Archive for August, 2013


I made a new friend on the train into work last week. Her name is Anne Shannon. I’d given up my seat for her as she had a bag as well as a mug of coffee to hold. The young man next to me had his earphones on and was either too self-absorbed to give up his seat to someone older, or hadn’t been to class the day Good Manners was taught. Or maybe he, like a good many youths of today, just didn’t care and thought his own comfort was more important. Nevermind, I could go on about the lack of manners and about the “yoof” culture of today, but here is not the place.

Anne was interested in my mobile photo art, so I decided to demonstrate just 1 App processing method to her in the short time we had on our train commute. I used this image of a red Poppy. (There is a property not far from where I live, that has the most beautiful display of Poppies out on the lawn, at least I think they are poppies, but they may be Ranunculus?? I must go there again soon to capture more images of the fleeting beauties before they’re gone for the year).

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I ran this through Snapseed. I was merely demonstrating to Anne how one tweaks the contrast, brightness etc, cropping and the “dramatic” filter. No fancy schmancy processing here. And this is what emerged:

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By this time we had almost reached our destination, Perth, and Anne was in love with the image so I sent it to her mobile phone.

When I got home from work, I decided to tidy up the image a bit. The blue flowers and dark green in the background were too distracting. I would have used BlurFX to mush over the colours and blend them into a more cohesive background, but BlurFX is only on iOS and not on Android. And I haven’t yet found a good Blur effect App on the Android market. I did have Touch ReTouch though, so I decided to use its Erase and Clone functions. I first erased the distracting parts behind the Poppy, then used the Clone brush to pick up a very light green colour and then swept it over the area I’d erased. Et voila! It worked, and after a couple more sweeps I had the background nicely smoothed over.

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I thought the image needed a border to hold it together, there was now too much light in it. So I went to Pixlr Express and added in a subtle inky black border, which also added an element of grunge to the final image.

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By this time I’d found Anne’s Facebook profile and sent a friend request through, and she’d accepted. So I posted the finished Poppy image to Anne’s wall as my welcome message on Facebook.

So pleased with my Poppy image and for finding a lovely new friend!

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A few posts back, I wrote about my passion for flower photography and how that led to my iFlower Series and book. While it is true that I love all manner of flowers, my favourite flower is the Erythrina Lysistemon, or Coral Tree.

Here is an excellent website detailing the many different sub-species of Erythrina http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/2594/#b

When I first arrived in Perth, Western Australia, it was in December at the height of Summer, and the Erythrina trees were hiding themselves from my attention by being bare branched and not very exciting. It was only in Spring, in August, that I started to notice these brilliant scarlet flowers in stark contrast against vivid blue skies, set off by a scattering of beautiful, light green leaves. It was love at first sight.

I would spend my free time cycling around the neighbourhoods searching out these trees. And then I’d spend several minutes at each tree, just snapping away on my iPhone 4’s camera, trying to capture the essence of these beautiful flowers from every angle.

We came to Rockingham last June to see if we’d like to live here, and one of the deciding factors for me was the fact that Rockingham’s foreshore was planted with many of these attractive trees…so we bought our house in Rockingham and guess what, there is an Erythrina tree in our neighbour’s garden opposite our house, and one at the start of our street. I’m so happy!

Now it is nearly September and Springtime and the flowers are in bloom again. I’m out and about taking pictures of the Erythrina Lysistemon with my Samsung Galaxy S4’s camera. A few weeks ago I spent an hour at our local park, happily taking photos of the 26 wonderful Erythrina trees that were planted in a circle. Unfortunately, after some overzealous deleting of programmes from my S4, I lost all my camera photos. But hey, no worries, on Wednesday I went to another local park where there were 14 Erythrina trees, and filled up my camera roll again.

I read that the seeds come in pods and can be cultivated, so I will see if I can propagate my very own Erythrina tree.

