Monday, November 23, 2015

The Adventure Photo Shoot Contest winner!

Way back in May, when I launched Whimsey Photography, I held a contest to celebrate. The contest was for an Adventure photo shoot at Fort Edmonton Park. Winners got free entry into the park and 15 free images of their adventure.

Nelena and Mark were the winners and, as Nelena was expecting a baby, she asked if we could wait until the baby was born before she claimed her prize. After the baby's arrival, a few bad weather reschedules and a long wait for me to get over my bout with shingles, they finally got their photos. 

I'm so glad it all worked out in the end. Fort Edmonton is one of my favorite places which is why I choose it as the place to celebrate my business launch.

I had two assistants that day in Holly and Kim. I knew extra hands would come in handy with the baby and his pamphernalia. We went early to scope things out (and enjoy the Fort as Holly and Kim are both big fans as well.)

It was such a lovely day. The weather cooperated and the kids were awesome. I really do miss spending time with kids now that I've retired from bus driving so I'm always happy when I get a chance to play with some.

I'm not going to write about our adventure, rather, I'm going to share the photos along with the fusion video which tells the story in such a fun way.

Thank you Nelena and Mark for allowing us to enjoy such a great day with you and your kids. They are all adorable. You are blessed with a wonderful family

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Remembering Spring

We had snow yesterday and I've got a winter illustration on the go but I wanted to remember spring one last time . . .

I took a photo from this spring into Photoshop and did a little digital magic. I love the skills my Photoshop Artistry course is teaching me.

I hop you are all having a lovely week.

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Monday, November 2, 2015

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programing . . .


Some how, even though you've had your birthday party and know in your head just how old you are, you never really believe that you, yes you, really are, middle aged.

I certainly don't feel as though I'm any older than, say, 35 . . .

Which means, even though you had fully intended to get the shingles vaccine when you turned 50, and your 50th birthday came and went . . . in your heart you're still in your 30s and there's lots of time for vaccines . . .

Self delusion has it's price. In my case that price turned out to be a nasty case of shingles.

I'm in week 4 now. The huge stacks of books beside my chair have gotten shorter and shorter over those weeks. Henry has been beyond sweet about my inability to get any thing done. As a matter of fact, he even went so far as to recruit Jesse to help him wash the sink loads of dishes that had been piling up.  Something that disturbed Jesse so much ("Mom, dad did the dishes with me and it was just, so . . . weird . . .") that he resolved to keep the kitchen clean so it never happened again. (To bad that resolve didn't stick . . .)

I'm on new medication that seems to be helping a lot more and the doctor figures this shouldn't last longer another three weeks. (although he made no promises.)

It's been an interesting, albeit painful, time. I'm being told once again to slow down. Once again I wonder why I seem to be such a slow learner in this area of my life . . .

I don't have the answer. I get the lesson, slow right down and then, before I know it, I'm whizzing along at top speed again.

So, as a way to try and let this lesson sink in a little deeper, and to make a concerted effort to take life at a slower pace and savour each small thing that comes my way, I've signed up for another still photography class with Kim Klassen called My Still Sunday. I was inspired to take it after I read her beautiful blog post here.

I love still photography. Everything about it makes me happy and November 8th can't come soon enough.

In the mean time lesson 20 in my Photoshop Artistry Awake class just went live. I love, love, love this class. Our teacher is an awesome, generous and inspiring man and my classmates are as well. My friend and class accountability partner, Sharon, is the loveliest woman. She encourages me, teaches me and reminds me that things happen in God's time and according to His plan. How wonderful is that?!

The lovely digital art card you see at the top of the page was made for me by Sharon. Isn't it beautiful?
And I wonder . . . am I the only one has so much trouble learning these life lessons? (I sure hope not .) Or do you too find yourself learning the same lessons over and over . . .
I'd love to hear your story.

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Monday, September 21, 2015

What getting Henna looks like

I posted a photo on Instagram last week showing the beautiful Henna I had done to celebrate 3 years cancer free.

It occurred to me that some of you might wonder just what it's like to have henna done, so I decided to show you.

We (Holly, Kim and I) were all fascinated by Maaike's work when we walked by her booth at the Thorsby White Barn Farmers Market  a few Saturdays back.

Henna by Maaike (click to get to her Instagram)

 Something I learned the first time I had my hands hennaed, was that henna has been practiced for over 5,000 years and some sources say even as long as 9,000 years! Because henna has a natural cooling property, desert people would make it into a paste and cover their bodies to keep cool. Over time they began to make beautiful patterns with it as well. It has been used by many cultures and the art of it is now available for anyone who loves to wear beautiful things.

I love the idea of celebrating such a special occasion with art I can look at for weeks on end. The best part is, it's not a tattoo. It's not permanent and each year I can have a different, beautiful design.

We sat and chatted with Maaike and her friend and were able to just enjoy spending time together as mom and daughter/in-law. It was a really lovely afternoon.

I made a very short little video showing you the fun we had.


