Tag Archives: nature

Painting with sunlight

I’ve been playing with dyes and sunlight printing this week. I love it – so easy and so effective – for those of you who asked for instructions and more details here are just some quick guidelines.

You need:

white cotton or calico fabric

Dye na flow paints  – lots of different colours available see the photo in the side bar which will take you directly to this on Amazon

Flat surface (covered as it will mark)

leaves, flowers or any object that will lay flat

paint brush



Rosa – aged six created this by herself


wash your fabric – (gets rid of chemicals and allows paint to absorb better)

cut fabric to size and wet

squeeze out excess water (but it still needs to be wet)

Place onto a flat (protected) surface

Paint with as may colours as you want – more than one is effective but you can get some colours from plants (dandelion heads leave a yellow mark)


place your leaves onto the wet fabric and press them into the paint with your finger tips

leave in bright sunlight to dry

carefully peel off the leaves

iron to seal the colours



some colours work better than others – pink on its own very pale but pink and blue mixture is stronger

Burnt umber is v effective

Fern type leaves are an excellent choice as they add detail

There are no ‘rules’ just play!


It’s worth allowing children to play – Tommy threw a pile of grass onto his picture so I left it – it really worked!


Let me know how you get on x


Bird watching

I love the birds in my garden but also love a walk around our local RSPB site. For the first time in ages – it wasn’t raining and it was a cold sunny day. Spent a lovely hour in the garden hide at Old Moor.

There were a group of long tailed tits who are lovely but don’t stay still for very long.

The usual suspects were also there!



I love this Robin one as you can see the wind blowing the branches.


I saw a magpie out of the corner of my eye – it had what looked like some orange paper in its mouth. Unfortunately when I looked it was actually the head of a bullfinch which did really upset me but I suppose nature has to take its course!

I did deliberate about uploading and I apologise if it offends anyone but it is just such a natural shot.



Printing photographs onto fabric

I had a real eureka moment today when I realised how easy it is to print onto fabric! I’ve used transfer paper but never been happy with the results. Today I used inkjet fabric sheets – £8.95 for 10 A4 sheets and the result is amazing! (The only downside is that they did take quite a while to be delivered)  You can type quotes basically anything you can do on your computer you can print! I used photoshop and tried lots of images on A4 and am so impressed. You just peel of the backing paper and are left with a gorgeous fabric version of your image. I’m dabbling with sewing at the minute and making cards etc. I’m going to have a go at embellishing some of these images later – the flower fields look like they might work.

I’ve also been trying out some more machine embroidery and negative space embroidery – just experimenting! No pattern just making it up x


Take time to recharge

I know I keep going on about how wonderful nature is but a few days in The Lake District last week with good friends really helped to recharge batteries that were definitely running low. The colours were stunning, the weather mild and the wifi signal very poor. This meant that my phone was used as a camera and very little else. I didn’t have to worry about answering e mails or work as there was nothing I could do.

Autumn colours of the Lake District
Autumn colours of the Lake District

We sat and looked at views, chatted, ate and drank. It took us several hours to walk 4km because there was so much to see. Need to remember to recharge frequently! x

Autumn colours of the Lake District

Autumn colours of the Lake District

I just love Autumn

I love all of the seasons for different reasons but if pushed I would have to say Autumn was my favourite. The colours can be breathtaking. A single leaf or a whole vista of colour has the power to make you stop in your tracks. A visit to Thorp Perrow in North Yorkshire yesterday was a real tonic. Although it was quite a wet and murky day it didn’t diminish the colours at all. It’s £8.30 for adults but you can spend hours just wandering. There is a halloween trail for children which judging by the squeals and laughter – is a hit with all ages.

Halloween collage
Halloween Trail Thorp Perrow

I took hundreds of photos and have only uploaded  a few here. If you work in schools these can be used freely in the classroom ( a link would be good 🙂 just so that I can see how they are being used.)

Autumn leaves

Camus said ‘Autumn is a second Spring where every leaf is a flower’.

relections of Autumn
Thorp Perrow

The refelections were stunningRZ4



Weeds can be beautiful too

I’m a lover of dead flowers and the texture and lines they contain but I also love weeds! If you find the right light some weeds will give you really abstract images which look amazing when they are printed in a large format. Its about what you see – there is beauty everywhere. These were all taken at RSPB Fairburn Ings today where the light was wonderful.


These three were back lit and spot metered to get the black background and make the most of the light.


This was shot with a macro lens at f2.8 to make the most of the background.

weed bokeh

The bokeh in the background adds to the abstract feel of this shot

Stepping out of your Comfort zone

It has taken a long time but I now feel confident to say that I can take a decent photograph of flowers. I have practised, I have edited, deleted, re shot but I now have my own style and feel comfortable with what I do.

Wildflower 6 JMH resized

I bought myself a new lens earlier this year – a 100 – 400 mm zoom with the aim of developing my skills and trying new things. Over the last few weeks I have been taking photos of dragonflies and butterflies. What a change, what a challenge! You can’t retake several times as your subject has flown off! It won’t wait for you to ‘faff about’ with settings and lighting, you get one shot. It won’t allow you to move around it and find the best angle … you get where I am coming from. I now have hundreds of photos of empty twigs and branches as well as several blurred attempts.

However, I remain undaunted. I’m reading around my subject. I’ve learnt that dragonflies often return to the same spot. Patience isn’t one of my virtues but I am learning!


JMH_6581a dragonfly 1

RZ2 butterfly 1

I would like to say  a special thank you to the gentleman who held the blade of grass still whilst I took a photograph of a dragonfly  this morning!

8th – 16th June

I haven’t blogged or uploaded any images for a few days even though I have hundreds that need editing! I want to blog about the last few days but can’t yet. We have been through every emotion you can imagine from fear to frustration from tears to gratitude. Mum is still with us but is on ‘End of Life care plan’. She is very ill and veers from lucidity to bizarre ramblings and hallucinations. BUT and its a big but – friends and family are there for all of us. It means so much to know you have the protection and concern of others to cushion you. There are so many people who have helped. Our lives are on hold at the minute and we are coping a day at a time. This afternoon I received a beautiful arrangement of flowers from special friends and then went for a walk to the RSPB with my long suffering and wonderful husband. Who knows what the next few days will bring but I do know I’m lucky in so many ways and that I am fortunate to have such wonderful family and friends x

A random array of images  – everything from Tommy to Northern Rocks x

3 FotorCreated

Capture Tommy went for a cast for his ‘new arm’ last week xx

RZ 2

Walking and taking photographs in the afternoon continues to help. This afternoon we saw a Great Crested Grebe with its young on its back. They look like little aliens.

Eygret 1