My Jewellery Lesson with Joanna Tinley

About three years ago I took a jewellery night class course with Eastleigh College. I absolutely loved it. There’s nothing more satisfying that creating a beautiful bit of silver jewellery from a flat sheet of silver or a strip of silver wire.

The course ran for 12 weeks and taught me a lot of really good basic skills. I spent quite a lot of money (as did Santa!) on some tools that you need to make some basic items.

Then I moved. We bought a beautiful solid oak dining table for our new house… and there was no way that I was going to be allowed to attach my vice or bench clamp to that!

So I stopped making jewellery completely as I had nowhere to do it. So all my tools and things were put in my shed and forgotten about.

Until my birthday when Tom bought me a private jewellery lesson with my old teacher, Joanna Tinley. What a lovely boy. Although my birthday is in June, there weren’t any free classes until October. He also bought me a specially made jewellery desk, which we’ve put in my study (which is now the study/craft room. A blog on the makeover of this room will be up as soon as the room is actually finished!). So now I have a place to make my jewellery and a chance to brush up on my skills.

Joanna has a lovely studio in Eastleigh – it’s in an old post office sorting house which has been converted into a creative hub. It’s amazing! It’s the kind of place that makes me want to jack in my 9-5 and become a full time creative artist. She said it’s a brilliant place to work – everyone gets on so well with each other and they all work with different materials to create such a wide range of art, clothing, jewellery, textiles and other fabulous bits.

Eastleigh Sorting Office

Joanna’s studio is great – everything you need in one little crafty room. She’s not got an open area like some of the other residents – mainly because of the noise she makes hammering jewellery!

Jewellery making workshop

Jewellery making workshop

I had some old jewellery projects which I wanted to finish as well as a couple of new ones. I recently saw some earrings made with some sea glass, which were just lovely. I was planning to go to our local beach to find some sea glass… but eventually just bought some off Etsy! I’m not lazy, I’m supporting local businesses ya know?!

So I brought some stones which I planned on making into drop earrings. I also had some turquoise beads which I also wanted to make into earrings, but we ran out of time. But it wasn’t an issue as I just came home and finished them off myself with my new-found skills and confidence.

Here’s a couple of pictures of me making my earrings and the finished pieces:

Jewellery making workshop

2013-10-26 15.36.04

Sea glass earrings

I had such a good day. It really was brilliant to be able to brush up on my basic skills again. It had been so long since I’d done any soldering or sawing, and I had lost a bit of my confidence. Joanna was very patient and taught me a lot of new things as well as giving life to the old skills I had. If you’re interested in jewellery making then I’d recommend taking a private lesson. She offers classes for one or two people (so you can bring a mate) as well as focused group classes for things like stone setting and bangle making. You can also buy some of her jewellery from her website.

What do you think? You like the earrings I made?

Victoria,

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Motivational Monday: Why 30 is not the new 20

This is a brilliant video for anyone (especially women) in their 20′s. I’m not in my twenties (sigh..) but it’s still relevant for anyone who is in the stage of life where they’re making big decisions. Or not making big decisions – but holding off, or dithering because you think you’ve got all the time in the world.

If you’re in your 20′s and feel like it’s okay to dick about because you’re not going to actually get married/have babies/rule the world/etc until your 30′s – well this video is for you.

Victoria, x

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

october breast cancer awareness month 2013

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so I thought I’d do a little post on breast cancer and the importance of checking yourself and not freaking out if you do find something.

Breast cancer is something that we’re all aware of nowadays, partly because of the great awareness work carried out by charities like the Breast Cancer Campaign and their Wear It Pink campaign and the Breast Cancer Care charity.

Even though we’re all aware of breast cancer, the stats are still quite sobering:

  • Every year nearly 55,000 people are diagnosed in the UK. That’s the equivalent of 150 people every day or one person every 10 minutes.
  • 1 in 8 women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • Nearly 12,000 people die from breast cancer in the UK every year.
  • Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in women in the UK, after lung cancer.
  • Of adults aged between 25-49, breast cancer accounts for 45% of all female cancers.
  • There are an estimated 550,000 people living in the UK today who have had a diagnosis of breast cancer.

The number of people being diagnosed with breast cancer is increasing, but the good news is survival rates are improving. This is probably because of more targeted treatments, earlier detection and better breast awareness.

Eeek, a mouse!!

