Archive | November, 2009

GR bound!

23 Nov

Holy wow, when I said I had a busy weekend ahead of me, I had meant it. I’ve neglected this for 3 days & now I’m squeezing this post in between packing & cleaning before leaving for Grand Rapids for my Thanksgiving break! I’m so excited to see my family that I haven’t been able to sit still for days. My friend Chris & I will be making the trip downstate & I’m playing DJ so I hope he’s prepared for my awesome music selection!

So… My weekend. I had the chance to take some fun photos of my friends Kim & Shannon for a Christmas gift for the their parents. I haven’t had a chance to get really far into the editing process but I started on a couple of them last night so I’ll let you take a look : )

Also, this was the weekend of New Moon, in case you didn’t figure that out before with me running my mouth about it. I saw it Friday night with my best friend, Michelle. AMAZING. I loved it so much that I went to see it again last night! (SPOILERS– skip the rest of this paragraph if you haven’t seen it yet & don’t want details) Kristen Stewart finally convinced me that she was Bella & I’m really pleased with how well they followed the book. Favorite scene? The wolves chasing Victoria through the woods/Bella’s cliff jump/Harry Clearwater’s heart attack all-in-one. Cheesiest scene? When Alice ‘sees’ Bella becoming a vampire & her vision shows her & Edward frolicking in the woods together, for lack of a better word. Pfffffftttt give me a break! I said it last night though, screw all of this ‘team’ business. If I had my way, I’d take Edward AND Jacob & Emmett, Jasper & the werewolves too. I’m sure I’d find a way to split my time between all of them!

Okay, enough of that. There’s some more work to be done on them & a lot of others to edit but here are some photos from this weekend…

Kim & Shannon : )

these ones were sweet. i can't wait to edit more

Leapfrog!

Happy weekend!

19 Nov

It’s officially… MY WEEKEND!! That means I get to relax, right? WRONG. I work Friday, Saturday & Sunday. I’m volunteering at my job on Saturday for a pizza-eating contest they’re hosting (it’s okay, I get free beer!)… That’s the work stuff. Here’s all the FUN I get to have!!- NEW MOON comes out at midnight tonight but I have to wait until tomorrow to see it. I’m doing holiday family portraits for the Carlson sisters, portraits for the Caldwell sisters and portraits for my friends Kara & Lacy. LOTS of pictures to be taken!

Actually, aside from the friends that I’ve asked to model for me for projects of mine, I’ve had quite a few requests for portraits. Ohhh if you could see my smile & feel my excitement right now : ) Here is the portrait work I have lined up for myself with all this photography business (either by request, promises to friends, etc):

  • Carlson sisters (holiday)
  • Caldwell sisters (gift for mom & dad)
  • Sarah Boogren (pregnancy progression portraits for the next 7 months)
  • Kara Nordlof
  • Lacy Lafave
  • Jennifer Engstrom (portraits of her children)
  • Colton Newton & Brianna Ebenstein (couple portraits… maybe some engagement photos soon?!)
  • Valerie Sue Peterson
  • Sarah O’Neill
  • Christine Smessaert
  • Mandy Cowell
  • Scott Wanhala (bike stuff)
  • Chris Thomas
  • Jessica Katie Ohlsen (my final series for a class)
  • Cara Gould (my final series for a class)
  • Gene Ross (my final series for a class)
  • Jesse Carlson (my final series for a class)
  • Matt Mckindles (my final series for a class)
  • Cecily Browne (my final series for a class)

I have a lot of editing on my hands coming up : ) If you want to be a part of the portrait craze too and are in my area, please contact me about it!

Besides that, if you’re in the Marquette area this weekend, I’d highly advise you to come to Aubree’s on Washington St. on Saturday at 1 pm for the pizza-eating contest we’re hosting! Bring 3 cans of non-perishable food to enter the competition. Even if you’re not a part of the competition, we have a SWEET DEAL for those of you 21 & up- $4 pitchers of Labatt Blue & $5 pitchers of KBC Red Jacket ALL DAY!! It’s an insane deal and I hope a lot of people take advantage of it.

Okay FINE I guess I’ll let you see the final products for my mock 303 project. Also, since this blog is a smorgasbord of a million thoughts & ideas anyway, I’ll provide you with another one of my mom’s awesome recipes to try for Thanksgiving and a little something to get you even more in the mood for New Moon. Have fun!

Michelle: Caffeine (paint is still drying!)

Jessica: Laughter

Okay, this recipe is a family favorite for us. Mom makes it for every holiday, family get-together, whatever. She gets yelled at if she doesn’t so you’d better try it and see what I’m talking about…

Mom’s Cream Puff Dessert

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 4 cups milk
  • 3 pkgs. instant vanilla pudding (3 oz. each)
  • 1 large tub of Cool Whip
  • Chocolate Syrup

Melt butter in water. Add flour & cook, stirring constantly until it forms a ball (this will happen quickly). Turn into a bowl and beat in the eggs one at a time. Spread in a grease 9×13 pan. Bake at 400°F for 35-40 minutes. Cool. Mix together cream cheese and milk, beat until smooth. Add pudding, one at a time and beat. Spread over the shell once it’s cooled. Top with Cool Whip & drizzle with chocolate syrup. Chill for at least one hour.

