My Passion = My Purpose

Right Livelihood.

My passion is my profession and my vocation and my mission.  I love what I do. And what’s more, I welcome the opportunity to create quality imagery for my clients.

That said, in order to stay fresh and inspired, we all need to find a balance between economy, efficiency, and creativity.

This article from Tricycle points out that it is a good thing to be “in two minds” about our work – to strive to maintain high standards yet also to be objective. Good work depends upon trust and honoring the time and patience that produces quality.

There is no question that friction arises. Keeping clear, open communication is critical so that our work is

“ …fully understood and rightly conducted, with all its tensions.”

My goal is to maintain a sane relation to my work life and to deliver the highest quality results.

 

Why Right Livelihood Isn’t Just About Your Day Job

 

Thanks to Hustle+Grind for the infographic that lives on my bulletin board. 😉

One Pot, One Planet

One Pot, One Planet

My husband is a great cook.

Yes, Bookmaking!!  Our favorite meal is so good that we created a cookbook about it!

Nicholas states, “Food is for nourishment, eating is for pleasure! Combine the two and create a healthy attitude about eating. Forgo stressful planning and shopping, and enjoy a delicious, savory meal.”

A One Pot Meal is a simple pleasure. Cook it once and enjoy it at least a second time. Find your nearest farmer’s market, purchase the freshest ingredients, inhale the aromatic herbs, enjoy the sweet labor of chopping by hand.

on-demand bookmaking is so creative!

I laid out the unique format in Adobe InDesign and published via Blurb. I prefer to create my own layout rather than use the pre-formatted ones. This method is more challenging but the result is worth the effort.

Text by Nicholas, edited by yours truly. Photographs by Nicholas, Jesse, me, and Tobin too! This book is a true labor of love.

Below are some spreads from the 54-page hardcover.

One Pot, One Planet page layout
One Pot, One Planet page layout
One Pot, One Planet page layout
One Pot, One Planet page layout
One Pot, One Planet page layout
One Pot, One Planet page layout
One Pot, One Planet page layout

 

Insider story: I was never satisfied with the “headless” cover photo and I planned to revise it, so I voiced my displeasure to the photographer (Jesse) and to the model (Zoe). This, of course, set off a wicked round of teasing from the peanut gallery …thus the series of out-takes below.  “Oh really, Mom?!”

Zoe
Joseph
Zoe
Jesse

 

A Wildflower Wedding

Bookmaking – The Dart Wedding book

Bookmaking. An honor indeed!

In September of 2012, Jesse’s friends, Caroline and Jared, were wed on a glorious autumn day in Madison County, New York. The subtle colors of early autumn dappled the landscape. A soft breeze rippled the cool waters of Lake Moraine. There was a festive atmosphere at Mitchell Point, as friends and family gathered together to honor the union of a very special young couple.

As their wedding photographer, Jesse captured the most delightful images of a charming afternoon, A Wildflower Wedding, along the shores of Lake Moraine.

Bookmaking – The Dart Wedding book
Bookmaking – The Dart Wedding book
Bookmaking – The Dart Wedding book
Bookmaking – The Dart Wedding book
Bookmaking – The Dart Wedding book
Bookmaking – The Dart Wedding book
Bookmaking – The Dart Wedding book
Bookmaking – The Dart Wedding book
Bookmaking – The Dart Wedding book
Bookmaking – The Dart Wedding book

I had the pleasure to recapture the day in this book, custom-designed in Adobe InDesign and printed via Blurb. This unique, 60-page hardcover contains more than 100 photos (only partially loaded in the viewport below). It portrays the continuation of a loving relationship and a joyful, trusting step into the future.

Threaded through the images are the lyrics from one of Caroline and Jared’s favorite songs, “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty.

You belong among the wildflowers, you belong somewhere close to me. Far away from your trouble and worry, you belong somewhere you feel free.

 

Liliana turns Two

Liliana's book

Book Design!

