Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Day 229: On the Rocks

I've added this new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section, Ice

My husband gave me the idea to photograph ice. But how to make it unusual or appealing?

I put the ice in a pretty glass bowl, then put four layers of gold cellophane over a table lamp and placed the bowl on top, lighting the ice from below. I like the sharp-edged, crackled texture of the ice up against the rough texture of the wall behind it, and the glow of the light from below.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Day 228: EDM Musical Instrument

I've added this new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section, My Guitar.

Challenge #17 in Everyday Matters is to draw a musical instrument ... or in my case, photograph one.

This was an interesting challenge. I haven't played my guitar in months, so I pulled it out like greeting an old friend and learning something new about it. Instead of being attentive to the guitar's sound and texture, I was attentive to the aesthetics of it's shape and reflective qualities.

Might be time to play again, too!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Day 227: Wooden Bouquet

I've added this new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section, Toothpicks.

I'm getting inspired by other photographers that like to take close-up (macro) pictures. Today I saw a photo of some wooden matches. That got me looking around my house for something similar — my eye fell on these colorful toothpicks!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Day 226: Today's Lesson

Focus, for a while, on gratefulness.

Instead of seeking more, satisfying desires,
searching for something better


Look at what is in front of you
Examine what you already have
Give thanks

Focus, for a while, on gratefulness.

I've added this new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section, Sabbath.

The book?
Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives
by Wayne Muller

Watch for This

I've been lucky to attend a few needlework retreats and workshops. It's great to learn from the pros and meet like-minded stitchers.

To help get the word out of events, retreats, workshops, and festivals coming up in 2007, I've updated the Watch For This page in my Stitcher's Studio

MacroDay: Fruit

My daughter Jodie and I were on a walk last summer and took this photo of a raspberry growing on the edge of a neighbor's yard. I love how you can see every little seed on the berry. I also love that the nice ripe berry is alongside the remnants of the picked berry. And the background is just cool. I'm using this photo as my entry for MacroDay this week where the theme is "Fruit."

Saturday, January 27, 2007


With the Internet connection broken, I had lots of time to stitch. I finished this quilt square for charity. It will be part of a quilt with the theme "Flowers." Though it doesn't show well in the photo, there are silver metallic highlights in the flower.

This design, Georgie, is by Bizzi Creations

Days 223 to 225: Catch-up

Our darn modem went on the blink, and we were without an Internet connection for 2-1/2 days. I was going through the DTs! But the nice guy from Time Warner Cable stopped by today (Saturday!) and fixed us up in a jiffy, once we figured out the problem.

So now I'm playing catch-up. I've added three new photographs to Creative Journey in my Photography section. First, the last of the snowstorm series, Holly. What I found interesting was that just hours after I took this photo, I found a similar one quite by accident on the web.

Then Jodie got creative out in the white stuff and made Mr. Snowmanall by herself! Mr. Snowman is keeping little Ashlee company out in the back yard.

Jodie's still whining ... ooops ... complaining that her arms hurt from rolling the giant snowball.

But we paused to take this Snow Family Portrait before scurrying back into the house to get warm.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

WIP: Gerogie (2)

I got to stitch a little bit again today.
The petals are filling in.

This is a very simple design and fun to stitch.

Day 222: Garbage

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section, Trash Day

Three frozen sentinels in the back of a pick-up truck. I wouldn't want to be the sanitation worker on a day like today. This is starting to be way too much weather for me.

I need a vacation.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

WIP: Georgie

This is my current work in progress. Georgie is being stitched for a charity quilt with the theme of "Flowers."

I've only been stitching on it a couple hours, but it seems to be going rather quickly.

Day 221: Frozen Forest

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section, Backyard Forest

Fourth in the series after the snowstorm, this is a look at some of the bushes and trees in my back yard. A little way away from here, the squirrels are scurrying.

Rose Lady - Completed!

'Tis done!

My Rose Lady by Just Nan is not only one of my PILLs (projects in long lines), but it is also my 2007 Stitching Challenge for 2muchxs. Go me!

To read more about it, pop on over to Cameo's Corner on my website.

Monday, January 22, 2007

MacroDay: Writing

Ooooooo! I'm just starting to poke around the web looking at photo sites. I found a weekly challenge site that is right up my ally: MacroDay. Each week a challenge is posted, and participating members interpret the challenge in a close-up image and post it.