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Friday, September 18, 2015

The Bredenhof Family

I have Martin and Leona and their lovely family up on the Sessions blog over at Whimsey Photography.

Pop over and check them out. We had such fun together . . .

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Apple Cupcakes . . . The way to a teacher's heart.

You all know the phrase 'The way to a man's heart is through his stomach . . .' ?

That actually applies to all of us doesn't it? I mean, is there anything better than something delicious and homemade, that's been cooked or baked for us by someone else??? I don't think there is. Or at least, very few things are.

Kim and I wanted to do something fun and tasty that kids could bring to school for their teachers or that moms or dads could make for their kids, to brighten up the long school day.

Kim found some cute ideas on Pinterest which we adapted to our liking and made some really fun, yummy cupcakes.

I used the 'Classic White Cake Recipe' from Rosie Dyakin's 'Butter Baked Goods' cookbook as well as her 'Butter's Famous Butter Cream' icing recipe.
Click to go to Butter's website

I hate to say it (because I love Rosie's recipes) but I think I still like Martha Stewart's 'Italian Cream Wedding Cake' recipe better. (But I love Martha too, so it's all good!)
Click to find cookbook
I love my cake to be soft and moist and Martha's has buttermilk in it so the flavour's a little more complex as well. But, that's all about personal taste.

So, without further ado, I give you my 'Apple cupcakes' . . . video tutorial.

Enjoy! And if you make them, I would love it if you would head over to my Facebook page and post a picture or two or your creations!

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Something's cooking in the kitchen for back to school week!

Going back to school can be pretty crazy and hectic for everyone, parents and kids alike! All the rushing around making sure lunches are made, back-packs are packed, and kids are ready in time to catch the bus can make even the most efficient and organized super-mom feel a little frazzled. And we can't forget the homework, sports practice, and various other extra curricular activities that happen after school! Who really wants to make a super fancy dinner with all that going on? I know I wouldn't! Which is why we've done a little research and found (and tested!) a quick and easy meal idea!

Scrolling through Pinterest counts as research, right!?

Introducing the Chicken Pot Pie Braid!

What really appealed to me about this recipe is that besides being quick it's also a really good grab-and-go dinner, and it doesn't make a ridiculous amount of dishes dirty so its relatively easy on the clean up! Another added bonus is that there are plenty of short cuts you can take to make it even more hassle free. For example, we used a pre-roasted chicken from the grocery store instead of cooking our own, and we used pre-shredded cheese.

I would add some salt and pepper to the filling when I make this recipe again, but I like my food to be thoroughly seasoned, so that's just my preference!

All in all,  I have to say that the simplicity and tastiness make this Pinterest recipe a winner!

Click the find recipe Here

We'd love to hear what you think of this recipe!


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Melenoma. It's been three years . . . Annual test results are in . . .

It seems like yesterday and at the same time it seems like forever, since I was first diagnosed with melanoma.

Most days I don't think about it all that much. My leg, while it will never be what it was, gets me where I want to go and even lets me garden on my knees these days.  When my camera is in my hands I don't even think about my leg, even if I'm photographing a wedding for hours on end. It still acts up after I've been really busy, but I've been blessed by the fact that I can set my own schedule. I know that after a busy day on my feet I will spend the next day doing much quieter things. I'll hang out in my chair with my leg up and read books or watch video lessons on various aspects of photography. (On extra special days, I'll do 'research' for my fantasy digital pieces by watching The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings. Ahem . . .)

But these last few summers, as I get close to the time to have my annual x-ray, ultrasound and blood tests, I find myself feeling . . . a little uncomfortable. Kind of like there's a low level buzzing going on. I don't actually realize what's happening, I just feel like everything is just a bit too busy, too noisy, too out of control. I become overwhelmed much more quickly and peace gets harder to find.

Then it's time to take the tests and I wrap myself in God's promises as I visit the labs.

My melanoma doctor is wonderful. You know how normally when your doctor orders tests they don't call you unless there's something wrong? 'No news is good news'? My doctor's belief is 'No news is no news.' His office always phones with test results! Mine is good news once again. No sign of cancer recurring anywhere.

And then I realize where that discomfort and overwhelm came from. And that, for another six months I can let it go. (My check ups are every six months. Full on tests are once a year.)

This year, as I've been taking my Photoshop Artistry course I found my self creating things that showed how I felt, even though I didn't really acknowledge where those feelings were coming from.

It's oddly comforting. I made this piece after the news really sunk in . . .

Life is vibrant and filled with hope.

I had made it originally to match several others I had been working on and it love  the 'quieter' version as well but, something about the beautiful vibrancy, light and texture in the first one really appeals to me today.

Version one
These pieces were made while I struggled with those uncomfortable feelings of everything being just a little bit too much:

I find it interesting to see the differences in what I made.

 It's becoming clearer everyday that this is going to be an ongoing journey. I will never get rid of those 'uncomfortable, everything's too . . .'  times in my life becuase we are still living 'in the world' with all the hardship and sorrow that sometimes brings.

