Just Because

Holiday Attire

I realize that this photo is kind of dark, but shooting this in the early evening was the only way I could ensure that the lighted garlands would be noticeable.
I realize that this photo is kind of dark, but shooting this in the early evening was the only way I could ensure that the lighted garlands would be noticeable.

The Bell house has finally dressed up for the holidays. Only those who drive less than twenty miles an hour down my street have a chance of noticing this display. With tough competition in this neighborhood, my three overdressed fir trees will have a hard time impressing folks. Once the Christmas season has passed and the ornaments have been removed, my firs will continue to dress up my front porch until late spring next year.

Just Because

What’s In the Bag

Halloween tricks and treat bags are ready and waiting by the front door.
Halloween tricks and treat bags are ready and waiting by the front door.

It’s Halloween, the last day of the month, and my first blog post in six weeks. I have yet to post any photos here on my blog from my four-week vacation in Paris, France. Mainly because I’m in the middle of installing brand new computer equipment. It turns out that the raw photos I shot in Paris require the latest and greatest computer system to import into Photoshop. But that IS NOT the reason for the new equipment. After three years and then some, it was way past time to upgrade. Way.

Then there’s the 8.4 acres of raw undeveloped land that I just put a contract on in Saint Jo, Texas, which is located north of Dallas in what is called the North Texas Hill Country. The closing is scheduled for the end of November. I will post the photographs I took when walking the perimeter last week. Stay tuned…

Just Because

My Brand New Portfolio Website

My original portfolio case pictured above was handmade by Two Women Boxing, and the portfolio itself was a collection of transparencies. I would also carry a portable light box with me to interviews. Transparencies were best for showing off environmental graphics.
My original portfolio case pictured above was handmade by Two Women Boxing, and the portfolio itself was a collection of transparencies. I would also carry a portable light box with me to interviews. Transparencies were best for showing off environmental graphics.

Finally, I have a website for my business! I can’t tell you how much fun it was to design and pull this new site together. I’m not kidding. There were some long tedious moments. Some of the older logos had to be digitally redrawn, because they predated the computer, and all my print pieces needed to be photographed in a studio setting. But for the most part, the production went smoothly. And now, all that’s needed is to add the new projects as they are completed. The hard part is done! Yay!

One last word: If you’re viewing this site with an older browser, it will not play as designed.

Just Because

Sunday Afternoon Time Waster

Want to waste some time? Then just click on the center play arrow. Please note that the creepy sound effects are an additional bonus.

I hope you weren’t expecting something profound and beautifully designed. You see, I had this itch to scratch, which was to film this crazy gizmo. Never mind that I have never used my Canon Rebel T2i for video before. Instead I skipped that basic step of using the usual EF-S 18-55mm IS II lens and went straight for the fancy macro lens. But dadburnit! Nature and the neighborhood were not cooperating. With a lawn mower, air conditioning unit, and snorting bulldogs as background noise, the recorded sound was not what I had envisioned for my experiment. So what you’re hearing is a scrappy soundtrack found on Vimeo that I chose to replace the original audio.

Just Because

Merry Christmas!

This bowl of jolly lights up with the sun’s longest reach at four in the afternoon. Perhaps at that time, it’s evening for most of you, and Christmas Eve has quietly begun.
This bowl of jolly lights up with the sun’s longest reach at four in the afternoon. Perhaps at that time, it’s evening for most of you, and Christmas Eve has quietly begun.
Just Because

Sparkly Dinner Setting

I just realized that none of the four Venetian wine glasses made it into this frame. The following photos will prove that the proper wine goblets are there. What you’re seeing here are the water tumblers.
I just realized that none of the four Venetian wine glasses made it into this frame. The following photos will prove that the proper wine goblets are there. What you’re seeing here are the water tumblers.

I had real guests over last night for my first dinner party in my newly redesigned dining room. The best part about the preparations was that one of the guests was doing all the cooking, allowing me to go all “Martha Stewart” with the ambience and table setting. The key to the look was the wonderful domed putz castle purchased through Anthropologie, which I then placed on an antique glass cake stand. By setting this whole arrangement onto a silver charger, I was able to maximize illumination by placing glass votives on the charger’s level rim.

Since I have already written about the porcelain,Venetian goblets, linen, and sterling flatware, I will instead explain the reason for the crazy water glasses. They’re vintage highballs featuring turquoise and gold Persian horsemen waving mallets in a lively game of polo. Over the past twelve years, I have managed to break most of my larger Venetian goblets and lacked two to make four complete place settings of one water and one wine goblet each. And I keep forgetting to order more from the original Murano source, Vetreria Colonna Fornace. Hence the crazy fun tumblers. To see the complete table setting, click the link below.

Just Because

Holiday Putz

This sparkly cuteness is parked in my living room. I think the red cellophane is a bit much, but it’s not something I can easily change.
This sparkly cuteness is parked in my living room. I think the red cellophane is a bit much, but it’s not something I can easily change.

The term “putz” was derived from the German verb putzen, which means “to clean” or “to decorate.” Originally, putz was a Moravian tradition that started about a century and a half ago when families created nativity scenes from organic materials as an annual holiday activity. By the twentieth century, putz creations had become secular, larger and more elaborate, and instead of nativity scenes, there were farms, villages, and toy trains. After World War II, Japanese companies started to mass produce cardboard structures with sparkly snow and colored cellophane windows that glowed when a C6 light bulb was inserted through a hole in the back. Nowadays, you see ceramic or plastic Christmas villages everywhere, but to me, these lack the putz charm of yore.

Thank goodness, the old hand-crafted paper and often crude putz structures from last century have been rediscovered and are being reproduced today. The two houses that I purchased were handmade here in the States. To see my second sparkly house, click on the link below.

Just Because

Trick O’ Treat

All items were purchased from Oriental Trading.
All items were purchased from Oriental Trading.

The goodie bags are ready and waiting by the front door, stuffed with edible weirdness and kooky treats. Again I miscalculated the bag size, and it looked like I wouldn’t be able to jam in all six items. It’s a tight fit, seams are strained, and items may be squished, but what’s Halloween without some squish? I haven’t tried any of the candy and probably won’t, but I am currently soaking a brain to see how big it grows. After eight hours it looks it may need a lifetime.

Just Because

What’s a Girl to Wear?

What to pack? Decisions decisions decisions...
What to pack? Decisions decisions decisions…

I’m having a packing dilemma. I’m flying off to vacation in Newport, RI for ten days and just realized that I have two suitcase sizes to choose from. One’s way too big, and the other is way too small. Drat. Why didn’t I think about this before my last day in town? But I’m very prepared otherwise. Since it’s truly autumn up there, I’ll be packing for cool weather—which means bulkier clothing—which means I have no other choice but to use the larger bag. Drat!

FYI: That doll critter is known as the Patsy Ann doll, which my mother named me after. Funny thing is that when I purchased a vintage version and showed it to my mom, she was so disappointed. Evidently, she had remembered another doll which was much better looking. Definitely not this one. Hah!