salt & wind | ADELAIDE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER




This magic happened on a windy summer day.  Beach weddings in Adelaide are beautiful and filled laughter and love and light.  Looking to book a wedding in Australia?  Inquire here!

Where would you dream wedding be held?
/ adelaide wedding photographer, adelaide beach wedding

xx

acaciarachel.com > click to view my updated portfolio and new website design!

ACACIA



I am inspired by fresh and natural living.

- on this blog you'll find -


a touch of minimalism
a dash of simplicity
plenty of advice
 artistic endeavours (I'm passionate about creating little things)
and some pretty photographs


I'm Acacia, 17.  I'm a self-taught artist and portrait photographer, as well as being a constant traveler; Canadian by birth I've lived in New York, Montreal, England, and am currently residing in Australia with my mum, dad and 5 younger brothers + sisters.

I love -

Jesus
light spills
the scent of the open air
art museums 
downtown coffee shops

I fall in love with moments and I never, never want to give up.




space for thought


in my room 


my favourite moments are filled with laughter. 


hold


pops of colour 


ace&jig clothing inspired watercolour 


the runway (a recent shoot) 


blurred


swim


melbourne


alexandra


"There are sights too beautiful to swallow. They stay on the rim of the eye; it cannot contain them."
  Olivia Laing, To the River 

Some shots from the past few months. have a wonderful weekend! 
xx acacia

morning muesli



Hellooo new series! 'Fresh breakfasts', in which I (hopefully!) inspire you to create and eat delicious and very nutritious breakfasts. 



This delicious breakfast leaves me energised and refreshed, ready to face a busy week!  

Add:

1/2 cup plain/greek yogurt
1/4 cup almond or dairy milk
1/3 cup oats
1 chopped nectarine
1 sliced banana 
(alternatively use fruits and/or berries of your choice)


Drizzle 1 teaspoon of honey on top and coat with 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (chia seeds are a complete protein, which are essential for healthy hair, nails and skin - they’re amazing source of calcium, zinc and Omega 3!).  To accompany, sip a steaming cup of hot water with lemon juice - a refreshing and tangy start to your day. 


Enjoy! x

NUTRITIOUS & DELICIOUS SMOOTHIE


(...and if you have some, add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds)


Packed with nutrients -- potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Omega 3 and more -- this smoothie is an energising snack or delicious start to your day (I had it for breakfast this morning!). 

makes around 3 cups

3/4 cup fresh or frozen berries 
half a banana 
3/4 cup of chopped spinach, chard, or silver beet
1/2 cup plain or Greek yogurt
3/4 cup chopped nectarines, peaches or plums 
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon chia seeds 


optional: 

heaped teaspoon oat bran
heaped teaspoon wheat germ
teaspoon of cinnamon or nutmeg


blend together, pour and enjoy! 


do you have a favourite snack?
xx

a recipe for a relaxing day

  


THE WORLD IS MINE; BLUE HILL, STILL SILVER LAKE,
BROAD FIELD, BRIGHT FLOWER, AND THE LONG WHITE ROAD
A GATELESS GARDEN, AND AN OPEN PATH:
MY FEET TO FOLLOW, AND MY HEART TO HOLD
 EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY


mix together:

+  now is the time: not then, not there, not when. we rush to see what tomorrow holds when we should be eager to anticipate now.  be present.   

+ open your Bible and read 3 pages.  learn, meditate, soak and breathe in the words.

+ take a bubble bath and listen to music

+ do the following exercise routine:  25 jumping jacks, 15 crunches, 10 push-ups, 20 burpees. repeat if necessary. perhaps exercise is not relaxing at the time but exercise reduces stress!
+ accomplish 5 things on your to-do list and make a don't-do list as well.
+ splash paint on paper (abstract art will do!), write for 10 minutes or make something with your hands. 
+ do what you love doing most. 
+ try this relaxation breathing technique: breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7, breathe out for 8 ...repeat.
+ make an omelette, pancakes or your favourite food (then invite someone over for dinner!)
after many days of hot very weather, rain is drizzling down my window and our home is humid and cosy - relaxation at its finest. make the most of today; wishing you all a relaxing weekend!
what do you do to relax? 
xxx

some exciting news


on my desk 


an ocean wash, where we spent my 18th birthday.


his cheekiness. 


covered. 


undecided 


sneak peek: smoothie recipe coming soon! 



