Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Day


While eating breakfast today I saw a story about a performance artist leaping off City Hall 366 times today in honor of Leap Year. Apparently I did not read the article closely enough because it was a silly hoax if you ask me. He stood on this step stool and jumped into a big mattress or something behind the white fabric. He was on leap #188 when I arrived. I figured if I call myself Out & About Photography I might as well get out and about. As is usually the case, something else entirely different presents itself; I believe something else I took today may be no exception.

Yesterday the mail brought the sweetest note from Alissa's aunt. You may recall that Jonathan and Alissa traveled by bus to Iowa for Christmas. It had been five years since Alissa had last seen her aunt, yet they welcomed them warmly.I am ashamed to admit it took me entirely too long to write a thank you note to them for hosting Jonathan. I never expected to receive anything in return. She had so many wonderful things to say about Jonathan it brought tears to my eyes. E-mail is awesome, but there's nothing quite like a handwritten note to convey feelings.

Happily Bruce reported that Jonathan and Alissa look none the worse for wear after braving this horrible winter. In the note she mentioned how it has been an unusually cold, and snowy winter, which has given J & A a crash course in Mid-Western weather. Indeed, at last count it is the sixth snowiest winter on record. The good thing is, anything they encounter in the future will be much easier to deal with. If only they would get a little bit of our blue skies and sunshine.

I'm reading an article in The New Yorker about eating locally. Surprisingly, sometimes it is not the best for the environment which they acknowledge seems counter-intuitive. As with any issue it is much more complicated than it would seem. The whole idea has sparked farmer's markets in cities all over the country. As well, according to the article the term of the year for 2007 is "locavore." You may already know this, but it was news to me.

Instead of a date tonight I believe we will be staying home. Mr. Bruce is still trying to recover from last weekend and his hard week at work. Even he, who hardly ever mentions the weather, said it was incredibly cold in Chicago. From there he flew to Port St. Lucie on the Florida east coast about two plus hours south of here. Next he visited his job in Vero Beach arriving home last night after 7. He puts in some terribly long and tiring days. I'm afraid he will be disappointed with the movies I have here. Earlier in the week a trip to the library netted four foreign films which are usually my favorites. He, on the other hand would prefer to watch the action not read it. For a small city we have an awesome library. They will deliver books to your home for free at your request. As well, the number of DVDs in all genres is astonishing.

I'm caught up for the moment with my projects. Now I need to go through my photo library, purging before I fill up my new computer.

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Now playing: Rosanne Cash - Tennessee Flat Top Box
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lessons Learned


Last summer while taking "Art with a Camera" class the professor repeatedly told us photography was all about light management. I've come to appreciate those words every day. Whenever I'm shooting pictures I keep that in the back of my mind. That's lesson one.

Lesson two is that I can make my pictures look best if I adjust the white balance. Matt taught me about this and I'm very grateful.

Lesson three is that aperture priority is the best setting for most picture taking.

Lesson four is that the camera does not make the photographer. Certainly it helps but the quality of the lens is paramount which is often overlooked by lots of people. The Leica lens on my Panasonic is awesome.

Lesson five has to do with my experience selling photographs for the last year. Most people are drawn to photos that mean something personal. By that I mean--they love pelicans (or used to be called that like a woman purchasing a pelican picture on Saturday), or butterflies, or dragonflies. You get my drift. Another common reason for buying a photograph to hang on a wall is nostalgia--my mom/dad used to ...Yet another seller is that it takes them to another place. I can't tell you the number of Canadians/British folks that love Florida beach pictures. Sunsets/sunrises are also popular.

Today I took inventory of sales for February and there were few surprises. Although I show photos that are dark or demanding the perennial favorites are the above mentioned. I was incredibly lucky to come across the graffiti in Deland that I posted on flickr. It is selling like nobodies business because not only is it cool to look at but there are a large number of people that loved The Smiths--thus falling into the nostalgia category.

Todays photo is another opportunity that fell into my lap. A local candy store owner needed some appealing pictures for her website. She has a very small operation but lots of big ideas. After looking at what she had on her site I suggested we re-photograph what she terms are her bestsellers with the hope of making them even better sellers. This is the first of what will be a series of eight. To be honest it is not that easy to make this candy look delicious but I tried.

Lesson six is to use natural light whenever possible. Dreary days give you thoughtful pictures. Sunny days give you cheery pictures. Night pictures create their own mood but are impossible for the most part without a tripod.

Lesson seven is to learn your camera's many features and exploit them. Conversely most cameras are not good at everything so don't expect it to do what it is not capable of.

Enough lessons for the day I'm sure. If you don't remember anything else remember light management!


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Now playing: The National - Racing Like A Pro
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In Order of Appearance





So Many Choices....

I could have posted the story about gasoline going to $4.00 a gallon but the thought is too depressing.

