Aug 24, 2010

Where Do I Begin?

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all are having a creative week this week. I have been super busy and I don't know where to start because as always, I am short on time, big on ideas, and slow to get it all put together in order. Let's see, there is news to share and photos as well. I know you like eye candy (me too!) but first let me get this tidbit out - which is great timing as it JUST came out today.

For those who don't like to read, just click on the design link and you can figure it out what I am doing on Design Sherpa website.

So what is this about? Several months ago I come across a full page color ad in a design magazine asking anyone who has a passion for design to submit a photo and 100 word essay on inspiration. The theme is about "What Inspires You." I have never heard of this site, knew nothing of it and never heard of this contest. But, the grand prize is $10,000, a 10-day trip to Paris, and two tickets to the great design event held in Paris, Maison & Object Paris.

I was very surprised when I got the email stating that I was selected as one of the 100 top winners and I am going on to phase two! For the next 100 days, Design Sherpa will be featuring the top 100 contestants, their inspirational image and 100 word essay on their site. You can click and see all of the entries that have been posted so far by scrolling down on their site. It is so interesting to see the images that inspire others. Feel free to comment if you wish. 

I already submitted my 350 word essay on my topic. It is supposed to be based on what particular thing are you passionate about regarding interior design or architecture? Our essays are judged on creative writing, passion, and unique style and how we see and view design differently. The top 10 will be selected from the 100 in a couple of weeks, I believe. Then those 10 go on to phase three. I think there are five phases. Sometime this November, the winner is announced. I will keep you posted.

Okay, now on with more news...thank you all for all the wonderful comments regarding my Where Women Create issue with my space on the cover - what a thrill that was and what an honor to be in the company of so many talented women. 

Well, I get to be honored again with the current issue as one of the photographers for two of the studios being featured! I photographed Debbie Dusenberry of Curious Sofa and Amy Barikman of Indigo Junction.

 I so enjoyed this assignment and I wanted to share with you some of the photos that were not used. There is limited space in the publication, of course, but I thought you would like to see some extra photos. This time, I will show you some of Curious Sofa's photos. Next time, I will show you Amy's space. They are very different! Her studio space and store photos are after this next news:

If you keep up with the Where Women Create website....then you are aware of a BRAND NEW PUBLICATION....drum roll.....

Where Women Cook!

Is that not the coolest idea, or what? When Jo first approached me with the idea and told me about it, I thought, no wait, I KNEW she hit a home run. This going to be such a great publication for all sorts of reasons. First, you know there are dozens of cooking magazines? Then there are the "designery" kitchen magazines with all the fab kitchens that cost a bundle that most normal people can't afford, but we pick it apart anyway and hope there is a piece of the kitchen we can steal and use in our humble abode....then there are the chef...or rather, Gourmet and Wine magazines (can you hear my voice lowering and exaggerating somewhat?) that have a few very selective recipes that are fun to READ, and great photos, and exciting places that the food is made, but not realistic.

Well, Where Women Cook is for the REAL woman, who is REALLY creative, who has a REAL story, who has a REAL journey with either her food, a recipe, her kitchen, or a combination of all the above.  Isn't that cool? These are stories of women who are just like you and me. In fact, one of the stories will be about me in the first issue! Well, it is really about me, my barber husband, the crepe pan he gave me, and how it now hangs in our "new" old French kitchen. See, I told you it was about real women. Here is a sneak photo from my shoot:



You didn't think I was going to show you the finished crepes and what I did with them, did you? You have to go out and buy the book for that! But there is even a better reason to go and get it. It also has real chefs who have that special talent that we can learn from, and shares their cooking secrets. The book will also have those special women that we know about, love to hear about, love to read about, and wish more than anything we could just pull up a chair and sit and gab with her for hours and hours.....sort of like Ree Drummond or better known as The Pioneer Woman!

I got to meet her! Jo called me up, all excited that Ree will not only be on the cover of the premier issue of Where Women Cook, but also will be at The Creative ConnectionDrummond ranch in Oklahoma and stayed at her lodge and it was BREATHTAKING!!! Now that story will be a post on its own and yes, that was one of the news items I wanted to share...but it will have to be next time. But as a teaser....just take a gander at the BEAUTIFUL deck and sunrise I woke up to all by myself on the morning of the shoot at the ranch....

I can't wait to tell you all about this trip.  I have been so swamped with deadlines with photo shoots and more, that I am now just getting this to you - but no quite yet! And I have more to tell....

I not only got to shoot my kitchen, some of The Pioneer Woman's shoot, but I also got to shoot Joy Stinger - a bee keeper here in town who is a hoot!! She was just fabulous and I will post about her later as well. But as a teaser, here are some photos. Trust me, you will NOT want to miss this issue, she is one of the most interesting women you will ever read about and I just love her to death.

