Guest Blogger: Tracy Porter’s Countryside Poetic Wanderlust

November 18th, 2013

Tracy Porter Poetic Wanderlust

Photography Credit: Tracy Porter

Please join me in welcoming to our blog, savvy business woman and beloved wife and mother, Tracy Porter. From home décor to fashion, Tracy is the mastermind behind signature, emotionally engaging designs that capture a spirited blend of modern and soulful whimsy.  Today she offers a glimpse inside what most inspires her creativity in the design process: authentic countryside living with her husband John, and their four rascally boys.

My Poetic Wanderlust

I’ve lived in the country for most of my life, save a few years in Paris, France and another few in Chicago. It seems my heart strings yearn endlessly for the kaleidoscope of inspiration I find that the country lifestyle offers. I see the poetry in simple things around me — the pod of pregnant seeds ready to drop or the brilliant sunrise that startles me each morning as her golden tones create an exuberant burst from the top of the mountains then fall lazily over the dew covered meadows. My spirit feels free, my senses absurdly awakened. Living a life in the countryside is as unexpected as it is breathtaking, but always inspirational.

My husband, John, and I moved our family from the beautiful Wisconsin countryside to the sunny mountains and meadows of California a few years ago. We were craving a warmer climate and more of a year-round outdoor lifestyle. We have found our geographical heart in the charming Santa Ynez Valley.

We work and live on a small, enchanting ranch that overlooks two wondrous mountain ranges. Each morning, I open my studio doors to take in the views and say my hellos to our small flock of hens, goats and alpaca, some of which can be found lingering on my studio deck — they often pop in for a peek around, too!

My days are spent designing a range of delicious goods, from tableware and bedding, to wall art and luggage. All of my designs are soulful, enchanting and kissed with a bit of Bohemian elegance. I am (I will admit) obsessive about creating designs that are literally a feast for the eyes. It is pure joy for me and my true passion. Being as close to nature’s song as possible allows my soul to sing, stirs my emotions and inspires my desire to explore, evolve, and constantly keep my mind and heart open to the newness that each day brings.

Tracy Porter flower garden

One of my favorite things about having a countryside studio in California is that several times a day I meander outside for an eye-full of goodness. I will often take few liberating moments in our wildflower garden to poke around and a wee sit in the pasture to give our menagerie of critters some treats.

I find inspiration comes in many forms but my beloved countryside seems to provide my senses with an utterly delightful and alluring bit of poetic wanderlust that keeps me endlessly addicted to her whimsy and opulence.

 

10 Facts that Explain the “Wander” in Wanderlust:

1. I did not go to college. Instead, four days after I graduated from high school I moved to Paris, France, with a plane ticket I had won in a contest. I stayed for nearly two years.

 

2. I collect words. I have for over twenty years. I find new words all the time. I am constantly looking. I like that word collecting is free and ever inspiring.

 

3. My willingness to embrace change, evolve and believe in myself are a few of the things that I would point to that have lead to my happiness in life.

 

4. I have, on various occasions, failed miserably in my career, but I view it as a gift. It’s for sure the hardest and most humbling thing to go through. I am grateful we live in a country that values entrepreneurs and second chances.

 

5. I love dancing. A good tune can take me away….

 

6. If I were to book a plane ticket in the next fifteen minutes to a fantasy destination, it would be to Istanbul. I definitely need to go there this year.

 

7. When I was eighteen years old, I spent two weeks on a Greek Island. No hotel…just the beach and a backpack.

 

8. I have been married for twenty two years to the loveliest man in the world.

 

9. One of my very favorite words is “enchanting.”  I try everyday to live my life as authentically enchanting as I am able to.

 

10. I don’t accept things that just are the way they are. I like to challenge conventional thinking on most levels, bringing a different perspective and thought-process.

***

Thank you so much Tracy for offering a lens into your beautiful, enchanting lifestyle.

To read more about her inspiring journey in turning her passion into a profession, check out Tracy Porter’s feature article in Where Women Create Business Summer 2013.



