hour there, so not much time to explore). If so, you might be able to get some good reviews of it with the water in front of it.

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We did try to walk around it, and ultimately tried going out on the river rocks, but firstly we weren’t dressed for that, and secondly the river curves away so even if you’re standing out there, I don’t think you can see a lot.

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It’s still a beautiful park even without the ruins….lots of people hiking, bringing their dogs. Peaceful place.

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I just realized I’m doing this post out of chronological order, because we saw the ruins last, and this next part we actually saw back on Lookout Mountain. One evening we had a short amount of daylight left so decided to follow the signs to Cravens House, thinking everything would probably be closed. The house was, but the park itself is open (even at near-twilight), so we could park and walk around. Great place to look down over the city itself. Also, as we started down a path, there’s a really cool old, abandoned house:

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(Sorry for the pic quality here; all I had was my cell phone.) Initially we saw what looked like an abandoned garage, but looking to the left we could see a house behind a fence (with some stone built in – how awesome!).

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I LOVE abandoned old places, and if urbex wasn’t basically illegal (“no trespassing”), I would totally do it. So I wasn’t going to try going in the house, but I wanted to get a closer look.

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Beautiful! Later on I did some research and found out that this is the “Hardy Home,” former home of Richard Hardy (who was mayor of Chattanooga at some point). Couldn’t find a year it was built, but looks like he lived there for some time between 1910-1927. Can’t believe this is just sitting there! Not sure what the park service will do with it, but sadly there looks like some talk of tearing it down.

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It has so much character. Look at this rock/stone storage thing! It’s creepy and cute all at once. Here’s a closer look:

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So neat how they built stuff into the natural landscape.

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Still has an old bird fountain..

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…and another cool/creepy storage thing…We walked around and tried to see the front of the house, but can’t see too well as that area’s gated. Here are the stairs up to the front:

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The base of the stairs feeds into an empty old road – I think some people use it as a hiking path.

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Of all the times not to bring my real camera! Anyway, happy birthday to me – was a great trip all around. Now somehow in between work and more trips, I want to get some new art content on this site (not to mention some Pennsylvania “dark sky park” photos!)





B-Day Part 4: Chattanooga

15 08 2017

Part 4 of 5 – 1 part left! Of course, you can’t visit the Chattanooga area without visiting the center of Chattanooga itself. While I wasn’t impressed with the famous Choo Choo (none of the shops were open noon-ish on Saturday, AND the one restaurant that was open said it was an hour wait for a bagel #areyoukidding), I was impressed with some great treat options and the Aquarium.

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Jellies!!

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The Aquarium consists of 2 huge buildings. One is for saltwater animals and the other is for freshwater. Above is in the freshwater building in the upper area that’s supposed to be like local mountain-type terrain. The saltwater building has the cooler upper area though due to a stingray petting zoo:

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…and a butterfly garden:

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Of course, anytime there are jellyfish, they steal the show. Just a couple out of about 100 shots:

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I’m proud of the next one no matter how grainy it is; this next jelly was incredibly dark – much post processing was needed even with my highest ISO. The orange light you see moves through them looking like an electrical current. It’s the coolest thing ever.

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Outer space jelly.
These buildings are massive –  I mean really massive. You could take pictures for a half a day. We only had a couple hours. Moving to the freshwater building, the seahorse room was my personal favorite, but all my pics there had too much noise. The cute otters came out though:

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And amidst the piranhas and tree frogs are some guys practically out of my backyard:

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And now – switching gears completely: the other highlight – TREATS!!

I had read up on The Hot Chocolatier on Trip Advisor and was dying to try it. Was not disappointed! So worth it! So amazing! Please open one in Jax!!

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It’s a little space right across the Choo Choo and has the biggest variety of hot chocolate options I’ve ever seen, each topped with your choice of homemade marshmallow (!) or whipped cream. Yum!

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Everything was good. Understatement! And, yes, they do have other treats:

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Wanted to try this macaron cake, but was too full; how pretty!

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But here’s the star of the show, complete with giant homemade marshmallow:

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The other good treat place is a bakery called Koch’s that’s been around for years. We were only able to stop on the way out of town, and only had my cell for pics which didn’t turn out great. But they have a great variety of cookies and donuts:

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…and an awesome mural.

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Donut selfie! Anyway, one final set of birthday pics next week. 🙂








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