On finding my VOICE

Thursday, December 31, 2015

As I sit here with a slight breeze blowing in my office window, I hear the voices of 2 little boys playing next door and smile at their chatter and their relationship with their grandparents.

It occurred to me that this is my One Little Word VOICE in action. Communication and each with their own individuality.  Already, a day before the 2016 workshop begins, my word has pushed and pulled me. I sat down and tried to think out roughly why I chose this word and what my intentions are for the new year.

Originally I wanted to find my visual voice, in particular my photography. It's become such a passion that I contemplated studying photography in 2016, but in the end, I feel I'm making great progress on my own and in conjunction with other studies and research. I mean, honestly, 6 months ago I almost exclusively used my DSLR on an auto mode. I found it too overwhelming to select the correct functions fast and so took the easy way out. One day my son said "Mum, just put it on manual and never go back. You'll figure it out." And because I can't let my son get that over me, I did just that and I have figured a lot out. Trouble is, you realise, the more you figure out, the more you realise there is to learn!

When I wondered what sort of photographer I might be, should I be say, a professional... I was a little stumped. There are so, so many directions one could take. What excites me most? When it comes down to it, I'm most drawn to editorial photography. But within that what is my style? Well, I'm going to have fun exploring and experimenting.

It's not all about visual though. I realise that there's my written voice, my oral voice, and my inner voice; all of equal importance. It will be an interesting year figuring out what my style is and listening to my gut.

Once again I'm going with a 6x8 album for this workshop, but I've started a new album and I want to add in research and notes, as well as the monthly prompt work from Ali. It'll be very much a working manual.

Very much excited to commence this new year. As I say goodbye to 2015, I'm sad to end my year on the Becky Higgins Creative Team 2015, but pleased to have a new direction. I will of course, still be doing Project Life. I also have a plan for a project which involves photography and probably all I've learned on my OLW journey over the last 3 years:) I feel a sense of freedom and freshness entering 2016. Long may that feeling last!

If you're doing the One Little Word workshop, I'd love to hear your words. Today a potential word for 2017 popped up! (insert big eyed emoji). That's getting a bit ahead of myself.

Wherever you are have a very happy and safe New Year.

Donna xx

Project Life | Nov/Dec15

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

For the last few months my Project Life pages have been made up of photos which reflect things happening around the time, without fitting any set dates. The only way I've felt I could stay on top of this project was allowing myself some freedom from set weeks or months and to just create pages.

Sometimes I have very few photos which seem relevant to what's going on. That's life with teens! The photos of my son were the result of about a 2 minute time frame when he was willing (albeit in his dressing gown), and I struggled to get the settings right on my camera. They're far from perfect but I love them anyway. For me, this is what Project Life is about. Natural moments, imperfectly perfect.

I love the 9x12 size, although 6x4 photos are a challenge. I'm continuing this size through 2016 and plan to continue the same laid back approach.

Thank you to all who have stopped by my blog this year. I wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR and hope all your dreams, plans, goals and intentions come to fruition in 2016.

Products Used:
Becky Higgins Project Life Page F (trimmed)
Becky Higgins Everyday Edition  
Becky Higgins x Stampin Up Moments Like This in digital format 

Project Life is a system for memory keeping by Becky Higgins. This year I'm part of her Creative Team. You can find out more about Project Life here.

Thanks for stopping by:)

Looking forward to One Little Word 2016

Friday, December 18, 2015

As 2015 draws to a close, I realise I've been looking forwards, more than backwards and that's a great sign for me. I don't wish to have my life speed by, but I also don't want to be always looking behind, wondering if I should have done this or that better. Maybe that's why I'm hopeless on 'catching up' with things like Project Life and other memory keeping. I always try to stay current, even if that means dropping weekly layouts in favour of documenting monthly only (which has happened the last 2 years).

Around September, as I was working on One Little Word, a new word popped up and sparked my interest. After some investigation, and finding some relevant quotes and other research, I knew it was THE ONE. It would be my 2016 word. I've had plenty of time to get comfortable with it and it fits so well with my direction for 2016.

