Category: Photography
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A Boy’s Bestfriend

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Magnet takes her first bath – the wheelbarrow was my son’s idea – ingenious!

After many requests from our son for a dog, we finally got one!   What a dog she is, an absolute delight!

We have nicked named her ‘Magnet’, because wherever we go, she draws a crowd, people stop her for a pat, she is taken off for photographs with children and families, little children line up to take her for a short walks, talk about celebrity!

Many a child and parent are heard to fondly yell out “there’s Schnitzel Von Krumm” – meaningless to you unless you have read the much-loved, Lynley Dodd‘s “Hairy Maclary” series of books; ‘Schnitzel Von Krumm’ is a feisty and endearing Dachshund character, immortalised in many of Lynley Dodd’s children’s books.

We were a bit nervous getting a dog given the allergies and asthma our son has, and the notion of having a dog, seemed to be a stretch and perhaps a recipe for disappointment.   We talked to our son’s Allergy Specialist who suggested we take the dog on a trial basis,  to see how he goes allergy/asthma wise.  In short our strategy was to tell our son that we were just looking after the dog whilst the owner was on holiday – brilliant idea!  If it didn’t work out our son would be none the wiser and he wouldn’t be devastated to give the dog back.

I started researching a low shed, low allergy dog, I was quite keen on a ‘oodle crossbreed that is one of the Labradoodle, Spoodle, Cockerspoodle doggy types; these breeds have a curly coat (low shed) which is good for allergy/asthma sufferers.  My husband was aghast!  He wanted a big dog, a Labrador!  Well that wasn’t going to work because of the amount of shed that happens with their coat, so we compromised with a Dachshund.

A bit of research later (many conflicting reports) and I discovered that short-haired Dachshunds are also low shed and some allergy/asthma sufferers found they had no problems with this breed.   We found an awesome breeder who understood our situation and was happy to take the dog back, if for any reason she didn’t work out.  I am happy to say eight weeks later, all is well and we are keeping Magnet!

My son adores her, he wishes she could swim and fetch – but we can slowly teach her that.  Magnet is an older dog having had three litters, she has come to our home as part of her retirement plan : )

She likes nothing better than be next you, she loves going for walks – but not too far with those little legs!  She loves chasing the swans (who are so much bigger than her), ducks and seagulls at the river, and yes she has small dog syndrome – she barks at the big dogs!

Most of the photographs shown have been taken by my son – who clearly is documenting almost every day of her time with us.

We hope that we will enjoy Magnet for many more years, and watch her grow up with our son, fingers crossed it will all work out, allergy and asthma wise.

Wish us luck!

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Aargh, home made ~ Gold Chocolate Coins

Yes I know, you are looking at these home-made golden coins, and you might be thinking – why not buy them – why go to the hassle?  Well, one outrageous, life threatening allergy to dairy, and a 5-year-old boy who wanted gold pirate coins ~ need I say more.  The gold chocolate coins you buy in the store are typically made with dairy, so a no go for us.

So for ‘Talk like a Pirate Day’ all I could do was make some chocolate buttons; not enough notice…only found out three day’s before that the Teachers were handing out gold chocolate (dairy) coins to all the pre-primary children.   However, since then I have been on a quest and have found a golden chocolate maker at a local store for $11!

You need to add your own chocolate

The box comes with only four chocolate moulds

Chocolate coin making station

Pressing out the foil, ready to stamp onto the coins

The making of this Pirate Treasure is tricky, like following a treasure map!  And the embossing of the pattern, near on impossible, you must have the chocolate at the right temperature, but all of this is not important, because my little boy loves that the chocolate is in golden foil, chocolate coins are now in the realm of magic and wonder!

What is it about packaging that makes the ordinary – extraordinary?  His feedback “delicious – can I take the golden coins to share with my class?”  Love his generosity.

For the record, there are four chocolate molds in the box,  and we made a huge total of 8 coins!  Ha!  My son and my husband had one a piece – hence only 6 for the photograph!

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Fun at the Agricultural Show

When I was little, my Dad used to take my sister and I to the Perth Royal Show.  Fast forward several years and my husband and I were delighted to take our 5-year-old to the Royal Show, a first time for him.

What I love about the ‘Show’ it is wonderful blend of country and city: agricultural events, mining equipment, old farming machinery, fast rides (very scary), performers, best in show events – from cakes, quilts, dogs to livestock, tourism showcases of towns and produce from Western Australia, fast food, games alley, equestrian events, show judging of animals,  chair lifts, show games, and of course the much treasured show bag!

It was refreshing to see some great free activities for the kids, and we had a great time at the ‘Scouts’ enclosure, where they had a ‘boot camp’ bouncy castle and some fun games, including a popular air-pressured, rocket launcher.

My son played the clown game for the first time and managed to win an Elmo!  He was thrilled, and I was so surprised!  It was good to see somethings never change, like the carnival atmosphere around the ‘House of Horrors’ and the ‘Ghost Train’ which was well away from the children’s section, but had to be traversed to get to the chair lifts, it was spooky, noisy and fun!

Entry for children under 13 is free, show bags can set you back $12-24, rides and show games around $6-8.  Our little guy lasted 2 hours, we were grateful to get home!

view from the chair lift

spider man show bag – much treasured!

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Goodbye procrastination and hello Spring!

