To start off I need to get a bit sentimental about camera bags for you:
I’ve had my camera bag for nearly 10 years. It’s a hand-me-down LowePro shoulder bag that has traveled with me all over the world. It has seen beaches and forests and ranches, from scorching hot summers to freezing cold winters. It’s not pretty anymore but still sturdy. It’s held all sorts of cameras, from high-end DSLRs to vintage cameras to a plastic Holga. Naturally I feel quite attached to it but as I have accumulated heavier camera gear and have gotten a few years older it became apparent recently that my beloved shoulder bag and I weren’t the best fit anymore.
I’m a small person and the strain on neck, shoulders and back from lugging around all that heavy equipment for hours on just one shoulder is getting too much. So I decided to get a backpack for my gear to distribute the weight more evenly. I’m not fond of the average camera backpack though. I even have one (another hand-me-down) but with camera backpacks you always have to take them off and place them flat on the ground to take anything out. I wanted a normal backpack that I can swing over my shoulder and grab something out of quickly when I need another lens etc. and one that I could take on day trips when we go hiking.
I found the ideal candidate in a hiking store: A small daypack with a thickly padded back to make it easier on the shoulders and it was on sale for 30€. The material is quite thin though and I can’t just throw my camera things in there. I needed a padded insert so I looked around for things I could use. I found a rigid foam mat and some leftover footstep sound insulation from back when we moved and installed the laminate flooring. So I grabbed some fabric and went to work from there.
I traced the contours of the backpacks’s bottom onto the foam mat and made a fabric cover. Then I measured the circumference of that piece and made a long strip of fabric covered insulation to go around it. Sewn together by hand and voilà – a padded insert that fits my backpack perfectly!
I also made another piece of fabric covered insulation to act as a separation piece for the lenses etc.
Sewing wise a complete hack job but quick, practical and functional and I’m using it all the time. And let me tell you… that little backpack feels heavenly on my neck and shoulders!
For a few much, much better tutorials check out this, this and this site.
I’ve taken up hiking with a few friends. Being outdoors and in motion feels cleansing after spending day after day, week after week in front of a computer screen.
We’re only taking little, easy trips right now, breaking in our boots and getting in the flow of walking regularly.
The more I work, the more I realize how important physical exercise is for my well-being. It’s always hard to balance my office job, my business (I guess you could call it two businesses now with the shop), my other hobbies and my need for rest. I could work all the time really, because I know my goals and am ambitious. If I didn’t force myself to listen to my body, rest frequently and get outside to exercise I’d get ill from exhaustion within a month. Hiking is a bit like yoga, it has its own rhythm and works wonders to calm and focus the mind.
On this trip we were in the woods for about three hours. We set out quite late and the air was cool and fresh, lovely golden evening light streaming through the trees. I got worried we wouldn’t be out of the woods until the sun set but we made it, happy and hungry. I did nearly fall asleep over my pizza in the restaurant we stopped in on the way home. Guess I have a way to go before I’m up to a full day or week trip!
this spring and sunshine. So, so much!
Maybe it was the long winter and cold this year, but I’m still soaking up every ray of sunshine I can get and watching my balcony and the world around me come to life feels invigorating.
Hello, italian mint!
The ponies are happy too, finally it’s time for freedom and green grass again after spending winter in their stalls.
Love these little flowers! My mom gave me a few from her garden last year but they never bloomed. I kept them all the same and this year they’re blooming in lovely colours from pale rosey to bright orange to lush dark red!
And finally, I’m feeling creative again after a late winter lurch and look forward to getting back to my sewing machine soon. The dress above is from Zara, it was so gorgeous I had to have it even though it’s polyester. Oh, all the Downton Abbey inspired prettiness of Zara’s spring collection! I love how TV inspires fashion. I spent all weekend trying to wrap my head around how it is made so I can make my own copy in a cotton silk or even (imagine!) some luxurious washed silk.
It’s finally open, my brand new print shop on Etsy!
