Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Rekindling my Passion for Photography - I don't want to be a Wedding Photographer when I grow up

My Photography Interest was Born while I was young-

When I was in Junior High School one of the teachers who was on lunch duty one day talked to me about his Roloflex and the weddings he was shooting on the side.  He described the large negative made by the Roloflex for clear enlargements.  A seed was planted.  I'd never held anything more than a point and shoot in my hands and I wish I could say I actually held his Roloflex in my hands, but I did not.  Talking about it was enough to pique my interest.
When the time came at the end of  Junior High to choose classes for High School I signed up for Photography.  My father had always had some latent interest and he got right behind me.  He purchased a Pentax P3 and a 50mm lens for me to use and later a decent 80-200mm.  
Thank you Dad.  

Sadly, much of what I learned over the next three years wasn't about actually shooting.  We loaded film in dark bags and worked on dark room techniques, we made a pin hole camera and we learned to appreciate dead photographers.  
As I planned for the future I always believed photography would be part of it.

Adult Life Started and Photography Fell by the Wayside-

After high school I married and we started our family.  I assumed I'd continue the hobby and photograph my family as they grew.  But, the skills that I needed were just not there yet, and buying film and paying for processing sifted lower and lower on the priority list.  I made sure I put a roll of film through the camera to document big events and births.  But, my photography had a very utility back burner feel to it.

And then the chicks began to leave the nest, it was time for a DSLR- 

During the years while we had all 7 children under one roof hobbies were about fulfilling my need to be creative while providing for the needs of my family.  I sewed, I baked, I dabbled.  Anything that caught my interest became a hobby.  Later, I blogged about my adventures.
And then it happened.  I developed a wheat allergy, a serious one and I had to give up baking and then eating wheat.  I was crushed.  I adore the feeling of dough in my hands, but the eggs left rashes on my hands and arms and the wheat made me wheeze and break out in hives.  And then came the dysphagia.  
To compound things two of my children left the nest in the same year.  I was floundering.  What was I to do with myself where would I channel my passion now.  My husband had known of my desire to buy my first DSLR and he decided this was the time.

At times my complete obsession with photography became a frustration to my family members.  A simple walk could turn into a moment where I was suddenly gone and taking a picture of what had caught my eye.

Opportunities to Work Presented Themselves-

If you have a family chances are you'd like pictures of that family.  And unless your pockets are deep you might look for someone who'd be happy to shoot for less.  I'd pointed my camera at everyone who did not run away for a couple of years now and I was hoping to buy more gear.  So, I made the jump and shot families and later some weddings.  (I made sure people knew I am not a professional and was willing to shoot for less since I do not have a degree or professional gear.  Charging accordingly is not the case for some of competition.  And then we have the dear group who charges 20.00 but, that is another post.)  
Over time I realized my hopes from junior high school had changed. The market was saturated leaving the amount my experience level would pay very lean.  I no longer wanted to be a wedding photographer when I grew up.  
I love dealing with a happy wedding party.  I love taking pictures.  But, the expenses (there are surprisingly many, equipment rentals and purchases, Photoshop, travel expenses, untold days of editing while not getting paid for the time) and stress of getting it right on someone's big day coupled with hours of editing after the fact squashed my enjoyment.  
I'm not sorry for the shooting that I have done along the way I have really enjoyed it and will continue to shoot some for friends and family.  I'm not sorry for the bonds that I have forged with people that I have photographed.  On the contrary.  I am very thankful for the blessing that photography is in my life and I believe I have blessed others through it.

This sounds like Good Bye, but it isn't-

I am not saying good bye.  But, I am beginning another chapter with photography.  My focus is no longer courting a new camera body and recently I passed up a sweet deal on a "must have" lens for wedding photography so that I would not have to rent in the future.  For now I will will stick with my 50mm lens for portraits and the body and kit that I am working with and rekindle the reasons that I started this process.

