Last summer, slide film and my Vivitar slide printer.

     I sent five rolls of slide film off to get processed at Dwayne's Photo last week, and got some lovely surprises back in the mail this morning.  I was happy to pick some of the slides to print on this expired 669 Polaroid film via my Vivitar slide printer.  Both the slide film and the Polaroid 669 were expired, so it was interesting to see the faded colors that came out on these prints.

     I'm hoping that we will be able to return to North Carolina this summer for vacation.  It was the perfect getaway for us.  Life here in the southwest can be awfully dry.  I am definitely a beach girl, and it's always been my dream to live in a beach town.  Someday~!
Steven biking down Kure Beach, North Carolina's residential back streets.  I must have shot this while I was on my bike, too.  My favorite place in the world so far.

This is me at Fort Fisher Beach, happy. (shot by Steven)
Hammocks are the best.  You can see this image in it's original slide format on my Flickr: 


Easter Weekend

       Bee and I always try to spend the holidays in rural Hondo, New Mexico, where my mom grew up. I'm not one for social situations, like family get-togethers, but I do really enjoy getting away from El Paso city life from time-to-time. Although it was a little on the windy side, the sun felt warm and comforting on my skin, and walks in the vicinity of my mom's house were nice.

     Of course, I took seven (I know, it's ridiculous) cameras. (Ha!) I didn't use them all, but how diffiuclt is it to decide on just one, or even two, or even three? You just never know if you'll want to photograph something with a particular camera, and particular film.  It's never fun actually lugging more than 2 cameras around, though, I have to admit. SO tough on the body! Here are the best shots I took with my SX-70 over the weekend.

This is about a 5-minute walk from my mom's house.  You have to cross the highway.  I've never been inside.  

     I always want to spend more time exploring the newer places and things in Hondo, but seem to disconnect with anything that didn't exist during my childhood and adolescence.  Visiting my New Mexico family has always been a great escape from the city.  When I venture out to take pictures there nowadays, I tend to want to stick to the scenes that are nostalgic for me.  Although on the surface much has changed, my sentiment helps me see what once was.

This was an unlikely shot.  I was wandering around my auntie's house, looking for an interesting picture yesterday during our Easter cookout.  I was antsy.  Conversations were dwindling, and I have a hard time forcing social graces.  I am always cordial, but you know.  This is the corner of the property, looking towards the neighbor's.  
     The still lives contained within anyone's living space hold great potential for interesting pictures.  The end resulting photo of a still life can seem contrived, which is the total opposite of what seems to work best within Polaroid as a medium, but I've seen plenty of beautiful Polaroid still lives.  I like to imagine the moment that someone created an arrangement of objects in a specific space.  What was their reasoning?  Do they have design experience?  Was it purely instinctive?  Sentimental?  I think too much.  I've decided this side of my mentality is more of hindrance than an asset.  Can't I just learn to accept things without question?  

These two baby longhorns belong to my uncles.  They are just about a year old.  They got really close to me right after I took this shot, but I didn't have the chance to re-situate the homemade shade for my SX-70.  I did get some (hopefully good) close-ups with my Pentax K-1000 and Kodak Portra film.  I'm really looking forward to seeing those shots.

     The lighter-colored calf on the left seemed to be more trusting than the other, but also more timid. The darker-colored calf was more assertive.  He got the closest to me-came within a foot of my face with his baby longhorn.  I was a somewhat nervous about that, but he didn't do me any harm.  I think you can really tell their personalities by simply looking at their faces.

     Animals are spectacular in that way-they don't have obvious smiles or frowns like us humans, but somehow we are able to sense their emotions when we connect to their gaze. I knew I wanted to photograph these two friends. They are yin and yang, like everything in life.

     I found myself thinking about yin and yang alot this past weekend. I suppose my reborn faith in God and my willingness to keep and open mind regarding spirituality has given me the opportunity to see the world in a different way. It's definitely the simple things in life that motivate me the most, both personally, and creatively.  My tendency to over-analyze things can be exhausting.  Moments of clarity and simplicity happen sporadically, so when they come I really appreciate them.


