Celebrate Home Magazine: Spring!

6 03 2016

It’s almost spring and I thought I’d share the spring issue of Celebrate Home Magazine again. Barbara Kelley and I created this magazine in 2012-2013 as a personal project and had so much fun doing it! Click on either of the links below to download your FREE pdf copy of this issue.

This issue is jam-packed (and there’s even a jam-making feature with my friend Sophia Stadnyk!), so download today and get started reading.

Single pages version: Celebrate Home Spring 2013

Reader spreads version (my favorite!): Celebrate Home Spring 2013 Spreads

Order a print copy (at cost, plus shipping): http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/540569

You can also view it on issuu.com here.

On the cover: What says “spring” more than colorful tulips? I was photographing this bed of flowers and was standing on the edge of the wall when this little girl, clad in a princess skirt with sparkly shoes, came running around the corner. I got this one shot and she was gone. Serendipity!

CHM Spring 2013 cover





Road trip in Iceland: Ice field in the east fjords

10 06 2014

High up in the mountains in the east fjords of Iceland. That blueish-gray strip just below the mountain top is a solid bank of clouds!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Vertical Ice Floes

 





Scenes from an exhibit reception, part 1

18 04 2012

WOW. That’s how I can sum up my photography exhibit reception on Sunday at Green Spring Gardens. My friend Martha says her favorite moment was when I came by her and simply said, “I am just soooooooooo happy.” I kept repeating it like a Stepford character. I’m just soooooooooo happy. Really, I am just soooooooooo deliriously happy! Sales and attendance were way beyond what I expected (or dared to hope for).

Remember, the show is up for two more weeks—you have until April 29 to see it if you haven’t already done so. For more details and directions, visit my show site: www.gardenmuseshow.com! FYI—I will have an etsy.com store up and running soon. I’ll be selling matted and framed images, greeting cards and jewelry (and any other crafty endeavor that strikes my fancy!). Stay tuned for more info on that venture. More photos to come from the reception…

Reception photos © Ed Fagan, Columbia Photography

Martha, my friend who came up for the weekend from San Antonio, Texas, confidently pitches the “buy all eight greeting cards for $20 and get a nifty floral gift bag” deal to a potential customer.

Above, from left: dear friends Holly and Tom, yours truly (with my trusty Coolpix) and lovely Sue-in-blue, who flew up from Huntsville, Alabama

With a lot of help from family and friends (Karen B., her daughter Margot, my sister Debbie, sister-in-law Nancy, Karen W. and Martha), the table decor—inspired by spring and all things gardening—became the perfect backdrop to showcase Barbara‘s wonderful sweet and savory appetizers! The only downside—putting all those decorations back in their place in our townhouse.

Above, left: The view of the banquet tables from the “savory” side. Right: Barbara Kelley, caterer extraordinaire, displays her Magnolia Bakery vanilla cupcakes, topped off with homemade fondant butterflies made by Karen B., daughter Hannah and me.

Above: The photo pendants were a hit, much to our delight! My friend Paula and I made about 30 of them and we sold more than half of them. I’ll be preparing more to sell in my etsy.com store, which I’ll be working on next month. We hung them on satin cords (longer length), vinyl cording and silver-plated chains and sold them sans chains as well.

Barbara and Hollace made open-faced tea sandwiches and adorned them with edible flowers—which required some cajoling to get attendees to eat. I heard several times, “are you sure we can eat these?” Michael proved they were edible by devouring a complete pink rose (photo to come). Another guest poked at the mozzarella balls (!) and asked if they were real (!) Thank you to Sue for helping me festoon the cupcake stand with garden-inspired fabric and ribbon. We went through a lot of hot glue on that project!

Above: getting the store set up before the crowd comes through the doors. Thanks to everyone who set up the shop—Michael, Karen B., Margot, Karen and Joe W., Pete and Nancy, Martha and Debbie. We filled up 3.5 cars with matted/framed prints, greeting cards and buffet decor elements. From left: Holly and her friend Helen examine the necklaces on display; center: Michael explains how to use his credit card machine to Karen B. and her daughter Margot; far right: me explaining something (?) to my friend Leda

Above: seven of the eight 5.5 x 8.5 greeting cards available for sale. Not shown, my “Unfurled” image with a ‘Negrita’ Tulip

Above: another shot of the buffet—tea sandwiches, fruit skewers and pesto pinwheels

Above, left: the jewelry display with my brother-in-law Pete in the background. Peter and his wife Nancy (Michael’s sister) drove up from the Columbus, Ohio area. Right: one of my favorite people—friend and neighbor Michael P.—deciding with “hairy legged” insect photo to purchase (thanks for giving Vault and Whirly Girl a good home, Michael!) Below: lines began to form—how cool is that?