This week's challenge is Writing. I decided to use a photo I took a while back, Dad's Band. The writing is the engraving on the inside of Dad's wedding ring.

There are some wonderful photos on this site! I already have a favorite photographer there and I only poked around the archives a little bit.

Day 220: The Thaw Begins

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section, Commencement

For the last three days, it looks like nothing has melted. Is this the first sign?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Rose Lady Update

The stitching is done on my Rose Lady, a design by Just Nan. Next I add some gold beads. Then mount it and pop it in the frame. Should be done soon!

Day 219: Another Snowy Day

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section, Frozen Berries

I love the look of the trees and bushes when laden with fresh snow. Anything dark stands out in sharp contrast.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Day 218: After the Snowfall

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section, Fresh Blanket

We got a nice storm carrying 3 to 6 inches of snow. It was beautiful and crisp this morning when I went out ... before the plows came by and the traction sand flew. Great snow, too ... perfect for snowman building.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Day 217: Snowy Evening

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section, Twilight on Ridgewood

The streetlight appears as a heavenly orb.

I've almost had enough of this snow, though. Is Spring on the way?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Day 216: Speaking of America ...

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section:

It's a snowy evening here in north Idaho, USA. A lone American flag is risen at half mast in front of the pastor's house. Adrift in the swirling flakes, it speaks volumes.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Day 215: EDM Favorite Tool

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section: Self Portrait

This is Challenge #16 from Danny Gregory's Everyday Matters series: Draw (photograph) a favorite tool.

My favorite tool? My new camera! So ... it took a picture of itself!

Skating Reindeer

I've added my latest stitchery to Cameo's Corner on my website. This Skating Reindeer will be made into an ornament and given to a sick child who is in a hospital.

War Photographer

My husband and I watched the movie War Photographer last weekend. Wow. That's a lot of amazing and awful stuff to witness.

The photographer, James Nachtwey, had this wonderful quote toward the end of the movie:

The strength of photography lies in its ability to evoke a sense of humanity.

If only!
If only I could evoke such feelings from the photos I take!

Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving

Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving by Mrs. Archibald H. Christie has been posted to Project Gutenberg. Downloads are free. I recommend the unzipped HTML file for those who have the bandwidth.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Days 212 - 214: Jodie's Concert

Our family has been ill for a few days, so I got behind in posting my photos.

Jodie had her first concert tonight with the Coeur d'Alene Junior Orchestra. This is an extracurricular activity for her. She auditioned to become a member. She is one of two flautists.

The orchestra meets just once a week. Most of the kids are in middle school, but there are some as young as 4th grade who saw away on the violins. With that much of an age difference, and that much difference in musical experience, the director has quite a challenge on his hands, molding these young musicians into a cohesive unit.

Tonight's concert was held at North Idaho College in the Schuler Auditorium. It's a beautiful facility and an excellent place for the students to be on stage. The jr. orchestra played first, then the Cd'A Youth Orchestra, comprised of the area's high school students, completed the evening's entertainment. For a first performance, both orchestras did quite a nice job!

Poor Jodie was pretty wiped out by the end of the evening. She played her heart out, but her less-than-desired health took a beating.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Day 211: Roadside Ice Sculpture Redux

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section: Ice Blossom

Have you ever seen ice "flower" before your eyes? This one looks like it's growing a cavern.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Day 210: Cold and Clear

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section: Winter Tree

The temperatures have dipped into the single digits. Brrrrr! But look how beautiful the branches stand out against the blue dusk sky!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Day 209: Be Cruel to Animals Week

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section: Honey Extraction

First the bunny gets left at the side of the road. Now a bear is beheaded! Not a good week for the animals in my neighborhood!

The things I do to make some whole wheat bread! Next time ... a fresh jar of honey.

