Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Images, New Projects

(imported from my former photo blog)
It's been a fascinating couple of weeks in the making, but finally it has all come together.

After reading a great new book Choice Point, I was inspired to create some new abstract images to use in a tarot style card deck.

It was one of those projects that just flowed easily, the ideas came, I wrote them down.  I worked on the images only when I was inspired to.  
 It was almost spooky how the text part of the project came.  I sat down with the images and started writing, it just flowed out of me.

This tarot style card deck is uplifting and positive.  The messages are created to enlighten the reader and give them positive guidance.

It's called the Shift tarot.  It's a 12 card deck.  There are 8 Master cards and 4 Element cards. 

This is the cover card for the deck.

In a reading you pull one card from each deck while focusing on your query.  The messages written on the back of each card will give you clues to how you should proceed. 
I have also included a numerology equivalent to the messages, along with an additional pleasant quote for guidance.

"Cycles" from the Master deck

"Water" from the Elements deck

This is really one of the most inspired projects I have created since the 2012 project I created in 2010.
I'm still working out the best way to have them printed and waiting on the first order to arrive.
Ultimately, of course, I would love to connect with a publisher who could fine tune the details and create a final package.

If you find this interesting, please comment or leave any suggestions for printing that you have had experience with.

Meanwhile I'd also like to promote the book Choice Point, Align Your Purpose, by Harry Massey and David R. Hamilton PhD.  A very interesting and new approach to the concepts in the title.

Mobile Home Living

First I'd like to welcome my new followers.  Welcome!!  I always check out new blogs and websites and am thoroughly enjoying my online community!

This post is dedicated to my gratitude to Crystal at Mobile Home Living for her superb two part feature on my place.  She's a sensitive and intuitive woman with a real talent for showcasing others.

I wasn't just impressed with her detailed "reporting" about the improvements to my place, but more so her keen observations of my mission and what I'm about here.  With just a brief interview she really zeroed in on the totality of my lifestyle.
I appreciated her professionalism and use of my photos to tell the story - complete with link backs to my posts!

So I guess this is sort of my public thank you to her, but I also really want to encourage others to check out her blog as well.  Not just the article about my place, but all the features she has done.
There's a ton of really useful tips and information on mobile homes and wonderful images of remodels and makeovers.

Thank you Crystal at Mobile Home Living and thank you followers for your interest here at New Pioneer and for your blogs and sites as well.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Natural Pesticide

I have been watching my environment lately as Spring progresses.  Warmer humid air brings out more bugs.
The hooded juncos were pecking at an old stump and the swallows have returned to feast on flying bugs.

Mother Nature was taking good care of the planet before we showed up.  Everything in its natural state functions perfectly.

When I first moved here I had problems with mice, ants, slugs, etc.  I confess I haven't always been a good steward of the land, I was annoyed and wanted immediate results to rid myself of these pests.
Armed with slug bait, ant spray and mouse poison I proceeded to make my human mark on the land.

Needless to say I felt bad about it and went to work to make peace with the earth.  It wasn't easy, but now that Mother Nature has forgiven me I can see the perfection in it all.

I have become more of an observer of my surroundings.  Most of the work is being done for me!
Daily, I watch the birds pecking on the ground, in the brush, and on trees.  You've seen them too, the towhee, junco, sparrow, nuthatch, woodpecker, warbler, robin, brown creeper - just to name a few.  They are eating bugs.  
Bats eat mosquitoes as do swallows.  Raccoons eat slugs, juncos eat ants.  Snakes will feed on mice, slugs and spiders, as do some frogs.

They are all a natural pesticide!  It's a beautiful symmetry, all working together to keep balance.  It's only when we introduce non native plants and soils that put our environment at risk, but worse damage comes from chemicals.

So I learned by letting go - and letting my environment guide me.  Not so surprisingly, I now have less pest problems, my environment is healthier and I have all these new friends!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Picasa Play

(imported from my former photo blog)
I love Picasa!  Hard to believe anything is free anymore, but Picasa photo editing is, and they have a new version out!  (Available from Google).  More photo effects for the crazed digital artist that I am - oh wait, or is that convergent media, more appropriately.

They now have figured out how to bypass the need to buy a Lomo or Holga camera, (sorry manufacturers!) with their effects button for either one.  I played with the functions which allow you some room to play.


Here is the "Holga-ish" function.  (That cracks me up by the way).  I used it with this black and white semi wide angle I shot on the beach.  It really brought out the detail.


Here is the "lomo-ish" version.  Talk about wildly vivid color!  What fun.


And for those of us who cannot draw a stick figure - I give you the "pencil sketch" function.  Isn't that fun??  I almost feel like an artist.

The intriguing thing is that you can adjust all these settings.  It's not like a click of a button, you actually get to play with the tones, and brush effects, or shadows and contrast.  Of course if you're like me you will then move on to other functions and tweak it some more.

I encourage you to try out Picasa if you haven't already, or check out the new functions.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

More Recycled Scarves!

I have had a couple of extra days off this week and am catching up on projects and my inspiration has returned after a long needed rest!

