At the beginning of every month, for the first 7 days I have been taking part in an Instagram competition called #7 Vignettes.
What is that you ask? A vignette, as a photography enthusiast might know it, is a darker or lighter outline that is graduated in consistency around the edges of a photo. But, it also has another meaning.
A vignette (in this sense of the word) portrays a composition of a group of objects in a stylised manner. Think of a ‘still life’ image and the way those things are set out.
So how does it work? ……….. About a week or so before the end of the month a list of 7 prompts are posted. This gives the ‘vignetters’ (as they are referred to!) a chance to think about the interpretation of the prompt and decide what things they may have to ‘create’ a scene to best depict the prompt. Some people set up all 7 vignettes at once and take their photos and wait to post each day. Me, I do it every day. Well, I did! Some days it takes hours. Some days less. I have started to take 2 or 3 vignettes at once to save some time on the execution and packing up! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the time it takes, but I find I need to stop procrastinating and just get it done!! I have had some fun conversations with other vignetters who have given me some very sound advice – 3 MINUTE SET UP!!!!!!!
I have a bower-bird nature, so I collect. I have a tendency towards vintage relics and quirky, thrifted ‘junk’ that no one else wants. I scour op-shops, vintage markets and trash and treasure sales for just about any good ‘old stuff’ that needs a new home. I have shelves and boxes laden with little treasures and no particular story to go with them. So this is my way of giving those items ‘life’ again. A lot of the pieces I use are family heirlooms or pieces I do know the stories about. But most are long lost to another time, place and owner.
The August Vignette list was: NORTH, COLLECTOR, UNIQUE, VINTAGE, NURTURE, CRAFT, ORGANIC. I was pretty excited, as I could already picture some of my little pieces for each prompt. Below you will see my post as it was written for Instagram and a brief explanation of vignette styling.
NORTH • The 1696 planishpere borne on the shoulders of Atlas.
I had only very recently acquired the loveliest vintage atlas for about $2 at a vintage market. It was the biggest bargain and I knew I had to use it in my photo. The small compass was also a recent purchase. The vintage drafting set belonged to a friend’s father and he knew I would be able to put it to good use!
COLLECTOR • I’ve spent my life collecting things. It was hard to narrow it down. My house is full of little treasures – my family have been known to call my house the museum! So birds win. I love birds. I collect anything bird related. I even pick up feathers and find them in jeans pockets days later!
Ooooh, the little birdies were on my mind for this vignette as soon as I saw the prompt! The feathers are from the beach and generally out and about. The glass domes I have had for a while and seemed fitting in this scene.
UNIQUE • Wood in any form has it’s own unique feel, texture and charm.
Thrift store finds. I think it is the thrill of the hunt and finding little treasures that draws me to collecting all of these sorts of things. The old thread bobbin was a gift from my mother-in-law who has a sharp eye for things I will love and she has started to pick up things for me as well! The cribbage board was a real bargain for about $3 at a local market. The mushroom and pear are the smoothest, silkiest feel of wooden craftsmanship and beautiful pieces.
VINTAGE • Aged, endured and improved over time. Lovingly salvaged.
My great aunts beautiful crystal clock and my grandmother’s hat pin are pieces I have loved forever. The vintage camera is my “jump up and down like a raving lunatic at the best bargain in the world” favourite ever vintage find. It was completely corroded and ceased up and I was afraid it would never open. After a little brushing and cleaning, out popped the camera bellows and I just about had tears of joy streaming down my face. (Little things = extreme joy!) The rest of the pieces have just be acquired over the years at said markets and thrift shops!
NURTURE • It comes so easily to some. I kill everything! That’s why I chose plants for today’s prompt. I can only do my best to nurture them for a long healthy life! I have less success with goldfish!
The words from my post say it all really! I have no luck with anything green. Less luck with fish! BUT, I can happily say that that succulent is absolutely THRIVING!!! (Insert smiley face here! )
CRAFT • In any shape or form! I stood by my grandmothers treadle sewing machine as a small girl in awe as she made beautiful dresses. I watched her knit while she read or watched tv and thought it amazing that she could do both! She instilled in me a love for making and creating.
An expedition to ‘treasure hunt’ is always a successful mission when you come home with haberdashery goodies! The scissors and knitting needles are my grandmother’s and the lace and embroidered doily from my husband’s grandmother. The other items have been found and thrifted. Wooden cotton reels are my heart’s biggest desire!!
ORGANIC • Nothing better than beautiful hearty winter soups with loads of organic pulses and delicious crusty breads.
And sometimes, I actually use the vignette for something useful. Like dinner!
That was my #7 vignettes for August. I have now taken part in the competition since the beginning of the year. I am not really in it to win, but have made some great new IG friends who are like minded and like the sort of “Old Junk” I do! And there is nothing wrong with that! AND you don’t have to use old stuff, plenty of people style very new, swanky, shiny items which look awesome together!
The thing that I find holds the most appeal though, is the stories each of these mini scenes of lovely pieces tells. Where the items are from, how they came to be in the owners possession and now they have a photo and a record of them.
For me I can go one step further and add all of mine to my album pages and tell the stories to go with the images. My fun competition entries now have far more meaning and my bower-bird nature has a reason to continue!
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