Elma Family Kitty

Siblings – in January


In a fat red leather photo album at my father’s house, in among the pages recording summers at the beach, sailing trips, and mountain-conquering holidays, there is a page of pictures of my sister and I, aged at most five and three.

It must have been the winter holidays, I’m wearing a delightful mossy green and white sweater, red track suit bottoms and my bowl haircut declares the 80’s to be in full swing. I’m lying on my back, the little blond bob of my sister (also dressed in a fetching array of handmedowns) tucked in under my chin as we both stretch an arm out to the camera, bubbling over with laughter as the shutter snaps.

They are sweet photos, no more than that, and precious only to our family. But more than the photos, I remember that moment. I remember it was twilight on a sleepy lazy afternoon, I remember that we were mucking about, practising our “ta-da” moment for the benefit of no one more than the wood lice who tried to live behind the sofa despite my mother’s best efforts, entertaining each other in a silly simple way in that lull before supper and bed. I remember Mum and Dad’s smiles and Dad’s quick steps down the hall to fetch the camera from their bedroom. And I remember the pictures coming back from the developer, the sorting, the decision making and cropping before they were pressed into place ceremoniously on their velvety sticky black background, and the film cover smoothed over.

I don’t know why my brain has retained that memory, when so many others have been buried in time, except that it was full of joy and sisterhood and love and that is always worth preserving, but it has.

I can’t force memories on my own daughters, but I hope that somewhere in all of the thousands of photos that I take of them, there will be a moment that crystallises in a similar way. A moment of sisterhood to stand the test of time.

I take pictures of my girls almost every day. Sometimes together, but as Elma has got bigger and far more into crawling out of shot and making a beeline for the stairs, it’s been easier to take pictures of just one or the other. But I don’t want to fall out of the habit of recording their togetherness, the moments of sweetness and calm, and the moments of chaos and “Mummy!! Elma has my Cinnerella!”.

I’ve been excited about the Siblings project since Lucy first asked me to get involved with it, and if anything, I’ve just got more and more bubbly about it as the weeks have gone on. It is so exactly what I want for this year (and all the rest to come).

I’ve had so many ideas about how and what I want to capture them doing, some of which I might manage to persuade them into over the course of the year but to start things off, and perhaps with the memory of my own childhood pictures in the back of my mind, I’ve pared it down to the very minimum.Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

No gimmicks, no props, minimal bribery (that’s a breadstick Elma’s munching on), no beautiful scenery in the background, and I couldn’t even talk Kitty into wearing a matching-ish blouse (although I’ll admit I did try).

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Just my daughters:

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Two little sisters, in January.

dear beautiful

It doesn’t surprise me in the least that everyone said yes to being involved in this project, and I’m honoured to be in some very illustrious company.  And for this inaugural month I’m sending you to Chloe who writes one of my very favourite blogs, Sorry About The Mess (such an awesome name!).  As well as being an incredibly talented photographer, she writes with such refreshing honesty you can’t help but feel that you’re sat at her kitchen table with a cup of tea, setting the world to rights, or having a giggle at the latest exploits of her gorgeous boys.  I can’t wait to see her pictures.

There are ten of us posting today, but there’s always room for more, so please join in the linky below:

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  • lucy at dear beautiful 10/01/2014 at 7:54 am

    Oh these are beautiful Carie. Simple and classic and so so lovely. Just shows how close they are.
    It’s funny, but so many of my childhood memories are wrapped up in things that I did with my brother. And ones involving him and I doing silly things and having adventures are definitely the most vivid. That’s probably why my own children’s sibling relationship fascinates me so much, I know the absolute gift they have in each other. x

    • Carie 10/01/2014 at 8:18 am

      I think we do try to recreate the very best of our own childhoods for our children – we want them to have everything we had in our own relationships and more, and I’m lucky that so far my two are thick as thieves!

  • Mammasaurus 10/01/2014 at 8:39 am

    So beautiful Carie!I love this linky already – after all it’s not just capturing images is it, it’s capturing snapshots of the feelings between them x

    • Carie 10/01/2014 at 9:16 am

      Exactly – it’s more about the relationship than what they look like, and I totally agree, this linky is going to be fabulous!

