I made the image above many years ago… The Hubs and I were touring an historic home and these sweet little mules and robe were laid out on this vintage fainting sofa and I nearly swooned. One of my favorite Harlem Renaissance novelists is Nella Larsen. NPR has a whole series about her, you can listen/read by clicking here. I’ve read Passing multiple times and am in the process of reading Quicksand. Helga, the heroine in Quicksand, talks about her partiality to opulence and satin and velvets and all things lush… When I saw this set up, I just imagined Helga leaning back, wrist on forehead, fanning herself with a heavily embroidered fan with her dainty little feathered mules kicked off to the side…


It’s funny that this month’s theme is all about inspiration because I’ve been less than inspired. I struggled all last year to write a blog post or to even pick up my camera. I just didn’t have it in me. In fact, I came thisclose to shutting down everything. The only thing that kept me from packing up my virtual suitcases is that I made a commitment to the ladies I cohost this series with. I’m not big on walking away from my obligations if I can help it.

So when I say I had to work really hard to find the inspiration to keep going, I mean it.

When I’m Getting Dressed

Most mornings, you’ll find me sitting on the edge of my bed, scrolling Pinterest, looking for something to wear. Seriously. Before Pinterest, gosh, before the internet, I used to do the same thing with magazines. You know, I’d find images of outfits that I liked and then I’d try to recreate them with pieces that I owned. It was fun and challenging and it pretty much guaranteed that I wouldn’t look like any of the other girls in school {except for that unfortunate year when I decided I had to wear MC Hammer pants and double wrap belts}.

When I’m Writing

I love to sing but cannot carry a tune. Still, that doesn’t stop me from trying. When I’m writing or driving or doing just about anything, it usually involves a full on concert with dancing and everything. When I’m in the mood, I listen to Spotify . As you can tell, I’m a fan of Neo-Soul music. I also listen to Imagine Dragons and Lauren Daigle. Podcasts are also my jam. I enjoy anything history related {The History Chicks and American History Tellers are two of my favorites}. When I’m in the mood for realness, I listen to 1619, Code Switch, or I read The 19th News.

When I’m Making Pictures

Image from The Art of You: A Guide to Telling Your Story through Self Portrait Photography. a breakout course with Chanel French.

I recently took a self portrait course with Chanel French and I learned so much about lighting and posing my body and finding my inspiration. As a jumping off point she challenged us to make photos using music or poetry for inspiration. You can see my series of images here. For the second week, she asked us to use flowers or scarves. I thought I’d try my hand at flowers because I love seeing images like this and this, but have never tried to recreate them. Naturally, I have whole Pinterest boards dedicated to self portrait ideas now. This year, I’d like to share a self portrait on Instagram on the 10th of every month because my birthday is 10 March. I’ll be 48. Not one of those big birthdays, but I feel like celebrating this year.

That’s about it. You’ve seen the space where I work and I’d say it’s pretty inspirational: I’m surrounded by light and plants and extra camera bodies… And, as with my first image, sometimes it’s the things The Hubs and I see while we’re out and about that captures my attention — they connect me to stories that I’ve read, places I want to go, people I want to meet… They inspire me.

Now it’s your turn, leave a comment telling me what inspires you.


Welcome to the monthly edition of Where Bloggers Live. It’s kind of like HGTV’s “Celebrities at Home,” but…Bloggers! Who doesn’t like to peek behind the scenes and see inside people’s homes? Over the next few months, a group of seven bloggers will be sharing their work spaces, their homes, towns and more!

I should note – because this is super important – the creative brain behind this project is Bettye at Fashion Schlub! Love her!

Make sure you visit everyone to see where the magic happens!

Bettye at Fashion Schlub
Daenel at Living Outside the Stacks
Em at Dust and Doghair
Jodie at Jodie’s Touch of Style
Iris at Iris’s Original Ramblings
Leslie at Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After


Come back next month to learn more about where I live.


Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}





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