Monday, November 30, 2020

The Last Vestiges of Fall

The day I shot these images was a bit of an anomaly.  The week before had been a chilly one — the one that broke the will of many a fragile leaf clinging to their spindly branches.  But yet, this week it was warm, sometimes hitting 70+ degrees.  So on the morning that I traipsed out to the forest to find some ruby colored backdrops, I was surprised to discover that the moment had passed.  Autumn had fallen from the trees and littered the ground, leaving the landscape barren and ready to accept winter into its folds. 

But I was lucky enough to discover the last vestiges of fall clinging on for one more number before joining their leafy brethren on the forest floor.  So here's to autumn, may we once more appreciate your beauty before taking the plunge into pine needles and blankets of snow!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thankfulness and Squash Egg Pie


So far this year has been a pretty intense year for the books.  From the virus to wildfires out west, to a major election in the US and more, we've spanned what seems like a decade's worth of major events in the course of nine months.  I don't know what's behind door #10, but I can reflect on what I've been thankful for in this wild new world we're all living in.  

I'm thankful for my wonderful husband and his unwavering strength through this troubling time, the laughs we share scrolling through memes on the couch at 1am, and that even though it's been hard to find "fun" things to do during quarantine, that that has been our only real challenge.  I'm thankful for our health and our assuredness in each other to continue taking every precaution we can in this pandemic to keep each other and ourselves safe.  I'm thankful for having an online business that requires very little in person contact save for making trips to the postal service drop off window (and I'm very thankful for our postal service!!!), and I'm very thankful that no one I know personally has had a severe case of the virus, that I know of.  I'm also very thankful for our friends and family who we've been able to keep in touch with despite the distance.  And finally, I've been so thankful for the little things — the pie pumpkins on the windowsill, the quiet stroll through the woods.  And the time to reflect.  

I already worked a great deal from home before the pandemic hit, so the shift into isolation didn't hit all at once for me.  But over the months, and through the marathon and many seasons that this pandemic has been, it's slowly seeped into all the cracks and grooves around me.  The desire so badly to be with other people again, but the overarching duty that sits in my heart that knows it's best for everyone if I just sit tight and hold on.  So I've channelled the energy in other ways — working and coming up with new directions for my little creative hive here, and doing little things like decorating the porch and making a quiche.  

We're headed into some pretty dreary days here in the Midwest — being that it's a region that I've lived in all my life, I am well acquainted with the reality of a Chicago winter.  As much as I'd love to pretend the cold days aren't coming, I know they are.  And I know that these things I'm thankful for I'll need to cling that much closer to to get through the next few months.  But I also know that before long, it will be spring again, and we'll get to see the leafy buds poking out of the dirt, and hear the birds chirping their happy songs.  I long for the first blooms and that first 50 degree day, as we head through some of the last 50 degree days of fall. 

So thank you for reading.

Stay healthy, and stay safe.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Nature's Paint Palette


The compendium of colors that adorn the forest in the fall is always a thrilling delight.  A pop of red, a golden plume, and then all at once, an expanse of glowing orange and yellow that stretches on and consumes.  What an inspiring phenomenon.  As L. M. Montgomery wrote, "I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers".

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Reds, Yellows and Oranges — Oh My!

One of the things I love the most about fall is the transformative experience we see the forests go through. I love that one week we see a few little pops of yellow and orange here and there, and then BAM! — the next week you are wholly surrounded in a sea of orange and red.  It's like stepping into another world.  I only wish it would last longer than it does!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Tales of the Fantastic Mrs. Fox

Early this fall we had the opportunity to visit the Upper Peninsula again, and part of our adventure included staying in this secluded cabin in the woods, which was situated right alongside a flowing river. It was truly breathtaking and such a nice break from the hustle and bustle of city life.  It felt nice to breathe in all the clear forest air and listen to the wind whistle through the leaves. 

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Witchcraft on Samhain


This year I've been doing more research into the pagan calendar and it's holidays, which celebrate each of the seasonal equinoxes as well as their midway points — culminating in a way to celebrate each of the seasons and the unique differences and gifts that they bring.  

No holiday on the calendar is more important or valued than Samhain, which is the celebration of the end of harvest.   There are so many ways to celebrate Samhain, such as going on a nature walk to note the changing of the plants through the seasons, adorning your home with pumpkins, acorns and dried leaves, or having a bonfire or feast!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Pumpkin' Picking


Few fall activities are as close to my heart as going to the pumpkin patch to go yank a pumpkin straight off the vine.  I love the fields scattered with happy little orange dots — pumpkins a plenty on the horizon!!  One thing I'm learning about entering into my third decade though, is that the simple act of awkwardly pulling a pumpkin off the vine can in fact lead to lower back pain two days later!  Who'd have thought?!?  

