Hi! How has your weekend been so far?

I’ve been well. Life is glorious this summer, and I’ve been getting my swimming, sunshine, kids and friends time in.

I’ve also become enchanted with two forms of social media, Instagram and Vine. This, for me, is surprising, because I’m not usually the biggest fan – useful though social media can be. However, these two platforms have been feeding my deep love of the visual image, creative challenges, and treasure hunts (more on that in my next letter).

Here are five of my favourite admittedly super-feminine Instagram feeds so far:

Local Milk: a southern writer with a cast iron skillet & a camera takes incredible and stylish. Expect lots of whites, deep shadows, weathered wood and a gothic otherworldly feeling.

Feeding my love of ephemera, snail mail and care packages in the form of carefully arranged still lives: The Love Parcel.

Blooms of Nigeria: these women are commissioning beautiful tribute illustrations for each of the 180 kidnapped Nigerian girls whose names are currently available to the public (over 300 are missing). Although they are not a charity fundraiser, they direct everyone wanting to donate money to support girls’ access to education worldwide to Girl Rising.

August Wren has committed to a yearlong project. A painting in her sketchbook, everyday, 30 minutes a day. Her images – exquisite, feminine, surprising.

Finally, I’ve been having a ton of fun participating in Susannah Conway’s Instagram photo challenge. Called August Break 2014, it’s a daily treasure hunt of imagery that you can take and post on instagram. Then you tag it with #autumnbreak2014 so others can see. If you click on that same hashtag, you’ll be able to browse and admire everyone else’s attempts.

Oh yes – and you can find me and follow me on Instagram at www.instagram.com/janellehardyart

As always, I am so curious about what you think… Have you fallen down the Instagram rabbithole? Participated in any photo challenges?

Until next time,

Janelle

ps – I’ve got an instagram photo challenge coming up in the fall! More details soon.