I saved up my nickels and dimes and got some new gear!
I ordered this: Muslin and Backdrop from a company on Ebay. It's pretty cheap, in terms of cost and build. The muslin backdrop is wayyyy too thin to be useable so I need to get a second sheet to hang behind it. I complained to the company that their product was not as advertised and there were happy to give me a partial refund. So, I'll use the partial refund to buy a secondary sheet to hang behind it. It's a bit of a hassle, but I didn't pay much to begin with so I knew what I was getting into when I bought it.
I also picked up this tripod . Again, a bit of a compromise in quality so that I could get it for the price I needed. I've been testing it out around the house the past couple of days and it does the job!
My next project with the tripod is to get some macro spider web shots. This is proving pretty difficult in a place like Lethbridge. Macro shots, by their very nature, have an extremely short depth of field. So, when trying to get a shot of something like a spider web in a windy climate is your goal, it gets pretty tough. I've been trying to find webs in sheltered areas, and there are plenty around my place, but the wind really throws the webs around which makes it really difficult to focus. I'll keep trying though and hopefully will get a calm day again soon!