Archive | July, 2011

Canvas Wall Art

I love having photos on my walls.  Luckily, I have very high ceilings that allow for lots of wall art and I take lots of pictures, so I always have a lot to choose from.  I have one wall in my living room that I update with new canvas prints or a gallery mount every January after my annual New Year’s Day photo shoot of my boys.  That means that I always have last years’ canvases to find a home for somewhere in the house.  Therefore, my bedroom wall is the dumping ground for old canvas and gallery mounts that move from the living room.  I also love to make up large canvas prints for my living room and kitchen area from photos taken throughout the year, steering away from my kids and using nature.  I’m always asked where I get good canvas prints made.  For my clients, I use a professional lab here in Grand Rapids.  Their work is awesome and I love their product.  But for my personal home canvas prints, I will use Costco or the professional lab.  While the quality of the Costco canvas is not the same as Prolab Express, I feel like the look is just fine for my personal use.  The following are some canvas I have up in my home.  I will follow each pic with the lab I used to print it.  Leave me a comment if you have any questions!  Happy Saturday!

my bathroom canvas.  i need this to remind me daily that God’s compassions are new every morning and His faithfulness is great!  this was done at Costco 20×30

three canvas across top of window, these were done at Prolab Express, Grand Rapids

the boys done at Prolab Express, Grand Rapids.

the boys done at Costco.

my kitchen up above the cabinets, done at Costco 20×30

Zucchini Fritters with Pepper Sauce

While on vacation two weeks ago I went through at least ten cooking magazines, pulling out recipes and marking pages of things I thought sounded good.  When I got home, I organized the new recipes into my recipe books and promised myself I’d try them.  When I first pulled out a new one last week, I realized how severely lacking in my kitchen I am.  I have a “small” list going of things I now realize I need to do any sort of “gourmet” cooking 🙂  For the following pepper sauce I needed a food processor.  As I still do not own one of these, I used my smoothie blender.  It seemed to work just fine.  These fritters were a spur-of-the-moment thing, as both Karl and I had eaten big lunches and were not very hungry.  Obviously, these are more of a side dish, but we ate them as our main meal.  I loved them and Karl said they were good, but he did not want seconds.  Hmmmm… I started the pepper sauce first and while the peppers were broiling, I began the fritters.

Zucchini Fritters:

3 medium zucchinis, coarsely grated

coarse salt and ground pepper

1 large egg

2 green onions, finely chopped

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Coarsely grate zucchini.  Place in a colander set in the sink and toss with 1 t. salt.  Let sit 10 minutes, then press out as much liquid as possible.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, lightly beat egg.  Then add zucchini, onions, flour and pepper to taste.  Stir to combine.

In large skillet, heat the 1/2 cup vegetable oil over medium.  Slowly (as oil is hot and will splatter) drop zucchini balls into oil and gently flatten with a spatula.  Fry until browned, 2-3 minutes per side.  Transfer to paper towel to drain.

Pepper Sauce (Adapted from July 2011 Cooking Light)

4 red bell peppers

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 T. fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 t. ground coriander

1 1/2 t. ground cumin

1/2 t. kosher salt

1/2 t. crushed red pepper

Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise, discard seeds and insides.  Place bell pepper halves, skin side up, on a baking sheet, flatten with hand.  Broil for 12-15 minutes, or until blackened.  Place in a paper grocery bag and fold to close tightly.  Let stand for 20 minutes.  Peel skins off.  Place red peppers and all other ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Plate your fritters while hot and drizzle with the red pepper sauce.  Enjoy!

Blake & Bryce {Wedding}

Here is a full sneak peek from my wedding last Saturday.  Blake and Bryce were married at Laketown Conference Center in Saugatuck.  It was quite warm, but a beautiful time was had by all.  I love outdoor weddings (when the weather cooperates) and love the pics I’m able to take outdoors.  These pics are some of my personal favorites ever and I hope you enjoy!

Venue:  Laketown Conference Center, Saugatuck

DJ:  Moments In Time Disc Jockeys, Joe Lober

Apple Green Wedding Details

I love wedding details!  They are a favorite part of my day at every wedding.  Saturday’s wedding had an apple green color scheme, with green, black and white as the main colors of the day.  Following are some of the detail shots from the wedding.  These colors were perfect for a hot July outdoor wedding.  All I can say is the attention to detail was stunning!  Enjoy.

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have been so very busy the past week!  I had two weddings last weekend and have been hard at work editing pictures the past two days.  Needless to say, I have been a bad blogger.  I completely ran out of time this morning to post anything.  So today’s post will be a sneak peek of the wedding I photographed on Friday.  While the day started with some rain (they say rain is good luck on the wedding day), it did clear up enough to allow us to hit a local park in Holland for beautiful outdoor pics.  Enjoy!

Cake:  Cake Occasions, Hudsonville

Floral Design:  True Vine Creations, Jenison

Catering:  Above & Beyond Catering, Holland

Digital Scrapbooking

When I got married almost 15 years ago, I received a 12×12 white wedding scrapbook and some tools to work on it.  And so began my love affair with scrapbooking.  I have about 5 books pre-children.  Then, I have about 16 books for my oldest son (who is only 9, what can I say, I tend to take a lot of pics) and the poor twins only have 4 books each.  This year I started to forgo doing a book for each child and am doing family books from here on out.  I figure they can fight over them some day down the road (or should I say their wives will fight over them).  I’m hoping to decrease the fighting by doing all my scrapbooking on my computer, digitally.  I started digital about 4 years ago.  And it was the best decision!  No more unpacking all my supplies all over the kitchen table and then having to clean up.  Everything is on my computer.  I work on my pages at least once a week, more in the winter.  I am only five months behind, which for me is fabulous!  Email me with questions or leave a comment, I love to talk to others about this!  I also teach a Digital Scrapbooking for Beginners class every winter.  Let me know if you’re interested!  Here are a few samples of pages I’ve worked on recently.  Enjoy!

