Saturday, 15 March 2014

The older the better!

I found this old book with a leather cover on Geordie Broon's second-hand market stall in the market (£1).  It must be at least 100 years old and falls to pieces when I open it,  I love it - who did it belong to and what tales could it tell if it could speak!  It's been so well used, stuck together with sellotape.  The title itself shows how old it is - "The British Empire Universities Modern English Dictionary".  I know Kindles are useful, but in my opinion there's nothing like a book, new or old!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Nearly Spring

At last we have clear blue skies after the wind and rain (but no snow) so we decided to take advantage of the good weather and go out to the hamlet of Alnham near the English-Scottish border.  We came across this memorial at the end of a one-track road over the hills surrounded by nothing but sheep and a few isolated farms.  Sad to think that these two shepherds died in the snow only half a mile away from the farm.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

My light box!

I finally got round to making a light box following the excellent instructions in Rosie's blog.  My box should have been a bit bigger but as I often shoot in macro it does just fine.  As we have two large windows at each end of the lounge I didn't use any lights and it seemed to work all right.  I may have to use lights if it is a dull day, but so far I think I got away with it.  Edited in LR and Elements, no textures.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Tanfield and old trains

We both love going to see steam trains and the volunteers at Tanfield work enthusiastically to restore the engines and carriages which fill the sheds and yard.  Me, I like the small details and try to capture some of the decay and rust before the restoration starts.  The first image was an old can which appears to have been burnt at some stage but now has grass growing out of it.  The second image is more poignant - the original number of the train is just visible beneath a layer of paint.  So much work went into these old engines and it's a shame that some of it is lost for ever.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

I found this white cup in Sainsbury's supermarket and thought I'd try to do something with it for the 14th.  I've used one of Kim Klassen's small heart brushes along with a fabric background fastened to the wall.

This was a similar 'studio' set up with the window on the left and the camera screen flipped out.  Using the live view meant that I could use the cable release and the lens would focus in by itself, as it were (very technical as you can tell!).  It's really useful when you want to capture something low down - it's not a problem getting down to do this but I might not get up again!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Still growing!

The orchid is still producing flowers much to my amazement!  Thought you might like to see the set-up which is very basic.  Crumpled tissue paper fastened to north-facing window (first time I've tried this), kit lens on tripod.  On the right you can just see my home-made reflectors made of white mount board and silver radiator foil.  No texture on this image.  The 'studio' might be in a different place next time!

Monday, 27 January 2014


I know there are a lot of similar orchid images out there but I was so pleased that I hadn't managed to kill this off that I had to record its existence!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Monday, 20 January 2014


Saw a bunch of these small narcissi in the local supermarket - the room is full of their scent even though the flowers are only a few centimetres in diameter.  Love them!

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all my bloggy friends!  May 2014 be filled with curiosity and creativity!

Monday, 30 December 2013


Cheviot is the pinnacle of the Cheviot range of hills in Northumberland and looks spectacular in all kinds of weather.  This is a photo of an encaustic wax picture which I did some time ago and decided to add one of my textures and play about with blend modes and opacities.  A good activity for a rainy day!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Going small

Two views (100mm lens) of a wonderfully blooming orchid (these are some of the buds) - it never ceases to amaze how orchids just keep on going when everything else (almost) is waiting for warmer weather.  Hope you are all surviving anything the weather is throwing at you at the moment!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Christmas greetings!

Wishing all my blogging friends a happy, healthy and peaceful time!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Last hydrangeas

Found three small glass bottles on a secondhand stall in the market place.  Brought one of the last hydrangea blooms inside (without insects!) and had a go at this still life.  I added two of my own textures and a vignette.  Still looking for the best place in the house for natural light, so far it's in the kitchen.  I really ought to be thinking of winter/Christmas themes but I think I'm still stuck in autumn!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Winter's grip

Well, not exactly a 'grip' yet, just a hint of what may be to come.  We did have the 'surge' on the coast but we are a few miles inland but know that many have been flooded out along the west and east coasts of England and Scotland.  Awful to see on the news some houses disappearing into the North Sea.
This photo was taken on a sunny walk - an icy pool, using my iPhone.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Calling all gardeners!

These lovely blooms were in a heated greenhouse, but even after searching in my flower books I still can't identify them.  The second image is of a plant with beautiful petals which looked like frosted sugar with the sun shining behind them.  I guess at least one of you will know what they are!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Autumn jewels

More seeds, this time rich red ones of the pomegranate.  So many orange and red colours this time of year, can't help but be cheered up by them!  You really have to work hard to get these to eat, the word 'digging' comes to mind.  They are supposed to be really good for you once you've got them all out!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Fading beauty

The hydrangea flowers are fading now but still beautiful in a subdued way.  Hope that is true for all of us!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

More of 'nothing is wasted'

A little bit of Photoshop using the previous image, using my own textures, masks and frames.  Yesterday I wanted to do a still life using autumn bits and pieces, eg leaves, dandelion seedhead, chrysanthemums,  but nothing seemed to go right.  I tried various combinations with bottles, wooden bowls and finally decided to give up.  As I was packing away and trying to carry everything to another room, I put some seed heads into the jar to carry them - and voila!  I liked the result! Maybe I was trying too hard!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013