Thursday, June 30, 2011

Like I said earlier this week, there is not a lot going on over here. We're basically just sitting around (not G., he's still at work) waiting to start packing and travelling and chatting, lots of chatting...  {smile}

I did make some nice close-up pictures once again from some lovely flowers and plants in the yard. Go and have a look...








I just looooove those Ranunculas! As stunning as Poppies I think, but unfortunately I don't have any in my yard...

Well, this afternoon I will have a visit with the Swedish lady from last week and her two young children. It will be nice to get to know someone new.
Little Bit is tomorrow for the last time until the middle of August and then it is time for some serious cleaning and packing.

I can't wait to show my photographs of Holland, Germany and France. I love photographing buildings and there is just soooo much history there.
I'm certain I will get another blogpost in before we leave but I am not sure if I will have the time or opportunity to blog while we're over there. Keep checking in now and then I would say and I will do the same with your blogging adventures!  {smile}


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Butterfly!

While I was wandering around the yard, with my camera for company, I came across this huge yellow butterfly...


He or she was very quick and this is the only picture I got. Pretty cool though!

I also found this wasp and a little lady bug...



These pics were not taken with those extra macro filters that I recently purchased, just the plain automatic macro setting on my camera.

And look what else I found lurking on the street? {smile}


I cropped this picture and added some text but for whatever reason it isn't showing up right now. Oh well, you 'get the picture'!  ~wink~


RV-Time...

Unfortunately both my Little Bit lessons were cancelled this morning so I decided to finish off my cut & paste project from yesterday. Tadaa!




Wasn't that fun!  {smile}

Cucumber Time...

In Holland we call this time of year 'Cucumber Time' or the 'Silly Season' as my dictionary calls it. Simply said, there is not much going on here in the CowRoad region. Our trip is only days away but not yet close enough to start packing for real. (although I've packed my suitcase several times over in my head of course)

I've packed away all my sewing stuff and with that, all of my creative mojo has left the building also. I don't even feel like doing any embroidery or photography either! I did make some more lovely flower photo's last Sunday I believe so I guess I can show you those. Here they come...







This weekend Blogger told me I had reached my 1 GB limit on photo storage for this blog and that I could upload no more: shock horror! I've managed to delete some pictures for now so that I still have some room for publishing but I think that after our vacation I will have to pay up for photo storage. Apparently it will cost me only $5 for 20 GB so that will not break the bank but still...it just feels funny to have to pay for storage like that...

I've bought enough memory for my camera to take around 5000 pictures (and I am sure that will actually happen!) so I will definitely need that extra storage space!

I'm now also resizing all my pictures that you see here to a smaller size so that they won't take up so much room. Hopefully they still look good?

In other 'news', our local strawberry fields have finally opened up for picking! G. and Miss M. were there for only 15-20 minutes and picked 8 1/2 pounds!!!


We ate quite a few them right away and the rest are now in the freezer for when we come back. We will be coming back to our place  in August, doesn't it look lovely in the sunshine? (of which we had exactly one day in total again...)


Aha, yesterday I received my tulip lens hood so hopefully you will not be seeing any of those light spots in my pictures again...

We'll be having housesitters in our house during the time we are away to look after the yard and more importantly, our dog! This way she will have the least amount of stress and our house will be lived in and secure.
Of course I want the house to be sparkling for when the house sitters arrive on Sunday but if I start cleaning now I will have to do it all over again on Saturday: what a conundrum! (love that word)

Well, enough ramblings for today. I'm off again to Little Bit this morning which always cheers me up!  {smile}


Monday, June 27, 2011

Share More Love...

Hello all, I hope you have survived the weekend? We finally had some lovely weather yesterday and we spent it outside, reading, weading and mulching: wonderful!

I just came across this crafty post on How About Orange and immediately printed out the calendar/ scene below: I Love it!

The post originally came from the Curiosity Group website and they're designing one of these cut-out calendars for every month. Obviously I'm a little late in finding it but how much fun is this? {smile}

I'm off doing some cutting and pasting now...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Macro Filters...

The other day (after I had taken my photography lesson) I realised I needed some extra's for my camera like a lens hood, a UV-filter etc. When I ordered them 'they' (the shop) recommended these Macro filters instead of having to buy a very expensive Macro lens.

The filters were only around $12 so I thought, why not? You just screw them onto the end of your lens  and off you go. I only used the +10 on these pics but I think you can add them all together as well. I'll try that another day.
The filter set just came in the mail so I immediately went out to do some experimenting...


