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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

MY PEN PAL PAINITING EXCHANGE SUBMISSION

Oh, procrastination. Somehow even though I received my pen pal painting exchange kit months ago, my canvas was still unpainted a week before it was due to be postmarked, and I didn't even know what I wanted to paint. Pressure, pressure, pressure. This weekend however, I finally got some inspiration and gathered my paints and set up camp in the garden. And despite it being a sunny day, I ended up painting a rainy and rather miserable day seen from behind a window. Or something to that effect. I think I've started to crave autumn weather and cozy evenings inside. Either way, I managed to get it finished and it has now been posted. I can't wait to get a reply and will probably be checking my post box daily, much like when I had actual pen pals when I was wee. Very excited!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

WHAT I’M WORKING ON: WOOLEN CUSHION

I’ve been feeling so inspired to get back into sewing recently. My poor sewing machine Pauline (of course I’ve named her) has been sitting packed away for months, but last week Graeme and I finally got around to setting up our studio space and she’s been sitting happily on my new desk ever since. I’ve never really had a good space to sew before, so I’m finding this very exciting. I’ve also been spending a lot of time perusing sewing blogs and there are so many projects I want to try. I have grand plans of sewing myself a skirt or a dress, but so far I’ve been struggling to find the right fabric. Most of my fabric reserves are still in Glasgow, and all the ones I’ve seen in the shops seem a bit too summery. We are heading into fall, after all. So for now, I decided I’d start out with a simple cushion project as a warm up, inspired by this post.

Bo certainly seems to approve of the cushion. She got a bit curious when I was taking pictures of my project, and as always she ended up stealing the show. Cutest cushion model or what?




Sunday, 18 August 2013

30 DAY SELF PORTRAIT CHALLENGE RESULTS


And there, my 30 day self portrait challenge has been completed! First off, I’ll admit I did miss a couple days. Most of the days I didn’t remember until quite late in the evening, on some occasions I didn’t remember at all, and there were even a couple of days where I’d come home and be tired from work and just plain didn’t feel like it. We all have those days, right? Anywho, I figured I’d post a couple of them.

It wasn’t until about day 20 where I felt like I was actually improving at all. In the beginning I felt very uncomfortable with having to produce a portrait of myself every day, and I was pretty much just shooting at random, almost just to get it over with. But as I got more used to it, I started looking more critically at my photos and focusing on what I didn’t like about the photo and how I could improve it. I started taking test shots before I even put myself in the photo, to make sure my camera settings were right and my backgrounds were going to work. This is a pretty basic lesson, I know, but one I ignore far too often.






I also learnt so much about how to pose on cameras. I’ve learnt that I’m no good at pretending to be smiling, so I have to be thinking of something happy or funny when I’m smiling for it to look genuine and to avoid it looking like I’m just pulling a weird face. And I think I almost had an epiphany when I finally realized how much improving my posture improved my portraits. I had no idea my posture was even that bad! 


It's definitely a challenge I would try again!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

PRINTING ON FABRIC WITH AN INKJET PRINTER


Did you know you could use your regular old inkjet printer to print on fabric? A world of possibilities opened up to me when I learnt this, and I immediately ran to my printer to try it out. I was so excited to realize how simple it was! You can pretty much print whatever image you like, as long as the piece of fabric fits in your printer, i.e. the width of a normal page. It can be much longer than a normal page though, as most printers have settings that allow them to print continuously, so you could even print a long fabric banner if you wanted to!


To print on fabric using an inkjet printer you will need some card (or any heavy paper—the front page of a magazine cover would work well), masking tape, fabric, an image and, of course, a printer.

Directions: Cut the piece of fabric down to size to fit your printer. Once you have the right size, tape the fabric down to the card using masking tape. The card will help guide the fabric through the printer, but make sure to cover the edge of the fabric in tape and cut off any strings so that it won’t get stuck in the printer. Once the fabric is taped down, place the card and fabric in the paper tray of the printer. Be sure that it’s facing the right way, so that the fabric gets printed and not the card. Test with regular printer paper if you’re not sure which way it should be facing. Once you’re all set up, print your image! The printer will pick up the card as if it’s just a normal piece of paper and print onto the fabric.


