Saturday, December 20, 2008

Getting Festive with Food

This is my first blog post on my brand spanking puter. The other one was not cutting the mustard for photo editing so my lovely hubby was kind enough to get me a new one (and is now secretly coverting it I bet LOL). It's a ripper and the monitor is devine for editing.....much better than the 15" I was using.
Anyway, I suppose now would be a good time to brielfy discuss my health this year. It's a long long winded story that I am sure no-one really wants to read so I will just keep it very brief. Pretty much since Ryan was born I have not felt right. I can't get my motivation back, I am always tired and ALWAYS getting sick. It's as if I never recovered from his birth. Anyway this year I have been lethargic and in general unable to cope with the days smallest tasks........pushed to the edge with the big ones. Everytime I tried to get back to running or pushed it at the gym I would end up sick, headcolds would last 6 weeks and eventually I ended up with a sinus infection. On top of that I was having stomach issues, bloating to the point I looked pregnant and it was hard and uncomfortable and pains that would have me crippled, doubled over begging for a hot water bottle.
Without going into the boring details of how I was diagnosed, in my quest to find out what was wrong with me I found out I was wheat intolerant, I was carrying a bacteria infection in my gut which was attacking my imune system and making me very very sick and I have a borderline underactive thyroid and my hormones were all over the place due to my Mirena IUD (which could have also been feeding the infection). I went to get the IUD removed but the strings were GONE. I had to have an ultrasound to make sure it was still where it should be then have it surgically removed. You ladies would know what these bastards look like, well the stem of the IUD had actually bent up against itself in some way and so the strings were pointing up rather than down if that makes any sence.
Anyway. I have been on treatment for the last 5 weeks for the bacteria infection and within days pf tretment the bloating started to go down. I was put on an immune deficiency diet for 2 weeks which included no sugar (even fruit) which was actually easier than I thought and helped kick some of my insane sugar cravings. I have now been put onto the Insulin Zone system diet which I am loving. With it I am really getting into cooking and food preparation, as all our meals are thoughtfully prepared now rather than re-heated or slapped together in two pieces of bread LOL. I am certainly feeling the benefits....even if I am not losing much weight. That brings me to the thyroid. Apparently the reason I am finding it so hard to shift this weight is because I have a borderline underactive thyroid. It also could explain why I am always so cold and have this mega brain fod. So for now I am on Iodine for that but if that doesn't help will have to look into hormone replacements of some kind.
So.......that is where I am at right now. Feeling pretty bloody good, I have answers and am recovering. Enjoying being wheat free, there is not too much I miss at all. I have not even missed my choc bullets (I actually cried when I read the back of the packed and asw they contained wheat and I thought they made me sick cos of how many I eat LOL). I can't even remember how long I have been wheat free for....must be at least 2 months. The zone diet is awesome, it makes sence and it has really helped with my energy levels and food cravings. I get to relax a bit on the weekends.
I was ordered to stop exercise by my natropath. He said my white blood cells were in such a state that I had no stamina and any exertion would make me sick.....which is what was happening. Within 4 weeks he was surprised to see the improvement in my blood and told me I could return to the gym but I suspended the membership till Jan so Jan it is. Looking forward to it as my "Me time" is pretty much zero these days and really affecting me.
So we are 5 sleeps away from Xmas. We are all prepared here. I have already recieved all my gifts LOL, I got my new puter, a new LENS which I am totally in love with and a camera case (which is actually a projector case I could fit my son into but I wont go into that) so I have been well and truely spoilt. I taking a lamb roast, silverside and wheat free cupcakes to our family Xmas feast. I should have picked salad as a very good friend of mine gave me the BEST EVER salad recipe and we have been eating it most days here and I just want to share it with everyone LOL. Maybe next year. Anyway, here are a few festive food pics for you.
Wheat free lemon cupcakes Mmmmmmm

Grilled chicken breast with mediteranian seasoning (thanks Jess) and the famous salad. (my lunch a few days back)

This is how a group of Mum's relieve some Xmas stress LOL. Monring champers at Mum's group this week. One od the ladies (same one with the dang salad recipe) had a jar of these hibiscus flowers in syrup. Your meant to put the flower and syrup in first but we forgot which is good cos I would not have got this shot other wise. Loving this lens. One of the ladies didn't touch hers...........can I be bold enough to hope for a Xmas BFP?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Flowers and Foliage

For personal reasons I have backed right off portfolio building, but I have still been taking LOADS of photos and playing as much as I can. I have always drrled over some of the amazing flower and foliage images in flickr and cursed the price of lenses. There is no way I can afford a macro lens to be able to play with flowers and foliage.....WRONG! Well I was right, I can't afford one but I was wrong to think that not having one should hold me back from trying. So I have been getting the most out of my 50mm and then processing the crap out of the images to get some different and what I think are lovely results. I consider this practice for the experimentals in next years camera club comps. I find it really hard to REALLY cut loose on my photos in photoshop, I feel kind of "naughty" doing it so I often hold back. Some of these I have gone to town on and others I held back. Some I wish I binned and others I love and am considering walling. All of them I had a ball producing and learned from each and every one of them.

A Family Member turns 11

This post is more for my absolutely amazingly wonderful husband who is 120% dedicated to his dog Jack.

I was not able to blog this when I wanted as blogger has been a bit off a poohead lately.

At approx 11am on the 11th of the 11th 11 years ago a very important family member was born. The family actually started as Cam and Jack, Jack was kind enough to let me into thier family 8 years ago and we kind of expanded from there LOL.

