Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Day 323: Snowy Wilderness

It's amazing how much snow we have.  Me and my friend decided to go exploring in it and it made everything so much more interesting and exciting.  I love that quality of snow - the ability to completely transform a landscape and make it a different and more magical place.  It also made walking
rather harder than usual and we didn't get nearly as far as I had expected before we decided we were tired and going back.  We got a full range of weather too - grey and cloudy when we set off (as above), sunny, and snowing!  My main problem with the snow is I feel bad for all the animals struggling to keep warm and find food.  I always wondered what rabbits did in the snow - if they just dug through the snow to the grass beneath and ate frozen grass
but it seems they eat berries too!  I couldn't initially believe that he carried on eating so close to us but the poor thing must have been really hungry.  I hope he got enough to eat.  The day ended with a nice sunset which is always welcome.  I think it makes things better if the sun goes down on a good note :-)

Monday, 29 November 2010

Day 322: Poised For Action

This is a great pose.  The birds were all in the garden to make use of the seed feeders again today.  I'm glad they realise that we give them an easy meal when it's horrible weather and they need it most.  You definitely see patterns in their appearance - on the nicest days you won't see many at all, on the horrible days they are there in huge numbers and, on the worst days, they can even forgo all the fighting.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Day 321: Snowy Sunset

Today was one of those days of many photos so I included several.  Above is my favourite one - it was so beautiful coming back down the road from my brother's house.  My dad pulled into a lay by so I could get photos and we only managed that because something had already been in the lay by and created a set of tyre tracks to follow.  I suspect whatever
it was was rather higher than our car though as we kinda surfed our way in and out.  There's a layer of fog covering Edinburgh and making it look like the Pentland Hills are floating, and it all just glowed.  The dog (right) was loving the snow, possibly a little more than me.  He was tearing round the garden like a complete maniac, bouncing and then getting his nose in and snow plowing through it, he kept snorting it up his nose and sneezing, eating it and then coughing (sometimes I wonder how bright he is ;-p).  The last photo (below) is a snow plow on the road ahead of us once we were down
the hill and into the fog from the sunset photo.  I still had my camera from taking the sunset photos so I took photos through the windscreen of the car which was fun.  I have some better ones of a snow plow in the sunshine on a bigger road but I liked how creepy this one was and it shows the contrast between up the hill in the sunshine and down the hill in the fog.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Day 320: RR-1

I made this for an event my rocketry club were having to commemorate the launch of RR-1 (Research Rocket 1) 75 years ago.  John Stewart, the founder of the Paisley Rocketeers, was a pioneer in rocketry and RR-1 was his first rocket.  Mine is, unfortunately, not a completely faithful copy as the original had 7 penny fireworks motors in it.  Clusters are notoriously difficult to fly as lighting all motors simultaneously is near impossible, as John found out.
The other reason mine isn't entirely faithful is that I didn't have time to build a pyro rocket.  I opted instead for a film canister rocket which I thought would be easier and quicker to build.  It's also something a little bit different.  The only time I have ever done film canister rockets it has just been with a bit of paper wrapped round it and a wee flat paper nose cone and some floppy fins for show (like this) - hardly a proper rocket.  This time there was the challenge of making it look like a proper rocket and make it sturdy enough that it wouldn't just fall to bits when I was trying to get the lid on and off the canister to refuel.  You will have seen the progress through the week from my scale drawings, to the superglue fiasco and the squid.  It is certainly not how I imagined it, not least because I had to cut away part of the fins so the lid could go on and off the film canister!  But it worked.  My dad and I didn't get to the launch event because driving several hours away in  snow didn't seem like a good idea, but we had our own mini launch in the front garden with our new favourite propellant - Alka Seltzer and
water!  The launch was pretty good actually and I was impressed with the height the rocket achieved.  I figured there was every chance it wouldn't get off the ground because there wasn't enough power in it and the film canister wasn't sitting on the ground.  The launch photos aren't good though - you can barely see a tiny wee smudge.  My dad had taken the initial photos of mine and then we swapped so I could have a go and then it all went wrong.  We got 2 flights out of it and then, in the process of trying to get the lid back on my dad shoved the film canister inside the rocket, pushing the straws up and the nose cone off.  A rocket with a body the same size as the film canister may have been fine but the awkward shape of my RR-1 replica wasn't really strong enough.
I never did explain that the straws were there to fill the gap between the canister and the points on the hexagonal tube so I could glue it all together.  They also went up into the nose cone to hold it in place too since I was a prat and forgot to put tabs on it to glue inside the tube ;-)  Overall I was pleased with my rocket.  It flew, it pretty much looked the part despite the fins and the gluey bits that spoiled the paintwork and I had fun making it.  Sometimes making things is a chore, but other times it is something that gives you an enormous sense of achievement, even if it is just gluing some bits of card together.  And I am the sort of person who likes building things and then discovering glue, sanding sealer and spray paint all over her hands, remembering why it's there and smiling.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Day 319: Snow!

