Photography show tomorrow evening

December 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Posted in art, family, Holidays, inspiration, Life, love, photography, shopping | 1 Comment
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One River, a photography show curated by me and my husband, will open tomorrow night (Friday, December 2, 2011) at Marti’s on Main in Albion, New York.  The public is welcome to the opening reception from 5:30 to 9:00 that evening.  If you are one of my readers in the local area, I hope you will come by.  It will be a fun, warm, and happy evening.  We have fifty six photographs printed on Kodak’s Endura Metallic paper in sizes 8×10, 11×14 and 16×20 all matted and framed in the exhibit.

The photographs have been shot over the past sixty years by four members of our family: my husband’s father, my husband, me, and my son.  We have all been shooting photographs on the property and along the river where our cottage is (the cottage has been in the family since the 1930’s), and here at our farm which is situated on the same river a few miles southwest of the cottage property.

Going through a gazillion photographs to choose a dozen or so from each artist was a beautiful experience because we got to know each other as artists even more than before.  We have all been working in the same locations all these years, but each with a different artistic view, style, and appreciation for the bounty surrounding us.

A few of my pieces are available for sale in my fine art Etsy store, if you can’t make it but would like to make a purchase.

Also of interest is the varying photographic technology that has been available over the years.  My father-in-law’s pieces were all shot with 35 mm cameras from WWII Germany using Kodachrome color slide film back in the late 1940’s.  His photographs feature many people and we think people will love seeing the photographs and the details such as clothing and hairstyles of the time.  His photographs, scanned to digital by my husband and then printed on Kodak’s wondrous Endura Metallic paper, are a visual treat worth taking a little drive on a winter’s night to get a chance to see.

My husband’s pieces were shot with various 35 mm cameras and then a Nikon digital camera in later years, whereas my work, and my son’s are all Nikon digital.  So, we believe it will be very interesting for exhibiti visitors to see this One River photographed over the years, captured by the artistic vision of four different artists from four generations of the same family using a variety of photographic technologies.

Each piece in the exhibit is available for purchase and because of the holidays the gallery owner is going to let people take the pieces they purchase at the opening home with them that evening (usually the pieces remain hanging until the close of the show three weeks later).  We also have close to twenty 4×5’s mounted on black core gater board on miniature black wooden easels available for purchase — these are printed on the same gorgeous metallic paper.

The show also features poetry of my father’s — a few are printed out on large paper and framed to hang along with the photographs.  I will be doing a live poetry reading on opening night of one of my father’s poems as well.

There will be hot mulled cider, hot cocoa, plenty of coffee, homemade cookies, popcorn, carrot cake, and some other goodies and treats.  We have photographs framed, unframed, etc. priced from $10 to $100 plus books of the photography and my father’s poetry, and several framed pieces of my son’s recreations of NYC, London, and Paris subway roll signs — something for everyone, and a great evening as well.

For more information, or to schedule a visit to the gallery some other time, you may phone gallery owner and curator Kim Martillotta-Muscarella at (585) 589-6715.

I hope to see some of you there.

~firefly

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One River comes into focus

November 15, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Posted in art, country life, faith, family, fingerless gloves, inspiration, knitting, Life, love, photography, shopping, travel, women, yarn | 3 Comments
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The past month has involved quite a bit of hard work preparing for our photography show; the show is opening on December 2nd at Marti’s on Main in Albion, New York.  When we first decided to do a photography show this December, the idea seemed rather simple and easy to pull off.  Of course it could have stayed that way, but the more we worked on it, the bigger our plans became and the more work there was to be done.  No regrets about that at all, we are having a good time doing something productive and creative that the entire family enjoys so it is worth any amount of time or financial investment that has gone into it.

This past week my son designed an awesome postcard and poster to promote the event.  We have the posters going up in shop windows in the villages around us, and postcards are going out in many directions.  I also wrote a press release and submitted it to plenty of media contacts in Western New York; we will be interviewed this Friday for some coverage.  If you are a blogger and would be willing to give us some coverage, it would be greatly appreciated.

I listed the poster for sale in my fine art Etsy shop (FleckensteinFineArt.Etsy.com).  Proceeds from the sale of this poster will help cover costs associated with the production of the show.  Now through Sunday, I have three special offers for my readers:

1) Buy a One River poster for $19, get any two knitting pattern downloads FREE (excludes the Three Scrumptious Christmas Stockings pattern, although you could substitute that one for any other two).  To take advantage of this offer, place your order for the poster, and then email me to tell me which two patterns you would like for free.  I will send a download link via email, or will gift it to you at Ravelry (Ravelry username required).

2) Buy any Subway Roll Sign, Bus Scroll Print, or reproduction vintage map from my son’s online store and get any three knitting pattern downloads for FREE — same details as above. (Offer also applies to any custom order placed with him.)

