Mother’s Day Is a Week Away

One of my favorite portrait photos to remind you that Mother’s Day is just a week away. I love nothing more than photographing a mother and child-is there a greater love?

Want to give Mom something special? Why not book a  photo session with her so you have a memory that will last forever? If you’re in the Los Angeles area, you can schedule a session with me through my website www.chattergoldstudios.com.

Not in the Los Angeles area? I’m sure there are many fantastic photographers in your area. Thank goodness for Google! Support small business in your area.

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Feeling Fall in Your Home

It’s that beautiful time of year again…

And I’m offering 20% off coupon on all photography on my site today and tomorrow when you use coupon code Happy Halloween. Update your fall decor with some new art and support small business.

Fall Leaves in Central Park brighten up any home.

A Little Social Media Fun with #FOREVER21

Modern day inventors and artists, BREAKFASTNY created this brilliant thread spool installation as part of FOREVER 21’s instagram campaign. You post your photo on your Instagram account, use hashtag #F21THREADSCREEN and voila, your photo is spooled across the big screen.

AND they even send the video to you so that you can share it on your social media channels.

Your own personalized thread spool art installation. Brilliant.

For Seattle Locals: Art UP PhinneyWood

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Hey Seattle locals!

I will be showing my paintings, photography and taking mini family Christmas portrait sessions tomorrow, Friday, November 14th at Ballard Healing Arts
8314 8th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98117

for those who visit me during the Art Up PhinneyWood walk tomorrow. Terry will also be giving free mini reiki sessions to those who attend.

Hope to see you there! 🙂

Wedding Ideas

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Getting married in a garden?  These flowers in glass bulbs are a great way to delineate the alter space from the guests in your wedding, creating an intimate and beautiful space to say “I do.”

Queen Anne Library’s 100th Anniversary

Queen Anne Library's 100th Anniversary

I had the pleasure of attending the Queen Anne Library’s 100th Anniversary celebration. Mayor Murray attended and gave quite a nice speech. The library provided an activities area for children’s arts and crafts and Goodwill provided a look at clothing from 1913. Being a Downton Abbey addict, I found the clothing fascinating. It’s so foreign of a thought to think women and men had different wardrobes for morning, afternoon and evening. We live in such a casual world now that the idea of changing three to four times a day seems exhausting. Please peruse and enjoy the men’s, women, and children’s clothing of the day. The hats are especially interesting.

Resolving to Find “Balance” in 2014

You may or may not have heard about a blog movement called “One Word 365.” Instead of making a list of resolutions that you swear you’ll diligently keep, this theme has to do with choosing just one word. This word will be your motto, your mantra, the word that will describe and direct your 2014.

My one word is: Balance.

Balance in the way I eat.

Balance in the way I exercise- not sporadically. No more yoga intensified months and then nothing for the rest of the year!

Balance in how much time I give to my art, whether it be photography, painting, or writing. I won’t get specific about which genre, but give myself the freedom to just create without rules or expectations.

and balance in behavior, life, love and work. I began this last year and I plan on continuing it this year.

I will stop, look, eat, breathe, think, act and consider… with a sense of balance…instead of extremes.

Boring to you? Challenging to me.
If you could choose one word for 2014 instead of creating a list of resolutions, what would that one word be?

Spooky Seattle: Haunted Spaces and Places

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Instead of paying far too much money to get chased, groped and screamed at by overzealous actors with chainsaws and overdone horror makeup, why not check out some “real” haunts in Seattle.  Most of these are free, so there will be none of that “buyer’s remorse” nonsense.   Here’s my top ten list for spooky spots in Seattle:

1.  The Marqueen Hotel (Queen Anne).  I walk by this hotel all of the time and finally made myself walk into the lobby this week.  I always get a sort of dark, dreary and “full house” vibe when I pass this place (full of ghosts?).   When I did force myself to walk in, I was welcomed by two very nice gentlemen and this gorgeous winding staircase.  I can see why people would haunt this former engineering school, built in 1918.  It’s quite lovely.  Some hotel guests mention a feeling of being watched.  I can honestly say, the energy is quite dense, heavy if you will. Sit in one of the lobby chairs or wander the beautiful yet creepy hallways and judge for yourself. For an account of one guest’s stay, read this TripAdvisor report.

