I’m afraid life has got in the way of blogging this week. It’s also interrupted knitting, sewing and just about everything else! However, when I got home from work this evening there was a packet on the doormat containing these and that has spurred me to my keyboard…
They are by ‘Pilot’ and they’re called ‘Frixion ball’ and claim to be an erasable rollerball pen which leaves ‘no eraser debris’, requires ‘no chemicals’ and ‘erases cleanly’ just with the use of friction. I’ve heard that they work well on fabrics. Don’t worry I shall report back once I’ve had a chance to check out if they live up to the claims!
I also thought I’d share another of my non-crafting photographs. I do seem to be blogging about photography a lot more than crafting at the moment and I hope no one minds.
This is part of a flattened out cast of a frieze called Trajan’s Column. I found it right at the top of the Science Museum in London where it forms a tiny part of the History of Medicine area. I’m not normally a fan of this sort of thing and often find the faces to be a bit brutish, overly stylised or emotionless. The man in the centre however caught my eye as being different from those around him. He seems sad in a sort of resigned way. The frieze depicts first aid being given to Roman soldiers 1900 years ago, so I guess sad and resigned is rather apt.
As I type I’m watching the Horizon Special on the earthquake in Japan. It’s easy to concentrate on the statistics and talk of tectonic plates in an attempt to dehumanise the events. Sort of concentrate on the science as a way of avoiding some of the human truths.
We all live on a planet which forms a single system. We can do amazing things as a species, more than any other which has evolved on this blue green orb which speeds it’s way through the heavens.
Yet the simply truth is that mother nature can kick our butt with frightening ease.
(photos taken at the Science Museum in London)
Today I ended up discussing hares with my friend Maytheweed. We were looking at some art work depicting them and wondering if we should put our hands into our pockets and cough up.
As part of the conversation I commented that while I really liked one of the pieces, I’d rather spend the money on getting one of my hare shots printed up on canvas. She wasn’t sure which image I was talking about, so here it is. I just love the tilt of his head.
It’s a wild hare which I photographed last summer in a field in Perthshire, Scotland. You can find it along with some of my other animal images in my Animal gallery on smugmug.
I love photographing animals and I often take my camera out with me while walking the dogs. Much to my delight my furry friends don’t get fed up of my lens being pointed at them, which is a good things as I do it a lot.
These two shots were taken in Ipswich during the lovely sunshine last weekend.
Given Jakes broken leg last year I feared he’d never be up to a trip down the woods again. Seeing him running about certainly brought a tear to my eye. It’ll be a while longer before I’ll be throwing a ball for him, but he’s running round and enjoying himself. Seeing him so happy is all the reward I need to erase the memories of all those sleepless nights.
Recently I made my first quilted items and I love them. Two quilted cushion covers, they were so much fun. I made them out of a couple of Charm Square packs bought off the internet, so there was minimal cutting out needed. Then I found some fat quarters of the same material in a local fabric shop. So, given how much I enjoyed my first quilting experience, I decided it was time for some online shopping. I had the material already after all. But lets be honest, cutting it up into small squares by hand with a pair of scissors simply wasn’t going to be accurate enough.
Result… I obviously ‘needed’ a cutting mat, rotary cutter and ruler. Give me a little while and I can usually justify ‘needing’ anything I actually want hehe…
Soon the goodies were on their way via the post and today I picked the last one up from the sorting office. The A2 cutting mat didn’t want to fit through my letter box for some reason, funny that.
So I suppose I should really decide upon a design and sizing for the runner now before I start playing with my new toys…
If you had a clock that was designed to run for 10,000 years what would you call it? I’d go with the ‘Clock of Ages’. Well there are plans to build a purely mechanical clock that will run that long and the first prototype can be found in the Science Museum.
It was built by The Long Now Foundation which seeks to promote long term thinking. As I wandered around the museum last week there were only 4 exhibits I went back to, and this was one. I’d never heard of it but was attracted to it’s stunning face, that’s what prompted me to wander over to it’s glass case. I just love beautifully made mechanical things.
I hope they get to build the big version which will be called the ‘Clock of the Long Now’. Just thinking about it brings to mind all sorts of fantasy and post apocalyptic plots and story lines. How cool would it be if this clock turned into a sort of Stonehenge for the people of the year 5000……
I’ve been looking forward to writing this blog for some time. I’m joining Fibreholics as a contributor.
You can find out about them on their website. It’s a way for people to sample many independent dyers at the same time, you simply buy a sample bag of fibre or yarn. Each bag contains lots of different samples.