A couple of years ago I found a lump in my breast. At first I panicked and cried a bit, but then immediately hot-footed it to the doctors and was quickly referred to have it properly checked out. An ultrasound and needle biopsy later they diagnosed it as a fibroadenoma – otherwise known as a “breast mouse“. A fibroadenoma is a completely benign lump that can move about (sounds a bit gross – it only moves a bit. It’s just not solidly fixed in place).

My fibroadenoma lump was quite large and uncomfortable, so I opted to have it surgically removed. It was a simple operation and involved an overnight in hospital, but only because the operation took place late afternoon. If it had been in the morning then I think I would have gone home later that day.

The scar has pretty much gone now and was really small in the first place. I took a couple of days off work (but only because my boss said I should – not because the doctors said I needed to!). So it really was quite simple, not painful and a big relief that it wasn’t anything more serious.

I was 27, maybe 28 when this happened. Young enough to feel pretty confident that it wasn’t cancer, but girls in their 20′s do still get diagnosed with breast cancer.

Please check yourself regularly

The scary thing was, when I found the lump (in the shower one day), it was already huge. I couldn’t believe that I had something in my boob that was so big that neither my husband (although he was my boyfriend at the time) nor myself had found already.

But then, I never checked myself… so why would I have found it? Plus breasts can sometimes be a bit lumpy and blobby, depending on the time of the month and just how your breasts feel in general.

So it’s really important to get to know your breasts. Check them on a regular basis – get to know the normal lumps and bumps. Then if anything strange does start to happen you’ll know as soon as possible.

Checking your breasts is horrible. If anything it scares me more now than before. I do have to force myself to do it – only because I’m scared of what I might find. But I can tell you now, if there is anything to find I’d rather find it sooner rather than later. Like most cancers, the sooner you catch it the better your chances are.

So many women survive breast cancer now. The odds really are in your favour. But you need to be proactive in your own healthcare. Don’t assume it won’t happen to you. And if you do find a lump, don’t assume it’s a death sentence. There’s a good chance it might not be cancer and even if it is, there’s so much that can be done nowadays.

Victoria, x

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Dinner At The Lime Wood Hotel, New Forest

Back in the summer, my sister and I had a lovely Afternoon Tea at The Lime Wood Hotel, New Forest. We had such a lovely time that I came home and booked a table for two on the first Saturday night they had free. It’s testament to how amazing this restaurant is that I had to wait about two months for a free spot on a Saturday night!

The hotel is just outside of Lyndhurst in the New Forest. It’s set in the middle of beautiful rolling hills and moorlands. As Mr & Mrs Smith says: “Originally a medieval hunting lodge way back in the 13th century, this New Forest manor was reclaimed for royalty by the Duke of Clarence in the 1740s. Since then, Lime Wood hotel has had another extravagant makeover, giving this stately pile a serious air of perfection, with primly landscaped grounds, devotedly designed interiors, a super spa and two tantalising restaurants to prove it.”

Tom had a smoked meat platter to start (I skipped the starter so I could save room for desert!), then for mains we shared a steak for two with sweet and sour carrots, potatoes and black cabbage. I had a hot chocolate pudding with mascarpone for pudding and Tom had a cheese board. Washed down with a bottle of prosecco and a couple of desert wines. Delish!

Lime Wood, New Forest

Lime Wood, New Forest

Lime Wood, New Forest

Lime Wood, New Forest

Lime Wood, New Forest

Lime Wood, New Forest

Lime Wood, New Forest

Lime Wood, New Forest

Lime Wood, New ForestAfter dinner we sat in the bar and had a few more drinks, then had a little mosey around the rest of the hotel…

Lime Wood, New Forest

Lime Wood, New Forest

Lime Wood, New ForestThey have a whole “Boot Room” full of Hunter wellies so guests can explore the local area (a really nice touch as wellies are quite often a must-have in the New Forest, but who has room to pack their own pair when you’re going off on holiday?!).

Lime Wood, New Forest

Lime Wood, New ForestThey also have smaller rooms off the main restaurant which can be used for private dining events. This room below looks so warm and cosy. It’d be lovely to have a private dinner party here to celebrate a birthday/retirement/engagement etc.

Lime Wood, New ForestThe lobby area looks like this… we wandered upstairs to see what the first floor looked like:

Lime Wood, New Forest

Lime Wood, New Forest

Lime Wood, New Forest

Lime Wood, New Forest

Lime Wood, New Forest

So all in all a lovely (if very expensive) night out.

