Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

It was a good year, but the next one will be a thousand times better!!! It cannot be otherwise!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and best wishes to all our friends and family!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sort of formal with the pug.

That would be the last portrait for this year. Too bad I cannot paint. Probably that's one of the reasons why I do photography.
I think I need a red dress for the next one...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tiny sad Santa

We were making Xmas card today. Alfred doesn't make the happiest Santa, I should admit. But hey! He's the pug!!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Informal with the pug

New apartment has a potential that  needs to be explored. If only I had time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Lady with the pug

I have to photograph friends more often. I feel like I'm missing so many moments. I don't even notice behind my daily routine how fast time goes by. So fast it scares me.
This picture of Julia was taken in July. Fruit of rare but most welcome visit, I do love it.

Thanks for being patient with me, girls. I'll try to catch up.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lichtenstein pug

Well, actually he didn't have any artwork including pugs. I thought I might fix that. So, here is my take on pop art style.  I'm thinking about printing it poster size. Alfred will look cool on my wall.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Summer envy

Someone else is wishing for a seaside in Montreal. I'm not alone.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pug for Tally

I'm sorry to make you cry. Truth to be told, I made myself cry.
But all the stories are ought to be told, and it was time for me to tell that one:)
To cheer you up here is a pug for you!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Orbis vitae

     More than 15 years ago I bought a rubber ball for our dog.
He loved these balls. He would play with one for days very carefully, then at some point just squeeze hard and poke a hole in it. After that, the ball was doomed and destroyed in a matter of hours, and I would go and get him a new one, because I loved to see him happy. And he was always happy to see a new ball in my hands! That's the magic of a rubber ball.
     He passed before he had time to destroy this one.
Cheap rubber ball with dead dog's teeth marks traveled to Canada with me. It was hidden in a drawer all these years, and once in a while  I would take it out, roll it across the room, and think about Gin (short for Imagination - why on Earth I named my dog Imagination? I have no idea. I didn't even speak English back in Russia!).
     He was a good dog. He was part of our family. He was the friendliest and smartest dog ever. When we lost him, I thought I would never have a dog again. I kept his rubber ball.
     And then, more than 15  years later, here was Alfred. Unsure of his new situation, he was very timid and quiet at first. Didn't know how to play with the toys I got him. One day, desperately wanting to cheer him up,  I took out Gin's old rubber ball and rolled it across the floor.
     Alfred run after it and was happily chasing and bouncing it around the room. Rubber ball still have that magic inside. At this moment I cried.
     It became one of Alfred favorites. He fishes it out of his toy basket, brings it to me and smashes it into my calves, inviting me to play.
     At some point he squeezed hard and poked a hole in it. Someday  he will destroy it and I would go and get him a new one.
     The circle of life.

That's what we looked like in that other life:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hot days

Alfred follows me around the apartment and as soon as I sit down he collapses at my feet. He also learned to jump into a bathtub and whine until I pour some water in, so he could play a bit and cool himself off.I need to get him a rubber duck:)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Happy BD to Julia!

Julia is an inspiration for me in many - many senses. Besides from her endless creativity and restless mind, I never saw a woman more devoted to the family than her.
One of our most loyal friends, she is always here if we need support, advice or just ears to listen. 
Here is a Campanula flower for Julia.  Because it is often thought to represent gratitude and I am grateful for our friendship.
Campanulas also given as symbols of affection, as they are sometimes said to symbolize constancy and everlasting love, as well as humility and delicacy.  Pretty close association!

Happy Birthday, best wishes, and I  hope to see you soon!!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A tale of two chairs (part 1)

It was once a set of 4 chairs posted for sale on Kijiji.
    Me, wanting something more visually appealing and comfortable than IKEA plastic green stools, liked them. Having no space to put them all I bought one.
    That was about 8 years ago.
Blue velvet chair started my obsession with French Provincial style. I learned things about Queen Anne legs and mahogany wood. I learned how to paint furniture and upholster chairs. I've changed color of pretty much every piece in the apartment,  I've sold some of chairs and tables I refinished.
    Blue velvet chair remained the same. Except for the gray legs. Until few weeks ago when I decided it was time for a change. Because that is how I do things.

I need it to be grey and white like the rest of our living room. And I wanted fabric to be partially painted. Sort of dipped effect, but with a hand painted feeling and brushstrokes. Painting blue velvet in white was not an option, so I had no choice but reupholster. Preferably without having to buy more supplies. 
    Enter the white canvas (I bought a couch cover at IKEA "as is" section few years ago for 5$, and made quite a few things out of it. Remaining 3 parts were big enough to cover my chair.) and This method.
    Thanks again, Kristy,  for teaching us how to do it!
The only things different is that I painted fabric instead of the chair itself.  And I only used acrylic  paint to mix with textile medium... Because that is what I had.

Painted canvas also makes a very nice background for pug head shots.... Note to myself - maybe I need to make a big one?

    Then it was time to destroy blue chair. I found out that prior to blue it has been orange. Somebody already worked on it... I pulled out twice of normal amount of staples.  I learned how to do tufting and how to work with very intimidating ply grip.
    Well, this is one of my favorite projects now. The chair is absolutely unique, goes perfectly with my color scheme, and fabric in this case does not have that outdoorsy feeling because I washed it after painting. It feels like cotton canvas!

P.S. The rug was painted about a year ago using absolutely the same technique!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

It's Saturday June 14th.
I didn't know such day exists. Until last week.

Nancy Oatts, volunteering for NYC Elder Abuse Center ( NYCEAC ), e-mailed me asking if they could use one of my pictures to create a graphic to be posted online for such occasion. I went to her blog and read the story about Miss D Which I would follow from now on and hope for a happy ending.

I thought of old lady living upstairs (she's talking to her cat an awful lot lately). I thought about my grandfather slipping into dementia after grandma passed.
How could I refuse?
I'm glad my image is working for a good cause. It's not just a picture anymore, it got a new meaning and a message to bear.

Nancy was very professional and pleasant to deal with, she courteously sent me all mockups and final version of the graphic, you can see it here NYCEAC 
I hope this is not the end of our creative collaboration  but a beginning.

Thank you guys! I admire your work and efforts and I'm proud to be a part of this!

is Saturday June 14th
is Saturday June 14th
is Saturday June 14th
is Saturday June 14th
is Saturday June 14th

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Gotcha Day

A year ago while looking for a pug to adopt, I saw that picture on KIJIJI, replied to the ad and on the same day we brought home Alfred.  He still have a thing for dishwasher...

It's hard to remember what was the life like before him. I cannot imagine now waking up and not to be greeted by wiggly - snorting - nose licking funny dog. Snoring on my lap while I type this, he has no idea that he changed my life for better a year ago:)

Monday, May 26, 2014

New find

I always wanted telephone table in our hallway. So I was happy to find one. It was immediately painted (this time I went for a weathered wood effect) in gray with light blue undertone.  I'm pleased and definitely keeping it!

Pug approved.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Kitchen stills

Whenever I can, I bring home things I find pretty.  I wish I could just frame the fish itself.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Please, let there be red

Every time we are about to shoot an engagement session - I cross my fingers and wish for red. Dress, shoes, scarf - anything red. Sometimes my prayers get answered:)
This girl was all a photographer could wish for! One of the most beautiful Brides-To-Be, very smart and stylish. I was a bit sad that I didn't get to shoot their wedding, but we had 3 on the same day:)

Common nightmares

I'm haunted by three  persistent dream scenarios. One of them - drowning. According to Google - drowning is one of 10 common nightmares, so no big deal. I wouldn't even call it a nightmare, because in my case this one is quite peaceful. Usually it's floating and very slowly submerging underwater until all light is gone and then I wake up.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Self in blue

Why I shoot so many self-portraits? Because I'm the person I know best. And let's face it, I spend most of the time alone.

Even though you can never be alone when you have a pug. He has no concept of personal space and I have troubles of teaching him that:))))

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Great catch

 Great fish came back home with me from Ottawa.  We decided to name him Frank.

Ci Da posed with Frank, but was disappointed because she didn't get to play with him...

Dogs shared a sunspot (AKA death ray). Too bad we don't have direct sunlight at home.

We were very happy to spend time with our super friends (dogs and humans:))))))

 We went to Ottawa it was winter still, we came back - spring is already here. Everything is light and fresh!

P.S. I love these pastel candy colors! And I love this tiny floral blouse that Tatiana and I bought for Andrey's niece! I wish I had one like that:)

Friday, April 4, 2014


I'm sure this is what Alfred hears when I'm talking to him.... Will he ever find out who is the good boy?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

For the love of teal

Sometimes (not always) I find Alfred sitting on my furniture when he thinks I'm not looking. Which is quite funny. He makes that "I'm sorry" face, gets off and runs to me wagging his tail:)
Usually I reprimand such behavior, trying very hard not to laugh. But in this case I could not help, but take a cute picture.

One of our family dogs had a habit of  laying on the dining table so he could look at the window when left home alone.  The other one was sleeping on the couch secretly (so he thought:)  I'm starting to compare Alfred to them, and I do find a lot of similar problems... I have to think about it some more...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

Hide and seek

Few days ago Alfred went to the vet to complete his yearly vaccination. He was not trilled  by this visit at all, put up a struggle (I know now that it takes 4 persons to draw blood from a pug) and complained very loudly about everything... Despite his foul mood he received all his shots, was given a clean bill of health and off the hook for a year.
Back at home I sat working for a few hours, and then realized that Alfred is not under my work table. And not in the room at all.
He does sleep in his bed or kennel sometimes when I'm busy, so I went to the living room to check on him. He was not there.
I checked bedroom and kitchen - no pug. The only place left was the bathroom. Almost closed door revealed this:

That was so sad, I almost cried. Which obviously didn't stop me from taking the picture first and hugging the pug next.
He is not mad at me anymore.