Thursday, 30 April 2009

Migration is not a crime

I've just heard on the Radio 4 news that this piece of graffiti by Mr Banksy in Glastonbury has been painted over by some overzealous volunteers. (I shot the photo above in Manchester). The man who owns the wall is none too pleased as he was due to sell it for £5K and had made an arrangement with the Council that it was not to be painted over! Can't help but be amused really.

I photographed the same piece in Oxford where the obviously see things differently.

Featured in Two Lovely Treasuries.....

I've just installed the 'Re-Tweet' buttons on my blog - you can see them on the top left of my posts. I'm hoping that if people read something they like or are mentioned in a post that they will hit Re-Tweet so that we can all get a little extra love to our blogs, shops or whatever.

More POEtry
by Flanders Field

Mines the middle at the bottom, don't know why my marker didn't save....

Pass the Salt and Pepper Please
by Jen Reese7

Thanks very much to both Jenn and Jenny for showing off my photos in your beautifully collected Treasuries. Fingers firmly crossed for two Front Pages!

Don't forget to Re-Tweet if you like what you see.....

Monday, 27 April 2009

Flowers after the rain

I popped out to explore some localish gardens for the first time this afternoon. It had been raining all day and the tulips were sodden and sparkling with raindrops in the sunshine.





Sunday, 26 April 2009

A splendid Sunday lunch at home.

It's been a weekend dominated by today's lunch. Planning started way back on Wednesday when mum was over for supper and we hatched a lunch. It's wasn't big on catering standards, but we were expecting to be eight and that's actually quite a lot of work when you cook every little thing yourself. I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm a great believer in that if you invite people to your house for food that you should make an effort and cook for your friends, you don't have to spend days or a fortune, but generosity, good seasoning and plenty of wine with generally do the trick. Here's what I cooked and what it looked like.

Lamb Koftas in progress

Lamb Koftas

Lamb Koftas

Lamb Koftas

Chicken with mint, garlic, chilli and lemon

Chicken with lemon, mint, garlic and chilli

Couscous Salad

Couscous with herbs





Roast vegetables with feta cheese

Roast veg and feta cheese

I cooked the roast vegetables on Saturday so that they would all mix together nicely overnight. Yesterday I also skinned and boned a pile of chicken thighs and marinated them in their tasty marinade and mixed up the koftas. This morning, I added the feta cheese to the roast veg and made it look pretty, made the kofta mix into little balls and cooked in the oven, cooked the chicken in batches in the wok, made the tzaziki and the harissa and chopped a forest of herbs for the couscous. Then everyone arrived and we ate. It was delicious and I've enough couscous left to last me for days!

Very Charming!

As I've mentioned before I've sold a few of my Digital Collage Sheets and one of my lovely customers, The Charm Lady, from Canada got in contact with me yesterday to show me what she's done with one of the images, the image I call 'Cow Parsley Frilly' she calls Queen Anne's Lace and here it is, isn't it pretty!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Which Photo is Better, Before or After?

I've been revisiting my old Morocco pictures and started to re-edit and re-tweak some of them as my skills have improved since I went through them for the first time and I've learnt some new tricks and have got some new plugins for Photoshop which I'm enjoying but am not quite sure about. Here's an example of a before and after of one of my favourite pictures from Chefchaouen:



The After one looks a little softer on some of the edges despite all of the additional detail which has appeared but I like that where lots of extra colours have appeared in the floor and the extra texture on the wall and floor. I can't decide if the whole look is just too processed.
Any comments welcome!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Scrabble Tile Sheet - loads of cool images.

I've just made a super punchy new digital sheet with 48 tiny-tiny scrabble pendent sized through the viewfinder images. There's a nice mix of pretty, urban, graffiti and cute. As well as the mini images I've added six two inch squares as I couldn't find any more tiny images!

I really like this, it's so colourful and I hope that all of those jewellery makers out there do too....

I'm off to drop Peter at the station in Manchester in a minute but have had time to check in with Etsy and be very pleased to find this cool and stylish Treasury of silvers and greys with my Cherry Blossom print. It seems odd to see a spring image with such sophisticated muted tones, but it was very well spotted by the curator as it fits in very well indeed.

Now that we have all the great tools for checking if your in a Treasury or not it means that I'm always aware of what's going on and yesterday for the first time in ages I wasn't featured in a single one, had no hearts and very few view and it felt really odd! Anyway it's good to be back on track with the third sale of the Digital Collage Sheet of Through the Viewfinder images and this little lovely:

Silver and Grey Goodies
by Silver Giraffe

I think I'll make a digital sheet for scrabble pendents later today - are they still popular? Must do some research when I get back from the gym.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Spinning, lights, candyfloss......

