Glass, copper, and handmade paper? What could be better? Adding ‘book’ and ‘photography’ into that mix. I LOVE this book. A beautiful, handmade book, with glass covers, hand-hewn copper binding, with my photographs printed on beautiful fine art rag pages.
This set was commissioned by my client and the shoot, book, and photos are a package or available individually – book only (blank), book with your photos, book with my photos, or a commissioned shoot just for you. Prices vary.
Available now on my Etsy store, WonderAndQuirk
Are you fascinating beyond compare? Do you own a monkey? Do you put pants on your parakeet? Do you amaze yourself with your own charm, acumen, or shoe collection? Or are you dull as a kitchen knife? Are you unable to find any adjectives to describe yourself in any way? Is “nice” too strong a word to describe you?
Snazzy or nearly invisible, anyone can get themselves written into a novel. Everyone can be a character, whether you are fantastically fantastic or earth-shatteringly boring or somewhere in between. You can even be considered once you are dead. Don’t let a missing pulse keep you from trying.
Here is your guide to getting you – wonderful or zzzzzz’y you – into the closest novel.
1. Know an author (or be one).
2. Think about yourself. Think some more. Write a list of descriptors about yourself (if you are reaching for words and coming up with a blank, please note that words such as “the” do not count as descriptive). Tell yourself all about yourself.
3. Embellish. Whichever direction you lean, make yourself more – much, much more – than you already are. If you are chubby, give yourself about 105 extra pounds. If you are selfish, tell the story of your most self-indulgent moment and make it worse than ever. If you are simply fabulous, just because, then crank up the fabulous. Flat and nearly invisible? Dull it up!
4. Ask your friends or monkey what qualities about you they adore, or abhor, or wish you had, or can’t even come up with. Memorize these desperately or dispense with them entirely depending on whether they please you (unless you are incapable of pleasure, in which case, hang on to them until step 8).
5. Record a few of the things you love/hate/tolerate doing. Perhaps you are a shockingly old champion ice skater, having won every gold medal since the Olympics began. Or maybe you are an excellent cannibal, with the additional skill of eluding police at every turn. Or perhaps you can carve fruit into tiny animals, or bowl badly. Or you may be one of only 10 human beings alive who neither understand, create, nor generate humor, like that guy Michael I dated (briefly).
6. Whatever it is, record, record, RECORD. Write each element on a sticky note or expensive Japanese handmade paper, depending on your character. Finally, once completed, write the manner in which you fascinatingly/weirdly/mind-numbingly dully accomplished this.
7. Compile the list into one paragraph on another sticky/Japanese piece of paper. Put the words together into one run-on sentence of utter amazement/chilling nothingness.
Congratulations! Now you know the entirety (or brevity) of your “character” for someone’s novel!
8. Now is the time to “become” that character you’ve always wanted to be or regretted that you are. It’s time to act! That’s right. Act like you.
9. Practice, practice, practice being yourself for seven days without ceasing. Remember, sleep is no excuse! Sleep like yourself.
10. Once you have accomplished this, record yourself acting like yourself, only more so, and send immeditately to the closest novelist. Be sure to include a loving or threatening or bland explanatory note. Alternately, write yourself as a (the only?) character in your own horrifying/thrilling/sleepifying novel or Frequently Asked Questions section of a hand-vac user’s manual.
Boom! That’s it! You are now on your way to becoming truly entrenched in the twists and turns of a splendiferous work of art (or 2000 page instructional manual on the correct method for parting your hair).
Way to go!
In the midst of the Arizona desert stands the old cowboy dusty town of Cedar Creek, which beckoned me to get up early on a Sunday and drive an hour to see if a church in a saloon could really be possible. Why, yes, yes it is!
The fierce blue Arizona sky waits patiently over the dusty saloon as the locals sit amongst the old wooden chairs and tables – some hands busy with a Bible, others with a frosty brew. Ecclesia Church, aka Church at the Chip, gathers inside the Buffalo Chip Saloon at 9 a.m. every Sunday in Cave Creek, Arizona, 32 miles north of Phoenix. On this Sunday, when it is 108 degrees in the shade, and just like every week during the summer, the cozy congregation enjoys summer services inside the cool, darkened saloon. In the winter, with less chance of a mind-melting burn, they meet outside in the wagon pen, ringed with wooden fences and an outdoor bar.
