Thursday, July 31

Photo Friday :: Beauty

em falconbridge, canon digital rebel xti

I feel like this photo embodies three of my deepest beauty loves: nature, bohemian and romance. Thank you, Embers...for indulging me. ; )

Speaking of beauty...my lovely friend Kelly Rae Robert's book Taking Flight: Inspiration + Techniques to Give Your Creative Spirit Wings can be pre-ordered but the last day to get the pre-order special is August 1st! This special includes a never-before-seen art print (size 5x7) and an entry to win the original painting. How yummy is that? She answers detailed questions about the book here.

If you haven't left a comment yet for the Boho Gratitude Gift Print in my previous post, please do so. Boho Boy and I can't wait to play this weekend and pull a name!

Wednesday, July 30

gratitude giftie*

"hanging to dry" print in my shop

I am feeling so very grateful for the gentle and endearing support of my readers that I want to give something tangible back. If you would like to have one of the 8 x 10 prints in my shop, please leave a comment, so I can find you. Boho Boy and I will put all the names in a hat, draw it this weekend and announce the owner of the print on Monday. They can choose whichever print in my shop speaks to them. I will send it to you for free (shipping included), with love and spirit and Boho-licious vibes. A friend of mine that has a few of my prints said they have spread ethereal magic in their home since she hung them. Do you need some ethereal magic? Mmmmm...don't be shy. I'm so happy to give something back.

Tuesday, July 29

garden friends*

em & tara, canon digital rebel xti

In my early twenties, every Tuesday night I would hang out at an old abandoned fire house. Inside were about four velvety vintage couches placed side by side in the shape of a half moon; purple, red, orange and green along with big silky pillows covering the concrete floor. People of all genres sat snuggled up together sipping their coffees and sodas, listening intently. The cool guy standing to face the crowd looked a cross between a surf dude and a GQ model with his VW bus parked outside. It was a non-denominational gathering where folks that were turned off by organized religion but curious about an intimate relationship with God felt they belonged. There were lots of tattoos and piercings and bohemians and rebels. I was one of those people.

There was one story that the minister (who didn't seem like a minister but was one of us) told that I will never forget. He talked about how Jesus used to take a few of his most trusted friends to the Garden of Gesthemane to lay down his heart, be honest, raw and vulnerable. A place where He felt safe to spill and be transparent. Our minister named those friends "Garden Friends" and he went on to ask us to think about who the Garden Friends in our life were.

I recall each of us scanning the room, looking around at our friends. Some even closed their eyes to imagine all the faces, the friends in their life. One of my guy friends, after the night was over ran up to me, hugged me, twirled me around and said "YOU'RE my garden friend!!!" I mean, it was just the coolest concept and an analogy we could all resonate with.

Who are the friends we feel comfortable with to bring to our garden? Who do you trust with all of your heart to be safe and gentle with you throughout your journey?

Its something to really meditate on. I think it is so very important to be aware of who your garden friends are so that you can nurture those very sacred relationships. I feel the word garden so perfectly describes friendship and the idea that in order for there to be growth, it must be nourished and cared for, consistently. And when we put our energies into our friendship garden, watch the gorgeous blooms, the nectar, the beauty that springs forth within us.

Who are your garden friends?

Monday, July 28

Tara & Em*

Em & Tara, canon digital rebel xti

em falconbridge (blog & shop)

tara whitney (photography site & blog)

On the way home from this past Saturday's photo session with Tara and Em, I rolled down my windows and let the wind blow through my hair. I cranked Abba loudly on my stereo and burst into song with the hugest smile. THAT is how wonderful it felt to be in the presence of these two beautiful, creative and unique women.

I had been looking forward to this session for a long while. An opportunity to capture the strong bond between two artists that I have admired from a distance. Tara is a photographer that inspired me so much in the beginning to be myself in this industry, to not follow any rules and to seek and discover my own unique style. She continues to inspire me each day. Em is the one that designed and created my gorgeous camera strap that I carry with me always. She is a true artist in all areas of her life.

