Weekly Photography Challenge: Framed

How an image is “framed” when taking a photo can make all the difference between ‘meh’ and a great shot. This week’s challenge asks us to put a frame inside the frame, as it were. There’s plenty of theory to be learnt to help with framing, but some lucky people just seem to have a good “eye”, and frame their shots well without even thinking about it.railway inspector

The miniature railway at Elmore is framed by the station on one side, and the fence on the other. We all climbed inside the frame of the carriage to ride around the tracks with Juniper – she loves trains. Can you tell?

On the previous day Bryan I visited the aptly named Reedy Swamp near Shepparton. I looked for a frame of trees, and found this one. The old Blitz crane is at my parents house – it was a part of my childhood. Now it’s rusty old radiator makes a frame around a Bridal Veil Creeper, and at Buda, an historic house in Castlemaine, I took a fancy to this window, which resulted in framing myself.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Rare

If something is Rare – it follows that it will be a challenge to get a photo of it…What is not so rare is for me to dither for several days, trying to come up with images for the Weekly Photography Challenge.IMG_9547 (Large)

To capture this particular image, the sun had to be in just the right spot, glowing through my 70’s orange glassware, and I had to notice, and pick up the camera. Quite rare…

I’ve been crocheting Soft Vessels for a while now, choosing interesting thrifted yarns to work together to create unique little bowls or baskets. The one being modeled by Olympia is made from a linen yarn alongside  fine crochet cotton and white baby wool (3 ply, I think). Spotted Owls are rare, their habitat threatened by forest clearing, and I’d really like to see one! Olympia is spotty, and named after the capital of Washington State,but she’s not a Spotted Owl…They are brown and look more like our Boobook Owl.

There was baby wool and crochet cotton left over from the Vessel which the owl is wearing for a hat, so I made a quite tiny one with those two yarns. It is the only one of it’s kind, and will remain so, because I’ve run out of the baby wool. I really like the effect of the two yarns together, though,so I think I’ll be doing some similar pieces in future.

Olympia is also wearing a very old woolen baby singlet/vest, which is seriously out of shape for baby wear, but just right for her.

Friday Poem:Prayer

IMG015I had another poem in mind, but I found this one first…It seems appropriate as the Australian Government is being forced to close Manus Island refugee detention camp – not that they plan to exercise any mercy if they can help it. I’m not sure if that is forgivable…it’s certainly not excusable.IMG_6295 (Large)

Give me compassion
Big enough to forgive
Those who have none.

Heart of Compassion,
Give me the power of love.
Burn out my ego –
It’s better to burn out
Than fade away-
But either will do
For my ego.

Burn out my obscurations!
Fade away my false self!
Empty me of everything
But Peace and Love and Empathy.IMG_6297 (Large)

If only governments could be emptied of ego, obscurations and falseness, and filled instead with compassion. I can dream…

The first photo is a drive-by shot with my old phone during a hailstorm – very obscure! then we have a crystal from a broken chandelier, and last, the rainbow light that the sunshine summons from a faceted crystal, always so pure and beautiful, I can’t help but fetch a camera if I have the chance.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Fun!

Fun! Isn’t that the favourite photography subject of nearly everyone with a camera?! This week’s challenge theme is both very broad, and very personal, because one person’s idea of fun can be another’s idea of hell-on-earth…

We had a family day out in the Grampians on the weekend, which was extra fun because we had Matilda with us – and at nearly-eight months, she finds everything fascinating and strange, from the water rushing over the rocks, to Grandpa’s ginger ice cream.

The walk to Venus Baths, near Halls Gap, is pretty easy, even with a pram (apart from steps nearer the Baths). It’s popular in summer, a big rocky water slide for the young and adventurous. On a nippy winter afternoon, the water is only for looking at and listening to. Alex really wanted to let Tilly touch the water, but couldn’t find a safe enough spot, so she’ll have to wait until she’s much bigger. The same goes for ginger ice cream – vanilla might have been more fun for her!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Morning Morgen

I could have chosen photos of sunrise, or breakfast for the “morning” Photography Challenge, but we have a resident cat named Morgen (“morning” in German), and I thought I’d have plenty of morning photos of her invading my warm bed. And I have! Many of them were taken with a phone camera, because I was still in bed myself, and the phone was handy.

A typical morning routine is – I get up and give her breakfast, make mine and take it back to bed. Then she tries to get a warm  spot, which may involve sitting on me if she can.

You may notice two photos are almost the same, apart from a brownish patch on her flank – the result of sitting much too close to a radiator on a frosty morning. I didn’t realise just how singed she was until she had groomed off all the burnt tips of guard hairs, revealing her pretty apricot undercoat! I guess she couldn’t tell how hot her fur was getting through her winter insulating coat. Oooops!

Friday Poem

I wrote this short poem years ago, and I wish it wasn’t relevant any more…DSCF4507 (Large)

“Peace!” is my battlecry,
With love I taunt my enemies,
And when they writhe in travail
on the floor,
I ache with empathy.DSCF4509 (Large)

The images here are from an artist book I made with an inspiring quote from Ian MacKaye,and the last one from an altered book. I learned about the concept (and reality)of dominator culture through reading Derrick Jensen‘s book, A Language Older Than Words. It was a challenging read, but well worth it.

  DSCF4524 (Medium)

Only love can conquer fear.

Creativity:Making Scarves

Sometimes there’s a very long lead time before I can decide how to use a piece of fabric. Some years ago, I learned how to use shibori techniques with natural dyes, producing several delightful animalskin-like pieces of vintage blanket. I would pull them out every now and then to admire – but had no idea how to use them.

Then I found a sewing book at the Salvos in which there was a fairly short woven fabric scarf, which was fastened with buttons – and a light came on in my creative brain. My fairly short woven fabric scarves with button fastening look nothing like the one in that book, but it provided me with an idea that led to these Neck Huggers.

They are lined with taffeta or silk, to keep any woolly scratchiness away from the wearers neck, and feature really lovely old buttons to keep them in place. I had some pieces of tweedy fabric, also “too small”, which happen to have similar proportions. These are now Neck Huggers, too.

So, if you have some pieces you love, but don’t know what to do with, hang on to them! Because you will almost certainly find the right inspiration somewhere sometime, and put them to good use in the end.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Narrow

This week’s photography challenge is to portray “Narrow” – I guess that’s actually quite a broad suggestion…

I could have chosen many things, but it’s 5 (5!!!) years since we set off halfway around the world to visit the beautiful Pacific North West, where we spent far too little time exploring the narrow waters of Puget Sound and Juan de Fuca Strait, so for my own nostalgia I am sharing a few photos from that trip.

We are hoping to return next year – I’d love to stay much longer than a month and really soak up the place, but we’ll see!