A Handmade Christmas – Part Four

Welcome to the last post in my “A Handmade Christmas” series. I only managed 4 handmade gifts this past Christmas, but now I feel a bit more confident with balancing time to create and time to be with the family I think I will be able to manage more for the 2015 Christmas. Continue reading


Time flies…

After my last post I was determined to get back to blogging with more regularity but apparently babies don’t work on the same time-frame as ‘regular’ people 🙂

Yes, since my last post I have become a mum and Peanut is already 4 1/2 months old. Where does the time go? Let me show you in picture form…

Now, I won’t promise to post every day because I know that will be unrealistic. When I first started blogging it was initially to help me get my head sorted after a massive life change for me. It was something that kept me focussed. The more I did it, the clearer my head got, and then I got to the point where I didn’t feel I needed it.

Over the past 6 months I’ve certainly been very busy, and loved every minute of it, and as I get a handle on this parenting thing I have realised I’ve missed sharing some of my adventures. So from here on in I will be blogging more than I have been, just maybe not as much as I ‘should’ 🙂 To celebrate the fresh start I’ve even change the look of the blog…..tell me what you think? I’m not 100% on it….might keep playing around with it.

Day 27: Aussie holiday

Going through my photos again…found some more holiday pics to share. These ones are a bit closer to home …a road trip along the Great Ocean Road. We took this holiday in October 2010. Fantastic drive. Do it if you can!

A random selection of photos as I’ve run out of hours in the day 🙂

An overcast day in Geelong.

Bollards in Geelong…I love these, they are scattered all over the place.

This bollard was my favourite! I love that there was a ferris wheel in the background as well.

Down to the lighthouse at Cape Otway.

Looking out to sea.

On the road to the Lighthouse at Cape Otway you are guaranteed to see koalas! They are everywhere…and they make the most unexpected sound. Living in the city all these years I had forgotten the noise a koala makes!

Kenny Koala

Peekaboo…Kenny came down to say hello!

Then up he went again.

What we came to see…the Twelve Apostles


Day 22: More reflecting

I really enjoyed going through my photos from holiday’s past for yesterday’s post that I thought I would do something similar for this post. This time though these are photos taken while I was travelling for work.

As I’ve mentioned before, I had the privilege of travelling a bit with my previous job, and I got to travel to places I may not normally have gone and experienced cultures I might not otherwise have had the opportunity to, so today I wanted to share a little of that with you. As I’ve gone through these photos it has reaffirmed my love of photography and travel …. oh I need to plan another trip!

1. Uluru, Australia (2011)

I have lived in Australia all my life, yet it was only last year that I got the opportunity to travel to Uluru. Despite the vast array of giant insects and other things with more than 4 legs, it was a great few days!

Aboriginal Elder

Uluru landscape

The rock at sunrise. Amazing scenery!

Love cave…can you see it?

So peaceful.

In case anyone is wondering, no we didn’t climb the rock.

Storm coming in

Camel riding in the desert

Camel Shadows

Camel with attitude!

2. Vietnam (2009)

One of the best experiences I had while working at Nutricia was when we visited the SOS Village orphanage that we sponsored in Ben Tre, a small village approx. 2 hours from Ho Chi Min City. The children and the staff there were instantly welcoming. So many amazing moments captured and experienced!

Welcome Nutricia

The kids put on a show for us…so amazing!

They showed us the games they played.

And even tried to teach us how to play!

A serious game of soccer was next on the agenda.

The young ones were so gorgeous!

Beautiful kids

I even got a few nature shots in…

Tiny butterfly

Same butterfly, Different view

3. Fiji (2010)

Another amazing culture to experience is the island way of life. Everything on Fiji-time…which I think was a good way of approaching life sometimes. Not everything has to be done yesterday!

Welcome to your room.

Nobody for miles….I loved exploring on my own here!

We had this beach all to ourselves for the day.

Cocktails at sunset.

Traditional dance

Incredibly fierce!

I have been so fortunate to have these experiences, and I look forward to many more. But even if these are all I have I’m so glad I was able to capture at least a little of what made those trips so inspiring!

Day 21: Reflecting on holidays past

Not much happening today except for a trip into the city for a meeting, so for this post I felt like sharing some photos I’ve shot in the past but not shared with anyone (except hubby). These are all from holidays I’ve had the good fortune to take over the past few years. No editing apart from some cropping in a couple of shots. I hope you enjoy them. Click on the images to view larger versions.

1. Zambia, Africa

Canoeing on the Zambezi River

Amazing being this close to a hippo…and scary at the same time, especially when you are in a 2 man canoe!

2. France

Annecy – One of our favourite towns in France

An alternative view of the Eiffel Tower.

3. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Rustic composition in Ravello

The streets of Amalfi.

Beautiful Positano!

4. Abu Dhabi

Qasr Al Sarab …. our luxury stay in the desert.

The dune…an epic sand hill!

Beautiful sunset over the Liwa Desert

Qasr Al Sarab at night.

Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque

5. Dubai

Inside the Aquarium in Dubai Mall

Burj Khalifa ….one seriously tall building!

The view from the viewing gallery in the Burj Khalifa…..I still get the heeby jeebies just looking down in this photo!


Day 20: Visitors

Hubby came in from getting the washing off the line today (yes, he’s a good man!) to say there were two birds in the tree in our backyard that he’d never seen before. Even though we only live about 45 minutes from Sydney CBD we still get some fairly varied wildlife in our yard, so I thought I would take a look.