Regardless, our trip to the patch was a ball, and I loved seeing all the different types of fun pumpkins!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Cat - O - Lantern


My little fall hiatus at the beginning of this month has really been the start of a larger transition I'm slowly making on this blog.  I spent a lot of time during quarantine weighing how I've been spending my time and the ways in which I've been spreading myself too thin.  I've also been thinking about what is important to me, and what might make things a little easier for me.  

For the whole history of this blog, fashion editorial photo stories have always been the part I've been most passionate about.  Yes, I do enjoy a fun food post here and there, and playing around with some themed posts this summer has been fun as well.  But I kind of came to a realization that if I have a certain number of posts a month, things get a little overwhelming and it gets more difficult to deliver quality for my editorial shoots. 

Friday, October 23, 2020

Hiking in the North Woods


Hiking in the north woods of Wisconsin and Upper Peninsula Michigan as the leaves are changing colors is truly an enchanting experience.  It seemed everywhere I turned, there was colorful foliage just waiting to be captured. I look forward to printing some of these shots extra big to hang up somewhere just to do them justice. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Welcome to Candyland


Wouldn't it just be a dream to wander through a land of sweets?  Where candy corns hang off trees, and candy bars are the size of yardsticks? 

If only!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Back to Hogwarts


I've always been a Harry Potter fan, though possibly not as thorough of one as some, I can't tell you which obscure details were lost between the books and the movies, and I don't have all of the backstories of each character memorized by heart.  But I do wonder what a butterbeer would be like in real life, and I do wish I could have been sorted into a Hogwarts house in the proper way, sorting hat and all!

But in all likelihood, I believe I would have ended up in Hufflepuff. Hufflepuffs are known for being patient, fair and hardworking.  I feel like it's the least talked about house, so I was excited to style up what I would wear, were I a Hufflepuff at Hogwarts! 

Friday, September 25, 2020

Prim and Primary

Sometimes the things you plan, don't pan out, but something even better finds its way onto your path. 

The morning I shot these, I fully had planned on shooting at a local mansion that is our town's history museum, but as I pulled up, there was an exercise class taking place on the front lawn.  Not wanting to lose the morning light or have to postpone, I headed on to plan B, where some lovely summer grasses and wildflowers were blooming!  This turned out to be perfect, and the yellow blooms contrasted nicely with the pops of blue and red in my sweater!

All this to say, sometimes we end up being forced to choose another path, and sometimes that path ends up being excellent!!

Monday, September 21, 2020

The Orchard Times


Recently we took an adventure to our favorite orchard, Apple Holler!

We had the chance to try lots of apple varieties, as well as stock up on cider donuts, apples for baking, and their special proprietary blend of cider!  It's so delicious, and better than any we can find at the grocery for sure!   

Friday, September 11, 2020

Modern Day Snow White

Hello and welcome to this week's mini outfit post, this time a modern take on Snow White.  I loved an idea I saw recently of two sisters making modern day interpretations of Disney Princesses out of vintage clothes.  So since my theme this month is apples, I thought the perfect thing for me to do was make one out of the classic character of Snow White, complete with poison apple!  

While not every piece I chose was vintage, a couple of them were thrifted!  I like to think this snow white is having a carefree summer at the lake with the 7 dwarves, but since that apple has still found a way into her grasp, she might be in for a bit of a nap soon!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

A School of Thought

September always seems to bring with it that classic back to school vibe that I not so secretly love.  Plaid is always a favorite of mine, and September lends itself to lots of plaid!  I'm excited to get knee deep in plaid, brown satchel bags and caramel apples, and I'm looking forward to carving some pumpkins as well! 

Saturday, August 29, 2020

I am the Lorax, and I Speak for the Trees

Hello friends!

One of my all time favorite Dr. Suess stories is that of The Lorax, which I recently rewatched on Disney+. Then I got to thinking, how I could shoot an interpretation of this story for the blog!   So here you have it: some 5 ft tall truffula trees I constructed from pom poms and pvc pipe, and a girl version of the Lorax herself!  

Friday, August 28, 2020

A Dip in the Lake and Donuts for Breakfast

Our week at the lake brought some much needed peace and quiet, and it is always a little freeing being forced to break away from technology for a spell.  Most of the time we were out of cell reception, allowing us to fully connect with the nature surrounding us and the present moment.  

On the last day I was determined to shoot this little photo story, involving raking a bunch of muck out of the lake, hours blowing up and deflating the pool float, and precariously hanging off the end of the dock while my husband got that main shot — while standing on the other end of the rake!  And yes, I can swim, but the water was full of weeds all around those beautiful little lily pads, so I didn't want to have to fall in to get back!!