Here are some unedited photos of the wonderful Erythrina Lysistemon. And a few photos that I’ve processed using various Apps. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

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InstaQuote is an App available on both iOS and Android platforms. For those of you who like creating funny sayings, aspirations, inspirational thoughts and such like, as I do, it is a great little App to use.

It has a very user-friendly interface, ideal for all ages. You can use your own image as the background, or you can use any of a number of backgrounds available by default or as in-app purchases. The backgrounds available are beautiful, ranging from grungy textures to bokeh and light effects. There are over 210 backgrounds available. What’s not to like?

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The Fonts on offer are also really funky and arty, there are many on offer. However, what would make this App even more awesome would be in one could mix and match the Fonts. As it is, to do that you would have to first save what you’ve done to your camera roll, and load it again and use a different Font.

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To add to the fun, you can also tweak the spacing between your lines, increase or decrease the margins, the alignment as well as the size of your text. And, to top it off, you can choose to use a different colour for your “punch” (emphasised) words. No wonder this is such a popular App!

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I use InstaQuote in conjunction with my own images and a few other Apps for added effects. Here are just some examples of what I’ve done with this App:

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I had my first piano lesson at the tender age of 4. I remember my first piano teacher was a horrible bitch witch, who placed sharpened pencils under my wrists as I played on the keyboard, so I’d get a painful poke if I dropped my wrists. My second piano teacher lived in the same estate as my first, and although she was marginally nicer, she did have a Great Dane dog, who would menace me at the gate each time I went to her house. Maybe he wasn’t that big a dog, but I was only 4 and to me he was as big as a horse.

I wasn’t a child prodigy, what I achieved in a short time (Grade 8 ABRSM by age 12) was the result of hours and hours of hard practising, day after day after day. My father was very strict with me, and to be honest, I didn’t have a life outside school and piano practice. Perhaps that’s why I went wild at college, living on campus, and ended up with terrible GCE ‘A’ level results. Perhaps that was due in part to my father insisting that I took subjects that would lead me down the Medical School path, like my older brother. The old man had such big Plans for me, and to this day he still likes to remind me that I am a “constant disappointment” to him.

When I went to LaSalle College of the Arts in Singapore to do a Diploma in Music, my first piano teacher there was a Miss Yip. She seemed friendly enough, but was so demanding with all her students that one by one, they asked to go to a different teacher. I was one of the last ones in the group to pluck up the courage to request for a transfer. I got Professor Pan from China, who was in his 50s, friendly and affable and knew just about enough English for us to understand each other. Perhaps he was a tad too friendly, though, as one day I experienced what my fellow students who were studying under him had been saying. Suffice to say that he was touchy-feely below the shoulders, only he claimed that those were the “muscles” that mattered in playing the piano well :-/. Miss Yip bore grudges against her ex-students, and when the time came for our final recitals, she happened to be head of the board of examiners…and she failed the ones she felt too embittered about, and I was one of them. The good Professor rang me at home, he was indignant that any of his students should have failed a recital, and he demanded to see what the examining board had written about my performance. I’d gotten a perfect score for sight-reading (the evil Yip witch had given me 2 pages of something with 6 sharps in its key signature, which basically meant practically every other note was a black key…and halfway through, the piece most cruelly changed to 5 flats), and my performance had been marked most positively by the other 2 examiners…but Miss Yip had over-ruled the others, saying that my performance lacked emotion?! Anyway, upon the Professor’s request, the board re-examined their comments and changed my score to a low Pass. If not for my recital, which pulled down my grades overall, I would have been top of my class.

Nevermind…I got my revenge 2 years later at Kingston University in the United Kingdom, when I was the only one in my year to get a First Class B.A (Hons) Music degree. I remember going up to the board in the student common room, where 4 sheets of paper had been pinned together to the board. I scanned the first page, couldn’t find my name, went to the second, then third, then last page where the 2:2s and 3rd class results were. And still couldn’t find my name. Then someone said “Have you checked the top of Page One?” And true enough, there waa my name, the only name listed under “1st Class honours”. Yay, me!

