28 January 2010

[cool products: Etsy Finds]

So, if you read this blog, you'll know that my new love is Etsy.  It's a site where artisans can sell their creations out of their home.  I LOVE this site.  Love love love it.

I'm not an artisan.  I mean - I really appreciate art - but I myself, cannot create such incredible things.  I can't draw, paint, knit, sculpt ... but I sure admire those who can.  Ok.  Well, I painted a couple of canvas' that hang in our home - but one cannot call them a creation.  Not when the creator is so inept *grin*.

And ... well - if you consider photography an art ... then maybe?  ... or music? ...

ANYway - I've been working on Katia's room ... oh, my friends!!! I am in love with her little room.  It's so - so - girly.  Who'd of thunk that I'd be into a girly room??  Not me - that's for certain ...

But what I wanted to share with you was an AMAZING find - something that I purchased for our little one's room.  Now, I'm not going to reveal which one I got (you'll have to wait for the room to be finished *wink*) - but here are a few pics of some of the examples of monogram wall decals you can find at Etsy.

Now - they're not all from the same store.  But the store that I really like is this one here.  Aren't they just great?  And you know - they're really not expensive at all ... especially when you consider that they are personalized and mailed directly to your home ...

Again, doing our little girl's room has been bittersweet.  The feeling of being so blessed to have a safe, warm, special space for her has been quite overwhelming.  When I think of all of those who are orphaned, cold, hungry ... have you done your part yet? 

Have a great one!

27 January 2010

[talk: "It Does to the Person Who Sits In It."]

I just glanced at the clock - and it's 10:39pm as I write this.   My hubby's been away for a few nights and once the kiddies have been in bed, I've been busy sorting out photos and making appointments with Redhanded and such ... But I always seem to have a "post" brewing ... and so I thought I'd share this while it's fresh.

When I first got married, I was a piano teacher.  I had a large studio, and it was my passion.  Because of this, I worked in the afternoons and evenings ... and my mornings were free.  I used to clean, do laundry (like, every day because I felt so guilty about just hanging out ...), cook, bake ... and I would have a movie on to keep me company.

One of my favourite movies was, "While You Were Sleeping."  And as the earthquake in Haiti continues to weigh heavy on my heart, one of the lines in the movie keeps ringing in my ears.

The scene was something like this:  The good looking guy is in a hospital bed, confessing to the girl (who is madly in love with him) that he isn't such a great person.  He lists off a bunch of things - and when he pauses, the girl says, "Every morning you give up your seat," (a subway seat, I should mention) to which he replies, "That doesn't matter."  And she softly says, "It does to the person who gets to sit in it."

And that's how I'm feeling about Haiti.  It's so easy to be overwhelmed, to feel like your teensy contribution doesn't matter.  But it does to the person who receives it.  Whether it be a cash donation, donating your time to help an organization, donating clothes or shoes ... whatever.  Nothing is too small.  Your help means that you touch someone's life that wouldn't have been touched if  you hadn't.  It's that simple.

Another little thought that has been going over and over again in my mind, came from our pastor last week.  He was talking about what some people do when they shake hands with someone important ... that they may feel like they don't want to wash their hands for a while.  To savour it.  To keep that moment from getting wiped off.

I pray that the poor, the orphan, the broken, the abandoned, the widow is like that for us.  That when our hearts get touched by something as devastating as the earthquake in Haiti, that we don't just wash it off of our conscience; that it becomes yesterday's story;  that if we gave a few dollars, that ends our responsibility.  It will take a long time for those people to rebuild what has fallen, and the scars of the loss will show on everyone's brow there.  They will be rebuilding long after we've forgotten.

So if you had thought you might do something, but now think that the hype is maybe over - or that your lack of contribution won't be forgotten so why bother - I hope that you reconsider.  And I hope that 2010 marks a year of generosity that no one could've fathomed.  That not just lives, but generations will be forever changed - not to give ourselves a pat on the back, but just because it is the right thing to do.

I have some things brewing right now, the main one being a hopefully massive Swap Meet where all proceeds will be going to Haiti.   The idea being, not everyone has cash to give, but most have things that they can sell.  If you'd like to be a part of this - comment and I'll be in touch with you.  Or maybe you have meant to donate a cash gift of any amount, but haven't yet ... it's not too late.   You can click here and donate to World Vision, an organization that my hubby and I personally support and stand beside.  This is our personal link and will be counted towards our efforts with the Swap Meet.

"In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you ... " Matthew 7:12 (New American Standard Bible).

Thems some pretty strong words.

22 January 2010

[redhandedphotography: Baby Chloe]

The boys are with my parent's at their cousin's basketball game, Taya is sleeping, hubby's at work ... so I've been doing some Redhanded Photography stuff - enjoying the quiet, missing the noise.

I've uploaded new pics on my photography blog.  To view photos from last week's photoshoot click here or click the Redhanded Photography Blog link on the sidebar.

