Posts tagged ‘photography’
I haven’t written much here lately because I’ve been busy chasing a puppy around. We adopted our new puppy, Penny, three weeks ago today from the Northeast Animal Shelter, and at this stage she’s more into chewing monitor cords than blogging. Even though I didn’t post much this month, I had more hits than ever thanks to this post at Tipnut.com, which included one of my aprons in a round-up of internet tutorials. Check out Tipnut if you haven’t, it’s full of handy information.
Penny is something of a mystery mutt, but we think she’s part beagle and maybe some other type of hound, maybe with some pointer mixed in for good measure. Whatever she is, she’s darling. Three weeks in and at about four months of age, she’s well on her way to being house-trained, she’s sleeping the night in her crate without barking or crying (for the most part), and she has learned to sit, stay, and lie down (and she’ll perform each of them on command if she’s not distracted by something exciting or delicious.)
I wanted a picture of her to add to this post, so I attempted Penny’s first photo shoot. The best photo is cute, but the outtakes tell the real story.
Here’s the money shot:
And here are the outtakes, accompanied by my anthropomorphic commentary:
You think I’m just gonna sit here while you’re holding that tasty Milk Bone in the air?
Not a chance, chump.
This is so lame.
None of my friends even read your stupid blog anyway.
Okay, okay, I’m ready for my close-up.
Enough already! I don’t know about you, but this puppy is pooped.
A couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled to find some very cool sheet sets(green with white polka dots!) at a very cool price. Yes, I get excited about sheets. What can I say– I’m a textile geek. I snapped up two sets– we need four pillowcases anyway, and it’s nice to have an extra fitted sheet. With the two flat sheets, I made a duvet cover for our down comforter. Nothing complicated about it, but I thought I’d share the process in case it helps to get someone else’s wheels turning.
(1) Since all the seams on the sheets are already finished, a top-stitch around the perimeter should be sturdy enough to hold the duvet cover together– so no need to sew the whole thing together inside out and turn. Just pin the two sheets together, right sides OUT. I used what had been the tops of the sheets as the bottom of my duvet. [Here's why: at the top of these particular sheets, like many sheets, about six inches of the fabric was turned over at the top and sewn down when it was manufactured. At the bottom and on the sides, there is only about half an inch of fabric turned over. Since the bottom of my duvet cover is going to have an opening (although it will be closed with velcro, buttons, or snaps), a little bit of the inside of the duvet cover will sometimes be visible and I don't want the wrong side of the fabric to show.]
(2) Begin sewing (using a pretty small machine stitch for strength) about four inches from the center of what will be the bottom of the duvet. I chose a seam allowance that felt right when I lowered the foot (remember you’re dealing with sheets that already have seams around the edges, so you do have to work around them.) When you begin, you want to start with at least four or five backward stitches, and then start going right over them again as you begin sewing forward. Do the same thing when you reach the end of the seam– this will strengthen the places you’re going to be yanking on when you pull your duvet in and out of the cover for washing. Sew all the way around the outside (yawn) and stop about four inches from the other side of the bottom of the duvet, leaving about an eight inch gap. The easiest way to close the gap is with iron-on velcro. Buttons would be great if your machine makes buttonhole.
(3) If you get annoyed with the duvet sliding around and bunching up inside the cover, try this trick: sew ribbon ties onto each cover of your duvet, and a ribbon loop into each corner of the duvet. Then when you put the cover on, you can just tie the corners into place, and no more slipping around! When I lived in Japan, I noticed that many duvets and duvet covers came this way when you purchased them– genius! I haven’t gotten around to doing this yet because I was eager to get my new duvet onto my bed, but I plan to.
I hit one unexpected snag– it turned out the sheets were not exactly the same size. Yes, they were both full-sized sheets, the exact same brand, style, and color, but one of them was a full two inches longer than the other. So my plan for this to be a super simple project didn’t quite work out. I had to trim the excess off of the longer sheet and hem it, and then topstitch the two sheets together. Grrrrr.
If you don’t have two matching flat sheets, you could use two coordinating sheets. This would be a great use for vintage thrift store finds. You could simply use one as the front of the cover and one as the back, or if you really wanted to make things interesting, you could cut the sheets up and piece them back together so that you had part of each sheet on both the front and the back. You could do this in a very simple manner by cutting one strip out across the width of each sheet and then sewing it into the other. Maybe I’ll try that next time.
Oh, and P.S.– no comments about my shoddy bed-making! I come from the toss-your-duvet-on-the-bed-and-be-done-with-it school of thought, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Let me start by apologizing for neglecting this blog of late. I moved three weeks ago, so of course the move and everything that goes along with it has been keeping me very busy. Feathering a new nest does bring up lots of crafty challenges but I haven’t had the time to do much yet, nor have I had the patience to snap pictures, hence the lack of postings lately.
I’m having trouble taking still photos of objects that look good enough to post. I’m agog (love that word, but it makes me think of the giant spider in Harry Potter) at all the sumptuous photography at so many of the blogs I read, but I’m just not satisfied with most of the stills that I take.
Light is the biggest challenge. Unless I take a picture at high noon (like this), it comes out way too dark (like this.) If it’s dark enough to need the flash, the flash just washes everything out anyway. My new place definitely has some sunny spots, so hopefully that will help. I found some very helpful general advice here, and I used this tutorial to build a light box, but I’m not satisfied with any of the pictures I took using it. They’re still not bright enough, and the colors are off. I think I might need to get some fancy schmancy light bulbs. Sigh. Any advice would be much appreciated.
Today I’ll share a photo of the view from my bedroom window. I’m clueless about plants, so I haven’t a clue how long this tree (which I am told is a lilac, ha!) will be in bloom, but I am enjoying it while I can!
Every branch big with it,
Bent every twig with it;
Every fork like a white web-foot;
Every street and pavement mute;
Some flakes have lost their way, and grope back upward, when
Meeting those meandering down they turn and descend again.
The palings are glued together like a wall,
And there is no waft of wind with the fleecy fall.
A sparrow enters the tree,
A snow-lump thrice his own slight size
Descends on him and showers his head and eyes,
And overturns him,
And near inurns him,
And lights on a nether twig, when its brush
Starts off a volley of other lodging lumps with a rush.
The steps are a blanched slope,
Up which, with feeble hope,
A black cat comes, wide-eyed and thin;
And we take him in.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree…
How lovely are thy branches!
Just because a picture is worth a thousand words doesn’t mean I can resist saying a few about my ferocious cat. She is surprisingly docile in this picture but if you look closely, you can see that she has a fang!
I live in fear.