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Victory: Photography Project — 71

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.

This past Friday, we took Victory to Baltimore for the first time.  (We took Victory to D.C. for the first time earlier this year.)  We took her to Harbor East and she had a great time and the weather was perfect!  We had pizza for dinner at one of our favorite pizza places that we frequented with our dear Biscuit.  Then, we walked over to the Shake Shack for dessert!  Victory got her first Pooch-ini!  It was much too rich for her to eat this dessert in its entirety, but she enjoyed her few spoonfuls very much!  This past weekend, we also made one more trip to the Eastern Shore before summer is over!

Below are a few images of our beautiful Victory by the water at Harbor East during the ‘golden hour’ just prior to sunset!

Happy Friday!  Have a great weekend!


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Disaster Preparation for Pet Parents

Happy National Dog Day!  The ASPCA recently contacted me and asked me to share information related to disaster preparedness for pet parents — an important and often overlooked topic.

It’s been 10 years since Hurricane Katrina.  Are your pets safer?  Just like children, pet parents need to prepare for their furry family members prior to a natural disaster.

August 23, 2015, marked the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which, in addition to killing nearly 2,000 people, left 600,000 pets deceased or homeless.  Almost half (44%) of the people who refused to evacuate during Hurricane Katrina said they did so because they felt they could not bring their animals with them.  Despite this tragedy, recent poll shows that 35% of pet owners still do not have plans in place for the next big storm.

The ASPCA is encouraging pet parents to pledge to prepare for their pets in the event of a natural disaster.  A helpful guide is shown in the ASPCA’s infographic below.

*Act today to make plans to protect your beloved furry family members from a natural disaster.


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The above image is courtesy of the ASPCA.

Interview with Hilda Grahnat, Co-Founder, Pet People Magazine

Interview with Hilda Grahnat, Co-Founder, Pet People Magazine










Photo Credit: Marit Lissdaniels


Recently, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Hilda Grahnat, co-founder of Pet People Magazine, an independent print publication, which offers a peek into the lives of people and their furry family members.  Hilda possesses a photography and graphic design background along with a passion for animals.  Pet People Magazine is based in Sweden, but it will be traveling to various cities for each subsequent issue, while featuring new geographic areas and animals focusing on the human-pet relationship.  According to Hilda, “The relationship between pets and their people is something unique and it’s really wonderful to get to observe that firsthand through this project.”


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

HILDA GRAHNAT: I became interested in photography in high school, around the time when DSLRs were becoming affordable and almost every young girl I knew had one or wanted one.  I took a summer job in a local photo store and at the end of the summer, I  bought my first (discounted) DSLR.  I took photos of anything and everything and shared them online; I wanted to document and share my world view.  I started a blog as an incentive to take more photos in my daily life, and with increased readership I started receiving commission requests, and that made me start to think about making it my job.  But it wasn’t until I had studied graphic design for a few years, that I realized that taking photos came more naturally to me — I was doing it so subconsciously.


KATHERINE CARVER: How did your fascination with animals come about?

HILDA GRAHNAT: I’ve always been an animal lover.  If my father and brother hadn’t been allergic to fur, I’m sure my family would have had a cat or two, as we all love cats.  But instead I befriend every cat I meet on the street, whether it’s in my own neighborhood, where I’ve adjusted the path of my evening walk, to the streets where the cuddliest cats live, or sneaking treats to restaurant cats when traveling abroad.  I’m fascinated by how animals have as much personality as humans, with habits, quirks, favorites, and fears.  The relationship between pets and their people is something unique and it’s really wonderful to get to observe that firsthand through this project.



KATHERINE CARVER: What impetus that inspired you to begin Pet People Magazine with Linnea Paulsson?

HILDA GRAHNAT: We had wanted to work together for a long time, and we’d talked about doing a pet related project as we are both true ‘pet people’ at heart.  So we merged our mutual love for pets and print into Pet People!


KATHERINE CARVER: How did you bring your vision of Pet People Magazine, a printed publication, to fruition?

HILDA GRAHNAT: Our motto (coined by Linnea’s boyfriend Erik) is ‘make it ‘til you make it’ — we were curious to learn more about the independent magazine world and wanted to be a part of it, so we did!  We knew nothing about making a magazine and distributing it before we created Pet People, but we learned through just doing it.  We have financed, photographed, designed, printed, distributed, and promoted it all by ourselves.



KATHERINE CARVER: How often will you create print editions for Pet People Magazine?

HILDA GRAHNAT: Twice a year is our goal.  Right now we are gearing up to make Issue 02.


KATHERINE CARVER: What is the most challenging aspect of working on this publication?

HILDA GRAHNAT: Finding good printing options, actually.  We want to print locally and environmentally consciously, while still maintaining an affordable price, which seems to be a difficult combination to find.  We also took a risk by financing the first issue by ourselves.  Other than that, nothing in this project feels challenging but rather adventurous!



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

HILDA GRAHNAT: Creativity for me is that urge to “make something” that you just can’t resist.  I’m not good at making something out of nothing — I use what’s there to create something new.  Photography is a way for me to be involved in things I am interested in and passionate about, and to share that with others through photos.


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

HILDA GRAHNAT: I am driven by a wish to tell stories through my photos, about people or their handiwork, or places or shapes and objects and everything else I like.  A lot of what I choose to photograph are things that I feel go unnoticed or are becoming obsolete and I want to preserve them in the present and for the future.  I feel like I’m a part of a big creative community online, receiving feedback, and finding people who like what I do and sharing similar interests, which keeps me going.



KATHERINE CARVER: What are the most rewarding and satisfying parts about creating your work?

HILDA GRAHNAT: Working with people who share the same passion and vision, and making projects happen from start to finish as a team.  I love when I get to be involved in the whole process, from idea through editing and designing to the final result.  In personal projects, I love to work on my own and find satisfaction in creating a series or diptych that flows really well.  Light/shadow, lines/shapes and composition are what get me going.


KATHERINE CARVER: What artists inspire you?

HILDA GRAHNAT: As a child of the digital world, I’m more often inspired by single images than artists’ bodies of work.  I use Instagram as my daily source of inspiration, and follow people from different creative fields, like: @cgbp@heyraygun;@arielealasko;@carissagallo@jimmymarble@osmaharvilahti; @salvalopez@helen_levi;  @atelier_bingo;  @jokemichaels@a.oshea@teklan; and @elo_____




KATHERINE CARVER: What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a print publication?

HILDA GRAHNAT: What are you waiting for?  Just do it!


KATHERINE CARVER: What is next for Pet People Magazine?

HILDA GRAHNAT: For our next issue we plan to venture outside Sweden, but we don’t want to give away too much just yet.  (We will post a call on our Instagram and Facebook as soon as we’ve decided, so interested pet people should follow us!)  You can expect more heartwarming and funny stories and photos of cute pets being cuddled and coddled by their people, while you also get a glimpse of homes and city life in our next featured city.


KATHERINE CARVER: How can people learn more about you and Pet People Magazine?

HILDA GRAHNAT: We share outtakes, photos from behind the scenes, news, press articles, and other fun stuff on our Instagram @petpeoplemag and on Facebook .  On our website, you can read more about us, find local stockists worldwide and order the magazine directly from our shop.



All images contained in this interview are courtesy of Hilda Grahnat.

Around Here: August

Well, it is difficult to believe the summer is coming to an end in a few weeks.  Our pool is only open for a couple more weeks.  I can hardly believe it — the time is flying by!  Below are some items that have occurred around here in August, a busy month!

-continuing to work steadily on my project; and I have begun to draft the copy for my project.

-preparing filings with the U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

-finished reading this book — a good read!

-started reading this book — so far a good read — a recommendation from a blog reader.

-really loving the Magic Lessons Podcast!

-making dinner together with Doug — enjoying lots of yummy food on the Big Green Egg!

-started watching Mr. Robot — it is pretty good so far.

-started watching Power — it is pretty good thus far!

-enjoying more evenings together with our fur girl, Victory — she loves, loves her Hound About!

-enjoying weekends at the pool, catching up on all of my reading — I still have many books sitting on my nightstand!

-we gave Victory a bath and she looks and feels great!

-working on framing my images for the house — I am almost finished!

-celebrated our birthdays and enjoyed a visit from my parents!

-happy with the results of our wedding books via Artifact Uprising!  I can’t wait to share the other photo books I made!

-still enjoying my yoga class (and the gym)!

-gradually making progress on our to do list completed this summer.

-having date nights with Doug!  We went to Delaware and the Eastern Shore this month for some date nights with our fur girl!

-we are getting ready for our vacation in a couple of weeks!  we are really looking forward to our time away together!

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!  We are headed to the Eastern Shore this weekend with our fur girl — the weather looks like it will be gorgeous and not too hot and humid!



Victory: Photography Project — 70

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.

This past weekend we went to Newark, Delaware to celebrate our birthdays, which are only a day apart!  Before leaving for Delaware, we gave Victory a bath, to her dismay, but her fur feels so smooth and luscious!  She keeps growing her little sheltie furs, which we hope continue to grow!  The weather was gorgeous and Victory had fun walking around the University of Delaware’s campus!  We are very grateful for our fur girl!  A few photos from this weekend are shown below!

Happy Wednesday!


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Photo Books: Our Weddings

I recently made photo books of our wedding and my sister’s wedding, in addition to several more photo books.  (We already have albums from our wedding, but I wanted to make our own wedding photo books, creating narratives of this special day.)   I made these photo books through Artifact Uprising.  I think that they turned out really well.  Each wedding photo book is entirely black and white, keeping with the timeless, iconic, and elegant theme of each wedding.  There are roughly seventy images, 140 pages, included in each photo book, which are printed on matte art paper, with thick white boarders around each image, along with a partial exterior dust jacket.  (You can view the inside of a sample book here.)   Each book contains one image on the right side and a blank page on the left side.  This way, the viewer can focus on one image at a time.

It was quite an undertaking to select, prepare the images, and determine the sequence for each photo book.  However, I am very thankful that I made these books, which make wonderful heirlooms.  This item had been on my list for quite a long time, and I am really glad that this is now completed!

Now, my parents have copies of these two wedding photo books; my sister and brother-in-law have a copy of their wedding photo book; and my sister’s in-laws have a copy of my sister’s wedding photo book.  Everyone loved the photo books!  A few images of our wedding photo books are shown below!


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Victory: Photography Project — 69

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.

My parents came to visit recently and we had a really nice time together and we also celebrated three birthdays — all within four days of each other!  We went to the Eastern Shore together, and we took Nick and Victory to the dog beach.  It was very crowded as compared to the last time we recently visited the beach on the Eastern Shore.  Victory still dipped her paws in the water; however, Nick really did not care for the water!  As you can see below, he is running from the waves!  After the beach, we celebrated our birthdays by going to pick crabs!  The weather was beautiful all weekend!  We spent evenings on the deck together; and I baked a cake and Doug cooked a special birthday dinner for my Dad’s birthday, and it was delicious!

Victory was even nice enough to share her Hound About with Nick so we could take some long walks in the neighborhood together!  They got along well, and Nick is getting his own Hound About, the red one, later this month, as his little legs tire easily on longer walks.  Victory had a great time and she got lots of treats and love from her Grandma and Grandpa!

Below are some images from my parents’ recent visit!

We hope that you have a great weekend.  The weather is supposed to be beautiful here this weekend and we plan to go to Delaware with our fur girl as we soak up the last weekends of the summer!

Happy Friday!


