Me and Mine | April ’17

April has been busy, exhausting, fun and exciting. I have laughed more than I thought imaginable, cried more than I thought possible. I have been on 2 weekends away, both equally awesome in their own ways. I have celebrated turning 27 with a whole heap of new friends, I have missed the kids so much, I have wanted to shout at them a lot.

I went to see my wonderful friend Charlie from Farlie Photography at the beginning of the month and so of course, I had to rope in a favour and she took our pictures for the month. I love them so much, some of my favourites to date – so THANK YOU Charlie!

I can’t bloody wait to head into May. More travels, birthday celebrations and COME ON SUN!! WE NEED YOU SO BAD NOW!!

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Do go check out the other wonderful co hosts and have a nosey at their photos too. LucyAlexKatieFrithaJenny and Lucy.


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Me and Mine | January 2017

Like so many others, when I started this blog it was purely for recording the journey of being a parent. I wanted my children to see what it was like from my point of view, I wanted to share photo after photo and I wanted to have it as a creative outburst. I also never wanted to sugar coat our lives and back when I first started I did pour my heart out on more than 500 occasions, which is a lot more than I do now. I started a little blog over 6 years ago and so much has changed since then and I guess the way I view things has changed too. I feel more vulnerable now, maybe that comes with age, although I am still so young I feel so much older than I did 5 years ago which in turn has meant I hold back a lot more. But going through a separation has made me wonder if I was perhaps sugar coating our lives for the last few years. So many people have said to me that we portrayed ‘The perfect family’ and as much as we did have a wonderful family unit, it made me sad that I didn’t stay as true and as honest as I did at the beginning.

So 2017 is not only going to be an incredible year, it is going to be an honest one. It is going to be vulnerable and challenging and raw. And I hope that you can see that as time goes on, and I hope that my blog posts no longer portray an idyllic life. Because we are far from that!


When Lucy over at Dear Beautiful contacted me to ask if I wanted to co-host the Me and Mine Project alongside herself and 5 other wonderfully creative bloggers for the year I shrieked with joy because this is most definitely a photography project that speaks to me on every level, just like it is for many other bloggers too! I feel extremely honoured to be alongside this bunch of ladies. So here we are, month 1 of 2017 and this is our first collection of photos of our new unit. And here we are, being honest and true to ourselves. We took them last night, Harvey actually has a sickness bug right now too. We were in our pyjamas, hadn’t had a bath and Oliver had spilt tomato sauce from his meatballs down his vest which then got all over my white sheets. Oh and i’ve just noticed my minging dry feet too. 😉 You’re welcome. We weren’t organised and we probably won’t be in the future either, but this is me, and these are mine. And I couldn’t ask for a more incredible bunch of small humans to spend my days and nights with.

Do go check out the other co hosts and have a nosey at their photos too. Lucy, Alex, Katie, Fritha, Jenny and Lucy.

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“Can we pretend to be asleep” – Oliver 😉

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Project People | Self Portrait

One of my resolutions for 2017 is to challenge myself more creatively. Be it photography, sewing or writing. So of course, I have to start with photography as although it isn’t the ‘easiest’ it is where I most feel at ease. I always have a dozen ideas in my head, as any creative mind does, but one I wanted to put into practice was to achieve a self portrait I was mildly happy with. I preach to so many others about existing in photographs but the only photos I exist in are silly selfies on my phone, and nothing really for me. 

So I took myself to my studio and took a few snaps, 98% of which were outrageous and got laughed at then deleted upon uploading onto my laptop. But I was quite pleased with a couple, and so here begins my ‘Project People’. Starting, selfishly, with myself. Many more ideas to come and I have decided I will be using this blog as an outlet of photography and creative ideas more often than not.

Movement will play a big part in my photography this year too, so it only seemed fitting I get my L’oreal hair flick on.

*disclaimer. I can’t promise I won’t post the odd 50 woodland photo too.

Char x

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Greek inspired bedroom make over Pt 2!

If you didn’t see my first instalment then i’d love for you to have a look before reading this so you can see the basis of my inspiration when re decorating my bedroom.

It’s all very well thinking of what bedding you’d like or what colour to paint the walls but what really makes a room feel personal is all the little added touches. I was really keen to do part 2 of this make over with all the bits and bobs we have put into my bedroom as I really feel like it brings out my personality and shows a little piece of what I love… The seaside! And Greece!!

When planning this room I really didn’t want to head down the typical nautical route. I wanted it Greek inspired, not necessarily boats and seaside theme. By not including red and only sticking with whites and blues I think it makes it a lot less kids nautical and a lot more ‘adult’ nautical.

