Kylie Purtell - A Study in Contradictions

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Waiting for Godot: Western Sydney Photography // Photography //

Click image to see larger version

I took the above photo in November. We were spending the afternoon at the in-laws, and the light was beautiful and everyone was having a lovely time exploring the backyard (all 5 acres of it). I took my new camera with me, because soon we won't be able to explore that backyard as my in-laws are selling and moving around the corner from us. So we've been trying to take the girls up earlier in the afternoon, before family dinner, so we can get as much enjoyment out of this beautiful property as we can. It's going to be sad to say goodbye.

Often when I take photos of an afternoon like this I'll have a quick look at them when I get home, see one or two that I like, maybe even clean some up and post them on Facebook. And then I'll forget about them for a while. I'll leave them to sit, let the memory in my mind percolate a little. Allow myself time to move away from the day and the vision I have of it in my head.

Then, like yesterday, a month or so later, I'll revisit the photos. Click through them slowly. Look at them with fresh eyes and without the vivid memory of the day sitting there fresh and clouding my vision. It's then that I'm able to pull out the shots that have real potential. I can look at them with a photographers eye, rather than a participant's eye.

And I'll crop, colour and experiment, until the photo that I first saw when looking at the scene and it's glorious light in the flesh, comes to life. This is what I love about photography. The chance to bring a small inkling of an image, that I have but a moment to capture on the day, to life in the way I first envisioned it, in the split seconds between seeing, focusing and capturing.

I think this photo above is my new favourite. It's Punky and her Pop. Punky loves her Pop. On this day she followed him around wherever he went, helping him garden and water the plants. They'd just finished touring one section of the yard and had sat down, having a quiet chat together. I don't know what they were talking about. I was about 50m away. Zee and Dave and my brother-in-laws are just to the left of this shot. In fact in the un-cropped version you can just see Zee toddling up towards them.

When I first looked over and saw them sitting there like that, this was the photo I had in my mind's eye in that split second before I released the shutter. It was a beautiful day, with lots of lovely golden light streaming through the trees. But in a fraction of a second I saw a small girl and her Pop, sitting on the rocks, waiting.

What are they waiting for? For Zee to reach them? For Dave and his brothers to stop mucking around? For a cool breeze to rustle through the leaves and cool the sweat on their brows after a backyard adventure? I don't know.

And that's what I love about this picture. They could be waiting for anything. They could be waiting for nothing. What are they seeing as they sit there? What is going through their minds?

For me, this picture makes me wonder what they are doing, what they have been doing. It makes me ask questions about the two people, one small, one big. It doesn't give any answers, but lets the viewer speculate about what has been, what could be. That is my ultimate goal in photography. To have the viewer asking questions, thinking, wondering.

Or maybe I'm just a photography wanker. Ha!

What do you see when you look at that image?

Linking up with the lovely Trish for Wordless Wednesday and failing miserably at the wordless part.
Again.


Continue reading...

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated // Life // Current Affairs

I know most people are probably going to be glued to their televisions and news websites today in light of what has been happening in Martin Place and the #sydneysiege. There are some bloggers that have made the decision not to blog today and I get that and I also totally respect that.

For me, there was no question whether or not I would blog. This kind of thing is designed to scare people, it's designed to make people alter their way of life and stop doing the things that they love. It's designed to terrorise people. But I will not let some fuckwit with a gun stop me from doing the things I love, one of which is blogging.

I totally understand if you don't feel like reading today. I don't either. I probably won't be doing a whole lot of blog reading. My heart aches for all of the people involved in this shocking situation. I can't imagine how scared they all must be, both the hostages, and their loved ones, as well as the police involved and their loved ones.

There was a horrible hour or so Monday morning after I first heard what was happening, as I waited to hear news of friends and loved ones, who I know who work in the immediate area. My cousin runs the production side of the Channel 7 studios there in Martin Place. I can't tell you how many prayers I was saying, wishing and hoping that she was hard at work when it all went down and not in the building 50m away, getting a sneaky chocolate fix.

Thankfully she and everyone else I know are ok and haven't been caught up directly in the situation. Unfortunately not everyone is able to say that about their people.

