Sunday, April 27, 2014


I took my little teapot on a trip to the Riverwalk Plaza in downtown Waukesha.  When I first made my way to Waukesha as a single person, the apartment building I rented a studio in had the Plaza in my windows.  It grabbed me from the first time I stepped into the little shoebox in the sky.

There are days I wish I could have afforded to stay in my studio, as I had everything within walking distance...the farmer's market was literally in my back parking lots behind my building.  The little boutique shops up and down Main street were in my front yard (see above) and the Fox River was steps away as well.

The Riverwalk was one of my favorite places to go...I walked a LOT.  When I was feeling bad about the marriage ending - the river was my solace.  It took my tears, it took my fears, and it gave me understanding of the cycle of nature.

It challenged me to look....REALLY look, at the myriad of beliefs preached by humans, and find them a pale shadow to the reality of nature.

So I had to take my teapot to the place where I was born, both my physical emergence on the Earth in this body, and the place where I was spiritually reborn.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

We are, all of us, a Collection of Stories

NOTHING interrupts tea time

Some stories are mundane - I went to bed, I got up, brushed my teeth, went to work, came home, spaced out in front of the tube, and went to bed....

**Yawn**  I need a nap after writing that.

Some are rather dramatic - as the London Riots last year...full of both individuals angry and frustrated and upset enough to rend the fabric of civility to cause mass chaos, and individuals who chose to stand against the turbulence and attempt to stem the worst of the destruction.

In an angry situation where violence has erupted, it is all too easy to get caught up in the frenzy.

 But you must remember to never get so caught up in the frenzy that you don't have time for the simple pleasures in life, such as a good spot of tea. (Imagine this said with a British accent..I swear, I typed it in one). 

Monday was semi-warm - Springter season (that's the couple of weeks between Winter and Spring up here in Wisconsin) and I thought I'd take in a walk after work.  After all, walking is good for aggravates the knees and feet only slightly less than standing at the kitchen sink washing a load of dishes, vacuuming or doing the laundry. I thought I'd take a walk to put off the housework...ya caught me!

Unfortunately, the fates thought it would be better for me to get on with my after-work chores, and conjured up a wet, drizzly, cold afternoon.  Now, I'll do just about anything to put off the housework, but walking in Springter rain isn't one of them.

So I stopped the car at Goodwill...located between my employer and my apartment.  I can walk in here, NOT get wet, and maybe find something I need that's a good photo prop and CHEAP!

But I'm not giving up my teapot...nope, no way.  I've saved it from it's impending Goodwill re-purposing.

I can shop like an Olympic Champion!  It's a gift. 

Wandering the aisles gained me another 1100 steps, according to the pedometer.  I took my time, and spent a good 45 minutes in the store.  There were some ghastly shoes (really, who ACTUALLY wears spiked heels that high without breaking an ankle?) and a genuine-imitation leopard purse (too small to carry around all the camera gear, otherwise that baby would have been MINE) and some cheezy costume jewelry (did I mention I'm allergic to base metals?).

Wandering about the furniture, I did see some nice couches, but they weren't going to fit in my little sedan without a six-pack of six-packs utilizing the jaws of life to get it in, and I do kinda like having a roof on my I passed on those as well.

Round to electronic equipment, I saw a computer that was older than my son (who will be 25 this year) and the usual offering of old curling irons, toasters and blenders.

Up the other side of the store, to see faded prints of abstract florals, motivational posters, and empty picture frames.

Finally, I took in dishes.  I LOVE glassware.  Especially stemware.  When I first moved out of the house my marriage bought, I took only the bare minimum - a set of 12 silver-plated silver footed water goblets, and 4 hand-blown water goblets that cost more than I care to remember.  I didn't have a standard drinking glass anywhere in the apartment, and it was one of those little 'quirky' things that I actually enjoyed about myself.

Well, friends and family noticed my lack of 'normalcy' in the drinking glass department, and rectified the situation through birthday and Christmas presents.  One of these days, maybe, I'll donate those 'normal' drinking glasses and go back to the quirky me, drinking only out of stemware.

Anyway...I browsed the glassware like an addict looking for her next fix.  Nothing too unusual, just the standard Libby offerings of mass-manufactured, dull-sounding (stemware should ring - like a bell with a slight low tone) standard stemware.  Some margarita glasses with the cactus as the stem.  A lot of chipped edges.

