Entries in q&a (45)

Saturday
Jun032017

q&a with makeup artist and Curvy Chic Bridal owner Rebecca Bryson

Rebecca Bryson is one of the most talented people I know she is an artist in the truest sense of the word.  The way she looks you in the face and the using magic from her box of tricks brings out all your natural beauty when she paints your face with her makeup is remarkable.  Rebecca is an incredible professional makeup artist and I recommend her constantly to brides and others needing their face done for any occasion.  She is also an entreprenuer and recently opened Curvy Chic bridal and the dresses there are heavenly.  You can connect with Rebecca on Facebook, Twitter, Insta and on her website. Or Curvy Chic Bridal on their website, Facebook, Insta and Twitter.

Who are you, what’s it like being you ...

I’m Rebecca, I am a hair and make up artist and own the only plus size bridal boutique in NI. It’s very busy being me! lol

Where are you from, where are you based ...

I’m based in Belfast, I was born in Northern Ireland, but grew up in New Zealand, returning to NI 10 years ago now.

Talk about your work ...

Primarily, I am a hair and make up artist specializing in Bridal and Editorial. I spend most of my days with brides helping them create their perfect wedding look or, working with other creatives coming up with exciting fashion looks. Secondarily, I run the only Plus Size exclusive bridal boutique in NI, Curvy Chic Bridal, helping curvy brides size 16+ find their dream wedding dress and the joyous experience of trying them all on! 


What are your future plans ... 

I’m building my empire! Lol. I love working in the bridal industry and fashion, and I want to keep building both my businesses, then retire with Colum and our dog Holly somewhere warm! In the meantime, I’ll keep my head down and keep working, I’ve recently been invited along with 39 others, for a masterclass with world renowned fashion make up artist Pat McGrath, so hopefully that will be a huge boost to my career!

How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...  

Colour, I’m a huge colour fan, I love seeing how colours mix, how they go together, even how they clash! I often find inspiration in the colours of flowers or raw pigments. I also love instagram for finding great make up inspiration as so many leading artists share their work.

Describe your space ... 

I have a studio space in my house, I think it’s meant to be a living room, but I lived the carpet and painted the floorboards a soft grey, which goes perfectly with my black and pewter chandelier and crystal wall lamps, and as I love colour so much, I have a big multicoloured art deco rug to bring in a gorgeous range of rich colours. 

How are you feeling today ... 

I feel great! I have just finished with a make up trial and I’m waiting now for my next Bride, who is coming to try on dresses, all the while planning make up for Ruth McGinely for the BBC proms. 

A non-negotiable in your life is ...

Family time. I absolutely must have time with Colum and our dog Holly, it fills me back up!

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ... 

I don’t know that I can pin point a certain quote or saying, but, I find others careers very encouraging, I think, if they can do it, then why can’t I? 


Your work life philosophy is ...

You reap what you sow. I work hard now, so one day I won’t have to!

What is your favourite smell ...  

Fresh flowers, particularly roses, I always have at least one vase of fresh flowers in the house. The popcorn smell Holly gets when she’s been sleeping. Colums beard oil. The last two bring me such comfort.

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ... 

At the minute I’m listening to Adele! I have a hugely eclectic musical taste, so it could be anything from Rage Against the Machine to Debussy just depending on the day!


Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ... 

Probably quite a simple meal, but Colum makes the best fried rice I’ve ever tasted. I love fresh vegetables, Sesame Oil and Avocado.

Three things or products that have changed your life... 

My MacBook and iPhone, as terrible as that sounds, it has given me the ability to work on the go.  Our dog Holly, she brings so much joy to our life, she’s an absolute rascal but has such a huge personality. 

 

How do you relax ... 

Spending time with family, taking Holly for walks, and going out for yummy meals!

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ... 

My family, spending time with friends. I love being wrapped up in a bunch of blankets all cozy with Colum and Holly!


What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  

A few years ago, I drove from San Franciso to LA, down highway 101, it was beautiful, the California coast is really stunning! Colum and I would love to visit South America, somewhere neither of us have ever visited. 

What do you most value in your friends ...  

Honesty and reliability. I have learnt, epically with running two businesses, that your friends can be such an amazing support structure, so it’s vital that my friends are open and honest and reliable. 

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ..

