Monday, October 11, 2010

Video & Photo Session, Gulf Shores, & Shrimp Festival

As many of you know, my husband I traveled to Mississippi to be here when my mother had heart surgery scheduled for this past Thursday. The surgery has been postponed and we're waiting to see if the doctors will do it this week. In the meantime we are just spending time with my family. Friday afternoon we took a little time to take some photos of my brothers race car. Lewis took some video while were were there, too. This is just a bit of what was happening.

On Saturday, we went to Gulf Shores to the Shrimp Festival.  I didn't take a lot of photos there, but I did take a few on the beach.

Greek Salad.  I'm not sure what all was in it, but it looked delicious.  If we had stayed longer, this would have been my second lunch.

I enjoyed walking in the crowd, listening to the amateur talent on stage in the background, and getting ideas for projects while moving through the Arts & Crafts and Fine Arts booths. But the beach and bit of fresh gulf air is always relaxing and the best part of any trip to the beach.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Auto Racing Sponsorship & the Drama of Pit 18

Last weekend, my husband and I spent the day at Dover Speedway photographing a car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The following is an excerpt from the article my husband wrote and a couple of photographs from the day. Please follow the link at the bottom of the excerpt to go to the complete article.

      The story began as a note on Facebook. An old acquaintance contacted the Desk through one of the Desk's former bosses. A sponsor of a Nationwide Series car was looking for a photographer, and the Desk's wife happens to be one (see link to her site at end of part 2). The resulting email exchange involved submitting information to NASCAR for credentials that didn't come through until Friday afternoon for Saturday morning. Something "far beyond" the "last minute", but it worked!

      The primary goal of the mission was to get some good photos of the sponsor's car with their logo on the hood, in action if possible. The second reason is... well, this. The Desk promised the lady at the sponsor that it would write it up as a photoessay and mention the sponsor several times!

Well. OK. Here goes.
      The sponsor was (links at end of part 2 to outside entities and to the Photo Pages). had purchased single event advertising on Jeremy Clements' number 04 Impala in the Nationwide series 200 mile race at Dover from, for Jeremy's first run at the Dover track. Did I mention that the sponsor was
      The usual sponsor is Boudreaux's Butt Paste who has been in the sport for about five years or so, but for today, and probably at other races as well, they will step back to the associate spot and let ride on the hood. We'll come back to how this all works and where figures in later. (is that enough sponsor plugs for now? if not there's more on photo page 2).

      First things first. Who is Jeremy Clements? (see photo on the photo page as well)
      Well, the twenty-something Jeremy comes to racing naturally. It is, to coin a phrase, in his blood. His grandfather was Crawford Clements who, with his brother Louis, produced racing engines and owned a race team during the Golden Age of NASCAR through the sixties and into the seventies. Later Crawford focused his family business on producing top-flight engines for the various Sportsman's racing series. Which they still do today.

      Today, the family is actively back in racing with a Jeremy as the public face of the effort driving the Zero Four. And it really is still a family business with the Clements name throughout the crew on race day as well as on the driver suit. Team owner Tony Clements is a spotter on race day while Glen Clements is one of the mechanics, both at the track and in the shop.

The rest of the story and more photos can be found on The Media Desk.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 7 of 300 Days of Dyeing And FAF

Yes, it happened.  I set a goal. I made a commitment.  I announced it to the world.

And then Life happened.  I got sick.  My mother got sick. My mother-in-law got sick.  There was a race to photograph. There was a Fiber Fest to prepare for (and then cancel-see above.) And right now, I don't even remember what else.  But dyeing has been put on hold - temporarily.  I'm planning to back in full swing soon.  In the meantime, I'm taking it slow and easy and one day at a time.

Today I am dyeing with onion skins.  I don't do this very often,  but it is one of the few 'natural' dyes I use. (I put 'natural' in semi-quotes because most dyes are natural, they are just prepared for us rather than us having to go out to collect the ingredients and prepare them for use. Someone else does that for us and packages them in an easy to use form.)

Dyeing with onion skins is pretty simple.  Collect the skins from yellow onions.  I have about four of the little net bags they come in from the grocery store crammed full of skins.  I have no idea how many onions it took to get them.  And I didn't weigh them.  This is a very non-scientific method.  I boiled the onions in my pot with a strainer insert. After the onion skins boiled a few minutes (a while, again I didn't time anything) and the water had turned a rich red (and smelled delicious like onion soup!), I removed the insert with the bags of onion skins.  I then added my prepared wool.  I generally soak my wool in a little detergent before dyeing.

There are discussions and misconceptions about mordants. My personal experience is that mordants are required to make onion skins permanent.  I generally add a little vinegar (acid) to the pot out of habit, but it's not required.  Time in the post seems to be a bigger factor.  My results have been both light fast and wash fast (though you should always take care when washing and storing hand dyed fibers of any kind). Adding other mordants may change the resulting colors a bit, but aren't necessary.

My wool is in the pot now.  If I remember, I will take photos and add them to this post later. In the meantime, here are a couple of  photos of previously dyed wool.

ETA: It's Fiber Arts Friday! Check out WonderWhyGal's FAF links and feel free to leave a link to your blog in the comments here.  There's enough fiber in the world to share the Fiber Arts Friday love!