Wednesday, February 19, 2014

mary grace and keegan

All photos by Frances Moulin
I've known my best friend Mary since I was five years old. That's almost 25 years of memories, laughter, girl talk, heartbreak and too many gallons of tin roof ice cream. We also started a band once, but that's beside the point. My mom has always said there two types of friends in your life: the friends who come and go, and your "heart friends" who will stand by you and be your partner in crime and confidante until the day you die. That's Mary, a tried and true heart friend.

And Mary's getting married!! To Keegan. The future Mrs. Mounce. Aren't they gorgeous? Of course Keegan got the old "you better not break her heart" speech from me in the very beginning, and he's been true to his word. They're very much in love and just get each other. And they laugh a lot, which I absolutely adore.

Taking their engagement pictures was effortless. It's this amazing feeling when you know someone so well that everything just comes out naturally, and their personalities and love for each other shine in every photo. I can't wait for their big day - a giant celebration of love and a chance for my heart friend to be with the man she loves for the rest of her life. To Mary and Keegan!!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

snow days

Snow Globe 8x8 Print by Marianne LoMonaco
And when I say snow days, I guess I mean ice days. We got a bit of a winter blast here in Dallas, and our house is literally encased in ice. It looks lovely and snowcapped, but when you step outside, your feet fail to sink in as you're walking on ice. Sheets of ice.

But here in the Moulin household, we've made the absolute best of it. Roads were shut down, businesses closed (i.e., no work) and I had just decorated for Christmas, so we were happy as clams when the storm hit. Or snug as bugs in a rug, which might be a more appropriate simile.

Here are a few suggestions that may make your snow days, should you have any, memorable and cozy - a survival kit, if you will. But not like a real one with batteries, generators and other boring items. Things that will make you warm and happy while you're hunkered down in your home for a few days.

This is Unique Tumblr
Coffee - And seasonal flavors. Warm cocoa is a great idea for when you've had two cups already and need another warm beverage to knock out the cold.

From Remodelista
Copper twinkle lights - I can't tell you how lovely they are - so playful and delicate. I have mine on a jelly cupboard wrapped around a primitive nativity scene for the holidays, but I've decided they will be displayed year-round.

Photo by Ines Perkovc, as seen on Gardenista
Firewood - By firewood, I mean duraflame logs. But firewood is way prettier.

Image via crush cul de sac
Cozy blankets, slippers, scarves and hats - To bundle up and keep out the cold. And to snuggle up while watching your favorite movie.

Image via Good Old Days
Something that resembles a sled to slide down your driveway - We tried a few items in the garage and found our leftover laminate from our kitchen redo worked best. Because we don't have sleds here in the South (and we're a resourceful people).

Little Brown Dog (Gus) and Marty McFly. Photos by Frances Moulin.
Snuggly pups - We have three, but one will do, I'm sure.

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies from Top with Cinnamon
A delicious meal, adult beverages and something sweet - We went with fried shrimp, kale chips and local beer. And chocolate chip cookie dough, which may or may not have made it to the oven.

Stay warm, my friends! xoxo

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

sweet baby kate

All photos by Frances Moulin. Edits by Monsieur Moulin.
Hi friends. This post is looooong overdue, but I have to share pics from my photo shoot with the Van Andel family and their absolutely precious, baby Kate. Brace yourselves for cute overload.

Mommy Lauren and I have been dear friends since childhood (cue memories of the tree swing, flashlight tag and living room forts). She is probably the kindest person I've ever known and she absolutely glows as a new mommy, which is more than evident in these photos - such a natural.

And I mean, come on. Look at that hair. Kate is such a cutie with a little personality all her own. I was honored they asked me to take her pictures and can't wait until she comes up with dance routines and takes over their upstairs closet to start her very own acting club. Not that we did that.

Monday, August 26, 2013

oil and cotton

Oil and Cotton, a haven for artists. All photos by Frances Moulin
During the whole "rediscovering my creative self" phase (which may or may not still be in effect...), there was a place that helped support my efforts. Tucked away in the cool and eclectic streets of Oak Cliff, Dallas lies a creative commons that appreciates and encourages the arts - in all its forms - for all ages, whether professional or novice. A quirky little space that offers weekly classes and workshops in poetry, calligraphy, abstract and watercolor painting, printmaking, embroidery and leatherworking. You can even learn to marble paper or weave a mini Navajo rug, if you like.

Such a simple and delicate tissue flower creation - would be perfect for a party or shower.
Lovely little door and clothespins for hanging masterpieces.
The first class I took at Oil and Cotton was "The Supposed Object" with artist Rebecca Carter, an 8-week adult art class that encouraged experimentation with various materials and focused on one item of your choosing. When we first arrived, Rebecca had us write on a piece of paper the reason we were taking the class - because, let's be honest, we're all seeking something. My response was (and I still have this piece of paper in my studio), "I hope to find the creative person I used to be (I miss her)." This was, of course, during a time when I was lost in the corporate world and seeking a more meaningful and artistic life. It was this class that helped push me and kick-start that journey.

The "wash your paintbrushes" station - yet so much more.
Most recently I took a photography class with photographers Derek Rankins and Matt Golden, the first class in a four-part series (find out more here). The class was all about getting to know your camera, and I learned truly valuable information, particularly since I'm a self-taught photographer. We went through the ins and outs of the DSLR camera, talked a bit about photo history, and had some time to take photos, discuss, edit and print. These guys are seriously great - extremely knowledgeable professionals who are clearly passionate about their craft. Oh, and they said next time they might bring mimosas and snacks...just sayin'.

I took this photo with Derek's macro lens. I can't even talk about how spectacular it is.
Won't you buy it for a sweet, starving artist/blogger/aspiring photographer?
Did I mention the space also has an incredible studio and sells all kinds of supplies? An absolute oasis for artists.

So inspired by that chalkboard.
A happy, little weaving project.
Oil and Cotton is owned by two artists, Shannon Driscoll and Kayli House Cusick, who are passionate about interdisciplinary arts and driven by their motivating philosophy to "make do with what you got." Isn't that brilliant, inspiring and so relevant for all of us? Because we're all scrambling to get through life, one day at a time, making do with what we've got. Oil and Cotton just may help you discover - or bring out - your inner artist so you can make that life a bit more creative and colorful.