And then.....

Casually hiding behind a punchbowl on the other side of the aisle - an adorable little teacup and saucer set. Light.  Delicate.  Purples and reds and creams and golds.  A drawing of a matador and bull inside the bottom of the cup, and in the center of the saucer.  The cup even had little feet!   


I made a mad dash to the front of the store...I think I might have run over a child or two in my haste to make the beautiful little treasure that had stolen my heart mine in every legal sense of the word. $3.00 out of my wallet, and I was cackling to myself with glee at the new prop...perfect for the Tempest and the Teapot.

And so you have it - the little teacup made it all the way to London last year, courtesy of a little time-travel with Photoshop...into a tempestuous event where chaos and the frenzy of heated emotions ignited more than the frustrations of the British.

And I'll even show you the 'before' picture....but just this once...

Monday, April 21, 2014

The brain-storm behind the Tempest

I do photo work.  I do a LOT of photo work.  It's become somewhat of a passion of mine...even to the detriment of my wallet and/or credit rating on occasion as I upgrade cameras, lenses, memory cards, photo editing software...and the list marches on.

But, I'm not here to reminisce about my finances (at least, not today) - but to share with you the situation I lived through which started me down the path to this blog. I said - I do photo work.  A lot of photo work.  My favorite photo work is band stuff, because I have the courage to date a musician (he's got starving artist down to a 'T') and I'm the official photographer of his band.

This weekend - we decided we needed some fresh publicity shots for the boys of The Beltempest, and ended up at a little hole-in-the-wall beach on Lake Michigan.  Now, in Wisconsin, the beach is NOT the place to be in April, because when the weather man says 'Cooler by the Lake,' he REALLY means it.  At least we weren't assaulted by visions of flabby guys in Speedos or women who only THINK they've got a bikini body, but it was cold...not January cold (where it actually hurts to breathe) but cold enough to break out the sweaters and semi-winter jackets.

If you haven't already guessed, in Wisconsin, we have 'levels' of winter wear, ranging from "It's finally starting to get warm," through "it's not that bad if you keep moving" and finishing with "I think I just froze to the sidewalk."

We weren't the only ones on the beach, proving that we're not the only crazy people in the state, but among the minority.

The photo shoot went well, as the water was energetic enough to get some good wave movement, and we could still move in the temperature. instead of freezing to the beach.  The boys were keyed up, too, with the excitement of a day at the beach (we take our little pleasures where we can get them!)

The sky, however, didn't cooperate, being bright, clean, and sunny, without so much as a whisper of cloud in it.  Really!  Nothing visually exciting above the horizon at all!

All things can be corrected in Photoshop, however, is one of the mantras I live by, so this was still a good shoot.

So where does the teapot come in? 

My boyfriend lives with his Aunt to help her take care of the place.  She has been caught in the throes of Spring Cleaning (yes, we do experience a sort of ecstasy at the thought of clearing junk when the weather turns from 'I think I froze to the sidewalk' to 'HOLY CRAP!  It's warm enough to go out without zipping up my parka!!!') and one of the things she had set aside to donate to Goodwill was a little white ceramic teapot.  Nothing fancy or ornate - just plain white.  It was beautiful!

As the name of the band is The Beltempest, I had this wild idea - the Tempest (which, if Lake Michigan was cooperating) and the Teapot, right there in my hot little hands. 

I did get some good wave action shots, and I put the little teapot on the rock enclosure, snapping away.  If any of the boys thought I had a screw loose, they hid it well.  A brief bout with 'Shop later, and I had my first finished picture...which is the banner of this blog.

Now, as I went on to other projects to turn the band shots into something usable for promoting The Beltempest, I thought about that first shot.  What fun it would be to put together a multitude of shots featuring the little white teapot with tempestuous backgrounds?  The possibilities are almost endless, after all, because from the World English Dictionary:

tempest  (ˈtɛmpɪst)
1. literary chiefly  a violent wind or storm
2. a violent commotion, uproar, or disturbance
3. poetic  ( tr ) to agitate or disturb violently
[C13: from Old French tempeste,  from Latin tempestās  storm, from tempus  time]
I can come up with a multitude of situations that could be denoted a Tempest.