We started the day with barely a dusting (on the left) and at the end of the day it's coming down heavily! (above)  I am always surprised when it actually snows and lies and in any quantity.  But it is so nice when it does because it makes the world such a different place.  A really pretty place.  Today has been busy.  I was looking after small boy this afternoon, and his Lego men.
I had to hold a Jedi because he didn't want to be near the computer - this was after he had been held up to the web cam and had his photo taken in numerous different ways and with different effects... I don't blame the poor guy!  He ended up stood next to another Lego figure on the table and it seriously looks like he is horrified by the other's appearance.  This I can understand since it very much looks to me like Darth Vader having an identity crisis!  I have also been to see my brother's new house which is where the snow photo was taken.  And now I have a rocket to finish for tomorrow which currently looks like a squid.  I think it will be a long night!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Day 318: Dr. Livingstone, I Presume?

I took a lot of photos today and was loath to choose just one.  For the first time in a while I really enjoyed myself and it felt good to be taking photos rather than like a chore as it has been.  This is actually an "I presume?" moment because I failed entirely to look at the name on the statue!  I am fairly certain, having done a little bit of research, that this is right though.  My intention had been to take photos of the big wheel in Princes Street Gardens now that it's up and, although I have photos of it, I really felt that this was my favourite photo of the day.  The position of the sun behind the statue was perfect to frame it with the tree and Edinburgh Castle on the horizon.  This was a good afternoon :-)

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Day 317: Construction

Can you tell what it is yet?!  There was a lack of appropriate glue accessible today so I currently have so much super glue on my fingers that I can't feel the keyboard.  On the plus side I'm enjoying this and, for once, I didn't actually glue myself to anything!  There's a first time for everything ;-)

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Day 316: Drink!

Taking photos in the pub is certainly an interesting experience - for one everyone looks at you like you're daft, and then when they think the camera is pointing at them they cringe and look away while exclaiming "Don't take photos of ME!" even after you explain the camera is on macro... which I now realise doesn't mean much to a lot of people!  I got my photo though and I like it because it has such a range of different textures due to the variations in the condensation, the liquid in the glass and the ice cubes.  I also like it because I got to drink it ;-)  And I managed to acquire a new nickname too - don't ever say "That's me!" to a waiter asking "Who's the chocolate fudge cake?" because your friends will laugh at you and threaten to call you Fudge Cake forever more.  This photo is for my cousin, who very recently became a year older - it's a pity we couldn't have gone for a drink for your birthday but Happy Birthday Sadie and Cheers! *clink*

Monday, 22 November 2010

Day 315: Blue Sky

It seems like we've had nothing but grey cloud for days and it was so welcome, even if it was for such a brief period of time, to see this patch of blue sky.  The sun was on the way down and it made the white cloud high up a lovely golden colour.  Today was one of those days where you get several photos you like and hate the fact that they only count for one day - especially with a period of rubbish photos behind you and potentially ahead too. 
So I am posting another one today, not only because I want to and I like it, but because it represents something important.  I did scale drawing!  There was maths involved (yes, I know - it was minimal - but still maths!) and complicatedness and concentration.  None of these things usually treat me well but I did it, and it may have taken me 100 times longer than most people (and a hefty dose of help to get my head round it) but I was really proud of myself :-D

