Friday, July 30, 2010

market day ...

There's something incredible special for me about market day in France, i'm not saying there aren't markets around the world that have the same feeling i just have yet to experience them. Market day in a French town is about more than just the food, it's the experience. The narrow streets packed with stalls & people, voices loud telling the world what they have on offer (when this is done in French it sounds so much better) & of course the opportunity to try everything first. Sometimes i think you could have your lunch right there at the market without having to buy a thing. They sell more than just food but it's the food that i love. I love the presentation, i love the colours, i love the smells, i love the total lack of anything resembling mass produced & with the sun shining down on you it's a little slice of French heaven. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

cherries ...

So one of the things i love most about france are the markets ... all that fresh food on offer. I wish i had a market to do my grocery shopping as opposed to the commissary (anyone who knows me knows how much i detest that place) ... so the next few posts from Provence are going to be devoted to markets & food. & we all know how much i love my food! i must clarify that i am not a huge fan of cherries it's just they were perfect for photographing & the reason you get to see 5 of them is that i couldn't pick one i liked the best so instead figured i'd just devote an entire post to them & let you choose! 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

... & tables & chairs.

When you think of France one of the first things that comes to mind is cafes & restaurants & the atmosphere that goes with. Now i love food, there's no denying this ... from filet mignon to all you can eat wings & part of what i love about food is the whole dining out experience. Yes to me it is an experience ... seeing what's on the menu, thinking through the options, what sounds good to me, an appetizer, entree & desert. It's about finding that perfect table, enjoying the ambience of the restaurant & relaxing. & of course having someone do all the work for me kinda helps. Anyways france has a wonderful restaurant culture, & i can't go to france without eating ... A LOT! So anyways here's some photos of tables & chairs from various restaurants in Provence. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

because i don't tell him enough ...

... & walls & buildings ...

When you walk through a village or a town or a city in France the thing i always notice is the colour of the buildings. I'm sure if you look hard enough you'll find sky scrapers, & concrete & ugly but i don't look hard enough & i just see those wonderful pale coloured homes, or red & orange & other sun inspired mediterranean houses. Apartments with little balconies or banks with mint coloured shutters. I love the colours of the buildings & every time i see them i wonder if i could build a home like that where ever it is we end up. I love the contrasting colours & the fact that they all look like they've seen a whole host of history. I like the tile roofs, or laundry strung between the buildings. Winding alleyways & the colour everywhere. There's nothing grey & dreary about France it's just, in my eyes, totally perfect! 

Monday, July 26, 2010

it's the simple things in life that make me happy ...

running & lifting & cross training & sore muscles & feeling great ...
pretty hair ... 
pretty top ... 
a wonderful giveaway with Jen Kiaba ... 
sitting on my butt ... doing nothing ... & having absolutely no guilt attached to it!

... & windows ...

So as well as doors i love windows as well ... & the small details that go with them. Oh & then there's the shutters, i want some of these shutters! I love the colours of the shutters against the pale walls (or not to pale walls in some cases) & the way people turn a boring window into something much more interesting with plants & objects that are personal to them. It gives the windows a life of their own so to speak. I want my windows to be full of colour & interesting enough that some photographer somewhere walking past with their camera wants to take a picture. & France is good at this also! 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

doors ...

Anyone who has been some pretty with me & my camera or even just checked out my work knows there are certain things guaranteed to draw me in every time. I love details, i love colour, i love vintage & i love doors. & Provence or well France in general is full of those places full of all the above & then some. Even when it's not designed to be pretty in France it somehow ends up being pretty so for my first post from Provence you get to see doors, & the details that make them interesting & unique & special.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Every week (with the odd exception) I take part in the Miss Match Project. It's fun, & interesting a great way to force myself to photograph something different & to experiment. We're given a theme & a partner & this week our theme was "shoes". Now considering how totally abstract some of out themes have been this one is up there as one of the easier ones. So me & my partner for this week, Karin Andersson, set out to produce to images that would stand out as well as totally complimenting each other. Some weeks we'll set perameters, other weeks it's anything goes. Sometimes one of us will have an idea whilst the other is totally stumped, another week we set out on a journey that leads us to a totally similar place. That was this week. So here are my ideas ... 

& you know i can't take photos without my wonderful little assistant getting involved!

& here is the final diptych ... we really did have the same idea & on seeing Karin's i thought that the converse would make a better image since they a different type of shoe to those Karin chose to photograph. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

france, france & more france ...

