May 25, 2010

Photo 'a Go Go!: Antvision [[Pix-travaganza]]

I'm happy to say, "I'm still snappin', folks!"

My 365project has been a blast, and it has also been every bit the challenge that I figured it would be! That's a good thing, too, because it helps in both keeping my mind sharp and keeping it in an almost constant state of creative thinking! Since the idea is to produce a new photo every day, I find myself pondering nearly non-stop what sort of subject I'll shoot, the story it (or I) could tell, the technique I might use, etc. I must admit that some days I do feel as if it could all drive me insane, but I usually manage to push through! Usually...

Anyway, if you happen to be interested in seeing more of my project photos, please, step right this way into our Gallery of Fine Art Photography tent. Here, you'll find another (rather voluminous) collection of imagery covering a variety of interesting subjects in this latest exhibit we like to call, Antvision [[Pix-travaganza]]!

Happiness... dried & preserved

October 4th, 2008 was a very important date.
It was also quite a happy one, for that was the
day on which my husband and I got married!
We had already been together exclusively for
18 years by then, but since there was a brief
period at the time allowing same-sex couples
to legally marry, we decided to go ahead and
"seal the deal".

These roses are from the dinner reception we
had immediately following the ceremony. No
matter how dried, dusty and withered they
become over the years, I know that they will
always seem just as beautiful to me as they
did on our wedding day.

Andrew Bear

This cute and lumpy vintage teddy bear is
just about 60+ years old, around the same
age as my mother-in-law. In fact, she grew
up with it, and then years later passed it
down to her son (my husband) when he
was a child.

Andrew Bear has always sat on this little
chair for as long as I can remember. That,
too, was from my husband's childhood, and
even has his name across the back of it in
tiny letters. I like to picture Tommy sitting
on the chair as a little boy. I just know he
had to have been SO cute! Now, it's hard to
imagine Andrew Bear sitting anywhere else...

Branching out

I finally made a point to grab my camera and
take it outside with me, immediately upon
returning home from work today. As I walked
around looking for photo-ops in the late
afternoon sun, I spotted this great tree branch
covered in all of its wonderful craggy bark and
delicious contrasting shadows! So I HAD to
capture it! Boy, have I EVER missed shooting
outdoor photography...

So very succulent!

Just a beautiful plant in a pot, on our back patio.

Oh, so soft and succulent...

Yet another plant on our patio which I
found to be quite striking, shot close-up
and in soft focus. I was real pleased with
how just the right amount of daylight
helped to produce such terrific natural
shades of pink, purple and green...

No help from Photoshop, either!


This African stone game has always
appealed to me, mainly because of the
glass marble-like stones that are used,
but also because of its simplicity. I
should admit, though, that I've never
actually played the game. And I even
OWN it - that's MY game in the picture!!
Ridiculous, I know... Just never got
around to learning the rules.

Maybe, before I put it away on the game

shelf again, I'll try to talk someone into
learning and PLAYING this colorful
game with me. Either that, or it'll just
end up sitting on the shelf collecting
dust for ANOTHER 10 years...

Peacock feather (Detail)

Still experimenting with my macro lens,
trying to get used to the focal field & range.
I'm sort of figuring out that I need to be
even closer to my subject than this, for
optimal focus coverage. But I like how this
turned out, with the edges of the feather
being all that's in focus. The colors, too... I
was real happy with how they all turned out!

And is it just me, or does the center
of the
feather look kinda like a heart to you? That's
really strange because I didn't alter the photo
to look like that, and it doesn't look that way
to the naked eye, either. Only in my photo.
Bizarre, huh?

Two koi... to be conceited.

I captured this vibrant shot while visiting
with my in-laws. They have a beautiful koi
pond in their backyard, with a waterfall at
one end and a bridge across the center.

In fact, I sat down on that very bridge so I
could take this photo.

What is it?

Well, can you tell what IT is? If you don't
manage to figure it out, you're gonna want
to kick yourself because it's actually pretty
darn obvious...

So put on your Thinking Cap, but don't go
OVER-thinking it. I'll reveal the answer at
the end of this post!


Just the idea that such a paranormal
phenomenon could exist which allows
a person, or a group of people, to travel
through time due to a rift in the very
fabric of time itself, fascinates me to no
end! I'm very open minded about para-
normal and supernatural possibilities,
but I also view the world around me
with a healthy dose of skepticism.

If you could "slip" away to any date or

place in time, what or where would it
be, and why?

Bouncing rubber baby pony

No, it doesn't REALLY bounce, I just
thought the title sounded a lot more fun
that way (plus, it's a fun thing at parties
to try and make people say, real quick-like
and several times in a row)! But it IS made
of rubber, and it's vintage from like the
'40s or '50s. I found it in an antique shop
and gave it to my husband, either for
Christmas or his Birthday. He loves, loves,
LOVES ponies!

We have a few other neat, old, rubber
sitting around our house. Perhaps, one day,
I'll make THEM model for the camera, too...

'Magic 8 Ball' optimism

Wouldn't it be great if we could start off
EVERY day receiving this kind of positive
and encouraging prediction?

It would most certainly beat getting the
alternative message, "Better not tell you now"...

