Saturday, November 29, 2014

Some favourite photos from this week


Black and white.


Colour. 






I often lament that I live in part of a conglomeration of suburbs that sometimes stretch on endlessly with little to differentiate between them. I think "if I lived on the coast, as I dream I will one day, I could take the most magnificent photos!" But in the meantime, if you look around a lot, there are still many things to inspire. 
One of my aims in starting a photography course was to improve the photos I take of my family. Well, the kids are always with me and they are willing subjects, so I shouldn't complain! And, my portraits have improved a lot in just a couple of months. 
Yesterday we went to our local sensory gardens for the older kids to work on their movie. While they were shooting with the video camera, I got busy with my camera and my littlest model (who loves having her photo taken thankfully!) In a relatively short amount of time I brought home a lot of shots that I really like. 
The module I'm working on now is going to be a challenging one - low key and high key shots. I'll let you know how I progress :)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Yarnification tonight!


The "Favourite Things" showcase is on at Yarnification on Facebook tonight at 8pm. There are lots and lots of beautiful fibre related goodies up for grabs.





I have 2 items available, some wonderful Cashgora and wool fibre and some gorgeous Silk and wool fibre, both dyed in my favourite colours. I've dyed some extra Cashgora to spin with and it's so lovely!  What on earth is Cashgora, I hear you say? It is fibre from a goat that is a cross between a cashmere and angora goat!

If you already have your eye on something, be ready at 8pm as this is a very popular showcase :)


Monday, November 24, 2014

I'll never be good enough

Comparisons, they're a killer. You think you're doing pretty good at something, then you see what others are doing. Or you don't get the reactions you hoped for when you pluck up the courage to share. There are so many times that I decided to give up, such was my disappointment. 


Recently I was very excited to start an online photography course. It's been great to see my photographs slowly progressing towards more professional looking images. There is a support group on Facebook for students to share their work and offer and receive support. There is just one problem.
Every day I have these magnificent images popping up in my newsfeed. They make me go "wow!" But they also make me go "I'll never be good enough". "I can't do that". "I don't have enough talent". "No-one notices what I do". "Why can't I be that good?"

Sound familiar? 



But here's the deal: The journey is as much about the journey as the destination. We may look back and shudder at our first attempts, but didn't the professionals start out the same way? Even talents have to be developed through practice and learning. 

What is "good enough" anyway? Where are the "good enough" police? In my head? Hmmm.

How about we change that "I'm never be good enough" to "I'll do my best and see what happens". Or perhaps "I'll do this because I genuinely enjoy the experience and I don't need the appraisal of anyone to validate that". Yeh, that sounds better.

I'll leave you with a final thought. 

If you never start something, you will never finish anything.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Gossamer Dreams tonight!!


The final Gossamer Dreams showcase for the year is happening tonight at 8pm (9pm if you're in Victoria like me). The theme is "Celebration" and the goodies up for grabs certainly reflect that wonderfully!


I have a few colourful rainbow skeins of 8ply cotton for sale so please pop over early, they will go fast!


Happy shopping :)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sourdough

I've tried sourdough starters from scratch many times. Some of the starters went really well but baked really poorly. Others just went off. I became despondent. But something about the warmer weather gets me to thinking about sourdough and I always feel like having another go. This time around I decided to increase my chances of success by buying a starter. I got a partially dehydrated starter from Sourdough Companion, followed the instructions to "wake it up" and away I went!


After the starter was activated (about 24 hours after adding water) I divided it in two to start the feeding stage. The one on the left was fed with organic white flour and filtered water. The one on the right was fed with wholemeal flour and filtered water. I wanted to divide them in case of disaster - my hope was that at least one would survive.
24 hours later they looked like they do in the picture above. Increased in size, lovely bubbly holes and a pleasant, slightly sour aroma.


After this first feeding the starter was ready to bake with. Wanting to remain on the cautious side, I decided to bake plain white loaves. Very simple ingredients - white flour, starter, salt and water.
I baked on a very warm day, so total rising time was around 6 hours, which was perfect. They turned out great!

Two days later I did my second bake. I kept the starters in the fridge in between and got them out for 2 hours before using. This time I tried overnight proving - one batch of dough in the fridge and one out on the bench top on a relatively cool night. I didn't get as much rise (even overnight which ended up being about 14 hours total proving time!) However, the resulting bread still had a great taste and dense, springy texture.

I'm very happy to be able to add sourdough to my bread making repertoire and now plan to bake sourdough twice a week and yeasted bread once or twice a week (my 5 year old does not have the acquired taste for sourdough yet!) My starters are happily living in the fridge in between bakes and do very well after an outing and a feed.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Little Bear.


Recently I made a little 7 inch bear for the beautiful Sue. Well, it wasn't exactly for Sue, but rather for her son Thomas' birthday. If Thomas was still with us he would have turned 14, the same age as my son. Unfortunately, he passed away not long after his birth.


Sue's tradition has been to buy a bear for Thomas each year on his birthday, isn't that beautiful? However, as you can imagine there is now quite an accumulation of bears in her house and she thought a miniature might be appropriate this year.


I loved making this little bear (Sue has named him Paul) for such a special purpose. He was stitched entirely by hand from lovely mohair and I knitted a mini scarf for him from soft alpaca yarn too. I know he will be a treasured part of Sue's collection.

I purchased a kit from Gerry's (if you ever want to make a bear a kit is a very good way to go - it comes with everything you need).

Did I mention that Sue is an author? She has published two books, the first being "Grief, Love and Hope", a touching book about Thomas and also "The Angels of Abbey Creek" which is a fictional 
children's novel (soon to be reviewed here!) Reading her writings and experiences of unschooling has been a major influence on the way we home educate and I'm very grateful to her.

You can find Sue at her blogs Stories of an Unschooling Family and Sue Elvis Writes, as well as her Facebook page

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Photography

I've started an online photography course and I must say, it's taken over my life just a little! That's not to say that I'm not dyeing, weaving, spinning, knitting (and the rest of my little obsessions) but you could say that photography is currently centre stage and I really want to do well at this course.

So, I thought you may be interested in seeing some of my latest shots. I picked a few recent favourites.












Thanks for looking, I'm sure I'll be back with more shots soon :)