Mom’s Tip: Add the chocolate syrup just before serving. The lines will stay more delicate-looking rather than running into the whipped cream. Use the chocolate drizzle sparingly. Dig in!!

And since midnight just can’t come soon enough for many of you:

Finished!

19 Nov

After tomorrow morning, my week from hell will finally be over! No more projects & papers! Then it will be the weekend, followed by 2 days of [easy] classes & I’ll be headed home to Grand Rapids for THANKSGIVING!!! It won’t be a moment too soon either because my body NEEDS mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie- mmmmmm : ) For a week straight I’ll be able to concentrate on photographs that I want to take and no one  else can tell me what to do!

Remember my friend Katie that I raved about (see: I like your FACE!)? Her sister, Jesse got a hold of me yesterday & their parents want me to take pictures of the 3 sisters for holiday cards! Then today my friend Kim asked me to do portraits of her & her sister for a christmas gift they’re doing for their parents– pics, pics, pics!! I’m crazy excited for it all!

BACK ON TRACK- I presented my mock 303 piece today and no, I don’t have the final pieces to show you yet, but I have the next best thing! I went through and edited a few extra photos so I thought I’d share them with you here : )

Click on the images to see them in their full resolution!

Brittany aka B.Pops : )

B.Pops

Jess- i took a gajillion of her b/c the light was difficult....

... but then we just ended up with a ton of awesome ones : )

tree swings are sa-WEET!

jess

told you i had a million of her...

michelle 🙂

and here's britt's that i wasn't able to get onto a canvas : (

P.S. NEW MOON comes out in 2 DAYS!! I’d say I’m definitely Team Edward but WOW does Jacob look good in this one ; )

Oh you know what? what the hell- while I’m at it, I’m going to go ahead and pull the awesome card and give you guys my mom’s pumpkin pie recipe in light of the Thanksgiving spirit. It’s probably close to the same as any other pumpkin pie recipe but it was in the recipe book SHE made for me so it’s HERS!!

Mom’s Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 cloves
  • 1 can (2 cups) pumpkin solid pack
  • 1 can (13 oz.) evaporated milk
  • single crust

Heat oven to 425°. Prepare crust. In large bowl, beat eggs slightly. Add remaining ingredients, mix well. Pour into crust-lined pan. Once oven is heated, bake for 15 min. then reduce oven temperature to 350° & continue baking for an additional 45 minutes. Knife should come out clean.

TIPS: Cover the crust around the edge with tin foil for the last 15 minutes so it doesn’t burn. If you’re going to use store-bought crust, stick with Pillsbury. Other off-brand crusts can be much dryer. For the Pillsbury crust, roll it out with a rolling pin to make it slightly larger than what they are in order to fit your pie pan well.

Woo Hoo, pumpkin pie!! Top it with a dollop of whipped cream– and I mean the REAL stuff that you have to use beaters to make and add sugar to! Hope this gets you as excited for Thanksgiving as I am!

Mock 303

18 Nov

At NMU, 303 is individual art review for the art students. I’m taking a prep course for that right now so we have a mock 303 project that we’re doing for it right now. Mine’s due tomorrowUGH!!  I asked a few friends to choose one word that’s descriptive of what’s helped them get through college so far. Then I photographed them in a setting to portray that word. I painted some canvas’ which is what I’m going to mount them on. I need to find something cool to mount a paper print to canvas though…. hmmm…..

Here are some pictures of my process, though. Once i get the final pieces done, I’ll be able to post them up! : )

Canvas' 1 & 2! Thank God my apartment has an extra room for art space : )

Michelle: Caffeine

Jessica: Laughter

It runs in my blood

16 Nov

Let’s just cut to the chase- my Uncle Craig is seriously one of the coolest people on this planet. You think I’m joking or making a crazy exaggeration, but I’m not. A quick and less-than-thorough rundown of his life: graduated high school & joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1980, met & married my awesome Aunt Sue, had 2 of the greatest cousins I could ever ask for, Dana & Ryan, worked at the U.S. Embassy in Venezuala for a really long time, retired from the Coast Guard but still works I dunno… like 3 jobs? One of them puts him over in Abu Dhabi for a couple weeks every month. Like I said, definitely not thorough, but you get the idea.

He got me my first hookah (which I named Aaminah, meaning ‘lady of peace & harmony’) from Abu Dhabi, which I’m totally in love with. Oh and here’s my favorite part: he’s an amazing photographer. I’m starting to think this hobby runs in the family! He’s gotten into a lot of hdr photography and if you want to see some really stunning pictures of his time he spends in Abu Dhabi, visit his photography blog: http://craigcorlphotography.blogspot.com/. The best part about his blog is that he gives you advice for improving your own photography & shares with you all of his awesome experiences. Seriously, camel races?!! That’s not something that most of us get to see everyday. I urge you to check it out. Whether you like taking your own pictures or not, you’ll be amazed at everything you see on his blog. (He’s also got a wicked sense of humor which makes the reading even more fun.)

Meanwhile, I’m stuck here in Marquette, which is no U.A.E. and I’ve got a few projects, presentations & papers due in the next 3 days. Thank you, blog, for providing me with another unnecessary distraction. Now I get to go hunt down a friend who’d like to be my next portrait victim for this mock art review presentation that I have due on Wednesday. I’m seeing a lot of caffeinated beverages in my immediate future.

Want to see my first, lame attempt at hdr?! please don’t judge too harshly- I just sat my camera on the table surface and shot what was already there. It’s no sweet landscape but the moment I read about it, I wanted to try it out.

HDRlily

so lame in comparison to uncle craig, but i had to start somewhere!

Pass the popcorn

16 Nov

I really can’t begin to tell you how obsessed I am with movies. The first movie I ever saw in a theater was Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. I used to go to the theater with my dad all the time when I lived at home & now when I go back to visit, it’s still something him & I love to do together. I tell you this because yes, I am a Twilight freak & I’m itching to settle into one of those seats with my popcorn, sour patch kids & slushy to watch New Moon on Friday!

I’m not one of those people who like to get to the theater just in time for the beginning of the movie, either. Half the fun is to see all the previews! That’s why I love Apple’s movie trailer website. It’s updated with movie trailers whenever a new one comes out and I check it religiously. If you don’t know what site I’m talking about then here:

http://www.apple.com/trailers/

Unfortunately, I won’t be home in Grand Rapids for New Moon’s release into the theaters in a few days. I live in Marquette in Michigan’s upper peninsula & let’s just say they’re slacking on their theater-upkeep, haha. However, I think in the case of New Moon, not even uncomfortable seats or lack of cherry slushies could deter my excitement : )

Here’s a link to New Moon’s trailer & information on Apple’s site: http://www.apple.com/trailers/summit/newmoon/

Andddddd here’s the trailer : ) —

P.S. If you’re really interested in knowing just how much of a geek I am, know I not only love the Twilight Saga but I’ve also read the entire Harry Potter series through 4, maybe 5 times. In addition, I wear thick-framed glasses, collect wedding magazines & like to make a fuss over incorrect grammar usage (your/you’re, there/their/they’re, then/than, etc).

I like your FACE!

14 Nov

I absotively posilutely love photography. If someone would let me (and pay me), I’d take pictures all day long & do nothing else. Lately I’ve really gotten into portrait-taking. It’s so amazing that each and every person has their own set of looks and not one of us are the same– with the exception of those of you with an identical twin! Lucky for me, I have some of the most beautiful and stunning friends on the entire planet. I recently did a small shoot with my friend, Katie & thought I’d share some of the prints : ) Just looking at these gets me PUMPED for the wedding I’m shooting on July 31, 2010 for Jill, a friend that I graduated with! I feel so honored that she asked me to photograph her on one of the biggest days of her life- I hope I live up to her expectations!

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my favorite

 

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soft focus

 

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gorgeous gal!

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: )

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Katie also has an absolutely AMAZING voice & I hope music lovers all over the world get to hear it someday. I just saw this post on her facebook & I thought I’d do a little friendly plugging for her here on my blog! Definitely check it out!

** On a side note- I didn’t get the stuff to make my mom’s blueberry muffins but I DID make a really tasty birthday cake for my roomie & best friend, Michelle. We’ve consumed almost the whole thing already! Happy 22nd, Michelley!!

I have a craving…

13 Nov

… Or maybe it’s because I’ve been a little homesick lately (haven’t been back to Grand Rapids since June) but I’m going to share with you the recipe of one of my favorite sweet treats my mom makes for me when I come home to visit. 🙂

Mom’s Blueberry Muffins w/ Streusel Topping

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup blueberries (freshly picked are the BEST!)

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder & salt first. Stir in egg, milk & oil until just moistened. Lightly stir in blueberries. Place in paper muffin cups, about 2/3 full each. Top with streusel topping (below) & bake at 400°F for approximately 20 minutes. Voila!!

Streusel Topping

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter (softened)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 chopped nuts (optional)

Combine these & sprinkle over the muffins before baking. 🙂

oh hey!

12 Nov

i think this is going to take me a little while to get used to… but i promise i’ll make it worthwhile! i’ve been playing this song on repeat today and i just love it. the music video is really sweet too- check it out!