Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘melabee miller’

My poem “Voyage Dream”  (page 10) was recently published in the online literary magazine ExPatLit.Com. I am particularly happy to have placed a poem here since it is a literary magazine after my own heart – a collection of pieces by or about expats. While I no longer live abroad, sometimes I still feel “abroad” in many ways. It is hard to describe where, with whom or what language contains “home.”

This poem, along with the image my mother, Melabee Miller, created for it, comes from our manuscript Cent’Anni. Cent’Anni contains poems paired with images that recount the story of our family emmigrating from southern Italy to New Jersey. It includes the story of our family history research and connection with Italian relatives a few years ago.

The poem “Voyage Dream” narrates the experience of Carmela, the daughter of my great grandmother’s sister. It is mostly based on research I’ve done about the boat rides to America, stories I’ve heard and what I imagine the experience might have been like for a young woman at the time.

If you are interested in reading other published poems, you are welcome to see my website ChloeYelenaMiller.com, which links to the online publications.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Hotel Welcome BagsI’ve always enjoyed a personalized welcome bag when I’ve gone to weddings out of state. When we made ours, we chose items that represent us and the wedding.  

We shared plant-able confetti, limoncello from Italy (where I lived for four years), marionberry jam (from the groom’s home state of Oregon), an art cube with photographs by my mother, water bottles and helpful maps. 

I was excited to have the opportunity to share my mother’s art with our guests. A professional photographer, Melabee Miller has had her photographs on four art cubes. The cubes are built like ancient Chinese puzzles. You open up the cube and discover more images inside. While we chose the white cube for the wedding, you can watch the pink one being opened up on this Youtube video. If you are interested in purchasing cubes, you are welcome to contact her directly at mmiller95(at)aol(dot)com.

Our wedding had a bit of a green theme (some potted herbs at the wedding) and we decided to re-use shopping bags for the welcome bags. Similarly, the confetti, made by Botanical Paperworks, had seeds in it and could be planted. 

We started planning for the welcome bags early by ordering the various pieces and having them shipped to my parents’ house in New Jersey. To drop them off at the hotels, we called a few days ahead to ask how many rooms were booked and then dropped them with the necessary labels. We tried to choose items that would travel easily if they weren’t consumed immediately. 

What was your favorite treat you found inside of a hotel welcome bag?

Read Full Post »

While there are only four days left before the wedding (and we fly to New Jersey tomorrow), I’m taking a break from all-things-wedding to present “Family History: Ideas for Collecting & Assembling” at the University of Michigan’s Work/Life Resource Center’s 4th annual event on work/life issues. The title of this year’s conference is Connecting the Dots.

I was contacted by UM’s HR department after someone read the description of a similar class offered at Rec & Ed and one presented at the Ann Arbor Book Festival last May. You never know what opportunities will lead to other ones.

A description of the workshop:

Family History: Ideas for Collecting and Assembling Researching and writing your family history doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In this session, learn tips on how to gather information and brainstorm ideas before translating the stories and research into a form that you can share with family members.

The idea for this workshop, as well as earlier ones and a memoir writing class I taught in NJ a few years ago, came out of a family history project that my mother and I completed together. Continuing the work of her late sister, my mother researched documents about our family’s emigration from southern Italian (Sala Consilina) to northern NJ in the late 1800’s. My mother, a professional photographer, and I visited the town a number of times and collected not only more documents pertaining to the family, but also an oral history. Our relatives there were incredibly generous in sharing their stories.

We paired her photographs with my narrative poems re-telling the family’s history. The result is a manuscript entitled, “Cent’Anni.” The manuscript as a whole is still looking for a publisher, but individual poems have been published. If you are interested, here is one that is available online:

“Teresa serves dinner at 20:00” Conte: Journal of Narrative Writing (Dec. 2006)

I loved collecting oral history and crafting poems out of those voices and so I decided to begin Word Arrangement, a personalized poem company. And that’s how this blog and venture was born.   

I can’t wait – only 4 days left! – to becoming a family with my new husband.

Read Full Post »

Melabee photographing in Puerto Rico, January 2009We probably won’t do formal introductions at the wedding (no one is invited who doesn’t know us…) I would like to take this opportunity introduce you to my mother, Melabee M. Miller.  An artist, she’s inspired me since I used to borrow her Sharpie pens and draw under her desk in a NYC industrial design firm as a child.

A few quick facts…

She is an architectural photographer who was recently the principal photographer for the book, Can’t Fail Window Treatments. Some of you in New Jersey might have attended her book signing at Barnes & Noble in Springfield.

Her botanical images have found their way onto art cubes and floorcloths. We have an art cube of every color and three floorcloths in our house. I love standing on the one by the sink.  

I bet you are wondering if Melabee is involved in the wedding industry. She recently joined Weddings by Artists,  a group I founded for like-minded artists involved in the wedding industry. Her white cubes would make perfect favors.

She recently started blogging and you can see monthly pictures (replacing her once-bi-monthly calendars). My favorite is the artichoke she is growing in her backyard in a Manhattan suburb – from a seed packet I brought back from Italia!

Keeping with the art theme, my mom and I have collaborated on a number of projects. We created a manuscript of paired photographs and poems that narrate our family’s emigration from the small town of Sala Consilina in southern Italy to New Jersey in the 1800’s. We have published a number of poems and been invited to present the project at a number of academic conferences, but we are still looking for a publisher for the manuscript as a whole. 

She is also the photographer for the personalized wedding poem roses, if you choose to have your poem printed with flowers. Look up to the top of the page to see one of her roses (again, grown in her garden.)

If that isn’t enough, she is also the most helpful MOB (Mother of the Bride) ever. Considering how far away I live, she has had many things to do locally. Tomorrow, she is off to visit with the florist.

Our next adventure? A mother-daughter trip to Santa Fe next week before I start a weeklong residency at the Ghost Ranch through the wonderful organization for women writers, A Room of Her Own. Stay tuned.

Mom and I having drinks before the Sex in the City Premiere in NYC

Thank you for everything, Mamma Mia!

Read Full Post »