The Changing Seasons, January 2018

Kia ora koutou

Greetings.

I don’t do resolutions— new year or otherwise. But in the opening days and weeks of 2018, a bunch of factors have combined to make me feel that if I were to have a resolution — or a word for the year — it would be creativity.

Or at least productivity.

This month, Auckland has languished dishcloth-like in intense humidity; broken only by storms and heavy rain. Others have fled to the beach for escape, while the Big T and I have been machines.

Grainy textured shot of girl standing by children's playground at the beach, photographing higg waves on her phone. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Our visits to the beach have coincided with storms and big tides. We weren’t the only ones! Image: Su Leslie, 2018

The house has been sprung-clean (yes, I know that’s not the actual term), the garage tidied, lawns mowed, repairs made and roof lichen attacked. Rooms have been emptied and refilled to accommodate the temporary return of the boy-child (or at least, his stuff).

Bread has been baked, jams made, recipes invented and taste-tested, and the $5 chair is undergoing an extreme makeover.

1960s style wooden frame armchair, with upholstery removed, and sanded back to bare wood. So far, so good. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Old upholstery and chipped yellow varnish removed. So far, so good (that was then). Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Best of all, I’ve been commissioned to take photos for an artist friend’s project; a project that will mean spending time in an art studio, hanging out with creative people, making art myself. Damn!

But.

Like any machine, eventually the wheels fall off. The last few days have been filled with setbacks and annoyances; not least that humidity has caused the painstakingly applied varnish on the $5 chair to crack and look— frankly — shit.

I cried.

It was so close to finished and looking beautiful. I’d psyched myself up cut out all the upholstery materials — and had actually upholstered the seat.

Luckily, T’s emotional attachment to the project is less than mine (or he’s just better at being an adult). Even as I write, I can hear the electric sander as he undoes the damage and works his magic.

So the $5 chair won’t be the star of the first Su-hosted Changing Seasons post. Instead I’ve offered you a pot pourri of projects from the opening days of my self-proclaimed “Year of Living Creatively” (and learning Te Reo Maori — the Maori language).

I’m really grateful to Max, at Cardinal Guzman for birthing The Changing Seasons, and nurturing the project to the point where it could be handed on.

I’m looking forward to seeing January 2018 through the eyes and lenses of everyone else who takes part in the project. If you do a ping-back to this post, I can update it with links to all of yours.

Ka kite anō | see you soon

Su

UPDATES

Here are other bloggers’ Changing Seasons’ posts for January. Please visit and enjoy the month though their eyes. I’ll keep updating this as I see them:

Joanne at My Life Lived Full

The Widow Badass Blog — this is Deb’s first Changing Seasons post, so please pop over to visit.

Tish Farrell at Writer on the Edge

Lee at Ladyleemanila

Marilyn and Garry Armstrong at Serendipity

Mick, at Mick’s Cogs

Ju-Lyn at Sunrise,Sunset — Matters of Perspective. This is Ju-Lyn’s first Changing Seasons post, so please take a look at her photos from Singapore and Bangkok.

Sarah at Art Expedition. Sarah has also just joined the challenge and has shared some beautiful images. Please pop over and take a look.

Pauline at Living in Paradise has also joined this month. Please visit to see images of her wonderful garden on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Ruth at RuthsArc. Another new member of the project; this time from Tasmania. You’ll love the photos of her January.

Max at Cardinal Guzman. The Changing Seasons owes its existence to Max and it’s great to see his snowy January.

Jude at Under a Cornish Sky. Jude is planning to create a photographic journal of the natural world in her very beautiful corner of the globe. Please pop for a look.

Yvette at Priorhouse. This is Yvette’s first Changing Seasons, and it’s such a fun post. Please visit and take a look.

And in case you’re unsure of the challenge guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

 

The Changing Seasons, December 2017

As usual, my photographic month was weighted towards food and flowers — with a little festivity thrown in.

Despite our family’s commitment to celebrate Christmas simply, and with gifts of time and creativity, I still got to the 25th feeling a bit crazy and harassed.

But the last week has been calmer. Auckland has emptied out as people head to beach towns for New Year celebrations. I’ve eaten well, exercised, and found time to read a couple of books that are almost due back at the library.

I began taking part in Max’s The Changing Seasons challenge almost two years ago, and have really enjoyed the way that creating monthly posts has made me look at and think about the themes and direction of my photography. But — more importantly — I love reading  others’ posts.

Max has decided to retire from hosting duties, so from January 2018, I’m going to try and fill his shoes.

Max, you’ve done a great job, and I really hope that you continue to share your changing seasons here. I particularly hope you’ll share your music.

For anyone who’s contemplating joining The Changing Seasons, please do!

You don’t have to post every month, and it really is a good chance to reflect on the passing months.

The structure is pretty straightforward and has a couple of different versions.

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

In the meantime, I wish you all a very Happy New Year.