Stationary Drifting


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Best of Blogs: February

Blogs! I’m in love. I can’t remember when I started getting into them…I’ve had my own blog (in various locations) since 2007/2008 ish but I never really read other people’s until the last year and a bit. I have an app on my ipad that I have all my favourite (ie: checked daily) blogs on it and I have a good 18-20 on it. I should do a post on the blogs I really like sometime soon but for now I want to profile the blogs that I’m particularly excited about right now.

NOTE: all the photos belong to the blogger they are associated with, click each photo to be taken to their corresponding post.

click above (or here) to be taken to pencil box

I talked about Katie over at pencil box earlier but only briefly. Her blog is my all time favourite new blog, and up there in my all time favourite ever. I came across her blog the other week when I was searching for something new to read and so was looking through blog recommendations over at a beautiful mess. I waswas instantly hooked. Her photos alone were enough to make me swoon, I’m such a sucker for light and airy photography with good colours. She’s pretty amazing at taking really creative and impressive self portraits too. I need to learn that talent…

After I got past the gorgeousness of the photography I found equally beautiful writing. She writes about the stuff of every day. Whether its raising her kids and their shenanigans, her love life (which is so sweet its almost enviable), projects, inspiration, and daily goings-on she describes it all in a way that’s almost poetic. Also she has incredible style. I’m not ashamed to say that I was so taken with her writing style and positive outlook on life that I read nearly all her archives. It sounds like I’m gushing and I am. She rocks, go read her blog!

Katie is an artist, and not just in photography, she is a lovely painter as well. She lives in Ohio with her 2 kids and fiancee.

click above (or here) to be taken to the site

I found Liz’s blog very recently. In fact it was the inspiration for my recent sewing spree. I spent one whole night reading through the tutorials and posts on this blog and then went out the next day and bought/spent a little too much on a bunch of fabric. Its been 3 days and I’ve already made 2 dresses and a skirt. The tutorials are super easy and straight forward, you don’t need to make a pattern you just need a measuring tape, some scissors, a sewing machine and (in some cases) some clothes to trace. She focuses a lot on thrifted and refashioned fabric and clothes, which I appreciate because that’s where I’m at in terms of what I like to wear (and what I can afford to!). I haven’t tried any of the refashioning tutorials but they are up next on my list! I love refashioning old clothes into new, exciting ones. She has incredible taste in clothing and basically I want to dress like her forever. This means that the tutorials are super and I’ve pinned just about every one. The photos are lovely and Liz styles her creations so well that I can totally see myself wearing them (minus the high heels, I live in snow bound Montreal and that’s dangerous).  If you’re into making your own clothes or want to learn. I highly HIGHLY suggest cotton & curls

Last but not least!

made by andi

Made by Andi is the brand new blog from the creator of Hoakon and Helga bags. While I was devastated when she stopped making her bags to pursue other things in life (only because I hadn’t had the chance to save up enough pennies for one yet) this blog is really promising and I’m excited to see where she takes it.  There are a few DIY’s up, and some info about running your own business (she successfully lived off making her bags for 3 years) which is super inspiring and I’m pumped to learn more about it through her creative business tips. I have a certain soft spot for this blog too because she lives in one of my hometowns (calgary) and I get to see familiar places in her photos. I don’t follow too many canadian blogs, mostly because I haven’t found that many yet, and while that’s not the reason I follow Andi, its definitely fun. She’s still building her blog but I very much recommend reading as she goes because she is a very talented lady and let’s be honest, talented people are awesome.

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Best of Feb for sure here. These are all blogs I imagine reading for a while and all three have made it to the front page of my blog app. I check them first every day. Give them a look and some love because they really deserve it.

What are your favourite blogs?


Photojojo rocks (as always)

If you don’t follow Photojojo on everything you’re missing out. Its a dream job of mine to work there because then I would get to geek out on photo tech stuff all the time and take pictures forever. But that’s besides the point, the real point is that Photojojo has lots of great equipment for sale at reasonable prices and awesome DIY photo based projects. So they are a favourite of my nerdy nerdy heart for those reasons alone.