  • Jess @ Along Came Cherry 10/01/2014 at 8:44 am

    These photos are beautiful Carie x

    • Carie 10/01/2014 at 9:16 am

      Thank you 🙂

  • anna m 10/01/2014 at 9:23 am

    That’s so lovely to remember that specific memory so well. I remember too sometimes having our pictures taken as a sibling group, we used to get chairs and take them out to my grandmas garden for me and my sister to sit, then my brothers all standing behind, but that was a lot more posed! Your pics are gorgeous especially that last one! Love the idea of this linky so hopefully will come and join in each month. It’s the first time I’ve come across your blog I think, came through mammasaurus, so I will have a look around 🙂

    • Carie 10/01/2014 at 9:37 am

      Well welcome to this corner of the Internet – make yourself at home! We used to have a lot of posed family shots as well – Dad setting the shutter and running back to be in shot – but it’s nice to have the memories of everyday too!

  • Lauren 10/01/2014 at 9:40 am

    These are beautiful, as are your girls.
    I wanted to have every photo outside or draped with fairy lights and amazing backgrounds but laying on the floor was an easier start and the best way to capture them naturally. xx

    • Carie 10/01/2014 at 9:42 am

      You and me both! Maybe when the weather’s a bit better!

  • Double Trouble 10/01/2014 at 10:08 am

    These photo’s are lovely especially the last one, it’s amazing what you remember from your childhood.

    • Carie 10/01/2014 at 10:09 am

      Thank you – I think the last one might be my favourite but it’s hard to choose between them!

  • Lyn Collett 10/01/2014 at 10:39 am

    More utterly lovely photos. Not sure if I’ll be able to persuade my two to cooperate with picture taking but I’d definitely like to try. It might help to make the incessant “don’t hurt your brother” seem more bearable. I think my daughter is at a tricky stage in her relationship with her baby brother – he’s in to everything and taking toys now in addition to attention – and she vascilates wildly between loving him and hitting him (and often even the loving is a bit rough because, well, she’s 3. Sometimes though, they do play beautifully and have so much fun with each other. I always try to catch them enjoying each other and Baby Bird loves checking out the pics of her and her brother together. I often find her looking at them on my phone.

    • Carie 10/01/2014 at 1:35 pm

      Oh you should definitely try, it would be so much fun! Plus, if part of their relationship right now is the adoration/aggravation balance then it’s part of their story, and worth recording.

  • LauraCYMFT 10/01/2014 at 10:50 am

    Aww they look so cute together. I love the last photo. Very sweet.

    • Carie 10/01/2014 at 1:35 pm

      Thank you – it’s a miracle they stayed still long enough to take the picture!

  • Claire 10/01/2014 at 11:09 am

    That last pic is gorgeous! So sweet!!!

    • Carie 10/01/2014 at 1:39 pm

      Thank you 🙂 I think I might have to print that one!

  • Jess @ Catch A Single Thought 10/01/2014 at 11:15 am

    What beautiful photos, especially the last one. I look forward to seeing what photos you have lined up for the rest of the project 🙂

    • Carie 10/01/2014 at 1:40 pm

      Well that will all depend on what level of bribery and corruption I can bring to the mix!

  • Sonia 10/01/2014 at 11:16 am

    Such beautiful photos x

    • Carie 10/01/2014 at 1:44 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  • Michelle 10/01/2014 at 3:32 pm

    A lovely post, and gorgeous photos! x

    • Carie 10/01/2014 at 4:16 pm

      Thank you – this is turning out to be a wonderful linky!

  • Katie @mummydaddyme 10/01/2014 at 4:55 pm

    Beautiful photos of your two girls Carie, and some of my favourite photos of my childhood involve my sister. I love nothing more than looking through them all. x

    • Carie 11/01/2014 at 10:07 pm

      My Dad is a very keen photographer (I know, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree) so we’ve always had lots of pictures around and I love showing them to the girls – they never quite believe that tiny person turned into Mummy!

  • Keri-Anne 10/01/2014 at 6:16 pm

    Hello darling. I am a fellow contributor and i think this is the first time i have come over to your blog. Your two little ladies are such sweeties. I am going to be reading through your blog after i have done the commenting rounds 🙂 SO lovely to meet you x

    • Carie 11/01/2014 at 10:09 pm

      Well thank you (*blushes*) – welcome to our little Internet home, it’s lovely to meet you too!