They were a pair of Australian King Parrots, a male and a female. They are such a beautiful bird, especially the male with their full red hood. I quickly went back inside to get my camera and hoped they wouldn’t fly off.

I was so lucky. They stayed around for 5 minutes while I shot. I didn’t have time to put the longer lens on, but I was lucky to have the male stay on branches closest to the edge of the tree, he seemed to quite enjoy the attention! The female was a shy thing, and wouldn’t come out from the upper branches, and as she was all green it was hard to shoot her, especially in the late afternoon sun.

I managed to get a couple of OK shots that I have cropped to remove some of the noise of the tree. It wasn’t till after the birds flew away I realised my ISO was at 640, which I think was a bit high for the time of day. Anyway, I’m glad I took the opportunity to shoot and that I got a couple of OK shots.

Pic details: f5.6, 1/400s 85mm

Australian King Parrot – male

Pic details: f5.6, 1/400s 85mm

I think I ruffled his feathers!

I really need to get out more with my camera. I’ve been altogether too quiet on the photography front.

It’s been way too long!

OK…I don’t know what happened, but I haven’t posted in aaaaaages, and that’s just not on! I have no good reason for this except that I have been distracted by life and allowed it to interfere with the commitment I made to myself about this blog. But, if there is one thing I have learned over recent months, it is to not dwell on the past and keep looking forward.

One thing I haven’t given up on is my photography, and last weekend Hubby and I got to indulge ourselves in each other’s hobbies on a little trip away. That is to say, Hubby had a mountain bike race in Queanbeyan (near Canberra) and I decided to try my hand at some sport photography.

It was a very cold, crisp Canberra day…I had forgotten what Canberra winters could be like until we got up in the morning to leave for the race! This pic was taken with the iPhone as we were waiting for the ice to melt 🙂

Iced up car!

Once we arrived, got our gazebo up and heater on, we were ready for the day. The race was the Chocolate Foot 7hour MTB race, so the heater would be needed (more for the support crew than the riders). We were there with 3 of Hubby’s mates (and respective partners) who were also riding in 2 teams of 2. This at least meant the riders would get a rest in-between laps, but it was still going to be a tough day!

The following are photos shot with my Nikon D300. I kept the 16-85mm lens on all day, but I acknowledge my 70-300mm could have come in handy at times. A couple of these shots have a little bit of post-processing done…playing around with Photoshop CS6 for the first time.

Good Morning Mist!

Setting Up Camp

Competitor 124

Suiting Up

Starting line psych out?

Coming into Transition

Taking a corner ….missed my focus point a little on this one 😦

Coming in to finish!

It was a great day, and hubby was pleased with the race (and having the fastest lap time of the 4 boys!). I had a great time trekking through bush to get some of my shots, and am looking forward to the next race to practise some more.

To finish off I can’t resist posting this pic of Spook. He was the most gorgeous Collie whose owner was doing the race as a solo rider, so I kinda took the liberty of keeping Spook company back at camp. How cute is he?

Spook the Dog.

My Husband the Giant

For my photography class homework this week one of our assignments was to photograph a subject in which distortion created by shooting at close range with a wide angle focal length contributed to the impact of the image.

Now, Hubby is not keen on playing “subject” most of the time, so I usually have to resort to a bit of subterfuge to get him in any shots, but this time I convinced him that all he needed to do was stand there and luckily he obliged. Hubby is quite a tall man so I thought this might be a perfect opportunity to have a bit of fun and see if I could emphasise this height advantage he has.

The picture below is what I ended up with. The shot was taken in the morning on our deck at the back of the house with my 16-85mm lens at it’s widest focal length, 1/50s at f18. The sun is coming in over Hubby’s right shoulder.

That’s one of the things I love about taking photographs….different perspectives can produce a different picture altogether.

“It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.”

― George Eliot, Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life

A Gorgeous Day for Shooting

What a beautiful Autumn day in Sydney! I love this time of year…and today was a gorgeous example of it…26 degrees (Celsius) with the sun out all day. So, what better way to start the day than to head down to Manly beach for a walk and to get some of my photography homework done.

This week’s assignment was to play with shutter speeds and depth of field. We each had to submit 4 images with one image each to represent the following:

  1. Photograph a fast moving subject using a high shutter speed
  2. Photograph a moving subject while ‘panning’
  3. Deep depth of field
  4. Shallow depth of field

Sooooo, here is what I submitted…

Surf’s Up!

OK, so I only had my 16-85mm lens with me today but not bad still right? This was shot at 85mm, 1/800s at f8, ISO 200. 7am in Manly doesn’t look so bad though does it??

Cycling to Work

I love the corso at Manly. You can be guaranteed (even on the worst of days) to have lots of people around, and chances are there will always be someone/something to capture. This one was submitted for my panning shot (obvs!). It was the best of the bunch….whilst I got my cyclist pretty much in focus I still think it could be a bit better. I’ve certainly learned the follow through of the panning after the shot is taken is sooo important to ending up with a good shot. It’s a technique to keep on practising that’s for sure. Details for those interested…42mm, 1/40s at f25, ISO 200.

Volleyball Action

I’m a bit ho-hum about this one. It’s the composition I think…it doesn’t quite feel right. Submitted as deep DOF example. 24mm, 1/50s at f18, ISO 200.

Eclectic Reading Material

This one obviously wasn’t shot in Manly…I thought I should shake it up a bit! It does give you some insights into my various interests though! Shallow DOF example – 16mm, 1/20s at f3.5, ISO 200.

So there we have it! Time to go to class now and see what teacher says!