Photo a Day – Week Thirty Four

The year is moving along, let’s look at some more moments from our week.

Not a perfectly composed shot but I had to take it. That sky was amazing and then the flock of birds flew by too!

We were playing honest!

As it was half term she came over earlier and we went out into the wood. We found that it was flooded already but that didn’t stop her……

Another sunny day and I captured a totally fun selfie. Yep overexposed etc etc but I love it!

I love this little bundle of joy too! She’s wearing her new cardigan that Gav’s sister knit for her. So cute. And my sister-in-law it a fantastic knitter!

Walking to my Mums I spotted a Red kite overhead. I remember my Dad telling me years and years ago that an effort to reintroduce the species was going to happen at Harewood. (Edited to add that I checked my facts and the birds were reintroduced in 1999.) This isn’t a great photo as I zoomed in quite a bit in Photoshop but I wanted to document it anyway.

I’m back on the sewing kick! This was a Christmas quilt I started last year so I thought I better get on with it as it will soon be that season again.

And there we go.

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The October Garden Showing Off My One Little Word®

My One Little Word® this year is light. I have been trying to pay special attention to the literal light around me as well as thinking of how it plays in a non literal sense.

When I was wandering around the garden snapping away I remembered a podcast I’d heard few years ago. A photographer said that she didn’t even take her DSLR camera out of the house if the light wasn’t right. I remember thinking she was crazy! As a memory keeper even dark, blurry and overexposed photos have a story to tell and a place in my world. Sometimes the fact that it isn’t a good photo is a story in itself. But I guess as a photographer you have to present your best work and light is way up there on the list of requirements for a perfect picture.

It was good to remember that snippet and to think about her words and the thoughts it provoked. It’s all valuable in the journey of making my word visible.

All of that to say that I was glad to take her advice and get out there in great light to catch the garden singing its October song.

I like finding textures and shadows and contrasting colours as well as complimentary colours.

Basically any and everything that looks interesting to my eye.

I think that having good light does help evoke a better sense of the true-ness of the image. It makes it more possible to look at the picture close your eyes and be transported back to that time. To feel the sunlight.

Dew on the grass, overgrown full borders, looking through. Love this.

Spiky vs soft and round.

I stumbled upon a very rare and beautiful specimen as I wandered back to the house.

Buddy Cuteii.

And then right behind him landed a pretty butterfly. I’ve caught a few butterflies on camera recently. Love that they visit the garden.

Thanks for letting me share the garden and a little insight into my word this year.

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Bloom 2017 – The Dahlias

We had a beautiful day last Friday and although we were getting a few flowers from the Dahlias I decided it was time to dig them up while the soil wasn’t too soggy. In this part of the UK our winter is too cold to leave the tubers in the ground so we dig them up and store them.

In celebration of the wonder that they have been this year here are a couple of arrangements showing all their glory.

Dahlia ‘Thomas A. Edison’, ‘Labyrinth’ and one stem of ‘Karma Choc’ sneaked into the back there. The trailing flowers are Amaranth that I grew in the greenhouse. That Labyrinth I tell you, it is a stunner and mixed with dark shades and lighter ones.

And then the red one.

This red colour is impossible to capture on my phone camera. Not a perfect shot on the big camera either but good enough.

These are the most wonderful Bishop of Llandaff. It is a wonderful plant with dark almost black foliage and beautiful red flowers.

Hopefully the tubers will survive the winter dried out and frost free and I’ll divide and replant in May next year.

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Layout Share – Food Adventure

Little things, momentous things, there are no limits or rules for what we as scrapbookers put in our albums. Thank goodness.

Here is a great little story that happened when Gav and I were in NYC in March for my birthday.

The Food Adventure

The story reads –

By now everyone knows that Gav and I do the research for places to eat when we go stateside. NYC 2017 was no exception and I’d found and little burger place on the lower east side really close to A1 Records. Perfect. So we got there in the freezing cold and I was like ‘this can’t be it!!’ So we walked past. But clearly it was IT. So Gav said bravely lets just go for it. So we did. And it was great. Unusual, quirky but great. A place local veggies went to eat and get takeout. Sometimes you have to do it!

From a design point of view I have been using that strip bottom and top of a page for a while now and love the look. Also like the layers under the photo and the bright colours.

Onwards to more stories!

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Photo a Day – Week Thirty Three

Happy to capture some sunshine this week. The autumn colours are lovely.

And I found one last conker.

Uh oh! Festive-ness is in the shops……

Gav was in London for work and sent me this photo. The hotel where the event was has a bowling alley!

Making that little girl smile was a highlight of my week.

He doesn’t look too keen…..

Ah, that’s better. He’d rather sit and snooze in the sunshine.

And that was another week.

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The Post Box Quest – London 2017

It went a little bit like this when Gav, H and I were in London this summer…..

Me – ‘Oooo, there’s a post box over there.’ (Makes to cross road.)

Them – ‘Ugh.’ (Eye rolling and general ‘not another one’ faces!)

