Photography and Me

Isn’t it sad that Kodak have registered for bankruptcy recently? It got me thinking about what photography means to me. I cannot pretend I am a good photographer by any means – hey just look at the pictures on my blog for evidence! But I have always loved taking pictures and do appreciate other people’s artistry in the field.


from sebseballade's Flickr stream

When I was nine I received my very first camera for my birthday. It was a bright yellow rectangle 80’s point and shoot which took 110 cartridge film. How I loved that camera, I received it just before my family went on our first ever holiday abroad to Menorca. I took pictures of a sunset, some piglets that we saw while on a bike ride and the usual family line up posed snaps. I cannot remember the make of the camera but it looked very similar to this one from the same period by Kodak. I remember it did not have a built in flash, instead I had this clear plastic rectangle of 10 odd bulbs which I attached to the top of the camera when needed and blew a bulb each time I took a snap. How I wish I still had that camera to display in my black, white and yellow dining room!

At college I took photography as an A Level. I learnt about the history of the medium, I used a SLR camera for the first time and I developed my own film and photos in a darkroom. This was in the late 90’s just before the digital revolution took off. I loved it!

When I finished college I did not go on to further education, so the camera got tucked away in my wardrobe (I still have it!) and life generally got in the way of me pursuing my interest any further. Although at one point I did have a job in an in-store Kodak franchise photo development lab for Superdrug for a short while.

For the following 5 years or so I am ashamed to admit that when ever I had a holiday or a festival coming up, I would buy a disposable film camera for these events. Eventually I got a cheap point and shoot 8MG Olympus digital camera which I used for another 5 years or so.

I have been wanting to get back into photography for a while, so for my last birthday Rob bought me a Fuji Finepix bridge camera as my old point and shoot digital camera needed upgrading and this camera is half way between a compact camera and a digital SLR. In that it has the same functions as a SLR but you cannot change the lens on it, so it is a good starting point.

I am ashamed to say that since May last year I have been taking pictures with it on auto mode and I still have not read the manual! But 2012 is the year that I want to challenge myself. So I will get around to reading the instructions, and maybe I will dust off my old A Level textbook or do some googling and refresh myself on ISO’s and F-stops etc. This blog is forcing me to take the time and think more about each shot before I take it, plus I have started a photo project on my baby nephew. I want to learn edit in photoshop in time too, but with my IT skills I am not going to run before I can walk!

Food photography is really hard BTW. I have a new respect for it, as it is very hard to make some foods look pretty, plus you want to eat it up before it gets cold! I will try to get better, I promise!

80's alert!

Tuesday Tune

I must admit that I have done some googling on female guitarists for this feature. In my research I came across a few lists for *humph* the top “hottest female guitar players” etc – which I think I says it all really.

I looked at the Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 greatest guitarists of all time lists. Which as far as I could see it had one – count ’em only one lady in them – Joni Mitchell!

Thankfully I have discovered a few cool ladies to blog about, and for my second post I chose this lady. Now I am no expert on technical abilities (I can ask my guitar playing other half Rob about that stuff). But I was quiet impressed with this lady.

China in your hand?

Now I have never heard of her band, and all I know about her is pulled from Wikipedia! But despite the dodgy hair metal clothes and her huge ginger barnett I think she rocks! I have a soft spot for noisy two piece garage type bands i.e White stripes & Black keys, and white mystery seem of a similar vein. Enjoy some girl-guitar readers!


Pizza Fail!

Oh dear it all went so wrong. What a disaster! The dough stuck to the worktop and fell to pieces when I tried to put it on my new-ish bargain Gino D’acampo pizza stone.

It does’nt look too bad at first glance admittedly, but when you look closely you can see the uneven rising of the dough and all the sausage pieces in one area.

Let’s not talk about this ever again please.

What a mistaka to maka!

Cupcake Decorating Part 2

Well following last weeks *ahem* interesting leopard print cupcake, this weeks lesson focused on the more traditional buttercream piped decorated cupcake.

We were shown how to make a buttercream with a recipe using no butter (so that it will not melt and lose shape etc in the warmer months) and made some pretty sugar paste decorations with cutters and moulds as finishing touches.

Here are my cakes!

Four ways to ice cupcakes using 2 different sized star shaped nozzels

And from above

Tuesday Tune

For Xmas just gone Rob’s youngest niece asked for a guitar as her main present, from her parents I must add, not us – phew! So to see if she would actually use it, at his sister’s request Rob took around his acoustic for her to try out early last December.

She enjoyed having a little strum and Rob taught her a few cords. While she was practicing I joked “You could be the next Hendrix, Slash, Clapton, Page…..err hang on a minute they are all blokes!”

