Well, congratulations to Michele, who won her choice of either an art print or a photograph from Michelle Brusegaard. Thank you to all of you who entered.
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Today, our featured guest is a regular reader of The Downtown Boutique, who says that she is inspired by so many of the artists we feature. Michaela Dawn is the owner of a great little shop on Etsy, called Little Sparrow's Nest. Little Sparrow's Nest a sweet shop that is filled to the BRIM with gorgeous photographs that you can get in "block form" or "print form". If you choose "block form", you will receive a 4 x 4 x 3/4 inch photograph printed on KromeKote metallic paper, adhered with a glue bond onto a remnant wood square from their family farm on Country Road. Can you imagine getting three of the prints in "block form", and lining them up on a wall in your living room, your bathroom, or your bedroom? Michaela Dawn has so many to choose from, and they would really give that perfect little "cozy" feeling to your home.
On with the fun. Let's hear a little more about Michaela Dawn.
TDB: What was the best thing about your life 10 years ago, and what is the best thing about your life today?
Michaela Dawn: Not much has changed when it comes to the 9 best things of my life, so here is a conglomeration of the past decade's "bests"...
1. Although cliche, it resonates so true, the most enduring and valuable thing in my life both ten years prior and now is my family... My husband and I live in the same town as our parents and most our brothers live here too, so the children get copious amounts of their love and affection, and I get to be dated by my husband quite often:)
2. Health... I’ve always placed the importance of a healthy lifestyle relatively high on the priority list. Spiritually, mentally, and physical.
3. Steadfast Friends... I’ve only a few truly close friends, but these ladies know my quarks, vices, and virtues so well they are the best sounding boards in objectivity and blatant but gentle honesty.
4. Accessibility to nature, I am a native to the Black Hills of South Dakota which is an Indian nation, rich in the history of pioneer settlers and mining prospectors who have stamped their history out of Deadwood and surrounding towns. The beauty here is hard won but when appreciated, it inspires me deeply.
5. The absence of the Telly (TV), never really liked it, probably won't ever miss it in our life, although we enjoy a family film in during the cold winter months because it lends itself to cuddles and comfort foods...
6. Riding horses, I started riding when I was two and have always found that when the down right downers of life take hold and deep grieving needs to take place getting on a horse and going for a day long solo ride, having a good cry, then riding at a brake neck gallop always relieves my soul.
7. Books. Reading Novels, I am such a romantic.... My favorite novelists have colored my life. To name a few: Harper Lee, Alice Hofman, Anais Nin, Barbara Kinsolver, Sylvia Plath. I have developed quite a taste for history lately too, relating to the place I live in...
8. The ability to cultivate what is needed in our life, to plant, grow, harvest, and preserve food. To be attentive to the nature and symbiosis of God's divine order... Just look to the sparrows, butterflies, and trees...
9. A new one: Interaction via the web... the possibilities in fellowship it has opened up and the inspiring people I’ve met through it. It's given me the ability to craft from home and be accessible to my children's needs, while providing for the basic necessities of our living.
TDB: What or who inspires you the most, and why?
Michaela Dawn: Raw nature, the antiquated lasting quality of history found in textiles, architecture, and the intangible things such as integrity, values, and fruits of ones diligent work. I’ll look at a bushel of just pulled carrots, or a basket off collected eggs and see in its organic simplicity such rich beauty...
TDB: When did you first become interested in photography, and have you taken any classes to learn more about it?
Michaela Dawn: Honestly, I just rekindled the craft about a year ago from a four year hiatus, although I took two years of photography in school and worked for a photographer. My senior year I was dubbed FRESHEST for capturing some silly facial expressions in b&w and adding a slight tint of pastel color for a Charlie Chaplin look. I only started posting my photographs on Etsy near three months ago after a friend's gracious and highly esteemed comment in passing on my photos. The brilliance of the images where fairly nice, but I had yet to cultivate my own style, thus the addition of my coveted soft saturated hues of pinks, adore browns, and muted greens that can be found in Polaroids. I also enjoy the effects of sepia. I am always learning more. I’ve worked mainly with digital this last year because of the ease, as I’m usually juggling a baby in one arm while I try to balance a duaflex and digital in the other, plus film is an indulgence that I cannot quite afford at the moment since Polaroid instant has skyrocketed so high with the rumor of its discontinue. My goal is to get some 35 mm b&w for winter and see if I can get some decent Polaroid shots to put in in the shop soon.
TDB: If you could be a teacher of something, what would you teach?
Michaela Dawn: Architectural Drafting. I would enjoy being an instructor at a design school mainly because by reiterating what was once learned and combining new innovation with it I would always be on top of my game. Plus, I adore a conducive social atmosphere where ideas are born and the creative process is budding.
TDB: What other hidden talents do you possess?
Michaela Dawn: This is always so fun to be invited to gloat... I’ve both designed and built homes for the last eight years. I started drafting for a company and private architectural firm right out of high school... still in the process of getting the official degree, due to the busy life of mommy-hood.... I’m not sure if I really want to go back to college???
I suppose my children are still surprised that mommy can do gainers off rock cliffs, back flips on trampolines, and aerials off snow jumps. (my blatant denial of the aging process might lend me a few nights stay in the hospital one day, but until then I’ll be hard pressed to stop).
TDB: What do you do to de-stress?
Michaela Dawn: I run in the morning, lately I’ve got a lot of “unnatural-to-my-nature” down time due to nursing, so I’ve been simultaneously knitting or crocheting in abundance...
TDB: Please share three random bits of information about yourself.
Michaela Dawn: Actually, these little random are what has inspired my jewelry collection...
it is still in the process of “becoming” since the only time I’ve got for creation is in the evening after the children and hubby start their slumber... take a peek... http://www.skinnyswallow.etsy.com/ Other than that...
I like ellipses (...) tends to be how I speak, thus think, in continuum:)
Michaela, thank you so much for sharing with us! It was a delight to read! If you want to know more about Michaela Dawn, be sure to visit her blog: See You In The Wind.
It's time for the giveaway! Michaela Dawn is offering the winner their choice of block prints from her Etsy shop. All you need to do is this:
To enter: Go to Michaela's shop, take a peek around, and then come back here and let us know which item is your favorite. Please be sure to leave a VALID email address if your email is not attached to your Blogger account. You do not have to have a Blogger account to enter, but you must leave a GOOD way to get ahold of you.
To earn one extra entry, please blog about this feature and giveaway, and then leave a separate comment with the link to your blog.
To earn 5 extra entries, you can purchase something from any of our sponsors (found in the left hand column at the top), or from Michaela Dawn's shop. You must let us know about this purchase in a separate comment. Please be honest...I will be checking. :-)
This giveaway is open worldwide. Deadline to enter is Thursday, October 16th at Midnight PST.
Have a GREAT weekend!!!