That’s right. The wagon pen. And, what was that? You heard me right. CHURCH IN A SALOON!
“Why do you meet at a saloon?”
We’re only half joking when we say, “Why not have church in a place where people already like to go?” To us, it seems like the kind of thing Jesus would have done. After all, listen to what Jesus said about himself: “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds” (Matthew 11:19).”
I went to The Chip to shoot what I supposed might be a kitschy, tourist heavy, full-of-gimmicky-Southwest-charm church-in-a-saloon Sunday morning, but that’s not what happened. Sure, Pastor Steve Gilbertson sports a handsome cowboy shirt/shoes/hat for his sermon, as does his music partner Kevin, and the two serenade the few dozen parisioners with friendly guitar riffs and a slide show complete with western style super-titles sporting lyrics to morning hymns and the accompanying sermon. But this is a real community, gentle and true, and it gathers without fanfare each week to share love and hope in the dust. Especially charming was the communion service, served in a pretty white cup and plate, broken cracker bites and grape juice sitting in holy reverence upon a saloon table. Juice it may be, but by the way, should you care to have a gin and tonic while you pray, please do step on up to the bar.
Cowboy boots dangle in their dozens from the ceiling; a staring deer head and Coors sign peer down, above the pastor’s head, all so worldly and real, as Pastor Steve leads the room in very gentle and enthusiastic prayer. The Church at the Chip is a wonderful and authentic taste of the American southwest and though it may not be on the front page of every guide to Arizona, it’s a beautiful taste of real life in the tawny heat of Phoenix.
This kind and gentle morning service is so worth waking up early on a Sunday, regardless of your affiliation. I give it two gins up.
Click Here to Visit: Ecclesia Cave Creek website
Building some wonderful things for my studio. Found these pretty little wooden pegboard locks at a recycled home store, $5 for a giant bucket. Wheeeee! Gave them a little red happy face (yay nail polish!) and today they will make a vertical home for my tools. So fun!
#bookart #StudioDesign #recycled #wood #love #hearts #DIY #artist #photographer #carpentry
from Instagram: http://ift.tt/1JNuxXB
Feathers and Ryhmes in the Desert: The 7 Day Collection
Last week I spent 7 days shooting in the Arizona and Utah deserts with 16 other professional photographers. Each day I assembled one thing from the shoot that will go in a book along with my photographs from the trip.
Here’s what I found and assembled, including a book of charming rhymes from my Aunt Carmen’s high school days, written over 85 years ago, as this trip also included a trip to visit my mother in Phoenix. The C41 film and the Polaroid backs were given to me by other photographers on the trip. Thanks, Don and Bryan!
3 pheasant feathers; 1 creaky wooden plank; 8 shiny black feathers; 2 discarded Polaroid backs; 1 zillion creosote seeds; 2 sprawling, tangled wires; 1 roll medium format C41 film; 1 circular upholstery needle; 1automatic awl, threaded; 1 blue, vintage leather book (“My School Day Autobiography”) of my Aunt’s, circa 1927-1930.
Today begins the process of finding images and assembling the book. I wonder what will come of it!
She was the first to tell me: “There are two of me.”
It was over the oatmeal I learned it. She leaned over the crisp wrapper, stripping it with her teeth, and the Captain’s lid sputtered off, tumbling onto the dirt floor.
“There are two of me now.” Buckle and crumble, she doubled over laughing. I had to admit, it was pretty funny.
My old friend, whom I had not seen in a scarce few weeks, had evidently sprouted a fascinating new problem in my absence. She scooped the lid off the floor and hastily smashed it back onto the oatmeal box, but left it just ajar. Lifting the corner of the lid, as if the tube were smiling at us both, she smirked like the box and said again, Yes! Two! Me likey! You likey?
