Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Halloween!

We've had a week of arts and crafts in preparation for the Moo's halloween party yesterday.  We all had a great time - hard to believe how much noise seven 5 year olds can make!  Here's what we had prepared:

Painted pumpkins:

These are all over pinterest but I particularly loved the ones over at Whatever.


Treaure bags:

All with indidivual handmade tags by the Moo.  So sweet!

Mini pinatas:

These were great for storing (yet more!) sweets and could either by opened by pulling the tag or smashing with a stick for the more adventurous.  I found a tutorual over at Not Martha.  I used about four layers to get the right thickness for the goodies (and satisfactory smash factor) - to make sure they're not too thin I did a different colour for the first layer so you get at least two good layers.  I also used irredescent tissue paper and the dye didn't run out.  And my final tip is, don't use very old balloons - they shrink before the pinata is dry and you end up with a very large raisin which is not the effect I was going for at all and I ended up having to start again!

And finally the traditionally carved pumpkin:

We had lots of games - regular party as well as apple bobbing (the kids were great at this - I remember being rubbish at this as a child!), face painting by some a couple of very talented friends, and a halloween disco (the Moo's favourite).   

Happy halloween to you and I leave you with this piece of halloween artwork:

Have a great day.:)

Friday, 28 October 2011

Week 4 - 365

It's been half term here and a bit more autumnal.  The Moo is having a halloween party on Sunday and is beyond excited.  We have been doing a lot of arts and crafts in preparation, tasters are below but check back on Monday for the full version.

From the top:  the Moo decorating the halloween bunting; homemade pinatas hanging out to dry; autumn leaves, love the colours; partially painted rainbow pumpkin; currently reading (and re-reading); new cardie - love the colour which hasn't come out so well here - it's called berry and it really is very berry!; the Moo has made special labels for all the treasure bags we are making - and little messages for her friends, so sweet!

Hope you've all had a great week.  It really has whizzed by and I do love having my little helper around!

Have a great weekend and check back on Monday for our (not very) spooky halloween creations. :)

Monday, 24 October 2011


I'm linking in with Kat Sloma's Exploring with a Camera.  This time the topic is found texture - ie texture that already exists rather than texture added in post processing.

I LOVE this topic.  Even as I was reading the article for the first time, images sprang to mind.   Here are some of them:

Wood provides lots of different textures.  I love the natural, random texture of the outside against the smoother, cut edge of the wood.   I also love the contrast between the logs and the smoothed, weathered wood of the door frame.

I love the natural randomness that time and weather can give man made objects:

The peeling paint of the bench above is gorgeous and gives so much story and atmosphere to the overall image.

Colour can really enhance texture too - be it strong colours like this:

where the orange pumpkin really highlights the rusting of the can it's sitting next to.


a more monochromatic theme (save for the splash of green) as above.  I love the contrast in textures of the dented old watering can against the pieces of gravel and the smooth enamel bucket.  The wooden boxes give it another textural dimension.

Walls provide fantastic textural backgrounds (I always find them great for portraits). There are a lot of different textures going on in the image below, but the wall gives it coherence both in terms of colour and texture:

Capturing texture in photography is so amazing because it really does add a tactile element to an image.  I'm reminded of a chapter in Patti Digh's book Creative is a Verb entitled Please lick the art.  The chapter title was inspired by a little girl visiting an art gallery who was so enamoured by a painting of a velvet dress that she had to be asked not to lick the art.  I love that story.  It illustrates beautifully the importance of texture in bringing an image to life.  I can't think of a higher compliment than someone wanting to reach out and touch an image (or lick the art!) that I created. 

Friday, 21 October 2011

Week 3 - 365

Here we are again, the end of another week.  It's been pretty manic and I only remembered to grab my camera when I was at home, so lots of homey stuff this week. 

From the top:  fairy wish cups;  creating in the kitchen; breakfast; toys in unusual places - these ponies are resting on top of my daughter's easel - just the right level to catch your eye as you come into the room!; coffee; Thursday is ballet day; Ummmm yes, we will be doing some tidying up this weekend.

