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i admit i have had a lack of affinity for the blog lately. sometimes i want to give it up, and then sometimes i become filled with inspiration and motivation.  perhaps the job i did last week in denver stripped a bit of inspiration from me, but has allowed me to regain some ideas of where i would like the blog to flow to. i am hoping to simplify my content finding more of a cohesive flow, though it seems i am constantly saying something like that.  i have always had a hard time with simplicity. by character and by the way i surround myself.  i am always longing for a more simple home, simple decoration (more storage could cure that), more simple ideas and motivations in life, simple relationships….as if this will solve life’s problems or perhaps just take the pressure off my lack of motivation to clean. less stuff, less mess?

even though everything is made in china, i can’t help but to love hobby lobby. a few weeks ago i was roaming the aisles looking for a way to make some stained glass, but instead i found these octagon mirrors. i love the clean and simple lines of geometry…how those lines come together perfectly and with ease. i always liked math in school, there was an answer at the end. i never understood that infinity part, it left me uneasy.

i turned the two mirrors with holes into a wall hanging using white deerskin, a few beads, and some feathers. you can find deerskin and feathers at your local craft store, though i used the supplies i use for the sun and glory line. i find these from native american trading posts and you can too online. for fun, i also made a design on a flat mirror (with no hole) using it as either a jewelry display on placing a plant on top!

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this is another curiosity space that i took the photos for  a while ago. this time, i am sharing my brother, joe, and his wife, addie’s, house. they have two little one’s ryland and violet. they live in the olympia, washington. one of my favorite towns in the US!  i have always loved their dwellings, i suppose because of all the curious things. my brother and addie have been together since i was like 15 or 16! i remember the first time i met addie, waiting in my living room in alabama for my parents to bring them home from the airport. addie and i have a friendship, one that i cherish. she is a brilliant artist and crafter, as kind as can be, has a great sense of humor, and is smart as a whip! she doesn’t sweat the small stuff, and gives my brother way to many back scratches!  no wonder my brother loves her so much. i would say addie has always been an inspiration, and she taught me to look for gifts in nature. she never treats me like the little sister either, so i kind of love that too. addie has found some great pieces over the years, all from the great outdoors. i love the way their styles meld together. my brother with all his nature books and addie’s treasures to adorn them.

my brother, as i have talked about before, is an ecologist. he is also a photographer, from a preservation point of view. you can see his work here. joe, is ten years older than me. when i hit my twenties, he and i started to form a friendship. we finally had things to relate on and found out we have a lot in common. i look up to joe a lot. he is super smart and i look to him for info on politics, nature, and photography! as a kid, i use to go into his room when he was gone and go through this small little chest full of knick knacks. i suppose he was some sort of mystery to me. he use to collect fossils and after college and while getting a masters, became somewhat of a hippy! he lived in many places from the everglades, taos, salt lake city, seattle, colorado, and back to washington. my parents and i would go visit, he just added to my inspiration for wanderlust! while he and addie were living just the next town over here in colorado (wish they still did!!) they had their first child ryland. i use to come visit from LA and help them out. joe would have to go into the field for work (the field meaning the wilderness) and addie was commuting to denver. i formed a special little bond with ryland during all that time. and now they have violet, i need to go visit that little girl! i love her so!

i love all the bird nests, the feathers, the old family photographs. i love the photo of my mother that sits on their mantle. i love all the family heirlooms from addie’s side. her dad is quite crafty himself. i love asking where each piece came from. i love how addie thinks she needs help decorating, clearly she doesn’t!

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http://sunandgloryshop.com

i have been talking of it for a while now…and it is finally all finished!!!!! i powered through yesterday like a champ, and when it was finally finished , i will be honest, i felt a little sad. like now what? this was so much fun to shoot with my friends, edit, put together,obsess over, and watch it work out so beautifully.

i tend to overanalyze most things in my life, except when i am creating. i realized this last night. it seems the process is the one time i don’t look to far ahead, or stress out, or generally even think about the outcome. i just let it all be, and watch it lay out in front of me as it happens. i knew i wanted to do a shoot, but didn’t have much of a plan until the day before or even day of. the only image i had in my mind was winter white.  amanda and i talked a bit about where we should shoot. out of the blue, i noticed the barn that sits up above the house. never before had i noticed its rustic charm and that day it came alive for me, for all of us. the stick idea evolved from the craft fairs. they have come in quite handy, thanks to my brother’s backyard.  the one thing i knew i wanted and hoped for, were the snowy shots. considering there was no snow on the ground, except on the river, amanda suggested getting down on it where the river was frozen and we could actually stand on it.  brilliant! the white on white, the way amanda’s hair was perfectly put up (unintentionally) for the feather necklace (one of my favorite shots), or the color of donna’s lips and the contrast of her hair with white.. watching it unravel on itself and work out in more ways than i could have imagined, well, i can now see it came out of the calm presence of creating, no stress, beautiful and very talented friends, and love. i didn’t want to boss the boys around, or tell them what to do (maybe only a few times). they nailed it! everyone did their thing and to me, it is simply perfect.

i couldn’t stop making things either. i did this when i started creating things last may for the first craft fair. as i am making one thing, i come up with an idea for another, and then i can’t stop until my vision comes through. of course, running into knicks along the way, but i always see a way to take that problem and turn it into something else. in the end, i end up with a million pieces. i am not the kind of creator whom spend days on one piece. it’s just not my style. i wish i had more patience, but as soon as i make one thing, i have an idea for another and i have this immediate sense to do it. a good thing or not, i don’t know.  i never expected to be a jewelry designer. for the future, i don’t know what my intentions will bring either.  i just know i am the happiest and in the moment when i make something, travel, or eat. 🙂 i suppose i am sharing this, because i am happy to have had the realizations of my process. i moved to the middle of nowhere to focus, and i feel through this experience, i am starting to find it.

as far as the product for this season, i didn’t make that many new macramé pieces. i did try some abstract macramé, which IS my new favorite. i am waiting for more leather to do a few more wall hangings like this as well. i got busy with some new chain and wool pieces. i was inspired by medieval adornment,chain mail, and unconventional uses for traditional supplies. i was also inspired by snow white and the huntsman, yeah i know…i was obsessed with charlize theron’s costuming,. i also started a line of wall hangings and dream catchers as well as plant hangers and terrariums. teaming up with my friend marianne, over at birdandfeather.com where she sells amazing supplies and air plants.

i might be overdoing it in too many areas. however, i can’t seem to stop myself.

check it all out:

http://sunandgloryshop.com

i can’t thank you enough for being a part of this: amanda, chris, zach, and donna.

photos by: chris vinopal and zach driscoll

models: donna goodrow and amanda scholl-vinopal

styling: annie rocchio

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is it narcissistic to do a curiosity space on my own house? perhaps, but i do find my own house curious. i find it curious how quickly it can become a mess, how fast dishes pile up, how cleaning is so hard for me to start to do. maybe thats why i moved away, so i didn’t have to clean for guests, because i rarely have any. just kidding. i did however think how, really, i am kind of creating my own art residency. i don’t consider myself an “artist”, but maybe one day i would like to. really, i just want to work on the things that make me happy. i felt distracted in LA, and besides my kitty being terribly sick the past week, the distractions are on a much smaller scale here. i have a work room where i can actually set everything out, leave it out to come back to, and just somewhere that feels like i am doing something right.  i think besides my work room, the living room is my favorite. i love the fireplace, although from time to time i feel ultra guilty using so much gas. i love the saddle blanket i found at an antique store down the street (have i mentioned the plethora of antique and thrift stores around here? amazing!) that sits by the fireplace, i love looking out the window and seeing the horses across the street. i did  buy a few new pieces when i got here since i lost all those built-in’s in LA.

the kitchen, has taken some getting use to for me, coming from the one i had in LA which i am pretty sure that one will be hard to beat out for a long time. i don’t have as much storage and i have not been as inspired to cook yet, but i think that will just take some time. i do however, have a lovely window that brings so much light in. i have a few herb plants basking in the sun there ( i need more!!! i do miss my year round garden terribly). i also now have a kitchen table. something i didn’t have at my last place in LA. it doubles as a work space for cooking and general dumping grounds when i walk into the front door.

