Monday, December 19, 2011

A Day at the Office

A few months ago I was working on a job for Williams-Sonoma... styling linens for the website.  I was informed by the Art Director that I would also need to be prop and food styling for the following days' shoot.

That night I went shopping with my $100 budget to get some various food for the shoot.  As I was walking to the store my dog stuck his nose into a Boulangerie bag in front of the cafe.  Inside was a beautiful round loaf of bread.  Yes, I took it.

I had a bag of groceries, a heavy loaf of bread and with the help of my friend, Martha, it was a very productive day collaborating on food and prop styling.

Everyone had a good laugh when we realized how many scenarios that the "Bruno loaf" was actually used.

These are some of the shots from that day...

Styling table tops is fun!

(see the bread?)

Many thanks to Corey Lesh, Christina Weber and Martha Arriola.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Good Day, Sunshine

It was a beautiful week in San Francisco.  The time of year that all residents, who have lived here for more than a minute, look forward to - "Indian Summer".  The timing was perfect for my next photo collaboration with Michael - a "Sunny Morning Breakfast in Bed" story.

My bedroom faces South East so we had beautiful light for most of the day.   The dappled light coming through the enormous avocado tree in the backyard was particularly special.  

Although I had been planning for weeks for this shoot, I did a few things last minute.  One was making a headboard out of a tin ceiling tile I bought for five dollars at a side walk sale months ago.  Also, I spent a couple of days sewing... somewhat self taught (with a few pointers and explanations on the workings of a sewing machine from my friend, Chantelle).  I went for it and made pillows.  I was now more inspired for this bedroom scene.

I did keep most of my personal items in the shot only making changes for continuity.  I was excited to see how the dresser would turn out since it's something I look at everyday.  I think I may take for granted the color combinations of my collection of glass compotes and dishes... never really considering that they create their own little story by holding all of my "stuff".

We did switch things up a bit by spontaneously deciding to do a "straight on" of the bedside table and added the pillow shot.  But just like the first shoot we did together, we worked smoothly and methodically, still managing to capture our still life's and we are both happy with the results.

This is a long over due posting but as life dictates our events we finally got on it!

Welcome to my room.

Thanks again to Michael for his beautiful work.

A special mention for the rug at the bedside from my friend Christophers' store Nomad Rugs.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

exposing my linens

In my house we use cloth napkins and dish towels more than paper towels.   Although, fabric napkins and towels do need to be washed and that takes water, using linens is very "green".  I figure that I am recycling by using fabric napkins. Plus, in a household you can re-use the same napkin for a couple of days so there is less waste.

I have a small collection of linens and have been slowly collecting new pieces.  I especially like old table cloths and napkins.  I have some that belonged to my mother and then others that I have found at flea markets,vintage home and thrift stores.

Compared to what you can buy new today the old styles seem to be more unique and so happy and inviting.  I love to throw one on the kitchen table and then a whole new mood is created.  Even though older table cloths usually have stains on them, that I can't seem to get out, I don't love them any less. Those stains have a story of a previous time.

My friend Thomas and I did a little photo shoot in my backyard a couple of weeks ago.  Here are some of my vintage table cloths in action!

Thanks to Thomas for bearing with me and my weedy backyard!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Inspiration II

I have three pending photo shoots with three different friends. Flattered as I am that these gentlemen want to work with me... I started to feel a little pressure because I am the one responsible to come up with the ideas! The best way to work through this is to look around.  SEE.  I also, have been scouring magazines.

The bedroom with Michael is already planned.  I just need to pull the bedding together and decide how I want to prop.  I rotated my bedroom 90 degrees so that my bed could be next to the window to create some atmosphere.  The best angle seems to have Michael crammed into my closet.

Here is some bed inspiration for this shoot >

Idea number two came about when I recently tried shooting some vintage table cloths for my blog but the photos didn't turn out.  A few days later, another photo friend, Thomas, contacted me about doing a test shoot... so we will be shooting vintage linens in my back yard.

Some ideas for linens >

Lastly, my friend Jonathan wants to get back to shooting and asked if I had any ideas for us to do a test shoot.  This was when I started to worry...  am I always going to have ideas? 

A few weeks ago I had bought the July issues of Elle Decor UK, Vogue Living and Living Etc.  While perusing I got the third idea.  I called Jonathan to see what he thought.  We are going to do a color story.  It turns out that it will be more involved than I originally thought but I think that it will be cool.  Elle Decor UK does these spreads about a color... which was indigo in this issue.  I have picked a color and now I have to pull all the props and ideas together.  The focus will be on soft goods, of course.

Inspiring color story >

Now, when I am going to do all of this?  Very soon! 

The first two shoots should only take a day each.  The third will probably be spread out over time.  I am excited to see the results.  All of which will be shown here.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Star of Indiana

I have been trying to stay in the creative realm with my blog.  Although, this may seem to be a little off the path, I had to write about a new discovery in Indianapolis. 

