Saturday, August 09, 2014

Material for art

I was very productive today with photography. We walked to the dog park and back and I got the camera with me... and I took over 200 pictures. I always take a ton of pictures when I shoot something. I have a very low success rate. I need to take 100 pictures to get one I really like. Anyway. When I go out shooting I rarely use the display on the camera, I only use the view finder. And I just click click click pictures like no tomorrow. The pictures I take are not my art. They don't really matter. I don't really bother to check them on the go. I trust my instincts. The pictures I take are only my material. I use it to make my own art afterwards. That's how it works for me. My pictures are never ever finished when I press the shutter. They are not even half finished. They are nothing until I've worked my own magic on them.

I also pondered today if the thing I do is considered art. I guess it is art, art photography, fine art... But I don't really feel like making art when I make my pictures. For me art is something less digital. I think I need to change my attitude because my pictures are definitely more than just pictures. They are closer to art than regular snap shots.


I am too tired to write. But here are some pictures I took today:

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

But then again NO

Oh my. I thought the Blogger post editor was looking all new and fresh... And I liked it a lot! Then I realized it's still the same post editor, I just had it zoomed at 125%. That's gonna be my new default. Sometimes things do look better when they are bigger. Anyway.

I've been reading even more of my old blog posts and now it annoys me that I started to write less personal stuff because all the hobbies stuff are driving me pretty much crazy. I don't give a damn about the things I've crocheted in the past, I want to know how I have felt! 

I kinda feel like starting a new blog, but then again NO. I already have too many blogs. A new one would not change a thing. I should just stick with what I have. It's just hard to start being more personal after being so vague for so long. Maybe I should start an anonymous blog, with a completely new pseudonym. But then again NO. That sounds to laborious. 

Blogger girl problems?

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Does anything ever really change?

I've been entertaining myself by reading my old blog posts, posts from the first year I started blogging here. And I can't help but wonder if anything ever really changes. If we change, as a person. I feel like I am totally different person nowadays compared to what I was eight years ago. I am a lot happier and also a much, much healthier than back then. But still...  Maybe my life has changed around me but I am still the same person?

I still have the same hopes and dreams. I still want the same things for my life. And I still have the same insecurities. And I still feel that food is some kind of an enemy you have to battle with, even though I nowadays do eat and don't stress so much over it.

Some things have changed though. Some.

I am not as depressed and as sad as I used to be. Most of that came from the crappy relationship I was in at the time, I just didn't realize it back then. I thought it was the only good thing in my life but boy was I wrong. I still have days when I feel extremely sad or feel like disappearing completely but they are just that: days. Not weeks, not months, not years. Just days here and there and that's OK.

I have also managed to let go of my anger. At least mostly. That's another thing I wasn't able to recognize when I was younger. I used to be badly bullied at school for years and even though I managed to escape, even though I managed to survive, I carried that hate with me for years. I still feel a bit mad sometimes, mad for the people who ruined so much of my childhood, but it doesn't affect me the same way any more. When I think of those years I don't get  overwhelmed by the anger, I just feel sorry for my childhood self. I wish I could have done something.

And food. I am still funny with the subject. I still feel like I don't really need food. I just eat food because it's easier. It's still an issue but I have not allowed it to control my life anymore. I eat. I like eating. But there are days when I definitely miss the euphoria that comes from fasting and loosing ton of weight. I'm not gonna lie. It was the best feeling ever, even though it's sick to even think of it. But I have managed to correct my body image, at least for a bit. I still feel like a chubby kid inside but somehow I know now that it's not how I am on the outside. So I don't allow it to determine how I dress etc. I used to weight 10 kilos less than now, and I remember standing the fitting room thinking I looked too fat in skinny jeans and wondered how much more weight I would need to lose in order to feel good in then. And here I am now, wearing skinniest skinny jeans ever and feeling good. It wasn't about the weight at all.

I am happy that I have kept blogging through these years... though it saddens me that at some point I stopped writing about my "personal shit" (had to drop that inside joke here, even though Julia probably doesn't read my blog anymore since it's been years and years and years since we were in touch). It's nice to have something to look back to, to reflect. To see how things have changed, or if they have changed at all.

I should really start to blog more, and more personal stuff too. Just so I could one day look how my life was when I was 27. The same way I can now look at my life when I was 21.

But seriously? Does anything ever really change? Do I still feel the same things when I am 38? I hope not!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Maybe over?

