Canon Open Day

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Went to the Canon Open Day in Ponsonby today with Mum.  Was great fun.  We took our own cameras, but didn’t end up using them.  They supplied cameras and lenses that were better than ours, so we took advantage of that.

We did macro first.  We were a little disappointed in the selection of things to photograph, but I loved using their macro lenses.  I want one!!  Pretty please, Steve, can I have one?

We were told they had a live model in the portrait room, so we went there next.  The model was beautiful, and very good at posing.  She kept moving, so each photo was different from the last.  They had the lights set up so she was properly lit, and I found it easy to snap amazing photos of her.

They had a really nice Jaguar car there, and it was all set up so it had the proper lighting.  The only problem was that you really couldn’t experiment with composition much.  You had one position you could get a decent photo of the car.  I got a photo, but didn’t feel like I contributed much to it.  Like, my photo was the same as everyone else’s, you know?

I had lunch with Mum, then she went home and I went back to take more photos.  They brought in a young girl and a puppy to the portrait room, so I got some different shots.  I went back to the macro room too, and got some better shots when there were less people crowded in there.

Overall, I really enjoyed the day.  Was great fun, and I got some good photos out of it.

Smashbooking or scrapbooking?

So, Elycia on introduced me to something called smashbooking.

Although smashbooking is a new term, it’s hardly a new concept. It basically describes the journals I kept in 1999-2000.

Although there doesn’t appear to be a definitive definition online, smashbooking is pretty much informal scrapbooking. It’s taking a journal and not just writing in it, but also pasting bits of pieces of paper and memorabilia in it. Whereas scrapbooks tend to be organised and neat, with a focus on the layout and craftmanship, smashbooks glory in randomness.

I started with boring journals. Just pages of text. I have a tendency towards perfection that I struggle with in my journals. You can see in my early journals that I tried to always write the date the same way, I would never go off the lines or doodle. Very uniform and neat. And boring.

I basically mimicked Chelsea’s style until I developed one of my own. Sound familiar? Yeah, it’s the same thing I did with poetry. Then I went flatting with Chelsea, and her journals were a riot of colour and craziness that I envied. I mean seriously envied. It was clear to me that my neat, boring journals and her colourful, creative journals were metaphors for our lives and personalities. I was the boring one. She was the fun one.


Pages from my journal, circa 1999

My creative journalling style is not quite the same as Chelsea’s. I don’t think anyway, it’s been years since I saw any of her journals. I can never quite let go of my perfectionism, so it’s more like carefully considered randomness.

Blogging has been more convenient for me since I had kids, but I could never bring myself to throw out all the little scraps of memorabilia that I would previously have journalled. Birthday and Christmas cards, letters and postcards, tickets to events, etc. I kept them all.

I tried scrapbooking, and loved it. It suited my perfectionist tendencies, and allowed me to combine writing, memorabilia and photos. Pretty much my ideal medium. Except… Yeah, except it is expensive, and takes way too much time and space.

I truly believe that to do scrapbooking successfully, you need a craft room. That way you’re not constantly having to pack everything away again every time. I spent more time setting up and packing up than I actually did scrapbooking. And it IS expensive. I loved it, but it just wasn’t practical for me.

Digital scrapbooking is much cheaper (there are so many freebies on the net) and takes up no space, makes no mess. So that’s awesome.

But I still ended up with all these scraps of paper I couldn’t bring myself to throw out.

So I’ve gone back to smashbooking. Except, of course, I’ve always called it journalling.

A page from my 2017 journal (aka smashbook)

I’m in the process of sorting out all those scraps of paper I’ve saved over the years. First step is to sort them into years. Literally, I have bits and pieces dating from 2001-2017. It’s very clear when I stopped journalling and the bits of papers starting piling up. Ha ha!

Because I have kept a blog, which has my own journalling, my poetry, my stories (although my stories are too long to go in a journal) and even quotes and things, I have the writing side of things to go with the memorabilia. So I’ve bought some more blank journals and I’m going to backdate my journals. I know, that’s a fucking mammoth project. Trust me, I know. I’m already behind on 2017, how the fuck am I going to catch up with sixteen years of journalling?! It makes me want to cry just thinking about it! It’s not like I needed yet another mammoth project. Seriously, for someone with so little time, I have so many projects on the go. It’s ridiculous. The one thing I don’t really have is many photos. My old journals never contained many photos, but my scrapbook pages centered around them. Hmm, maybe one day I’ll find the balance.

I did think about creating digital books, and somehow incorporating the memorabilia into them. That idea appeals to me. Partly because there’s not screeds of handwriting for me to do. Ha ha! But I just can’t figure out how to make it work.

Caitie saw some of my early journals when we were sorting my memorabilia, and she decided to keep her own journal too. Like me, she is seriously struggling with letting go of perfectionist tendencies. It’s hard for her to accept that the page doesn’t have to be perfect, that it’s okay to make mistakes. I think it’s good for her, but I have a lot of empathy for her, because it’s something I’ve dealt with numerous times. Journalling, poetry, etc. It’s hard to accept that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Sometimes it takes looking back at it to appreciate the beauty of the imperfections.

Unicorns and metaphors

Fragile strands,
ephemeral as candy floss,
twine around my fingers
in shades of raspberry
and amaranth
as I comb my fingers
through her mane.

Her coat, in champagne pink,
reminds me of deep, expensive
shag pile carpet,
the kind you sink into,
the kind that invites you to
curl up and dream.

The sturdy sensibility of
her tapered, achromatic horn
contrasts sharply with
eyes that dance with delight
and a thousand tiny rainbows.

And as we watch each other
with wary wonder,
I am so utterly enchanted
that I miss the symbolism

First rule of fight club…

Hushed murmurs
swirl among the dust
to gather in discarded piles
swept under the rug by
Corrections staff.

The stench of fear
and resentment
commingles with
and the unmistakable
odour of testosterone.

Skill, emotion,
those bulging muscles…
You’re wearing
the wrong uniform, buddy.