Wednesday, April 28

This and that.

(Still posting photos from the Las Cruces trip!)

This week is moving along a little too quickly for me. I'm getting things done, but not as many things as I would like! That's just how it goes sometimes, isn't it?

On Monday, I got a late start to the day because I got too caught up on the computer in the morning. The computer sucks up so much of time, it's something I have been thinking about a lot lately. Some of it is work, but a lot of it is reading weblogs, looking at Flickr and checking for FB updates. Fun, and sometimes inspiring, but probably not crucial to my existence! I was thinking maybe I should try to turn off the computer for a week or at least for a few days just to see what changes that might bring to my daily existence. But because of the work part, I can't actually do that. I guess I could try using it only for work, but I think once I am on the computer, it's hard not to take a peek at the other things. So I don't know what the answer is...perhaps a self-imposed time limit for time spent on non-work things.

Eventually I did make it to the post office and there was no line! Yee-haw! I was back home in the blink of an eye, ready to tackle laundry and the watering of house plants. I started a little crochet project that afternoon which turned out to be much more of a headache than I expected. I was still fussing over it at 9:00 that night. But I did finally figure out what I was doing wrong! Whew.

Yesterday after my morning run, I worked in the yard for a couple of hours. The back yard is finally all cleaned up and ready for planting. Of course all the weeds I pulled will be back all too soon. It's really bad this year and it makes me want to cry. Seriously. I hate pulling weeds. Sometimes it can feel therapeutic to work in the yard, but lately, all the weeds really make me want to cry. There are way more this year than last year and lots of new kinds as well in places that I haven't had them before. The elm pods are falling now too which means they'll be sprouting up all over the places. Ugggghhh. I am excited to get to the planting though! I should already have some flowers in, but we haven't had time to get out to the nursery. Hopefully that will happen soon.

That afternoon I dropped a couple of my felted pieces off at Santa Fe Prep for their upcoming auction. I don't know that it will really help business, but in the book I am reading, The Handmade Marketplace, the author suggests donating to auctions as a way of getting your brand out there. So I figure I might as well give it a go. I had never set foot on the Prep campus before. It's a beautiful school. Nothing like my high school back in the day!

After returning home, I spent the rest of the afternoon finishing up my crochet project (which I will show you soon) and reading my other book, Bloodroot by Amy Greene, in the backyard. It's so nice to be able to sit out back again.

Today holds lots of errands that I am not too excited about, but it'll be good to get it done.

And tonight? Perhaps an acoustic show downtown, we shall see.

Monday, April 26


Please check out the latest Words To Shoot By.

Also, I have been enjoying my ranunculous for a week now. One of my favorite flowers for the spring!

Felted bracelets.

I've been playing around with making felted bracelets. I made this one awhile back, but it is only recently that I was able to finish it with the snaps. The felt is just thick enough that regular snaps do not work so I had to find long-pronged snaps. (The Snap Source saved me!) And actually, the long-pronged snaps almost weren't long enough, but after some steam ironing and persistence, I made them work. As a finished bracelet, I think it turned out pretty darn cute!

This one was supposed to be about half the size of the first one, but as always with felting, you never know what's going to happen! The edges curled under quite a bit so it's less than half the size of the first, but it still works. I again used the steam iron to flatten it up some. Yay for steam irons!

I don't think these are the best items for spring/summer since they are wool, but they will definitely be perfect for fall/winter! I really need to hone my embroidery skills though. I love the idea of embroidery on the felt, but since I am a novice embroiderer, free hand embroidery is tough for me. Just gotta keep trying, I guess.

Last week, I made another batch of bracelets to see if I could "size" them and, well, it's tough. I used different brands of yarns and they all seem to shrink up differently. Plus I have really small wrists so I am not quite sure what the right size is for everybody else! (Feel free to leave me your wrist size in the comments!) This week I'll try a few more and cross my fingers that they turn out well.

I've been crocheting more than knitting lately (although the bracelets are knitted) and it's quite fun. Making lots of little bowls and a few new designs. I'll have them ready to show you soon.

This week I think I am going to take some time off to work on the garden and take care of some other projects. I love my work, but right now I need some time off the couch and some time outside! It is spring after all.

Sunday, April 25

Rocky fades to black.

As I mentioned the other day, the second Fade to Black shot I took, I went ahead and let fade so I could watch the color changes. (Poor Rocky, this is the second shot in a matter of weeks in which he has no face!)

