By Doing…


It’s getting near that time…  yes Christmas too, but I’m looking even a little further ahead… to when we make all those New Year’s resolutions… and, if we’re lucky, by this time next year, we may actually accomplish one or two of them.   Just like the ones I published here four years ago (  I’m so glad I stopped to check because the original draft of today’s post was almost a complete duplicate… with one exception.

So looking back (to 2011 and probably every year since then) and those photography resolutions, they were rather generic (and safe) resolutions, the kind you see on blog’s everywhere as the New Year approaches.  And to think I almost posted them again…  But in reality, I’ve actually  succeeded at many of those resolutions since then.  Seems I forgot just how much and with how much enthusiasm because the majority of my year(s) is spent being a mom, a wife, a medical transcriptionist, and…  So the photographer, well, she gets what’s left of those little snippets of time here and there.

So you would think that with so little time, I would make the very best use of it… you would think.  This is where a whole new resolution comes in and the only one this year, well, at least as it relates to my photography/art/creativity.

The resolution: I will stop comparing what I am not doing as a photographer/artist to what all the other photographers/artists/instragrammers/bloggers are doing.   In what started as a fun social media community of inspiration has actually turned into a nasty little… habit… no more like a compulsion.  Whew, I think I’ve caught myself in time…  I get that most of what I see or read comes from individuals/communities where this is a large part of their everyday life… for whatever the reasons such that they’ve made it their career, they’ve already had their career and now have the time and opportunities to pursue their interests more fully, or maybe it is that they are just so much better organized the me.   My reality, my days (and some nights) are full… but I can do a lot better on how I spend what spare time I do have.  I’ve actually already started the weening process (like turning off all those social media notifications), but it has not been easy.  More times than not (out of habit) I open that iPad or hop on my smart phone and “check in” and before I know it…  I’ve used up my free time and have nothing to show for it.   So, the goal for the New Year is instead of opening the iPad or turning on my phone (while I’m having breakfast or lunch, or while dinner is cooking, or just taking a break when I get those little snippets of free time) ~ except for when a blog post hits me ~  will be to open my coloring book (yes! it has finally arrived) Coloring-Studio or to read a little of the Artist’s Way and use the journal, and! I’m taking on a 365-day challenge… because underneath it all for me is the photography and everything it brings.

Anyone know of a good 365-day challenge?  Or maybe you have a photographic/creative resolution for the New Year to share?  I’d love to hear it…

So I have 19 days, 16 hours, 26 minutesGet your color on and 30, 29…. seconds (or even less…assuming I actually post this when I’ve written it) to start!   And who knows, maybe between all the Christmas shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating…. I might find a snippet of time,  before my head hits the pillow….

“What one does is what counts. Not what one had the intention of doing.”
― Pablo Picasso

Until next time, wishing everyone an enlightening and creative 2016 (why wait)!

It’s not too late…

Baaa, have you heard… Maria’s going to be a Doylestown Art Fest this weekend…baa

In case you missed me at #PaxsonHill this past weekend, I’ll be at the #DoylestownArtFestival this coming weekend on 9/12 & 9/13… I’m not even going to unpack the car.  I will be setting up with some of the finest photographers  in the area, as part of the Pennsylvania Center for Photography Booth #66, on State Street.   Hope to see you there!

Until next time,

Art In The Garden 2015

Paxson WayPaxson Way

Happy September… did I really just say that?  Where did the summer go?  But all is good!  Because this weekend 9/5 & 9/6 from 10:00 to 4:30 it is…

at Paxson Hill Farm

Nestled in the quaint countryside of Bucks County, Paxson Hill is a beautiful backdrop for this event.   As you stroll some of the gardens & pathways, you’ll find artisans of all sorts ~ photography, jewelry, pottery, wood working, painting, and much more!  There are many photographic opportunities too… Paxson-Lillythe picturesque pond and animals (some typical, some not so typical)… Paxson turkeys

I always keep my camera on hand just in case I get a break in the action to tour the gardens ~ like last summer’s purple cosmos (above).