3) Buy any 11 x 17 inch Knitter’s Eye Chart (or Crocheter’s), and get any two knitting pattern downloads FREE — same details as above.

This is all being done to raise money to cover expenses for the photography show.  We have printed all of the photographs at a professional lab using Kodak’s Endura Metallic paper, they are all matted with black mat board and framed in simple black wooden frames.  A limited selection of some of my photographs that are featured in the show are listed in my fine art Etsy store … if you are interested.

We have titled the show, “One River”.  It is a show of six decades, five artists, four photographers, three generations, two coasts, and … One River.   The photography began in the late 1940’s when my husband’s father began shooting beautiful color slides at the family’s cottage on the river where we live — our farm is situated on that same river.  There are five artists in the show because it features photography by my now-deceased father-in-law, my husband, my son, and I plus poetry by my father.  Three generations — that should be obvious from who the photographers are.  Two coasts — my son still maintains a home and studio in the Los Angeles area, and then we have the place here in New York.   One River.  We have all been photographing this one river for the past sixty years, using the range of photographic technology available during that span of time.  I think it will be very interesting to people to get a chance to see one river–and the surrounding countryside–captured by three generations of photographers, each bringing their own take on the river into focus.

Even with all of this show related work in progress, I have managed to make a humble start to what I think is going to be a very cool (yet warm) pair of knuckle gloves for myself.  I have a hank of Berroco’s Ultra Alpaca fingering weight yarn in a gorgeous colorway called “Potting Soil” to make them with on size U.S. 1 knitting needles.  I am using a delicate little broken rib pattern for the cuffs and am enjoying the knitting very much.  The yarn is dreamy soft and easy to work with.  I’m planning on making these knuckle gloves with extra long cuffs so they go way up in my sweaters and jackets to keep my arms warm.

What will be even cooler, I think, is that I will make a pair of coordinating fingerless gloves using the same Berroco Ultra Alpaca worsted weight yarn in Lavender Mix colorway used in my Lavender Hat and Scarf pattern way back when I first started my blog in 2006.  On particularly cold days I will wear the Lavender colored fingerless gloves over the thinner, more delicate knuckle gloves for extra warmth.  They are going to look ultra cool, and now that we are pretty much finished putting the photography show together I should be able to get some serious knitting done so the gloves will be ready to wear soon.

Okay people, I am going to head off to get some more work done.  I appreciate your continued interest and support.

Warmest wishes,

~firefly

The river flows gently

September 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Posted in art, country life, country living, faith, family, knitting, Life, love, marriage, photography, relationships, shopping, socks, travel, yarn | 5 Comments
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Last week my husband and I took an early evening boat ride down the river, over at our cottage just a few miles from the farm. September and October are the most beautiful months for going out on that section of the river; the water is very clear and the trees are beginning to change to their autumn splendor.

While we were out we saw many Canada geese, heron, king fishers, and swans. We also saw quite a few turtles sunbathing on fallen tree trunks and limbs laying at water’s edge.

The temperature was cool, but not cold and we were very comfortable. He was standing up much of the way, as he piloted the boat along at five miles per hour. I shot hundreds of photos, and share with you today some of the best.

As I look outside my dining room window just now, I see a gentle breeze moving a bough of our great white pine, just outside the bak door. It dances, as if to beckon me out for a good time. The corn stands tall out in the fields, back behind that great old big willow tree I have spoken of and photographed so often on my blog.

So often life turns hectic, even on a quiet old farm like ours but no matter how hectic life becomes, I can always (if I remember to) stop for a few minutes and just go outside and stand still. I hear the quiet, and in the quiet I hear a dozen different sounds … geese honking as they do a fly by over the river, a distant tractor working in a field, little birds singing from the tangle below the willow, the soft movement of the river, Blu flapping his ears as he gets up from an afternoon nap.

Side Bar: My friend John Antonini is fairly new to blogging, but shares helpful advice about money, finance, and business. He just posted today, and I provided him with a beautiful photo of our river from last October to “dress” it up. Check him out, pretty please. 🙂

I recall the peace of the river, the feel of the boat slipping along still waters, the king fisher and heron calls as they glide along in search of their daily meal, the beauty of the early fall foliage against the crisp reflective surface of the water.

I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and feel that cool gentle breeze move against my face, and through my hair. I feel the sun’s warmth on my shoulders, comforting me against whatever pressures wait for me when I go back inside, to work.

Thank you farm, for being here. Thank you world, for being so lovely. Thank you husband, for bringing me here to share this life with you. Thank you my reader friend, for taking the time to share this moment of peace in an otherwise hectic day. You are treasured, all of you.

Last week I mentioned the book of inspirational poetry my father wrote and that I have published along with some of my photography from the farm. I changed the title to “I, The Wind”, the title of one of his poems. We both felt that title better communicates something about the poetry that will be found inside. It is available as an eBook, or for Kindle readers.

