TannieSpace

geekery, drawing and then some

2009 (old posts, page 4)

Cameras and such.

My mom commented recently about how many digital cameras I have. I have my trusty Canon Powershot A620, an older Canon Ixus 400 and a Minolta Dimage 5, plus ofcourse the Sony Ericsson K810i phone and my iPhone. She didn’t notice The Other Cameras, all analogue. I have two Lomo LCA’s (one old, it says ‘USSR’ and a newer one) with a macro, tunnelvision and fisheye lens and a colour-flash, a transparent actionsampler, a pop9, an orange supersampler, a Polaroid 600 and a Polaroid i-zone. I may still have forgotten some (my Kodak Brownie comes to mind). One might say I have too many cameras, and I cannot disagree there.

I loved and love making photos, of ordinary stuff, of strange things, of my dog. I’ll make functional photos (of my garden) but I have a thing for the randomness of just shooting (the Lomo-philosophy, basically). Buying film and having it developed and cross-processed and all costs a lot of money (not to mention the nasty chemicals). As my main camera I’ve used a digital one since around 2002 (had one before, but didn’t mainly use it), which has that ‘instant’ effect that I love. I’ve also absolutely loved my phone’s camera, despite its lack in quality, or perhaps because of that. On my trip through Europe, years ago, I snapped a bunch of photos with my phone-camera and send them as a collage on a postcard.

Yesterday I browsed around and looked for a few iPhone-apps that would satisfy my ‘funky’ need. I had already downloaded and used QuadCamera which reminded me of my old actionsampler (and the supersampler). I also found CameraBag to add some effects to photos (some vignetting, adjustment in colour etc) as well as CameraKit. And ofcourse several Polaraid Apps of which I currently like ShakeItPhoto the most. The part of me that enjoyed my analogue cameras so much has awoken and bounces up and down, left and right, off the walls. I wonder how much sleep I’ll get tonight…


Hats.

My hat arrived. I have no idea when my love for hats started, somewhere before my teen-years for sure. I never did really wear them, my head was usually too round to fit them properly. I wore baseball caps, and that was about it. For a very long time I wanted a black top-hat, almost like a magician’s but a bit shorter. Too long seemed a bit impractical. For years I’d browse hat-stores every once in a while, and when I got internet I googled them. Up until this week I never found (perhaps I lacked the google-foo) the hat that I wanted. Either they were too high, or too expensive. I wouldn’t dare to go out on the street with an expensive hat, so it had to cost a fair amount, not a ridiculous amount.

And this week, I found it. The perfect hat. With a feather. It arrived today and it is awesome. So very awesome. I never want to take it of again.


Gauntlets, or whatever you want to call them.

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Annoyed with my too long trousers (happens often, I have short legs) I whipped out my trusty sewing-machine and fixed that problem in two minutes. Fold, sew, cut excess fabric, didn’t bother with anything fancy (though it doesn’t look very bad). I aim for a virtual no-viewing policy in that area, not sure if that’ll work out, but we’ll see. Don’t know why anyone would go stare at my hems anyway.

So, while I had the machine out, I decided to make some arm-warmers / gauntlets / watchacallems to wear with my t-shirts. I simply took a bit of fabric in the desired length, measured the width of my hand (ex thumb), took the width twice and cut it out. Then I hemmed all sides to make it easier to handle, and after that folded it, sewing the long sides together with an opening for my thumb. Looking online I found an easy tutorial explaining almost exactly what I did (differences don’t really matter anyway).

For fun, I also made myself a little reflector-wristband with push-buttons. Considering stitching something on it…

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Doing some DIY in the kitchen.

img img For a long time some (most) of my kitchencabinets have annoyed me. I cannot imagine why today, kitchen-makers still default to shelves for the bottom cabinets. Shelves below the waist, so if you want to get something out, you have to kneel down, and dive in. With my knees, often plagued by pains and swelling because of the RA, this quickly became such a painful event that I rather left everything on the counters than store it in the cabinet. Not precisely the most handy thing to do.

