Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fasika (Fah-see-ka) Ethiopian Cuisine

Fasika (Fah-see-ka)

    When entering the restaurant we were greeted by a globe of the world to the left side and Ethiopian decoration on the right. However, there wasnt a hostess or server to be found. It was a little awkward when we walked in the doors. Only because we weren't sure wether to seat ourselves or wait for someone to seat us. A woman sitting with her family noticed our confusion and said "seat yourselves". Nothing a sign couldn't resolve, but until then go ahead and seat yourself upon arrival.

Left to right: owner Mesfin, Myself

   The owner, Mesfin, is very nice and out going Ethopian man. He was the waiter, busser, and host in the restaurant, but didn't let that stop him from being kind enough to take a photo with me. He was more then willing to answer any questions we had. He smirked, from time to time, as if he enjoyed sharing his culture with us. Fasika is definitely not a food chain. It's a breath of fresh culture. 

   The presentation of the food was honorable. They brought the dish out to us on a large decorative plate. A basket cover sits on top until they place the plate in front of you. A layer of injera lines the plate and heping scoops of the dishes sit on top.

   Given the name of the place, Fasika meaning Easter in ethopian, they serve large protions. They do this to represent their easter feast. Definitely a feast indeed. We ordered the most marketed dish. The fasika plate which entailed a chicken dish, a side of collard greens, green beans, lintels, cabbage, and a salad with a side of Ethiopian bread called injera. This bread is the eating utensil. Since there are no forks things get a bit tricky. Break off a piece of Injera and dig in. We couldnt get enough of this food. Its unique and satisfying.

  There are a ton of spices in each vegetable dish. There's a bitterness to the greens, a sourness to the bread, a djon mustard in the salad, spiciness in the chicken. There are up to 30 different spices in this cuisine including Garlic, cumin, and tumeric.
    The ambience is very nice. Light music in the background, dim lighting, and culture appropriate decorations. Even the lights over head had an interesting cover on them. A picture of an ethiopian women with the word Faskia written out in their language. 
   It's is an Ethiopian tradition to drink coffee after every meal. They serve espresso from fresh beans. They offer this service there. We got to watch a group of people sit around a traditional coffee roast. Where the coffee is being roasted in a pan and ground on the spot. 
  We enjoyed that Mesfin took his time with us and didn't rush us out, however we couldn't wait to get our bill because we ate so much food needed to break wind. Outside..! Woooooooow
  Everything had an ethiopian touch right down to the check. It was brought out to us in a little book that had a funny contraption with in it. "Its magic!" Mesfin joked as he watched us play with the reciept book. Quite fun to play with.

We encourage everybody to eat here!! You won't be disappointed!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sin's Salsa Burrito

What you need:
Wheat tortillas
Bean sprouts
Fresh Spinach
1 Tomato
1 purple Onion
2 large Jalapeños 
Cheyenne hot sauce

Cut up tomato, jalapeños, and a half cup of onion. Blend together and set the mixture aside. On the tortilla spread a heaping spoon full of hummus and a spoon full of the salsa. Add 1 cup sprouts and 1 cup spinach. Dress with Cheyenne hot sauce as desired. Roll up the fixings in the tortilla and enjoy.
Delicious, light, and healthy. Warning: keep almond milk on hand! This vegetarian burrito has a kick to it!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My Rag Doll

   What is the appropriate relationship between a model and a photographer? I recently got into a quarrel with one of my models. She felt that I needed to let the model choose her clothes and pick the photos. She felt I should bond with them before hand. I, on the other hand, think that models should look at themselves as actors and actresses. Simply play the part the photographer hands them. She did not like my response and felt I dismissed her feedback. which i did,because i didn't find it of any use. however, I walked away feeling disappointed. I couldn't help but ask myself "Am I being a Gollum?" I started to doubt my work. I looked at all of her photos a hundred times wondering where I went wrong, because none of them were really any good. I blamed myself. 
   A week later I did what I always do. I picked myself up and tried again. I used someone who had never modeled before. At first she was very awkward, but then I realized she was mold able like like. The photos came out great and I was astonished. I learned a valuable lesson. If you want a certain result from a photo you have to have a model who listens. A model that wants to accomplish your goal without hidden agendas. 
  Special thanks to Melissa Casillas for being such a great listener and helping me make some beautiful art. I'm putting your black and whites on pieces of wood and putting them up for sale! 


