Monday, March 12, 2018

Waiting for Perfection (a.k.a. what we've learned from lefse parties)

Raising up a new generation of lefse makers!

Lefse Party 2018 is a wrap.  We've done it for a few years now, so it's probably safe to say it's a tradition.  It's a really odd thing to do for a couple of reasons (and probably more).

First of all, everyone is invited.  And by everyone, I mean I advertise it on Facebook, and we call and text some people, especially people we haven't had a chance to visit with for too long.  We have no idea who will come, or how many, we just put it out there and wish we had the time to invite more. This year we had neighbors, church friends, marching band friends, a high school friend, and a friend we met years ago on Facebook who quickly became a real life friend. There were old friends and new friends, friends born on three different continents, plus lefse is Norwegian, so that makes four.  It's risky business inviting all these random people together, but seriously, it is just so much fun.

Second, who has lefse parties?  Well, in Norway they might, and there are probably still some families who get together and crank it out.  I may have heard someone say that in her family you got in trouble if you didn't get it thin enough.  But not at our house--if you make it and it turns out warm enough to melt the butter when you spread it on, it's good enough for us. And if it's not warm enough to melt the butter, there's always the microwave.

Here's the thing:

If we waited for everything to be perfect, we would never have people over.  I can think of so many reasons not to.  Guest lists, space and seating issues, hideous carpet and not-so-clean house, social awkwardness, inadequacy issues (that was a whole post in itself once), time on the calendar.  All real.

Community is too important to wait for perfection.  That's why we started lefse parties.  It's one thing that I can handle.  I threw a couple of soup mixes into pots, and made a quick veggie tray so people could have an excuse not to make dinner when they got home.  We served water and coffee to drink, because that's what we drink at our house.  People seemed pretty ok with that!  They had fun making the lefse, and they were pretty content to just visit.  I mean, some of them have come all of the years now.  Some of them didn't even know what lefse was!  They came for the togetherness.  They got the invitation and took us up on it.  I hope next time even more people will take us up on it.

Our society has gotten pretty hung up on perfection.  If that's the standard, eventually we're all going to end up disqualified.  It's grace that allows us to actually do things that count.  I'm so glad we didn't wait.

Jesus is perfect.  The rest of us are a work in progress.

"By one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." Hebrews 10:14

Sweet grace.  What an invitation!  It's for everyone too.  I'm taking him up on it.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Lifestyle Photography: Your story on display!

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One of the beautiful things about lifestyle photography is that the photos tell a story.
When I do a session, the client gets bunches of photos.  
It's the collection that gives the big picture, rather than one image.
The challenge is, how do you put all those photos to good use?

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1.  Make prints.

Just go ahead and make plain old 4x6 prints.
Put them in a box in a place where you'll see them.

(And yes, Stella actually did come and plop herself down there
as if to enjoy the pictures--after all, there she is with her favorite girl!)

I love having my most ordinary moments at my fingertips.


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Any given morning.

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My baker.

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My comedian.

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My sweet (and often goofy) husband. 

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That day our kids were both on the field.
For rival schools.

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One of those "Mom's choice" outings.

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Ah, yes.

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2.  Make photo books.

I love these.  I make them every year.  Almost.
They are priceless.
Really, the perfect way to tell your story.

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I've used a lot of services, 
and I think Shutterfly is the most user friendly by far.
Definitely a matter of personal preference.

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3.  Make a wall collection.

The possibilities are endless.  I've been working on a few at my house.

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I had a friend make this frame with chicken wire for me.
There were so many different possibilities for materials, but I wanted simple and pretty rustic.
I painted the quote on it, and used decorative magnets to put my photos up.
When I swap them out, they'll go in my box.  :-)
Alongside them are some of my old favorites through the years.

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We used to play these games at my grandma's house when we were kids.
I made a wall grouping with them, and a simple frame I found at Michael's.  Same idea.

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There are so many collage frames and frame sets out there
in every imaginable style, size and price range.
They can be repurposed easily with fresh photos.

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4.  Photo canvases

You can obviously make canvas prints or framed prints to hang on the wall, 
but I really like these easels for smaller canvases.
My robin photo up there is an 8x10 
(I remember when I thought 8x10 was a really big print!), 
and below is an 11x14.

When I want canvases, I go to Groupon and look for the best deal in the size I want.
They're very affordable, and so far I haven't found a lot of variation in quality.

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That bunch of crocuses is one of my favorite photos.  
I took it a few years ago, and it just came out looking like a painting.
Plus one of my favorite photos of my babies.
At a studio.  Because that's what we did back then.

Hopefully these ideas will help you get started,
or they'll prompt you to think of some others that will work for you!

Your photos are too precious to stay on a computer.
They deserve a special place in your home.
Because you and the people you love are a priceless work of art.
Your story isn't like any other.
It deserves to be told.
And remembered.