I love getting creative during the holidays and when the weather turns cold and the days are shorter I crave crochet projects. There’s nothing better than starting an afghan in the fall to keep you warm while you work on it all winter long. But for me I like to work on projects while I have blankets in progress because sometimes it’s nice to take a break. I found a pattern for Christmas or winter trees that I wanted to make and Mike was 100% for them. I made one evergreen style, one snow covered, and one Christmas tree style. You make the trees and then place them over styrofoam cones to keep their shape. The trees look perfect on our new walnut table that Mike made himself.
Once the trees were complete I practiced using my DSLR to take some photos. Oh the options you have with yarn and crochet!
On Sunday Mike and I traveled downtown for the day to explore the city. One of the best things about living in Chicagoland is you’re not far from Metra stations, we are very close to a commuter train station and then have another station in the neighboring town plus more! And what makes it even better is you can purchase a weekend pass and ride the Metra as many times as you like Saturday and Sunday.
I took my camera with me to continue my practice and used the aperture setting. The day was beautiful for taking photos outdoors- sunny, blue skies, and we even saw a bride and groom outside the planetarium. I wanted to see the Christmas tree so we went to Millennium Park where the outdoor skating rink (one of my bucket list items) and the bean are located.
After lunch at the Italian Village- great restaurant- and one of few open on Sunday, we walked to Adler Planetarium. I took photos indoors too because while I love outdoor photos I know I need to practice indoor too. The Adler Planetarium has Gemini space capsule from NASA which was super cool to see and I love stars and the solar system. We only paid for general admission which doesn’t give you access to the movies and that was fine with us.
Before heading back to Union Station I took some pictures outside of the planetarium adjusting the white balance. I’ve seen what a difference custom white balance makes using the Light Room software but for the pictures I took of the skyline I simply switched between, daylight, shade, and auto white balance and there was certainly a change between each one!
Here are some of my favorite photos and maybe some not so favorites so I can continue to learn and improve with my photography.
Below is a slideshow of the photos I mentioned where I adjusted the white balance. It was about 3 pm in the afternoon and the sun was to my left shining on the buildings – you can tell in photo #2.
This week I took a photography class where I learned more about the functions of my Canon DSLR. The class helped me learn about ISO, Aperture, and Shutter speed and to prevent me from using Auto mode. Now I’m trying to apply the principles I learned to taking better photos and using this knowledge to feel more comfortable behind the lens. Here are some photos I took, these are the ones I find best, and hopefully you’ll see more from me that display improvement!
Today we explored the Lapham Peak unit of the Kettle Moraine Forest in Wisconsin. The Lapham Peak tower had a great view of Pewaukee Lake and Downtown Milwaukee and I can’t wait to go back for the fall leaves. We walked along the Plantation Trail which was a nice paved trail, great for runners who don’t like true trail runs and also excellent for strollers. Next time we’ll explore the Butterfly garden which is connected to the trail.
My newest adventure in crochet was to create a blanket sweater and it’s like a cocoon for the body. I love the gray I used- a lighter one and the yarn is nice and soft but not too bulky. I used Lion Brand’s Heartland yarn as the author of the pattern suggests. The sweater used less than 3 skeins making it inexpensive. I’m excited to wear this sweater more as the weather warms up for spring!