Bruce's alarm went off very early this morning so he could get to the airport for his flight to Chicago. As such, I woke up as well but managed to go back to sleep until 5:30. Normally I don't wake up so early but I expect my two hour plus nap yesterday may have had something to do with it. At any rate I decided maybe I could shoot some pictures in the dark. I wanted to get the power plant at sunrise for Bruce because he is totally enamored with the structure.

Heading south east out of town was my strategy. Unfortunately it was a cloudy, foggy morning with no discernible sunrise. The fog wasn't even that good. I did however have some wildlife encounters. Not a one of these pictures are very good but it was exciting for me nonetheless. I wish I'd had Bruce with me because he would have easily told me those were deer out in the pasture. By the time I realized what I'd just seen, backed up and got out of the car they scattered quickly. I got the tail end of the action--no pun intended.

The llama was in a neighborhood if you can imagine. Many years ago a neighborhood was built in what seemed like very far away. Funny how when there is development the distance always seems less. That's where I found the llama--it is still fairly rural and obviously their rules must be pretty flexible. Actually there were three in a pretty good sized corral next door to the house. You can imagine my surprise. It was still quite early and the light was poor. Add to that the fact that they quickly became bored looking at me and moved around more than is optimal for photo shoots.

The eagle is way up in the tree. According to the wildlife ranger I chatted with the eagle nest had come down but they still hung out nearby. I drove the short distance down the road, looked out in the pasture at the dead tree and saw the unmistakable white head. Too bad it was so far away. By the time I got my tripod set up to use the digital zoom as well as the optical it flew away.

While driving away from that site I came across a wild turkey in the road. Pulling off to the side I did my best to get over there. Sensing my presence the turkey ducked through a fence into another pasture. There were actually about five wild turkeys. This was the best I could do.

The fact of the matter is that I don't like to go too many days without taking photographs. I get antsy thinking what I'm missing. The specter of high gasoline prices makes it a little challenging but since I never shop it all cancels out. No needless purchases in exchange for the excitement of discovering something new.

After lunch I delivered the prints to the professor in one of the new condo high rises. Talk about some wonderful art in the lobby. She ordered five b&w with her new building in the photos. Often while waiting for lights to change I'll pull out the camera if something catches my eye, thus I even had one of construction workers on her building which she loved. She assured me she would pass my name around the building.

Now it is time for me to read a book. Astute readers will realize it has been far too long since I've read a novel. That's my plan for tonight after posting.

Aren't computers the greatest invention of the century? Bruce called from an interstate in the Chicago area. I went to Google maps and guided him to Jonathan's house where he is as I type. Hurray. He did say it was mighty cold.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Picture is Worth....



A thousand words as they say. Saturday morning it rained even before we left the house to finish our set up which was a worry. That worry turned into reality with the heaven's opening on downtown Orlando. Our pictures stayed dry but the rain pooled on the sidewalk in front of our tent with nowhere to go but onto the ground under out tent. I'm not talking a smidge, I'm talking a lot. As you see Mr. Bruce ended up having to make signs warning customers of the hazardous conditions. It was miserable to say the least. My shoes wicked the water leaving my feet encased in wet shoes for hours before I ended up shedding them. My goodness it was sad. Bruce called Bill to bring some bags of sand which helped some. As you see we had to put a tarp down to make it bearable for all concerned.

Luckily some customers braved the rain so the day was not a total loss. Sunday was another story with mild temperatures and a good crowd. I am pleased to report that my sales were good. I was particularly pleased that a customer who had earlier looked seriously at a large canvas returned about an hour before closing time to purchase it. I had gone to the bathroom (which was a trek away), Lisa was meeting her husband at the amphitheater, and Dave had already gone home. Did I mention that Leon Russell was playing at 4:30? For my younger readers this means nothing, but older folks are always thrilled to see an icon from the past perform. At any rate, I had not signed the piece because it could be hung either vertically or horizontally. I wanted to wait for the person who bought it to decide which way they liked it best. Bruce was there to make the sale,; fortunately Lisa returned to the booth and he sent her to find me. As fate would have it someone she knew had seen me in the bathroom line so she found me as I was returning. You and I know I'm not the fastest these days, but Lisa pulled me along and we made it. It was a wonderful way to end the weekend.

I'm so grateful for all my families support. Pat and Ruth came out, as did the boys, my neighbor Regina brought friends and other friends came as well. As I've mentioned before it is a weird thing to put yourself out there in front of the public acting like you have something worthwhile. Without my families support I would be lost. Of course #1 is my sweet Bruce. He worked tirelessly Saturday to minimize the damage from the adverse conditions. He is the BEST.

Today I had the timeshare market which was once again worth it. Today's weather was spectacular. The majority of the visitors today were Canadians escaping the cold. I'm sending a picture to FlinFlon, Manitoba after I have it printed this week.

