Visual Supplement: Anne Rivera

anne-rivera2Anne Rivera, on the process of wet plate collodion photography, “My camera is from the turn of the century and keeping with the traditions of the past, I use all natural light. There is no adjustable aperture and no shutter, so all exposure time must be done by keeping the lens open to light while the subject remains still for an extended time. I truly believe the lens captures something magical in that long exposure time, something that comes across through the eyes of the subject that can’t be reproduced through any other type of photography”.

You can check out more of her work by clicking here and learn more about Anne herself by clicking here. And you may spy Hooper and I up in the top corner. Always grateful to be on the receiving end of gifts from talented friends.

A Cup Full of Sunshine

I reached out to my friend Anne a while back about letting me shoot some video of her in an effort to document her macrame making process. Anne is one of those people that you can’t help but love; she’s got a giggle that I’m head-over-heels about and the sweetest family ta boot. Her style and artistic abilty is top notch and I hope all of you will head on over and check out her store. I recently purchased one of her fiber art wall hangings and it is legit. I asked her to answer a few questions so y’all could get to know her a little bit better…
How did you get into Macrame?
About 3 years ago I was at a rummage sale and someone had donated all their macrame books, hoops and rope. I had been interested in trying it and when I had all the necessary items in front of me at once I figured it was meant to be. I got home and made my first plant hanger and was hooked! After I understood the basics I was able to come up with my own designs and have since created pieces with more of a modern take on the classic 70’s styles.
Tell me about the other items in your shop.
I also sell vintage clothes. I have been wearing vintage clothes since high school and have developed a deep love for thrifting. I’d always find amazing things that didn’t fit me and had such a hard time leaving them on the rack. Now that I have a shop, I don’t have to abandon them! They get to go to new home and keep living.
How do you best balance your etsy shop with raising your children?
I try not to put unrealistic expectations on myself. If I have free time I’ll work on a new piece or list an item. Sometimes I’ll just photograph everything and then list on different day. When it comes to anything creative it can be tricky, I never know when I’ll get inspired and often times it comes at a terrible time. A lot of times I’ll just write down my idea and accept the fact that it will have to wait.
Quick, three random things about you.
When I was in grade school I wanted to be an animator.
My favorite decades for music and style are the 70’s and 20’s.
My favorite book is East of Eden by John Steinbeck.
What influences your art?
Nature, 70’s fiber art and the challenge of trying to create something unique.
A Cup Full of Sunshine, the shop  |  A Cup Full of Sunshine, the blog

A Maternity Session, with Anne Rivera

Please, introduce yourself to my readers.

Hi, my name is Anne. I’m married to my best friend Ruben and mom to our four (soon to be five) wonderful children. I’m a macrame and music enthusiast, thrift store lover, a somewhat lazy blogger and an etsy shop owner.

Where were you born and raised?


I was born and raised in Orange County, Ca.

Is it crazy to ask a Mama like yourself, pregnant with your fifth babe, if you plan on having anymore?


Well, no. None of our children were planned so I suppose it’s never a crazy question. That being said I honestly don’t feel like my body could take another pregnancy. I don’t mind giving birth and I love the kids but being pregnant is not something I necessarily enjoy.

How messy is your house? I mean, seriously, there’s soon-to-be five of them.  


Hmm, well it’s certainly not a museum! The downstairs is usually pretty picked up. I vacuum nearly every day and typically save a full tidying up for the evening before my husband gets home, otherwise I’d be picking up all day long. The upstairs has a tendency to be messier but I really try to keep things somewhat orderly because a full blown mess is upsetting to my mental state.  We don’t have a ton of toys as I routinely go through them and donate what doesn’t get played with. I think the best way to keep a handle on it is to have a place for everything (I’m still working on that!) and to not have a lot of excess and multiples.

Your style is on point. Will you dress me? 


Sure! Your body type looks good in anything!

No, really. Please, pick out some clothes for me.

Since 95% of my wardrobe is thrifted we’ll have to make a thrifting date 🙂

Quick! Five tips for the thrifts.


1. Look in every section. Things get put down randomly all over the stores so you never know what could be hiding in an unexpected area.
2. You have to go often.
3. Know that you aren’t going to find something amazing every time. It’s hit or miss for everyone.
4. I usually will go in with a few things in mind. When you’re keeping an eye out for something in particular it’s easier to find.
5. Go without kids if you can 🙂

Your home is decorated so lovely. Can I have the rug in your living room? I joke. Really though, is most everything thrifted? 


Oh, thank you! The rugs were hand-me-down’s from Dad actually. He and my Step mom bought them in the southwest a long time ago and when they moved to the house they’re in now they didn’t use them. They sat in the closet for years until I asked if they were interested in making me very happy by giving them to me. They did!  Other than that, most of the decorative things are thrifted and the furniture is store bought. I’m still holding out on art until I find pieces that I’m in love with. I’d rather stare at a blank wall than a painting or photograph that is only there temporarily.

Describe a typical weekend at your house.



How did you and your husband meet? 


We met through mutual friends but coincidentally worked two doors down from each other. He had come in to eat at the restaurant I worked at and noticed me. A few weeks later I came into the store he was managing to buy a shirt for New Years Eve and he came over to help me. After I left I put two and two together and realized he was the guy my friend kept telling me about. A couple weeks later I was with said friend and we went to go see his band play. We ended up missing their set but when he and I walked past each other and met eyes we said something like, “oh, hey it’s you!”. That was 15+ years ago and we’ve pretty much been together since.

Tell me about your husband’s band. 


He sings and plays guitar in a band called Bordertown Saints. Classifying bands can be tricky…he said they are Americana. It’s my favorite band he’s been in thus far. His songwriting has definitely blossomed over these past 3 or 4 years.

Describe the girl you were in high school.


Let’s see…I was definitely not a popular girl. I was similar to how I am now in many ways. I had a good group of friends and we went to A LOT of concerts and local shows. I still have most of my concert ticket stubs. I was pretty quiet, didn’t date many people and wasn’t overly interested in school. I started thrifting in high school and had some really amazing clothes that I unfortunately got rid of my senior year when I became gothic. I still apologize to my parents for putting them through those two years. They were dark days indeed 🙂

I want to eat Marianne. Can I?


Sure! She’d probably let you 😉

I read that you’re into eating raw. How about the other members of your gang? I have a hard enough time getting Hooper to eat chicken nuggets, not sure what he’d do if I changed it up so drastically. Advise me.


I’m no expert but I think a lot has do with what their first foods were. My oldest son Max was fed as advised by the pediatrician (baby cereal and jarred baby food) and he is by far my least adventurous eater. The rest of my children were fed what we ate and lots of fresh fruit and I find they are more open to raw foods. Shane and Marianne grew up drinking green smoothies and many of my raw recipes so they will typically eat what I make or at least try it. If they have no other option except what you place before them they will eventually eat it. They won’t let themselves starve. Also, as much as love to eat healthfully, we do eat fast food occasionally and I let the kids have sweets and soda sometimes. I believe moderation is the key. I don’t want them to grow up and go junk food crazy because they never had it as a kid. Raw desserts are great way to start because they are sweet and what wee one doesn’t like sweets?!

Your backyard is a nature preserve. I’m jealous. 


It is a big treat! One I am very grateful to have. The best part for me is all the birds. Now, if I could just identify all of them 🙂

You’re on an island, alone, and you can only listen to one song. Which do you chose. Okay, fine. That’s hard. Choose three.


WOW! Hardest question ever! I’ll attempt to answer it although I know I’ll be unsatisfied with my answer in 5 minutes. Ok, here goes nothin’- Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major by J.S. Bach,  Brokendown Palace live by Grateful Dead and Return of The Grevious Angel by Gram Parsons. But how could I live on a deserted island without Neil Young, Tom Waits, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Bob Dylan, The Doors and… Yeah, I take it back. I would definitely need a Neil Young song in there, maybe Helpless. Hahaha, nevermind. I can’t answer this question!

