Who am I?….

I have been thinking about writing this post for some time.

Who am I?

Poppybead Creative blog
Photo credit: Nick George

Well I have an About page on my blog, is that enough? Maybe not!

Here we go, I am a dyslexic London born creative who creates in the West Midlands.

I am in my early forties and before you say it, no I don’t look my age. But should age ever matter?

Currently I take loads of photos with my phone and cameras. I knit, make beaded jewellery and get excited by creating content. I also like to share tips on taking better photos, ways to connect with other like minded people.

I started this blog to help with my writing and let people know about the things I make and sometimes sell, other creatives living their best lives and gluten free food options.

Regarding food I set up a separate Instagram feed and have neglected writing about my food finds. I am hope to get back on track with that soon.

Poppybead Creative blog
Photo credit: Nick George

Instagram is my social media platform of choice and can get lost in watching Insta stories for ages. Like all platforms there’s good and bad so try and be aware of that all of the time. My feed isn’t perfectly manicured, it shows what I want to share. I do share things I am selling and events I go to so watch out.

So who am I? Again am I a maker, an artisan, a blogger, a lifestyle blogger, a photographer, a creative or just me who doesn’t fit into one thing?

Yesterday I was having a conversation with a friend and was getting excited about sharing opportunities for others. They said when you talk about these things you sound like you have a fire in your belly.

This has resonated with me. As long as I have a fire in my belly and don’t hurt anyone or break the law, staying true to my creativity that’s who I am.

Poppybead Creative blog
Photo credit: Nick George
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More cards…..

Poppybead Creative Blog

Guess what? I have printed more cards for sale, this time I wanted to share the story behind each photo.

Poppybead Creative Blog

This first card/photo was taken in 2016 outside the Royal Free hospital. The hospital has done so much for my family over the years. The combination of lavender and craspedia is just so vibrant.

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This second photo was taken in 2016 in Hastings on a trip to the seaside. These lovely red flowers kept attracting my eye as we walked to the seafront. Thank you Lesley and Jo for letting me know these flowers are called rudbekia. Both photos were shot with a Canon 1300D DSLR.

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This photo is the oldest shot I have had printed. It was taken at the London 2012 Olympics when I went to watch synchronised swimming. The Olympic park was beautifully landscaped without being too regimented. I was using a Fuji S4400 bridge camera.

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The acorn was shot in 2017 whilst in France using a Canon 1300D DSLR. I am rubbish at remembering quotes or proverbs. But ‘From little acorns mighty oaks grow.’

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Once a upon a time I used to go for a walk at lunchtime with a friend, we would talk about many things and we will continue do so. It will just be at other points of the day and week.

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You might of noticed in these last two photos there are water droplets. They were taken at least 9 months apart and both on a lunchtime walk. I used my Samsung S7 edge mobile phone to take both photos.

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In the centre of Birmingham there is fountain affectionately called the “Floozie in the jacuzzi”. It’s real title is the River created by Dhruva Mistry. Due to expensive leaks the fountain was turned off in 2013. A few years later the council planted the fountain. One early Sunday morning I went for a walk and captured the bee and butterfly in the fountain, using my Canon 1300D DSLR.

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I love orchids and have had up to six at any one time. I have printed this photo before but it sold out straight away. I was unwell and leave the house so I took my Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II and this is what happened.

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A high number of photographers I know all flock to shoot the blossom in Oozells Square each year. I went again this year and caught up with with lovely people and taking this shot with my Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II.

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Leucojum aestivum, summer snowflake were captured with my Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II at Winterbourne Gardens. I think I will have more visits to the gardens over the coming months.

All of these cards are A6 in size, with a matt finish. They are supplied with a white envelope.

Thank you for your support.

Thank you – Greeting Cards

I just wanted to thank everyone who has purchased cards from me. I had 50 cards printed using 10 of my photos and have sold 49. I did use one myself.

I am looking into building a simple website and selling from there. I looked at Etsy, Ebay and Folksy. The fees were quite high and would mean putting my costs up more than I wanted.

I am also looking into doing some craft fairs, sets and cards for occasions. My cards all incorporate photos taken by myself.

Thank you again for your kind words and custom. I am just planning some more cards to be printed. When they are ready I will post on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I am looking at possibly setting up a mailing list for exclusive access to new products, let me know what you think.

Stepping out of my comfort zone

Some of you might know when I am not working, sewing, knitting and taking photos I officiate basketball games. I have blogged about my experiences with wheelchair basketball and those can be found in my archives.

Yesterday was cup final day for the WBBL & BBL leagues. It’s the first silverware of season.

These games took place at the Arena Birmingham, not a small venue by any means!

I was asked to do the Swiss timing. Swiss timing, what’s that? I asked the same question and still wasn’t sure until I spoke to the floor manager! At this point my anxiety levels went sky high. But I was taken through the equipment by Alfie, when I looked at the equipment it was the same equipment I used at Paralympics 2012. This scoring equipment is made by Omega and would be shown on the BBC coverage.

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I made notes of what I was shown and got on with it. I felt more comfortable in the 2nd game but my legs shook. It was far from perfect but I survived & hopefully didn’t mess up too badly.

I am always looking to step out of my comfort zone and improve my confidence. This brings me onto my new crafting idea.

I take a lot of photos and keep meaning to print them, well I have placed my first order for some cards. There will be five designs and here are two of them.

These cards will be for sale and supplied with a kraft envelope.

Woman down!

Hey there

I have had all good intentions to blog this week but flu has taken hold. So hopefully the grip flu has on me won’t last long.

I want to share some of the cool things I have been up to. See you on the other side.

