28 May 2017

Week 8 Black and White 365 Challenge

50 Steep stairs

51 Workshop shelving

52 Fallen toy soldiers

53 Gloves

54 Stairs

55 Wire netting

56 Barbering

Another rainy week so I spent it mostly back in the workshop again. 

The highlight of my week was when my husband and I went in as models for my son in his barbering course. That was a lot of fun. The barbering photo was shot with my cell phone (a Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime) as I didn't take my camera out with me that day. All the rest were shot with my camera as usual.

I'm going to be taking a little break from shooting for a week or two while I have other house related projects going on. There just aren't enough daylight hours in the day at the moment, especially as it's winter here. 

Have a great week :)

Week 7 Black and White 365 Challenge

43 Basket weave

44 Camelia flower

This bush was severely pruned (practically to a stump) by the previous owners of our house. It's started to regrow in the couple of years we've lived here and this year we have been rewarded with
some lovely pale pink flowers.

45 Homegrown Feijoas and some Passionfruit a friend grew.

46 Toolbox.

47 Industrial light fitting

48 Three phase powerpoint

49 Saw blade

This week the weather was cold and rainy and miserable so I spent some time in my husband's workshop looking for inspiration.

Have a great week :)

Week 6 Black and White 365 Challenge

36 Basket weave

37 Buddha eye

38 Thai elephant fabric texture

39 Metal texture

40 Crosstitch texture

41 Dreary weather

42 Fabric texture

This week the weather was lousy but I did get a guy out to quote on replacing our upstairs heatpump and installing a completely new system downstairs. It'll be great to get some proper more economical heating throughout this house.

Have a great week :)

Week 5 Black and White 365 Challenge

29 Budgie

30 Sunny Day

31 My son texting

32 Paint texture

33 Fabric texture

34 Ceramic texture

35 Blurred trees

I'm a few weeks behind in posting these images as I've been a bit busy with the renovations and having a massive declutter so I can't remember what I was thinking when I shot some of these images. Sorry about that.
This week I processed some of my images using  an Instagram filter that made the images a bluish color for a bit of a change.
Have a great week :)

26 Apr 2017

The Way We Use Our Spaces

Recently I've been wondering whether we really still have too much stuff or whether some of the cluttered feeling in our house comes more from a misuse of our available space and a lack of storage where it's needed.

Hubby, when he's home, spends most of his time between his workshop and his office off the lounge. Which to be honest is a bit of an eyesore with not enough storage space.(see pic below) . 

Did I say, ' a bit of an eyesore?'

I spend my daytime hours when I'm at home either at my desk, which is also in the lounge, or in the kitchen, laundry, or garden. Our current office spaces don't have any real storage. Hubby has a few drawers, otherwise everything's all over his desk and I have files stuck in boxes in a cupboard off the lounge that are a pain to get into when you need something in a hurry and a few art supplies stashed in a drawer in the spare room.

The picture below is of the office space we built for me in a corner of the dining room just after we moved here. Hubby built my desk for me. It had lots of positives like great lighting, lots of space and close to the kitchen for working while keeping an eye on things cooking but unfortunately the cold draft from people going in and out the back door (out of sight to the right of this picture) and the constant disturbances from everyone coming and going decided the fate of this office space. So I ended up moving into a dark, out of the way corner of the lounge for the last year or so. 

Looks great but has too much through traffic and cold drafts in winter.

Another problem has been a lack of linen storage. The previous owners of our house had removed the linen cupboard from the hallway and extended the bathroom into the space. They had then created a cupboard in a corner of the dining room, I suppose to replace the missing linen cupboard, but it's in a really silly place and the door opens over the doorway into the lounge. Blocking traffic flow through and around the main hub of the house. It turns out that they must have built the whole wall between the lounge and dining area as it doesn't show on the original house plans at all and after removing the wallpaper from the wall you can see that that whole section of wall has all new wall linings. Effectively they took an open plan house and partitioned it all off. 

Our problems; 
  • We had a cluttered lounge filled with office stuff and overflow from my daughter's room. 
  • A large master bedroom space with more floor space and storage than we needed and all the best but unused light.
  • My daughter's room with not enough closet space or floor space to play and so her things were spilling into other areas of our house. 
  • We also had no linen cupboard as the people that lived here before us thought it was a good idea to take it out and extend the bathroom and then partition up the lounge and dining areas and squeeze a cupboard into a random corner. 
  • No proper storage for office related things and a messy office just by the front door and my desk in a dark corner.

Our solutions;
  • Hubby and I decided to swap bedrooms with our daughter. We gave up the master bedroom to her as she has far more need of the storage and floor space in her room for playing and dancing with her friends than we needed just for sleeping. We had the largest room with the best natural light streaming though huge windows and yet the room remained empty most of the day. All that light and space was wasted on us. Now she has storage for all her books and toys/board games. She has plenty of floor space to spread out with her friends and the low winter sunlight in the room makes it a sun filled, warm, pleasant place to be for her. She loves it!
  • We moved our bed into the spare room. It has ample space for us and a great large wardrobe so we haven't lost any space. It's on the South West side of the house so we don't get much sunlight until the late afternoon but that's fine because we're rarely in there during the day.
  • Our daughter's bedroom we've turned into an office, it only has a single wardrobe so we've converted that into the linen cupboard. All the towels and spare sheets are in there and it's close to all the bedrooms and the bathroom where we need it.
  • The office space is large enough to fit two desks and some shelving with room to spare, so all the files I have stashed in boxes will have homes as soon as I pick up another shelf unit. That also means that Hubby's desk can be cleaned up.
  • Which leaves the lounge. I haven't taken a picture in there yet as I've got a large pile of things to be donated growing in there at the moment. I can also say that we've moved our home library in there too (it was in the spare room before) and it's so much better having the books near a comfy, well lit, place to read them.

