Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pair of views

When I walk along the beach the sky in one direction is dominated by Arthur's Seat and when I'm up there I can look down to the beach where I walk - you can see the same church spire either side of the gutter between the two photos.  It was rather hazy last week when I took these photos.

The photo on the left is taken standing in the photo on the right on the sand between the furthest right power pylon and the line of white above it.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Me on Monday


A sure sign of how differently I now view photo taking when I picked up the vase of tulips to hold it against a bare wall to ensure there was nothing distracting in the background – and I’ve been thinking about re arranging things so I can have the vase in a spot with a plain background (!)

I had a quiet weekend after a busy end of the week with the younger generation. 

My nephew returned from 6 months in Mexico so lots to catch up from him and his girlfriend (who was in Scotland but I haven’t seen for months).

My cousin’s daughter was in Edinburgh for an open day at the University and general checking our of the city – we all told her it is a fabulous place to live and it made me feel old describing my student days here – 30+ years ago.

Then the sad news of the devastating earthquake in Nepal had me looking through my photos from 2009 when I was there for some workshops. Disasters in places I recognise always seem that bit worse as i can imagine the place and people who I have met having to deal with it all. So strange to think that no-one can now see the old buildings in the centre of Kathmandu


Wishing you all a good week

Thursday, April 23, 2015

my smartphone microscope


several comments on my pairs post wanted more information on the nifty smartphone microscope that I got at the science faire at the weekend


on the top is a plastic lens



I’ve been having fun looking at various objects such as


seed beads


a gold thread tassel


patterned paper

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Zoomed in Pair

One of the stalls at the Makers Faire at the weekend was inviting everyone to make a smart phone microscope - fold up the card, create a focus ovoid on the pencil, pop in a lens and tada
I'm looking at a fine chain here - it really does magnify a lot.  The focus is a bit clunky and you need to have good light but it works and with a camera automatically built in - amazing use of technology.  I know I'm going to be playing with it some more.

Hoping you are all having a good week with plenty of Pair photo opportunities and nice spring weather

Monday, April 20, 2015

me on Monday

it was a weekend that started with coffee and brioche sitting outside in the sun – and a nice memory trigger of my Saturday morning ritual when I lived in Wellington (NZ) of buying brioche from the baker and coffee from a cafe and sitting looking out over the water


it was a weekend of taking photos of colour to use in my daily pixel magic – creating a peice each day based on photos has really altered how I look through my lens – the pixel magic works on light and dark and contrast

it was a weekend of creative stimulus at the Mini Maker Faire:

  • talking to a woman who had turned video of a person running into video of fluid glass and sand and chrome moving and then turned some of them into sculpture showing a fluid movement – I enjoyed discussing with her ideas of what next
  • making a smartphone microscope (more of that on Wednesday)
  • being the hind right leg of a massive dragon puppet
  • hearing sound when you touched an image on a map (emerging technology that prints circuits)
  • talking to re-use enthusiasts about their hopes for the future
  • drinking up the buzz of people of all ages excited about IT and creating things

now I have a nice pile of cards and fliers to sort through and websites to visit

Waving to everyone and hoping you have a good and creative week – special waves to Sian for hosting our Monday get together and to Gail

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Philosophical Pairs

plenty of bright yellow flowers popping up after the week of sunshine
which led me to thinking about why and when some flowers are deemed to be weeds and therefore unwanted while others are welcomed and nurtured.

I for one like dandelions - both their bright yellow flowers and the soft balls of seed heads.

All contributions to pairs welcome - I promise no banishment!

Monday, April 13, 2015

me on Monday

Putting my crochet hook down long enough to wave to you all – I’m addicted to this new crochet square pattern and playing with colour combos and using up lots of the bits in my ‘small ends’ bag.


it was a wet and windy weekend which lent itself to staying inside to crochet and tend to my new tomato plants – flower already!


and wait for my salad leaf seeds to grow


and clear away several accumulations of boxes and stuff that I realised, after archaeological examination of the strata, had started when I took down the Christmas decorations. 

Looking forward to 3 Science Festival lectures this week and back to sign language class and the weather people promise a return of sunshine.

Hoping you all have a great week.

Thanks to Sian for marshalling our Monday waves.

Friday, April 10, 2015

5 in 5 focus on the swans

In a recent TV programme a photographer advised focussing on capturing part or the animal for an interesting close-up.  So I took advantage of a bit of sun to sit by the river and play with different compositions using the swans as models – they mostly stay in one place which makes it easier. 

