Handcrafted Butterfly Porcelain Ornament

This is one of the special ornaments that I have on our tree for the past few years.  It’s a gift from Hospice of Catawba Valley and inside it read ‘In memory of your loss’, it was for my mom who passed away in January of 2007.

It came in a small brown box and when I opened it I saw this handcrafted butterfly porcelain ornament inside.

It came with a some info and they have a website, hoovenandhooven.com.  The paper read that this handcrafted porcelain ornament was created by the mother and daughter team of Coille and Molly Hooven. It is made entirely by hand because porcelain shrinks 20%, it is extremely temperamental.  The clay is first rolled into a thin, flat slab.  Each ornament is individually cut out and embossed.  The drying process alone takes several days and many careful steps, each one perfectly timed. Then the porcelain is fired to 2400 degree Fahrenheit, hotter than any other clay, and becomes translucent .  Fourteen steps take place before this piece is packaged for its journey to you.

If you hang the ornament to a window, light will shine through its intricate design. And thank goodness it is sunny today and I was able to capture these images this morning. They have so many neat pieces and it would make a great gift for the holiday so check out their website to see more handcrafted porcelain ornaments. I brought this one to my dad today, and have to look for another one similar to this one.

Click to view large image

Printing Laos Memories

It has been awhile since I blogged, I’ve been busy working on putting a Laos Trip photo album to share with my family.  I’m glad that I didn’t try to tackle it right away since I have many editing to do and I didn’t know how back then. I had very little knowledge several years back. I purchased my camera that year and understood very little about composition and forget about composing an image, I was mostly pointing and shooting and glad that I got anything decent back with me. It has been almost 3 years and my chance of returning back to Laos is very slim since my aunt passed away last year. I’m glad that my dad and I had a chance to see her again even if it were for the last time.

I shot in Auto Mode back then.  The camera did a good job in selecting the correct setting for me.

Learning how to straighten an image came in handy and I’ve learned this not too long ago.  This picture was not straight when I took it and I had to do that a lot with my Laos photos.

The cropping tool is something that I learned way back.  This original image lacked a focal point since everything looked so small, I didn’t have a telephoto lens back then. This was taken from the top of Patuxay Monument.

A closeup cropped of a Lao Ladybug. I guess you can call her Nangsao buc in Lao language, but there is something contradicting about the name since Nangsao means lady and buc means man in Lao.

So far I have printed over 1,000 photos and only tackled the first week of our trip, still 3 more weeks to go.

One of my sisters already asked for big print of Wat Xieng Thong.

I have several pictures of myself that I can tell people that I have visited Laos.  My dad took this for me, and it didn’t come out too bad minus the tourist couple in the background.  I didn’t hand the camera to him as often since he almost dropped it several times. I had the Canon XTi with the EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens back then.

I printed what I took regardless of beauty since the memory is precious to me. If I don’t update my blog as often it doesn’t mean that I have abandoned my blog, my 5 year anniversary of blogging is actually next month.

Random Thoughts and Random Photos

Sometimes it is hard to tell from an image if it’s day or night.

Manual, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, f/8, 1/40sec, ISO 100, focal length 200mm, white balance cloudy, evaluative metering

Sunrise or sunset

Manual, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, f/8, 1/30sec, ISO 100, focal length 200mm, white balance cloudy, evaluative metering

If you are living the life that you really want, and only to find out that this is not for you. Perhaps you already wore the clothes that you were meant to wear.  I know, at least you can say I’ve been there and done that.

Aperture Priority, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/5.6, 1/20sec, ISO 3200, focal length 70mm, exposure bias 0step, white balance auto, evaluative metering

I do long for hot summer days.

Taken at Biltmore Estate in June 2010

Where the flowers are everywhere.

Taken at Biltmore Estate in June 2010

Because everywhere I turn there’s very little color.

Manual, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, f/5.6, 1/200sec, ISO 100, focal length 200mm, white balance sunny, center weighted metering

It’s Saturday morning, and I’m making my favorite dessert, Coffee Grass Jelly.

Manual, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, f/5.6, 1/4sec, ISO 100, focal length 122mm, white balance shade, center weighted metering, tripod mounted

Then Lee and I visited my dad in the afternoon, and my second sister made a Jelly dessert also.

Manual, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, f/5.6, 1/400sec, ISO 1600, focal length 154mm, white balance shade, center weighted average metering

My mom orchid is in bloom, there is another shoot coming out from the top as well.

Manual, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, f/5.6, 1/13sec, ISO 100, focal length 75mm, white balance shade, evaluative metering

Natural lighting does wonder for indoor photography.

Manual, EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens, f/5.6, 1/15sec, ISO 100, focal length 159mm, white balance shade, evaluative metering