Thursday, July 8, 2010

.a quick hello and a short film.

Hello!  :)

Here's a really neat, short clip that I found in my Inbox today from the Anthropologist.  Makes me want to get in a canoe (or in Derek Henderson's case, an inner tube) and simply float along the river, with my camera of course.  Wishing you well!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

.time to think.

There's something that happens when you don't spend as much time online as you used to:  you have more time to think and to actually do things.  This is a big reason for my minimal presence here in Blogland and Cyberville.  Bare with me though, I will be back online a little more with hopefully more to say and more to show you.

Things are changing. . . for the good.  Metamorphosis.  That's always been the word I'd use to explain what I feel like is happening to me.  Maybe you can relate?  My camera has been sitting on the shelf more often than I had planned but it's only because there are plans in my head that I hope to bring to fruition.  Patience.  That is what I am learning right now.  Patience with myself.  I've always been the impulsive type, which in many ways has probably hindered more than helped, but I'm seeing that time is on my side if only I would use it well.  I feel more alive now than I have in a long time and to be able to say that is. . . awesome.

This is a short one but I wanted to say HI.  I'll be taking a break for a few weeks and hopefully by then, I will be back with a ROAR!  ;)  Take care friends. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

.turning the page to write a new chapter.

new leaf new chapter
The blank page.  It stares at me, wide-eyed and anxious, like a full audience waiting for the opening act to begin.  I am intimidated by this and somehow manage to put myself into a mild case of ‘stage fright’.  What do I say?  Where do I even begin?  Will I sound stupid?!  Then, as if a voice from behind the curtain shouts ‘Start with right now!’ I pick up my pen,  and begin to write. 

New chapters.  From the moment we decided to make this crazy move to North Carolina, I now feel like I’m actually ready to write the ‘next chapter’, the one that hopefully will be less painful and tumultuous than the previous.  In the last chapter, May:  The Month I Seriously Thought I Was Going to Go Postal,  my stress level was up so high that I have ten, TEN, new white hairs on my head (that of which I can see anyway) to prove it.  From the aftermath of the Nashville flood, to difficulties finding employment, landing an actual place to live in Wilmington, to watching our bank accounts drain out.  Yes, I am ready to start another chapter. 

An opportunity to change.  That’s what this whole move has been about.  It wasn’t just about moving to make a change of scenery, although yes, I truly enjoy the fact that we only live 20 minutes from the beach, and yes, I know it’s hurricane season.  We needed a lifestyle change. From what we ate, to how we filled up our day, our lives had become stagnant and unhealthy for far too long.  This is what needed to change, for our health, for our sanity, for our creativity, for our daughter.  Although we are not living in quite the ideal situation yet (because we are now broke as heck) we are working our way up slowly.  The words prioritizing and budgeting are no longer gibberish in our vocabulary.  Our fridge is not packed with junk, instead it is filled with lots of water and produce!  As a family, we take our walks around our little neighborhood in the evenings after dinner, which has allowed us to meet several of our neighbors.  I’ve had more time to actually sit and read (what few books I still had that survived the flood).  More time to play and soak up some Vitamin D with the little one.  I seriously want a bike!  Already, I can see the good that has come from making this move even though for a while there, we were starting to think that this was a dumb idea.  Our instincts were right, this was a good move.

I’ve been reading Visionmongers, by David duChemin, lately and there was something he wrote that really struck a chord with me.  Although he wrote it with photography in mind, I feel that these words really can be applied to life in general. 

Whatever the next step for you is, take it boldly. 
These are not the times for the timid;
 there’s no reward in tiptoeing through life
only to make it safely to death.

This is where I am right now, in a dilapidated old place, with very few things, yet so full of gratitude for my beautiful family, my wonderful friends, and the opportunity to start taking those bolder steps.  There’s still so much to do, like painting the place, clearing out the shed to turn it into our ‘creativity hut’, starting an herb garden, making photos, and. . . AND. . . being happy.  Isn't that the point to it all?  To simply be happy.        

Saturday, June 5, 2010

.a brief update.

Hello my dear friends!  Before I go on, I first wanted to say thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for all the beautiful words of encouragement in my last post.  Things have not been easy but, yes and it's a BIG BUT, we are doing fine.  Sometimes lessons are hidden in the form of trials.  I can honestly say that I truly recognize the struggles we have had over the last two months as such.  This is good.  It means growth.  For me, for my family. 

Right now, my mind has been clearer than it has been in YEARS!  When you are down to the bare essentials, with very little distraction, it's amazing how much more 'awake' you feel.  That's where I'm at now.  Unfortunately, being down to the bare essentials also means that there is little finances to actually get my internet up and going from home.  Therefore, my online time has been limited to runs to the local coffee shop in order to check emails.  So forgive me if my presence here and my visits to you have been less frequent than I would hope, but that will change soon. 

Like I said, this is going to be a brief update.  I hope you are well and enjoying the summer sun!  Until later my friends, take care!!  

Sunday, May 16, 2010

.good afternoon, sunday.

Hello friends. Where do I even begin?! Today I write to you from Nashville, yes, Nashville. We have returned here, briefly, to take care of several things, including cleaning out the storage unit that contained all our belongings. Most of what we had decided to keep after our moving sale was in that unit. While viewing YouTube videos of the insane destruction that occurred due to the floods that hit the Nashville area on May 1st & 2nd, we saw a video that actually showed the exact location where our storage unit was. Sure enough, ours was flooded out. Then we found out that the insurance company that was used by the storage company has denied everyone's claim because our policy did not have "flood coverage". What should have been a liberating start to our first week in Wilmington became a one of stress and tension instead. As much as I tried to remind myself of the fact that we were trying to "simplify" it was hard to come to grips with the fact that the few things we held dear were now gone. We returned to Nashville last Tuesday. We made a trip to the unit and if it wasn't hard enough to know everything was underwater, it was harder to see things taken over by mold and the awful, musty stench of sewer and chemical filled water. Photos were ruined beyond recognition. Even now, it's hard for me to think about without feeling absolutely nauseated. We still have a few more things to clear out. I took pictures of a lot of things, but honestly, I need to move beyond this. Others have lost much more than we did and I need to remember that. Entire homes were swept away. The lives of loved ones taken. We are still here. That's what should matter.

