Tag Archives: reflection

welcome 2015

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s!

I’ve had a quiet few days, spent mainly resting and reading and knitting and watching Gilmore Girls. The last weeks before Christmas were a rush and I was plain exhausted when the holidays rolled around. Lots of decorating plans didn’t happen due to that but I did manage to bake a late batch of german Christmas ‘Plätzchen’ on the 24th.

christmas 2014christmas 2014We went hiking nearby on the rare dry days, to stretch our legs and try out the hiking guides my mom had given me for Christmas.

christmas 2014christmas 2014christmas 2014I desperately needed those days off. At first I didn’t even think I was going to do a “hello new year, let’s recap and hear the resolutions” post this year, feeling somehow drained and uninspired. After a bit of rest I can manage a little reflection and goal setting though.

2014 wasn’t an easy year, even though there were a number of wonderful experiences (a three week road trip in Canada and a wonderful few days in Scotland to name just a few).  Still, I struggled with my own expectations and limitations. Something I haven’t written about on this blog before is that I’ve been battling a chronic pain issue in my lower back for 1.5 years now. I don’t want to go into this in detail, I’ll just say that anyone who has ever dealt with chronic pain knows that it gets to you in a very nasty sort of way and keeping that at bay is hard and humbling.

That said, I am glad to see 2014 safely behind and I’m much looking forward to 2015. I have some plans for the year, including a bit of travelling that I am very excited about. Looking back at last year’s resolutions I think I didn’t do too badly in 2014. I made progress on the healthy eating front and spent more time outside. I did blog a bit more and grew my business (both the portrait business and the shop). Some things didn’t work out – I definitely need to work on less online time and less comparing myself to others again in 2015 – and there were times when I just had to sit back and accept the fact that I had heaped my plate too high and needed to let go of some things for a while.

In 2015 my main goal will be balance, both physical and mental. I need to listen to my body and accept the limitations it sets me while at the same time pushing myself just hard enough and getting back into exercising regularly, knowing it’s good for me in the longterm although it may be hard and sometimes painful. Not an easy balance to strike.

If you are looking for motivation to exercise, here are three great projects I have come across in the last few days:

  • 30 days of Yoga with Adriene (thanks to Sherrie for the tip!), a free Yoga course on Youtube. You can sign up here.
  • My Peak Challenge with Sam Heughan (yeah, the hot guy from ‘Outlander’). Set your own challenge and support cancer research at the same time.
  • 30 day plank challenge. If you have just a few minutes a day this is a great, fast way to strengthen the body!

I will definitely try to do the 30 days of yoga (but will have to see if it’s possible to stay with it, depending how my back reacts to it) and I am thinking of joining the Peak challenge as well. My Peak this year will be an actual one – I dream of hiking up Ben Nevis on a new visit to Scotland in the summer. In the meantime I will train by going on regular hikes here at home.

As for other goals – healthy eating is a continual one and slowly, one step at a time, I am getting better at it and hope to settle even more into a routine in 2015. I need to be creative to be happy so carving out time for knitting, sewing and other crafts is important to me. Business wise I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge in photography (there is no end to learning, ever!) and focusing more on what I really love doing.

How do you reach goals? I can only speak for myself but I find I need to get very specific about them, setting time apart each week to work on them. I find scheduling this pretty easy, the sticking with it no matter what is the hard part (no surprise there).

What are your goals for 2015?

 

 

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creative blog hop

I have been invited by Liesl to join the the creative blog hop and talk about my creative process. I love answering questions like these, it’s always an opportunity to reflect and I usually find out something about myself that I didn’t know before I got writing and thinking!

Check out previous posts by Liesl, Inge and Melody (who invited me too a few weeks ago but whose message I read too late to participate then).

talking about creativity. little home by hand blogWhat am I working on?

I am primarily a photographer but I strive to incorporate handmade in all areas of my life – I sew, knit, garden and cook, with varying success.

Photography wise in between doing some fall portrait photoshoots I am working on putting a new travel photo series in my shop with images of a trip to Canada I took this year. It’s a long process of culling, editing, having samples printed, re-editing, stocking, writing descriptions and finally listing and promoting.

Fall is also knitting season for me – I am working on a new cardigan and there might be a shawl and a new pair of socks in sight too.

I have some sewing projects waiting to happen but since sewing takes much more of an effort to set up and requires me getting off the couch these take a backseat over knitting right now.

talking about creativity. little home by hand blogtalking about creativity. little home by hand blogHow does my work differ from others of its genre?

Does it? I see a lot of incredible artists creating wonderful things and I am not at all sure how my work differs, except that I always wish it was better! It has a certain, very colorful look for sure. I find every artist has their own style and it’s impossible to break that. Two people can photograph the exact same scene and their photos will be completely different. Nobody can see the world as you yourself see it and that’s wonderful. At the same time I see many people inspired by the same things and I am glad for kindred spirits who capture the beauty of the world in their own way.

I am not someone who gets lost in only one thing forever. Yes, photography is ‘it’ for me, but my other creative pursuits are also a big and necessary part of my life. I am interested in so many different things. Maybe that sets me apart from some other artists, who dive very deeply into one subject matter.

talking about creativity. little home by hand blogWhy do I create what I do?

I have always felt a need to create. Working with my hands and building something useful with them is as much a physical need as a mental one for me.

As a child I knew only that it made me happy. As an adult I also see another level to it – handmade has a value of its own. I want to live in a world where we still do things with our hands and value the process and materials. The animals and plants our wool and leather, fabric and color come from – they’re real, they existed, they have value. By making things by hand and using them I feel like I honor that worth.

As much as technology and media has expanded our world (and I revel in that) it sometimes feels like we are now very exposed and very anonymous at the same time – everything laid bare, interconnected and yet much more automatized and impersonal. Creating and building a life based on making things with my hands and knowing where they came from grounds and comforts me. Knitting a cardigan out of natural fibers warms the cold polyester world around me.

With my photography I try to capture feelings and emotions – the invisible connection between two people, the wonder at nature’s beauty in a world so far removed from it, the joy of shaping rough yarn into something wearable, the pride of watching a tiny seedling turn into a thriving edible plant under my hands.

talking about creativity. little home by hand blogtalking about creativity. little home by hand blogHow does my creative process work?

It’s a strange mixture of intuition and careful thought. My inspiration comes from nature, from connecting with other artists and from sites like Pinterest and Instagram. From there I try to break it down and shape the images and thoughts and feelings they conjure to my own needs. It’s a tough balance – being inspired but still doing things my own way.

With a craft project I usually need to give an idea time to grow, to take root and shape itself in my head. It’s quite unnerving, mulling something over in my head for days until the image has sharpened enough to be put into action.

With photography it’s often much more intuitive (which can be even more unnerving). I sometimes meet my portrait clients for the first time on location and I need to grasp immediately how these people tick, what makes them beautiful and tickle it out of them while also trying to use the location to its best advantage. My travel photography is much more relaxed, I simply capture moments as they happen, completely immersed in my own emotions and experience of the scenery.

 

Liesl, thanks so much for inviting me! Lindsay and Ruth, two wonderful creatives and bloggers, will be continuing the blog hop and will have their posts up within the next two weeks so hop on over to their blogs too.

2012

Another year gone and I know I’m repeating myself, but how fast it’s come and gone!
This time last year I was looking forward to slowing down a little. My dad’s health problems only a few short months ago, myself still coming to terms with the anger and frustration that I had just left behind in a bad job situation and changes in daily life that came with adjusting from college to corporate world.

Looking back on 2011 now, it was a year of little outward changes for the first part of it- until we moved that is. Instead it was a year of taking a step back, trying to define for myself where I fit into this picture of having achieved my diploma, having settled down in an office job and accepting that this place (geographically even) is where I’ll be for as long as I can think ahead right now.
I was very reluctant to move apartments, which seems silly now that we love our new place so much. The reason was probably that I wasn’t “done” thinking all this through yet.

My New Year’s resolutions last year were:
1. Eat healthier and more local, which will include growing as much stuff as possible ourselves
2. Educate myself further in photography, gardening and sustainable living
3. Simplify and declutter.
Funnily enough, although a big part of the year felt like I was losing focus and looking to find it again, I achieved my resolutions. We now shop at the farmer’s market every Saturday and eat better at least at the weekends.
I did some nice photo shoots throughout the year (although still nowhere near where I’d like to be yet) and did the big balcony garden experiment, which was very successful in parts and will definitely continue in 2012. I realized “going green” is not one big overhaul but a step-by-step process that we are well on (now’s the point where I guiltily realize that I’ve been planning a post on that for months).
We threw or gave away approximately a third of our belongings and it was a long and painful process. Having worked hard at this for many months it feels so good now to be starting into a new phase in life with a clean slate.

