Vivez Bien * Live Well

Saturday, January 9, 2016

This is going to be a good year...

Happy New Year to you. I hope this year will fulfill your hopes and dreams whatever they may be.

I am quite excited by the year ahead. It's going to be a bit of a different one for me. For the first time in a couple of years, I am not going to be formally employed! I might have an exciting decorating project lined up but otherwise I am going to have some more time on my hands and here's how I'm going to fill it....

My kind and generous husband gave me a very nice camera for Christmas. When I started this blog years ago, my intention was to photograph ideas in my own home to illustrate the subject matter of my blog post, but when I saw my pathetic attempts compared to the glorious interiors I come across online and in magazines, I tended to not bother that much with taking my own photos. But that is about to change. I also do most of my paintings from photographs so I am now very motivated to learn to take better photo's.

But let's focus on the important things first - the stuff! My current camera bag is a bit small, especially if I intend to accumulate some more lenses over time and the bag that came with the camera is one of those typical bags that screams, "I am a tourist or I have an  expensive camera inside me - please steal me". And then, of course, there is the issue of style. I have seen some beautiful leather camera bags online, but they cost a small fortune, so I decided to improvise....

I found this camera bag insert online through Amazon...
and found the perfect size bag, via Bidorbuy to accommodate it - voila - an inexpensive camera bag. I thought this bag with it's slightly distressed canvas outer and leather trim would look quite cool and give me some street cred!  (Thank goodness my kids don't read my blog - I can picture them howling with laughter at the idea of their middle aged mom having anything vaguely resembling street cred!)

 ....and then just to complete the picture I found this really cute camera strap, also on Amazon, for the price of 3 cappuccinos.


I am going to be the most stylish photographer out there, but, sadly, to quote a friend's son
 "I now have all the gear....but no idea!"

I have tried reading the manual, but for all the sense it makes, I might as well be reading the Chinese version. I have fiddled and faffed with my camera, read some tips online, and watched some video tutorials, but I'm still really battling to understand it all. ISO, F/STOP, AV, TV, ...H.E.L.P.!!

Someone once told me that you loose a few brain cells every time you have a baby. The fact that I have 4 children might explain it, although, apologies to the younger three, I might have donated them in entirety to my oldest son who just got 98% for Maths in his Matric exam! Whaaat! I said that with that mark, he surely must have the highest Maths mark in his school. No, he replied Kirk got 100% . Unbelievable. I have never achieved 100% for anything, well maybe spelling in Grade 2. And Kirk isn't even a nerd! Talking about nerds, did you see Mark Zuckerberg's great response to a fan who said she was going to encourage her granddaughter to date a nerd in case he turned out to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. He suggested that she should rather encourage her granddaughter to become the nerd and invent something amazing. Yes please, then one of my sons can marry her!

I seem to have digressed - I think I was talking about my lack of brain cells... I think the best course of action is to do a Beginners DSLR course through the Cape Town School of Photography. Some poor unsuspecting lecturer is going to have to get that info into my head one way or another. And if anyone wants to buy an unused, unstylish, camera bag for an excellent price, please contact me.

Getting on to my other plans for 2016....

I am going to install one of these in my home...

I am going to resist one of these, but my husband might as well know that I won't be able to resist for ever....

I plan to spend more time walking on the beach....

 with this....

and these....

I am going to spend more time painting....


In fact, my brother-in-law has commissioned me to do some paintings for his offices.

 I need to give some thought as to what a group of manly, building industry types might want to spend their days looking at. I know what you are thinking... I don't do that type of art!

Maybe some extreme sports... that's quite manly, don't you think?

Like this...

or this...

or this...

 I don't know, I'm exhausted just thinking about it!

This post is getting quite long so I will stop now, but since this is essentially a blog about interiors, I will throw in some pics that caught my eye while I was browsing through Tumblr recently.

And finally, to make sure I leave you with a smile on your face, there is this one...

Till next time

Sharon x


  1. Hello Sharon, With one of those puppies it's going to be a great year. Besides, you need a friend to take you for a stroll along the beach. Happy New Year. ox, Gina

  2. Sharon,
    I totally relate to your comment about wanting to learn photography---it's my weakest link. I took a short class with 8 others and it was disappointing...but I blame the fact that I was the only student with a dslr Sony camera. Everyone else had a Nikon or Canon and the photographer who taught the class seemed to be uncertain on how to instruct me with the Sony settings. I must learn to take better pictures. It makes such a difference.
    As always, fun post. You are a favorite stop in by blog reading! Best 2016 to you and your sweet family.

  3. Hi Sharon, I teach small personalised photography courses (no more than 4 people) and I've had great feedback from the people I've taught. I'm based in the Southern suburbs of Cape Town. In 4 lessons you'll be up and running. Drop me an email and we can chat about course dates. Cheers Steff

  4. Brings a smile every time....hope that 2016 brings everything you wish for!!

  5. Happy New Year Sharon! And you can do this! I was determined to only have my images on my blog from the beginning. If you have a moment, pop over and take a look at the difference between then and now - it is taking forever but I am getting there.

    I would seriously recommend working in automatic first while you get the hang of your new camera and lenses. Let the camera do the work for you and then, once you feel really comfortable, start playing around with aperture and ISOs. Just take a ton of stuff because you can put it all in the bin if need be - that is the glory of digital! And good luck with your class - that is going to be fantastic. I am lucky in that I just happen to have a professional photographer for my honey but I know that is the exception to the rule! ;)

  6. Sharon, I LOVE the Champagne button! What a fun thing to have on the wall near the bar, hmm? Sweet beagles...we have one. My parents always had one when I was a little girl, and now we have a rescue who is the apple of hubby's eye. I also love taking pictures, but they do not become works of art as you will produce. Steff's invitation sounds like it's right up your alley.... good idea to have someone help you...makes a big difference. Although, online websites can also give you some ideas because they might put a different spin on things that are easier to understand. I've seen some websites which were like trying to read a chemistry book! When you read something, then have someone next to you to show you what they mean, it really helps a lot. Then of course, practice, practice, practice. Using auto settings are always the way to go, but for the fancy stuff, learning f-stops, etc. can add so much more to your repertoire if you want to go manual. Hope you find a good subject for your brother in law's paintings. Perhaps his children doing something they love ? Does he have a hobby or collection that you could single out ? You'll certainly come up with the perfect thing! Share with us your photos and paintings and little beagle excursions! Hugs and happy new year from Texas!

  7. What a great post!!! You are already great a photography I can't wait to see what the New Year brings!!! Have a wonderful week!!! xo Leslie Sinclair

  8. How exciting! You will be great at photography with your new camera - I can tell by the way you speak of your goals. They come from the heart and that is the most important step. I will look forward to following your future posts and hearing of your progress!