Friday, 20 July 2012

Chocolate cupcakes and peppermint icing ...

A little something to start the weekend off ...

For me it is going to be a really long one, so I feel that I need something to set me up for it.  I may even have a flake too.  Off to shoot a two day wedding tomorrow (!!), I am still trying to convince myself that I am not nervous.  What can go wrong, right?  The weather is supposed to pick up and the locations are beautiful.  Batteries are charging and the memory cards have been formatted.  All I need now is to try and get some sleep!  Wish me luck and have a wonderful weekend, full of cake and smiles :)

Monday, 16 July 2012

A little pile of books ...

How can you improve a day of wandering in the sunshine holding your sweethearts hand?  By finding yourself in a wonderful bookshop of course!  We're a bit light on that sort of thing up North (both sunshine and wonderful bookshops) but every time we visit Aberystwyth, my favourite way to pass the time is in the secondhand bookshop.  This time was no exception and I managed to come across a whole heap of great finds.  I am on a budget so had to limit myself but decided to splash out on some of these beautifully pink and illustrated Doctor Dolittle puffins.  Have you read any?  I hadn't seen them before and am looking forward to getting stuck in.  I am especially excited about Doctor Dolittle's Garden.  This is what Puffin editor Kaye Webb has written about it in the blurb:

"Of course, the Doctor had been talking to the bigger animals - dogs, cats, monkeys and so on, for a long time, but it was a great step forward when he began making contact with tiny creatures like insects.  
It wasn't easy.  Special very complicated machines were needed to listen to the sounds the insects made, and they were very delicate to handle.  When for instance the wasp went to sleep in his private jar of marmalade, the white mouse had to bath him, as no one else's hands were small enough to wash a wasp's legs and face without doing damage.  And there were sometimes a bit of trouble among the staff.  For instance, Dab-Dab thought the plan for a country house for house-flies was sheer madness and wouldn't put up with some of the others. 'Who cares what a cockroach has to say - or a spide either?' she said.
Then a giant moth as big as a house settled on the lawn.  It seemed to be connected with Chee-Chee's story of giant animals on the moon - and once again Tommy had a disturbing feeling that Doctor John Dolittle was making secret discoveries and laying secret plans.  Which of course he was." 

I would love to hear if you have read any and what you think of the series.  I also love the nature section of the bookshop.  Last time I was there I managed to find several wonderful things (I'll search them out for another blog post) and it didn't disappoint on Saturday.  I found a beautifully tatty copy of The Cherry Tree and a fabulous wild flower book.  With drawings like this one of the poppy, how could I resist?  I was running out of time, Rhid kept coming over to see if I was finished, so I just skimmed through to see the quality of its' poppy cover and knew that I had to have it.  I can't wait to see what else is hidden inside.
There were a few gems that I left on the shelves, even though I was sorely tempted.  A couple of Pelican British Wild Flower Books and a nature book, Notes from Walnut Tree Farm by Roger Deakin.  I have a copy of his Wildwood: A Journey through Trees from the lovely Nick, that I have yet to read.  It said that Notes from Walnut Tree Farm is a collection of notes and observations that Deakin made in his notebooks.  I aspire to that!  If only I could get past having to keep a notebook tidy and just write in it!

As regular readers of this blog will know, I don't usually write about books.  Mainly because my friends do it so much more eloquently than I do.  If you want to read some insightful and wonderfully fun blogs, then please head over to the afforementioned Nick or to the brilliant Paul (professional author no less!) or to reviewer extraordinaire Simon.  I suggest that you keep on scrolling if you like cute and fluffy.

 A beautiful young rabbit chewing on some grass.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

An overnight transformation ...

I have some beautiful red poppies close by and not only are they stunning to look at, but they seem to be a creativity stimulant.  Each time that I look at them, I have another idea.  I bowled over by their beauty and feel a burning desire to capture it; every fold, every crease, every shade of red to share with the world.  I'm being taken over by a small flower, an all consuming, delicate yet mighty piece of the UK flora.

 I really wanted to capture the opening of the buds with time lapse photography but I not wanting to leave my precious Nikon out to all the elements, I went to bed.  Leaving the bud bursting at the seams.  I could see the tight folds of the delicate skirt, knowing that the resulting creases in the petals would just add to the beauty of the final performance.  The tough bud protecting its fairy-like (if you ever get such a fiery fierce shade of red fairy) interior.  This morning I was expecting it to have unfolded slightly but was not expecting to see the flower in its full pose.  It was there, bold-as-brass, looking at me and willing me to take its' picture!  How could you stay disappointed with that for long?