But no more! Today we fixed my two main cabinets with drawers. I could have replaced the front bit as well, having ‘real’ drawer-fronts, but I chose to use the old door instead, saving a bit of money along the way. The installation went smoothly and using the doors worked as expected. So now I have fancy drawers, instead of messy shelves. I still have to put all the stuff back, and probably move around a few things for easy access, however, I already feel thrilled about it. The access has become much easier, I don’t have to lean over or around the door anymore and I don’t have to sit on my knees either.

This will make it so much easier for me to access things. I still have to do the bit by the kitchen-sink (those yellow things), the cabinets there need replacing and I will replace them with similar ones as these. I already found a kitchen-sink-cabinet with a drawer and have eliminated enough stuff from under the kitchen-sink (only frequently used cleaning-supplies, the infrequent used supplies have their place in the hallway-closet) to have a pretty good idea that a drawer will also work. I think they come with one, at the bottom, but possibly also with another (half) one halfway. Either will work great!

Have already started saving for it, it’ll take more time and money to get that bit done, but after that, I’ll have redone the entire kitchen :)


Easy peasy beans.

I’ve grown a few bean-plants on my balcony (more than a few actually) and have looked for the best way to get them to germinate. In the beginning I tried sticking them in the ground and just keeping the ground wet, and though that did work for some beans, it also failed plenty of times.

Lots of times my beans got eaten by the larvae of the bean-fly (oh how I hate them!). I went looking for a better way and found something that works very well. This will probably work for other seeds too, and will give you a good idea about the germination rate of your seeds (if you have old seeds you sometimes want to check). I’ve had no problem transplanting the resulting sprouts, just keep in mind you will have to transplant them at some point. Not all sprouts like that.

Kids will usually love this too. Use beans though, they sprout fast :)

You will need: - a ziploc bag (or another type of firm plastic bag) - some toiletpaper or paper towels - something to spray water with - beans! Put beans on paper. Take the toiletpaper and put down several layers. Place a few beans on the paper. Spray thoroughly with water until the paper becomes moist with water, but does not drip.

beans, germination in a ziploc bag. Fold the paper, with the beans in the fold. It helps to not line up the edges so you can check later on. Keep the bag open (very important) and place it in a dark warm place. Most people prefer the top of their fridge, I used a kitchen-cabinet with pipes behind it.

Nothing happens the first day.... After the first day you may or may not see little roots coming from the bean. Check daily if you prefer, or every other day, to make sure the paper stays moist and to check for beans that rot (it sometimes happens, especially with older beans, they smell bad so it’s best to remove the asap).

5 days later... A few days later, however, the beans have sprouted!

Carefully take them out. Take it out of the bag, carefully. Make sure not to break any roots.

Not all will have sprouted.. You’ll see here that not all beans sprouted. Two of them rotted (I felt very sad), but the others shot up! The ones on the right I deemed plant-worthy and planted them outside. I took the risk with the two on the left as well, but left the other two (barely rooting) in the bag for a while. If the roots have gone through the paper, don’t worry! Just rip the paper and plant it with the bean-sprout. It’ll dissolve quickly enough.

Some beans take longer than others, perfectly normal. However, if after a week to ten days you see no action at all, and the beans have gone mushy, they failed. They’ll smell bad too.


Sister’s dog and his unfortunate accident.

DenzelDenzel is a couple of months old now. I took this (terrible) photo a few weeks ago at sister’s birthday party. Somewhat over a week ago sister, her boyfriend and their two dogs went out with the dogs to play. They found a spot where another guy and his dog were playing (throwing a stick, bring it back). The dogs happily played together and the guy happily threw the stick. At some point he swings his arm back, ready to throw the stick and just as he swings it low, Denzel jumps in front of him and gets the stick full in his face, knocking him out. Sister cried, guy cried, emergency visit to vet. Denzel had blood coming out of his nose, his jaw swelled up and his eye got ‘bloody’ as well. Pretty bad all in all (combined with going KO). The vet thoroughly checked him out (and gave him medication) and sister had to wake up the dog every hour that night. He had a pretty bad concussion, and swelling / bruising, but should make a full recovery.