To be honest, I'm not sure how this adventure will play out. I admit, I'm a little numb. We are still looking for a place. Harder than we thought it would be. With that said, good things have happened; my husband starts his new job in Wilmington this week, we have met some awesome new folks, we have played in the water and sand. ;) Good things will and are happening. Life definitely has its way of throwing curve balls your way. I'm trying to do my best to hit those bad boys out of the park.

Hope you all are doing well. Once things settle, I'll be back to catch up with all of you, until then, take care!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

.we are here.

Dear friends, we have made it to the sea.  It has been a bittersweet voyage considering what took place just hours after we left our former home.  What we little belongings we had left in Nashville was destroyed.  All that we have now is what we have brought with us and of course, each other.  My words are a little tangled right now.  I will return soon to share more with you, but until that time. . . I want to share with you a beautiful message that was sent to me by an equally beautiful soul.  Thank you Niru. 

Look to this day
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.

The bliss of growth,

The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.

For yesterday is but a dream

And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well therefore to this day;

Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!


Thursday, April 29, 2010

.reflections and windows.

Our last week here in Nashville, before our Journey to the Sea adventure, has been bittersweet. As I reflect back on all that's taken place since our decision to move back to Nashville little over a year and a half ago, I see that it was definitely not in vain. Many of the relationships that I left behind nearly five years ago, during a very tumultuous time in my life, are healing, many of them mended. This move to yet another place we have never been is not the same as the one I made back then. This time, I am not running away. This time, I am moving forward, confident yet a little nervous, towards my dream, towards a better life for myself and my family. Yes, I realize that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. They get mowed the exact same way. The difference here is that I'll like the view a whole lot better.

I woke up this morning, took a shower, and as I was getting ready for the day, I happened to look up and caught the reflection of the bedroom window on the glass of the shadow box that showcases my earrings. The light was soft and peaceful shining through the blinds and curtain. I stood there taking in the steady breathing of my love and our beautiful child who were both still fast asleep. This is good. What we are doing, this move, these changes, they are all good. Windows of opportunity have presented themselves and as a family, we are jumping through them.

There were three pieces of scrap paper, with my handwriting on them, that I found at the bottom of a box I was sorting through. I don't remember when I copied these words down, but here is what they say. . .

Promise yourself to be strong, that nothing can disturb your
peace of mind. Look at the sunny side of everything and make
your optimism come true. Think only of the best, work only for the best,
and expect only the best. Forget the mistakes of the past and press
on to the greater achievements of the future. Give so much time to
the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you
are true to the best that is in you! ~ Christian D. Larson

Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Choose with no regret.
Continue to learn.
Appreciate your friends.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.
~ Mary Anne Radmacher

It does not mean to be in a place
where there is no noise, trouble
or hard work. It mean to be in the
midst of those things and still be
calm in your heart.
~ Anon.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

.good. . . evening, sunday.

Fortune Cookie No.2
This weekend has been very rewarding and also extremely exhausting.  We had our moving sale Friday as well as Saturday and thankfully, we were able to get rid of most of our stuff.  I am currently sitting on the floor in the living room, typing away on my laptop that it sitting on my daughter's potty.  (Don't worry, it has a lid and she doesn't use it, but it sits at the perfect height.  Ha!)  I realized this weekend that there are many who think what we are doing is just. . . how do you say. . . crazy.  Honestly though, I learned so much about myself this weekend just by seeing how much we, I, have accumulated over the years.  I had enough scrapbooking and craft supplies to open up my own shop!  A friend of mine came over and he asked me, "Doesn't it make you sick knowing that you spent all this money buying all this stuff only to sell it for next to nothing at a yard sale?"  My response was "No.  What makes me sick is knowing that I spent all this money and did nothing with any of this and still continued to buy."  Seeing it all out, on the floor in boxes, many of which were still in their packaging, never opened was very sobering.  Selling everything we have has been very liberating.  No longer do we have to haul all this stuff, trying to find a place that has enough room for me to store it all.  I believe the word I chose to represent the changes I wanted to see in my life this year was this:  simplify

Your choices at the moment will be good ones.  Trust yourself.  Many of you already know that I collect fortune cookie fortunes.  I know it sounds silly and juvenile, but sometimes I get ones that reassure me with things I already know.  Like the one above.  As much as I love an adventure, there is always that tinge of doubt that likes to creep in and make you question your actions.  "Did we make the right decision?  Are we being stupid?"  There is peace.  Yes, there is stress because we are on a timeline, but beyond that, there is so much peace.  Already I feel better about what we are doing.  My husband and I are on the same page.  We are excited, yes anxious as well, but we know that everything will be okay.  

My friends, I will be staying in touch with you all as often as I can, putting up new pictures as we make our venture.  Here today, in an almost empty home, with no guarantees of what tomorrow brings, I am happy.  Sometimes it takes drastic changes to bring you closer to your dreams, to your loved ones, to yourself, and maybe even closer to God.  

