Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spring Approaches, Difficult to Capture

Belleayre Mountain, a popular ski resort near my home, early May. 
The leaves on the summit emerge when the man-made snow melts: June.
Serviceberry blossoms in my pantry.


He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sun rise.

-William Blake

I don’t think I set foot in my studio this month.   My feet, in my worn pink rubber boots, have been making sucking noises in the soggy overgrown meadow near my studio where my husband and I have been bucking up next year’s firewood.   I take such satisfaction in homesteading; just my soulmate and I transforming a tangle of third growth trees into a pile of fuel, branch by branch, exposing a slope fat and green with grass.    Only the song of the stream, chickadees, and red-winged blackbirds accompany our chainsaws.   We chat, thinking of the Native Americans and Scotch settlers that did the same in this area (without chainsaws), proud we’re part of the legacy.

We’re not real homesteaders.   I long to kick responsibility to the curb and move to the country, but we need the medical benefits and I’d default on the car loan just selling eggs and veggies.   I like high heeled shoes, bleaching my hair, tropical vacations.   I don’t fit in anywhere!

My photography class at the local community college on Long Island is fun.   It’s not geared for people studying to be a professional photographer, but the instructor is knowledgeable and of course you learn so much just by talking to other enthusiasts.   I appreciate the feedback.   I want very much to know if something I did stinks.

Like this picture I took during class, where we were challenged to go outside and find something to shoot.   I picked viburnum and shot it on my scarf.   My instructor thought the scattered florets looked contrived.   He’s right.   I wasn’t happy with any of those pictures.   The viburnum is pretty but all flowers are pretty.   I failed to show how I saw it.   How hard it is to capture something in limited time!    I must learn how to do this—a photographer generally has only one day to shoot a house for a magazine.  

This is why I love the Japanese cultural sentiment for cherry blossoms and their fleeting beauty that, in truth, can never be captured, only experienced.

Speaking of photographers, yet another fabulous interior décor book will hit the market in October 2011: Vintage by Nina styled by none other than oft-imitated (myself included) stylist Nina Hartmann with heavenly photos by Maria-Isabel Hansson.

Photography by Maria-Isabel Hansson.
Photos used with permission.

Have a store and wish to carry it?   Please email them here. 
It’s a safe bet to assume it will it will be available on Amazon
or Book Depository in October.

Sound familiar?    This team has been in Jeanne d’Arc Living, Vakre Hjem, and a host of other magazines. If you like the ‘Dansk-Fransk’ style, check out these wonderful blogs—they’re at least a potent antidote to this boring post.

Vintage Chic (Stine’s decorating her new apartment, very exciting!)

Next post, I will share pictures from the very first shoot in my studio: Fifi O’Neill’s styling and Dan Mayers’ photography.   A review of Romantic Prairie Style will accompany now that I’ve received my signed copy back from Fifi.

Until next time, stay shabby!

please join in on Kathleen’s 100th party and her giveaway!

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Amy @MaisonDecor said...

well I didn't think it look contrived. But I am trying to learn how to take magazine worthy pics myself. trial and error...I would love to have instruction. that new book looks good, thanks.

Courtney said...

Thanks for sharing Sandy~ the book looks wonderful. I just found your FB page yesterday and 'liked' it as well! Can you believe we are snowing here in Northern California today!? I think we skipped spring all together this year! Hugs, Courtney

Anonymous said...

We are in the far northeast corner of Pennsylvania & your pics are like looking at our landscape. Don't ya' just love spring in the northeast??

Marion said...

Sandy, your photos are awesome! It IS hard to capture Spring...She arrived in all her finery early in central Louisiana this year. I'm already eating fresh tomatoes and harvesting herbs from my gardens!!

For many years I took photos with a cheap digital camera (my own DIY schooling) and FINALLY got my ultimate dream camera, a Canon Rebel EOS T2i for Christmas last year with 3 lenses. I'm in love with it. Oh, the JOY of taking closeup shots of my many roses, herbs, flowers and dragonflies! I wish I'd splurged on it years ago. Yesterday my Gardenia bush was overloaded with blooms and those sweet, luscious white flowers were preening and posing for me like supermodels. LOL! My husband says my camera looks like a chunky necklace, I have it around my neck so often.

Thanks for sharing. You inspired me to decorate my living room in Shabby Chic and I LOVE it. I hope to post some photos on my blog eventually...but Spring has kept me busy outdoors.


"Earth laughs in flowers." ~Emerson

Madelief said...

Hi Sandy,

The blossoms on the trees look lovely! It must be fun going on a photography course. I did one years ago, but so much has changed now.

Have a lovely new week!

Lieve groet,


Lilla Blanka said...

Sweetest Sandy,

Lovely post, I just love everything about spring ♥ and your spring flowers make my heart jump of happiness!

Nina and Maria-Isabels book is a must-have, gorgeous!

Biggest hug

kerrie of sea cottage said...

YOur photos are lovely but your heart even lovelier. You always make me warm inside. YOu are truly a sweetheart. ox

Norma said...

The book looks to be a real visual treat.

Your 'firewood' story made me long for those days at our cottage in NZ many years ago. The 'forest' we used to take our wood from (with permission I hasten to add!) was a pine plantataion that has since been harvested and the ground cleared. The good thing is that it's now returning to native bush and is a managed sanctuary for native animal and birds, many endangered from lack of habitat safe from (introduced) predators.

And don't worry my dear, you're not alone in your seemingly incompatible yearnings for the 'simple life' and the 'good life' as well! That pretty much sums us up too! :)

It's me said...

Hi Sandy...that book must be great !!!......can you send me one??? October??? nice !! .....have a good week...give Fifi my love...and you too.....such a nice girl you

Karen said...