Somehow in the last 10 days I've managed to sell around 70 prints. Can any of the readers of Camera Crazy believe this is happening? One thing that struck me after the show was that although there were around 8 photographers at the show I may have been the only female. I believe this works in my favor as I'm not as caught up with the technicalities as the men. I try to make up for my ignorance of those matters with creativity and variety. I hope my pictures evoke an emotional response more than an intellectual response. That is probably not what experts would tell me to do but so far things are working and until they change I'll probably stick with that philosophy.

I know there are readers who never comment but nonetheless support me with their well wishes and for you I am grateful. Thank you.

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Now playing: Snow Patrol - Ways And Means
via FoxyTunes

Friday, February 22, 2008

May I Help?


I went down after lunch to register and pick up our booth label and name tags. It was simple enough however I asked to look at the pictures from the program book and found that the one they printed I do not have printed. I'm still trying to figure out what I need to do about that.

While walking back to the car I came across this. A nightmare. The tent belongs to the man in the water with the others offering assistance. The man taking his shoes off rolled those jeans up and got in the water to help. I'm sure it was very heavy with the water in the middle of the tent. Did I tell you my tent blew over on Monday just when we were closing up. Fortunately it didn't hurt anything but it was a surprise.

Lisa and Bruce are on their way home now. Lisa is bringing the van and spending the weekend helping. I told you she was nice didn't I?

Poor Bruce arrived home last night late after missing his connection. He arrived with a terrible cold. Not good timing but when is having a cold good timing I ask?

The gallery thing was fun last night. I met the man who owns the gallery. He taught me a new term--mover and shaper. He's instrumental in promoting the arts downtown. We took a pedicab over to one of the other galleries and wow--there was some great watercolors there. As well, in a blast from the past, Bobby Goldsboro, of former music fame is now painting and he was showing there. I couldn't decide if his hair was fake or what.

Baxter is barking like crazy now letting me know the troops have arrived. 16 hours and counting.....

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Now playing: Shearwater - A Hush
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Nearly Ready


It's nearly show time folks, actually I need to be leaving shortly for the gallery because tonight is show time as well. Regina, my 70 something year old neighbor came over this afternoon to help me get the prints ready. She was so sweet, examining them all and full of compliments. I must tell you that Regina is a very hip lady for her age. She regales me with stories of her life. She and her late husband Max used to own a PR firm here in town before we got so big. Today I learned that Max went to the semi-finals in a seniors Jeopardy tournament some years ago. According to Max, Alex Trebeck was somewhat full of himself.

I returned some things to Bloomingdales in the morning returning home with only pictures to show for my trip.

Happy, Happy Birthday to my brother Pat. He's 62 today. Wow, it seems like only yesterday I was a young girl worshiping my only brother. He was in high school when the Beatles came out; I still remember his Meet the Beatles album. I was so taken with them that I formed a Beatles fan club in elementary school.

I posted a link to a story I heard on NPR yesterday morning that amazed me, I hope it will amaze you.


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Now playing: The Concretes - This One's For You
via FoxyTunes

NPR Music: Traditional Folk Dance Modernized

NPR Music: Traditional Folk Dance Modernized

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Something Fun


Now for Something Fun
As you all know, I almost never turn on the television--don't ask me the how, or why of it, but it doesn't seem to fit into my schedule. You ask--what schedule--she doesn't even have a job, or go to school anymore? What's more, she has no kids at home....what does she do all day and night???? She's busy.

With that out of the way, I did see a bit of tv last week when the Westminster Kennel Club dog show was on. It totally amuses me to see the effort put into these dogs, furthermore it always reminds me of my mom. We've discussed in the past her love of the movie Best in Show, which I also love. So it seems to remind me of her sense of humor. One year I had the boys buy her the VHS tape for Christmas and was she ever thrilled.

The market is full of people showing off their dogs, sometimes to the detriment of pedestrians. Did I tell you about the day I saw a small dog with painted toenails? Is that what they are called on dogs, or is it paw nails? At any rate, they were a dark fuschia. Who on earth painted them I wonder?

On Sunday a man ordered a canvas(three daisies) in a larger size than I was showing, Mr. Roger made it happen. Today I delivered it to Mr. Jerry Leibowitz in the parking lot of Lowes. While there I figured I'd stroll through the garden center, you see the result of that little jaunt.

Good news!! Bruce has been assigned a job outside Chicago. I suppose I should call that good news/bad news because the job is one month behind already due to the weather. Remember how I told you yesterday that he was the best, well this is what happens when you are the best, you get assigned insanely difficult jobs. He has never built a Longhorn Steakhouse before, which along with the outrageously cold weather, will complicate matters to the max. Darden, the company he works for bought the chain a few months ago. When you add his wife's fledgling business into the mix it begins to sound a bit scary. You've already guessed the good part of it, haven't you? Indeed, he will be able to see our darling Jonathan,and Alissa at some point. I don't even own clothes to withstand the Chicago cold, so visiting them anytime soon is out of the question, however, it will eventually warm up there won't it?

