Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cooler weather!

When I woke up this morning to a nice cool temperature, especially compared with last night's humidity, I wanted to break out the fall clothes! Now that might be a little too early, but that doesn't mean I can't go virtual shopping with the help of Polyvore!

So here is the outfit I created where, obviously, money was no object for some items! (Info at the bottom.)

Leather jacket

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bay windows

I've always wanted a bay window with a bench, I think from reading one of the Anne of Green Gables books. They are just so pretty! I would love to have one! Perhaps some house in the future will have this lovely detail. If it has storage underneath, that is even better!

Take a look at some of the photos below for inspiration! Maybe you could even DIY?

from here

from here

I love that the next one has the curtains on the outside, just imagine kids climbing in there and closing the curtains to create their own little hideaway! Or even a nice private reading nook for anyone!

from here

 And here is an idea from IKEA Hackers who made a bay window seat from bookcases. A way to create what looks like a bay window with built-ins perhaps? They have other cool ideas too, so check out their blog!

from here
 There are, of course, tons more examples out there, so keep looking for your perfect match!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dream homes - Montreal

If money were no object, what dream home would you buy?

I took at look at Sotheby's retail section for Canada, and some of these places are pretty nice, and the price tag matches! There is one awesome mansion in Ile-Bizard in Montreal, it is so spectacular!

Take a look at the front and back views:

Nice driveway and beautiful house!

Spectacular back yard

Now to see the inside! Here are a couple of shots, the main staircase ( I assume at least)!


Seriously, isn't that spectacular?!!

The last pic is of the living room (I guess), but check out those windows! This house is so awesome, I need something more intense than an exclamation point!

Wow to those windows!

And while there are more images of a ballroom dining room and a library with a circular staircase (!!!) I can't show them all!

Come back later for another edition of Dream Homes!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Wooden letters

I find myself having a hankering for giant wooden letters. This may seem strange, but I like words and pretty fonts and it seems like a great decoration for a home without being too in-your-face or preppy (monograms have been vetoed by my other half)! Now, I seem to find lots of companies in the states, but there aren't too many in my neck of the woods, and the letters themselves seem to be rather pricey. So what do I do? Search the net for handy DIY sites!

I found a great tutorial for it over at The Handmade Home to make your own letters cut out of MDF. Now I don't own a jigsaw, a circular saw or a projector, but we'll see if my Dad would be willing to help out!

This project does seem time consuming, especially for the newbie DIYer (like moi), but it might also save money. So do we save money to spend time or save time and spend money? I guess it depends on what my local guy says since that wouldn't involve exorbitant shipping costs!!

I'll let you know what I decide!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Ah, what a wonderful trip, and such a gorgeous country! We spent most of our time exploring Dublin, but did go to the North and South (Howth and Dun Laoghaire) and we went into the Wicklow Mountains.

So Dublin itself kept surprising us with how small it is compared to Montreal. We would walk everywhere and really, the furthest was a couple of kilometers! It was a great place to walk, and we did a lot of touristy things, although Dublin Castle was closed the day we wanted to go for the Queen's visit. I think Trinity College was closed as well, so we didn't get to see the Long Room. See below for what we missed!

Photo found here
But that just means we have an excuse to go again!

So I didn't end up bringing the big camera, just my point and shoot, but that worked out in the end since it fit nicely in my pocket and is actually a great little camera. I took a lot of photos, we gave ourselves the challenge of getting over 400 photos and videos, and we succeeded! But no worries, only a few will be going up!

Dublin had lots of great architecture and tons of green spaces! Such a nice place to visit. I am not sure if I would live there, it is rather expensive! So what follows will be a couple of photos from our trip. It was a lovely place to wander around in, and I am eager to go on more trips now!

A lovely building beside St. Stephen's Green

St. Patrick's Cathedral, isn't it just beautiful?

Detail of the cathedral

More detail

Isn't that design on the windows fabulous?

