The Beauty Forager Blog

|the hermit and co. |

08.03.2017

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BF: Hello and welcome to The Beauty Forager. Please tell us a little about yourself.
HC: Well, I’m a soon to be 35 year old (yikes) wife and homeschooling mother of three. I was born and raised deep in the heart of Texas and I am deeply southern in heart and soul. I love nature fiercely and intimately; it revives and saves me time and time again.  I had a very formal Christian education with little to no art at all…I quit my job as a special education teacher within a year – it drained my soul dry and within the next year I’d worked at a makeup counter for Origins, a barista at Starbucks, and worked my way up to a store manager at Anthropologie shortly after. I can honestly say I did everything I wanted to do…checked it off my list. Anthropologie was that dabble in the creative waters that I needed to awaken the creative beast living just beyond the surface.

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BF: The Beauty Forager is all about sharing beauty with others. Tell us about the work that you do.
 HC: To be honest, I don’t know if what I am doing is considered ‘work’. I don’t think I’ve reached the point where I am taking myself seriously. I will say that I am not letting it fall to the wayside or shrugging off the desire to create something – daily. There is a lot of talk in the creative sphere about ‘authenticity’ and I can honestly tell you I share my life. THIS IS my life…the images, the tableware pieces…it’s my life. It’s an idea we had at the table for a piece we felt was missing from our gathering…it’s a visual story that came to life as we were –living our lives. Nothing I do is meant to deceive the eye, I have a distinct desire to create things that MEAN something. I make it a point to use my camera at least once a day. That usually means taking it with me as we gear up to tackle all of the Florida elements in our backyard. I watch our children, I listen to them…and there comes a visual, a daydream brought to life. I am so busy, life is so hectic sometimes, the girls schooling is getting more and more involved and  I have to remind myself to breathe…and then suddenly my eyes catch something: light shadow dances on the wall, my straw hat on the rack, our market bags waiting anxiously on the hook for their next haul…and there I find another story – a moment I don’t want to ignore. So I think if I’d have to pin down what I do…or what I look for…or what I’m tossing and turning at night drenched with desire to capture it’s that —  moment that reminds you to take a breath and say: Good God this life is Beautiful and it’s worth anything and everything I’ve had to endure up until this very second…
BF: Inspiration is all around us. What inspires you?
HC: Nature inspires me…it breathes life into me. Motherhood has given me the drive to pursue beauty relentlessly, to forage for it, if you will. Everything I do…I do for my children – for their lives to be enriched and coated in beauty. To me there is nothing more pure than nature…from the pitter patter of an afternoon rain to a bushel full of freshly picked apples, I am forever in awe of the endless possibilities

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BF: Outside of your creative work, what hobbies or interests do you have?
HC: The things I love the most are things I can do for myself while giving to the people I love….gardening, baking…our nearly nightly beach soaks; watching the kids learning to navigate the mighty ocean. Gardening however, is something that changed my life. I find that I learn so much in the dirt…there are so many lessons there. On that same note I am so in love with the farm to fork movement, by husband and I love farm to fork dinners at local farms, touring local farms and being consumers 🙂 in the local/organic restaurant scene. I LOVE sitting across from my husband while having a locally sourced out of this world simple meal made by some incredibly talented and devoted folks!

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BF: Life is busy! How do you create balance in your life?
HC: I don’t have much balance…honestly. I’ve only recently begun to have to claw a schedule on the headboard. :)The older I get the more I realize how much I need to take care of myself not just for my children but for MY SAKE. It’s the little things that make the difference, switching from coffee to a very mellow matcha in the mornings, remembering my liver is ACTUALLY ‘a thing’ and giving my hormones all the help they can get with fresh juices and golden milk in the evenings. Balance and awareness go hand in hand, I believe…I think the awareness portion takes a bit of time and honing before one can actually get to that balance nirvana. So, I guess my answer is being more self aware and listening to my body and soul and feeing it accordingly. Being creative can throw a wrench into this, at least for me…I find myself up way too late just thinking of stories, words…images. Sometimes it’s necessary to ‘force quit’ your entire system!
BF: Do you set goals? If so, can you share a short term or long term goal with us?
HC: The only goal I have is to not quit chasing what ignites my wild curiosity. Well, I think…I’ve always wanted to write a book…but it isn’t a goal – more of a dream. If I had to sit down and write it down short and long term goal wise I’d say short term: is my health and sanity…I’d really love to get that balance thing down and steady. I’d love to go to bed earlier and be gentler with myself. Long Term: I’d love to get better, Hemingway is one of my Icons of all time ((even though he was a total jerk)) I’d love to keep it short and sweet…I’d love a photo to sweep enough of someone away that I’ll I’d need is two words to send them to space. (totally easy, right?;)

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BF: If you could collaborate with another creative, what medium would it be and why?
HC: I’ve thought about a children book for quite some time. I’d love to collaborate with an artist and bang out a super seriously dreamy children’s book one day… to find someone who can read my words and illustrate a story. I often find that’s where my hang up is, illustration.
You can find Amanda’s beautiful photos and thoughtful posts HERE.

