March 4, 2015

Photography: Shooting Plant Silhouettes

When I first typed that post title, I spelled silhouettes wrong, and it would have been pronounced sill-hoots. 

I need a life. 

Anyway, I love silhouette photography. It's a photo taken of anyone or anything in front of a bright background, and the person/object is silhouetted against the light. 

Yesterday was snowy and unpleasant, and I was bored, so I played around with silhouettes. This picture is what the plant on the windowsill looks like in a regular photo. 


When silhouetted...



It's just an underexposed photo. But it's cool!


These are not great pictures, because I was playing around and learning the technique. I love silhouette pictures taken in front of the rising or setting sun, but any bright light source will do the trick. 


For those wondering, this photo was taken at f/7.1, shutter speed 1/160, and ISO 100. The relatively fast shutter speed is what gives us the silhouette - it's not open long enough to flood the image with light, so the bright background comes through just fine, but everything else is dark. 

Fun! Now if I can just get my dog to cooperate, then I could get some really fun silhouette pictures. 

(That won't happen.)

See you later!


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March 2, 2015

DIY Multi-Strand Beaded Necklace

I have been attempting to complain less about winter this year, and it's been easier, partly due to better weather. This winter had been downright pleasant compared to last year, when the average temperature was -4. (That's not a joke, I looked it up!)

But boredom does still creep in, as I am as outdoorsy as a lampshade in the winter.

A few years ago I bought a bunch of jewelry supplies, and in an effort to use up some of my craft supply stash (ha) I made this necklace. Trying to downsize a craft stash is like using a tin cup to bail water on the Titanic, but any progress is good progress, right?



I'm a doofus and forgot to take pictures of the process, so I wrote it out. Good luck with my handwriting, it's truly atrocious. 




And that's it! It's easy, and looks pretty darn good. Of course the day I took pictures of it I was wearing a button-down shirt that hid part of the necklace, but still. Pretty!




Happy crafting!







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February 25, 2015

In My Makeup Bag: Purple Lipstick and a New Routine

Last week I stumbled upon a makeup clearance at ShopKo. I was pleased, to say the least, as a bunch of my products needed replacement. 


Lipstick clearance! $0.69 each! AAAAAAHHHHH. CoverGirl Lip Perfection lipsticks, Physician's Formula Pearl Bronzer, and NYC High Definition mascara. The mascara was not part of the clearance, but it is new.

So I've been closer to 30 than 20 for awhile now, and have wanted to switch up my makeup routine, to highlight what's good and hide what's not so good. Like applying bronzer high on the cheekbones, forehead, and jawline to contour the face a little. (First time I tried it, my hand was a wee bit heavy and I came out looking like I was attacked by a bottle of self-tanner.)


But there are other things as well, like a brown eyeliner instead of black, as it's less harsh. And of course I've had to try out all the lip colors, which I did over the course of the weekend. 


This next picture is so not what I look like on a daily basis. I DO NOT WAKE UP LIKE THIS. 


 But the thing I was most excited about was PURPLE LIPSTICK. It looks like a crayon!


And once it's on....it's still awesome. Love it. 


The lipsticks are awesome, love them all. The bronzer is quite nice, as long as I keep a light touch. The mascara....well. I bought it because it was cheap, and good Lord when did mascara get so expensive!? It works well, but the brush comes out of the tube with so much freaking goop on it that it clumps the lashes. Badly. So now I take it out and wipe the excess off on a kleenex, and then it works like a charm. 

So I'm still futzing about with the new makeup routine, and there are a few things I haven't put on the blog yet that probably deserve a mention. I'll get to them eventually!

Go and buy purple lipstick. 

Seriously. Go. 


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February 23, 2015

This Month's Books - February 2015

I wanted to do an In My Makeup Bag post today, as I stumbled across a marvelous makeup clearance the other day (insert a YAAAASSS!!! here) but alas, developed a cold sore over the weekend. Pleasant. Very pleasant. 

So while the horrid growth on my lip heals, I'll stay away from the makeup, and think about books instead. 

In last month's roundup, I mentioned reading a Lord Peter Wimsey novel. Oh, if only there were words for how much that did not fly. Sorry, but no. I did not even come close to finishing it, it was just one of those that I could not get into. 

After that failure I turned to one of my favorites.


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  *Love* this book. Love love love. 

After that, I read this one. Me Before You


This book has amazing reviews. Everyone loves this book. To say that I disliked this book would be a gross understatement. No, wait, that's not entirely true. I liked it at first, then it became apparent that the "heroine" (ha) has turnips for brains. And then it just goes downhill from there. 

And though I haven't finished it yet, I will before the month is out, so I'm including it here. 


Sister of My Heart This is another re-read for me, I love this one. It's set mostly in India, and is just fascinating to read.

I have a nagging suspicion that I'm forgetting something, but oh well. If I did, I'll stick it onto next month's installment. 

Happy reading!


This blog, Black Spruce Hound, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.


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February 18, 2015

Stainless Steel Table Love

Up until last week, when one would walk in the front door of the house, there was a big cabinet-thingy right there, with fabric bins to hold gloves and hats and whatnot. It was painted blue, and generally went with the feel of the room. Weeeeellll. With new flooring, it looks ridiculous, like a big blue painted cow. 

The hunt is on for a table/console/storage thingy to fit under this mirror. 


The walls are gray, the floor is sort of blonde-ish, and I am hooked on the idea of stainless steel, or regular steel, or just plain metal in general.

This table is for sale at the local Fleet Farm. LOVE. The price isn't awful, but the table is sort of flimsy. But still, it looks like an autopsy table, so it's 6 of one, half-dozen of the other.


This one from Restoration Hardware gives me heart palpitations in the best sort of way. The price gives me heart palpitations in the worst sort of way, as spending over $1k really is not in the budget.


This one, available at Overstock, is sort of like the first, but with a grate underneath instead of a solid shelf. The husband thinks this would be very useful for drying wet gloves in the winter.


I love this one. Big, licky love. Hairpin legs for the win. It's available at Overstock, and it's not horribly expensive. Unfortunately it's a little shorter than what I'm looking for, but IT'S SO COOL. 


But ding, ding, I think we have a winner. It's available from Amazon, and it's a potting bench. For real. But it's a really cool potting bench. Tall, not too wide, and deep enough to provide some actual storage. It's galvanized, so it wouldn't be too shiny either.


Winner winner chicken dinner.

There's a distinct possibility that this is something I will procrastinate on, so maybe in six months I will have actually bought a table.


Until then....

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