Sunday, December 21, 2014

Through the Lens...

A long, long, loooong time ago I purchased a DSLR Nikon camera. And I kinda thought that simply by having an expensive camera, my pictures were going to start turning out great (silly, I know!) and of course I was very, very wrong!!

So I started reading my manual, and looking through guides on photography, and although I understood what I was reading about shutter speed and aperture, I just couldn't seem to get my head around how to actually apply them! So like a big silly, I put my camera away and continued relying on my phone and instagram to record my life. 

At the start of every year, I sit down and write out a goal list of what I want to achieve in the next 12 months. It's not a serious list - previous years have included "read more books", "make hollandaise sauce from scratch" and "don't stress out if you don't complete everything on this list". Among other things, "learn to use my DSLR camera" has been a constant item on the list, being transferred year to year and never getting crossed off.

I was looking at my list the other day, and realised, this year I have done everything on my list!

I've visited Mount Field National Park...

Admiring the view from the top of the mountain

...I've read more novels...

I'm a late bloomer when it comes to Terry Pratchett, loving the Disc World stories!

...and I have replaced the garden along the front of my home with plants that I like, and that are edible!

I hated these square (!) bushes and boring ground covers!

This is an old photo. The Bay at the front is going really well and the Thyme just along a bit is huge!

Okay, so I might not have gotten any better at jogging. But I have jogged, so technically I haven't gotten any worse. So that counts, right?!

So, how could I possibly finish the year with that one thing left outstanding?! Well, I couldn't. I so I signed up for a course and learnt a thing or twenty.

Making sure an object is straight before snapping away is a good practice...

The results aren't perfect

But I like to think I know a little of what I'm doing

My Turkish Van cat Luna tolerates the camera for a short moment

And I'm fairly sure that practice will make all the difference!

Do you set yourself goals every year? New Years Resolutions? How do you go with completing them? 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Market

I know it's already Wednesday but did you have a great weekend?! I hope you had the time to do a little bit of what you love (because that's what weekends are for!). It's been dark and gloomy here in Hobart lately, not summer weather at all, but we can't complain too much because all the rain is keeping things green and I do spare a thought for the many people on tank water who must be sighing with relief to have a decent top up before the hot weather arrives.

This weekend was extra special as it was the last "The Market" for the year. The Market is *the* market for boutique, quality items from local Tasmanian independent makers and designers. Held in The Masonic Temple in Hobart, The Market hand selects each stall holder to ensure the items for sale fit with their philosophy, and a packed hall on Sunday was the best indication that their formula works! And of course why wouldn't it, with so many beautiful items to buy direct from their maker. 

The Market is on 6 times a year, so you'll have to wait a while for the next one, but I can tell you now, the wait is definitely worth it! So much good stuff, every stall holder was unique, well presented and very polished, and the items were just so beautiful! Some sellers were so busy I couldn't even get in to see their range properly. Luckily The Market website is fantastic and even has a Look Book for each market which you can peruse, and then head to the Profiles page to find the artist and their beautiful wares. 

I'd already had a look through and pin pointed the artists I was especially interested in, so my first stop was Sea Soul Studio. I'm not sure if it was the dreamy and quaint porcelain pieces or the story of their creation in a beautiful 1800's cottage studio which made me fall in love - perhaps both - and I just knew a stunning driftwood spoon had to be mine. 

They were even more amazing in real life and I took a (bad) photo while deciding. When I asked Sarah if I could take a photo, she laughed and said "as long as you're not sending it to China to make copies!". Turns out that an overseas manufacturer had contacted her to say they could replicate her product in a factory for a fraction of the price! Can you believe the nerve?! When I said the photos were for a new and not-very-good blog, she asked for a card! I never thought a blog would be interesting enough to warrant a business card but perhaps its worth considering...

Anyway back to the market! Driftwood spoon in hand, I wandered through the other stalls snapping where I could.

Little Twig's display is their namesake

This pic is a little fuzzy but I still had to share their cute sign!

I would have loved to get better snaps of the gorgeous displays but unfortunately there were too many customers! What a nice problem to have :) I bet there are some very lucky people getting some beautiful gifts this Christmas.

