2011 in review

I started off the year full of cold and generally feeling under the weather (this year it’s my husbands turn and I’m crossing my fingers I don’t catch it). Photography wise I was part way through a 365 project and also regularly participating in other photography blog hops. I also started participating in a new blog hop project 64, photographing the colours of the 64 packs of crayola.

In February I found by dream wedding shoes, photographed my nephews tiny feet, a beautiful sunset and signs of spring.

In March I visited and photographed Buxton, my husband ran a half marathon, I took part in a 1000 cranes for Japan and photographed lots of spring flowers.

April brough sunshine (and showers of course), a chance to photograph more spring flowers and Easter. We spent Easter weekend with my husband’s family at their caravan on Anglesey and spent a fair amount of time on the beach enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.

In May I went away for my hen weekend with my close friends, my mum and sister and my future mother and sister-in-law, we enjoyed a relaxing weekend and cupcakes. I photographed lots of flowers and baked a cake for my Aunties 80th birthday party. Then on the 28th May we flew out to Tuscany for our wedding. We stayed in a stunning villa, visited Siena and florence.

In June we visited San gimigano and ate their world famous gelato, had the wedding we had dreamed of and went on honeymoon in the Maremma (southern Tuscany). We enjoyed days on the beach, bathed in hot springs, explored sculpture gardens and quiet hill top towns and coastal towns in the Maremma before spending our final two nights in the stunning walled town of Lucca. I took that many photos in Tuscany that it took me until August to edit and blog them all and played a large part in my decision to end my 365 project early.

Once back from Italy, June saw me cooking lots of Italian inspired food (mostly vegetarian) and us going on a few walks.

It was in July that I ended my 365 project early. On the blog I was still sharing images from Tuscany so the photos above never made it. We spent a wet afternoon in tropical world, Leeds where I enjoyed trying to photograph butterflies and a sunny afternoon at the park where I photographed a beautiful flower garden.

In August, at the age of 29, I went on my first camping trip, again these images never made it to the blog.

In September my husband ran another half marathon and in the middle of an Indian summer, late September we went for a local walk after work one evening where I took a few photos during the glorious golden hour.

In October I joined in with the shades of autumn photo challenge. We celebrated my husbands birthday early October, with a walk in the woods and unbelievably a barbecue (temperatures over 20C are unheard of in the UK in October, just looking at the photo of my nephew in shorts and T-shirt, surrounded by autumn leaves is quiet surreal). The temperatures also made it difficult for making pastry but the results were worth it as I baked a delicious salted caramel, pecan and chocolate tart from the boy who bakes cookbook (see a video of the recipe here). Later in the month we celebrated my 30th birthday with a weekend in a camping pod in the Lake District.

November was a busy month, I went on a chocolate making course and tp a food bloggers conference.

December was another busy month but I found time to teach myself to crochet, make some foodie Christmas gifts and photograph our first snow fall of the winter.

So that was 2011 and what a great year it was. I’ve really enjoyed looking back on 2011 this afternoon, it’s a nice way to end the year and a good reason to keep on taking photographs and blogging. Since I ended my 365 I’ve definitely noticed I’m not using my camera as much or as well as I could so I need to find a way forward. I don’t think I’ll do another 365 but maybe a project 52 would be more manageable (one good photo a week to share on here). I’d also like to start taking part in more blog hop challenges again so hopefully this blog will be updated more often.

I’m not one for making new years resolutions but I do find myself thinking about what I want to get out of the year ahead at this time of year. I’m hoping for more creativity (photography and crafts like crochet), more reading, walking (which works well for finding photo opportunities), travelling (but most likely just the UK this year), cooking and baking and of course blogging.

This year we are having a quiet new year (just as well as my husband is full of cold), we have horrible bosses on dvd, a selection of anti-pasti, foccacia rising and some delicious rib eye steaks. So whatever you are doing tonight I would like to wish you all a happy new year. See you in 2012.

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First snow this winter

Yesterday we had our first snow fall this winter. Although it snowed most of yesterday and we’ve had a few heavy showers today, thankfully it’s not sticking. As much as I see the beauty in a snowy scene I don’t enjoy the disruption snow brings to travelling.

Currently reading and crocheting Christmas stars

Out of the blue I have developed an interest in learning to crochet. So I bought a hook and a ball of wall and away I went. I used various utube videos and blog tutorials to teach myself the basic stitches. Once I felt confident bored with practicing rows of the different stitches I knew I needed a project. I decided to make Christmas stars. I used this pattern here. I’ve not quiet decided what to do with them yet, hang them on the tree? use them as part of my gift wrapping or string some together to make a garland?

I’ve also been trying to find more time to read. I’ve just finished Room by Emma Donoghue, which despite being tough reading in places, I loved and finished pretty quickly for me. I stumbled upon an online reading group and their book for December is The language of flowers by┬áVanessa Diffenbaugh. This book is on my list of books that I have heard about and want to read and was in stock at my local library so I’ve decided to jump in. I’m only about a quarter of the way in but enjoying it and making the time to pick it up regularly (a good sign for me).

Linking up with Yarn along for further inspiration for reading, crochet and knitting.