Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Texture Tuesday

Today's prompt is 'simplicity'.

Processed using Kim Klassen textures simplicity, phoebe and plaster squared.


Monday, 30 January 2012

Happiness Photo #11

The Moo was at a party yesterday so hubbie and I had lunch together at a local Japanese restaurant and a wander round town. 
(Photo taken on hipstamatic).

What's making you happy?

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Week 17 - 365

From the top:  cake!; lunch debris after lunch with family;  the Moo was sick, lots of pjs, slippers and cuddles; recovery bingo; making the supper; sparkly sun through the branches (via instagram); daffodils.

Hope you've all had a great week.  Happy weekend. :)

Friday, 27 January 2012

Pieces of me

I'm linking up with in the picture today.  In the picture is a self portrait journey for 2012.  I've challenged myself to do 52 this year. 

I have to say that I never thought I'd be signing up to a self portrait project, much less sharing pictures of myself on the internet.  I HATE having my photo taken and will usually go to great lengths to avoid it.  But.  Last year I did Susannah Conway's Photo Meditations which introduced self portraiture ever so gently and really challenged my perceptions of it.  And I'm so glad it did.  I'm someone who loves photographing everyday life and the things and people around me.  Avoiding photographing myself is rather a glaring omission from my own life!

Once I realised that it doesn't have to be about your face and that it's not about beauty or vanity, I was encouraged to have a go.   And I've come to realise that it's the emotional and story-telling qualities of self portraiture that I love.  An expression, a point of view, a shift of focus can tell you so much about the person being photographed and is such an amazingly direct way to connect both with yourself and your viewer.

I have so much to learn about self portraits and this group is fantastically inspirational.  Follow the link and check out the other participants - it's truly awesome.

In The Picture

Thursday, 26 January 2012


Kat's Exploring with a Camera series is looking at windows.  Check out the full article here - there are so many possibilities and so many that I hadn't considered.

Going through my archives, I noticed that I am usually drawn to windows for their light and/or reflective qualities.

Reflection of the rain on the skylight.

Reflection of the Moo playing.

Light source and my reflection through frosted glass

Even when using a window as a frame, I noticed that the majority of my window shots are from the inside looking out.

Window framing garden

But there are so many other possibilites and Kat inspired me to experiment with windows looking from the outside in.

I love the invitation of the brightly lit tea room but also the customers, oblivous to me, getting on with their own lives, making their own memories.  Such story telling possibilities with this technique.

And capturing quirky window displays (loooove those Singer sewing machines).

And finally, playing with slow shutter speed in the car (don't worry,  I wasn't driving!).

Playing with the slow shutter app on my iphone

I love the different possiblities photographing something as simple as a window can offer.  It has really given me a lot to think about and I look forward to playing and exploring further, particularly with the story-telling possiblities they present. Go and check out Kat's full post and be inspired. :)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

6 Little Words

This is such an amazing idea.....tell your story in six words.  Oprah Winfrey is featuring it in her magazine O (US edition) and this was inspired by Smith Magzine where you can find loads of 6 word 'memoirs' and on which I am now completely hooked.  There are some really amazing ones out there, so do go and check it out.

Following on from my post Creative Beginnings, here are my six little words:

Celebrating the ordinary, finding the extraordinary.

The beauty of this exercise is that you can dip in anytime and pick your six word memoir to suit how you are feeling that day, what you're working on etc.   I made a gigantic list of words that would have been equally well suited to this exercise but these felt right, a way of describing my outlook and my photography.

So tell me, what are your 6 little words?

Written for Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Texture Tuesday

This week's Texture Tuesday prompt is 'story'.

Processed using Kim Klassen textures lilly and and then some.


Monday, 23 January 2012

Happiness Photo #10

Catching up with old friends over afternoon tea.   Is there anything nicer?

What's making you happy today?

Happy Monday. :)

Friday, 20 January 2012

Week 16 - 365

From the top:  frosty walk in the woods; the Moo enjoying some computer time; spotted the first snowdrops on the school run, yay spring is nearly here!; sequin accident turned into texture Tuesday;  fox in our garden; selfie for 'in the picture'; realised I hadn't taken Friday's picture whilst I was sat here collaging the rest, so here it is - my camera sitting beside me - taken on hipstamatic.

Hope you've all had a great week.  I'm looking forward to some time with girl friends this weekend.  Yay!

Have a good one. :)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Creative Beginnings

The story of my creative beginnings is my unique story but beyond that it's not very exceptional.  There is no real drama in it and in many ways I think my choice to follow my creative instinct is just that, a choice.

I have a five (nearly six...how did that happen?!) year old daughter.  Right up to the time she was born I was leading a busy life in a job I loved.  I loved it so much it's pretty much how I defined myself, although I didn't realise it at the time.  I was thrilled to be pregnant and the day my daughter was born was the best day of my life.  I gave up work to be with her and I have absolutely no regrets.  I wouldn't change a single thing.  But when I gave up my job, I lost my identity.

In terms of identity, becoming a mother was both my downfall and my salvation.  Picking up a camera to record those precious milestones of my daughter's life made me realise how important those details are.  And not just the milestones.  Every detail.  I keep the pictures of the 'potion-making' and Jessie the Cowgirl doing yoga right alongside the pictures of the birthdays, the Christmases, the 'firsts'.  It's all pieces of my family and our lives and recording all those moments is a way of both remembering but also of finding and celebrating the contentment in our 'ordinary' life. 

My creativity embraces and celebrates everything in my life - motherhood, domesticity, the 'ordinary'.  I love my ordinary, everyday life and photographing it, all of it in all it's messy, disorganised and imperfect detail is my way of celebrating it.  Through it I have found joy and contentment and a new sense of my place within it.

