Friday, January 27, 2012

A Photo a Day

Last year I stumbled across some blogs that were taking a photo every day, and thought how much easier it would be than writing a diary. Years ago a friend tried to do it, but in the 'old' days (pre-digital and pre-cameraphone) it took some commitment.

I was going to wait until June and do it for a whole year birthday-to-birthday... but then I discovered the Apple app Instagram.

I love it because:

  • I have always liked square photos
  • it has easy, pretty filter effects to make your phone photos look great
  • at the same time you publish your photo you can also send a copy to Facebook, twitter, tumblr or email (I email to the grandparents)
  • if you like some privacy for pics of the kids, accounts can be private (so I have an account @gretbert for public/crafty stuff, and a second account for more personal stuff) 

Like Pinterest, it can be used as social networking... or just a useful way to keep track of your own stuff. Not many of my friends use it yet but it is really interesting to see pictures by favourite bloggers like (these are their Instagram account names, most people use the same as their twitter name) kootoyoo, lilmagoolie, mybeardedpigeon, pilgrim_lee and meetmeatmikes.

I haven't quite taken a photo every day this year, but something that has helped is the January photo-a-day challenge by Fat Mum Slim. She has suggested a topic each day, and then if you use #janphotoaday in your caption, it gets added to all the other pics with that label (just like twitter) - so far there are 150,000 which means at least 5,000 people are playing! And of course everyone has different takes on each topic.

Chantelle has just made up the February list, of course you don't have to use Instagram, you could use twitter or Facebook if you want to share or just see if using the camera every day becomes a buzz or a drag...

I'm hoping that at the end of the year I can put together 366 pics for a poster, but if I don't get that far there are lots of other ideas here, magnets or did you know you can get photos made into viewfinder slides!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Toy Society

I have been making crochet toys and found a cool way to pass them on - The Toy Society, a blog that tracks handmade toys randomly dropped in cities all over the world.

Just email  for details about how it works, how to package them up etc. The idea is that it encourages people to interact with their local environment, and have the rare experience of getting something for nothing. The blog (and flickr group) catalogues all the toys that have been 'dropped', and any messages from people that have found them.

Violet the unicorn (from this book) was on the verge of being adopted by my daughter, who really doesn't need another soft toy, so I explained we could pack her up and leave her in a park for someone else to take home. It was actually quite exciting, as I wanted to do the drop somewhere that she would be found, but not until we had cleared out - I had visions of someone without kids finding it and offering it back to us!

I think my next toy will need to find a home through our blog... watch this space for a giveaway soon!

p.s. I may not get around to writing about all my little toys, but if you are interested in works in progress I post photos on twitter and instagram as @gretbert

Friday, January 13, 2012

Smartie-pants cakes

I love this robot cake my sister made for the little man's recent birthday...

The numbers are icing set in a chocolate mould and the smarties (pebbles!) reminded me of some other awesome cakes I have seen lately.

Retro mummy always has amazing recipes on her blog but I love this one... pastry and ganache and smarties, oh my!

I found this rainbow cake on pinterest but it is originally from this article on easy cakes. Just use different sizes of M&Ms, genius!

Even easier - M & Ms and Kit Kats by (I am not a kit kat fan but I know lots of people that are).

And taking the trend for ombre cakes to the extreme is this one from Martha Stewart Weddings (for more amazing ombre cakes see here).

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