Archive for November, 2009


Loving this, and the fact that today is the first day of summer.

Reading this, and being reminded that life presents us with so many opportunities for growth on a daily basis.

Ogling this (love the hopscotch on the floor), and this (that pink room with the tree in blossom) and dreaming of future houses and the possibilities for projects to make life more fun and interesting.

Delighting in this.  And planning to actually make some one day….

And looking forward to Christmas, shopping, beachcombing and happy!


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This is the time of year when we spend so long thinking about the people around us.  Pondering gifts for those we exchange with, making plans to celebrate with friends and loved ones, building the excitement with children as christmas Approaches.

So much planning, and list-making and fun to be had and organised.  Which is normally a wonderful thing,  but does my head in a bit some days.

I loathe crowded shopping centres – and yet sometimes it’s the most efficient way to get a lot done – even with the slow moving flock of numbed consumers to contend with.  I run small scenes in my head – like reaching my arms above my head and growling loudly to shake up the people immediately in front.  Course I wouldn’t actually do it (or perhaps I would but havn’t yet).

And I feel the need to stir it up.  Do something random to try to shake the discombobulation that the frenzy brings.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Dr Sketchy where there wasn’t much drawing done, but a revelation – pen to paper that I havn’t been having enough fun with my art lately – which has always been the point for me.  The fun.  No wonder I’ve been struggling to engage with the process.

So I’ll be working on stirring things up a bit around here and see what happens.  Playing more – which is the most important thing in keeping vital isn’t it.  Play.  There will be more of it.

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I must confess, when I have a full head, the nicest distraction for me is sewing.  Sourcing fabric – whether it’s reclaimed or new off the roll – is delightful.  Planning a garment to fill a gap.  Pressing the seams (though I hate ironing ordinarily) becomes a sensory experience.

I do need some sleepwear, and have been making the kids pyjama pants for a few years now.  Havn’t done any for myself, but I will.  For myself, with our early summer I wanted a cotton slip.  So I took an old sheet (beautiful soft cotton) and this pattern, and within an afternoon I was done.  I will need to make some adjustments for the next one, but on the whole it’s a very comfortable fit and a quick sew.  Because it’s nightwear I did french seams, which are such a pleasure and so satisfying.

Now I need to go find some fabric to make another.  Sure beats what you find in the shops. 😉

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So I’m regretting cleaning the new baby.

Me and my ridiculous need to clean her and make her mine…  I scrubbed away 50 years of dirt and then realised the next day that it was the dirt that was the appealing thing.  Those bits of detritus around the edges of the viewfinder were very beautiful.  Like an old mirror that is starting to disintegrate.  My favourite shots on the flickr stream are the grimy ones…

I’ll be adding some dirt back again somehow – not quite sure how yet, but I will.

In the meantime though, here is part 2 of the Duaflex story.

To mask off the light around the viewfinder you will need to create a tunnel.  This is important because there is a certain amount of ambient light that reflects off the curved glass, and there is also the problem of your camera getting too close to the lense and taking a photo of the inside of the camera itself.  You need to experiment with how long a tunnel you will need for your camera to avoid both of these problems.

I have seen  fair few cardboard tunnels which look fantastic, but I wanted something that would be flexible and that I could fold and shove in a bag or drawer when I wasn’t using it so I made one from felt.


It has a strip of self-adhesive velcro to wrap around the camera and close it up tight.  My Duaflex has lots of pins, screws and protrusions so I took some tailors chalk and rubbed on the outside of the felt to find the shapes and then cut them slightly smaller with some pointy-ended scissors.  This helps the cover to fit and stay where it should without slipping.


There is still a slight problem of light coming in above the front lense, so I made wide elastic band to hold the tunnel flat and reduce the light further.


It works a treat and has the added ability of being able to be wrapped around your digital camera if there is any light sneaking in at the top.

Last night a friend and I wandered down Elwood beach and tried it out.


The only problem with the felt is that it gives off fibres, which to me is not a problem, especially as I’m regretting the cleaning idiocy….


So loving this new adventure, and looking forward to painting some of the results.  Wheee! 🙂

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It is the nicest feeling to be inspired to tackle something unexpected and find a new diversion, which is not taxing and relies on serendipity and a steady hand.

Last week I  learned about ttv (through the viewfinder) photography via Jo’s blog.


The idea being that you get an old twin lense reflex camera, compose your photo with that, then take a photo with your digital camera of the viewfinder.

Here’s my new baby – a beautiful Kodak Duaflex:


This morning she was dismantled, thoroughly cleaned with methylated spirits to get rid of 50 years of dust and grime and she was ready for action.


The only problem with taking photos in this manner (apart from the obvious juggling of two devices) is the glare off the viewfinder.  As you’ll see from Jo’s blog and the link to her initial inspiration here the solution is a blacking out tunnel.  Mine was made with some black paper – not ideal and nearly not tall enough so light still got in.

There will be a better masking solution soon, but for now I’m excited and really enjoying just wandering around the house looking at corners with the viewfinder and looking forward to getting outdoors to take something like this.


Instructions bah!  How delicious to be using such an old beauty in a new way. 🙂




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