Before I wax poetically about the joy of witnessing magnolias the size of a persons head I need to let you know how this photo came to be.  You see I am one of those annoying people that takes their large DSLR camera with them everywhere.  I use a small 50mm lens so my camera isn’t so bulky but it’s not petite and inconspicuous either. When we were visiting our one road main street the other day we parked near a traditional antebellum home with a wide porch and a thick covering of magnolia trees everywhere. The trees were so heavy with the large florals that they drooped with the weight. I decided to take a photo of them after I dropped my husband off at the barber. I did so and then crossed the street to take my photo.  I was there for about 15 minutes trying to figure the best angle, the leaves were so thick and overgrown that the sun could barely break through and it was hard to get the exposure right. I gingerly moved my foot from the sidewalk to the lawn when my phone rang–it was my husband a.k.a. ‘perfect photo-op killer’. He was calling from inside the barbers window to remind me that I was on private property, this was the South and that the owners had the right to shoot me (with a gun not a camera) if they saw fit. Seriously?  Has there ever been a more Debbie Downer of photo-op than my husband?  I doubt it.  The funny thing is he created this photo monster that I have become because he wouldn’t shoot my Etsy listings all those years ago.  He has also indulged me and gifted me many a camera, I secretly believe it’s not just because it’s thoughtful but more because it’s easy (he’s very pragmatic). Needless to say I heeded his warning and took one more quick step in (on said private property) and snapped this one shot.  For the record the gigantic magnolia smelled like heaven.
P.S. I recently bought an e-learning course from Clickin’ Moms about how to shoot in low light that has changed my photographic world.  I have learned to embrace low light situations and stop bellyaching about not having enough light.  Don’t let the ‘mom’ moniker scare you off if you aren’t one, it’s an awesome network of talented photographers that are willing to share their secrets with you. It’s one of the best (and cheapest) investments I make into my photography each year.


I have not tried this mascara (although I am not opposed to it), but I can tell you that this packaging is sublime. I love the colors (or lack thereof) and the simple, effortless sketched illustration. It’s darling.  I think this illustration would be perfect blown up for me, after all I am constantly in the throes of mascara mania, it would be a simple ode to my obsession.


It’s supposed to be cloudy with potential storms today.  Fine by me, I have a ton of work to do in the studio and if it’s nice outside I will want to be out and about. I decided to have a professional Ikea assembler come and put together my Expedit’s. I considered doing it myself for about 3 secs. The assembly charge is really nominal so I figured my time would be better spent trying to get my shop in ship shape. Now that I have my desk in (albeit very precarious), I am ready to get down to business.  I don’t know about other designers or photographers but I can not stand designing or editing on my lap top, it just doesn’t feel right to me.  I need a large screen, perhaps it’s my age? Those young whipper snappers can work the little screens, not I.  I am taking inventory today, doesn’t that sound like a blast? I jest. Here’s to wishing your day is filled with more excitement!


I am still suffering from low blood sugar from my recent visit to Ikea, wherein I drove 600 miles and
1. came back without a sofa 2. bought the wrong size Expedit, which I have to keep now, because 3. I paid nearly as much for the delivery as my purchases. I did buy some pretty good looking table legs which are useless on my failed d.i.y. desk, photos of that hot mess will be forthcoming. Do as I say not as I do. So with that little spiel out of the way I thought this new design from the talented Shanna Murray was the perfect sentiment to lift my spirits on this Monday morn and let you know how much you mean to me.  I shall return soon once I stop feeling so sorry for myself and my design (or lack thereof) disasters.


One of the best investments we made for this cross country journey was a GPS device. My husband and I both wonder how people survived before they were invented. A map? Stop and ask for directions? Stars? Firstly, I can never read a map while the car is moving that’s instant nausea. Secondly, my husband would rather end up at the tip of Tasmania on a precipice two inches over hanging the ocean before he would ever ask directions and even then he would be convinced we were going in the general correct direction. He did some research on GPS devices before we purchased the Garmin which is a good thing because that sounds about as exciting as watching paint dry to me. The drive cross country we used the factory default voice and when we got to North Carolina my husband announced we could change voices and would I prefer an English accent?  I said, ‘of course’. Who doesn’t want to be directed by an English accent? It would sound so educated and thus couldn’t guide me into some remote forest to be hacked up by a rogue Yeti/Axe murderer. Being the non-techy guy he is he set it to English but another voice came up instead, he said that her voice was called ‘Michelle’.  I don’t know if he made that up but I have just gone with it.  Michelle has a bit of an attitude, it’s almost as if she is mocking me, “Duh, turn right here, right now.” Whenever I plug in my destination address Michelle always chooses the scenic route and the longest way possible.  I have tried to hit her ‘detour’ option but basically that takes me in circles until she gets her way.  Yesterday when I drove the 2.5 hours to Ikea (idiot) she took me through some of the loveliest backwoods you ever did see.  If I wasn’t by myself and the only one on the road for 116 miles I may have enjoyed it a bit more.  Even with all her foibles I am still grateful to have her around, she hasn’t let me down once in delivering me to my destination and she can even find a local Starbuck’s or mall if so desired.  I wish she could find some awesome Thrift stores but she’s not that good yet. One day….Happy weekend everyone!
P.S. This was taken at the Raleigh Farmer’s Market, it’s HUGE and is open 7 days a week!
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