Daily Post – Expectations

I might have mentioned recently that we are going to Bali later in the year for a wedding…….honestly isn’t it a bit much to expect people to fly to another country just so they can get married on a beach? Initially I didn’t want to go, I have nothing against Bali…..just not something on my bucket list and I have a long bucket list.

But what do I know about Bali……….absolutely nothing to be honest. All I really know is Australians play hard over there, drink and do drugs and end up in Jail (often with a death sentence – Bali does not tolerate drugs), Australians get blown up in Bali  – pre 9-11, there was several bombings in Kuta. There are a lot of temples, there a lot of beaches and it gets hot. So my expectations were not really very high, but I figured if I am now going, I had better figure out what there is to do over there; if nothing else.

Stay away from Kuta is the main thing to remember, it’s where the young hooligans stay, it’s cheap and there are lots of bars and clubs………no interest here from us. We are heading inland to Ubud, more mountainous, with temples, water gardens, villages and such. We are spending a week there exploring the area before the wedding which is on the East Coast in a resort miles from any town. I want to see rice paddy fields and slopes, ancient temples; intact and in ruins, stunning water gardens, the Monkey Forest, artisans with silver and cloth and wood, lovely beaches along the coast and lovely sunrises and perhaps sunsets on the West Coast (if we get that far). We are staying at a Safari Park and I want to see elephants and giraffes, zebras and tigers, I hope my expectations are not too high for this place. I hope our stay here is not too short.

After the wedding we are spending a few days on one of the islands, rest and relaxation, snorkeling and swimming, and maybe some more exploring. I hope it will be enjoyable…what’s not to love; beach, sand, sun, warm weather, tropical forests, exotic animals and ancient temples. Supposedly the weather is perfect in October, not too hot, lower humidity and it is the dry season.

The down side of all this is my big trip back to New Zealand, which I had planned for October/ November has been pushed back another year. It tears me apart that I have to wait…….but then again I did not have such high expectations of New Zealand before I went and did not expect to fall in love with that country either. Perhaps Bali will be similar? I mean people keep going back again and again; surely it’s not for the cheap booze and DVDs?

If you have been to Bali and have any interesting places to visit, drop me a line…

~ Julz

P.S. Photos from Pixabay

Daily Post – Obvious

Today’s Daily Post Prompts is Obviousand isn’t it obvious I am a little bored. Stuck at work on a Friday afternoon, when I should be out and about shooting? I guess I am feeling a little out of sorts, so much I wanted be out doing and yet here I sit in front of my heater in my office, reading and writing a Daily Post. I have not written one in awhile, I felt they were getting a bit boring and monotonous, as well as a bit blaise.

What should I be doing? I suppose if I really wanted to I could find something to do here, but it’s Friday and nothing is grabbing my attention.

What could I be doing? Jeesh so much, even the laundry waiting at home to be washed, dried and folded sounds good at the moment. I have a workshop on tomorrow I need to set up for, I have a shoot on Sunday I need to finish prepping for (picking up a costume I had prepared) packing the rest of the items I will need. I still have images from last weekend and the weekend before to finish editing. I could be setting up some pretty still life in the studio to shoot. I have backdrops that require steaming, I have floors that require vacuuming and steam cleaning as well, the dogs could do with a wash, as could the car. I could be at one of the local Friday markets, fresh flowers and nick naks are calling.

I could be making some pretty pictures……and perhaps after lunch I will; this is one I did yesterday, just a mish mash of images from Pixabay.

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I have checked my emails, Facebook, Instagram, 500px, Flickr and everything else probably more times than is necessary and still I am bored………anxious to finish off today and let the weekend begin.

So I guess…………….isn’t it OBVIOUS I’m bored?!

~ Julz

 

 

The Problem with Chocolate Sauce, when you’re up against the Clock…

Have you ever been up against the clock, a deadline looming over your head and making things a little tense? I’m sure we have all been there, I am at the moment; and I had an incident on the weekend regarding some chocolate sauce or topping (depending on where you come from), or should I say the lack of it?

Stage is set, model is ready and all I needed for a, slightly creepy, slightly gory blood fest image was some blood! Now I would never be crass and use tomato sauce (ketchup), wrong colour and texture to start with…..others mightier than me all claim to use chocolate sauce (or topping), so I went to the cupboard, gasp! None! How is that possible that in my house there is NO chocolate topping! Apparently we have aged and acquire more refined taste buds and use Oreo Sprinkles on our ice cream.

