Saturday, 31 January 2009

31/365 Happy Birthday Rita - make a wish!

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Mum/Grandma/Rita, Happy Birthday to you! What do you wish for at the age of 80? To have health and happiness and family around you I think, I didn't ask her! Rita, my wonderful Mother-in-law, is in pretty good health for her age and celebrated with her three sons and their families, and her sister, her niece and her niece's family. Her grand-daughter Cheryl is holding the cake which is '80' in chocolate sponge with butter-cream filling and frosting, and 8 candles. Cheryl baked it - it was delicious! Cheryl's dad Keith is standing behind her, having just said a few words (he's the eldest son), then in the background from right to left is Ian (middle son, whose home it is), my son Oliver, Rita's great nephew Ben & his Mum Diana (Rita's niece) and her husband Steve. You may have worked out by now that I am married to the youngest son, Mark! Happy Birthday Rita, and many happy returns.
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Friday, 30 January 2009

30/365 Melanie's Anemones

My good friend Mel loves anemones, they are her favourite flower, and tomorrow is her birthday, so I bought these this morning and have created a unique birthday card for her. She's spending the day in London as her birthday treat. It's also my MIL's birthday tomorrow and we'll be attending a family gathering in Sheffield to celebrate it with her. One shot to go and that's the first month done!
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Thursday, 29 January 2009

29/365 Derby City Centre (Downtown)

Today I went into town and was determined to take some pictures while I was there. These are just with the p&s on (yet another) grey day, but show a little slice of Derby. For those of you following this blog from across the pond: the yellow cars are taxis - Derby's cabs went yellow from what had been over a century of traditional black several years ago; the image top right shows Derby Cathedral's tower through the fog (I'll take a better one later in the blog, promise); bottom row centre features a clock in an area called The Spot which has a fancy chime at the top of the hour. And finally, no, the fish bar and restaurant isn't mine! ;0)
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Wednesday, 28 January 2009

28/365 After the rain

Back on track when the clouds lifted enough for a little winter sun to peer through. So I grabbed the camera and picked my way through the sodden grass to the St John's Wort (Hypericum) in my garden. We have 2 varieties and they were both bejewelled with raindrops, catching the light, such as it was. More shots from today in my Picasa album of the same name, link right. Only 3 days to go and month 1 of 12 is over!
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Tuesday, 27 January 2009

27/365 Bubbles in bubbles

I think today was the hardest so far to come up with something for the Blog! The day started out with thick fog and stayed grey once the fog thinned, plus I was pretty busy today so this was my quick idea while getting dinner ready for the kids - lots of fairy liquid (I just washed up the grill pan) and a straw to make bigger bubbles. (I promise tomorrow's shot will be better, can't be much worse! LOL!)
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Monday, 26 January 2009

26/365 #1 Son

This is Oliver! He had the day off school today with a headcold and I bribed him to stand still for a photo, then caught him later at the PC as well. Usually he legs it or pulls faces (much much worse than any of these!) as soon as the camera is on him. Doesn't look too unwell does he? Methinks he can go to school tomorrow! (This collage thing on Picasa is fun!)
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Sunday, 25 January 2009

25/365 Psychadelia

Jodie & I made today's picture(s) happen together. I was tidying up some crafting things and these oversized sequins tipped out of a ripped bag onto the (clear for once) table top and I had an idea. These are linked sequins of about 1.25" diameter which were part of a bead-style doorway curtain. I hooked some of the strands over the window catch above the table, Jodie arranged and re-arranged them and made them move around while I took pictures, we had great fun experimenting with them, slow shutter speeds, with and without lights/flash, and then Jodie helped choose some of the best, I did a little cropping and tweaking - saturation and such, just in Picasa, and then created 2 collages (also in Picasa) and Jodie and I are thrilled with the results. You can see Jodie's reflection in one, and her moving hand in a couple of others. We had a great time playing with these!
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Saturday, 24 January 2009

