Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Not Knitting. but Fiber related--in the end!

I am not a great photographer.. (Really? You ask--having seen what I post here on the blog!)

For years, I didn't have much interest in photography.

I wasn't very good, and wasn't interested in spending all the money needed to get good.
I've owned (still own) a PHD camera (Push Here Dummy) that had an auto focus and used 35mm film.
But I found, I needed to take dozens of pictures to get one I liked, --and the feed back loop, (take picture, develop, evaluate, retake picture) was way to too long.

And some times, it was impossible to retake the photo—the moment had passed, and all I had to show for it was a slightly out of focus, slightly off center image—it was less than satisfying, (and it made for a negative experience.. so I ended up taking fewer pictures, (and never increased my skill)

Digital has helped change that.
My first digital camera was practically a child's toy. (It was made by Polaroid)
A View finder, and counter..NO Preview
Ten images memory, and the memory card was sealed inside the camera.
No focus setting, no zoom..But it was cheap
(this was 10 years ago, and it cost about $25.)

My next digital camera was a Kodak Easy Share, purchased about 4 years ago.
3.1mega pixels, 3 optical, +4 digital zoom setting –it even took Video.
(The soft ware that came with the camera wasn't really equipped to deal with video.. but..)
It wasn't the smallest camera I've ever owned –but it was much smaller than my 35 mm PHD camera.

And it came with a 64MB card..WOW!-(you have to understand, my first computer, (which was my computer for the next 7 years!) came with NO hard drive, and when I upgraded year 2 or so, I got a 48K (yes, 48 K!) memory module, and my first hard drive (some time later) was a DD/DD floppy drive (128K? Or was it all of 256K?)--and these upgrades cost hundreds of dollars!

I've been digital a long time(since 1983) and well I remember when a 40MB drive was consider BIG (and it had a big price too--$400!)--and here I was with $25 memory cards that had more memory, for way less money!

Over time, I upgraded-- first to a 250MB card, then to a 1gig one, , and now up to a 2gig card (which, cost about the same as my first 64MB card!)--a nice selection of memory cards (and I've also upgraded to a cel phone with a camera—and it conveniently uses the same size memory cards!) I got a tripod too!

Then, last month, I've upgraded to a newer digital camera.
It's smaller, and lighter (it's another Kodak Easy Share)--this one has 7.0 mega pixels. It's easier to use, and it came with upgraded software that allow simple (and let me be honest, simple is all I want) software for editing the video.

Didn't I start this post saying it was about fiber (Not about photo's?) Well the new camera needed a case.
The clearance center at one of the craft stores came to the rescue.

A pre-made felted pouch. The zipper was broken, the lining ripped.. But the size (and the price!) was right!

So a new lining was in order (and a new zipper) and I needle felted some decoration (I used the lining fabric as inspiration) and then I wanted more.. so out came the embroidery floss, and one thing lead to another...The result?

The result is over kill—it's the fanciest of camera bags—but the felt provides some padding.. and it was fun to do...(and fiber related, so there!)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Going to Pot.. wtih a bunch of Enablers.

Really! The people I knit with—the bunch of them, I have only one word for them--Enablers! The whole lot of them! (Me, too!)

Saturday, for WWKIP, we (the West Babylon/Panera knitters –who have yet to come up with/agree upon a name for ourselves!) sat and knit with the Amityville Historical Society Annual Fair.

I am not keen on being out doors, in the sun for hours on end.. but Lisa enabled me—she brought a pop up tent (those big white ones that set up and come down in minutes.) (and she took lots of photo's.. I brought my camera, but forgot to take it out and take any!

Renee set the whole plan in motion.

There were lot tents.. Vender's of all sorts (which I was able to avoid!) and a food court,(where I bought some lunch--it was a fund raiser, and the idea was to do that!)

At the end of the day, the Jumble sale had a sale... fill a bag (a large bag!) for a dollar, or a box (assorted sizes) for $2.

I didn't budge when they made the announcement.. I have enough stuff.. I find stuff all the time.. I don't need more stuff even when its cheap.

But, no, Lisa had to point out.. there was a crock pot in the pile.(Check her blog right now it has great photo's from the day, but soon it will have some images of the stuff she scored)

Kelly has talked about having a Summer To Dye For Event in her back yard later this summer. Kelly already spins a good deal of the yarn she knits with, now she wants to dye it too!

She's getting into natural dying.--gathering plant material, cooking it, get mordants, the whole thing. (and I enabled her by sending her the link on Ravelry about natural dying.. Not that she hadn't already invested in several books and other info)--

Me, I am quite content with food dye and vinegar—well, that's almost true-—a few French silk dyes have found there way home.. and one has a big nasty looking label warning Danger Toxic –Use gloves, do not use kitchen pots and pans, yada, yada. So a dye pot has been floating around on my list of things I need.

Last week I enabled Renee with some undyed Silk (she's on a yarn diet)--it's not YARN.. it's fiber for a to dye for event..)

So I got the crock pot, and an enamel pot-- the crock pot will be reserved for food safe dyes (and will likely be used for a pot of chili once or twice a year) but the enamel pot will be just for dye.

I also found 4 photo frames –1 silver(plate) and 1 brass—and 1 with both silver and brass (and one wood one.. that will find its self in the kitchen.)

The silver and brass ones will join my collection of other silver, polished brass and gold(ish) framed photo's in my gallery.

I actually already owned frames in the same style—a nice style point.

I mix and match styles—with abandon--the only unifying element is the shiny metal.--I also have a brass planter, and a gold toned key box—and a few copper plaques in the same space as well--and a large mirror.. It is the entry (and exit point) and a mirror is nice thing to have—lots of shiny surfaces—make the small space look bigger.

Another find, (from last week) is my dress form.. It's a small one.. but I like her.. (and I've always wanted one) –and for the price--FREE--I am quite happy.

In a week or two, she's going to be dressed up—I have a Japanese wedding kimono, (a complete outfit, obi, under kimono, outer kimono, shoes and silk tabi socks) and she's just the right size.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Here today, gone tomorrow...

Well, my sexy appearance is fast going away..

In spite of following all the rules:
#50 sun screen, applied 1 hour before exposure, (and a second application 15 minutes before exposure)
Remaining in the shade as much as possible (I never “sun” --that is intentional sit in the sun)
(Mostly) Restricting exposure during midday (10 am to 2 PM)
Cold showers after sun exposure (to immediately cool down the skin)
A hat, (or visor) and dark sun glasses at all times

I have a mild case of sun poisoning..

I don't have a sun burn—I haven't even been Pink. My skin has developed slightest bit of color --which it will do.
Because I have followed the rules, it's a mild case (I felt a bit queasy, but not quite nauseous) and no fever or chills, but I do have the rash and general itchiness—on my face(chin and jaw area) and shoulders, (top, front, and back )--but hives are SO not attractive!

My lower arms that are a bit tan (tan? HA!--they look normal (ie, they have some color, and are not pasty white) and not at all affected.

I do have a bit of the classic 'farmers tan' that comes from just walking about with exposed skin.
The first image shows my fore arm.. (this is my version of 'tan') The image is a bit pinker than my skin actually is-I didn't spend any time color correcting the image.

This second image shows the contrast of my 'tan' forearm (looking less pink) --against some of my 'normal' (virtually no sun exposure) skin--I am, most definitely a 'white' person!--and my fore arm has a lot more color!--Clearly, while there is a difference, my 'tan' is quite pale (the colors in this image are pretty close to actual) --my shoulders and chest have a lighter 'tan' than my fore arms, but darker than the milky white of unexposed skin--
(and as milky white as I am, my DD is even a paler shade of white.)