Of all the people I have ever known, those who have pursued their dreams and failed have lived a much more fulfilling life than those who have put their dreams on a shelf for fear of failure.  ~Author Unknown

Sunday, April 18, 2010

.good morning, sunday.

good morning sunday :: 18APR10
It's Sunday, April 18th, already.  I've decided to move over my "Good morning, Sunday" , a weekly recap and list of random stuff that I started on my Reveries and a Cup of Chai blog, here.  So here we go:
  • Still, still, STILL trying to get through our stuff.  Packing, pitching, setting aside for our moving sale.  There's a faint light at the end of the tunnel.  
  • Totally digging this musical duo, The Dø.  Thanks to Elisabelle.
  • I am in love with the new Impossible Project PX 100 analog film for the SX-70.  But you already knew that.  
  • The Atlantic Ocean.  I hope to see her in the next couple of weeks as we venture through North Carolina.  I've never met Atlantic.  I hear she's not as warm as her sister Pacific, but I'm sure she's still just as beautiful.  ;)
  • I want to own a ukulele.  You would think being from Hawaii that I would have already owned one.  But I don't.  And just a tid bit of info for you.  The literal meaning of ukulele is "jumping lice."  Ha!  
  • Over the next several weeks, perhaps months, I will be trying to spend less time on the computer and more time actually shooting.  The computer has been such a wonderful thing to have, but unfortunately, feeling like I've got some form of ADD, I have spent more time browsing through the Web than I have anything else and I think it's time to change that.  I've probably already said that I'd do that, but I don't think I'll have a choice in the next week or so.  
  • This upcoming week will be filled with nothing but more preparations for our big moving sale on Friday and Saturday.  Wish us luck 'cause we need to get rid of everything.  Hopefully it'll mean a nice deposit into our bank account so we can travel with a little less stress. 
  • This young lady's work amazes and inspires me.  See her first video below.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

.i've been tagged!.

I'm in dire need of a break! Who knew that sorting through clothes could wear a person out!?! Who knew a family could accumulate THAT MUCH clothes?! Geez. Anyhoo, hope everyone is having a great week so far. As you can see by the title to today's post, I've been tagged by my friend Esther of Inside My Shell. Here's the rule: Go to a photo file and pick the 10th photo. After that, blog about the story behind that image. Then tag 5 other bloggers to do the same. Sound like fun? Just like Esther, I decided to pick the 10th photo in my Flickr photostream.
.read II.
A diptych showing two images I had taken at the Old Richard's Bookstore in Frankfort, Kentucky. No real big story to tell here. My hubby and I decided to take a trip from Lexington to Frankfort for the afternoon. We took a stroll along the railroad track that runs through the Historic Downtown and spotted the bookstore. There's always something pleasant about walking into a cozy old building that houses tons of old books. Especially one that also opens up to a coffee shop!

Alright lovelies, here are the five I've chosen to participate:

Hope you guys get to play along because I'd LOVE to see what you have to share! Hey and anyone else who wants to join in, by all means!

Monday, April 12, 2010

.writing a new chapter.

N˚10 :: ghost writer
Well, time is ticking away rather quickly in our neck of the woods. The home is in shambles at the moment as we divide want we feel we need to keep and what we want to sell. Our eyes are set on North Carolina at the moment. Where exactly? That has yet to be determined. I'm excited. Stress is creeping in a little, but I'm okay. What lies ahead of us is a new adventure, a new chapter to be written. I've been in dire need of an adventure and it looks like I'm about to embark on one. As my Uncle mentioned this evening, it's in my blood.

We are planning on having our 'moving sale' at the end of the week next week. As we prepare for it, I realize that I seriously SERIOUSLY have been needing to purge for quite sometime. I have enough craft supplies to start my own store! Most of what I have has been rarely used, some even unopened. That's what happens when you work in a craft supply store for nearly 9 years and then realize you have no time to craft. But hopefully, this will mean I will get some of my money back during the sale. Being realistic during a move can be hard sometimes. When I say that I mean it's like the same conversation I have when I'm actually in a store. Do I seriously see myself using this in the next. . . say month? I know it's cool to have, but seriously, when was the last time I used this? Most of what we have is, in essence, mine which makes it hard for the hubby to help because he's afraid he'll put something in the wrong box. There are clothes, tons of clothes that I had hoped I would have been able to fit again. Home decor. Art and craft supplies. We seriously need to make a killing on this sale. I guess, really, we are writing that new chapter now. The title: On the Path to a Simplified Life. We hope.

**Apologies to anyone reading this who may've gotten totally confused! Ha! My mind is so full right now that things just come out in chunks, so bare with me! :D

Thursday, April 8, 2010

.PX I love you.

PX 100 Film :: A New Generation of Analog Film
So it's here. . . the highly anticipated film created by the geniuses at the Impossible Project. The delivery of two packets came in the mail little over a week ago. Like a child who received the one toy they requested for Christmas, to have it in my hands was, in its own way, magical. At first, I hesitated to open it, scared that I would somehow screw it up, especially since there's been so much talk about the fact this film is extremely sensitive to both light and temperature. There's a very painful, and expensive learning process that takes place with this film. But I have to admit, I'm in love.
N˚6 :: april dogwoods
The soft, dreamy quality that is typical of Polaroid film is still there. The warm tones in the images are delightful, especially for me, considering I'm a huge fan of brown tones. If you couldn't already tell.
N˚5 :: balls of light
I'm still crossing my fingers that the price of the film (currently $21) will either stay the same, or decrease as time goes on. Each packet consists of 8 (as opposed to the Polaroid 600's 10) shots. So a lot more thought should probably go into each composition before pressing that little red button.
N˚8 :: me
So yes, I am quite happy with this new film. Adore it really. I'm hoping for this Christmas, Santa will be sweet and fill my stockings with PX 100 film!

To see more of my shots, visit Flickr.
For more info on this new film, visit the Impossible Project.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

.the road is calling.

the road
For a long time, I've been known as the "gypsy" in the family. Growing up, we moved around a lot. I attended 5 different elementary schools by the time I was in the 5th grade. Although some would say that perhaps that was unhealthy, I enjoyed it. I loved being able to see new things and to meet new kids, experience new adventures. I guess you can say, nothing's changed.

This week, my husband's job officially closed its doors and what plans we thought we had were shut down. Potential jobs fell through. We are faced with having to move out of this house by the end of the month, and the question of Where are we going to go? Timing is lousy. But maybe, just maybe there is a bigger, better plan that we just can't see yet. After being given very disappointing news, the only thoughts that came to my mind were to sell just about everything we have, save sentimental things, our cameras and laptops, and begin traveling again. The idea never would have even phased me had it not been for the simple fact that we are now parents to a little soon-to-be-three year old. Back in the day, it was nothing for me to pick up and go to wherever, whenever. Not anymore. Before I start to sound like I am lamenting my role as mother, I am not. In a way, I also want my child to see and experience different places. I don't know. My Mom has decided to move back to North Carolina at the end of the month and I can't help but think that maybe NC wouldn't be a bad place to go. As a matter of fact, I LOVED North Carolina. I loved the fact that it only took me 45 minutes to get to the mountains, whether towards Boone or Asheville. It is such a beautiful state.

