October 17, 2011

Bird Watching

swooping swiftly
from the pale
and cloudless sky
a jay alights
upon the ground.
robed in a lustrous coat
of royal blue
glowing aqua
and frosty white
accented with
bold black details.
its slender gray talons
grasp the splintery surface.
its gracefully-shaped beak
and regal tufted crown
add to the splendor
of this elegant-looking bird.
but exquisite beauty
can be...deceiving.
its pleasing looks veil its
heart of greed.
in contemplation
its small dark eyes
do seem rather shady
and everyone knows
beady eyes belong only
to crooks.
a short poem by a little sparc

Note: My"Words from A-Z" project is temporarily "on hold." Been quite busy lately, and haven't had much time for Dictionary skimming. Will try to resume soon.

September 22, 2011

Word 13 - Minikin

minikin - a small or dainty creature

It's simply fascinating to watch a tiny bird flit from place to place, and land gracefully on a fence, just long enough to have its picture taken.

September 21, 2011

Word 12 - Lambent

lambent - softly bright or radiant

A tiny gleaming flickering light is always a happy sight...

September 20, 2011

Word 11 - Kaffeeklatsch

kaffeeklatsch - an informal gathering for coffee and conversation
And a croissant isn't a bad addition. Mmmm!

September 19, 2011

Word 10 - Jabberwocky

jabberwocky - meaningless speech or writing
This is just one of many nonsensical quotes from A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh. I, however, do not think that Pooh's quotes are 'meaningless.' He just happens to be a bear of very little brain...

September 16, 2011

Word 9 - Inkling

inkling - a slight indication or suggestion; a slight knowledge or vague notion
Leaves indicate much. These leaves suggest fall, as they gradually change from velvety green to pale crisp brown.

September 15, 2011

Word 8 - Heptad

heptad - a group of seven
My friend Roy G. Biv gave me the idea for this photograph. He suggested that I use seven colored pencils held by seven hands in the seven colors of the rainbow. Genius!

September 14, 2011

Word 7 - Gewgaw

gewgaw - something gaudy and useless; trinket; bauble
Even a lime green coin purse sprinkled with bright orange seed beads can be a nice accessory when paired with complementing fabrics... but this, I would certainly consider a gaudy combination.

September 13, 2011

Word 6 - Frap

frap - to bind or wrap tightly with ropes or chains
The rough scaly rope slithers across the splintered porch, its tan threads bleached by the sun. Nearby, an unsuspecting wooden pole lazes in the shade. Suddenly, the rope lunges and winds itself around the pole. It soon realizes, however, that the prey is not satisfactory.
How a rope actually came to be twisted around an old, broken pole and how it came to rest on our back porch may always be a mystery...

September 12, 2011

Word 5 - Egress

egress - the act or instance of going out; a means or place of going out; an exit
Going out... departing... fading away... so many meanings to a single word.

September 9, 2011

Word 4 - Driblet

driblet - a trifling or small sum; a drop of liquid
When a single dew drop, however large it may be, is compared with a tall glass of sparkling crystal clear water, its sum is certainly small. Though ants may think otherwise...

September 8, 2011

Word 3 - Crepuscular

crepuscular - of, pertaining to, or resembling twilight; dim; indistinct
Mist is always filled with mystery...

September 7, 2011

Word 2 - Bibelot

bibelot - a small object of curiosity, beauty, or rarity
I don't know about you, but I think rocks are rather rare things... (You thought this post was about the frog, didn't you?) Take this particular rock. At first glance it may seem rather dull and ordinary. But if you examine it closer, you will see that it is shaped like a heart. There may be other heart-shaped rocks in the world, yet none is, or has been, or will ever be exactly identical to this one. I consider that an exceptionally rare thing. Each and every rock was created unique...

September 6, 2011

Word 1 - Arcane

arcane - known or understood by very few; mysterious; secret; obscure; esoteric
Few know what lies beyond locked doors...

September 5, 2011

Words From A to Z

26 days. A word each week day with an accompanying photo. An array of interesting dictionary words. Some familiar. Others entirely new. In any case... not everyday words. This is simply a fun challenge combining vocabulary and my passion, photography. Join me if you like!

September 1, 2011

Almost Autumn

Summer is beginning to fade... Though the leaves have not yet changed from emerald green to glowing orange, vivid red, and brilliant yellow, autumn is in the air.
Have a radiant and golden end to the summer! Happy September!

August 24, 2011

Yarn Along - Soft As A Cloud Cowl

I am not an experienced knitter or an avid reader, but I've been wanting to participate in the yarn along hosted by small things. Typically not one for large and lengthy knitting projects, I have recently been working on a cowl. This is only my first project on circular needles, so it hasn't been a quick project so far. It's from the book More Last Minute Knitted Gifts called a soft as a cloud cowl. There were actually several pattern variations to choose from. I chose the open mock cable and spiral rib cowl.

The yarn used in the book was a beautiful cashmere yarn, but of course I wasn't going to spend a fortune on a project that I'll probably only wear a few times this fall and winter. I chose a gorgeous aqua-blue superwash merino, wisps of black intermingled with the blue. The color is called Southwest Gem. The yarn is Frolicking Feet from Done Roving Yarns.

