Friday, 12 September 2014

A Personal Photo Challenge: Movement

This month's Photo Challenge is all about controlling shutter speed to capture a sense of movement in a photo.  This is all very new and very intriguing to me, so after pouring over Donna's suggested reading I found my camera's Shutter Priority setting and took my favorite moving target to the beach. 

Experiment #1:  Freeze Motion.  
She's just learned to jump and was more than willing to practice in front of the camera.  Here she is in mid-air.  It was a bright day and the picture is overexposed, but the alternative would have been to adjust the exposure compensation and lose that lovely smile to the shadows.  I've been contending with that little conundrum all summer and seeing faces always seems to win.  

Shutter: 1/640  Aperture: 4.5  ISO: 100

Experiment #2:  Blurred Motion.  
It takes 20 minutes walking along a forest trail to access this particular beach.  It's a beautiful walk and a lovely beach -- well worth the effort -- but a certain amount of prioritizing is necessary.  On this day, towels, snacks, bucket and shovel won out over the tripod.  I took this picture by steadying the camera atop a backpack frame.  The objective here was to use a slower shutter speed to blur the waves a little to create a softer image.  I included a bit of bare sand in the foreground for contrast.  When I compare this shot to others taken at the same time at faster shutter speeds, I'm not sure it made much of a difference.  I'm sure a tripod would have helped.  It was also a very still day.  Maybe the effect would work better with more wave action.

Shutter: 1/60  Aperture: 16  ISO: 100

Experiment #3:  Panning.  
Minimal success here too.  I think lack of practice is the main issue and I know what to do about that.  Looking at this picture, I also wonder if the background is too simple -- too horizontal -- to blur properly.  Thoughts, anyone?  At very least, I had a good time directing Little Miss's energies.  Though this picture doesn't look how I hoped it would (with a blurred background streaking past a crisp little girl) it certainly gives a sense of motion.  She's running like the wind.

Shutter: 1/80  Aperture: 16  ISO: 100

finally, A Word of Explanation
This is my first post in quite a while.  I stepped back in an effort to do one thing well rather than many things half way.  It's working too.  My Etsy shop is thriving.  But I miss a few things about this blog, so I'm back in a sort-of-kind-of way.  I'll post when I feel like it and you might see a little more about my shop.  At very least, I'll do this Photo Challenge because I enjoy it so much.

Joining, for the first time in a while, Donna's Personal Photo Challenge.  

Thursday, 11 September 2014

New for Fall

I love fall -- the tempering of summer's heat, the lingering sun, the turning inward -- but I have to admit that fall colours are not my favorites.  Too much orange and brown for my liking.  That's why I've let my inspiration for this latest line of table linens come from the golden yellow light that streams in my windows this time of year.

Introducing the Yellow Lattice Table Runner and Place Mats.  Both are now available at the Dapple Design Shop.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Pink Icing

We had a birthday party this weekend.  There were grilled chicken and salads aplenty.  Sunshine.  Grandparents and cousins.  Bubbles.  Presents.  Cupcakes with swirls of pillow-y pink icing.

Here is Little Miss Pink Icing herself.  She was all excitement and smiles and running commentary.  She dazzled.

It's been said by millions of mothers before me, but it's true:  I don't know where the time has gone.  I can't believe how fast she grows.  She is light and joy.  I love her so much.

Do you like her birthday crown?  If was a gift from Nana, who is busy making a pattern.  It's not ready yet, but keep an eye out for it here and here.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Finding Joy

It's all the little things that are bringing me joy these days.  All the seasonal treats, the pleasures of early summer. 

A bowl of itty bitty, sunny sweet strawberries -- still among the first from our patch.

Leisurely strolls with my favorite people.

Arugula pesto and goat cheese for breakfast, lunch and snack.

Watching some things fade so something else can take their place.

Something like a new colour of Columbine from the farmer's market.

Quiet evenings with pretty yarn and new ideas.

Puttering in my Etsy shop and adding these pretty crochet baskets to the line up.

What's bringing you joy these days?

Thursday, 29 May 2014

There Are Seeds And They Are Trying

Water is wonderful thing.  It sparkles and shines.  It feels cool and fresh.  It pours and splashes in endless ways.

It won't come as a surprise, then, that watering the new grass has become a highlight of Miss S's day.  She practically dances around me to wet her hands (or more) in the glittering spray from the hose.  It's marvelous fun for her, but I have to confess that there are few aspects of this twice daily routine that I could pass on.

For starters, I have to strip her down to her birthday suit at the font door and find dry clothes twice a day.  The bigger challenge, however, is keeping that excited little girl off the new grass.

We have a lovely story book out from the library this week that sums the situation up beautifully.

. . . or maybe it was the bears and all that stomping, because bears can't read signs that say things like "please do not stomp here -- there are seeds and they are trying."
Bears.   Toddlers.  Neither can read signs.

We're still waiting and watering.  Looking for those first green shoots.

. . . and the brown, still brown, has a greenish hum that you can only hear if you put your ear to the ground and close your eyes

That book, in case you're wondering is called And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead.

Monday, 26 May 2014


We've been doing a little landscaping this spring -- a little re-landscaping actually.  It's not the kind of project that thrills gardeners, but believe me, it's necessary.  We're turning garden beds into grass.  Just a few.  It  has something to do with a little girl who likes to run in the grass and her mother who would rather join in than pull weeds.  Priorities shift.

Deciding which garden to plow under took a little thought.  I found myself wandering around the yard, noticing my emotional responses to the different plantings.  The veggie beds fill me with pride.  The raspberry canes made my mouth water.  The hostas on the shady side of the patio have grown to the sound of ice clinking in iced tea glasses and the chatter of many gatherings.

I stopped at the peonies.  The peonies that bloom deep and dark and lighten to pink.  The peonies that survived an ill-timed dividing off from my mother-in-law's plant and several ill-timed moves around the garden.  They're flourishing now, in the part shade of the apple tree, reminding me every spring of a baby shower two years ago.

The hostesses went to great trouble over that one.  Food.  Decorations.  It was lovely.  But I don't remember much.  I walked in, an overwhelmed four-day-mother, and the room was filled with peonies.

Memory is a funny thing.  Has anything triggered yours lately?

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


Warm weather has arrived sooner than expected.  I'm not sure if that has more to do with an early summer or conservative expectations.  Either way, I can feel the tingle of the sun all the way down to my toes.  Happy days.  

Busy days too -- in the very best ways.  Being outside is a pleasure when the sun is warm and the wind cool.  So are long walks to distant playgrounds and lunches on the grass.  Somehow the essential work is getting done.  Laundry.  Supper.  But I try not to fuss too much.

Just for a moment, I'm living in the moment, wondering which is growing faster, my garden or my daughter.  Both are pure joy to watch.