I used to dream at night that I was looking through the eye piece of my camera-

Somewhere along the way when my focus shifted my enthusiasm became watered down.  I used to literally dream that I was looking through the view finder.  I felt so much joy and enthusiasm that I dreamed through my lens.  My job now is to awaken my passion for photography again and reinvent myself as a hobbyist.  My job is to step back from the belief that I have to spend all of my money on gear. My job is to kindle the spark that I can still feel deep inside and enjoy the creative outlet again.  I need to take back my hobby.  I  need to plan projects.  Continue to read and study and tap into the parts of photography that make me stay.  I'm not saying I will not shoot for friends and family on occasion, but my long term goals are different now.  I don't want my hobby to become my job.

Are you  looking to find your passion again as you shoot for hire or are you looking to take back your hobby?   I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Free Romper Pattern - Strampler Mikey 2.0

I will soon be a Grandma and a Great Aunt!  My adorable daughter in law is carrying a heavy load as her little baby grows and will soon get to see his sweet face!
My sweet niece is about a month behind my daughter in law in her pregnancy.  Oh, how I have missed babies.

I've been making baby clothes from gently used fabrics.  I am doing my best to prevent things that have good use left  in them from going into the land fill.  Waste not want not.

This cute little jumper size Gr. 68 about 6 months was cut from a pair of women's stretch denim pants.  I cut them on the outer side seam.  I added a pocket to soften the center seam.  Next time I will make the cuff longer so that it can be folded.  This pattern has a gusset set in the crotch, don't be afraid of putting this in.  It's not bad.  (Watch a tutorial.)

I saw many pictures of this jumper on pinterest, but it took a while using Google translator and learning a couple of key search words to find the patter.
I found this pattern after happening upon Le-Kimi's blog. Beware the pattern is free.  Don't pay anyone for it. I searched the German words and apparently Strampler is Jumper, Anleitung is Guide, Schnitt is Cut or as it's known in English, Pattern.  From what I have gathered Le-Kimi does charge for use if you should choose to sell products made from the pattern.

The pattern is supposed to be made with stretchy knit fabric.  I used a stretch denim here, but I will add a tiny bit of width the next time I used a less stretchy fabric just to be safe.  My daughter in law plans to use cloth diapers, so I want to make plenty of room in the ones that I make for her baby.
I hope you found this useful!  Check YouTube there are a couple of tutorials in German.  It was fun to hear them speak and you can gather a lot by watching the videos.  :)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

There I was Crying my eyes out in Wal-Mart

I saw a classy frail looking old woman using a scooter.  She had parked the scooter too close to the milk cooler doors and was trying to get up to stand in a space that was only as wide as her sneaker.   I saw a fall coming. 
I approached, (my thought was Grandma C.) she was wearing a quilted jacket in a slightly different shade of brown from the one that Grandma C. wore shortly before she died. I asked if I could get something for her. As she hovered to sit I cupped a hand under her elbow until she was seated, just the way I used to with Grandma. 

She asked for three half gallons of milk.   (Grandma always bought skim and 1% in smaller cartons.  She mixed it because she couldn't buy the 1/2% milk that she had always bought in Texas. )
I got them. She was poised and thanked me with an appreciative smile. The memories flooded back.  I took her in for a moment.  I paused and smiled as I asked her if she needed anything else.  She was happy and moved on.  I moved the other direction toward my husband, hoping to be rescued from my emotions. There I was in the dairy section losing the battle against my tears.

After we reached the car I started to talk about Grandma.  Grandma was such a capable amazing woman.  She was driven to serve and kept going against so many difficult health problems.  She was so frail for so long.  We were used to holding on to her as she forged ahead.  My Dad once said that she would die while working, the "pony in the strap."  She was 5 feet tall and worked like a Clydesdale.  

I took this during Grandma's last summer during a family gathering.

She always did all that she could to love and help those around her. She smiled at everyone that she came into contact with in public and showed such kindness.
She wrote the book on taking care of a husband.  When Grandpa got older he got funny and was a bit more troublesome.  But, Grandma took such good care of him.  

I am so thankful for my knowledge that our family relationships can continue beyond the grave.  I am so thankful for sealing ordinances in the temple that bind families.  I am so thankful for marriages/sealings that are not until death do you part.  

