Wednesday, 29 February 2012


Aim for the moon.  If you miss, you may hit a star.
                                                       W Clement Stone

Image processed using Kim Klassen's texture wonderful magic stars.

Joining in with Snap it over at Faith, Hope and a whole lotta Love whose theme this week is sky.

Happy Wednesday. :)

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Ten things......

  1. I'm married with a 6 year old daughter.  This is where my heart lives.

  2. I have a masters in art history.  Having studied the old masters, I never thought I'd ever think of myself as an artist but this is (very, very) slowly starting to change.

  3. It has taken me 2 years to realise how much I would have learnt if I'd just sat down and read my camera manual.

  4. I love water, coffee and red wine.  Not necessarily in that order.

  5. I am a book lover.  I always used to make myself finish a book that I'd started.  Now I just toss it and  pick up something else....there are too many books out there to waste time on the ones that don't interest me.

  6. When I was 4 I nearly ate a worm.  My dad stopped me.  I figured if it was good enough for the birds....

  7. London is my favourite city in the world.   Lucky for me I can be there in 30 minutes.

  8. I love the theatre.  There was a time (in my younger, pre-family) days when I'd seen pretty much everything at the National Theatre in London.  Going to the theatre is still my trip of choice.

  9. My favourite quote is "Because it's our ordinary, we believe it's everyone's ordinary.  It is not." by Patti Digh (in Creative is a Verb - which is also one of my favourite books).  I'm all about the ordinary.

  10. I never imagined that I would find so much inspiration and support on the internet.  Truly extraordinary and something I am so grateful for.

Written for Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Happiness Photo #15

taken on instagram

I had such a lovely day on Saturday.  Me and the hubbie went into London for lunch and the theatre while the Moo enjoyed some quality time with granny.:) 

It was a perfect sunny day in London.  The streets were packed but everyone was in good humour.  Lots of high street shops are closing down at the minute so it always makes me happy to see quirky little shops still surviving and Covent Garden is the perfect place to go for this.  The shop in the middle is an old fashioned sweet shop selling all the stuff I remember from my childhood (and so much more!).

As we were walking along, an old fashioned van  stopped at the lights,bubbles billowing from it, causing quite a stir.  I love bubbles, they just make me smile and if you throw in a vintage van and a singing teddy bear (in the front seat), you've pretty much made my day!

Such a fun way to spend a Saturday and the perfect way to recharge.

Hope you had a good one too and are ready for the week. :)

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Week 21 - 365

From the top:  feeling cosy on a chilly Saturday afternoon; visit to the Saatchi Gallery in London (more on that next week); extra day of half term saw my laundry room full of tea stained paper - dried and ready to make treasure maps; pancake day; the Moo's current career choices; Thursday was the warmest day of the year so far - shadow shot as I sat outside lapping up the sun; salad for lunch to celebrate the warm(ish) weather.

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

Friday, 24 February 2012

Write on...

Hmmm.  It's been a funny old month with my self portrait adventure in the picture.  On the one hand, I've loved having a prompt - this month it was 'write on' - to incorporate some form of writing in your self portraits - and it was really fun to play with this idea.   On the other hand, I think the initial euphoria of "hey! I took some selfies and didn't burst into flames" has worn off and I'm feeling a little... well, exposed I guess.  And maybe the mix of words and image has had a stronger impact than I expected...a little piece of your mind linked with an image, revealing a little more than you originally intended. 

They started off innocuously enough - here's my shot that started off the month, just before the snow started to fall:

taken on iphone

And a couple from in the middle:

Words I can apply to most areas in my life:


More feet:

And finally, here's the one that I've found most challenging.  Kat Sloma noted on her blog yesterday that self portraits were becoming easier for her as she focused on the concept of the photograph rather than the photograph being about her.  I think this is true too but in this shot I had a clear concept (although a little different to the actual shot I got!) but am still left feeling a bit......vulnerable.  Maybe it's all those emotive words that are doing it....

Processed using Hope texture from Pixel Dust Photo Art

So, how's it been for you?  Is it getting easier? Did the addition of words make a difference to you? 

In The Picture

Thursday, 23 February 2012


Exploring with a Camera this month is looking at silhouettes.  Kat has some great examples and explanations so make sure you check them all out.

I love how silhouettes emphasise shape both to divert your eye and draw it in.

In this picture of a rainbow, the roof and tree tops are seen in silhouette, diverting attention away from them to focus on the colours in the rainbow.

