A few weeks ago, I signed up for a bloggers luncheon at one of my favorite places, The Vintage Bricoleur. They had invited Courtney of French Country Cottage to speak. I admit that I am a rabid fan of her blog, where she posts the most beautiful photos of the DIY projects she completes in her lovely French-inspired home. Most of the time, she posts very detailed instructions on how to do it yourself in your own home. I am not very crafty. And I can't seem to suture fabric as neatly as I do the skin and assorted tissues of my patients. But her images and instructions inspire me to try, and I think my home is a little prettier because of it. Which is a tall order for a place that houses 4 dogs, 3 cats, 2 small children, a parrot and a very dirty and stinky husband (he works with cows - need I say more?).
The workshop was held in the old fruit shed of the High Hand Nursery in Loomis. If you haven't been there, you should treat yourself to a visit, because it is pretty amazing.
She is 80 years young and author of the blog The Olde Farmhouse.
And talking here with Joy is Helen. She is the mother of Terry (owner of The Vintage Bricoleur) and author of her own blog, Wildberry Ranch.
The discussions were quite lively:
And if a question arose, people would jump on their laptops to find the answer.
If it appears that I spent a lot of time photographing Joy, you would be correct.
I was so mesmerized and inspired by this woman, I couldn't help myself.
Another person I found to be inspiring would be Kim Mazzei
who is partnered at Not Too Shabby in Folsom.
Kim, don't kill me for posting this photo. I love it because it shows your wild and crazy personality. Kim is a vibrant woman who touted, multiple times, "if you don't put yourself out there, nobody will". So true, so true. Any time that I am scared to post something for fear of what people will think, I will remember those words. And this picture of your beautiful self!
Of course, I can't go without saying that these two women inspire me:
On the left is Terry from The Vintage Bricoleur, and the right, Courtney from French Country Cottage. Terry is genuine and kind. One thing I love about her? She remembers people's names. Do you know how cool it is to walk into her store and hear "Hi Nicole, how are you?"? Personally, I love it. I also love strolling through her store, looking at all of her vintage pieces which have stories to be told.
And Courtney. What a dynamic woman! Can you believe she has a 19 year old son? She has been blogging professionally for only a couple of years, but she has definitely made her mark. I look forward to each and every one of her posts, complete with the beautiful images from her home.
Courtney, you are FABULOUS!
Some wonderful, unexpected goodies came along with the luncheon.
Of course, there was a box lunch, courtesy of High Hand.
I had the vegetarian option, which was a most delicious salad, complete with mixed greens and grilled corn. And the most heavenly lemon vinegarette dressing.
I'm pretty sure most everything I ate came direct from the High Hand nursery.
Each person received a lavender sachet.
I have left mine in my camera bag, to help calm and relax me
after a long session of shooting.
after a long session of shooting.
Perhaps the most appreciated gift of all was the neck massage from Connie Spade.
In five minutes, this woman managed to melt away months of tension that I have stored in my neck and shoulders.
Here she is, massaging the hands of one of the luncheon attendees.
She'll come to your home, and I'm thinking about having her over very soon.
If you would like to escape for a little while, please call her at (916) 410-4884.
I can happily say that I came away from this luncheon with so much more than I had anticipated. I was hoping to rediscover a love for blogging... which I have. The tricky part will be keeping up the motivation to post more regularly. After meeting such an amazing group of women, I am hopeful that I will be able to do just that.
Thank you again Terry and Courtney.
I am already looking forward to the next one!