Running in to December

I haven't been keeping up with my blog because every time I sit down to write, everything that comes out is so negative, and I don't want to be negative. I am having such a hard time with my job. I could go into it, but it's really complainy, and when I start to lay it all out, I think I seem very spoiled.

It's so important for me to be physically here for Bella especially during these preteen years, and I must figure out a way to do that. It will involve more sacrifice. I may have to move back to my parent's house-and I really, really don't want to! Privacy is a luxury in my life. I don't like to hear people or be heard. I want quiet when I'm at home. The walls in these apartments are too thin-I could hear everything, and it is so unsettling. I do like to be alone. In the middle of anywhere.

Bella is growing up and she needs me more than ever. She isn't sleeping with her baby kitten anymore! She says there's not enough room in her bed. I told her she doesn't need to grow up right now, but she said, "Mom, I'm growing up, and there's nothing you could do about it." Please transport me to Neverland. I would rather be there! Don't try to tell me it will be great to have a grown-up daughter-I don't believe it! Ah, well-okay I will adjust, but damn.

I am trying to do what I can to embrace the holiday season, although I have been so busy with work. I love Christmas, and I don't want to be weak and let corporate greed ruin it for me. We have a very cute little tree.

One of the things that is keeping me grounded right now is the weather we've been having. It has been in the 70's-sunny and beautiful. The warmth of the sun revives me. I am very lucky to have my family and friends' love and support. The girls I work with are amazing and strong. And funny. Thank God for them. Thank God for all the people in my life that make things easier.


A real weekend.

I had Saturday and Sunday off, yes, a real weekend, the first in almost 6 months. We had a wonderful time. Bella and I drove to Hondo, NM, to visit my 97-yr-old Granny, stopping in Ruidoso on the way to have lunch. Breathing in the fresh country air was just what I needed. The weather was perfect, nice and cool with gorgeous autumn sunshine. It rained sporadically, for only 5-minute intervals, just enough to keep everything fresh and pine-scented. I got a chance to shoot some Polaroids, too...

Almost to Alamogordo, NM

Thrifting in Ruidoso, NM

Taking a walk on Sunday morning in Hondo, NM

Polaroid SX-70, TIP PX70 Color Shade Cool film.


'Roid Week Day 5

It's my little Bee, of course.

Polaroid Spectra, PZ680 Color Shade Impossible film.


My 1-day trip to New Mexico

There are so many places I would like to take the time to pull over and shoot on the ride between El Paso and Hondo, NM, but after watching Breaking Bad, I'm not sure it's a very good idea. You never know what could be going on in those old buildings that seem to be abandoned. If I had a grown-up assistant to watch my back, I would go for it. Chances are I will go for it anyway, eventually. One of these days.

Hondo, NM
Hondo, NM

Tularosa, NM

Tularosa, NM


'Roid Week Day 3

Flashy + Doubles= it's my Friday (I have a day off tomorrow), fun times begin, with Bee! I can never decide which shots to share.


'Roid Week 2012

I haven't had much time to do creative things on the side, but this is a special occasion, and I really have to share.

It's (POLA) 'ROID WEEK!!!  It's like a party with all of my old friends! This year I have decided to shoot most-if not all-of my contributions in my new apartment. Bella has been away on a vacation so I haven't had a chance to conspire with my little partner for some self portraiture yet-but I am so lucky-she is coming home just in time to partake in the festivities.

Polaroid SX-70, Impossible PX-70 Color Shade film

Polaroid Spectra, Impossible PZ 680 Color Shade film

These first two shots are tests, really, to see if I have enough light. It looks like I will be needing a tripod. I do have decent light in my apartment, but unfortunately, no direct sunlight anywhere, at any time of the day. It's okay, though, with a tripod I think I can manage. See you all over on Flickr, and on Twitter, and on Facebook, too. Yay!


Summer so far...

Yesterday, I finally managed to get my Polaroiding in, poolside. Impossible PX70 Color Shade Cool film is the BEST. I hope you are having a happy, sunshiney summer so far! Swimming is my favorite thing to do in the world-besides Polaroiding, that is.

Summer is really flying by for us. Bee has been spending a lot of time with my parents. They found her a guitar teacher that makes house calls, which makes us all very happy. She is learning it so quickly, it's wild! I'm impressed with her new skills.
My creative urge has morphed into painting walls in the middle of the night. I have self-imposed insomnia. I need so many things for the new place-but the main things I need are curtains, rugs, and most of all a new sofa and a new coffee table. I want a new dining room set, but I will hold off and just paint the one I have for now. If I re-sign the lease in a year, I will tell the landlord I will only do so if they replace the hideous carpet and blinds.
Other than that, we have a very cozy little place that's shaping up slowly, but surely. 


A new home for us-just down the street.

We moved to an apartment down the street from my parent's house. It's on the second floor and is overlooking the pool. We really like it. Bee's room is almost fully decorated, but the rest is bare. I'm starting from scratch. I have a good idea of what I want the space to become.

Although the hours at my job are terrible for a single mother, and the pay isn't great, I'm keeping it anyway, at least until I find something better.



Polaroid Spectra SE, Impossible PZ 680 Colorshade film.

I had a strange dream last night. In the dream I had to flee a home where I was working for a friend, managing her business. The building (her shop) was about to be taken over by a dangerous, powerful, male-dominated faction and we had limited time to gather files and money, ect...