It made me think, when you think of the guitar legends they all tend to be male. So Rob and I tried to name some female guitar players, and granted there are plenty out there.  But all of the ladies we could think of, they played in bands that only Rob and I had heard of!

For the next few Tuesday’s Tunes I am going to post video’s of ladies who rock. I want Rob’s nine year old niece to know that girls can do just the same as boys if they want to, if not better! And that you don’t always have to follow the crowd. And that if she wants to be in the music industry, she does not have to get nearly naked or do whatever some male music producer/video director tells her to do to be successful. She can do it on her terms.

For my first lady who rocks I have chosen Kim Deal. I know she is more famous for playing bass in the Pixies but this guitar rift is so catchy. We have been lucky to see The Breeders live three times over the years at various musical festivals and she kicks ass! Enjoy!

Got It Wrong Again!

I have been informed that something I have been doing for as long as I can remember is wrong.  The informer, my other half Rob said that I should not be putting two spaces after a full stop.  It just needs one like after a comma.

Also I put two returns in for each new paragraph – wrong you just need one!  This is going to be a hard habit to break, I have failed on this blog post!

Here is a little Etsy treasury for you.

Apparently the way I type is the old fashion typewriter way.  But I like typewriters!

Small Typewriter Brooch – Yo…


Smith-Corona SILENT SUPER ma…


Royal Quiet DeLuxe Manual Tu…


Write on, Vintage Typewriter…


Words of Wisdom – Hand-Cut S…


Retro image pendant necklace…


Vintage Typewriter Illustrat…


Jewelry with Typewriter Keys…


Drawing – Illustration – Pri…


Bright Yellow Triumph Typewr…


Typewriter Key Ring – Initia…


Keep Calm and Type On (Typew…


Cupcake Decorating Course Part 1

I am a lucky girl, as a xmas gift my parents treated me to a place on a four week cupcake decorating course.

I can bake a cupcake fine but icing them and making them look pretty is not my strongest point.  I practice when the time and the diet allows me to and I am slowly improving.  But now thanks to my course I have some of the professionals tricks up my sleeve!

For the first lesson we were shown how to ice our cupcakes with animal print fondant icing.  Here is my effort.

Roar! cow, zebra, leopard & tiger print decorated cakes

I really enjoyed making these and had a such a giggle. I cant wait for next weeks lesson!

Tuesday Tune

I have decided to start a feature, whether I stick to it is another thing.  But I have decided to start Tuesday tune’s.  Basically I am going to inflict my musical tastes on my readers – Hello Mum!  Plus I can just post a YouTube clip and be lazy but fill my blog content.

Forget Lana Del Ray (pun intended) that rubber lipped, pouting, over-marketed strumpet. Here is a much better singer-songwriter lady type called Lianne La Havas.  Enjoy.

Twhitt – Twhoo!

I can’t believe I googled “owl sound spelling” for the title of this post!

I love owl paraphernalia, I have an owl cushion, an owl t-shirt, and owl knick-knacks galore. So when I saw this embroidery in my favourite charity shop, it caught my eye.

Wise owls. Nobody's perfect especially my photography skills!

I ummed and errrd over it though, as its not my usual style.  But in the end I purchased it for £1.50 and it now hangs in our bedroom.  It is on a nail that the previous owner kindly left behind in the wall.  Yes it needs to be re-framed, and eventually it will need to find somewhere to hang permanently.  But it has really grown on me and I love seeing its sweet little message every day, it makes me smile!  For £1.50 that’s worth every penny.

Is it just me but when I see other blogger’s charity shop finds they seem so much cheaper, try 30p or other silly amounts, than all the loot in my local branches?  Maybe its because I live in the south east?  Or maybe they are telling porkies?  Just saying.  Well I may not be able to find unbelievable bargains but I am happy to pay a little extra for a good cause.


I love to bake and I love trying out new recipes. When I came across this recipe sometime ago, I just had to try it out as it blends together two of my favourite cuisines Mexican and Italian. Plus I am currently on a mission to use up all the tins of food in my store cupboard before we rip out our crumbling kitchen to fit the new one.

So the project of use up random tins continued with me finding a can of re-fried beans that had been lurking at the back of the cupboard for over a year.  We ate half the previous night with the fajita’s I made, then the rest went on this pizza.

Steamy natcho pizza!

It was tasty but very messy, and vegetarian (shh don’t tell Rob!) The pizza dough was made from scratch as you can probably tell from the photo!

I am currently on a quest to find the perfect pizza dough recipe, and have tried out several with varying results. Now I am experimenting with different types of flours and yeasts. The funny thing is that with all my experimental tries, Rob has eaten them up and not really noticed any difference between them! Well all except one which I accidentally added too much salt to – whoops!  But my quest continues and just like Heston Blumenthal I will continue my search for perfection……..or give up and call Domino’s!