Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Some Visuals

Hello friends, 
We are in the middle of a charity week at the shop. 
 Stopping by to say hi
and share some happy images with you

{All images but last, Boho Garden~Cafe del Mar}

  love, Irene

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Inspiration Monday

Wrapping Your Presence in Rainbows
by Marney K. Makridakis

People have often told me that I tend to see things through rose-colored glasses, and I take it as a compliment.  I know that the idiom tends to have a negative connotation, but I tend to think of my own rose-colored glasses as being one of my most helpful tools for creativity, productivity, and happiness.  Seeing the bright hues in any situation allows us to focus on what we want, rather than what we don't want.  And having a clear vision of what we want is, I believe, the first step in actually taking action to get there.

I recently was reminded, however, that taking off the rose-colored glasses can be pretty amazing, too.  I experienced this quite literally, when looking at rainbows through my polarized sunglasses.  Typically, these sunglasses tend to make everything more vibrant, including the beautiful rainbows that are so frequent where I live.  The sunglasses make rainbows really pop into an even more spectacular sight.

But the other day, my husband commented on the vivid rainbow, and oddly enough, when I had the sunglasses on, I couldn't see the rainbow at all.  Once I took them off, then I was able to see it in all its breathtaking splendor.  Now, I'm sure there is a scientific reason that explains this phenomenon – why the color frequency in this particular rainbow was so dramatically different from most rainbows I had seen.  But, science aside, the experience reminded me of how important it can be to take off the rainbow-colored glasses from time to time, and see exactly what really is.  What really is can be even more breathtaking than what might be.

So which is better – to see life for what it can be, or see it for what it is?    I think the answer lies in making a choice to fully experience the powerful elements that each perspective has to offer. Balance, of course, is necessary, since we can't become so focused on what is that we forget the value of seeing what can be.  And perhaps even more bravely, we can't become so attached to our rainbow-colored glasses that we forget what can happen when we really allow ourselves to actually be with what is, and feel the gravity, and resulting power, of our lives' truth.

I believe that making brave choices, even the very act of choosing to become comfortable with this type of duality, is easier when we utilize creativity to support our choices.  "Choice" and "Intuition" are two of the ARTbundance™ Principles that trainees in the ARTbundance™ Certification Training Program have been studying, learning how to help their clients develop intuition, so that they can innovatively use it to make many kinds choices in their life.

I'll close with some words from a poem that I wrote for an early issue of Artella magazine:

I gathered embraces and cuts
grace and guts
but one is not more lovely than the other
I gathered it all.

A load like this never gets lighter
but if you feel it for true
let the weight ruin you
dare to feel the pinch
if you feel it
and really feel it
you'll sing so fast, you can run
dance so loud, you can rhyme
and close your eyes so light,
you can fly.

Blessings to you and your gorgeous, rainbowtacular flight!

Marney K. Makridakis is the founder of Artellalandand the inventor of the ARTbundance Philosophy, which uses ARTsignments™ to change lives through the power of creativity.  

love, Irene

Friday, 23 March 2012

Fashion Friday-Spring Pastels

There is a pastel colour combination for every day of Spring

The it's still chilly days

the Adorn yourself days

Comfy-chic days

Preppy-fun days

"I wish Santa could hear me and bring me this for Easter" days

 I wish I were Barbie days

 "I put on my daughter's All Stars to work and it's fun", days, 

It's almost Summer days

Accessorize is everything days

And then there are the things to remember, whichever way you go

Whatever you do, look for the pastel shade and have fun!

  love, Irene

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Interview: Susan Pointon

Hello dear frineds,

It is amazing what a wonderful journey blogging has become for me. 
In June, God willing, we shall be celebrating this blog's 5th blogoversary
 So many beautiful, different, exciting people from all over the globe have come my way and we crossed our paths at some moment or another.
Isn't that amazing?

oh here you are, thank you!

One of my blog besties is Susan. 
Susan lives in Australia
(F's favorite continent, although she's never been to Australia!)
and she is a very talented photographer, capable of bringing out the best in everyone,
and a very beautiful person with a great sense of humor that I appreciate on her blog and on Facebook!

without further delay, 


1.How did you get started on photography?