Yesterday we visited the vet once again, mostly to make a new blood test to see if Niila's any better. And guess what! She's officially better! Maybe it's over now. Though it's never really over. Not with pancreatitis. She has to eat low fat food for the rest of her life. But that's a small price to pay. But what is not a small price... and the vet bills. We could have bought two new dogs with the money we spent on Niila. But yeah. It's a small price too. Like there's any other option really when it comes to your furry family members.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Niila update & Naval ships

Niila's diagnosis is now final. It's officially pancreatitis. She's also officially off her meds too. No more painkillers, no more antibiotics. The only thing she gets is Pepcid and it's for heartburn. She's still not her usual self, but she's not exactly sick either. Something between. She's eating normally and drinking normally, but she's still somehow weak and sickly. Yeah. It's not over. It's over when it's over.

I have some new macro board game photos too. These are naval ships from a board game called Merchants & Marauders:

Naval Ships from Merchants & Marauders Naval Ships from Merchants & Marauders Naval Ships from Merchants & Marauders Naval Ships from Merchants & Marauders

The ships are painted by my husband, this was actually one of his first painting projects. They turned great, I love the way they are customized with the flags. It's a shame we don't play it that often nowadays. It's a nice game, good game even, but there are so many other games we rather play. One of these common board gamer problems...

Friday, June 13, 2014

Small things big + Niila update

Niila's condition did get worse. She got sick again. We decided to take her to a new vet. Our 40 minute vet appointment turned to be two hour vet appointment and I also almost passed out. A nice nurse gave me a glass of water and an apple. I wonder if the apple was her snack or something. If it was, it was really kind for her to give it to me. Anyway. Now we are treating Niila for pancreatitis. She got pain killers, so she's visibly better now. I don't know much better she is in the inside - if her intestines are any less inflamed. The vet told us to stop with Synulox antibiotics as they had obviously done her nothing. And to put Niila on a very strick low-fat diet to make the inflamed pancreas to heal. We are going to get the official results for the pancreatitis on Monday. We'll see, we'll see. At least it was a smart move to visit a new vet. Niila is still skin and bones, and weak-ish sometimes, and sleepy, but she eats like a normal pup and drinks like a normal pup. And she doesn't seem to be in any pain now, thanks to the pain killers. But like I've said many times, it's not over until it's over. Anything can happen.

Meanwhile I've taken some new pictures. I love our macro lens. I love love love it. If I would have to choose one lens to use for the rest of my life, it would be my macro lens. Ok. Maybe I might get even a better one, like something crazy expensive and awesome. But macro lens anyway.

These are space marines from a board game called Space Hulk. And they're small. They are miniatures, yet in the pictures they look huge. Almost like human size. Or maybe even bigger than human size. Transformers size? See, that's why I love the macro lens. It makes small things big!

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Sick. Sicker.

Two weeks ago Niila got sick. She woke up in the morning and started to vomit. And she vomited pretty much all day until there was nothing to vomit anymore. She was restless, couldn't stay in one place long. But we thought she just had eaten something and didn't worried much. It's not unsual for the pups to vomit because something they've eaten outside or something. We just didn't give her food until the next day. She refused to eat. And she got even worse. I can't remember her being that sick ever before. She spent most of the time in this position, shivering, looking miserable:

She got so sick eventually that we got worried and took her to the vet. She got tested and x-rayed. There was nothing in her stomach, but her instestines were inflamed. We got antibiotics and some medicine to prevent her from vomiting. The meds seemed to help, she got visibly better. She started to eat again. We even called the vet to tell them that she's OK again. But that didn't last long. She started to vomit again, started to get restless.  She got even more sick that the first round. She couldn't sleep because her little body was shivering so much. It was pain to watch. She was so tired that when she did fell asleep it was really hard to get her awake. We actually need to shake her a little. She was still on the antibiotics but clearly something was not working right. She wasn't getting better. Sometimes she even tried to sleep standing up, it was too uncomfortable gor her to sleep on her stomach.

We took her to te vet again. They checked her stomach with ultrasound and told us that her uterus is filled with fluids. That she needed surgery. They booked a surgery time for her the following day. But when we got there the next day, the vet said that he wanted to check the uters again. And this time it was perfectly normal. They took new tests and even though she had been on antibiotics, the results show that her intestines had actually got even more inflamed. They took new x-rays. Still nothing new. We had no clue what was making her sick, even the vet was more than puzzled. She was sick, then she got better, then she got sick again...

