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Where to Find Wall Art

I have been and I am currently scouting for wall art to fill some remaining empty walls in our home.  So, I thought I would share the places online where I have found great art options for original work and print work, which is shown below!

Artfully Walls

Little Paper Planes




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Additionally, Below are a few individual artists, whose print work I like:

Emily Jeffords

Lisa Congdon

Emily McDowell

Kal Barteski




Happy Monday!

Victory: Photography Project — 49

Beginning in January 2014, I started a weekly photography project with my muse, Victory!  I will continue to share this project on the blog this year!  My goal is to document all of Victory’s changes, while preserving fleeting moments and memories, while capturing moments of our everyday.

Below are a some images from this past weekend!  We put on Victory’s fleece, boots, and hat and went for a walk in the snow!  Once she got moving, she did well.  However, her hat had to come off as it was impacting her orientation while walking in the snow; and because of the depth of the snow her fleece boots started to come off so we took them off so we would not loose any!  This was the first time we really got outside in the snow with Victory!  However, I think that we are all ready for warmer temperatures!

Happy Friday!


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Interview with Heidi Lender, Photographer

Interview with Heidi Lender, Photographer










Recently, I had the opportunity and pleasure of interviewing Heidi Lender, a Connecticut born photographer who currently resides in Uruguay.  Heidi was formally a fashion writer, editor, and photo stylist for various fashion magazines, while traveling to places such as New York, London, and Paris.  She then changed directions and studied yoga in India and became a yoga teacher and owner of a yoga studio in San Francisco.  However, in 2009, Heidi’s life changed forever when she purchased her first DSLR camera and began creating images like the ones from her project entitled, Once Upon.  A selection of Heidi Lender’s work is displayed below.  Please visit Heidi Lender’s website to view more of her wonderful work!


KATHERINE CARVER: What were your beginnings as a photographer and when did you realize it would become your chosen form of expression?

HEIDI LENDER: I bought my first dslr camera in 2009, while I was teaching yoga in a studio I owned in San Francisco.  Though I had taken photos regularly most of my life, this was the year it clicked.  Who knows why these things happen.  I joined Flickr, gave myself an intense photo education and I was hooked within no time, almost obsessed.  Suddenly, all the roads I had taken up to this point in my life made sense, and met in the making of images.


KATHERINE CARVER: Did you study art formally?

HEIDI LENDER: No, I majored in apparel and textile management in college, and went on to work in the publishing industry straight away – as an editor, features writer, and stylist.  No art background whatsoever.



KATHERINE CARVER: How do you describe your style?

HEIDI LENDER: Stylized, personal, and balanced.


KATHERINE CARVER: Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating photographs was absolutely something that you had to do?

HEIDI LENDER: Within the Flickr community, I joined groups to help me learn.  One was called “Bench Monday,” which had a weekly assignment.  After half a year of submitting to this group, I was committed to my camera.  Making images daily became almost as important to me as my yoga practice.



KATHERINE CARVER: What was the impetus that inspired you to begin creating self-portraits, which include your dog, Bubba, in your work entitled, “Once Upon”?

HEIDI LENDER: See above: The “Bench Monday” group!


KATHERINE CARVER: Where do you show/exhibit your work?

HEIDI LENDER: I’m represented by three galleries in the U.S.: Richard Levy Gallery in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Guthrie Contemporary in New Orleans, and Wallspace Gallery in Santa Barbara.  From time to time, I’m also part of group shows.



KATHERINE CARVER: What does “being creative” mean to you?

HEIDI LENDER: Expressing myself in ways other than thinking and talking, which might be anything from how I choose my clothes, the way I decorate my house, make my bed, write a letter to writing essays, making images, drawing, and collaging, etc…


KATHERINE CARVER: What is the most challenging aspect of being a photographer?

HEIDI LENDER: Timing.  I wish I were more patient.  I think I’d make better work.



KATHERINE CARVER: What inspires you to keep going and what keeps you motivated?  

