Sep 17, 2010

Pins, Paper, Scissors

As promised, I said I would show you some photos that weren't included in the Aug/Sep/Oct issue Where Women Create Issue. This time I am showing some extra photos that I shot in the studio of Amy Barikman, of Indygo Junction. To recap, I am trying to catch everyone up on everything....

Two postings ago, I showed you some extra photos that I took for Curious Sofa that weren't included in that issue of WWC, and if you missed that posting and want to see some photos, you may click here and it will take you right to it. Next, I showed you photos of Ree Drummond's (Pioneer Woman) ranch and if you missed that posting and the stories that went with it, you may click here, and it will link you right up. I also caught you up on the fun tidbit that I entered a national design contest sponsored through Design Sherpa and was selected and made it to phase one with my photo and essay (feel free to click and leave a comment!) and as of this writing, phase two has not been announced yet. So, I have no word if I made it to phase two yet. I believe there are four or five phases, the winner won't be selected until November, I believe. And finally, I hinted a little about my new studio. I am still in the process of getting the permits - I went to city hall and am getting the inspections scheduled as I type this and the electrical is being finalized! More on that later...can't wait to show you...  :-)

So now, on with the eye candy. Let me tell you a little about Amy. This is one very talented lady with LOADS of energy. She makes me look like a slug! She writes, owns and runs a business, takes great care of her wonderful family,  has a beautiful home, a great disposition, and loves to share, share, share. I was just fascinated by all that she does. She owns (along with her mother) Indygo Junction, a pattern business that many of you crafters probably are familiar with. Her company sells all sorts of patterns that will help you make all kinds of fun stuff from rosettes made out of vintage ties, purses, vests, scarves, tops, aprons, you name it. Items you see in the following photos are from her patterns.

Amy at her desk. I love her style.

I thought you might like to hear how a photo shoot goes on DURING the set up when I don't know what I am really walking into, and I thought you might find it interesting, so here is a peek. When I arrived at Amy's house to preview it, I had to shoot her studio and Debbie's on the same weekend. I arrived on a Thursday afternoon and went and visited Amy's home. She is a dream client because she let me style and do whatever I wanted to her space. She is a real worker bee and had this fabulous room with all these windows that she did work in, and it did have a table that she did paperwork on, but her stacks of patterns were in the room next to it, with no windows (both these rooms were in the basement) and I immediately said, "We must use the room with the windows!" She just smiled and said, "Tell me what to do." She showed me around her house and she had all these FABULOUS vintage mannequins and I told her we need to gather all her girls up. I went into her pattern room (actually a room that actually was more of a stock room, not really a work room) and she pulled out all sorts of goodies and I told her we need to pull those into the window room too. I rearranged her tables (they were already in there) and gave her more "assignments" to pull together for the next day (Friday) as I shot over Curious Sofa. She worked very hard all day Friday in her studio.

Oh, I can't remember her kitty's name, but I loved him!! He was a like a dog and followed me everywhere.

Late Friday, after a day of shooting at Curious Sofa, I go back to Amy's to see her work, and I am so happy when people actually do what I tell them to do! (I know, I know, Randy turns that statement around every time I use it, but I am referring to when people do what I say design wise!).  She did pull her studio together but still had some work to do. Amy is very modest and humble. I helped her to see her space differently for a photo shoot. I helped her with "marketing." 

I noticed that she didn't have any of her company's items out, or her branding out, or her name anywhere. There is a very fine line in doing this. You don't want to go overboard, but hey, it is a national magazine, so you want to take advantage of the free advertising! So, I ask her to show me around her whole place and I come across all these purses she had stashed away and fell in love with them! And I needed to fill up the place under the table, it looked too bare, so this was perfect! See? Not in-you-face marketing, but still an addition of color.

Okay, I have to add, the green purse if my favorite. I love them all, but I love the green one.

And in this wide shot, see how the table would look naked and dark below without a dash of color? The trunk is too dark on its own. You see the purses, and nothing tells you the purses are her patterns, but there is a feeling that you might wonder about them, look up her website, and presto! There they are! Now in case you are wondering, those pillows right in front, on the floor, are mementos that were already in her studio that has meaning to her, and added great color - not a pattern. So, again, we are not overdoing the marketing.

