Tag Archive | camera

Sew What?

I have not blogged in almost two months, a record for me.  I also haven’t taken any “serious” photographs in at least that long.  For awhile I thought I’d lost “it”, that inspiration that has been sending me out all over several counties to find interesting things to photograph and share.  While I’ve since discovered I still  have “it”, I’ve realized that “it” isn’t on my top list of priorities anymore.  And there just isn’t THAT MUCH around where I live that’s interesting to photograph, or that hasn’t already been done over and over by someone else in the area.  How many times can you take a shot of a waterfall, or water, or a lake or a pond?  And while there are many seasonal things going on locally to photograph, I think I did them all last year.  And I haven’t even gotten to the part where my camera has been taking some pretty awful shots for the past few months.  And, no, it’s not the photographer!

So, putting the camera on the shelf for awhile, I’ve gone back to my sewing room as my creativity outlet for awhile.  Quilting gives me more long-lasting satisfaction anyways, so I’m happy to be back after a month’s absence.  I was working on my “Pure Decadence” quilt, and actually have it all sandwiched and ready to start quilting it, but Christmas interrupted my intentions.  I needed our immense diningroom table that I had been using to sandwich the quilt for Christmas present wrapping.  So the quilt got put on a back burner until after the holidays.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For awhile I was making fabric Christmas gift bags, sew easy!  I found a pattern online and I just loved it.  Not only can you make them for Christmas, but also any other occasion you can imagine for which you might need a gift bag.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And I remembered I had a small quilt project started!  It was one where I had found this beautiful fabric while looking for something else, and I decided I really wanted to work with it to make something special.  At the time, I didn’t know what that “special” thing was going to be, as I was completely uninspired.  But having been working on this simple little Nine-Patch quilt top for a month or so now, I have finally decided who is going to get it and that it is going to be a Spring 2014 surprise for someone special.

Spring Surprise 2014

Spring Surprise 2014


Meantime, I have been cuddling up with my pink quilt very often lately, especially while watching t.v. in the family room.  I’ve been thinking that, although I create a lot of “theme” quilts etc., I’ve never really made a “seasonal” quilt.  And I want to make something “Christmassy” for winter cuddling during the holidays.  There has been a particular Christmas quilt in my “Keepsake Quilting” catalog that I have been wishing for for about 2-3 years now.  I’ve never purchased a “kit” before, but I really, really want to give this a try.  So, I may splurge and get this for myself after Christmas.

Christmas quilt kit from "Keepsake Quilting"

Christmas quilt kit from “Keepsake Quilting”

The hardest part will be keeping it for myself.  I always want to keep giving my creations away!  I can think of several special people that would enjoy this quilt as a 2014 Christmas gift!  However, at this time next year, I will be soundly sleeping through several afternoon  t.v. shows in my family room cuddled up with this finished quilt!   Until then, I will continue to work diligently on my “Spring Surprise” quilt and will keep you posted.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a looksee.  Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt


Beginner Photography ~

I like taking pictures.  I’m extremely novice at it, as anyone can see, but I enjoy it just the same.  I don’t do a lot of that touch-up stuff, although I might crop or increase the vibrance of a photo on occasion.  That’s about it.  I don’t have a professional type camera with all of the bells and whistles, but I like what I have.  In the past, I’ve been disappointed with lots of photos that I’ve taken, and wished for a “better” camera, like a Nikon or a Canon.  But usually I find out the issue isn’t the camera, but the photographer’s lack of knowledge and experience in getting the camera to do what I’d like it to do.

While I’ve been on vacation this week and doing nothing but hanging around the house, I’ve taken snippets of spare time and gone walkabout looking for photo ops.  Here are some of the things I’ve seen:

I hope you enjoy my little corner of New York State, and I hope you come back soon!  Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt


Macro Monday ~

Sometimes I like to just mess with the settings on my camera, getting to know them, and attempting to explore all the different things I can do with my little Finepix S700.  This past weekend I tried some macro (up close) shots, as well as a variety of other things.  I particularly like macro when photographing flowers.  My cat?  Not so much!

(click on each photo for a slide show or to enlarge)

If you’re familiar with me at all, you’ll know that our little piece of the world, our almost three acres of God’s goregous earth, is lackluster in nutrients to support plant growth.  It used to be a farm field, used for corn and Lord knows what else.  When we purchased it, we did not realize that all of the nutrients necessary to support things like GRASS in the front yard, trees, perennials and such are no longer there.  It has been a 9-year struggle to get anything pretty to grow, even after we’ve tried various avenues such as weeders, feeders, etc.  It’s not feasibly affordable to keep Miracle Grow-ing our acreage.  Anyway, I digress!  So each Spring, it’s with hope and excitement that I wait to see what, if anything, will “return” and … flourish?  My trees are most precious:  my King Crimson maple that my children got me, my pin oak trees that appear to be truly established and out of the danger zone, and (of course) my newly-planted red oak tree ~ my Kirkwood ~ planted last summer.  We also have flowering trees, shrubs etc. that, after 7-8-9 years are still struggling to flower, let alone flourish.  And I haven’t even mentioned our “grassy front yard” that I mow every weekend through Spring and less often into Summer.  All I can say is that it’s “green” ~ but not due to grass, but a variety of weeds.  It actually looks nice from the road, but when I’m mowing it, I get depressed at the hideousness of the weeds.  What I would’t give to till up the whole “front 40” and plant grass seed and actually have grass GROW!  But, I digress yet again in my rant.  My whole reason for posting was for you to enjoy some macro shots I took.  I should be thrilled that we even OWN a piece of God’s creativity!  And I am!