So it looks like we had a mixture of problems. Some of it was due to too much stuff but a good bit more of it was due to us not thinking about how we could better make use of our available space.

The master bedroom doesn't have to be used just for the adults. I'm not sure where the idea came from that we have to have the largest bedroom in the house but it seems a waste of space to me. If I want some quiet time I can go to my room, lie on the bed and read or listen to music. I don't need loads of space for that. I've also discovered that if the kids have a nice space of their own to be in, they're more likely to spend their time in it. So the lounge is then quiet anyway. 

If you have a spare room you can turn into your office, do it!
This removes all the work thoughts to that room, where you can walk out, shut the door and leave them when you need a break. Having the office in the lounge just encourages working at stupid o'clock or when you should be having family time.

Storage is best placed where you need it. Linens and towels near the rooms you use them in. Files and office stuff in the office. Your home library is best placed near a comfy chair and a window for good light to read by.

Week 4 Black And White 365 Challenge

Day 22 Tree Fern

Day 23 Interior Painting

The undercoat is on the walls and I thought I'd shoot it while waiting for the paint to dry. Better than watching it I guess :) 

Hubby and I decided to go against the norm this week. We moved out of our 'master bedroom' (above pic) and once we had finished painting we moved our daughter in there instead. Our daughter's room always seemed cluttered and messy and her stuff was in all the rooms all over the house. She only had a single wardrobe in her room so there was never much room to store more than her clothes in there. Moving her into the largest bedroom with the best storage seemed like a good idea. It's not like hubby and I were holding regular gymnastics competitions and dance parties in there with lots of other friends like she does. Now all of her toys and things have a space in her room and she has room to move. We also have a much clearer idea of what things she has now that everything's in one place. Which is making things easier to sort through. The room also has lots of natural light and lovely winter sunshine. Perfect for someone that spends a lot of daylight hours in their room, not so much for those of us that only see it in the dark as we stumble to bed lol.

This has had a flow on effect throughout the house. The lounge is now less cluttered. The messy office that was just off the lounge is now moving into my daughter's old room. Which gives us plenty of space for two desks and I'll even have room for some shelving for files that I didn't have before. So that's sorted out another storage problem too. There's also the added bonus of being able to close the door on the office and know we've finished for the day. No more sneaking in a bit more work before bed because we can see the work beckoning us from across the lounge.

Hubby and I are happy with the smaller room, all our stuff fits fine and we still have a large wardrobe space so we haven't really lost anything out of the move, though to be fair, all the upstairs bedrooms can comfortably fit a kingsize bed so it's not like we moved into a closet.

It's been a win, win, win all round!

Day 24 Wood Texture

Day 25 Monarch Butterfly

Day 26 Sparrow

Day 27 Palm Shadows

Day 28 Busy Bee

I guess that's it for another busy week.

Have a great week :)

17 Apr 2017

Week 3 Black And White 365 Challenge

Day 15 Flaking Paint

This week I decided to explore a few more textures such as the flaking paint above and the textured throw below.

Day 16 Textured Throw

Day 17 Steampunk Hat

 My son wearing a Steampunk hat he created for a fun day at his barbering course. It's made out of a cheap $2 shop hat and old cotton reels and broken swim goggles and other bits and pieces that he spray painted gold to pull it all together.

My son's hat in color.

Day 18 Quan Yin

Day 19 Bits and bobs drawers

Day 20 Our neighbors at night

Day 21 Scratched paintwork

As I post this I'm already four days into the next week and I feel absolutely knackered after spending the last couple of days painting our master bedroom from top to bottom. It looks great now that it's done though, and it was the last bedroom needing to be done so, Yay! That just leaves the big jobs left. The kitchen/lounge/dining and bathroom. Also a lick of paint in the office off the lounge too maybe, but that's a small job compared to the rest and I'm not sure what I want to do in there yet.

Have a great week :)

8 Apr 2017

Week 2 Black And White 365 Challenge

Day 8 Buddha. 

This week I've explored the dark background some more, which I'm really liking the look of and tried a couple of close ups. A macro lens is still top of my personal wishlist for this year but it comes behind house renovations again, unfortunately. 

Day 9 Toy Panda.

My daughter collects little animal toys that are quite realistic looking and have a nice texture.

Day 10 Dahlia Flower

I spotted this beautiful bloom just after the rain had stopped when I was seeing my daughter off to school.

Day 11 Brass Vase

Unfortunately it poured with rain this day so I stayed in and shot a vase in my window.

Day 12 Rain

This day the weather was even worse and I shot this through the bathroom window at 6am when I found the roof gutters overflowing with too much water. Other places in New Zealand had severe flooding so we were lucky that it was only overflowing gutters we had to worry about.

Day 13 Grouchy Face

My daughter was in a funny mood this morning and although we shot happier looking images this day, she decided that this was the one that most suited the day. Monday-itis on a Thursday school day.

Day 14 Rose

I spotted this lovely new bloom in my garden and loved the rain drops on it. 

It rained most of this week and a couple of days it was really heavy which put me off going out with my camera. Although my camera body is rainproof my kit lens unfortunately isn't. The macro lens I yearn for however is, so hopefully once I can get it I'll be more confident about taking my camera out in the rain.

Have a great week :)