Turning Into A Couch Potato Yet?!

I'm pretty sure that I am!

Not because I've "wanted to"... but this Stay At Home, Coronavirus/Covid-19 thing is driving us all a tad stir crazy. (Can anyone relate? LOL!)

Here's a fun little family project that I did with my kids.

It was a great way to exercise their creative minds, kill some time, and keep them from driving each other (and me!) completely batty.

As a fun little side bonus, it's also helped us to stay connected with friends and family!

Follow me on Instagram, as I've posted my little Idaho Potato Family to my Instagram account @cherishedchildren

You can keep your family from turning into couch potatoes too!

** Here's How- Set your kitchen timer for 30 minutes and see what you and the kiddos can come up with from the kitchen to represent each member of your family.  

Helpful Hint: I also raided my junk drawer, and my daughter's Barbie box for a little inspiration.  Elijah's "Mickey Mouse" hat is an old sock from The Sock Monster's leftover pile ;)

Potato Family Created by Kelly Zimmerman as a way to keep kids from complete boredom

If you decide to play- please hashtag #MyCherishedFamily so I can see what y'all have come up with!

 

Who ever thought a "long weekend" could get old?!

This long "extended weekend" that I've always dreamt about has become a little more like Groundhog Day (the movie!).

Or maybe even more like the mini-feature from Disney's Once Upon a Christmas- "Donald Duck's Stuck On Christmas".  We've become like Huey, Dewey and Louie, who once found the holiday a blast, but quickly become bored with it as the day happens over, and over, and OVER again!

Even Disney knows that there is such thing as too much fun with Donald Ducks nephews experiencing Christmas over and over again

Anyone else out there with bored children who are stuck at home actually BEGGING to go to school?! WTW?

It's super confusing, as each day seems to draaaaaggg by, and yet the weeks seem to be flying?!

Could it be that it's because bills are due again soon?! Ugh.

Each day as I write in my bullet journal (bujo), I write the date, along with the DAY of the week.  

If it weren't for that and my iWatch, I'm pretty sure I might not even know what day of the week it was. Sigh.

On a positive note, I also make a list of the things I'm grateful for, making sure to write a highlight of each day.

Daily gratitude, counting my blessings, and making sure that I have a clue what I did for the day has helped keep me slightly more productive.

A surprising byproduct of owning a small local business that is closed right now, is that I've found myself with something I'm not sure that I ever thought I'd reclaim- spare time!!

Cherished Images Boise Family Photographer Times Flying

Having spare time is a luxury that I have indulged in. Yes, sometimes on the sofa, but I've also been able to use it to further my creative efforts.

As a full time professional photographer, photography is now my career, not really a hobby.

After 20 years of owning my own photography studio, it was pretty rare to pick up my camera just for the fun of it.  

With the exception of travel photography, fashion and design, and digitally painting and compositing pictures for competition, my art business did not allow for as much fun stuff as I would have hoped.

As a born artist and entrepreneur, I knew from a VERY young age, that I was supposed to create art.

Even as a child, I was peddling my wares!

Picture of earrings created by child artist

My mom found these earrings that I made somewhere in her stuff when she was moving up here to Idaho a few years ago and gave them to me. It was my first attempt at "branding" some of my creations!

She said I was probably not much older than 10 or so when I made them. LOL! Can't believe she kept them for all these years!!

Stained glass, pottery, writing, painting, cooking, jewelry... there's not much I didn't try. Creative projecting was my middle name!  

And then came LIFE...

My first child was born just before I turned 20. I opened my first downtown studio location when I was 21, and well... the rest is history.

Life just got busier and busier. Spare time?!

I quite literally was NEVER BORED. I didn't even know what the word boredom meant!

Each day was so jam packed full of "stuff" that I had little downtime to relish in.

I'm pretty sure that's where my extreme WANDERLUST came from.  

Exploring the world through vacations was the one time I was able to truly unplug, unwind, and spend quality time with my kiddos.

Work hard to PLAY hard, that was my life's motto.

Making more, so that I could go further- like LITERALLY further!  I haven't been EVERYWHERE (yet!) but it's on my list.

Map of the world to explore

Counting my wins-

Traveling for fun, at least once per quarter, has been a goal (that I've actually accomplished) for over 5 years now.

Growing up in Southern California, I've ALWAYS been a HUGE Disney Fan... like I mean H-U-G-E!!

