Lights…Camera…ACTION!

 

Camera work.  For me, it’s an on-again, off-again obsession.

A lot of times, I get a satisfactory dose of camera work whenever I finish up a new chainmaille piece…after all, the thing has to be properly photographed and listed on Etsy.   Using the smart phone and a tiny tripod, it’s become semi-regular to set up the shot, frame, shoot, edit, and post – all from the comfort of my work station.

It isn’t often the Camera Muse stirs from her hibernation for purely artistic reasons – but when she woke at the mention of an event going on in Hales Corners – she REALLY woke.  Not only did she roar through my mind like a toddler hyped on sugar & the Muppets, she organized the other muses with more vengeance than the Greek Furies.  At one point, the whole lot of ’em were picketing the command center of my brain – DEMANDING I get my buns and the big camera to …

The China Lights Event.

Now – granted – it didn’t take that much persuading.   The China Lights event at the Boerner Botanical Gardens is a traveling display of Chinese Paper-lantern artworks.  These are brightly lit, intricate displays set against the velvet dark background of nighttime – My personal favorite when it comes to art photography…

The rest of the household?  It didn’t take much persuasion to get the kids to agree – they’re always searching out new and exciting things to look at – and with them being fire-spinners, night-time light shows are already a part of their psyches.

The SQO was less enthusiastic, but he was pleased to see the creative flows boiling over in me, so was ultimately happy to come with.

So the whole lot if us jumped in my Cheap-Jeep and off we went to the wilds of Hales Corners.

In retrospect- my use of the words ‘wilds’ may be a bit…off.  Hales Corners is a perfectly urban city-type population mass on the south end of the Milwaukee Metroplex.  The only ‘wilds’ are in my imagination…

Traffic was heavy once we got close.  Got even heavier once we saw the squad car with full party lights spinning blocking the entrance to the botanical gardens – announcing a full parking lot at the event and waving all us wanna-be light-show viewers to the side streets.  I managed to find a parking space about a half-mile away.

Here’s where I do an overt nod to the keto efforts of the summer.  I’ve lost some of my excess poundage, which has allowed me to be a bit more active.  I survived the walk TO the entrance, and the walk up the slight hill (another good half-mile) to the ticket booth without collapsing in a heap from the exertion.

The heavy traffic, the crowds, and the walking were totally worth it.

I’m sharing my favorite pics of the thing…

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D taking the time to stop and sniff the extremely illuminated flowers.

 

 

 

 

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These flowers look like they’re spilling from the basket.  This was set on a slight slope, so the basket is at the top of the hill.

 

 

 

 

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In case you were thinking ‘Botanical Gardens=floral displays ONLY,’ They didn’t JUST do flowers.  This zebra is sporting what can only be called a “Da Fuq YOU lookin’ at, Bro??” face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Or maybe the zebra was just upset because the pandas appeared to be having WAY too much fun on the seesaw!

 

 

 

 

 

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Of course – it wouldn’t be a China Light show without a resident dragon…

Here with D in the foreground for scale, and trees in front for a stained glass look.

 

 

We also had a detour into Holland, with various tulips and pinwheels.

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This has to be S’s favorite light sculpture…she’s been obsessed with praying mantis bu
gs lately, and she squealed in delight when we ran across this little guy.

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I think this one was my favorite – they had a walkway covered with these flower-forms.

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Here’s the whole gang (minus myself, who prefers to be behind the camera) under the flower-walkway.

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I’m fairly certain that the fan was their show-piece.  They had a little wood ‘stage’ set up in front of it for people to pose at.  D didn’t disappoint.

The fan deserved multiple shots…

As we were leaving the event, a bit footsore and a very sated Camera Muse in tow, I had to stop for one last shot.  This grouping was outside the ticket gate, in front of the Garden’s welcome center – and had a frog with, again, the ‘what chOOO lookin’ at’ expression.

Because it was ‘outside’ the gardens and not well-watched, D crossed the little rope ‘fence’ to get up-close and in the toad’s face.  Gotta love my Rebel 😀

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A Simple, Pretty Thing

This afternoon, I had to take the SQO to the airport.  He’s visiting a friend in Texas on a 4 day weekend.

 

On our way in – they had this sculpture thingie in the corner of the breezeway.  At first, we thought it was construction materials.  Once we got closer, we realized…

 

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These are HUGE face masks – the flag flying out the window is sort-of a scale measure…but to really nail it down, I’d guess they were about 6 feet across.

 

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There were three of them.  This translucent green one was my favorite…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And making it even neater, was the rest of the sculpture…

 

 

 

 

All three are stylized sailboats, crafted from some translucent material.  Too bad it’s an overcast day – I’ll bet these three are stunning in full streaming sunlight.

 

 

 

I also got a bonus when we were separating – him going to the x-ray machines and me watching from behind the glass (non-boarding-pass people aren’t allowed past this point), when D pulled one of my newest chainmaille creations out of his pocket.

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He wanted to let me know he was bringing a little piece of something I’d made with him on the trip.

Gotta love the man!!!!

Chicago has a New Problem

chicago-sears-tower-night-sauronI.  Hate.  Driving.  In.  Chicago.

Just needed to put that up front.  Because I’m just north of the Windy City – everyone I know occasionally goes down to Chicago for a weekend of partying, fine dining, touring, shows, etc.  It’s common knowledge ’round these parts that Chicago is quick to get to, and offers a lot more diversity and entertainment than Milwaukee.

We just don’t like to admit it…

Driving in Chicago, unfortunately, is neither diverse nor entertaining.  It’s closer to running the bulls in Spain – blindfolded, naked, and with both your kneecaps shot out.  I could write an entire post of things better than driving in Chicago, but it would take me the better part of a year…so I’ll behave myself.

You’re welcome…

The last time I girded my loins for the battle that is traffic on the Kennedy – I prepared myself with a quick run to Best Buy for a GPS.  I firmly believe he’s the only reason I managed to see Chicago from my rear-view mirror on my way to Ohio for a weekend of Wisconsin solidarity with a long-time friend.

My little plastic savior!  Long may you tell me where to go!

Naturally, the kids were up for a long road trip, so I didn’t have to do all that driving alone.  When we were coming back home after this weekend of alcohol and hugs and alcohol and tears and alcohol and music and, did I mention alcohol?  – we once again found ourselves in enemy territory with Chicago surrounding us on all sides.   From the backseat came the most delicious suggestion from my oldest son:

“Wouldn’t it be funny if someone ‘shopped Sauron’s eye in between the uprights on the Sears Tower?”

He may not have meant it as a command – but how could I resist?