From left to right, scanned at 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 50 minutes, 80 minutes, 185 minutes, 4 hours, 7 hours/20 minutes and 10 hours/25 minutes. Basically the photo got progressively more amber and darker.

And then at 21 hours...

just about completely gone.

I haven't taken any more shots because I can't decide if I should let them fade or peel them! If I let the shot fade, I have to take it in the morning and then have time to scan all day. Maybe for the upcoming Polaroid Week!

Friday, April 23

Felted heart.

Felted heart.

I've been experimenting a lot lately, making smaller things and random things. To make this, I knitted two heart shaped pieces and then stitched them together, leaving a one-inch gap at the bottom for stuffing. Felted it in the washing machine. It turned out pretty well and was a quick project. A gift for a friend who likes hearts.

Thursday, April 22

My new love, PX 600...


First shot I took, this film blew my mind. The tones are incredible. The scanner does not do it justice, trust me. You need to see it in person.


Granted, the film is just as sensitive as the PX 100. If it gets too much light after exiting the camera, things can happen. I was taking this in direct sunlight underneath our skylight and probably didn't get the dark slide over the whole piece of film in time, hence the much lighter bottom portion. But no matter, it's still a photo that I love.

And this one? Perhaps one of my favorite shots ever. (Although I am sure I've said that before!) I scanned it immediately and while the tones didn't change much in the later scan, I noticed that the first scan was a lot smoother. I like the grainy look of this later scan though.

My love.

I am seriously in love with this film. I wish I had a million dollars, or even an extra couple of hundred that I could spend stocking up on it. Looking forward to testing it out some more.

Also, does anyone else think it is weird that this guy on Flickr tends to favorite shots of Will a lot? Do I need to block him?

Tuesday, April 20

Fade To Black

Yesterday morning I decided to go ahead and try out my Fade To Black film. (Love the packaging for this film! Actually, all the Impossible Project packaging is pretty awesome.)

Fade To Black is essentially "defective" film that "drifts through different colour schemes before it finally turns to blackness after 24 hours". You can stop the process by peeling it apart. Or you can let it fade to black and then put it outside in the sun for a few weeks and it will bring back a solarized sort of image.

I went into my first two shots without really thinking about what I would do. Well, I guess I was actually leaning toward letting the shots fade to black so I could watch all the changes. I took two shots outside and then came inside and started scanning.

After about 5 minutes:

Apple tree blossoms.

After about 15 minutes:

And while I was doing all this, I was also browsing through the Fade To Black group on Flickr, reading some of the info about dry/wet peeling and what people have to say about it. (There is some really amazing work in that group, you should check it out if you have a chance.)

So then I decided to try peeling the shot. I got razor tool and cut the back open, smudging up the image in the process. Then I just propped it open so the two sides would not touch and let it dry overnight. I did the peel after about 25 minutes of development. This morning I taped the two sides back together.

I think when I do another one, I'll peel it a lot sooner. Apparently the sooner you peel, the better the colors.

The second shot I left alone, scanning every little while to document the changes. I'll post that another time.

All in all, it's really cool stuff. Fun to use and then watch all day!

Monday, April 19

The rest of the pack.

Hi! I didn't mean to disappear for so long, but things have been pretty busy around here. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I've been trying to spend some time in the yard, getting the garden ready for gardening. Also I've been trying to get out and about more because staying home all the time starts to make me crazy after awhile. I've also been working on some new things for the shop which hopefully turn out well and you all like them!


Back to the PX 100 Silver Shade / First Flush film! On a day that was warm enough, I finally tried the film outside. Just in the back yard so nothing too exciting. Both shots turned out well in that the tones were nice and they were not blown out. I just happened to take really bad photos so I was not happy with them at all. At all. Out of frustration, I decided to try manipulating the photos a bit. I didn't do anything crazy, just pressed on them. At first nothing was working, but then the next morning, I found that my letter opener did the trick.

While it's still not a brilliant photo, I like it better with it all being kind of smushed up and abstract.

The second photo was even more boring than the first. So again, I manipulated a bit. And actually, this is the one I tried first and you can see that I pressed much to hard in some places (where the whites are), but in the end, it worked out okay. To me it looks like the trees are swirling around on a windy day.

I decided not to take anymore outdoors shots until I have more exciting subject matter. So I went back in and decided to try a self-portrait. I don't take self-portraits nearly as much as I used to, but I still enjoy it so of course I could not shoot a pack of the new instant film without at least one!

I set things up in front of my favorite mirror in our hallway.

