In every place I’ve lived there is usually one spot that becomes my favourite place to shoot. And in the South Queensferry house it is this windowsill. Quite often I work at a table right alongside, which I like because I can see the comings and goings in the street outside while I am working on the computer.
The sill is nice and broad and so can cope with quite a big vase of flowers and the painted wooden surface adds a nice element to many photographs. Every week I choose some new flowers, often from the really lovely little florists ( Bees Flower Shop – drop in if you are passing ! ) just along the street and then arrange a still life for the windowsill.
Before leaving Holland I did a bit of a mad shop of all kinds of little vases and props , which seemed a bit excessive at the time ( not to me, but you know, to some other folks ! ). Now I’m very glad that I did build up this stash as I’ve been able to make a lot of different colour combinations , and so far no bunch of flowers has failed to fit in with one or two pieces.
Of course these images show up in my Instagram feed quite often, but I’ve also been shooting with other cameras and some images will be appearing as prints before long.
( This fabulous lighthouse is at the maritime museum in Rotterdam.)
Although I have loved being on Etsy and have no plans to close my Etsy shop anytime soon, I have started to feel that I want to spread my wings beyond the site.
This is largely related to my new textile venture. In order for my work to be on Etsy I would have to be doing all the sewing up myself. And while I think it is important to know how to make all the components of a product, I really don’t want to be sewing all day. If I learned anything from my time as a silk painter it is that I don’t want to be doing all the making again.
So behind the scenes I am working away at a new site. Part of the site also incorporates a blog but I am undecided yet what to do about my blog. Should I close this one and just redirect traffic over there ? Should I repeat the content in both places ? Do you have any advice based on moving your own blog from one place or another ?
Wednesday is one of those days. Its not the start of the week with a full complement of days to fill. And its not Friday with the weekend right after. Its just there, right in the middle, with the potential to feel a bit flat and colourless. I want to change that and provide a bit of a colour splash – to cheer myself up, if noone else !
You can take the girl out of Holland, but you can’t take Holland out of the girl !
The garden is giving me a helping hand with this today. After endless winter and no bulbs coming through when you’d expect them, the other side of the coin is a flurry of growth and colour all at once. Masses of tulips and all kinds of flowering bushes ( that I do not yet know the names of. I need my garden expert auntie to visit and remind me of them all ! )
Even though the flowers have emerged, the weather still thinks it is the end of winter, so my little photo essay had to be timed in between showers of rain and sleetiness. Come along now spring, we are all waiting for you.
I love the pale pinks and greens of these clematis that are going to come into bloom very soon.
Not quite blue sky but heading in the right direction I hope.
One of the projects that had to be put on hold while I was in Holland was the “textile project”. I did some fabric print tests quite some time ago, and although the results were good, they weren’t quite there, as far as I was concerned. And then Holland came along and it was just too tricky to coordinate it all.
Now I am back in Scotland I am pushing this along as fast as I can. So I’ve just had a sample print back from a new printer and the results are pretty good. The pictures give you a wee taster. Can’t wait to see them made up into cushions !
I have felt a little adrift with my blog over the last while. There have been lots of things happening but I haven’t felt that I wanted to put “pen to paper” and talk about them. I think partly what has happened is that I have lost my blogging groove a little. Maybe the idea of having kept this blog going for 5 years actually acted as a bit of a barrier. Also, maybe I’ve become a tiny bit bored with the format now. I want to freshen things up, both in style and content. So, to confront that head on I’ve set myself a little blogging challenge to blog for 30 days ( week days that is, as I’m trying more and more to have offline weekends ). I don’t really want to think of it as a challenge though, but more a way to focus a bit on how I’d like to see this blog from now on. I could wait till the start of the month , because I like that kind of orderliness. But that feels like procrastination, so I’m going to dive right in and start today.
Instead of berating myself for things not done, posts unwritten and progress unmade I will take note of one of my favourite phrases “Start where you are”. And when I take stock of where I am , surprisingly, I have managed to do more this year than I had initially supposed. If you are feeling stuck then I suggest you do the same, start where you are, use what you have.
Do you have a favourite motto that you use to get yourself moving again, or to encourage yourself ?
( The image above is of some of the images on display just now at the Jitter Bean Cafe in South Queensferry – a good value and cosy cafe facing the water on Queensferry High Street )
A big thank you to all of you who helped me to celebrate by joining in my giveaway – and without further ado, here are the winners.