So a week after i came home from vacation & as i sit here slowly working my way through my photos from Provence I totally have France on the brain (I admit it's one of my most favourite places in this big wide world) so anyways here's a selection of france inspired items on etsy. It's possible there may be more to come!

Deauville Ruffle Tunic - Tortilla Girl

LA POMME GREEN French Messenger Bag - 8 POCKETS - Ika Bags

& don't forget about the giveaway currently running in collaboration with Jen Kiaba. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

giveaway time ...

I am super excited about this blog ... & for a while there's been an idea in the works ... a giveaway ... between me & the incredible fabulous Jen Kiaba. I know i know i've mentioned her a couple of times before but well i love her work so we figured we'd a special giveaway. The chance to win two 10x8" fine art photographs, one from me & one from Jen. Two photographs that are currently unavailable for sale in our shops. Personally (& i know am a little biased) but i think she is a pretty awesome giveaway. 

Jen is one of those photographers who inspires me, not to mention being one of my "go to" photography peoples. She creates these wonderful whimsical dream like images that could be straight out of the books of Lewis Carroll or C.S Lewis. She can create the kind of images i can only dream of. 

So for one lucky winner you could be hanging both the photographs below on your wall. & all you have to do is tell me why you should win these prints or what you would do with these prints if you win. For an extra entree you can head over to Jen's blog & do the same there. & for another chance of winning you can tweet about the giveaway @levansphoto @jenkiaba. Please include your email address in your entree so we can contact you if you are the lucky winner! All entrees must be received by July 29th ... good luck! 

help Maggie May

The Female Photographers of Etsy is a wonderful group of ladies (yes we know i've mentioned them before), & incredible talented photographers around the world. & today i'm giving a shout out to one of those ladies. 

Joy St. Claire is a wonderful portrait, landscape, animal, fine art & all round talented lady living up Ohio. She creates inspiration, dreamlike images that bring you back to nature. They draw you in & yes we're going with a cliche leave you feeling "at one" with the earth around you. They're so simple but elegant & would look stunning throughout you house.  

Joy is one of those people who is all about giving back, right now %20 of all her proceeds from her shop are going to the National Wildlife Federation's Gulf Oil Spill Restoration Fund. 

But right now she needs a little help from us ... recently her beloved dog, Maggie was taken seriously ill (you can read the full story over on Joy's blog). Anyone who knows me knows how much my cats mean to me, they are family despite anything the hubby might claim otherwise. They are my company on long winter nights, someone to curl up with when the hubby is deployed or tdy & they make me laugh & smile on a daily basis. 

Maggie thankfully has survived & is doing much better but as a result Joy has been left with large vets bills. Maggie is Joy's best friend, companion & occasional muse so please take a minute to check out her shop & treat yourself or buy something for a friends birthday. 
ps. how can you resist this?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

petit four ...

Ways To Explore Writing With Kids from the blog of Mocking Bird

I'm not a Mum but i still wanted to share this with you because i think it's a wonderful way of keeping your children's minds active through the summer ... (not to mention my tiny little brain). It's from a wonderful photographic blog called Mocking Bird which i highly recommend checking out.

Ways To Explore Writing With Kids


by Amanda on July 20, 2010
Today I’m taking off the photographer hat and snuggling on my teacher hat. In my many years as a primary educator, my greatest love in the classroom came every morning when the kids and I would get out our writing books and create new worlds with our imaginations.
For me, writing is one of the greatest ways to get kids using their imaginations and creating. Every little kiddie is a natural born author waiting to have their ideas and stories explode onto the page.
It’s currently summer holidays in the Northern Hemisphere and the mid year holidays are wrapping up down under. Unfortunately, kids will lose some of their learning over a big holiday break, so it’s really great if parents can continue with activities to keep those little minds ticking over.
Here are some ideas to get kids writing:
This is just a tiny sampling of ideas to get kids writing. As a parent, I wouldn’t be too concerned about their spelling and grammar. Definitely help them out if they ask you, but at pre and infants ages (2-7) it’s far more important to just let them write. Their teachers will have set ways in which they teach them about spelling and grammar. The teacher’s job is to teach them strategies to figure out spelling and grammar when stuck on unfamiliar words.
You can of course remind them of these four rules:
Every sentence must have; a capital letter to begin, full stop at the end, spaces between the words and it must make sense. Obviously Pre schoolers and even some Kindergarten children are not going to be familiar with sentence structure, so helping them to simply write familiar words is more than enough.
As I mentioned in the Ways to Inspire Kids to Love Books post, the best way to get kids excited about learning is through being excited yourself. Use yourself as a model and show them that you love to write. Call them “writers” and “authors” to make them feel proud of their accomplishments. A little praise and encouragement is the best gift you can ever give a child.
Photograph taken with a Holga using black and white Ilford film- this was a love note given to me by one of my Kindergarten students. She and her dad left it on my car one afternoon. It made my day.

