Suffolk Barn

Suffolk Barn is one of the most elegant, private and beautiful event venues I have ever seen.

Suffolk Barn is one of the most elegant, private and beautiful event venues I have ever seen. Click To Tweet

It is nestled in private parkland just outside the beautiful town of Bury St Edmunds and has a rich history dating back to the 1400s.

As a photographer, I have seen a large number of venues used for weddings, conferences, parties and meetings.

When I walked into this one to take pictures for Paul Farrow of Trimley Herbs, (who supplied the plants seen in the images below), the scene and atmosphere took my breath away.

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Trimley Herbs is certainly making an impact in Suffolk where brides-to-be are shunning flowers in favour of herbs.

Trimley Herbs is certainly making an impact in Suffolk where brides-to-be are shunning flowers in… Click To Tweet

Hawstead Place is the site of a breathtaking Suffolk barn dating back to 1423. The ancient barn underwent a spectacular transformation recently when a young couple dressed it out for their spring wedding reception.

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wedding herbs

Wedding herbs are the in thing for couples 'tying the knot' these days. However, herbs at weddings are nothing new.

There is a long tradition, dating back centuries, of herbs being used at weddings. When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, she  bucked the tradition of using herbs and started a new trend for flowers to be used instead.

The use of wedding herbs is, however, making a huge comeback.

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 See the stunning array of plants grown by Paul Farrow of Trimley Herbs. 

To start the slide show, click on the first small square image.

For details on what Paul does, click here to read about him in another post.

Trimley Herbs

Trimley Herbs

www.trimleyherbs.co.uk 

If you would like to contact Trimley Herbs, click on the above link to find details.

Forgotten people of the world are many and varied however, some of them have left clues that remind us they were once here.

Some clues are celebrated and looked after well so that future generations can understand who they were and how they lived.

Others are hidden away and left to the ravages of time and, to the rough hand of modern man who, it seems, just wants to forget that some people were ever here.

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Historic Jewish Burial Ground Neglected and Lost In a Sea of Cars


As people scurry around Ipswich in their cars, many will come very close to a site of huge historic significance. A site that even has a connection to Suffolk's celebrated, world-renowned artist, Sir John Constable.

However, many will be unaware of the sacred, historic burial ground where the remains of the town's once thriving Jewish community were laid to rest.

Why? Because despite the deep and interesting history attached to the site, it appears to be neglected and largely ignored as part of the town's rich and diverse heritage.

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Junk Jewellery

Junk Jewellery is an obsession with me.

Why? Because making junk jewellery is fun, inexpensive and helps recycle waste.

When people give me presents, I am just as grateful for whatever wrappings, boxes or tissue that come with them.

Only last month my lovely friends in Brighton sent me flowers that came with gorgeous red tissue.

After I had arranged the flowers, I set about turning the 'junk' they were wrapped in (the stuff people often screw up and throw away), into jewellery.

One of my favourite things to do is make something from the detritus of people's kindness and… Click To Tweet

My theory is, it will always remind them of their own kindness and let them know how much it meant.

So that is why I turned the tissue in the pic below into the junk jewellery you see bedside it.


 

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paper pendants

Paper Pendants made from food packaging are easy and fun to make.

You can also use your own abstract artwork to create the pendant front. The paper pendants you see above were made from card cut out of a cereal box.

They were shaped and moulded by a sophisticated technique which requires the most inexpensive tool in my craft room - an empty toilet roll tube.

And I created the channel through the back of the pendant, where the stringing material goes through, by using another amazing technique involving a skinny, flexible birthday cake candle.

Oh yes - I have all the latest crafting gadgets in my craft room!

Paper pendants made from junk are fun and easy to make. Click To Tweet

If you want to find out how I created these paper pendants, visit www.funcraftstodoathome.com where you will find a step-by-step video tutorial explaining how I use my very unsophisticated tools to create these bright, chunky and durable pieces of jewellery.

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metadata

It is good practice to remove metadata hidden in photos before you post any pictures on the internet.

This is especially true if you use smart phones or other devices that embed GPS information into the images. It may be necessary to remove metadata that reveals information about you, hidden in the pictures you post online. 

There are several different ways to remove metadata but I have found one very simple way that ensures all the recorded metadata has gone.

There are several different ways you can remove hidden metadata from photos but I have found one… Click To Tweet

In the above video, I show the method I use to get rid of unwanted metadata in my pictures before I post them anywhere online. This kind of data can be anything from what camera or device you used, to the exact location where you took it.

If the security of anyone in the pictures is an issue, for example, you may not want to publicise where your children live, then it would be important to remove metadata hidden in the image file.

You can also check to see if you can change the settings on your camera or device so that GPS data is not recorded. That way, the location will not be available in the first place.

However, if you are posting pictures you took while the settings were allowing GPS metadata to be recorded, you may want to get rid of it before you send your pictures out into the world.

remove metadata

How much easily readable private information is embedded in your pretty pictures online?

For more information about metadata myths v facts, click here.

For more insights into reasons why you might want to think twice before posting pictures online, click to read this disturbing New York Times article -  Web Photos That Reveal Secrets, Like Where You Live.

After reading that, you may decide you want to remove metadata and the private information it contains from all your images before posting.

The way I remove metadata is just one method.