HEIDI LENDER: As you mentioned above, once you realize that you HAVE to take pictures, it’s not hard to keep going.  Because you HAVE to.  Because it feeds you.  And if you don’t do it, you feel empty.  Hungy.  Of course, I have bad or down days, or long dry periods of not making any substantial work, but my iphone is just about attached to my hand, so I am always practicing and recording and honing my eye.


KATHERINE CARVER: What are the most rewarding and satisfying part about being an artist and creating art?

HEIDI LENDER: Freedom.  Freedom of expression.  And being inspired and hopefully inspiring back, effecting, touching, and motivating someone somewhere.



KATHERINE CARVER: What kind of patterns, rituals, and routines do you have while making your art?

HEIDI LENDER: I make it a point to post to instagram every morning.  And I look at a lot of images all the time, on the internet and in books.  I’m a mad photo book junkie.


KATHERINE CARVER: What are you working on now?

HEIDI LENDER: A new idea is incubating, something that is evolving from my iphone work.  It is too early to discuss.



KATHERINE CARVER: What artists inspire your work?

HEIDI LENDER: Irving Penn is my hero, and I’m all giggly girl for Wes Anderson.  I love vintage fashion photos – they probably inform a lot of how I interpret what I see…color, composition, and style.


KATHERINE CARVER: What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

HEIDI LENDER: Keep practicing.  And showing up.  Your work will evolve and grow even if you can’t see it happening.  I promise!!



KATHERINE CARVER: How can people view and purchase your art works?

HEIDI LENDER: My projects are on my site:  The about page lists the galleries that sell my work.  And my instagram photos (@heidilender) are all for sale through me.


Please note that all of the images contained in this blog post are courtesy of Heidi Lender.

You can read additional interviews here.

Around Here: February

Well, it is still February, and we are so ready for spring, which will bring more light, warmer temperatures, and longer days!  Only about four weeks to go!  We are counting down.   Below are some items that have occurred around here in February!

-working really hard editing images for my long-term photography project.  I have spreadsheets keeping me on track as I work through this project.

-gearing up for the final photo shoots for my project this spring.

-training class is in full swing with our Victory!  Victory has some anxiety with new situations and she does not like to share the sidewalk with anyone in the neighborhood!  If someone opens the door to their home, is walking/running on the sidewalk, is walking a dog, etc., she will have no part of it!  Plus the builder is still building and the earth movers scare her, too!  We are trying to get her to a place where this will not be so troublesome and we can have smoother walks in the neighborhood without her getting so scared of her surroundings.  However, when we go to new places and take her on walks and outings she walks just fine — go figure!  Hopefully, we will make progress to make our morning walks during the week a little easier!

-began reading this book.

-scouting for a few more fine art prints to fame and display in our home!

-making homemade dinner with Doug on Sundays.  Doug has been cooking fried talapia and pulled bbq chicken, to name a few.

-making breakfasts together on the weekends.  I love Doug’s homemade donuts and chocolate chip buttermilk pancakes!

-began watching Better Call Saul, a prequel to Breaking Bad – an entertaining show!

-still watching Season 5 of Downton Abbey, which is coming to an end as the season finale is next week.

-burning lots of candles around the house!

-having date nights with Doug!

-enjoying the snow days at home!

*Finally, thank you all for your feedback on the survey, I greatly appreciate your insights!  Thank you.  If you have not completed the survey, please do!  You can take the survey here.  Thank you!

Happy Tuesday!


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2015 Reader Survey; Please Help!

I have been writing and running this blog now for three years.  Since it is a new year, I thought it would be appropriate to obtain some feedback from readers, especially since we have many new blog followers and readers.  I am constantly wondering what you all like to read; therefore, I created a brief  survey, shown below.

I hope that you will take a second to fill out this totally anonymous survey, only fourteen quick questions, in Likert-type scale format,  (i.e., no registering/logging in or anything), to help me gain insights as to what you all like to see and read.  Please be sure to click “vote” after you answer each surgery question below.  If you do not want to answer a question, just leave it blank.

