I have written 14 books in the past 24 years and have learned and grown with each and every project. It has been an adventure, as well as a formidable and sometimes daunting process! From the flicker of a fledgling idea, to taking many of the photos myself, to the design and production all the way to traveling around the country, signing copies of my finished products – my books have been a labor of love. These undertakings have taught me so much about life, collaboration and design and have connected me with my readers, fellow enthusiasts and new friends. Almost all my books’ formats have, for the most part, been similar in the past – large-format, coffee table books with beautiful photography and my musings on that particular subject.
However, in thinking about my latest project, I wanted to try something new. I wanted to produce something more personal and closer to my heart – more intimate. Some of my most referenced books in recent times are inspirational ones with a thoughtful balance of images and words that move me, motivate me or simply make me laugh out loud (although I do love to dive into a good murder mystery when I find one). I also had a surplus of photography that I had taken on my phone of my daily life, photos that I loved but would not translate properly to a larger format book. So out of necessity, an idea for my newest volume of books was born!
There are three small volumes, housed in a jacket, based on three topics that are all passions of mine – Furry Friends, Flowers and Gardening and Feminine Touch.
Everyone knows I love animals and specifically, my pups. As a woman who did not have children, my dogs have always been akin to my kids. They are my family, my joy, my incentive to spring out of bed every morning (OK, not every morning) and my reward once I’ve made it through my checklist of daily obligations (which I rarely finish). They are my constant companions. Together, we work, play, spend time outdoors, unwind, rest, care for and comfort each other. They remind me to slow down and live in the moment and help me mend after life’s more shattering blows. Simply put, my dogs are one of the greatest loves of my life. Now please don’t misunderstand me – I have many companions of the two-legged variety whom I adore. But it is my bond with my four-legged family members that has carried me through this life.
As many of you know, my love of flowers began as a child growing up in Missouri – I would help my talented grandmother tend to her beautifully personal corner of nature! After an apprenticeship at a very high-end flower shop in Paris, my adoration of flowers was cemented. I am almost 40 years into my relationship with my gardens at Weatherstone. My garden has seen me through so many stages of my life – joys, loves, losses, heartbreak, successes, failures, illness and personal growth. No matter where I am in my journey, my garden grounds me, secures me, and makes me believe in a higher power. My garden gives me hope for the future but roots me firmly in the “now”. Nature has clever ways of reminding us to remain humble and connected when we start to veer a little in life. My gardens help me stay the course.
My final topic addresses our homes and how to bring intimacy, intention and personality into our spaces. The details or thoughtful touches in our rooms elevate not only our environment, but our moods. Glowing candlelight, a fire roaring in the fireplace, a blooming plant by a window or a well-placed bouquet of flowers from my local grocery store or corner market completes my room and gives it that Je ne sais quoi we strive for in design. It is these finer strokes that place our own signature on the spaces we inhabit and welcome others into our homes with beauty and warmth.
My newest project was self-published and printed and assembled in the USA, which was important to me. A few of my friends have previewed it and think it would make the perfect hostess gift or stocking stuffer. I’m biased since my pups are on these pages, but I tend to agree!
These books are a personal love letter to the passions that have given me my greatest joys in life. I hope you will love them as much as I adored creating them, with my readers in mind. Happy page turning and may we all find a way to bring laughter and levity into someone’s life!