Thursday, 28 February 2013

Third Thursday Challenge

Once again by the skin of my teeth....but here is my Third Thursday challenge.  Something I've been meaning to learn to do for a long time - the before/after mouseover.  If you mouseover the image you should see the before image (here's hoping anyway - you can't test until you hit publish!).

I followed Kim Klassen's tutorial which is part of her Behind the Scenes ecourse.  I think it is also available on her site too.

Happy Thursday. :)

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Exploring with a Camera

This time around Exploring with a Camera is looking at blur created in post processing.  (Here's my post on creating in camera blur).  I love the different techniques to do this and the different effects and moods they create.  Follow the links for Kat's full post which is full of tips too.

Blur to create a painterly effect (on iphone):

A selfie using the blender app (iphone)

I took the image below on my phone but processed it in photoshop with a focal zoom technique using radial blur.  (I used the focal zoom tutorial on The CoffeeShop Blog).
I found with this technique that you have to have quite a light touch to avoid feeling totally sea sick, but I think it works well in this example, directing the focal point and giving it a slightly 'Alice down the rabbit hole' feel.

Love the moods that can be created using blur (these were created in photoshop using a mixture of blur and textures):


or dreamy:

Lots of fun to play around with and really effective in enhancing the mood and feel of an image.  Thanks to Kat for hosting and follow the link for more blurry inspiration.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


Nothing happens unless first a dream
Carl Sandburg

Today's theme at Texture Tuesday is like a dream.  Not, perhaps, the whispery softness Kim had in mind, but this is my dream today - light, luminous splashes of white contrasting with the dark.

What are you dreaming about today?

Image processed using Kim Klassen textures reverie and more magic.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Hello Monday

We got a bonus half term day today (yay!) so had some fun in old London town.  And it was really fun...though I'm now behind in everything so I'm saying..

Hello to fun today
Hello to Lightroom catch up (luckily I'm still in love so it's no hardship!)
Hello to healthy eating....back to South Beach, and not a minute too soon!
Hello yoga.  It's been on my resolution list to resume my yoga practice since the beginning of the year.  Did you know you can download free video podcasts on itunes?  Seriously, I have no excuses left. ;)
Hello postcard ordering - have you signed up to Liberate your Art yet? It's not too late...
Hello to choosing a new book - anyone got any suggestions?  I'm quite tempted by The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler....
Hello routine.

How about you?

Happy Monday. :)

Linking up with Lisa Leonard.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Bits and Pieces

Well, we seem to be back to winter today.  I'm not losing heart, though.  I've seen the glimpses of spring and all the signs are there.  I'm sure Mr Sun will catch up eventually.

A little collage of our low key but very fun half term week.  A bit of time to be together, recharge, relax and spend a bit of time outside.

It's so cold today so we're having a sewing, cooking, reading, movie watching kind of day....and more of that at the weekend too, I'm sure, before back to routine next week.

Happy Friday. :)

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Monday, 18 February 2013

Hello Monday

I woke up to a little reminder on my pillow this morning:

that it's half term, yay!

The sun has come out to play:

and little signs of spring can be found all around:

We even had our first patio chalking session of the year yesterday. :)

Today we're saying:

Hello sunshine.  Please stay
Hello lazy, schedule-free mornings
Hello meeting up with friends
Hello gingerbread people
Hello scooting, walks in the park and generally getting a bit of fresh air :)
Hello museum trip.

I love half term!

What are you up to?

Happy Monday. :)

Linking up with Lisa Leonard.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Random Friday

Five (entirely random) things on Friday:

1.  The sun is out.  Yay!
2. Half term starts today.  Double yay!
3. I have pretty much eaten my own body weight in cake this week.  And yet I have just done a happy dance because I realised we haven't finished the chocolate chip cookie dough and can have fresh cookies when the Moo gets home from school.  Well it is half term...
4. Reading Gone Girl.  Gripped.
5. This is my favourite post from the week.  I so get it.

So, how was your week?

Have a great weekend. :)

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Be a Star

Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

February 12 entry in Simple Abundance is about trusting yourself.  Remember that feeling as a kid?  Not worrying what anyone else thought.  Wearing the multi-coloured headscarf in a gigantic bow just because you liked it and it made you happy.  You didn't worry that other people might think you looked silly, you wore it because you liked it and because it was fun and pretty and made you happy.

I miss that.  I want to feel like that again.  To just love what I love, be confident in my choices and be free from worrying about other people's opinions.

I want to be the star hanging in my damp garden, catching the little pieces of sunshine, wearing the red ribbon because it's pretty.  Moving out of my designated 'cookie cutter' role, finding the beauty in the world and letting it shine through me.

