The Photo Safari

The photo safari is above all else an opportunity take photographs. It can come in many forms. A vacation to Thailand or Jamaica. A cruise to the Bahamas. Taking the dog for a walk. Any of these become a photo safari if you have a camera with you. South Florida is a beautiful place to live. Hollywood, has beautiful houses and great looking seascapes near the water. Riding around Hollywood on a motor scooter taking pictures was one of my favorite pastimes. Then I had an idea. All these beautiful scenes and houses could become a Photographic essay that a local newspaper might publish. It became a project. I spent many afternoons riding through the neighborhood searching for beautiful photographs.

We moved to a house 17 miles from Hollywood. The Woodlands had beautiful landscaping throughout the development. I rode the motor scooter around and started photographing foliage and tropical flora. There was even a waterfall a mile and a half away. I started tweaking these photos and some of them are extraordinarily beautiful. These safaris were spontaneous. I put a camera and a bottle of water and a tripod in my pack and out the door I went. You could do it differently. Plan a sightseeing excursion and involve the family. They would love it. How about a trip to Butterfly World or a picnic by the lake.

Any adventure is an opportunity to find interesting subject matter. It could be people working, the street you are walking down, or any of a thousand things you find visually exciting at any given moment. Always keep in your mind the elements of a good picture. Composition, color balance, repetition of form is good design. Does your eye follow a natural path viewing the picture?

Is the photo safari a good idea that will improve our skills make us better photographers? Yes it certainly will improve your skills. I will even tell you how and why it works. Artists and photographers are visually oriented. After they learn color and design, composition and color balance. They start using these elements in their work. Every photo we take, or picture we paint adds to our body of experience. I learn something from every picture I paint and every photo I take.

The painter is criticizing the painting all the while he paints it. What does it need? What should I do now? Sometimes he will just look at a painting for half an hour or so. Eventually, the painting tells him what should be done. The photographer works a little differently. He works while setting up the shot. He is moving around, looking for the right place to shoot, set his composition by zoom, camera height, angle, and optimal setting for exposure.

Then he pushes the button and it is done. He does the same thing for every picture he takes. The photographer goes back to his studio, and uploads his photos to his photographic software. Then he will criticize and tweak every shot he took. This self criticism by both the painter and photographer provides a new learning experience with each new work. Your body of experience and knowledge grow with every work you complete. How could you possibly do anything but improve your skills and results.

Figural Costume Jewelry – Bugs, Bees and Butterflies

Figural jewelry pieces are little works of art, in the shapes of people, plants, animals, places and things. Both vintage and contemporary jewelry designers look to nature for inspiration.

In this article we’ll focus on the insect world. The gorgeous colors of butterflies, the rotund bodies of bees, the many shapes of other bugs lend themselves to some of the most beautiful and popular figural jewelry. People who get the willies just thinking about insects are often avid collectors, and will wear their “love bugs” with pride.

Trifari “Jelly Belly” designs of the 1940s lent themselves to insect motifs, due to the round lucite “bellies” that can look just like a bug’s abdomen. They came in all the colors found in nature, and some that were found only in the imagination of the designer.

Rhinestones made wings and legs sparkle and glow. A large rhinestone could be the body of the bug, and the wings could be studded with smaller rhinestones in an all-over pattern. Oval shaped rhinestones were perfect for wings, and Aurora Borealis iridescent rhinestones made them shine. Little rhinestones became sparkling eyes.

The bright colors of Lucite and Bakelite were perfect for insect pins. The carvings on plastic jewelry made for some intricate details. Art glass could be made iridescent just like the body of a beetle. Starting a collection of insect figural jewelry, or adding them to your collection, is a great way to focus on a particular style. Some real finds are still out there.

The bee pin in the photo has red Aurora Borealis rhinestones on the wings and dark red rhinestones on the eyes and body. It was found at a thrift store for $1.99! As always, inspect any piece you want to buy very carefully. Use that jeweler’s loupe or a strong magnifying glass to look for flaws, and with luck you’ll also find the signature of the designer.

