Category Archives: Photography

Life’s Simple Pleasures

Okay, first things first. I did not take any of these photos, they are the work of many talented photographers with a great eye for detail, colour and composition. Also, I can’t claim to have tried any of the food portrayed herewith, I can only say I have drooled over their images lol.

It’s Sunday, and a day for lying in, food, family and friends. Maybe “lying in” isn’t a word in my vocabulary, as our household generally gets up with the birds. And these days, food means simple fare, and family means my son and our menagerie of animals. As for friends, most of mine are virtual…meaning you, you and you. So who better to share my favourite food porn photos of food with than you all good people around the world. ;-)

You are all invited to my virtual Sunday feast. The weather is ideal, sunny with a slight breeze. Best of all, it won’t cost you a penny to join in the festivities. Why, even as we speak, here you are!

(All photos courtesy of Pinterest)

Let’s start with table settings. Shall we have rustic? I love the idea of mismatched chairs and benches. This setting would be ideal for a Madhatter’s Tea Party a la Alice in Wonderland.
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Or, perhaps something more cottagey and formal? I’d love a whitewashed house with sash windows like in this photo. So romantic, sigh.
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Or, maybe let’s go all Bohemian Rhapsody and enjoy some bright splashes of colour? I love the blue and turquoise canopy, and the vivid red tablecloth and runner.
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And now for the food. As it’s still early, some of you may prefer something light, like this, perhaps?
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Then some salad and appetizers:
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Mmmm, yum! Next, we have a selection of hot cooked food. For those still in the mood (or time zone) for breakfast, we have these:

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And now, a medley of heartier fare:
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Not forgetting liquid refresments:

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And, to round it all off, some dessert:
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Mmmmm…I’m liking this so much, I think I’ll host another virtual party like it next month. Enjoy! Thank you for coming to my party! :-)

Dreamy

It’s Sunday, and a lazy one at that. Just thought I’d share some of my favourite dreamy photos, curated from Pinterest. I chose these because they struck a chord deep within me. It could be a look, a feeling, a colour, or a combination of elements. A picture tells a thousand words, that sort of thing.

Some of these photos transport me to distant places, places of fantasy, or stir up feelings of nostalgia.

Some are just plain awesome.

Copyright belongs to and remains with each of the photographers, of course. You can find these photos, and dozens of others like them, on my Pinterest boards under “Awesome Photos”, “Amazing Places” or even under “Photographic Artists ❤”.

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Freebies from Paris

No, sorry to be such a tease. I meant Freebies from my recent project “Paris Ooh La La!”.

I took some close up photos of the project, which I will undoubtedly use in later projects as backgrounds for blending with other photos and clip art.

For what they’re worth, you are more than welcome to take them for your own creative projects. Enjoy!

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Work In Progress: Rainbow Lenormand

After creating 15 Lenormand fortune telling card decks in the short space of 6 months, I took a short hiatus to try out some other ideas. One of them was my Inspiration Deck…of which half of my intended 50 designs have been completed and printed as a deck. I Abandoned 12 of these last month for Valentine’s Day. Another 8 were given away to relatives and friends at my Uncle’s Chinese New Year Reunion dinner 2 weekends ago.

I then ventured tentatively into the field of mixed media collage and altered journals. Not so much the journaling part, but rather the recycling of old art canvasses and painting, gluing and stamping over them. There is a method to my madness – whatever the results of my mixed media experiments, I’m taking close-up photos of them to use in later projects as backgrounds for blending or for superimposing other elements onto. Some of these have been posted here on my blog as Freebies. I like sharing! :-)

In the midst of it all, I still found time to start another Lenormand deck. This time it’s the Rainbow Deck, on account of the rainbow-coloured border around the cards, and the general brightly-coloured and happy nature of this deck.

This time, the going is slower than previously, mainly because I have all these other projects lying around clamouring for my attention. To date, I’ve completed 12 of the 36 cards in a deck…so, still a ways to go yet.

But anyway, I thought I’d share some of them here with you. Here’s the “Rainbow Lenormand”, a work in progress:

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Connecting The Dots

I love synchronicities, how one seemingly unconnected thing or event can link to another by a series of strange coincidences. Sometimes it’s just 2 elements that get connected, at other times it’s a whole series of elements.

When I started working on this piece of mixed media collage, I didn’t really have any preconceived ideas. (I’ll be honest and tell you right now that I have absolutely NO IDEA what I’m doing when I’m doing a mixed media piece. It’s only afterwards that all the pieces of the puzzle come together).

I found a remnant of card that had music on it, and it became the starting point of this piece. It was a triangular corner piece, and the only place that fit was the bottom left corner of my cradled wooden panel. So, with a musical theme in mind, I chanced upon a piece of vintage dress pattern tissue that had a curve to it, that reminded me of the curved lid on a grand piano. Ta dah! 2 dots connected. I then randomly added some washi tape to my panel.

The middle part of this piece originally had a pattern of birds, berries and flowers on it, that I’d gone over with red and green watercolour pencils. I wasn’t happy with the effect, so I used a light green Tim Holtz crackle paint to cover it up. That came out well, but left some parts uncovered – the little red rings around the berries.

So, I used a printed tissue paper from my own Reject pile (pieces of my own digital photography art that I’d printed onto tissue paper but rejected due to colour inconsistencies, ink blobs or smears, and tears). This one had a big showy flower on it, with some red berries. Perfect. More dots connected.

I’d used a block stamp with French text on it, on the top right and bottom of my panel. The one on the bottom was fine, however the stamp on the top came out with text missing from its middle. So I decided to fill that gap with a stamped birdcage. Said birdcage came out with parts missing from its middle too, so I covered That up with a white “Cherish” stamp made using gesso.