The film flew out of the camera and landed face down on the floor so I just covered it with the dark slide and left it there. Either light seeped under the dark slide or the floor was too cold which caused the shot to get overexposed. But it still worked out okay. One shot left so I took one more selfie.

I went back to the "cover with dark slide and put in my back pocket" method with this shot and it came out with much better tones. I really love this shot. I love the light and the little bit of mirror frame. Perhaps the best shot of the whole pack.

I haven't tried anymore yet. I am dying to try the Fade to Black film that I bought, but I don't know what to shoot! A couple of packs of PX 600 are on their way to me so I'll probably end up trying that next.

It's all so much fun!

Saturday, April 10

Las Cruces, Day Three

Um, ooops, I kind of forgot about Day Three! I guess I better just go ahead and wrap it up.

That morning we actually slept in! Until 8:30! It was awesome. We never sleep in. At home, the cats make it near impossible to sleep past 6:00am and well, there's just always so much to do. So we get up early. So sleeping until 8:30 was a nice treat. And after we got up, we still had quite the leisurely morning. Ate a little food from the hotel breakfast bar and basically just sat around trying to decide what to do that day. Stay in Las Cruces another day? Go to Silver City? Stay the night in Truth or Consequences? Head back home? We just couldn't make a decision.

In the end, I nixed staying in Las Cruces for another day as I thought we would end up getting bored. There's not a whole lot to do there. I mean, we could have found something to do, but two days and nights seemed like enough. We decided to head back north, stop in T or C for lunch and maybe stay the night there if it felt like the thing to do. We loaded up the car, made a quick stop at the used bookstore so Will could look for something, another quick stop at the Goodwill and then we hit the road. Oh yeah, we made a quick stop at the Sands Motel as well so I could take some photos of the sign. I love old motel signs. (Doesn't everyone?)

We hit T or C around lunch time and drove through town, checking things out. We saw a couple of thrift stores that we wanted to check out and some other random shops that looked interesting. It seemed like we could probably entertain ourselves for awhile. And there were plenty of motels with vacancies, although none of the spa motels had openings. (People go to T or C for the hot springs.) We circled back around the main part of town, found a place to park and walked over to the Happy Belly Deli for lunch. I had the best chicken salad sandwich that I have ever had in my life. Seriously. It was that good. I don't know what was different about it, but it was amazing. It made for very happy lunching.

After lunch, we hit the first thrift store. It had a lot of potential, but in the end, we didn't buy anything. They had a file cabinet drawer full of old cameras, some Polaroid, but they were all of the plastic variety that I either already have or don't need. I also spotted an old Canon AE-1 which I would love to have, but it was 50 bucks and not in the best shape. I probably would have taken it for 20 bucks. Besides, I really don't need another old SLR camera. I love my Pentax K1000 so much. We hit a few antique shops, full of pretty awesome stuff, but oh my god, so expensive! I don't know how they sell anything to anyone. Anyway, it was fun walking around. We were still on the fence about what we should do. Another night away from home would have been nice, but we decided we'd had our fill of T or C. So we headed back to the highway, making a stop at one more thrift store. You could barely walk around the place and the woman in charge were not very nice so we didn't stay long.

Back on the road, we started heading into stormy weather. The wind was insane. INSANE. I don't know if I've ever been through such wind before. I was actually kind of afraid. But nothing bad happened, of course. We hit some rain, but nothing too crazy. As we approached Albuquerque, we kept hearing about all this crazy snow in Santa Fe and the roads being a mess. That made me nervous as well, but when we hit the Santa Fe area, it is totally dry. No snow. No icy roads. It was kind of bizarre that they talked it up so much on the radio when nothing was really happening. I guess maybe it had snowed earlier in the day.

So we made it home, safe and sound and happy to see the kitties. They were quite happy to see us. They don't like being on their own so much. No one here to open the door for them every ten minutes or tell them how handsome they are.

Anyway, it was a fun trip. I'm glad we got to do it as now I have no idea when we'll get away again! Might not be until the fall.

Friday, April 9



Not too much to say about this one. I don't want to "waste" this film, but I was really wanting to try another shot so I picked the owl as a subject since I love owls. I like the tones here a lot. But I don't want to end up with too many mundane indoor shots. Need to get outside!!

I've been checking all four shots every day and so far no changes. I've read in the Flickr group that some folks have seen changes in the film after a few days.

Thursday, April 8

The first few shots.

My Impossible Project instant film arrived on Tuesday and I had the box opened seconds after the UPS man dropped it off. I was so so excited to try it out. A bit nervous as well since I knew there was a good chance that my first shot would pop out and be completely blank. The PX 100 Silver Shade / First Flush is tricky film. (I've posted many articles and reviews about it over on Tumblr.)

