Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Paparazzi - the natural way

We got a new toy to play with - a digital SLR (Canon EOS 1000D for the curious), and it has been such a lot of fun! First I read the manual about apertures, shutter speeds (ISOs?) and depth of field.

Then I snapped the cat and took what I think is my favourite picture of all time. The detail in his cute little face if you look at the Flickr version is amazing! He looks so peacefully you'd believe he was sound asleep ... which he wasn't. He was closing his eyes to try and avoid the pain of yet more flashes going off in his face. (Just kidding ... or am I?)

Then I snapped my knitting, and played with depth of field on a yummy skein of Old Maiden Aunt cashmere (I wasn't very good at it).

Then we went out 'in the field' for some of nature's paparazzi fun. I promptly forgot all about apertures and the like, and took all of the photos below with the auto settings/focus. The camera makes a great kat-shh noise - even if they added that noise in, I wouldn't care! I feel like a real photographer.

The Kelvingrove Heron (the new one - s/he seems to have scared the regular Heron away). I got really close (we are still waiting for our telephoto lens to arrive) ...

... too close in fact, and scared him away.

Then I pointed and shot at the trees, and got some rather good (if blurry) pics of blue tits and squirrels.

And lastly, a couple of kissing pigeons framed by a triangle of branches.

(They all look better when biggened on Flickr)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


The never-ending scarf continues. I could put up yet another pic of the same scarf, but really ... as beautiful as it is, I think you've got the jist!

Our router little green light changed to a red light for some inexeplicable reason on Thursday. Who'd have thought such a small light could bring so much sadness? Rang my dad and went through reinstalling router, resetting router, changing all leads and bits for other leads and bits. Restarted computer about a bazillion times. No joy. Without the internet my lovely expensive laptop became nought but a worthless rectangle of metal and plastic.

Phone Tiscali's technical help to get told the line is fine and that is the full extent of their technical help ... visit PC World's techical help who look at (and don't touch) router and tell me it's broken and point to where the fresh new ones are. *Sigh*

I nearly wept when that little green light finally went on again 56 hours later. It's amazing just how much we use the internet for every little thing these days. We were going out for a meal on Saturday somewhere in Edinburgh and couldn't logon to get the postcode for the satnav. I had eBay things selling that had ended on Friday night, so had to get my dad to read out all the addresses of what had sold over the phone. And most importantly, I couldn't get onto Warcraft!!

We also had some fun with the washing machine *crackle* bang ... wait for the washing machine guy to come out on Saturday to tell us the motor's gone and it's flatlined. (He's so lovely, he didn't even charge us for the callout!)

Of course we couldn't get on the internet to check out which machine we should buy to replace it (The boy and I discovered that we can't make an expensive consumer move anymore without checking loads of consumer feedback websites)

Then I rave on about getting a Dyson rollerball hoover, and the next day smoke starts curling out of our (crappy) existing hoover. Boy doesn't believe I haven't sabotaged it in some way ... *pleads innocence*

Dad helpfully tells me how to fix it a few days later (bugger!)

My chores in the house include hoovering and doing washing, and my main distraction in Warcraft. Do you think that cosmic forces were at work to make me finish the never-ending scarf or what?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Beads n' yarn n' stuff

Lots of crafty fun this weekend - we had a bead meetup to sample the delights of the Bead Company in the west end (next to the new Tesco on Dumbarton Road) It was ... overwhelming! There were 2 floors of beads of every kind, and we spent a l-o-n-g time in there. I bought lots of fun beads to make stretchy bracelets.

I especially love the apple-y bracelet I made - it's so Sanrio! There was an incident, when I learned the strength of super glue and had a bit of cardboard stuck to my finger for a few hours...

Before the bead-fest I did a dash around the SECC who were hosting Creative Stitches and Hobbycraft - I'm so lucky to live in Glasgow so that I can do this kind of thing on a whim. I made it round in less than an hour - slowed only by the fact that I shouldn't be spending money when I'm trying to save for my web designer classes.

