Sunday, August 27, 2017

Charcoal & Ash // Life Lately


I made it over to the blog! it's a miracle seriously. I thought I would pop on over and let you know whats been going on. It has been a crazy productive year and Paul and I have been carefully creating new experiences and navigating our lives in the creative direction we both want to go and it has resulted in us being insanely busy non-stop.

Since I last stopped by, Charcoal & Ash has been busy, busy, busy! I participated in my first farmers marker and another art show at the Factoria Mall. Paul and I created a promotional video for the shop which you can see in my about page! View my video HERE. We went on a weekend adventure to the Hoh Rainforest and Seabrook and we are planning a bigger tropical adventure towards the end of 2017. 


Paul made the jump to full-time freelance and is now running his own business from home and I couldn't be more proud. We have this crazy dream of both being able to work from home and travel one day and we are making some huge movements in the right direction. A few things that I am dreaming of doing in the last few months of 2017 is a Scorpio Queen inspired photo shoot (to celebrate turning 30 of course! I am also dreaming and scheming about creating exclusive Charcoal and Ash Christmas cards! creating beautiful calendars, and possibly a coffee table book. Oh and I will be participating in a photo contest more on that soon.

So many other things have happened in my life over the last few months, so many great great things I just don't have the time to share it all. But please enjoy these photos from my last photography shoot in Seattle and follow me over on Instagram @charcoalandashpnw for updates on all of the exciting things I'm planning for the rest of the year.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Photo Series: SEPTEMBER // V of Pentacles

Hello, hello I am still here and catching up on the tarot card posts. For September I was given a reading by Secret Garden Social that seemed a little bleak but after thinking about it deeply and coming up with an image for it I realized that it may not be all that bad. Here is the reading for September...

"The card for September is the V of Pentacles. This card is often read as feeling as though one is lacking and poorly. They're on the outside looking into something good, or, as the Wild Unknown depicts it, a flower wilting from lack of light and love and care. But it ALSO offers us this, there is ALWAYS hope. You must first open your eyes and see it though!"


Contemplating this reading and relating it to my life and current events I decided to focus on the hopeful aspect of the reading which is that one can always find hope in almost any circumstance. I decided on an image of a blade of grass growing through a pile of rocks. Depending on how you look at it, you may either see desolate earth pommeled by rocks and destroying any chance the grass has for survival or a mighty blade of grass piercing through the rocks towards the light. I think this is an excellent depiction of the reading and hope that it will inspire strength.

Shop the Hope Rocks print HERE

Monday, August 1, 2016

Photo Series: AUGUST // Daughter of Wands

Shop the Passion City print HERE
A little late for the August tarot card read but here it is (sorry guys things have been CRA-ZY!) Secret Garden Social provided me with the following reading.

"The pull for August is the Daughter of Wands! She reminds us that we should be following our passions. We need to remember, or even FIND, what lights us up, what makes us truly excited and then follow it. With all the changes and acclimation to everything that has happened not only since June but the first half of the year, we should find ways to better attune ourselves to that which we desire."   -Secret Garden Social

I love this photograph of Mt. Rainier looming over the City of Seattle it reminds us of the inferiority of man-made objects and schedules, wants and needs and puts into perspective the extreme awesomeness (yes I said that) of the universe and the not so tangible things like our passions, dreams, and desires. The exciting thing about this concept is that our hopes, dreams, passions, and desires live in our minds and our hearts and are accessible to us even when we are ummmm say waiting for a delayed Ferry to Seattle ;) or sitting at a stop light, or you name it. These things should be what fuels you and August is the perfect time to strengthen your connection with them. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Photo Series: JULY // IV of Swords

As some of you might have remembered I am doing a monthly photography collaboration with the talented Jordana of Secret Garden Social. Every month Jordana does a tarot card reading and gives me a basic theme. In June we focused on death - meaning letting go of the things in your life that do not serve you anymore. Anytime we let things fall out of our lives it opens doors for new opportunities and with new opportunity usually come a period of chaos, not in a bad sense but in that there are new things to be learned and it pushes us out of our routine. The photo for this month was taken at Seabrook, WA. This is a photo of a family relaxing on the beach enjoying each others company and the vast beauty of the sea. I can not think of a better symbol of rest and patience. Remember to check out the Etsy Shop and collect all the tarot card prints.

