31 January 2011

[digiscrap: 2010 Pages]

WELL ... first off ... a massive, massive "THANK YOU" to all of you.  I had so many encouraging comments about my BRAND NEW photography site ... RedHanded Photography is feeling more and more like me every day ... I'm considering printing all the lovely words and putting them in my special case of memories ;-).  THANK YOU.  Really.  Truly.  Thank you.

What else ... well, today marks day 2 of avoiding sugar.  Now, I'm not doing this super-hard-core ... just no sweets.  Which, in itself, is a mighty feat.  But I have GAINED weight this month (shame on me) and enough is enough ... January is over and I'm stomping on its head.  

I literally just finished my first Jillian 30day shred workout in a loooong time.  I am going to be sore tomorrow ... and I am trying to not be over eccentric over it all.  Whenever I get obsessed, it seems to be the beginning of my downfall.  Moderation is key for me ... 

My goal?  Well - we're heading back to Phoenix in March, and it would be so exciting if I didn't have to tuck my loose tummy into my bathingsuit *ha!  now THERE'S an image for you ...* ... I'm hoping that 5lbs will make it less tuck-able *grin* ... 

And I plan on running this week too ... Jillian is just more efficient with the time that I have.  But I don't get my head clear the way I do when I run ... so even as I sit here sweating, it's not the same.  But it's good enough for today ...

I'm also trying to catch up on Digiscrapping ... the evenings this week are going to be focused on finishing up 2010.  Oh, that would feel SO great.  I take too many pics in December *grin* ...

Here are a few digipages that I've done over the last little bit ... enjoy.  And double click the images to enlarge.

Have a great one!!

28 January 2011

[redhandedphotography: THE BIG LAUNCH!!]


After some hilarious drama last night - I found out the some people could see my NEW SITE ... and I couldn't.  I didn't even know it was UP.  How is that possible??  Maybe it takes time for all the computers around the world to view it ... but when I started having people congratulating me on it - and I had no clue what they were talking about *grin*.  Gotta love Facebook!

BUT now - I can see it ... 

Oh please, oh please ... stop by!!  There is a LOT to look at ... and I'm sure I'll be tweaking it over the next few days.  Creating a site is ADDICTING.  Things can always be rearranged, changed, improved.

And would you take a moment to comment here? *blush*  So nervous, so excited - it was so much work.  Would LOVE to know your thoughts ... and I won't be offended about things you think could make it better!!

Here's the site:  http://www.redhandedphotography.com

Oh boy.

Now I'll just sit and wait.

*tapping fingers on the counter ...*

26 January 2011

[redhanded photography: The Pressure Pt2.]


I'm back from my run ... 5km.  And I'm not posting my time because ... because it sucked *grin*.  BUT I am very happy that I did it ... and hoping that the rain holds off - at least every other day - so I can get outside and run ... run, run, run.

As I was running, listening to some incredible worship music, I knew I would have to come back and post - again.  Because after km #3, I already felt victory.  The music touched my soul, the wind cleared my head and the sweat - man, it feels good to sweat.

I realized that I can't take a break from taking care of myself.  And I mean that in a physical, spiritual, mental sort of way.  I can feel defeat when I'm not clear-headed ... and for me, that comes from not eating right, exercising and sleeping well.

These last few weeks I have been super-ty-dooper-ty busy ... too many eggs in too many baskets.  And the first thing to go?  Me.  Then what happens?  I get sick.  Which means I'm too tired to do what I need to - take care of myself.

I'm thankful that God's mercies are new every morning ... that I can start over again.  And fail again.  And start over again and again.   I also love how He takes the time to remind me of these things.  When I ask, He is faithful to answer.

So - do I feel all those things I felt a few hours ago?  Um ... a little.  But not as much *wink*.

And Mary?  Your comment was so life-giving ... thank you *smile*.  (Mary's a past piano student of mine when she was in elementary and highschool ... and I just adore her.)

