I’ve lived in Sonoma County in the Wine Country my entire life (except for college and law school), and it’s noticeably changed in the last four years. Everyone feels it. We used to enjoy going out to the wineries in autumn during harvest season, but most locals are on edge over the reoccurring wildfires, and many tasting rooms are closed due to the pandemic. The wine industry is devastated. We’re resilient, but it’s still so sad to witness what’s happening here.
I’ve been watching more TV than usual. I really loved watching My Octopus Teacher on Netflix this week, and now I’m binging Long Way Round with Ewan McGregor. Instead of fiction, I’m looking to watch real stories about different places in the world that feature travel or personal transformation. Can you think of any that might fit into that subject? I welcome your suggestions. :)
I’ve been quiet for a few days because it’s been especially challenging to stay focused with so much going on. Between the pandemic and the serious wildfires in my county, everyone is more on edge. There are two things that really help me unwind: exercise and creativity. I try to do both every day, something active and something creative. In challenging times like this, I find a long walk to clear my head always helps.
I do this a lot when I travel, I take my favorite mini DSLR camera or my iPhone with me and notice everything around me. When I walk I take a lot of pictures of everything, from monuments to flowers. I was going through my collection of travel photos and I realized I could gather them in groups, by city or theme, and create sets of prints for a variety of uses.
I created the Square Sets Collection and they are for sale as digital downloads in my art print shop. There are four collections so far, and I’m adding a fifth in the next few days. These sets of 5×5” prints are so versatile, you can print them and frame them of course but there are other ways to be creative with them too.
The first set I made was of a series of ocean views from across the world, it’s the Coastal Views Square Set. There are fourteen images in the set, but only twelve shown below. These are beach views I photographed around the USA, in Fiji, in Australia, and in Europe.
These are fun because you can create an “endless summer” gallery by framing them….
I photographed the Sage Succulents Square Set on many long walks I around my hometown. These are so pretty. The botanicals all have soft green tones and can be used in a variety of creative ways. I used Social Print Studio to print a square set of twelve with a white border. Use them as bookmarks, to write a note to someone, or make a set of blank folded cards with them.
These can also framed in a series on the wall to add greenery to your space.
Making calendars is the perfect fit for these Square Sets. With Artifact Uprising, you can create a silver or gold foil calendar with their calendar refill pack. You pick the start month and the twelve images you like. They have gold foil, silver foil, and black fonts available.
Or tape the prints to your wall with washi tape for a creative vignette. :)
Those who love New York City will like the Black + White NYC set. There are 16 images in this set (ten shown below) and they’re all in high contrast black and white except for the hint of yellow on the taxi image.
My sister and I have taken a few trips to NYC together, so I made her a flip desktop calendar by uploading images to Walgreens. This is a really affordable option at $10 a calendar and you can upload a different image for every month.
The fourth set I made is Black + White Paris, it’s a collection filled with 18 iconic images like the Moulin Rouge, D’Orsay clock, Rodin’s Thinker, Notre Dame, etc. You can use these images to make calendars, cards, magnets, coasters, etc.
The next set I’ll add to the shop is the Sketched Summer Roses Square Set. These are photographs of roses that I’m making look more like paintings and I’m almost done creating a set in a variety of colors. I plan to make tiny gift cards with these to have on hand for all occasions.
I recommend these companies and links for printing any of these 5×5” sets: