Hurricane Relief Ornaments

As Hurricane Florence was hitting NC, I was sitting in my studio in Durham, NC listening to the high winds and heavy rain, and making ornaments. I got in a great rhythm and made over 60 ornaments in one sitting (4 of each of my 16 shapes), which is definitely a record for me! Just as I was finishing my very last ornament, I realized I had made every single one with a texture that was different than my normal ornaments, which I’ve been making for years! The texture was similar but not the same, so it wouldn’t match the other ornaments I had. Then it dawned on me - this texture looked like it was the shape of a hurricane. These were, literally, my hurricane ornaments.

As news was coming in about the destruction from all over NC, but especially the coast, I knew this was my way to help out. I decided to make my hurricane ornaments limited editions with $5 of each ornament sold going to Hurricane Florence Response Fund set up by The Foundation for the Carolinas.

To date I have sold 54 out of 64 total ornaments! I have made a $200 donation and will be making the final donation as soon as the last 10 have sold (likely very soon with upcoming holiday shows). Please check out my Etsy shop to see what is available if you’re interested in supporting the cause!

handmade ornaments
hurricane relief ornaments

Five new glazes!

I am very excited to announce that I have five new glazes that I am currently testing on some brand new work!  A couple of weeks ago I had a meeting for the Charlotte area clay guild, Carolina Clay Matters, at Carolina Clay Connection, where I was able to pick out some new glazes. I was able to fire a new kiln load of stuff last weekend to try out my new glazes. A couple of the greens came out a little different than I was expecting, so they may change (with better mixing!). But I am very happy with the rest, especially the eggplant purple!  I'm excited to make more for the upcoming Carolina Clay Matters Pottery Festival in Charlotte the second Saturday in May.

More photos coming soon with new work!


Soul Soothing Handmade Art Roundup

I love art. Growing up in my mom's pottery studio and going with her to shows and galleries instilled an appreciation early in my formative years that I feel is almost a basis for my whole being today. It's definitely influenced every job I've ever had (ok maybe not the gym I worked at part time, but everything else), what I majored in in college, and what I choose to surround myself with on a day-to-day basis. One of the most exciting things to me is going to or participating in a craft show just to see what amazing and fun art will be there!

With online stores like Etsy and Fine Art America, it is so easy to buy from an artist these days. And, let me tell you, pretty much every artist alive is SO appreciative of every sale they make. It's a tough way to make a living with so many cheap mass-made alternatives out there. But there is something incredibly satisfying about buying handmade from an artist who you know spent time and effort designing and producing a high-quality piece of art for you. With a labor of love and passion for what they do.

Long story short, I love pulling together some of my favorite pieces in a handmade product roundup here and there. It's a great visual gift guide when I'm looking for a handmade gift. So without further ado, here are some of my favorite soul soothing pieces that you should definitely check out! (Links to the actual products below the image.)

1. Serenity by IndigoArtsPhotos  https://   2. Mint green Tank Top with upcycled vintage crochet doily back by Katrinshine   3. Mint Green Velvet Pillow Cover by LaletDesign   4. Ultrasuede Cross Body Purse by WintertimeDesigns   5. Tree (November) - Card set of 8 by InkDropDesign   6. Oval Serving Tray by HodakaPottery   7. Sea to Shore Too - Needlefelt Art by Deebs   https://   8. Pretty green and teal circle earrings by IndigoArts   https://

1. Serenity by IndigoArtsPhotos

2. Mint green Tank Top with upcycled vintage crochet doily back by Katrinshine

3. Mint Green Velvet Pillow Cover by LaletDesign

4. Ultrasuede Cross Body Purse by WintertimeDesigns

5. Tree (November) - Card set of 8 by InkDropDesign

6. Oval Serving Tray by HodakaPottery

7. Sea to Shore Too - Needlefelt Art by Deebs

8. Pretty green and teal circle earrings by IndigoArts

The Big Snow 2018

We got 9 inches of snow in Durham, NC this week. NINE! As far as I can remember, the last time central NC got this much snow was about 30 years ago when I was 5 years old. I've lived just east of Charlotte and in the Triangle for my whole life and these are the only two occasions I remember more than 5-6 inches (and I confirmed with my parents also!). So suffice it to say, this was a very special occasion!


Despite being warm and cozy by my fireplace with two cuddly kitties, I convinced myself to walk down to the lake in my neighborhood with my camera once the snowfall died down just a little.  And, boy, was I so happy that I did.  The silence and stillness surrounding a big snow is just such a zen experience. Despite hating to be cold, the gorgeous views and 2 miles of exercise after sitting on the couch all day were well worth it!

Thankfully, the next day was gorgeous and sunny and I was able to take my camera out to my back yard and capture a few more beautiful snowy images. I am so in love with this serene series of my eucalyptus tree that was struggling to stay upright under the weight of NINE inches of snow!

