Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Childhood Memory Through Photographs

I awoke this morning to find this montage of old black and white photographs. Here I am at 5 years old in St.Louis, MO, looking very fashion forward in my cute Sunday-best ensemble and hanging with my BFFs. It was a sweet surprise from my sister.

For the past couple of years my sister Maureen has been diligently and lovingly digging through a multitude of boxes filled with photos, journals, letters, birth announcements, obituaries, playbills and ticket stubs. She is compiling a record of our family history. To say that her job has been daunting is an understatement.  My mother has been helping her with names, dates and locations of photos, filling in all the important family data that none of us would have known.

My mother took all of the photos above and actually most of the photos of our childhood, and according to Maureen there are thousands of images to sift through.

Love and memories come through old B&W photos and also the sweetness of the past, an innocent era. Take some time, find those old photos and share them with family and friends. They will surely open your heart.

Friday, June 24, 2011

New York Times Scented Candle
Tobias Wong & Various Projects

"The Times of New York" candle
Is this for real? A candle that smells like newsprint from The New York Times? Apparently so, although not produced by the famed newspaper, rather inspired by it.

Like many people, I too have a thing about the smell of newly printed paper and newly printed books. I am inclined to love that "printed" odor over the smell of my laptop burning in the night.

I can't wait to get my hands (or nose) on this candle, The Times of New York.  According to the Project No. 8 website, "the scent of the candle is newsy, with hints of guaiacwood, cedar, musk, spice, with a powdery note and velvet nuance, meant to mimic the aroma of black ink on newsprint."  This candle came to be from now-deceased designer/artist Tobias Wong, and was produced by Various Projects and Josée Lepage of Bondtoo.  I hear it is being sold for $65. at Project No. 8, in a limited production of 1000.  This shop is located in a favorite place of mine that I've written about, The Ace Hotel NYC. 

If you are missing that "newsy" scent you can now light a candle while reading your online daily paper.

Other links of interest:

Project No. 8

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

2011 Independent Handbag Designer
Award Winners

Bag made from over 1,000 recycled pop tabs.  Image: Time Inc. Digital Studio
I have a thing about unique and beautiful purses, totes and handbags....and I know I am not alone.  I love following trends in handbag design and awards are given out every year to notable and new bag designers.

The Fifth Annual 2011 Independent Handbag Designer Awards were just announced and there were some stunning designs that took top honors.  These awards are sponsored by InStyle Magazine and Handbag Designer 101 and take place in New York City each year. According to Accessories Magazine, there were 40 featured finalists and handbags which were ultimately narrowed down to 1200. Designers from all over the world took part in this competition, and there were a total of nine categories.

The "Audience Fan Favorite Award" was voted on by InStyle Readers, and after over 334,500 votes were tallied this award went to Neide Ambrosio Martins de Souza (her amazing bag seen above), a 69 year old designer from Brazil.  Her bag featured over 1,000 recycled pop tabs, and it was also given "The Most Socially Responsible Award".

Here are a few of the other winners:
image: Time Inc. Digital Studio
The "Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design" went to the Fabriola Pedrazzini of Milan, with this tan lambskin leather bag priced at $700.

image: Time Inc. Digital Studio

"Red Carpet Evening Bag Award": Clara Kasavina and Misha Berger for Clara Kasavina.

image: Time Inc. Digital Studio
"Best Student Hand Made Handbag Inspired by the Colors of VitaminWater": by Kaitlyn Doherty

"Best Handmade Handbag":  by Diego Rocha

"Best Green Handbag" by Belinda Pasqua for Sway

"Best Use of Swarovski Elements" by Lorna  Nixon (photo courtesy of the designer)

To see more images of the winners follow the links below:

Accessories Magazine
InStyle Magazine
Handbag Designer 101

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sneak Peek...On Location
FLAVOR Magazine Photoshoot

Large Mason Jars hold Sylvie's freshly cut hydrangeas....
I spent yesterday morning styling several tables for a FLAVOR Magazine photoshoot at the lovely home of Sylvie Rowand of Laughing Duck Gardens and Cookery.  FLAVOR's gifted photographer was Molly Peterson of  mJm Photography, who I have always enjoyed working with.

It was a gorgeous morning with a slight cool breeze, a refreshing respite from 95+ degree weather here in Virginia. A truly perfect day to work outside.

My first of three tablescapes was to be a casual gathering of friends, a little rustic and a little chic, and really easy for anyone to emulate. I used an array of specific items from my shop to create the soothing ambiance for the table and then added pieces of nature from around the house such as grapevines, leaves, and hydrangeas.  Everything needed to be a pretty backdrop to the main event, Sylvie's delectable dishes.  Nature was all around in this setting, so it was fun to be able to bring some of that feeling to the table itself.

Here is just a little peek at what to expect. These are all my own photographs. Molly's final photos I'm sure will wow you! Sylvie Rowand's food column, along with several photographs from this shoot, will be in the upcoming AUG/SEPT issue of FLAVOR Magazine, so be on the look out!

Close-up detail.....
Almost complete, waiting for Sylvie's delicious food to be served up.......

Monday, June 13, 2011

Our Best Baggallini

Baggallini A La Carte Tote in Leaf Green with a Sky Blue Interior
All photography in this post was taken in front of my shop by  Lydia Jane Photography
Do you love to have things in your life organized and easy to find?  I certainly do. 