And that's okay. Because no matter how I feel, or what's going on around me, I know where my help comes from. That peace, and the joy that comes with it, are enough.

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Back to School and a little Gift

I can't believe the summer is over already! I had so many things I was going to do, so many new things to learn, fun places to go, new plants to try in the garden.

 Some of those things happened, but my 'To Do' list always seems to be based on desire and enthusiasm rather than any kind on realistic possibilities.

It's not just me is it? Please tell me you also get to the end of your summer with a list you've hardly put a dent in, wondering how in the world 8 weeks could go by so fast . . .

It's gotten even odder for me in the last few years, now that I no longer have kids in school and I'm not driving the school bus. (I used to be able to calculate exactly how many days I had before school started based on how vivid my 'First day back to bus driving' dreams were. Got to school a little late . . . still had a good four weeks of holidays left. It took me a day and a half to get from where my bus was parked to dropping the kids of at the school's front door . . . Only one sleep left . . .)

So, to celebrate all those kids getting back to school tomorrow with their crisp new notebooks, binders and newly sharpened pencil crayons, Kim and I had fun last week with a few 'Back to School' week projects. I've started things off by making some cute little cards you can put in your kid's lunches these first few weeks. I even left a few without words so you can add your own 'love note'.
These are original sized images so they should print just fine if you copy and paste

These are original sized images so they should print just fine if you copy and paste

I'm attaching them in two images. One with lines and one without. The one with lines you could use to just print them out on regular paper and cut out yourself. The other without lines can be printed on 'print your own' business cards (I used the Avery Template) if you want to fancy things up a bit.

And, because there is something so fun about the first day back to school, I've printed up two sets on business cards to giveaway tonight on Facebook. All you have to do is leave a comment and I'll be drawing at 10 tonight for the winners . . . (Facebook post is here: Back to School note card giveaway.)

Happy Back to School!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Let Me Introduce Myself

Hello everyone!

As some of you may have already guessed from prior posts and updates I'm Rosa's new Assistant! (Assistant... Intern... Apprentice... whatever you want to call it really) Basically I'll be their to help Rosa with all her projects, carry photography equipment, act as second shooter, brainstorm new ideas, and probably make sure she finds time to eat, all while learning the fine art of photography under her patient - and very fun - tutelage.

I'll also be in charge of writing a blog post every week, so check back every Wednesday to see what I'm up to!

As excited as I am to be writing this post  I have to admit that I wasn't entirely sure what to say - this is my first blog post after all. After quite some time humming and hawing over what I was going to write, I figured I'd just tell you a little bit about myself. So here goes!

My name is Kim, I'm married to Rosa's oldest son, Morgan, and we have a cat named Smarty and a fish named Pyramus. I love to cook, bake, make crafts, read, and -of course- take pictures. I strongly dislike spiders, Styrofoam, and doing the dishes.  I like to play video games, go for walks, and listen to soundtracks of musicals and french opera. I also absolutely love to learn! I'm always eager to gain more knowledge.

I'm super excited for this opportunity to join Rosa on her quest to learn, grow, and - of course - have fun!

Thats it for me this week, but make sure to keep up to date with A Life of Whimsy, we have a schedule full of projects, DIYs, tasty recipes, and photography planned!

Until next Wednesday,


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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sharing a Foodie Day with my Sister

My sister Lisa was up visiting her in-laws a few weeks ago. I haven't seen her since last summer so it was wonderful to get the chance to get together in person. (Thank goodness for FB and texting!)

I'll take any excuse to plan an adventure and what better reason than a day out with your sister?

Lisa's not a gardener as I am and I'm not a champion bargain hunter like she is (Lisa bought Holly's gorgeous wedding dress for $100!!). That meant our adventure couldn't include garden centers or shopping centers.

That's not really a problem though, because we share another love that we inherited from our dad and his parents.

Food. Interesting ingredients, like the cinnamon our sister Tamara brought back from the markets in Vietnam, or the vanilla Lisa and her husband bring back from trips to Mexico, get our creative juices going. Handy tools and unusual baking pans get our heart racing.

So we knew what kind of adventure we wanted. A Foodie day . . .

First up on the agenda was a visit to Duchess bakery. Lisa had never been and I use any excuse I can to go back.

Have you ever been? If you haven't you are missing out on some of the best food I have ever had. Even Lisa, who has traveled the world, said the same.

My favorite, even though I love all kinds of baked goods, is actually their quiche.  It is lovely and custardy and just . . . sigh. So.delicious.

We spent a little time in their store next to the restaurant where Lisa got inspired, I bought a jar of salted caramel sauce and we went home to bake apple crisp.

We didn't bake any old apple crisp though. We baked beautiful, individual apple crisps that I could freeze and bring out when special company came over.

And oh . . . how tasty they were topped with Chapman's french vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce.

All in all, the perfect foodie adventure. I can't wait until the next time we get together!

Thanks for a fabulous day sis! I can't wait until next time!

Check out the video for the full experience  . . .

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