I was a Guest Blogger! (plus, Contest Winner!)

Sounds like a bad reality TV show, but in fact it was a really fun and eye-opening opportunity provided to me by photographer Katrina King. She's taking a break from blogging (yes, the horror!) for Lent and has invited others to join her in contributing to her site. Check out her entire blog, and then view my guest post here!
In fact, this was so fun I might continue the theme.

"The Gathering Storm"  by Emma Newson

More exciting news....I'm the proud Valentine's Day winner of a new photograph print by photographer Emma Newson of the UK! I was so surprised when she convo'd me this morning on Etsy to tell me about it. My favorite print of hers, "The Gathering Storm," (above)  is being shipped to me now, coming all the way from Europe. Woo hoo!  Learn all about Emma and see her gorgeous photography blog, Emma in Wonderland!

Starting the Weekend Early!

Surfboard Fence
Originally uploaded by maryvican

I'm off to Southern Rhode Island to see what I can see, just me and my camera. No schedule, no rules, no self-criticism, ...Happy Weekend!

Affordable Art with Real Meaning

There are countless websites, home decorating magazines, and home stores hawking overpriced artwork. Pieces that were inspired and took hours of work and thought and planning don't have the same appeal to me once they're ubiquitously found in every cookie-cutter home catalog. Worse, much of the artwork I see at home decor chain stores is badly framed, sometimes not matted, or matted with unflattering colors. It takes a very unique eye and your own personal touch to create a piece that's going to coordinate with your house and the feelings you want to evoke. Lastly, who wants to have the same dull art as everyone else within a 3-mile radius?

 I love trolling through Etsy to find original, incredibly unique and really, really outrageous stuff. And at the end of the day, I'm able to purchase most of what I like for myself, because the artists and crafters I follow have fair pricing and a wonderful product. I've purchased several prints now from fellow fPOE team members, and opening their work and seeing it in my home is so rewarding- I feel a real connection with both the artists and the work. And I feel like it's special because I had a communication directly with the artist, conversations, emails, and signature on my piece. How many people who shop at chain stores and mega marts can say that about their artwork?

Art and photography is emotional, it can be life changing, it can open your eyes and change your point of view. And it should be something that everyone can afford. From a buyer's point of view, saving money is important. I want to be able to offer original works of art that don't cost ridiculous amounts of money, but whose prices reflect my efforts, and those of my fellow photographers. Efforts which include: the time, research and shopping, cost of software, cameras, equipment, computers, ink, photo paper, custom orders, shipping, packaging materials, labels, tuition, and for many artists, heart and soul.

For all of those variables, I believe my prices- starting at $5- are incredibly affordable and fair. I love that someone would take the time to look at something and have it speak to them in a way that they MUST own it! The feeling I have when someone purchases from me is incredible. I encourage everyone I know to create, create, create and put yourself out there and see what happens. Sometimes, I feel exposed and vulnerable, what with my full name on my Blog, my Etsy, and my Flickr- and my ramblings and photos for all the world to see! But it's amazing on so many levels.

PS....all the work above is available on my shop and super affordable!

Happy Day!

Berries and Buoys


Berries and buoys, I love them both. Just put the last one above for sale on Etsy. I'm hanging mine in my screened in porch. I have the actual buoys too, dangling off my mantel, and on my porch. But for the amount above, I'll let someone else do the collecting!
As for the berries, most of them lately have been near dead or frozen- but I love the way they look, entangled in branches, holding on for spring. Sort of like me. :)

Scenic Rhode Island

I was so excited when I discovered this website today from photographer Tim Linden. 

Tim writes that, among other things, it's his goal to photograph some of the great hot spots for photos in our little state. He'd shot beautiful scenes in lots of our towns, all of our lighthouses, and various yearly events including our Quonset air show and artsy summer festivals. Sometimes, I just can't get away, so I'm trying to learn more about what I can take great photos of when it's impossible to travel. As I learned last year when times were tight, sometimes it's nice to play tourist in your own town, state or region! And in doing so, I've discovered some of the most simply pictoresque scenes I've ever come across.

Local places and events I've discovered in my quest for photos:
  • Pequotsepos Nature Center, Mystic, CT
  • Audubon Society, Bristol, RI
  • Sachuest Wildlife Preserve, Middletown, RI
  • Cliff Walk, Newport, RI
  • Rhode Island flower and garden show, Providence, RI
  • Cape Cod- all of it, Massachusetts
  • Historic Downtown, Wakefield, RI
  • Breachway, Charlestown, RI
  • Port of Galilee, Narragansett, RI
  • Great Island, Point Judith, RI
  • Mohegan Bluffs, Block Island, RI
Here's an oldie but goodie, the Newport Bridge. To me as a child, it was thrilling to be able to drive over the water and skim under the surface of the white arches. Now I know that if it's a clear day and if you look eastward, you can see Block Island in the distance.

I'm excited to say that since I got my new camera, my weekends have been filled with the joys of discovery and the awesome feeling of gratitude that I live in such a beautiful place! I can't wait to find more and share all of them.

Beauty in the Forgotten

What happened to the people who lived in this house? Were they driven away by the last recession? It sits lonely and abandoned, and just a little haunted, across from a normal, residential neighborhood in Connecticut.

No driveway. No cars. A few "do not enter" signs posted haphazardly on the front shingles, their red and black standing out harshly against the soft faded shades of decrepit wood and window.

I'm sure people were staring as I shot away on the front lawn-  but there was something beautiful about this place, with vines and branches growing over it and into its broken windows, and the kind of windows they don't make anymore, and its open field softly rustling with long, haggard grasses. Not exactly etsy-selling material maybe, but interesting.

Weird Signs

As much as I love the beautiful, the serene, the breathless gorgeousness of a fresh pure snow scene or the incredible warmth that seems to radiate from the paper of sunny day shots...I'm oddly attracted to funny signs. Weird signs, old vintage, falling apart signs, signs that are spelled wrong, words written in the dust on the back of cars...and such. So here are a few of the ones I've collected. (many, many more- but I'll save some for later.)

Now, many of these were shot in Maine, which some of you may guess, based on the lobster pattern...

Here's a colorful one from Charlestown, Rhode Island. I love how the words "around the corner" actually go...around the corner.

Next we have the Middle of Nowhere Diner. Located along lone Route 3 in West Greenwich, Rhode Island. It's ntot pretentious, it doesn't scream "great food" but yet locals will know by the words below that it won best breakfast in our regional mag, Rhode Island Monthly.

I came upon an old, circa 1960's fire truck parked on the premises of a campground in Chepachet, Rhode Island a few weekends ago. I love its distressed surface and faded red color, and I love that it's the number 1!

Yep, that about sums up the philosophy of Bar Harbor, Maine, a gorgeous coastal town along the shores of Maine's Downeast coast.

Look carefully. At the flavor of ice cream offered right below "Ginger" (which is odd enough, but it sounds refreshing.) Personally, I remember having 3 scoops, one each of mud pie, smores, and cheesecake.

Looking for a Babi- sitter? Look no further! Score.

Del's frozen lemonade is a New England summer delicacy. Their motto is "stop at the sign of the lemon". I love these colors and the lemon graphic on the side of one of their ubiquitous lemonade trucks. It has a vintage feel to it, I only wish I had removed the website from below the lemon.

I do have a collection of funky signs too. The ones that catch my eye from afar are colorful, a little retro feeling, and kitschy. Signs like this abound in Cape Cod, where restaurants and touristy shops cater to families trying lose their cares like they did in summers past (and to entertain children, of course!) I plan on organizing more flickr sets based around these funky words and signs. How fun!