Friday, 21 December 2012

Happy Christmas

A very happy Christmas to you all.  Thank you for being here, for all your lovely comments and support this year.  When I started this blog I didn't realise quite how many wonderful connections I would make through it.  I am so grateful for it all.

I'm having a little blog break over Christmas and look forward to seeing you in the new year.  I'm so excited to see what 2013 brings!

In the meantime peace, love and happiness to you and your families.  Happy Christmas. x

Image processed using Kim Klassen textures King Edward and sonnetmagic.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A Treat of the Season

The taste and smell of Christmas in a glass.  

I'm not of a fan of the 'stick a load of spirits in it too' recipes - the very thought of adding brandy, port or vodka to red wine gives me a headache - but I do like a mulled spice or two.  Jamie Oliver has a nice recipe which you can find here and so does Delia Smith (personally I don't bother with the fruit liqueur).

How about you?  A mulled wine lover or does something else say 'Christmas in a glass' to you?

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Pretty things

Christmas trees and twinkling lights are my all time favourite Christmas decorations.  Ours is finally up and nearly all the lights work - perfection is so overrated. ;)

Wishing you peace and joy amidst the preparations.

Happy Tuesday. :)

Friday, 14 December 2012

5 {Christmas traditions} on Friday

The last 5 on Friday of the year.   Here are my favourite five family Christmas traditions.

1.  Having a real Christmas tree.  Love the smell and the  natural 'imperfectness' of it.
2.  Listening to Carols from King's on the radio whilst pottering in the kitchen.
3.  Opening our Christmas presents after lunch. Lots of people think we're mad but it means Christmas goes on all day.
4.  Watching the Wizard of Oz, my all time favourite.
5.  Our Adnams Christmas pudding.  Delish.

We're putting up our Christmas decorations this weekend.  The Moo is beyond excited - and actually I am too.  Bring on the sparkle. :)

How about you.  What are you favourite family traditions?

Image processed using Kim Klassen textures musiclovin and more magic.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

12.12.12 Time Capsule

So, here's my time capsule from yesterday.  I wanted to make it manageable, so here are 12 iphone shots from  my day (let's pretend that that was all in my plan and I knew that 12 photos was the perfect number for the 30 second slideshow option.....). It was a really ordinary day, but life is made up of these ordinary moments and I love that I've captured some of them here.

Make a video of your own at Animoto.

Thank you to Xanthe Berkeley  for creating the 12.12.12 time capsule project.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

52 Intentional Photos - Week 9

It's freezing today and we have a heavy frost that appears to have settled in for the day.  

Not a fan of the cold but I do love nature's own Christmas decorations, sparkling prettily in the cold winter light.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Morning and Evening

We've had some beautiful mornings and evenings lately.  Clear skies and awesome colours.

Mornings and evenings are pretty low key around here, centred around the home - especially at this time of year.  I am always so much calmer and more grounded if I follow my morning rituals.  Some (or all) of them go out the window on a regular basis but my ideal morning looks like this:

Wake up naturally before the alarm.  
Sit with my journal and do my morning pages
Make coffee and have a cup, either before anyone else is up or with my daughter playing quietly in the next room.

The days seem so short at the minute and I am not entirely a winter person but sometimes I really love the long evenings, when everything slows down and the house is filled with the smells of home cooking and Christmas spices.  Evenings in the winter for us are all about snuggling in with books or TV or films, enjoying the glow of candles or fairy lights and keeping warm with extra blankets and duvets.  I love the slowness of winter evenings.

But I can't deny, it is the morning and its rituals that I enjoy the most and that set me up for the day.

I am late to the party over at 52 photos project, but do go and check out the other entries.  So beautiful.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Hello Monday

Everything is starting to look a little bit twinkly and festive. We even had our first sprinkling of snow last week.  Just the kind I like - not too much and gone by lunchtime.

This week we're saying:

Hello to some decorating (that poinsettia and the gingerbread village is all we have so far!)
Hello to the school nativity play
Hello to the Christmas ballet show
Hello to playing with some digital art apps (thank you for the inspiration, Kat - follow the link even if you don't have an iphone, she has alternatives for trying it out on your computer)
Hello to participating in Xanthe Berkley's 12.12.12 Time Capsule project - are you in?  There's still time.
Hello to a whole lot of Christmassy crafting

Hello mini mince pies.  This scene is becoming rather common in my kitchen.
Hello cosy evenings in and some Christmas films.  Yay! (can't believe I forgot to record Elf yesterday...)