I will never forget the time Cam and I took the Kayaks out....or was it the tinnie? Anyway, we got back ans found the gate open, we were out for HOURS but there was Jack, sitting in the driveway waiting for us. He is loyal and offers nothing but unconditional love. Happy B'day to Jack for the 11th of November. Perhaps he should have been named Horace!

All photos here taken at 11am on the 11th of November as Jack turned 11 years old!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Photographers day out at The Briars

A few days ago a wonderful group of female photographers got together and had a little photo shoot at The Briars in Mt Martha. I was very very lucky to be a part of this little group.

One of the photographers happened to have a rather large bunch of balloons as it was her youngest daughters first Birthday.......they made a fab prop. So we set the kids off running with the balloons, twirling parasols and climbing trees like monkeys (or possums). The kids had a great time, as did we. There were outfit changes and tantys (one guess who the tanty thrower was)

It was a huge experience for me who specialises in "Mug shots". To get out and take "environmental" shots was rather challenging.....and the processing afterwards was even more of a challenge. I take most of my portraits indoos using natural light and have NEVER had to deal with colour casts like what we copped from this shoot. But I think I managed some sweet photos. I am hanging to see what the other girls got. I know Amanda got some stunners of our little Anna. Anyway, enough of the boring stuff. You wanna see pics right?

Amanda's little girl Trin

The Murphster.

I love this one of Anna. Yes there was some dress swapping LOL

And for those of you who really know me well, no I did ot vomit or pass out at the sight of the balloons. I think being in the big open area helped LOL. I handled it really really well.


Sitting here thinking, I really can not remember too many times in my life where I have come first in things......except in swimming when I was a kid where it was a wonderful regular occurance.

Last month I entered my first Camera Club comp. I entered 5 photos. Two large, two small and an experimental. The photos were then given to a professional photographer for a month and he was to judge them, give points and critique. Then at the next montly meet we were to recieve our scores and hand in our next months photos.

I was so excited. I had entered one of my all time fav pics and I was certain it was going to do well LOL. The night came around quite quickly and I sat there ill with nerves as the judge put each photo up on the stand and critiqued them and gave the final scores. They started with "smalls" and I could see one of mine but not the other which made me nervous cos the one I couldn't see was one of my bests. Anyway when I knew mine was next I seriously could have puked right there and then, I was so nervous.....and for good reason. The photographer, Peter English (a retired professional photographer) may as well have just told me to bin the photo and start again, and rightly so LOL. Sometimes you just need to be told something is crap by someone else to really believe it. I felt a but better once that one was over, but still wondered where my other photo was, then they moved onto the back of the big photo stand where there were more photos. must be there then, I couldn't help but notice that all the pics on this side of the boards were getting high scores and honerably mentions. Now if I wasn't feeling queasy earlier I definately was by now LOL. There were so many photos, I thought it would never end, he awarded third place, then a few more high scores then second place, then an honerable mention......then I saw MY photo being passed to him......I stopped breathing and as he took the photo into his hand he says "Now this is what it is all about" and RAVED about my photo of my little girl. AAAGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH. I could have cried.....if I didn't mind making an absolute tool of myself LOL. He mentioned the lighting, the eyes, the teeth the smile, the eye contact. He said it was a beautiful portrait of a beautiful girl. I just sat there and beamed my face off LOL. AT this point the judge does not know eho took the photos and doesn't find out till later when he actually hands out the certificates.

You would think that would be the end of my nerves. But no....cos remember I submitted an absolute fav of mine, a photo which I personally consider to be one of the best photos in the world. It was in the "large" category, i'd had it printed 8x10. He seemed to hand out the first place for the large photos really early on, and second and third soon followed so I knew my fav photo had not got as place.......but I wasn't prepared for it to get such a low score. It recieved a 9/15 howeve he did not give me any creative critisism on it like he did for every other low scoring photo so I am going to take comfort in the fact that perhaps there was nothing technically wrong with it and he just didn't like it. He gave another photo of Anna a 10/15, I was not expecting much more cos she had her eyes closed and one eye was slightly out of focus, but he didn't mention those things, he mentioned how the colours were off and he would have prefered to see a tighter crop. SOmething I would never have seen, this is what it is all about for me.....learning to see things alot better so I am just as grateful for the low scores and valuable CC then getting places.

Experimentals were next. There are never as many entries in this category but still I have seen what is done and didn't expect much. I have been to a few judgings now but just never had anything entered. Anyway to cut a really long and what I am sure is a boring story to you short, I GOT FIRST PLACE again. WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Peter English raved about my photo again, he said it would make a good advertisement in a magazine, the pose was perfect as was the lighting. Then he wanted to know who took it but was told he would find out when he handed the certificates out LOL. When my turn came to recieve my certificate he said "if you have any money open up a studio". SO if anyone out there wants to give me a rather large sum of money please feel free to do so LOL. I will take free protraits for you for the rest of your life PMSL. are the winning photos. " Introducing Anna"

and "Bronzed Bride"

If you got this far, thankyou so much for reading XXX

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's Black and White

As I mentioned in my last blog entry i have been working on my B&W's. MOnochrome has never been my thing. I love colour. But there was something the guest photographer at Camera Club sad that got my bum into gear and interested in improving my B&W's. I think I am finding my very own "grove" with it. These conversions are very very different to the "blown out" ones I used to do using actions. I am liking them though, I am even enjoying them. I seem to be finding my style in B&W much easier then in my colours whcih to me is odd. Anyway here they are.

Um, this one is only half processed........oops.

This one could very well end up on the wall.