the music of autumnal winds
amongst the faded woods.
– William Wordsworth-
Finally; the last of my september updates:) It sure took me a while & I’m still way behind with my photo project this year, but I’m trying not to care all too much. I’ve got my October images ready to go, I have some exciting things I want to share with you all & I’m thinking of organizing my very first giveaway ever… So, plenty to look forward to in the coming few weeks:)
For now, I hope you enjoy the update for week 39 & I’ll be back before you know it!
About TV-guides, holidays & the absence of new themes
I guess I’m kinda like our TV-guide; in the summer it appears in a special double edition, covering two weeks of TV-listings instead of just the one. I suppose people on the editorial office also want to go on a holiday every now and then, so printing an extra thick TV-guide seems like a perfectly smart idea to make up for the looming lack of staff.
I don’t have staff. Neither am I going on a holiday yet….but somehow my creative blog-mind (if such a thing exists) has slipped into snooze mode during the last couple of weeks. I’m late with every weekly post, I have been struggling to keep up with talking pictures & when it came to finding a new theme for July, the real trouble started. So many ideas ran through my mind, but none of them really appealed to me. I started to randomly shoot some images, hoping inspiration would hit. But when an afternoon of shooting numbers, toys, flowers, food-items ect. ect gave me nothing but a collection of mediocre pictures & a teary eye from staring through the viewfinder too long, I had to admit that it simply wasn’t happening.
I sat on the ground, camera in hand, toys all around, wondering whether to mind or not to mind too much. I thought long & hard, the way I tend to do, and then decided it was fine. Decided to give myself a break, give that silly mind of mine the rest it apparently needs every now and then.
In fact, I think I’ll give myself a little bit of a summer holiday. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop posting altogether, it just means that I’ll be updating whenever I feel like it. And most importantly, it means I’m not going to find a new theme for this new month. I think I’ll just stick to the June theme; not just because I can’t come up with a new theme, but also because I truly love this theme & feel there is plenty of room for more beautiful, sweet or funny Dutch words. I’m having fun exploring this theme & I suppose having fun while blogging is what this is really all about.
And all I can hope for is that you all love this theme as much as I do & that you won’t mind the lack of innovation too much.
Well, this is my update for week 26 & week 27. Hope you like it. And if any of you are about to go on a holiday; have fun, take care & hope to see you again soon:)
While wrapping up May, I stop to realize how fast times has gone by & I wonder where all the hours went. What did you do in this courageous spring month?
For me, I guess I’ve been spending my days waiting for warmer weather, while battling snails & lice in our poor kitchen garden. I’ve dragged myself to the dentist, I discovered new places to hike & rediscovered ‘old’ hobbies to love. I fell in love with pretty quotes & artistic lettering; sharpening my pencils & testing my resolve. I went to the library, I got targeted by an enthusiastic fundraiser & then obliterated by my guilty conscience. I eat home-grown strawberries, I tried new things in the kitchen, I tasted honey that I liked & drank carrot juice for the first time in my life. I bought & received gifts, I watched & re-watched my favourite series, got side-tracked by old songs & ended up spending too much time discovering new songs. And every day of this cloudy, yet lovely month, I peeked through the lens of my camera, searching for the best moment to capture all the wildlife around me. It was harder than I initially thought; birds flying off, deer too far out of sight & most animals simply not anywhere in sight. But as usual, it all worked out & it’s time to start thinking about a new theme. And what a theme it’ll be…
‘Wonderbaarlijke Woorden/wonderful words’
This month’s theme will not only be focussing on pictures, it will also showcase some of the wonderful words the Dutch language has to offer. I’m bilingual & I love both the Dutch & the English language with all my heart. At times I think English has my preference; I write, read & often even think in English. For a brief moment I even made the mistake to think that English is the only language in which I can truly express myself. But then I considered all the poems I wrote ever since I was a child; poems now collected in two books I may call my own. I browsed through the beautiful Dutch words holding my feelings together like a string may hold a bead & I knew instantly that I simply need more than one language to make sense of this complex world. More than one dictionary to clarify all the thoughts & feeling living inside of me.
In June, I will share with you some of the loveliest, funniest & most beautiful words the Dutch language has to offer, accompanied by a suitable picture & an English explanation. I will try to stay clear of words which originated from the English language, so that all of you may learn some truly new words to express yourselves.
I hope you will all like this challenging new theme & that it may inspire you to fall in love with the beauty of language, like I do time & time again. See you next week!
May. A new month & a new theme.
Just the other day, while spending my holiday on one of Netherlands’ beautiful west Frisian islands, I came up with, what I thought would be, a wonderful new theme for the month of May. Animals. A collection of thirty-one cute, cuddly & lovable animals, sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face.
But of course I forgot that holidays don’t last forever & that I don’t happen to live on an island that’s literally swarming with amazing bird-life or where one will find more sheep than people. No, I live in a small town, where there are no sheep to be found, where last week’s storm blew every potential photo genetic bird from its tree before I could get the focus right & where the only cat interested in spending time with me is my own.
