Sunday, December 26, 2010

Jonathan Safran Foer

I feel like I've known this guy for years, but the truth is, I've only recently gotten into his writing. I think I was put off after seeing Everything is Illuminated before reading it and was quite disappointed.

I think I'm going to start banning movies. They do no justice to the real thing.

I finally picked up his book Eating Animals. I would say I can't wait to finish it but I know it will stress me out a little more just like I did after reading Fast Food Nation and A Life Stripped Bare. But if we all have this understanding, things can and WILL change. So all I can do now is follow what I know and help others understand a little more on the way.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


So last August I was ask to film one of Pick a Pocket's projects in Ethiopia. Immediately I was honored and became so excited for the opportunity. Just a few days into planning, God gave me a vision of what the video would look like. I was astonished. It was beautiful. I quickly studied up on how to work my camera, how to shoot, and even got some tips from a few guys whose work I admire. They had actually just returned from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I had missed them by just weeks.

The outcome, and the best Christmas gift I could give to myself is my rendition of what God showed me. Of course, it's not exactly what I had originally envisioned, because, well, that was God's idea.

Hope you are moved :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Every year in America

we throw away 96 BILLION pounds of food.

That's 263 MILLION pounds a day.

11 MILLION pounds an hour.

3,000 pounds a second.

And yet, people in our own country are still going hungry.

A few years ago I was introduced to the idea of dumpster diving. And there was never a second I thought this concept to be absurd. I grew up in a country of abundance and as I became more aware of the world around me, I realized just how much we waste and how little others have. Dumpster diving is my chance to actually take action and not contribute to the waste that's all around me. Even if it does not directly feed someone (other than myself) on one hand, just think of how much space we could save in the landfill if we filtered through what could really be used/eaten and not have to purchase that exact same thing to pile on top of the millions of other things that could have been used. And on the other, just think of how our pockets would be a little fuller too where we could in turn give back MORE to those really in need. It's not that I think I can't afford to eat well, but God has already provided us with so much, why waste my money on something I can always get for free?

My best dumpster find to date was a few summers ago at Aldi. I found a perfectly good paper shredder. I used it for all the other waste that came to my mailbox that year I lived in Nashville. Next to my beloved paper shredder was a brand new kiddie pool in a box that looked like big foot had stepped on it. The box was pretty beat up, but inside contained a kids summer dream! And it kept my feet cool in that nasty Nashville humidity. Unfortunately they discovered our finding and started locking the dumpster gate.

The next summer my roommate and I ventured out to Trader Joe's (the best dumpster to date) and cashed in on dozens of bouquets of flowers. We loaded her trunk and headed to our neighborhood where we dispersed the flowers on all of our neighbors' cars. It was glorious. Our street looked as if a wedding or parade was coming to town. It was the night after Michael Jackdon passed away so Heather and I spread rose pedals on the ground in a big heart and sang an ode to good ole MJ.

My favorite part about the whole thing (for some reason, most people assume I am a vegetarian) is getting to explain that I am not a vegetarian, I'm a freegan. I love to think that I had coined this term, but it's been used by others for years.

Meet the Freegans from on Vimeo.

Be encouraged, you can make a difference tonight! Check out Dive the Film to find more things you can do.

Dive! Trailer from Compeller on Vimeo.

I love to share my findings and figuring out new recipes with found objects, so the next potluck you invite me to, I can't promise the food was purchased by myself :)

Friday, December 17, 2010


I've not had much time to sit an write since I've been home. I've been fortunate enough to constantly be surrounded by wonderful friends and family. Actually, I've not even had one day alone since being here. And that it quite rare for little ole INFJ me. I'm currently putting the finishing touch on my final render for my newest video project. So maybe by tomorrow all 4 of you reading this can see it :)

For now, I hope you can take a moment to watch this video and really think about the things that you want vs. the things you need. And stand up for what you believe!

I don't want to leave on a depressing note, so I will leave you with a pretty picture to look at by a great photographer Randy P. Martin

Oh, and if anyone knows of or is into video in the Nashville area and would not mind to have me as an apprentice, please contact me stephanie.eatherly[@]

and good day

Monday, December 6, 2010

Nashville Help-Portrait 2010

Thanks to amazingly compassion artist Jeremy Cowart and his wife Sharon, every year thousands of poor families have the priviledge of getting prefessional portraits taken, hair and make-up done, a warm meal, and free health screenings from local doctors. Help portrait was started a year ago and has turned into a huge international event with helpers in Germany, Canada, Mexico, the US, and probably more.

This year I got the priviledge to work along side of some of Nashville's most giving and talented photgraphers.

photo courtesy chris honiball All rights reserved

I originally went to take clothes to drop off at the donation site and to see how everything was organized. I'd heard of Help Portrait a few months ago and had wanted to help in a anyway I can. As my friends and I were leaving we asked if they needed any help. After getting fed and filled with Starbucks I started assisting one of the photographers. I ended up staying for 5 hours editing and printing photos of families, single moms, a few guys in rehab, and even Jeremy's own son and daughter. We shot, edited, and printed on the spot and could even provide the families with frames and a free shipping service! The entire experience was a chance of a life time and I'm so thankful for all those who organized these events.

I wish I had some behind the scenes shots, but I forgot my camera! Of course....

It happens every Saturday after Thanksgiving so look for us next year!

Monday, November 22, 2010


It's not every day you get to meet people who have visited the garbage dumps around the world. A friend introduced me to a beautifully made film tonight

Go to WASTELAND WEBSITE to see if the film is showing near you.

I'll be showing some of my work at Timbre's annual Christmas show

This year it is DECEMBER 10 7:30pm at the ANCHOR
629 3rd ave South Nashville, TN 37210

This year I will have tons of new hand-made ONE OF A KIND jewelry + photos from India, Ethiopia, and Prague. Oh, and the book :)

so mark your calendar. If you haven't heard Timbre play live, you are missing a little part of your soul. No lie. Come support local artists and pick up some handmade Christmas gifts. You won't regret it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Back in the US - the land flowing with fried chicken and Football

I think there was entirely too much the happened in the past week to really be able to reflect on in one go. But I can try and start.

