Faux Factor

This post is for Aunt Becky.? :)? My mother in law is a professional faux painter and I was impressed with her wood stains on old ugly cabinetry.? Aunt Beck wanted to see what it looked like so I thought I would just post here in case someone else is interested in not having to live with old cabinets (but not wanting to invest in new ones either).

Here is what the original old cabinets look like.

These are the bathroom cabinets (which looked like the above) – redone.

She added trim, new knobs, textured, and painted.

These were cabinets in the hall with more of a Sante Fe twist.

This is her sample dresser in the office where she stained with several different wood grains so you could see the differences.

Cool huh?


Should someone ask me if I would like to shoot on the dock at Lake Pleasant on a weekday again, I would say “Sure!? Love to!”.? If they then added “and on our boat as well”, I would say “Do you have a yacht and do I have a light crew?? If the answer is no to either or both – than forget about it.”

When Aimee and I planned this shoot, it all seemed so doable and fun.?? Once we were out on the water though, the difficulties became obvious pretty quickly.?? Let me just name a few…no open shade, no making the boat stay put due to wind factor even anchored, not a lot of room to position subjects, not a lot of room to position photographer, not a lot of room to position photographers assistant, not enough patience to listen to photographer’s assistant complain about how hot his life jacket was, too much light, too little light, bugs, kids who wanted to fish and eat CHEETOS and licorice with WHITE outfits, anchovies smelling up the hull….LOL – quite a day.

I love nothing better than to spend sweet time with my family and I am so glad that I got an afternoon last week to be with my brother and sister and niece and nephew (David, Aimee, Zandi, and Zane).? We really did have a fun time despite the minor obstacles.? Live and learn right?

I had a terrible time narrowing down what I would show you on the blog so I am going to liberally dose the blog with my beautiful family (if you want to see all of them, ask Aimee for the password).

The second I stepped on my brother’s boat, I was flooded with nostalgia.? Me and my four brothers were raised outdoors.? Our parents took us on plenty of lake trips.? My dad had a ski boat and an old pontoon boat and we would often stay out on the lake for several days at a time.? So many memories.?? Those were my favorite mini vacations and I hope to own a boat someday so that I can instill this same appreciate for the water in my children.? (But first, they must learn to swim.? Sigh…yes my children are non-swimmers.? Tanner can swim a little bit but without having a pool, they just haven’t had enough opportunities to work on this skill.? Maybe this summer…)

Don’t hate her because she is beautiful.? She was born that way.? 🙂

This one might be my favorite of Aimee.

And I can’t resist ending this post with this quote…

“I’m a sailor!! I’m sailing!! I’m in a boat, and I’m sailing!! Ahoy!”

I lied.? This is not the end of my post.? I must end with a flash back boat/lake story from 2005.? The post was called “Cooked Goose”.? I wrote a story on my blog about my brothers that made me giggle but the REAL hilarity of the story was Daniel’s interpretation which he added in my comments.? I must repost.? Oh how I wish Daniel had his own blog.? For your reading enjoyment.

Cooked Goose

January 8, 2005

This incident happened a couple of months ago but I still giggle over it. Partly because it serves as a good example of the scrapes my brothers get themselves into.

Daniel and Darin went in together and bought a ski boat. A VERY nice ski boat. As Darin wants to compete with wake boarding (and may be sponsered so I hear:), he needed a good boat with a??hmmmmm?what is that word? The tall bar that the ski rope attaches too? Someone help me out here. Anyhow, so they purchase a real beauty and they love it. Personally, I wouldn?t purchase a vehicle of any description with my siblings. My thoughts on how one play?s it safe in an off road vehicle and there thoughts vary widely:).

So Daniel, Darin, and Aviel (our cousin) go to Lake Roosevelt for the day to fish, ski, and hunt. (They were hunting geese). At about 11:00 AM they were cruising along and suddenly hit a huge sand bar and completely bank the boat on this island. Important point ? Daniel was driving NOT Darin. Unbelievable I know. I still wonder if there was some cover up going on because we all would have pinned this on Darin LOL. Note: Darin has the same focus issue that I do so no one would have been surprised if he got caught up in talking and beached the boat. Sorry Darin but true:)
Imagine Darin?s delight though that it was big brother that committed this error and not himself.

