Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mr. Pumpkin Head

I finished crocheting my pumpkin a few days ago and after several hours of felt face cutting and velcro sewing he is complete! I modified a simple amigurumi pumpkin pattern to make a much larger and wider pumpkin. Then I had an awesome time cutting 10 eyes, 10 mouths, and 6 noses out of black felt. I sewed small pieces of velcro to the pumpkin where the eyes, nose and mouth should be and then stuck self-adhesive corresponding pieces of velcro to the back of each felt piece. It's not flawless but since I'm pretty new to crochet it definitely makes me happy. Plus, it's up on my new etsy knit & crochet shop!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Alanis in Concert

Lily and I went to see Alanis Morissette in concert last night. She was promoting her new album, Flavors of Entangelment, that's coming out today. The concert was through this series called The Artists Den that hosts small concerts around the country. Their concerts are for members who've paid fees to join but they also reserve some tickets to give away for each concert in a sort of raffle. Last year Richard and I were able to see Patty Griffin in concert because he won tickets through the raffle. It's pretty awesome because their concerts are usual small, 100 or 200 people, and the two that I've been to were both in old churches so the venues are really unique and cool.

This is where I'll insert the funny story of how when I was in either middle school or highschool and Alanis' first album came out I was a HUGE fan. I desperately wanted to see her in concert so when tickets went on sale my mom went and waited in line at ticketmaster forever to surprise me with tickets but even though she was basically first in line the tickets had already sold out online. Damn modern technology.

Anyway, the concert was awesome. Although yesterday was the hottest day of the heat wave that we've got here so standing outside in line for an hour in 100+ weather was pretty terrible and then to make matters worse the a/c in the venue was either non-existent or not strong enough to make a difference. So for most of the time between 6:30pm and 10pm Lily and I just stood around sweating.

Although there wasn't supposed to be any photography during the show, as soon as it started I saw cameras fly up everywhere. I sort of shyly joined in and took a few photos. Unfortunately, I was standing behind the jolly green giant and even lifting my camera over my head most of the shots were blocked by his bald spot. So to anyone over 5'8" at a concert may I put in my official request that you stand in the back.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

TTV in Prospect Park

Chris and I spent an hour or so yesterday wandering around Prospect Park. I made a black paper contraption to go around the duaflex camera I bought. This is a photo of a similar, although much more nicely made version. It's purpose is to prevent glare on the viewfinder of the duaflex camera that would mess up the photo.

It was a sunny, warm, summer kind of day so the park was pretty buzzing with people and it was a lot of fun taking ttv photos. I feel like I probably looked pretty strange carrying around one giant, black-shrouded camera with my digital camera around my neck as well. But a few minutes into the park Chris and I saw a family taking their pet rabbit out on a leash and I felt better because a rabbit on a leash seems so much weirder.

As Chris and I were heading back toward the park exit we saw this guy practicing with what I think is a parasail. He wasn't trying to get lift off or anything, although that would have made for some really awesome photos. I really like how these photos came out though. The TTV style creates a nice, soft blur around the edges of the photo that really draws your eye into the center of the image.

Monday, May 19, 2008

TTV - Part 2

Here are some more TTV shots of prints. Let me know what you think.

Gone to Pot

The pumpkin has finally gotten a new, bigger pot...which already seems too small. Lily has nightmares of it taking over the apartment while we sleep. Chris just looks at it, smirks and shakes his head. At least we seem to have successfully bee-proofed the terrace although I know just saying that has cursed me to wake up one morning to a swarm of bees nesting in my pillow.

As you can see, the leaves alone are now about the size of my hand. Lily may not be too far off with her fears.

The buds are starting to get much bigger so I'm sure that I'll soon be sitting on the terrace floor with a few dozen q-tips trying to pollinate the thing before the flowers fade and fall off. From what I've read the flowers only bloom for a few days so I can't procrastinate or I'll end up sans pumpkins come Halloween. So, that's all that's new with the pumpkin. Here's a few more photos of its awesomeness.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Book Collector

This is just a cute photo of Chris that I took in B&H Photo when I was trying out a new lens. The lens is an awesome 50mm lens that goes down to f1.4 so I can take photos at night or in really low light situations using a pretty quick shutter speed. I really like it and it's been my lens of choice for my street photography since Chris bought it for me.

