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Life changing magic

Life changing magic
The Life Changing Magic

Experiments with mini movies

A video posted by Em. (@ohgoshem) on

One of my favourite bits of Blogtacular was the video walk that Xanthe Berkley hosted on the Friday.

Video isn’t something that I have ever focused on in the past because, in my head, video was all about YouTube vlogs on your latest ‘Primark haul’ or your make-up regime. My make-up is basic and I am not about to sit down and vlog a haul and if I do, please punch me in the face! I really don’t want Jim knowing all the stuff in our house hasn’t ‘been there for ages, I can’t believe you haven’t noticed it’ (plus I’ve not even entered a Primark in about a year!)

But on the walk, Xanthe opened my eyes to videoing what’s around me rather than having to appear in the video. About the output not having to be a long video of me talking to the screen (I can’t honestly think of anything worse) but can be a series of little scenes from the day, or the weekend, or trip. And now I think I might love video.

On the walk, we wandered as a group round Covent Garden. The session started with some phone video tips from Xanthe including holding the phone landscape, not portrait so that when you’re editing it fits better, that the best ways of holding the phone still whilst you film, with your arms in close to your body for stability and we got a list of video scenarios to look out for and filming options on our phones, like slow mo, boomerang and hyperlapse. 
As I'm an Android user, I thought maybe there would be limitations, or that the afternoon might focus heavily on iPhone features (I've sat in on some phoneography webinars and they have always been iPhone focused), but all the techniques we used to film we available on all our phones. I've played with Boomerang quite a bit, but not the other features of the video on my phone since upgrading to the S7 Edge. 

We got to play with the fabulous mirrored walls in Covent Garden, with Nikki McWilliams being very obliging with some leaping and umbrella twirling for some slow mo shots and Boomeranging, there were line-ups coming out of the mirrored corners, we experimented with time lapse and Xanthe in her yellow coat, we saw opera singers and flowers full of bees. We amused tourists and locals alike with our posing, our mass filming and the timed umbrella lunges. 

It was so interesting seeing the things Xanthe, with her experience in mini movie making, looked out for as we walked around Covent Garden. It was more the little shots she took notice of, the details, and the small movements, that I found interesting. 

I didn't make it to her talk at the actual event but Toni popped along to it and gave me a crash course in video editing with Adobe Clip which is the mobile software we'd been advised to download. It's so easy to use, and being able to overlay music on to the videos in it is a really handy feature. Plus there is the option to make your video and the music 'snap' together so your beats work with the movements of the video.

I’m not going to kid myself that I am great at video, but it’s something that I am enjoying playing with and to force myself to play with it some more, I am challenging myself to a video of my weekends so expect to see more in my Instagram timeline. 

 Here are the other mini movies I've been playing with since I got back from Blogtacular. 

A video posted by Em. (@ohgoshem) on

What do you think? Is video something that you've spent much time focusing on? Is Vlogging your thing and should I re-evaluate it? Just got any tips or hints for me? Hit me up with your video advice!
As Instagram will no longer let you embed a hashtag, you'll have to make do with clicking here to see the videos and photos from the other lovely people that I was lucky enough spend the afternoon with (and you'll also get a glimpse at the delicious ice cream Xanthe introduced us to afterwards.)
Blogtacular video walk

'My Journey' right now other wise known as the funk my brain is in!

Last weekend I was in London for the Blogtacular conference. I went thinking my blogging cup would be overflowing when I left, but the reality is I'm now feeling a little overwhelmed with ideas but a bit empty of motivation. 

I learnt that I should be writing about my 'truth' and bringing you along 'on my journey', but the reality is that the truth of my journey isn't all that awesome right now. It's just all a bit, well, ugh!

As I write this I've just had a stressful dog walk with Flash, Melle and my parents dog Molly. Melle decide to jump through a barbed wire fence to go hang out with some horses and wouldn't come back so I had to climb through the fence, barbed wire and all to retrieve him. Flash rolled in something dead and decomposing which smelt awesome and Molly ran off through a cornfield, refusing to return, after an unidentified animal big enough to move the tops of the corn but not to be seen. All of them were nobs. 

In other areas of life my Nan has been ill for weeks, she's 89 today so she's not young. Because my parents have been away sailing I've been put in charge of keeping her alive, which would be easier if she'd listen to the doctors that prescribe her tablets. But it got so bad my so bad that my mum came home leaving my dad in Jersey, which is great  for me, because I get a bit of Nan care respite but means she's got of all the stress and need some support herself. We need to figure out how to get her some help before my mum goes back to my dad, even though she insists that she doesn't need it because I can help her enough. I can't. It's just not possible. 

