Wine / glass carriers – woodworking

The latest wood project a wine carrier. For those that don’t know my other hobby / side business is making wood products. I like to make products that either my daughter, daughter-in-law or I sell. In December I built a couple wine/ glass carriers and they were still in the garage waiting to be finished. With the crazy winds of Saturday I needed something that I could do inside and finishing the carriers was just what I needed. But first I had to build another mountain frame for a print so I started with building that.

Work shop

I built the mountain frame and while the glue was drying I got the wine carriers out and cleaned them up to be stained. I LOVE this part!! This is when I get to go into the storage room under the basement stairs where I store my paints and stains and select the stain color. It is hard to select only one color so I picked out three colors (usually I pick more than I need so I can narrow it down by staining a piece of test wood) then I headed out to the garage. To me I feel that each item has colors that compliment it and colors that don’t.

Stain Time

The first color I selected I LOVED!!! It was a Minwax stain called Sedona Red that I fell in love with. It went so well with the rope handle they looked like they were made for each other. I got the first one stained then set out to do the second one. The second one I tried a couple stains till I found out which one I liked the best. The second one I settled on a stain from Minwax called Provincial as it reminded me of something from a old ship galley and the wooden handle just looked like it needed that color.

Both carriers looked amazing once stained. I finished up the carriers and let them dry over night. Sunday with the snow I decided that a photo shoot was in order. The good thing with having something to photograph and a warm house to do it in is that you can take your time and enjoy the process. I love shooting, looking at the items then doing more pictures. A snack in between is good as well!

Canon 5DMIV
Canon 24-70
400 ISO hand held
Lighting is diffused outside light and the dining room light.

Wine glass carrier
Wine & glass carrier
Wine / glass carrier
Wine & glass carrier

So the next time you find yourself with time on your hands thanks to the weather find something to photograph and make a day of it.

You know you miss your kayak when…

I never had a chance to make it out a lot this past year on the kayak but with the warmer weather and the river breaking up it is SOOOOO tempting. I wonder if you can get a kayak with onboard heat?

So far I cannot complain about the winter as it has not been that cold, but the wind is keeping me in a lot more than I like. Today I went to the Lethbridge river bottom to see what birds and animals were around and not a lot of anything. When I saw how much of the river was open I was tempted to toss a kayak in and see how far I could get. I know I have to be patient but it looked so nice!

A nice little run for the kayak
A nice little run for the kayak

Watching this piece of ice make the run down the chute had me daydreaming of when the warmer weather hits and I can get out. I am not one for huge rapids but I do like some movement. One of my favorite half day trips is from the water treatment plant in Lethbridge to Pavan Park. Not a lot of excitement but it is a nice length that I can sneak away for it and not have to rush. There is also a fair amount of birds and wildlife that is in the river bottom so taking a camera allows me to get a few images at the same time.

Oldman river Lethbridge.  Not a kayak but I can hope!
Well it is not a kayak but at least a piece of ice made the run!

More exploring…..

Planning for 2019 – my goals

So as 2018 comes to an end I am planning what goals I want for the next year. I have the same general items for each year that I am in business …

  • Improve my photography
  • Keep my website & blog up to date
  • Improve print quality and types of prints offered
  • Add more courses and workshops

But those are general and if I did not have them then there would be a big problem as everyone or every business should have something to work towards.

So what do I have to work toward? I have heard many experts say we should have three types of plans / goals in our lives. The first are the BIG ones, or the dreams. The second is the more achievable ones (medium goals) but still will require some work and the third is the easy ones. SO for the next year so far I have the following…..

