June 24, 2017 § 3 Comments
I couldn’t think of a better subject for this weeks weekly photo challenge than the elephant puppet my son and husband have been working on for the past year. The inspiration for the elephant — hours of watching Ray Harryhausen films. The puppet started with a simple armature, then clay, a mold and now silicone. This was their first attempt making a mold and one side of the elephant was full of air bubbles, but my amazing husband has been patiently repairing it before the final stage, painting. My son is definitely a task masker and we joke that a career as an art director may be in his future!
December 6, 2016 § Leave a comment
I just finished ordering my holiday photo cards and I don’t usually post stuff like this, but I’d like to share my experience. Maybe it will save you some time. First, you really don’t need to spend a lot because without sounding too cynical, the truth is most of your cards will probably end up in the trash after the holidays. As much as I love receiving my friend’s and family’s cards, it’s rare for me to hang on to them every year. So for anyone that would like to be more frugal like myself, here goes. I’ve used tinyprints before and love their quality and design choice, but they are the most expensive and their customer service is practically nonexistent from my experience. I don’t think I would trust them with a large order. This year I decided to shop around. All of the sites I visited have discount codes at this time. After trying out the various card designs and applying the discount codes I went with Costco. For anyone that isn’t a Costco member, for me there are 2 reasons and now 3 why your membership will pay for itself, 1 – car rentals, 2 – eyewear, 3 – photo greeting cards. Below are the websites I visited. The pricing for snapfish and shutterfly is similar, so since shutterfly is part of tinyprints I left them off.
tinyprints – 50 photo cards and envelopes – $73.16 with discount code applied
Costco – The best deal $14.99 for 50 Photo cards and Envelopes! My choice this year.
October 8, 2016 § 2 Comments
The last presidential race my mother’s Obama signs were stolen. This election she’s not taking any chances.
September 18, 2016 § 5 Comments
This summer while going through family photos I came across these two mystery ones. I have no idea who the woman and the baby are. We were having fun trying to figure out when they were taken from the bathing suits. 1950’s? What do you think.
Digital Photography Vs. Film When Learning To Take Pictures And Black And White Film vs. Monochrome Filters? Thoughts?
June 5, 2016 § 4 Comments
Questions I think about often these days. Does learning to take a picture with a digital camera hinder the learning process or benefit it? Do you get the same effect with a monochrome filter as you do shooting with black and white film? Now that I watch my son starting to show an interest in photography I think back to the time when I also became interested. My dad giving me his old Yashica 2 1/4 and telling me this is the camera I need to learn on. I remember the rolls of film for it had less than 10 pictures. I wonder if the photos I took were just lucky shots or knowing that I only had 10 to take I took more time framing that one picture. Anytime he allowed us to use his polaroid he made a point of telling us that it was a dollar a photo so Do Not Waste Them! My husband and I are blown away with what my son is doing and how he’s so quickly figured out how to create mats and digital effects that we still haven’t mastered. And he does seem to be looking for interesting things to photograph but I can’t help but wonder when you know you have no limit to how many photos you can take does that change the photos you do take? Below are some old photos I found that I took in high school. Photographers weigh in? What are your thoughts?
Feeling camera shy.
Fairgrounds after hours.
Park Street, St. Petersburg, Florida.
Polaroid of me by my sister.
I took this one with my dad’s Yashica 2 1/4. Lucky shot?
May 12, 2016 § 4 Comments
Looking for one of my grandfather’s shoe designs I previously found in Google Patents – It seems to have vanished? During my search I clicked on another patent from the same time frame hoping to find a connection. See the shoe above. I previously mentioned in an earlier post that I thought it looked very similar to a Jimmy Choo design. This time when I clicked on the link I noticed that the patent was indeed referenced by Jimmy Choo and also Hermes. Last summer I took a picture of this Salvatore Ferragamo shoe that also references my grandfather’s original design from 1934.
So many years later and my grandfather’s designs are still living on. He was a true innovator in women’s fashion who deserves to be recognized for his creativity and ingenuity – the motivation behind starting this blog. As children he told us that when he couldn’t sleep he would lie in bed and imagine fantastic inventions he would create, an orphan that chose the shoe business out of practicality. Forced to leave school at 13 he rose to be one of the biggest shoe men in New York and even after he retired to Florida was appointed by The Secretary of Labor to represent the US in labor relations in Puerto Rico, the date still a mystery I’m trying to solve. I can only imagine what he would have done with his creativity if the playing field had been more level for him. With my own child starting middle school this fall I toured some of the top-tier NYC private schools – even though I questioned how we would ever pay the 45k yearly tuition. In the end we chose public with our eyes wide open that the playing field in education is indeed not level but there are those that like my grandfather will make it no matter what hand they are dealt. Like my voice teacher Betty Allen whose mother died when she was also 12 and who like my grandfather shared a similarly grim childhood overcoming insurmountable obstacles to live a life that most of us can only hope for.
And like my grandfather she also made her own way. Betty told me after her mother died her father drank and wasn’t taking care of her the way she was use to by her mother so she took the bus to the courthouse in Youngstown Ohio where she lived and told the judge she wanted to be adopted. Since there were no orphanages for black children she was put into foster care where she was made to work and abused and when she was 16 she moved into the YWCA cleaning houses to support herself. Eventually on scholarship she attended Wilberforce College in Wilberforce, Ohio, crediting her success to her teachers. These are the stories that inspire me. Maybe because I’ve never had to really want the way they both did. – Again my search for a shoe led me back to why I want to share my grandfather’s story and remember.
February 7, 2016 § 6 Comments
About two weeks ago after the big snowstorm my husband and I decided to take a walk at a park near our home. We both love to take pictures, so the cold and snow didn’t deter us. We had the park almost entirely to ourselves, but in the end it turned out we weren’t the only ones with this idea. As we were leaving I couldn’t help but notice these beautiful boots.
Without missing a photo op I asked the young woman wearing them if I could take a picture. Her husband offered to take one as well — which turned out to be much better than mine. We started talking and realized we lived on the same street and both blogged. She told me the boots are from Banana Republic and were originally in Brown. She loved the boots, but not the color, so had them dyed black and after a few bad winters they may need a touch up.
I get a lot of compliments when I wear them and most people are shocked to know they’re from Banana Republic!
Sandra has an instagram site @lifesamoda, an Etsy site and is also working on a website. Her Etsy site is what caught my attention. She sells t-shirts that celebrate Latina Icons. It seems like the media chooses too frequently to portray Latina Women as primarily voluptuous sex symbols. Sandra is trying to change that by promoting positive images of Latina Women with her LaModa Tees.
The idea of starting this T-shirt line came one day while talking to my kids about our Latino culture. We are from the Dominican Republic but were born and raised in New York City. To explain the topic with visuals, I googled “Dominican women” on the search engine and what I saw was too shocking. There were no positive images for my children to see. I later came up with the idea that there should be a way for Latina women to promote positive images of ourselves. Thus, “LaModa Tee’s” was born! – Sandra Vargas
Ellen Ochoa, Celia Cruz, Claribel Alegria, Julia de Burgos, Dolores Huerta, Vilma Martinez, Cristina Fernandez De Kirchner, Michelle Bachelet, Alicia Dicherson Montemayor, Sonia Sotomayor, Isabel Allende, Julia Alvarez, Jovita Idár, Rigoberta Menchú, Salma Hayek Pinault, Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, Dolores Del Rio, Frida Kahlo.
And below in memory of my own Latina Icon, my mother in law, Celinda [Ferrer] Santos, November 23, 1929 – January 20, 2009.