the bedroom has also become my office. my long desk sits in front of windows that overlook the river. in a way it is kind of nice, not just because of the windows, but because the computer is like having a tv in the bedroom. except, i can’t stream anything because my satellite internet sucks big time, not because it won’t stream, but because it uses too many gb. let me say it again, satellite internet sucks big time! moving on, luckily, all my clothes fit in the closet. however, a pile still generally accumulates on the floor. the bathroom is tiny, but has a claw foot tub. my first home to have one!  the house also comes equipped with a laundry/mud room that leads into the side yard that is fenced in. i have the tiniest little washer and dryer and a place to store all those odds and ends. i haven’t set up the back porch or side yard yet. it’s not that it hasn’t been warm enough, but i think once spring comes around and i can start planting things again, it will be fun to spruce up these areas! so, that will be a post to come a few months from now. i miss having a california yard, not gonna lie. i miss my garden, but i am excited for the prospects of one down the road. i am excited about the seasons,and the changes they bring.

on a  lola update, since many of my friends know about my life through my blog, wink wink, she has a really horrible deep ulcer. it is not cancer, thank god, but we just need to get her to eat. the girl is slowly coming back to herself. it has been such a stressful time for me. lola and wylie are my babies, and its so hard to see her suffer. she seems to be doing well in general though and wylie has been a pretty good boy too, leaving her be and letting me give her attention, for the most part anyway.

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jan, of poppytalk, did a post today about my house and home!  i couldn’t be more thrilled and honored to be a part of such a renowned publication on the web. i have been fan of poppytalk for such  long time now, gathering much inspiration and frankly, motivation.  the blog features many talented crafters and designers from around the globe, showcasing stunning images, DIY’s and weekend projects, crafter round-ups, and dispatches from around the world.   i did a tutorial post for them a while back on african mud cloth’s, and was thrilled then too!!!  i always thought it was so kind for jan to remember me and to keep in touch. i can only imagine she gets a whole lot of emails and submissions! thanks jan for that, and for the feature today. a nice tribute to possibly my favorite home i have ever lived in! i’m gonna miss this place!

 

 

my friends seem to have become such an important part of my blog over the last few months! stacy and allan were kind enough to let me come into their humble abode and photograph it for the second edition of curiosity spaces.

stacy is an artist and a writer, while allan is a comedian, actor, and writer…they live in Hollywood, CA.i spent the afternoon sipping on coffee and taking photos, wylie and steven played, and stacy shared stories behind all the different art, knick knacks, and even the rituals she has before starting a piece. i remember before i ever even met stacy, my friend kate brought me to her house to feed her cat. i was in awe of her art and i felt i wanted to know this person. really, i was kind of jealous of how talented she was. in a good way.  the first time we did meet… we bonded with creativity, sensitivity, and our similar experiences of moving to alabama in our adolescence.  i love her genuine nature, empathy, intelligence, and talent. we always have these deep hearted conversations about life, art, family, and love and always leave each other with a little bit of a kick in our step!

i have been to their house lots, but i have never REALLY looked at the little things floating around in stacy’s studio.  i love how organized her inspiration wall is, the paint chips she has selvaged in a tin lid, how beautiful paint can be in a smuckers jar.  she has many things inspired by her late father and his work as a scientist or his stamp collection or the photo of him with his mentor.  it made me feel like he was always with her in that room. i have no doubt he is.  i love the hair in jars and the homemade cat bed made from cardboard– and her drawing from the artist don nace, poem from friend britta kallevang, postcard from gordon lish, paintings by her dear friends amanda faulkner-barrett and kate purdy, and how proud and inspired they all make her.  i love the huge homemade pillow on their bed and the random 1980’s magazine photo of a family.   i couldn’t narrow the photos down. i never can.  a few months ago, their bedroom ceiling caved in so they had to move their bed into the dining room. the bed ended up staying and they each took a bedroom for a studio. allan has a few photos in the post as well.

there were so many unique and interesting pieces and if i asked, each one had a story behind it. curiosity. not just to me, but to stacy. i like it when people are proud of the things in their house because of the story. maybe someone gave it to you,maybe someone made it for you. maybe the story behind how you acquired it brings back memories, makes you smile, or maybe it even makes you sad. maybe it just makes you feel something. a home is a personal and intimate experience.  it is the place you feel the most comfortable to be yourself…it is safe, at least it should be. photographing stacy’s home and especially studio, felt as though it was her safe place. a place for herself to cherish, inspire, and create.  the process inspired me and provoked my own thoughts realizing that home is where i am the most uninhibited in my own abilities. it allows me to even write this post, afraid of no judgement.

stacy has recently started her blog, revisinglonliness. she looks for art everyday and documents beautiful words that sink right down to your soul.  i highly suggest you follow it! she has also done a lovely post about her experience of having someone photograph her house.  they kind of go hand in hand now!

