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Saturday, June 2, 2018

Franklin County Area Photographers - Meet Up and Photo Hunt Equals Some FUN Photographs!

I've said it before and I will say it again, I love FCAP. 

Franklin County Area Photographers was founded by my buddy Tyann Marcink. In fact, it was one of the main reasons we first connected and got to know each other. 

Now, she lets me help her maintain the Facebook page/group and set up various activities, photo hunts, challenges, and more. I really love having a part in it. It not only helps me meet new photographers, but it also helps push me out of my comfort zone to create new things. 

Below are some of my favorite images I took at our most recent event. The captions are what the image represents from the Photo Hunt handout we used on our shoot.

If you haven't had a chance to look up Franklin County Area Photographers on Facebook yet, do so. Even if you don't live in Franklin County (Missouri), you can find inspiration there!  

"I Made That!" and "Joyful"
"Sharp!" and "Up Close and Personal"
"Fresh" and "Alive"
"Pattern" and "Alive"
"Fuzzy" and "Up Close and Personal"
"Reflect" and "Abstract"
"Beneath Your Feet" and "Vibrant" and "Reflect"
"Backlight" and "Alive"
"Vibrant" and "Backlight"
"Vibrant" and "Backlight"

"Shadows" and "Alive"
"Round" and "Up Close and Personal"
"Round" and "Up Close and Personal"
"Shadows" and "Smooth" and "Alive"
"Backlight" and "Movement" and "Vibrant"
"Backlight" and "Movement" and "Vibrant"
"Backlight" and "Shadows"
"Abstract" and "Yellow"


Do any of these images "speak" to you?
All are available to order as framed or unframed prints, canvas, metal, or wood - you name it! 
Contact me!

~ M of MK Designs 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

I am baaaack... and thinking of the SCIENCE of it all!

So, I have been a slack-a-lackin' in the blog department, but let's revisit one of my goals for 2018: 

Don't pressure myself to enter art shows and jump through other hoops just for the sake of being a Photographer. To clarify, only do an art show if I want to and have the time to. Being in an art show doesn't make or break me as an artist. 

And, I have certainly stuck to that! 

HOWEVER, for the first time in 2018 there is a "call for art" by Framations Art Gallery in St. Charles that has me fired up! It's called "The Science of It." 

Here are my four entries I am working on, as well as the written artist statements. I just need my prints to arrive, get them framed, and drive them to the gallery on time! 

Wish me luck!

“Refrigerator Chemist” 
In the case of this image instead of simply being a photographer I became the “Refrigerator Chemist.” I studied the reactions of common liquids easily found in the average American’s refrigerator. Observing the way these liquids interacted and reacted to each other was fascinating and made for a fun afternoon of photography!

“Mother Ocean”
Oceanography covers many areas, but what fascinates me the most is that the ocean is in a constant state of motion. From the waves to the tides, I am fascinated by how ALIVE the ocean is. Even when she looks at peace, there is so much physical activity taking place that I am in awe of it all. While some look to the stars for answers, I think many answers can be found in the depths of our oceans.

“Breath of Life”
Ecology helps humans understand the relationships living organisms have with each other. As a child, I’ll never forget learning the importance of trees in my science lessons. Arrows on illustrations showed us that as humans breathe out, trees breathe in what we exhale, and vice-versa. We need each other. We give each other what we need to survive. Yet, just two years ago global tree loss rose 51%. Protecting something that is indeed our breath of life is critical.

“The Living River”

It fascinates me that as leaves fall into various water ways in the Ozarks that they are not truly dead, instead they simply take on another form of life. As they decompose, they help feed other organisms. Without the leaves that fall in the autumn, the stream wouldn’t be able to complete its life cycle and fish such as trout wouldn’t survive. As we study Ecology and how living things interact with each other, it’s important to note that life goes on. There is no true end it would seem.

Until next time,
M of MK Designs

Monday, January 8, 2018

Nine Goals in 2018. Wanna join me?

In my previous blog post, I focused on 2017. Now that we are a few weeks into 2018, it's time to shift gears. 

Sticking to my "if I write it on my blog, I will do it" mindset, I announce my plans for 2018.

#1. Continue to be a blessing to our Compassion International Child, Beatrice. While the distance is great, enriching Beatrice's life is greater. I will continue to keep her in my prayers and lift her up. 

#2. Be a better example to my daughter. Show her by example that no one should bully or coerce her with putdowns, negativity, or "controlling" behaviors. Teach her that those who abuse their "power" can and will be held accountable. ALSO - - - > Yes, it is ok to "tell on someone" when that someone is completely out of line. 

#3. (This ties into #2.) Have a stronger backbone. 