"This month's card is: IV of Swords The message here is rest and patience. June brought about a lot of big changes and the cogs of that change may still be working. July is all about taking a break from the stress, not pushing yourself too hard when you know it's not good for you and making sure you are taking care of yourself."
- Secret Garden Social
 

Peach at the Beach

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Photo Series: JUNE // Death

I am excited for this next collaboration which is with Secret Garden Social created by my friend Jordana. Jordana is a skilled Tarot Reader and together we have decided to team up with a monthly tarot card reading and an inspired image from Charcoal & Ash to fit the monthly theme. This image will be available for purchase in my shop. For me this is more of a photography project, and a great way to get the juices flowing and push me out of my creative comfort zone. If you are interested in tarot card reading or having your cards read hop over to Secret Garden Social.

Around the Bend

"The card for the month of June is Death...which is about letting go of things that do not serve you anymore, it's about putting to rest whatever is in your life that's not helping you change or live for the better." - Jordana Zurita 

This image was taken with Jordana's Death Card in mind. It is amazing to me how easy it is to hold onto things that are harmful whether out of convenience or comfort. This June it is time to not only let go of these things but to do some soul searching and identify them! Sometimes out of pure routine we can not see how badly certain decisions and things we allow in our lives actually hurt us. Whether it is something as mundane as eating out too much, or more abstract like your inner self dialog. I challenge all of my readers to take an few minutes and put your finger on those things in your life (maybe focus on one) that are hurting you or holding you back and come up with ONE way that you might address changing this. It is as easy as that! Take the time to identify your enemy and then plan your attack. 

This image "Around the Bend" is of a path rounding a corner in the distance where the light is glowing after passing through a dark tunnel of trees. I think this is a great representation of the death card as it is a positive reminder that after you pass through the darkness and move forward by letting go - the light at the end of the tunnel and your bright future await.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

10 Instagram Worthy Spots - Seattle/Bellevue

Ihave an exciting post for you guys today! I teamed up with Anna from Two Sleepless Foodies in Seattle who is an extremely talented blogger with some serious knowledge of all things food related, no kidding go check out her blog I guarantee you will be drooling over some of her restaurant reviews and travels. Together we came up with 10 Instagram Worthy Spots in Seattle and the Bellevue. We know that it can be challenging to find locations that are not super touristy and that as much as we love the Space Needle and Pike Place Market there are hundreds of beautiful lesser known locations to snap a gorgeous picture. So without further ado here are our 10 top Instagram worthy spots.   

LOCATION: Bellevue Demonstration Garden - 15500 SE 16th St, Bellevue
BEST FOR: Floral Photography and Portraits.
Open year round with a variety of blooming plants the lesser known Bellevue Demonstration Garden is a great place to snap photos of nature without the having to dodge the crowds. I would recommend the Bellevue Demonstration Gardens for portraits and flower photography. There is even a small covered picnic area so you can bring your lunch, rain or shine!

 View a post from the Bellevue Demonstration Garden >>> HERE

LOCATION: Jose Rizal Bridge - 2th Avenue South, Seattle
BEST FOR: Seattle city-scape and view of the sports stadiums.
Located over a busy freeway this bridge is not for the faint of heart however, the view and photography it allows is to die for! From the Jose Rizal Bridge you can take a gorgeous panoramic of the city of Seattle or portrait photography with the sports stadiums or city in the background. If you are not afraid of heights this location is a must!


LOCATION: Mercer Slough - 1625 118th Ave SE, Bellevue
BEST FOR: Nature/wildlife photography and portraits. 
Located near downtown Bellevue the Mercer Slough is a surprising wildlife refuge with a wonderful walking trail around the river and swamp. I have been to the Slough many times and spotted dozens of different bird species. This area is great for portrait photography there is even a pretty bridge with a distant view of the city of Bellevue.


LOCATION: Kelsey Creek Farm - 410 130th Pl SE, Bellevue
BEST FOR: Farm photography, vintage old barns, animals, and Lake to Lake Trail. 
Kelsey Creek Farm is located on the outskirts of Downtown Bellevue and can be a little difficult to spot since it is in the heart of a quaint little neighborhood, but that is the beauty of this spot it is a hidden oasis in the busy city that is Bellevue. Kelsey Creek has 2 beautiful vintage white barns that make the perfect background for portrait photography. There are also plenty of friendly farm animals and a hiking trail located in the back of the property.

View a post from Kelsey Creek Farm >>> HERE

LOCATION: Near Magnolia Bridge, Elliot Ave, Seattle (near cruise boat terminal)  
BEST FOR: Train photography, sunset, industrial. 
This is a hidden little spot that is great for fashion photography and an overall industrial vibe. You can quickly find parking and walk behind a large warehouse building where there is a walkway and closeup view of the railroad tracks. The sunset makes a brilliant contrast behind all of the heavy equipment, power-lines, and if your lucky moving train!