Guess what's coming in the mail?

A NEW CAMERA!!!
Hip, hip HOORAY! 

I've just sold my old camera (a Canon 1100d/T3) and a new one is on its way (Canon 7d with 30mm 1.4 lens).

Also, changes are underway!  I'm slowly making adjustments to this small space.  I hope to weave watercolour, photography, lifestyle, food and how-to posts which promote a minimalistic, fresh and natural approach to life.  With a new camera, I also may be doing a few photo shoots with friends and sharing them here.  I'm excited to just do it. 

Thank you for tagging along on my blogging journey; each one of you mean the world to me. 

Have a lovely week!

Acacia xx

psst: Pop on over to my Facebook page for more regular updates on my photography.  


MELBOURNE



 

 My mum and I popped into Melbourne the day before my birthday.   We rode on the trams, watched bicyclists rush past, took pretty pictures of skyscrapers, bought mangos and passion fruit, ventured into potentially one of the world'd largest H&M's outlets, ate a delicious lunch, got lost, asked for help, missed our stop, and hitched a ride to the right station with the loveliest lady and her two daughters.  We adventured well, to say the least!   

What places are on your to-visit list?  I'd love to visit New Zealand. 

xx

PS The first & second picture? Pumpkin pizza and greek salad, which we ate seated at a small restaurant on one of Melbourne's quintessential cobbled roads. Still can't get over how crazily delicious the pizza was. 

A STUDY OF COLOUR, PINK + PURPLE




1. soft, baby toes
2. asparagus at Melbourne market
3. pinning together
4. breathing
5. roses on a summer day
6. curled up in a blanket
7. fluttering
8. glances
9. heat
10. tiredness
11. plush
12. pastels

 My bedroom is white with richly-coloured pages of a Degas calendar by my bed, anklets and necklaces hanging on the wall, inspiration and watercolours and pinterest images taped above my keyboard piano, and my bookshelf crammed with books of almost every size and colour.  I love colour and adorn it wherever I can.  

This little project is dedicated to celebrate the beauty of colour.  Even small hints of colour -- like the pink and purple featured in these photographs -- can change the way you see something.  

Life is pretty with pink and purple.  What is your favourite colour?

xx

SIMPLE, DELICIOUS PANCAKES



These pancakes are scrumptious.  Whip them up in less then 30 minutes and treat yourself!  I love waking up in the morning to the smell of pancakes, so this morning I decided to whip up this rendition of simple but incredibly delicious pancakes.  


Makes 12.
 PART 1 
1 1/2 cups milk
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups self-raising flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/3 cup caster sugar
25g butter, melted

Pour milk, egg and vanilla into a bowl and whisk.

Using a sifter, mix bicarbonate of soda and flour into a seperate bowl.  Mix in the sugar.  

Make a well in the centre and add milk, egg and vanilla mixture.

Stir until just combined.

PART 2
Heat a frying pan on medium heat.  For a healthier alternative to butter, dash around 1 teaspoon of coconut oil on to the pan.  Plop your pancakes onto the pan using a 1/4 cup measurement and wait to flip until bubbles begin to appear on the surface of the pancakes. 


PART 3
Topping suggestions:

lemon/lime juice & sugar 
maple syrup
honey
bananas 
berry juice 
Greek yogurt 

What do you love to eat breakfast?

xx Acacia

The day



"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."
― Annie Dillard 


1 
 just hundreds of metres from the ocean, in melbourne, australia, i'll turn 18. who would have guessed?!

2


3
It’s happening all too fast.

Growing up.  

University.

18.

