Monthly Archives: March 2009

a story from paris

You might remember that last fall, I took some pictures of my cousin’s daughter, Svea, when they were in town from Maryland.

Here, let me refresh your memory on Svea’s extreme cuteness:


NOW you remember, right?

Well, last week, my uncle (my cousin’s dad and Svea’s grandfather) sent the following email to my Mom.  It is a really sweet story and I just had to share it (after making sure it was okay with my uncle, of course).

I thought about trying to paraphrase the story, but my uncle — like my mom and her other siblings — just has a way with words.  I don’t think I can properly paraphrase his easy story-telling style, especially since the whole email sets the mood.  So I’m going to leave it as-is.

The “Katie” mentioned below is me (my family calls me Katie).  Also, I should note that after I took the photos of Svea last fall, my Mom gave some prints and enlargements to my cousin as a gift.  But even if you can’t follow the specifics, my uncle’s email still tells a really nice story and the pictures he took make it even better…


I got sent to Paris again this spring.  The meeting dates were March 17 and 18, but I took a day on either side (it was Paris, after all) to wander around and see the sights.  So I ended up on Montmartre.  Sacre Coeur and all that.

The weather was great.  In fact, it was great all week.  Sort of a story there, since I’ve been to Paris now four times in March, and every day until this visit has had horrible weather … so bad that, after accompanying me twice, Karen [his wife, my aunt] had decided she wouldn’t go anymore.  And this time, first time ever, the weather was gorgeous, the whole time, from the moment I landed until I left.  Finally saw “Paris in the Springtime.”  Karen should be about to kill me, but she’s been great.

Anyway, it was a really nice day, and some folks from the meetings had said if I hadn’t been to Montmartre, I should go, neat place to walk around.  So I did.  It was too nice to go into the church so I spent the whole time outdoors.

There is this square, kind of down the street and around the corner, where artists come to show their wares.


Watercolors, oils, chalk (pastels), pen and ink drawings.  And it was really neat.  I walked around quite a while looking at what was available and contemplating (I eventually caved) getting something for home – I got two small watercolors for Karen that were sort of Van Gogh-ish, at least in color and subject, if not in style.  And …

… And, just like the guidebook had said, there were a number of artists in this square who did portraits.  That is, portraits where you would sit for them and they would do it in pretty much real time, like under an hour, and you could go home with an original portrait of, well, yourself.  I saw a number of people sitting and having these made.


It was pretty impressive.  So then I started thinking.  (Actually, I had thought about this a little bit when I read about these folks earlier that morning in the guidebook.)

I have, in my wallet, the picture of Svea that Katie took and that you gave to Rachel [my cousin] in a whole set in wallet size.  Could it be possible…?

So I took out the photo, trotted up to one of the portrait artists and said, in my best French, “Est-ce que vous pouvez en faire d’un photo?”  (Which is supposed to mean, “Can you make one of these from a photo?”)

And she said, “Oui.”

So I showed her the photo, which of course she instantly fell in love with.  Then I hemmed and hawed for a while, walking around, wondering if I would spend the money, and finally realized that I was never going to forgive myself if I walked off that mount and flew back across a whole ocean without having this done. So we did it.

Hard at work:


The finished product:


I don’t know her name, but she did sign it.  I was so pleased with what she did.  I rolled it up in a tube and carried it with me on the airplane (no way was it going into checked baggage) and gave it to Rachel and Mark on Wednesday of this week.  They were so pleased, and Rachel called me the next day to say I really needed to write you about this, since the only reason I even had the photo was through your gift, and since it was Katie who captured the picture in the first place.

Rachel made an interesting comment, which I hadn’t quite gotten my arms around until she pointed it out.  She said that if you look at this picture, it is very definitely Svea, but that the artist in effect aged her a bit, so that the portrait is really very close to the way Svea looks now.  Really remarkable!

Anyway, that’s the story.  Do pass this on to Katie.  But especially thank you for the photos.  I opened my wallet in the hotel that morning wondering if by any chance I still had the photo there, and when I found it, I think it was settled already, before I even climbed up to this artist’s square, that if it was possible, I’d get one done.