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I have never had matching bedside tables and lamps ever in my life so the thought of this made me really quite excited!! These Laura Ashley Chiddingfold Petite Glass Lamp Bases were the perfect addition to the white bedside tables and the beautiful drum shades in royal blue just go SO well. When they arrived I totally squealed out loud with happiness, I didn’t realise I would love them as much as I do!! Next to the wooden bed I think they bring the entire theme together. 

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Not only am I white mad, I am also grey mad so it was only right I put something grey in this room too. Before, I had an old wooden crate for the washing and I never liked it, this grey rattan laundry basket goes so beautifully against the white walls and holds A LOT of washing in, It is really well made and super sturdy. I was quite surprised at how much washing it does hold and looks are definitely deceiving in this case!

I have always loved art on the walls so I just had to have some up in this room, be it of the seaside or an illustration. One evening I went through my eldest sons book bag from school and found this little painting in there and when I asked him what it was of he said it was the sea. I just had to frame it and it was clearly meant to be as it goes soo so well with the other pieces I had already bought. I am over the moon with how well it ties in along side an illustration from Grace Leaney who is a local artist specialising in illustration. Also this Laura Ashley coast print looks fabbo with the other two pieces combined to make this super seaside themed combo!

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Then we added little pieces from here there and everywhere to finalise the room. Succulents, trinket bowls and this Laura Ashley lantern that I am too in love with to light!

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I am over the moon with how everything turned out and I hope you can see my vision come to life through the photos too. It’s one thing imagining it but to see it all finished is so rewarding. 

Char x

*Laura Ashley kindly gifted me the items mentioned in this post for this project we worked on together. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own*

Christmas bucket list

I realised I never shared my Autumn bucket list on here a few days ago, I had it all written down and we did quite a few of them without even referring back to them so I thought I would share our Christmas bucket list instead!

We are definitely a Christmas mad household. I do go a bit fairy light heavy and I am super traditional in my colour schemes. I don’t do any pink/blue/purple decs I only do gold, silver, red, green and of cooourse copper! Last year I did a complete copper and silver tree and it did look pretty bladdy wonderful. I cannot hide the fact I am so so excited to get all the decs out and find all the things I forgot I had and start tarting up the house!

So without further a do…

  1. Bake and decorate Christmas biscuits
  2. Put on our Christmas jumpers and take a million pictures with the polaroid camera and make silly christmas bunting from them
  3. Watch Elf. This needs no justification and should be on everyone’s bucket list as standard!!
  4. Make our advent treasure hunt from the 1st December
  5. Make at least 5 gifts to give to friends and family
  6. Go to a Christmas market
  7. Go to a Christmas fayre
  8. Go late night Christmas shopping in our local town
  9. Take the kids ice skating
  10. Visit Father Christmas in a grotto
  11. Make mulled wine. (and drink it. all.)
  12. Spend one evening wrapping presents listening to Christmas music. Drinking mulled wine. A lot of mulled wine.
  13. Go for a drive and see all the Christmas lights
  14. Wear red lipstick as much as humanly possible through December
  15. Make our own Christmas cards for close friends and family
  16. Make delicious dairy free hot chocolate
  17. Make up a shoe box to give to a local childrens charity
  18. Write a letter to Father Christmas
  19. Make a paper snowflake garland
  20. Make a gingerbread house

I’m fully aware this is a pretty unrealistic bucket list for the next 6 weeks, especially with work being so busy this time of year, but a girl can dream! And of course no blog post of mine can be without photos so here are some of last years Christmas snaps!

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If you are local I am also running a couple of days of Christmas Mini photoshoots in my studio, head on over to my facebook page for all the info!

Char x

My Petit Canard

Bedroom make over Part 1 with Laura Ashley

When we moved into our house it was really dark and gloomy, the woodwork all needed a lick of paint (the previous people smoked an awful lot – yellow tinged woodwork is not cool!) and the whole place just needed a complete freshen up. We managed to re decorate every single room bar the bathrooms in a week and were over the moon with how different it looked. We painted our bedroom purple because I had previously had a lot of purple accessories so I just kept it the same for ease. 5 years down the line and I really wasn’t feeling the purple anymore and after our recent trip to Greece and our love for the sea we decided to have a re vamp and paint it all white and accessorise with blues.

One of the main things we wanted to change was our bed. We still had my brothers old bed frame which definitely did not represent our style, but that of a 15 year olds room, and after trawling the internet there was nothing that really took our fancy. Not only did we not have much of a budget for this room, we wanted something unique and quirky. When the husband suggested making our bed from scratch I pulled many shocked/confused faces as he can barely fit a shelf straight…. (love you, Joe.) BUT with much research, plan after plan after plan and a lot of patience he ACTUALLY pulled it off!!