Who's in?

Image processed using Kim Klassen texture daisy from the Downton II Collection.
Created for Beyond Beyond.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Texture Tuesday

A little polaroid love for texture Tuesday this week, around the theme of love.

Sending you a little love this Tuesday. :)

Image processed using Kim Klassen textures make a little noise 4 and sunkissed.  

Monday, 11 February 2013

Hello Monday

Phew, it's been busy, busy, busy round here as the Moo turned 7.  (7???!!).

She had a St Clare's themed party.  Remember Enid Blyton's St Clare's series, with the O'Sullivan twins?  Everyone came to the party in their pjs for the great midnight feast birthday tea (at 4pm...)! 

and of course the Moo was head girl:

A great time was had by all, although it is extraordinary quite how much noise seven 7 year olds can make!

This Monday we're saying:

Hello to sleepy heads this morning :)
Hello to a bit of a clear up and catch up
Hello to one more week til half term, yay!
Hello to a very minor, but very unexpected, smatter of snow today
Hello to lots of birthday cake to eat, yum!
Hello to pancake day tomorrow
and hello to Valentine's day on Thursday.   We're planning a quiet night but I'm cooking something special for dinner. What do you do for Valentine's? 

Have a great week. :)

Linking up with Lisa Leonard.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Playing with Focus

We're playing with focus over at beyond beyond.  And it's always nice to have a splash of colour.  

Happy Thursday. :)

Image processed using Kim Klassen texture frosted.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Knowing What you Love

This year, I'm working through Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  This was originally recommended in Beyond Layers but I held off buying it - I couldn't really justify it and it is big and a yearbook (shouldn't I start in January?) and, and, and.....And then I was in my local charity shop just before Christmas and there it was for a £1.  Messaged received.

I'm really enjoying it - it's about a page a day so entirely manageable.  And although much of it is not new, I find I need constant reminders about gratitude, simplicity, living mindfully, self care and so on to keep me on track.  Last week, though this passage really sprung out at me and has had me thinking ever since:

It should be straightforward, this knowing what we love.  But it seldom is.  After decades of letting other people influence us - the media, the magazines, our mothers, our friends - we're going to have to go cold turkey.  The only opinion that counts from now on is your own.

It's ridiculous, but I realise that I struggle with this all the time.   I feel like I am swayed by all those things and as a result, spend a lot of time comparing myself (unfavourably, I might add).  So what is it that I truly love?

I am starting with the advice in the book - creative excursions with a notebook.  Go with my gut, notice what jumps out at me. Note them down.  Maybe add a little to my pinterest boards. Little pieces of the jigsaw puzzle of me.

A couple of years ago I read Style Statement by Carrie McCarthy and Danielle LaPorte, which is well worth a look if you're struggling with this too (it's not just about clothes!).  I think it's time I revisited it too.

So, how about you?  Do you know what you love?

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Colour Pop

The theme over at texture Tuesday is colour pop.  So here is a very welcome pop of colour to brighten up this not-so-colourful February day. :)

Image processed using Kim Klassen textures faved and coffeeteaorme.

Wishing you a happy and colourful Tuesday. :)

Monday, 4 February 2013

Hello Monday

Hey, look what I found today.  Hello snowdrops!

Deep sigh.  I think spring is on the way.  :) 
[and I'm staying optimistic (/in denial) even though I've just heard a weather report for the rest of the week, ha!].

A few more for this week:

Hello to a certain someone's 7th birthday.  Lots of excitement and preparation going on here.
Hello to building on my Lightroom beginnings.
Hello to reading this. I think it's actually a children's book but it's so refreshing to read a bit of 'real' history.
Hello to making soup.  I actually made chicken stock yesterday after our roast.  Feeling kind of domestic goddess-y....
Hello new week.  You feel cheery with the promise of fun.  Always nice to start the week that way.

How about you?

Happy Monday. :)

Linking up with Lisa Leonard.

Friday, 1 February 2013

And breathe

I'm so glad it's Friday.  I've found the week...a little unsettling.... a bit of a challenge really.  I don't really know why.  And today didn't start well as I sat in my pjs happily drinking coffee before realising that it wasn't Saturday and we needed to get moving.   Having started off on that misstep, the rest of the day so far hasn't really gone to plan either but an unexpected delay gave me to time to spend some time in a bookshop and soak up some inspiration, which it turns out was much needed and for which I'm grateful.

So the weekend is a welcome time to be together, to recharge, to soak up some quiet, to focus on us.  And to see if we can't inject a bit of colour into this grey February start.

What are you up to?

Happy weekend. :)

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