Category Archives: Foraged

Collected / Foraged

With Flowers in her Hand

January 26, 2017

Week 3 - garden rose coco hand 3-1

So January, you’re almost over already! Feels like we’ve only just begun… I’m writing this while watching the Australian Open. One of my favourite ways to spend a Summer evening is with a cider in one hand, scrolling my Instagram feed with the other and the tennis playing in the background.  The ultimate in relaxation, pretending I don’t have a mountain of Festival contracts to write and process. But let’s not talk about that!

Three weeks into the start of 2017 and I’ve already recalibrated one of my projects for the year. I’ve realised a weekly gardening update is wildly ambitious and totally unrealistic. Hmmm probably should have thought that one through a bit better! There’s just not enough photographic material to sustain a weekly project, instead I’m going to focus on a monthly round up of our garden transformation. Much easier to show the progress we are making and it will be great to look back on each month to see what we achieved without it feeling like a chore to update weekly.

The girls and I had an impromptu photo shoot with some of the roses that are flowering from the 15 or so we planted over the last few weeks. My gorgeous eldest daughter is all about the serious pose at the moment, while the youngest adopts the fake cheesy grin that most 3 year olds do. We had so much fun taking these photos that I think I’ll start a new occasional series called With Flowers In Her Hand. Here are a few of the images we took:

Week 3 - garden rose Essie 2-1

Week 3 - garden roses Coco hand-1

Week 3 - garden rose Essie-1

I love the chubby hand of my three year old, I’m finding it hard to come to terms with her starting 4 year old kindy in a week. I’m not ready, she’s still my baby as well as my little companion. I love our days together,  we visit all the coffee shops in Perth on my days off, I’m not sure either of us is ready to give that up yet! I will miss her funny comments and loving nature. While I know she will be fine once she adapts to her new routine, I’m not a huge fan of schooling this early. Three and a half just seems too young to hand her over to the school system. Sigh.

This month has been focused on keeping life slow, a struggle given how busy work is for me. But important for our family as we settle into our new house and the girls start a new school in a week. I’ve been reading a bit about the cult of busyness lately and the idea really resonates with me. Time to stop glorifying being busy and instead celebrate quiet moments.

Week 3 - garden rose KD Hand-1

And on that note I’m going to switch off and read some of my book.

x Katherine

 

 

Created / Foraged

A new year

January 10, 2017

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2017. It’s hard to believe we’ve come full circle on another year. Last year finished at a hectic pace for me. Work was crazy and we threw moving house into the mix. I approached Christmas like a marathon runner, focused on making the distance but not seeing much around me. I just had to keep running… but we made it out the other side. Most of the boxes are unpacked and our house is definitely feeling like a home. In fact I find myself wandering about the house sighing happily, sitting in different spots and revelling in the beautiful light and details.

This house is our dream house – we love the suburb, the size of the house is bigger than our old house but not too big, there is space for the girls to have a play room and for us to have a study, close to the city but in a very quiet area. But best of all are the beautiful 1940s details like lead light windows and art deco features and the natural light that streams into the house.

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I have big plans for this year. The ideas are still circulating in my head, gathering momentum as I shape them. But one idea I’ve been planning for a while is to start blogging again. Getting our house ready for sale, looking for a new house and planning the move took up most of my spare time for the second half of 2016 and I let this poor blog fall to the side. A new year brings new plans and a renewed focus and I’m looking forward to picking up here again.

The one thing our new house doesn’t have is a garden (well two things if you include the kitchen, but more on that project another time). For a flower lover like me this is something I need to change immediately. We have the potential for a big garden but there is so much work to be done to turn it into a green space that we will use. We are up for the challenge, and I’m looking forward to journalling the progress here. My aim is to do a weekly update on the blog about our garden transformation. But in the spirit of a new year I’m cutting myself some slack, there will be some weeks where nothing happens, where work is too hectic for me to get outside or when we are away. And so while I have every intent to make this a 52 week project, the world won’t end if I miss a few weeks here and there.

Having said that, let’s start with week one! Any transformation needs a before shot and I’ve taken a few to record just how big our challenge is. Our house is on a corner block and we have a big front garden and a big back garden. Both have been neglected for some time. There is a random assortment of native trees, shrubs and dead grass. The front verge has three massive gum trees that are home to a beautiful array of bird life – Kookaburras, Red Tailed Black Cockatoos, Western Rosellas and more. The verges where we live are huge and there are lots of public parks and big trees, it makes it feel like you are living in a semi rural area, but in fact we’re about 5km from the city. Our back yard has a Jacaranda tree, home to a family of Willie Wagtails. When we moved in they were nesting and would dive bomb us if we got too close to their nest. It took us a few days to realise why they were so unhappy with us. The eggs had hatched and three little beaks were pointing up from the nest. It was such an amazing thing to see, and something special to show the girls. The babies have left the nest now and are flying around the backyard testing their wings.