I’ll be there again this year with some new works that I am really excited about.  The forecast looks great for the entire weekend… a perfect note to end summer on.  Hope to see you there!

3265 Comfort Road, New Hope, PA

Until next time,

If I had to pick… just one

I ❤ (heart) summer

Who doesn’t love summer… right.  There’s nothing like a lazy summer afternoon, warm breeze blowing and a refreshing summer brew to help cool you off… perfect actually to sit and write a blog post 🙂 … if only it were always that easy ~ as that moment has passed and now two, now three days and what seems like a thousand (but only 11 last count) edits later 😉

That is probably because my thoughts for this post have been all over the place… hmm, maybe because so has my photography and all that goes with it.   On the plus side,  I’ve been taking a lot of photos, continuing to learn my camera, learning new techniques for both in camera and post processing ~ using new textures and filters, and experimenting…  So, finally picking at random, one topic out of that mish-mash of topics above to blog about, I thought I’d share how this DIY lightbox that diy-lightbox I found in my dad’s basement led me to a favorite new tool (for now) ~ an LED light pad.

A favorite technique/effect of mine has always been the result from back lighting flowers (or just about anything that is somewhat opaque)The-Little-Things and the lovely shapes, color and lighting that come with it.  Unfortunately, mother nature is not always very cooperative: too windy, too bright, too cloudy, too… well, you get the idea.  Trying different light sources (a flash or a window) in the “studio” has not been all that successful either… close, but just not quite.

So I dusted off the DIY light box.  Unfortunately, the bulb, which looks something like a doughnut, gave off only enough soft bright light in a very small portion of the frame.  But in this very small space, I saw the effect I wanted to achieve… getting closer. diy-lightbox-with-text

The next challenge, to get that light source to fill the entire frame.  Thinking I could just repurpose the box I had,  I asked Google, which turned up a couple DIY light boxes (too complicated/technical for me) and some manufactured ones (mainly used for viewing negatives and $$$) and a link to a photographer’s post (thank you Denise Ippolito) and how she used a light pad …and as it turns out, the key words in all of this were LED and pad.  There it was… an artist’s tool, something used mostly for tracing by tattoo and graphic artist.  This had so many pluses – adjustable brightness, super slim (i.e. super easy storage), maneuverable, and $ compared to $$$ – I chose the Litup (click on image for link) – and most important a continuous even bright white light that fills the frame.  I’ve only just started using it, but have so many ideas for this simple little device… and without all the too this or thats.

the-light-withinFlowers from my garden ~ the heart of flowers above and this trio are floating in water in a clear glass bowl on the light pad and processed with just a touch of Topaz glow.

Til next time,

Grand Opening

There’s no time like the present (rather cliche I know), as I check off another calendar year, to start a new venture {of sorts}.  This year, I have decided to set up shop! Not the bricks and mortar kind (… maybe someday), but one that has just as much potential to succeed… if I treat it as such. Drum roll, please…

studioM logo_girlie

 is now OPEN on ETSY!!!

This has actually been more of a challenge that I anticipated. It is one thing to post and share images here on my blog or on my website, but to sell your product, your art, yourself… in the very competitive world wide web… that takes a wee bit more planning… or so I am finding out.

Here’s a sample from my shop

delicately-purple    purple cosmos product shot purple cosmos canvas wrap close-up

After some poking around, it wasn’t hard choosing Etsy as it offers a platform where I have control of the complete package… from creating, to printing, to the very last detail of packaging & shipping… and all my personal touches in between. I equate this to being very much like the art fests and fairs – they provide the space for me to set up a 10×10 white tent, just like all the other 10×10 white tents, and it is up to me to transform my tent into my own unique shop, make it stand out, and get people to stay a while and take a look around.  This is also one of the most enjoyable aspects of the arts fests, getting to interact with those that visit.  And this is my challenge on Etsy… accomplish this with just a one-sided conversation and written words.

So here it is start of a new calendar year, yes, my birthday, and I can’t think of a better day or way to celebrate than to announce  my


I hope you’ll check out my shop,

Til next time,