Sarah Uncategorized ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Photography Credit: Tracy Porter Please join me in welcoming to our blog, savvy business woman and beloved wife and mother, Tracy Porter. From home décor to fashion, Tracy is the mastermind behind signature, emotionally engaging designs that capture a spirited blend of modern and soulful whimsy.  Today she offers a glimpse inside what most inspires her creativity […]

Countdown to Christmas: Getting the Hang of a New Advent Calendar

November 15th, 2013

Advent Calendar Stampington

Primitive Hanging Advent Calendar

Vanessa Spencer reveals how to put a spin on tradition by reinventing the age-old advent calendar in this rustic countdown to Christmas project.

 

For an element of surprise, you can fill each day with candy, embellishments, or other little trinkets, to make counting down the days to Christmas extra sweet.

 

*Follow along with us on Instagram starting December 1st as we reveal daily gifts for our blog subscribers!

***

Materials Used:

Art Supplies

 

Art Supplies

***

About the Artist: Vanessa Spencer, Stampington & Company’s Shoppe Manager

 

Vanessa Spencer

– Has an addiction to finding and creating with vintage materials

– Australia native (and still has the lovely accent to prove it)

– Mommy to two adorable little ones, Izzy and baby Brin



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Primitive Hanging Advent Calendar Vanessa Spencer reveals how to put a spin on tradition by reinventing the age-old advent calendar in this rustic countdown to Christmas project.   For an element of surprise, you can fill each day with candy, embellishments, or other little trinkets, to make counting down the days to Christmas extra sweet.   *Follow […]

Guest Blogger Christen Olivarez: When a Girl Says “I Do”

November 11th, 2013

Please join me in welcoming to our blog, Director of Publishing and savvy creative, Christen Olivarez. Today she offers a glimpse inside an exciting new season of her life filled with wedding planning blisses (and some misses.) From venue choices to guest lists galore, after making a few wrong turns, Christen finds herself at what seems to be a dead end. But with time and a wise word from a friend, she finally finds what she had been searching for all along: the recipe to achieve a simple, authentic gathering amongst loyal friends and loved family.

Christen Olivarez: Wedding Accessories

Photo Credit: Johanna Love

When A Girl Says I Do

A funny thing happens when you get engaged. People come out of the woodwork to share their opinions on what you should do for your wedding. Venues are recommended, caterers are referred — everyone has something to say, and it’s all a bit overwhelming.

Last year, my then-boyfriend and I attended a lot of weddings. By a lot, I mean that virtually everyone within our circle of friends got married. Each wedding was very different, and we found ourselves commenting on what we would like or wouldn’t like, should the big day ever come for us. We were very much in agreement on what we wanted: a small, intimate, backyard celebration.

Flash-forward to this past June, when on a trip to Portland to celebrate our eight-year anniversary, I was proposed to while taking a stroll through the park to escape the sudden downpour of rain. Suddenly I found myself looking up venues, planning a monstrous guest list, and crunching an ever-growing budget. All previous plans of small and intimate were out the window, and my patient fiancé seemed to be on board.

It wasn’t until a month after we booked a venue that I started to have second thoughts. I found myself adding people to our guest lists just to fill the space. More guests meant more food, which meant an even bigger budget. Something didn’t feel right, and I was on the verge of a panic attack.
It was my future mother-in-law who saw the anxiety I was experiencing who simply asked, “Why don’t you just do it at home, the way you always wanted to?” I looked at my fiancé and asked him if he thought we could really do it. He took this opportunity to tell me that he was much happier with the original plan and would prefer to go that route. As I did some quick planning in my head, I instantly felt the panic leave my body. We could do it. Our backyard was big enough. And heck, if I had it at my home, I had complete creative control over everything. I was in.

So I am now in the middle of planning a very small backyard wedding that will take place on Memorial Day Weekend. Our yard isn’t anything special, but it will be. Yes, I’m sure people will still wish we opted for a bigger, more conventional wedding, but what I’ve learned is this: You have to do what is right for you. Sometimes you just have to shut out everyone else and do what sits right with your soul.

