The patterned blouse and the almost-chameleon | study logbook darning

This is how it goes with broken clothes: As small as the hole may be, it may be hidden at its best and no one would ever look at it anyway - but once I have seen it, it's the only thing I will see of this clothing item. If I wore it out, no one would notice the flaw. But I wouldn't really care what the others don't see. The hole is the only thing I see.

That's what happened to the patterned blouse.

On the right side, at the seam where the front and back are joined together, quite far down and close to the hem, a tear had crept in. This looked like a hole at a bad angle. Accordingly, the patterned blouse was placed on the repair pile. In preparation for the trip last autumn, I went through my clothes - even the ones that were on the repair pile. And I actually picked three items for the trip from that pile. It was probably only a few weeks until the day of departure. And the clothes had been on the pile for two years at least and, in the spirit of the "out of sight, out of mind" principle, their existence had been completely forgotten in the meantime. So how likely was it that these three items would make it back to life?

The preparation phase

Ich wollte das Muster mehr oder weniger nachbilden, also unsichtbar stopfen. Entsprechend mit weißem Garn erst mal die Fläche wiederherstellen, dann mit rotem Garn irgendwie das Muster nachmachen. Ohne wäre der dann pure white blob would have been too obvious for me amidst of the whole pattern.

The implemenation phase

Für die weiße Fläche habe ich die Webstopfmethode genutzt. An einer Naht zu arbeiten ist nicht so angenehm wie auf einer reinen Fläche, v.a. weil sich das Loch/Riss zu beiden Seiten erstreckte. Der Weißton meines Garns ist zu warm, aber sei‘s drum. Mit rotem Garn habe ich dann gestickt, und habe mich an den Formen auf der Bluse orientiert, so Mini-Blätter. Ich habe wenig Stickerfahrung und habe das entsprechend eher Freestyle gemacht.

The photo stamps tell me that it took about 1.5 hours in one day.

The finalization phase

It's not a completely invisible repair but I still think it was successful and the embroidery part was something new to me. I didn't do a super clean job but in the end the hole is gone and the blouse is wearable again. The blouse was allowed to travel with me. Mission completed! 

Thoughts during the process

What amazes me again and again: the working time and the waiting time are in stark contrast to each other. It's almost ridiculous.

The clothes had been on the repair pile for at least two years. This repair took me 1.5 hours - this is about the length of a feature film. If I had invested this time sometime earlier - and it is a foreseeable time - then the blouse would have become part of my wardrobe again much sooner with a reasonable expenditure of energy.

Sicherlich, in ebendieser Zeit habe ich einiges gelernt und bin selbstsicherer geworden was die Methoden angeht. Aber oft geht es erst mal darum, den Makel irgendwie mal angefasst zu haben und um den Versuch es zu reparieren. Das ist das, was ich von dieser und anderen Reparaturen mitnehme: einfach mal dransetzen und machen!

(Spoiler: I managed to get all three items back in shape and ready for the trip!)

logbook/photo: Photographic films Aurelie and Sarandsch and photographing food

logbook for the categorie Something with Photo for the months July and August 2023. The photos have already been posted elsewhere but today you get a few insights to my head.

Photographed on film

My photos from the film Aurelie arrived in July. It started off a bit dramatically, I had received the following note from the photo lab with my scans:

My subsequent comment to a friend was „Ok / I expect disappointment 😭“
I’ll tell you how it eventually turned out in a separate post on Aurelie then. What I can say already, nevertheless: It’s a fact that I’m still very doubtful of myself and also very doom and gloom/dramatic.

In July, a new film was put in which got the name Sarandsch. In July I took quite a lot of photos with it, in Ulm and also on holiday in Bavaria. Mostly of friends – which means that I will most probably not show them on the blog. Currently, the film still has a few free photo slots and these are being filled very slowly at the moment (technology failed – at least the repaired battery compartment lasted for 28/36 photo slots). Aka right now it’s not clear when the film will be completed (or if it ever will be).

