Dec Self-Portrait Project | 3

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Making progress today! I knew that I couldn't concentrate on anything else until I worked through some foundations for this project.

In my last post, I said I was practicing some self-portraits. Well, along the way, I decided that I'd use some of them. There are no rules for memory keeping projects. I know that trying to take one decent selfie each day in December just won't happen. There are many times the only button I want to push is delete, and also many days when I just don't feel like taking photos of myself.  I'm sure you all have those blah days too? 

I'm just going to mix up the photos and use in the order I choose as this project progresses. My journaling will be the days thoughts though.

I'm using the Paislee Press kit I purchased last Christmas because this year I'll be using different bits from it. 

The calender is a freebie download from Azzari Jarrett. I printed it on vellum. 

My journaling will be on white cardstock. 

Tomorrow's mission is to buy some tape and photo glue. I think I'll use a combination of both adhering back to back, so hopefully the pages don't part company in a few years! (Have a problem with chipboard alphas and some other bits on my old scrapbook pages).

So, pretty excited to get on with December now. Bring on the magic!

Dec Self-Portrait Project | 2

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I'm so glad I had a moment when I decided on a whim to pursue a little December project - my own type of December Daily in the form of a self-portrait mini book. Pleased because as soon as I made that decision, I realised that these types of projects just don't come together without any fore-thought or planning. Pleased because I have a couple of weeks to get ready. I started by reading over my own Self-Portrait class lessons at Big Picture Classes. Yes, it's always good to read and refresh.

There are 2 aspects to it: the actual photos and the making of a mini book/album.

My intention is to use one (maybe more some days) photo and add journaling in the form of thoughts about the day.

What's so hard about that, you may ask? Well, without an overall plan, what sort of photos do I want to have?  I set up a Pinterest board and added photos of people which inspired me and which I thought I might just be able to use as a cue for my self-portraits. I'm aware that 9 times out of 10, I'll probably take photos without referring to this, BUT it's there if I feel uninspired and subconsciously, these images are already embedded in my memory, so hopefully a little bit of their magic may transpire in my work. If nothing else, they give me something to strive for.

To stay on top of this project, I also want to keep it simple and clean. I thought about using an album but then, inspired by Liz at Paislee Press, I decided to make my own covers from chipboard and will keep it together with rings. It's 6x8 - a size I love. I'll have the photos printed matte rather than the usual gloss I favour because I feel it will stand the handling better. I'll stick photos/cardstock back to back using tape or photo glue... probably a combo.

Yesterday, my 16 year old daughter, who has the best Christmas spirit, talked me into putting up the Christmas tree, at least a week earlier than usual. After all her studying and exams, it's the least I could do to make her happy! It was a good opportunity to practice self-portraits using both my iPhone and DSLR. I'm so pleased I had time to experiment. Getting settings and focus correct was a mission, especially as we were wedged in a corner and I had to sit the camera on the mantle piece. It was a grey day and the light was fading. There were plenty of misses, but some keepers. At the end of the day, if I only salvage one really good shot from each session, I'm happy. At first I wasn't thrilled with any of them. They are okay. But on reflection, I took my own advice, and looked a bit harder at the 'imperfect' and actually my fave of just me, is one where I'm out of focus slightly. I know just how I'm going to use that one.
And a comparison.
iPhone so lighting was easy.
SLR. Slightly dark but I can adjust in PSE. I do like the lighting on our faces though.
Practice, practice, practice.

Thanks for stopping by, Donna xx

A December Daily Self-Portrait Project

Monday, November 16, 2015

For a while I was sure I wasn't going to participate fully In Ali Edward's December Daily this year because last year I made a pretty comprehensive photo book. I don't want to find myself repeating the same things each year. For me Christmas has changed a little as my children have entered their late teens. I'll still add our family December stories to my Project Life album.

So for a while I decided that would be it... and then I started craving another project to plan out. Not that I don't already have enough underway! And don't ask me if I've finished Week in the Life yet! I gave a little thought to what I've worked on this year, and of course my Self-Portrait class for Big Picture classes came to mind. In that class I wrote that last Christmas Day I was only in one photo (and that was one I took on the timer). I was also only in a few the whole of December. The whole reason behind my class is to show you that it's not hard to make a habit of taking photos of yourself - beyond the handheld selfie so you have yourself in your own story.

I've set myself a challenge to take a photo each day in December until the 25th. Well, at least to choose one self-portrait from each day. I think I'll make a simple journal or album using these, with maybe some brief journaling of my thoughts each day. Not entirely sure yet how it will come together but I know that first I want to experiment with different photo techniques, locations, processing, etc. I want to get out of my normal thought pattern and push myself-ie!