The three worked feverishly for hours and hours to get the boat off the island but to no avail. They were not dressed for an evening on the lake and they had no food (of course). At about 5:00 PM, they were worn out and exhausted and knew they needed to put plan B into motion. They hailed the sherrif (who also could not get them out) and the sheriff took Daniel to the dock where he drove home to get help.

The plan (as I understood it) when Daniel left was that Darin and Aviel would spend the night with the boat and Daniel would return early in the morning with a crew. As the evening faded to darkness, Darin and Aviel found that this plan stunk. They were stuck on an island with one coke and one goose. They were wet and freezing and starving. They got some gear and swam to the shoreline where they built themselves a fire (how did they do that I wonder?). They shared the coke and put the goose on a quickly built spit and ate it. It was the worst goose they had ever eaten. (And you thought I was just being funny and witty with my title). Somehow, they managed to get Daniel on the cell phone. Did they have a cell phone with them? Amazing they were within range. I bet there is a story on this point also. They insisted that there was no possible way they would agree to stay all night on the lake without food or new clothes so Daniel was going to have to assemble a midnight team.

Daniel, being the resourceful person that he is, managed to get Josh and Romey (and others?don?t remember who?Jodi?) and two more boats. They put several plans together figuring they were going to need backups:). The plan that worked included telephone poles and large tire tubes. They put the inner tubes under the boat, blew them up and then somehow manuevered the telephone poles underneath and literally rolled the boat off the island. The tubes were to protect the bottom. I may have this story totally screwed up now that I am writing it but I do know they used telephone poles and inner tubes. Jodi, can you help me out here? Post your edits and clear up my story. This is making less sense by the minute.

At any rate, they finally got the boat off the lake at 5:00 AM! LOL. Not sure they think this is funny but big sister certainely does:). Note: easier to laugh when you are not the one shelling out the mulah.

DANIEL’s VERSION OF THE STORY (which is funnier by FAR)

Daniel Zimmermann says:

