Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Halloween Rain...

Hello Lovelies~

I hope you are all doing well out there this week! As usual, a whole bunch to share over here. To start, I was recently hired to do a new baby/family shoot for a lovely group of people. We took a quilt out to a beautiful local park and started snapping away. I think we got some really good shots and what a fun time we all had! (Goodness, I think photographing babies is my new favorite thing to do.) Take a look:

And, this month is The Stapelia Company's 5th anniversary! Can you believe it?! I scarcely can, myself. So many wonderful projects and opportunities during that time and I'm busier than ever, which is so good. To celebrate Stapelia's birthday every year, I shoot, design and print Halloween cards for clients, friends & family. (I'm way too busy at the holidays to send out Christmas cards, and I like Halloween much more, so it's my way of connecting with the people in my life through my work in a personal way.) Well, this year's card went out last week and I believe most people have gotten it, so here it is! (Also now available as a fine art print on Society6.)

I went to a wedding this past weekend way up north for some very dear friends of mine. What a beautiful day we had! And all of the guests stayed overnight in these beautiful, modern cabins right on a lake. Perfect autumn experience all around. I don't take my camera along to events like these, even just to get candids, especially if they've hired a wedding photographer. I find I have more fun if people don't know I'm a photographer. Point is, I didn't get any pictures of the day, except this shot of the wedding bouquets I took with my phone. Now, imagine all of those beautiful colors and textures multiplied a hundredfold into a full-blown wedding and you'll have some idea of how wonderful it all was! I wish them both nothing but happy years ahead...

The rest of my weekend consisted of doing fun Fall things like listening to ghost stories at Portland's Victoria Mansion (an historic mansion in the area that's beautifully ornate and was gas-lit for this particular event, which made for a creepy good time) and carving pumpkins! This year, I wanted to try a new idea out which involved inserting a gourd inside a pumpkin like a skull and then making it look like the pumpkin was blowing open to reveal the skull inside! It was a lot of work, but a friend and I managed to do it after several false starts. (Tip: definitely get doubles of everything for mistakes... Hahaha.) Take a look! Whew. I love Fall so very much.

And this car was just parked in Portland right by those beautiful fall trees, so needless to say, I had to take a picture!

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bonfires & Autumn Nights...

Hello Lovelies~

I hope you are all well this fine October week! I have a ton to share as usual. To start, the business end. I have just finished listing some amazing vintage Halloween items over at STAG. Including the two 1940's era Halloween costumes used in my Halloween card shoot this year! These costumes were made by Halco, a big manufacturer of costumes back in the day and they come complete with their original boxes! What a cute idea for those of you who love vintage. I also listed some great vintage Beistle Halloween decorations that haven't even been opened yet with "Swingin' Watusi Action"... whatever that means. Oh, and a cobra candleholder and 1950's copper art. In other words, top-notch things just for you.

What else? Oh. In my ongoing effort to enjoy every last bit of Fall (I've been fairly successful so far), I've done more Fall baking. This time, I decided to try a recipe I've been meaning to do for over a year: a pumpkin cheesecake with a pretzel crust. Some savory, some sweet. Well, the recipe didn't exist, so I just substituted pretzels for the graham crackers and Folks, it came out really, really well. The pretzels caramelized around the edges and almost tasted nutty. (I consider this a recipe modification win, in other words.) Oh, and then a whipped up an old fashioned pumpkin pie that was also very good. I love Fall baking so much!

And then, a friend decided to throw a Columbus Day bonfire, complete with Mexican cuisine, a fire, some ghost stories and my pie. Needless to say, we all had a really good time. The weather was cool and drizzly, the laughter flowed effortlessly and there was pie. Which, winning. Fall in Maine. It really doesn't get any better.