Christchurch, connected to Dublinia, the Viking and Medieval exhibit

Main pond at Powerscourt Gardens

Wicklow Mountains, that peak is Sugarloaf

Just a great juxtaposition of old and new in Dublin, plus, I love the red door

The entrance to the Museum of Modern Art, ah the irony!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Manual mode cheat sheets

After practicing a bit with my camera and dreaming about better shots, I finally did a web search for a cheat sheet to help me remember the ISO, aperture and shutter speed details and how they work, separately and together. Here is a little guide for the basics.

Here is a really helpful write up from Muddyboots Photography Blog with a link to a helpful simulator for shutter speed and aperture.

Exposure & your light meter:
* Exposure means how bright or dark your photo is.
* "Correct" exposure means that the photo came out as dark or light as you intended.
* The light meter on your camera will show you your exposure.
* The light meter on your camera looks like this:
* "0" on your light meter usually gives you a "correct exposure".
* Exposing for positive numbers like "+1", "+1.5", "+2", etc will make the photo BRIGHTER.
* Exposing for negative numbers like "-1", "-1.5", "-2", etc will make the photo DARKER.

* Aperture adjusts how large of an opening your lens makes to let light in.
* Small numbers like f/4 = larger opening = more light = a more shallow depth of field
* Large numbers like f/20 = smaller opening = less light = a deeper depth of field
* Depth of field means how much of the photo is in focus. See examples below:

Shallow depth of field:
42 Profile
(click for larger version)

Deep depth of field:
Sedona Tree
(click for larger version)

Shutter Speed:
* "500" in the viewfinder means a shutter speed of 1/500
* Shutter speeds of 1/60th or less can't usually be handheld, put your camera on a tripod
* For telephoto lenses, even faster shutter speeds are needed to handhold the camera, a rule of thumb is for a 100mm lens you need 1/100 or faster, 300mm = 1/300 or faster, 500mm = 1/500 or faster, etc.
* 1/6 or 1/8 is good for blurring waterfalls
* 1/125 can be used for panned shots of cars
* 1/500 will stop most action
* The slower your shutter speed, the more light you get.
* The faster your shutter speed, the less light you get.

* ISO determines how fast your image is recorded
* ISO 100 will record light the slowest (less light)
* ISO 800 will record light 8x faster than ISO 100 (more light)
* Higher ISO's will result in more noise or "graininess" in your image.

Each setting effects the rest. Once you find settings that give you a "correct" exposure ("0" on your exposure meter), you can change your settings to find a more "creatively correct" exposure.

If you change the aperture from f/4 to f/5.6 you'd be SUBTRACTING light by 1 stop. You could ADD back a stop of light by increasing the ISO from 100 to 200, or by choosing a slower shutter speed like 1/30 instead of 1/60.


I think these 2 are really great guides that I will be printing and keeping in my camera bag so I can keep them handy. Hopefully these are just the thing I need to step up my photography! (That and light, damn you winter for coming back, again!)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Manual setting

Well I finally gave up reading the camera manual in order and just found the page on the manual setting. I figured that out and was playing around for a while, but I really need a refresher in ISO, aperture and all that. I can't really look up tips and tricks until I really understand the camera, so I believe I will be finding a book in the library for a nice simple guide that I can memorize and put to good use.

My goal with this camera is to get good enough with it to be able to bring it to Ireland with me in May and actually use it. Yes, I am off to Ireland for a quick jaunt! But when I travel I tend to pack just what I need (from a history of taking stand by flights), so I don't want to bring the big camera if I am not even going to use it.

I still have a bit of time left to get that learning done; here's hoping I can get going on it and have enough light to take the good shots! Winter is finally coming to an end, so that looks like it might happen! Yay sunlight and spring!!

I will try to get back here with some of my own photos, but I am not sure when that will happen. And, there is the fact that I don't have photo editing software, nor do I know how to use it, so they will be untouched. Hopefully it all works out! Keep your fingers crossed for me!