Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Baby in the Studio.

I had such fun last week !

My friend Joyce brought over her five month old grandson Abe for a photo shoot.

I learned/relearned a few things about five month old babies:
  • They take a while to warm up to strangers
  • they put everything into their mouths.
  • they never stop moving . . .
Such a little cutie.

I've been so busy getting ready for this weekend's Christmas Open house that I haven't have time to go through all the pictures and do any editing, but this one caught my eye and I couldn't resist stealing a little time to edit it.

Check out Abe . . .

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Travel Tuesdays. Christmas Traditions

We are entering the Christmas season, one of my favorite times of the year.

Everyone in our family loves a good adventure, but at this time of the year the majority of our adventures happen at home.

My kids love family traditions and hold tight to all kinds of Christmas fun I thought they would have discarded long ago.

It makes me very, very happy. . . 

So without further ado, (or any of the cute collages I made in Picmonkey that refused to save and let me put them on my blog . . .  :( ) I give you our annual Gingerbread house build:

Does your family have Christmas traditions? How have they changed over the years???

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Getting ready for next week's Christmas Open House.

I was up until the wee hours of the morning earlier this week, designing my new calendar which will be ready for next week end's Christmas Open House Sale. (Nov 29-30)

Here's a sneak peak at a few of the pages.

Desk calendars will also be available.

These have most of the same pictures but not all.

A few of my favorite pictures didn't make the calendar, as for some unknown reason the files were too large to put in the program. If it hadn't been so late at night I might have persevered and found a way to make it work, but . . .

Maybe they'll show up in next year's calendar.

I'm looking forward to the Open House. I've been working on some cool new items and I'm also going to be joined by a few other amazing vendors.

I'll be spending time in the kitchen next week as Holly and I bake  lots of goodies for our guests.

Stay tuned for the flyer/poster which is coming out tomorrow both here and on Facebook with the details.

Can't wait to see you there!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Travel Tuesdays. A Spontaneous Adventure.

I mentioned in last week's Travel Tuesday post that it had been a while since I had been on an adventure, so, when one came knocking on Friday night, I opened the door.

 My friend Joyce  phoned me Thursday night.  Her cousin Lorraine was selling at a winter craft fair in Westlock which is about an hour outside the city . How did I feel about a road trip Friday night?

 You don't have to ask me twice! She even did the driving which made it my favorite kind of road trip. One where I didn't have to drive!

 We left the city a little later than planned, but had no problem chatting up a storm as we went.It had been awhile since we had seen each other, so we had lots to talk about. (Okay, okay, we would still talk up a storm even if we saw each other everyday . . .)

 Once in Westlock we had to do a quick web search to find out where the craft fair was being held. Imagine our surprise to find out we had missed the Santa parade and a festive dinner.

We hadn't missed the fireworks though!  They started at 9:30. Whoo Hoo! We love fireworks. For years it was tradition to head to her house on New Years Eve with the kids, hang out with other friends and their kids and enjoy an amazing fireworks display.

 First stop the craft fair.

 Lorraine's booth was near the front, so we headed that way  and before you knew it . . .we were chatting up a storm! Lorraine also has greenhouses and sells beautiful plants in the spring. Her greenhouses are a lot larger than mine, so it was great to get another point of view.

 It's 8:40. Whaaat?! "Joyce we'd better look around quick! they'll be closing in no time!"

 Ooooh, if you could see what I got! But you can't. Not until I get a sweet little newborn into my studio. . . stay tuned for that.

Send your pregnant friends my way if you can't stand waiting . . . ;D

 There was still a few minutes to check out a local store, who's name I've forgotten, something Joyce will never let me live down.  It's quite odd and she said it several times because it makes her giggle. Craziest place ever. But in a cool way. Cowboy boots and quilting fabric side by side, along with just about anything else you can think of.

 Crossing the street to the truck, we noticed another store with beautiful gift items. We were too late though. The owner was bringing the sign in. I mentioned how much I liked her store and that it was too bad I'd missed it.

 "You don't have to miss it. I haven't closed the till yet. Come on in!" We left with cool ceramic travel mugs (this one's mine) . . .

 and made it outside just in time to watch the fireworks.

 It was magical. And then it started snowing. Double magical.

I do love a spontaneous adventure.

 Thanks for taking me along on yours Joyce!