If you were like me this morning - feeling inadequate, irrelevant, overwhelmed ... stop, offer up a prayer and take a moment to make sure that you're taking care of yourself.

Have a great one!!!

[redhanded photography: The Pressure.]

**deep breath**


The truth is, the more I immerse myself in photography, the more I feel like I'm just not ... cool enough.   The photography industry is all about image (obviously ... image, images ... you do the math *grin*) - and being a stay at home, thirty-something, God-loving mom ... well.  It just doesn't seem ... cool enough.

This process of my new site has forced me to really look at who I am as a professional.  And honestly - even saying that kinda makes me wince.  Professional.  I feel like there would be so many who would cut me down by using that phrase ... 

"You're just someone who likes to take photos ... "
"Did you go to school for photography?"
"How much equipment do you have?"
"Have you gone to the latest "this that and the other" and seen "so and so's" work?"

When I start letting those thoughts come in, the truth is, I feel so defeated.  I feel like I'm just not good enough - that my passion for images is really just my own, and I am the teensiest of fish in the biggest ocean of photography.  And I know that this, for the most part, is a waste of a thought process.  Every person, in every field must feel like this ... no?

It's hard "starting over" as an adult, you know?  I was confident with all of my music degrees and the successful music studio I ran after highschool and in my 20's.  But starting a new career is daunting at the best of times - never mind entering into a field that is so opinionated and diverse.

As I was creating my new site, I really wanted it to represent me.  I've said this before - but I wanted it to be about my images and simple, clean lines.  I'm no indy-artist (oh how I wish I were)... I'm not a fashion connoisseur (are Lulu's considered high-fashion??) ... and I would love to, but I never seem to make the time to go and be inspired by a trip to the city, or a walk on my own to some remote area.  

I'm not.  I'm not.  I'm not.  It rings in my ears.

And as I it rings, I try and choose to think back to my word "intention".  What are my intentions with my business? Well - to provide the very best that I can, at a cost that I think is fair.  Do I want to grow my business?  Yes.  I want to have an impeccable reputation, that will only come with time.  My intention is to be the best that I can - which may be less than the best that someone else can do ... but I truly, truly desire for the people who do entrust me to take their images - to be elated.  I want to hone in on the style that I think I am ... journalistic, documentary, telling the whole story.

My site's not up just yet ... I hope you'll come and see it when it is - and I so appreciate all the encouragement you've given.  Putting your work out there to be critiqued is a scary thing ... and it's so important for me to remember that photography is just one part of who I am.  As long as I am doing my very best for those who hire me, that's really what matters.   That, and making sure all the other facets of who I am are being taken care of too ... wife, mom, friend, worship leader ... digiscrapper *grin*.


Where did all that come from??  

On another note - I haven't run in 3weeks.  THREE WEEKS.  Why?  Well, first battling a wicked cough and then a dripping nose ... and then it's been raining, raining, raining.  So.  This morning, as I type this, I am wearing my running gear.  A little nervous that I might throw up - that I'll be sore tomorrow - that I'll feel defeated in the first km.

Intention.  Well.  My intention is to be healthy, to clear my head, to do something that's solely for me.  So, I guess is doesn't matter if I throw up, if I'm sore or even if the 1st km kills me.

Man.  I am rambling today.   See?  I need to run and clear the muck in my head ... 

Have a great one ...

25 January 2011

[redhanded photography: Benjamin]

My new site's not up yet.  Getting frustrated ... but that's just the way the tech-y world goes.  I'm waiting - like a kid on Christmas morning and my gift is wrapped in duct tape.  I want to rip it open, and instead it's a painful game of waiting ...

The hard thing, is that the longer it's not up - the more fiddling I do.  And then I start second guessing myself ... what if it isn't good enough?  What if I think it's cool and others think it's lame??

Nope.  I won't go there ... I like it - and I think that you will too.

But for now, another photoshoot with 9month old Benjamin was SUCH a fun shoot.  You gotta check it out by clicking HERE .