After that, I added some more leafy elements (a stamp on the otherwise empty bottom right corner). I also added 2 bird stamps, a large one and a smaller one. The little bird stamp lacked detail, so I added some white dots to it. I had to add some white, as otherwise the only other element containing that colour was the “Cherish” stamp. I also noticed a bare patch next to the big bird, so, in keeping with the bird theme and to fill the gap, I found and added a picture of a bird’s nest. More dots connecting here.

It was then I noticed how the little bird’s white dots echoed the spots on the washi tape that I’d added earlier. I decided to tie the various elements in tighter, by introducing white dots to the grand piano lid outline.

And now I’m reminded of the Art of Australian Aboriginals, specifically Dot Paintings. Yet another example of connecting the dots.

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Some close-ups:

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Just more of my favourite things

Just a random selection of images that I’ve curated from Pinterest, Google Images and Facebook. I like to post them here and reflect back later to see what patterns or trends emerge, if any.

Sometimes these images spark off ideas for new creative projects. Other times it could just be a colour I like, or a feeling I get from looking at it.

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Happy weekend, all!! :-)

FREEBIES! (Remains of the day)

Yes, it’s time again to give away more backgrounds for your creative endeavours. These are close-ups of an Art project I did a short while ago. I like to keep such images to blend with other images for future projects. You may want to do the same too. Go ahead, indulge!

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My New Bike

After 3 years of hard riding and scrapes and falls galore, I have just retired my trusty old bicycle. It was a swell bike, and I loved it to pieces, quite literally, but its death pangs began when it got stolen from outside the shops about 7 months ago (see my post “Zen and the art of Bicycle Recovery” for the story of how I got my bike back from the thieves). Since that incident, the gears on my bike had not been quite the same – sometimes engaging, sometimes not.

And so, for the past few months, as the gears got progressively worse, I actually thought it was ME who was getting out of shape and finding it hard to keep up with The Kid on his bike. There he was, the little tearaway, zipping ahead on his mountain bike while his poor elderly (hehe) Mum tried valiantly to keep up. It was the gears – it was either too low or too high, there was no compromise. Cycling started to become a pain in the arse, literally…

Around Christmas time last year, hubby convinced me to put a new bicycle on lay-by. This meant I was to pay the bike shop a few bob each week until I’d finished paying for it all. We could ill-afford to do that, with more going out than coming in…but I’m glad I agreed to it, because this treadmill of an old bike was getting on my nerves, especially my sciatic nerve.

So, last week, I decided to go for broke. And paid the rest of the layby using my battered old credit card, thereby securing its freedom from the backroom of the bike shop. I also bought a pannier rack and basket for the back of my new bike, as well as new lights for both front and back.

And…I’m glad to report that my hunch had been right. It wasn’t my old bones that were struggling to push my old bike faster. It was indeed the clapped-out gears that were letting me down. Because you should see me on my shiny new bike. No, actually you can’t see me, because I’m just a blur flashing past your field of vision, that’s how fast this new bike is. Sigh! I’m in love.

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The Inspiration behind the poem “Persuasion Before Contact”

I was working on 2 canvasses that I hadn’t been satisfied with. I had painted over the canvasses with acrylic paint, but had reached a deadend as to where to go from there. So I tore up some Chinese newspapers that I’d gotten from a recent trip to Chinatown. And pages from a book that I was going to alter. I added some cut outs, stamps, vintage dressmaking tissue paper, scrapbooking paper, gesso. I layered my ephemera over the canvasses, and then noticed that I’d subconsciously chosen the words Persuasion, Before and Contact.

So I went with my subconscious and added more letter stamps and numbers etc. And came to realise that this project merited poem of its own.

Et voila! “Persuasion Before Contact” by AlyZen Moonshadow. You’ve read the poem, now here’s the inspiration behind it.

From these:
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image(The 2 canvasses that I’d splashed paint on earlier. I did take some close-up photos of them, which can be used as backgrounds for other projects, so the exercise wasn’t completely wasted).

To these:

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I really like the idea of using text and also the concept of letting my subconscious dictate how a piece should look.

Question: which came first, the poem or the artwork?
Answer: actually, it was the artwork. The text used on the 2 canvasses sparked off the poem. However, I believe the concept was already in my subconscious before I even started collaging the elements together. It just wanted to be expressed one way or another, and in this case, both in textual and image form.

Out and About in Chinatown

The Chinese or Lunar New Year was on the 19th of February this year (2015), but because it fell mid-week our annual Family Reunion Dinner was postponed til the weekend. Yesterday (Sunday) we went to my 2nd Uncle’s home to join him and my cousins and their children, for our annual gathering. 2nd Uncle is my only patriachal relative in Western Australia. I haven’t been back to my Maternal Grandma’s for Chinese New Year for nearly 20 years now, and since dear Grandma passed away last year there will sadly no longer be anymore Chinese New Years at her home.

As dinner wouldn’t be starting til 5pm, the Kid and I decided to check out the festivities in Perth’s Chinatown first. I had read there would be parades and food stalls and stalls selling all manner of Oriental goods and souvenirs.

Here’s what we saw:

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Yes, there were thousands of people thronging James Street. Yes, it was hard moving about and not spilling peanut gravy from my chicken satay all over my front.

Yes, it was a lovely, warm, sticky day. We are still in Summertime here in the Land Down Under.

Yes, that is a large orange shaped kiosk selling freshly pressed orange juice.

No, I don’t know what Morris dancers were doing there during a Chinese New Year celebration.

Yes, I threw in that photo of a pub called “The Elephant and the Wheelbarrow” because that particular junction looks so much like Small Town America to me.

No, that is not a real Library, it is another bar venue. And no, those rays of light are not a special effect I created.