Friday, August 21, 2020

Five Mermaid-y things in my Vintage Treasure Trove

Screen shot from Disney's The Little Mermaid

When I set out to start my vintage shop on Etsy, it was and has been indeed a labor of love.  But it was also a means to continue collecting vintage goodies past my breaking point.  I LOVE collecting old things that have some sort of beautiful or interesting quality, but at some point I hit the limit on filling our home with knick knacks!  I've filled so many of the surfaces in our home to their 'healthy capacity' as I like to think of it, and yet I don't want to stop hunting for gorgeous old things!  So in a way, it was a way for me to scoop up all the cool little vintage things and just be able to help them get to their next home.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Picture Me In the Reeds

Like many others, I've been sinking in deep to the soothing vibes from Taylor Swift's new album, folklore.  I was pretty excited to order the special edition vinyl she released for the first week, and I can't wait until it finally ships out in November!!  Until then, I've been listening to the album on Spotify, and it is A MOOD.  I love it, and I can't help but love the experience of editing to it.  I'm always really passionate about what music sets the right tone while I'm editing shoots — listening to the right music helps solidify the vibe I'm trying to go for for a setting or outfit.  And this shoot is definitely synonymous with the song seven off her new album.  

If you're feeling this little mind field trip with me, give that song a listen while you scroll through this week's fairytale photo story:

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Thinking in Pictures

I'm not entirely sure when it originated, or if it's the way other people experience life, but I tend to view the world through a lens.  I process concepts visually, and am constantly going through life through a visual filter.  I see visual patterns in the world, and am always layering some mood into my current experience.

Friday, August 14, 2020

A Mermaidy Pattern

As part of my new monthly theme idea, today I'm sharing some mermaid illustration patterns with you lovelies in four different colors!  These can be used for phone backgrounds or other fun things and I'll be using them in some other fun things to come :)

Stay tuned in in this space to see some fun things I'm whipping up at the end of this summer!  :)

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Shimmers of Sun


This month's loose theme is mermaids, so it makes sense that I would reflect that in this week's outfit post with a shimmery mermaid inspired set by the seashore.  This area where I shot for this week is one of my most favorite little stretches of rock and beach in my town, because it's covered with cascading blooms of so many different shades!  In almost every season this little patch of wonderful is a new swirl of beauty to drink in, and as of late it has been a whirlpool of pinks, yellows and creams — and I love it so!

Friday, August 7, 2020

Mermaids, Selkies and Sirens

A Mermaid c. 1900, John William Waterhouse

To kick off my new habit of having a loose theme to my blog each month, I thought I'd start with diving into the differences in some of the mythical sea folk.  And all of this is as much of a learning experience for me as well as whomever may be reading!  When I started this month's research I had no clue as to the difference between mermaids, selkies and sirens, and it turns out there are some reasons behind this, because the meanings behind the words have shifted over time!

So what is the difference between mermaids, selkies and sirens?

Let's dig in!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Come with me, and You'll be in a World of Pure Imagination

I have been so excited to shoot and share these photos for a little while now.  This mint Son De Flor dress is just  E v e r y t h i n g  and I'm so thankful to have been gifted it by my husband for my 30th back in June.  Son De Flor is an ethical company, which means that they pay their garment makers fair wages, and source their fabrics responsibly and sustainably.  And besides that, their dresses are clearly what fairytales are made of!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

August Capsule Wardrobe

Hello Lovelies!

Excited to share with you this month's capsule wardrobe, inspired by mermaids and sea themes.  Check out my moodboard for the month and the pieces I've chosen for this month's outfits!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Strawberry Fields Forever

Composite editing is something I've grown more and more interested in over the last few months, striving to put together scenes that are some sort of reality meets fantasy in my work.   I always want things to feel like they might have feet in our world, but something other-worldly might be happening!  Welcome today to the land of giant strawberries!!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Fairies in the Woods

Lately I've been in a dreaming mood, and letting my art sort of take the form that it tells me it wants to.  When I started this series, I didn't have any intention of turning myself into a fairy, but then it kinda sorta just... happened???