Bugger! Can’t keep my dead body waiting forever, she had another job to go to, so I quickly grabbed the BBQ sauce and used that instead………perhaps I should have gone 50%/50% with BBQ and Tomato Sauce? Not sure, but when I brought the images back in Photoshop……..hmm well let’s just say they looked like BBQ sauce dripping from the fingers of my corpse; more like a grisly, satanic Hannibal Lecter BBQ than a simple dead body. What to do, what to do? It’s the consistency more than anything….the colour I can manipulate, but it drips and coagulates all wrong. These days there are so many crime shows of TV and apparently so many discerning viewers (myself included) who scoff at unrealistic blood splatter. When so many shows, like Dexter, are just so convincing………I’m just not sure what to do with BBQ Sauce!

I’m still working ing on this, so perhaps I will figure it all out eventually…….and the shoot? SSh…it’s a secret! I’ll let you know eventually!

~ Julz

 

Daily Post – Transformation

I guess we all go through transformation from time to time; internally, externally, emotionally. You could change your hairstyle, change where you live or your job, there are lots of different ways to transform your life. Personally I like renovating, I often think I am crazy at the time, I’m almost finished my 2 house, I live in them and do them a little at a time. To date I have done 2 x kitchens, 2 x laundries, 3 x bathrooms, a back deck area and of course countless paint on bedroom and lounge room walls, and then there are the gardens and entertaining areas.

Then of course once they are renovated comes the decorating, I like that too. 🙂 Sometimes it’s out with the old and in with the new, sometimes the other way round and I add some antiques, my current house is mostly modern in styling.

My current transformation is the garage/studio. I have converted our garage into my photography studio, it’s not the grandest of places, but it is open and serviceable, if not a little cluttered. We have a shelf/loft or mezzanine floor covering some of the roof space, but it is sagging and dangerous, is too low for my liking and does not give quite enough storage, so we pulled it all down and had a new one built!

That of course meant emptying everything off the shelf area, as well as the rest of the garage……..wow have we got some stuff. Isn’t amazing how much stuff you can accumulate and how quickly? Anyway, so I have stuff stored all over my house and back deck area while this transformation is happening; it’s a bit of a pain (literally I tripped over a box last night and stubbed my big toe ~ ouch!) We have started painting, but there is still some work to do and hopefully by next weekend I can start to move back in!

The funny thing is about these sorts of transformation is they take time and are more often than not messy. I have no patience and hate mess, so I am beside myself during the actual renovation…….silly isn’t it. I love the planning stage and I love the finished stage, but the actual in between stage drives me to distraction. I have gotten better with age…….now I tend to shut the door on the mess and go out, try not to think about it, set backs used to upset me no end, now they just frustrate me……like currently IF we could get a plasterers on site, my studio might have been finished this week! But alas I have to wait.Sorry no pics (?), I know right I’m a photographer right? I will take some before it’s finished and when it’s finished and will write a proper post……..this is more of a semi rant :-0

~ Julz

 

Daily Post – Embarassing

Well isn’t this embarrassing….today’s Daily Prompt, I’m apparently so busy at work I was just caught playing Candy Crush Soda Saga and checking my Facebook, as well as WP. Do you ever have days like that? It’s not that I don’t have any work to do, it’s just I really couldn’t be bothered! Wow that’s something off my chest lol.But seriously I have nothing to be embarrassed about, not really……I’m on the wrong side of 40 these days and not much will embarrass me,  OK I admit I still blush when certain comments get made, but I can’t help that.My Moth is a naughty boy hehehehe.

I’ll admit I’m clumsy, I own it these days……I can’t walk a straight line without tripping over my own feet! I forgo shoes with laces, as I know I will trip over them eventually. I am who I am, and love me or don’t,  I know longer mind……….well not too much. You can’t please everyone all the time, so I please myself; the ones that love me accept that and are happy I’m happy and isn’t that they way it should be? Don’t get me wrong I’m not selfish (well not too much), I do things for the ones I love too, but I figure I spent the first 20 years growing up, being a daughter and friend, had a few years just for me (but probably never really appreciated them) and then I spent the next 25 years being a Wife and Mum (as well as the Daughter and Friend), sometimes you just have to find yourself.