In the shop we had a giant computer and printer, something like what I imagined was like one of the very first computers, you know, it basically filled the entire room. Right before we left, I wrote a last message on this computer and sent it to the printer. A giant document came out, on a giant sheet of tracing paper, probably about 20 ft. wide, and just as long. The ink was rainbow. The last message came out scattered and illegible, and looked like it had been typed on an old typewriter.

The rest of the print-out was the story of my life up to that point, but it was all over the place and out of sequence. I rolled it up and tried to fold it so that I could take it with me. My boss/friend respected my feelings, and watched me struggle to make the document portable with a curious look on her face. It was dark outside. At that point I noticed that there was someone else fleeing with us, a male figure that I don't remember too well-but he seemed young, small, and mute.

Then I woke up.


Breakfast of Champions

I had my day off yesterday, and had a full list of things to do that went something like this:

1. Make coffee (& shoot a Polaroid)
2. Drink coffee, browse Internets
3. Straighten-up house, dust
4. 4 loads of laundry including sheets and towels
5. Grocery shopping
6. Shoot a Polaroid or 2
7. Pick up Bee from school
8. Steam work clothes
9. Make Dr. appointments for check-ups
10. Paint? Draw?
11. Make dinner
12. Exercise with Bee, or go get ice cream?
13. Paint? Draw?
14. Watch Dancing With the Stars with Bee
14. Resume Season 7 of Weeds
15. Crochet
16. Paint? Draw?

I used to read food labels religiously, but lately, have taken a more relaxed (lazy) approach to grocery shopping. This morning, I read the Cheerios label, and found that the second ingredient is sugar. Looks like I'm going back to reading labels, because sugar as the main ingredient in my kid's breakfast is sad and unacceptable. 
Spectra, Impossible PZ 680 Colorshade

I almost finished folding all the laundry. Never got around to painting or drawing. I almost started crocheting but I couldn't find the right hook. I took a 15 minute walk with Bee then went for ice cream. (Win!) I fell asleep watching Weeds. I think the 7th season (4 episodes in) is kind-of weak.

I'm going to figure out how to dedicate myself to creating art again. Drawing and painting need to be at the top of my list on my days off.


Sun, Wind, & Complex Transitions

I knew for a fact that 2012 would be a year of major change for me and my family. I am trying to keep in mind that fear can be a positive catalyst, and I know I need to take the time to work through new choices and opportunities. Change really does-can-did happen overnight.

Impossible Project PX680 film with SX-70, no ND filter.

My dad is transferring to San Diego, California. He has been the one physically helping me with Bee for the last 4 years. My mom helps me, too, in every way, but she hasn't been living here in El Paso-she's been 3 hours away in New Mexico. I'm not proud to say I have been relying on my parents for help, but being a single mom without Bee's father, well, it's been a real blessing. I'm incredibly grateful. Thanks to my parents I was able to complete my BFA, which is something I am extremely proud of.

So, I have a decision to make. I have been in a (sometimes complicated) relationship with a man I love for the last 10 years, but he may not be able to provide me with the same kind of support with Bee that I would need. He has a revolving schedule, my current work schedule is mostly afternoons and evenings...you see my dilemma. 

I will definitely have to look for a day job wherever I am. It won't be easy here in El Paso-the job market here is slim to nil. I'm pretty sure I would have more success finding a day job in San Diego. So, I am asking myself if I am going to have to relocate and leave my relationship behind. We may not have a perfect thing going on, but Steven has been my partner and my best friend for the last 10 years.

My dad leaves in 3 weeks, and I have to say, although I will miss him, and even with all the extenuating circumstances, it still really feels like it's going to be a positive change. It feels like a giant open door for my entire family. My brother is already in San Diego, and my mom has been wanting to experience life somewhere beyond this desert southwest. I wonder where me and Bee are going to end up? I have the course of this summer to decide.

Impossible Project PX680 film with SX-70, no ND filter.


Days off with Bee.

I have been so busy with my new job, I haven't had much of a chance to shoot. I have my SX-70 and my 340 ready to go, loaded with film for my next day off. I have to make time for what makes me happy or I will sink.

Polaroid 100 Sepia Giambarba Expired

I ended up putting these SX-70 shots in my back pocket and throwing the jeans in the wash, and although the chemicals leaked and make a flaky mess, I was able to stop the dryer in time to save them.

PX70 Colorshade

PX70 Colorshade
Have a sweet weekend, my friends! 


Instant Mood

I am most inspired by photographers who are able to balance the melodrama of black and white film with another aspect of interest, such as grace, femininity, or emotional sensitivity. Some of my favorite imagery comes from Francesca WoodmanDiane Arbus, and the more contemporary (and living) Joel-Peter Witkin, whose work imparts incredible depth of mood and atmosphere with a dark psychological edge. 

There is something really special about The Impossible Project's Silver Shade films. Film noir and Alfred Hitchcock come to mind. I love how I can go out on a bright sunshiny spring day and get shots like these with instant film. Good times.

I didn't think this image was going to turn out-it was totally underexposed-
but after a week the contrast and tone surprised me.
No Photoshop lightening at all here. (Shot in bright sunlight.)
SX-70, PX100 Silver Shade film.

When I draw, paint, or work in any other medium besides photography, I am more attracted to color application, so it is really satisfying to see my style expressed in monochrome without much effort. I did some printmaking last fall in black and white, though. When I'm forced into it, it seems to turn out okay. I still need to photograph those prints...I will one of these days.