Category Archives: Social Networking

My Favourite Bokeh Flower Photographs

Just a curated selection of some of my favourite Pinterest photos, this time featuring Bokeh Flower Photography. Think Romantic, blurred backgrounds, soft colours, a vintagey feel, out of focus shots, light glows, orbs.

Eye Candy!
(Images sourced from: Pinterest. You can find them on my Board, “Inspiring Flower Photography”).

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Artist Inspiration : Elspeth McLean

I’ve got dotty over Elspeth McLean‘s art. I mean, literally.

I came across a shared post on Facebook, with a photo of some round stones painted with colourful dots reminiscent of Australian Aboriginal Dot Paintings. The hyperlink took me to Elspeth’s Facebook page.

Elspeth uses mainly a No.0 paintbrush and acrylic paints to paint her dots, a technique she calls “Dotillism”. Her substrates include traditional canvas and board, but also pebbles or stones. Just beautiful!

Here’s a video showing Elspeth painting a flat round stone. It may look simple, but I reckon you need really steady hands and an eye for perfect symmetry and colour.

https://youtu.be/hEA7kpVN29o

Here are my favourite Elspeth McLean paintings, curated from Pinterest and Google Images.

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Time For Action

I’ll tell you straight out now that I’m a firm advocate of the legalisation of marijuana. Not just for medical reasons. Just free the whole weed, for goodness’ sake! The pros far outweigh the cons. This Nanny World we live in would have us believe that if marijuana was decriminalised and people were allowed to do whatever they liked with it, we’d all be potheads and sleep under a tree all day long, and no work would be done. Or maybe we’d all drive recklessly, and go on looting and killing sprees.

Not so. In those countries and American states that have fully decriminalised marijuana, crime rates have actually fallen. A whole “new” industry has sprung up, creating thousands of jobs for people to help grow and harvest the crops and turn the humble weed into thousands of useful products. I wrote “new” because in reality, we have been down this route before. Many, many years ago. The Media would just rather everyone forgot about it.

For those of us who are confused about the differences between hemp, cannabis and marijuana, they are all the same species of Cannabis Sativa. Just different strains containing different chemical compositions, and thereby useful for different purposes.

Paul Stanford has written very comprehensively about marijuana on his Facebook page here. I urge you to have a good read, as it answers a lot of questions and demystifies the subject matter.

So, when the powers that be keep telling us that further lab tests need to be done, or that there’s no scientific evidence to prove that cannabis oil cures cancer and other serious illnesses, that marijuana makes people violent, or any time you see, hear or read that marijuana is evil…those are merely stalling tactics.

And why stall? Why, so the big pharmas and governments in cahoots with each other can figure out a way to gain profits for when marijuana IS finally legalised. After all, many industries will be greatly affected, so capitalists are running scared that they’ll go bust. And what’s the world without Money, eh?

Sorry for the sarcasm. It’s just that the time for talking is over. Long over, in fact. Now is the time for Action.

Will you stand up and be counted?

(The images below are from Google searches. All copyright belongs to their original creators).

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Just A List Of Things I Like

I was sitting at a Sushi train the other day, next to another lady who had also come in by herself. We’d both had to wait to be seated, as the Sushi restaurant was very busy during the lunch rush hour, and most customers came in groups of 2 or more. So, finding seats to accommodate lone customers was apparently not easy.

Anyway, eventually we were both seated, as it happened, next to each other. Not in a booth, but in front of the Sushi train conveyor belt system, where the food ambled past at a leisurely pace.

After taking 4 plates of food off the conveyor belt, I turned to my neighbour and offered her some of my sushi. It so happened to be a whole prawn wrapped in filo pastry and deep fried. She thanked me, and said she didn’t like eating prawns.

I looked at my food plates then, and it dawned on me that every single one of the plates of food I’d chosen contained prawns. The realisation hit me that I must really like prawns.

Then, just the other day, I was curating my favourite photos on Pinterest, with the theme of “Gold”, for this blog. And I realised that I must really like the colour gold, too, as my blog post ended up with me sharing 50 images that day, instead of my usual 15-20.

So, after those eye-opening incidents, I’ve made a list of things that I like. Here they are, in no particular order.

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Dogs
Cats
Chickens
Ravens
All animals, in fact
Sushi
Sunsets
The colour Gold
The colour Turquoise
Patterns
Textile designs
Gelli® plate monoprinting
Aboriginal Dot Paintings
Tuscany
Bread
Chocolate
Cupcakes
Chinese radish cakes
Fried foods
Tea and Coffee
Monster High Dolls
Ceramics
Vintage Teacups and China
Mixed Media Collage
Oracle cards
Mind, Body & Spirit books
Books, in general
Dystopian fiction
Zombies
The teachings of Eckhart Tolle
Homes & Interiors Magazines
Home Opens
Repurposed furniture
Bokeh photography
Grunge and Textures
Colourful scarves
My afternoon siestas

Going For Gold

When I was first starting out in mobile photography, on an Apple iPhone 3, I read about the Golden Hour and decided the magical sunlight quality that we get here Western Australia was too good to pass up on. I am a firm believer that different countries have different qualities of light, and some offer better photo opportunities than others. That may be why I’m drawn to the idea of living in Tuscany in Italy.