Monday, July 19, 2010

because i can ...

it's the simple things in life that make me happy ...

new week ... new beginnings ... new friends ... new joys ... new confidence ... new ideas ... 
i so want this top ... 
a wonderful book ... 
a perfect market bag ... 
contemplating a weekend away & some quality time with the hubby (hehehe)!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

what's going on ...

So it's been crazy busy here ... plus there was that whole vacation thing going on! Right now i am in the midst of playing catch up with shoots, plus all my photos from provence & a bunch of other things i want to get done this week. But it's wonderful knowing i have a week off work & i'm staying in town so expect a few blogs, & lots of new photos ... maybe some other interesting posts along the way. Here's a little something from a wedding i shot before my vacation. I was super nervous about this, as it was my first "all day" thing but fingers crossed the couple will be happy with the outcome. 

My vacation was fabulous (go figure) ... & in some ways i feel like i've come back a new person. Or maybe i just got some new insight into who i am & i love it. Sometimes all it takes is some time away to open your eyes & the realization that my 30s are going to be awesome. Of course it helps having a wonderful husband, a great family & some wonderful friends alongside me. 

But whilst i was gone you all got to read some blogs on "inspiration" posted by the very people who inspire me ... friends, artists, mothers, daughters, wives & all the rest. These individuals opened themselves up to discuss the things that make their world tick & i love that i got to share this with you. So if you haven't skip back over the past week on my blog & check out what these amazing ladies have to say. 

& now i'm going to leave you with a vacation photo ... me & the 2 exceptionally lovely ladies i spent the past week with ... there was food & laughter & exploration & talking & so much more. So thank you to miss Hannah banana, you're my sister, my confident, my friend & oh my god (yes i used the lords name in vain ... sorry) am i going to miss you. & miss Cassie, you are simple a rock star & having the chance to get to know you was an eye opening experience ... my new styalist, i just hope i can live up to your expectations! 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Simple indobay inc.

inspiration: "stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity"

"inspiration" is such a subjective word. It's not that easy to define or to pinpoint exactly but you know inspiration when you see/hear/feel it because of the emotion or feeling you experience when you are in the presence of that which inspires you.

inspiration comes in so many forms for me. It could come from a beautiful photograph, the beauty in a child's innocence, a favorite song, beautifully textured linens. There really is no exact formula. However, I realize I am most moved and inspired by the simple, quiet pleasures of life. Such as...

I am so grateful to have been invited to Laura's Inspiration Blog series this week! With Laura's work being so stunning and quite inspiring to is with great appreciation that I say, Thank you!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Inspiration from Violet Bella

Thank you Laura for asking me to be a part of your blog, you are an amazing and talented photographer, and I have so enjoyed watching you grow and learn and blossom.

Inspiration for me is an ever changing thing. It can come from anywhere really. An emotion, a word, a leaf, a memory, a song, a season, a bike ride, the moon... I could go on an on.

And different things will inspire me to do different things, such as pick up my camera, or a paintbrush, or a pen and paper and begin to write.

I think my all around love for art in general has helped me with my photography in a sense. I love the act of actually taking the photograph, but I equally enjoy the processing of the image afterwards. Sometimes I like to process very simply, and sometimes go a bit deeper and make it almost like a painting... I have also done photographs that have inspired me to paint them, and then even write poetry about them. So in a sense I can get inspired just from a photo I have taken.

I also find other artists to be very inspiring. There is such a sense of community in the art world right now among peers my age. I find it very refreshing. I think we all feed off of each other in a way, and then go on to create something original.

And for me personally, nature has to be among the biggest inspiration of all. The way the sun hits tall dead grass as I pass by in a car is like nothing else to me. The way I feel when I look upon the moon and stars, complete peace and awe. The way leaves turn certain colors after falling off a tree. The way the sun makes my skin smell after heating it up. The way rain can make me go right back to a certain moment of bliss or pain in my life. Seeing things like flowers sustain life in birds and butterflies. Truly amazing and inspiring.

Here is an example of a photo I did that was inspired by pure emotion. It was a part of a series I did after losing my mother to breast cancer.

Here is one simply inspired by the beauty of blossoms and sky.

And this one is inspired by nothing buts words.

I think inspiration is different for everyone, and is always all around us if we just open our minds and hearts to it.