The fall colors are beautiful and I know all my photographer friends are planning their fall projects, if they haven't already started. The bright and most beautiful colors are still a couple weeks out for me, but I got a jump on it with this super simple DIY crown project. I can't wait to shoot with it.
Right now the craft stores are brimming with fall colored foliage. You can find most of what you need in the floral section, but for the crown itself, you can get what you need right outside your door. This crown used the following:
1. Sticks- bendable, pliable sticks . You should be able to bend them without breaking them. 2. Twine or floral wire 3. Floral light string LED with the little tiny battery pack.
4 fall foliage floral picks 5. Hot glue and glue gun. 6. silk leaves 7. bobby pins, empty floral picks, or just plain wire.
Step one: Make the base of the crown.
Use your sticks and weave them together, lashing them with your twine or floral wire. You may hot glue them in several spots to make the crown more secure. Not too much though, or you won't be able to add your decorations.
Step Two: Weave your LED wire around the crown, with the battery pack at the base or the back. Secure with wire or twine. Hot glue will melt the wire, don't use that. If you want the lights to stand out more, you can wait until you've added your decorations, but it is more work to weave it in and keep the wires from showing. For my crown, I just wanted a hint of fairytale glow.
Step Three: Demolish your picks and make your filler leaves. The floral picks you bought are probably little bits of leaves, raffia, fake pumpkins and random bits held together by floral tape. Tear them apart and toss the bits you don't like. I threw out the stupid fake pumpkins and gourds but kept the acorns and baby pinecones. I also liked the little berry looking things. Make your filler leaves into picks by hot gluing several leaves to a bobby pin, floral wire or pick.
Step Four: Stick your picks, leaves, and random bits into the holes between the sticks on your crown. You can make your crown as full or as spare as will suit your needs. Hot glue where needed to secure, or lash with floral wire or twine. Keep in mind where the "back" of your crown is and where the battery pack will fall when on someone's head. You can always add more leaves to fill it out after you're done and they work well to hide any of the wire that might show through.
Step Five: Upload your finished work to my facebook page so I can see your beautiful creations! I'll feature my favorites and shoutout to your business pages.
I was discussing a recent photography triumph with my friend and co-worker the other day, An image I created made the front page of a magazine! (Details on that later...) After congratulating me and letting me get my giddy excitement out, he asked "So, what did they pay you for that?"
My heart sank. Just like it did earlier that day when my mother asked the same question. And just like it did every single time I told someone my exciting news after that, and they all asked about the money.
No, I wasn't paid for that. But what an amazing accomplishment for me and my model to be FRONT COVER of a magazine?! How can I explain to people that at this stage in my art I am just excited that anyone even LIKES it, let alone wants to publish it.
Why is success always measured in terms of how much money we make from our efforts? Why do our achievements have to be lucrative? Why isn't it okay for me to just bask in the glow of my victory and savor the sweetness of mild and temporary fame?
Art is my passion and it's my hobby. Why does everyone always try to find a way to make money at something, it degrades it, and drains every ounce of joy from the process to have to worry about whether or not it will pay for itself in the long run.
Do you golf or garden or play tennis or hike? How often does anyone ask you if you've made any money at it yet? How often to people say "Oh, You won your match? How much money did that make you?" Or "WOW! You hiked the Appalachian trail all by yourself? NO KIDDING?! WHAT DID YOU GET FOR THAT?"
You might argue that I spend a lot of time and money on photography, but to that I would counter "You spend money on the things you like to do. Do golf clubs not cost quite a bit? Do you get paid every time you play?"
Since the question seems so important to people, I will answer briefly. Yes, I do make some money. Mostly from Getty and Arcangel, some from print sales, and some from selling props I don't need anymore. Not enough to pay the bills on it's own, but it helps pay for itself anyway. Since everyone is concerned about my income, I'll add that I work full time. I make more than enough money to pay my bills and buy the things we want and need. But even if I didn't work, why wouldn't I be entitled to have a hobby I love? Why aren't we all? Why do we put ourselves up to impossible standards of wealth and success?
Think about the accomplishments though- and please try to remember this when you are talking to someone else about their beloved hobby. I mean, for pete's sake- I have work hanging in a gallery!! I have several images published in magazines! I have a freaking picture of mine as a book cover!! WOO HOO! I'm stoked about all that. I'm wildly happy with it. I'm OVER THE FLIPPING MOON about it. So why would you degrade my accomplishments by asking if I've made money yet? I guess by your standards, I'm a failure. But I don't see it that way. I'm pretty happy with where I am.
In a wild universal coincidence, I stumbled across this article about famous authors and artists who refused to quit their full time jobs, because they didn't want the pressure of having to create their passions for money. It's an interesting read and I find myself in admirable company.
I've made no secret that I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Personally, I feel that by talking about it openly, I can help other people who may be suffering in silence to feel less ashamed, and to hopefully seek the help they need. Asking for help when you need it is a sign of strength.
In case you hadn't noticed, I've been a little missing in action for a while. On the heels of my exciting news and gallery showing, I suddenly found myself unable to deal with everything going on in my life.
How sad, that after being honored with a spot in the Main Street windows at artlink, I couldn't even bring myself to be excited about it. In fact, I could barely bring myself to go through with it. I haven't even been to see my own showing yet.
When you suffer from Bipolar, you can experience highs that make you feel invincible. There are short periods of time when I feel like I rule the world. But then there are the lows, and those can make everything seem awful. And sometimes, there are even deeper episodes of depression that make living day to day nearly unbearable.
So much happened this summer that I should have been excited about, there was so much life that went by me that I missed out on. A whole summer, wasted. Time that I can never get back.
I implore each of you, if you think you may be suffering from any kind of depression, to please seek help. Depression is a thief, and if left unchecked, may even rob you of your life. If you already have been diagnosed and are still learning to deal with it, my advice is to learn your triggers, and avoid them if you are feeling weak. Learn what makes you feel better, and cling to that. Take time for yourself, and get plenty of rest, eat well, and keep company with those who don't drag you down. Talk to people when you need to. And it really really helps to remember that it isn't real. The thoughts and feelings are shadows. Not truth.
My Fellow Fine Artists
Tammy Zurak of Z Photog Studio | Memphis, TN, USA | Fine Art/Illustrative Photography Gallery:
Pam Korman of District Photography | Philadelphia, PA, USA | Fine Art Photography:
www.bonniealrifai.com Fine art photography
Handy Andy Pandy