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Day 314: Haven't Grown Up

Well the title pretty much says it all!  I still like watching kids movies.  And reading kids books.  I am not impressed with the colours in this -they are rather dull.  Mind you there have been a lot of dull boring rubbish photos recently.  I am having a serious lack of enthusiasm.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Day 313: Frankenstein

It's a long time until next Halloween for a Frankenstein.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Day 312: Christmas Lights

It seems that all the shops have their Christmas decorations up already.  I did try taking photos of them as a whole but since I don't tend to take the SLR when I go shopping (I get about as stroppy as a 3 year old without carrying awkward weight, so it seems prudent not to add to the potential for tantrums!) and I didn't have a tripod, they were all rather shaky and pretty much awful.  I decided to try something unfocused and we have pretty golden orbs!  Very much cropped so that there was nothing else in the frame which makes them rather noisier than I'd like, but it's an awful lot better than the photos of the tree were!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Day 311: Welding On The Docks

This is completely not what I set out to photograph and I feel sick that I didn't have my SLR to do a better job of it.  Those sparks were falling all the way to the water at times and blown in beautiful patterns by the wind!  I do actually have one of a nice windblown trail but I opted for this one because it is sunny and appeals to me an infinite amount more.  I actually think my compact did a pretty good job on this, and better detail on the sparks might have been nice but I do quite like the framing of it all with the height of the crane included.  I'm pretty sure there's reflection of the sparks in the water too :-)

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Day 310: Dramatic Dilwyn

This is Dilwyn.  I adopted him on holiday in Wales a couple of years ago - isn't he cute?!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Day 309: Cuddles

Awww cuddling!  I didn't even pose them - they were just like this.  And I think it's kinda ironic they are sat on a Twilight book - I mean a human cuddling a vampire is probably about as dangerous as a sheep cuddling a puppy!  But awww love and cuddles :-)

Monday, 15 November 2010

Day 308: Frozen Leaves

If you have to be up early at this time of year then this is the best thing about it - frost.  I love it when everything has that slightly white, glittery covering, the skies are clear and you can see your breath.  Best of all is crunchy grass but we haven't quite got there yet.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Day 307: Remembrance Sunday

For such a small piece of paper, it holds enormous significance.  And it's hard to actually comprehend the amount of people it represents.  The Poppy is the symbol of Remembrance and through it we remember all those who have given their lives to protect our country, both past and present.  We will remember them.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Day 306: Life Line

I was thinking about the whole fortune teller thing (not related to eating fortune cookies at all! ;-) and decided to look up where the various lines are for palm reading.  Depending on where I looked it seemed slightly different so I have no idea if my palm thinks I shall have a long and prosperous life but it did at least give me a photo idea!  So apparently this is my life line - does it look strong to you?

Friday, 12 November 2010

Day 305: Marvin

Meet Marvin!  He is my new phone - an HTC Wildfire - and since he runs Android the natural choice of name was Marvin after the Paranoid Android himself.  With any luck my Marvin will never be paranoid though, and I shall do my best to make sure his diodes never hurt :-)

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Day 304: Blue Skies and Golden Leaves

I love the tree in our front garden and it comes into it's own when the sun shines through it's leaves - especially at this time of year when they have a beautiful golden colouring and the benefit of Autumn/Winter sunshine.  I'm not sure what it is about it, but the sunshine at this time of year can be rather more flattering and beautiful.  You would think that this photo should be portrait but this is actually the right way around - our tree likes to stick it's branches out horizontally at the top :-)

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Day 303: Woolly Hat

I knitted this!  And it's finished and it's not that messy and it even fits Patch!  Hurray for me!  I'm quite excited really, it's been a while since I learned how to do something new and I'm rather proud of myself.  I hope Patch likes it - he hasn't said much but he hasn't taken it off ;-)  I, and a few others, have been learning with Vicky over at The Wool Shop as a trial run to see how it goes - we'd best not irritate her too much or she'll never offer to teach anyone ever again!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Day 302: Wild Thing

I didn't quite see this coming when I picked up a packet of Love Hearts as a potential photo opportunity!  And it rather makes me wish I had a model to work with.  And wonder how on earth I ended up with freckles on my lips.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Day 301: Fortune Cookie

"A worrying problem will be resolved on Friday.  Thought for today: A book is a success when people that haven't read it pretend they have."

