June 2012

The golden hour

This snap is part of my wordless week as I attempt to take a bloggy break.

Patio love

For the first time today, I sat outside on our patio while the boys napped. It was sunny, warm and utterly peaceful. I can’t wait to return tomorrow.

It’s going to be somewhat of a wordless week as I take some time out to wrap up my client’s magazine, flesh out my new ideas for the blog, and attempt to sleep earlier at nights. In lieu of words, I shall be sharing some of my favourite snaps throughout the week.

I do apologise in advance if I don’t get around to visiting all your lovely blogs over the next few days, but I’ll surely be back to catch up on your posts next week. Keep blogging, my friends!

I am cape woman

Last year, I finally worked out two things:

1) I don’t like wearing fitted trench coats, and
2) I don’t like wearing fitted blazers.

The irony was that I owned two gorgeous trench coats and about half a dozen blazers, all of which I decided to cull from my wardrobe. Why hang on to something I know I’ll never wear? So I listed them on eBay, uploaded them to my Big Cartel store and even implored all of my Facebook friends to buy them off me. It was incredibly liberating.

In their place, I found two vintage capes on Etsy that allow me the freedom of movement that I both need and crave in an outer garment. This is one of them. Not only do I love its yellow colour, but it’s incredibly warm and snug and I can throw it over the top of almost anything. Now that’s the type of versatility that I like!

It’s taken me so long to realise that the fewer things I have in my wardrobe, the happier I am. And that the beauty of a piece of clothing has nothing to do with its material, brand, quality, colour or age, but everything to do with how much it is worn and loved.

At the moment, I have a notebook full of ideas for this blog, and I’m ridiculously excited. I can’t wait. I can’t wait! Lots of photos to take, lots of writing to do!

In the meantime, I hope you’re all enjoying a gorgeous weekend. Let me know if you’re doing anything special, okay?

Week 20 was just wonderful: lots of playtime with Pete and Jamie, a delicious beef stir fry from Rick, the sweetest pink sunset ever and a hugely successful ferry trip (see below). I just love that photo of Pete and Jamie in the bottom right corner: Rick had just turned on the vacuum and while Pete is covering his ears in horror, Jamie is completely unfazed. Makes me smile every time I see it; such a great reminder of the little individuals our boys are. (Remember you can click on each of the images for a larger version.)

The ferry trip was soooo much fun for all of us! As you can see, photos from the ferry outing took up most of the right hand page. As the photos themselves are quite busy, I deliberately kept it really simple with hardly any text save for the words “Ferry trip outing” in the circle in the first photo. Quite proud of myself that I managed to include me in there somewhere, which is a bit of rarity.

The last two photos at the bottom were again from Dee Why beach. I hadn’t intended on trying to create a panaromic view but it kind of just turned out that way. There’s something about that beach around sunset/dusk. There is just this magical glow about it. At least once a week, we try to pop down there briefly before dinnertime just to look out at the sky, the clouds, the horizon and the sea.

Ah yes, week 21 was the week of The Haircuts. That’s Jamie in the first photo, getting his hair shaven off by Rick in our backyard. I decided that this post I wrote about how I emotional I was at losing Jamie’s golden baby hair had to be included. To keep it simple, I simply formatted it into two columns of text using the same font as the text in the ‘this week’ card, and printed it out onto a white 6×4 photo card.

Also worth a mention was the delicious pork chop and spaghetti dish that Rick whipped up that week. My goodness, that pork was good. And that photo next to the pork is of Jamie walking straight into Angus’ arms during bedtime the very same evening they got their hair cut. It was the sweetest moment: I’m not sure who was most excited – Angus, Jamie or us!

To balance out all the family shots on the other side, the right hand page is filled with still shots that I took over the weekend. A lot of these were taking in my studio as I attempted to capture that perfect grey light. The ones of Pete and Angus hanging around in my studio are very precious to me because it’s not something that happens all that often – but that particular afternoon, they both decided to come upstairs after playing outside to see what mummy was doing.

Love the boys.

Love Rick.

Love Project Life.

* * * * *

You can read my other Project Life posts here.

Materials used: Becky Higgins Design A page protector; Becky Higgins 6×12 page protector; Kodak 170gsm glossy photo paper. All photos printed on the Canon MP630 Pixma.

(Linking up with The Mom Creative and Grace for FYBF.)

Preparation time:

30 minutes

Components:

Pan-fried basa fillet pieces (coated with corn flour), mashed potato, snow beans, peas and carrot pieces

Response from Angus (3 year old):

Happily ate the fish and rice all by himself! Named the fish pieces ‘Basser Biscuit Bites’ with the help of daddy. Declared loudly that, “I don’t like the green things.” But he ate them anyway.

Response from Pete (2 year old):

Happily ate the fish bites along with the mash and kept asking for “More!” Tried mixing diced snow peas in with the mash, but the cheeky monkey spat it all out as soon as he tasted it. Seriously need to consider pureeing Pete’s vegies.

Response from Jamie (1 year old):

Rejected fish bites. Chewed and swallowed a few of the snow peas.

