Thursday, 26 March 2015

a week of images.....

Here I am back with some more images of the last week. I'm on week four now of my course photo meditations. Yesterday I couldn't stop taking photos, every where I looked. Which was nice after experiencing a kind of lull for a few days. I just need to edit them and load them flickr. It feels like a photo journal really, and I really like that concept.


Rather large hailstones the other day. No sooner had a put my winter coat in the washing machine, the skies opened up and did this. Like marbles, spitting out from the sky, such a weird and unusual sight.


A quick re-wind back to Friday's eclipse. This was the sky for me just as it began. The air was beginning to cool. I was on my front door step. The view of the sun was clear, although it doesn't show that here. I was sitting on the bench out front with my son who was saying, 'why are you whispering!' and I was saying, 'because it's exciting!'. 


And this was just after, as the eclipse was finishing. Up on the common. I loved seeing these guys in their full eclipse watching mode. One guy was sitting on the bonnet, leaning back against the window screen, wearing his eclipse glasses, entranced.


And this, well selfie project! I decided I liked black and white better, and a crop! It's actually been quite an interesting project, seeing yourself from different angles. I thought I would hate it but even the ones I'm not showing here have kind of grown on me. I think it's a way of connecting to yourself, even the uncomfortable bits. And I also somehow think I am looking for new bits too.


I love these pictures of where I live. On instagram I am doing a little series called #appreciatingwhereilive. It really is a quirky little town, and this course is helping me to see it with new eyes.

   
I still take many photos up here on the common. I feel like it's one of my statement photos. The thing I do over and over! This was in the mist and of course I've used a filter here. I love the colour and the silver birch, one of my favourite trees seems to grow on it's own up here.


I took this shot in the town because I loved the red bricks, which reminded me of the house I grew up in. Although it wasn't a Victorian house it was a red brick house. I remember the drive way where I used to whack a tennis ball against the wall over and over. No x-box then. There's something very familiar and safe about those bricks. 


Back at home in my kitchen, I realize multi-colour rules the day again. I have plans to paint my kitchen, but other things are calling more so that will have to wait. 
It's nice to 'share' my photos here, hope you don't mind. See you again soon!



Saturday, 21 March 2015

on a spring morning....

apricot jam today
I thought I'd pop in and share a few spring like things happening here. But first I wanted to say how excited I was about yesterdays eclipse. In Gloucestershire we saw about 85% totality. I watched from my front door step with the teen. We were lucky and had clear skies. I was so excited as it began and you could see that first 'bite' beginning to show. I was willing it to go further and see that corona but we would have had to get on a plane for that. The air noticeably cooled down and I thought the birds seemed a bit confused. There was a cool, strangeness in the air. We saw the smallest arch of the sun at 9.30 and then the moment passed and the sun began to appear.

I dashed to teen to school at that point. Fortunately he goes to a place which is flexible like that. I was so glad to have that memory with him. Apparently the chances of seeing an eclipse from the exact same spot is once in every 375 years. So to be on our doorstep was great.


I thought the day seemed quite magical. Afterwards I went up on the common to walk the dog and had several excited conversations with complete strangers all united in our experience. It was also full moon and the spring equinox too.


The garden called me yesterday. Oh yes it did. It said,"how about you just pop out here for ten minutes a day and do a little tidying here and there. Turn off those screens, put down those hearts, forget about photography and just be out here where none of that matters". I thought I'll leave my boots by the door and the wheelbarrow on the ready and just do that, like a meditation. Sometimes I try and pretend I'm thinking in my head and life the way it was before all the technology appeared. Do you every do that?! It's quite hard to touch on that place now because it's just become a fundamental part of who we are.


It's easy to get over-whelmed. I can feel the push of new ideas emerging and quite a pace of things happening.


It's good to keep that grounded I think.
I hope if you had a chance to see the eclipse that you managed to. If not we all 'experienced it' in  our consciousness anyway!

So Happy Spring.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

a week of images......


This week I turned off auto focus for the first time. I think this shot was a fluke because I had no idea what I was doing. There were no lights or re-assuring whirr of the autofocus, just myself and the lens.  This is what I wanted it to look like but I'm not sure how I did it.


I loved this scene in the park. I didn't want to get too close. It was such a brave idea for a March birthday. I was wishing for the sun for them. I love the girl in her pink party dress, greeting her guests. 


Light breaking through the clouds on the common. Sometimes I can see the rain coming in across the valley and have to run!


This yellow door. I parked my car in town and went back to get this shot. I love the colour. It's actually a therapy centre. I'm noticing so much more suddenly about my home town. This could become an 'appreciate where I live project'.


I think this is Honeysuckle. It was sweet smelling and I spotted my first Bee of the year there. I like the road signs and the gates and light at the end.


The silvery grey and brown of these Catkins against the Cotswold stone of the Musuem in the park. 


The green of the paint jumped out at me and the bike!


I like this street scene a lot. I like the blue sign, and then all the other signs and signals off down the street, and the passerby. These are very different kinds of photos for me to take. Town and people really calls right now, it feels exciting and different for me, to be seeing things this way. 


