Friday, April 24, 2015

Faerie House Raffle and other news

Greetings Everyone!

Where HAS the time gone?!  Soooo much to catch up on!

Where to begin? The first piece of news is that one of my Faerie Houses is going to be raffled off for a good cause; the Westport Public Library. Details of how to bid on this house will be available soon and I will post those details here when they become available. The library will be able to accept online bids I am told, so this is a great opportunity to try your luck and see if you can win this great prize. Details of the house, with lots of photos can be found by clicking HERE or by looking up at the header at the top of this page and clicking on 2015 Faerie House Raffle tab. Here is a photo just to see which house is up for the raffle:
As for other news... I've been wanting to improve my photography images for many years now and took some time this winter to acquire some new image processing software and am now beginning to learn how to use them. It is a bit of a steep learning curve but I am so delighted to see that at long last, I might be able to better show my work, especially when the photos are taken in full sun where there are deep shadows.  Here is a example of what I mean... in this photo 

you can see how the strong sunlight casts deep shadows and it is hard to see the details where the shadowed areas are. When I apply my new software to the same image, it is easier to see "into" the shaded areas, like this:

These low resolution images don't quite give the full impact of the differences but it really shows up when I get the image printed, so I'm really pleased to have this new set of tools in my kit. (More on this house in the photo in my next post). While this new software is great news, it means that almost ALL of my images need to be re-processed, at least those that would benefit from this new set of processing tools and those that I am needing to publish as cards or in other that has meant a LOT of work sitting at the computer learning the new software and processing tons of images.

     Adding to this whole new set of image management tasks, my greeting card publisher has gotten a new press and the new images are incredibly rich and dense. Unfortunately that means all my old image files that worked well on the last press now are coming out too dark. So I've had to work for over a month just on testing and re-tuning those files to get them to the point where they will print well again. Fortunately the good folks at Catprint are very patient and willing to run lots of proofs to get things dialed in better, but it has been more tedious work behind the scenes. Tedious but very necessary because now I've started gearing up for wholesale card orders and I need to trust that the cards will be perfect for every order. If you are a reader who is also a shop owner who wants to carry my greeting cards, please contact me so I can direct you to my wholesale page.

   Also on the "workplate" are two new potential projects that are very exciting but I can't officially talk about them till they are confirmed...but if they come thru, my Faerie house fans will be very pleased.

   I am now getting geared up to get new work done for the next Amber Lotus calendar and I'm already imaging some great new challenging designs for the green season ahead. We have had an incredibly challenging winter here, the second-coldest since they have been keeping records... but alas, it did not kill the ticks.. I was out a few days ago raking winter leaves out of my garden and came in with a hitchhiker....grrrr! 

   Next post I'll tell you about the house in the images above... it has quite a story that goes with it and some special features to share with you.

  And finally, this regrettable announcement:
     Due to the work load I have ahead of me I am not able to accept any more custom Faerie house commissions at this time. I'm sorry to disappoint those who may have been dreaming of one of my houses, but I must catch up and finish the ones already in queue plus attend to all the publishing projects that are still in the works (my Kickstarter book being one of them). So, with apologies to my collectors, this year is already fully booked. As a precaution, I've removed the custom Faerie house brochure that used to be available on my website and on this blog. I hate to disappoint people and I've been doing that a lot lately as I got further and further behind. I need the time to catch up. I hope folks will understand.

  I'm going to try and get back into the blogging habit...with all the image processing I've been doing, I've been spending a lot of time at the computer so my blog-writing has suffered...sorry!

Happy spring everyone! I hope it is warm and greening where you are or gently cooling if you live "down under".


Welcome to the enchanted world of Environmental art and Faerie Houses sculptures created by Sally J Smith. Here you will find photos of the artist's unique art-forms and hear some of the stories from behind the scenes as she shares with you her creative process.