bursts of spring...

Snowing one day, +6 the next... our Winter weather has been pretty unpredictable so far. I keep mentioning it, but it's so odd for our January. The bursts of Spring sure are lovely though. It was so nice to enjoy a little sunshine today!

Yesterday on a chilly walk I came across a bucket of bird seed along the trail. After spilling a few handfuls in the snow, there was little tweeting birds, including a blue jay and a cardinal ducking in and out of the bushes, and two little squirrels with curious, sniffing noses – beyond cute. Standing especially still, they came within a couple feet, looking me up and down every time they took a few steps. I wouldn't trust the tall, looming figure with a fur (fake) trimmed hood either...

Photos: My own, from film


a wonderful read...

Lately i've been reading (and re-reading) the second volume of Kinfolk. I'm completely obsessed. There's something so comforting and engaging about the mag. Every time I flip through its pages I want to run away to a cabin somewhere, where I can enjoy nature, good food, and a quiet cup of tea, focus on de-cluttering life and simplifying things. There's so much beauty in the basics and I love how Kinfolk elegantly reminds us of that. I can barely wait for volume 3... you?

Photo: My own, from film.


rain & snow...

After a few rainy days we're back to snow, with a thin blanket of white covering the ground. I feel bad for the few flocks of geese still hanging out in the icy river near work... with all this up and down weather I wonder if they decided stay or are too confused to leave. I have to admit though, I don't mind the mild temperatures!

Can you believe it's almost the end of January already?

Photos: My own, from film.


sunday afternoon...

Sunday afternoon. Tea + thoughts of change...

Photo: My own, from film.


wedding wednes... err, thursday {no.15}...

So I know it's not Wednesday anymore, but I still thought i'd share a wedding update. It's much different being in 2012 now, knowing that by next New Year's Eve we'll be married! It gets more exciting, the more I think about it.

Last weekend my Mother and I headed out to shop for her dress for the day, only to be disappointed by the amount of awful styles that some stores call Mother-of-the-Bride "suits", lol. I mean, why are companies still making shoulder pads? You'd think by now there'd be more modern choices. After looking through a few racks though we found a pretty light blue dress and jacket, with a nice ruffle detail, but there's always the option of looking into some non-bridal shops too. We also spent the day looking around some boutique shops in town, and had lunch at a great British pub called The Royal Coachman. Soup and sweet potatoes was perfect!

In the meantime, shower dates have been chosen, our Save-the-Date is in the works, and a Saturday in February is booked for bridesmaid dress shopping and a bit of girly fun... I can't wait!

Photos: My own, from film.

home made pesto...

Since i've been avoiding processed foods since the beginning of the year, i've been trying to gather recipes for basic things I can make on my own and continue throughout the year (this ketchup one looks great). I haven't had any whole wheat or cheese yet, but i'd love to make this pesto with a little more oil to go with roasted red pepper dip and a nice bread for dipping. Suddenly I also want that chopper and a huge wooden cutting board too. On a snowy evening when it's dark and chilly outdoors, spending the time to chop up basic ingredients in a warm, quiet kitchen seems quite nice, doesn't it?

Video: Tiger in a Jar for Kinfolk, recipe by Heidi Swanson, 101 Cookbooks (whose blog is great btw...)


for the love of film {no.7}...

Today i'm happy to feature Suzie from Black-eyed Angel. Suzie and I "met" when she sent me an email about the series, and I realized I had just been looking through her blog after a Amanda had mentioned her during my Shoot by Design course. I just knew Suzie had to take part in the series! I love her attention to detail, and especially admire the photos from her "Back to the Old House" set (some above). Check out her interview below, and be sure to pop by her site as well...

First off, what do you love the most about film photography?

I love the luminosity, the tones and texture it creates, and I love the actual picture making process. It slows you down and makes you have to really learn a skill. As an artist it is one of the many media I use to express myself and I enjoy experimenting. It feels so much more a real way of photography and when I develop my own black and white photography, I'm in heaven.

What kind of camera(s) do you use? Do you have a preferred brand/type of film?

I'm a cameraholic and have far too many, but my never-to-part with cameras are Yashica TL Electro and an ME-35, an Olympus OM10, a Praktica and my absolute favorite, a Pentax Spotmatic. Searching out the perfect film/camera combination is an ongoing adventure I hope I will never stop having. Right now I'm crazy about Rollei Retro B&W film.

What would you say inspires your style the most?

The moment. I rarely plan anything. I guess because my other forms of art tend to be considered and careful, I love to be a bit chaotic and throw caution to the wind with my photography!

How do you go about setting up the perfect shot? Do you have any photography "rules" that you keep in mind?

Rules are made to be broken. If you have a basic understanding of light and how your camera works it becomes intuitive. Besides, the "mistakes" often make for the best shots and experimentation is part of the fun.

What would be your best tip for beginners?

Practise, practise, practise! Shoot film as often as you can, take the time to hone your skills. Try to seek the extraordinary in the ordinary. Also, shooting in a series is great discipline, perhaps as an ongoing project for a long time. For instance, I seek out carousels wherever I go and I have an ongoing artist's studios project that I love to do.

Who are some of your favourite photographers?

William Eggleston, Jonathan Levitt, Ernst Haas, Benedetta Falugi, Jack Radcliffe, Tiphaine C, Kumi Oguro..... so, so many I've left out and I keep finding new ones too.....

What would be your dream location or subject to photograph?

I don't think I have one, that would require too much planning. I am happy to see where I go and the opportunities as they present themselves.