Preparing To Blog

Poppybead Creative Blog
Poppbead Creative Blog
Photo credit Nick George Photography

When I started blogging 7 years years ago, yes that long ago. I was blogging on Blogspot and found the platform difficult to navigate unless I used my computer. I even gave Tumblr a go, as well as a hosted blog on my old website. They all have their merits but didn’t work for me at the time.
Fast forward to 2018 and I blog from WordPress. I miagrated my content over from Blogspot. What I did notice was I getting some great blogging ideas and they would languish in my drafts. This includes going to photography meet ups and involvement with Instagram challenges. When I last looked there was 35!

So I am going to look through and see what can be published and delete the rest. These posts won’t be posted on my front page, but I will refer back to them throughout the year.

Now, so this doesn’t continue to happen do you have any tips, tricks or suggestions to help plan my blog posts better? I do have a Pinterest board with blogging tips, but I find there is a lot advice based in the US. There’s nothing wrong with this at all, I am asking with the hope bloggers and readers will reach out.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Happy Jar for 2018

For the last three years I have been writing down positive things/moments that happened to me and putting them in a jar.  I started doing this so I would stop concentrating everything that would go wrong.

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On the 1st January I prepared a jar and got some sticky notes ready.  At first I had to search really hard to find things that were positive.  Then I broke it down and looked at the basics, like I brushed my hair.  Building up to things like paying someone a compliment or buying flowers for my friends.

There are no hard and fast rules on keeping a happy jar, such as find something to write everyday.  Some days I would write down as much as 5 things and the next day, nothing.

When I needed cheering up I would dip into the jar and remember what I had found positive.  This would also encourage me to keep writing down positive things.

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Before I knew it and the time had come to empty the jar.

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I would sit on my own and unfold the sticky notes.  It was emotional sometimes but really good to remember the moments that had taken place that past year.

Poppybead Creative blog

Some tips that helped me.

  • Put a pen and notes in the jar, then there are no excuses.
  • Place the jar somewhere you will be encouraged to write your moments.
  • You don’t have to use a posh jar and colourful paper.
  • Don’t worry if you can’t think of anything to write.

Poppybead Creative blog

I have enjoyed this process and how it helps me to remember positive things and moments.  I would encourage anyone to try it, but there is no pressure.

Thank you for reading this post and I hope 2018 is a positive year for you all.

Top Ten Blog Posts of 2017

20170110211803_img_2979.jpgOn the last day of 2017 I thought I would look back at the top ten viewed posts.

Algorithms, SEO and tags have a lot to answer for.  I don’t understand it enough to improve it at the moment, but I am not too bothered as long I continue to enjoy blogging.

My viewing numbers are not high but here goes.

Ebay items for sale, that don’t sell was posted on 17 January, it had 38 views amd 2 likes.

Street Workshop with Kris Askey & IGersBirmingham was posted on 11 February, it had 35 views and 9 likes.

Super Mini Lemon Meringues was posted 30 May 2015, it had 26 views in 2017 and 4 likes.  I am not quite sure how this older post got some love, but I am not complaining. 

World Mental Health Day was posted on 10 October, it had 25 views and 5 likes.

Throwback Tuesday: Black and White Photo Challenge was posted on 21 November, with 18 views and 6 likes.

Be Inspired – Kizomba, Semba & Ginga Workshops was posted on 19 February, it had 13 views and no likes.

International Women’s Day 2017 was posted on 08 March, with 13 views and 3 likes.  I will probably do something next year IWD2018, watch on my social media channels.

Christmas content was posted on 06 December, it had 12 views and had 5 likes.

My Calendar – My year in photos was posted on 07 December and had no likes.  I will be doing another calendar, it was so soothing and encouraging to be reminded of my photography development. 

Poppies was posted on 02 November, with 11 views and 2 likes.

I would like to thank you for the views and likes.  I won’t be making any resolutions but take small positive steps.  I will also try and post some entries that are still sitting in my drafts.

Happy new year.

An Inspired Morning

Poppybead Creative Blog

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

Instagram

Instagram food

Twitter

Facebook

Street Workshop with Kris Askey & IGersBirmingham

When I start writing my blog posts I always struggle and this is the same with my photography.  So when I found IGersBirmingham on Instagram and started going to some of their meetups I started to move out of my comfort zone and challenge the type of photos I shot.

Today was no different.  I kept thinking what if I don’t like any of my shots, I hope no one takes my camera.  Will I have the confidence to give street photography the justice it deserves.   Oh well lets go and see what a Street workshop is all about and listen as well as learn.

Kris Askey kindly gave up some of his time to talk us about how he got started, what fuels him to take the shots he has.  Kris captures some amazing moments and people, last year he shot an exhibition for Birmingham Children’s Hospital which could be viewed in the streets of Birmingham.  After some advice on taking shots on the street, we went out to take our own shots.Poppybead Creative, #igb_meet_street

Here’s one of my first shots, I like the whole view of taxi versus bicycle.  I could of been closer , but I like this shot.

 

 

 

 

These shots were some distance away  or blurred to have any real impact in my view.  But I am happy to share them.

 

 

Version 2

 

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I liked these last  three shots when I took them, but I could of had better angles.  Enough of the critiquing, the shots below I am happy with, so enjoy.

Version 2

Version 2

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Version 2
Once we had been out shooting for an hour, we met again and Kris edited some shots.

The opportunity to see Kris edit shots taken by fellow IGers was really useful.  This workshop has given me a kick up the bum to keep challenging myself, try something new & consider printing some of my shots.  So yet again IGersBirmingham and Kris thank you so much.

Kris has an exhibition starting on the 18th February at Park View Gallery in Kings Heath for a month.  So if you want to see and buy prints from Kris go along and support.