31 Jul 2006
30 Jul 2006
It was in this courtyard that lead to the tasting room. We had two types of Chianti - both the Classico and the Reserve. I loved the Reserve. Then we had a sweet, kind of fortified wine that you dipped these almond biscuits in. To be honest, it tasted like Harveys Bristol Cream which totally reminds me of old ladies and boring conversation about "In my day we used to .....". You know the kinds of drink I mean - like a sherry. Bluergh. We met a traveller from Quebec called Nicole. She had been backpacking round Berlin, Paris and then Florence. I hated her immediately (only for her freedom, mind!) The porr girl loved the experience but did find it lonely. I talked the hind legs off the girl, I bet she desperately wanted to be back being on her own again after I bored her to death with my yorkshire accent and sqeals of delight everytime I took a sip of wine.
29 Jul 2006
This is Florence at sunset down by the river - just in front of Ponte Veccio. Click on the picture to see it in its full glory. Taken on a manual setting with a slow shutter speed Im grateful that I caught the sun and its magical shades of reds as it dipped below the horizon to light up the morning on the other side of the world.
this picture below is one of many door knockers that I sawe and snapped. In Florence you don't have such plasticness of uPVC doors. All of their doors are wooden and have wither brass studs or knockers. So ornate and proud and beautiful. It truly is a place of wonder and these door knockers add granduer to hungry sight seer's.
The picture below is one Sarah took of me with a reflection of the Duomo. I took one of her just before this one not realising that I'd captured the reflection and of course I wanted one to remember for myself. I could stare for days at it - there are so many inscriptions, marble art and figures to pore over. I wanna go back :( - somebody magic me there and in return I shall give you herma!
Messages for my freinds as I can't get into hotmail neither :( - grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Roz, your stuff will be with you when I post out on Monday and Doolie? Ill ring you first thing in the morning. Ive had a bit of a hectic day. And Elin, I will get back to you Monday morning... just checking something out for you xx
Ill upload some pic-a-roo's tonight...... Ciao xx
26 Jul 2006
Today was earmarked for discovering daylight in the city and touching and absorbing all that it shone on. Im now taking a siesta in an internet cafe but our first port of call this morning was the Duomo. I was stunned, just stunned. Almost to the point of crying. As I just love old world culture, Ive relented to the fact that one must hug it with open arms and this will become evident when I show you my pics (unfortch, internet cafes here will not me download). Sarah and I have walked for miles in a blistering heat. My fascination for brass door knockers has spurred me on from passing out and old finials and iron fretwork has kept me awake. My camera has been so busy. I love my camera. I really do.
Tomorrow we have booked a Chianti tour which will take us through Tuscany and its Romanesque churches and villages, vineyards (and a wine tasting session - yum!) and olive groves (to sample some of those juicy little babies!). Im sure Im destined to die because that sure sounds like heaven we are going to. Im completely bursting with happiness and tomorrow just cannot come quick enough. The, as if that wasn't enough, on Friday we leave to come back but we will spend all day in Pisa. Im so in love with Italy. I want to come back and I will. I will, you know. I JUST WILL.
25 Jul 2006
Well, thats a big fat juicy lie because I'm surrounded by one hundred thousand summer bugs. Moths, mozzies and these hideous lime green big flies with a wingspan as wide as my hips. And that's pretty wide my freinds. Ive just unpacked from my mums to wash in preparation for Florence. On the way back I went shopping in the Trafford centre and bought some fabbo bargains. I love the summer sales, I bought far more than I planned for less.
Belle is back at mums for two weeks which is why Im going on a short break. Did you really think I'd leave her at home playing with matches, open bottles of bleach and encouraging posters of how to stick wet fingers into plug sockets?
Im just about packed for Florence with regards to "scrap supplies". Sarah and I have decided to cover paper bag pages (which take hours) so all we have to do when we get back is slot photo's in. Im doing a 5 bagger which is pretty huge by normal standards. I have no idea when we plan to do this becuase during the day I want to see EVERYTHING and at night its possible I will be getting wasted at the bar!
23 Jul 2006
21 Jul 2006
Also the speshals are up. This weeks title was "hero". It would have been too hard to choose between Mark (a true gulf war hero) and my father who saves lives every day. So I selfishly opted for myself. This layout is entitled "I am my own hero". Its quite therapeutic facing your demons and overcoming your shortcomings. This has been a mad year for me so far and this layout reflects my feelings, triumphs and emotions.
20 Jul 2006
19 Jul 2006
I tried the editing tricks on a couple of more shots below. LOVE EM!
18 Jul 2006
I promised to show you this scrummio RAK which I received from Lianne. Everyone wubs Lianne. her shop is to die for and her little bag lady of a daughter is truly adorable. So when she made me this in recognition of a layout that I made for her, I was almost in tears. She had decorated a wee tin and inside was this yummo bag charm. All hand made. Wubs her lots and forever.
As if that was not enough, Doolie boughted me a fabbio wee book from Muji. Man, I love that store. I gots a spiral note book, a fab mini box of staples and some natural type playing cards. In return for that I made her a little coaster at the crop becuase she just "bought" them for no reason other than to make me smile. Isnt that scrum?
