D took this with his mobile phone, at a local Village Show on Sunday. MIL is the little one on the right!
We have also had various appointments at osteopaths, dentists etc... and J's end-of-term Celebration Assembly at school yesterday.
In between, my friend D. has been helping me to knock this place into shape. She has boundless energy and really enjoys a good springclean and tidy up... so she has taken me in hand and sorted out the mess, which I have been trying to organise for months. My problem is that I run out of steam very quickly and a job which seems easy at the start, suddenly becomes impossible to complete and is left half-done. This is so frustrating and I have hated having such a messy, untidy and (in places) dirty house. D. has now helped me to tidy and clean the kitchen, sitting room, hallway, dining room and, today, the junk-heap that we referred to as the "Utility Room", but was really just a big mess, with a washing machine and dryer in the corner!
That was, until today. Wish I had thought to take "before" and "after" shots for you... just believe that it was a huge mess this morning, but by the time D. had finished, it was a picture of laundry perfection! All my remaining craft stuff (this used to be my workroom before we got the extension done) is now upstairs in a little heap in the corner of my new studio room. I need to finish the shelves in here, then have a "project" to organise all my stuff. D. put things in the dining room, in little heaps; I went through the heaps and sorted out what was "keep" and what was "throw away". There were 2 large bags full of recycling when we'd finished, plus a few bits in the normal bin too. I think about half the stuff she pulled off the desk area was thrown away!
I had been wanting to do this for months, so it's such a relief to have it done and sorted out. The shelves, which had just become a dumping place for junk, are now populated with bits & pieces from the kitchen, which I don't use often, but need to keep (like cake decorating stuff, a sandwich toaster, a spare coffee jug, vases - you know the type of stuff, we all have it!).
So, despite a state of minor exhaustion, I'm very relieved and happy this evening. It was hard work, but definitely worth it. D. is a fabulous friend and deserving of a special present, I can tell you! She won't allow me to pay her for the work she does; we have an "arrangement", where I am buying stuff she would like, but can't afford - things for her home, the odd nice treat from the supermarket, that kind of thing.. Still, if I had to pay someone for the time she has spent helping me over the past month, I would need a job! I am very grateful for a wonderful friend (even if she does enjoy herself while she's tidying up and cleaning!!).
* * *
So, visitors, appointments and cleaning aside... I have been reading the prompts for Shimelle's Love Your Pages course. Haven't had a lot of time to keep up with them, but yesterday I got my camera out and had a go at a few pictures, with Prompts 7 & 8 in mind. I played with settings on my camera, to explore Depth of Field and Exposure a little bit.
I only have a point-and-shoot; I didn't have a lot of time and it was a wet day; consequently the photos are not wonderful, but it's a starting point and I can build from there.
Prompt 7 - Depth of Field shots
A general shot of the rainy day view from my window... Auto Setting
I switched on the Macro function and set the camera to "Baby" setting (nice natural colours).
I think this photo of raindrops on the window pane has a great blurry background. I like the contrast.
This was taken with the Landscape setting switched on. The raindrops are now blurry and the background is in focus.
Total contrast with the previous photo!
For this, I pointed the camera at that elusive little patch of blue that was in the sky, set it back to Baby setting and took the photo. I really like this one - the raindrops are clear enough to be obvious, but the lovely blue and white of the sky is just fab.
If you look very closely, you might be able to pick out a very small silhouette of a bird against the clouds, towards the bottom of the photo.
Prompt 8 - Exposure