wordless wednesday

moody black and white photograph of a dead flower head

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taking stock #011

marathoning the gilmore girls these holidays

I’ve been looking forward to taking stock #011.  It usually takes me a few days, working in bursts, to get this post written.  I love that it does make me stop and take stock.  Think about the things that have been going right and not so right lately.

Have you considered doing your own life stock take?

Making: earrings for the upcoming Autumn/Winter collection – Simplicity.
Cooking: a simple delicious alternative to pasta – zucchini, spinach and garlic, stir fried with coconut oil.
Drinking: water kefir – 250 mL daily – to help with my gut health.
Reading‘The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden’ by Jonas Jonasson.  I read ‘The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared’  first.  Loved it.  Loving the Girl as well.  Highly, highly recommend them!
Wanting: a weekend off the mountain still…
Looking: at taking an overseas holiday this year.
Playing: the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’  soundtrack… loud, with dancing and singing included!
Deciding: on a birthday gift for my Girl.
Wishing: for my energy levels to get back to normal.
Enjoying: the laziness of school holidays and the lack of routine.
Waiting: for school term to start… back to work…
Liking: dinners on the deck in the late afternoon sunshine.
Wondering: what 2017 will bring.
Loving: my daily drink of water kefir.
Pondering: what direction to take.
Considering: buying a car for the Girl.  Weighing up the pros and cons at the moment, as it’s a big commitment for her.
Watching: or rather marathoning ‘Gilmore girls’  with my Little Man.  I love Lorelai’s bent sense of humour.
Hoping: that my Muse makes a return soon.
Marvelling: at just how complex and interrelated a system our bodies can be, and how sometimes modern medicine just doesn’t seem to get that.
Needing: a weekend off the mountain.
Smelling: the beetles at night.
Wearing: my new Kowtow dresses.
Following: the yellow brick road….
Noticing: how much my Little Man is growing.  New shoes soon, for sure.
Knowing: that I cannot do it all.
Thinking: about what’s for dinner…. I get so sick of deciding what we will eat every night.
Feeling: relaxed after a morning meditation and affirmations session.
Admiring: the dogged determination of my Little Man as he builds a dam.
Sorting: through and shredding paperwork from last year.
Buying: as little as possible.  Embracing the minimalist way of life.
Getting: up at 7 a.m. every morning and trying to prepare myself for the school term and earlier morning starts.
Bookmarking: lots of interesting stuff to share on my Facebook pages.
Disliking: negativity.
Opening: the washing machine to hang the n-th load of washing.
Giggling: at Lorelai’s jokes.
Snacking: on blueberry and pear smoothies.
Coveting: a weekend off the mountain (yes, there’s a theme here!)
Wishing: that people would pick up their own shit and not leave shoes in the middle of the doorway.
Helping: out friends as needed.
Hearing: the dog snore.

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

Are you a fan of Gilmore girls?  And marathoned any good t.v. shows lately that you’d recommend?

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inside my camera bag

This is a post I’ve been meaning to do for forever, so finally I am sharing with you (most) of what is inside my camera bag and where I work.

my gear & bag

canon eos 7dii and 550d

  1. Canon 7D Mark II: it was an agonising decision to go with this camera body, as I’d been contemplating purchasing a mirrorless camera for their (light) weight.  In the end, though, the 7D won out as I already owned Canon lenses and didn’t want them to collect dust.  Plus the 7D is excellent in low light, which makes it the perfect camera for photographing events in the school hall.
  2. Canon 550D: my original baby.  I pushed this unit to its limits before upgrading to the 7Dii.  Now it’s the camera that my son picks up to practise his photography with and the one I loan to friends when they need a larger camera than their phone.  It’s still in perfect working order and I always have this one charged and ready to go when I’m on a shoot – just in case!

canon camera lenses

  1. Canon EF-S 55-250mm: one of the original kit lenses that came with my 550D, the zoom mechanism is completely flogged out because this was my go-to lens for a long time.  I keep it in my bag because it comes in handy for photographing sports days at school.
  2. Canon EF-S 18-55mm: the other kit lens from my 550D.  It doesn’t get used all that often anymore.
  3. Canon EF 50mm 1.8: the nifty fifty. This is the lens that lives on my camera now.  I had a hate/hate relationship with it for a long time as I struggled to find its focal sweet spot, but in 2015 I made the decision to leave this lens on my camera until I mastered it.  It’s the lens I favour for photo shoots, although I’m hoping to upgrade to the 1.4 soon (ideally, I want the 1.2, but don’t know about the price!)
  4. Canon EF 85mm 1.8: I purchased this lens with the intention that it become my go-to lens… Hasn’t happened yet, so I’m thinking of doing what I did with the 50.  Put it on my camera until I master the sucker!
  5. Canon EF 100mm 2.8: I *love* this lens.  If I’m having a particularly rough day, the 100mm goes on the camera and I go into the garden exploring the world in miniature until I calm down.

speedlite 270EX II

I keep a Speedlite 270EX II in my bag as well.  Again, I had every intention of learning how to use it, but preferring to photograph in natural light, I’ve just never really had the need to master the flash.  It’s on my to-do list for this year, though.

