Saturday, January 31, 2009

Limited Edition Valentine Card

I just posted this limited edition (50) Valentine Card on Etsy. The photo is 4x6 and printed with the same archival inks and fine, glossy photography paper(HP) as my prints. It is applied to a 5x7 white card. I've left the inside blank so that you may add your own message. Envelopes are included. Each card will be signed, dated and numbered (*/50). Check out the card on Etsy here.
If you are local, I will knock off shipping charges but you must buy directly from me not through Etsy since I can't change that. Just call and I can take your order over the phone. 
Also, those that buy directly from me can get a quantity discount of $2.00 per card for ordering more than one. This is only for pick up or hand delivery.
The featured print was a discovery and a bit of surprise for me. I was playing with the image which I sometimes do when I need to relax and relieve stress. This shot is from our one "snow" this year here in East Tennessee and I'd thought I'd convert it to black and white. But then I decided to isolate the background and play with the color. I was happily surprised when I managed to get this lovely gold color. I called the original print (before snow-hearts and lettering were added), All That Glistens. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Etsy Treasury

I sell my prints on a site called It is such a fun site full of some very imaginative and creative people. One of the fun things they do is to allow members to put together "treasuries." All treasuries must follow a certain theme which the creator determines. Some are based on a pattern; my print Seeing Spots was in one called Seeing Spots a week ago and everything including, Rocky, the horse in my photo was spotted. Some are based on color; I had one featured in a treasury like that a few weeks ago right after I first joined the site. I'm so pleased to say that Once in a Dream(shown below/right on this page) has been featured today in a treasury called Insomnia!!! Isn't that fun? Check it out because they only stay up for about a week or less unless they are featured on the home page. And check out Etsy; I think you will like it. 
Late breaking news!...very late considering that it is just 4:30 a.m. here or would that be early?...Anyway:),  another photo, Rainy Days and Mondays, has been included in an Etsy treasury, Treasury West. It is another gorgeous compilation and I'm truly honored to be included. 
Rainy Days and Mondays(Once in a Dream below right)

New "Fan" Site

I've set up a "fan" site on facebook. Check it out and if you like it, join. I've put up a small portfolio there. I did have several albums of images posted until my friend and fellow equine photographer, Emily Peak(thank you, Emily!!), pointed out to duffus me that people could easily steal my images. I deleted them immediately and have since uploaded a few with both a watermark and digimark applied. I know that people can right click most images on the web and download them but on my own websites and here, I can track exactly who does that. Facebook does not allow any type of tracking/stat keeping that I can find in their applications. For everyone's information because this was news to me, another equine artist and friend, Renee Fukumoto(thanks so much, Renee!!), told me that there is actually html code available on the web that will prevent right click downloads. I plan to find that and put it in all of my websites. Just some info that I've found very useful and thought I'd share with all of you since my pals, mentioned above, were nice enough to have my back and share it with me. Take care all~Sande
NOTE: the post that I mentioned in my RB journal(short PS tutorial) is directly below this one:)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Variations in Photoshop

In the first, Through a Glass Darkly, I started with the base photo then applied a photo of cracked glass, criss-cross texture layer, and sky image. I then cropped that and reduced it in size so that I could paste it over the original sky image. I then beveled and embossed that layer, added the wings, and an image of limbs. This one took a direction all its own since it is different in style to most of my work. But I felt it was beginning to look like an old album cover or something you might see on the back of a biker's jacket so I added the text which I curved to fit around and accentuate the center "sphere."

The second image took much longer to complete than it might appear. Despite the fact that it looks much simpler than Through a Glass Darkly, it actually took just as long and as many layers to achieve. I started with the same base photo and applied a full frame layer of a photo of crackled glass. Then I applied several layers of sky image both full and partial, which I blended in several different ways. I didn't like the coolness of the image so I applied several warming filters and also a diffuser to soften the image overall. I still thought the image was too cool so I added a shot of water which had golden hues to it which I enhanced before adding. Finally, I went into my Tiffen filters and added a light adjusting filter to add to the golden glow.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Treasure does not clink together or glitter rather it glistens in the sunlight and neighs in the night. ~attributed both as a gypsy saying and an old Arabian one
I've learned that you can click on the image for a larger view. This composite/collage is my latest offering created during this insomnia haunted night. So if it doesn't look as good in the light of day as it does now, at 3:15 in the morning...forgive me. 
I started working on this with intention of entering it into a group challenge (Fine Art Composites) on But I tend to create several copies along the way from start to finish and the final one started as a flattened version of the one before. Meaning that, once I lost both the original and the copy of it, I had no way of retrieving the information on each step and layer that I needed for the competition. I still have over a week to create a new entry so I guess I will literally be going back to the drawing board.:)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Poster

The Winds of Heaven are those that flow between a horse's ears. It's an old Arabian saying and this image also has special meaning to me but I will explain that later because I have to go ship now:)....not up on either my website or Etsy store yet but it is available on RedBubble. I'll put it up on the others so that it can be bought directly from me (and printed with archival inks on fine art paper to create an image guaranteed not to fade for 200 year...) in a few days.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rene Fukumoto

Rene Fukumoto is a very talented whether her medium is pencil and paper, paint and canvas, a camera, or the written word. When she saw my photo Solitude 2,  she felt inspired to write these beautiful words. I am so touched and so honored that my work would inspire such lovely words. 
I asked her if I could reprint the poem here and she graciously agreed, telling me that the poem belongs with the photo. 

