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#Review of Better Blogging With Photography by Terry Webster Schrandt

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Terri inspires the reader with this wonderful quote right at the beginning setting the tone for her clear, concise and friendly little book:

Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.’ Bruno Barley.

Isn’t that the absolute truth? It’s remarkable how the medium of photography can draw people together from different cultural backgrounds in a common moment of wonder. Curious, I googled Bruno Barley and found these stunning examples of his work: Pinterest examples of Bruno Barley’s photography. Wow, I just love photography!

Terri kicks off her book with a simple premise –  Why? Why use photography on your blog? The answer, is of course, simple – images draw attention, interest, break up text, make your blog post more interesting and memorable.

She adds tips on how to –

  • Create an engaging profile.
  • Ways to make your sidebar design attractive.
  • How to design a defining header.
  • Adding widgets and not overloading your posts with too many images.

Terri warns about the dangers of using images without consent on your blog even if the images happen to be from friends, and particularly if the photos are randomly found on google.  The Rule is: Always get written consent – though an email will do.

There’s an interesting section on how to use old images and give them a new lease of life. I read this part with great interest.  Recently, I created a scrapbook of images for my dad for his birthday, (the first few photos you can see here,): My Instagram page Kyrosmagica

Then Terri mentions how to find free images for your blog via sites such as Canva and Picmonkey, both of which I have used, and recommend.

There are chapters on how to:

  • Crop your photos, edit, add captions, size and add watermarks. Again, I was particularly interested in the section on watermarks as this is something I still have to try…  Terri suggests using tutorials on Pinterest and picmonkey.
  • Organising images, in storage solutions such as Dropbox, which I still have to investigate.
  • Participating in or holding photography link parties and joining in photo challenges, such as  Norm’s Thursday Doors. I enjoy taking part time permitting…
  • Using quotes to inspire, creating blog banners or blog badges. Here’s the link to the tutorial and other excellent blogging suggestions via Diana’s Adventures: Dianas Adventures – Tips for new bloggers
  • A section on photo-friendly social networking sites such as Instagram and Pinterest, plus a fantastic resources page.

Would I recommend it? Are you kidding?  Most definitely. I just wished I’d read this book years ago when I started blogging – it would have helped me so much. I found out the hard way how to do much of what Terri mentions, but I still have a lot to learn.

Don’t forget to follow Terri on Instagram: Terri Webster Schrandt – Instagram

If you’d like to follow me on Instagram too, LOL… (cheeky personal plug,)  – find me here:  My Instagram Page: Kyrosmagica

My rating.

A richly deserved 5 stars.. 🙂

DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

 

 

Before I fly off to take some photos to add to my Instagram feed let me point you in the direction of this wonderful free resource from Terri: Second Wind Leisure – How To Get Hundreds of Free Photos for Your Blog

Bye for now, photo enthusiasts!

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#Instagram Cheat Sheet Infographic…

I’m fairly new to Instagram so this Infographic from the Story Reading Ape blog might just come in handy.. thanks Chris. 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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#WeekendCoffeeShare: Brighton Celebration

 

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If we were having coffee I’d say it’s lovely to see you again. Would you like a coffee, or a cup of tea? We’d both decide on a tall glass of latte, a milky froth of gorgeousness. I’d invite you into my sunken lounge and I’d play a little ditty on the piano for you. It would be just a few notes as I’m no maestro! We’d laugh and then I’d tell you all about my week. I’ve had so much excitement this Easter break that perhaps I need some herbal tea to calm me down rather than a cup of hot frothy coffee!

This will be a long chit chat so get comfy. If you’re a beach, culture, shopping vulture and a book fan I’ll sure you’ll enjoy it, so settle down on the settee next to me and let me tell you all about it.

It was my mum’s birthday on the 2nd of April. We were invited to her birthday get together in Brighton! What fun, I just love spending time with family and visiting Brighton. We had our very own tour guide – my eldest daughter is a student at Sussex University in Brighton.

There were many highlights of our stay and being a keen writer I’ll hope you forgive me if I use a few titles to create a bookish atmosphere.

The beach, the seafront, and the pier. When I arrived with my two daughters the sun shone, (so knowing how changeable UK weather can be,) we took no chances and headed straight for the beach. There was no hint of the later evening rain that would arrive. We braved the seagulls and had our lunch on the seafront. Chips with everything! Our lunch was simple, just hamburgers and hot dogs and chips but it tasted wonderful -perhaps it was the sea air. We sat by the children’s mini fairground which was a bit of a mistake… it was a tad noisy!!

I took some photos of the pier and the seafront on our last day – but it wasn’t so sunny, and it was really quiet!

