starting the year off sweetly with events + collaborations + Peppermint Bark

All the holiday decor has been packed away, and except for some naturally crafted ‘greeneries’ here and there, no trace of Christmas remains…except, my youngest, Sophia, is on her third batch of whipping up these very holiday looking Dark & White Chocolate Peppermint Bark beauties. So tasty, so pretty and so simple to make….3 ingredients. Get the recipe at the end of the post and make your very own.


With the holidays behind me, I’m so ready to get this year going as I’m overly excited to share what I have planned, as well as to continue working on what I have in the works.

I’m compiling ‘a look back at’ post from 2014, representing an accounting of so many opportunities that came my way, more than I could have ever have envisioned, and, of which, planted seeds for this year’s agenda. I should probably be sharing that post first, but, here we are!

First, some thoughts about collaborations … It’s nothing short of amazing when a simple enough idea leads to another, that leads to plotting it out on paper, followed by a conversation, an invitation and collaboration, then, planning, creating, and finally, materialization. This scenario seams to be the story of my journey for the better part of the past 3 years, and, it seams no different coming into this new year. Though I’ve been running my own business(es) for well over 26 years, my photography business, of going on 9 years, has taught me more about myself in relation to business & not being an island, than styling has in 26+ years. It must be the nature of this type of business, I suppose. The very best part, hands down, have been the many collaborations I’ve been a part of. Honestly, in almost all areas, it’s just a better way of going through life.

So, what does that mean for this year? It means there are things like more of my online FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY NARRATIVES/SIMPLE STYLING AND STORYTELLING WORKSHOP – in collaboration with the fine people of The Bloom Forum – coming up in February. You can read about and register for it, right HERE.


And, it also means …

I’ve spent the better part of last year moving my studio into, and creating, a natural light, working environment inside an old, urban warehouse in the industrial district of Camp Washington, just outside of OTR. In addition to running my own business out of this incredible space, I will also be hosting classes and workshops given by others throughout the year, in A Visiting Artist Series.
I’m still adding classes, but here is a look at some of what is already on the schedule:

  • hand lettering
  • tabletop (product) photography for crafters/etsy shop owners/etc.
  • floral arranging
  • basic photoshop for online creatives
  • basic indesign for online creatives
  • food styling for food photographers/food bloggers/recipe developers
  • set and prop styling for bloggers/food photographers/shop owners
  • encaustics with Melissa T. Hall **registration for this class will OPEN tomorrow, January 6th, at 11:30am, EST.
    If you missed a look at what it’s all about, go RIGHT HERE, and read about it.


All classes/workshops will be lead by professionals/artists in their respective fields, and class sizes will be kept on the smaller side as to assure proper attentions for everyone.
If you are interested and would like to be notified of upcoming classes, use the contact form in the menu and send me a note.

But wait, there’s even MORE …

In addition to running my own styling and photography businesses, I am adding another exciting element to the mix. Designer and graphic illustrator, Lisa Ballard, and I have been regularly collaborating since I reached out to her in early 2012 for some design help while creating/designing the 513{eats} magazines. We have also known each other for over 25 years, but our paths had not crossed in almost all that time. From the onset of our reconnection, our aesthetics and design sensibilities complimented each others, while pushing one another to grow and explore outside of our comfort zones. Since then, we have worked and collaborated on a multitude of jobs/projects, that it just may have been destiny that we would have ended coming together with a shared vision & business. Well, we did just that, and we’re calling it



We are in the process of designing and building our website, adding to our product lines, and soon enough we will launch & share all of it, with all of you.
It’s an exciting opportunity, for me, to combine my photography and years of styling experience, and, for Lisa, to incorporate her custom illustrative talents, where we may offer other creatives – who blog/own shops/provide or sell services/entrepreneurs – beautifully crafted, high end, artisan styled stock photography + illustration, to up their online visual presence.

I am SO EXCITED for all of this to begin!

For now, consider joining in on my upcoming workshop, Visiting Artist class, or both, & then go ahead and satisfy your sweet tooth, or sweetheart, by whipping up some Peppermint Bark.

pb4_blog pb3_blogPeppermint Bark
(original recipe from the blog – use real butter)

1 lb. dark chocolate, chopped (We used Ghiradelli for both chocolates)
1 lb. white chocolate, chopped
12 peppermint candy canes, crushed (about 1 cup) leaving smaller to med sized pieces, sifting out the peppermint sand, and reserving. Do yourself a favor and use a food processor to do this part.

Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler, and pour onto a jelly roll pan lined with brown parchment paper or a silpat.
Spread evenly to desired thickness. Place in refrigerator to harden.
Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler, as well.
When cooled, gently fold the peppermint sand into the white chocolate taking care not to overmix (and ending up with pink chocolate).
Remove the dark chocolate from the refrigerator and spread the white chocolate on top.
Sprinkle the peppermint chunks evenly over the white chocolate and gently press the pieces into the layer.
Refrigerate until hardened. Break the bark into pieces.

*use real butter has step by step photos, if you want to ‘see’ the steps.

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