Solitude ~ a Vision

Renee Fukumoto

granted a vision
of Horse
the golden Eden light reveals
a mystery of grace,
the taste of honey'd light
upon my eyes
Imparts to me the Gift:
a revelation of four legs
and velvet nose
of snort and liquid eye,
the movement of Being
that captures my soul

January 21, 2009
Upon viewing Sande Elkins's photograph "Solitude 2"

Two Top Tens!!

I belong to a site called Red Bubble. It is a place to display and sell your favorite and best art work and photography. There are many different groups on the site which hold competitions/challenges which are then voted on by their membership. I recently entered my first two challenges and I finished in the top ten in both of them! It may not be a win but I'm still so happy and honored to be included with the fantastic work which was entered. The first image below, I just found out this morning, placed in the top ten of a challenge for sunrise silhouettes in the Mornings and Evenings, Sunbeams and Storms group.  And Heavenly Light, the second image, finished in the top ten of Animals in the Fog challenge in the Shots in the Fog group.

Now, I'd better go feed those poor horses who are probably extremely peeved at me for being over an hour late on this frigid morning. Time to brave the cold! :-)

Monday, January 19, 2009

So Honored

As I told you all a few days ago, I've finally joined the 21st century and gotten my own facebook page. Honestly, I've been on the internet for at least 15 years and I'm just now getting around to doing something that it seems has become an American tradition or maybe requirement. All joking aside, I signed up there mainly to try to network for my biz and do a little marketing as well but I got an unexpected surprise and benefit which was connecting with old friends that I haven't seen since high school. One of those friends was Daryl Lunsford. Daryl and I actually grew up a block from each other in the tiny town of Loudon where I still least on the outskirts of town. Daryl says that my husband, Steve, is his oldest friend...or at least the one he's known the longest.:-)  Daryl has traveled far from our little burg and now lives in Illinois in a wonderful house which is over a hundred years old and has an actual carriage house! Daryl is also and has always been a very talented musician. He was looking through my photos that I'd posted on facebook yesterday and he told me that he started hearing music in his head. He composed a song last night that is just so beautiful and even though I'm not lucky enough to be able to think in music as Daryl does, I do see and feel  in this amazing and lovely piece of music, the beauty and serenity of the Tennessee valley in which I live. He has captured so much. What a talented man he is and how honored and humbled I am that my photos inspired him to compose such an incredible piece of music. I put some photos with it this morning and made a little movie for everyone to enjoy. Please, let me know what you think; I know that you'll love it............................ 

Snow Day

We got our first (semi) snow in at least five years today. I know those of you who are surrounded by the white (gray) stuff right now have no idea why I'm so excited by a few flurries. But even though our winters are much milder than yours, they are also dull, damp, and just plain mud ugly..literally. So, I love the snow when we get it and I took advantage of the "sprinkling" we got today that was really more like powdered sugar on a chocolate cake than coconut icing but still pretty. Here is a link to some pics of the day: Snow Angels

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I've finally learned how to add links in these posts...I'm sooo slow sometimes, lol.....So, I'm going to add the link to Nori Bucci's webpage once again. She's sensational and so talented and I know that all of you will thank me for directing you to her music and art. 
For those just checking my blog for the first time, Nori's music is used on both the video link in the previous post and the video that is viewable in the sidebar. She's a true renaissance woman with so much talent. 
I just added a new video on youtube. This one is short, only two minutes, because I wanted it to fit into the facebook time restrictions so that I could post it there. In includes Nori Bucci's song Crimson Sky. 
It is mainly photos of my horse, Mouse. There is one photo that also has my sweet old Appy, Brandy in it. 
It is short, 1:59, but sweet. I think you will enjoy it. 

Friday, January 16, 2009

January 16th

I have a new video/slide show up and this one features Nori Bucci and her song, No Stranger. You can actually view it below! Hope you like it; I can guarantee that you'll love Nori's music. She is amazingly talented and I'm thrilled and honored that she's allowing me to use her music with my photo slide shows.