Last day of school before half term week, hurray! We have lots of autumn crafts planned for next week, meeting up with friends and generally chilling out.

Hope you've all had a great week and have a lovely weekend. :)

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Coffee and a link

Sooooo, my week is running on a lot of this! 

Not so bad as it's my favourite mix - 2:1 mix of lavazza (espresso blend) and whittards hazelnut blend.  Deeeee-lish.

I've just watched a great video via the World's Biggest Summit.  It's by Rebecca Leigh and it's called Recovering your Creative Self.  Julia Cameron and Susannah Conway also gave fantastic audios (they're on the same page) which you should go listen to too.  You'll need to register at the World's Biggest Summit first (it's free! and it's really, really worth it).

Enjoy! :)

Monday, 17 October 2011


It was good to have some down time this weekend.  I'm suffering information overload (in a good way!) and a never ending to do list - so long I almost don't know where to start - and my daughter wasn't  quite as well as I thought on Friday so needed lots of rest and cuddles this weekend.  To switch off (me) and recuperate (my daughter) we did a bit of crafting:

Fairy wish cups (sprinkled with fairy dust) and left out for the fairies to enjoy (below)

My daughter was even inspired to do some cooking, creating her own recipe:

Left:  mixing.  Right:  choosing just the right pan

Ta daaaa! 

Proof if ever there was that the process is often more important than the end result!

I am attempting to catch up this week and process some of that information before half term next week.  It's going to be a busy one!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Week 2 - 365

From the top: pumpkins; Sunday by the sea; homework; inspirational quotes, put together as an exercise for Creative Courage; not very well; recovery colouring; autumn leaves.

A lovely weekend followed by a pretty quiet week with a not very well little one (she's fine now).  Autumn is definitely here!

Have a happy weekend. :)

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


Nothing sums up  autumn as beautifully as pumpkins.  I love the colour and am in awe at the amazing varieties that seem to be available.  My mission for next year is to grow my own, but in the meantime we've been enjoying these at our local farm shop.

Psyching myself up for the carving to begin......

Monday, 10 October 2011

Colour 2

I'm linking in with Kat Sloma's Exploring with a Camera which is covering part 2 of the colour wheel this time around.   Here is the link to part 1 on her blog and my interpretation of it is here.

I'm kind of on the eleventh hour of this link in.  I love colour but for some reason have had lots of trouble getting my head round the different combinations, despite Kat's great explanations.  I wanted to do it, though, because I learnt so much from part 1 and because it has made me think about colour combinations and how they work and why.

Because I've procrastinated for so long, I haven't found examples of all the variations, so make sure you check out Kat's original piece for the full run down.

Complementary - which Kat describes as 2 colours which are directly opposite on the colour wheel.

It's that time of year and there are many berry combinations I could have chosen, but rosehips sum up autumn for me the best so that's what I've chosen.

Triadic variation  - which Kat describes as 2 of 3 colours from a triad (a triad being 3 colours equally spaced along the colour wheel).

I've kept to autumn for my example here too - a variety of gourds and pumpkins.

Proportions - which Kat describes as 3 colours in roughly a 60:30:10 combination.

You've seen the front, now here are the backs of those beach huts.

Thank you Kat for another thought provoking piece.

Now go find which ones I missed!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Week 1 - 365

Here it is, week 1 of my 365 project.  Starting and ending the week on cake, so a good week all in all!

From the top:  my birthday cake; my daughter is mixing a lot of 'potions' at the minute - this one is rose petal and egg shell (!); my birthday present to myself - Caran d'ache colour pencils.  I'd completely forgotten until I saw them again but these were the holy grail of colouring pencils when I was at school; my wish jar; birthday lilies flowering; the church where my daughter attends ballet class - love how the autumn afternoon sun is catching the cross; raspberry bakewell cake baked this morning as we have family visiting this weekend, you can find the recipe here.

Hoping you all had a great week and wishing you a fabulous weekend. :)

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


One of the projects on Stephanie Levy's Creative Courage ecourse was to make a wish jar.  It was really very therapeutic to write my wishes down and then collect them altogether in one place.  It was also quite a revelation to see how inter-connected they all are.