Above: It was so great to see my former roommate (from way back circa 1988 or so) Wendy and her husband Mark—I last saw Wendy at Potomac Mills mall when her son Eli (now 17) was still in a stroller! We reunited on Facebook (but of course) and they truly surprised me by driving down from West Virginia just for the reception! She has asked me to do a presentation to her second grade class on “how to learn how to see” things in nature. Now that I can do!

During this entire process, I have had such a tremendous show of support from family and friends. Since the show went up, I have had guests coming from Florida, Texas, Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Alabama and Maryland. I am so blessed to have these people in my circle!

In preparation for the show and reception, I’d like to thank a slew of great people:

A very special thanks to Jeff E.—thank you for the kick in the pants to get “exposure for my exposures!”
Dorothy Norpel
, F.R.O.G.S. (Friends of Green Spring Gardens) show coordinator, for giving me the opportunity to exhibit
• Mary Olien and Janet Hammes of Green Spring Gardens for their support of my work and Janet in particular for letting us in early on Sunday so we would have ample time to prepare for the reception (and also for purchasing several images!)
• All the employees and volunteers of Green Spring Gardens who answered questions, fetched a ladder, made a sale, answered my myriad questions and honored my requests
The Green Spring Gardens horticulture staff who are masters (and artists) at what they do—for always having something new and beautiful for me to photograph (not many people know that more than 75% of the images in the show were shot at Green Spring Gardens)
Dad
for his financial input, patient framing guidance and being the best cheerleader/dad/patron of the arts a girl could have
My sister Kelley for helping me select all the images for the show and being the genius behind the idea to name the images
Tom and Holly for loading up 98% of the framed images in their van and transporting and unloading it all—you just don’t know how much I appreciated that!
Dear Camilla for flying up to help me hang up the show and her invaluable creative direction (not to mention her long-time friendship)
• Karen W.
and Michael for helping hang the show from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (thanks also to Karen for constantly promoting my work, whether it’s jewelry making or the exhibit—there’s a reason you’re a key component of the K.I.T.A. club, ya know!)
Carmen and her sister-in-law Ester for driving eight hours from Greer, South Carolina just to attend the exhibit
Mary Ellen
for flying from Wisconsin
My sister-in-law Ronnie and her husband Ed for coming to see us and the exhibit en route from Florida back to their home in Cleveland
My sister Debbie and our friend Martha for hopping planes from San Antonio to share in the big weekend
Karen B.
for helping design the buffet tables, create the table covers and decorations, making fondant butterflies for the cupcakes, sleeving greeting cards and for every single creative project she is willing to tackle alongside me (I enjoy all our creative time together, KareBear) and for her patience in heading up the store
Mo Sherman
for spreading the word to his Virginia and Maryland friends and for being so supportive of my work
Sue
for flying here from Huntsville, AL, helping me make the three-tiered tea sandwich stand and putting matted prints in sleeves (and for her never-ending cheerleading!)
Hannah
for help with creating the butterflies and manning the store with her mom
Margot
for her flower arranging skills, buffet decorating and helping in the store
Paula
for helping me make those pretty photo pendants that were such a hit (and for her and Ken spreading the word of the exhibit to their friends and colleagues)
Nancy
, Pete and Martha for helping frame (assembly-line style) some last-minute pieces
Karen W.
and Joe for preparing and bringing a great breakfast spread to the house Sunday morning so we wouldn’t pass out during the day
All the help transporting to and fro in four separate cars from Michael, Pete, Joe, Nancy, Karen W., Martha and Debbie
Barbara
and Hollace for the amazing reception food—it was colorful, tasty, imaginative, filled with love, and I couldn’t imagine a catered event going more smoothly than this one did—you are a pro, Barbara!
Karen B.
, Margot, Hannah and Martha for minding the store and taking care of sales, wrapping, etc. (I know it was a crazy, unexpected time and I thank them profusely for all their efforts; nothing I can do can repay their generosity of time!);
Michael for running errands to get more change, to the house for more supplies and bringing fans to cool off the place (we learned that they turn off the air at the Horticulture Center on weekends!)
Karen W.
, Debbie, Martha, Karen B., Margot and Nancy for all their help decorating the buffet tables and setting up the store
Jeff S.D. for his constant support and helping me determine pricing (why is this always so hard for an artist?)
Brian for his mentoring and valuable input, always
Kudos and thanks to my hard-working friend Ed for so thoroughly and beautifully documenting that wonderful day with nearly 700 images (shot from above, below, from the side, on a ladder, on the floor and from the ceiling)!