2.  The Alibi Room (Post Alley).  The pizza here is great.  Just be weary of the “little girl” my friend swore she saw in the back booth corners of the bar or a cold whoosh of air that perpetually lingers on your lap (that little girl likes to sit on laps, apparently).   The most famous ghost in Alibi is Frank, though- an elderly man who stands outside of the bathrooms and introduces himself.  Post Alley, the street that Alibi sits on, is made up of cobblestones from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.  That might have something to do with it.

3. The Owl ‘n’ Thistle in (Pioneer Square) (Circa 1930).  This place is full of spirits…brick, brass, books and beers.  What more could you ask for, really? I love this cozy little pub. Apparently John Wayne and Robert Mitchum frequented this place, as well.  But onto the ghosts and there are many.  Apparently the staff at the Owl ‘N Thistle has the pleasure of listening to paranormal piano playing, seeing dark shadowy figures, kitchenware that moves on its own, and the apparition of a woman wearing an antique wedding gown and veil.

4.  The Sorrento Hotel & Fireside Lounge, First Hill.   It’s beauty and elegance has lured guests in since 1905.  It provides yet another lovely spot I want to spend countless hours in with a book- The Fireside Lounge.  It’s the fourth floor that’s haunted, though, so rent a room (#408) to find your supernatural experience.   Find a review of their cafe here.

5.  The Merchant Cafe and Saloon, Pioneer Square.  This place is so haunted, it’s been on “Dead Files.”  Ask Darcy, the owner, about the little girl that haunts the place and the doll someone left for her.  There are too many ghosts here to mention and apparently after the “Dead Files” held an exorcism here, the ghost activity picked up.  Read this for the history of the building and this blog post for a personal account of a gentleman’s experience there.  I can honestly say, it’s the most haunted place I’ve experienced in Seattle.

6.  The Moore Hotel & Theater, downtown Seattle (circa 1907).  All sorts of ghosts and happenings have been reported in the hotel and in the theater.  Ghostly cigar smells come from chairs (Mr. Moore?) as well as the feeling of “being watched” in various rooms.  Previous actors an actresses of the Theater seem to still be hanging around, as well.  Apparently Kurt Cobain had a drug overdose here.

7.  Kells Irish Bar & Restaurant.  (Post Alley) Ghost Hunters shot an episode here.  It was a former mortuary as well as an Indian burial ground-the perfect combo. There’s a variety of ghosts here, apparently, including a little girl.   You can view part of the Ghost Hunter’s episode here.  Personally, I haven’t experienced anything here but I’ve spent most of my time on the outdoor patio and in the main bar area.  Another friend of mine swears she saw a man standing in front of our table.  I was too busy drinking my cider to notice, apparently.  Here’s another video report of Kell’s that Seattle’s local news KOMO4 aired.

8.  Harvard Exit Theater (Capitol Hill). circa 1925.  This building was originally used as a meeting place for The Woman’s Century Club. Today, the theater currently shows independent and foreign films, the Seattle International Film Festival, and the Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.  Apparently, laughter echoes throughout the theater and apparitions of women dressed in early 1900’s style clothing are seen on the third floor.  At least the ghosts seem to be having a good time.  Typical theater folk.

9.  All of Pioneer Square and underneath it. Spooked in Seattle Tours  takes you through the oldest neighborhood in Seattle, stopping off at the most haunted spots like The Pioneer Hotel (formerly Yesler Hotel).  This tour is led by real ghost hunters and is highly rated on TripAdvisor & Yelp.  The tour headquarters is a spectacularly spooky space in the original Seattle underground that they claim is haunted, fully equipped with haunted, creepy dolls and caskets. Tour prices vary according to the tour but the walking tour is $16 for adults and $12 for kids up to twelve. After you finish that tour, though, you might want to take The Underground Tour, which my husband and I both enjoyed because it gave a thorough history and literal view of historical Seattle (take the night tour-it talks more of how the city was founded on prostitution).

10. Pike Place MarketMarket Tour.  Pike Place Market, established in 1907, is Seattle’s oldest farmer’s market…and it’s one of Seattle’s most haunted spots.  By day, it’s hustling and bustling and not very scary.  At night, the market takes on another personality and completely different energy. Yes, it’s on an old Indian burial ground.  Yes, there is a ghost of an Indian…amongst many others.  The Market Tour group gives a thorough after hours tour for $16.50.

And for those non-believers out there, here’s Dave Grohl telling a story of his ghostly experiences in his former Seattle home.  See, even rockstars see ghosts.  All the cool kids are doing it.

Next up, “Ghosts of New York”…