My pet photography addiction

I was scrolling through my cell phone photo gallery and I came across an entertaining trend that I’d like to share.

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My super scary long-haired Chihuahua

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My best friend and research partner - Pearl

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My very first pet and the laziest cat alive, Tigger

I take a lot of photos of pets. And almost all of them are super close up.

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Snow chihuahua

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An interrupted nap

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The best sleeping position of all time

If that’s not strange enough,  apparently I do it to other people’s pets too.

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Hey buddy, smile for the camera...

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This guy was totally up for posing with me.

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The cutest dog in EVER. Just a pile of fluff :)

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Not even sure when I took this one...

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One of my favourite kitties to snuggle with <3

I really can’t explain this close-up-pet-photographing phenomenon. I’m definitely an animal lover, although it would seem that I lean toward photographing cats. I guess that’s just because they’re so easy to catch. And maybe I’m a cat-woman in the making… ;)

I hope you enjoyed this most random of photo album posts.

Elle

Another Look Inside my Wreck This Journal: Dragons, Fish, and Greyfriar’s Bobby??

As promised, here is another look inside my Wreck this Journal

Also, Happy Chinese New Year…

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An inkblot heart made of DRAGONS?! Perfect for Chinese New Year :)

I spent a year studying abroad in Scotland under the pretense of discovering my true calling and finding myself – all that 20-something nonsense that sounds super profound at the time.  While I was there I documented the time artistically in my Wreck This Journal (for more examples, see here and here).

I had the best time ever making a heart-shaped inkblot that immediately reminded me of two dragons (or legendary Pokemon).  I’m sure that speaks volumes about my personality… I’m really just a huge geek.

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Write one word over and over... Well you can see what I chose!

It took me a couple tries to finish writing one word over and over enough times to cover these two pages – and I was over halfway through before I realized the true artistic potential of this activity! I chose the word FISH because I was studying to become a fisheries Biologist.  I did my MSc thesis on a species of fish, I honed my electrofishing sampling technique, and I even tried a very British meal of fish and chips. I truly embodied all things fish-related while living in Scotland.

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Writing with the pen in my mouth was not my forte - and drawing was even worse!

So this last picture tells a couple stories – although even I can’t decipher them. I attempted to draw (with the pen in my mouth) a Scottish flag and the statue Greyfriar’s Bobby (it’s a little dog statue in the heart of Edinburgh) without much success. I also wrote about my excitement to visit Portugal, my exam stress, and something about wishing my friend Tiana still had… work? wings? I’m not really sure what that says. But I wish her all the best regardless.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this look inside my journal. :)

Elle

Phantom Editors: fact of fiction

OOoooooOOOOoooooooooo…

I’ve been blogging (consistently) for a month and a half now. During that time a number of things have come to my attention:

  1. Blogging requires a time commitment somewhere between a favourite hobby and a part-time job
  2. Writing one single blog post is sometimes a day-long process if you’re busy jumping between activities (like me)
  3. And… sometimes, no matter how many times you proof-read, you will find the strangest errors in your posts. Ones that you would just never make. Be they formatting, grammar, or spelling, these are the types of errors that hit you from out of the blue – they contradict your obsessive proof-reading ways!
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An approximation of a Phantom Editor hard at work

These, dear readers, are what I have been calling my Phantom Editors.

Don’t bother looking them up on Google (unless you’re a big fan of Star Wars fan-fiction) because you won’t find them. Like their name suggests, a Phantom Editor is a super-natural ghost-like creature brought to life somewhere deep inside your blogging devices. The get their kicks from auto-correcting, format-mangling, and punctuation stealing. They eat apostrophes for lunch, leaving bloggers to explain to their fathers that they do know the difference between “its” and “it’s”. And, worst of all, they chew up formatting, leaving your posts confusing to navigate.

The place of residence of the Phantom Editor has yet to be discovered – they may be inside your mobile telephone, inside your internet browser, or even associated with your blogging host (WordPress, have you looked into this?). Where ever they are, their presence is known by the clues that they leave behind.

What can you do to protect yourself from Phantom Editors?

It’s a good question. Since they are super-natural creatures, there is little you can do to protect yourself. I recommend making use of the preview option when proof-reading your blog posts. This will give you a look at what the phantom editors have in mind for your post. Also, having a friend look over your work using the WordPress “request feedback” option is invaluable. They are often able to catch the edits before your eyes can adjust to the work of the clever phantoms. Finally, try to stick with posting from just one device to avoid changes as your posts gets passed between one set of editors to the next.

I wish you all the best of luck in dealing with your phantom editors!

Elle

6 Quirky Eastern Canadian Holiday Traditions

I’ve been promising to share more about my life in Eastern Canada. 

So here goes.

The holidays last a good full week in Eastern Canada. Christmas eve, Christmas day, and boxing day are all big family days, and most people I know have at least 2-3 family dinners on these. Malls are closed entirely on the 25th and 26th here, and we’re known for actually giving fines to businesses that open their doors on boxing day for sales. I like that a lot.

