Holiday print offer, plus some updates..

December 7th, 2010 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

If you’d made a habit of checking out this blog on a regular basis at some point, you may have noticed I’ve been doing a really lousy job of updating it.  The reason for that is simple. In september I was offered to join a new blogging community called Pixiq.com,   where I’ve been doing my best to regularly post informative (and hopefully entertaining) articles on any things photography related.   Seeing as how it has to be “photography related”, I’m not going to abandon my own blog completely, since I’m allowed to write whatever the hell I want on here ;)   I’ve just been too busy to do so.

Since I’m mentioning the pixiq blog,  I’m gonna go ahead and mention too that I get payed a little bit for it, but only if I reach a mininum number of page views each month.   So if you appreciate the effort I put into my work,  have perhaps been doing so for years,  but are unable to afford to buy my prints or sweaters,   you can actually show me a great deal of support just by bookmarking the pixiq blog, checking it out regularly, and sharing it around on twitter or facebook if you enjoy it.  Thanks.

Now, recently I’ve added quite a few new prints to my print store (click on the pictures to view pricing and sizes available):

Daybreak, Jökulsárlón. July 2009.

Búðir, Snæfellsnes.  February 2007.

Búðir, Snæfellsnes. February 2007.

Horses in Hvalfjörður. Feb 2007.

Chance encounter

Chance encounter. Selfportrait, January 2009.

Fjallkonan.  October 2010.

Fjallkonan. Selfportrait, October 2010.

Cheer up .  July 2008.

Cheer up . July 2008.

Trio of horses, Hvalfjörður. October 2010

Dawn.  4 am, Kleifarvatn, June 2008.

Dawn. 4 am, Kleifarvatn, June 2008.

Jökulsárlón, July 2006

Jökulsárlón, July 2006

That's my glass, silly .

That's my glass, silly. Selfportrait 2006.

I have a bonus print offer going on.  Until January 6th, (the official “last day of Christmas” in Iceland) , a free 18×28 cm print, of any image featured in the shop, (http://rebekka.myshopify.com/collections/all) will be included with any print orders of 145$ or more (price without shipping cost).
Again, here’s a link to the store catalog:
http://rebekka.myshopify.com/collections/all

If you’re interested in taking advantage of this offer, just send an email to rbekka@gmail.com , after placing your order, to let me know which bonus print you’d like.

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Everything you need to know about my sweaters, if you think you might like one.

September 25th, 2010 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

Anyone who’s been following my flickr or facebook pages for more than a few weeks may have noticed that I’ve been knitting sweaters.  (I’ve made 55 sweaters in the last 3 years, to be exact).  I haven’t been advertising them very energetically, for the simple reason that they take long to make,  I have plenty of other projects, and was afraid I’d get inundated with far more orders than I’d ever be able to complete.  So for a while I haven’t been taking on any new orders, but have finally almost reached the end of what was a seemingly endless waiting list.  So: If you’re interested in owning one of these unique garments at some point, I’m going to address some FAQ’s about the process:

Material:  100% pure Icelandic wool, medium thick (Lopi, in Icelandic). If you cant tolerate wool at all, this is obviously not for you.  The sweaters are usually worn as jackets (unless you want a particularly tight fit, as in the image above), over light clothing, so itchiness isn’t a problem for most people. (I often sleep in mine over a tank-top in winter, they’re that soft)

Each one is absolutely unique. I create a new design (around the shoulders/front of sleeves, sometimes along the bottom edge) for each one.  I like to think of them as unique, wearable works of art ;)    If desired, I can create a pattern based on a particular image .  This could be anything-  One client wanted fighter jets, of all things:

Another client wanted something reminiscent of Hawaiian flowers, which resulted in this hibiscus-based pattern:

I work from measurements for an optimum fit:

1. Length of sleeve from armpit to cuff
2. Length from armpit to bottom
3. Width across when measured flat  (I tend to have womens sweaters very slightly tapered in at the waist, unless a very loose fit is desired)

(Here I’m referring to measurements for the sweater itself,  not body measurements, although those can be helpful to have as a guideline)

Color: The wool comes in a very wide range of colors ( from natural white/grey/brownish tones to quite garish and bright artificial colors) with several gradients of light to dark for most of the colors.  If requested, I will use a similar color-scheme as in previously made sweaters, but always with a new pattern.

Style:  All sweaters have a front zipper, crochet detail along the zipper, and choice of hood or a stand-up collar.  Optional are large front pockets and thumbholes.

Cost: Currently I’m charging 425$ (US dollars) for the basic style.  Shipping is 30$. Large front pockets are 25$ extra, extra long sleeves with thumb holes 10$ extra.    Image-based designs, as mentioned above, are far more difficult to create (an extra day of work at least), and are 50$  extra.

Payment method: Preferable method of payment is via Paypal.  If this is a problem, other options, such as a direct bank transfer, can be arranged.

The sweaters are tagged with a lable reading "Hand made and designed by Rebekka Guðleifs" so there's no question where they came from.

