Autumn Close Ups (……..and camera stories)

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It seems as if I have been a bit slow at blogging recently. It has been a combination of working on a restoration job, knitting and dyeing madly to complete an order, trip after trip to the cabin to sort out the disintegrating  floor, plus the blogging camera being out of commission due to the “not working” lens. I finally had to make a decision with regards to the camera situation. I had to decide between using the studio cameras, wait it out for the Olympus situation to be sorted out, or buy another camera. I chose to buy another camera (ironically on the same day Olympus decided to repair the lens).


In the end I decided to buy another Canon camera to use just for blogging. It might be a little bigger than the Olympus camera was, but I have a ton of glass I can use with it. I also needed to have something reliable, and Canon has been very reliable as cameras for me with my photography business. The images here are from the new camera.

blog gaetz lake IMG_1182These pictures are taken in the Gaetz Lake Sanctuary behind Kerry Wood Nature Centre in Red Deer, Alberta. Many of the images I shot that day have been photographed with a painting in mind. Luckily a few leaves still linger on the trees, while the late afternoon makes for interesting lighting. Hopefully we will have a few more snow-free weeks to be able to enjoy this natural area before having to break out the snowshoes.

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Photography by Debra Hunter




Fire on the Mountain


We passed this spectacle a few hours ago. It is a prescribed burn in Banff National Park ( Alberta, Canada). This is just east of Castle Mountain. The fire had attracted quite a crowd and smoke was visible for miles.

Prairie Church

Prairie Church

This  church we pass every time we go to the cabin and return home. Years of passing it, yet it was only last week that we finally stopped to capture this image with a camera.

This image was taken with the Olympus 15mm f8 lens cap pancake lens. It is certainly different shooting with a lens with really no focus and no choice of aperture. The lens is a bit of a novelty, but has been getting a lot of use as I decide if I should completely ditch my incredibly unreliable Olympus system. After all one would expect a lens (the lens I usually use, not the 15mm one that took the picture) to last more than 16 months the first time and 13 months the second time (each lens was purchased NEW!). The system may be small and convenient, but has definitely not been nearly as reliable as my Canon system.

Shooting Newly Finished Knit Items

 studio shootingLast night I spent a bit of time down in the studio shooting product shots of my most recent naturally dyed hand knit items. I am putting together promo booklets for a couple of local businesses. Last year I did the promo booklets a bit later in the year which left me knitting furiously to fill the orders in time for Christmas shopping. A shot of all the patterns together can be seen HERE on my other blog. I haven’t provided all the details of the items yet as I am hoping to finally get the shop on my website up and running first and then share the items on the blogs. Of course building a shop takes time and also has a “learning curve” according to the support guy at Shaw, so perhaps a task for next week or the week after  once the promo booklets are done and out.

 wood button lac dyed yarnThe latest batch are following my theme of locally produced wool that I dye in natural dyes by hand in micro batches. In the picture above the red tones are achieved by dyeing in lac and the purple is logwood.

blog pomegranate and madder dyes

Hand cut wooden buttons are being featured more and more; they add to the rustic “log cabin” feel of the knitting. This piece has been dyed in pomegranate, marigold and madder, while the piece just to the left has been dyed in cutch.

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A few pieces also explore inspiration from the Cowichan style of knitting. I love the black, white and gray combination. If you have every been to the coast, this style of knitting will remind you of forest, rocks, moss, fog and sea. Can you tell my mind seems to be constantly living at the coast at the moment?

Once the promo books are done I can finish up the piece I am working on with my first ever hand spun yarn. I think you will find it to be quite interesting.



Art, photography and handmades by Debra Hunter

Hunter Photographics / Studio H

Red Deer, Alberta and Pender Island, British Columbia, Canada



Now things REALLY aren’t as they seemed…….


A few of you may remember my post about our cabin titled “Not All Things Are As They Seem” . It was a post about discovering some water damage at our cabin. Long story short, we had set out to replace a bouncy floor board, discovered a saturated and disintegrating subfloor, and chalked it up to a wonky hot water tank incident 4 years ago.

So in the meantime we had talked with insurance and had an adjuster out. The adjuster suggested we go back and take a second look as water still being present 4 years after the fact made no sense.

Well, he was right. So right. Upon arrival at the cabin this is what we found………

what the area looked like upon arrival

fresh water.

Soaking wet in a localized spot. This time it was so easy to spot as the rest of the wood had dried out as we had removed the vapour barrier.

So the plot thickens. We have a wall between the tub and the hot water tank, finished on both sides with pipes going in, and a puddle of water under it. We have NO idea what is inside that wall, we don’t know how the pipes run and we don’t know if there is any electrical.

wall with pipes going in show no water damageThe floor is shot. The laminate is buckled. The sheeting is soaked. The supporting beams are completely gone in some places. This is only in the places we have opened up. There is a soft spot in the kitchen now, and one in our bedroom. I think we are realizing that there is a chance every piece of flooring, subfloor and support may have to be stripped out plus some structural work. This is big…..and not in a good way.

The short term solution….drain off the water supply and then figure it out.

The last two months have not been fun. Here’s the tally:

car accident – 5 month old vehicle, one oil change, never even through the car wash, written off while driving 10 km/h (tells you how fast the other driver was going!) . Impact was far greater than the time we hit a deer traveling highway speeds. Luckily all the kids were fine but my goodness have I been walking a lot for the last 3 weeks. Did you know a 20 minute driving errand is an hour and a half walking errand? Well now I know that first hand.

dead laptop – my husband’s had an early demise due to a cup of coffee incident

dead camera lens – 12 month warranty, died in month 13. The very same model of lens died at month 16 the previous year. I am unimpressed. One person implied maybe I “use it too much”… 13 months!

dead printer – my husband’s, to be fair it probably WAS used too much as work has been insanely busy for him this year

mouse infestation – so far 12 caught. Dead mice are my husband’s deal….I don’t do mice, snakes or bats, however both mice and snakes have been caught between my feet and a bat once flew into my head (true story….so much for sonar!)

squirrel relocation issues – 3 relocated so far, yet more still in our garage. Obviously they know they have another winter living in luxury as transforming the garage to a workshop/studio will be waiting until next year in light of the cabin situation.


My goodness we need a break. We just need to sort out the vehicle so we can head west and walk on a beach for a few days.


What happens on a Friday night….

 lino cutCutting.

blog lino cut 2The lino block is almost done.

This one is 12 inches by 12 inches. I expect there to be challenges as I print it on the naturally dyed fabric.

yarnTying and weighing.

 yarn Scouring and mordanting.

The stash is getting low. Many weeks of non-stop knitting and developing new items.

Lots of dyeing in the future and perhaps an indigo vat next week if it warms up.