30 Mar 2016

Week 34 of 365 Challenge Blue Week

It's amazing how many blue things we have around our house. Most of the images are obvious but picture 3 is of my jeans in the morning light shining through our blinds. 

The last pic is of a small wooden tugboat that my husband made years ago for our son.

I was hoping to catch some mist over a lake this week but I wasn't able to get to the lake after all so I ended up with only one outside shot this week. Picture 2 is of the mist on the hills behind my neighbor's houses. The light here is bluish on the cooler mornings but I added to the blue look by setting my white balance to incandescent, also known as tungsten on other makes of camera. 

This is a technique I've used before such as in this minimalist winter picture below. I really miss the lake near my old house. It was a great source of photographic inspiration and within walking distance of my old house. My new address has many advantages and I wouldn't want to move back but I do miss the lake.

Next week's theme is cooking utensils.

Have a great week!

22 Mar 2016

Week 33 of 365 Challenge Keys Week

Keys week was a bit of a surprise as I had no idea we had so many different sorts of keys laying around here. I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't find our large ornate key to photograph. It would have gotten packed when we moved but I haven't seen it since. It must be in the garage somewhere. 

Now that I've had time to really look at keys I can see a simple beauty to them. I think that a group of mixed keys could make an interesting conversation piece if they were placed in a bowl on the coffee table.

Next week is blue week. I have a few ideas for this but I need a nice foggy morning at least once next week to get the effect I want. Fingers crossed.

Have a great week :)

Week 32 of 365 Challenge Flower Week

Flower week was the theme I swapped with silhouettes back in week 9 and I forgot to post that week here for some reason. I knew my numbers were out somewhere but couldn't figure out where until I shot the silhouettes.
I could have shot a huge variety of flowers for this week but as I live in a small town also known as "Rosetown" I thought I'd shoot all the beautiful roses that were in bloom in our public gardens.
They smelled wonderful.

Have a great week!

Week 31 of 365 Challenge Silhouette Week

Silhouette week was on my list to do for week 9 but due to absolutely rubbish winter weather I swapped it with another week and I've just gotten back to it now. 
The 2nd image with the plastic balls was taken at a fair. Kids were inside these huge clear plastic balls in a large pool of water. I was hoping to get one of them standing up inside but apparently that's really difficult to do. Everyone kept falling down before they could get up.

Next week is Flower week.

Have a great week :)

14 Mar 2016

Uncovering the 'Fantasy' Me - To Make Space For The 'Real' Me

"I need to use my stuff - and if I don't, it's a sign that I'm not really the person that I think I am."

I read the quote above recently and it got me thinking about what items I've been holding onto over the years and why that might be. Up until now I thought most of my clutter consisted of 

  1. Tools and things I might need in the future
  2. Unwanted gifts I don't know how to part with without hurting people's feelings
  3. Paper, paper everywhere. From schools, bills, receipts, junk mail, it goes on and on
  4. Hobbies and crafts supplies
  5. Sentimental items
  6. Furniture that doesn't suit our needs anymore
  7. Clothing that doesn't fit or might fit later or is worn out
Just stuff that's collected over the years by itself that I haven't sorted out. 
I certainly never thought that I might purposely be keeping clutter for my fantasy identity. I didn't even realize I had a fantasy identity, but as it turns out, I do and obviously have had for a lot of years judging by the amount of things I kept for it.

For example in 2011 I made a list of goals I thought I might like to accomplish and one of those was "to become more self-sufficient and grow most of my own food." A worthy goal you might say. 
At the time I planted fruit trees in my back garden and planted pots of vegetables and herbs on my front deck. The trees did okay but I have black thumbs and the pot plants died, well, all apart from the parsley which the dog ate. Who knew dogs like parsley? 
Anyway, gardening didn't take well then and after watching the cat pee all over the spinach that put me off growing vegetables again but I still thought of myself as becoming a self-sufficient home gardener someday and I kept a lot of plant books to feed that fantasy. 