For the record?Yes, I was driving, and yes, it is easier to laugh if you did not have to shell out the ?MULLAH?. However, responsiblility for this incident should be quite shared. We were, in fact at the lake hunting geese and after an early morning success we were heading down the lake at a reasonable speed when we came between the shoreline and an island. I said, quite clearly, ?Let?s go around?, Darin countered with, ?No, go through?. I accepted the suggestion and proceeded with caution. As I cautiously brought the boat down to a reasonable speed as to pass safely through the precise middle of this gorge, Darin was sitting on the mid engine case high above the glare that I was getting off the morning sun through the filthy (Aviel?s fault) windshield. As Darin had this perfect line of sight he was responsible to make sure that our way was clean. In fact, Darin saw the bouy long before we felt the abrupt stop. He just figured that I must have seen it as well as it was directly off of the bow-directly in the sun to me. When we were just about on top of the bouy Darin made the low and nonchalant call, ?Bouy?, to which I responded, ?Huuuuuuugh!? For that is the sound you make when being thrown into a windshield. Darin?s face at this point was priceless. He looked flu sick. Face white, lips blue, swaying back and forth and such. As we looked over the edge to see what had happened it was apparent we were in big trouble. The 22ft. boat was completely resting on the only 22ft. plateau this lake had to offer. Six feet to our right the lake was more that 20ft deep and to our left it was at least 4ft., enough to safely float through. It was just that special luck that we have that drew us to this adventure. After trying hopelessly to manhadle the boat off the plateau we inquired of a local fisherman for the use of his boat and a rope. His boat did not budge us, however, he did take the time to inform me that I was likely to be ticketed as I failed to heed the warning of the now glaring bouy! Obviosly, calling the Sherriff was not going to be plan B. So, we got a bigger boat to make circles in front of us with hopes that his waves would be high enough to allow the boat to ?surf? off of the island. However, the end result was that in the trough of the wave the boat could be made to have absolutely no water supporting it whatsoever. At this point and since we promised our wives we would be home by 4:00 we had no choice but to risk the ticket and call Jody, er, the Sherriff. I climbed out of the boat into the numbing waters and forged the 4ft. waters 20 yards to the nearest island where I climbed up to the highest point where, remarkably, I had reception. I entertained the Sherriff with my perril and they said they would send out their rescue party. While waiting we grew more and more sunburned and hungry, since we packed nearly no food since it was supposed to be a short trip. It was a beautiful day, however. At one point we even had 3 deer swim right past our boat between islands. They even swam back across once for a second look at our Leminy Snickett. Around 6:00 the remaining rays of sun were blocked behind the Westward mountain and the Sherriff still had not arrived. Just then they returned my call to confirm our location and they directed the two man party to us. Ironically enough, this was the same party of lawmen and women who had opportunity to ticket Darin, Dustin, and Josh just a few months earlier. Fearing recognition Darin pulled the celebrity menouver and put on his hat and sunglasses at night routine to avoid the possibly unpleasant altercation to come. Fortunately, they were so impressed with my lack of common sense in driving that they were entertained away from recognizing Darin. After 3 feutal attemps to remove the boat with straps we decided to leave Darin and Aviel with the boat and the Sherriff took me back to shore to get Darin?s truck whose transmission had gone on the way down the hill. About an hour into my drive down to Phoenix Darin called me sounding quite sick and requested that I abandoned the idea of returning in the morning for them as they were freezing, sick from eating an undercooked and unseasoned goose, and had run out of driftwood on the island and were now burning small shrubs that stayed lit only momentarily. I used my next hour to gather the troops and when I arrived in Phoenix most of the supplies were ready to go for the mission. We had tires, telephone poles, chainsaws, enormous beams, steel beams, high lift jacks, basically most of the items found in a junk pile. We loaded all of these items onto a trailor, picked up another rescue boat, (Special thanks to Romie) and returned to the freezing lake. Upon arrival we lashed all of these items together making a great barge that we towed across the lake to Darin who was burning the last of the weeds to show us the way. Getting to the boat we rigged up a giant pulley and lever system, jacked the boat up, rolled the telephone polls underneath and pulled it right off of the island. Perfect. (With the exception of the holes I put in the hull and the trashed propeller, driveshaft, and steering system). We then towed the boat back accross the lake, trailored it, and were back in Phoenix in time for church. And, as far as I know, Darin never got in any trouble for any of it. Thank you Lord for insurance and those crazy enough to sell it to us!


I often enjoy a simpler background when shooting my own children that allows me to focus on just my subject.? This location is a favorite.? :)? I went out there with my mother in law last week and took quite a few pictures of Tori – I’ll consider these her third birthday pics.? 🙂

She has so many cute expressions.? Three is a fun age.

This week? I caught Tori walking around our front room carrying some props and saying “This is not going to work for me”.? I laughed wondering if I say that when I am shooting.? In a subsequent shoot I realized I do indeed.? :)? She doesn’t miss a thing.

I snuck in a few of her brothers too…

Tanner made me giggle today.? I was reading about Pink River Dolphins (saw that on your site Missy) and told Tanner about it.? I explained that when they get excited you can see the blood through their skin so they look pink.? Tanner says “I think they look pink when they are underneath a rainbow.? That’s weird.”??? Hmmmm…I suppose he could be right.? His explanation is more creative I think.? 🙂

Got some with Grandma too.? 🙂

Why is she pulling Ty’s hair?? Is he like the sweet dog that just lets her do it and doesn’t bite back?