Followed by….

Me – ‘But look…..oh, that looks like one I haven’t seen before.’ (Crosses road abandoning them.)

Them – ‘Ugh.’ (Dragging feet and following on behind me.)

Poor things! My enthusiasm for looking at letter boxes hasn’t diminished and I did indeed find ones new to me. The one above is a double slot box with the cypher of VR for Queen Victoria on the side of the box not the front as it usually is.

This one has that directional sign fitted to the top.

And this one is a double Edward VII

The one below was covered in stickers as you can see. I have ‘edited’ the picture to remove some of them! But I had to take a photo because it had a strange ring on the top and it shows how some boxes had Royal Mail on them as well as the cypher.

And finally an anonymous box near the V and A Museum. These boxes had no Royal cypher and the aperture of this one was higher than most right up against the rim of the cap.

It is also smaller and apparently caused problems with letters getting stuck.

Whether my companions enjoyed my post box adventures or not I had fun spotting new post boxes to add to my collection. Oh yes I know I’m a geek!

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You can see my other blog posts about some of the post boxes I’ve found here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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Bloom 2017 – Velvet and Gold

My plan to get outside and harvest all the rest of the flowers didn’t quite go to plan. We had Storm Brian which brought gales and rain to the UK. We didn’t suffer too much here but other parts of the country were harder hit.

I thought I’d bring a rich zing to our Tuesday to banish those stormy blues.

These were picked a couple of weeks ago when the Dahlias were still showing off and the Cosmos were standing tall and elegant.

I tried a gold plant pot as the vase hoping that those rich colours would work well with it. Also that pot is larger so I hoped to make a different shape with the stems. I used chicken wire inside the pot to hold the stems. This means that you can tuck quite a short stem just under the wire and make it seem longer. The wire also means you get a greater range of shaping possibilities because you can place the stem exactly where you want it rather than relying on other stems to support it.

Here we have Dahlia Thomas A. Edison along with Karma Choc and Labryinth, Cosmos, Amaranth and some Cotinus foliage.

A day or so after I arranged these flowers I decided to try a different vase so took them all out of the plant pot and popped them in a blue jar instead.

Not a great photo but you get the idea. I like the way this one builds up rather than out and the dense centre of Dahlia beauty. And the Amaranth stems do add a dramatic line the arrangement. They also work well hanging down and contrasting with the blue. I freshened their water and they lasted another few days.

All good experimenting going on here!

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Adding Layers

I’ve been saving that photo above for something. Some story that hadn’t happened yet, back then last summer, when I snapped the shot.

There is of course a story in the image itself. Summer feet, painted toe nails, a little pooch foot sneaking into the picture, our morning walk on familiar streets.

But that wasn’t the story I wanted to tell with this image.

Initially I took the photo because of the textures on the ground. The old and new, cobbles and tarmac. White lines painted giving instructions to motorists. A collections of leaves and twigs and bits of rubbish nestled into the cobbles.

As I edited the picture, perhaps planning to use it as a photo of the day, I decided that it was the broken up tarmac that drew me in more than anything else. The cracks in the road showing another layer underneath. A visual representation of layer on layer and me standing at the edge of them.

Fast forward to today. I left my job a week ago. A job that not so long ago I loved. I was very lucky to have met a group of wonderful people and to have worked in an amazing place for 5 years. Looking back all of that worked there agree that we had a pretty wonderful time for a little bit all the while doing a tricky but rewarding job.

And then we didn’t. A larger company took us over and that was the end of that. Many left way before I did but I carried on. Still loving parts of my working day and wanting to stay with those colleagues left and of course terrified of the prospect of looking for another job.

So I am in between jobs. I have secured a new role and am just waiting for paperwork to be sorted but I am nervous about it all. I just re-read this  post. Written about the job I have just left. Just goes to show that sometimes you just do it anyway and it will be okay.

So here’s to adding another layer, another opportunity to learn something new, another chance to meet different people, another story added to my collection of stories.

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Photo a Day – Week Thirty Two

And here we go with some more.

My Niece and my Great Niece.

Sunshine on the Holly bush.

Driving together to work.

The end of an era…..

Starting another quilt. That’s four I have on the go now!

Beautiful berries and blue sky.

The Dahlias are still going. And down there on one of the bottom petals is a ladybird larvae.

Okay, that was that.

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Homemade Bread – Curry and Mango Loaf

It’s been quite a while since our bread maker has seen any action other than pizza dough! But the other day I was inspired to make a new loaf. We had lots of ingredients in the cupboard to choose from but I decided to go for something a little bit different and I pulled the mango chutney out.

We’re not big on spices in this house so I reduced the amount of curry paste. The final loaf had a hint of spice and the mango pieces were a delicious surprise to bite into.

I made a couple of really great cheese sandwiches with the bread and experimented with using Branston Pickle (not sure of the generic name!) and one with mango chutney. The mango chutney went very well with the cheese and the bread. Would definitely make this one again.

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