Photography

Photo Adventure feat. Krystle Miller

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Long before I purchased my first DSLR, I was shooting black and white film on a 35mm camera with Krystle alongside me inspiring my creativity. The ongoing photo adventures we would embark on, always brought out new discoveries about myself as a photographer. We are unable to go on as much now that we lived in separate states, but when we get together, the cameras come out. If I can give any advice to new photographers out there, it’s to get out there and have an adventure of your own!

This past Thursday we wandered into a nearby hiking trail/park area, and captured some much anticipated magic. Taking turns every couple of exposures, her shooting me, me shooting her. You can find her photos of me here!

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I love this location! There’s endless photo ops in this forest-like haven. The photos below would be a great place to take someone’s engagement photos down the road.

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Until next time…

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Uncategorized

Journey to the Poppies

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This week I finally had the chance to run away for a few hours and visit the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, CA. The super-bloom has almost come to an end, with most of the wildflowers gone, and a few patches of poppies left gracing the earth with their warm orange glow. Thursday morning there wasn’t a large crowd of people to navigate through, and it was just all open fields. More images can be found on my Flickr!

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The winds were extreme, it made it very challenging to enjoy a steady walk through the trails. I also had trouble reviewing my photos, and had to wait to peek at them until we got back to the car.

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One of the reserve personnel was pointing out how the poppies were, “going to seed” If you look in the photos below, you can see the sort of pink base with a green stem shooting out. Hopefully we get enough rain again this year, so that they will all rise from their slumber and bloom again next spring.

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Dreamy

Who doesn’t want to fall asleep in the poppies and dream like Dorothy?

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Sewing

My Etsy Shop

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Hey everyone! Yes it’s true, I finally started my own Etsy shop! It’s very minimal as of right now, but it’s slowing growing. I have a few different bowties (shown below), and just recently added the new coin purses. Each item is handmade by yours truly. I am looking into expanding the shop with true vintage items and accessories. Please share with your friends and family, and stay tuned for more to come. Hopefully I will eventually merge my Etsy with this site, so everything is in the same place, but – baby steps. Appreciate all the love and support!

 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/purplerampart

 

 

Love this beautiful blue cotton fabric! I had remnants left from a blouse I made, and just had to make them into these little beauties. There are 4 available now!

I am on the hunt for more of this fabric, because it’s just so lovely. Japanese print, with blue and red rabbits on it. Very subtle. It’s all cotton, and I only have 2 of them!

I originally made one of these in a regular bow tie (not pre-tied) version for my boyfriend’s birthday a few years ago. I surprised him with a trip to the Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA. This bowtie was such a fun touch to his suit, and he has worn it so many times for various other occasions. He’s got the only grey version to this blue one shown below.

 

Coin purses! These are very time consuming to make, but so cute! Each of them have different color beads in the clasp handle, and are made with a thick cotton fabric – usually used in home decor or furnishing. It’s very durable on the outside, with soft linings on the inside!

 

Thanks for checking out my new shop, and please favorite it if you have an Etsy account, so you can stay up to date with my new products that launch!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/purplerampart

xoxo

 

Ciara.

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Photography, Sewing

Happy 3rd Birthday Gianna!

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My little love turned 3 on February 6th this year. I didn’t get to fly out to Arizona for her birthday last year, so I made sure to make a quick trip for the weekend to attend her 3rd birthday party. With her obsession of monkeys, I also decided that sewing a fairy-princess-monkey skirt would be all too appropriate for her celebration day. Found this adorable fabric, and matched the red toadstools with the red tulle underskirt and frilly trimming.

The party was held at the Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek, AZ, the perfect spot for this 3 year old’s love for outdoor play, and trains/”engines”. We had picnic area 2, and as soon as we arrived at our picnic spot, little Gianna was running in circles yelling out in joy, “it’s my birthday party!” so cute.

First up was glitter tattoos! Miss Gianna picked out a fairy, and my favorite color! Of course I had to get one, so I had Gianna pick one for me…she insisted we had matching tattoos.

Some friends and family started to arrive! Carrlee and Gianna started with a shy hello, then held hands like best friends and took a walk together to see the peacocks!

 

Time for a train ride around the farm!

Pizza time!