Here's a preview of this little man ...

See what I mean??

Have a great one!

24 January 2011

[katia: 17months]

Ok.  I actually counted the months ... once a child is a year old, that's what you say - "she's a year old".  But 17 months?  Wow.  Time has floooown.

Katia was invited to my cousin's little girl's birthday party.  And I had my camera ... you can see a full post on all that happened there by clicking HERE.

And in addition to all the pics I took of the birthday girl - I took a few of my own princess.  She was liking the birthday cake ... My cousin made tutus for all the little girls - I chose black for Katia ... and between her curls and her tutu, and her squeeky-little- "Mum-myyyy" ....

She melts my heart.

Have a great one!

20 January 2011

[redhanded photography: BIG News]

Well.  It might not be big for YOU, but it's big for ME *grin*.

I'm in the final process of launching my new and improved RedHanded Photography site!!  For the last month, I've been creating a site from scratch ... making it exactly the way I want it.  And that's been a tricky thing.  I was never totally happy with the site that I've been using.  The fonts are small, the images are small ... I couldn't adjust anything to make it more ... me.

The photography industry has a LOT to do with self-marketing.  And in that self-marketing, a lot of it has to do with self-image and trends.  Beh.  What does this mother of three know about trends, other than Bayblades and Mario Bros?? *grin*  I ain't no trendsetter, that's for certain.

It took a while, but I decided that my images would speak for themselves - and that's what I wanted my site to show.  I want it clean, simple - user friendly.  I want it to have as much information as possible - so that my potential clients are armed with everything they need to know.  And - I did a little thing-y on myself too ... so I'm curious as to what people are going to think about it all.


I have some of the most SILENT blog-readers in the world *laughing*.  Some days I get more that 150+ hits and ... no comments, sheer silence.  I've had over 600 hits without anyone saying a word.  And that's ok *grin*.  No one is obligated to let me know they were here ... I blog, you read.  That's the way it goes.

BUT ... when my RH site is launched, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE some feedback - what you liked, was it easy to figure out, what could maybe make it better.  It would really help me out ... many brains are better than one!!

I wonder if any of you will speak up *grin* ... 

Stay tuned ...

AND - I'm going to tweak my RH blog too, if that's at all possible.  But for now - it's the same, except there's a brand new post that you're gonna want to check out ... baby Caleb Daniel.  YUMMY.

Have a great one!!

17 January 2011

[make: Spicy Peanut Sauce]

My last few posts have been heartfelt - but today, I sound like Elmer Fudd (insert nose blowing sound here) - so nothing deep ... just yummy.



But before I go into the yumminess - I just want to say that since I've taken up the word "intentional" for the year - I cannot BELIEVE how every single day something happens that makes me think of what I'm doing or why I'm doing it.  I've been so thankful - been learning lessons about my own heart, my own motives and in that, it's been so much easier to not let things fester and to just give it back to God ... I feel empowered and because I'm constantly checking my heart - I'm feeling like there's growth happening that I hadn't realized I  needed ... 2011 is gonna be a great year.

Ok.  So ONE deep paragraph *grin* ... 

ANYway - every New Years we have a party.  New Years Eve is my hubby's bday so - at his request -we have not just any party, but a FONDUE party ... and I'm always in charge of the dips.  This past New Years, I decided to add a spicy peanut sauce to my repertoire.  The problem was, I couldn't find any recipes online that sounded yummy enough ... 

So.  I made my own, and made sure to write it down as I went - just in case it turned out scrumptious.  

Lucky for me, it did *wink*.

Here's what I did:

Spicy Peanut Sauce:

2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 cup hot water
3 tbsp brown sugar - dissolved in additional 1/2 cup hot water
4 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced.


Place all the ingredients in the blender.  Blend.  Chill.  Serve.  Makes about 4 cups or so ... I'm just guessing here - it was a bowl full *grin*.

