when I can’t sleep

I am a night owl. I do my best thinking, writing (and sometimes self destructing) in the night. Tonight I decided to journal and put together a few of the pictures I’ve been virtually collecting of what’s been inspiring me lately: flowers.

I tried my hand in floral arrangements lately with a few styled shoots/weddings and I am hooked. Line. Sinker.

Sometimes I don’t understand how nature has the capacity to be so awe inspiring.

 

 

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XO, K.

WCW// non-profit starter.

“Since that day that is nothing anyone could ever say to convince me that one person cannot change a nation. One person can do unbelievable things. All it takes is that one person who’s willing to risk everything to make it happen.” Sam Childers

I grew up along side Sarah. And by grew up, I mean got in trouble with her for many years of my life. We both loved a well executed prank, giggling at inappropriate times, and having a well-humored disregard for the rules. Sarah has never been wedded to the need to live a “normal” life, which is something I wildly appreciate about her. Recently, we spent a few hours on the phone catching up about all of our recent adventures. I was mesmerized by this woman who sold everything (like THREE TIMES) and went out to change the world. She and her husband decided to create a non-profit, Educate Nica, where they globe trotted around to pursue a unique bond of marriage and a dream to break the cycle of poverty in Nicaragua.

Without further ado, please introduce yourself.

I am Sarah Davis. My favorite word to describe myself is redeemed. I love flowers, sunshine, aesthetics, jokes, adventures, getting lost in the music, helping people recognize their light within, and life with my husband, Joshua. I’m passionate about fighting for the underdog and I also have a passion for creativity and self-expression. I try to live authentically and never let anything hold me back from pursuing my dreams. I am a wife, an amateur artist, and the Founding Executive Director of Educate Nica.

Tell us a bit about where you grew up and have been recently living.

Born and raised in the DFW metroplex, did life with a lot of great people in San Francisco for almost year, got married and rented a home in Hawaii for the first six months of our marriage, currently residing in Over The Rhine, Cincinnati, but we will be relocating to San Diego (to live permanently) this December. 🙂

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A LITTLE ABOUT EDUCATE NICA

What is educate nica?

Educate Nica is a non-profit organization that helps impoverished children throughout Nicaragua gain a successful education so that they can break free from generational cycles of poverty and live fulfilling and prosperous lives. We’ve currently incorporated our program in four villages in rural Nicaragua and have already helped fund nearly 100 impoverished students’ education through our student sponsorship program.

What’s the story behind you and your husband starting Educate Nica?

Well first I’d like to say a little about Joshua and I’s working partnership: When Joshua and I started dating we realized we both had a passion for a life of creativity, cultural experiences, and serving people in need – our combination of passions was something we had never been able to fully share with anyone else so it only felt natural to start dreaming about future projects together but also a personal future together. The first project that Joshua and I planned together was to visit a small impoverished Nicaraguan village to photograph all of the local children at their beds and their front doors so that the photos could be shared and used to raise awareness and money for those children’s schooling. I planned for that trip to be a cultural experience but it ended up being truly life changing.

The story behind why we started Educate Nica: The short story: Once I put a face to poverty, once I knew their names, their stories, their pain and struggles, I couldn’t deny my heart’s desire to want to help those trapped in poverty. My first hand experience in Nicaragua was the catalyst between living a life with blinders on and living a life doing whatever I could do in the smallest or biggest ways to serve the children who desperately need someone to care. I wanted to take our project to the next level to have a real impact on that village and other villages in need. Rather than just sharing the photos we took on that trip, I wanted to do more, and from that place the “Educate Nica” model was created. The long story: If you want to read our full story visit our blog:  http://educatenica.org/blogs/journal/6628028-our-story

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down in New Orleans.

 

 

From my journal dated Sep 28th, 2013 from my trip to New Orleans.

“I am in New Orleans today. Sitting on a park bench that overlooks the river and the city. I spent today walking through the alleys of the city by myself. I like exploring on my own. I can wander for hours without being distracted by conversation. The friendliness of this place makes me feel brave. I ask strangers to let me take their picture and they don’t shy away. And neither do I. I do as the locals and I spend my small lunch money on a bloody mary instead. You can walk the streets with drinks here- with cafes handing out their specials through a side window. The city is full of old buildings and hidden shops.  The alleys are littered with old bikes and vespas. I have only seen this city in the night- the wild, unconventional side as well as the jazz side that has music and soul spilling into the streets. But in the day, there is a city that held to it’s history in a way that reminds me of a wise old man- one whom accepts themselves, for all the good and bad they may possess. It’s a confident city that beckons you to be a child, dancing to music (I was grabbed up by a stranger in the street to dance to a live jazz band) and asking you to take what you see with curious, humorous eyes. I stepped into an old bookshop that took me straight into an old Audrey Hepburn movie- the walls sardined with tattered books and 1920’s architecture, sighing with age. A friendly cat followed me around, purring loudly as I scanned the cook books- none dating later than the 80s. My feet were beginning to hurt from the cobblestone and the weight of bag- so I ended here, reading my book and people watching. It’s days like this that make me remember how amazed by people I am. I want to know their stories and how they take their coffee. And how will  I ever find out if I stay inside?”
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rad menswear shop + interview with store owner// MAVEN

Last week, I was in the 214 at a creative conference called Circles. It was one of the most inspiring few days of my life- but post to come soon about that.

This week, I’m in Lafayette, Louisiana and had the opportunity to photograph and interview some pretty awesome store owners/designers. So, if you’re ever in the neighborhood, here’s one of the shops to stop in.

Maven.

Definition: (as described on their business card)// Someone in the know about all things fashion; Someone that people look up to for their fashion sense and expertise; (a person who has special knowledge or experience in life; an expert at “winning”; the guy that gets the girl at the end of a movie, never taps out, and always knows when to hold’em and fold’em.)

This vintage inspired menswear store was one of the coolest (in every sense of the word) shops I’ve been in lately. To be honest with you, I was quite surprised to find so many gems tucked away in Lafayette, but the store owners informed me that this city is up and coming in the creative scene.

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Daniel co-owns the store (as well as the new installation of the women’s version across the street) with his wife, Christina. He was gracious enough to answer a few of my questions and let me photograph his wonderfully worn and inviting shop, even getting a chair for me to get some better shots of the decorations that were high up (#fixedlensproblems).

If I were a man, this would be my store. With everything from wooden bow ties to vintage guitars- it’s a candy land for men who appreciate quirk, nostalgia and culture of the visual.

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“We’re one of the only stores… really the only one I know of… that sells menswear alongside vintage musical equipment” Daniel offers, “and we’re the only store that can sell American Apparel clothing by itself. Other retailers have can sell it with a screen print or design, but we’re the only ones that can sell them like they are straight out of the store.”

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Walking around, I kept finding more and more details that I loved, the interior begging me to move in. The sentimental touches really inspired me from the selling of local music to having a personal connection to the brands that hand craft their jewelry.

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“There really wasn’t a market for this type of store, so we decided to create it”, Daniel tells me as he explains that they opened their doors about 2 years ago, and then recently opened their women’s store after the success they found.

I love all of this, not just as someone who designs stores, but also as a lover of stories. I love seeing the heart and passion behind shop owners and hearing how a dream came to life. It doesn’t hurt that the dream they had was beautiful enough to photograph either.

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A big thank you to Maven for talking with me and letting me borrow some of your inspiration behind my lens. For those of you who can’t make the trek to LA, you can check out their online selection of goods here.

xoxo, k.

austin street art.

It’s no secret how much I miss Austin. I was spoiled rotten by living in a city that encompassed everything I love. A city where you didn’t even have to go looking for an amazing dive bar, live music, delicious hole in the wall, or a store busting at the seams with vintage vinyls and apparel. But distance makes the heart grow fonder, and I treasure each time I have an excuse to make it back to my stomping grounds.

Something that I love about Austin is it’s saturation of artistic expression. While some people find this to be overwhelming, I am so interested in the varied ways that human’s choose to leave their mark on the world. The amount of character and passion that is embraced by this city is so quirky and fun. It’s like walking into your grandfather’s study that is littered with knick knacks, but the intention behind every object makes you feel at home.

This trip, I decided to snap a few shots of graffiti with my friend Whitney from an area called “Castle Hill”- a sanctuary for spray paint artists that are free to billboard their art onto huge cement walls. It’s different every time you go, as each work of art is always evolving or covered up by a new one. I was pleasantly surprised to find so many heartfelt messages on the walls, not just Jnko Jeans font scribbled into different tag names.  austin-0671 austin-0673 austin-0681 austin-0701 austin-0705 austin-0710 austin-0717 austin-0719

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It was actually Whitney’s birthday, so the picture of her by the cake with “Happy Birthday” beside it was quite fitting. And the last one is of her little fluff of a son, Juju.

If you ever happen to find yourself in Austin, here are just a few places that I would stop by:

1. Hop Doddy. Oh how I miss that place. Truly the best burger you can imagine with plenty of cold hops to wash it down with.

2. Kayaking on Towne Lake. You can rent canoes or kayaks for 10 dollars an hour/30 for the day and spend the day paddling through downtown Austin with a friend or lover or bottle of wine. You can even paddle board. Or be super hip and take a paddle board yoga class.

3. Congress. This street is teaming with antique shops, costume shops, boutiques, rustic/quirky hotels, and great restaurants.

4. The Oasis. This HUGE three-floor restaurant looks out over lake Austin and is super beautiful at sunset. Great prices for a fun date night or night out with the girls.

5. Castle Hill. Because I just blogged about it. Duh.

And I just realized from my list that I like wine and food. Welcome to my life.

XOXO, K.

published shoot!

I told you that Cottonwood Road and I are doing alot of work together. I am so excited to share a few snap shots from a collaborative shoot we did. WHICH WAS JUST PUBLISHED ON THE LOVELY FIND! Whoo! Check it out here. I think they turned out so very lovely.

Stats:

Photos: Cottonwood Road Photography

Styled by: Kendall Hanna

Dress: Free People (you can find it here)

Clint’s Pants/Shirt: JCrew

Flowers: Bouquet and Flower Crown both made by me- DIY tutorial coming soon

Location: Houston, Texas

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introducing WCW// shop owner + kendallhannaphotography

I have been extremely excited about some recent projects I’ve been working on- including partnering up with other creatives to produce some things I’m pretty smitten over.

Recently, I have had the absolute pleasure of working with Hannah from Cottonwood Road on some styled photo shoots. It has been so fun to team up with another woman who has a similar creative dream and have the freedom to make our visions for business and art a working reality. So, she was a natural candidate for a new bi-weekly segment that I am starting called “Woman Crush Wednesday”, where I will be interviewing women from all walks of life that have a skill, advice or passion that inspires me. And I believe their words are worth passing on. I am hoping to help women (and men!) find advice and inspiration from other women and promote the vital need for us to be a gender that encourages each other (and not to be jealous or backstabbing of other women’s accomplishments). These women will be everything from entrepreneurs to public speakers to the makers of the most delicious pies who are ready to share their sugary secrets. May you find the strength to follow your dreams from these warriors.

Hannah Hagaman | Shop Owner | Photographer | Creative Partner

Photography by yours truly. 


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K: What was the inspiration for the name of your blog?

H: The house my hubby and I live in was once Preston’s grandparents home.  They built the house on a beautiful piece of land when there weren’t many other homes yet in the area. The street was originally named Cottonwood Road. I’m not sure why I fell in love with it when I heard the name but I knew I had to use it. It reminds me of old times, beautiful trees, dirt roads, and new beginnings.

K: So I know that you sell handmade goods on an etsy shop. Mind telling me a little about it, and what led you to start it?

H: In June of 2012, American Flag shorts were all the rage, so I decided to make myself a pair. My sister actually loved them and insisted that I make her some and suggested that I sell them. At that, I just jumped in! I made and sold over a dozen pair in only two weeks. It was hard work and I learned a lot that summer but it created in me a new desire for making things with my hands and selling to folks who loved my work.

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K: What advice would you give to people trying to sell their own handmade products?

H: To those trying to sell handmade things: QUALITY. That’s the one word I will leave you with. Do things the right way, with integrity and make a fantastic product. Make it well, don’t skimp on materials or time making it. Make sure you price it according to the work you’ve put in too. If what you make has great quality, it will be worth every penny.

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K: So, you’re not the only Hagaman that loves making things with their hands. Tell me a bit about your hubby, Preston’s, hobby/business in woodworking and how he started in that. 

H: My sweet hubby has a new found love for building things. Right now it is just a hobby, though he has a few things featured on my etsy shop.  He’s made me some wonderful things for our home! What started this love was my asking him to build me a wooden canvas made of pallet boards for me to paint Texas flags on. From that time forward, he is always thinking of new things to build, for himself, for me or for our home.  He’s made me a kitchen island, benches to create a breakfast nook, a bath caddy and a huge outdoor party table complete with ice buckets for drinks. He’s extremely talented.

K: Okay, you know my love affair with reading, so I must ask: what are your favorite books?

H: My favorite books. That’s a tough one. I used to be an avid reader and now I rarely have a book in my hand. Someone get me hooked again, give me a great book to read! No judging allowed, but my favorite book series will always be the Harry Potter series. Adventure, fantasy, drama and magic. Another one of my favorite books is Redeeming Love. Everyone needs to read this book. The perfect love story.

K: I will always shamelessly love Harry Potter. Outside of your growing business, what are your hobbies?

H: I really enjoy photography. Though this is slowly becoming my job, it will always be a hobby as well and I rarely am seen without my camera. I love being behind a camera, capturing the world around me and the people I encounter. It truly brings me a sense of joy like nothing else. It allows me to see God’s creation in new light!

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K: What was the last project you worked on, or currently have your hands dirty with?

H: Thanks to you, my sweet friend, I now have the new A Beautiful Mess book and I am looking forward to diving in and experimenting with photography in new ways.  I am also looking forward to collaborating with Kensfolk to give young women new style ideas and hopefully a sense of confidence that goes beyond what they wear.  As for my etsy shop, well, it’s almost fall here in Texas and I am hoping to get two new lines of gorgeous linen scarves out there soon!

K: I actually own one of the scarves you made for last fall/winter and always get compliments on it. As for you, how would you describe your personal style?

H: My personal style is an eclectic mess.  I honestly wear what fits my body type well and the way I’m feeling that day. If I’m feeling carefree I’ll grab my floral skirt and silk top for a boho look. If I’m feeling up for casual dressy, I’ll immediately grab my dark skinnies and a blazer. My go to clothing item might be my little black romper for days when I just don’t have a clue what to wear. I have a lot of vintage and many garage sale treasures and I rarely go out and buy clothes from a store. Because of this I have a wide variety of styles and staples to choose from and get to experiment with style every day.

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hannahshoot-0445K: What have been your favorite pieces of advice or inspirational quotes you’ve loved?

H: “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” – Pablo Picasso

“Embrace the current season of your life” – Gabrielle Blair

“All I need today is a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus” – UNKNOWN (this is one for every single day)

I also really love words. I love finding new words, I’ve never heard before and finding their meaning.  There are some really beautiful words out there.

My favorites today are: “meraki (v.) to do something with soul, creativity or love; to put something of yourself into your work” and “redamancy (n.) the act of loving the one who loves you; a love returned in full.”

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K: What is your dream job?

H: I would love to be a full time photographer.

K: What do you find to be the most challenging part of being an artist? Blogger?

For me, the answer to this question is a lack of confidence. There are many times when I simply don’t have confidence in myself or in my work and this tends to lead to less work rather than trying harder.  Sometimes all it takes is one person’s kind words about my work and other times I have to suck it up, fake confidence, and continue practicing and putting myself out there by myself.  The only way that I will ever improve and do things with excellence is by doing what I love a little bit every day.  Thankfully I have an awesome hubby who supports me and encourages me daily!

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K: What/where do you go to find inspiration for your work?

H: Thanks to Pinterest, inspiration is pretty easy to come by. Reading and viewing fellow photographer’s/blogger’s work is also extremely helpful and gets my creative juices flowing. But sometimes, I just get so sick of looking at a computer screen and that’s when I go on adventures.  I like road trips and taking long walks in the woods. Even simple, gorgeous morning light and the smell of good coffee is enough to inspire me for the day.  Seeing God’s beautiful creation, especially at the golden hour entices me and excites me.

K: What’s your advice to new aspiring photographers?

H: I still see myself as a new aspiring photographer, so this advice is for myself as well.  Take photos every day. Try out every kind of photography (couples, seniors, landscapes, food, etc) before choosing what direction you’d like to take.  Try new things and see what works for you. Make yourself get up early and take photos at sunrise, then test your knowledge of your camera and try to shoot at night with a single lamp or even the moon as your light source.  Remember that it takes time, don’t get frustrated with yourself because you’re not Richard Avedon overnight. The more you shoot, the more you will learn and the better you will be.

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K: Favorite blogs?

H: Chalk White Arrow, Kensfolk (duh), Local Milk, The Wiegands, The Daylee Journal, The Day Book , Kelli Murray, Treasures and Travels

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K: Thank you! If you could conquer any talent you don’t already have, what would it be? (ex: being a surfer, able to cook really well, be a marathon runner, etc.)

H: Oh goodness, there are lots of talents I wish I had, but almost my whole family has some kind of musical talented, except me. I can carry a tune, but my sister has the pipes (aka she’s moving to New York to pursue a career on Broadway). I think I’d like to be able to play the guitar and sing. (cliché? Maybe.)

K: Learning how to play the guitar has been on my bucket list for over 10 years, so I relate.

What is your advice for newly married couples from your own experience?

H: Yea marriage!! Oh my, I have lots of advice. I’ll try to stick to just a few things.

1) Learn how to resolve conflict well. Figure out what your conflict language is and conquer that sucker. Timing is everything. Don’t argue if you’re hungry, angry, lonely (or lost, in my case), or tired (HALT).

2) Be in community.  Have other young married friends to live life with. Not just for the bbq on Saturday but really being in each other’s lives. Digging in, getting your hands dirty, asking the really tough questions and allowing accountability in your life.

3) Last one, GO ON DATES! Make one night a week date night and go have a sit down dinner and some kind of fun. Talk, laugh, cry, whatever but just make spending time one on one a priority. My hubby and I, once a month, challenge each other with our dates. We give the other person a word, color, phrase, numbers, anything and they have to come up with a date night surrounding the topic. See HERE on my blog for ideas!!

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K: Thank you so much for taking the time to interview with me! Is there anything else you would like to add or say about yourself?

H: I have a slight addiction to coffee and popcorn. I love me some Jesus and get excited His creation and His people. I have a passion for light. Not just the light from a gorgeous sunrise that touches the earth in the morning or the soft, dreamy light that comes only after a heavy rain but a light that is within people. The kind of light that brings smiles to faces and joy to the bones.

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How great is she?! A huge thank you to you, Hannah, so spending the time to interview with me and for picking me to photograph some head shots for your blog! You are truly beautifully stunning, inside and out.

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Check out Hannah’s photography blog HERE tomorrow for the unveiling of the bohemian bridal styled shoot that we collaborated on!

XOXO, K.