Monday, July 30, 2012

Stag in the woods & Moonrise Kingdom...

Hello Lovelies!

I hope you are well out there. Since I have been doing shoots pretty steadily lately, STAG needed a bit of attention so I focused back on that this week. To start, there are some great new items in the shop, so take a peek. I will also keep the Goods album on Facebook updated so you see only what's still available, not things that have sold, so feel free to follow along if you're on there. I have also ordered business cards and rubber stamps for STAG to give it a bit of polish (I designed and photographed them). Take a look. More promo materials to come, all featuring my STAG poster man John, who graciously agreed to be my business mascot. Doesn't he just look the part?

I also went to my local library's annual book sale over the weekend. Those of you who've followed Stapelia awhile know how much I love both books and this sale. It's one of the hi-lights of my summer truth be told. Well, it was busy (which is a very good thing. Pffft Kindle), but I still managed to score some great books. The top shot are books going into STAG (Art! Boy Scouting! Star gazing! Jokes!) and the bottom shot is of books I'm adding to my personal library. (Yes, I still love The Hardy Boys and isn't that Amityville Horror cover just divine?) Good stuff. So, keep an eye out if any of those books interest you. I'll be listing them very soon.

I have found the most amazing blog full of corny old Lucha Libre photography. It's great. From Parts Unknown is just an amazing site for people who love old wrestling photos, info and merchandise and for people like me, who love the photography itself as well as anything kitschy or corny. This is right down my alley. Here are just a few of the photos I'm loving right now:

As you know, I've shot some Lucha Libre stuff myself, but this makes me want to do more!!! Too bad those masks are so hard to find...

And speaking of kitsch, I have been reading Big Daddy Roth's (of rat rod, custom hot rod and Rat Fink fame from the 1960's) bio recently and what an amazing artist and mechanic he was! He literally revolutionized the hot rod field and created much of the 'beach' aesthetic that became such a part of the 60's California scene. He actually inspired a new piece I'm working on that I will reveal in a bit (I'm drawing for the first time in over a year... eeeps!). But I was looking on Ebay at some of his art decals (which are amazing) and I ran across this Rat Fink tail light for a motorcycle that is exceedingly rare and exceedingly kitsch so of course, I loved it. Can you imagine a huge rat head on the back of your bike? Wow.

And let's wrap with a movie discussion, shall we? Have you seen Moonrise Kingdom yet? I recently saw it and what a wonderful movie. I highly recommend it for several reasons; 1.) The costumes/sets/scenery are period-perfect 60's 2.) There are a ton of great forts/tents/cozy places 3.) The actors are quirky, strange and eccentric 4.) It's funny. I really loved the colors too. Just take a peek and tell me what you think. (Also, that boy scout image down there could be a Norman Rockwell painting, couldn't it? And that's just a still from the movie...)

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Beaches, Zombies & Pretty Summer Dresses

Hello Lovelies~

I hope this week finds you all doing well out there. Things have been very busy over here in the Mill and I have a lot to share with you as usual! To start, I am finally done with my most recent client work entitled Beach Blanket Brain-Eating. What a great project! I was told to combine the Coppertone Girl with a pinup and to add a twist, like maybe instead of a dog, we could do a zombie. Well, I took that direction and ran with it and the results are below! I like to say it's The Birds meets Beach Blanket Bingo, meets Night of the Living Dead all in BRIGHT! VIBRANT! Technicolor! Haha. More shots can be seen here and some behind the scenes shots are here and the company that made the prosthetic we used featured one of my photos on their website HERE. Good stuff.

And here's your weekly reminder regarding my CLUE opening at the Masonic Lodge in Portland, Maine. Here's a link to the open and public event on Facebook, and here are the details: Friday, September 7th 5-8pm 415 Congress Street. Be there, or be square! (More importantly, I think there may be food...)

Over the weekend, I went out junking to get fresh things for the STAG shop (because things are literally selling left and right over there) and I scored some great man-related items that I will be listing very soon. Including one of these; a vintage leather fly lure case with some vintage flies inside. Pretty neat stuff.

But while I was out and about, I stopped by a new vintage clothing store in town and picked up a couple of things! Including the two vintage dresses below, a couple of other vintage dresses and a blouse, a couple of things for Stag and best of all, a pair of wing earrings that I adore (modeled by my Sweetie in this pic).

