Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Holidays - Day 2

Another fun filled day today which started out at home in the morning picking some veggies from our garden. Even though our veggie garden is tiny, I'm thrilled that I finally got around to actually doing, it rather than dreaming about it. It's lots of fun for me and the kids.

The other activity I planned for today was a "Movie Night" at home. Most Tuesday's we get out DVD's because they are half price however, I made a big deal out of the fact that we were all going to sit down together tonight with popcorn and pretend we are at the movies. The kids got right into this and talked about it all day long. Actually the first thing Sienna said to me when she woke up this morning at 6am "is it movie night". (Plant the seed of fun I say!!).

To make it fun I bought the little red and white popcorn containers from Coles and some microwave popcorn to go with it. We ended up getting "Cloudy Meatballs" which was very cute and something I felt I could sit through myself with the kids. We took some fun photos and had a ball.

James got right into it making movie tickets and cutting them out for us to have and he also made some paper money for us to buy the popcorn with. When it was movie time James told me I had to cut off the top of the tickets and give them the stub so they could go take a seat at the movies. They lined up at the entrance of the lounge so we all got into the spirit our our little movie event.
If I had just rented a DVD for them as usual this afternoon, it wouldn't have been half as much fun and seriously, I get such a kick out of making it a fun activity and something for us all to remember.
Well, we can tick off the making cupcakes, squeezing juice, movie night, a play date and Mcdonalds. How many more days left have I got to fill!!!! Luckily I've got a few more fun activities up my sleeve yet.


I came downstairs today to make a coffee and there was an orange glow in the lounge room. I walked outside to find the sunrise in our backyard like this. Beautiful. This was 6.35 am.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 1 of the holidays

We started off with a quiet day at home today and this is what we did. Remember behind all the beautiful photography there are "stories" that go with the pictures, the kind of ones that drive a mother to distraction however, we won't go there, I'd prefer to say we had a lovely day at home, squeezing juice, baking together and playing outside in our backyard. The truth probably lies somewhere in between. So we have ticked another 2 things off our Stay-cation list. Yes squeezing juice at home is an activity and as a result we have some beautifully squeezed juice in the fridge for our breakfast tomorrow morning.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Here's another picture of Sandgate from yesterday. ISO pumped right up to 3200, no flash. This was my second attempt as the first photo I moved a bit as it was a very slow shutter speed. I've just checked the stats on the photo for all those photographic enthusiasts.

ISO 3200
Aperature f8.0
Shutter 1/5th second (very slow - 1/60th is about the slowest for hand held)
Focal Length @ 24mm

I was quite pleased with the shot and after this, it was up the road for take away fish and chips.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Holidays at home

Today is the official start to the June school holidays and that means finding lots of activities to keep the kids occupied. At lunch time we sat down at the table and I wrote a whole heap of things on an A4 piece of paper with a square box next to each one. I used brightly coloured pens to make it fun and this is what we are going to focus on. They can be as simple as buying some oranges to have freshly squeezed juice for breakfast, making popcorn for a movie night at home or visiting the Currumbin Bird Sanctuary which is a good hour and a bit drive away. Just want to have some happy entertaining things we can do. After seeing Nicole's post last Tuesday about the waffles I've added this to the list as the kids haven't eaten waffles before. It's another relatively cheap activity for the kids to participate in.

This afternoon was our first activity to tick off the list and that was "go to Sandgate and look for some soldier crabs" (and for me....photoshoot on the mud flats) WIN-WIN holidays are the way to go. We only found 2 crabs and they were both dead but it didn't bother the kids as we had a great time and finished off with fish and chips by the sea. When we got home James said, mum we can tick that one off the list. Enjoy the pic's from Sandgate.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lime Tart

A friend of mine gave me a recipe for a Lime Tart about 5 years ago and it's been my favourite, easy, all time delicious morning tea or dessert recipe ever since. It's one where you make it the day before and leave it in the fridge ready for the next day so there's one less thing to worry about at your dinner party. I made it yesterday for a morning tea today and since I hadn't made it in a while it was as delicious as ever. YUM