Do you ever stop doing dishes or laundry? 


Nope. Nor does it ever seem that I’m caught up. Ideally I should be doing 2 loads a day, five days a week but I don’t. The older kids help but it’s still never ending. The cooking and dishes are endless as well because we rarely eat out. But at least I enjoy making meals! Laundry… it still hasn’t gown on me.

I support home birth with my whole heart. I tried to have each of my boys at home and have ended up in the hospital both times (though still managed to have a natural, unmedicated birth). I know you have experienced both a hospital and home birth. Can you touch briefly on the pros and cons of each?

It’s such a personal preference. I know plenty of women who love going to the hospital, who would rather schedule a c-section and those who have no interest in feeling any of it. To each his own. I don’t judge but for me home births are FAR superior to hospital births. My first two were born in the hospital with the typical song and dance of being induced, epidural and episiotomy. I had wanted natural births but I think I was just too young and unknowledgeable to fight for what I wanted (I was 20 and 22). I didn’t think I had a choice. One of our friends had a home birth around the time my second was born and I was fascinated! I didn’t know that was even an option. I told my husband that if I ever got pregnant again that I wanted a home birth. Well, 7 years later I was pregnant again (and then again 2 years later) and I had the best experiences.

The only con of a home birth I can think of is it’s easy to start being too active too early. Since you’re at home you can easily forget what a huge ordeal your body just went through and end up walking around too much. Pros of a hospital birth- you’re already there in case of an emergency. Cons (it’s been 12 years since my last hospital birth so perhaps things have changed since then?)- even though you are just about to do the most physical thing in your life, you aren’t allowed to eat, you are more likely to have unwanted and sometimes unnecessary procedures done to you and you have to birth on your back not in a position that’s comfortable to you.

For this upcoming birth I will be back at the hospital due to insurance. I plan on doing things differently this time although I think it’ll much harder to have an unmedicated birth in the hospital. I’ll have to let you know how it goes.

How has this pregnancy differed from the others?

My first three pregnancies were great. Nothing about my everyday life changed really. These last two pregnancies have gotten progressively harder. This one being the hardest. I can’t exercise at all or even walk far without being incredibly uncomfortable and in pain. It really is a cross but obviously well worth it. Let’s just say I’ll be very happy when the baby gets here!

Your children range in ages from 2 to 15. What’s been your favorite ages thus far and why?

Each age totally has it’s own pro and con’s. I think a really fun age is 5. They are old enough to have a conversation with you and are curious about all sorts of things. They have passed the baby stage and are more independent but haven’t reached the teen years. It’s a nice calm before the storm when they still think you have all the answers.

It took me longer to love my second than it did my first. After my first born, I became a witness to how your love for them grows day after day. So, when I had my second, I knew the love I had for him that first day would piddle in comparison to the love I’d have for him in just a few short months. And, sure enough, I was right. Can you relate? How has bonding changed from one child to the other, for you?

Hmm, I feel like I bonded the same with all of them. Having children really young was way different from being older but I always felt that immediate bond upon seeing their little faces.

You look much to young to have a 15 year old. That’s not a question, but rather a statement. You can respond to it if you wish, or pocket the compliment and move right along. 

Hahaha! I was 20 when I had my first, which is young nowadays. People think I’m his sister all the time.

Tell me about your Etsy shop.

I sell my handmade macrame plant hangers and vintage clothes. I’m hoping over this next year to slowly cut back on the vintage and try to concentrate solely on macrame and other handmade goods.

My husband and I hope to open an Etsy shop this year. Advise for first time shop “owners”?

I’m no authority on this but I find the more you list, the more traffic and sales you get. Great pictures help tremendously but I think you’ll have that covered 😉

Anne Rivera | A Cup Full of Sunshine | Etsy

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