Coffee Break "Black And White Series"

   Night shots have always been my biggest down fall. I can't quiet figure out the settings unless its for light painting or if I use a tri-pod. I recently did a Photo shoot at Mia cafe during night fall. I walked away disappointed thinking I didn't get a single shot. At one point I even busted out a compact mirror and attempted to bounce the flash in order to soften it. I went home, tossed the photos aside, and thought nothing of them for a week. The model then begun to start to hassle me about the photos. So, I thought I would just slap some effects over them and see what I could produce. I am a "raw photo" die hard fan. Anyone can take a photo with their phone, throw some effects over the top of them, and call it art. However, maybe I am in the wrong. Maybe not every photo should be in its raw form. Raw photos don't sell clothes. Raw photos don't always tell the story you want them to. I put the shots in photoshop and I'm thankful I did. What do you think of the story I told with this shoot? I call it "Coffee Break".

Special thanks to model Amber Hall-Holmes and Mia Cafe in Tower District. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sin's Green Smoothie Recipe

Wash away your sin's with my favorite breakfast:

What you need:
Frozen banana
Greek Yogurt
Almond milk
Mint leafs

  In your blender Arrange the banana, two giant handfuls of spinach, a few mint leafs, and two heaping spoonfuls of Greek yogurt. Fill the blender a quarter of the way up with almond milk. Blend and serve right away. Delicious and nutritious (:
  A little bird told me that banana is good for hangovers. Wash away your sins my friends. Stay tuned for more recipes along my journey.
<3 Allison Shockley

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Join the current

   A smile is contagious. Energy is transferable. Good deeds can be paid forward. I've always had big dreams. I've always had great ideas. Yet I did nothing about them. These potential monuments were filed away in my mind for all of my life, until now. Why the sudden change? Inspirational people who valued and encouraged my ideas.
  Recently, I've surrounded myself with like minded people. Creative and motivated free spirits. I feed off of their contagious energy. Now I find myself in this current of productivity and don't see myself stopping anytime soon. It came so easy to me, once I was touched by the epiphany these souls brought on. Now it's my turn to pay it forward. I have opportunities to offer.
   Enjoy music? Come out to Irene's every Saturday and Sunday to sit in on a free, live, acoustic concert by the talented Mr. Danny Caudle. Sit all day if you'd like. Gregory, from oakhurst, sat all day watching Danny play. Glad to make your Saturday an eventful one , Mr Gregory.
From left to right: fan Gregory, Danny C.
     Want to do more then just sit and listen? Feel free to express yourself. Feel free to join. A couple men felt the need to jump in yesterday. One man playing his guitar right along Danny. Shortly after another jumped in to sing. The energy was high and beautiful. It was touching to watch those around me express themselves. I was more than thankful I got to catch this on camera. I'm curious to see who might jump in today and I'm more then ready to catch the act in the moment.

   Music not your thing? Maybe you're more into photography,modeling, management, or hair and makeup. I am scouting models, assistant photographers, model managers, and makeup artists. I currently opened up an etsy shop. I buy and resell clothes. I'm looking for women and men all shapes and sizes to model second hand clothing. Also, someone to help direct the models. Another set of eyes behind the camera would bring so much to the table. Someone to help me view the models in a different light would be ideal. Anyone who can fashion the models hair and makeup to match the clothing would be such a great help. Come join my team.
Model Tatiana Johnson 

   I have so much to learn and I have so much to offer. If you're ready to express yourself creatively and feel you have something to offer our team please contact me I would be more then willing to speak with you. I want to pass on this epiphany. Join the current.
Stay tuned for I have much to share.
<3 Allison Shockley

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Light Painting Objects

   Light painting has become the new fad for many photographers. It has been around for quite sometime, however it seems to have just begun resonating as a possibility in amateur photographers minds. Being an amateur photographer myself, I decided to grasp this idea and make it my own. Why not take photos of objects that are already lit up and moving for me? For example, a Ferris wheel.

