Poppy and his Kodak camera…

I was thinking about a couple of unrelated things today and realised they had a connection.  First off, I have been sorting out a new abode for my working week in Sydney.  This has involved ransacking our home for bits and pieces to make the new place feel more like home.  I came across this Kodak box during my search and it conjured up many precious memories.  This was my grandfather Poppy’s Kodak instamatic camera and proudly purchased during one of my summer holiday stays in 1967/68.  He and I spent many hours going for drives taking pics of each other to see how this new camera worked.

Looking at his pics, with a critical eye, you can tell Poppy wasn’t much of a photographer, and he had a thing about making me face the sun when taking my picture so I am squinting in every single one.  However, when I look at his photos they tell a story to me and my favourite is the one on the right where I just make it into the frame.  I can tell I am going through my Mexican/Native American Indian phase because I was obsessed with those cultures around that time (the plaits give it away).  I wasn’t a typical ‘blonde hair/ blue eyed’ Aussie kid and identified with people whose colouring/looks were similar to mine (I also had a Spanish, Italian and Tahitian phase).

This morning as I was having a quick look on WordPress’ Freshly Pressed and came across this great blog post on 5 Tips for Taking a Really Great Travel Portrait

Image from Wanderlust - Notes from a Global Nomad blog

The images in this blog are compelling and I have always wanted to take images like these on my travels.  However, I always feel a bit shy about poking my camera in someone’s face and  wondered how great photographers g0t those images.  There are some great tips here, especially on how to build a connection and get a beautiful image that tells a story (it’s all in the eyes – and nobody is squinting into the light here Poppy).  I cant wait to go on the road and try them out for myself.

My grandfather’s wonky photos are important to me and, whilst they cant compete with Wanderlust’s beautiful images, they contain similar elements.  A connection, the background and people in them tell a story about a happy summer spent in another time and place and, you know,  I think they show Poppy’s skills as a photographer improving too.

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What to do next…?

So I have finished the blanket for my boy and wondering what to do next… I would love to try something like the one of those granny blankets in Nanny McPhee (maybe next winter) but would really  love to do a white motif blanket like Sols(tr)ikke: Sirkel’s beautiful blanket below… Sadly I haven’t had time gather the ingredients for this one yet so will have to start it  another time…I have a few balls of different colours and decided to make a granny stripe similar to one seen on the fabulous Attic24 blog by Lucy.  A few months back I was looking for crochet patterns and came across Attic24 which is a treasure trove of patterns and ideas.  Lots of people have been inspired by Lucy and her blog and there are nearly 3,000 Attic24 inspired pics on Flickr of all sorts of lovely creations. Who knew that granny blankets could be so popular these days… SO, if you want to start your own crochet project check it out and get going…

Here’s how mine is looking …

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a sideways library….

I am loving this!  Just spotted this on the FastCoDesign website – a sideways library cafe in Manhattan.  It’s called D’espresso and its close to the New York Public Library (hence the library of books influence).  The “books” are actually tiles with sepia coloured prints of actual books from a real bookstore.   This is definitely going on the New York List of things to do.

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Time to gather my recipes…

One of my favourite pastimes when I was growing up was sitting in my Nanna’s kitchen watching her cook, helping out and learning how to make something wonderful from a few ingredients – including a few things from her cupboard and often something from the garden and eggs from the chooks in the backyard.  When I was about 14 I lived with Nanna for a few months whilst my family relocated and I spent a lot of time in her kitchen, cooking, talking, learning and writing down her recipes in a new book as her old one was worn and falling apart.  I forgot about doing that until many years later when I was in her kitchen and looking for a recipe and discovered the writing in the beginning of her cookbook was mine (this one was also bulging at the seams and starting to fall apart).

