Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ruby's Gems

I'm going to try to keep up with both my drawing and my cartooning skills.  Hence, from this day forth, Thursdays shall be "Ruby's Gems" day! (I feel there ought to be a fanfare of some sort... just imagine one, ok?)

Anyway, here's the first Ruby's Gem:

in case you can't read it, it says:
"Sometimes, everything needs an attitude adjustment!"

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I got home from work last night (9/27) and GUESS WHAT WAS WAITING FOR ME!!!! (squealbouncebouncybouncesquealsqueal!)  YES!  Even tho' they only juuuuust mailed my package the date I made this post, I got my lens kit YESTERDAY! WOOTWOOT!  Wait for it, mayhem will ensue this weekend as I run around playing with my new toys lenses.

So... that's me squealing like a grade-schooler on helium.  I got an email today stating that my newly ordered lens kit for my Canon Rebel was on it's way and I could expect it by this Friday, the 28th.

(excuse me) :  AAAAIIIIEEEEEEEK!!

Sorry, just needed to get that out. (heeee!)

Yes, I'm a tad excited.  I've been having fun with my camera and I've even been using the macro setting but, I can't get closer than a foot or so or it won't focus. Hence, one of the reasons I bought this kit. It carries both a macro attachment and a wide angle attachment.  (as listed in my previous post).  I have plans to play practice with my new lenses over the next several days. I'll post pics to let you see the progress..... I may even post the not-so-good shots to see the progression.... maybe.... we'll see where my vanity-meter is pointing when the time comes (snork).

Oh, and, expect another shriek with the package arrives.

So, tell me what exciting thing has happened to you today.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fair Entries

For those of you holding your breaths in anticipation......

No. I won't be doing the Happy Hamster Dance.  Sorry, that was reserved for the off-chance one of my entries should happen to win 1st Place.  Didn't happen. 

What DID happen:

(sorry, in advance, for the crappy shots... used my iPhone to get them)

Okay, 1st, the ribbon/id tag is upside-down.  That would be because they HUNG THE PICTURE UPSIDE-DOWN!  When I got there, today, I turned it back around. I received Honorable Mention and, while that's nothing to sneeze at, I can't help but wonder if I wouldn't have placed higher if it had been hung correctly to begin with.  Well, the lesson we take from this is, when there's a doubt about your entry, ALWAYS write on the back (in red ink, is my suggestion) "THIS IS THE TOP!" and, down below, "THIS IS THE BOTTOM!" or, maybe "THIS IS RIGHT-SIDE UP" and "THIS IS UPSIDE-DOWN" and, hopefully, that will negate any confusion. 

But, that's not all. Yes, two of my four entries actually placed!  (drumroll, please!) budududududududududuuuuuubaDUM!

Yes! While it's not 1st, I did place 2nd with my little "King Of Spring" sparrow shot!  Not too shabby! (but not Happy Hamster Dance-worthy, either. Get over it!)

On top of that, I got a small bonus (only $50.00, but it's $50.00 I didn't have before!) because of a sweet, sweet person I call Saner Sister! (love you, Sis!)  and I decided to put it to use toward some inexpensive camera additions.  I have ordered me the following:

From Amazon

THIS is the "Essential Kit for the Canon Rebel" (T2i among others) and has macro and wide angle attachments, a lens hood, several different types of filters, a flash diffuser and cleaning kit.  I found it on Amazon and I did a careful check of my options before I settled on this.  I know it's not a high-end or expensive set, but I'm still learning how to best use my camera. Which would you rather take chances with, a $75.00 set or a $300.00 set? 
Yeah, me, too.

I do have plans to go back for the "Canon EOS Rebel Macro Extension Tube Set Kit for Extreme Close-up" later on. It's only about $4.50 so I don't think it would be any kind of loss, even if it didn't help or enhance anything.  I'd like to play around and see what happens.

I'll post more photos to keep you apprised of how things are going with my learning curve with my new lens set (once I receive it, that is).

So, what have YOU done lately?  Any awards, any upcoming shows? Share!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fair Photos


It would seem one of my photos I entered in our local Fair has placed.  I don't know which one, yet, because I haven't been there.  A cheering co-worker has gone and is all but doing the Happy Hamster Dance herself to tell me which one and what but I have threatened her with "murder/death/kill" if she breathes so much as a WORD!  I want to find out when I go.  SO! Check back tomorrow to see what (if anything) actually placed, where it placed and whether I will be doing the Happy Hamster Dance, myself.

(check here to see what I entered)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I *Heart* Macro & And I'm Cameralogically Challenged

I've decided I'm going to joing Studio Waterstone's "I Heart Macro" and post macro pics from time to time.  I'm still learning (man! WB, shade, cloudy, field of focus, near, far, whereeeeeever you aarrrrre!.... wait.... what just happened?)

Anyway, here's a few pics I took today on Mom's porch and back yard, attempting to put all these things together. Any nice look to the shot I attribute more to my camera than me... altho'.... I did have it on Manual not Automatic.

Working on Focal Length/Depth of Field, I think it focused
on the wall and forelegs of the Mantis

Don't remember what these are called,
but they're pretty!

....but I don't think you can eat the fruit!