I used it as a dipping sauce for the fondue ... I'm sure the possibilities are endless, though.  That is - if nobody in your home has a peanut allergy!!  *smile*

Enjoy .. and have a good one (which sounds like "hab a goob whon" for me today :-)

12 January 2011

[talk: Saying Goodbye, Saying Hello.]

1.11.11 will always be burned in my heart.

On November 6, 2010, a friend that I grew up with was in a terrible train accident.  He had tried to cross the busy train tracks in Seattle, WA by foot and was directly hit by an oncoming train.  He was a local fireman in our city, and was only expected to live a few hours and beat the odds and survived 60 more days.  You can read all about it here.

So yesterday was his funeral, and I was full of strange emotions.  Everything from not wanting to go, afraid that it would just be too hard ... to sheer excitement about possibly seeing people that I hadn't seen in such a long time.

The funeral, itself, was incredible.  Seeing a sea of blue fireman uniforms in the balcony of my home church, CLA, was overwhelming.  It all began with "Amazing Grace" being played on the bagpipes as Ron's family, and his casket, filed in.  The Mayor of our city, Peter Fassbender, spoke eloquently as both Ron's city leader and personal family friend.  The eulogy was read by our pastor, Brent Cantelon - and was written by Ron's family.  The song, "I Can Only Imagine" left me with a wet, soggy face.

The whole thing was done so well, so purposeful.  It wasn't intrusive, "shove the Bible down your throat", but so gentle and positive.  The truth was spoken.  I was incredibly honoured to be there ... not only as a past friend of Ron's, but as  a member of CLA.  It was really, really well done.

There was a reception done in the gym - and that's when I bumped into friend after friend after friend.   I cannot tell you how overwhelming that was.  It was heart-racing, heart-warming ... to have people see you and smile because they were happy to see you too.  Big hugs, big laughs - lots of tears and promises to never meet again under such circumstances ...

With the "snow day" that we ended up having here today, I found myself trying to Spring Clean amongst the children running and creating more messes than before I started ... I was in my office, organizing the envelopes with Katia whacking her teensy fingers on the piano - and I saw it:  my box.

I've mentioned it before - my box, well - padded suitcase - full of notes.  I laughed and rolled my eyes, the DRAMA of it all was so redundant.  I can see why my poor parents were exhausted with me by the time I was 15 *laughing*.  Oh Katia, be good to me, girl!!

So, what did I do when I saw these hand written treasures??  I got out my iphone and started taking photos and sending them to the "writers" of the notes ... oh MAN.  We've been bantering back and forth all afternoon ... so fun.

So.  Ronnie is gone, but he would be SO pumped at how his life and death have brought so many wonderful people together.  He was a man who CARED about people, and I'd like to think that the Lord had let him see the whole thing. Oh, I hope He did, because Ron would've gotten a kick out of seeing everyone together again.

For those of you who knew Ron, yesterday will be a day burned into our memories.  And for those of you who didn't, I hope that this will inspire you to stop and be INTENTIONAL about your day and your time.  Stop, fire off an email, find out where that old friend is now and meet for coffee ... do something.

We just never know. 

08 January 2011

[talk: My 2011 "Word"]

A lot of my friends ask the Lord for a fresh thought for the new year, once the Christmas bustle stops.  I was so happy that I was introduced to this idea last year - and more thankful to God for giving me a word that really, really guided me through 2010.

Last year's "word" was PERSPECTIVE.  Oh, and it would come to the front of my mind time and time again.   Whenever I felt misunderstood, or judgemental of others, or tired or whatever ... perspective, the desire to look at a situation in different ways, really helped me.

You can read all about that here

So, a few weeks ago, I began seeking the Lord for 2011.  I don't know about you, but a lot of times I'm not sure which voice is my own, and which is the Lord's.  I'm definitely not one to say, "God told me this ... " - although I have done it a few times - when I was certain.  But I really didn't want my own desires to come flooding in and sabotaging the "word" that was meant for me.  I mean, how great would it be to choose a word that was all good?  Like "prosperity" or "blessings"  or "skinny" (ha! - ok - that was a joke, people).