I just signed up on Face Book yesterday. I know, I know, I've been on the internet for forever or at least over 15 years and I'm just now getting around to joining Face Book?? What's up with me? lol
Anyhow, I'm so excited because I've connected on there with friends I haven't seen since high school...many, many moons ago!! That would be Daryl Lunsford, who happens to be an incredibly talented musician and now lives in Illinois, and Paul Julian, who is also a photographer!! Small world, huh? Actually, for a small school in a small town, we had a lot of creative kids then and still do for that matter. I also connected with two wonderful ladies from my childhood that I have occasionally run into over the last thirty+++ years, Jan Evans...who I always seem to see at the grocery store but now it will be nice to hear from her more often...and Claudia Hines-Tester...who I grew up with and we use to ride our bikes from dawn 'till dusk all through those wonderful long ago summers:-) Jan has lived in Sweetwater, where I grocery shop,lol, for years and Claudia, who was a hometown teacher until just last year, has moved to Florida recently. I know she loves her life down there in the sub-tropical warmth but I will miss seeing her even if it was only occasionally. 
I also reconnected with some great friends from my wood carving and show days. Anne Brattan was my best friend for years and she was not only an artist but she also promoted several shows that I did in the Chicago area. We've lost touch since both of us have moved on in other career directions(Anne is now a fine artist rep. and promoter) so it was great to hear from her,too. Then this morning, I got a wonderful surprise when I was "friended" by Anne's middle daughter, Katie. Anne has three great daughters Kristen, who lives and works in Scotland now, Megan, the baby who is studying art in SC, and my sweet Kate:-), who is doing oceanic research. Anne's husband, Tom, is a football coach at Maryland and I got to give a big WhooHoo for their big bowl win over the holidays!!
That is all the news for now. I shouldn't still be sitting here since I'm so far behind on EVERYTHING but I wanted to give a big shout out to all my new-old friends:-)...and I've also been waiting all morning for the Bonnie Raitt tickets to go on sale...Yeh!! Love Bonnie and she is coming to the Tennessee in March. This will be Steve's b'day gift for this year....he turns 55 on Sunday!! Yeh! for that, too.
Take care all and I will post again soon....but I won't promise everyday. ~Sande

Thursday, January 15, 2009

News and Announcements:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new blog where I will post all news, announcements, videos, new photos, and links. 
I'm hoping to finally get the new website,, I am aware that it is waaaaaay too long, lol) up and running next week and the two old ones, and revised. The folk art wood sculpture site has been off line for a few months. It was selkinsfolkart but my ownership of the domain ended and the company that had handled that for me were way to expensive to go with again but they are still holding my domain name for ransom. I refuse to pay the outrageous amount that they want just for the domain when I can get a new domain and site hosting for just a bit more. Thus the name change. Both the photography site and wood sculpture will link from the main/base site which is Gray Horse Designs. This page and the dvd/video site will link from both the GHD site and the photog. site. Like I said, it is taking longer than I thought to pull this all together but I'm beginning to see that flicker of light at the end of the tunnel and I have my fingers crossed that all will be up and running by next week(January 22).
Ok, news, news, news:
I'm excited to tell everyone that the fabulously talented and just all round wonderful person, Nori Bucci, has offered to let me use her beautiful music on my photo slide show videos on You Tube and elsewhere. Her music is just incredible and this will be a treat for everyone. Check out Nori's work at: She has two albums currently available and a new one coming out soon. She is also an extremely talented visual artist. You can see her artwork on her site and also links to her music and videos of her performing. 
I'll be getting those new videos done and posted within the next two weeks. If I can figure out how, I'll post the best here as well and I'll have links to all videos here as well. 
I have done a book, mainly a vanity but I do like how it turned out. I did it through and I'm not really pleased with the quality of the hard copy but the view on line where you can view the entire book is great. The binding and dust cover on the print version is terrific but the photos aren't as sharp or bright as I'd like. I did one earlier through shutterfly and I actually liked it much better. The photos looked great in it and so I think I will try shutterfly with a longer version and maybe try out blurb as well. If nothing else, they make great portfolios:-). I also am going to do my best to get the price down to something reasonable. I got in on a deal with mypublisher to get two for the price of one but the base price was still over a $100!! Much too much in this economy especially with my thin wallet.
Here is the link to the book so you can view it on line. 
I hope that worked. Since this is my first post I'm no quite sure what I'm doing if, I ever am:-)
I'll also be posting new work here for you to see. I'll be posting some on the photo site so that you can buy it there but I'm going to try to keep those portfolios a reasonable size and to do that, I might rotate the photos included.
Also, I will not be doing horse shows any longer unless someone hires me to shoot them exclusively. I'm sorry guys. I enjoyed the shows and meeting all of you but it was a lot of work not to be making any money from it. I only sold one small print last year from the horse shows. We'll still see each other since I plan to show Mouse some this year and a new horse that I might be getting...more on that when it happens...but I will be sans camera. 
I'm going to be putting my Mouse "stories" here as well. I can chronicle my life with her and  share her constant a wider audience. She is a character. The little Houdini let herself out of the pasture again today. Steve, my husband, fed for me and he said she pretty much ignored him when he first drove over there. She was just grazing in the hay field which is so poor this year that there isn't much chance that it could cause her to colic or founder. I do worry about her maybe wandering near the road but in all of her escapes she's only left that upper field and a constant view of Brandy, my old Appy, once and that was when I attempted to put a halter on her. Most of the time and today was typical, she will go down to gate, when one of us drives up, and wait for us to let her back in...evidently, she isn't as good at breaking in as she is at breaking out.:-)
Well,  that is all the news that I can think of at the moment. I will try to keep up with this blog better than I have my posts on MySpace. I will notify those on my email list whenever I put up a new post. If you would like to be included, email me at
Hope you all are well and snuggled inside your homes where it is warm. Take care~Sande

If I Could Fly

If I Could Fly
The wind of heaven is that which flows between a horse's ears.