Now they have started offering phoneography (phone + photography) classes online though and I’m really excited! If you sign up now its $5 and you’ll get a twice weekly online class for a whole month. I start March 1 and am (obviously) really excited. Click the photo if you’re equally excited about this and want to give it a shot.

I’ll post a review of it once I’m done or during.

And no, I’m not being paid for this and I paid to get into the class. I just like Photojojo.


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4 simple goals

/// to see the way she frames her goals and read her post click on the photo above or click here. This picture is hers, though I wish it were mine! Also, holy I want a graphics tablet for no other reason than to write all over pictures. I think I’m gonna have to analog that for now, though I did get a new scanner last month… ///

Elsie over at a beautiful mess wrote the other day about how she and her partner have been writing down and trying to stick to 4 simple goals per season. Being the type of person that makes ‘new week, new start’ and ‘new shampoo, new start’ lists frequently this obviously appealed to me. What also appealed to me is that the idea is to challenge myself to do something positive, something that can be done to enrich my life, and (of course I’m drawn to this) I get to reward myself once I achieve each goal!

So, with that said, here is mine:

I’m going to explain these one at a time, and therefore stretch out the posts! Just kidding. I’m trying not to write excessively long posts all the time because who has time for that? short-ish and sweet-ish, that’s what I always say have never once said. Anyway, expect more posts with this photo as a heading as I explain my different goals, talk about how they are going, and when I wrap them all up at the end of December. Yeah sticking goals out! (not like those other failed projects)

It was hard to choose just 4. Cut from the list (because my libra self needed a good balance and 7 seemed like a lot) was ‘quitting smoking’ – which I’m going to do anyway, ‘redecorating house’ – only one style goal allowed, ‘practice photography’ – because I didn’t want to directly copy Elsie.

so without further ado I present: ‘SIMPLE GOAL #1’ : eat fresh fruits and veggies every day

okay, so this one is a directly copy from Elsie BUT ITS SUCH A GOOD ONE! I have been falling into sad/broke eating, which has mostly consisted of carbs that fill me up and random proteins like quinoa, beans and hamburgers. I’ve been craving more fresh plants in my life so here it is at #1 on my list of simple goals. I do mean simple too, I live only a couple of blocks from a great, year round, produce market that is cheap and I really have no excuse except laziness for not taking advantage. So in honour of my soon-to-be 30year old body, I offer fruits and veggies galore!

To do this I’m going to start making my morning smoothies again, I’m going to put berries and fruit on top of my morning granola, put more veggies in my cooking, and try and have one salad a day, maybe for lunches?. Added bonus, I’m gonna have to up my salad dressing making skills!

new age, new job, new season, new start.


New Blog Categories

I’m rearranging my site (again). I’ve been thinking for a while that I should move it over to wordpress.org so that I have more/all control over how this place is set up, how it looks and be able to add some plug-ins that I would be pumped about having. I just can’t decide if its worth the work and money to do that. This is not exactly a site that generates a lot of readership (hi dad), and it doesn’t really have any kind of a concise theme, plus I’m a bit off and on about it….BUT, I do want to turn it into the kind of blog that I would be proud to show off my ranting on, and I like the idea of owning the stationarydrifting url. I’m really into other peoples blogs and blogging in general so I’ve been wanting to ‘upgrade’ as it were to play with the mid-leagues. I don’t know, thinking of a pro/con list right now, and maybe need to spend some real time thinking about what I want to do with this corner of the web before investing all this time and energy. It is worth it to make me work it?

/// I realize that Missy Elliott is not even remotely talking about the same thing ///

ANYWAY, that was all a very random way of setting up the fact that I wanted to say a little thing about how I have rearranged and updated my categories (again).

SO without further ado I give you:

About – wherein you can find some basics about me, my sketchy plan for stationary drifting (for now), and how to find me on other social media sites. Minus the book of faces and twitter because I still feel pretty private about those ones.