So I am confident that the itchiness is not an allergic reaction to the sun screens--I have, and use, several brands.. a CVS brand cream, and the continuous spray kinds.(2 different brands)--all 3 are SPF 50 with both UVA and UVB protection.)--if it were an allergic reaction, I would expect hives on fore arms, back of my hands, forehead, ears, nose and cheeks. (and thankfully, they are fine)--to wit, everywhere that I applied the #50 sun screens!

Instead, the sun poisoning is restricted to places that just haven't had much exposure to the sun.

I really like the sprays..(which is, quite expensive!) it's SO EASY to get parts of my back that are other wise difficult to reach (and I don't this year have a small pyramid of sun burn in my center back (where I can't easily reach)

NOTE—I normally (everyday of the year) wear a moisturizer with an SPF 15. This goes on my face, neck, the back of my hands and up onto my fore arms—I long ago recognized that 'liver spots'--a classic sign of aging-- were really just over sized freckles—so its an old habit to wear sun screen on my hands and fore arms—still I do get a bit of farmers tan anyway.

Thankfully, the heat wave has broken.. (and I don't feel compelled to hit the pool early in the AM, and again in the PM.)--I'll keep out of the sun for next few day, and let my skin recover.

There is plenty of shade in the afternoon.. I am quite sure my 11 AM to Noon cool off in the pool are the culprit. (Mid day sun is the worst)

Good new is I actually have some topical benadryl lotion (from the face disaster last month)!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Too Sexy for the elevator

No Photo—since there hasn't really been real progress on anything..

I've been in a bit of funk, and can't finish anything.. (and can't start either.. its been days since I've posted)

The heat wave here in the east coast doesn't help--(I don't (by choice) have any A/C. (I do question that choice on days like this... but..)) But I have a pool and pool club membership.. so I do go for a morning work out and then again late in the afternoon.--Its a great way to cool off.

I can get to the pool with minimum on the street time (I cut through the buildings garden, and private path, (open to the public 364 days, closed one day..) and then there is only 100 feet or so of street to walk on to the pool entry.

So usually I wear a bathing suit and a skirt (or shorts) –sort of half dressed.

But this morning I wanted to look for some 'water weights' (Styrofoam floats that you use muscle power to submerge.. and so I went to Sears (they didn't have) and Bed, Bath and Beyond.. (I've signed up for a water aerobic class, and wanted them for the class. So dressed a bit more..)

Now you have to understand, my idea of casual is made up of clothes I like (and i don't care if they match or not)

So was wearing:
a black bathing suit (with a tropic print on the bra bandeau.. (red bird of paradise flowers, and dark green leaves, and some yellow and bright red orange, and some orchid—very colorful)

And a skirt (a coral skirt)--also tropical color--but the bathing suit has no coral. Red, yes, orange yes, but no coral.

With a light weigh jacket in a tropical turquoise. (and the bathing suit has dark greens, (tinged with yellow) but no turquoise.)I wanted something on my shoulders and back--(and to look dressed)

I had on a sun hat (light blue..) and once again, the bathing suit, it has reds, and yellows, and dark green, and orchid.. but no blue at all.

Finishing up, I had on some dollar store 'croc's—in a tropical sea green (not a turquoise, but a green)

In short NOTHING matched! The individual pieces were all sort of tropical colors.. but...

Sure, I wasn't heading to fancy stores—and I was hardly on the street at all—I cut through the parking lot to get to Sears and Bed Bath and Beyond.. But I was hardly well dressed.

And then, to make my day, my upstairs neighbor got on the elevator.. He is a quiet man, conservative (an immigrant,) slightly formal, and somewhat religious. There was another neighbor in the elevator too—she spoke to him first--(in Russian). He was staring slightly—not in a rude, leering way.. but...he definitely seemed surprised by my appearance.. (I tend to dress conservatively.. with occasional outlandish pieces..)

I excused myself--”I'm off to the pool—after a quick errand” but he smiled shyly, and gently commented “You look so sexy.”

It was not the reaction I expected.. (by my standards I was wearing a mis-mash of colors, and was barely presentable!) but it made my day.