an interview with nichole mc veigh

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i first bumped into nichole in the indie kindred creative community, a facebook group led by jen lee.  i was instantly struck by nichole’s generous nature as she straightaway shared her project (which you’ll read about below) and invited interested individuals to contact her. when i visited her online space and read through some of the interviews, i got lost in the interplay between her questions and the responses of her curated creatives.  i immediately hoped for the opportunity to answer some of those questions myself. and so began an email exchange and, recently, the thought, wouldn’t it be cool to turn the tables and allow nichole the chance to answer a few questions?  she’s committed to sharing and showcasing the work of fellow artists, and it seems that work (as well as her personal artwork) should be shared and showcased (and honored) as well.  and so i introduce you to nichole…

can you tell us a bit about the Embody Your Muse project?  what exactly is it?  what inspired you to create this generous and gorgeous space?

Embody Your Muse is evolving. I started it as an online presence for the coaching I’ve been doing for roughly 15 years, and have plans of expanding into in-person and online creativity workshops. I know so many creative people, and connecting them is a huge passion of mine, so workshops seem perfect.

As for the blog…it’s a way to showcase some amazing creatives…to get their work out and connect them with other people. It’s a great way for me to connect with local creatives as well, since my husband and I have a photography business, and take the feature photos for almost all of the creatives! I have a huge appreciation for everyone that is featured on my blog. I can’t remember if I mentioned this to you or not, but I read every interview carefully. I tear up when I read about things people have gone through or are going through, laugh at the light bits, and have the highest hopes for them. I really appreciate every single creative.

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amanda cantrell roche, photo credit: lucent vignette photography

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alicia maynard, photo credit: lucent vignette photography

in the interview features at Embody Your Muse, you ask artists some wonderfully thought-provoking questions.  i’m going to turn one of them back to you:  what does creativity mean to you?

Interesting you should ask that, since the very reason I started asking the question was to help frame my own relationship to the word! To me, creativity is taking different ideas, and bringing them together in a new way. Nothing seems to be fully new at this point, but ideas rehashed in interesting, innovative work. It wasn’t until I came to that understanding that I saw myself as truly creative. People would tell me I was creative, but I just couldn’t see it.  Regardless, I love creativity, and I love being around creative people.

i know, as an artist, you love to play with different media.  i’m quite taken with your sound waves embroidery…can you tell us a bit about that work?

I learned different forms of hand stitching in my younger years, but stopped, because it was too “crafty” for me. I wanted to be considered an artist, not a crafter. Then, roughly four years ago, I saw a photo of a piece done in Bargello – an old Italian form of embroidery – and that was that. I taught myself how to embroider Bargello. Who cares if I’m considered an artist, artisan, or crafter. I’m happy! **

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embroidered sound waves for “you may say i’m a dreamer, but i’m not the only one” imagine, john lennon

More recently, I had the idea to embroider sound waves – music clips – in Bargello.  That idea evolved into other sound wave projects, including my favourite, fetal heartbeats (suggested by my husband!). There is something so sacred and intimate about that work. My current sound wave project is personal…one of my mantras combined with sounds of the ocean. I will wear it around my wrist, as a constant reminder. All my work at this point is finished as either a cuff (bracelet), or to be framed. ***

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fetal heartbeat embroidered sound wave in progress

like you, i love inspirational quotes.  can you share one of your favorites with us…maybe one that you turn to again and again, or maybe a newer one that has wiggled its way into your heart?

I have to choose? Oh, my.  “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver.  I consistently resonate with that one.

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nichole’s son, photo credit: nichole mc veigh

now a few fun ones…

what’s the weather like in your corner of the world today?

Today was incredibly gorgeous. I believe it was in the 70’s, and I also believe we’re in for a cool down pretty soon.

what did you eat for breakfast?

Decaf coffee with milk and Demerara sugar. I usually go for something more substantial (I love eggs and hash browns topped with mushrooms, onions, jalapeños, and any other vegetables I have on hand), but my morning went a bit differently than planned before I left to photograph a client. I made up for it, though!

what music are you digging lately?

I’ve been listening to a lot of Imogen Heap, Tori Amos, Beats Antique, James Blake, Bon Iver, Florence and the Machine, the list goes on and on. Oh, and there are Anthropologie and French music playlists on Spotify that I play often. I love music.

if you close your eyes right now, what word comes to mind?

Wild.


good, yes?

next wednesday (october 29) i’ll be over at embody your muse answering a few of nichole’s questions.  i can’t wait!
for now, have a good day and a good weekend.  and, of course…

sending a little love your way, m

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Nichole McVeigh is an artist with an unquenchable love of learning.  She gives women permission to inhabit their passionate lives through creative coaching and photography, and she makes memories tangible through custom hand-embroidered sound waves.

you can connect with nichole at embody your muse and on her facebook page .
you can find lucent vignette photography {the story of art through light} here and here.
and…you can find her on etsy right here.

