Saturday, December 22, 2012

My Jeanne d'Arc Living Story

My favorite layout.

Many more pages and other inspiring ideas in the print copy 

My little Zuzu made it in!

The holly and the ivy
Now both are full well grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown.
O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing of the choir 

Traditional/Cecil Sharp

I am embarrassed how late this thank-you is posted.  I got a 98 for the semester in graduate school, and part of that was achieved by ceasing “distractions” like Facebook and blogging.  It's like coming out from under a rock.  I found out Kathleen at Faded Charm anointed Timewashed with White Wednesday two months after the fact. 

My humble thanks to Lonnie and Vivian at Jeanne d’Arc Living for even opening the email I sent to consider my story.  My heart skips a beat as I recall the moment I received a reply from my very favorite magazine reciting they were interested.

The weekend I dug into my first copy of Jeanne d’Arc Living (December 2010) I remained gobsmacked.  I stared, and stared and stared, at every picture and read every word. 

It is very rare I am transfixed, but this self-published magazine did it.  Its core value: simplicity.  The fact it’s Scandinavian has much to do with its sweet minimalist elegance.  Their Christmas culture is beautiful and exotic, involving things I was vaguely aware of like cardamom, marzipan, and Advent.

Carina’s (Made In Persbo) story showed her pulling cardamom cake out of a wood fired Husqvarna stove.  Dorte Palsgaard’s marzipan candies were shaped with common kitchen utensils.  A suggestion of giving gifts of time instead of money.  The idea the holidays could be affordable yet beautiful sold me immediately.  The promise of rest over running around was a plus.

At that time my agent was peddling my book idea around New York, but I guiltily became more interested in doing a Jeanne d'Arc Living shoot.  Notes were scribbled, props were made, evergreens cut.  Between December 2010 to early April 2011 on every weekend with snow I shot.  A yummy blizzard blew in and I took a vacation day just to shoot.  I kept holiday music on my iPod hoping its spirit would infuse the April photos, exposed so the windows wouldn't show the lame patchy snow outside.  I took my camera with me on errands in case “serendipity” happened.  We are rewarded with the shot of the deer in the woods because I “expected the unexpected”.

That kind of unexpected is good.  I expected “good” when this story was printed.  I'd be reading it by the woodstove surrounded by my dogs and family.  That house burned down.  I haven’t had the money or time to visit family or dogs and I will celebrate the holidays after I get paid on the 31st.  Two years later most of my styling looks stuffy and overdone.  Ironic when I was going for simple.  That's life.  Gotta deal.

Sometimes, bad stuff happens and good comes of it.  In November I had an issue with my landlord and wanted out of the room I rented.  If it never happened, I wouldn’t have looked for the cottage I rent now.  I can see a sliver of the Long Island Sound from my bedroom window through the winter woods.  In it I will spend four blissful days with nothing to do but catch up with old friends, reading, sleeping, and blogs (yes yours old friend). 


Visit the sellers and/or creators of vintage & handmade props in this story:

Lavender glass bottles: Dreamy Whites
Napkins: Pom Pom Home
German glass glitter star: Rachel Ashwell Couture
70 grit German glass glitter: Etsy
Reproduction mercury glass candlesticks: The Sheep’s Nest

Until next time, stay shabby!

Sharing with:

Blissful Whites Wednesday at Timewashed  

Favorite Things Thursday at Katherine's Corner 

Feathered Nest Friday at The French Country Cottage  

Farmhouse Friday at LaurieAnna's Vintage Home 

Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home