Bought some yummy Sublime Angora Merino - 6 balls for only £1.99 a ball, and 10 balls of Debbie Bliss Soho for only £19.99! I'm not so sure about the Debbie Bliss - yarn fumes may have factored here!

I usually avoid her stuff as I find it pilly - although the colours are stunning. Hoping that the Soho won't go that way. Hmm... maybe I'll check Ravelry to see...


I'm back! No mention of pilling, but a few 'this is scratchy' comments, so guess it won't be a scarf then. Although I think I have a higher tolerance of scratchy yarns.

I also succumbed to Old Maiden Aunt's buttony hat kit - which is literally drool-soft and squooshy. Really love the red buttons too - Chosen by Karie and a great choice! Can't wait to cast on ... in fact, with the never-ending blue scarf being the only thing I am knitting at the moment, I'm pretty much lusting after every other project there is right now.

Julia at my knitting group suggested only casting something on once three things have been cast off. This seems like a good solution to me. Others felt that as it is a hobby, I should enjoy myself and cast on and knit whatever I fancy. I fear with me this would just result in a mass of 50-odd guilty WIPs, and none of the satisfaction of finished objects.

I enjoy knitting but I love finished objects too - and have been thinking of all my WIPs and getting re-excited for having them done.

And some more fabby knitting -but I can't take the credit for these. A gorgeous pair of Fair Isle armwarmers arrived in the post yesterday, knitted by my Granny. I love them! It was a real surprise, and now I'm a knitter I can appreciate the hard work that has gone into them. Thank you granny! :D

That's me for now - I've got a bag of Pick 'n Mix, a never-ending scarf and Desperate Housewives waiting for me on Sky Plus.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens ...

... I dunno, gotta put something in the title section. It's been a long Monday, and I couldn't upload yesterday cos Flickr had 'hiccups' - which is funny the first time, but not after you've hit refresh 900 sodding times.

Anyhoo - I made pancakes last week - not for Shrove Tuesday, as I have knitting group that night. More of a pancake sunday really.

Remembered that we forgot to buy a special pancake turning device - like the fish slice thing, but bendier - last year and vowed once again to buy one so that next years pancakes will be easier to flip. (No, I can't just flip it - pancake making is stressful for me, and I'm not wasting it by sticking it to the ceiling!)


We are also getting into the spirit of spring (I realise the weather is forecast for heavy snow tomorrow - I am in denial) and started meddling in the garden. We built ourselves a dead wood pile. I'm pretty sure that the neighbours think we're bat sh*t crazy, but *meh* we want bugs 'n beetles n' things so that the birds come more.

It was a long dark few months after coming home one evening to some feathers on the ground, and zero birds after that. Local cats I think.

We built a much higher, safer bird feeder, put multiple tasty treats on it, and waited. Tossed out loads of snow-laden damp uneaten food. And waited. And waited some more. And finally, this weekend were rewarded with the return of the sparrows!

Also a pair of cheeky starlings who made off with their own weight of fat-cake ... they cost us a lot in bird food. Surely they can get their fill of food from the Asda carpark along with the rest of their kin muching on crisps and Doritos?

I was desperate for some flowery colour, so we bought some primroses, mini-daffodils, crocuses and roses. I know - a true gardner's plant - I think we'll probably kill it, or infest the neighbours' roses with some rose-killing disease by accident... anyone with any rose-living tips/links please leave them in the comments.

We've also been walking around Kelvingrove Park in the mornings before work in the past week and came across what looks like a guerilla knitting project ... different coloured yarn tied to branches all over the park - could this be for birds nests? Does anyone know anything about this?

Tried to Google and found nothing... I'm so curious!

On the knitting front, the never-ending lace stocking stitch scarf continues to grow 1 mm for every 10 hours of knitting. I'm going to my knitting group tomorrow night and I shall not moan about it, just knit on, zen-like and calm in the face of lacey-adversity*

Bye for now!

*Disclaimer: this blogger cannot be held liable for emotional distress to surrounding knitters, should her zen-like state crumble and descend into a whinge-fest...