It's made my heart so happy to see some of the wonderful stuff like #illridewithyou in amongst the scary, and at times racist things I've been seeing in the news and social media. It's because of stuff like this that I decided to blog, and I want to leave you with some photos of happiness, to send out a little positivity and to create my own little post of goodness in a sea of terrible.

Hug the ones you love. Show care and respect for your fellow humans, no matter their race or religion. Continue to demonstrate the love, care and kindness that you have for your fellow humans, continue to hope that one day we will live in a peaceful world without fear for the ones we love.



Joy is... jumping!


Someone doesn't trust her sister's golfing skills!

Even as adults, it's almost impossible to get a photo of all the kids looking good at the same time!

Have you been glued to the coverage? Or have you been trying to distract yourself from it, trying to find a little happy in the storm?

Continue reading...

Friday, 12 December 2014

Five in 5: Linky Lovin' Friday {12th December 2014} // Life

Welcome to the last instalment of Linky Lovin' Friday for 2014! I've had so much fun bringing my favourite links to you each Friday for the past 5 months and I look forward to continuing this Friday tradition in 2015.

To start off today I thought I would finally get around to writing my entry for Agent Mystery Case's Worth Casing Blog Awards. Ms Mystery Case nominated me way back when (it was a while ago!) and asked me to answer 5 questions. Here are my answers...

1. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I started blogging back in May 2009. Which is blogging terms probably makes me a Grandma or something! I started my blog as a way to exercise my brain and practice my writing. I also wanted to be able to collect and share things I found interesting around the internet in one place. I've had a few breaks from regular posting in that 5 years, but every time I have come back because of the wonderful people I have met through the blogosphere. Bloggers really are the best kind of people. If you're interested, you can read my very first post here.

2. If your wardrobe could talk what would it say about you and tell us about your favourite or most worn item?
If my wardrobe would talk it would say "Hey! I'm so lonely! Why don't you put your clothes in here instead of on the floor and in the washing basket?". And I would then say "Hey! Why don't you get an actual pole in ya so I could hang my clothes! And also, if you could magically clean my clothes and make me 3 sizes smaller so I could wear all the old size 12 stuff I had that would make me want to use you more too!
My favourite item, hands down is jeans. Or maybe tracksuits. I basically wear one or the other Every. Single. Day. I am not kidding (If you don't believe me, read this post right here). Jealous?
What our last official date night looked like back in September (we've had child-free nights since then but this one was all about us and belatedly celebrating our anniversary)

3. What’s your idea of the perfect date night?
Dave (of course!). No kids. Every bad for me type of food I could imagine. Engaging conversation. Interesting TV to watch. A spa. And a king-size bed to retire too (sleeping optional, wink, wink!). A second night to recover from the minimal sleep the king-size bed afforded us the night before ;)

4. What’s on your Worth Casing list?
What's not would be a better question! Top of the list is exploring more of the United States. Followed by a trip around Europe. A new house. A new car. A new wardrobe. This is a wish list right? It's not? Ok then, well you better read this post then.

5. If you had a theme song what would it be and why?
I'm not really sure if I have a theme song. If you ask Punky it would be Let It Go. I think I'll just go with my go-to kareoke song, and the song I sung the night I met Dave (he couldn't resist me afterwards, obviously!), and that would be I Will Survive. Classic. Gutsy. So much fun to sing!

So there you have my five in 5. I was nominated by one or two other people and I am a total bitch and can't remember who they were, so if it was you, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for thinking of me (even though I clearly don't deserve it!). And I nominate the first 5 people who comment on this to do their own Five in 5 because I know everyone who takes the time to comment here is an absolute legend and totally deserving of a Blog Award and 6 months of free advertising (plus, I'm a lazy bitch and can't be bothered checking who has and hasn't been nominated so I don't double-up!). You've got till Sunday to answer the 5 questions and link it up with Mystery Case if you're interested.

And now, with no further ado, here are 5 links worth casing this week...

Shared by Pip in the Blog with Pip Alumni FB group, this list of 39 blogging tools to help you work faster, better and land more readers is da bomb! Seriously, it's a one shop stop for inspiration and blogging goodness and you won't be sorry that you read it and pinned it!

