Part of me regrets that I don't have a big fancy SLR camera to take all kinds of nifty pictures. But at the same time, that seems like a lot of work. And I think it can occasionally destroy spontaneity. So for now I'm content to take mediocre pictures on my Blackberry.
There are things I see on my way to work every day which I think I'd like to photograph for whatever reason. And sometimes I do. I've already shown you my walk to work from the car.
On the way to work, I pass the smoke stacks. Unfortunately, the picture I took the other day has power lines running through it. I will have to find a proper vantage point to take the shot. I also want it on a cloudless day so that I can have the contrast of the blue sky, the red and white smokestacks, and the white and grey smoke. So eventually what I'm waiting for will be a close-up of this:
Another thing which catches my eye on the way to work is a flatbed thing with some old-fashioned carnival posters on it. It sits in the parking lot of a building in the quasi-industrial area where the Lad works. I drop him off every day, so I see it and every time I do, I think, "Wouldn't that be interesting to photograph?" So today I did.
Unfortunately it's foggy and dark today and the posters have that plastic glass over them (perspex is what it's called in the UK -- plexiglass, that's what it is...).
But you can at least get the general idea.
These aren't old posters; they've obviously been done recently, because the style is too modern and not quite the old kitschy style of circus days gone by. But I like them anyway. They both interest and amuse me.
This one might be my favourite. I can't quite figure out what's going on here. Has she just bitten off her own left hand? Or is this someone else's body part that she's snacking on? Oh, I see now. It's someone else's body part she's snacking on. Darling Debbie is not the kind of girl you bring home to Mom.
I promised to show you better shots of the Tanis Fiber Arts yarn that was delivered this week. Let me digress first. The first digression is that Tanis sent this out by post on Monday. It was on my desk at work when I walked in on Wednesday. That's basically 2 days in the Canada Post system. Apparently we can get it together in Canada, but not across the border.
The second digression is that now that the ugly chair is next to the secretary desk, I have to find somewhere else to photograph my yarn. I was listening to a Sticks & String podcast where (?in which?) David Reidy was interviewing Jared Flood (Brooklyn Tweed). Jared Flood is an amazing photographer as well as being a designer and knitter. David asked about tips for photographing his knitterly works, and Jared said it's crucial to have natural light. Then he said something which resonated with me. It doesn't have to be outside, even natural light coming in through a window will do the trick. Ha ha, thought I. At that point, the deck was still covered with ice and snow, and I was loath to go outside with my things.
Enter another digression. Loath is the adjective, and loathe (with an 'e' on the end) is the verb. Loath means unwilling or reluctant; loathe means to detest. It drives me crazy when people use loathe instead of loath and vice versa. It's almost as bad as putting an apostrophe in its when it's a possessive pronoun. It's is a contraction of it and is. The caravan is making its way home, but it's a long journey and it will have to stop for the night. End of digression.
So I have been taking photographs inside. And I have been generally taking them on the banker's boxes which used to sit where the ugly chair now resides. Magda refers to them as my pizza boxes, but they're smaller and less greasy than the pizza boxes.
Anyway, with the ugly chair in the way and the high wingback blocking most of the available light, I had to go to plan B. Plan B involves going to the other room and photographin yarn on the needlepoint ottoman.
Another digression. My house is very small. I have essentially two rooms and a hallway downstairs, and three tiny rooms and a bathroom upstairs. It's about 1000 square feet. We moved here from a house which was 1947 square feet. It's not comfortable. For the longest time, I hated coming home. I think it coincided with when I stopped having someone to come in and clean once a week or once every two weeks. Once you let that get out of hand, it's all downhill from there. I spent several years working 7 days a week and had no time, energy or inclination to come home and do housecleaning. And the kids were not a lot of help. So we slid into a state of squalor where we have been for quite a while, and we are only slowly coming out of it.
Today I hung the photos in the dining room which came back from Mum's house. They were photos taken by me which were enlarged and framed. I took them when I was in my teens. They're still lovely. But I hung them today. Perhaps I'll take a picture. They're above the ginger jars.
So now I am photographing my yarn on the ottoman.
But allow me yet another digression. Tanis Lavallee went to NSCAD here in Halifax. It used to be the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, but now I think it's technically Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. They do BFAs, BAs (maybe -- not sure), MFAs etc. It's a full degree-granting institution, so that's why it is now a university. [In Canada, universities grant degrees; colleges grant diplomas and certificates. I have no idea what the distinction is in the US. The generic term seems to be "college" which encompasses universities. In the UK and Australia (and possibly New Zealand) they shorten it to "uni", as in, "I studied art at uni". In the snobby parts of the UK, they actually refer to "reading" rather than studying. "I read philosophy when I was at Oxford."
Eeep. I'm digressing in my digression. The whole point of this is that NSCAD has some wickedly great programs. And getting a fine arts degree doesn't mean you're going to be destitute and homeless and unable to pay the bills. Tanis has made a huge success of her business. It started off small and has expanded. I point to Tanis as an example to my kids of why they really should consider NSCAD. They're both so talented. Once upon a time I was talented too. I was accepted to Parsons school of Art & Design in the States, and I wanted to go to Emily Carr in Vancouver. Back then Emily Carr was just a school of art and didn't have university status (which it does now). My parents were aghast that I wanted to do something which wasn't at a university. So Parsons was out (because it was in the US and really, that was unacceptable on a number of levels). And Emily Carr was out. I think that's because my mother was scary bright (she was a Mensa member) but she could never afford to go to university. So to her, the pinnacle of achievement was going to university.
So instead, I tootled off to the University of Calgary to do a BFA. I ended up changing majors, but I did do a minor in Art.
It never crossed my mind when I was younger to think about whether there would be prospects of employment after university. I just wanted to do what I wanted to do. My kids are different. They both love art and things artistic, but they're all about the paycheque. I guess that's a good thing.
Anyway, back to the success and glory which is Tanis and her yummy yarns.
Here are the lovely skeins of the Blue Label (80/20 MN) from Tanis Fiber Arts which I received. From left to right, they're Seabreeze, Blueberry, Grape, Royal Flush, Garnet, Sunset (oh my beating heart be still), Buttercup and Sand.
My original intention was to use the Blue Label yarns for colourwork. I still may. But they're also lovely enough to use on their very own to showcase their glory.
The other thing I have to show you is some patterns I ordered. They came from somewhere in Canada -- can't remember if it's New Brunswick or Ontario. I can't remember where I even saw them initially. Probably I saw a picture of someone's project on Ravelry and followed it from there.
The patterns come from Grand River Yarns. There are about 8 or 9 of these incredibly whimsical hats. I had a hard time limiting myself to four.
Snort. I mean, seriously. Look at those frogs. This utterly appeals to me.
Each pattern has two options: the plain hat and the earflap version. I don't necessarily like the colour combinations used in all the hats -- they make it a little too difficult to distinguish the animals.
But -- snort again -- little pompom tails on the bunnies. It's chuckalicious.
I'm a smidge nervous about the requirement to be able to crochet. I do not have that ability. (Although, I do have a pretty big collection of crochet hooks, and discovered that I received a bunch more with my mother's stuff).
Finally, the other thing which amuses me is this. I put Great-Grandfather's tam on top of the sock monkey hat which lives on Lola. I think I may actually use this as my Ravatar for a bit.