This month’s creative challenge is Foreground Framing. This is the technique of placing something in the foreground between you and your subject in order to help direct your eye towards it and provide context to the image. The thing in the foreground is usually, but not always deliberately thrown out of focus.

If you are trying to improve your photography this is also a really good opportunity to switch your camera to aperture priority or manual and experiment with altering your F Stop. All of the images you’ll see in this post achieve the blurry effect by being shot with a wide aperture. Depending on your equipment you may find your widest aperture is about f/3.5 on a zoom or perhaps f/1.8 if you have a fixed length (eg 50mm lens) One of the professional images you’ll see later in the post was shot at f/1.6 which requires quite an expensive lens and is probably not something you’ll be able to match!

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I’m sharing my Me & Mine post a day early this month as I’ll be launching the creative challenge for April’s Home Life Project tomorrow. This month’s photo was once again taken on one of our weekend dog walks. They often seen to be the only time I can corral all the family members into the same location and if nothing else, it also provides an interesting visual tour of our neighbourhood.

Last Sunday we were out on the waterfront in Emsworth with both the kids on scooters for the first time, or at least attempting to have both the kids on scooters! Alice had got her second-hand 3 in 1 Micro scooter the day before and was still getting to grips with it, we spent an awful lot of the time juggling two kids, two scooters and two dogs and never quite having enough pairs of hands!

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This month my quest to simplify our family life and reduce waste has lead me to try out Cheeky Wipes reusable baby wipes. Five and a half years into parenting might seem like an odd time to make the switch, but it had honestly never even crossed my mind that such a thing as reusable wipes existed until a few months ago and I thought I had to give them a try just to see how practical they really are.

A month later I can honestly say I will never use disposables again, the kit is so well designed and the one thing I hadn’t been expecting, was to find that they actually did the job better… and they completely do!

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Alice is now approaching 17 months old and for most of her life so far (bar those sleepy newborn days) she’s been quite hard to keep entertained. Though nursery tell me she plays well on her own, at home she gets frustrated and wants constant stimulation. I mentioned this to a mum friend a few months ago and she told me she’d bought a second hand Fun Pod for her toddler and it had revolutionized their lives. Fun Pods also known as Learning Towers are elevated enclosed plastforms that toddlers can stand in to see what is happening at kitchen counter height. They are about £100 to buy new, but occasionally they pop up on eBay. I actually found a second hand one being sold, but chickened out of bidding at the last moment, because I worried it was going to be just another unnecessary “toy” to clutter up the house.

Of course I instantly regretted not trying to buy it, but then I discovered an Ikea hack which is arguably better than the Fun Pod, customisable and cheaper, so we decide to try making it.

This hack is based on the Ikea Bekvam step stool which costs £13 and there are loads of tutorials online which show different approaches to customising it, but we based our hack on this DIY at Happy Grey Lucky and made a few modifications.

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I’ll be honest with you, photo projects can be a pain. The weeks roll by and suddenly the deadline is looming again for another contribution and you briefly find yourself thinking that life would be a lot easier if you didn’t have to shoot pictures by specific dates, but you get the camera out anyway and then magically you capture something which you otherwise would not have photographed… and then you remember that that is exactly why you do these things to start with.

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Hello. I'm Clare.
I'm a mum of two & a freelance content creator. I live in the Sussex countryside by the sea and this blog focuses on creative family living through photography, design, crafts and interiors. Read more

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