Sunday, November 30, 2008

238:365 Light in motion

Anna: Philippe and I worked together to get some light and motion shots. Some turned out rather well. :-)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

237:365 Polychaete

Anna: I'm in the process of getting photos ready for the craft blog, and this is one of them. I finished the garland I was making at about 3am. I curled it up and stuck it in the tree (which is still undecorated as we train the kitten to stay away from it) for the girls to find in the morning.

When I got up this morning, I found it like this. My elder daughter thought it looked like a polychaete (poly-keet) worm of some sort. So she stuck on buttons for eyes and some ribbon for a tongue.

Not that polychaete have recognizable eyes or tongues.

I love my girls' sense of humour.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

236:365 up to 20% free

Anna: The girls and I were at the Italian grocery store again today, and we stumbled upon these.

Transilvania Puffs.

up to 20% free, it says. Free of what, it doesn't say at all...

Lightly Salted
No Preservatives

Not Fried. Low Fat.

And no flavour. LOL

They look like packing foam. When my elder daughter was about 3 years old, a company we dealt with switched to "environmentally friendly" packing foam made of wheat. Just wheat. No other ingredients. They looked kinda like this, except pale golden brown instead of yellow. When I opened the box with our order, the wheat smell wafted out, making the whole house smell like bread.

This stuff has no smell that I can determine.

The box with the wheat packing foam came with a slip of paper explaining the change and going on about how this stuff was so much better for the environment, and that it was even edible. Which was good, since I soon found my 3 yr old daughter sitting in the middle of it, gleefully eating them by the handful. They actually tasted quite good.

This stuff ... doesn't. Taste, that is. It has no taste. It's like eating air.

The ingredients are: degerminated corn meal, canola oil, and salt.

"This product is made under very high pressure, from degerminated (fatless) yellow corn meal. Not fried. No preservatives or additives." That part is repeated in French, Polish, what might be Italian, Russian, and something that looks similar to Polish, but isn't.

The funny thing is, on the nutritional facts label, the highest percentage is for sodium (18%).

But with a name like Transilvania Puffs, I had to get it at least once! Transylvania, by the way, is supposed to be spelled with a y. Or maybe that's just in English?

No where on the package does it say where they are actually made. There's a website. I have no idea what language it's in.

Well... we can at least say that we tried it...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

235:365 It's cozy in here...

Anna: As I was putting the buttons on my daughter's coat, Harley started burrowing like crazy, wanting to get in. So I let her.

This is what I had watching me while I tried to attach the buttons. LOL

Other photos here.

I've finished the coat and will be posting photos and details on my Get Crafting blog shortly.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

234:365 - Park day

Philippe: Playing with the white balance on the camera. Starting to discover that 'auto' sucks. :P

Monday, November 24, 2008

233:365 - Aperture priority vs Manual settings

Philippe: I took the camera out this morning for some basic morning shots on my way to work. I usually shoot aperture priority, but I have to say the camera lied on that setting.

At F8 with a four second exposure, I was seeing what the sky actually looked like. :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

231 and 232:365 From the Top and Bilingual Teapot

Anna: I did take photos yesterday. I even uploaded them. I just never got around to posting them. I've got a bunch of new photos loaded at my flickr account, too. Here's a couple for yesterday and today.

Our apartment complex is made up of two 19 floor towers that are joined up to the 4th floor. Several floors are secure, accessible only if they're programmed onto your keycard, with a scanner in the elevators. Ours is one of the secure floors, so whenever we order in, we have to go to the lobby because the delivery person can't get to our floor. The 19th floors are penthouse suites, which are also secure floors.

So when someone from one of the penthouse suites had a garage sale this weekend, it was a rare chance to actually go onto the 19th floor and see what they looked like. (Plus, we got a sweet deal on some shelves...) The penthouse suite was really nice but, nicest of all, they let me go onto their patio facing the river to take photos. They had a larger patio on the other side too, with a hot tub and mini-putt, but the view faced downtown and wasn't as nice as this one. Beside the patio where I took this photo are bay windows in the living room (with fireplace) overlooking the river. Gorgeous.

Now for today's photo...
I've always been a tea drinker, and now my girls are, too. We use coffee mugs to drink from, because they're bigger. Which means that, with a 6 cup teapot being the biggest I could find, there was never enough tea for seconds. We'd have to boil more water for another pot.