And please, you long time readers PLEASE join in the survey, too.  You are who I need feedback from the most.  So, please, take three minutes and give me your feedback – I promise that no matter what it will be valuable and the blog will be a better place because of it.  THANK YOU!

Have a fantastic weekend!

*For subscribers, you can access the survey on the blog here.


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Interview with Emmie Brown, Artist

Interview with Emmie Brown, Artist

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Recently, I had the opportunity and pleasure of interviewing Emmie Brown, an artist residing in Florida and the owner of Pet Pieces.   Emmie makes portraits of animals using magazine clippings.  “Each portrait begins with a stack of magazines and a photo of my ‘subject.’  During my tedious clipping process I not only search for the perfect tones and colors, but I also love to find random little images and words that make each piece uniquely its own.  I then arrange and glue the pieces down from eyelashes to ears until I am satisfied that I have captured the subject’s likeness and personality.”  I love Emmie’s work!  A selection of Emmie Brown’s work is displayed below.  Please visit Emmie Brown’s website to view more of her wonderful work!


KATHERINE CARVER: What were your beginnings as an artist, and when did you realize it would become your chosen form of expression?

EMMIE BROWN: I was always drawn to making art from the time I was a child.  I recently found an old children’s book in my parents’ attic.  In this book, each page was blank, with an area to draw the responses to the questions appearing at the top of each page.  On the “What do you want to be when you grow up?” page, the five-year-old version of myself had drawn a little figure holding a paintbrush and standing next to an easel.  So I guess you could say I knew from a young age that I wanted to be an artist.


KATHERINE CARVER: Did you study art formally?

EMMIE BROWN: Yes, I studied graphic design at Flagler College located in St. Augustine, Florida.  Up until my senior year of college, my plan was to be a graphic designer.  I enjoyed graphic design very much; however, it wasn’t my true passion.  I really only chose graphic design over fine art because I thought I could earn more money as a graphic designer.  However, my family really encouraged me follow my real dream, which is what I’m doing now.  I will say that the graphic design degree does pay off – it is quite helpful to know how to create your own website and branding.


Lucas — magazine collage on canvas, 12 x 12


KATHERINE CARVER: How do you describe your style?

EMMIE BROWN: I always strive towards realism, but my medium forces me to keep a really whimsical quality to my art.  My style has changed a lot over the past few years.  I’ve gotten away from the looseness and randomness of my earlier pieces, and now my pieces almost look like paintings.  Most people don’t realize they’re collages until they look closely.  I’m not sure which style I prefer, and I think a balance of the two extremes would be ideal, so I will be working to achieve this balance in the future.


KATHERINE CARVER: Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating art was absolutely something that you had to do?

EMMIE BROWN: I don’t know if there was an exact moment for me, but I do know that I am quite shy.  From a psychological point of view, I assume that I need to create art as a form of escape.  I guess it’s a way for me to get my personality out on paper.  I actually did not realize this until now!


Lady — magazine collage on canvas, 12 x 12


KATHERINE CARVER: What was the impetus that inspired you to begin making collages of dogs comprising tiny clippings/pieces of magazines?

EMMIE BROWN: I got the idea when I was about ten-years-old.  I have no idea what the inspiration was.  My first “collage” piece was of Santa Claus.  Our housekeeper, Jean, thought it was fantastic and had it framed.  (Jean was always a big supporter of my art, including the finger nail polish designs I painted on the wall.)  My mom still loves the Santa Claus that I made years ago, and it still hangs in my parents’ den year round.  My next collage was of my first pet, a longhaired dachshund, named Pepper.  A family friend saw the piece and wanted one created of his own dog.  Before I knew it, the commissions were pouring in!


KATHERINE CARVER: How have your own dogs influenced your artwork? 