I bought some new baskets for browse bins today--apparently I'll need more than the two we had. An expected crowd of 15,000 will be at the event this weekend which will be the most people exposed to Out & About Photography ever. I hope all our effort will not be in vain. Have I mentioned I'm bringing out the big gun? And what is that you ask? It's David, the supreme salesman. Maybe you recall he helped at the one day show in October? I'm not for strong-arming people, but I do know that I've lost sales because I don't have the knowledge, or experience to close deals. David, on the other hand is a master at closing. He has tried to get me to quit the market because of the low traffic--he likes to go for big deals, not the puny stuff. What the market has been invaluable for is contacts. This really will be the first time I'm tested at a real art show, frankly I'm a bit nervous.



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Now playing: Aretha Franklin - I Need A Strong Man (The To-To Song) (Young, Gifted And Black Outtake)
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Do You Agree?


Try This at Home
Every family has it's adages as far as life goes. Kitchen wisdom is usually passed on, be it true or false. I remember our mother putting oil in the boiling water to keep pasta from sticking together. I've been skipping this route of late with no sticking problem. I wonder if that came about when people were cooking pasta to near death. I'm glad to see he's given the ok to rinsing mushrooms. I try not to but I'm with him, a little moisture is preferable to dirt.

Used to be we learned most things from our families and teachers; seems like today there are experts on everything. That includes lots and lots of useless information. The more information available the more suspect it becomes in my book. How about all the health information bombarding us daily? Our paper wastes a whole day in the Living section on alleged new health information--like you should exercise. Duh? Speaking of myths, I've recently read that drinking eight glasses of water a day will only make you have to run to the bathroom, no particular health benefits at all. Today one thing will prolong your life, tomorrow it's something else. All the drug advertisements on television and in print for various ailments are enough to convince anyone they have a problem. It's sick, which is a bit of irony wouldn't you say?

The prints are on their way to Gainesville which is a big accomplishment. This morning I wrote out the inventory and a consignment agreement. I believe I mentioned that they are paying the shipping costs didn't I? I can hardly believe this is really happening. I mean, can you imagine my prints are going into a store? Whether or not they will sell only time will tell.

This morning I felt well enough to take Baxter to the Urban Wetlands Park near the house. For those of you unfamiliar with Florida, these are Cypress trees that grow along the shore in water. The water is covered with a green growth which I cannot remember the name of. My geology professor mentioned how it is good for the water but how, or why, I can't recall. At any rate, it is somewhat surreal looking--kinda like green ice. It must multiply like crazy as it was not there on our last visit. It's a great place for him to get his exercise; of course my camera accompanied us. The bird is a blue heron--notice the very long legs--designed to walk in water looking for food.

Bruce's turnover in Virginia went beautifully this morning--no surprise there. He insists it is not true, but he's the best Project Manager at the company. I'm not the only one who thinks so either.

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Now playing: Oasis - Let There Be Love
via FoxyTunes

Monday, February 18, 2008

It Takes Two



We've had to expand to both cars for the market these days. Bruce carries the bulk of it with the MINI used as an auxiliary vehicle for overflow. Fortunately it's only a little over two miles away. Saturday was taken up again with organization . Our garage was very messy. Most people have always been amazed at Bruce's tidiness there--it's usually neat as a pin, with a place for everything, and everything in its place. The business has not made this long standing philosophy easy.

The dining table looks only marginally better than when you saw it last, but I did manage to sell seventeen prints from the stacks. I ordered a huge amount in anticipation of the shows we'll be doing. The little Monday morning market started up again today, so there was another place for your favorite street vendor to peddle her wares. It's always interesting to meet the tourists. Today three prints went to Kent, England. There was a large contingent from Long Island. I puzzled about that on the drive home, wondering what you call Long Island--it's kinda weird that there are so many towns there--it's much larger than a county. Help me out will you?

Normally, when people ask me for a certain subject that I'm not showing, I offer to send them a web album of what I have. In this case it was a woman who was decorating a bar area in her home. I put one together about two weeks ago and didn't hear back. I thought, oh well, next time. She arrived at the booth yesterday asking did I forget her? This was yet another business lesson--I need to follow up in about a week to confirm they received it. It's nothing too taxing, but with 11,000 photos to scan through, it takes a bit of time. I know they should be better organized but.....

As well, I was told early on that when you think you have customers figured out, you are usually wrong. Yesterday a man whom I never dreamed was that interested in my stuff ordered a large (20 X 30) canvas print, leaving half down. It seems as though they were right, I never in a million years would have thought he'd order the daisy print, let alone, pull out a large wad of cash. Live and learn.