I shared a room with over 100 others in a church. 80 girls shared 1 bathroom and 2 toilets. It was surprisingly exciting and I didn't mind drinking cowboy coffee out of Nutella jars. I call it the outreach mocha. I had little time to pamper myself and no shower to bathe in, but it was a great experience and reminded me of Cornerstone - camping out for a week waking up next to dozens of other people who haven't showered in days.

We smelled great.

The design crew from MOTA blew me away. One of the students, Rene, had previously made a stop motion video and THIS WEBSITE. For the mini outreach, we decided to make postcards to raise awareness in the city about human trafficking and child labor. We all came up with our own designs in about a day and a half and scattered them throughout the city.

There were tons of stories from the week about the other students hanging with the homeless, serving the churches, loving the prostitutes, and even parading in the red light. Actually Kelsey and I got the honor to dance in that parade. At any other time I think I would have been extremely embarrassed from the situation. But my spirits were high and not even the rain could have made me depressed.

We marched through the second largest red light district in Europe being led by a guy in a conductor's hat, someone carrying a huge cross, another with a large salvation army flag, and a German guy singing into a small amp that a girl carried along side his guitar while the rest of our group filed behind us in twos singing along to German worship songs. We waved proudly to onlookers in bar windows and tried to get others to join in our marching. None complied, but Kels and I remained jubilant nevertheless. My dream came true of having a parade in a big city that night. And I'm pretty sure some lives were changed. Or - if anything - people got in some good laughs.

It was too hard to say goodbye to the group this time. Being away from Herrnhut really allowed me to appreciate Germany and what we are doing as a ministry a little more. Sometimes you get so stuck in the YWAM bubble in that small village. The only people I can communicate with have relatively the same understanding and outlook on life, but this is how we get stuck in the mundane. We aren't challenged.

But I've been challenged constantly since I stepped foot out of Germland. On one plane home I sat next to Kathrine. She just lost her mother a week ago. She was flying to Atlanta from Long Island to get away. She had such a pleasant and joyous spirit. She craved the spiritual and had compassion for the poor. She's worked as a dental hygienist for 30 years and is ready to retire. She wants to volunteer and help the poor in her area and as I shared what I did, it really encouraged and motivated her to research more into organizations and programs where she can become active. But what's more, she encouraged me that there really is hope for America, no matter how lost we are, that there are a handful of people who want to serve others.

Tonight at church, the worship went deep. I think it stirred up things in a lot of the people in the building. God spoke to me that His children are lost and do not know their Father. It broke my heart and I wept for those who have not fully given themselves to Him. They will never know the joy that I have experienced by finding my Father. I felt God's heart for them. My heart pounded for His sorrow and the sorrow I felt for those who have yet to seek His Glory - how they will never experience this . So many times when I am worshiping our great God I imagine the world as it is, but people laying down their selfish motives and turning to God. It's a beautiful thing. I will continue to pray for His Kingdom to come to Earth, and though I may never see that fully manifested, I can still see His Kingdom around me, and I hope just that little bit can be shared with those I encounter. And I hope that small encounter will change something in them.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I just finished making my coffee this morning as I sit in my friend's flat. I’m in Hamburg for the second time this year. It’s surreal to think about all that has been provided for me the past few weeks. I had a warm bed to sleep in last night, a nice shower this morning, and breakfast waiting for me when I woke up. International friends are the greatest thing to have when you are travelling around the world. Living as a nomad takes its tole on you after awhile. I've slept in 9 different locations the past two weeks. I'm getting good at this packing light thing. And especially good at packing the essentials: underwear, instant coffee, earplugs and a sleeping mask. It’s pretty much all you need for your next adventure to the unknown. But I'm honestly worn out to the core from this weekend. We hosted the big conference about poverty, human trafficking, and slavery which ended today – leaving my brain in the rafters after non-stop thinking about how I could actively combat these huge issues. The elephant is too big for me to eat, so I'm going to need a little help from my friends.

It's embarrassing to say that in the past 2 years that I've "lived" in Germany, I've not picked up one sentence auf Deutsch. I worked the information booth at the conference this weekend and just smiled nodded each time a new person approached me with their question in their native tongue - each time fighting my way through the words until their next pause to kindly proclaim, "Entschuldigen, kein Deutsch sprechen." Except, on the spot, I forget to speak even the simplest of phrases and seem to mumble "ehhh... English?" like a dummy.

To my relief - and a bit of a surprise - the associate pastor of the Spanish church came to chat. I could not understand any of his German and he spoke very little English, so we decided to have a pleasant conversation in Espanol after discovering our common interest. My new Domincan Republic friend and I discussed the president of DR and how his reign the past 8 years has treated him well. He explained to me the president had recently visited Obama to speak about our countries’ issues like human rights and other social topics. He also told me I must like to work alot. "Te gusta trabajo mucho, no?" I had not stopped making jewelry our entire conversation which I now regret, for I was not engaging entirely into mis nuevo Latino compadre and missed the opportunity to go further into our new found friendship.

More German questions came and he left me to my work.

It was so refreshing to hear a language I could actually understand and he spoke it so beautifully. I've always regretted not being able to take Spanish 3. In high school I ran out of time to take actual classes because I squeezed in so many study halls, yearbook classes, "student teaching", and any other class that would give me relief from writing papers or having actual homework; probably more of those than I legally should have had. But it helps to know all the important people in the school office, or to just have a brother who everyone loved years prior. I think I got away with way too much. Since I can remember I've had a knack for getting out of things I was supposed to have done. Even in 1st grade I can remember "forgetting" to do the back side of my phonics homework - but Mrs. Shelton repeatedly gave me second chances to turn it in for half credit.

