Camping in Flat Rock, NC

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In case you missed my complaints last year, Fall takes its time getting to the low country. Here it is the end of October and 85 degrees is still the norm. I hear you saying, “But that’s awesome! Its getting cold here and I hate it. Trade me!” But a world without real Falls and Springs is a sad, sad place to be.

Charleston has a really long summer,  a medium length winter and super teensy tiny baby Fall and Spring. Its disheartening, indeed.

This year, though, instead of waiting for Fall to come to us, we went to Fall. This past weekend we packed up our gear with another family and went camping in Flat Rock, NC. Ya’ll. The leaves. Were. Amazing. I don’t know if its because we missed most of the foliage last year, thus going so long without, or if its just a North Carolina foothills thing. The trees were really showing off their fancy duds, that’s for sure. We enjoyed and soaked it up as much as possible.

The weather was amazing: 70s during the days, 30s-40s during the nights. We sipped coffee and hot cocoa and cooked over a campfire. We wore hats and jackets and reveled in being away from the city. Nature sure does have a way of feeding the soul, doesn’t she?

We also went exploring some. I’ll share about the waterfalls we visited at a later time, though. These leaves are enough for one post. I don’t want to overwhelm you, after-all.

Penelopy Paper: Handmade Notebooks are Now Available

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If you’re anything like me, you carry a notebook everywhere. I use them for notes, thoughts, ideas, sketches, things to remember, memories, and just to generally record anything that inspires me. I have them in my backpack, my purse, by my bed, and on my book shelf.

As promised, my handmade notebooks are now available in the Penelopy Paper Etsy shop. My handmade notebooks are printed with original watercolor illustrations by yours truly. Hop on over to order yours now.

While you’re browsing, you’ll also find there is a limited quantity of notebook and flat card sets in two styles. One of each to be exact. Hurry, paper lovers, before they’re gone.

As with all of my products, any item can be customized. If you would like a specific message or name added to anything, do not hesitate to ask.

This isn’t the end of product launches, though. I have another new item coming to the shop at the end of this week. A completely original item that I can’t wait to share with you. Check back soon!

Society 6: Mermaids, Tea Cups, and Ampersands

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Hello, lovelies. Today I have some new illustrations on Society 6. If you love mermaids, tea cups, and ampersands, then there’s bound to be something you’ll love.  Both of these designs were created using original illustrations and watercolor. To see more products featuring the mermaid and tea cup illustration click here. To see what’s available using the floral ampersand click here.

What’s your favorite? Have you purchased one of my Society 6 products? If so, I’d love for you to send me a photo of it in your home to see how you’ve made a place for it.

Happy shopping!

Penelopy Paper: New Products Coming Your Way

 

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Change is in the air around here. It could be fall, it could be new job prospects, or it could just be Bill’s schedule change.  I’m still on the fence of whether I like this feeling or not. Depends on the results. Only time will tell. Any who, I’ll continue to log my thoughts and experiences in my Moleskine until its pages are full, which is going to be soon. Thankfully, my next journal is nearly complete. Well, that is unless I come up with a new design I like better.

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve already caught wind of this news. I have some new products coming your way at Penelopy Paper. I’m working on illustrated daily companions to put a little more whimsy in your life. Think planners, notebooks, and journals.

Stay tuned, boys and girls. I’m helping you fill out your Christmas shopping list.

Engagement Photos in Downtown Charleston: Lauren and Josh

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It was a Wednesday evening at the biggest table Starbucks had as I sat waiting for all the ladies to arrive. This was the first small group I ever led. A gorgeous, big eyed, curly locked dame came over to our table and asked if it was a small group. I remember being worried we were being too loud, making it hard for the college students around us to study. She said that wasn’t it, rather she was looking for a church to call her home and was hoping to get some info. I quickly pulled out a piece of paper and gave her my email address asking her to join us some time.

And the rest is history. Lauren was just one of the women who so quickly found their way to my heart at Real Life Church. She’s adorable, honest, thoughtful and has a heart for God. She isn’t even married yet and she’s already teaching me how to be a better wife.

Lauren and I once had a conversation about an old beau and whether or not it was better to settle for a good man or wait for the big, seeing stars, over the top, fireworks type love. I encouraged her to wait and then we joked about finding her Boaz for the next several months.

Needless to say, Lauren found her Boaz. Josh makes Lauren so happy and I can tell by the way he looks at her and talks to her that he is crazy in love with that girl. And how could he not be?

Last week Josh and Lauren came down to the low country for a visit. She asked me to do their engagement photos in downtown Charleston and I couldn’t say ‘no.’ We did a few outfit and location changes. The backdrop is amazing, but the subject was captivating.

