t's the clearest memory I have of her. So real if I reached out, I could touch her. Almost. It was the first time my grandmother visited my college, well, any college for that matter. She oohed and ahhed over the library and aging buildings around campus. She picked flowers and stuck them in her hair. She smiled in the bright California sun. By the time we reached my dorm room, she was ready to see the good stuff...to see how Yoo crazing kids lief like dis in collesh. Her accent made almost any sentence funny.
When she first saw the room, she was quiet. Inspecting the bunk beds--lightly touching the bright blue bedspread with her pink fingernails--and admiring the computer. Once she walked through the small room, she smiled with approval and sighed. As we walked out of the bedroom and into the dorm lounge, she looked to see if anyone was around and when the the room was clear, she started to dance salsa to a beat heard only lightly under her breath. She held her left hand high--allowing her tattered brown purse to fall hard on her shoulder--and her right hand at three o'clock, and danced with an invisible partner. She was so incredibly proud the only thing she could do was dance.
My grandmother left her small town in Puerto Rico as a teenager, and made her way to California by way of New York City. After years of working in sweatshops assembling basketballs and bikinis, commuting three hours a day by bus, nursing my mentally handicapped uncle, and having dinner on the table by 5pm, she retired in Las Vegas, Nevada. In a random act of grace, 15 years later she sold her trailerhome and moved to California to live with my parents until she found a home closer to our family. One month later, she died.
The blow of her passing hit me so hard. Hits me so hard. But I'm a silent griever. The type of prefers to lock the pain deep down where so one can see, and smile past the ache of loss. If I was being honest, I never dealt properly with the loss of my grandmother...because she wasn't that to me. A grandmother. She was one of my best friends. We talked on the phone, we wrote cards, we got pedicures together. I wasn't ready to bury a friend, so her ashes remained in my father's office until the family could come to grips that she was no longer with us.
Yesterday, almost five years later, my family was able to make peace and let go. We traveled to her small hometown of Cialis, Puerto Rico and allowed her to sleep next to my grandfather, where she always dreamed of resting. Letting go was so hard and somewhere between the sobs, I felt peace. I felt the silent grief I carried deep in my soul lift a bit and I found hope. Hope in knowing if she saw her family letting go, she'd be proud. So proud the only thing she might do is dance.
few days ago, I blogged about an Eco Forest tablescape I collaborated on with the ever lovely Carissa of JL Designs, and today I'm stoked to share another of her creations. This table was a French Farmhouse-inspired shoot was full of details and her flair of funky subtleties and character. Like I mentioned before, this shoot was a labor of love and a way for us to continue to push our creativity and passion.
I'm happy to know this blog post will be kindly Kathryn of Snippet and Ink, a wedding blog featuring inspiration for brides
or those who are unfamiliar with Re:Frame, it's a conference is dedicated to educating event video professionals with the latest in cutting edge technology and real world business practice.
I'm beyond thrilled to be speaking at the Reframe Collective Conference this October 19-22, 2009 in San Francisco! This videography conference was a smashing success last year in New Orleans and the amazing organizers are doing it again and I'm honored to be a part of such a cool event. Although I'm not a videographer, I was invited to share about branding and blogging and I can't wait for what the future holds!
ot too long ago, Carissa of JL Designs and I had a itch to create and shoot. Well, she the former, me the latter. Carissa is a florist and event designer, so we chatted one afternoon and one thing led to another...and then..bam! I was shooting her creations. The afternoon was spent enjoying conversation and soaking in the freedom you feel when you're doing something you love.
The ever chic Jen of Green Wedding Shoes Blog is featuring the shoot, so it was awesome to collaborate on a project for the sheer sake of creativity and wedding design.
Here are a few of the favorites from the session and Carissa's explanation of the look...
the 4 foot long moss "runner" is actually one ENTIRE chunk of FRESH moss that came directly from a tree in oregon! the little pieces of fern were growing right out of the moss naturally (i did not add those) - amazing right? as soon as i saw it i knew i had to have it
we laid the "runner" down on the table and nestled into the moss were glass apothecary jars of various shapes and sizes. each jar held a bit of mood moss, a couple fern cuttings and one HUGE succulent head. dried fungi caps brought in an organic, woodland touch and we also tucked amber glass votive candles into the runner to add warmth and color.
the napkins were a cream colored russian linen from wildflower and we folded them into a rectangle and then draped them out from underneath each rectangular plate. set on the corner of each plate was a petite green succulent head
This picture makes me hungry...maybe it's the plate...or the utencils...either way...I want dinner!