I love vintage books.

     I found this lovely 1956 edition of Charles Dickens Oliver Twist ($5) at the right time for Bee to enjoy it. She does need to use the dictionary quite a bit to get through it, but seems to be enjoying it nevertheless. I don't want to spend too much money on establishing a vintage book collection, so I was happy to find this copy, regardless of the colored-on illustrations and stained pages.

     Literature and reading has always been a very important part of my life, allowing me to venture outside of my introverted mind as a child.  I have always been a shy person, although if you met me in person you probably wouldn't be able to tell. I suppose it's no surprise that my own little girl loves to read as much as I did.  I'm grateful that I can share my love of books and literature with her, and I'm relieved to be able to say she's not shy-maybe a little introverted, but definitely not shy.

Now I may try to find some more classics like this-Junior Deluxe Editions.
I love this classic style of illustration.
I actually really love the wear of the edges.
This is a happy surprise-Carisa is my middle name...it's kind-of unusual, and there it is!
Truly gorgeous color palette.

I wonder if Carisa's baby brother did this.  If so, it wouldn't be so different from what may have occurred in my own life.

     I love the idea of being able to touch and hold something that another touched and held in another era, especially from before the time I was born in 1977. It sometimes creeps me out at the same time, because honestly, who is to say what happened to the person who owned something in the past. It may have been in a sad and dark environment. That's the flip side of owning vintage items. Still, I enjoy the way it spurs my imagination, and takes me outside of myself.


Just Us Girls Saturday

I am sad about intimidating my little girl with my crazy drawings.

I love you, Crayola.

Here are some Polaroids I took while we were having fun with chalk. (Polaroid 100 Blue Paul Giambarba Expired)

I really don't think there is anything more fun than sidewalk chalk on a Saturday afternoon.  We have to put our girly clean feelings away and just get allow the mess to invade our being.

I told her to help me draw my drawing since I scared her with it-she was happily drawing butterflies before she saw my debauchery.  She said, "I want to do a crazy drawing like yours, it's kind-of abstract, isn't it?"  WOW!  I can't believe my 10-yr-old said that!

Let's be honest here-the MOST fun part of the day was hopscotch!  The best thing Bee said to me today was, "I really like playing outside with you."

Hopscotch-painfully simple game but so much fun.  I should never underestimate these types of things.

El Paso Roller Derby!  I took Bee to watch some of my old teammates play.  I was a little (ALOT) nostalgic about skating.  I just sold my skates and all other gear on Ebay last week.

I could be out there!  *sigh*  No, I couldn't.  My knees are not up for it anymore.

Exciting jammers taking off.
Tall City Roller Betties (Midland, TX) (red & black) vs. El Paso Roller Derby Tex Pistols (yellow & black).

Alkaline Trina (yellow & black jammer) in a successful attempt to get around the tall chic on the other team.


I finally got brave and broke out the good paper.

This is Prismacolor pencil on Sekishu Natural 24x39" handmade Japanese paper. It has a lovely ethereal quality that I gravitate towards in my work. (What I really love about this paper:  When using Prismacolor pencils-It feels an awful lot like coloring in a coloring book!)  I never thought I would be able to work abstractly, as I've always been most interested in drawing the figure, specifically the female figure. I've found that using color, layers, and mark-making has given me the opportunity to create a mood and atmosphere without always feeling it is necessary to incorporate a figure.

I think I may be about %25-%50? through at this point.

This is the most densely-worked part of this drawing so far.  I still need to go further to obscure that teardrop-like form in there.  Eventually, I also need to work this level of density throughout the drawing.

This is where the drawing began, up there with those blue curved marks.  I have a little box full of these types of marks that I've been using in my drawings lately.  It's a strange thing...it's like doodles come to life in a specific way.  Although I never intended for them to look like clouds.  I just try to let the marks become what they want to become.  The margins in my high school notebooks never looked quite like this.  Maybe a fine arts degree has been worthwhile!  

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I try to balance the heavy and dense with the light and airy.

