Who am I?….

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

Who am I?

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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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MonologueSlam UK – Helping People Happen

A few weeks ago my friend mentioned her son was doing a monologue and if I wanted to come along. I have been watching Nathan perform for many years and thought why not?

I had heard of monologues and slams, but not a monologueslam. So out of my comfort zone I went and ended up at the Birmingham Rep theatre.

From the outset, the talent was amazing. The first round was the youth round and these young people could deliver. They delivered emotion, humour and performances that you would expect from older performers.

The one minute round says what it is on the tin. A number of the performers also wrote their own monologues, which I was in awe of.

Then there was the improv round with Jumprov. Improvised comedy, they were funny.

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Jumprov

Just before the interval they pulled a name from a jug. This person got the chance to perform after the interval.

Now the round I came for, the three minute round. Nathan was first to perform and I was really impressed, but I don’t think I can pass an Italian restaurant without a chuckle now.

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Nathan Queeley-Dennis

All of the performers of the performers were execeptional and the overall winner was fantastic. I even cried real tears from laughing so much. This included a great set from Smash Enterainz.

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Tijan Bobb – overall winner

When I got home, I was absolutely buzzing from the energy, talent and positivity I had witnessed on stage. I am looking forward to another event and planning to go to the finals in London.

Triforce Events keep providing these opportunities.

More cards…..

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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.

The Story of Two Yards of Fabric

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After being introduced to the African fabric stall at the indoor market in Birmingham. I went back to get some fabric to use as headscarves.

They charged £3 for 1 yard pieces and had lots to choose from. So I chose two different pieces.

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When I got home I fell in love with the patterns on the fabric wished that I had bigger amounts.

Anyway I looked at the direction of the pattern on the fabric squeezed out a Sorbetto top.

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I love this top.

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Then I kept seeing videos on YouTube talking satin sheets or pillowcases to protect your afro hair. Then I looked at videos on how to make a satin bonnet.

This is what happened.

Poppybead Creative blog

Poppybead Creative blog

I didn’t follow one particular pattern. The satin was purchased from a stall in the rag market. Two nights in and it hasn’t fallen off my head and my hair isn’t so dry.

So there was my story of two yards of fabric.

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.

Instagram Highlights

Instagram is generally where I spend a lot of my social media time. I have found myself falling down the black hole that is insta stories and losing hours of time, all of those 15 seconds stories build up.

Then I noticed people making cover photos for their story highlight sections. So I have made my own.

A lot of the cover photos were beautiful graphics and wording. I decided to use some alphabet beads and am happy with the outcome.

Photography backgrounds 

Sometime ago an amazing creative friend had started using photography backgrounds. Her photos and products were and are still amazing.

I had been using wallpaper samples, floor tiles and blank paper as backgrounds

Then I bit the bullet and bought my first photo board from Photoboardshq. After much deliberating I chose coast. It was a light colour and have been loving it.

Then a few weeks ago I went to the photography show Photoboardshq were exhibiting. So I bought another two boards. It was really helpful to see the boards in person. I settled for Cabin and Firewood.

I have really enjoyed experimenting with different backgrounds and would like the opportunity to capture more items. Watch this space.

Please note, this is not a sponsored post and I will still use different backgrounds.

The Photography Show 2018

Poppybead Creative Blog

Poppybead Creative Blog

Today I headed off to The Photography Show at the NEC in Birmingham.  This is the second time I have been to the show and I had a better idea of what to expect.  So before I went to the show I made a loose plan of what stands I wanted to visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olympus had been advertising on their social media feeds that you could get a free clean and check on your camera.  This was my first port of call and the staff on the stand were really friendly.

I went to the show with some friends and we moved on just looking at the deals on Fuji kit.

The Fuji stand had models you could shoot, so I moved forward with my mobile phone and took the first shot.  Last year I didn’t feel as confidence to take photos and took the second shot from further away.  Both photos were taken with the same phone.

 

We then  went to a talk at the video stage about taking your photography into videography.  It was interesting but my little video montages are a long way away from where the speaker’s content.  There was some good points about the use of music and permits to shoot in different areas of the country.

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We meandered around for a bit longer and then I went to visit a friend’s daughter working on the Hasselblad stand.  If I didn’t eat or pay any bills for the next six months or so I could possibly afford a Hasselblad at the show price of £6,388.

 

Back to reality and we visited a lighting stand who had some affordable kit and some interesting displays.  The ‘baby’ looked realistic, it was quite scary & then I saw Yoda.

 

Before going to another talk I went to Photo Boards to have a look at their photo boards.  I have one already and was looking to get another one, being able to see all of the boards in person made it easier to choose.  I wasn’t convinced at first about backgrounds but with the right background, a product can be lifted.

 

The other talk I went to was by Jo Bradford and was titled “Pixel to print; a workflow for pro-quality outdoor smartphone photography”.  There was some good tips & it was nice to see a photo taken whislt the talk was taking place printed off with high quality paper.  She also made available signed copies of her new book to purchase before it’s international publishing date in April.  The book is called “Smart Phone Smart Photography – Simple techniques for taking incredible pictures with iPhone and Android”.  Some of the apps she mentioned require a purchase but sometimes you need to invest to improve your photos.

Poppybead Creative Blog

In summary, I really enjoyed my day at the show.  The company was great and it is always helpful to try equipment before buying.  Also getting information and tips to inspire improvement from the different talks was paramount.

 

 

 

 

 

New cards – I did it!

Hello there

I still buzzing from the deliveries I received last week, I will write about the other delivery in another post. I printed some of my photos as greeting cards. I found a printer who does a small print run of 25. I narrowed down my photos to 6 and asked the opinion of some friends on the photos. They were honest, as always and I sent my order. One photo didn’t make the cut.

The size and orientation of the cards was limited, but that didn’t matter. The fact I could choose more than one design in such a small print run won me over.

I chose to include kraft brown envelopes but didn’t arrive. The customer service I received was great and the envelopes should be with me soon.

The cards are on sale locally and will go into my Etsy shop hopefully by the end of the week.

Now here are the cards let me know what you think?

The cards are A6 in size and an envelope will be provided each card. I will let you know when the cards are live for sale.

Thank you for reading.

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.