Friday, 20 June 2008

Fovant Badges

There are quite a few figures cut into the chalk hills in the Downs area, these wre a bit different from the usual.

There's a brief explanation at the viewing point and the website is here.

Cross-stich Pattern from Flower Pic

Now and again I do a bit of counted cross-stitch work - providing I have someone to give it to.

I don't have a patterning making prog but use image editing software.

It doesn't matter if the image is not absolutely sharply focussed - I sharpen a little and adjust the contrast and then posterise which flattens out the colours - this was 100% posterisation at a depth of 8 pixels.

The next stage is to pixelise the pic.

This one is in blocks of 8 pixels - when I want to create the embroidery I'll printout at A4 (regardless of the size of the canvas) so that I can mark the squares with a fine point pen as a colour guide.

Holiday Disasters at Breamore

The day we went to Breamore proved to be quite expensive for Jones - not because of the entrance charges but because of the accident he had in the museum.

The museum has some very interesting Rural Life displays but the machinery section in particular would seem to be suffering from lack of funding - or people to help; most of the exhibits could do with at least a wipe over with and oily rag, like this tractor.

Jones manage to throw his Nikon SLR camera, with big lens attached, at it when he was getting his digital camera out of the bag. I didn't see what happened but he'd put the Nikon on the tractor next to it and the camera strated to fall - he tried to catch it, missed but knocked it onto the wheel of the tractor in the pic damaging the camera and the lens! (don't know why he didn't put the camera down on the floor in the first place).

The part of the museum which houses replica shops and country businesses is in better condition, this pic of the clockmaker's is a bit out of focus 'cos I was taking it through the glass window.

It gets a bit depressing though when you see things in a museum which were commonplace when you were were a kid!!

You probably aren't very interested in sacks - but the Hire Sack system was a good example of fairly intensive recycling.

The hiring company had depots dotted around the area which it serviced and farmers would arrange for the hire of sacks at harvest/threshing time and collect them from a depot. Sometimes there were sacks from more than one hire firm and quite often there would be sacks with darns and patches.

When the sacks of corn (or whatever) were sold to the merchant the sacks were then returned to the relevant depot by the merchant (or collected by the hire company).

This day was showery - but we missed a showere while we were in the museum then went on up to the house (sorry no pic) but didn't go in as entry was by conducted tours - this was because the family live in the house and nothing is roped off. The problem with conducted tours is that there isn't always time to look at things properly and people can get in the way.

We did go into the grounds and found a pretty lilypond - round and formal with a fountain.

This was were I had my "disaster" - I wanted a closer pic of the flower on the left taken from directly above. When I'm using the camera I remove my specs and hook one leg through the button opening in my top.

I leant further over and the specs fell into the pond!

Fortunately the water was fairly clear and I could see the specs close to the edge. Luckily I have long arms and was just able to reach them.

Weather was still looking a bit dodgy so we scooted off to Salisbury to find a camera shop as Jones wanted to have a n SLR when he visited the Tank museum. He found a secondhand model very similar to the one he threw at the tractor (and at half the price of those I checked on ebay when we arrived home!).

There was no manual with it so he had a problem saving his preferred settings and had to reset every time - fortunately I found a downloadable manual on the web the other night and printed it off for him.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

More Hols - Bicton Park (Devon)

(click on the photos to see a larger image)

One day we took a trip over to Devon to see what Bicton Park had to offer - we were particularly interested in the Rural Museum and the Rose Garden; the museum was pretty good (can put some of Jones' pics up if anyone really wants to see them) but the rose garden was just a border of David Austen roses - I was expecting some of the older varieties to be there.

The grounds were beautiful though and we took a ride on the little train through the woodland area where there was a goodly number of Champion Trees (hadn't come across this classification before - apparently they're the best example of the type in the UK). Too much vibration on the train for taking pics though.

After disembarking we found the museum and I was out before Jones and found the Camelia and the late Rhodie then walking through a wooded part I came across a mimosa tree - not the bright yellow of the mimosa you find in florists' shops though - and it smelt just like Helen's mimosa wax!

After the disappointing rose garden I was feeling particularly hot (especially my feet - would have loved to paddle in the pond) so I wandered up to the tearooms for an ice cream (Purbeck Icecream - delicious stuff) while Jones went into the tropical house. The pic is a Prickly Pear in flower.

One of the pigeons decided it was time for a cool bath - then another came to shower under his/her armpit.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Part 1 of Hols 2008

Holiday pics from Dorset (for the Fresholettes who said they wanted to see them); we stayed in
The Spyway Inn Askerswell - well away from the main road but great food.

I'll spare you all Jones' steam, plane and tractor pics (except for one which is relevant re why I was googling and printing the other night - acksherley it will be in Part2 or even Part3).

Travelling down we took a detour into Wiltshire to see a steam and vintage rally then into Dorset via Shaftesbury - first pic is of a street in Shaftesbury which is supposed to be really picturesque - reckon I've seen better.

The second pic is of
Larmer Tree Victorian Pleasure Gardens - lovely place to wander around and on the same day we went flying a kite up by the Hardy monument (3rd pic) which looks as though they forgot to put something on the top when it was built. Long views out to sea with Portland Bill in the far distance.

The Swannery at
Abbotsbury is a lovely place to visit - but quite pricey, even with OAP concessions!! Loads of Swans with the ubiquitous Canada geese and quite a few coots. I tried to get a pic of a cygnet upended - but s/he kept bobbing back too quickly. The composite pic is made of some I took of a baby coot who was swimming round in circles after having been left behind by the others.

I've been told that I ought to have a blog - so this is a start, it's bound to look different once I've had a long look at how to customise the layout.

About the name - Briallen is not a combination of names (e.g. Brian and Ellen) it's Welsh for Primrose, which was my nickname many years ago at secondary school. Putting Blog in front of the name means that in Welsh it reads as Briallen's Blog.