Sunday, July 21, 2013

double take

Great minds think dress alike? Is that true?? Here's how Norah Gaughan and I showed up to our photo shoot together last Monday. Right down to our shoes.
If we look wilted, it's because this was taken at the end of our day of shooting in steamy 95 degree weather.
We found it pretty hilarious. Would you title this Photographer and Creative Director/Designer On a Photo Shoot, or Ladies Out Visiting a Winery? Could go either way, right? Want a peek behind the scenes?
I was beyond thrilled to be working with Norah and the Berroco crew.
Our model Alice getting her hair & makeup done. I can't show you any of the fab sweaters & accessories she posed in, yet, but Alice was amazing. She wore wool outdoors in the heat and never complained. Or sweated. Just smiled and looked beautiful.
Same with my wonderful assistant Ariana. Smiles & beauty. Some of you met her at Rhinebeck last year. 

Standing in for the model to check light levels  in a very hot, very bright row of grapes.
And still more  smiles & beauty from Norah's talented assistant designer, Emily. She's been doing a series called Emily Explains on their blog. Worth checking out, if you don't follow already.
The hair & makeup area. I always want to paw through the products to see what's what. Not that I'm so into the beauty products but in this setting, they seem more like art supplies. And who can resist art supplies?
My other assistant, Michelle,  at work behind the makeup array, churning through the pixels as we finished each piece.  Not an easy job, trying to edit while everyone's bustling around, and then I periodically call her to help hold a second reflector. Check out her concentration.
Before we jumped in our cars I made everyone pose for a group photo. I'm glad they're smiling, but not surprised, it was that kind of a crew. Michelle was still glued to the laptop inside, going through the last take.  Can't wait to share the "real" photos and knits.... 

I hate to have to be so secretive--it's not being coy, it's business. However-I'm writing this form Nashville, where I just finished teaching at SSK and I will show you EVERYTHING from that, as soon as I get a chance to download and put it together. It was, in a word--2 words- super fun.

Friday, July 05, 2013

join me for a Guatemalan fiber & photo adventure?

This is a little out of the ordinary, even for me! *
Master weaver Hetty Friedman of Crafts for a Cause, took a photo class from me. Her woven pieces are exquisite. She explained that she works with Fair Trade craft/fiber cooperatives in Guatemala to dye her yarns, and weave her designs. Hetty lived and studied in Guatemala, and leads small tours to artisan villages there. She invited me  join her in creating a  special tour, combining our passions for textiles, craft, travel, artisans and (or course) photography.

Full flyer for this small group tour 

to the Western Highlands of Guatemala 

photos courtesy of Hetty Friedman/Crafts for a Cause
You do not need to be a serious weaver, or have special knowledge of textiles or knitting or especially photography! Just be interested, curious, ready to see new sights and meet wonderful people. Not to mention eat and drink well, in beautiful settings, and do a bit of craft market shopping.
The tour is  limited to a small group--so if you can put together 3-6 of your peeps, we can offer a discount.
Email me for details--actually email me with any questions at all! 
Hetty and I sat down one cold winter day and ironed out an exciting itinerary. It includes visits to artisans' cooperatives, with a chance to interact and see how they dye, weave & create.  Also, we'll visit craft  & food markets, do walking tours of historic sites, boat from village to village on Lake Atitlan, with time to work on your photography with me as we go along, if you want to, so you'll go home with a photographic story of your trip. Or  R&R, if you don't.
I hope you'll join us. It should be amazing! Deposits due by the end of July (we extended it from the flyer).
* we just learned that we may have come across as expecting travelers to be serious or advanced weavers or photographers. We don't! Gale doesn't weave, Hetty is pretty laid back about her photos--but we are both appreciative of the artisanry that is celebrated and preserved in the region, and love to look at everything and revel in the sights, tastes and colors of another place on this planet.*

Monday, July 01, 2013

postcards from a roadtrip

 I had a weekend in June so exhilarating, so juicy, so everything good that I haven't been able to distill it into a blog post. Crazy, right? The  best stuff  is off-limits because I was on magazine assignment. (Yankee magazine, May 2014, be there) But I am busting to share what I can for now. A few postcards.
A Nash Island lamb, Down East Maine.  On sheep shearing day. I was shooting sheep shots. I was beyond happy. I have to sit on all the best images for now. Torture.
Starcroft Yarn- all spun from Nash Island fog washed sheep. This is in the mill, where I slept. Yes you read that right: I SLEPT IN THE MILL.  I woke up to the scent of lanolin and big sacks of fluff  on the side,  and skeins hanging above my head.
 This yarn & dyeing is all Jani Estell's work. I love her yarn. This color, in particular, is perfection.
The most excellent company anyone could want for a weekend of glamping &  sheep shearing.   This is the yarny/designer component of the hard-working roundup/ shearing crew, and I have to tell you these women WORKED. I helped round up sheep but then, while they were shearing & flipping sheep, vaccinating lambs, and pulling off poop covered wool &chasing lambs &carrying livestock & fleeces & skirting, I was taking pictures. Like, a couple thousand and smiling every minute. Even when I kneeled in poop.   L to R : moi, Ellen Mason, Jani Estell of Starcroft Wool, Mary Jane Mucklestone, Ysolda Teague. We are hugging skeins that Jani insisted we leave with (!) Jani uses (note: I feel like that is the wrong word, there should be a word that connotes the respect she has for the wool, and the way she honors the Nash Island herd tradition) all the Nash Island sheep fleeces and manages the flock with the family that herds them.
The fire circle and most charming outhouse ever, on the Starcroft property in the Down East woods.. We had hot dogs , beer and s'mores after shearing on the island all day. It  tasted like 5 star restaurant food.
My Starcroft yarn, it is so luscious and squooshy. Even though I knew I should choose 3 of the same color,  I couldn't resist. 175 yards of each, what shall I make??? The colors are very Down East Maine-y.

The only sheep I came home with, a score at one of the yard sales Ellen and I stopped at, on our way south together the day after shearing.  Unlike our fit-bitty friend Mary Jane, who impressively went mountain climbing with Ysolda in Acadia on their way home. Our yard sale-ing is impressive too. And so satisfying. Maine is a very good place to go yard sale shopping, especially early in the summer.  Wanna see? I broke our purchases into categories.
Textile department:  Ellen collects vintage hankies. She scored big.
My textile find:  a scarf just like one I lost a decade ago, It's all about the fringe.

Flawed but just right department: Ellen got that purse, she can repair a small tear. I got this lawn chair that matches some I already own, it has some irreversible rust that'll do it in someday, but should make it a season or two.
Boring but useful: Ellen got a $5. monitor, I spent $1. for the bin.
Favorite finds: my Peterboro picnic basket-it has a foam cooler built inside, and a wooden top that works perfectly for setting down your drinks and snacks. Already used 6 times. I am a very picnicky person.
 Ellen found this big wool coat on the left (it was a Pendleton I think..or maybe a Woolrich) that she is going to turn into a hip little  jacket. After leaving that yard, she was telling me how she loves wool plaid but her holy grail is a vintage buffalo plaid hunting jacket. Guess what we found at the next stop?
Perfect inside & out.