Reading-wise, I've been filling in a mixed crossword puzzle book. Exciting, right? I'm a take-my-time kind of reader, so if I pick up a novel, I want to read something really intriguing. The last novel I read was Pride and Prejudice. Very romantic!

July 28, 2011

Fiery Flowers

I was pleasantly surprised that these photos turned out so well. Red and orange are two of the most difficult colors to photograph. They always become so washed out or bright that you lose a lot of definition. It's hard to go wrong with Zinnias, though. They're always so pretty.

July 7, 2011


Unfortunately, these are not fireworks. Just sparklers, though they still make amazing photographs. All the intricate patterns... Hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July!

June 30, 2011

Embroidery Headband

Following several months of busyness, I have finally begun to craft again. After reading (well, skimming) Alicia Paulson's book, Embroidery Companion, I was inspired to try my hand at an embroidery headband.

Though a headband is a small accessory, it was by no means a quick project. At least for an inexperienced embroiderer like myself. In the end, the headband turned out much better than I anticipated. I did, however, somewhat alter the original pattern. Obviously the colors are different, but I also changed the style of the flowers.

The most difficult part was finding 'decorative elastic' for the ends of the headband. Having no idea what decorative elastic was did not particularly make my search easy. Finally ended up buying some gorgeous shimmery, blue-green, fold-over elastic from Etsy, and whip stitching it to both ends.

I've also been attempting to make some embroidery bracelets using the same type of elastic. More on that later.

June 18, 2011

A Little Light Painting Tutorial

writing with light...

Well, the 'endless creativity' on this blog seems to have stopped dead in its tracks. I'd say it's about time bring some imaginative content to this page. Today's creative endeavor... A light painting tutorial.

You may be wondering - What in the world is light painting? Well, in short, to 'paint' with light, means to point a light source of some sort (a flashlight, for instance) in front of a camera, and then take a photograph with a long shutter speed. To 'paint' with light, you will first need to be in a dark room. (Outdoors at nighttime is preferable. You will get a better background, and light from other parts of your house will not be as distracting.)

Here are some things you will need:

  • SLR camera (point and shoot cameras can be used, but some may not be capable of long shutter speeds; certain point and shoot cameras [my old one for instance] have a fireworks setting in which the shutter is open for about 5 seconds. SLRs are still preferable for this activity because the shutter can be opened for an extended amount of time.)
  • Some kind of light-shining object i.e. flashlights, glowsticks, plastic lightsabers, Christmas lights [would need extension cord for this], or really any other kind of portable light source.
  • Black or dark sheet for background or as prop in the photo (optional)
  • White or light sheer for creating a 'ghostly' figure (optional)
  • Mirrors for reflecting light (optional)
  • Tissue paper or translucent colored plastic (optional.) This is for changing the color of your light, when using a flashlight. To achieve this affect, you simply hold a piece of tissue paper or a piece of see-through plastic over your flashlight (or tape it) while creating you picture. (Note: The little red disc in the photo is just a cheap plastic magnifying glass from a kids meal at a fast food restaurant. Anything like this can be used.)
  • Tripod (If you want clear photos, this is mandatory! Hand held light painting works too, but most likely your pictures will be blurry from camera shake.)
  • A little creativity (It's the best way to get fantastic photos.)
Things to do before you begin:
  • Wear black or dark clothing (preferably clothing that does not reflect light.)
  • If possible, make sure that light from other areas of your home is not affecting your 'light painting studio.' You want the room (or backyard) as dark as possible. Unless of course you want the 'effect' of other light sources.
  • Set your camera on a long shutter speed. Most cameras have a wide range of shutter speeds. You will need to have a capacity of at least 5 seconds. Some cameras have a 'bulb' setting, which means that you can hold down the shutter button for as long as you would like. (Please note that the longer the shutter is open, the longer you will be waiting for your camera to process the photo.)
  • Set your aperture. Aperture is a big word for how much light is let into the lens, determining how dark or light your photograph will be. Aperture is measured in 'f-stops,' another odd term. The larger the f-stop, [f-22, for example,] the darker your picture will be. The smaller the f-stop, [f- 3.5, for example] the lighter your picture will be. Most likely you will want to use a larger f-stop.
  • Attach the camera to a tripod (unless of course you want to hold the camera, but a tripod is highly recommended.)
Note: You can have a friend help you out with this, or you can use the self timer on your camera. If you use the self timer, you will probably want to set it at an interval of about 10 seconds so that you have time to position yourself in front of the camera.

This is an example of moving the camera around in circles in front of a stationary light source (kitchen clock)...

A flashlight covered with blue tissue paper...

Patterns of fiery light...

Kid's lightsabers work very well...

This interesting effect was achieved by using a flashlight to trace around someone's feet on the floor, turning off the flashlight as they step and then continuing to trace...

Fun with Christmas lights...

Much of this tutorial is based on the light painting section of the book Photo Jojo. An odd title, but a very fun book, full of creative things to do with photography.

So get out there and discover!

March 21, 2011


Tiny golden wands emerge from,
Fragile snow white petals,
Gently affixed to slender, sturdy branches,
Extending from the bountiful flowering bushes,
Of spring.
(A short poem by alittlesparc)