Mid Life crisis, I think it’s a silly word bandied around too much, it’s not a crisis, it’s an awakening, OK Sure some people leave their partner for someone new, some buy red sports cars, some buy a camera (me), and some travel (Me…well sort of). For some it’s a chance to pick up old hobbies or find new ones. For some it’s reinvention of oneself……….but I don’t think it’s a crisis. You wake up one day and think How the hell did I end up here? It’s a little scary at first, but once you realize the freedom that comes with a certain age, adult children, (Possible) financial security, you start to reevaluate life. Maybe as a kid you always wanted a red sports car…………now you have no reason not to get it……so go ahead and get it. Always wanted to travel? Get a passport and then pick a destination, don’t like to fly, travel in your own back yard………..jump in the car and go on a road trip! I have done all of the above, well not the red sportscar, but I did buy a new car. I am happier than I have been in such a long time, and I am having the time of my life………..am I embarrassed at all my silly shenanigans? ……………..HELL NO I’m just getting started hehehehe.

-Julz

Daily Post – Blank Voids of a Future Self

Have you ever had that feeling you are right on the verge of something happening, something exciting, momentous and possibly even earth shaking? You can feel it crackle in the air like electricity; but you just don’t know what, when or where? If you look into the future and all you can see is a blank void, you can touch the precipice with your toes, but cannot feel it with your fingers. The excitement builds within, you feel like you cannot sit or stand still, your fingers itch to do something, anything; but you must be patient, you must calm yourself.

I wrote a post the other week that exciting things were happening, but it is again building to a crescendo, I can feel it……..or am I just imagining it? My mind is a hive of activity with thoughts, dreams, and projects…….sleeping is sometimes difficult, not from worry or stress but from excitement. Remember as a child the night before your birthday or Christmas……….THAT excitement? That is what I feel literally running through my veins………I don’t even know WHAT it is that is about to happen.

Maybe I am still on a high (non-drug induced) from recent events, maybe it is the excitement of future projects, which are just starting to come together, there are plans for so many things in the future, but I have just recently come out of a fog where I briefly burnt out, lost my mojo. Am I flaunting Icarus and daring to fly to close to the sun? Will I strive for greatness only to lose my mojo again? I cannot think that way, a self fulfilling prophecy; I think therefore I am……turns into, I worry I cannot create therefore I can’t. Over thinking things can be dangerous, turning molehills into mountains as the saying goes. Again I must calm my mind.

As a child, my school teachers told my Mother I was an excitable child; creative and imaginative, but sometimes over excitable……possibly nothing has changed? I find it hard to concentrate on just one thing, I want to work on so many projects at once, I must pick one and concentrate. Other projects, which are out of my control, seem to be taking forever, but I know in reality they are not. Perhaps I am just willing something to happen……something that is not even there yet? Perhaps I am just babbling as a way to calm my nerves and still my mind. I must think positively and without doubts……..I will keep you updated.

-Julz

 

Daily Post – Countless

Today’s Prompt is Countless………..where to start?

  • There have been countless times in my life where that question has been foremost in my mind and in days gone by I have just simply given up on the harder, complex tasks, as I simply did not know where to begin.
  • Countless times I have shrugged my shoulders in apathy and not helped when I could have; it was not my problem.
  • Countless days where I have put things off til tomorrow, knowing tomorrow never really comes……..because I had plenty of time.
  • Countless times where I was selfish, and times when I was not selfish enough.
  • Countless times where I should have seized the day or simply told someone how much they meant to me

All because I thought I had countless days to achieve; then the reality of my own mortality came crashing down on me and I nearly had it all snatched away from me, I was lucky it was just a wake up call. Now I seize each and everyday as a new adventure, you never know how many more adventures there are to come. Every person in my life knows exactly how I feel and telling my children that I love them is a daily occurrence (Even when I get mad). I try to help others when I can, even if that means working for nothing, offering some advice or sometimes just listening and being there………it might not sound a lot but to some it is everything. I try not to put anything off, even something boring like cleaning out the garage or getting the car serviced; just do it. Once it is done you can mark it off your list, each and every time you get something done, it makes the list smaller and feel more manageable. And if, like the garage, it seems an overwhelming task, start small, pick one spot and start there, then move onto another spot, eventually it all gets done. Ask a friend to help, sure it might be boring, but at least you can chat and have a laugh……….perhaps you can help them with their project too.

Then there are the times when I need to be less selfish as a person, I think we are all a little guilty of that. I am not a bad person and I bet you are not either, it’s just that sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own little world, we don’t see others on the outside of our bubble. I still suffer from this, but I try to see the bigger picture. I have met so many people over the last 2 years and I try to be friendly and non judgemental (good lord some people make it difficult). I try to be open and communicative and thoughtful of their needs, as opposed to doing what seems best for me, my family and friends. I am not applying for good samaritan of the year here, just trying to offer value within my own community. To be honest, sometimes it just feels good to do something for someone else.