We carry on celebrating with a little less enthusiasm until New Years Eve, which is another time for big gatherings of friends and family.

As for quirky traditions, here are just a few off the top of my head that I’ve mentioned to my friends in Toronto, only to be met with confused looks. Enjoy :)

1. Watching the World Junior Hockey Tournament. Now I am aware that lots of people watch this, but the holidays in Eastern Canada really revolve around finding a place to watch every game (including exhibition games) with family and friends. And tonnes of food. People that don’t even watch normal hockey are drawn into it. I love it.

Lobster - cooked and ready to go!

2. Lobster dinner. Since we live on the coast, lobster is frequently had for Christmas Eve or New Years Eve dinner. There’s nothing like having a steaming hot lobster dipped in butter sauce as your last meal of the year!

3. Kitchen parties. If you have Eastern Canadian friends, you’ve probably heard this term thrown around.  A kitchen party is kind of a tradition here on the East Coast, and can involve anything from having a few people in to eat, or go as far as having a big group complete with musical instruments and singing. All in your kitchen. Our houses typically have large kitchens, and our parties get pretty loud.

Christmas candy dish. Enough said.

4. Christmas candy dish. This is the type of thing that just sits out on your counter, and is perfect for a day of munching in the kitchen. Usually full to the brim at the beginning of the holidays with chocolate, gummies, and tonnes of nuts – that don’t stand a chance of lasting.

Sponge toffee. Yum.

5. Sponge toffee. Or any kind of toffee really. This is something that shows up every Christmas no matter what. Usually in your stocking.

No house is complete without rustic snowman decorations.

6. Rustic Christmas decorations. I’m not really sure why, but the rustic Christmas style never goes out here in the Maritimes. Also, ornaments and decorations are typically gifts, and rarely match. It’s all part of the charm.

I hope you enjoyed a little look at the holidays in Eastern Canada. If you have any traditions that you’d like to add, feel free to let me know in the comments!

Happy Holidays

Elle

On Developing my Blogging “Eyes” and “Voice”

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Sharing my quirky stories and traditions is always super fun - is this a candy? or a package of batteries??

This month I challenged myself to blog every single day.  And I am now just 4 posts shy of success. :)

As this chaotic month draws to a close, I am pleased to say that I have gained so much from this experience. One of my blog posts was freshly pressed – giving me the chance to bring the issue of how far our fruit travels into the thoughts of many. I’ve gained 151 followers and over 10,000 page views this month – more than I would have imagined in my wildest dreams. And I proved to myself that I can accomplish a goal if I set my mind to it.

This month has been awesome.

One of the most important things that I have experienced in the past month is the development of my writing voice. I have read countless articles, most over at copyblogger and lifehack, on how to blog. Also, this article posted by my real-life best friend on knowing your online character has given me more than a little to think about. In the past month I have been talking to countless people about my blog posts – all of whom have informed me that they can hear my voice when they read my writing.

That’s kind of exactly what I was going for.

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I'm still trying to master the "self-portrait"

Developing a “blogging voice” is one of the keys to having a well-read blog. People are not interested in boring, lifeless posts; they want something that flows nicely with few grammatical/spelling errors. Just like people, a blog needs to have personality, and a well-loved blog should have a personality that’s easy to relate to.

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Unique camera angles and fun settings make my photos more personalized

Arguably, the blogger’s eye is just as important as their voice. By eye, I mean how the blogger visually portrays their topic. Kids these days are very visual – and with beautiful high definition screens to read your blog posts on, it would be a shame not to include at least one picture per post. Or one drawing, as is sometimes the case on my blog.

I’m not a photography wizard, but I try to make use of unique camera angles and fun camera settings to liven up my photos. Apps like instagr.am and camera effects make this easy to do. This lets your readers see get a better understanding of how you perceive the world, and gives them something interesting to look at.

Did you find any of these hints helpful? Or do you have any blogging tips that you would like to share? Please let me know in the comments.

Elle

Post-Christmas Hermit-time

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I just want to curl up and write in my beautiful new journals!

It takes three full days to celebrate a Feeney Christmas.

Three Feeney-filled days.

Now there’s nothing wrong with family time, but after all the excitement of presents, game playing, and eating, there is nothing I want more than some time alone. Peace and quiet. Relaxation.

And of course time to put my presents to use properly. Like my new resolutions journal and moleskine notebook. I can’t wait to share what I write in these over the next week!

I believe that Christmas requires a recovery period. Luckily, here in New Brunswick we have boxing day off. Seriously. Boxing day sales will begin at the crack of life tomorrow morning – but if a store were to open today it would be featured on the front page of out newspaper as the SINGLE WORST PLACE EVER FOR NOT RESPECTING BOXING DAY. (a la Urban Planet 2010). I love the Maritimes.

As for me, I will be working tomorrow. This is one of those times that I really detest being underemployed – because I will be in no mood to deal with people rushing me tomorrow. I just really hope to keep my sanity. But, if not , at least I’ll have some wicked funny stories to blog about!

Wishing you a happy post-Christmas recovery!

 

Elle