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June 2014

Living Arrows – 26/52

Living Arrows – 26/52

by Clare Mansell
theowashingcar
ISO 125, 50mm, f/2.2, 1/1600

I let Theo join in with washing the car yesterday. It was a bit more hazardous than I would have liked as most of our drive is taken up with a skip and various building materials and the car is sticking out into the road, but hazards aside he loved it. He got completely soaked through of course, but we all knew that was going to happen!

Photo wise, I realised when I sat down at the computer that I missed a trick with this shot. If I’d repositioned slightly I could have got the whole of his reflection in on the left. Seeing reflections is something I’m still trying to train myself to do as it doesn’t come naturally…

theowashingcar2
living arrows

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Three Gates Gallery vintage giveaway

Three Gates Gallery vintage giveaway

by Clare Mansell
Three Gates Gallery stock

For the last few months my sister Jane has been working with her friend Fiona sourcing decorative antiques for their Surrey based business Three Gates Gallery.

Fiona is a triple Gold medal winner at Chelsea Flower Show who has transferred her garden design skills to interiors and Jane brings her marketing background and expertise as an interiors photographer to the website.

I must admit I’m more than delighted to be able to show off some of their photos and beautiful interior set ups on the blog today and to share with you some of their stock.

Three Gates Gallery Sale
Three Gates Gallery Sale
Three Gates Gallery Sale
Three Gates Gallery stock
Three Gates Gallery stock
Three Gates Gallery stock
Three Gates Gallery
Three Gates Gallery

Fiona has a great eye for decor and what’s impressed me most is her ability to find really original decorative uses for vintage pieces. From repurposing bowling balls as bookends to creating lamps out of call ducks.

Three Gates Gallery stock
Three Gates Gallery stock

It’s also been rather handy to have a sister with contacts to source exciting and original pieces for our new home. Though we aren’t ready to decorate yet, I’ve already snapped up some of their lovely colourful lobster floats as well as a beautiful Amish metal star which now hangs in my studio. It’s amazing how a few statement items can really add interest to a home.

Three Gates Gallery Sale
Three Gates Gallery Sale

Three Gates Gallery have a website and also hold invitation only sales twice a year. If you’d like to  find out more about the sales, you can sign up to their mailing list here.

The exciting news is that Jane & Fiona have offered me one of their lovely repurposed pieces to give away. This clever reuse of an iconic mason jar makes a beautiful feature soap dispenser. Three Gates Gallery sell this soap dispenser for £30 but for your chance to win one all you need to do is enter via the Rafflecopter below.

soap2
Three Gates Gallery Sale
Prize is one vintage mason jar soap dispenser for one winner. Competition entry via Rafflecopter. UK postal addresses only. Competition ends on Sunday 13th July at midday. No cash alternative. Winners will be announced on this blog post within 48 hours of the competition closing.

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Capturing Colour : Purple

Capturing Colour : Purple

by Clare Mansell
Scabiosa - The butterfly plant

Purple has not been a particularly easy colour this week. In fact it was very telling that when I searched for it on Flickr (as I have been doing every week for inspiration) the only thing that came up were images of flowers. Purple does seem to be very prevalent in nature at the moment. My parents have at least three different plants with purple blooms out in their garden, but sadly we were a little early for the open day at our local lavender farm (and a little early for lavender in full bloom generally) but I did manage to capture some colour…

image
purple4
image
purple5
purple3

And a couple of purple images from my archive…

Summer skirt

That Lavender Farm open day I was talking about and Theo taking an irrational dislike to it last year…

Theo in the lavender fields

Next week’s colour is yellow, don’t forget to pop over and visit the other bloggers taking part…

Hayley at Shutterflies

Kirsty at My Two Mums 
Lucy at Capture By Lucy

…and you can join in yourself on Instagram with #capturingcolour 

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Navy & Lime HST Baby Quilt

Navy & Lime HST Baby Quilt

by Clare Mansell

blue and lime half square triangle quilt

I’ve just finished my second half square triangle baby quilt of 2014. I’m finding that with quilts, I am increasingly drawn to simpler colour schemes and simpler patterns.

I used to buy quite varied prints and then I found I didn’t use them as much as dots, checks and stripes. This quilt is a classic example of how pairing those kind of patterns can look so clean and modern.

I’ve also noticed my eye has improved a lot since I started my Graphic Design degree. Nothing I can exactly put my finger on, but I’m bolder with colour choices and happier with the results.

lime and navy half sqaure traingle quilt
The chevron/stripe binding is everywhere at the moment and this is actually the first time I have done it. I love the result though, whether original or not!

blue and lime half square triangle quiltblue and lime half square triangle modern quilt

I backed the quilt with minky again. It’s expensive (I want to weep when I see American quilters talking about buying it for $8 a metre!) but it makes the quilt feel so snuggly and luxurious.

half square triangle baby quilt for boys

I sent it off to its new home on Monday, rather reluctantly I have to admit as this is one I would have happily hung on to.

half square triangle quilt navy and green

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Living Arrows – 25/52

Living Arrows – 25/52

by Clare Mansell
theo220614
ISO 100, 50mm, f/3.5, 1/200

When I publish my Living Arrows portrait I often get comments from people asking about how to take better images. There is a lot of advice available about how to improve your composition and the lenses to buy, but one thing that remained a mystery to me until about three years ago was processing images.

The image above is a processed image. The image below is straight out of camera. The difference isn’t massive, but the alterations I have made help make the image more striking. I shoot RAW which enables me to alter my saturation and exposure (and other things if I want) in a non-destructive way, so that was the first step with this photo. I then took it into Photoshop where I sharpened the eyes and duplicated layers to play with the light. This last step I made up as I went along. I don’t know Photoshop inside out, even after many years use I am still learning, so I use the Living Arrows project as an excuse to experiment every week.

By showing you this what I’m really trying to say is don’t be disheartened if the images you download off your camera are lacking an X factor, they often do. Processing is a vital (and sometimes time consuming) step, but I think it’s worth it.

living arrows

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