Family Photos at the Wedding

I love to check out other photographer’s wedding blogs.  It’s inspiring and keeps my ideas fresh.  Oddly, I do not see many pictures of the couples with their families.  So in honor of the two beautiful weddings I was able to photograph this weekend and all the sets of wonderful parents I was able to work with, here are a few family pics taken at my last few weddings.  Family pictures are not usually the most creative shots of the day, but I think they are some of the most important.  Especially being a mother myself, every time I take a pic of a groom and his mother, I immediately put myself in her shoes and start thinking about the day that my boys will eventually get married.  Happy tears, sniffle, sniffle, refocus…ok.  Enjoy!

Outdoor Summer Weddings in Michigan

As a wedding photographer, I get to attend numerous weddings every year.  My wedding “season” in Michigan normally runs from May until the end of October.  And I tend to have a lot of outdoor weddings during the summer months.  My wedding today is actually indoors, but we will be doing all the photos outside.  I give my brides and grooms a lot of credit planning an outdoor wedding in Michigan.  I don’t care what month of the year it is, you have the potential for rain, snow or blazing heat.  Out of all the outdoor weddings I have shot over the years, none of them have been rained out.  But I have had a few with high temps and lots of humidity.  In honor of the wedding I am doing today (temps are supposed to reach the mid 90s with some humidity thrown in), I am pulling out a few shots from previous years weddings that were held outdoors.  Enjoy!

Permanent Makeup

In my previous life, I worked for a plastic surgeon.  Working from his office was a permanent cosmetic artist named Nicole.  She would perform medical tattooing for patients that had undergone breast reconstruction after breast cancer.  She also did permanent makeup for clients which included eyebrows, eyeliner, lip liner and full lips.  About four years ago I had my upper and lower eyeliner done and have loved it!  No more sweating my makeup off or worrying about a mess while swimming.  I also do not have to take the time to put it on every morning.  If I want something more dramatic, I just add more on top.  My mother also had her eyeliner and eyebrows done about 4 years ago.  As she got older, her eyebrows grew thinner and thinner.  She loves her eyebrows and will be going to see Nicole soon for a touchup, as they have faded some over the years.

I have been friends with Nicole since she started at the doctor’s office.  She is still there one day a week working for him, but she has recently opened up her own spatique in Jenison, specializing in women’s specialties including hair, skin, cancer care, wigs, permanent cosmetics and electrology.  I had the pleasure of enjoying a haircut by her this week and was able to catch up.  Her salon is absolutely beautiful and I recommend her services to everyone I know.  I was able to grab some pics of the shop while there.  If you know someone going through cancer treatments or finishing cancer treatments that might enjoy some TLC, stop in to see Nicole and grab your special someone a gift certificate for services.  And if you’re interested in permanent makeup, checkout her website or Facebook business page for information and to see before and after pictures.  Or email me with questions, I want to see her helping as many people as possible!  Nicole, I love you!  God has given you a heart for working with women and helping them look and feel their best.  May you be blessed as you bless others with your special talents.

Recently Finished Books

I love to read.  I am a member of the online book swap club at  On this site, you post the books you have available to mail to other members.  Other members post their books.  When you find a book you want, you request it.  The owner then normally accepts your request and mails out the book to you.  You can ship books through the post office as media mail and save a little on shipping.  You pay for the shipping when you ship your own books.  When I receive a book that I have requested, I go to my account and mark that I received it.  This gives the person who mailed it 1 credit.  As you accumulate credits, you can request books from other members.  Right now I have 27 credits built up and about 4 books waiting to be read.  As I see books that I want to read or hear about them, I go to my account and add them to my wish list.  Then, as these books are posted by other members I am notified that they are available to request.  That all sounds very confusing, but basically you’re getting an almost new book (most of the time) for the cost of shipping, around $2.40.

The following three books are ones that I recently received and read in the past month or so.  I am a huge fan of anything Stephen King, and “Under the Dome” by Stephen King did not disappoint.  It is huge, over 1000 pages, but I could hardly put it down.  It is a great read with fun, complex characters.  It reminds me of “The Stand,” with a lot of characters and a lot going on.  And this is NOT horror.  Almost every person that I talk to about Stephen King only thinks he writes horror and they say, “Oh, I don’t like him.”  But this is a great story, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes a good old fashioned story!

I saw a review for “A Happy Marriage” by Rafael Yglesias in People magazine.  This was fantastic.  I just finished it on vacation last week and read it in just a few days.  A great story of long lasting marital love, through the good and the bad.  I recommended this book for our August book club, we’ll see what the ladies in the group have to say.  I admit, I cried through the last chapter of this book, it was quite touching.

And finally, “Wesley The Owl” by Stacey O’Brien.  This has been on my wish list for well over a year.  I love any and all birds and was intrigued by a true story of a female biologist and her pet owl.  This is a great read also.  Small and easy to read, great for vacation or a trip.  Animal lovers will definitely shed tears with this one, but well worth the time to read.

I’d love to hear from all of you and hear what’s on your summer reading list.  Leave a comment, help me find some new books for my wish list!