The three of us have emailed now and then but had yet to meet in the flesh. So, each of us had that typical giddy and nervous feeling of meeting an Internet friend for the first time. Although, as soon as they jumped out of their car and embraced me with warm hugs, I felt an instant kinship and the rest of our day together unfolded magically and beautifully.

It was a challenge to not set my camera aside and curl up next to them on the blanket to share for hours. These women have an energy that draws you into their presence. It was a treat to witness their likeness, as well as their differences and what ties them together as best friends.

It was such a confirmation to me that my true passion is photographing artists. I'll be doing more of this at Squam soon and I hope to continue for many years to come.

I was explaining to Tara and Em why I am so drawn to artists with my lens. As our time together was coming to a close and we were nestled on a gorgeous blanket under a tree, I shared how very connected I feel to creative spirits and how in my sessions they just get my intimate way of being.

It was hard to leave them. They are kindred spirits and new friends and I look forward to snuggling on a blanket with them again soon.

Wednesday, July 23

my utopia*

story board of me dancing, canon digital rebel xti (click for larger view)

Dancing has been healing my heart and opening up my senses lately.

Today I danced to the song Utopia by Alanis Morissette and wanted to capture the freedom I felt. The freedom I haven't felt is so, so long. My body is loosening from the tight grip of sadness that has taken its toll on my spirit.

I'm going back to what used to feel healing as a young girl, when I felt troubled inside and would bring the "boom box" out to the backyard and dance it off. I have a clear image of twirling and moving while my dear mother watched from the kitchen window, wiping a dish and smiling, knowing that this was my nirvana.

So, in a sense, me bringing dancing back into my life is like being in touch with that inner child. The one that was more free and enchanted with her natural ability to move.

Today, as I cleared the stuff aside in my studio, I danced to this song that has always taken me to a place that I dream of for our world.

The lyrics carried me...


we'd gather around all in a room fasten our belts engage in dialogue
we'd all slow down rest without guilt not lie without fear disagree sans judgement

we would stay and respond and expand and include and allow and forgive and
enjoy and evolve and discern and inquire and accept and admit and divulge and
open and reach out and speak up

This is utopia this is my utopia
This is my ideal my end in sight
Utopia this is my utopia
This is my nirvana
My ultimate

we'd open our arms we'd all jump in we'd all coast down into safety nets

we would share and listen and support and welcome be propelled by passion not
invest in outcomes we would breathe and be charmed and amused by difference
be gentle and make room for every emotion

we'd provide forums we'd all speak out we'd all be heard we'd all feel seen

we'd rise post-obstacle more defined more grateful we would heal be humbled
and be unstoppable we'd hold close and let go and know when to do which we'd
release and disarm and stand up and feel safe

this is utopia this is my utopia
this is my ideal my end in sight
utopia this is my utopia
this is my nirvana
my ultimate

Monday, July 21

mosaic of me*

Mosaic idea inspired by my dear friend Meg.

I like how mine turned out. I feel like these images truly do express a lot of bits of who I am. I'd love to see yours. So, if you decide to play, do leave the link to your post in the comments.

Here´s how you do it...

Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr search, using only the first page, choose your favorite image, copy and paste each of the URL’s into the mosaic maker (3 columns, 4 rows).

The questions:
1. What is your first name? (Denise)
2. What is your favorite food? (Mexican)
3. What high school did you attend? (Granada)
4. What is your favorite color? (Pinky-Beige)
5. Who is your celebrity crush? (James McAvoy)
6. Favorite drink? (Yerba Mate)
7. Dream vacation? (Ireland)
8. Favorite dessert? (Brown Rice Pudding)
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? (Dancer)
10.What do you love most in life? (Romance)
11. One word to describe you. (Sensitive)
12. Your Flickr name. (Boho)

Here are the links to the photos in my mosaic above:

1. road less traveled, 2. Mexican restaurant, 3. Choperas de Fuentevaqueros, 4. Serenity, 5. James McAvoy, 6. Grand Mate (& Canyon), 7. ireland, 8. Decipher Reflections from Reality, 9. qui danza, 10. young love, 11. she loves without holding back: dreams with everything she has, 12. Lullie Vintage

somerset life magazine*

bottles (print in my shop), canon digital rebel xti

This vintage bottle photo is in the current Summer 08 issue of Somerset Life Magazine out in the stands now! I haven't received my copy yet but will soon and it will be totally surreal, I'm sure. If any of you have it, do let me know how it looks!