#4. Walk through trials and challenges knowing that I do not walk alone. I have God and his son, Jesus. I also have people who actually WANT to support me. I need to accept that I cannot and should not shoulder all the stress alone. 
#5. Be kinder to those who continue to show me kindness. I take some of my biggest champions for granted. Time to stop that and show them the kindness they show me. 
#6. Don't pressure myself to enter art shows and jump through other hoops just for the sake of being a Photographer. To clarify, only do an art show if I want to and have the time to. Being in an art show doesn't make or break me as an artist. 

#7. Be kind to myself (enough said). 
#8. Find some new "plant-based" foods that don't make me gag. There has to be something out there for me! 

#9. Read More. Write More. 
I'll end it there. I think these goals can help me lead a pretty sweet life in 2018. As you know, I'll be checking in here from time to time to make sure I am keeping my word! 

What are your goals? 
Do you set a few to kick off each year? 
Feel free to comment or message me. 
Join me for the journey! 
Until next time,
M of MK Designs 

Monday, January 1, 2018

For the Record: BASHING the Previous Year is NOT Going to Make the New Year Better!

Ringing in the New Year in 2012 with my friend's son. 
I tend to spend the first day of the New Year on a trail. I love a "First Day Hike." However, thanks to an incredibly upset stomach and waking up to DANGEROUSLY low temperatures today, I have been homebound.
2014 First Day Hike. My Mom, me, and many others enjoying St. Francois State Park.
What does one do besides attack some to-do lists and ponder Star Wars fan theories for the follow up to The Last Jedi? 

Well, I look at social media. 

So, let's take a left turn here. 

I love how humans are creatures of habit. 
This hit home with me in December 2017. Excellent quote/thought!
We are nesters, schedule-keepers, and routine-makers. Even people who claim to be more "loose" and "spontaneous" have their own habitual rituals. 

(I love how that rhymes: habitual ritual!)

Now, back to where I left off with social media and our routines in life...

When did it become a trend for so many people to bash the previous year on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day?

I've noticed it more and more. 

When we turned the page to 2017, I saw lots of posts saying how HORRIBLE 2016 was and that 2017 was going to be a NEW START. Same can be said this year. Over half of my newsfeed is about how 2017 apparently was a total wreck, but 2018 is going to be DIFFERENT.
Did all the complainers forget the AMAZING 2017 Solar Eclipse!?

I don't think looking back at the "mayhem" that was the previous year is a good way to set yourself up for success in the New Year. Why not focus on the positive things that happened? 
I watched a snow and rain storm come in and out of the Grand Canyon in 2017. My mom took this photo of me when I saw a rainbow forming.

If you can't think of any, why not look through your camera roll to find a few? It's really not that hard!
My daughter's first flight was in 2017. We spent Spring Break in Arizona.
Also, I hate to add this thought into the mix, but has it ever occurred to people that changing the last digit on the year isn't how one is going to find a NEW start? 
Karlene making a friend in 2017 when we camped at Hawn State Park in Missouri. Nothing beats splashing in Pickle Creek!
For one, I know that in 2018 for me to "flip my script" that I have to face some shit (pardon the word, but it's the best I got for it) that I am dreading. I hate conflict, but at the same time, knowing who and what is worth taking a stand for is something that is going to be critical for harmony in my world in 2018. 
Karlene clicked this of me playing "tough" at Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota during the summer of 2017.
That process, for me, is going to be easier by not closing myself off to those who love me, but allowing them to be there for me as I walk this path. I have a habit of shutting down and turning inward when faced with problems. (Just ask my friend, Kris. She especially sees this in me!) Also, it means that I have to trust in my Faith more than ever. 

Afterall, it's His Grace and Love that makes for a better day, week, year, decade... LIFE --- NOT just the simple act of flipping a page on a calendar. 
We watched the sunset in Badlands National Park in 2017. God is an artist!
And, while we're at it, looking back on the negativity of the year before will certainly not help light the way towards a NEW and IMPROVED life. 
Checking out the Lake at Illinois Beach State Park. Summer 2017.
As I wrap up this blog post, I hope that some of this can help you out and that you'll consider the "camera roll" trick for finding the positives in the year before. I know I enjoyed the process:
Toured the SunDrop Museum in Wisconsin! YUM!

My daughter got to see DanTDM and high five him!

Karlene got into her school's Art Show.

I helped organize and run the second Journalism Summit for HS students at East Central College in September 2017. 
Sure, it was rainy - but took my friend Kris to see some amazing sights in Southern Missouri she had never seen before. That was a highlight to 2017!

Attended National Journalism Convention with two awesome students! November 2017.
This is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen! Watched this baby and mom (back behind the rock) interact in South Dakota during our adventures in the Black Hills.

Another beautiful road trip to Lesterville, Mo in October 2017!

The BEST blurry photo I have EVER taken for Lydia's Birthday!

"Sarah Day" Toured a few caves in Missouri with Aunt Sarah.

I wish you all the best and thank you for supporting MK Designs!