using video to show how it’s done…

We were asked how, so we thought we would show you.

jeff makes a tape art bottle... from dale ocasio on Vimeo.

This is a peek into jeff’s taping process. I recorded it, one morning, out on our deck, a few months ago, actually. I had imagined that we would narrate an audio track for it, and…since that wasn’t happening all on it’s own, I came up with another way to finish the video.

I found some nice music at kevin macleod’s. He offers royalty-free music tracks of his own compositions and has an amazing array of genres.

For the video, I simply recorded it on jeff’s iphone 3g using the qik video app, which is pretty remarkable since his iphone didn’t even come equipped with video capabilities.

I put this all together, along with a few title frames to fill in some details, with microsoft’s movie maker (it came for free, with windows xp), and uploaded it to vimeo. Making this was pretty enjoyable and I liked to make more.

Thank you, so much, for stopping by. I’d love to hear what you think. Does it still leave you wondering how jeff makes his art bottles?

…just wondering,

june was for the baby birds…

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and this baby cardinal had one very hardworking daddy.

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I spotted it one morning in early june sitting in a laurel tree. Mommy cardinal was there also but was a bit camera shy. Male cardinals are the brightly colored, radiantly red ones, while the females are soft muted brown with the cutest orange beaks.

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I took these photos off of our balcony, and continued shooting until daddy cardinal encouraged it to try flying to another tree.

I took so many photos that I decided to create a video from the image sequence of still shots of the baby cardinal being cared for by its gorgeously red daddy.

baby bird in a laurel tree from dale ocasio on Vimeo.

For the sound track, I used iphone's voice memos app to record the call of a male cardinal. Quicktime player pro was used to sequence the images together.

This was my first, ever, video upload to vimeo. It was easy, and I imagine that I will be using this free service much more in the near future.

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Four days later I spotted baby cardinal in our mango tree. Baby is starting to look more like a cardinal.

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Still being cared for by both mom and dad, and has become much better at flying.

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Most of the time he sits and waits, looking into the sky.  His mouth would open whenever something flew by, whether bird, butterfly or dragonfly.

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Here is another still shot image sequence of the whole photo shoot.

baby bird in a mango tree...four days later from dale ocasio on Vimeo.


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This month, our carport rafters were home to a carolina wren and her babies (inside of the base of a lamp we’re hoarding---no less).

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On their first day out in the world, I was fortunate enough to see one taking it all in before it flew over the fence to follow its siblings.

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I don’t believe feather tufts could be any cuter on a baby bird. I wonder if mommy and daddy birds are also just as charmed by them, or if they’re too busy ensuring their family’s survival that they don’t ever have a chance to notice.

- - -I think I’ll miss you, june. You were a very sweet, sweet, month, and I’ll be looking forward to your visit next year.

your friend,

even more clever uses of bamboo…

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One Sunday morning, Jeff woke up with an idea and immediately went to work on it.

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Meaning, when the coffee was made, I had bring it outside to him by his work table and the sawdust was already in piles.

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He was splitting and cutting bamboo…

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and joining the slats to very tall, narrow wooden frames…

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to fix a problem we’ve had ever since one of our oak trees fell over (for no clear reason, and did not hit the house, only the second story deck adjoining the house---which I am happy to say, is all fixed now.)

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The problem was the huge amounts of heat coming into our home’s windows that were once shaded by our very, tired tree.

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Two tall, narrow windows in the middle of our stairwell---

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here they are. Our whole stairwell has actually been getting a makeover and was in the middle of being painted when this picture was taken.

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Jeff had thought indoor shutters would do the trick, and they did.

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We could have settled for blinds---I had offered to sew some roman blinds and was pretty sure we already had fabric. I had even imagined the blog post I would write to show you how roman blinds are made.

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While I was dreaming and scheming about my new blinds, thinking about what I notions I would need to get: grommets, cord…pausing a bit,

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…‘cause I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I do like to really think things through…

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Jeff stepped in with an idea that formulated in one night and two days later had materialized and is doing its job brilliantly.