Stacy Elaine Dacheux spent half her childhood outside Boston, getting beat on by tough girls. The other half was spent outside Birmingham, getting beat on by Southern Baptists. She currently lives in Los Angeles, where she gets beat on by life. As a visual artist, she translates handwritten letters into abstract paintings, a collection of which will be traveling to Massachusetts in September. She was a finalist for the Italo Calvino Prize in fiction and an article she co-wrote was noted in The New Yorker‘s “Book Bench.” Past publications include: BUST Magazine, Flavorpill Productions, and Artillery: Killer Text on Art.

i love walking into someone’s house and my curiosity begins to soar.

i love walking into someone’s house when it evokes a feeling.

i left skip’s house last week and was back within 5 days, photographing his world. really, he was my inspiration for this new series.  skip was kind enough to just let me go for it, while his guitar playing accompanied the photo session.  sitting on skip’s porch evokes such a peaceful high, especially at sunset. one of the better spots i have been in los angeles.  his studio is situated above a single family home in the hills near hermon, monterey hills, and garvanza, which are considered subdistricts of highland park. this is one of the things i love about skip… as we were driving to get some food (the oinkster and fusion burger! yum and yum! and two different days mind you), in his “skip” fashion, explains to me these historic regions. being intrigued i did some research (as i am completely fascinated by the history of LA). garvanza was named for garbanzo beans that once flourished there. it was also generally considered the birthplace of the arts and crafts movement of southern california, along with pasadena and south pasadena.

 i think you can tell a lot by a person and the things in their house… what their aspirations are.their passions.the things that they are curious about.  books tell a lot, art, the way things may or may not be strategically placed. i like design, i like tidy spaces, but what i like the most is when the placement of each item is art in itself, yet more than likely…unintentional. that’s what i felt photographing skip’s studio. his passions, knowledge, and creativity have always been intriguing. if you know skip, you love skip.  he is truly, a one of a kind soul…

thanks a bunch skipper!! i will be taking you up on that offer to hang anytime on that porch of yours!

Skip Haswell b.1976, on the Beaver River, PA
son of a cop and nurse
two older sisters
many nieces and nephews
lives in LA
climbs mts
works hard on other peoples movies
artist
musician

i use to have this habit of taking weekly trips to the newsstand (and amoeba, but that is another story) to buy lots and lots of magazines. this habit gave me a large collection of printed zines, one i have been slowly trying to purge for years. see, i sometimes have a hard time throwing things away. especially pretty magazines with lots of pretty pictures.  this collection started staring me in the face and so i conjured up lots of little projects with magazine tear pages.  sewn envelopes being one of them! i did most of these years ago, but i thought it was a good DIY idea for the blog. (along with a few more projects to come!)

what you need:

magazine pages you like

spray mount

scissors

cardstock or brown paper bag

sewing machine

thread

first you want to line up your magazine pages with either card stock or you can use a brown paper bag. this creates a sturdy backdrop so the paper is not so flimsy. trim where needed. be sure to leave an extra inch or two for the flap of the envelope, so you can seal it!

next, using spray mount (which i love but can be very messy…i suggest doing this outside) spray one side of your paper and attach the second piece of card stock or paper bag. pressing firmly to make sure there are no air bubbles!

pick your thread colors. line up the two sides of the envelope and sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance all the way around the paper. you can stop at the flap, but i think it looks better all the way around.

to seal the envelope i used double sided tape ( or top stick, a wardrobe girl’s right hand). i had some shipping labels from around the house and used those for the address.

perhaps you can add a little letter on a page too! i use to send letters on magazine tears or wrap a cd mix in one.  snail mail isn’t so common anymore…but it should be. really! who doesn’t get excited when you get a hand written envelope in the mail? an email just is not the same thing.

you could even line these envelopes with bubble wrap if you want to send something a bit more fragile!

just another way to reuse those magazines instead of letting them pile up. although, i have always kind of wanted to keep them for my grandkids…vintage mags! these days, i only buy magazines that serve its purpose on an airplane or ones i wouldn’t dare tear any pages out of.  kind of sad magazines are becoming a past time…but i probably wouldn’t have this blog if they weren’t.