Monday, 5 January 2009

No sooner said than undone!

What was I saying yesterday about putting away my snowflakes?! I woke today to 'severe weather warnings' on the breakfast news, which in the UK means we may have to tackle a centimetre or two of snow ...

The view from my window this morning ... brrrr! Apparently, if I had known how to use the manual settings on my camera properly, I could have achieved a photograph showing the snow as white rather than grey and one which captured the falling snowflakes too ... instead I'm afraid you'll have to make do with these rather uninspiring, bog standard snaps.

So of course, me being me, the first thing I wanted to try and do (after ramping up the central heating) was photograph the falling snow, but boy is that easier said than done! After quickly scanning a few helpful webpages, I came to the conclusion the snow would probably melt long before I'd progressed far enough in my self-tuition. Ah well, I supose there's always next year!

I have to venture to the Post Office today, so pretty though the snow may be, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a quick defrost before I have to jump into the car ... I'm not very brave when it comes to driving in adverse weather conditions and for me, even a light dusting of snow is a nail biting experience - pathetic eh? But bear in mind I didn't take my driving test until I was 42, a mere three years ago. I have a lifetime of bad weather driving experiences to catch up on before I earn the right to feel more confident.

'Buttons the Clown', complete with orange clown wig, waits patiently in my knitting basket for a birthday surprise ...

'Buttons the Clown' knitted doll was finished yesterday afternoon. I had a very pleasant time clacking away on my bamboo needles while watching the wonderful Dame Judi Dench in the BBC series 'Cranford'. (Stuart bought me the series on DVD for Christmas, on the strict understanding he wouldn't actually have to watch it with me; instead he went to the football muffled up to the eyebrows and almost froze to death - the lengths some men will go to, to avoid period costume drama eh?!) Incidentally, I took this clown picture with no flash; yes, I may be hopeless at catching falling snowflakes, but after all my Christmas practise, I can now take a fairly reasonable picture indoors, no longer bleaching out all the colours by relying on flash - aha, progress indeed! Now, if I could just work out how to light the subject so I don't have any shadows ...

A winter's morn in Maidstone!

Post-Post Office Update: I'm thinking my snow pictures may well be sneered at by those in colder climes, but for us here in the balmy South East of England, they at least prove it did snow. When the sun popped out a little while ago, I decided to shift my bum, don a pair of heavy tread boots and take a short morning constitutional (part of my 'get Paula moving in 2009' campaign!) I took the easy option of my 'point 'n shoot' camera, because it just about copes with be-gloved fumblings. What these pictures can't show is how breath stealingly bitter the wind is today; to this 'curl up in front the fire' bear maker, it felt positively arctic outside! These aren't the most interesting of pics, but they do show the beautiful snow capped North Downs in the distance and if nothing else, they give a fair representation of snow in residential Maidstone!

Slip sliding along ...


  1. Well I think these snaps are great Paula - the view of your road looks very pretty too . I must admit I blenched when I first looked out the window this morning ; having to send my precious 12 yr old back to school in that yucky inch of white stuff !
    I love Cranford ( and Larkrise ... etc) I'm so lucky my hubby enjoys them too . Hmmmm DVD eh ? :0)

    Ruth x

  2. It was a bit of a shock seeing the white stuff this morning! I grabbed my camera and was attempting to get some good shots of M and T at 7am this morning. Failed dismally may I add.

    The photos look like Poplar Grove!


  3. The knitted clown is super! I'm sure he will be well received.

  4. Hello! I hope you are all tucked up nice and snuggly today! Brrrrr ... it's still so chilly (and icy!) here in Kent.

    Hilary, you guessed right, I bet you've walked this road yourself many a time eh?!

  5. Well and you both...not feeling brave when faced with snow. I took my driver's test at the age of 34 and I don't feel confident to drive in these weather conditions either. Of course I would have to dig out the car first, which is covered in snow and there is ice on the road with snow on top of it. It looks like you had less snow than we...It feels like the North Pole here.
    I love your knitted clown!!! Well done you and also well done for making progress with your pictures. If you shoot pictures with a lot of white in it, try to dial in a +0.7 or 1.0 exposure compensation on your camera. That will do the trick and will leave you with white snow :o)
    Hope you are keeping warm and sewing awy on new exciting bears!
    Hugs, Ellen

  6. Buttons is just lovely Paula! As for your snow... I'm not sneering at all. I'm envying you instead ;) I'm so tired of snow....

    A Happy New Year to you! I can't wait to read more in your blog this upcoming year.

    Laura Lynn

  7. Just a little tip for the shadows..get a bit of tin foil, wrap it around a bit of carboard and the light will bounce into the shadow areas. As for the snow being white....increasing the exposure has been in our lessons....listen to your tutor lol. Plus it up for light, minus it down for dark! Nice pix by the way....we didn't get any snow ;(

  8. Beautiful snow pictures Paula and I hope that you are managing to stay warm.
    It must be great to have a photography expert sister who is able to help you out with some tips.

    Buttons is wonderful - I love the colours.

    One lovely thing about the weather, must be good to stay indoors making bears and knitting,

    Hugs Carolyn

  9. A nice chatty blog Paula and I thought your photos were very good. I you think that the shadow in your clown doll photo gives extra character to the photo. - Dave

  10. loved the photos, it's been really chilly the last few days here too, I went for a walk (same as you, good start for 2009) yesterday, nearly ending up on my backside too many times to mention - we've had nasty frosts on top of the snow = ice rink! I did get to take some photos though, which I'll put on my blog soon. Love your clown, he is just so cheerful :) Hugs, Catherine x

  11. Beautiful pics of Maidstone, Paula! The clown doll is perfect- you are so talented...
    As for the 'curl up in front of the fire' thing... I'd have to follow in your footsteps! But I'd almost need a snowmobile here!!
    Frosted hugs,
    Monica x.

  12. Great tips ... thanks for sharing them with this fumbling photographer! I will put them into action next time.

    I do hope those of you in cold climes are managing to keep toasty!


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