Sarah Carter Studio » artist | photographer | writer | advocate

SCS Closet Collage

1. franco sarto ‘vivace’ leather d’orsay flat, 2. top shop moto ‘jamie’ high rise skinny, 3. kimchi blue crinkle gauze flowy midi dress. 4. leith relaxed surplice shirt, 5. elizabeth suzann ‘georgia’ top, 6. steve madden ‘groupie’ bootie, 7. anine bing diamond soliatare ring in yellow gold, 8. double bar layering ring, 9. hobo ‘mara’ crossbody bag, 10. 31 bits ‘the collector’ bracelet, 11. everlane ‘ryan’ tank, 12. anine bing boyfriend shorts, 13. top shop moto ‘jamie’ high rise ripped, 14. hackwith design house ‘casella’ dress, 15. elizabeth suzann artist dress, 16. lookout high-rise in sharky wash (on sale!)

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A few weeks ago the kids and I got on a plane and flew to one of our very favorite places on the planet – Southern California. I went to college out there, met my husband, moved away and then moved back, and then moved away again. Through it all, life-long friendships and cherished memories have managed to keep it feeling like “home” for us. If I have a chance to go anywhere, anytime, California is always my first choice.  Part of the magic of this trip was watching my children discover and fall in love with it too.  Introducing our Mercy June to the golden sand and endless crystal shorelines was pure joy. She squealed and leaped and ran fearlessly toward the water, a girl after my own heart. Emerson has precious friends there too, and so was overjoyed to reunite and pick up where they left off, the way all kids seem to do. Time is no barrier, friends forever.

While we were out, I arranged for my friend Whitney to take some photos for us. I wanted artsy, dark, lots of feeling images and she was the perfect person to get them.  We met at Little Corona Beach and let the magic unfold. Tide pools and tumbling boulders housing starfish of every color and tiny crabs eager to pinch at the drifting seaweed took our breath away. The kids played and splashed and Whit snapped away, the results of which are memories I’ll treasure for the rest of ever. Its one thing to exist in the experience of motherhood right now – its such another one to watch it captured through some else’s lens. Thank God for photographers, am I right?:) You can also see Whitney’s post, her beautiful words and favorite images are there as well.

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I am SO blown away by the beautiful entries on my blog – you guys are dazzling. The lucky winner of the print set is.. Lauren Francis! Congrats Lauren! “LAUREN FRANCIS – I would choose the word “learn.” Ever since I was a kid, I was always curious about everything. I read like crazy, was always involved in some new activity or program, and loved being in a classroom – conventionally or metaphorically. As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that my insatiable need to LEARN is something I cherish… I love that at the end of the day – if I’ve taken a dive into something new, or refreshed my memory on something I’ve learned in the past…I am a happy camper. To be a LEARNER is a gift, and to LEARN is a decision I want to make each and every day.” B E A U T I F U L

Thanks to everyone who participated! I will be doing more of these giveaways so be sure to check back often, and the new prints are now available in the shop too! Check them out :here:

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I love words. I love how they move me and inspire me and connect me to something larger than myself.  As the poet Naomi Shihab Nye says,

‘.. it is really hard to be lonely very long in a world of words.
even if you don’t have friends somewhere, you still have language,
and it will find you and wrap its little syllables around you
and suddenly there will be a story to live in.’

In that spirit, words have always been a part of my creative process. Lately, I’ve been incorporating a specific word into a series of small original paintings composed of acrylic, oil pastel, ink, and charcoal. The effect is something deep and dreamy, I think. I’ve recently listed a few of them in my shop, you can click here to check them out (shop now). I also have an option for a custom word, if there is a word that you love, or a name that you cherish.

To celebrate new art and language and all the ways they move us and unite us, I’ll be giving away one set of six 5in x 5in prints. To enter, simply leave a comment sharing with us what word you would choose for a custom piece and tell us why you’d choose it. Enter by 7/13 at 11:59pm. The lucky winner will be announced next Friday.

Good luck!

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  • July 8, 2015 - 8:58 pm

    Brittani Ehrhorn - I would love to win! The word I would choose is: courageous! <3ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2015 - 9:02 pm

    Becks McKeown - Trust is the word I would choose.

    I find myself in a season of life where I am letting go of an old identity that had become familiar and comforting and am in a space where the next season is unknown and I am wrestling with that big style! I love to have things planned, I love things to be strategic, and right now that is not possible (nor has it been for about 3 months). Each day I have to choose to trust in God’s goodness, to trust that He will provide for me, to trust that He truly does want me to rest right now, to trust that He knows what I need better than I do, and to trust that He has it all under control. I am about to head of on a month long intensive retreat and again I am choosing to trust that God has lead me to this, and that at the end of this he will lead me into the next thing!ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2015 - 10:11 pm

    Becky Hope - RISK.

