Hope everyone’s having a great week so far? We are in the final week of October as it is the first of November on Monday. Who’s having a Halloween party or have decorated your house or carved a pumpkin? If you have post your pictures for me to see. If I get enough super images I will make a blog with all your images so get snapping!
The results of the IGPOTY results for Square Crop Competition are in. Unfortunately I was not shortlisted this year but I’m not surprised as the winners are absolutely fantastic. Next year maybe!?
Well I have chosen some images for the square crop competition but bit unsure which 4 (if any) I should enter. Here are my possibilities.
About Square Crop
Judges will be looking for beautiful botanical subjects perfectly suited to a square crop. Use inspiration from the other categories as a guide to the subject matter to create a stunning crop image. As always IGPOTY is looking for plant life to be visible within your capture.
Making full use of the frame is the key to success as well as utilising the right subject elements with style and clarity to form an impactful cropped photo.
As Tyrone McGlinchey, Managing Director of International Garden Photographer of the Year says:
The photo projects offer an opportunity to focus on specific skills and effective crop/composition is a significant skill to master, particularly within the genre of garden photography. Communicating the beauty of plants within a box can be difficult, but a cropped image can help focus the mind on specific details or aspects of a larger scene.
Thank goodness it’s Friday and the weekend is finally here. It has rained most of this week but today & yesterday has been delightful. Very warm and lots of sunshine. I hope that it stays like this for the weekend.
Over the weekend I visited the National Trust property, Beningbrough Hall.
Beningbrough Hall is a large Georgian mansion near the village of Beningbrough, North Yorkshire, England, and overlooks the River Ouse. It has baroque interiors, cantilevered stairs, wood carving and central corridors which run the length of the house. Externally the house is a red-brick Georgian mansion with a grand drive running to the main frontage and a walled garden, The house is home to more than 100 portraits on loan from the National Portrait Gallery.
The weather was just how I wanted it, warm and a bit cloudy. This is better for taking photographs as the flowers wouldn’t be too bright with the sun.
Ralph Bourchier inherited the Beningbrough estate in 1556 and began building the first house on a site approximately 300 metres south east of the present hall. This was the family home for around 150 years. Surveys suggest that it was timber framed with fine panelled interiors, some of which were re-used and can be seen in the present hall. In 1649 Ralph’s grandson, the puritan Sir John Bourchier, signed the death warrant of Charles I. He was too ill to be tried and died just before the restoration, escaping any punishment.
His son Barrington rescued the property from the threat of confiscation by Charles II, therefore keeping Beningbrough in the family.
The present hall
In 1700 John Bourchier inherited the estate, and in 1704 embarked on a grand tour of Europe, spending almost two years in Italy.
On his return and inspired by the Italianate baroque architectural style, John planned and built the current hall, with William Thornton as his chief craftsman.
Thornton was responsible for the main cantilevered staircase and the fine woodcarving in the hall. Completed in 1716, the hall now stands proud at more than 300 years old.
“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.” J.K. […]
Another not so glorious day. Cloud with intermitting spots of rain. Did I get wet?…No thankfully I didn’t and the sun actually came out for a bit! The National Trust property is called Goddard’s and […]
Another not so glorious day. Cloud with intermitting spots of rain. I’d booked to see another National Trust property today so I’m hoping the rains actually holds off. Although If it does rain I’m running […]
Hope everyone’s having a great week so far? We are in the final week of October as it is the first of November on Monday.Who’s having a Halloween party or have decorated your house or carved a pumpkin?If you have post your pictures for me to see. If I get enough super images I will […]
Well I have chosen some images for the square crop competition but bit unsure which 4 (if any) I should enter. Here are my possibilities. About Square Crop Judges will be looking for beautiful botanical subjects perfectly suited to a square crop. Use inspiration from the other categories as a guide to the subject matter […]
Sorry all but not put up the images of the Balloon Festival up yet. I’ve been distracted due to a (small) summer(!?) cold and making lots of seasonal soup for work. I promise I’ll get them up by the end of the week. Out of interest, who would like be to post a couple of […]
I have been busy in the garden for a few days now and it looks like I haven’t done a thing (although my back & arms know different). Flowers have been dead headed, the Ivy has been trimmed, hedges have been cut and lastly I have been collecting seeds for next years colourful borders. I […]
People across the UK are being asked to take part in an annual count of butterflies amid fears they have been affected by poor weather this spring. I was only thinking the other day that I had not seen many butterflies at all in my garden or on the country lanes when I go cycling. […]
Black and white photography has unique qualities that are as strong today as they always were. Timeless, gritty, truthful and classic are all common ways of describing black-and-white photography … even after nearly 200 years since Joseph Nicéphore Niépce made the first black-and-white photograph, mono remains as popular as ever. Digital Camera 2020 I’ve been […]
Brilliant blue sky & hot Autumn sun today (Friday). How lovely to be sat basking in the garden. The term Indian summer reached England in the 19th century, during the heyday of the British Raj in India. This led to the mistaken belief that the term referred to the Indian subcontinent. In fact, the Indians in question […]
Day 6 post-surgery and the pain in my shoulder is a dull ache rather than not stop pain. It has been a most lovely Autumnal day so I decided to go for a short walk to collect some leaves to ease the boredom and to stop looking at my messy garden (thanks to the wind […]
Well that month seemed to fly by didn’t it? The past few days have been so cold and wet, I’m thinking about digging out my boots and wooly hats out again! The trees have started turned golden brown and Conkers have been lining the paths for quite a while now. A few pictures from September […]
For the past three days I have been isolating as I am having an operation today. My right arm. I am right handed. So, I have been busy making some new Cyanotypes which I have made one of them into a new card available in my Etsy Shop. I have only made a few at […]
I have been growing some mini pumpkins for my window display next week and I have managed to salvaged 3! so today I’ve done a quick photoshoot with the cats and a few images from a couple of years ago to get us it the mood for Autumn.