Off to the petting zoo! We saw the chickens, and a giant bull, and also got to groom some of the friendly billie goats! She was timid at first, but after my sister showed her (Gianna) there was nothing to be afraid of, she grabbed a brush and said hello to mr. goat.

Jumping was way too fun! Maybe too much, because we had to take a break! Giant pillows that had all the kids bouncing around like monkeys! It was challenging for me to sit on that pillow and take photos and stand my ground from all the jumping kids!

Time for a carousel ride!

Hayride to feed “Santa’s Reindeer” was my favorite part!

Note to Gianna:

Happy 3rd birthday to my little monkey, Gianna! Can’t wait to see how much you grow this year, and to all the memories we will share together. I’m glad I was there to document the day, so you can look back at it one day a long time from now and remember how much fun it was to be 3!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sewing

Sewing Adventures-The Gift of Aprons!

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This past Christmas I decided that I wanted to make gifts instead of buying them. I thought…it might be more affordable, more personal. I love sewing, I love being able to express my creativity through creation! I had recently made my own vintage style apron I flaunted off for Thanksgiving. After Face-timing with my family who went crazy over my apron, my mind was made up. Aprons for Christmas it would be! I used Simplicity patterns #1221 in styles A, B, and C!

If you know anything about my family, we are big Disney fans. So I immediately went in search for Disney printed cottons. Amazon had a surprisingly good selection of quilting fabrics, and with the 2 day shipping, I was grateful it spared me a trip to Joann Fabrics, or the DTLA fashion district. Tinker bell was perfect for my mom and her sister’s. I used a softer stretch cotton/poly blend for the pocket and the ties. I also added a nice gold bias tape for the edges to give it that magic touch.

I really wish I took a photo of the Sleeping Beauty inspired apron I made…I used all different hues of blue (dark and light) with a gold trimmed pocket. I used bright pink thread for the whole thing, as to give it that “Make it Pink/Blue” effect. It was styled like the white apron I was wearing on Thanksgiving, without the wavy trimming. Ideally I would have set up my photo backdrop with a dress form, but I just ran out of time!

For my sister’s apron I wanted to do something special. I used pattern style B on the Simplicity 1221. A solid yellow for the skirt, and this adorable seven dwarves pattern for the pockets…to top it off, a red ribbon tie for a signature snow white red bow look. I still have some of the dwarf material left, I’d like to do something with the remnants in the near future.

 

 

Until my next sewing adventure!

 

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Photography

My First Wedding…As “Photographer”

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Weddings are a beautiful thing…and everything happens so fast, if you stop to blink you might just miss that perfect photo-op moment!

I have avoided photographing weddings for quite some time now…due to the high physical and emotional artistic demand it requires. Maybe some (photographers) may think differently, or maybe it’s only because I haven’t shot weddings, but the way I work is a little different than others.  My brother in-law has been pushing me to try and shoot weddings for a while now too, but I alway explain to him my hesitations…and how as an artist, it’s just very stressful!

Well I finally caved in after I was approached by a friend of a friend who asked me to shoot her wedding at The Castle Green, on November 11, 2016. Congratulations to John and Kelly! Also, thank you for trusting me with your wedding photos.

(See more images on my Flickr!)

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It really was a lot of work. If you are questioning photographer’s rates for your wedding, I would really stop and think about how much value good photography is worth…personally I think it’s the most important aspect of planning a wedding (but I am a bit biased as the photographer of course)…I don’t think people at the wedding are thinking about it, but the photographer is right there with the bride from start to finish (depending on how long you hire your photographer to be there of course-but I didn’t want to miss anything) and has to basically turn into a photo journalist for what feels like about 12 hours (not including the editing process)! I felt like a photo making machine/energizer bunny, going going…you get the picture. Finding it hard to run away for a second to keep myself hydrated!

I was very fortunate to have been able to hire a second shooter to capture a handful of photos while I was distracted with other things…I feel like when you are new to wedding photography or even in the long run, having a second shooter is vital. Although, after a dozen times, I’d personally want to take a run at it on my own.

(See more images on my Flickr!)

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No matter how many photos I looked at for reference, or inspiration, or youtube videos I watched to try and better prepare me for the day of the shoot, I knew it would only come together when it was time to take the photos. I tend to work more organically, finding the art within the moments, and that’s why I had a little bit of a struggle at first. I did have my bride create a shot list of images, so at least I had a personal guide if I got stuck on the timeline, I could prepare myself for what was coming up next for photos, or what I had missed.