On the MONON bike trail, that spans across Indianapolis, there are a few neighborhoods that a cyclist, runner or walker can venture into.  One of the best stops is not far from the Broad Ripple area.  Brian and I have been riding everyday stopping at antique shops and places to eat.  My new favorite is a farm stand called Locally Grown Gardens.

There is a grassy knoll before you get to the street that has a picnic bench and some vintage garden furniture looking over the trail.  Before you make a quick left into the parking lot you hear the reggae music playing loudly.  It's not obtrusive... more inviting on a hot day.  Then you see all of the herbs and vegetable plants for sale in front of the converted automotive station which is now a small produce market and kitchen.

The doors are wide open so you can see all of the fresh produce and most inviting are the crispy crust apple pies. The whole place has an artful aesthetic.  Beautiful urns with plants on the top of a table that is covered with giant red tomatoes. Green shopping baskets neatly in the entrance.  Old appliances showcasing loaves of pumpkin, wheat and white breads baked by the proprietor.  A small dining room is off to one side with a long wood table and chunky wooden chairs ready for guests to come and enjoy a slice of pie. This is like heaven on a hot day.  We have stopped several times for a natural soda.  Ginger Beer goes down well after a long bike ride.

The owner, Ron Harris, shyly comes out from the kitchen to say hello.  He has a humility about him that is endearing and he seems very appreciative of comments and the business.  He has been a chef since he was a teenager and has the resume to prove of his abilities. 

It's obvious that he has an appreciation for local products. Along with the fruits and vegetables you can buy local honey, molasses, cheese and farm fresh eggs. As a compliment to his selections of produce there are also fine salts and oils.

There are the pies, breads and sticky buns that Chef Ron bakes but there is also the lunch and dinner options... just two.  Pulled pork sandwiches and grilled salmon.  Either with fresh greens or coleslaw.  One night we went for dinner and had the salmon.  Brian had the greens and I the coleslaw.  Both plates were beautifully adorned with oils and vinegars.  A different flavor for each of us. 

On another morning ride we stopped for a basket of strawberries and a bottle of Aqua Panna.  It was nice to sit on the lawn watching all the people pass on the trail as we enjoyed the juicy fruit and cool water.

I can't stop saying more good things about this place.  I wish we had this in San Francisco but maybe this why it is so charming to me.  A place like this can only happen and be truly appreciated in a small town.  One more reason to come to Indianapolis.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Trash = Treasure

I have a history with trash... yes, and if you really know me you know it's true. I find a lot of furniture, plants and various objects that have been discarded to the street.  Usually, all they need is to be cleaned up or painted and then they are recycled somewhere in my house or in the backyard.  I like to think that through my appreciation of old things they get a new life.

I do like to go thrifting and San Francisco has many great thrift shops.  Especially, in the Mission district.  I spend whole afternoons walking from one to the next.

So, since I travel for work I get to thrift in little towns all over California and even in some other States.  My favorite thing to do is to seek out the little church thrift shops or Goodwills. I end up mostly with small items but I always find something.

On my recent trip to Santa Ynez, California, my friend, Martha Arriola, and I did some local thrifting.  Joined by our stylist friend, David Yarritu, we went to a few local thrift shops where I bought some great linens for cheap!  I also found other cool things including a glass compote which seems to be my new obsession.  Martha bought a fun old picnic Thermos that didn't look like it had ever been used.  David considered some green suede chaps but mostly as a joke.

After parting ways, with David,  Martha and I decided that we had to try and get to another shop we had seen on our excursion to Andersens' Pea Soup. 

Across the street from the Buellton landmark there is a small house that is home to the great treasure trove Pink Trash and Treasures.  The first day we saw the shop there was a mutual interest in visiting but it was closed.  So, on this last day in Southern California we finally had the opportunity to go. 

We pulled up and there was a mini sized trailer in front of the store.  By mini I mean...Barbie Doll herself could have hooked it up to Kens corvette and gone to the lake.  We are freaks because... well, we both were so excited.  I may have even screamed with joy.  I jumped out of the jeep and immediately started taking pictures.

We had a nice chat with one of the owners, Donna, she gave us the lowdown on her establishment that she runs with her mother and daughter.  They all collect merchandise for the shop and they basically liken it to a constant garage sale.  There is something for EVERYONE as you can see from the following photos and the prices are reasonable.  The only thing that stopped us from buying up the whole store was that they only take cash.  Otherwise,  my now already annoyed roommates would have locked me out of the house.

Out back with all the plants and yard sale finds there are two real trailers that they use as an office and storage.  One is the mama to the mini trailer out front.  The outdoor merchandise is a little dirty from the elements but soap and water will bring it to life again.  Everything is for sale.  These ladies have a great kitchy idea.  Low overhead tons of fun objects with great prices to keep their inventory rotating.

I told Donna I was going to write about her store.  They don't have a website yet but you can go to their Facebook page.  Next time you are driving around or through Central California do stop to check it out. 

Both Martha and I can't wait to go back!