Holiday Happiness

Sun Bow | Whims And Fancies

 

It was a very good holiday.  It started with a 4-mile run/hike in the park after quite a few foot injuries over the last 12 months.  As I stopped for a breather, I looked up and was greeted by a beautiful sun bow which I have never seen before.  Even though my latest broken toe suffered a little after the run, it felt so good to be out there under the open sky again.

 

 

Annual Book Drive At Barnes And Noble | Whims And Fancies

 

We went to the Barnes And Noble bookstore for the annual children’s book drive. We have been doing this for over a decade now.  Every year, we happily browse through the children’s section to pick out books, then purchase them at the register and leave them there to be distributed amongst disadvantaged children.  I hope these books provide them an escape like they still do for me.

 

 

Sticky Toffy Pudding Nigella Lawson | Whims And Fancies

 

Once a year, I indulge the child in me by eating my favourite dessert – sticky toffee pudding and vanilla ice cream – for breakfast.  I make it using Nigella Lawson’s easy recipe with reduced sugar for the sauce.

Imagine me sitting in my pyjamas, wearing fluffy house shoes, firing up the video game console with a bowl of this on my lap. 

 

 

Artists And Craftsman Art Supply | Whims And Fancies

 

We visited the Artists And Craftsman art supply store in San Francisco.  My husband waited very patiently with me while I browsed the shop.  During this first visit, I was elated to find so many of my favourite art supplies under the same roof.  Afterwards, we walked up to one of the many cafes in the area for a fabulous lunch ending with a decadent tiramisu.

 

 

Fabric basket | Whims And Fancies

 

I received a package from Kris.  The box was packed with sweet little things, beautiful fabrics, a hand-embroidered pincushion AND this lovely basket using penguin fabric.

I often paint sitting at the dining table. It gets great afternoon light.  Now I have this lovely basket to carry all my art supplies over from my atelier to the table.

 

 

Watercolour Paint Swatches | Whims And Fancies

 

New Year’s Eve, I started making paint swatches.  Approximately 7 hours later, after watching a few of our favourite movies and having a few small drinks, I finished painting all the swatches at 3:30 AM.  I made a total of 151 cards.

 

 

 

I also played with a few design ideas for new projects.  I am using very bold, minimalist graphics for this set.

 

 

Napa Woodland Hike | Whims And Fancies

 

The holiday concluded with a long hike on Saturday, followed by a mountain trail hike for my birthday on Sunday.  I had to nurse the injured foot, but that was not going to thwart me.  I suffer from severe acrophobia.  Mountain hikes are great for facing my fear.  My camera provides the distraction and my husband is the best companion.  The trail was exceptionally quiet that day and we had an exhilarating woodland hike.

 

My pre-holiday ennui has now disappeared.  I have a number of plans for the future.  Taking that next step is always daunting, but I feel ready to face that fear.  I can’t wait to share with you these new ideas.

-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.

 

 

Wandering Camera – October Linky Party

Camera And Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

Welcome to the month of October’s Wandering Camera linky party.  This photography project has been a wonderful experience for me so far.  I can’t thank you enough for visiting, for your lovely comments and for sharing your photos.

I experimented a lot with my camera in September.  I took photos of subject matter that is new to me.  I also played a lot with light, specially with sunlight.  I like photographing into the sun to see what effect that has on my photos.

Here are my photos from the month of September –

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

1. Finally figured out the secret of growing basil

2. Box full of colours

3. Lighting up the evening

4. Flamenco dress

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

5. Venetian glass pens and ink from our Florence trip

6. Clock above the fireplace

7. Standing out

8. Couldn’t resist a paint named Venezia

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

9. Dreaming of hydrangeas in our garden

10. Intriguing shadow

11. Industrial

12. Coal and steel captured in glass tiles

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

13. Dryburgh Abbey in watercolour

14. Making a quilt for my orange furball

15. Orange Sparklers

16. Melody awaits

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

17.  Picturesque Napa by the river

18. Remedy for heatwave

19. Ephemeral

20. Joy of a finished quilt – Squares Plus

  

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

  

21. Banned Books Week

22. Dredging the riverbed

23. Damaged post office building after the M6 earthquake of 2014

24. Life is back to normal in Napa now, for both residents and tourists

  

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

25. Facade

26. Fabric flowers

27. The state of my brain mirrored on my desk – both are sorted now :)

28. Wild flowers in our garden

    

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

29. Forest bokeh

30. Mopped-up oil paint, the start of next month’s painting projects

 

Telephone Box Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Working on Wandering Camera and creating the Lego Harry Potter quilt patterns is hardly leaving me any time for other sewing projects.  I have a stack of printed patterns sitting on my desk, waiting to be stitched.  However, while I was going through some old photos, I came across a few travel photos from the past.  I had to sneak in a little bit of drawing time on the computer to create this pattern and share a little peek with you.  Hopefully I will be able to sew it soon.

