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Enchanting Images

25 Jan

Marla Michele Must prefers to be called a portrait artist instead of a photographer. She has credentials to back this up as she is designated by Master Photographers International.

Her portraits tell a story, but her personal journey with photography is just as fascinating. When Must decided to adopt a child from China to add to her family of two children, she knew she wanted to capture all the emotions of the newly formed relationship between the siblings. Thus began her reintroduction to photography which she always loved as child. 

As a child she was also a ballet dancer studying at Interlochen, an internationally-acclaimed art academy in Michigan. So it was natural for Must to photograph dancers as well.

Everything aligned to established a portrait studio Enchanted Photography, located in Birmingham, Michigan, now celebrating its tenth anniversary. 

During this Covid quarantine time, Must established unique photo sessions, socially-distanced, for senior high school students. “I’ve been making senior portrait sessions very special and creative with the locations,” explains Must. She often uses nature as a backdrop, but the location depends upon the student’s personality. If the student is a hockey player, the locale could be an ice arena. 

“I really love working with kids,” says Must, who is impressed by the student’s resilience and positive attitudes. She views her collection of student portraits as art. 

Enchanted Photography is indeed enchanting..

 

 

Mask up Artfully

4 Dec

I’m amazed at some of the creative, artful masks. Not only can you stay safe wearing a mask, you can support local artists and businesses. I’m going to highlight three talented Detroiters, who are making masks.  Not only are they impressive artists, they are also accomplished writers.  I’m proud to say I know them personally.

Karen Buscemi is the founder the Detroit Garment Group (DGG), a registered 501(c)(3) public charity, providing education and opportunities for Michigan’s fashion community. She is also the CEO of Detroit Sewn, a woman-owned small business manufacturing PPE equipment including masks. Detroit Garment Group and Detroit Sewn are keeping people employed while providing a needed service. Please note the vital safety information about mask wearing on the Detroit Sewn website.

Megan Swoyer is a watercolor artist. Her designs are colorful, exuberant and just happy. You can find them on scarves, tea towels, notepads and yes masks. Click here for the 2020 gift guide. 

Dominic Pangborn is best known in Detroit for his men’s ties. But his artistry goes way beyond ties and way beyond Motown. His collections are amazing.  Please check out his website here.  Tote bags, scarves, pocket squares and just some of his creative designs. Here is a photo of a mask and matching scarf. 

These three artists, Karen Buscemi, Megan Swoyer and Dominic Pangborn, all deserve a post written just about them. I will in the future. 

For now, stay safe and mask up!

Trade Secrets to Empower Women

11 Nov

One of my favorite events in Motown is Trade Secrets, where successful  women give inspiring advice. The event raises funds for the JVS “Women to Work” program. I know about the program first hand. This program provides unemployed women (those displaced from the workforce and those never in the workforce) with job search training, career assessment and market-ready skills. “Women to Work” helps with resume building and most important confidence boosting.

This year’s virtual event 7 p.m. Nov. 19 features Suzy Farbman (below) as the keynote speaker. Suzy is my friend and colleague. She is a dynamo– a compelling storyteller and an extraordinary person. Her latest book is GodSigns. The tagline reads “Health, Hope and Miracles, My Journey to Recovery.” Suzy, who has appeared on the Oprah show, weaves a spiritual account of her path overcoming adversity. Here’s an apt description of the uplifting book:  “Think of the startling truth and eye-opening adventure of Eat, Pray, Love.”

For more about the book, please click here.

To date, the 2020 Trade Secrets event has raised more than $238,000 through sponsorship and ticket sales to empower unemployed women. To purchase a ticket click here

Persian Lit: A Personal Post

20 Oct

Yes, this is a personal note. The author of this book, published by the University of Edinburgh Press, is my son Kevin Schwartz, an Iranian Scholar. You many think that Persian literature is indigenous to Iran, but it has far reaching tentacles. From the Balkans to the Bay of Bengal and crossing the continents to South Asia, Persian literature is prevalent. This scholarly book explores trends in literary culture of the the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Even the war ballads of the first Anglo-Afghan War in oral and written forms are part of Persian Literature. Other cross cultural connections are revealed in Remapping Persian Literary History, 1700-1900.

If you are interested in this topic, this book can be purchased on Amazon or through the University of Edinburgh here.
https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-remapping-persian-literary-history-1700-1900.html

 (You can use the code NEW30 to get a 30 percent discount,)

For more information about Kevin Schwartz, please visit his website https://www.kevinschwartz.org/

Yep, I’m proud.

Covid Consumerism

18 Sep

Now, that some people are venturing out, I’m interested in your shopping habits during these unusual times. Here are my purchases: food, puzzles, comfy clothes (yoga pants, etc.), two new sofas, new towels, hand lotion and face cream. And, yes, MASKS!