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Sparing One Hour A Day

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Sometimes it feels like life gets in the way of what you really want to be doing.  We get so caught up in maintaining things in our every day, that sometimes it makes it difficult to build your dream.  Taking care of and maintaining work and life is important.  But in especially busy times, it is easy for months to go by without being any closer to doing the work you are passionate about.  So today, no matter how lengthy your to do list may be, just set aside one hour to work on the items that bring your closer to your dream.  Even if it does not feel like you can spare an hour a day, you can.  Take this hour a day and start doing the work to make your dream a reality — and one day at a time you can start to see progress…

What Does Your Future Look Like In Five Years?

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I was intrigued when my friend told me about a Ted Talk about drawing your dreams.  In the Ted Talk, shown below, Pat Dobrowolski explains that your ideal future begins with a drawing.  Dobrowolski’s theory is that once you draw your ideal reality, your brain finds a way to bring your ideal reality/dreams to fruition.

How does this work?  You draw exactly what you want your future to look like, and then you color your drawing with vibrant colors.  Then, your brain works away to help you make your vision a reality.  Dobrowolski says, “see it, believe it, and then act on it.”

I am going to draw my ideal future, and hopefully, my brain makes some connections!



In addition to the above, Elizabeth Gilbert recently posted the quote, “If you don’t know where you want to be in 5 years…You are already there.”  I found this quote profound.  Similar to Dobrowolski theory, taking pen and color to paper, explained above, Gilbert states that your dreams only come to be by writing them down.  Gilbert states, “Writing down your goals and dreams creates a disturbance in the universe — calls down the attention of your guiding spirits.  Writing down your goals also causes a disturbance in your own soul — wakes you up, and makes you take notice of your own desires.”

Gilbert set forth the following questions for one to answer to help guide one to his/her dreams!  So, take a moment and write down where you want to be in five years, in addition to drawing out your idea future!  Be sure to be honest, brave, and ambitious!

I completed this exercise and it was really helpful, and these questions will also help you to draw your future!

1. Who do you want to be spending your time with (romantically, or otherwise) five years from now?

2. Where do you want to be living?

3. What do you want your health to look like?

4. What do you want your creativity to look like?

5. Where do you want to be working?

6. What do you want to have put behind you by then?

7. If you are dreaming of an escape plan, what might that escape plan look like?

8. How much money will it take to make that dream come true — REALLY?

9. What are you willing to give up, in order to have what you really want?

10. Do you honestly need all the things (and people) that you think you need, or might there be a smoother, simpler way?

11. And what steps can you imagine beginning to take right now…to transport you from HERE to THERE.

Either way, five years is going to pass; and you will either be standing exactly where you are right now, or you will be standing somewhere completely new.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Dear Biscuit!

Tomorrow is Biscuit’s birthday.  He would have been twelve-years-old presuming his age was accurate when we rescued him.  However, it is very likely he was older.  We made August 8th Biscuit’s birthday as it was the day Biscuit was rescued off the streets in North Carolina where he was then taken to the Sheltie Haven Sheltie Rescue, Inc.  We rescued Biscuit from this rescue organization on January 7, 2011.

We celebrated Biscuit’s birthday in Nova Scotia during the summers of 2011 and 2012; and in 2013, we spent our last vacation together in Manchester, Vermont.  We had a wonderful time together.  Doug and I have many wonderful memories of our summer vacations together with Biscuit.  We know that Biscuit will be with us in spirit during our vacation this year with Victory.

Whenever I see a rainbow, I think of Biscuit.  Earlier this week after a good rain, the most beautiful and grand rainbow appeared over the geographic area where we previously lived with Biscuit.  We immediately thought of Biscuit.

Below is one of our favorite images of our beloved Biscuit taken in Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia.  He was so happy and he looked so handsome.

Biscuit, we hope that you have a wonderful birthday!  We hope that you are running on the beach with your sheltie furs blowing in the wind — a lovely and lasting image and memory that I will always cherish!  You are always and forever in our hearts, our sweet dear Biscuit.  Thank you for the many gifts you gave to us.  We love you and miss you very much.  Happy Birthday!


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