Of course, nothing stands still.   The more I photograph the more I want to be able to photograph and to express what I really see.  And so I chose my word for 2012, 'grow'.  Growth in my creative abilities to continue to see and celebrate the joy of my ordinary life.  Nurturing my curiosity, being attentive to the detail, finding the humour.  To see my life through my heart as well as my eyes and to express that through my art.

I have hopes and dreams for my art but for now I'm happy to live my life in a relaxed, attentive and contented way and use that as a springboard to grow within and through my creativity.

As Patti Digh says in her book Creative is a Verb "Because it's our ordinary, we believe it's everyone's ordinary.  It is not."

Ordinary....it's the new extraordinary. ;)

Written for Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A happy accident

I'm tired of the grey and searching for colour.  A craft room mishap provided the colour and image for today's texture Tuesday (prompt: open).

Where are you finding colour?

Processed using Kim Klassen texture look up.


Monday, 16 January 2012

Happiness Photo #9

Me and the Moo, making the most of the sunshine and having fun with shadow play.   Love that dangly mitten!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

It's Scavenger Hunt Sunday again.  Here we go:

Stacked up.....to be read.   Current reading list - should keep me out of trouble!

Winter Wonderland.....it's been unseasonably warm here so I looked in the archives....this is how it was around this time last year. 

Sweet.....banana chocolate chip loaf.  As seen on The Great Sport Relief Bake Off (recipe here).  No-one did a great job of it on the show so I'm not sure what made me want to try it (apart from the squishy bananas in the fruit bowl).  And I wasn't entirely successful (the chips have sunk to the bottom and I did expect it to be a bit taller - exactly the problems they had on the show!) but it doesn't really matter as it's totally delicious. 

Holes...in the shape of a heart <3

Frozen...skating on new year's day.

(processed with Kim Klassen texture)
Have a great Sunday. :)

Friday, 13 January 2012

Week 15 - 365

From the top:  lemon hand scrub made at craft night.  It really works!  Get the recipe here; love lamplight at this time of year (taken on the hipstamatic app - another new obsession!); me and my new toy; my texture Tuesday submission - feels like I'm cheating a bit putting it on here too but that's my diary and I did actually sit and write in it as well as photograph it!; healthy lunch; this is how it looked after we'd driven back from ballet last night.  It wasn't totally pitch black!! I'm so excited that spring is on the way although;....we did wake up to a hard frost this morning (and sunshine, so I'm not really complaining).
How was your week? 
Happy Friday. :)

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


Embrace the quiet.

(Processed using Kim Klassen's texture embrace).


Monday, 9 January 2012

Happiness Photo #8

Kind of revelling in being 'back in the routine'.  I adore Christmas but it is exhausting and I feel ready for a bit of 'everyday'.

Feeding the ducks is an 'everyday' activity that we love.  So lovely to get so much happiness throwing a few bits of bread to some ducks.  On this visit there were a load of seagulls trying to get in on the action and the Moo entertained me (and everyone else in the area) by shouting at the seagulls for stealing the ducks bread.  Needless to say they didn't take a blind bit of notice.

"Here ducky, duckies....."


Happy Monday. :)

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Linking up with Ashley Sisk for Scavenger Hunt Sunday.

Mostly One Colour...chocolate mice made by the Moo to take round to a friend's house.  Great way to use up all the chocolate left over from Christmas!

Laundry.......hmmm.  My actual laundry pile was so enormous it made me want to cry.  So I shut the door on it and pulled this out of the archive..... mini pinatas drying on my washing line.  Much more fun than laundry!

Empty...playing with instagram.

One dozen.... oat and raisin cookies baked and ready for my craft girls.

Soft.......well sort of...this is the lemon sugar hand scrub I made with my craft girls.  I'm rubbish at wearing gloves for washing up, cleaning, gardening etc so they're always a bit 'worn' looking but this scrub is fantastic - made really quickly with stuff in your pantry.  It has made my hands really soft.  The full how to is at Under the Table and Dreaming (found via pinterest).   And hey, I actually made something I pinned!!

Happy Sunday. :)

Friday, 6 January 2012

Week 14 - 365

From the top:  celebrating the new year; trip to the Natural History Museum (and experimenting with black and white); last nativity before the decorations were put away with Christmas tree and unicorn; the Moo made chocolate mice to take to a friends house (great way to use up the Christmas chocolate!); the Moo was back at school so hubbie and I braved Ikea and were surprisingly successful; roses to replace the glitter; oat and raisin cookie dough for craft girls this evening.

Hope you've had a great week. :)

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Playing with Contrast

We had a quiet new year and spent new year's day at the Natural History Museum in London - the Moo was desperate to see their dinosaur exhibition and it didn't disappoint.

Here are some photos I took outside the museum where they've set up a traditional carousel and an ice rink for Christmas.  The light and colour were somewhat muted and dreary so I've had a play with black and white and some texture which I think give them a nice, nostalgic and old fashioned feel.

I'm usually a colour magnet but I think the black and white contrast work really well on the ice and the skaters.  The reality was that the ice was quite slushy and struggling to say frozen in this unseasonably warm weather we are still experiencing.  The black and white makes it look much 'icey'.

I was also surprised how much I like the carousel in black and white.  The carousel colours were actually very bright but against the historical building I think the black and white gives it more cohesion and emphasises a sense of history for both the building and the traditional nature of the carousel. 

I find it fascinating that you can change the whole feel of a photograph by playing with things like contrast and texture.   I haven't explored black and white much before but I love how it's emphasising the contrasts and you already know about my Kim Klassen texture obsession. ;)
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