Oatmeal Times. That was the first thought I had. What if there were some newspaper chronicling events that had occurred at the very instant of the opening of oatmeal boxes, all around the world? I felt confident that our moment, this one here, would surely rank at the top of the most interesting, a moment in which my friend of 24 years was notifying me over oatmeal that she had, in fact, recently joined forces with some other being between her ears to form a new, amalgamated her, but one that still liked oatmeal. At least that was still true, if nothing else.
Then: “Squares. No sugar. Only squares. That’s how I like my oatmeal. Old, dried, in the pan, all smooshy and caked, and then cut into squares. Oh, and cold. Old, cold squares.”
Now there are times in life when a great tragedy befalls someone we love and the cracks in their mind crash into their thoughts, and the obvious tragedy overwhelms their soul. But this was not that time. This was more that moment when you realize someone you think you know has behaviors so aberrant as to render them almost hospitalizable. Eating plain, old, hard, over-mushed, squared oatmeal is certifiable, or at least, if I were in charge of the world it would be.
“Wait, let’s get back to the two of you. What the? Whozzit?”
I’d caught her mid-caffeine and she laughed until coffee threatened to tipple out her left nostril.
“Yes, oh yes. Two. I found out I have another personality when I took a personality test this weekend and I had to use two pieces of paper. It’s true.”
“Annnnd, what is your other you’s name?”
“Haccccckginnnnet and..P…Ph…it’s…Yes. Hackginget.”
“Hackginget. Your name is Hackginget.”
“Hackginger. There’s an ‘er’ on the end.”
“I see. Does Hackinget -“
“Er. Hackginger. Ly. Hackgingerly.”
“Hackgingerly? What the fuck.”
“Don’t swear in front of me. Her. Don’t swear in front of her. She’s Mennonite.”
“No need to be sorry. We can have different views.”
She returned her gaze to the innocence of oats, resting, calm and grainy, in their tubey bed. In a blurry blaze, her hand (her own hand, I presume?) snatched the box and flipped it, upside down, the entire oaty world skittering and screaming (perhaps) to the floor. Her boney tall dog appeared from nowhere, her tongue, longer than my arm, leaving only a wet trail beneath her where the oats had surrendered their will to live just a nanosecond before.
Blink. That is what I do when I am sure I’m in a dream. Blink.
I tried this my usual 18 swift times to determine if perchance I was asleep, but my eyeball on reality was too slow. Before I could reach 15, she was laughing the guffaw of the very mad. Shiny eyed, she joined the dog on the floor, rolling her eyes heaven-ward. Patted the dog. Wiped the floor. Smacked my feet with both hands.
©2014 Anjani Millet
Writing Prompt: Open the Box
Written with Phrin on 7/25/2014
We were both on Google Hangout writing when she discovered she had two windows open and was getting an echo. Normally we both mute ourselves while writing. I noticed she was whispering to herself and hadn’t muted herself so I began to sing back to her what she was humming. She lurched forward with great concern and said, “I’ve muted myself, but now there are two of me!”
The part about the cold oatmeal is true. She likes it cold, stiff, unsweetened and cubed. Bleech.
Vintage Typewriter, Colorado. ©2014 Anjani Millet
Does God have retinopathy? This was the question that was on my mind first thing this morning. What a weird question. Why was I even thinking this? Who knows, but first thing in the morning is ripe for strange imaginings. Here is how the rest of the story played out.
Does God have retinopathy? Is this why bad things happen? God would be elderly by now, and we know what happens to old eyes. If God had retinopathy, this would explain why bad things happen, and perhaps why some seem to congregate around certain geographic areas or groups of people, for instance.
I don’t mean to offend anybody – it was the crack of dawn when this whole thing occurred to me – but perhaps this is what is happening in, say, the Middle East. Perhaps this is an area directly in God’s line of sight and he simply can’t see what’s going on, down there, on the ground. Maybe he’s standing right over the thing, looking down, right where his cloudy old eyes can’t quite make things out. Maybe he has spots in his line of sight, just over this area – and maybe He has had them for some time. Some health issues are just stubborn.