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I’ve learned to work quickly around here if I seriously want one of my ideas to happen.

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I had mentioned our stairwell makeover, earlier.

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Well, this was a thought we both came up with---a bamboo handrail.

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I don’t think I could be any happier with it.

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Because this, I love and makes me smile just about every time I run up or down the stairs.

Thank you, so very, very much, for stopping by! Your visit also makes me smile…every time.

a photo log …butterfly crossing

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Today, I shipped off one of our smallest glass bottles.

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It required me to make the tiniest box for it.

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When I got back from the post office, I stepped out back to let jack the dog out for a run.

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But she rested on the hot deck instead.

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Taking her cue, I did the same.

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The deck felt like hot stones on my back.

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The sky was mottled with bright white and slate gray clouds.

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I hoped it would rain but was enjoying the sun…

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and the passing traffic of butterflies.

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My arms grew tired so I turned onto my side…

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and saw that I was being watched.

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No rain today…maybe tomorrow.


wishing you the weather that you’re hoping for,

a photo quilt tutorial…sans sewing

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Well, I suppose that, technically, this should be called photo tiles. But it is a traditional quilt pattern called Storm at Sea---I downloaded here at And originally, I had imagined that I would actually piece this together with a sewing machine.

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Stitching together paper works quite nicely, the few times that I’ve tried it. Photos were definitely something I wanted to try with a quilt pattern. This could easily have been created as an image, digitally, and printed up.

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But I wanted it to be textural…you know, like a real quilt. The idea never materialized, until this idea popped into my head. Instead of sitting down in front of the sewing machine, I cut up cardboard and sat down with some glue.

All that was needed:

  • Photos printed on regular paper
  • Cardboard (I keep a stack, from recycled boxes, to make my shipping boxes with)
  • Glue, of some sort (I used Mod Podge)
  • A backing (you’ll need something to glue your pieces onto)

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After deciding on the pattern, I had to choose my photos. I went with some of the photos that I took at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary (you can read about that here.) To print them in the correct sizes, I followed the pattern instructions, and inserted the photos into a desktop publisher. A word processor or graphics editor also works, but for me, a desktop publisher is easier to size the photos to the exact dimensions I needed.

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For the backing I used a piece of chipboard I had saved from the back of a large sketchpad. I covered it with some linen fabric, but you could use anything.

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After I had all of the cardboard pieces cut to size (and remember: you need to cut your cardboard to the finished quilt size---meaning without the seam allowance, and your paper should be cut the same size you would cut your fabric) I started gluing the photos to them.

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Wrap the paper over and fold the corners like a nice, little present. I labeled my cardboard pieces with the corresponding letters from the quilt pattern to keep confusion to a minimum.

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While I was assembling this, I realized that this method allows you the freedom to leave out pieces, if you want---for more dimension and added contrast.

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Most of the pieces were simply a square or rectangle that was printed to size and cut in half diagonally, but for this piece, I used the help of the actual quilt pattern.

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While piecing this together I remembered what it is about quilts that I like….it’s the geometry. Turning lines, angles, polygons into delicate, intricate, colorful, and flowing art.

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So once the photos were all glued to their proper cardboard pieces, it was time to start attaching them to the backing with glue. I marked the center and started there…

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I had fun piecing this together and have been thinking it would be nice to stick magnets on the backs and make refrigerator art with them.

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I find myself running my fingers over it every time I walk by it it---which is exactly what I do with quilts.

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I was talking to Mama the other day about quilt making. I remembered growing up with a couple of old, beautiful quilts that were only brought out when it got cold for few weeks every year. She told me that her grandma had made them back when she used to make and sell quilts. (The same grandma whose picture is in this other photo tutorial here.)The patterns and odd looking fabric use to mesmerize me as a child.

I’ve seen this Storm at Sea pattern before, and have always liked the way it looks as if it has curves in the pattern, but actually it’s all straight edges.

The history of quilt making is amazing enough, but when I think about the women who created these designs…well, I would like whatever kind of coffee it was that they drank in the mornings.