Friday, February 26, 2010

From Macau with Love


photo credits: 1.macau snap 2. senado square 3. lanterns at Largo do Sedi nado 4. Macau (Macao)

Roughly ten years ago, between my junior and senior year of college, I spent the summer in Hong Kong and China teaching English. Now and then we had time for excursions, and on one such occasion, the three other American teachers and I traveled to the Portugese colony, Macau. One of the teachers had expressed some affection for me; however, Robert and I had just started seriously dating, and this other teacher's feelings went unrequited. Despite my attempt to handle it delicately, his response was to treat me with sarcasm and snide comments. After enduring this through half the summer, on our trip to Macau, I told him that I had enough of his sour demeanor and no company was better than his company. So there I was, in an unknown country that I barely knew existed, alone. Even so, it didn't damper my experience. Macau was beautiful: colonial and stately. My memories of it are this: big and bright and glossy like a post card. I went to the Rua da Felicidade {Street of Happiness} and the fisherman's wharf, but the most memorable place was the Largo do Senado. The contrast of the colonial yellow walls juxtaposed with the black and white swirling cobblestone is a striking combination.

photo credit: IMG_4478 Senado Square

If you've seen the new JCrew catalog, it is shot in Portugal and in some of the photos, you can see similar black and white streets. It's interesting how the mind works, and how the smallest thing can act like a key that unlocks a door to memories that haven't been recalled in such a long time.

I tend to gravitate toward the same earthy colors: cream, brown, green, and dusty pink. However, in the spirit of Macau, here are some items with graphic black and white paired with yellow, in a tip of the hat to the beautiful 8 mile long country I sojourned to alone more than ten years ago.


"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,
we must carry it with us
or we find it not."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson



One final thought: right now, as we are so close to launching the website, the majority of Mia Joie is temporarily on hold. This is just life. We can make our plans, but plans can change... people change their mind, events happen, we get sick. Whatever it is, there are things we can control and things we can't. I believe in the beauty of dreams, and I believe that much more than we ever imagined is possible, if we plan and pursue. However, I likewise believe that God is sovereign, and life can be very unexpected. Those two dovetail in some mysterious mix, and I am waiting in the in-between.



25 comments:

Jenni said...

Love that first picture of Mia! She is such a beauty!

The colors look beautiful together!

Jessica Haley said...

Thanks, Jenni. Sometimes I look at photos of her and gasp--is she really starting to look that grown up?! You know that they say about time...

Kristine Bercot said...

How eloquent your thoughts are. With the recent mudslides in Madeira I'm sure the people of Portugal can relate to all that you say.We all must remember to carry the peace and happiness with us,just like the beauty, in order to deal with whatever life brings our way. You my dear are a powerhouse talent.Your approach is spot on.We must plan and pursue,hope and pray,and then we will be on the schedule as it was meant to be.

Terri Bowden said...

The boots are striking, and Mia looks adorable as always...in the second photo, she really resembles you.

Kasey said...

looks like an amazing place.
and your photo's are getting better and better.
btw...yes..i took my camera to ihop.
gross i know....
but we survived;-)
xo

Mande said...

Mia is sooo beautiful & so grown up in these photos. My favorite is the 2nd photo, love the black & white- her amazing big smile. Just beautiful. Those boots are TDF! Looking forward to your website launch Jessica.

Dear Lillie said...

Thanks so much for stopping by our blog! Oh my goodness! Mia is an absolute doll! I love that first shot! The yellow with the black and white is gorgeous! I am about to do some yellow and gray shirts...well, it's next on my list anyway, who knows when I will actually get to it!

Are these boots going to be on your website? I LOVE LOVE LOVE them and would love to get some for Lillabel! I CANNOT wait for your website!!!

Your posts are always just as beautiful to read as to look at! I love the photos from your time in Macau and how they translate into your work! It's always so neat being able to see how artist's are inspired and you are truly an artist!

Ashley B. said...

I love the inspiration behind these items and how fabulously they are pulled together! Those boots are absoulutely incredible! One question though, how do you manage to get such amazing shots of Mia??? I have an 18 month old who litterally runs everywhere, and I'm lucky to catch even a glimps of her as she flies by while I'm taking pictures. I welcome any suggestions!

Jessica Haley said...

Thanks so much for your kind comments; I appreciate every one!

Ashley, to answer your photo question, some is a result of Mia's personality; she's pretty good at ham-ing it up for me. Aidan does not like photos at all, which is why I don't post nearly as many pictures of him. However, I still have some tips that might help you.

1.)Move around until you find the right setting. Sometimes I think the background, lighting, and composition are perfect for a photo, but {for whatever reason} it's just not working. I've found it better to just pick up the child, and move him or her to a different place. That doesn't necessarily mean get in your car and drive somewhere different, but maybe move to a different place in the yard that captures more of the morning light or a place in the house that is closer to the window.

