Macro Photography - Textiles

I am finally experimenting with my 60x macro lens that I got for my phone. Textiles around the house were an easy project. The lens has a light and I found it handy. With this lens, I use the zoom on the phone to avoid clipping the image to take out the vignetting around the edges. I’d rather compose the image in the camera.

2019 01 IMG_1253.jpg

I liked the simple weave and colors of the worn dishcloth.


A crocheted hat had brilliant color but was not flat enough to focus well.


The washcloth had more fuzzy fibers than I expected but


Not nearly as many as the wool sock.

I got stuck on a tapestry jacket…had a challenge to choose just 3 to include in this post. The last one was from the inside of the jacket.


The machine embroidery of a silk jacket looked very different than I anticipated.


The weave of a light-weight jacket was more complex.

I realized that the patterns on t-shirts were painted – but hadn’t thought about what they would look like with the macro lens. The blobs of color stand out on the surface of the cotton knit.


The most non-fuzzy fabric was microfiber underwear!


The yarn in the bulky cardigan was almost too big to look interesting at this magnification.


Machine-made borders look more orderly than the fabric sometimes (the black is thread).


The eye detects tiny holes in the fabric of the bag for delicate fabrics to go in the washer; with macro lens, it looks like a Zentangle.

After I got back to my office, I looked at two mouse pads with the macro lens. One is a woven surface…the other looks like a paint.

3 Free eBooks – February 2019

As usual – I tried to select some different kinds of books that are available for free to peruse online. This month they are from three different sources too: Hathi Trust, Internet Archive, and Project Gutenberg. Maybe one of these is something you would enjoy too…so take your pick - history or art or children’s literature!

Country Life in America. New York: Doubleday, Page, & Co. 1901-1917. Hathi Trust has 31 volumes of the periodical available here. Most of the magazine is black and white but there is some color like these three pictures from the December 1904 issue. The advertising is as interesting as the pictures with articles…it is a snapshot of the time: technology, food, special occasions, travel.

Rebay, HIlla. Third enlarged catalogue of the Solomon R. Guggeneheim collection of non-objective paintings: March 7th until April 17th, 1938, Gibbes memorial art gallery, Charleston, South Carolina. New York: Bradford Press. 1938. Available from Internet Archive here. Lots of colored images in this book since it was from an exhibition of ‘modern’ art of the 1920s and 1930s. The two below are by Rudolf Bauer.

Greenaway, Kate. Mother Goose or the Old Nursery Rhymes. London: Frederick Warne and Co. 1881. Available from Project Gutenberg here. Familiar Rhymes…fun illustrations. This author created imaginary 18th-century clothes for children that became a style for actual clothes for children!

Gleanings of the Week Ending September 22, 2018

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Curiosity rover surveys a mystery under dusty Martian skies -- ScienceDaily – What makes Vera Rubin Ridge so hard?

The Environment's New Clothes: Biodegradable Textiles Grown from Live Organisms - Scientific American – ‘Growing clothes’ that are sustainable – very different form the current fashion industry.

Change your diet to save both water and your health -- ScienceDaily – Research that looked at the water footprint (the volume of freshwater to produce goods) relative to types of diets. It turns out that many of the foods that take a lot of water to produce also are overconsumed – in the EU where the study was done and maybe even mores o in the US.

How the People of Pompeii Really Died - The Atlantic – New technology looked at bones and teeth of the 19th century plaster casts from Pompeii. Two surprises: they had good teeth, and many died of head injures rather than suffocation.

A Great Brown Storm Is Raging on Jupiter – It’s not like the red spot. They come and go and Jupiter. This time NASA’s Juno spacecraft is there to monitor its progress and show more of its structure.

One big reason why women drop out of doctoral STEM programs: The fewer women in entering class, the less likely they'll stay -- ScienceDaily – This study ruled out grades and funding as the main reason….the academic climate for women is not only harder to measure, it’s also harder to change.

First evidence that soot from polluted air is reaching placenta -- ScienceDaily – There is a health cost for burning fossil fuels…and it begins to impact us before we are born. Previous research had linked air pollution with premature birth, low birth weight, infant mortality, and childhood respiratory problems. This research was focused on determining if the particles in the lung – breathed by the mother -  can circulate through the blood to the placenta.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Gamebirds – National Geographic – Peacocks are considered game birds!

Total of 21 new parasitoid wasps following the first ever revision of their genus -- ScienceDaily – The first revision since 1893…and using specimens from 20 natural history museums.

Something Blue | The Prairie Ecologist – Blue sage…insect magnet.

Keeping Warm on Cold Winter Days

We’ve been having winter weather for the past few weeks and I’ve been applying the usual tactics for keeping comfortably warm.

  • Wearing thick socks in my house rather than going barefoot (my feet are most comfortable sans shoes). My sister had gotten me ‘cuddle socks’ the past two Christmases and they are my favorites for ‘at home’ days.
  • Enjoying sweaters and sweatshirts. The T-shirts and lighter weight tops are put away for the season. We keep our house comfortably warm…assuming we are wearing our winter clothes.

Most skirts are packed away. I have one heavy brocade skirt that I wear for special occasions with tights or leggings under it.

  • Hurray for corduroy. Heavy jeans are OK too.
  • If I want to be warmer, I wear a sweater cape or cardigan. If I am moving around enough, I don’t need it.

If I am going outdoors for a short time – the essential outer layer includes coat, gloves that work with my cell phone, a scarf/hat, and boots (either hiking boots or dressier lined boots).

If I will be outdoors for longer – birding for example – I add to ‘quick trip’ gear:  wear ski bibs over leggings, a balaclava for my head, and a hoody under my coat and then over my head.  Handwarmers and footwarmers are well worth it to. A thermos of hot tea is welcome too!

Thrift Store Finds


I love the bargains I find at thrift stores. The thrift store jeans and other pants I bought when my daughter was a senior in high school (over 10 years ago) are wearing out…so it is time for some ‘new’ finds. On my first foray to the local thrift store, I found 3 pants; they cost a total of $16! I’ll clean out the old pants from my closet and put them in the giveaway pile although they are very worn and might only be good for rags at this point. The serendipity find of the day was a pair of winter boots that are warm and not too clunky. The soles don’t look worn at all and they are very comfortable. I always wonder at these ‘like new’ items; how did they come to be in the thrift store? I bought them for $9 and plan to enjoy them all winter.