Back to Basics – Pinhole photography 

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Poppybead Creative BlogNot long ago I received an email from a colleague at my day job.  This woman was also a colleague at my previous day job and remembered my love of photography.  She let me know about an exhibition and a workshop on pinhole photography.  It was only a few days before someone was talking about the Beyond the Battlefields exhibition at a photography meet up.

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The exhibition is free and being held in Aston Webb’s Rotunda Gallery at the University of Birmingham.  I didn’t realise the Great Hall was used as a hospital in WW1.

After being taken around the exhibition we started the workshop.  I always have a fear that I can never keep up in workshops, but this was different.  Jo Gane who took the workshop was lovely.  She explained everything really well and didn’t go too fast.

We went on to prepare a drinks can ready to take our photos.  The cans were then loaded with photographic paper and off we went.

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My first attempt didn’t require much exposure time, two seconds.  I am so happy with the result.  We used a smartphone app to invert the photos.

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This was the corner of my 2nd attempt, the rest of the shot didn’t expose for long enough.

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My last attempt blended the old and the new.  I really wanted to take a photo of a new camera.

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I am so glad I attended this workshop, it was out of my comfort zone and I survived.

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An Inspired Morning

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Here we are again, the week has flown by and Saturday is done and dusted.  So is Sunday for that matter.

Yesterday morning I was awake and out of the house to meet up with another photographer who has had an idea.  When they put their idea to me I wasn’t entirely sure but then started thinking about it I thought this could be rather exciting.

We sat and talked about photography and other things.

It also made me think about the format of my blog & the direction of it.  So over the next few months I am going to try and be more consistent with posting content and will look at the format of the blog.

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Keep checking back for the changes and follow me on

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Card Making

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It’s been a while since I last made a card.  Like most of the crafts I do, I haven’t felt the motivation to create.  But that is changing.

So here are some cards I have made previously, do excuse the quality of the photos.

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Watch this space for some new cards, maybe including my photography.  If there is any of my photos you would like to see on a card please let me know.

Throwback Thursday: Moseley Road Swimming Baths 

Back in February Friends of Moseley Road baths invited IgersBirmingham to capture Moseley Road Baths.
The baths are due to close soon, leaving the area having to travel to Sparkhill baths when they reopen.

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If you haven’t been to Moseley Road Baths the Friends are having a community action day on Saturday 18th March and more details can be found here for more information.  It will be a shame to see this building close.

Thank you IgersBirmingham for the opportunity to capture this beautiful building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas content

With 19 days until Christmas day there are lots of advent calendars, prompt challenges and vlogs in my social media feeds.

I started posting about #MeetTheMakerWeek by Joanne Hawker and then got busy so didn’t finish all of the prompts.  This challenge was a short one of six day.  Taking part in this challenge gave me the chance to check out the feeds on Instagram of other makers.

 I joined a group on Facebook called Brum Bloggers and they are running #brumblogmas.  I got apprehensive about finding the time to produce content for 24 days in a row.  Then I re-read the post and it said you could dip in and mix up the order of the prompts.  I have signed up and will post some content based on the prompts. 

 Finally, an Instagram challenge from the Blurt Foundation called #blurtmerrycalmness.  Again I will dip in and out of this challenge.  I the Blurt Foundation has some interesting and inspiring articles and merchandise relating to mental health. 

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 With that in mind I have decided not to put my big tree up this year and I will leave you with a shot from last year.  I want the festive season to be a time of reflection, rest and gratitude. 

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Throwback Tuesday: Black and White Photo Challenge

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Over the last few weeks I have had a number of nominations for the black & white photography challenge.  5 or 7 days and you take and post a black and white photo on social media.  Then you nominate someone else.
Well thank you for the nominations but I have decided not to participate this year.  Mainly, because I have done it before 3 years ago.

Instead I thought I would share my photos from 3 years ago.

 

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Knitting: One of the things I love doing & challenges every part of me.

I still love knitting and the process of knitting.  I mentioned in a previous post why I knit and that hasn’t changed.

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Armistice day: Crochet, beads & buttons.

A couple of weeks ago I posted about why I made all of the crochet poppies.  I am not a big charity crafter as I find it stressful.  This happened when I made these poppy brooches, but maybe with some planning it won’t be so bad.

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Basketball plays a large part in my life and the person I have become.

Basketball has kept me off the streets as a child, given me structure and the opportunity to make friends across the world.

 

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A book I need to finish and was put back on my radar.

I still haven’t finished this book.  I don’t read enough, even though I have the help of my talking kindle.

 

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Nail varnish, I think I have a slight problem. When I get to 200 bottles I might stop!

I don’t wear make up, but I do paint my nails.  A bottle of nail varnish would be a nice treat, then I realised there was rather a lot.