And lastly, do you have a favourite photo you've shot so far?

Impossible to choose just one, but right now I love this one of my daughter, completely captivated. But if you ask me again next week, it will be something else!

Photos: Suzie Chaney

in the details...

Even though it's heavy in my purse, and about as non-discreet as cameras can get nowadays, one of the things I love about bringing my camera along with me, is that I really look at the details of my surroundings. I tend to make a mental note to look around and see what beauty I can capture. It might also be considered distracting at times, but I love when I don't have to say, "Man, I really wish I had my camera with me!"

This is a ceiling moulding around a beautiful antique light in a shop my Mother and I visited on the weekend (more on that later). I love the craftsmanship and the amount of time it would have taken to create that much detail (assuming its an older piece). Stuff like this just doesn't exist these days (Can you say generic light cover? Awful).

Photo: My own, from film.


so far, so good...

Since the beginning of the new year i've been following along with the Whole Living Action Plan, eating only fruits and veggies, and a lot of water with lemon. So far, it's been going pretty well! I've found it's nice to take the time to make delicious smoothies in the morning, lunch for the day, and healthy dinners in the evening. In fact, really, it's shocking that i've even up in the morning to make anything at all, lol. I'm a terrible morning person usually, but it's been a little bit easier lately. Slowing things down, exercising each day, and getting to bed on time has made a big difference. I've been watching a little less tv, and blogging a little less frequently (I hope you don't mind...), and it all seems to be a nice change. The Action Plan runs for 28 days, but I hope I can make some of these new habits more permanent ones.

How's your new year going so far?

Photo: My own, from film.


from my window...

Lately there's been a range of weather, from -15˚C (brrrr...) to above 0˚ with fog. A little odd for January I think. One snowy day last week, I snapped these photos
of the rooftops below. I kind of love the eerie haze the fog gave them. That huge tree on the left though, and centered in the pic below... gone. Condo developers cut it down the very next day. I'm glad I took these shots when I did...

Photos: My own, from film.


for the love of film {no.6}...

Kicking off a brand new year, i'm excited to feature Toi of Aprons & Birds today. Toi always captures these soft, dreamy photos with her film photography, that just makes you want to pick up your camera and start shooting as well. I love the grain in her photos and a lot of her yummy looking food snapshots too. Needless to say it was hard to pick my favs! Check out Toi's answers to my questions below, and be sure to stop by her blog too... enjoy!

First off, what do you love the most about film photography?

There's so much to love about film photography. I love the grain, I love that it forces you to think whether it's worth it or not before taking a picture, I adore rewinding the film rolls. But what I love the most is when, a few days after, I go the the lab, open the envelope and find pictures of all these things I had forgotten. I smile every time.

What kind of camera(s) do you use? Do you have a preferred brand/type of film?

I almost always shoot with a Nikon FM10. I love it, we've known each other for years. I also have a Zenit ET, but it's way to heavy for me to carry around all the time. Right now I'm shooting mostly with Lucky film, it's cheap and the tones are lovely.

What would you say inspires your style the most?

Most of my inspiration comes from everyday life and the things that surround me. Simple, ordinary moments that often go unnoticed or overlooked. The changing of the seasons, nature in all its forms. The books I read, too. And, of course, light.

How do you go about setting up the perfect shot? Do you have any photography "rules" that you keep in mind?

Always search for light and try to avoid shooting over f/5.6, those are my only two rules.

What would be your best tip for beginners?

Always carry a camera with you, play with your camera and experiment with all the film brands you can get your hands on. You need to try different things to see what you really like. And never forget that when shooting with film we only get a certain amount of photographs per roll. Watch with your eyes and your mind, open yourself up and see the world around you. After sometime you'll just feel it, that perfect moment to capture on film.

Who are some of your favourite photographers?

Sally Mann, definitely. And Andrei Tarkovsky's polaroids, too, I love them.

What would be your dream location or subject to photograph?

I love trees and mountains and sadly live too afar, so probably that would be my dream location. The forests in Norway and Oregon, the mystical mountains of China and Japan, the cliffs in Ireland, all of Iceland and my beloved Andes Mountains. I tend to dream a lot.

And lastly, do you have a favourite photo you've shot so far?

Oh, they change almost every day! Right now I'd have to say this one:

I miss the mountains so much.

Thank you so much for participating Toi! I'd LOVE to shoot the forests out West as well.


happy new year!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful New Year's Eve. Rick and I celebrated by having dinner out, followed by a champagne toast and a kiss at midnight. It was perfect just the two of us.

This year we have so much to look forward to... getting married on September 29th (!) and all the fun events leading up to it, looking for and moving into our new home, witnessing good friends getting married, and congratulating another on having their first baby. It may be cliché to say, but this year is going to be a good one!

While some people may be adverse to New Year's resolutions, I actually really like the idea. There's something so inspiring about the new year and a fresh start. I don't think resolutions have to be detailed promises with strict deadlines though, but rather just something important to you that you're doing for yourself. This year I will be taking part in the Whole Living 28-Day Action Plan. It's an annual mind-body detox that I just love doing each year. Rather than a "juice cleanse" or "going on a diet", it's much more holistic and focuses on nourishing your body and just really just taking care of yourself. I needed this little push, so i'm excited for it to start tomorrow. If it sounds like something you'd also be interested in, you can read more here and sign up for WL's Daily Challenge emails.

If you made any, what are your New Year's resolutions? I love to hear about them...

Photo: My own, from film.