The camera does have a macro mode (it's a tulip), and I've tried taking pictures with it close-up, and without it from further away with much the same result. The camera itself is a P.O.S. that we're borrowing from my girlfriend's parents, because ours needs some service work (or we just need to upgrade ourselves to a new one, whichever is cheaper).
I love the scanner idea, though. Thanks for that, Riss!
We do have one, but again, we're limited, because my girlfriend's dad is a thorn in our sides. :D The scanner (printer/fax combo) is in his bedroom, making us entirely reliant on him if we need to use it, because he refuses to leave it turned on during the day.
(He makes my blood boil, if I'm being honest, but that should probably stay in my blog which I've long since unceremoniously abandoned.) But, hey, there's no reason not to try it. If I push him out the window so I can DO IT MYSELF no one will hand me over to the police, right?
I hadn't thought of combining a steady surface WITH the timer. That will probably be my first next attempt, so thanks Jan.
For the ring part of my stitch markers, I'm using the same tiger tail wire I'm stringing the beads on to. Then I wrap them around a pen that is just a smidgen wider than a US size 17 needle (12.5mm) so that they'll slide easily on just about all needles. (Some I've used a size 10 needle because I had misplaced my pen.)