A Pig With Bling!

Happy Brithday Regan! For this first birthday party, we were asked to create a cake that was pink and girly, and had some elements of the farm (Regan has many little barns she loves to play with).  So, a pink barn seemed to be the way to go.

a barn is not the most challenging shape to make out of cake, so to make things a little more interesting, we had to focus on the details like a haystack with flowers on it, a shovel and a rake, a pig with bling etc...  Have a look!

did you miss some of our earlier cakes? you can see Lily's giant cupcake here. For plenty more like a pirate ship, a monkey, a motorhome, click here.


Winter... Wonderland?

Well, I've been trying to motivate myself to get in shape lately, and I started jogging a little bit. I say a little bit, because it has been years since I've done anything with this body, so I don't get too far before I want to lay down on the sidewalk and reject my insides. I was running on a fairly regular basis a few summers ago (the first time since I was young), and feeling pretty good about it, so I'd like to get in that routine again. I'm not looking to do great distances, or spend much time doing this. I was always satisfied just going for a quick 4 or 5km boot around town.  Right now I'm killing myself just trying to get to 3.5km. hah. I've only been out a few times though, so I'm sure it won't take long to get the old body into it again.

The big problem I'm having is that running (which worked for a few days when it was warm) has now turned into a challenge of making my way through deep snow, ice patches, and stinging wind. I'm not so interested in that, so progress is a little slower than I'd like.

Winter is definitely not one my favorite things, but when you think about it, there is something kind of magical about snow, isn't there? Here are a few wintery shots I've taken...


Some Lo-Mob Fun!

Thanks to fellow creative mastermind Eric Rockburn, I discovered and got my hands on this tasty little iPhone app that's exactly what I've been looking for! With Lo-Mob, I'm able to take shots with the phone, and give them a damaged, flawed, retro look... similar to what you'd get when taking photos with a Holga, which I love.  There's so much about the Holga that you just can't match with any digital photography (the mystery of how your shots will turn out, the excitement of getting some sweet looking shots with what is essentially a crappy platsic toy, etc...), but this app is definitely worth playing with.

Here are a few phone pics I've had a little fun with!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Money. Love it? Hate it? Need it.

I've got money on the brain these days, for a few reasons:

First: It's time for me to start organizing all my financial info for taxes for the business. I usually have this in order and tracked on an ongoing basis, but this has been quite a messy year, and things didn't come together like they normally do.

Second: Because of the messy year, I haven't had time to be as active with my business as I'd like, as far as promoting myself or going after new clients. This needs to change so that I can keep things rolling, and keep the dollars flowing. So, like it or not, I've got money on my mind because of that.

Third and Final: I'm seeing a lot of greed all over the place these days (nothing new, I'm just noticing more), and it's really annoying. Of course we all need money, to pay taxes, to keep a roof over our heads, to feed the very hungry mouths of our children, and to buy a few toys here and there. Some people just take it to the next level.

I have no problem with people wanting to make more money, get a nicer house, a great car, go on a cool trip, whatever... Of course people want these things, and as a small business owner, going after more money is very important to stay afloat. Like it or not, money is a necessary evil.

Where I get disgusted is when people just want to get their grubby paws on everything they can, even if it's stuff they don't care for at all. It gets to the point where a person loses any trace of personality, and goes on a mission, with a one track mind. If there's something free to be had, they'll take it. If there's money to be made, they'll go after it, regardless of who it hurts. They'll sneak around, turn on those close to them, whatever it takes. All for a few bucks, or a couple pieces of junk. Oh, and of course if you've got a few bucks more than the next guy, you must be a better person right? Not familiar with this type of person? Just wait until someone in your family passes away, they'll be all over the place in no time, sniffing around for anything they can claim as their own.

I guess in the end it's a fine line isn't it? Even for me, at what point does my desire to do better in business become a matter of greed, and not just wanting to do well and support my family? I don't know if I'll ever figure that out. Oh well, in the spirit of greed, here's a shot I took of some big money!


Why Do I Keep Doing This Anyway?

If you've even loosely followed my blog, you know that I eat a whole lot of eggs. Pretty much every day, my breakfast has some sort of eggs in it, and I'm now trying to think of a decent breakfast alternative. Not because I feel like eating something different, but because I want to take pictures of something different. How many egg pics does a guy need on his blog, right?. I need to mix it up!  This leads me to wonder, do I have some sort of problem here?  I change things in my life based on what I want to take pictures of. No other reason, just for the pictures. ya, it is a problem huh.

I guess it might be a little strange for me to keep taking pictures of just about everything, or to take shots of today's breakfast even though I already have hundreds of egg pics. The thing is, I just can't help it. I look at something, and I see it as a photograph. It doesn't matter if it's breakfast, plants, shadows, scenery, the kids, whatever. That's just the way I look at things. Actually, I've always visualized everything as a painting, but the truth is, I would never have time to paint all the things I'd like to, so the next best thing is a photo.  It's a thousand times quicker to create a nice image with a camera than it is with a paintbrush, so it has become my tool of choice. Not only because of time, but because I think I'd look a little silly if I brought a big canvas and painting supplies everywhere I went. 

Anyway, I may very well be wasting my time with all these pictures, but it is nice to look back on past years of our lives and pretty much see what we were up to every single day. OK, so I admit that a lot of the shots I take are unnecessary and just silly, but I like that. Here's yet another egg breakfast!


Mushrooms anyone?

I love mushrooms! Well, for pictures anyway, not so much for eating. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem chomping on some fungus every now and then, but it's definitely not one of my favorite things.  When it comes to photos though, you can't go wrong with mushrooms, because they have such a great variety of colours, shapes, and textures. Here are a few shroom pics I've taken during hikes in the forest over the years (yes, I'm still anxious for summer to get here)...


Tic, Toc, Tic, Toc... Time, I Hate You

WARNING: I'M ABOUT TO WHINE FOR A BIT... I really hate time. There's never enough of it for anything, and no matter what you do, everyone always wants more of it from you. We all just put up with this, and I'm just sick of it.

It seems like no matter where I am, someone somewhere else is mad, waiting for me to be there instead. When are you coming...? when are you going...? When will you do...? When will you get...? When will you start...? When will you finish...? When, when, when? BAH!

I know it's not normal, but being expected to be somewhere, or do something at specific times of the day just doesn't work for me. Why is it weird If I want to have lunch at 4 o'clock, work in the middle of the night instead of during the day, or get an urge to start a painting, or go for a jog at 3am?

Oh well, it is what it is, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. I just thought it was time for a grumpy post. Tic, Toc, Tic, Toc... Time, I hate you. Glad I got that off my chest, now I can stop being a cry baby and get back to business as usual.

Moving on to something sort of time related, here's a picture I took of a watch! It has a story of it's own, but that's for another day.


Soup n' Sandwich... Times Two! - North Bay Food Photography

I notices when I was looking at the many pictures I've posted so far, that I didn't have a shot of any kind of sandwich. This is strange because I eat a lot of sandwiches, but I guess most of them just don't look good enough to bother taking out the camera. Over the past two days, I happened to have a few half decent looking ones, so I couldn't help myself. Out came the camera! The first picture is a colourful serving of chicken salad, hot peppers, and chunky vegetable soup. The second is egg salad, alfalfa sprouts, and italian wedding soup.

The challenge I'm having now is I have no idea what to have for my lunches or breakfasts that I haven't taken shots of and posted already. I'm also stuck with a limited variety of plates, bowls, placemats and settings for my pictures. I'm finding myself looking at things when we go to stores, thinking specifically how I could use them in my food pictures. If I don't get out of this phase soon, we'll end up having a large collection of mismatched dishes, glasses, and many colours of tablecloths, placemats etc... I haven't purchased much of anything yet, but it could soon become a problem. I've had my eye out for a white tablecloth so I can brighten things up a bit, but for some reason that's something I haven't been able to find yet. Anyway, on to the photos...


Happy Valentine's Day - North Bay Photography

Well, there's not much to say about this... being Valentine's Day, I thought it would be an appropriate time to post a few flower photos I've taken. Hope everyone has a good day!


The Storm - North Bay Food Photography

About four years ago, we were hit with a pretty sudden, and serious storm. It was summertime, and the weather was quite nice, until the sky quickly turned black and the wind started blowing. It rained quite hard (sideways, thanks to the crazy wind), and trees, patio chairs & just about everything else in town was flying around all over the place. The storm lasted no more than fifteen minutes, and once it was done, the sun came back out, shining on the disaster that the wind had left behind.

I took a spin around town shortly after to get a few pictures of the destruction. My favorite photo was taken right by a home where a huge tree had fallen, and pulled up a good part of the yard along with it, mangled fence and all.

Last night, I happened to meet the owner of the home, and we briefly talked about the storm. It's pretty amazing with the amount of large trees that came down that day, that there wasn't more damage, or more injuries all over town. Overall, we were pretty lucky that day.

Anyway, I just had to dig up the old photo and post it. I tried to capture something ugly and horrible, and somehow make it look kind of nice. I think it worked...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Waiting For Spring - North Bay Photography

For some reason, even though this winter has been relatively mild, and we haven't been hit with ten feet of snow (yet), it feels like the 'blah' weather is just dragging on a little too long for my liking.

We still have months of this white stuff to go, but I need a little visual break from it, so my desktop background today is a close up photo of some moss I took at the Canadore College trails a few years ago.  I took it with an ultra compact camera I used to have. No point-and-shoot could ever compare to an SLR, but this camera sure had some great macro abilities. It was definitely one of my favorites of all the little cameras I've had through the years. Here's a small version of the shot.