Then there's the whole EU thing. It terrifies me that the country voted the way it did, and that the feeling that has swept across the country in the lead up to the vote might not go away. It worries me that the house we have to sell might be jeopardised. But it worries me more that my mum was so distraught at what the future might hold for ours and coming generations. (I am happy to say both my parents voted remain!)

And Jim's away at Glasonbury so I am home alone. I was supposed to be having some friends over for drinks last night but they cancelled so I had a night of putting up curtain poles, framing artwork, and puppy cuddles and refereeing fights and trying to figure out how to get my Nan the help she needs and my mum back out to her holiday. 

As soon as I figure out how to stop stressing about all these things I can't really control, when there is more umph in my life, I'll back with some learnings from Blogtacular and some other fun bits I have in my brain but can't get out.  

A House Update: The main bathroom before and after - from orange to nautical!

My dream for a long time has been a nautical bathroom. And finally I have one. And it might be my favourite room in the house right now.

Our bathroom when we moved in was an orange monstrosity - 'like weeing in a tangerine' was one description we heard. See - it was very ORANGE!
The plan for this room was that we'd make it over quickly and move on but it's never that easy is it? 

Once we started stripping the wallpaper we realised that the walls were falling apart and needed replastering (that's the story of our lives in this house!) the bath that was made for tiny people, oh and we had a bit of lead piping. 
As the plan was a quick and easy refurb, we've not switched out the sink or the toilet, and I'll be honest the plan was never to switch out the bath either, until we started having to use it and realised it was genuinely the smallest bath in the world, so to counteract it we bought the biggest bath we could and now Flash has a swimming pool at home! All of this meant everything took longer and became more of a 'job' than a quick fix although hopefully now though we'll not have to make any other changes to the room for quite a while. 

And now, it looks and feels a little bit different - don't you think? I was worried about over doing the nautical theme so I've had to reign in my nautify-ing! But I am so happy with it.   
There are a few bits of the bathroom that I love more than the rest though - the driftwood shelf, the boat shelving until, my wallpaper and the tiling round the bath.
The shelf is a joint effort between my vision and my dads brains and capability. I had a beautiful piece of driftwood that I wanted to use as a shelf, and I knew I wanted it floating, but all the options I'd seen included visible brackets or rope. So in true dad style, I gave him the wood and told him what I wanted and he came back having bought brackets from a random website in Europe (if he ever remembers where I'll update this - he is not blog friendly!), having spent an age drilling carefully into crumbly driftwood and had figured it all out. Due to the size of the brackets we used we're 100% convinced that if the house ever falls down, the only thing left would be this bit of the bathroom. 

The tiles were all installed by Jim. It was a learning curve and we debated getting an expert in to do it a few times but what is YouTube for if not teaching yourself to tile?  It's his first attempt at tiling and grouting and I think you'll agree he did a great job. I've done some tiling before and it certainly was no where near as good as this! He also put the shower screen and the shower rail up too. And now I know he can do it, there is no excuse for us not to start on the shower room next door! 

The boat shelf was the first thing we got for the house. Waaaaaaaaaaaay before we bought the house my mum found it at a local auction and popped an offer in on it, and won. It lived under the spare bed at their house for about a year until we got the bathroom to a point of putting it up. Now it houses all the bits we need easy access to.

The wallpaper is another thing that has been in my life for a long time. I've had a sample of the Mini Moderns Whitby in washed denim laying about for the longest time, and I wasn't sure that having wallpaper in the bathroom was the best idea but it seems to have held up pretty well so far. It makes me smile every single day and having the pattern mirrored on the bath screen is something I love too. I think it's the big thing that ties the room together!
In true 'Emma and Jim decorating the house' style - it has taken a LONG time to get this room sorted and it really wasn't the cheap fix we'd hoped it would be (probably down to me choosing some more expensive things for the room!) but I think it's been worth the wait, and money, in the end. What do you think? 

Shopping List
Big Stuff - Wallpaper - Mini Moderns Whitby in denim ** Paint - Dulux Timeless bathroom paint ** Bath/shower-tap mixer/bath screen/radiator - Victoria Plumb ** Tiles - B&Q. **

Smaller bits - Mirror - Ikea ** Blind fabric - Trago Mills, Falmouth (the blind was made by Jim's Mum) ** White Wood Storage Unit - Dunelm Mill ** Anchor towels and bath mat - West Elm ** Boat storage unit - found at an auction by my Mum. ** Fish hook - found at a market in Binic, France. ** Driftwood shelf made by my dad **

Random accessories - Most of the accessories were found around the house or gifts, but to the best of my knowledge  - Fake flowers are from TKMaxx (their fake flowers are amazing btw) ** Jug as a vase was a gift from a friend ** The gaslamp is from Toast a long time ago ** Candle in the pot is from Sainsburys ** Anchor jar from Next ** Glass storage jars Matalan ** Boat on shelf Matalan ** Rock from Portscatho beach **