When we were living in Richmond, BC, I'd seen a huge teapot in a specialty store that I considered buying for my parents. I didn't think I'd need one for myself! I never saw another one that large until about 2 years ago, at the Second Cup in our library branch. So when Philippe asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day, I told him that that's what I wanted. He managed to buy the very last one. It's a 14 cup pot, though our kettle only fits 12 cups, so we've never actually filled it. It gets pretty much daily use. I love it!

The funny thing is that, being left handed, I never noticed that it had the word "tea" in English on the other side until I'd had it for some time. I'd just thought we had a French teapot. LOL

The mug is there to give a bit of perspective on the size, but also because it's one of my favourite mugs. I bought a pair nearly 20 years ago from a mail order company that specialized in dragon stuff. The company doesn't seem to be around anymore; at least not in the same form. The last time I looked, they sold furniture, instead. So I'm really careful not to break them, since I've no idea where I'd find any more.

Friday, November 21, 2008

230:365 More yum!

Anna: With all the running around today, stopping at the Italian grocery store was a real treat. I gave the girls a budget and told them they could buy whatever they wanted with it this time, too. Between the three of us, here are a few of the new things we picked up.

In the back on the left is a different type of squid ink pasta my elder daughter chose. The colorful pasta next to it is called gnoccini - that was a joint selection. The bottle is a type of extra virgin olive oil I hadn't tried yet, and the bowl of candies is something my younger daughter picked up, though it's one of my favorite candies. Cream Fudge (chocolate, in this case, though I actually prefer the non-chocolate version), hand made in Poland. It's hard to find, and a real luxury purchase.

In the front, starting at the left, is a glass of goat's milk. My elder daughter chose that and she likes it. Being lactose intolerant, this is a milk she can actually drink, I think. The tea in the POM glass is sweetened with the honey from the jar next to it - another choice from my elder daughter. She loves her tea, especially sweetened with honey. This honey, however, includes a piece of honeycomb. It has a very different flavour. Intense, yet somehow mild, and not as overwhelmingly sweet as other honeys. The Tres Stella cheese is a lovely, mild semi-soft cheese with a texture like mozarella. And finally, the black olive pate, which is a brand we haven't tried yet.

Here's a closer look at the honey. Very nice!

Since I didn't have time to cook supper, but had plenty of ham left over from yesterday, I'm currently enjoying one of the best ham and cheese sandwiches I've ever eaten.

Gosh, I love this little grocery store.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

229:365 Mystery photo - golden beads

Anna: Philippe took this one and I just had to post it as a mystery pic. Click on it for full size. Can you guess what it is?

Hint: It's actually kinda gross. LOL

update: For those who were interested in seeing the finished sweater I was working on and posted photos of previously, I've now got photos up on my craft blog.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

228:365 - Cat-atonic

Couldn't resist :P

The cat wasn't moving, and I'm kinda house-bound today so it all worked out. P.

Monday, November 17, 2008

227:365 Clowning around

Anna: When I asked for suggestions on what to take pictures of in the light box, our younger daughter brought out her clown doll.

Is it just me, or is that a less than friendly expression on the doll's face? LOL

Sunday, November 16, 2008

226:365 Making up for missed days...

Anna: Since I didn't post for the last three days, here's three photos (though I guess I should really post four, to include today's as well. *L*)

Quick question, though - is anyone else having troubles posting photos from their flickr account onto blogger? For the past while, the photos have been showing up in the blogger text window at full size, no matter what size I select on the blogger uploader. I have to manually re-size them to make them reasonable. It doesn't happen when I uploaded directly from our computer to blogger, though. Anyone having this happen?

Anyhow... today, I built a new lightbox. Our old version got a bit too unstable after a while (it was just doweling and hockey tape). This time, I used the instructions from here.

It's a lot smaller than the old one, and I was actually able to put it on a higher serfuce. Much easier on the back!! LOL

I decided to play using the macro lens and try out different settings. This is a trinket box that belongs to my elder daughter, with the lid slightly open at the back. I took it on shutter priority and a 3 second exposure. The box was a lot darker than I expected it to be - the sides are just white paper, but it blocks the light a lot more than I thought it would.