The open road is calling me again. And I think this time, I'm going to answer. . . with my family of course! ;)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

.i miss the sea.

I do. Terribly. For anyone of you that know me well enough, you know that every Spring comes that pang of homesickness that just doesn't seem to ever diminish. The weather is so delicious that my mind can't help but drift to the shores of Hawai'i. I miss the beach.

Monday, March 29, 2010

.time to simplify.

A little simplification would be the first step
toward rational living, I think.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Simplify. That is the word that I am embracing at the moment. With Spring now into full swing, the "cleaning" part has kicked in and I realize, I've got a ton of stuff. I observe the refugee families that I have the pleasure of assisting and I see how well they go about their lives with very little. I'm learning a lot about what is truly important in life. There will be a lot of purging and packing in the next several weeks as we prepare for what lies ahead, whatever that may be.

Simplify. I am trying to incorporate this word into other aspects of my life. As I think about my photography and the direction that I want to take it, the phrase keep it simple continuously comes to mind. My frustrations stem from the fact that I've allowed things to become more complicated than they should be. Over thinking. Please tell me that I'm not the only one with this problem.

Things are starting to get a little clearer for me. This may mean some more changes headed this way, but it just means that things are growing, blossoming. Something good this way comes. I can feel it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Today, I started to stress a little. Just a teensy weeny little bit. April is quickly approaching and I'll be honest, I don't know what is ahead of me, of us, my family. The winds of change are picking up again, just as crazy as the winds that swept through Nashville earlier today. A storm raged through town and just as quickly as it came, it trailed off to another place. I thought that everything would be strewn across the place, branches torn off trees. Nope. Everything was just as it was, only much wetter. It was actually quiet. Peaceful. I looked out my kitchen window and the above photo is what I saw (only not in monotone, but close!). Think there may be a lesson within today's storm.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

.polaroid::a new chapter.

SX-70 Alpha
A new chapter in the life of Polaroid cameras and film has been written. What was once considered an impossible attempt to bring back the adored instamatic film back from what would have been a terrible death, has become. . . well, possible. Almost. Although the original chemistry that created the popular 600 film, and many of its siblings, is no longer manufactured, the geniuses of The Impossible Project have created a NEW formula that has resulted in the launch of it's newest films: The PX 100 and PX 600. Both will officially be available tomorrow. And the world celebrates!

my polaroid cams
Like many who rediscovered a love for analog, specifically instant, photography, my time came a little late. I had purchased several packets of Polaroid 600 film from the only place locally that it was still available. Walmart. No sooner did I go through (painfully might I add) my packs of film that Walmart suddenly ran out of film. I would drive and drive and call and drive some more to find ANY Walmart that still carried the film. They were out. Gone. Nada. I went on to eBay and found that piles of this film were being sold there but my wallet would not oblige. So, Alpha, Lula, and Cutie (the names of my cameras) were put away. Alpha being the only one that still contained a few shots of 600 film.

easter pencils
Today, I brought my Polas out of the darkness to let them know that there is reason to celebrate. Soon, they will have purpose again. Thanks to these guys.

::video via Grant Hamilton
::be sure to check out some test shots of the new film on Flickr

Monday, March 22, 2010

.hints of spring::or::the death of a project.

almost there
Okay, so Spring has officially arrived. I have to tell you though, Winter, oh dear Winter, has still got a pretty firm grip on the trees here in Nashville. Today, temperatures were in the mid 30s and I can't help but feel like I'm being jipped. I long for color. I long for warmth. During a recent trip to Cheekwood, I did notice that there were subtle hints that Spring is slowly making her presence known here. So really, I should just shut up and be patient. ;0)

On to other subjects, I have come to terms with the fact that Project 365 is really just not for me. This means that I will be renaming my flickr album to "A Year in Photos::2010" which will feature my favorite shot for any one particular outing. I think. Who knows. May change that too! Ha! I know that there are folks out there that have been pretty relaxed about the rules for P:365 which I was totally in agreement with. But, after having missed several days, it just seemed wrong to keep the numbers 3-6-5 especially since I could not keep up with being true to "a photo every single day." I originally had this whole sch-peel about the deeper reasoning for not doing this project, but I'll spare you. Suddenly I have this need to read Susan Sontag's essays On Photography.

With all this said, I truly hope every single one of you are having a beautiful start to the week! Let me know how you are.

Monday, March 15, 2010

.staying true to myself.

I will have to admit to you that it's been a rather rough couple of weeks photography wise for me. Part of it due to the fact that I didn't have my camera (which I did get back today. . . YAY!) and also because, strangely enough, I have been asked to exhibit some of my photos. You would think that I would be extremely over the moon at the latter, but instead I became overly critical of my work to the point of getting a headache. Haha! That's a good sign right. . . ? As I gazed through some of my photos, I couldn't help but feel like I was just shooting all over the place. I found myself going back to my older images, photos that I didn't try to capture to submit to some publication or have accepted by the public as trendy. I shot them simply because I was moved to. Over the last several years, I feel like I've lost that, that emotional bond that transcends from subject to photographer, ultimately captured by the camera.

This morning after reading an inspiring post, I was reminded that as a photographer, I need to stay true to my vision. Too often I become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of images out there, trying to find a place to settle into only to realize that I wasn't really comfortable there. I always find myself saying that I'm still searching for my "voice" in the photography world. I sing the best when I'm in the shower or in my car, belting it out without a care as to who may hear, or see, me. I sing whatever moves me at the time (it's been a lot of Priscilla Ahn lately). Go out, shoot and don't give a rat's ass what anyone else thinks. In the end, it's your opinion of what you've done that matters. Sometimes I really should start taking my own advice.

.waiting for some color.