Or perhaps he has a whole bunch of tiny spots. As he looks around the universe, his eyes simply miss certain areas, which randomly move as he looks this way and that. Perhaps today he can see Sandy Hook Elementary school, because he’s just left of it, hovering over there near North Dakota. But last year, unfortunately, not so much. He had moved over to Planet Xirfluff and just could not see what was going on when he looked in this direction.
I suppose this entire subject arises from my questions about prayer and God’s involvement therein. Prayer seems to comfort many, but when those prayers appear to go unanswered, as in the case of a very ill child, how do we square with this? Or, if two sides of a dispute are both praying but only one wins, yet both appear to be virtuous, what is up with that? Worse so when one side seems especially destructive, yet prayerful, believing God is on their side. This has never made sense to me.
What especially breaks my heart is the unspoken suggestion that if, for instance, a child is suffering, yet, for whatever reason, there is no one there to pray for her, she might not get any help from on high. If that weren’t the case, then prayer would be unnecessary. Does God requires a request in order to step in? What about people who have no one to pray for them? That seems cruel and capricious, and not so Godly. Is God so busy, or cold, or uninterested, or, dare I say it, arrogant, that only if someone asks, sincerely and believing it will come, will He help? Without an intentional request, he will not? Once again, this seems an oddly human projection although strangely, beneath even the sort of decent human behavior that we, at our best, exhibit toward one another.
Take this scenario: You are driving down the highway, when you see a car overturned in a ditch. You see a woman inside, hanging upside down by her seatbelt, and she’s not moving. Which action would you take?
1) Notice the incident, and her, yet remain in your car and go on your way.
2) Pull over, approach the car and, seeing she is hanging there, wait outside her window, listening to see if she will actually ask you for help. You stand and stand, observing her from outside her window… and wait. When she doesn’t ask you for help, you return to your car and go on.
4) Pull over, approach the car and wait. When she stirs from her near-death coma and feels your eyes upon her, she turns her head toward you, and says, “Please… help me.” Alright, now you will help. You call 911.
5) Pull over, approach the car and, but everyone you require intercession from a third party before you will get involved. You wait for somebody (other than her) to ask you for help – but there is no one else in the car. She asks, pleading, but you don’t answer, no matter how much she begs. The sun sets, morning comes, but no one outside of the woman asks. You are patient, though, and she can see you are always right there, benevolent, and you are listening. She loses conciousness and is near death. At last, after two days, her frantic husband (whom met you at church last May) guesses that you might be there, standing outside her window, listening, waiting for a phone call from somebody in order to trigger your help. He happens to know your number, and rings your cell phone, urgent, weeping. “Please, please, can you help my wife? I can’t find her! She is about to die. Please, with sugar on top, could you please get her out of the car! Please save her life!” And so, benevolently, you kick into action, pull her out of the car (leaving her with a spinal injury), and save her life.
6) Or nearly, anyway. Her husband didn’t specify clearly how long he wanted her to live, so you do pull her out of the car, but then, having fulfilled the request, leave her there on the ground. Did I mention it is February? You return to your car. She dies from hypothermia and dehydration. But you’ve got to get going – you have a war to watch, after all – someone else just called!
About war… the guy on the phone, he wants you to help him. This Saturday afternoon, he’s got a little bombing campaign planned for a soccer field in a dusty, destroyed town. All the young men from the opposing town will be there, and it will wipe them all out – and you’ll get all the credit. How can you pass that up? Can you help out? But hang on, you’ve got call waiting, and the other line is ringing. Another man, from that opposing town, is calling on you too. He asks you to help him successfully bomb a crowded shopping mall near the home of the man on the other line. You consider both, and give your magnificent explosive power to both sides, but you secretly tell each you were on their side alone, and had nothing to do with the other. You help them both, because let’s face it, they asked – and you get the credit in both cases.
