SOUVENIR FOTO SCHOOL:: SCHOLARSHIPS!

I thought I would show-off a sneak peek of our virtual text book for Creative Captures 101. What started out as a 5 page pdf has grown into quite the project! Michelle, my co-professor in Souvenir Foto School is also a graphic designer and we both agree that being a designer makes it completely impossible to narrow down your choices for yourself.  We struggled with how this was going to look.  In the end we wanted to make it feel like a real textbook, with well loved (and read) paper pages, a linen cover, filled with timeless (and time tested) information.  We are hoping our students are excited as we are about this new addition to the course.  With Creative Captures 101 starting this Sunday I almost forgot to make the announcement for scholarships–we give away 3 each session.  I have mentioned in the past I started Souvenir Foto School when my salary was cut in half and my best friend’s husband was laid off from his job, so I certainly understand that having a creative outlet like this can be a huge bright side to unfortunate economic events.  Our last scholarship recipients added such energy to the class, they were eager, worked extra hard and truly participated in making the class even better.  We hope that our new recipients will be able to do the same.  We have already given one of the scholarships away, so we have 2 scholarships available.  If you would like to be considered please email me and let me know why you would like to be chosen. Good luck!
ALL SCHOLARSHIPS HAVE BEEN AWARDED, THANK YOU!

MOVING TIPS & QUIPS

They say that besides death, moving is one of the most stressful situations you can put yourself in. ‘They’ are right. I am quite exhausted from all the planning and prepping and we haven’t even decided on a place yet, let alone start the actual move. I have moved quite a lot in my time, mostly in the same immediate area though. This is a much bigger move, which we have discussed for months, so I have been both mentally getting ready for it and physically (no, I have not been lifting weights or anything).  I thought I would share some of the things I have done in case any of you are thinking of a move or know someone that is or just want to be prepared for the future.  I am not much of a collector but I do own a lot of books.  A few months ago I went through my massive collection and weeded out which ones I was willing to part with.  I am probably going to do this again soon. After I created a stockpile of books I went to my Amazon account where I had created an Amazon seller account, I chose to sell my books, but since I didn’t want them in my apartment I shipped them all to Amazon fulfillment to sell, pack and ship. I in turn sat at home and had the profits deposited into my bank account electronically.  Talk about easy peasy. I must have sent them over a hundred books.  That brings my collection down considerably and makes for a lot lighter future moving day. If you don’t know about this program, I highly recommend it. The profits are a lot less than if you sold the books yourself, but to not have the headache of packing and shipping one-off books is so worth the extra fee.  Knowing that we were going to move, I had decided when I designed my new studio space to have everything in organized boxes so I could seamlessly transport the studio when the time came and it would be super easy to get back to work wherever we landed.  Instead of having drawers built-in for my custom desk (which I never did show you), I ordered multiples of these letter boxes. All of the things that I would have put in a drawer I put in these boxes, I even went one step further and  added acrylic inserts in them, so everything had a place and I didn’t just have boxes of ‘stuff’ (for the record I don’t do well with ‘stuff’ I don’t even like the word). For my shop inventory I bought Kraft photo boxes, they are the perfect size to house the inventory and had the bonus nameplates on the front so I could identify what is in each box. Come moving day all I will need to do is pop the top on them and my inventory is ready to go!  This solution may not work for everyone but I can tell you having my studio ‘portable’ has made life a lot easier and more organized.  Whatever I don’t use on an every day basis I can just move to the garage or the supply closet with ease. My studio space is very small so I need to be able to utilize as much of it as I can.
Now for the quips part of this post.  I am going to have to sell some of my possessions it’s time to, but I know that a garage sale is not the place for such precious items as my beloved Gocco and a few of my Lensbaby lenses. Any ideas of how I should go about selling these things? I want to be able to sell some excess paper, envelopes and supplies that I can’t throw away, are not that great for donation but would be welcome in the right person’s hands. Should I create a moving sale page on the blog? I’m open to suggestions.
P.S. These flowers were for sale at a Farmer’s Market in North Carolina.  I loved that the vendor displayed the stems in Kerr jars, so charming!