Jonathan and Alissa got to see the band currently playing on my iTunes--Super Furry Animals on Saturday night. They were early and got to meet the members. Jonathan has posted some really fun shots on flickr of the band and one of Alissa and I presume the lead singer. He tells me the wind chill factor was beyond belief but they pulled it off. I am still amazed at how terribly cold this winter has been. The winters Matt lived there were uncharacteristically(this is an astonishingly long word!) warm--how I wish this one had been so they could adapt easier. As it is, they feel they've made it this far they will do it. They've so enjoyed Chicago. I'm so proud that they both got good jobs and are making it work.

Bruce has left for most of the week. He'll be returning on Thursday night--not a moment too soon. Saturday morning I delivered my entry in the Third Thursday show at the gallery, the open house is Thursday night. Miss Gail lied when she sent out the invitation for the show this weekend--her health is declining.



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Now playing: Super Furry Animals - Hello Sunshine
via FoxyTunes

Friday, February 15, 2008

Bookeeping


Yesterday when I woke up it was chilly. Not chilly to Northerners, but to this Southern lady 39 degrees is definitely chilly. The good news is the gloom from the previous few days lifted leaving the sky brilliant blue with nary a cloud in sight. When I went out to get the paper I saw steam rising from the lake and had to run in, throw on some clothes, and grab my camera. Unfortunately it was a challenge to really show what it looked like. I imagine with this warm winter the water was still pretty warm, thus the steam.

After lunch I tackled the dreaded task of going through all the sales and receipts from last year. As you know, my CPA's father died two weeks ago so I won't be bothering her anytime soon, but at least I've now done my part. The task was made tolerable in the glorious sunshine by the pool. Earlier I'd cleaned a mountain of oak leaves out of the pool, so things were looking pretty spiffy. My new cards are pictured here, as is a new abstract I've been working on. Rarely do I print anything at home, but I wanted to see the colors for myself before I committed to canvas.

I picked up a huge order from Mr. Roger later which is now piled high on the dining room table. I'm gluing my business card to the back of the foam core for the Gainesville shipment. Hopefully after the little market on Monday I'll be ready to ship it all out.

BTW--I'm at least even and maybe have a bit of a profit for last year. That is good news.

Bruce should finally be home this afternoon. This has been a very long week without him. I tolerate two nights away, but three is not so much fun.

Our dear Matthew is making another stateside visit. No, he's not coming here, out to LA again. He began the week in Brussels--one busy young man.

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Now playing: Sufjan Stevens - Amazing Grace
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sadly


I woke up in the middle of the night Monday in terrific pain reminiscent of when I first got sick. I was tossing and turning when the alarm went off at an alarmingly early hour for Bruce to get ready. He got out the trusty heating pad and four Ibuprofen, eventually I went back to sleep. I wrote yesterday's post to catch you up on things and purposely didn't mention it as I didn't want any worriers among my readers. I tried to soldier on, but it just wasn't happening. When Maureen called around lunch time she convinced me to rest, take a pain pill, and ride it out.

Fortunately a new New Yorker came yesterday and I read it nearly cover to cover. As is always the case when you read that fine magazine you learn amazing things. I was especially pleased to find a short story by Alice Munroe, a fine Canadian author.

One thing I'd forgotten is that pain medication doesn't make me sleepy, it puts me into sort of a trance. I am awake and aware, but on a different level. As such, I didn't fall asleep right off which is weird for me. There was a serious rainstorm and with the windows open I also heard several cats "caterwauling." I hadn't heard that for a long time; it was so loud I had to get up and close the window.

When I woke up this morning I was still tentative, but have taken it easy. I worked on making a book of floral prints on iPhoto. It's not done yet, but they sure make it simple. Yeah for my Mac! That one is for Matthew who is always sad when he hears I have trouble with my computer. I really do love it.

I got my booth position by e-mail last night for the show next weekend. It looks pretty good.

I'm currently working on five different projects:

I need to turn in a framed print to the gallery on Saturday morning for the reception next Thursday night.

The Gainesville project.

The Merrill Gardens project.

Market on Sunday.

Market on Monday---yes that one is restarting as they have high occupancy.

Two day big show next weekend.

As you can imagine, I'm a bit overwhelmed! I have to be super disciplined to accomplish this stuff and for so little money; good thing I love the picture taking part of it. I'm just way grateful that I have all this going on.

The bottom line is that although yesterday was pretty miserable today has been a great improvement and tomorrow I will have forgotten this nasty business raised it's ugly head again.

Thank you for caring about me.

Lastly, this photo was taken in front of City Hall on Orange Avenue--the main drag of downtown. I like it.


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Now playing: Hot Chip - Over and Over
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Being Normal is Not Good Enough


I don't know about you, but even with the best e-mail there is, I still get spam. I am constantly amazed at the titles when I scan them. I used to delete them all without checking, but of late, a few places I do business with have ended up in my spam folder. One time I had over 300 from the same viagra peddler, they were all sent one minute apart. The title to today's blog refers to one of the junk mail titles.

The creator of that title isn't acknowledging that there is almost no such thing as normal as we are all delightfully unique.