Ever since I registered my photography business over a year ago I dreamed of being able to sell my travel photography as prints. I got quite busy last year and the shop idea took a back seat.
During the long winter months I was able work on it again and I have been very hard at work since christmas. Opening a shop is so much more time consuming than the shop front suggests, but I’m super proud to announce today that it’s open for business! I am still in the process of stocking it, but I didn’t want to wait another week or two with the announcement.
So hop over to my Etsy Print Shop to check out some stunning Travel and Landscape Photography, including some much loved prints I shared on this blog!
Also, to keep up with the shop and promo deals (and who knows, maybe even an opening discount…) sign up for my newsletter.
If you’re on Etsy too, let’s connect! I’ve been on Etsy with another username but decided to start afresh for this shop, so unfortunately I lost all of my feedback and connections and I’d love to get in touch with other Etsy users and seller.
So, my mood has increased exponentially in the last few days because it is actually, finally, spring around here! Warm wind, sunshine and the earthy smell of nature waking up.
All the better because I had a day off today and spent a wonderfully relaxing morning on the balcony, soaking up sunshine and the “Call the midwife” series by Jennifer Worth (SO good). I literally feel like a new person, and this even though I spent all day Sunday scratching old wallpaper off the walls of a friend’s new house and should logically feel tired and sore today.
The balcony is coming to life with a few flowers I picked up at the nursery and the sight of them cheers me up no end. Some tomato and pepper seedlings are thriving indoors in my trusty light box. I can’t wait for nature to really take off this year!
Ok, here’s something I meant to blog about last year but never got around to: Ever since coming across vermicomposting on a stay in Canada four years ago I had been meaning to try it. So well over a year ago, despite all funny looks of our friends and relatives (vermicomposting is virtually unknown here) we set up a worm bin and bought a few small red worms at a nearby fishing shop, crossing our fingers they’d be the right type of worm.
I started off well, feeding them reguarly with heaps of kitchen scraps and wet newspaper. And then…I kind of forgot about them. I guess there is no excuse for neglecting animals in your care, even if they are only worms but there you go. The bin was in a hard to reach area and out of sight and the worms didn’t exactly complain about being hungry. The box never started to smell and it just sat there, through summer and fall and winter until I mustered up the courage to open it this weekend and take a peek.
Well, you can all breathe a sigh of relief if you were feeling sorry for the worms because I am happy to report they are alive and well and in the course of a year have reduced a full box of kitchen scraps to this:
Wonderful, rich compost which my tomatoes and peppers will love (and they’re still working on the egg shells apparently)! Awesome job, wormies, and I promise to feed you again and not forget you for another year!
So sorry for disappearing for weeks and not even managing an Easter post! I have no idea where the time went, I meant for this post to go up right after Easter but then work and stuff got in the way and now it’s the middle of April already! I’ll try and be a better blogger, promise. And I can tease and tell you there’s a big announcement coming up pretty soon photography-wise.
But first, Easter weekend! I spent the long weekend on the beautiful dutch island Ameland with friends (yep, just like last year).
We were looking forward to a few days of rest and outdoor time and enjoyed every minute of it.
Even though the weather didn’t always cooperate (no, it still isn’t spring yet over here, yes, that is snow on the beach), we spent hours every day just walking the island, resting at the beach café’s every now and then for a nice slice of cake or some fries. Working inside most of the time makes me forget just how hungry some outdoor time makes.
Or how good it is for body and soul. Walking is a bit like yoga, you move your body while completely resting the mind with the added advantage of fresh air.
In the evenings we ate delicious home cooked dinners, mostly fish we had picked up fresh from the day’s fishing in the village, and settled down for some creative time. Somehow, between us four women, we worked on two sweaters, a pompom-rug and I knitted a tiny baby vest for my friend who is four months pregnant. To be shown here on the blog as soon as it’s washed and blocked and has some cute buttons added.
We even colored some eggs on Easter sunday before setting out again.
I have some more images from our beach trails up on my photoblog.
The rest and workout was much needed after the long winter and I’ve decided I really enjoy walking and hiking so I will try and find some nice trails in our surrounding areas to keep it up on weekends.