I've held annual passes to both Disneyland and Disney World (I had both in 2015!) and have been fortunate enough to even go on 7 Disney cruises.

When I say that I'm a Disney fan... it might be closer to "fanatical"! LOL

When I bought into Disney Vacation Club (DVC) a couple of years ago, it just fueled my passion even that much more. I've officially stayed at every DVC property, with the exception of Aulani, Hilton Head, and now, the new Riviera (although I actually got to ride the sky tram there and walk through the property!) If any of you have any questions about Disney vacations, or just like to talk Disney, I'm your gal!

Missing Disney because I'm "grounded", makes me appreciate the vacation photos that we've taken through the years even more!

If you've been pursuing old travel photos and reminiscing the past like I have, what a better time to create a vacation story book?

White Glove Guided Photo Finishing Service can help with that!

We help you sort through your favorite pics and create a custom designed, printed memory album.  This book creates something tangible that you can touch, hold and feel again! Eliminating the pain of digging through files on your phone or computer!

Printed photos and professionally created memory books are one of the best ways to keepsake your favorite moments!

So... No business, no travel, and no fun??

Actually that's not true at all! Well, maybe the no travel part, but The 8th Street Studio is accepting appointments!

Cherished Images and CsiPhotoDesign are actively accepting appointments, fulfilling orders, and going through archives for clients. We are doing whatever we can to keep the ship a float!  Granted, it's not near to the volume that it needs to be at, but we do still have a business, and God willing... it will stay that way!

And the  "no fun" part... well... that's just not true either!

Actually we've had loads of fun!  Probably just like many of you, I've spent more quality time with my family ("forced" or otherwise) than I have in a long time.

We've sang karaoke, rode bikes, taken drives, had TONS of spa time in the hot tub, cooked meals, baked cookies... so along with all the bickering that comes along with bored kiddos, there have been many of highlights as well.

I have literally watched springtime in Boise unveil itself like never before! Right before my eyes! Because I'm actually watching (uh... paying attention is probably closer to the truth.)

And that long "extended weekend" thing, that has indeed lost a bit of it's charm, has made me grow as both an artist, and a person!

I completed a colored pencil drawing on wood, that I would have NEVER even attempted before, due to lack of time.

From 2 different worlds, bird flirts with koi fish pencil drawing by Kelly Zimmerman local Boise Artist

I've watched YouTube tutorials (even though I mostly hate watching videos) on drawing, painting, sketching, and the like... that I would never have done before.  I even purchased a set of TomBow pens to further my hand lettering and art skills that I have mostly neglected in the past.

Not to mention that I FINALLY "mostly" set up my home office to allow me to do as much as possible from my "happy place" (my 23 year old daughters reclaimed bedroom) where I do yoga, mediate, write in my journal, draw in my sketchbook, read.... what ever floats my boat on any given day. As an introverted artist, it's SO NICE to actually have a place to unwind in!

So, as much "wha-whaing" (ok, whining) as I've done about Staying At Home to "slow the spread"... there's been many blessings that have come out of it, that I would have never seen, or had (made?) time for before.

Life has changed... indeed.

But maybe it was a nice "reset" button that many of us needed.

Here's to family time, creative thinking, and brighter tomorrows-

With Love and Virtual Hugs-

Kelly

Kelly Zimmerman, artist, photographer, small business owner- Cherished Images Fine Art Portrait Photography at The 8th Street Studio - Boise, Idaho

 

Idaho Women's Business Center Resource

This whole COVID-19 crisis has been a rollercoaster ride... to say the least! But one thing I will tell you that it's helped me to do- seek out resources that I didn't even know existed! 

 

We tend to get so caught up in the daily activities of life and work, that when something crazy- (like Coronavirus!) disrupts our busy schedules, and we now find ourselves with less of certain things (cashflow), and more of others (time), it shifts our focus onto things we may or may not have seen or even noticed before.

I have been using this time to not only think and reflect, but also seek out possibilities!

During this search, I found a neat resource that I never would have thought about- A place to help Women Owned Businesses in Idaho... for FREE?!

Now, yes, I'm sure there are many of you out there saying, "Well, duh... How have you never heard of this service that is backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration?"  But I hadn't! So, as a downtown Boise small business owner of over 20 years, who had no idea this was a "thing"... I'm guessing there are a few more women business owners out there who have been so busy running their business (not to mention juggling and balancing their family and home lives) they haven't gotten around to looking up what help and support there is out there... so I'm sharing now.

