Saturday, December 6, 2014

{Prioritization}

How do you juggle the things you want to do vs. the things you have to do?  My "must" list seems to grow longer by the day, while my "want" list remains stagnant.

Photography began as a creative outlet during a difficult time in my family.  But it switched from a hobby to a passion seemingly overnight.  I would meander through nature with my camera in hand and escape the challenges I was facing.  It was therapeutic to say the least.  

Hibiscus
ISO 500 ~ 60mm ~ f/4.5 ~ 1/50 sec
© Corrie M. Avila

When I moved from Washington, D.C. to Florida, I worried I'd be lacking in things to photograph.  Little did I know that jobs would fall in line immediately to allow the pursuit and completion of other professional goals that had been on the back burner.  Sadly, now I am left without the time or the energy to spend with my passion and creative outlet.

Is one goal and dream better than the other?  I don't think so.  But until I can come up with the million dollar idea that combines all of my many passions, I will continue the daily struggle of balancing my wants and needs.

Capturing the Moment

Corrie <3

Sunday, October 26, 2014

{Trash to Decoration}

One of our favorite things to do is meander through the local hardware store.  I like to check their remnant wood section for quality wood at a great price.  Since I often can use irregular cut wood to make things, it is a perfect fit for me.

This particular evening, I found a trash can next to the remnant wood area with about 5-6 tall pieces of wood sticking out of a can filled with other "garbage."  I pilfered through it and removed some of the best pieces and then went and asked the first employee I could find.

The conversation went a bit like this:

Me:  I found these in the trash can, are they trash?
Employee:  Well, if they were in the trash can, they must be trash.
Me:  If they are trash, can I just have them?
Employee:  Um.... sure, I guess, if you want trash.
Me:  Great!  Thanks!!  Will they let me walk out of the store with them?
Employee:  Here, I'll write a message....

"OKAY RICK FREE"

Me to my husband:  "Guess what??? I just got this wood for free!!"
Him:  "I can't leave you alone for five minutes, can I..."
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Segway to my project...

I planned on making a sign that resembled a fence.  I used a miter saw to cut down the pieces into  seven even slats.  You could also use a handsaw if you do not have a miter saw.   


I then used two additional pieces of wood for the back.  I screwed them in and then applied wood glue (I would recommend doing this step in the reverse direction!)  I used the cement blocks to weigh down the pieces as the glue dried.


Below photo is what the back looks like.



Once the glue is dry and the pieces are intact, it is time to paint.  I used a few light coats of black spray paint and then sanded it a bit to distress the wood.


I cut out this circular design from my Silhouette.  You could easily use anything as a stencil though.  I then used an off-white spray paint over the entire sign.


My initial plan was to use a vinyl stencil that had a really nice fall saying on it.  I was having trouble having the vinyl stick and after a few attempts, I went to plan B.  I used painters tape and the reverse of the cutout to block off the entire outside.  I then used chalkboard spray paint on the center.  I had to do a few coats to get it to be a nice solid coat.  


Make sure to let the chalkboard paint set for at least 24 hours before writing/drawing on it.  Had I known I was going to use chalkboard paint, I would have sanded it down more in the center.  It is a little rough when writing with chalk on it.

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Took my two little guys out for some photos.  They had fun and were "mostly" coopertive!

ISO 400 ~ 70mm ~ f/5.0 ~ 1/200 sec
© Corrie M. Avila

ISO 400 ~ 56mm ~ f/4.5 ~ 1/250 sec
© Corrie M. Avila

We just changed up the sign today and had fun writing everyone in our family... 

Instagram Photo
© Corrie M. Avila

It is a great multipurpose decoration that can be changed for the mood or season.  It is also great for a prop for photo shoots.  Best part of all, it cost me nothing as I already had all the paint on hand and the wood was free!

Capturing the Moment <3

Corrie