If I have left out anyone in the never-ending gratitude list above, it is not intentional. Finally, thank you to all my local friends, faraway friends, Facebook friends, WordPress fellow bloggers and design clients for being a constant source of support and enthusiasm for this pet project of mine. Thank you to all my local friends who were able to make the reception and for your purchases as well. I thank you profusely and Green Spring Gardens thanks you, too!





FAVE: Ashley’s DIY slate cheeseboard

30 01 2012

How cute (and inexpensive) is this idea? Click here for directions on how to make it. Thanks for sharing, Ashley (of Sugar & Cloth)!





Iron Chef Bobby Flay and the Sneeze Guard Heiress

21 09 2011

This afternoon Barbara and I went to the Westfield Annapolis Mall in Annapolis, MD for a booksigning by Iron Chef and author Bobby Flay at the Williams-Sonoma store. You can learn more about Bobby Flay here.

I have watched every season of the Next Food Network Star, so it was fun to meet one of the judges/hosts in person. Unlike a few well-prepared line-waiters, we did not bring a folding chair. That would have come in so handy. We did get a chance to sample several things from the cookbook—Williams-Sonoma salespeople brought around samples of a pumpkin soup with toasted pumpkin seeds, chives and cranberry-maple creme fraiche (delicious!), a red velvet cupcake (good!), hot potato chips with blue cheese sauce (yum!), and apple chopped salad with toasted walnuts, blue cheese and pomegranate vinaigrette (really, really tasty!).

We stood in line beginning about 1:00 p.m. until we finally got into the store to meet him and have him sign our copies of his latest book, Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook. How’s that for perseverance? The last image I shot was time stamped 15:34:36, so we waited exactly 2 hours, 34 minutes and 36 seconds to get the photo of Barbara and Bobby below! Barbara did get a chance to mention to Bobby that she is a Sneeze Guard Heiress (to learn more about that story, click here). Barbara had him sign my book as well, but I had to get the shots! At last count, there were more than 200 copies sold when we made our way through the chain in the store. (Jeff Evans—you would be happy to know that Bobby shares your love of black and white Converse sneakers. He be stylin’!) Check out Barbara’s blog, Kelley Hospitality, here.





Chocoholic Party 2011 (our sixth!) recap

25 02 2011

February 12, 2011—First off, a huge thank you to the gals who helped in the pre-party preparation—Gina with shopping all afternoon the day before (Giant, Trader Joe’s, Michael’s, World Market, etc.), for coming up with fabulous decorating ideas (and wrapping vases in fabric, gluing glitter to anything and everything, and punching out heart shaped confetti until her fingers gave out—we crafted until 1:30 a.m.!), for making her yummy cornbread, for creating her “Sweet Dreams” candy party favors, and for bringing real chocolate (Leonidas) straight from her recent work jaunt to Belgium (and also for those fun birthday boy eyeglasses); for Carmen for all her help decorating (especially our annual-joint-effort over-the-top chandelier creation), for Michael‘s chocolate covered strawberry birthday box and giant pinata in the shape of the big 5-0, filled with chocolate candies for his birthday, and for all her help (as well as Karen W.‘s) cleaning up afterward. Carmen came the farthest to join us (from South Carolina), but we also had a guest from Lexington, Kentucky (hello, Bob!).

Thanks also to Michael P., who proved to be an extraordinary photo assistant when I was down in my studio doing the sweetheart portraits. I’m keeping him in mind the next time I need help! As you can see, this year’s collage of portraits is quite colorful—I let each guest choose which background they wanted—the pink and red swirly roses from Chocoholic Party #4, brown & blue fabric that echoed this year’s color palette, or a bright yellow abstract painting I began working on a few weeks ago.

