. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Friday, July 19, 2013

faith, hope, love...& courage

This blog has become an integral part of my art...and my life. Where my head and heart are is where my art begins and ends.

A few weeks ago I was prowling around the Groupies of Kim Klassen Facebook page, where I encountered Stacie Spencer, who had just made a lovely silver charm necklace for Kim, on behalf of the group. I decided right then and there that I wanted her to make something for Erin. After a bit of correspondence between us, I decided on a charm bracelet, with each charm being given to Erin from seven of her closest family members.

Faith - Grandma
Butterfly...Erin's favorite 'thing' - Kelly & Aaron (her sister & brother-in-law)
Hope - Me
Love/heart - Haakon (her fiance)
Kitty - Lillian: (their cat)
Courage - Dad

Erin loves her bracelet, and wears it all the time. Our hope is that she will find great comfort in 'our presence' with her on her journey.

I wanted to share Stacie's beautiful work with you all - and I was looking for a still life set-up for an assignment for Kim's latest class, Start to Finish. So I borrowed Erin's bracelet, picked some daisies from my garden and literally stumbled across 'Erin-bear'; I dug around in my collection and found this wonderful old doily with a butterfly embroidered on it......true serendipity all around!

Here's a scrapbook page I did for Erin a few years ago, with a favorite snapshot of six-year-old Erin and her beloved 'Erin-bear' (not staged, I promise!).

I played around with the still life set-up for quite awhile. I was after a shallow depth of field, with a focus on the bracelet, which I wanted to be 'tack-sharp." This was a challenge because the best angle, composition-wise was from the top...capturing the sweet vulnerability of the bear. It took about 40 shots - at assorted angles and f-stops before I got what I wanted. Lillian was lurking about, dangerously curious about my tripod, so Erin had to lock her in another room.

I made some adjustments in Lightroom...I can't remember just exactly what I did there, but as always I just follow my instinct and think of how I want the image to 'feel' - if that makes any sense. In this case I was after a fuzzy warm feel...that says 'precious and sweet.'

I was in the mood for some photo editing, and finally had some time to play, so I jumped into Photoshop for a bit of layering: kk_touchof-1 - Hard Light blend mode 14% and kk_1612 - Multiply blend mode 100% with a bit masked off via a radial gradient tool. I actually started with one of Kim's recipes from the Test Kitchen and took off from there.

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Start to Finish, and Beyond Beyond (I know...this little bear is a bit of a reach with the 'furry friend' thing; I look forward to practicing on Lillian soon...she is still getting used to living here, running off when approached).



  1. What a neat gift. Stacey's charms are wonderful ... I love your set up ... so very sweet.

  2. Fun furry baby, every child's dream and even some adults.

  3. I got bit by the Stacie bug as well... I love your blog and all your sharing of yourself and your art.

  4. I love this, and I'm so glad Apey likes the bracelet :3

  5. How wonderful Cindy. Great set up. A very special bracelet for Erin :)

  6. Love the set-up and the photos you created, but I really love the story behind your inspiration. I am another Stacy fan too. I wear her Faith charm around my neck non-stop.

  7. I loved reading all about your setup and it's awesome...The bracelet is beautiful and such a great idea...I think I am going to have to head over and check it out.....