Monday, July 24, 2006

hot off the press

Well almost, I finally sat down today and figured out how to upload my images from my camera to the computer. Quite a nerveracking time as I was concerned that I wasn't reading the instructions properly and the fact that I had to look in three places to complete the task I was worried that I would mess up the card or camera or something and then what would I all turned out fine, so far. I had managed to rack up 175 pics in the three outings I'd snapped away at and still had around 350 left on the card. I'm sure when I don't use the fully automatic features that capacity will decrease.

So here is one of the first pics from my new camera. Apologies for the crap resolution but I had to email it to work as I ran out of time to post at home. I had to compress it quite a bit in order to send it otherwise the email wouldn't go, all these troublesome technicalities...resulting in a very average picture. It is amazing the quality of the image when it isn't compressed but it was around 2mb when I first tried to email it! I think blogger would have choked on that.

It's a starfish that D found on the rocks when we went fishing the weekend before last. He threw it at me and I rescued it from the seagulls and put it in a rockpool to better observe it. I thought it was rather unusual having more than the classic five "legs" and it was quite rough almost rubbery on the top. Underneath it was all tentacles and pale. It is amazing how fast they can move, upon landing in the rockpool it rather quickly unfurled its legs and made its way to a shadier part of the pool. I put it back in the ocean when we left as I thought it was a bit too exposed to predators in the little rockpool.

more fun to come...

Friday, July 21, 2006

demonic kitty

Here's one of my all time favourite images that I took about three years ago...

Monday, July 17, 2006

Best Husband in the World

I am so lucky sometimes.

D mentioned to me a couple of weeks ago that he saw an ad on tv for a digital SLR camera and that perhaps I would be interested in it. I didn't say too much about it at the time for fear of scaring him off. I mean I'm pretty much a nut when it comes to all things cameras and being a dedicated film user I haven't been interested in digital as I would never believe that I could afford to buy the digital camera of my dreams.

So when D brought this up again I sussed out some things about digital using the wonderful review sites on the internet. Such a fantastic research tool, don't you think? I rediscovered a review site called dpreview which I had found around a year or two ago. Back then I had salivated over this exhaustive site and the comparisons for such a long time that I had pretty much committed them to memory, then I promptly forgot about it after broaching the subject with D receiving a negative response.

I was thrilled to find the site again and see that they had current reviews on the camera's that I was wanting, so I spent the best part of the last two weeks checking it all out and coming to a conclusion. Such a difficult matter and I was swayed to the other party on more than one occasion but in the end Canon won out. I took my research back to D with a comprehensive list of prices from local and overseas retailers to show that I had done my homework and on Saturday D said that we were going shopping.

I just couldn't believe it. So soon! We decided that we'd have a look locally and went to the mall in Hornsby and had a bit of a looksie at various retailers and went back to the first one we saw. They won out on several levels. The most important one being service. The other three stores that we walked into were just not up to scratch on their knowledge and customer service levels. One of those reps even said "so you're after the lens and case". To which I replied, "no, the lens and body!" Eeedjiot! They were cheaper but I can't stand that sort of lack of product knowledge and abuse of terms.

So feeling very light headed we waited back in the first store and went through the exciting/nerve racking process of purchasing my first digital slr. I still thought I was dreaming and had to constantly have D reassure me that this was all ok. He even said I could get the CPL, circular polarising filter, which are quite pricey compared to other filters. I also took the opportunity to upgrade the lens to a 17-85mm so that I had a bit more quality and range to play with than the standard 18-55mm. It took quite a long time to get it all together and paid for and during that time I was feeling rather lightheaded and faint. D was feeling the same way too but I think it was more to do with the amount of cash he was handing over at the time.

So now I am the proud owner of a Canon EOS 30D and love it to bits, but of course I love my husband even more, if only marginally.

The only downer about digital was the fact that I had to wait at least 8 hours for the battery to charge. D was thoughtful enough to suggest that we go for a drive to the beach the next day so that I was able to snap away to my hearts content and he could go fishing. FUN!!! I was so excited that I had a great subject to test out the 5fps feature with the waves crashing into the rocks and swelling up amongst the boulders. I also went on a bit of an excursion around the point and discovered a pipe inserted into the rock shelf that had the water welling up inside with the waves and every so often creating a blow hole. I managed to rack up around 70+ images in a few hours so D was thrilled to bits that it wasn't film and it also verified that it was indeed a top/wise purchase.

