Monday, March 31, 2014

Rocks I collected on the beach

When you were young, did you collect flowers or shells or bits of polished glass from your walks to be used in some crafty piece when home (or carefully placed on a shelf for ‘later use’)? 

Nowadays I rarely colelct things for crafty use or display.  But I do collect photos that I intend to use for creative play, rather than to record a memory.

One my walk last week I was on the lookout for a good dark shape that I could then play with using textures and pixel magic –  I found these rocks


I liked the shape of those rocks and knew the contrast with the sand would provide a good canvas for textures and after some satisfying playing on PSE, I had a selection of colour ways which I put together.


I like how it looks like a partial handprint in some of them. 

What crafty inspiration do you collect on your walks?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Come for a walk

Blue skies and sunshine encourage me out for a walk along the promenade by the beach.  I know it is still nippy and we need a coat and, perhaps, gloves and a  hat, but the feel of sun and fresh air and lovely sights are worth it.

There is enough sun to create a shadow so come and walk with me


enjoy the views


and smile at the antics of all the dogs having a wonderful time playing on the beach


I hope you are getting the opportunity for some energising walks this week

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Zoom in on grape hyacinths

I'm back into my front garden for my zoom out and in this week

a sea of blue from the grape hyacinths with some spots of yellow daffodil and green leaves showing the promise of tulips and bluebells still to come.  A real change from the white and yellow of snowdrops and crocus in February when I zoomed in on them.

anticipating a fascinating range of subjects from this weeks shares - I love how this one simple meme prompts such a range of topics - thank you.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I made these baskets

Sian suggested we take a photo of items around the house that we have made and shared them. 


The big on on the left is a waste-paper basket (to give an idea of size).  I made them when I lived in NZ using traditional Maori flax weaving techniques. Unusually the weave is on the diagonal rather than horizontal and vertical.

You pick the flax leaves and weave them while green and fresh and then it dries to the fawn colour – the red is a commercial dye.  I really enjoyed the weaving process and love having several baskets around my house.

[The flax is phormium

mayend 003

and not in anyway related to the flax plant that is used to make linen.]

Friday, March 21, 2014

how ‘typical’ is my shopping basket?

during the week I read an article in the newspaper about the new items that have been added to the basket that is used to calculate the consumer price index – it is meant to be a list of items that exemplify current consumer habits.  I was reading the list and thinking ‘I don’t buy any of those new items’ and I thought that it would be interesting to look at recent changes to see which reflected my buying habits – once a social scientist, always a social scientist!! 


how many of these items are regulars in your shopping basket (virtual or physical) ?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Zoom in on the giraffes

I go past these sculptures every time I go into town on the bus and the other day I suddenly saw them and thought 'why have I never used them for a post?'

as you can see, they are life size and made from items of scrap metal.

Making me think about what other lovely sights I see so often that I no longer notice as worthy of photographing.

lovely to see so many of you still joining me in a weekly zoom in and out.

Monday, March 17, 2014

tada they are finished


24 mini nurses finished (each with a nametag for their recipient)


ready to go to Dundee for the class mates of my nephew’s girlfriend – who are all training to be children nurses


they were fun to make – after a few days of rest from crochet I’m now eyeing up several patterns for more wondrous characters.  These nurses were made using this pattern.

Friday, March 14, 2014

on the 12th

as I mentioned last week when doing Sandie’s 5 in 5 I was reminded of a meme that was popular way back when (!!) I started blogging – taking 12 photos on the 12th of the month to record the day, I went back to find some of my old ones: December 2009.  So yesterday being the 12th, and I remembered as I was finishing breakfast, I recorded the day and chose 12 to record the day


and this is how I put them together on a page


It was fun being mindful of taking photos regularly throughout the day, including of some pretty mundane aspects.  I don’t think I’ll be doing it every month but I will probably do it once or twice more this year.  did you do 12 on the 12th back then?  are you still doing it?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Zoom in on a tram

Melbournites and denizens of other tram- endowed cities may be puzzled by my excitement at seeing a tram in the city.

But Edinburgh's trams are new - passenger service starts in a few months and the trams are testing the lines.  The journey to this point has been long and controversial.  When I returned to Edinburgh in 2010 there were major roadworks in town and bus detours as they laid the tracks (and then relaid some after discovering they had done it badly 1st time).  So having all the roads working and seeing trams is a great sign of progress.  And I am excited to see a tram and look forward to riding on one later this year.

Looking forward to seeing other zoom in zoom out images this week - telling stories and showing the beautiful and marking the season and celebrating everyday life - all welcome.

Friday, March 7, 2014

5 in 5 in the 1830s

I was in the city centre on Wednesday wondering where to focus for my 5 in 5 (following Sandie’s framework of taking lots of photos in 5 minutes and then sharing the best 5).  Then a lightbulb clicked on and I realised that this was a perfect way to explore some of the interesting nooks and crannies of the city over the coming months.  5 minutes to really look at a small area seems a great plan.

So I went into an old churchyard that I walk past regularly and started clicking.   From the dates on the gravestones I was clearly in use in the 1830s and earlier.


I love how the green lichen accentuates the carved details on the stones


I was also interested in some of the contrast between old and modern like this new red door above the lovely stair


and the modern ornate gates


and most of all I was intrigued that this building is for lease.


I hope someone has some interesting and imaginative plans to use it.  I really hope it becomes something that engages with people and allows us into the building.  It would make a fun starting point for themed walks or a nice cosy workroom.

While thinking about 5 in 5 I had another lightbulb moment – I suddenly remembered the 12 on the 12th meme that was so popular a few years ago – funny how some memes fall away.  anyway I thought I’d do a 12 photo capture of my day on the 12th of this month.

Thanks to Sandie for hosting 5 in 5 – and making me brain spark this month.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Zoom in on the beach

I've been enjoying some clear blue skies and days that feel like spring - although I remind myself that we had snow in the middle of March last year

I enjoy watching all the dogs running around on the sand and into the water. some chasing balls and some just running - such energy and exuberance

I know many of you still have snow and cold - hope these photos brighten your day.  

10 weeks of zooming !  I really enjoy seeing all the link ups each week and the different ways you are using this meme

Monday, March 3, 2014

February summed up

for the 2nd month of the year, with it’s 2 ‘missing days’ I seem to have a lot of ‘2’s in my numerical summary and 2 accompanying photos.

I read 4 works on fiction on my kindle (by Kate Atkinson, Ian M Banks, Chris Beckett and Barbara Kingsolver)and 2 paper books about sign language.


Keeping my fingers busy in three different ways. 

I’ve been to 3 of my sign language classes, learnt the alphabet and vocabulary relating to names, family, pets and places.

I’ve been crocheting to make 24 mini nurses and have completed all 48 arms, 24 hats, 24 bodies and 10 completed nurses.  I also crocheted 1 pair of fingerless mittens for a local charity providing warm items for Big Issue sellers and helped 4 new crocheters with their work.

Spent 7 hours at a fabulous silverclay workshop where I learnt that a silverclay ring had to start off 3 sizes too big to allow for shrinkage in the kiln.

I’ve been watching lots of sports on TV with the start of the 6 Nations rugby competition.  Scotland has not been doing well and a plague of nematodes under the grass of their homeground makes watching them play at home doubly embarrassing. also enjoying Winter Olympics coverage, in particular the 2 snowboarding acrobatic disciplines and the curling where team GB won 2 sets of medals.

Enjoying the signs of spring, in particular the 3 different types of flowers now in my garden – snowdrops, crocuses (2 colours – yellow and purple) and small daffodils


Thanks to Julie for encouraging us to count our month and providing a safe haven to share.