That's all I have time for today ... but I continue to pray that God will open our hearts to be generous to others who are abandoned and broken.  When you view these photos of a beautiful family - safe, warm, fed, loved - we are certain of God's goodness.  But let's not forget that there are those who are separated from family, in harm's way, cold and hungry.  Not just in Haiti ... but even down the street.

When you tuck your children in tonight, remind them that they are loved and blessed.  And let this be our opportunity to teach the next generation the power of compassion.

Be blessed, so you can bless.

21 January 2010

[be challenged: People For People - Haiti Swap Meet Fundraiser]

Hi ... it's been a while, I know.  Sorry about that ... I have lots of family and friends who live out of town who come to visit ... I assure you, we are alive and well!!

I only have a few moments here, while Siah's lunch is heating up, to let you know about a venture I'm hoping others will catch the vision to.  I started an open group on Facebook called "People for People".  My idea is that not everyone feels they have spare cash that they can give - but maybe they have extra stuff they can sell instead.  Here's the message I sent to those who are already a part of the group:

" ... there is nothing more powerful that like-minded people who have a purpose to HELP others.  As this idea continues to sort out the creases, I wanted to give you an update on what's happening ...

We've tentatively got a date in March for the SWAP MEET. My vision is to have wonderful, quality items that are donated with the purpose of all funds going to HAITI. It would be so wonderful to have people come from all over the Lower Mainland because they don't want to MISS an opportunity to find fantastic deals, and help Haiti at the same time.

Items can include household (you know, that mixer that you don't use anyways?? yah, THAT one!), furniture, luggage, kids toys/clothes/shoes, winter stuff, Christmas stuff, summer stuff - ANYthing that you think YOU'D buy ...

The Government of Canada will match dollar for dollar, but only until Feb12. This will not be enough time - SO if you want to do a cash DONATION, do it NOW through your local World Vision or Red Cross.  BUT - as you spring clean, PLEASE consider putting quality items aside and I will be in touch about the NEXT step.

My hope is that many churches, schools, families, communities - will band together ... either joining us in Langley, or doing this on their own. YOU can do it, be apart of something selfless - something that is at the core of each of us ... helping the broken.

There may be a table with World Vision sponsorship there, a table for people to donate to Water Filters (only $30 for clean water!) , live music, perhaps other things like face painting, hotdogs (anyone want to donate to that??) ... the list is a big one.

If you are interested in helping ... sorting through things, pricing, manning a table, or something else that you can do - PLEASE message me. We need a large village to make this work!!"

... so - aside from weddings, worship leading, renovating Katia's room (aaaaaalmost done that), and just doing all the average day to day things - this is the project that rings in my heart today.

Maybe you'd like to be a part of it?  Or even better - join forces in your OWN community to do a fundraiser. 

May the God of all wisdom grant you creativity and a generous spirit that is contagious!!

Be blessed ... and have a good one *wink*!!

12 January 2010

[redhandedphotography: W&C's Wedding]

First off - a big "WHOO HOO" to all of you who stopped to say an encouraging word about yesterday's post on "perspective". I had a bucket load of emails, and it certainly means a lot to hear such wonderful feedback.  So thank you for taking the time to do that and to let me know that I'm not just babbling to myself *grin*.

Today's post ... that's simple. I had the fan-flippin-tastic pleasure of being the photographer of Wayne and Chelsea's wedding on January 2nd. I took 2400 photos. Yup. Twenty-four-HUNDRED. I love, love, love to take photos. And I figure - the more the merrier - and the greater chance of getting specatular candid shots.

Here are just a few of my faves from the 500+ that I whittled it down to ...

To finish up this project, I just have to get them into a slideshow, finish up the coffee-table album, burn their pics onto a disk - and then start my next project that starts this Saturday with Newborn Pics.  Can't WAIT!

To see a whole bunch more from Wayne and Chelsea's wedding - please visit my redhanded blog by clicking here or by clicking the redhanded photography blog link on the right side panel. Thanks for stopping by!

And please let friends and family know that I am still have some room to take a few more bookings for 2010, if they're interested. Thanks!  All inquiries regarding dates and pricing can be made by going to http://www.redhandedphotography.com/  and clicking "contact".

Have a great one!

11 January 2010

[talk: Perspective. And the Longest Post Ever.]

I was inspired by a friend to ask the Lord for a "word" to represent my 2010.  Just one word.  Seems easy enough - and having some time with Him last week, the word came quickly to me.


One of the things I love about photography, is that a simple moment can change its essence, just by changing the perspective.  Being behind the bride, instead of in front.  Looking down on a baby, rather than looking up.  Perhaps even editing a photo into black and white, or increasing the colour contrast to be vivid and bright.  Same moment - yet the different perspectives can show the moment very differently.

All of these thoughts came into my head when I thought of the word "perspective."  So I pondered on it, trying to figure out a starting point for myself - and asking Him where he'd like me at the end.

I really felt that being able to understand perspective, can change one's outlook on life.  I'm impacted by people who are always "the glass is half full", rather than those whose glass is "half empty."  It's all in perspective.  One's half empty glass, is another's half full.  Someone always has it better than another, someone always has it worse.  And it's not just in one area of life that this is the case - it can be in every facet of life.

