Instagram Catch-Up! Gettin’ Snappy Wit’ It

Gentle reader,

So, I have a whole bunch of stuff to share with you over the next week or two. One of those things will be my Bendigo haul which a few people have tried to hurry me up on. Tomorrow I will snap them! I promise! In the meantime, I hope an Instagram Catch-Up will tide y’all over.

So, one of the things I’ve always been a bit self-conscious about with my blogging is the pictures. I look at my fave blogs and their pictures are so great and fancy. But, the thing I’ve learned is not to let these things get you down or to start being all bummed out, but to be inspired and use these things as motivation. And I mean, once you stop learning you may as well be dead, right? Well! I decided I was going to just take pictures as often as I could. Since my proper camera and I aren’t on speaking terms at the moment, it’s been mostly me and my iPhone.

I’ve tried out different apps, I’ve tried to snap things from different angles, but most of all, I’ve tried to keep my eyes open. I mean, I’m sure some bloggers go looking for amazing things to snap, but I think most of them just look at everyday stuff with a different perspective. That’s what I used to do when I used to write all the time, and costume shows, and keep a journal, so I says to myself: Raynor, I says, just open your eyes and see what speaks to you. So I did!

I decided to start with my journey to work. It wasn’t too hard on this particular day. It was super cray-to-the-azy foggy on this morning when I left my house. By the time I got to work, the fog had shifted, and it became really crisp and bright and cool. When I put these pics together, it reminded me of The Wizard of Oz going from black and white to color. I thought it was kinda fitting – going from my dreary suburb to the beautiful public parks I work across the street from.

Then I decided I should try taking some pics of myself. I mean, it’s kind of a bloggy/Instagrammy thing, isn’t it? Well, I don’t particularly love taking pics of myself. I’m not emotional about it either. But, I thought, why not, and if anything perhaps taking snaps of myself might make me be less of a scruff-bag and put some effort into my appearance. ^_~ Well, I had mixed results. The bottom right one came out super nice in terms of colors and everything, but I don’t even know what’s going on with my face. I SWEAR I thought was smiling somewhat naturally at the time, but clearly I was mistaken because that’s a veritable case of stinkeye right thurrr. Don’t even ask me to explain why. I can’t.

The pic above it was taken by The Beard when we were out for dinner. I think not having to take the pic myself and the prospect of stuffing my snackhole with pancakes and maple syrupy bacon banished any possibility of unintentional stinkeye.

Lastly, I am completely mystified how people manage to take halfway decent pics of themselves in mirrors. It’s the single most awkward thing I’ve experienced in recent memory with the exception of just day-to-day socializing. Look, I understand that being a hottie with a naughty body would make the process a LOT easier than being the human personification of Fizzgig from The Dark Crystal. But even that aside, holding the camera in a way that it isn’t too in the way and still being able to press the button? BLERG THAT’S HARD! I did the best I could, and in the end I had to run it through a bunch of filters before I was even remotely happy with it. Ignore the photo in general, and just take note of the green overalls please and thank you. I ❤ them like whoah.

Now, this diverges a bit from my photographic journey of improvement. But here’s the thing. I used to write all the time. I mean ALL the time. If I didn’t have pen and paper handy, I’d start to feel like I was losing grip on sanity. But, after I quit theater and started working full time, it slowly died off. And I MISSED it, y’all! A whole lot! But, for me, it’s not the sort of thing I can force. It kinda has to tell me when shizz is going down. And then, this last week, it was like “Oi! Raynie! I’m ready! Get yo’ pencil, fool!” and this came out. I almost didn’t share it, because it’d been a while and I’m not as confident in my writing as I was back then, but I figured, what’s the point of writing something down if no-one’s going to read it? So I did share it, and peeps liked it, and so I’m sharing it again. And I hope YOU like it too! If not that’s cool too because words are a subjective thing and it just may not be your jam. I still heart your face!

