July 9, 2010

going baking crazy!

This week I've been busy!  First, I started my photo-styling project with some food, because naturally, I was hungry!  Craving a little protein, but not wanting to bust out meat, I boiled some eggs and decided to photograph them shoddily :D

See, I told you.  No, really, you can say it!  It's ridiculously stupid.

Then I started on my zig zag pillow because I realllllly wanted to knock-off some expensive-ass pillows for super cheap and my living room needed a new color scheme.  Pictures and post to come! 

All of a sudden, I went baking crazy.  Dad's birthday is on July 4th and I was really craving brownies, so Congos ensued.  They are a little chocolate chip cookie in a brownie consistency - delish!  My lil bro helpfully played styling assistant, but that quickly led to "I want to see how high I can stack them!" and getting his almost-black-tan hands all over them.  Oh high school boys :)  Dad also on a whim stuck his face in the shot -silly.

I made some OFF THE HOOK banana-berry muffins last weekend for the other family.  Sooo perfectly baked, they were moist, dense, lots of flavor without overpowering yummyness!  Gone in 1.5 days means make another batch!  And this time, style them :)  They weren't as perfect as the first batch, but still down-right good and GREAT for my lil project.  I didn't even get laughed at by R.!  

Finished the pillow - learned a lot of mistakes and wrote them down to prevent the next one from being too shabby.  And then, had a strong desire to make puffy pastry dough by hand :)  What goes well with that?  Hmm...apple turnovers, neopalitans, maybe cream puffs?!

look at all the layers I created!!!  'Scuse the nasty picture.

Lastly, I went on a mock trash the dress photoshoot last night.  Took some horrible horrible pictures, made some more friends, and heavily doctored up some images to see if they were salvageable.  Downtown Dallas looks GREAT at night!  I want to go back for more, especially in the walkway where Campisi's is.  Molly - you know you want to come with!

That's a wrap!  I just contacted a friend to see if she wanted maternity pics and am going to email a coworker about her 6 month old.  I need to get more practice and I need to get myself out there!  Scary!

xoxo, isabel

July 6, 2010

heart skips for: cannelle et vanille

Ok, dumb-butt (myself), why have I not favorited anything on flickr??!!  Whilst checking my flickr stats, I clicked on Elaine's favorites and found this amazing pasty chef who self-taught her food styling and takes amazing photographs.  She started with a Canon Rebel XT (which I embarrassingly still have) then upgraded to a 50D and now uses a 5D.  Seeing as how I just bought a new film slr,  I guess I'll need to wait a bit for a new dslr =D.

See, here I go again - back and forth on this film vs. digital pov!  How do I want to distinguish myself as a photographer?  We'll see as I keep playing around.

Anywaz, Aran's photographs are lovely!  She is amazing; check her out here!
Aran @ cannelle-vanille
*Aran, I'm sorry if you found this by accident!  I tried emailing you to ask for permission on your photos, but it bounced back!  I love your work!!!*

and please check out my own right here - I had so much nerdy fun!  :)  I realized today that it's time to look for some linens and distressed wood surfaces to add to my accessories store! :)

ok, now I really want to take my photos down after a quick up-scroll, down-scroll to compare pics with Aran...bleh

xoxo, isabel

July 5, 2010

heart skips for:

ok.  I WANT TO BE A PHOTOGRAPHER and stylist.  It doesn't matter what I'm looking at - food, interiors, products, babies, weddings, animals...it all comes down to the photography and styling for me.

[emersonmade, prettygoodmary, emyah, ohhellofriend, joylicious]

I love all the tiny details that others regard as silly but can actually *make* the shot.  Get off my back if I want my cupcake wrapper folded neatly down as a doily for my cupcake!  Save your comment if you're about to tell me that the blanket I'm about to drape over this chair is pointless.  Forget rolling your eyes at me as I position my favorite bowl in the background. Stand back yee negativitors! yes, i know that's not a word, spell check.

I NEED to make use of my cameras better.  Yes, I have more than one great camera.  But what is there to take pictures of?!  Bah, humbug - NOTHING!  Seriously!!!  I want to photograph things of mine, but I don't make/design/do anything.  I spend 95% my summer days browsing the blog-o-sphere, falling in love with what other people do.  Quite depressing.  So I'm starting a list; an A-Z list which I often use in my 3rd grade classroom :)  The theme is: "style-able".  Leaving it open to interpretation.  We'll see how that goes...with that big, broad theme...check back in a few days when I start shooting!

