2017 Craft Fair Season

Well, it is that time of year again.  Next Saturday is the first Craft Fair that I am attending this year.  It is at the local YWCA in the Fairmont, WV area.  My Mom and I will both have tables at this event.  So the prepping for the show has begun.

Last week I ordered some prints from a new print service that I have never used before. ¬†It was a small order 26 images with a copy in a 4×6, 5×7, 8×10, and 11×14 just to see how they turn out. ¬†I will say I am impressed especially by the low cost to buy them. ¬†I ordered them this past Wednesday night and I the order was on my doorstep on Saturday. ¬†They charge a flat rate shipping no matter what the order is of $8.95.

Thursday night I found myself on Amazon. ¬†One of the worse places for me to shop as I want to buy everything. ¬†LOL. ¬†This year I am not only selling the 8×10 and 11×14 prints but I am trying out the 4×6 and 5×7 prints matted as well. ¬†So before I have always stuck with white mats. ¬†This time I bought a multicolored set. ¬†Which when putting the images in them makes them pop a little bit more. ¬†The bigger ones I will stick with white. ¬†Those also got delivered on Saturday.

 

Then Thursday night I ended up buy a Square Bluetooth Card reader. ¬†I haven’t had that many people ask me if I take cards before but who knows how many people didn’t buy anything without asking. ¬†So now I can take Cards with or without the Chips, along with Apple Pay and Android Pay. ¬†This should open me up to more purchases. ¬†As we live in a world where people do not carry cash, and at shows, people tend to run out of their cash faster so if they still want to make a purchase they still can with me.

Seems like with every show my list of stuff to brings keeps growing, as right now it is a learning phase for me.  I am trying to find stuff that sells, and then narrow my inventory down.  So with this being said, I am off to mat some more photos.  I hope you all had a great week

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Beartown State Park

Well, this has been a fun week, which if you can not tell I said that sarcastically.   I finally decided to take a few days off from work, as I was needing a break.  You would think that I do not know how to relax.  Well, you would probably be right.  I spent Wednesday mulching the yard.  Thursday was spent spring cleaning my bedroom and Friday spring cleaning the Spare Bedroom and doing laundry.  Saturday was spent meeting up with a Friend for breakfast coming home and getting the groceries.  Then the rest of the day spent spring cleaning the bathroom, stairs, hallways, and living room.

The spare bedroom was a beast.  I moved to my current house in November of 2013.  The closet in this room has housed boxes of stuff since I moved.  Which meant that I got to go through each box.  Most of it was trashed as I had not needed any of it since I moved.  Other things were sentimental value.  Like the last birthday card, I got from my Grandmother.  My birthday is the 23rd of February and she passed away March 15 of the same year.   Most of my time was spent going through pictures.

Deciding to take a break from my cleaning I decided to do some electronic spring cleaning.  I am very OCD on my folder organization for my computer.  Each year I start out with a folder for that year with two sub-folders titled Indoor and Outdoor.  Each camera shoot is broken down by location and date.  I tend to visit locations more than once.  Needless to say that I have been a little busy and I needed to reorganize last years photos.

I came across some photos from a family trip to one of the State Parks an hour or so away from my parents. ¬†The park is called Beartown State Park and I love going to this state park. ¬†Beartown State Park is a 107-acre park located in Pocahontas County. ¬†The current park was purchased in 1970 by the state along with a donation from the Polan family in memory of their son Ronald Keith Neal, who lost his life in Vietnam. ¬†This park features boardwalks through the many rock cropping which people used to claim bears would hibernate in the small cave-like structures. ¬†I can say I have never seen a bear in this park in my many visits over the years although that would make for an interesting photo. ¬†ūüôā

So during my much-needed break from cleaning, I had fun going through my photos and remembering the memories each one contains.  The time spent with family and loved ones and the memory of a place that is calm and relaxing.

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Do you have anyone special spot that you go and visit often?

Spring Time Drive

It has been one of those weeks where I am feeling cooped up in my own house or at work. ¬†I guess maybe I am getting that spring fever where I want to go do something but I just don’t ¬†know what I want to do.

