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A while ago I posted a series of photos taken by my then-4-year-old son. It has proved to be one of my most popular posts. I found it fascinating what he considered worthy of photographing, and enjoyed his sense of wonder at the technology of the camera, in particular the flash. In recent weeks, he has also been giving the camera to Otis, who is 2. He too takes pictures of the things he likes, but seems to prefer photographing people for now. Here are a select few from the pair of them, Sol’s love of the macro first:

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This one is a mystery, even to him. Answers on a postcard please.

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A favourite object, with hand to lend a sense of scale:

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The use of flash often lends a crime scene flavour to many shots- or perhaps skanky motel. Either way, it impresses upon us the need to refurbish the bathroom:

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There are still plenty of selfies

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And some family members too

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And I love the joy in Sol’s face at this, Otis’ first ever photo:

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More from Otis

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I know this is slightly off-piste for a crafty blog, but photography is such an expressive and creative medium, and it’s fun to see not only what children do with it, unbound as they are by ideas of subject matter and style, but forms an intriguing glimpse into their world.

A squishy hat


I recently knitted up this hat for my farmer brother-in-law who needed something to keep his noggin warm when he checks on his cows calving in the middle of the night. It’s an aran-weight merino yarn from Malabrigo. It’s itch-free, very warm and very, very soft.



The pattern was a free one called Open Studio, by Hanna Breetz (you gotta love Ravelry, what a fabulous resource) and its ribbed nature means it will actually fit almost anyone. Cosy times ahead, James!

I went to see this film on Monday- the first time I’ve been to the cinema in a long, long time. Not since having children. And I went to see a film about children. Hmmm. A friend of mine had been alerted to the screening, which was at a local high school, by her child’s primary school, and a few of us went along. We were a solitary trio of mothers in an audience of educators, which was something of a pity as it’s one of those wee word of mouth films that should really be seen by everyone.

It’s a documentary by film maker David Bond, who was alarmed by how much time his two young children spent indoors and in front of screens. It was also spurred on by film-makers Green Lions and The National Trust, who were both exploring the idea of ‘nature deficit disorder’ in our children. In particular I loved the conversation David Bond had with one expert, who described how thousands upon thousands of Britons ‘see’ big wild cats in the countryside every year. Sad to say it, but there are no big cats. We would have found them by now, he explained: they poo, they have dens and scratch posts. Even the most elusive big cat in the world, the snow leopard, which lives in some of the most difficult and remote terrain, can be tracked. So why do we see big, wild, black, puma-like cats? Because, this guy believed, we lack the risk and challenge nature provides in our day to day lives. David was thrilled: he was trying to market a product so good people hallucinate about it!

David is not afraid to play the fool and did so to great effect. Think dressing up as a squirrel and trying to climb a tree. The film was very funny, and very slick- they pulled in a team of 60 ‘creatives’ who have fuelled the movement with some lovely graphics and ideas.

It had its drawbacks: there was a really dichotomous emphasis on technology=bad, nature=good. His thinking kids on the Scottish isle of Eigg would be living in some glorious, internet-free natural paradise was slightly naive, and there was no mention of inclement weather, or the crucial impact having decent clothing and boots makes to enjoying time outside.

At the film’s core, though, was the simple idea that children (and adults) just do not get outdoors enough. I can’t argue with that, and really admire David and his team’s vim and brio in bringing the problem to our attention. If you can get along to a screening, do!

Down the lane


Some you win

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Ah, Gumtree. Source of great amusement (cries of who will buy that?! and, How much?!) and great local bargains, it can also lead to disappointment, which I experienced on Friday. But we got back on the Gumtree wagon the next day with the snapping up of this mid century Ercol-alike Danish coffee table for an absolute steal. Ok, so it was in Macduff (on the very tippy top of the Aberdeenshire coast), but we incorporated a visit to the aquarium and an award-winning fish and chip shop and it was, all in all, rather a nice day out! It won’t stay in this room, which is stuffed to the gunnels with furniture, books and the inexorable creep of toys, but in the -eventual- sitting room. Just once we get that unasked-for water feature sorted…

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I was asked to make some cushions recently and allowed pretty much free rein on the designs, which was great fun. I decided to go with a soft, washed out palate of pinks and mustard with a darker Liberty print thrown in to lead your eye around. Placement of pattern, tone and colour has been rendering me paralysed for some time now. The more I read about colour wheels, variation, large prints and small prints, contrast and variation, the more bamboozled I become and I feel incapable of putting things together. I used to be quite instinctive about it and am trying to get back to that instead of fretting over florals.

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I also used an old embroidered tablecloth for one of the cushion covers, bought specially for the purpose due to its perfectly-sized central motif.

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Chopping it up felt somehow easier having purchased it for that very end. This tied in nicely with the vintage-y feel and use of some 1980s Laura Ashley fabrics (and as troubling as this feels to someone born in the 1980s, I think they do qualify as vintage now!)

Night shot! (Most things are finished at night)

Night shot! (Most things are finished at night!)

The cushion pads were lovely British wool ones, which not only feel fantastic but also have a slight scent of wool which I know the knitting recipient will appreciate!

They’re winging their way to their new owner and her lovely Loaf sofa now.

Down the lane



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