2.) The second thing and more valuable tip: take a LOT of photos. Most cameras can be set for motion capture, snapping several photos in a second. Shooting a toddler, this is really important b/c they move so much. The change of expression, roll of the eyes, or in my case turn of the ankle is the difference between a good or a bad photo. It doesn't cost anything, so I say: snap away! You can always delete later, and it's better than looking at a picture and saying, "oh, it would have been perfect if only her eyes were open."

Hope that helps! :)

Jessica Haley said...

Oh, one more thought...

I don't know if I will sell these boots. I have a few new designs that I wanted to debut with my website, but the last two posts have not been them. I've been frustrated lately, and when I'm frustrated, I create. It's sort of what I do. Also, Jennifer {Dear Lillie} has a really great blog if you are looking for decor inspiration. I don't visit it too much b/c I'm jealous. {There--I said it!} I used to put a lot of energy into decorating my house but with two destructive little ones and a business, I don't have time for it like how I wish I did.

Alisha said...

Okay, is there anything you haven't done ;) ???

"Change" is something I am definitely learning as a new parent. :)

Absolutely stunning! Love the boots and yellow flower...and the photos of Mia are incredible {as always}, she is such a beauty.

Anonymous said...

So sweet. Love how you put the bow on the toe.

Philip, Melissa, & Summer said...

Love the houndstooth. Those are super cute.

Anonymous said...

love the boots and flower clip...and love the yellow coat....more inspiration

Katie said...

Jess- those boots are fab. How cool that K Bercot is posting here too- can't wait for her spring launch!

It was beautiful here today- peep toe shoes might be in order soon :)

managing to work in weather as usual (chuckle, chuckle)

Ashley B. said...

Thank you for the suggestions! I love the idea of motion capture! Why the heck didn't I think of that??? One more quick question, if you don't mind... I know you use Photoshop, but which version do you use? I've been doing some research and can't decide what I would like. Thank you so much again for taking the time to give out some tips! SOOOOO excited for your website launch. It'll all happen in the right timing, it always does. : )

Jewllori by Lori said...

Macau is beautiful, vibrant and colorful! And I get lots of fun beads from there :)

Great pics. Little Mia is certainly growing up, she is a beauty! I can't wait to meet my baby in four days...starting all over again :)

Prencie said...

WOW! Love the Houndstooth boots!! Sorry, for my silence, I've been busy with the opening of my etsy shop...finally did it!! Yay! I wanted to really buy the pink boots but didn't want to ask for you to add the ruffle because I know how busy you are!! I checked back later and saw that you posted to add the ruffle but my size had already sold :( Thank you for telling us about "Dear Lillie"!!! My degree is in design and that is my 1st passion but after having 3 kids my new passion is being a full time stay at home with them:) A new vendor that our furniture store started buying from called Guild Master did a BEAUTIFUL french provincial sideboard in a distressed houndstooth! I was drooling left and right over it but had no place in my house for it...it was huge! So my love for houndstooth has me drooling over the boots;) Can't wait for the launch of your website!

Anonymous said...

I want those boots...will you be selling them?Maybe a pattern?
Brenda
brehal@charter.net

Becca said...

Those boots! drool.

Candace @ Candace Creations said...

You're pictures and shoes/boots are AMAZING! I can't get over it! I recently found your blog and LOVE looking at it, everything is so gorgeous! That's why I've awarded you with a Beautiful Blog Award! You can check it out here http://candacecreations.blogspot.com/

Cant wait for the website! Your shoes are to die for!

LaDawn D said...

I completely adore the black and white with yellow!!! They remind me that spring IS coming and I will one day be back to the fun bold colors of summer:) Cannot believe how sweet Mia looks in the black n white photo...cutest lil face! Congratulations on another amazing product, and I cannot wait for the website. YAY for you.

Dear Lillie said...

Okay, I am not going to lie! I am so dissapointed you aren't going to be selling the houndstooth boots, but I totally understand! However, I CANNOT wait to see the boots you are going to have on your website! Am dying to get Lillie more of your shoes!

paperbird said...

Beautiful Blog, Beautiful children- sweet little shoes- I love this place!

Jessica Haley said...

Thank you for the comments, and sorry it took me so long to reply.

LaDawn: so nice to see you stop by! I was thinking about you the other day and wondering how you have been! Hope all is well :)

Ashley: Photoshop CS3

Lori: I didn't know you were near Macau, how fun to shop there!

Prencie: what a fun occupation and the sideboard sounds divine *drool* ;)

Brenda: Thanks for your interest, but I probably won't sell patterns to shoes/boots I am actively selling

Dear Lillie: I 'm not ruling out selling the boots, I just don't know for sure. I will sell the size 5's in the photo for a discount, if you are interested. :)

Instagram

Share Joyfolie

Mia Joie
use Ctrl+C to copy and paste