Red. Sign. Great message to find in the street in the street.


Playing with marbles. I like the light on the marbles and the colour and shape of the jug they are in. 


This little dog. Contemplating her next jump. I love the colour and light on the water. And yes she did get wet. I looked around to take another photo and there was a splash.  


Flattened glass I found in the carpark. I thought it was dazzling and had the texture I was looking for.

* * * 

All these shots are from the Photo Meditations course I'm taking with Susannah Conway.
You can see more on flickr.

Off to take some more! I love it. See you soon.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

hello....!

Hello everyone. How has this week been?.....good I hope. I have been in a bit of a photograph frenzy, which is all good. It's been a little exhausting, it feels like everything else is also happening at the same time. So in some ways it's been a tough week, tough but good. You know when that happens.


I'm feeling so drawn to making these hearts right now. Whenever I can. Maybe it's the fabric and the colours, I don't know but I just have to make them. I have popped some single ones with a little message in my shop if anyone wants one to dangle one somewhere! Each heart will come come attached to a little postcard and with a little envelope to match. Truthfully I have had an explosion of ideas around these little hearts! And I can't wait to set to. And do my photography course :-) 

Of course there are lots of little photo moments through out the day. The camera that I brought is making a huge difference. Although I still don't really know how to take it off auto. Other news, I have finally got myself on instagram.


I realize this is not big news for most of you in fact who are already there. But the teens 'old' phone appears to be up to the job. We have already narrowly missed having world war three over it and have drawn a line under the fact that I'm not allowed to ask him anything else about how it works and have to work it out myself. Which actually in the end is the best way anyway. So four photos in and I think it's going to be awright!

Which brings me to the next thing. I've noticed that for some people who were blogging, and are now on instagram, it really lights them up. It works really well for them. I've also noticed that sometimes it doesn't. Perhaps what they are already doing is working as it is.  I don't know where I'm going to land in all this yet. I can see it's quicker, easier and you can message and reply more easily. But it's still not blogging.


I think bloggers are having to work quite hard right now, since instagram's success. Many are quietly leaving their blogs and are off in the insta-world. Things are quieter here. Less people around, less comments. I'm not someone who believes we have to reply or visit everyone who reads our blog, but I do think we need to put ourselves out into the blogging community and acknowledge what we are reading and enjoying, whoever that may be. It shouldn't become a chore.


Which brings me to my blog reader. I have a lot of blogs on my reader, and I had a lot of blogs in my sidebar. I suddenly really noticed there were quite a few with no updates for several months, and I also felt suddenly sensitive to some of the photos. I can't keep those on. I'm sorry if that affects you. If you have disappeared on to instagram I think it would be best to leave an honest note with a nice picture. Which is what the lovely Hesta did! Or give us a wave and smile and an update like Millefuilles did. Then it may be okay to sit there :-) So I'll just keep it to about a month. I can always add people back on. I can still see your blogs in my reader, mainly. And if not I'm sorry, but I can't follow everyone and times change and people move on to new things.


It's about enjoying ourselves and not feeling over-whelmed. And whole-heartedly enjoying the connections we have made, the amazing inspiration and life changing ideas and people out there. That's what it is for me.

So look, instagram. Up till now it's just been me peeking in on a group of people who inspire me in some way, whether it's how they live, what they do, how they put their message out in the world. Or their creativity and perhaps how they represent something I want to be part of my life. It's an inspiration board. So far.



Blogging is my community. Flickr inspires my photography. Facebook I just see as a kind of necessary business platform, but it doesn't call me.
I will be on instagram, but I have to say that if I am already following and commenting on your blog then I probably won't be following on instagram as well. Unless I've known you for ever and ever!
I'm using INK 361 as my reader which I like. When I open up my reader I need to not just be flooded by too much. That's the thing.

Of course I may totally end up eating my words and wouldn't that be funny.



P.S. please excuse the random nature of my photos, they are all recent I can't seem to think of words and photos in unison today!

Monday, 9 March 2015

A week of images

I feel a little like a hamster in a wheel right now....trying to keep things moving. Family, home, hearth, self, photo course, keeping up the different balls. It's not always possible, but I'm having go. I am feeling a surge of creative energy although it's not quite spring yet, the urge to get productive and to be out there using my camera.

I am enjoying my photo meditation course. I just love flickr. I'm not sure if I've ever told you that. The images I get to see, and all the inspiration on there. I follow people there who I think I may not have discovered otherwise. Folks with a visual love of life. I have a stream of favourite images. Creativity plays a big part, often in the shot as well as subject. The inspiration bounces back and forth. I can notice where the seed for an idea was sown as I look back through. You don't need to be a pro. Anyone can join and showcase up to 200 of their images without subscribing.

So these are some of my images on flickr from last week. On the course we have been considering the basics, angles, groupings, rule of thirds, negative space and so on. With the premise that once we know the rules we can break them. Yay!

I'll let the images speak for themselves because they are just everyday things. I'm just noticing in a new way ♥


On my flickr photostream you will find more information about each image. Hope there's a good week out there for you, roll on spring days, that's what I say!