Such a pretty reminder to have on my desk.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


I've started a 365 project!  Hardly a new idea, I know, but new for me and a bigger commitment than I'm generally comfortable with! 

I'm reading Patti Digh's Creative is a Verb at the minute and a couple of lines really stood out for me:

'Every single moment of your life is an opportunity for creativity'.

So true and yet I still wait for the quiet moments and the space to be creative.   I hope 365 will encourage me to have my camera to hand all the time, capturing the ordinary which leads me to another quote of hers which really stood out:

'Because it's our ordinary, we believe it's everyone's ordinary'.

The details of my life are not the same as anyone else's.  There is uniqueness in everything we do.  I want my 365 project to celebrate my uniqueness through the details of my ordinary life.

The Peas in Our Pod via Pinterest

I found this  via pinterest.  It's so true - I'll always remember the big stuff but it's the little things in my life, so easily forgotten, that make is so special.

My plan is to do a Friday round up of the weeks photos and then have a separate page for the project itself by month.

Has anyone else tried the 365 photo a day challenge?  Would love to see how you got on, so please leave your link in the comments.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Start the week

Here are the cakes - I had two!


and a picture of the tea table by my daughter:

I so want a teapot just like that one!

We are currently enjoying an Indian summer here in the UK - for the first time ever we barbecued on my birthday! the dark as we hadn't factored in how early we lose the light at this time of year.....but still, a barbecue!

If you haven't signed up for the World's Biggest Summit go and do it now.  It's completely free and there are workshops by some truly amazing people.  It's running throughout October, go and check it out.

I have lots of creative catch-up to do this week which I'm really excited about. 
Wishing you all a fantastic and creative week.:)

Saturday, 1 October 2011

A Good Year

Today is my birthday.   Happy birthday me!  I was sitting thinking about all my dreams and ambitions and wondering where (and even if) I was going to find the courage to make them happen when I suddenly realised quite how momentous this year has been for me. 

This time last year I was a blog reader.  I loved other people's blogs but honestly, I didn't even have the confidence to comment on them - really what did I have to say? it's all been said cares what I think.  Never in a million years would I have predicted that a year on I myself would be a blogger.

The journey started exactly this time last year when my husband gave me a digital camera for my birthday.  I was thrilled to bits but spent the first couple of months too intimated to pick it up and when I did nothing came out the way I wanted it to on the auto settings.  But I bought myself nikon d5000 for dummies, attended a local workshop and gradually began to work it out.  I was hooked! 

My favourite things of this year:  centre - my blog! (and button if I can ever get the link to work!); clockwise from top left: me and my nikon; Creative Courage ecourse; favourite photo from this summer; Find Your Eye ecourse; favourite photo of my daughter from this year; Kim Klassen photoshop courses; my new workspace (still needs work!); indie business ecourse

Early this year I took indie business and wow, what a confidence boost it was.  A group of like-minded women, all willing to listen and share their experiences.  No one thought it was ridiculous that I was going to start a blog, had creative business ideas and dreams.  No one laughed when I commented or asked questions.  Suddenly I felt like I had something to offer.

Photography gave me a reason to create a blog and indie business gave me the courage to do it.  I am so glad that they did.  I love taking photographs, documenting life and those precious moments in it.  The fear of sharing my photography and words has gradually transformed into an amazing gift that I can't image my life without.  I was so caught up in fear I had completely ignored the creative outlet that my soul craved so badly.

I've only just started on this great adventure and I can't tell you how happy I am that I have.  I've met some wonderful people through this little blog of mine, done some amazing courses that I've loved and found a home for (some of) the millions of photos that I take.

Thank you for being part of my journey, for sharing my photos and words and for your words of encouragement and support.  If you'd seen me a year ago, I don't think you'd recognise me as the same person now.  This year has been such a gift.

So, get yourself a nice cup of tea and a piece of cake and celebrate with me.  It really has been a great year.
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