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The Royal Pavilion. This was breathtakingly beautiful inside and out. So if you are ever in Brighton make sure you actually go inside – it’s well worth the admission fee. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. The decor inside is sumptuous, full of chandeliers, dragons, a grand piano,  a drummer boy clock,  the Rock Clock, and Chinese Court official figures made out of unfired clay. There are many magnificent rooms to see: a Long Gallery,  the Banqueting room, and Banqueting room Gallery, the Great Kitchen, a Saloon, a Music room,  The King’s and Queen’s apartments …..  We hired an audio guide device so that we could find out all about King George IV – he was quite the lad – he had lots of mistresses and kept this palace as his pleasure pad when he was young.

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After all that sumptuousness we took a detour to go shopping making our way through the lanes.

The Lanes. Cute little shopping alleys. These are well worth wandering down and discovering what they have to offer. In general, Brighton is a pretty good bet for shopping, whether it’s the usual chain shops you’re after or something a bit different.

People Watching. I’m a terrible Nosy Parker -it’s a requirement if you write! Opposite our hotel window I spied a covered seated area. I spent some time peering out of the window wondering about the people who sat there. It wasn’t a bus stop, yet people sat and did the most extraordinary things, thinking that they were unobserved! HA HA!! One young lad spent all his time picking his nails, biting them and fidgeting – perhaps he had just fallen out with his girlfriend? Or maybe he was on his way to a job interview –  who knows…. I have to say when he left and a paper bag took his place I was a bit disappointed! Still there was the wide expanse of beach to observe – a man walking backwards and forwards with a metal detector caught my attention. I saw him two days in a row, one day on his own and the second day with a reluctant younger person, (perhaps his grandson,) who was carrying a spade. I wonder if he found anything?

The Crack in the Ceiling. Oh, before I forget to mention this! Let me tell you about our room. It had a fantastic view of the seafront but it had this sinister crack in the ceiling.

Well that crack came to haunt us.

It all began when I stepped into the shower. Suddenly I heard my daughter shouting for me. I wondered why she was bothering me while I was in the shower. Couldn’t she wait until I’d finished? No. She couldn’t. And with good reason as it turned out! It was an emergency!

Water was flowing out of said crack onto our hotel room floor!

It took her a few attempts to make me hear her. Realising that this was an emergency I quickly grabbed a towel, and dressed. She phoned for help. To their credit a member of the hotel staff came very quickly,  while my hair was still dripping, (it kind of reminded me of a Carry On film, with me just out of the shower,) and offered to upgrade us to a better room. Which we did! Luckily the new room had no cracks, and there were no more incidents. Though the lock on the door didn’t work, but this is no impediment to ghosts! The Old Ship hotel is a very old hotel………apparently the violinist Paginini stayed at the hotel in 1831. His playing was so mesmerising that it was rumoured that he sold his soul to the devil! Later I discovered random items of our clothing that hadn’t been anywhere near the dripping ceiling had managed to get wet. Somebody was playing a devilish game! Namely, my daughter’s coat, and my bra. Both were very wet. How strange.

I was beginning to think The Old Ship Hotel was haunted and its resident ghost was playing a trick on us!

The Rant. We hired a taxi to take us to a Korean restaurant as my dad isn’t quite as fast on his pins as he used to be. On the way there a four seater cab arrived instead of a five seater. I managed to squeeze in the back.

Luckily the journey was short, but when I opened the door I fell out!

No harm done. But the rant really started on the way back. We hired a taxi to take us back to the hotel. This large vehicle appeared with ample seating area but …… there was a high step up to the cab. When we arrived at the hotel the driver didn’t help my dad out or open the door for him – I thought this wasn’t very kind – he is a very sweet silver haired fellow, aged eighty seven. So I asked my daughter to do so. The taxi driver spent all his time on his mobile phone, (I hope it was hands free.) In fact I couldn’t see what he looked like, and then he charged us double the cost and didn’t help. UGH…. Why are some taxi drivers so unfriendly and unhelpful? Sorry rant over…  Then on the way back we got another taxi back home as my hubby was away and couldn’t pick us up. This guy seemed polite and helpful but pretty silent. No conversation. I noticed his badge looked odd. His face had been erased from the photo. Faded by the sun perhaps? Or was he an axe murderer? I’ve been reading too much Stephen King recently… I really must give horror a break. Back to YA for a while… yes and no. More about books later …..

The Last Day. We went down to the pier on the last day. Here are some more of my photos,  including family ones, and an embarrassing one of me in a woolly hat with a pom pom on top! Keep on scrolling down if you want a laugh!

