Friday 26 May 2023

The Sewing Lair

Yesterday I was in Beenleigh when I stumbled across this glorious creation – an Op Shop of Fabric and Craft items! The stuff of dreams! Inside were all the items I trawl op-shops for – already sorted and neatly arranged.

There were some tantalising items in the window – namely a peachy stretch velvet – I definitely wanted that. On entering, I headed straight to that,  then explored the other neatly folded fabrics on the shelves before moving onto the pieces displayed on hangers.

I then explored the next room, which had yarns and patterns, tapestries, embroidery hoops, and drawers of embellishments.

Next to that is hallway of shelves filled with fill-a-bag fabric pieces, patterns, magazines and books. This leads down towards the workroom, where volunteers were busy making products from donations to return to charities. Here I was warmly welcomed by the charity founder Cass, who explained the whole place to me, and took me on a tour.

To better understand what it’s about, visit the page Sewing for Charity.  For information on the shop and all their activities visit the The Sewing Lair – they’ve also got on-line shopping available! Back in the main shop area again, I went around a few more times, as there is just so much to see, as well as neatly organised drawers to open and look through.

That’s my shopping basket on the floor – it will come as no surprise to learn that I left with a bag full of goodies. The stretch velvet, nearly 7 metres of beautiful purple dupion silk, some funky yarns, and an embroidery hoop - the good old fashioned kind.

And just because it's neat and organised, sorted out and well presented, items do not have the inflated prices we are starting to see more and more at op-shops - everything was very reasonably priced. It's truly a wonderland - you just never know what you might find there.

Sunday 14 May 2023

Photography Practice

This holiday on the Sunshine Coast has been a great opportunity to practice using my camera in readiness for my residency at Police Point next month. My recent basic course showed me how to navigate my camera's settings better - I still don't really know what I'm doing, but at least I know what things to play with. One of the first things I discovered was that I would need a backup battery, as after a couple of hours it had run out. My Camera is a Canon G7X for those who might be interested.

One of the settings I am really liking is the 'miniature' one, which has vivid tones, and blurs the top and bottom of the image - see the different effect below.

Another one is the 'watercolour' setting, just for a bit of fun.
One of my favourite setups though is the AV setting, which is the aperture priority setting, allowing you to change the depth of field so you can have the subject in focus and the background blurred. It's a bit more complicated than that though, so there's a lot more practice to be done. Getting the light balance can be a bit tricky, and although I have a digital screen to see what's happening, the key word there is see, which is not always easy, depending on the light glare and the cleanliness of my glasses.

Then of course there's good old zoom, which I was never using properly - I had no idea how far back from the subject that I had to be, or that my screen was giving me handy hits like suggesting the distance, and letting me know when it was in focus. 

If I get it all right, the image can be high quality enough to withstand a zoom and crop into the details.

Speaking of the screen - I had forgotten that it flips out, which is great when you are working on the ground but don't want to get down there.

I think the absolute highlight though was seeing and capturing these tiny rockpool inhabitants called sea hares. A woman on the rocks had told me about them just the day before, and as I was sitting beside a rockpool, I started to notice how many things were actually moving, and then I saw these - they're so cute!

These were my captures from my final photography walk this morning along the Golden Beach shore and mangrove area. 

It's been a really worthwhile process as far as maximising my ability to make the most of my residency opportunity. Australia Council, if you're there, and considering my grant application for this project - please see that I have done as I said I would, and invested in furthering my skills in photography. Your turn!