Friday, May 22, 2009

Photo Post Friday - Crassula perforata

Short post today, some interesting pics I took of a Crassula succulent in my garden in Oakland, CA. I think it's a Crassula perforata, but I could be wrong. I'm trying to catch it from different angles, and in different light. I plan to eventually enhance the pictures a little and post them for sale on Etsy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Home Idea Wednesday - Teeny Tiles!

I found this company, Teeny Tile, a while ago, from an Apartment Therapy blog post, I'm sure. The idea is simple, you send them a picture, and they print the picture onto a 2"x2" tile for you. At $5 each, you probably wouldn't want to tile your entire bathroom with these, but I think they would be great to use as personal accents in a kitchen backsplash or tiled bathroom. My fiance might come home one day to find some secret squirrel tiles installed in the kitchen... when we eventually get around to buying a house :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Awesome Etsy Find Tuesday

Today I wanted to share the shop nervous system with you. I found this shop quite a while ago, and I always thought their jewelry was amazing. It's a little large and out-there, but so beautiful and scientific, in an abstract way. Here are a few of my favorites:

Undergrowth Earrings, $50

Filament Necklace, $85

Radiolaria Necklace, $75

*All images property of NervousSystem

Monday, May 18, 2009

Flower Post Monday

Today's flower post is a hyacinth we found at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum. It's not quite the same as some other hyacinths I've seen; the pistil/stamen is very different, and has a really cool star in the center. The shot didn't come out perfect, and there are some strange shadows, but overall, I like the feel of this image. It just gives me a summery feeling, interesting since I took the picture in March!

Just a side note, one of my original prints, the succulent with water droplets, has been featured in this week's PandaWithCookie EtsyVeg blog post. Check out the post, and all of the other EtsyVeg photography that's being featured.

Panda Picks: Crafty Creations from Etsyveg Members

Friday, May 15, 2009

Plant Photo Post Friday

For this post, I'm going to show some of the experimental work I've been doing to my photos lately. I love taking detailed, realistic photos, but I've also been curious about modifying interesting photos to make them more striking.

I took a (not-so-exciting) photo of a spiral aloe and did some image processing steps in a free program I use for scientific microscopy image manipulation called ImageJ. I think the results came out kind of cool, and I think they're more interesting than the original picture. I'm displaying them here from "cool" to "hot," and then I finish with the original, unretouched image. I'm thinking of offering these modified photos as a series of four, so let me know what you think.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Treasury Bumper Crop!

I just wanted to say, holy crap! I'm stunned. I just found out that I'm featured in 5 Etsy treasuries today, and an alternate in two others. I've never been featured in this many treasuries before. Thanks so much!

I tried to upload the pictures of the treasuries, but that seems to not work very well, so I'm going to post links to them. Check them out and click or comment if you have time!

Lavender Mist, by Windyscreations
Waiting to be Found, by KimsCraftyApple
Mojave Sunrise, by CatLudwigStudio
Soothe Me! by pleasurearts
Life on Etsy 2, by redsofa

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Home Idea Wednesday

I can't believe it took me this long to figure out a Wednesday theme. I'm mildly (moderately?) addicted to Apartment Therapy blog, and since, in theory, the fiance and I are going to buy a house sometime this year, I thought it would be great to use Wednesdays to post some great resource or new product for the modern home.

*The Living Wall* or vertical garden, as it's sometimes called, has been popping up in a lot of design and home blogs lately. I love the idea, and although I'd love for people to buy my nature prints to put on their walls, I'd also be happy if my prints were neighbors of these living walls. The idea is simple - you get a shallow, large container that can be hung on a wall (or some type of shelf system - I've seen that, too), and fill it with plants that can be securely attached to the container or shelf. I bet it would be great in a bathroom or entryway. I would love to do it with lots of small succulents, or ferns. Definitely going to try it when we get our own house.

Apartment Therapy vertical garden post
Apartment Therapy Living Wall post
WikiHow "Make a Living Wall"
Shelterrific Living Wall post
Living Wall Photo Gallery

Also check out this Etsy Seller's variation on the living wall, the living wreath. Really pretty!

Living Succulent Wreath, by SucculentDesigns

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Awesome Etsy Find Tuesday

Octopus's Accident Pillow in Blue
, by WonderThunder

I've been loving this pillow for a long time, and I'm *almost* ready to buy one. As soon as a little bit more of my discretionary income starts flowing in, that pillow is mine. Maybe it's supposed to be geared toward little kids, but my fiance and I have a great love of cephalopods, and this would be a great addition to our home. The seller, WonderThunder, also has really cute prints, and pillows in other designs. Check it out!

New Photo Post Monday (sorry, Tuesday!)

I was very busy at work yesterday, and since my home laptop is currently nonoperational, I was forced to wait until today to post the new flower photos. Sorry for the wait! These are really nice tigerlilies, I shot this image at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden in April. I modified this image and posted it on my Etsy page; however, looking at this image, the Etsy print might be unrecognizable! I'm working on doing different processing steps to my images, in the hopes that some strangely processed images will appeal to a new group of people on Etsy, and maybe I'll get my first sale! Let me know if you like it, hate it, or much prefer the original or the spooky modified version.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Photo Post Friday - Plants!