Have you ever been around someone who can't take a compliment?  "You look really great," to which they reply, "I've gained 10 pounds, haven't slept in a month, need a haircut, haven't had a new outfit since Y2K ... " and so on *smile*.  I'm sure you have ... and if you're at all like me - it may have even been you a few times.

It's interesting, though - to the person giving the compliment, they might be thinking, "Wow - they've got it together," while the person receiving it thinks, "Gee - have THEY got the wrong person ...".  It's all perspective.

Or take an example of two friends - both trying to get pregnant.  One does, the other doesn't.  The one that does, is violently sick the entire pregnancy - making the whole thing overwhelming and exhausting.   The friend who isn't pregnant might get annoyed at the ever-complaining-vomit-spuing friend.  "At least she's pregnant," she might say.  Totally, totally valid.  But does that mean that the pregnant friend isn't dealing with very real circumstances - and probably feeling completely invalidated and alone?  Possibly.  In her perspective, her pain is real ... and she isn't comparing her cirumstance to that of  a cancer patient, of a widow's loss, or to a father who lost his job - she's just comparing it to how she felt before she was pregnant. 

It's all perspective.  It's all real.

For me, my hubby's leg has been an on-going issue in our home.  It's been almost a year now - and his quality of life is still not where he'd like it to be.  He can't play hockey, can't walk for more than "x" amount of minutes at a time without it swelling, can't ride a bike with his kids, or jump on the trampoline.  All the things he used to do, have changed for now. 

We went away for a few days with my parents, and our boys were so excited about being in ski-school lessons. So was my hubby, until he realized that he couldn't put a ski boot on because of the pain.  So, instead he sat at the bottom of the hill in a chair for 4-5 hours every day, and would cheer them on whenever he would see them.  I never heard him complain once - but did see the sad face on day one.

Now - perspective.  Some would say, " ... must be nice.  At least he got away to have time with his kids."  So very, very true.   But he could look at the father skiing down the hill with his own kiddies and say, " ... must be nice that you get to ski with your kids."  See what I mean?  Perspective.   And the guy skiing down the hill - that my hubby could be potentially envious of - could've lost his wife in a car accident the week before.  Or just recovered from chemo.  Again.  Perspective.  Different angles that put light on the truth in different ways.

So - what's the difference between perspective and opinion?  I found this definition of opinion:  "the view that somebody takes on an issue."   The definition of perspective:   "a measured or objective assessment of a situation, giving all aspects their comparative importance."

Seeing it from all sides.  Perhaps even validating all of them, or realizing that all are false.  And honestly - the older I get, the more I think that people simply want validation.  They want their trials to be recognized - as apposed to being critiqued.   Most would agree that they don't really like it when someone says, " ... oh yeah?  well so-and-so has it worse then you ...".  Because a lot of times, people aren't sharing their disappointment or frustration to have someone else fix it for them.  They're just vocalising it, so that maybe someone will say, " ... hey.  I hear you.  I validate you.  You have a right to feel that way."

My prayer for 2010 is to have the Father's perspective.  Seeing life from all sides - the good and the bad.  Asking, "what good can come of this" as apposed to "there's no possible good that can come from this?".   To not allow the Enemy to use his "bottom-of-the-bottle-distortor" to sway how I look at the life that God has chosen for me to live the best that I can.   To look at my own life, without comparing it to someone elses that I think is better ... or feeling proud that mine might appear to be better than someone elses.

Does this mean that I will never complain about having a headache ( because " ... at least it's not something worse ...").  No.  I probably will.  Does it mean that I won't be disappionted by situations or by people?  No.  Pretty sure that'll happen;  it's just a fact of life.

But having this "word" is going to be my reminder to give all sides their equal value.  To ask His perspective in each situation.  To learn, to grow and to have a fantastic 2010 - despite what the negative angle looks like. 

I want to be a positive person, one who's glass is always half-full.  And that's gonna take some effort, I'm sure..

So.  How 'bout you?  Do you have a "word" that will propel you through 2010?

07 January 2010

[talk: A Bunch of Stuff ... ]

Ok - only have a few moments here ... but just wanted to let my family and friends know that we're doing really well - having a great family time away and so very, very thankful for each moment.

I was reading a friend's blog the other day and have been thinking about her idea of having a "word" to represent her year and all that is in it.  While I was spending some time with the Lord last night, a word popped into my head - and I'm continuing to dwell on that, and what I want it to mean for my own life in 2010.

I'll share more on that when I get a chance ...

For now - I just hope that the first week of 2010 has been kind to you, and I look forward to sharing and learning from others. I see that today marks a bit of a milestone for this little blog ... 40000+ hits!  WOW!  Thank you for taking a moment to come visit and I  hope that you leave here encouraged.  Please feel free to drop a comment, if you feel so inclined.  I love to hear from you ...

Have a good one!