Carla Coulson, Christmas Shopping Edit 2021, Susan Papazian

Carla’s Christmas Shopping Edit 2021

Carla Coulson, Christmas Shopping Edit 2021, Susan Papazian
Carla Portrait credit: Susan Papazian

One of the best ways you can share the love and keep small businesses in business this Christmas is to shop locally, support family-run businesses and artisans and creators. 

It is with great joy I bring to you a Christmas shopping edit of small, individual makers, creators, and photographers.

I have created this little gift guide together with some of the beautiful creatives from around the globe who I’ve had the pleasure of working with as they bring their work to life and share it with the world.

Drumroll, please…

Paula Franco has created a unique lifestyle brand founded in the transmission of Portuguese tradition, in her words, Luz Editions is borne out of the desire to create quality goods for everyday life. Without memory, there is no future.”

This Christmas I am hankering after one of her amazing candles in a clay-blackened vessel created in the soenga firing process. Its name is Alegria (happiness), and the candle fragrance starts with Petitgrain and then blossoms into a seductive blend of floral accord and orange blossom!!

Paula Franco, Luz Editions
Paula Franco, Luz Editions
Paula Franco's Alegria scented candle

Hello, don’t we all need one or two of those under the tree this year? Speaking of happiness, I am also in love with her linen tea towels and I have gifted them to many friends with her uplifting words of happiness, family, faith, and hope (that run across all her different products) and the images of Portuguese photographer Artur Pastor. This year you can’t go wrong with a little happiness.

Paula Franco, Luz Editions
Paula Franco's Alegria Tea Towels

I love Australia and sitting on the other side of the world this Christmas makes me love this great land even more. Mandy Robb’s photography is twisting my heartstrings this season as we hunker down for the winter. I love this beautifully wild beach photograph of a surfer dwarfed by the beauty of these sculptural rocks that fall into the sea. Wild is what we need in the home and Mandy lends such a gentle and feminine hand to the country around her home Esperance in Western Australia. If your home needs like twenty kilos of sage after 2020 and 2021 and a little refresh on the walls, check out her beautiful collection here.

Mandy Robb
Mandy Robb's fine art print, 'Chilled'

Here’s one for the boys of all ages in your life including the big ones! Photographer Scott Gould lives and breathes trains and he is now sharing his work with the world. I love his photography including collections from Europe and Canada but this season, I’m loving seeing the trains passing through the Australian landscapes dotted with cows and his beautiful black and white that feels like it could have been taken 50 years ago. My dad once bought a train set for Christmas for my brother, and I remember him and his mates loving it almost as much as my brother did. I think the boys are going to love a little railway photography this year as the fascination with trains never ages. You can check out his beautiful work here.

Scott Gould
Scott Gould's As The Crow Flies
Scott Gould
Scott Gould's Smoke Trails
Scott Gould

Documentary photographer Rebecca Carter is one to watch, mark my words! Yes, folks, this glorious Australian photographer is doing very special work and was recently selected as a Finalist in the Bluethumb Art Prize 2021 and I promise this is just the beginning. 

I second these words about her work: Carter’s work is timeless and breathtaking, a fine example of excellence in Australian Art.”

So lovelies, my recommendation for some magic and beauty on your walls this season that may just become a collectible in the future is this image from her series, “Newcastle,” it feels like Monet and Norman Lindsay were whispering in her ear as she was framing this photo. Don’t walk — run to her site and check out her beautiful work of the Omo Valley also.

Rebecca Carter
Part of Rebecca Carter's series called 'Newcastle'.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love! These words just keep rolling around in my head and every time I glance at a sunset, the sea, a paddock, a field, a flower, a tree, and our world, I realise this is what we need more of. Nothing beats bringing Mother Nature inside and this image titled “Wanderlust” from New Zealand photographer Julia Lochhead is like putting the love of Mother Nature on your walls. And, of course, Mother Nature is so amazing. This is her on a regular day out before she gave us water, free food in the form of vegetables, and dazzled us with flowers, bees and birds, and a little sunset magic! She really does it all with so much grace and ease!!

Julia Lochhead
Julia Lochhead
Julia Lochhead's 'Wanderlust'

Millie Brown has a heart as big as the environment she photographs. Millie takes her craft seriously and has wrapped her love of the environment into her work. I love her series on Cradle Mountain, part of the wilderness protected area in Tasmania. You can feel the crisp air and the quietness as though it were you walking along the creaking wooden footway amongst the Pandini trees and the great outdoors that fills your heart with wellbeing. 