The bags become available every 2 months and often sell out fast. The next round is due out the beginning of April and will contain some Fantasia Yarn. Or at least it will provided the post man gets them there in time!
These are some of the sample skeins they’re all Ariel sock yarn which is 100% Blue Faced Leicester. I’ve become rather attached to these little fellows and have taken to referring to them as my baby pet skeins…. Happy to go to new homes, don’t require much in the way of feeding or walkies, just the occasional fondle hehe…
Remember I mentioned a third location when I went out Luna Watching? Well this is it. Mistley Towers.
I’ve been thinking about photographing it for years. So while I had all my stuff in the car (including two doggies) for photographing the moon, I decided to make this location number 3.
They originally formed part of a church (St Mary the Virgin) and stood at either side of the front. Not a standard church design in my experience, especially in this part of the world. It was designed in 1776 by Robert Adam for Richard Rigby who apparently wanted to turn Mistley into a spa town. Not entirely sure why as the Essex coast doesn’t say spa town to me, but then I’m living here over 300 years later.
Anyway the towers are now Grade 1 listed and form a well known local landmark about 100m or so from the Mistley Thorn of Mathew Hopkins Witchfinder General fame. I drive past them on the way to some of the dogs favourite walks but I think they look best at night.
So did you have a look at the moon last night? Wasn’t it beautiful! Just after 6pm I packed the dogs and camera into the car then headed out. I’d decided upon 3 locations for the evening and started at the one closest to home. I had to smile when we arrived and I saw someone else with a tripod, obviously with the same plan.
The hope was to get some shots with the moon close to the horizon with the river Stour in the foreground. WWWWeeeeelllllll it didn’t work. British Rail (or whoever operates the trains in the local lines) simply didn’t play ball, between rogue trains and power lines I couldn’t get the shot I had in my mind.
Still such is life, so onto glamourous location number 2. I say glamourous as it was actually a muddy field a few miles from the village where I live. It’s advantage however was that there were no power lines and I could set up right next to where I parked. The dogs selflessly agreed to guard the inside of the car (which was nice and warm) while I set up and tried again. This location was to be a straight moon shot.
A definite improvement on the shot at Scone don’t you think! For those of you who might like to know, this was at f/11, for 1/90’s, ISO100 and with a 200mm Lens.
So I’m feeling very happy to finally have a Luna shot I’ve taken myself. Of course I could have continued fiddling about with the camera and taking more shots, but to be honest all I wanted to do was gaze up at this amazing wonder. Eventually however, the cold seeped in through all my layers of clothing and it was time to get back in the car and turn the heater up full blast. The car’s thermometer was displaying –3 degrees C, and I believe it. I did make it to location number 3 but that’s a whole other story and a very different image.
Are you fascinated by our moon? I am. I think it’s amazing. I’m not old enough to remember the moon landings but it didn’t stop me being mesmerised by them as a child.
Tonight will be the ‘largest’ Full Moon since the early 90’s. If you are so inclined you can read about it on the Guardian Science site (and loads of others if you google it). Basically the moon gets closer and further away from the Earth as a natural part of it’s orbit. This means that to us it really does appear larger at some times than others.
For someone who loves Luna as much as I do, I have remarkably few photographs of it (or should that be her). This is about the best and was taken in August 2009 at the Scone Palace Runrig concert. Hand held as the camera was held up over peoples heads, it’s not really a surprise it isn’t very good.
So tonight I shall be joining photographers all over the world by heading out with my tripod and a flask of tea.
Many people try to photograph the moon, but few get results they are happy with. So here’s a few tips in case you’re also feeling inspired.
- Get your camera off automatic mode. Modern cameras will do all sorts of things for you, including working out all the settings to take a photo. Unfortunately the software bases all this on averages. So when presented with a dark sky and a small bright disc, the camera will try to average it all out. This will overexpose the moon and you’ll lots of detail.
- If your camera allows you to shoot in RAW mode then do that. You will record much more detail allowing you more options when you get your image onto your computer.
- Use a tripod and cable release if you have them. If not then prop your camera on something (beanbag, coat, wall) and use the timer feature. This will help to prevent ‘camera shake’ by your hands/arms moving ever so slightly while you take the shot.
- Take lots of photos. The chances of getting THE shot on the first click are not good. So take plenty. Change the settings and cover all the bases. It’s better to take more shots than you need than not enough. It’s going to be about 20 years before you get another chance.
Above all if you do go out have fun. I know that’s my plan….