Today, I met up with the incomparable Kate to run some errands and go shopping. Also, she had a parcel for me but that’s another story! We went to some pretty cool places. Now, Collins Street in Melbourne has some pretty shi-shi shops, and the first one we went into one that had the most amazing plaster moldings, cray chandeliers and a massive glass ceiling (top pics). I’m usually a pretty happy chappy to go shopping with lady friends and being a bag-holding, advice-offering accomplice, but I had to duck out of the shop and get some snaps. I must have looked mad. Later, we went to a shoe store that had these fat, smooshy looking flowers in glass bottles hanging from ropes. I thought it was super neat, but don’t ask me what it has to do with shoes. I was sold. Later, one of the arcades we were in had the open area above the food court full of floating umbrellas (the first pic in the post). It took my breath away, but I’m sure I didn’t do it justice,; it was so surreal and awesome. And such a simple idea. Oy! My skin prickled!

Probably one the biggest lessons I’ve learned since my personal challenge to improve my photography (yeah, yeah, sure, it’s just my iPhone), is that Melbourne’s beautiful, manic, changeable weather means that snapping the sky is almost always a good idea. Maybe that’s just me – I’ve always been obsessed with taking pics of clouds – but a few times I was like “Did I take that!? Gold star, Raynie!” A few of these I took through the train window, and I kind of like the imperfections you get from the reflections in the glass.

I’m gonna keep being a snap happy little odd person. I’m really enjoying going through all my pics and deciding which ones I like and which ones I don’t and why. My addiction to iPhone photo apps has only intensified also; trying to see if I can salvage a pic by making it all retro-fied and such. So, I hope you enjoyed that in lieu of some craftiness. And if you have any photo tips or advice, I’m all ears (well, I have two ears. If I was all made of ears that would be totes gross – but potentially an ah-mah-zing pic – and anyway, I’ll be using my eyes but I digress). Meanwhile, that pic just there is of my buddy at Thread Den. He lives on a way-high-up shelf and is all kinds of creepy, but that’s why we’re tight, y’all.

What’s your favorite thing to take pictures of? Clouds? Finished projects? Your kidlets? Sharezies!

Instagram Catch-Up!

Gentle reader,

I have a confession to make. I’m addicted to Instagram. If you’re a fellow addict, you can find me there as theshylion. But, the good thing about Instagram is that it keeps me snapping pics whenever I get the chance, which I can’t always do specifically for the blog. I’m just not gelling with my new camera, and I end up having to do way more post-processing that I usually do, and it doesn’t like low-light which isn’t helpful because I’m a night-owl. Eugh.

 

Anyway, I figured that to keep up with y’all and show you some sneaky peaks at some of the stuff I’ve been working on, I can do a little Instagram Catch-Up and share with you some of the little snaps I’ve taken along the way. So, here goes!

 

One of the first things you need to know before you follow me on Instagram is that I snap pics of these two brats a LOT. I’m a crazy cat man. I’m not even ashamed about it.

 

But, I also take pics of all my projects in varying stages of completions, like this sock. I’m a big fan of train knitting so that happens fairly often. (To the top left of the finished sock pic, you can see a bit of cat-butt. See!? I even snap them when I’m not even trying!) I just made this pattern up to test out doing afterthought heels. Pretty happy with the outcome!

 

I’ve been playing Civilization V on my iMac a lot lately since our consoles were stolen. Which is rarely a good idea on school nights because I may or may not have been up playing well into the wee hours of the morning on a few occasions. It’s a pretty epic game, y’all!

I’ve also had a voracious appetite for some delicious, shimmery pop so I haven’t strayed too far from my K-Pop and J-Pop playlists. This one features Meisa Kuroki, Crystal Kay, Perfume and Sophia (who are more rock, actually).

 

I made some fingerless mitts for my friend Seth! The pattern is “Swirling Gauntlets” by Susanna IC and I have to say, it was a super fun knit. I gave them to him before I could take decent pics, but I did snap a few on IG. I found that my cast on stitches for the thumb hole were a bit loose and messy even though I even did them on a smaller needle. I think next time I’ll just knit in waste yarn, rip it out later and bind off the live stitches with a stretchy bind-off.

