My 2016 Highlight Reel, Finding the Joy!

On Sunday, January 1st, I sat in church listening to our Pastor talk, he asked us about our highlight reels we had and if there was anyone that wanted to share, several people went up, sharing about jobs, getting married, but I struggled to see the moments despite knowing there was good to be had. I had to stop and think about what this year looked like, because looking back it felt like there were a lot of frustrations, stress and worries that in truth, didn't amount to the worry that was keeping me from seeing all the wonderful things that had happened. While 2016 did it's best to knock me around, despite the lumps and struggles we faced as a family, from out of the shadows there were some pretty wonderful moments that I'd like to share with you. 

 A highlight, meeting  Rachel Jone s and participating with her for "What the Stork forget" contest and having her write for YEGInspired! 

A highlight, meeting Rachel Jones and participating with her for "What the Stork forget" contest and having her write for YEGInspired! 

In February, I found a new church after a very long hiatus, I needed to find a place of community and connection, I found that at Enjoy Life and reconnected with a few old friends and met some pretty wonderful new ones as well!  
My daughter met a wonderful man in the fall, they were engaged in February (with a summer wedding to boot). For April, following Canada Photo Convention, I chose to take the leap and work on my magazine, putting out a short run of a 100 copies to test the market with a soft launch in June.  In May, Rod and I celebrated 25 years of marriage and June, my son graduated high school, which as result had me retiring as a home school mama of 17 years.

Another highlight from June, was connecting with Athena Raypold, who heard my vision, shared my joy and jumped onto the band wagon, helping me with YEGinspired (lots of love to her!) for all she's done! 

In August my daughter got married to Nathaniel, in what turned out to be the most glorious summer day on the farm. Perfect for an outdoor farm wedding as the next day it rained cats and dogs.. and the next several weekends going into September.. it did more of the same.. (perfect timing). 
In October, the Premier Issue of YegInspired came out and in November, one of my best friends flew here from Atlanta to hang out with me for a weekend. She pushed my creative buttons and was inspired for some of the little things I had been missing, thanks Megan Gladden, I so needed that. Along with that, I also photographed some wonderful families and worked with some incredible people this year, it really is an honour to capture your real life moments.

Now that the new year has started, I'm looking at some of the things I'd like to do going forward, the second issue of YegInspired will be coming out in April.. can't wait!! I'm booked already for several family sessions that I'm so looking forward to. And this year, I get to cross off a goal/dream item off my business list where I'll have the opportunity to shoot one of the cover images for Edmonton's Child Magazine! I'm over the moon and can't wait for that!!!
And In February, I'll be bringing back the One Click workshops for mama's, keep an eye out for those workshops, where we'll meet up and I'll teach you the ins and outs of your camera.. but there will be more information coming up on that in the next while.


For a personal project, I want to mindful of the highlight reel, and not get bogged down in the negatives, 2016 was a rough one for many of us and it's easy to look back, to only see the bumps and bruises but for 2017, I don't want to have to pause and think passed all the grey days, I want to be able to directly see a highlight reel of all the joy and the positives that happen, so my goal each week is to share a positive thing that has taken place and post a favourite image/images. If you'd like to join me this year, I'll be using, #findingmyjoy2017 Would love for you to follow along on Instagram @thisislorrainemarie

All the best,

Lorraine
 

Rising Tide, Tuesdays Together Styled Pineapple Shoot

Before I start with this post that I've been sitting on, waiting to share, I want to tell you about one of the best groups I've been added to this year, Rising Tide, a collective of creatives that believe that community over competition is better than going alone. The Tuesdays Together groups are an extension of the main Rising Tide group, where we meet, hang out with other creatives, artists, entrepreneurs and get together to encourage, talk about business goals, educate ourselves on all things business and converse over coffee, tea & some really good munchies. 
This June our local Rising Tide (RT) Tuesday's Together group was presented with the challenge to do a styled shoot for the national RT blog.  Kelly Marleau (Fiddle-Leaf), our fearless local RT leader, presented us with idea & Suse jumped in from Fringe & Festa began organizing all the details to bring the shoot together. As it happened, she had an engagement celebration to plan for, which we graciously were able to piggy back onto, adding our own unique flair from our groups talented members.

Rising Tide Pineapple Styled Shoot

Our group may not be huge compared to some of the other RT/Tuesday Together Groups, but I feel like we rose to the challenge to bring this together. The original intent was to shoot outdoors but the weather network changed our plans and rain was on the menu for the day. With some quick handy work, Suse and her team reassembled the shoot in her home! Way to go Suse! .. and a big thanks to her son .. we kind of took over his playroom!

