Wednesday, January 29, 2014

As The Days Get Longer...

Hello Lovelies~

I hope you are all well out there, as usual! Gosh, there is so much to share, this will be a long post full of pretty things… ready?

To start, let's get the business out of the way. I mentioned last post that I was going to be doing a fine portrait series entitled 1910 that channels sort of an explorer-meets-fashion vibe. Well, the pieces are falling into place for that series and I am getting really excited about it! I designed a mini logo for the series itself both to help give it a unified watermark when the images are done and also to identify it as a series in my portfolio. I went really simple and included the signature crown from my logo as well as my initials to tie it all together. Here it is. What do you think? I also ran it over a photo just to make sure it held up and I believe it does. Subtle, simple and classy are the buzz words for my new work!

And speaking of business, I have found some absolutely amazing pieces recently that are going to go up into STAG very soon. Several amazing vintage coats, including the Windmill Fashion brand coat I mentioned last post for the ladies, the buffalo plaid hunting coat pictured below (I took that for a test drive to work the other day and wow, is that a nice coat! You boys sure are lucky it's too big for me…), and another piece that I will have to get some shots of to share next post. Some of these pieces will be used in the 1910 series before I sell them because they deserve to be photographed properly and the buffalo plaid coat also has pants to go with it and I will be photographing a man in that entire suit very soon! (That shoot will look a bit like the below shot, only less geeky and awkward and more trendy… ha!)

And speaking of stylish plaids, that brown and plaid coat below is my new winter coat! It is a Penfield brand winter coat for the ladies! My sweetheart gave me the heads up about a used one at a local consignment shop and I fell in love with it. It was cheap, stylish and in great shape, so winning all around! I was so happy to find some buffalo plaid that's also a bit girly because I love men's fashion but I wear women's fashion. When the two meet, I am a happy girl.

And lastly, I was asked several months ago to paint a piece for a children's hospital in Seattle. They do an annual fundraiser where painted parasols are auctioned off to benefit the hospital and artists from all over the country are donating pieces. I started mine this past weekend and there are a few process shots below. I am doing an animal carousel themed parasol and I am really excited with how it's coming along so far! It's so nice to do the occasional commission to keep my hand in painting a bit and when I'm not painting all the time I tend to enjoy it much more. I will show more shots as I proceed with this fun project!

And speaking of fun, I have to share this amazing lime cheesecake my friends made for my honey's birthday recently. I didn't even know you could make a lime cheesecake, but they did it and what fun decorations they added! Wow. So pretty. And it tasted delicious as well! We did some serious celebrating and had such a good time. Goodness, I have some amazing people in my life. I am so lucky.

To wrap up, I have recently found the work of an amazing photographer I wanted to share with you. I first discovered Christopher Payne's work with his Asylum series several years back. (A couple of those shots are below.) Stark, beautiful, well-composed with a great eye for color, Payne's work immediately drew me in. I can't say that I'm a big journalistic photography fan, preferring people-based work, typically. But his work hints at the people in these spaces as much as the spaces themselves, I think. Then he did an amazing series called Textiles, that covers textile mills in the Northeast and South and then there's his Steinway series. All are breathtakingly beautiful and you owe it to yourselves to really take some time to enjoy his work. Pieces from all series are shown below.

I will send you off into your weeks with this beautiful Maine sunset I got to experience the other night. Yes, it was that pretty in real life. Goodness, Maine is such a beautiful place to live, you guys.

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Van, A Dog & A Mountain...

Hello Lovelies~

I hope you are all doing well out there as usual! Things here are very, very good as always. And, as always, there is a lot to share.

To start, with the New Year, I have decided that my photographic work is going to take a decidedly new direction into the arenas of fine portraiture, fashion and lifestyle work with an eye towards the commercial end of things. In that vein, I have started planning some new projects that I think you will enjoy quite a bit. The first project will be fine portraiture and I am calling this series: 1910. I can't wait to get started! This series was inspired by the Ralph Lauren shot below and I will be shooting that next month, so get excited!

I have also been hinting at my big secret project for months now and I plan to release the first part of that in just a couple of weeks! I will give you a hint, the name of this series is Modern America and as the title suggestions, the work deals with modern issues that we face in society today. That's all I'm going to say. Standby for those shots very soon.

What else? Oh! I am working on a very exciting long-term project for some clients/friends of mine that I am getting really excited about! My friends own Premium H2O, a plumbing, heating & gas company up here in Maine. They bought a vintage Metro van from the 1950's this time last year, and they have been slowly working away at getting that van completely restored. Ultimately, it will be used in their actual fleet of vehicles and as a marketing tool. The van is amazing. I am documenting the process of its restoration for them and I will ultimately be using these photos to create a restoration book for their business. I was in the garage last weekend shooting part 2, as they are completely replacing the entire undercarriage. Here are some shots from that day. (Any day that finds me in a garage in Maine in winter with a bunch of boys who are drinking beer, laughing and wearing buffalo plaid is a fun day for me!)

And speaking of boy things, I went to a flea market while I was up north shooting the truck and I found some great, quality items for STAG. Including: a red wool men's vest that's amazing, a vintage Windmill brand tan women's wool coat that's in excellent condition and these things below (a pair of vintage, all-leather shooting gloves, a pair of women's wool mittens with flowers from the 1970's and a pair of vintage boots). All will be listed soon, so check back regularly for that!

We've had a beautiful winter here in Maine so far. A lot of snow, some nice, cold days and now the days are getting a bit longer. It's really boring spending all that time indoors, so I try to get out when time allows and when I have the motivation to do so! This past weekend, I went hiking up Bradbury Mountain ('mountain' really over-states it, it's really more of a hill) with a furry friend and took some shots of this beautiful place called Maine…

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sledding & Scones...