** nichole recently had a bargello cuff project included in the Mollie Makes Embroidery book.
*** nichole does custom embroidery.  you can find the contact form here.

bursting

 

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we spoke
not long enough yet
enough
so that my heart felt full and
i thought it might burst but
it didn’t

because a heart never bursts
not really
just fills and fills and floats
inside
drifting on story and dream and

truth
her story and mine
marked upon my heart
my floating heart
in the hours that follow

in the hours yet to be
i plump and settle and
continue
and i listen
for the whispers

which waft on breezes of
daily living and
wiggle their way into
my ever-full heart
which i thought would burst but didn’t

because a heart never bursts
not really
just fills and fills and floats
inside
drifting on story and dream and
truth

 

sending a little love your way, m

 

 

:: noticing the moments ::

taking some time to reflect upon my week…

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:: i’m hooked on black teas lately…wanting the boldness, and needing it sweetened…like a treat each morning

:: slow mornings…the kids and i curled up, reading

:: sibling arguments…also the togetherness…whittling and a secret project on which i’ve not yet been briefed

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:: peanut butter cookies

:: tired (and impatient) the other night as i was getting our pup into her crate for the night…she went to her water dish first (i sighed)…i listened to her lapping the water (i softened)…it’s like listening to a horse munch hay…i find the sound satisfying and sweet

:: a personal project on which i’ve long procrastinated…something clicked…i got to work

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:: homemade pizza with the kids

:: fretting…then seeing that things played out as they would have played out anyway

:: an autumn walk with my favorite girl…she likes girls’ walks…i like them too

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and how was your week?  i hope the challenges were interspersed with gifts.

sending a little love your way, m

 

 

dear garden

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every time i head out to the garden – this summer, last summer, ever – i vastly underestimate the amount of time a given task is going to take me.  i think i’m heading out to weed for thirty minutes and it takes closer to ninety.  i do this over and over again.  yesterday was no exception.

home from a hike with our friends, i decided to clean up the garden before heading to the shower.  my beautiful garden full of flowers is past its prime and the tall, drying stalks are looking depleted and sad this last week or two.  with a clear sky above (last weekend’s excuse was the rain), and my hands and clothing somewhat dirty already from our hike, yesterday seemed like a good time to tackle the task.  for thirty or so minutes.  ahem.

it was over two hours.  silly me.  really, i should have a better sense of how long a job like that takes.  but i seem oblivious to past gardening endeavors, past weeding tasks. each time i head out there it’s as if i’ve never done this kind of work before.  clueless.  naive.  innocent and ever the beginner.

i’m not sad to see the flowers go.  they were beautiful and i know there will be more next year.  the tomatoes (just two plants this year) were incredible, and there will be more next year.  i’m ready to put the garden to bed.  i love (love, love) this time of year as nature quietly wraps things up and turns down the volume (in some ways).  there’s an overall slowing down and quietness.  and this totally reflects my spirit and my introverted demeanor.

cleaning up the garden yesterday was therapeutic and reflective and left me with dirty hands and clothes…in which i take delight as, they reflect the activity performed – be it hiking or gardening or painting or icing a cake.  hands and stories go…well, hand in hand.  i snipped some fresh sprigs of rosemary.  pulling weeds (yes there were weeds to pull yesterday…how did i not count on that?) was less disagreeable as i knelt alongside the rosemary.  one of my favorite scents.  ever?  yes, i think ever.  i brought the sprigs indoors to enjoy.  such a lovely bridge from the summer into the colder days we’re now experiencing (because, you know, they remind me of christmas tree boughs).

and the garden gifted me one last bouquet…cosmos.  i couldn’t believe there were some left for cutting.  and so i share them here with you too.  they feel slightly odd to me on our kitchen table…so summery when everything around me feels chilly and autumnal.  but how could i refuse such a gift?  these are the last of summer’s bounty.  and now it’s time to rest.

dear garden, well done and thank you.  i’ll see you in the spring.
and p.s. i loved you so much this year.

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sending a little love your way, m

 

 

sometimes it’s easy

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after dinner
they head outside while
i wash dishes, pack leftovers
wipe table and chairs
vacuum

soon i follow
eager
to join them
soccer ball flying
a pup weaving in and out

they humor me
my kicks weak in comparison
i don’t mind
they {mostly} don’t mind
we’re outside

on a beautiful october evening
the air cool and crisp
the way autumn air should be
we move about the yard
the ball, the pup, we four

eventually we turn indoors
where the light is dim
save for the string above the kitchen sink
i know these lights will cheer me in
the coming months as

the days grow shorter
and they cheer me now
the way strings of light should
casting shadows on
tossed shoes and ball

moving to the sofa
light switched on
they listen
enchanted as he reads
winding down the day

this october day
our home cozy
the way a home should be
it’s easy sometimes
the book, the pup, we four

 

sending a little love your way, m