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Phone conversation of a 4 year old

My 4 year old daughter has not been one to want to talk on the phone. Small kids go through that phase where it doesn't interest them however at the moment Sienna is wanting to talk to her Nanny & Pop who live interstate. Last night we rang Nanny & Pop and to save them being cut off on the phone I put it on "speaker" so they can hear and talk without holding the phone to their ear and accidently press buttons. I took these photos while she was talking to Nanny which I think are so cute. The first picture she thinks whatever Nanny is saying is very funny and the second picture she is listening very carefully to what is being said. How cute is that. My other favourite thing is when they try and show them something via the phone. James would always hold the phone next to his toys and say "see this Nanny or see this Pop" ... makes sense if you are a small person....if they can hear you through that contraption, surely they should be able to see things too. Funny....

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Completely Indulgent

The first week of photography lessons were posted last night by Karen Russell so I printed them out, cut the paper down to fit the photography binder (given the binder is from the USA), hole punched them and this morning took myself off to a coffee shop for a late breakfast and some very indulgent reading all about photography (kindy and school today for the kiddies). I told you it was being very indulgent and it felt really indulgent too!!! I'm looking forward to completing my first assignment.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Week in the Life (WITL)

Over the next couple of weeks I want to focus on finishing my "Week in the Life" project which the wonderful Ali Edwards created. All my pictures are done and it's now just a matter of typing up the journalling, printing, cutting and popping them in the album. It's a great project and having it finished would be great. Here's a couple of my main photo pages from the week.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fun Day

This morning we went to a fun day for the families of James' school and the kids had a ball. They had snow cones, fairy floss, cakes, sausage in bread and not to mention the fun rides. The chair-o-plane (I think it's called), jumping castle, tea cup ride (about as tame as it gets for me) and the slippery slide. The kids were in seventh heaven. I also ate some fairy floss which is probably the first time I've had it since I was a kid at our local church fete. I used to look forward to the once a year snow cokes with the cordial flavours. Good to see some things don't change, a cup, ice and cordial and you're good to go. I'm was easily pleased. I think the kids will be in bed early tonight...here's hoping anyway. Double click on the chair-o-plane photo and check out Sienna's "thumbs up". James is to the right of her however his chair was facing in so couldn't get a front on pic of him.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Photo Grids

Last year was my first attempt making a photo grid where you "mask" the photo. This is where the photo sits behind the square and you then you can move it around within the square. I used the Cathy Zielske video in order to learn how to do it and she is very entertaining while teaching. I just grabbed a number of head shots of the kids and came up with this little number. I ended up printing it in a 6x4 and then we popped a few in the mail to our family and friends.

Friday, June 18, 2010

In front of the camera

It's not that often I'm in front of the camera unless I get the tripod out which does happen a bit however, usually I'm the one behind the camera taking the pics. I love having my picture taken but mostly I'm doing the "capturing". A while ago I had been out at New Farm park with a friend taking some photos of her and she offered to take one of me after I had finished. I quite like this photo and the strong greens and hint of purple flowers behind me. On the other hand put me in front of a video cam recorder and I'm like a stunned mullet but I'm cool with the DSLR's and don't mind having my photo taken.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


There are a few people who I admire in being able to take snapshots of pictures that tell a story and Molly Irwin is one of those people. At the moment it is the end of the school year in the USA and they are heading into their summer. Molly was putting together a photo book of 100 reasons to love summer (featured on the left had side of her blog) and it's great to look at inspirational photos as a reminder to take wonderful holiday photos of things, surroundings as well as people. It's not all about people and places, photos of things remind us of a certain moment in time. I love the way she captures the feeling of summer. Ali Edwards is another person whom I admire for her creativity and story telling. She is also going to be featuring stories relating to summer in the coming weeks as well. While we are wearing our jumpers down under they are gearing up to wearing swimmers.

