Tuesday, February 23, 2010

We have never had a busier month with new Soul families and I am so thankful that we are interviewing new photographers. I got to see the work that Jodi completed on Friday for a family that had emailed about their niece. I send this family my deepest sympathy and will hold them in my heart as they have endured so much in the past weeks. Dawn's latest images are due in soon and the preview shots were tender and stunning. Tara and Heather's latest work is perfection and is being printed. We have images coming from Jeremy and Amy that I haven't seen yet but anxiously await as I know they both will have put their hearts into their work. Each photographer has been creating amazing legacy pieces that I feel will be treasured by each and every family member. Soulumination is blessed to have the best local talent working for our families. Nancy and Susan have shoots this week also so our count so far this month is 16 families and I see at least one more folder on Sarah's desk this morning that will be booked soon and a stack to the side of ones that she is working on.

I finally got to meet a lovely teen yesterday that we had been referred to weeks ago. In working with patients undergoing treatment it sometimes takes a while for an opportunity to present itself. I was so charmed by this beautiful young woman and her family and I hope we can follow her through her transplant and then take photos when her hair is back. Her two year old sister is a budding photographer and added so much fun to the shoot.

We are starting to cut all the pieces needed to assemble the albums and trifolds on March 16. Please let us know if you are interested in coming to lend a hand or if you would like to donate the beautiful paper that covers each book you can find great pieces of paper at Paper Source, Impress, Paper Zone, and I got some charming sheets last year at Fireworks. We can 't use the 'see-through' like papers or wrapping paper, its that better quality paper with lovely designs that we use. My good friends in Tokyo, Catherine and her family recently sent more washi paper and it is stunning indeed. The Soul families always comment on the books as its obvious that each is really something special. I truly believe that the more hands that come together to create these for our families the better, as the love surrounding the work is the basis of support felt by our families.

We are also in need of matte board for constructing the trifold books that families receive. If you have a connection with a frame shop in your area please ask them is they will donate the scraps. We can use any color of matte board, it just needs to be a minimum of 4 by 4 inches. We have a large paper cutter to work with bigger pieces. Please call if you have collected some and we can arrange for you to drop them off here at the studio.

I thank Mark Power for agreeing to lead a workshop on handling grief and loss. He will work with our board members and photographers to offer us advice, guidance and skills for this tender work of Soulumination.

My daughter Lew and I are in the beginning planning stages of a trip to maybe India, Africa, or Greece or some other magic destination. If you have ideas for travel for the two of us on a budget please feel free to chime in. We are contemplating a possible yoga retreat but are just hoping the right thing will present itself. We are planning on travel during the month of September.

Off to the exercise bike, in love and peace, Lynette

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In having a nonprofit that is successful you can run the danger of burning out your volunteers and I fear we have done that to some extent with all that help that we needed to run the Artist Sale and the 5Th Anniversary Celebration. We now need to complete about 130 handmade albums to cover the new families of 2010 so if you would be interested in helping with the creation of the albums or have a group of friends that you think would be interested please consider joining us on Tuesday, March 16. We will be working from 10am until around 8pm so you can stop in anytime to offer a hand. We need people who are precise and like to work with paper. Please contact us through email or call 206-297-0885. I hope we might be able to gather fresh faces for this so tell your friends and see if we can make this happen. We will have food and drink so please consider this an enjoyable way to contribute. If you can't come but would like to help you can provide a sheet of beautiful paper to cover the albums, stores such as Paper Zone, Impress, and Paper Source have amazing papers that are appropriate for the albums.

Its one very busy week here at Soulumination with Tara and Heather both shooting at Seattle Children's yesterday, Jon and Cami doing shoots this past Saturday and Jeremy and Amy shooting today. I have seen Jon, Heather and Cami's work and it is beautiful so its really exciting to know that these new families will be receiving such stunning images.

We hope to start interviewing new photographers this week and next as we are finding that we need more to keep up with the pace of the work without using any one person too often. If you know of any kind-hearted and talented photographers who might be willing to volunteer please let them know that we are recruiting at the current time. All photographers have to be screened so the process does not allow just anyone with a camera but generally people who offer are talented and have the proper equipment and experience. Emily pictured above was hard at work at the 5TH anniversary but since she can't drive, doesn't have the best camera for our type of work and has to go to kindergarten I doubt if she would be quite right for this part of Soul.

Now out to enjoy this beautiful sunny day, in love and peace, Lynette

Friday, February 12, 2010

Rarely do I write on consecutive days but we had a loss that I felt I needed to share so that you would keep this family in your heart. Two years ago I met Kaylee and her family and they were the first family that I had met through Soul from my hometown area. I was raised in Sequim and this family is Port Angeles. We lost Kaylee not long after her photos, it was very sad and now the mom has also died. She had shared with me that she was battling breast cancer and had a brain tumor, but she was fighting on. My deepest sympathy goes out to her husband and son and I hope you will hold these two men in your heart as I can't imagine the pain of losing both of the females that they so obviously adored.

With Valentine Day on the horizon it is a time for me to reflect on the love that surrounds me and the amazing friends I have gathered. I mailed out about 30 cards yesterday and I know that Sarah has more to send today, so happy hearts to all. In Love and Peace, Lynette

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The studio is now repainted and the photos of the collection are in the new storage space, but the flags are still up and and we are feeling all the love and power of the weekend here at the office. Special thanks to Kurt, Michael, Randell and Matt for the photos of the celebration.

We have had photographers out working with new families: Stephanie, Kurt and Sandra have all completed shoots in the Legacy project, each doing an amazing job of recording parents. We are so thankful for their talent and expertise, the photos are beautiful. Randell is due to drop off photos from a follow up shoot from last week, sometimes young patients are just not feeling so well on the scheduled day so we are called back to record them again on a day when they are feeling more chipper. On Tuesday I called the family that Sandra had worked with on Sunday to let them know we could drop off the photos at their convenience, it was so sad to get the news that this father of 2 beautiful little girls had passed away that morning. This family leaves across the street from another Soul family and I know that they are friends and comfort for each other. We send our deepest sympathy to the wife, daughters and grandfather. Sarah has received calls for possibly 4 new families, now we wait for the go-ahead call to contact them to set up the shoots.

I see our friend and supporter Mike McCready on the front page of today's Seattle Times. That man and his wife have such big hearts, we are blessed to call them friends. I just purchased a ticket to the concert that he is helping put on the benefit Haiti, its at the Showbox on February 28 and will also feature our friend Kim Virant.

Back to work. In love and peace, Lynette

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Awe, still soaking in all the love that surrounded us yesterday and feeling so blessed and empowered to move forward with the work of Soul with such compassion enveloping the day. Who would have believed it would be sunny in February? Today as I sat in the office I could see that anyone who walked by stopped in their tracks to view the prayer flags, I have to tighten them up a bit tomorrow as the rain has caused them to sag a bit but they are stunning. The photos will hang maybe one more day and I will miss my friends as they are taken out of view, another goodbye to some amazing angels.
It may be hard to thank everyone who made this celebration possible but let me start with the fact that we are thrilled that Nintendo stepped forward to cover the costs of the day and to Drugstore.com for providing two more beautiful raffle baskets in addition to the ones that our board members created. We are excited that Drugstore.com has agreed to help us with such things in the future.
I will start with our speakers: Mark Power, my friend and mentor who is the chaplain for the Pediatric Advanced Care at Children's, Nayer who is a hospice chaplain who works with our friends Charlotte and Chris and other Soul families, Cantor David Serkin-Poole of Temple B'nai Torah who is a long time friend of mine, and Mick Berbarian, Baptist Minister and beloved family friend.
The musicians hit the mark, each act giving their talent in ways that thrilled all of us in attendance. My heartfelt thanks to all of you for taking your precious time and your unbelievable talent and sharing it with us: The Landa sisters, featuring our own administrator, Sarah and her sisters, Elle Scott, client and friend, Dawnelle DeMarco and Greg Johnson, friends and Soul volunteers extraordinaire, Byron Vannoy trio, featuring Soul dad Byron on drums, Danny Godinez, guitarist and friend of board member Angie, and Kim Virant and Mike McCready, friends and Soul supporters who have offered to do another benefit concert like the one the Jimmy Hendrix tribute they did at the Tractor Tavern. More info on that once it is all set.

Huge thanks to Babs Glover, Becky Prokop and the 100 artists for the amazing Valentines which were created and sold in support of the work with our families. Babs and Becky created an amazing display and spent hours pulling it all together. Deb Hamby gathered all the cookie bakers and Carla Prousch worked to keep all the refreshments looking beautiful. Thanks to all who helped in so many ways. Dear friends Matt and Sasha from Portland and our neighbor Jeff helped behind the scenes and were amazing in their willingness to lend a hand. Hugs to Kurt, Michael, Randell and Sarah Mattingly for the wonderful photos of the day.

