Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Candle on the sill....

Silly me ....silly camera....or both.  I have been struggling with negative space for a few days so I decided that I had to "set up" another picture. There I was in my dressing gown (it's becoming my work uniform), in the morning, in the dark, realizing that I had to light a match, to light the candle. What if I work everyone up with the smell of the sulfur or worse yet set off the smoke alarms!!!!  The things we do for Art!!

Anyway the negative space is there; but I should have used a tripod, because the picture is a little blurry and the camera cast this halo around the light so that I couldn't just get a clear picture of the flame.

Still there I was like Florence Nightingale or the gatekeeper's daughter, lighting a candle to help someone navigate their way home. Somehow pictures, even set up ones, conger other worlds.

Set an idea on fire in your business and transport your customers!!

Have a great day....

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Negative space...

This is the photo challenge for next week - to create photographs exploring negative space. Negative space is everything in a picture that is other than the subject. This space actually enhances the subject or the story that the picture has to tell.

Here is another shadow cast, this time on the wainscotting in the dining room.  The picture would be quite different if I had just filled the frame with the pattern.  The dark areas around the lacey shadow emphasize it and create some mystery. It is a little like the plain areas in knitting that emphasize the cable or lace patterns - you need both to create depth.

Here is another.  This is a picture that I "set up" - I don't know anyone who stacks their glasses this way. I set it up because it looked like one of the examples I saw in my research on negative space.

The negative space here is in opposition to the object - straight lines vs curvey lines and sharp edges vs blurred edges.  I'm not sure that the photo works; but I love playing with light and patterns - fuel for knitted lace. Here are the two classic images for negative space.

Do you see a vase or do you see two people face to face?  Enjoy your negative space - it makes the positive all that much better!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Infrastructure and the soul...

OK, I wasn't going to post this picture, or write it up; but it's been haunting me and so I have to place it somewhere.  I decided to take the shot because it caught my eye while I was looking for boxes in the box room/gallery.  My son stores his canvases in my "box" room at work because there is not much room in his bedroom.

My challenge for this week in the on-line photo challenge is to "fill the frame." The picture itself would fill the frame; but what I saw was the grill underneath the picture as part of the whole statement.

The picture develops the under structure of the cat and the radiator is the understructure of the building, plus it looks like the "teeth" of a very menacing animal - would the cat evolve to that?

I'm not sure; so I thought that I would ask an expert.

I think he said that my problems aren't his problems so - "get lost".   See if I give him anymore animal crackers!!!!

Go where your soul takes you...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Of focus, frames and overrides....

OK this is an odd photo. I was up early again and it was dark, so I was looking for something to shoot - with my camera, that is. My house is old and a little quirky.  There is a lot that I would change or fix in it; but not my leaded glass windows.

There was a street lamp across the street that was throwing one of those lights that you see in old British movies - you know when you hear foot steps behind you. It must have been all the "stuff" in the paper about Jack the Ripper. Anyway, I tried to get the light framed in the diamond pane. However, my camera decided that I could get a "better" shot if I just let it control the situation.  My camera kept zooming in and would not let me depress the shutter button.  I'll have to look for the override in the manual - now, where did I put that booklet.

Anyway here is what the "camera" took.

The topic of the photo challenge that I am in is "Fill the Frame." It is a fundamental tenant of good photography - it helps you curb those pictures that are all sky and trees with little people - the ones you were taking a picture of - waaaay in the distance. When you "fill the frame" you move quite close to your subjects, centre them in the photo and eliminate a lot of the surroundings.

I'm still doing mood photos, so things are a little asymmetrical.  I really must get back to the main premise of this week's challenge.  OK where is my override button so I can "press" it and get back in focus on the main subject.

Now you know why I like Crazy quilts - there are very few rules.

Obey the rules when you have to. Make your own when you create!!

Have a interesting day!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Light Fantastic

I was up at about 6am today and it was dark, so I could wait for the sun to come up and see what interesting light photos appeared. I knit for a bit - some do yoga, some knit, some do both (over achievers). Well the sun came up (good thing) and I just hung around the back door, in my dressing gown - the neighbours may think it's a little weird to be wandering around the garden in the morning in night clothes - not evening dress - that would suggest that I led a really interesting life - no just a faded blue robe.

Well with sliding glass door closed and the lights still on in the kitchen, I saw the light!!! It was the kitchen light reflected in the glass door and it looked like the Lilac tree had had a second blooming of a very large incandescent light.

Reflected also in the bottom left hand corner is the window of the front door which was about 25' behind me - a bit like a memory or a song that pops in your head unexpectedly - Tripping the light fantastic at 7:00am - maybe I do lead an interesting life!!

Create interest where you can - Have a good one


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Morning Light

These photo challenges have definitely forced me to look at "things" in a different way. For example this morning I was thinking about "the picture" and where I would go to take it, when I realized that there were some interesting light patterns on the walls and the appliances in the kitchen. Suddenly my kitchen of 30 years became a fairyland of shifting light.

For anyone who wants time to pass quickly, try taking pictures of shadows - they move very quickly.  In a few minutes a photo opt is gone.