I hope that you've enjoyed this latest update of my progress with the 365project. If you haven't, well... that's your problem! I just have one last message for my loyal Captivated Spectators, before I sign off. I'm well aware that when considering the infrequency of my posting, I am very lucky to have many of you still coming back to my circus on a regular basis AND always leaving me such kind comments. For both things, I am extremely grateful! I'm hoping to "get my act together" and eventually start posting waaay more often. Wish me luck with that, I'll NEED it!

Until next time, remember... Clowns are only funny from a distance. If you get too close, you'll find out the hard way. Byyye!

*ANSWER to 'What is it?': The end of a white starfish's arm.

~All photos by Anthony (aka Antvision). Except top 'Photo 'a Go Go!' background dancers, they were spotted hitchhiking along the Google Images highway with signs that read, "Will SHIMMY & SHAKE for FOOD!"~

May 5, 2010

Art Attack!: Collage artist, Dadadreams, is sometimes warped, and always entertaining!

'Strange Ritual' by Dadadreams

Where DO I begin with this delightfully funny and greatly talented Cut 'n' Paster? I guess that telling you how I first discovered Dadadreams and her wonderful artwork would be a good place to begin. So there I was, new to flickr, just pokin' around checking the place out, when somehow or another I stumbled across artwork by a self-taught collagist who goes by the name of Dadadreams (her real name is Michelle Lanter) and lives in Houston, Texas. You could almost say that, for me, seeing her work was love at first sight...

'Bad Hare Day'
~By Dadadreams

She should have known that
trying out a new hare-style
was a hare-brained idea.

Since I'm a big fan of witty puns and word-play, I was won over by that angle alone pretty instantaneously. Which reminds me, I must clarify that for the entirety of this post any captions you see underneath Dadadreams' images are also written by her... I wish that I could take credit for them, they're so clever! Another thing that I love is vintage and retro-type imagery, and that's almost exclusively what she works with when creating her masterpieces. In fact, there's a part in her flickr profile that reads, "I have an ever growing collection of vintage ephemera, mostly magazines, books and encyclopedias from the '40s, '50s and '60s." Boy, I could just sit contently for hours and hours sifting through her collection! I think another reason her pieces visually appeal to me so much is the overall color palette she uses when putting them together. I find that verrry pleasing. It may not even be intentional on her part, I suppose it could just be total serendipity... Whatever the case, it works!

'Jello Possum Surprise'
~By Dadadreams

A tasty treat your family is sure to enjoy!

'Jams and Jellies'
~By Dadadreams

Timmy does great in school
because he fuels up with a
good breakfast. A big part of
that is yummy jams and jellies.
His favorite? Unless he pulled
an all-nighter and needs an
extra charge, the ones without
stinging tentacles.

'Peep Show'
~By Dadadreams

What do you do with all those
leftover Easter Peeps? Have a
Peep Show, of course!

Regarding the process of her work, Lanter says, "Collage is a way for me to give these images new life. I love being able to combine images and turn them into something completely new and different. For me, collage is a form of play. I love to spread the ephemera (my toys) on the floor and rearrange them until an image comes together. I work intuitively and lose all track of time when I'm collaging."

'Best Friends'
~By Dadadreams

((No caption for this one, but I say it's brilliant!))

Lanter is specifically fascinated by squids, dinosaurs, medical imagery and retro food. So those images often find their way into her work. The artwork directly below is a terrific example of one of her squid pieces...

'Squidware Party'
~By Dadadreams

I'm pleased to present the newest
piece of Squidware. It has a unique
design and a beautiful pink color.
Best of all, it has the same super
sucker suction lid that you've come
to expect in Squidware.
Get yours today!

'Pie in the Sky'
~By Dadadreams

((Again, no caption for this, but I
love the literal interpretation!))

'The Normals'
~By Dadadreams

I'd had enough of the oversized shoes
and the tiny cars. As I was packing my
bag to head off to accounting school,
Mom came in my room. I'll never forget
the look on her face. Choking back tears,
I said, "Goodbye, I am running away to
join the normals."

'Bed Head'
~By Dadadreams

Futons are popular. Waterbeds
are so 70's. Tempurpedic is nice,
if a little high-end. For me, I
prefer the traditional box spring
style bed head.

'Photo Op'

~By Dadadreams

Some people are just dying
to get the perfect shot!

'Domestic Goddess'
~By Dadadreams

She cooks, cleans and entertains
effortlessly. She is the inspiration
for all who keep up a home. She is
the Domestic Goddess.

This Dadadreams mini-gallery is exactly that. It's just a very small representation of Lanter's entire body of work, and only begins to scratch the surface. If you've enjoyed what is on display here, please, go and visit the official Dadadreams' Photostream on flickr to see even more of her wonderful art. It's really neat and convenient how she has her work organized into different themes like 'Beauty and Fashion', 'Kid Stuff', 'Retro Housewife', 'Land of the Lost', etc. Aaand if you see anything that makes you think, "Gee, but I'd sure be delighted to own something like that!", just go and visit the Dadadreams' Curious Collage Creations shop on Etsy. There's some great stuff there, from original art pieces to hand-made jewelry to vintage ephemera. I've been itchin' to make a purchase there, myself!

Well, that'll do it for today's Art Attack! edition. Thank you for "pop"-ping in to check out this artist. We hope to continue featuring such fantastic artists as Dadadreams in future Art Attack! editions, so be sure to stay tuned...

Later, clowns!

~All artwork copyright Dadadreams (aka Michelle Lanter)~
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