Conclusion:

2 out of 3. Therefore, a winner!

Addendum:

This particular meal was actually done about one and a half month ago. Since then, we’ve given the boys these fish bites at least half a dozen times and they continue to love it. Even Jamie enjoys them now. Tonight, all three boys polished off their fish bites (save for one left over on Jamie’s plate), and both Angus and Pete even went for seconds. You can pair these fish bites with a whole multitude of sides. Tonight we had them with rice and bok choy. We are half-Asian after all.

p.s. I never thought the day would come, but Pete eats his vegies now! I guess he got sick of ‘the naughty corner’…

The perfect antidote

Another rainy Saturday afternoon. Rather than being cooped up in the house, we decided to go for a drive up to Palm Beach. We stopped briefly at Narrabeen to gaze out at the ocean. From the car, I spied this couple watching the surf with this cheerful, yellow umbrella. It felt strangely romantic. Thirty minutes later, we arrived at Palm Beach and the view was at once spectacular, serene and surreal. By that time, peckishness had set in, so we found a cafe that was open and picked up some hot chips for the drive home. They were deliciously crunchy. The perfect antidote to a rainy day.

The rest of the weekend has been spent working on the same magazine I spoke about last week. I finally overcame my designer’s block on Friday evening (hooray!) so I’m hoping it’s a home stretch from here on. Naturally, caffeine has been my loyal friend this weekend.

(Linking up with Amanda.)

Wait before you wash

My mirror’s getting a bit tired of my so-called outfits, so we’re swapping views this Friday evening for my desktop instead.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to get onto Peppermint Magazine. Not only is it a beautiful publication, the stories are just lovely and so easy to read. I’m even loving the ads.

There’s one particular article called ‘Clean Up Your Closet’ which encourages us all to make small changes that can make a big difference. One suggestion is that we should wait longer before washing our clothes because as the writer points out, “For most of us, our days aren’t so perspiration prone that we need to wear once and automatically wash.” The point being that every wash we miss saves not only water but energy too.

Friends, I am totally doing my bit for the environment here. If nothing else, I happily allow my clothes to go unwashed for days. Sometimes weeks. That’s right: I said weeks. Plural.

Anyway, I’m sure most of you are out partying hard this Friday night, so I shall leave you with this cute little question from our Angus earlier this week:

“Daddy, are you still married to mummy when you’re grumpy?”

And with that – happy weekend, my friends!

Lately, I’ve been getting an increasing number of questions about the photos that I take and the cameras that I use. The truth is that most of the photos on this blog are taken with my iPhone 4S camera. The reasons for this are simple:

1) It’s easy to use.
2) It’s light to carry around.
3) It’s almost always hiding in my pocket.

As they say, the best camera is the one that you have with you, and for me, that’s the iPhone camera. I know others call it ‘iphoneography’ but to me, it’s just capturing memories and moments the easiest way I know how. To me, it’s simply photography.

And so – I thought it might be fun to start a small series on this very topic: a series in which I can share some of the things that I’ve learnt when it comes to taking photos on the iPhone, my ‘everyday’ camera. We’ll also cover processing and editing, as I believe it’s all part of the photography process. Naturally I don’t claim to be an expert, but I do hope that I’ll be able to share some tips and insights that might be useful for some of you.

Who’s in?

Even if you don’t have an iPhone, some of the content should still be applicable to ‘point and shoot’ cameras.

And you never know, there might even be homework. (On second thought, maybe not.)

p.s. Unfortunately, being me, I just had to come up with some ‘cutesy’ name for this series, so I’m calling this one Snap Me Happy. The only down side is that every time I say that in my head, the jingle for Instant Scratchies, “Scratch Me Happy – yeah!,” keeps ringing in my ears. Occupational hazard, I guess.

p.s. If there’s anything specific you would like to know, now would be the time to email me!

(Linking up with Grace for FYBF.)

These days…

…the last of the autumn leaves are falling. In the afternoons, I find myself loitering in the foyer of the house to watch the sun set. I just love catching those fleeting rays of golden sunlight before evening descends. The days blur into one another, as I struggle to tap into the creativity that I need to complete this design job. I love my boys more fiercely each day, even as they continue to exhaust me each day. I am so thankful for our parents, who visit us each week and to lend a helping hand. The garden out the front of our house is flourishing, due to the hard work of two parishioners who come every Tuesday to tend to it. They arrive early in the morning and leave late in the afternoon. Their generosity humbles me.

(Linking up with Trish.)

Up high, by the sea

We discovered a new spot by the sea this weekend: up high, almost in the sky, away from the buzz and activity down on the beach. We’d stopped by the local supermarket beforehand, and so we sat, eating delicious buns whilst watching a single pink cloud float across the sky. The boys sat perfectly on the bench. In the waters below, we could spot a few swimmers daring enough to brave the cold. A group of local tradesmen were gathered behind us, happy that it was the weekend. I felt the breeze, smelled the sea, and drank in God’s creation. It was wonderful.

(Linking up with Amanda for Weekending.)