When I told my daughter I got the strangest look. Maybe you won't 'get it' either, and that's okay. I like unusual words which push and challenge me. In the last 3 years, my chosen words have hardly been used by others either, but for me they were always perfect. They were simplicity, moment and perspective.

Next year I've chosen VOICE. And no, I don't mean the sound of my own voice. I'm interested in exploring my visual voice, particularly with photography. This year, my passion for photography has developed deeper and the more I learn, the more I realise I have to learn and that it'll be a life long journey. If I can narrow down my style, I'll feel I'm heading in the right direction. I'll also explore my written voice and I realise that my inner voice has a part to play as well. So ready for another exciting year.

I'm immensely grateful for the opportunities I had this year. Being part of the Becky Higgins Creative Team and writing a couple of classes for Big Picture Classes were not what I had in mind as December rolled around last year, It's funny how life takes you on little unexpected journeys. Those journeys are sometimes the things that move and shake you, and give you the courage to do other things. I have a big idea (if you've read Big Magic, you will know what I'm on about) and I'm going to need courage in bucket loads to do this but it's something I've had wrestling with my mind for a couple of years now. I couldn't quite get the idea sorted out but after reading the above mentioned book, I realise it's my calling and up to me to act on, or the idea may just leave me and find someone else! More on that down the track though.

Are you doing OLW next year? What's your word?

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by:)

Dec Self-Portrait Project | More Photos

Thursday, December 17, 2015

I'm managing to keep up with getting self-portraits taken and making daily notes, but bringing the last album pages together will realistically probably only happen after Christmas. I do hope t have it completely finished by New Year.

Today I'm a guest blogger at Big Picture Classes talking about my TEN TIPS FOR TAKING MORE CREATIVE SELF-PORTRAITS THIS SEASON. Here's where you can read it. I always feel a bit funny writing about self-portraits. I'm no expert at either photography or self-portraits. However, I have become quite determined at getting myself in my photos and the story. Along the way I've learned a few things and it's sparked more interest in my photography in general, so my post at BPC is an extension of that.

Here are some compilations of the photos I've prepared for the next week of my mini album. You can see the first week here.

Thanks for stopping by.

Project Life | Christmas pages

Sunday, December 13, 2015

We decorated our tree early this year, thanks to my over-enthusiastic daughter! I did use it as a chance to play with both my camera and phone camera on timer to get myself in some shots. It was a little tricky getting the focus correct from the mantle piece, but the practice was worth it. The photos of the photos haven't come out the best. I'm so happy with the originals. I've been using my Canon a lot more lately. Quite obsessed with improving my skills...Goal for 2016...

I paired a selection of photos with the Everyday Edition gold foil cards which I've been hoarding. They're just perfect for Christmas pages.
Products Used:
Becky Higgins Project Life Pages Y and  F (trimmed)
Becky Higgins Everyday Edition kit 
Digital 'wonderful' is PL x Stampin Up Everyday Adventure 

Project Life is a system for memory keeping by Becky Higgins. This year I'm part of her Creative Team. You can find out more about Project Life here.

Thanks for stopping by:)

Dec Self-Portrait Project | Week 1 progress

Friday, December 11, 2015

Because I relaxed the rules (I'd set myself) and decided that I'd use any self-portraits taken from near the end of November, and not worry about which day they were taken, it made some pre-planning of this project possible and I was able to get a few days ahead of myself on the photo side. Win, because as soon as Dec 1 came around it seemed the world sped up!

My whole intention is to make this quick and simple... aka as do-able by the end of December! Once December is over, I'm ready for my summer holidays, which will have my mind on the next project as well as a new year of Project Life.

For each day of December, I'm adding in a few personal thoughts, or will use something digital to accompany each photo.

Here's progress so far.

I'll be back mid next week with a link for tips on taking more creative self-portraits as well as some more page progress. Thanks for stopping by:)

6x8 Chipboard for covers covered in Kraft paper
White cardstock for journaling
Vellum for printed digitals
Digital products from Paislee Press
Digital Calendar (freebie) from Azzari Jarrett

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