So the removal of her babies (pacifiers) has caused an unexpected problem.? She has become nocturnal.?? Because night time was her opportunity to have her pacys, I think she enjoyed going to bed.? Now, she doesn’t know how to get herself to sleep so she plays.?? We hear her tearing her closet apart nightly.? Last night I kept catching her out of bed.? First she needed a drink.? Then she needed to brush her teeth (already had done that).? Then she “needed to say goodnight – so good night”.? Then she was dashing across the hall from the playroom with a guitar and a microphone.? I asked her what she thought she was doing and she said that she needed to sing a song.??? She isn’t sleeping during naptime much either so I am getting a grumpy baby on my hands by early evening.? Ohhhh….what to do?? Hopefully she will adjust….eventually.

Grandma went back to the car so she started getting mad at me.

The Little Queen {Phoenix Newborn Photographyer}

This is Victoria Elizabeth.? :)? Last week I came across the basket above and loved its crown shape.? Realizing that Victoria Elizabeth was going to be visiting my studio, I thought a royal setup appropriate.? The day before the shoot I decided that baby Victoria needed a crown but I wasn’t sure where I would find one petite enough for a newborn head.? I decided to make it myself.? Every Queen needs a crown you know.? As you can see in the above picture, Queen Victoria agreed.? 🙂

Little Victoria had quite the royal personality to boot.? She is strong, determined, persistent and quite dedicated to her agenda.? She let me know that she was very happy and content being snuggled in my arms (which I loved of course) but was not a fan of being put down – especially on her tummy.?? Her shoot occurred on her due date and I thought her quite mature for her tender age.? 🙂

I think Victoria liked my new bunny hat and cocoon though.? I sure like Victoria in it!? 🙂

Typically, I do baby in mama’s hands or daddy’s but this time tried both and I think I have a new favorite.

Would you look at that!? Straight at the camera and no crossing.? Direct eye contact – another Queenly trait.? 🙂

But even the Royals get sleepy…

and smile in sweet slumber.

That bunny costume was begging to be worn outside.

Spring is such a wonderful time for babies to be born.? There is even some green to be found in Phoenix!? Isn’t my little spot sprucing up nicely?? 🙂

It is not often that I get such wide eyed expressions from newborns.? Darling she is!

Nigh night little lady – may you reign in peace.

Life As We Know It

I am comfortable BEHIND the camera but not in front of it.? Therefore, I have pathetically few pictures of me and my children and NO family pictures since Tori has been born.? Shame on me huh?? I need to get our match letter written asap and it requires at least a few shots of mom and dad so I asked my sweet friend Erin to shoot a few for me in her backyard (www.ErinMcFarlandPhotography.com).?? As you can see, Tori was the wildcard – as usual.? I have no idea what that last picture was all about but it made me laugh (and glad to see she harasses Erin as well ;).?? Since there is RARELY a photo of me on this site, I thought I’d share.? 🙂

And THANK YOU Erin for doing this for me!


Tori:? Mommy I can’t really find my panties.

Me:? Put a pullup on.

Tori:? Okay.? That’s fine.

Ha!? That was her end goal all along.


Tori:? Mommy can I have a mint?

Me:? Someone ate all of them yesterday and based on your icky diaper last night I am going to guess you.? Do you have anything to say about that?

Tori:? Um………………………………………………………….no.


Tori:? Mommy can you change me?

Me:? Can you ask Daddy?

Tori:? No his hands are dirty.

(A minute later on tv there was a commercial where the actress says “Don’t change me”)

Tori:? “DON’T CHANGE ME?””!!!!!?? I don’t like her!


While watching Life as We Know It yesterday, I was snuggled up to my honey on our couch.? Tori was laying on her tummy watching tv across our laps.? Her face was near our knees and her feet were stuck in our face.? Apparently, we both picked up on her obvious cue and we each had one of her feet and were softly tickling (just like she likes it).? When I realized that little Queen Bee had both of us right where she wanted us without us even realizing our joint servitude, I had to giggle at the irony.? Unlike the movie, Jim and I DO know how to co-parent.? At one point I asked Tori which of us was doing the better job on the tickling and she said “Your all good.”

Domestic policy today – foreign ambassador tomorrow.? She’ll be great.