And the end result of that vet visit: one really sick dog and new antibiotics on top the old ones. And it takes days to see if the new antibiotics work! She didn't eat anything for two days. She was all skin and bones already. She slept all the time. We didn't know what to do with her. We just waited. The vet told us to come back if she doesn't eat the next day. But she did eat. And she's been eating since for two whole days now! And she looks better. She doesn't shiver anymore. She's still not her usual self but she doesn't appear to be so crazy sick anymore. We still need to get her tested in the vet to see if the antibiotics have really helped this time. I mean she did seem to get better before but not really. The tests showed otherwise.

Niila's medicines are quite impressive at the moment. The antibiotics she are getting are Synulox Vet (the one that didn't help in the beginning) and Trikozol 400mg (this is actually meant for humans!) Then she has Cerenia to prevent her from vomiting. Then she gets Antepsin oral fluid and Pepcid to calm her stomach, and Inupekt Forte to support intestinal well-being. And on top of everything, she is only allowed to eat Hill's Prescription Diet i/d. 

I hope she keeps getting better. She still has some weight to gain back, some energy to gain back... Yeah. It's not over until it's over. At least it looks really promising right now.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Triptychs and an egg

Some time ago me and my old coworker decided to start a new photography challenge - triptychs. They are harder than they seem though. I always get two nice pictures, but the third one is a struggle. I just never get it quite right, the way I want it. But I guess that's the point of these challenges, to get better, to train your "eye" for photography. I always like to think that an average picture, even poor picture, is better than no picture at all. Photography challenges make me make pictures, and that's what makes me happy.

Coming home soon?
Glass & Metal Grid

It's also more warm here, it feels so much like summer already. I kinda wanted to go outside and go shoot more pictures for my D R E A M S set... But this week's challenge was "every day objects" (though we just discussed about changing it to "pretty much everything goes as long it's something new") so I took photographs of an egg instead. Don't know if that's an object but at least it's something plain and simple and all those things.

This is how I started. It's just an egg. In it's box. Nothing fancy really:

I decided to change my set-up. I thought that maybe the egg might work better on its own, without distractions. Besides, my DSLR desperately wanted to focus on the box. This was my next attempt:

Boring. Bad. Uninteresting. Plain. Ugh. I needed to adjust my lights, and so I did and ended up with this:

You're such an egg head

Better. I have learned over and over again that photography is mostly about lights. They do the magic. It's still the same white egg, on the same white table. But it's more interesting because there are dramatic lights and shadows going on. And they are pretty easy to achieve too. I used a light diffuser in this picture though... and a silver reflector... but but but. It's still easy to play around with lights. I used to do it before I had any fancy equipments to play with. When there is light there are shadows. Nuff said.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My life as it is now

I've been into photography for quite a long time now, but I have never ever shown my pictures here in my personal blog. I don't know why. I thought about starting a photography blog once, but then I realized that I already have too many blogs... and that is hard to maintain even just one. But now that I have this thing going on again, I can share my pictures here!

I'm not going to show any old pictures, or older pictures than these, because past is past. I want to blog about my life as it is right now. I took some pictures when we were visiting Viiala and I like how some of them turned out:

We danced and then it was winter

If you look hard enough you can still hear the music

I think photography is nowadays easier for me because I have developed a style of my own... sort of. I like these kind of dreamy and eery pictures. And pictures like these are actually quite easy to achieve. I use the widest possible aperture, which is ƒ/2.8 in my lens to get the blurry background with shapes and shadows. It's not really a must, but it really makes the pictures look more dreamy. After taking the pictures I edit them using Lightroom. I make them have that black&white look with the blue-ish tint. I usually do the colors first, because they really set the feeling of the picture. And then I do the final trick: negative value in clarity. It's like magic that makes these pictures alive. It's funny how in other pictures I always increase the clarity, but with these kind of pictures it's all about decreasing it.

I don't play around with my camera often though. I do photograph every week (because me and my friend always have a photography challenge going on), but I don't give it the 100% like I should. It's not the same as going out with the camera and photographing for hours, just to get that one great shot. That's just hard for someone as lazy as I am. I always promise myself that I'd try harder or concentrate more on the challenges but yeah. Never gonna happen. But when I do photograph... I love it. I guess that's the only thing that matters in the end.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Running socks

About a weeks ago I didn't have any running socks. No I have not one but four pairs. How did this happen?

