Thursday, 26 January 2012

busy, busy ,busy

that’s me at the moment. Busy doing nothing, really. I mean I don’t have to go out to work. I’m not allowed to clean the house or cook (i do ). But boy, am I still busy all the time.

I’m making the most of it, as my 12 weeks recuperation is nearly up. I go to see my consultant in Feb for an x-ray to see were my back is at.

I have tried coming of some of my daily medication this week. I had already halved it, because of the nasty side effects. WEIGHT GAIN !! So I tried coming of my nightly dose. But I was awake, on and off all night in discomfort and pain. So I am back on them and just having to grin and bare the weight gain. Put it this way. I now weigh over a stone and a half more, than I did pregnant with both my children !!

My physio doesn’t want to see me until after I’ve been to the consultant. I had some increase in my pain from the nerve after seeing her before. So she is too scared to treat me at the moment. So I continue with the 10 minute walks, and 5 hip tips and a few lower stomach tightens and that's about all the exercise I am allowed.

Now if you bumped into me out and about, you wouldn’t guess there is anything wrong with me. In fact even I forget sometimes. But I am still very limited in the things I can do. I mean, hell I’m not even allowed to fly at the moment or even take a bath ! It’s when I want to do something, like plant the flowers I’ve just bought to brighten a planter at the front door. Can’t do. Lay down and take some pictures of Teddy for my shutter speed assignment. Can’t do. Oh well, hopefully one day I’ll be able to do it. I’m intrigued to know if I'll ever be able to touch my toes again. Or even cut my own darn toenails !!!

Anyway here are some photos I have shared with my fellow students over on Karen Russell's photography workshop.

I saw this pair of dogs coming towards me when I was out for a walk. Sadly for Teddy, I’m not allowed to walk him, so he was locked up indoors. Again, it was frustrating as I wanted to get down to their level, but I had to make do with this perspective.


The holly tree outside my house


One frosty morning



leading lines outside The Ritz, London


and a sleepy Teddy, cuddling his little toy dog.


That dog sure loves his toys…..

Friday, 20 January 2012

scrappers block

That’s what I seem to have been suffering from for the last two years. My pain and drugs seemed to cloud my brain. But my mind is slowly clearing, and I was able to scrap a bit in the last week. I still fall asleep when I try to read anything. But that could be down to my advancing years. I remember my parents well, crashed out every Sunday as they tried to read the newspaper.

I still have all these books to read, that I sorted out for my convalescence.


It was my first time attending Cambridge Croppers run by Huzaifah Zainon. We had two layouts to complete. I seemed to slow the proceedings down as some people couldn’t scrap and listen to me nattering on for hours ! Hopefully I bought some entertainment to the proceedings


I finished my layouts, when I got home.




I only added a few extra bits to Huzaifah’s wonderful designs. Which is actually quite rare for me.

I loved the birds, I lost one of mine. It either gave flight or I think Ann stole it !











How cute are those little cotton reels. I still have loads left in the rest of the kit.

Then I finished another layout this week. Which, considering how busy I am with Karen Russell's workshop is amazing.


Hilary, kindly donated some supplies to me and I immediately put one of the journaling blocks to good use.

And Sandra, the mini album documenting my pictures from the 2010 workshop was completed straight after the class finished. I wanted to share it with my new peers over on the current workshop.

I am trying to take it a bit easy at the moment. I was told off by my physio that I am doing too much. I have been having some problems with my lower back and hip pain. I have an x-ray coming up to see if the bone graft is taking. So that should be interesting.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Karen Russell workshop scrapbook

All you regular readers of my blog, know that all my photography skills I owe to Karen Russell. I took a workshop with her, in the summer of 2010.

I was a TOTAL novice. It was a steep learning curve for me. But as I am a classic A type personality, I threw myself into it with gusto. I was so proud of my development through the course, and some of the images I captured, that I made a little scrapbook album to showcase them. I worked so hard in 2010 and 2011 trying to develop my photography skills and then the editing began. I can now look back at a lot of my photos and cringe, as I see shadows and colour casts. Which I can now correct with the little knowledge I have gained.