Earlier this year I decided to give making my own paper a go after completing a course in the the Art of Washi Paper in Japanese Rare Books – Keio University. Where I deepened my understanding of rare books and Japanese culture.
This course looked at the history of papers used inside Japanese rare books, and in other cultures across the world.
I learnt about the materials and technologies used to produce Japanese papers, particularly the use of traditional washi paper and also the use of design and decoration techniques.
The hardest part was choosing the right mould & deckle which is what you need to make the paper. I chose an independent small business who makes them on Etsy but you could also make your own. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials out there using and old picture frame, wire and staples.
This is my mould & deckle below in the process of making paper with flower petals.
Types of Paper Used to Make Paper Pulp
Many different types of paper can be used to make paper pulp at home. This includes newspaper (although the newsprint will give a gray look to the paper), uncoated junk mail, tissue or even clean toilet paper. Some types of cards and card stock can also be recycled this way.
You can easily customise your handmade paper with additives, such as seeds, leaves, yarns, fibers, or a wide variety of other items you can mix in with the pulp. I’m using flower petals here.
Prepare the Paper
Tear the paper and card into small pieces and put it in a mixing bowl. Cover the pieces with water and leave to soak.
The paper should be fully soaked within a couple of hours, however, you may want to leave it overnight or even for a day in order for it to be fully soaked. This helps to break down the paper to make pulp.
Pulp the Paper With a Hand Blender
Use an old hand blender to pulp the wet paper mix. Blend the paper pulp mix until all the pieces have been removed and there is a single mass of paper pulp.
After the paper is thoroughly pulped add it to a large container and fill with water.
Stir your vat of pulp.
Hold the mould screen side up, and place the deckle evenly on top.
Holding them together at a 45 degree angle, dip the mould and deckle to the bottom of the vat and scoop up, holding the mould and deckle horizontally.
As you lift it out of the slurry, give it a quick shake back and forth, and left to right to align the fibers and make a more uniform sheet. Stop shaking before the sheet is fully drained.
Let the water drain to a drip.
‘Couching’ means to transfer the wet sheet from the mould to a flat, absorbent surface. Wool felts are ideal, but there are many other options: wool blankets, smoother towels, thick paper towels or bed sheets. Set up your felt with a board underneath and soak your couching materials.
Remove the deckle from the mould.
Place a long edge of the mould on the felt.
In one smooth motion, place the mold face down, press down, and lift from that initial edge. Think of this like a close the door, open the door, motion.
Place a paper towel on top of your freshly couched sheet. With a sponge, press gently at first, then press firmly with as much pressure as possible I use a rolling pin to press my paper even more and get more water out.
Find a flat, non-porous surface. I use a window or glass from a picture frame works well.
Take your wet sheet and gently press onto the flat surface. Make sure the edges are pressed down well.
When it is dry simply very carefully peel it off.
I love making handmade paper. Yes it is a bit messy but worth it! I think it is better to do this outside and when the weather is warm to try the paper quickly.
I like to stick it to glass (see below) that way it seems to dry better and also you have one flat surface and one rough (which I like).
I love been creative and it underpins my love of Nature, photography, sun-printing and any fine art practices.
The paper that is shown are available to buy in my online store as blank cards.
Well the weather is warming up and Easter has been and gone. Hopefully we have seen the last of the snow and are looking forward to seeing a lot more sunshine.
The Easter has seen me very busy in the garden and in the greenhouse planting many seeds and getting rid of dead branches and leaves.
It’s nice to see one of my photographs of Helmsley Walled Garden used for the Helmsley Magna Carta Trophy.
I have visited and photographed many places over the last few weeks; The Homestead, Yorkshire Lavender, Nunnington Hall, St Anthony’s Garden, Yorkshire Arboretum, Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens, York and RHS Harlow Carr Gardens. They always look better in the warmth than on freezing cold days and a lot more colour is starting to appear.
This week has seen me having my first craft fair which I thoroughly enjoyed. Meeting new people and talking to them about my cards and photography – I could do that everyday!