Tag Archives: photography

W is for Wonderwool

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W I went to Wonderwool yesterday and thought I’d share my day out with you.

Wonderwool?  Its a ‘trade show’ (or as they call it ‘A Festival of Welsh Wool & Natural Fibres) for spinners & weavers and other crafters, and was held at the Royal Welsh Show grounds in Builth Wells.

The forecast was for rain, and it looked like it was right on the drive there, but by the afternoon it was a brilliantly sunny day!

I found some new suppliers, and bought some lovely silk fibres, which I will be putting up on etsy & ebay in the coming weeks, but this post is just about some of the people, and animals (!), who I came across during my day out.

Apologies to the others who haven’t got featured, it was a big show and I didn’t get around it all, and I kept getting distracted by all the nice stuff there, and forgot to get my camera out!

So here is a gallery of the photos I DID take – hover over the pictures to see the caption, or click on them to get a slide show – you may need to do this to read the full descriptions – I have given the contact details for all those featured.

And look out for the May/June issue of Yarn Maker whose editor I met several times in my meanders, and who was also taking pictures for a feature. (www.yarnmaker.co.uk)

Aside

E this is the 2nd week of the A-Z challenge and today’s post – as ever – you can find on “the spare”

My chicks are now 10 days old and I have put up some new pictures of them – smile.

E is for my Easter chicks

“julzcrafts.com”- yes I’ve registered the domain! + concerns about copyright

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So, I have decided to become “respectable”, and have registered this domain, and hope it will make it easier for customers to find me.  If you are still using julzcrafts@wordpress.com, you will be automatically forwarded to julzcrafts.com, so it won’t affect you.

As regular readers will know, I have been following the blogging101 course run by WordPress, and have changed the look and scope of my blog quite a bit in the last few weeks.

However, I lost most of the changes today, by pressing the wrong button!

Many thanks to the WordPress staff and  fellow members of the course, who have helped me restore it –  and since I was at it,  I also made a few more changes – ie: I have added so many widgets that you will wonder when its going to end – smile.  

Do comment if you think its over the top – or if you don’t.

The most important widget is all the way down at the end of the blogroll,  the column on the right hand side of this page.

One of the course members started a discussion about copyright, and members from Ireland, Sweden, USA, India, China and other countries got involved, all concerned about how easy it is these days to just grab a picture from anyones site, and make use of it without crediting the author.  It is one of the strengths and weaknesses, of the digital age!

I used to be a professional photographer – with letters after my name – and I hate to use other people’s photos, unless I have to, and whenever I do, I credit them.  (This doesn’t apply to the stock photos that I sometimes use because I’m too lazy to rephotograph product shots – smile.)  

Photographers have always been concerned about copyright, but before the growth of digital photography, it was less prevalent, because photographs were physical objects, and the most people could do was rephotograph them for publication, or run them thro’ the photocopier!

When I put my photographic greetings cards or posters up for sale on ebay or etsy, I always use the version with my copyright stamped across them, but had strangely, not really considered doing this on a blog.  Several members of this discussion group had found out that their photos had been ‘grabbed’ and were now appearing on strangers tweets or facebook pages, as if they were their own pictures!

I don’t think this is uncommon, and because there are millions of internet users, it must happen every minute, and often the original “creator” never finds out.

Blogs with heavily copyrighted images don’t look very friendly, but you can put a notice on your blogroll to warn readers that these are your images, and you would like recognition for them if they are used elsewhere.

I have adapted the copyright notice from another members blog – with her permission I might add!  In case you can’t be bothered to look – the text of this ‘Declaration of Copyright’ is as follows –

 

Going back in time – photographs of a small mine that still worked with pit ponies in 1981

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This original 12″ x 10″ print is available on etsy

sepia1 - miner copyright_Fotor

set of 4 mining postcards available at etsy

Whilst working on this blog, with the help of the WordPress Team, and the other hundreds of people on this online course, who come from every part of the globe, I have been reviewing and rethinking, and struggling at times with layouts and exactly what to say.

