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Nikki Jean Tran Blog | Watercolor Artist & Photographer bio picture
  • and welcome to the blog! I'm Nikki, a creative old soul who loves tea time, tip-toeing through gardens, mounds of books, swaying to records, watercolors, sunset walks with Rusty, and star-gazing with Paul. This blog carries snippets of my life with just the two of us - I hope it brings you happiness as you snuggle in with your cup of tea and begin reading. Enjoy, friends! (Latest posts on the right!) --->

The flu has hit the Tran house in full force! On a positive note I am fighting it like crazy and am feeling so much better after only 24 hours. For this, I owe Paul. When the bug first hit at about 3am yesterday morning, the first thing Paul asked was, “What can I get you? I’ll go to the store and get you whatever you want.” I told him, “No, really, don’t worry about it,” and he went right back to sleep. Who can blame him though? If I had said, “Yes, can you please go get me popsicles, a cold towel, etc.” he would have been up within a second and ran to the grocery story, like he has so many other times in the past. (He did end up going about 4 hours later when I decided I finally needed some food. :)) That’s just how he is. I am fortunate to have married my best friend.

For those of you who do not know, Paul is also my co-worker. It is because of him that I have been able to make my dream of this business into a reality. (He’s going to be so embarrassed when he sees that this post is about him…o well. :)) Not long after the conversation we had about starting a photography company, Paul was researching constantly on the computer about the best cameras, lenses, how to make a company official, and the list goes on. Paul is the type of person that LOVES to research. He researches ANYTHING. If he doesn’t know something, he researches it. How do you change out an alternator? Research it! How do you take apart a lens and put it back together? Research it! Literally, the kid is a book filled with random knowledge. And of course, he had a field day getting my business together. Where was I when all this was taking place? Don’t worry, I was working too. :) Once we bought my first camera I practiced taking photos of anything and anyone. I practiced editing in Photoshop. I asked everyone I knew if I could practice posing techniques on them. I began building my website (I know, crazy – Paul had nothing to do with making my website – he’s a software engineer so it is actually hard to believe) and my Facebook page. I researched too, just in a different way. :)

Throughout my first year of business, Paul has truly been amazing. He has been so supportive about everything. Literally EVERYTHING. If I feel like I could use an update with my lenses, Paul is right there to find the best deal for the best lenses on Ebay (we love Ebay). If I want to go to the local vintage store for props, he is right there with me helping me decide which items would work best for different shoots. If I want to drive around searching for different locations for shoots, he’s always there with me. For those of you who read my last post, who do you think was the person who found out about this lovely opportunity in the first place? Yes, Paul. However, when I’m editing a shoot and continue to show him photo after photo I don’t think he is “all there” when he says “Yea, looks nice.” But, in his defense I’m usually doing this type of stuff during a football game. :) Fun fact: I actually watched a WHOLE football game on Saturday (before the flu) – 49er’s vs. Packers (naturally anyone playing against the Packers we vote for) and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Paul was so proud. :)

Our first wedding without co-shooting is coming up in less than two weeks! Can I be honest? I’m so nervous! But, I’m also soooooo excited! Paul and I have been pep-talking each other to get us prepared and calm for the big day (you’d think it was our wedding, ha!) and I have to tell you, it’s such a wonderful feeling knowing that I’m going through this big adventure with him. How often can someone say that they love their job AND they get to work with the person they love the most in the whole, wide world? I am one lucky lady. :)

Have you ever felt like it’s Christmas again when packages surprisingly show up in the mail?? That’s exactly how I felt about 30 minutes ago! It’s not that I wasn’t expecting anything but I just wasn’t expecting anything today. Naturally, as soon as the doorbell rang Rusty turned into a ball of chaos and I became a paranoid freak. I’m that person who hides next to windows to see who is ringing at my door before I actually answer. Paul makes fun of me all the time. However, to my happy surprise, it was UPS and there was already an abundance of packages lying at my doorstep! I immediately opened the door and helped the UPS guy make three trips into the house with all my glorious presents! What were these glorious presents you ask? Paul sent me tons of chocolates just to surprise me!……………

Just kidding.