To be honest there is not much worth saving in the garden apart from the mature trees. The rest we will clear during summer ready to plant in Autumn. Perth has awful soil, lots of sand that is water repellent. We need to do a LOT of work getting the soil prepared, fixing the bore and putting in reticulation. I’m finding it hard to be patient and work through this prep phase…I’m ready to plant ALL the pretty things!

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Thankfully we have a big collection of pot plants that we brought with us and they are making the back garden feel a little more like home.

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week-1-52-house-1

I’m finding it odd having a garden without any flowers or familiar plants at the moment. Both my parents are avid gardeners and it is something I’ve come to love as I’ve got older. Now one of my favourite pastimes is visiting nurseries and thinking about all the beautiful things we can plant. This dreaming phase is good for the soul though, and making me slow down at a time of year that is ridiculously busy at work.

x Katherine

Collected / Foraged / Photographed

Week 26 – 2016: a photo essay from Exmouth

July 6, 2016

week 26-52 Exmouth from the air-1

It’s hard to believe we are past the halfway point of the year isn’t it? We’ve got a very busy second half of the year ahead and I’m taking a bit of time over the next week to think about what I want to achieve in the next 6 months as I know the time is going to fly by.

I’m really happy I’ve managed half a year of my weekly photography project. There have been a few times where I’ve almost faltered but thankfully I’ve pulled through. It seems fitting that the halfway point for this project is a series of photos I took while we were away in Exmouth.  read more

Foraged / Photographed

2016 in Photos – Week 3/52

January 19, 2016

Week 3 of my year long photography project to challenge myself to use my camera is all about the flowers. So many flowers this week.

Week 3-52 Blog Queen Anne's Lace-1

Work is starting to really heat up for me, it’s a challenge having my busiest time of year right in the middle of summer holidays. I wasn’t sure I’d take any photos on my proper camera this week but my mum saved the day by dropping over two beautiful armfuls of roses, dahlias and zinnias on Sunday afternoon. It inspired me to pick the camera up for 20 mins in between organising the washing and cooking dinner for the girls. It’s amazing how that 20 mins of creativity can recharge you for the week. I used two different lens for these photos, I swapped between a 50mm and my macro lens and despite it being an overcast day I was really happy with the clarity in these photos.

Week 3-52 Dahlia 2-1

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Created / Foraged / Styled

Inspiration and the making of an image

January 15, 2016

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Are you addicted to Pinterest? I was a mad pinner when it first launched, though this was before I became addicted to Instagram. When I discovered Instagram I reasoned that I could only handle one social media addiction at a time and something had to give. So I said goodbye to all those DIYs I pinned for joining crochet squares, sewing quilts and designing impressive birthday cakes and channelled all my spare time into composing photos to be shared in square format.

In the last few months I’ve rekindled my love of Pinterest, and check in every week or so to see what’s doing the rounds, or if I’m looking for a quick inspiration hit.

Lately I’ve been enjoying pinning plants and greenery to a board I’ve been really original in naming Greenery. I can’t get enough green and white together at the moment, either by bringing plants inside or through imagery using those colours.

It was while I was skimming through Pinterest picking up bits of green and white here and there that I got an idea in my mind for a composition I wanted to put together and photograph. For me there are two ways that I come up with ideas – either I have a prop, like a teacup or some fresh flowers that I want to play with, and I just play around with no specific idea in mind until something works. Or alternatively, I set out with an idea in mind that I want to create, usually sparked by something I’ve seen either online or while flipping through a magazine. When I created the image above it was a combination of both methods. I had been given this beautiful ceramic platter from my mother for Christmas and I really wanted to use it in a composition. I also really wanted a pop of green and white in my Instagram feed. I started to gather bits and pieces as I walked through the house, a few postcards I’d been sent or collected, some vintage green cotton reels and some beautifully weathered pegs. I decided the contrast of the contemporary ceramic platter with the vintage props would work well. I also had one of my favourite flowers, Queen Anne’s Lace, growing in the garden and that would provide my fresh pop of green. I knew I’d probably only share the image on Instagram so I decided to use my iphone for the photo rather than my camera. I think flatlays are much easier to compose using the iphone and the quality is generally pretty good.

I was really happy with the first image I took, but thought I would also try one photo without the ceramic platter below. As it turns out I like them both equally.

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I find Pinterest a really good tool to gather inspiration, I’ve shot a few images for other people recently and it has been helpful to make a board that I can share with them to show the type of image I’m hoping to create.  Who do you follow on Pinterest? I’d love to find some great boards or pinners to follow, come and say hello over there if you feel like it Katherine Dorrington

x Katherine