Today is Thanksgiving in Canada... so... like many other people... I am thinking of the things for which I am thankful. No doubt, I will leave something crucial out, so this list is by no means exhaustive!
I am thankful for my loving, happy, and mostly healthy family. I am thankful for my wonderful friends and creative buddies. I am thankful for my loving cat who keeps me company and is only occasionally moody. I am thankful for our new and cuddly puppy. I am thankful I have books to read and the ability to read those books. I am thankful for a roof over my head and plenty of land to run and play on with my children. I am thankful for a comfortable bed to sleep in and covers to keep me warm this winter. I am thankful I live in a peaceful, stable part of the world. I am thankful for running water, electricity and ready access to food, healthcare and education. I am thankful to be a photographer so that I can help families preserve precious memories...my own family included as well. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to help others and that volunteering makes my life more meaningful. I am thankful that I can also have such "frivolous" things as an ice cream maker, an amazing camera and an assortment of china teapots. I am thankful for chocolate chip cookies, warm sunny days, the scent of lilacs in Spring,the sound of my children's giggles, and Autumn in Ontario.
As you celebrate Thanksgiving 2009 remember what you have, not what you've lost. Remember those who would give anything to be where you are and have the little you may have. Remember those who will have their first Thanksgiving without a loved one. I will be thinking of my Uncle Rick who passed away this July and will offer up my thoughts and prayers for his wife and young family.
Remember that there is always something to be thankful for and that nothing is trivial... even chocolate chip cookies...
I would like to share a quote with you and hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates visions for tomorrow."
Of course I can't post without an image so here are a few pictures from last weekend ... some of you Caledon residents may recognize the location...
It can be a photo of you, your child, your baby, your family,
your pet... whoever you want photographed... it's yours!
Now for the important details of the contest.
To win this contest you need to:
1) Grab your camera and take a photo of an object,
a landscape, yourself, or your kiddos. Then email me your
entry photograph(s). ONE CATCH! The photo has to have the name
SWEET PEA in it somewhere! Be creative! It can have the name written
on a card, on your child's cheek, written in chalk paint on your driveway,
on a fence, on a shoe... but the photo MUST have Sweet Pea in words
somewhere in the photo.
2) Email your photo(s) to Sweetpeaphotography@sympatico.ca
or at Olijnyks@sympatico.ca
3) Tell me WHY you should win (it doesn't have to be long - just a sentence or two)
and why you would like to have your photos taken by SWEET PEA PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY
4) Contest deadline is October 16th
5) Contestants must be 18 years or older!
I will pick the three most creative photos and give them to an anonymous Mom at St. Rita. The anonymous Mom will have the difficult task of selecting the winner. I will post the winning photo on the blog... so keep checking back!
I will have prizes (to be announced) for the top three images...
BUT the winning photo will receive an awesome complimentary photo session with
SWEET PEA PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY!
So go ahead... get your camera out and start snapping!
I don't know who said this, but there really are places in the heart you don't even know exist, until you love a child. I was not prepared with my first child for the deeply intense and emotional feelings that literally seep out of you the minute they are born.
Angels come to visit us...
The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.
Receiving First Holy Communion is one of the most important milestones in a young Catholics life. It is a day of family and tradition. Sweet Pea Portrait Photography is offering a first Holy Communion Special to capture your child's portrait as you celebrate this momentous occasion. First Communion portraits are treasured keepsakes for parents to cherish the innocence of childhood and hope for the future of their children. If you book your session soon you will still have time to send portraits with your invitations, or have custom designed invitations made. This special session is at a reduced rate with no print order minimums. There are several popular items that you can add to your order such as a personalized storytelling DVD which can be shown at your child's celebration or several other keepsake items such as albums and bookmarks.