I’m ready a make up book at the minute! It’s called Face Paint: The Story of Makeup, by Lisa Eldridge. It’s fascinating for a makeup junky like myself! My favourite quote is “ I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you”, we have it on our living room wall.

Share some words of wisdom ...

Oh Gosh, I don’t feel qualified enough to give any words of wisdom! Lol. I would probably say, don’t give up. It’s cliché I know, but there is nothing more true. You will come up against challenges, some easy, some desperately hard, ask for help, there are people out there that WILL help you and get you on the path you want to be in. But whatever you do, don’t give up. Keep pushing!

 

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Rebecca, thank you for joining us at our place.

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle - Life Remarkable 

 

 

 

Tuesday
Nov082016

q&a with writer and journalist Fiona McKenzie Johnston 

It is such a joy to welcome my friend and University of St Andrews pal the fabulous writer and journalist Fiona McKenzie Johnston to the Salt and Sparkle Q&A.  Fiona has always had a superb sense of style both on and off the page.  I remember the most beautiful embroidered antique silk shawl she used to wear on nights out at St Andrews that always makes me smile. A fount of knowledge on Russian literature my conversations with her would always send me to the library to try to get to grips with this great genre. Fiona is a wonderful writer and her pieces have been featured in all the best places such as Vogue, Tatler, The Sunday Times and Russian Vogue among others.  You can find out more on her website or email her to commission a piece, or follow her on Instagram (trust me its a beautifully curated account).  Fiona it is such a pleasure to have you here today.

 

Who are you, what’s it like being you ...   

I’m a mother, a wife, and a writer – not necessarily in that order – indeed they are each roles that are re-ordered and re-prioritised, often hourly.

Where are you from, where are you based ...

I grew up all over the place – my father was in the army, we moved every year or two - but am now based in Notting Hill, in London, at least during term time. 

Talk about your work ...

I write for publications such as Tatler and Vogue Russia, on a variety of subjects.  Over the course of a fortnight I might be researching how single sex schools are dealing with transgender pupils, interviewing a major artist, actor or fashion designer, and finding out about a new scent or line of make-up and how it was made. I love that I’m always learning something new, and most of all appreciate that writing is something that has allowed me to be at home with my children when they’re little, to do the school run, and to travel, a lot (though I did more before I had children.)

What are your future plans ... 

A novel. 


How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...  

Because of the topics I write about, and because I’m interested anyway, going to exhibitions, art and design fairs, the theatre and the cinema are all regular appointments, and I often come away with new ideas.  But talking to my friends and the exchange of ideas is vital.   Mostly I’m fascinated by human behaviour.  The writers I return to most often – Evelyn Waugh, Edith Wharton, Graham Greene, Thomas Hardy, George Elliot, Laurence Durrell, Nancy Mitford – they write about people, and I love that.  

Describe your space ... 

I write anywhere – at the hairdresser, in the café at the gym, the departure lounge of an airport – but at home I write either propped up in bed, or at the kitchen table.  There’s stuff: stacks of books, jugs of flowers, ceramics, and pattern on all the curtains and chair covers and cushions – but it’s ordered. And I like a view: our flat is the top floor, so my view is of the tops of trees, and sky.  

How are you feeling today ...  

Happy. Busy.  The two are related.

A non-negotiable in your life is ... 

Exercise – most often running. It’s how I order my thoughts.


Most encouraging words you have ever heard ... 

I read them, rather than heard them.  It’s Dostoevsky, from The Idiot: “Beauty, though, will save the world.” 

Your work life philosophy is ... 

Don’t procrastinate, on either.  In the words of Marvell, “But at my back I always hear/ Time’s winged chariot hurrying near . .  “

What is your favourite smell ...  

Hyacinth, hoof oil and horse on a hot day, the heather on the Yorkshire moors just after it’s been burned, fresh bread (we have a breadmaker), Mitsouku by Guerlain.

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ...  

Leonard Cohen. I wrote my Masters dissertation to him, the first dance at our wedding was Dance Me to the End of Love, and he was who was playing when both my children were born. I saw him the year he played at Glastonbury:  the sun was going down, birds were circling overhead, I was with someone I thought I was in love with – it was perfect.  But right now, nothing is playing.  I quite like silence.


Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ... 

Lobster thermidor, spinach and sweet potato chips followed by something exceptionally decadent with a lot of cream.  As for my favourite ingredients, I really only make cakes – my husband is a brilliant cook and does everything else.