Hi Sandy, I'm thinking of taking a photography class myself. I'm so challenged I just figured out the settings on my camera after having it for two years LOL anyway I'm improving.I think your pics are lovely and that new book looks amazing. Just got my copy of Romantic Prairie Style and I love it, can't stop looking at it.Curious to see what you think.

Olivia said...

Hello sweet Sandy! I think your picture is beautiful and I disagree, it does not seem contrived to me. But what do I know, i simply love beautiful things. I have always enjoyed your pictures so much! Have a lovely day.

High Street Cottage said...

Wonderful post, Sandy. I love the photo you took for class. I don't think I could go so long visiting such a pretty Studio. But when there's much to do, I sure understand. It's been raining and cool weather here in Cali where I am, and we love it!
Everything is so green. Hope you have a wonderful week, looking forward to
your next post. tami

Mariette said...

Dearest Sandy,

Great post! Making firewood, or 'clearing a lot' is hard work. We probably were the very first people that cultivated our property! No Indian artifacts found either... You are right on the Indians in your area but I don't agree with the Scotch! Your area used to be FIRST colonized by the Dutch and was called New Netherland. I'm a proud member of The New Netherland Institute

Lots of love,


Sizzle and Zoom said...

I love the photo you took for your class. I look forward to your posts and thank-you for telling us about the new book.

ann said...

I do love your writer's voice. You must not be so hard on yourself with you photo class. I wish I could find such a class here. I took one so many years ago using my pentax spotmatic--loved my camera. Now the technology is outdated, I now have a canon Rebel, love it too, and have forgotten all the stuff I learned years ago!

We have 12 little hens. Martha Stewart had her hens professionally photographed, so I would like to take pictures of my little hens. What do you thin? How would you do it?

Tammy at The Drill Hall Emporium said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tammy at The Drill Hall Emporium said...

Hi Sandy, your image is beautiful, I think you are being too hard on yourself. But it is good to feel challenged at times, maybe? Anyway, your Spring looks wonderful. We are in Autumn here in Australia, also a lovely time of year with the leaves changing colour. I will check the book out, it looks fabulous, thank you for the link. Have a great week, Tammy

Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

I will have this book in My Petite Maison surrounded by French goods, can hardly wait. Was so excited to get the email from Nina a while back asking about ads!
Happy week to you, Sandy!
~Tracie/My Petite Maison

Vicki said...

It was nice to find you posted something new. Please don't be so hard on yourself! Your blog is so nice, so pretty; you write very well. I think your photos are lovely. Keep talking to us; you have lots of good stuff to say, Sandy! Chin up, dear; compare yourself to no one because you seem quite special in your own, unique way. We're human, every one of us. Fumble and strive. Survive and thrive.

Jackie said...

Your photography is beautiful! How I'd love to live where you do to capture nature as you see it in the N.E. Here in Florida where I am there is no greenery...I so miss it!

Passione Helena said...

Hello Sandy,
This item is everything and certainly not boring!

The Photo of the cherry blossom is beautiful and totally caught your way! I hope you will not lose the special gift, what makes the picture so special.

I enjoyed your story.! And the book .. I would love it!

Warm greetings, Helena

A Cottage Muse said...

Love your new blog look!
Your pictures are beautiful and I love the way you describe the time you spend with your honey!!

Have a great week!

Rhonda said...

First of all, your photos and images are the best! I look forward to every new post from you. Oh, how I'd love to wave a magic wand and create a home full of shabbiness. I'm working room at a time and it's a process.

You give us such inspiration to live our dreams. There's not enough white paint in the world, lol

I'm off to check out the book you mention. That table in the photo, calls my name.

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

Well, Sandy, I love the photos you've shared, but then I AM one of your biggest fans!!! Oh yes, another great book coming out soon, too! Yeah!

Did you hear I'm hosting my Wedding Blog Party and Giveaway on June 10th? I do hope you will join us as I'm sure you would share such sweet things!! Read all about it on my blog!

Big TX Hugs,
Angelic Accents

Anonymous said...

Sounds like your instructor is full of himself your pictures are lovely.

Katherines Corner said...

Your photos are wonderful! I enjoyed my visit to your lovely blog.

jade said...

My dearest Sandy,
what lovely pictures you took - it must be wonderful to learn all about fotography!!!!! And the book looks really great!!! I´m working every day, to change some rooms in our house..........when i´m ready, i´ll take some pictures ;))! Have a wonderful week,

Hugs Jade

bikim said...

love the photos and decor!
take care,

Cinderella Moments said...

Hi Sandy! I love your pictures and I think you are way too hard on yourself. That picture of the viburnum looks like a magazine shot. I would totally go up against his opinion! Photography is art and one person's view may be totally different from someone else. And I for one love your shot! Keep making beauty!

Heaven's Walk said...

Hey Sandy! Your photos always look amazing! I'm still learning with my old point and shoot - and yearning for a fancy Canon or Nikon with a macro lens......(sigh!). :)

xoxo laurie

Love Design Company said...

Hi Sandy,
Your pictures are always amazing and I love your writing style! So talented! Have a great day...

Classic Style Blog said...

Hi Sandy !
I like your pictures :)
My next step is to becoma a better photographer,,,and by a new camera of course,,I use to have my own photo room at the *old days* when you induced photographs by your self..
have a great day..//Marie

Bohemian said...

Congrats and thanks for sharing the info about the fab upcoming book by Nina... I shall we anxiously waiting for it! I love Romantic Prairie Style, Fifi did such a fabulous job and every Home featured was amazing!

I agree with Fifi, Wildflowers ARE the best...

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


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