I think this paper is really perfect for what I've been doing with my drawings lately!  I'm so happy with it.

That little propeller-type mark began as an infinity symbol in earlier drawings.  I wanted it to look like an insect.  

Here are two more drawings that I've been working on using different papers.  Overworking an abstract drawing is a problem for me.  I am very new and inexperienced at this.  I thought, well, maybe I should try my marks big, since I've got a big piece of paper in front of me.  It didn't really work out how I wanted it to.

I might be able to save this one.  I will either have to go even crazier with it by covering more of the light areas with more marks, color, and layers, or I'll have to cut it up and make something new.

An example of an area I really like in the drawing.  This is also Prismacolor pencil, but the paper is 22x33.5" Mulberry.

Layering by literally using layers of paper-at the moment there are two layers of glassine, an interleaving acid-free paper usually used when storing drawings. 

The transparency of working on this is appealing to me, but I'm not sure about the shiny, slippery quality of the surface.  It has a different feel.  I still have a long way to go with this drawing.  It needs to be dense.  I want to create a more distinct form with this one.  We'll see what happens. 


A Saturday without Bee.

I had a nice, quiet, neurotic Saturday without Bee. In other words, I did talk to myself a little bit. And made fun of myself in my head for doing it. I listened to Simon and Garfunkel, The Beatles, Regina Spektor, Bob Dylan, Jolie Holland, and Cat Power all day, in between watching 8 episodes of Weeds. I also photographed my roller derby gear to sell on Ebay.  I'm trying to get out of the habit of holding on to things I no longer use. So, this is all pretty random. That was how the day went...

Do I really want to get out of bed if I don't have to?  That's the real question.

Contemplation of the possibilities.  After setting up the tripod, of course, because documenting my thought process is extremely (not) interesting and totally just for the hell of it.

Handmade paper beads highly treasured and boho and fun to wear on my head when alone.

Overfilled Chemex.  I need plenty of coffee for my day all alone, for possible good intentions of high-productivity.

My self-insulated window PLUS neighbors too close for comfort.  Someday I will NOT live in neighborhoods like this-one house within 2 steps of the next...

This is one of my most treasured objects, and the inspiration for my back piece tattoo.  I slept with this under my pillow when I was a little kid.  My mom told me it would help ward off nightmares, which I had too many of.

The goblet is musical, it was a gift to my maternal grandparents on their 50th anniversary.  My grandmother gave it to me for Christmas.  My grandfather has been in Heaven for 6 years now.  The tiny photo is of my grandmother in 1958-ish.  My mom is in the background to her right, age 3.  The white box contains a tiny rosary given to Bee by her godmother as a gift at her baptism.  The quartz was given to me as a gift from my boyfriend's son a few years ago.  The Miss Dior Cherie was a birthday gift from my boyfriend.  

I had to put my knock-off Old Navy uggs to go get the mail.

Creamer bubbles are pretty.  The photobooth photos from Spring Break 2011-I told you, me and Bee are BFF's.  This makes it official. :)

WEEDS.  I have a girl-crush on Mary-Louise Parker.  Who doesn't?  

Risking my life eating the skin from non-organic cucumber...ha.  I only want to eat cucumbers with skin.  & organic varieties are not widely available around here.  Perhaps I will try growing my own...

I love salad, but why does it have to take so long to make?  Even if I prep the greens...I make a big mess.  I love grated ginger.

Hot coffee, iced coffee, all kinds of coffee all day.  My beat-up Moleskine with Polaroid transfer self-portrait.

I still need to INSPECT this shipment carefully.  I *almost* opened this package...but got distracted again.  I just know what's in it, and I'm not ready to use the paper inside yet.  It's Japanese fine art paper.
(The good stuff)

Riedell classic 265 Wicked Roller Derby quad skates.  Aren't they gorgeous? 

Gee, maybe I shouldn't sell all my derby gear...hmm. Well...actually I better. My knees are still mad at me. But, those girls are having plenty of fun out there.  Please support roller derby if there is a league in your vicinity. It's girl power at it's best.