I've posted the photos and story about James and his "zoob" connector toy and it's appeared as the 14th June just below Sienna's fairy costume story.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fairy Costume Photo Shoot

Being the creative thinking mother I wanted to do a beautiful photo shoot with Sienna. She got the new fairy costume and I got to take her photos. It's a win-win situation for us both. She was also allowed to jump on her bed which is normally not allowed. In the pursuit of a good picture you have to bend the rules sometimes don't you! Today's post was going to be about James however I had problems loading the photos so I'll give that a go tomorrow. For now, enjoy my little pink and purple fairy.

Monday, June 14, 2010


James has an amazing ability to follow instructions be it Lego, Zoob or anything of that nature. Earlier on this year he started working on making a motor bike following instructions using "Zoob" which are fantastic pieces of plastic that connect together. Last year in prep they had Zoob and he loved playing with it and making things and he was lucky enough that Santa knew he liked Zoob and left him a big box underneath the Christmas tree.

Anyway he had been working on this motorbike for a day or so and at one stage told me it was just too hard. I was completely dumbfounded because normally he would not be defeated over this type of thing and I decided not to get involved and told him to go back to the instructions where it got a little difficult and look at it again and I'm sure he would work it out.
A day later he calls myself and my friend upstairs to check out his motor bike. I was AMAZED to say the least because this motorbike was the best looking thing I had ever seen and it even had stand at the side to hold it up. I was just stunned and so proud that he had persisted in order to make this awesome motor bike. He is so good at making things following instructions and also just making stuff up from scratch by himself. Usually he makes symmetrical things so the left side and the right side are all the same. I couldn't have been more proud to see that motorbike that night. James, you are amazing and I love you. Anyone need some Ikea furniture put together...I have your man!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Out of the Box Festival - Part 2

Here's a collection of some more photos I took of this mornings activities using a Cathy Zielske template.

Out of the Box Festival - Part 1

This morning we ventured into Southbank to attend some of the Out of the Box Festival events which is only held every 2 years. I took the kids in 2008 and we loved it then and I promised myself and them when it came around again we would go. I really wanted to take them to "Amococo" which is a walk-through inflatable sculpture filled with radiant light and colour. It all sounded great until we got at the end of the queue and the officials said it will take 2hrs of standing in the queue to get to the entry. It only holds 80 people and they are in the tunnel for 30 minutes. With a 4 and 6 year old this is not an option. We were extremely disappointed so we went off and did some other interesting things.

First we did some paintings and drawings where they had everything set up for the kids and then we headed over to the State Library where the kids made an octopus each out of a paper cup and bits and pieces which they loved. Next we headed to the "Paper, Boat, River" exhibition where the kids got to make a paper sail boat each. They had pictures around the gallery of the Brisbane river and all things to do with the river including a "river of paper boats" on the floor shaped like a river. Very cute.

After that we headed off into the actual Library to their Parlour Room and Sienna did drawings on the blackboard while James and I had a giant game of drafts with the oversized board game which is on the floor. Even though we missed out on the main event we had a great time and got an ice cream from McDonalds on the way home. I'm really pleased I made the effort this year as it's fantastic for the kids.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My favourite Christmas pictures

Last Christmas I was determined to get some really nice Christmas pictures of the kids in front of the new Christmas tree so during the afternoon of Christmas Eve we had our photoshoot. James, Sienna, my camera, tripod and our silly hats. Sienna wasn't in the mood and gave me about 5 mins of her time but I did get a couple of beautiful ones with her as well so I was happy. James and I had some fun using the camera on the tripod and setting the self timer. I love how those silly moments can be such wonderful memories. I absolutely love these pictures and have included one of me complete with silly hat.

Friday, June 11, 2010

2009 Project 365 final picture

Last year my friend and I completed the enormous task of taking a "photo a day" for the entire year. I was true to myself and on the day, every day took the photo. Becky Higgins Project 365 kit sold out in America in about 2 hrs and the $40 kits ended up on ebay USA for over $200. Given that the kits were as scarce as hens teeth I looked around for a different solution. I came up with idea to use the red photo box from kikki-k stationery stores which fitted our needs. The journalling was typed directly onto each photo including the day and date and then it was just a matter of printing it and putting straight into the album. I would edit the photo each night and then save it to my disk and the next time I was at Harvey Norman print a batch of photos.

