iPhoneography: Fleeing the crime scene

14 12 2012

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Sceneofthecrime





Keeping time

20 08 2012

Our striped cat, Pixel, is always hungry. Always. A few days ago we caught him staring at the clock in the kitchen. This old clock is just the top portion of a grandfather clock that we found at an antique store in Cape May, NJ years ago. I told Michael that Pixel was just watching the clock in hopes that it would be time for another meal soon. He made his way up our “stair-step” cabinet and the following iPhone photos are the result. Lobo later joined in an attempt to speed up the passing of time.

Hey, maybe I can speed things up if I can move these little handle thingies forward.

 

Or maybe I can access them from behind?


Dude, I already tried that. It won’t work.





From the awwww files: brotherly love

8 07 2012

These are the two newest additions to our family—Pixel and Lobo. We adopted them from a cat shelter in late October and they are both about a year old now. Pixel (the striped one) was a runt when we got him—now his nickname is Hoover because he will eat everything in sight if you don’t monitor him. Lobo (Spanish for “wolf”) is 100% lap cat and we’ve learned that he is a Nebulung—a rare breed of domestic cat. I wanted to name him “JPG,” to compliment “Pixel,” but Michael favored “Lobo.” After eight months, our 12-year-old cat, ZenaB, still isn’t happy they’re here, but she has adjusted anyway. Pixel lets her rule the roost (all he cares about is food, really), but Lobo just pushes her buttons every chance he gets. Although they are not from the same litter, Pixel and Lobo are very close—which is a good thing since ZenaB ignores them most of the time! I shot this with an iPhone this evening.





Revisited: Sewing with Jasper

18 07 2011

We lost our beloved Jasper (aka Stripey Joe and Mr. Twitchy) in late October last year. He had been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and an enlarged heart two years earlier. While we knew the condition could be monitored and medicated, we were well aware we could lose him sooner than his normal lifespan. Even armed with the prognosis, how can one ever prepare for such a loss? We loved him fiercely for almost ten years and he is never far from our thoughts. He was my furry photographic muse. I still see him by the patio door in my studio, watching birds and skinks and squirrels, and I can still hear his terradactyl-like meow. While we still have ZenaB to spoil, there is something missing in our little family.

Originally posted July 18, 2010.

(Sounds like a reality show, doesn’t it?—like Project Runway, but with felines). I’ve been in a sewing mood since the 4th of July weekend at the lake and to date I have made three tablecloths, 33 table napkins and six table runners. Do I need more table linens? Of course not! Every time I start sewing, Jasper insists on joining me and nestling into whatever fabric is available. Hope you like cats because that’s all I’ve photographed this week. It’s been too hot to do anything outdoors! This evening, my friend Karen joined me at the sewing table. She was making the second of two pillow shams for her bedroom (and we were so brave—flying without a pattern—whoo hoo! Wild women!). In the second photo, Jasper is serving as her topstitching quality control inspector. While Karen sewed the sham, I pulled out the Sculpey clay supplies and made some large leaf-shaped buttons for the pillow closures. Now I just have to bake them in my clay-dedicated toaster oven, paint, and seal. If they turn out halfway decent, I’ll photograph them and show you the finished effect.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Too clever: Photojojo’s pet photography idea

23 06 2011

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I love my cat(s) and have photographed and blogged about them more than once (R.I.P. to my beloved Jasper). Nowadays ZenaB is my photography muse and she spends a lot of her time lounging on the carpet. I already have some ideas for cut-outs for her next portrait!

http://content.photojojo.com/photo-projects/best-pet-portraits-diy-backdrops/





Foxy on the fence

14 05 2011

This is my neighbor Eric’s cat, Foxy. She is a frequent visitor to our garden (but she still hisses at me if I get too close—never did change her attitude!). No matter, she’s still welcome as long as she continues to model for me. I thought about naming this post, “Cat on a hot tin roof,” but it’s really an asphalt shingle shed roof. And it’s been raining all day long, so it’s wet and definitely not hot. And technically she’s on the adjoining fence, not the actual roof—-so Foxy on the fence, it is!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





“We are not amused.”