Rachel, Mark, Karen, and especially, I, loved it.

Thank you so much.  From all of us.


So … how is that for a story?

I mean, really.  Wow.

What a one-of-a-kind gift my uncle gave to his daughter (and granddaughter) with a wonderful, one-of-a-kind story behind it.

And especially the fact that it really did seem to be written in the stars that he would have this done in Paris.

It makes me smile every time I read it.

See, look.  I’m smiling right now.

Can’t help it.

Possibly even a little misty-eyed…

wordless friday

I really have no caption for this picture.


Other than “this is the type of stuff you would see laying around if you ever stopped by my house.”

You also might see a dust bunny or two.



But I’m not taking pictures of any of those.

pink with envy

I have to tell you really quickly:

I was getting ready to package up this gallery wrap for a family’s order (awesome wrap, by the way, yes? … they picked a GREAT image and did it in a 20×24, which turned out so nicely).

And my daughter was hovering around me while I was working on it.


She was very interested in the kids in the photo.  Who were they?  Where do they live?

But more importantly, who was the girl?  Was she wearing a pretty white dress?  Did she have pretty curly hair?  Were her eyes blue?  Did she have any barbies at her house?  Did she like the movie Annie?

I couldn’t tell if it was jealousy or if she was just looking to make a new friend.

Either way, it was rather sweet.


I think she is always on the lookout for possible new friends who like wearing fairy wings, riding tricycles, and eating yogurt-covered raisins.

And really, aren’t we all?

march cuteness

Why hello there!


That’s all I can think of when I see the above picture.  “Hello there!”

What a cute, cute 3 month old.  Huge eyes, perfectly round face, and that little expectant look on her face.  I love it.

I think 3 months can sometimes be a tough age to photograph — not newborns anymore, so you can’t just move them around and take cute sleepy shots.  But not old enough to sit unassisted yet, so you’ve got to figure out ways to get them up so you can see their cute faces.

And this little one did so well and had an EXTREMELY cute face, to boot.




Cute, right?  I know.

And real quick, I have to say a word about her big brother and his DOG.  The BIGGEST dog I’ve ever seen.  Now, the family told me it’s a labradoodle, but I’m still a little bit suspicious that it’s actually a pony.


But I’ve gotta tell you:  this dog was awesome.  He followed us all around the house, sat next to his 4-year-old master, and just generally did everything you would want a dog to do.

Plus, you just can’t deny the cuteness of a boy and his dog.


twisting spring’s arm

I swear, I do more than just buy things off Etsy.

But I had birthday money, you know.  And what better way to spend your birthday money than on a new purse?


I’ve become rather partial to purses and bags made from canvas, just because they’re so roomy, forgiving when you squish them, and easy to clean.

This is the “Chloe” bag and I’m using it now, even though it’s snowy and wintry outside.

I am going to FORCE spring to arrive, I’m tellin’ you.



For my birthday, my wonderful husband gave me the “Lola Freedom” print that I had earlier gushed about.


I love, love, love it.  It’s such a sweet, simple image.


Ahhhhh.  Perfect.

And come to think of it, a wonderful friend of mine ended up giving me the Itsy Bitsy earrings that I had mentioned in that post, too.

So I guess the only thing from that post that I don’t have yet is Patrick Dempsey.

Somebody get on that…


This past Saturday, a family and I had planned to meet at the Landscape Arboretum for a photo session.

However, the snowstorm and cold temps didn’t seem to like our plan at all, so we moved the session to the family’s home instead.

Which turned out to be a bit of serendipity for which I am so thankful.


The family’s home was beautiful — full of wonderful, natural light and lovely hardwood floors …


… perfectly simple white couches …


(look at those chubby toddler legs!)

…and this brick wall that I probably would have hugged if I could have.


Not to mention the adorable children.


This look cracks me up because my son made this same type of smile at this age every time I would try to take his picture:


And if this 1 year old doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will.


The “waiting” look:


For once this winter, I am thankful for the horribly cold weather.  Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to spend the morning with these beautiful children at their lovely home.