Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I don't normally believe in love at first sight...

But for you, I'll make an exception. I have a confession to make, I've fallen for you, Seattle. I am, at the very least, totally and completely infatuated with you. I am smitten by your history, by how nature is reclaiming you crumbling brick by brick, by how close you are to both mountain and sea, by your sites, and smells, and the people that fill you.

I admit to even liking your quirks. I figure that's a good sign. A sign of potential perhaps. I quite adore how wonderfully mismatched you can be--how sleek, crisp skyscrapers jut out, protectively shadowing clusters of softened, worn-in mortar and brick buildings...how in some places you have crammed yourself right up to the edges, to the brink of falling into Puget Sound, and yet you have space for parks and grass and trees and courtyards...how you can be so full of grays and yet so vibrantly colorful. And I didn't even mind that it rained each time I visited you, even though it was not my favorite kind of rain. That's sort of a big deal for me.

You are large, but still have quaint corners, full and yet somehow still roomy-- how do you do it? How do you still leave me thinking that there may yet be room within you for me?

Some day, just maybe.

Geometry and Lights


A Corner Peeling

Various Stages

Neatly Arrayed

Arcade Fruits


Wednesday, October 21, 2009


How to make a closed-environment terrarium:

Get your supplies ready and set up, and just do it. If you're into that sort of thing. I used the counter space in my bathroom, but anywhere that is easy to clean up works just fine.

What you'll need:

  • Terrarium. This can be any number of things. An aquarium with a lid, a pickle jar, an old apothecary jar, a mason jar that you want to retire from canning, whatever you like. It just needs to be able to be closed tight, if you want a closed-environment terrarium, and transparent, so you can see your creation. (Keep in mind that ornate glass jars and containers, while nice on their own, can detract from visibility.)
  • Live moss, and if you like-- a small selection of plants.
  • Small stones/large pebbles, for drainage at the bottom.
  • Activated Carbon, to stave off weird smells.
  • Sheet moss or moss-like greenery, to use as a filler and to hide unseemly dirt. (Can be purchased at any craft store.)
  • Skewer, pencil, or other long thin stick-like apparatus that can be used to get into the terrarium. This gives you better control of where things go and how the end product will appear.
  • Floral wire. This is optional, but can really help you keep your live moss in place.

To get started, you'll want to put about an inch or so of pebbles in the bottom of your terrarium. I used a wide-mouth container, so I just placed them in by the handful, but if your container pinches in at the top, just make a funnel out of some stiff paper to make your life easier. Then cover that with a small layer of activated carbon. Like I mentioned before, this keeps icky smells away. Then, what I did was stuff some "moss" into the terrarium to create a mound to work off of. I then covered that with a little clean fill dirt (potting soil).

It's all about layering.
I arranged the plants and moss somewhat in a bowl to see how they'd interact with one another, and then I recreated that (kind of) in the terrarium. I put the plants in and then live moss around them, patting them into place. There are three different kinds of moss in there, but I'm pretty sure they'll all be happy together. (I found two of them within 3 feet of one another.)

On the areas that slope, you may want to pin your moss into place.

To make the pins, I just cut a few inches of floral wire, and then bent the pieces in half. Easy-peasy. Then you just stick that through your moss so that it is secured. (Photo further down.)

When everything was in its place and I was happy with how it looked, I watered the terrarium just a little bit, and put the lid on. I'll watch it for a while to make sure it is stable, not too wet, and not too dry. And after that? I'll just sit back and enjoy it for a while (making sure that it gets plenty of indirect sunlight, as not to cook it).

Looking down onto the whole of it.

Terrarium, complete.

Terrarium, up close.

So right now this terrarium is a very green space, but I'm considering putting a little glass or ceramic figurine in there.

So you get done and you find you have a little extra moss hanging around, what do you do? Why, you make a second, smaller terrarium. For this one, I used a pickle jar. I happened to have a tiny little faux terracotta pot, so I put a couple of pebbles in the bottom of it, then some carbon, and piled the soil into a mound. I most definitely used pins that I made out of floral wire here.

Pins, lined up.

I loved how over-flowing the tiny little pot looked, and was content with just that simple design.

I decided against having the lid as the top of this particular piece. Assembling it the other way around gave me a better view of the moss, and better utilized the space.

Small terrarium, done

Winter is coming, and I wanted to save a little green for myself. Mission accomplished.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Little Abstraction

...never hurt anyone.

Since I've been on this photography kick lately, here are two of my abstract digital shots, taken on my Canon:

Since they ARE abstract, I'll let you decide what they might be. Oh, and no titles for these.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cross Processing

Always some risk, sometimes a reward. . .
Here are some of my more recent cross-processed Holga prints for your viewing pleasure:

And Then The Clouds Came

This shot was taken in July sometime, just outside of Zion National Park. (Just before my friends all got severely rained on.) I hardly ever get any light leaks with my Holga anymore. I'm not sure how I got so lucky with this one. I'm guessing it happened after I took the film out, maybe it was wound loosely on the take-up spool? Either way, I like the occasional light leak. It adds to the adventure, never knowing just what you'll end up with when you pick your prints up.


Just look at the crisp edges on the tops of those tulips. And isn't that shade of green amazing?
This and the following photos were taken just outside of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. A lovely garden and a nature hike area snuggle up against the museum--such fun exploring if you're ever in the area on a nice day.

Delicious Three

Well, isn't it? I'm quite happy with how the colors turned out on this shot. And I think the reflections are so fun.

Numbers Times Two

Here I did a double-exposure and then cross-processed. I am quite pleased with how the numbers line up just so. . . As always, I'm also a big fan of the vignetting along the outer edge.