Sunday, 20 December 2009

Everybody needs a snow day!

SO things have been a little tough around here lately, not much space to play or write or be creative.

However the time came for me to revisit snowdays! Its a website that I found a number of years ago and

have been re-visiting every year since. You get to make your own snowflake that you then watch fall with

the others (currently over 9 million of them!) and people can respond. I like to put them out there for people

that I haven't seen for a while or dedicate them to someone that is on my heart a lot. But whatever your

reasoning... its so much fun! but I take no responsibility if you get highly addicted and wonder where the

past 3 hours have gone. I tell you... happens to me every year! Have fun!

Need a Snow Day?

... runs off to make more snowflakes!

... runs back to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a blessed new year!


PS... it is actually snowing here and has been for the past 3 days so I could go out and enjoy the real snow

but you know what? That snow is COLD!! with this I can play with the snow by the fire!! Genius.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Tike on a Trike!

The local Lions Club donated a trike to my husband AJ today. Yep they did and boy is he happy about it!! Can you tell by his face?!

As some of you know, a number of years ago AJ suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car crash. It was seriously touch and go but he fought and fought and fought and together we have fought through the last years. Its a very long story but to cut it short he has learned to walk and talk and laugh all over again. He has worked so very hard and I am so very proud of him. He still has many big struggles to contend with and one of them is to do with his balance. Riding a 'regular' bike has not been possible. Now we live in the middle of no-where... really we do!! Its a drive to the nearest shop. AJ cannot drive at the moment and so his independence is severely limited. Correction... Was severely limited!! After letters to the local Lions Club they very kindly agreed to donate AJ a trike. We just can't tell you how thrilled we are and how much of a difference this will make... local shop, here he comes!! (after some serious road safety lessons!!) Oh my goodness what a difference if he can go get a pint of milk himself! It may take a while to get to that point but I am telling you... we will get there!!

Just wanted to share our little excitement with you.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

et voila...

I have a new haircut! This morning I woke up with very long hair down to my elbows and tonight I go to bed with short hair that only just touches my shoulders. Its great! I had enough of having to use half a bottle of conditioner every time I washed my hair and tired of having constant tangles and blocked plug holes. And I was just wearing it up every day because it was too much of a pain to have loose. But now.... Short, manageable hair.... with a new swishy fringe thing going on! What do you think? I think I suddenly feel more like me. Make sense?

Ps... please excuse my pouty pose!!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Loved It

After running errands today we had some spare time and a little extra money in our pockets than we had expected and so decided to go to the cinema. We chose 500 days of summer, mostly because it meant we wouldn't have to wait hours for a showing. I didn't really know a lot about it but the man at the counter told me it was really good! And he said it had a great soundtrack. I tell you what... he was right. On both counts. I loved it. It was totally my kind of film. It was gentle yet with depth and very creative. It made me laugh out loud and bring tears to my eyes. Plus, a really lovely soundtrack! It spoke to me about the massive pros and cons of feeling life deeply, about what we miss when we are afraid of being hurt and of holding life lightly and counting the blessings in each day. I got alot from this film. I think I need to go see it again... anyone coming?!

Ps.. why can I not get my the text to align properly on this post?!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Its all there, just faint.

I don't know what it is with this blog. I really don't. I seem to carry it with me wherever I go and I am always thinking of things I want to share and photos I have to go alongside. I plan it out in my head and think... yep, that's how it shall go. But then... nothing. I don't know why there is nothing. I read and read and read other people's blogs. I love them, I breathe it all in and they inspire me no end. But still nothing. I so wanted to share about a camping trip with AJ in which we sat by the banks of the river watching the kingfishers (I saw 2 at once!!), I wanted to share about another walk on Dunwich beach, I wanted to share about a big Art Sale that my family is organising, I wanted to share about a camping trip with my mum that included a fabulous trip to Kettles Yard (an art gallery type thing) in Cambridge, I wanted to share about the builders taking the (entire) roof off our house and all its noise and dust and chaos, I wanted to share about the variety of craft projects I have been working on, I wanted to share about my trip to see close friends who have just had their first baby, I wanted to share about our frustrating car troubles, I wanted to share about some old trunks that I picked up from a car boot sale and am still pondering over, I wanted to share so many things. But... they have not come. I don't know why. Maybe its an energy level thing, maybe its a confidence thing, maybe its a time management thing, Maybe it's all of those things and more. I don't know. But I know I have wanted to. I know that in my head and in my heart this blog is updated with lots of different adventures, joys, struggles, strains and emotional rollercoasters, with thoughts and imaginings, with hope and moments of despair, with life... true life. So in this small step, perhaps I am getting there. Perhaps I shall still share all of those things. Perhaps the time has just not yet come. So I shall continue to hold it all in my head and in my heart and hope something shifts. Today I have a little spark within that tells me that it will. Yes, it will.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The Fourth Plinth...

