Weekly Ginger Bites

I am back! Last week’s Ginger Bites went on hold because, well, I wasn’t anywhere near my desk. I was far away, enjoying the peace and quiet that is Magaliesburg! My boyfriend whisked me away for a long weekend into the mountains, where there are some lovely little cottages that are just too cosy and comfortable for words! I really could live there! We’ve been to Nullarbor Cottages before, and it was such a great experience we went again! 4 days away from the madness that was swallowing our home was definitely what I needed!

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While I had a mountain of work to return to, it was so nice to get away, go for walks, take photos and just relax. It’ll probably be the last time I get to do this for the rest of the year, so I tried to make the most of it as best as I could.

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In the meantime, I’m currently working on some great things, which I’ll be able to show you in a few weeks time! Next week I have a mega reveal for what’s been going on at Little Seahorses Swimming School, boy is it very very very exciting! This weekend I’m off to take photos for the Shepherd’s Fold calendar as they’re having their dressage show. It’ll be so nice to get out into the countryside and be with horses, and I can’t wait to print this calendar already!

Now, as I’ve been away, I haven’t seen much around the web, but here are a few links that I managed to stumble upon in my breaks.  I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend, and until next week, here’s this week in links! Keep up with Facebook and Instagram to see what I do in between each Ginger Bites post!

 

Interesting Reads

5 Myths About Being An Entrepreneur

Where Success And Failure Meet

Why Firefox Makers Are Grumpy About Windows 10

Awesome DIY 3D Holograms With Your Phone!

Good For A Laugh

Hugh Jackman Lip Syncing Is Hilarious!

Happy Womens Day From Bic – Think Like A…. What?

My Faves

Fave DIY: Tie Die Smores

Fave Song: Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On

Spring Has Sprung!

I’ve been so ridonculously busy over the past few months, and I’m rather ashamed that my poor blog hasn’t had nearly enough attention as it should have! There’s been a huge but fantastic influx of projects from various clients that I’ve had so much fun working on. I guess a little bit of a catch up is in order.

The few projects I’ve been working on have been particularly huge for me, not in terms of project size but the fact that those clients have trusted me with their brands. While I’m completely confident I can work wonders with their new company’s brand, it’s a huge compliment for someone to trust me with it. The first big deal for me was one of my best friend’s new venture into a swimming school – and letting me create the logo, website and everything else. It’s going to be opening in October, and all the little things are slowly coming together, and I can’t wait to see it out there, living and breathing with the swimming school!

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Secondly, I handled a CI for a new music production studio. It was so much fun, from the very first sketches right through to the launch event of their studio! Logo design, business cards, email signatures, letterheads, a rather good-looking website and photos. It was like chocolate cake, with a gooey chocolate filling, covered in thick chocolate icing – I enjoyed every single bit of it!

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At the same time, I had a super short notice request for some business cards for a very talented baker and cake decorator friend of mine. From sketch to final printed business cards in just 4 days was a tad crazy, but they came out so cool looking, and when I saw them beside her incredible cupcakes decorated with printouts of the music studio’s logo that I’d designed, I almost cried! I can only imagine it to be something like seeing your kids go off for their first day of school. Yes, I totally just compared my projects to kids. But that’s how important they are to me!

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On the side, I’ve been working on a logo for a very unique and exciting local band, a branding service company, and a wedding media company, along with the usual monthly work I do for my previous company of employment. It hasn’t really stopped here, but I’m grateful for that!

And personally, well, August was a surprisingly getaway-filled month! The second weekend of August, my boyfriend and I went away to celebrate our 4 year anniversary, then 2 weeks later we held a surprise birthday party/camping holiday at our friend’s special campsite (the same place we went to for Easter) and then last weekend we went to Bela Bela. That last holiday was a blast, even though we were camping during a cold front and the water froze overnight! I got the most pathetic tan/burn on my legs from my 3/4 pants, and we spent most of each day walking around, sitting in the sun, relaxing by the pool, playing cards and cycling around. I haven’t ridden a bike since…. well, probably over 10 years, but it was so great to get back on a bike and just ride! Except that poor bike had zero shock absorbers, so I was a little sore the following day! We had some sheep and little sparrow weaver birds for company after most of the campers left on the Sunday, while we stayed until Tuesday. They were so curious and friendly, constantly hopping around our feet while we relaxed by the tent, I actually missed them all after we came home!