14 04 2011

Nine-year-old BeBe is Brian and Shirley’s other cat in Austin, Texas. She keeps six-month-old siblings Lulu and Kato at arm’s paw’s length. Lest she feel left out during my impromptu feline photo sessions, I shot nine photos of her nesting on the microwave, one of her favorite spots. In all nine shots, she has the same expression—not one variance. My random intrusions did not amuse her, obviously.

SIDEBAR: To the left of BeBe is a botanical painting by Brian’s mother, Helen Loflin. She was quite an accomplished illustrator and painter and her artwork hangs in every room of Brian and Shirley’s home. She passed away three years ago at age 97-1/2 (she was adamant about always including the half part, Brian says).

KUDOS...to my fellow blogging/photographer friend, Teresita, for noticing that the illustration on the towel BeBe is sitting on looks a lot like Helen’s botanical painting. Good catch! Read Teresita’s blog at http://thepetalpusher.wordpress.com/.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Sure, it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye…

6 04 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Kato & Lulu (again)

5 04 2011

Brian and Shirley’s five-month-old kittens in Austin, Texas (If they wouldn’t have noticed them missing, I would have stowed these cuties away in my suitcase on my way out the door!)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Lulu & Kato

5 04 2011

Lulu (left) and her brother Kato are five months old and live with their humans, Brian and Shirley, in Austin, Texas. I flew into Austin on Thursday, March 24. Brian and I attended Joe McNally and David “Strobist” Hobby’s Flash Bus Tour 2011 on Friday (recap and photos to come—it was one fantastic day-long workshop!). I stayed with Brian and Shirley and had an event-filled, fun and informative weekend. Every night Lulu and Kato slept at the foot of my bed and made me feel quite welcome—and they were quite photogenic, to boot!

My week+ away was full and I’ll cover several events in future postings, including a recap of the energetic Flash Bus Tour 2011 workshop on Friday with Joe McNally and David “Strobist” Hobby (read Joe’s recap of the Austin workshop here); a wonderful sneak preview at the University of Texas campus of Dinomorphosis, the upcoming National Geographic film by filmmaker Jenny Kubo, followed by Dinosaurs in Living Color, a lecture by Dr. Julia Clarke, Associate Professor, Jackson School of Geosciences, UT-Austin; visiting the wonderful Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin to view the first photograph ever taken (1826)—by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce on his country estate near Chalon-sur-Saone, France (awe-inspiring for this photographer!) and see The Gutenberg Bible, one of only five complete examples in the U.S.; a grand tour of Austin the morning of Sunday, March 27 with Sonya, my dear friend/fellow graphic designer-artist/former college roommate (check out her adorable Bugs with Attitude in her etsy store here), followed by an afternoon photo excursion with her to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (my first visit there); then on to San Antonio to visit my family for the rest of the week (which included a fun wire crochet/beaded necklace class with my sister this past Friday—the process is actually easier than it looks and I’ll share our results in a future post—yeah, as if I needed another hobby).

From the “It’s a small world after all” department: Sonya and I reconnected as a result of this blog! She was looking for photographs of goats to use as reference in a clay sculpture project when her web search led her straight to my blog. I had just posted a photograph of cute goats in Nova Scotia. She saw my blog name and thought, “could this be my Cindy Dyer?” Indeed, it was! And the rest is history…

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Farewell to Pat Bryan, cat (and fish) sitter extraordinare

3 10 2010

Our beloved cat (and fish) sitter, Pat Bryan, passed away very suddenly on 9.22.2010, at the age of 58. He started his pet-sitting business, Cat and House, about a decade ago. He had been caring for our cats Jasper and ZenaB, Spot the pleco, and various goldfish for the past four years. He came very highly recommended by my friend Regina. Pat was as concerned for his client’s pets as he was his own (11 at the time of his death). The amazing people at Kingstowne Cat Clinic (where we take our cats) are arranging for foster and permanent placements of his cats. He took care of many of our neighbor’s cats as well. Last winter Michael and I were out of town and hired Pat to take care of the pets. While away, our area had a record 30+ inches of snowfall. The roads were inaccessible, so Pat walked miles through the snow to take care of our pets and others in the neighborhood. Now that is dedication! Even when I would warn him that one of the goldfish might not make it (suffering from one various malady or another), he still felt bad if it expired on his watch. Before each pet-sitting gig, he would ask, “no fish are gonna die on me this time, are they?” He also threw in garden watering and houseplant watering when we were gone longer than a few days. Everything living in our house thrived in his care.

