I bought a WHAT?!

Those who know me will likely be genuinely surprised to learn that just a few days ago, I went onto Amazon and bough a bible. Yep. You read that right. A bible. A big, fat, hardcover bible with those weird super-thin pages. And I intend to read it. I intend to read it, study it, highlight it, understand it and even make notes in the margins.

Recently, I participated in a workshop led by Kyle Gray on Mary Magdalene. Kyle is a remarkably gifted human being. He does a lot of work with Angels and led this workshop that has opened up a part of my heart that has left me receptive to some of the ideals found in the bible. I’m approaching this learning opportunity with a good dose of skepticism (because after 37 years of doubting the stuff that I learned in the Pentecostal church growing up, I feel like ditching my skepticism might be a little tough) but I am coming at this with a very open mind. I know from a lifetime of searching for answers and clarity that the bible has a LOT more to say that just what the misogynistic teachings that were imposed upon me as a young girl. From the get-go, the “boys rule and girls drool” style of preaching honestly offended me and left me pissed off. No wonder I didn’t want anything to do with that noise.

Jump-cut to this incredible workshop. I listened with my ears and my heart to what Kyle was saying about Mary Magdalene’s role in Jesus’ life and the influence that she has as a woman. He also mentioned points like forgiveness, love, leadership and sacred feminine energy. Those things are all things that I definitely want more of in my life. I have other texts on their way which will likely complement my reading and when I start those, I’ll probably share my experience.

Now, make no mistake. It’s not that I’ve “found Jesus” or been “saved”. I am always pursuing a deeper knowledge of my true self on a very honest spiritual level. This process is just another learning opportunity. Reading this particular sacred text is only going to serve to reinforce what I already believe and enrich my understanding of and relationship with the divine. Being openminded is the key to this whole thing. I don’t pretend to have all the answers for my own life, certainly not for yours. What I do know is that there is a lot of information for me to yet tap into and that is what I intend to do with this particular read.

Have you read the bible? How do you feel about it? I know I was raised in a church environment and am familiar with numerous verses and could, at one time, recite all the titles of every book in the Old Testament. But that doesn’t mean I understood any of it. Tell me about your experience with learning this very large text and how it has shaped your own spiritual journey. This is a very personal topic and one that I seldom open up dialog on with most folks. In this instance, I am genuinely interested in everyone’s attitude and belief about what the bible teaches.

Please share in the comments below.

 

Back to top|Contact me

Out of the Archives

DSCF5047 (2) copy

In January of 2010, I started my business. I had photographed my own children for a long time but my knowledge of portrait photography and Photoshop were very, very limited. In truth, I think that looking back, I ought to have waited to start my business but I was keen and wanted to start learning and helping families capture images of their loved ones that they could cherish for a lifetime. The above image was taken in February which, if you’re familiar with Yukon lighting in the depths of winter, you know is not an abundant lighting situation. For the first two years of my business, I only shot in natural light. I said that it was what I specialized in but at the time, I was terrified of artificial lighting and I didn’t know how to tell my clients that. It took me a very long time to learn artificial light and how very magical it could be. In these early days, I was making the best out of a tough lighting situation. Luckily, I was able to capture a soft, natural smile and really bright catchlights in both of my subject’s eyes.

 

The top image is the straight out of camera(SOOC)  JPEG (it took me a long time to learn about shooting in RAW but suffice to say, having a JPEG makes retouching much tougher than it needs to be). I learned early on the importance of getting the image right in camera. Take the time to get a correct exposure. Do NOT come to rely on “fixing it in Photoshop”. My time is best spent making beautiful images and living a fulfilling life, not slaving away in front of the computer.

I reviewed my  retouching style from those early days and while my clients were given many images that they treasure to this day, my retouching style has evolved. As an artist, I expect my skills to expand and my knowledge of my tools & equipment to grow. I took one of the SOOC images and retouched it as I would now when creating images for my client to view. I want to know out of the three options below (considering the original above), which of the three retouched images you prefer and feel free to tell me why. I’d really and truly love to know why you prefer the ones you do. They are labelled A, B and C to make things easy.

Check them out and give me your thoughts.DSCF5047 copy4DSCF5047 copy 3DSCF5047 copy

Back to top|Contact me

Wicked Eats – Thin Crust Pizza Dough

dec wicked eatsOn Instagram, I bet nearly 30% of my posts are of food. Not just food in restaurants but food I’m making at home. I can say with total confidence that I am a really fantastic cook. I tell people all the time that I come from a long line of women who express their love with food. I am just honoring the legacy. Cooking is fun, the fruits of my labour are totally worth the mess & dishes AND I know what I’m putting into my body. So many foods, including today’s recipe get a bad rap. Michael Pollan who wrote The Omnivore’s Dilemma said that if we prepare the indulgent foods ourselves from scratch, just by virtue of the labour involved will eliminate the potential for overdoing the consumption of those foods. Ever made fries from scratch? Total hassle. Worth the trouble? Sometimes.

So in my house, we eat pizza pretty regularly and honestly, I can barely stomach the frozen storebought stuff. Yes, I buy it on occasion for the sheer convenience and my kids only barely notice a difference. If you asked them, I think they’d tell you that they prefer my home made stuff but they will definitely eat the frozen stuff too. I, on the other hand really only like my own pizza. It took me quite a while to find a recipe that would do what I needed but this one is a total winner. Every. Single. Time.

