Saturday, 21 February 2015

My Prime 5 - Pastimes

Tantrums and Glitter

Time does pass us by way too quickly and it's nice to have a spare minute to do the things we enjoy at some point during the day. When I have spare time this is how I like to spend it....

Reading - I have not done as much of it as I would like this year but it is nice and relaxing to have a read before bedtime or on a lazy weekend afternoon.

Cross Stitch - It is very time consuming and sometimes takes me months or even years to finish a project but I love to watch the picture come to life as I am sewing each cross. I often wait until I know I have spare time, such as a school holiday to really get stuck in as it is easy to put the sewing away in a draw and forget about it.

Candy Crush - Unfortunately I am still addicted to this stupid game and have now started with the soda version too! I am currently on level 782 and would like it if they could stop making levels so I can move on with my life!

Social Media - When I am at work or college I am very good at not checking social media sites...okay it may have something to with them actually being blocked on the network so I am not actually able to connect to them! But when I get home I cannot help myself. If I am not on Twitter, then I'm on Facebook, then I may have a look at a few pins on Pinterest, then I may write a blog post or read somebody else's blog post and then It will start all over again like a vicious cycle, all while doing the laundry, cooking dinner and acting as referee between the kids fighting of course!

Art - I have recently got into fashion illustration, mostly looking at others work but I do like to draw and love working with watercolours. It is a great pastime to do with the kids as they can draw, paint or make whatever they like and do not need any specific skills to do so.

Those are my prime 5 pastimes,what are yours? 
Write a blog post with your top 5 pastimes and come and join in via the linky below, it is open for a whole month so no need to rush!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Black and white - Pattern

I like to follow a bit of a theme when I am posting photos so this week I thought I would post a few images that show shape, lines or pattern in them. I took a couple of the photos this week while waiting for the bus in the cold and the others were taken a while ago in the Science museum.

This post is linked up to podcasts black and white photography project, so click the link to see lots more monochrome pics.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Black and White documentary

In December I was given an assignment at college to take 10-12 documentary reportage photos looking at Housing, Homelessness and Poverty, and to write a report on them. I found this to probably be one of the hardest projects I have had to do so far.

In the UK there is no law against taking photos of anybody in a public place but it is questionable as to whether it is ethical to do so. I personally wouldn't want somebody shoving a camera in my face while I am just minding my own business outside and I would equally find it unpleasant for somebody to use a zoom lens and take my photo without my knowledge. Obviously in crowded places or the background of somebody else's shot it is likely to happen occasionally that you could feature, but not if you are the focus of the picture.

I currently have family members with housing needs that are receiving support from the charity Shelter so I approached the charity to ask if I could document how they support vulnerable people over the Christmas period. Unfortunately they were unable to allow me in with my camera for privacy purposes which I completely understand so I had to explore other avenues.

While exploring London for different ideas I came across a charity that provide vegetarian meals to homeless and vulnerable people. They were based on a back road in the heart of Camden but travel to different areas that they feel people need support.

I was surprised at just how many people needed to use this service and talked to a few of them to ask if they would mind me taking their photo, they were fine with it and happy to talk to me but there was one guy that started shouting, saying that I was out of order. I felt really guilty but at the same time this is reality, if people don't highlight the fact that there are local people having to stand on a corner and eat a free meal then how can others help or change what is happening.

I am sorry to show such a depressing reality but a couple of these photos had an impact on me, particularly the one that shows passers by not even glancing up from their phones or conversations because they are so desensitised to what is happening in their surroundings or the guy that is eating alone and standing, facing the wall as there was no other options available to him.

To see my full photo story click on my portfolio link and I will be happy to get any feedback on your thoughts.

This post is linked to the black and white photography project over at Podcast 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

My Prime 5 - goals for 2015

Tantrums and Glitter

I haven't written a My prime 5 post for ages and I wanted to bring it back for the new year so what better way to start the new year than to set a few goals for myself.

Here are a few things I hope to do in 2015...

Go to University - I applied to university in December and wasn't expecting to get any feedback so soon so I was shocked to get a reply from one offering me a place for September! I still have others that require portfolios and interviews but I am quite happy with the offer I have so I think I may save myself some stress and accept that one. Just have to get through my current course first...fingers crossed!

Lose 1 stone - Last year I lost some weight but the pounds have slowly crept back on. I have joined a health club at work (with weekly weigh-ins) so hopefully that will keep me motivated. I do not intend to give up anything because life's too short for that but everything in moderation and a healthy balance is the plan.

Go to a blogging conference - I have been blogging for 2 years now and although I really enjoy it I haven't been able to spend as much time on it as I would like. I love reading other blogs and getting inspiration and would really like to meet some bloggers, learn some new techniques and get fresh ideas for Tantrums and Glitter.

Take the children away - No I'm not just trying to get rid of the children! I would love for us all to have a little holiday somewhere, I don't expect to go anywhere abroad (although it would be nice) but would love to go to Centerparcs or a pretty cottage in Cornwall for a break.

