Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Afternoon drinks

I met with some of my lovely friends this weekend and we went for drinks in' The Slug and Lettuce', a stroll around the Manchester Christmas markets and then out for a scrumptious meal and 'The Old Wellington' which I highly recommend.

I didn't take many photos, but I was particularly happy with this reflections snap shot I got early on in the afternoon!

Sunday, 20 November 2011


My beautiful kittens are growing fast. This is Pomme, she is the pretty little dainty one and is still really quite tiny. She isn't the most cuddly of cats as she's quite timid, so this is a rare shot of her sitting on Nathan's knee. However she is a little escape artist and even though she's only about 16 weeks old she's wanting outside all the time and has already ventured across the street!

Here's a photo with Squishy's 3 year old hand so you can get an idea of how little she still is!

She really is such a soft kitty - little ball of fur.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Halloween Fun

We had a little bonfire, fireworks and spooky halloween party over the weekend.
I was too busy running around scaring (aka entertaining) children and feeding people cakes and pumpkin soup that I never got to take many photos other than fun family snaps. So here's the best of a bad, but fun, bunch!

My Cauldron cake and spooky buns.

Fun activities for the children included apple bobbing, doughnut dangling, a skeleton treasure hunt and....

our Autumn leaves lucky dip, which was carefully guarded:

Thursday, 27 October 2011


Something a little bit different from our half term holiday this week.

I thought I'd make the most of my sister's large windows and have a go at silhouettes with the children. A little more difficult than anticipated but they were actually able to follow a little bit of direction and sit still enough for four or five shots each!

These last two are really partial silhouettes because you can see a lot more detail but that adds to the mood of the shot. I love how alike they look!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Woodland Walk

Just a few shots from my woodland walk around Barnard castle this week.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Barnard Castle

Various shots of Barnard castle from our walk through the woods and along the riverside this weekend. I wanted to get a few different angles. I must admit it is times like this where I'd love a *really* good wide angle lens!

The above is my attempt at recreating a very old image that I have on my wall that used to be one of my grandparent's. I'm not sure I was on the right place on the bridge but it's almost the same.

I've walked this same route so many times and in so many different ways since I was a young child that often I forget to look up and see just how impressive a view it is. The river Tees however never ceases to give that sense of peace and tranquility.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


I don't know why, but I have this desire to make pretty pictures from objects that most would not consider 'pretty'. I've been looking at our compost tub in the kitchen all week thinking about how much colour and texture there is, so I decided to take a few shots this morning. I would have spent more time on it but it is October and I live in Manchester and I started to get quite wet! The rain did make the ground look shiny though...

Obviously with these two photos I've done a little bit of post-editing, but mostly just a little change in saturation and contrast, not much more.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

50mm play

I bought a new 50mm lens the other day and have messed around with it a little bit in the house but today was the first time I went out with it. Unfortunately I've been feeling quite ill so my park trip ended pretty quick. These two photos were the beginnings of me making the most of the aperture!

Friday, 30 September 2011

Piccadilly Gardens

The unexpected but very welcome sunshine prompted me to take a few photos in Piccadilly gardens this afternoon. The shadows on the sound barrier added a little something extra to the scene.

Of course, because of the beautiful weather, half of Manchester took to the city centre and I had to stand here for about 20 mins just to get a few mediocre shots without humans in the way!! There's a fine line between having people in the background giving an impression of the hustle and bustle and random figures ruining the shot!

Saturday, 17 September 2011


Kitten snuggles.

Almost two weeks ago my beloved cat Brooklyn went missing. We've looked all around the area and put up posters but no sign at all. We had been planning to get a new kitten to add to our little family but when Brooklyn disappeared I decided that I wanted to get two kittens instead.


.... and Hopscotch.

They've been with us just over a week and have settled in nicely. This afternoon there was a rare moment of stillness in decent lighting. On the whole they're either hidden away or running around like maniacs so as soon as they cuddled up in the sun out came the camera!!

N.B Do you have any idea how difficult it is to take a picture of a black cat lying next to a black cat?

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Sandy dog

Whilst on the beach in Abersoch I spotted this little dog playing in the water and decided to have a go at some 'action' shots. The sun was really bright which made for lovely colouring but in every shot there was something in shadow that would preferably have been in the light!

I set the camera to f/11, 1/400, iso 200 because I wanted to capture the water splashing as well as the dog in action! I probably should have had iso at 100 but I'd read a book recently that suggests a default of 200 and I hadn't changed it.

I'm quite happy with the result considering I was following a random guy and his dog around the beach trying not to look too suspicious and stalker-like. I may have to borrow a man and his dog again one day and take more time over it, because let's face it, doggy photos are cute!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The Jaffa Cake of all Jaffa Cakes.

When there's a birthday you have cake.
When you're the household baker you have to think up what cake to make.
When you're baking for a 3 year old it's easy to come up with something exciting.
When the birthday boy is 31 it's not so easy.

When you see a good idea you steal it! And this was a fabulous idea! Fabulously delicious.

It really did taste as scrummy as it looks. Possibly more so. It was definitely more-ish and almost flawless. I wish I could claim that it was all my own idea, but alas it was not!

The Giant Jaffa cake is very easy to make though. Bake the sponge in a frying pan.

Make some orange jelly with half the amount of liquid as usual and set it on a plate. Put the jelly onto the sponge.

Melt the chocolate and pour onto the jelly and sponge, et voila!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011


It's a fly crawling on a window. I took photos with my macro lens and used the manual setting. Not sure there's much more I can say.

I like the wings, so that is what I tend to focus on.

It's fascinating how the wings can have such vibrant colours in one shot, and yet be so translucent and colourless in other shots. It's not photo editing, it's to do with the light I expect.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Henna Tattoos

My lovely and talented sister (in law) Leah was very kind and gave up part of her evening yesterday to do this henna tattoo.

(I shall just add a disclaimer that this is natural, traditional henna, not that awful black henna with PPD in it! Natural henna is highly unlikely to cause any kind of reaction in your skin, but black henna can burn and even leave permanent scarring so please be careful when getting henna tattoos from street sellers - always ask what kind it is!)

Over the past couple of weeks we'd been having fun with the children doing transfers, face paints and little henna tattoos on their arms, legs and even bellies! I'd really wanted a more traditional type of tattoo on my hand but they take significantly more time and are awkward to allow to dry when looking after young children. So last night we sat the girls in front of a dvd (or two) so that we would be undisturbed....

The finished product having just brushed the dried up henna off late last night:

The tattoo this morning, quite a bit darker and likely to darken even more over the next 24 hours. I'm really pleased with it: