Earlier this year I resolved to spend lots of time this summer photographing (and identifying) trees for my Instagram feed. (See A love of trees for more.)
Now, if you follow me on instagram you can’t fail to have been struck by a simple fact: you haven’t remotely been spammed with hundreds and hundreds of tree pictures.
Why not? It turns out it’s really tough to photograph a tree; decent camera on your phone or not.
Recently, I came across a wonderful South Korean photographer called Myoung Ho Lee who manages exactly what I couldn’t succeed in doing and I had to share these images with you.
He takes the most awe-inspiring photos, each tree with a simple white sheet hung behind it.
I never fail to be impressed by trees. Of course, flowers are really great too. They’re pretty and you can arrange them in a vase and suddenly even the dingiest most hovel-like room in your house is transformed into a place of beauty. But there’s something about the immense majesty of trees – their sturdy immovability, great age and refusal to be brought indoors – that makes them my plant of choice every time.
If ever I’m feeling glum, or bored, or just out-of-sorts for whatever reason, a short walk to the park and a stroll under the canopy of ancient trees always, but always, brings a spring back to my step.
I think that’s why I love these photos so very much. They seem to say: Here it is, just a tree, on a white background.
Last week, the lovely Laura of Circle Pine Trees invited me to join in with a blog hop. Everyone taking part answers three questions about creativity and then nominates two of their favourite bloggers to do the same. Follow on down the trail and find some wonderful new blogs…
You can see Laura’s answers from last week over on her blog — her thoughts on writing particularly struck a chord with me. (And if you’ve not visited before, stay and take a look at some of her stunning photos and wonderfully evocative tales of her life in the country.)
So, if you’ve headed back here again, on to me…
1/ What have been the doings/makings/scribblings at your desk/making table in the last week?
I’ve been hit by a real creative renaissance recently, re-emerging, bleary-eyed from a year of constant lethargy (pregnancy being the number one culprit for that) and, suddenly filled with boundless reserves of energy, have been trying to cram a million and one different things into the short spaces of time I get when both children nap simultaneously.
This week, I’ve been feverishly working away on plans I have for an Etsy shop I hope to open soon. I’ve been making some babygrows with vintage images on them, ready to send off to a few friends as product testers to get their thoughts…
I’ve been trialling crockery decals, trying to make my sister a (very, very belated) wedding present. So belated, in fact, it’s already too late for their one year anniversary.
I’ve been gathering thinned apples and plums from the garden for my July shot of my monthly garden moodboards.
And I’ve been making cherry vodka and photographing it for a future blog post…
2/ Where are you currently finding your inspiration?
Every day I take a wander through the ever-lovely Peckham Rye Park, pootling around its green open spaces and smelling all the flowers in the Sexby Garden, before taking the toddler off to the playground. I find endless inspiration here – both in the stunning plants which I photograph extremely (possibly too) frequently as you can see in my instagram feed – but also in having a bit of time to myself to think as I push the pram along the paths.
This is the time of day when I have most of my ideas. So I’m normally pondering what to do for my next craft project, what to write for the next blog post, what other products I want to stock in the new shop, what paint colours I want for the walls in the (newly-renovated) house, oh and the usual major life plan decisions, “what should I be doing in five years time.” Responses to the latter I update frequently and with endless enthusiasm. They almost always involve living on a farm and keeping alpacas.
3/ How important is being creative to you & how do you blend this with your work/life/family balance?
Ha! With an nine-week-old and a toddler, I don’t think I have much life balance right now, the large majority of my day being taken up with their demands sweet requests. The rest with a pressing need to fall asleep.
But, generally speaking, creativity is pretty important. I’m lucky enough that I have always worked in a creative job, somewhat falling into a career of journalism and then communications – though now, since having the toddler a few years ago, I’m a stay at home Mum.
When I had to write every single day for a living, I used to long for a bit of time off, when I didn’t feel the words flowing or just simply wasn’t in the mood to write something. I used to make up excuses to go and do some filing, or empty my desk drawers, or analyse website statistics, make another cup of tea, and so on. Anything to procrastinate on starting to actually write the damn article I was supposed to be writing.
Now, of course, any writing or crafting I do is purely for myself and I now find myself putting off the boring but essential things like running the dishwasher, filling the washing machine, erm even sometimes taking a shower, in order to write a blog post, take some photos, knit a few more rows on a baby jumper or embark on whatever new project I have in hand.
In all honesty, I never feel I have the balance right between work (not doing any right now at all. Feel rather guilty about that), family (am I giving them enough attention? Am I giving them too much attention? Will they grow up weird and socially maladjusted because they’ve not been at a nursery?) and creativity (I wish I had more time to spend on making things. Oh god, I’ve been spending too much time making things and the children will grow up maladjusted… etc etc. repeat ad nauseam).
On a rare day everything goes well: the children are delightful in the way I imagined children would always be before actually having any; both take a nap at the same time and I manage to finish some innovative, exciting craft project to exactly the high standard I had in my mind; the hubby comes home early and bathes the sproglet, while I write a witty and informative blog post about said craft project and quickly snap a few perfectly-lit, wonderfully-styled, immaculately-framed photos to accompany the post.
On those days, I feel as if I’ve got the balance just right…
Aaaaand, that’s the end of my (rather long) answers! So to pass the baton on to two more bloggers. Head over to their blogs next week, Monday July 7th, to see their answers, but in the meantime do go and have a browse right now!
I discovered Gemma Garner as we both link up at How does your garden grow, a weekly linky from Mammasaurus (now Manneskjur). It was perhaps inevitable that I would love Gemma’s blog: not only does she share my love for photographing flowers, but also for crafting and outdoors adventures. Gemma’s gardening photos, in particular, always inspire me to head off and grow / buy a few more plants for my own little patch as hers look so wonderful.
Sarah at Look what I made has a seemingly unending ability to craft / cook / create unique projects. One of my favourites ever was this amazing bird terrarium. Her blog is interesting, informative and always amusing. Plus, she’s based in Vienna, which seems terribly glamorous to me, here in the drizzly UK.
So, Laura, many thanks for asking me to take part. And Gemma and Sarah, I can’t wait to see your answers next week!