Big Goals

  • Drive to the Northwest Territories
  • Drive to Ontario for the fall colors
  • Go to Churchhill to photograph the polar bears
  • Get out kayaking more
Goals -  get out for more camping

Follow my exploring here

Medium Goals

  • Upgrade my 70D’s to the promised Canon 7D mark III
  • Add a vacuum press to the printing department
  • Head back to the coast for a whale watching trip
  • Head to Jasper to photograph Caribou
  • Add more premade frames to my selection
  • Update some of my display prints in the studio
  • Build a copy center for artwork and get polarizing filters for lights
  • Market more of my nature / wildlife work

Little Goals

  • Clean-up the backroom and the attic
  • Clean up my camera gear, and organize
  • Get out shooting more
  • Organize the shooting room more
  • Update my outside sign
  • Switch out my main hard drive in the office
  • Build more specialty frames

I know that these will change but I like having things to work towards. On last years list was a major rebuild of my website and I FINALLY got to it with two weeks remaining in the year, but it feels great to have that mostly done.

So what is one of your goals / plans for 2019?

Newsletter back online

With the new website I am able to get the automation on the weekly newsletter to work. I hope 🙂

People on the mailing list will be getting their first newsletter using the new website today (Thursday December 27, 2018). If this works an update will be sent out every Saturday morning starting this Saturday as long as there are new blog posts to send out. On rare occasions I may send out an extra newsletter but as I am planning now it will only happen once a week.

Time savings

Using this system should save me over an hour a week from trying to do it manually. PLUS I don’t have to try and remember to do it.

Tell a friend about the newsletter!

If you know anyone that is interested in photography have them sign up at the blog or below. The more the merrier!

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Boxing Day Brawl

Went out for boxing day and came across a major brawl, could not believe how these two fought. The special was half price on a really nice bush and they both wanted it!

Alexander Wilderness Park

Canon 70D
Sigma 150-600
1600 ISO

Boxing day brawl
I saw it first!

It has been a good winter so far, a few crazy windy days but overall very nice. It is funny how the animals react to the weather. On windy days it is like all the animals moved out of the province or went into hibernation. A couple cold days do not seem to effect the animals, in fact they seem to like a few cold days. After a few cold days they change again starting to slow down and stay hidden more. Then once it warms up it takes a few days for them to start moving around again.

Boxing day brawl #2
I was closer to it

I didn’t want to put up with the boxing day brawl at the mall so I thought that I would head out to the river bottom and see what was happening. Not a lot of animals around, saw few birds, but the deer were everywhere. I wonder how the wolves, coyote and foxes do during a winter that is overall very mild. The deer look to be in really good shape as their food sources are not covered up like they were last winter and the winter before. If this keeps up the deer will be in really good shape come spring.

Boxing day brawl big hit!
It is MINE!!!!

Even our backyard feeders are not being used like they have been in the past couple of winters. Sure there are birds but not in the devouring herd like they have been for the last two years.

See more nature fine art prints in my gallery

Cold Weather Camping

Cold weather camping
Waterton Lakes National Park

I hear from many people that say you cannot enjoy cold weather camping. Well I am here to say yes you can. You do need to make a few preparations when it turns cold but it is possible.

You really do not need to put your campers and camping supplies away come September like so many other people do. In fact with more months of cold in Canada then warm you should head out and try some winter camping so you can keep using your camper. With a few preparations you will be all set to make memories in the other 8 months of the year!

Make sure you do your research and prepare for emergencies. You will find that when others are bored at home you will be enjoying those long nights sitting by the fire or in your camper.

Here are a few tips to make it more enjoyable, it is in PDF format as there ended up being a lot of information. Feel free to share the link if you like.

Cold weather camping tips click here for the PDF

If you are a photographer you will also find that the winter gives you a lot of opportunities to shoot. Opportunities that you would not have at other times of the year. Long nights and less air pollution allows you to take amazing night pictures, from Astro images to painting with light. Add to this a warm place to warm up and you may find you get addicted to winter shooting!

Cold weather and astro photography

If you always wanted to take some Northern light pictures then winter is the best time for this as well. Long nights give more chances to get the perfect image. It also seems that the winter makes the aurora a lot more active. So get yourself in your camper and head out to a dark sky area like Writing on Stone. Writing on stone is open all year for camping with power plug ins it is like being at home.