One of the poems in the book is titled, “Little Dreamer” and is a poem he wrote for me many years ago when I was a child. Dad always supported my dreams, and the dreams of all of his children–he is our best cheerleader, really. Here is a clip from the poem he wrote for me:

Go little dreamer dream your dreams
Just remember: they’re life.
Find your times of happiness
Heal your wounds from strife.
~Albert L. Zudfin
Excerpted from the book, “I, The Wind”

And, on that lovely note I am inspired to meniton what I am up to with my knitting this week. Remember the Foot Notes Sock Yarn Kimber Baldwin created in the Rhoda colorway in honor of my tree peony photographs? Well, I finally got started knitting something for myself with that beautiful yarn. I had planned to make a pair of socks, but I want a new, pretty scarf so I changed gears and started a lacy scarf.

Another reason for knitting the scarf project is that I wanted to use a complicated lace pattern that I have had a lot of trouble with because of the many distractions that make it hard for me to keep track of all the yo’s and K2tog’s and P2tog-b, etc. Right now I am at my prime time of being distracted and I decided it would be a perfect time to once again attempt to follow a complex lace stitch pattern.

Why, you might ask — when distractions are making it so difficult to do. I have had a project in mind for quite some time, a new way of writing up knitting instructions that I believe will help even the most distracted of knitters follow complex stitch patterns and knitting directions regardless of how confounding the information is and how muddled your mind is with distractions. So, this is a perfect time for me to test my theory to make sure it works before I move forward.

If you could have seen me on Sunday — trying to knit the most challenging lace stitch pattern I could find while a 2-1/2 year old was climbing over my back, under my arms, under my legs, over my lap. She tugged at my hair, grabbed my knitting directions several times and threw them away from me, jumped on my feet. Listen, if I could follow the directions (the way I wrote them) with all of that going on and still come out with lace formed with all the right stitches in and twists and turns in all the right places, I think I am on to something valuable that could help many, many other knitters.

Though the scene I described did eventually and temporarily plummet me into tears and despair, my lace came out okay and I soon rallied emotionally. There is a lot of work to do to bring this project of mine to the public, but I am working on it as I can and hope that before too much time I will be able to publish the results to your benefit.

As for the Rhoda colorway … Kimber is sold out of that right now, which is a shame because looking down at a piece of knitting with such a delicious play of colors just makes the knitting that much more fun and rewarding. I have written to her to find out what is going on with Foot Notes, and hopefully she will write back that many more hanks on being dyed as I write this.

One final shout out for the morning. You are aware, I am sure, of my son and his vintage-inspired subway roll signs, bus scrolls, retouched antique and vintage maps, and custom signs over at Flying Junction. I am doing my weekly shout out for him, in order to help build and promote his business. He has done so much for me over the years, patiently teaching me the how-to’s of designing and building websites, handling technical matters for me beyond my “pay grade”, and being a true friend as well as a wonderful son that there is nothing I could ever do for him that would be too much. If it wasn’t for him, I never would have started this blog. He was the one who suggested it and pointed me in the right direction. Anything I have to offer that you have enjoyed or benefited from, is in some way due to him and what he has done to make it possible.

You know, he even is the person responsible for me getting into oil painting–I don’t know if I wrote about this before. Back in 2004, at Christmas time, I was having one of the very worst years of my life, especially financially. The one highlight was that I had started painting watercolors again after not having done so for two or three years. I can’t tell you though, how stressed I was with life in general. It was one of those years that, because it didn’t kill me made me stronger.

That Christmas, my son took me out to an art supply store and bought me everything I needed to get started in oil painting. I would not have been able to do that on my one, not at that time, because it required an investment in supplies and tools that I just didn’t have money for. I remember that shopping trip like it was yesterday; it meant so much to me that he wanted to take me to the store and help me pick out what I needed. He also wanted to make sure I got everything I needed and didn’t leave off anything essential due to budget concerns.

From that time, each year for my birthday as well as Christmas he continued to provide me with shopping money for my art supplies. Because of his generosity and support I was able to stock up on a great supply of brushes and oil paints as well as other supplies and now I have created many, many beautiful oil paintings that are hanging all over the U.S., with quite a few of them in various locations in New York. [This photo, by the way, is how he “signed” the custom print he sent me for my birthday — printed on scrumptious watercolor paper, which is so appropriate for me. Very thoughtful and tastefully done.]

So, when you see me week after week mentioning his new business in my blog and my email newsletters please know these things about him. He needs my help now, because his business is young and is his sole means of support. He is passionate about his art, diligent about his business practices and outstanding customer service and for all of these reasons and more he deserves whatever support I can give him.

I suppose that about wraps things up for today. Now I have to switch gears and get some press releases sent out for a client of mine, so I must be off.

~firefly

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