EMMIE BROWN: I have a deep understanding of how much people love their dogs because of how much I love my own dogs.  When someone gives me a photograph of their dog, I have a responsibility to capture that dog’s spirit just as I would want my own dogs’ spirits to be captured.  I know that this dog is somebody’s best friend.  I want the portrait to bring about those feelings of love in the human companion, so I work extra diligently to ensure that each dog is vividly portrayed.


 Jessie and Jake — magazine collage on canvas, 11 x 14


KATHERINE CARVER: What does “being creative” mean to you?

EMMIE BROWN: Being creative is finding unexpected solutions.  Many people are artistically talented, but what makes creativity is someone’s ability to create things in a different way.


KATHERINE CARVER: What is the most challenging aspect of being an artist?

EMMIE BROWN: I hate putting myself out there.  Selling myself and my work is not my strong suit!


Hali — magazine collage on canvas, 18 x 18


KATHERINE CARVER: What inspires you to keep going with your work and what keeps you motivated?  

EMMIE BROWN: Though I enjoy my work, sometimes I want to walk away from it and tackle another project or just have a lazy day.  But the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment I obtain when I finish a piece is better than any day spent lounging by the pool.  I have to remind myself of this sometimes.


KATHERINE CARVER: What are the most rewarding and satisfying parts about being an artist and creating art?

EMMIE BROWN: I love when people are so genuinely touched by my portraits.  I’ve had many clients cry tears of joy when they first viewed the completed piece showcasing their best friend!  To know that people have such a sincere love for their dogs makes me so happy.  There are many of animals who aren’t lucky enough to live in a loving home and be spoiled by their humans like they deserve.


Riley — magazine collage on canvas, 10 x 10


KATHERINE CARVER: What kind of patterns, rituals, and routines do you have while making your art?

EMMIE BROWN: Coffee, television, music, more coffee, and more television!  I always have the television on while I work in the morning.  Kathie Lee and Hoda are my morning staples, followed by The Price Is Right.  I’m like an old lady.  Then I’ll listen to music until Ellen comes on at four o’clock!


KATHERINE CARVER: What artists inspire your work?

EMMIE BROWN: I have always been amazed by Chuck Close.  For some reason I am drawn to portraiture that is comprised of small, interesting units that make sense viewed from a distance.


Bella — magazine collage on canvas, 12 x 12


KATHERINE CARVER: What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

EMMIE BROWN: That is tough to answer because I am an aspiring artist myself!  I think it’s helpful to have a niche.  Dog art in itself is a niche, but I take it a step further by employing an unusual medium.  So I think you should first figure out what you’re good at; what your best or most unique style is; and what subject matter you most enjoy.  I’ve found that whatever work you’re most passionate about will become your biggest success.


KATHERINE CARVER: How can people view your work?

EMMIE BROWN: I am always posting new pieces on my Facebook page ( as well as my website,, and Instagram! (petpieces).


Uga III — magazine collage on canvas, 12 x 16


Please note that all of the images contained in this blog post are courtesy of Emmie Brown.

You can read additional interviews here.

Victory: Photography Project — 48

Beginning in January 2014, I started a weekly photography project with my muse, Victory!  I will continue to share this project on the blog this year!  My goal is to document all of Victory’s changes, while preserving fleeting moments and memories, while capturing moments of our everyday.

Doug and I had a nice, quiet long weekend, and we celebrated Valentine’s Day by going to dinner to one of our favorite restaurants, exchanging cards, and coming home and watching Netflix together with Victory!  She loves to sit in between us on the sofa and beg for treats, a nightly ritual!

We could not forget Victory on her second Valentine’s Day with us!  We got her a couple chew toys — she always needs more toys to hoard!  Here Victory is below checking them out, and they are now in her ‘hut‘ with the rest of her toy stash!

And today, we get another day together as we have a snow day!  We hope that everyone is staying warm!

Happy Tuesday!


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Happy Valentine’s Day – Doug and Victory!

Happy Valentine’s Day to my two loves — you both make my life so much sweeter!