Lessons I Learned this Morning

  1. A well-stocked kitchen needs "vital gluten" if I want to make whole wheat bread.
  2. Read the recipe before you start it.
  3. Ginsu knives really can cut off a honey bear's head.
  4. Make sure you have all fresh ingredients before you start the bread recipe.
  5. If you're frustrated with the baking not going as planned, 15 laps around the top floor of the house can ease your frustration.
  6. 15 laps around the top floor of the house is about 500 steps, or 1/4 mile.
  7. Little bugs like to die in containers of rice.
  8. If you're frustrated with finding a bug in your rice when you're trying to concoct a crock pot dinner, 15 laps around the top floor of the house can ease your frustration.
  9. Another 15 laps around the top floor of the house is about 500 steps. Hey! 1/2 mile now.
  10. After 30 laps around the top floor of the house, that pile of dirty dishes doesn't look so big ... because you just want to stop walking in circles.
:) I've learned my new things for the day. Is it time to go to bed now?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Day 208: Casualty

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section: Snow Bunny.

This lawn ornament is a casualty of winter. Instead of frolicking among the spring flowers, he's flat on his back in a snow drift ... er ... make that ice berm among the dead pine needles and road grime.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Day 207: Roadside Ice Sculpture

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section: Ice Swan

I went for a walk at dusk tonight. The main part of the streets in the neighborhood are cleared of snow and ice now, but at the edges of the street and curb, there are odd, melting ice formations that look like sculptures.

This is an actual image of one of those sculptures. I played with it a bit in my paint program, outlining the shape that looked like a swan and colorizing it, then placing it back into the original photo. I thought it was so interesting that the dirt spatters gave the illusion of an eye, a beak, feathers.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Day 206: In the Tank

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section: Who Me?

This is another of my through-the-glass Wal-Mart shots. I caught this fish's stare in the pet department.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Day 205: Crustacean Tank

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section: Crustacean Tank.

Once again, I played with photographing through glass. These lobsters were in the tank in the meat department at Wal-Mart (thus, the rubber band on his claw). I had a lot of trouble with light reflections on the glass. Only where my body blocked the light was I able to get some non-glare in the photo.

Take a Stitch Tuesday: Herringbone

I've decided to join Sharon B's "Take a Stitch Tuesday" Challenge. I didn't think I could be part of this challenge because I already have so many commitments and goals for myself this year. But after I read Sharon's first entry, then Pamela Kellogg's, then peeked through the TAST Flickr group ... I couldn't resist. I want to be a part of this extraordinary learning experience, too!

There are no rules for how you display the stitches you try out. Some stitchers are making samplers. Some are making stitch books. Well, I decided to make bookmarks!

Actually, this is killing two birds with one stone. One of the commitments I've made is to stitch one bookmark per month for the Cross Stitching for Charity group. The bookmarks are collected and distributed to children in various hospitals around the country.

I used the inspiration of others to begin my bookmark. I got the idea to couch a piece of rick-rack from Lin Moon's entry.

I couched in a yellow floss, then I tied down the stitches with a light shade of green. Then I added some fan stitches from Pamela Kellogg's chart using a darker green. By this time, my bookmark started looking like a bug ... so I just went with that idea, since this bookmark is for a child.

I found a button with a funny nick in it that sort of looked like a mouth. Sewed that on. Gave my bug some antennae, then added French Knots for eyes.

I backed the bookmark with a green fabric that has leaves on it ... as if it's the bush where this bug lives.


Saturday, January 6, 2007

Day 204: Epiphany

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section:
Day 204: Epiphany

Today marks the 12th Day of Christmas, the Feast of Epiphany. So I've taken a photo of our 3rd nativity set.

This Precious Moments set was a gift from my father to my mother. It became mine after their deaths.

Like yesterday, I was playing with taking a picture through glass. This nativity set sits on a wooden base and is covered in a glass globe. I was pleased that I captured a bit of the globe's shine, but not too much light reflection.

2007 Stitching Challenge: Rose Lady

In the 2muchxs Yahoo! group I participate in, we have an annual challenge to begin a new piece on January 1. All that is needed is to put one stitch into your new piece to complete the challenge. I signed up to begin Rose Lady by Just Nan. It is one of my PILLs (Projects In Long Lines).

Well, life got in the way, as it sometimes does. I decided to put my efforts into beginning this blog on January 1st instead of stitch. The rest of the week I was visiting with my college-age daughter and trying to rearrange my Studio so that I could get back to stitching. I didn't get my first stitches in to my challenge piece until today. This is pretty nice progress, though.

Personally, I'd rather have a challenge to finish a piece than to start one.
:: shrug ::
To each his own.

