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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

1. Feeding the baby, I realise that this is a beautiful thing, that we’re lucky enough to do together several times a day.

2. At the park with two little preschooler friends. We all play together. I ride on the seesaw with my friend’s son; every time I check whether he’s had enough and wants to get off, he replies with a firm “No”, and we bounce for about 15 minutes, talking about planes and lawnmowers and watches. Baby is in the sling on my back and bounces off to sleep. Later we’re playing and my four-year-old friend pulls me around by the hand, looking for the pirate captain’s missing brother in jellyfish-infested waters.

3. Toddler’s new CD’s arrive. Instead of listening to Paddington in the car (again!) we have Winnie the Pooh, read by Alan Bennett. The children both fall asleep and I carry on listening regardless.

4. Teatime. More creative playing with food. Perhaps I should discourage this, but at the moment I love it. His pieces of fishfinger are arranged into a caterpillar, a bird, an elephant (“here’s it’s head, Mummy, and here’s it’s toes”), a frog, and a kangaroo. He’s so inventive and full of ideas.

5. Baby is becoming an expert at the “How big is he..? This big!” game. He finds it utterly hilarious.

6. I make plans for Husband and I to go for lunch in a couple of weeks, by ourselves.

7. Husband gets up with Baby and I sleep soundly until 9.00 am.

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This post is part of Silent Sunday at Mocha Beanie Mummy.

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Even the most casual readers of this blog will have guessed that I’m a teeny bit obsessed with iPhone photography, or to use the correct terminology, iPhoneography. Having a phone with a decent camera has allowed me to document my life in a way that I’d never have considered before. I’m now more convinced than ever that good photography is much more about capturing an interesting image than about using high-tech equipment and getting everything just so.

I started out taking pictures with the basic iPhone camera, but was quickly seduced by the charms of Hipstamatic. This iPhone app looks like an old plastic camera, and takes photos with a beautiful retro feel.

The basic app price includes (I think) three lenses, with the option to buy more to achieve different effects. Be warned, this can get addictive – I have just about every lens going and get excited when I new one becomes available to purchase. I loved Hipstamatic dearly, and used it faithfully up until Christmas, capturing some lovely images.

That is, until I discovered Instagram. Ok, so it doesn’t have the fancy interface of Hipstamatic. It doesn’t have the flexibility to be as creative: in Hipstamatic you can combine any lens with any film, plus one of several flashes, whereas Instagram has a fixed set of filters. But Instagram has two big plusses.

1. You can ‘Instagram-ise’ existing images. So you can take a photo with your iPhone’s regular camera

then play around with it afterwards, zooming in and choosing the right filter.

You don’t even have to take the original image with your iPhone camera; you can use any image stored on your phone.

2. Instagram is social. At first I didn’t get it. I was a bit sceptical about the idea of signing up to another social network. I wasn’t sure if I wanted people to see my photos, or what the point was. But I started seeing more and more people posting photos on Twitter, with these instagr.am links, and I decided to give it a go.

I linked Instagram up with my Twitter account straight away, which meant that I could see which of the people I follow were using the app. Following them on Instagram means that I see their photos in my feed. I absolutely love it – I see little works of art each day. Because the app is on your phone, people are taking photos all the time, of their day-to-day lives. My feed is full of witty, beautiful snippets of motherhood, of hectic, fascinating lives and of the world around us.

I follow a lot of brilliant people on Instagram, and I’m taking this opportunity to recommend a couple of my favourites. @tiddlyompompom takes consistently excellent images, sometimes funny and sometimes beautiful. @cosmicgirlie, as you’d expect from the talented photographer who started Silent Sunday, is always entertaining and impressive. @youngmummyuk takes some classic images of motherhood, as well as the rest of life, and @softthistle always makes me smile.

The only downside of Instagram is that once you’re public, you can’t Instagram an image without sharing it with your followers. So if I want to take something and not share it, perhaps if I’m shooting something particular for my blog, or if I want to take a lot of pictures of the same place or thing, I go back to Hipstamatic.

I’m sure there’ll be another big thing along eventually to grab my photography attention, but my love of retro iPhone photography will endure for a while yet. Oh, and I forgot to mention, a big plus for stingy iPhone-users like myself – Instagram is free. (And nobody is sponsoring me for this post, I’m just wittering about apps that I love).

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1. At a ‘playdate’. The dressing up box comes out and Toddler actually wants to dress up (this is a first). He’s a cowboy with a hat and waistcoat, riding on the little furry rocking horse. He’s a knight in shining armour, complete with helmet, although we leave the long wooden sword in the box for another day.

2. Making biscuits. I’m a bit fraught before we even start, so when Toddler knocks the bowl off the scales and spills flour and cocoa powder over the table, I get a bit cross. “What are we going to do now?” I snap, angrily. “Wipe it up,” he replies. Of course. What else could we do but wipe it up, forget about it and carry on?