My grandmother was a genealogist and became somewhat of an authority on the Chanel Islands. Finding our ancestors was very important to her because she understood the importance of offering saving ordinances to our ancestors.  Should they choose to accept them,  we believe that families will continue to be family units beyond the grave.  

I look forward to seeing her again when I die.  It's been two years since she left us.  I have not cried like that in a quite a while.  I truly miss her.  When I was a child she was my long distance Grandma.  But, about the time my 5th child was born my husband and father moved them to our valley.  She became my dear friend.
Until we meet again Grandma.  Until we meet again.

Friday, October 28, 2016

What makes me who I am, Five Generations

Me with my first two children while expecting my third with, my mother, great grandmother and grandmother in 1993.
I was sitting this morning before the first session of General Conference looking at a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook published in 1946 that belonged to my great-grandmother. As I leafed through her newspaper clippings that were carefully tucked into the book from the food section of the newspaper I felt great satisfaction. My hands touched pages that she touched. Pages that she turned and clippings that she had read and saved. The hearts of the children turn to the Fathers.

I feel so blessed to have known my great-grandmother.
Her cookbook features meals made from inexpensive ingredients with creativity in a time when families actually sat around the table at a set time at the end of the day. A time when activities wound down for dinner time. A time when everyone else was going home to be with the family. A time when fast food was not a planned part of the budget.

My great-grandmother has been gone for 10 years now. But, I have the blessing of having living Grandparents. My Grandmother is in her early 80s and my grandfather is in his early 90s.

If I happen to call my grandparents during a meal time they will ask to call me back. Myself and others in the family have wrinkled noses at times and chuckled because of this difference. But, when approaching this goal of spending quality time together as a family around the table we can benefit from the methods of earlier generations.

I would guess that my great-great grandmother firmly told my great-grandfather to be home on time for supper. And I'll bet the children feared the other siblings would not leave any leftovers if they were to be late. In some cases it was likely easier to break free from activities and come home since others would likely be going home too.

We have seen times of plenty where over scheduling through the dinner hour could be overcome by a stop at the local fast food place. But, the trip through the fast food line does not replace the family time around the table. And, I dare say that some have felt the pinch in these unsteady economic times and might actually attempt cooking at home. Even if dinner is not totally from scratch.
There have been so many advances that we are tempted to cram too much into our busy days. These advances are not bad. But, living in such a hurry does not enrich our lives. Even the bread section of my great-grandmother's 1946 cookbook speaks of the homemaker buying bread rather than making it. My great-grandmother was born just after 1900. She watched the ushering in of this age as did my grandmother and mother after her. Much good has come. But as I live each day I am acutely aware of the time crunch that I find myself in.

I want so much to do better. I want to continue to work at slowing down. Much of the time we eat on the run, each individual heating something up as they are hungry instead of stopping for all present to eat family meals. As family members run here and run there. My goal is to increase how many times we sit around our family table this week all together. I am not going to psych myself into believing we will have a Ward and June Cleaver moment at the table as Wally and the Beave tell about their day at school. I am not aiming for the ethereal, though ethereal and peaceful would be nice.

My desire is to add drops of love to my children's cups. Moments of family belonging and unity. Even as one small child pokes another small child or there is a dispute about who gets to read the new book in the house first. Life is going to happen. But, I want to do better at not letting the days slip by without doing my best to keep my family bonded together through family meal times, prayer and scripture reading.

I long for a simpler life in spite of the hurry of over taxed days and resources.

I just hope to do a little bit better at keeping my family close. I look back at this journey that I am taking in awe it seems like yesterday I was a young bride. Before that I was a child in my mother's kitchen.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

3 Seam Footies - PooPockets Free Pattern -Check out the Boy Variation

If you looking for a quick pair of baby shoes, booties, footies, slippers or whatever you want to call them... They were designed for babes, but I get a lot of hits for American Girls Dolls.  If you are looking for a free pattern this might just fit the bill. These are a very quick sew and they are cute as can be. I no longer have any small people to put them on, so if you make them I'd love to hear if they stay on. (The only pair I ever had were preemie sized and my preemie did not wear clothes until he was much bigger than they were.) They are low on the ankle, so without socks they may be quick to kick off.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Wheat Intolerant Baker - Protecting your Lungs

When you bake bread do you end up walking away sneezing, coughing, choking and wheezing?  Sadly, the more I bake the more this is the case for me.  I have always been sensitive to dust and flour.

