January 30, 2009 · Fabulous Friday: Flickr Faves for January


This is one of my favourite photos ever found on Flickr and it certainly sums up my feelings right now. I didn’t take it. It’s by Bucharest photographer Camil Tulcan. You can find more of his gorgeous work here. And below, a round up of some of my Flickr Faves. I think I’ll do this once a month. It’s a lot of work popping in all those links, man, but I think the original photographers deserve credit for their photos and the inspiration they provided me!

My agenda today: wash my hair, walk my dog and spend the rest of the day painting. And sneaking Hershey’s kisses. I swear the red foil wrapped ones taste better than the silver.

1) reflections
2) mason
3) detail
4) mum for eating
5) cherry blossoms
6) kimoni
7) kumquat
8) white mushrooms
9) alien flower
10) snowy flake
11) sixth snowflake
12) blizzard
13) Hopeful Winter
14) Pennsylvania snowflake
15) Icing
16) tessella forum reverse
17) sparkly k
18) sparkly k
19) snowflakes
20) When I said
21) A book I’m reading
22) snowflakes
23) snowflakes
24) snowflake curtain
25) cally creates
26) rhododendron on wire
27) howl at the moon
28) matryushka stones
29) window grill
30) 1st of december
31) sky butterfly blue
32) snowy fox
33) juj’s photo
34) sweet/salty
35) generate
36) sweet salty kitchen

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January 28, 2009 · running with scissors: paper snowflakes


I have become obsessed with paper snowflakes. Actually, I’ve become obsessed with the fine art of paper cutting in general, but am completely intimidated by some of the work I’ve seen so snowflakes seemed to be an ideal way to a) ease myself into the paper cutting scene and b) embrace winterness in general. “Cuz you just can’t fight it. I tried this morning out in the walk, but we’re in the midst of ANOTHER snowstorm and beautiful though it was (total winter wonderland), it was coming down at such a rate that I was afraid that my car was gonna get sunk in a drift and the wolf and I would be stranded in the park forever and ever. Especially as I had forgotten my cellphone. That might not seem like such a bad thing (being stuck in the park forevah and evah) but eventually one of us would get hungry. And there’s nothing in the park to eat aside from rabbit poo and pinecones.

Anyhooo…. there’s some more photos of my paper snowflakes on my flickr site here: Snowflake Set And of course there are a number of Flickr groups devoted to paper snowflakes and some devoted to the real kind too.

Camilla Engman provides a great snowflake cutting tutorial on her Studio Violet site here in case you need a refresher and if you just can’t be bothered with locating paper and scissors, give the virtual kind of snipping a whirl at Make-A-Flake . The bonus with the Make-a-Flake site is that you can save your snowflake as a jpeg (you can also save it as an eps too apparently though I haven’t had any luck with that) and then use your jpeg image to make Photoshop brushes.

How do you turn it into a Photoshop Brush? It’s super easy in Photoshop CS3. All you do is create a layer for your snowflake jpeg, drag it over there, select the snowflake shape (using the magic wand, lasso, or the box selection tool), click on the brush tool in the toolbox… then go to the top menu under “Edit” and scroll down to “Define Brush Set”. And voila! You’ve got yourself a handy dandy snowflake brush and a reason to justify the hours you while away playing Make-a-Flake. ‘Cuz you never know when you are going to need 968 special and unique snowflakes right?

On a sad note, I feel I should make comment on the recent passings of two of my all time idols, John Updike and Andrew Wyeth. There’s a great obit to John Updike here. He made me drunk on words, on New England, on the power of the everyday. I still think that the A&P (read the short story here) is one of the finest short stories ever written. And Andrew Wyeth… I have to say I really didn’t think that much about him until I saw his Helga paintings and then I was enraptured. When we moved here to Southern Ontario and the first Novemeber drew near, I saw his paintings in the landscape all around me and fell in love anew. His father, the great Golden Age illustrator, N.C. Wyeth is also one of my idols, perhaps an even greater influence than his son, and the idea of three generations of incredible American artists (Andrew’s son Jamie is also a painter as you probably know) has always thrilled me.

Two unforgettable New Englanders, American legends, felled within weeks of each other. But their work has changed my world, made it better and deeper and richer and will continue to do so for as long as I live.

4 Comments so far
December 12, 2008 · small ways 3


4 Comments so far
November 27, 2008 · small ways 2


8 Comments so far
November 20, 2008 · small ways

I’m not a person easily moved by quotations, generally speaking. They smack too much of those hideously ubiquitous motivational posters you see hanging in the offices of P.R. people and car dealerships. But recently, I’ve been finding quotes with real resonance for me… this one in particular (via D. Sharp’s Practical Compendium of Random Things). I don’t know if you can read my scrawl clearly, but it is a quote from Edith Wharton:

In spite of illness, in spite of even the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual state of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things and happy in small ways.

I like to think that I am. That I am insatiably curious and interested in big things. And I am indeed happy in small ways. Really, I am. I know my grief has sort of taken over this journal lately, but I still remain happy in small ways.

These eggs, for instance. They make me happy. I am obsessed with these eggs. I take pictures of them all the time… this particular brand. I tell myself I buy them because they are supposedly free run, ethically raised eggs, but the real truth is I buy them because I love the color of them, a gorgeous gradation, the shape, even the clear carton they come packaged in.

Mindful of the small ways, I’ve started a photo collection of my Flickr page click here of the extraordinary everyday things and tasks and moments which make me happy. And that pursuit alone, in its small way, is helping me defeat the archenemy sorrow.

P.S. Lizardek, you will find Finny aplenty on my Flickr site too!! here! go here!

P.P.S. there is snow on the ground here today and that is making me happy too. Happy in that first snow kind of way that makes me want to bake chocolate chip cookies.

8 Comments so far