Anyway, when I bought this chart, I was more intrigued by the finishing technique than by the design ... though I think the design is quite pretty. Rose Lady came in a package with one of Just Nan's Easy Easel Needlework or Photo Frames. It's a simple 3-1/4" satin covered frame with an insert that you wrap your stitchery around, then pop the corners of the stitchery into the frame opening. A twisted cord can be added for embellishment. Pretty.

I may or may not put a ladybug charm on this piece. I'm going to alter the chart a bit so that if I decide I don't want to use the charm, the piece will still look complete.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Day 203: EDM Through the Window

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section:
Day 203 - End of the Season

When I was a young teenager and full of angst, I loved to walk in the alley that ran behind the houses in the neighborhood. I'd look over the fences and, if any drapes were open, I'd peek in the window and imagine what it would be like to live there instead of in my home.

What I loved seeing most was families sitting around the dinner table, sharing a meal, and looking like they enjoyed each other's company.

So in taking this photo, I put myself in my teenage shoes, and peeked through the front window of my own home. I like what I see! I've helped to make my home the kind of place I always wanted to live in ... and pretty as a picture!

This photo is also part of the Everyday Matters Challenge. I learned about this website through another stitcher who likes to draw. The Everyday Matters Challenge is to draw often. The more you draw, the better you'll get. The site's owner, Danny Gregory, gives drawing assignments. Then the participants draw a picture and post it to the Flickr group.

Well, I barely draw. So I decided to use the EDM assignments and photograph the images rather than drawing them. I figure, the more photos I take, the better I'll get! This is Challenge #15: Draw a tree or trees, leaves or branches.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Day 202: Santa Baby

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section:
Day 202 - Santa

Isn't this a great-looking ornament? I just love the detail in his face ... the crinkly smile lines around his eyes.

The challenge with this photo was in playing with my photo editing software. I was pleased to find the fun edges to add to my photos.

But I had some trouble in my paint program when I tried to change the white edge to burgundy. While messing around, I learned that what I want to accomplish has something to do with layers and transparencies. I almost got the program to do what I wanted, but the quality of the photograph deteriorated too much. Then I ran out of "play time," so just uploaded the photo as it.

I am looking forward to taking a digital photography class. It's one of my goals for 2007. My photos will become more and more effective as I learn to use my tools better.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Day 201: Joy Balls

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section:
Day 201 - Joy Ball

Once again, I'm playing with pointing the camera into a light source -- this time the Christmas lights which are about five feet behind the joy ball. I also had some light on behind my lens to light the ball. I didn't get quite the perspective I'd hoped to achieve, but the photo still works for me.

So, what is a Joy Ball you ask? One of these days I'll have to put up a slide show in Cameo's Crafts with some step-by-step directions and photos. In the mean time, here's an overall idea of how they are made:
  1. Cut 20 circles of equal size out of old Christmas cards.

  2. On the back of each circle, make an equilateral triangle (all sides the same length, all angles the same). Make sure that half of the triangles have a point at the top of your image, the other half have a point at the bottom.

  3. Fold each circle on the lines drawn.

  4. Now take five of the "point up" circles and glue the sides together, leaving the bottom of the image unglued. This forms the top of your Joy Ball. You might glue the sides, then hold them together with paper clips or clothes pins until they dry.

  5. Next take five of the "point down" circles and glue the sides together, leaving the top of the image unglued. This forms the bottom of your Joy Ball.

  6. The remaining circles are arranged by alternating them "point up" then "point down." Glue carefully until these ten circles form a ring. This is the center section of the Joy Ball.

  7. Now join the "joy ball top" to the center section of the ball, aligning the bottoms of the "joy ball top" to the "point side down" triangles of the "joy ball center."

  8. Now join the "joy ball bottom" to the center section of the ball, aligning the tops of the "joy ball bottom" to the "point side up" triangles of the "joy ball center."

  9. Punch some holes at the very top of the Joy Ball and thread a string through it, then tie the string into a loop so that you can hang your ball.

I've made four different sizes of Joy Balls. The size is determined by the size of circle you choose to cut out. It's possible to make very small circles of one inch in diameter, glue your circles together, and use your Joy Ball as a tree ornament. But the smaller the circle, the more difficult it is to handle.

Beginners might try making Joy Balls out of colored paper or a nice thick foil wrapping paper. With all solid color circles, it is not so hard to figure out the "point up," "point down" part because there are no pictures that need to land in a certain direction.