A silhouette frame for the moon:

Here the silhouette forms both draw your eye to the shapes of the trees and the contrast with the colours in the sky:

Of course, silhouettes can also be the subject themselves and I love how the strong shapes of the London Eye and skyline are emphasised further by being in silhouette:

I love how silhouettes break the subject down to its absolute, simplest 2D shape leaving your mind to process the essence of the information in it's simplest form and in doing so allowing the space for imagination.

Looking around some of the other link ups, I realise how much I love seeing people in silhouette and yet I found virtually no examples in my own photography.  Definitely something to work on.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


Joining in with Snap it over at Faith, Hope and a whole lotta Love, whose theme today is colour.....and my colour is yellow!

Processed using textures plaster squared by Kim Klassen and ephemeral by Pixel Dust Photo Art

My heart makes a happy sigh when the first signs of yellow burst through the earth.  Daffodils in particular say spring is here, or at least well on the way (the snow covered daffodils we had last week made me panic a bit!).  We've had a funny old winter, pretty mild, pretty drab and grey and I'm tired of looking at my brown garden.  But as soon as the splashes of yellow arrive - as daffodils, as tulips, as crocuses - a little light goes on somewhere, the end of hibernation, the sign of new beginnings.

Processed using Kim Klassen textures organic and cherish

Yellow says happy to me. :)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Texture Tuesday

Image processed using Kim Klassen textures felicity, music lovers and organic.


Monday, 20 February 2012

Happiness Photo #14

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  (taken on instagram)

We found ourselves with an unexpected free day last Friday and I have to say, it ended up being pretty perfect.  Just me and the Moo hanging out at home.  I did some gardening, she played for hours with her lego then we popped to the local shops to get something for dinner and spent the afternoon at the park.

The perfect end to half term and a great reminder that you don't need to go far or spend a fortune to create some memories you'll always cherish. :)

Happy Monday.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Week 20 -365

From the top:  puppet making at the Moo's birthday party; that awesome cake!; phone box display in Kingston; cookie decorating with friends for Valentine's day; tulips; artwork....the BFG by the Moo; playing.

It's been half term here this week and we've enjoyed lots of down time, visiting friends and lot and lots of creating.  More of the same for the weekend. :)

Have a good one.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Some random thoughts on happiness

I think there is an art to happiness.  Life happens, stuff happens that can blind-side us and send us off course but overall I think happiness is a choice.  Something you need to work for, just like anything else worth having.    And when I say work what  I mean is putting the effort in, making that effort part of your life  and accepting with grace that the outcome won't necessarily be perfect.

For me, happiness lies in being present.  Engaging with those around me,  noticing the detail of my everyday life.  Because here's the thing.... everything is constantly changing and once you've missed a detail that's kind of don't get another chance at it.  That sounds a lot more dramatic than it's really meant to!  It's more a reminder to pay attention and watch out for the joy.   It may be fleeting sometimes, but it is most definitely there.

The kicker for me, being completely risk-averse, is that life is not static.  Happiness also seems to depend in large part on how you react to change.   Embracing it, letting old stuff go and letting others find their way and fly, no matter how much you may want to hold them close.   Risk is involved in all of these and I don't think you can have a happy life without embracing at least some risk.

Of course, I talk a better story on this than I actually deliver. But anything that helps me notice and appreciate the everyday helps in my happiness path....exercise, healthy eating, enough sleep all put me in a place where I am able to be more open to the joy in my life.  Creativity and photography in particular help me slow down, notice the details and gather the memories that I will cherish for years to come.     Sometimes it seems selfish and flippant to spend time on my blog, spend resources on ecourses or books or art supplies.  But happiness comes from within too.  Growth and change comes, and needs to come, from yourself as much as from the things and people around you.   Knowing who you are and filling your soul brings contentment.  And really I think contentment is key.

The trick for me is in the detail. Approach everything with a child-like curiosity.  Celebrate the everyday, no matter how small, no matter how small the celebration.  In my experience it's amazing how it adds up to a whole load of happy.

Written for Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The Cake Edition

So, there seems to be a bit of a theme this week.......I'm joining in with Snap it over at Faith, Hope and a whole lotta Love and the prompt this week is 'yum'.

And here it is, a collage of cakes from the archives.  I love them all and couldn't choose just one, so you get the lot on (another!) collage. 