Australians have had the joy of growing up in this incredible landscape and our environment needs us and Millie is doing a beautiful job in bringing attention to it using her camera. As I’ve said before, there is nothing that will wash away the heaviness of 2020 and 2021 like refreshing your space and beautifying it with images of the wild. You may be able to put your order for the 20 kilos of sage on hold and just grab one of these beauties instead. 

Millie Brown
Millie Brown's Pandani Family (left) and Valley Wilderness (right).
Millie Brown

I love all the work by Artist Laura Horrocks but this little sweetheart keeps on whispering to me! Laura’s recent work creates magic out of thick brushstrokes, beautiful colour palettes, and innocent flowers. This one titled ‘By The Window’ is a little different and is reminiscent of one of the interiors of Matisse and transports you to a window maybe in the South of France and the beauty and fascination that a single bloom and a sea view can hold. Laura has a range of work that will mesmerize you so my advice is to pop on your running shoes and run, don’t walk, to the link below and explore this Australian artist (who resides in Paris) work ASAP.

Laura Horrocks
'By The Window' by Laura Horrocks. Acrylic on canvas.
Laura Horrocks
Other original artworks by Laura Horrocks. Left: Blanc Bloom; Right: Flower In The Morning Rain.

Dear Expat, this one’s for you! If your heart is hurting as you glance outside your office window in New York listening to the icy winds howl, or if you are throwing another log on the fire in upstate New York or in the mountains of Italy, you are going to love the work of Laura Reid. Award-winning photographer Laura Reid trains her eye on the quintessential things that make our collective Australian heart long for summer in Australia at this time of year. Laura brings her love of modernist architecture with a human element in it to create iconic images of Australians at play in her unique way, like famed photographer Max Dupain once did. You will love her joyous work of Australians at play.

Laura Reid
Sun Worship by Laura Reid
Laura Reid
Summer Joy by Laura Reid

What I say about the work of Jilly Bennett will never be as tender or express the intricate stories that she tells in her images of the daily life of dogs and their owners.

They are chronicles of the love, care, and joy taken in the South of France and Italy in the great tradition of documentary photographers such as Elliott Erwitt, always with a dash of humour and a huge dollop of warmth. They are the perfect gift for your dog/European/street photography-loving friend who doesn’t need another plastic toy for their pooch or a box of Calisson from the South of France. They will light up their walls and their hearts. Some of my favourites are these:

Jilly Bennett
The Best Treat by Jilly Bennett
Jilly Bennett
Backstreets of Bari by Jilly Bennett
Jilly Bennett
Patience by Jilly Bennett

For those who have resisted meditation and need some peace and quiet on their walls, American photographer Janice Murray specialises in whisper-quiet images. Her images are so peaceful and calm you could hear a pin drop. So if you feel like you can’t make it down to the yoga studio or meditation group, simply pop one of her beauties on your wall this Christmas and glance at it every time you feel stressed. Her love of small coastal towns on the American New England coast means you may also be able to find a glorious sailing image for hubby’s pool room or boathouse this season! Bring on the calm.

Janice Murray, JLM Photography
Janice Murray's Rockport MA Chaloupes
Janice Murray, JLM Photography

Photographer Karen Alderson has a secret weapon of not only being a talented photographer but also a florist which means her work has the eye of someone looking at flowers every day. Karen doesn’t photograph just any type of flowers, she has developed a love and sensibility for flowers that are delicate, romantic, and pastel, you can imagine them in an English or French garden. Every image is imbued with romance and her soft touch. If we needed an image to go with the definition of pretty in the dictionary, we could simply pop in the photography of Karen Alderson. Her work will give a feminine touch to your home.

Karen Alderson
Karen Alderson's Etienne de France
Karen Alderson

Artist Erica Diazoni’s tender touch and respect for mother nature are evident in all her work including her selection of watercolours. Using the same subtle colour palette reminiscent of her love of natural pigments you also see in her weaving, Erica has brought her poetic and feminine nature into her art. These sensitive watercolours of a Swiss Mountain, a piece of lichen, and a Rowan tree in winter make you love Mother Nature and all her subtleties even more. They would be heavenly for a treasured corner of your home or to brighten a space that needs a little poetry. You can contact Erica via her Instagram and make one of these fine art prints yours this holiday season.