Three things or products that have changed your life... 

It transpires that I owe a lot to social media: my husband and I were at school together but had lost touch – he found me through Facebook. 

My iPhone enables me go to the beach all day with the children and still answer emails.

Finally, a little girl called Margot Martini who was almost the exact same age as my daughter, Esmeralda, but who developed leukaemia just after her first birthday.  Not only has she made me realise the enormous value of the time I spend with my own children, but her parents – who are amazing – founded a charity called Team Margot, which encourages everyone to join the Stem Cell register and then encourage just one more person to do the same, so that, in the future, other people with leukaemia will be able to find a match more easily, and have a greater chance of survival. It can be so easy to save a life.  You can go to www.teammargot.com to find out more.

How do you relax ... 

Swimming.  Or a hot bath and a good thriller.  

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ... 

The place is less important than the people – I’m happiest when I’m with my family.  But I’m absolutely at my happiest when I’m with my family on the north coast of Cornwall, which is where I holidayed as a child, and where we were this summer.  It was heaven.


What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  

I’m not sure I have a favourite, but there are certainly memorable journeys that I have undertaken, such as the Trans Siberian Railway from Moscow to Ulaan Baatar, and possibly every train I’ve ever taken in India.  It feels as though time is suspended – on the Trans Siberian because one is going through different time zones and yet the train stays on Moscow time throughout, and it’s a five day journey - and in India because one never really knows what time the train might arrive.   And also because the landscape that one passes through is so spectacularly beautiful that one almost doesn’t want the experience to end.  The East Coast line, from London to Aberdeen, has moments of staggering beauty, but because I know what lies at either end it seems less exciting.  I have more patience for journeys into the unknown; with familiar routes, the longing to arrive eclipses the enjoyment of the scenery.

What do you most value in your friends ...  

Reliability. It’s one of the most underrated virtues. 

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ... 

I love all words.  I’m currently reading about three books and five magazines and today’s newspaper, which is standard, but the books I’ve read this summer that I’d recommend are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, which is set in 1960s Nigeria during the Biafran war and is brilliant, Emma Cline’s The Girls which is set in 1960s California and centres around a Charles Manson-like cult and is brilliant, and James Hilton’s Goodbye Mr. Chips which is very short and is the story of a school teacher and his 43 year tenure at an all boys boarding school, and which is essentially perfect.

Share some words of wisdom ...

My father used to tell me that ‘the day is made, won or lost, before seven’.  My grandmother insisted every day should have a plan and an aim.  Their words echo in my ears. Thinking about it, it’s Marvell re-phrased. 

 

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Fiona it was a joy to have you at our place, thank you for hanging out with us.

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

 

 

 

Tuesday
Nov012016

q&a with Mummybird


1. Who are you, what’s it like being you ...
 I am Mummybird to three boys. All have additional needs that require 24/7 care. To include type 1 diabetes, autism & epilepsy. I am mum, wife, carer, crafts woman, photographer, over thinker, coffee addict!
2.  Where are you from, where are you based ...
I live a few miles north of Cambridge in a fenland village. I run a market stall in the heart of Cambridge on an arts & crafts market.
3. Talk about your work ...
I started making Jewellery around 17 years ago...after spending a small fortune on necklaces for myself! I make vintage style Jewellery using various quotes, characters & other media. 
4.  What are your future plans ...  
I want to set up something where I can employ my boys after they've leave their special school. Something along the lines of a small holding/petting farm and a tea room with gift shop with local produce/crafts
5.  How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...  
My inspiration is thought my children. through the battles they face. Dr Seuss is featured heavily in my pieces! I find words to be so powerful, hence the use of them in the majority of my pieces.
6.  Describe your space ...
I have a little workshop in my garden. It has antique furniture, bunting (lots), a beautiful Roberts radio to listen to. It's quite a sanctuary!
7.  How are you feeling today ... 
I am feeling blessed today. I have just returned home from a successful and very lovely day at the market
8. A non-negotiable in your life is ...
I can't really think of a non negotiable other than that I would never let anything or anyone come before my children 
9.  Most encouraging words you have ever heard
 'She believed she could, so she did' -Kobi Yamada (so apt in so many areas of my life!)
10.   Your work life philosophy is ... 
Cram in work where I can. The kids will always come first. But there is something decadent about working in the wee small hours. Work hard for what you want!
11. What is your favourite smell ... 
Coffee
12. Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ...
I love Hozier, classical, disco, anything really!  sadly at the moment, all I can hear is Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom via an iPad 
13.  Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ... 
I love seafood and fish. Garlic, lemon & salt 
14.  Three things or products that have changed your life...
The three things that have changed my life: children of course ;-) wouldn't have it any other way....well....maybe a little more help! 
15. How do you relax? 
I like a lovely glass of wine, but that's my limit. Sam (youngest son) suffers with epilepsy and can have a drop seizure at any time. I have to have my wits about me. I find photography is probably the way I most unwind...its when I'm simply 'Claire' 
16. What makes you happy - where is your happy place?
So many things make me happy and I find a happy place in so many places! Saturday's is a respite day for me when I'm at the market, yet, I'm so happy when I'm surrounded by my beautiful boys.
17. What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...