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The Final Story – alias what am I reading?

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Ravens Gathering. At the moment I’m reading Ravens Gathering, a thriller from our very own Graeme Cumming at  http://graemecumming.net/

and :-

The Yearbook Committee. A YA novel by Sarah Ayoub which I won via Jade @ Scatterbooker:  https://scatterbooker.wordpress.com/. It arrived on the morning of my departure to Brighton, (all the way from Australia,) so I took it with me to the seaside! It is a very chatty book, so if you like a lot of dialogue this book’s for you!

I took a photo of it in my hotel room for  my Instagram account with a cute folded towel and toiletries:

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Two very different books, but I’m enjoying them both – more about these two to come.

Now here’s my Instagram photo of Full Dark No Stars:

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Full Dark No Stars. I’ve just finished Stephen King’s short story compilation, and that Swiss Dark Chocolate Mountain bar didn’t last long!  Full Dark No Stars was awesome but could seriously give you nightmares. The chocolate was delicious!

Oh by the way the lovely Jade@ Scatterbooker is doing a university Instagram project:

Bookstagram Wiz :’Bookstagram Wiz and our aim is to set up a community for #bookstagrammers on Instagram, Tumblr,Twitter.’

So do support Jade in her project. She’s an Australian gem, here’s a link to her blog to find out more: https://scatterbooker.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/bookstagram-i-need-your-help/

Anyway my youngest daughter and I are now back home safe and sound. My eldest is back at University. By the time we arrived home it was time for dinner but I didn’t feel like eating and neither did my daughter. We had eaten so much while we were away in Brighton that I couldn’t stomach another drop. Well I lie I had a cracker and cheese and that was pretty much that.

So that’s about it apart from whisking my daughter off to Ely to get her prom dress fitted. It’s a bit overly long. Like me she’s petite. It looked really pretty when the seamstress had pinned it up. I shall be doing a Prom Fashion feature about that in July so keep an eye out for that.

Hope you enjoyed my Weekend Coffee Share post, sorry for hogging the conversation. I’m back to work next week, so no more excitement for a while….  sigh… Oh I lie…. one more exciting event to come. This weekend I’m helping out at the Literary Festival in Cambridge so more about that in my next Weekend Coffee Share post.

What about you – have you had an exciting time recently? Have you read any good books?Visited anywhere interesting?

 

Weekend Coffee share is a coffee link up and chat post via Diana at Part-Time monster. Here are her links to find out more:

All about Weekend Coffee Share :http://parttimemonster.com/weekend-coffee-share/

Link up to the Weekend Coffee share blog by clicking on Diane’s blog, Part Time-Monster, there’s a blue link: https://parttimemonster.com/category/weekly-features/weekend-coffee-share/

Bye for now.

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Marje@Kyrosmagica xx

Top Ten Tuesday for 05/04/16

The Top Ten Bookstagram accounts to follow. A reblog via Jade at Bookmuffin.

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Top Ten Tuesday was originally started by The Broke And The Bookish, where a topic is given every Tuesday and the blogger then produces a top ten list of books to fit the weekly subject. The topic this week is ‘Top Ten Bookstagram Accounts To Follow‘ so here it is:

1. @acupofteaandagoodbook

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Simple yet gorgeous bookish photos, great for finding your next favourite book!

2. @readbooksread

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Lovely compositions and links to her amazing BookTube

3.@commasandampersands

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Everything is just so pretty and colourful!

4. @devin.reads

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Basically a bookworm’s story in pictures, this account is one of my absolute favourites.

5. @_myfictionalworld

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Books and props which go together perfectly

6. @bookstorefinds

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Another amazing account with amazing compositions and props

7. @bookwormboutique

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Bookworm merchandise so beautiful you’ll want to buy it all

8. @dropandgivemenerdy

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Mum and bookworm, and the two combine most admirably in her photos!

9. @alyssaisreading

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Photos so…

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A Leisurely Sunday Breakfast: Oh La La!!

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My friend Hugh invited me to join in on his Breakfast photography challenge, a recent idea after he and I joined Instagram.  I usually have a bowl of cereal, a cup of bog standard tea and bite into an overripe banana, but today to make it a bit more special, I chopped up the overripe banana, and arranged it nicely. Then I decided to go French, and have a croissant and jam. It looked nice on a flowery plate but I reckoned it needed a  few finishing touches, so I added a bit of pot pourri, a few leaves of my begonia plant, a fun Halloween apple with a bug in it, my favourite mug, which also happened to have apples on it, and not just any old tea but red bush vanilla! But, it still didn’t quite look right so I rummaged in my fridge to get the strawberry jam out, and I put a huge dollop on top of the warmed croissant, crowning it with a single slice of banana. I love bananas so that seemed appropriate, the crowning glory in my leisurely Sunday Breakfast!