Lastly, I try to be only as selfish as I need to be, sounds silly? As a Mum and Wife I have spent 25 years doing everything for them and rarely for myself. So now I take a little bit of time each day, just for me, sometimes a day or two here and there, just for me. A quiet coffee in the morning without interruptions, a day spent just playing in the studio (heaven). I still do most of the cooking, the cleaning, shopping etc. But I need time just to BE. That took me a long time to figure out. Ask any Mum…….it’s hard to put yourself first and then after years, it becomes a habit.

So be bold, be brave, love and enjoy life………it’s a journey and no one gets out alive anyway!

-Julz

Daily Post – Beach

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Today’s post is Beach, as I sit here pondering the meaning of beach I look out the window, it’s actually quite sunny and clear, perhaps even warm for this late in Autumn, we have spent the last few days quite cold….I thought Winter was on it’s way. But we are getting small reprieve.

Not exactly beach weather or is it? I don’t like to go to the beach when it’s hot, too many people and well, it’s hot. Sand burning your feet is not pleasant. But warmish, sunny days are great for scouring rock pools, or just sitting and watching the waves crash.Cloudy days are even more perfect for it, watching the clouds scudding across the sky, and the swaying grass in the sand dunes. The feel of the breeze and sun on my skin, the salt tang in the air and screech of gulls in the sky and crashing of waves.DSC_2934-Edit

I love the beach, it calls to me, it sings to me, alas I am heading inland this weekend and will see no sign of the sea nor a beach. Often I wish I lived near a beach, then I could sit and photograph all the time, now wouldn’t that be heaven?

Hope you all have a great weekend………safe travels and happy snapping,

-Julz

Daily Post – Solitude

I don’t often write a Daily Post anymore, but every now and again I go look at the topic and decide if I feeling like writing one, today I obviously did.

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I rarely get solitude these days, I have been a wife and mother for 25 years, and peace and quiet and solitude is a rare and priceless commodity, as I am sure any Mother will tell you. At work I am often surrounded by people, at home there is always somebody around, even in my 15-20 minutes Zen time with a coffee after work on the back deck in the late afternoon sun, I am frequently not alone. My Dogs (and often the cats) follow me everywhere I go, even when I am in the studio creating I often have someone with me; cat, dog, daughter, friend.

I recently spent a night on top of a mountain, it truly is an experience, you should try it. I watched the sunrise on that mountain and in that cold frigid air I saw glimpses of true beauty, the solitude, the wilderness; I felt at peace. I was not alone on that mountain, but I found myself in my own bubble of solitude in the quiet, I guess everyone else felt the same, few spoke and when they did it was in quiet hushed tones; or maybe I just didn’t notice them. Once over, everyone reverted to the noisy humdrum of a groups of friends. I still stood there admiring the view, it was amazing, wanting that feeling of inner peace to last just a bit longer. These moments feed my soul and make me feel alive.

I remember in my late teens or early adulthood, I hated being alone, now I cherish the few rare times when I am truly alone. Sometimes I sit on my PC with my headphones on, working and listening to music………that is as close as I can usually manage towards solitude. My art, allows me to completely absorb myself and feel a sense of that calm and inner peace.

-Julz

 

Daily Post – Refresh

Feeling a little……anxious, for the weekend to start I guess. It’s nearly home time after another boring day (make that week) at the office. I have so many plans for the weekend, I have so many ideas I want to play with in the studio and gardens, sitting here at work watching the clock is literally driving me bonkers.

I have spent a good deal of time this week on my Still Life Be Still_52 week course, lots of reading, watching videos and flicking through Flickr, Instagram and blogs….so much inspiration, so many creative people. My fingers are getting itchy to start clicking.

So what does any of this have to do with the daily post topic? Well as you know most of my images are frequently dark and moody, my digital art often is, that’s for sure.

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But I have often felt it belies me in some way; the Ying to my Yang? I like to consider myself a bubbly person; spontaneous, happy, go lucky, optimistically realistic. Sure I have my down days (don’t we all?). If you were to look at my art; would you think I am dark, serious, moody, pessimistic, or light hearted, laid back and relaxed? I want to bring some light, romance, softness and maybe even a little bit of country charm to my images. This one week of still life, has changed the whole direction of my still life project, I feel excited, light hearted and brimming with ideas.

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I still have no patience (that hasn’t changed), I still charge like a bull at a gate, I still want to do everything yesterday. But I am learning (slowly) to take things down a notch, think and ‘feel’ my way through a shot, actually setting up simple and not so simple shots to get the feel I was after. Dress and re dress a back ground, a prop, add something here, take something else away………..it’s refreshing

I hope you all have a brilliant weekend, my friends, whatever you do…

-Julz