Sunday, September 30, 2012


Photography is wonderful. There are images that can make you laugh, cry or become angry.

I've always liked to take pictures. Pictures that show beauty, that tell a story. But I'm no pro, and my experience is limited to my own tinkerings. So, I put it on my list.

Then I started looking for a class.

I found one place associated with a museum. But as I looked through the instructors, I wasn't overwhelmed with them.  Some were beautiful, but so glamorous. I want to take pictures of real life. See the beauty in the everyday. So I held off. The price point also gave me pause.

So I kept looking. And I found a class that met in single 3 hour classes and was an affordable rate.

I registered to take an "Outdoor Portraiture" class.

The instructor was very kind and personable. Most of the attendants seem to have taken classes previously, but I was pretty clueless.

I got into the flow quickly and learned some things. We shot a model outside for a while and then went inside to talk about what we learned. I learned a little about flash, about camera position and about lighting.

I enjoyed it. There's a lot of skill (people and technical) that goes into it. I enjoyed being in a learning setting again, especially about something that I enjoy so much. I would really love to get more into photography. Good thing it's something I can work at in my own time.

So be prepared if I start asking for models!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


A little while ago, I shared an issue that weighs on my heart.

I mentioned that I had a couple ideas of how to contribute to eradicating slavery.

Well, one of those ideas came to fruition! As you may know, I have an Etsy shop. Right now, I sell earrings and bow ties on there.

So I thought, why not use the things I enjoy doing as a part of this process? So, I scoured the web, looking for a perfect fabric. I found one that I think to be not only an attractive print, but also meaningful.

Allow me to introduce my first trafficking fundraising bow tie. Glasses Help You See.

Glasses to open your eyes.

The print, as you can see, is composed of various spectacle (glasses) frames. I chose this print because one of the biggest issues surrounding human trafficking is awareness-- most people don't know that it exists or how widespread it is.

This issue is one that is hard to confront and contribute to, and it's so big! But I wanted to do something. I want to help people open their eyes to see this issue. To look around their own lives and neighborhoods and places they frequent and to become aware. So, I hope that in some small way, I'll help a few people put on their own glasses to see human trafficking. Because if you don't or can't see it, how can you help fight it?

This fabric was bought from Spoonflower, a place where you can design your own fabrics and buy from other people who have unique designs. The fabric is 100% natural, the ink eco-friendly and water based. I tried to find information about the working and wage conditions of the workers actually producing the source fabric, however, that information was not available and indeed, the fabric industry has very few standards and measurements concerning fair trade. I was told repeatedly that although there is some slight movement to creating standards and checks, nothing is widely recognized and adhered to right now. Knowing that, I chose Spoonflower for being local and for its support of individual, independent designers.

I have designated 60% of the sale price to go to the Not For Sale Campaign, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting slavery. They don't know I'm doing this, there's no agreement, I'm just going to write a check.

And guess what?! I've sold two already! Whether because of the cause or because of the print, I've made two sales, so the count thus far is $36.00 to go to Not For Sale.

I hope that those who have bought these ties will use it as a conversation starter, or even just as a reminder when they wear it, that they can open their eyes to see human trafficking.

I hope to add to this and I have a few more ideas, so stay tuned!

UPDATE: I have sold 3 of these ties! You can read all about it here. (10/18/12)