Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Building a Snowman-

Good morning from another warm and humid Hastings day.

So how refreshing to dig out some older, colder photos of my time in Austria.  It has been fun looking at all the cold posts but to be honest, I much prefer it here in New Zealand, at least where I live now – no snow, or virtually no snow in Hastings.

So I found this old photo of Ruth and the snowman.  Look at her rosy cheeks/


And this is a typical Alpbacher style chalet.  (Not my photo – my first husband took this.)  If you want to build in this village you have to build in this particular style.  Some of the farm houses are around 300 – 400 years old so that they have been proven to survive in the cold winters.


This is my entry for Cee Neuner‘s fun challenge this week.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Things That are Cold

Things that Are Cold: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge



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One Word Photo Challenge: A Lotta Snow


This challenge is really becoming quite a challenge finding something to suit the word.  Last week I just had to imagine some hail.  This week Jennifer from Jennifer Nichole Wells has asked us for photos around avalanches.  As I live in a town where we rarely see snow, let along avalanches, photos are in short supply for snowy images.  Actually we do have avalanches on our Southern Alps and the latest was not so long ago.

So what photos to use. If all else fails, it is time to get out the shoe box and see what I could find.  I knew that I had some photos of my children in snow from the time we lived in Austria.

So here is my daughter, all dressed up in her ski suit showing just how high the snow drifts would get during a harsh winter.  This was photo was taken during a particularly bad winter in 1999.  It snowed continuously for 2 solid weeks.  The snow drifts were really high and the graders were working overtime to clear the roads.


Then this devastating avalanche occurred.  It was horrifying to see the aftermath on TV.


So, not to be unfair to my daughter here is an adorable photo of my son, all dressed up for the snow too.


One Word Photo Challenge: Avalanche

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Copyright Raewyn Forbes

Travel Theme: Modern

Going down (1 of 1)

Good morning from a cool Hastings day.  No frost this morning.  That is a relief.  Tomorrow is the official start to our winter.  It is also a public holiday.  Even though the Queen of England’s birthday is actually in April, for some reason we celebrate it on the first weekend in June.  Hopefully it is a nice day and I can get out with the camera.

This week Ailsa from Where’s my backpack? has asked for our modern photos.  A lot of my photos are of older subjects, or florals.  So they could be modern.  Most of the buildings in Hastings are in the Art Deco style so are not modern.  The photo I have chosen is old, but the staircase with the escalator has a modern feel to it.  This is actually a photo of a photo that I took in Vienna over 20 years ago.  A friend and I travelled to Vienna to see an exhibition by Annie Lebovitz.  Now that was brilliant.  Her photos are amazing.

Travel theme: Modern


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Copyright Raewyn Forbes

Cee’s Black and White Challenge:Telephones

Link to the past

Good morning from a sunny Good Friday in Hastings.

I have spoken before of experimenting with the grunge affect in the dark room, long before it became a preset filter for Photoshop.  This photo was part of an exhibition I had in Austria and Italy back in 1994 – 1995. The theme of the exhibition was Nostalgia.  I was with 3 others.  Tony went around taking photos of old buildings.  Gerhard was a doctor and took photos of his oldest patients while Maria took coloured photos of different festivals that was a tradition in Austria.  I was, obviously, the only foreigner and the only one to experiment so radically for my images.  My concept was because I was so far away from my home country that the phone was a connection to my past.  It was deliberately out of focus because looking back can be fuzzy – with memories not as clear anymore.  Well sort off.

I went through a lot of paper and chemicals to get this affect.  I experimented with different  papers before finally coming up with a heavy grainy paper from England.  The photo was taken deliberately out of focus and slightly over exposed when I printed it.  For the sepia affect I experimented with using different textured fabrics soaked in the sepia toning and laid it over the image to get the grunge affect.  I don’t know how many different types of fabric I used before I got this final image.  This was such a long winded process so that I am so glad that we had digital processing now.

This is for Cee at Cee’s Photography‘s challenge this week which calls for telephones – old, new, vintage, cell phones.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Telephones – new, cell, vintage, etc.


Telephone Boxes – soon a thing of the past


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Floral Friday: Pelorgonium



This week’s floral photos are geraniums – or the correct name pelargonium.  Most of these photos were taken at my parents house.  Yet the strongest memories I have of them are the window boxes in Austria.  I lived there for 11 years.  And every spring there would be a stampede to the local garden stores for potting soil and geraniums to plant their little bit of garden in their houses.  Where we lived there was a communal garden and it was compulsory to have window boxes.  There was quite a competition among the households to have the best show.  Me, they were lucky I even had window boxes, let alone a great show.  I don’t have green thumbs or any green pinkies at all.

I have just gone through some of my photos and to my surprise I really didn’t have any photos of the traditional houses with their window boxes.  I think because it was so common place I didn’t think I needed to take any photos.  Here are the only two I found, in colour at least.

Sorry about the quality of these last two photos but they are photos of photos, so a lot of dust.  It is also hard to edit photos of photos.

So info from Wikipedia about these plants – I find the smell quite distinctive.