I am redoing the workshop in 2012 because I felt it would give me something to look forward to, after my spine operation. I had been toying with the idea of turning pro and trying to schedule a couple of shoots a month. I hoped Karen's class, along with the JinkyArt workshop, would help to reinforce my skills and give me the confidence to go to the next step. But it was spoiling my convalescence.

I don’t like pressure, and take today as an example. Someone wanted me to do a shoot with them today, as they are getting their hair cut and would look at their best. Yesterday was a beautiful crisp, sunny frosty day. Today it’s dark, raining and incredibly murky. The light is totally different. I know I couldn’t create the best photo in those conditions. Imagine if I was getting paid for that, and had other sessions booked in during the week. The uncertainty of the light here in the UK, is too much for me to take my photography to that pro level. I would just worry too much. And I don’t need that type of pressure. No amount of money could reimburse me, for my own piece of mind.

Here is my little scrapbook album containing my assignment pictures for 2010.

I can’t remember the name of the Mamarazi papers and quotes I used. Can anyone recognise it?





I had planned to take the workshop in the Summer months,so that I would hopefully get some sunny days.

It helped that we would also be in Spain on holiday for the first two weeks.

I drove them all mad ,making them sit for shoots everyday.




It made photography so easy having the light in Spain. The one above is for my shutter speed assignment and Tasmin is in a swimming pool trying to catch droplets of water.













My regular blog readers might remember that during that holiday. I got serious respite from my spine pain. I thought I had been cured by the warm weather. But of course within a short space of time the pain came back.










 Anna Bowkis was also taking the workshop, and we were both despairing over our lack of light. That summer everyday seemed to be grey and murky. I told Anna about an amazing back drop in a lavender field that we could use. So we went there and practiced for our week 5/6 assignments.












I used all the opportunities that came up, to organise little shoots that could cover my assignments. By this time my kids were sick of having a camera in their faces. So Taya above is my niece.  She was having a sulk and a little cry when I took the picture. We thought she had just broken Teddy’s leg, and she had been told off.

The little 3 day old baby below, was my friends brand new granddaughter. I have gone on to use her many times as my model as she is growing up.




You may recognise this recent picture I took of her at Christmas


IMG_1043-1pse1 copy 3

look how she has grown.



I shared this image I took in Spain, with the new workshop, to show them how easy it is to capture beautiful sunsets and light when you have it. Unfortunately here in the UK that is a real challenge.


I was so looking forward to my holiday in our Spanish apartment in 2011. I would know what I was doing this time, and I could utilise that special light. But, I had to fly home, unexpectedly, when the pain became too bad. Leaving poor Chris, on his own.


I even included the little note Karen Russell sent, with my workshop binder.


These Paparazzi papers were just perfect for this little album. I hope you enjoyed taking a peak at it.

I am looking forward to the JinkyArt workshop I am taking in May. I actually hope it will be grey and murky for some of it. I want to see how Barb , an Australian photographer, will cope with it.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

and so it begins

Me glued to the internet for the next couple of months. Karen Russell's latest photography workshop has stated this week. I have a LOT to catch up on day and night in the forums. People post just as I think I’ve got on top of it !

I have my own little peer group, but I think some of them are scared of me already, as they are keeping quiet. I have promised to just whisper in my replies to them. I warned them I am a rather loud individual and talk a lot and loudly. Or so some of you tell me.

Every thing we post for our assignments has to be SOOC, no editing cropping or anything. There is much talk about you have to get it right in camera and then editing isn’t needed. Someone said “you can’t polish a turd” . Well here’s an image that shows, you can in fact polish a turd !! Sorry Amelia. it’s just a figure of speech, you’re not really a turd. Just a little annoyingly, quiet sometimes. Only Joking !

Here’s a before and after edited image of Amelia

2011 edits Gloria-2web

Not everyone is picture perfect SOOC. I rest my case.

When I took the last workshop I just couldn’t work out why I couldn’t get the pictures I was seeing on the web, and often on the workshop POTD spot. I was doing everything right in camera, but something was missing. I thought it was my camera body and lenses. It was editing. We have very grey light here in the UK. Its very often cloudy and extremely dull. My images are totally different  SOOC, when I am in Spain. Full of colour and punch. I can easily get beautiful sunset and backlit images. ( see here) Try that here, and it’s almost impossible.