Monday, 2 March 2015

The here and now and a photography course....

looking out over the blue yonder
So here I am today. So many things to say. Which way shall I go? What to say. Shall I talk about the little glimmers of spring or the cold, cold north wind blowing up here on the common. Shall I talk about recent inspirations, shop news, making and creating. Yesterday was a day I spent thinking about my shop, catching ideas. My work space is looking like 'post-it-note central'. Choices to make. Ideas to bring into reality. I'm feeling a beautiful wave of energy right now of inspiration, and the exciting feeling that I really am following my creative process. My work room, feels like my sweet blissful space to be in right now, warm and sunny, if the weathers right, and I'm trying to work my life out so that I can spend more time in there.

is it spring yet! 
Of course this wonderful feeling of inspiration and magic co-exists with other things. I could talk about my inner or my outer world. Or I could scratch below the surface and talk about what's happening there? The deeper aspects, the deeper grit. Because we all know that grit will be there. We don't all talk about this. I probably share a bit more than others and a lot less than some. Sometimes it not ours to share, and we can only try and work out what our relational part in the story is. I do really love to look around the web at all the beautiful creativity and inspiration I find there. I am a visual junkie. But sooner or later I will have to go and look for more. More depth, more meaning, more story, find that connection.

a speedy lunch enjoying the sunshine.
A couple of days ago I listened to an audio class with Susannah Conway, talking about the value of 'sharing our story'. She talked about the pure alchelmy that can occur when we do this and the value of each of our stories. Whether we do that in journals, or with another person or out in the world. Or maybe we don't want to share that messy, dirty story with anyone. And that's okay too. But the story is transforming, because it's our story, and there will be value in it. Remember that piece of grit that begins the pearl. We are all part of a beautiful shining string of pearls. So we can let our story work it's magic whatever it is.

If you would like to listen to her podcast you would need to subscribe to her newsletter here and then you can enter her inspiration library.

tea pot daffs!
And so another thing, while I'm talking about this here. Intuition, information, direction.....do you ever get it. Or should I say how do you receive it, because I'm sure we all do, in some form or other.
How does life prompt you, push you in the right direction. Show you the way.....For me it's always as I wake. I just become aware of strange and random things, just momentarily. Images, words, briefly. Sometimes they make no sense at all.....and yes I'm taking a deep breath at sharing this here.

So the other day when I awoke I saw the words 'ink on pink'....strange. No idea about that. Later that day I felt suddenly tired and just had to catch an unusual 40 winks. As I awoke I saw the image of a little black and white tudor house, with a red front door and a thatched roof. I thought okay, am I going to live here or is this house in my future somewhere. Where is this house? My next though was.....Paddington, I was thinking okay Paddington station, Paddington bear, marmalade....no idea. Is this a bit bizarre. It is isn't it. Well in for a penny.

all ears! - just because.
So later that day I received Susannah's newsletter talking about her new photography course, beginning today, Photo meditations. A five week course. Hmmm. I could do with this I thought. It sounded good. Then somehow I found myself having a quick look at her instagram, for the first time. Now I am very new to instagram. I'm even reluctant to leave a link because I have no photos there yet. There are some people who I follow along with, but I've not been able to join in. Anyway there in the middle of the screen, was that little house. A black and white tudor thatched house, with a red door. A place she had walked past. Now Susannah has moved back to London more recently. Probably not Paddington....but for me that is the gateway to London coming in on the train. Oh and her first blog was called 'ink on my fingers'!.......and then I knew, I had to do this course. An on-line course. The first for me.

So I have splurged, it's a treat. I'm a little scared, but her december reflections was such a good thing for me to do. I'm a little worried I will be out of my depth and have to pull something out of myself which I might not be able to find or maybe isn't there. But I know that I need to tell my doubt some things of value about myself and it will be okay. I have already had some nice re-assuring emails about the course, and the first lesson has arrived today! It might not be too late if anyone else wants to join in. It begins today. You might get sent a discount voucher if you do subscribe.

So I don't know, things may go quiet here. I may go into photographer mode, or I may not! Last night I dream't I was mugged while wearing my camera, and when I looked down they had taken my lense off. I think it was an anxiety dream about instagram! and learning to use my smartphone for photography. Good job the course covers that. Phew! Catch you along the way. x

♥    





Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Pancake day

pancake day
Here in the U.K. yesterday it was Shrove Tuesday, otherwise known as Pancake day. On my pancakes I have always been a sugar and lemon girl! This year we also had some Maple syrup because I have been stocking up on ingredients for making receipes from my Deliciously Ella book. And wow, Maple syrup is like liquid gold currency isn't it!

I used:-

150g plain wholmeal flour
150ml milk
30g sugar
1 egg

ta daa!
 And here it is.....my pancake made on my Mum's little crepe pan. Cooked in a little butter, it's really so easy using one of these. I just need to get one of those little wooden pushing things, which I'm sure has a name!

It was really rather lovely, but I couldn't help thinking about Nutella!

So what did you have? did you remember?


ps. not a sponsored post!