 The next 5 spots are contributed by Anna of Two Sleepless Foodies in Seattle

LOCATION: Daejeon Park, 1144 Sturgus Ave S, Seattle
BEST FOR: Korean Pavilion, Mount Rainer
Nope, we are not in Seoul but still in Seattle, in the neighborhood of Beacon Hill. The Korean pavilion was built in 2009 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the friendship between Seattle and its Korean sister city: Daejeon. What strikes me the most are the bright, vibrant colors and the traditional patterns used for the pavilion decoration. This is known as dancheong, the Korean art of painting historic wooden structures. It is based on five colors; blue (represents east), white (west), red (south), black (north) and yellow (center). If you are lucky, you can catch a glimpse of Mount Rainier in the background. It’s basically the perfect photo spot, isn’t it? If you want to check out more examples of Korean architecture, head over to my blog post on Seoul HERE


LOCATION: NE 14th Street, Sacred Heart church 
BEST FOR: Seattle skyline / cityscape pics. 
If you are looking for unobstructed views of Seattle’s skyline from the other side of Lake Washington, look no further! This spot on top of the hill is great for sweeping views of the city against the show-stopping backdrop of the Olympic mountains and the sunset. You can also clearly see the Space Needle from here. Not bad, uhm? Plus, since this location is on the Points loop trail connecting Bellevue, Medina and Clyde Hill, you can always combine your photo session with a nice walk, hike or bike ride.


LOCATION: Union Station, Seattle
BEST FOR: Architecture, travel and fashion or vintage-themed pics.
This is by far my absolute favorite spot in Seattle. Ready to travel back in time? As soon as I entered the building, I was transported to a different dimension, to a different century. I pictured myself as a traveler back then and how modern this station must have looked in 1911. For some reason, it reminds me a bit of New York’s Grand Central Station and its vaulted ceilings. Let the charm of this enchanted place spark your inspiration. You won’t regret it.
Bear in mind that it is also an event venue and is only open to the public from Monday to Friday (8 am to 5 pm).


LOCATION: Daejeon Park, 1144 Sturgus Ave S, Seattle
BEST FOR: Korean pavilion, Mount Rainier.
Nope, we are not in Seoul but still in Seattle, in the neighborhood of Beacon Hill. The Korean pavilion was built in 2009 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the friendship between Seattle and its Korean sister city: Daejeon. What strikes me the most are the bright, vibrant colors and the traditional patterns used for the pavilion decoration. This is known as dancheong, the Korean art of painting historic wooden structures. It is based on five colors; blue (represents east), white (west), red (south), black (north) and yellow (center). If you are lucky, you can catch a glimpse of Mount Rainier in the background. It’s basically the perfect photo spot, isn’t it? If you want to check out more examples of Korean architecture, head over to my blog post on Seoul >>> HERE
 

LOCATION: Bellevue skyline and school bus parking lot, from 120th Ave NE and 6th Street
BEST FOR: Bellevue skyline / cityscape pics
Bellevue, Seattle’s little sister, is often neglected as a photo spot. But Bellevue is cool too and still off-the-beaten-photo-track. Take this location, for example. It’s a cool urban setting and I love how the yellow school buses, all gathered together, seem to be hanging out and enjoy a breathtaking Pacific Northwestern sunset over Bellevue. Ok, maybe that’s just too much imagination… 
 

* For more Instagram-worthy spots off-the-beaten-path in Seattle and around the world, follow Anna on Instagram anna.mariani86 and Ashley of Charcoal and Ash charcoalandashpnw

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I'm Still Alive!

H ey anyone and everyone who reads my blog! It's been a while so I thought I would do a little update on life and the blog. 2016 has been insane for me so much has happened and a LOT of it has been good yay! I have started a photography business which I am currently working all the kinks out of, learning about the business and perfecting my technical skills. I hope you will all take a moment to check out my Shop and maybe add a print or two to your home ;) As for the blog I have been taking time to ponder what it is I want to do with this space of mine which is now 4 years old (still a baby on the blogoshpere) I have decided that this space will be an extension of my photography business, which makes sense as it is what initially inspired me to pick up a camera. I remember when I first started taking low resolution images from the web for my posts lol oh how the times have changed. I hope to share my photography adventures, inspiration, a fashion post or two although I think I'm over that, and some of my finished products. I hope you will stick around the blog and enjoy this new phase of my creative life with me!