After you get off the line, yet another client calls, insisting you give your divine blessing to the downing of a passenger jet in a major metropolitan city. As the plane flies toward a building in New York City, you assist the rogue pilot to hone in on his target, despite the struggling pilot. But you must ignore the pleas of the woman on the street below who sees this event unfolding abover her, and begs you to stop it, since her girlfriend is inside, at her desk, eating lunch at this very moment. Sadly, she didn’t ask you loudly enough, or in the right way – or, since there was only one of her, her request alone was insufficient. She needed to ask you through the proper channels, such as the fellow down the street in the funny hat who has your direct phone number.
Really? Hmm. All of these scenarios make God look like an asshole.
My childhood friend Ron, a lifelong Christian, tells me he believes God does not intercede in human affairs and prayers are ineffectual. This seems cold. Others believe there is no God. I have no idea if there is or isn’t. I have debated this with myself all my life, having grown up in an evangelical Christian family, I just really don’t know. I consider myself a Buddhist now. Some days I think perhaps there might be a God; some days, not so much. Certainly my questions were heightened with the death of my devoted Mormon sister and her husband within six months of each other, both from cancer, leaving their 5 children, all under ten years old, to be orphaned. Now my mother, deeply religious all her life, suffers from Alzheimer’s, along with all of us scraping by to help her. So did her mother, and her mother’s mother, and her father. She is begging God to heal her, but sadly, this is unlikely to occur, unless God deems her worthy for a major miracle, unlike the millions before her who have also asked. Alzheimer’s is fatal and there is no cure. She is suffering, every single day, and so are we, and so did they, the millions before, just like the millions after us.
The rise of fundamentalist ISIL and other religious fanatics and their insistence that God is on their side against The Evil Ones, while Western powers call on God to help them overcome The Evil Ones – well, all of it has me wondering. Either there is no God, or God isn’t helping – and if he isn’t, why not? Either he doesn’t care, or isn’t capable – neither of which seem terribly Godlike – or we are just talking about very different sorts of Gods.
Western religions think of God as kindly and compassionate, yet willing to help kill adversaries. Fundamentalist religions everywhere view God as vengeful and angry. This could be due to a universe in which lots of God come in all sorts of flavors, all of whom have their favorite people and causes and political ideologies. This leads to the question of tribalism in a pantheistic universe, all taking sides in political and personal affairs, all of which seems so sadly human and not so divine to me. Or if God doesn’t always intervene, why is that? Sometimes he’s too busy? Doesn’t care? Limited abilities? Those options seem so limiting to an all powerful character envisioned by all religion canons.
So, since we’re labeling God with human limitations, I must have been dreaming of a really human reason this fellow isn’t helping out everywhere, all the time, with everything. Perhaps I have empathy for the guy – and let’s face it, God is usually pictured as a guy, so we’ll go with that for now. Everyone tugs on him, wanting everything all the time. Big things, like overcoming Hitler. Little things, like the coffee shop owner who told her daughter that God helped her find the right syrup in Costco. Yes, I actually heard that conversation with my own ears.
God can’t be bothered healing cancer, but he’s good with syrup? What?
So in great respect to all these possible scenarios, in my sleep last night I came up with the only explanation that makes any sense to me. It definitely places a very human limitation on God, but it makes much more sense to me than indifference, or arrogance, or petty tribalism.
God has retina problems. He simply cannot see some of the stuff going on here. He probably has some hearing loss, too. And maybe, who knows, even God forgets where he put that little blue planet once in awhile. Didn’t he leave them over there by his keys to the Kingdom…?
Even God is getting old.
Vintage Typewriter, Colorado. ©2014 Anjani Millet
I have now designed my weekly calendar like days-of-the-week underwear. Thus today is Writing Wednesday! Would we wish we were writing?!? We would! Join me. Grab a pen (yes, I said it!) and jot down something. Anything! Share! I’m working on one blog post and my novel today. I’d love to hear what you write today and I will endeavor to keep this up every Weds.
