My Pacific Northwest Vacation

By | September 3, 2014

I will be adding the better photos in the coming days.  I could only manage working with a few of them in Lightroom today.

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Or, to make it easy on myself, view the images on my flicker page!

I’m going thru my floral period

By | August 18, 2014

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In all fairness, I asked the instructor if we could take photos of regular people next week

By | May 25, 2014

For the last several weeks I have been taking a photography class.  I am totally jazzed at how well some of the images turned out.  This just might be my next career… as if.

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Models… so hard to photograph. LOL!

The perfect Spring Salad (or Summer Salad, if that floats your boat)

By | April 12, 2014

Spring 052Why is this salad so perfect?

1. It’s low calorie.

2. It’s low carb (per serving) (gluten-free, too… since that’s now a thing)

3. You can make it in 10 minutes (20 minutes, if your knife skills are atrocious)

4. You can make it in the morning and forget about it the rest of the day until dinner time.

5. No laborious washing of salad greens that have to be spun dry and pampered to prevent wilting.


6. It’s easy peasy!

Recipe for the perfect spring (or summer) salad

salad02One large or two small hot-house (English) cucumbers

salad03One container of grape tomatoes

salad04One tablespoon dried dill
salad051 teaspoon (or to taste) sea salt
salad06One jar of fat-free Raspberry Vinaigrette. (I prefer Maple Grove Farms)
salad07Quarter partially peeled cucumber(s). Cut into 1/2 inch chunks.
salad08Halve tomatoes.

Mix all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
salad09Notes: It’s even better the second day.
Depending on the bowl size and depth, you may want to give it a stir once or twice during the day to evenly distribute the vinaigrette.

Fresh dill is OK, but I think dried dill has a better concentration of flavor.
Also, this salad goes great with fish; this and grilled salmon: done!

Anatomy of a mini room makeover: the Artwork

By | April 8, 2014

First of all, I am no Nate Berkus. Or Candice Olson. OR  (dare I mention myself in the same sentence) SARAH RICHARDSON!!!!

But recently, I made over my living room (a little bit) by adding a few new items and painting an accent wall.

photo of room makeover

I know, I know; accent walls are outré now, but let me introduce you to the MOST. FETCHINGLY. GORGEOUS. color in the world: Caribbean Azure! (props to Benjamin Moore, you folks rock!!!) I cannot express to you how stunning it is in person… AND in semi-gloss!

I will spare you the wretched details of painting a wall by yourself… and the horrors of running out of paint simply because you can not do math…

Let’s talk a little bit about the art work.  First of all, I have recently been to Chicago (and to some design stores while there) and everywhere I turned I saw ridiculously expensive art. Not to pat myself on the back (I am, after all, a graphic artist) but I created all the art you see very inexpensively.  And guess what, you can, too!

First up: I took that large photo in the Art Institute of Chicago of the Seated (and/or) Meditating Buddha.

Seated BuddhaNaturally I used my new (ish) Nikon 50mm 1.8G lens! (it makes everything look amazing. I should know, as I generally take sucky photos)  No flash was fired (a rookie mistake that would get you kicked out of most museums) I just let the lens do all the work!

Back in my home office, I opened up the photo in my trusty desktop publishing program (hope you are listening because I’m giving away “my secrets” now) and scaled the photo to print at 24″ x 36″ with a two inch border all around.  (I hope you notice that I did not say Photoshop… ick, yuck!)  Once the file was converted to a PDF, I downloaded it to my favorite mom & pop print shop’s website where it was waiting for me to pick up the next day. (I hope you noticed that I did not day FedEX Office… ick, yuck!)  You can do the exact same thing to your own photographs and make people think you spent a fortune.

For the orange prints (orange goes very well with the blue walls) it was even simpler.  I determined the size I wanted and the orientation first (design to the frame size you have, in this case: 8″ x 10″).  The “T” print was just a randomly picked font (you know I like fonts) where I scaled it to something like 600 pt, set the color to 0% of the orange color, aligned it to the middle of an orange background (mindful of the white space a wanted surrounding it) and ran it through my trusty Epson inkjet.

The circle print was inspired by the Bevista tray I bought at IKEA that morning.  I just created white and black circles and aligned them on an orange background and pressed print!

I am not saying copy anyone (artists like me do want to make money selling our prints) but please don’t think you have to run out and spend your money on the simpler things.  Plus, you can have all kinds of fun making your own creations.

Sources: All frames: AC Moore.  Shelving: Expedit/IKEA. Walnut bowl: Tom Lowe. Biscuit Tins: Marks & Spencer. Art: my own.

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