In the world of literature, one of my most revered novelists, Anne Tyler, uses her gifts writing about ordinary things in such a way as to make them seem extraordinary. I am in awe of her talents. She can write about a spice cabinet making it seem like the most interesting thing in the world. Same with her characters--on the outside you would probably pass them on the street without a second glance, oh, but their insides are full of surprises.

Enough already..here's what's been happening in our world:

I had the best day ever at the market which I'm hoping bodes well for the upcoming art show less than two weeks away. I had ZERO sales by 1:00 which is three hours after starting. Naturally, I was getting a tad discouraged. Things started happening culminating with one of the earlier browsers returning (while his wife was napping) to buy her the large canvas for Valentine's Day! Earlier, she had really wanted it, but he wouldn't budge. I was not only surprised when he returned, but as you've already guessed--delighted!

Prior to his return an older Chinese couple came in the booth conversing loudly as they examined what I was offering. Turns out they bought six different prints, including a framed piece. Bruce was wrapping them all together (thank goodness for Bruce in so many ways!) with this new cellophane stuff we got when the man snatched it from Bruce's hand and wrapped and wrapped. His wife explained it was because he was in construction. He is an architect and they live in NYC.

Which makes me realize that now my photos have gotten around a bit. Last week it was to Ireland, this week to NYC, in the near past they've gone to Canada, California, Texas, Kansas City, Chicago, Michigan, and England. That's all I can really remember, but who would have imagined? Certainly not me.

Proving that if you get out there with something you are passionate about exciting things will happen. That is what strikes people the most when they are talking to me, how much I love taking pictures. This blog is not called Camera Crazy for nothing!

Yesterday after photographing the swans I went to a huge gallery recommended by a friend. I went there to price framing material last week, but turns out I needed an appointment. Ashley, the girl from last week suggested I bring in some of my stuff to facilitate the process. I'm embarrassed to tell you I was late because I was fooling around with the pictures, but I was. Fortunately, this did not seem to hurt my stock with Chris, the sales manager. He wondered if I might like to hook up with them by making a reference book for his interior designer library. They do LARGE installations of work for HOTELS and other corporate places that use art work. You could have blown me over with a feather! He described how if chosen one photo could become very lucrative. I'm not holding my breath or anything, but that sounds like the bomb to me.

As I stated earlier in this post, I never, ever, dreamed I could be this far in the months since my darling Bruce suggested I make a go at selling my photography. It has come as quite a shock. I'm struggling with the business end of all this, but hopefully I'll improve with practice--it has done wonders for my photography.

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Now playing: Television - Marquee Moon
via FoxyTunes

Friday, February 8, 2008

Friday


I met Michelle on Park Avenue in Winter Park today for lunch. As you can see there was enough food for several people. I managed the soup (corn chowder) and 1/4 of the sandwich, both were delicious I might add. Park Avenue is the charming shopping street in WP, it reminds people of a European city with all the sidewalk cafes. I need not tell you that it was warm enough to eat outside. Actually we have had almost no winter which always makes a Floridian nervous about the summer. I'm sure I told you it was 85 degrees this week.

However, we cannot complain. Jonathan finally uploaded a picture to flickr showing the massive amount of snow on his street--wow! Speaking of Jonathan, Annie Lennox has now given way to one of his favorites, the Artic Monkeys on my iTunes. Alissa was kind enough to accompany him to see the band live in Chicago although it's not one of her favorites. And speaking of Alissa, she was officially hired by the PR firm where she's been working for months now. Congratulations. When they moved to Chicago with no employment it gave us pause but with the optimism of youth they did it and proved us wrong! I know they are counting the months until the weather improves. I've been very proud of how they've handled it thus far.

I've just returned from a walk with Baxter, I'm trying to be more diligent.

While in Winter Park I stopped by the museum to say hi to the curator of both the museum and the gardens. They have forgiven me for not staying on as a volunteer. Karen is such a nice person, not to mention a wealth of information regarding art work. We discussed this artist consignment form I'll be sending with my prints to Gainesville.

Which leads me to praise the world wide web. Whoever named that was a genius. Along with the new business cards I ordered, I got some t-shirts to wear at the show in two weeks from tomorrow. Unfortunately they were wrong. I thought this company was in the UK but when I called customer service I learned they are based in Bermuda, the call center is in Jamaica and the printing plant is in Ontario, Canada. Crazy huh. I must say it has been an extremely long time since I've had a pleasant customer service call ; I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. The woman could not do enough for me. A great way to start a Friday.

Out for a date now--see ya!


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Now playing: Annie Lennox - Coloured Bedspread
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, February 7, 2008

U23D


Here's what I have to say today--run, don't walk, to your nearest IMAX theater when it shows U23D, it is nothing short of amazing! Bruce got an earlier flight which allowed us to attend the 5pm showing-- wow, what a treat. There were only seven of us in the whole theater. It's really hard for me to praise it enough. We were lucky enough to see U2 in Tampa a few years ago and it was incredible. The 3D thing made it feel felt like Bono was going to touch us--if I don't quit this post I'll just bore you with more gushing.

