Tuesday, July 28, 2015

upcoming: say cheese!

In June, stones on Nash Island.
I may need to re-post this from time to-time, it's  a visualization of my mantra this summer: One stone at a time. Although Anne Lamott says it better.

Here it is mid-summer. Though there's mucho to blab about, instead I'm linking some upcoming classes/events/workshops.

Fiber College in Searsport Maine, September 9-13. The only thing that makes the end of summer bearable is looking forward to this creative gathering on beautiful Penobscot Bay. As in past years, I am collaborating with Beverly Army Williams to teach two new classes that combine photography and writing for your creative business (and creative life...not limited to those with businesses).  We are doing  Making Your Social Media Twinkle (yes..twinkle) on Friday, and Selling your Products Online, on Saturday. I am also teaching Photo Editing class, Sunday morning, which will leave you able to optimize and all around make your photos fanatastic-and no Photo Shop needed.  Class descriptions and registration info here.  Fiber College is an unusual, artful, affordable and always inspiring. Maine is stunning in September, by the way. Join us. 

- Say Cheese: A Foodie & Photo Workshop Day--  new & different and truly delicious, this one. I am teaming up with longtime friend and food professional Arline Conigliaro in Lawrenceville NJ to offer two sessions of this artisanal cheese-making, nibbling, wood fired personal pizza crafting and phone photography day...details here. 
 If you know any food bloggers or folks who  like to photograph beautiful food before eating it- and post the results online--pass this on!
Two sessions_ Sunday August 9 and Monday August 10 . Bring friends! 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

3rd Thimble Isles Knitting Cruise July 21- ahoy!

Sailing by with a quick post, sorry this is of interest only to those within striking distance of Connecticut
there are no bad views from the Volsunga, our vessel
Ok mateys- Get your ticket now for the 2015 Thimble Islands Knitting Cruise, July 21st, Tuesday 6-8 pm leaving from the Stony Creek Dock in Branford CT.    Cruising, knitting and snacking included for $25. by Paypal*.  Handy dandy button at end of this post.  We've got 12 seats left, grab a project and bring a friend.
knitting friend Beth who (sob) left us for the pacific nw, on the 1st cruise in 2012

montage from last year's cruise
I know it's hubris but I'll say it anyway:  It's definitely the most seaworthy daytrip in the knitting world. Plus: fun and relaxing and great company.
Pretty sure we have pioneered knitting, yarn winding and drop spindling on the Volsunga.

Use the button to buy your ticket  via Paypal*, I'll send you a confirming email.
A few deets
• we cruise rain or shine, the Volsunga has an awning covering it, and lights.
• space is limited and we usually sell out.
• BYOB, we'll have fabulous snacks and seltzer/lemonade. I recommend gin and tonic, it goes well with salt air and peeping at the island homes,  but that's just me ;-)
• parking can be tricky in the village of Stony Creek so try to carpool and definitely aim to arrive early so you can walk down to the dock by 5:45
If you don't use Paypal and want to send me a check or some other payment method, shoot me an email at ezisusATsnet.net

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Carnaby Kid behind the scenes

This morning Lori Versaci of Versaci Knits released her adorable Carnaby Kid sweater. It's, the tiny version of her fun adult Carnaby Street design*. A few weeks ago,  I met Lori for cocktails after I taught  at Pins and Needles in Princeton. Between gin drinks--very good gin drinks-- she tucked the sweater into my bag and asked me to shoot it on Zoe.  The drinks were so good, we didn't quite discuss details--but it was obvious to me that we'd made a winning model:design pairing. Really, no bias ;-)  This past Sunday, the shoot finally happened.
Official version, above. Serious style! Thought you might like to see what else went on when I slipped the stripey wonderfulness onto the 3 year old with the freshly trimmed bangs. Sister Lulu had come over for pancakes. For the bazillionth time, she was drafted into helping with reflector/diffuser duties. Sister knows how to throw some shade, on demand.
We'd been shooting for 10 minutes in increasingly sticky weather by the tracks at the end of the street when we heard the toooooooot toooot of the vintage trolley approaching--do you see it in the upper left? Our model got a little excited. She's been wanting to ride the "choochoo".
A split second later, completely unplanned,  barefoot and with camera in tow, we're trolley passengers. We're breezing through the wetlands it crosses, spying egrets,  and nesting osprey with their babies, enroute to the ShorelineTrolley Museum.  My neighborhood adds the local color for tourists  We didn't let them down when we boarded, unfolded reflector flopping with us.