But Spanish was different. Ever since I can remember I've had this crazy fascination with travel and an extreme sense of wanderlust. I think my Spanish class fulfilled a bit of that wander. That's why I loved Spanish so much. It was the only subject that really got me outside the realm of my small town. For me, high school was such a struggle because I was so bored and not fulfilled. That fulfillment came from seeing the world - meeting other people. I can't imagine sitting still now and I'm 25. I'm so blessed to be free. To be single. I can do what I want to do. Go where I want to go. Be who I want to be. And best of all, there is no end because God provides for it all. I cannot ever imagine stopping now even as tired as I am. All I can think about are the travel possibilities this winter. Philly in December, California in January, India in Feburary. I'm excited to go home for a few weeks and rest, but after that, I'm free again baby!

Last night was such a blessing. It has been one of the first evenings I could sit alone, check email, send out files, and just plain rest without 100 other people around. Literally. I realized tonight how much being around people just stresses me out. When there is conversation happening I want to be a part of it, so all the talking grabs my attention and then sucks the energy right out of me. And then nothing is accomplished because I've actually not said anything all day. All of my energy left me through my brain. It's sounds weird (and a little gross) but it's the only way I can describe it.

Thank you Jesus for my warm bed
and coffee
and toast
and sleeping in
and loyal friends
and peace
and quiet
and being alone
and collecting my thoughts, a least for a few minutes

Maybe one day I'll stop.
But not now, please.

Elimination Art Collective: coming soon :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I can't sleep.

I got Tennessee on my mind.

It's just past 4 in the morning and I cant help but stare at Orion's belt gleaming through my window. It shines so bright over the German hillside and all I can think about is just how many others are looking at the exact same constellation, at this exact same moment. probably thousands. perhaps millions. I don't know the likelyhood of the latter, but it sounds feasable.

I went on a mini tour this weekend with one of my favorite new artists, Sarah Brendel. She could be a star if she wanted to. It's not that her music is too new, but for some reason I'm just discovering her.

After meeting her at a show in Dresden Friday she invited me on tour with her to Berlin for the weekend. How could I resist? I even played a show with her. Oh, and I tell you I was on tv? No big deal.

I had a delightful time with her and the guys. We scopped out all the hip local spots in Berlin, drank Italian espresso at a pizza bistro, talked about Hannover and Hamburg over mojitos in a bar with a live dj, shot film, and coveted all the fixed gear bikes in town. I'm such a hipster, I know.

After 2 years in Germany, this was my first time to really see Berlin. I even (possibly) saw some real live Bansky.

Thursday I'm off to Hamburg for a conference about Human Trafficking and then a week with the design students somewhere in the city. Details are yet to be confirmed, but all we need for action is a projector and a warm place to sleep. Their last assigment was to make stop motion videos about trafficking and I'm challenging them to show their final projects in downtown Hamburg projected onto a wall or screen outside. It's going to be cold, but I'm really excited to see the reactions.

There are about 7-8,000 women working in prostitution in Hamburg. About 70% are migrant workers and many trafficked in thanks to its convenient harbor. I hope to spark some conversation and avoid as much cold as possible. I just pray I make it on to my plane next Saturday without too many germs or court costs. Germany requires too many permits.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

you never realize how much you love something until it is gone

These girls captured my heart.

Sfelg (second from the right) could honestly be my long-lost Ethiopian sister. Even though she speaks very little English, you would never realize it since she seems to communicate all too easily through laughter and silliness. We each talked in our Julia Child voice all the way back home that day with the scents of Kosche (trash) in the air and sights of donkeys and tracks trash passing by.

This is Menna. Another great friend I made. She's only 20 but puts all of her time and energy into these girls. Everyday she is at the house teaching the girls or serving them injera. Oh, injera. How I miss the.

Germany is cold. I'm missing my Africa sun :(

Monday, October 25, 2010

The sun is setting over Addis. Tonight the birds are chirping at full force. It’s chilly here. The days are full of sunshine and the nights are cool at best. The breeze sends chills down your spine as it cools down your hot tea you've been sipping the past 30 minutes. It is one of my last evenings here and all will surely be missed. I've made so many new friends in this time - and the time I had went by all too quickly. There were so many photos I didn't take, so many coffee ceremonies I had to forego, and way too many conversations that never too place.

I feel sorry for this place in a way. I feel like I could teach the people so much. For the most part even the educated only know what lies in the realm of Addis Ababa. Their geography books fail even to mention other cities in their own country. Their idea of current events is what futbal team is playing this evening or what Orthodox Minister is preaching this week. They have no context for other countries, other centuries, even their own history seems skewed.

Soon I will be back in the West. Something I am not too excited about, but words cannot describe the joy I get when thinking about seeing my family and friends in Nashville again. It’s a place so far from here, yet all too close to my heart. I love every single one of you in Tennessee and I cannot wait to share all my experiences with you in the short time we'll have together.

Tomorrow will be my last day to see the girls for possibly a year or more. Who knows when I will return again? Kosche and all those indwelling will be missed but thought of greatly. To one last day of banana bread, silly dances, and LOUD VOICES... cheers!

This is the loudest and toughest of them all – Kumel. Quite frankly, the girl scares me. She’s a tough cookie, but in the past few days I’ve really been able to get to her softer side. She has a great heart, but sometimes hides under a tough exterior from all the problems in her life. The only portrait I've taken and really liked.

I found this guy near Kosche wearing one of the shirts the girls’ made. Come to find out, he is Kumel’s brother, Abtamo. I had a chance to sit down with him to hear what he thinks of his situation and the girls’ program. He really appreciates all the support we provide for the girls. He said the best part is that they don’t have to return to the dangers of the trash place, but it has also become a struggle for their family. The girls don’t bring in as much income as before and the families are seeing this hardship first hand. Sometimes food is short or rent cannot be paid. Abtamo just passed his driving test and obtained his license. He is searching for a job to help provide for his family, but it’s hard to find work if “you don’t know people”.

We are hoping to find sponsors for all 14 of the girls (yes, we just took in a new one!) which will help to fund all of their school needs, rent (for our house which plays host to the afterschool program), snacks, a small amount to take home, and possible job training for the parents. We really want the girls to be able to focus on their studies during such a pivotal time as this – their early and late teens. Bancheyew has already started a college-prep program and we’d love to see her advance into University. Bancheyew is very interested in graphic design. But to do this, we need sponsors for all the girls to ensure they don’t return to working in Kosche and can survive off of what we can give them until their family’s income is sufficient.