Just returned from the Scottish highlands. I'm desperate to return there, on a 'proper' wildlife tour! I would love to go to Iceland & Alaska...the list goes on and on and on.....
18. What do you most value in your friends ...
I most value my friends time. Their shoulder and ear.
19. What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now .... 
 I love so many books and I am a hook hoarder! I have around 24 unread! I am currently reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon anything that might relate to history, and I'm there!!! 
20. Share some words of wisdom ...
Have courage & be kind   

 

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Claire - it has been a joy to have you at our place, thank you for hanging out with us.  It is wonderful to start our new series of q&a interviews with yours, check back soon to hear from artists, journalists, designers, makeup artists and musicians.

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

Monday
Aug292016

q&a with body worker and yoga teacher Sarah Lynch 

It is a joy to welcome the beautiful Sarah Lynch to our Salt and Sparkle q&a.  Sarah is an incredible lady who I connected with earlier this year and it felt like I had already known her for a long time, we share a love of books and gardens, music and movement.  Talented, gentle, peaceful and with a fierce joie de vivre, Sarah is a pleasure to spend time with.  I have the privilege of taking her yoga class at Flow Studio Belfast - I highly recommend you taking one of her classes or trying a Go Slow workshop.  Sarah's passion for her life, her friends/family and work is invigorating.  She is a joy to spend time with.  Follow her on Instagram or Facebook, or book a session with her via email.

Who are you, what’s it like being you ...

Sarah Lynch. Very excitable, passionate, obsessive, straight talking, music-loving, and opinionated…this could be a long list.  I’ll quit while I’m ahead.

Where are you from, where are you based ...

I was born in Canada, lived in various parts of America, and then spent most of my time on this island on the North Antrim Coast.  Met my amazing husband and I’m now tripping the light fantastic from North Belfast. ;)


Talk about your work ...

I spend the majority of my work time as a Thai Bodyworker & Massage Therapist. I also teach yoga.  I love it.  If I am not working, I’m reading about the body/yoga/meditation.  The Thai tradition is so rich, and has so many cris-crosses with yoga, so I really enjoy exploring how the two healing disciplines overlap. 

That was the departure point for me, when Denis and I started working on Go Slow.  The collaboration started as a one off- something different to explore with Denis, for whom I have no words:  I love him that much!  And then we both independently felt that Go Slow offered us as teachers and therapists so much- it’s a project that simultaneously gives me excitement and confidence, and yet pulls me out of my comfort zone.  It has a very special place in my life.

What are your future plans ...  

I am starting my Iyengar Teacher Training in August: very exciting! 

I continue to train with senior Thai Massage teachers in Thailand, France and London- there’s no end to learning in this field.

I want to explore the work that we do in Go Slow on a longer periods of time, how we can facilitate lasting change in our bodies and minds by shifting our perception.

I’d like my garden to look more like Chelsea Flower Show than it currently does.  


How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...  

Flip, what doesn’t inspire me.  Things that inspire me outside of work are gardening, knitting, playing the piano (poorly), reading.  I have a lot of hobbies.  

My husband Eamonn.  He really knows himself very well- this inspires me, as sometimes I feel like I don’t know myself enough.  My piano teacher Claire.  My yoga teacher, another Claire. My family.  I have a lot of great folk around me.

Describe your space ... 

Messy.

How are you feeling today ... 