Erica Diazoni
Erica Diazoni
Erica Diazoni

And last but not least, I can’t tell you how much joy it brings me to share with you Filippo Carbonari’s idea to produce hiking shoes in his natal village of Fratte Rosa in Le Marche with Franco Cesarini, one of the descendants of the local shoemaking atelier that has been making shoes since 1870. I am beyond excited to see this photographer friend of mine create an amazing product that not only helps people like us get good-looking and comfortable hiking shoes but keeps a tradition alive in his village in the mountains of Le Marche.

Le Frattesi, Filippo Carbonari
Left, Filippo Carbonari; Right, Franco Cesarini (Image Credit: Le Frattesi, Filippo Carbonari)
Filippo Carbonari, thetownfratterosa
The town of Fratte Rosa (Image Credit: thetownfratterosa on Instagram)

Good news for the ‘big feet’ amongst us (me), they make all their range to measure. These folks at Le Frattesi make my wide foot that has been tortured its whole life dance with glee as we walk off into 2022 with a whole new view of the world. And who wouldn’t want to buy shoes from peeps that have this as their mission statement: “Our commitment is to continue to work with humility, fairness, and passion, to guarantee all those who buy from us a pair of tailor-made shoes that rock and a pleasant and carefree experience.”

le Frattesi
Le Frattesi, La Fighetta
La Fighetta (Image Credit: Le Frattesi)

I want to send you much goodness, kindness, generosity, and love this Christmas and holiday season.

I want to remind you that you count, you are enough and that simply by staying open, kind, and compassionate you are filling the world with your light and that is what we need right now. Keep beaming your light and all the light will gather and fill our world with good.

 

From me to you, much love always.

Carla

Breathe with Us + Shine Your Light

Dear Lovelies,

There is a lot going on in the world right now and one of the easiest ways to do your bit is to shine your light! But one of the questions I keep getting is how to focus amongst the chaos. 

Fear is a powerful mechanism and what it does is throw us into confusion like we have done a couple of hundred rounds in the washing machine. 

When we are confused, we can’t make decisions from a place of confidence, we forget what we really want, start searching for the ‘right decision’ by polling others and the result is anxiety. 

Sometimes it can be hard to find the light amongst the uncertainty.

I am joining together tomorrow on Instagram Live with my lifelong friend Athalee Brown of Madly Calm, (we both have always been more on the ‘madly passionate, excitable, wild side’ than the calm one) to show you how amazing you are through the power of your breath.

We have available to us one of the greatest tools, our breath, that can calm our nervous system in a matter of minutes, go from anxious to calm, and instantly access all the benefits that being calm brings to our lives.  

Athalee, a Certified Instructor in both the Buteyko Clinic International and Oxygen Advantage, and a trained Breathing Coach from Yoga Teachers College, will share with us some simple breathing techniques that we can do together so that you can start to bring peace back into your life, reconnect to yourself, and get that beautiful light of yours shining like a lighthouse tower for all to see. 

I will also share my story of how breathwork helped me heal my sleeping tablet addiction in my 20’s and 30’s.

Let’s get madly calm together.

When: Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 8:30 AM Paris / 6:30 PM Sydney (Check your local times here.)

Where: My Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/carlacoulson

How: If you have my Instagram open and refresh shortly after the time above, you will be able to join us. 

What you need: Your nose and a quiet space.

See you tomorrow,

Carla x

If you would love to start living your life with intention and instead of life happening to you, you can sign up for my free webinar here.

creativity, carla coulson

Lessons from Creativity, the Generous Teacher

creativity, carla coulson

Hello Beautiful Ones, 

I’ve been absent for a while and am so excited to be back. 

Sometimes in life, we need to give ourselves the gift of time of being able to reconnect back to what is important to us and process what’s next.

I’ve had a lot of fun taking photos over the past months with some beautiful gals who the universe sent my way and the joy we shared reminded me of the power of photography and creativity in general. 

Here are some wisps of thoughts and feelings this experience gave me:

    • Opening myself to new ideas
    • Working with beauty
    • Looking at the environment in a new way when I couldn’t get what I wanted
    • Being allowed ‘to play’ 
    • The release of anxiety and stress 
    • Being lost in the flow, the process
    • Connecting to a story that I deeply care about 
    • Constantly asking myself ‘what if’?
    • Starting a love affair with my project and staying in that phase till it’s ready to share with the world
    • Entering the ‘process’ of creativity with trust and faith knowing that something will come 
    • Feeling the softening inside after a day of a shoot, the little ‘love rush’ for what was created. 
    • The pure joy of being in the moment 
    • Making mindful choices… Asking those inner questions 

 

If your life is feeling a little rocky, reach for something creative, give yourself the gift of communing with yourself, being fully in the present, and creating beauty. It’s an easy and fun way to reconnect to joy

Sending you much love,

Carla x

P. S. If you would like a little help reconnecting to something that sparks your joy, you can download my free Reawakening your Lust for life PDF here.