Victoria, x

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Motivational Monday: The Famous Steve Jobs 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

Previous Motivational Monday posts have been quotes and a bit of me warbling on. But I thought I’d mix it up and start posting some of my favourite videos. Most of these will be TED Talk videos, but kicking things off this week is a non-TED video, but a great one nonetheless.

This speech is wonderful. It’s interesting, heartfelt, inspiring, motivational and moving. If you ever feel lost in life, just come back and watch it.

RIP Steve Jobs.

Victoria, xx

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Digital Photography School, Lesson 6: The SEL35F18 Dilemma

Sony-Nex-Lenses

I few weeks ago I wrote about my new lens, the SEL50F18. I love this lens, I love the depth of field it gives and the quality of the pictures.

However…. because it’s a 50mm lens it’s already quite zoomed in – which I didn’t really realise before I bought it (being a total beginner I really didn’t understand what half these numbers mean!). So although it’s a wonderful lens, it’s difficult to use for the kind of photography I want to take.

You can’t just whip out your camera at the dinner table using this lens, because the photos are just too close up – you’ll get the whole face of the person next to you, or half the plate of food.

It’s great for portrait photography or street photography, when you don’t really want to be standing so close to your subject, but for personal, out and about photography, I’m not sure it really suits me.

Introducing the SEL35F18

So my next lens on the shopping list is the SEL35F18 – it’ll give me the same functionality in terms of depth of field and fast shooting with the F1.8, but at 35mm it’s more flexible in terms of using it in a bit more of a personal way.

But it’s £379 on Amazon! I’ve found it for about £300 on eBay shipping from China or somewhere (which I’d be a bit worried about getting, would need to do more research on the sellers). There aren’t really any second hand ones for sale that I can see (apart from one I’m watching, but it’s got a couple of days to go and it’s at £240 already).

To Buy, Or Not To Buy…

So I’m torn. In one hand I’m thinking just buy it – it’s probably the only lens I’ll need. The reviewers mostly say that this is the one that stays on their camera all the time. So I could just bite the bullet and get it, and it’s done and dusted. Then maybe sell my SEL50F18, that’ll take the edge off.

But on the other hand… it’s £379!!! I could go on a lovely little weekend away for that. Or a couple of lush spa days. Plus with Christmas coming up I should be saving my pennies. But then what’s the point in investing in a camera, if you’re going to stop halfway and not get the lens you want. But then I do already have two lenses which do take perfectly decent pictures.

But if I’m going to get it, the sooner the better as I spent months deliberating over whether or not to get a bread maker or not. In the end I did and I wish I had done it months ago as I had missed out on lovely fresh bread for all those months.

Decisions, decisions!! What should I do? Any advice?

Victoria, x

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Ich Bin Ein Berliner!

Tom and I spend a lovely few days in Berlin last week. It was a proper last minute decision, but it was great. We were very lucky with the weather, it wasn’t too cold nor did it rain. The weather always makes or breaks a city-break in my opinion. It’s just too hard to fall in love with a city if you’re constantly cold and wet (although it makes it easier to fall in love with a city’s bars and cafes since you’ll be inside the whole time!).

Anyway, here are a few of my favourite snaps of our trip.

Our hotel was called Das Stue and was built in the old Danish Embassy. So it had huge big rooms, which high ceilings. It was really lovely – a massive bed, a sliding wall to split the bedroom and bathroom/toilet/sink area (although don’t worry, the toilet was in its own special room!). It also had a cosy, funky little bar where we sampled some of their lovely cocktails and port.

Berlin holiday snaps

Berlin holiday snaps
The most interesting part of the trip was learning all about the Berlin wall. I remember seeing it in the news when it was torn down in the 80′s, but I never really knew much about it’s history – why it was built, how it was build and patrolled etc. It was really interesting learning about the history of the wall, as well as seeing it and speaking to people who’d lived in Berlin their whole life and had experienced it all. If you’re interested in knowing more about it, here is a very brief video that explains the basics.Berlin holiday snapsBerlin holiday snapsThe above stone slabs picture is actually a Holocaust Memorial. Looking at it, it all appears flat, like the slabs are all a similar height, but when you get deeper into the middle, the ground slopes, so soon you’re smaller than the slabs – hidden away between all the stones. It represents how quickly someone can just disappear – out of sight, lost and never to be seen again.