Peaceful & Excited.

A non-negotiable in your life is ...

Coffee and Merle Haggard (and taxes it would seem)

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ... 

Never Settle 

Your work life philosophy is ...

Be here now

What is your favourite smell ...  

Patchouli

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ... 

In the car I have Junior Brown, in the house I have Guy Clark at this moment in time. Love Bert Jansch and Richard Thompson.  Too many to mention.

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ... 

Impossible. The hardest question yet!   I love sushi, blue cheese, and panna cotta.  (on separate plates) 

Three things or products that have changed your life... 

Blue tooth speaker, my yoga chair, skype/whatsapp (we are a spread out family) 


How do you relax ...

Reading.  To the point it’s antisocial.  

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ...

My home.

What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  

Thailand has a special place in my heart.  I’d most like to visit Japan.

What do you most value in your friends ... 

Their acceptance of me.  Love. Loyalty.  Fun.  Laughter.  Support. Loyalty

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now .... 

My favourite word is Tapioca.

I am reading Edna O’Brien’s The Little Red Chairs, which is absolutely superb, and definitely my book of the year so far.

Share some words of wisdom ... 

Hhhmmmmm.  That’s a hard one: Be thankful, tomorrow’s promised to no one.  That, and, Go slow… of course!

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Sarah, it was lovely to have you at our place for the Salt and Sparkle q&a, thank you for hanging out with us.

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday
Aug182016

q&a with photographer Richard Wade

It is a joy to welcome the photographer Richard Wade to the Salt and Sparkle q&a.  Rich is a talented photographer who sees more than what is in front of him, his vision allows him to capture the image that tells the story.  His work is fresh and vibrant.  With clients including The Financial Times, Magnum Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, BBC, RTE, Surface Magazine, his pictures are gaining great traction.  You can check out his work on his website Rich Wade, connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or email him to book him for an assignment, he's based in New York City.

Who are you, what’s it like being you ...

I’m Richard Wade and I’m a photographer. I ‘ve found what I want to do in life so that’s pretty cool. You can check out my work on my website

Where are you from, where are you based ...

I am from Belfast but have just relocated to Brooklyn. I am studying an MFA in photography at Parsons New School in Manhattan

Talk about your work ...

My work has quite a lot of variation, but at its heart it’s a study of people and their rituals. I like making pictures in places that I wouldn’t otherwise go. I make personal work for shows and also work editorially for different publications. 


What are your future plans ... 

My future plans involve a lot of picture taking, travelling and the continued development of my art practice and business. I hope to continue exhibiting my work on a larger scale, especially in New York. I also plan on opening a studio at some point.

How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...  

I am inspired by people who are ambitious and make their own path in life. A lot of the subjects in my pictures are people who I have been drawn to. I liked all the boxers I met during my project. They get punched in the face and keep going. 


Describe your space ... 

I send lots of emails so anywhere with WIFI and hot drinks. I also like to be out my house a lot, it stops me getting lazy. 

How are you feeling today ... 

Today I am tired. I was out late last night photographing.  


A non-negotiable in your life is ...

Exercise. Without it I can’t function. 

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ... 

“You’re a f---ing idiot.” Having something to prove has encouraged and motivated me more than anything else. 


 Your work life philosophy is ...

Be obsessed and love it. Have high expectations and a work ethic to back it up. 

What is your favourite smell ...  

Pizza.


Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ... 

I really enjoy Hans Zimmer and movie soundtracks. Right now I am listening to M83 Reunion.  

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ... 

Always pizza! Eggs, sourdough bread and bacon work well to. 

Three things or products that have changed your life... 

My MacBook Pro, Fender Strat and camera.  

How do you relax ... 

I like to binge watch YouTube and sit in coffee shops. I also love to work out!

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place 

I love to set goals and achieve them. I love when something I have worked on for a long time comes off. It’s still hard to process that I made it to America after working towards it for so long.  

What is your favorite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  

I love travelling to the States. I would love to visit Tokyo!

What do you most value in your friends ...  

Support. It’s great to have people who believe in you!

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ... 

 “Problems are inevitable, misery is optional.” Right now I am reading the Big Short by Michael Lewis. 

Share some words of wisdom ...

Don’t set any limitations. Go after what you want. If you fail it’s a good sign, keep going. Although cliché I would tell people that anything is possible if you work hard. Push outside your comfort zone. Also Exercise! 