I have no idea what problem might be resolved and nor can I fit the book thing into my life.  Unless it means my blog is "successful" because no one actually reads it.. they just pretend they have!  Who knows.  I should have spent more time on this trying to light it properly and using my SLR on a tripod but I didn't really have the motivation.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Day 300: 36 Crazyfists

I know - it absolutely sucks!  But this is actually the best of the ones I took.  I didn't take many though since it was clear I was fighting a losing battle and I wanted to enjoy myself rather than faff with the camera.  My wee compact camera does not like low light and I don't like tall people - this was taken with my arms up in the air.  I have never been at a gig so full of really tall blokes.  And predominantly guys too - I could probably count on 2 hands all the girls I saw.  It was good fun though and I'm so glad I went.  36 Crazyfists weren't the headliners but they're who I wanted to see.  It must be 6 years since I first started listening to their music, so getting to see them live after all that time was brilliant and I got a really cool tshirt too :-)  And although the picture sucks, it does kinda capture some of the feeling of being at a gig I think, at least from my point of view!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Day 299: Crystal Bowl

Ok, so this is a pretty naff photo but I didn't have much time so it has to do.  It was my friend's Halloween party tonight (a week late, yes) and I went as a fortune teller with a crystal bowl and filled it full of fortune cookies so I could tell people's fortunes from my "crystal ball"!  It amused me anyway.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Day 298: Guy Fawkes Night

I don't usually go out on Guy Fawkes night because I'm not that keen on fireworks.  I think they're really pretty but I am scared of loud bangs, even when I know what they are, and well, quite frankly, I don't trust ordinary people with explosives.  My friend has been bugging me to come to a display for years though and this time I thought I'd be brave and go (that was when I thought I was taking the earplugs which I forgot in the end...*sigh*).  I had a good time
- we had sparklers, well once we got them lit which took 10 times longer than they took to burn!  And I only swore a couple of times and jumped a few more times and cringed most of the way through which isn't too bad for me!  And they were definitely pretty :-)  There was also a guy twirling firey ropes (I have no idea what this is called) which was awesome!  I wish it hadn't been raining at that point and I'd had more time to try more photos.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Day 297: Centenary Promise Badge

20:10, 20/10, 2010 was when the whole of Girlguiding UK remade their promise to celebrate the end of the centenary year and look forward to the next 100 years.  This is the special promise badge we got to commemorate being there and being part of it all.  It's very shiny :-)

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Day 296: Lego Parrot

Small boy brought Lego to my house to play and we had fun :-)  I am very jealous of his parrot though - I think it's brilliant and I want one too!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Day 295: Melted Crayons

Why you ask?  Because it keeps kids amused!  And adults too for that matter ;-)  You take all your old bits of crayon in all your favourite colours, take off the paper, arrange them in a foil dish, and melt them in the oven for 10 minutes or so (depending on how hot your oven is, the amount of crayons, etc).  The result is a murky brown colour on top but if you let them cool when you tip them out you get fantastic colours on the bottom.  It certainly went down well with the kids and we discovered that if you emboss their names on the bottom of the foil tray it is then visible in the hardened crayon!  (I didn't have the presence of mind to take photos of the colourful results though - next time I will)

Monday, 1 November 2010

Day 294: Autumn Moorhen

I loved the colours reflected in this pond so much but it really made it that much more awesome having the moorhen swimming over it and creating ripples.  It is not perfectly exposed which is a shame but I think it is still beautiful.