The bottles in this photo are very special to us. Boho Boy's parents collected them through the years because they too were attracted to vintage bottles. His father especially adored the iridescent ones and when he passed away, his mother let us take them home. Now through these bottles, I feel the essence of his spirit throughout our home.

Today something truly magical happened to me. I spoke to a very gifted woman over the phone and she did some energy work on me, clearing my chakras among other things. I have surfaced from that sacred space today with not a worry in my bones. I cannot remember the last time I felt this sure and peaceful in regards to bringing a baby into this world. During our conversation, I felt so close to the spirit of our baby. Its hard to explain and I know words cannot connect the emotions for me. I'm going to dance it all out in my Nia class tonight.

I walked around Whole Foods today soft and graceful through the aisles. I soaked in every moment of being in a mind and body with no worry attached. I'm not sure how long this will last but again, I am not putting any attachment to that. I just know that there has been a shift. I felt it both physically and emotionally while talking with her. It started out as tingles and warmth and then this overwhelming sense of centeredness washed over me.

I have a photo session coming up this weekend with these two lovely women and I am so delighted that I will be walking into it feeling less cluttered and more free and open. It is those times when my creativity is most magical.

Friday, July 18

honorary shutter sister*

vintage bottles print in my shop, canon digital rebel xti

I'm still feeling the high from my two Nia classes. I am blessed to be able to go each day if I so desire. It has shifted something deep inside of me. Like I have found a greater purpose that I have yet to completely figure out. I spent hours on youtube last night watching people dance and speak about Nia. I am seriously considering doing the 7 day teacher training intensive at their headquarters in Portland, Oregon this winter. My mood has lifted tremendously and I have found a gracefulness in my walk that hasn't been there in far too long. I think I've been looking down too much, allowing the dissapointment and depression of my fertility journey to weigh on my shoulders. The last few days I have felt taller and lighter. I am anticipating the unfolding of this dance in my life.

Today I am an honorary sister at Shutter Sisters. You can read my guest post here. I am so very humbled to be part of this inspiration circle.

Interesting the sweetness that comes into your life when you open your heart...even if its a teeny tiny bit.

Wednesday, July 16


angela, canon digital rebel xti

In my twenties, when I lived in Berkeley, I went to this amazing spirit movement class named Karuna. Twice a week men and women would gather in this large dance studio and for over an hour, we would get out of our heads and into our bodies. The energy was tingly and wild and free, the music tribal and inspiring. Our beautiful instructor was so in touch with her body and nature that when we were around her, we felt like one with the elements. The way my body moved in that class felt other worldly. I think of those classes often. I think of how we ended in a large circle, all looking at one another, holding hands, smiling and then bowing to one another. It was a community of earth children where the connection between us was totally unspoken.

I've missed that feeling.

I have heard about Nia for a few years now and my YMCA finally just started providing the class, although I found myself hesitant to go because I thought nothing could compare to that Karuna class. I was being stubborn.

Today, as I was standing against a wall and stretching, this lovely woman approached me with bright eyes and a warm smile, asking if I had ever taken a Nia class. She then went on to share how it has shifted her life in such a positive way. Her enthusiasm was contagious. I found myself filled with an anticipation I haven't felt in a long while.

I love to dance. Dancing has always come so natural to me. It is what I would always do as a child out in our backyard...blast my stereo and leap, twirl and choreograph my own modern dances. I was never taught to dance. I just jumped in and knew what to do. I can be such a klutz walking around a room, bumping into things and tripping but when the music comes on and I truly let go, I have a gracefulness that surprises.

I'm not sure why I tend to forget how healing it is for me. How it can become a way of expressing myself when words do not measure the fullness of what I am experiencing.

This woman today opened up that place in me and I was reminded. She then confessed she was teaching the next class in five minutes and I followed her into the studio like a giddy little girl.

