Thursday, February 26, 2009

Madly Snapping!

Week 3 of the photography class was last night. I am learning so much about my camera-let's hope its enough to get me by with the big cameras on Saturday, when I attend the Red Balloon day out with a professional photographer, for travel photography.

Each week in my basic digital photography class we have been given homework & not all of us produce the correct pics either! Last week I got the people pics right, but didn't get the night time, no flash one exactly how the teacher specified-all in the interpretation! Maybe I can do a better shot through the week.

No more pics on auto....lots on Program Mode & adjusting settings. I was surprised at the number in the class who had never turned their camera sideways to take a portrait shot! At least I had done that, many times.
We've taken pics without the flash, changed ISO's, changed the white balance, EV changes, learned about DOF & moved on to file types & sizes- boy have we covered some ground- the whole class has been great fun & informative & hopefully at the end of all of this I'll be taking much better photos! I find I am understanding my manual a whole lot better as well after doing the class.

I've added some pics to the blog, of a few I've taken over the past few weeks-let me know if they look any good or not! After all this time of having the camera I've finally figured out how to do a decent macro shot on it- the geranium buds are VERY small!

This last one was taken in the dark, with no flash,long shutter opening & no lights! Amazing- I did use a tripod!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Huskisson Triathlon

Only that our DD looks so much like her father, I would wonder these days if she had not been swapped at birth.
DD & her DH have taken up marathon & triathlon running. Our SIL has even competed in the gruelling Iron man event -saying to all that he hoped to complete the event in under 12 hours....12 HOURS!!!! can you imagine swimming, cycling & running for 12 hours straight? Not me- I get tired just thinking about it! (he completed it in 11:45)
DD & SIL have been in training for months-they tell me they have a 'down' time- I'm not sure when that was as they always seem to be running off to do squad training, cycle somewhere or 'just go for a 20 K run'.
DD even ran the legs off the dog & now she is no longer able to run with them-she said "I never ran her further than 10K!"-poor Ella, I bet she wishes she was adopted from the puppy pound by people less active!LOL
Anyway today was the Huskisson half iron man or long course triathlon- the weather was pretty well perfect- overcast, hardly any wind & just warm.

Only dedicated parents & followers would get up at 6am on a Sunday to go watch the start of the race- those less dedicated could lie in bed & get up at a more reasonable hour & just watch the ending.....but, no, we get up & gee them along at every stageIt amazes me the determination & guts of these competitors-you could see on the run section that a few had taken tumbles off bikes or had fallen while running- they were sporting bleeding knees, arms & even one poor fellow was running with a cut on his face! They just get up & keep on going! Or those that had cramps & were still trying to run with a hobble or a jumping motion, just so they could finish the race.....not me I'd have nearly drowned by the time I had to make it to the first buoy on the swim!

It was a great day & both of them did us proud.....and SIL tells us its only 6 more weeks to the Iron Man event this year- he's going back to do that one all over again!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dye me a rainbow

Through the week I tried my hand at dyeing wool. To be more specific- dyeing with food colouring. How much fun was this & how addictive is it......I'm now looking at my yarn stash in a whole new light!
I scrummaged through my yarn stash & came up with some Cleckheaten 8ply wool I've had stashed for a good many years, in a winter white colour- just 2 balls & 2 smallish left overs, and, the hank of pure merino wool my MIL plied for me at least 22 years ago....still sitting in the stash- both perfect for the job!
Reading everything I could on how to attempt this new project-from here , here & here. These were all helpful, along with this one as well.

Armed with all my information I went shopping for a large container of white vinegar & some bigger bottles of food colouring- I bought 2 of each colour plus a rose pink & black for good measure- just the Queens brand in the supermarket. Scrounged around the $2 shops for clear squeez-ie containers but came home with sauce bottles- these were coloured (more on this later).
My technique was

1. soak for 30 minutes in warm water & a good slosh of vinegar,was maybe 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 water.
2. Squeeze out the excess soak ( I re bottled the water/vinegar mix to use again next time).
3. Mix food colouring, water & vinegar in the sauce bottles & pour onto the yarn that I had arranged on a tray & a microwave dish. I used the water/ vinegar in proportions that were suggested in the tutorials.

4.Microwave for 2 minutes, rest for 5 & repeat until I had zapped it for 10 minutes in total-the containers were covered in Gladwrap.

5. Leave it alone until it cools, although the desire to play with it & look at it is extremely strong when you first finish 'cooking' it.

6. Rinse in warm/cool water with a little detergent-squeeze it all through to get rid of any excess dye (there wasn't any in mine) & to get rid of the vinegar smell in it.

7. hang to dry & admire it every time you walk past it

8. Rope some poor sucker into holding hanks for you so you can ball it...many thanks to Grahame at work, who actually offered to do this for me

9. Accept all the wonderful comments that you will receive when you show everyone you can grab- even your non- crafty/arty-farty friends will be amazed.
10. Take pics.
What I found
All the tutorials on how to do this were very good & I took from each one & from my reading online what appealed to me most & did it as a combination of techniques.
The sauce bottles were hopeless as you can't really see the colour in them- I have purchased small popper bottles for $2.50 for 6, mine have apple juice in them & I figured even if they tasted terrible & I tipped them out, it was still cheaper than buying a plastic container of some sort.
I need to get more experience with mixing dyes to get the colour I really want- not just 'however they turn out'! My purple is nearly black & my orange is more a lime green- but hey! it's my first attempt & I'm sure a beanie for my GS out of the 8ply will be well loved!
Now I'm looking at the roving I've had stashed for years as well-this looks like it could be added to the dyepot as well.
Happy Crafting,

Time Flies!

I can't believe I haven't posted any blogs for so many weeks! I kept meaning to but just never got around to it.
I have been busy sewing & I can't show pics of what I've been the busiest on at this stage....but will share later on.

MOTH has been gone for the past few weeks- travelling from Perth in Western Australia to Adelaide in South Australia with an old army buddy-they towed a caravan & stopped along the way....I'm sure hoping this has not re-kindled his desire to have that bloody caravan again!

He arrived home yesterday sporting a mo! Now, I don't dislike facial hair on some men- not just mine-I refused to kiss him hello & then said while it was on I wasn't cooking any meals for him either-his choice....I think the clincher was that I told him he looked like an aging porn star....funny, he shaved it off last night-to get me back he refused his kiss at bedtime last night-but came in for one when he got up this morning! Normality has returned.

My camera class is fantastic. All of the things I'm learning to do on my camera that I had done by accident, but didn't know how to do them again -all explained- in easy to understand terms. We even get homework which is fun as well.

During the week I finished my Mockery socks-I'm so pleased with them & have now started Ladder of Life ones for my GF's DH as a fun gift- in bright fire engine red!

I also tried food colour dying through the week- this is so much fun & now I can't wait till my 4 yr old GS comes for a visit so I can play with him doing it-I'll do a whole blog when I get time & show how I did it-now I want more yarn to play with to change the colours on!

This weekend we are off to Sanctuary Point- our DD & her DH are competing in the half iron man event- personally we think they are mad, & we must also be that way to get up at 530am to go watch the start of the race at 6am. They competed last year as well- a gruelling 2.5 km swim, 90 km bike ride & a 22 km run just to round it out nicely...I'm sure you'll agree...must be crazy! I get tired thinking about it!
Happy crafting