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Now playing: U2 - Beautiful Day
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I'd Really Nothing Better to Do


Graceful Exit
Regular readers will know that I've had my struggles with my iMac. Today was one of those days. Really it started yesterday, but I didn't call until this afternoon. Somehow my computer did not recognize me, thus making tasks extra difficult. It only took a 2 1/2 hour consultation with three different guys before I was back in business. When the second guy said he was handing me off to someone else and the wait would be an additional forty minutes I was incredulous. Thank goodness for speaker phones!

For a good part of that holding time I made this wonderful orange juice from a tree in Lisa's yard. I can hardly wait until tomorrow morning to have my first fresh squeezed orange juice of the season. I've had some from a grove store, but the best is when you do it yourself. I squeezed all she gave me which made a bit over a gallon of the good stuff. I wish you were here Matt to share it!

Hurray! Michelle got her first gig from the pictures. Orlando is second in the nation for conventions for those of you unfamiliar with our city. She will be at one of the booths for the annual Homebuilders Show. This is typically one of the largest of the year; a super way to start. The mood may not be like last years what with the dreadful real estate downturn but I'm sure it will still be good.


Now that I've got my computer sorted out, my new pictures are up in my gallery. I have been handing out business cards with that gallery on them and I was not all that happy with what I had on there. I spent a bunch of my day yesterday finding new stuff. Speaking of cards, one of the benefits of doing the market is finding out info from other vendors. My new friend, Brandee told me about a website that prints cards for cheap. Turns out they are in the UK, but it was still very reasonable. They had easy templates that you could customize; if I could do it, anyone can. They arrived today and they turned out very nice. That is one task Bruce no longer has to do. He is super busy with work--nothing unusual there--but my stuff is requiring more of his time than he can afford. So there you go.

Re: today's article. Something to think about regardless of how unpleasant it may be. Our children take note please.

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Now playing: The Bees - Stand
via FoxyTunes

Till the Cows Come Home

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Smart Spending
I came across this picture I took of Bill a few months ago while working on my order today--he's so cute if I do say so myself.

Yesterday I had two new experiences.

I attended the funeral of my CPA's dad. Her dad was a Cuban,three weeks shy of his 90th birthday, who emigrated when Castro took power. Although my mom had a Catholic mass before her burial it was nothing like this. For one thing the music our mom chose was decidedly different. Thinking back, I'm sure the church officials thought it was highly unusual that she wanted Mahalia Jackson and Elvis at her funeral mass. This funeral was conducted almost entirely in Spanish including all of the music. Olga and her sister gave beautiful testimonials about their dear father bringing tears to many faces. I want to describe what I saw. Two priests sat on the platform with VERY straight faces, one with his arms folded across his broad belly. I was extremely surprised when the one who looked the most dour went to the pulpit and began to speak loudly and rapidly, with wild gesticulations. His platform expression gave none of this passion away beforehand. The remaining seated priest slept through the entire homily. I could hardly imagine it, but his head nodded over to the side. I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt, thinking he was praying, but to be honest, that is probably not the case. It amazed me that he could sleep through the shouting. I understood only one word--Antonio.

When I arrived home there was an e-mail waiting for me from some company in Jacksonville, Fl wanting to use the picture I posted on flickr last January of the Mayo Clinic for their city guide. No money, only a photo credit. Imagine that? Does this lend credence to the thinking that everything happens for a reason? I think I began this blog after the trip to Mayo, so you may not know that I went there briefly, with no results. The main thing I gained from that trip was headaches as far as the medical bills were concerned. I do remember that they took seven vials of blood which seemed like overkill.

Speaking of health, there is an article in The Times about some workers in a meat packing plant in Minnesota who came down with a weird disease that manifested itself in tingling and numb feet. Turns out they think it came from a process that involves pig brains. I won't go into details but suffice it to say I haven't been around pig brains but our problems sounded somewhat similar. Hmmmm...



Finally Bruce got the new Annie Lennox album and it's classic Annie--awesome.

Hold your horses, re: the title of this post--where do you think expressions like this come from? Robert Segal used it tonight on NPR about their election coverage time slot.

I certainly have got a lot of learning to do about links--please forgive me--I'll keep practicing.
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Now playing: Annie Lennox - Womankind
via FoxyTunes

Monday, February 4, 2008

Family Time


Oh my goodness it was a busy weekend.

Friday night we stayed home and chilled with comfort food--mac and cheese. Bedtime was 8:40!!!

Saturday Maureen stopped by after Bruce went to his office wanting to know if I would go to Bloomingdales with her. After a moments hesitation I agreed. Turns out we shopped like crazy. You would never guess there was a recession going on with the shopping we did. Reality check--we hit the 50% off sale price racks for the most part. We both decided we had gone plum crazy. It was super fun actually--have you ever heard of me doing such a thing? No, you haven't.