Check out the other entries...there's a fabulous looking brownie recipe too.  Yum!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Happiness Photo #13

It's been a weekend of birthday celebrations here - the Moo is 6!  Lots of fun and here are the Moo's highlights.........snow on her birthday, chocolate cake, a firework in her chocolate cake (of course!) and puppets made with her friends at her party.

We have half term this week, so lots of relaxing and visiting friends.

Hope you all had a good weekend and happy Monday. :)


Friday, 10 February 2012

Week 19 - 365

Can't believe it's Friday again!  Big day here today....the Moo is 6!

From the top:  snuggly tops to keep warm after swimming; hand and footprints in the first snowfall of the year; waiting in the car; tulips; selfie; swishy hair at ballet; more snow - the Moo's wish for snow for her birthday came true!

Hope you've all had a good week.  We have a birthday party and family celebrations this weekend.  Have a good one and see you next week. :)

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Home is where the heart is...

Faith, Hope & a whole lotta Love has a weekly link up called Snap It.  This week's theme is home.

Wandering round my house today, I thought I'd share a few of my favourite things (taken on hipstamatic).

Home is definitely where the heart is.

Happy Wednesday. :)

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Texture Tuesday

Image processed with Kim Klassen textures softly, awaken and plaster squared.


Monday, 6 February 2012

Happiness Photo #12

There wasn't as much snow here as the weather forecast had predicted but what there was was wholeheartedly embraced by the Moo.   We had lots of fun making prints and throwing snowballs.  And the snow hasn't even outstayed it's's nearly gone already.  All the fun, none of the hassle!

Happy Monday, here's to a fun week. :)

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Week 18 - 365

From the top:  decanter shadows on my wall; Japanese with hubbie; shadow selfie; morning pages - still doing them!; heart bunting for February; the Moo chilling out before school;'s been freezing here, snow is forecast tonight.

Happy weekend everyone. Stay warm. :)

Friday, 3 February 2012

Time Capsules

I've just been introduced to Xanthe Berkeley's beautiful blog.  Her photographs are amazing and her photography philosophy was like reading my own mind - although she expresses it much better and is generally much cooler and more eloquent than me!  She is this weeks contributor to Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers and I love what she wrote:

I'm all about capturing our moments, creating little pockets of time to be saved to look back on in the future.  We are good at recording the important milestones; the birthdays, holidays, weddings and families growing up, but I think it's equally important to remember the everyday moments.  The details that make up your day.

Aside from encouraging me to pick up my camera every day, the aim of my 365 project is in large part to capture the ordinary details of my life and already I look back and smile at the brightly coloured flowers, the sludgy chocolate milkshake, the sunlight glinting through the trees or the slippers lying on the floor.   Tiny details that sum up me, my family and our lives together. Xanthe has taken this a little further and encouraged us to be memory gatherers of just one day.... 6 images that represent a day....a time capsule of your life....a celebration of your ordinary.

I tried to keep my camera with me all day on Wednesday, to shoot as much as I could and then see which 6 images stood out for me.  It's interesting to me that all the shots that made the cut are all shots in my home.  We go about our daily business, school, work, errands, but it's the details of the time we spend together that are the most meaningful to me and that truly represent our day.

I loved this project so much and I'm going to try and do it on regular basis, see what catches my eye, what changes, what different sorts of ordinary there are to be celebrated.  Check out Xanthe's video time capsules...and she has an ecourse on how to develop them yourself.  It has gone straight to the top of my ecourse wishlist.  :)

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Photo-Heart Connection

I saw the sun peeking through the clouds and couldn't wait to jump out of the car and capture the light.   This is the photo that I knew would make it to Kat's photo-heart connection the minute I took it and it's a combination of things that make it special to me. 

Firstly, I've seen and admired similar light capture in other people's photos so I was so excited to see it before me, waiting for me and my camera.  I love how the sun's rays are determinedly shining through the heavy grey clouds on what was otherwise a pretty dreary day weather-wise.

So a good start....gorgeous light. 

But the time and place are special too.  This is Brighton where I spent a couple of school years and made some great friendships.  This was taken during our get together to celebrate 25 years of knowing each other (um, yikes!). 

There is something about old friendship that is so comfortable with so much shared history.  Yet a lot has happened in 25 years.  It can be hard to move on from the person you were then and still fit into those relationships in the same way, being true to the person you are now.  Sometimes I have struggled with it. 

But not on this day.  We settled back together, chatting, drinking tea.  Looking back at the past but sharing in our present and looking on to our futures too.

It felt like that little patch of sunlight had been sent just for us.

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