The Idaho Women's Business Center has a TON of tools for women-run businesses, so many resources that I didn't even get through ALL the options that were available right here at my finger tips!  So, I wanted to give them a shout out (THANK YOU!!) and also spread awareness of some tools that, had I have known, would have been extremely useful to me over the years! 

Here's the landing page that I was able to set up with just a small time investment.

https://mms.idahowomen.us/idahowomen/mem_Photographer

And did I mention that it was FREE?!

Now... it's on to research what else I have explored and discovered, since maybe I've been under a rock for a while! LOL!

- Kelly

The Only Thing Certain in Life...

Well, besides “death and taxes”, of course… is CHANGE!

And we are experiencing that on a daily basis in this crazy world we’re living in!

There’s no “doom and gloom” to be found in this post, nor is it all rainbows, sparkles, and unicorns… however we are always on the lookout for unicorns, or at least a good ‘out of the box’ perspective and some whimsical fun! (Especially when reality hits the fan!)

And even more than that, we’re ALWAYS happy to see the rainbow after a rainstorm! As we do truly believe that life is all about perception and what you choose to set your mind on.

 

Towards the bottom of this very longwinded post is where you can find what we’re doing to help in the meantime!

 

Sure, we could choose to get caught up in the frenzy, the negative social media, or the panic that has stricken a better part of our modern world… but when you choose to surround yourself with positive messages, encouragement and hope, your overall outlook PAST the current events, can give you a reason to keep on- keeping on!

- Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you can’t help but be inundated with news about Coronavirus (COVID-19) that is turning people into varying degrees of house-bound, germophobic, toilet paper hoarders… and even those of us who aren’t specifically prone to worry and anxiety, have limits that are being tested!

- Children home from school begging to go play with their friends, hands so cracked and dry from extra sanitizing and scrubbing, almost completely bare shelves at many local grocery stores, and “out of stock” labels where the price should be on necessities from online retailers.

It seems like the entire world has lost their minds in some fashion or another, and boy oh boy, do we get it!!

 

While much of what I say is, “tongue in cheek”, it is not to undermine the serious nature of those being affected by this, as we realize there are MANY of us that are experiencing MAJOR challenges with health, isolation, economic worries, amongst other trickle effects that none of us are immune from. We feel it too!

 

Change- it’s hard!

 

The number of emails that we’ve been receiving on the COVID-19 virus has caused me only to postpone writing this note, as I was almost hesitant to reach out about a subject that most of us are sick of hearing about, yet we have no choice but to listen up and pay attention, as social distancing to help slow the spread only works when everyone participates, there are important matters at hand.

 

It's undeniable, the world as we know it, has changed.

 

I avoid social media, almost like the plague, as it tends to be a breeding ground for rumors and negativity, and I’m not sure about you, but I only have so much time and energy and prefer to spend it on the most important things.

Facts, Family, Fun, and of course, meeting the needs of our loyal clients, many of whom fit into my “FAMILY” category, as my 20 year career in the memory-making business has indeed created a whole lineage of extended “brothers and sisters” whom I love so dearly!

 

Here at The 8th Street Studio we’ve been spending the last several weeks brainstorming how we can best serve some of our favorite friends and family members, helping to assist them through one of the most turbulent times of change that most of us have experienced.

 

We want to let you know, first and foremost… we’re HERE for you!! And we’re listening to YOU!

At our clean, low-volume portrait studio, our phone lines, inboxes, and (at least currently) our doors, are OPEN to receive your thoughts, concerns, and even just a listening ear if you need it.  As of now, we are very thankfully, healthy and ready to help!

You will find our empathy pouring out to you as we navigate these changing and uncertain times, as we too, are dealing with the same change.

One thing that can either divide or strengthen and build a community is how we handle any given situation, especially one that no one has control over.  We would like to spread a message of CONNECTION, LOVE, and HOPE out to all of those that this pandemic is affecting.

I have been encouraged to see many people band together, words of kindness spread abundantly, and thoughts of a brighter tomorrow, to help compensate for some of the negative news and fear of the future.

