Elma Family Kitty Living Arrows Photography

Living Arrows 2015: 1/52


There were so many things that I loved about I Heart Snapping’s Living Arrows project last year, from discovering and visiting so many wonderful new to me blogs to taking a gazillion or two pictures of my girls flying through the air on their favourite swings.  The contributor photos were without exception, stunning but as the year went on I found that much as I enjoyed seeing all the little ones playing and thinking and exploring the world, the photos that stuck with me were the ones that didn’t have any children in them.

Pictures of stuffed animals, of little figures left in the middle of some imagination, all the detritus of childhood left behind when the children have stepped out of the frame for a second.

And that’s given me an idea for my theme for this year’s Living Arrows.  Last year I tried to look for the pictures that showed the quintessence of childhood; the moments of my girls at play that are utterly timeless.  This year it’s not about them, but about their treasures instead.

I want to record the toys that they love, the games that they play, the little bits and bobs that Elma insists on carrying around with her in the little raffia bag that nursery Father Christmas gave her.  Because while right now I can’t imagine forgetting how much Elma loves stiring up conker soup in the play kitchen, or how much it hurts when you step on a conker that’s been pretending to be the carpet, I’m not sure that will always be the case, and these little things are as much a part of their childhoods as the days out, the afternoons in the kitchen or the trips to the park.

So let me introduce you to Sully.  Or as Kitty and Elma call him, “James P Cinnamon”, and sometimes “James P Cinnerella”.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

He was a present from my brother in law to H back in the era of the first Monsters’ Inc film and if his batteries are plugged in, the switch turned on and the button pushed he’s got a motion sensor and will lift his arms and roar at you if you walk past, the chief idea I suspect being to deter your parents and/or siblings from ever entering your room.  He used to live on top of a wardrobe at H’s parents’ house but when Kit spotted him on a visit north she decided she loved him and was going to take him home.  So home he came, and was duly installed on the corner of the bookcase in her room.  There was just one problem; she was absolutely petrified of his roaring (though she’s got a more comfortable with it these days) and he’s far too solid and mechanical to make a good cuddly bedfellow.

I’m not quite sure who first put a hairband on him; it may well have been Kitty, or it might have been an entirely unintentional move one evening when clothes and hair bobbles and their ilk got piled up on his fluffy blue head. But the habit stuck, he started to become the place where the hairbands lived; and a very good spot it is too, they can’t get squished or broken and they don’t fall off down the back of the bookcase either.  And then we discovered quite by accident that his horns make quite a useful spot to hold bobbles … as is his mouth.

Poor James P Cinnamon. From chief scarer to chief hairband holder – it’s a good job they discovered giggles were better than screams.

living arrows


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  • Alexandra @dontcallmestepmummy 05/01/2015 at 8:17 am

    Great photo. I love that he has become the chief hair band holder. So funny. My little boy is watching the original on Netflix as I’m typing now. Monsters Inc is new to us, he’s now 2. He’s also new to nightmares though, the world of a boy. I look forward to seeing your wonderful treasures each week 🙂

    • Carie 05/01/2015 at 10:33 pm

      Ah the joys of the first time you watch Monsters Inc – it’s sweet film, even with the scaring and I loved the sequel!

  • lucy at dear beautiful 05/01/2015 at 9:37 am

    This is such a lovely idea, and a great way to document the bigger picture of their childhood. I do often think that those bloggers who don’t photograph their children at all often get really creative about capturing the essence of childhood, which I don’t do as much because I’m too busy capturing ‘the people’. I’ll look forward to following your little series of still life shots this year.

    • Carie 05/01/2015 at 10:30 pm

      Thank you – I’m hoping I’ll be able to be quite creative with it. I’m always going to be taking pictures of the children but I thought that them but without them in the frame might be interesting!

  • Ickle Pickle 05/01/2015 at 1:00 pm

    Happy New Year! Fab photo – I LOVE Monsters Inc – Sully is my favourite x #livingarrows

    • Carie 05/01/2015 at 10:28 pm

      thank you – it’s a pretty popular film choice around here too!

  • Anna-Marie 05/01/2015 at 2:23 pm

    Oh this is such a fun picture Carie! I am a secret lover of Monsters inc!

    I have to agree with you, taking part in links like this opens your blog reading up so much! such wonderful blogs have been found through this little linky xx

    • Carie 05/01/2015 at 10:26 pm

      it’s the best isn’t it!

  • Mammasaurus 05/01/2015 at 4:02 pm

    Heh heh Jame P Cinnamon! Kitty has one the same, all pimped up too. I love that you are going to be documenting their treasures, really lovely take on it x

    • Carie 05/01/2015 at 10:22 pm

      thank you – and after Christmas I have no doubt that I can find 52 of them too!