There are many others.  I find my way quick, easy and very effective. I am not relying on an app to do it, I am removing the metadata myself  by creating a whole new document that has never been in my camera.

What are your thoughts on metadata? Do you take care to remove it before posting family pics? Click To Tweet

What are your thoughts on metadata? Do you take care to remove metadata before posting personal  photos online?

 

e mail scams

E Mail scams - have you ever been a victim of one?

I have had quite a few hilarious E Mail scams  come my way over the years. They have kept me entertained as I marvel at how such wealthy people (who can't wait to share it with li'l old me!) cannot get to grips with English grammar and the spelling of such simple words.

E Mail scams - have you ever been a victim of one? Click To Tweet

For example 'may I please to have mother her maiden name and you bank accunt information thank yo'

'may I please to have mother her maiden name and you bank accunt information thank yo' Click To Tweet

Er...let me think about that for a minute...NO! Oh ok then, my mother her maiden name be Rothschild and my bank 'accunt' information is 1234 GO FCUK YOURSELF!!!!!

Who are these people trawling the internet and sending out this crap to people? E Mail scams probably do catch out some people but I really have no idea how. Here is one I received just this week.

scam emails

I was a little offended that he addressed me as 'sir'. It made me suspect that despite wanting to give me lots and lots of his money, he had not spent time getting to know me well enough to realise I am a madam and not a sir. It also upset me a little that he thinks I did a 'kind respond' to him at some point. Could he be getting me mixed up with someone else?

Surely not because it sounds as if I am the only one he has sent this letter to. After all, I am the chosen one who obviously has enough financial expertise to successfully invest $10,600,00 USD on his behalf.

It was a little worrying that he felt the need to spell out $10,600,000 USD in words. It was almost as if he thought I may not be able to comprehend big numbers with lots of zeros.

It was a little worrying that he felt the need to spell out $10,600,000 USD in words. Click To Tweet

Well of course, I am in the habit of mistaking ten million dollars for ten thousand. I do it all the time when I am playing around on Wall Street. I have a box full of spare zeros that I removed because they were confusing me at the end of a sum. 

Well of course, I am in the habit of mistaking ten million dollars for ten thousand. I do it all… Click To Tweet

My maths teacher always said, if you have spare zeros at the end of a sum, don't bother asking me what they're for, just chuck 'em in this box and move on. He gave me the cutest little box and I never bothered him again.

My maths teacher always said, if you have spare zeros at the end of a sum, don't bother asking me… Click To Tweet

So, anyways - as the money was legally placed 'in international bank', I decided that this e mail was probably legitimate. I mean, had he put 'I illegally placed this funds in international bank', I would have been suspicious. And also, the poor chap had been ill.

Awww, my heart just melted. It must have been awful for him explaining to Bashar al-Assad that he was leaving his employment because of 'the world in general' and by the way, taking 'war equipment's' money with him (to give to me to invest). 

So, anyways - as the money was legally placed 'in international bank', I decided that this e mail… Click To TweetI expect that Mr. Assad said, 'oh yes, that's fine - I know her, she is eminently suitable to set up an engineering company in Asia because she did metal-work at school in her final year. Oh, and she does loads of different crafts. She is great a not bothering to use a ruler to gauge critical measurements; I am sure she would do very well in engineering.'

She is great a not bothering to use a ruler to gauge critical measurements; I am sure she would… Click To Tweet

 

Ok - so this stuff isn't really funny. These people are scammers who have probably conned lots of people out of money. So digging deeper into the meta-data behind the email, I found the info you see here in the screen-shot. 'James Angelone' - or whatever his real name is, seems to be connected in some way to an entity called connichi.de - with German connections.

scam emails

.de is the country code top level domain for Germany. Connichi, according to Google, is an annual 3-day anime convention in Germany, held by the German Anime Association. Anime is a term used for Japanese Animation. Their website is connichi dot de. (I have written dot instead of using . because I do not want to link to it.) You can see from the document above, that @connichi dot de is all over the meta-data behind the scam e mail I was sent. 

I am not suggesting that this entity is sending out scam emails but I am curious as to why their domain is all over the back end of an e mail I was sent offering me the chance to have $10,600,000 USD to set up an engineering company in Asia. It's just weird.

scam emails

If you look at the contact list from connichi's website, all the contacts have @connichi.de after them. If you look at my image of the backend data that I found when digging deeper into the hidden email meta-data, you will see it says (Authenticated sender: gewinnspiel @ connichi.de) 

I have no idea why that domain is all over the scam e mail but I would love to know. There may be an innocent explanation of course.

Oh yes, and when I Googled the meaning of gewinnspiel - I found it is German for 'competition', 'lottery', 'sweepstakes' etc. You know, the kind of words one could associate with scams if one was in a sensible mood. 

When I Googled the meaning of gewinnspiel - I found it is German for 'competition', 'lottery',… Click To Tweet

e mail scams

My e mail and the associated backend info have now been passed to the UK police department dealing with online fraud.

How about you? Have you been sent any hilarious scam e mails lately? I am just off to the bank to see if my 40% is in there yet. I expect it is because 40% of nothing, give or take a few zeros is...er...NOTHING!

http://content.met.police.uk/Article/Mass-market-fraud/1400010736273/1400010736273

http://www.actionfraud.police.uk