Monday, December 10, 2012

Moving over

FYI moving any further certificate of excellence talk to my other blog
There will not only be post about the program but also my vlogs about fibery goodness.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Membership has it's benefits

It's been a long time since I've spun. But once I brought out my wheel, oiled her up a bit, and started spinning...well, it was...I have no words. I'm feeling again the contentment that spinning brings. I'm also remember my old "plans" to become a master spinner. Well sort of a master spinner. More like a make-up-my-own program. First step gather the materials. I still have the unused sampling packs that I had before but I've added 2 more packs. I'll be making a list soon to post on here but also for my own records. Between the packs I do have some repeats but that's fine. I also purchased some superfine merino to start spinning with the possibility of spinning for a sweater. After the magical sweater incident I don't want to make that kinda commitment just yet.
So in all I'm happy to see what fibery goodness the coming months bring. Now, to find the time...

Oh, the membership...I decided to become a member of the Handweavers Guild. Basically I've never been a member of a guild and I wanted to see what it was all about.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Can I get a Welcome Back!

I'm back. Maybe for awhile. Maybe for a little bit. I can't really make commitments in the cyber world very much now that I have babies with veto power. Speaking of babies. Here they are. One isn't technically a baby anymore but you know he will always be my baby.

Sophia and James

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I have a tendency to get so caught up in the technically perfect side of photography that I forget to create whimsy. I was taught in photography class, so long ago, that photographs should be sensual. No, not sexual. Sensual. I think too often these two words are used interchangeable but they are very different. Here is a definition.

Sensual. 1: relating to or consisting in the gratification of the senses or the indulgence of appetite.

Five sense: Hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste.

I was also taught that a photograph should tell a story. “What stories does your photo tell?”  So when I try to create a photo I ask myself, could I imagine touching the texture on that egg? Can I smell the wet grass? Does my photo tell you a story? I tend to get so caught up in creating these worlds of texture and stories that I forget the whimsy. 

I also find that sometimes when I’m trying to manage all the settings on the DSLR I forget what it’s like to just relax and let the photo happen. Toy cameras help me do that. Yes, you may have to think a tiny bit. Very small bit of  the thinking. Is it full sun or cloudy? Is my subject (focus area) close or far away? That’s it. Those two questions. No focus. No shutter speed. No f-stop. Just shoot and hope something magical happens. I do mean hope. There is also no instant gratification of a viewer screen showing you how you’ve done. You have to wait for actual film to be developed. But there are very few things we have to wait for anymore and waiting is not always a bad thing. 
So without further ado, The Girls

admittedly bad pic and bad post processing on my photo 

Hmmm…wonder what is on these rolls of film.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

make me happy

I don't sit down to write tonight with some profound insight or inspiration.  What I do have are some pics.  I'm proud of these pics for a couple reasons.  I also self-critiqued them and know what I would like to change and how to change it for the next life shots.  Life shots?  Is that what I want to call them?  You know, the shots that are not for a shoot and not for art.  Shots that chronicle your own family and family's life events.  Life shots.  I'll have to let that roll on my tongue and see if it sticks. 

Enough already.  My Boys.

My little Indiana Jones
55 mm 1/200 sec. ISO 100 f/5.6 A-priority w/Flash
Adjusted Levels in post-processing
Although I love this pic because of the subject, I'm not completely fond of the composition.  The little man moves doesn't really slow down much so next time it might be beneficial to back up or zoom out. 

I do love this pic
55 mm 1/125 sec. ISO 110 f/5.6 NoFlash
Again, only Levels adjusted 
I must say, I'm in so much love with this pic.  I don't know that I would change anything.  It is perfect in my opinion. 

This mini-maze made him so happy.
55 mm 1/125 sec. ISO 110 f/5.6 NoFlash
Obvious BW in post processing.  Also some contrast adjustment.

 I was having issues with my auto-focus.  I'm still not sure I got it corrected but I'm working on figuring it out and fixing it.  I also think I want to revisit this pic in it's BW version and highlight him in someway, maybe some vignetting. 

Overall, I'm happy.  Happy that I tried.  Happy that I played.  Happy that I succeeded with some good (at least one) shots. 


Sunday, October 16, 2011

M is for Manual

We met up with some friends of mine last night.  Couple of people who also have an interest in photography.  Along with knitting/fiber and cooking; photography is one of those artistic loves that has followed me through the years.  As we sat there chatting about photo related topics I realized I had lost something.  I had lost my ability to speak photography.  I realized that I theoretically knew what I meant but not how to form those thoughts into words to explain what I meant as it related to photography. 

Anyway, I also realized that a lot of my photos have been very, shall we say "point and shoot" esque.  Not at all what a photographer is trying to accomplish. 