But this word keeps coming back to me, over and over.  So.  I'm going to be brave and claim it and walk in it and see what how it guides my 2011.

The word is: intention.

A couple of different concepts came to mind with this word.  One, is to do things with intent.  Meaning, to do things to the best of my ability ... and I'd like to think that I do most things in life like that, but not always.  To be intentional, deliberate ... not flaky and wishy-washy.  It also means, to me, to prioritize - to intentionally plan my time with an outcome, to invest in relationships with a purpose, to make sure that my "to do" list isn't filled up with things that don't matter.

The other thought with "intention" for me, is looking at the word in a different perspective ( ... like how I did that? *wink*).    So - instead of me just doing things with intention, it's me checking my OWN intentions on WHY I do things ... 


I think this one will be rearing its ugly head time and time again for me.  Which is a good thing - but it may potentially drive me a bit mad.  See - I want to be deliberate on why I do things, to check my heart behind it.  Am I being a blessing, or just plain self serving?  Do I say/do things for accolades?  For the praise of others?  Or can I do things in private, without recognition.  Do I do things to get things in return?  Do I have high expectations, that leave me disappointed?  When I do things, is His heart the motivation behind it?

*breath out*

So.  The Lord knows that I am faaaaaaar from perfect, as does anyone who knows me *wink*.  And I know that by having this word of "intention" as my banner - I'm still going to fall flat on my face time and time again.  I know already, that I'm going to choose to ignore this word at times and try and negotiate for another word.  But you know what, God knows that too.  

I kinda think that I'm going to continue with the "perspective" word as well ... I mean, why not?  But adding "intention" to all that I do, checking my own motives and prioritizing the desires I believe are God-given ... looks like 2011 could be an amazing year for chiselling away more of the yuck that is "me".  

Have a great one.  And happy 2011 to all ... 

05 January 2011

[talk: Living and Dying]

Life is a funny thing.  Well.  Not always funny - but you know what I mean ... 

I have been so incredibly excited for 2011 .., asking the Lord for a "word" to represent the year (um - haven't really got one yet ... ) and wanting to actively pursue and prioritize the dreams that I believe are God-given.  2011 seems like a year where good things can happen ... 

Today I was on the slopes with my hubby and boys.  Tias was ripping down the hill - I was seriously trying to keep up with him, especially when he ventured into the treed area beside the hill - and Josiah was laughing and "pizza-ing" his skis down the bunnyhill.  My hubby and smiled as he said, "... we've been waiting a long time for this."  So true.  We've dreamed about our little family all doing things together, becoming friends, pushing the limits and celebrating accomplishments.

We had tacos for dinner ... Katia was cracking us UP with all the silly things one year olds do.  It took Josiah an hour to eat his taco ... 

And then a friend died.

A friend from a while back, but a friend none-the-less.  He was a good friend of my exboyfriend - a guy that I knew well when I was a teenager.  And I bumped into him often in our hometown.  He was always quick to smile, ask how things were - give the ever-present nod-of-the-head to show his friendly response.  

And now he's gone.

Life is a funny thing ... how my evening continues on - typing a blogpost, editing photos, tucking my kids into bed.  And he's now seen the face of Jesus.  It is too hard to fathom, too much to digest ... it's just too overwhelming.

I think about his mom and dad ... it is never right to bury a child - at any age.  The heartache they must feel, the questions they must have.  And as I sang Josiah his bedtime song, I couldn't help but wonder how much time I have with him ... not in a morbid way, but in a factual way.

So, as we get a good night's sleep, have a hearty breakfast in the morning, and bundle ourselves up for another family day on the slopes,  my friend's family plans a funeral.  Another massive reminder to live the best life you can, with love and integrity.  Sometimes it seems so hard to do, and we get lazy ... it's just too bad because we don't know when our time to go will come.

Living and dying.  You can't have one, without the other