Vivid Orange Fall Thingdeals. ©2014 Anjani Milelt
Vivid orange and edible, fall mushroomy fungus thingdeals arrive in the Pacific Northwest. Well, except I might have shot this months ago. And it may not be a mushroom. And I’m not totally sure where I shot this. And I wouldn’t eat it. ©Anjani Millet 2014
#AnjaniMillet #Photographer #WhatThe #DontEatThat Seattle #PacificNorthwest #WildMushroom #Foraging #Forest #FoodPhotography #writographer #writography
Janilaal Celebration Crown and Sneaky Fork Moment. ©2011 Anjani Millet
We work hard. We give well. We love deeply. But do we remember to appreciate our own open heart and generous spirit? Take a moment to love and notice what you did, thought, felt, said, or gave last year that is a testament to the excellence of your spirit. Take a few minutes to appreciate the person you have become. Here are a 10 ways to show yourself you care, and to mark the achievement of becoming the person you have become.
Ten Ways to Show Yourself You Care
1. Flowers. Buy yourself some!
2. Take yourself out on a date. But before you do, dress nicely, buy yourself flowers (see number 1), and consciously note why you are doing this: because you are wonderful.
3. Write down private thank you notes to you from you, and stick them in pockets – coats, pants, shirts. Offer little thoughts like, Thank you so much. I love how loving you are. I love your generous nature. You have made me laugh. You took such good care of the family this year. Thank you!
4. Send yourself a gift. Log on to Amazon or other gifting sites and send yourself a token of your appreciation. Get it wrapped!
5. Mail yourself a lovely card, signed by hand. We all love getting things in the mail, especially hand-written notes. Who does that for you anymore? You do.
6. Foster a relationship with your future self by hiding money you’ll find later. My favorite gift for myself was a $50 bill I hid in a book I knew I would get to, but not for awhile. A year later, when I finally got around to reading it, I had completely forgotten about it when the money fell out onto my lap. It was an amazing feeling of gratitude for my former self and a connection across time, from that moment to the one in which I first placed the money. It made me cry.
7. Make a backward-in-time chart to note the things about this moment that are because of something wonderful you once did or decided. For instance, earlier this year I looked around my family and realized my daughter, and her family now, all came from that moment in high school in which I took a dare and talked to her future dad. I appreciate the young woman I was!
8. Share with a friend the 5 best things about you, and ask them to do the same about themselves. Then, make a toast to the hard work you’ve both put into being a great person, and how well you’ve succeeded.
9. Lipstick and mirrors. Write a note in lipstick on your bathroom mirror about how charming, lovely, or hilarious you are. Love the love notes. They are fun to wake up to.
10. Be kind in thought and deed. You know you are kind to others, so do unto yourself as you would do unto others – practice kindness toward your own mind and soul. Guard your thoughts, and remember what your mother taught you: if you can’t say something nice to yourself, don’t say anything at all.
Congratulations on being you!
Step Away from the Melon and Walk Away Slowly
Step Away from the Melon Baller and Walk Away Slowly
Step Away from the Melon Baller and Walk Away Slowly. Nurse Ron protects the largest fruit in the room. What a protector!
No fruit was harmed in the making of this image.
Photography by Anjani Millet
Model Ron Cole
Assistant Andrew Rutherford
#EndangeredFruit #SpecialAgentWatermelon #photography #portrait #humor #quirky #webstapick #anjanimillet
from Instagram: http://ift.tt/1zCLTj0
Feet and Bra Meet on the Street, Downtown Seattle. ©Copyright 2014 Anjani MIlle
Feet, Meet Bra
Feet meet bra on a lovely summer afternoon. My friend Gina and I headed downtown for a happy hour party at a local co-working space. Gina’s lovely feet
in her lovely shoes landed squarely in front of what was once a lovely black bra, now taking an afternoon bath in the watery gutter before us. She called me over to take the shot, and Feet and Bra were born. I felt a little sad for the poor bra, which could have been just as glamorous as Gina’s sexy toes n’ sandals but it’s hey-day had passed. Or maybe it was just a clothing kiddy-pool. It wasn’t talking, and I didn’t ask.
©2014 AnjaniMillet.com #feet #bra #webstapick #summer #seattle #photography #travelphotography #portraits #quirkyphotoaday #quirky