You apparently have to use the filters on Manual Focus so that was a bit tricky but I did manage to get some descent shots. Also it was rather breezy which is nog good when your shooting on Manual and without a tripod but here come some of the better ones...

 






I was almost with my nose right into the flower with these last two which was a bit 'dangerous' with those bees... ~wink~ Not bad these results right?  {smile}

Friday....


Yesterday Miss M. and Rebel Yell joined me for my Friday lesson at Little Bit, where I do my volunteering. Miss M. made some lovely snapshots while I was working and you can see some of them in the above collage.

It was a lovely day, albeit very cloudy but not cold. The horse cooperated nicely and concequently our rider was in a very good mood. She just babbled and babbled for the whole 45 minutes. We were smiling the whole time!

After all that positive energy I decided to finally finish my skirt, and about time too. Every time I went into the kitchen I saw the skirt and the zipper waiting for me in my sewing room next door, screaming for my attention. Here is the finished product:


I haven't actually tried it on yet but I'm sure it will fit just fine. I bought several tops (a t-shirt, a tanktop and a cardigan) in somewhat matching colors so that I have something to wear with it. It was actually a bit of a tricky color to match with so I was very smart in bringing a fabric sample with me to the shop... ~wink~

That was about it for now. We will have a wonderful dinner waiting for us at my Dutch aunt and uncle tonight and some cleaning and organizing for our trip in between so that sounds just fine to me. Hope you have a great weekend as well! 

P.S.1: I just found out that the British band Erasure will be playing at the Neptune (where we were last week) in October: Tif and I will be attending that most magnificent event! {smile}

P.S.2: Tadaa! the finished skirt...




Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Swede, In 'My' Village?!

Yay, I've met another foreigner in our little village, a Swede no less and her husband is Dutch: what a coincidence is that??!  {smile}

Miss M. and I ended taking the car into town (a 2minute drive, 15 minute walk but Miss M. was in a teenager mood so I complied to her wishes... (this time only)) and then strolled to the library and the coffeeshop and ended up in a local shop where they sell cute little soaps and cards etc.

Whilst there I overheard two women speaking in Swedish so I just had to go over and speak to them of course, in Swedish! (they were very impressed...) The younger one had just moved to the area with her Dutch husband and two kids. We have exchanged email addresses so we will see what happens but that sure was fun!
Since our own kids go to school in another town, I don't actually know very many people here, let alone 'aliens', as we are called.  ~wink~

I didn't want to talk my big Rebel Yell with me so I ended up taking some pictures on our stroll with my tiny point & shoot camera...

(yay, another collage!)


Look at that funny car in the middle with all the suitcases on top! I think it was an old taxi or something... We had some sun then but that is all gone again. I think I'd better get outside quick for some more weeding before the showers hit again...


F-F-F-Flowers!

I hope I haven't bored you guys to death yet with all my flower pictures, but they are just the easiest (and prettiest) subjects around at the moment. Here goes another round...

First a collage....


And then a few single ones...






I just LOVE those Ranunculas! They had very strange looking bulbs when we planted them early this Spring and I have no idea if they will come back next year or not, but I guess we'll find out then...

I woke up to rain coming down this morning but now the sun is actually shining, although very watery-like. (if that is an English word?) I'm trying to persuade Miss M. to walk to the library and coffee shop with me for some much needed exercize.

I'm feeling a little sore today since I actually got to ride a horse at Little Bit last night for a training. This horse was a mix of a Percheron and a Morgan (a bit like those big black Frisian horses if you are more familiar with those) and so very wide in the middle. You can imagine how sore my thighs (and behind) are now...

Toodelodums!

Share The Love...

I just have to 'share the love' on this one. I came across this lady called Julia Crossland over on Fee's blog and immediately became very happy seeing all this crochet love. Go check out her FREE e-book!




Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Shutter Speed, ISO & F/stop...