I learned to make Joy Balls when I was in elementary school, so this is a craft that kids can accomplish. In fact, my girls helped me make these Joy Balls several years ago. We are able to decorate with them year after year because we store the Joy Balls in one of those giant popcorn tins so they don't get squished in the off-season.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Day 200: Black & White

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section:
Day 200 - Evening Dusting

I'm playing with light again. This time the light on the deck is casting long shadows into the back yard where we have our nativity set up. The light looked so pretty shining on the dusting of snow. I thought there was some decent contrast, so I made this image black & white.

It's the first black & white photography I've done on my Journey, and it has some interesting results. I'll have to play with stark contrast some more.

I started thinking about black & white photography over the last week because of two isolated instances. First, I bought Annie Leibovitz's book A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005 for my husband for Christmas. Most of the images in that book are black & white.

The second instance has to do with needlework! The charity group I'm in has decided to stitch some quilt squares for Love Quilts Germany. Babies like crisp images in black & white ... and I've signed up to stitch one of those squares. (I'll post it in the coming months). So it was interesting to go through my stash of charts to find an appropriate black & white design. My eye had to look at the charts in a new way to see if some of the colors could be converted.

*Sigh* The holidays are just about over now. I'll plan on posting Christmas photos until January 6 ... the feast of the Epiphany. I make this season last as long as possible. I love Christmas!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Day 199: Into the Light

I've added a new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section:
Day 199 - Chandelier

For the last couple days, I've been playing with light a bit. I'm trying some images where I point the camera into the main light source and see if I can get some interesting effects using back lighting. I needed to try quite a few versions of each shot before I got a pleasing effect.

Be a Voyeur!

It's official! With this post I am entering the
blogosphere as an author, editor, Creative Pilgrim.

Thank you for peeking through my Studio Window to see what I'm up to on my Creative Journey. Starting in June of 2006, I decided to quit my day job and take some time to explore the talents lying hidden or dormant inside me. I'm hoping that after a couple years, I'll know better where I can put my talents and resources to help make this world a better place -- and maybe get a new job. I'm on Day 199 today.

I've been actively posting my progress on my website, CameoRoze's Stitcher's Studio. My Studio is my refuge ... both the brick & mortar studio and my digital studio. I have lots of interests including:

My particular love is counted cross-stitch. But I also enjoy crochet, knitting, silk ribbon embroidery, a bit of canvas work, and other forms of embroidery. In 2007 I'm putting a special emphasis on UFOs, WISPs and PILLs (unfinished objects, works in slow progress and projects in long lines). I plan creating lots of posts with these in mind. To help me along, I've joined Sandie's UFO/WISP Challenge.

Needlework Finishing
It's great to stitch the needlework, but lots of stitchers get stuck with what do with the piece once the stitching is done. I like to try various methods to turn needlework into objects ready to display. When I learn a new technique, I make step-by-step slide shows so that visitors to my site can learn, too.

I post a photo each day. Sometimes it's an artsy shot, other times it's family snapshots. I'd like to learn more about photography. So I'm starting by just getting in the habit of taking pictures.

Crafts, Sewing and Quilting
I'm open to trying all kinds of crafts. I have a special fondness for creating Christmas ornaments. I quilt each week with a group of "church ladies," the St. George's Quilters. In addition my best friend keeps trying to infect me with the Quiltie Bug, so this area of my studio may grow.

I'm a librarian at heart. I like to read and listen to audio books. Then I post book reviews on my site.

One of these days I'll start selling some of my extras on eBay. Until then, I've got things for sale on my website. For those that like used stitchery leaflets and used books, this is a treasure trove. Besides that, I donate 10% of all items sold to Oprah's Angel Network.

I imagine you'll get a glimpse at the most important people in my life if you peek through my window long enough. And ... uh ... I have a fondness for giraffes which may reveal itself here and there. :)

Here's where I give my point of view, my opinions, talk about the charities that are important to me, my politics, etc. Since this blog will primarily highlight my needlework and crafts, I don't anticipate jumping on the soapbox a lot here ... but you just never know! I get pretty excited about Flylady, and have a hard time keeping quiet about her system.

I'm glad you stopped by and hope that as the year progresses, you'll find lots of ideas and inspiration here as you peek through my Studio Window.

Cameo @-->-->---