Wednesday, April 30, 2014

zoom in on the nest

Last week I spotted seven nesting birds on various small islands in the rive, each guarded by a male bird - in fact the guard is often the first thing I spot as the goose nests are well camouflaged

The white swans stand out but did you see the goose on her nest on the far right of the zoom out photo?

enjoying the continuing range of subjects you are choosing for zoom in and zoom out

Monday, April 28, 2014

Pretty feet

I love shoes in many hues (and rhyming!).  I have several pairs in red and purple but my new shoes for summer are lime


I knew I would buy them when I 1st saw them in the shops but wanted to wait until the weather would allow me to wear them.

I was delighted to purchase lime shoes for 2 reasons.  First because I had a lovely pair of lime shoes about 5 years ago, when I was in NZ


and secondly, and I know this may be controversial, I think lime goes with everything.

How about you, do you love your shoes to zing with colour or do you prefer them to quietly do their job without drawing any attention?

Friday, April 25, 2014

I made this bag

Have you ever tried bead tapestry / weaving?  You sew each seed bead in place working in rows, to build up a design. 


I learnt to do it at a workshop about 13 years ago and made several pieces in the following year.  This was the largest thing that I made


I created the design, inspired by Rennie Mackintosh art deco roses. From memory I made it over 2 summer months when the light was good and I was not at work. The light is important because of making sure you pick up the correct colour.


To begin with it feels very fiddly to get the needle into the small hole in each bead but after a while that becomes natural and I could thread them without looking (using ‘the force’!).  Although it is small scale and fiddly I did find it relaxing as you are doing the same action over and over. The biggest problem is not spilling the dish with the beads (small white ceramic dishes designed for oil dips are best).

Amazing to think that some evening dresses in the 1920s were made like this – a whole dress must have taken so many hours to make.

Continuing to follow Sian’s sage suggestion to feature items we have made ‘back in the day’ and still have around.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Zoom in on the breeze

I'm fascinated with ways of photographing the weather - probably prompted by rainy holidays and thinking of ways to make the most of what was there.  It has been sunny around here recently but also very windy - as you can see in the zoomed in shot with the horizontal ribbons on the handlebars blowing in the wind

anticipating some signs of Easter in this weeks zoom in and out pairs.

Monday, April 21, 2014

a fun day at the Maker Faire

my final visit to the Science Museum was the Makers Fair – rooms full of people who make things and want you to have a go too – how could I resist?

The first room I walked into had a group of ladies eager to help us use enamel to decorate a piece of copper for a broach or pendant.  I needed no prodding to take a seat and start choosing my 2 colours of enamel and a metal stencil to use to create the patter.  shake on the background, fire, position the stencil, shake on the 2nd colour, fire, let cool and I had a lovely pendant to wear.  These ladies were the first of several during the day who said ‘you do crafty things don’t you?’


then into the big room full of crafting – people planning wood, making rag rugs, spinning strips of newspaper into ‘yarn’.  I was tempted by a table with piles of felt and surrounded by people sewing – wandered over and the lady asked me if I wanted to make a parasite – how could I resist – I consider Ebola but settled for malaria.  These ladies are developing educational materials for education on parasites which led to making parasites from felt and they told me they are developing crochet patterns for leaches, tics and mosquitoes too !!


The next room was full of computery makes – flashing lights, underwater vehicles, movement turned into light and noise, 3D printers.  I enjoyed playing with the effect of a big time delay video feed on the wall – a few seconds after you move it plays 2 versions of your movement with a few seconds between and in different shades of grey.  So I was able to take a photo of me taking a photo


next was a delightful group of Chinese origin ladies who were teaching traditional flat knot to make a dragonfly – I was pleased to see a group of young men at the table enjoying learning this craft alongside all young girls and women


My final make was with the re-cycle, repair, up-cycle group who had a fascinating stall and were showing us how to make an accordion book from re-cycled paper.  I included the printed sheet with my ticket for the event as one of my pages – seemed appropriate.


I thoroughly enjoyed all the making and talking to people who are excited to make things.  I’ve collected several fliers and cards to follow up on projects and workshops.  5 hours satisfyingly spent.

Maker Faires are a global thing – if you see one advertised near you I’d highly recommend it

Friday, April 18, 2014

Liberated art

Over the past few weeks I’ve enjoyed receiving postcards from various artists thanks to Kat’s wonderful Liberate Your Art annual postcard swap, and now we are sharing our experience and cards on a bloghop over several days

First to arrive was this wonderful seascape from David Morel


then a fabulous bird from Kate


and some seagulls from Patricia


a week later Charlotte’s celebration of the Year of the Horse arrived


followed by the disco queen collaged bird from Lisa


and then Kat’s beautiful autumn leaves


All sitting on my bookshelf and prompting a smile when I walk past them.  Thank you Kat for organising this lovely swap and to all the artists whose cards I received.

I loved receiving the cards and making contact with each person and visiting new blogs and photo collections.  I really appreciate the new connections from the liberated art.

But my experience has not been 100%.  I can’t help feeling disappointed that I have not received a single contact from people who received my cards.  Last year I heard from 2 of the 5 and was disappointed.  This year I have not heard from any of them.