It almost goes without saying that I love original art, being an artist myself. I have a ton of it in my home and I really enjoy looking at other peoples' work on a daily basis. So, when I came across the Drunktweets project by Josh Ellingson on Laughing Squid, I was completely charmed. When I found out he was selling the originals for a very reasonable price, I ran right over and snapped one up. The one I circled below is now mine. I love these. If you're interested in grabbing one for yourself, here is his Etsy shop. They're going very fast, so hurry and support an artist who does wonderful things!

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Inked Dames...

Hello Lovelies~

I hope you're all doing well out there! Things here are humming right along. So much to share! To start, I just shot the 6th piece in my secret project this past weekend. That's about the halfway mark as my goal was to do roughly 12 shots total. Once those are all edited, I will release the first half just to get the excitement up about this project. I think you will love it, but until then, here are some teasers from the shoot over the weekend.

My amazing makeup and hair people at work. I love those two.

Any project that calls for fake tattoos is a win!
And this was a really fun (and beautiful) pair of ladies, so after I got what I needed for the project, we played around with some head shots. Here are some of those. Aren't they beautiful? I love it when my models know how to have fun.

And, I recently decided it was time to update the sign on my studio door with something a bit fresher that also had my contact information on it so potential clients who stop by when I'm closed or who happen to pass my door know how to reach me. I decided to use a shot a took awhile ago that I've really stayed in love with. The colors, the model's look, that red hair! Love. So, here's the new sign and that sign on the door! Welcome, gang. It's time to make some beautiful...

And to wrap up, I have something totally random (and awesome) for you Kiddies. The holidays are coming, and I know you all love weird, funny things. Well, imagine my pleasant surprise when I found this amazing thing over at Archie McPhee! It's a vinyl record, made to look like meat, entitled Meat Parade. What. The. Hell. The entire thing is a riot, but I had to order a copy just to know exactly what Meat March and Slab'o'Meat sounded like. The answer: about what you'd expect. So, pick up a copy for Uncle Vernon this Christmas, he'll thank you for it!*

*He will not thank you for it.

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cinnamon in the air & pies in the oven...

Hello Lovelies~

As usual, I hope this week finds you all doing well out there! Things here are falling into a brisk, autumnal state. The days are getting shorter, the temps are doing their daytime/nighttime fluctuation and I've had a strong urge to bake and get my house ready for cooler weather. And bake I did, a friend came over this past weekend and we watched horror movies (Dead Silence. Eeeks!) and the sprinkles and flour were flying. I took what remained of the apples from apple picking a couple of weeks back and made a pie that was delicious (other people told me this, I'm not being immodest). Then, we baked up a huge batch of Halloween cupcakes and iced and decorated those for Halloween. It was sort of a perfect Fall Sunday and that's saying something since Fall has been such a joy so far.

What else? Oh! I have been hired to do a ton of client work lately, which is great! I just finished a couples portrait for a client and friend who needed this image for a family tree project these two are doing at their upcoming wedding. What a sweet, gracious and beautiful couple they are. (And they styled themselves in such a handsome way.) Take a look.

And then another client and friend made a trip from New York to get some head shots done for her acting portfolio. Talk about a joy to work with. So funny, so talented and so smart (not to mention beautiful). We were laughing the entire time. I love my job! Take a look. Stunning, no?

And as we move from Fall towards the holiday season, I've been trying to think of gift-giving that gives back. I'm definitely the less-is-more type in the gift-giving arena: more the thought than the quantity. That being said, I also usually procrastinate and end up at the Mall. Not this year. I've found two great sites that sell beautiful, artisan products made by very talented artists and craftsmen and the money benefits charity. The first site is: Denik. They sell journals with original artwork on the cover like the below. The purchase of these journals benefits both the artist (so they can keep creating beautiful things) and also helps build schools. Win/win.

The second site is: Sevenly. This site also sells artisan products of all types, but the difference here is that the charity changes weekly and so do the products. This week's charity is the Humane Society, so the site is full of great canine products and dog/cat/pet related prints and shirts! Amazing. I love it. I'm all about giving you fresh, artistic ideas that make things better where everyone wins, Lovelies.

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...