Oh wow. I have been reborn. The movements were so very healing for me. There were moments when I cried and smiled and giggled. What I loved most about the class is that the instructor leads but also encourages that we go with what our body is telling us to do and so many times throughout the class we get to break free and dance around the studio. Sometimes we imagined swimming in an ocean, sometimes we were trees blowing in the wind and other times, we were grounded to the earth and scooping up the energy from its roots. It brought back the freedom I felt in that Karuna class.

I've needed this so much. I've needed something new and fresh. I've needed a way to open my heart where I didn't have to attach a language to it. I feel like I've written and talked so much about this journey and have been searching for another way to express what I am going through inside.

Not only do I feel inspired to take Nia as much as I am able...but also to perhaps someday teach a class. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. Thinking about inspiring others to open up and free their bodies and connect themselves to their heart, the elements and other people moving around them. It's something I am feeling a calling for and its bubbling up inside of me as I write this.

I was talking with a dear friend the other day, who has also walked this fertility path and she said whenever she felt she was getting to the end of her rope, that she knew she needed to try something new. She asked me what that looked like for me and at the time I wasn't sure...but I asked. I asked God and spoke that question out loud to the Universe. I put that energy out there and opened up a space for clarity. What newness do I need to bring into my life?

Then a little angel took me by the hand today and answered my question.

Dance. You need to dance.

Monday, July 14

let it move through us...

my dear friend and niece angela, canon digital rebel xti

"To let all that comes - the difficult and the easy - move through you, and to respond to it as truthfully as you can, can not only save your own life, it can heal generations' worth of grief in your family line. And it can help you find the courage to speak up and add to the Power of Good.

To be aware of the role that each of us plays in the ongoing creation of our own lives, our children's lives and the world, and to participate with our eyes wide open, is about as fertile as any of us could ever hope to become."

~ Julia Indichova

It's been a challenging month for me, I'll have to admit. I find that when I am trying something new and seeing results that along with all that hope comes just as much fear of disappointment. I know where this fear comes from. It comes from almost four years of trying new things and as much as I learned so much about myself through that process and gained some blessings, I still do not have a baby in my arms.

I am not sure why the pain feels much stronger and at the surface right now. I feel like a well is opening up inside of me and feelings that perhaps were hidden are just pouring out. Yesterday, on top of the grief I felt from another month of disappointment, I also felt guilty. Guilty for being in a place where I feel jaded. I was blaming myself for not being able to rise above this time and go to that positive place as I have so many times before. I felt like I was failing, perhaps not doing enough healing work lately, almost like I've taken a hundred steps back from where I was.

I grabbed a book off of my shelf that more than a year ago, totally shifted my perspective on this journey. It empowered me and fueled me with a strength and wisdom that came from within. A wisdom that was there all along but the author of this book reminded me where to find it. I was hoping to find that solace again and with gratefulness in my heart, I confess that I did.

One of the first bits I read is the quote above and it brought shivers down my spine. It made me see that I haven't taken a hundred steps back but am still moving forward. Just me allowing these emotions to move through me is forward movement. And me responding to this pain as truthfully as I can will be so healing. Not only healing for me but for those that are part of this journey with me.; my loved ones, my fertility sisters, my dear sweet future child.

I know I am feeling so much because my eyes are indeed wide open. Feeling this pain is worth it because I know what happens when I work through these times. I come out the other end so much stronger and confident with my choices because in retrospect, I see the blessings that follow with each step I take. I may not see those blessings now, but I will see them soon.

I need to be patient and gentle with myself. I need to trust in the process because it has never failed me. I need to remember that I am allowed to feel hurt and confused after so many years of this when I see fertility sisters become pregnant, one after the other and yet I am still walking this road as they join another one. I am totally allowed to fall to my knees now and then. I always get back up.

Just even writing this, I feel a space opening wider in my heart. I know so many of you out there that read this blog are on this journey and this is one of the reasons why I continue to be true to where I am. We can find strength within us...even during the darkest of moments, when we know we are understood and not alone.

