Saturday, April 27, 2013

Photo Contest Entries

I went a little crazy entering the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Photo Contest this year. A new category for photos taken at the center was added to the contest this year. The first three photos below are the ones I entered in this new category. I entered the last three photos in the botanical category. (You can click on the photos to see larger images.)

------Cicada Nymph Exoskeleton-----------------Horesmint----------------------Snake in the Dalea----------

---------Pink Evening Primrose----------------Blue-eyed Grass----------------------Bluebonnets--------------

Unless lightning strikes, I don't expect to top the charts on the public voting, however it would still be very useful to me for developing future photographic art images to know which of these photos people like the best, so if you have the time please vote for your favorite(s). (I have linked the name below each photo to the page to vote on that image.) You may vote once per day for whatever photo you like through May 6, 2013. If you really like an image but would prefer not to vote, please leave me a comment about the one(s) you like. The categories are judged privately, independent of the public voting.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Earth Day 2013

Monday, April 22 is the day set aside this year as Earth Day. Its purpose is to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment. If you are a gardener you probably have a fairly high appreciation of this and may already be doing many things in your daily life to help protect the environment. However you might also need help when it comes to one byproduct of your gardening efforts. What to do with all of those pots that your cherished plants come in since many if not most curbside recycling programs do not take them?

I ran across some useful tips when reading a newsletter from Gardener’s Supply Company that linked to the full article on their blog. It will be especially useful if you live near the St. Louis, Missouri area and want to recycle your empty pots. The blog post also includes tips for how to reuse many types of pots that you may have lying around your garden shed or garage.

While I didn’t find a comprehensive list of places currently recycling planting pots to link you to, I did find that googling “planting pot recycling (plus your state)” returned several leads that you can use to track down recycling programs for planting pots in your area. So don’t despair, you can still head out to your local nursery and pick out some plants to add to your landscape this weekend in a mini celebration of Earth Day and not feel guilty about the potential negative impact of your empty planting pots if you follow these tips to find alternative uses for or recycle them.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Design This - Volunteer Buttons

While most of my “Design This” series of posts describe how I turn someone else’s ideas into reality, this post is about another graphic artist that helped me more than I expected in creating volunteer buttons for an event that I coordinated last December. At the time, I knew the artist behind HotDogCrafts on Etsy had the materials and equipment that I didn’t want to invest in to make custom pin back buttons. What I didn’t know was that she was also a talented graphic artist.

I fully expected to get the dimensions that this crafter needed for the graphic and send her a ready to print jpeg for her to use to create the volunteer buttons that I wanted my volunteers to wear at the event so that they could be easily identified. When I sent my initial custom request inquiry, I sent along a graphic of the logo for the event (above) just so that she would get an idea of what I was describing. I was pleasantly surprised when I got back a graphic that she adapted to the round button format using my original photographic art and adding some elements of her own. I liked the font that she chose for the text and the addition of the snowflakes that were color coordinated with my artwork. Another aspect that I loved on her initial work up was that she also color coordinating the text with the graphic. This is a design element that I have found in my work often makes the difference between a good graphic design and a great one.

I only had a very minor change that I wanted made to the placement of the text and top two snowflakes, so I made it and sent the updated graphic back to have it used for my buttons. (The 3D mockup of the finalized button design is the second image in this post.) I was very pleased when I received my order. The printing was excellent and the assembly of the buttons was perfect. I definitely recommend HotDogCrafts for any custom set of pin back buttons that you are in need of.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Thanks for the Treasuries - March 2013

Eight different Etsians let me know that they had featured one or more of my items in a treasury during March. Eight March Etsy treasuries, that treasury makers let me know about, included one or more of my creations. My ceramic bunny earrings were even featured twice. You can see a collage below of my items from EDCCollective and EclecticSkeptic that were featured during March. (Click on the collage to see a larger view.)

I really appreciate being featured by the treasury makers. To thank them, I have listed below (in alphabetical order) links to the 8 Etsy sellers that let me know that they featured one of my items, as well as an item from their shop that I like.

Enjoy window shopping and please click on the shop links of anything that catches your eye.

Surreal and abstract original paintings as well as prints and greeting cards are offered by this artist.

You will find an eclectic inventory in this shop including vintage cards in digital format, some of which are customizable.

Beautiful bling for every outfit in your closet (including earrings, anklets, bracelets and necklaces) and your books too.

If you have a wine connoisseur to shop for who happens to appreciate hand made items look no further than this shop.

This French crafter crochets articles for ladies and children and also sells photographs.

Earrings, fridge magnets, pocket mirrors plus ... with dragonflies, birds, owls & more are found here.

Independently designed and carefully handcrafted, each bag, purse, clutch and tote is measured, cut, sewn and finished with careful attention to detail and durability.

This seamstress makes rag dolls, teddy bears, stuffed animals, pincushions and quilts with love and great care.