Saturday, 31 March 2012

Week 26 - 365

From the top:  blue skies and blossom;  met the lovely Stephanie Levy and yet this was the only photo I took - on the train home playing around with the slow shutter and grungy textures on my iphone!; cherry blossom; spring green nail polish; the day of cracked eggs and egg mayo sandwiches; the Moo's Easter nest decoration for school; cupcake making to celebrate the last day of term.

We've had blue skies and sunshine this week and school broke up for the Easter holidays yesterday.  Yay!

Have a lovely weekend. :)

Friday, 30 March 2012

In the Picture - Black and White

I have to confess, I've really slacked off my self portraits this month.  I really like the black and white theme (as you will see, I found it pretty to easy to hide with it!) but I'm going through that phase where the absolutely amazing work in the pool is making me feel inadequate rather than inspiring me.  Anyway, here's what I came up with:




A splash of colour

So there you have it.  This month it's really a case of 'heh, at least I've done it'.  But hey, I have done it and I'm not going to quit.....and maybe (hopefully) next month will be more inspired. 

How did you do?

In The Picture

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Eggs and Blue Skies

So far today I have hard boiled a lot of eggs.  The Moo needs a hard boiled egg for an egg rolling competition and then 3 extra ones to decorate for an Easter egg competition they're holding at school.  You'd think hard boiling a few eggs would be easy, wouldn't you?  I mean, I'm OK at cooking and it's just boiling some water with eggs in it.   10 eggs later (yes, 10) I finally have enough un-cracked eggs for 1 egg rolling competition and 3 for the  decorating competition.  

a small selection of those that didn't make the cut......

Guess who's eating a lot of egg mayo sandwiches today....

In an attempt to walk off my egg induced grumpiness, I went for a walk.  You're going to have the forgive the amount of blue sky shots, but you need to remember it's been grey here for a really, really long time and I don't know how long this will last.  Plus I was really grumpy.  All these were taken on my iphone. 

Sun sparkling on the stream:

and flowers in what is currently my favourite colour:

and if you want to really experience it with me, this is the music that I was listening to as I walked.

Egg grumpiness over.  :)

Monday, 26 March 2012

Happiness Photo #19

The magnolia is out and we've had gorgeous, sunny weather here in the UK.   We had our first BBQ of the year yesterday (on the first day of British summertime) and a great day with friends.

To top it all off, I met up with the lovely Stephanie Levy.  Stephanie is an amazing artist and the mastermind behind the Creative Courage ecourse which I did last year.   It was so great to meet her in person.  When I got home I realised that I'd been so busy chatting I hadn't taken a single picture.  Oh well.

Hope you all had a good one and welcome to the week. :)

Friday, 23 March 2012

Week 25 - 365

Wow, can't believe it's Friday again!

From the top:  making cornflake Easter nests; Mother's day card from the Moo; this week has been colour week at Beyond Layers and the rest of the collage are photos taken for that - bulbs; double yellows; our cosy pink blanket; blueberries; a flower stall.

Hope you've all had a colourful week.

Happy weekend. :)

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Balancing Shapes

Exploring with a camera is looking at balancing shapes.  Hop over to Kat Eye Studio for the full explanation.

To be honest, this is something I give zero conscious thought to when I'm shooting and I wondered if I'd find any examples at all....but of course it's something you do intuitively and although I couldn't of told you when I shot these why I arranged them in the way I did, balance of shapes certainly played a part.

Symmetry is the most obvious balance of shapes.  I don't shoot a lot of architecture but when I do, it almost always the symmetry that draws my eye to begin with. 

Of course symmetry doesn't happen that often, so we use other ways of creating visual weight, such as:

Bright colour against dark/neutral colours:

Emphasised below by an unexpected object in the composition:

I took the same image standing a bit further back to include the repeating pattern of the iron fence and I think this works too:

In the shot below, I like the simplicity of the pattern texture of the wood and painted door against the visual interest of the rusty door handle:

And finally, whilst I don't pay any conscious attention to this when I'm shooting (or haven't up to now...), my 6 year old does.  Snapping away on my iphone she produced this "look mummy, I really like the shapes..."

I'm glad someone knows what they're doing!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Texture Tuesday - black and white

Plants are pushing through the earth and buds are starting to appear.  But some of the trees are still bare, waiting patiently for spring to truly arrive and  images like this can be consigned to the past, at least for a short while.

So nearly there........

Image processed using Kim Klassen textures paper love and faved.


Monday, 19 March 2012

Happiness Photo #18

Yesterday was Mother's day in the UK.  We were all at my brother's house, being spoilt rotten with a delicious lunch and some playtime with cousins.

So lovely to spend time with family. :)

What did you do?


Friday, 16 March 2012

Week 24 - 365

From the top:  apple and blackberry pie ready for the oven; the Moo's dog catching some rays; Patti Digh's Life is a Verb was delivered on Monday :) ; little pot of camellias; cherry blossom (via instagram); hair in a bun for ballet (also via instagram); the Moo's Friday contribution, blankie bear chilling out in her car seat before school.

Hope you've all had a great week.

Happy weekend. :)

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Slowly, slowly....

....the colour is coming back. 

Today the sun is shining, the sky is blue, the colour is returning to my garden and I'm sitting beside an open door listening to a little bird singing to his mate. 