 

As I was compiling the sets, I was thinking how looking at every photo always evokes certain memories for me.  Places, surroundings, sounds, activities, just to name a few.

Then I came across this video.  Photography is so much more than just learning techniques.  So instead of writing a tutorial today, I will leave you with this –

 

Update – Unfortunately the video has been removed from youtube.

  

How amazing is that!!  Lets keep those shutters clicking.  Now it’s your turn to share.  I can’t wait to see your photos!!

 

Badge to share on your post and website

Camera And Photography Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

You can add any number of links to your posts from the previous month. The posts should have photos in them, with a story or anecdote. Your project photos (quilting, sewing, painting, knitting, etc.) are most welcome. You can also write a new post to link up. Please do not link up posts that are older than the previous month, they will be removed.

Please make sure to include the badge or a text link back to this site on each post that you link up. You can also add the badge to your blog. I am happy either way as long as you link back :-)

Spread a little encouragement amongst each other.

Wandering Camera is a monthly event that will run on the first Thursday of every month. If you follow me via email, bloglovin or facebook, you will get a reminder.

Have fun!!


 
I am also linking up on Photo Friday, Life Thru The Lens, Through My Lens, Our World Tuesday and Friday Photo Journal along with with other linky parties on my Events And Links page.

 

Wandering Camera – September Linky Party

Camera And Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

Welcome to the September edition of the Wandering Camera linky party.  Thank you so much for visiting, for your lovely comments and for sharing your photos.  This photo linky party continues to inspire me to try new things every month.

After a busy couple of months, I had a nice relaxing August.  I love to work on different things and I finally had the opportunity to do so.  There was a bit of painting, gardening, cooking, baking and knitting, with long walks in between.  Those activities dictated a lot of the daily photos I took in August.  They resulted in a wonderful mix.

Here are my photos from the month of August, in chronological order –

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

1.  Fascinating patterns on the stem of a pumpkin

2. Grapes from a roadside vineyard

3. Leaves are already turning red around here

4. A TLR camera pencil sharpener

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies  

5. Moon and Jupiter

6. Beginning of a friendship or a just a truce?

7. A large number of hours spent on a Sunday poring over maps and notes

8. Fall leaf on asphalt

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

9.  Sweet red tomatoes in my favourite bowl

10. Sun-kissed

11. Amaryllis

12. Sun-drenched leaves

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

13. The spice shipment came!

14. My first knitted hat

15. I might be addicted to building Lego cranes of all sizes

16. Sunflower at the local school garden

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

17. My favourite paintbrushes and warm fall-colour pastels

18.  Canopy of trees

19.  Asymmetrical roof and a chimney puts me in a fairytale mindset

20. Collected leaves for future painting reference

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

21. Freshly-repotted succulents

22. Home-made bread always smells delicious

23. A set of Lego Harry Potter blocks

24. Found a tree in the park with a gigantic knot in it

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

25.  Getting acquainted

26.  An eye-catching entryway

27.  Cleaning my mud-stained boots

28.  Peek-a-boo

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

29.  My orange Begonia

30.  Sleepy Charlie

31.  Accenting the wrought iron

 

I am still in need of a break, so I will skip the tutorial today.   I will definitely have more next month.  Now it’s your turn to share your photo posts. I always look forward to seeing them.

 

Badge to share on your post and website

Camera And Photography Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

You can add any number of links to your posts from the previous month. The posts should have photos in them, with a story or anecdote. Your project photos (quilting, sewing, painting, knitting, etc.) are most welcome. You can also write a new post to link up. Please do not link up posts that are older than the previous month, they will be removed.

Please make sure to include the badge or a text link back to this site on each post that you link up. You can also add the badge to your blog. I am happy either way as long as you link back :-)

Spread a little encouragement amongst each other.

Wandering Camera is a monthly event that will run on the first Thursday of every month. If you follow me via email, bloglovin or facebook, you will get a reminder.

Have fun!!

 



I am also linking up on Photo Friday, Life Thru The Lens, Through My Lens, Our World Tuesday and Friday Photo Journal along with with other linky parties on my sidebar.

 

Wandering Camera – August Linky Party

Camera And Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

Welcome to the August edition of the Wandering Camera linky party.  Thank you so much for the lovely comments and for sharing your photos.  I love visiting your world through photography.

A little introduction for newcomers – This year I started taking one photo per day.  I also started hosting this photography linky party at the same time.  On the first Thursday of every month I share my monthly crop of photos here, along with a few photography tips and I invite you to link up your photo posts from the previous month.