Random iPhone Silliness

This week has been pretty busy, and I haven't really had time to take any interesting pictures, or even to go through old pictures to look for anything interesting. I figured I should post something anyway, so here are a few very random, silly pictures taken with my phone. I'll have something better to post tomorrow, really.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


The Lake - Now Playing!

Our Somerset Productions short film "The Lake", which I talked about in this earlier post, is now playing on the National Screen Institute's website.  If you've got a few minutes to spare, please feel free to follow this link and watch the film. I shot the flashback sequences in the story, so of course I'm pretty happy with how that turned out, but really I think the whole thing looks great. I'm excited to start shooting the next one.

Writer Michael Humble talks about it more eloquently here, on the Somerset Productions Blog.

Anyway, have a look at it and let me know what you think!


Happy Birthday Lily!

Lily is two years old today! It's hard to believe how quickly the past few years have gone. When it came time to decide what her birthday cake would be, it was a toss up between a mushroom with a fairy on it, or a cake that looks like a giant cupcake.  A few days ago, Nicole found a birthday shirt for lily that has cupcakes on it, so we decided to go with that idea for the cake. We haven't shown it to her yet, but I can't wait to see her tearing into it. Should be nice and messy. I'm guessing she'll want to chew on the cherries, or the giant strawberry (they're made entirely of icing), yum! I think this is a decent one to add to our cake collection...


"That Looks Disgusting!"

"That looks disgusting!"... that's what came out of Nicole's mouth when I handed her breakfast this morning. Not exactly the reaction I was going for, but considering what was on the plate, I wasn't entirely surprised.

The dish was an english muffin, topped with salami, eggs, green onions, and some delicious Guinness Cheddar (thanks Mike). The cheese that topped the egg might not be the most appealing thing to look at, but it definitely was tasty. Throw some spinach and cherry tomatoes on the plate to go with that, and you've got yourself one tasty breakfast. Unlike Nicole, I actually think it looks nice too, and I believe my camera agreed.


Good ol' Toronto (more iPhone pics)

This past week, we went to Toronto for a Leafs game, and a little bit of shopping. I love going to the city, and I don't think I'd ever get tired of walking the streets, taking pictures of just about everything. We didn't really have much time on this trip, so my good camera stayed in the hotel room (very rare).

I did take a few seconds to get some shots on the walk from the restaurant to the ACC, here they are.

I've been using the 'camera bag' app on the iphone to edit these shots, and the ones in my last post. It gives a few options for filters to apply to the photo, but there's no control at all over brightness, contrast, colour etc... So it's not the greatest. If anyone has a good photo editing app for iPhone, let me know what it is!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone



This year, we haven't exactly taken very good care of ourselves and lately, I've been feeling more gross and flabby as the days go by. You could assume that all the food I take pictures of (then eat) has something to do with it, but that stuff is in small doses, and mostly pretty healthy.

The big issue Is what goes down the hatch when I don't have a camera attached to my face. Looking through the pictures I've taken with my phone, I came across a few of the culprits. Not good.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Time to plan a party!

It's time for us to start planning for Lily's second birthday party! I'm not sure what makes me feel older, the fact that our baby (our very last baby) is not a baby anymore, or the fact that our oldest is 9!  It doesn't really sink in that I've been a dad for nearly a decade already.  Why is it that after so many years, I still don't have this gig figured out! I don't know that anyone ever does.

Anyway, right now, what we need to figure out is exactly what we'll make for Lily's cake (I'll post pics of that when it's done, in the meantime you can see other cakes we've done here), and what food we'll have at the party.  To get our butts in gear, and keep the 'party food' dilemma fresh in our minds, I'm posting a few snacks we had at Tristan's last birthday get together. Spinach, artichokes, garlic... all the staples of stinky but delicious treats!



Soup's On!

Well, we've had a few soupy days,  and of course if I'm eating it, you're seeing it. So one is an Italian wedding soup, with macaroni instead of the usual little ball noodles (I don't know what those are called), and the other is pretty much a whole garden in a bowl. Have a peak...

I could eat soup anytime, and I can't remember ever having a bowl I didn't like.  One of my favorites is a soup my Memere used to make. There really wasn't much to it, and it could be considered quite boring, but even thinking about the smell and taste of that soup reminds me so much of my childhood. Maybe that's why I like it as much as I do. Here's the recipe for the soup, give it a try if you get bored sometime, it's a pretty easy one to make. You'll be missing the very important ingredient of childhood memories, but you might still enjoy it.

- Boil a big pot of water
- Add 2 onions, 2 sticks of celery, and 1 small soup bone (about the size of a hardball).
- Boil for one hour.
- Remove bone, onions and celery. Squeeze the onions and celery on the side of the pot on the way out to get all the flavor out of them.

- Add approximately:
   3/4 cup of alphabet pasta
   1/2 cup of white rice
   Handful or so of long macaroni noodles

- Boil 'till noodles are ready and rice starts opening/splitting.
- Add a big can of tomato juice.
- Leave it on the heat until it comes to a boil again, and then it's done.