In my first blog for this course, I put up a couple of images that I published as sepia postcards, and I wondered why I did that, because I took them so long ago!   You can see that post HERE.

For whatever reason, I am prompted to put up two more of this set of images, my favourites. There was a small mine a little way up the hill from where I live that was still working with their well-loved pit ponies, in 1981 (the year I moved here from London).

I’d heard that they were there, but wasn’t sure how to find them.  I was out with my old olympus early one morning and just happened on them.

The mine was family owned and just above their house. Their land, their farm, and their mine, that had made them rich.

They were lovely people,, and at that time were happy in their work.  They must have had some stamina, because it was certainly heavy manual work, and they were no longer young.  They were part of the old Wales, the close knit mining community, and they knew there was no one to follow them into the dark.

Their ponies didn’t seem overworked – but it was such a strange sight – a tiny little industrial pocket in a dip of the grass and shrub clad hillside and the grazing sheep.  I could easily have passed them by and not noticed them – if it wasn’t for the noise of coal going down the chute.

They knew I’d published these photos, I gave them some of the originals, that I printed myself from the negatives, and some of the professionally printed ones I have for sale.

Because the morning mist had not yet disappeared, the negatives were really difficult to print from, and I tried many different variations, in my little darkroom.

Well, the darkroom is now dark, damp and unused, coal is no longer mined nearby, the mine closed sometime around the 1985 strike, and these are images of men and work that have passed into history and the Welsh Heritage Tourist Industry.

When I have these pictures on display, or give one to someone local as a gift, they all say, oh, I knew him, he was a lovely man – he was – you can tell that from his face.

Bye Bye 1981, and manual cameras – I’m in the digital world now, and learning more about it every day.  And oddly, despite the melancholy mood I have been expressing, I’m looking forward to something good happening in 2015.

If you click on the link on the captions of each photograph, it will take you to the listings on etsy.  On the other hand, you could just look here, but please don’t grab them off the screen, they are my copyright, and part of my life, and they don’t belong to you – smile.

I thought I’d see if I could link the to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Gone, But Not Forgotten.”

Welcome to 2015!

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NB:  This week I am following a “blogging101” online course to learn how to blog more effectively.  
Please bear with me while I do my daily assignments, I obviously don’t usually write daily posts and if you are fed up with them – don’t read them – smile!  On the other hand, you might like to comment and let me know how I’m doing!

 

Today’s assignment is “Introducing Yourself” – so here goes ….

Firstly, you can actually find a fair bit about me by looking at the “About Julz” page, (see the link at the top of this page) which I have written to give my usual customers an idea of who they are buying from.  Today, I thought I’d write something completely different!

Tilly, my 6 month old "kitten" in the garden

Tilly, my 6 month old “kitten” in the garden

So let’s start off with a pretty picture – not its not me!

One of the things I have difficulty with these blogs is how to arrange my pictures to fit in with the text.  I’ve just had to delete that picture and add it again, so it goes in the right place! (I hope)

This is Tilly.  She was a farm kitten who I fell in love with, and asked if I could have her – the family were happy to give her to me because they had too many cats already, but because she was virtually feral, it took ages to catch her, and she jumped out of the box several times!  I was worried that she’d get loose in the car when I drove her home, but luckily she settled down, the drone of the engine and the awful music I was playing probably helped.

She wasn’t used to being handled, and scratched like mad when I tried to pick her up.  Obviously, she was frightened.  As soon as I got her home, I decided I’d have to shut her in,  to make sure she didn’t run away immediately.  I chose the bedroom, and had to keep her in the box while I prepared a food tray, and the other kind of tray for her.  Just as well I did, cos she immediately ran under the bed, where I couldn’t reach her, and didn’t even touch the food until I’d left the room to give her time to settle down and explore in her own time.  And of course, she didn’t know what the litter tray was for, so later on I have to clean up after her!  I was actually feeling guilty for taking her away from her ‘family’, her mother and the rest of the kittens, and thought maybe I’d done the wrong thing.  However, she was 16 weeks old, so she was weaned, and was old enough to leave the farm.