Of course Sarah and Kari were grand in all that it took to keep the services to families moving forward while working to bring the 5Th Anniversary to fruition. I am so thrilled that so many Soul families joined us, now time to think about a little relaxation with my friend Sarah Mattingly, Soul photographer from DC who is with us until tomorrow. In love and peace, Lynette

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Its way too early to be awake but that is just how it is when you are expecting a few hundred friends to drop in later today. It was a process to get things ready but now thanks to many the photos are hung, the sound equipment is in place for our speakers and musicians, the Valentine's are displayed so beautifully and our Soul photographer from the East coast, Sarah Mattingly is sleeping upstairs as is our youngest daughter, Llewelyn.

We had a very special visitor yesterday, Eric, father of Emma, who was in Seattle from Hawaii. His wife had read that we were having an event and she emailed to see if he could come by yesterday before he flew home. Sadly his daughter was a victim of the disease Tay Sachs. I spent time with Eric yesterday and we shared many experiences and it was a quiet time to connect.

There is going to be a special magic around this celebration and I am most thankful to Sasha and Matt who drove up from Portland yesterday to be here to join in the festivities but also to help me with some important chores.

After Sally and I had finished hanging the show on Wednesday I was visited by my good friend Monique who brought her dad by on his 86Th birthday to see the work before he flew home to California. "Tito"(pictured here today) was sitting in the studio studying each face and asking questions about various children and adults and you can well imagine that I was talking on and on about my relationships with each one. As I explained that now the work of Soul was in many capable hands and that we have 30 photographers, he said "Its a network that became a community." He also told me that when I speak today I should mention miracles and angels and so I shall. In love and peace, Lynette

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

As the dawn breaks the words from the old spiritiual "we are standing on holy ground"
keep floating through my head. Here in Ballard the studio is being transformed into a gallery, at Seattle Children's a show hangs for the week with constantly running footage about the work of Soulumination and in Olympia in our capitol building the images hang for all to see who are meeting with our governor. The faces of Soulumination can also hanging at the Starbucks in the Shoreline area. We have two photographers, Kurt and Aaron going out to work with new families on Thursday. Jodi dropped off her latest work yesterday and we will soon have another set of photos taken by Teddi and Cami and we just got a request for a new child on the cancer unit at Seattle Children's.

I received a most amazing email last evening from a family in Hawaii who lost a child to Tay Sachs, the father will be in Seattle this week so it will be our honor to welcome him to the anniversary. It will be especially meaningful to have Sarah Mattingly our Soul photographer from DC here to greet him as she has worked at the past 2 NTSAD conferences and knows that community as well as I do. I was touched to see on Elliott's Caring Bridge site that her family is hoping to be at the next NTSAD conference in April.

The help has been coming from all directions to make this day of remembrance and celebration possible. Thank you to all who are baking cookies and helping set up this week, especially to Sally, Aaron and Lynn who spent hours hanging the show yesterday. To the photographers who have created the amazing images of legacy for our families and the board members who work in so many ways to keep this ship afloat I am most grateful. To have women with heart and soul to run this organization we are most blessed, thank you Sarah and Kari. In advance I thank the speakers and the musicians who will give their special talent in honor of our families. My own family always provides in many ways for my support and for the whole of Soulumination. The hands that created each prayer flag are most appreciated. The gifts from artists around the country who made the beautiful Valentine's are filling us with delight. Its been like a personal greeting as each card arrived and all of us in the office have loved receiving them.

See you Saturday, in love and peace, Lynette

Monday, February 01, 2010

Today we opened our show at Seattle Children's Hospital and we had a small but meaningful reception with the Advanced Pediatric Care Team, social workers, hospital staff and supporters. It was wonderful to have our board President, Matt in attendance as well as board members Angie and Brenda, Soul mom Heidi and Soul mom/photographer Jodi who attended part of the show but spent her main time on the PICU working with a new family. Mark Power gave a wonderful blessing and I was very moved by the fact that Scott and Beth were in attendance as they were the couple that started the whole Soul show on its path with her explanation of the work she was doing at Children's over 8 years ago when they were interviewing me about photographing their wedding. I am posting photos here today from this event.

Soul photographers, Teddi and Cami were out shooting for another new family this weekend and Kari and Sarah are working on 3 more new families and Jeremy has be scheduled for one of those shoots.

The stunning Valentine's keep arriving. I am sharing a photo today of quilted cards made by Jane and Molly and the sets of cards that were created by Soul families and other volunteers.

We will start hanging the new pieces of the Soul Collection tomorrow here at the studio in preparation for this Saturday's event. Thanks in advance to Sally, Aaron and Lynn who have volunteered to help tomorrow. The new pieces are stunning and represent almost 100 new faces to our collection and the work of many of our 30 photographers. They look amazing. See you all Saturday, in love and peace, Lynette