That was half a lifetime ago, and this is now. Life hurtles past so quickly that there’s not enough time to do anything these days. Hubby Geoff can spend hours and hours on his computer and synths, creating wonderful pieces of electronic music, which he then spends months and months honing to perfection. I must confess I don’t have the patience or inclination to do likewise. The other day I spent a whole morning trying to record a track on Alchemy, on my iPad. It was like having a big bunch of keys to a 100-room mansion, and not being told which key opened which door. And after trying a dozen different keys and still being unable to open the fucking front door, I gave up and rapidly lost interest. And started to play with my images and photo-editing apps instead, which is so much more instantly gratifying.

Just recently I’ve blown the dust off my beloved Yamaha Tenori-On (of which more in a later post), so watch this space, as I’ve taken up music composing again. My style, my way. My aim is to create YouTube videos again, this time setting my own music to my own images.

One of my favourite composers has to be Erik Satie. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erik_Satie I first studied his works in Music College in Singapore in the early 1990s, and thought he was extremely witty and funny in a musical manner of speaking. The man himself was quite a prankster, wrangling a discharge from the French National Service by giving himself bronchitis. His tutors at college labelled him dull and uninteresting, but I think perhaps he was just bored. Satie was a contemporary of Debussy and Ravel.

Satie liked to poke fun at the Establishment. Some of his Piano pieces would be travesties of Classical music, where, just when the listener thought the piece had ended, he would play an extra chord Bang! And another of the same Bang! And two more for good measure Bang! Bang! And Bang!

At times, Satie would include instructions in his pieces, for example, to be played “with astonishment”. He abhorred Classical norms, and would try to get away from it at all costs, which gave him the reputation of being a joker and a non-conformist.

For perhaps his most famous piano pieces, the Trois Gnossiennes, Satie dispensed with barlines or a time signature, which became known as “free time”. Listen to the pieces here http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnossiennes_(Satie) As a consequence, the music tends to flow freely and is more expressive than any music written in a strict time signature. Quite the novelty, and very advanced indeed for his time.

Another famous example of Satie’s piano music is his Gymnopedies
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gymnop%C3%A9dies_(Satie). Here, over a monotonously repeating bass line, Satie lays a deceptively simple melody, the overall effect being dreamy and without a sense of direction or an objective to the music. Which, of course, was his intention from the start. (Satie termed himself a Gymnopedist, as he did not want to call himself a Musician. Funny man). 

And so to my topic for today…”Three Pieces in the Shape of a Pear(berry)”. Satie wrote “Trois Morceaux en Forme de Poire” as a pun…how could Three Pieces be in the Shape of a Pear??!

I was bored at work one day, and there were these fruit on my desk – a humble Packard Pear, and some Strawberries. After hulling some Strawberries, I looked at my Pear and the thought occurred to me that the hole in the Strawberry’s calyx might just fit the Pear’s stalk. So I tried it on for size, and it was just perfect. I took several snapshots of my new creation using my Galaxy S4’s camera, and thus the “Pearberry” was born. I used the Android App “Impressionist Fingerpaint”, a deceptively simple app, and PSTouch to blend my images and et voila! “Three Pieces in the Shape of a Pear(berry)” was born. Some people really believed the new taste sensation was real, and when asked what the Pearberry tastes like, I simply told the truth – like a pear and a strawberry.

Like I said, I was bored. :-)

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I was experimenting with the Android App “Impressionist Fingerpaint”, hoping to get a painterly effect on an image.  I do this quite a bit, testing out newly acquired Apps, putting them through their paces to see if they could become Noteworthy Apps.

“Impressionist Fingerpaint” itself is quite simple. You essentially load up an image, then you have 3 options – Color, Style and Undo.  Under Color, you have a choice of going with the Original colours, Grayscale, Lighten, Darken, Pale, Vivid, White and Black.  Under Style, you choose the type of brush – Circles, Pencil, Pastel and Sticks.  I like to use a mixture of Colors – in particular the Vivid, Darken and Lighten options. As for the brushes, I like to first use Circles, then a few strokes of Pencil, followed by Pastel.  I love how it gives the impression of texture to the processed image.