Well three months on, I’m so glad I got her, and I think, so is she – she’s sitting on the bed as I type,  and has happily explored the garden, made friends with the chickens, well not friends, but they all have a healthy disregard for each other. The chickens chase her away if she tries to eat their food!  She even comes in when she’s called – tho she does love to play the game of going out again just to make me open the door and look for her!

I can’t use a cat flap yet cos I’m still not sure she wouldn’t wander too far and get lost, as the garden backs onto the hillside of the valley I live in.  Its an ex-mining area of South Wales, UK, and although the mines are now gone, when I first came here, 30 years ago, it was common to see men looking like they’d put Khol around their eyes – the coal dust was difficult to wash off!  The miners strikes of 1985 and Maggie Thatcher finished all that.  Just for info, these are two of the postcards I published about the miners strike.

1985 miners strike - sign for the food distribution centre - people contributed because by that time the strike had gone in so long that they literally couldn't afford to feed their families.  I thought is was amusing that the bin was just next to it!

1985 miners strike – sign for the food distribution centre – people contributed because by that time the strike had gone in so long that they literally couldn’t afford to feed their families. I thought is was amusing that the bin was just next to it!

The "ALAMO" picket shelter  - so named because it was the miners "last stand"

The “ALAMO” picket shelter – so named because it was the miners “last stand”

That’s all for today, hope you liked it!  Oh, and if you want to see what I sell, just click on any of the “personal links” underneath my photo on the right hand side of this blog.

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ASIDE: JAPANESE KNOTWEED IS IN THE NEWS ……

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spring time and the japanese knotweed is looking very healthy!

spring time and the japanese knotweed is looking very healthy!

Just been watching the BBC morning news, and was amazed that they were featuring the problems of Japanese Knotweed – it is a rampant weed round here – and some lenders are refusing mortgages to properties that have it in their garden.  There is also talk of a fine being levied on householders who don’t make efforts to eradicate it ………

I have it in my garden!  It has spread from the hillside below – altho’ I have been uprooting it steadily for years, its well known that only a tiny bit of root can sprout and its back again.  Botanically its actually an amazingly resilient plant, and was originally intentionally introduced into this country over 100 years ago to stabilise railway embankments.  The roots go down and down and down!  (Up to 3 m according to the man on the tv.)

Until recently, no one ever expected to be able to get rid of it,  the only thing you could do was pull up the sprouts as soon as they pushed thro the earth.   But all of a sudden there are companies making good money spraying it and promising that it won’t reappear.  Actually, I don’t believe it.  I have built bonfires over it and it still comes back.

They are now recommending getting a digger into your garden – disrupting all your plants – I can still grow veg and flowers in my garden, altho’ as I’ve been ill this year, the garden is looking pretty rough.  I’d better go out and pull out as much of the knotweed as possible – I don’t intend paying for a digger!

I wonder how much its going to cost the council to try and get rid of it – are they going to try?  There are hillsides full of it.

Oddly enough, I did read something somewhere that said you could cook the young leaves and eat them – like nettles and spinach.  Does anyone know anything about this?

Coincidentally, honestly, a couple of days ago, having been selling my photographic greetings cards last week (see previous post),  I was playing around with the idea of uploading digital files of some of my photographs onto etsy.  They have a service for people to buy them as digital downloads, for a fraction of the price of a print.

Most people sell landscapes or “pretty” pictures, but because I had been looking at a set of digital photos I had taken up the hill last spring and wondering if they would be worth printing up, the first digital download I chose was the one above – of japanese knotweed.  If you click on the picture above, it will take you to my etsy listing – its only £3!

PS:  Updated on 6 July 2015:  Because of the VAT MOSS mess – see my post on this – I decided I’d better take down all my digital photos on Etsy – so this is the only place you will find this photo for now!

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