I've finished the funfair pictures with the process being somewhat interrupted by my snap decision to make a Treasury half way through! It's interesting to see that all of the pictures I've put in my Treasury have that particular Etsy look about them, you know what I mean, the desaturated, slightly vintage look which seem to be what all the big photography sellers are wearing these days. When I make my own pictures they are usually full of colour and light, this is my real and natural preference for photography, I do like the whimsical Etsycentric look very much and I have certainly tried to fit in with the cool kids by having a go, but it didn't really work for me. So I give you full Eyeshoot styled full colour, non-whimsical, non-antiqued big and bold funfair pictures!






I'm in a pretty Treasury today, all greens, pales and whites!

Just One
by Huismus

All the Fun of the Fair.

I've been editing the pictures which I took at the Easter weekend funfair at our local(ish) scary park. While I was deep into it, I decided that it was time that I snagged myself a Treasury as it's been quite some time since I did one for myself. I navigated over to the Treasury page and the lists were, can you believe it, at 336. So I utilised all of my super fast Treausry making skills to put togehter a photographic funfair themed selection. There are some great pictures on this theme on Etsym not surprisingly really, so here I present you with:

All the Fun of the Fair

Saturday, 18 April 2009


., originally uploaded by multum in parvo..

After the Etsy gathering at the Craft Centre this morning, I found Peter gleefully enjoying fish and chips at a nice trad chippy round the corner on Tib Street it was really bright and sunny in there and the chips I pinched were very fine indeed.

Made in Manchester Group.....

I was at the third meeting of the fledgling Manchester Etsy Group this morning, we met up at the wonderful Manchester Craft Centre and had a good chat over tea and toast and marmite. We're gradually planning how to take over the crafting and handmade world in the Manchester area bit by bit. I'm going to set up a blog for us to promote various makers and to showcase our work and the work of others too, we'll have some weekly or monthly promotions, interviews, features and so on with a range of people with different interests writing the updates etc. I'll get onto that in the next few days and then we can start to showcase some of the talented makers in the area.

I took some pics of all involved at the first gathering which I didn't do anything with, so here we are, better late than never, the inaugural gathering of the Made in Manchester Group (a rahter appropriate prospective name choice).

While we were there I had an Etsy Convo about a Treasury appearance so here it is:

I'm Home
by Quercus Silver

Quercus is from Bath which is one of my favourite cities, I frequently have property fantasies about living in Regency Splendour in the Royal Crescent. She has some beautiful jewellery in her shop. I'm a great fan of resin so these lovely bangle really caught my eye:

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Featured and Manchester Photos.

My Ministry of Silly Walks print has been featured on the Burgundy District Studio Blog today which is splendid news as it's a really stylish blog with many interesting makers getting their fifteen minutes of fame.

I had a great weekend from a photographic point of view, I was out and about all afternoon on Saturday in the seedier bits of Manchester with my camera and took 200 pictures of various pieces of graffiti, bricked up doors and windows, rotten wood and abandoned chips etc.....I have strange taste in locations! Here's a sample of the results:





Saturday, 11 April 2009

Digital Collage Squares - the way forward?

I've just realised that I didn't post an image of my latest Digital Collage Sheet which I've sold two of so far, it's the only one of the three which as sold so I thought it deserved a showing here.

I've set up a page for making a Digital Collage Sheet for scrabble pendents as they still seem popular and I've seen a shop where little pieces of painting are used just like that and they look fantastic and they are the shop owners own original work so she/he obviously has an unlimited supply of base material and they are selling like hot cakes in scrabble size and others. So I thought I'd borrow the idea as inspiration and try chopping little abstract pieces of texture from my photos. Easy but seriously time consuming and with the prospect of the resulting PDF being absolutely massive. I'll need to be in the right mood to do that, but I think that it could be quite a pleasant job really. I really like the idea of doing the work once (actually rather long and drawn out work with lots of looking through the archives, selecting, cropping, scaling and resizing) and then selling lots with no further effort.

Our attempts to get out to the local funfair were scuppered last night by the typical British Bank Holiday Weather, so we'll try again tonight. I've been wanting to take photos at night at a fair for ages and it's so close to home that it's only my sloth which has been postponing the outing. But I have it in my sights now and I'd like to give my fabulous new tripod head a nice trip too.

The wedding pictures are now up in their gallery, I struggled with the prices and the sizes to sell, I hope it's not too confusing for the folk who end up there and that they actually buy some as it took far more work than I had anticipated to get through it all. If Photobox had their act together and actually had their Reports page sorted, I'd be able to see which photos people are looking at which would be nice.

Anyway, I'm very glad that's done and all I need to do now for the happy couple is wait for their set of prints to arrive and then find a nice box in which to present the pictures to them on Wednesday, burn a disc and then my work is done!

Off to Manchester today for a potter through China Town up to the Northern Quarter for some chicken tikka at Al Faisal's and hopefully I'll get a few good urban snaps too.

Thursday, 9 April 2009


, originally uploaded by multum in parvo..