How about you?  What are you saying hello to?

Happy Monday. :)

Linking up with Lisa Leonard.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Reflecting and Dreaming

I really want to hold on to the fact that so much of what I dreamed of and planned for happened this year.  Not always in the way I envisaged and sometimes so gently that I would have missed it had I not started on this reviewing exercise.  But it is extraordinary how much you can and do achieve in a year, sometimes without even noticing.

I used Susannah Conway's Unravelling 2012 Workbook last year and she has a new one for this year that I'm about to start.  I cannot recommend them highly enough.  I haven't really been much of a planner before but it finally dawned on me - I can't get to where I'm going if I don't actually know where that is!

The workbook is absolutely free and you can download it here and she has tips on 'rocking the workbook' here.  

What are you waiting for?

Happy Friday. :)

Image processed using Kim Klassen textures reverie and Kristen.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

In the Picture

Linking up with Christy at Urban Muser for November's In the Picture.  The month's (optional) theme was I am grateful.

I am grateful for my daughter and her joy, silliness and kisses.

I am grateful for home where this was taken.  All my books are in the background and that spot has the best light in the house.  I am also grateful for funky text and texture apps on my phone. ;)

I am not usually much of a winter person but I read this great quote today

Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.  Emerson

and it made think how grateful I am for this change of pace as the seasons change.  

I'm also grateful to Christy for keeping me going with this self portraiture journey this year.  I know it's been a lot of work for her but honestly the door was firmly closed to self portraits and I wouldn't have started or continued without her and the project.  And here I am now with one more month to go.   Thank you, Christy. 

In The Picture

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Photo-heart Connection

This month, I stepped out of my natural introversion (if that's even a word!?) and chatted to some  artists and photographers at an art fair.   It was fantastic to talk to them about their work and hear about their inspiration, their process, their aims and what they strove for in their art.  My expectation was that it would really be an opportunity for me to act as a sort of sponge - to soak it all up and store it away in my creative bank.  And it was.  But the real surprise for me was that they were just as interested in hearing about my photography, asking about my inspiration, my aims and what I strove for.  Um, wow!

I guess if other people can take my photography seriously, perhaps it's OK for me to. :)

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Taking a moment....

Striving for a mindful and peaceful time in the run up to Christmas.  Not easy to do in amidst the consumer chaos that always engulfs.  But striving nevertheless.

Wishing you peaceful, contemplative moments this advent.

Happy Tuesday. :)

Monday, 3 December 2012

Hello Monday

A cold weekend spent mainly at home, making a tentative start on the Christmas cheer.

Frosty starts, tea making, candle light and gingerbread village making.

I am happy to report (and frankly feeling quite smug about the fact) that I didn't resort to using superglue on the gingerbread village.  I think this is the first year that's happened and it feels like a really big win!

Today we're saying:

Hello to more chilly weather
Hello to a trip to London
Hello to a lot of baking for various Christmas events
Hello to catching up with family and friends
Hello to a bit of Christmas decorating and crafting
Hello to a bit more planning and dreaming - got to make the most of this creative spurt I'm having. :)

How about you?  How was your weekend and what are you saying hello to?

Linking up with Lisa Leonard.

Friday, 30 November 2012

5 {randoms from the week} on Friday

1. Full moon

2. Music.   My dad's piano has come to live with us, much to the Moo's delight.  She is currently keen on her own compositions, her favourite being "thunder and lightening".  I'm sure you can imagine...

3. It's frosty and super chilly.

4.  Pretty flowers on my sideboard (and loving the new hipstamatic film, gsquad).

 5.  My desk is a huge mess but there are lots of ideas and plans bubbling away.  Love that feeling. :)

I hope you've had a great week.  Happy Friday to you and have a lovely weekend. :)

Thursday, 29 November 2012

52 Intentional Photos - Week 7

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams
Arthur O'Shaughnessy

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Quiet anticipation

Today is.....grey, wet, cold.   But the promise of Christmas and all it's festive cosiness and fun is there.    So I am sitting with my scented candles, my books and magazines.  With hot coffee.  The colour palette giving a small nod to all that is to come.  

For now, home comforts.  Planning....dreaming....listening to the rain.....a little soup making.

Quiet anticipation.

Image processed with Kim Klassen textures pumpkin grunge, reverie and happy heart.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Hello Monday

First off, I love London. :)

It's still a little early for me for Christmassy things but these trees with their pretty white lights were too good to ignore.