It has been suggested that I wear a dust mask as I measure or grind.  But, up until now I have been quite stubborn only wearing a mask intermittently.

Tips for protecting your lungs-

  • Grind your flour on the patio or in the garage.  If you grind in the kitchen you are trapped for hours in the same room with the dust hanging in the air bothering you or your family members.   
  • Measure carefully without fluffing. 
  • Wear a dust mask.  There are many styles to to choose from ranging from light dust masks to filter masks.  Check your home center.  I wear a double filter style respirator intended for sanding.  
  • Depending upon the severity of your situation you may choose to change your clothes and shower while your bread rises.  Sadly, I am to this point.
  • Follow any instructions given to you by your doctor.  

Protecting your lungs takes just a minute and with a little bit of common sense you may be able to manage baking for a long time.

2012 Update-
Sadly, I learned about protecting myself from flour exposure too late in life.  I have been a lifetime baker.   We had two missionaries in the field at the same time so I took a position as a Pastry Chef and helped open a new location.  We had done very well topping records for other locations upon opening.  I was loving the new things that I had learned.  At first I was taking an antihistamine and then my symptoms went crazy after about the third month.  One day a corporate trainer visited us and asked me if I was a Celiac.  He had worked around a baker who'd developed Celiac Disease.  There was no hiding.  I'd been noticed.  I was fighting with the realization that my life would need to take a different course.  I attempted to stay away from the flour moving to another part of the kitchen.  But, the same kitchen was used at night to bake all of the bread and we baked cakes, brownies and goodies all day.  I ended up leaving the work force and coming back home to be a full time Mom again.
I bake still, but nothing like I did before.  When I get lazy and do not wear a mask to even measure a small amount of flour I have a head ache, runny nose and sneezing afterward.  It was very hard for me to accept this change in my life.  Something that had been such a hobby to me and had brought me so much joy....  But, when I was making the choice to leave my job my mother asked me if I wanted to be able to eat.  She was so right.  When I would have egg exposures on my skin I would develop an angry red rash on my arms.  And when the flour came out I'd wheeze and get hives on my face and neck.  The fatigue that I felt was horrible.  I still wheeze from time to time even without flour exposure, but had I persisted it could have been much worse.  I have suspicious swallowing issues now that may be related to my continuing to eat wheat.  I know it is easy to say, for Heaven's sake just stop eating it.  I eat very little wheat these days, but I guess you could say I am stubborn.  I was tested years ago for Celiac, but the blood test was negative.  They say the gold standard is endoscopy.  Maybe one day I will break down and get checked.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Today's Bootie Variation - Sewing Pattern

Many years ago when I actually still had a baby I saw a bootie with a curved back like this.
I worked on the back for this years ago and put it away.
This morning I happened onto it and decided to make it fit a pattern I already make.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Friday, April 17, 2015

Orchid Wedding Bouquet - Two Weddings in 62 days!

I have entered a new stage of life and my time behind the computer has been limited to indexing a batch here and there on Family Search and quickly checking in on the happenings with my friends and family on Face Book. 

My second oldest child (my sweet son) was married this last weekend to his cute wife that he met in 10th grade in seminary.  We are getting ready for my oldest to be married in 57 days!  Oh my goodness life is changing so quickly. I now find myself with a foot in two worlds.  My 7 children are growing up.  My four oldest are out of high school and my "little" boys are not so little anymore.  I have only one left in elementary school and 2 in junior high.  How did this happen?  ..."and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream"...  Jacob 7:26

Our second wedding is 62 days after the first one and we have hit the ground running now that the first one is over.  My Mom is hard at work on our daughters wedding dress and I am working on other details. 

Yesterday I finished my daughters bouquet.