Thursday, June 25, 2009

Semper Fidelis - always faithful

My oldest Lab, Paws, is thirteen and a half.  Her sister, Bear, died last June.  Although I have known loss I had never experienced loss so raw. Sensing that Paws' time to join her sister was drawing near, I scheduled a photo-shoot with Sara Duckett who many of you know designed my website.  She is a pleasure to work with.  I selected these photos among many to share with you.  This week Paws let me know she needed to slow down and so we have.  We meander more now and my heart is filled with love for all those good years.  These days I just like to lay close to her and listen to her breathe.  

Scout, my four year old, was a product of the South Georgia streets.  I picked her up as a pup while on a temporary duty in the area. I drove across the U.S. with two and came back with three. I named her after a character in my favorite book, To Kill A Mockingbird, because although right hearted and strong willed she sometimes gets ahead of herself.  She had a hard time fitting in with litter-mates.  They were never much interested in her as litter-mates just need each other but she was welcome to stay as long as she found her place and this is where she struggled.  Within hours of Bear's death she settled in, having found her place I guess, and has grown into a love of a dog.  Guess we each just need to find our place.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Here is a sample of the photography of my good friend, Gretchen Georges, photographer and international flight attendant. Gretchen and I met In Montepulciano, Italy four years ago when we both went there for our vacations and attended language school.  She also speaks French.  I recall taking the train with Gretchen very early one morning and we were the first at this very small train station.  One attendant was there and Gretchen, whose Italian is better than mine, asked him a question about which train we should take.  Whatever he said disagreed with what Gretchen had researched so she challenged him.  I can recall his facial expressions which indicated not only was he sure but that we should, simply, believe him, "Certo belle donne". You can picture the hand, facial, and shoulder gestures that are so Italian.  Then she said something else and his face changed and Gretchen said smartly, "Ha!"  I asked her what she said to him and she said she asked him to swear on his Mother's soul if he was so certain and that changed everything.  Italian men still very much honor their mothers.  Too often they continue to live with them but that, amica mia, is another story....

Last Fall Gretchen and I met again "a Roma" and we were sitting on Via della Pace (see photograph in the banner above) enjoying a late evening drink when I snapped that picture. Take a look at her photography at Symphorose International Photography. Gretchen uses several cameras and lens, blends photos, and adds texture for a unique look. Her photos of French trains stations will be available soon...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Photo-shoot - Better Homes & Gardens

The photo-shoot of my kitchen yesterday was great fun and a lot of work.  Like so many talents, there was more to photographing my small kitchen that you can imagine.  The entire evolution took six hours.  I was home to enjoy the whole thing.  Andrea Caughey, Senior Editor at BG&G and the professional photographers, Ed Gohlich and Matthew Meier have worked together for many years so they were a kick.  My Labs just took it all in.  Forgot to ask which edition this would be in!  

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Another photo shoot...

As many of you know, my pillows are being featured in this month's (June 2009) edition of Better Homes and Gardens (BH&G); see below for a look at the article.   This Friday, June 12, 2009,  BH&G will be at my home for a photo-shoot of my kitchen.  I'll take photos of the event as it unfolds and share them with you over the weekend.  

BellaRusticaMarket has been open for almost three weeks now and the response from people all over the country has been incredible.  I have tried to send a personal note to each of you but when I read the Comments I cannot "see" your e-mail.  Please use the website to send a note if you want a response and I will do so every time. 

I personally make each pillow by hand.  I begin with cutting the burlap and then I surge the edges for a professional finish.  Once the image transfer is complete, I machine sew the pillow, then press the edges before turning it inside out to press the edges again.  After the pillow form is placed I finish the pillow by hand. Burlap is tricky to work with but the results are elegant yet rustic, a perfect combination.  My little Coronado cottage becomes my workshop as the photo above indicates so I have my work cut out for me on Thursday evening as I clean in preparation for Thursday's photo-shoot.
Grazie tutti....

Monday, June 1, 2009

Scout supervised while I sewed this weekend.