Mr. Roger came to the house after the shopping spree to help me take inventory of my prints. As you well know he has been imploring me to use this spreadsheet he's made but I'm helpless with that kind of thing. Later that night I received an e-mail with my statistics. By that I mean what I've sold the most in what size and so on. Actually we stopped by his house later because I RUINED my new canvas of the orange and white daisies!!! I was hunting for some pen that would show on the dark background only to drop silver ink in a blob on the canvas when I went to sign it. I yelled--"Brucer!!" By now you know that my darling Bruce can fix just about anything but this time it was impossible. I called Mr. Roger who said he would print another one and bring it to the market--which he did. Bruce took the old one off the stretcher bars and we dropped it by Roger's house which is in a neighborhood we frequent for dining. Actually we went to jr. high in that very same neighborhood. Back then it wasn't all that much but these days it is ultra trendy. Of course we like it being the 50 something trendsters that we are.

Sunday was an absolute zoo. We took our new display panels and I'm here to tell you it was WAY time consuming putting it together. Despite the fact that we left the house 40 minutes earlier we still were pressed to be set up by 10. It was down right nerve racking. Nonetheless, it looked pretty impressive if I do say so myself. I have Bruce to thank for it as he surprised me, buying it without my knowledge. David has warned me that my frugal nature needs to be tempered when starting a business.

Aside from the drama of the set up, the whole family convened at the market. You'll recognize most of us. Michelle is on the far left, yours truly next, Bruce, Carol, Lisa, and then Pat. Mr. Roger took this and met the whole clan. They were appreciative of what he's done for me. Ruth, Pat's sweet wife was there as well but preferred to take our picture rather than the other way around.

A childhood friend came by, an old co-worker I hadn't seen in twelve years, and our next door neighbor. None of these folks knew what I'd been up to aside from our neighbor. He's a single guy that is not home much. Early last year I'd told him I had gone camera crazy but he was shocked by what he saw. He owns a lighting company for movies and commercials. And then of course there were the regulars. Since I've now been there awhile I have folks that stop by nearly every week. These, of course, are not purchasers, just getting to be friends. Hold your horses--one of my flickr contacts came by to meet me. He lives in the panhandle and was visiting family. I'd made a bathroom run, returning I heard Bruce say here's Gail. It was very interesting. His wife was not interested in photography so she was quickly bored with the whole conversation. He retired from The Orlando Sentinel and moved to North Florida.

Carol's friends brought her back to Melbourne and Maureen dropped her off at the market. She was the impetus for the family gathering. It was a win-win situation. She helped us pack up and Maureen came over to the house for a dinner of leftovers--the aforementioned mac and cheese, b-b-que pork sandwiches, and coleslaw. We drank a little red wine and visited. I will tell you this much, Bruce and I were absolutely beat.

So that was the weekend. Tomorrow we'll catch up on today's happenings--they are noteworthy.

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Now playing: The Lightning Seeds - What You Say
via FoxyTunes

Friday, February 1, 2008

Congratulations!!



Yeah, yeah, and one more if you don't mind. Our Jonathan passed his LEED certification today in snowy, and I do mean snowy, Chicago. It stands for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design.a

I can tell you with certainty that I am so proud of him. Jonathan is not only super smart but he's super at procrastinating. He has done fine for himself all these years but I knew he could do better if he put a little effort into things. Turns out, he studied this week after work. This is astonishing news as I can't remember any studying on Jonathan's part all these years. It will be nice if there is some monetary compensation but mostly it's a big boost for his ego. As a mother I'm allowed to brag just a tad--his score was nearly perfect.

I've spent all day working on my inventory, framing, breaking glass--that's right. I put my hand down and crack! Wouldn't you know it would be a 20 X 24. I went to my local hardware store to get a new piece--a waste of time and money. Oh well...all part of the process.

The application went out in the mail for the show I most hope to get in. I won't know for a month so neither will you. It is a bit prestigious around these parts, if I get in the spring show it might bode well for fall. I've no idea if I will be accepted but it won't be for a lack of trying. I deferred to Matt's recommendations on the two slides. He's never let me down before, and I don't expect that to happen this time either. I can just see his face as he reads this...Oh Mom!

Doesn't our Baxter look adorable with his haircut? I let him go so long we rarely see those big brown eyes. I finally figured out how to get him to hold still for a picture. I put him in a chair that is tricky for him to move around on. This chair belonged to my parents forever then Bruce inherited it. It was in his garage for the longest time, then the shed. Several years ago I saw it featured in a layout of this gorgeous room in Metropolitan Home--I figured it was time to get it out of the shed. The years have taken their toll but I like it.


Have I mentioned that I'm feeling good of late? I am.

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Now playing: Boxer Rebellion - Lay Me Down
via FoxyTunes

You Just Never Know