Now I did say that Joy Stinger was a BEE KEEPER... don't you love that her name is "Stinger"? But I am not showing any bees or honey gotta get Where Women Cook publication to see them and you don't want to miss it.  But these photos of Joy are from her yard, which is right, smack in the center of the city...which I think is great. She is a woman of many, many talents and raising chickens is just one of them. Joy is taking her chickens back to the backyard in these photos because they "spend the day in the front yard for a change of scenery" and it was time for them to go back into the pen. Is that great or what? I will be posting about this story later as well.

Oh, before I forget, I also did a wonderful photo shoot for Where Women Create (don't know which issue it will be in) for a paper wedding. It is for a company called Two Martins in a Nest. It is a paper company that produces invites and wedding stuff...and the bride and groom, Rachel and Josh were the CUTEST couple ever. EVERYTHING was paper. Table decorations, invites, veil, bouquet, you name it! It was bright, cheery and very whimsical and celebrating in a patriotic fashion. Below are a few teaser photos:

So keep a look out for this feature in an upcoming issue. I also have wonderful news about my moving into a new studio - a huge studio of over 5000 sq ft! I haven't got the keys yet, but I will take photos of it and tell you more about that too in a post really soon - I have lots of plans for it and I have a lot of moving to do...but I will let you in on something...once settled in....I will have room to shoot and even video tape "how to's" photos and footage for all that I love to do such as window displays, painting, before and after on furniture and so on...I have many more plans.

And my website is only slightly delayed, but for a good reason....well, as you can see, I have been busy with photo shoots and deadlines (which I love) but that isn't the reason. I was going to put up the site without having my "store" ready to go yet and start the store later. However, with a change of plans, I will be opening my store after all - but it is not a typical on-line store at all. I will be offering my first of many to come, Elizabeth House Style one-of-a-kind designs furniture piece. I decided to put my website on hold as I put this in order so the site will be complete - really complete. I will be showing all sorts of things in my new studio, one of which will be sneak peeks of my original designs, fabric choices, how to paint, my furniture before and after and what will be coming up for sale. I am a one-woman "show" so to speak, so it takes time, but I am very excited how it is all coming together.

So, you waited long enough....below are some photos from the Curious Sofa photo shoot for this month's Where Women Create. After those photos, I will end my post with a few last items.

Enjoy the photos! They are in no particular order so I could just get them posted for you...

Miss Curious herself...doing what she does best...taking care of business.

As you can see, Debbie, of Curious Sofa, had tons of great stuff to shoot and I could have spent a week in her studio, office and store and shot all day long. The next post, I will show you Indigo Junction's studio which is brightly colored, open with large windows and lots of vintage mannequins.

So, if you enjoy reading Where Women Create or plan on getting Where Women Cook, and enjoy reading or seeing my work in these publications, please feel free to drop Jo Packham (the editor and creator) a line to let her know. I love working free-lance for her and would like to continue doing projects with her. She is a joy to work with and I truly believe in what she is doing. She sincerely enjoys encouraging women to be creative and she celebrates women who step out and do their own thing. Basically, she is a cheerleader for us all. And speaking of projects with her, I have more news I will share at a later date with you as well. I told you, lots of news!  :-)

So, so far, I caught you up on the contest with Design Sherpa, and my photo shoots with Where Women Create and my article for Where Women Cook and my photo shoots for that publication as well which includes The Pioneer Woman. I hinted with you at a new studio move that I am in the middle of and also hinted at some exciting things that I will be doing in the studio, once set up and how it will tie with my website and why the website has been delayed due to some original designs for my furniture. Whew! I know there is some other things I may have missed, but those are the main things.

And for those of you devoted enough to read this far down...for you...I have something extra that I didn't mention at the beginning of this post. What about that big ole bed photo at the top of this post? What is that all about? Well, that is a photo I took while I stayed at someone's home not too long in the distant past. I woke up and saw the beautiful light coming in through the old window and I jumped up and started to snap away. This photo is one of many you will currently find on my Flickr account. If you click HERE this will take you to see more photos of that morning. I am wondering if the person who owns the bed will even see this blog and recognize it? The name of this set of photos is called "Restless Night, Slave to Light.

Here is a teaser to get you a little more high on some eye candy....(it's fat-free after all)

Okay, I have a confession to make...I forgot I even took these photos and I came across these not too long ago. Well after I worked on them, I fell in love with the one above...and I while I know I get personal on my blog and sometimes even give TMI, I hardly ever talk "intimately-intimately". But I have to tell you, there is something about looking at the above photo that makes me wish Randy had been with me that morning. The photo just looks very sexual, in a way, don't you think? Or is just me? Maybe my hormones are running high...or maybe I just have a sexy husband? ;-) Doesn't that just look like a bed that is ready for an early morning wake-up call? But I swear, I literally hopped out of that bed in my pj's and grabbed my camera and that is exactly how my covers were left - no "styling" or arranging for this photo was done at all.

