Why I Blog

I saw this most interesting post on a beautiful blog, who stopped by the other day to visit my blog.

Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY at http://leannecolephotography.com/2015/02/13/up-for-discussion-why-we-blog-2/ started this fascinating discussion, ‘Why I Blog’, and I couldn’t resist but join in.

In 2009 after watching Julie & Julia, the movie, I realized how easy it was to do a blog.  The movie mentioned, blogspot… and it’s free.  So I in Dec 2009 I started a blog, krittersmenu.blogspot.com.  It chronicled the food we ate every day for a year.  Life got busy, and so I took a year+ sabbatical from the blog.  When I restarted it, my interests and life had changed and my blogspot blog became a hodge-podge of photographs, travels, food, and projects… an eclectic mix to be sure.

I found blogspot to be very cumbersome to manipulate, customize, track, get comments (most people continued to have issues with commenting).  So in Dec 2014 I made the plunge to separate my blog into 3 separate blogs:  kritterspaw.com (my general ramblings), krittersmenu.com (foodie blog), and kritterspix.com (photo blog).  With this new more organized format I switched to WordPress, finding it very easy to customize and use.  With the new blogs I made a commitment to a whole new philosophy for my blog.  It’s purpose became to help drive me to do better… to take and post better photos, to post interesting discussions, travel, projects, and foods.  I try to post on each of the 3 blogs at least once a week… though I am not always successful.  But that forced me to go out and take photos once a week; to make and eat post worthy foods once a week; and make progress on my projects once a week.  In a few short months it has driven me to produce better food photos, and take my camera with me more often to enable to capture unexpected photos of elk, eagles, etc.  I actively try to take better studio photographs for my food and projects, and it has inspired me to growth in great ways.

As an added, unexpected outcome, I have found people I never knew before reaching out to me and sharing their thoughts, their blogs, and their opinions.  I have also found that my photo blog serves as a venue to send to magazines for potential publication as a sort of portfolio.

While I’m new to WordPress and my new blogs, I am finding them very gratifying and satisfying in so many ways.  It’s allowed me to share my interests with a broader audience, without sending limited emails to selected segments.  I don’t do Facebook or Tweeter, and am social media ignorant, but I find this medium inspiring and thought provoking.  Thanks for visiting and sharing.

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More Gourds

hunteri

I had some lingering gourds sitting on the bench that needed to be worked so that the bench could be cleared for the next project — shelving units for my office.

So I sharpened the pencil, heated up the wood burner and got to work.

aspenfalli

I wanted to do designs that were colorful and different.  I wanted them to be fun and professional looking.  I also wanted to take better photos of the finished projects.  What I have learned in taking photos of them, is I have a lot to learn about studio lighting.

AZi

My photographer friend, Maureen, turned me on to LimoStudio Lighting, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009F37LW8/ref=pe_385040_30332190_pe_175190_21431760_3p_M3T1_ST1_dp_1 .  For under $40 I got a tripod and soft box lighting.  Using it is another talent altogether… one that I still need to work out the kinks with, (though I am improving).

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I do like the way they came out.  The colors and designs are original, fun, and professional… just as I had hoped.  Time to put the gourds away and move on.

dragonfliesIIi

Concrete Tables – Progress

So, you haven’t heard too much about these concrete tables lately.  Perhaps you thought we’d given up on them.  Tempting… considering the amount of work they have become, but it’s for that reason that we couldn’t possibly.

If you recall where we left off … we had poured the concrete into the forms (in the snow, I remember well) with the metal bases we had made.  We allowed them to dry for some time due to the cold temps.  In late January we very awkwardly flipped the (now very heavy) table on it’s feet (with the help of John Deere).  We let the tops dry for another couple weeks before  attempting to pull off the plastic and plywood insets.

tractorpull_Ssi Forgive the crappy cell phone pic.

Getting the plastic off was easy… but getting the plywood insets would prove to be a pain in the backside.  We ended up chiseling it out.  In the process we ‘chunked’ out bits of the corners around the inset.  So we had to mix up concrete patch (which we had to color, best we could) to match the colored tables and benches.

We put 3 coats on… sanding the concrete between each.  (Yes, sanding concrete is as difficult as it sounds.) As a matter of fact, if this project is starting (?) to sounds like a lot of work, well… let’s just say that would be an understatement (and a little insane, yes).

Finally… we individually cut our tiles for our insert.  We mixed up some thin set, and began the daunting task of laying the tiles, and then with a toothpick removing the thin set from between the tiles.

table clean_Ssi benches_Ssi

Whew!  Almost done.

btt_Ssi

We still have yet to grout in between the tile… and waterproof with Thompsons.

Oh, and there’s the bit about prepping the whole area they go in with a retaining wall, sand / rock, leveling, tamping, and laying flagstone.  That’ll be awhile.

Maybe next time we’ll buy our concrete tables.  They did come out cool… and are the only thing like it out there.  Built to last in elegant style.

Neighborhood Eagles

hawkclose_PSPSi We’ve had a number of sightings of big birds in the area.  At first we thought they were hawks.  But after getting a couple pix of them, we discovered they are golden eagles… and bald eagles.

It seems they migrate in the winter, so it would seem that they may have found a winter home in the area.  How cool is that?  Be on the look out if you’re in Happy Jack, AZ.

eaglehortPSi