The Northern Quarter in Manchester is the old rag trade area, there are still a few trade showrooms and trimmings shops, but it's all vanished all apart from some of the old signs which still linger on various walls. I should try and capture as many as I can before they are all cleaned off or just vanish.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Treasury time again......

How's this for another super pretty springish Treasury, I love the white calmess of it with little splashes of green to just lift the colours. Very nice.

by Kartoshka

The Apila Watercolour is stunning, it's by Be Happy Now, I think that's my favourite, so delicate.

I'm almost done with the wedding pictures, they're all in the Photobox gallery and I'm just checking the proprotions so that they fit into the print sizes I've chosen to offer. You'd think that would have been obvious, but no, I happily cropped away at some of the images and of course they don't fit with the aspect ratios I've chosen, but it's all sorted now. There's 141 in total and I need to order the set of prints for the happy couple and have a couple of arty-farty designs to upload too. I'll be glad when it's over to be honest - I really hope that I make some money from the prints as it's all taken much longer than I had anticipated.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Double Whammy!

I was randomly checking my item hearts/views etc on the splendid and found some interesting activity which led me to look at the front page over at Etsy and I found a beautiful Treasury with Love in a Mist and also my Corks TTV in the Dad's Gift Guide box at the same time!

Summer Breeze
by Belle Beads

Friday, 3 April 2009

Sale on Red Bubble!

After rediscovering Red Bubble yesterday, being featured and blogging about it here, I've just made a sale! It's my third, which while not great, is better than a poke in the eye with a wet fish and I don't have the hassle of making and posting which makes me happy. It's my good old Ministry of Silly Walks image which is also my best seller over at Etsy too, all my Red Bubble sales have been of this image, one card, one laminated print and one mounted print. It does amuse me that it's such a popular image - the power of television comedy and all that. My pink on blue is now on the first page of Featured Art which is nice (bottom left corner), but I really have no idea how the display pages work here, I've not got as involved as I have with Etsy but I do think that the users on RB are a little less needy than on Etsy which I dearly love, but I do get a bit sick about the whinging about the Front Page and so on......

We're off to the private view of Garry Fabian Miller's new show, Time Passage, at the Abbot's Hall Gallery in Kendal later this afternoon. It's a bit of a schlep from Manchester for a long, late drive home, but Peter's hoping to do a bit of networking and so long as he drives home I won't complain too much!

I made some good progress with the wedding pictures yesterday, my test shots from Photobox came and they are a little darker than I was expecting, so I tweaked them all a bit brighter and lightened shadows thrown onto faces by hats (luckily only one key family member had a troublesome brim!) and faffed about with some effects, but didn't do any black and whites as it just didn't seem to suit the photos for some reason. I did add vignettes to quite a few and I really like the effect and the way it seems to emphasize the center of the image and add some light. Doesn't work on all of the images, but good on the outside ones.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Featured on Red Bubble today!

I got my few test pics from the wedding back today, and they were all a bit darker than what I'm seeing on my screen, so I've been adjusting the brightness which will hopefully sort that problem out. Also worked my way through the church pictures which are looking good (on the screen anyway!). I've got until the 11th April to get them online and then till the 15th to present the happy couple with their full set of prints.

I've been rediscovering Red Bubble which is a really cool site for selling art, it's got a very clean and modern feel to it, much more than many sites and I've actually sold a couple of things and it's totally free to use with no monthly fees, no upload fees, no hassle of printing or posting, they charge the base rate for each item and you set your own markup. Easy. One of my spring pictures has been featured today which is great, it's currently on the second page - you can see how nice their style is from this screenshot:

Mines the second from left on middle row
My Red Bubble gallery's here

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Featured in Two Lovely Treasuries.....

Here are two more beauties - I haven't got time to write lots just now, so I'll just show off the lovely pictures!

Lime Green and Blue
by AMI Designs
This one was actually inspired by my print!

Petals on a Grey Day
by Celebration in Clay

Spring is most definately in the air today...

It's been a beautifully sunny day here in Manchester, it was actually warm when I left the gym in my unattractively sweaty state after a hard and hilly 40 min iTread workout followed by a few free weights. I did feel virtuous and felt last night's pre-theater pizza vanish. I've had the upstairs doors open all day as I've been working - it's not quite so warm now, but it's still sort of sunny and my computer, shop and blog most defiantly have the feel of spring with all my blossom prints I've been working on today. One of them has made it into a seasonal treasury full of pretty things:

The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring
by Articulations

The print I like the most from today's work is this one which I've desaturated and split toned in Lightroom with very happy results. It's now for sale as an A4 print and as an A5 folded note card. I think I'll try this colour scheme on a few others, now I look at the print in the treasury above, it looks a little, well, strident and obvious. I like the slightly murky and painterly look to the split toned one. I wonder if it will attract any attention?


Such beautiful flowers - now available as a print in my shop.....