Gorgeous image taken by and nicked from Maxabella Loves.
Seriously. Is there anything this woman can't do?
It wouldn't be right if the awesome Bron from Heartfelt Living (Maxabella Loves) didn't feature in this final Linky Lovin' for the year, and her post Fitting it all in | The ultimate weapon against procrastination is a good un'. If you're anything like me then you hold a Masters in Procrastination with an Honours in Facebook Pfaffing and it's a must-read to help you get more productive and get shit done!

Elf on the Shelf meets Kim K's Paper magazine cover. Enough Said. Just look at it. And then laugh. You're welcome!

If you're ladies (read: bewbs!) are anything like mine, then finding a good bra that does everything you need and want it to do is a punish, even at the best of times (ie. not breastfeeding). Hope is at hand though, with the development of the world's first bionic bra. It may not be at production stage yet, but you can bet your bottom (or should that be bosom?) dollar that I will be first in line when this baby goes on sale!

And finally, the woman who always seems to hit the nail on the GD head every single time... Talking Frankly. She's talking about the fact that People's minds are warped, and it goes beyond simple baby fashion and right into the judgment territory that a baby in a nappy has landed in. Seriously people, if people would get so fired up about the real issues and injustices of this world, it would be a much better place!

It's been an awesome year, and I'll do a little wrap-up of it all on the blog next week. I've kicked a few personal goals, failed miserably at others, and had one hell of a ride in blog-land. I've really, really appreciated all of the support and comments you guys have shown me over the past year, especially in late May after Mum's accident, and I just wanted to say thank you for being AWESOME!!!

Read any good stuff this week? Link me up in the comments. And tell me, what's been the best thing about 2014 for you?
P. S. I'm 5 people away from kicking a big blogging-related goal for 2014 to double my FB page likes in a year. So if you know of anyone who wouldn't be too offended by my occasional use of the f-word, I'd love it and appreciate it if you'd send em' my way. Love you long time xx

Continue reading...

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Top 5 Charities to get In the Sack with this Christmas // Blogging for a Cause

We all know that Christmas is a time for giving, so what better way to show you care this year than by giving to charity.

When I put up my hand to participate in Agent Mystery Case's In the Sack Christmas blogging fun & 12 days of giveaways I had to put on my thinking cap as to what to blog about. I'm no good at fashion, so there was no point in trying to hand out any tips for your Christmas wardrobe (and besides, there are a number of bloggers who already have, better than I could ever do!), and when it comes to gift guides? Been there, done that last year. If you're interested you can find my Lazy Girl's Guide to Christmas Gifts here, all of which are still relevant for your Christmas giving this year.

What made me decide to blog about giving to charity? I received an email a few weeks ago about a Christmas charity initiative that I thought was a great idea, and I really wanted to share that with you. I also had a conversation with a really lovely OxFam representative on my last day in Perth and it also got me thinking about ways I could support charities during the festive season.

So after a little further thought and research, here I am now, bringing you a list of 5 charities I think you should totally get in the sack with this year (and of course a bunch of bonus charity suggestions at the end). Why not give the gift of support to the many disadvantaged and sick people around the world this year, and spread a little extra joy in 2014.

Save the Children & National Ugly Sweater Day

The first charity I'd like to introduce you to today is Save the Children & National Ugly Sweater Day. NUSD is an American-led initiative that is encouraging everyone to wear their ugliest Christmas sweater on December 12th and help raise much needed funds for Save the Children. Save the Children help disadvantaged kids all over the world, including in Australia, and are a very worthwhile charity to direct a few dollars towards.

Of course wearing a sweater in Australia in December is akin to a weird form of sweat-box torture, but there is no end of ugly Christmas t-shirts around that you could wear to show your support on Friday December 12th. If you do decide that you'd like to get in on the ugly Christmas attire fun and want to make a donation, you can head here to the Australian Save the Children site and make a donation online. When you donate online you can choose whether your money is put towards international programs, programs in Australia or emergency relief.
--------------------


Oxfam Unwrapped

Next up I'd like to give a shout-out to Oxfam's Unwrapped range of gifts. If you're anything like me, then you have plenty of stuff. After 33 Christmas' I find it hard to come up with gift ideas for myself that are things I really, really need, and I know it's the same for many people. If you have someone in your life that really doesn't need anymore stuff, why not consider getting them an Oxfam Unwrapped gift instead?