And so, instead of ending up with images of adorable animals, I ended up scouting busy bees, spooked pigeons & a, everything-but-cuddly, friend from our garden for this week’s photo-shoot. Maybe not exactly what I had in mind, but on the other hand; how often do these little fellows get the chance to bask in the limelight….so, I’ll let them have their moment of fame:)
Hope you will enjoy these week’s pictures & make sure to check back next week for more animal pictures…
Week 14 of my 2015 Photo Project.
What a struggle it has been. Nothing seemed to work. Pictures just weren’t happening. And believe me, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. My camera literally went everywhere with me this week. I cycled up & down, the camera went up & down with me. I went to the supermarket & the camera did some shopping too. I had my passport photo taken, while my camera waited on the very chair next to me. I looked around all week; obsessed with the concept of texture, which was this week’s challenging subject. But what is texture really? How do I recognize it, capture it on a photo as beautifully as possible? I saw trees. I saw stones. I picked up feathers & grass, felt the soft texture in my hand, feeling I was onto something at last. I browsed through some of my older pictures, saw some textural images I shot last summer when dandelions were ready to blow in the wind & wavy grain fields made the world look golden & soft. But that was then & this was now.
Now it rained. Or now I went grocery shopping & forgot to take a cooling element for the poor melting peas, who waited in my bag while I searched my surroundings for textural beauty. Now I found a park filled with beautiful trees & gorgeous flowers. But the park was crowded & I didn’t feel like being that one, crazy person laying on the ground or hugging trees in order to get the perfect shot. Now you’re probably wonder why I would care. I can hear you think; isn’t she that same crazy person who shot Playmobil characters all through town just last year? How much crazier does she really think it can get? And you right, I shouldn’t care. I should be out there laying on lawns & drive ways, happily shooting away. But sometimes you care & sometimes you don’t. And this week I obviously did care. I cared about the families filling the park, I worried about the glances the park-keepers threw at me & I didn’t feel like standing still or standing out.
This morning I left the house bright & early to apply for a new passport. I lingered at the door, unsure whether to take that slightly heavy, yet lovely camera for such a boring occasion. After some debate, I decided that families & park-keepers were probably not out of bed yet & so it was ‘safe’ to shoot some images. I placed the camera in my backpack & took off. The world was unfolding beautifully; there was mist, sunshine, patterns & texture as far as my eye could see. So, towards the end of an otherwise uninspired week, this morning I parked my bicycle against a gate, got my camera out, focussed on the uneven surface of a fallen tree & pressed the shutter button…..and that’s when my battery went dead.
Clearly, creativity wouldn’t stream this week. Inspiration took some time off & never thought to inform me about its plans. And so I have ended up with a collection of pictures I don’t feel completely confident or happy about. And that’s a tight spot to be in for a perfectionist such as myself, who doesn’t like to share anything she isn’t 200% satisfied about. So, I thought of skipping a week. Then I thought of using old photos. Yes, for a moment, I even considered forgetting about this photo project all together.
But then I had a good look at my blog title & remembered why I started this whole blog to begin with. And I can tell you this much; it wasn’t to force myself to be perfect at all times. Neither was it to force creativity or beat myself up about a lack of just that. This blog is supposed to be a place to be me. A place to explore my possibilities as a writer, photographer and more than anything, explore my possibilities as an imperfect perfectionist.
So, having said that, I’m proud to present to you; the perfectly imperfect photo-project update of week 14.
The end of another month, which means the end of another theme. And what a colourful theme is has been! I hugely enjoyed taking these month’s bright pictures & I’m almost sad to say farewell to this inspiring subject. But on the other hand I’m looking forward to the new challenge I set myself in the coming month.
April. I love this bold, elegant month, full of brave beginnings & unpredictable moments. April can go either way; she may go high or low, she might surprise or disappoint. But whatever she decides to do, she cannot help but begin again. She kick-starts the slumberous world around us into action & she shakes each & every one of us awake, throwing promises around like confetti on a children’s party.
To follow the example of this beautiful month, I have decided to challenge myself a little bit these coming weeks. I started off with the theme ‘Out & About’ for April, but when I took some time to think about this theme, I wondered whether it wouldn’t too random. Yes, the pictures should be taken outside, but was that really the only rule I should set for myself?
Then my clever sister suggested to look at the word ‘about’ as in about a certain thing/subject/theme. So, this would mean that ‘Out & about’ would become; ‘out (outside) and about this/that subject. Are you still following?
Anyway, to cut a long story short, this month’s theme will be ‘Out& about: ……’ and to make it a little extra challenging, I will try to come up with four or five photo subjects which I haven’t really explored yet. This will probably be subjects along the line of reflections, shadows or perspective.
This week you can see the first April picture, focussing on Texture. I’ll explore this subject a little more next week & furthermore you’ll just have to wait and see what April has in store for you…
Most of this week’s pictures are a lovely shade of green, as they wrap up my March theme, called ‘This Amazing Technicolour Dream Life’. I hope you all enjoyed this month’s theme as much as I did. If you would like to see all March’s pictures together, feel free to have a look at my Pinterest account, where I collected them for your viewing pleasure;) https://www.pinterest.com/naomijansen/ You can also find my January & February pictures there.
Have yourself a great day & I hope to see you all again next week….