We may not know what tomorrow holds, but we do know WHO holds the future, and when you have this assurance, a peace that passes all understanding can be yours as well. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, please feel free to ask me.

In the meantime, I would like to personally assure you of the extra precautionary measures we are taking here at The 8th Street Studio to make sure you’re taken care of, not only for the present moment, but well into the future.

 

 

We, like many small “mom and pop” shops feel the direct impact of crazy times like these, even a little more than most, as we don’t have a giant storehouse built up to pull from when we look to pay our mortgages and feed our families. As bills and overhead continue to arrive daily, your support is both appreciated and a true gift that I have mounds of gratitude for.

Supporting local businesses during these trying times is vital. What this looks like will mean different things to different people, but I for one will be trying to patronize local restaurants with to-go orders, shopping online local shops and stores whenever possible, and certainly praying for anyone who asks, as that’s the very best I have to offer right now.

When we band together, we can move mountains. Let’s take time to celebrate little victories along the way, cheer each other on and raise awareness for not only cleanliness and hygiene practices, but common courtesy and ‘pay it forward’ practices as well.

 

Here’s what we at The 8th Street Studio are doing to help you during these trying times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We're here for you! We “get it”.

 

Don’t let time steal anymore precious moments- Let us help you find the fun, and create memories, even to spite the current global situation.

 

Virtual Hugs to all- with love

Kelly Zimmerman

Cherished Images at The 8th Street Studio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What if being "unproductive", was actually "productive"?

Here's a repost from a fellow photographer's blog that I found intriguing.  Being an "overachiever" myself, one of my biggest pet peeves is feeling "unproductive".  I have often times worked through lunch just to catch up from less productive moments in the day and to squeeze out every last second of the work week to accomplish everything I hope to accomplish.  Getting up from the computer to use the restroom or even eat, can "feel" difficult when your plate is, figuratively, full.

What if "focus", at least all the time, was actually overrated?  Overachiever ADD types rejoice!  ;)

This article, once again enforces that self-care (i.e. taking a break, eating, even a massage or pedicure, maybe?!) is NOT selfish.  If we don't take care of ourselves, how can we take care of ANYTHING else.  So for any other workaholic mommy business owners out there who have ever felt "guilty" for taking a little you time... this maybe just what we need to hear.  Again :)

The Overachiever’s Guide To Taking a Break

 

The Value of a Portrait... In loving memory of my Uncle John Stubblefield.

As an artist and professional photographer, I have been a long time believer in the value of a portrait.  Not just the kind you take with a phone, or the kind you find on a thumb drive or on the internet, but the kind you can actually touch, hold & feel- the "old school" printed photograph.  Remember those?  The longer that I have been in this profession and the more I have seen it change, the more opinionated I become on the subject.

I've also come to realize, that as photographic artist's we have SO much more to share than disks full of files.  We have something absolutely priceless to offer... the essence of a person, captured to experience, again and again.  Time in a bottle, if you will.  Long after the person's time on earth is over.

Think about it.  At the end of a life, what do we have left of the PERSON who has left this earth?  Sure, they may leave behind a home, a vehicle, possessions, even an inheritance... but what is actually left of THEM?  Only one thing is powerful enough to allow us to re-live a moment in time, to experience the joy that they used to give, to FEEL in a very small way, how they made us feel while they were still here.  Memories fade, but properly taken care of portraits, are FOREVER.  And "forever" truly only happens in a portrait.

When a life is over, you had better hope that you took good pictures, and even more preferably, great professional portraits along the way.  A portrait is what is left when you no longer have the body that a person was in.  Portraits have the ability to allow us to remember the soul.  They are visual proof of our existence, a foot print of our time here on earth.  Portraits are priceless.

lyra-resample

I can tell you this, because after hearing the news that my Uncle John was tragically killed in an airplane accident yesterday morning, the very first thing I reached for was the photo album.  Sadly, I was disappointed in what I found.  Very few photos that my uncle was actually in, and the ones he was in were blurry or cut off or blinking or... you name it.  They were snapshots, what was I to expect?

Just as I started to get discouraged I had remembered the time my uncle had invited me to witness and create a visual storyline of his proposal to his soon to be wife.  Now, being the very private person he was, I was surprised but delighted to be able to capture that moment in time for him.  He told me that I was to handle the matter with "lawyer/client type of privileges" and was to keep everything under tightly sealed lips until he had made it public.  I gladly obliged and now it makes me chuckle to think about the stern and serious way he relayed the message.  My Uncle John was known to be a somewhat stoic man that took some poking and prodding to get him to take off the "businessman" presentation he normally wore on his face.