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We bought the wood for the frame from B&Q and stained it with Jacobean Dark Oak, I didn’t want a warm orange stain, I wanted more of an ash stain but still with a hint of warmth and this was the perfect match. I also loved the idea of a pallet headboard and after a lot of searching on Pinterest I confirmed that what I had in my head was totally doable. To say I was demanding and bossy would be an understatement, but stubbornness pays off and it is EXACTLY what we wanted! The whole thing cost just under £40 and suffice to say that no one will have one the same, and knowing that we built it ourselves is pretty darn satisfying.

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I am a sucker for plain white bedding so when I found this Albury Cotton Seersucker bedding from Laura Ashley online I knew I had to have it! Having such luxurious bedding really is a privilege and nothing beats climbing into crisp white linen sheets after a long day. It has a gorgeous trim along the pillowcases that just adds that extra bit of prettiness that just plain bedding doesn’t have. The underside of the bedding hasn’t got the ribbed effect that the top has which is perfect for fidget sleepers like me who get cross with any kind of embellishment or pattern touching their skin!

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I also wanted to make some cushions to match our Greek theme and Laura Ashley had the perfect fabrics, I literally squealed with excitement when I found them! I used Leander Stripe Dark Seaspray curtain for an oblong cushion for the centre of the bed. I wanted something with more colour to make it really stand out against the white bedding and walls and I think it looks so cute! Not only is the quality of the fabric really beautiful, the stripes fit perfectly onto this size cushion which wasn’t planned out at all!

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I then wanted a couple of square white cushions and add a couple of embellishments or buttons to them to jazz them up a bit. I chose Becall White Curtain Fabric as it had a really distinctive texture to it, which makes it stand out against the cotton bed linen. Buttons make a really dull cushion completely come alive and the wooden buttons from Dunelm Mill were super cheap and match the bed frame really well. I love the rustic look of them and its a great contrast against the white fabric. We added a 2 inch seam for the buttons to sit in which adds a much more professional finish.

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Having 3 cushions on a bed, in my opinion, looks really pleasing to the eye. My husband was most confused when I told him they were display cushions and no, he couldn’t lay all over them like a pillow 😉 ‘Is this a show room now?!’ was his reply, which made me quite smug for sure 😉

So for the last cushion we wanted to add some blue into it and I came across a pack of blue buttons in Dunelm Mill (which has a really good haberdashery section FYI!) I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with them but knew I had to buy them. I also got some navy blue bias binding to make an edging around the cushion which I thought would look awesome against the white. I love navy and white together and a lot of the bedroom has different patterns scattered around so I thought it would tie in nicely. We decided on a random scatter of matte buttons in one corner of the cushion which I absolutely LOVE and so pleased with how it turned out! I am in love with this white fabric, it sewed beautifully and the overall finish is so crisp and professional – win win!

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I am so excited to start accessorising our room some more. We have bedside tables to upcycle and maybe another little crafty project or two too. So stay tuned for bedroom make over part 2!

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*Laura Ashley kindly gifted me the items mentioned in this post for this project we worked on together. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own*

Home Etc

Negative Space

I recently decided to take up a little photography project with myself. I wrote a list of ‘topics’ I wanted to focus on that week or month and the first one was Black and White. You can see these here.

Next up is negative space. I was really excited to do this one and wanted to do it last week but I wasn’t feeling 100%, I wanted to do it properly so waited until this week to start it. I had a few images in mind when I thought of this topic (the feet on the bed being one!) So we have spent a few days taking these and I am so pleased with how they came out. You can’t beat little toes on white sheets, even though the white sheets need an iron!!

Negative space is literally the space around a subject. It defines the subject and technically, brings balance to the composition. I obviously am a complete rule breaker, so I have gone a bit OTT on the negative space but hey, why not!?

Me and Elsie did a few at home whilst the boys were at school and then on our walk last weekend I took a few of the boys. I wanted to get some blue sky involved in this theme and that is exactly what I envisioned when I set this project but February weather was not on my side. Maybe i’ll go back to it in a few weeks when Spring kicks in. Hence my featured image at the top, I had to sneak in some summer somewhere!

I have also noticed how colourless our photos are lately. I am a complete black lover and do wear a lot of black, and I do put the kids in navy and grey quite a lot but note to self : must make next challenge more colourful!

Hope you like them!

Char x

www.charlotterawlesphotography.co.uk

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my petit canard