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I’ve been following Jennie Maizels on Instagram for a while now… I saw her holiday sketchbooks last summer and fell in love with her drawing and beautiful documenting. I used to love creating sketchbooks with my photos and scribbles, but since going digital, places like Instagram help me keep a visual journal instead.

We finally met in real life at Blogtacular and Jennie’s passion for her work really shines through – I love that!

She was so excited about taking her in person sketchbook club, into an online format and having people all over the world take it… So much encouragement poured out of her, I just knew I was going to love it -

Jennie’s sketchbook club, breaks everything down, so you don’t fear the blank page – she gives you the brief and all the visual references to help create your own colourful pages. It’s a chance to sit and doodle with intention, step away from work & our screens and connect with something creative.

We’re SO enjoying it!

Any age or ability can take part, I’ve even managed to encourage the boys to join in – When they were younger, they used to draw all the time… but with busy social lives and screen time, they hardly draw any more… but sketchbook club is changing that.

We’ve only done two modules so far… I don’t want to rush through it! There are two more and we can always go back and create more pages from the first prompts… there are so many possibilities. Just take a look at the amazing community - #sketchbookclubhouses & #sketchbookclubfish

I can’t wait to fill my book with colour! – although I really want to learn how to do lettering like Jennie… hopefully that’s a module coming soon…

So looking forward to seeing Jennie at The Good Life Experience - with my sketchbook in hand, I’ll be camped out at her workshop soaking up more of her energetic spirit.

Thanks Jennie for injecting this little piece of creativity into my family life… it’s such a joy to be creating something tangible and to have this relaxing time connecting with our boys.

If you’d like to make your own mini films (like the one at the top of the post)… Check out MINI TIME CAPSULES – A mini guide of bite sized tutorials to show you how to make 15 second films on Instagram (Register now - Anytime access)



Written by xanthe

August 17th, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Posted in sketchbook club


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Many years ago I declared I Love Instagram… My love still holds true today.

Here’s why -

1. It’s a visual journal of my life… the things I do and see…. the places we go and adventures we have. When I swipe through my feed it’s like watching the past four years flash in front of me – the best kind of “Time Capsule”.

2. In terms of my work, it’s my most current portfolio – where I can share my favourite photos & films both professionally and personally. By sharing what I love to shoot, I can set the intention to shoot more of it.

3. There’s constant inspiration – you can find people who share similar work or be inspired by something different. For example I follow other Londoners and people sharing their family adventures – but I also enjoy the creativity of designers, makers and people travelling the world… oh and florists!

4. If you’re stuck in a rut or want to step out of your comfort zone – you can join in photo challenges or hashtag projects. See what your favourite accounts are joining in with, or some might even be running their own hashtags. Creating alongside a prompt can push you to shoot something different or see things in a new way.

5. The Instagram community is one of the most supportive and encouraging group of creatives you’ll find. Your people are on there, you just need to seek them out.

Yes, I’m pretty passionate about Instagram – so much so I’m collaborating with the brilliant Kim Klassen on a brand new online course - Instaguide – We’re going to share how we use Instagram for our creative growth and to boost our businesses… plus loads of tips, tricks and inspiration to get started and get more from our favourite app.

All the details are HERE – We’re starting next week and we’re super excited!

How about a giveaway?! – If you’d like to win a place on our course, let me know why you love Instagram – just leave a comment here or over on my post on Instagram – for two chances to win! I’ll pick the random winner on Sunday, just in time for the course to begin…



Written by xanthe

August 13th, 2015 at 3:44 pm


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I’m often asked if I prefer photography or filmmaking…
One isn’t better than the other in my mind – they both capture moments in their own unique way.

I couldn’t choose between them, they both have a place in my storytelling, but sometimes one photo isn’t enough to tell the whole story… I like to see (and remember) how people & things move – focusing on a collection of details that make up the bigger picture… Then those memories are locked up in a Time Capsule film.

That’s why I’m loving making the mini films to share on Instagram – 15 secs of snippets that are instant reminders of that time. They transport me straight back, plus…. they’re quick and simple to create.

Rather wonderfully, lots of people are getting involved and creating films to enjoy forever – Take a look at the hashtags - #minitimecapsules & #minimondaymovies

At the moment I’ve got a couple of online courses where I share everything I know, so you can learn how to make films of your own.

MINI TIME CAPSULES – A mini guide of bite sized tutorials to show you how to make 15 second films on Instagram (Register now - Anytime access)

Or if you’d like a more in depth look at creating longer films…

CREATING TIME CAPSULES – Step-by-step instructions and loads of inspiration & project ideas so you can create your own films to treasure (Register now – For the September – November session)

Hopefully you’ll join in to create your own piece of magic in a Time Capsule film.


