Thursday, May 27, 2010

There Is Beauty In The World

Hello there my bloggy friends, I've had the most amazing week and I just wanted to share a little bit of it with you all!  First of all I want to say thank you to everyone for your wonderful comments about my new lamp.  I love it, and I'm glad you all do too!  And to answer a few questions, it did come with the writing already on perfect is that?!  And if you are looking for one at your local Target and can't find one, you can click on this link and buy it online!

Ok, now on to my week and the unbelievable thrill and excitement of it all!  As most of you know, I've been a freelance magazine writer for the past 12 years, working on a regional level.  Although Mr. Tide had encouraged me to try to write for some of the major national publications, I had never really pursued it, but all of that changed a few months ago!

A little thing called serendipity entered my life in the form of a wonderful woman by the name of Fifi O'Neill.  For those of you who have been living under a rock somewhere, or without the benefit of print media for forever...then you may not know that Fifi O'Neill is one of the most accomplished writers, stylists, and editors in the world of home decorating and design publishing!!!

I sent Fifi an email a few months ago inquiring about doing some freelance work for her wonderful magazine, Romantic Country.  When I sent the email, I wasn't really expecting a reply, Fifi is in the big leagues after all, and I'm still on the farm team.  But to my surprise and delight, she sent sent me the most kind and wonderful reply!  And it turns out that she and I both had written about the same home, my story was featured in a regional magazine and her story was in Country Living Magazine!  See what I mean about Fifi being in the big leagues?!

If you visit Fifi's beautiful blog, Chez Fifi, you'll be blown away, not only by the blog itself, but by the who's who list of publications that she has contributed to.  And as Editor in Chief of Romantic Country, a stylist, and a writer, she is a woman who is constantly on the move!  Along with her magazine work, she is currently working on a book and a TV show!

So why would a woman of such stature in the publishing world want to help out a little 'ole regional writer like myself?  Because she's Fifi O'Neill, and along with being a hugely talented career woman, she is also one of the kindest and most supportive people I've ever met!

She took the time to not only look at my scouting shots, but she submitted them to various magazines within Harris Publishing for approval, and 4 of the homes I submitted got picked up for national magazines!  As if that weren't enough to make me want to jump for joy, I will also be writing the accompanying stories!  Ok, for a freelance writer, this is like winning a least it is for me!

Over the last few days, not only did I get to meet Fifi in person while she did several shoots in my area, but I also got to meet the super talented photographer she was working with, Dan Mayers.  I have been to photo shoots before, but this was a whole new world for me and I loved every minute of it!  Dan is a very well respected photographer with quite a portfolio of his own, if you go to his website you'll be blown away by his work as well!

Dan and Fifi are an amazing tour de force when they are working on a shoot.  Their creative talents, eye for composition, and knowledge was truly awe inspiring!  It was like watching a beautifully synchronized ballet as the two of them set up, discussed, and tweeked each shot.  

And don't even get me started on Dan's camera equipment...I was drooling at all of the cool stuff he had in his bag's' of tricks!    And he was so wonderful about giving me advice and hints on how to improve my own photos.  His work clearly intimidated the crap out of me...and the photos I took of the shoot today have to be some of the worst photos I think I've ever taken, except for those photos I took months ago when I had my white balance all messed up and didn't realize it!

It turns out that Dan and I had a connection of sorts too in this very small world.  Remember the book Waterside Cottages that I gave away a few weeks ago?!  Well that is one of Dan's books, and it has some of the most amazing photos.  So not only was I rubbing shoulders with one of the most respected women in the publishing world, but with one of the most accomplished photographers as well!

And speaking of intimidating, after the shoot on Wednesday, I had invited Dan, Fifi, and the homeowner, Diane, over for dinner at my house!  All week, before their arrival I kept saying to myself and my bad back..."what the heck are you thinking?!...inviting a woman from France to your house for dinner...what on earth will you fix?!"  But with some sage advice from a few friends...thanks Kate, Kim, Connie and my dear friend Traci (get a blog Traci!), I calmed down to only slightly freaked out.  Then when I met both Dan and Fifi in person and found out what fun, energetic, and truly down to earth people they were I was no longer worried and had a wonderful evening with everyone!

I do have to mention that Mr. Tide deserves so much credit for taking care of everything while my back has been out and if it weren't for him I would have gone completely insane trying to pull things together!  And my sister M and my beautiful niece Courtney for their help too!  Everything wasn't perfect, there were rooms where the doors were shut, the kitchen backsplash still wasn't installed, and there were plants that didn't get planted, but it was good food, good wine, and great company, so is there really anything more important than that?!  Even after 10 long, grueling days on the road, Dan and Fifi had us laughing the evening away regaling us with tales of their previous shoots, funny airline stories, and how baguettes can be turned into weapons.

This morning, I woke up and wondered if all of this had really happened!  Had I just spent the day before at a gorgeous waterfront cottage watching Fifi O'Neill and Dan Mayers working side by side?!  And had I spent the evening dining with the owner of that great house along with Dan, Fifi, Mr. Tide and my son Bugs?! 

Thankfully Dan took a picture of Fifi with my puny little camera so that I have proof that it wasn't all a dream!  That's Fifi standing in the sitting area off of my kitchen, looking beautiful even after 10 hours of hard work!  After a porch shoot this morning, Fifi and Dan headed back to their respective homes.  I hope Fifi had a wonderful flight and can relax a little bit over the long weekend before going great guns again next week!  And I hope Dan has a wonderful weekend celebrating the 2nd birthday of his darling twins!  

