Wednesday, December 31, 2014

zoom in one last time

my 53rd zoom pairing - because 2014 started and ends on a Wednesday.  I've enjoyed this meme, both the finding of something to share and seeing what others are sharing - thank you to everyone who participated during the year.

I went into the centre of Edinburgh on Monday to enjoy the bustle of the season and was on the look out for a suitable photo pairing.  I was looking at all the work being done in preparation for the massive street party / music concert that Edinburgh hosts for hogmanay (Scottish for New Year celebration) when I noticed a star attached to the railings and stopped to read it - and I had my zoom in pair.  I was touched that someone had left a message for the homeless and reminded of those in need at a time when so many are celebrating and spending. It felt like a good subject for the end of the year.

And looking forward to 2015 and the PAIRS meme.  What I was thinking was that each week we share a linked pair of photos, such as
- look up, look down
- zoom in, zoom out
- look left, look right
- before and after
- then and now
- his and hers (hers and hers / his and his etc)

I'm sure we will collectively come up with many more over the year.  I've created a page for idea and I'll add to it during the year.

I created 2 versions of the button - au natural and with pixel magic and you should be able to paste in the code below the button on the left for it to show on your blog (I used this code creator)

If you want to start PAIRS this week that's fine, the linky on this post is for both and I look forward to seeing what people are focusing on this week

Hope you have a fun hogmanay and best wishes for a creative 2015

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

zoom in on the seasonal

my photos over the past few days (for this meme and more generally) have been seasonal rather than festive, recording first spotting of some of the birds that come to the river over winter, a moon seen clearly at 7.50am and bare trees.

I enjoy watching the seasonal cycle of nature - my garden has signs of crocus and snowdrop leaves with a promise of blooms in January.  But when I was looking over my garden for signs of new growth I noticed that one of the summer flowers was blooming and there was a bud too - it is unusually mild at the moment but I'm sure that is unseasonal blooming

I suspect this interest in the seasonal is related to winter solstice this week and being glad that the daylight will be getting longer - I looked up the sunrise and sunset times and discovered that we gained 8 seconds today and the increase is gradual to start but by summer solstice we will have 10 more hours of daylight than we do now!

Thinking ahead to the pair meme next year (I discussed it here if you missed it) and one of the ideas of  'then and now' I've been making a list of 6 or so photos to take in my garden and on my walk soon because I know they will look very different in spring or summer  and that will make a nice pairing then if I do my preparation now.

Next Wednesday is the last day of 2014 so I realise some of you will link your first pair for 2015 and some will be posting your last zoom in zoom out for 2014 - all fine with me.

I know that blog reading patterns change over the festive season so to cover all bases please choose whichever is applicable - have a great Christmas / hope you are having a great Christmas / trust you had a great Christmas

Monday, December 22, 2014

winter scavenger hunt finds

I’m joining in with Joy’s winter photo scavenger hunt, keeping a particular eye out for items that are time bound such as

a nativity (number 20) – I found several examples, in different styles at the European market in town


and festive lights (number 9) – my local high street has decorative lights and round the corner the trees along the river are festooned with lights


I’ve also managed two that are not festivity related

a silhouette (number 12) with the low light behind one of the hills in town


and breakfast (number 4) as we enjoyed a big breakfast when we went to the garden centre / shopping outing for poinsettia and hyacinth bulbs


I’ve been keeping my eyes open for a letter shape in nature (10) and street musicians (19) who are not surrounded by a crowd but haven’t seen one yet

I’m enjoying this list, plenty of time to join in as we have until March 21st to complete the hunt, you can find the list on Joy’s or Eileen’s blog.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

zoom in after dark

I appreciate all the twinkling lights at this time of year when it is dark by 4pm - roll on 21st when the days start to lengthen again.
many of my neighbours have a lit tree in their bay window adding lots of sparkle to the street and the chance at catching some bokeh - in this case my camera just did it

If you are wondering why there are trees in upstairs windows - those 'houses' are actually two layers of flats so the trees are in the upstairs flats' living rooms.

hope you are all finding some sparkle in your run up to Christmas and looking forward to see what you are all zooming on this week

Monday, December 15, 2014

me on Monday pondering craft markets


pausing in my elf work of putting up more decorations and Christmas list making to thank Sian for suggesting we all wave on Monday and hoping you all have a good week.

I went to 2 more craft markets at the weekend (following 1 market last weekend) and on the bus home from the 2nd was thinking about why I bought so little.  I went to these markets with the intentions of doing my own bit of quantitative easing – intending to spend at least £10 at each in support of local crafters.  I was surprised at how hard it was to meet this goal.

The biggest category of crafters seemed to be jewellery makers – which I am not in the market for.  Even if I still maintained a work wardrobe I would only be likely to buy 1 new piece at the markets.  I do wonder if there is an audience for so many different jewellery makers to make a living.

