Morning walk at the Berkeley marina park

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Recently I was in Berkeley, California, and decided to take some pictures because what most people associate with the town is the college, but Berkeley also has an amazing waterfront and marina.

Title: Boats in the marina
Location: Berkeley, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Looking across the bay towards Tiburon.

Title: Calm morning ocean
Location: Berkeley California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

These benches were in a perfect spot to just sit, relax and stare at the water.

Title: Park by the bay
Location: Berkeley California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

This is a piece of public art titled “Sky Window” is on the Berkeley waterfront and allows visitors to interact with art and landscape.

Title: Sky Window
Location: Berkeley California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Flowers in vases

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While I love taking pictures of flowers in nature, I also love setting them up in vases to show off the beauty between natural and objective.
Title: Yellow rose in an old bottle

These roses really pop out against the white background and shimmering glass. Sometimes simple really is better.
Title: Pink and red romantic roses

I found this unique pot in a store and knew right away it would looking amazing with colorful roses.
Title: Sweet rose still life

The word to best describe this setup would be “blooming”, giving off the allure of brightly colored flowers coming to life once they hit the water.
Title: Stargazer lily in bloom

Floral still life

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One of my favorite colors is orange because of how vibrant it is, and it’s found in nature a lot.
Title: Abstract orange flower

The subtle tone of yellow to orange on the underside of this flower made for a very unique picture.
Title: Yellow to orange floral tones

Not all roses are red, and those that aren’t tend to stand out the most like this yellow rose today.
Title: Stand out yellow rose

Pink is another popular color for roses, often giving off a lighter vibe while still catching the eye.
Title: One color is not like the others

Artist interview featuring Beata Czifrik

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This week’s artist interview is featuring Beata Czifrik of MakeMeMacrame Etsy shop. She sells beautiful gemstone jewelry I absolutely love!

SammyPhoto: Walk us through the step-by-step process you use to create your art.
Beata: I design and make Gemstone Macrame Jewelry.

When traveling in different countries, their beautiful gemstones somehow always find me. Without knowing where to look or where to go the stones will be on my way eventually. I always pick the most beautiful ones, the ones that I would love to wear myself.

Then I either draw a design with colours, shape and pattern or just go freehand. The stone is the inspiration and everything else will just develop from it on the way. (This is the very reason that all my pieces are one of a kind).

I work with waxed cords, which are extremely durable and strong. To frame a gemstone I use a baseline and a framing knot texture. After this there will be a lot (up to hundreds) of cords, which I will knot in different ways to create a shape and pattern. Everything depends on the shape and size of the stone and the jewelry I want to create, so each piece has to be re-designed on the go. Every piece is like making jewelry for the first time. I make a lot of corrections until the end result is perfect. This usually takes days, on occasions months.

SammyPhoto: How did you get started with etsy? What’s your favorite part of Etsy? What’s your least favorite part?
Beata: I started using Etsy years ago when I was on the road in Europe. Back then I made bookmarks with Hungarian embroidery, one of a kind Kindle Covers and I sold charcoal and graphite drawings too. I came to know Folksy first (Etsy’s strictly British equivalent). A lot of British artist and craftsman were selling on Etsy as well so I thought I’d give it a try and it worked out quite well.

What I really love about Etsy is that I can keep traveling while my jewelry is still available to everyone out there.

What I don’t much like about selling on Etsy is that it needs a lot of work and a serious amount of time of promotion and attention and connection and so on. I spend probably more time with this than with actually working on my jewelry.

SammyPhoto: How did you get into making jewelry?
Beata: When I spent a few months in Guatemala volunteering in a jungle hostel, I’d seen and heard a lot about macrame. I had no idea back then what was the big fuss about it. I haven’t seen too many beautiful pieces, so I wasn’t particularly interested. Then on the internet (when finally I had access to it), I checked up on some pictures and discovered the variety and potential of macrame. I fell in love with it. Then by accident I met a girl and then another one who were making macrame and who quickly taught me the basics. After that one step lead to the next, I bought my first stones, my first cords and started to make my first real jewelry! It was a really big success immediately. Everyone around me was absolutely stunned, and not long after people started to buy them on the road!

SammyPhoto: What inspires you?
Beata: Mostly different cultures inspire me with their colours and unique patterns and of course the gemstones themselves. I like to take inspiration from other type of jewelry as well, which can be very interesting to turn into macrame.

SammyPhoto: Where do you call home?
Beata: Everywhere and nowhere. A lot of people say I am a gypsy, well, I’m a traveler for sure! And this has influenced me the most: by the variety and beauty of life and different cultures on Earth.

SammyPhoto: Could you describe your style for us.
Beata: I make mostly bohemian style jewelry, I work with gemstones and the ancient art of macrame.

SammyPhoto: Could you share some of your hobbies with us.
Beata : When I’m not working on my jewelry I like to do yoga, ride a horse, walk in the mountains, surf in the sea, read a book, play the guitar, sing with my friends, get to know people, share my life with others.

SammyPhoto: Does your shop pay the bills?
Beata: My jewelry pays good enough for having started only a few months ago. It is a good part of my income and is definitely improving. I sell on Folksy as well as Handmake.Me and of course on the road off line.

SammyPhoto: Art school or self taught?
Beata: I don’t think any school teaches macrame. I was taught by random artisans I’ve met. And the internet is always a great source of information.

SammyPhoto: Thank you so much Beata for doing this interview! I would like to invite everyone to check out MakeMeMacrame on Etsy HERE and follow her on Facebook here.

Abstract seashore

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This is a long exposure of moving water against the rocks.
Title: Water moving over beach rocks

One reason I love to take long exposure pictures is because of the dreamy effect it gives off, especially with water.
Title: Dreamy abstract water

The sand is slowly overtaken by a slow moving wave, so subtle yet so dramatic.
Title: Lines of the seashore

Sunset walk on the beach

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Going on the beach before sunset offers a view of shadows and colors that we normally do not see during the day.
Title: California beach marsh

Subtle tracks left by a truck in the sand, they look very deep with the sun going down.
Title: Tracks in the sand

This beach offers a very unique view of the mountains in the background, which as you can see, many people like to just come to this park and enjoy the views.
Title: Bike at the beach

The sky illuminates as the sun slowly goes down over the islands in the background.
Title: Sun slowly setting