I took some photos of gates last week, while looking for shots in the fog. These first 2 aren’t so foggy, but they got me looking through my image files for other gates.
This one of a garden gate was taken in France a few years ago.
And this one is the entrance to my friends Kathy and Ray’s house.
Here’s a tranquil spot in New England.
In hilly San Francisco.
I took the next 2 photos in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard. These properties looked a bit too perfect for me.
And 2 from historic Rt. 6A on Cape Cod.
It’s relatively warm today (in the 40′s), but the snowy ground and ocean water are still chilly. Sometimes that combination creates a thick fog and today it lured us outside. After lunch, Rob and I grabbed our cameras and drove around Quisset and Woods Hole to take photos. This section shows another view of our seaside village, from a floating dingy surrounded by ice to the dormant communal garden behind Challenger House. Even in winter, Nobska light’s fog horn sends a warning out to sea.
Just a quick post to let you know that I’ve got almost everything for the new Felt Wee Folk compiled and ready to send off to C&T publishing by the March deadline. Rob and I keep thinking of more still life setups to photograph, so I predict we’ll be busy adding finishing touches up ’til the last minute. This scene in the light box shows an array of project materials, along with a helpful cast of characters doing laundry.
Rob and I are spending every spare moment in my studio, taking photographs for the revised edition of Felt Wee Folk. We need hundreds of pictures for the new book and we’re making good progress! There’s barely enough room for all of light stands, wires and equipment. The light box creates an even, pleasing light, so once it was set up, we spent a few days taking overhead shots of the dolls and step-by-step samples. I just started writing the new chapters and directions, which I find requires a different kind of discipline than stitching. So, if I don’t post for a while, I may be absorbed into the world of words, telling instead of showing.
We have another, larger light box that is good for the scenes. We’ve been taking pictures of the dolls all grouped together in a crowd, thinking that it would make a good book cover photo. Rob raised the tripod up really high to get the right angle. I wish you could see their little faces all looking up and waving, but that’ll have to wait until the book comes out in 2015.
I’ve recently finished making a group of wedding couples (see photo at the end of post) for the new edition of Felt Wee Folk (2015 pub date). While I was working on them, I imagined that the dolls would be photographed on a cake, lined up on tiered layers. As a prop, the cake didn’t have to be real, but I wanted it to look realistic. My friend Terry McKee provided technical assistance and moral support as we spent 2 afternoons in my kitchen working the problem. A few years ago, we made a real wedding cake, which you can see here. We quickly found out that the sharp edges of the styrofoam cake forms tear through the fondant, so we changed our approach. We padded the sharp edge with fondant and abandoned the by-the-book instructions that called for draping the cake over the top and sides with one piece of fondant. We decided that a top and collar would work better, since we would be able to cover any seams with frosting later. Here’s Terry rolling out the fondant collar. It took most of the afternoon to cover both tiers and the base.
I lined up the dolls to see if they would all fit. After Terry went home, I spent the rest of the afternoon decorating the cake with pieces of fondant that I cut out with leaf and moon shaped cookie cutters.
On day 2 we resumed work on the cake. Terry put her piping skills to work as she applied frosting around the edges.
I piped out some squiggles on top and voila, a wedding cake! Terry was a big help and it’s always more fun to work together as we tackle these new and unfamiliar projects. The cake should last a bit, being just sugar and styrofoam. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep it after we photograph the scene.
Rob and I set up the cake in the light box, with a silk curtain behind and took photographs for the book. Sorry about the teaser, but this is as much as I can show of the dolls. I still have a lot to do for the book, but I can feel it getting closer!
With the cold of winter upon us, it’s been easy to get into the spirit of my next scene for the 2nd edition of Felt Wee Folk, which will be published in 2015. The set-up includes a snowy hillside and an icy pond made of paraffin. I built the hill with chicken wire and wood. Then, I covered it with old-fashioned fluffy “snow” fabric that drapes in a convincing snow-like manner. I sprinkled on a product called Buffalo Snow Flurries, which looks like plastic bag material chewed up into really small pieces. It falls and glitters like snow, but feels nasty and gets over everything. I added old fake pine trees that my husband’s family had and some real bayberry branches that look like miniature trees.
We’ve moved the photography operation into my studio and used a light box for the first time. With flood lights shining on the outside of its white walls, a softly lit space is created inside. Rob set up his computer on my ironing board and monitored the shots.
The dolls in the scene are skiing, skating, sledding, tobogganing and making a snow man. Even Jack Frost makes an appearance!
I am happy to say that the RABBITAT film has been viewed over 8000 times! Find links to blog posts about the process of making my piece, Rabbitat here. A great big thank you to filmmakers Daniel Cojanu and Elise Hugus from UnderCurrent Productions for encapsulating my work in such an engaging way for 7 minutes. For those of you who haven’t yet seen the film or want to look at it again, here it is:
This is a selection of photos from our recent trip to Ireland that didn’t necessarily fit into one of the previous categories. They are taken on the streets of Galway, out in the countryside and in pubs and shops in various towns and villages.