Please let me know if you are interested in become a monthly sponsor for a girl and I can send you more information!
Goodbye Africa. Goodbye Ethiopia.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Sometimes it’s hard to notice when God is moving right in front of you. We crave the miraculous. The moments that leave us in awe-struck wonder. Sometimes we are living right smack in the middle of those moments, yet somehow miss them.

I look back on my life and can name tens maybe even hundreds of instances where God has aligned things so perfectly, but in the moment I tend to miss that alignment. Those miracles.

I was pick pocketed last week as Anna and I were trying to meet with some friends. Even though I lost most of my spending money, I didn't want to worry about it too much, I mean God provided a way for me to come all the way to Africa so why fret about pocket change?

I did not think much about that provision this weekend, rather, I was sort of reluctant to go out with my friends at all since I had no cash. But I didn't want to be rude, so I offered to show some new visitors from Germany around town. We ended up having smoothies for lunch and then went out for dinner later that evening. The following day, another girl from the guest house I am staying at wanted to go out to see more of the town. I joined and we had ice coffee and ice cream at the super snazzy Sheraton hotel and resort. All three times the girls offered to pay - even my taxi was paid for without asking.

My spiritual gifts include mainly giving, service, and care taking. I so often don't realize - or find it hard to accept - when someone is taking care of me. Each time it took a few moments for me to realize what they had offered - but eventually I did. Even though it was maybe the equivalent of 5 dollars, it still felt like so much. It felt like a miracle.

Since the second I left Germany, I knew God was going to move. I expected the miraculous.

Today I was writing and trying to figure out what I want to do after Africa. This idea of gardening, renewable resources, and recycling keeps coming up whenever I think about my future. I can't explain it, but where ever I'm headed, I think it's in that direction.

I've already met three people already who are involved in organic gardening or environmental engineering.

This morning as I was swinging in the bright African sun, I got a great idea for new jewelry I want to make made totally out of recycled or found objects. It's one of the first concrete ideas I've been excited about.

I didn’t have too much time to dwell on the idea, so I quickly sketched what was in my mind before Anna and Menna come and brought me lunch (the 5th random free meal I've gotten since losing my money) before heading to the girls house.


An older Ethiopian man sat next to me on the bus. Our conversation started when his phone rang. It was the tone of a super galactic ray gun. Seriously. It was great. I certainly was not expecting this to come from an Ethiopian. He was even excited to share the tone with me via blue-tooth. Too bad I'm not that far up the technology chain. I made him play the tone over and over again as I acted out shooting everyone in the first 3 rows. Everyone was cracking up. I loooove making Ethiopians laugh. They are much easier critics than Germans and Americans.

We continued in conversation about how well his English was. Curious, I asked what he studied in university. He told me art - mainly ceramics. He still creates and his main art is made purely out of recycled plastic.


Yes, recycled plastic. I could not believe what I was hearing. Well, I could believe it. God has been speaking to me so loudly about these things. How much more specific could it be? What are the odds that this morning I was dreaming of recycled art and this guy, in the middle of Africa is telling me about his career in melted found plastic.

He showed me some of his work on his snazzy galactica phone. It's not something I would look to buy in Africa, but it sure was amazing that he was showing me there in that moment and that I met him, on that day.

These past few days have been surreal. Non-stop answers to prayers, as small as they may be, but answers nontheless. I think it's been pretty miraculous.

I’m hoping to get the chance to head to the countryside to take a short course on organic gardening thought by the organization Organic 4 Orphans. Things are moving slow at the girls’ house, but I have no doubt found my place here (I don't want to leave!!!). Every single one of the girls is a work of art. They are all so different and I can’t wait to share their stories, photos, and videos soon :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010


This morning I'm lying here in my private East African room listening the traffic stroll by and watching the drape on my door flow in and out of the room with the wind. The sunlight reminds me of Sunday mornings as a kid lying in my parents’ bed. The sun was always hiding and appearing from behind the clouds and would brighten and dim the room for hours. I could hear the birds and that one pesky woodpecker pecking at the house trying to get through the plastic siding. You'd think after years of pecking at the same place he would get the hint and leave. But he was persistent.

After all my favorite shows like Gummy Bears and Adventures in Wonderland ended I would either rollerblade or bike up the street to my friend Audra's house. If she were home we'd bike for hours in our neighborhood. Or we'd hike behind my friend Michael’s house and break into his fort where he had posted "No Girls Allowed".

Sometimes we would meet up with my best friend Mandy and spray paint on her back lawn "East Side" because we thought stuff like that was cool.

Or we'd climb trees or get lost in the woods. Audra would always fall off a branch and get scrapped up pretty bad. But I only saw her cry once. It was the time she fell off a log passing over the creek behind my house.

I'm pretty sure she's married now. I wonder if she still hikes through woods and falls out of trees on the weekends?

I haven't seen Mandy in years, but I can almost guarantee she is vandalizing something.

Friday, October 8, 2010

We can't do this on our own

Who will rescue me from this body, not the arms, the fingers still?
Yes, they feel what they touch as well,
cut the cords.
Let the ancient Adam go.
I've been dancing with this corpse for nineteen years.

And when I said,
"Who will shave my head, and on the might, reveal me in my skin?"
All the secrets of fitness:
all the fitness He requires is to feel your need for Him.

In my room, in my room,
in this gospel I have made, salvation is a broken cistern in a handmade frame.
I cut the sheets into a flag, paint it red,
self-pity hangs over the doorway in.
From seven times seventy scraping knees,
blood lets, deficiencies,
these are the layers of bandages, protection from the sting.
In this great lacking,
I've found a way.

- anathallo

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Sarah Rhodes is one of my favorite people and a former roomate at the IXTEEN (aka The Claire Houe). Besides her agonizing aversion over washing any dishes, I was so fortunate to be able to live with her to learn from, to share in creative ideas, and to talk to about boys, naturally. But like 3/4 of the other IXTEEN girls, she was swept away by a boy and has since married. Sarah and her husband Josh make up Team Rhodes. This creative duo can be blamed for numerous great promo and wedding photos throughout the south, as well as great fine art and design that you will probably see popping up more and more. Portland has taken their heart so they won't be around the south much longer, but if you get a chance to see these two in action, take it!