I’ve ventured to the local mall, just to feel normal.  It’s not busy, but at least I saw some people with shopping bags. We have a new store Amazon 4, which I will write about in a future post. So, do you have any purchases lately? Please share.

One of my favorite blogs is Lark & Linen.  Here are some of Lark & Linen’s cozy picks. Please click here for a description.

 

Cartoon by Adrienne Hedger

New Quarantine Addictions

13 May

So now that we all have sheltered in place. What are your NEW quarantine addictions? If you always had a happy hour, please don’t list it. Please share something new. So here are some of my new habits — the good, bad and the ugly!

  1. Online gaming– Not gambling yet. But I love the apps Canasta Junction and Real Mah Jongg. Seriously, I can play for hours and with friends or even strangers.
  2. Baking — I’ve tried recipes I have never attempted before. Without bragging, I’m getting quite good.
  3. Yoga pants — I’m not sure I have worn anything else in 2 months. I’m frightened to put on pants with a waist and a button. Yikes!!
  4. Organizing — I’m going through old photos from my parents and grandparents, rearranging drawers and yes more cleaning.
  5. Hoarding– I want to hoard paper towels, Kleenex, wipes, toilet paper. But I can’t find enough. And since I know it’s wrong I will not. But, I have an urge because it’s in short supply.

So please share your newly developed addictions. Let’s all hope we won’t keep them.

 

Cartoon by Adrienne Hedger

My Al Kaline Moment

9 Apr

When I was editor of Style magazine (no longer published), our team picked 20 iconic Detroit Stylemakers for the 20th anniversary issue.

I had the opportunity to interview Al Kaline in 2005. He chose Comerica Park, the home of the Detroit Tigers. We met in the stands, while the team practiced. He was nice, gracious and humble. He talked about how much he loved baseball and the Detroit Tigers. In 2005, he was the special assistant to Dave Dombroski, then president of the Detroit Tigers.

But in his opinion, his proudest accomplishment was not his baseball prowess — it was being married 50 years to his high school sweetheart. We both teared up when he said it.

The photo above is a picture from the magazine.

What a special baseball player and special person!  RIP no. 6.

 

Photography by Glenn Triest.

Meet the Good Book Fairy

5 Mar

Did you know there is a book fairy? I met her the other day when she spoke at the Mandel JCC in Palm Beach Gardens. Her name is Lauren Margolin (left), and she has a fabulous blog www.goodfairybook.com where she shares her love for books and book clubs.

She gave some great advice for book clubs. Here are some of her tips: Choose books two to three months out, mix genres and locations in books, have the facilitator gather info on the internet, pull some good quotes from the book for discussion, coordinate the food and drink to match the book’s locale, meet at a bookstore for a change, authors love to be contacted and perhaps you can set up a Skype interview.

Then she listed several great book club choices in her presentation, which she gives all over the country.

Killer of the Flower Moon by David Grann; Educated by Tara Westover; Limelight by Amy Poeppel; Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran; The Island of the Sea Women by Lisa See; Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens,;Moloka’i by Alan Brennert; Harry Potter by J.k. Rowling; The Kite Runner by Khaled Kosseini; Before we were Yours by Lisa Wingate; Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors; Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross; The Rent Collector by Camron Wright; Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick; Close Range by Annie Proulx; The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J.Ryan Stradal; The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristen Harmel; The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris; Midnight of Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew T. Sullivan; The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin; Hum if you Don’t know the Words by Bianca Marais, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood; The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson.

 

Please go to her blog that is filled with information for book lovers. You can click here.

What is your book club reading?

Fashionably Modest

21 Jan

Ladies in Leadership of the Chabad of Palm Beach Gardens hosted a fashion show and champagne brunch at Bloomingdales. New York fashion influencer Adi Heyman (right) attended the event and conversed with the audience during a question and answer session led by Rebbetzin (Rabbi’s wife) Chana Vigler. Heyman is a modern Orthodox Jewish woman known for her fashion forward style and how she embraces dressing modestly to honor her faith. Heyman’s fashions are in sync with a Jewish lens.

Vigler explained that covering elbows and knees are not necessarily modest but fashionable. All the runway looks exhibited that theme.  Trends included flowing skirts and leather jackets.

Vigler also stressed how empowering these fashions can be. “Women are so much more than their bodies.”

Chanukah Page Turners

12 Dec

I just published an article on books for the entire family for the  gift guide in the Detroit Jewish News. I’ve included some adorable children’s book as well as books for parents, grandparents and a surprise pop-up book for the entire family. Enjoy!

Here’s the link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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