This snow was so much fun! But can it be Spring now? (Apparently mother nature agrees because now, only a few days later, it is 60 degrees!)

These photos, along with the rest of my work, can be purchased in a variety of formats in my online shop.

New Beginnings in 2018

2017.  It was a rough year all around for many.  But it's time to look forward to new beginnings in 2018. I love starting the year with a clean slate and taking the time for reflection about what really matters. The promise each new year brings is exciting and inspirational!

I've spent the last week organizing and cleaning my house to get ready for a year of big changes, new experiences, and lots of new artwork! I will be starting a new job early this year after almost eight (8!) years in the portrait photography industry. It's been an amazing time learning everything about running a small portrait photography business and I have come away with so much from my experience.  But there comes a time when a little change is needed to keep things fresh. 

This year I hope to have more time for myself to experience life and see the world from a new perspective.  And I plan to be more active about sharing it with you (yes, you!).  So be on the lookout for new artwork as I update my sites with my current work.  And, eventually, look for some brand new work that I hope to create with a different outlook and new energy focused on creativity!

Happy New Year!


Donation to Beautiful Together

Earlier this month I made a donation that made my heart feel good.  I was able to offer my services as a photographer to raise money for a non-profit 501c3 organization that benefits children waiting for families called Beautiful Together.  By donating all session fees and additional image purchases from headshot sessions I was able to donate $840 to Beautiful Together to use towards their current project in an orphanage in Ethiopia.  You can see some of my images of the awesome, beautiful people who donated to this great charity here!

Donation Portraits

You can follow along with the progress  happening right now as they are on site working to finish renovating the bathrooms and plumbing and replenish supplies at an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The next project here will be renovating and expanding the classroom, among many other needs that have come to light during this visit.  There are plans for projects in the US as well, such as creating videos of adoptable children for the Heart Gallery.

I really look forward to seeing all the good Beautiful Together will do in this world.  I would highly recommend making a tax-deductible donation to help them continue the amazing work they have started!  Believe me, it does a heart good!

Charity Headshots
Photography for Charity

Let me take a step back and talk about Beautiful Together.  My boss, Tamara Lackey, and her husband created this organization this year after witnessing the need first-hand in multiple settings.  They have three children and are currently working on their third adoption (second from Ethiopia.)  Tamara has also volunteered her services taking photographs of adoptable children here in the US among other service projects.  On their trip last summer to take their son back to visit the place of his birth, they visited another orphanage in Ethiopia to volunteer for a few days.  There they fell in love with another little boy that they are currently working to bring home.  But they also saw SO much need.  The bathrooms were cesspools, the tiny classroom was pitch black, and supplies were few and far between.  So, after deciding to create this much-needed charity organization, they knew their first project would tackle some of these issues.

Beautiful Together Orphanage Bathroom Renovation
Orphanage in Ethiopia

Headshots for a cause

I am excited to announce that I will be offering headshot sessions on July 12th, 2015 with 100% of proceeds to benefit the non-profit Beautiful Together, in support of children without families.  Sessions will be about 10 minutes and include your choice of one fully retouched digital image with rights to reproduce and use online and for business purposes.  $100 donated directly to the non-profit will secure your spot and is also tax deductible!  Spots are limited, so contact me at the studio at 919-484-8000 or through email to sign up for your awesome new website/business card/LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter/Google+ professional portrait.  To see more of my headshot work please check out my professional portrait gallery.  Hope to see you in support of this cause very soon! 

Click the graphic above to see more of Sarah Coppola's professional portrait work.

Click the graphic above to see more of Sarah Coppola's professional portrait work.

Happy Mother's Day to All Mamas (of human or furry babies)!

As a woman of possible mothering age, every Mother's Day I get wished a happy day from at least one random person who doesn't know me.  And every Mother's Day for the past 11 years I've smiled, said thank you, and thought of my little fur children at home. 

My first baby, Indigo, who I got over 11.5 years ago as a tiny little 2 pound stray someone found on their car tire hiding from the rain.  He passed away in March and I will forever have a hole in my heart with him gone.

Little Indigo

Then my beautiful big Snowshoe Siamese, Neko, who I found as a tiny 2lb flea ball at Lee County Animal Shelter over 7.5 years ago. 

Baby Neko

Now I have the beautiful new little Luna, a one year old 7lb Russian Blue sweetheart that I got from Sparkle Cat Rescue last weekend, who was found outside of a McDonald's in Burlington at 10 months old.  Luna is an absolute doll.  She is scared to death of anything new and any quick movements, as strays often are, but after only a minute of coaxing she is out and the most loveable cuddlebug I've ever met!  She absolutely loves to rubbed, held, cuddled, paws held, etc and is much more confident in exploring if I'm right there with her.  We're still working on having her move out from under the desk full time, but just today she slowly walked into the living room, climbed up on the cat tree and is sitting watching me as I type.  Next, we need to get Neko on board as she is very interested in being buddies, but he's still hissing (albeit half-heartedly) if she gets too close.

