Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Smoke and Mirrors

I wasn't thinking of writing this photo up - but the more I look at it, the more I see some interesting relationships.

It has an other worldliness about it and for people who would like to make their products, services and /or themselves out of this world, here is my take.

1. The photo was taken in the window of a very reputable antique shop, so the items are genuine and of quality - lesson one.

2. There is a mirror - to intensify the product/picture through reflection - augment what you have by imitation, reflection and whatever you have.

3. There is a ghost-like quality to the photo - bring a third demension, whereever you can, to whatever you have. Think of the richness of otherworlds - bring them in. We have lace shawls based on the signs of the Zodiac, for example!!!

4. Reflected in the window is the everyday & of ordinary people - raise them to the sublime with your talents.

Enough said - have an out of this world evening.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lacey Light

I am still taking pictures in the photo a day challenge. I actually got up my nerve to post this one to the Globe and Mail's website.  They set challenges every week and people from all over the world take pictures - all over the world.  Here is the one I posted for the challenge to use natural light in doors - no flash.

Sunshine August 2011

The sun was streaming in through my dining room window and reflecting off of the wooden floor.  I decided that it looked very lacey and that I could get a good shot without a flash, so I tried it.

It's definitely different. Here is the link to the other photos in this week's Globe and Mail challenge.  This one should be there.

Find lace in all the right places!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Table Talk

Here's another photo in the photo a day challenge. I took this at The Brickworks - a reclaimed city dump that's been turned into an environmental centre.  I was actually there to take pictures of water lilies in the ponds.  It's so much better to have water filtering through ponds and reeds rather that chunks of old asphalt and filthy tires.

Tables in the Sun
Well, I was fascinated by the patterns created by these tables and chairs and their shadows.  I think that there must have been a craft demonstration or something in an open area near the ponds.  I can see how some knit and purl ribbing with diagonal stitches could create a very interesting pattern for a sweater or blanket etc.

I will put the lily pond pictures up on the Queen Anne's Lace site, when I talk about the pond scarf.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

If stones could speak.....

Detail from Celtic Cross headstone - Mt Pleasant Cemetery
There is something about a grey day that forces us inward.  The sun isn't there to lift the spirits and so we look inside for something of interest. Today is a grey day here in Toronto.  I generally try to take an hour's walk, when I can, mostly for exercise; but also for a little quiet thought. Today it was with an umbrella through the cemetery - I know I'm a little suicidal without the sun.

Mt Pleasant cemetery is quite old - not as old as St. Michael's which holds the remains of a lot of the "survivors" of the Irish potato famines - but still there are headstones that date from the late 1880's.  Also other burial grounds, that had to be removed to make way for the expansion of the city, were relocated in Mt Pleasant, so some areas are very old. It is also a cemetery in a once wealthy area, as a result, there are magnificent crypts, ornate markers, ancient trees and winding paths. I have walked through this quiet place many times; I know the stonework well. Yet I have never had a reason to capture it with a camera.

My photo a day challenge gave me that opportunity.  I decided to photograph the delicately scrolled Celtic crosses because they remind me of the intricate cable work in Aran sweaters.  I think I could also work something like this in lace.

We are all connected - past, present and future; etched in stone, beautifully intertwined.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rain on my window

Rain on my window
It took me a long time to try and get close ups of droplets of water - I know get a life!!  Well I've had my Canon DSLR for a few years now and I think that I have just scratched the surface as far as using its abilities as a camera.  Every once in a while I take out the small leaflet that came with the camera - the larger manual is next - and re-read what I should be doing.  Well, when I finally got the light inside the camera to stop blinking, by moving this little dial that I could never figure out the use for (for which I could never figure out the use), I was finally able to get a good close up.

Definitely the message here is perseverance - it may take a lifetime - but the upside is that there are still things to learn, as though one were back in school, except that the world is the classroom and all those you meet are teachers, as well as classmates - in many respects we can be forever young!!

I know that I will do a lace pattern soon that involves stitches that look like rain - it can be surreal.

Raindrops on a glass pane 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

We've got Cookies!!!!

These are not Dog Biscuits!!
Another day- another photograph in my photo a day challenge.  I just couldn't resist these cookies at The Second Cup. I took the picture without a flash, through glass, into a mirror...and the cookies are wrapped in cellophane - there's magic in them thar lenses!!!

Maybe the retail lesson here is to be irresistible - make your shop, your inventory and you - irresistible. There are many sides to everything and many layers and there is a way to capture it all - maybe not with glass and mirrors and cellophane; but maybe with a lot of TLC.

