Hope you all had a wonderful St Patrick’s Weekend! This mornings post is particularly special and appropriate, and the perfect way to bring a few days of celebrating Irish heritage to a close. I always get great pleasure in sharing the talented collaboration of Annabella Charles and Karin Woodward. This Irish picnic inspired shoot was especially meaningful to Karin as it was filled with personal mementos from her grandmothers childhood. Born in Sligo, Maggie Cullen emigrated to the U.S as a girl, but used such treasures as her Belleek Pottery and Linens to give following generations a sense of where they had come from.
I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who are lucky enough to have inherited keepsakes from the past, thanks Karin for the reminder to remember the stories behind them!
“Ireland has always had a special place in my heart. My grandmother came to America through Ellis Island when she was too young to know what was going to happen in her young life, escorted by her brother who was so very young himself. She had an amazing, eventful, and long life and left me with many reminders of her heritage. I treasure them with all my soul as I treasure my time with her while she was on Earth.
Annabella Brandon, the photographer, captured every precious detail as we pranced across the clovers and grass with my paper thin Belleek saucers and tea cups. The picnic included tea and scones with berries and honey among more Belleek vases filled with Lavender, Grape Hyacinth, and America’s “shamrock” the Oxalis plant. Across the sea, on a breezy March afternoon in Tennessee, we talked about our heritage and the rich history of Ireland. We positioned pearls, coins, photographs, and linens from my grandmother’s own hand into a picture story of an Irish American who succeeded in raising children and grandchildren who still carry her fondness of the Emerald Isle. Several shepherd’s hooks were posted into the ground to wave a chain of knot tied fabric swatches that served as adorable bunting, (and idea of Natalie Chang the stationer). Pots of Oxalis “shamrocks” were wrapped in green burlap and old Irish oatmeal canisters and donned tiny green chalkboard sings that read popular Irish phrases like “Cead Mile Failte”. The millinery flowers were a gift from my lifelong friend Nikki. Each flower type was from a different country of origin in the 1940’s and the creamy ivories and greens felt perfect for the theme as I hand steamed them into a bouquet and boutonniere representing an antique wedding day keepsake. The afternoon was rounded off with a nip of Jameson and of course we had to sample the Irish cream infused cupcakes that were baked just for the picnic. I hope someday my own children look at their inherited keepsakes and these photographs as treasures and reminders of life, heritage, and love. I know I do!”