Luna Cat
Sweet little Luna

Sweet little Luna

I am a very lucky cat mama to be able to share my home with such spunky, loveable kitties with such amazing personalities.  Happy Mother's Day to all of you out there who have known what it is to have a fur baby as well as those amazing mothers who have human babies as well!  To care for and love another living being and get love in return is the most wonderful feeling in the world!

Spring in North Carolina - New Photography!

I have never been more happy for spring!  This was a tough, long winter, so the second things started to warm up and the flowers started appearing, I jumped at the chance to run outside with my camera.  I used my trusty macro lens on my Nikon and spent a few hours near my house in Durham as well as on the campus of UNC at Coker Arboretum in Chapel Hill, NC taking photographs. 

dogwood bloom nc

I think I have at least 500 close ups of cherry blossoms!  And the bees were an awesome bonus!  I feel like it's not often that you find the opportunity to get so many photographs of bees, but they were swarming the trees, so when one moved another was nearby.

I look forward to new blooms and sharing new nature photography throughout the spring!

black and white flower photo

red flower in coker arboretum
bee photograph
flower in durham nc

Snowmageddon 2015 - An NC Photographer's Paradise

I'm in North Carolina.  I've lived in the Piedmont region of North Carolina my whole life.  We don't really do snow even though we generally get at least an inch or two every year.  So this year when we got a few inches one week and then about SIX more inches a week later, it was a big deal.  I personally can only remember getting around 6 inches possibly one or two other times in my life.  Snowmageddon for anything business or travel.  Aka an NC photographer's paradise!

Because a thick blanket of snow is fairly rare, my photographer side won out over my hatred of being cold.  Last year we got a somewhat rare 3-4 inches and I got some beautiful photographs of the snowy landscape that are in my galleries now.  So I was very excited to have the opportunity go out and shoot some new imagery to work with.  Here is a sneak peek of some new photos that I just finished editing.  I'll be adding them to my various shops and adding a few more soon.  :)


leaves in the snow

Can you tell I'm obsessed with photographing trees and leaves!?  I especially love these Slippery Elm leaves.  There's something so beautiful about their color when they are dry and dead but still on the tree...

grunge leaves in snow
macro leaf

My Sweet Kitty, Indigo

On Christmas Eve 2014 I took Indigo, my 11.5 year old black kitty, the namesake of my business, in to the vet for a routine checkup.  More like not very routine, because my two cats have always been fairly healthy, so they've not been to the vet very much.  But Indigo was looking a bit thinner than normal and it had been a while, plus I had a free coupon for a trip to Banfield. 

After some bloodwork and lots of waiting, I found out my sweet kitty was in severe renal failure.  The vet was shocked he had been acting normal.  I was shocked that I couldn't tell he was so bad.  The vet insanely offered euthanasia as one option.  And I spent an incredibly depressed Christmas with my family, two hours away from my kitties.  One site that gave me a lot more hope after the abysmal demeanor of the vet was Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease.  It gave me hope and also had a ton of great resources so I didn't feel quite so helpless.

A couple of days after Christmas we went in for a full day of IV fluids.  And then I was told to give him subcutaneous fluids twice a week.  He was NOT having it, and after having the vet tell me to bring him in and pay $15 each time for them to do it, I turned back to Tanya's site and found this simple contraption to make it easier.  It worked, though now, a month later, he's getting worse and he's becoming more difficult.

Indigo has been with me more than any other living being over the last 12 years.  I raised him from a 2 lb kitten and he's been my cuddly companion ever since, there by my side when I'm upset, feeling lonely, or having a bad day.  He's like my child, so when I was referred to a specialty vet hospital and told that if we could figure out what is wrong and treat him for a few different things I may have another couple good years for him, I felt there was no question.  I had to do what I could to make him feel better and have more time with him. 

We're two weeks into the treatment now and things have not improved much.  I am getting poorer and poorer with each massively expensive visit and while his anemia only gets marginally better and he seems slightly worse.  We still have a few weeks of anemia shots and antibiotics, though, so I'm still holding on to hope that he will improve.

All that being said, I am trying hard to promote my artwork and make some money to cover all of the vet expenses.  I have great gifts for Mother's Day, graduation and birthdays. 

Check out my Esty shops and and use code INDIGO for free shipping.  Check out my Zazzle Store for awesome products with my photographs on them.  And check out my Fine Art America store on my site for a variety of sizes and print types with option matting and framing.  Thank you for reading!


Granville County Animal Shelter

Yesterday I was fortunate to be able to visit the Granville County Animal Shelter in Oxford, NC and take pictures of the beautiful adoptable pets there.  The staff and volunteers are wonderful people who have been trying their best to lower the euthanasia rate (now 80% down from 94%.)  Unfortunately the shelter is very understaffed and underfunded, and being at capacity at the very beginning of puppy and kitten season, everyone is worried about the coming months.