I started collecting things as a preteen. First it was stickers, and as the years passed I moved on to blue glass bottles, then perfume bottles (still a weakness), Canton, another passion sparked by my grandmother, tiny boxes, and vintage linens. Years ago, I also started a collection of items with a strawberry motif. I've collected vintage strawberry-print napkins at flea markets and antique shops, and when we lived in London, I slowly amassed every item that Cath Kidston created in her sweet strawberry fabric - from children's bags to tiny seat cushions and place mats.
One of the most thoughtful gifts I received from my parents for my birthday this year was a set of handmade bowls decorated with strawberries. Knowing my love of the Cath Kidston print, my mom took a picture of the fabric and emailed it to one of her oldest friends, artist, potter and author, Judy Segal (who happens to be the mother of one of my oldest friends). Judy hand fashioned the tiny bowls, and hand painted strawberries. I was blown away by the thought and the love and care that went into every square inch of each bowl. I love that with each new addition to my collection there is a meaningful story and special memories.
Photographs thanks to Tiia Norsym
A table setting with Judy's pieces mixed with vintage linens and Cath Kidston
A Cath Kidston seat cushion
Judy's daughter, Christine, in the middle, and me on the right
The leaves are starting to turn and the weather is slowly getting colder in Chicago. As much as I love the beauty and crispness of Fall, I already miss the flowers, warmth and carefree feeling that summer brings. Here are a few snippets of our summer that included three trips back East, a kid-free night away at a friend's place in Michigan and lots of outdoor fun in the city.....
A beautiful wedding in York, Maine
An exciting perfume project
My travel companions
Quality time with the grandparents in Boston
Dancing in the rain in Cambridge, steps from where I attended preschool
A peaceful ride on the swan boats in the Boston Public Garden
A visit with old friends in Connecticut
The sunset from our friend's home in Michigan
Music and a mini potluck at Ravinia
Berry and veggie picking
Beautiful views from our rooftop
Lots of dining al fresco
Sun set on the water
A photoshoot at home
When my friend and talented photographer Tiia Norsym (who also happens to be co-owner of the amazing Kids Science Labs in Chicago), suggested that we do a photoshoot, I was a little hesitant. I love having the kids photographed, but I never choose to be included in pictures unless it's a shoot that's related to business (and even then, I'm terrible in front of the camera!). I thought about one of my previous posts that was inspired by an article in the Huffington Post about getting moms back in family photos, and decided to get over my discomfort.
Tiia wanted to recreate some of the childhood memories with my own kids. I will never forget sitting on my parent's bed watching my mom get dressed, put on her makeup and then finish with perfume. Those vivid memories are part of the inspiration for my fragrances. My own children also love to watch me get dressed when my husband and I go out at night. My daughter is always interested to see what I am wearing, and last weekend my 3-year old son actually said, "Mommy, I want to see you...and smell you". He literally walked over and smelled my wrist, closed his eyes and said, "mmmm".
Working with Tiia to capture these moments with the kids was a dream. Our photoshoot started out with the kids on the bed watching me get ready, then looking at some of my vintage perfume bottles, before quickly moving to a big snuggle fest on the settee (that belonged to my great-grandmother!). The kids and I love Tiia and we all felt completely comfortable with her, so the shoot was a blast. We will all cherish the photos for a lifetime.
Here are a few of Tiia's shots from our shoot...