Saturday, 17 May 2014


Thank you so much for your comments on my last post! I really do appreciate them, and it's so great to get feedback on your projects and ideas, and just to be able to share with people who are interested :)   It was also great to be able to share Sharon's mandala and see your lovely comments about that too :)

Today has been gorgeous, barely a cloud in the sky! It has also been a nice quiet day, and I have managed to finish the last few of the 16 circles required to make the Glastonbury blanket square, AND to sew in ALL of the ends for these. It was so nice today that once I had finished that bit, I decamped outside with my circles, hook and a ball of Turquoise in order to square up the circles.

Different colour mixes seem to stand out to me at different times - I really liked this one in the sunshine today :)

I was especially pleased when I discovered that I now know the pattern so well that I could actually read while squaring the circles! Brilliant!! (although my scissors didn't do a great job of holding the book open, so I did have to readjust a lot!)

I am currently at 11 circles squared with just 5 still to go before I can crochet them together into 2 rows of 8, and then add them to the rest of the blanket. Then edging fun can begin!

I have also realised that I have a photography workshop next week, and I'm pretty excited about that too!

Quite a while ago now I bought a voucher for a photography workshop from Amazon Local UK, and with the upheaval of moving etc I had forgotten about it. I have a DSLR camera that I got second hand from ebay, but I really don’t use it properly and have been wanting to improve my skills.

I was really nervous about buying the voucher as my husband had previously bought me a voucher from Groupon for a photography workshop. This had NOT been successful – it was in London so it had been pretty expensive, and then it turned out that they would just book you onto a date and you couldn’t change it! I was booked on for a Thursday and couldn’t get the day off work. I couldn’t change the booking for a date I could make, and so my husband just lost his money, I lost out on the workshop and we both felt upset that a really thoughtful gift had gone so wrong.

Amazon Local seems a bit different though – so far I have found them to have great customer service, the terms of all their offers are much clearer than they had been on Groupon, and they tend to be more flexible. Also, while the voucher offer normally has an expiry date on it, the amount you paid for the voucher doesn’t expire. So for example, you buy a voucher for £20 for something that would normally cost £40. You don’t use the voucher in time, but instead of simply losing everything you paid for the voucher you also have the option to just pay the extra £20 to get the product anyway. OK it’s full-price and some of the discounts are so big you might not want to spend so much extra money, and would rather lose what you paid for the voucher, but it’s great that you have the option to decide what to do.

So I went ahead and bought the voucher for a full day photography workshop. It’s taking place in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. It’s not too far from my in-laws, where we’re staying for a while before we move to Australia.
It won’t be the first photography lesson I’ve had - I did a short photography evening course a few years back, but it was a classroom-based course mostly looking at the theory of things like white-balance, how to level photos using photoshop etc. There wasn’t so much practical work involved, and also at the time I only had a basic point-and-shoot camera at the time, so although I have gained some benefit from the course I feel I still have an awful lot to learn. (I also don’t have photoshop myself, so I feel like I’ve forgotten all of that side of things!)

My contact sheet

The course wasn’t totally devoid of practical aspects however (although most of the practical stuff was to be done in your own time) and for the final assessment we each had to produce a portfolio of 12 images on a theme of either ‘People’ or ‘Places’. I chose ‘Places’, and put together a portfolio of Religious Places from some trips I went on during the course: a weekend to Istanbul, Turkey, a 2-week trip to Nepal, and a visit to see friends in York, UK. So while I’m excitedly waiting for my new photography workshop, I thought I’d share some of my pictures from my previous course.

I wasn't 100% happy with each photo:


Edited - levelled and cropped

I like how crisp the leveled photo of this Nepalese Hindu Temple looks, but I'm not sure about the cropping - we had to make the photos 9x6 inches, so this ratio meant that I lost some of my composition. I had to crop extra from this particular photo, as I didn't want the crop to cut off one of the stone figures down the middle, so now I don't think that the composition is so well balanced...


Edited - levelled and cropped

I think the sky looks better after leveling in picture of the Blue Mosque, Istanbul, but the cropping loses a bit of depth as the left-hand minaret is cropped out.

These niggles aside, I was pleased with most of my pictures. I like the light on the stone in these pictures of York Minster:

I love the bright exotic nature of these shots from Nepal:

One of my favourites is this one from inside the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul. The Hagia Sofia was originally a Byzantine era Orthodox Christian Church, but was overtaken by Muslims when the religion was spread here. The Muslim invaders threw out most of the Christian artefacts, and plastered over the interior walls. The building is now no longer a place of worship and is instead a museum, also forming part of the UNESCO Heritage Site called 'Historic Areas of Istanbul'. As the building is being explored, more and more of the earlier Christian mosaics are being uncovered from beneath the plaster. I love how in this picture the artistic elements from both Christianity and Islam can be seen together:

We had to print and exhibit all 12 of our final images, and this one looks really great printed. In fact I like it so much that I got it framed, and (while it is currently packed up in storage) it used to hang in my living room at home :)


  1. I am impressed that you can read and crochet at the same time!! Photos look great, mine are not perfect but then my camera is not great, but practice makes perfect and all that!! Can't wait to see the edging on your blanket xx

    1. Haha thanks - it's only because the stitches are in groups of 3, so I don't need to actually count them as such to know when I get to 3, and they're stitched into spaces so I don't need to look all the time - just a quick glance when I start each cluster.

      Practice definitely helps with the photos, and a lot of reading about and looking at photos, and trying to recreate things you like etc etc. Oh, and taking multiple slightly different shots each time so that you get a feel for little changes that make a difference. The pics above were only on a point-and-shoot Fujifilm camera, but I was happy with most of the results!

      Just doing the Turquoise on the final circle now, then crochet together... Then edging!! :D