  • Lauren 05/01/2015 at 7:36 pm

    That is such a good idea Carie. I can’t wait to see your photos for the year. You could have some real fun with it.
    I love this Sully, so much that I want him for myself. Loving that he is a good home for the hairbands! xx

    • Carie 05/01/2015 at 10:21 pm

      I think it could be rather fun to see what comes to the forefront of the pictures – and it’s a whole new way to welcome mess!

  • You Baby Me Mummy 05/01/2015 at 7:38 pm

    Such a lovely idea hun x #LivingArrows

    • Carie 05/01/2015 at 10:21 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • Vickie 05/01/2015 at 7:57 pm

    This is a wonderful extension of the Living Arrows idea Carie. I know exactly what you mean about wanting to remember the little incidentals that make up their childhood.

    I have to say James P Cinnamon wins for best toy name ever!

    • Carie 05/01/2015 at 10:19 pm

      It’s really funny – it’s rubbed off on the rest of the family too – we even call the one in the film James P Cinnamon – poor Elma and Pip are going to think that’s his real name!

  • Sarah (@tobygoesbananas) 05/01/2015 at 8:53 pm

    What a great start to your 2015 Living Arrows. It’s a lovely idea and I can’t wait to see what pictures you take as the year goes on.

    • Carie 05/01/2015 at 10:18 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  • Katie @mummydaddyme 05/01/2015 at 10:48 pm

    I love this idea Carie, I think sometimes the most powerful and poignant shots aren’t of people at all. I will look forward to seeing your little series this year. And my Mads would love that Sully! x

    • Carie 05/01/2015 at 11:15 pm

      I think you can tell quite a story through favourite things – from a picture of me you can see what I look like but if you took a picture of my studio you’d know a lot more about what it is that I love to do – hopefully it’s true for the children too!

  • Amy 06/01/2015 at 5:50 am

    Oh this is a brilliant idea! It’s funny because Monsters inc came out when my now teenager was little and it’s still going strong. Looking forward to seeing next week’s treasure x

    • Carie 07/01/2015 at 8:19 am

      Thank you – I think we were at university when it first came out so not quite the target audience but loved it all the same!

  • Emma 06/01/2015 at 9:51 am

    What a lovely idea. I often walk around our house smiling to myself at drawings, teddies with hair bobbles and funnily dressed dolls.

    Sully looks great with his accessories.

    • Carie 07/01/2015 at 8:22 am

      It’s wonderful what toddler’s imaginations can come up with isn’t it, and it’s those little vignettes left around the house that I want to capture!

  • Hayley at Shutterflies 06/01/2015 at 11:08 am

    Oh wow Carie, I love your idea so much! I loved seeing all your photos last year and I’m excited to see what you come up with over the next few weeks. I love that Sully has become a hairband holder for the girls!x

    • Carie 07/01/2015 at 8:24 am

      Well fingers crossed I can keep it up – it’s that or more pictures of the girls on swings!!

      • Hayley at Shutterflies 10/01/2015 at 1:04 pm

        Hey, I like the swing photos!

  • Emily 06/01/2015 at 2:46 pm

    What a cute twist on the project. I loved these types of pictures from my collect of last years images. Almost like their fingerprints left on the world. Can’t wait to see what you share Carie! Always an inspiration to me xxx

    • Carie 07/01/2015 at 8:27 am

      Thank you – it’s going to be fun trying to see our world through their treasures!

  • hena tayeb 06/01/2015 at 2:47 pm

    i love the idea.. he makes a great hairband holder.

    • Carie 07/01/2015 at 2:06 pm

      Thank you – he does look very well dressed – and that’s before we added any of the ones that have bows on!

  • Sarah @ let them be small 06/01/2015 at 8:27 pm

    great pic – and I love the idea of capturing the favourite toys x

    • Carie 07/01/2015 at 2:06 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • sally 07/01/2015 at 5:11 pm

    What a great idea, these things are deceptively easy to forget.

    • Carie 08/01/2015 at 9:00 am

      thank you 🙂

  • Donna 07/01/2015 at 8:32 pm

    Oh I love this picture and I love your focus for the year. Looking forward to seeing lots more photos x

    • Carie 08/01/2015 at 8:48 am

      thank you – I just hope I can make it work!

  • Baby Isabella 07/01/2015 at 9:34 pm

    Love the theme of photographing treasured toys. Great photo! #livingarrows

    • Carie 08/01/2015 at 8:43 am

      thank you – I think it’s going to be fun, and something a bit different just to change it up a bit!

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  • Carlin 11/01/2015 at 7:36 am

    I love this idea so much. I may find a way to integrate it into my photo project this year. I just took a bunch of pics of their dollhouse and it made me so happy. Looking forward to your pictures.