Write/Say – which is where I post my rants (stationary drift), my project where I try and write something good every day to maintain a certain balance and gratitude in my life and try and avoid getting depressed at times (small things project), and where I post things that are exciting me mostly stuff I want enough to take off my pinterest boards and make a big deal about in the hopes that someone who might be looking for a present for me would take notice, or just to highlight for myself ({wishlist}). Occasionally I write things worth saying in public, but mostly I just write things I want to get off my chest.

Make/Do – this category is where you can see some things I do beside ranting and/or complaining on the internet. I post pictures, reviews, and recipes of food I’ve tried making lately, mostly baked goods because let’s be honest that’s what I like to eat more than anything else in the world (eating). I also have a category about my brief/failed attempt at a cleanse this spring, I’m leaving it up there partially because I want to inspire myself to try again and partially because there’s some good information in it. Also, its the one link on my blog that draws continual attention, usually from pinterest (spring cleanse). I put all my posts about the crafting I do and remember to post about, from sewing to knitting to otherwise diy’ing my house up so that it looks like I have some sort of a life (making). ANDDD, if you know me you know that I’m pretty into alternative medicines, especially herbal remedies and home make body and cleaning products. I’m starting to get more into making stuff at home so whenever I do something new or learning something new it will go up here, remember that I’m no expert though so don’t take what I say as medical advice. Its a bit skimpy at the moment but trust, it will get bigger (healing).

Look/See – I.love.photography. So expect to see more of this than anything else under this category. I have 5 cameras and my phone which I use to take pictures nearly all the time. Most of my cameras are film so whenever I develop my latest roll or have some quality polaroids I post them kind of en masse. This is a section of the site I really want to grow to encompass my real love of taking pictures (photography). I know that this is kind of sounding like a failed project theme but I took a bit of a blogging break over this summer while I got married and found a job, I really want to get back to the photography project my brother and I were doing. I have a goal this year of challenging myself to see the world through a lens differently (52 themes). Last but (kind of) not least, I’ve been feeling like my personal style could use some updating now that I’m about to finish my MA, and married and am weeks away from my 30th birthday. I’m not really a genderqueer punk-y kid anymore but unfortunately my clothes don’t really reflect that. So I’m setting myself a whole category to document clothes I like, thrift, see, outfits I try, etc. I’m not going to pretend I have the ability to have a style section or that I have really any interest in making this into a style blog but hey, if you’re interested in talking or reading about the style of an almost 30, queer, hard femme, and how to make that work this is the category to look under (reluctant style ///under construction///).

Okay, so that’s that. Check back and tell me what you think, if you’re actually there. Comment if you feel so inclined, its nice to have something other than spam comments every now and then. And please do share your thoughts about free hosting vs. self-directed blogs. I really am trying to figure out what to do.


Field of View

My brother is starting up another project, dude must have a million projects on the go by now. He’s so cool.

Anyway, this one is super exciting because it includes me!

I’m going to be the political writer for Jared’s quarterly print magazine called Field of View!

one of Jared’s contributions

According to the ‘about’ section of the newly created website:

The field of view is the extent of the observable world that is seen at any given moment.

Different animals have different fields of view, depending on the placement of the eyes. Humans have an almost 180-degree forward-facing horizontal field of view, while some birds have a complete or nearly-complete 360-degree field of view. In addition, the vertical range of the field of view in humans is typically around 100 degrees.

In photography, the field of view is that part of the world that is visible through the camera at a particular position and orientation in space; objects outside the FOV when the picture is taken are not recorded in the photograph. It is most often expressed as the angular size of the view cone, as an angle of view.

This site is the blog to the magazine, so that we can constantly update you on sightings of news/work in the art, video, political, fashion, music and other worlds. The printed magazine will have long form articles and full portfolios from photographers and artists. A few articles from each issue will be posted under the ‘Magazine’ tab, so you can follow the print on your screen as well.

Quarterly magazine to begin publishing this summer by Jared Mercer.

Contact Field of View:

elephantshoesdesign@gmail.com

Mid City

Los Angeles, California

*we take (and encourage) submissions

Mostly this magazine will be about art and design, focus on film/photography with a side of music and fashion, and a sprinkling of my ranty-opinionated-far far left of center politics!