I am perfecting the New Pioneer Scarf.  To catch up those who are new here, I make a circular scarf from thrifted t-shirts that are white and 100% cotton.  I cut off the bottom section, tie-dye them and wa-la!  A terrific recycled item with several uses.

This time I went with extra large t-shirts which gave me a longer, wider scarf, and used darker dyes.


How about those colors?


Blue. bronze and green.  Aren't they great?  So soft and comfy too.  You can wear them around your neck, or over your head, or even both.  Visit my page NP Styles for more images on how to do this here.

I have all three listed for sale for only $22 each including free shipping in the U.S.!  They are available on my page Products here with PayPal buttons.  Only three of these at the moment as I need to go out thrift shopping for more t-shirts.

Hey, if you can think of any new ways to wear these, please share!
Till next time..  :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Waiting for Spring - Memories Revisted

Spring seems to have forgotten me this year.  Several late snows and a lot of rain aren't very encouraging to new growth or my attitude!
So I thought it would be a good time to reflect on past memories of life here in my community.

Trying to pick the best photos of visiting wildlife is difficult when there are so many to choose from!  But among memorable moments are these of a bobcat, bear, a squirrel, and a snake.  See captions for highlights.

One of two local bobcats a few years back.




This fearless youngster visited my yard several times.
Gotta love it when they stop to pose.
This is a common snake here, not poisonous!
I think the most snow I've had at one time was the winter of 2008.  At one point I measured three and a half feet depth - not really common for my area. 
I made this holiday card for my family out of state that year.  We all had a good laugh!


Fun with friends are also too many to name, but a few photos I ran across were these:


This group of women were part of a fun outing I created back when I had the art gallery collective.  We called ourselves Women in Wildlife, but later I think we preferred Wild Women.
We took day trips around the local area to explore trails, waterfalls and commune with nature.


This is one of my favorite photos from a couple of years ago when two of my friends and I attended OysterFest.  We had an opportunity to wear these "costumes" and get our photo taken with live geoducks!  (No harm came to them during this process by the way).


One of those friends went on to form a large drum circle group here which attracted people from all over.  It still carries on at our local library (after hours of course).

There are so many reason to love living in an area with a slower pace, nature abounds, and people are respective of it, for the most part.  You can hear yourself think, you have time to breath.
The highlight of my week is a day off that I can sit on the deck and bird watch, or work in the yard.
There is something nurturing in a simple life, it's somehow more fulfilling with less going on.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

What I Learned From Overdoing It

(imported from my former photo blog)
OR:  How to kill your inspiration.

For those of you who do (or did) work a day job that was different from your passion, you can probably relate to this.
Last year in December I took on some extra work, two more days a week.  Seemed like a great idea at the time and more money is always appealing.

I don't always know what's best for me, but I try to stay intuitive and balanced.
I'm going to share something personal with you.  About a year ago I discovered I was a Highly Sensitive Person, this shed a whole new light on my life;  my past, my present, and gave me tools to move into the future.  With this, comes a lot of responsibility to take extra care of myself.  Minimize stress, structure my responsibilities, get plenty of rest and down time, and pay attention to how I feel.  I call the latter my emotional barometer.  I'm still learning how to use it.

Even though I only added two days to my four day work week, I became completely unbalanced.  Apparently I need more down time than I realized. 
Everything was off; my energy, my digestion, my sleep.  I thought I had lost my mind!  More importantly, I had lost my inspiration.

Before all this I had just finished a six week course in marketing and was ready to apply it to several of my endeavors.  I reorganized my office and creative space, got my files in order, calendar and project list ready.

Besides photography as art, I also make things from recycled fabrics, an idea I formulated last summer out of  another project I called my Mission Quest (I'll write about that in another post).  That project inspired the idea to take white cotton thrifted t-shirts and make circular scarves from the bottom half - hand dyed in various colors.
I was able to get about 30 made, some sold right away, some were gifts and the remaining are consigned in a local boutique.  (See my page New Pioneer Style here .)

So obviously I was on a roll, fired up and inspired.
When I took on the extra work I basically just pulled the plug on my inspiration.  I had two personal traumas and some bad weather during this time to add to it.  While I had no control over those, I realized that I did have control over my day job.
I read a great book during this time:  Making Work Work for the Highly Sensitive Person by Barrie Jaeger PhD.  Not only did I learn how to balance work, but how to recognize what kind of work I was doing - or rather, what it was doing to me.

I do not have the luxury of being a full time photographer, or artist, and I am my sole supporter.  I'm OK with that, I like a little challenge and am proud to be independent.  But I have learned a very valuable lesson about savoring inspiration.  It's a gift and should be treasured.  If you're creative you know what I mean.  It can mean the difference between a good day and a bad day.  Inspiration makes you feel good, and wonderful things come out of it!

So obviously once I came to my senses and realized I had upset the delicate balance of my life, I let the extra job go.  But that took four months.

Soon I will be back to my former schedule which was working for me for the most part (one step at a time!).  After some healing I hope my inspiration returns - if it's not too offended at how I treated it.  For what?  Money?  Money isn't always the answer.  Sometimes it's the quality of life that is the most fulfilling.

Have you had a similar experience?