Fringe & Festa planned out our "Party like a Pineapple" shoot with bright pops of colour making the rainy day a lot more cheerful! Hits of yellow, accented with black and white stripes and cute pink flamingos. Clothing and jewelry were styled by our talented members; Zoe of From Harper made cute little rompers with stamped designs on them from House of Posie. Featured above is the green bottom romper with yellow straps. House of Posie created the T-shirts with pineapple stamps & stamps on the green/striped rompers, She Cuts Vinyl rocked it out with white T's with Pineapples, the black T's with gold pineapple, along with the glassware with the gold pineapples! (she does amazing work and really makes an event personalized!) 
Mini Street Kidswear brought the super cute denim skirt in stripes, striped shorts and green shorts with suspenders. (Suspenders on kids are so unbelievably cute!) And, String For Pearls created the beautiful teething necklaces worn by Zoe with From Harper. 

Desert Table & Styling was done by our talented Suse from Fringe + Festa, sugar cookies and the flamingo cake by Rachelle of  Milk & Cookies Bake Shop , the heavenly Macarons were from Contessa French Macarons & a beautiful double tier cake with gold top (not shown) was done by the talented Triple L Cakes. And to complete the look of our event, the Chalkboard Poem was done by Athena from over at The Salty Almond!

Our Participating Models were: Suse and Liam Luzio; Mia and Sofia Miniaci; Miss FM ; Missy and Little Miss Ross; Athena and Fitzgerald Raypold; Amelie, Isaac, and Xavier LeMessurier; Zoe and Harper McRorie


Our Crazy Christmas Ribbon Game, It's a Tradition

Christmas is sneaking up fast and before it arrives too soon I wanted to share one last post with you before the holiday is upon us. Years ago, when the kids were just wee ones, I began a special family tradition for our kids,called the Ribbon Game. It's one of those games that HAS to be played. The kids, even now have committed me to a lifetime of our tradition & I don't see it ending anytime soon, even with my kids being 17 & 21!  

 Edmonton Christmas Photographer

The nature of the game is simple.. the kids wait in one of the area of the house (our master bedroom) while Rod & I begin to create an intricate maze of criss-crossing ribbon, that leads from the starting point (the master bedroom) to a christmas eve present at the end of the spool, that they unwrap. Some years (when they were younger it was a shared gift, but it's been a long time since I've done that).. Now, my kids competitive streak goes into hyper drive and their goal is to beat the other one. Aaron usually beats Alora by 30 seconds or so & this year it's been asked if I could make it more complicated.

Creating the ribbon game began simply enough and wasn't as complicated of a game. The ribbon would lead from the bedroom down the stairs, maybe around a table and a few other fixed furniture pieces.. but now.. they each have their own coloured spool, and its becomes a massive tangled web of multi-coloured ribbon weaving its way from upstairs, into the bathroom , around shower heads & faucets, to the living room under , over and around coffee tables.. down stairwells into the basement, back up and outside the front entry and back into the house, upstairs & down.. zig zagging in all directions until they finally reach their gift. It's pretty hilarious to watch but getting it this way.. is my christmas eve workout. The game becomes a night of laughs as they exhaust themselves competing to get to their present first!

From our home to yours and to all the wonderful traditions you'll celebrate with your family. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! 

See you in the New Year! 

An easy DIY craft from The Wheelbarrow Gardener

This week I attended a craft night at Bonnie Doon Centre for a workshop by Valerie from The Wheelbarrow Gardener  . Valerie, shared with us a few easy and simple techniques to creating easy floral pieces for the holidays or to give a simple thank you hostess gift.

 DIY floral crafts from The Wheelbarrow gardener 

For this project we used
 a simple mason jar   // fish gravel from the pet store  / / ribbon, twine , yard // greenery from trees or  floral picks // and Paperwhite bulbs 

You can decorate your container, using twine, ribbon, yarn, and if you have any greenery you can raid your garden.. use stems from Boxwood, Cedar or Evergreens.. Or you can head to the dollar store for picks to embellish your jars.. I kept mine simple, as I like things a little more natural and rustic, opting for twine, a contrasting yarn and greenery for the outside of the jar.

 DIY from The Wheelbarrow Gardener  

After you decorate your container, add in your rocks (about a 1/3rd full),  then take the bulb, butt end down and wiggle it so that it's sitting nestled firmly into the stones. (just a wiggle should do.. don't need to force the bulb down).