I’m going to try and start posting small things up there this week a la my (woefully underused) ‘Leave a Stain‘  site. But in the mean time click on the above link to take you over to what Jared has up there right now, which is a lot of really great photographers’ work, including his own.

And watch for the magazine coming out this summer.

In the first edition of the magazine, which will be released this summer, we can announce that there will be work by Carla Andrade (whose images are displayed below), Bjorn Bare and Amandine Paulandre amongst others.

Topics covered will be new beginnings, such as this magazine. Film, Video, Photography, Politics, Fashion, and Music are the main themes that each writer has a focus on.  A few articles from each print edition will be found here to give you a taste of what you’re missing on paper and encourage you to order a copy of Field of View from our online retailer.

Please contact Jared Mercer if you are interested in advertising with us.

Some tidbits from the site. Click the photos to take you to the post

an animation by Kadavre Exquis. Click the photo to find the video on Field of View

free dive by kanoa zimmerman

jonathan hyde


52 Themes: Macro

Week 3: Macro

So its not exactly the 3rd week by the gregorian calendar but it is the 3rd week of this project. Both Jared and I got a bit distracted by other things going on in our lives. Apparently he had been writing his first feature length film! I, less excitingly, have been working on my thesis. We’ve been emailing each other back and forth a couple of times a week, apologizing for not having kept up our end of the bargain and promising to finish soon. Finally, here are my photos from the newest theme, I imagine Jared’s will also be up soon.

This week was Jared’s choice: Macro. Neither of us have macro lenses, and so we were relying on the digital macro functions on our cameras. They aren’t as good as macro done with a real lens but they do pretty good for what they are. I, personally, love taking macro photos. I love the close up view of the photo’s subject and what that reveals. I like the different perspective on every day things and how something as simple as snow melting on a jacket can turn into a really interesting picture. Macro can show what something is really made of, and it can also render something totally unrecognizable. It forces me to get up close and personal with the thing I’m photographing. I was really excited about the theme this week.

I played around a bit with a close focus on a mundane object so that I could blur out the background. I really like that effect and how it changes the way I look at the bigger picture, like how the packing tape on the pole illuminates the sky and the apartment building behind,  how the paper crane makes me want to look at my kitchen, and the close up of the flower buds makes me see all the other buds coming to life. I also did some traditional macro by getting up close to something and trying to capture its details, I started with some flowers growing along the edge of a building (a sign of spring!) but got really excited about getting up close to a discarded apple core and trying to capture the dirt and wrinkles. I think my favourite from this theme was the reflection of me taking the picture of the bolt covers in the closest cover while the rows of the other covers go up in the background. I really like the perspective that happens in that photo.

Anyway, here is my submission for the 3rd week of 52 Themes. I’m still not feeling like I’m really stretching my photography skill and maybe for the next one I will go out on a photographic adventure to capture what I want from this. In the meantime I just like the fact that I’m carrying my camera with me everywhere and how it forces me to look at my everyday surroundings differently.


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{wishlist} Fuji x100

Fuji x100

Ever since my Canon Rebel mysteriously disappeared from my house a couple of years ago I’ve been sans a manual digital camera. Not a huge issue, I have a beautiful film Nikon FE and a small point and shoot canon, as well as a couple polaroids and a fuji instax. And my phone. Plus its not like I depend on having a good camera for my work or anything. I just really love taking pictures. Having a good manual digital has been lacking in my life and in my photography. I’ve been in the market for a while, watching to see what comes out, going to LL Lozeau regularly to oogle and dream. The weight of a manual camera, the ability to look through a viewfinder and see the picture I’m going to take, the quality, the functions that allow a greater range of lighting, speed, etc.

Okay, I really miss taking great digital photos. I know that’s not all about the equipment but you know what? Sometimes it is.

Anyway, I had the pleasure of talking shop with a friend, Michael Abril who is a fucking fantastic photographer. I was asking his opinion on what’s out there these days and he suggested this camera. Its a good blend of an SLR without all the bulk of the other cameras. It takes HD video and is fully manual. The only downside is that there’s no way to change lenses. Which is ultimately fine because I don’t do that often anyway.