Life.
4

 Life rushes past and I hold my breath.  I try not to sink.  I sprint faster.  Breathe.  Sprint again.  Breathe.  When can life switch from sprint to marathon?  Paced and steady.  Slowly, life is winding down.  I just finished this semester at university.  Switching to marathon mode. 
5
 I am because He is. 
6
'How to do nothing' by Kinfolk  
life is pieces of the ocean, drops of raspberries, a touch from the sun, a breath of longing, sighs from the wind.  life is warped and tangled but real, honest and true. 
8

"Stop comparing where you’re at with where everyone else is. It doesn’t move you farther ahead, improve your situation, or help you find peace. It just feeds your shame, fuels your feelings of inadequacy, and ultimately, it keeps you stuck. The reality is that there is no one correct path in life.  Everyone has their own unique journey" Daniell Koepke 



9
 turn my eyes from looking at worthless things and give me life in your ways. 
psalm 119:37 



In other words, I've just finished this semester at university (cue clapping and dancing); it's almost my birthday; I lacked inspiration to post so I wrote a list of discombobulated thoughts and threw in a few photographs I've taken; I'm also really inspired by the idea that how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.  

How are you doing?
xx





THE BE PROJECT, V. 6 / be you


There is an art to everything in life. 


the art of laughing
the art of crying
the art of breathing
the art of questioning
the art of answering
the art of complaining
the art of rejoicing

the art of nostalgia 
the art of emotion
the art of beauty

the art of past
the art of present
the art of future

the art of being
the art of you 

There is an art to you. 




Stop trying to be someone else and to act a certain way.  Be crazy, wonderful, mundane, ordinary, complex, interesting, hilarious, stylish you.  You were created to be you. Embrace that. 


“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

-Dr Suess 





THE BE PROJECT, V.5 / be grateful



I remember hot summers by the stream and laughing hard at the dinner table when my dad made a joke and the sound of suitcases being pulled in the airport and cousin sleepovers and the smell of chlorine on my hair and dark nights and watching the stars and tea parties in our basement with my dolls.  Some of the greatest, grandest and happiest moments of my childhood were the simplest, smallest, most innocent moments. 


Today is a plethora of small moments and gifts waiting to be opened.  Unravel the small beauties in each day, saying thank you.



It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.  -LAURA INGALS WILDER 

TRAVEL with Carlotta Cisternas



Today I'm thrilled to share a short interview featuring Carlotta. God led Carlotta to an au pair opportunity in Nairobi and she has been there for the past 5 months; she heads home in less than a month.  From travelling essentials, trying moments, trusting God, and encouraging lessons (alongside her beautiful photographs!) Carlotta shares her journey and her heart. 


In terms of makeup, clothing, food, and books, what are your travelling essentials this year?  
Less is more. When you travel for 6 months, you naturally simplify. I've been using coconut oil religiously on my face and have simplified my makeup routine to just eyeliner and mascara. My wardrobe consists of basic pieces that I can mix and match. I didn't bring any books other than my Bible with me because space was tight, but you can almost always purchase inexpensive paperbacks at your destination. I would also recommend bringing some sort of protein/energy bars when traveling! Traveling is exhausting but there isn't always time or opportunity to eat.








Was moving to Kenya harder or easier than you expected? 
Both. I underestimated the homesickness that would hit me in the gut almost immediately, but adjusting to living in Kenya was easier than I'd anticipated. When you first move a foreign country, you have to live day to day, otherwise it will be too overwhelming. And as far as culture shock goes, I've had it easier because I live in Nairobi, which is the most developed and metropolitan city in East Africa. There are good days and bad days, though, and they come in waves.




What tips would you share to someone travelling overseas alone for the first time?
It can be scary, but don't let yourself think about all that could go wrong. Enjoy it! Traveling alone teaches you a lot about yourself and it's fascinating. The hardest part is leaving, and once you get past that, you'll be alright. You are stronger and can withstand a lot more than you think. 





What has God been teaching you having lived and flown ‘solo’ for a while? 
He's been teaching me the importance of community. He's made me more relaxed and easy going, allowed me not to sweat the small stuff. He's taught me about home. Most importantly, though, he's taught me about himself.


Is there a particular memory or life-lesson that you be taking home from your journey to Kenya?
It's hard to say what will stand out until I'm back home, but God has made me a stronger person in Kenya. He's smoothed out some of my rough edges and has built my faith to be stronger than ever. I never knew what it was like to fully trust in Jesus until I was sitting in my apartment sobbing because I felt so weary and lost and sad. He's tenderly picked me up over and over and given me grace day after day. I suppose I've truly learned that even when I'm alone physically, I'm never without his strength and guidance. 