 

About the Artist:
Christen Olivarez is the Director of Publishing for Stampington & Company and editor-in-chief of Somerset StudioSomerset LifeMingleHandCrafted, and Artists’ Café.Interests: art, slow food, writing, books, yarn, authentic living

Follow Christen on Her Blog: thedeliberatelife.typepad.com



Sarah Uncategorized ,,,,

Please join me in welcoming to our blog, Director of Publishing and savvy creative, Christen Olivarez. Today she offers a glimpse inside an exciting new season of her life filled with wedding planning blisses (and some misses.) From venue choices to guest lists galore, after making a few wrong turns, Christen finds herself at what seems […]

Free Article Download: Voice of Your Soul

November 7th, 2013

Voice of Your Soul Article Download

“In my experience, the most important and hardest step in creating art is to sit at the table and begin. If you show up at your table every day, inspiration will always join you. Don’t wait. Begin now.” – Karen Grunberg

Discover new techniques to inspire your art journaling aspirations with this free article download by the talented Karen Grunberg. Learn how to overcome procrastination and find inventive ways to express yourself in a bright mixed-media fashion.

Click here to download the free article, “Voice of Your Soul,” originally featured in Art Journaling Winter 2013. This edition is chock full of artistic tutorials like how to create journal pages using 3-D elements and tips on how to transform blank pages into vivid backgrounds with paints and stamps.

You may also be interested in: Somerset Studio │ Mixed-Media Stamps by Pam Carriker

Is there a creative professional you’re absolutely eager to learn from? Comment below and we’ll do our best to spotlight the most requested artist as our next guest here [On the Blog].

With Somerset Place love,

Blog Writer

Comments? Ideas?

Contact me: blog@stampington.com



Sarah Art JournalingFree DownloadsHow-To Project Tutorials ,,,,,,,,

“In my experience, the most important and hardest step in creating art is to sit at the table and begin. If you show up at your table every day, inspiration will always join you. Don’t wait. Begin now.” – Karen Grunberg Discover new techniques to inspire your art journaling aspirations with this free article download […]

Guest Artist Tricia Whitmer: How Smartphones and Instagram can Leverage Your Photography

November 4th, 2013

Tricia Lee Photography

Please join me in welcoming to our blog the lovely and talented Tricia Lee Whitmer: brilliant photographer, frozen yogurt fanatic, and guest artist published in Artful Blogging Autumn 2013. Today she shares how Instagram has transformed her photography and gives practical tips to inspire image-capturing moments.

***

For years, since I started this photography business, I’ve filled my workload by photographing people and the real emotion that takes place on a day-to-day basis in their lives and relationships.  Although it will always be the heart and soul of my business and what brings me the most joy, I have recently found myself surrendering to the instant gratification of iPhone photography and Instagram.

Instagram has allowed me to connect with so many creative people and experience the magic of their faraway places around the world in a way that is completely different than other social media outlets simply because of their photographs. I have often failed at a 365 Project or even a 52 Project, but using my iPhone has allowed me the opportunity to finally enjoy doing a photo a day and it has even changed my creativity when I am shooting with my DSLR.

But the reason that I am most smitten with Instagram is because I’ve found that since I’ve been using it, I am much more aware of how filled with loveliness my life is. When you start looking for beauty and whimsy and grace to share with others you find them all in abundance. Instagram reminds me to capture, share and be grateful for this amazing life that I get to live!

Although nothing will ever compare to my love for the people that I capture on a regular basis, a little iPhone creativity is a fantastic creative outlet.

***

If you too find yourself cheating on your DSLR for that quick glimpse of life, work, or surroundings that you can capture with your Smartphone camera, then we would love to follow along on your adventures on Instagram — please comment below with your Instagram name and use #Stampington in your photos!

Do you have other interesting tips that have helped inspire your photographs? Please share with your fellow creatives by commenting below.

For daily Instagram inspiration, follow along with us here:

Stampington on Instagram



Sarah Artful LivingHow-To Project Tutorials ,,,,,,,,,,

Please join me in welcoming to our blog the lovely and talented Tricia Lee Whitmer: brilliant photographer, frozen yogurt fanatic, and guest artist published in Artful Blogging Autumn 2013. Today she shares how Instagram has transformed her photography and gives practical tips to inspire image-capturing moments. *** For years, since I started this photography business, I’ve filled […]