24/365 Sneakin' a peek (again) and the cat's behind

Jodie is sneakin' a peek from her bedroom! I had been in there with her for a good ten minutes taking shots of Sweetie (planning another body part photo!) then a moment later Jodie steals the show. I love the way the sunlight is creating a glow, reflecting off the wall next to her onto the door. Sweetie had been napping on Jodie's bed. Does her bum look big in this?
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Friday, 23 January 2009

23/365 Make a wish

This is Jodie's magic wand. It goes with a dressing up outfit she has, though she didn't feel like dressing up today - she missed school because she has a headcold. The sun was streaming in (briefly) and reflecting off the cream curtain, illuminating the wand and the little sparkly reflections on the glass made it look like it was surrounded by fairy dust! I love catching a chance shot like that - blink and you miss it!
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Thursday, 22 January 2009

22/365 Rita's Narcissus

Rita is my wonderful MIL, and this is her Narcissus. She received a lovely glass bowl with 'glass chippings' as the growing medium and 3 narcissus bulbs for Christmas from one of her other sons. I visited Rita today in Sheffield; a wet grey journey there, but a blue sky and sunshine journey back after a lovely few hours catching up on news and having lunch. I love my MIL :0)
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Wednesday, 21 January 2009

21/365 Cat's Eye

By popular request, more of Sweetie who today spent some time under Jodie's bed, and also chasing the small spot of reflected light that was bouncing off my lens. Still a kitten at heart. More of Sweetie in the Cats album on my Picasa page, link right.
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Tuesday, 20 January 2009

20/365 The Other Cat's Whiskers

Sweetie was very comfortable on Oliver's bed today and didn't mind me taking a few shots of her before I got back to my decorating! It was a tough choice but this one was the favourite and I've added some of Rosie & of Sweetie to my Cats gallery on Picasa (link right). Prrreowp?
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Monday, 19 January 2009

19/365 The Cat's Whiskers

This is Rosie. She is nearly 14 years old and showing her age. I find her very difficult to photograph well as, being black and camera shy, she is hard to focus on and rarely sits still long enough anyway, so this is a rare shot! She was sunbathing for a while in the conservatory between the hail and sleet showers. We have another cat, a white & tabby called Sweetie. I wonder when it'll be her turn to feature in this blog?
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Sunday, 18 January 2009

18/365 Winter Glow on the Derwent

The River Derwent was sunkissed this morning but the temperature was far from warm. I took a look around Darley Abbey near a couple of weirs and although we had fabulous blue sky, the wind was chill. Lots of folk were out and about enjoying the sunshine and I bumped into a fellow photoclub member testing out her new P&S. I'll post the best of the rest to my Picasa page tomorrow, but this was the last shot on the way back to the car - CF card full, fingers too cold! And hubby chose today's post :0)
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Saturday, 17 January 2009

17/365 Sneakin' a peek

Jodie looked at me just as I took this shot, the sun was making an effort and just catching her beautifully so that I could too. 'Nuff said. :0)
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Friday, 16 January 2009

16/365 This one, definitely this one... I think

It was going to be an urban scene, then a rustic fence post, but then I took advantage of a brief spell of weak winter sunshine to catch the light on a cyclamen in the conservatory and wrestled the pop-up backdrop into the shot to isolate the bloom. I went into Derby this morning (downtown to you Stateside folks!) to run an errand and took my camera, but it was yet another grey day and the city was grey to match. So I stopped at the park on the way home and shot some ivy on a rustic fence. Then, this afternoon the sun made an effort, and so I had to choose from the resulting shots which was really hard! I love the texture of the stem, the arrangement of the overlapping sepals, the amazingly fine texture in the petals and the most delicate hint of colour. The leaves are amazing too, but I just can't seem to capture the silvery markings.
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Thursday, 15 January 2009

Bonus photo! Vintage Toys

When I posted today's Hyacinth Blue I had forgotten that I intended to get some vintage toys out for Jodie's school topic and take a photo of them. I was reading an article in a photomag this week about taking still life shots of items found in your home with domestic lighting and home-made equipment. It included a reflector made from tin foil on card and a diffuser made from greaseproof paper stretched over an empty picture frame. So here's the result - floor lamp camera right as well as main room light on, diffuser (translucent toybox lid) held in front of floor lamp, camera set to tungsten on a tripod (long exposure), and a pop up reversible backdrop behind, which looked infinitely better than the cream curtain and scruffy (yet to be decorated) white walls! I am thrilled with the result and just had to post it! Perhaps I'll make a point of adding Bonus Photos through the year when I try out a new technique and it turns out well!