Where to next?  Has this journey made you want to travel even more? 
I'm not sure where life will take me next! I don't think I'll ever lose the travel bug, but I've also realized how important coming home is.





Assuming this trip required a lot of bravery, courage, and trust in God, how would you recommend building that sense of bravery and trust?  
Well first off, I'm not brave or courageous. My strength is 100% from God and he has worked wondrouslymiraculously in me. If you follow where God leads, he won't let you down. There's a wonderful quote by C.S. Lewis in which he says, "I know the words ‘leave it to God’ can be misunderstood, but they must stay for the moment. The sense in which a Christian leaves it to God is that he puts all his trust in Christ: trusts that Christ will somehow share with him the perfect human obedience which He carried out from His birth to His crucifixion: that Christ will make the man more like Himself and, in a sense, make good his deficiencies. In Christian language, He will share His ‘sonship’ with us, will make us, like Himself, ‘Sons of God’." 


all photographs taken by carlotta 

Thanks, Carlotta, for the opportunity to interview you! 

Where have you travelled?
xx



Q&A


For sponsorship enquires or further questions please email me at felicityacacia(at)gmail(dot)com.  I'd love to hear from you! x Acacia
WHAT CAMERA DO YOU USE?
I use  a Canon 1100D (T3) with the 18-55mm lens and 50mm 1.8 lens.  I shoot in manual 95% of the time, and most of my images were taken with the 50mm f/1.8 lens.

All photos taken and published before June 20, 2012 were taken with a Fujifilm Finepix J38. 




COULD YOU GIVE ME SOME TIPS ON HTML AND DESIGN? 

+ Be you. Design something that you're inspired by.  You want to be recognised as who you are through your blog andthrough your design. It also really helps to occasionally get your blog designed by an experienced designer -- they'll most often be able to create something that you love. 

+ If you don't already have an account, get a pinterest account and pin away all your favourite design buttons, headers, etc.  Gather inspiration then select which images/designs inspire you most.  Then use those images and design as the basis of your new design. 

+ Google, google, google. You'll find a plethora of HTML tutorials on Google -- youtube also helps!  I've learnt a lot through HTML and design tutorials on blogger. 

+ Start simple with a white background, Times New Roman font, simple header, and a few beautiful colours.  Then build your blog from there; add pretty sidebar buttons, freshen up your header with a splash of watercolour, etc. 

WOULD YOU CONSIDER RE-DESIGNING MY BLOG FOR ME? 
In the past, I have undertaken a paid design job with a client; so I'm afraid it would be unfair to give a free blog design to you and not to others. But if you're willing to spend a little something, I'd be happy to give your blog a 'freshening up' for $25-$30 depending on how much time I spend doing it. :) Gracie Jean designed my current (2014) blog design. 

YOU'RE CANADIAN, YOU'VE LIVED IN AMERICA AND ENGLAND, AND NOW YOU'RE IN AUSTRALIA...?!
Yes!    I was born in Canada and lived in New York for most of my life.  Four years ago we moved to England; and from there, my dad got offered a job in Australia; so, now we're in Australia.  I have five younger siblings, born in the different countries we lived in; but we're all Canadian by blood. :)



WILL YOU GUEST POST FOR ME ON MY BLOG? 

As much as I'd love to entertain your readers, keeping up with posting here is enough.*  In addition, I'm busy with other things in life -- like university, church, photography, etc.  I'm trying not to let blogging/time on the internet get in the way of those things (even though it far too often does!). 

*Pop me an email if you're interested in doing an interview with me.  



WHY DON'T YOU POST PICTURES OF YOURSELF?
My parents agreed that if I started a public blog, I wouldn't share pictures of myself for safety and privacy.
HOW DO YOU EDIT YOUR PHOTOS? 

I now use Lightroom 5 and VSCO film pack 01.   ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BEFORE MARCH 2014 WERE EDITING USING PICASA. 

WILL YOU BE MY PEN PAL?
If this question applies to you, thanks for your offer! However, I can't accept as I'm busy writing to Lindsey in Kansas and a few other of my local friends in England.


