Happy New Year! For new years eve we went to the local beach to watch the fireworks, have a little picnic and watch the kids run around with their glow sticks and sparklers. It's always a lot of fun and I'm always up for a bit of sparkler photography!!
These shots were fun to make, especially as their glow sticks also created some colourful effects too!
I didn't use a tripod for these shots. These were all just hand held (or sitting down with the camera on my knees for support). Generally the exposures are around 1 second, using a fairly wide aperture (f2) and a high ISO. Of course if you wanted to create less grainy images, you'd shoot with a lower ISO (between 100 - 400) and use a longer shutter speed which would create a different effect again - the sparklers would be more continuous. That's why I love long exposure photography, there's so many options and ways to capture the light.
We all had so much fun creating different shapes... of course as the night went on, the crazier and more random they became!
Recently I was the lucky winner of a giveaway on the Tiny & Little blog (just by leaving a comment, gotta love that!) My prize was a Gingerbread Martian mix by 'Chef Sonia and You'. If you've been a reader of my blog for a while, you may have noticed that I love cooking with my kids. I don't blog about it a lot, but it's rare that a week goes by without us whipping up some sort of sweet treats. So my kids were over the moon to see this little package turn up in the mail! I mean, come on... who wouldn't love to make gingerbread martians!! We certainly didn't waste any time giving it a go!
The packet came with everything you need (except the wet ingredients) and included the martian cookie cutter. Pretty cool to have this in our stash now for future martians! The packet also had martian eyes ready for us to put on at the end.
I think the hardest part was getting the gingerbread mixture out of the antlers in one piece. We ended up using a skewer to push it out. Worked a treat!
The final verdict? Absolutely delicious! The gingerbread was perfect and the green icing was yummy. Even the eyeballs tasted good! We ate them all pretty quickly, so that's a sure sign it was a winner.
Recently my friend Paula Cheney asked me if I would like to be involved in a series of blog posts about The Burning House project. Basically, The Burning House project is a project by photographer Forster Huntington where he asks people from different generations what they would save if their house was on fire. It's an interesting project, not only seeing what people choose as their most treasured items, but also how everyone perceives their material goods.
Paula decided to ask some of her friends to do a photo similar to the original Burning House project. My entry is posted on Paula's blog here. I thought I'd share it here with you all too.
Before I start, as we all know, if a fire broke out, the main thing we'd all want to save is our family and pets. Material things are just that... things. But even so, let's just say it was a smouldering slow burning fire and I had lots of time to gather up my stuff... here's what I would go to:
(In no particular order)
1. Vintage camera collection - I have a nice collection of cameras including old brownies, 35mm, 120mm, accordion, polaroid etc. Many I have used, many I have just collected.
2. Letters from friends and family - I have three old suitcases full of letters and postcards. Probably way too many to save in a burning fire! But they all mean a lot to me and I love re-reading them. Connecting with friends and family through snail mail is always special.
3. Vintage letter opener - I have about 20 or so different ones (I know, crazy! I mean, I don't receive enough letters to justify this!)
4. My diaries - The one pictured on top is my diary from high school when I first met my husband (sensational reading in that one!), while the one underneath is my diary from my big European trip in 1997. I have actually burned many of my diaries from childhood, but I'd be sad if I ever lost these two.
5. Kombi curtains - After traveling through Europe for a year in a Kombi van, the only thing I could keep from the van was some remnant material from the curtains.
6. Knitted hat - both my children wore this the day they were born.
7. Photo negatives - I have folders full of B&W negatives taken over the years (before I went digital). A whole body of work!
8. Grandma's sewing supplies - she handed down her pinking shears to me when she had to stop dressmaking. I then inherited her complete sewing collection after she passed away. She taught me so much about sewing as I was growing up (among other things) and I continue to use her supplies.
9. Grandma's watch - my Grandfather gave her this watch as an engagement present and Grandma gave it to me many years ago. It was actually stolen in a house invasion about 10 years ago, but we found it in the forest nearby a couple of days later! It was meant to stay with me.
