Gladys Kravitz

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When I was young I didn’t watch a lot of TV but the shows I did watch I loved.

My favourite of all time was Bewitched.

I dreamt of having Samantha’s cool witch powers – and her blonde, sort of sitty-uppy hair!

The beautiful Elizabeth Montgomery played Samantha in Bewitched.

I loved all of the Bewitched characters – the slightly scary (for a young girl!) Endora, funny Uncle Arthur, Dr Bombay, Aunt Hagatha, cheeky Sabrina and hapless Darren.

But, one of my all-time favourites (along with Samantha), was Gladys Kravitz – the nosy next-door neighbour.

Gladys Kravitz was played by two actors, Alice Pearce from the show’s premiere in 1964 until her death in 1966 and then by Sandra Gould from 1966 until her last appearance in 1971.

I know it’s a bit of a stretch, but I’ve been thinking a lot about Gladys and her nosy, interfering ways on our early morning walks lately.

In fact, I’ve had the distinct feeling that our every move is being – WATCHED – not through lace curtains or cute mid-century French windows, but through gum trees.

Yes, please meet our very own Gladys Kravitz …

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Gladys the horse, as Jet and I have named her, is very interested in what we are up to on our walks.

I’m sure she thinks Jet is a mini horse with magic powers – she is totally fascinated by him.

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But, unfortunately for Gladys, Jet only has eyes for Sally (who lives a little further down the road).

Poor Gladys!

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So, I tried to make up for Jet’s lack of interest in our new nosy friend by showering her in attention.

What I didn’t realise, though, is Gladys is not only nosy, but has little regard for one’s personal space.

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She was most interested in me and started nibbling on my woollen jumper!

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I had solid “bush” on the roadside around me and couldn’t take a step back …

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so, I kept asking Gladys politely if she wouldn’t mind taking a step back ..

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… to no avail.

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Then, she remembered the real reason she keeps a close eye on us on our walks -

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– her true love – the mini black horse!

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Yes, Jet came and saved the day – and the beautiful Gladys took a step back and gave me breathing space -

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and some lovely photo opportunities.

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She’s such a sweetie -

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Yes, she may be nosy, like her namesake,

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 but she is a lovely new friend on our morning walks.

xoxoxoxoxox

 

Bunting for Boomdeeadda

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The gorgeous Boomdeeadda requested my first ever custom order for Crochet Flower Bunting on Etsy this week and I was so happy I ran out our front door and did a jolly jig in The Oasis!

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 In typical Boomdee style, her colour choice of sea foam, soft pink and soft white for the bunting was inspired.

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Not usually one for the more pastel tones, I fell in love with these colours during several hours of happy bunting-making.

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Can’t wait to see it hanging in its final destination – Boomdee’s craft room, world famously known as The Boom Room!

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I still need to work on my indoor photography …

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And the bunting still needs to be blocked (to smooth out the curly-up bits!) before it’s shipped to beautiful Canada.

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But I hope you like it, dear Boomdee (and another small surprise in the package, too!)

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BECAUSE …

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And blogging friends are the bomb!

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Time for another jolly jig!

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Thank-you!

wobbly-Take Two!

7 Comments

Thanks so much to everyone for their beautiful, encouraging comments on my last post, chucking a wobbly. (I’m still snorty laughing over your comment, LB!!)

Without you all, I probably wouldn’t have continued bravely into the perfect storm of indoor photography – and, staring down the beast, wouldn’t have unlocked two more of its mysteries.

But more about those soon.

First, more cat distractions whilst trying to perfect product photography!

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Slinky cut a fine figure but I was in kind of a rush to experiment with products for sale a little more!

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While Tigger played the “charm card”. “What? Well, you are taking pictures of orange things!”

And Oscar just generally distracted me with mountains of fur! (Which, incidentally, is being professionally groomed tomorrow. Hysterical pictures to come!)

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Two wonderful bloggers, Alys from Gardening Nirvana and Pauline from The Contented Crafter, as well as leaving their usual, encouraging, kind and thoughtful comments, quite rightly asked some important questions that could and should have been answered in my last post.

So, here I am to atone.

Also, BREAKING NEWS: The gorgeous Boomdeeadda has just custom ordered a crochet flower bunting from my Etsy shop, having seen them in my first post about my terrible photography tantrums!

Boomdee is currently decorating her world-famous craft room – the Boom Room – and would like some of my little ‘ol bunting in colours to match! She’s a gem!

But back to more indoor photography trials and tribulations!

As you know from last time, this is pretty much my indoor photography set up.

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It consists of a solid white MDF base, one large, lightweight, white solid plastic sheet leaning against the back wall and two small solid ones on either side to hopefully bounce light back onto the subject. All of this was purchased quite cheaply at a large hardware store. I then drape a white sheet of paper (a paper tablecloth from a party shop) over the back board and base board to eliminate a harsh line between the two.

As I said previously, I had a basic, relatively cheap point-and-shoot camera already, which has quite a large lens. I was told a larger lens allows for more light, but who knows if that’s true.