So, there I am on Friday evening, giving her more instructions to dig out even more stuff. Again, like I said before, people are just amazed at how much stuff it takes for a photo shoot. She will have all day Saturday to get it right. I will be shooting all day Saturday at Curious Sofa, and Sunday, I will be shooting all day at Amy's. I leave of list of things for her to hunt down: threads, ironstone bowls, notions, pin cushions, papers, needles, anything with sewing...

I shoot all day Saturday at Curios Sofa and then on Sunday, I come back to shoot at Amy's. She found lots of good stuff and then I go about and arrange them here and there, according to how the light is coming in through the window and hits it. Above is a good example. She wrote a book, Vintage Notions, and did a lot of research and had tons of vintage papers regarding the subject. She also had vintage ribbon and lace. By simply putting the them together at a certain angle, then suddenly, what was  just stored in a box and plastic bags only moments earlier, becomes "artsy."

She had piles of the old red tomato pin cushions...I loved them! But when they are piled in an old jar...well, now, even I would consider putting this beautiful, bright red jar of pin cushions in my soft palette office....

Her studio was like a candy store. I was so happy! I could have clicked and clicked all day long with all the goodies she pulled out for me to play with. She really did a great job and was great in standing back and letting me make small adjustments and playing with all her finds.

This really is her office, don't misunderstand. But she also has another area that just didn't have any windows, color, and was just pure shelving for inventory. And all of what you see here all belonged to her, none of these things are props. All I did was arrange it so the readers could see all of her fab finds and what had most meaning to her and why. The bench was there, the bulletin board, and so on. A picture should tell a story without words. I think if you knew nothing about the owner of this space, you would instantly know that this person was into fabrics, and textiles and yet, there is not a sewing machine in sight. Did you notice that? No sewing machine. Remember, she is a pattern lady - not a seamstress. But yet, somehow, you knew by this photo she was into fabrics and textiles. That is what a picture should do - tell you a story. If you don't believe me, look at the photos of my space, and the space of Debbie of Curious Sofa...I bet they will tell you a story.

Okay, now on with some more photos without me gabbing:

I added her beautiful scarf  - yes- this is a patter from her company.

These are pins made from vintage ties. Yes - her pattens!

Suspenders hanging from desk lamp, and she works with buttons too.

I have to say, when she pulled this out, I flipped. I have TONS of photos of these pins from all sorts of angles. I just loved it so much and found it to be so cool.

Something as simple as lining up her little bolts of thread along her window sill not only keeps her supplies handy, but can be a little work of art. (Of course, be aware of fading if left too long in direct light.)

I remember making yo-yo dolls as a little girl, while learning how to sew!

Just as I was leaving the studio for the day, the light changed on me (clouds came in) and I tossed these boots on the desk and stood on a footstool and snapped this. The colors of the papers went with the color of the inside of the heel, if you look closely. That is the challenge of natural light, the time of day, shadows, clouds, and so on. I love it, but it is hard to work with.

It's funny to see what the room looks with someone's eye (and a pocket camera with flash) standing there and then what it LOOKS like through my lens, on a stool, hunched over, squinting...all day long...clouds just came...I can tell I am getting frustrated with the lighting coming and going....see the dull light in the windows?

After a long day of shooting and after dinner, we had a our photo taken to remember a job well-done.

I hope you enjoyed the little tour of another studio and photo shoot.  Next time, I am going to share with you some girlfriend time I had with a special friend that I kidnapped and took her antiquing. And hopefully have more news to share. Until then, maybe take a look around your house and see what you might have that might look good somewhere else or mixed up a bit. You might be surprise what you find in closets, drawers, or in a box...then put them in a bowl, a jar, or on a window sill and enjoy them for a change. Who knows, you might end up using it and gaining drawer space all at the same time!

from my house to your house,


Garden Antqs Vintage said...

E, Great Post!! I am loving her dress forms. Can't wait to get to the Round Top/Warrenton fields this weekend and hopefully find some. Wish you were coming to Texas. Or maybe you are, are you?

Gail said...

Great photos Elizabeth! What a great room Amy has to work in! I've got my eye out for her new book, looks to be fabulous....

Tamra said...

I can't get enough of these photos! Beautiful shots of tiny little snippets of someones sanctuary where they dream and create.....pure heaven to look at.

Thank you.

Claudia said...

Loved this post, Elizabeth. I find it so interesting hearing what goes into a photo shoot.

Oh those vintage dress forms! I'm on the lookout for one and have just missed out on a few recently.


