Thursday, November 28, 2013

Festive Swap

When I first read Miriam’s post suggesting a festive decoration swap my initial thoughts were about what I would make.  Having signed up I had some fun looking through crochet patterns and finally made up a trio of stockings to send to Jill.  I really enjoyed the process and was happy to be able to send a small festive cheer to a blogger whose photography I’ve admired for ages. I was delighted when I heard from her that she had received the parcel and to see her post, which you can see here

Then I received an envelope though my letter box and remembered, this is a swap so I get a lovely decoration from a fellow blogger too. Fiona had made me a beautiful, elegant 3D snowflake decoration with matching card




I’ll be hanging them in a prominent place as I decorate next week. 

big thank you to Miriam for arranging the swap.  I’m enjoying seeing each decoration as it appears on blog posts.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Look up Look down back home

An overnight flight home combined with losing 5 hours due to time zones leads to a fuzzy day.  I did have a short nap but then kept busy with tasks that do not involve a lot of acute brainpower – including a walk by the river and my weekly looking up and down


I was drawn to the happy yellow shades in both. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

celebrating selfies

Did you know that Oxford Dictionaries choose a word to represent each year and they have just announced that the word for this year is ‘selfie’.


So I had to take and post one.  Why not join me – pick up your camera / phone; find a window with daylight (no passing the hairbrush or lippie on the way); rest your hand with the camera on the window at arms length; look at the lens, say ‘hello blogfriends’ and press the button; then post.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A final look at Ottawa

On my way home again after a successful workshop so time for the final items from my list that I captured.

It snowed on Saturday – not a lot but still around on Sunday and so cold my skin tingled and I could feel the cold as I breathed in.  Much colder than I’m used to and not for wandering around in for long.

But it did look lovely on the benches


and compacted footprints remained where the snow was melting – like when archaeologists find footprints preserved in sandstone


Earlier in the week I captured several of the local churches in all their architectural splendour


and the only mounties I saw – the only ‘national dress’ I could think of – were in a shop display


And doors are actually something I will associate with this trip because of using so many revolving doors or double doors – to stop the transfer of cold outdoor air inside. I never did work out the optimum speed to walk through the automatic ones as they usually stuttered  half way around.


So I found 14 of the 21 items on my list in Ottawa and again enjoyed having the list as a focus for my wandering and snapping around a new city.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Workshop going well

Halfway point in the workshop I’m running and all is going well


great participants and they say they are learning and enjoying the process


Hope your week is going well

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Look up Look down at artistic beasties

On my wanders around Ottawa at the weekend I came across some great art – official and not


including this amazing sculpture of a spider (which I had seen when it was outside the Tate in London several years ago) and a some intriguing pavement art

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ottawa in the golden hour

On Saturday I was wandering town and happened to be in a park overlooking the river in the glorious golden hour of light before it gets dark (ie 4 o’clock at the moment)

I captured two of the items on my photo list


the varied skylines of Ottawa – all 3 taken from the park.  The top one shows the silhouette of the parliament building and the other 2 look over the river into Quebec

I also captured 2 lovely images of locals relaxing


overlooking the river as the sun went down was a popular spot for individuals and groups

and I spotted a pair canoeing on the river


a beautiful park in the middle of town captured in fabulous light at the end of a sunny day – perfect weekend tourist treat

Monday, November 18, 2013

let’s go to the game

I’m in Canada in November so ‘the game’ is ice-hockey and I went all for this all Canadian experience on Friday evening.


lots of people taking their photo outside the stadium.

Inside, buy beer and hotdog then up to our seats – centre section up high


a great view of the ice and the TV screen and all the activity in the aisles with cheerleaders and mascots

The teams and officals took to the ice for the singing of national anthems – USA and Canada.  This was new to me as I’m used to anthems only when the national teams are playing


Then the action began Boston Bruins playing the locals – Ottawa Senators


fast action, amazing skill, plenty of noise from the crowd


periodic scraping of the ice to improve the playing surface


after 20 minutes of play (which takes longer due to stoppages) we had a 20 minute break and then on to more fast and furious play


another interval and a 3rd period of play and the Senators unexpectedly won.

A fun evening with plenty to watch on and off the ice.  I always enjoy being part of a large crowd at an event and experiencing a popular past time in another country.  I understand why people are big fans and attend each week.  Hope you enjoyed it too

Friday, November 15, 2013

Ottawa delights

I’m enjoying my time in Ottawa (despite some really cold days).  I’m using the same photo list that I used in Bangkok and sharing some of my early captures today. You can see my Bangkok finds here.

My hotel room if on the 9th floor (top brick floor below all the white) so I can look out over plenty of city centre bustle  and the bed is massive !!