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And, well, since then I’ve been back at work, doing the usual au pairing and keeping very busy on more projects. I’ve also realised I have a lot of work ahead of me for my own businesses, as while my design has been doing so splendidly, my photography business totally needs some love. So I’m giving each business a little bit of pampering, some website updates and some blog updates, and lots of exciting things planned for the future. I’m not the best of bloggers, but I do enjoy it, so it’s time to put that to use and blog more! That’s right, you’ll be seeing a lot more from me, hopefully at least once a week, or once every two weeks! Until then folks!

Just A Few Days

Firstly, I hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend just gone by! It feels like just last week it was Ash Wednesday, and now suddenly Easter is over and we’re heading straight for Winter. Time flies!

And speaking of time, it’s amazing what just 2 days of holiday can do for you. My boyfriend and I had planned to head to the coast for the Easter weekend, purely because it was our best chance of getting a decent holiday in. But when the weekend crept up on us, the places we wanted to go to were all booked, and the cost of petrol alone was insane. Our favourite places were all booked up, and it soon looked like we wouldn’t be going anywhere – and possibly pitching the tent in the garden! I’m the kind of person who needs holidays, otherwise I become grumpy, miserable and useless. But on this past Wednesday, while at our weekly social evenings, our buddy mentioned they were going to their family camp site up north, and invited us. And boom! There was our holiday!

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We went through on Saturday morning, and arrived to beautiful hot sunny weather (and I’d only packed clothes for cooler weather!). It’s the kind of place you can get away with doing absolutely nothing – even staring into the distance feels good! On Sunday morning, we drove up the mountain to the highest point for several km’s, and watched the sun rise over the flat plains of Limpopo. Gosh, it was amazing. After snapping some photos, we headed back down the mountain and tackled the rough terrain. After a slightly hair raising and stomach churning ride home (I don’t have the strongest stomach in the mornings before breakfast!) we got back and made the most of our holiday.

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On our way home, we took the more scenic route to avoid the expensive toll roads and e-tolls, and had a ride up the cable car to the top of the Hartbeespoort mountains and ended up having lunch there! I’m not one for heights, but it was pretty magical, and worth the slightly scary ride to the top! We made our way home through the Cradle of Humankind, through some beautiful driving roads, and we made it home with time to spare for unpacking and freshening up before dinner.

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This break showed me just how drained I get, because my brain actually never stops once it gets going – I’m always thinking of ideas, trying to solve problems, and my mind is constantly absorbing information, to the point where I don’t want it anymore, but I can’t stop it. Just 2 days of getting away from that and switching off has done me a world of good, because now I feel like I can tackle any oncoming projects with gusto and fresh creative juices! So, if you’re thinking you should keep pushing on, give yourself a break, and you’ll be glad you did!

Disappearing Act

I bet you’re wondering where myself and my photos have vanished too. Well, I’m wondering that myself! The past month has been very rollercoaster-ish, but I’ve survived, and we have a brand new month to start tomorrow! I’m hoping it’ll bring some exciting new things, more progress for me and my design & photography.

Well, let’s start with the photos. Unfortunately, Nikon SA decided it no longer host their daily challenges – but didn’t tell us. I saw numerous unhappy posts on their Facebook page, and I sent them a message enquiring about the lack of daily themes. They replied saying they were no longer continuing with the challenge – no reason. I am pretty disappointed, I do miss my daily photos, and am actually contemplating starting something myself. But that’s a project for a rainy day!

I have been busy with 2 weddings this month, so I’ve had plenty to photograph and edit! For my most recent wedding, I hired 2 Nikon D600s, and what a pleasure they were to work with! It was rather strange but pretty awesome working with something so fast compared to my D300s. Looks like an upgrade is in the near future! Here are my 2 favourite shots from each wedding!