I did splurge a little on a middle-of-the-range tripod, which of course is great for holding the camera steady when taking product shots.

I was also lucky enough to already have some work lights on stands in the shed because The hard-working Committee has accumulated those sorts of blokey things over the years for when we’ve repainted or had work to do in the roof space, etc.

The first lot were LED (tungsten) lights, which were excellent light-wise (see my pictures under Crochet Flower Bunting Garland Love on the right) but shocking heat-wise. I was sweating all over five minutes into a photo shoot and, ten minutes in, couldn’t physically stand near them any more.

So back out to the shed they went.

I fossicked around and found one set of fluorescent lights on a stand and they turned out to be much cooler. The light isn’t as good for indoor photography and I think that’s partly why I’ve had so many issues (and wobbly chuckings!) over the past week.

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But, onto my discoveries!

I was aiming the fluoro lights straight at the subjects because the light wasn’t bright enough when bouncing it off the ceiling (like I had done to good effect with the tungsten lights.) So, off I went to the hardware store and bought one more fluorescent light.

And this is how things look now.

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Aiming the two fluorescent lights straight at products was washing them out and creating shadows – so now with one more light – and aiming them at the ceiling – I’ve achieved a bit better result and a more natural look.

So, first discovery – bouncing light off the ceiling gave me a softer light (Aaahh! der! every professional photographer in the world just sighed!)

The second discovery was a bit “der-ish” as well. In fact, some may say I’ve been very daft!

You see, here I was all this time cursing iPhoto for its lack of photo editing tools when I realised there were two more tabs I had never clicked on!

Good grief!

It’s opened up a whole new world – I can lighten photos and make them a little sharper, etc. etc. Wow!

I know, Dani with the late news!

The great thing about these newly discovered photo editing tools is they help to make the product look more like it does with the natural eye, which is so very handy when you are selling your goods on line and people want to know exactly how the product looks before they buy.

So, here’s where I have progressed to …

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For Alys: I have been scouring op shops (thrift shops) for props to help with photo styling (ha!) and came across these gorgeous little felt dresses for a bargain. Must try and make some myself one day!

There’s still a bit of work to do …CROCHET FLOWER BUNTING:GARLAND 10

And now for a close-up.

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And for another colour …

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I’ve still got a lot to learn about the mysteries of indoor product photography, but little by little …

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I hope that has helped answer a few questions from my first indoor product photography post, chucking a wobbly, but if it hasn’t feel free to ask any others you may have.

Now off to unlock the mysteries of photo editing – and to make some custom-ordered bunting …..

xoxoxoxoxoxox

chucking a wobbly

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The Urban Dictionary defines “chucking a wobbly” as:

“To throw a tantrum.”

AND

“Reached the end of rational thought and action.”

And it gives this example: “You had a flat tire, you weren’t in auto club, mobile phone was out of batteries, late for work without a note and there were no tools in the car so you chuck a wobbly.”

It also states that this saying was: “Thought to have originated in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia.”

I, personally, have never had any trouble chucking a wobbly.

For instance, when I was about two years old I couldn’t turn on a tap – wobbly time!

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And I felt much the same way last week when I decided it was time to get a little serious about indoor photography.

You see, the dull winter light just wasn’t cutting it when I tried to take photos of my handmade crochet flower bunting/garland. (The photo below isn’t too bad, but I had to bolt to the camera when the sun appeared from behind the clouds – and just as quickly it disappeared again.)

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So, I did what most do today and turned to the Internet for ideas, suggestions and recommendations on how to set up a small indoor studio on a budget.

I came away with some fabulous information and was quite optimistic that by the end of the day I’d be taking fabulous snaps in my reasonably-priced mini studio.

I was as happy as when I was four – and twice as naive!

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Luckily, I already had a reasonably good point and shoot camera, but apparently I needed a tripod, a white background and, of course, some form of lighting.

So, first came the background – solid white MDF for the base and a lightweight, large plasticky-type sheet to lean against the wall.

And that certainly improved things a little.

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But, oh, let there be light!

We are blessed in TeddyandTottieLand with good natural light for outdoor photography but indoor is a very different story.

There was nothing for it but to experiment, experiment, experiment.

One type of lighting made me feel a little blue! Chucking a wobbly time!

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The next lot made me feel a little washed out! Wobbly time!

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Then, slightly less blue but still not great! Wobbly ….. well, you know!

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Then I got the light right, but had cat issues …

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“Are you talking about me?”

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Yes, Tigger, you little monkey!

Eventually, after days and days of dusting off cobwebs from different work lights found in the shed, and fiddling with settings on the camera – and basically sheer dumb luck – I have stumbled across a set up that’s acceptable.

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Don’t laugh you professional photographers out there!

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I’m all for “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again”, but sometimes you’ve just got to call it quits before they cart you away!

So, this is the final result … for now …

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And, at least I can take photos any time now – day or night – without depending on the sun being out.

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It’s far from perfect, but you get the idea.

My close-up focus especially needs some work.

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But I think that’s a problem for next week!

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In the meantime, bring on the chamomile tea!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

Snake Speak

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At the heady heights of our obsession with all things Harry Potter, we collected many objects associated with the young wizard’s tale.