The next two biggest categories were graphic designers and consumables.  I admire the many pictures, cartoons, catchy word art and designs that are presented in the form of cards, cushions, coasters, mugs and bags.  But again there is a limit to how many of these I can make use of, especially as I make my own cards and don’t use coasters or cushions.

I did sample and buy food but they are often low cost items.  I was surprised at the number of dog treat stalls – a real 1st world phenomena I think.

There was also a number of up-cycle stalls – toys and hot water bottle covers made from old jumpers; decorations made from old books; sculpture from found bits; wooden furniture from pallets.  All lovely but I tend to be more interested in how I could do that than in buying them.

I had been hoping for a nice potter as I want a new mug but potters seem to have disappeared from the craft market circuit.  I’m always on the lookout for new things too and was interested in a guy making quirky items from resin (eg animal skulls, chicken feet plus commissions for hands or feet), amazing cut paper sculpture and some lovely felted wool accessories.

I know that making a living as a crafter is very hard but I do wonder how many people are making what the enjoy making rather than what there is a market for.

Have you been to any craft markets recently?  were you tempted by what was on offer?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Zoom in on the hills

snow symbols are starting to appear on the weather maps - but only on the hills at the moment and I could see a dusting of white on the hills in the distance as I looked out over the firth and Fife

week 50 which means only 3 more Wednesday's this year - yes I know that takes us to week 53 when there are only 52 weeks in the year but the first and last day of 2014 are Wednesday.

But it does mean that I have been thinking about next year and the continuation of this meme.  Some of you may remember that last year I posted 2 photos each Wednesday using 'look up. look down'.  I was thinking about other linked pairings and decided that rather than choose one of them as the theme for everyone to follow in 2015 that I would offer /welcome sharing any linked pair each Wednesday - for instance
- before and after
- look left, look right
- in front and behind
- the photo and me taking the photo
- then and now (a chance to use a old photo and pair it with a contemprary equivalent)
and of course more of
- zoom in, zoom out
- look up, look down
and I'm sure there are more that you and I will think of during the year

you might want to choose one of these and follow it each week or dabble across them as I intend to 

so I hope you will join me next year either occassionally or every week in sharing a linked pairing - and I'll endeavour to think of a catchy title before our first outing on 7th January

in the meantime looking forward to all your zoom in, zoom our for this week

Monday, December 8, 2014

a shadowy me on Monday

I got out for my walk while the sky was blue as more rain is forecast and while I was out I captured a shadow of me literally waving to you all this Monday (thanks to Sian’s great meme)


It was a suitably festive weekend which included friends’ choir’s carol listening; market and craft fair visiting and quantitative easing; German festive biscuits sampling; holly wreath buying; winter scavenger hunt item finding; tree lights admiring and Christmas meals discussing.  Plus some less festive Swedish warehouse visiting.

Wishing you all a great week, festive and otherwise, as I head off to use an Allen key and decipher the picture instructions.

Friday, December 5, 2014

5 in 5 and winter hunt reflection

joining Sandie for her monthly suggestion to take photos for 5 minutes and share your favourite 5 and I used the new winter scavenger hunt organised by Joy to pick the topic – 1st on the list is ‘reflection in water’ and my daily walk by the river provides great opportunities for reflections with the low light at this time of year.


I love the reflections in shallow parts of the river which provide a contrast of pebbles with reflections of the bare trees and the bridge


and I always enjoy trying to capture reflections of the birds – much easier when they are standing still than when in flight


Thanks to Sandie and Joy for these photographic memes

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Zoom in on hand made decorations

Looking through my boxes of Christmas decorations, I was interested to see the two amigurumi pieces that I made last year (reindeer head and big Santa) - they were my introduction to the delights of crocheting cute figures.  I've made so many ami pieces this year that it was strange to think that I was learning the techniques just a year ago and that I am now so comfortable with the approach that I created the small Santa last month with no pattern (and I'm making them to sell for my crafting for charity group) and I made this fun winter wreath  - inspired by Repeat Crafter Me

also delighted to see hand made decorations from Miriam's decoration swap last year and wooden ones that my parents used to make to sell. I do enjoy 'discovering' what I have packed away at the start of December.

I always enjoy discovering the snippets of life everyone shares through their zoom in zoom out shots each week, thank you to everyone who participates regularly and occasionally

Monday, December 1, 2014

Me on Monday

pausing in my perusal of my decorations boxes to join Sian in waving to you all on a Monday


and looking back on a weekend with plenty of walks and crochet and stroking the cat and writing cards and donating items to the foodbank and perusing the winter scavenger hunt list from Joy and marvelling that grey clouds do indeed have silver orange linings


looking forward to my first mince pie of the year and starting to put out some festive decorations – hoping you are enjoying the start of December too.