Archive for May, 2009



Save the date: July 1 – First annual unofficially official joy rebel day.  Do you dare to be a joy rebel? 😀 Blog parties from July 1-8 as well.


From the loveable Jen Gray:


PDF? Indescribably awesome. Photos? Coming. But limited in number.



I planted my balcony container garden by porchlight this year, after sunset. I didn’t have anything last year, too much time spent on the road to have plants die out when they aren’t watered.

My love bought me the herbs and flowers (and tomato plant) rather than buying cut flowers for our anniversary.  😀

Every time I plant out there, I remember the one spring. When in the middle of planting, I got the call from a dear friend, who lost the baby she was carrying. I stopped to talk to her for a long time, and finished planting the flowers with a deep sense of loss among the fertility of spring and new growth. I recall that day, and I think of her now, with her son who was born a few years later in late April.

Here it is almost a month late and I forgot I owe him a birthday present. But her and her family are always in my heart every spring, as I plant my flowers.



Reflection in the balcony doors

So this past week I’ve been putting off my writing and photo assignments for the e-course. Work got busier, and I just don’t tend to carve out time for myself at home for anything like this, especially during the week. I was however watching my reflection and shadow wherever I went, often wishing I could capture something that I knew was impossible, especially with the iphone camera.

Add to that, my patience and perfection issues are being tested.  I got my first partial rolls developed from my fisheye and colorsplash cameras.  Now, beyond the operating issues I have been having with them, I have some internal things as well to work on.  I visualized how certain photos would come out.  I couldn’t wait to see them.

Well, most of them didn’t come out too well.  The bundles of film that I got – which were a good deal – were 100 speed film.  It’s not like I never shot film before, and it’s not like I don’t set the ISO on my digital camera.  But many shots I expected to turn out, didn’t.  Even on fairly sunny days, you can barely see the image it’s so dark. The whole series of photos I started last Sunday that I looked forward to most were the most disappointing, as I saw how amazing they were through the fisheye viewfinder.

It’s a learning curve.  But you know what? I somehow expected my first attempts to be really good, only to get more amazing as I learned from them.

I know, it’s silly to be so hard on myself.  But I splurged a good deal of money on the two cameras, and a shit-ton of film (because bundled, 20 rolls cost the same as 5!)  I will eventually put the pictures on the computer – since of course I spent more to get a CD as well as print – but I’m still sitting with these feelings about the whole thing.

I did break out my good camera and get some photos for this week’s assignment, and even one with my feet and Random’s that I had been wanting to get since last week.  The immediate gratification of the digital – along with the instant KNOWLEDGE of what works and doesn’t work…. Sigh.  I know there’s a magic to the old style of film, I just hope I have the patience and dedication to work with it.  Luckily, ISO 100 should be just perfect for daytime shots at Burning Man, and I’m still planning on taking the cameras there.

Still have only 1 of the first 4 writing exercises done, but Susannah says we should go at our own pace.  I just don’t want that pace to be slacking so much that I never finish.  It’s not like we get grades or anything, but the purpose of the course is to get something out of it – and you only get out what you put in.

Well, I’m going to wrap this up – it’s been a productive weekend so far, planting flowers on my balcony, packing for Playa Del Fuego (next weekend! WHEE!!) and we’re figuring out plans for the rest of tonight and tomorrow.  Letting the unravelling continue and just trying to be aware of the process, and see what happens.

Have a great weekend!


Poppet among the truffula tree plants and demon plants. Yeah it's a curious way to choose plants at a nursery, but they are fun!

Inspiration of the day

This is breathtaking!


I knew that getting my two film cameras would be a lesson in patience – there is no immediate gratification in the film world and I’m very used to my digital cameras.  But these guys are giving me quite the lesson.

Fisheye: I’m loving it. Only one small issue – the flash ready indicator light does not light. The tell-tale high pitch of the flash warming up happens, and the flash usually works.  I may exchange it for one that does work, but it’s not a deal breaker.  No film developed yet, but I started a really cool series of photos with it, and can’t wait to see how it comes out!

Colorsplash:  This guy has been a finicky sonofa….  At first, I didn’t properly load the film. (I read the directions. I’ve loaded film cameras before.)  Took a few shots, and then couldn’t advance any more.  Based on customer service advice*, I scrapped that roll and put a new one in. No problems so far.  However, now it doesn’t seem to flash – even though the flash is set to on, and the indicator light is lit. (Funny, how it’s the reverse of the Fisheye.)

I can’t decide whether to break up with him or replace him.  Maybe I just got a defective one, but I don’t know.  I’d lose a little money on the restocking fee (I used the roll that came in the package, and one of the extra rolls that was in the bundle with it), or I can hope that they get a replacement to me before PDF. Either way, I need to ship him back tomorrow.

* I ordered from  I didn’t really shop around because I thought these were harder to find elsewhere, and the bundles with film (and free shipping) was a great deal.  I now have seen it on amazon, for a little less.  However, given my issues so far with the cameras, I do not regret my decision at ALL to purchase from there. My emails to customer service have been replied to IMMEDIATELY, from the same person, with helpful advice and the alternatives I have for returns/exchanges.  So to anyone considering it, I recommend ordering from the source as you’ll have the most options if something goes wrong.  And while I do have issues with both cameras, these technically fall into the “toy” camera category – and are pretty inexpensive.  They will exchange malfunctioning pieces for up to a year, so while there may be a slightly higher chance of having a problem (I think I’m an exception however), they stand by their product and want to keep you happy.