It is our second Valentine’s Day with little Victory, and for Doug and I it is our eleventh Valentine’s Day together!  Wow, where has the time gone!  I can still remember our first Valentine’s Day together.  Unbeknownst to the other, we gave each other the same Valentine’s card and Doug wrote such a sweet note inside the card.  I have kept all my cards, post cards, cards from flowers, etc., from Doug — I like keeping these tangible cards, I guess I am sentimental that way.   Doug and Victory are shown below.  Victory is wearing her new Valentine’s bandanna.  Last year, we left her Valentine’s bandanna on her, and, well, she chewed it off!

For Valentine’s Day, we got Victory some fun chew toys, since she loves to chew and hoard her toys!  We also signed Victory up for another training class, which begins next week.  It will be good to get Victory out of the house more to attend her class, especially during the colder winter months!  We cannot wait for spring to arrive in order to have more opportunities for outings with warmer weather, which is about five weeks away, but who is counting!  Doug and I are going to go to celebrate Valentine’s Day tomorrow by going to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Northern Virginia and then we will spend the evening together with Victory, likely watching a Netflix/On Demand marathon!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!  I hope that you have a nice long weekend!

“Love recognizes no barrier.  It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” -Maya Angelou


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Creative Habits

I have been thinking about creative habits recently while I continue working on my photography project endeavor.  There are some days that I feel like the finish line is very far away; and other days, I feel like I am making incremental progress; however, the project never moves as fast as I would like as there are many moving parts.  This got me thinking about creative habits that I find useful.  Below are some creative habits that are helping me thought my project.

Believe in your creativity – This is the first practice and probably most important.  If you do not believe in your work, how can you expect to make great work?  Belief in your creativity is key to any creative endeavor.

Practice mindfulness – Mindfulness is being in the present moment — not ruminating about the past, nor worrying about the future.  I find the act of creating like a meditation where my sole focus is in the present moment while creating.  The practice of mindfulness is to over and over notice when your mind is wandering and to bring your attention back to the present.  I find when I am working on my project that I am generally able to block everything out and focus on the task at hand — creating.  It is a really freeing feeling to create.

Set a work schedule/routine – Setting work schedule and routine is essential to any creative.  I have a work routine and schedule, which helps keep me focused and on track.  I always have Victory near me (by my feet) when I am working, which is an added source of inspiration!

Taking risks with your work – To grow and push yourself, you need to be willing to take risks and to accept that sub-par work will occur, and it is all part of the process of creating.  The only really effective way to work is show up every day and to keep repeating this process daily.  You have to be willing to show up, do the work, and accept that not every piece of work will be brilliant or else you will never make it to your ‘masterpiece.’

Explore and take breaks – Many times, the best ideas come seemingly out of nowhere, when you have a distraction and let your mind wander.  For example, I sometimes wake up with new ideas that I have never thought of; ideas come to me while in the shower; and ideas come flowing at the gym.  Additionally, a change of scenery always does a mind and soul good as it allows you the freedom and the ability to make connections that you may not have otherwise made, which also fosters creativity.

Physical exercise –Whether it lets the mind wander, improves mood, or functions as an important part of daily routine, regular physical activity has been linked to improved creative thinking.  Doug and I go to the gym almost everyday, and ideas spring forth during these times that would likely not otherwise occur.  Plus, your mind and body can always benefit from regular exercise!

Solitude – Being alone creates the time and mental space to reflect, which is necessary for any creative.  Creating involves many stretches of time alone.  I find that most of the time working alone and creating in solitude is positive because I am able to focus solely on the work; however, there are some days that it can feel somewhat isolating, and that is why it is good to have friends to converse with who are also creatives who can relate.

“In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude.  One must overcome the fear of being alone.” -Rollo May


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The Cold Outdoors: Protecting Your Furry Family Member(s)

The ASPCA recently contacted me to share this information below about the cold outdoors and how to protect your furry family member(s) from the cold during this time of year.  Below is a guide to help keep your furry family members warm this winter — from paw care to bathing tips.  You can view more here.

We hope that everyone is staying warm!










The above images are courtesy of the ASPCA.