This and That

Random bits of my life

Archive for December, 2009

Lady with Unicorn, End of Year Update

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 31, 2009

Lady with Unicorn, Dec. 31, 2009

It has been just over five weeks and around 2800 stitches since I started this embroidery (Nov. 23, 2009). The floor stand for the frame helps enormously. I highly recommend one if you tackle a large embroidery project.

Lady with Unicorn: Sense of Hearing


Posted in Crafts, embroidery | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Ann Martin’s Quilling Video

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 28, 2009

I’ve long been a fan of Ann Martin’s All Things Paper blog. She recently posted a video tutorial for two holiday cards/ornaments. I’m a hardcore YouTube/Vimeo addict and I think that, honestly, this is the best video I’ve seen on quilling. It makes me want to dig out my quilling supplies and start rolling coils.

Well done, Ann! (And profuse apologies for misspelling your name earlier. I know what your last name is after Twittering with you but I’m very tired today.)


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My First Corporate Photo Shoot

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 27, 2009

Corporate Portrait

I was asked by someone in PR at our head office to shoot portraits of some of the guys in marketing. I told her that I wasn’t a pro, just an enthusiastic amateur with a DSLR, and that I was willing to give it a go. I was so nervous for the first shoot that I booked an hour of the guy’s time and shot 22 frames in 3 locations in 12 minutes. Yes, 12 minutes. I even considered — for a split second — dropping my camera on the stairs… I was lucky that my first “guinea pig” was very pleasant to deal with.

The shot above was taken in the company’s fanciest conference room. When I tried to book it, I got a phone call from Logistics informing me that I did not have clearance to book such an important room. Fortunately, the guy I was photographing has clearance, so I asked him to book it for me.

The photo below was taken in a lab with lots of racks. I don’t have clearance for that room, either, but was able to get permission from security to use it temporarily. Next time I’ll be more careful about the rack/server placement in the background.

I didn’t notice that he’d put on his glasses for this shot. I think they make him look more approachable. Next time I’ll watch out for that.

Corporate Portrait

The last one (I actually did several more but they’re variations) was shot in the office, in front of a white board. It wasn’t very clean, so I had to retouch the handprints and smudges in the background.

Corporate Portrait

One down, five more to go!


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Yinnon’s 30th Birthday

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 24, 2009

Yinnon's Birthday

Spider cake courtesy of yours truly. What else would one make for a spider expert? It’s a classic chocolate cake with chocolate icing, orange and plain coconut to simulate the colouring of the Mexican Red-Kneed Tarantula, Twizzler legs and fangs, and Jelly Belly eyes. Eight of them.

Yinnon's Birthday

Masha and Yinnon. Crown and balloons courtesy of Masha.

Yinnon's Birthday

Blowing out the candles

Yinnon's Birthday

A few of the well-wishers who dropped in. Scotch and bourbon courtesy of Yinnon.

But all good things must come to an end…. Our line is expanding and Yinnon and Masha are moving to another room upstairs. We had some good times in this little room at the end of the hall!


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Water Bottle Carrier Lens Bag

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 22, 2009

Brain wave: a small padded water bottle carrier on a shoulder strap can be used as a lens bag in a pinch.

I could easily add more padding and sew the top closed if I wanted to make it into a permanent lens holder.


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Video of My Son Playing the Guitar

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 20, 2009

All teenagers understand, on a more-or-less conscious level, that the prime mission of parents is to embarrass their offspring at every opportunity. Last night I talked my son into letting me record him playing “Time of Your Life.” He doesn’t like to sing on-camera, so this is just the guitar solo and chords. Although my husband walked in near the end, I couldn’t do a retake because my Canon S5 batteries were low.


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Guitars and Climbing Equipment

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 19, 2009

Guitars and Climbing Equipment

Teenage boys chilling out by a traffic circle are momentarily illuminated by the headlights of a passing car. Three of them are playing guitars (my son is the standing guitarist).  As for the ropes and clamps to the right…. They like to climb buildings, especially the synagogue across the street. We’ve told my son that he’s not allowed up on the roof. At least we can see the roof from my kitchen.

This photo was taken with my new Canon 55-250mm zoom lens, from about four floors above street level. Hand-held Rebel XSi, ISO 800. Taken in Maale Adumim at 8:42 P.M.

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I need a new project like I need a …

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 17, 2009

Fill in the blank with appropriate metaphor.

I just found out about photography project, Project365. It’s almost the year 2010. Taking a photo every day would be an interesting challenge, especially since I can’t take photos on Jewish holidays or Shabbat, so it would have to be at the beginning of the day, before a holiday/Shabbat begins, or at the end of the following day, since Jewish days are calculated from sundown. The two days of Rosh HaShanah would require careful planning. Hmmm. Need to think about this.

Even if I don’t manage the entire year, it could be a good learning experience. I learned a lot from NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), although I missed the first two days when I didn’t know about the project (and I didn’t realise, when I signed up, that I could have waited until December). I wouldn’t want to blog a daily photo. That would be too much overhead in terms of time.

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Orenburg Shawl Update

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 16, 2009

Orenburg Triangular Shawl Update

On the home stretch! I’ve worked about a foot of the last edging. I wasn’t sure of my Russian grafting abilities and, to be honest, it seems a little vulnerable to have the entire diagonal edging attached by a chain of stitches that would unravel if one of the strands broke. So I decided to knit the edging onto the edge stitches. Every third row, one selvedge stitch of the edging has to be grafted to two stitches of the body. To keep track of those two stitches, I ran a couple yards of waste yarn along the edge to remind me.

This triangular shawl pattern is from The Gossamer Webs Design Collection.


Posted in Crafts, knitting | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Lady with Unicorn, Third Week

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 16, 2009

Lady with Unicorn Update - Dec. 16, 2009

I started this piece on Nov. 23, 2009 and today is Dec. 16. So far I’ve worked 1790 stitches, just over 1%. Only another 128,590 stitches to go!

Lady with Unicorn: Sense of Hearing

A friend and I ordered floor stands together from an eBay seller in the UK. So far the clamps have arrived. Still waiting for two mailing tubes with the other pieces. I will be very happy to have a floor stand for my frame. The frame is not very stable supported on two bookstands sitting on top of thick dictionaries.


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