oarsman photography

Last week I had mentioned very briefly that I started working as a freelance photographer again. This is true! Although I never truly “gave it up” (I do submit articles with pictures for a magazine every two months), and occasionally I get paid for my blog posts, I have decided to seriously dive into it again.

It seems like almost a lifetime ago that I was operating as a new photographer under the name Prudence & Me. In my mind, it was a temporary name for a part-time job that I was only just finding my footing in. I began it to help pay the bills, only to stop when I became pregnant. Every session I learned new techniques. I tried to keep the moments candid and gave little direction. My photos were becoming darker with greater contrast and I hadn’t yet found a niche that I wanted to focus on. The name bugged me, but I didn’t want to change it until I was certain that I was going to keep going with it. I had also been saving up for a new camera and lens, only to eventually use that money elsewhere.

After months of mulling it over, I finally feel as if it is time to start it up again. The first thing that I did was change the name to Oarsman Photography (after Remy, whose name means ‘oarsman’ in French). I wanted a more masculine sounding photography name so I could appeal to a wider group of clients. Then I made a website and an Instagram page.

In the last month I have shot a couple’s session, engagement, wedding, mother and son, and family. I feel like my style is still evolving and even though I got a new camera and lens, I am saving up for a better lens. Until then, here are a few pictures from those sessions.

Emory

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master bedroom: before and after

Today, I will be sharing our master bedroom makeover with you all! 

When we first gained possession of this acreage in March 2019 we were paying two mortgages. We therefore decided to hold off on renovating until our house in the city sold. On top of that, it seemed like everything was breaking and so any extra funds that we did have went towards repairs. 

We ended up selling our home in July. By then the weather was too nice to stay indoors and so we pushed back the renovations again. We instead focused our attention on fixing up the yard. We said that we would start painting inside once it got cold again. That finally occurred in October!

Why we did start with a master bedroom remodel? In the past, I have always made our bedroom the last room that we touched. I feel like no one sees it except us, so why be selfish and make it a priority? This time, I really wanted to put more of an effort into honouring the marriage that Geoffrey and I have spent the last almost decade living, loving, and fighting for. 

Coming out of the fog of the newborn stage, I feel a renewed sense of self. Almost like I’m allowed to focus on things that aren’t just baby-related. I have finally started working out, I have gone to a real hairdresser for proper shorter and blonder hair, I have made appointments for just me, and I have started doing photography for clients again! With this also comes a desire to have fun with Geoff, to go on dates, and to grab as much alone time as possible! Hence, a need to pour that attention into a physical space like our bedroom as well.

From the above before pictures, the room didn’t look that bad. Up close, it was a different story. The house was previously rented out to someone who basically let their three massive dogs destroy it. The bedroom doors were torn to shreds, the handles were chewed, the floor and window trim was completely scratched, there were several toll-free phone numbers written on the walls in pen, screw holes everywhere, a ceiling fan covered in fly poop, and decals of soldiers with guns and parachuting out of airplanes. Like what the heck?

The first thing that we did (after months of hanging a blanket in the window to block out the sun) was purchase blackout blinds. Our bedroom window is south-facing so it catches a lot of heat in the afternoon. I cannot believe that we have waited this long to buy them! They work like a dream and look very nice. If we were to ever move again I wouldn’t hesitate in buying the same ones from Home Depot.

Upon hanging the blinds, we set about painting the walls. I went to Pinterest for inspiration and after seeing how beautiful one black wall looked in a white bedroom, I couldn’t resist. My boring self never seems to stray far from black and white walls. I am trying to venture into new colours, but for now, I couldn’t be more pleased with the way it turned out!

After the walls, trim, and doors were painted, we needed a shelf to display everything that I had been hoarding in my closet for nearly a year. It was going to be a shelf dedicated to our marriage and our three babies. Again, my love for all things familiar got the best of me, and I returned to Home Depot to buy the same knotty pine board and black brackets that we hung in our old house, and even the living room of this acreage! One day I might stumble onto a different solution, but until then, this is what a prefer with both the price and look.

Up went Remy’s newborn pictures, Wilder’s birth announcement, Rowen’s only sonogram, and our wedding photo. This shelf sparks love and joy and sadness and everything that my life has been over the last decade. I feel privileged each time I glance up at it.

I also replaced the old plastic switch plates with brushed metal, and the junky register with a black metal one.

Time now to focus on our bed, which I felt was missing something. We upgraded from an old wooden queen frame to a new metal king about one year prior. It was during that time that I also had to buy new bedding to fit the bed. Again, lack of imagination over here, I had zero ideas as to colour scheme. I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and felt completely overwhelmed and out of my element. What I ended up walking away with was white everything! Sheets, pillows, pillowcases, quilt … I didn’t know what else to do.

This time round, I felt such a desire to add a pop of colour. I went to my favourite new store, Home Hardware in Warman, SK and browsed their beautiful aisles of home furnishings. What I ended up buying was an orange pillow (is that orange? yellow? rust?) for $50! It was way more than I intended on spending on one throw pillow, but goodness it was worth it. Remy calls it an owl pillow for some reason, and Geoffrey knows that he’s not allowed to touch it. The blanket at the foot of our bed was crocheted by my late grandmother.

Finally, we needed to replace the “crappy” ceiling fan. When I was at Home Depot I browsed their selection but didn’t see anything that I thought would work. Next I went on Amazon and spent the better part of an evening searching for a black ceiling fan. Again, I couldn’t find one that I really liked. I was so disappointed and was about to give up for awhile. Suddenly, I thought to check Canadian Tire’s website (that is where we bought the fan for our previous master bedroom). As luck would have it, it was the pre-Black Friday event. I immediately saw one that excited me, and it was on sale for $149 from $249. I went the very next day and after using my Canadian Tire money, it came to $130 including taxes. I was so happy, and it’s the cutest darn thing!