I never was really interested in photography until I had my own children. 
My middle child, Clara, who is now 8, started modelling when she was 4 years old. I think that was the trigger that got me all started on this wonderful journey
I loved taking photographs of my own kids and slowly updated my cameras over time until I finally invested in my first DSLR only 3 years ago. We were off on a family holiday to Canberra and I wanted some great quality photos of our family instead of the usual plain and boring photos produced by a point and shoot camera. It was a Nikon and a wonderful camera. 
That was it! 
The kids were constantly photographed and one day I decided to have a play around with Photoshop to see how I could manipulate the photos to improve their colour, lighting etc. After a lot of self teaching using the internet and also trial and error I decided to finally do a Photoshop workshop. Well that hooked me even more. There was an endless world of creativity out there. I had never really been a creative person before. Well on the inside I had but never shown anything publicly.

Facebook was the main basis of starting my photography journey. 
Friends had seen my work and were then asking me to photograph their children. 
Finally I decided to come out of my “cocoon” and offer my services to anyone who wanted their family or children photographed. I have been overwhelmed with the response and support I have had from not only family and friends, but strangers as well. It also brings me great joy to see my work proudly hanging in people’s homes. I like to consider that each photo is a little piece of me – seeing their children through my eyes.

2.Beauty is the eye of the beholder. What do you see when you point and click?

 Mmmmm .. what do I see when I point and click? I see a finished photo. I can see the photo, the editing, the finished product. I also hope to see a smile on my client’s face when they see them. Each shoot is different. Even if I am shooting in the same location, the lighting is different, the children or subjects are different and I try to edit my photos to suit each situation. I just absolutely adore country style photography. My husband and our family live on a farm in South Australia and it is primarily an agricultural area. We are blessed to have the beach on either side us too. I try to keep my photography style based on a country/farming style as that seems not only appeal to myself, but the majority of my clients. Negative space is another thing I love in my photos (having the subject in only part of the whole photo).

3.Most of your subjects are photographed in the open. What appeals to you in the outdoors?

The thing that appeals to me in the outdoors is natural light and the location of the photo shoot. There are a lot of family farms in my region which have been handed down from generation to generation (I think my husband’s family farm has been around for approximately 130 years). 
I like to photograph children and their families in their own environment not only for the child’s comfort, but for historical purposes. It is fantastic to look back at families at the same location many years ago, showing the different style of clothing, buildings and machinery. Also just how they lived their lives. Each year I try to take photos in our shearing shed and also our working machinery.
 Over time I hope to see the changes which have evolved. 

 I must also add that I love photographing in winter. I am not much of a summer person and I am certainly not a fan of snakes (which we commonly have in our neck of the woods!). Winter I think brings more a warmer style of photo with lovely green lush backgrounds and the lighting is a lot softer and more even. I feel that some of my best work has been rolling around in dirt and paddocks in the rain! 

Dogs are another love of mine. 
I count our pet dogs as family. We have Banjo (a West Highland Terrier x Australian Terrier) who is 4 years old and should be a professional dog model and a newcomer to our family, Coco, a 10 week old Great Dane puppy. I have had people ask me to photograph their pets and I treat them just as I would a child. I jump at the chance to do these shoots. You may see some photos now and then of dogs on my blog. Banjo is quite the character. As soon as he sees his mum with her camera, he is in on the action – the complete opposite to my kids! He will let me photograph him in any pose or any situation.

4.Do you dream of a photograph or a project that you'd like to share with us?

 A dream project of mine would really have to be just to get a “perfect” photo of my own three children who are Gus (aged 10), Clara (aged 8) and Maggie (nearly 7). By perfect I don’t mean all looking at the camera with a smile while they are saying “cheese”. I mean one which is happy, candid and full of love
Each year I do a photo shoot with them on or around their birthdays and make a special little booklet
with the photos. I plan to photograph them all together this year once winter sets in and the crops are all green. I have not decided on an exact location but it will be somewhere on our property. I have also just invested in a lighting setup this year and would like to photograph a few newborns. 
Outdoor photography using natural light is still my first love though.

5.You are a photographer and you are a mom. 
Could you please share some hands on advice for us to take cute pictures of our children?

A few tips for any mums out there wanting to take some great photos of their kids would be to try and capture your children candidly. Get down to their level and photograph them while they are playing or doing a special activity that they love. Photograph them while they are not looking, walking away. Photograph their chubby little hands or feet. I feel candid photos have more meaning and more emotion that posed photos. Google some silly jokes and get them to laugh a real laugh .. not just saying “Cheese!”. 
Don’t be afraid to act the clown to bring out a big natural smile. I have done some really silly things in my time, believe me! Capture their happy and sad moments. I have quite a few photos of my kids crying if they are hurt or just sad. I love to look at these times just as much as the good ones. It’s all part of life. Take them to new places and capture them exploring. Invest in a camera with continuous shooting. You may end up taking hundreds of photos but you will be sure to capture many more special moments and lots of different expressions. Last of all, keep your kids safe.