Nope. It was just me, my camera, and the morning light.

And now, there is just me, my computer, this photo, and Randy is sound asleep because it is very late. After looking at this photo for so long, I am thinking Randy may just wake up happy in the morning ;-)

My toes were just peeking out of this blanket only moments earlier. I am NOT a morning person at all, but I will wake up for good light for a good photo any day!

If you want to see more, remember to visit my Flickr account...more bed photos...sans handsome barber husband though...

Okay, I think I am ready to end this post, but before I do, I want to close with a few thoughts. First, as always, and always sincerely, I want to thank you all for visiting with me, sharing my blog with your friends, sending me your well wishes, clicking on links, clicking on websites and so really do those things, and I really know you do it, and I really do appreciate it. And I hope, as much as I say this, it is NEVER just words, but true feelings from my heart.

Also, with so many blogs out there and websites and so on, it seems everyone is looking for something "different." I am not sure what that means really. I don't know if people are looking for a new "fresher" look with the clean lines, white backgrounds, or adding music, or taking music away. Or if they are looking for less words, or more story telling, or more photos and less talk.... Or are people looking for more humor and less dull every day life stuff or maybe they are tired of the trite and want more realism. To be really honest here, I really don't know because I really don't get on people's blogs not nearly as much as I would like to and to be REALLY honest....I feel bad that so many of you have such beautiful blogs and visit mine regularly and I just don't get on the Internet much - as you can see by my posts going weeks (or even months) between posts. 

But the little I do get online, it seems everyone is changing, improving, or wanting something new, fresh, clean, or different. And I don't have a comment or judgement about that. I just personally think that it is really easy sometimes, to be looking over the fence to see what the neighbor is planting when our own garden is pretty darn good...if we would just water it with our very own thoughts and uniqueness. 

Just two days ago, Randy and I were at Trader Joe's (a speciality grocery store) and he had to use the bathroom as soon as we entered. I waited for him as he went down the hall and as I waited I saw two men walk by. They weren't together, just shopping and minding their own business. Soon, Randy came back and I pulled him close to me and I leaned up to his ear and I said, "Honey, I want to show you why I love you so much. See that man over there in the blue shirt and baggy shorts?" I pointed to a man in his late 20's who had baggy-ass shorts, crocks, plain old blue t-shirt and just looked sloppy. Randy nodded. He had no idea where I was going with this. 

Then I pointed to a different man, about 40, and I said, "See that man with the beard and the plaid shorts, leather belt, and oxford?" Randy nodded again. My arm was around Randy's waist as I pointed out these unsuspecting shoppers who only came in to get soy milk and French bread and not to be used as examples. I pulled Randy in close to me and said, "The reason I love you so much is because you are Randy. That guy in the crocks is trying too hard to be a granola. That guy in the oxford doesn't have the guts to wear crocks, and he is trying too hard to be special. You, on the other hand, is the guy who would wear crocks because it was the first thing you pulled out of your closet and you didn't feel like hunting down something else." 

He looked at me a little puzzled. I went on to explain that I loved him because there was no other "Randy" in the store, but him. But the granola guy and oxford guy were a dime a dozen because they weren't unique. I would take a bald barber, who at the moment was wearing one short black sock and one long black sock any day of the week. You see, earlier that day, after he took me out to breakfast, I looked down and in horror, noticed that my darling of a husband had on one "footie" sock and one long ankle sock on the other foot - but at least both were black. Oh, and he was wearing shorts, you should know. Can you visualize my horror now? I exclaimed, "Do you realize your socks are completely different??!!" He looked down and calmly said, "Yeah, I know. This foot hurts on top, and the longer socks feels better." I stared at him blankly. I mean, do I really have to ask???


Okay, so I have to ask.

"Soooo, why didn't you wear two long socks, then?"

He shrugged and said, "I already had the short one on."

He seemed perfectly fine with it and I sighed and to be honest, I went all through breakfast and through the entire parking lot before I even noticed. So I guess it wasn't that big a deal after all.

But it was a big deal in a good way...because he was Randy....and he was the ONLY one in Trader Joe's that had on one short black sock and one long black sock and even more amazing? Not only did he not care....he actually had a pretty good reason for doing so if you stop and think about it in Randy World.

And THAT is why I love my barber husband so much. And I wanted him to know. And the reason I am sharing this story is because I think sometimes, as we all try so hard to be "fresh" and "unique" with our sites, blogs or stores, or whatever....what it all comes down to really is....we just need to be ourselves.

And so, with that in mind, my blog isn't going to change so much and my website, while new, isn't going to be anything fancy-schmancy (can't afford it and that's not me anyway) but that's okay. Because what's "new" today will only be out of date later. Sometimes I can doubt myself and my choices, but then all it takes is one bald barber with two different socks to remind me that I am doing okay.

from my house to your house,


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