Hello Lovelies~

I hope this Tuesday finds you all doing well out there! Things here are very good, as usual and as usual, I have a whole bunch of things to share!

To start, I have some great new items dropping over at STAG this week that I'm really excited about! A couple of those items are pictured below, including an almost complete set of Childcraft books from the 1960's just full of fun facts, crafts and amazing illustrations. And a set of Irish Coffee instructional glassware. "Instructional glassware?! What the heck is that?!" I'll tell you: It's glassware that has a drink recipe right on it! Very clever and very neat. Oh yes, things are humming along nicely at Stag and there is much more to come in the next couple of weeks. So, stay tuned!

I recently kicked off the New Year by shooting a court house wedding for a new set of clients! We had a blizzard in Maine that day, and these folks were visiting from South Carolina, so you can imagine their shock at the amount of snow we can get up here. In fact, one of these ladies had to run up to L.L. Bean for a pair of boots last minute! But, the shoot (and the wedding) went off without a hitch and they were very happy with how these shots came out. So, of course, I am also very happy with how these shots came out! Ha. Take a look, and remember: your special occasions are special to me too!

A friend of mine recently celebrated her 40th birthday. That's a milestone, so a couple of us went out to help her celebrate. We went to Hibachi, which seems to be pretty big up here in Maine. If you're not familiar with it, they cook the food at your table with a ton of corny jokes and knife tricks… oh, and fire. A lot of fire. Ha! It was a lot of fun and we had a ton of laughs. I was so glad I could help her celebrate such a big occasion.

How else am I keeping warm up here in Maine? Well, a recent thrifting expedition led me to the amazing coat below. I have been looking for a coat of this type for a very long time: something tailored and in a conservative color so it goes with everything. Imagine my delight when I found both of these things in this handsome, wool women's coat! A good dry cleaning and some mending later, and it's good as new and I think I'm in love… with a coat.

Another way to keep warm on those Maine winter days is to do an outdoor activity like sledding! And, I was lucky enough to have my niece a couple of weekends back when some friends wanted to go. Now, I'm from Missouri, so sledding was a rarity for me growing up. Matter of fact, the one time my sister and I went, we ended crash landing into a fence. Ha! But when you have real snow, that doesn't happen and it's very fun. So, we all trekked out to the hill and enjoyed ourselves immensely and then my good friends made grilled cheese sandwiches, soup and hot chocolate. Perfect winter afternoon, I think. Oh, and scones. Baking is such a nice way to warm the house and make it smell yummy, don't you agree? So, I've been doing a fair amount of that as well.

And speaking of yummy, I found an amazing big band that I wanted to share with you all: Alex Mendham & His Orchestra. Heard of them? No? Well, I was initially drawn to this group because their home page photo is amazing. And then, I actually listened to their music and I was completely charmed. I love old things of any sort, so big band music really appeals to me. Check out their website and just look at this beautiful photo… So dreamy.

Until next time: unpleasant dreams...

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Bright New Year!

Hello Lovelies~

I hope you're all doing well out there in the first few days of the year 2014. I have a really good feeling about this year. I'm fairly certain it's going to be a pretty good one for everyone concerned, don't you?

Let's start with the business side of things as usual. New things have been listed in STAG this past week and good news to the ladies out there: I even have some beautiful vintage items for you! As I've said in the past, most of my items are definitely targeted towards the men in the room, but I occasionally stumble across a vintage piece for women that's so nice, I have to offer it. Because really, Stag is primarily about quality and secondarily about men. Ha! So, in addition to the items below, there are two great, handmade 1960's era cocktail dresses in the shop, as well as several winter skirt suits and Pendleton blazers! And of course, you boys have not been forgotten. That tweed blazer below is so sharp it's dangerous. So, stop on by and start the new year off right.

On the photography side of things, it's been a truly wonderful year. So many new projects, new clients and just an absolute ton of beautiful, inspired work was created. I am so lucky to have a group of friends, colleagues and clients who understand my creative vision and support it both enthusiastically and unconditionally. I can't tell you how grateful I am. Below are just a few of the projects I completed in 2013 and of course, for a more comprehensive album of my work, you may wander by my Flickr page! There are a ton of exciting things coming in 2014, I can't wait to get started!

And speaking of both photography and STAG, I recently found a 1940's era wool, buffalo plaid hunting suit that I plan on offering in Stag. These hunting sets are fairly rare and this one is in great shape. But before I sell it, I'm going to do a promotional shoot using it out in the snowy Maine woods with some vintage props like skis, a sled and perhaps a gun. We've had so much pretty snow out there and this outfit is quintessential vintage Maine and man, so it's happening and it will be fun! Standby for those shots…

But it's not all work and no play over here, so let me tell you about something fun I did recently! I have always loved the outdoors and camping. As a matter of fact, I've camped in many different climates in all different times of the year. That said, I've never winter camped in Maine… until recently. Now, before you say "That's totally bonkers" understand, that I went yurt camping. Which, isn't really roughing it. I had an absolutely wonderful time out there in the white snow and dead quiet of the woods! There was a wood stove for warmth and in fact at one point it was too hot! Which was a bit surreal. Anyway, it was a complete joy and if you're in a state that has yurt sites close by, I highly recommend going if you're someone of intrepid temperament.

And I don't think I blogged at all about Christmas, but really, there isn't much to say that isn't said by everyone when they have a wonderful holiday: it was relaxing, full of laughter and joy, there was too much good food and it was over in a trice. So, I think for visual people like myself, the following sums it all up in one image. This is my good friends' dog… wearing google-eyed glasses. Oh yes, weird and funny. And, she loved it. Hahaha. No, not really.

Until next time: unpleasant dreams!!!