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Christmas Bicycle, Me & Something Exciting

I have decided that I am THAT girl.
You know the one. 

The one who lives in that romantic fantasy world with fluttering butterflies
 and pretty flowers all around.
The one who twirls around the living room with a mop imagining she is a ballerina dancing on stage
rather than doing a chore.
The one who stops at the flower market on the way to the beach... 
because there is a French market tote in the back of the car that is 
begging to be photographed in the sand.
And that girl who also brings a certain beach bicycle with her to the ocean, the wine country,
southern California and the mountains...
not just to ride but to also be able to spend a few minutes capturing a couple of  inspired photos.

I will admit that I am the one who the neighbors think is a tad odd. 
The one with a chandelier in a tree out in the orchard and a twinkling 
Christmas tree out next to the fire pit.   
I have been photographed while photographing something many times.. 
and you know? That definitely makes you feel a bit... 
well, awkward.  
And so, yes, I am also THAT girl. 

That awkward one who always retreated into my own world
and my poetry book in high school.
Who used to drive my car out onto a quiet road in the Berkeley hills and sit by myself and stare at the city lights and just listen to whatever it was that came to mind.
Honestly, as long as I can remember, I have always been the kind of person who feels 
things as much or even more so than I see them.
 It is a blessing and a curse.
A creative mind is such as they say.

My grandmother used to stand outside with my 2 year old daughter in arms and tell her that when the  trees would sway in the wind from a storm - that they were just dancing.
And she would dance back and forth with my daughter smiling away.
And I love that romantic view of the world.  
And I love that just maybe-
 I got that part of me from her.

This blog was born from an emotional perspective
and the need to get lost and fill some of those things that had shifted in my world a few years ago.
And I questioned a lot of things. Most of all who I was.
And who I wanted to be.
And I will tell you...
My husband has said for years... and I quote...  

'Anyone could have an easy woman... why would I ever want one of those
when I could have you?'

I think that is a gesture of love and is a compliment... 
but I'm not completely sure.

But seriously that emotional side of me is also why photography has become
 such an integral part of this blog and what I do.

I want to capture everything with my camera...
just the way that I see it.

The way the evening light shines through the trees.
The way the petals on the flowers fall and land on weathered wood just perfectly.
The intricate pattern of the exposed roots of a massive tree that show the amazing amount of solid foundation and twisted bits that go into creating such a beauty.
There is so much complexity that is beneath what you see -
much like each of us. 
And photography is all about that complexity and capturing that mood, those feelings and the tiniest of details that might otherwise be overlooked.

And sometimes - honestly, it isn't really that complex at all.
It is as simple as a beach bicycle on a lonely mountain road
with a Christmas tree and presents.

I know this is turning into a random sort of post.
You can blame too little sleep and too much coffee for that. 
But... with that randomness...
I am finally sharing a peek at something on the side that I have been working on.

You probably already know that I sell publishing rights to my  photography to magazines and brands and catalog print work all the time.  It is part of what I do here at French Country Cottage.
But selling photos otherwise... well, I have hesitated.
But with so many requests from you-
 I decided to put together a collection of some of my favorite photos taken here in California. 
And that led to another collection. 
And yet, another. 
Because as I sifted through my photos, I found that they were like family 
and I wanted to include them all.

And with that came calendars, prints, and post cards and notepads and so.many.ideas. and possibilities. 
And there is so much more in the works.
And something even bigger on the horizon that I am whispering with excitement about.
But for now,
there is a new page on my blog 
 where you can find a few photographs offered in artwork/prints/cards/calendars and other things.  

You can find it here:

And please note- this is a temporary page-because, 
 I am covered in flocking and pine needles at the moment and the format isn't working- and I definitely have not had enough coffee to navigate that.
So please forgive the wonky. 
A shiny new page courtesy of my developer will be coming soon.  

 I have linked to 3 of the calendars I have available
as well as a stand alone print page from Fine Art America- which admittedly is more expensive
but supposedly the best out there.
 And I will be continually adding and changing things.
And if you have any other requests- send them my way.
 I have about a half a dozen or maybe a bakers dozen full of more ideas for some inspired photography coming your way.

AND just to clarify...
 for those of you wondering...
 this is just a simple and fun small side project based on so many requests.
Nothing is changing here on my blog- other than a whole lot more fun posts
and some pretty exciting things coming your way.

That is it... just a piece of my simple romantic heart  today- 
and some of the outtakes of the photo shoot of that Christmas cruiser which after a down pour...
left me standing there in the rain... oh that was a fun shoot.

  I hope you like them and if you are so inclined to order a print for yourself or as Christmas gifts- thank you so very much.
And as always, thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. 
Your visits, comments and emails truly mean so much to me-
and without you, my blog would not be here and be what it is today.

Happy Wednesday everyone

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  1. So beautiful! Sometimes I live in that fantasy world too ♥

  2. Your photos are beautiful! They are, along with your writing, the reason I come here. Best of luck with selling your prints. They are worth it.
    And I still love that green bike!

  3. Thanks great my friend...and I'm lost in the clouds as well, so I know how you feel. You have such a great area and props to photograph and I wish you the best with your new venture! xo

  4. How wonderful! You are my favorite! I think a book should be on the horizon! xox, Emily

  5. You take gorgeous photos! I can see why you'd be in such high demand. I too am that creative "head in the clouds" kind of girl, and I love to photograph my surroundings so others "see what I see." Good luck on your new venture!

  6. All the photos are great,love the bicycle, your new pages sounds awesome will be taking a peek. Sounds like your hubby loves you very much the way you are.
    Love ya

  7. Congrats on your new venture, Courtney! I am that girl too... always have been, so what you do and what you say always speaks to me. Please know someone (many people) enjoys your efforts and your need to create... just because it is so very lovely. (understatement)

    I'm curious... did you work in a creative field before blogging? Because I am a lifelong artist who worked as a designer (fashion) my whole adult life, I just assumed all creative bloggers have done something similar. How all the more extraordinary to find your voice later in life if that was not the case for you. How lucky for us that you did... :-)

  8. How exciting for you Courtney. Your husband is a wise man, although I'm still convinced you married as children! I plan to grab some of those calendars for my friends who still like "hard copies ". Now where is that gorgeous mirror you were waiting to hang, and something about a new bed?? Loved your double headboards. No one has THAT LOOK!

  9. Congratulations on this new endeavour. Your images are truly worthy of a calendar.

  10. Thank you for being "that girl", for bringing so much prettiness into my day and so much inspiration into my head. I popped into the shop and couldn't help purchasing lots of your beautiful images, which I'm now terribly impatient to receive of course. Thank you Courtney xo

  11. Oh! I'm so excited for you! What a wonderful journey you've been on! I've always admired your photos...thank you for sharing your vision and talent (and you) 😊

  12. Love this post, good reading with my morning coffee. I can start my day ok with being the odd one who's chasing her farm animals around in the yard to get a picture of them in the sunlight. :)

  13. i say, bring it on, THAT GIRL. you do her so well, and sharing your photography is going to bring so much joy to you and others i'm sure. congratulations from an admirer who has been cheering you on as you soar. peace to you right where you are. xox

  14. I'm that girl too. Absolutely love your photographs. At this point in my life I so want to take more photographs, start my blog, cook more and spend more time on me. Thank you for sharing with all of us "girls" out there.

  15. I am "that girl" as well. At this point in my life all I want to do is take more photographs, start my blog and spend more time on me. Thank you for sharing with all us girls out there.

  16. I also am 'that kind of girl'! Love your blog and your photography! I pin more of your photos than any other blog. You have such a talent. Congratulations on your successes!