WHAT OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA SITES ARE YOU ON?  
Have a peek at my pinterest account and my photography Facebook page!


DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS ON SHOOTING IN MANUAL? 

1) ONLY allow yourself to shoot in manual; pretend there is no other setting; that way, you'll have to/be forced to come to grips with the settings. 

2) Setting your ISO to auto -- 
but manually adjusting shutter speed -- lessens the chance you'll have a grainy or underexposed photo; unless, of course, you want a particular dullness or brightness to your photo.  An ISO of 200 is average, especially during the day. When it's dark, I recommend using a higher ISO (e.g., 1600+). 

3) The higher the number of shutter speed (2000, for instance) the darker and more stable your image quality will be (it's best to have a higher shutter speed when it's bright outside). A slow shutter lets in a lot more light (so setting your shutter on about 200 when you're inside in the evening is a good idea!). A slow shutter is also really good for fast motion blur images. 

4) Play around. When you wake up in the morning and your camera is beside your bed, pick it up and play around with the manual settings - just have fun! Or, when you don't have anything to do, just pick up your camera and mess about with the settings. That's what I did! And now I only ever shoot in manual. 

5) Aperture… I could go on for ages, but I'll let this post explain the rest. :) 





WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE FOR YOUR ART AND DO YOU HAVE ANY TECHNIQUES? 


PAINTS:
+ I mostly use 'Windor and Newton' Cotman Watercolours; they produce beautiful, raw, and high-quality colours.
+ Occasionally I use 'Daler and Rowney'  Watercolours -- their colours are unique and also really lovely...

BRUSHES:
'Proarte' White Nylon for watercolour in sizes:
+10
+6
+1/2 (flat brush)
+'Nobel' size 8
+'Daler-Rowney' A485 Round size 1 (I use this one a lot for fine and detailed work; it does a spledid job.

PAPER:
I tend to use plain old watercolour paper which you can find it at most art stores.  Actually, I was given my watercolour paper for free, so as far as I'm aware it doesn't have a brand name -- it's just 'watercolour' paper!  :) I also occasionally watercolour in my sketch book, but sketching paper doesn't hold the paint as well, hence why I would not suggest using sketch paper to watercolour on, unless it's a quick sketch/paint that you're not going to fuss over a lot.

TECHNIQUE:
+ I've explored with mixing colours a lot, and knowing the colour wheel well and discovering how to produce your favourite hues is extremely beneficial when it comes to painting.  I used the ARTistic Pursuits art course (and another one of their art courses) and learnt a lot about creating colours - primary, secondary, tertiary and how mixing them can produce a variety of beautiful, subtle, or vibrant hues.  

+ When it comes to copying a painting, I normally start with a quick pencil sketch then I watercolour over.  If I make a mistake with the watercolour, I have a wet/dampened tissue next to me, which I use to wipe the mistake away.  

+ Also, I set relatively high standards for myself.  For example, the other day I painted the face of a young girl.  In the end, the painting was OK, but just not cutting it for me... in the end, I threw it out!  By setting sort-of high standards for myself, I end up painting more and producing quality rather than large quantities of not-so-nice paintings.   Obviously, I don't throw out all the artwork I don't like.  I just don't like painting sloppily; if I paint something at all, I mine as well paint it as best I can! :) 

+ I copy a lot from works of other artists.  This way, I learn a lot about the way they paint and their techniques.  Oh, and why not have a peek at Julia Kuo and Inslee's work?

+ Read about great artists (Leonardo DaVinci, Rembrandt, VanGogh, Monet) and study their work; be immersed in beautiful and honest artwork and visit art galleries and paint from your heart; draw the way your feeling - your mood - and incorporate artwork into everyday life. 

A  N  Y     M O  R  E    Q U E  S  T  I  O  N  S ?    I can't guarantee a speedy reply, but feel free to shoot me an email at felicityacacia(at)gmail(dot)com

THE BE PROJECT V.7 / be adventurous


Today’s BE project is slightly different; I share the story of our journey to Australia with you as well as offer travelling advice. 



 December 2013.


 "Two months ago we arrived in Australia.

 Our 21 hour flight was safe and smooth; we did took a layover flight to Singapore and it was lovely to have the journey split in two and adventure and explore.  

Singapore was brimming with an authentic Asian feel.  Small and clean cobbled roads were crammed with meat stalls and colourful booths selling Asian silks.  Singaporean noodles and sauces ribboned its smell across the streets.  Humid mists lazily floated and palm trees wavered in the midst of a booming city.  The city dazzled with lights, sky scrapers, endless roads, flashing advertisements and bright yellow taxis.  Unfortunately, one out of the two days we spent in Singapore were spent being terribly sick thanks to greasy Singapore food and jet lag.

Today we’re in Australia and it’s 87 degrees fahrenheit.  We’re on the other side of the world, enjoying a repeat of spring and summer, but Christmas won't be Christmas without snow, sleds, cold and hot cocoa.  Despite the heat waves, it is nice to leave the dampness, rain, and chill of England behind.

Since our arrival in Australia, we've seen many weird and wonderful creatures.  We were driving around in a suburban area and my 9 year old brother spotted a huge lizard (20 inches long) in the middle of the road; my dad screeched the car to a halt and we pulled over on the side of the road.  A few brave ones clambered out to have a peek; unfortunately, the poor lizard was almost dead (let’s not get into the gory details but the lizard was still rolling his eyes).  This past Sunday, as we were enjoying a Sunday drive in a rural part near us, a joey was meandering around in the field right next to the road.  We all oohed and awwed through the car window, even managing to wake Caleb, our baby brother up, in our exclamations of 'Oh, the joey is just! so! adorable!".  My favourite creature was the koala, who, in a completely ordinary neighbourhood, was sitting high in a tree with his legs crossed, his arms hanging on either side of him, and his eyes slightly closed.  I imagined him reviewing The New York Times and sipping a cup of coffee, which was totally applicable to him.  Another not-so-nice instance involving creatures consisted of a broom, a very nervous and frantic me, and a hairy thing with eight legs.

We've been in Australia for two months and are slowly settling in - we've found wonderful community groups, met fellow homeschoolers, been to the beach, familiarised ourselves with a few local neighbourhoods, swam in a pool and the ocean, learnt a few Australian catch-phrases, and tried kangaroo meat!"


BE ADVENTUROUS >> some travelling tips 

-- Trying to figure out what clothing to pack?   Start from the top of your body and go down, figuring out which items of clothing or accessories you’ll need as you do so.

-- Carry an easy-read book or magazine along with you. The Great Gatsby, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Be the Miracle and The Great Brain are a few of my favourites. 

-- Moisturise your skin; flying for many hours dries out the skin (I recommend Nivea or Nuetrogena cream).  Drink lots of water as well. 

-- Take 500mg of Vitamin C to help fight off any germs (you can buy a bottle of vitamin C for a cheap at almost any supermarket) 

-- Plan ahead of time; stay within your budget and know what you want to do and where you want to go. 

-- Document your journey through text and photographs. You won’t regret being able to look back and remember little moments from your travels.  




THE BE PROJECT, v.4



BE INSPIRED / TO WRITE 

Each one of us owns a river of inspiration.  But sometimes that river is parched, empty, dry and dusty.  Is the river dry because every last drop of inspiration was swallowed, up and out?  Was inspiration left stagnant and unused?


Break boundaries, open up to the sea.  Your writing does not have to be ‘good’.  Write — complex, hilarious, simple, or mundane will do — but never let my writing has to be like this seep into your mind.  When what you do falls short of your expectations, and you claim you can’t do anything about it, you’ll most likely leave it be, only to become parched and dusty. 


Unlock your writer's block and freshen your mind by doing these things: 
take a brisk walk around the block

shut down your computer, hide your phone


write a to-do list and accomplish three things on it by the end of today


make these yummy pancakes
 

 
visit an art museum 


watch a good movie 

take one hour each day to do what you know you need to do but don’t want to do


complete tasks as if there were no tomorrow: ‘now or never!’

make yourself a delicious cup of tea or coffee 


What are you waiting for? Pick up that pen, pull out that keyboard, open up your laptop, smear that ink, tap those fingers.  And write.