I was out of town this week, so I couldn’t attend the outdoor memorial that Kingstowne Cat Clinic arranged this past Wednesday. My good friend Jeff was there and reported the following:

“It was a very nice event. The first hour or so was largely taken up by people telling stories about Pat, many cat-related, of course, but also all the other ways he touched their lives. My contribution was telling the story about how when Regina and I were trying to settle on a pet sitter, we had one that didn’t work out and met one or two who just didn’t give us the right vibe, but that when we met Pat we instantly were taken by what a nice guy he is and when Dusty walked up to check him out I said “if he licks you, you’re hired” (or something to that effect) and that moments later Dusty did just that, and we had a new pet sitter. I also mentioned that when I learned the lengths Pat went to get to places to take care of Lilly and other cats during the blizzards that I was not at all surprised and that I knew I had one kick-ass pet sitter (after that line I turned and apologized to the priest who was there for the service—that got a good chuckle from the crowd, one of many as there were a lot of very good, very funny stories that were told).

That priest did a very good job, and I liked how his sermon worked in themes about how people who deeply connect with animals tend to always be the really good people out there, and mentioning more than once that the best way to honor Pat is to take those things that were good about him into our lives and make ourselves better people, and as a result, be a real part of Pat’s legacy. He wasn’t too dogmatic or preachy, which I think we all appreciated.

Good turn out. And a ton of kudos to Kingstowne Cat Clinic for bringing it off wonderfully. Pat’s aunt mentioned that she arrived, she was bewildered and barely functional, and told how the Kingstowne folks, especially Randi, embraced her and helped in so many ways. They really went above and beyond.

I definitely got a bit verklempt during the proceedings and was very glad I could make it.”

On a memorial board to Pat, one of his friends posted this beautiful Native American Prayer:

I give you this one thought to keep,
I am with you still, I do not sleep,
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle Autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not think of me as gone—
I am with you still—in each new dawn.

Pat was infinitely dependable, endlessly compassionate, a supreme lover of animals, funny and a truly sweet person. I feel privileged to have known him and so very grateful that he loved our pets as much as we do. We love and miss you, Pat—Cindy, Michael, Jasper, ZenaB, Spot, and Goldilocks





Sewing with Jasper

18 07 2010

(Sounds like a reality show, doesn’t it?—like Project Runway, but with felines). I’ve been in a sewing mood since the 4th of July weekend at the lake and to date I have made three tablecloths, 33 table napkins and six table runners. Do I need more table linens? Of course not! Every time I start sewing, Jasper insists on joining me and nestling into whatever fabric is available. Hope you like cats because that’s all I’ve photographed this week. It’s been too hot to do anything outdoors! This evening, my friend Karen joined me at the sewing table. She was making the second of two pillow shams for her bedroom (and we were so brave—flying without a pattern—whoo hoo! Wild women!). In the second photo, Jasper is serving as her topstitching quality control inspector. While Karen sewed the sham, I pulled out the Sculpey clay supplies and made some large leaf-shaped buttons for the pillow closures. Now I just have to bake them in my clay-dedicated toaster oven, paint, and seal. If they turn out halfway decent, I’ll photograph them and show you the finished effect.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Marvelous Monday

7 06 2010

Jasper…lounging in his personal bed of crushed catnip and catmint. Does it get any better than this, Stripey Joe?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Rainbow connection

24 02 2009

My friend Carmen came up from South Carolina to join us for our Fourth Annual Chocoholic Party. She also volunteered to house-and-cat-sit for some friends who are out of town. They have two Maine Coon cats—Rainbow and Felix. They had both trimmed before Carmen arrived, so they weren’t as Maine Coon-fluffy as they normally are. They’re beautiful regardless! Rainbow is very outgoing; Felix ran from me as soon as I walked in the door. So, I got one decent shot of Felix before he bolted and over a dozen of Rainbow, who was happy to pose for me. I loved these two shots of her—bright eyed and bushy tailed in the first one, and “lady, I’ve had enough, one more photo and you’re toast” hooded eyes, Yoda-like shot.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

rainbowstaring





Rapt attention

4 02 2009

I shot this photo of Jasper on an ottoman in the living room during our May 2008 Garden Cub meeting. Weedette Regina appeared in several of the photos before this one and she was giving us a presentation on attracting birds and butterflies to the garden. I hadn’t even seen this photo until tonight. He looks mesmerized by Regina’s lecture, doesn’t he? Ooh, ooh, bring me some of dem birds. Oh, if I only had opposable thumbs, I’d be taking notes right now!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

weedettejasperatattention1





Kreepy kacti and kuddly kritters

2 12 2008

(Hey, if the Kactus Korral can take liberties on the spelling of their name, I should be able to do the same!)