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| mi•nim•yarn•ism |

05.19.2017

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BF: Hello and welcome to The Beauty Forager. Please tell us a little about yourself.
ML: Call me ML, for I am a Vietnamese-American with a Vietnamese name, born, raised and residing in Houston, Texas with my husband. I currently work as a stationery designer. I’ve been crocheting since a child when my late grandmother first taught me, but it wasn’t until I made a crochet blanket for my first niece did my passion for it blossom. I love to keep things simple, from my life and work to design and photography, because it is truly the simple things in life that matter most. I love a modern, minimalist style and often aim for clean, elegant designs.

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BF: The Beauty Forager is all about sharing beauty with others. Tell us about the work that you do.
ML:  I crochet. There is always something new to discover about the techniques involved in crochet. I’m very fascinated by the textures that come out of simple patterns or a combination of stitches, and thus I use the concept of minimalism to help bring light to its simplicity.

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BF: Inspiration is all around us. What inspires you?
ML:  Minimalism and abstract art inspire me the most. Growing up around a busy urban city, there is nothing like finding beauty in simplicity to balance me out. Lines formed in a building or furniture or even in a landscape inspire me. Light bouncing on walls or forming shapes around corners, the rippling surfaces of water, paint strokes on a blank canvas… I usually enjoy moments and captured photos that carry the simple elegance of such things around us.

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BF: Outside of your creative work, what hobbies or interests do you have?
ML: I love to read fiction novels, watch my favorite shows on Netflix or Hulu (while crocheting), stretch and relax with yoga practices, and spend time with my husband.

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BF: Life is busy! How do you create balance in your life?
ML: Yoga definitely helps me find that balance. I look to take half an hour a day right after work to find time to myself to refresh, recuperate, and recharge. Then I get right back to what I need to do for the day.

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BF: Do you set goals? If so, can you share a short term or long term goal with us?
ML: It’s always been a long term goal of mine to constantly keep it simple, especially in a yarn-loving craft such as crochet. There are so many colors, fibers, and projects to choose from, and (as I succumb to it too) we want to have them all! As I learn to cultivate minimalism more in my life that “less is more,” I hope to inspire others who want to do the same. For now, a short term goal is to incorporate more crocheted home decor, because I definitely love a simple yet cozy home.

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BF: If you could collaborate with another creative, what medium would it be and why?
ML: What a good question! As I am inspired by abstract art, it would be fascinating to collaborate with an artist or painter somehow! I’ve been having this idea in my head as of late, and if anyone could help “paint” this picture out for me, it would have to be a painter.

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You can see more of ML’s beautiful work HERE.

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THE BEAUTY FORAGER IS BORN

05.11.2017

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One week in and I’m overjoyed with the kindness and support shown by my sweet friends at The Beauty Forager. I was asked the other day why I chose to start up a new Instagram feed when my art feed is off and running? It’s really quite simple – I wanted a place to showcase some of the amazingly talented artists and creatives I come across everyday. Whether it’s a fellow artist, photographer, potter, or fiber artists, there’s something so beautiful and unique about each medium and I think we can all learn so much from one another. Simply, their work deserves to be shared! I’m happy to report that I have some remarkably talented people in the lineup to be featured, and I’m so thankful they’ve agreed to share a little with us about their process and life.  Stayed tuned!
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BEGINNINGS

04.24.2017

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I’ve attempted to write a blog before, however, was rather unsuccessful at it. If I’m to be completely honest, at the core of my futile attempt was the belief that I didn’t really have all that much to say of interest to anyone. I now realize that this was an unwarranted thought, as with all our life experiences, we have stories, opinions, thoughts and advice worthy of sharing. Perhaps it’s a confidence that has come with age, or just a realization that my words hold as much value as that of others?  No matter the reasoning, my approach to blogging has changed as I no longer only look at it as a direct means of communicating with others, but as a diary of sorts, a place to journal my thoughts and feelings about the world around me. I think it’ll also be a great avenue to house some of my favourite photos, ones that I want to archive for safe keeping. So, as this blogging adventure begins, I will say that if you are here reading this, thank you! Please feel free to reach out if you want to chat further about anything I’ve shared. I always love hearing from you!

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