I've been taking quite a bit of photos of the sky lately. The dramatic cloud formations highlighted by the intensity of the sun. Makes me realize how nice it is to actually be outside! The weather is warming up, thank goodness, which can only mean that Nashville will bursting with color soon! Some parts of the world are already there!

Friday, March 12, 2010

.the doorways project::uganda.

Travel. Beauty. Connection. When I think of these three words, one name comes to mind. Lisa Field-Elliot, the Doorways Traveler. Today's post, however, is not really about the beautiful soul that is Lisa. Rather, this is a call for your attention and your support. Uganda. A country where men, women, and children - some older, some perhaps even much younger than you or I - have endured atrocities that I cannot even fathom. Each one a survivor. Each one with the fragile hope and prayer to live a life of freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from pain. Freedom to simply be. Many of us have hoped at some point in our lives, maybe even today, that we were in a position to be able to help, to take that flight across a vast ocean, to go beyond our own comfort zones and social networks, in order that we may have a part in seeing beautiful things happen for those who deserve it and much more. They have stories to tell, and I want to hear them. But I cannot make that trip. Not today. That is why I believe that we must help support someone who can. Lisa is the vessel that will be making this journey. On April 3rd, she will be in Uganda assisting Community Action Fund for Women of Africa (CAWFA) for two weeks, documenting the stories of those who have been supported by their work. It is there that she will be our hands, our ears, our heart. I cannot think of a more humble and generous individual that I would encourage than her.

"My heart breaks and leaps when I think about what is ahead. I am not pretending to have done this before. To have been somewhere and sat with women who have experienced the kind of atrocities that the women of Uganda have. These are the kinds of unthinkable things that fold into long and complicated stories of pain, struggle, and loss. But they are not the only stories that have to define these women and their families. While I am realistic and reverent toward the stories of death and devastation that I know I will hear and see in the faces of those I will listen to and photograph, what I hope to capture is the future of possibility that CAFWA is striving for. That and the basic human desire to be our fullest as women and as mothers that is the same no matter where we are." -Lisa, March 12, 2010

To learn more about how YOU can help make this journey possible, please take the time to visit Lisa's blog at Also, to find out more about CAFWA and how you can help, visit them at

Thursday, March 11, 2010

.bricks and light::avijit halder.

One of my favorite quotes of all-time oddly enough, comes from a Pixar movie.

Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.
~ Anton Ego, Ratatouille

It was nearly a year ago when I first discovered the documentary film, Born into Brothels, and wrote about it on my Reveries blog. It still remains as one of the most influential films in my life. Why? Because it documents three important things that I hold dear. Children. Photography. Hope. One of the eight children featured in this film was a boy by the name of Avijit. Throughout the film, one could not help but become attached to the young artist. His paintings and photographs spoke eloquently of the talents and possibilities that his life, his destiny, went beyond the streets of the red-light district of Kalcutta. Currently attending NYU studying film, nearly 10 years has passed since the filming of Born into Brothels, and this young man, whose future once hung in the balance, is a testament to the world that yes, a great artist can come from anywhere. And he has.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

.optimist & pessimist.

looking for that silver lining
Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimists invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute. ~G.B. Stern.

I've always liked that quote. This week, it has really hit home for me as my inner optimist and pessimist are at odds with each other. There have been some great photography opportunities that may be in the works, but for fear of jinxing myself, I'm going to wait before sharing much about it. Then, a nice big obstacle presented itself in a conversation with my hubby and his employer. The business is closing by the end of the month, which means three weeks from today he will be without a job unless something else happens. I already see a move from this house inevitable, which I think may actually be a good thing. BUT, that means it's time to pack. Again. I swear, I'm not always the "gypsy" by choice. I have to admit that I'm a little scared but trying desperately to stay positive. My inner optimist is saying, "Hey! We'll be just fine." My inner pessimist is saying "Start planning for the worst now otherwise you're screwed." Deep inside, I know everything will be okay. That fear of the unknown is what gets me all the time. Good things are happening. I know they are. I just have to remember that behind every dark cloud, is a little bit of sunshine.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

. a stack of inspiration.

a stack of inspiration
What's the best thing to do when you need some inspiration? Delve into the pages of craft books and spring fashion catalogs! In my case, here are the ones that I am currently perusing, and reabsorbing:
My deepest of gratitude goes out to all the wonderful artists, designers, stylists and photographers who continue to feed my insatiable appetite for creative projects and imagery!

Today was the first day in a LONG time that I actually pulled out and used my 35mm Canon Rebel. For years, this was the camera I took most of my photos with and LOVED it! Of course, once I switched over to digital, my old trusty companion ended up taking a back seat. After my little equipment meltdown that happened last weekend, I thought I'd bring her back out again. So today, I took several photos of my good friend Casie who happened to be in town for a few days. You know what I noticed? I still have film in my camera. I went through 38 exposures between two rolls of 24 exp. film. That was it. What does that tell me? Each shot was composed and thought through carefully (not to say that they'll be perfect as this was a spur of the moment kinda thing). I don't think I've ever shot less than 60+ shots for a portrait session with my DSLR before. Well, I've yet to get my film developed. Will be doing that today. Let's hope they came out alright!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

.still so much to learn.

I will be the first one to admit that I still have so much to learn about my role in this world as a photographer and as a student of the medium. I am not an expert. Never pretended that I was. I am caught between analog and digital, amateur and professional. Am I where I want to be? No. Not yet. Forgive me if this post ends up being somewhat fragmented. It just mirrors what's in my head.

Malfunction. That's what happened. Brand spanking new camera malfunctioned during a photoshoot that I had planned for months. I did not bring a backup. In my ignorance, I didn't think that I needed to. We were an hour away from town so running back was NOT an option. Embarrassed. LIVID. Discouraged. The camera has to be sent back to the manufacturer for repairs. I only had it for less than two weeks. Can't make an exchange because my shutter count exceeded the allowable amount. Disheartened. Wish I had brought my 35mm instead.