The good part about this story, apart from his recovery (it still happened recently, but I expect the worst has passed and hopefully he won’t have any permanent damage): the guy paid for the veterinarian costs and kept in touch about Denzel’s health. Last I heard they were going to visit him (or he would come around) to make sure the dog indeed got a bit better.

Can only imagine what that guy felt like, and certainly can relate to sister (a little bit, Nano has had minor incidents so far knock on wood). It shows some people still take their responsibility and don’t hide behind ‘but it was an accident!’. So, bravo, anonymous-guy!


So many tomatoes!

Harvest :-) Yesterday I harvested 241 grams of cherry-tomatoes. This brings the total for this one plant to roughly 450 grams. And this is just one plant. Very pleased with how much it produces. I left a few orange ones on yesterday, but from the looks of it, I could probably harvest those today too.

These cherry-tomatoes taste so much better than the kind I buy in the store.


Salad.

Salad After harvesting a bunch of tomatoes and basil I made a tasty salad with mozzarella cheese and some mild peppers (from a jar, yes). It tasted great!

As a dressing I used a simple balsamic vinegar / olive oil mix.


New addition to the garden.

Apple or pear tree. The latest addition to my balcony-garden is a pear-or-apple-tree. We don’t know yet. It might take a year or two before we do. I placed it next to the bay-tree, I’m sure they’ll get along.

I will document this tree as much as possible, who knows what it’ll do!

The plants in general grow really well. I can harvest roughly one salad per week, very nice :)


The plants, they grow.

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[gallery link=”file”] I got a pretty good harvest today, thanks to the sweet pepper-plant I bought. I harvested two of those small peppers, one small cucumber and three little tomatoes (I grow mostly small varieties because the plants usually also stay smaller). What started out as a way to keep the sun out in the summer has turned into this contest with myself, seeing how much of my own food I can grow on my own balcony. No need to blame the recession here, I enjoy doing this ;) I have watched tons of movies on Youtube and read websites about growing your own food and the more I watch the more I realise I could still grow more!

I have this feeling people start to look at me oddly, as if I’ve gone crazy… I haven’t, really ;)


Gardening.

Bee on my flower. My balcony garden seems to do well. The weather goes from sunny to cloudy to sunny again, and I have watered when needed. My seedlings seem to grow very well, I blame this on the southern location of my balcony.

My drawing-rhythm seems disturbed so I use my garden as my creative outlet. Seems to work out well. I keep a gardening journal at MyFolia which helps me track the progress of my plants.

Still very tired and barely have the energy to do the stuff I need to do, not to mention the stuff I want to do (the gardening seems my max now). Going to the doctor again on Tuesday, for recurring eye-issues. I wonder when my body will stabilise… (dear body, it’s about time. Really!)


Playing with photos.

A collection photos of my balconyThis past week I’ve mostly played around with my digital photos (I have so many…).

I bought the bundle at the MUPromo and it came with Posterino. Playing with it for a while I managed to create some cool collages of photos (from my balcony) and combining it with a template I made in Pixelmator I created a little card with a polaroid-effect. I may have overworked myself a little cause I went a little nuts with scanning paper for the effect and the colours and such. But at least I enjoyed it :)


Balcony finished (basically)

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[gallery columns=”5”]Today I installed the last bits of my balcony. I got some more small green pots and planted rosemary, a bay tree (more like a bush), two new types of oregano (makes three in total) and I planted the beans and peas. Also planted the courgettes, and put the rest in pots to give away. My left lower box hasn’t got anything in it yet, and I plan to sow some lettuce, spring onion and beetroot in it. The lower right one has lamb’s lettuce and scallions. I have some basil seeds left (and mint, coriander, parsley and then some) which I plan to sow by the tomatoes, I hear that works out well. This morning I harvested my first mini-cucumber and ate it on a cheese-sandwich, tasted excellent. Looking forward to more of that :D