Watch for the next article on figural costume jewelry – the selection is virtually unlimited!

Butterfly Wedding Favors – Cheap But Beautiful Gifts For Your Guests

From the time you were a little girl, you’ve been thinking about falling in love and getting married so you can have the wedding of your dreams. Now that you are engaged and you’re actually planning your big day you can have anything you want. The best part of planning your wedding is being able to pick out all the things that will make your day extra special.

Butterfly candle holders. There are so many sweet choices when it comes to using butterfly shaped or accented candleholders as wedding favors for your guests. You can find candle holders in any color or size and fill them with different colored candles, scented gels or even flower buds. Butterfly candleholders bring a child-like wonder to your wedding favors and décor. This is something your guests will remember with fondness for some time after your big day.

Butterfly Tea lights. Butterfly tea-lights are a whimsical touch to any wedding. You can buy them to match votives or mix and match the colors to go along with your wedding décor or accessories. They are very sweet when grouped together in bowls, on candle plates or set on place settings for guests to enjoy. You may want to go with some of the butterfly floating tea-lights placed in vases and bowls filled with water to give the appearance that they are “flying” in the air. They give off a wonderful glow when lit and add to the magic of your wedding day.

Butterfly card holders. Place holders in the shape of butterflies, with fluttery wings and bright sparkly colors are simply wonderful to use as wedding favors. And they’re relatively inexpensive gifts that can be purchased or made ahead of time with lots of embellishments. Set them on tables to help your wedding guests sit together in appropriate places or to assign sections for adults and children. Guests can take them home after the wedding and use them to hold photos of the bride and groom or their other happy memories of the big day.

Butterfly bookmarks. Want to enjoy the fairytale long after the wedding day? Then consider using butterfly bookmarks as wedding favors. These can be made or purchased cheaply and set at each place setting for guests or placed in baskets for the wedding attendants or ushers to hand out to guests. Imprint them with the bride and groom names and wedding date so your special day will always be remembered. These are wonderful keepsakes for the family bible as well.

Butterfly picture frames. Love to show off your engagement or wedding photos? Then use butterfly shaped or embellished picture frames to display copies of cherished photos for your guests to take home. These are lovely and can be used later on for anniversary celebrations or to display at home after your dream wedding day.

Of Cats and Butterfly – Clocks!

Some people love cats, while some just detest them. What about butterflies. They are so cute you could possibly count of the number of people who think other in your fingers. And when these are taken up as clock designs, innovation it is all the way. The manufacturers have broken all the norms and have come out to play their business game in an absolutely mind blowing manner.

Clocks these days come with alarms that meow like cats. Awakened in the morning by the sweet sound and sweet purrs of the cat can be a wonderful experience. These days, digital types have come up where the cat is on the screen animatedly playing with its tail, chasing butterflies or simply snoozing. They are fun decors in children’s room or rooms of a cat lover.

You can make your own cat clock. Take the battery and ticking compartment out of an old one and attach that to a photo of your cat or kittens. You can think of ways to make the cat background dynamic. Else, a static background does serve the purpose

Some of the popular designs are black cats on their bellies. This one is fun to look at and comes in painted black wood and even artificial fur. You can make them from recycled greeting cards and floppy disks too. Butterflies are symbol of happiness, joy and sunny positivity. They come in umpteen designs. Every year new designs come up and one of them for sure contains butterfly in them. The alarms in them are of chirping and tweeting bird, giving the impression of early morning nature’s bliss as you wake up. Just makes the entire day!

To make your own butterfly type, you can print out some glossy pictures of beautiful butterflies or paint your own. Instead of going in for traditional butterfly, try to make some out of weird prints or mix match. This gives a cool new out look to the age-old concept. Design hands that are associated with butterfly, like flowers and grasses. Attach a ticking booth to it to make it work.

A recent design has the clock with 3 or 4 separate pieces of butterfly which can be placed in such a way as to create an impression that they are flying away from them. That is a butterfly one but with a nice creative twist. Improve your home décor with lovely designs.