I could go on and on about what a wonderful experience this was for me and for each of the homeowners whose beautiful homes were chosen, but I think the photo above sums it up best!  When you meet fun, happy, gracious, kind people you are pleasantly reminded that...there is beauty in the world! 


  1. Oh my goodness, I'm so excited and thrilled for you. What an amazing experience and such a leg-up for your career. I would have been having a complete freak-out as well, inviting two such bigwigs (although nice ones) into your home. It can be very intimidating, but good for you and hubby for pulling it off. Congrats.

  2. What an awesome experience! Congrats on the accomplishment!

  3. Kat, that story made me smile from ear to ear. I love hearing how good things come to good people and dream opportunities make their way to you (not without hard work I know). It sounds like you had the most amazing of times with more to come! Huge congratulations to you. Do tell us lots more :)

  4. wow! that is wonderful..i'm thrilled for you!

    it's nice to do what you love...and this is it for you!

    right on...keep at it!

    ciao bella and thanks so much for sharing your joy with us! it was a fun read!

    creative carmelina

  5. Wow Kat, you are moving on up!! Great story and I am so happy for you. Can't wait to see your finished articles. Let us know what magazines and when want you?

  6. Isn't it wonderful when life suddenly goes super-charged! So gratifying to see all your hard work and talent taking you to the next level. When you work with such good people suddenly so much more seems possible, and the road opens up before you...

  7. Bravo,

    What a week of magic you've had. I am so happy for you, and know that all these blessings are justly deserved. Your fans will be looking forward to seeing your various stories in print.



  8. Kat, how wonderful for you! You certainly deserve it. Now I want to know waht did you serve these French people for dinner.????

  9. KAT: I have looked up to you since dipping my toe in the blogging world and finding you and am not surprised that someone with your kindness, positive energy AND talent would be "discovered!" Congratulations on everything!!! I can feel your joyous energy leaping out at me from the computer screen! Take time to really really let it all soak in....and ENJOY the ride. Many hugs to you! PS: And to think, I'M the ONE that won your Waterside Cottages book with Dan's photos! Only wish you'd signed it, now that you are FAMOUS! : ) xx P&H

  10. Congratulations Kat!! How wonderful! What a fantastic experience for you and well deserved! xx

  11. Congrats wonderful! Hope you have a great holiday weekend:)


  12. WOW wow wow... so amazing!! Good for you...

  13. Didn't I tell you the meeting/dinner would be a huge success?! Because I'm clairvoyant you know - haha. And as I told you once before, I'm just waiting for the day that I can say "I knew her when" :)

    As for getting a blog, I've been thinking about it forever, but I'm afraid it won't be one with gorgeous photos and stories such as yours! And you probably wouldn't really want me to have another excuse to email you all the time asking for blogging tips! :)

  14. Wow! This is SO exciting. I'm jumping up and down at the thought of our little Kat and her trip to the Big Time. Will you be too famous to have time for us little people? Nah! Not a chance.

  15. What an amazing day you had!!! You must have been on cloud nine! I'm so glad that you were able to have this opportunity and feel certain that the feeling was shared by your visitors.

    Enjoy your weekend and I hope that you are able to enjoy some down time.


  16. I am THRILLED for you! I love seeing the photos of the behind the camera shots and getting an idea of how they work! I am so happy for you and can't wait to hear more! You deserve the spotlight! You are SO talented! ♥

  17. Congratulations Kat! This is so exciting and I am absolutely thrilled for you. Girl, you deserve it. Please let us know when the articles come out.

  18. Woo Hoo!!! Congratulations Kat! Good for you!

  19. OMG How incredibly exciting for you! Well done, congratulations Kat.

  20. Hi Kat!
    I cannot begin to imagine the thrill and excitement of having Fifi and Dan right there in your home and being fortunate enough to work with them.
    It doesn't surprise me though, because you are so talented and confident about your work. You have what it takes and they saw it!

    Congratulations and now you know the sky's the limit!

    hugs sweet friend,

  21. Awesome! Congrats on taking such a personal step to compliment someone and end up working with them! Wow!

  22. OH KAT! HOW exciting! This post has just been the most fun to read and I am SO excited for you! I can hardly wait to see your features! All your hard work and talent has paid off and it is inspiring!! You go girl!! Congrats! XO

  23. Kat!! I am so, so, so excited for you:) Congratulations!!!!!! YAY:) Hugs~ Tina xx

  24. Wow Kat - what an amazing day for you! And CONGRATULATIONS to you on this well deserved, hard worked for and amazing opportunity!

  25. OMG! CONGRATULATIONS! I'm so totally thrilled for you and inspired by your entire experience. I wish you absolutely ALL OF THE BEST that can be had! CONGRATULATIONS!

    Robin Z

  26. CONGRATULATIONS Kat!!! I am so excited for you!

  27. OH how EXCITING! Way to go Kat!

  28. Wow, this is absolutely thrilling! I would be positively beside myself, I'd be so giddy.

    Well deserved, enjoy!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  29. Oh how exciting. Fifi is a gorgeous lady. Dan is such a talented photographer.
    Enjoy your weekend

  30. This is so awesome Kat!! And so very well deserved too. What a magical time this must be for you. I am so very happy for you and I can't wait to hear more about it! (I was without my computer for the last couple days, otherwise I would have been chomping at the bit to comment on this a lot sooner!) I'm so proud of you, and I do believe Fifi and Dan know they have discovered someone very special. Congrats to you my dear Kat! ~Lili

  31. Congrats to you! What an experience of a lifetime! I am so happy for you.


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