Am I wrong in expecting an e-mail from the people who receive my cards?  I’m interested in the broader practice – if you participated in the swap, how many acknowledgment e-mails did you receive?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

zoom in x 40

Another find at the science festival - its is school holidays so I had to do a bit of elbowing to get my spot at the table experimenting with magnification.  They had set up stands with the magnifying lens from a laser pointer which can be used with a smart phoen to produce a magnified image on the screen.

I only had my camera with me but had a play anyway and after much moving of the lens and camera I managed some shots which show the magnification
this speciminis a leaf.  Great fun looking at different materials and amazing what you can do with simple materials.
welcome to some new people zooming in and out last week and of course a big hello and thanks to all the regulars

Friday, April 11, 2014

5 go to the market

The first Saturday of the month means the organic market in a local park and this felt like a perfect place for my 5 in 5 joining Sandie in her suggestion to spend 5 minutes taking photos and them to choose 5 to share.

Turning in through the gate we can see that there are a good number of stalls set up


the lovely anticipation of seeing familiar regulars and the hope of something new and exciting too


I always buy cake form the lovely German ladies – often ‘beesting’ or pear Danish pastries but this month I went for a marzipan cake ( at the back with raspberries on top)  and a raspberry torte.  I always take along a plastic box to protect the goodies in my bag


Next door to them is the organic vegetable man – I visited his massive walled garden with my Dad’s gardening group last year so always have a chat as well as buying some produce – kale and fennel this time.  I’m not sure if he thinks it is an advantage having the stall next to the music group – sometimes they are very loud


Another new regular stop for me is a stall selling African and Carribean food – this month her husband and son were doign teh selling – not as chatty as the lady who makes the food and is often there.  I got a pork gumbo patty a piece of cornbread and some ‘kenyan doughnuts flavoured with cardamom.


Nothing new and enticing this month but pleased to see these 3 regulars were there.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

zoom in on bonsai

At a science festival event I was on the lookout for a zoom in zoom out opportunity and coming up the central stairs I spotted this display and thought I was onto a winner

When I reached the top and had a closer look I realised that this was a display of mathematical botanic knitted and crocheted plants that I had participated in last year.  And when I looked closer I spotted the 2 bonsai trees which I had sent in - the 2 grey ones on either side of the back row in the zoom in shot.  Lovely to see them all on display, especially when I wasn't expecting them.

Looking forward to plenty of visual surprises from everyone who participates this week.

Monday, April 7, 2014

going round in circles

One of the items in my crochet magazine that I can never resist is a mandala pattern from wink


who manages to create a succession of magic patterns all made from going round in circles in different ways


these mandalas really do demonstrate the variety than can be achieved through creating a series of loops with wool and a crochet hook


She uses a wonderful array of colour for hers and although I too love colour I made my 1st with a set of muted shades and decided to keep going withe the same set so that they looked more like a coherent set on the wall.  Because, although I find the patterns addictive I am left with the question of ‘what to do with them’ and my answer has been to pin them to the wall in my craft room.  The lime green of the wall is a good backdrop for my chosen shades – better than I’ve I’d  gone for bright colours.

Joining in with Chrissie in a mand-a-long – pop over to her blog for links to more lovely mandala magic. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

March Marshalled

The start of a new month means its time to look back on last month with my count hat (I imagine it to be rather glorious and exact) thanks to Julie’s Month in Numbers meme.

In March I read a stack of books -


9 to be precise but all very short.  I tend to go for sagas and trilogies (or longer) so sticking to short books this month was a departure.  I alternated the George Gently police novels – well written and clear why they have been used for a TV series.  The Shockwave Rider is an interesting futuristic book, written in 1970s with 2010 as the ‘future’ – digital surveillance is a big issue.

In March I engaged with a triathlon of sporting events: I attended orientation for volunteers at the Commonwealth Games; watched some of the winter Paralympics on TV, and cheered on Ireland in its victorious Six Nations Rugby campaign (Scotland does so badly I have to have a second team to realistically support in hope of victory).

In March I crocheted a small menagerie as well as finishing the 24 nurses and a pink scarf for charity I made


1 crochet hook character !!! 1 hat, 2 owls and 1 small dragon.


In March I learnt a handful of sign language words (get it – handful – hand signs!).  I haven’t counted all the words but  we have learnt  12 categories: ‘hello how are you’, names, family, numbers, ages, time, work, activities, food and drink, pets, weather, travel. And we can fingerspell (slowly).

In March I took a gallery of photos, 407 to be precise, of which 10% were of flowers and 18 were of other people’s dogs


I employed a thesaurus of descriptive nouns in my month in numbers (6 stack, triathlon, menagerie, handful, gallery, thesaurus)– is there a collective noun for a group of collective nouns?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Zoom in to find the duck

Managed to get out by the river in between fog and rain.  Lots of bird movement at the moment (43 swans at last count comapred to the 10 that wintered here). 

It always amazes me how well birds are camoflaged on the river, especially when there is no direct sun - spotted in this photo are swan, goose, gull and duck

did you notice the duck asleep on the stones?  zoomed in so you can see (its near the bottom of the stones nearly half way along from the left)

into our fourth month of zooming in and out and still enjoying both seeing how you all use this meme and challenging myself to find a new topic each week