Coney Island

These are some photos from Coney Island that I took in March of this year. One of the photos from this shoot is already up on my my online shop. These ones are still works in progress though. Also, this was some of the most miserable 10 minutes of photographing I've done. Chris and I went out to Coney Island thinking that Spring was in the air. So it sucked when we got to the beach dressed for warm weather and it was freezing. A storm was blowing in and there was this crazy frigid wind coming with it. So when you're looking at these photos keep in mind that I was shivering and miserable during each one of them. That being said, I think they came out pretty cool. I hope to get back to Coney Island again soon.

Monday, May 12, 2008


I've been experimenting with ttv (through the viewfinder) photos. I bought a Duaflex II camera for a couple of bucks on eBay. It doesn't have the grid lines in the viewfinder like the Rolleiflex I have and it's also nowhere near as valuable so I can tape it without stress and if it ever falls while I'm trying to set up one of these shots I can get through without crying. I think that the photos are coming out really cool. So a TTV photo just means that you use one camera to take a picture of the big, square viewfinder of a box camera. It usually adds a more vintage look to the photo and distorts the focus around the edges. I enhanced that distortion by using a macro lens on my digital to take the pictures.

The first photo is of a leaf on my pumpkin plant. The other photographs are a little less traditional. They're actually ttv photographs of prints of my old photographs. I set up the duaflex on a table on it's back with the lens facing up and then placed prints directly on top of the viewing lens and back lit the print paper with a small lamp. Let me know what you think. I'm planning to add these photos to my shop on in the next couple of days.

A Bee Invasion

The pumpkin is growing like mad. This photo is from about a week ago and it's already grown probably another 6 inches taller than this. I also have the uneasy feeling that it's luring bees onto our terrace. Since planting it we've had two bees end up on the terrace within a few weeks of each other. We're not sure how they're getting in but up until the pumpkin we'd never had anything find it's way onto the terrace. I discovered the first bee and it scared the hell out of me to be watering my plants and to suddenly hear a loud buzzing next to me. Luckily, the bee seemed terrified and chose to run away from me and into the closed window or hide in my ivy plant. Chris managed to shoo it out by opening a window and corralling it with a large piece of cardboard. The second bee may, in fact, have been a wasp. Neither Chris nor Richard could decide what it was. I'm still hoping that I can make this whole pumpkin thing work. It's beginning to form little flowers so soon I'll be watching youtube videos on pollination and hoping to breed myself some awesome little pumpkins.

Cherry Blossoms

The weather today is pretty awful so I thought I'd reminisce about my afternoon at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens a couple of weeks ago. The cherry blossoms were all in peak bloom and the place looked rocking. As for today, the temperatures dropped to about 40 and i nearly lossed my umbrella a few times in the wind gusts. At least tomorrow looks better. In the meantime here are a few shots of the cherry blossom trees.

Monday, May 5, 2008

An Indoor Pumpkin

I've started growing a pumpkin plant in a small pot on my terrace. From everything that I've read (all of which I decided to read after the plant had already sprouted) this is not a good idea but I'm sticking with it. I was looking at the tiny seed selection at Walgreens thinking that maybe I'd buy some Lily of the Valley seeds since I'm maybe having that for my bouquet come the wedding in October. Of course, Walgreens doesn't have seeds as daring as Lily of the Valley so I was about to give up and head home when I saw the pumpkin seeds. Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday and there's something about carving pumpkins that's become like Communion to a Catholic for me so I caved and bought a pack. Seeing as how it was around April and good Pumpkin planting time, according to the seed packet, I grabbed a pot, dropped in a seed, and waited to see what happened. So less than a week later and I had this beautiful little sprout that you can see.

In some fit of maternal instinct he's been named. You can call him Linus. I'm hoping that things will time out alright and Chris and I will be able to plant him in the garden we may or may not have when we find a new apartment in August, assuming that the roots haven't burst out of the side of the pot before I get that chance. When I was searching online for information about the possibility of growing, and not killing, a pumpkin plant indoors I found a total of one website addressing it. The site had nearly no text, just a series of photos showing a small sprout growing into a slightly larger plant with a few leaves that then fell over and died.

So, hopefully, anyone else out there who gets impulsive near the seed section but lives in a city, like me, where a piece of earth almost never comes with the rent, can find out from me if you can squeeze a big dream into a small pot. Although, I've got to say that I'm not looking forward to pollinating it. I can either set a hive of bees loose in my apartment or carefully determine the sex of each flower and use a q-tip to pollinate them all by hand. Bees cause me to freeze up and make terrified little girl shrieks so Q-tips it is. Wish me luck.