So what’s in store for 2012? A lot I hope 🙂
:: More steps towards a simpler and greener life, more growing food and learning.
:: Hopefully a big step in photography.
:: But also, and very importantly, becoming better at keeping a balance between time and projects and resources, living more in the moment.
I have always been high-strung and this year I realized I am a highly sensitive person (here’s a great personal article about it), a term I wasn’t familiar with before but which makes so much sense now that I can’t believe how I lived without the knowledge. It means, in a nutshell, that I can get more absorbed in ideas, projects, creative endeavours, even my office work than most people. I burn for my ideas and experience and perceive things very intensely. The price for that is crashing harder at the end of the day than most people, both physically and emotionally.
My body lets me know fairly reliably when I run out of strength. The hard part is learning to stop to listen to it, dealing with the frustration of wanting to do so much and accepting that I can’t, that I must take it more slowly.

I realize I have blogged less in the past year and have sometimes failed to answer a comment and email and that is a trend that, quite frankly, will probably continue as 2012 gets busy. I love this blog and the friends I have made here but I find that too much online time makes me nervous. As one step towards more balance I’ve decided that in 2012 I will limit my online time to a reasonable amount.
Another step (and another resolution) will be learning how to meditate and incorporating that into my daily routine.

If you’ve actually read to the end of this, thank you! I am so grateful to have this blog as much as a personal outlet and as a place to interact and meet people from all over the world. Thank you for being here and I’m looking forward to sharing another year here with you 🙂

*As you’ve probably realized the photos in this post had nothing to do with the text, they’re just random horse shots from my now finished Project 52

january


A good month looking back at it.
Settling into new routines and old ones.
Making resolutions and making an effort to keep them (doing pretty good so far actually).
Pausing to savour precious moments.
Decluttering our apartment (still going strong there).
Resting and making and planning.

Project 52 is working great for me so far. I usually end up with 2 or 3 photos that I like per week and I am keeping up with the little descriptions for them as well. I think it works especially well for the winter months because during the week there just isn’t a lot of time and light for photography. Now I realize we’re only a month into this project but I have a good feeling about this for the rest of the year 🙂
How’s it working for the rest of you who are trying this?

happy new year!

Here’s to a wonderful 2011!

We’re having a foggy start to the new year here, but the signs are pointing to sunny skies I do believe 🙂

I already did some reflection on the year in my birthday post in September, so I’ll try to keep this sweet and short.
For 2010 my new year’s resolutions were:
1. embracing the changes that are to come
2. be more deserving of the great life I have and the wonderful family and friends (both national and international, both human and furry) that fill it
3. be more patient and less grumpy

Number 1, I definitely think I’ve done that. Sadly, most of the changes weren’t what I’d hoped they’d be: My dad had a heart attack and underwent surgery repeatedly throughout the year. My first job turned out to be really crappy. I didn’t get as far with my photography as I would have liked to.
Come to think of it though, out of all that bad stuff came pretty good stuff: My dad, though not perfectly well again, is finally taking it down a notch, working less, smoking way less, and getting there.
Practically hitting a wall with my first job made me more sure of myself, of who I am and who I am not and now my second job is so much better and so much more fun and I can appreciate it more than if I would have without the crappy experience first.
As for photography, I’ve got my goals but I think I’ll be taking it more slowly next year and see what happens.
Number 2, I don’t know if I am more deserving, but I am definitely even more thankful and grateful. Nobody could be richer in kind and supportive family and friends than I am and I am reminded of that every day.
Number 3, big fail on that one. I feel I got more impatient and grumpier, not good. That one stays on the list for 2011.

New resolutions for 2011:
::: Eat healthier and more local, which will include growing as much stuff as possible ourselves
::: Educate myself further in photography, gardening and sustainable living
::: Simplify and declutter. A big revelation this year was that less is more in consuming. Less stuff = more happiness. The realization came easy, living by it is going to be harder.