Saturday, 6 February 2016

5 in 5 - MELANIE - February 2016

Melanie is my friend who lives in Australia and she loves photography.  Every month, since the start, Melanie has taken
part in this monthly meme and we managed to find a way round
her not having a blog by posting here.
I love that we have found a way for her to take part! 
So, over to you Melanie:

February 5 in 5 was fast approaching and I began to scratch my head as to what my subject area would be this month.  I didn’t have to scratch for long as the annual Brighton Jetty Classic Sculptures Exhibition begun last week and I drive or walk pass it almost every day.  Today I did a walk pass it and knew exactly what my subject the exhibit called ‘Lionhearted’.  This lion sculpture is made out of all sorts of metal junk, spanners, nuts, bolts chains you name it is probably there.  The piece features in the winners list as it got ‘Young Artist, Highly Commendation.  You can take a look at all the winners using the following link.

Here are my photos taken of the lion.  Hope you enjoy them.

Isn't this sculpture amazing?!  Thank you for sharing here Melanie, I love sculpture, and the use of upcycled materials always has extra appeal for me. How nice to have an annual exhibition like this on your doorstep.  

If this has inspired you to pick up your camera and take part in
this challenge you have until 25th before this months link closes.

  It's great fun and you can see more posts and link up here.  
And if you want to know more 5in5 this post should answer any
questions and give other information that you need.

Hopefully Melanie will be back next month and I hope you will join us. Thank you for popping by, it is great to have your company!

Friday, 5 February 2016

5 in 5 - Feburary 2016 - LET'S GO INTO THE GARDEN

Welcome to '5 in 5' where on the 5th of
each month I post 5 photos that I have
taken in 5 minutes. 

This week I was invited to share some of my nature photos on Facebook. It was meant to bring something positive and uplifting to the day, and it did. So on this dull dismal morning, as I struggled with low light indoors and photos that inspired me, I decided to share the photos that I took last month for 5 in 5. I chose not to use them at the time but this morning some colour and fresh air is called for, so let's go out into the garden....

These photos were taken on 4th January.  
The weather has been extremely mild for the time of year and our grass continues to grow and it's even longer now. We have never cut our grass in the winter months but this year may be an exception. 

The eucalyptus looks beautiful covered with raindrops.

Poppies too. These are self seeded and look so delicate.

Who would think geraniums would be flowering in January?! This one is not protected and was left in its pot in the garden. We have
had a frost or two since this photo was taken and it doesn't look so bright now. I hope it revives. 

Kerria Japonica.  This shrub was bought as a mother's day present and is probably about 25 years old. It is sadly neglected but continues to bloom and make me smile.

It will be interesting to see what happens in spring and summer, the usual time for these flowers to colour our gardens. 

A local garden is widely recognised for the breath taking narcissi
that colours the ground yellow. I visit every year to soak in this sight. I have mentioned in previous posts how my sister had narcissi flower in her garden over Christmas, and others have brightened the grass verges in the village. So I went last week, not wanting to miss them and not knowing what I would find. There were some small clumps, and in other areas, small clusters of leaves without buds or promise. But nature is resilient and it will be interesting to see what other surprises she has in store over coming months.


If this inspires you to pick up your camera and share come of your photos I would be truly excited! All it takes is five minutes and to follow the challenge this is what you do: 

1.  Choose a location.

2.  Have your camera ready.

3.  Set a timer for 5 minutes (I use my mobile phone).

4.  Take as many photos you can until the time is up.

5.  Choose 5 photos to download and share by using the link tool below. 

   Please note: 

You have until the 25th of the month to add your photos to the link
and you can take  your photos any time. They do not have to be taken or posted on 5th!

If you'd like more details please go here.

Thank you to Helena, Melanie, Maggie, Eileen, Karen and Borqna for joining in last month. It was lovely to see some new names and doing something together makes it all the more fun. I'd love for you to join in too, so just link your post below and I'll be straight over to see your photos! 

Thanks for visiting! Have a good week what ever you do.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Memorandum Monday - A list of Firsts and Lasts

Sian over at High in the Sky asked “have you done anything new this week?” and I had to smile, because that is the very reason I have not posted here recently or visited blogs that I follow!