Now, wishing you a resting weekend!
I’m so over it being winter. Being cold all the time. Not being able to use my balcony or to plant anything because it’s all still frozen solid. Winter seems to drag on indefinitely this year and no matter how much I’m trying to be positive I can’t stand it any longer. I think I’ve got cabin fever from being indoors and out of the light for too long and from working too much.
A visit at the ponies still does wonders for my spirits though.
And we do try to be cozy at home, watching movies and doing our best to eat something other than frozen pizza.
A bit of a rant this time, sorry! I’ll be bright and happy again once spring is here ok?
Light like this can almost reconcile me to it still being winter. Almost.
It feels good to know spring is coming. The first indoor seeds went in their pots this weekend.
We celebrated my grandmother’s 80th birthday this weekend along with some of her old schoolfriends she has known since childhood. This bunch of 80-year-olds rocked the evening, recounting fun times and hard times during the war, the 40s, 50s, 60s…usually accompanied by “do you remember when [insert funny story]…my, we were SO drunk that day!”.
To start this off with a photo, here is 10/52, titled ‘connection’:
Last week I read Jenna’s Post “You do too much” and it really resonated with me.
I get this a lot too, people telling me I do so much or I do too much. It’s true, I have a full-time job plus a growing business, I sew my own clothes, I do yoga, I go horseriding, I have friends, a household etc.
And I am sometimes plain exhausted by it. And I don’t get up at 6am on a Saturday after a long week at the office and jump for joy because I get to work another couple of hours on my own business doing tax stuff.
But still, I’m with Jenna. Not doing it all is simply not an option. Even if inspiration looks like “this” a lot of the time, it is what keeps me happy and inspired and proud and pushes me out of my comfort zone and makes me grow in ways I could never anticipate. All the hard stuff is so worth the rush of adrenaline and happiness that creating something good out of thin air gives me, whether it be a garment or a photo or a whole business.
This is so much less eloquent than Jenna put it, but it needed out today on a cold, grey, snowy morning on which the excitement of inspiration and creation (and the anticipation of a spring hopefully just around the corner) is pretty much the only thing which could make me crawl out of bed.
And speaking of inspiration, I updated and sorted my Pinterest boards a while ago and made some new ones too and always forgot to mention it here. So, all new and tidy over there in case you want to have a peek (I do love Pinterest so!).
I had been thinking about getting a tablet for some time. Seeing as I still don’t have a smartphone I though it would be a nice on-the-go addition to my heavy laptop. So when Lauren got one and made a lovely case for hers and gave me a ton of great advice I just had to get one too! And the first thing I did was make a sleeve cover for it of course :)
I got some inspiration online and wanted to make something easy but functional.
Here’s what you need:
– felt in two colors
– needle and thread
– a big button
– some elastic
– fabric paint (optional)
First, measure your tablet and determine the size of your sleeve (I recommend adding 1/4″ seam allowance at each side as well as 1/4″ at the bottom). Cut all felt pieces to the correct size and lay on top of each other in the color combination you like and sew on three sides.
I initially wanted to sew it together by machine but the felt shifts a lot and in the end it was easier to just stitch it together by hand.
If you sew by hand make sure you double your thread for more stability. Make sure the layers stay precisely on top of each other and do not shift.
Sew a button on the front and determine the length of your elastic (it will be sewn to the back side on the inside of the sleeve). If you want the elastic to be a coordinating color you can paint it with fabric paint.
Sew on the elastic and admire your pretty new tablet sleeve!
Now for the tablet: I love it! I got the Google Nexus 7 (like Lauren, but I really did read some tests and comparisons online and it was the best by far). It has email, facebook, pinterest and google reader and I just love coming home late in the evening and not having to get out the big laptop but instead going straight to bed and just doing some blog reading and looking at pretty pictures on the tablet.
I also got an app for taking notes and using MS Office, so I can work with it as well. I have small hands so the 7″ size is perfect for me.
I guess I just got cool again ;)