HARRY POTTER

Ha! Ha! No, that’s not me on a bad day in the middle there – that’s Voldemort, of course! And the strange-looking brown thing on his right is our very own “sorting hat”.

When Tottie and Teddy put it on their heads several years back, it sorted them into Gryffindor without hesitation.

I was sorted into Hufflepuff! (Hmmmf. Yes, it’s true I’m at home in a greenhouse and I’m a little rotund like Professor Sprout, but surely the sorting hat missed my heroic qualities and bravery? Well, not in the face of mice, of course, or rats, oh and yes some spiders, snakes, flying in airplanes, thrill rides, swimming in the sea deeper than my knees, sharks … hmmm …)

Anyway …

If you’re not or never have been into the Harry Potter books or movies, well, you’ve probably already moved on to the next blog you follow, but if you are a little kooky about all things Hogwarts – I’ve got one question for you!

Q: Aside from the great Harry Potter, who else was sorted into Gryffindor AND can speak parseltongue (snake language in J.K. Rowling speak)?

Harry and the Burmese Python. Photo courtesy of: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Parseltongue

A: Tottie

Yes, Tottie!

Who knew?

On our recent trip to Australia Zoo in Queensland, Tottie showcased her parseltongue skills in style.

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Tottie positioned herself beside a very large glass enclosure to get a closer look at the majestic python.

And the reptile noticed the interested onlooker straight away.

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Tottie translated for me afterwards and the encounter went something like this.

“Hello,” said the python.

“Do you know, according to Wikipedia, I am one of the five largest snakes in the world.

“My wild relatives average 3.7 metres (12ft) long but can reach up to 5.74 metres (19ft).

“Ah, you like water, too.

“My species are often found near water and are sometimes even semi-aquatic.”

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“My, you’re lovely, Tottie – and so very tall”

“Right back at you,” said Tottie. “Your skin is totally awesome.”

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“Why, thank-you,” the python replied. “I love your pretty bracelet and I’m so glad to see you are not wearing snakeskin shoes or carrying a snakeskin bag.

“My kind are considered ‘threatened’ because, historically, we have been slaughtered to supply the world leather market.

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Tottie: “Oh! That’s terrible!”

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“I’m so glad you think so,” said the python.

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“You don’t mind if I get a little closer to your fluffy, cuddly blue skin, do you?

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“Oooh! So cosy!

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“Happy dance!

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“Did you know, Tottie, like all snakes, Burmese pythons are carnivorous.

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“My species use their sharp rearward-pointing teeth to seize their prey of birds or mammals and then wrap their bodies around the prey, at the same time contracting their muscles, killing the prey by constriction.

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“We are very strong and must be looked after properly if people wish to keep us as pets.”

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“Oh! That’s fascinating information and so true about looking after pets properly,” Tottie said to the python.

“I’m so glad we can speak together in parseltongue, but I’m so sorry I can’t free you like Harry did in Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone in the US).”

“Oh! That’s OK. I quite like it here, really. I have a huge enclosure and interesting faces to look at all the time.

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“Do come back and visit again, Tottie, and bring your Harry Potter friend with you next time!”

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Parseltongue:

“Psā!”

“Efe iska?”

He, he, he!

Tigger and Oscar hit the big time!

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teddyandtottie:

Tigger and Oscar featured on Katzenworld this week among some other super cuties! Yay! Thank-you the good folks at Katzenworld!

Originally posted on Katzenworld:

Hi friends and followers!

Please find below photos of participants of last weeks photo challenge and links back to their own Blogs:

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Photo by The Canadian Cats

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These two tummy beauties are from Teddy and Tottie. :)

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And these beauties are from Three Cat Yard.

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And these two super special tummy pictures of Andy are from Weggieboy’s Blog!

Would you like to see your own cats here next week? Well the rules are simple.

All you need to do is post a photo or photo story of your furfriend on your own Blog and add our photo challenge photo (Click on this text to get the photo) to your post. :)

And to make it fair your cat photos don’t have to be a tummy shot we do understand that not all cats like showing their belly! So any fun photo story will be fine…

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ZZZZZzzzzzzzz – Sleep Like No One Is Watching!

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Oscar certainly lives by this rule.

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There’s often fur and legs everywhere.

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And, whilst walking past, you catch a glimpse of super cuteness that instantly puts you in two minds!

Ooohhh! I really, really want to leave him in peace in the lovely land of REM, but that pink nose, mouth and paw pads – and all that superfine fluff – is screaming out for a big squeezie hug!

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Luckily for Oscar, he is not the only one who sleeps like no one is watching in this household.

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Mind you, I don’t think Tigger realises that Edward B. Bear and Puss-In-Boots don’t sleep when he does -

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and are constantly watching as he quietly snores his way through several hours,

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and many cute poses …

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Aaawwwww!

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Now you’re just playing it up for the good folks on the www, Tiggy Wiggy!

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How lucky we are to have such cuties but, boy, we miss our handsome Dee Dee so very, very much!

xoxoxoxoxox