Monday, February 6, 2012

A day in my life

Our homework for this weeks Beyond Layers course was to capture 6 images of our day. I did a couple one day and then the rest the next. You might wonder why the blue sky, well it had been raining non stop pretty much the whole week then cleared on the Friday, so this photo was to celebrate the sunshine.
Images clockwise starting from top left-
My dog Ally
Pantone colour chart that we use at work
The fabulous blue sky
Coneflowers from my garden
My shelf in the studio
Friday nights dinner, fried rice and chicken kebabs

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Sometimes you find a quote that you can really relate to. Like this one - "She took the leap and built her wings on the way down". It's from a little book of Quotes called "She" by Kobi Yamada.  Nearly a year ago I decided to leave my job and work with my husband and do more photography with a view to becoming a professional eventually.

Am I there yet? Most certainly not, but I haven't crash landed like Icarus either.I am still making those wings, sometimes you just have to be patient and I still have lots to learn about photography.

To finish off this post and still on the theme of flying, I came across this cute little 15 minute movie that one of my friends on Flickr recommended. Its lovely and worth the watch if you have the time.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Very Pinteresting

I now have a new addiction and its called Pinterest. What the heck is Pinterest ?, I hear you say. Well its sort of like your own private corkboard on the internet. I have several boards for different subjects eg: Photography, recipes, DIY, holidays and so on.

I usually have the Pinterest site open in a seperate tab and if I come across something interesting that I want to look at later on or use as a reference , I simply copy the web address, open my Pinterest tab, hit the add button at the top right of the page then paste the address into the blank space. I then pick what board I want to paste it to and voila, its there complete with a picture and comment of what it is. Before I discovered Pinterest I used to email myself the link of the website that I liked then would keep all these emailed links in a sepereate mail folder, which I would then sort through to find what I was after. Pinterest is way more simpler and you can access it from any computer.

You also have the option of looking at and following other peoples boards. Which is fabulous as I follow people with the same interests as me and then they share their discoveries, which I then in turn pin to my boards. My daughter has decided that she will have a go at cooking some of the recipes I have pinned and the ones she has cooked up have been delish.

Pop over and have a look, Im sure that once you get started you will be hooked as well.

Here is a tutorial on how it works

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Six Little Words

Be in the present
Live Now.

I was planning on sitting down and blogging earlier this week but time has gotten away on me, so there is no time like the present.
Kim gave us our challenge for the "Beyond Layers" group this week and it was tougher than I initially thought it would be.  She asked us to describe ourselves in 6 words, sounds easy. 
She told us to pop over and look at the Smith Magazine site for inspiration. This site is where people are encouraged to post their six word memoirs and I spent ages going through and reading them. Some are funny, some sad and some are inspiring.
I ended up coming up with my six words- Be in the present, live now.
They don't really describe me but how I am feeling at this moment in life. For many years I spent so much time thinking and fretting over what had happened in my past and worrying about what would happen in the future, that I wasn't enjoying what was happening in the now.  The fear of the unknown and the "what if's" was stopping me from moving forward in my life.

One morning I woke up and realised that no matter how much I worried it wouldn't change my past and certainly wouldn't help me with my future. 99.9% of the things I worried about never happened and if they did I am certain that I would be able to get through them or work around them. In excepting this I am more at peace with myself and a much more relaxed and calm person.
Some other 6 word descriptions I came up with were:-
Finding myself & enjoying the Journey
Nearly 50 & loving my life
One of my favorite quotes at the moment:-
"Having spent the better part of my life trying either to relive the past or experience the future before it arrives, I have come to believe that in between these two extremes is peace."  ~Author Unknown

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sugar, Honey Honey

LIFE is a mosaic of pleasure and pain - grief is an interval between two moments of joy. Peace is the interlude between two wars. You have no rose without a thorn; the diligent picker will avoid the pricks and gather the flower. There is no bee without the sting; cleverness consists in gathering the honey nevertheless. Sri Sathya Sai

My image for my Beyond layers homework week 1. I am a collector of  old honey pots and I have about half a dozen of them. When we were on holidays we trawled through lots of old antique shops looking for that special something that jumps out and says buy me. I could have easily bought another 2 pots that caught my eye but resisted temptation. 
However I did purchase some more old antique bottles, I love using them for still lifes.