Let it move through us...both the difficult and the easy.

Friday, July 11


oops, canon digital rebel xti

I was playing with my camera today and accidentally took this shot up in my studio. I sort of like the angles. This photo has nothing to do with my post and everything to do with me putting my energy towards something that brings me joy.

Speaking of...I have a question. Do any of you know of an out of this world Zen-like, healing, relaxing, soothing, peaceful spa resort somewhere here in the US surrounded in nature (ocean or mountains)?

I'm trying to dream up and manifest a healing trip for us sometime this year or next. I am so curious about the places my well traveled readers have been!

Do tell.

Wednesday, July 9

my cycle*

two of my favorite things...blossoms and thea, diptych

I've been thinking a lot about my monthly cycles. Not so much about the physical changes to my body but the emotional. I am not sure why only now I feel fully aware of a pattern that is pretty consistent but this awareness is helping me to navigate my way through the shifts.

First week of cycle: A few days of sadness and disappointment that I am not pregnant but then a rush of hope comes in. I view this as another month to work towards a healthy body, mind and soul. I feel a renewed sense of self while my body cleanses itself.

Second week: Totally in manifestation mode. Manifesting a pregnancy and fully believing. Manifesting stuff for my creative journey and in my friendships. Totally feeling empowered and on top of my game. Begin to nest and ready myself for a romantic week with my husband as ovulation is approaching. I feel fertile in all areas of my life.

Third week: Post ovulation leaves me feeling quiet and mindful, closer to the spirit of my future baby and extremely close to my husband. I feel confident and trust that my body is healthy and doing its absolute best with whatever has transpired. I spend a lot of time visualizing a fertilized egg or a swelling belly and us dancing around on the beach or in our home with our children.

Fourth week: One huge tender bean! Highly emotional. Sensitive to the touch and in my heart. I find myself fighting those darker feelings of fear, insecurity and depression. It's that waiting until I know whether or not we are pregnant. My energy goes towards trying to distract myself, focus on my other passions but I find myself exhausted. Pregnant women come out from every corner and walk around the street like zombies in a film, coming towards me to taunt. I get angry at myself for feeling unable to manifest or visualize or believe it is possible for me. I get quiet with my friends and family. I take things more personally than usual. I swear each fourth week feels like PMS magnified times one hundred.

Well, I am writing about this because I am right in the middle of the fourth week. Although, I do notice now that I am aware of this pattern, I can help navigate my life around how I know I will be feeling. Like, its probably not the best time to go on a trip during the fourth week because my ability to fully be present is just not there and that's okay. Not that I won't go somewhere fabulous because its the fourth week but in the event that I have a choice, it might be wise to wait it out and just allow myself to be gentle during this time.

Yesterday I was laying on a mat and stretching at the mind and body center I go to. I had forgotten that Tuesday mornings have a prenatal yoga class. So, as I was stretching, one by one, about twenty pregnant women walked by me. I felt my heart beating fast and felt unable to breathe. I was having a panic attack. I gathered myself together and practically ran out to my car so that I could completely let go and break down with my head on the steering wheel. I called my husband and he gently talked me down from it all...never judging and always reassuring that I am fully allowed to feel this way at any time. It was one of those cries that leave you feeling utterly drained and spent.

I find it so interesting that if this were to happen at any other week in the month, I might have seen twenty pregnant women walking by me as a positive sign...just like I did last week with the woman stopping me and asking if I was a mother. But yesterday, it felt like a cruel joke...rubbing it in that I am not there yet.

So, perhaps I am writing this all out because I need to not think its odd that I can vacillate so much on this journey. I tend to put too much power on that one dark week of mine and I just need to focus on how fabulous I feel the first three weeks (yay me). I should give myself a break for comparing pregnant women to zombies just seven days out of the month because the rest of the month, I may see them as angels or affirmations.

I am choosing to love and embrace my cycle of emotions each month rather than fight the ebbs and flows of something so very primal and natural. I am also going to meditate on how I can make this last week gentler on my heart.

I'd love to hear how you comfort yourself when you are feeling hormonally heavy in spirit...whether the root of it is fertility or not.