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Adventures from my corner of the world ...

A few old sunny ones that I found tucked on the memory card.  They are full of blue skies and a lovely river.  They are from back in April, when the sun remembered to come out in the morning and the rain had better places to be.  


Thursday, 5 July 2012

A day in the life of ...

A day in the life of a small cat.  One large part sleeping (various locations), one small part eating and another small part yoga.  Oh for the life of a kitty ...


Monday, 2 July 2012

A weekend of lovely things ...

This weekend was one full of lovely things.  Yes the weather was awful again, I'm starting to think that British Summertime is actually worse than British Wintertime, but when you're doing nice things and with people you love it doesn't seem so gloomy.  I did lots of work, but the enjoyable photography kind, starting off with sending a few card parcels.  I am really enjoying writing little notes to my customers and wrapping things up with ribbon!  I haven't even had to queue at the Post Office too long, which is relatively unheard of!

A lot of kitten cuddling was had by all on Saturday morning, after being woken up at 5.30 am and finding shredding toilet roll everywhere!  Kiki is fed up with this weather.  She sits looking out of the window at the seemingly endless rain, wondering when she will be able to go out without getting soaked through to the skin.  She has taken to bringing her friends around to ours instead of playing outside with them.  There is Pixie, Jingle and Ginger (affectionately known by us as Gingero), who all clammer to get inside ours.  I think it has become some sort of cat motel.  They grab a bite to eat and then run upstairs for a kip.  Ginger is the smallest, although he has such a huge amount of fluffy fur it is difficult to tell by looking at him.  But pick him up and he's all bone and fluff, light as a feather and nervous as anything.  He shivers and frets, while all you want to do is cuddle him and give him some love.  Kiki, of course, is not too happy about this.  She doesn't necessarily want us petting her all the time but doesn't think it is right that we should give out hugs to other cats willy nilly.  Probably why she left us a present of shredded paper all over the carpet.  As you can see (below left), she is none too impressed by Gingero being shown some affection.

Perhaps it was the smell of baking that brought them all to our door on Saturday morning.  Seeing as the weather was bad and it was very early, I decided to experiment in the kitchen.  I wanted to turn a brownie recipe into one for cupcakes and add some pazazz, so what better time?  An hour or so later (and a ton of washing up later, grr...), I had a batch of raspberry, white chocolate and hazelnut cupcakes with raspberry flavoured, pink buttercream (topped with glitter).  Not only were the cakes topped with buttercream and glitter, but so was I!  I'm not sure how, but it was in my hair and I later found some inside my top...!  That was after I had eaten lots of raw cake mix, sampled a cake (well, you just have to, don't you?) and had a sugar crash, all before 9.30am.


Saturday afternoon brought a location scout for an upcoming wedding that I am doing (I am not nervous, I am not nervous, I am not nervous ....).  It is is such a beautiful location, a church in the sea, and I think it will be a rather beautiful day.  The setting is stunning, just the church is so tiny that the angles are going to be tight!  I did even contemplate hiding in the pulpit!  There are lots of photo opportunities there, we just have to keep our fingers crossed that it doesn't rain or is too stormy (or the wedding will get moved to a larger church on the mainland).

The church holds about 50 people and only has 3 small windows.  It is adorable though, white washed stone walls, beautiful beams.  It is so rustic and charming.  A total dream for a wedding!  If I were getting married here, I'd have beautiful little flowers and ribbons tied to the chairs.  In fact, it was sort of my idea that the couple are getting married here.  Rhid and I had said that we would quite like a very tiny wedding (when that day comes), possibly on a church on an island in the sea.  I like the idea of walking to it in wellies and popping on pretty shoes when I am inside...I was chatting to the groom, a year and a half ago, and mentioned this.  They thought it was a brilliant idea and they only live 10 minutes away from this church on Anglesey.  Perfect!  It's a lovely idea.  The views are wonderful; sea, mountains, beach.  What more could you ask for?

I even had time to squeeze in something floral before the rain set in on Sunday.  I found a tiny patch of poppies (small and windswept) and got a beautiful bouquet of roses from my parents' garden.  They adore roses and have (probably) hundreds, delicate colours and scents that fill the air.  I have always liked roses but never really loved them as much as my mum, but now I am starting to fall for them.  They come in such delightful shades and their scent can fill a room.  Shh, don't tell anyone, but I think they might just be stealing a tiny piece of my heart.