Necklace for Macie

28 07 2011

I crocheted this little wire necklace for my niece, Macie. Made of non-tarnish silver wire (26 gauge), it consists of two rows of crochet stitches with a separate wire-crafted bird nest containing three blue freshwater pearl “eggs.” I normally make the bird nests with 24 gauge wire, but this is what I had available when I was crafting with my sister in San Antonio a few weeks ago. It required more “revolutions” of the wire than 24 gauge would have to achieve the thickness of the nest, but the end result looks very similar. I’m working on a larger version for an adult to wear. Learn how to make the bird nest on Cathe Holden’s crafty site here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





A Vibrant Morning Wake by Daniel Scott, Jr.

28 07 2011

A few months ago, Daniel (who is a graphic designer in Ft. Worth) contacted me and asked for permission to use a photo I shot of a cluster of Spiderworts blooming at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in March. My college roommate, graphic designer/artist/Austinite and dear friend Sonya (see her whimsical paper clay “Bugs with Attitude” here) took me there for an afternoon of shooting (it was my first visit there).

Daniel gave me a link to his mosaic work and I was duly impressed, so I gave him permission and anxiously awaited the final result. It is nothing short of gorgeous! I’ll be interviewing Daniel for this blog in the not-too-distant future, but wanted to share his inspirational piece now.

From Daniel’s blog, Recycled Consumer Mosaics:
I create artwork entirely from candy wrappers, drink labels, gum wrappers, sugar packets, tea packaging, etc. to utilize marketing brand awareness and color recognition from the marketplace. My swatch palette takes shape as marketing strategies change their client’s image. As each mosaic is made, more layers and techniques are worked through for the best results. That’s what makes this process fresh and unique with each blank slate, ready to be transformed into a work of art.

Below is Daniel’s beautiful mosaic along with the photo that inspired him. Stay tuned for my interview with him!





Be still my heart! (Installment #2)

28 07 2011

So I’m investigating teleconverters and extension tubes for my 105mm Micro-Nikkor lens and after reading a few suggestions on various Nikon forums, I start researching the first product—a Nikon TC 14A converter. A Google search reveals this item is available from Sears Marketplace (really?) for just $61.70!

Hey, isn’t this thing supposed to cost anywhere from $300-450? Let’s check it out pronto!

I click on the Sears Marketplace entry and here is what I get—Renal formula tablets for pets. (Am I the only one in the universe this is happening to? This makes twice this month!)





768.5 GB = 152,016 photos!

28 07 2011

I had no idea that I had shot that many digital images since I switched from film to digital about seven or eight years ago! (Of course I’ve shot more than that; I delete the really bad ones before I close out the folder and back it up after each photo session). These images include client events (meetings, conventions, awards and staff portraits), portraits of friends/family/clients, pets, nature, still life, craft projects, home renovation projects, travel, lifestyle stock, assignment work, weddings, parties and garden club gatherings, and of course, my botanical/garden/insect images.

A couple of months ago I got a deal on Seagate’s FreeAgent GoFlex Desk 2TB external drives ($109.99 at Best Buy; now they’re even cheaper—$100.90 on Amazon; $99.99 at OfficeMax, B&H Photo and WalMart.

This drive works with both PC & Mac (I’m on a Mac) and will work with USB 2.0 and 3.0. I started with 250 and 500 GB drives years ago and began rapidly filling them up. I think the 2TB drives will cover me for some time! And these aren’t space hogs—they measure just 4.5 x 7 inches.

I copied all my photos (and all my client design files—86,476 items which include Photoshop files, Illustrator drawings, fonts, and Pagemaker/InDesign files!) onto one drive and am backing that entire drive onto two more drives.

You can never have your data backed up in too many places; trust me on this one! If you only have it backed up on one drive, it’s simply not enough insurance. I think you should have at least two complete backups—and no, your computer does not count into the tally). Taking my fellow photographer friend Ed’s advice, I will keep one of the drives off site at a friend’s house. Now that’s extra insurance!

If your images are as important to you as they are to me, please consider buying two drives and back up those treasures! The price is so miniscule compared to paying someone to recover data from a drive (trust me on this one; I speak from experience!). Get the largest storage capacity you can for your budget—this Seagate model just happens to be one of the best deals out there, in my opinion.

I hadn’t looked at the number of photo-only files that were transferred on the first drive, but I did notice it on this second transfer. It’s a grand total of 768.5 GB and a total of 152,016 photo (and about 9 hours to transfer!).





Foxy on the bench

27 07 2011

My neighbor Eric’s cat, Foxy, is a frequent visitor to our garden. A few months ago, she discovered that the newly-placed cushion on the wrought iron bench was apparently put there just for her. She allows me to photograph her, but she still hisses at me if I get closer to her. I’ll extend my hand and she’ll lean in a few inches from me, never averting her eyes from mine. And then comes that nonplussed hisssssssssssssssssss. Every single time. I’d say she’s a bit ungrateful for a feline who was just given a comfy bed on which to languish in the afternoon shade! Ah, well…she makes a great (and frequent) model, doesn’t she?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Same time, last year: Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on ‘Zowie’ Zinnia

27 07 2011

Originally posted July 27, 2010

Overcast and very pleasant day, perfect for a quick (and fruitful) lunchtime shoot at Green Spring Gardens. This is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on a ‘Zowie’ Zinnia.

Note: I was actually trying to get a shot (with the tripod in place) of just the two Zinnias when the Swallowtail landed on one of the flowers. I held my breath and got just two shots before it flew off. I live for moments (and wild color) like this!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





American Goldfinch

25 07 2011

Finally—my first-ever shot of the elusive, quick-moving American Goldfinch (male), photographed at Green Spring Gardens yesterday morning. My friend Gina saw one of these in her garden yesterday too (perhaps he followed me home?) and thought for sure she had discovered something rare and exotic—much like a sighting of Bigfoot or even rarer, the Dodo bird. She even thought it was perhaps a flyaway pet looking for its home. That is, until she started a web search and learned what it really was. She was so excited doing the research that she is contemplating a career change from flight attendant to ornithologist. This morning her voice had morphed into that of the character Miss Jane Hathaway (the love-starved-pith-helmet-wearing-avid-bird-watching perennial spinster) from The Beverly Hillbillies. (P.S. I advised Gina to not quit her day job.)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.