I recently was able to interview Sarah:

se // Who/what first inspired you to pursue photography?

sr + I was in Bible College thinking about ministry but not knowing what to do with my life, and thinking a degree in ministry seems silly unless you want to be a pastor. I'd always loved taking pictures with my point and shoot. My friend Mia enrolled in a photography school in PA, and looking at her photos was so magical and inspiring to me... and the Lord brought everything into place and directed me to which school to go to and everything!

se // What is your favorite thing to shoot? (people, places, etc)

sr + Definitely people! Nothing else is like shooting people.

se//What are your goals as an artist?

sr + That's a good question - I don't have any set goals (maybe I should!). And I also don't tend to see myself as an artist since all I like to do is capture what is already created, and already beautiful! My aim is that my photography conveys an enjoyment of life. Joy, Love, Hope, Honesty, and Contentment in who we are as people - these are the things that I really love to capture. And since this is my full-time job, another goal is just to make enough money to live! Let's be honest! :)

se // What do you want people to take away from your photography?
sr + I'd love for people to look at the photos I take of other people and be able to see proof of a loving and beautiful Creator. I'd love for people to know they are beautiful and they are loved by the Lord - made in the image of Christ.

se // Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

sr + Still working with my best friend in some way - if not photography maybe something fun and crafty... or traveling... either way, I'll still be taking pictures along the way.

se // Any crazy/fun/funny stories/experiences you could share about a photoshoot? (or just your NYC story i think that's my favorite hehe)

sr + Which NYC story? The one where the guy punched my camera? RIDICULOUS!
Well each photoshoot is so different but I feel like each one definitely has its challenges that you can't plan for. For example this past Saturday when we shot Jesse and Julia, my camera about 10 minutes in went crazy. The autofocus stopped working, the screen on the back stopped working, and I couldn't change anything like the white balance or anything. So basically I was shooting blind since my diopter was off (the wheel that adjusts to your eyesight). It was so crazy!! I was so stressed out and panicked, but we made it through and shot for 5 more hours like that. I just had to kick into "pretend I'm shooting film and also I'm blind" gear, and just uploaded images like every 10 minutes to make sure they looked ok. :)

se // Any advice you would give to an aspiring photographer? (ex. school, business, gear, etc)

sr +
1. Save money whenever you can.
2. Shoot Canon :)
3. You don't have to go to Brooks Institute to be a good photographer! I went to a community college and it was amazing, I was shocked. The education was awesome, the tuition was silly-cheap.
4. It helps to have your picture taken by a photographer friend whenever you can - you have to know how to be comfortable in front of the camera in order to make others feel comfortable in front of the camera!
5. Learn from other photographer friends - everyone does things differently, and it's fun to see and learn from each other's workflow.
6. Also if you are thinking about advertising, just see how far you can get with free advertising (being featured on different blogs, using the free vendor guide websites, using facebook and twitter). We made the mistake of shelling out a lot of money for advertising with a big wedding company, and haven't booked anything from it. We have gotten a zillion times more interest from being featured on blogs than we ever have from our paid advertisement!

se // Any last tips/post production secrets you'd like to share?

sr + I use a lot of Photoshop actions and then tweak them to how I like! Actions are a brilliant time-saver. I make a lot of actions for batch processing a ton of photos. Also, I try not to use artificial lighting if I can get away with it. Natural light is so beautiful, and even at noon on a sunny day you can find some shade. At most I use a reflector, unless we are doing a really swank and fancy photoshoot. :)

My favorite of her most recent photoshoots are of our other former saucy minx roomate Julia and her Husband Jesse. Julia has always been my favorite clogger :) Sarah, Julia, and I shared our love for coffee, Starbucks, and Cornerstone. Though I've always been quite concerned about their fascination with metal...

These cannot be experiences without Jesse's playlist. Scroll and listen along to see the full shoot: CHECK IT OUT!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Would Jesus have Facebook?

This past week, I've been asking myself: why the heck am I here? I believe one of my purposes for being in Ethiopia in this time is to get out of this "lifeboat" Donald Miller describes in his book Searching For God Knows What (I'm only half way through but it's already on my you should probably read to understand me a little more list). Before I came to Ethiopia, I believe I had one foot in and one foot out. Meaning I sought acceptance in this world through the ways others view me (who doesn't?) I’ve never been much on fashion, and I surely don’t own many nice things (I would probably break or lose them if I did). But what artist isn’t looking for the approval of others?

Every human being in his/her own human nature has one main drive: to be accepted, loved, and desired by others. Our human nature drives us to buy the clothes we buy, listen to the music we listen to, live in the neighborhood we do, even associate with the boring people we choose to associate with - all for the acceptance of others. All to be seen as hip, or rich, or cool. Whatever you want to call it. Since childhood our main goal has been to be the best of the best, to be in the "A" group as we called it at my middle school. To keep up with the Jones's.

But I don't even like the Jones's. They are boring and stiff and have no real friends. They have no community and the friendships they do have are (as Mean Girls like to put it) plastic.

But what if this desire was gone? What if our motives in life were NOT to get others to like us. What if our main and only motive was to make God happy and to simply allow Him to enjoy US?


I wonder how many times God speaks this to us in His word? It's the message He has been trying to get across to us since day one. Literally. Through Adam. These past few years since I entered the ministry and saw the things and the people who Jesus loved most: the poor, the motherless, the brokenhearted, and that's when I really began to realize how much that "stuff" didn't matter.

The fall of man came when Adam and Eve chose not to get their everything from God. They were so loved by him that it didn't even matter if they weren't wearing clothes! They were so madly in love with life and the Creator that nothing else on this planet seemed of need. But they (by their free will) chose a different course. This separation brought about a need and desire for something to fulfill that relationship that was lost - that relationship with God. The separation from God was so drastic that humans began to kill in order to be the best and rise to the top (Gen 4:5-10). Or as Miller likes to point out: it was so drastic that we all started wearing clothes...