10. Photographs - need I say more?
11. Passports - Not all who wander are lost, but I'd be lost without my passport! I know they're replaceable, but I love looking through the stamps. Each one represents so much!
A few things I didn't include in the photo:
12. My children's favourite treasures (Sunshine especially).
13. Computer and hard drive - we have 3 back ups in 3 different locations (home, work and with another family member). We back up every month, including all digital photos. So I think I'd save some other stuff first. Unless all three locations were on fire at the same time!!!
14. My handbag with my wallet, phone and all the stuff that I have in there!
It's an interesting concept to think about, as it's made me aware of the 'things' I really do treasure and how there is so much stuff that I could easily leave behind. However, I hope that I'm never faced with a burning house in the first place. My Grandparents house burned down when they were young and lost everything. I remember them telling me a few stories about it, and it sounded horrifying. Let's hope we aren't faced with that situation. But if we are, like I said earlier, even though I treasure those items listed above, my main focus would be on family and pets. Oh and the highschool diaries of course - as Oscar Wilde once said: one must always have something sensational to read!
Wishing you all a wonderful time with your loved ones today!
We're enjoying some time at my Dad's house (complete with laser lights!) Ethan and Zoe are so happy to be spending Christmas with their cousin Cooper! I'm looking forward to just kicking back and enjoying the next few days with family, sharing laughs, gifts, delicious food and enjoying the season! I hope that you all have a fun filled day wherever you are.
To all my photography and crafting friends - thank you for your inspiration, friendship and support this year! I'm looking forward to another year of creativity with you all!!!
To our family and friends - you may have noticed that Yuletide Yawnings is a little late... we'll be sending it out in the New Year once we have moved into our new house so we can give you our new address and phone details :) We are looking forward to many new memories in our new abode with you all!!
Merry christmas! Have a great day!!!
(PS: I"ve been keeping up with my December Daily album, but still need to photograph it to share on the blog. I'll be busy enjoying my family over the next few days, but will update the blog when I have the images all ready :)
Stew and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary yesterday. As usual, we reminisced about our life before marriage, about our fun wedding day and our life afterwards up to now. It's fun reliving the journey, remembering those small little things like breakfast in the Kombi in the middle of Europe, the sea-breeze in our Manly apartment, the nightly fireworks from our Neutral Bay apartment, lazy days in our Forresters Beach house and the bigger things like one fun wedding, two amazing children and three years at Darkroom Door.
We're at another crossroads this year - moving our business into a bigger warehouse, selling our family home to find a more suitable abode to call our own for the next few years, and we're watching our children grow up way too fast. All these changes are good. We know how to naivagate the speed humps. We know how to change direction if we need to, to create the life we want. Life is certainly moving in the right direction for us. We have more leisure time these days. We work hard and play hard. We don't sit still very much! We think about the future and know that the next 12 years is going to be amazing. We have lots of adventures planned, especially with the kids before they grow up...
One thing I forgot to share in my last post about our Export Award was a little card that we received from our kids:
This card brought tears to my eyes...
see, this whole Darkroom Door thing is as much about our family life as
it is for our professional satisfaction. We built Darkroom Door on the
premise that we can have a flexible work life that enables us to be
there for our kids (outside of school hours), work close to home while
doing something that we both love. Our kids have been a big part of this
Zoe was SO excited about these awards. She loved watching us
dress up, she helped me with my shoes, necklace and dress. While we were
getting ready she said "I can't wait to see the trophy!". I reminded
her that we may not receive the trophy, as there are lots of great
businesses in the awards. She quickly replied "But it would be so good
if you did".
And so when she saw the trophy the next morning, she was chuffed! A little while later, she gave us this card. She is only 6. She's just learned how to write this year and all of her thoughts and feelings have been spilling out ever since.
I have to say, I'm just as excited about receiving this card as I am about winning the trophy :)