 

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Thank you for stopping by Rich it was great to have you at our place.

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

Wednesday
Aug032016

q&a with Rachel from Arbee* cards

I am delighted to Rachel from Arbee* cards, it is a joy to interview her for the Salt and Sparkle q&a.  Rachel's work is beautiful, thoughtful, creative and inspiring, her work brings together colour and vintage, pretty paper and things in a quirky and fun way.  She designs exquisite wedding stationery, cards, brilliant paper goodies and other fun products, check out her work on Instagram, and Facebook - shipping worldwide, you can order from Arbee by shooting Rachel an email or visit her stall at St Georges Market Belfast, on a Saturday.

Who are you, what’s it like being you ...

Rachel, owner & designer at arbee* stationery & design. I’m a busy, creative, thoughtful, content, stressed, coffee-drinking stationery fan with a BIG thing for fonts and vintage/antique design.

Where are you from, where are you based ...

I’m originally from Bangor, now living in Belfast.

Talk about your work ...

I’ve been making & crafting everything I could lay my hands on ever since I was very little and eventually became something that other people asked me to do for them too. I started out making wedding stationery, greeting cards and everyday stationery, which has now grown from selling locally from my stall at St George’s Market, Belfast, to customers worldwide, working with other businesses & stockists, and developing my product ranges. I still make sure that I always allow the time to make one-off totally custom greeting cards for customers for special occasions. It’s where it all started and I love that I play a tiny part in someone’s special milestone.

What are your future plans ... 

Immediate plans are to widen the range with new products and design ranges and to grow my stockists throughout the UK, Ireland and beyond. I aspire to stationery designers like Emily McDowell who have created a successful worldwide brand that still has so much of her own personality in the designs. 

How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...  

When you’re creative, it’s hard not to find some kind of inspiration everywhere. I adore the illustrator Edward Gorey (if you don’t know him, look him up!) A couple of hours in the Ulster Museum always inspires me.


Describe your space ... 

My studio - old wooden floorboards, big old worktable, lots of daylight, little bits & pieces everywhere, surrounded by piles of artisan paper waiting to be turned into things.

How are you feeling today ... 

Tired but happy! Busy day but I love it when I’m able to tick things off my to-do list. It’s Friday so I’m about to chill out for the evening before another Saturday at the market. 

A non-negotiable in your life is ...

No ‘Comic Sans’. Ever. Seriously.

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ... 

“No, you can’t do that.” Nothing better or more motivating than a challenge ;)

Your work life philosophy is ...

Work hard, be honest & fair, go with your gut and be yourself.

What is your favourite smell ...  

Vanilla, cinnamon, freshly baking anything, freshly brewed coffee and turf fires. Preferably all at the same time!


Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ... 

I love the radio, BBC 6music or Desert Island Discs podcasts. Something loud like The Pixies or something quiet like Joni Mitchell or Neil Young.

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ... 

Sushi or a good stonebaked pizza.

Three things or products that have changed your life... 

Sad to say my iphone. Mobiles are very invasive in life, but I love that it’s a radio, a camera, calendar, dictionary, always there in my pocket. The iconic red & black HB pencil and quality notebooks by Moleskine &  the Japanese brand Midori.

How do you relax ... 

Ideally a day trip somewhere by the coast with sunshine and a breeze. Music (currently rediscovering all my old vinyl - bliss!) films, books, museums, eating out, good coffee and good company.

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ... 

See above!


What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  

Japan - it looks like the most interesting place. I’d eat sushi all day and be in stationery heaven, the Japanese have stationery design & paper-making down to the finest highest art.

What do you most value in your friends ...  

Their intelligence, humour, kindness and being able to be completely myself with them, as they are with me. Good people!

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ... 

I’m usually reading some Stephen King at any given point, I love his work.


Share some words of wisdom ...

‘If a situation is stressful, don’t worry. Think of a solution. If there’s no solution, there’s no point in worrying.’ - Dalai Lama. I read this recently and it’s really changed my approach to looking at things. 

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Thank you Rachel, it has been a joy to have your at Salt and Sparkle.