I'll share some pics hopefully tomorrow once I figure out how to install the software and download them.

Lucky me huh!! And lucky you too, you get topics more relative to time, instead of me waiting for the film to be processed in order to write about it! Note the previous post being a spectacular example of this!

stay tuned!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

You led I followed

Yes I suppose that is just what I did.

I had a film processed the other day and it reminded me of this so thought I would share it as proof that I do indeed make things...

Inspired once again by all those wonderful crafty gals out there I decided last Christmas that I would make my MIL-MrsX a knitting tote for all her books, balls and needles. I'd taken note that she didn't have anything of the sort, resorting to plastic grocery bags to contain her knitting paraphernalia so as far as I was concerned this would not do.

I thought about it and came up with some ideas and then finally took the plunge and put it together. I knew that she likes blues and greens and I had picked up some curtaining material in the remenant bin which I thought would be best. Note please forgive the daggy frieze on the wall in the background and the impromptu "table" on which the tote is displayed, I was in a rush to finish and wrap for the big day I decided that it had to be large and open generously with a pocket to hold her books and patterns. It had to hold many balls of wool and also be a bit different to a standard boxy tote. I decided the pocket that I thought I would add to the outside of the bag should go inside in the centre of the bag and zip up, dividing the bag into two parts. I love zip pockets because they stop things from falling out and mysteriously disappearing. Along the way I also decided that I had time to have a go at making a matching needle roll, but I didn't photograph it, unfortunately. I didn't want the bag to be too blue and green so I lined the inside with another colour that in some ways links with the main fabric, maybe not as complimentary as I am inclined to think...
I had a few hitches along the way naturally, it is rare that these things go without setbacks of course. In the end I was fairly pleased with the outcome, the only bad point being that it wilted rather badly. I used the stiffest interfacing I could find but when it is used only with curtain material I found that it still flopped. I think I should have used light card in the sides or as some of those wonderfully creative "bag" ladies (those who make them that is!) use fleece as an interfacing for more support.
Needless to say MrsX was thrilled to receive such a thoughtful handmade gift for Christmas and noted to me that she had never had such items to help her contain and cart her knitting things around. So one gold star for me and another lesson learned.

I noticed it out and being used last weekend which made me happy to see it in use after six months and no mention to me about any of its shortcomings so this is good. Mind you MrsX is such a wonderfully polite lady I don't think she would even entertain such thoughts.

Stay tuned more tomorrow

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Yeah right, the memories sweeten or weaken depending on what the absence is.

Any way I had a wee break, as if anyone noticed, but I've been a lurking and checking out some great food blogs. Noting in particular Delicious!Delicious!and Chocolate&Zucchini. Unfortunately D!D! is currently having an extended break and I am not the only one itching for her to get back. I did have fun reading her blog from beginning to end though.

I found it quite inspirational reading these blogs and even tried out some of the recipes on D. He was a grateful guinnea pig and as he has the flu at the moment and very miserable I decided to try out D!D!'s lemony chicken soup. I loved it and I think D did too but I think his flu-retarded senses highlighted the lemon or else mine have a peculiar ability to suppress it. I thought it was fantastic but D thought it too lemony. I thought he'd like that since he loves chicken sandwiches with lemon juice squeezed over them. Oh well I tried right!

D and I celebrated our 5 year since-we-met / 3 month-since-we-married anniversary over the past weekend. We managed to score a great hotel room at the Sir Stanford in Double Bay for $140/night, booking an hour before we checked in using Wotif. It was also an excuse to catch up with his cousins, one who just turned almost 30! We had a great night out and the pillows in the hotel were fabulous. D's flu is the result of overindulging.

Today I caught up with our wedding photographer, Michael Zanetti, who is just wonderful. Being the self concious person that I am and most brides are, I was a bit nervous about seeing these proofs of being a "beautiful" bride. My held breath was released with relief when I finally viewed the proof photos that he brought along. He did a wonderful job in such spontaneous and unconventional circumstances. The only reason it took so long for us to get these pics back was because we were still trying to find the money to pay for it. Even though in my opinion he is very reasonable, we still had to wait until we'd sold our boat to pay the extortionate tax bill D had received before contacting him.

So here is a gratuitous wedding photo of us to satisfy reader curiosity...

BTW I'm not really that tall! You just have to love the illusion though!