Monday, July 8, 2013

How I Kept Myself Busy On Vacation

This vacation was a different kind of vacation for us. We've always gone camping or taken biking trips or something in the past, but this year, with my job situation being so unpredictable, we felt it would be best to save as much money as possible. So we visited our families and stayed home and worked on projects we've been wanting to do for a while.

My husband is big into ham radio/amateur radio. So he was working on building a new platform for one of his antennas. We're in an apartment so we are limited on where he can set up antennas, but we do have a balcony so he's always looking for creative ways to get a better range. That has kept him pretty busy the last few days.

My project was a bit shorter. It did take me about 5 hours to complete, but that's just because I've never done anything like this before.

First of all, I should say that I like to take pictures. I don't know how to take great pictures, but I enjoy it. My husband got me a camera for a wedding gift and then this Christmas he ordered me a Groupon for a photography class through Flying Photo School. It's Digital 101 and it teaches me all about the buttons on the camera and how to manipulate them to get the best pictures possible. So far I've only done Week 1, but I've already learned quite a bit to improve my photo quality and I'm excited to see what the other 3 weeks will give me.

One thing that has always bugged me, however, was that when we go to family gatherings there are about 4 cameras lying around, all Canon, and it is somewhat confusing to me to find my own camera easily, lol. I said I liked taking pictures ... I did not say that I know anything about photography or cameras. But I'm learning. Anyway, my solution was to get a fun camera strap so I could identify my camera quickly. After searching around online and in a few photo stores, I didn't find anything I liked that was reasonably priced. So I decided I was going to make my own strap. I've put it off for quite a while, but I finally got around to getting some fabric and thread and got out the sewing machine that I have had for years but used maybe a handful of times, ever.

This was the very first time I've ever used the thing that I didn't feel like chucking it out of the window, haha! I finally figured out why it was getting snagged every other attempt at pushing the pedal. That helps so, so much. I still managed to prick myself with needles more than I care to admit and I realized some big mistakes in the project that were too late to fix, but I'm confident my next attempt will be easier.

So, here it is, my finished product. I love grey and yellow, so the fabric choice was pretty easy for me. And I included a pocket to hold my lens cap. The ends are the parts that I realized I had done wrong. I should have finished them before I sewed the strap together. But I'll work on that next time. I thought about just sewing the cover to the actual strap itself, but didn't want to have to throw the whole thing away or try to cut it out if I decided to change the pattern or if it got dirty. So I can now take it on and off easily and once I get a few more made, I'll have options on color and pattern depending on my mood. I'm excited and proud of my first finished sewing product in years! : )

I've included some of the pictures I took during Week 1 of my class, learning about White Balance and ISO. Hopefully my pictures will keep getting better. I finally figured out why they were all so grainy before. Apparently I had it set to night time shooting, lol. Oops. We'll see what I find out in Week 2! : )

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