A Breath of Fresh Air

We do not inherit the world from our ancestors.  We borrow it from our children…. Native American Proverb

I am very blessed to live in a country as beautiful as Australia.  As our national anthem says, our land abounds in nature’s gifts of beauty rich and rare.  We have large amounts of sunshine.  Yet our government still insists on using fossil fuels rather than renewable energy.

We should be building wind and solar farms so to keep our  country the beautiful land she has always been.  For our future, for our  environment but most of all…. for our children.

A breath of fresh air



Jubilant – Weekly Photo Challenge

All I can say is Wow-ee.  Look-a where I am.  Tonight I landed POW, right in a pot of jam.  What a setup, Holy Cow, they’d never believe it.  If my friends could see me now…. Sweet Charity

I’m an absolute sucker for old musicals.   I have watched most of them over and over again and can still sit happily watching them for the umpteenth time.  Saturday afternoons on television when I was growing up was full of movies to sing along to.  Elvis, Tammy, Doris Day, Cliff Richard, Bing & Bob… the list goes on and on.  Some of my very favourites were anything with Shirley MacLaine in it.  My Geisha, Irma La Douce and of course the brilliant, Sweet Charity.  The music, the weak  recycled storylines, the glamour, the costumes.  They hit the mark on every aspect. They made me feel jubilant.

Sweet Charity was on late night tv late last year and I watched enthralled but with different eyes to what I used to see.  This time I was looking at the cinematography.  The scenes left me longing to recreate them.  I sat with my mobile phone in hand, snapping photos of every scene that sparked my imagination.  I have them all in my inspiration folder and will get around to them eventually.  But I knew I definitely wanted to do something along the lines of Charity dancing on the cigarette holder of a billboard flapper. The happiness on her face as she danced was so contagious.

I started looking for the suitable costumes for it and mentioned it to my friend Cheryl.  She started looking on Freecycle for me and within a day she’d uncovered a white tuxedo jacket.  It did  have a stain on the arm but I managed to get that out.  It was free.   Bargain.  Then she went op shopping and found a shirt, bow tie and vest all for the fantastic price of $10.  I went to a cheap shop and scored a white top hat for $4.95.  I was starting to see it come together.

My model, the lovely Sally, was on a friend’s facebook page and I got my friend to ask if she’d be interested in modelling and she was.  Then I went onto Ebay and got a flapper dress, head band and feather boa for just $10.  I already had a yellow wig from a previous photo shoot and the cane belonged to my grandmother.   I raced to the op shop and grabbed a pair of pants for the princely sum of $2.00.  Sally brought her own shoes with her, so all up, I spent $26.95, not counting the wig and cane which I already had.

As I’ve spoken about previously, costuming for a photo shoot doesn’t have to be expensive.  It just takes a bit of planning and lots of searching for the right stuff at the right price.  I ended up doing 4 different characters with Sally and you’ll see the others when I’ve finished them.  They may take quite a bit longer as they are a lot more complicated.

Among the Whisperings of the Champagne & Stars




Face – Weekly Photo Challenge

Shadows of the past wander with unseen & unheard footsteps beside us. Nameless faces lost in time……Livonne

Lost in Time



A Safe Harbour

Throw off the bowlines.  Stay away from the safe harbour.  Explore, Dream, Discover…. Mark Twain

A few years ago, I had the most amazing pilgrimage back to my grandmother’s homeland of Ireland.  I spent a lot of time with tears in my eyes at the beauty of the land I consider my spiritual home.  It was the trip of a lifetime although I pray it won’t be the last time I visit there.

I took thousands of photos while I was there. Whenever I look at them, they fill me with a deep yearning to be back there.   I loved everywhere I went but one of my very favourite places was the Aran Islands, off  Galway.  On our way back from the islands, we stayed at a beautiful guest house in Kinvara.  In the morning, we took a wander around the town and found this scene at the waterfront.  From this shoreline you could see Dungaire Castle.  I loved the serenity of it all.

I took a few photos around here and this was always one of my favourites.  I wanted to do more with it although it was beautiful all on it’s own.  I took it into Photoshop and removed the cars and telephone poles out of it.  I know they were part of the scenery but when I stood in that spot and took this photo, I didn’t see anything modern at all.  In my head I was looking at a scene from many many years ago.  Before cars, before power poles, before the world became so hectic. I really wanted to capture the feeling I got when I stood there.  The feeling that I had stepped back in time.  They say cameras don’t lie.  But to be honest, sometimes they capture more than we were focused on at the time.  This was definitely the case this time.  I didn’t want to share this scene with our modern world.. I wanted to enjoy the lie my brain told me on the day.

I’m planning on hanging this piece on my wall, so I wanted it to be a work of art and look more like a painting than a photograph.  Unfortunately, Photoshop removed the oil painting filter with one of their updates and whilst they have now added it back again, my computer specs need updating before I can use this version.  Luckily, my trusty laptop hasn’t been updated yet, so I was able to take the file to that, apply an oil paint filter and then take it back to my desk top to finish it.

I’m happy with it now.  It brings me back to the vision I saw when I stood there.  My brain didn’t see the here and now.  It saw a time long ago when my grandmother walked her homeland.  That’s what I want to remember.  What I saw with my heart, not what was  actually there.  Life is about experiences and perception.  It’s not always about facts and absolutes.  It’s too short to remember all the details, so we should just store the parts that touch our souls and leave more room…..To Explore….To Dream….To Discover

A Safe Harbour

and a close up of the same imageA Safe Harbour close up



Spread Your Wings & Fly

I watch her with loving sadness, as she dulls her shine to please others.  Will this butterfly ever soar?  Will she continue to pretend she can’t fly?  Her greatest life awaits this decision…. Steve Maraboli

spread your wings & fly