Written by xanthe

August 10th, 2015 at 9:00 am


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Last year we had such a good time at Somersault Festival - you can read my top ten highlights here…

So we were eager to return and this time lots of friends and their families came with us…

but so did some terrible weather!

There was vast amounts of rain… I’ve never seen so much mud! especially where we were camping, it was like mud soup – not fun!

Fortunately we had one day of sunshine and the full festival spirit was enjoyed!

Some of my highlights were… (as it’s best not to focus on the lows of the mud…)

Bombay Bicycle Club – What an amazing set with guest appearances by Lucy Rose and Rae Morris for my favourite songs!. Our boys weaved their way to the front of the stage to experience it all fully – they said it was incredible – I wish I’d been able to see their faces, but I don’t think my ear drums could’ve taken it.

Other music highlights…

Passenger – What a cool dude, held the drenched audience mesmerised with his humour and singalong songs…. Same goes for Jimmy Cliff – it was pouring with rain during his set, but he got everyone smiling and singing. On Friday night, the sweet sounds of The Staves was delightful and uplifting.

Plenty of childhood games – A whole grassy area for games kept us amused and the children busy – three legged & sack races, hold the balloon, relay races with a leek and kick a ball with a long dangly thing between your legs – Hmmmmmm….

And a huge game of musical benches – with the elimination dance and “Elimi-naaaa-shoon” sung over and over again!

High fives to the team running all the events, their energy and general good vibes and humour was a pleasure to watch.

Hanging out with friends… As the boys are older now, they spent most of the festival experiencing it by themselves – they’d go off in small groups and order their own food, play volleyball and buy too many sweets! plus make a little cash on the side, by collecting cups to be recycled – 10p a cup turned into a profitable business.

They had a great time with their mates and us adults (and the younger children) listened and danced to the music.

A good time to be had for all.

The people watching wasn’t quite as good as last year – I guess the weather meant not as many wonderful costumes and dress up time… but there was still plenty to feast the eyes on…

Here are a few more of my favourite frames in the sunshine & rain…. thanks Somersault 2015!

All photos & films shot on Canon EOS 5DM3


Written by xanthe

August 6th, 2015 at 1:47 pm


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Back in July 2009 I started a daily gratitude photo project… a month long project seemed do-able… As it happens I loved the daily practice so much, I carried on each month, until it became a 365 grateful project.

That project was the start of so many things creatively – but the biggest gift was training myself to look for the good in my life.. little things to be grateful for and to seek out joy.

So when I saw that online friends Jeska & Natasha were hosting their monthly Instagram project with the theme of Joyful… I wanted to challenge myself to try that daily practice again and capture something joyful throughout July.

July has been packed with so much goodness and quite a lot of stresses – so it was good to have this practice to focus on – look for the joyful.

Here are a few of my July favourites…

(I’ll be printing these out as part of the collaboration with SusieThis summer I’m printing my photos.)

Photos captured on Canon EOS 5DmIII & iPhone 5s



Written by xanthe

August 1st, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in printingmyphotos


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Summer is full swing… and we have a few adventures under our belts already and I figure if I’m to stay on top of my summer collaboration of #printingmyphotos with Susie - I should be printing regularly after each chapter of the holidays.

Our first weekend was – An annual family camp up with various friends and then a day festival in London – Citadel Festival.

One of reasons behind the printing project is that I take tons of photos on my DSLR and iPhone. But sometimes my personal photos get forgotten and only organised and edited when I want to share them… but not all the photos I take are for sharing, most are just for us… Our story.

I’ve found getting them ready for printing is a great way of staying on top of the organisation. Usually I try to print once a month, but for this summer #printingmyphotos project, I’m going to try and print every couple of weeks or as I mentioned after each adventure.

So far I’ve edited my latest photos and created a folder in my external hard drive called “This summer I’m Printing My Photos” – I like this call to action – committing to print my photos…

I’m not a printing expert, I don’t know a lot about quality of paper and colour grades. I’ve just found a couple of places that work for me. It’s about getting the images off my computer and into my hand in the easiest way.

My favourite place to print personal photos is Snapfish – cheap and cheerful especially if they have a special offer on – sometimes 50% off or 1p a print. The colours are good enough and they offer matt finish which I prefer and a white border, although it does crop into your photo.

For my client photos and special prints I love Loxley Colour. It’s a pro lab so you need to register with them, but I love the colours. They are more expensive but worth it.  Plus, you can print in any size and add borders without cropping the image.