Magdalena said...

You did a grat job! Photographs are just lovely!

My best regards

Jenny Danna said...

Well you did it again! Everything you touch turns to gold! I love the grouping of the ladies. I am sure she kept the room just the way you left it. Only you can take a picture of pins...and make them look so beautiful. I hope you move to the next level in the contest! Thanks, Jenny Danna

Mosaic Magpie said...

I throughly enjoyed this post. Usually if I start seeing a bunch ov photos, I quickly click "Next Item" button and move on. This post and these photos just kept drawing me in. Thanks you for the treat.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the 'insider' tour ELizabeth! It's always interesting to see what happens behind the scenes. LOL...I knew in all those decorating mags of the years and years I've been reading, that none of those homeowners lived in the perfect world that was depicted in the photos.

I always knew about stylists and wondered what it would would happen if they showed up at my door. Now...I have an idea what it would be like!
Always anjoyable to read your pieces!

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Thanks for the comments everyone! I truly enjoyed taking photos at Amy's. It was eye candy for me - she had such great stuff! Yes Tami you are right - long before I got into this "biz" of shooting features, I would study magazines and just pour over the homes and rooms and I would think, "where is the digital alarm clock?" (this was back in the 1980's). Or I would think, "where are all the cords?" And my favorite..."how come I never see a trash can anywhere?"

And still to this day, my all time favorite question, when I look at magazines and I see a TINY home with NO storage and a shelving unit in a TINY living room that has, lets say, a row of apples and two candles on it and that is it! Okay...come on...I styled a lot of can't tell me that the person living in that home doesn't cram that shelf with stuff because there just isn't any place in that house for it to be anywhere else!! I totally get that the shelf needs to look good for a shot, been there, done that, but I always, always, always try to keep it real and use the owners' stuff, even if I have to bring in some of my own - flowers, candles, or small items as "filler" to make the shot look decent. But most of the time, the owners have good enough stuff - it just needs to be arranged a little. But a whole row of apples and two candles? I couldn't even buy that one. So, it is fun to look and examine. I call those rooms, "wishful thinking" because I just WISH I could live that simply. I am getting there - not yet, but maybe someday. I would rather a have row of Reeses Pieces though on my shelf.... hahaha


Vicki said...

Ohmygosh, ohmygosh - I just loved this so much! Your entire site inspires the pieces out of me:-) Thank you for the hospitality, too, 'cause I'm thoroughly enjoyed my time with you here tonight.

I need a makeover! site, that is.


heather jenkinson said...

What a gorgeous post, Elizabeth - I've been in to see it a few times (there's a lot to take in!). Can I just say: I can't believe you didn't make it through to the second round - what are they looking for?! I don't know anyone who is as committed to the beauty that is in detail of your surroundings as you are - even your posts are so thorough that they need a few reads to fully absorb all the good stuff.

Well, you have a certified fan base right here; your comments box is always filled with sincere, loving responses - it's a lovely to place to visit.

I hope you're well.

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Vicki and Heather,

Thanks for visiting! So glad you could stop by - it is nice to hear from you both. Thanks for the lovely comments - yes, do love to gab on about the photo shoots or places I have been to and share.

Thanks about Design Sherpa - can't wait to see the top 10 myself! I am sure it will be fun to watch.

Thanks for the support,

Burlap Luxe said...

Hello "E"
Girl you amaze all who have had the pleasure of meeting you in person or through your blog.
I am one of them that has a passion to create in as much as how you even see it.

Your photography is soulful and speaks to us, feeling as if we are included, as if we are a part of the photo shoot!

Talent beyond talent girl!!
keep inspiring us and adding a piece of sanctuary space to our dreams.

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Thank you Dore for the really nice comment. It means a lot to me coming from you! So glad you stopped by - and thanks for the encouragement too - that is always good way to start the day :-)

Big hug

Penelope said...

How can one person have so many dressforms?! She must have a magnet inside her. :)

Those pins are amazing, I can't blame your taking 392923 photos of them, I would too!

Lovely colourful space.

Dee@FrenchBleuVintage said...

Hi Elizabeth ~ you are certainly a wizard at your craft. Things I never would have thought of. You're right that kitty is just adorable and of all things to pick out and fall in love with...that thimble. Too wonderful. Is there such a thing???

EllenaElizabeth said...

Just discovered your blog and have thoroughly enjoyed reading and looking.

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