Thursday, November 25, 2010


A couple of months ago my DSLR friend suggested we do a photography course together. We started a couple of weeks ago, and I'm learning so much!

Part of our homework this week was to take three photos of the same subject, but with different apertures. In terms that are easy (for me to understand especially), it kind of means how blurry your background is when you change the f-stop on your camera. Well, not really, but that's the effect you get. For instance, check out the differences in these three photos:



f/18.0 (with the ISO (light sensitivity) bumped up to 1600 as the photos were too dark otherwise.)

My DSLR buddy and I were having lunch at a Japanese joint when I took these photos. When our meal was served, it look so beautiful (and delicious) I had to take a photo!

Pork Loin in Ramen Soup

(that's pork schnitzel (also known as deep fried pork lion (sic)) in ramen soup, thank you very much) (also - a good demonstration of the aperture being f/4.0)

So this week in class we learnt all about shutter speed. My slow shutter speed photos were crapalicious, but my fast shutter speed photos turned out OK considering the low light.


It's exciting finally knowing something about the camera I have, and all the wonderful things that it can do. If only it would make cups of coffee for me in the morning it might almost be the perfect husband.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shhhhhhhhh ...

Praying Mantis for Felix

This gallivant-y lifestyle I seem to have taken on lately has to stop. The nights out, the gallery openings, the rushed coffees after swimming, the "we must catch up before Armageddon" gatherings. I'm such a homebody at heart that if I don't spend some quiet time at home, barefoot and wedged between a potato patch and the nectarine tree, I feel very off-centre.

Secretly, I don't mind so much being a social type. It's just that I wish I could be both social and a homebody at the same time. Last night I managed just that, having friends over for takeaway noodles after our swim, finishing up with some of my stewed homegrown rhubarb. Yum.

Luckily this week the social calendar is looking a little quieter, which is just as well as I have some 00 onesies I'm frantically embroidering for my 7 week old nephew who I suspect won't be in 00 onesies for very long, given the tendency for tallness in our family.

Summer fabric

And today I bought the last of the outer fabric and lining for the Four Seasons Yarn and Sack Club and it is just so lovely. If I get my act together, I'll be able to cut out a heap of bags before Glee comes on the telly tonight. From here on the One Hour of Sewing a Day regime kicks in.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Four Seasons yarn and sack club - Summer

Summer yarn

The good news is that the Four Seasons Yarn and Sack club is up for summer! The bad news is that there aren't many spots left.

If you want your own sack bag from Buttontree Lane, and some gorgeous summer super twist sock yarn from Fibrewebs, go on over and sign up! You can request your favourite shade of yarn and Carrie will work hard to accommodate you, too.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sneak Peek

Summer, originally uploaded by Buttontree Lane.

Carrie and I have created a yarn/sack kinda club called "Four Seasons Yarn and Sack Club".

Each season, inspired by the colours and feelings of that season, we will be selecting the perfect range of fabrics and yarn colours to coordinate. If you sign up for one of the (very limited - like about 20!) places, you will receive a Buttontree Lane Project sack, a skein of handpainted sock yarn, and a little treat, all inspired by the season! *

Sign ups commence on Sunday night at Carrie's Etsy store. At 6 pm Canberra time! I'm not too sure exactly what time at this stage, but come back here later on tonight or tomorrow morning and I'll tell you. Or if you're on Ravelryy, sign up for the Fibrewebs group.

The beauty is you don't have to sign up for all four seasons - just each season as it comes around. Perfect, for example, if you're not an autumn person!

*And don't worry - no Christmas fabrics or colours were selected!

** Also, the photo is just an example of the colours and fabrics you might receive.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Never say never again

Like a phoenix rising

A friend asked me to collaborate on a project with her.

Not having heaps of spare time in my life at the moment (absolutely none, actually) I said "yes".

Why? Because I can't resist the idea of two creative minds coming together and having lots of fun with hand dyed yarns and summer-inspired fabrics. And because I really, really wanted to.

(And also, if John Farnham can keep saying "goodbye", then dammit so can I.)

Intrigued? Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Veg about - November

October ended with warm days, warm nights, laps at the pool and adventures in mowing the grass in shorts and a t-shirt (a note to the mowers out there - don't wear shorts when mowing the grass without a catcher. IT HURTS AND THERE WILL BE BLOOD.)

November started with cold icy winds, rain and the hayfever that I thought I'd kicked with all the injections I'd been having. Salads from the garden just don't seem right when it's 9 degrees outside.

Vegetable garden

Back in July, I photographed my fallow garden. We don't tend to grow things in winter unless it's parsley, and it grows itself - we don't enjoy a lot of the winter vegetables, and the resident gardener, to be honest, needs a break for a few months of a year.

Vegetable patch - Spring 2010

In late October it has transformed somewhat. (That brown fluffy stuff is from our giant elm tree, and the reason my hayfever has returned, I expect). We have rejuvenated the soil in all the beds and barrows, and the resident gardener has lowered the soil against the fence, transplanted all the fruit trees and mulched the access areas.

We are currently eating lettuce, strawberries, snowpeas and spinach. I really need to do something with the rhubarb, but I've been a bit busy doing other things so haven't had the chance. We planted one tomato plant a month ago (frowned on in Canberra - most people wait until the frosts have finished in early November), and we have fruit and expect to definitely have tomatoes by Christmas this year. The other tomato plants went in on the weekend, as did the capsicums. My cucumbers will go in when I can squeeze some space next to the potato bed.

Potato bed

In about a month I'm going to start bandicooting for new potatoes in my temporary potato bed. This bed will eventually be permanent when we get around to putting the hardwood planks together.

Lettuce tub

Our lettuce consumption is getting a little bit ridiculous, but soon it will bolt and we'll have to replant. We're already planning for this and will be planting out some seedlings in the vegetable beds soon.

Baby nectarine

We sprayed the nectarine for curly leaf this year, and we still got it. Not as bad as usual, but still not good. It doesn't affect the flavour of the fruit though. I go over the tree every couple of days and remove the curly leaves to prevent the virus spreading. (The leaves go in the bin - not the compost).


I'm really enjoying eating the snow peas straight off the plant. They never make it to the kitchen.

I can't wait to see what the rest of November holds for us in the garden, especially with all this lovely rain we've been getting.

To see more gardeners who veg about, head over to Bellgirl's place.