I figured it was best to start indoors since it is so sensitive to light after it comes out of the camera. So of course I took pictures of my three favorite beings, Will, Rocky and Simon.


The camera stuck before spitting out (and let me tell you, this camera spits) and I moved, hence the double eyes and blurry face. But I think the tones are nice and I was thrilled to at least have an image appear! The original shot is a bit more sepia toned than the scan.

Rocky without a face.

I tried to steady the camera on the floor for this shot of Rocky, but I still managed to flinch when the shutter stuck and so blurry again. I love how you can see Rocky's dark spots though. About the same light as the one of Will, but this one has much more contrasty blacks and whites in it.


With this shot, I managed to hold the camera steady against the bed so it is in focus. Bright sunlight was coming in the window to the left. Hardly any contrast at all here, but I like it. And it's not blurry!

All three shots got some exposure to light after coming out of the camera. I have not mastered grabbing the film and getting it into darkness immediately.

It's definitely not party film, but I really like it so far. It's fun to experiment, albeit a bit pricey. I image that once I get through the first pack, I'll be a little more cautious about what I shoot and when. The first pack is all about testing things out though. I have one shot that I took yesterday that came out well although the subject matter is not all that exciting. I'll post it when I get it scanned. I'm really curious about shooting outdoors. It wasn't warm enough yesterday, but maybe today I'll take it outside for a spin.

Tuesday, April 6

Las Cruces, Day Two (Part Two)

I can't believe I am still writing about Las Cruces!

After lunch, we headed over to NMSU campus to visit Caroline. She gave us directions to her sorority house without any street names so we ended up driving around campus for awhile. Finally she came and met us so we could follow her back to the place.

I was picturing an actual house, a la Animal House or something, but no, her sorority house is actually a cinder block dormitory.

My sister said the place was old when she went to school there in the 1980's so it's really old now. And looking at the bottom of Caroline's shower, I would say that they have never changed anything in it. Anyway, Caroline showed us her room and the common areas of the house. Then she walked us around campus. It's a nice campus. You can see the Organ Mountains and "A" mountain from just about anywhere.

Organ Mountains.

We hung out for a bit and then took some photos outside. I wanted a shot of Caroline standing in front of the pink trees and pink trimmed building.

In front of the Pi Phi house.

She was embarrassed about it and so we had to wait until no one else was out there. It was funny. She's such a good sport.

Will and I took off to find some thrift stores. It was a fairly successful adventure although we didn't find a whole lot to buy. The first place we went to was great. Such a treat to be in an actual thrift store. All the places in Santa Fe pretty much suck. I found a few Polaroid cameras there, but none that I needed to buy. Will bought an old reel to reel tape machine. I bought a little cup with an owl on it. We found the next couple of places without any trouble, but we didn't find anything to buy. I was hoping to find buttons, but alas, I can never find buttons. Our last stop was Savers, a newer sort of thrift store, not one with ramble shack piles of stuff. Nothing too exciting there, although I did end up buying a pair of jeans for ten bucks.

It was beer thirty at that point so we bought a six pack and headed back to the hotel. I took more photos to entertain myself.

When Caroline came over to meet us for dinner, I still had the tripod set up at the end of the bed. She walked in and said, "you know, that really doesn't look good." Haha. We headed out to have Mexican food again. This time at Si Senor. They had a big list of margaritas so Will and I both ordered one with high hopes. But no, still not good. Huge. But not good. All sweet and no tequila. The food wasn't all that great either. My chile rellenos were thick with batter, not light and crispy like I like them. Our waiter ignored us most of the time as well. Not going to bother trying that place again if we go back to Las Cruces.

After dinner, Caroline drove us back to the hotel and we hung out in the room for awhile. It was really great to see Caroline. I wish I got to see all of the nieces more often.

I'll wrap this up later with Day Three.

Monday, April 5

Some recent instant film faves.

All of these photos were taken either with the new instant film, PX100/First Flush, or the "test" film used before the public release of PX100. I think it produces pretty awesome images. Can't wait to try it myself!