    A life lived in fear is a life not lived. Taking courageous risks and steps of faith bring sorrows sometimes, true, but such great joys. Risk takes trust and an adventurous spirit. I love risk.ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2015 - 10:14 pm

    Michele - I would choose the word Trust for me in this season of unknowns, newness and change. And I would choose Loved for the little one who will occupy my heart and home in this next year through fost/adopt, as they will always know how loved they are.ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2015 - 10:54 pm

    Lauren Francis - I would choose the word “learn.” Ever since I was a kid, I was always curious about everything. I read like crazy, was always involved in some new activity or program, and loved being in a classroom – conventionally or metaphorically. As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that my insatiable need to LEARN is something I cherish. Yes, it’s an expensive character trait (Graduate programs, books, seminars, etc. are NOT cheap), and it gets me into trouble (because I can’t settle just being told something…I have to research and figure it out on my own – which is sometimes problematic, especially in the Christian world). I’ve been labeled “nerd” more than I care to think about…but I love that at the end of the day – if I’ve taken a dive into something new, or refreshed my memory on something I’ve learned in the past…I am a happy camper. To be a LEARNER is a gift, and to LEARN is a decision I want to make each and every day.ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2015 - 10:55 pm

    Meredith - Arise would have to be one of my recent ‘words’. It’s a word that always pops out at me when I read scripture. The word is usually a proclamation for action. To bring light, to accept healing, to be courageous, to move forward or to be free. I find that everyday I need the call to Arise. It’s like a tender but strength filled battle cry!ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2015 - 10:58 pm

    Gina - I would chose Thanks.
    It is the word I feel I need to be reminded of right now. There is so much beauty around us. And God has done so much good in my heart and mind. I don’t want to take any of it for granted. Because I don’t deserve any of it. Thank you Jesus.ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2015 - 11:53 pm

    Margaret - These are so beautiful! I would choose the word • ferocious • as I am trying to stop squelching the fullness of the intensity within my heart!ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2015 - 2:36 am

    Ashley - Wow, I love reading all these wonderful words. The last several years I’ve chosen a “word of the year,” it’s been significantly grounding and fulfilling each year. This year’s word is BEAUTY. As Psalm 27 says, “One thing I ask, this is what I seek, that I may dwell in the house of The Lord all th days of my life and gaze upon the BEAUTY of The Lord…” In the midst of every circumstance I’ve faced and will face this year I hold this word close.ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2015 - 10:34 pm

    Jim Harding - BRAVE! Having heard Shauna Niequist teach on this and reading her writings on it, this one is an easy choice for me! Would be great to be reminded daily of the call to be brave!ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2015 - 1:22 pm

    Jenni Ingram - Hi Sarah! Love this. Choosing a word has been a rhythm in my life since 2002 when I did a summer internship in the bay area, and what a lovely way for you to honor words. The word I would choose is RHYTHM. I love the rhythms of rest, sabbath, and jubilee that God put in place for His people. And yet it is so easy for those rhythms to become rules without meaning. But the word RHYTHM itself reminds me of the solubility — or the ebbs and flows — of God’s grace, truth, love and discipline. As I enter into this next season of transition (job searching and moving back to CA), I’m holding on to the beauty of this word.

    Just for kicks (not for the giveaway), I had such a hard time choosing one word, so I just have to share a second word with you — CONNECT. It reminds me to be fully present with people and aware of the ways that God is connecting truth and life just under the surface. I believe God has gifted me with being able to see connections when I am paying attention. So often I get distracted by my worries or my to-dos, but the word CONNECT reminds me of who God has created me to be — one who celebrates connectedness to God and people around me.ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2015 - 2:50 pm

    Ann Lindberg - I love words, too, so it is hard to pick: Abundant for the life God wants for us? Curiosity which I never want to lose? Perseverance which I’ve worked so hard to attain? But right now where I am I think it would have to be Beloved. I’ve spent so much of my life feeling invisible and working at taking up more space. The concept that I’m God’s Beloved takes my breath away. I hug that hope to me tight.ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2015 - 3:01 pm

    Alyson - I would choose the word adventure. Last year God took me on the most amazing adventure, I went on a mission trip going to 11 countries in 11 months. It was so great to learn to say yes to adventure in whatever form it came in.ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2015 - 3:54 am

    Irene - The word I would have to choose, currently, for my season would be “rest.” To be honest, resting has never come easily for me… I’m use to packing my schedule from morning to night, everyday, 7 days a week… But last year.. I learned how to have a schedule that was in rhythm with what I’ve been dreaming.. I also got anxious a long the way.. And so, I packed my schedule again.. Thinking I could handle it because I’ve worked so hard to get where I was… But somewhere along the way.. I forgot that, and I became really busy again.. It was different from the other times, because before I wasn’t as aware, more oblivious kind of what Rob bell talks about in his podcast “light.. Heavy.. Light..” I realized that I started making excuses for the one thing that was really stirring inside of me.. And I knew the one way I could get back was by saying “no” and knowing I had to make sacrifices. I was craving the season where I was in good rhythm and I was present… I realized that I’m not really a hustler, although the idea of it sounds pleasant..thinking you’re able to do it on your own. But I’m not. I need my friends. I need to be reminded.. It’s like what Shauna wrote in her book.. When you go too long without seeing your friends you become cranky and you realize you need them.. They feed your soul. So, actually, yesterday… I started to “rest” again. It’s much easier than the other times because I know what I need to do. The thing that makes it hard is when inside I start to get a bit anxious.. Needing to make plans and stay busy.. But I keep telling myself I need this time because I know God wants to meet me in this stage and I have to be open & available. The first time, I felt more like a little child waiting on Christmas morning for presents and also, terrified like a child going on their first roller coaster and opening their eyes and looking down. But, this time I’m aware.. And also, because when you actually rest, you’re able to process what you typically can’t when your in busy mode… And it affects you on the inside and the ones around you. So I’m saying no & becoming brave both w my time and allowing others in.. this time, I really trust God.. I know he’s with me and for me.. And I’m grateful for this season. So rest. Because creating time for myself is one of the hardest things to do but I know that when I don’t rest, it becomes less meaningful. Isolated. Lonely. I know we were meant to live that…ReplyCancel

  • July 13, 2015 - 6:31 pm

    dee licari - My favorite word would be “Cherish” We all would love to be cherished….but we are already cherished by our Great Great Father. I try to cherish each day and each person I meet. Life is such a great adventure, why not cherish each and every day.ReplyCancel

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