Tag Archives: photography

Outside in November

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Outside in November

This month has been one of the grayest, rainiest (and sometimes snowiest) Novembers in recent memory.  Luckily I caught some sunny days before the gray set in.  Here are some fall colors for you to enjoy.

Outside in November

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Outside in November

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Outside in November

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Outside in November

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Outside in November

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Outside in November

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Outside in November

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Outside in November

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Outside in November

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Why Do You Make Things? (Or: The Knitting Project That Didn’t Work Out)

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Why Do You Make Things? (Or:  The Knitting Project That Didn’t Work Out)

Today I have a knitting project that I finished earlier this year, but have waited to post until the weather turned cool.  This isn’t so much about my failed and salvaged hat project, though.  It’s about what that failed and salvaged hat made me consider.

Why do you make things?

Last winter, I decided I would knit the Traveling Cable Hat, a free pattern from Purl Soho in some beautiful yarn from Romney Ridge.  I’ve knit cables before, so I thought I could do it, even though it might be challenging.  I’m not a perfectionist, and I don’t like to go back and fix every single mistake.  I prefer to finish.  This project, however, was one I tried to be precise in.  There were parts I didn’t understand, so I looked things up and asked other knitters.  I ripped back when I made a mistake and read and reread the directions to try to get things right.  I got frustrated and persevered, and to say I wasn’t enjoying myself is putting it lightly.  My husband kept asking, “Why do you keep knitting?”  The question surprised me at first, because he’s always one of my biggest supporters.  He always encourages me to push through, knowing I can finish the project.  But he could see that this one was one long, downhill slide.

Why do you make things?

When I sew, I certainly don’t enjoy every moment of every project.  There are times I get frustrated and have to put my project aside for a while until I can figure out how to solve a problem or until I’m not so annoyed, but overall I enjoy it.  I enjoy knitting, too, although I’m not nearly as successful with knitting as I am with sewing.  In fact, my last few knitting projects have ended up…OK, but not amazing.

Why do you make things?

His question made me think, though.  Why do I sew?  Why do I knit?  What am I looking for in my photography?  What do I want to get out of each and is it the same for every one?

It’s important to think about what we do.  After all, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” (Socrates)  I don’t mean you have to give great weight to every activity in your life, but it’s worth it to figure out what you want to get out of your creative endeavors and why.

So, here’s what I came up with, for me, at this point in my life.

Knitting is for enjoyment.  I like knitting.  I like its tactile nature and I like the act of knitting.  I want to knit things that are simple enough that I can work on them while talking to a friend or watching a movie, but still interesting enough that I’m not completely bored.  However, this is not the craft I currently want to challenge myself in.  I don’t want to dive deep and learn every knitting technique and method out there.  I don’t want to do a ton of problem solving with my knitting.  I want a project that’s not too taxing, but is still enjoyable.

Photography is for seeking out and capturing beauty.  I’ve also been thinking about photography in this vein.  Even with this medium, which I’ve loved since I was quite young, I don’t want to get into the technical aspects.  I’m interested in composition and accurately recording what I see that I find beautiful, but I’m not interested in doing that deep dive right now.

Sewing is my creative practice.  Sewing, on the other hand, is exactly the place I want to dive deep.  I want to try new things, read all the blog posts, magazines, and books, and add skill to skill.  I want to see what it will be like to make certain kinds of things.  I love the planning and the finishing in sewing.  I love to wear what I’ve made, and I love discovering that I can learn new things and get good at something!  I don’t get into the process in the same way that I do with knitting–I’m heading for that end goal–but I do like the problem-solving involved with sewing.  It makes me smarter and it teaches me about how to handle other hurdles in life.  This is where I want to spend my mental energy and challenge myself.  This is where I want to work hard and grow.  This is my medium, my craft, and my art.  At this time in my life, sewing is my creative practice, and through it, I have learned so much, and I have gained so much.  I’m really thankful for it.

So after struggling with that pattern through the ribbing and the cable set-up, and after thinking all this over and coming to these conclusions, I gave up on it and stitched the rest in stockinette stitch, using another pattern to figure out the decreases for the top.  And I enjoyed it.  I can’t tell you if the Traveling Cable Hat pattern is good or not.  I gave up on it.  But I’m glad I started it because it (and my husband’s question) made me evaluate why I’m creating in the ways I’m creating and what I want to get out of each medium, where I want to spend my mental energy, and what I should call success in each area.