Wowie, the photography lesson was very interesting and I still have lots of terminology whirling around in my mind. It ended up being a private lesson since one person was sick and the other two never showed so that was good for me! Three hours is plenty though and I was quite tired afterwards...
We mainly worked in the Av-mode with aperture, deep and shallow depths of field etc. (I told you, lots of terminology!) I now know that what I would like to achieve with some of my pictures (focused object, very blurry background) cannot completely happen with the lens I currently have (an 18-55mm). I would need one with a lower F/stop. Below you can see the examples that I took last night. The upper two were taken with my camera and the lower two with the teacher's lens which had an F1.8. There you can cleary see the more blurry background....
The difference between the pictures in the left row with the pictures in the right row (darker versus lighter ones) is the difference between sizing. The darker ones were taken in RAW (better quality, more detail) and the lighter ones in JPEG format. (again, more terminology, you can see why my head was buzzing!) I was quite satisfied with the JPEG format so that will be fine for general shooting. If i want something very special I can always switch to the RAW format...
So this afternoon I went outside and tried some of my new techniques on the Ranunculas (spelling?) that are starting to bloom right now. To be honest, I didn't see much of a difference between the AV-mode and the Automatic Macro- mode so I guess I must have something right...  `wink`
 They  all looked pretty nice to me!
All in all I now at least understand some of vocabulary better than before and got a lot of practise with all the different settings and dials etc. I think it will just take a lot of practise, chatting with other photographers and more reading of manuals and books to get better at this form of art & technology.
What FUN to be working in a new medium!  {smile}

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sunny Flowers...

Boy, it is actually Too Hot over here! Didn't think I was going to say that out loud but I'm a little uncomfortable to be honest. Good thing these temps will only last for today....

Anyway, I just made these lovely flower pictures and wanted to share them with you:





Aren't they just lovely? Love my Rebel Yell!  {smile}

Well, I'm off to my first ever photography class. I'm rather nervous. All this technical lingo scares the you know what out of me.... I'll let you know (and can hopefully show) you what I learned...


Monday, June 20, 2011

Teal? Duck Egg Blue?

When I was looking at my new shoes this weekend (see previous post) I realised they would go perfectly with the latest fabric I had bought a few weeks ago. Inspiration came and now I am almost done making a new skirt...

http://www.made-by-rae.com/2009/06/tutorial-pleated-pocket.html

It is the same A-line skirt as my black and white polka-dot skirt but this time without the horizontal stitching on the front panel. Instead I've added a pleated pocket! Something went wrong during construction however (doesn't it always) and I used the wrong side to put in the pleats which made the pocket come out teeny weeny. (barely three fingers fit in) I guess I will call it a decorative pocket then...  ~wink~

Anyway, the next step is the dreaded zipper! It would be nice if I could finish it this morning so that I could actually wear it today since (drumroll please!) the sun is almost shining!!!  {smile}

I just wanted to show this picture that my sister made for Father's Day yesterday. I think it was brilliant!




Saturday, June 18, 2011

These Shoes Were Made For Walking! (hopefully...)


Just bought these (Dr. Scholl's!) for our trip. Hope they work out... I think they will go with most of my outfits which is a must since we can only bring ONE suitcase each!!!

Bass & Concert...

Yesterday, when I picked up Mister C. from his last day of Cross Country Running camp, he had this on his back...


He has been playing the Electric Bass for a few years now and this past week he received some lessons on this beauty! It is very different and difficult apparently and my god, the amount of noise that comes out of it! But sooooo cool don't you think?!  {smile}
I wish he would play some Rockabilly on it but so far he has not shown much interest in that music genre... :-(

That evening we went to seeMark Lanegan in Concert....

Click on picture to enlarge

His warm-up 'band' were Sean Wheeler & Zander Schloss and they were actually really good! Sean (the thin guy in the black suit) looked like an 'handsome/ ugly' man (that's what he called himself  ~wink~) and looked like he'd had a rough past but his voice was excellent! Very entertaining I must say...

But then Mark came on and Man, did he blow us away! His voice is soooo low and so intense. He seems very private and was almost shy on stage, even though he has been performing for more than 25 years now. Very 'endearing', if you can say that of a man of his posture and being in his late 40's...

All these pictures were taken with G.'s cell phone, hence the bad quality....

The Neptune, an old cinema recently transformed into this venue, was amazing. A small and very intimate setting. Definitely a place to return to. It is located on 45th and University in the U-District for those of you in the know. It really reminded me of the old Scala Cinema in Utrecht (near the Neude)...

So, a good night was had and we slept in until 9:30 this morning! Unheard of for me... Today it is raining and cloudy and blah. A good time to get serious about our upcoming trip to Europe and do some real planning!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Textures...

In the garden I saw lots of textures...



At home I made...

Personalized/ Pimped Camera  Strap...

 In the crafts shop I bought...


Great backgrounds that I would like to use for my photography,
fun alphabet stamps, and some cotton yarn...

In the back yard I relaxed and drank some....





Happy 'Almost Friday' everyone!



The Hike...

So last week we hiked to the top of 2nd Burroughs Mountain, just North of Mount Rainier. What a day it was!  I am not a hiker an...