Sifting through the many images, I seemed to gravitate towards mostly the unplanned images as my personal favorites. I hope that as time goes on, perhaps I might have more opportunities in wedding photography, maybe as a second shooter, so that I can gain more of a feel for it all in general.

(See more images on my Flickr!)

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(See more images on my Flickr!)

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Poetry

A Nightmare Together

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Lying in bed falling into a deep depression for which I thought we were unified. Seeing now how the deep hatred of this country has embodied itself into one MAN. Not out of diligence, but of fear. What good can become of such sickness? I feel the world shifting beneath my once steadily beating heart, broken into a million pieces that now float above our heads. Only time can put us back; ToGetHer.

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Photography, Poetry

Hourglass

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I live in a house where all the clocks read a different number, where time is uncertainty. The only constant is that clock, ticking each minute away; every second another breath cycle we create without an inkling of our last. Forget not what you know, but what you don’t. Remembering the years I spent breathing for you. 1:52a.m.

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Photography

The Goldstein Family-Beach Photoshoot

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It’s not much of an easy task when you are photographing a family with small children. Well, perhaps just families in general…the bigger the family the more directing and attention to detail. Trying to get at least a few good photos where the children are looking AND smiling at the camera, is a rarity…and even the adults sometimes. It’s about making beautiful images with what you have available to you, no matter the circumstances.

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I’m certain that as the years go by, photos for this family (my sister!!!)  will just get keep getting easier, because I know that I’ll be taking photos of my niece indefinitely. They’ve put me through a few challenges so far, and I find myself trying to make the best of the harsh light situations and whatnot, but we always find a way.

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When you’re photographing your family, it’s hard to set a strict time, or “make an appointment” for the shoot. This makes finding that perfect time of day for photos obsolete…ish. Since I’m mostly working around my sister’s schedule for the day, it is rare that we can get the photos done during that golden hour, or before the sun is in it’s highest point.  I’m usually visiting when I’m asked to bring my camera along, and so we just act on spontaneity.

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This beach shoot was taken on the shore of Margate City, NJ. We planned on shooting later in the day, and that quickly turned into the middle of the day, when we noticed an overcast sky creating a perfect obstacle for the harsh sunlight. As soon as our feet touched the sand, there was not a cloud in the sky, the sun was beaming…and everyone was dressed and ready to go, so there was no turning back. Racing to the shade, I found photographic refuge under the pier…which gave me the relief from the harsh conditions.

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After Gianna (my niece) became a little too fussy (she just wanted to play in the sand already), we wrapped up the photo session and changed into our beachwear to enjoy the most perfect beach day (also my 1st) of the year!

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Arts & Crafts, DIY

DIY Silk Magic Garden Terrarium

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I had been having trouble keeping different plants alive inside my bathroom terrarium for a few reasons, but mainly not much light, not much airflow (no opening to let in air) even for low maintenance air-plants. I hate to keep fake plants, so I thought why not make my own little fairy garden/magic meadow terrarium?!

I picked up some moss, silk flowers/filler, a cute little bird, and a small nest at Michael’s crafts.

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There’s this baking clay (sculpty clay) you just mold and bake for a few minutes and let cool before painting, It’s very easy to use, and comes in a variety of colors. I bought two packs of just plain white, and only used a fourth of the packet. My mushrooms got baked a little too long, but it ended up looking more like a real mushroom because of it (there are no mistakes with art).

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before clay was baked

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After clay was baked…you can see the little browning on the sides! I even made little lady bugs! I might end up glazing the lady bugs with some clear nail polish, to give it a shine.

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I had so much fun with this. It makes me want to create more elaborate pieces for friends and family perhaps for the holidays??? Sometimes we just need to take a step back into elementary school art class and remember how much fun we had creating something to bring home. My mom and sister still have some of the little trinkets we (my sister and I) made for her.

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I had this little butterfly hanging around too that I decided looked cute in there too. Also I re-purposed one of my candy jars as a second terrarium garden. This is before I added the ladybugs and mushrooms. I used just basic acrylic paint…about 2 to 3 coats on each piece.

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So cute how they came together! I just need some pixie dust now or something. One is going in my living room and the other being hung back up in the bathroom, but looking much more adorable now.

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What would you put in your magic terrarium garden??

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