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A World’s Fair Home – Karen Kalish Clayton mansion showcases her art collection – pub’d Missouri Life

Good afternoon everyone,

I had the opportunity to step inside a real piece of history – a World’s Fair Home patterned after the Missouri Building from the World’s Fair in 1904, when a query I submitted to Missouri Life that came to fruition.

Entrepreneur, Karen Kalish owns the magnificent home in the historic Old Town Clayton district, and has filled it to the brim with her personal charm and eclectic style, all the while showcasing her extensive collection of art work.

Here’s my feature article and photographs that appeared in the August 2015 issue of Missouri Life. I especially fell in love with her pets while doing the story.

Maybe, she’ll invite me back just to hangout?

Peace out and love,

Sheree

ML0815 A World's Fair Home - Karen Kalish_Page_1

ML0815 A World's Fair Home - Karen Kalish_Page_2

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2013 in review – Sheree’s Top Five Blog Posts

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for my blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,600 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Van Buskirk’s Chocolate Bar – Like going to Italy for expresso! – New publication, Missouri Life

homemade ice cream and sorbet, & drinking chocolate

homemade ice cream and sorbet, & drinking chocolate

Here’s my newest restaurant review about a sweet spot in Cottleville, Missouri.  Took my in-laws there yesterday, and they commented it was the best expresso they’d tasted since their visit to Italy last year.

And that’s saying something!

Van Buskirk’s has an extensive menu of drinking chocolates, coffees, hand-painted truffles and a full bar menu.

Let me know what you think of my Missouri Life article and pics, and if you’ve visited places like this in your area.

My favorite – the affagato – two shots of expresso poured over handmade salted caramel ice cream.  Yummy!

ML1213 pg 081 Van Buskirks

Every Picture Tells a Story

Students have given photography permisson

Students have given photography permission

Last August, Deborah Marshall, of Warrior Arts Alliance and Missouri Humanities Council, asked me to lead a workshop for veterans with PTSD at the Jefferson Barracks VA Hospital, in St. Louis.  I have to admit, I had a wonderful time teaching the importance of the photography role in writing, to the veterans.

This October, I was fortunate to lead two more workshops, titled “Every Picture Tells a Story” at the same location.

In the first class, I talked about capturing images on film as a child.  I built a pinhole camera way back then, and I’ve been taking pictures ever since. When I first picked up the pen, I found that photography helped me recreate the feeling of being ‘in the moment’, sort of like I traveled back in time.

Though freelance contracts, I’d find myself photographing a particular location or event – people, beaches, meadows, and even food.  This aided in story development.  The pictures helped me fill in the blanks and recap memories.

I shared a slideshow of photos from my travel assignments from AAA Travel and Missouri Life with the students, and expressed what each photo meant to me.

I stressed the importance of ‘show, don’t tell’, and how we need to tap all of our senses, thoughts and feelings when telling a story.  I urged the students to snap photos of anything – people’s actions, the sunlight on a rose, the soulfulness in a dog’s eyes. They could always go back and write about the images later.

I read from Anne Lamott’s bird by bird, the Polaroids chapter, and relayed the relevance of  ‘the big picture.’  During their first writing assignment in class, my hubby projected a photo on the computer monitor.  With written instructions, I asked the students to convey in writing what they were feeling and doing, the time of day, the season – all the little details pertinent to showing, not telling.

When the exercise was over, the students offered to share stories aloud.  I was amazed by the many interpretations just one photo could convey.  And I was proud.

We discussed the rules of writing, and writing tips.  Then I distributed another exercise, on overuse of words.  We applied this to a second writing exercise.

Once again, I was overjoyed by their answers and creativity.  They got it.  They truly got it.

I distributed a homework exercise in the form of an essay I’d written, accompanied by hubby’s photo of a ten-foot Caribbean reef shark, and asked them to highlight colorful descriptions throughout the essay that created visual images in their mind.  We’d discuss next week.

I looked at the clock, and realized two hours had flown by.  As I packed up my papers, computer, and class aids, the veterans shuffled past hubby and me on their way out the door.  They said they planned on coming back to class next week, eager to learn something new.

On the way to the car, one of the woman approached me and said, “You’re a great facilitator; can’t wait to see you again.  You made class fun.”

Funny thing.  I’d never thought about myself in that way.

So when Rita from the VA left me a voice mail stating most of the students were returning for the second class, I decided to create a new syllabus for “Every Picture Tells a Story – Part Two.”

Stay tuned for next week’s blog post and what we talked about…

My new publication “License to Soar” in Missouri Life – Patrice Billings – First female police officer helicopter pilot in the nation

My feature story about Patrice Billings, the first female helicopter pilot in the nation, finally made it to print.

“License to Soar – Patrice Billing’s love of adventure and flying opened the way to a life of firsts” appears on page 106 and 107 of the October Missouri Life issue.

I first met Patrice during the hustle and bustle of last year’s Christmas season on Main Street, St. Charles, Missouri coming out of the Life is Good store.  She was quite an interesting woman.  The interview took place at her home in January.  I soon discovered the many amazing goals this woman had set for herself, and accomplished.

Please enjoy her story, and maybe you can find inspiration to soar to heights to achieve your goals, like Patrice did.

Click on the link below:

Missouri Life pg. 106 106 ML1013 Patrice Billings

Miissouri Life pg. 107 107 ML1013 Patrice Bilings

DSC_1273 Patrice close up face

New Publication – Gateway to Wright – Missouri Life

Last fall, I sent a proposal to my editor at Missouri Life for an idea on a famous home.  I receive a contract for a feature story with photos for the Frank Lloyd Wright Home in Ebsworth Park.  A fan of Wright’s for many years, I was ecstatic to receive the assignment.

After contacting Joanne, the home’s board chairman, we set up a time for a tour.  Although I’d visited the iconic structure before with hubby and family, the second time around left me with a new found appreciation for Wright’s concepts and architecture.

Over the course of my assignment, my love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright deepened.  His Japanese-inspired influence, use of geometric shapes and natural materials made him all the more appealing to me.

Joanne mentioned I was only the third photographer allowed to capture the home’s interior, and the first photographer to have a published photo of the Cherokee Red gate at the entrance of the home.  I’m the first writer/photographer to do a story on the home fact-checked by the board chairman.

Joanne sent me a very nice email on February 8, 2013.

“Dear Sheree,
I was able to buy Missouri Life this week and saw and read the article.  It is outstanding!  The photography is amazing.  Thanks for taking so much time to hone the article and make it as interesting and as accurate as possible.
We are going to distribute the article widely to our friends and patrons.  It is a great tribute to your perception and to the house.
Thanks so much.”
Joanne

_______

Hope you enjoy the article.  It’s one of my proudest achievements.

With the exception of one photo, I used ambient light to capture the home’s essence.

Click on the link and copyrighted material below:

Mo Life Feb 2013 – LR FLW