I had been graced with attending Liliana Satya’s birth in 2010, a gift I will never forget.

On Liliana’s first birthday, her mom and dad felt called to have a Naming Ceremony at Story Ranch in Las Vegas, New Mexico, where they were living at the time. Friends and family assembled under the massive Story Tree to chant and drum and call out her name, to acknowledge her presence, her gifts, her vitality.

That year, circumstances prevented Nick and me from traveling west, and I was so, so sad. To make up for missing it, I threw myself into creating a one-of-a-kind book as a gift for Liliana’s second birthday.

On the sly, I had taken photos of many of Liliana’s favorite stuffed animals, who are as real and animated to her as you or me. I also gathered photos of family near and far. I assembled a visual story of Liliana’s rightful place on the planet.

Liliana’s cover photo in this tiny green hoodie was taken by Joe’s mother Maryann. It was an early cellphone image that blew my mind. Her joy, her vitality, and presence were overwhelming to me. The image was very small in file size and could not be enlarged or it would look terrible … so I tucked tiny Lili in a rolling field of grass … and all was well in the world. It was perfect!

An on-demand four-color book.

Liliana adored her birthday book. She carried it in her backpack everywhere she went. She studied the faces of her family and friends – knowing she belonged and was cherished. I printed 30+ copies and distributed them to friends and family as gifts.

Now Liliana is almost 8 and she has a baby sister named Gwenna, who will be turning 2 in October. Guess I’d better get a move on! I wonder what will I come up with…

Stuffed animals
Stuffed animals
Bookmaking – Liliana and Gwenna in petticoats

 

Here are a few spreads from the 42-page, 6″x6″ kid-size book that includes Liliana’s grandparents, great-grandparents, loved ones, her beloved stuffies, trees, wind, clouds. I hear her name called out on the wind. And good energy and blessings surround her!

 

Liliana's Birthday book
Liliana's Birthday book
Liliana's Birthday book
Liliana's Birthday book
Bookmaking detail
Bookmaking detail
Bookmaking detail
Bookmaking detail
Bookmaking detail
Bookmaking detail

I sew, therefore, I squint.

My computer work and my sewing definitely take a toll on my eyesight.

While roaming in a second-hand shop in Arizona, Zoe found this gorgeous woven multi-colored tapestry. It measured about 5′ by 4′ or so with finished edges on two sides and tiny tassels along two edges. Hmmm, what could it be?

I loved the unusual color combination, so vibrant and deep.

Turquoise, cherry tomato, and tones of umber weave through this unique fabric. Looking closely, there are shades and variations of each of these colors making it complex and rich.

I brought it home and pieced it carefully into 3 pillows. I was so excited to get so many finished pieces from of that one piece of material. The largest holds a full body pillow.

Sewing the largest pillow, I pieced several swatches of the weave in a perpendicular direction. Then I added a layer of cotton batting between the top and a thin inner backing – and stitched a “puffy layer” of stripes for accent.

I bought a durable, turquoise fabric for the backside and added zippers so the covers can be laundered. A lovely gift for my daughter!

I call this “tinkering” because most of the time I don’t use patterns. Sometimes I put a piece of fabric aside for quite a while until I know what I want to do with it. Then I enjoy using every scrap. Voila!

We Are Now One

We Are Now One - book designWedding Book

Summer of 2009. A tender time when family and friends gathered to celebrate the union of Joseph and Zoe. One hundred plus guests traveled to the small town of Paonia, on the sleepy side of Colorado, where our party overflowed from our comfortable inn into accommodations in town.

Guests started drifting in on Friday afternoon. That evening we congregated in town at a lovely restaurant where we took to the street to toast each other in greeting. After a festive dinner, we adjourned to a local dance hall where we projected a surprise slideshow of family photos.

