Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday Morning Musings

'Autumn Harvest'

 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Galatians 6:9 niv

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Creative Opportunities. Creating Social Media Images.

I love to style things. I always have. Pair this tiny vase with that feather, add an assortment of foraged bits and before you know it you've created a pretty vignette.

This skill has been handy in countless ways. Decorating a corner of the living room is an obvious one. I've also used it to enhance meals I've catered, bring a little extra 'something' to floral arrangements for weddings, create atmosphere for large events and even just to pretty up an empty spot in the garden.

As time went on, and photography became more and more important to me, I discovered it was just the skill needed for still life photography. This resulted in an ever expanding collection of props in my style cupboards.

My dear husband Henry would look at me and smile, shaking his head when another trip to the thrift store resulted in 'just one more thing . . .'

Creating marketing and social media images was just a natural extension of all that and over the last few years I've had the chance to work with some beautiful products.

Trinkets Metalcraft

Trinkets Metalcraft

Mada Boutique

Mada Boutique

Mada Boutique (Audrey's) Instagram

Mada Boutique (Audrey's) Instagram
Copper Kettle Soap Co.
Trinkets Metalcraft

Trinkets Metalcraft
 Not long ago I was able to style fall belgian mums, for Milner Gardens' Facebook page, and decided to spread the styling love around. (actually, my friends shared the love with me . . . I have great friends!)

I gathered up the mums and an assortment of fall decor then set off to visit a few like minded friends who allowed me borrow their beautiful homes and  gardens. I was even able to incorporate some of their lovely decor.

It made for the best day. I mean, how often do you get to play with all the things you like best and spend time with your friends while you do it?

Life is good. 

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Monday, October 31, 2016

Monday Morning Musings

Psalm 62:5-6 Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Storybook Photoshoot

 I've always had stories running around in my head.

They never get out though.
They just lurk and then, every so often, demand to be brought to life.

That's easier said than done though, right? How many of us share the dream of writing a book one day? But where to start?

 What makes me think I could even write one?? I mean, my spelling is atrocious, my grasp of grammar is worse and . . . well, I didn't even finish high school . . .

Here's the thing. My parents separated when I was 11. (And then divorced a few years later.)

There were several turbulent years after that. Lots of moving, lots of new schools. Pretty tough stuff for a shy introvert. I moved here just before I turned 16 and finished grade 10 in our little private school. I would have had to finish high school in a huge public school. One known to be rather rough at the time.

 I couldn't do it. My mom promised I wouldn't have to go back if  and only if, I found myself a job. Not long after, while out for breakfast one day, I applied for a job and got it! That, for the most part, was the end of formal schooling for me. (Poor mom. I found out years later that she'd figured I wouldn't have the courage to get a job. She'd thought it was a safe promise to make. . .)

So. Stories in my head, and a story I kept telling myself about why I couldn't write them down.

Stories want to be told. My stories found another way. They snuck up on me through my photography. The Photoshop Artistry course and then the more advanced Awake class I'm taking, began to show me another way to tell a story, one told with digital artistry.

But it didn't stop there. Stories still nagged me to write them down.

So now I am.

I'm combining photography, digital art and words into an 'illustrated' short children's story and Nelena and her girls agreed to be my models for the project.

I hope it will be a good story but, even if it isn't, at least I won't have to regret not trying . . .  (If there are any English teachers out there interested in editing an amateur's work . . . drop me a line. I'll need all the help I can get! ;) )

The first 'illustration' is at the top of this post. I'm also sharing other images taken during our storybook photoshoot. It took the whole day, with Holly doing hair and makeup for these three lovely ladies (the girls got blush and lip gloss!), but my, was it ever fun!

This is the  above image before I worked some digital magic on it . . .

The day began with hair and makeup.

It's not all glamour as this girl can tell you . . .

But she soon got into the swing of things.

Her big sister hung out with me while I created the wreaths for their hair.

Once we got to our beautiful garden, (not mine, this one belongs to my dear friend Nicole) it was time to get into character.

How exactly do fairies act??

Let's think about it with tea and cookies . . . or in this case, apple juice and cookies.


No photoshoots are problem free.

"You're worried about my wreath when there are wasps flying around my head?!!"

The girls were game to climb a ladder in hopes of seeing themselves fly in their story. Of course there's always a spotter close at hand!

Then it's time for a little fun!


We got many, many beautiful images, ones I hope will make lovely illustrations for my story one day.

Until then I'll leave you with these . . .


A big thank you to Holly, Nelena and the girls for helping me with this dream!
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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Touring the Front Garden.

It's finally done.

After months of work . . . and months of procrastination . . . the front garden is finally done.

As a matter of fact, it's nearly immaculate. For the first time ever.

Here's the thing. I love, love to plan out a garden. I love playing with different ideas and trying to find ways to use a variety of plants and plan for bloom time as early and as late as humanly possible in my northern prairie garden. I do not love heavy digging or weeding. At all . . . I certainly don't find it therapeutic as so many do. But, I love to look at beautiful gardens. I love to pick bouquets for myself and my friends. And nothing is better than an early morning in the garden, still in pj's, sitting by the pond, with a cup of tea and homemade bread slathered with butter and homemade strawberry jam. Unless of course, I also have a good book to read.

So I compromise. I accept that my garden will always be a little weedy and slightly disheveled. I count on strong design and shrubs to draw the eye away from lurking thistles and that crazy purple bellflower that looks so great . . . until it takes over the entire garden and nothing you do will ever get rid of it.

 I leave room for serendipity in my garden. I can plan each detail until I think the design is perfect and turn around to discover that birds have planted seeds from a garden blocks away, and that one small thing can take a garden from lovely to sublime, even if  just for a day or two. I see God so clearly in those moments. A reminder that He is the ultimate Gardener, and those moments were created specifically for me, because he loves me.

 Serendipity can only happen in a slightly messy garden.

So messy is good right??

But, for the first time, I'm also seeing joy in maintaining my garden. So I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts, because as much as I might tell myself that this time I'm going to keep it up for the entire gardening season, I know myself well enough to know how unlikely that is.

While my garden is at it's best, I thought I'd give you all a little tour . . .

I made the concrete leaves as well as the hands decorating the front gazebo. I love a reason to play around with a little concrete.

And . . . for those of you thinking I'm exaggerating my inability to keep a well tended garden, feel free to drop by for tea in the back garden. But bring your machete with you. You'll need it to make your way to the gazebo . . .


 I hope you enjoyed your little tour!

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