Since talking with Michael I’ve done a bunch of research myself on this camera and have become obsessed. I’m not normally a fuji person. I tend to stay with canon and nikon for their proven quality and long history. I do have one of the fuji instax and I like it a lot but its a (relatively) cheap plastic camera that I wasn’t expecting much beyond fun times with. For my fancier cameras I’m a little more picky. I haven’t played with this camera in real life (yet – I’m planning a trip to LL Lozeau soon) but I like what I’ve read, and I like the smaller size (sometimes the bigger ones can be cumbersome),

I like that fuji has kept the old school look of it. I love the way camera look and some of the newer ones don’t really look like real cameras anymore.

The x100 is pretty pricey though, and nearly as nice is the fuji x10

Which, truthfully, is probably what I will end up getting. Its half the price and therefore closer to my budget (which is nothing right now but I’m hoping it will be something eventually). I haven’t played with either and am not totally clear on what the practical differences are. Other than the x100 is probably better and faster at everything. Anyway, I’m pretty excited about this camera in my future.

Has anyone tried these cameras out? What do you think? A list of pros and cons would be so great!


52 Themes: Waiting

Week 2!

This week was my choice in theme. I picked ‘waiting’ because I was waiting every day for spring to finally show up. I had all sorts of plans for what I was going to take pictures of this week but none of them really ended up happening. So instead you get a variety of shots I took when I remembered to take them. They are loosely based around the idea of waiting, or later rationalized as fitting into the idea of waiting.

I only have 8 this week because I would rather put up 8 good ones than have a couple of (extra) random ones just to make the 10 mark. What can I say, I wasn’t really committed to the project this week. Not that I ignored it, just that I had a busy week and didn’t get a chance to set aside a day or an afternoon to focus on taking pictures.

That said, I’m happy with the ones I have. They aren’t all stellar but I really like the one with the green church. I have been playing with the white balance function on my camera. Not just for balancing the picture in the moment, but also using an old white balance on a new shot, I’ve been finding its adding interesting colour washes to pictures. I also like the close up of my drink, I’m still very into macro photography. I like the ways views that it gives on regular objects. In the glass picture I like the up close focus on the sugar. I like the shots of M because my boyfriend is really cute/hot, I think the pictures themselves are good but the subject is really fun to photograph.

Remember that this is not just my project, Jared will be putting up a bunch of photos on the same theme over on his site. Make sure to check them out.

UPDATE: Ha! Jared killed it this week with his series of his cat Yeltsin and a stuffed deer taking turns waiting for things. I laughed out loud at each shot as I scrolled down. He took the shots with his polaroid and scanned them so they have a nice yellow tone and interesting sharpness. My favourite is the one of Yeltsin picking up his dinner can. Not just for the cuteness but also for the framing, the light on the floor and the colour. Bar raised brother. I’m going to have to think up something good for this next round…week 3 is Jared’s choice. Check back on or around Monday.

 

waiting for M to wake up

waiting (patiently) in line

waiting for the light to change

waiting = time

waiting for my turn

waiting for our food

cherry waiting

waiting to get his picture taken


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52 Themes – about

My brother Jared is a champ of a photographer. He’s already self-published a book of his shots from when he was on film location in Kazakhstan, and rumour has it that he’s working on another.

Him and I share the family passion for photography, both our dad’s siblings – are semi professional photographers, and have shared many photographic adventures in our time together.

This summer for example, when he was living with me, we wandered around Mtl (here, here, &here), had photoshoots, took trips to a cabin (&here), our double birthday trip to NYC where between us we had 6 cameras (here, here & here).

When Jared got married in Vegas this December, for the 30 odd minutes that it took him to get married I had 3 cameras with me (here, &here), a film, a polaroid, and a digital. To be fair I wasn’t the only one, Lily’s dad and step-mom are also photographers. I took a lot of pictures.

What I’m trying to say here is that Jared and I both really like taking pictures and now we have a new picture project in the works!

Here how its going to go.