Every jar had a variation of a succulent and tied everything together with a subtle nod to modernity...
With a few minor tweaks, Carissa was able to create a Eco Forest dessert table. With thanks to the ever lovely Melody Brandon of Sweet and Saucy for her delicious creations...
melody from sweet and saucy created a bevy of small white cakes rather than 1 large one - sort of a cake buffet! set on white cake stands, they were each adorned with some kind of green floral (bells of ireland, kermit mums, etc.)...
Carissa explained recreating this table could easily be accomplished for a Do It Yourself (DIY) bride...
the whole look would actually be REALLY easy to re-create for a DIY bride...
3-5 glass apothecary jars (tj maxx or homegoods)
clear glass votives candles (ikea or michaels)
1-2 bags of moss and 5 dried fungi caps (michaels)
1 potted fern plant and 5-7 succulents of different varieties (home depot or target)
optional: wood chips from home depot, fresh crimini mushrooms from a grocery store, pieces of knotted grapewood branches, etc. - get creative!
hey roamed the large room in pink robes and flip flops. One might expect to see girls lounging and relaxing in such attire, but not Jill's bridemaids. No, no their hair was fully curled, pinned, and makeup was fresh and dewey. They laughed and made fun of each other and sipped on champagne in celebration of their best friend marrying her best friend. That's the way it works. Best girlfriends grant approval for a new best friend to enter Jill's life, and Jack surely passed with flying colors. At least that's what they said. Again and again.
The girls stood in a semi-circle and toasted Jill until tears streamed down her face. Every comment and adulation was filled with love for Jill, and the complete assurance that she's met her perfect match. And her Perfect Match anxiously waited for Jill in the lobby of L'Aburge Del Mar with a charming smile and sparkling eyes. Jack knew--from the moment he saw Jill walk into their business meeting a few years ago with a scowl on her face--that she stole a piece of his heart. And still to this day--though the scowl has morphed to a glowing smile--she continues to steal his heart and mesh it with hers. Again and again.
Jill and Jack, I can't thank you enough for sharing your hearts and lives with me. I can't think of all the nice words I want to fill this post with...fabulous, amazing, kind, generous, perfect are just a few that come to mind. Your wedding day was lovely and I felt so blessed to be documenting it all. Your attention to detail, guests welfare, room temperature, and praising those around you made my heart melt with thankfulness. I was honored to capture your love and I hope it's just the start of even greater things together. I hope you have a blast in Kauai...and if you find a Target, be sure to shop in honor of me too! ;) Much Love and Appreciation....J*
So. Let's chat about these fabbbulous blue Christian Louboutin heels Jill wore on her wedding day....it wasn't love at first sight, it was AMORE!
Jill used to work in marketing for the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas and that's where she shopped--and found--her stunning gown...
All floral and decor was done by the amazing Kathy Wright of Kathy Wright & Co...Jill's gardenia bouquet smelled absolutely divine!
Dear Jill...thank you for WORKING IT OUT. Love, me.
Jack and Jill opted to see each other before the ceremony and it was nothing short of perfection...here's the view of their First Look...
THIS MOMENT is what makes a First Look so perfectly intimate and fabulous...
It was quite bright and warm in Del Mar, so we stayed in L'Augerge Del Mar for photos and had some fun!
JD captured this photo and I think Jack looks incredibly handsome and dapper...tres chic, Jack!!
I think Jill has the cutest smile!
Special thanks to the ever amazing Alesha of Ever After Events for orchestrating a perfect day. No, really, working with someone who truly understands the ebb and flow of a wedding--and creates a timeline that reflects this notion--is worth its weight in gold. She was awesome and I can't wait to work with her again!
It was br.iiiiiiii.ght out, but thankfully the huppah made some night light!
Jill had a funky, modern vibe to her reception and I loved the detailing...
The First Dance...
Only dad's can get this good of a laugh from their daughters! :)
Special thanks to my good pal Curtis of Living Cinema for some great video light! ;) I love working with great videographers and Curtis is definitely top notch! :)
And the newly minted Johnson's lived Happily Ever After...