What about you? Have you been on any spur of the moment adventures lately?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Travel Tuesday. Learning a New Skill

I've been  tossing around ideas for today's post all week. It's been awhile since I've traveled or even made a deliberate effort to seek out an adventure 'at home'.

There just hasn't been time. Or, if I was totally honest, any real interest right now.

I'm too busy learning a new skill.

I love learning new things and for a long time this primarily revolved around gardening.

Which I'm still crazy about.

In the last two years however, a new love has overtaken me. It suffered a set back when my bout with cancer got in the way, but lately . . . it's been full steam ahead.

About a month ago Morgan made a trip to B.C. and was able to bring back a very special gift.

Back in the 80's my dad got into photography. He did portraits, weddings and what ever else caught his fancy.

 When my dad got interested in something he plunged in heart and soul, immersing himself in any way possible. (It's possible he may have passed that on to a few of his kids . . .) Over time he set up a studio in his basement, collected photography books and magazines galore,  and experimented with a variety of equipment and different types of photography.

COPD snuck up on him, making holding the camera steady first difficult and then impossible. He packed away his things and they stayed in storage for many years.

This past summer I visited my step-mom and youngest sister along with her sweet new baby and lovely husband.

Dad's been gone for two years now and they are trying to find new homes for all his many, many treasures. Linda wanted to gift some of them to me. She lead me to the garage, showed me two trunks filled with studio lights and then began digging through all the accumulated photography paraphernalia. There was a He was most active in photography during the film years so much of it I couldn't use but what I could? Filled the truck, back seat and passenger side of Tamara's Jetta.

Good grief! I flew to B.C.! How in the world would I get this home?

Enter Morgan and his trip to B.C. Somehow, ( and I'm not quite sure how), he managed to squeeze everything into his vehicle, along with two friends and their luggage and brought everything home..

Which changed my dream. As did an empty room.

New possibilities opened up.

This room is TINY people!

 At it's longest it's 11 1/2 feet. It's full of odd jogs. My blackboard wall  nook is 4' 8'' wide. Some of the room is 8' wide another little bit only 6.

I had first thought I was working with around 100 square feet. Math is not my strong suit, but as I thought about it, I realized that would suppose my room was 10' by 10'. Which it isn't. I could ask Henry to figure it out because math is his strong suit, but I'm afraid the reality might dampen my optimism.

Holly and Jesse pitched in and helped me paint everything but the backboard wall creamy white and Jesse did a fantastic job putting in new baseboards.

I am now the proud owner of what is likely the world's tiniest photography studio.

My studio lights are from the 80's and I can not find any information on them nor find replacement bulbs.

I have a window, but it faces my driveway and the side of the neighbor's house.

I am beyond excited. I believe that limits and challenging circumstances are what lead to creativity and uniqueness.

Which is good. Because I have a few of those . . .  (smile)

I have lots of plans for this tiny space and I was given the chance to try a couple out in the last few weeks.

First, my nephew needed a babysitter at the last minute and I was seized with inspiration the night before.

This is what came out of our hour together:

I had such fun I decided to look for someone else to practice on, so my friend and neighbor Theresa and her sweet dog Diesel dropped by. Jada was thrilled to see them as they are two of her favorite people/dogs in the world.

Here's what came out of that:

I still have this winter scene set up so if any of you have small kids and are willing to come over and let me practice on them, let me know.

Later this week I am going to travel for three days, but virtually as I attend a three day workshop on pregnancy and newborn photography that's filmed on the west coast in the US.

I am my father's daughter. And proud of it.

I miss you Dad.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Decorating the Front Porch for Fall

Looking at the snow on the ground, I'm thinking winter is here to stay.

I've decided to show you how I decorated my front 'porch' for fall anyways.

I tend to be pretty traditional, using hay bales, gourds, dried cornstalks and scarecrows to beautify my front porch.

This year I decided to try something a little different and I love how it turned out!

I used my concrete leaves, left over live moss, plants marked down to next to nothing at the end of the season, birch bark from Audrey, the awesome cedar boxes Henry and Morgan made me, mums from Tamara and my favorite little gargoyle. I've had him since the kids were small.

And of course I used my moss wreath as well.

How about you? Do you decorate outdoors for the seasons??
© A Life of Whimsey