An easy "style-able" is food.  I love food styling as mentioned here.  I don't cook a lot though I enjoy it; I have been known to make something, just so I can style it and photograph it! 

[ hummingbird cake by yourstruly-100% film]
the print is STUNNING; ignore the scanned res. & too thin icing layer in the middle
It's the most accessible thing to me!  Food changes daily, has many components to it, it's colorful, straight from nature, and makes people salivate even if the photography isn't great.  Sharing a meal together is beautiful!  Preparing it - fun, a labor of love.  I do feel wonderful when someone says, "oh-my-god, this is soo good; the best you ever made".  Cooking is soo much easier to not mess up than decorating a room. :)

I love the feeling of giving something that I made, to somebody and bringing them some sort of happy sustenance. 
 If it's cooking, a gift, decorating, a wow picture of them, whatever! 

Food, is not my passion though; however I think that if I had more friends and threw more get-togethers as well as my $ out the window, it could possibly get high up there.  Anybody in?

Back to photography, I would REALLy like to stick with film because I want to KNOW the technicalities of a camera and know them well.  It will distinguish me from my friends who, are obviously great, but are editing their photos.  I want to not edit :D  Film slows me down to think about the shot instead of taking 100 nasty digital pictures to get one that's decent and manipulatable (sp:?).  However, I can't get past the convenience , free-ness (so easy to just delete), and speediness of a digital file...

[film master: Jonathan Canlas]

Thoughts, anybody?

Sorry for the semi-giddy with excitement yet debbie-downer post.  In the meantime, check out a friend from college who is working that camera!  I have quite a few photo talented friends like Jason Huang of Table4Photography and my bestie, Elaine :)  Joy though, she's something!  Check her out and bring a napkin to dab away your drool!

xoxo, isabel

photo of the day series

Dear 25 year old Isabel,

Today, it is Saturday, July 3, 2010 around 10:43 pm.  You just spent your 8th day in a row on your computer from rise-time to bed-time.  You were inspired, you liked a lot of things you perused, your heart strings got pulled on.  You pissed off your boyfriend by saying "coming from you who slept all day" when really you're just pissed at your own valiant efforts at wasting time and life.  Then you decided to vacuum cat fur off couches while revisiting a quote that said "A clean house is a sign of a wasted life", and said, "Damn it, I'm going to finish covering my kitchen chairs" to come back from buying staples to realize the staple gun's jammed and no efforts of will cure it.  So you got back on your lovely Macbook Pro and again were inspired, tugged on, decided to go comment crazy on Facebook to feel like you had a life and friends, found Joy "Jangles" Zhang doing awesome things and then you got majorly defeated. 

Well, you have 28 days before your summer ends with a trip to Hawaii!  You just made an A-Z list of things you'd like to style and photograph until that glorious trip to paradise.  Put the "non.cookie.cutter" interiors stuff on hold and pick up that camera.  You've got a daily project to wake up to now :)  Make paper flowers, pick up pretty tea cups and towels, order b/w film, wake up early to use daylight - you've got a photoshoot to style!

Don't forget to post your pictures to ffffound, tastespotting, http://foodgawker.com/, craftgawker, and weddinggawker

And then later, if you're REALLY conceptual, you can try a 365 self-portrait project like this amazing girl 7 years YOUNGER and better than you!  You really like her outfits and find her to be extremely gorge

xoxo, isabel

July 2, 2010

Curtains are IN

Well, at least in this household.  I've always been scared of window treatments for the price they cost and for all the different styles, patterns, colors - I just can't choose!! 

We've been living without them since we moved in.  The first thing we did was take down the previous owners ugly green and burgundy curtains.  We moved the green to the dining room and it was unbelievable how much of a green hue it gave the living room.  With it gone, the living room breathed fresh!  So now, I'm looking for new curtains to keep the fresh, airy, bright look, but I need it for two purposes:

* Add style of course! (This is gonna be a toughie =/ I have no direction)
* Reduce glare on the TV

Here's the room that I'm working with.  I wish the windows had finished casings, but that's another story or project :).  The top windows are the problem ones; I'm not too worried about the blinds. 

