Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Week In Photos

Here it is Tuesday and I am just getting around to posting the week in photos. Last week was one wild week. Not only did we have Thanksgiving but we also had two birthdays. My daughter and co-founder of Artistix Network celebrated her birthday yesterday and the day before was her son's sixth birthday. So here is how our week went.

We started the week off creating various different scenic photography designs and applying them to both calendars and accessories. Pictured here is just one of the many designs, to see the rest just click HERE.
Of course there was plenty of play time for play. Here Bubba decided to create a convoy with his mini's.
While the kids were in school during the beginning of the week I got a little work done on their Christmas presents. This is part of the design. For now I will tell you that I am creating matching PJ's for all six of my grandchildren incorporating snoopy.
Unlike the formal Thanksgiving I was accustom to, here at my Daughter and Son-in-laws it is an informal buffet style gathering of friends and family. Which is probably more due to the fact that there was no way all the food would fit on the table and still be room for all the family and friends to put their plates. As it was we did need to pull out a second table for the kids.

Of course football was part of the day both on and off the TV. While they all had a blast I do have to say it was not evenly matched. Sissy, Bubba and our dog Max made up one team, while my Son-in-law and his two buddies were the opposing team.
Halftime saw the family tackle their traditional decorating of the Christmas tree.
With Thanksgiving behind us, it was back to work adding new ornament designs to our gift shop. This photo shows just a few of the many ornaments. You can check the rest out HERE.

Show Off Your Shot submission
Complements of the mild weather the kids and I decided to head over to the Japanese Gardens for a few photos of the kids and of Sissy with her kimono.
















Tones On Tuesday submission
I was a bit off my game but at least I was able to alter the pink parasol in post production. I have decided to post the other photos from our outing HERE even though they are certainly not my best shots.
 Finally we made it to Sunday and Bubba's sixth birthday. With it so close to Thanksgiving and Christmas it was a small affair with a few gifts and a cake but he was excited just the same.



All in all it was a great week here in Norfolk Virginia. How was your week?



Linking up with:

Unknown Mami
and
 then, she {snapped}
Scattered Horizons

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas Is Almost Here

I can't believe the year is nearly over and Christmas is once again just around the corner. If you have been wanting to give the gift of precious memories this year and haven't ordered your custom Memory Art work, time is running out to place your orders. We will continue to accept orders until Dec 1st for delivery of artwork by December 21. After December first we can not promise your artwork will arrive before Christmas.  

Looking for other gift ideas or fun things to put in those stockings? Visit our gift shop where we have something for everyone.  Here are four of our main categories:

Our Fun Stuff Section includes products with designs in the following categories: humorous, love N romance, Gag Gifts or Jewelry. Personalization is available on some designs.
Our Seasonal section has a large selection of Christmas ornaments as well as Christmas themed products great to stuff stockings.
Check out the Art and Photography section for products featuring beautiful art and scenic photography. Or check out our new section full of Calendars and matching accessories.

Share the joy and power of inspirational art with prints and products from our Motivational section. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Life by Chocolate: Robyn Alana Engel's Blog: Ode to the Twinkie

Personally I am a Ding Dong person but I can see the appeal of Twinkies. Even if I didn't care for them at all I still think Robyn's "Ode to Twinkies" would have brought a big smile to my face. So this morning I invite you all to head over to Life by Chocolate and read what Robyn has to say. 

Life by Chocolate: Robyn Alana Engel's Blog: Ode to the Twinkie: Oh Twinkie, Dear Twinkie So light and so long Though your creme was real sweet I preferred the Ding Dong. Oh Twinkie, Dear Twi...

A little about the subject.

First introduced in 1933 Twinkies have become a part of American culture. They have been in the news on a number of occasions, taking their fair measure of criticism (the Twinkies Defense) and yet  remain popular to this day. While their maker Hostess may not survive it's financial woes, as  Tom Krisher of the Associated Press writes Twinkies will survive even if Hostess doesn't. 

Of course to see it on the internet one is lead to believe otherwise. I guess one could argue that while another company can buy the brand and recipes, it just will not be the same. Just like your meatloaf is just not as good as your mother's, even though you follow her recipe. So who knows maybe this is the beginning of the end for Twinkies. 

So are you a Twinkies fan or a Ding Dong lover?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Four Legged Family Members

When it comes to capturing and preserving family memories often our four legged family members seem to be the ones that get missed. Knowing this and how important my Mother-in-laws' little babies are to her I decided it would be a good idea to photograph them. I plan on creating a special memory photo of them for her.  




This little gal was so cute, I was sorely tempted to hide her in my purse and bring her home with me.

I haven't decided on a design yet but here are a few that we have created in the past for clients.



Sunday, November 18, 2012

Inspirational Quote Facebook Covers

Here are some of the latest inspirational quote images we have added to our complementary Facebook covers on our Facebook page.










Most of these designs are adapted from our Inspirational designs available on prints and products in our gift shop.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

This That and the Other Thing

Looking through the images I have complied to use here on Artistic Composition it occurred to me that my creativity isn't necessarily dormant but rather it is all over the board. So here it is a rather random post of my unfocused creativity over the last month.
We start by putting the camera away and pulling out the sewing machine to create this Sailor Moon costume for my granddaughter to wear on Halloween.
Next while trying to come up with a design to wish a young woman who likes the Harry Potter stories  a Happy Birthday on her Facebook page I came up with the above design and was inspired to create the motivational print below as well.
This next photo is actually a composite photo created for my Father-in-law.  At the end of October I went to visit him and my Mother-in-law in northern Arizona and they took me to see the Grand Canyon. He asked if I could get a good portrait shot of him as he has not had his portrait taken in some time. He is 6'8" so without a ladder to take the shot most of them wound up with more sky than canyon in the background. While he liked them we both decided a composite with the canyon in the background would be just right.
With so many beautiful shots of my trip to Arizona I have been working on creating some new inspirational print designs to add to our gift shop.
Of course it occurred to me that a new year will soon be here so the past couple of weeks I have been working on various designs for scenic and inspirational calendars which I am now adding to our gift shop. The design below is from a photograph of a statue of Merlin the Magician that stands in a shopping center in Sadona, Arizona and can be found in the Arizona calendar collection.
Do you ever find that your creativity becomes unfocused?