July was insanely busy for me, with very long days and weekends.  Usually, my idea of relaxation is to play with a bit of photography, but I didn’t feel like doing much of that after those long days.  Last month was also exceedingly hot, so I didn’t feel much like driving out either.  Most of the photos of this month are therefore taken in close proximity of our house.  It made me look at simple and familiar things differently, which, of course, is the purpose of taking one photo per day.

I had also been wanting to fiddle with astrophotography a bit and I finally got most of my equipment properly set up for that.  In July I took my first set of photos of Mars and Saturn by connecting my camera to my telescope.

Here are my photos from the month of July in chronological order –

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

1. My first Mars photo

2.  Saturn the next night

3. Black Eyed Susans always make me stop and admire them

4. Every sunrise is different

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

5.  He is a very happy kitty when he sits on my desk like this

6. Last couple of plums still hanging on the tree

7.  Rising balloons.  Reminds me of my last month’s finish – Floating At Dawn

8.  A very ornate Victorian house

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

9.  House right across the street from our favourite cafe

10.  The Star Vega – I love the star flares on this photo

11. Morning at the park

12.  A Zinnia up close – another flower is starting to bloom within it

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

13.  Bookmarks and booklets made for the Christmas In July blog hop

14.  Field of gold

15. Basking in the morning sun

16. A beautiful doorway

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

17.  We pass a lot of these restored houses on our walks…

18.  and these blue flowers that are still blooming in the park

19.  Playing with the macro adapter – these thorns are extremely sharp

20.  One of many

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

21. Perfect peach

22. That power pole was his usual spot until the blackbirds chased him way.

23. A really beautiful and large window

24.  Jasmine

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

25. Backlit yellow thistle

26. My first two blocks for the Lego Harry Potter Quilt

27. We were running a bit late that morning.  These flowers only open up this much in full sunlight.

28. I had to run up the hill to capture these clouds before the sun peeked over the mountain.

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

29. Glowing grass pods

30.  I went back to this house to get another photo of the upper level

31. Some houses let local bands perform in front of their houses on Porchfest Day.  It was a cool and breezy Sunday.  We walked around a lot and stopped by several houses.  In the evening we went out for dinner and a movie.  It was a great way to end a month that had left me exhausted.

 

Since I am more than ready for a break, I wanted to share a couple of things with you before I disappeared for a while.

 

Lego Harry Potter Quilt Patterns | Whims And Fancies

Introductory post with information and dates

Many thanks to everyone who left a comment on the very first Lego Harry Potter Quilt Along post.  It really made my day.

Since quite a few people have written to me afterwards, I could not keep my resolve.  I will post the first two patterns one more time when I publish the next two.  This way, latecomers can catch up / join in.

 

Freespirit Fabrics | Whims And Fancies

 

As I was writing, the postman delivered a package containing these charm packs.  They came from my fellow Christmas In July blog hop participant Paige Alexander.  I usually shy away from leaving comments on giveaways, but I had to let her know how much I loved her project.  Imagine my surprise when I won!   Thank you so much, Paige!  Please pay her a visit at Quilted Blooms.

 

Let’s move on to talking some more about photography, specifically White Balance.

 

White Balance

You will notice that sometimes your photos have a noticeable blue, orange or yellow colour cast on them.   That is due to the surrounding light source, which causes white to not appear as true white.  The White Balance control removes that colour cast, so white appears truly white.

Digital cameras use AWB (auto white balance) to achieve this.  Most of the time it works very well, but sometimes you end up getting those colour casts anyway.  In those cases, you can remove the colour cast by setting the White Balance manually.

Almost all digital cameras come with a few White Balance presets for different light conditions.  They are daylight, shade, cloudy, tungsten, white flourescent and flash.  If you see your photos having a colour tinge, then either change the white balance to match the light source or continue to change it until you see the desired effect.  In most scenarios, the preset WB settings are more than enough.  You can also be a bit more adventurous and set a custom white balance.

So next time your photos have that unwanted colour cast on them, you know how to fix that!

 

Now it’s your turn to share your photo posts. I always look forward to seeing them.

 

Badge to share on your post and website

Camera And Photography Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

You can add any number of links to your posts from the previous month. The posts should have photos in them, with a story or anecdote. Your project photos (quilting, sewing, painting, knitting, etc.) are most welcome. You can also write a new post to link up. Please do not link up posts that are older than the previous month, they will be removed.

Please make sure to include the badge or a text link back to this site on each post that you link up. You can also add the badge to your blog. I am happy either way as long as you link back :-)

Spread a little encouragement amongst each other.

Wandering Camera is a monthly event that will run on the first Thursday of every month.  If you follow me via email, bloglovin or facebook, you will get a reminder.

Have fun!!

 


 

I am also linking up on Photo Friday, Life Thru The Lens, Through My Lens, Our World Tuesday and Friday Photo Journal along with with other linky parties on my sidebar.