Pearson’s Falls, North Carolina

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On the way home from our last trip to Kentucky, we decided to make a little side trip to stretch our legs get some fresh air, and get our toes wet. Just before crossing into South Carolina we left the interstate in search of Pearson’s Falls, North Carolina. The winding road we took to get there was almost as fun as actually being there. I love mountain roads.

It was just a 1/4 mile hike to the 90ft waterfall. We saw bugs, climbed on the rocks (which was against the rules) and splashed in the cold mountain stream. Pearson’s Falls is just one of many North Carolina waterfalls. We’re hoping to get away in October to see a couple more on a hiking and camping trip we’re planning with another family.

Being in the woods, climbing on rocks and getting my feet wet in the cool water was so good for my heart. Call me crazy, but a stream in the woods makes me feel more alive than a day at the beach does. There’s so much adventure to be had.

What’s your next adventure going to be?

Penelopy Paper: Custom Wedding Stationery

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One of the main reasons I have continued to battle homesickness (yes, still) is because of the amazing women in my life back in Kentucky. They are all so incredibly unique in manner, lifestyle and background. I miss our coffee dates, dinner dates, small groups, and girls’ nights out. I just miss them being a part of my daily life and, to be honest, me a part of theirs.

Since I’ve been gone, a few of them have gotten engaged and/or married. In September, I have the honor of standing with one of these women as she says ‘I do’ to her best friend. Jess asked me to design custom wedding stationery for the shindig. At first I was intimidated by the task. By the time the second proof was sent, though, I was in love with the process.  I designed save the date postcards, invitations and response cards for Jess. I love the bright colors and the watercolor details.

With Jess’s permission I am now offering this design, as well as a peony and vine design, to everyone through the Penelopy Paper Etsy shop. This set can be completely customized with your details and wording. You can choose to purchase the complete professionally printed set or just the digital files to print yourself.

This is the launch of a new product line in which I will continue to update along with the the Penelopy Paper notecards. If you are interested in ordering custom designed wedding stationery of your own, you can find details here.

And that’s not all, folks. Along with Fall will come another product line. This one will come along with some prizes. If you aren’t following me on Facebook, I encourage you to start so you don’t miss a beat on all things Penelopy Paper.

Folly Beach Wedding

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Last weekend I had the honor of capturing the sweetest couple’s very special day. Elise and Dale met through her sister and his cousin, whom are married. They have an absolutely adorable little girl with a personality all of her own.

When Elise asked me to photograph their Folly Beach wedding I was ecstatic. I’ve done wedding photography before, but never a beach wedding. The weather called for rain all weekend but we said our prayers and did a few rain dances. The clouds wouldn’t go away but the rain held off until we had just barely finished post ceremony photos.

I cannot wait to do another wedding. A beach wedding, country wedding, downtown wedding, back yard wedding…. I don’t care. I love it.

Want to see more? Find more of my favorite shots on my portfolio.

Charleston’s Live Oak Trees

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I haven’t shared near enough photos with you lately. My camera card hold tons of photos I’ve taken over the past few weeks, so I figured it was time to clear it off, share with you and recharge both of my batteries.

I know I’m not alone when I say its Charleston’s live oak trees and spanish moss that made me want to get married here. They’re romantic, a little eerie, but beautiful and southern as all get out. These photos were snapped in a few different locations: Battery Park [aka White Point Garden], the Angel Oak and another location on John’s Island. I just love the winding branches laced with moss.

Still up is my stash of beach and downtown pictures. More to come later. I haven’t shared anymore illustrations because I’ve been busy with some freelance clients. Keep an eye on Instagram, though.

Inside My Sketch Book – 001

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At my favorite art supply store downtown, they have these beautiful handmade sketch books I’ve been visiting, touching and turning over in my hands.  For months, I’ve thought about getting one of these perfect sized watercolor paper filled books for taking out and about for quick sketches at the parks, beaches, downtown benches and weekend escapades.

This past weekend, my charming husband got me one. Along with a small jar for caring water and a new fine point brush for small details.  I love the size and dimensions of this book. The crisp crackling i heard and felt the first time the front cover was opened was a beautiful thing indeed. After opening one cover I turned it over and made Bill open the back. I don’t know if he quite appreciated it as much as I but he at least entertained me with a good reaction.

Inside My Sketchbook will be a new on-going series I would like to keep up with. Ink, watercolor, images, words, inspiration, color, black and white, nature and objects that I want to save. These won’t be perfect pieces, of course. They’ll have errors and mistakes all over the place, I’m sure.

Ideally, I’d like to tell you I want to make it a weekly thing. However, I don’t want to commit myself to something that will likely take second, third or even tenth place to other commitments and priorities that come along.

Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.