  • Chloe 10/01/2014 at 8:01 pm

    Gorgeous light in these photos, Carie. Makes me want to run and get a shot of my two in this pose RIGHT NOW. Lovely way to show sibling closeness – that last shot is my favourite.
    And thank you so much for your kind words about my blog *blushes*

    • Carie 11/01/2014 at 10:11 pm

      You’re very welcome – I meant every word. I know what you mean about seeing other people’s pictures and thinking, must go take pictures now – this linky is going to be wonderful for photo ideas as much as seeing all the little ones grow up.

  • otilia - @romanianmum 10/01/2014 at 8:29 pm

    I love your picture especially the last two. The way your youngest looks straight into the camera and how your eldest kisses her younger sister! Perfect!

    Visiting via the #siblings project

    • Carie 11/01/2014 at 10:12 pm

      Thank you – it’s one of those moments where you think phew, I clicked at just the right time!

  • Claire 10/01/2014 at 9:59 pm

    Oh how lovely! The light! My sisters and I still make sure every few months we have a photo of us all together. It must have been instilled in us! lol xxx

    • Carie 11/01/2014 at 10:15 pm

      That’s such a great idea – I must see if my sister and I can start recreating a few now we’re all grown up!

  • Stephs Two Girls 10/01/2014 at 10:12 pm

    That last kiss one is just perfect. The sort of shot I would love to achieve! And thank you, as you’ve reminded me that I have a half-written post about my own siblings which I need to finish off and publish – maybe in time for next month…!

    • Carie 11/01/2014 at 10:19 pm

      Oh do join in next month – it is so much fun seeing everyone’s pictures and hopefully lots of people will join in each month so we can see all the little ones grow and grow!

  • Mummy of Two 11/01/2014 at 8:46 am

    A beautiful post and gorgeous, gorgeous photos.

    • Carie 11/01/2014 at 10:24 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂

  • Donna 11/01/2014 at 4:17 pm

    I love how honest these photos are – your two Daughters, as they come. As you say no props or anything. I love that! Perfect photos that capture your Daughters just the way they are – beautiful.

    • Carie 11/01/2014 at 10:33 pm

      Thank you – I think they’re rather special too – but then I am of course utterly biased!!

  • 3yearsandhome 11/01/2014 at 7:01 pm

    I love these photos, Carie. And you’re so right … you can have all these fanciful plans about what they’ll wear, where they’ll sit, how they’ll look, etc, but at the end of the day, their relationship is what it is and that’s what you’re photos have captured, two little girls that love each other. Natural and perfect.

    • Carie 11/01/2014 at 10:37 pm

      Thank you – although I’ll admit to a few plans for some props/bribery later in the year, especially ice cream!

  • Karen 12/01/2014 at 2:02 pm

    How pretty, gorgeous photos

    • Carie 13/01/2014 at 9:43 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂

  • Caro 13/01/2014 at 9:33 pm

    Aww I LOVE the 3rd one! Look how your littlie is pleased as punch by having a snuggle from her big sister!! 🙂 X

    • Carie 14/01/2014 at 9:14 am

      Thank you – I love seeing how much they just love being together

  • jane at the flight platform 14/01/2014 at 5:04 pm

    just lovely x

    • Carie 14/01/2014 at 9:11 pm

      Thank you so much, and welcome to this corner of the Internet!

  • Pregnancy-Mummy Diary 14/01/2014 at 9:34 pm

    Such beautiful photos.

    • Carie 14/01/2014 at 9:40 pm

      Thank you very much, and welcome to Space for the Butterflies!

  • Kelle 17/01/2014 at 6:58 pm

    The kissing one is beautiful xx

    • Carie 17/01/2014 at 9:22 pm

      Thank you, she just loves her baby sister to bits!

  • Camille 19/01/2014 at 8:16 pm

    Aww, what a beautiful post. And a good reminder to me that it’s about capturing memories, not getting them to look their best and smile at the camera at the same time.

    • Carie 21/01/2014 at 10:00 pm

      Thank you 🙂 – I figure I’ve got a whole year to get them to face the camera so there’s no pressure now!

  • hattydaze 20/01/2014 at 6:44 pm

    I just snuck in in the nick of time! What a lovely linky, I am already looking forward to taking part.

    • Carie 21/01/2014 at 10:59 pm

      Yay! It is a fabulous way to watch the children grow and change over the year!