So what’s my verdict on Berlin? Well it was lovely, but not amazing. Not like Paris that just grabs hold of your heart and soul. Berlin was interesting, but nothing really grabbed me about it. There was loads of construction, literally every street had something being built on it. Maybe that’s why the German’s are doing okay right now – the government is investing in the construction industry. Who knows? But it did make it difficult to love a city that’s surrounded by cranes! But our hotel was lovely, the food and drink were great and it was lovely to get away just the two of us.

Victoria, x

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What I learned from not having a phone for two weeks

How-I-coped-without-a-phoneA couple of weeks ago I went to France for my friend’s wedding. It was in a beautiful little village, in the middle of nowhere…. which meant I had no phone signal at all. We flew out on the Thursday and flew home on Monday. It was just so lovely that my phone decided to stay there! I was using it as an alarm clock and in the mad rush to get packed and out on Monday morning, I left it in bed, snuggled up next to my pillow.

The cottage owners were great. As soon as I realised I had left it there (in the airport about to board my plane), I called them. They found it and said they’d post it straight out to me. I’m not sure what service they used to post it, but it took fooooooorrrever! In total I was without my phone for 16 days!

So how was it not having my trusted iPhone with me for so long?

Well surprisingly, not as bad as I thought it would be. The worst bit was driving – I was a bit worried in case I would break down in the middle of nowhere and wouldn’t be able to call for help. But other than that, it was surprisingly fine.

Instead of text messaging and What’s App’ing, I used Facebook messages and email. And I still had a landline to call people from at home. Although I’m not really one of those girls who sits and chats on the phone to their friends and family for hours anyway.

I actually think it was quite good to have a bit of a break. Instead of watching TV and playing on my phone at the same time, I actually sat and concentrated on what I was watching. I manged to sleep better at night because I wasn’t in bed playing on my phone, and I sat and people watched whenever I was on my own rather than using my phone as a distraction.

However I did miss whipping out my phone to take photos. I don’t think I realised how much I actually use my phone as a camera. But other than that, it really wasn’t that bad. I think we live in such a connected world nowadays, that even if you main tool to communicate is taken away, there are so many other options available.

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Motivational Monday: Don’t Quit on Your Dreams!

Earl-Nightingale-quoteToday’s Motivatonal Monday is all about not quitting just because your dream is going to take a while to achieve.

If your dream takes months or years to achieve, then why not just keep at it. God willing, you’ll still be around after those months and years have passed, so wouldn’t you rather be in the position where you worked hard and achieved your dream, rather than quitting and not realising it?

Depending on what your goals and dreams are, there’s no guarantee you’ll achieve them. But you should at least try! So do your best today and everyday, the time will pass and before you know it you’ll be looking for a new challenge/goal/dream because you will already be living your previous one!

Victoria, x

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Photography School Series, Lesson 5: RAW vs JPG

RAW-or-JPG

I’ve started shooting in RAW mode a while ago, until I came back from my friend’s wedding in France and realised I had about a hundred RAW files to convert into JPG. Doing this one by one was a total ball-ache, so I soon switched back to shooting in JPG mode. I know that RAW is better – it gives you more control and ultimately can give you a better result. But it’s a more complicated, long-winded way of getting good photos.

So here’s some information on RAW vs JPG, taken from Richard and Rebecca from Finn Productions, via the Digital Photography School site.

A Raw file is…

  • not an image file per se (it will require special software to view, though this software is easy to get)
  • typically a proprietary format (with the exception of Adobe’s DNG format that isn’t widely used yet).
  • at least 8 bits per color – red, green, and blue (12-bits per X,Y location), though most DSLRs record 12-bit color (36-bits per location).
  • uncompressed (an 8 megapixel camera will produce a 8 MB Raw file).
  • the complete (lossless) data from the camera’s sensor.
  • higher in dynamic range (ability to display highlights and shadows).
  • lower in contrast (flatter, washed out looking).
  • not as sharp.
  • not suitable for printing directly from the camera or without post processing.
  • read only (all changes are saved in an XMP “sidecar” file or to a JPEG or other image format).
  • sometimes admissable in a court as evidence (as opposed to a changeable image format).
  • waiting to be processed by your computer.