It is Easter weekend and I am watching my brother’s friend Jacob’s bunny well I am going to their house and feeding it. ¬†Last night on my way back home I just kind of drove around. ¬†I haven’t been in that area so I just wanted to waste some time especially after being stuck in the office all day. ¬† Unfortunately that meant I did not have my camera with me. ¬†However, I can say that spring is hitting this area hard now. ¬†We have been having those wonderful spring time showers with a rumble of thunder. ¬†Of course I am waiting for the Rainbows I would love to get a good shot of one. ¬†This is an item of my Camera Bucket List. ¬†ūüôā

Today I wrapped up my feeding obligations this evening as I was walking out of the house it started raining but I had grabbed my camera anyways.  Pouring rain makes it hard to get any type of shot.  However, as I was leaving their house the sun started coming back out.  Suddenly the thought of heading back out to work hit me.  Our magnolia trees are in bloom now, and the thought of them having some rain drops on them made them that much more appealing to me.   But this was not to be, as it had not rained at the office.  Since I was there I grabbed some shots anyways.

Magnolias are one of my favorite spring flowers after dog woods.  They smell heavenly and are so big and beautiful.  They are not easy to get pictures of around here because they always bloom when there is a frost in the forecast and normally the blooms are dead before they even open.  This year is an exception to that and years like this are normally few and far in between.

To liven up the photos a bit I did some tweaking.  Tonight was the first time ever using graduated filters in Light Room.  Some of the backgrounds were not what I wanted them to look like.  So with the graduated filter I could select the bloom and lower the exposure of the photo and make the bloom stand out.  I am going to have to play around with this a little bit.  I have all these features and I do not know how to use them.  I see some Adobe Photoshop classes in my future or online tutorials.

At the end of the trip I was able to get my shots of water drops on my Hosta plant at home which wound up this evenings drive.  Hope you all have a wonderful and safe Easter.

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Pirates Opening Day!!

So today’s blog will not be about Photography but a trip I got to make this past Friday, April 7, 2017,  which was the first professional Baseball game I have ever been too.  Maybe starting a new tradition.  Opening day was fantastic, spending the day with friends.  Please note that the photos in today’s blog were all taken from my iPhone.  I think most of them turned out okay.

The day started out with me getting up at 5:30 am.  Yes, that is early but only about 20 minutes earlier than I normally get up for work.  Getting ready for the day, meant that I was layering up my clothing.  Oh, it was going to be a cold one.  They were calling for snow and the wind.  So here I am in a black long sleeved shirt, black Pirates T-Shirt, a gray fleece vest, and my wool coat, scarf and my dress boots since I figured my running shoes would not be very warm.  The only thing I didn’t have was gloves.   I had the dog taken care of and was out the door at 6:22 to meet my friend Ashly who was picking me up.

We made it to the Rivers Casino in Pittsburg by 8:30 am.  Which mean that we got free parking as they were going to start charging $45.00 at 9:00 am.  No, I am not normally a gambler but I did bring some money with me to play while we waited for the game.  I ended up making an extra $13.72 on my $40.00 I played.  Needless to say, I get bored fast in there.  LOL  I don’t get the hype of it.  We then headed over to Stage AE and listened to the band for the Tailgate.  I enjoyed listening to the 90’s music I grew up on and the band Clintones .

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Then it was off to the ball park.  As we entered the stadium the National Anthem began to play.  It was so nice to see people being respectful and taking off their hats and tobogans as the song was sung.  Then we were off to our seats.  Normally I like a little room between the people sitting next to me but due to the stadium wanting to make money people sat right on top of you.  But this day I could not care about that because that mean that I was a little warmer.  The weather was not that great for opening day.  It was snowing, cold, and windy.  I was finding out really fast that even though all the clothing I wore it really was not enough.  ūüôā  But we made it through all 9 Innings with the Pirtates winning their opening game against the Alanta Braves.  We even got a little bit of sun on the last inning.

