The kit was called “The Allison” . . . how apropos. I received it for Christmas from my Grandma & Papa Larry in the 1st or 2nd grade. It was a miniature dollhouse kit. All these tiny pieces of naked wood with a book of directions that the general rule-abiding parent would follow to a tee. My dad usually adheres to his engineer stereotyping by jumping right in on any project; directions fully analyzed or not. This time was different. I guess the dainty Victorian dollhouse with an obscene amount of pieces was intimidating . . . or he was teaching me how to follow the directions? I don’t know, but I still totally blame him for all the messes I land myself in because I just jump in and hope the net appears. Anywhoo – this little dollhouse is treasured. Not only because it is seriously cool, but it represents something more. It stands as a reminder of evenings spent with my dad building & painting & gluing a bazillion tiny pieces together to create something. This dollhouse was a project. Not the kind of thing you can bust out the day after Christmas. I mean literally the last shingles went on when I was in graduate school. Yes, I’m also not ashamed to say I finished it when I was practically an adult. Never too old for a dollhouse – right??! ok, whatever.
My mom, was in charge of the interior. She has this unbelievable gift for winning in general. I used to wonder why I never won drawings, silent auctions or just any game in general like she does. Then I realized, you have to play to win. And, does she ever play. Rewind to 4th grade: she won a gift certificate to a specialty dollhouse boutique by being the 13th caller or some-something like that. (side-note. . . am I the only person in the world that thinks in “grades” instead of years? my husband thinks something is wrong with me and I need a diagnosis.) I’ll always remember picking out the tiny wallpaper, wood floor laminate & tiny white tile floor for the bath like it was for a real house. I felt all grown up, and again, it marked a special time set aside with my mom. This dollhouse came to embody a chain of memories. A slew of skills that each of my parents unknowingly nurtured. A propensity in me to make things pretty and create. It was altogether fascinating to me. Little did I know at the time, how this tiny, delicate, dollhouse would shape my taste in so many ways. There are several interesting parallels, but I’ll spare you. The dollhouse now resides in my youngest daughter’s nursery. The house is old now & it could use some new furniture & few updates. So, if my girls are willing . . . we’ll start our own little project and a new tradition with new warm fuzzies. As if my 2 year old isn’t just dying to get her hands all over that dollhouse. My only wish . . . that I had a picture of my dad, my mom & I building that little house because the memory is getting a bit fuzzy now.
So, here comes the relevant part. I didn’t even realize how symbolic this dollhouse was until I started the design process with Ashley only to update my logo a bit. The million dollar question . . . “why did you change your name?” I want to reply, “Because I did. OK!” But, really . . . the idea is to have a comprehensive brand that is congruent with my business plan and my goal to help my clients’ “feather their nests” or simply use their artwork in a way that will make them happy . . . not just sitting in a boring album or on a disc – *bleck*.
Your nest is the place you feel at home, safe & taken care of. I love my home now & it’s always my favorite place to be and my 1st choice. But, there is something to be said for going home to mom & dad and not having a care in the world. Especially once you have kids. It’s the only place where you can truly have no responsibilities. You don’t need make up, you can sleep in and you don’t even have to feed your own kids if you don’t want to. You are totally taken care of. So, this dollhouse has always been in my room no matter where my nest has been. I built it with my parents. It’s a reminder that a nest is a safe, comfy place. This idea sits at the core of what I want my clients to think about, 1) your images will serve as reminders of times and connections to your kids when their memories get a bit fuzzy, and 2) make yourself happy with a simple thing like a good piece of artwork featuring you and your family on your wall!
So, back to Ashley, not only is she the most creative and savvy graphic designer ever, I feel like I just went through years of therapy and self-analyzation to come to where we are today. Sounds a bit dramatic, but you can’t just make something truly authentic out of thin air. There has to be some substance there to work with. And you have to have help from someone who knows what they are doing. She asked all the right questions and lead me down all the right paths. And I had lots of time to sit and think. Although I feel like my ideas, personality and business plan stand as the cornerstones of my new brand, only the best design firm in my field could have dissected my thoughts and roped my tangential ideas and created something simply perfect for me. Ashley, Tyrie, and Walter together are magical . . . very wise, like some kind of ancient, mystic trinity. They bounce a raw idea around between the three of them & Ashley waves her magic wand & wah-lah!!
I’m getting to the pictures . . . because it makes me all antsy and crazy to choose just one family from the last 9 that have yet to be blogged . . . . I’m totally cheating and doing no one today.
My dear, sweet, and oh so patient clients . . . your posts are coming as soon as I get all these Christmas cards designed & orderd!!!!
So just for fun . . .
Welcome to the New blog & website for Feather Nest Photography! Check out the website PLEASE . . . I built it from scratch (with Walter’s illustrations & Ashley’s help of course) Be sure to click on the dollhouse while you’re there. And if you’re here reading all this you’d better leave me a comment below telling me how awesome the new website/blog is or I’ll come find you! Just kidding . . . but please tell me what you think. We’ve worked hard for the past 6 months to arrive here.
And, a quick little picture of the sweetest gift I received from a dear friend a couple of weeks ago.
. . . it’s a tiny nest . . . with a mommy bird . . .
. . . and two tiny pearl eggs. One for each of my little chickies. awww. I haven’t taken it off since.
no promises – but I’ll try to get everyone else blogged in the next 2 weeks!
Thank you – thank you if you read all of this rambling – I’ll make it up with lots of pictures next time!