Sunday, June 12, 2016

{orlando in my heart & head}

I had a great day with Freddie in Northampton, MA - a year anniversary since the first time I ever went there and we got back together after some rough currents. While we walked around, and strolled through boutiques and took in the historic New England buildings with its welcoming, artsy, diverse culture I couldn't help but think of Orlando. Orlando has been in my heart and head all day and night. I'm trying to find light in all this darkness. Whether it was two young women holding hands in a bookstore rummaging through art books or all the messages of hope I've seen. I know it's love in the face of adversity. Adversity I wish didn't exist and I still have trouble understanding. 

I'm hoping tomorrow there will be a little more peace, a little more sunshine, a little more light. Love always wins.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

{flatlays : my new hobby}

I love flatlays- staging photos with vintage and thrift store finds and mixing them with stuff I find at Hobby Lobby and Michael's. I'm going through a stage where my aesthetic is a subtle shabby chic, secret garden by the French cottage, victorian, romantic and feminine. I had fun making flatlays for my friends and wanted to share my friends and little tidbits on each one.

It's amazing the things you can find at your local thrift store! I love going to Sarah in Branford where all the proceeds go to an amazing cause AND the place is filled with nostalgia and hidden treasures. My mom and I use to rummage there all the time as a child, now I go and find beauty and use out of the old Potpourri book, or the parisian flower signs. I also got many of my craft papers, letters, flowers from Hobby Lobby.

Once I got everything laid out, I was off to work:

June is a beautiful month with flowers and carosuels and a summery, glittery magic in the air. I wanted a soft, feminine touch when I did this flatlay. I've always been obsessed with antique perfume bottles and cameos, I loved having classic items be juxtaposed against our new month - June.

Marlowe's was the first flatlay I did. She's a beautiful 7 year old and will be my niece-in-law! How exciting :) I wanted this to be girly but not too vintage-y. I wanted there to be a youthfulness to it - so I added the flowers and shot it in bright light. 

My friend Danielle's I did a little bit different, without the perfume bottles and Parisian touches. She has red hair and is a romantic person so I added flowers from one of my flower crowns, a heart shaped dish that says "in the right place" and a Polaroid I took of her for New Year's Eve. I like the touch of the photograph, it makes it look more modern than the other vintage-y ones.

I had a lot of fun doing Sarah's, I made it as frilly and feminine as I could. I think of her as a youthful spirit yet an old, kindred soul. I added a bunch of my costume jewelry and craft flowers. I liked the touch of Jane Austen. One of my craft papers is vintage handwriting, and one of the things written is "John"-the name of her brother and father. I didn't do that on purpose, but what a delightful coincidence.

Ali is such a fun spirit, so I wanted a lot of pops of bright color. I also added a journal she bought for me. I think it's the perfect touch.

I wish I spaced Nicole's name better but other than that, this is my favorite. It's exactly what I wanted to convey - books, flowers, a Parisian touch, jewelry, perfume bottles and cameos. Vintage looking and feminine.

Flat lays have been a fun hobby that is also a cheap hobby. It's fun to create beautiful things and take pictures and still have use for everything in the picture. I truly love having a creative outlet and was glad I found another one.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

{the heart & soul of a flower}

 {image: 100layercake}

I've looked at pictures of me from years ago, partying and I see someone lost. My twenties weren't easy. I've always had a racing heart that needed to be pacified. Of course, I've attributed this to the sudden loss of my father but I know there were other factors that were in play. I was very much still that little girl in her humid tiny room blocking out the screaming downstairs and making her own paper dolls or reading book after book to calm myself. After my father died, I didn't have a parental figure or a house that was a safe haven. I didn't have a home, just a yellow house. I didn't have a home when I was younger so I made homes out of the people I loved, no matter how toxic or mean they were. After all, it was better than being a fatherless 11 year old being so mad at her alcoholic stepfather and her mother, she threw all his ties into the grand oak tree and smashed the snow globe she bought at a Church sale for her mom. I had this racing heart, this sadness, this feeling of being lost for so, so long. Drinking and relationships numbed that until I realized I was repeating a pattern I saw growing up. I use to be so sad at how negative everyone looked at me, partying and showing off. Now I see why. I know my own heart and never meant any ill well. I know how I cried to myself one rainy night in Stony Creek thinking: I'm going to end this, tonight. But something stopped me. Something kept me going even in all my heartbreak. Today I was driving and felt a streak of sadness but I remembered that the slow life I always wanted, the home I always wanted, I have. It took time and patience to build, but I have built it and I'm happy and healthy. I have my flowers and books and stories I wrote on paper and in my head. I have a sense of calm I searched for so, so long. Life is not perfect and like the wildflower by the fence that I see it's pink bud cracked open, I know my story is still unfolding. Unfolding gently and quietly, remembering its wild roots but reaching for something better.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Spring: My Life in Pictures

          My favorite season is upon us, and I can't seem to take enough pictures of the flowers and the beauty surrounding me. You can check out my instagram for more photographs taken by me. These were all taken in the Quinnipiac River Historic District except one where I noted. : _courtneyjuliet

 East Shore Park

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Hope Walk for Huntington's Disease


             Sunday, May 15th - Chatfield Hollow State Park in Killingworth, CT was cold that morning. My mom and I did registration for the Annual Hope Walk for Huntington's Disease as we both sipped our warm coffees and tried to warm up. I was inspired by learning my friend Jen's mom had Huntington's. I never heard of it, so after I met her I went home and looked it up. I was saddened upon reading what it was and how it's so often explained: As a mixture of ALS, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. It's a horrific yet not well known disease. Any awareness and donations is so needed because these lesser known diseases don't get a lot of funding. I realized my complaining about the cold was nothing compared to what people face. I quickly put on some more Hope t-shirts and kept working the booths.

           I was so proud to be part of it and to be Co-Chair of this event. I also was elated to have my mom, my fiance Freddie and his daughter Olivia, and one of my best friends Sarah and her mom Pat join us. There's something beautiful about being a small part in a large cause surrounded by your loved ones. It was a gorgeous walk in nature. I never been to Chatfield Hollow but absolutely recommend it for those who love hiking.

            I went to bed feeling happiness in my heart and hoping they will find a cure in my lifetime. Here's Tim Lammers from Fox 61's video on the event and a quick video about Huntington's Disease Hope Walk


Sunday, May 8, 2016

{Happy Mother's Day to My Queen, Melanie Irene }

Happy Mother's Day to all you fabulous mothers out there! My mother is resilient, funny, smart and brave. She beat the odds last year by surviving and thriving after two brain aneurysms. Any little piece of poetry I get from her and any green in my eyes is from her - along with my love of florals, white wicker, the magazine Victoria, flower crowns, long bohemian dresses, bookstores, New England downtowns with their antique stores and one of a kind boutiques, strange yet cute pocketbooks, Conan O'Brien and so much more. She is grace and strength and femininity and endless sweetness. A big heart in a little body. She is my momma and I love her.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

may 1st.

Although its raining now, I love the month of May for its aesthetic - cherry and apple blossoms blooming into bright blue skies. Those pinks and reds and whites remind me of beautiful dresses or the best sunsets. The tulips and daffodils that sprouted randomly in our yard get stronger and more vibrant. The weather is beautiful - not too hot, not too cold which is ever so important for this New England girl's sensibilities. I love how I can trade cardigans for sundresses and have more hours in a garden than behind a window. May, to me is a pretty, feminine month. I love that feeling that you made it through winter and are right on the edge of summer.