Ok so I just found out about Antony Gormley's Art project going on in Trafalgar Square. He is getting people to stand on a fourth plinth for an hour... doing whatever they want to do. The people are changed over on the hour every hour and it will continue for 100 days! You can check it out and watch what's going on live here:

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Is it just me...?

or does anyone else out there cry at everything?!! I will blub like a baby at adverts on TV, buskers on the street and people (strangers) meeting people at airports... everything! I think I am highly sensitive! Anyway I went to see My Sister's Keeper tonight at the cinema (good old Orange Wednesdays!!) and I pretty much cried from the opening shot right through to the closing credits! A total mess! But I guess, secretly, part of me quite likes that side of me... when I am not embarassed by it all and pretending I have something in my eye!! I think I would rather cry at everything than not cry at all but a balance in the middle might be good, no? 

Just wanted to share that with you all! Carry on!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

basking in sunshine and goodness

One of the (very many) reasons I love photography is because it reminds me that I got out there. That I saw and experienced those things. That I was there, not under the duvet. That I found the energy and it was good.

Today the sun shone beautifully, really really beautifully. And our lawn has not been cut in quite a while and is very meadow like at the moment... which I think is great! As I returned home (worn out) I was about to go inside, and hide somewhere, when the lawn called me. So I went to it, and lay upon it and joined it in basking in the gorgeous sunshine. And I had my camera (of course!!) and so I lay in the daisy, clover, dandelion filled grass, looked through the lens and saw. It was such a restful, free time. And now I look at the photos and think... yep... I got out there, I didn't waste the moments to be had. I soaked up the goodness.

 I hope you guys have had some goodness to soak up today too!

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Me and Hope

I have been feeling quite blah recently. You know that blah feeling? It sneaks up on me and before I know it... blah.

After much soul searching I have pinned it down. Maybe. I think its to do with my struggle with hope.

 Yep HOPE.

That little word that is really so big. Its a word that means a lot to me. We have been on quite a journey together, me and hope. Sometimes it seems it feels like a stranger and sometimes I feel so engulfed, like its giving me a big hug. Its a very important but very ambiguous relationship! 

But the last few days we have been getting back on good terms. And I think the secret of this success is me not asking too much.  This isn't some pessimistic rant honestly!! But I find it really hard to hope for things that are long term. Its too big, too much, too overwhelming, and probably a little too scary! I have become wobbly. For a while I have felt so hopeless. A hard place to be. Its so important to have hope isn't it.  So vital for the soul. Its been a big issue and I have been so lost with absolutely no idea of where to look and what to hope for. 

 But lately I have been trying to just have hope for the day. To live in the moment. And that seems to suit mel. I know well that we have no idea what tomorrow brings and I struggle to plan ahead anyway for fear of it leading to heartbreak. So I am breaking things down into day sized chunks. I can handle that. And you know what...? I am really enjoying it! I wake up each morning and hope and I have a little chat with each other. We work out what is fair and then wait together to see which way the day will go. Hope holds my shaking hand. 

And guess what... each of these days have blessed me more than hope and I ever expected them to! I had not hoped for beautiful lilies from a friend or fresh strawberries from a grandma but... they came to me!

I think that by breaking things down and just focusing my attention on the day in hand I absorb it all the more, I appreciate all those blessings and treasure them in that moment. I banish the worry of tomorrow and live in today. And then at the end of the day, I tuck myself up in bed and smile over all the treats the day has held. Sure the days may also hold some difficulties and obstacles to overcome but its the treats I am thinking of and hope and I smile. Its good to be back together. Me and Hope. BFF.