Result: Oh La La!!

It was very tasty, though I didn’t eat the begonia leaves, pot pourri or the bug, no I had to draw the line somewhere.

Everyone else is still fast asleep, the house is silent. No snoring, rumbling, nothing. This is unusual. I keep on waking up so early, my mind is too active! I reckon it’s all those scary books!! In fact this morning I had that annoying dream, you may have had it? The dream in which the door bell rings in the early hours of the morning and wakes you up. Ugh, how inconsiderate, especially on a Sunday. Nasty dream, never mind, I had a lovely breakfast and now I can write. So that’s a plus!! When my hubby and daughter wake up it will be croissants all round!! I shall have to do an Instagram virtual croissant for my eldest who is at University in Brighton. She will be gutted.

Here’s a link to Hugh’s blog to join in this fun photography challenge: http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2015/10/10/hughs-photo-challenge-week-1-what-did-you-eat-for-breakfast/

Do you have a favourite breakfast? I know that I had mine many years ago when I was in Malaysia, I couldn’t quite reproduce it today, sorry Hugh. If I could I would! It was a large chapatti style pancake with a spicy sauce for dipping, loved it!!

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

Instagram: Kyrosmagica Style

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Hi Everyone.

I have an important announcement to make Kyrosmagica is now taking its first delicate steps into the …… unknown …. new civilisations … space dock….. no only kidding, I’m partaking in the delights of Instagram.  You will probably have noticed by now that I love taking photos. All sorts of weird and wonderful things catch my eye, even fabulous ceilings like the one above, so I will be posting my favourite inspiring images and sharing them with you.

There will be something for everyone, I hope!

Whether that might be pretty trees, colourful flowers, tasty food, (I love my grub,) lovely places, candles, clocks, crystals, and of course bookish/blog related posts. Stolen cats (yes, I might need to pinch some as I don’t own one, a serious setback to an Instagram user. Any cats free for a sitting? You know who to contact, details below.

So please do follow me on Instagram too, this is a new endeavour and this empty handed lover of cats needs all the support she can get, help me crank up my follower notch a little if you can. If you do I promise I will purr….. I can’t wait to connect with new followers on Instagram and see all your lovely photos from all over the world. Already I’ve discovered some wonderful photos locally here in Cambridge, and further afield in exotic faraway places.

So do join me on this journey.

Yesterday with this in mind I went out on my first Instagram specific photography jaunt, the weather wasn’t what I’d call optimum, it was a bit of a grey day, it could have been sunnier but nevertheless I managed to get a few photos without being rained upon.

I have lots of ideas planned for my Instagram page and I am very excited about this!!!

Funnily enough I saw another person taking a close up photo of tree bark, I reckon she must be a keen Instagram enthusiast too! Either that or she is studying botany. At about the same time I nearly took a photo of my feet walking but I saved that gem of wonderment for next time!! Don’t laugh, people do this on Instagram all the time!

One particular image that caught my eye was a simple blue balloon that had floated up to the top of the ceiling in the shopping centre in Cambridge, and was trapped there. Can you imagine what that child’s reaction must have been when it floated away? No doubt tears were shed. I guess it might have been a birthday balloon, it looked shiny and fancy. I loved the contrast of the round, blue balloon, against the crisp lines of the ceiling structure.

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Here’s the rest of my selection from yesterday, which you can see on my Instagram too, most of which have an Autumnal/Halloween theme:

Starting off with some candles on display in a shop, I love candles, tea lights, and aromatic delights so it’s not surprising that these featured.

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Some Lush Halloween Bath Bombs perhaps, I love my smellies!

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This colourful tree by the colleges and other pretty spots in the park on the way to Cambridge town centre caught my eye too:

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It does look kind of deserted doesn’t it? There were people around but they kindly moved out of the way for my photography stint!

And did I mention that I like to eat? I think I did. This window display at Patisserie Valerie made me halt in my tracks. It’s enough to make anyone’s mouth water!! So have a cake or two on me ………………

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Hope you like them!!!  Napkin anyone?

Thanks so much to all my lovely followers for continuing to support me in all that I do here in this blog, on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Goodreads, and now  on Instagram. It means so much.

Keep on smiling, hugs, bye for now….

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

You can follow me on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kyrosmagica

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/20419289-marje-mallon

Tumblr: http://kyrosmagica.tumblr.com/

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