I’m short and so kneading dough on the counter doesn’t really work unless I’m on a stool. Or my tippy-toes. So, I let my Kitchen Aid do the work.personal-10 copy

 

I put 3/4 cups of hot tap water into the mixer along with 2 tsp of active dry yeast. The recipe calls for 1 tsp but given our altitude, I double the yeast. Altitude will eff up how your bread doughs rise. Our altitude is 640 meters (or 2100 feet) above sea level. On default, I double the yeast to get my bread to rise how I like it. This will require a little trial and error.

personal-11 copyAlong with the hot water and yeast, about 1tbsp of sugar ( I prefer honey) goes into the mix. This is what the yeast “eats” to promote the fermentation necessary for the rising action in the dough.

personal-14 copyGently whisk the watery mix and allow to sit 10-15 minutes until foamy. In the meantime, measure out the 2Cups flour and 1 1/2 tsp salt.personal-17 copyWith the salt, I usually just eyeball it. Sometimes, depending on the toppings I’m going to use, I skip it altogether. I’m a rebel like that.

personal-18 copypersonal-19 copyOnce the yeast and water mixture is nice and foamy, lower the mixer with the dough hook attached and on medium low speed (2-3) gradually add the flour mix. If you find that the dough is too crumbly and not coming together, add a trickle (and I mean a trickle!) of water until it all comes together. You might see the dough separate into two or three balls but as long as it is becoming smooth and elastic, you’re off to the races.

Take the dough out, work it a tiny bit on a floured surface and set it inside a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with either plastic wrap or a damp clean towel and allow to rise until doubled in bulk.

personal-22 copyWhen it has risen enough, it’ll look something like this.

personal-23 copyGently punch it down in the bowl. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and divide evenly into two portions. Knead gently and roll out to make a round-ish pizza-like shape. On your two pizza stones, sprinkle a light dusting of cornmeal. This will prevent the pizza from sticking. Roll out the dough until about 1/4″ thickness. Set out on prepared baking stone and repeat for second portion of dough. Top with desired toppings and bake at 350° until golden (about 15-20 minutes).personal-24 copypersonal-26 copypersonal-29 copySome of our favorite toppings are:

BBQ Chicken

  • shredded chicken
  • bbq sauce
  • red onion
  • mushroom
  • cheddar and mozzarella cheese

Pulled Pork

  • pulled pork
  • bbq sauce
  • red onions
  • cheddar

Pepperoni

  • traditional pizza sauce
  • pepperoni slices
  • red onion
  • cheddar

What are some of your family’s favorites? Try this recipe out and let me know how it goes for you! This is a HUGE favorite with my kids and it often makes its way into lunches the next day at school. That’s the best compliment in my books!

You can find a printable version of the recipe below!

 

Thin Crust Pizza Dough
A simple white flour pizza dough that is quick to make and super delicious.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
1 hr 15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 35 min
Prep Time
1 hr 15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 35 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 Cup warm water
  2. 1-2 tsp. active yeast
  3. 2 Tbsp sugar or honey
  4. 2 Cups all purpose white flour
  5. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  6. cornmeal for dusting
Instructions
  1. Combine warm water and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Add yeast and stir gently. Allow to sit (10-15 mins) until frothy. Gradually add flour to yeast mixture and mix on medium-low speed in Kitchen Aid using dough hook until smooth. If dough is too dry, add tiny trickles of water until it comes together to form smooth balls of dough.
  2. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and shape into ball. Return to lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or damp clean towel and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk. Divide dough on floured surface and shape into round portions. Roll with rolling pin until approximately 1/4" thickness. Place onto baking stone or pizza pan that has been dusted with cornmeal. Top as desired and bake at 350 until crust is golden. Makes enough dough for two pizzas.
Vanessa Falle Photography http://vanessafallephotography.com/
Back to top|Contact me

Made by Hand

DECEMBER DAILY

I would like to begin sharing some of the projects that are currently underway in my house but with Christmas not yet here, I can’t show you what I’m working on in the gift department. BUT. I can show you my December Daily album. I did my first December Daily album last year but it was anything but my first scrapbook. Years ago, I was a die-hard daily scrapbooker and after the fire, it was just too sad to try and rebuild my old collection of scrapbooking materials. Instead, I opted for capturing my favorite time of the year, Christmas. Ali Edwards started the December Daily movement several years back and since I started doing it, I honestly can’t foresee any reason for me to NOT do it. It makes me slow down and observe the details of my days. It encourages me to document and to make special moments out of the potentially mundane.

personal-1 copypersonal-2 copyI try not to tell myself that I’m “behind” even though it’s currently the 15th of December and I only have five or six days done. I’m as far as I am. I’m not behind. There are no rules. No pressure. No possibility of failure. I am as far as I am. However, having just typed that, I know I’ll dash off and get “caught up”. The best parts of a project like this is that many of the choices are already made for me. I have an album, papers and embellishments already selected because they are in a kit. I love kits. They are the secret to success when it comes to efficiency. Also, Ali shares ongoing posts throughout December as her own pages evolve. I won’t lie. I often see what she’s done and use that as my own starting point. I seldom duplicate but I take heavy amounts of inspiration from her pages. I’m totally ok with that. My objective is to record our holiday memories. I don’t have any illusions of being one to pore over unique and innovative design. See what someone else has done and if you like it, do what they did. But in your own way.

personal-3 copypersonal-4 copypersonal-5 copypersonal-7 copy

As you can see in the above images, there are some COOL items for this month’s album. What’s more is that there’s a ton more stuff than I could ever cram into one album. In fact, I’m using tidbits from last year’s December Daily kit in this year’s album! Score for me! This week is the big gear up to Ray coming home from camp (this two weeks at work and one week home gig is the cat’s ass, by the way!) so it’s the best time for me to dig deep into personal creative projects that tend to fall by the wayside when he’s home. I’ll share in my next post the finished product if you’re interested.

 

Do you do anything to document your family’s holidays? Share your projects (links encouraged!) below in the comments. I’d love to see what you do.

xo

Back to top|Contact me
S u b s c r i b e
S o c i a l   M e d i a