Where does this leave me? I have this list of things I want to start doing when we finish moving.  Couch to 5k, plant a garden, cook "week in a day" meals, and so forth.  I'm also gonna add something else to the list but this my friends will be started ASAP.  Like today.  Get more familiar with my lovely D60 and shoot.  I made this effort in the past and previously I did learn some new things.  It appears it's time to get motivated again. 

My goal, take pics that can be posted/used/published SOOC (straight out of camera) or at least with very little post processing.  Again, I've said this all before and much of this is just a playback but with different words.  But I need to proclaim it again for myself. 

I do have a challenge.  I still have a film mindset.  It's hard for me to get past the limited frames of film.  It's hard for me to just shoot.  Am I alone in this? 

Also, although my friends did a great job tyring to persuade me, I will not be shooting in RAW.  Here is a great explanation why.  I will however take Mrs. Pioneer Woman's advice and use the RAW editor which I'm gonna get the Husby to re-install tomorrow. 

I'm also getting myself a 50mm 1.4 (maybe 1.8) lens.  They are not that expensive and my current lens will only go to 4.2.  This is not nearly as low as I like.  It just doesn't give  me the depth of field control that I need so I'll be purchasing one that does. 

There will be no pics with this post.  I don't like to post without a pic but in this case there is just nothing that works.  But I'll have some pics in the coming week that will hopefully tickle my inner photographers sweet spot.  although that statement read kinda dirty, it's not so get your head of the gutter. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Canvas of possible

Me at about 3:30pm everyday: "What am I gonna fix for dinner?"
My response to me: "oh cwap, I didn't take anything out of the freezer!!"
Me: "um, um, um"
My response "I really don't want to feed my family boxed food or fast food, I want them to eat something healthy"
Me: "I'm such a slacker not to get anything out of the freezer and then forget to ask the hubster to take something out this morning"

I could go on and on but really, you get the point.

Here is what I came up with and realized that it really is a blank slat to create many different (maybe even a little healthy) dishes.  This was totally inspired by an article in Parent Magazine, just so ya know. 

So here is the breakdown.  Not calling it a recipe, more of a guide. 

Broccoli.  Grocery store had broccoli on sale this week.  I picked up 2 bunches and when I got home cut the heads off the stalk and put them into a container in the fridge for ease of prep at meal time.   In this dish I just cut the heads into smaller bits. 

Chicken.  Sunday I had cooked 8 or 9 leg quarters and then once cooled, shredded the meat.  For this dish I used about a handful and then put the rest in vacuum bags, sealed and froze.

Yellow squash.  Thanks to my friend Jessica I remembered a trick to up the health value of a meal by adding shredded/grated squash and/or zucchini.  This idea was gonna work perfectly in this meal.  I used about 1/2 of the squash.

Philadelphia cooking cream.  Not too proud of this ingredient, but in a pinch it was good.  Not good for us but good tasting.  The sauce is actually where I think the most experimentation can fit.  I was telling the Hubster at dinner that I would like to try and make this more of a stir-fry dish by using some Asian type ingredients for the sauce. 

Whole grain pasta.  I will admit that this is the first time I've used whole grain pasta.  I've used the garden pasta stuff that is all different colors but no whole grain.  I felt that maybe the family would need easing into this part so I used 1/2 whole grain and 1/2 traditional pasta.  The fam didn't seem to mind the whole grain, so that will be our pasta of choice next time. 

So here is what I did, and what I will change next time.  I first boiled the pasta.  Then I blanched the broccoli.  Next time I'll do it in the reverse order so that the pasta can absorb any nutrients left behind by the broccoli.  Then in a skillet I added some butter (yes, the kind I made), I then added some garlic infused olive oil.  The butter helps to raise the smoke point of the olive oil.  I then got the skillet hot and threw the drained broccoli in the skillet.  This steamed it some more and gave it a nice garlicky kick.  I then added the squash, chicken and cooking cream.  Then, the pasta (which BTW I made way too much).  I tossed to coat everything with the sauce.  YUM!

I admit that I had to get past the "it's not dripping with sauce" thoughts in my head.  I'm not used to fixing a pasta dish that doesn't have sauce dripping off every bit. 

Now for some variations that I'm considering.  How about grilled chicken over a bed of the pasta/veg mix with an Italian vinaigrette type sauce.  Or an Asian noodle inspired dish using soy sauce and other stuff that I haven't figured out yet. 

So, yeah, this was a revelation for me in my cooking.  Revelation one: I'm so glad I had the fresh veg in the fridge to use in my meals.  Revelation two: I've acquired enough skill and confidence in the kitchen to fake it when in a crunch, which then manifested into a meal that will go into regular rotation as long as there are wonderful veggies for us to use.