30 April 2011

Z is for Zzzzzzzz

And that is exactly how I'm feeling right now - very tired and in need of some shut eye! It is almost 11pm as I write this, and after looking through a list of words beginning with Z, I just don't feel inspired I'm afraid! So Zzzz it is. Sleep tight fellow A-Zers!

29 April 2011

Y is for Yellow

Bit of a predictable one today, but I've had a busy day and it is getting late so my brain is a bit too mushy to think up an interesting blog post!  I have found some of my lovely yellow-themed photos for you to peruse though:

See you tomorrow for the last day of the April A-Z challenge!

28 April 2011

X is for X Chromosomes

X is a rather challenging letter, but after perusing the rather short 'X' section of the dictionary, I settled on X chromosomes! As I'm sure you all know, a female has two X chromosomes, and a male has just the one X chromosome along with a Y. And it just so happens that I made my own plush versions!



27 April 2011

W is for Wednesday Walking Along the River

I spent a lovely afternoon wandering along the River Medway today in the sunshine, and took loads of photos, of course! Here are a few to share with you all:

26 April 2011

V is for Vignette

I was so excited when I downloaded the Vignette application  for my Android phone. In fact the main reason I chose an Android phone was to use photography apps, and Vignette is the best one I've found so far. It even inspired me to start my own Phone Project 365 using photos from my phone camera only. There are so many effects you can use, but my favourites so far are:



Faded Yearbook

Toy Camera Black and White

And of course, the Vignette effect itself

For a little over £2 I'd say this was more than worth it!

25 April 2011

U is for United Kingdom

Union Jack creature

Just a quick post today to tell you about the ever-increasing number of UK sellers on Etsy! So if you are shopping from the UK and want to buy local, you can search for the tag 'UK' or you can go to the UK Street Team or British Sellers on Etsy homepage for a list of their members.

23 April 2011

T is (obviously) for Tea!

As you may have gathered if you ever look at my Flickr photostream or read my blog, I love tea! It is my favourite thing to drink, and can be used to make any situation that little bit better. A very English thing to say, I know! 

In case you are wondering, my everyday tipple is just normal black tea (sometimes referred to as English Breakfast) with a teeny tiny splash of milk, and when I have more time to savour my cuppa I love a Ceylon or Assam tea without milk. Assam tea is my favourite because it is a little stronger and has a lovely clear, fresh flavour to it.  

Just recently I had the urge to venture out of my tea comfort zone and step into the unknown, to try some other varieties (is that the right word?!).I have always wanted to like Green Tea and have tried drinking it so many times in the past, but it always tasted so wishy-washy and perfumey. And don't get me started on the unpleasantness of fruit and herbal teas! But I am now a changed woman - I have actually enjoyed drinking Green Tea, and have enjoyed every flavour of fruit tea I've tried too! Whether it is down to my taste buds maturing as I get older I have no idea, but I am enjoying the almost infinite number of tea possibilities that have now opened up to me! 

I feel like a kid in a sweet shop as I peruse the health food shops and tea websites - so many varieties still to try - Lapsang Souchong, Gunpowder, White Tea, Camomile, Oolong, Rooibos......

It may sound a little odd but I aim to taste every one of the main tea varieties as part of my '29 before 30' project which I will be starting on my next birthday in June. I have a little request - if anyone drinks any of these unusual teas I need to try for my project, would they be willing to send me 1 or 2 teabags (or some loose tea) to try? I have looked into buying individual teabags or very small amounts of tea but the smallest quantity seems to be 20 or 50 cups worth. I have limited tea-storage space and I know I won't like them all, so 1 or 2 of each is all I would need! If you can help, please leave a comment on this post or drop me an email to furwillfly@gmail.com

Thanks so much!!

22 April 2011

S is for Shadow Self-Portraits

Like most people, I'm not a fan of having my photo taken. I always look stupid in other people's pictures - a fake grin, one eye shut, wonky expressions or just plain awkward. As part of the online ecourses I've been taking, and as part of my own explorations with photography, I've had to face my fear and take self-portraits. And you know what, I've been pleasantly surprised with them. Yes, I do have to take many many shots to get a few good ones, but having a camera shoved into my face is slowly becoming less scary. I've even shared these photos on Flickr and here! 

Once I worked out that self-portraits don't always have to be just my facing the camera and trying to smile, a whole new world of opportunity opened up. The best one of all was shadow self-portraits - it's a self-portrait without me really being in it at all! Perfect.

Here are a few of my favourites so far. Can't wait to take more now the sun is out again. I want to get some group shots too.

Me and a tree!

