Sunday, 28 November 2010

10 day old beautiful baby

Photographed beautiful baby Reuben this week, so sweet at just 10 days old, officially the youngest baby I have ever photographed. Parents were great, really patient and I got a lovely bree and cranberry sandwich for lunch!!
Here are some of my faves:

Gorgeous or what.
Did my first baby bump photos this week too, will load them up next week sometime.

Hope you have all had a lovely weekend.  Paul and I went for a walk in some woods near us because it was lovely and sunny.  I love walking in the woods it always lifts my spirit. 
It is getting very cold here is the South of England now and is supposed to be -7 degrees tonight, eeek! 
Hope you have a good week ahead, not long now till Christmas, I am counting down the days till the end of term.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Another little house painting

Did this painting this week:

And look what I had in my scrambled egg today:

Double yolked egg?!?  What could be better?

I am feeling really passionate about my art at the moment, and quite motivated.  I am still struggling to accept that I cannot stop work tomorrow and become an artist full time, that it is going to be a long, slow process of exploration and development, but I am not letting this feeling stop me from doing anything like I have done in the past.  I have allowed my feelings of potential failure, fear of exposing inner self, and impatience act as a barrier to my true desire but I have tried to address these feelings over the last couple of weeks and overcome them.  Yes it is scary and I have to be brave, I have a lot to lose, but also a lot to gain.  I am feeling much stronger as if anything is possible and I am capable to taking the next step towards the life of my dreams, to the life I feel I am meant to live. 

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Some things that made me feel wonderful recently

I don't know about you but I am the kind of person who finds it very easy to find the negative things in life, some days I am so doom and gloom I am almost unbearable, I feel very sorry for my husband at times like this. 

I read Kelly-Rae Robert's blog, love it, love her, love her art and I find it really inspiring to read.  I am reading through her archive and one of the reasons she inspires me is that she used to be a sort of social care worker and gradually reduced her hours and is now a proper, paid, real-deal artist.  Reading her blog makes me feel like it is possible.  Remember the photo I shared of my studio?

I used to feel really down about the fact that this was my "studio", surely if I were to succeed as an artist then I would need a proper studio not just a dining room table.  That was until I saw this on Kelly-Rae's blog: (photo of her dining room table)

Finding little things like this just really cheered me up, every one has to start somewhere, even Kelly-Rae!  So perhaps there is hope for me yet!

This contrasted with all the lamenting and complaining that I normally do made me think that perhaps I should try to be a little more positive and think of all the wonderful things that have happened to me in the past few weeks that make me feel like life is great, paying attending to the delights in life surely make this journey much more pleasing:

1. Messages on my blog, oooh I love them!  It is especially fun when I get one from a friend or someone I know, I am like "  I right, people I actually know in real life read this blog!  (Thank you Melissa!)

2. Finishing a painting, yes I have actually finished one and I think it is good, yes I like it! It expressed me!

3. People like my photos, who knew!  I do think they look good too sometimes but I am always amazed when people look at my photos and just love them, I am so critical of myself. I find it hard to believe positive comments sometimes.

4. Reading in one of my pupil's art books that she likes her teacher!  (me!)  and that liking me makes it easier to do good work.

5. A phone call from my sister ringing just because.  Often when I have calls from siblings it is a request for a room for the night, I don;t mind, but it is really nice when one of them phones just for a chat!

6. A friend asking for creative advice.  I am like "me!? you want creative advice from me?!" it makes me feel special and like I may actually have a creative spirit to share.

7. People giving me doilies just because they know I love them.

8. My piggywigs squeaking and squealing when they think we are coming out to give them food.

9. Cuddles with hubby, I could really gust spend all day cuddling, I really could, love, love, love it!

10. Time spent doing art, it is so precious, rare and beautiful.  I treasure every moment I can snatch with my paint brush and a canvas, pad or piece of paper. Producing art fills me with so much joy, I am totally contented when I am making something.

What fills you with joy?

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Some thoughts on art

You may remember a few days ago I posted some photos I took at the community centre and said this at the end:

"I have got several bookings coming up for the photography. I am really glad I am doing it, and am really enjoying it, but had a real panic yesterday that I was still filling my time with something that wasn't what I truly wanted to do. My deepest desire is to create artwork, that is where my spirit is calling me. I will say more on this later, I think it needs it's own post."

Well this is it's own post, or something like it, I am gradually becoming able to articulate my feelings about my art and life, the more I write about it, think about it and talk about it the easier and clearer it becomes.