Saturday morning brought individual activities; some went exploring, biking, hiking. Even more – others attended a Blessingway at a yoga studio in town. The wedding took place at 4 pm that afternoon as the sky turned a stormy gray and clouds gathered overhead.

Building a ceremonial space

For the rite, Nicholas constructed a ceremonial structure known as a bagua to constellate the energy. From its crossbars, we hung windchimes, prayer flags, and beaded dangling adornments that our guests strung together as they got to know one another. The breeze stepped up just as the ceremony began, the curtains rippling and the wind chimes singing out an agreement that sealed the deal!

A Wedding Book – Bride and Groom
A Wedding Book – Wedding after party
A Wedding Book – Wedding preparation
A Wedding Book – Wedding bagua
Bookmaking – A Wedding Book – a kiss

Looking back, the experience was perfect! We had planned this weekend from afar, and it was a real family affair! Jesse took magnificent photos. I designed the invitations. Wildflowers from a local farm adorned the tables.

A Sunday morning brunch was our closing – hence, it was sad and sweet. My only regret was that it was over too soon and I felt hollowed out, bereft, as guests and family departed. How did I not see that coming?

Now we are one

Jesse and I created a book to commemorate the wedding. I created it in InDesign and published it via Blurb. Each year on their anniversary, Zoe and Joe sit together to reminisce as they turn the pages. The title is “We Are Now One” – borrowed from the poem by Rumi.

“We stood together hand in hand in primordial time. Now, at last, we are one.”

A Wedding Book – Wedding invitation design
A Wedding Book – wildflowers

Time and Space

Photobombing – Photoshop Montage – Jesse & Jaime go flying!

With all of the great photos I have at hand, there are many opportunities to have fun … SO… pardon me.
It’s time for …

Photobombing!!

As you roam abroad, so far away, you are always in my heart.

Travel safely!  Spread goodwill and creativity – and return to me with fond tales to tell.

 

In the words of Mohammed,

…Don’t tell me how educated you are,
tell me how much you have travelled!

 

Photobombing – Photoshop Montage
Photobombing – Where's Waldo? Photoshop Montage

 

Evolution of The Healing Home

A new beginning, Lifting the spirit

My long-term position in the Art Department of a local newspaper ended abruptly in 2008. The east coast building trade was compromised as well and Nick’s opportunities were dwindling. Our savings and our livelihoods were seriously threatened.

The truth is, we bottomed out. We had held on as long as we could, but the future did not look good.

growth and challenge

When faced with challenges and disappointment, what do you do? Above all, you hold your loved ones close, and dig deeper into your inner resources. Over time, we felt the lift of momentum, a blush of something new.

When my work opportunities dimmed, I crammed and studied web design. I transferred my print-based skills into web applications. As we looked for a new creative direction, Nick and I brainstormed an integration of our skills. The idea of a website emerged. This site would offer a combination of practical home design ideas, holistic philosophy, and lots of imagery, maybe poetry… who knew where this might lead?

Suddenly, Nick’s pen flew across the page in his flowing, handwritten style. I typed the first drafts and we edited. We dove deeply into our treasures trove of photographs, sifting, and sorting to hone a new concept. As Nick wrote essays, I created visuals to illustrate the ideas.

My first venture into the world of WordPress was a website called TheHealingHome.me. While this site was retired in 2021, there are many rich articles and ideas that will be republished again in a new format.

A few years later as our work evolved, I built a second variation called HealingHomeDESIGNS.me. In this new template, I went deeper into a visual format with fewer words to portray the concepts.

infuse it with light

Across all disciplines, the foundations of home design are based on balance, proportion, color, and utility. Discovering the optimal blend of these characteristics creates a harmonic that is tangible, an ephemeral and sought-after ‘value-added’ essence. These ideas apply to web design as well. I always aim to take a design project one step beyond – to infuse it with light.

Throughout rough times, we, as a family, have always managed to carve out time for rest and reconnection. The banner image captures one of those times, our children hold hands walking a path on Block Island.