Daddy Longlegs, Cellar Spider.... as long as it's the lens and
not ME that gets close! (8 legged scurriers! ~shudder~)

Went back over to these and played with
the "Monochrome" setting in my camera.
Yes, this is done in-camera, not afterwards.

He was still out there.... did you know Mantis's eyes change
color with the light?  They're lighter at day (see the 1st pic)
than at night.... I may have to go look this up to find out why.

So, go over to Lori's page to see her shots and what others have done. ;)

Lazy Saturday

*UPDATE*: The 2nd picture? I asked a bug expert.... ok, ok, he's a bug killing expert, but he still knows his bugs!  Bug #2 is a Katydid!  I thought those were only found in the Deep South, never knew we had 'em here, but there y'go!

Mom was on the front porch, decorating for Fall/October, and this guy was out there cleaning up bugs. 

Don't know about you, but I wouldn't want this guy looking at me like *I* was a snack!

His pal was out at my office last week:


Not sure what kind of bug he is... not a grasshopper (definitely not a praying mantis) so, if anyone knows, or wants to give me their best guess...... ??

Also, I work around farm fields and vineyards.  Last week they harvested grapes and set them to drying for raisins:

Yes, they used to lay them out open, but birds and other critters ate them, bugs got on them.... ick! (and people wonder why I won't eat raisins!) But now they set 'em up this way.

Anyway, this next week I'll be going to the Fair to see if any of the pictures I entered won anything.  Keeping my fingers crossed.  Also, this next week I'll start putting down a little more information about the Sci-Fi Blog Hop.  I'll start with some rules, some suggestions for those who are lost, stuck or don't know much about Sci-Fi but want to participate and, hopefully, a date.  I'm not sure if it will all be available in one post or over several but we will be moving forward.

Everyone have a good weekend! :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What I Did and What I'm Going To Do

Well, last night I ended up not playing with my polymer clay.  But I did spend a few hours playing with wire.  I made my first ever attempt at wire wrapping a river rock for a pendent.  Not too bad for not having the skill-set to do this:

I also attempted to make a clasp.... nnnnnnnnot so well done:

The catch is okay, but I'm not overly impressed with the hook.  Oh, well, I'll just have to practice on cheap artist wire. It'll come. It'll come.

Now, as to what I'm going to do.... I have received such positive response to the idea of a Sci-Fi blog hop that I'm going to go ahead and host one.  Now, before you all start doing the Happy Hamster Dance, realize it probably won't be until January or February because a) I don't want to interfere with the Holidays, I know most of you have craft/trade shows you're in around this time or you're really cranking out the product for your on-line stores; b) I don't want to interfere with Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party which, I believe, is going to be in January and I know a number of you/us want to join.  Once I get that date from Lori (or at least an approximate) I will post our Hop date as well as the rules.

I will say this, several have already asked about science fiction versus science fantasy (i.e. The Matrix vs. The Lord of the Rings) and my thought is that "Sci-Fi" covers a large spectrum.  HOWEVER, someone else also suggested a "series" of sci-fi hops where we can cover more than one universe/genre over a period of time.  Give me your thoughts on this: one hop that allows for sci-fi/fantasy or a series of hops that covers several genres over time.  What do you think?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Meet Ruby - plus - What Inspires You?

Meet Ruby of Ruby's Gems.  She's someone I've been doodling on and off over the past few years.  She's my answer to Maxine.  Not that I don't like Maxine, she can be darn funny! But she's always on the slightly-cynical-mostly-grouchy-side of funny.  Ruby's more on the cheerful-look-for-the-humor-side of funny. Not that she doesn't have her cynical side (remind me to put up her "Silence is golden but Duct Tape is silver!" doodle) but she's one that tries to see the silver lining rather than the silver duct tape answer. 

Now, granted, I'm no cartoonist, but most successful cartoonists weren't all that good when they first started out so just enjoy the wit (such as it is ~snerk~) and try not to be too put out by the "art" (such as it is ~snork~)

Ruby also wanted you to know why I was absent last Friday, all weekend AND yesterday.... busybusybusy bee Friday, Saturday and Sunday (sadly, not at the craft table) and migraine yesterday:

Yes, this is pretty much what it felt like (well.... add about 3 more hammers).  Actually, I told someone it felt more like my head was a bag of pus about to explode but, since I don't want to totally gross you out, I won't tell you that.  Anyway, I hope to get into the craft room tonight and make some Halloween jewelry with my clay.  We'll see.

I'm also totally caught up in reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Yes, sadly, I not only loved it (for the most part) when it first aired, I'm now watching reruns of it on my Kindle Fire. And I've really begun to notice some of the jewelry on some of the characters.  For example, this really neat piece worn by the Barzan Premier in the episode "The Price" :

I'd love to talk to whomever designed the jewelry for the various Star Trek species and cultures. I'd ask what inspired them to design a piece the way they did for that culture. Did they give the various stones and metals specific names to show they came from that particular planet? (since, in the world of Rodenberry - not to mention science-, other worlds would have metals and stones not found on Earth)  Did they create the jewelry "in-house" or hire it out to be done?

And.... maybe I just found my next blog hop challenge.... Hmmmm.... Let me think on this....  designing a piece of jewelry for a science fictional culture...

Too Cool! :)