To give an Oxfam Unwrapped gift all you need to do is head to their website, choose the gift you'd like to give on behalf of your loved one, be it a goat, clean water or food for those on the verge of famine, give the card to the recipient, and know that your money has gone to helping those who need it most. I know one person in particular who would absolutely love it if I bought an Oxfam Unwrapped present this year and so now all I have to do is decide what exactly I'm going to gift.
--------------------


The Smith Family Joyspreader

The Smith Family is Australia's largest education-oriented charity and provide support for disadvantaged Australian children to participate fully in their education, giving them the best chance at breaking the cycle of disadvantage.

"Education is a driver of real and powerful change that can break the cycle of disadvantage."
Image and text taken from The Smith Family website

They have a range of programs that you can support through their Joyspreader initiative and they will send you out a card that you can pass along to your loved one with details of the program you're supporting.
--------------------


Rafiki Mwema

Rafiki Mwema is a charity that I first became aware of after Zanni Louise from My Little Sunshine House hosted her Creative Businesswomen's High Tea earlier in the year. I read a number of posts from people who attended about the work that Rafiki Mwema does and it stopped me in my tracks.

From their website:
Rafiki Mwema means ‘Loyal Friend’ and that is what this 'safe house' provided by Play Kenya will be to these young girls. Rafiki Mwema was started by the UK based charity, Play Kenya and was born from the need to support very young girls who have been sexually abused. There are sadly too many girls under the age of 12 who have experienced sexual abuse and at this time there is no specialised care for these very vulnerable children.
They started Rafiki Mwema, a therapeutic safe house, to help these little girls make sense of the horrors that have happened to them, allow them access to any medical treatment they need, support them through the court system, and where possible to work with their families for a safe return to the home.

I can't imagine the horror that these girls have gone through and for me, particularly having two small girls of my own, I just knew this was a charity that I had to support. I've bought tickets in their regular raffles and we also sponsor one of the Rafiki Mwema girls, Faith, and I love knowing that our money is making a real difference in the lives of young girls.

If you would like to support this wonderful cause you can do so by giving checking out this post from the Rafiki Mwema blog which has a whole bunch of ways you can support their fantastic work this Christmas.
--------------------


Kiva

I'd heard about microfinance charities but never actually investigated what it was all about, and how it worked, until I read mention of Kiva in the comments section of a news article. After reading more about how microfinance works and why it can often be a better solution than simply donating food or other material things, I am planning on making my first donation to Kiva in the new year.


I like the idea of helping and empowering people to help themselves. If you feel the same way then I encourage you to have a look around the Kiva site, check out the stats and learn more about how microfinancing works.

Bonus Charity:
As I mentioned at the top of the post, Agent Mystery Case is running her In the Sack promotion, in the lead-up to Christmas. What I didn't mention is that Agent Mystery Case is also supporting a very worthy charity called Cases4Kids.

Cases4Kids was started by Jules from SensiKids and Zippy Zappy Life. I couldn't believe it when I read about foster kids being sent off to new homes with nothing but a garbage bag to carry their precious belongings in. Jules is trying to change this and help to provide every foster child with a suitcase all of their own. It's a fabulous initiative and if you would like to help Jules help the kids you can make a donation here.

Other charities you might like to check out and get behind, as suggested by my lovely peeps on Facebook, are -
Medecins San Frontiers, Camp Quality, Operation Christmas Child, Tear Australia, Indigenous Literary Foundation, The Salvation Army, Vinnies, Heartfelt and Angel Gowns.

Are there any charities that you particularly like to support at Christmas? Let me know some of your favourite charities in the comments so I can check them out.

Continue reading...

Friday, 5 December 2014

Linky Lovin' Friday {5th December 2014}: Ideas for Advent

After missing last week because I was in Perth, it's really great to be back with this week's instalment of Link Lovin' Friday. I haven't had a lot of time for blog reading since getting home, it's been a whirlwind of washing, cleaning, playing and visiting and I'm looking forward to a relatively quiet weekend and the chance to celebrate Dave's birthday with him (it was yesterday but he's on night shift so no celebrating yet!).