Basically, with this App, although you may see the original image and the overlay as you are working on it, when you click on the Save button it actually only saves the overlay colours and not the original image behind it.  As with other Brushes-type applications, the more you work on it, the more detailed it becomes.

This is the image I loaded onto “Impressionist Fingerpaint” to work on.  It’s a close-up of a Ferris Wheel capsule, taken in Fremantle, Western Australia.

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And this is the overlay after processing through “Impressionist Fingerpaint”.  Notice it does not show the original image behind it.

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I then ran both images through Photoshop Touch on my Samsung Galaxy S4.  I played with the different Blend modes, and decided that I liked the image produced by the “Difference” Blend best.  Here is the resulting image after tweaking the brightness and contrast. I love the industrial look, saturated colours and polarised effect.

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Here are some other images I processed using the same Apps, with the same Ferris Wheel as my subject.

Yamaha Tenori-On

Yamaha Tenori-On

The funky gadget above is a Yamaha Tenori-On. It was invented about 8  years ago by Toshio Iwai in conjunction with the Japanese juggernaut company Yamaha. Yamaha, as we know, makes awesome motorbikes as well as musical instruments. Where the two bisect, we’ll never know. But in around 2005, the Tenori-On vroomed into the world, a sleek gadgeteer’s dream. Oooh, and SHINY!!

Read about the Tenori-On here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenori-on. In a nutshell, its name means “Music in the palm of your hand”. And it does what it says on the tin. Essentially, the Tenori-On is a step sequencer synthesizer, where each of the 256 LED buttons has been assigned a different musical instrument. Moving up horizontally (Layers), you can programme the Tenori-On to play loops, random notes, sustained notes, or even play notes live. Moving across vertically (Blocks), you can toggle between different sequences that you’ve programmed in. It can be synced to use with other synthesisers, or as a standalone instrument.  I use mine as a standalone instrument, and I programme everything solely on the Tenori-On.  I will post up my Soundcloud Tenori-On tracks here every now and then, and when you hear the myriad of different sounds on each track, please appreciate that they all came from just one instrument and that I prefer to work within the constraints of that instrument, hence it influences the style and length of my compositions.

My dear husband bought me my Tenori-On for Christmas 2009. I’d been hankering after it and when he saw one at Peter Gabriel’s RealWorld Studio in England, and mentioned to Peter that he’d paid x amount online to buy one for me, the kind Mr Gabriel contacted the music company and contributed a generous amount towards the purchase.  So, you could say my Tenori-On was an Xmas present from both my husband and Peter Gabriel. Thank you, gentlemen!  Mine is the Tenori-On W or White, with the white LED lights and the Magnesium casing (not Aluminium, as some believe).  There is also a Tenori-On O or Orange, with orange LED lights but made of high-grade white plastic and having the flashing buttons on one side only.  I happened to see one on Gumtree just the other day, so on my day off work, I traipsed up to Fremantle to collect it in person.  Happy days!

Here is my very first Soundcloud Tenori-On track.  It’s not the very first composition I wrote for the instrument, it’s the first I loaded onto my Soundcloud page.  It’s titled YUKIO, and I was inspired by the red-haired female character Yukio in the 2013 film The Wolverine.  Enjoy!

https://soundcloud.com/alyzenmoonshadow/yukio-by-alyzen-moonshadow

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I have to date published 3 books of my images, being “Dalienutopia”, “The iFlower Series” and “Surreal”.  These were all done through different publishers, as I was (and still am) exploring which one would ultimately be the best one for me.

“Dalienutopia” was my very first book.  The title is a play on the words “Dali”, “Alien” and “Utopia”, the word imagery I was aiming for is the strangeness of Salvador Dali juxtaposed against the backdrop of a Utopian world, in an alien surrounding. Close to where we lived at first in Perth is an area called the Baigup Wetlands, which is mainly a swampy area where you’ll find silvery grey gumtrees with exposed roots sticking out of the water, and lots of native birds. It really is a strange environment to find yourself in, and I was reminded immediately of Dali’s famous “Swans Reflecting Elephants” painting.