These things have continued since the dawn of time. But where has is gotten us? I don't want to be known for my "stuff". The hardest thing that I'm trying to put down is the fact that I don't even want to be known for my art, my photography, design, but for how I love and serve my God. It's sometimes hard to put away my camera and serve when I secretly and thinking to myself, oh, what a great composition, or I bet this person would take a great portrait. Instead I need to turn my thinking into, wow, how I can I serve this person better today? Maybe it is through art, but most of the time it is not.

I think the most drastic thing that I have thought of in the past but am just now coming back to is how Jesus never once wrote about himself. There are no recorded writings from Him (other than the time he scribbled something in the dirt - which I've always wondered what that something was. Was is a picture? A story? Was it about heaven? Or you? Or me?) But because He was so great, His life was told by others. Those are some pretty tough shoes to fill. Especially in these days of Facebook, and blogs, and flickr that can make anyone look like they’ve achieved greatness by having a huge following.

I do thank all for the compliments on my art and am gratified beyond belief from what I've heard about my design. But what I would really want to be known for is how I serve and give to those in need.

So I'm putting down my camera for the time being until I can use it to serve. I hope you understand this. Maybe I can share my photos and experiences over coffee instead of over the internet one day. Don't be shy, I love a nice smooth Ethiopian blend :)

House of Mercy

Upon arrival you feel as if you've reached a tropical oasis getaway - a diamond in the rough in this grim, dusty, roughly-paved part of town. The trees gallop on each side of your land cruiser as the islanesque interior of the compound welcomes you in.

Fifteen years ago these corridors fell home to 35 orphans. They’ve since grown to be adults and are now all on their own. Working jobs, finishing university, or managing families. The side building was formerly the boys’ bedrooms but now host as classrooms for disabled children.

Each classroom is adorned with the art work made by these precious hands. There are necklaces strung from the ceiling made of wood and pieces of painted metal. Hand prints of all colors and pressed leaves carefully placed stem by stem hang by string. The classrooms remind me of Mrs. Candy's Kindergarten class. So colorful and full of a child's innocence.

The children are taught by a class-level system. A, B, C, and D by which they enter to the next by their mental development. Here in Ethiopia, the culture sees mental and physical handicap as a sign of sin. They are outcast from society and more than likely shunned by their families. On the days these children are not at the House of Mercy, they are more than likely locked inside so neighbors will not see them. These children are allowed to stay in school until they reach the age of 18. Then they are released to other programs, hopefully being taken care of or placed in simple jobs.

It is 10 am and time for tea and bread. A daily ritual looked forward to by all. During our break I watch Yebo, a small young boy with down syndrome sit away from the other children on the outside stairway. Smiling - as happy as can be, spilling his chai all over himself, dancing to the music unheard to the rest of the world.

The compound is lined with palm trees and other greenery helps keep the filth of their homes a distant memory for these few hours each day - except for the twenty days a year during the rainy season. These few weeks are a struggle for the children. They miss the companionship, teaching, and fellowship during this time - locked away by their families.

In the open-air dining hall, little babies lie everywhere. Some infants stay strapped to their mothers’ backs as these poor new moms learn to cook and care for their new babies. A free gift the House of Mercy gives to needy women of the community for a few weeks after their child is born. They are taught basic healthcare for the young babies, how to cook on a budget (since none of them have jobs and some have no other family members), and are given a stiffen of food each week for their provision.

There is one mother here with her daughter. The young girl, almost two, is called China by her neighbors for her pale skin and exotic eyes. China's mom moved to Addis Ababa from the Eastern countryside with her boyfriend. She became pregnant and even though the couple seemed to be in love, the boyfriend left mid-pregnancy, leaving the woman without a family to care for her and a broken heart. Because of this stress and heartache, she gave birth three months prematurely. China's real name is Yesabele which means God Saves. China struggles with many illnesses due to her premature birth, but her mother, with a big smile and high hopes, keeps pressing on.

I love seeing these organizations thriving. There are so many people who care for the poor. There just seems to be unfortunately too many poor to care for. House of Mercy is funded by a small church in East Germany, but I hope my words can encourage someone to help fund this great ministry. I'm hoping to return to learn more stories and see how I can help the children there because this is just a portion of what this small group of staff actually does.

For more info on how to donate: visit their site!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sweet Home Addis Ababa

I made it safely to my favorite land of injera, coffee, and incense. It's been a rough 3 days adjusting to being in rainy, cold Africa. I researched the weather and knew it would be like this, but still I denied it, and only brought my summer clothes. Liz, please bring me socks!

Traveling in Addis is one of my favorite things. It costs a whopping 80 cents to get across town and back. I met a nice guy named Daniel today and talked about how one of the greatest needs here is for education. I agree. He showed me around his part of town as I waited for my next taxi to come. I needed an internet card and wanted to find a bookstore.

I was hesitant to follow him. Obviously.

He said, "Come, sister. Do you know the meaning of trust?"

"Well, yes."

"In trust there is no spirit of cry, only that our love grows!"

After this, I had to see what this guy was up to. He showed me the best road side books stores and helped me to find some magazines. I opted for the Exploring Our World school book. It's filled with pages about Ancient Greece, Egypt, Atlases, German tribes invading the Roman Empire, and even a short article about St. Francis of Assisi.

The last and only person to check it out from Curtis Intermediate was Rae-Lynn Kush on May 27, 1963.

I wonder where good ole' Rae-Lynn is today?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Aspire to Inspire.

Sometimes I forget that I am a part of the world that is beyond my small reality known as Herrnhut. I look at other blogs, online newspapers, video sites and forget that I walk on the very same land mass as everyone else. It's crazy to me to find how we are all connected in one way or another.

I ran across a super cutsie/girly craft blog today and after getting inspired by HER photos, I found that she has been inspired by me too :)

It sort of took me be surprise. You better believe I did a double-take. I'm sure she found me from Promise's blog, but I still marvel that someone would take the time to acknowledge me.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

      "Love is that disciplined act of absolute
      spiritual daring that eviscerates the
      old self of externality so something
      new and inward can come into being."

