Conversations with Designers, Guest Blog

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT :: Introducing Marie & Sarah of “A Sea Apart: Two Sisters, Two Countries, Two Photos a Day”

We’re on a roll this week with the California + Europe collaborations! Earlier, we heard from Ma Nouvelle Mode’s Natalia (France) and Christie (California), and today I’m excited to introduce you to a favorite new blog hailing from Moldova and California, A Sea Apart: Two Sisters, Two Countries, Two Photos a Day.

Marie and Sarah, the sisters behind the photo project, are dear, wonderful people, and — an increasingly rare thing in this age of social networking — I actually can say I know them in real life! ;) It’s been far too long since I’ve seen either of them, though; Moldova, Southern California, and Florida are not exactly next door to each other. Anyway, here are Moldova Marie and SoCal Sarah (he he) to tell you a little about themselves and share a few favorite images. Thanks, girls!

Sarah - Bio Photo - A Sea Apart - Two Sisters, Two Countries, Two Photos A Day
Sarah: I am the younger, taller sister. I’m supposed to be gluten and dairy free but I never stick to it 100% until I’m sick, then I feel sorry for myself and am really good about it for a month or so. I work at an amazing website company and my office is only a 7 minute drive from my house. I enjoy and am trying to become better about cooking a gluten/dairy free meal for myself every night. If I could pick any career, it would be a stay at home Auntie! You think I’m joking, but I couldn’t be more serious. I have the most incredible nieces and nephew and I like to think I am the best stay at home Auntie in the world.

I moved to Southern California three and a half years ago to be near my sister and her newborn baby. We weren’t close before I moved but I had always known that once my sister started her family I would need to relocate and be close to them so that I wasn’t the “strange aunt they barely knew”. I eventually moved in with Marie and her family and lived with them for exactly one year before they moved away, she became my best of friends and her girls were my girls. Now, my sister has moved and taken her kids {yes and the husband} to a country on the other side of the world. Marie came up with the idea of our blog last summer. It started off as a 365 day photo project and has turned into an excuse for us to talk every single day even though we are 6,480 miles apart!

Marie - Bio Photo - A Sea Apart - Two Sisters, Two Countries, Two Photos A Day

Marie: I am the older, shorter sister. I have the eyebrow ring, she has the nose ring. I’ve managed to make two babies now with the same food allergies as me so we must have something genetic going on. Living in Moldova and successfully being gluten/corn free has it’s challenges but I’m learning. I have a handsome husband who let’s me stay crazy and crafty plus he washes a mean sink of dishes out of his love for me. I have a three year old daughter (Addy) who is smart, sassy and a developing little artist. I have a nine month old daughter (Mercy) who is currently making me go grey. She’s been crawling since five months and is currently conquering running before ten months. She also eats every thing in sight except for food.

I moved to Southern California almost seven years ago because I needed a “post-college-change.” I think what I really did was grow up and learn to be comfortable with who I was. When Sarah moved down south, I was skeptical because we hadn’t been close as kids. What followed were three crazy years of trials, tribulations and best friendships forming. Our last year in Southern California, Sarah lived with us and it was more fun than being kids again! Moving to Eastern Europe without her wasn’t quite what I imagined but capturing our daily activities with our cameras and sharing it with each other helps a lot.

Here are five of (younger, taller, Southern California) Sarah’s favorite images from the photo project so far. Click the photo to read more.
Sarah - January 3 - Baby Mercy - A Sea Apart - Two Sisters, Two Countries, Two Photos A Day January Third: Mercy.

Sarah - January 8 - Shadow - A Sea Apart - Two Sisters, Two Countries, Two Photos A Day January Eighth: Shadow.

Sarah - February 2 - Ice Crystals - A Sea Apart - Two Sisters, Two Countries, Two Photos A Day February Second: Ice Crystals.

Sarah - March 4 - Maternity Photo - A Sea Apart - Two Sisters, Two Countries, Two Photos A Day March Fourth: Maternity Photo.

Sarah - March 19 - Spencer - A Sea Apart - Two Sisters, Two Countries, Two Photos A Day March Nineteenth: Spencer.

Here are five of (older, shorter, Eastern Europe) Marie’s favorite images from the photo project so far. Click the photo to read more.
Marie January 7- Addy Princess - A Sea Apart - Two Sisters, Two Countries, Two Photos A Day January Seventh: Addy.

Marie January 12- Passports - A Sea Apart - Two Sisters, Two Countries, Two Photos A Day January Twelfth: Passports.

Marie February 26 - Soup Pot - A Sea Apart - Two Sisters, Two Countries, Two Photos A Day February Twenty Sixth: Soup Pot.

Marie March 11 - Wreath - A Sea Apart - Two Sisters, Two Countries, Two Photos A Day March Eleventh: Wreath.

Marie March 20 - Baby Mercy - A Sea Apart - Two Sisters, Two Countries, Two Photos A Day March Twentieth: Mercy.

Thank you so much, Sarah and Marie! Everyone, be sure to follow the blog, and while you’re there, leave the girls some comment love! :) You can follow A Sea Apart on Twitter, also.