Wicker seats! People used to ride with civility. The wool sweater was a little warm..but so dapper.
The trolley makes a stop at the car barn out in the woods. Visitors see the old subway cars and trolleys under restoration, and learn commuter train history. We skipped that part while our sweater model put on her sparkly sandals and played house in a vintage trolley stop shelter.
Waiting for the whistle to all on board again.
We rode back to our street. It's the turnaround spot for the trolley.  As we headed home,  the trolley went the opposite way. Not that you could tell without a caption.  I just couldn't post this one without adding arrows--so ominous!

Monday, June 01, 2015

hello, literally, from ohio

and, bye bye Columbus.*
Door to the sweet airbnb house I stayed at  in Columbus for TNNA this past weekend.  TNNA is the annual summer trade show for the yarn & knitting industry, this year in Ohio. Rest assured that the knitting world is alive and well...and wow there's some nice yarn coming to a LYS near you.
For example the gorgeous new Swans Island All American sportweight yarn.  Maybe I am biased, I photographed the  new pattern grouping that debuted for the yarn - I (jokingly) call it  MY LINE.  I love seeing images almost life size in the booth, from a freezing cold shoot up in Maine last January. Really excellent patterns and colors- so new they are not even on Ravelry yet. I'll add links as they appear because you will love them.

The wonderful Clara Parkes caught me looking happy with them.
Goofy smile but authentic.

More loveliness from Feederbrook Farm, in northern Maryland. They do gradients. striping skeins that look handspun--and have a yarn & fiber  CSA. Nice folks. Can you tell she is a former science teacher?  They offer some cool classes, too. So many good people in this industry.

It was fun to see friends & clients and of course to be immersed in materials I love to work with-but it wasn't a vacation. We did a small photo shoot, many meetings, some work with co-authors on a book that is moving along at a trot. And there's the long established irony of working at a knitting event that leaves you precious little time to actually knit! I brought along what I think of as my slo-mo Cladonia shawl. One of these days I'll finish it.
I kind of like how it fit into our airbnb's living room seating though. 

* out of nowhere this movie popped into my brain. I bet it would be a hoot to watch.

Friday, May 15, 2015

photo editing workshop on 5/21 + behind the scenes

You have seen Kirsten Kapur's Shawl Book One, haven't you? I'm super proud to be the photographer.  Since I need to also let you know about the upcoming LIVE Interweave webinar I'm doing Thursday May 21st on PHOTO EDITING, I'll use an image from the book to show exactly why Photo Editing is so crucial.
register for the webinar in advance
 The Before is an idea gone bad. Too much blue sky distracting from the model and more importantly, the Cladonia Shawl. Shadows in the wrong places. Dirt (or maybe that's a bird flying by, in the sky). Phone lines, bad cropping,...you get it. It's not a successful image out of the camera.  The shawl is not the star of the visual story.  But it is, in the After photo.

Photo editing can't make a bad picture good, but it can make a promising picture pretty wonderful. Join me and see how easy it is using a free/inexpensive online software --no PhotoShop needed. Register here. It's about an hour long, and you can listen to it again, recorded, later on.
We shot the whole book in one day, although many days of prep work went into it. That calls for another BTS post, I think, or this one will go on for too long!  Kirsten wanted to shoot in my neighborhood in March. I live in an old beach neighborhood with lots of character. We dress super casually, it's a running joke that you can wander around the neighborhood in paint splattered shirts and mismatched ripped shorts and look amazing, but if you forget to pull yourself together before wandering into town, or go to work or---horrors- travel the 100 miles to New York City--you look raggedy. If not deranged.  My brain apparently couldn't process that I was doing my real job for a client, yet staying the the 'hood. Hence, it turns out this is what I looked like  as the book photo shoot got underway. Thanks to Kirsten for catching the styling, it cracks me up.
and here's me in action. You can tell it was still chilly out by all the crew's layers. Shawls, of course.
 I'll leave you with something nice from the book, the shot we were actually working on.  The Ulmus shawl, modeled by wonderful Katrina. More views in the shawl link.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