Puppydog Mittens from Infiknit
Here are my puppy mittens - for eating dog biscuits, of course

More Bright Ideas

Cake from Half Baked Ideas on Mt. Pleasant
Day 6 in the photo a day challenge is another shop window shot, only this time I stepped out of the way to remove my reflection.  The cafe is called "Half Baked Ideas" - I personally think that it should have more of a positive name, because the people are very nice and they do organic dog biscuits, as well as, treats for people who are allergic to lots of things in baked goods.

The cake itself, though, makes me think of the "Mad Hatter's Tea Party" and other crazy things; it piques my interest and draws me inside to see what they have to offer!

From a merchandising stand point, the unique layers topped with a light bulb create an eye-catching window display both day and night.  Think in terms of using shop windows effectively - keep them simple and fresh - if not a little unusual!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011


Sometimes I feel like a motherless piece of Playmobile.  I was scouting out some interesting picture possibilities and I almost missed this little guy.  Someone had left him on the windowsill of one of the shops on Mt Pleasant. Perhaps a child had been looking in the window and left him or he had been dropped and a passerby kindly picked him up and placed him there. Then, I came along and decided he needed recognition.

Lost Dog
 Actually I tried applying some effects to the picture from the limited software I have. I think that he looks even lonelier in black and white. The power of colour or the lack there of creates some awesome results. Apply this to merchandising and see what happens - maybe something doggone amazing.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Life Imitating Art

Black-Eyed Susans
This is day 5 in my photo a day challenge and I just happened to have picked this jug of Black-Eyed Susans. There was something about the jug that reminded me of the sunflower pictures of Van Gogh. 

Van Gogh "Sunflowers"
The picture is actually a cross between a Van Gogh and a Picasso - OK, I'm giving myself a lot of credit these days - anyway, here is the Van Gogh and the Picasso.

The other Picasso is lighter has more of the "feel" of my Susans - anyway I think that my picture is a good example of life imitating Art.

I would also like to add a reference that I made to a group in Britain that take a work of art each year and translate it into knitting.

Here's the link to my blog about The Materialists They recently worked Van Goghs "Sunflowers" in knitted fabric et al - Now is this life imitating art - imitating life?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Let there be light!!!

Here is another photo in the photo a day challenge. I took this photo while waiting to pick up my daughter from the bus. 

Let there be Light!!
I have entitled it "Let there be Light", as though turning on a light were something as easy to execute, as snapping one's fingers - OK, yes I know it is from a light switch. However, the complexity of the wires, the transformers, the height, the platforms, etc..suggest otherwise. It's a little like ideas - they may just seem to "pop" into your head, but they have gone through a lot of machinery to get there!!

I need that little light bulb of an idea....hello.....I'm over here!!!

Wild Ideas

Here is another photo for the photo-a-day challenge.  It was taken outside of the Wild Bird Seed store on Mt. Pleasant.  The words "Wild Bird" are barely visible on the window of the store.
Wild Bird
I love looking at "things" in different mediums.  Here is a metal bird - what if it could fly?  or maybe it's angry because it can't? It's also very large - something to be said about that wild bird seed. It's humour;  it's Science Fiction; it's all part of the challenge of looking at the ordinary - "store inventory" in a new and inventive way!!

Cherrio - wild bird talk for "good-bye."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Artistic Inspiration

Sometimes I take a look at the work of other artists to get a little boost.  I really like the work of Georgia O'Keefe - especially her flower portraits.  Here is a picture I took yesterday -
Lily from a garden on Mt Pleasant Rd.
and here is a photo of one of Georgia O'Keefe's paintings

Georgia O'Keefe painting
Now to translate these into something knitted. Maybe it's all about colour and layers and being wrapped in something luscious - could work!!
Midday Scarf - Queen Anne's Lace

Second photo in photo challenge. "click" and be happy!


Monday, August 15, 2011


I have just completed Capricorn in my Zodiac shawl series. Aquarius is being test knit and Scorpio has been released!!!  I just have 2 more to knit - Cancer and Aries. So I am looking for inspiration. Cricket Walker, whom I follow on Facebook, is always good at posting new challenges to get people up and moving to start their creative juices flowing.

Her latest challenge is a photo a day. I'm a bit late in starting; but here is my first one. Yea it's me taking a picture of a shop window which I pass everyday when I go out for a coffee.

My office is on Mt Pleasant Ave, in Toronto, which has often been compared to Union St. in San Francisco.  I haven't had a holiday in awhile - can't you tell - I haven't been posting.  Maybe I should just play tourist in my own backyard.  Well I could pretend that it's Versailles or St. Petersburg. I'm feeling better already!!