I don't think sheer white will take out the glare, so maybe a darker fabric on top and white on the bottom?  Not a fan of color blocking, but...eh?  Might be ok?


then I thought maybe just some roman shades on the top and sheer curtains on the sides?  

other eye candy from Meg Ryan's home
 ok, no window treatments here, but love the ottoman and pineapple table :)

plain white?

same couch color as mine 'cept the walls are white!  Now I want to repaint :)
My walls are a sandy color and while I love it, I don't love it with the couch or with the kitchen table.
i like this loft :) and its colors like the orange rug :)

or something CRAZY?!

i'm tired of searching and not particularly loving any of my choices sooo - i'm out!

xoxo, isabel

July 1, 2010

Lonny - June/July 2010

Lonny is a relatively new magazine designed out of necessity from all the shelter mags folding (aka Domino).  Instead of being a glossy, it's a screeny published online beautifully!  Michelle Adams and Patrick Cline (can I be your FRIEND?!) founded it together and it is AMAZING!  Every product in the magazine is provided with DIRECT links to their source - you can't do THAT with print!  What a lot of work and love they put into that.  Patrick does all the photography - sigh - I'll work for you!  Plus he shoots film!  Michelle is an inspiring organic textile designer who started her own line, Rubie Green, before starting Lonny.  WOW, WOW, WOW.  I had been following her blog, MA Belle, for some time now, and LOVED her apartment featured in Real Living.  I wish I could be that talented and successful as her and him!  I think they are a couple now after he shot her place for Real Living?

I read the first issue and waited in anticipation for it to come out and then unfortunately didn't keep up with the next couple issues.  But I'm back and determined not to miss a single issue after learning my mistake with Domino!!  (I only have maybe 2 issues of D?)  Here's what I loved!

 beautiful photographs, yummy creations
Dominique Browning, ex-editor in chief of House and Garden Mag
GREAT article on her!

great outdoor seating!  comfy yet stylish!
Jayson Home and Garden

so true, Bunny Williams!

hey, we have that art book!
love the punchy flowers, interesting table
the Iconic Bunny Williams
i gotta have that mirror with wall color and floor combo!
keep an eye out for those chairs at thrift stores!
Lee Kleinhelter, owner of Pieces

what a BEAUTIFUL, classy, unique changing table!!!  I love the grasscloth wallpaper and the paneling on the piece!  sigh-natural textures + white = one happy girl!
Lee Kleinhelter, owner of Pieces

um, yes, I agree 1000% with that statement! 
(i want a LIL more color though in this room)
Lee Kleinhelter, owner of Pieces

not entirely a fan of this, but I've been seeing this table everywhere from magazines to stores to thrifting...
Elizabeth Bauer

wowzers, patterns and graphics all pulled together in one small studio!
I'm debating on shades like these or curtains for my living room...
love the wallpaper, the mirror, the pink touches, and the sea of white :)
couldn't live too long with that wall though =/
Elizabeth Bauer's Grammercy studio
yes, i need this how-to badly. thank you, Liz

oh, crisp color palette how i adore you!
i'll take the greek key towels with the green drum and the b/w beach photos

I also needed this!  Thanks Ethan and Ari!
taped wallpaper in a rental - clever! go Editorial Assistant to Lonny, Ellie Somerville!

i want the closet curtains!
Ellie Somerville
*gasp* stunning against the white wainscoting!
Dolby and Frist Hamptons House
I was thinking of going navy curtains after seeing this...
this screams "jump on me and chill!" and totally reflects the above quote about walking into a space and feeling comfortable.
Dolby and Frist

hmm, good use of crazy ceiling angles!  I like the grayblue paneling, the lighting ON the mirror, and the seemingly easy to DIY mirror framing.  I've had "frame mirrors" on my project list for awhile now and was looking at all this ornate molding at Lowes, but now I think I just want flat like this for the time being!  That is, until I find some awesome mirrors with character at some beautiful parisian market.  
p.s. i really like the balled tree that i can't remember the name of...

i started writing a bunch about this kitchen, but decided it was meant to have only one response:
Dolby and Frist, designer: Cafiero
tufted ottoman in my fave color! Here's an example of how Lonny LINKS to EVERYTHING!!!!
Deborah Lloyd's home - co pres. of Kate Spade

I would move here in a heartbeat with friends living around the corner.  I love coastal houses that utilize shingles!!!!!
Dolby and Frist
pretty styling.  i love the left side more.  How about the RANGE?!!  and the beadboard paneled doors with the very black granite.  yummy!  I'd cook all-day in here!
Deborah Lloyd

Now, go check out the full issue yourself, here! 

Other features i liked:
* Rickshaw Designs has a spread!
*Jayson Home and Garden
* Bunny Williams' beachy Boys' Room
* Lee Kleinhelter's spaces
* ikea shelves as a closet
* Deborah Lloyd's Highland Lake house - this house is perfectly not.so.cookie.cutter!

Voice in my head

"Be a first-rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else"

"Don't judge your insides by others' outsides"