Sunday, April 28, 2013

Getting Ready for a Busy Week (With a Sense of Humor!)

Jeff snapped this photo of me yesterday as I was dressed for an outdoor workday, ready to mow the lawn, trying to iron clothes for an all-day shift at Mount Vernon that I worked today, as I sorted through clothes for the whole family  for next weekend's demo in Wye, Maryland. Oh, and I was trying on new hats and caps for other upcoming demos!   Busy times, indeed!

Friday, April 26, 2013


The sign of a good photography workshop is that I picked up the camera more often this week.




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Creativity with Light - National Geographic Photography Seminar

I had the privilege to spend this past Sunday at a photography seminar at National Geographic's headquarters in D.C.  Nevada Wier and Jay Dickman presented some amazing material on using light to create magical photographs.  I was inspired and overwhelmed, probably the sign of a good workshop!

I have tons of notes, of course, but the one page that sums up my experience is headed: "Things to Figure Out" and includes infrared photography (what Nevada is doing with infrared is amazing -- I would love to convert an older DSLR and try this out -- please let me know if you have a DSLR available!), shooting in RAW versus JPG (so far, I think JPG makes more sense for me), mirrorless cameras (I think it probably makes sense to wait a bit for this, but the light-weight systems seem great -- Olympus was getting rave reviews at the seminar for their mirrorless cameras), using flash to pop color in nature photography, and much more.  The big items on the list are more for research than anything I'll do in the near future, but maybe a Nikon wide-angle lens or the Composer lens from Lensbaby could be manageable?

I've been wanting to try some new things creatively this year....maybe this is a start.  And, even if I don't get any new lenses or gear, just thinking in these ways will spark something....

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Important Notice - Saturday Demo at AHS Cancelled

Please note that the Saturday afternoon demo at AHS has been cancelled.  Several vendors complained of smoke from Jeff's fire, so we were asked to dismantle.  We are so sorry for any inconvenience this causes.  We know that folks follow the website and come out to see us, and we would never want to let anyone down.  Luckily, we were able to visit with some people as we were packing the trailer, at least!  The next local event is the 3rd weekend in May at Claude Moore for their Market Fair, where we guarantee that no one will complain about smoke!

The Demo Season Has Begun!

When the trailer arrives back in front of our house, you can tell that the demo season has officially begun!
Jeff is at the American Horticultural Society today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.for their annual plant sale, which also offers demonstrations by Jeff and others.   Please come on out and visit!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Blacksmithing Demo at the American Horticultural Society Next Friday and Saturday

Check out this page from the latest issue of the American Gardener magazine -- there's nothing like flipping through a magazine and stumbling on a photo of your spouse!

Jeff will be demo'ing at the annual Plant Sale for the American Horticultural Society -- it'll be the 1st demo of the season and he is looking forward to it. The current plan is for Jeff to demo Friday 9-6 and Saturday 9-4.  He will not demo on Thursday  We volunteer our time at this demo to show our support for a wonderful organization, headed up by some wonderful people!

If you are interested in blacksmithing, this is a great opportunity to learn -- it's not a crowded venue and Jeff will have plenty of time to answer questions.  Plus, you can buy some amazing plants for your garden!
Hope to see you!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Walking with Washington in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

Recently, we spent a couple of hours studying up on George Washington in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.  With both Jeff and I working at Mount Vernon, we spend a fair amount of time reading up on our colonial history, but this time we decided to take a self-guided walking tour of some of the historic sites related to Washington in Old Town....and there are plenty!


 We had previously visited Gadsby's TavernChrist Church and the fascinating Stabler Leadbeater Apothecary Museum....we knew about Washington's Townhouse (but wanted to see it again).  

This time, however, we wanted to go deeper and check out where Sally Fairfax's house was located....and where the doctor who was a  friend of Washington's and was present at Washington's death lived, and other tidbits from the late 1700s.   To do all this, we followed a wonderful walking tour by Robert Madison.  We had a great time, and it was amazing how seeing the places where these figures lived and walked (and danced!) made the history come alive.

Plus, who doesn't love seeing the cobblestone streets?!