Friday, January 17, 2014

113 pictures in 2013

For the 113-in-2013 photo challenge, I did not manage to get a great shot of each item that I was pleased with.  However, it did inspire me to get out and take pictures of things I would otherwise pass by, and that's the reason I do it.  Here are three of my favorites, all shots which I actually took specifically for this challenge.

#5 one word

#41 trees in a row

#99 somewhere to sit

You can see the whole set here.  I'm pleased that I got as many as I did - 74.  Better than the previous year.  I signed up for the next group, 114 in 2014.  I'm not sure how much I like this list.  In the past year, I found my self struggling to go out and shoot things, like "a baby picture of yourself."  I just don't find much room for creativity there, unless I spend an inordinate amount of time coming up with a crazy concept.  On the other hand, I know it stretches my thinking, and I enjoy the camaraderie of the group.  

One item I struggled with the whole year was 'bird on water.'  I couldn't decide whether to take the straight-forward approach, or whether I should find a more artistic view.  I also don't have a great lens for shooting wildlife.  I did rent a telephoto lens for a wedding in August, and took the opportunity to find some "birds on water."  Here's what I ended up with for my final entry.  

bird on water

I really like the color of the water, as well as the ripple of light on the left side of the frame, and the softness of the gray feathers.  I ended up making a whole set of my 'bird on water' shots.  I would love to know, which one would you have picked?  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Christmas Traditions, Christmas Knitting

Just one more on Christmas, for my mom. 

Christmas traditions from my childhood that we've adopted into our home include the Advent Wreath, which I previously wrote about, wow, three years ago.  This year we finally incorporated the Thanksgiving Chain.  Each day in November, we each write something we're thankful for on a slip of paper, a link in the chain.  Guests for dinner also get to write something, and become part of our chain.  In December, we hang up the chain around the room and attach Christmas cards we receive on it.  It's a festive addition to the decor, and cards don't get lost!  In January, we take down the chain and put all the cards in a basket.  Each night at bedtime, a card or cards are drawn out, and we pray for the sender.  I like that we talk about who these people are, since my kids don't know all of our distant friends and family, and I like that they are so good about praying for other people.  It's very easy to ask for things for ourselves, it is nice to see they appreciate that other people need things too, and sometimes we don't even know what that may be, but we can still help. 

I wish I had the time for a whole post on what I knitted for Christmas, not to mention keeping up on my list of things I knitted this year!  Now that I look at my Ravelry projects page, it doesn't appear that I knit too much for Christmas, but I did make a few things.  I knitted a cowl for my sister-in-law, who is always cold; a hat for a special teacher, who mentioned several times how much she liked mine - she was thrilled; a hat for my mother-in-law, and I was pleased she wore it the rest of the day - it was beautiful yarn, too, if I say so myself.  And finally, the most pleasing project was a hat for BFJ.  I'd knitted a hat for some guy who came into the shop I work at, and wanted a hat but didn't knit.  I had yarn left over, and BFJ had modeled this original hat for me, and declared that he'd also like one.  However, he kept working from home and had days off, so I had to keep taking it to the yarn shop to work on it.  I was gratified on Christmas morning, though, when he was so surprised I'd actually made it!

hat for mother-in-law

BFJ is horrified that I try on hats and things that I knit for other people.  Hey, I have to make sure they work, don't I?  Actually, I do sometimes have to make sure they'll fit, but also I like finished pictures for Ravelry.  Seeing other people's projects is one of my favorite parts of Ravelry.

Monday, January 13, 2014

End of December

Rounding out the end of December so that I can move on to other things...!

One of the things we did in December that I enjoyed, was getting up early a couple of mornings for some frosty, wintry pictures.  It's cold; people complain, but then the fresh air takes over and we see magical things.  Unfortunately, we did not have a white Christmas, even at my parents' in the mountains; the frost and snow was all gone by then.