And you know what? Its such a refreshing relief!! 

Saturday, 23 May 2009

I wanna go, I wanna go!!

Anyone coming with me?

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

One of my favourites...

I love finding quotes. I have pages of my collected favourites, words that seem to say all that I am struggling to eloquently express or to give me a little encouragement through whatever the day brings. Its like finding people that get it, who seem to read my mind and have written exactly what I need to read. Like finding gems. I go through phases, I guess depending on where I am at in those moments but this one is currently forefront in my mind:

"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself." ~ Anna Quindlen

Ok, carry on!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Bank Holiday Goodness

On Monday we took a road trip to Dunwich a lovely suffolk coastal village just south of Southwold. The National Trust run Dunwich Heath, an area of the cliffs covered with beautiful yellow gorse, soon to be purple heather, forests and streams. There is a path down to the rugged coastline and the beach that is covered with interesting washed up treasures. Its one of my favourite places to go. Plus it helps that there is a lovely tea shop up on the cliffs where you can treat yourself to tea and cake after all that beach walking! 

So we walked and sat and watched

and took polaroids (I have to find a scanner!) and chatted and discovered hidden bluebells

and breathed the sea air deeply and played with abstracts and had an indulgent cream tea 

and wandered through the heather and listened to the birds and friends joined us and we had a happy day! 

I am sure It wont be long before I drift back there.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

I have something to tell you...

Its not an unusual declaration but one I feel inclined to share...

you ready for it...

you sure?

Ok, here it is...

I am in love with spring. Yep its true. I can't get enough of it. Its just so beautiful. And I am very happy to share my days with it.

Just thought you should know.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Room to explore

About 2 years ago i got my first DSLR. I have loved photography for a long time, probably stemming from my dad’s love of being behind the lens and the beautiful images from my childhood that he captured and are now treasured. I was given a Kodak Advantix for my 18th birthday... you know the ones where you just drop the film in and then it sorts it out for you. I was so pleased with it! My own camera! It came on camping trips and to murder mystery parties and before long I had boxes and boxes of pictures.Then when I turned 21 I was given my first digital camera and that was it.. me hooked! As the years went on my Nikon Coolpix and I shared a lot of times together, big memories, like our move to Long Island and the road trips to Washington and Niagara Falls. The Nikon recorded the trips back home for weddings and Andy’s graduation and provided memories for me to hold when I returned to being 3500 miles away from family and friends.

Anyway, to cut a very long story short, whilst I loved my Nikon with all my heart,  I found I wanted more. I was ready to explore more with my photography... along came the Canon 400D... and it makes my heart sing! It goes everywhere with me. In the past 2 years there have probably only been 2 or 3 days when it has not been by my side. And finally I could explore. And with that has come my abstracts. I just love playing and creating and letting the camera see what it wants to see. I know a lot of people don’t really get it. Can’t see what they are meant to be looking at. Think its not artistic because it was created in a few seconds. Or just don’t like abstract stuff anyway. Which is completely fine, its not for everyone. But for me its about letting go. About being free and capturing a moment, a feeling. Most of them involve me jumping around or dancing in the sunshine. Letting go, giving up creative control and allowing the camera to show me what is there. I love the mystery in them too, that only I know the moment that the image is talking about. I love that others may see their own moment in the image or their own emotions. They leave room for others to explore too. See what they want to see. 

So what do you think... have I tempted you to give it a go for yourself? 

Saturday, 18 April 2009


Ok so you know I said I was collecting buttons for a project? Well I finished it yesterday and thought you might like to see....

Yep... Its a button lamp! I have threaded my favourite buttons onto a lampshade frame and now I can look at them all the time. I found this lamp base in TK Maxx (one of my favourite shops) and it was super cheap... bonus! Then I collected the buttons (I already had quite a few but I picked up some bargains from ebay too) and voila!

It was a lot of fun to do, searching through the button tin and selecting the right ones in the right size and it was so simple! And I think it has turned out quite cute. Although it took far more buttons than I thought it would... 254 in total.