Another fantasy linked with the gardening one is that one day we'd own our own lifestyle block with chickens and maybe a couple of cows or sheep. Generating our own power and with our own water source. I'd kept home farming magazines and books for this one. The thing is, after my husband ended up in hospital for a week with bad cellulitis in his leg from a spider bite, I realized that I don't want to live out in the country with no public transport to get to the hospital (I don't drive) and far away from family and friends. I like being able to walk to places in town, I like being close to family and friends. I get hay fever every year and it's exacerbated by the grass seed in the fields. I know that I'm always sneezing worse when I'm in the country, talk about a fantasy life! I don't eat meat so what do I need the sheep and cows for? I do like chickens and I could keep a few here in town but really, I know that I'm not really that interested and probably never will. So why keep books on animal husbandry and permaculture?

The same goes for my landscape design books. I took a course to help me plan out our previous garden. I don't regret it for a minute and will use the skills I learned to plan the landscaping of our new entertainment area and garden but I don't need lots of books on the subject. I'm not going to make a career out of this so if I need to know something I can either google it or borrow a book from the library. 

The same goes for scrap-booking. Fantasy me says I'm going to make this page and that page. I've collected paper and stamps and other things for this over the years but when I sit down to do it, meh. I have no real interest in this at all. Only fantasy me does. 

I'm sure there are other areas in my life that are also affected by fantasy me like the cake decorator me that hates baking but has the cake making/decorating equipment and the fantasy sewing me that owns a half share in a sewing machine but has never used it. Why? Because it doesn't really interest me. I'm not sure I can even really remember when it did. 

I'm never going to be a self-sufficient farmer type, landscape designing, scrap-booking, sewing and cake baking/decorating mum but that's okay. The real me has lots of real things going on. It's taken me a long time to find and acknowledge fantasy me but I think that once I remove all of her clutter I'll be able to clearly see what the real me enjoys doing in life and I might even have the space and time to find new things to try.

13 Mar 2016

Decluttering my wardrobe

Recently I've been reading blogs by Courtney Carver over at  Be More With Less
specifically articles about Project 333 and creating capsule wardrobes. 

Now, I'm not any kind of fashionista and generally cruise through life in jeans and a tee shirt, but I felt that my wardrobe needed looking at. To me it seemed over full and uninteresting. 

The idea behind project 333 is that you dress with 33 items or less for 3 months. Creating seasonal wardrobes with mix and match clothes and storing the rest somewhere else. They don't include underwear, sleepwear or sports clothing in your 33 items. They also don't include wedding rings or other sentimental jewelry that you never take off, but all other clothing, accessories, footwear and jewelry are included in the 33 items.

The idea appealed but I wasn't looking forward to going through all of my clothes and sorting things out. I also thought that 33 items of clothing didn't sound like enough. 

Boy was I surprised when I went through my entire wardrobe and counted all my clothes and shoes. 
Not including underwear and socks, I had a total of 42 items of clothing including my shoes! 
This was for all seasons! 

It turns out that my husband's clothes were encroaching on my side of the wardrobe and I thought all the squish in there was caused by me.

Well, once the shock wore off I sorted everything out and created a list of what I have.

  • 3x pairs of jeans 
  • 2x pairs of shorts
  • 2x 3/4 pants
  • 10x tee shirts mostly blue, my fav color
  • 2x long sleeve tees
  • 5x sweatshirts
  • 3x polar fleece tops
  • 1x winter padded jacket
  • 1x rain jacket
  • 3x pjs
  • 5x shoes
  • 2x old cargo pants for painting the house
  • 2x old shirts for painting the house
  • 1x old polar fleece for painting
A total of 42 items!
Now I haven't included jewelry here up til now as I don't wear any apart from sleeper earrings that I never take off. I do own a watch but never wear it. I also have a Pounamu (Greenstone) pendant necklace that I wear sometimes when we go out but otherwise I have no interest in jewelry. I sold my engagement ring years ago when things were tight. I stopped wearing my wedding ring when it got damaged at work about 20 odd years ago and it doesn't fit now post kids, anyway. I hurt my finger (not seriously, luckily) when the ring got caught but that put me off wearing rings and I haven't worn one since. If I include all this that totals 45 items. 
Now you might be thinking that my hubby is a lucky man but what I don't spend in clothes, shoes and jewelry I could easily spend on bags and camera equipment.  I have my eye on a nice macro lens right now lol.

