I am delighted to have Caroline South as my final 'inspiration' of the Spring/Summer series of #Natureinthehome. I have followed Caroline's blog (Scraps of Us) for many years now, and have always found her images and in particular her collections incredibly inspiring. I hope you do too...
Please could you introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do?
I'm Caroline and I'm mum to Archie 3 and Elizabeth 6. From a young age I have always loved being creative, taking photos, drawing and making.
Since having children my main passion has been for recording and documenting them growing up and our adventures, which I share on my blog and Instagram. In addition, I love making making memory books and am constantly taking notes of the things they say.
As a family we love to get out and about as much as possible. We live just a few minutes from the beach so spend many hours there exploring and searching for treasures.
I love your garden mood board series, how did this idea come about?
I came across the garden mood boards on Karin A photography blog and just loved the idea. It's a monthly link up where you record the flowers and foliage found in your garden. The idea of recording a visual diary of what is growing throughout the seasons in this way really appealed to me.
As you will probably notice my preferred way to display objects is to show them organised neatly, often using linear and symmetrical layouts. With this in mind I chose to show my garden mood boards in this way.
You have just started a new series called 'collections' could you tell us a little about that?
We always end up with little collections of bits and bobs, things we have picked up at the beach, park or just in the garden. Things brought home in buckets, bicycle baskets or stuffed in pockets.Treasures like sea glass, stones with holes, feathers, seed pods, leaves and fur cones..... or if it's Archie a piece of moon rock or a dinosaur fossil!
I thought I would start photographing all of our finds that we accumulate as a way of remembering and documenting them mostly through Instagram. Following this I decided to start a monthly blog series with the hope that others may join in and share their own collections.
You have a love of nature, that is evident in your photography, can you tell us where this love began?
I grew up on the Isle of Wight, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, fields, beaches and forests. I spent lots of time with my family walking along the beaches looking for shells and sea glass or through the woods with my drawing pad and pencils in hand!
I now explore the West Sussex coastline with my own children and have passed on my love of exploring for treasures to them.
I love how creative you are, where does your inspiration come from?
I guess my inspiration comes from all around me, from nature itself and the shapes of objects to the colours and how these compliment each other. The changing seasons and variety of flowers, fruits and wildlife that can be found in my garden give me inspiration that is constantly evolving.
I keep my photos simple to focus on the colours, shapes and forms of objects or landscapes. I often use a lot of white space or contrasting colours so the objects are not lost in the background detail. I like capturing everyday moments of the kids growing up and take inspiration from this too.
What is your favourite time of year?
I would have to say summer! I love the long days, being able to wander along the beach with the kids in the evenings, paddling in the water or watching the sun setting over the sea. I love the bright colours of the flowers and that they are so abundant at this time of the year. I love the school free days of the holidays, spending more time with the kids, having adventures or just lazy days spent at home in the garden.
That said I do try and appreciate the changes that come with each season, the crisp days and beautiful colours of autumn or the first blooms and new growth appearing in spring.
How do you like to display nature in your home?
We have an ongoing display on our kitchen windowsill of all the current bits and pieces we find on our adventures. The kids are always adding to it. Taking pictures of these things is a good way to keep a record so I can clear if off occasionally and make way for new finds!
Sometimes special things get placed on the mantelpiece or in bowls - like the sea glass, I'm also partial to taping objects to the wall too!
We are currently making a section of our garden into a beach area. I like the idea of having a space to keep our finds that make their way home, especially the larger pieces like lengths of rope, driftwood or washed up floats.
Finally, what is your favourite flower?
It is hard to pick just one but I love the bright colours of poppies growing wild and hydrangea, the different colour variations in the flowers, through to the dried skeletons left behind in the autumn.
Thank you Caroline! Everything here resonates with me so much. I have a collection of sea glass on the mantel, bowls of shells everywhere... I must start to make collection photographs too.