A couple years ago I bought a big fancy camera with grand plans of taking brilliant, gorgeous photos for the blog, my books, my Etsy, for friends, as a side job, etc... The only problem was that I read the whole manual...twice...and learned nothing except how to turn the camera on and snap a pic in the automatic mode. No fancy tricks, no special zooming and focusing and light plays and whatever else pro-photographers know how to do to impress us with their images. I moved on to YouTube tutorials, but couldn't get through them. BORING. I'd rather take ugly pictures. However, after joining Pinterest recently I kept finding myself re-inspired by the beautiful images people take, and have decided it's about time I learn how to actually use this thing... I stumbled across a random "Photo Challenge" someone posted and decided to tackle it as a way to explore my camera, as well as all the cool photo editing programs available... I'm currently still shooting in automatic, but have grand plans to switch over and try some new techniques as the challenge continues (or at least will just try pushing some of these fancy buttons!).
Week 1: Self-Portrait
(Wanted to play with light...and failed miserably. I'm holding a starry sky globe which I hoped would cast some cool pin points of light around, but I had to hold it so close for any light to show up that the globe ended up in every pic...and then you really couldn't see the bits of light, anyway. On the upside, I learned how to use the camera's timer!)
It's a little space filled with stars, whimsy, sparkle and magic...
Here's a bit of the shop's story...and a bit of the reason it has taken so very long to officially open for business:
Once upon a time, an artist and writer living in New York City had many little ideas that she wanted to make come true. And so, she decided to open her very own Etsy shop and fill it with stars and glitter and magic and dreaming. She soon began her first project and worked for hours, which turned into days, measuring, cutting, and filling tiny jars with stars. Finally, she was finished, and had a lovely collection to begin her shop. To celebrate the grand opening, she went out for a nice walk and a delicious breakfast of pancakes. However, she returned a couple hours later to a trail of sparkles and stars all over the apartment. The trail led to a very naughty and guilt-filled kitten who sat in the middle of a large pile of spilled stars and broken jars, with glitter covering his paws. And so, the grand opening was postponed, but the shop found its name, The Stars Spilled, and in the end everyone, including the kitten, found a happy (and rather sparkly) ever after...
This is only the first small batch of items...More will be added each week, including: handpainted notecards, gift tags, fairy doors, garlands, etc.
If there is something specific you'd like to see, especially if it's sparkly, let me know! I have been doing custom ordered art for the past few months and would love to do more...it keeps me in my happy place...
"Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic."
Spent a couple of hours finding bits of magic hiding among the dusty shelves of Whitlock's Book Barn this past week...
I found a few vintage Nancy Drews to add to my collection, and then spent the rest of the time inhaling the sweet scent of wisdom and romance that only really old books have...and petting horses. My favorite kind of day...
Spent the weekend working on some exciting projects to launch my Etsy shop! Yet another thing that was put on hold as I finished the book project, but it is now full steam ahead! Hoping to officially open the store at the end of the month! Here's a tiny peek at some of the sparkly fun to come...
I spent my birthday this year riding a Clydesdale named Tinkerbell in the middle of Brooklyn. I convinced my best friend to go with me after hearing about Kensington Stables. Seven years away from Texas has made me homesick for anything "horse." I will admit, I was naive enough to believe that there was some great big, sunny field with horses casually grazing buried somewhere here in this city, so it was a little surprising (okay, terrifying) to realize we'd actually have to spend part of our ride dodging honking cabs and traffic lights til we reached Prospect Park...
Also, being from Texas, my friend and I only had experience riding Western. When they pulled Tinkerbell around the corner, not only did I immediately break into a sweat thinking about trying to haul my butt up onto a horse that tall, but I was horrified to discover she had an English saddle. I tried using the "It's my birthday!" line with my friend to make her switch horses with me, but the trail guide didn't give us a choice. He also informed me that Tinkerbell was a bit stubborn and didn't like to listen. This was a nice thought to have in mind as he pointed out the big traffic circle we were about to enter...
It was such a strange experience, riding through NYC traffic and having to obey traffic signals while on a horse, but once we got into the park it was magical. It began snowing (hard) and we couldn't really feel our toes or fingers by the end of the hour long ride, but it was a happy, happy thing to have a piece of home, to feel that familiar ache after getting (falling) out of the saddle...to have that lovely horse-smell on my hands again...
I’ve been away for awhile…but I have a very good reason. The
anthology benefiting Love146 has FINALLY (after about 3 LONG YEARS) been released!
Working on the layout(for a long time)...
...and finally getting the first (of many) proof!!
I am THRILLED to announce that you can now purchase 146 : a
collection of love stories through CreateSpace or on Amazon!
It is full of beautiful photography, art and poetry from 49
amazingly talented, kind, lovely people from all over the world:A.A., Aaron Strumpel, Abet Lardizabal, Adam
Lebowitz-Lockard, Andrew Strasburg, Annewil Stroo, Arabella Grayson, Ben
Nardolilli, Brittany Howard, Carol Berg, Celina Wyss, Chris Kilmer, Christie
Lambert, Chuck E. Costa, Cjet O. Raymond, Danielle Daniel, Danielle Miller,
Desirea Stott-Rodgers, Dominick Montalto, Dylan Lamb, Eleanor Leonne Bennett,
Elizabeth Socha, Elizabeth T. Vazquez, Erika Morrison, Gabrielle Nolan, Hannah
Brencher, Jamie Loftus, Katherine Russell, Katie Donahue, Kylie Johnson, Lacye
A. Brown, Laura Elizabeth Colledge, Lindsay Marie Knowles, M. Thomas Cooper,
Michelle Palmer, Mnikesa F. Whitaker, Nakida Zuri, Nicole Hoelle, Preeti
Chukowry, R.E., Rachel Awes, Rashid Gabdulhakov, Rob Morris, Sarah Lamando,
Sinta Jimenez, Tangela Parten, TaversiaandTyler Morris…I was also
honored to have Marilyn de Guehery from the U.S. Love146 staff design the book
cover! (Many of these people have amazing projects, books, albums, and shops of their own...check them out!)
They all share their love stories throughout the book…honest,
raw…full of joy and sadness… And 90% of profits from book sales go
directly to Love146…an organization close to my heart, working to end child
slavery and exploitation.
This project has been something I have wanted to do for a
very long time…It would not have been possible at all without those mentioned
above, and the actual publishing this past week would not have been possible
without those who contributed financially to the project fundraiser earlier
Page Frederickson, Celina Wyss, Shannon Trader, Rob Morris,
Megan Moore, Alicia Snow, Jennifer Franz, and Jim Morris, as well as two
THANK YOU to everyone who has supported and encouraged me (or
tolerated my long, exasperated brainstorming/venting sessions) throughout this process…and
thank you to each of you who have already purchased the book. I am SO excited to
send the first check from book sales to Love146. It has been a collective
effort by so many, and I am hoping that even more people will be blessed from this
final result…both by the words and images published, and also by the Love146 programs the book sales will help support.
The New Year is almost here, and if you're like me you're planning on starting 2014 off with a bang by organizing your life... Here are some of my favorite finds for planners/calendars... You won't miss a thing using this giant calendar! I love this calendar that doubles as a journal...and you can use it for years! I used this planner for 2013 and it was great...full of beautiful photos and tons of pages for doodling/jotting down your brilliant ideas. This one is a bit pricey, but it maps out your entire week down to what you're gonna have for dinner! And if you're still looking for the perfect present for someone, here's one more fun gift idea link to add to last week's ideas!