Saturday, April 23, 2011

Featured Seller: Brooke Baxter Howie

A track record is perhaps the most important element of success. Brooke Baxter Howie, is no stranger here. She has been showing and selling her original paintings for over 40 years.

Once an art teacher, and with a long career in graphics, Brooke is now pursuing her dream of being a painter, selling solely her original works, no prints, internationally through her Etsy shop.

"I have created for many years to make a living. Now I paint for myself and the happiness it creates for my buyers," Brooke said.

"I have always loved the Impressionists. Klimt and Van Gogh are my favorites. I love the patterns, colors and textures of both of them although they are very different," Brooke said.

Although elements from both impressionists can be found in her work, her paintings have a cheerfulness that is distinctively hers. Her usage of bright colors, serene yellows and popping blues, make her art for the happy hearted.

Although, a lot of artists like to sketch their work out on paper before beginning Brooke has a different method.

"I don't sketch it out first...I just paint," Brooke said.

That's not to say that Brooke doesn't have a creative process though. She first sketches out a piece in her mind, visualizing through her art, evolving it all in her head before the brush ever touches the canvas. Afterward, it can take anywhere from several days to a few weeks to finish a specific piece.

You can follow Brooke's journey through her Etsy shop.

Friday, April 22, 2011

So cute!

Eep! I love this tiny seahorse macro photograph by Michael Gallagher. Definitely adding underwater photography to my to-do list.

p.s. happy Friday!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday Find

I love this drusy necklace by luckyduct on I think it's the deep blue color that really does it for me. Such a intriguing color!

What's your jewelry find?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Photography 101: Types of Lenses

There are four main types of lenses: your standard zoom lens, telephoto lens, micro lens, and wide angle lens.

Your standard zoom lens will usually be 28-135 mm, and will provide you with a decent sized frame. You can use this for practically anything you can think of, although other lenses may be suited better. If this is the only type of lens you have though, you're not that bad off. It will produce images like my "The Mask" photograph, shown below.

A micro lens is used when you want to capture small items or minute details. A 50 mm lens, is great in this area. Micro lenses are great for insect and fruit photography. With it, you have a more shallow depth of field, which can also be great for food images. You can capture images like my giant dandelion and barnacles photographs.

If you want to capture as wide of a frame as you can, opt for a wide angle lens. This will allow you to have a larger view of what you're trying to capture. However, wide angle lenses can also distort the image. The objects around the rim of the frame might appear a lot larger than those in the center of it. But for occasions like a big birthday bash, it can come in handy like it did while I was shooting the birthday of Dwight Bentel, the founder of the journalism department at San Jose State University.

Then there is your telephoto lens. This allows you to capture up close shots of people or events without being close to your subject. They're great for weddings or concerts.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I Finally Found My Favorite Prop!

I had totally lost track of where I put my struck-heart, which I used to use all the time for fine art set-ups and I finally remembered where it was! And of course, it just had to be under my bed, right in front of my nose (well under it anyway). However ditzy I may feel about forgetting where I'd left it, I'm happy to have it back!

Featured Seller: Five Sisterz

Sometimes, a little nudge is just what a creative needs to take the selling plunge. This exactly what Mariah, Kamilla, Julia, Analisa, Elora, and their brother Eric, six Southern California siblings ranging from five to 20 years of age, received. They found this nudge, in their mum, who after noticing that her children could create adorable and very well crafted items, began encouraging them to sell their works.

"None of us wanted to do it, we're all a little stubborn, but she set us up a shop and nearly forced us...we're so thankful for that now!" Mariah said.

Currently, Mariah and her sister Kamilla run the FiveSisterz shop on together, where they sell their works from knitted scarfs and booties to lollipops to jewelry to photography prints to their super cute crocheted animals, all available for purchase internationally.

Their road to creation began when they were little, and as children often do, when they created not for customers, but for their toys. They would knit tiny sweaters and blankets, sometimes even pillows, for their Star Wars action figures, in a crafters and animal lovers' home.

"Our home is notorious for having coffee mugs, yarn, cameras, and animals everywhere! People tell us we have a petting zoo with our three dogs, two birds, three turtles, three cats, one ferret, and one stinky hamster," Mariah said.

"I just imagine everything in our shop is for rainy days, from cozy slippers to silly lollipops," Mariah said. This is the exactly feeling I get when I look through their shop. A cozy, warm feeling. The kind of joy that I get with a good cup of coffee, the exact drink that happens to be an important part in the creative process the sisters have.

"Mainly it's the coffee that gets the work done. We live off of it," Mariah said.

Although you wouldn't think it, their booties take only 30 minutes to create, while their crocheted animals can take up to two hours.

"We are just ready for whatever life brings us, ready to create adventures out of everything and just to love the handmade, cozy life we live," Mariah said.

An adventure that will surely including many more pets, sibling laughter, and warm creations.

You can follow their journey on Twitter or through their blog.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 48-54/365: Trying It Out

I hit day 50 of my 365 day photography project this week! It's crazy how fast it's gone by! Lately, I've been really boiling some project ideas that I'm really excited about. I'm going to start working on them this week, so be on the lookout!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Hi Everyone!

I hope you are all having a great weekend! I've been hearing a lot of great things about Heartsy lately, a website like groupon for crafters and artists and decided to take the plunge to try to get a deal on my Esty shop on there!

The first step is to get 60 votes from people saying that they would buy your work in 72 hours! I'd really, really appreciate any and all votes to help reach this goal!

You can vote for my shop by clicking the image below. You don't need to make an account and can vote through your facebook!

Thank you and best as always!

Happy weekend!
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