Here is the link to the book “Dalienutopia“,  the publisher is Blurb (http://www.blurb.com). If you click on the link it brings you to the Preview page, and if you click on the shopping trolley below the preview pictures (please make me happy and do so!), you can purchase the book for yourself.

My second book, in 2012, was “The iFlower Series”, at a time when I was so enamoured of flower photography that I simply couldn’t walk past a single flower without whipping out my iPhone 4 and snapping away at it from every conceivable angle. I’d had problems using Blurb’s “Booksmart” template, and in the end a techie from Blurb had had to reset the template for me online as I couldn’t get in to edit my pictures. So, not wanting the stress of going through that again, I decided to try out Lulu instead (http://www.lulu.com).  It was easier to navigate, however I found the quality of the paper wasn’t as good as Blurb, plus it offered fewer size options. But, it was cheaper.

Here is the link to preview and purchase “The iFlower Series“, again please do check it out, thank you!

My third foray into self-publishing was the surreal “Surreal”, this time published in 2013 by Mixbook (http://www.mixbook.com). Mixbook claims to be have of the easiest user interface, and indeed it was a doddle creating my book using their templates. The price was more expensive than Blurb or Lulu, however. With Lulu I was able to get a 52-page book for just over $15, but for a similar price Mixbook could only offer me 20 pages. At the time I published “Surreal”, I was into my surreal phase of photographing everyday images and then distorting or blending them with other elements to create a sense of the unreal…some of the images are quite unsettling!

Click the title to preview and purchase “Surreal“.  Thanks for looking! :-)

Here is a handy page with a run-down of various Print On Demand Book Publishers, and their pros and cons.  3 years ago, when I started researching Print On Demand, the list for the Top 10 was very different and included Blurb, Lulu and Mixbook…the story is very different now, judging from this current list http://online-book-publishing-review.toptenreviews.com. Just goes to show how we live in exponential times, and things move by so swiftly and change happens so fast, that if you stood still and blinked, you’d be passed by in an instant. The article might be of use to you if you are considering going down the route of self-publishing yourself. Self-publishing can be as simple as creating a book for your own enjoyment, and that of your family and friends, or it could work out to cost $$$$ in marketing and advertising if you’re wishing to conquer the world.

This article here provides a useful insight into the pros and cons of “do it yourself” publishing i.e Print on Demand, as opposed to applying to mainstream publishing houses.  Of course, this is only one of many articles online that discuss POD. It seems that everyone is a writer/photographer/artist/poet/actor/musician/etc today! 

As for myself, no, I still haven’t found the Holy Grail of POD book publishers. But I seem to have fed my self-publishing daemon and have managed to move on to other projects and aspirations. I may come back to this at a later time, as I would like to see my books available on mainstream sites such as Amazon…I understand having a Blurb book these days comes with inclusion into Amazon’s listings.  But, my first and only experience creating my book on Blurb wasn’t particularly stress-free, and I’m not quite ready to go through that again just yet.

There is one POD publisher that I would like to use, as I’ve not found any other that offers printing on matte paper.  I love magazines that use matte paper instead of the usual glossy paper (Frankie is one of my favourites).  It just gives the whole magazine a more organic, handmade feel, like some arty journal. The publisher’s name is Artifact Uprising, and they offer a surprising number of templates and styles you can choose from.  However, as I live on Mars in Australia, their FAQ points out that it will cost me $68 (!!!) to send just ONE book to me. Which makes it economically NOT viable for me to go down this avenue. To those of you lucky enough to be living on this planet, I would recommend that you check out Artifact Uprising. Definitely  one to watch!

What is Pinterest?  Every day, more and more people are joining Pinterest. Why? Because it’s TOTAL EYE CANDY! Furthermore, it’s fun, educational, eye-opening, mind-widening, totally absorbing, and better than any game you can get on your mobile device.