One of my goals in making over our room was to transition Wilder into sleeping in Remy’s room, or their shared room. That didn’t happen. While I will eventually replace his crib with a black mirror and a tall plant, until I paint and design their room, he’s going to keep sharing with us. No matter, I will miss him too much if he leaves me.

Thanks for reading! Please leave any questions or comments below.

Emory

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my 34th birthday

November certainly is the month of celebrations for our little family. On Saturday I had a birthday! I am now 34 years old. It’s hurts to say that number out loud. I feel so much younger than that! I think that a lot of people wish that they could pick an age and stay there for as long as they wanted. I would choose 23. Oh, to be that young again.

Regardless, this year around the sun was such a good one, even with its periodic downs. Geoffrey and I even hired a babysitter and we went to the movies on my birthday! Our first date in 1.5 years. It was glorious.

Here are some pictures that we took in honour of mama getting older. It is not easy photographing two little ones, but man is it ever hilarious. Geoff and I are usually sweating by the end, even though we never stop laughing. Out of 140 pictures we only had two perfect shots. I’m including those outtakes because I think that I actually like them more.

https://helloscarlettblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/BC598891-C24C-4061-B741-C2CDBEEADBAD.mov

As a departure, I also filmed our session from a different angle to show the chaos behind the scenes. The music is by Colter Wall, my current favourite artist. He and I are from the same small hometown in Saskatchewan. “John Beyers” is one of his best songs, in my opinion. ;-))) Click the above link to watch the video!

See you next week!

Emory

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recipe: white apple cinnamon loaf

White Apple Cinnamon Loaf

Ingredients:

⅓ cup brown sugar
⅔ cup white sugar
½ cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ cup milk
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
butter to grease

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a greased loaf pan.

2. Add brown sugar, white sugar, butter, cinnamon, eggs, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Fold ingredients into wet mixture. Add milk.

4. Pour half the batter into the loaf pan. Add half the apples. Pour the remaining mixture over top then add the remaining apples, pressing down gently so they are not completely exposed. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Cool completely before removing from loaf pan and cutting into slices.

For added sweetness, you can spread a layer of icing on this loaf. Make from scratch using icing sugar in order to control its consistency!

Emory

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one year old!

This week has been one of deep reflection for me. On Friday November 15, our Wild One will be one year old! This has been one of the fastest and happiest years of my life.

Geoffrey and I had always planned on naming our son Wilder, even years before I became pregnant for the first time. In 2016 came Remy, then our second baby Rowen who I lost in 2017, and finally, Wilder in 2018.

Wilder was and is our rainbow baby. He brought us great hope when we felt lost and sad.

He has been the sweetest, loveliest, and most easy-going baby from the start. I remember being pregnant and at the end of each day I would jump up and down and shake my belly in order to get some type of movement. He was just always so content in there and hardly ever moved around. The only thing that he would seem to move for was the sound of Remy’s voice. He would start dancing whenever she was being particularly loud! I was therefore certain that they would have a strong bond once he was born. That has definitely been the case! These two are as tight as can be.

Because he was so calm in my uterus, I questioned whether or not we should name him Wilder (if he turned out to be a boy) almost the entire time that I was pregnant. That is, until he was born. It was such a wild birth that everyone who met him afterwards said that he had already lived up to his name. After that, I never doubted our choice again.

Wilder is sweet and calm but with an adventurous side. He loves climbing and isn’t afraid to explore any furniture or object that stands in his way. He loves everyone and enjoys waving to and playing peekaboo with strangers. He can out-wave anyone!

He babbles constantly, says a few words, crawls, stands unassisted (!!), walks by only holding onto one of our hands and by pushing anything that moves across the house, loves to people watch, is sensitive, is a pretty good sleeper, still breastfeeds, and still has no teeth! I don’t know what will come first at this point- walking or teeth. He’s pretty close to both, I think.

Anytime I feel sad about him getting older I have to remember that it is a good thing. He is happy, healthy, and thriving. It is only natural that he will keep growing! This is also such a special time in my life- being pregnant and having children. I almost feel like my life is a fairy-tale. Once this phase is over, I will never again get to experience anything even remotely similar. Thus I am trying to soak in every moment that is humanly possible!

I am writing this post on November 10, 2019. On this exact date in 2017, when my niece was getting baptized, I found out that I was pregnant with our second child. While this time of year is one for rejoicing, I can’t help but feel a bit of sadness around our baby that I never came to know or hold. Remembrance Day alone is one for sombreness and reflection, and I will certainly be doing a lot of that during this week- for many reasons. We are blessed to live where we do and lead the life that we have. Sadness aside, I am truly thankful as well.

I wanted to include a prayer for Remembrance Day that was in our church bulletin:

Loving God,
Have mercy on your people,
And open our hearts to peace and love.
Reward all who have died for the country,
And grant that Canada
And all nations
May continue to work
For peace and justice.
Bless us in your service,
And help us to follow Jesus Christ,
Who is our Saviour and our Lord
Forever and ever.
Amen

If you are still reading this, thank you for joining me in my pregnancy journey and Wilder’s first year of his life! Also, for following me through all these trains of thought, trips down memory lane, and emotions. Here are a few pictures that I wanted to include because I have never shared them on my blog (or social media). Gosh, how my darling son has grown.

We will be celebrating Wilder this Saturday with the few family members that love him and have been in his life since the beginning.

Have a lovely lovely lovely week, everyone!

Emory

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (two on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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