   I visited the Christmas tree lot on First and Nees, here in fresno, over the Christmas season. Not to buy a tree, but to take advantage of their free entry, mini fair. It had several rides for dirt cheap, but my eye was on their Farris wheel. Old faithful is what I believe the carnies called her. 
   As I stood at the very top of the tallest ride, Danny Caudle stood with the carny instructing the toothless wing nut to start the ride. In order to capture the lights just right I had to slow down my shutter speed to let in the most light and use a tri-pod to avoid any excess movement. The photo takes about a minute to capture. What  you are seeing in the photo below is the Ferris wheel circling around about twenty times creating a beautiful pattern. 


  Some light painters enjoy making orbes by spinning lights on long strings, but what's the fun in that? Old faithful as enlightened me. What other objects are already set up and out there waiting for me to capture in full motion? I'm sure I will come across many. So, stay tuned as I continue to discover these hidden treasures. 
<3 Allison Shockley

Monday, January 6, 2014

Busking in The Tower District

  There is something powerful about a man standing on a street corner singing his heart out. It encourages smiles. When hearing a familiar song temptation to chime in arises. However, the courage never seems to develop, the lyrics are usually only muttered, and then the reality of how gutsy one must be to busk sets in.

   Danny Caudle is a courages 30 year old man. Originally from Portland Oregon, he moved to fresno to work for his family's company in order to save up money. He wants to, one day, travel the world. Danny's motivation? His objective? His purpose? Music. He wants to learn every culture's music style in the process of his travels. Until then he plans to save every penny from his Monday through Friday office job and busking on the weekends. Who wants to work a nine to five forever?! This man has a lot to offer to your free spirited side.

Don't believe me? You can catch him this Saturday and Sunday at the corner of olive and linden. Enjoy your breakfast at Irene's with Danny's interpretation of the artists you love most. Or you can catch him on his Facebook page Danny Caudle Music.
"A passerby said she was harmonizing with me during my last song.  I asked her if sge wanted to sing a song with me.  Nothing more than a lot of fun today" Said Danny on a Facebook post.
  He encourages his audience to engage in his performance. The true making for a fun atmosphere. Danny caulde's street performance will soon be the new "it" day time event.
Stay tuned for I have much to share!
<3 Allison Shockley 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A new year!

   Like most of society I just want to get my name out into the world. Recently, I've had a profound epiphany. To be happy in life I must always be working on something creative. If I don't then I just sit around getting whiskey drunk while chain smoking. At the age of 26, I look back on my life, and realize I'm done wasting away. Although it was fun, it got old, and I'm ready for a game changer. My blogs soul purpose is to help enlighten the world with the things that I learn over the next few years. From fashion to photography. Busking to arts and crafts. I'll be sharing my journey with all of you. In hopes to teach and also to learn. 

   Lets get 2014 off to a good start. I've begun many projects. Button earrings, paper mâché flower clips, photo shoots, a blog, an Etsy account, and reselling clothes. All derived from the same goal. To save up enough money to travel the world. Am I crazy? Possibly. However, at least I'm not wasting away on a couch somewhere anymore.

   This epiphany all started when i met an amazing man. What are the chances that you meet someone with the same goals, aspirations, and values? Slim to none. He opened my creative flood gates and now I'm roaring to go. As partners in crime we are always on the go. Not a single dull or unproductive moment to be had in our household. Join us over the next three years as we prepare for our travels. Stay tuned for I have much to share. <3