Plus It casts some cool shadows when lit!

I keep looking at it, trying to choose my favourite button, favourite row. And when I have looked and looked at one section I can just turn it around! winner.

So... what do you think?

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

In awe...

I stumbled across this amazing music video today. Its 'I Don't Know' by Lisa Hannigan. Not only is the music beautiful but the paper art is stunning. It totally tempts me to go find the scissors and huge sheets of paper! The final creation is revealed in the last few moments so keep watching! Hope you fall in love with it like I did!

Go on... treat yourselves to a few minutes of soothing goodness...

Saturday, 4 April 2009

A little bit of wonder...

I have been collecting buttons for quite a while now, I have a craft project in mind that I need quite a few for... I think I am nearly there! (I will post a shot of the finished product) But they never fail to capture my attention. What is it about buttons? Best kept in a tin so they make a gorgeous sound when you are riffling through.

When I was young I would be amused for hours searching through my nan and mother's selection. Carefully choosing my favourites. Then lining them up and admiring my choice. I would then ask everyone around me to choose their favourites too and be fascinated by what they chose and why. They seem to say a lot about a person... to me anyway!

Now as I have my own collection (in a tin!) I can't help but wonder about their history. Who did they belong to, what garment did they adorn? Were they cherished or did they fall away un-noticed? Were they worn amongst hundreds down the aisle holding precious memories or solitarily catch tears that fell in moments of sorrow? Such little things that can hold such significance. And now they have found their way to me, in my little corner of the forest! And you know what... whatever the past history... they are most certainly loved now!

Monday, 23 March 2009

getting out there...

"You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes"     ~ Winnie the Pooh.

I have been thinking a lot about how scary it can be to put yourself out there. About how much easier it is to stay in your corner of the forest. In a place that is you. I am often quite content to be in my own little world, the problem with this is it can be lonely! And often lacking in challenges to help me move forward and learn more. Not that I don't learn a lot from being curled up in bed with a good book! But the world seems to be on a completely different wavelength to me sometimes, its confusing and very tiring. So I plod along in my own little world... keeping myself to myself and dreaming about what could be. The trouble is that it will only be dreams if I don't take the risk and put myself out there. 

This blog is part of my process of getting out there... of creeping out of my corner of the forest. Its great because I get to stay in my own little world and get out there at the same time... brilliant! A great starting point. But there are more challenges around each corner, I don't think the forest wants me to stay there anymore!!

I went to visit a gallery today. One of the ladies who run this lovely space asked me if I would like to go have a look and think about displaying some (or one!) of my photos. The place is lovely and it is set within a gorgeous estate with lots of woodland walks, a gift shop and coffee shop. The gallery was displaying some amazing pictures taken with a giant pin hole camera... so very inspiring. But can I possibly face the challenge of displaying one of my own pictures on one of those walls? Put myself out there? I really don't know.

Part of me says go for it... challenge yourself and grasp a new experience. The other part of me says why exhibit? What is it all about, what is your reasoning. I take pictures for me, as part of my exploration of the world around me, do I need them to be seen? And what if people don't get it, don't see what I see... does it matter if not? Its a big internal battle!! I guess I feel like if I display work... framed properly... I feel like I am saying it has worth and may offer something to others. I am not sure I can do that. But isn't it just another door to be pushed, another path to follow and see where it leads. I can't hide up in my tree house for ever can I? Maybe I will print up a giant self portrait and demand they slap it pride of place.... I think not!!

So as my little thought processes ramble on I get to the point where I think OK one step at a time! I have been thinking about this blog for a long time, working it all through slowly, so why not do the same with this. Perhaps I shall choose some of my favourite shots to print (they don't often make it that far!). Then perhaps I can think about having one or two framed, and perhaps after that see if I am at a point to hand one in. My conclusion... I don't have to have everything figured out right now do I! bit by bit, inch by inch and let's see where I end up!

Friday, 20 March 2009


Am I really doing this? I have been thinking about starting a blog for quiet some time and after lots of encouragement from some lovely people (you know who you are!!) I have decided to go for it. I am totally new to this blogging lark, although I have been following several blogs for a while and they have really inspired me. So... lets give it a go!!