Was the day a total loss? No. And I should remind myself of that more often. I did manage to capture some great shots. Fortunately the subject, a good friend of mine, was very sympathetic as he has had his own fair share of "malfunction moments" and said the best thing to do was to take this as a learning experience and to prepare for situations similar to this in the future. Let's hope they don't happen in the future. We were able to brainstorm some more and came up with some fantastic ideas to pursue in our upcoming sessions. So, it wasn't all bad. Just the camera. [heavy sigh]

I have a website. I have a photoblog. I have an etsy account. But who am I? I honestly don't think I have found my "voice" yet. Experiment. That word has constantly been ringing in my ear. Patience. Practice. The beautiful voices we cherish in music had to fine tune their skill until the right sound was theirs to claim. I've been reading The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin. Currently, I'm rolling around the subject of branding in my head. Ideas are floating. I just need to pinpoint the one that best describes me and what it is I want to do.

This is where I am right now. I am in that middle state of mind. . . between the thought and the action. Doors are opening. I am terrified. Yet I know that if I don't walk through them with confidence, I will hate myself for it. I am reminded of my fortune cookie fortune from January of 2009.

You are capable, competent, creative, and careful.
Prove it.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

.good morning, sunday::no. 3.

good morning, sunday::part trois
Okay, it's actually Sunday afternoon but that's alright right?
  • Had two photoshoots this weekend. The first one being of a co-worker of mine. I foresee some future sessions with him as he is a very photogenic individual. And, the other was of a long time friend of mine. . .
  • . . . David E. who created the character Cactus Jack, a frontiersman, who travels throughout the country, educating kids about the Old West. He is such a wonderful person who is so full of ideas and energy! When I decided to create my own Character Project, he was the first person to come to mind. We went out of town for our photo session and after just a handful of shots, my brand new camera malfunctioned on me. Needless to say, I am pretty POed. Fortunately, he was very understanding. We did manage to spend a lot of time brainstorming and getting pumped for new possibilities so it wasn't a total loss of a day. So stay tuned!
  • I've been thinking a lot about my "brand" and trying to figure out how to tie everything together. From my website, to my blog, to my shop. A lot of these thoughts have sprung up after reading The Handmade Market Place by Kari Chapin. There are more things that I want to do with my photography, but it's trying to figure out what and how.
  • Any day now, I will be receiving my new Holga and the current issue of Light Leaks magazine. [yay!]
  • At the end of the week, I'll be introducing you to yet another blog that I'm involved with. This one will be featuring a photo or two taken between myself and my dear friend Kerri. I'll let you know when it's ready for viewing.
  • Spring is near. Do you feel it?!
Have a wonderful week my friends! And remember, when doing a photoshoot, always bring some backup! ;o)

**Sorry it took so long to post this. I didn't realize it wasn't up 'til this morning. ha!

Friday, February 26, 2010

.carefree in the sun.

carefree in the sun

A: Mama, we go swing today?
K: Honey, it's too cold outside.
A: Mama? We go park? We go SWING?!
K: We'll see.
A: Mama? I go swing.
K: You are?
A: Yea. You come too Mama?
K: Yea, I think I'll come too.

That was the short, condensed version of the conversations that Lil' Miss A. and I had throughout the day. The sun was out and it looked so inviting outside. That was until you actually stepped out. A nice, frigid gust of wind blowing against your pale, sun deprived face. BRRR!! But that didn't stop A. from hauling butt to the vehicle. Her favorite thing to do in all the world is to ride the swing (and the carousel, although she hasn't really asked to do that in a while). Her sweet pleas were just breaking my heart, so I caved in. Besides, I really could've used some good ol' Solar-Vitamin D myself! Once we got to the park, straight to the swings she went. I slid her into a seat, then began to send my kid flying up into the air. Push Mama, push! she cried. A smile so big spread across her rosy cheeked face. And there she was, swinging away, head leaned back, in complete and total bliss.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


crape myrtle seed pods
Wow. I am exhausted. It's been a pretty busy week, which is good. Spent most of today with my best friend and her little baby J. Newborns are so sweet. . . and TINY! I seriously don't remember A. ever being that little, but she was. Before I left their home, I snagged a few branches off of her crape myrtle to take home and photograph. These seed pods are just so interesting to look at. Honestly, I'm not that crazy about the way I processed this image, but I'm too tired to care right now. ha ha!

Before I go (because I really need to go before cranky Kat comes out) I wanted to thank my sweet friend Emma at the Orchard Studio for featuring me on her blog today! It totally made my day! Thank you. :O) You all are so kind and I cannot express how humbled I am by your support. I love you guys! Wishing each and every one of you a beautiful start to an awesome weekend!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

.a gift and friendship.

Tonight, after several hours of tutoring English to my lovely Arab family, I pulled out the sewing machine I brought from home. It had been sitting in the corner of my kitchen for ages. I wish I was more the avid seamstress, but I am not. Although I would like to be! Last week, I had asked the ladies what they enjoyed doing. One of the responses was sewing. When I heard that, I knew that my sewing machine was going to have a new home. We brought it out onto the kitchen table, and just as quickly as we had done that, the requests from the boys to fix over-sized t-shirts and such were being made. Umm and I went over the specs of the machine, figuring out how to change stitches, how to thread it and so forth. Then, off to work she went, sewing away like a pro! I couldn't help but feel so blessed sitting there beside her, watching how quickly she was able to fix her son's school shirt, watching as she played with the machine, figuring out how to do this and that. I sat there thinking to myself, this is what family and friendship is about. Sharing, learning and appreciating one another. It became more and more obvious to me that I was no longer an outsider. No longer were we strangers who could barely communicate with one another. I had become part of the family. Friendship. It is truly the greatest gift you could give to another, and to yourself.