Pelargonium /ˌpɛlɑrˈɡniəm/[4] is a genus of flowering plants which includes about 200 species of perennials, succulents, and shrubs, commonly known as geraniums (in the United States also storksbills). Confusingly, Geranium is the correct botanical name of a separate genus of related plants often called cranesbills or hardy geraniums. Both genera belong to the family Geraniaceae. The confusion stems from Linnaeus originally including all the species in one genus, Geranium, but their later being separated into two genera by Charles L’Héritier in 1789.

Pelargonium species are evergreen perennials indigenous to Southern Africa, and are drought and heat tolerant, but can tolerate only minor frosts. Some species are extremely popular garden plants, grown as bedding plants in temperate regions.


The first species of Pelargonium known to be cultivated was P. triste, a native of South Africa. It was probably brought to the Botanical Garden in Leiden before 1600 on ships which stopped at the Cape of Good Hope. In 1631, the English gardener John Tradescant the elder bought seeds from Rene Morin in Paris and introduced the plant to England. The name Pelargonium was introduced by Johannes Burman in 1738, from the Greek πελαργός, pelargós (stork), because the seed head looks like a stork’s beak. Carl Linnaeusoriginally grouped together in the same genus (Geranium) the three similar genera Erodium, Geranium, and Pelargonium. The distinction between them was made by Charles Louis L’Héritier de Brutelle based on the number of stamens or anthers, seven in the case of Pelargonium.

The chemist, John Dalton, first realized that he was color blind in 1794 when he heard others describe the color of the flowers of the pink (Pelargonium zonale),[9] as pink or red, when to him it looked either pink or blue, having no relationship to red at all.[10]


Their main requirement is a warm, sunny, sheltered location. Many varieties will tolerate drought conditions for short periods. They are commonly seen in bedding schemes in parks and gardens, but can also be grown indoors as houseplants if given enough light. More compact erect and trailing varieties are ideal for window boxes and hanging baskets, in association with other half-hardy plants like lobelias, petunias and begonias. Thousands of pelargonium cultivars are available from garden centres or specialist suppliers during the spring and summer months. They are regular participants in flower shows and competitive events, with numerous societies devoted exclusively to their cultivation.[25][26] They are easy to propagate vegetatively from cuttings.[27][28]

There you go, now we know why we had to have window boxes with these plants, and we had petunias too.

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: My Favourite Things – My children in the snow

Mr Snowbear (640x573)

Good morning from a cooler Hastings morning.

I am loving this challenge’s series by Cee.  My favourite things – the song from The Sound of Music: My children are my favourite things.

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes, Silver white winters that melt into springs, These are a few of my favorite things.

So for this week I dug into my archives, literally.  These photos were taken about 15 years ago in Austria.  And the two children hiding under their ski suits are my two children aged about 4 and 5.  We had a lot of fun last night going through all the old photos.  Both my children took great delight in finding the most unflattering photos of each other, taking photos with their phones and posting on FaceBook.    My daughter also took a lot of photos for herself to put them into albums.

For someone who is passionate about photography I was terrible about putting my photos into any sort of order and literally had shoe boxes fill of old  photos.  I also found my first ever photos I took which sparked my passion.  I will post them one day.  I have another suitcase in the shed with more of my serious photos.  One day…….. Anyway I love the digital era where everything is neatly filed in albums.

It was a fun night last night.  My daughter fell asleep about 6 PM – she gets up really early to go to work.  About 8 – 8.30 PM the sky turned red.  I haven’t found my camera yet so went to grab my daughter’s camera.  This woke her up and she came rushing outside frantically asking what was the time, what was the day and did she have to work.  She was so disorientated and I just couldn’t stop laughing.  In the end I just used my cellphone as it is not the same using someone else’s camera.  I have narrowed it down to two possible spots – one I will check out today and the other one is a bit more complicated.  I think my daughter might have packed it with her stuff which is in storage in another house here in Hastings.

Anyway onto the challenge.  Here are a couple other photos of my children enjoying the sun.

Ruth and Martin with their snowman (640x482)

True loves kiss (640x482)

Actually both Ruth and Martin hated the snow so this was one of the few times I got them enjoying themselves.

No spring photos today – I posted them a little earlier.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: My Favorite Things, Verse Three


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: My Favourite Things Verse 3


Wild Weir


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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Landscapes/Seascapes

Here is my entry for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Landscapes or Seascapes

These two photos were taken at Zell am Zee in Austria.  I just edited them as watercolours as I had to do a lot of tweaking.


Many apologies if I miss your blogs today.  Wordpress has decided I am only allowed to see a few posts.

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One Word Photo: Sapphire

Sapphire ring (2) (640x474)

This week Jennifer has asked us for the colour sapphire.

First up is a photo of a ring with a Swarovski sapphire crystal.  Just before we left Austria we went to the Swarovski factory in Austria and her father bought this for her.  I had it reset in silver and it finally fits her.

sapphire ring (640x473)

Sapphire dragonfly (640x466)

Dragonfly (640x480)

Then I went a bit mad with some editing. The last two is actually some embroidered fabric and I loved all the detail so out with the phone – so you will see some of the true colours in the near future. I wont say what it is now, I will leave it up to your imagination.

One Word Photo Challenge: Sapphire



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