I have always loved collecting recipes and recently gathered together a few of my own  books that I started in my early 20s and 30s (during the 80s and 90s – gasp!).  I have always had a number of notebooks filled with recipes and ideas but over the past decade or so I haven’t been so organised.  Whilst I still gather recipes, I tend to rip things out, scribble notes on a scraps of paper and have these bits poked in various bookshelves and cupboards all over my home.

I recently discovered Moleskine’s new Passions range which has a notebook for people who are passionate about:  film, wine, music, books, wellness AND recipes.  I hope to run a chambres d’hôte (B&B) in France one day soon and will need a little cache of ‘good things to eat’ – this will be the place to pull those scraps of paper together with my fave recipes and keep them all in one place…

I kind of hope it will become my version of Nanna’s recipe book ….

Check out the Passions:Recipe book here (you’ll want one too)

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Boys and their blankets…

My son’s first love wasn’t a toy but a blanket and he went everywhere with it from about the time he was 3 months until he had to go to school – even then it stayed on his bed and was an essential part of the ‘going to sleep’ ritual each night.  My boy is in his final year of school and about to sit his final exams.  To mark the occasion I have (finally) finished a new blanket for him to keep warm on the never ending study nights he has had to endure of late…. I think it looks OK and the colours are masculine enough to not make it look girly (important for 18 year old boys)…

As I was having a little look around on Facebook (aka Stalkbook) the other day I noticed a few other boys of our acquaintance with their special blankets.  Interestingly they both found a similar way to accessorise them as part of their everyday life – here’s how they look including a pic of my boy on his way to study the other night (thanks for sharing boys)…

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50 and the colour orange…

I have had a busy few weeks – started a new job which means I will be moving to Sydney during the week.  So my life has been a whirl of activity, looking for an apartment, meeting new people and learning new stuff and feeling a fair bit of information overload (more on that in my next post).

So it sort of slipped my mind that today, Sep 12, was my 50th birthday.  Yes – I said it – my 50th!  There is no escaping a number like that and it has been creeping up on me. Well my family didn’t forget and gave me a lovely day of surprises and nice things to eat… husband Al excelled himself and created this yummy breakfast to start the day…

As the day progressed I noticed a common thread was appearing – the colour orange was the highlight in a lot of the  festivities.  Anyone who is close to me knows that I’m not mad about the colour orange – but after today I am starting to look at it in a different light as it has a few rather special associations…

…like the lovely box and bag from Hermes that packaged the beautiful scarf my son and daughter gave me….

…the box the bottle of Veuve arrived in that we enjoyed at lunch…

…followed by my favourite Shepherd’s Pie cooked by daughter for dinner in the orange Le Creuset pot. It’s a Sophie Dahl recipe and very, very yummy….

I read an article about Emma Thompson recently – she turned 50 this year also and decided to do something nice each month as a way of easing herself into it.  I like her approach and I’m thinking I should do something similar ie find something nice to do each month that includes the colour orange – maybe a trip to Seville, Spain….I hear they have a lot of oranges….

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Chapter 2 – reconnecting…

The last few weeks have been a busy whirl of activity – shaping the book, thinking about the content, going through Jo’s work looking for material and people who should be involved or need to know, ideas etc…  Thankfully we live in an online world and the various mediums of email, facebook. websites etc have made the job a lot easier…

The main focus has been to let people know what is happening, setting up a website (www.joannefelk.com), asking people to share stories about Jo and getting a small team together to help with the design and shaping of the book.  The ideas and organisation (important not to forget that) are starting to flow…

I have also re-connected with some of Jo’s friends who are as far away as Norway and Ireland and now working on contacting the 150+ photographers who donated their beautiful images for a print auction in 2003.  The proceeds from that auction are funding the book and I want to let them know about it.  I found the spreadsheet with all the names this week – so this weekend I’ll be on the internet looking for their contact details.

We are planning to get the content for the book organised by November, so if you have something you would like to share check out the website for ideas and more detail on how to be involved at www.joannefelk.com

By the way – if you are one of the people in the pic at the top of this post I would love to hear from you.

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