We rounded the weekend off with ice cream in the sun, Amy in one of her new dresses + an old classic truck, a visit to the local cigar shop and a cigar at dusk and best of all, my Monster Old Maid cards came in the mail! I love them. So fun and weird. I adore summer, don't you?

Here's to long days and hot nights.

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Beach Blanket Brain-eating...

Hello Lovelies!

I hope this week finds you all doing well out there! My have I been busy lately. A ton of new work has been shot and is waiting for the editing part. But, I have finished the beauty queen project! I've decided to call it Beauty is the Beast on account of the cat-fighting. I did some normal shots too, but the fight ones really still make me laugh a lot. You can see all 8 final images here.

What else? Oh! I had a friend visiting over the weekend and I did a shoot for her that I am really, really excited about. She came up with a really original idea and I was able to pull it off, which is always nice. Here are some behind the scene candids of her getting into makeup and a sneak peek of her undead counterpart also getting into makeup (I don't want to spoil that AAAAAH! moment, so no face shots yet). I should be posting those shots next week!

And while my friend was visiting we all got together for a BBQ one night out in the garden. Our friends have a beautiful house and garden in the country and it was truly a great night. Here are some shots from that. I wanted to steal her Alice in Wonderland shoes... so cute.

One of my favorite blogs She Walks Softly (which is a constant source of great photos, artwork and miscellany to ogle), recently had a little post about the Milton Bradley Monster Old Maid card game. It's basically Old Maid featuring all of the Universal Monsters. And we're not talking some generic knock-off of Dracula spelled Drakula or anything, these cards have actual photos of the actors who played them, like Bela Lugosi. Yep, it's amazing alright. I immediately fell in love and decided to get a set which was I lucky enough to find on Ebay. I'll take some pics when I get them, the deck is in rough shape, but considering I got the entire game for $30 and replacement cards can cost that much apiece, I think I scored.

And speaking of vintage playing cards (I can't get enough of them, the art is just amazing), the online store Present & Correct is selling sets of Mixies Cards for framing and display. These are obviously repros of the 1956 cards, but who cares? As you can see below, that's 50's cartooning at its best, you guys. Unfortunately, it appears most of them have sold out as only the Cheerleader and Cop appear to be for sale. But, I bet you could find a deck on Ebay. I'm looking...

Let's wrap up with a movie recommendation, shall we? Of course we shall. So, I love the idea of the 1960's era beach movies and having recently done a beach blanket bingo-inspired shoot, I decided to check out one of those flicks and see what all the fuss was about. I watched Bikini Beach starring Anette Funicello, Frankie Avalon and a chick named Candy Johnson, whose dancing is ridiculous but apparently she had a whole side thing going on with records and whatnot. I was not disappointed, what a feast for the eyes if you love bright color and vintage! The plot and music really sucked, but the outfits and the cars were great. Oh, and there was a cameo by Lon Chaney who looked ancient and a cameo by a very young Stevie Wonder. Mind blowing, you guys. Check it out on a summery night and get into the beach zone!

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cat Fights & Hot Nights...

Hello Lovelies~

I hope all is well with you out there this week! I have a ton to share from the studio and just life in general. To start, I had a full weekend of shooting and I have a couple of projects I will be posting in the coming week. But until then, here are some teaser shots. As I mentioned in past posts, one of the shoots involved beauty queens, vintage 1950s Miss America to be exact. And after taking some traditional shots, I of course put my twist on things. But I managed to source an actual beauty queen tiara that was stunning and then I made my own sash. It took roughly 8 hours because I decided about halfway in, that the sash needed sparkle so I applied hundreds of jewels by hand. It was worth it because the sash looked amazing. Here are some sneak peeks.

And, also my work was recently featured in a great online magazine out of Norway called Cirkumfleks Magazine. The magazine, which is published quarterly, features a ton of great artists so I was flattered to be a part of it! A nice little write up about my background and inspiration is also included. A big thank you to Ed, the editor, for asking me to be a part of it.

And last piece of business, if you're local to Portland, Maine, my Clue series will be displayed for the First Friday Art Walk August 3rd, 5-8pm at the Masonic Temple in Portland (where the shoot took place): 415 Congress Street. So stop on by, it would be great to see you! And if you aren't local, the book is your next best bet to catch all the work.