I’d love to try some more printing places during this project – so do let me know your favourites… Plus, I’d love to upgrade my printer and even print at home – I’ll keep you posted with any discoveries made…

Have you started printing your summer photos? I’d love to see them – share a link below or use the hashtag on Instagram - #printingmyphotos

All photos taken on Canon EOS 5DM3



Written by xanthe

July 30th, 2015 at 12:09 pm


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Summer is off to a good start!

We’ve already had one packed weekend of goodness – Camping & a little festival here in London.

Lots more adventures planned with my family…

I’m excited about some lovely creative collaborations too.

First is Insta-guide with Kim Klassen - Our guide to everything we love about Instagram and how it can help grow your creativity and business… The early bird offer ends tomorrow & the course starts on the 17th August, so there’s still time to dive in. Let us share our passion for this inspiring app.

Also, there is This Summer I’m #printingmyphotos with Susie… Where we have promised to print our photos taken this summer. IT’S TIME TO GET PRINTING! I’ve got my first bunch of pics ready to go… I’ll share my process and where I’ve been printing in a post soon.

We’re off to Somersault Festival again this weekend! Looking forward to dancing in a field – rain or shine.

See you on the other side! It’s all GOOD!

If you’d love to be making films this summer – check out my online courses… lots of information HERE.  The summer is a wonderful time to be making magic with video… even simple 15 second films on Instagram can capture all the memories you need.



Written by xanthe

July 23rd, 2015 at 1:07 pm

Posted in lately


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At the end of Blogtacular there was an announcement to join the Mollie Makes collaboration raffle – A chance to be paired with someone at the conference to collaborate on a project of your choice – I popped my business card in the jar, as it sounded fun.

Mollie Makes organised the whole thing and emailed to say I’d been paired with the lovely Susie Earlam -

I was thrilled as we’d met on the photo walk – her red boiler suit made for wonderful photos! (I’ve still not written about the early morning creative stroll, along the Southbank – hopefully that post will come one day because some of the photos were so lovely!…)

Anyway, Susie and I have been brain storming via email and throwing a few ideas around of what we can collaborate on… and we’ve decided our project is…

I’m a big believer in printing photos… I love holding a print in my hand. I have boxes of photos, so many jumbled up memories and scrap books of glued-in photo moments.

There’s nothing quite like a printed photo in your hand.

During the final key note of Blogtacular – Anthony Peters spoke about brilliant his film – people creating work with their hands and producing something to hold… something physical… and not just something digital to view on the screen – this brought up so many emotions for me, as that’s how I feel about the printed image.

Of course it’s wonderful to view and enjoy our images on a screen – it’s quick and easy – but there’s something special about prints.

Lately I’ve fallen behind with printing my images….So this summer, Susie and I have pledged to print photos of our adventures and everyday life – to get the images off our devices & hard drives and into our hands. So our families can enjoy them or we can tuck them away for years to come or hang them on the wall – especially sun filled moments – that will help in those dark winter months.

You’re welcome to join us on our mission and pledge - I’m #printingmyphotos - in fact we’d LOVE to have you take part…

Both Susie and I will share the process on our blogs by sharing our fav places to print, and inspire you with tips to get organised and how you can display and enjoy your prints!.. Plus, over on Instagram we’ll be tagging #printingmyphotos to all our photos to be printed… That should help with the organising too…

Will you join us?

Imagine how amazing it will be to have a stack of photos to remember this summer by.


Written by xanthe

July 17th, 2015 at 10:00 am


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I love instagram…

For years it’s been my favourite social media platform.

It’s easy to share my work & stories of my life – there are wonderful communities and so much inspiration.

I get asked lots of questions about Instagram - So does my wonderful friend Kim Klassen.

So earlier today we hosted an online chat to talk about Instagram – you can watch the re-run HERE.

We also announced our new e-course! – Instagram :: Our guide to creative growth - So excited to share everything we know and love about Instagram and how it’s helped boost our creativity and our businesses.

We’d love you to join us…

Written by xanthe

July 16th, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Posted in our guide


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Sometimes you just need a quiet day at home to recharge.

During the last month, my weekends have been packed with work and birthday celebrations. I was feeling so tired. So when the sun shone on Saturday and the boys were in & out with their own social lives, I lazed in the garden and daydreamed… gazing at the leaves and the flowers dancing in the wind.

Just what I needed before the crazy couple of weeks ahead.

It’s end of term for the boys and end of an era, as primary school is over for us….

Plus an exciting project to launch – stay tuned!

If you’d like to try to create your own Time Capsule films – either a mini one for Instagram or perhaps longer ones like this one – check out my online courses… all the details are HERE>>>>


(Film & photos shot Canon 5DmIII)