Last night my husband and I laid in bed and he cupped my face and brought my forehead to his. I let the tears fall from my face onto his. This was the most comforting moment I've had the last four or so days...but I know I cannot lay like that for a week. ; )

Tuesday, July 8

boho wordle*

Inspired by a post from one of my favorite photogs Wreckless Photography...

Here is my wordle. Random words pulled from my blog posts:

(click for larger view)

Procrastinating is oh so much fun!

Try yours at wordle.net.

Sunday, July 6

New Prints in my Shop*

tiny buds, canon digital rebel xti

I gave my shop some much needed love and attention this weekend. I finally updated it with photographs that have been gently waiting to emerge until the time felt right.

As my heart begins to feel more at peace...so does the art that comes from me.

Thursday, July 3

dream room

photo from anthropologie website

If I could dream a bedroom into being...this is what it would be. I discovered this photo in the Anthropologie catalog and showed my husband. He agrees. So, I'm cutting the picture out for a vision board. Doesn't knocking a wall down and replacing it with old windows sound divine? We already have vintage windows and doors hanging around in our home but to divide a whole room with them? Drool.

I've always wanted a home with a lot of airy space and huge windows and brick walls, distressed paint, flowy fabrics and hardwood floors. Amazing that this room carries the essence of what I've always had in my head.

What do you envision for your dream home? Its fun to start pondering these things and put that energy out there. This is how manifesting begins.

who i hang out with most days...

elvis & amber having a chat , canon digital rebel xti

When I lived in Northern California, on most evenings, I would go on this long walk up and down the steep hills to my neighborhood. Each time I would pass this corner house where out on the front wrap around porch were about 10 kitty tree houses made out of carpet. All different kinds. The cats from all around the hood would gather on said porch and leap, chase, climb and lounge on these carpeted kitty brothels...including the dozen or so cats/kittens that lived in their home. These feline lovers had a huge front window and inside would be all these kitties perched, watching people like me who would stop in wonder.

I am sure most would roll their eyes and keep walking but cat people like me considered it total and complete bliss. I wanted to lay down on their grass and let all the kitties crawl all around me. That corner house filled me with so much joy that I made a point to visit it as much as possible.

I will so be that cat lady in my old age.

What brings you joy around your neighborhood?

ps. Totally off topic: I started reading Twilightand I must admit...it had me at Edward's eyes changing color. I'm hooked...thanks to bloggers all over gushing about it. I've been needing a good escape novel or two or three. ; )

Tuesday, July 1

are you a mother?

angie's feet, canon digital rebel xti

The wildest things happened to me today, all in a span of about an hour.

First, after parking in a store lot and getting out of my car, I see that the parking spot next to me is lined in pink pavement with a sign above that says "Expectant Mother Parking". It made me gasp. It was just so new and cute and who wouldn't like a pink lined parking spot?

Then a bit later in the store, I complimented a lovely lady on her skin that was helping me and she said:

"Well, I just had a baby, so I think that has everything to do with it."

I laughed to myself. Of course, right?

Then a few minutes later on my next stop, while I was walking down the stairs of a parking structure to the mall, this woman walking on the steps behind me touched my shoulder and said:

"Excuse me...are you a mother?"

This question took my breath away. I stopped and looked at her stunned to silence.

"Are you a mother? She asked again with an adorable Australian accent and a warm smile.

"What? Ummm...well, I'm trying to be." I responded and I am sure I looked white at that point and she looked a little surprised and amused at what might have been too much information.

"Oh, well...because I am on holiday and I am looking for cute baby clothes. You looked like you might know."

This time I laughed out loud and again, she probably was a bit confused as to why this would all just seem so bizarre to me but I gladly pointed her in the right direction and when she walked away she said waving her hand:

"Good luck!"

What amazed me was that on another day...these three things all falling into my path within the same hour might make me want to pull my hair out at the frustration and the sad reminder that I am not yet a mother.

But today...I don't know...call me a romantic but I want to believe they were signs and that someday very soon, I'll be the one parking in a pink lined parking spot.