I used my printed fabric to make a simple drawstring bag for keeping film in. I have a tendency of just throwing film in my bag when I go out on photo adventures, and then spending ages trying to find them again. The image I used is one Graeme created in illustrator. If you’d like to use the same image, you can download it here (thanks, Graeme!).

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

35 MM AND SPROCKET HOLES


I love my Diana F+. And while I love using 120 film for it (like here and here), it can be both pricy and difficult to buy in Stavanger, never mind getting it developed. This was the argument I used to justify buying a 35 mm back. I'd get much better use out of my dear Diana F+, right? Not only would it be cheaper and easier with 35 mm film, I would also be able to take more then 10-12 pictures before my film was finished.

The Diana F+ 35 mm back kit also comes with four different frames, which means you can choose between four different photo formats, including square and panoramic, and with or without sprocket holes. Exciting! For my first attempt at using the 35 mm back, I went for the 33x48 mm "Panoramic with perforations" frame. Here's a couple of the photos I took:




These were all taken on mine and Graeme's road trip through Europe earlier this summer, more specifically from Bruges, Antwerp and Dunkirk. One thing I realized after I had started the film though, was that a lot of photo developers aren't actually able to develop the photos with the sprocket holes, as not all scanners pick them up. Luckily, the photo place I went to managed all right!



Also, like my new blog design? It's a lot neater than my old one, which I like. I've even got a bio photo now!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

RHUBARB AND LIME CORDIAL

I find that there’s something incredibly satisfying about going out in your garden, picking some fruit and using it in your cooking. We have tons of fruit growing in our garden; apples and plums, red currants, black currants, gooseberries, blueberries, strawberries and of course, rhubarb (and we have grand plans of adding a vegetable patch next year!).   

This summer we’ve had an abundance of rhubarb, and while dipping sticks of rhubarb in sugar is all kinds of wonderful, I decided to make some rhubarb and lime cordial out of it. And is it too much bragging if I say it's probably the most delicious cordial I've ever tasted?




Rhubarb and Lime Cordial Recipe (makes 1.5 liters):
1 kg rhubarb, chopped
75 ml water
800 g sugar
100 ml lime juice

Directions:
Add chopped rhubarb and 75 ml of water to a pot and put it on a low heat. Once the juices start seeping out of the rhubarb, turn it up a little and let it stew until the rhubarb has gone completely soft and pretty much just turned into mush. Line a bowl with a cheesecloth, and tip in the rhubarb. Gather the corners and let drip into the bowl for a few hours to get all the juice out. Speeding this process up by squeezing is totally allowed. You should end up with just over a liter of rhubarb juice. Discard the left over rhubarb, and pour the juice into a pot together with the sugar and the lime juice. Cook while stirring, allowing the sugar to dissolve. Take off the heat just before the mixture is about to boil, and pour into sterilized bottles.


Serve in the sunshine with 1 part cordial and 4-6 parts water (depending on how strong you like it), some ice and a wedge of lime.


Saturday, 3 August 2013

JULY ON INSTAGRAM

What happened to July? One minute it was here, and then today I woke up and it was already August. Time flies! The weather has been pretty good, so we’ve spent a lot of time outside this month. Graeme's friends came to visit for a weekend, we went on a few weekend trips to the south of Norway, had lots of BBQs and just generally enjoyed the sunshine. I even have a bit of a tan again! 

Today we woke up to torrential rain and thunderstorms though, and I'm currently sitting here with a pot of tea which is making it feel very autumn-y. Bo's not usually scared of thunder, but she's been hiding in Graeme's arms under the duvet all morning, occasionally growling whenever the thunder gets too loud or too close. I, on the other hand, love this weather. Think today might be a duvet day!