blackrapid camera strap

I don’t know how I managed without my Rapid Strap before I bought it!  Lovingly called the Sniper-Strap, I purchased mine after attending a Love Your Camera workshop with Angie Baxter and seeing hers in action.  Since then I’ve bought one for Daughter’s camera as well.  Why do I love my strap so much?  It slings across my body and takes all pressure off my neck when I’m wearing my camera.  I can (and have) literally have my camera on my body all day without it being a nuisance.  Best money I ever spent!

camera accessories

  1. spare memory cards: formatted after each use and ready to go when I pick them up.
  2. lens pen: to keep my lenses and camera body clean and free of gritty bits.
  3. blower pen: great for blowing dust and grit off.

kelly moore camera bag

All of my gear (plus bits and pieces I’ve purchased and never really used… can you say Gary Wong diffuser?!) lives in my Kelly Moore camera bag.  It helps keep the dust off of everything when it’s not in use and protects it when I travel or am at a photo shoot.  It all lives beside the Mercedes I got for my birthday a few years back (the real thing was a tad expensive), and my 2 red hippie camper vans (because one day I’m going to own one and travel around Australia in it!).

my space

photography by tasha chawner work space

This is where I work. I made the decision to purchase an electric standing desk last year because I find that sitting puts too much pressure on my back.  I have a Human Tool Balance Spot anti-fatigue mat that helps to keep me upright and moving and alleviates the pressure on my feet when standing for long periods.

  1. I run a Dell XPS 8700.  It’s a couple of years old now, but still (mostly) working a charm.  Has the odd hiccup, but runs Lightroom (my photo editing software) easily and efficiently.
  2. I moved over to a Wacom Intuos pen and touch tablet a number of years ago.  I use it instead of a mouse as it allows me finer control when editing photos. I still have a touchpad mouse on my keyboard, as every now and again I come across programs that won’t play nice with my tablet.
  3. my Big Picture planner from Design Aglow.  I’ve customised my own weekly to-do list, but love having everything in this folder and at my fingertips.
  4. my Paperblanks journals.  One is for my jewellery design sketches. The other two are used for keeping photography tips and notes, and for sketching out poses for photo shoots.
  5. my creative matra’s for 2017: ‘I am one with the creative flow of life’ and ‘I capture the beauty of life in my art’. are my creative goals for 2017.
  6. my alter.  I keep a Ganesh and Krishna statue at my work space and an amethyst, rose quartz and clear quartz crystal.  They’re there to help me calm and remind me to engage in self-care.
  7. my glasses.  Can’t see sh*t without them anymore, so I need to know where they are at all times.  This is their permanent home when they are not on my face!

So there you have it.

my gear, my bag, my space

I’d love it if you would share a link to photos of your workspace if you have one.  I love being a little voyeuristic and peeking at how others set up their spaces.

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9 simple ways to just do as much as you can

blurred photo of woman standing in forest

“besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone.
the wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”
~ Lin Yutang

Life can be complicated. We’re all busy.  Too much to do, too little time to do it. Work. Family. Business. Friends. Commitments. Life. Too many demands on your time and all with conflicting agendas.

Sound familiar?

It was while reading the latest edition of Flow that I came across the phrase ‘just do as much as you can.

I read that phrase and there was a lightbulb moment for me. A sense of joy to know that others were embracing the do-less-go-slow concept. That I’m not alone and not lazy. And the realisation that I wanted to commit to this concept for the next 12 months.

If I’m honest with myself, I’ve been doing this for the last 12 months already. The last 3 months out of necessity, not choice, as my health and energy levels plummeted to all-time lows.

Letting others do for me, and not insisting on doing everything myself. Giving my inner perfectionist permission to leave the mess. Not spending my every waking hour in helper mode. Delegating more at home and freeing up my time for things I love and excel at.  Just doing as much as I can.

it’s time to slow down

I can hear you all inwardly screaming “But how do I do that?  I’ve got too much to do and not enough time to do it!”

Here are 11 ways to get you started:

Make a conscious decision to do less. Focus on what is important, what needs to be done and let the rest go. It might take some practice but keep at it.

Find pleasure in what you are doing when you are doing it. Chose one task to do mindfully today, like, folding the washing. It’s fresh from the line, crisp and clean, and most importantly, now folded.

Disconnect from your technology.  The constant interruptions of messages and calls, and being at the mercy and demands of others. There are benefits to being unreachable.

Be present when you are with others. Without close contact with other people, we grow into cold, lonely beings. Make time every single day to spend with loved ones. Listen. Share stories. Share moments. And you won’t end up with a single death-bed regret.

Learn to say “no”. Alexandra Franzen has even written a 5 step script to saying the perfect ‘no’ if you’re stuck on how to do it graciously.

Eat slower. Savour the flavours, the texture, the taste. And take the time to eat proper food at a sit-down dinner with your family.  Ask about their day and talk about yours. It’s important.

Drive slower. Notice the sights when you drive. Wave to passers-by. Allow yourself to enjoy your inner Miss Daisy.

Stop multi-tasking. Focus on just one task. If you find yourself tempted to wander, stop, breathe and come back mentally to what you are doing.

Take a moment to breathe. There will be moments when the stress and overwhelm will hit.  This is when you stop and take a moment to breathe. And if you need to, take another breath. Continue breathing until the feeling has passed.

and just do as much as you can

2017 is my year to embrace the simplicity, to find time to unwind and to slow down the pace of life.

want to join me?

photo credit: mariateresa toledo Un bosco, un sogno.. via photopin (license)

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