Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Feature Friday: Brother & Sister Team Benjamin & Debbie

Shana’s Shop shows the artistic and creative side of this brother and sister team. Benjamin and Debbie grew up in Nashville, Tenn., and have traveled the world for work and play. While in Architecture school, Debbie studied for a semester in Krakow, Poland, and after college she spent a year working in New Zealand. She has taken trips across North America, Europe, South America, the South Pacific and Asia.

After Ben graduated from college he spent four years working in Alaska. He enjoys photographing the wilderness of western North America: the mountains, streams, meadows, forests, and wildlife. Ben has journied through the Rocky Mountains, the southwestern deserts, the Sierra Nevadas, and the Alaskan tundra searching for a unique photographic opportunity. Take a look at their photography and other creations at:

Some fun facts about these two:
>> Ben and Debbie both took photography classes in college and fell in love with the idea of trying to capture the world in photographs. The pair is always trying and practicing new techniques, realizing it is not as simple as point click, although sometimes it helps to be in the right spot at the right time! Through their art and travels, they try to foster and portray a different perspective on life and nature.

>> Debbie is obsessed with magnets. After she built a huge custom magnet board for a room in her house she couldn’t find any magnets that she liked so she ended up making them. She started making square plastic ones and then evolved to round glass ones with her own photographs.
>> Shana’s Shop is actually named after Debbie's dog, a 6-year old German Sheppard mix who likes playing in the park and would chase rabbits all day long if she could. After trying to find a name for the Etsy shop for weeks, it just seemed right to name it after the dog!
>> Ben is taller than Debbie even though he isn't older. When they were younger everyone always thought Ben was older just because he was taller. Now that they are older, people still assume Ben is older even though he isn’t!
>> Debbie loves to make things. When Debbie bought her first home she couldn’t find any furniture she liked. Eventually she ended up making most of it.
>> Together Ben and Debbie really complement each other. Their creativity and ideas bring a true balance to their Etsy shop. At Shana’s Shop there is something for everyone from beautiful photography to unique glass magnets and even scrapbook supplies. Please take a moment to visit Shana’s Shop Grab a cup of tea and spend a few minutes looking around and leaning a little more about this fun brother and sister team.

Inkwell Alley would like to thank Benjamin & Debbie for their time and involvement. Pictures provided and copy written by Ben and Debbie.

A Visionary With New Vision

I had an inkling that something wrong, but glasses? No. I would never need glasses. So what the words on road signs weren't clear until my car was practically on top of them? People don't read from 10- 20 and 30 feet away on a daily basis. "This eye exam," I thought, "is merely a formality."

As I sat in the waiting room it felt as if I were being stared down by the hundreds of eyeless frames perched one on top of the other in rows across three of the four walls. Some of the shinier, thick, golden Granny specs would catch the track lighting above in a way that made the frames look like they were winking, a cheeky manuever that whispered, "Hey there little girly. You can't run and you can't hide. You're going to need us some day."

I'm called back to an exam room where a technician handed me a black plastic patch on a stick.

"Cover your left eye and read the farthest line down that you are able to read."

I covered my eye, looked down what seemed like a football field's length to the eye chart and immediately had one of those "Oh shhhhnickers," moments. The "E" and the line below it were in extreme double vision, the third line was barely readable and all was lost after that. She wanted me to try reading the fourth line and I fumbled out letters like shots in the dark, squinting and blinking in hopes to somehow smoosh the blurriness into focus.
After the tech dilated my eyes (which was quite an embarrassing endeavor because I kept snapping my head back whenever the drop hit my eye--I really am as skittish as a horse) the doctor came in and proceeded to shine bright pinpointed lights into my eyes, describing my apparently bad astigmatisms as she worked. 
After a few more tests it was officially announced.
"You need glasses."
"Do I have to wear them all the time?"
And so there I was back in front of those walls of frames, trying different ones on, looking in the mirror horrified, trying on another and then looking in the mirror horrified, again. The tech said I looked best--"bohemian chic" even--in a pair of thin, black frames with lenses that are a shape somewhere between a rectangle and an oval. 
I feel like my whole identity has changed and it's going to take some time adjusting to the new look. At first, I couldn't help but think I looked as nerdy as Drew Carey and Steve Urkle (spelling?), but now I am slowly starting to align myself with the Tina Feys....
So much for never needing glasses...
Image courtesy of 

About Us

Two cubicle neighbors with pizzazz and their own personal, but highly similar, set of of innate complexities find refuge in this alley of creative musings. So pull up a chair, join in, as we--artist and writer--share our spin on the world, art, literary pursuits and the seemingly miniscule, daily occurrences that become larger than life.

WHAT'S NEW: Follow Friday!

Feature Friday--Each Friday! Inkwell Alley is a growing neighborhood and every Friday, one of our followers will be featured with a short bio about their work. We love to make our avid readers feel at home, so relax and enjoy reading about who's springin' up on Inkwell Alley. Don't miss as we continue to update our blog with many new features. Monica and Sbass hope you enjoy your walk down Inkwell Alley! >>Last Week: karilynnlove >>Previous Weeks: June, also known as Isewcute


Vintage Petals