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Orchids at Kew Garden

This time last year my photo buddy and I went to snap spring colour at Kew Gardens and came across a stunning temporary display of orchids in Princess of Wales Conservatory. I'd been itching to go back this year but sadly the weather wasn't on our side. Instead OH and I went on a cold and grey February day. Still it was a nice day out, fresh air, exercise, colour, photography and warmth in the various houses along the way. Oh and we spotted a celebrity couple on a family day out which made my day (and no I won't say who excepting it wasn't Brad and Angelina....)
 First up capturing spring colour on the way to the conservatory
 Just look at this yellow
 The conservatory houses many temperate zones so first up we had to walk through the desert
 Which had a splash of colour
 Before being hit with the vibrancy of the orchids
 I loved these insect eating orchids


 There were many ferns about to


 An arch of orchids
 This year's theme of the exhibition was carnival
 Orchids don't necessarily need soil to thrive - these hanging flowers were jaw dropping

 I loved the details of these next four


 I was quite glad I'd taken the macro!
 I found this display a little cheesy but what can you do!

 Back outside I was blown away by the colours of these
 And there were carpets of daffodils everywhere
 But it was starting to get cold again so we popped in to the warmth of the hothouse which is a temple to green



 Down  in the basement of the Palm House is an aquarium where I was memorized by this Hairy Fish (that's it's name, not my description).
Soon it was time to head home. Despite the cold it was a great day.

Sunday afternoon at the Horniman Museum

So I've lived in South London for nearly 25 years but I've never ventured into the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill. The weekend weather forecast was gloomy so I suggested to OH that we jump on a bus and trek over to see what it was like and it out to be a little gem.
 The Horniman started as one man's collection. And it's quite a varied collection.
We started in the Natural History Galleries which was stuffed with, wel, lots of stuffed animals and birds!

The colours on these birds were incredible though you could tell that they were very, very old as they were starting to look a bit tatty. But still an incredible array of colours and sizes

There were also lots of skeletons. Here was a case of meet the ancestors (depicting evolution)
 and of course lots of bugs. I did spot another collection of butterflies but didn't get a decent picture.
 For a bargain price of £4 (the rest of the museum except the main exhibition was free) you could also visit the amazing aquarium which had florescent coral! I never even knew it could glow in the dark!
 The most popular tank depicting a Fijian coral reef (least I think it was Fiji but I hadn't written the details down....) which included this friendly ray dancing in front of the window.
All of the kids were asking if you could see 'Nemo' or 'Dory' (from the film Finding Nemo). I could see a 'Dory' but failed to get a decent picture.
Though actually I think you can just spot a Dory in the coral, middle of this snap. Just look at the colours! 
I was transfixed by these two amazing jelly fish which were mind blowing!

The Horniman also houses a huge collection of musical instruments though I found it a little sad that they are trapped behind glass rather than being played.... I suppose you could argue the same for the aquarium!
The final few shots are from the centenary gallery depicted the wide array of anthropological items they have from across the world.

If you find yourself in Forest Hill don't do what I've been doing for the past 20 years and not go in. It's an amazing collection, and for the main part free. We'd gone on a really gloomy day but I've been told the gardens are also spectacular so I can see that there is going to be another trip this year! 

My type of day - letterpress taster day with Inky and the Beast

So whilst I haven't officially made a New Years Resolution I've been taking the plunge this year and trying a few new skills. One of the first things I tried out was a taster day with the wonderful Jen from Inky and the Beast (formerly Inky and the Collective).
She has an amazing studio very close to Clapham Junction (so very handy for me as it's only a bus ride away). 
The studio is big enough for two people to take the workshop but I was on my own for this one which was fine by me. I know Jen through the Crafty Fox Market so it was a very relaxed workshop and while I learnt a lot it was great to also have  a chat and a catch up.
Luckily I had at least one idea of what I wanted to produce. It was OH and I's anniversary that day so I really needed an card before I went back home! Here is the type being put together in the frame with lots of furniture (see I paid attention and picked up some of the jargon!) 

And here it is. OK I've been cheeky and made a card for next year - seemed silly not to given we had set the type up! Oh the joy of letterpress!
I also made a few simple birthday cards as my mind had gone a little blank following the excitement of making OH's card. 
But I was chuffed with the results and it was really interesting to see how the whole thing works which was  the main reason for me taking the course. 
Here is the pro doing it! 


This was such a great taster workshop and a such a fun way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday morning. If you're interested to find out more check out the website and book a slot (but make sure you have some ideas in mind before you arrive)