Sunday Morning Coffee #29


I have long been fascinated by the concept of a hole in the sky.

Don’t know if it is a “Someday, I’ll fly home” thing or what.

I used to paint some pretty strange skies – long before I ever encountered the even stranger skies of New Mexico. One of those paintings has a little girl (the scared me) watching a little boy (the brave me) “returning” a red balloon through a hole in the sky. The painting is owned by a wonderful lady in Canada, but I may be able to find a photo to show you, and you will know how weird I really am.

This hole occurred about 6 pm on January 10, and I broke all the village speed limits getting home to the good camera. I shot this from my back patio.

About Sizing Photos . . .

I’m not sure how many times I have posted how-tos about this, but this time, I just want to say how important it is in our new digital existence.

It is an essential skill to put in your digital knowledge bank.

Because most phones and cameras save photos at a screen resolution of 72ppi, they are sized like billboards because the camera records a LOT of pixels (millions) to get a sufficient amount of image data for prints.

And 72ppi is the right resolution to use if you are sending or posting the photo on the web.

But the size MUST be adjusted.

The billboard size makes for a LARGE file which fills up your friends’ storage capacity, and makes trouble in many online formats like blogs and websites.

We have just recently seen what they do when added to our comments – you can’t see them and can’t scroll them.

I really want you to share photos with your comments, but they must be no wider than 600 pixels because that is the width of this column.

There are many ways to resize photos with software like Elements, iPhoto, etc. and there are online services that make it really easy.

Here is one I featured in an old Technical Tizzie post:


Once you resize your photo, save it with a new name (maybe add web to the title?) so you can tell which is the resized one when you look for it on your computer.

Personal Use Policies

I was so gratified by your response to my last post.

I think the time has come for artists to speak up about this – to the manufacturers.

Like you, I walk away and do not buy art and art tools that have the dreaded PU policy – and P-U is appropriate.

But most of those folks don’t know that I walked away.

So, from now on, I am going to do something extra, and I hope you will too.

In such situations, I am going to email the artist or manufacturer and tell them why I walked away from their product.

I am going to say something like this (and you are invited to copy/paste and use it yourself).


I have been admiring your site and the products you offer.

I was ready to make a purchase when I found your “Personal Use Only” policy.

Because this makes no sense and prevents me from selling anything I make using this tool, I have walked away.

Artists through history have wanted to become good enough that someone would want to purchase their artwork. To close the door on that opportunity is not supportive of art and the artists who make up your customer base. It is as odd as saying paint and brushes and canvases (which someone, somewhere, invented) cannot be used to create art for sale.

If you ever rethink this policy, I could be a valuable customer.

You could add or subtract your own words, or mention the product/tool by name if you want. But I think if people actually knew the sales lost because of the PU policy, they might want to think about a change.

The Silhouette Online store just lost $240 from me yesterday. I was going to buy their largest subscription because they do have some items with Commercial Licensing.

But, when I read the small print about the terms of the subscription, it was – you guessed it – PU only.

Bye bye, subscription – and the $64 worth of items that were in my cart!

I want to recommend . . .

a site called


The Commercial Licensing is presented in the most professional, simple, and well-thought-out way I have seen yet. Their product line is well designed and very attractive as well.

You might also want to drop a positive note to sites you find very empowering to artists!

A Wonderful Blog Post . . .

My friend, Sandy Bartholomew, is too cool to describe in few words, so I am going to do a whole post about how amazing she is.

Meanwhile, I just read her most recent blog post, and found it so SO inspirational that I want to share it with you . . .


Read the post now, and I will tell you why Sandy is so amazing later.

A Question of Balance


If you’re human, you wonder about balance once in awhile.

Artist, Michael Grab thinks about balance ALL the time, and uses it to create some very incredible sculpture that you must see to believe . . .


Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.



8 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Coffee #29

  1. Diana in Texas

    You always bring “dessert” to my day. Thanks for sharing your insight, experience and the url’s to Sandy B and Michael G’s website/blogs. Makes my mind begin to whirl. I must agree that the sunsets and sunrises in New Mexico are delightful!! I’m uploading a sunset from Texas.

  2. Judy Wood

    Re. giving feedback to makers of products that you have opted not to buy. This should be a given when we are not happy with something, whatever it is. I’ve always lived by the theory that if they don’t know we aren’t happy, they aren’t going to try to please us. Sometimes they aren’t going to try anyway, but at least they should be made aware of the fact that they are losing customers. They can’t read our minds. :-) I’m also big on thanking those who do a good job for us. With email and the internet, this is really quite quick and easy for us to do.

  3. Mary Darling

    I love spending time on Sandy Bartholomew’s site and I’m really enjoying the sky pictures. Mine was taken in August 2012 and we’ve lived here in Boonville for 10 years and have never seen a sky like this.

  4. Jeanne

    I love sky photos, and I’m always looking for neat clouds to photograph. Your “hole in the sky” was beautiful, as were the others in the Comments. Thanks to all of you for contributing them.

    And thanks, jessica, for the followup to your post on Personal Use Policy. I certainly agree that letting vendors know how we feel about it is the ONLY thing that will bring change.

  5. jessica Post author

    Oh wow! These sky shots are amazing.

    Diana – the dock and the water really set this off.

    Mary, I lived in California for 24 years and I never saw a sky like that either! That is an awesome photo – hope you have that framed somewhere.

  6. Cathy in AZ

    Goreous sky photos you all have posted. We get magnificant sky photos, too. I am posting one that was taken toward the evening. It is the peak behind our house. I took it with my iphone. The mountain looks like a volcanic.

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