Visit Susan at Lemon Tree Photography to see her beautiful work and her blog right here.
If you are lucky enough to live near her, in Australia, I'd love to see your pictures taken by Susan!

*All images Susan Pointon*

~All highlights, mine~

Thank you, Susan for the beautiful interview and your lovely photography!
And Thank You all for reading :)

love, Irene

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Happy Spring Equinox


love, Irene

Monday, 19 March 2012



The dolphiness

Lyrics : Odiseas Elitis
Music : Linos Kokotos
Singer : Michalis Violaris

'Tween Spetse and Hydra in the open sea
Up pops a dolphiness in front of me
Hey babe, I say, where΄s your petticoat?
Thus undressed you are to seek your boyfriend!

Come on babe, climb in, we΄re off,
And five times round the skies we went.

I have no boyfriend she replied
Just came to see what I could see.
She dives down deep and disappears
Then up and holds the boat again.

Come on babe, climb in, we΄re off,
And five times round the skies we went.

O Lord forgive me, as I bend to look
 this wicked one gives me a kiss
 like lemon trees her breasts smell nice
and all that΄s blue shines through her eyes.

Come on babe, climb in, we΄re off,
And five times round the skies we went.

A sunny song to begin the week.
A sunny heart, body and mind to all

love, Irene

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Watch: The girl with the dragon tattoo

In the past few weeks F and I saw saw some lovely films. 
I am in film heaven cause, thankfully, we have similar tastes in films.
I lean towards romance and artsy, some nice police ones, too.
 Last weekend we saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  

 Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, ruthless computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet's disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from almost forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history. But the Vangers are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves.

More about the book here. 

Did I like it?
Very much.
It is a hard film, but it is well made. 
Here is a preview.

love, Irene

Friday, 16 March 2012

Fashion Friday-Eccentricity

Hello dear friends, 
Today je vais profiter de Fashion Friday to entertain us a little. 
 I like fun stuff, I love eccentricity. Whatever makes people stand out from the mass produced crowd.

There is eccentricity that goes with style. 
 Not all royal choices are happy ones to my taste, but this hat worn by the Countess of Wessex is brilliant.

I love eccentricity in men, too.
There are all sorts of eccentricity, there, of course. 
I like dandy alot,
and I also like a fresh and fun look, 
showing that someone has a sense of adventure, of inspiration and what I classify as good taste.

There is stuff I am not so sure about. 
They sit next to the bad taste crater
but I still feel the urge to congratulate their creators, because they dared put their idea into flesh

This is a shoe by Vassili Zoulias
Granny blanket meets traditional Greek tsarouhi shoe.
What about this one?
Reminds me of my mom's hair rollers.

Et pour finir
following up on this post
Charlotte encore!

Whatever you do, have fun!

love, Irene

Work: A jewellery making workshop

This week we hosted a jewellery making workshop at the shop.
I am very impressed by the joy women younger and older than me felt by creating their own stuff. 
We'll do it again!

love, Irene

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Trina Turk's Californian charm

A few years ago I purchased my first Trina Turk item, a scarf, from a boutique in Dallas. You know how I love scarves, well, I wore it probably every day that summer. It was Trina-Turk-scarf kind of summer, bright, carefree and creative.
That's how I'd describe her home in Los Angeles.

Photography, Bonnie Tsang
See more int he current issue of Matchbook

love, Irene

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Something for the Weekend

The color of it must be spring green, impossible to describe until I see a just-hatched lizard sunning on a stone. That color, the glowing green lizard skin, repeats in every new leaf. 
"The force that through the green fuse drives the flower..." Dylan Thomas wrote. 
"Fuse" and "force" are excellent word choices-the regenerative power of nature explodes in every weed, stalk, branch. Working in the mild sun, I feel the green fuse of my body, too. Surges of energy, kaleidoscopic sunlight through the leaves, the soft breeze that makes me want to say the word "zephyr"-this mindless simplicity can be called happiness. 

 Every year, when Spring approaches, I take Bella Tuscany from my shelves and immerse myself in Spring.
 I love Italy.I love Frances Mayes' books.

  love, Irene

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