Monday, January 28, 2013

Keeping Cold: Ice Sculptors at Waukesha Janboree

The same weekend I attended the State Snow Sculpting contest in Racine (you can read about that entry too), I went to my city's downtown to the Waukesha Janboree Ice Sculpting contest.  This year was a little different than previous years in that the high temperature was 45 degrees and just after the judging began, the sun came out.  So the sculptures had to work fast and pray that their creation didn't melt before it was judged.  Needless to say, the ones in the doorways and under awnings fared the best with the sun, but I think everyone did a fantastic job with their creations.

The sculptors got to work at 9:00 Saturday morning and worked until 2:00 when the judging started.  They got to use whatever tools they wanted as long as they weren't electrical.

This man finished his sculpture rather early, so, while waiting around for the judges to come by, he sculpted a smaller block of ice into a beer mug (why not?  It's Wisconsin!)

My friend, Ben (below), participated for the first time in 4 years and made a really cool sculpture of a dragon with an ice cream cone (you can see the finished sculpture below).  The theme of this year's Janboree was "Fire & Ice".

And here are some of the other finished sculptures:

This sculpture was made to represent Golden Guernsey dairy, which, unfortunately is closing its doors very soon.

This sculpture, representing General Electric (a large employer in Waukesha County) had a working light bulb inside.

And this sculpture represented my favorite Waukesha coffee shop, The Steaming Cup.

This is also my "K" post for Jennifer Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  Unfortunately, even though I have a lot of fun participating in her blog hop, my participation this year may be sporadic at best, since I'm in my last semester of school.  But click on the link to see more posts!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Snow Sculptures

For this week's Wordless Wednesday, I have photos from the 2013 Big Chill/Wisconsin State Championship Snow Sculpting Competition, which was held this past Sunday in Racine, 30 minutes south of Milwaukee.  The sculpture at the top of the Mad Hatter was the winner, but they were all stunning, and I was amazed at the talent and skill involved.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Friendship Friday: Autobiography

Let me start out by saying sorry for not being an active blogger since the start of 2013.  It's been cold here in Wisconsin with not a lot going on in the area.  Plus, I'm just now getting over a cold I've had since New Year's Eve.  But, there are a couple of events coming up that I hope to take photos of, and I just started volunteering my time with one of our local community theaters, Sunset Playhouse, as a publicity/archive photographer.  The photo above is one of the ones I took for their latest production, Lumberjacks In Love.  This volunteer position will give me lots of experience in journalistic photography since they have something new going on just about every week.

For this week's Friendship Friday, hosted by Create With Joy, the theme is Autobiography.  The challenge is to state a few facts about ourselves, and this is what I came up with:

1) I live in Waukesha, WI but was born in Davenport, IA.  My grandparents lived in Ottumwa, IA, home to Tom Arnold and the fictional character, Radar O'Reilly, of M*A*S*H.

2) Starting next week, I will be going into (hopefully) my last semester of community college to get my Medical Coding certificate.  However, I'm also thinking of getting a certificate in Digital Photography.

3) I am a huge rock music fan.  My brother, Pat, introduced me to rock n' roll when I was a kid and I've loved it ever since (can't stand pop or country music).  Some of my favorite bands are Foo Fighters, U2 and The Clash.  Also, when I was a kid, I idolized Stevie Nicks.

4) I started out at University as a Journalism student, but when I started making friends in the Theatre Department, I changed my major with an emphasis on Theatre Management & Publicity.  I did get my BA, but changing majors with the biggest regret of my life.

5) I have many idols in the worlds of art and entertainment:

    a) Music - Jack White and Dave Grohl
    b) Film Directors - Wes Anderson and David Fincher (the only two directors whose entire filmography I've seen)
    c) Art - Andy Warhol
    d) Actors - Jake Gyllenhaal and Kiefer Sutherland
    e) Photographers - Henri Cartier-Bresson and Annie Leibovitz

Well, I hope to give you some more interesting photos soon from around my area.  If you want to join in on Friendship Friday, just click on the link.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Friendship Friday: Something Old, Something New

Thanks, Create With Joy, for sponsoring the Friendship Friday blog hop.  The first theme of the new year is "Something Old, Something New" and Create With Joy has asked that, as the something old part, we mention something from our blogs of 2012.  First I wanted to share with you the oldest photos I took.  The ones above and below were taken (on film) when I was 12 years old and we went to Florida.  One of the places we went was The Kennedy Space Center, which is where I took these photos.

Below, then, are two of my most recent photographs.  Hopefully my technique improved over the last 25 years - the technology certainly has.

I did feature my favorite posts of 2012 last week.  You can see that here.

Otherwise, for the something new part, I admit I'm at a loss.  I would like to make improvements to the blog, but I'm not sure where to start.  I would like to get more involved in the blogging community, and maybe participate in other people's blogs.  If anyone is looking for a guest blogger or a photographer to interview, please feel free to contact me. 

Other than that, I look forward to participating in new adventures in 2013 and continuing to take fun photos.  Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Going Ice Fishing

In the interest of full disclosure, I was not the one ice fishing on this cold Sunday morning.  But others heartier than me were on Pewaukee Lake over the weekend to do just that.  I was in the area for brunch with friends and took my camera since it is always such a pretty scene, and I knew I could get some good photos.  You can see what the lake looks like below:

I was not expecting to see ice fishermen, not knowing if the lake was frozen enough to be stable.  But as I was standing on the shore I saw two men in an all-terrain vehicle riding across the river and park on the bank closer to me.  I guess the lake was definitely stable enough since one of the men needed a drill to break through the ice:

Unfortunately (or fortunately since my fingers were starting to freeze), I had to go inside for brunch so I didn't see if they caught anything.  But if an endurance test was what these fishermen were going for, I'm sure they had a great time!

This post is also my "G" assignment for Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  To see more participants, click on the link.