How does Pinterest work? To explain it would take too long here, besides there are dozens of books written about it already. To keep it really simple, I’ll boil it down to these elements:

1. Say you’re searching for a recipe for Macarons. So, you sign in to your Pinterest account, and type in “Macarons” in the search field. You will then be shown all Pinterest entries related to Macarons. You can specify also if you want to look at Pins, Boards or People with some connection to the word “Macarons”. Pinterest subjects are stored under different Categories, so for example, if you are looking for general Craft ideas and inspiration, you might go to “DIY&Crafts”. The Categories section does not however offer a Search function.

2. Clicking on a Pin you like takes you to the source site, where the original pinner had pinned the image from. For example, if you clicked on an image of “Laduree Macarons Paris”, you may be taken to the official Laduree site, or to someone’s blog where the photo was pinned from, or to a Flickr page, advertisement page etc. Behind each image that is pinned is a back story, to put it simply.

3. If you like what you see, you can either Like it, leave a Comment, or Re-Pin it to your own board. A Board is simply your virtual pinboard, where you can pin any images you like and start a collection. (Those of you who know my obsession with collecting can by now discern a pattern emerging here!). So, pin everything related to Macarons to your “Macarons” board. My own Macarons Board is called “Macarons. Food Porn!”, as I know of no other food that is so obscenely photogenic and delectable at the same time.  http://pinterest.com/alyzenm/macarons-food-porn/

4. If you, like me, have eclectic interests and obsessions, you will rapidly find yourself creating multiple Boards and pinning the relevant images to them. Your Boards and Pins, along with everyone else’s, goes into a main Wall of Pins, like live streaming. Anyone who happens to be swimming along that stream, can see your pin and Re-pin it to their own board. It’s a bit like fishing, only without the fish.

5. If you find a Pinner who has loads of interesting pins, you can simply Follow them, and thus bring their pins into your Wall. So, every time they pin up something, you see it on your Wall.

6. You can set up collaborative Boards and invite others to pin there. For example, I was invited to join the Board “Scarves and Fashion” (now changed to “A Scarf Changes Everything”) as I’m the Scarf Queen of Western Australia hehe. So, I now pin interesting images of scarves or fashion that I like, to that Board, to share with other members of that Board. I have a collaborative Board with my hubby Geoff, who is the electronic musician ElectroCelt. I also have a collaborative Board with our friend Lia Shapiro, who is electronic musician ALiEn TriBE.

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Pinterest was officially launched on 9th August 2012, after a Beta program where you could only join if you had been invited. After 9th August 2012, anyone could join Pinterest. It is the fastest growing internet site in the world, and its membership grows exponentially. At present, although it is only technically over a year old, it is forecast to overtake Facebook in the very near future.

Pinterest is rapidly becoming the “Visual” Google. These days, when keying in a Google search, Pinterest entries are cropping up more and more. Everything that is pinned to Pinterest carries a #pinterest tag, which shows up in any search. It’s become so that when I need a recipe for something, I simply look it up on Pinterest, rather than on Google. Sometimes I do what’s known as “Pin now, read later”, where I’m effectively filing the link away for future reference.

When I say Pinterest is educational, I mean I can see it being used by people to actually learn new information.  It may be a bit too much fun to be used as a tool in school (it’s so easy to get carried away surfing Pinterest!), but certainly for anyone wanting to learn more about any subject, it’s a great place to start. For example, I now know what an “Olinguito” is, I’ve learnt how my Samsung Galaxy S4’s myriad camera functions work, I’ve got a growing collection of Aboriginal Art on my Board that I would never have been able to afford to buy in real life. I pin tips and hints about Blogging, to help me improve my blog views. I pin Graphic Designs that inspire me. If I’m feeling down I know where I can find uplifting and inspirational Quotes. I saw my first “Hala” flower on Pinterest just the other day, and I know there’s no such thing as a Blue Watermelon or a Multi-coloured Owl. I’ve seen images of places I most definitely would like to visit, that I’d have never known about if I hadn’t stumbled upon them on Pinterest.  And every day I learn something new from Pinterest.