As the pictures above indicate, I always photograph myself wearing the sweaters before sending them off. To begin with I just wanted a proper documentation of each one after spending so much time working on it, and now this has become an important part of the process for me.  Most of the pictures end up on my website. The fact that I model them all myself is likely the reason I’m so often asked if I make sweaters for guys as well.  The answer is yes, and the following are a few examples of men’s sweaters I’ve created:

This should cover everything. If you have additional questions, or are interested in having a sweater made, contact me via email:  rbekka@gmail.com .

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Berry season

August 7th, 2010 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

Late july-august here in Iceland has a particular charm for me, which partially makes up for the fact that it’s started getting dark again at night (i’m never really ok with that, its sad even tho it’s easier to get to sleep, but I suppose another summer with bright nights is due next year, i’ll cling to that fact like a comforting blanket)

Anyway, the hillsides and mossy areas close to where I live are awash with berries this time of year.  Blueberries and another kind of small, tart black berry , I’ve no idea if it even has a name in english. In icelandic it’s called krækiber (which would be pronounced crikey-bear, i suppose, hehe)

Anyway, it’s the blueberries I’m after, with a nerdy passion.  I’d always been under the assumption that there was only one kind of blueberry growing in southern Iceland, rather pale blue in color and growing very close to the ground.  My mother kept talking about the blueberries growing up North where she grew up, called “aðalbláber” which translates to “the main blueberry” or as my mom was clearly implying: “the real deal”.    Last year I discovered to my great delight that there are in fact TWO KINDS of these more elite blueberries to be found here in the south, along with the more common ones if you know where to look.  One kind is dark blue and the other  black and shiny, and they grow a bit larger than the other ones.  I’m not about to disclose where I pick them though.  The common paler blue ones are perfectly fine, taste pretty much the same, they’re just not as fun to pick, somehow.

So far, since mid-July, i’ve filled 4 or 5 one-liter ice-cream boxes with berries, stocking up the freezer so I’ll have enough to last me thru the winter, using them mostly instead of ice-cubes in smoothies.  Blueberries are purported to be bursting with antioxidant goodness, so consuming them uncooked in this way has its obvious benefits.  They’re quite sour, however, nothing like the giant blueberries found in the U.S., for instance, so it’s tempting to cook them into something sweet.  I’ve used them in jam, pie (i’ve tried both blueberry pie and blueberry/apple, which is better) and muffins,  and it’s all been delicious.  So much more fun baking with berries you pick out in the wild than store-bought stuff.

Here’s a recipe for blueberry muffins I use, it’s from Joy of Cooking (my bible in the kitchen, hands down the most informative and inclusive cookbook I’ve ever come across)  The pictures are added as extra incentive to do as I say and try them ;)

mix together in a large bowl:
280 g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Blend in a smaller bowl:
2 eggs
250 ml milk/ buttermilk/ sourcream/ cream or a mix of any of these
130 g sugar or brown sugar
60-115 g   melted butter or oil  (the more fat you use, the longer they stay moist)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the dry and wet ingredients, by hand, don’t overmix. The batter is not supposed to be smooth.
Fold in:
180 g fresh blueberries

sprinkle with cinnamon sugar before baking (about 12-15 minutes at 180°C).

Enjoy.

In closing: The picture at the top of this post shows the makings of 4-berry jam that I made with my son the other day.  In addition to blueberries, and the afore mentioned “krækiber”, we used red- and blackcurrants from my parents yard,  equal parts of each kind.  Used no recipe. 1600g berries to 1200g sugar, boiled for an hour or so, half of the mixture sieved to get out some of the seeds and skins,  and then everything pureed, and poured into sterilized jars ( i just boiled them one by one for a couple minutes).

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Excess

August 4th, 2010 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

The past two months I’ve been working on this newest series of photos, which is the online exhibit for August on the website of The Nevica Project, where I’m one of the featured artists.

The original idea was just to make the photo above,  because I happened to have a large glass-shaped vase from Ikea, and figured it would be neat to bake an oversized slice of cake to go with it.  I asked my brother to make me a giant fork to complete the illusion. (I also had the top sawed off the glass so it would have the same proportions as a typical drinking glass) Many have already seen this picture on Flickr, and surprisingly many of them thought the glass, cake and fork were photoshopped. (something people assume about a lot of photos of mine that aren’t faked at all) .

Anyway, after making this first image in May, I decided to create this series, a tongue-in-cheek reflection on how those of us fortunate enough to live in privileged parts of the world have far more food (and other commodities) than we need, or can indeed consume.   I’m particularly pleased with my young models, who manage to convey perfectly with their somewhat bored and unimpressed expressions how we tend to take our good fortune for granted.

As with the first picture, nothing is faked, and a great deal of trial and error went into making the food in giant proportions.

For the fun of it,  here are a few pictures from “behind the scenes” , just for the hell of it:

The burger reduced from photo-prop to substantial meal for three, with quite a bit left over.

my older son assiting me with the cheerios preparation..