I had ordered 16 canvases, each with one of my favorite landscape/nature photos and then two with my favorite images with people. Why? Because I am going to be the “Featured Artist” at the Waconia Frost & Steam Ice Cream Parlor! I know, it’s not an art museum in NYC or anything, but it’s a start! The wonderful thing about this small town is that they support their local artists by featuring them in their store each month at no cost! It’s awesome! So, right now there is an artist that is showcasing their watercolor paintings all over the store. There is a little “blurb” about the artist and each wall has a few paintings on them. In February, yours truly will the featured artist of the month! I’ll be hanging my canvases that just came in the mail along the walls of the ice cream parlor shop and I’m so excited! It’s such a great feeling seeing my hard work actually in print on a canvas. When I’m done having my photos featured, they will be proudly displayed all over my house and I am so excited about that, too! Yes, I will be having other people’s engagement and wedding photos decorating my home. Is that weird? O well. Tegan & John and Hannah & Sean will look wonderful in my office (whenever that room gets finished). :)

  • SamJanuary 14, 2013 - 9:26 pm

    This post cracks me up! Whenever the someone comes to the door I have to basically tackle JJ so they can’t see him until I have had a chance to peek out a window and see who it is haha. So awesome that you are being featured!! Good Work!ReplyCancel

  • momJanuary 11, 2013 - 1:53 am

    Must have a picture of mom, right? ha,haReplyCancel

  • AshleyJanuary 10, 2013 - 10:07 pm

    My dago is all grown up and FAMOUS! Congrats, lovely :)ReplyCancel

Yes, Rusty got a makeover today. Mostly a haircut, but he looks completely different! This is his second haircut since we got him and I’m still shocked when I see him afterwards. He’s still so handsome, but I prefer his shaggy locks. :)

Since I wrote yesterday that I would be writing more about my life, I’ll write a little about my Rusty. Random fact: for some reason we call him “Rusties”…ever since we got him we talk in plural form a lot. For example, “Rusties, come get your foods!” I have no idea why, but whatever! People do weird things when it comes to their pets.

I saw this quote yesterday on Pinterest when I was going through my boards (yes, you can follow me on Pinterest! I LOVE Pinterest and following new people – so many good ideas out there!) and thought I would share it. For you people who have beloved pets, you’ll love this one. For those of you who don’t, you’ll still like this one (hopefully, if not just bear with me)……

“He might be only part of your life. For him, you are his everything, the only person in his whole life.”

Doesn’t your heart melt? It’s so true! I also saw this quote on Shana Rae’s blog about her new horse yesterday (she quoted from Black Beauty)……..

“We don’t get to choose the people in our lives.  For us it’s all chance…”

Again, so true! And then I began to think, would Rusty choose me if he could? (I know, a little dramatic, but it’s good for reflecting! :)) So, today I’ve been trying to be an extra good Momma to him, for example, taking him to get a haircut because as you can see from the first photo on the right (don’t judge the non-made bed! Notice the newly-made bed in the second photo! :)) the poor love could barely see. Maybe that makes me a bad Mom for neglecting his lack of sight….either way, I’m going to start making Rusty’s life extra wonderful because it’s true; Paul and I are his whole life and he is only a part of ours.

I am going to make more time to take him for those walks he enjoys so much.

I am going to join him in the backyard more often when he plays.

I am going to give him a carrot treat for no specific reason; just because he is my little love.

I am going to actually take the ball when he nudges it into my hands when I’m working.

I’ll learn to put work aside to play more.

For those of you who are reading this thinking “My goodness. Nikki is talking about Rusty like he’s her child”….he really is! I never understood how people could feel like this, for example, my aunt. She has had two, beautiful, white husky dogs for as long as I can remember. She does my hair and every time I go over there she’s always telling me where her and the “boys” went yesterday or where she’s taking them today…she truly does everything she can to make the “boys'” lives wonderful. And why shouldn’t she or anyone else who has pets? Dogs are probably the most loyal animals in the world (which brings me to this link my Nana and Gramps sent me yesterday – was yesterday pet day??).

So, if you have a pet, love them up today and every day! Try to remember that they are empathetic (have you ever noticed that when you yawn your dog yawns right after you? Rusty does this all the time), loving, loyal, and are able to feel happy or, unfortunately, sad.

Cheers to the loving animals in our lives!

PS. I just LOVE that I can see his big, beautiful eyes now! :)