Fran left a lovely, thoughtful comment to my post:

"Do you not consider your photography art? I think your pictures are beautiful and very clever. I certainly think you are an artist"

and I wanted to respond to it.

I am afraid that I don't consider my photography to be art.  I feel that art should be saying something fundamental about the human condition and I feel it should express my own feelings. 

The photographs don't do this. 
I feel afraid of doing my own art work, I fill my time with other things; teaching, photography, tidying the house, making crafts, all these act as distractions from what is really calling me.  I think that I am afraid of doing the artwork because it is the only thing that is truly me, I am totally exposed in it.  With photography the camera and the people I am photographing remove the image from me the artist.  I can blame other things if the image goes wrong, but with the art it is only me...what if I fail?  I have no one to blame but myself. 

So it is becoming clear to me that what I really need to do it just go for it with the art, be brave, open my heart to the world whatever the result.

Here is a painting I have done since having these thoughts.  It is a fantasy place, a place in my heart that isn't real but could be in another life, perhaps the next life.  I have included several symbols that are becoming more and more important to me; a bird, a bird cage, geraniums and a heart. 

Please tell me what you think.  This is by no means "high art"  but it is meaningful to me and I think it is beautiful.

Art = peace

Just read this as someone's status on Facebook and thought it was wonderful:

If an act of war is destruction, then an act of peace must be creation.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

New items in my Etsy shop

Oooooh getting all festive in my Etsy shop with these vintage music sheet christmas baubles!
Took quite a lot of music sheet to fold each one of these babies, but I think it was totally worth it, they would also look great at a wedding or party.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Next Community Centre shoot

Part two of my community centre photo shoot; this time was far less stressful, I think doing it in the morning meant that the kids were awake and happy, also there was more time so I felt less rushed, I even had a comfort break! I was also happier with the results of the photos this time too, it helped that I had two lights rather than one this time.  Here are some of my favorites:

All in all it has been a good experience, I have learnt a lot from it and although it is not the thing I want to do most of the time, I think community shoots like this are really helpful and make a nice change.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Community centre photographs

Did a photo shoot on Wednesday at a community centre.  Never done anything like this before, it was exciting and nerve wracking.  Unusually I used lights, normally I rely on natural light, but because I did the shoot in the evening I had to use studio lighting.  It went well and was a good experience but was very stressful, here are my favorite, they are pretty traditional, but I think they turned out well:

I have got several bookings coming up for the photography.  I am really glad I am doing it, and am really enjoying it, but had a real panic yesterday that I was still filling my time with something that wasn't what I truly wanted to do.  My deepest desire is to create artwork, that is where my spirit is calling me.  I will say more on this later, I think it needs it's own post.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Guest Post!

Hi folks,
Tonight I have my lovely sister Megan staying with me so I thought I would let her do a guest post on my blog.  She is an amazingly talented fashion designer who graduated last year from her Fashion degree, you may remember this film I showed a while back of her Degree show, she also helped me design my wedding dress and made the entire thing for me:

(Megan is on the left), and here she is now:

Hi Meg, tell us a little about yourself:

I like Fashion, Dominoes Pizza and my boyfriend! I dream of being a successful fashion designer and going travelling. I hope to visit Thailand sometime in the future. I am currently living in Swansea with my parents and working in retail.

What is your idea of the perfect day?
Depends what mood I am in! Sometimes I like staying in watching DVD’s snuggled up on the sofa with some hot chocolate, sometimes I like going out and meeting up with friends for lunch.

What wouldn’t you leave home without?
My phone! My eyeliner, and a hair bobble.
What are your favourite shops?
Fave shops are Ikea, I really like going to Ikea, even if it’s just for the hot dogs! H&M , Zara, Attica and Cult.

What is on your wish list?
A yellow Citroen C2 and a round the world plane ticket, that’s all I want.

What is your favourite bargain find or product?
I once bought a top from Primark for 10p! It wasn’t very nice though. I bought a cardigan yesterday for £2.00 that was quite a bargain.

Who is your favourite artist and why?
Musical? I am gonna say Newton Faulkner, I went to see him with my boyfriend a while ago, he was really good. I don’t really have a favourite visual artist but my favourite designer is McQueen.

Where do you find your inspiration?
I find Victorian corsetry really inspiring for my fashion work. I love their structure and the way they shape the body.

Do you own anything unusual?
I have a purple Ukulele which I love, though I can’t play much on it. It was a present.

Who would you like to sit down to drinks with?
My boyfriend Kevin, and the Fashion designer Vivian Westwood! The radio 1 presenter Chris Moyles is funny, he would be a good laugh ooh and the primeminister!

Do you have any guilty pleasures?
I like dipping my Elevenses in hot chocolate and cheesecake.

What is your idea of a living hell?
Having to eat only vegetables for the rest of my life. I don;t hate all vegetables but if I had to only eat vegetables then I would be really gutted!

Thanks so much for letting me write on your blog!  I feel very special and honoured. I hope all you Serendipitychild readers have a lovely day.

Thanks Meg.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Allotment update

Take a look at this letter I received from the council last week:

Uncultivated and weedy indeed?!?  Pah, what a cheek!

Hmm well maybe they were right, it is pretty weedy.  (Even though I did plant two beds of broad beans and onions two weeks ago!)

So the hubby and I spent an hour in the rain, I put my fork through my welly and hubby pulled a muscle in his leg, but we ended up with this:

I think you will agree it is much better, still a bit of digging to go though.  Needless to say afterwards we were wet and exhausted.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

New items in Etsy shop

Listed some new items in my Etsy shop recently. The vintage music sheet bunting has been really popular so this time I made some with a create tape rather than black, just for a change.  I also really love the mini vintage music sheet bunting, it is so cute and would be great wrapped round a lamp shade.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Amy and Ryan's Christmas photos

Christmas is fast approaching and photos make the perfect gift! Amy and Ryan looks fab in their Christmas outfits and amazingly cute in their Christmas sack!! 

You can view other photos shoots that I have done on my photography blog: helenjackson or on my website helenjackson

Thursday, 11 November 2010

A lovely new treasury on Etsy

Made another lovely treasury on Etsy, I love doing these there is so much beautiful stuff out there, here are some of my favorite items:

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Sad again

Hi everyone,

I have been feeling really sad about my friend who I lost about a year and a half ago, you can read about it here.
I have been thinking about her and stewing over it again and thinking of things I could have said and didn't, or could still say but won't; I just wish there was something I could do with these feelings.  I remembered a poem someone wrote on the selfsufficientish forum that I visit and thought I would share it with you as it made me fee a little better:

“Reason, Season, Lifetime”

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life,
whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Aleksandra Lachut

I wish I could let go of her as easily as this poem suggests.  I wrote her a long letter back in August trying to explain myself and saying how sad I was that she didn't want to be friends with me anymore, but she never replied to it, the wound still feels really open and sore and I am not sure I know how to heal it.  I miss her.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Vintage wedding

As promised, check out these lovely vintage wedding photos that adorned the walls of the pub we went to for dinner at the weekend. The pub was xalled the Angel in Camarthen in South Wales.  I thought it was a really lovely way of decorating the pub and making it unique and quirky.  Some of the photos were really old mixed with some more modern ones, some were copies, some were original prints, some were very serious and some were fun and amusing, have a look:

It's Elvis and Priscilla Presley! Don't they both look so hansom.

 This is a beautiful 1920's wedding, this family must have been wealthy to have a wedding as gorgeous as this. How cute is the page boy?!

This couple look like a very serious older bride and groom, she has a fabulous hat, and he an utterly astonishing mustache.

This looks like a cheery wedding group, probably 1940's judging my the clothes.  I also love how the lights in the pub were reflecting off the glass, it looks so magical.

Look how happy she is?!

 Another classic 1920's/1930's wedding, loving the bridesmaids headbands.  Can you imagine that they didn't have photographers at the wedding in those days but had to go to a photography studio to have their wedding pictures!

This photo is hilarious, look how the couple are running away from their party having locked the door with a crucifix!! The way her dress is blowing makes it look like he is wearing a dress too!  I think this is a 1969's or 1970's wedding.

Gosh this is a sombre affair!  A Welsh wedding judging by the Welsh hational dress that the two older women at the front seem to be wearing.  How fortunate this family were to have a photograph of their wedding party.  Looks like late 1900's to me, lovey flowers.

Saved the best for last, how wonderful is this photo, I just love her expression so much! Can you imagine? Looks like a 1950's wedding, I love her dress so much, it is very Audrey Hepburn, or Chanel.
(edt:  discovered who these people are via this website, apparently they are  Eileen Petticrew with husband Robert Greenhill outside St. John the Evangelist Church, Notting Hill, London, 1965)

Really hoping you are having a happy week.