вторник, 19 септември 2017 г.

WIP: Pink Cardigan

A few sneak-peek photos of the cardigan I've been knitting for almost two months now. It's a very light, lacy cardigan, using three yarns of gradient colors held together to get an interesting mixed color effect. I'm using two threads of bright red Italian bobbin 10% cashmere, 20% silk, 70% merino, one thread of fuchsia color 100% merino and one thread of raspberry color 100% merino. So far I'm loving it, I've only one more sleeve to knit, I wish I had the free time ...

:: This is the state the cardigan was about a month ago

::Today I attached the first sleeve and if I can spare the time tonight I'll try to cast on the second sleeve

:: The border of the cardigan is lace and the body is stockinette stitch

: Just a touch of lace for the border of the sleeve. I should have knitted the sleeve in the round but it occurred to me only when I was half-way through knitting it. I was really surprised of myself that I hadn't thought of this earlier, am I getting more forgetful or what ?!

събота, 16 септември 2017 г.

Peak Kamen Del

After last weeks extreme adventures, this Saturday we opted for a short and easy hike to the most panoramic peak on Vitosha - Kamen Del. We've been on many peaks, where one can observe the city below, but this is the ultimate place to view the entire city. We stayed on the peak for a while, trying to spot various landmarks and places, including our building:

неделя, 10 септември 2017 г.

Kladnitza - Cherni vruh 2017

Yesterday husband and I made probably the most memorable of our hikes this year - a climb from the village of Kladnitza (1150 m) on the southern skirts of Vitosha to Cherni vruh (2290 m), an elevation of 1140 m. But what made it memorable was not so much the beautify of this part of the mountain, or the length and elevation of the trail, but the abrupt and unexpected change of weather as a cyclone hit the higher parts of Vitosha. Halfway on our climb to Cherni vruh the hot weather changed as clouds gathered and the wind grew from strong to brutal. Nevertheless, we climbed the peak (4 and a half hours climb), had a rest and snack in the station on top of the peak and headed back to Kladnitza. Unfortunately the storm was coming from our direction of movement, so instead of avoiding it, we headed directly towards it. It was exciting, and kind of frightening (we were the only people on that trail), and beautiful as we watched the wind move and thrust the clouds into us. And the clouds meant rain plus strong winds right into our faces. Of course, we always hike with our anoraks, windbreaker jackets and raincoats in the backpacks and in moments like this, when the day starts hot and sunny, the seemingly excess equipment makes a great difference! An hour or so later first the wind and then the rain stopped and the mountain was beautiful again, freshly bathed. In the end we were lucky it was not a thunderstorm, so after the eight hours hike we were tired and wet, but happy to have managed it.
Some pictures, not very many, as I had to protect the camera (and myself) most of the time:

:: The lower part of the trail follows the local river Jordan, covered with moraines

:: The lower plateau and a view to peak Selimitza in the far distance

:: As we get higher the town of Pernik and the villages around it are visible, as well as the slopes of Rila and Kraitshe
:: Dam Studena

:: A stop to put on the anorak, as the wind began to grow stronger and to gather the clouds

:: A panoramic view from the slopes of peak Selimitza

:: Finally the ridge of Selimitza is behind and the plateau and the slopes of Cherni vruh are in front of us

:: A quick picture in front of the meteo station on Cherni vruh before heading down to Kladnitza

:: As we walked to the south, the clouds were moving quickly towards us

:: To the north (in Sofia) the sky looked clear. It didn't rain in the city

:: After the wind subsided and the rain had almost stopped

:: These clouds high in the distance were lit by the sun and looked gorgeous

:: After the rain

:: Down near the village we took an alternate trail which passed through interesting pine and birch forests

понеделник, 4 септември 2017 г.


Last Saturday we went visiting our family friends in their country house and they invited us to harvest the blackberries. The berries are sour in taste, but very aromatic and they make excellent jams.

Competitors for the ripe berries - blue tits:

We made a solid batch of blackberry jam:
  • 1.5 kg cleaned blackberries
  • 1 kg sugar
  • 5 g apple pectin

And last night I also made my first terrine - the sweet taste of mascarpone and sour cream combined with the fresh sour taste of the blackberries - a very light summer desert, everyone liked it.

петък, 1 септември 2017 г.

31 Days of August

Last year I took my first month's challenge to take one picture a day, aiming to improve my skills with the DSLR camera (Nikon D3200). The challenge was a failure to me, though I participated to the end. I had imagined that I would go around my business in town, carrying the heavy camera and in between chores would take a few perfect pictures. Of course, I was quickly disillusioned and ended taking pictures with my phone or the small travel camera. Although everyone nowadays is a photographer, I do not feel comfortable taking pictures with the DSLR in public on the street, just seems too pretentious of me.

So this year I limited the area of picture taking to our home and the nearby places, where I could easily carry the camera and even a tripod, with the exception of the three hikes on Vitosha and Rila. I took all the pictures with Nikon 3200, played with the settings and tried new techniques. I still haven't read the f*ing manual and I don't intend to (too boring), but I did read a lot of tips and trick and advices and watched video lessons.

Because of the limited area where I took the pictures, they are not very interesting and diverse, but they did teach me something about light, composition, viewpoint. Now I'm thinking about joining the 365project, the only thing that's stopping me is that this picture taking actually takes a lot of time - sometimes an hour for a picture and I'm not willing to invest that much time into taking pictures every day. And I would risk soon to succumb to mediocre casual pictures taken just for the sake of uploading any picture of the day.

Day 1
I started the challenge with a reference to a picture I took four years ago and submitted to a photo contest in a popular Bulgarian news site. The editors liked it and are still circulating it every summer. This is a printscreen of the head page of the site on August 1st:

Day 2
Sunflowers bouquet with light from the windows, accentuated on the flowers

Day 3
Home-made eclairs

Day 4
Composition with coffee
Day 5
Beautiful tree on Vitosha

Day 6
Almost full moon
Day 7
The beautiful colors of Caprese salad
Day 8
A puzzle assembled
Day 9
A rose in the twilight, using flashlight to distinguish it from the surroundings
Day 10
Lots of traffic in the sky
Day 11
Composition in yellow - homemade lemonade
Day 12
Hummingbird moth in action on Vitosha
Day 13
Rain drops, taken with high speed
Day 14
Day 15
Composition with fruit
Day 16
Rustic composition
Day 18
Citrus chicken while cooking
Day 19
Lots of pictures taken on Malyovitza,
There I experimented with speed (for running water), light and boken
Day 20
Night subway (high ISO, open aperture, low speed)
Day 21
Cooking peach jam in the oven
Day 22
Lines in the sky
Day 23
Beer picture
Day 24
Charlotte cake for Gaby's BD
Day 25
Portrait picture
Day 26
Leisure time
Day 27
Composition with white wine
Day 28
Cinnamon buns
Day 29
Heart-shaped boken lights with hand-made paper filter
Day 30
Street photography - market
Day 31
Because it was the last day I posted three pictures I liked which I took that day
A curious ornament