Decorate the hallway - I know it's not very exciting but I have lived in my house for 5 years and have wanted to change the hallway since I moved in. It needs a new carpet but with 3 floors I expect it will be pretty expensive and as there are no windows up the stairs it looks very dark and dingy and could do with a clean, light colour to brighten it up.

So those are my prime 5 goals for 2015! Have you written yours yet? If not why not join in, grab a badge on the sidebar and add them to the linky below. It will be open for a month to give you plenty of time to join in.

Check back next month to see what the new My Prime 5 topic will be.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

50 books 2014 - December

Well it was very close but I actually managed it, I read 50 books in 2014!!!

To be honest with so many books still to read in December I didn't actually think I would do it but having the Christmas holiday and downloading quite a few short books on my Kindle did really help me to complete the challenge.

So here is a quick look at the last nine books I read...

When a famous fashionista discovers Emma's designs and features them on her blog it could be the big break she is after. Typically Emma panics and questions whether somebody like her could be the next big thing and searches for a way to get out her designs without anybody finding out who she is.

As a fan of fashion illustration I was quite interested to see what this book was about. I love the way there were little pictures of fashion items sketched on the pages to go along with the story. It was a sweet tale of a young girl following her dream into the fashion world while juggling school work and I think it would be quite suitable for a young adult age range.

As a new resident on a remote Scottish Island, Kate decides that her new estate would make the perfect backdrop as a wedding venue. With a wedding booked in for Christmas eve the pressure is on but with all sorts of obstacles in the way will she pull it off?

I do find short Christmas stories perfect for the festive season and this was a nice romantic read. I haven't read the original Sealed with a kiss but may give it a try in the future.

Luke has dedicated his life to living with and understanding the world of wolves, even going as far as to break up his family for their sake, but when he and his daughter Cara are injured in a car accident it causes grave implications for his estranged son and the daughter who adores him.

I started this book months ago and found it quite long winded although as more drama unfolded it did get a lot more interesting towards the end. I liked the way the story was told through each characters point of view. I have never really been a fan of wolves but appreciated that there was great effort to research the lives of wolves for this book and found some of the information pretty impressive.

Ten year old Madeline wonders why her Granddad sits on the beach staring into the ocean every day, her family suspect dementia but after a conversation with him she finds out the real reason he is there.

This is a super short story! I thought I had just read one chapter and then realised it had finished. It is a very heart warming sweet story.

Hollywood movie star Maggie wants to get away from LA for the holidays to somewhere with a bit of charm. What better place for a Christmas getaway than London. Accompanying Maggie is her manager and friend Zoe. They relax in a luxurious hotel, sight see around town and even do a bit of match making along the way!

Another lovely Christmas story to get you into the spirit, very light-hearted with not much sustenance. It seemed a bit far fetched in places but as it was only a short story I wasn't expecting much.

Becky and Luke have a whole year planned for their honeymoon. Becky has it all planned out, they will spend it exploring the canals of Venice, doing yoga in India and maybe even visiting the penguins in the Antarctic...not forgetting to pick up a few souvenirs on the way! But will Luke be as keen on the getaway as his new bride?

I have come across the shopaholic series before but never actually read one. This was a great taster and I am sure I will try some others in the future.

Ellie is a determined woman, arriving in a small town and taking on as many jobs as she can to raise money means she has no time for ladies man Bruce Laselle. The fact that she is not interested is what catches his eye and after learning of her inner most secrets will she be able to resist his charm?

I wasn't too sure of this book when I first started but actually warmed to the characters and enjoyed the story line, the only concern was that the kindle version had a lot of mistakes in it... as it was free I cant really complain!

Nancy is shocked to receive a sit on lawnmower for Christmas, especially as she found a receipt for some expensive jewellery from her husband, this leads her to become suspicious. A trip to London to visit her best friend could be just what she needs but will she find more than she bargained for?

I am surprised I have never read a Jill Mansell book before and will definitely try some more in the future, the book had quite a lot of characters but they were all very individual and believable. The book was very witty but a bit predictable, a typical love story!

When a down on his luck actor turns up to an audition he leaves with a different type of job. Alec is loaned a Range Rover to make a delivery of what he thinks is a christening present but as the journey takes a weird and spooky twist he questions what is really in the delivery.

I started reading this book before going to bed and luckily it wasn't very long as I couldn't put it down! The start was pretty gripping and the book contained photos which added to the story. With it being night time it did scare me a little which I think is what kept me reading. On the downside there were parts of the story that were questionable and I was expecting more from the ending.

So that's it and now I am officially all read out and haven't read anything so far this year! I am not going to take on the challenge again this year as I am so busy with studying but I must say I really did like taking the time out to lose myself in a book and may try it again in the future.

What about you? If you are planning on challenging yourself to read 50 books this year then why not pop over to Ups and downs, Smiles and frowns who is hosting the #50books2015 linky.

Happy reading xx
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