.41 shots.

image by Mark Cobbold
There is nothing more frightening to me than the thought of losing my memory. To have all my recollections drift away like sand in the wind. . . to be amongst my loved ones and not know who they are. This can only be described as absolutely heartbreaking. When my good friend Mark Cobbold asked me to view his photography site, I came across a page he dedicated to his father, Les, who is suffering from the latter stages of Alzheimer's disease. Moved by a passion for photography, and a devoted love for his father, Mark has put together 41 Shots, a request to fellow photographers to submit one image to be considered for a collage. The photo collage would then be auctioned off with all proceeds donated to the Alzheimer's Society. Photographers of all levels who are interested in participating can learn more about it by visiting his site, Point Click Photography or by sending him an email at

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


reaching out. . .

He told me the other day that he had a dream. He came upon a cemetery, one that he had never been to before, one that probably didn't really exist. It was within this sanctuary that he said my grandmother's presence told him, Kathy never comes to see me anymore. He had never met my grandmother. Then, he began to recall the feeling of something cold pressing down against his thigh, like a hand, so cold that it woke him up from this sleep. It's true though. I don't visit much. Maybe it's because I know she is not there. There is no soft spoken voice there to tell me her stories of younger days. There is no warm embrace to pull me in from the cold wind that whips around me as I sit there beside the plaque that bares her name. But I did go to see her today. Her great-grand daughter beside me wondering where her Mama's Tutu is. She is asleep, I say. Her response, When she wake up, she coming to see me? I didn't know what to say. Yes, I said. Someday.


[**added on February 24th] I reread this post. Thinking about how I answered my toddler's question. What I should've said was that my grandmother was in Heaven right? Because I know she is. I've began to think about my faith again. My fellowship with God is not where it used to be. I know this. But the ice is melting. The colors of life are slowing resurfacing. In my heart, I know I will feel that warmth again.

Monday, February 22, 2010

.dear reader.

dusty rose
Dear Reader,

Honestly, I don't even know where to begin today. So many things have rushed back and forth in this thing I call my head that I wanted to share with you and now, as I sit here in front of this portal to you, my mind goes blank. Well, I guess before I go on, I just wanted to take the time to thank you, my reader, for pulling up a chair and "listening" to what I have to say. Many a times I feel as if I come off quite spaztic (which according to the Urban Dictionary, that's just part of my name) so I apologize if I'm quite scatterbrained. Seriously, it means a lot to me that you would take the time to come here. After all, there's surely something more interesting out there you could be doing, like watching a match of curling on the Olympics, or washing your hair. :O) Thank you. I may not get a chance to come and visit you as often as I would like, but I will try to do better! Know that I appreciate you and that my heart sings every time you leave me a little note. I know I've said it before, but I will say it again. Thank you.

But before you go, I FINALLY remembered some of the things I wanted to share with you today! The first being that I was featured on Ms. Laura's blog this morning! I was totally stoked! It's so weird and yet exciting to see someone actually take the time to say "Hey! Look at her!" and it be a good thing! The other thing I wanted to tell you is that you've got to check out Kim Miller's blog and her awesome Photoshop Actions! They are just too fun! Hmm. . . I think there was something else. . . what was it?! Oh heck! I can't remember. Maybe tomorrow.

I hope this finds you well and that you are doing fantabulous! Tell me how you've been and what is going on in your life. I want to know. And again, thank you for being awesome.

~much love,

Sunday, February 21, 2010

.at the lake.

a warm winter day at the lake
In my earlier post, I mentioned having taken some photos at the lake this morning, only find that the images were missing from my memory card. Weird. My tutoring class was canceled this evening so I took my new camera (instead of the old one I was shooting with earlier) and headed back to the lake. Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking I was going to capture. I felt a little weird because I had my camera bag strapped to my back, and this big camera hanging from my neck. I felt too "obvious". Ever feel like that? The sun wasn't as bright due to the clouds that were starting to move in. [sigh] I finally sat down for a moment to just soak in the scenery. I watched as the tiny glimmers of sunlight danced upon the surface of the water. I miss the beach. A flock of geese squawked loudly as they flew above me in the distance. A pair of seagulls glided in front of me, and then back towards the tree line across the water. Maybe this is what I was meant to do. Sit. Listen. Absorb. Reflect. I guess, things happen for a reason.

.good morning, sunday::no. 2.

good morning, Sunday::No. 2
Good morning friends! I hope this finds all of you well and still holding strong for the arrival of Spring! She's not too far away, thank GOD!! Well, here is a recap of happenings since my last post:
  • We FINALLY made a purchase on a "new to us" vehicle. A 2002 Nissan XTerra. It's almost like driving my old pickup, but WAY different. ;o)
  • My kid sister and her long time love from high school decided to finally get married. They made the decision on a Sunday and scheduled to get hitched on Friday. Yeah. We bought her dress on Thursday, got her flowers early Friday morning, got her hair done, made her bouquet, took photos of the whole day and voila! A simple, intimate, and beautiful wedding!
  • My tax return went towards getting a new camera. I'm now the Mama of a new Canon 50D. You would think that I would be all out thrilled to play with this thing. On the contrary. With the way things have been going lately, I've been too scared to fearing she's gonna break on me somehow! I'm silly. I realize this now.
  • After having "read" this book with the kids during Storytime yesterday, I am absolutely IN LOVE with it! The illustrations already have swept me away to deepest parts of the sea, but the story of the camera. . . it gave me chills. . . the good kind.
  • Another book I happened to pick up yesterday was this one titled, The Artistic Mother, by Shona Cole. It intrigued me because I thought that perhaps I fit the title, or at least, I'm trying to fit the title. In her book, Shona emphasizes the importance creativity has in the lives of mothers. I have to agree with her. Making the time to do something creative is a lot harder than you think it would be. She has put together a "12 Week" program featuring a craft to work on per week. This book also some thoughts and advice from a handful of other well-known artistic Moms, like Rebecca Sower, Misty Mawn and Susan Tuttle. The Artistic Mother is definitely a book worth taking a look at, and maybe even buying one to take home!
  • And speaking of the artistic mother, I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to my lovely friend, Zee Longenecker for giving me a shout out on her blog, Hey, Zee! She happened to be one of those artsy-craftsy Moms whose work was featured in Artful Blogging magazine. I was truly impressed with her creations, and had to make a comment on her then blog [Pixie Blossoms] telling her so. From that, I gained a truly beautiful and talented friend. Thank you again Zee you sweetie pie!
Well folks, think I'm going to make a trip out to the lake! The sun's SHINING!! Woo hoo! Beautiful beautiful wishes to you all!


