Children’s Dressing Gown

I made a dressing gown for the niece for Christmas.  It wasn’t exactly difficult to construct but got quite fiddly in places.  I got some fleece fabric from eBay, there are quite a few fleece sellers on eBay but they all seem to stock the same 5 patterns.  I liked this one as it had cute elephants on it. But also some of the elephants were upside down it would make it less obvious at the seams when the pattern didn’t match up.

I used blue for the body and sleeves and brown for the trim.  In my first attempt I made a booboo by cutting one of my sleeves the wrong way round (like having two right arms), and had to order more fabric.  So now I have a lot left over…Anyway, inside I kept the seams neat by doing French seams which can be hard to run through a sewing machine when you’re using thick fabric.

My main area of concern was the collar.  I created the pattern by adjusting a kids dress pattern I already had, and I looked at dressing gowns in shops and online to guide me.   But pretty much all of the ones I looked at had hoods, which I didn’t want to add because I didn’t know how to make that pattern piece and it would take a lot of fabric.  And, not for the first time, I realised I did not know how big my niece’s head is.  So I wasn’t sure how to finish the collar and lapels. So I left it undone pretty much, I wasn’t totally happy with it but it sort of worked.

My Favourite Film Photos of 2017

2017 film
Top- Capitol Building, Washington Bottom- St Paul’s Cathedral, London

I always say I want to take more film photos, and then I don’t.  I have definitely reeled off a few rolls of films this year but I would like to have done more.  I would have liked to have used more different cameras.  But when I did try new things they didn’t work out very well.

A big problem is light.  Only a couple of the cameras have flashes.  I don’t like to use flash inside because it’s so very annoying, and outside it does nothing.

I used to use my East German Beirette which was sturdy, chunky, heavy, and very reliable.  Until it all fell apart.  I think a screw came out and it lies in parts somewhere.   Now I use my German Agfa which is sturdy, chunky, heavy, and very reliable.

I also enjoy using my Canon Ixus camera with APS film.  It’s electronic but takes film.  Expensive film.  Top left is the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C taken with the Canon Ixus on a clear sunny day.  And below St Paul’s Cathedral taken with my Agfa on a clear, but cold winter day, with black and white film.

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Camera Clean Up

I always want to take more analogue photographs, and set it as a sort of New Year goal.   And I always seem to get to the end of the year and feel like I haven’t done enough.  Well it costs money to have films developed, and I struggle to find occasions to photograph.  I know the ethos of Lomography is along the lines of ‘no need for an occasion just go out and shoot’ but they are not people who spend most of their free time hanging around the house doing laundry.  It’s pretty impossible to use most of my cameras inside due to the low light levels, and during the week in the winter it’s dark when I set off to work and return home.  So that screws that up.

Still I decided to give my film cameras a sort out, and see what I’ve got and keep them better organised.  I’m hoping I’ll be able to always have one on the go, so that I can just grab it and shoot if I do end up doing something exciting.

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Black and White 35mm Film Photography


After finishing my first roll of film in London, I popped in another at which point I realised it was black and white.  Which is why my photos change from colour to much less colour half way through the trip!

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The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley- Book Review

Well, it’s a mess!  This book is clearly supposed to be a slowly unfolding mystery (so hard to review without spoilers!).  But really it’s just convoluted and nonsensical.  To give a plot overview without spoilers I’ll refer to the blurb.

It’s set in early 1880’s London, with some flashbacks to Japan, although the Japanese characters speak excellent English, and those sections lacked authenticity to me.  Our protagonist Thaniel Steepleton works in the, rather boring, telegraphy department at the Home Office. He returns to his tiny flat one day to find a gold pocketwatch on his pillow.  Continue reading “The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley- Book Review”

Books of 2017

Well, I know I’ve failed to hit my target of 30 books this year.  Unfortunately, there was a gap of a few months over the summer where I was just playing with my phone on the train instead of reading.  And again in winter.  I found it a very hard habit to break, even though a few days of reading instead of pinteresting makes me feel so much better.  But I have read, and reviewed, a few decent books.

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35mm Film Photos with Agfa Camera

The British Museum

We went to London at the end of November, and I managed to use a couple of rolls of film whilst I was there.  It was a little tricky as these cameras do not handle low light levels well at all, so the photos I took inside were all far too dark and by the time we came out of the museums or shops the natural daylight had gone because the sun was setting so early.  Continue reading “35mm Film Photos with Agfa Camera”

(Healthy) Chocolate Oranges

I struck upon a healthier way to enjoy chocolate orange this Christmas.  No, it’s not quite as good the real thing, but they were pretty yummy.  They were also incredibly easy.  I think they could have done with more chocolate personally.  And you probably want a napkin when you’re eating… Continue reading “(Healthy) Chocolate Oranges”

2018 Photo Calendar

I have made my own calendar for quite a few years now.  It means I can make it the size I want, and arrange the dates how I want (mainly meaning a Mon-Sun week, not Sun- Sat), and include my own photographs to make it more personal.  At one point I made complicated and exciting collages of photographs, but I have simplified in my old age.  Nowadays, I use one image for each month, that comes from the same month in the previous year. Continue reading “2018 Photo Calendar”