Friday, January 20, 2012

My Creative Story

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” Greg Anderson

This year I have signed up for Kim Klassen's "Beyond Layers" course. For the first weeks homework we have been asked to write our Creative Story. Sounds easy but I have spent ages sitting here wondering where to start.

Since I was a kid I always liked arty crafty things and my teachers always brought it to my attention that art was something I was good at and should do more of.
When I hit high school I took art at as a subject then changed over to ceramics (pottery) which is what I really loved until I discovered photography in my senior high school years. 
The school had a couple of  SLRs that you could borrow and they also had a fabulous darkroom.
It was actually a storeroom that they had converted but that didn't matter. They had all the equipment and chemicals and we would lock ourselves away in there and experiment with our photos.

Unfortunately, when I left high school I forgot all about art and photography and went and got a job in a bank and that is where I stayed for 20 years.I was never completely happy working there. Sure I liked the customers and the pay but I felt something was missing. When my daughter, Melissa, started school we decided to buy a computer and this is when I discovered Microsoft Publisher. I used to sit for hours after Mel had gone to bed designing invitations, diaries, making posters and then discovered digital scrapbooking. I was like a huge sponge I tried to learn all that I could about the program and did a lot experimenting.
It was also good therapy for me, as I was getting over a broken marriage and keeping my mind occupied was better than sitting around feeling sorry for myself. Later on I was to find my soul mate but that's a whole other story that I will tell you about some other time.

About 10 years or so ago, I decided that I wanted to leave the bank. I was no longer happy there and hated going to work. I decided to bite the bullet, handed in my resignation and crossed my fingers. As luck would have it I saw a job advertised for a part time secretary who had to have experience with Microsoft Publisher, I rang them up and got the job. I started off doing basic secretarial work and because I loved designing flyers the boss gave me more and more creative stuff to do. We used to have the company catalog produced by the printer's graphic designer but it was decided that we may as well do it in-house.

The boss paid for me to do a design course plus an indesign course and I ended up doing all the graphic design work for the company, which I absolutely loved.
The boss also bought a point and shoot digital camera so that I could take the product photos for the catalog. I was totally clueless. I knew how photos in catalogs should look. I didn't own a camera, so my photos were pretty crap and I was embarrassed to use them.

This was the start of another huge learning curve I spent hours on the internet, reading articles and watching videos on youtube on how to take and process photos. I borrowed books and magazines from the library and tried all that I could to improve my photos. I was great at photoshop so that helped but only to a certain degree as they say rubbish in rubbish out. I then came to a decision that the only way I could improve was to bite the bullet, buy my own camera and practice. I purchased a Sony DSC-H1, joined Flickr and decided to do Project 365 this meant taking a photo everyday for a year. It was a bit of a challenge at times but I did complete the year and made lots of friends and learnt a stack along the way.
I also found the macro button on the camera and fell in love with the little things in life. Macro photography is still my passion. Near the end of Project 365 I decided that I was ready to upgrade to a DSLR and experiment a bit more, I have since traded that camera in for a Canon 7D which I love.

At the beginning of 2011 I decided that my job was too stressful for me even though I loved what I did, the job had just kept on growing and growing and my part time job had now evolved into a full time job. I had a couple of health issues that were aggravated by the stress as well. My hubby has his own engraving business and he had purchased new premises. He was working long hours and so we decided that the best thing for both of us was that I help him out and do some work for him. The premises that he purchased was two storey and as he was only using the bottom floor he said that I could turn the top floor into a studio. Wow was I excited. I bought studio lights, then proceeded to repaint the studio walls and floor and then moved onto painting and carpeting the lounge area. I did all this in between doing work for him so it has taken me a while.

My goals for this year are to learn as much as I can about the lighting system and get as many people as possible in front of my camera as portrait photography is something that I really need to learn more about. I have also been going upstairs every work day to practice still life compositions with my lights and I have also been using natural light.
I want to do a lot more creative stuff and challenge myself to think outside the box and Im hoping that Beyond Layers will help me with this and that I make more friends along the way. I am doing 365 again in the hope that this will help me creatively as well.

Thats my story so far, I think of it as a journey that I have only just started and I still have a very long way to go.

 I am hoping that this year will be an inspirational and creative year and I hope I haven't bored you too much with my story.