1. On the look out, 2. A slippery slope, 3. In search for lost time, 4. The Impossible Project Film Press Release, 5. Untitled, 6. waiting 4 the big one, 7. Untitled, 8. 1rst, 9. Morning Chill, 10. cat nap, 11. Dawn, 12. Train Bridge over the Danube, 13. In Search of the Sublime, 14. no. 1 | from above, 15. PX flower, 16. London, March 31st, 2010, 17. Memory failure. , 18. stay, 19. Impossibly foggy tree. , 20. Untitled, 21. house

Sunday, April 4

Las Cruces, Day Two (Part One)

The next morning we had breakfast with Jami at the hotel. Free continental breakfast. Thank god for English muffins. After breakfast, we had a little photo shoot in the parking lot and then wished Jami happy travels as she headed to Austin.


Will needed real coffee so we decided to walk to the Starbucks that we had seen on our way in. (I know, I know, we don't like giving Starbucks the business but when on the road, sometimes it's the only choice.) University Avenue is a super busy street so it wasn't the most scenic walk, but I had fun taking pictures of trees and other random sightings.

The flowering trees made me really happy. Some day that will start happening around here too.


I quite liked the prickly pear cactus patch as well. There were a lot of apartment complexes along the way, the kind that university students live in. And a lot of abandoned places too. At least they looked abandoned. Or at least run down and vacant.

We saw a lot of run down and abandoned houses on our walk.

There's a cat in the window.

And one kitty sighting. Kitty sightings are always good.

So Will got his coffee and we had a pleasant morning walk in the super bright sunshine. I was so delighted not to be wearing a coat, just my hoodie. Ah, warm weather!

We didn't really have a plan for the day. Caroline was supposed to call us when she got up which we didn't expect to be until later in the day. The main thing I wanted to do was find a yarn store. I had looked "yarn shops in Las Cruces" up before our trip and there was one that came up and had very positive reviews. I was excited about it. And so we headed out. The Tom Tom actually led us to the right place that time. Downtown Las Cruces. Let me tell you, downtown Las Cruces is not really happening. But that's okay, it was a gorgeous day and just walking around was so nice.

We parked and walked along this pedestrian mall type area. There wasn't much there, a theater, a handful of shops, the Museum of Art and a bookstore (which I'll get to in a minute). Lots of closed up storefronts. I think they are trying to build up the downtown area, but it's still in the beginning stages. So we walked along and no yarn shop. Tried calling and got a disconnected number. Rechecked the address and we were in the right place. We found a quilt shop instead and the ladies in there said the yarn shop had closed in January. Alas! They should have updated their website and Facebook with that info. Oh well.

We decided to check out the bookstore. It was a used bookstore, the largest used bookstore in the southwest, I think it said on the window. Largest or no, it was a HUGE place with room after room of books. Exciting and overwhelming at the same time. I immediately forgot the names of all the writers that I like and didn't even know where to begin. Will went off on his own exploration and after a bit of wandering around, I ended up in the fiction section. I browsed through the floor to ceiling shelves, racking my brain for books that I've been wanting to read. Nothing really grabbed me. Ended up in the mystery section and was thrilled to find a whole row of books by one of my faves, John D. MacDonald. I have reread his Travis McGee series countless times, but I don't own much of his other work. I picked a few things out and then continued to wander around.

And then I hit the jackpot. I hadn't really noticed that all the books I was browsing were hardbacks until I got to the mass market paperback section. Holy shit. I went directly to the mystery section and found myself in mystery book heaven. I quickly had a huge stack of books in my hands. A collection of short stories by Raymond Chandler. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (which I have read but didn't own). A few Ross MacDonald books and a ton of John D. MacDonald. They had just about everything he's ever written. I had a tough time picking things out, in part because I couldn't remember what I already have at home. Anyway, I realized I had no idea what the books were priced. I found an employee around in the next aisle and asked. Mass market paperbacks are half the cost of the original price. Score! Most of the books I had in my arms were originally priced from $.35 to about a $1.50. I was in fine shape.

It was hard to pull myself out of there, but Caroline had called that she was going to lunch and then would be ready to hang out with us a bit. And I was getting hungry. So I went on a search for Will. We paid up and headed back to the car. I randomly picked the name of a deli that I had seen in the hotel book so we punched it into the Tom Tom and set out to get some lunch. Half an hour later, we were still driving around, getting hungrier by the second. Tom Tom is not the best direction provider sometimes. We did eventually find the place, but guess what? It was closed! Forever! Thanks Ramada Inn.

So then I did what I should have done in the first place. I called Caroline and asked her where we could grab a sandwich. She directed us to a little deli, right up the road from our hotel. Duh. Should have done that from the start instead of driving across town and wasting time.

Okay, this is getting a bit out of hand so I am going to call it quits for now and finish up a little later. Apparently we had a pretty busy day!