Another item from my daughter. This is a prayer box pendant, measuring about 1/4 inch square on the sides. I've got the lid slightly propped open with the clasp. I ended up using my camera's remote to take all of these.

This is a Bhuddist meditation crystal Philippe got for me many years ago. I figured it would just disappear on the white background I was using earlier, so I put in a cloth. I had to manually focus with this, though. Auto focus just couldn't find a place to settle.

All of these can be seen in larger sizes here.

We also headed out and got photos of the downtown Bright Lights display, which you can see here. The main display is in a park. When I get photos of those, I'll be adding them to the same set.

Philippe: Single subject, though three shots this time; playing with white balance.. Since I can't get the ##^$! script to work, the temps are 2500k, 4000k and auto-white balance.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

225:365 - eye

Just not sure what to say to this one.. The iris is just this side of gross for detail-level :P

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

224:365 Lest We Forget

Anna: After the official ceremonies were done downtown, we headed over to the memorial in front of City Hall. The wreaths laid during the ceremonies were already cleared away, leaving only small, personal mementos like this one.

During our time in the area, we saw a steady stream of people going by. Most stopped for at least a few moments, looking at the monument. Others stayed for several minutes. Pretty much everyone took off their poppies and left them at the base.

More photos, including our first real snowfall this year, are here. The snow is already melting away, dampening the mementos and poppies.

Philippe: While we were taking pics, two kids came over and acquired poppies for themselves; they then proceeded to pick up the poppies that had fallen onto the ground and putting them back on to the monument.

Monday, November 10, 2008

223:365 So close!

Anna: We were at the park today and saw a whole family of muskrats swimming around in the lake. I was standing right at the concrete edge when this one came over and settled on a rock, right at my feet!

So cute and fun to watch.

You can see more of today's photos here.

Philippe.... 1 cloudy day + 1 cold butt from sitting and waiting = :

Sunday, November 9, 2008

222:365 - Legislature

Philippe: The Legislature has a screen up until Remembrance day, showing the names of all those who died in service between 1914 and 1918. This started 04 Nov at sunset, and will be complete Nov 11 at Sunrise. Blogger is screwing up, so you can see the larger shots here.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

221:365 another double header

Anna: Here's the photo I meant to post yesterday, but didn't upload from the camera until today.

I was working on my daughter's coat, with the full attention of her sister's kitten. She loves catching at the yarn while it pulls from the skein. Unfortunately, she *really* likes this yarn and keeps trying to eat it. She actually chewed through it once!

I stepped away from the couch for a few minutes yesterday and came back to this.

She's just so darn cute!

We ended up running errands all over the place today and finished with an unplanned stop at Michael's. They just happen to have a sale on yarn. I've been eyeballing this stuff for months but couldn't justify paying so much for it. Especially since I knew I'd need to get a lot, since it's likely to become a top of some sort. I cleaned out what was left of their stock - 16 skeins. With the sale price, it was like getting 6 of them for free.

I just love how it sparkles, and it's soooo soft!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

220:365 Double header...

Anna: Since we didn't take any pictures yesterday, I'm posting a double header today...

The girls and I needed to go downtown today, so we left early and met Philippe for lunch.

Philippe, it turns out, can leave the office, but the office won't leave him!

There's a reason they call these things Crackberries.

After lunch, we parked our car at a particular level of our usual parkade, just so I could get this shot. It's not the highest level, but it's the one that lets me get closest to the edge without having to climb anything. *L*

Click on image for larger size. Photos taken with a Canon S3.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

219:365 I see you!

Anna: My younger daughter and I were getting a laugh out of our cats' aggressive grooming session. I got a bunch of great macro shots of them - and this one of her daughter's eye.

Monday, November 3, 2008

218:365 Exercising their wings

Anna: The geese at the park today were getting ready to head out for the winter, splashing, preening and flapping their wings, all in large groups. Pretty dramatic!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

217:365 Introducing...

Anna: Since I've found myself taking so many photos of my crafting, I decided to start a dedicated crafting blog, Get Crafting.

I hope you enjoy it. :-)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

216:365 - Cats (yes, again)

Philippe: the cats have discovered that if they lean on the top of the futon couch, it starts to sag into a perfect little nap area.