I did get a chance to pop in to some lovely blogs thanks to the wonderful Essentially Jess and her awesome Tuesday link-up, IBOT. One of the big themes I noticed was of course Christmas, and with about 20 sleeps to go until the big day that's understandable. More specifically though I read a bunch of really cool posts with some fabulous ideas for Advent.

Gone are the days of scoring a chocolate for the 24 days leading up to Christmas, and in it's place is cool stuff like reading a new book each day, doing crafts, or even having a creepy Elf do weird stuff in your house!

So I thought this week I'd share with you my pick of the ideas that I've seen around the place, and heck, I might even get off my arse next year and organise something cool like this too!

Taking out my top pick for most beautifully creative is this gorgeous Advent activity calendar that Robyn from Mrs D plus 3 has made. Simply stunning, I could only hope to get my craft on like that again one day.

Emily from Have a Laugh on Me, as well as Caitlin from Caitlin's Happy Heart and Amanda from Cooker and a Looker have all wrapped up 24 books to read through in the lead-up to Christmas and I think this is one idea that I could realistically do considering we have about a gazillion of them around the house!

But my favourite of all of the cool Advent calendar ideas I've seen around the place has to be this one from Michelle at My Slow Living Adventure. Instead of the usual chocolates, last year Michelle and her family decided to make their Advent calendar a place for special messages to one another, a gratitude calendar. It's an absolutely brilliant idea and if you haven't already, you should hop on over and read Michelle's post.

Bonus linky lovin' goes to Eva at The Multitasking Mummy who has gathered links to 14 Easy Christmas Recipes from a great bunch of awesome bloggers, and pulled them all together in one very handy reference post. Yes I have pinned it, and you should too!

So that's it from me this week, if you've posted about your Advent ideas on your blog I would love to check them out so please leave me a link in the comments. Any other posts you've got floating around about cool Christmas ideas would be much appreciated too, so link away!
Continue reading...

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

5 things... I've been loving lately // Ramblings

I can't believe it's December. December! Holy shitballs, has this year flown by or what?! The first part of this year cruised on by, and then about September it felt like everything just went in to overdrive.

To say that so much has happened in the last 11 months would be a total understatement. I have a post planned to do a little wrap-up of the year that was, but in the meantime, I thought today I'd just stop for a moment and ponder the small things of late. The things that I've been loving lately...

My Tattoo

I got my first tattoo when I was 21. I'd been thinking about it for ages, and when a friend asked me to go with her when she went to get a new one, I decided to finally do it. I thought heaps about what I wanted and decided it had to be something for my Grandma, who had passed away 2 years earlier.

One of my best memories as a child was when Grandma gave my cousins and I butterfly nets. We spent so many hours in her backyard, trying to catch butterflies. It was so much fun. When we went on one of our many family holidays together, she bought me a butterfly brooch at the Big Merino. It was beautiful and I can't tell you how much I wish I still had it.

So I chose to get a butterfly on my shoulder blade, with the thought that I would carry Grandma round on my shoulder.

I got my second tattoo in September on my Wicked Girl's Night. Again, i'd been thinking about getting my next one for ages. Since before Zee was born. I knew that I wanted to get something for my girls, I just hadn't decided what. When Kelly said she was going to get a new tattoo the Friday arvo before the big night, I knew it was time.

I had been pinning a lot of design ideas on Pinterest, and I knew I wanted the tattoo on my wrist. I loved the idea of an infinity symbol and using the phrase "My Life". Punky's name means 'my' or 'mine', and Zee's name means 'Life'. I created a rough sketch of what I wanted in Illustrator, and Mel at LDF Tattoo in Newtown made it a beautiful reality.

And I LOVE it!



My Uberkate necklace

When Sonia contacted me about jewellery brand Uberkate advertising on the blog I was totally on board! In return for 3 months of sidebar advertising I was given a gorgeous, personalised Ubercircle.

I knew exactly what I wanted it to say and got the word 'Smile'. It's my lucky photography necklace and I've worn it when  I've done my last couple of photography jobs. I also wore it quite a bit when I was in Perth and I just love it. It's so damn pretty, and after eyeing one off for a while now, I'm so stoked to have one of my own.