1. We’re going to take turns every week picking a theme.

2. For the following week we’re both going to take pictures along that theme.

3. At the end of each week we’re going to share with each other our favourite 10.

4. We will post our pictures on our websites.

The idea is to do this every week for the next while, aiming at a year if we like it. I tossed out the idea of collaborating on a book at the end if we’re into it.

Its like a book club for pictures!

So look for my posts on Mondays starting in March. And be sure to check out Jared’s site too.


Pictures are about to get so much better!

I just found my camera cord!!!!!! Finally! Its been months since I’d last seen it. I’ve been taking pictures with my phone for so long and have been totally disappointed with their web quality. I mean, they are fine for phone pictures but they aren’t exactly the type of pictures that I want to show off extensively. Be prepared for better photos from me everyone. Phew.

see? a nice shot from my walk to dinner. Not grainy!

Also, in other exciting news, people have been looking at my blog! I have no idea how this happened. I suspect that its because of some popular tags, like photography, but I don’t care! I’ve gotten a couple likes and comments which makes me so happy, but mostly its just seeing the numbers rise on the stats chart that gets me pumped. Take that tumblr, I know for sure that people are reading what I have to say now. Which I have to admit is still kind of weird…

I think I’ve figured out how I want to do this small things project idea. I’m going to write one every day but publish them on fridays with pictures I’ve taken throughout the week. That should be better I think. More interesting visually too. For some reason I don’t like the idea of a bunch of small posts all the time, and I think posts without pictures are boring.

On the less exciting side I’m been marking my face off today. I’ve been doing some marking for a professor that I worked for a while back. His classes are interesting and he pays me well. I don’t mind marking midterms so much, they are pretty straight forward in terms of whether students are right or not quite right. Its always hard and a little bit frustrating to have to write “almost there” and I wish that I could give everyone high marks for trying. I feel much differently about papers by the way, sometimes I feel like people are trying to stab me in the brain and have less patience for people trying because they had so much more time to edit, for example, and they could’ve talked to me in advance. I have a few more weeks before that becomes an issue though.

Also, I’m super frustrated over this contract I’m working on. I won’t get into much detail about it but suffice to say that the writing collective and the publishing organization are not exactly on the same page about it. Its hard for me because my work is being critiqued in particular. I think because I used to work for the publishing organization. I feel like I’m closing and locking a door behind me by sticking to my story, which is freeing and also really scary.

artsy restaurant shot

Back to nice things! I’m had a girls night out with some friends at a weird Scandinavian restaurant that opened recently in our neighbourhood.

It was a really nice gathering. My platonic wife Corrie, bff’s Silvie and Joyce. Its rare that the 4 of us hang out just us. We talked about all sorts of things, shared a bottle of wine, and tried to figure out what the hell was going on with the restaurant. The blackboard menus that all said different things, but that’s okay because it was unclear what the food was anyway (though I admit that its partially because my fancy food vocabulary is pretty small in french), the service was sporadic – they pour your wine but point out where you can get yourself water, and then disappear for hours.

The food was pretty good, though I still don’t really know what I ate….

my food. 3 small sandwiches. Good cheese and mush of different kinds. I think it was all vegetal, I gave up trying to figure out what it all meant and took a gamble.

Silvie's food. Salted salmon of some kind. She liked it, I thought it looked pretty

It wasn’t very much for kind of expensive. This place took over this summer in a spot that once held a really great dive diner that served a lot of classic quebecois food. I spent a lot of time wondering where all the people that packed this place constantly came from.

Not to say that I’m complaining, am I’m not tell people not to go there – the coffee smelled really good. I had a really nice time. I was just confused about it all. And I was hungry. I don’t deal with food confusion well when I’m hungry.

Anyway, the point of the night was partially to see each other and partially to celebrate Joyce’s recent passing of her architecture exam. So awesome! She was so studious in prepping for it, she was even reading all about it while we were vacationing at a gorgeous cabin this summer.

I would have taken pictures of my outfit but I decided that I’m frustrated with my hair and am going to wait until my haircut on Thursday before putting up any more pictures of myself. New blog, new look.

Joyce + summer + mechanical plumbing/electric systems. Fun times.