Franktown Creek Waterfall Toiyabe Forest

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Franktown Creek Washoe Valley Waterfall

Franktown Creek Waterfall

When you mention Nevada and its terrain, most people think of hot, dry, flat land with desert-like plants. Well, that picture above is a couple miles from my house in Washoe Valley near the Toiyabe Forest. Almost in my backyard. 

My son and I made the trek to it the first spring I lived here. Not a bad hike, but unfortunately not one I’ve been able to repeat since my hip was injured. It is a beautiful area with several types of wildflowers. Not a dry, dusty patch of ground anywhere!

Even though the trek to the waterfall is out of my reach I can still enjoy breathtaking views (and not a single casino!) in Northern Nevada:

Toiyabe Forest Washoe Valley Rainbow

Washoe Valley Rainbow

Preserving Dandelion Fluff

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Preserved Dandelion

Preserved Dandelion

Ever try to bring a large dandelion fluff into the house past a 130 pound rottweiler that thinks it should be his? Or at the very least thinks he should ‘lovingly’ smell it and lick it and breathe in its goodness? It’s not easy ladies and gentlemen! Luckily I had spent some time with it and a can of hairspray before picking and transporting it inside so I at least had a fighting chance..

The dandelions in Washoe Valley are the biggest and prettiest that I’ve seen. It is rare for me to find one fully intact though. Our area is known for being very windy so I was extremely lucky and very happy to find this one.

I’m far from being an expert on preserving these, this being my first, but if you would like to try all I used was an aerosol hairspray. I imagine that an art fixative would work, but I used what I had.

I sprayed from about 4 inches away at first in short spurts, as if it were a can of spray paint. Once I had a very light coat on it I moved in closer. I probably put four coats in all, including spraying underneath. After it dried I carefully snipped the stem.

I have no idea how long it will last, but while it is here it makes me happy!

Playing with mannequins

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Oval Coin Pearl Necklace

Oval Coin Pearl Necklace

Since I have no live models on hand, I decided to order a couple mannequin variations to expand the type of product shots I could offer. This particular one was meant to be for earrings, but since the partial torso I ordered in ‘fleshtone’ arrived in a severe sunburned flesh color, this one is making due for necklaces in the meantime.

This shot and the following one (very messy desk edited out!) were not meant to be kept. Basically, I set the mannequin in a window, aimed and fired. There was just something about them that made me to decide not to delete them. I never get this lucky. A professional photographer is shuddering somewhere I am sure, but I am happy with them!

Silver Twisted Double Hoop Earrings

Twisted Ring Sterling Earrings

Raising chickens (even if only the clay kind)

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Sea Glow Fused Dichroic Necklace, Mary Williams Designs

Sea Glow Necklace

Some of the items I use as photo props come to me from family members (thank you and keep ‘em coming!!) and I’m always willing to add to my ever-growing stash of “oddities and endities”. When searching for a suitable model for my new Sea Glow Necklace my eyes drifted to this wonderful chicken sitting in my kitchen. Perfect! I took probably 20 shots until I had the shadows and glow that I was looking for. As it was, the wind blowing the trees outside the window provided a lot of different shadow effects.

The chicken was part of a gift from my son and his wife and of course the first thing I thought was “How cute!” and the second immediate thought was “NEW PHOTO PROP!”. I love the glowing teal of the glass against the chocolaty color of the hen.