 

I also take random shots while I’m out about. Here I am looking rather pleased because the weather finally allows me to rug up and wear scrummy warm things. My eyes are so beady! Oy. That fair isle hat – though you can’t see it very well here – is incredible, and it was made by friend Jen over at Little Yellow Cat. I’m somewhat obsessed with it. Then we have the lights of Melbourne! I’m completely enamored with good ol’ Melbs, and I’m loving the miserable, wet, cold weather. Yeah, I’m one of those people.

 

Here’s a sneaky peak of the Dartmore hat that I’ve been wrestling with. Well, I finally finished it and it’s in the post as we speak to my bestie, Panda! I miss her a lot, so I decided I’d send her a big ol’ care package stuffed with goodies including this hat. I sewed a little tag in the back so she can tell the front from the back easily, because there’s a slightly visible squiggle up the back where the rounds join. I’ll write more about it when she models it for me and sends me some pics.

But that’s all I have you for today! I have another project that I’m properly dying to share with you, but I need to get some decent pics.

But how have YOU been!? Sharezies!

 

Of Veggigurumi And Undead Books

Gentle reader,

I had the lovely opportunity of visiting Stephanie and Megan at Can Do Books in Hawthorn today. If you’re in Melbourne and you’ve not been, you really must go. Their selection of crafty and arty books are totes amazeballs, and the prices are kind of jaw-droppingly reasonable (which is a bit of a rare thing in Australia, actually!). We had a chat about some opportunities to do some really cool stuff together, so I’ll keep y’all posted. In the meantime though, do you mind if I show off the purchase I made while I was there? The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt!

Back from the dead!

The 4-1-1 on this book is that it was well popular and then it went out of print for a number of years (the publication details lists it’s last edition as being printed in 1988!). Demand was so high though that people went properly crazy and apparently second hand copies were selling for the $200 ballpark on eBay! Oy! But, it’s been revised and updated and is back on the shelves. Zombie book! It’s alive! I had a quick flip through and was overcome with the desire to take it home with me, so I did, as a matter of fact. I think these will sell like gangbusters, because it’s the kind of book that if you only ever bought one book about knitting, this would do perfectly. Seriously, this thing is so big you could brain someone with it. I tried flipping through some more on the train and I nearly dislocated my arm! And considering it only cost $49.99, let’s be real, I kind of feel like a stole it, just a lil’ bit. I’ll tell you some more about it when I’ve had more time to pour through it (seated safely at the table, mind. No more dislocations).

Meanwhile, I have some crochet FOs to show you! Back when I was at the Loch Quilt and Craft Festival, I was crocheting while I was sitting at my table, and I don’t know what possessed me, but I started to whip up some vegetables, or ‘veggigurumi’ as I like to call them. I did the aubergine first. Now, I would sooner eat my own sick than eat aubergine, but I think they’re pretty and I love their color. And this yarn colorway was even named “Rustic Aubergine” (Morris Estate 14 ply), so I suppose that might have sown the seed for veggigurumi. And the carrot was next because I happened to have a red-orange yarn and I actually do like carrots. So, there you have it!

Do carrots and aubergine even go together? I haven't a clue.

Anyway, I was really quite happy with how they turned out, actually! I think aubergines are a bit longer, but I wanted it to a be fat little nuggety one. I can’t quite remember what yarn the carrot was made of, but I suspect it was Sean Sheep from Big W (don’t pooh-pooh the Sean Sheep from Big W, it’s actually quite lovely!). The green bits were from some Magnum Soft, which is a pretty decent acrylic yarn if you’re on a budget. It’s quite squishy and not at all scratchy or plastic-y). I feel like I need a few more items for the collection, for a fruit/vegetable bowl or cornucopia if you will. Perhaps an apple or broccoli, I’m not sure.

Also, if you missed it, I’ve opened an Etsy store, which you can visit here! And, if you go to this post and comment, I’ll send you a coupon code for 15% off, just ‘cuz I love you. ^_^ Truth be told, you can comment on any post and say you want a coupon code. Ask and ye shall receive.

Have you bought some awesome books lately? Share, share, share!

In Which I Knit On The Catherdral Lawn Because I Am A Forgetful Chappy

Gentle reader,

When I was a kid, I was extremely forgetful. Utterly scatterbrained, even. I would forget important things I’d been told, I’d forget to do things, I’d leave things behind, all sorts of worrisome mishaps like that. One of my trademark forgetfulisms was to leave my wallet every possible place imaginable. In the car, at home, at school, at friends’ places, at the corner store. Once, I left it on a stack of Jurassic Park toys at the mall after staring at them longing for a good twenty minutes. Another time I left it atop a hideout my cousins and I had fashioned into the forest-y growth of an empty block in our neighborhood.

I learned not to do this eventually, after leaving my poor mama irate and exasperated at having to drive me back to somewhere to find it and after having to keep myself organized when I was stage managing or production designing at university. But, once a scatterbrain always a scatterbrain, and to this day I have my moments (too many of them, depending on who you ask…) but they don’t all turn out badly.

Yesterday, I left my wallet at work. And I did not have the key to get back in. Oy. This meant missing a BBQ with some friends. More logistically troubling, it also meant I was stranded in the city until Joel returned from said BBQ. But I shall not be beaten so easily! I had knitting in my bag and a full iPod battery, so of I went to find a pleasant place to knit.

A moment is never wasted when you have crafts in your bag.

If you’re familiar with Melbourne, then you’d probably know the cathedral on the corner of Swanston and Collins Streets, and the strip of lawn beside it. I sat on one of the benches and began knitting away, but I then moved to the lawn after many a smoker decided to accompany me on the benches, bless them. But I felt that damp breeches was a small price to pay for a clean air. But, I digress.

Sunday in Melbourne

I had just cast on “Jesse’s Christmas Hat” by Elspeth Kursh with some Morris Woollahra (I think… I’ve misplaced the ball band…), and I was quite content to knit away for nigh on two hours. The weather has taken a cold turn after spending nearly a month warming up, so I was rather happy about that.

Meanwhile, I guess sea gulls are supposed to be gross, but they kept me company as did a few of those lovely little brown birds, and they didn’t seem at all cross that I had no food to share with them.

All in all it turned out quite peachy!

Just some other things I wanted to tell you about:

  • I was featured in an article in The Sunday Age yesterday! I’ll post a scan of it this week.
  • My little impromptu yarn giveaway is still going, and I think I’ll close it on Friday and announce a yarn recipient on the weekend. To be in the running, go and comment on this post.
  • I got a new bit of software to put my pictures together. Do you like it? I’m always looking for little helping-hands to make my picture layouts more interesting.

What mishaps have you turned into a little bit of pleasantness recently?

– R

Wanderings

Gentle reader,

I’ve been out and about quite a bit this past week, and I feel very good about it; lots of walking, lots of exploring and some yummy food. One of my favorite little wanderings was when I popped into Meet Me At Mike’s, the shop of the wonderful Pip who also has a blog which you should go and read right this moment. I picked up some awesome trinkets and I’ll definitely be going back for more goodies.

Meet Me At Mike's Haul

The lion and deer buttons and the circus tent key chain are for me, and the owl ring is for my bestie Panda (Shh! Don’t tell her! And, if you’re reading, Panda… it’s for.. erm… another Panda that I know…). I can’t tell you how obsessed I am with the lion button, obviously. Clearly it was made for me.

While I went on my many walks, I made sure to take my camera, because I really want to improve my photography. So, I took lots of snaps on my way. I’ve got a long way to go, but practice makes perfect!

My Neighborhood Under The Sky
My Neighborhood Under The Stars

You should wander around your neighborhood and see what you can see, and take some snaps maybe! Fun times!

Of Lions & Melbourne

Gentle reader,

It’s been a year and three days since I moved to Melbourne, and it still feels a little surreal sometimes. I love how many odd little nooks and crannies this city has, all the hidden little alleys and arcades that are brimming with life and history. Today, my friend Kendyl and I wandered into the Cathedral Arcade which runs between Swanston Street and Flinders Lane, where we discovered this amazing stained glass ceiling.

Catherdral Place

Also, the little lion is finished!

"Hello, World!"

I’m pretty pleased with him, and I like that he’s a little lopsided and kooky (like most things I do).