Fill with water so that it's just up to the bulb and by Christmas you should have a flower in bloom... (just don't quote me on that.. I'm not known for my green thumb.. but I'm gonna trust that my Paperwhite will take to me). 
Don't forget to keep an eye on the water level so your bulb doesn't dry out. 

Theses are great to make for a quick hostess gift for friends or families.. make a trip to your local florist and get creating! 
Also, a big Thanks Deanne from Box Social Event Planning for organizing the many craft nights held at Bonnie Doon Centre. If you'd like to see some of the many events Box Social has going on in the city.. Follow her on Twitter, IG or Facebook

Enjoy & Happy DIYing! 



Throwback Thursday, Skating Rinks in the Backyard

For Throwback Thursday going back to the winter of 2003, when Rod began to do a yearly tradition for the kids by building them a skating rink in the backyard. We did it for so many years and as we moved he continued to do that for the family. I look at our new house, the yard is more sloped..the kids, too old for backyard skating rink parties though Rod and I both joked about it at supper the other night that we should build one on the deck. The kids could do a swan dive into a snowbank with their friends. I somehow, don't see that happening... but, it was good to reminisce about our backyard skating rink memories, I sure miss those days! 

                                    Alora's 9th Birthday, A Winter Ice Skating Party November 29, 2003 

                                   Alora's 9th Birthday, A Winter Ice Skating Party November 29, 2003 

                  Aaron had just learned to skate on his own, playing a form of Broomball with his Uncle Kevin. 

                 Aaron had just learned to skate on his own, playing a form of Broomball with his Uncle Kevin. 

                 Alora pushing me around on milk crate, while Aaron catches a ride. (a little camera shy)

                Alora pushing me around on milk crate, while Aaron catches a ride. (a little camera shy)

Behind The Office Door, A Look At My Work Space

A year ago I was renting office space in Sherwood Park, it was a cozy 110 square feet, and I loved working out of there.. However, some of the drawbacks were that I did have to pay about $400 a month just for my lease.. plus additional insurance for the space, internet.. etc. They were all extra costs, the price incurred for doing business.. but it was worth it so I didn't have to lug along albums, canvasses or print orders to meet clients in local coffee shops.  

PhotographersHomeOfficespace

When we were looking at building a new house, it was really important for me to have a dedicated home office and having a fourth bedroom is where my business now resides. No longer having to drive back and forth or be away from the family for extended periods of time, I can wake up, edit, blog and pop back down into the kitchen and work on supper when I come up for air. I still try and maintain regular work hours but it's definitely a nice convenience not having to dash to the office to fulfill client orders. Our new home in Windermere has been the perfect work at home arrangement.  

PhotographersHomeOfficespace

Pictured above is my "oh Monday" pencil case from Chapters that holds all my coloured pens for my Kate Spade Scheduler.. (one of the best planners around!) and just above that is my Blu-Light from Phillips to give me my energy boost in the winter months..much needed when our days are so short here in Alberta.

PhotographersHomeOfficespace

My bookshelf contains my extensive camera collection, and hanging from the closet doors is my Minolta 7s rangefinder. Above my desk on the little white shelf (pictured below), a clipboard with current client listings and workflow tasks that need to be done for the week. 

 Edmonton Photographers Home Office space

On my desk I keep my scheduler, my flowers (hoping my black-thumb) doesn't kill these pretties.. The art work above my shelf is from the very talented Sylvia Soo featuring "le chat", a gift from my daughter purchased at our local Art Walk on Whyte Avenue in the summer. 

I hope you've enjoyed the little tour of my office.. if you work at home in the Edmonton Area and would like to be featured, please comment below or reach me through the contact page to showcase your office space on the blog.

Wanderful life

I sold my old trailer, a 70's boler.. and thought I'd embrace my tent again.. 
But then.. 
.... This Happened! A tear drop trailer! Within a month of selling my Bette Boler, last year, I came across this sweet little trailer on the AutoTrader.. A bad place to be.. don't look, something will bite and you'll be buying things you don't need! 
The hitch (no pun intended), was that my cute lil' teardrop that I'd fallen for was waiting for me in Kamloops..  But, that's not so bad, as it gave me good reason to go on a roadtrip.. and who doesn't love to do a little roadtripping.. Well, me for one! 
So off the Doodle & I went to bring home my now even smaller trailer home. There's room just for two.. and the dog.. but not much else. 
There's a cozy kitchen space on the back side, when you lift the back hatch up, and has all the luxuries I need. No big monstrous beast to suck back the gas, or something I need the hubby's help with to hook up, it's manageable and perfectly tiny for me. 
I can pick up and go, load the DoodleDude into the car, and wander to my hearts content. Find a trail that needs to be hiked, sit around a camp fire with a glass of wine or a cup of tea. It's my home away home and I can hardly wait for camping season to begin, to clean her up and go a wandering again. 