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fireflight photography wedding photography

On the same weekend as the lastest wedding, myself and my boyfriend were up and heading off to the RC track at 6am. One of the international drivers JQ – aka Joseph Quagraine – was in SA taking part in a 2-leg race, so my boyfriend naturally wasn’t going to miss this! Sadly, several issues led to my boyfriend not finishing. It’s crazy how that little car works perfectly for warm ups, goes for a couple of laps in the race and then decides a few things should all break at the same time. It’s a good job there aren’t any hammers nearby when this happens! Anyway, I managed to get some pretty fun shots of the cars, got a bit sunburnt, got very covered in fine brown dust, and had a good afternoon (ending off with a McD’s Oreo McFlurry!).

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I recently got a design project that meant I got to break out the pencils and sketchbook – and I’d forgotten how I used to draw! I found an old drawing of a unicorn from 2009 – check it out here, and was rather surprised. My recent drawings of a kingfisher were nowhere near as polished, but I think I need to start doing a daily sketch or something. It’s fun, theraputic and good for keeping the creative juices flowing! You’ll be seeing this product up on the blog, Facebook and website soon – keep an eye out!

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And to finish off, yesterday my boyfriend and I went out on a breakfast outride at Shepherd’s Fold Stables. You go for a 1.5 hour horse ride through the river, valley and mountains, and come back to a yummy full English breakfast on the farmhouse porch. The weather was gorgeous – a bit of sun and a bit of cloud, and when we were tucking into breakfast, a small burst of rain came down and cooled us down before heading home. I haven’t ridden a horse in ages, and it was great to be back in the saddle – even if I hurt quite a lot today! If you need something to do in Johannesburg, go for one of these rides, you won’t regret it!

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Goodbye February, Goodbye Summer

That has to be the most depressing title yet. Gosh. January flew by, and now suddenly February has vanished too. I can feel the change in the air, the sun has moved over and the green leaves are slowly starting to fade, and for the past week it’s been cold, gloomy and rainy almost all day.

Ccan you believe we’re already into Lent? I’m terrible at choosing something to give up that isn’t chocolate, coffee or snack related. I don’t eat much chocolate or snack very much (usually Provitas with cheese) and coffee is impossible. I think I’m going to give up using my phone as an extension of my PC, no Facebook, email, nothing. Just a good old fashioned phoned again. And I’m also going to give up sitting by the PC at night, and spend some time with my family.

So, with February coming to a close, so ends my February photos. It seems my usual Facebook page from Nikon SA hasn’t got a challenge for this month, so I’ll have to find one elsewhere on the web! Any recommendations?!

Our group of friends has recently started having a Wednesday social evening, so we get to hang out more often in a budget-friendly way. Last week we went ten-pin bowling. I sucked completely, but only because I was laughing so hard. We tried playing darts last week, and I sucked at that too. I know I can’t aim, it’s a curse! Does anyone else here suffer from aimlessness?

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We were super lucky in going to see Nitro Circus Live here in Johannesburg! Oh my goodness. These guys (and girl) are just amazing, the skill and precision they have when performing tricks and stunts is mindboggling. I wish I’d been able to take my camera into the stadium, but sadly they’re super strict and only media can do so. However, a buddy of mine took hers with as she’s an accredited motorsport photographer, and her photos are insane. Check them out here!

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Here are my last shots for February (yes, I’m missing 28, but sadly I never got round to shooting it!). Holding thumbs I’ll find another daily challenge to try and keep my creativity up every day.

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Day 16 – Guilty Pleasure

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Day 17 – Pancakes

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Day 18 – Window

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Day 19 – Circles

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Day 20 – After Hours

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Day 21 – Just Dance

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Day 22 – Interior

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Day 23 – Something Pink

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Day 24 – Lace

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Day 25 – Brownies

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Day 26 – Friendship

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Catching Up

It’s been a busy while since my last post, but not much to say about it all! I had my birthday bash – a pirate themed party that went down a hit, and my parent’s celebrated 25 years of marriage. 2 parties in 2 weekends is the most we’ve ever done, so I’m a little pooped to say the least! I finally launched my new website – be sure to check it all out here. I’ve got a ton of new projects lined up that I’m super excited about and ready to dig into, and I’ve got my daily photos to keep me busy. I haven’t had a chance to upload them all here, so brace yourself for some Photo-A-Day spammage below!

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Day 13 – Let’s Run!