3. Baby has a nice long nap this morning, so Toddler and I fit in some jigsaw time. When it comes to the Gruffalo jigsaw he says “You do that one, Mummy,” but then, as usual, he ‘helps’ me and does the whole thing himself with very little input. “I do these jigsaws really fast, Mummy.”

4. At home, Husband calls to ask me to turn on the computer. He needs to access it remotely from work to copy some files. As we potter around I see folders flashing up on the screen and the cursor whizzing around. When I next look, he’s written a little message to us.

5. At my Grandma and Granddad’s house. Granddad has made salmon fishcakes for the boys – he’s scaled down the recipe, but there’s no way to scale down ‘one egg’ so the fishcakes are kind of omlette-like. The boys love them and eat them with gusto.

6. I watch the last episode of Michel Roux’s Service, and shed a tear when he awards the final scholarship.

7. Toddler is going out with Daddy. I ask him for a kiss and a cuddle goodbye. He decides he wants to give Baby a kiss and a cuddle too. As Toddler and Daddy leave, Baby crawls at light speed to the back door to see them off, and when I pick him up he waves goodbye.

These Seven Beautiful Things are taken from my Three Beautiful Things posterous blog, where I post three beautiful things every day.

I’ve been posting three beautiful things every day for four weeks now and I haven’t missed a day. Sometimes it’s been hard to think of three things (especially this Tuesday) but most of the time I have plenty of moments that have made me smile. It’s struck me that a lot of my beautiful things are very similar – there’s lots of brotherly love, lots of baby development and lots of nice evening meals and wine. Lots of simple pleasures.

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This post is part of Silent Sunday at Mocha Beanie Mummy.

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Dear ‘Love to Play Puppy’,

Look, mister, I know your game. I know that lurking at the end of the bed in the dark, perfectly placed to find my feet as I crept away from a freshly-settled baby, was no accident. I saw you smirking as your jaunty Alphabet Song shattered the silence.

Maybe you’re jealous of Baby’s new Christmas toys; I know he’s abandoned you for the delights of large, noisy, flashing lumps of plastic. Perhaps it’s revenge for the times that I’ve stacked toys on top of you in the toybox at bedtime, ignoring your plaintive appeals to “hug me”?

Whatever it is, I’ve got you sussed. Pull a trick like that again and you might just find yourself in the cupboard with the shape sorter and Bumbo seat, waiting for the next NCT sale.

With kind regards, Kirsty

*****

Dear ELC mini kitchen,

I love that you’re encouraging my son to play imaginatively. Since you arrived not only has he started ‘cooking’ plastic sweetcorn and hot dogs, but he’s asked to join in with real cooking and helped me chop, add things to the pan and stir them up. His requests to share his imaginary drinks with me are an endless delight (no, really!).

I’d just like to raise one minor issue with you: could you please try harder to keep your oven door shut when the baby’s around? As I’m sure you’re aware, he loves to ping it open and remove your entire contents. I’m getting somewhat tired of finding brocolli and fried eggs under the sofa, stepping on tiny forks and hunting for the missing pan lid late into the evening. When you see him crawling over, just, y’know, try harder to keep all your bits together.

Aside from that, I’m loving your good work. Keep it up.

With best wishes, Kirsty

*****

Dear Buzz Lightyear jigsaw

Thank you for thoughtfully reminding me, as I stare in confusion at your unevenly shaped pieces and frankly crazy edges, and then in amazement at my toddler son fitting said pieces together at speed, that my spatial awareness is inferior to that of a two year old boy.

Yours gratefully, Kirsty

*****

Dear Nursery Rhyme ‘CD Player’,

Seriously? Are you kidding me? Maybe your country/rock take on the traditional nursery rhyme format went down well at the auditions for American Idol, but not here. Sort it out, ok?

With barely-disguised disgust, Kirsty

*****

This is my first post for the often hilarious, sometimes surprising and always entertaining Dear So and So at 3 Bedroom Bungalow. Do head over there to see the rest of this week’s letters.

 

Dear So and So...

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It seems that there’s a bit of a toy/play theme developing on my blog this week. Yesterday we were building a house from a cardboard box, today I’ve photographed one of our favourite toys. If I can stay organised, hopefully there’ll be another toy-related post before the end of the week.

So, for this week’s Gallery – Shapes: our beautiful stacking cups. I think our first son got these for Christmas when he was around four months old. We’ve played with them since he could sit up. First I built them up and he knocked them down. Then he slowly learned to fit them together himself. Now he can read all the numbers, quickly stack them in the right order, and build towers for his little brother to knock down.

I love the detail in these cups. The hexagon shape at the top appears again in half-hexagons round the edge. The ‘square’ cup has squares round the edge, the ‘triangle’ cup has triangles… for some reason I find this all very pleasing.

Neat and tidy, a set of perfect circles.

I bet we’ll see some really interesting photography for this week’s Gallery; head over to Sticky Fingers to check it out.

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