Why do you make things?

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Why do you make things?

What do you want to get out of your creative pursuits?  They don’t have to be sewing or knitting or photography.  They might be your hobby or they might be your job, but why do you love them?  What is the end goal for you?  Even if you can’t yet figure out the full and complete answer, taking the time to think through these questions will be worth the effort.

Outside in September

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Outside in September

This month has flown by!  I had to schedule in a little bit of outdoor time at the end to get these pictures.

Being out in nature is one of those things that helps me to quiet down on the inside–in a good way.  It doesn’t always feel necessary to set aside time to be outside and take pictures, but when I do, I realize that I needed it.

I had to work a little harder to find some color amidst the grey, but it’s still there, even if it takes more searching in the fall than in the summer.

Outside in September

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Outside in September

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Outside in September

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Outside in September

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Outside in September

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Outside in September

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Outside in September

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Outside in September

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Outside in September

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Outside in September

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Outside in September

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Outside in September

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Outside in September

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Outside in September

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Outside in September

 

Outside in July and August

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Outside in July and August

My family and I did a lot of different things in July and August, which lends a nice variety to some of these pictures.  I hope you enjoy looking at some of my favorite outside pictures from these two months.

Outside in July and August

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Outside in July and August

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Outside in July and August

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Outside in July and August

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Outside in July and August

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Outside in July and August

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Outside in July and August

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Outside in July and August

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Outside in July and August

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Outside in July and August

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Outside in July and August

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Outside in July and August

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Outside in July and August

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Outside in July and August

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Outside in July and August

 

 

 

Spring is Breaking Through! Outside and Inside in April

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Spring is Breaking Through!  Outside and Inside in April

Winter has just held on in New England this year, but I think spring is finally breaking through.  I’ve got some inside pictures from a trip to a large greenhouse and some outdoor hints of spring for you.  I hope you enjoy them!

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Outside and Inside in April

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Outside and Inside in April

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Outside and Inside in April

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Outside and Inside in April

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Outside and Inside in April

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Outside and Inside in April

 

Outside

Outside and Inside in April

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Outside and Inside in April

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Outside and Inside in April

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Outside and Inside in April

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Outside and Inside in April

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Outside and Inside in April

It still feels surprising to see the sun or any colors other than gray, brown, and white.  One thing I can say for winter holding on to the last gasp is that I am REALLY thankful for spring!

 

 

Outside (and Inside) in March

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Outside (and Inside) in March

This month has flown by, and after being hammered by storm after storm, I’m ready for spring!  OK.  I feel that way at the end of every winter, but three Nor’easters in a row is notable.  I also didn’t get outside much, but I made it a priority to get out recently, and even though the snow is still on the ground, I could tell that spring was coming.  Bring it on!

Outside in March

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Outside in March

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Outside in March

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Outside in March

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Outside in March

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Outside in March

And a few from my favorite greenhouse.  Greenhouses are a great place to visit in the winter and early spring!

Outside (and Inside) in March

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Outside (and Inside) in March

The geometric patterns formed by the spikes on cacti are so cool!

I hope you are having lovely weather wherever you are!  See you next month with more sewing!

 

 

(Mostly) Outside in February

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(Mostly) Outside in February

I woke up this morning and realized right away that I had completely forgotten to prepare a blog post for today!  Haha.  That doesn’t usually happen!  So, it’s coming a little late, but better late than never.  Here are some of the things I’ve seen outside (and a few inside!) this month.

My family and I went to the New England Aquarium this week.  The created world is so amazing (and so, to a much lesser degree, are the phones in our cameras these days)!  I can’t believe these pictures turned out, but here are a few from the Aquarium.

(Mostly) Outside in February

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(Mostly) Outside in February

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(Mostly) Outside in February

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(Mostly) Outside in February

We also had a day this week that was in the 70’s (Fahrenheit), so of course we went to the beach…as did everyone else.  I fell in love with the colors of the sky.

(Mostly) Outside in February

And now for the way that most of February looked.

(Mostly) Outside in February

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(Mostly) Outside in February

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(Mostly) Outside in February

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(Mostly) Outside in February

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(Mostly) Outside in February

See you next week!