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Snow Squal

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A little bit of sun light
All in all I could not have asked for a better day to spend with friends, and since we went to the casino that meant that I could not bring my Camera with me.  So all the shots from this day were from my iPhone.  Would have loved to get some action shots but maybe next game.

Sunday Spring Photos

Well, normally I do not post more than once a week.  But seeing how my previous post was on Spring Photos and the weather.  I thought I would go ahead and give an update.  This morning waking up an hour earlier than normal on a Sunday I looked out the windows and saw a bright blue sky and the sun greeting me.  I got up and got ready for the day.  I figured since it was early I would head out of some photos this morning before heading off to Church.

This trip was killing two birds with one stone.  I got to use my new Tri-Pod that my parents got me for my birthday and I got to go out in some great weather.  First, stop the weeping cherry trees.  I ended up retaking some of my photos for these.  Hopefully, they are a bit clearer.  The only downside was the sky behind them was cloudy at the horizon of the mountains in the background.  I feel they still turned out well since the sun was still shining on them.

Then I decided to head to the I-79 Technology Park.  The building I work in has some Magnolia trees and I wanted to see if they had started blooming.  Unfortunately, they had not.  So on my way out, I remembered that in the courtyard there is a tree that was blooming last week and I decided to go check it out.  Ended up getting some of my best shots of the day from that tree.  Not sure what type of tree it is I am going to go with an ornamental tree.  But the sky was turning blue again and with the pink and white blooms against the blue sky just made the photos pop.

Hope you have enjoyed the photos. ¬†I know I enjoyed getting out and capturing God’s beauty before church. ¬† Made my day that much better.

Spring has Sprung

My favorite time of the year has arrived!!!  SPRING!!!  Everything is starting to bloom, trees are starting bud, and everything is becoming new again.  Spring has always been my favorite season with Summer and Fall following it.   You’re probably thinking he forgot Winter.  Well, I must admit I have fun sometimes in the snow, and I absolutely love the Christmas season.  But I could do without everything looking dead, white, cold, and dreary.  To me, it is short days, cold, snowy, icy, and dead.  It is downright depressing to my soul.  I spend my days inside hiding from it wishing for warmer weather, greenery, longer days, and just enjoying the outdoors.

So, here I am excited about the season.¬† Waiting for the perfect day to get outside and take my photos.¬† But lately, with work the days that I have been able to do this, it seems like it is always rainy and overcast.¬† But I decided to not let that get me down, I was going to get out there and use whatever time I had to get my photos, well unless it was pouring down the rain and then I was not going out to get wet. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†There was one photo I was really interested in getting.¬† ¬†I have lived in Fairmont, WV for over three years.¬† On my way to work, there is this beautiful old stone house that has these giant weeping cherry trees.¬† They remind me of something I would expect to see in China.¬† Up till this year, I have yet to be able to get photos of them.¬† They are on a busy highway and I must pull off the road and walk along it.¬† Not a safe situation.¬† Anyways on my way through there early Saturday morning I decided to pull over traffic was non-existent and I thought you know what I am not going to have regrets for not taking them.¬† The blooms don‚Äôt last too long and before you know it they are gone.¬† Only wish I had realized what setting my camera was on before I left.¬† I had it still on a slower shutter setting so they are not as crisp as I want them.¬† But hey I got them and I am going to love them until I can take a better one.

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I was also about to get some shots of some flowering apple trees.  Would I have like to have the sky blue behind the blooms?  Well yeah but I think they turned out okay with the cloudy sky.  To me, it shows the new beauty overpowering the dreary weather left over from the winter season.   Then I found some grape hyacinths and some daffodils blooming, oh how I love these flowers.  They bring back fond memories of my childhood.   I couldn’t help myself taking shots of those either.  Now I am just waiting for the magnolia trees to start blooming.

Moral of the story you cannot let the weather get you down.  Get out there and take your shots.  Who knows what you might capture and maybe the dreary weather is just the perfect background for the photo.   Sorry for the shorter blog this week.  Hope you enjoy the beauty.