As I mentioned in my previous post, there was collaborating going on with me and Jess Steffan (her blog can be found here – Bookworms in Dresses). Well, the other day she sent me the final fruits of our efforts. My husband was driving us home from work but I was so excited that I kept trying to show him in the car!
A couple weeks ago we had decided to combine our skills and create a tea themed magazine article. I wanted to have some fun and work on my photography and layout skills, and who better to work with than my favorite designer? Her work is playful, bright and fresh. That’s why I asked her to design my business cards! After too many years of not having a card, I finally have a nice little bundle I am proud to give to people.
Jess drew up some layout ideas and I took them to guide my shooting. It was quite different from how I am used to shooting. I took a couple days to try some things out because I found I kept getting stuck in an over crowded set. It helped to shoot one day and sleep on it, then revisit the next day with my own critique of my work. I saw that I wasn’t leaving enough negative space for text and made a note to myself to let the objects breathe. This was really a great exercise for me (and I hope for her as well).
Without realizing it at the time, I ended up gathering a nearly completely purple palette for the shoot. I very attracted to purple shades. It feels so mysterious and soft. Jess worked with that very well.
The flowers were very graciously provided by a sweet, magical place called Flowers in the Attic. I found this place only very recently while hunting for hydrangea for my birthday cake, and since have made a few friends there. I’m so looking forward to my next trip there to see what’s new. I’m hoping that I can order some astilbe soon to play with.
The title of this post is Tea (which we covered) and Birth. Birth is something that has always frightened me. I wanted to be as far away from it as possible. Infants are strange. They are fragile. And birth is some horrible, painful, mentally scarring process on your way to years and years of exhaustion, fear, and the awareness that you will never raise your child the way you intended and they will grow up in environments you cannot control, and thus grow into something you don’t necessarily understand. I never really struggled with the idea of having kids. I would like children. But it’s like how you imagine being married when you’re little. You daydream about it and all the wonderful things that come with it, but it’s far in the distance and you almost don’t really believe you’ll ever get there. Having a family has felt that way for a long time, and I think still does. The idea of having kids in a dream feels good. Someone to love you, and you love them and want to teach them the beautiful things in the world and in spirit. I feel like my mom and I have always had a close relationship and I would like to have that with my own daughter. I’d like to be a person she can find comfort in when she is in anguish and can’t explain why. But the process of getting there is long and terrifying. Pregnancy, discomfort, labor…
Yesterday, I found my perspective shifting. I visited a friend at her home who had just given birth to her first son a couple days earlier. There were four of us, plus her baby boy, in the room, but the environment felt so calm. She told me she was doing well, and she looked it. She has always had a bright spirit though. She’s a very strong woman. In a quiet voice, she told me her story of how things played out. She told me about the discomfort but she never said it was unbearable. As she spoke I felt like I was with her in a dream. Perhaps she left out details to spare me, but I feel like that’s not really the case. She told me what she felt, and how surreal it was. And then, her baby was in her arms. It was such a beautiful and triumphant story. I was almost in tears, and I am even now remembering. I think my fears of pregnancy and labor have been washed over with a feeling of beauty and power. I don’t think I want to have kids right away because of this new sight, but I feel less tense with the idea that the dream could be real sooner than I think. Maybe this is all a little too personal, but I think emotional encounter and important. They don’t happen very often either, so it’s important to remember and share them. Life adventures aren’t easy, especially alone. I am grateful to know this woman, and that she shared her story with me.