We really feel like we're a part of something here in our brand new Rochester neighbourhood. Suddenly it doesn't seem so alien to chat to a neighbour over the fence or wave as you pull into the driveway. Given that we never really had that relationship with our previous neighbours of eleven years it's actually a really nice feeling. Everyone know everyone's business...and that's ok!
One afternoon before Reuben's nap we set to work baking these incredibly moreish chocolate and cranberry cookies as gifts for the neighbours to thank them for making us feel so welcome. Of course, I added my own touches, wrapping them in greaseproof paper and tying them with baker's twine and a little tag before waddling my pregnant backside off for door-to-door deliveries. It wasn't much, but I think the gesture made all the difference. Oh...and did I mention how good they were?
Find the recipe in Tessa Kiros' 'Apples For Jam'.
I relish the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables available to us in summer and, as pretentious as it sounds, I make a big deal out of visiting the local green grocer on our high street once a week to see what's good to eat and of course, shoot. Given that I'm more comfortable in the styling of props (they're pretty predictable to work with) I'm pushing myself to experiment a little more with food and still life-these flat peaches were just calling out to me!
Tomorrow is Rochester's Kentish cherry festival which I'm extremely excited about given that they are my current pregnancy craving. I mixed these up with some blueberries-they lend themselves beautifully to the camera in both their shape and variety in colour, don't you think? It's a real joy to experiment and push my skills in this house, the light is excellent regardless of the weather!
A Need For Soft Green
A few weeks back we managed to escape to Ikea for a couple of hours sans Reuben to pick up a few essentials. Our worn out crockery had had its day and I'd ear-marked the beautiful 'Strosa' soft green stoneware bowls and plates to brighten up our new kitchen cupboards. I'm constantly drawn to this soft green which reminds of the popular kitchen colours of the 1930s and 40s, typically seen side by side of with light yellow. Having got them home I discovered a few more items already in that similar shade of green including the 1940s Berylware plates I recently used for an upcoming shoot for 91 Magazine, and the mixing bowl I picked up from a charity shop and always use for my baking. Perhaps I have a little problem?!
Dyeing The Natural Way
I picked up some Dylon fabric paints recently to try out for a mini DIY project coming up soon, but they got me thinking about ways in which I could harness natural dyes already available in my spice rack and garden. There's a wealth of hidden magic to try, including onion skins and marigolds (who knew?!) I grabbed a hank of acrylic and wool mix yarn and set to work dyeing it in a pan of boiling hot turmeric water. Whilst I was aware the dye might not take so well to the synthetic acrylic I was pleasantly pleased with the results and knitted some up to add to my beekeeper's quilt.
If you'd like to learn more about working with natural dyes, check out my Dyes & Pigments board on Pinterest and have a go!
Learning To Relax
I'm due in all of 9 weeks now and I'm still struggling to put my feet up and relax, particularly with a very active two year old boy. My mind is constantly ticking over and whilst that part of me is raring to go, my body most definitely isn't! I'm officially "off the circuit" for work now until later in the year and it's really difficult to turn down interesting styling jobs, particularly at this time of year when there's a busy schedule to partake in. I'm constantly aware of the possible back-lash it might have for me to turn work down so much now, but I have to remind myself that these opportunities will still be there when I come back and really, no one wants an 8 month pregnant stylist on set for a ten hour day who can't lug the heavy boxes or climb the stairs!
For now, I'm putting my feet up, enjoying my family and these little creative projects that come along from time to time.
See you soon :)