I watched some video on YouTube about how running socks are the most important gear after running shoes. I beg to disagree though. If you're a girl, the second most important thing is a proper sports bra. I think it might be even more important than running shoes because boobs are forever but you can always stop running. The video still managed to make me curious about running socks so I decided to get a pair. Socks can't be that expensive, right?

But they can, and they are. In the first store all the prices started from twenty euros. That's quite a lot money for one pair of socks. But they were all fancy, fancy indeed. I decided to keep looking. I found cheaper SOC socks from Stadium. They were so cheap that I decided to get them even though they weren't as fancy as the socks in the first store. The package contained two pair of socks and they cost about ten euros. I chose a package that contained one pink pair and one purple pair:

SOC running socks in pink and purple
Since these SOC socks where cheaper I decided to invest on a fancier pair too, mostly because I wanted to know if there's a difference between cheaper ones and more expensive ones. I picked a pair of X-Socks Run Fast socks from InterSport for about 20 euros. They have a two year warranty.. .and you have to register them online. Madness! But at least they seem pretty impressive and they had a long list of all kind of technical qualities.And they are nice to look at too:

X-Socks running socks
These X-Socks socks are ankle lenght, which is something I like especially now when the weather is still pretty cold when it gets dark. They are not as warm as SOC socks, they are rather thin but they feel much more firm. After these purchases I already had three pairs of running socks... but then I found even cheaper running socks from Lidl. I think the brand is called Crivit or something. They cost only three euros. I bought them... because I wanted to know if there's a difference between the SOC running socks and these super cheap ones.

Crest running socks
They are both the same size but as you can see frem the image, the SOC sock (pink) looks more fitted. They do feel the same though when I wear them. They are both pretty short but warm. I think the Crivit ones may have more cushioning than the SOC ones. But quality-wise... they do feel and look pretty much same.

SOC and Crest running sock comparison
I have tested all the socks now and here's my verdict: I think there's not much difference between SOC socks and Crest socks. I think the SOC ones maybe fit slightly better and they are prettier... I think I'd invest the extra two euros per pair just because of the pretty bright color but there is nothing wrong with the Crivit socks either.

X-Socks are on the next level, at least in my opinion. I liked them the best. I tried them together with regular cotton socks and with Crivit running socks and I think there was a difference. They just felt nicer and the fit was superb. Though I am not sure if they felt nicer because I knew they were more fancier and more expensive than the other socks I tried. It was not a blind test after all. My opinion may be biased... But will I keep using running socks instead of regular cotton socks? Most definitely. Are they the second most important things after running shoes? Not for me, definitely not for me. One should not underestimate the value fo a good sports bra.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

New era, same blog?

Today I went to a library to get a book they ended up not even having. Don't you just hate when they keep English titles when they translate the book? It's so misleading! I thought they had the English version of the book I wanted but instead they had one in Swedish. Anyway. On my way home I got this idea.

I have been wanting a running log for quite some time now. A little place where I could write down my thoughts about running. I actually already created a Tumblr blog because I thought it would be fun to reblog motivational running posters and that kind of stuff. But I then found out that the office I work in has blocked Tumblr blog posting. I can access Tumblr, I can login, I can write posts... But when I try to actually publish the posts, it gives me an error. The company has pretty much blocked all the social media sites it's actually surprising I can access Tumblr in the first place.

But on my way home I realized I do have this nice place already. My personal blog that has served me for years. There has been many different eras in this blog. I think I started this blog when I was getting eaten by an eating disorder. When I was sad, in a miserable relationship (though you really have to read between the lines to figure that out) and depressed. Blogging helped me to organize my thoughts and to go on.

And then... I guess I wrote more nerdy stuff. And book reviews. And movie reviews. I wrote a lot about music too. I think I was in a happier place in my life. After that era I got into knitting and crocheting. It was a big thing for me for years and I even started a yarny blog together with my then-boyfriend-now-husband J.R.

And then it was all about the dogs. My precious little pups. I wrote so much about then that I altered my blog name to be "It's About Amoena and the Dogs". That was an era too. I wrote about their health mostly, since they both have health issues. Anyway.

This story is getting too long. I just realized that I have so many different eras in my life already and this blog has served them all. So why not used this space again, for this new era of my life. I love this blog because it's all mine and it doesn't really have a niche. I can write what ever I want. I can write about running again (I used to write about running long, long time ago when all I ever wanted was to disapper), I can write reviews again... I can. Because I can. Ha!

But I think I need to chance my banner at least. This is about me again, about Amoena.