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Day 14 – Arch

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Day 15 – Back To School

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Day 16 – The Best

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Day 17 – Emotion

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Day 18 – Action

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Day 20 – Cinnamon

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Day 21 – Sign

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Day 22 – In The Garden

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Day 24 – Twinkle

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Day 25 – Yummy

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Day 26 – Soft

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Day 27 – Rise & Shine

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Day 28 – Collage

Hello Pony – Pretty Products in Action

On Sunday I headed out to Shepherd’s Fold Stables to photograph Hello Pony‘s beautiful line of equestrian gear for children & ponies. They have such gorgeous, funky and colourful items, like their numnahs, blankets, travelling kits and more! Their range of clothes is both colourful and functional, meaning riders can wear them around the stables and look great too!

At first, the weather decided it didn’t want to co-operate, and it was pouring with rain when I arrived, followed by lightning and thunder. The ponies were hurried into the stables, and for a few minutes the rain looked like it wanted to stay. Not long after, the skies started to clear and the rain moved over, leaving us with fresh gardens and stables, and some lovely light too! Crisis averted! I can’t wait to put these photos on the website and get it running soon, it’s going to be oh-so funtastic! 🙂

Thanks to Vicky, Hermien and Karien for all your organising of children, ponies, parents and gear! Thanks to the parents who brought their kids along to be photographed – they were so awesome to work with!

Click on images to view them larger.

To order your photos, please send an email to Vicky or myself with your chosen photos.

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Catching Up

The past few days have just been insane, and while I had only a few moments to take a photo for each day, there was just no time to put them on my PC, edit them and blog about them. But all the business was a good thing, so in my absence I was actually having a lot of fun! So, without further ado, here are the last few days worth of daily photos!

 

 

Day 10 - Neighbour
Day 10 – Neighbour

Ah, our neighbours. As the saying goes, “If you haven’t anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Well, I’m tempted to say nothing at all, but I think from this statement, you’ll realise I don’t have the warmest of feelings towards our neighbours. So I’ll leave out all the nasty bits, and dig up something positive. We used to have the most wonderful view of Northcliff Hill, but several years ago, our previous neighbours sold their house, and the new neighbours built their double storey monstrosity for two and a half years. Yes. Two and a half. Since then, the view of the hill has long since vanished, leaving us to image what it looks like now, or break out the old photos of the once gorgeous view. So this is quite a bittersweet image for the theme, because it brings memories of anger, frustration and disappointment.

 

Day 11 - Learning
Day 11 – Learning

Learning. This will be my first year since I was 3 years old that I won’t be learning at an institution. Many people would be happy, but I’m actually rather sad. Yes, sad. I don’t miss primary school or high school, but I miss going to university. It was most definitely the best four years of my life, and I think I learnt more there than at primary school and high school put together! Alright, that’s not quite true. But I learnt far more in terms of skills I’d use in the professional world, skills that turned me into the designer I am now, and the person I am now. I’m a completely different person to the one I was when I left high school, and I’m glad. I’m grateful for the past 4 years of stress, hard work, tears, anger, learning, progression, happiness, joy and fun. I’d go do it all again, I swear! The people I met, the lecturers who taught me, the places I went to, the designs I made where all part of a special experience, and one that I’ll never forget. So, I’m sad to not be learning in such an environment again. I know I’ll never stop learning, but being able to learn there was just the best possible thing I could’ve imagined, and more.

So, if you’re in Johannesburg, and you’re looking for a brilliant place to study, love visual design and technology, then do yourself a favour and go to the Multimedia Department at the University of Johannesburg. Do it, embrace it, love it. I did, you will too.

 

Day 12 - A Corner
Day 12 – A Corner

Alright, this is rather uninspiring, but the day was too busy for me to think! I had a bunch of friends round for a braai – or for you non-South Africans, a BBQ. Our house isn’t naturally tidy, so most of the morning was spent tidying things, moving things and covering things up. This was one of our useful hiding tools – a screen that blocked the entrance to our ‘everything we don’t need or use goes here’ room. Thankfully it’s usually a temporary situation, and once people have left and we’ve recovered, things go back to where they should be and we can function again!