Yesterday afternoon I set up my studio for some high key portraits. I asked my favourite model to pose for me and we had the most wonderful photo session... it was pure magic. I really do fall in love with each and every image I photograph during those split seconds when the shutter is pressed and time is frozen... this session was no exception! High key is the term used to describe photographs with white or bright backgrounds, and usually with bright lighting situations that render subjects in a light tone similar to that of the background. High key portraiture is ideal for lively children whose body language tells so much about who they are... especially their individual personalities. Using a simple high key background without props can produce the most delightful candid images that tell a story about the child and the portrait session. Using simple light coloured props in a high key portrait can create beautiful storytelling images. When used carefully props can add significantly to an image by providing a variety of images that are priceless. At Sweet Pea Portrait Photography we feel that variety of choice from a portrait session creates added interest and excitement and elevates the photographer to the level of an artist. In high key, a little imagination and creativity can go a long way to produce images unmatched by any other technique!
Lil' Miss Sweet Pea herself...
It's pancake day in the Olijnyk household, but depending on where you live and how you celebrate the day its also called Fasnacht Day, Shrove Tuesday, and of course Mardi Gras. This morning as my children were heading out the door for school I told them that dinner today would be pancakes! They immediately began talking excitedly about our backwards day but asked "why are we having pancakes for snack at school and for dinner tonight?" Well, the answer to that question is that eggs and fat were once forbidden during the 40 day lenten fast, so on Shrove Tuesday, the day before LENT, British bakers would make pancakes to use up their stores of those ingredients. Since I have three children with three different favourites for breakfast I sure went through my stores of those ingredients! My Son likes Blueberry-Yogurt Waffles, my youngest daughter adores Apples Pancakes, and my eldest daughters favourite breakfast treat is Buttery Apricot Crepes. Whew! What a lot of baking! However the time and energy spent preparing their favourites was well worth it...it was so fun to share a "backwards dinner" with my three sweetpeas and hubby! And here... because I am sure you were wondering... is the recipe for Buttery Apricot Crepes...
BUTTERY APRICOT CREPES:
1 cup butter
3 1/3 apricot jam
Melt butter in a large frypan. Add apricot jam. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smoothly combined and heated through. Fold each crepe in half, then in half again to form triangles. Arrange folded crepes in sauce in frypan. Continue cooking and spooning sauce over crepes until sauce thickens slightly and crepes are hot.
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons soft butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Place milk, eggs and butter in blender container. Add flour, sugar and salt. Cover and blend at high speed 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of container and blend an additional 30 seconds or until batter is smooth. Refrigerate, covered, 2 hours or overnight. Heat a 6 in frypan or crepe pan until a drop of water sizzles and bounces. Brush melted butter over bottom of pan. Add 2 tablespoons batter and rotate quickly to spread batter completely over bottom of pan. Cook about 1 minute or until lightly browned. Turn and cook 30 seconds. Remove from pan. Repeat with remaining batter. To store, separate each crepe with waxed paper. Wrap in foil. Refrigerate or freeze until needed.
Makes about 12 crepes.
Here are two more images from our pancake party... all images were shot in natural light... my absolutely preferred technique. I find that images shot in natural light are far more natural looking and give more pleasing shadows thereby creating a more three dimensional look. If you are trying to photograph your child outside remember to look for an open shade area where you will have a more even distribution of light and shade.
I love this image because of its sentimental value... the sterling silver fork is from my Grandmothers silverware set which she gave me upon graduation from University.
So today is Family Day! While our American neighbours are celebrating Presidents Day we are figuring out what to do on this new and special holiday.I absolutely LOVE the whole concept of Family Day... and I know children throughout Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan are delighted to have yet another day off school! My children and I really enjoyed having their Daddy home so that we could spend time together as a family without the everyday demands of school and work. What a wonderful day! I do hope the stat holiday spreads throughout all of Canada...
The weather was winter perfect for our new holiday...the sun was shining...the air was brisk...and their was virtually no wind...hooray!...quite a change from the weather we have been experiencing! Our family enjoyed a day of play, play, play. We ate pizza...some of us had chocolate milkshakes for breakfast... The highlight of our afternoon however was playing Princess Monopoly and squeezing five people on a sofa to watch Herbie the Lovebug. Yeahhhh! We weren't all play however, some of us did do some work! I had the opportunity to pack away my youngest outgrown clothing... and Katie and her Daddy painted her ensuite bathroom in a beautiful ocean green which is both soothing and retro looking. I'm not sure how much the sixth member of our family enjoyed the new holiday... my youngest gave kitty a lot of squeezy love... here our some pics from our day...