Instagram, as with social media generally, attracts a lot of criticism for various reasons (narcissism, phoneyness etc), but I love it, especially since I started my shopping ban and stopped following online fashion retailers and (most) fashion bloggers on social media.
Instead I have - I hate the word 'curated', but it fits - I have curated an Instagram feed of people who inspire me with their creativity, positivity and kindness (and also people who make me want to kidnap their adorable pets, most notably British shorthair cats and greyhounds).
Recently I have been inspired by a few Instagrammers who create gorgeous nature and flower flatlay photos - check out Vanilla Lemon Cake and Charis in Wonderland, to name but two. I love, love, LOVE their work and decided I would have a go at doing something similar myself.
I wasn't overly thrilled with my early efforts, but I'm happy with my progress.
The photo above is from a few weeks ago. I picked the purple heart-shaped leaf from in front of someone's house in Richmond (it was overhanging the path). It was beautiful then and the colour and texture are still beautiful now even though the leaf is dried out. The background is printed card, not real wood.
The photo above and those below are from today. The flower in the centre of the photo above is an everlasting daisy I picked on the trail to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko when Luke and I walked it a few years ago. The lambs' ears are from the Botanic Gardens (ssssh!) and the lavender and spiky little balls were scavenged from front gardens in South Yarra.
Part of the fun of creating the flatlays is gathering the materials. I've turned into an urban forager, scanning footpaths, nature strips and public gardens for seed pods, gumnuts, feathers and all sorts of bits and bobs. Nearly every day I come with something I've found on my wanderings. I'm like a child, gathering little souvenirs from my travels. The acorns were collected beside the river on my walks to work (intact ones - with their little hats still on - were surprisingly hard to find). I found the spiky chestnut burr in the middle (along with two others) when I was meandering the streets of Cremorne today. It was in a laneway just off...Chestnut Street! I would have had no idea what they were if I hadn't just started following a chestnut farm on Instagram, which was mostly only because they followed me, but it's proved useful.
Here's the purple heart-shaped leaf from .above, all dried out (not that you can reeally tell). This collection also features dried hibiscus blooms and fallen flower buds from a laneway near my place and seed pods from the Botanic Gardens, which I first noticed because they were very crunchy underfoot.
It's just as well I have more energy now that I have to wonder the streets looking for flatlay stuff, #verandahseats and ghost signs.
Click here to see my Instagram pics.