Athalee Brown, Madly Calm, breathwork

What Happened When My Best Friend Got Bitten By A Monkey

Athalee Brown, Madly Calm, breathwork

When I got the call in Paris that my best friend had been bitten by a rogue monkey in Kuala Lumpur, my first reaction was to laugh. My niece was with me at the time and it became a daily drama so far removed from Paris life that we couldn’t wait to check in each day to see what the monkey was up to.

It wasn’t funny at all; in fact, it terrorized her and the other people as it broke into their homes and bit the unsuspecting victims.

My best buddy Athalee Brown was truly bitten by a monkey and it was not long after a serious bike accident. Like all things that are sent to us to test us, it gave her a chance to get back on the path to what she truly cared about, helping people live more peaceful and grounded lives. Breathwork was her way out of pain and trauma and reconnecting back to what was important to her.

She has since created Madly Calm, and there is a reason she called it Madly Calm, girls like us lead busy lives and we fantasise about being calm but we veer more towards the ‘madly’ part. We are ‘madly’ busy, creative, passionate, pressed for time, and overwhelmed with our lives. We are ‘madly’ running around after the kids, our partners, our bosses, the things we ‘should’ do, and everything else in between that often we become disconnected from who we are and what we want. Being in this state of chaos is bad for everybody but most of all, for us.

People tell me all the time that they can’t meditate, and it was one of those things that I also said when I knew it was time for me to learn to calm down. Breathwork is like cheating; it’s for the gals who don’t have the time to sit still for twenty minutes but want to get results in 5 minutes. Breathwork is the silver bullet we have all been searching for in our busy lives without having to buy the fancy yoga kit.

Breathwork I’ve also discovered can have far and wide-reaching benefits other than calming our nervous systems, my personal gamechanger no longer going to the toilet three times a night, sleeping deeply, and helping me access more intuition and clarity on what I really want.

Athalee Brown, Madly Calm

I’ve learnt that to go further, you need to also know when to go slower. 

Athalee is a Certified Instructor of the Buteyko Clinic, The Oxygen Advantage, and a graduate of the Australian Centre for Meditation and Mindfulness.

If lockdown or any effects from 2020 are getting you down, she is offering free breathwork classes in the coming month.

If you are:

    • Experiencing any stress/anxiety in your life.
    • Needing to boost your energy levels.
    • Suffering from sleep difficulties.
    • Needing to balance your mood & increase positive emotions.
    • Coping with grief.
    • Feeling overwhelmed with menopause symptoms.
    • Enduring physical pain
    • And the list goes on…
JOIN HER FREE CLASSES HERE

Love and light and do stay Madly Calm.

Carla x

If you want to know how you can live more wholeheartedly, reconnect to your joy, creativity, and purpose, click here to join the free training.

catmaste chronicles podcast, chatty cats care, cats, carla coulson

Cats, Business, Creativity, Your Happy Place in a podcast!

catmaste chronicles podcast, chatty cats care, cats, carla coulson

Dear Fellow Cat Lovers, if you have been following along for a while you will know that I’m a lover of animals and slightly obsessed about cats.

I have a dear cat called Avedon (after Richard Avedon, one of my favourite photographers) and I’m also helping out on a Greek Island at the moment feeding a neighbourhood of 40 cats.

I’m very honoured to be talking with Michelle Adams from Chatty Cats Care about dreams, business, creativity, finding your happy place and doing the things that you love that make you feel alive.

Feeding and helping cats is one of those things that makes my heart beat a little faster as well as inspiring women to go after what is true for them. If you need a little inspiration and just so happen to love cats (as a bonus), you will enjoy her fabulous podcast Catmaste Chronicles.

Episode Description: This week Michelle speaks with Carla Coulson. She is a photographer and life coach and helps women say Yes to themselves by reconnecting to their creativity, joy, and passion. Her mission is to lead women out of chaos, confusion or feeling stuck so they can access deeper creativity, love, health, success, confidence, and fun. Carla has authored 3 photography books Including Italian Joy, her story of leaving Sydney to find the right life for her as a photographer in Italy.

You can listen to the episode on their website here. You can also check it out on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or Google Podcast.

Pretty paws!

Carla x

If you want to know how you can live more wholeheartedly, reconnect to your joy, creativity, and purpose, click here to join the free training.