Anyway this exercise was good for me. It's made me realize that some of the clothes I was hanging onto weren't getting worn because they had worn out and for some reason I hadn't binned them. I also discovered where the holes are in my current wardrobe. Eg, I don't go out anywhere fancy but I don't really have anything to wear if I did want to. My warm winter jacket has seen better days since I bought it 15ish years ago so I'll start looking for it's replacement as we're coming into Autumn here now.

It's also made me realize that hubby's side of the wardrobe really needs looked at too. He's got a dirty job at the moment and he works with sharp metal so has been wearing layers of tee shirts to protect himself, hence why so many shirts and things. Recently he has also started working a bit more back in the office so that also explains the mixture of clothing he has. I'm hoping to put in a wardrobe system when we start redecorating our bedroom and hopefully then he'll be able to sort his clothes a bit better. Rough work clothes in one area and clean office clothes in another maybe.

Anyway, project 333 is totally worth a look, if only to help you see the gaps in your existing wardrobe.

Have a great week :)

Week 30 of 365 Challenge Religious Symbol/Building Week

For me this has been Buddhist week. 
I guess this will be no surprise if you've read the "about me" section of this blog. 
It was a great week of reflection and decluttering my wardrobe whilst choosing which Buddhist items to photograph.
I'll tell you more about decluttering my wardrobe in my next post though.

Next week is silhouette week.

Have a great week :)

6 Mar 2016

Project 52

Just for anyone that's maybe new to this blog and doesn't know, 

I'm currently working on a 365 project with weekly themes. Some of my friends liked the idea of the project but felt that taking a pic everyday was too much of a commitment so we started a Project 52 group here Project 52 on Facebook. The weekly themes are the same and I open a new album on Sunday each week for you to share your images in.

Anyone that wishes to join us is most welcome. You can start anywhere you like. If you want to start from the first album that's great and if you just want to start from the current album that's great too. 

We hope to see you there.

Have a great week!

Week 29 of 365 Challenge Rock Week

Rock week was fun. 
I have a small wooden bowl of interesting little crystals that were just crying out to be photographed. As I still don't have a macro lens for my camera I shot this week exclusively with my Galaxy S3 mobile phone. It has a macro mode that allowed me to focus a bit closer than my camera. 

Mum bought a new larger dining suite this week too so she gave me her old small black table to use as a games table. At 90 x 90 cm it's the perfect size for card and board games and as it turns out, it was the perfect background for the pebbles.  

The top photo is all the pebbles in the wooden bowl.
The 2nd photo is of Mexican Lace Agate
The 3rd is of Barite or Desert Rose
The 4th pic is of a bowl of  pebbles and shells we have collected from various beaches over the years. Including some sea glass, Chalcedony, Carnelian, Quartz and some little grasses.
The 5th pic is of Amythest and Rose Quartz
The 6th is of Rainforest Rhyolite
The 7th is of a different type of Rhyolite

Next week's theme is Religious symbols/icons etc. Anything of a religious nature. 

Have a great week!

Week 28 of 365 Challenge Wood Week

Wood week mmm..... it was an okay week. 
The wooden bowl and carved turtle box I thought I'd shoot this week didn't happen. I forgot I'd already photographed them in "Ordinary things are beautiful week" and didn't want to repeat images if I could help it. I admit that the images I took this week weren't the most inspiring. I was distracted this week if I'm honest. Decluttering our house has taken on new momentum recently and I've now got seven boxes of stuff to go to the charity shop. 

We're pretty lucky here as we have about five maybe six shops we can donate to. It's gotten to the point where the pile of boxes to go is starting to get in the way but I want to get as much out in one trip as I can. Second hand shops are too full of interesting books and things for me to risk more than one trip. 

Believe it or not but it isn't me that could refill our house again, Hubby has a thing for old westerns and war stories and any woodworking books that may be there too. We have two large bookcases in the spare room that are just groaning with books and all but one shelf is Hubby's. 

Anyway, I have more decluttering to do. Wish me luck.

Have a great week!