I've had such an inspiring weekend visiting an art fair and spending time with family and friends.  So good.  Lots of ideas swirling round  my head. :)

This week I'm saying:

Hello to planning a few projects which I'm really excited about :)
Hello to household chores.  If Santa is reading I could really do with a self cleaning house for Christmas...
Hello to making a start on the Behind the Scenes course I won last week, yay!
Hello to some craft projects
Hello to a curry with friends

Happy Monday to you, what are you saying hello to?

Friday, 23 November 2012

Five {dreams} on Friday

5 things I dream about:

1.  Flying.  Literal and metaphorical.
2.  Living by the sea.
3.  Being comfortable calling myself an artist.
4.  Travelling and capturing my adventures with my camera.
5.  Being fearless.

What do you dream about?

Happy Friday. :)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

52 Intentional Photos - Week 6

The thing about homebodies is that they can usually be found at home.  
Laurie Colwin, Home Cooking

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Falling leaves

I love the look and feel of falling leaves - and I've been trying to capture them all autumn.  This is the one shot I've managed to get (on my phone!).  It's  the same shot I used in yesterday's post but with a completely different treatment, giving it a completely different feel.  A little softer and a little warmer this time around.

Processed using Kim Klassen texture Kristen.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Hello Monday

Leaves and castles and crunch, oh my....

And a few hellos:

Hello to waking up to find I'd won a place on Kim Klassen and Xanthe Berkeley's Behind the Scenes ecourse.  What a lovely start to the week. :)
Hello to a bit of a battle getting the Moo into school today - it was a busy weekend!
Hello to picking up my new glasses
Hello haircut (hurray, my fringe is in my eyes...)
Hello pre-Christmas clear out.

What about you?  How's your week started and what are you saying hello to?

Linking up with Lisa Leonard.

Friday, 16 November 2012

5 {gratefuls} on Friday

So, I know it's 5 on Friday, but I've been doing gratitude week this week and my list is a bit longer....In case you are a real stickler for rules, I have put my top 5 first so you can just stop reading after those ones ;).

1.  Grateful for my family
2.  Grateful for our health
3.  Grateful for 13 years with my lovely husband (Tuesday was our wedding anniversary).
4.  Grateful for spending time with friends
5.  Grateful for our central heating - it's been cold!

and then in no particular order, a bunch of other stuff:

grateful for a child who loves life, loves school and embraces everything as an exciting new adventure
grateful for time to spend on my photography and my blog
grateful for my daughter's love of and fascination with nature.  Birds are the current favourite with our new bird feeder.
grateful for the amazing autumn colours we are currently enjoying
grateful for blue sky and sunshine. :)
grateful for a friend who took time out to show me her favourite juices and let me play with her juicer.
grateful for a day off school due to local elections.  Felt very illicit.
grateful for the atmosphere of calm in my home at the minute (thank you Classic FM and scented candles!)
grateful I found a set of 8 champagne saucers at the charity shop - have wanted some for years now!
grateful for an evening with friends, crafting and chatting.
grateful for some new great series starting on TV (sad I know, but I do like a nice cosy evening in in front of the telly!)
grateful for this community that I'm part of.
grateful for this prompt getting me back on track with my gratitude journal.

Thank you, Michelle, for hosting gratitude week.  It was just the motivation I needed.

Happy Friday. :)

michelle gd gratitude 2012

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Exploring with a camera is looking at chiaroscuro this month - light and dark contrast.  Kat gives a great explanation and has lots of fabulous examples that you can find here as well as lots of tips on how to achieve the effect.

Here's what I found in my own images:

Such an effective way of capturing the contrast in feel between the dark, narrow architecture and the bright landscape beyond.  I love how it really captures the mood and feel of the place. (Taken in Vence in the South of France).

I took this image recently, it was the streak of late afternoon autumn light across the pages of the book that caught my eye.

Another image taken recently, slightly underexposed, to really bring out the contrast.

Taken with my phone, I love how the chandelier and the light it is casting have equal visual weight in the picture.

I love the effect the light has in this image.   The light was quite soft afternoon light.  to emphasise this I processed it with a slightly sepia tint.  I love how the contrasts and patterns give it an almost 3d quality.

This is such a great effect that works amazingly in portraiture too which I plan to experiment with next.  Thanks Kat for another inspiring exploration.

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