After taking this morning wandering aimlessly in my car, and in my head, I went into the studio hoping and praying I had organized those images as I should have.  And Hallelujah, they were in my FOREVER drive, under family and friends "to save".  This saved me hours of digging through yearly files, I was SO relieved.  Just as everyone wants to do something (anything!) to help in times like this, I desperately wanted to be able to present the family with a proper portrait of my uncle.

I found a perfect headshot that at some point I will release for the obituary photo, however right next to it, I also found a candid moment that I had forgotten about.  It was taken between shots, before my light even had time to fully recharge, slightly underexposed, but truly the essence of the man I remember.  And since this is my gift, my only offering of condolences to the two sons, 3 siblings and father that he left behind, I figured it was my prerogative to share the image that I wanted to share.  The slightly imperfect, but yet PERFECT capture.

So, for my family, this is the one thing that I have to offer to you, as I know all of our hearts are aching from this loss.  Here is Uncle John as I always want to remember him.  My gift to you.  Please humbly accept my love and well wishes, and rest assured, there will be prints waiting for you at his memorial service.  Sincerely with my best- Kelly

Shared Story: 9 tips to take better portraits of your kids!

Here's a well written article from a photographer and entrepreneur that I admire.  It has 9 tips to take better portraits of your kids- candid photos, the day to day stuff... nothing you have to bring them in the studio to do- the only way to capture them is to be there and ready- 24/7 :)  Yup, that's the "secret".  I loved that she closed the article by saying PRINT the images!!  We can't enjoy memories if they are stuck in a hard drive or on our phones somewhere.  Make sure you have memories that you can touch, hold & feel.  One day they will be as precious as those babes you get to snuggle on right now.  Here's a link to the full article http://kellymoorebag.com/blog/2016/02/nine-tips-for-better-photos-of-your-kids/

A little more about me...

I pulled this from my website, as I thought it was just a little too long and wordy, and probably most of you don't really care.  However, there are probably a few of you out there (like me) that actually care about what makes other people "tick".  And so I decided to not just delete it forever, but have it live on here.  For better or worse... Here's a little more about what makes me tick.

"I seek balance, I seek better, I seek the why. I love new experiences and going new places. I wander just to see where the path leads. I seek inspiration from art, and travel, from children and from nature. I see life as art. My brain composes images as they pass before my eyes. And my artist brain, fights my business brain... constantly. Always pursuing a vision, problem solving, creating... seeing, never stopping, evolving, seeing, imagining.

Art isn't the way we see things, but the way we make others see. I hope to make you "see" what I see... sometimes strange, sometimes odd, almost always beautiful. My introverted nature keeps me from sharing my deepest thoughts, but since the eyes are the window to the soul... I welcome you in... through my art I leave open a way to see as I see. Deep and mysterious, awkward, silly and a little crazy. I am quirky, I am a perfectionist, I am an artist. Life is a canvas."

 

These are a few of my favorite things...

These are a few of my favorite things...

Well, I did it... (Gulp...)

I officially "linked" this blog site to the website.  Oh boy.  Yes, you experienced bloggers... laugh.  Laugh now.  As, I truly am feeling my way around this in the dark!  (Can you say, fish outta water?!)  I'm sure I could use some help, so if anyone's really good at this stuff.  Contact me... maybe we can work a little sumthin' sumpthin' out?!  Maybe?  Yup, I know when I'm in over my head.  But hey, a little kudos for trying???  Luckily I'm a pretty fast learner.  Just one more thing on the plate.  Bring on the balance... bring it on!!

Ok, here I go....

Hum... this whole blog thing.  I've resisted for the longest time, however with my youngest child now starting her first year of kindergarten, 5 days a week- I figure I have no excuse.  Please excuse my potential mess ahead of time.  I honestly and truly have no idea what I'm doing, as I have never blogged before, and gulp... I'll admit it... I don't even read or follow any blogs.  However, I have been informed that I am NOT the majority and so I vow to work on making progress of keeping things more current than "just on FB".  I plan on adding to and properly setting this up, sooner than later, however today is my birthday and I'm going shopping.  That's all for now :)