Thanks to everyone who joined us to celebrate our first party of 2011, for all of your culinary contributions (from desserts to appetizers to side dishes to wine and beer), and for the special gifts you gave to Michael for his birthday. Special thanks to Judy for bringing a birthday cake and for having the baker write Happy Birthday to our Feb. 12 birthday boy (Michael), the lovely Hannah (Feb. 11) and Paul (Feb. 14). It was nice to celebrate the birthdays of all three of these V.I.P’s! Earlier in the day Michael said, “doesn’t seem fair that I have to make my own birthday dinner.” He made two huge pots of chili and as in years past, it was consumed quickly. He makes one pot of “two alarm” chili and one we label “mild stuff.” It seems our guests dole out a little of both and mix it together. I never got one taste of the stuff (I never eat anything at our parties—I’m too busy greeting, mingling and photographing to do so). And Rob, lest you think your rice offering didn’t get consumed, it did. Michael has used it in three different meals this past week, using up the last bit in a tasty stuffed pepper concoction.

I hope everyone enjoyed the musical stylings of our acoustic guitarist, Jim Canfield. We met Jim a few weeks before when he was playing for tips at IKEA (of all places). Jim performs at various restaurants around the Woodbridge area and we hired him to play for us—it was a real treat, doncha think? Thanks for celebrating with us—Nanda, Bob, Carmen, Gina, Karen W., Karen B., Hannah, Margot, Dana, Gordon, Eric, Rob, Leda, Norma, Paula, Ken, Judy, Paul, CJ, Regina, Tom, Holly, Jim, Sudha, Lynn, Jeff E., Amy, Jeff M., Jonathan, Rob, Pat, and Michael P.

Our next party is slated for late May in the great outdoors! This will be a new event for us. I’ll be co-hosting with Gina, a fervently fanatic Francophile, with consultation from my French-born friend Karen B. This affair will be based on the annual “Le Diner en Blanc” in Paris. Anyone know any French musicians, torch singers or mimes who will work for food?

http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=diner+en+blanc&cp=7&bav=on.1,or.&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&sa=X&ei=6mtkTbbvIojAtgf0ip2wDA&sqi=2&ved=0CD8QsAQ&biw=1407&bih=1172

http://www.demotix.com/news/85439/diner-en-blanc-white-dinner

This annual White Dinner is kept secret from authorities and participants are only told where they are going 15 minutes before the event via text and twitter. Too fun! We’ll give you more advance notice than 15 minutes and although our venue won’t be quite as exotic as the Eiffel Tower, Arche de Triomphe or Place de la Concorde, we promise you a memorable evening. We intentionally kept the guest list smaller for the Chocoholic Party this year (since it’s held indoors in a townhouse), but we’ll be able to expand the roster for this big outdoor soiree.

Our guests won’t have to bring their own tables, linens or chairs, but they will be asked to wear white (white + khaki permitted) and it will be our usual semi-potluck. Yes, there will be photos (in front of a lighted Eiffel Tower) and lots of white stuff (no, the food will not be all white, although really—what beats mashed potatoes, whipped cream, bread and a slab of brie?).

Thank you to Norma and Nanda for supplying some of the photos in the collage above.





Tapas Potluck ’09 with live entertainment!

19 11 2009

This past Saturday Michael and I hosted our first Tapas Party ever—and our first party with live entertainment as well! Charles Mokotoff, an IT specialist by day and gifted classical guitarist by night, played for our guests after the buffet-style potluck dinner. It was a “playing for portraits” arrangement. Charles will be our cover feature for the January/February 2010 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, published bimonthly by the Hearing Loss Association of America.

After the intimate concert, my friend Ken asked me, “how in the world are you going to top this event?” I must say, having live entertainment sure kicked things up a notch! We managed to squeeze 37 guests (including Michael and me) into our townhouse—and no one seemed too uncomfortable. I think that’s our maximum capacity, though.

Thanks to everyone for bringing delicious appetizers and desserts (and those wonderful wedding gifts, too—thank you notes to come shortly!) and for helping us to continue to celebrate our October 24 wedding! Special thanks to our out-of-town guests, too: Carmen from Greer, South Carolina; Martha from Roanoke, Texas; and Cammie from Sarasota, Florida—it was such a treat to have you three join us. I hope we didn’t disappoint!

Remember—the Annual Chocoholic Party is in February (this will be our 5th)! Hmmm…near Valentine’s Day…what kind of live entertainment will we have for that soiree? Maybe Rod Stewart singing love songs live? Or Harry Connick, Jr. (oops, need a piano for that one). My first choice would be James Taylor. Surely he needs new head shots?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.