In comparison a JPEG is…

  • a standard format readable by any image program on the market or available open source.
  • exactly 8-bits per color (12-bits per location).
  • compressed (by looking for redundancy in the data like a ZIP file or stripping out what human can’t perceive like a MP3).
  • fairly small in file size (an 8 megapixel camera will produce JPEG between 1 and 3 MB’s in size).
  • lower in dynamic range.
  • higher in contrast.
  • sharper.
  • immediately suitable for printing, sharing, or posting on the Web.
  • not in need of correction most of the time (75% in my experience).
  • able to be manipulated, though not without losing data each time an edit is made – even if it’s just to rotate the image (the opposite of lossless).
  • processed by your camera.

Basically if storage isn’t an issue, they say that you should shoot in RAW+JPG, then you’ve got all your bases covered. I do have a 32gb storage card, so that’s fine for me.

To get a JPG you can either let your camera process the photo and output it into a JPG for you, or you can take the RAW file and convert this into a JPG on your computer… your computer is going to have more processing power than your camera, which is why the RAW shooting mode will ultimately give you more control and a higher quality end result. But it does take more time and effort.

However I have also learned that you can batch process RAW files in Photoshop for fast and easy processing. I’m not sure quite how yet, but that could be a good option. As doing them one by one is, as I said above, a total ball-ache!!

Do you shoot in RAW or JPG? What do you find is best for you? Let me know below….

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My Favourite Hand Creams

I have a bit of an obsession with hand cream. I get really dry skin on my hands all the time, so if I ever leave the house without hand cream I break out in a panic. I’ve got hand cream stashed everywhere. I literally think I’ve got some in every room of the house. Then the other day I was cleaning out my handbag and realised I had five different hand creams in there! A little excessive, but variety is the spice of life!

So here are my favourite hand creams (at the moment, I’m always trying new ones).

Handcream Favourites

Handcream Favourites

  • The Soap & Glory Hand Food (£5) is my ultimate favourite. I always have a few of these hanging around the house and in my handbag. It smells great, isn’t too greasy (I don’t mind a bit of grease!) and absorbs quickly. Don’t try and open any jam jars after using this, but other than that, it’s brilliant.
  • Nivea can always be counted on to create lovely skin products, and this soothing hand cream (£3.99) is definitely one you can count on. Smaller than the Soap & Glory, so a bit more handbag friendly (especially for nights out), this is a non scented one that tackles dry skin very effectively.

Handcream Favourites

  • This Derma Intensive+ Protecting Hand & Nail Cream was actually a gift from my Mum, and I love it. It’s such a good handcream. Really great for cuticles and nails too. If my nail beds are looking a bit dry I use this as a bit of a cuticle cream. Really great and you can buy it here for only 75p at the moment… which does sound a bit too good to be true. It’s the only place online I can see that sells it. So if they’re a legit company, then this is a real bargain. I might actually buy some more myself now!
  • Vaseline is a bit like Nivea – a skincare brand you can trust. And this handcream is lovely. Probably not one of my ultimate favourites – it’s a bit waterly and liquidy for me to completely love. But it does absorb very quickly and is really not greasy at all. You can buy this from Boots for £3.75.

Handcream Favourites

  • I got this Alison Claire Mango Body Butter from a Glossybox last year. I sort of ignored it for a few months until all my other body butters ran out. I wish I’d got to it sooner as it’s lovely! I love the smell and it applied so easily and absorbs so quickly. I use it both as a body butter and hand cream. During the summer when my arms were out a lot more, I’d give them a quick once going over with this and would walk around smelling all sweet and fresh for hours. So not technically a hand cream itself, but it certainly can work as one.

So those are my current favourite hand creams. But like I said, I’m always on the hunt for new ones to try. Let me know if you recommend any below….

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Bridesmaid Gift Ideas

When I got married I found it really difficult to find gifts for my bridesmaids. I loved them all so much and wanted to give them a gift that was special to both them and me. In the end I came up with a pretty good list, and actually found it hard to narrow it down (which is why they all got two of the below!!).

So here’s my bridesmaid gift ideas list:

Personalised Emma Bridgewater Mugs

As well as being a bit obsessed with TG Green Cornishware, I’m also madly in love with all things Emma Bridgewater. My husband has told me I’m not allowed to buy anymore stuff as we have so much already! But that didn’t stop me getting a personalised mug for the girls. So they all got a pink heart one with “Bridesmaid” written on it, and the date on the bottom. It’s quite limiting in terms of letters, so I couldn’t really have anything more than that on them, but I loved them and so did they.