In Western Australia, our sunsets are often quite spectacular, and the dusky pinks and oranges often linger in the sky for nearly an hour after the sun has gone to bed.

Wikipedia defines the Golden Hour thus:

In photography, the Golden Hour (sometimes known as Magic Hour, especially in cinematography) is a period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer compared to when the Sun is higher in the sky.

It’s that time of day when everything is covered in a soft shimmer of gold, and photos often turn out magical, even if the subject is mundane or pedestrian. Mother Nature’s gifts to the human eye.

Even to this day, nearly 5 years after picking up my first smartphone camera, I still like taking photos at around sunset.

These days, you don’t really need the Golden Hour or Magic Hour to get the same effects in photography. There are photography Apps and software that will allow you to recreate and/or add the same effects from within your own home. After-effects, so to speak. You can add bokeh, sparkles, light trails, firefly glows, the list is endless. With some imagination, you can create the most awesome photos.

Having said that, there are still some happy flukes of Nature that allow great photos to be developed without the need for any external, human or technological assistance. Right place, right time, right eye for detail, right capture.

Here are some of my favourite images from Pinterest, that celebrate not only the Golden Hour/Magic Hour, but also the colour Gold in its myriad shades and intensities.

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Images to Soothe, Images to Inspire

Today I’m childminding The Kid’s best friend Cooper, so it’ll be full on making sure the boys have enough to eat and to keep them occupied. Should be easy enough, as they have the PS3 and computer to play on. And Scooby Doo snack-sized hotdogs in flaky pastry in the freezer for when they get hungry. Scooby snacks. Yeah, I’m that kind of Mum 😄.

I just won’t have the time for any heavy writing today. So instead, I’ll share with you some images I either found on Google, Pinterest or saw on friends’ Facebook walls, that are just too good to keep to myself.

A friend showed me this first image and told me there’d been a Full Moon on 1st July, which was my birthday. How cool is that? The Native Americans call it a Thunder Moon. July 2015 will have 2 full moons, one on the 1st and one on the 31st. Yay!

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And this last one makes me want to take up sewing. Seriously.

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The Company Of One

So, I’m sitting in a local eatery waiting for my cappuccino and a “Crispizza” (see photo below). I’d read a book, but the one I’m on (“Men, Money and Chocolate” by Menna Van Praag, I’ve just finished). I decide to people watch instead.

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There’s a couple at the table next to me, who don’t seem to be agreeing on much. He’s decided to eat his lemon garnish. She’s scrunching up her face thinking about the taste of it.

Another couple are sitting in the corner. They’re not saying much to each other. In fact, they’re not speaking to each other at all. She looks fed up. He looks bored. A couple of times he stifles a yawn. I wonder what their story is. She seems a tad angry to me. Maybe they’ve had an argument.

An elderly couple are just finishing their lunch. There’s a trolley full of purchases parked next to them. As the couple get up to leave, I wonder who will push the trolley. He simply wanders off, leaving her to do it.

A lady on her own walks into the eatery and sits at a table near me. I wonder if she’ll nod or acknowledge a fellow solitary customer. She doesn’t even see me. She whips out her mobile phone and starts texting on it. It’s glued to her hand the whole time she’s there, even when her food arrives and she’s eating.

There, but for the grace of God, go I.

There’s another lady at the table opposite me. She’s finished her meal, but seems to be lingering and pondering deep thoughts. Finally, she gets up and leaves. And I notice that there are 2 pots of tea on her table, 2 cups and saucers, but only 1 plate with a half-eaten sandwich still on it. I wonder what this lady’s story is, she of the Pink hoody and the Twilight shopping tote. Was she there with someone earlier? Or did she really have 2 pots of tea all to herself?

The book I just read, “Men, Money And Chocolate” tells the tale of Maya, who fantasises about finding the right man and having enough money to live a fulfilled life, but who instead drowns her sorrows and disappointments by eating cake. Lots of it. It’s not light, frothy chick lit like a lot you see these days. This book is published by Hay House Publishing (the UK’s leading mind, body and spirit New Age publisher, with branches across the globe, including Australia). There isn’t much action in it, but rather a lot of deep conversations between Maya and the people she meets, about Life, Love and Destiny. It reminds me of the fabled Ouroboros, the snake that devours itself, as in the story Maya decides to be Bold and Go For It, sells everything she has, leaves the United Kingdom and takes her self-published book to America, where, when she least expects it, the last piece of the puzzle falls into place and she finds love. The title of Maya’s book in the story? Men, Money And Chocolate. The theme of Maya’s book? About a woman finding herself after much trial and tribulation. Very clever indeed!