17 Jul 2006
Im going to celebrate by showing you this picture of a double layout I did at the crop (title says "Meg"). Its 8.5x11 - do you normally have double layouts of this size? I loved doing it and check out all the space. I keep putting wee things in the space to try and fill it but Ellie thinks I should leave it well alone. Bossy little stink pants !!
16 Jul 2006
On top of that I did a wedding - a full wedding on my own and I also did the make up (I can do that too, you know!) My SIL's best bud got wed and needed a photog fast. In jumps Kirsty with her trusty steed (a Fuji S2 Pro) and here are some pcitures which I will run in a series this week. Jane wanted lots of fun photos, some official and lots of candid and I think I got the balance just right. You wanna see the wee cherubby dinky doo of a flower girl (her daughter Maddison). Oh she captured my heart and I wept when i saw how cute she was behaving. I ran from 5pm til 1030pm taking snaps of anything that moved. Jane and Phil will certainly be getting more than they bargained for becuase everyone was so relaxed about having their shots taken during and after a very emotionally charged blessing.
14 Jul 2006
Talking of cultures - watch this space. Anita and I are up to something!
13 Jul 2006
We just won't mention Zidane whilst we are there - huh?
12 Jul 2006
Infact on closer inspection - those red tones really need to go ... yeeks. And I swear Im not wearing lippy, thats how its turned out.
11 Jul 2006
Then came more gifts. I took some pictures of Suzannes family the other week and she had sent me along some beautiful clothes and shoes for Ellenor. Ellie is very hard to buy for because her frame is so small, so it's hard for her to look "trendy" as a 10 year old when you have to wear 6-7 year old clothing. We absolutely adore these shoes. Ellenor looked at them long and hard before she owuld try them on. As a kid who has to live in trainers and lightweight shoes - she takes footwear very seriously. But she loves them and left them by her bedside so that they would be the first thing she saw when she woke up (boo hoo, I want to be the first thing she see's!!). She also got sent some gorgous tops and I would supply pictures but Blogger is being mean to me on uploads. Suzanne sent shades of clothes I would have never picked but they truly are scrummy xx
10 Jul 2006
9 Jul 2006
But wee Heather? Well, she was just a darling but did let me know when a certain pose or two was making her neck ache. I did one shot where I said "pretend to be sad" and she practically burst into tears! Plus it was her 4th Birthday today so she was on tip top form.
Asides from a fun photo shoot we went Boots shopping. Not Boots as in your "feet" but you know, the chemist. i don't know what it is about Boots but I love the big stores. I am fascinated with grooming products, make up, camera equipment, clothes for kids, remedies, perfumes - the lot! We went in for some clippers for marks hair and ended up spending another £72 on stuff I really didnt need but will come in handy anyway. I got home and though "£72?". I could have got a new tote for that or perhaps a gazillion new papers or some chipboard or some alpha stamps.
Still, Ill be clean and smelling fresh for the next few weeks. Talking of which has anyone had a sniff of Lacoste "femme" perfume. Oh lawks - its gorgous. That and Dior's Accent. Yummyliscious. Well my Belle and I wear perfume everyday. She goes to school smelling like Debenhams. The wee thing also insists on having just Dove products. deodorant, bubble bath, shampoo and soap. She even has bars of soap in her knicky knacky drawer.
I think the Boots thing maybe inherited, don't you?
8 Jul 2006
7 Jul 2006
Ellie brought home her school report too. We are just as proud as we were last year. Ellie is the bottom in everything!!! And guess what - we don't care!! We love the fact that for every subject they marked her on, the quote stating that "she always tries her best" is good enough for us. I aint going to be a mum who gushes over her triumphs and tribulations cos basically it will never happen. But that does not stop us discouraging her neither. I will not mould me child into my ideals. Ellie will be Ellie and she will live such a wonderful life because she has air in her lungs, sight in her eyes and a wonderful heart that pumps fun, love and happiness into our daily lives xx
6 Jul 2006
Eventually we ended up in Costco to get some promo prints developed. I had massive 12x8 prints done of my latest shoots and I wanted to cry! Im used to seeing these shots on a flat screen but on printed photopaper .. in largeness .. sheeeesh, it was exhilerating.
The moral of the story? For every 20 bad days it only takes one good one to completely forget that you were ever in a crap mood.
5 Jul 2006
Something fun better happen in the morrow. Today has been just horrible (and hot). Can somebody make it happen - like...... erm Something fun. Nothing heavy, something pleasant .... A bit of rain might be good.
3 Jul 2006
Also - Im so excited about this - Im awaiting the approval of a piece of music to use on my photography site. Having this piece of music will fill me with so much happiness and in turn, send shivers down your spines too. I love music. It conveys as much emotion combined with photography as it does through sound alone. Initially I was plumming for "For once in my life" by Steve Wonder until I re-discovered a piece of music from one of my all time favvo films. Im not going to tempt fete by telling you just incase I dont get permission.
2 Jul 2006
Out of ... wait for it....... over 200 shots, these are the best. This is such good news. I love digi cameras. Hell knows what I would have done if we had only 35mm. All I know is that we would have reels of film with Ellie blinking or squinting. Long live the digi camera. And hey - Nikon. I really would like a D200. I have a brand new sigma 24mm 1.8 lens ready to fit to you.