Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Nikon 3100 + Diana Lens

I recently purchased a Diana lens with a Nikon adapter to fit on my 3100. The Diana camera is a plastic camera similar to the Holga, but introduced ten years prior. It is known for it's "dreamy" soft focus images.

To use the lens with the dSLR, you have to use completely manual settings. When I first got it, I tried it a bit inside, but didn't really get any kind of good pictures. This is a lens that likes a lot of light.

A few weeks ago, Rick and I had a nice Sunday morning with breakfast at a diner and an excursion to the Morton Arboretum. It was a gorgeous morning, but unfortunately, it hadn't been spring quite long enough, and we were lucky to find what I think was the only green on the entire grounds with this patch of daffodils.

The Diana lens took some great images. While it is obviously not a lens for every day use, it is a lot of fun when looking to get a different effect than normal and having some fun. It takes a bit of futzing with settings to get the right balance of light and the focus correct, but as I take more pictures, I'm getting a better idea of how things work.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Other Art: April (Armenian posters)

While in St. Paul last weekend, I stayed with my friend Kristi. Kristi is without a doubt, one of the most interesting people I know. We met in Armenia, the first time my family traveled there, and I was only 14. Anyways, I absolutely covet pretty much every single decoration in her and her husband's house, but these posters in the kitchen are my favorite. They're from the mid-eighties from what I can tell, and during that time, Armenia was part of the Soviet Union, so the text in the bottom left corner is in both Armenian and Russian. 

I think the bright colors are my favorite part of them, but obviously I also like the fact that they text is in Armenian. That just makes anything more interesting.  

I basically hope that when I grow up, my house will look as cool. Guess I have to go visit Armenia a few more times!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I kind of have a thing for buttons. I don't necessarily actively collect them, but I won't pass one up if offered the opportunity. (This is something I've inherited from my mother, she similarly collects them.) Right now my collection is mainly comprised of ones that are small, around one inch in diameter.

A sampling.

So, the other day, when I saw a kit called "The Button Factory" on the Chronicle Books website, (and there was a sale going on) I had to get it! I got it maybe a week or two ago, and it has been sitting around until I got a chance to use it. 

The kit and its contents.

Obviously, the premise of the kit is to make buttons. Fabric covered buttons, specifically. These are not like the buttons you'd make with an expensive button maker, but still cool in their own way. Luckily, I had some fabric to try it with. 

I was cleaning out my closet and grabbed some shirts with cool fabrics that were too small but I hadn't thrown out yet. And I have that awesome collection of plaid swatches from my aspiring fashion designer friend Michal Lynn

So, I went at it. It's a pretty simple process. You put the fabric in the light blue rubber circle, and then smush a button top in there too. After that, you press the button back in with the little pink cap deal. It worked pretty well, for the most part. I think on a few I used fabric that was a little too thick, and it was hard to get the bottom in there. Even in those cases, though, I just bent the edges of the button back in a little so it would fit. Worked like a charm. I'm actually pleased with the results. Obviously, smaller patterns worked best and the one shirt had way too subtle a design, and it doesn't show up real well. 

The final product!

All in all, a fun way to use up some fabric that otherwise would have been trashed! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I spent the weekend up in St. Paul, MN, because my sister had her junior recital. She's a music major and the recital was all her and amazing to listen to. I had not noticed that a) my little sister was all grown up and b) she is a wonderfully talented person.

I made her pose post-concert to take pictures.

I had a great time visiting and spending time with my family and friends and was sad to have to come back to work on Monday. Oh well. Life goes on.