Did you spot my terrible photo of this beautiful calendar?! Bon Mot Design - Bec Adamczewski - is the creator behind this lovely piece. Here is a better pic borrowed from the Facebook page - I love the colours, the woodland theme, and the beautiful saying across the top! Notice how all the little animals are in pairs?! It just looked amazing in the frame too.

You can purchase this calendar from the Facebook Page

The calendar isn't on Etsy but Bec's other sweet designs are, you can find them here. I can't stop thinking about the wall calendar, I'm thinking I might have to make some room for it in my office upgrade - which I am still working on, and will update about soon!!

Do you have a favourite market? Or is there somewhere else you head in the Hobart area to buy your local loves?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Transforming a step ladder

For the past couple of years I, with the help of my family, have been renovating my plain little suburban house in Hobart.  It was a "renovator's delight" back in 2011, and has slowly been transformed into a bright and modern home. By current standards, my house is small - only 10 squares, with a single bathroom and three small bedrooms. I love it though, especially now that the major works are done and it's just the trimmings to complete.

The part I have enjoyed the most is decorating and bringing together the interior with furniture and art and items I've collected over the years. I've had to be mindful of the potential resale as this house is also a stepping stone for me, which means a neutral interior - white walls, pale floorboards, grey tiles... perhaps not very inspiring but its a palate which allows me to bring in colour where I want it, and means when its time to sell I don't have any major changes to make with floor coverings and wall colours, and not doing things twice sounds pretty good to me!

Out of the three bedrooms, one is mine (obviously), one is a guest room and one is an office and craft room. The guest bedroom has a double bed, and even by putting the bed hard against two walls, I only have about 35cm for a bedside table - and let me tell you, there are not many options out there for very small bedside tables!

So when I went looking for inspiration I fell in love with these:

Aren't they just the sweetest?! Lucky for me, I just happened to have my eye on the perfect little ladder! I bided my time and when the poor rickety old thing finally gave in and its owner decided it was destined for landfill, I quickly whisked it home for its new life!

Here she is! Obviously in need of some serious TLC, I'm looking forward to transforming this little piece into something new and great!

This poor step will need repairing or replacing.

With old furniture, I can't help but wonder what it's story is. The marks underneath means its probably home made. Was it a school project, proudly bought home by a budding furniture maker? Did an experienced man whip this stool up for his wife to reach the heights of her pantry? Maybe it was a gift, or simply an item made from scraps someone had lying around....

I will never know its story (the previous owner can't remember where she got it from), but I look forward to adding to its useful life, and showing you how it comes out along the way!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Local Creator: Opaque Handcrafted

Pic stolen from Lilla's Facebook page:

Nothing quite makes my soul sing like someone delving into a creative adventure, following their heart and dreams and putting their hand to something completely new... and the venture being a great success!

That's why I absolutely have to share Opaque Handcrafted with you. I met Lilla a few years ago, we worked alongside each other for a few months in Launceston. She is one of the funniest and stylish people I know so it didn't surprise me at all to find she's been making the most amazing jewellery!

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it but I am a hands down, tree lover. My folks are tree people - I think I knew how to spot different types of deciduous trees before I could complete my times tables as a kid (I'm still pretty rough on the times tables!) so to see Lilla using beautiful Tasmanian timbers in her work meant I was always going to be a hands down fan.

The timber paired up with the pastels of the resin work beautifully, and when Lilla started using copper, well, I had to make some mine! 

Over the moon when my package arrived, how sweet is her logo?

And here they are, sweet as can be, I absolutely love them.

Pic stolen from Opaque Handcrafted on Instagram - Lilla takes far better pics than me!

Shameless selfie wearing my new bling!

Well done Lilla on putting yourself out there and making such a stunning product - I can't wait to see what new stuff you come up with in the future!

You can find Opaque Handcrafted on Facebook:

*This is not a sponsored post. Although I know Lilla, she never even told me about Opaque Handcrafted, I had to stumble onto it myself on Facebook!* 

About Me

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I'm a young earth loving Tasmanian who loves nature, art, old things, handmade things, collecting things and embracing the lovelier things the world has to offer.