    - Simon Critchley on Kierkegaard

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Current Reading.

"Eighty-five percent of church resources go to maintaining overhead
and top down programs, whereas two cents of every dollar goes to
support global missions. Opportunities are readily available to invest
in women struggling with poverty through microfinance, for example,
or to help children who are trafficked or who live in trash dumps in
developing countries, as opposed to perpetuating high overhead with
church building programs or new mega sound systems."

-Taking Flight

I think I just threw up a little.

P.S. I donated a little here today. I think you should too :)

Ethiopia! It's official

September 18 - October 26 I will be in Addis Ababa helping a good friend Anna with the Garbage City girls home.

There I will be documenting the daily life of the girls and getting a few interviews with the locals about their thoughts on the area of Korah (Garbage City) Ethiopia.

I may even head back down to the Karo Tribe in the south for a week to see my buddys Bona and Biwa! It's a 3 day drive through Arba Minch and Jinka to the Omo river.

Oh what beauty is ahead!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Greetings From Herrnhut!

These are photos I took today on my hike through the forest + collaging that I thought would emphasize them greatly. There aren't many people out on Sundays here in East Germany, so I made some friends up. Meet Biily and the boys. Oh and my trusty tailer. It holds all my new fishing gear. I imagine these as postcards. Maybe one day I'll get them printed.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Meet the team

This past week Pick a Pocket spent time in Hamburg to gain inspiration for our art, welcome in 9 new members, and talk about the next year of our ministry and work. Discussions are being held to pursue:

Publishing a magazine
Collaborating with Not for Sale Campaign
Building networks with other artists supporting social change
Obtaining official non-profit status
Expanded field projects
New training opportunities

Other exciting news...

I finished a preview of our last American tour!

Check it out:

Pick a Pocket Summer Tour 2010 from Pick a pocket on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Well, hot JAZZ!

Some of his first experiences in music came from the streets of Storyville - a legal red light district of New Orleans from 1897-1917. There, Louis Armstrong hauled coal through the streets passing by bands playing in the dance halls and brothels where his mother worked as a prostitute.

His very fortunate friendship with a Jewish family afforded him the opportunities to pursue his music career early in his childhood. The Karnofskys gave Armstrong odd jobs and nurtured him as a young boy. They also taught him "how to live—real life and determination."

Through passion, fury, questioning, and hope from his past, Armstrong gathered his inspiration for his music. It was his past which set his future up for success.

His story is definitely a rare one in the hard streets of poverty and racism but through certain circumstances, Armstrong rose up and out of his situations. It is people like the Karnofskys who really make change in this world. To learn more about thier non-profit visit the website:

There is so much hope in the future generation of those under the oppression of poverty and injustice. He became one of the most influential musicians of his time and will forever bring joy to the ears and hearts of those who listen. Here's to you Louis....

Beans and Ricely yours,

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Abolition. It's about time.

But we're nowhere near it.

I read recently that it is not legal to own sex slaves in India, but it is okay to solicit yourself privately. Though a recent comment by the Indian Supreme Court may mark the beginning of an unfourtunate change. According to India Today a bench suggested to the government to legalise sex trade.

This has to end.

I don't know how any sane person or country could let this happen in their own country. Furthermore, it's happening all over. NOT JUST INDIA. 27 MILLION SLAVES still exist today. Some may be even in your back yard. Yes, yours. America, Europe, Asia, Africa.

This video is not pretty: watch it at your own risk. It is too close to what I experienced in October. Melody and I walked down this very road and I probably saw some of the same women on the streets.

An organization I've been following for awhile brings us into a glimpse of the hope THEY are offering.

Love146 Overview from LOVE146 on Vimeo.

With this, I want to get you guys excited about what is to come. I will be returning to India in January to start on my documentary of Kamathipura and working with a wonderful organization that wants to open a second hand shop helping girls out of prostitution. There is so much more need, but it is what I can do in this time. PLEASE email me if you want to learn more and HELP SUPPORT this project!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I apologize for not posting anything about the tour. I've been on VACATION (!!!) the past few weeks and my tour photos and videos are still in America on a friend's computer.

But it's okay. I've been crazy inspired this past week by some of my favorite artists and finally getting around to making crafts, writing letters, collaging, and even going on a jog or two.

I'm not a big fan of posting pictures of myself, but this is my new favorite hair piece (besides Laura's headbands of course...) oh, and I bought new shampoo today. It's nice. I also recieved my first letter from a supporter (besides my mom) and just finished replying. Sara, I hope this gets to you soon...

{inspired by: Promise Tangeman }

I stumbled across my old college design class files where I was greeted with an array of vintage fotos. This one seems unfinished to me. But I'm hoping one day I can use it for something.

Collaging is definitely my most gratifying form of art. Most of my collages have meanings. Some do not. I hope you can find a story in them. If not, then you can make one up. I'd love to hear them. I once received a letter that spoke of a few of my collages and I must say, the stories were almost exact to my original intent. And that meant alot.

I'm not really sure who reads this, but I hope you are inspired a little by our great King today.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Walk Through The Field.

the sun was a shinin'

I walked through a field today. The view was as beautiful as always though I've never seen it in the summer. I'm used to trekking through deep snow and dodging pot-holes filled with icy water. I walked a half mile past the tall grain as dirt crunched beneath my feet. The path is off a winding German road which leads to villages beyond the forest. Windmills line the walk and nothing is in sight except the rolling hills of Eastern Germany and a herd of cattle to my side.

My mind raced back to the time I walked down the rocky hillside in Romania holding a gypsy child on my hip. We prayed over the city, the least we could do, as Josiah played the mandolin and we worshiped our great God.

The dirt path reminded me of how much we are all connected. We all make footprints in the sand. Some lighter than others. Some are heavier, carrying the burdens of laborious and dejected lives.

My heart sunk on my way back home through the forest. I thought of a mother I met in India who wanted nothing more than for me to take her child. She thought giving up her baby to a westerner would ensure that it had a better life - or at least a chance at life. These mothers don’t know if their own children will live to see the next day. They give everything just to feed them, but it’s still not enough. There is not enough for them to give.