I have spent SO much time learning how to do new things that time disappeared and weeks have gone.  Is it February so soon?! 
But before I mention the new and the firsts, let me mention the old and the lasts:

Project 365
I just checked, I have taken a photo a day since 2010.  
Is it really that long?!  
Rather than feel bad about loosing momentum I think I should give myself a pat on the back instead, because that is something to celebrate and be proud of.  The only reason I am having a rest is because my photos are in such a mess.  Due to lack of time I stopped organising them into folders at the same time as downloading them from my camera.  This means I have hours and hours of work now to tidy up. It makes finding a photo hard when I want one in particular and it is something I need to prioritise.  And I will.  One day. 
Meantime I don't want to increase the strain by adding more photos.

Tree Following
Last January I decided to take monthly photos of 2 local trees. I enjoyed this but I have other things I want to do, so no more tree following this year. I will visit them though and enjoy the seasonal surprises and change.

Design Team Member

For the past 18 months I have been a member of the That Craft Place MDF design team and I decided it was time to step aside so that I can focus more on developing my own business and ideas. I enjoyed my time as a team member and it has been exciting watching Lisa grow from a small shop owner to TV presenter.

So - what about the new?


Number one has to be submitting accounts on line for the first time.  And of all the new things I learnt and have done recently this has to be the most taxing. No pun intended!

For weeks I fretted over figures, puzzled over questions I did not understand, and checked my entries again and again. And then because something didn’t figure I got a friend to check some more!  Five hours later we sat back, wiped our brows, and punched the air. Then we went down to her newly opened micro pub and celebrated with a glass of real ale.  This visit was another first for me.  Lack of time has prevented me going sooner.

Another new - I bought a Fitbit.  I hoped it would motivate me to move more and improve my sleep routine. It's like big brother watching what time I put my book down or pick up mobile up to check for messages when I should be sleeping!  Or rather, it would be if it worked. Sadly I have one of the faulty ones. 
So, another new:  an hour online learning how to reset it only to have it disconnect once I thought it was all sorted.  Urgh!!  
But a positive outcome was learning how to take screen shots to send the online technical support.  It seems I opened the website rather than the app which is why I couldn't find the button I was asked to press.  Okay - I KNOW I am not techno savvy!  But at least I now know how to take screen shot successfully and I've done that lots more since. I'm like a child with a new toy!

Talking of which, I also have a new computer.  My old one struggled through the second part of last year and 2015 will be remembered as being techno challenging. I installed Windows 10 on my laptop last year, however, there are lots of other changes when you transfer information from an old computer to a new. Thankfully I have clever son who is my life saver for anything technical and he spent hours tweaking and setting it up so it felt familiar again. Frustratingly my computer automatically upgraded yesterday and it has upset some of the settings. I sigh as I move on....

I mentioned earlier that my photos are downloaded to my computer. Often I choose some to print and then put them into small hand made books as a way of sharing and enjoying them. But I took over 4,000 photos when I went to the Shetland Islands last year, far too many to choose from and to print. So I decided to try something new. I would have my photos printed into a physical book using PhotoBox, and here it is! Fresh from the print!

I have a blog post planned but let me just say that learning how to create a book in this way was not easy for me!!  Oh no!

There have been other new experiences and learning, but I'll jump straight into my other main achievement:  MailChimp!

As some of you know, making hand made books is one of my passions and I love to share what I do.  I have been running workshops for the past year or so and I was keen to be more organised this year. And so I went on a days training course, learning how to use a new programme that would help me to send newsletters in a more efficient way.  Well, to start my laptop had a more up to date download of the programme than the tutor or other students in the class. That meant the lay out and functions were slightly different. Also, this was completely new to me - others had already used it for a time so had some familiarity with the design and how it works.  There's nothing like jumping into a deep end and not knowing how to swim! In fairness the workshop was advertised for beginners, but most of my learning took place when I got home. With my son close at hand!  It's not a programme he has used or seen before but he is able to transfer what he knows, and sometimes I could do this too.  Long story short - my son helped me with the initial set up then I spent several days learning how to create a newsletter and mailing list. Woohoo!!!!  My newsletter was launched this week and I am celebrating another achievement and first! 

If you would be interested in receiving a copy of my newsletter and finding out more about what I have planned please let me know!

Thanks to Sian for prompting this post. What have you done that is new or a first?!

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