CIVIL UNREST

If you asked me if I would ever have a photograph of a cemetery on my blog I would probably furrow my brow and wonder if you were talking to me. How random. That’s how I felt about these cemeteries, yes plural.  It seems in the South there are many of these small burial plots, they just hang out on the side of the road minding there own business.  What I neglected to shoot was that there was a Target right across the street and this cemetery was flanked by two very nice homes.  If we end up choosing to move to North Carolina I will not be living next to a cemetery. The one above was in Marietta, Georgia and my father-in-law said that a lot of these cemeteries were Civil War graves. They are all over so it really puts into perspective the scope of the blood shed of that war. I just found these grave sites in such odd juxtaposition with the 21st century all around, this one was really (no exaggeration) on the side of a major street. It was like getting out of the car and stepping back in time.

DOG’S COUNTRY

While we were in North Carolina we noticed that there sure were a lot of dogs.  Everyone seemed to have a dog or two (or three). The couple we were staying with had two dogs, two cats and a nine month old, a full house to be sure. My husband loves dogs and dogs love him. This giant puppy was a 115 lb. deaf Great Dane that thought she was a lap dog. Really.  I would walk into the den to find her as close to huddled on my husband’s lap as she could get. He was a great sport about it and tried to accommodate her as best as possible.  I can tell you that he never let’s me sit in his lap.
I guess what you really want to know is if we finally chose a place to re-locate.  We have narrowed it down to two locations–Napa Valley or White Chapel, North Carolina.  They are actually quite a lot alike, both rural but a stone’s throw from ‘civilization’. In Napa you are an hour drive to San Francisco (my favorite American city), in North Carolina you are an hour by plane from New York City or Miami, a mere six hours from Europe.  Of course the whole idea of moving is to be able to buy a house and have a great place to raise our (hopefully) future kids. With our budget we could afford a modest house in Napa Valley, but it would be a house in Napa Valley. In North Carolina, well that’s a game changer, we could get a beautiful house with acres of land (which means I could have my miniature animal farm!) it would still be modest, but I could have my mini farm plus my own studio space, both of these sound very attractive to me. In North Carolina, I do fear that it could feel a little isolated being that I am a City girl.  Now we live a block from one of the busiest streets in Los Angeles (not a plus mind you) but convenient to everything. We are going to be doing some more number crunching this evening, we do know that May 1st is our deadline so we don’t have a lot of time to be hemming and hawing.  Any advice, suggestions, questions? 

THE GOLDEN HOUR

I can not express how good it felt to finally sleep in my own bed.  It was so good that I convinced my husband to stay in bed all day Sunday.  We have never done that, unless we were on vacation (these recent trips have so not been vacation) and it felt so decadent, the little things. We watched movies, ate chocolate for lunch and watched more movies. It was blissful. I have been plagued with allergies this last week, so I was due for a day of bed rest. I don’t think it helped one bit when we were in Georgia it was the the worse pollen ridden day in history (parked cars were yellow with pollen dust, or whatever it is they call it). I thought I would die, no joke. My head felt like it was going to implode, I had blown my nose so much I had callouses on my nostrils, my eyes were practically swollen shut and breathing was out of the question. I was in a bad way. The allergies didn’t let up when we landed in the City of Angels, in fact the added pollution may have exacerbated them even more. So if you were wondering if being in bed all Sunday was code for something else I can assure you it was not (besides this is a G rated blog).  Have a happy Monday!
P.S. These photographs were taken early morning after sunrise on the airplane. The woman next to me asked me if I minded putting the shade down. I am usually very polite, but yes, I did mind. If you see light like this you have to pretend you don’t understand what language your seat mate is speaking when they spout such crazy talk. Trust me I am never up near sunrise and certainly don’t often have the opportunity to capture beautiful soft golden sunlight reflecting off of billowy white clouds, creating the most gorgeous pink light you ever did see. In those situations, feel free to be a little selfish, the light is fleeting so ignoring the request for a wee bit is just fine.
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