Camera Time

Waiting, always waiting....

Big Headed Girl

The Banksy Me

21 April 2011

R is for Recipes for Salmon

I'm not the best cook in the world but I love coming up with new recipes and combinations for cooking salmon. I wanted to share a few with you but when I came to write them out, the best description was just that I bung a whole loads of things in with the salmon! Not the best way to describe my culinary skills, but that is about the size of it. My meals are usually something and vegetables, or something and salad, so I can only really describe the flavour combinations I use with the salmon. Here are my favourite 2 ways of cooking it:

1) My signature dish (according to me) is honey and mustard crispy salmon. I start by frying the salmon with spray oil, skin side down, then turn it over and peel the skin off to crisp up separately. Once it is almost cooked through I break the salmon into chunks and add the flavours. My favourite combination is clear runny honey, Colman's English mustard, a few drops of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, sesame seeds and cashew nuts. I make sure I turn the heat up at the end to realy crisp up the salmon. This is yummy served with rice or crispy stir fry vegetables.

2) Salmon and black pudding stir fry. Cook salmon as above until you break into chunks, then add cubes of black pudding, finely chopped onions and mushrooms, and carrot strips (made using a peeler). Cook a little basmati rice at the same time and then add into the salmon mix at the end, along with mangetout. Yum!

I wish I had some photos to go with these - perhaps I'll add some next time I cook these meals. 

20 April 2011

Charity Shop Find

Gina by Sara Moon
I saw this print in a charity shop a few weeks ago and loved it, but the frame was a bit damaged and I was low on funds so I decided not to buy it. Having looked up the artist Sara Moon on the net, I wished I'd bought it after all and regretted not buying it. About a week later I sent someone in there to look for it but they told me it had been sold. So when I went back to the shop today to wander around I didn't expect to see it hanging on the wall! And the price had been reduced to just £3! I just need to find a place for it at home now.

Q is for Quiet Time

I find myself getting quite stressed out and worried about things, so I've found it useful to have a little quiet time to myself. Usually that means having a cup of tea or coffee outside and just watching the world go by for a few minutes. I have always wanted to give meditation a try, but it is one of those things that I just haven't got round to properly. I have been reading about mindfulness meditation lately, and it is something that I really think could be useful to connect more with what is actually going on right now and to stop focussing so much on the past or the future.  

So here is a quick mindfulness mediation I found on http://www.meditationcenter.com. You can do it for as little time as you have, so there really is no excuse for any of us if it something we really want to do.

Steps of Mindfulness Meditation

1. Sit comfortably, with your eyes closed and your spine reasonably straight.

2. Direct your attention to your breathing.

3. When thoughts, emotions, physical feelings or external sounds occur, simply accept them, giving them the space to come and go without judging or getting involved with them.

4. When you notice that your attention has drifted off and become engaged in thoughts or feelings, simply bring it back to your breathing and continue.
• Remember... it's ok and natural for thoughts to arise, and for your attention to follow them. No matter how many times this happens, just keep bringing your attention back to your breathing.

19 April 2011

P is for Pink

I'm not a pink person. I never have been. I don't mind the odd pink item of clothing or some pink flowers in the garden, but I do hate the way manufacturers think that making a pink version of everything is the way to make new products for little girls. I mean, why do you need a pink globe or a pink violin? It has even been suggested, in this Telegraph article and I'm sure by others, that the 'pinkification'of girls' toys is damaging their development. I'm just grateful my mum didn't plaster me in pink clothes and bombard me with pink toys when I was a child - although I doubt there were as many pink toys back then!

Despite pink getting a bad press from me, I do think there is a time and a place for it - and that is now and here!  This morning I discovered a new photo project to take part in on Flickr, called Sixty-Four Colors (round 2). Each week you shoot images based around one of 64 crayon colours, and no prizes for guessing which colour it is this week!

I found loads of pink things to phorograph today and here are a few of my favourites. Hope you enjoy them! Feel free to sign up to the Flickr group or just share your pink photos here with me!

Hearts on the Line - taken using Vignette application on my phone!

Pollen and Pink

Pink Calm

A Pink Cuppa
A Pink Cuppa 2

Honeysuckle Skies


Bubbly Pink

Steampunk Challenge - Please Vote!

I created this steampunk robot couple - Victoria and Albert - for the Plush Team steampunk challenge.

The winning entry gets to win a rather funky piece of original steampunk art, so I am asking for your votes please! It only take a moment to stop by this page and cast your vote. Thank you all so much! I don't expect to win but I did try really hard with my entry so any votes would be so appreciated!
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