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Our Wedding Story: Flowers, Styling and Planning


All professional photos by Kristen Marie Parker

As we near our one year anniversary, it seems fitting that I get around to the final blog about the details from our wedding.  Looking at the world now, the world could not look more different.  Almost none of this would have been possible in the current world situation, and it makes me all the more thankful that we were able to bring all of this together a year ago and make all of these wonderful memories with family and friends that we'll hold dear forever.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

A Garden of Birds

I recently came upon this beautiful little garden on the grounds of the university campus and fell in love!  Who doesn't love an elegant english garden on a misty summer morning?  I just loved the elegant mix of florals cascading and mixing amongst the delicate stone pathways.  It seemed the perfect place to read a book and reflect upon life.  10/10, would visit again!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Once Upon a Fish Tale

I am constantly in awe of all of the natural wonder that surrounds us.   I'm always looking out for the little pockets of magic cropping up in the small areas of nature that I can find in our town just outside of Chicago.  I always love the woods, but the lakefront always provides something special in the summer time, and the flora cropping up on the lakefront grounds are truly breathtaking!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Redesigning the Patio

We've lived in our current apartment for going on three years now, and one of the big selling points for us moving here was the unexpected outdoor space!  So it feels so silly that we are only now getting around to making it more hang-out friendly, but such is life!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

My July Capsule Wardrobe

Hey there, lovelies!

It's simultaneously hard to believe it's July already, and also hard to believe that it is still 2020 at this point in the year.  But here we are in the deep of summer, hanging out on our balconies and trying to make the best of the world we're in right now.  

When I started to concept my month capsule for July, the obvious color palette seemed to be the iconic red white and blue inspired by the Fourth of July, so I decided to run with it but still try to not make it too America - centric.  Sort of Americana inspired with a vintage quirky girly twist so as to stay true to my own personal style tendencies :)  Also strawberries and bonfire attire were major influences!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Putting Up the Stars in the Sky


When I was a kid, I used to think that people lived under the stoplights, switching the colors manually for every traffic cycle.  Obviously, at some point I learned the actual process involved in traffic lights, but things like this and lying looking up at the ceiling + imagining it was actually the floor seems like some deep rooted ideas in my mind about seeing the world in an alternative way.  I think it's daydreams like these that inspire a lot of my ideas for art, and so I'm leaning way in!!!

Like, what if one lone fairy was responsible for putting the stars and moon up each night?  What would that be like? 

Friday, June 26, 2020

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Some of My Favorite Art in Our Home

One of my favorite things about decorating a home is that it truly is a weaving of new and old to tell the story of a person.  What they enjoy, their history, and things that influence them.  Whenever I'm choosing art to put up on our walls, it's always a mixture of things I've been saving for the right moment, things I'm seeking out new, and things from our life's adventures.   I love being able to look around and be reminded of several different memories from life at a single glance. 

So I've rounded up a handful of my favorites from around our home to share their stories!

Sunday, June 21, 2020

A Midsummer Morning Outlander Dream

If you've watched the Starz series Outlander or you've been following my Instagram posts this weekend, then you already know where this is going...

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Celebrating Litha

This weekend is the summer solstice, otherwise known as Litha.

June 21st has the longest amount of daylight in a day for the year, and marks the beginning of the descent into winter, aka the height of summer, or midsummer.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Victorian Blooms


It's going to sound crazy, but I think this year might be the first ever that I've actually had enough time to stop and literally smell the roses around me.  

Every transitioning season (fall and spring) I am so desperate to stop and take time to fully appreciate the subtle changes in nature around me.  I always knew spring meant flowers, but until this year I'm not sure I actually ever saw them.   Life has been so... busy and unending at some points, and every year I have this urgent longing to spend the spring and summer taking note of the trees but have never had the right amount of time to do it.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Sweet as Strawberries in the Sun

With the prospect of summer on the horizon, I have been overwhelmingly in love with fruits lately, and one of my top favorites has been strawberries!  I love them on their own, on our morning oats, and blended up in a smoothie bowl, so I thought, how about we make a strawberry cake???

Friday, June 12, 2020

Reaching Out Instead of Retreating In

Today I'd like to share with you possibly the most important thing that I've learned during this strange time in our world's history.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

A Touch of Honey

"We were romantics.  We didn't just read poetry.  We let it drip from our tongues like honey."  — Dead Poets Society

Sometimes when I'm brainstorming how a shoot will work, or what I want the set for the whole month will feel like, I start imagining a mood, or framework for how I imagine it will all feel once it's all shot and together.   And of course it's a little trial and error getting to the final result and seeing

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

My June Capsule

Hello friends!

After all the fun I had with my May capsule last month, I've decided to keep going with the idea and do another capsule for June.  😊

I'm learning some things as I go about my daily fashion habits, so this routine is really helping me a lot!

Friday, May 29, 2020

Gotta Catch 'Em All!

Seeing as Andrew and I recently upgraded our phones, I've finally been able to pick Pokémon Go back up again, and I am just overjoyed!

That and the potential of warmer days on the horizon inspired me to make this little Pokémon art series with some of my favorite Pokés!