It breaks my heart every time I think about it. I know I don’t have much to offer to the millions in need. A good friend of mine once said, “You can’t save everyone.” So I rely on the tiniest portion that I can offer which might well change a single life one day, because at least that’s one more life than none.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Home again, gone again

To the summer:

you will be missed
God's provision
new hope
new friends
new inspiration

From PA to TN to IL this summer's Pick a Pocket tour was for sure a time to remember. So many people encouraged us along the way and I cannot wait to see what the future brings.

First Philly Philly
I love everything about this photo...
Revolutionizing the Radio
Soil and the Sun

Where to next? Herrnhut, Germany for:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

This makes me so happy!

When I come across companies/non-profits like this, I get so excited about our future! So many people are seeing the importance of Fair Trade and helping to end extreme poverty, trafficking, and AIDS. TRADE AS ONE has scoured the globe to find people in need and provided them with the resources and know-how of creating items to sale. I know that we are a long way from totally becoming a fair trade nation, but this gives me a little hope: TRADEASONE.COM

[A fair trade artisan family]

[their recycled magazine bowl]

Check it out, but your next gifts here and join the revolution!

Because Fair Trade chocolate and Coffee should be essentials in everyone's life

Buy their products.
Read the stories.
See who you are helping.
Get pretty stuff.
See how you can get involved.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kelsey//PP Crew Posse #3

Kelsey is a roomate, a friend, a lover of unicorns, an artist, and an inspiration on so many levels

SE// What is your favorite part about being in PP?

K+ My favorite part about being in PP is the communal understanding that dance parties are a necessary part of a well-rounded day. Really though, life doesn't get much better than living all of your dreams in an exotic country with a group of people you adore. I'm encouraged daily that I can use ARTZ n' CRAFTZ to save the world and no one tells me I need to wear a business suit or ...ever.

SE// Why PP? Why not a PAYING job?

K+ The way I see it, PP pays me with good feelings. Ya know, the kind of feeling that I am being exactly who I was created to be. Although it would be nice to have some kind of legit monetary income, there's so much more to life than that and following money just isn't where it's at for me. I'm paid every day with most excellent adventures and a most excellent posse to share them with, aww.

SE// Favorite place traveled/why?

K+ My favorite place I've traveled would have to be Bardia, Nepal. Despite the electrocution and the near drowning experience, we got to ride elephants through the jungle and camp along a river-bed while rhinos loomed in the near distance. We were able to experience some of the world's most remote people groups and see what life is like on the other side of the Prime Meridian, definitely a solid adventure.

SE// People who inspire you (artists, authors, musicians, etc)

K+ Honestly, my friends coughStephanieEatherlycough are the most talented and inspiring people I can think of. Although my list of artists I am inspired by is ever changing, I'm currently awed by WIlliam Klein's unconventional approach to fashion photography, Anthony Burgess' obscure vocabulary and writing style,the audio fairy-tale vibe of "The Strangers" by St. Vincent, and general.

SE// Finally, 1 or 2 random/fun facts? Anything you want to tell the world?

K+ eek I don't know what to write here

SE// blog, facebook, twitter, email, flickr info


some of her wok:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

no computer = no new creations


I am sorry to say that during our time on the road, my computer decided to not wake from its sleep. Luckily I have a 3 yr warranty and it's only a year and a half in great condition. It is on its way to the Dr. and should return happily in my arms in the next few weeks. Please excuse my time away from my blog. There is not much to post since i have no editing programs, but I will do my best to update everyone on the tour soon (because it's going oh, so well!!!).

I cannot wait to share our stories, photos, and videos of our amazing experiences on tour!

Prayer requests:

  • Tiana and I are travelling to Cornerstone (an 8-9 hour drive) and are lacking reliable transportation. We have purchased the booth space and cannot wait to share pick a pocket with the folks at the festival! More about it here:

  • My computer (of course) has not yet been diagnosed and it is my main means of ministry (as a designer and new passion for film/video). I know God will show his grace on me and get it back to me in working condition in time :)

  • Team unity: we've been on the road, in the heat, and low on funds for a few months and it's taking a tole on us. We love each other so much but we really need your prayers to continue the final few days with as much enthusiasm as when we started.

    I cannot wait to hear from you! SERIOUSLY! If you read this, please let me know :)
    Comments are nice, oh, and so are letters! They can be send to:

    Stephanie Eatherly
    P.O. Box 130
    Kingston Springs, TN

    Hasta Luego!
  • Thursday, June 3, 2010

    Daily inspiration

    This is OUR time:

    Isaiah 61

    1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
    because the LORD has anointed me
    to preach good news to the poor.
    He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners, [a]
    2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
    to comfort all who mourn

    For some reason, I've just realized in the past few weeks that I am truly living out my calling. God has called all of us to take care of the widows and orphans, the poor and oppressed, the brokenhearted and captives. We are all called to bring the Kingdom of God to earth, it is just the means that we do so that is different for each of us. Mine is art. What is yours?

    I'm so excited to see what the next few weeks will bring. My two worlds have collided. It has felt almost natural that all of my best friends from Germany are now in my hometown meeting all my best friends in TN. I've been so inspired by the creativity that looms over this city. The heart behind what people do here is so authentic and heartfelt.

    My new friend Laura has a huge heart for the Lord, loves to serve, and is the most creative person I met in Nazareth by far :)

    Visit her Flickr.

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    shows shows shows

    Hello NASVHILLE!!!

    I finally made it to the land of the free. It's been a crazy past 2 weeks trying to get things scheduled, posters made, bands booked, and traveling back to America. Communication has not been the easiest while on the road, so I apologize if you are wondering what the heck is going on?

    Good question :)

    The tour prep team arrives in a week and we will begin to get the gallery, merch, and designs finished. We're heading to PA to visit a few churches, play some music, talk to folks about dreams, and serve the poor. Our time is booked but we hope to return to Nashville with another week of non-stop shows and events.

    These two am particularly looking forward to:

    So mark your calanders and ask off work. I'll see you then!