Thank you for coming down memory lane with me.  I am will re-visit photos, previous posts and remember what has brough me to this point in my life.

Poppies 

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Social media and technology reminds us of what has happened in previous years.

In years gone by I have frantically been crocheting poppy brooches to raise money for the Poppy appeal.  Unfortunately this year I won’t be able to.

This fundraising all started after visiting an ice sculpture installation in Birmingham city centre.  I thought it would be an interesting opportunity to capture some photos.

Minimum monument

This experience was really emotive and wanted to do something creative to raise money.

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I also visted the poppies at the Tower of London and that was when I started to make poppies.

At my old day job, some colleagues helped by knitting and crocheting poppies alongside me.  I would be up until the early hours of this morning making poppy brooches, as I would hand stitch beads on.  This made each poppy unique and personal.

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This became really stressful & so I only made a few the following year as seen in the photo above.  This year I haven’t made any due to changing my day job at the same time as I would of started making the poppies.

I hope people who still have their poppies will still make a contribution to the appeal.

 

 

World Mental Health Day.

As I think about going to bed tonight my mind goes back to the fact today was World Mental Health Day.  Lots of friends have shared their struggle with mental health.  There always seems to be an assumption that other people have got their lives together but no.  A hidden fight is going on in their lives.

My mental health is why I knit and crochet.  At a point in my life where I couldn’t make sense of who I was I found knitting.  I struggled with insomnia and still have sleep issues but at it’s worst I learnt to crochet from videos on YouTube.   I don’t knit to sell as I find the pressure crippling.  If I decide to knit something for someone, it’s my choice and it’s not as stressful.

Over the last year I have had the opportunity to learn about pain management, pacing and self care.  This has given me a fresh outlook on my life and how to stop shrinking.

I still have a long way to go but have already made small positive steps.  Tonight I took some time to knit and it felt good.

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My week in photos 

For some time I have been choosing 9 photos I took in the previous week.  Then I post the collage on social media and wish everyone a lovely weekend.

Today I thought I would share the meaning behind the photos.

 

Last Saturday I met up with my friend Imogen and went to the seasonal markets at the Bond Company.

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I took this photo as I love routemaster buses.  Growing up in London they were everywhere and they remind me of being a child.

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Being gluten free going food events does make me anxious.  So when I saw The English Indian stall and it was clearly marked gluten free I squealed.  I went for half and half which was a piece of fish, a piece of halloumi, chips and spiced mushy peas.  Oh my goodness, it tasted great and I would definitely recommend it.

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Also at the seasonal markets was Pip and her hot sauces.  She makes great sauces if you want to add some spice to your food.  Check her out.
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Wheelchair basketball and basketball have played a major part of my life and my officiating season started last week.  So there will be many weekends spent in sport halls around the country between now and May.

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A friend asked if I would take some profile photos for her.  The location was beautiful and autumnal, hopefully she was happy with photos.

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I have been sewing a fair bit and I didn’t have any Tilly and the buttons patterns so to cheer myself up I treated myself to the Bettine dress pattern.  Unlike commercial patterns there is only a dress pattern with 2 options and generally it’s a summery dress, I am looking forward to cutting this out.

I love drinking tea and a few years ago I was introduced to Yogi tea.  Each tea bag label has something meaningful on it.  There can be a lot of hate and that can take up a lot of energy so I posted this on my Instagram feed.

I caught a cold during the week and all I wanted was soup.  So I made some chicken and vegetable soup from scratch, it was just what the doctor ordered.

I love knitting it’s like my zen and I don’t knit to sell.  So taking myself out of my knitting comfort zone, I have joined a knit along organised by Sitting Knitting in the West Midlands.  As a dyslexic I find reading patterns really challenging but I managed to crack this one.
This was the meaning behind my collage of photos.  I hope you had a good weekend and have a good week ahead.

Uncertainty, in the presence of vivid hopes and fears, is painful, but must be endured if we are to live without the support of comforting fairy tales.

Nik thanks for sharing your account of cancer, sharing this is the least I can do.

Bad To The Bone

The above passage from a book called ‘A History of Western Philosophy’ by Bertrand Russell jumped straight out at me as I scanned across the pages. I recall being half way through a seventy-two-hour chemotherapy cycle, I was bored, pissed off and was just doing my best to pass the time when I was stopped in my tracks by this passage. For some reason those words had evoked a sense of calm amidst a whirlwind of frustration and anger.

My name is Nikky Gibbons, I’m thirty-two and have had to battle cancer twice in the last five years. One thing to note is that I’m not usually very open or forthcoming when it comes to expressing my feelings or sharing my experiences. But it had been pointed out to me that I had been through a fair bit the past five years and by sharing my story I hope…

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