If I enjoy the process, I might just carry this on as a 52 week project for 2016.

I'll share some of my tips and techniques here, but if you want to learn more and maybe get a head start, check out my class at Big Picture classes, where hopefully you'll get some inspiration. And feel free to join in with this project. I'll be posting here some days, but more often on Instagram. I'll use #DecSelfPortraits to keep them together.

The great thing is, December Daily can be whatever you want it to be. Whatever you do will be precious.

Project Life | Oct 3

Thursday, November 12, 2015

It seems ages since I shared any pages! There have been many in progress but waiting finishing bits, like journaling!  Here's a finished double page, celebrating all good things SPRING kicking in, as well as that the World Cup rugby was underway... which I'm proud to say... New Zealand won again! We love our All Blacks!

I've had to start a new album so made the decision to go with 9x12 inch pages, which was my intention for next year. Mostly I intend to cut down Design F but I have some other Designs in mind which I'll cover when I share.

I'm far more comfortable with this size. Why? Not sure exactly. If you followed me last year, you'll know I dabbled in 8.5x11 for a few months. I feel 6x8 is too small for my family album and just love filling 9x12. The only thing is there are less 6x4 slot options but I have a few ways around that.

Products Used:
Becky Higgins Project Life Pages Design F (trimmed)
Becky Higgins Everyday Edition kit and Midnight Edition kit

Project Life is a system for memory keeping by Becky Higgins. This year I'm part of her Creative Team. You can find out more about Project Life here.

Thanks for stopping by:)

And so, where to from here?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

I've been around on this planet long enough to know that the journey must be savoured because sometimes we get to the destination and realise it's not the euphoric ending we envisaged.

What I mean by that is if we allow ourselves to think about an end goal too much, we may shortcut our way to the end, or not enjoy the whole process (both the good and bad, the easy bits and hard bits). If we do this, we're in danger of feeling flat, possibly even let down by what we thought was going to be a cool outcome. It's like cheating on yourself and being the loser.

Nothing has backed up my feelings and got me so fired up as reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I'm in the final chapter and not wanting this book to end. I feel as if Elizabeth is talking to me, or that I'm having a conversation (or counselling session with her!). Added to that, she could equally be talking to my son... and if you've read this book, you may feel this connection too.

Reading this book has helped me get to grips with a few issues I've been having - the obvious creative problems regarding fear and courage. Reading this book has also allowed me the opportunity of talking to my son about his learning process and possible future. He is choosing his path for the future and it probably won't be a very easy one. But then again, who wants easy? And what path doesn't have difficult bits anyway? So very proud of him for what makes him, him.

So, as the year closes in on us, I spent a little time reflecting on the year for me to date. It's, at times, seemed hard, one foot in front of the other stuff. But so much has happened that I pinch myself about! The opportunity to be part of Becky Higgins Creative Team 2015 still blows my mind (and the call is out now for the 2016 team. Here are the details. I encourage you to go for it!).

I was also given the opportunity to write 2 classes for Big Picture Classes! I am writing a post about one of them - SELF-PORTRAITS, so check back here soon and I'll have some tips for getting you in your Christmas albums.

Meanwhile, if you've read Big Magic, you'll understand what I mean when I say an idea entered me. It was some time ago and I feel extremely lucky that it's stayed with me while I've been thinking it through. Now that I have read this book, I know I just need to get on with allowing this idea to manifest itself completely, work my a*se off and set it out into the universe!

Beach walk capture

Friday, October 23, 2015

It was one of those mornings I regretted not taking my camera on my walk. There were spits of rain as I left home and although I planned to walk over the hill to the next bay and back around the coastal walkway, I decided not to risk it in our fickle weather. Fortunately my phone takes good photos and I was able to capture some of the magic. Tide out + partly cloudy sky = beautiful.

A whole lot of the cliff has collapsed... the continuing erosion problem.

This is Murray's Bay to Mairangi Bay in Auckland. All photos taken with iPhone 5s.

Thanks for stopping by.

Project Life | Oct1

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

That moment when you realise you love October and it's disappearing before your eyes. In my world it's spring. For some of you it's fall/autumn. Whichever hemisphere you live in, I think it's a pretty nice time of year. Despite the terrible sinus problems from the pollen, my daily walks continue to fuel me with the magic of the season and these pages are pretty much a simple summary of that.
Products Used:
Becky Higgins Project Life Pages Designs A and F (trimmed)
Becky Higgins Everyday Edition kit and 
Ali Edwards Digital stamp
Elise Joy digital stamp

Project Life is a system for memory keeping by Becky Higgins. This year I'm part of her Creative Team. You can find out more about Project Life here.

Thanks for stopping by:)
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