19 March 2015

Tribute to Michael Graves. Architecture in El Gouna, Egypt

A stairwell in the Steigenberger Golf Resort
A stairwell in the Steigenberger Golf Resort
I was sad to hear of the death of Michael Graves, renowned architect and designer.  On March 12, Mr. Graves died of natural causes in his home in Princeton, New Jersey. He was 80.

Over the years, I could recognize Mr. Graves' designs or architecture all over the world.
His design was distinct and had a big impact on me. I remember the first time that my husband and I drove down to the El Gouna resort in southern Egypt. We had reservations at the Steigenberger resort. I had only seen a tiny photo of a room, so I had no idea that this entire golf resort was designed by Graves.

On the approach to the Steigenberger, I was pleasantly surprised to see the weird group of buildings with beautiful smooth lines, shapes, and subtle desert colours.

It was fascinating to be surrounded in his quirky style, all open for me to explore. Stairwell are cleverly disguised like castle towers. Tagine- topped towers dot the banks of the surrounding lagoon.
The lagoon surrounding the Steigenberger Golf Resort
The lagoon surrounding the Steigenberger Golf Resort
Our stay at the Steigenberger was so good that we returned many times whenever we visited the resort.
Entrance to the Steigenberger Golf Resort in El Gouna
Entrance to the Steigenberger Golf Resort in El Gouna

Steigenberger Golf Resort in El Gouna
Steigenberger Golf Resort in El Gouna

Mr. Graves' work can be found all over the Orascom development in El Gouna, Egypt.

Villas in El Gouna
Villas in El Gouna

Villas in El Gouna
The tagine topped villas of El Gouna.
El Gouna Villa

Steigenberger Golf Resort in El Gouna

Villas in El Gouna
Villas in El Gouna

Entrance to a Villa in El Gouna

Entrance to a Villa in El Gouna
Villas in El Gouna
Entrance to a Villa in El Gouna
A view of a Michael Graves villa in El Gouna, Egypt
A view of a Michael Graves villa in El Gouna, Egypt.
The Coptic church inspired by Michael Graves design
The Coptic church inspired by Michael Graves design

09 March 2015

DIY: Secure a Wood Photo Panel with Picture Hanging Wire

Some time ago, I decided to enter a few photo pieces into an art show. It wasn't until after I paid the entry fees and read the fine print that I realized that all the artwork entries were required to be mounted with wire.

For my framed images, this wasn't a problem. But, for the solid wood panel that I printed at Snapfish.com, it proved to be a little challenge.

My DIY solid wood photo panel hanging system at the art exhibit.
First, I attempted to get a nail into the slotted openings at the back of the picture. It didn't work because the backing is nearly impossible to penetrate and I was worried that I would damage the image.

Command™ Wire-Backed Picture
Hanging Hook.
Turn it upside down to create
the hook for the wire.
After many google searches to find DIY help, I didn't find any suitable results. I decided to visit the local Walmart picture framing section to see what I could find.

With my makeshift wire hanging supplies in hand, I took to creating my own DIY photo panel wire hanger.

My goal was to make the hanging system hang securely through 3 days of the show.

Here's what I used:

3M Command Wire-backed picture hanging tabs , braided picture wire and duct tape.




Instead of the hooks being stuck to the wall, they are turned upside down,
and affixed to the back of the photo panel.
First I centered the picture hanging hooks on the back of the panel. I turned the hook upside down wrapped the wire a few times around the hook, like a lasso. I secured it with duct tape so the wire didn't slip off the hook.

Next, I measured the wire so that it would land about 1-1/2 inches from the top of the frame. I wrapped the wire around the second hook, then cut the wire. Again, I secured it with duct tape.

The duct tape keeps the wire on the plastic hook and
it keeps the wire from fraying or cutting someone.

Exhibits or galleries using a wire system require that the wire on the back of the artwork is at least three inches from the top of the piece. Usually a single wire is used for lighter pieces and two wires for heavier bulkier pieces.

The wire lands about 1-1/2 inches from the top of the frame.

Since many art shows require art entries to be hung on gallery hanging systems, I hope this might help someone out that needs to securely mount a photo panel or wood-mounted image.

End Result

The photo panel hung securely for the entire weekend of the show. After the show, it hung on the wall for almost 8 weeks before the adhesive from the 3M hook came loose.
It worked great. The event coordinators were excited to see my DIY handiwork. And, I was able to exhibit the photo.
Hope this will help you too. If it does, please let me know.

ps: sorry for the crummy pictures. It wasn't until someone asked me how I mounted the wood panel that I realized I should have taken better behind the scenes pictures.

31 January 2015

My upcoming class "Photoshop Basics for Photographers" in western North Dakota

If you're in the Dickinson, North Dakota area, consider signing up for class. I'm teaching Photoshop Basics for Photographers. 2 pm to 3:30 pm, Saturdays 14, 21 and 28 February and 7 March.



darla hueske photoshop photographer


15 January 2015

Fracked in the Bakken

Political pundits have been waxing poetic about the economic boom in western North Dakota from the surge in hydraulic fracturing.
They get all frothy when they talk billion dollar budgets and low employment rates. Across the country, people retweet signs that Walmart is paying $17 an hour for starting salaries and have up to $1000 sign on bonuses.
For many of us living in the area, who are not beneficiaries of the oil boom, we have to deal with the day-to-day economics.
I accept many things that the universe offers me, but it is difficult to accept the gouge from the mechanic. I paid $220 for an hour of work to install a starter on a 2006 Chrysler van.

GOUGERS

Charbonneau Auto Center in Dickinson North Dakota may have once been a family operated honest place for business, but after one year of increased gouging from this business, I am left to drive 90 miles east to Bismarck or even to Fargo for service.
I highly recommend anyone in this area to do the same.