Sunday, August 13, 2017

First World Photo Problems

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.
-- from "I Worried," by Mary Oliver 
I was determined to spend a few moments this weekend to appreciate the small things in life. So far, it's been all food stuff, like these fish cakes I made with some smoked mackerel, leftover potatoes, some flour, and some oregano from my garden. The lettuce is from my farm box, and the dressing is homemade as well:


Today, I made some pico de gallo to go with the chicken tacos we had for dinner. These tomatoes are also from the farm box, and I gasped with delight when I sliced them. Those sure are some purty tomatoes:


We've had some pretty smoky skies around here on the Island from all of the terrible forest fires on the mainland. While it's not nearly as bad as it could have been, the smoke, combined with the heat and with my relentless workdays have made for some tiring days. Last night, we finally got a spot of rain, and this morning the skies were blue with big white, fluffy clouds and the temperature was cool and comfortable. It was perfect weather for showing off my finished Over-and-Over Top.

You may recall that this top is named as such because I have literally worked nearly every single section at least twice, mostly due to errors. I thought I was finished a couple of weeks ago, but I decided to rip out one of the side seams because it was gaping and lumpy and it was annoying me every single time I looked at it. There may or may not be a few ends that I have not bothered to weave in on the inside, but I worry not, nor do I care, and nor will anyone with any self-respect care to ask me about it.

Seriously, don't ask.

I have a first-world problem when it comes to taking photos of my finished projects. In the past, I would have used a tripod and whichever digital camera I had available at the time. These days, I prefer the quality of photos I've been getting from my smart phone. The thing is: it's really hard to take photos of yourself in your finished projects with your cell phone, particularly if you want to make use of natural light. I've tried balancing it on a stack of books, on stairs, on windowsills, on shelves... all sorts of things. And what's more, I find it really strange that, no matter what height I set it at, I always seem to end up with two feet of empty space above my head that I have to crop out. And what's more: even with the timer set and enough light, I can never seem to get it focused very well if I'm more than a foot from the phone.

And before you ask: I refuse to buy a selfie-stick. Don't bother: I'm not doing it.

I have decided to go out and get a special doo-hickey that will attach to my tripod to try to fix this problem, but I cheaped out and bought it online, thinking I'd have it before this weekend. Turns out, I was a bit too optimistic with Amazon this time. Therefore, here I am using the good ol' selfie arm:


The problem with this method is that it's really difficult to get an accurate view of what the full garment looks like while worn. Laid out on the floor, it looks great:


Here's one of me using that weird shelf-like space on the stairs to get a shot:


And here's me using my go-go-gadget arm to try to get the full length in view. I am pessimistic about it, as you can see:


In the end, it is a darn good shirt with some lumpy side seams that you can't see unless I point them out to you (which I will not) and with sleeves that are a tad short for me, but I can live with. I may try to get some better photos once the doo-hickey arrives, but we'll see how I feel about it when it comes.

In the meantime, I decided to go and wind some yarn in the stash which has enchanted me ever since I bought it. It's one of those rare yarns that photograph exactly as they are in real life, and this one is so, so beautiful:


I'm gearing up for another week of uphill battles, but I'm glad I have this project to pull out every so often and take a break with. Just looking at it gives me cause to take a deep breath and lose myself for a while, and I'll take those moments whenever I can get them these days.

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Drama Llama

You mustn't live so lightly,
Spin your stories, tell your tales,
Let them dance across the oceans
And set the wind upon your sails.
For every truth found on your travels
And in the pits of your despair,
Is a shout into forever
Of "I existed, and I cared."
-- Erin Hanson, thepoeticunderground.com
I had a week full of drama this week. It seems to have followed me into the weekend, and I've found myself working through issues here and there. I'm glad we have a holiday on Monday. It will be nice to have one more day to try to catch up on some peace.

I sat down on the couch with a sigh on Friday, thinking all about the drama surrounding my days. My eyes wandered over to some of my craft tools that are littered around the coffee table. I cocked my head, an idea taking hold in my brain. I got up and did a bit of digging in my supplies and found some copper wire, some pliers, and some wire cutters. A little while later, I had this:


And then I dug out some pencil roving, a bit of black merino roving, and some alpaca fleece. I had to do some extra digging to find my felting needles, but slowly, surely, my idea took shape:


Friday night, it looked like this:


I was gone for most of the day on Saturday, but when I woke up this morning, I had to deal with a little more drama that got sent my way. Then, I picked up my little friend and gave him a head, a face, and a few tendrils on his face. For a while, he looked a bit emo:


But after I gave him a little hair cut and did a bit more felting, I finished him. Say hello to my Drama Llama:


We must admire his rump. I'm quite proud of how well I was able to shape his figure:


And he's grown out of his poetic emo phase... he's just adorably scruffy in the face now:


I think he'll live on my desk for a while. I think he'll give me a smile, no matter what kind of day I have.

In the meantime, I went down to Victoria with the hubby yesterday. He had a few appointments and so I took the opportunity to do some visiting with a friend. It took care of some dramatic calls and emails while I waited. Luckily, I had some treats to keep me grounded:


And there was a rabbit in the garden to keep me company:


After a good chat and an even better lunch, we ended up at the Yellow Wolf Pow Wow. It was a perfect day: bright, but cool and comfortable. It was a nice day to take in all of the beautiful clothing the dancers were wearing. This is the kind of drama I like:








After that, we had a lovely walk in woods, which is just the antidote my soul needed:


And a wander through here didn't hurt either:


I have finished my Over-and-Over Top, but the weather has been too hot and I've been too grumpy to put it on and model it. I am very happy with it, though. I'm going to wait until I'm in a better frame of mind to share it. It deserves to be worn by someone in a good mood.

Until then, I'm going to go do some well-earned daydreams. I'm going to cuddle up to these and have a nice walk through my imagination with them. Happy Sunday!