smartphone photo workshops in NJ this weekend

JOIN ME in a workshop this weekend- click on the shop name to register

Saturday at Pins & Needles in Princeton NJ   1:30-4:30 pm    almost full

Sunday at Trillium Yarns in Morristown NJ  1-4 pm   just 2 spaces left

If you follow my Instagram feed, you know I use my iPhone camera a lot.
No need to feel guilty if you're using a phonecam instead of a "real" camera. These days our smartphone cameras are  crazy good quality, and almost always handy.
above, my recent  IG feed, all iPhone photos with the exception of the reposted malabrigo yarn photo in the middle left column, , which I shot for Kirsten's book
That's why I'll be teaching hands on smartphone photography workshops this weekend.
both of these were quick phone photo grab shots to show some yarn-y projects on the blog
They are fun classes. Whether you shoot your knits, your travels, your sunnyside up eggs (oh come on who doesn't?), I promise you'll learn new tricks to make your phone cam images soar.  We'll use  free or inexpensive apps to quickly make your good photos great, right in the phone. Small adjustments, little shifts, controlling the cropping  and adding depth of field are my favorites, but we'll run the gamut--and then have a group slideshow at the end.

Click on the shops at the top of the post to grab your seats, space is limited.  This is a workshop a knitter can share with a non-knitting friend. We know that doesn't happen often, ina yarn shop.  Who knows, once there, they might could succumb to wool fumes.
An iPhone photo Befre and After, taken at my peak sheep moment at the Ct Sheep & Wool Fest last weekend.
Before, on the left , courtesy of an 8 year old   and After, on the right. We'll cover adding type on the image, during the workshops.

I'll gladly teach this Smartphone Photo workshop  in your community--at a yarn shop, workplace, retreat, whatever--shoot me an email.

Monday, April 13, 2015

fo (not) friday: a little funny bunny doll

I knit a lot of little under-the-radar things that never make it to this space.  For example, on the recent holiday extravaganza weekend (Passover/Easter/Snow Melting Lovefest) I had the sudden wants to knit a bunny for Zoe.  
In case you lost count, Zoe is 3 now. Can you see why, despite my long history of having no interest in knitting dolls, I was seized by this impulse?  I could have downloaded a pattern for any of these irresistible softies:  Bunny Nuggets from Rebecca Danger, Beau the Bunny from Woolful, Susan B. Anderson's Bunny Love...in fact go search bunny on Ravelry and you'll find plenty of wonderful patterns. 
Instead, I made it up as I went along, using yarn that last saw action as baby booties for Zoe. I thought the angora was a nice nod, like a fiber private in-joke.
Say hello  to Funny Bunny, as we call him. I was aiming for something in between the Bunny Nuggets and a more realistic doll. I maybe{cough}{pretty much} missed my mark, but Zoe loves him. Although she told me his eyes are "not right" and requested button replacements. It is, in all truth, amazing what the face stitches do for a doll. Refer to my last knit doll foray, 10 years ago (!) when I coerced my favorite friends into knitting bears for the Mother Bear Project
(and how the heck is that 10 years ago, anyway??)
Anyway, Zoe's comment  gave us a good excuse to dump out the button tin and sort buttons--an activity I seriously love.

It does leave me with some questions, including....why don't I knit little dolls more often? and, what do you all stuff your knit dolls with? I used to have some of that acrylic fluff I use when making Halloween costumes but couldn't find it, and anyway, it seemed so wrong inside the wool. Do you use batting? Washed fleece? I ended up using some old, clean, well darned and still holey wool socks- -a lumpy solution, which added to Funny Bunny's odd  demeanour. 

Psssst- Kirsten Kapur's brand spankin' new book: Ten Best Loved Shawls Book 1 is out! Order it directly .  Or request at your LYS. I did the photos and I am super proud of this collaboration.
 Par-tay at Trillium Yarns in Morristown NJ this weekend. See you there?