I made fresh pasta dough, from which I hand rolled extra wide strips of "tagliatelle", as well as extra big lasagne sheets...

.. and in fact assembled a huge portion of lasagne, TWICE. sadly both times it shrank too much in the oven to look impressive enough to use for the series.

Again, be sure to check out the exhibit to see the images larger.  Limited edition prints are available.

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The shed project (2008-2009)

July 13th, 2010 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

October 18th 2008 I went for a drive to Kleifarvatn lake (not for the first time and not for the last) in desperate need of some inspiration.  Taking a road I hadn’t driven down before, I came across an empty shed.  It was in such a state of disarray, I figured it couldn’t possibly be in use.  I also saw a great deal of potential in it, and after cleaning up most of the mess and pushing the moldy couch to one side, I happily decided to return as soon as possible and get to work transforming it into something more interesting than this:

it's a bit drafty, but offers an excellent view of the lake!

"i don't know honey. It's looks a bit drafty.."

before leaving, I shot both a sweater photo, and a doll photo. At the time, i was completely immersed in my doll series, and never left home without at least 2 dolls in the car.

I returned 2 days later armed with plastic sheeting, electricians tape, a hammer and some nails, and  contentedly set to work covering the windows, with a warm autumn sun looking in on me.  In my head, i had visions of making many different scenarious in this space, painting it in many different colors perhaps, for an intricate series, sure to blow everyones mind..

"this is gonna be so awesome!", she thought to herself..

"this is gonna be so awesome!" she thought to herself..

I was in such a good mood, I stopped to take this photo before leaving:

The same evening, a snowstorm hit (of course).  Not surprisingly, the Icelandic wind made a joke of my makeshift plastic window-covers.  When i returned the next day, (just managing to not get stuck in the snow) meaning to get to work with step two -painting the walls- I found one of the sheets in shreds.  The other was completely intact, but happened to be flapping from a fence a good distance from the shed.

this is what it looks like when Icelandic weather dares you to continue with a silly project..

this is what it looks like when Icelandic weather dares you to continue with a silly project..

Inside, things weren’t very encouraging either:

yay..

yay..

Having sensed this would happen, i refused to give up.  I had also (just in case) brought with me a bunch of narrow strips of wood. Gritting my teeth, I spent one of the most annoying hours of my life fighting the fierce wind to get the stupid plastic back into place, this time nailing the wooden strips over it, so it wouldn’t just rip right out from the nails again.  Having finally shut out most of the wind and cold again,  I did my best to paint half the shed a rather unattractive peach-pink shade (the only left-over paint i could find in my parents garage) , which would have been easier had the walls been dry..

ugh

ugh..

I then went home, not really caring if the weather would crash the party again or not..

It continued to snow.. I was afraid to return, but on October 26th, I set out with a group of large white branches I had previously used for another series of photos, and my younger son tagging along.  When we reached the turn-off for the road to the shed,  the car promptly sunk into a foot of snow, and refused to go any further.  Even more unfortunately, it also refused to go back onto the main road.  Now, before I even had a chance to think about panicking, i saw a pair of headlights coming at us from the direction of the shed, and it turned out to be a much larger truck, driven by a pair of helpful scouts (no joke).  They not only got my car un-stuck,  they also drove me, my kid, the branches and camera gear all the way up to the shed (about 3 km) .  I of course left my hammer in the car.   But, being helpful scouts, they loaned me one ( scouts honor).  The weather was calm and pleasant, so I told them we’d just walk back, and thanked them for saving my project. (the probably drove off thinking i was insane, and wouldn’t have been too far off)

The plastic hadn’t held this time around either, ( I found some comfort tho, in the fact that i’d nailed it so well into place, that this time the top of the original window frame on the left fell down, plastic still clinging). Deciding to just accept that the weather would be a part of this project from now on,  I arranged the branches in the middle of the floor, and nailed them into place..

Then i arranged a large white sheet with a hole in the middle, around the trees, nailing it to the walls. I wasn’t really sure why, but it seemed like a good idea at the time..

oct. 26th 2008

Then we hiked back to the car, my son only complaining a little bit when i refused to carry his 9-year-old self along with my tripod and camera bag.

I then visited the shed on a regular basis, documenting how the weather shaped and changed the set-up:

November 4th, 2008

November 9th, 2008.

Finally, on January 10, 2009, I returned to shoot a self-portrait in the ravaged remains of my first-ever installation piece.

after editing, this was my favorite outcome from that shoot:

I told myself my mission was accomplished, but being the hopeless perfectionist i am, doubt soon set in. Finally admitting to myself that I wasn’t satisfied, I returned on March 11th.  Again, the road was impassable (this time due to thawing and deep mud), so I had to walk.   I reshot the scene, and was far more pleased with the result this time around:

Even getting a pretty good outtake:

Last time i drove up to this area, the shed had been torn, and my branches nowhere to be seen, making me even more grateful that I had the sense to document this process.

Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes posts from other projects in coming weeks..

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