Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Goodbye Garden Party

Nine years ago I started a business I'd been dreaming of for most of my married life.

A few months ago I said good bye to that business and, because I like to go all out no matter what I do, I threw a goodbye party in the garden where it all began.

 I thought it might be bittersweet. Hard to let go. Painful even.

It has been none of those things.

The best part of my business has always been my garden and I haven't lost that. If anything, my garden has become more precious to me, as it is once again a place of refuge, rather than  a portfolio of my style and skills.

Which is a good thing, because the crop of weeds I had growing didn't say a whole lot about my style and skills . . .

As a matter of fact, my next door neighbor, while commiserating with me on my inability to get ahead of those nasty opportunists, confided that she occasionally fantasied about getting out her rototiller!

Thankfully, my sweet husband okayed getting in some outside help, and Shyanne powered through both the front and back gardens in a two day long weeding marathon.

Which means the rototiller can stay where it belongs . . . next door! Whew . . .

Flowering has already started to slow down so I had every gardener's lament on my lips as the guests arrived "You should have seen it last week!"

Along with, "Have a glass of wine and something to eat!" of course . . .

I am so thankful for everyone who came and celebrated the end of an old dream and the beginning of a new one.

I had the loveliest time with all of you. My only regret is that I couldn't snuggle down into the sofa in the gazebo and have a long, leisurely visit with each and every one of you.

Perhaps what's needed are a string of intimate, one on one parties . . .

There's still  a little wine left.

If you couldn't make it, here's a virtual party. I wish I had more shots of the actual party, but, I was so busy enjoying it, I forgot to document it . . .

The sign of a successful party rather than a neglectful photographer???

Ahem . . .

Enjoy the party.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Morgan and Kim's Engagement Session

A while back, Morgan asked if I would take some engagement pictures for he and Kim.

I was honored. After all, how often do you get the opportunity to do something that special for one of your own kids?!

Of course, I had never done engagement photos, so a little research was required. Did they have a location in mind?

Fort Edmonton?! Ooooh I love Fort Edmonton! I have a season's pass! The possibilities for cute shots would be endless there!

I've done a few 'location' shoots now and for me the most important thing, aside from getting the good shots, has been that we have fun while we're there.

 I want to have the chance to play and laugh together. I don't want people to feel awkward and stiff, or like a bug under a microscope playing Simon Says . . . ( put your left hand here, your right hand there, look up, look down . . .) Not that I don't give a bit of direction mind you, sometimes your left hand just looks better when it's over there. I just don't want that to be the main thing going on.

We had a blast. I bribed Holly and Jesse to come along as assistants with the promise of lunch at the Hotel Selkirk. Jesse can always be bribed with the promise of good food. . .

We wanted to start out on the train, but it had left just as we got to the ticket window, so we had a bit of time to kill before the next one came.

I love riding on the train. We choose the cool car that Brad Pitt used when he was here several years ago, making a movie.

First stop, the Fort.

Kim hadn't been here in a while and as a history lover, wanted to check out everything. . .

My kind of girl!

We spent time in the park,

Played in the playground,

and ended the day with a bang. Or rather, a ride on an old fashioned Ferris wheel.

People . . . The Ferris wheel seemed like such a great idea . . . how cool would those pictures be???

I didn't think it through.

The seats on Ferris wheels swing back and forth. While you are way up in the air!

When I leaned forward to look at Morgan and Kim (and the ground faaar below) I thought I was going to throw up!  I decided right then and there not to lean forward again.


I contemplated yelling at the ride operators that I needed to get off. Now.

But no. Because what about the art? What about the cool shots I had envisioned?  The show must go on.

I had to discard more than a few cute shots because I was too chicken to lean far enough forward and my feet kept getting in the shot, but I did manage to get these . .

Of course, I had to be the last one off . . .

The things I do for my kids . . .

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Life of Whimsey Just got a Makeover!

This had been in the works for quite some time. I was never really happy with my last makeover and my efforts to fix things didn't work at all.

Truthfully, weirdly, it made me not want to blog. I felt so depressed looking at my blog when a new post went up, that, even when I wasn't crazy busy and had a little time to write I just . . . didn't.

I've tried learning how to change up the design myself over the years with very little success. I seriously doubt that coding will ever be in my future.

So, what can a bummed out blogger do??

She can turn to the professionals!

I've also been mulling over what to do about my photography portfolio site and found myself on Etsy time and again, looking for a new logo, or marketing packages that could help me find a 'look' that I loved and could keep for the long haul, rather than changing it out time and again because I was never quite satisfied.

I've finally done it!

With a beautiful photographer's marketing package from Brydka at Studio Bee Kay and the fabulous web design skills of Rita over at CoffeeShop Designs I'm finally happy with both my blog design and my portfolio site. Brydka included a ton of elements in her marketing package including a logo, Blog Header (which Rita made into a slide show!) cool frames and a Facebook timeline cover. She also added pretty much anything I'll need for marketing once I'm ready to go from amateur to professional photographer. (I'm aiming for early next spring . . .)

It's all just so pretty and I'm pretty sure you'll be seeing me here more often. Don't forget to check out all the fun links on the menubar under my header. Rita did a fabulous job with that as well!

I'm a huge 'do-it-yourselfer' but sometimes . . . it just makes more sense to turn to the professionals!

Thank you ladies for giving me this  beautiful design and all the tools I need to 'do-it-myself' going forward. 

You are awesome!

So . . . what do you think? Do any of you find it more difficult to work in a less than appealing environment or is it just me???

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

It's time for a change of pace . . .

There's been a lot of photography stuff going on lately and I thought it was time for a change of pace.

It's been ages since I've posted about baking and I figured today was the perfect day to remedy that. (aside from the 27C temps.)

When I know I want to get baking done on a hot summer's day, I make sure I get up early and open all the doors and windows to cool things off before I get started.

It's been busy around here and there have been a few too many spontaneous trips to the grocery store for goodies, so the other day I was determined to do a little baking.

I got this recipe from my mother-in-law years ago and it's one of my favorites. I get three loaves at a time, they stay nicely moist for a few days and, as with most homemade goodies, they satisfy you for a lot longer than a couple of cookies out of a box.

So. . . without further ado, I give you Cinnamon Loaf . . .  (a big thank you to Idelle Peters for the lovely ('recipe card'!)

And, if,  like me,  you like to see how a recipe's supposed to come together you can check these out . . .

Ta Da!!!


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