Until next time, God bless and TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

Cee’s Challenge: Reflections ~

Cee’s weekly Fun Foto Challenge for this week is “reflections”.  At first, I thought this would be a tough one, but then I noticed all the rain we had today while Al and I were out and about, and I saw reflections everywhere in the puddles around me.

Car tires reflect in a pavement puddle.

Car tires reflect in a pavement puddle.

 Well, this was my first attempt to photograph a reflection through a glass door from one room into another.  I know, I know… I have a lot to learn!  I’ll get there!

Christmas tree reflected in the glass door.

Christmas tree reflected in the glass door.

Both my husband (who was helping me find shots) took the same photo of this ornament, but his came out better ~ mine was blurry, so he said I could use his.  You can see the reflection of his hand with the camera in the ornament very clearly. 

Reflections on an ornament

Reflections on an ornament

This last photo I took purely for Cee’s enjoyment and reflection.  See, my husband and I visited the Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY, today for their “Festival of Trees” exhibition.  There are some 50+ Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands and other Christmas-themed items decorating the upstairs and downstairs of the museum.  They are created/decorated and donated by the public and/or local businesses, and are offered for sale to any buyer and the funds donated to the museum.  Well Cee, this particular BRIGHT GREEN tree caught my eye right away.  Upon closer inspection, I saw that it was a special Christmas tree created by Martha Conan dedicated to Lyme Disease Awareness!  I had seen tidbits about Cee and her “link” to Lyme disease, so this evening as I was putting this post together, I stopped and took the time to read up on her blog and her story about living with Lyme disease.  It truly touched my heart and I knew I needed to post this beautiful Christmas tree and dedicate it to her. 

Christmas tree dedicated to Lyme Disease Awareness!

Christmas tree dedicated to Lyme Disease Awareness!

This one’s for you, Cee!  May you have a blessed, Merry Christmas, full of joy with Chris and your family of pugs and tabbies!

Exploring Photography ~

Okay, I’m totally new to photography… at least, putting my photos “out there” for others to admire and/or criticize.  But since I found that I can incorporate my three favorite things ~ quilting, blogging and photography ~ I’m having quite a bit of fun with it.  I don’t have a professional camera, but my Finepix S700 Fuijifilm digital that my husband bought me for Christmas two years ago, does me fine.  I’m just now reading the instructions on advanced photography in the manual.  I never really took an interest before… just “point and shoot” was my motto.

Then I got into this blogging on WordPress.  I’m still working on fine-tuning the insertion of photos and stuff.  Maybe I need to upgrade to the paid version if I’m going to be doing this for awhile.  And someone told me there’s a “WordPress for Dummy’s” out there.  I should’ve expected that.

My “over processed” grey tabby cat, “Doug”. He tolerates me being this close for a photograph … um … never.

I use Ipiccy.com for my touch-ups.  Photoshop is just too complicated and timely for my amateur needs.  Ipiccy takes over where Picnik used to be.  It’s pretty simple, free and can do many enhancements that will make your photos look more professional than they otherwise would.  I am particularly a fan of “vignette”.

Sumi, my Siamese, is not impressed with my wanting to take her photo.

 I took the above photo of my 13 year old Siamese cat, Sumi, then messed with it in iPiccy to make it look like a cross-stitch project.  Sumi has her usual “leave me alone” non-chalant look on her face as she sits on the back of “her chair”.  Again, I used the vignette on her.  I don’t know what it is about that option, maybe just the way it “frames” the photo, but I really like it.  I’m learning about the “Rule of Thirds” ( http://viewsinfinitum.com/2010/02/19/power-of-three/) from Scott Thomas’ Views Infinitum blog, and have been actively trying to incorporate that into my photos.  I admit I’m having a hard time.  I did try the “Rule of Thirds” in my photo of the black horse above… did I hit or  miss?  My camera, I discovered, even has a grid that I can use for just this purpose.  Isn’t modern photography amazing?

I took this during a walk through our woods back before the snow started to fly and the temps were warmer.

I’ve been perusing several other blogs that seem to specialize in photography, and they all are fascinating.  Many with exceptional photos that leave me wondering “How do they DO that?” !  It is these photo-blogs that inspire and encourage me.  I get ideas, I get instruction (“Rule of Thirds”) and I am encouraged to put things out there even though I am not a professional, or even an amateur… but barely a beginner, and loving it!  I’m only in it for “the share” and enjoyment, not the competition.  So I hope you enjoy my little contributions to the great, wide expanse of the photography world.