People

The Women Who Formed Me

February 20, 2015

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As I learn to cope with my mother’s dwindling memory, I find myself looking back through lots of old family photos.  A part of me wishes I could remember for Mama.  Certainly, she is the woman who has formed me most.  There was a time when her mind was a steel-trap: when she could cite everyone’s full name, important dates, and all the locations of these photos.  Now, she looks at them with a vague fog and only occasionally remembers a face.  And I realize the torch has been passed to me.  I have become that steel-trap of memories for my generations to come.

The above photo captures some of the women of the Martin family of Winterville, Georgia.  Roberta, Dessie (my grandmother), Shonny, and Viola.   They were Irish-Appalachia immigrants: seamstresses, factory workers, farmers/gardeners.  Hard-working women.  These are the women who gave me my work ethic, and sense of grounded-ness.  No frills, get-it-done, hearty cooks (of the food they raised, grew, & preserved).   This is a picture from a family outing at the Martin plot in the Winterville Cemetery.  They would gather for a day or two to take care of their family’s resting place.  And there would always be a fabulous picnic prepared for after the weed-pulling, gate-mending, grass-mowing, and flower-laying that would go on. These are my people.

And then there’s this lady, whom I’ve never met, as she was deceased before I was born.  Ruth, my father’s mother, has had a huge influence on my life.  She was a first generation American, born of Austrian/Czech parents who immigrated from pre-Holocaust Austria.  The stories I’ve heard about her and the riches of old photos with which I’ve been entrusted, have made her a formative figure.  Her beauty, style, intelligence, and the free spirit she was, have all been things I’d love to emulate.  She’s my people, too.

So, I figure I’m somewhere in between. . . country and country-club.  I am so very grateful for both.

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Not so long ago, I sat in a style symposium keyed by an up-and-coming player in the fashion world.  She said something that I will never forget: that I should have my own personal team of style professionals. . . people who understand my preferences and  can navigate me through my own style evolution; professionals who know trends and classics.  Today’s blog is a shout-out to an important piece of my team: my hair stylist.  Kate is the person I’ve entrusted to take me from a naturally chestnut-brown hair to a vivid blonde; from safe-bob to razored pixie.  She’s a student of chemistry, mixology, skin tones, and coloring.  She’s the person I send a quick text-pic to saying,  “can I pull off this. . .?” We occasionally work together with mutual bridal clients, but I simply adore my Me-time with her, in her chair.  She gets me.  This is Kate Howdyshell. . .

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Photos courtesy of Alice Keeney Photography.

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Scents are Songs, Part 3: Giving the Guys some Love

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It seems there are just as many fragrances out there for men as there are for women.  And therefore, just as many opportunities to leave a lingering scentpression.  Shamelessly, these are some of my all-time faves: Ralph Lauren’s Polo Cologne.  Classic.  Enough said. Christian Dior’s Eau Sauvauge.  A bit more obscure, but referred to in The Preppy […]

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The F’in Wolf of F’in Wall Street

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Dara’s Divinity

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Wheelhouse: (from Urban Dictionary) area of expertise; a particular skill. Wheelhouse: (from Wikipedia). . . A nautical term referring to the small room located atop a boat or ship where the steering mechanism is housed.  In baseball, the sweet spot of a baseball player’s strike zone where the most power and strength can be utilized. Wheelhouse: (from iTunes). […]

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Another Piece of Tiffany & Co. in Charleston!

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If you close your eyes and try to imagine what “General Counsel for Tiffany & Co.” in New York City looked like, you probably wouldn’t conjure up this down-to-earth beauty.  But, this is her. . . meet Leigh.  One of the great minds who serves as an attorney for Tiffany.  Yes, that Tiffany. . . […]

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Hot Rockin’ Maternity Session!

September 12, 2012

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24 Karat Beauty; the Gold Standard

June 21, 2012

Diamonds?  I’ve seen a mine-full.   Pearls?  I’ve seen plenty. But it’s not every day I see a bride work precious gold into her palette and portraiture. Meet beautiful Ann; she did this brilliantly.   Then again, when working with the likes of Richard Ellis Photography, eyes, jewelry, and backdrop are going to sparkle, too. […]

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Master Gardener Jen Knows Flowers & Plants

June 7, 2012

Have you ever walked around downtown Charleston and appreciated the beauty of the exquisite window boxes that adorn some of the toniest battery addresses?  Chances are recent bride Jen may be responsible for what you are admiring. Jen is a beautiful client who was entrusted to me for her bridal portrait m/u needs by our […]

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