Creepy cacti and sumptious succulents weren’t the only photographic subjects on our visit to the Kactus Korral. (See my previous posting here.) As soon as we entered the greenhouse, a small and elusive black cat appeared. We later discovered she was checking on her three tiny, six-week-old kittens. I discovered the kittens under a table and fell instantly in love! One was a calico and the other two were torties—one with a neat yin & yang stripe down its nose.

Plants and kittens…do I have to choose?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

kittensforblog





Alabama cotton field, Virginia sky

1 12 2008

While we were vacationing with Sue and her mother in Seattle this past September, Sue requested a commission for a painting to go over her mantel in her Huntsville home. She wanted something related to her new home state and her first thought was a cotton field landscape. A few weeks ago, I came up with some ideas and sent her some sketches via e-mail and this painting was the end result.

The 36×48 painting is done on gallery wrap canvas with acrylic paint. I haven’t painted in a few years, but as soon as I got started, it all came back to me. I don’t have an exact estimate of time, but the painting took less than 10 hours, spread over two days, to complete—although I was still touching it up the morning we left!

With the much-welcomed help of my dad and my friend Debbi, I was able to tweak several things when I got stuck mid-way. Debbi suggested adding more green to the foreground so it would complement the treeline. When I showed the initial digital sketches to my dad, he said, “That can’t be an Alabama cotton field. Where are the rolling hills and trees?” Dad grew up in Mississippi and Alabama and spent some time in cotton fields, so I took his advice and added trees and rolling hills. He also offered suggestions on how to make the foreground blend more with the treeline and sky so it didn’t look like two separate paintings, and to make the furrows not as dark and flat. I am grateful for their suggestions because the changes made for a much more cohesive painting—one that I was proud to present to Sue!

Toward the end, I still wasn’t happy with the lackluster sky and desperately needed a muse. On Friday, while I was out running last minute errands, the Virginia sky became my inspiration—I finished the painting that evening (in between cleaning the house, paying bills, and packing computer equipment, camera gear, and clothes for the trek to Texas the next day!)

After packing the car early Saturday morning, there was just enough room to slide in the oversized painting. It made the 10+ hour trip to Huntsville without incident. After we got back from lunch and shopping Sunday evening, I whipped out a 6×6 gallery wrap miniature painting depicting three cotton buds blossoming (it’s on the little easel to the left of the painting). Now Sue and Steve (and their cats, Matilda (pictured) and Pante (the antisocial boy) have a painting of an Alabama cotton field under a Virginia sky gracing their great room!

Learn how cotton is grown here. Click here and learn about Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin and a pioneer in the mass production of cotton. Learn about the origin of denim, what makes towels absorbent, how the t-shirt got its name, and other interesting cotton-related facts on www.cottoninc.com.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

paintinglorez





ZenaB’s turn

1 10 2008

Yeah, yeah, that’s the ticket. I’ll blame the cat on my inability to finish cleaning my office today! It’s all her fault. Wanna know how ZenaB got her name? Click here to find out.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Why you, I oughta…

31 12 2007

Two more of Emily’s rescued cats faced off this afternoon….I realize it’s not a terribly well planned shot (those point ‘n shoots aren’t much on capturing action sharply!), but you can still feel the tension, can’t ya?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

okcorral.jpg





Revisiting the stairs

6 11 2007

Finally! Today I was able to replicate the “Jasper on the Stairs” shot with our other cat, ZenaB …however, ZenaB (right), being a few years older, has a more suspicious, aloof and jaded look in her eyes than her sweet, wide-eyed, optimistic brother, Jasper.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

jasper-zena-stairs.jpg