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Jul202016

q&a with photographer Hallie Westcott

It gives me great joy to welcome my friend the fabulous Hallie Westcott to the Salt and Sparkle q&a.  Hallie is a beautiful person, a storyteller and chased of light who I had the honour of connecting with a few years ago.  A phenomenally talented photographer, Hallie specialises in lifestyle and portraiture photography, her work is modern and bathed in glorious light.  

Every time I look at one of her images I am inspired by how it captures its subject, the light and her talent.  We share a love of the 50mm lens.  Hallie encourages me to take better photographs. I am so excited to share her work with you. 

Hallie is based in Connecticut of the USA, you can check out her work her, book her for a session, (which I hope to be able to do next time I am in the states!) and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Who are you, what’s it like being you …

I am a single mom to four children, three of whom are grown and one 10 year-old I homeschool.  I take care of two elderly parents, one who is almost blind and another with a brain injury caused by a brain tumor in 2003.  And lastly, I am a photographer. I guess you can imagine it’s a lot of work to be me.  I carry a lot of responsibility.  

Otherwise, I am very introspective. I love to know what makes people tick.  I am somewhat of a perfectionist; fairly optimistic and I love to laugh.  I am also very straightforward and am known for being quite sarcastic.

I think I see life from a “cup half full” perspective and realize that tomorrow’s a new day.  I believe that view is from overcoming many serious obstacles, which have made me stronger and more resilient.  In some ways, these things have made me tougher than I ever wanted to be, or maybe...should’ve ever had to be.

 Where are you from, where are you based …

I am from The US and was born and raised in Connecticut, about 2 hours from NYC.


Talk about your work …

I have been a portrait photographer for seven years and I love my job.  I get to meet incredibly interesting people, which I really enjoy.

 What are your future plans ...

I’m sure you have heard the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, just tell Him your plans.”  That is really the way I look at life.  I have a lot of things I would like to do, but I know better than to make definitive plans, as life usually throws something completely different at me when I least expect it, so my plans are usually impulsive.

 How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...

I am inspired by people, their expressions, pain, laughter, sadness, the inner wounds that no one else can see, but I know are there because we all possess them.  I am inspired by people who are driven, just like me.  I am inspired by colors, light, quiet time, rolling clouds and the sea.

Describe your space ... 

My space is light and bright, a lot of white with pops of bold color. I’m not a fan of dark colors because they make me feel confined.

How are you feeling today ... 

It’s raining heavily and isn’t supposed to stop for a week, so I’m a little gloomy and tired, and a little sad that summer is over.  


A non-negotiable in your life is …

Honesty and communication, which I believe go hand in hand.

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ...

“You’re the strongest person I know."

Your work life philosophy is …

Work smarter, not harder, so I will have time to enjoy life and my family.  I don’t like it when the two collide.  Unfortunately, often times they do.

What is your favourite smell ...  

Right now, Thai basil.

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ...

Amos Lee’s “Chill in the Air” is playing right now.  I really like musicians who are soulful in sound and lyrics, such as Van Morrison, and Ray Lamontagne and Susan Tedeschi. Though, I have a very wide range of music tastes and grew up listening to everything from Bluegrass to the classical.

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ...

I’m not sure if I can pick just one meal, but one of my favorites is Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili.  My favorite three ingredients are coconut milk, salt and cheese of any kind.

Three things or products that have changed your life...

Tea.  My teapot.  My teacup.

How do you relax ...

I’m not sure if I know that word.  Though, if I really want to relax, I walk in the woods or work in my garden.

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ...

I think happiness is highly overrated, but joy is not.  Joy comes for me when I sit quietly, with tea in hand and gratefulness is realized.


What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  

If I had to pick one place to go that’s out of reach at the moment, it would be Israel.  I think it would be life changing.  Within reach it would be to the mountains or to the sea.

What do you most value in your friends …

Nothing feeds my soul like good conversation with a close friend, so I guess having friends that are good talkers as well as listeners is the thing I value the most.  Otherwise, honesty, intimacy and humor are at the top of the list.

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now

Right now I am reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, though I have been reading it for quite some time.  There is not a lot of time for reading, even though I have been an avid reader most of my life. Favorite words: ”We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” CS Lewis

Share some words of wisdom …

Stop worrying about what others think about you.  Start looking for Truth and live it.  You will never feel good about yourself from compromising your absolutes for the sake of being liked.

 

.............................

Hallie, thank you for hanging out at our place, it sure has been good to have you here.

That's it for now ...

 

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable