We only do £10 gifts in our home for Christmas (though I guess it will be €10 now). But that doesn’t stop me having a hankering for these items on my personal shopping list. I thought I would share them incase you hadn’t discovered them yet.
3 December 2013
1 December 2013
A few weeks ago Freya of Nishantishu asked about some DIY christmas ideas. Ché from Indieberries and I joined in a discussion with a couple idea. We then thought we would join forces to create a couple of “cheap and dirty” DIYs – things scrounged from the earth and your cupboard type ideas. Honestly these are more some inspirational ideas (because they are so easy) than DIYs but hopefully you find it useful. In the end the only thing I bought was some string and ribbon which was less than €8 all together (and I still have loads left).
Having moved country and not brought any Christmas decorations, with the added bonus of a really minimal budget to spend, I was keen to use things I could find for free or had on hand. We don’t have much floor space either in the living area so I thought garlands and wall decor was the way to go.
I had some large star cookie cutters and simply tied them to a stick! (Told you this was easy). You could obviously use any seasonal cookie cutters you liked and make more layers with more string and sticks. You could even do a sort of Christmas tree shape.
Keeping in theme with the stars… I am not one to usually cut up books but honestly this book had last been taken out of the library in the 70s and was basically a list of American historical fiction. I didn’t think anyone would miss it if it turned into a garland on my wall. So I used this tutorial for origami stars. I used washi tape to stick the two pieces of the stars together. I then used mini pegs (which I had) to attach them to the string. I am sure you could also use washi tape to attach them. Admittedly these would look better on a painted wall but that would have stretched the budget! Alternatively use different coloured paper in the festive colours of your choice.
Glitter tape garland
Not an idea of mine at all but I thought the wall could do with a bit more sparkle. Just fold some glitter tape over string and cut at the bottom to make tags. I had the tape but you can stock up on endless colours at Papermash.
First take a nice walk to pick up some pinecones. If they are closed placed them near the heating and they should open up soon. Then put them in a giant pickle jar. If you are feeling fancy tie a pretty piece of ribbon around the top. I had thought to do some Sharpie drawing on the jar but my gold sharpie wasn’t up to the challenge.
Told you simple right! Head on over to Ché and Freya’s blogs to see what they have been up to. We would also love you to join in! So if you have any “cheap and dirty” Christmas ideas to share leave a comment or tweet/instagram about with the hashtag #cheapdirtyxmas.
26 November 2013
Christmas shopping for the photographer in your life can be a bit of a hard one because in reality you all know we just want another expensive gadget. But there are some more pocket friendly ways to go too.
- Although we may be proudly Nikon/Canon doesn’t mean we always want to wear that across our neck. A new (and more comfortable) camera strap is likely to be appreciate. There is even the option of DIYing this one, like with a scarf. This is a perfect gift if you have a self-imposed Christmas budget (we have £10 per present).
- Sometimes we spend a bit long browsing pinterest for inspiration – so how about a book of a great photographer’s work to pull us off our computers. For some ideas how about Humans of New York, Vivian Maier or William Klein (Image source)
- We might have moved into the digital age but film is far from dead. A second hand vintage 35mm camera is as cheap as a point and shoot and will help hone some skills like composition and considering a picture before snapping away and taking 100 shots. This one above is actually just a point and shoot (but is pretty no?) but keep an eye on the Vintage and Class Camera Co for some reasonably items in good condition.
- Or what about membership to your local photography gallery? Membership to the London Photographers’ Gallery gives free access to some other galleries in Amsterdam, New York and others too so well worth the price if you are planning on travelling too.
- Sadly it isn’t just lenses and lighting and bodies that cost money – a good camera bag is a bit of a pricey item too. I personally love the ones that look like you aren’t carrying around 1000s of pounds of gear around. So if you are going to spend some money the Ona bags are beautiful.
So what do you think? Useful items for the photographer in your life? Do you have any other suggestions?
23 November 2013
Having moved and not having brought much of our ‘stuff’ with us I am craving homey, comforting, special pieces. We don’t really have the funds for a splurge but if I think I might slowly collect beautiful pieces that I can be drinking out of when I am 60.
These are a few of my favourite spotted around the internet lately: Bulb Design Studio | Toast | Ebury (two in middle) | Folklore | Decorators Notebook. I love the earthy colours and am in equal amounts of love with the glazed and matte varieties.
I think ceramic tableware would also make a lovely gift as it requires some careful consideration to match the person to the correct ceramic style.
Also you might want to start following Ederle until the shop is up because I want the whole collection of that.
11 November 2013
It is that time of the year when I start thinking about a little bit of Christmas decor. The stores here are amazing. There are a whole bunch which seem to be selling solely Christmas items and whole aisles dedicated to nativity elements! I imagine little Italian families buying a different addition each year – a cow, a street lamp (yeah some pieces are a bit weird). I am not sure what takes up space on the shelves at other times of year – I suppose I will find out. Sadly it isn’t quite to my taste but I love the festive cheer and will certainly be buying a supply of the fake snow for the windows!
Last year I went all out copper, but this year I am a bit more uncertain. Whichever way I go it will have to be done on a strict budget of about €10, so we will see how we can make it happen. I am tempted to go late at night to a nearby Piazza and snip some boughs from a couple of the olive trees (hopefully the Italian authorities aren’t reading this). I am really loving the idea of bringing some festive greenery into the house.
Perhaps with a touch of zinc …
or maybe even much simpler with just some greenery and wooden elements Despite all this simplicity I am tempted by these – Christmas lama anyone?
I am pinning away lots of inspiration over on my holiday board if you want to see more.
7 November 2013
I’ve been watching Ben Willmore on creativeLIVE. He did a live workshop on “thinking like a photographer” (available to buy if you are interested). It was targeted at new photographers but I find it useful to sometimes start at the beginning again to pick up some new tricks and refreshing the mind.
In two days he obviously covered a lot of things. One tip that I found really useful is the idea of evaluating a scene and working out what is the positive, negative and neutral in order to compose the best picture. The positive is generally the subject that first attracted your eye to want to take a photo although there might also be some additional things in the scene that could also be included. Negative can be something ‘ugly’ or unpleasant – litter, some busy ‘activity’, etc – or simply distracting. The neutral is a plain space like a dull sky, road in front of a building, etc. The goal is then to eliminate as much as possible the negative, minimise the neutral and optimise the positive. Obviously one trend that would not totally follow this advice would be the concept of negative space (something that I am particularly fond of for landscape images.
I thought this was a good example of this in practice (although in no way the best or most exciting photo I’ve ever taken – I occasionally like to think I am a wildlife photographer).
The picture above was taken as I approached the bird which was standing on a wall on a hill-top. There is a lot of neutral going on – the blown out negative space which doesn’t work to create the calmness you get from a good use of negative space. I had already moved closer to remove the “negative” which was a light pole.
By changing my angle and zooming in further I got a picture which had better exposure and by framing the bird in the top triangle which is light (but not overpoweringly so), your attention is hopefully drawn there. As I said not the most inspiring images but you can even learn from dull images!
I think this is great advice and I am going to try to be more aware of it when taking photographs.
What do you think? Will this tip be helpful for you in composing a better image?