It was a great project because during the course of the year my photography improved and I also got to take more photos of our everyday life rather than getting the camera out for special events, birthdays, holidays and Christmas. It renewed my enthusiasm for photography which I just love and my photos got better as the days went on.

Getting back to my final photo for the year I knew it had to be good. Remembering back to the previous New Year's Eve where my nephew attempted to write an M with the sparklers and me tying to photograph it I gave him a bigger project this time. That was to write 365 in sparklers. He had to practice writing the letters backwards given that I was taking the photo from in front of him and it had to be big enough to see.

My camera card was just about full from taking photos of a beautiful 7 day old baby and his family that morning, my computer had run out of disk space to download them so I was at a disadvantage to start with. We made lots of attempts until we got the right size number and they looked good all the time it looked like a 3 ring circus, with me instructing, my family watching and laughing and the whole thing was funny from start to finish. We were laughing so much we were crying.

We finally ended up with 3 photos of the numbers by themselves and then had to photoshop them together for the picture. I felt it was too much to photograph the thing in one go due to constraints like the sparkler running out of sparkle etc. and me trying to hold the camera on what was a very slow shutter speed. My nephew was the clever person to patch the 3 photos together and then he included the "Happy New Year" using part of the sparkler pattern for the writing. So for the record, I did photograph the actual numbers 3, 6 and 5 with sparklers outside but the Happy New Year is some photoshop magic. I was thrilled with the end result and the memories and the laughter from that moment will stay with me forever.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Photographers' Workshop

I'm very excited to be starting Karen Russell's on-line photograhpy course next week. It has taken me over a year to get in and she usually has 1200 people on her wait list (crazy I know and she thinks so too). One good thing is that as long as you are on the wait list when registrations come around it's first in best dressed. Whoever hits the keyboard first gets in so everyone has an equal chance. I tried a year ago but missed out and was fortunate enough in February to get in and then it was just a matter of waiting 5 months until my course came around. I love the way she tells stories with her photos and hoping to learn more about lighting which I need improving on. I have no idea what to expect being an on-line course but I know I will learn stuff and hopefully have fun completing the assignments as well.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The very first home grown tomato

I've been thrilled with our little veggie patch and we have our first Tommy Toe tomato off the bush. Sienna has taken it to kindy for show and tell and even carried it in a little container to school when we dropped James off. She is showing this little beauty off and is soooo proud as am I. I've mentioned before that the veggie garden is making me very happy and I'm looking forward to when we can pick some more tomatoes off the bush. For now we are going to have to share this little one which is a whole 3.5cm x 3.5cm. It's not the size that counts but the organic quality of this little tomato which is well loved. Given that they are cherry tomatoes it's grown to it's potential. Here's adding some more variety to the kids lunches.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

First time at the skating ring

After James practised twice last week at home with the skates today was the party at the skating ring. I had been forewarned about the very poor lighting conditions for photography but I'm sure it was supposed to be more about the skating than photography but you know me, I still want the photos. James did really well and after walking around the ring with him twice he said he didn't need my help anymore and was off. Some of these shots he looks as if he's a pro skater (must be my good photography!!) it certainly doesn't look as if it was his first time in a skating ring.

He got into the limbo with everyone, and happily skated the whole time apart from the party time which was icecream and cake. At the end of the 2.5 hr session James said that it was AWESOME so that means the seal of approval from a 6 year old. He loved it. Half way through the session I was almost convinced to go and hire some skates myself since it brought back so many memories and standing on the side lines didn't look nearly as much fun as participating. Definately next time. The pics' were tough and I ended up with an ISO of 3200, 1/500 and f2.8. Tough gig but took some video footage on the iphone which he thought was pretty cool. The last photo he looks like he is in the speed racing comp. Kids learn stuff so fast it's amazing.