As for the toys - the teddy bear is mine and was bought for me when I was a baby; the 2 wind-up clockwork toys my Dad bought me when I was about 5 or 6 and they've been in their boxes all that time; the vehicles and tardis are Lesney, Corgi & Dinky toys from the 50s and 60s, well played with by my 2 older brothers to whom they really belong. The bronze one in the middle is James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 from (?) Goldfinger.
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15/365 Hyacinth Blue

Taken in a friend's kitchen, this hyacinth matches her blue colour scheme beautifully. Low light (again!) so I used the self timer and the camera was on my gorillapod on Joanne's sink. Its a shame I couldn't capture the scent, it was beautiful.
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Wednesday, 14 January 2009

14/365 Spangled web

So much for yesterday's sunshine, this morning we have freezing fog! I've been down the garden to find this spangled web on some trellis. Now I must get back to the painting I didn't quite finish yesterday. ;0)
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Tuesday, 13 January 2009

13/365 Ladder in lilac

Today I spent mainly decorating. The landing is the current WIP: today's task was to emulsion walls and I even managed to flick the right switch on the consumer unit to isolate the upstairs lighting circuit so I could safely remove the glass wall light to paint around it. I didn't quite get finished today before it was time to go to school, but I'll finish tomorrow. I used the tripod and managed not to get any paint on my camera!

The colour changes with the light, today clouds kept moving over the sun which was out quite a lot :0)

Monday, 12 January 2009

12/365 Lone confetti

A lone piece of confetti clings to the gate of St Edmund's Church, Allestree. This is, I think, the oldest church in Allestree and dates form the 12th Century (although only an ornate doorway survives of the original) and this is the best I could do given low light (!) and no tripod. (Please don't peek at my pixels!) The green reflection is from grass within the churchyard, and some rainwater has pooled on the strap hinge just left of centre. While we are having such grey days I think I'll keep my tripod in the car, and before the year is out, I'll take a shot of the whole lychgate which is rather beautiful.

(See for more info.)

Lychgate: noun, a roofed gate to a churchyard, formerly used as a temporary shelter for the bier during funerals.
Bier: noun, a coffin along with its stand.

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Sunday, 11 January 2009

11/365 She's so lovely

We went to the park this afternoon and Jodie went on the roundabout. Luckily, another little girl went on at the same time and her Dad did the pushing so I could catch this shot. Its a tad warmer here, but very overcast grey skies still, I'm really missing the light. This is the first image of Jodie in the blog, but it certainly won't be the last! Oh, and "She's so Lovely" refers not just to my beautiful girl, but to the second track on Scouting for Girls' first album which we play quite a lot and Jodie loves.
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Saturday, 10 January 2009

10/365 Empty Bookcase, almost

All packed up, well, almost. I spent most of today filling boxes, most of which are stashed under Oliver's cabin bed, and the other three have gone to a guy who is running a charity booksale in a couple of months. The shelves looked a bit sad completely empty, so I put a few pictures and kept back the cat plates, and I have only noticed just now looking at the photo that 2 books are hiding behind the cat plate on the left! This is only part of a much larger unit, and there is a similar one on the other side of the fireplace which I have also cleared. The photo to the left is of my Dad with his first bicycle when he was about 17 in about 1936; the picture ot 2 schoolboys top right is of my 2 brothers in about 1964. The 2 photos with red sweaters are Oliver & Jodie's school picture - in focus this year (!) but I don't like the white background.
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Friday, 9 January 2009

9/365 Helen's Front Door

This is one of my favourite front doors. This is where Helen, my hairdresser, lives. She works from home part time and is also mobile. In the summer I may take another shot as the pots will be full of colour and we may have some better light! Its been another very grey morning so the light isn't great, and I should have taken the tripod, but it isn't too bad.
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My wordle - a word cloud about me by me.