27.2.12 - 23:23
I have discovered tea, podcasts and Instagram. Yes, I am behind the times. Several thousand years with tea.

People are very surprised if you don't like tea, especially if you don't like coffee either. Perhaps even a little put out. It's like saying you don't like bread. Who doesn't like bread? There are people who can't or don't partake. But just can't abide by it? Not so much.

So I thought I'd make a bit of an effort. See what all the fuss is about. I'll be honest, I still don't like real tea. Apparently what I like is a 'tisane' or herbal tea. I started with green tea and then, lemon and ginger. My current favourite is chamomile. I'm part way to being acceptable in an office environment.

The podcast thing is not linked to the tea thing. Not listening to podcasts does not make you a workplace weirdo. Though like the herbal teas, I did know about them, I just didn't seek them out. The main reason why I've not looked for podcasts before is due to the areas in which I am interested. I couldn't see how you could talk about crafts, sewing, photography etc without having any visuals.

However, I have discovered that you can talk a lot about process and how you work in these endeavours. How you keep your creative ideas and grow them for your projects. And in fact it is a really great thing that you can't see any actual work whilst you are thinking about this. It's about coming up with your own ideas rather than finding inspiration in other people's. As Paul Smith says 'You Can Find Inspiration in Everything - (And if You Can't, Look Again)'. That's an interesting book, the foreword is written by William Gibson who is one of my favourite authors ... but that's another post.

I am currently listening to the Paperclipping.com Roundtable podcasts. They talk mainly about scrapbooking, but also the idea of 'memory keeping' in general. I like that term as it covers so much, photo albums, sketchbooks, journals and blogging.

Which brings me nicely to Instagram. An iphone app which is a fun and easy way to record everyday life in pictures. I've been using it to share pictures of things which catch my eye, like the picture above.

It makes me smile.



Book club journal page

17.2.12 - 22:33
I've joined a book club. I said that I wanted to read something which I wouldn't normally choose and my wish was answered. The book for the February meeting was 'The Elegance of the Hedgehog', it was written by a French author - Muriel Barbery and translated into English.

It's quite philosophical and not an easy read. I had to look up at least ten words whilst reading it and I'd like to think my vocabulary is pretty good. I probably wouldn't have made it to the end if it hadn't been for the book club, but I'm glad I did, there was a lot more story towards the end.

I mainly enjoyed meeting some new people. They were very welcoming and had some great insights into the book.

I made a page in my scrapbook/journal about the meeting. It probably needs a bit more work, but I had fun putting it together. I'd like to keep a record of each book this way, though I don't how long I'll be able to keep it up.



First Snow

7.2.12 - 12:00
This weekend we've had the first snow of the season, it's nothing compared to last winter but it's still got everyone excited. There wasn't enough for a snowman (mope). But it was nice and bright on Sunday morning; so I thought I'd pop out and take some pictures before it all went slushy and brown and decidedly un-photogenic.

I didn't want to go too far since it was still freezing cold. On the other hand I've photographed everything within a mile radius of my house in minute detail. I didn't set out to do this, it just happened and now I feel guilty if I don't put in a bit of effort to find an interesting subject matter. With this in mind I walked up to the cemetery.

The cemetery in question has been there a long time and has lots of amazing stone monuments. There is a section which is still in use, so obviously it's not very nice to be hanging around there with a camera on a normal day. Today however, there was no-one around, so I headed towards the oldest part without fear of reprisal.

It was totally silent. I mean it's usually quiet in a graveyard, but the snow added another layer insulation. There were no footprints at the entrance and I thought I had the place to myself. Except I noticed some tiny paw prints. Then every time I turned a corner there were some kind of animal prints, maybe a fox? I thought. Probably a cat more like.

The light on the snow was beautiful and it was very peaceful.

This is my favourite picture from the visit.



Happy New Year / Introducing my Lomokino

5.2.12 - 18:22
Happy new year! How are you feeling about 2012 so far? I've got lots of plans and I'm excited about starting some new projects to share with you. First of all I've decided I'd like to read some different books this year so I've added a page where I can record what I've been reading. I'm also going to try out a book club and hopefully meet some new people along the way.

I'd like to continue experimenting with photography this year and I've made a start on that with my newest camera.

Santa brought me a Lomokino for Christmas and I've made my first attempts with it. The Lomokino is a new 35mm film camera from Lomography which works like a movie camera. You turn the handle and it keeps taking pictures which you can eventually join together to make a little film.

One of my favourite still pictures from this first roll was a picture of the gallery where I got married.

Well, sort of! You can just about see the roof and part of the terrace. But I love how the sky came out.

It's in four pieces like that because they are the 'frames' of the video. It can fit about four frames in each normal photo, so you can use it like the Super Sampler.

I've had a go at a video too. To join the frames together into a film you need each of these panels as an individual picture. I usually get the photo people to do my scanning so I just had to spend a bit of time cutting each photo into four. Then I used a really basic piece of movie making software to join them up.

So this is the train I catch every morning and my nod to the history of film-making. It's very VERY short and pretty jerky, but I had fun making it!