I am soaking it in with a happy heart. :)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012


We've been talking about fear at Beyond Layers and something Kim said really jumped out at me:

"Sometimes we make this most awesome piece of art....then in pops fear..... what if the next piece isn't awesome... then what? Sometimes that 'then what'...can stop us dead in our tracks!! And we fail to try again."

That feeling where you know you've created something beautiful, something meaningful that really captures what you wanted to say and how you wanted to say it.  For me, it doesn't happen as often as I'd like...but when it does....  Wow.  And then the fear.  That you'll never produce anything as good ever again.  That feeling that stops you from picking up your camera, starting to type, starting anything.

At Kim's recommendation, I've just read Steven Pressfield's book Do The Work and his advice is so simple...."Don't prepare.  Begin".

It almost made me laugh when I read that - I have so much 'in preparation' it's almost ridiculous.  But I can't deny that the projects 'in preparation' have pretty much stayed 'in preparation'.   Mostly because of the fear that they won't live up to my own (self-imposed) expectation of them.

But the flip side to fear is hope.  And so it is with hope and in the spirit of fear-conquering that I take my projects out of 'preparation', pick up my camera, embrace what's to come - good or bad.  After all, at the very least I'll learn something.....and there's always that hope, however small, that I'll hit the jackpot and create something awesome.

Written for Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers.
Image processed using Kim Klassen texture the veil.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Happiness Photo #17

We're being teased a bit with the weather  at the minute so I say this with some trepidation but I think spring might have arrived.  Yippeee!

This weekend was sunny and mild and I spent a lot of it in the garden, hands in the dirt, preparing the soil for new things to come.  So much hope and promise, so lovely to feel the sun on my cheeks and so nice to plan and prepare for the next growth cycle.

And just as I was typing this, the door bell went and my new Patti Digh book (Life is a Verb) arrived.  Yay, double happiness today. :)

What's making you happy? 

Friday, 9 March 2012

Week 23 - 365

From the top:  chilling out at home; pancakes are our Sunday morning tradition; enjoying signs of spring in the woods; picnic time for the dolls; a very wet Wednesday; ballet; a little more spring cheer.

I can't believe it's Friday already!  Hope you've had a good week.

Happy weekend. :)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Heart Whispers

I think we all have ups and down in our creative cycles.  And times when we put images and art work out there that we have lovingly created only  to be disappointed at the response.  I think many of us have stories where we still look back and feel the crushing disappointment of not having our work picked for the display board, not being picked for the school play, generally not feeling good enough.

It's at those times when I think we most need to listen when our heart whispers.  The whisper that guided you while you were creating, that formed that piece of art with you, that left a little piece of you with it.  All of us have something to say, our own way of saying it and it all matters. 

This is a reminder to listen to those heart whispers, remember them and cherish them.

I'm linking up with the creative exchange today, for the first time. :)

Above image initially created for Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers and processed using Kim Klassen texture plaster squared.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Happiness Photo # 16

The weather here is teasing us a bit....full of spring promise but it absolutely chucked it down yesterday.  Which was actually pretty nice.  As we didn't have any plans we had the whole day to do my favourite thing....pottering.

The Moo's pottering is brought to you via instagram.  I love that she is so imaginative and able to entertain herself so beautifully.  I was mostly reading, aside from a little colouring break with the Moo (bottom right) and a cheescake-making break.   I finished Tina Fey's Bossypants (hilarious) and am now glued to The Hunger Games.  How did it take me so long to discover it?

Happy Monday. :)

Friday, 2 March 2012

Week 22 - 365

From the top:  bubbles in London; the lego ledge; my camellia is out (weirdly early); aubergine moussaka for supper; trip to the book shop - have heard loads about both, thought it was time I read them!  Loving Tina Fey so far; it's been foggy round here, this is the sun masked in fog; the Moo's contribution to this weeks photos, taken in the car before school this morning.

Hope you've all a great week.

Happy weekend. :)

ps can you believe I'm on week 22!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Photo-Heart Connection

Processed using texture from Pixel Dust Photo Art

OK, so I'm going to come right out and say this is not the picture I wanted to pick.  I mean, I know that it's kind of against the spirit of photo-heart connection to start off with exclusions in mind.  But I did and this is not the one I wanted it to be. 

The reason I did not want it to be this picture is that this photo is (and feels like) the most personal picture I've ever taken.  It has provoked an emotional response in me that I haven't experienced before through my photography.  This may be further magnified by the fact that it is of me and therefore so obviously personal.  I'm not sure I can give a very precise definition but the feeling I get from it is raw, a bit uncomfortable, unsettling.   But, and it is a big but, the fact that is has evoked such an emotional response feels like a  bit of a breakthrough in my photography.

I'm not claiming to have taken a great photo here.  It didn't really turn out as I expected or planned.  Yet I can't get away from the 'heart' aspect.  There is in this photo a little piece of  heart that you can 'see' in some form or other, that speaks louder than just being a nice picture with some funky texture added (or whatever).   I want all my photos to have this magic ingredient that evokes some feeling (however indefinable) and that touches my heart in the same way that this one does. 

I ended up choosing this picture because it has given me a little glimpse of the possibilities.  How much more is possible when you lay a little more out there, give a little piece of yourself and really make a photo your own. 

This photo was taken for in the picture, a year long journey in self portraiture.
You can read about my first two months adventures in it here and here.

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