Alasdair on January 8th, 2013

I decided a few months ago that I’d like to make an attempt at taking a photo every day for a year.  It sounds so simple, so easy.  I’m sure it would be if everything always went your way, if the lighting was always perfect, if the subject matter was always available, if you were always bright and cheerful without a worry or a responsibility in the world.

Of course in the seven days since I started this little ‘adventure’ I have been struck down with a stomach flu, two of my daughters have suffered similarly, the youngest has been up through the night – night after night – and the weather has maintained a quality of lighting mostly reminiscent of the very earliest television broadcast . . . I’m not even sure we can really call it lighting in all honesty.  In the absence of natural lighting, artificial must suffice, unfortunately, my home remains in a state of semi-refurbishment and good quality artificial lighting is difficult, nay! impossible, to come by.  I even managed to destroy my light-box at some point last year.

As to subject matter, well, who knew it would be so difficult!  Most days in my life are dull, coincidentally like the weather, so there is no exciting event to take some snaps of.  It means finding interesting images in the everyday, the mundane.  I’ve seen some examples of this project turn into a family photo album, which is fine, but not really what I had in mind when I started out all those days ago (all 7 of them), it’s something I’m keen to avoid.

Still, it’s a learning curve, things will improve, generally I think I take some fairly decent snaps.  Although generally I don’t set targets and goals, I can also pick and choose where and when.  This is going to be far more challenging than I first thought.

Here’s the first seven days.

I’m uploading the photo’s daily to the MadeStuff Facebook page, here, with a short explanation or you can get a weekly digest on the webiste … where you are now.

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Jolene on December 2nd, 2012

A quick note to say Hi to anyone who is visiting us after seeing us at craft fairs this winter.  The link to the shop is over to the right.  If you don’t see what you’re looking for there, please send a note to

You can also follow us on Facebook for all our latest updates, and some very cool crafts from around the globe…

Jolene on November 4th, 2012

We’ve been invaded by owls this weekend.  I made another couple yesterday and young Miss MadeStuff is going to be making a larger owl after her lunch today (a picture of that will naturally follow construction).

I think they look like they’re getting ready for some Christmas carols and the chap there on the left clearly ate all of the pudding!  Is it too early to mention the C word yet?

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Jolene on November 3rd, 2012

Felt owls, making a come back by popular demand – can be made to order with any initial and a colour of your choice.

Available to purchase in the shop

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Jolene on October 7th, 2012

This scarf spent far too long on the loom and probably even longer waiting to be photographed.  Happy to say it’s complete now.  A really nice lightweight scarf for the autumn, or an unseasonably warm winter – we can live in hope.

Available to purchase in the MadeStuff shop

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Alasdair on August 17th, 2012

This post was originally made on our sister site, grownstuff.
Although grownstuff as a gardening website has died and been reborn as blowin off topic my own gardening endeavours have not come to such a cataclysmic end, in fact, as a result of my efforts in that area I’m proud to be able to present a couple of wallpapers for your desktop.
Both wallpapers are available for either your desktop ( 1600×1200 ) or your laptop ( 1680×1050 ). If anybody is particularly desperate for them in other resolution you can leave me a note in the comments section and I’ll add that one too.


1600 x 12001680 x 1050



1600 x 12001680 x 1050




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Alasdair on August 10th, 2012

. . . even more so than the world of pickled onions.

There you have it, you’ve been warned, it’ll be complex and it takes balls of steel to see it through.  Here’s a step by step guide:

  1. Grow some beets, not any beets, they have to be the right beets.  I find beetROOTs to be best.
  2. Don’t pick your beets until they’re ready – that is to say until they have a big fat root . . . or if you want pickled baby beets, not until they have a wee fat root.
  3. Get some pickling vinegar, Sarsons sell big jars of the stuff . . . you’ll need some.  *** You’ll also need a jar, probably best to use one that’s had pickles in it before as the lid will have been treated to protect it against rust caused by the vinegar, alternatively you can cover the jar opening with cling-film before putting the lid on in order to create a barrier ***
  4. Remove the leaves and stringy roots.
  5. Peel the beets, don’t worry about the red stuff, it’s not blood . . . not unless you’ve been careless.
  6. Cut your beets into 1/2cm slices, half any slices that are too big for your jar.
  7. Put your beets into a pan of boiling water for five mins or so, not too long mind.
  8. Drain your beets and cool a bit.
  9. Place your empty jar in an empty bowl and fill to the top with vinegar.
  10. Fill your jar with the beets, the vinegar will overflow (hence the bowl, if you skipped step 9 I bet you feel like a right ninny now, huh huh?), and put the lid on . . . probably a good idea to rinse the vinegar of the outside of the jar too.

Ta-da!  Pickled beetroot!  If you managed all this then I dare say you’re some kind of mensa graduate, am I right?

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Alasdair on August 7th, 2012

f/4 photography collective are a small group of photographers Russell Sherwood, Tim Wilcock, Marcus McAdam and Pascal Bobillon.  The group was recently founded on the Isle of Skye and they run a facebook page showcasing some of their extraordinary work.

The image below is merely a taster, check out their sites and facebook page at the links above!

Trotternish Ridge from the Quiraing by Russell Sherwood

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Alasdair on August 4th, 2012

So you think that all grafitti is vandalism?

This looks like art to me.


Alasdair on August 1st, 2012

Originally blogged at

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