This is an image of a pine tree at the UC Berkeley Arboretum, right across the street from the Botanical Garden, up in the Berkeley Hills. I really loved the filtered light that day, and the way that it cast interesting shadows on my images, while still giving them amazing sunlight for vibrant colors. I think I'm going to post this as a print on Etsy soon, so you may be able to purchase one in the near future :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fun with Science Thursday

In addition to being my birthday (!), it's also "Fun with Science" Thursday. In my Thursday posts, I'm going to discuss the more interesting parts of a current scientific development.

Today's story is the latest development in the continuing saga of the "Flores Hobbits." These are unusually small hominids who lived in Indonesia tens of thousands of years ago. Scientists are having a difficult time figuring out where these hominids fit into the scheme of human evolution, because they don't follow the prescribed time/space pattern that has been established by hominid bone discoveries in Africa, Asia, and Europe. The newest developments, from two groups that published their work in the scientific journal Nature, highlight that Homo floresiensis is even more confusing than before. Here are the links to the news blurbs from Nature and NYTimes; if you have access to Nature (from a university or library, for instance), I also encourage you to take a look at the primary research articles.

One of the problems that scientists have with the Hobbit bones is that the skull and foot sizes do not "match." It's been thought that skull size increased as hominids evolved, to allow for larger brains, and that the size and shape of the foot evolved at a proportional rate, to allow upright walking and running. These hobbits appeared to have almost human-sized feet, but those feet were very primitive and may not have supported walking; despite the large feet, the hobbits had extremely small skulls, comparable in size to chimpanzees'. Thus, they don't fit neatly into the "timeline" of human evolution. The two groups take the same foot and skull evidence and come up with two very different conclusions about the evolutionary identity of the Flores Hobbits. One group thinks that the Hobbits are relatively highly evolved, but are victims of "island dwarfing," a phenomenon where animals confined to islands are under selective pressure to reduce the size of some or all of their body parts (Weston and Lister, 2009). The other group believes that the Flores Hobbits may not be dwarfs, but may be much more primitive hominids, and may not be ancestors of modern human beings (Jungers et al., 2009).

I took a class at MIT about human evolution and paleontology, and I left the class more confused than when I entered it. People want to believe that humans evolved in a neat continuum, and that branching groups of hominids, who were sort of "human-like" but did not "turn into" humans, were a very minor occurrence in evolutionary history. This seems to not be the case, and the Flores Hobbits seem to provide support to this idea. There were lots of groups of hominids that share features of human beings, but for one reason or another (usually bone structure or skull size) are thought to not contribute to the homo sapiens lineage. The best known example of this phenomenon is the co-existence of Neanderthals and humans in Europe until around 30,000 years ago. Another example, better known in paleontology fields, is the group of Australopithecus species, many of which are not thought to have evolved into Homo sapiens.

I think that the existence of these non-human hominids is a really great way to highlight the fact that evolution doesn't have a "goal." All primates are not on the path to becoming human, and Homo sapiens may not be the "optimal" hominid species; it was just the one that became dominant at some point in the distant past.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Awesome Etsy Find Tuesday

This Etsy artist, Jon Carling, is one of my favorites. His drawings are so unique and interesting, and beautiful in their own way. As soon as I get some more cash in the bank, I'm totally going to buy up a bunch of his stuff! This one in particular, Land Owl**, really speaks to me in a way I don't understand. Love it.

*Update: This item is no longer available, but there are a lot of other really great drawings at his Etsy shop.

**Drawing/Image property of Jon Carling.

Monday, May 4, 2009

New Flower Post Monday

This was shot at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum. The vibrant purple color is amazing, and the shapes of the flowers was really unique. I love the way the vines created a bridge of flowers across the field of view. I think the plant was called "Mini Ha Ha" or something silly like that. I'm still trying to figure out the scientific name of the plant. Enjoy!

P.S. I'm also featured in one of EtsyVeg Blog's posts: Panda Picks. Thanks Pandawithcookie!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Blog Post Organization

I'm going to start organizing my blog posts into daily categories, both to force myself to post on a regular basis, and to provide some structure to the blog in general. Here are my daily categories:

Monday: New Photo Post - Flowers
Tuesday: Awesome Etsy Find
Wednesday: Lovely things for the home
Thursday: Fun with Science
Friday: New Photo Post - Plants

We'll see if I can stick to the plan...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Yay Oakland!

This isn't a photography post, but I just saw that NYTimes featured Oakland, CA in their "36 hours" travel column.

Check it out! They missed most of the awesome Oakland sights, sounds, and smells, of course, but they did manage to feature the Morcom Rose Garden, which I used to live *right* near, and which I love. That's where I first started getting interested in nature photography, by taking pictures of the huge variety of roses, irises, and other assorted flowers.

So check it out, and feel the Oakland love.