Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Interview with the Children's Author Show

Don McCauley, host of the Children's Author Show, was so kind to interview me about "Alphabet Soup!"

My segment ran from December 23rd - December 24th. Thanks so much for all who took a moment to tune in!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Story Behind the Picture: B is for Ballet

Each week I share a different "story behind the picture" on my artist blog. To read more about "B is for Ballet," please click here.

Happy holidays!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Alphabet Soup!" Featured on My Shopping Connection

It's a rainy Thursday morning here in Philly, but I just received an email that brightened the day! The editors of My Shopping Connection have selected "Alphabet Soup!" for their "50 Under 50" holiday gift guide. Click here to see all 50 fantastic finds!

Just a reminder that shipping is free at Blurb through the 24th of November, so order your copy of "Alphabet Soup!" today.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Free shipping for limited time from

Blurb is now offering free shipping for a limited time! For those of you wanting to purchase copies of "Alphabet Soup!" for all the little ones on your holiday lists, click here to get the code. Then, head on over to Blurb and grab your copies today before the holiday rush begins.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How it's done: achieving the look of "Alphabet Soup"

I've had a lot of questions lately about how exactly I created the photographs for the Alphabet Soup series, so I thought I'd share some of the techniques here.

1) I only use natural, diffused light. Incandescent or other artificial light sources throw harsh shadows, so I have to wait for a perfect, sunny day. It's challenging, especially when just one little cloud rolls past and interferes with my sun!

2) I use a vintage lens to capture the images. Combining modern photography with vintage cameras and viewfinders is my favorite way to work. All those bright spots and scratchy bits? Totally intentional! The soft, muted feel of the older lens helps me capture the feeling of the whole series.

3) How do I know which text to use? When I find one that makes me smile :-) I keep playing with the images until I reach a combination that fits perfectly...sometimes it happens quickly, other times it takes nearly a whole episode of "Glee!" to get it right.

Come visit both the original "Alphabet Soup" gallery, and the still-in-progress "Alphabet Soup for Cross Stitchers" gallery to see more!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Signed Copies Now Available

Signed copies of Alphabet Soup! are now available on my website. Both the hard cover and soft cover books are ready to ship, and I'm happy to write a personal message to the little one in your life! Start your holiday shopping early and purchase your copy today.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Story Behind the Pictures: Alphabet Soup for Cross Stitchers

Every Friday on my artists' blog, I share a new "Story Behind the Picture," so I thought I'd repost this week's story here so that everyone involved in the SYHO project could share in the on-going process of the series and understand why it is so meaningful to me.

When these beautiful pieces arrive to me, I can't help but marvel at the time and love poured into each one. Some are actual stitched designs, some are creative tools to make stitchers' lives easier, but all are little pieces of art. Little pieces of art that connect generations of women who teach one another and keep the traditions their mothers and grandmothers taught to them. It was once forbidden for a gathering of three or more women to stitch or weave together: the churches feared the power of such unchaperoned meetings, feared the agency and power associated with creating such elaborate and bewitching designs, feared the outcome if too many women were united in their single pursuit. Silly, isn't it, to think that something woven or stitched by a women would be dangerous? Yes, I suppose, unless you've read the story of Medea...

These images are a tribute to the beautiful art of cross stitch that should be treasured - and taught - for endless years to come. Keep stitching, ladies!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

"Alphabet Soup for Cross Stitchers"

This weekend was the Stitching Jubilee in Lancaster, PA: it was an incredible experience to meet all the designers and stitchers!

Even better, we were able to share with them the exciting "Alphabet Soup for Cross Stitchers" book that will benefit the CAROL for Heart foundation.

A little background: Loose Thread Stitchers (LTS) and mkc photography have partnered to create a gorgeous coffee table book dedicated to the art of cross stitch. Twenty-six different letters, twenty-six different designers and companies who have supported this project, twenty-six different beautiful pages that even non-stitchers will love.

Why are we doing this? Colleen (the CEO of LTS) and I are dedicated to championing causes that support women. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women world-wide, and CAROL for Heart works to educate women about heart health. When Colleen saw my original "Alphabet Soup!" book, she knew this was a concept she wanted for the "Stitch Your Heart Out" (SYHO) campaign. Click here for a sneak peek at a few of the letters that will be a part of this book!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Welcome to the "Alphabet Soup!" series

Alphabet Soup! is a charming children's book based on a series of fine art prints I created in the summer of 2009. My inspiration? The two little loves of my life, Danny and Lucas. With their help, I gathered a collection of vintage pieces of childhood and photographed them in a still-life series.

Twenty-six of the original photographs comprise the pages of Alphabet Soup! but the series keeps growing - I'm currently working on an exciting project for the Stitch Your Heart Out campaign called Alphabet Soup for Cross Stitchers: you can find a sneak peak at the project here.

In the News

Thank you for the lovely features from all these fine places:

Times Chronicle/Glenside News

Purchase Your Copy Today!


Welcome to the silly scavenger hunt called "Alphabet Soup!" based on Michelle's fine art series of nursery prints by the same name.

Learning letters has never been this fun! If the weather is stormy and you are stranded inside, never fear - your home is an alphabet safari waiting to happen.

Find a friend and start your search...what things will you discover?

The story and inspiration behind these photographs can be found on Michelle's artist blog, the Story Behind the Picture.

Purchase your copy in the online bookstore today!


Michelle is an award-winning fine art photographer and digital artist from Philadelphia, and her work has been featured in a number of venues, including the Tiberino Memorial Museum (PA), City Hall (Phila, PA), and the Straube Art Center (NJ). Her photography appears on the cover of the 2009 "Paws for Charity" Art Book, and my whimsical collection of nursery art called "Alphabet Soup!" is now available as children's book by the same name. She photographs everyday things in extraordinary ways: come see the rest of her work at:

Michelle accepts custom, commissioned assignments from anyone who wants her to create something to fit their exact needs. Please
contact her for more information.

Exhibitions and Publications:
The Tiberino Memorial Museum (Philadelphia, PA)
City Hall (Philadelphia, PA)
Milkboy Cafe (Ardmore, PA)
Landfillart Project (
Abington Memorial Hospital (Abington, PA)
Straube Art Center (Pennington, NJ)
Once Upon a Gallery (Philadelphia, PA)
Mew Gallery (Philadelphia, PA)
Artista (Philadelphia, PA)
Steel City Coffee House (Phoenixville, PA) (featured artist, January 2009)
Tattoo Highway Literary Journal
Paws for Charity 2009 Art Book benefitting the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade (cover art)
"Alphabet Soup!" by Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes

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