In August, in preparation for my autumn trip, I felt like using a colour film again. I haven’t done that for quite a while. When writing this post draft, I estimated that there were three or four black and white films since my last colour film. In fact, it’s been 7 BW films :O
I considered doing a bit of research on which film to get beforehand …. eventually I just went to a photo shop and bought the cheapest one. The cheapest one was still worth two kebabs! I haven’t had to buy film for a long time because I got films as a present . I had only heard about the horrendous film prices but had not felt them – until recently. Welcome back in the real world! And that’s it for August, and hardly took any analogue photos.

Photographing food

Months ago, a friend and I came up with the idea of starting a project: she likes to cook and I get to try my hand at photography. Since then, I’ve done a bit of research and learning. And of course I can’t avoid trying things out. In July, I tried to take a photo when we were in a Turkish café, here’s a photo:

Actually, I don’t want to talk about it that much because I know it’s still quite amateurish. Nevertheless, it belongs in the logbook because I do something and this is part of the learning process. After all, I tried different arrangements and took several pictures.

In fact, I call it on purpose taking photos of food, because I food photography is too lofty for me and I hardly want to call my amateurish attempts by that. Even if that is the goal in the broadest sense. But the learning process is very slow. Every now and then, and quite sporadically, I look at photos in magazines or on the internet or watch a YouTube video. Or I find other people’s photos on Instagram or blogs quite chic. It’s not much but at least it’s something.

What I have learned: Get nice dishes and cutlery! Actually an easy tip but only then I realised that our everyday tableware is not fancy enough. For the backgrounds and props, I’m relying on what I already have or are easy to buy (tea towels that aren’t too crazy in colour; napkins; other neutral fabrics). In August, I saw a beautiful set of plates in a second-hand shop and bought them. I took a photo with one of the plates (the one with the edamame beans) and my friend commented afterwards that she thought it was a nice plate for photos, too. Thus: It’s a match!

June 2023 | study logbook. Something with photo

Aurelie and the mixed feeling

I mentioned, that I like to give names to my films.

My most recent film is Aurelie. What makes Aurelie special is that it was the first time I worked with a film speed/ISO 50 (before that it was either ISO 100, 200 or 400). I could have used the Sunny 16 rule and thus worked/exposed more safely, so to speak, but a spark of confidence in my skills said, „Whatever! You can do it without the rule now!“. Now, at the end of the film, I have a mixed feeling of anticipation and nervousness because I am afraid that it was an overestimation of myself. But I look at it positively: it was once again an experiment.

The film is ready and only needs to be developped. Especially in a case like this, where I cannot assess the photos and their quality and want to find out and learn, I try to avoid further sources of error/interference. Therefore, I prefer to take the film to professionals for developing.

Aurelie consists of portraits of friends, flora and fauna and also some self-portraits. The subject of self-portraits was eventually the focus of Aurelie. It was new and interesting and fun to do self portraits and I can only think „Fingers crossed!“ that they turned out well :‘)

Picture frames for the new home

As part of decorating my new home, I ordered picture frames. Picture frames add so much value to photos, I always underestimate that! What I looked for in the picture frames, apart from the frame itself, was the locking mechanism on the back. Oh goodness, you can spend good money on picture frames!

I ordered them online and after 1.5 weeks they arrived in two parcels. In one package, 3/5 of the frames were broken (broken glass). Fortunately, the complaint was answered positively on the same day and the replacement frames are on their way to me.

Image management software

Last but not least for June, I’ve been looking for an image organisation software. I don’t even have a bad organisation system for my pictures but that doesn’t mean it’s good or even optimal.

For Windows, most you can do is establishing folder structures but that’s not enough for me. I want to be able to assign keywords and jump between them quickly. And so I wanted to dig deep into the world of software programs but honestly, there’s not much to get there. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is the number 1 among the recommended softwares and actually I am willing to spend money but I’m not ready to get a subscription and be tied to Adobe for the next year(s). Therefore, I’m currently trying my way through two alternatives which were recommended as well.