Growing through Challenges

This week my good friend and fellow photographer Melissa challenged me on Facebook to the Black and White Challenge, it was cool to share some of my favourites and pushed me in one of my favourite areas of photography. As a person, I think it's always good to challenge oneself, helps us to keep growing, moving forward and avoid becoming stagnate. How do you challenge yourself? Through Art, books, new hobbies? Currently I've set up my own reading challenge for enjoyment. It's easy for me to get lost in books that are trying to teach me something, but there's something I love about getting lost in a story, maybe it's the escaping from the day to day and living in another world through someone's writing so my challenge has been to read for pure pleasure..currently reading The Rosie Effect.. read the Rosie project and loved it, next on the challenge project will be attempting to learn to crochet..we'll see how that goes! Enjoy the images from the BW challenge!

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 Edmonton Baby Session, breastfeeding

Visual Storytelling - Library Adventures

This is a series for my Visual Storytelling class over at the Define School. I've learned a ton these past 4 weeks ..and while I know I'm missing a few core elements to the story.. (realized after the fact) I really enjoyed this process.. I've felt stretched and have learned so much! I seriously can't wait to take another class this year! A little recap of my library adventure, I wasn't able to have a lot of free time this week, but did have enough to sneak in a morning visit with my friend Lindsay Hood & her two cute kiddo's to hang out at the Edmonton Public Library.

Mr. M (Lindsay's son) with his big sister took me on the grand tour of the kids area..though, Mr. M was making sure I didn't get any face shots of him without giving me the stare down..so instead, got the cold shoulder LOL but he did happened to find a ton of Christmas books, which he gladly shared with me. Love this guy and the looks he gives~ cute to the core!   As I snuck away to follow Mr. M's big sister.. I caught her picking through stories and LOVED what she was wearing, her pose totally reminded me of the character of Eloise from Kay Thompson's storybooks!!

It was off to the computers..for a little computer time and while momma was checking out the stash of books, the kids climbed up the Lois Hole statue, a wonderful edmonton philanthropist that passed away a few years ago. My  I only wish that as I wrapped up our library adventure, I had taken an image of Lindsay and the kids driving away to complete the story and give it a better ending.... lesson learned :)

Blessings,

Lorraine xoxox

 edmonton family photo session library 
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I got a smile from Mr. M!

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Computer Time with Mama & Big Sis

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Eloise Adventures

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Reading with Lois Hole

Birthday Party & NOWradio

When our home school community gets together to celebrate a birthday, we momma's like to pull out all the stops!Home Schooling mama, Joanne had planned a simple birthday party for her son Cayden on May 22nd....Let's meet up at the skatepark and we'll hang out, let the kids play, eat some cake, open some presents and everyone will have a good time....or so, that was the hope. Well, this time the conspirator, Jane decided to KICK this party up a notch and called in the crew from our favourite radio station, NOW Radio 102.3  to come on out and join the party.  That's right, Jane made a request on Twitter ..and sure enough the Popsicle Truck came out to celebrate with us. ..Though, I don't think Jeff knew what he was in for once Joanne's daughter, Kamryn found out about the treasure of sugar that Jeff kept sealed in the cooler. Little did he know what a battle he'd have on his hands with the little sugar-kin Kamryn trying to sneak attack and plunder the spoils of Jeff's cooler popsicle stash. Hat's off to you Kamryn for trying, but all of us home schooling mama's thought Jeff deserved a medal of honour for putting up with little Miss. K and her efforts......Which is why reinforcements needed to be brought in, after Jeff left, the friendly neighbourhood Peace Patrol from the local detachment came by to make sure Miss. K was behaving herself..turns out because Jane called Jeff..the RCMP had to detain Jane for getting Kamryn sugared up and because Joanne instigated the party planning, she was made out to be an accomplice.

...oh ya, we home schooling mama's know how to cause a stir..or at least have a good time

Cheers,

Lorraine

P.S. Thanks NOW!Radio & Jeff! You all rock!

Happy Birthday Cayden!!

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Jane & the cops
Jane & the cops
 Edmonton Kids photos 

Being detained for questioning on Kamryn's Sugar Addiction, Accomplice Joanne with Instigator Jane.

 Edmonton Skateboard Park 

Home school friends of all ages, the beauty of home schooling!