Emma Bridgewater personalised mugs for bridesmaids

Swarovski Necklaces

Tom bought me a lovely Swarovski necklace for Christmas a few years ago and I love it. It’s so pretty and can be worn casually or in the evening to glam up an outfit. So I thought it would be lovely to get something similar for the girls, since it’s something they can keep forever. We also got one for my Mother-in-law and got my Mum a Swarovski brooch – something a bit different to the standard flowers that mother’s usually get at weddings.

So these are the one’s I had in my shortlist. The bridesmaids got number 3 and my Mother-in-law number 2.
Swarovski Necklaces for Bridesmaids1. Alana Clear Crystal Pendant, £99
2. Angelic Pendant, £69
3. Circle Pendant, £69
4. Heart Pendant, £69
5. Mozart Pendant, £59

Personalised Tote Handbags

These tote bags are so cute and make a wonderful gift. At £13 each, they’re also pretty cheap too, so if you’ve found you’ve smashed through your wedding budget already, then these are just the thing! You can get them from notonthehighstreet.com.

Personalised tote bag for bridesmaids

Photo Book

A cute way of creating a really personal gift is to put together a photo book of all the fun times you’ve shared with each bridesmaid. This again is another cheapie gift, but one that’ll cost you in terms of time instead! It’ll be worth it though as photo’s are so precious and so many people don’t get round to printing them nowadays. A custom-made photo book will surely bring a tear to even the most hardened bridesmaid!

Vera Wang Compact Mirror

What says ‘wedding’ more than Vera Wang? If only we could all afford to walk down the aisle wearing a gown Vera made huh?! However, if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, then a Vera Wang compact handbag mirror would make a lovely, lovely gift. These come in a beautiful leather case and the whole thing is really weighty, yet pretty. Something any woman would be happy to get out whilst touching up her lippy. I might be a bit biased here, because this was the gift I was given when I was a bridesmaid last week at my best friend’s wedding. But she hit the nail on the head with this one!

Vera Wang Mirror

Have you been a bridesmaid and been given any super ideas? Let me know below!

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Keep Dreaming on Motivational Monday

I was going to say that this was a bit of a cheesy Motivational Monday, but quite frankly, the whole ‘Motivational Monday’ thing is completely cheesy, So I’ll just forego that!

dreams don't work unless you do

Anyway, this little bit of motivational wisdom is all about working hard. I’m a firm believer in hard work – like someone famous once (apparently) said “The harder I work, the luckier I get”. Which is dead true.

You will not get what you want without hard work. No one will just phone you up and offer that dream job to you just because they suddenly think ‘oh yes, that old friend, that bum who is sitting on their arse, not working hard right now, will be perfect for this role’. No. People who work hard get the best opportunities. People who work hard get the best breaks. They meet the best people, who in turn introduce them to the best jobs, the best houses, the best life. Work hard and you’ll get what you want. Life will not dish you a perfect hand just because you want it. Work hard and you’ll get what you want. Don’t work hard and you won’t. It’s simple. Contribute to society and live a good and decent life.

Rant over,

Victoria, x

p.s I made this image from a picture I took of the sea in Positano, Italy, on our honeymoon. It was just idillic. The colour of the sea was just amazing. No filters or extra saturation was added to the gradient of the blue/turquoise. This is what it looked like. Amazing.

Photography School Series, Lesson 4: Wedding Photography Results

I may have mentioned (a few million times!), that I was bridesmaid at my best friend’s wedding last weekend. We had such an amazing weekend, and I used it as an excuse to get my camera out.

So here are some of my favourite ones:

French wedding

French wedding

French wedding

French wedding

French wedding

French weddingFrench wedding

So none of the actual wedding day other than a few of us getting ready in the morning – but I only had two hand – one for my bouquet and one for my wine!!

A lot of them came out a bit blurry. I’ll blame that on still being a total learner, and the vast amounts of wine that was consumed over the four days we were in France!

I also shot all these in RAW, which I almost wished I hadn’t. I still don’t really understand how to make the most of RAW images, and I didn’t have time to learn this week. So I was left with hundreds of photos that needed individually converting to JPGs before I could use them. Which was a bit laborious. So I’ve switched off that setting until I know more about what it is and why I should use it.

And don’t ask about the cow outfit!!