Hello everyone! Hope many of you are enjoying the warmer, almost Spring-like weather! As for here in sunny Nashville, we are enjoying temps in the 60s! Woo hoo! I was going to share with you some pictures that I took while at the lake today, but every single image disappeared off my memory card!! I have NO idea what the heck happened. I browsed through each one in my camera. But the moment I put the card in the reader, they some how ::poof!:: vanished into thin air. Anyone have recommendations for image retrieval?! So, seeing that I don't have any new pictures to show you just yet, I did want to share with you all a book that has shot it's way into the softest spot of my heart.

flotsam: pronounced \flät-səm\; derived from the French word: floter, to float; meaning: floating wreckage of a ship or its cargo; floating debris

Now, many of you may have already figured out that I LOVE kids books. Some of them happen to be my favorites of all time. My new favorite is Flotsam, a Caldecott Award winning book by David Wiesner. This book truly is a picture book. There are no words, just windows of illustrations taking you down to the beach where a boy explores his surroundings and by chance, comes across a vintage, underwater camera. It's the adventure that this camera captured while on a voyage through the sea that blew me out of the water! A magical journey that children of all ages will surely enjoy.

Friday, February 12, 2010

.it's a beautiful day.

wedding day
My little sis is now the new Mrs. C! Congratulations sweet heart! I love you butt-munch!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

.she's getting married.

Today was such a cool day. It was "girl's day/night out" with the little one and my little sister who is getting married tomorrow. Honestly, I don't think it has really sunk in yet. She and her fiancé made the decision to get married this last weekend. They've been together for 6 years and this week, they felt like all the planets and stars were in the right alignment to finally become an "official" couple. So. . . I am now the florist, the wedding photographer, and the all-around good gal for this wedding! Ha ha! It's going to be a simple little union at the courthouse and a gathering of family afterward. Tonight, we had our fill of sushi, made trips to some cute shops, picking up a few outfits (like her wedding dress!) and topped it all off with a nice warm mug of coffee from Utopia, a coffeehouse in Spring Hill. Wow, she's getting married tomorrow. Did I mention that it still hasn't sunk in yet?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

.i heart you.

To the world you are one person, but to one person you are the world.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

.books hold the key.

A good book is the key that will open doors to a different time and place. A source of motivation and inspiration. As a teen, I would lose myself in a book so that I could escape my insecurities, my struggles and walk instead in the shoes of another, completely oblivious to my own thoughts. For a moment, I would be Anne Elliot . . . another day I would be a Lakota woman curiously observing Lt. Dunbar. What I love most about books is its ability to allow me to travel without having to renew my passport.

In the case of good books,
the point is not to see how many
of them you can get through,
but how many can get through
to you.
~Mortimer Adler

The world is a book,
and those who do not travel
read only one page.
~St. Augustine

Monday, February 8, 2010

.this living hand.

this living hand

This living hand, now warm and capable
Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold
And in the icy silence of the tomb,
So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights
That thou wouldst wish thine own heart dry of blood
So in my veins red life might stream again,
And thou be conscience-calmed—see here it is—
I hold it towards you.
~ John Keats

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Okay so this image may not be exactly what you would describe as "girly" or "romantic." Well, I don't know. There might be a hint of romanticism that can be attributed to these old remnants of clothing. Buttons. I wonder what types of garments they were originally a part of. Suits. Dresses. How old do you think some of them are? Especially these, which were purchased at an antique store in Bell Buckle. What stories do you think they'd tell? Perhaps. . . a few of them were originally sewn onto a dress worn by a fair, young Tennessee belle whose dark haired lover, in a fit of lust, ripped apart her bodice, scattering bookoos (or is it beaucoup?) of buttons all over the place! That's romantic right?! Ha ha! Buttons: the fragments of passions untold!

.good morning sunday, good morning friends.

good morning sunday
Good morning my friends. I know. It's been. . . months. I know. There have been so many posts started, and never finished. So much that I wanted to share with you, but I just could NOT get it out right. Every time I would attempt to, it ended up being like that fast moving stream of just nothing but words that didn't make any sense. So, I decided to go easy on myself this fine Sunday morning by filling you in on what's been going on with a list:

  • I have been doing a lot of blogging here.
  • The local charity I mentioned in my previous post DID take me on as a volunteer. I am working with a wonderful family from the Middle East, teaching them English and learning Arabic at the same time. It has been a humbling and immensely rewarding experience for me. This experience reminds me every time I see them, that no matter what race, what backgrounds we come from, or what creed we follow. . . we all still laugh and love the same way.
  • I was in a car accident on my birthday. My little one was in the truck with me when it happened. The vehicle was totaled, but my sweet one and I came out of it just fine. My prayer has been that only positive things come from this scary ordeal.
  • Remember last year's attempt at Project 365? Well I've started a new one this year. Granted I am off several days, but that was due to the lack of motivation that stemmed from the accident. Picked up where I left off so every day from here on out is an opportunity for new images!
  • I finally opened an Etsy shop. I'll be honest, it scares me only because it's MY store. I'm so terrified of screwing up that sometimes that hinders me from taking risks, like opening up my own shop. Well, it's up. It's not perfect. I know it still needs more "fluff" or something AND more listings. But I'm working on it. Now go buy a print or two! ;o)
  • This year, my main goal has been to keep myself inspired and motivated to create. My photography has been so important to me, to who I am and this year, I plan to push myself harder by working on and COMPLETING projects I have had in my head for years. It's been slow going at the moment but things will pick up once the weather warms up a little.
Now that I've listed everything, I think that's everything, it doesn't look like much does it? I do hope this finds all of you well! I will try my best to pop over here more often than I have as of late. But do head over to my photoBlog every now and again. Have a beautiful rest of the weekend and a wonderful start to a new week!