My first day in town was the 11th so all the provincial and national flag were at half mast for the remembrance day events


My local food area is the Byward Market with plenty of market stalls, food shops and cafes and I’ve been enjoying plenty of local fare – savoury


and sweet (bottom right is the famed beavertail – like a long flat donut with sugar and cinnamon).  Those decorated cookies look delightful and I’m planning to take some home


Another thing that I really enjoy in Ottawa is the abundance of public sculpture.  I was delighted to come across this grouping


which commemorates a landmark event for women’s political rights when in 1929 the court determined that women are persons (in legal terms) and so could be appointed to the Senate !!!

I loved all the details in the sculptures and couldn’t resist sitting on that seat and using the timer on my camera (why elee is that stone block sitting exactly opposite the chair at the right height for a photo?)


I’m aiming to find more of the items on the list over the weekend and will share more next week – plus shots from the game I’m going to this evening – Senators vs Bruins

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Look Up Look Down in Ottawa

Due to jetlag and a 5 hour time difference between Ottawa and Edinburgh, I was out for a post-breakfast walk around town at a time I’m usually still in bed.


my hotel is right in the centre of town so my walk took be past 2 key landmarks – parliament and the canal

Monday, November 11, 2013

5 in 5 by the river

I’m joining in with Sandie sharing my 5 favourite photos from the mass I took in 5 minutes at the Firth end of my river walk on the 5th.  I really enjoyed taking lots of photos in all directions and then sifting through them to select my favourite 5 back on my computer.


It was foggy over the firth so Fife, on the other side, was hardly visible – providing a lovely soft background to the wild rose plants.


the overcast cloud and low sun made the city silhouette (end of the Crags and the buildings on Carlton Hill)  stand out nicely too


plenty of dog walkers out too – I liked the contrast of the young black Labrador running and the older blonde one (partially hidden behind its person) plodding along)


the geese numbers have increased with an influx of canada geese – all grazing along the river bank


and then gentle rain started – and I gave into my more abstract eye

thanks to Sandie for her 5 in 5 meme

Friday, November 8, 2013

Do you crowdfund?

I’d vaguely heard of crowd funding but only investigated a few months ago and have since backed 11 of which 3 were not successful, and 2 are still seeking funding.

The idea is that someone puts up details of a project that they need help to fund and people pledge a set amount and the project only goes ahead if they reach the goal in the set time. They only charge your card once the project deadline is reached and the funding goal met. There are rewards for different funding levels – often a copy of the object being funded. So someone can raise thousands of dollars through lots of people backing them for under $25.

For instance I have this lovely broach as a reward for funding an Edinburgh based glass artist.

I’ve found some useful and different items that will be great gifts for my nephews in technology inventions, funky t-shirts and fantasy and game based creations

I’ve only used the kickstarter site.  I find it rather overwhelming trying to look at everything so I tend to choose just one category to browse each time I visit, for instance local people or small projects or technology or popular. 

I’ve been thinking of asking if anyone else has participated and was finally spurred to do so when I saw a project which seeks to give disposable cameras to people in Uganda (where many people have never owned a photo) and have the photos developed and record the stories of why they took the photos – sounds like the kind of project memorykeepers might like.  The project is called cageless birds

and another I’m backing may be of interest to those of you who have a family member with dyslexia or other reading issues – “a beautiful design led experience of what it feels like to struggle with reading”

Has anyone else crowd funded?  which sites do you use?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Look Up Look Down on Bonfire Night

Looking out across the city from my parent’s 5th floor flat we could see plenty of fireworks and 5 bonfires along the beach.  Hard to photograph but I think these give a feeling of the spectacle


Monday, November 4, 2013

October counts

Sharing my high and low for October for Julie’s communal count – temperatures that is !!

Thanks to the Accu Weather site I could find out the temperature range for the month without having to record them all.  Feeling in need of some play in PSE and a kind of graph to show the range


both the high and low are outside historic averages.  Bracing myself for colder weather for 2 weeks next month when I’m in Ottawa.

The other communal count suggested by Julie did involve a running tally of the number of things delivered by the postman which were addressed to me – 17, including 5 magazine subscriptions (1 weekly and 1 monthly). 

Thanks for the prompts Julie.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Abstract bounty

When in Leith taking my up and down photos I was drawn to the fabulous colours and abstract shapes as the buildings were reflected on the water that was being lightly rippled by a breeze and some ducks.


I was inspired by Sandie’s 5 in 5 meme to stand for 5 minutes and take lots of shots of the patterns and then choose 5 of them to share.  I’ve missed her October link up but really enjoyed the exercise and will do it again.


I’m sharing these on the Nature Footstep abstract meme too


I love all the abstract effects appearing naturally rather than creating them with pixel magic. 


and I love how the colours are stronger in the reflections than they appear on the buildings


I can imagine these printed up really big on a canvas on the wall.  Do you have a favourite?