To date, I have 47 Boards, and have pinned nearly 16500 Pins. That’s nothing, compared to Jane Wang, the mother of Pinterest founder Ben Silbermann. Jane Wang has over a hundred Boards, and nearly 8.5 MILLION followers.

Take a look here at my Pinterest page, and follow me if you like what you see:

http://pinterest.com/alyzenm/boards/

Pin on!

I have a fascination with all things Alice.  As in Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  To be more specific, I have always entertained ideas of someday throwing a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, complete with mismatched china, cupcakes and macarons. There is just something so endearing in a madcap scene like that, what’s not to like?

So, in my ongoing series The Madhatter’s Teaparty (note how I have spelled it, I know it’s not correct, but I like how the spelling itself is just a tad out of whack, like the subject matter)…anyway, as I was saying, this series started out as an innocent photo of of a teacup and saucer with flowers. Then, I got it into my head to start stacking up the teacups, and taking photos of them, and the Madhatter’s Teaparty idea was born. Essentially, it’s an entire series based on images of vintage teacups and saucers, stacked jauntily in twos or threes. The magic lies in the blending of the original photo with various backgrounds, either bokehs, textures, or images of craft papers. The first few completed images were more like still lives and I became bored of those quickly. Then, by happy accident, I was playing with the “Difference” blend mode on PhotoShop Touch, and came up with this image, which in turn led to an obsession with collecting vintage teacups and saucers, and spawned (to date) over 150 images for the Series.

Madhatter's Teaparty Series First Image

Madhatter’s Teaparty Series First Image

For more of the series, do click on this link to my website: http://alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow#!gallery-1/ckiy

When I get into a subject, I believe in total immersion, so I will go great lengths to learn about my newest craze, until such a time as it gets worked out of my system. This can last from a few days, to months, to years.  Sometimes I may leave it out of necessity, and move on to other things, only to return to it at a later stage. To date, my obsessions have included making artist teddy bears (1997-2002, and again briefly in 2012), making and selling pickles and chilli sauce to cafes in Spain (2004-2006), baking, specifically Bagels and Pizza (2006 – current), felting old jumpers and creating handbags out of them (2007 – 2008), experimenting with cheese-making techniques (2007), dabbling in Art (2002 – current), Angora goats (yes, really! 2007), incubating and raising chickens (2008 – current), making pure silver jewellery from Precious Metal Clay (2010), keeping tropical fish (2011 – current), Gundam action figures (with my son Jack, 2013 and ongoing), cooking jams and chutneys (2004 – current)…and for the Madhatter’s Teaparty Series I spent months on Etsy searching for that “perfect” vintage teacup and saucer to go with my crazy ideas.  I think I ended up with over 25 cup and saucer sets. Now all I need is a nice cupboard with glass doors to display my collection!

It was no different with my iPhoneography and Androidography habits. When I first got the iPhoneography bug, I must have spent hours and hours happily immersed in the App Store, downloading and testing out App after App after App. Ditto when I bought my iPad 2, after all, there are Apps that are only available on the iPad and not on the iPhone, so naturally I had to have some for myself! Those Appwhores amongst you reading this will fully understand this obsession. Did I wise up when I bought my Samsung Galaxy S3 in November 2012? Hell, NO! Again, hours and hours scouring the Google Play Store looking for photo editing Apps to add to my stable.

It’s a mad obsession, for sure, but it’s also a very pleasant and social one that I can share with like-minded folk on Facebook, Pinterest and other social networking sites.  I have no wish to be cured.  For the moment, anyway…

And perhaps someday, someone with a penchant for collecting will start buying up my entire Madhatter’s TeaParty Series, who knows ;-)!  Now, to see all 100-150 of my A3 canvasses displayed, row after row , column after column, on a prominent Art Gallery wall, now that would be quite an achievement!!

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