Now I’m just going to be impatient until I can get the film developed and see how my first experiments turned out! 😀

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work feet 2

Trapped in a grey cubicle.

If you wonder why my photos over the next 8 weeks take to a theme, it’s for the Unravelling e-course. I’ll share some photos and some writing here, but to keep the integrity of the course I will not be posting everything or our given exercises.

These shoes are great for inbetween weather, where your feet want to be barefoot or in flip flops (because we recently had 90 degree days in April) but it’s raining and cool out, and the office is kept as cold as a meat locker.

I rarely wear skirts to work, and wore this one today – thinking I’d be ready to part with it in the Great Bedroom Purge.  While it is a little large on me, it’s not falling off, and I’m debating it.  But unless I wear it more often, I should be tossing donating it.

The pairing reminds me of arguments with my mother.  In high school we wore a uniform (yup Catholic school!), white blouse, plaid skirt and kneesocks, with the option of pants/shirts/sweaters that were white, navy, or hunter green.  I hated pairing black shoes with navy – like nails on a chalkboard I couldn’t do it.  Not that I’m very fashionista, but just my innate sense of how color theory SHOULD work, it was wrong.  Since I didn’t have navy shoes, I’d wear brown.  My mom thought this was just as wrong as I felt about black.

Seems a quick google shows the black vs brown battle has no clear winner.  Some contend that the shoes must be as dark or darker than the outfit (seems to be a definite rule in menswear), but others offered recommendations of different colors altogether which are lighter.  Yikes.  Well, with the white and light blue pinstripes, maybe my warm brown shoes are a fashion offence.  But I’m happy and comfortable, so if anyone gives me a hard time I’ll just kick them with my awesome shoes.  😛    Hey look – my blog theme is blue and brown.  If it works in graphic design, why not in fashion???

Something is percolating.

Ideas.  Concepts.  Small ones and big ones.
I hesitate to share, to write or speak out loud.  Fear of imitation? Eh, I’ve stumbled on someone else’s project today that FEELS a lot like what is percolating. And while I’m namedropping, this blog is inspiring me along similar lines.  I don’t think it’s that – because there’s so much similar out there, but it’s not MINE, that of course I’ll have my own twist on it.

I’ve been thinking on keywords that are at the core of this idea.


Authentic (self).






Succulent. (SARK’s keyword)

Waiting for a word to jump out as perfectly describing what I want, and unique enough to be a “buzzword” of sorts.  I don’t know where this is going, but I’m afraid if I don’t record it/share it, it may slip away through my hazy memories and disappear entirely.

Looking for a philosophy, a blog theme, something.  Where I HOPE it goes is somewhere like the joy rebellion, or the projects the other Katie creates (both links above) – something both small (meaning: unintimidating, easy to do with very little time/materials/costs) and BIG (meaning: spontaneous, public art, limitless possibilities, open to anyone to participate).

I don’t know. I’m always drawn to these kinds of projects and wish I could come up with something as simple yet with a big impact – at least on those who eyes/ears/hearts are open to the message.

So I’m letting it percolate. Adding inspiration. Adding time. Hopefully adding ideas that others have. Letting it all blend and mix and become part of ME, not just a collage of “other people’s work”.  No idea if anything will come of it, but let’s just wait and see.

Photo fun

rainbow socks in the rain

Rainbow socks brighten a rainy day!

Put on this pair of pants today that I haven’t worn in years.  Lost weight but still kindof in between sizes, as they are tight, and short, but all the better to show off my socks! 😀

My shoes are my daily shoes that I wear to work – so comfortable unless really walking long distances – dansko clogs.  Photo taken on way to get lunch at the building next door, because if I tried taking one in my cubicle my coworker may think I’m strange.  (By now most of them should KNOW I am!  But I didn’t feel like fielding questions.)

So I thought about doing some retail therapy this morning.  Given the nature of the unravelling ecourse, I hopped back over to the Lomography site.  I had drooled over some of their items before, and almost got the disposables with color flash filters for Burning Man.  But given the lower price of the actual cameras, it makes more sense to get a regular one – I won’t care TOO much if it gets destroyed by the dust, but with a little caution it should be fine.  (I never would risk my DSLR.  Yeah it’s not top of the line, but I couldn’t replace it if something happened.)

I was happily perusing when I was called away by my boss, and much to our surprise – our project group got gift checks for meeting an important deadline!! So when it came down to it, I couldn’t choose between a fisheye and a colorsplash, and I got both.  Just over double what I would have wanted to spend, but half was covered by my bonus. (Free shipping, and bundled with a bunch of film which cost less than half the price of buying it separately.)

Next time, maybe it will be an instant camera (Susannah who teaches the course loves polaroids…) or one of the multi-lens options (I linked to 3 of the varieties but there’s a few more.)

Notice how well my reward inspired me to work hard today? 😛  Knowing the crunch that will happen before the deadline (which keeps changing), I know I’ll be working like crazy regardless of how little or much gets done now.