And so, back to where I am. No, I haven’t written a book. But I would like to, and I might. My point is, I love my own Company Of One. You never have to put up with someone’s traits and behaviour that you can’t stand. You don’t have arguments and silent sulks with yourself. You don’t need to wonder who’s going to carry the shopping, because you already know the answer. You don’t have to pretend to be having a conversation with someone else by texting or playing on your mobile phone, when you could be enjoying the food placed before you. And, if you came into the eatery by yourself, you don’t have to pretend to be waiting for someone else, or order 2 pots of tea, 1 for your imaginary friend.

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The Company Of One is the Best Company you’ll ever have. Learn to enjoy and appreciate it!

Louise L Hay Quotes

I’m currently reading Louise L Hay‘s seminal book “You Can Heal Your Life“. Well, at the same time I’m also reading “Men, Money And Chocolate” by Menna Van Praag, and “The Book Of Secrets” by Deepak Chopra.

How do I do it? How do I read more than one book at a time? Those of you who know me by now, know that I like to be doing everything all at the same time. It’s simple, really. I just leave books around the house – in the bedroom, on the living room sofa, on the kitchen table, yes, even in the toilet. That way, wherever I chance to be, whichever book that lies within reach is the one I’ll start to read or continue where I left off earlier. (Just so you know, I have a little library of books inside that toilet, yes really. Shelves of books. Just in case you get bored while sitting on the throne).

That is the method to my madness. Or perhaps it’s the madness to my method.

Anyway, moving along swiftly, I’ve always admired Louise L Hay. Her “Power Thought Cards” deck was one of the very first oracle/affirmations decks that I’d bought, back in 2008 when I first moved from Spain to Ireland. I still have those cards, and from time to time I like to shuffle the deck and draw a “Card of the day”. Those cards contain affirmations to motivate and reassure the person, rather than my personal preference, quotations.

I’d just like to share some of my favourite Louise L Hay sayings/affirmations/quotations with you today. Who knows, they may trigger off something inside you.

These are all curated from Google Images, and all credit and copyrights remain with the original artists/writers.

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FREEBIES! Gelli® Print images

I must admit I haven’t been practising my Gelli® printing lately, having been drawn in a different direction by my latest mixed media photography art projects. If only there were more hours in the day, if only I could split myself in 2 or even 3, one to do Gelli® printing, one to work on my photographic art, and one to run around town doing other things.

No, housework is NOT one of those other things.

Also, you may have noticed that every time I mention the word Gelli® I now use the ® sign after it. This is with the permission of Gelli Arts®, with whom I have no affiliation. It’s so folks don’t get confused and think I work for Gelli Arts®, or am endorsing their product.

What I Have been doing, these past month, is using photos of my Gelli® prints in conjunction with other photos and clipart on my mobile device, to create images for ongoing projects.

So right now, I have over 200 close up photos of my monoprints. Of which you’re welcome to do whatever you like with the following:

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Have a great weekend, folks!

Project: Inspiration Deck Booster Pack

In January of this year, I started a new project of cards with inspirational sayings. My intention was to create a deck of 25 different cards, which could be boosted by another 25 later on. In February, I finished the first 25 designs, just in time for the Chinese New Year celebrations. You can read about that first deck, and have a look at some of those cards in this post.

A few days ago, I was playing with some Apps and filters, and decided that, instead of trying to fit my prepared background images into some sort of frame, why not simply use a white shape template placed over the image, as a mask? I could then place my text on the mask itself. That way, I wouldn’t have to worry about my text being hard to decipher over a colourful background.

So, here are just a few examples of the “Booster” pack of my Inspiration Deck.

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These are just the rough gems. I have yet to trim, resize and polish them, before they’ll be fit for printing.

With the first batch of the Inspiration Deck, I gave several away at my Uncle’s Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner. And a few days after that, I Abandoned several in my local area, by putting them into envelopes with the Art Abandonment tag stuck on, and leaving them in people’s postboxes. (I live in Australia, where putting mail in postboxes without it going through the Postal system is perfectly legal. Hence all that junk mail one gets).

I expect when I’ve ordered and received a deck of these new cards, another Art Abandonment exercise will be in my diary of things to do.

Bearing in mind though that this is still in the early stages…I’m still playing with a couple of other design ideas in my head, so it all may change at the drop of a hat. I know, I’m fickle :-).