An ode to the world of Laina Briedis

©Laina Briedis

I’m feeling so very Autumny at the moment. This wood-scented air is giving me strange compulsions to walk on crackling orange leaves, to go mushroom-picking, to crochet a warm blanket for my bed (of course) or to bury my head in a sweet-smelling basket of apples.

Talking of which, if you happen to have like me this strangle apple-smelling urge, the chances are you’ll probably fall in love with the photography of Laina Briedis. It feels like her photos have often been taken on gentle Autumn afternoons (or maybe I’m just obsessed). Her universe is full of apple orchards, seriously cute bunnies, pine cone patterns and characters being at peace with nature. There’s even green branches wrapping themselves around people in a delicate hug (maybe it’s what the reverse of tree-hugging would look like). I love the idea of being loved and embraced by Nature. It’s a feeling that I often sense during hiking.

©Laina Briedis

There’s a kind of fairy-tale, childlike quality to her photographs, which tranports you to this place in your distant memory. A time when you knew in your heart that animals could talk and the wind on your face would make you want to run down the hill and make that hidden cubby-house under the trees.

Each of her beautiful images tells a story and if it sounds like one of yours, well, you can head to her etsy shop and order prints online.

Time for me to meet my daughter outside for a leaf fight. She’s gonna get it!!!

PS: I have ordered prints through Laina’s etsy shop before and she’s an abolute delight. She’s happy to do custom listings for you and she’s super efficient. I only have sweet words to say about Laina.


Do Lectures – or how to change the world while freezing your butt!

I’ve heard about David Hieatt while reading Dumbo feather and I’m glad I did. He’s my kind of hero!

This chap has been around the traps a fair bit: he’s an entrepreneur, a designer, makes sustainable jeans manufactured in Wales with his wife, Clare – he’s an ideas man. I’m completely fascinated by his latest project, the Do Lectures, which he also organises with his wife.

Basically, every year, David and Clare invite a bunch of awesome creative people to talk about what they do. This takes place in a pretty remote part of West Wales in Fforest over a weekend during which people get to camp, eat together, share ideas and get inspired by the journeys others have taken. It’s a bit like a festival of ideas, a magical haven for doers. Now, the background of the talkers can be really varied: there’s people that are into ingenuous ideas to protect the environment, people that are into poetry, bicycles, micro-lending, natural births or even knitting!

Or, there could be someone talking about their passion of making traditional sourdough bread, such as Tom Herbert from England. I’ve watched his video and let me tell you, even though I had never baked a loaf of bread in my life, I was instantly determined to master this ancient skill.

His enthusiasm was so infectious that I did end up making my own sourdough starter a few days later and I now regularly bake a nice crusty loaf at the weekend. So, this offers an insight into how powerful the Do Lectures can be… and I didn’t even make the trip to Wales!

What I like about David Hieatt’s philosophy is that, according to him, it’s never too late to do what you really love doing. In fact, the Do Lectures are so motivational, it turns out that some UK companies have stopped sending their staff there because they end up losing them as a result. Attendees will often quit their job to do what interests them most and usually work for themselves.

So, if you too are in need of a change, if you think you are ready to jump into the next phase of your life, then you might find yourself deep in the Welsh countryside, freezing your butt off… but glowing inside.

Here’s some information about Do lectures or what to do if you know someone you’d like to nominate as a presenter. Apparently, there’s now another event taking place in California in September 2013, for the freezing-averse.