inspired by words | faded

faded1-mycreative faded2-mycreative A photo series inspired by words.

I have to admit this one was a little bit of a cheat.  I bought three peonies for my capture challenge still life and over the course of the week they faded from fuscia pink to candy floss to peach and from a coral to a buttery yellow.  It amazed me!  So I went and found these words inspired by the photos instead of the other way around.  You will forgive me I am sure.

“The flower bloomed and faded. The sun rose and sank. The lover loved and went.  And what the poets said in rhyme, the young translated into practice.”

– Virgina Wolf

faded4-mycreative faded3-mycreative I suppose the emotion that is triggered watching these flowers fade in so short a time raises the inevitable questions of mortality and passing time but what these words suggest to me is that although things leave, pass or fade for a time they are wonderful and to celebrate and enjoy them.  It seems like a particularly true sentiment for summer in this part of the world.

I thought I would also share some Italian words (in an attempt to increase my knowledge and as last time I did too).

faded – sbiadito (the “sb” sound is pronounced like a “z” apparently which I thought sounded very onomatopoeiac. Or am I just being a silly romantic?)

peony – peonia (simple enough that one!).

Previous words in the series: abundance

happy friday

happy-friday-peonies Grateful for

  • A hot shower! Ours broke and we had some cold showers going on for a while. I eventually moved to boiling water on the stove (since I kettle simultaneously died!) and using my pink jug to pour one over myself (tick off another use). Felt very strangely Victorian but nothing can beat a hot shower.
  • £2 peonies! I bought them on a Sunday afternoon from the florist in Wimbledon Village and boy are they amazing.  They look really great with the eucalyptus leaves in an old cut glass sugar shaker.
  • A lovely reader from Germany asking me if I would run an eat and snap walk-shop while they are on holiday here in August and another lovely reader asking me if I would do one in Birmingham. Wow what compliments!

Links for the week:

  • One for your diaries if you are interested in styling food for your blog. creativeLive has a weekend of Andrew Scrivani teaching food photography
  • I’ve seen these semlors popping up occasionally on the internet. I might have to try my hand at them.
  • Blog of the week: Anne Sage. You’ve heard of her right? The first blog I started following and I still get her posts in my inbox (feels old school). I love her writing style and seen how her style has changed over the years.  Inspirational!

capture | reveal i

capture-challenge-1-still-life-vanities-of-blogging-life So here is my capture challenge project!

The inspiration was this

vanities-of-human-life It is a still life by Harmen Steenwyck called “Allegory of the Vanities of Human Life” and can be seen in person in the National Gallery in London.

What was great about this challenge is that it made me dig deeper to learn a bit more about Dutch still life painting.  This type of still life is known as a ‘vanitas’ which is a religious painting which warns the viewer against putting too much weight in the fleeting possessions and desires of human life which will prevent their ‘salvation’.  Each of the pieces in the painting is symbolic, with obviously a high element of death and passing time (the skull, the time-device next to the skull and the lamp), books represent knowledge, exotic elements etc.  You can read more about it from Arty Factory if you are interested.

The composition of the painting is also very interesting with it being laid along two diagonal lines.  The side that is empty represents the spiritual space and the line of objects in the bottom quadrant represents death and time.

I thought I would go for something a bit more light hearted and am calling mine “The Vanities of Blogging Life”; a few of the fancies of bloggers, which might be fleeting but should be celebrated for sure.  I did try to follow the example of the diagonal lines and thought I got it pretty spot on.  I like to think the blank space I have left open is for ‘creative thinking’.  Of course I included the bloggers delights of peonies, macarons, cake stands (symbolic of baking), vintage jug and glass, vintage fabric, vintage camera (pattern forming?), Kinfolk magazine and of course washi tape.  The pink glass in the background might seem random but if it wasn’t so hot it might have been filled with ice-cream (but I think it would have melted rather quickly and made a mess). The cherries to me symbolise the joy I get out of blogging (the cherry on top of my life as it were).

capture-challenge-1-explained Some things which could have been worked on is the angle, I only really looked afterwards and noticed that I should have been at a lower height to the table.  Also the light in the painting is more light and warm but I didn’t think the colours I used worked better with a cyan filter and darker mood.

I did attempt to get a beam of light with all the items on the other side but my table lamp with energy saving lightbulb was unfortunately not up to the job so I had to change it all around and the skylight was only giving a lump of light rather than a beam. C’est la vie.  Most traditionally Dutch still lifes are lit from the left.  Can’t remember why but this one was being different.

If you are interested in the camera settings I used a tripod and had ISO 100, f/13.0 and shutter speed was 0.3s.

Righty, now on to the others who took part.  It was great to see what people came up with and what they were inspired by.  Glad that I could help inspire some left brain thinking and creative fun.


Read more about the inspiration behind the photos on photographers sites:

  1. Cape Town Waterfront at Twighlight by Creatography Labs
  2. French Peonies Outdoors by La Vie en DIY
  3. Rothko Monet Landscape by Randomly Happy
  4. Posé zeste d’orange by Kelly Young (no relation though I have known her for over half my life)
  5. Rothko by Emma Davies (with instruction!)
  6. Warhol Soup by Katie Morwenna

happy friday

happy_pink_friday_mycreative Things that made me happy this week:

  1. The dismissal of Prop 8 in California. Love is love!
  2. Catching up with some blog friends at Papermash‘s Crafternoon event.  I took photos and made a video.  You can see the video below.
  3. Adding a little luxury to my life: having brunch with friends at the Wolseley, buying a mug from Anthropologie (on sale) to have my morning tea in, reading Cereal on the commute to work, a gorgeous bunch of peonies from Columbia Road.  Sometimes you just need to makes things a bit more special, right?

Links for the week:

move over peonies, lisianthus is in town


Peonies seem to be the darling buds of bloggers.  And yes they are beautiful and I myself have attempted to capture their beauty.  But seasons change and peonies have come and gone.  Enter lisianthus.  These have the lovely peony colour (although the M&S British grown flower range also had deep purple and white).  What do you think?  Is the Lizzy a good seasonal option?