I read the Globe and Mail and every day they have a photo contest, related to a specific theme. Friday's theme was "Windows", and I decided to upload some images to the contest, which involved me having to get a Flickr account. I didn't win : ( but it has got me interested in organizing some of the many images I have taken over the years into thematic sets. I have included a few favourites here, but the rest can be seen at : http://www.flickr.com/photos/imariguy/ Let me know which one(s) you like best.
Nothing brings out my crafty side more than the approach of Christmas. For years, I have made paper snowflakes to hang in windows and set out doily-like on tables. Although they are not "true" snowflakes in that they are not six-sided, I like the look of the less traditional, but easier-to-fold-and-cut four-sided symmetry. Start with a square piece of paper, fold it in half diagonally, then again, then once more and you are ready to begin. Use sharp scissors so the paper doesn't tear and so you get clean, sharp lines. From there, just let your imagination take hold. I try to cut as much paper away as possible and usually just follow my instincts. The above snowflake (the first of the season!) was inspired by the Christmas Cactuses we have, and which are in the midst of flowering. The "arms" are very like the serrated leaves with flower buds at the tips. I have also used coloured paper to great effect and have also cut shapes that can be folded up to create 3D effects. I will show some of those at a later date.
Origami Xmas tree
As you may recall from previous posts, I like to make origami, and at Christmas-time, I enjoy making origami Christmas tree decorations for our tree and as hostess gifts. I was surfing the web this year to come up with some new ideas and came across the following web-site: http://stephensorigami.blogspot.ca/2010/12/origami-christmas-tree-tutorial.html. His tree is much more involved than mine above and uses poster board. I am lucky to have such a vast assortment of origami paper that I could use brown for the trunk, but because I was running low on green I could only do three tiers for the greenery. I quite like how it turned out though and will definitely be making more for household decorations. In addition, the individual units that make up the tree lend themselves well to Christmas decorations - see the side for the units (upside-down) and finished products. I used paper that is coloured on both sides, which is important as the individual units would have white showing otherwise.
As it is Remembrance Day, I thought I would post some old photos of family members in uniform. Above are pictures of my father's father, William Ernest, taken at the start and end of WWI - what a difference a few years make! He was a Sergeant in the cavalry and was stationed in Germany. He must have seen some awful things in his time there, but my dad says he never talked about his experiences, something which was probably typical of that time.
The next image down is my maternal Grandfather, Horace Ernest Edwards. I never met him as he died when my mother was in her early 20's. He looks awfully young in the picture and there is a strong resemblance between him and my brother. I don't know anything about his experiences during the first world war, not even where he was stationed or what rank he was.
Next is a picture of my great-uncle, Stephen George Stroud, my Nana's eldest brother (he's the one on the left). My Nana was one of eight and, sadly, Stephen died on the French battlefield mere weeks before the end of the first world war. He is buried in a military cemetery in France, near the Belgium border. No one in the family has ever visited his grave and, one day, I would like to make the trek there to pay my respects. In 1919, his sister, Marie, died from the Spanish Flu, a not-uncommon experience for that time. Stephen's father was never the same and drank himself into an early grave sometime in the 1930's.
Both my father and Uncle served during the end of second world war. My dad was a meteorologist in the RAF and went all over the world including India, Ceylon, the Cocos Islands, Australia and Japan. Let's all take some time to remember what all of these brave people did and are still doing to ensure we live in a better and safer world.