The other thing that gets my goat during the class, is the camera equipment they all have. I suffered really badly last time with envy of all their cameras and lenses, and this time it’s even worse. The amount of people with Canon 5d MKII and 7Ds is astounding. People think they are blessed here in the UK with a point and shoot ! It’s only professional photographers here, that tend to have the Canon 5dMKII.

I have to keep reminding myself that their equipment is much cheaper in the US, and that they have much more disposable income in comparison to the average Brit. I mean just look at our tax rate 20% on everything, then add in the price of our homes and petrol !!! (insert weeping) ). I know I’m not “the average Brit “ when it comes to income, I’m just plain tight.

I can see myself getting thrown of this workshop if I keep mouthing off. But you know me I can’t keep my big mouth shut !

I posted these as my POTD shots. How did my cardigan know about my bracelets, when it came with this little message ?……..

One bracelet does not jingle : Sometimes more is more.

My thoughts exactly………..


Here’s another image.


and this from yesterdays lunch.


and Sandra, SOOC unedited. Sorry about that Sandra !


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The end of Project Life

at last.

It was so ingrained in me to carry my camera everyday,  so that I can get a shot for Project Life. But when Tasmin and I where going shopping in London for some last minute Christmas shopping, when she saw my heavy DSLR out on the side she groaned. She told me I’m not carrying it for you and you certainly won’t be able to all day. So I reluctantly agreed to leave it in the safe. But I fretted all day without it. Hubby had the small point and shoot in Chicago, so I thought I will just have to go with whatever he shoots. Imagine my delight when I saw a sledge in the middle of Oxford Street, complete with fake snow. I immediately ran over to the girl monitoring an empty queue. She informed me it was free and you got about 3 shots ,within 10 minutes. I grabbed Tasmin and off we posed. 10 minutes later, voila I had 2 photos inside a Xmas card. I used one of the cards as my weekly announcement card and I added some old Xmas card embellishments to the Joy Up.



I added an image of my children's old JMI school. I offered to pick up a friends daughter from school, so it was the perfect opportunity to grab a shot on the playground. These will be the images my kids will be interested in in years to come. It will prompt lots of memories.

The cowgirls were my two lunch partners for the day. I made them wear the hats for an impromptu photo session.


again I pulled the house of an old New Home card, I found whilst clearing out some drawers.


My sister didn’t want me to share her picture on my blog.(It’s a secret, what I photographed )


An insert with some extra pics from the week. When I picked up my friends daughter, I offered a little photo session. I have to take every opportunity to take pictures of little willing subjects.

2011 Amy web

2011 Amy web1

Then on the back of the insert are two Christmas cards from my nephews. Some of you may already of seen the lovely picture of me with my face stuffed with chocolates on Christmas day (I shared it on Facebook). Not a nice sight , I agree. But funny….


Here’s it again, in case you want to see it closer. No doubt my sister will be saving this for a future Birthday card !


And finally Week fifty two



The couple with the frame, are my friend Hilary's daughter and her fiancé. I did an engagement shoot with them whilst they were down South. I will have to share some images in a later blog.


an insert of some of my favourite images from Christmas Day.


and of the days following the big day.




I included a pocket with the Christmas card my Aunt sent me in 2010. She has since died and I thought it would be nice to keep to remember her and her lovely handwriting.





I have yet to finish the two closing pages. I want to add a family photo and something about my One Little Word project for 2012.


I bought us all a lottery ticket and asked them each to write down what they would do with the winnings. Of course none of us won. It was interesting that they all found it hard to think of what to buy. Property was the main thing. They all wanted to know how much they had to spend, as half a million doesn’t go far on properties here in the UK.

And here is the A4 pocket envelope I added. Both of them in the albums are stuffed.


It includes special cards, an x-ray of Tasmins jaw, the reading my cousin did at my Aunt funeral. A thank you card with one of my images,  from a little boy who’s photo I took.  A letter from my cousin with a cheque from my Aunts Will. (very unexpected) The Police report from our burglary. A football programme from an important game, Ryan played in.

Oh, and the little note from the stylist from my house magazine shoot. She told me, God told her to write it down and give it to me. It was the least I could do to keep it and pop it in my Project Life !


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