Someone recently posted a video to my Facebook wall and said it reminded them of my work. It's Amanda Palmer's What's the Use of Won'drin? and I agreed and totally fell in love with the video so I thought I'd share it with you guys. Tell me what you think. HERE is the video.

Have you heard of Retronaut? It's a great site just chockfull of vintage imagery and trivia that you really can't find anywhere else. Or (as is the case with the specific post to which I am referring here), you may have seen one photo out on the internet somewhere, but Retronaut has the entire shoot and backstory. An amazing resource for someone who shoots vintage-inspired work like I do. The photo to which I am referring is the first black cat image below. It's pretty famous. But Retronaut has the entire shoot from the auditions, plus the date of the shoot so from there I was able to find out the following: Tales of Terror was a 1962 horror film starring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, and Basil Rathbone. Billed as a "Trilogy of Shock and Horror," the film consisted of three short sequences, all based on Edgar Allan Poe stories: "Morella", "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar", and "The Black Cat." On one auspicious day in 1961, an open audition was held in Hollywood to find the perfect cat to play the part of the the eponymous feline. Fortunately for us, photographer Ralph Crane was on hand to capture every glorious moment! Great stuff, isn't it? I love learning little tidbits about pictures I've seen a hundred times.

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tiaras, Kudos & Manly Men...

Hello Lovelies!

This could set the record for the longest post ever. So much going on I can barely contain myself over here! To start, I've gotten some kudos recently that I wanted to share because these are some great sites you should be checking out anyway. To start, The Perfect Pleasure is a site full of eye candy that revolves around the pleasure of smoking. Some great shots here, including my Algonquin the Clown shot from the Cigar, Creeper & Dark series!

My Everything's Alright Here series was featured on another site called Chuk'num which features a ton of great artwork so of course I was flattered. I love how they equate this series with Stepford Wives (a huge inspiration for this shoot), without me even telling them! It's great when the work conveys what it's intended to to a complete stranger, eh?

And my Sailor & Nurse shot (the male version) was selected to be part of the Perfect Exposure 2012 exhibit at The Perfect Exposure Gallery in Los Angeles, CA! It was picked out of thousands of entries worldwide. I'm very excited to be showing in LA amongst other top people in their fields.

But, there's no rest for the wicked and I have two big shoots coming up this weekend that I've been preparing for. The first, is a mini look book for Stag, my vintage store, featuring a real live boy! Yes, he'll become my real Ken doll to show off things available at the store, and also to offer fashion tips for the style conscious Stags out there. I loved the 3-D logos that I saw in the ads for liquor and clothing back in the 40's, they almost used them as a prop to ID the product. So, I decided to make my own! Here it is... and I won't be doing that again any time soon, kids. Whew.

3-D Logos like this!
And, I am also shooting the beauty queens this weekend! We're all set to go. I just took delivery of the crown and as you can see it's beautiful. I'm so lucky to have great people who lend things for my projects and this is the real deal worn by a real Queen. Standby for all those shots next week...

Have you guys bought your copy of the CLUE book yet? It's amazing and I'm not going to make it available forever so in a way, it's limited edition. I thought if you saw the quality firsthand, it would sell you on it, so here are some shots of my personal copy. Now, scamper over and pick yourself up a copy, you won't regret it... promise.

And speaking of books, I was going through my personal collection looking for more Stag items and I came across an old favorite: Applied Lettering & Design by Rand Holub. This book is stuffed with great old typography and layout from the 40's, all hand done. Amazing stuff. I actually used this book to lay out the type and logo for Zom-B-Vex so it would look like a genuine magazine ad of the period. I may let this book go eventually, but not quite yet.

Something I will be letting go soon, is a nice big lot of vintage sandwich sword cocktail picks (old and detailed, not cheap like modern day ones), into the Stag shop. I found them in a lot of old stuff with these great drink toppers that I may also sell soon. Love that mermaid, don't you?

And speaking of vintage, let's wrap up with this amazing (and cute) vintage Halloween photo I found recently. Some were creeped out about it when they saw it at first, then I point out the white tennies and black socks and they agreed, it's cute. Love finding old costume shots, I collect them in fact.

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...