I found a cute Baggallini bag several years ago while on vacation and after using it for a few weeks (product testing) decided it would be a great item to carry in our shop and online.  And, as they say, the rest is history.

I have traveled with small and large Baggallini bags for about six years now, to Europe and back several times, and I highly recommend them as a great travel bag and "daily use" bag. What really sold me on the A La Carte Tote was the back zipper pocket which becomes a suitcase handle sleeve when unzipped. This back zipper pocket can additionally hold a Kindle or paperwork when fully zipped.  Love that!
Baggallini Red with Mango interior
Baggallini Inc. was founded in 1995 by Dixie Powers and Anne Simmons, two veteran flight attendants. It makes sense that the A La Carte Tote easily fits underneath any airplane seat. I have found that they also fold nicely into your suitcase if you want to travel with more than one bag (I always do).

Here are the details: it comes in 18 colors, is very light weight-- only 21.5 oz -- and is made from water resistant "crinkle" fabric; it has 2 leather handles, 3 big outside pockets, 2 cell phone/i-phone pockets, 2 water/bottle mesh pockets, places for pens to attach, and a detachable interior zipper I.D. pouch which also holds cash or change. It measures 11"H x 18"W x 5.25"D.

Do you own a Baggallini? I would love to know how well they work for you so please leave a comment below,. Happy traveling!

Baggallini Sky Blue with Leaf Green Interior
Baggallini Khaki with Black Interior
Baggallini Black Tote with Khaki Interior

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Art Studios of Melbourne, Australia
A Photographic Journey

I have been on an inspiring art kick lately.

Being married to an artist, surrounded by art in our shop and gallery, in our town, and in my talented family, it's kind of difficult not to be interested in anything pertaining to the art world.

I came across this beautiful photography book called "Environments," which features photographs by Olga Bennett with text and interviews by Sarah Caldwell.  The images are of eleven art studios located in and around Melbourne, Australia, and cover a wide range of the creative arts: painters, fabric designers, jewelers, textile artists, graphic designers, illustrators, sustainable stylists and a ceramicist.

The book is locally published in Australia and can be purchased here, and you can also purchase an original, signed 5x5, 10x10 or 20x20 giclee archival print on Hahnemuhle Bamboo paper of any of the photographs in the book. More images from the book can be seen by following the link at the end of the post.

I particularly like these photographs for their emotion, simplicity, and clarity.  Here are a few images from the book to savor and enjoy.

Studio of Penny-Elizabeth Neil
 Studio of Suzy Tuxen
 Studio of Elizabeth Rayman Yong
Studio of Kim Kneipp
Studio of Belinda Kennedy
Studio of Ellie Mucke
Studio of Justin Lee Williams
Another image from the Studio of Justin Lee Williams
Studio of Luci Everett
Studio of Marc Martin
Studio of Miso and Ghostpatrol

More beautiful images of art studios can be see at Olga Bennett Photography

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Inspire Me! Inspiration Board Fever

I have always enjoyed the creative process and learning from designers and artists as to how they get inspired. For instance, what methods do creative minds employ to keep their stimulating energies alive and percolating? And, where can you draw inspiration from when you really need it?

The above image is from amrandomupdates-decor via Lots of tactile inspiration here, florals, fabrics, photos and magazine clippings. Such an explosion of delight and enthusiasm. It's as though the inspiration board was embracing the world. All of the objects and furnishings underneath the board only add to the liveliness. The re-upholstered French-style settee is wild and wonderful and gives a creative-fun feeling and exuberance to the space.

I recently went hunting to find beautiful and "inspiring" inspiration boards and found quite a few amazingly creative boards from designers, artists, stylists, business women, all which gave me more fabulous ideas on how to use these ingenious personal displays. A personal favorite of mine is below from Love the use of rustic chicken wire with an elegant gold frame, clothes pins, retro 60's chair and vintage desk. The hanging painter's apron is a great touch.
All of these inspiration boards are so wonderful in their uniqueness and individuality. No two are alike, nor should they be. These are all taking-off points for the creator's next design project, photo shoot, personal party, art show, or rotating photo display. Or, they could be your jumping-off point to create something unique and all your own.

Perhaps you need words and inspirational quotes to get you to the next level? What are you working on? What do you want more of? What colors and inspiring images or places in your life make your heart beat faster? This is the ideal space to let your love of something be evident and transparent--to you. Perhaps you want more color in your home and need a lively inspiration board filled with your favorite magazine clippings. Allow some of these inspiration boards to help guide you towards the next step of building your own world of beauty, joy and grace. And by all means, have some fun! 

From  A traveler's memory board with tickets, postcards, playbills, menus, gallery cards, and a personal collection of objects. via Gwendolyn Mason's inspiration board. fabrics, family photos, embroidery, needlework, jewelry, pinks and creamy colors, shabby chic inspirations. Jordan Ferney's board in her letterpress studio in San Francisco. Contemporary photography, fashion, graphics images. Lots of baby pictures and love here, topped off with a beautiful, personally monogrammed chair. Who couldn't get inspired here? Covering an entire wall with inspiring artwork, illustrations, prints, watercolors, and several color charts. a Swedish stylist's board. a color story board of grays and yellows.

From Australian magazine featured this board, black & white photos, pottery, objects, very cool vibe created with black/white/grays. several colorful textures, objects, and lots of tactile inspiration.