Please hop over and check out the wonderful posts linking up with A Rural Journal's Your Sunday Best.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What Really Matters

I am sure life has always been a steady stream of challenges. Youth striving to find their place in the scheme of things; young parents struggling to make a better life for their offspring; everyone trying to make some type of mark on their own personal world or even more, a mark on the world as they know it, all the while doing what it took to survive day to day.   

Throughout the ages of time the one group that appeared to have left the challenges behind were the matriarchs and patriarchs of the families. These elderly ones appeared to have left the challenges and worries of youth behind them. Instead they became the holders of wisdom and the jewels of each family because they alone seemed to completely understand what really matters, Family! 

Unfortunately the drastic change in the makeup of the family nucleus that began in the early to mid 1900's have thrown these jewels back into the steady stream of challenges once more. Few children today understand what it is like to spend time with extended family let alone with a great grandparent. 

While the rapid growth of technology seems to pull families apart with each generation becoming immersed in their own challenges, technology can play a part in bringing generations back together.  With the ready availability of phone calls, text messaging, emails and the internet we can now quickly and easily keep in touch with family all around the world. My favorite though is the availability of video calls, while I do have to admit that for this to work one does need to have a quick internet connection. 

Yet even with all the advancements of technology making it easier to stay connected to extended family many are still strangers. Personally I think two factors play a major part in diminishing the use of technology in drawing families together. The biggest is personal interpretation of the term family in regards to 'what really matters', and the second is in teaching the older generations how to access and use this new technology. 

Family has always been very important to me and yet I have come to realize that my emphasis was always on the immediate family and thus I allowed a drifting away from the larger extended family. With the exception of trying to make sure my children spent time with their grandparents, keeping in touch with the extended family was not as important. Sure I can defend my actions or lack there of by stating that our work took us many hundreds of miles from our extended family, yet that is a feeble excuse. In truth we were just too wrapped up in navigating the steady stream of challenges life sent our way to realize what really mattered. 

I must be nearing the matriarchal stage of life for in recent years I have more actively tried to re-unite myself and my children with our extended family. It is slow going but the use of Facebook has made it possible for me to reconnect with some of my siblings that I had lost touch with and has made it possible for my children to become acquainted with aunts, uncles and cousins that they have only seen once or twice or have never had the opportunity to meet in person.

While of course it is not the same as spending time together in person they are making connections that without technology would be difficult to make. Where once they were complete strangers now they are getting to know each other and even build bonds of friendship. 

Although my children are all grown and all live miles apart I am happy to see that we all keep in touch through the use of technology. Even with the many miles between my grandchildren they are able to see and talk with their extended family thanks to the availability of video chat. Now if we can just teach my children's grandparents how to use this tool, they too can spend time together via video chat. 

Do you find technology a help when it comes to staying connected with family? 

PS.
The memory photo above that inspired this post is of a wonderful couple that I had the honor of meeting and photographing while visiting the Grand Canyon with my Mother and Father-in-law.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday In My City: Arizona Vacation

As Hurricane Sandy pounded the East Coast I was thankful that we were fortunate to have only gotten heavy rain and wind in Norfolk. My heart goes out to those who have been hit hard by this vicious storm and very thankful that I was lucky enough to completely miss the storm by enjoying a warm vacation in Arizona with my Mother and Father-in-law.
The days were spent exploring the beautiful area surrounding their home and the evenings talking and learning more about my husbands family history. I also spent a good amount of time playing with their fluffy little dogs. This one was so darn cute I was rather tempted to hide her in my pocket when I headed home.
 It was relaxing to sit in the yard and watch the deer meander through their property. My in laws warned me that they also get wolves, coyote and fox that come through the yard but I didn't see any of them.
One afternoon we went to see the Red Rock Mountains. It was a gorgeous day and deep blue sky made a perfect backdrop for the beautiful mountains.
On another afternoon my Mother-in-law took me to Sedona where we visited this amazing shopping center that until I read its' history I was positive had been a small Mexican village.
 Sedona is considered to be a very spiritual location with a number of Energy Vortexes this belief is strong among the residents and can be seen in the many varied businesses and in statues depicting spiritual or magical figures. 
 Of course a trip to this area would be incomplete without visiting as my nephew called it "that big hole in the ground" the Grand Canyon. I have to admit that while I have been through Arizona many times this was the first time I had actually visited the Grand Canyon. It is absolutely gorgeous!
 We also visited Montezuma's Castle. Hearing about and seeing photos of the ancient cliff dwellers homes has always fascinated me, however seeing them is an experience I will never forget. The construction and forethought that went into these homes is truly amazing. This dwelling is safely tucked high up on the cliff in a picturesque valley near a river.
Now that I am back home in Norfolk Virginia far from the warmth of the high desert of Arizona I am hoping the experience has pulled me out of my doldrums. I look forward to sharing some of the photos I captured while visiting this beautiful area over the next week or so on my photography blog.
Please be sure to stop over and see what is happening with others at:

Unknown Mami