Rachel Horne and Juliet Wilson have scooped up a $50 voucher each, to use in my Etsy shop. If you leave a comment with an email contact I will let you know what to do. ( I will not publish the comment , so your email won’t be public)
Cynthia H, Nancy Moon and Sherri Spaulding have each won a set of 5 postcards. If you let me know your mailing address for the postcards I will get them off to you – again , send me your info in a comment ( which will be kept private. )
Any prize that has not been claimed within 10 days will be reallocated.
I also know, after my recent post on Kaffe Fassett’s exhibition, that many people would like to visit but are unable, so I decided to do a video review of his recent book. If you can’t make it along to the exhibition then the book will give you a good flavour of how his career has developed.
Notes on video – I have discovered it is quite tricky to hold a book and a camera and turn the pages at the same time. I think I need to put some kind of little tripod on my shopping list. But I decided to upload this one anyway, rather than wait to get it all “perfect”.
I watch very little TV but last night I saw the programme by the inimitable Victoria Wood all about tea and the history behind it. ( If you are in the UK you can probably catch up , on Iplayer. The second episode is tonight. )
For something that people went to such efforts to obtain, we have become very casual about it. Choosing tea bags for speed and convenience and really drinking it without much attention.
I remember learning about the tea caddies when I was a guide at a Scottish castle for a summer. In the past the Duchess kept tea in a locked wooden box , so that no-one could help themselves to a quick pot.
Another memory was something that I read in the Statistical Account of Scotland ( which is a marvelous resource for all kinds of information about Scottish towns and villages.) In this exerpt, the location of which eludes me now, the minister was lamenting that the townsfolk had started to take a liking to the dreadful and unhealthy tea drink instead of drinking the much more acceptable beer !
I’m as guilty as the next person of using tea bags to make a quick cuppa , but I’ve turned over a new tea leaf and am brewing tea in a pot from now on.
By the way, its not too late to enter my 5 year blogiversary giveaway. All the info is in this post, but all you have to do is subscribe to my newsletter for a chance to win one of two $50 vouchers for my etsy shop. Existing subscribers are entered automatically.
After what seems like endless cold days there have finally been a few springlike ones in this corner of Scotland. Everyone seems cheerier and more optimistic. And glad to see signs of flowers pushing through and the blossom starting to show.
It also feels like the time for new projects and plans. These grape hyacinths are one of the new prints that will be in my Etsy shop soon. I’ve also picked up my textile project that had to be put on hold while I was in Holland. Very excited to see how that will evolve.
If you read my blog yesterday you will have seen that I’m holding a giveaway to celebrate five years of blogging. ( Read that post here.) But all you have to do to participate is sign up for my monthly Studio Newsletter – which you can do here. If you are already a subscriber you will be entered automatically. You could win one of two $50 gift certificates for use in my Etsy shop or one of three sets of 5 new postcards that are not yet generally available. I wanted to keep to the theme of 5′s !
In case you’re wondering, in my newsletter I write about behind the scenes snippets from the studio but also pass on useful things that I have found helpful for either photography or general creativity, as well as a monthly special subscriber only bonus. And of course, you can always unsubscribe after the giveaway, although of course I hope you’ll find it interesting and will want to stay !
Well, I couldn’t let five years of blogging go by without doing something to celebrate that. It has been an interesting thing, this blogging lark. Sometimes it has been easy to write, at other times I have felt that I wanted to just quietly get on with things without saying too much about it. But that is just the natural ebb and flow of things.
But the best part has been the connections made and friends both on and offline that have come from being part of the blogging community.
So , to celebrate this 5 – I am giving away two $50 gift certificates to be used in my Etsy shop and also 3 sets of 5 postcards – from a new collection currently at the printers. All you have to do to be eligible is to subscribe to my monthly-ish Studio Newsletter here. If you are already a subscriber then you will be entered into the draw automatically.
I knew I started blogging sometime in the month of April, but wasn’t sure exactly when. I thought it was later in the month, but it turns out that it was yesterday, the 1st of April. By the sound of my first post, April 2008 was a great deal less chilly than the 2013 version. I also find it just a little tiny bit scary that those five years have passed by so very fast.
Anyway, five seems like too big a number to just let go without marking it somehow but I am caught slightly on the hop as I thought I had a week or so to dream something up.
So please check back over then next few days -or , if you don’t want to have to remember to do that, then subscribe to my studio newsletter and you will get a tip -off.