Here is light through a bottle against a tile background. It was on the counter - left there by my husband - beer and ballgames just go together.  He will be going through withdrawal soon - season will be over before you know it :(

Anyway I couldn't resist it. Then I decided to try a cut glass vase.

About 10 mins had elapsed between the two shots so the sun was higher and brighter and a certain amount of the definition in the picture was gone. It's still pretty and lacey, but not as moody.

The diamond pattern on the vase looks a lot like diamond patterned lace - hmmmmmmm!

Brighten up your mornings and have a great day!!!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Crazy Quilt

I am in another Photo challenge, so there will be more pictures and more blogs and of course I am knitting; but very busy at work.

This particular photo challenge is to take 5 pictures in a week and then to choose one of them and write a blog about it.

Crazy Quilt
Here is my first picture for this challenge:

This is actually a small square about 5" x 5" which I knit in DMC about 20 years ago as part of another opportunity to submit a knitted piece for a museum show (non-juried).  I love crazy quilts because they are free form and allow for a some rich embellishment. First, I knit the basic fabric creating random shapes, using fair isle and intarsia. Some of the shapes I beaded. Finally, I added embellishments which I appliqued on.  I had to include a date on the piece and I was looking for gold beads which I knew I had.  Anyway I couldn't find them in time so I used some smaller white beads - not as effective.  I have subsequently found (and lost) these gold beads many times over these last 20 years.

I plan to add the better beads soon and I will retake the photo.  The date had to be of something significant in your life, so I did a composite date of the birthdays of my 3 kids.  They appear in Roman numerals, because I was having trouble with round shapes and sewn on beads.  I love how there is often a way around most problems with just a little thought.

We really aren't all that crazy!!!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Painted Knitting

I have been fascinated by Lynette Meek's painted knitting.  The link is to her blog where she posts lots of information and by the way, she has a booklet out now on how to paint your knitting.

I decided that I had to try some painted knitting, since I have a very nice chunky alpacalicious yarn, which I know takes Kool Aid dyes very well. I chose a very simple flower pattern in eyelet lace, quickly knit both sides of the scarf and then grafted the two sides together - not so quickly, because I was in a hurry, by then, to get painting and of course made mistakes, which slowed me down!!

I had already bought several packets of Kool Aid in the colours (flavours) that I wanted to use, I just had to find a paint brush and I was ready.  I borrowed a paint brush from the 18-year-old - I secretly think that it was really my brush, which he had borrowed and claimed was his - Oh well.

Now to mix the dyes.  I used 3 egg cups and put about 2-3 tablespoons of warm water in each.  I then emptied half the crystals from Ice Blue, Lemon Lime and Grape into the cups. I gave them a quick stir and headed outside where my scarf, which I had just soaked in luke warm water, was waiting to be painted.

I wanted a provincial print effect - I know it's chunky yarn, who am I kidding? Anyway, I painted the leaves of the lace stitch green, the centre of the flower grape (purple) and the outside of the flower blue.  The colour runs a little, which creates a water colour look and dilutes the dye a little - an effect I like and I know that I can't change this. I just have to work with it.

At first I let the scarf hang over the edge of the table as I painted; but the dyes ran a little too much so I decided to work the other colours with the scarf flat on the table.

painted flower motif on scarf in chunky yarn
I folded the scarf in half and then in half again over an old tea towel so that the flowers wouldn't touch each other and popped the garment in a bowl which I popped in the microwave.  Two sessions of re-heat (6mins) and the dyes were set. When I rinsed the scarf in luke warm water, no colour came out, so I hung it on a railing to dry.  This was just so fast and so easy and so much fun!!!

Now to try some finer yarn and maybe rayon.

It's no bull - signs work

First I must apologise to any readers who may be vegetarian.  This photo is part of my photo a day challenge.  It's a neon sign over a butcher's stall in the St Lawrence Market in Toronto. I took the picture, because to me it "screamed" raw, red meat, as in BBQ'd steak perhaps.

For meat lovers especially rare beef lovers, this is a siren's call. I had visions of people hypnotically following that sign to gaze at, even salivate over, the delicious offerings behind the glass display cases!! This sign is a magnet, clamping meat eaters to counters to buy, buy, buy!!!!

Now how do we do this with yarn?...or with any commodity other than beef.  How do we make our signage a magnet that draws people into our shop or booth or makes people drive up our lane to our farm???

First the butcher's sign has everything a meat eater would love - it is red, it has motion, it's big and tall, above the counter.  It is also illuminated against a black background. It's Las Vegas, Texas, cowboys, ranches.  They have targeted their customers well.

Now you will have to target your customers with a sign that incorporates what you believe your customers want from your company. Is it relaxation, that Zen feeling which comes from natural products and rewarding projects? Is it comraderie from friendly sales people, welcoming knit-alongs, exciting products and projects that are more conversation pieces?  Or are you state-of-the-art-style with designer products and high fashion projects?

Do you go neon and glitz, wildflowers and woven textures or lots of "happy faces"?  You will have to decide and then create a sign or signs that send a clear message to lure patrons to your counter(s).

Have a great day!