Life in Photos

‘Buvoo zhh zhh ma mumm’ to you (August Photo Challenge: Day 4)

Wow, readers, you are truly wonderful. I was overwhelmed by your sweet words — and your prayers! — yesterday when I was feeling small and far away.

Aveline standing on couch in the morning - art in background is by Josiah Munsey

Today has been a blessed and peaceful day. How could it not be when it involved crepes, new striped fabric (different than what’s pictured above), and this little sweet pea giving me slobbery kisses while saying over and over “buvoo zhh zhh ma mummm”.

Pretty much perfect if you ask me.

Interesting Litter - August Photo Challenge - Day 4 - The August Break - Photo a Day - Broken Cracked Egg Shells in Soft Light

Image of eggshells, i.e., crepe aftermath: Day Four (Interesting Litter) of the August Photo Challenge.

Life in Photos

Feeling small and far away (August Photo Challenge: Day 3)

It was too much, yesterday, this sense of being so far away. I went out with Aveline, out to air-conditioned shops and pushed her around in her stroller while I looked at pretty things. And everywhere I walked, I saw friends shopping and laughing together. And I walked around, alone.

I felt small and very far away from home.

Later that night, I cried. I try not to, I really do. But sometimes, when everyone you know is either 46 hours to the west or 25 hours to the north, you just can’t help feeling a little sad.

Friendship - August Photo Challenge - the August Break - Day 3 - empty wooden chair with white cushion in corner near window with white curtains

Image: Day Three (Friendship) of the August Photo Challenge.

Life in Photos

Staying Cool in the Heat (August Photo Challenge: Day 2)

Aveline knows there’s no better way to beat the heat than with a midday siesta. While the noon sun burns hot, wilting the leaves and muting the birds’ song, she snoozes away in her bright little diaper.

Her days are spent mostly shirtless, at least while we’re indoors. When we go out,she wears a cotton hat and a sundress, and sometimes a pair of shoes from her adorable collection of mary janes.

Once papa gets home, she’ll beg him for a sip of ice water. He can’t ever resist, and lets her wet lips slobber all over the rim of his glass. I love the tiny slurping sound she makes as she gulps down little mouthfuls of water.

It doesn’t cool down at night, here. When it’s dark, the wispy hair around her ears will still be damp from sweat, and she’ll fall asleep again sprawled out atop her blankets.

Aveline in orange FuzziBunz diaper, sleeping in green IKEA Somnat crib - Staying Cool - August Photo Challenge - Day 2 - The August Break

Image: Day Two (Staying Cool) of the August Photo Challenge.

Life in Photos, Poetry & Words

God led us to this oasis (August Photo Challenge: Day 1)

It’s AUGUST. I don’t know how something like that could have happened. Funny, the chatter today about Fall being just around the corner. It sure doesn’t feel that way here. The crickets’ dusk song hasn’t slowed; one chirp blends into the next with scarcely any time at all elapsed in between. The humid air is thick and unforgiving, holding up so much water it’s a wonder the clouds don’t come crashing down around our feet. My toenails are brightly painted orange – neon, not autumnal; more like sherbet than like maple leaves. The inside of the car is scorching, and the seats burn our summer legs as we climb in.

This is not the crunchy and dry California summer. This is not the verdant green, sweatshirt-clad Midwest summer. But this is our summer. Our summer, and we are peaceful. God led us to this oasis, this palm-tree laden land where our table is filled with food, where the pool is clean and refreshing and ours to enjoy, where the row of windows in the living room look out over roads and into the sky, and not into other windows.

Sometimes, it’s hard to see that this is an oasis. Our families are thousands of miles away. I do not have friends here to laugh with, friends to share a summer afternoon with. I get lost trying to find simple places like the post office. The street signs are all unfamiliar. It is hard, sometimes. Hard to be so far away from what used to be home.

But mostly, somehow, I am peaceful.

God saw what was going on with Israel. God understood. (Exodus 2:25 MSG)

Self portrait - leather couch, sheepskin, sitting on floor - Photo a Day - August Photo Challenge

Image: Day One (Self Portrait) of the August Photo Challenge.

Life in Photos

A Photo a Day in August – Monthly Photo Challenge

[UPDATE: Many of you have found this page through Googling “photo a day August” — my guess is you’re likely either looking for Fat Mum Slim’s Photo a Day August 2013 or Susannah Conway’s August Break 2013. :)]

So, who’s going to join me in taking a photograph each day during the month of August? I had so much fun earlier this summer during the June Photo Challenge — although I disappeared to visit my family part-way through the month and didn’t complete the list. This time, I want to stick to it, rain or shine. (We get a lot of both here in Florida).

The Monthly Photo Challenge’s facebook page will be the central hub for August’s event, so be sure to hop on over to get in on the action, or check out the list of topics here. And, if you’ll be sharing your photos on Twitter, use the hashtag #augustphoto.

Close up photo of baby girl sleeping on blue and white stars crib sheet - cute chubby baby cheeks and cherub lips