Thursday, November 29, 2012

Driving Me to Drink

So creating 350 images with borders and ready to print for the printer is no easy or quick task!  I've had my rear end stuck to this office chair for the past few days/weeks and I'm starting to think that at any moment it might become a permanent fixture the next time I get up!

I have ventured out, I had to or I would have completely lost my sanity.  But it's been to places like the chiropractor's office, to take the dogs out, or to get something to eat when I actually remember to eat.

After so many days of constant interaction with my newest friend Photoshop, I forced myself to pick up the camera and head outside for a much needed mental break.  And as I wandered around our backyard in my too short sweatpants and big bulky coat, I took a moment to decompress and look around for something, anything to shoot. 

My neighbor loves it when I am in the middle of a working frenzy...she can always tell because my hair looks like I haven't brushed it...because I haven't, and you never know what I will be wearing.  If I had to describe my look on these sorts of days, I would say that it's somewhere between crazy cat lady and eccentric millionaire, sadly without the millions.

She never questions it though, but often phones me when I go back inside...maybe to see if she needs to call the loony bin?!  Either way I appreciate the phone calls as they give me another chance to avoid working for a bit.

While out on my adventure this afternoon, I was treated to a visit by a lovely woodpecker.  The original photo is at the top of the post, but I preferred the image with a little texture added.  One of my goals for our upcoming trip is to visit a few flea markets and find some great old French ephemera to use as textures.  I have quite a bit already, but you can never have too much.

For both of these images, I actually used other people's textures, but I prefer to use ones I've sourced myself.  Plus I just love the look of beautiful old documents, postcards, and letters from by gone eras, and hope to frame some of the pieces I have one of these days.

Woodpeckers are often as elusive as good ephemera, and they like sitting high up in the trees, making them difficult to capture without lots of cropping.  Still, I love to hear their distinctive calls and the tap, tap, tapping on the trees as they hunt for insects.  This little guy was happily flitting from treetop to treetop looking for the juiciest worms, ants, or whatever he could find.

It's amazing how stepping outside for just 20 short minutes can give you the oomph you need to come back inside and keep working.  And now that the sun has set and it's too dark for picture taking, I am using a different secret weapon...I'm enjoying a nice cold cider... Strongbow to be exact.

I still have 24 more images to create and although I'm a complete lightweight when it comes to drinking, I decided to grab a hard cider left over from Thanksgiving and sip it slowly while I work.  The crisp apple taste pares well with photo editing I think.  ;-)

Don't forget that there is still time to use the 10% discount I am offering on any gallery wrapped canvas available in my new shop.  And should you prefer something from my photography website that isn't offered yet on Low Tide High Style, you can simply shoot me an email and I will have that created for you instead. 

The code for 10% off is LTHS10

Enjoy your evening!


Looking for Unique Artwork for your Home?


Monday, November 26, 2012

Changeable Charlie

Thank you everyone for your wonderful support and encouragement of my new shop!!!  I truly appreciate all of the great comments, emails and messages on Facebook that I've received!  A special thanks to Grace of Sense and Simplicity who has been an invaluable eagle eye at helping me tweak the site...thank you so much!

I did receive a few questions too, like is all of the artwork ready to hang?...and the answer is YES!  Each piece is gallery wrapped onto a 1 1/2 inch kiln dried stretcher bar, some images have mirrored sides (where the image continues to wrap around the edge), while others have a solid edge in a complimentary color.  Then each piece is paper backed to prevent dust from gathering on the back of the picture, and a wire hanger is attached so that it is ready to hang on your wall just as soon as your package arrives and you take it out of the box!

Ok, so now about me and my Changeable Charlie'ness.  Some of you may have noticed that I put a holiday header at the top of my blog yesterday.  It was the image above and it's of a new piece of artwork I have for sale in my new store.  I love the little bluebird surrounded by holly, and the traditional reds and greens, but I decided I wasn't happy with it as my header after all, so I made a change.

Mr. Tide was kind enough to bring in a few of the holiday tubs from the garage yesterday and I began looking through them this morning to see what my decorating theme would be this year.  Because I'm so changeable, I like to switch things up from year to year, using different colors, or whatever strikes my fancy.

This year, because I've been so busy of late, I was kind of floundering as to which way I should go, especially in my living room and dining room.  But when I opened one of the bins, I was pleasantly surprised at what I found.

When our son moved out and into the rental property he is sharing with his sister, I came across some old Christmas ornaments in the garage that had belonged to the previous owner...our 100+ year old neighbor George.  His son and daughter in law were getting rid of the items they no longer wanted or needed and so I poked around to see what I could buy before they took things to the donation place in town.

I ended up purchasing a wonderful old typewriter that George had used during his adventures in India and the other wonderful places he called home during his very full life.  The typewriter now sits in the big black cabinet in my dining room, along with a collection of vintage cameras.  Some day I will take a few photos of that cabinet to share with all of you.

But the other big score I found in the garage was a collection of old vintage Christmas ornaments.  They were a hodgepodge of old glass ornaments in shades of aqua, silver, gold, but mostly pink!  I fell in love with them instantly and could just imagine George and his wife lovingly decorating their tree with them for the many years they were together.

In true Changeable Charlie form, I had to play around with the angle of this one beautiful ornament that says Merry Christmas, so I took 2 different shots of it in the teacup.  Truth be told I took 3 shots, but these are the two I liked the best! ;-)

Because my roses haven't gotten the memo yet that it's nearly Christmas and they should be fast asleep, I went outside and gathered up a few to put in a vase.  Then I grabbed a couple ironstone platters, plunked the vase of roses on it and began scattering the beautiful pink and silver ornaments on top a lovely and festive centerpiece for my dining room table.  I also used an old bedspread that had belonged to my grandmother as the tablecloth.

The roses will fade long before the holidays hit of course, but for now I am loving the look.  And I can always get store bought roses if I want to keep this look going all the way through Christmas...can you ever have too many flowers in your house?!   And the answer is...heck no!

So there you have it, my long winded explanation as to why my header is now all pink and sparkly...because I am a consummate Changeable Charlie!

And it's kind of getting me in the mood for not only the holidays, but also my trip to Paris!  Yup, it's official, we are going to Paris next month and I can't wait.  I can't even fathom the idea of being in the City of Lights during one of the most festive times of the year.  Of course I'll be snapping pictures left and right while Mr. Tide is busy working (poor guy), and maybe when I get home I will be completely rethinking my idea of Christmas decor altogether...we'll see!

Looking for a special piece of artwork?

Visit us at  Low Tide High Style

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Shop Low Tide High Style

Well folks it's finally here, my new shop is open, and I have to say that I'm so nervous to unveil it that my stomach actually hurts while I'm writing this post.  It's a combination of excitement, apprehension, and downright exhaustion...but I have to say that I'm so proud of it too.

I've been burning the morning, noon, and midnight oil to get it done and it's finally time for this little birdie website to fly from the nest.

And I'm not the only one who has been working hard, my dear friend Mary Beth Griffin, and friend and fellow blogger Trish Jones have also been busy creating wonderful new works for the site.

I hope that when you visit the shop you will agree that we've collected some pretty special artwork that you can only find at Low Tide High Style.  We are excited to be able to bring you beautiful gallery wrapped canvas prints on archival canvas, paper backed and ready to hang, and the best part is they are all Made in the USA! 

Like with any business, there is more work to be done, and I will continue to add to the various galleries on the site.  We are creative girls after all, so we'll be busy coming up with new artwork to share with you very soon!

And along with the new artwork, there will be some old favorites too, so keep checking back to see what we add to the mix!

As a thank you for your patience and for your wonderful support as I have traversed this crazy world of c-commerce, I want to offer a 10% discount on purchases between now and the 30th of November.

Just visit Low Tide High Style to take a peek and use the coupon code LTHS10 upon check out to receive 10% off your purchase!

Thank you!!! :-)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Over the River and Through the Woods

Wishing each of you beautiful weather

Time for one more pass with the vacuum and dust cloth

Lots of yummy food


Good company

 And a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Jack Frost Nipping

Yesterday when I woke up to take the dogs out just after the sun came up I was greeted by a canvas of white.  It wasn't snow of course, but it was a very heavy frost that blanketed everything in it's path.

It was quite lovely really, and got me in the mood to start thinking about the holidays.  And speaking of holidays, am I the only one who was completely caught off guard by the fact that a week from today is Thanksgiving?!

My sister and I take turns hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas each year and this year she has decided to take Thanksgiving again, even though technically it's my year to host it.  You won't hear me complaining one bit about having it at her house.  We all bring stuff, but the fact that it's at her house and I don't have to run around like a crazy woman making sure every nook and cranny is clean is a very welcome relief.

I spoke to her on the phone a few days ago and we were running over the menu and discussing who would be bringing what, when I said, "oh I'll just call you next week and we can chat about it."  She seemed a little quiet when I said that, and when I hung up the phone Mr. Tide promptly informed me that "next week" was Thanksgiving!  Oops!!!  I really had in my head that it was the following week.

I guess it just goes to show that when you are wrapped up in other things you can completely lose all sense of time...and clearly I did.  I'm back on track now, and I will have the corn pudding, candied sweet potatoes, and desserts all ready when the time comes...I hope!

A few more days of Jack Frost nipping at my nose, toes, and anything else he can freeze should get me straight and remind me that November is halfway done and Christmas is just around the corner.

Thanks for your sweet comments on my last post, and I hope if you are celebrating Thanksgiving next week that you are much more organized than I am! :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Like a Kid in a Candy Store

I've been so busy with chiropractor appointments and working on my website that I haven't really had time to create much lately.  Creating is my happy place, the space where I find quiet solitude and joy, so I've missed being there.

But today I decided I would combine a little work with some play and work on a few images.  The top image is from a candy store in France.  It was housed in a beautiful old building with elaborate plaster work.  I can only imagine how the lucky French children who visit there must feel when they leave the store with their yummy, and equally beautifully packaged sweets.

The second image is a piece that MB and I collaborated on, and it will be for sale on the website which will be up early next week...fingers crossed!  

While working on both pictures I felt like a kid in a candy store.  There is nothing quite like doing what you love and having fun while doing it. 

On a side note, I found out today that I might, and emphasis on the might, be going back to France sometime soon.  I wonder if I'll be able to find my own version of a candy store...Ladurée

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

For a Friend

Wishing each of you a happy weekend. xo

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Same Old, Same Old

My days are all kind of running together.  Each morning I've been getting up super early and I can't go back to sleep because dogs need to go out, be fed, then that cold breeze from taking them out wakes my brain up and I can't shut it down.

Then I begin to go over everything I need to do, which right now is about a million things, so then I definitely can't go back to sleep, so I just start working.

It feels good to get things done and keep working towards the goal line.

It's kind of like when you decide to clean out a closet and once you start you just can't stop.

And then when you are all done, and the closet is nice and tidy, you feel like you've conquered the world!

It is important to take a break though, and a few of you have sweetly written to me to remind me of that fact.  So today I decided to take a few pictures as a way to distract myself for a little while.

I guess for some people hauling out a camera and getting everything set up might be stressful, but for me it's a nice relaxing break.  It gets my creative juices flowing, and while I'm taking pictures I can forget the swirl of life that is happening all around me.

Having pretty or interesting things to photograph doesn't hurt the last of my roses, French ephemera and some of my grandmother's and great grandmother's jewelry as willing subjects.

I have to admit that I was a little lazy and didn't really try to make the pictures look all that different from one brain was just a little too tired for that I'm afraid.  But sometimes doing the same thing or taking the same sort of picture is a good thing I think, it gives me a sense of comfort, and as long as I'm making strides, it's not so bad really.

Do you find comfort in repetition?!

On a side note I want to say WOW to my fellow Americans for really turning out in mass yesterday to vote.  No matter which way you voted, whether today finds you happy or sad, you should take comfort in the fact that you were part of the process and it's that kind of effort that will see us through whatever lies ahead.

And to those affected by Sandy, I hope this nor'easter passes you by without much have enough on your plate right now, and really deserve a break and some warmer weather!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

If I Needed You

Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments and support from my last post.  Some of you have emailed to ask if the split was with my art partner Mary Beth, and thankfully we are just fine.  The issue was with my business partner who I've been working with for many months now to create an online gallery to sell our artwork.

It wouldn't have been such a big deal, but I've been blessed with a wonderful opportunity which I will share with you soon, and that opportunity means I need a website in place by the end of this month.  The website with the other person has been dragging on for months now, and so last Wednesday I phoned to ask the status and drive home the urgency of completing the site.  Instead I found out what I had suspected all along, that the website was not going to happen.

What that means is that I will now be challenged with creating a website of my own in just a few short weeks, something I've never done before.  I have to say that although the immediate future will be stressful, I've already nearly completed the website in the span of about 4 days and sleepless nights, and I'm feeling strangely optimistic and excited about everything that has transpired!  The e-commerce hosting site has been hugely supportive and I can't thank my husband enough for watching youtube tutorial videos to help me while I created a logo and all of the graphics to fill the site.

There is lots more tweaking to be done, thumbnails to be uploaded, and pricing structure to be determined, but I'm moving forward and I actually believe that things will work out for the best in the long run.

Once again, when I needed you all to hold my hand and tell me everything would be ok, there you were.  And as always my family has lifted me up and made me believe that I can do anything.  For these blessings I will be forever grateful

If you have read my blog for any amount of time then you likely know that I feel deeply connected to family and friends who are no longer with me.  I often feel their presence and see signs they send me letting me know that they are ok and that I will be too in times of trouble.  

The day after I had the phone conversation that rocked my little world last week, I was all alone and sitting at my desk trying to wrap my head around how this would all shake out.  I'm normally pretty good in the midst of a crisis, but even I was having trouble with the notion of all that lay ahead of me, and self doubt started rearing its ugly head.  And then I heard it, just as clear as day and as if she were standing right beside me.  It was my mother's voice, a voice I haven't heard for over 8 years since she passed away.  She said "you can do this!"  And it was at that very moment that I knew she was right, I could do this...and more importantly I would do this!

I guess sometimes we just need to hear that from our mom, that unconditional love and support that can come from a mother who believes in you, whether she is here in the flesh or walking beside you in spirit.  

I heard a tiny bit of the song below yesterday in the movie The Stepmom, and I thought it summed it up in a way I will never be able to.  And for all of those who are struggling tonight, wondering if you can make it, pick up the pieces, and face what lies ahead, no matter the challenge, I hope you hear a voice that will bring you comfort.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sowing Seeds

Have you ever planted a seed or seeds only to have them washed away, plucked from the earth by a hungry bird, or damaged by lack of rain and too much sun?

That is how I feel lately, like the seeds I've been sowing, which all looked so promising when I first nestle them into the soft ground, have not taken hold and reached for the sky as they should have.  It's like nurturing that tiny seedling (or dream in this case) and having it not blossom into what you hoped it would due to outside forces.

After months of working hard to get the website up and running with a partner, it became evident yesterday that the tiny plant I'd been carefully cultivating had withered on the vine.  I would stop to feel sorry for myself, but when I look around at what so many have lost this past week I would have to be crazy, or incredibly selfish to complain.

So instead, I will plant my own garden, tend to it myself and if the seedlings grow in to ginormous plants I will reap the rewards.  I have friends and family, really good friends and family, who will help me fertilize and monitor these tender plants, and like so many tenacious farmers before me, I will see my vision come to fruition with their support.

And although my most recent endeavors will now go in a different direction than I anticipated, there is always sunshine and gentle rain on the horizon which will ensure a bountiful harvest in the long run.

If growing a beautiful garden was so easy, maybe the fruits of our labors wouldn't bring us so much joy when it does all work out.  And you can't be too upset when things don't go as planned, because maybe that seed that was snatched away was better served as someone else's dinner, eh?  Mr. Bluebird concurs!