Fabulous Flame, Chorizema Pea Wildflower

Synonymous with being Aussie, the great and much-loved Golden Wattle (Acacia Pycnatha)

When I found this specimen it was like winning the lottery, I love seeing bush orchids in the wild, and I think this might be a Swamp Curly Locks

Not sure of this plant could it be a Leptospermum?

Another beautiful bush orchid?

Guessing Grevillea?

Picture above – Perth skyline – a view from the hills.

Plum Orchard, Pickering Brook

It’s been a while since I posted, where have I been?  No where, just thoughts and ideas running through my mind but no energy, time or motivation to get them down!  Procrastination has hit hard after a wave of winter illness, rounds of colds, influenza and the like.  Today is the first day everyone is better in the family and a good enough reason to finally share these images I took five weeks ago on a family picnic in Kalamunda, Western Australia.

The images show some local flora spotted in and around the ‘Zig Zag’, an old railway turnaround track built to assist trains to get down the hill, it is now a road, used as scenic drive from Kalamunda on your way down to Perth.  If you can help with the naming of the flora, I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment!  Can anyone spot the local wildlife captured in one of the photos?

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I never thought I would be a Soccer Mom

If you asked my younger self, 7 seven years ago, “are you going to be a soccer mom?”

I would have answered “what are you talking about?”

Here I am, 7 years later, with a 5-year-old son, a proud soccer mom, and also official team photographer (grin).

I never knew I had such motivation, interest or perseverance, but I guess that comes hand-in-hand with being a parent.

When I had my son, he opened up this whole new world and I have to say it has been lots of fun, my younger self wouldn’t have understood, I didn’t know then, the joy of cheering for your child, and see him delight in getting his first kick and then his first team trophy (all the players got one each).

Maybe one day he might play for Perth Glory or he might be a future Olympian (member of the Australian ‘Socceroos’ Team), I don’t really mind as long as he is having fun and I get to cheer him on the sidelines!

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Splash: Being in the Moment

You can only admire the tenacity and stamina of children, even though my son Bobby is covered in a viral rash all over his torso, with no other symptoms, he was determined to go out and splash the puddles!

Bobby was due an almond food challenge on Monday, we were psyched and ready to go.  Sunday night he broke out in a rash, which might have been an allergic reaction, so we immediately gave him an anti-histamine and followed our anaphylaxis action plan.

After consultation with his specialist and because the rash is still present 48 hours later, it might be a response to a virus.  Who knows, all I know that whilst I feel stressed and worried, he cheers me up with his good humour, his sense of adventure and the joy of childhood.  His sense of fun and energy pushes me ‘to be in the moment’, and how could you do otherwise, when he’s jumping in puddles and making a splash!

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Tumbleweed Eater

My son ran into the house yelling  “Mum, Mum, look, look”, last I saw he was out playing in our garden, I thought he had found a lizard, instead to my delight he had found a Ring Neck Parrot also known as “28”; its contact call is a whistled ‘twen-ty-eight’.

We decided to capture our visitor on camera, later a feathered friend joined in, and we discovered their favourite food, tumbleweeds.

The evidence of the tumbleweed eating – slightly shaky (with excitement)….sorry!

Weeds are not just spread by the wind or lawn-mowers, but also by the birds, it made me think about weeds in a different light.  Glass half empty or half full?

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Falling in love…through the looking glass

After two years of a business like relationship with my camera, I have finally fallen in love.  Familiarity is supposed to breed contempt but in this case the more I opened my mind to new opportunities, new ways to be creative, I started to see my camera in a new light (no pun intended).

My internet business is a large consumer of macro photography and model shots, over two years I have had to quickly learn the principles of studio photography, styling, lighting and so on, I am still enjoying the experience, and each shoot is an opportunity to improve.  But lately, actually it’s been since I have started up this blog, I am seeking other opportunities to use my camera and thoroughly enjoying the experience!  The shift in my feelings for photography has been subtle, but quite dramatic:

  • I have just completed a photo shoot of my family; Mum, Dad, four siblings, plus partners, and their children; I have never been inspired to do this before;  I wish I could show you the pictures, I am quietly proud of them, but for privacy reasons I have not included them here.
  • I drool over camera equipment on the B & H Photography Website  (I feel compelled to view this website at least once per week – another source of eye candy!);
  • I have been keenly watching a great new series in Australia called ‘Photo Finish’ on the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC); where three amateur photographers are given various assignments and their work judged by a panel of experts;  I am starting to imagine myself in these situations – what choices would I make, how would I frame the shot?
  • I have entered the picture (above) into a competition! This is so not me, but that’s how much fun I am having with my camera!  The picture above is titled ‘Through the Looking Glass”.

‘Through the Looking Glass’ is my salute to “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll; one of my favourite stories when I was a little.  The idea came to me when I was thinking about using our garden mirror as an anchor for the shot (I handcrafted this garden mirror/mosaic about 7 years ago) .

The competition is open to Australian Residents only, and you need to include a lens in the shot; that’s why there is a ‘Box Brownie’ in my shot!  This Box Brownie  is special, it belonged to my Father-In-Law. and it was well used over many years, to create beautiful images of family life.

For those of you who are wondering about the allergy component to this blog,  I am still trying to be fearless and finding joy in new things, so stay tuned for more cooking and photography posts in the future.

Of course there is the allergies, but sometimes we all need an escape, and I am currently enjoying the world of nature and capturing special moments with the people I love.

By the way (with a smile and wink), can’t help but ask – what do you think of my chances of winning the competition?

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