love & lifestyle photography

artful blogging magazine; little love notes

Large post; larger honor!
Blogging - which I started as a means of connecting with family & friends when we moved our little family - has grown to combine several passions.  I love to write and design and, of course, photograph beautiful things.  And the culmination of these pursuits, my blog, has been featured in print!
While American friends can pick up the Winter edition of  Artful Blogging magazine [now available], this post is dedicated to local peeps, and a means of sharing with fellow Canadians, a beautiful publication which isn't available locally. Please click on individual pages to enlarge and, if you like, read my story "Little Love Notes".  You may just find yourself within the pages.
Thank you for the honor Artful Blogging, and for indulging me friends of FRESH.  The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.  - Eleanor Roosevelt

Little Love Notes

I was the shy girl who wrote little love notes on scraps of colored paper and hid them under my parents’ pillows.  Bubble-lettered “I love you’s” decorated with chicken-scratched-cats. 
Today, I find them everywhere.
I see love notes in the light, illuminating a porcelain skinned woman as she sits in the sun-drenched afternoon, framed by paned windows and Juliette balcony.  Scanning my surroundings include sitting room punctuating a narrow hall, 19th century fixtures, pink lacy curtains stippling daylight, dressing room with antique oak wardrobe, a ruffley bedspread and tea-length white dress with blush crinoline peeking through.  Giant summer peony blooms in blushing shades of pink and orange are set against accordion radiator on worn wood floors.
I breathe in the light of love of this time and space, mentally preparing myself for the bustle that is forthcoming. My friend is about to marry.
The day, riddled with little love notes.
In an age of extended engagements, event planners and professional decorators, the bride afforded a slim preparation time, employed passionate cronies, and invited only those from her latest dinner party.  Her wedding is to take place in her home, which happens to be a historic Bed & Breakfast and Cakery in a small mountain town, wearing a hand-crafted Etsy design.   And the host-cum-pastry-chef has made her own wedding cakes.  An elaborate record table of red velvet, vanilla frosted crème and chocolate ganoche goodness awaits.
This wedding, I reflect, is sure to be an authentic, home-spun celebration of love with a close community.  The ultimate love note.  And no less than my goals for my blog FRESH.
To find - and be – myself.  
To DIY, redefining ‘home’ and adding whimsy.
To seek and find community.
I have had to find myself again; get back to the note-writing girl.  After three decades, one would think themselves done with the foggy business of identity.  But moving an urban professional into a rural landscape, far from the nearest Grande Caramel Macchiato, attaché case, and lifetime of entries in the black book provided yet another opportunity for growth and redefinition.   
This time, I will make time for the love notes.  To notice them when offered, to author them when not, and to cherish them. 
My little blog FRESH is a collection of love notes - in written and visual narration – to my children and clients alike.  A heartfelt connection to people.  There is little distinction between home and professional-life because I aim for a personal connection in both arenas.
Sharing The Story of Me, the love notes, not only help me stay on track, [I have been known to read my own blog to get to know myself better] but it also earns the trust of those around me.  To encourage honesty and share feeling – with myself and others’ - means I can get at people’s essence, their interconnectedness, their stories.  But to earn their trust and vulnerability, I first need to offer mine.  
A chapter of my story would read DIY Before DIY was Cool.  Before having children, I used to photograph and refinish vintage furnishings and frames in my spare time.  [I’m attracted to pretty things with patina, a recurring theme at FRESH.]   
Transitioning away from the world of Education to my “hobbies” of Photography and Styling meant a continuation of self-teaching. I figured out camera and code and built a blog when it was much less user-friendly.  But it has also meant I am able to live my passions out loud.  I style photo-shoots, capture and write stories and design posts.
Little did I know, that in doing so, my blog would simultaneously facilitate self-discovery and serve as a vehicle to contact, build and sustain community when I needed it most.  All-the-while, the little shy girl in me can still compose and express her feelings in private and curiously wait for how her message is to be received.   
Connection is the goal.  I now have e-friends from as far away as New Zealand, share ongoing dialogue with old friends and update far-away family with our latest love notes.
I try to recognize those living entries to The Book of Awesome when they come my way or make entries in other peoples’ book too.  By doing so, I hope to add an element of whimsy to our collective lives.  To see things a little differently, share inspiration or say something that has been left unsaid. 
I love how my bride-friend showed her affinity for whimsy and community.  Rather than host her first-dance on polished floors in formal living room, her party danced to Harvest Moon in dusty garden shed, drinking from paper cups under white Chinese lanterns.  Which proves, where we are most comfortable, is together.
[Note to self: Together is how I choose to live -  insert chicken-scratched cat here-]