 

Day 13 - Your Weekend
Day 13 – Your Weekend

This weekend was definitely one of the best I’ve had in a while! Having some of my fantastic friends over for a braai was so much fun, if not a little crazy at times. We’re loud, bouncy and generally don’t have limits. I have a wide range of friends, from the most quiet, conservative people to the loud, crazy party animal people! But I love them all, and without them, my weekend probably would’ve been a terribly boring one, and so would my life! We had loud speakers blasting music (which ended up being a disaster because apparently my Windows Media Player loves Rihanna more than I do!) and games, laughs and just a good time allround. And to top it all off, I spoke to one of my favourite composers – Jacob Israel. His work is incredible, something totally refreshing to the usual scores and soundtracks I listen to. His stunning fusion of classical piano and insane digital stuff just blows my mind every time I hear it. I almost died when I found out he was on the other side of the phone I held to my head, and I could barely think to speak! It was rather mind boggling, to say the least. If you enjoy instrumental music, check out his page and take a listen. Listen to ‘Glassface’, and be prepared to be amazed – it’s incredible! You can find his work right here: http://jacobisrael.bandcamp.com/

So, after all the madness on Saturday, Sunday was a nice lazy day. Some friends stayed over, and we had bacon and eggs for breakfast and took it really slow. If I could have more weekends like that, I’d gladly welcome them after a long busy week. 🙂

Day 14 - A Secret
Day 14 – A Secret

Secrets. They’re quite evil things, I feel. Most of my teenage life was shrouded in a cloud of secrets. “Don’t tell so-and-so I say this”, or “I’m telling you this, but please don’t tell them I told you”, or “Don’t tell anyone, it’s our secret”. And it gets tiring, until your mind is literally tied down in secrets and you have nothing left to say. I have very few secrets, but half the time I don’t remember them, so they’re not really secrets in the end. Secrets can hurt, sometimes they hide what’s necessary, and in the end, it’s just not worth it. Secrets are the byproduct of two-faced people, and being two-faced gets you nowhere. I learnt that the hard way, but looking back, I’m glad I learnt. I may have lost a lot, but the things I lost were things I didn’t deserve to have in the first place, and I wouldn’t want them back today if I had the chance. Don’t keep secrets, they’re not worth it in the end.

 

Day Nine

Day 9 - Flower
Day 9 – Flower

Which girl doesn’t like flowers? They’re beautiful to look at, smell wonderful, and if they survive long enough, they’re a sign that you’re not completely useless at everything. My Mum’s the green thumb in the family, and the closest I get to being a green thumb is walking in the garden and watering the plants when someone’s away. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love them. As with all things, I generally have a few favourites, and many others that I don’t really care for. I simply adore gerbera daisies, orchids, tulips and strelitzias. At least I know if I get married one day, choosing flowers won’t be difficult. Or cheap.

Yesterday I went round to my best friend, Sara, and picked up my birthday present, which was this stunning Moon Orchid. I’m in love with it, the colours and texture are simply stunning. And I just found out that a dried orchid genus is actually vanilla – so I’m doubly happy about that. I’m holding thumbs (hopefully green ones) that this will stay alive for a long time. I’ve got a hydrangea that’s lasted 9 years, so maybe this one will win too?

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A quick behind-the-scenes of my shot for today. Coffee tables, dining chairs and yoga mats make for such marvellous DIY studio equipment. Add a reflector and some natural light, and it turns into a nice shot in the end.

Opposites

My #nikonphotoaday challenge topic for today was opposites.

Whenever I get a topic that doesn’t immediately strike an idea in my head, I walk around the house, muttering and picking up objects and staring into the distance. Sometimes it works, and other times I just look daft. Today was more of the latter. I grabbed all my gear and plonked it in the living room, and then stopped. We don’t have many ‘opposite’ things in the house. Things are generally the same colour, out of order, mismatched. Big and small. Hot and cold. Black and white. Right and left. New and old.

Day 8 - Opposites
Day 8 – Opposites

 

 

Oh… new and old? I remembered my lovely old Olympus Pen that I got from my Mum a year ago. And then I remembered she had a newer Olympus, a small point and shoot that still bared a slight resemblance to it’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather. If I’d had my first DSLR, my Olympus E400, it would’ve been quite the shot.

New and old. Perhaps not my best shot, but I tried my hand at strobist lighting to hone my skills in that department. Not the worst, but I’ve got some learning to do!