Moo business cards

I was keen to get some business cards for my photography work and after having a look at a few online stores I decided to go with Moo. I wanted something a little bit different and fun, and I loved the fact that I could have a different design on the back of every card if I wanted.

I designed a logo for the front, and chose some of my favourite photos to adorn the back. I chose to get half as squares and the other half as mini cards. They arrived while I was away, and I am super impressed with the quality. It's good card stock and the pictures turned out great, the colours spot-on.
(This is not sponsored at all, I'm just a very happy customer)



Perth

I had the best time in Perth. It was really awesome to spend time hanging out at the iinet offices and getting a little insight in to the way things work. We got to do some really cool stuff while there, as well test out some cool new Samsung gear.

Without a doubt, some of the highlights were the lovely, lovely people who work for iinet, a visit to the supercomputer and the awesome food on offer. I'm planning a series of posts about my time in Perth and at iinet and I can't wait to share it all with you. And don't worry, I took plenty of photos.



Playing with the girls

Despite how much fun I had in Perth it was still amazing to come home and be with Dave and the girls again. Unfortunately Zee caught my cold and wasn't the happiest of kids on my return, but even that hasn't been enough to dampen my high.

I let Punky have the day off school yesterday, for no reason other than to spend time with her. In just a week it felt like they had both grown so much, and I really loved the one-on-one time Punky and I had when Zee was sleeping.

Being away from them for 5 nights was hard, but at the same time it really made me appreciate how lucky I am to be at home with them during this stage of their lives. I don't know how long the calm will last before Yelly Mummy comes back, but I'm gonna try to ride this Zen wave as long as I can!

So that's what I've been loving lately. Usually today would have been my Reading writes Linky, but I've decided to give it the silly season off and it will be back bigger and better in January.

Now it's your turn, tell me 2 things you've been loving lately, in the comments.
Continue reading...

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

An Insiiders Guide to Perth




I sit here typing this late Monday night from The Duxton Hotel in Perth. Technically it's only 10pm but my body clock, which is still on Sydney time, is telling me it's 1am. In case you missed it, I was lucky enough to be chosen by the lovely, amazing people at iiNet to be one of their Insiiders and spend a week in Perth touring the iiNet offices and doing all sorts of fun stuff.

There are 5 of us here as Insiiders and I couldn't think of a lovelier bunch of people to be spending a week with. After getting up at sparrow's fart to catch a train to the airport I've spent the afternoon getting to know my fellow Insiiders and the social media and PR peeps here at iiNet. Did I mention how lovely everyone is?



We've been treated to one of the best goodie bags I've ever gotten (think a brand-new Samsung Galaxy camera and iiNet MobiiHotspot device), not to mention a scrumptious dinner across the road at Public House. Any nerves I might have been feeling before I touched down in Perth have been well and truly washed away with a couple of glasses of Moscato, not to mention a nice Chardonnay or three!

Perth is beautiful. It's so quiet and, the only word I can think of to describe it is cool. Perth is just cool. Seriously, it's like Sydney's hipper, more laid-back, trendy little sister. I'm in love and I've only seen but one tiny fraction of it.



Tomorrow we head out to Subiaco and iiNet headquarters, and I can't wait to see where the magic happens. I'm not lying when I say that after only a few hours of hanging out with some of the iiNet peeps I wanna move the family over here and camp out on their doorstep until they give me a job!

Until then I'll continue to blog away from my own beautiful corner of the country and you can bet your bottom dollar I'm gonna have so many photos to share with you when I get back.



I'm missing Dave and the girls, but I know this is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and I am going to squeeze as much out of it as I can and push the homesickness down deep. This week will be over before I know it and I'll be back to my suburban stay-at-home-Mum life, but until I board that plane for Sydney I'm just gonna be Kylie... Slightly nerdy girl enjoying the trip of a lifetime!

Have you ever won a prize like this? Is there anything you'd love me to ask the team here at iiNet or find out for you, anything social media or internet related at all??

Disclaimer: I won a competition run by iiNet to travel to Perth and be a part f their O Week celebrations. All opinions are my own and I have not been paid to write this post.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad




Continue reading...