Saturday, September 28, 2013

Paper Perfect

 I figured since I was putting so much energy into destashing stuff lately, that I'd give the vintage shop a little bit of a make over. The blue and white is lovely, but it was starting to get a little cold in there, so a little floral warmth is in order.

 Ideally I'd like to sell those kinds of things- floral china, embroidered linen, pretty coloured English stuff; but since it's so rare for me to find that kind of stuff around here, when I buy it, I keep it! Adding the floral touch to the background still gives me that summer cottage look without giving up my precious treasure.

I could spend all afternoon photographing layers of antique paper. The texture in the light, the different kinds of cream, the way age spots sprinkle over them; my mind has been tinkering over ideas of art again, paper collage and woodblock printing, using antique papers as the base. But for now, they're the base of my other favourite thing to photograph; vintage supplies.

These beads were being photographed for destash, but I couldn't do it- they're like tiny squares of raspberry candy! I'll be putting those back in the 'keepin it' pile, antique pyramid nailheads. They always look so sweet lined up along a thin textile cuff. That's something I've been thinking about again too.


 You might notice a watermark (of sorts) in most of these. I've always been against watermarks- the idea is sensible, but as someone who relies on her image being shared in visual-based social media, I need those images to be as sharable as possible. Unfortunately, Tumblr and Pinterest are both guilty of 'losing the link' when it comes to this stuff; countless times I've had to image-search something to find out where it came from. But I also constantly come across my own images on Pinterest and they often have no attribution at all. The problem for me then lies here, and I think by having a modest watermark like this keeps honest people honest. I know it's easily removed, but I'm not concerned with those people.

Is it a subtle watermark though? Is it too bold? Be honest! I want to know if you would hesitate to pin any of these images because of that watermark.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Dust of Spring


It's spring here in Australia, and not only does that mean perfectly civilized weather of sunny days and cool shadows and fires at night and sometimes rain (I thrive best in this changeable muddle) it also means the Devil is nearer my hearth. By which of course I mean summer. Ick. Poo. Bleh. As a season generally I have no problem with summer- in England it's a perfectly nice affair with sea breezes and days where I can laugh at the radio because 25C is 'a scorcher'. Here in Australia however, a scorcher is likely to be 45C. Sometimes for a week at a time. I hate summer in Australia. I despise it. So this time of year when the weather is nice and I'm full of energy, I'm taking the time to organise and prepare my world so all I have to do while the sun is killing everything is lay on my bed and watch TV.

I've been cleaning up and redecorating (I nest for summer hibernation as most do for winter) and destashing my supplies, even more than usual. Bead soups and junk drawer lots are starting to appear in Fagin's Daughter; this will go on for at least another 3 weeks or more because I have a metric tonne of it! Really I ought to be ashamed. It's a jolly good thing I enjoy photographing it. In fact I actually enjoy making up these little 'junk lots' and photographing them more than I enjoy making things from it, but then I've long known that.

There's a great feeling of hope that comes with spring, and I'm feeling in the middle of a great sense of 'excited calm' lately. I read a quote the other day which said 'nature never hurries, and yet everything is done'. And that's rather helped me curb my usual anxiousness to get things done as quickly as possible. Now I'm just sailing calmly through the day to day; what gets done is done, and what doesn't will keep.

As long as I spend each day in the present and focus on making my world a beautiful place to be, things aren't so bad. Of course I'm not always this calm and composed, but when things get too much I just dip into my stand-by pot of 'who gives a shit' and go have a cup of tea. And some cake, which I'm very good at this time of year. Pear and walnut with sticky lemon glaze was this week's blend. That's already been eaten, so tomorrow I'll do an apple chai with ginger frosting.With cake and tea and sunny days and nights cold enough for fires, and my hours spend making these beautiful photos- what's not to enjoy?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Smelling the Roses

The last handful of posts have been rather full-tilt and heavy, so I figured we could all do with a nice drive to admire the scenery. One of the things I've been doing lately is examining my creative path and what I want/don't want to do. I very much miss both photography and working with textiles, so I've been doing a bit of both. Finally I'm back on Flickr! Catching up required there is epic....

Soft and serene and elegant...

Rich and warm and romantic... these are some inspiration boards I'm working on for a very special person. She's engaging me to come up with the visual story of her online world, and it's an honour to do so. It's been one of the things that's made me realise how much I miss certain creative things, and how I can go about getting them back in my life again. On the light side it means a possible return of cuffs to my shop, certainly more DIY kits - on the deeper side it means a complete transcendence of my creative purpose. More as it develops.

Walking down the street a few weeks ago, enjoying that wonderful conflict of storm clouds and long sunshine that comes with that time of the year, a small window between winter and spring. It's an exciting time in a romantic sense, I feel the sap rising and the tingle of adventure on the cutting wind.
 This house is in one of my favourite streets of this town, living where I am now means I get to shortcut through it on the way to the post office.

 This one was one of those 'lucky moments' - a quick snap of nice light as I passed by the lane on the way to the post office. I didn't even notice the bike until I got home. (click this pic, it needs to be seen big). This lane is between the school and my childhood home, so not only is this view familiar to me from a nostalgic point of view, but the afternoon sun and the peace and that one kid's bike makes this whole image such a powerful  symbol of the freedom of childhood. That golden time when the only worry I had was that dinner would be something I didn't much like.

Here's one I took yesterday- Dad and I went for a country drive to look in on a junk shop we haven't been to in about 20 years (didn't know it was still there!) Turns out it was, and I think most of the stuff there had been there all that time too. A little over-priced and picked-over, but I still managed to find a couple of things, as I do. This building was down the road- one of the oldest original buildings in the area. heart-breakingly it was all locked up and empty. Annoyingly all the curtains were drawn tight and I couldn't see in.

A little further down there was another tiny junk shop, sort of a one-woman thrift store. A great little shop with lots of wonderful things and the kind of place you're allowed to open drawers and rummage in. I scored some lovely old trims in here and she had the most amazing vintage fabric stash and a dresser crammed full of mid century aprons, but my wallet was looking thin so I turned a blind eye and made pleasant chit-chat about the contrary weather. Next time I will be more heavy of purse.

Lastly, here's some ruined old buttons from Fagin's Daughter, simply because I liked the photo. This was actually one of the images that made me realise how much I miss photography, as I spent more time thinking about the composition and light than I did about showing the buttons as they were! I keep forgetting to show you when I update the antique shop. Which is odd really, because it is easily my favourite place to be online and one I try to put daily effort into. Sometimes that 'effort' is just to sit and look at it.