Following Sandie’s 5 in 5 meme, I then chose my 5 favourites

some good head and neck detail



and some great reflections – the light on the water was just right


and the aftermath of a male swan flapping this wings to clear ‘his territory’


and a near abstract image of a large reflection with just a smidgen of legs at the top


I see the swans every time I walk along the river and can get blas̩ about them but I enjoyed sitting and taking a closer look through my camera РI must do it again.

Thanks to Sandie for her monthly prompt.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

a mouthwatering pair

short and sweet this week - some tasty close-ups of Easter goodies this week - I'm anticipating seeing some other sweet treats in pairs this week given their role in most peoples' Easter.

Monday, April 6, 2015

me on Monday

a big Easter wave to everyone


as I enjoy a first outing for my new red shoes now that we have spring weather and I might finally pack away my winter boots until autumn  (my skin is not ‘luminous Scottish white’ from the lack of sun – I’m wearing white socks!).

This weekend also saw the start of the Edinburgh Science Festival with a science themed food market where I

* took part in a taste test between wild and cultivated cabbage – the wild tastes stronger

* ate primordial soup – containing all 9 amino acids (although I realised I eat 5 every lunch because I have peanut butter)

* ate a mealworm falafel (it tasted nutty)

* tried 3 textures of beetroot being demonstrated by a molecular chef (foam, caviar and jelly)

* learnt that too little sugar in cake hinders rising and too much tends to give a lava like top

Today I embarked on the 100 day project – the idea is to do the same creative thing every day for 100 days and to share the results on instagram. I decided to play with pixel magic each day, starting from a photo – I haven’t been doing this recently and I used to really enjoy both the process and results.

This is also my first foray into the world of instagram – I’m using the tag #100daysofpixelmagic if you want to follow – here is my first piece created this morning


why not join in – it started today but late starters are welcome.

Friday, April 3, 2015

March was


March felt like a sampler book for the weather – bits of snow, hail, fog, high winds, rain and sunshine with plenty of interesting light

and of course a near total eclipse which provided these amazing colours on the river


I read 7 books on my kindle (probably related to the inclement weather).  I just noticed that 6 of them have a female author.

3 were from a Swedish police series by Camilla Lackberg which combine intriguing detective mysteries with and on going stories for the main characters, and lots of descriptions of the baked goods they eat with coffee.

Two set in the past and two in imaginary worlds:

Off the Voortrekker Road (Barbara Bleiman) is set in apartheid South Africa and follows one man as he grows up and tries to make sense of racial politics around him.  I was intrigued by the setting and enjoyed the layering of the stories.

The Secret River (Kate Grenville) follows a newly arrived convict in Sydney.  I see this book on many reading and book group lists but I found it slow with a sudden conclusion – one of those where you get the feeling the deadline hit so the last chapter replaced several that had been planned.

The Invisible Library (Genevieve Cogman) imagines a situation where librarians are the secret service travelling between worlds to save influential books.  I really enjoyed the imagined world, the characters and the story and will be looking out for more in the series

Channel Blue (Jay Martel) imagines that Earth was created for a reality TV programme.  Again the imagined situation was interesting and the characters fun but I found it slow in places.

I saw a fabulous ballet version of A Streetcar Named Desire which was energetic and raw and told the story without words.


I also had fun with yarn – I’ve shared all my crochet projects (spirals, giraffe and hot air balloon).  I also played with double dowel ‘god’s eye’ which I saw on the internet – instructions here.  I remember making these as a child with 2 crossed sticks.  Adding another 2 sticks does make it more complicated but I love the end results.  I started with thicker dowel but found it hard to work so found some skewers in a kitchen drawer and they were perfect.

Looking forward to more spring colour in April – inspired by this array of pansies I spotted in the garden centre on the last day of March


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A pair in the same spot

With the shift to an extra hour of light in the evening I thought I had better take this pairing before a dark night means after 10pm - although a pairing with low evening light would also be interesting (if I remember in a few months).

 the other contrast that I like is the focal point of the image - at the front in daylight and near the back, where the light it for the night time one.  

When I took this I was careful to choose a spot, with my camera resting on one of the fence bobbles, so that I would be able to find the same spot for the other shot.   I'm enjoying thinking of various pairs that need a repeat visit to the same spot.

Also enjoying the range of pairs that you are all sharing.