Since we put in bird feeders in our yard last fall, I've been really getting into some lite birding. Every time we go to our local birdfeed store to replenish our stock of birdseed, I've been admiring The Crossley Id Guide in their books section.
First of all, its a really great, comprehensive guide to identifying birds unlike any other field guide out there. Usually, these books show an illustrated male and a female, sometimes a juvenile, of each species highlighting identifying marks. With the Crossley guide, each plate is a composite of numerous photographs not only showing identifying marks but characteristic behaviors and what birds look like from near and far and in flight.
But what I like most about the images is how strange they are. I love the cut and paste quality of the collages. Birds in the back of the image are just as in focus as the birds in the front. Not all the lighting matches, the arrangements can sometimes get so crowded that, depending on the bird, it can either feel delightful or like its some kind of bird horror. Sometimes the birds are dropped into scenes like a factory farm, a half sunken cargo ship or what seems to be an industrial age european city. Its sort of both art and utilitarian.
I'm feeling a great shopping-want today but it is the new year and per one of my lamest and most boring resolutions, I need to save some money. Which is funny because I don't really have that much money to save so I guess it just translates to being more frugal.
So in lieu of going to town myself, I put together some things that if I could buy today / right now, I would. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I'm not able show these nice people and places love with my money but maybe you can. Happy happy Friday!
1. ODLCO's boater keychain. Actually I lied. I did buy this a few weeks ago only because I have loved it since forever and also because I lost my keychain while in Toronto so, you know, I needed it. No regrets. Best keychain I've ever had.
When I was making the Roses poster, it took a lot of tests to arrive at the right flowers and the right shot. I tried pre-dried plants, exotic flowers, common flowers, having them in a vase, holding them, laying them down on different surfaces, figuring out what levels of wilted-ness looked best etc. In the end, I decided that roses were what I was looking for. I really liked how the other shots turned out but didn't think they were right for the posters. Here are some outtakes that I thought were pretty.
Last night DH & I watched an inspiring documentary on the making of Paul Simon's Graceland, an album with a quiet sadness and an effortless, friendly feel . Here is a video of my favorite song off one of my favorite albums.
As someone who loves to look at things, and obsessively partakes in internet-window shopping, I subscribe to a lot of blogs, tumblrs, pinterests, and the like. I go through so much visual candy everyday and it gets to a point where you like a lot of whats going on but its also a lot of the same things and its easy to just skim through much of it. But when I discovered Susan's ceramics and Sarah's jewelry, it was a kind of revelation because they showed me something I hadn't seen before, ideas that I haven't thought of before. Airy, dreamy, almost-way-too-delicate, gold accented vessels that straddle the line between art and functionality? Also some of it looked like water towers? Balls-y and playful collage based jewelry in a weird but perfect mix of disparate materials? AWESOME.
At some point, I realized that the two share a studio together in Chicago's West Town neighborhood (coincidentally, adjacent to Laura Lombardi's space which I shot that same day). They have always been at the top of my list when I started this studio tour series and thought it was a great opportunity to meet and hang out with two people I've always wanted to meet and hang out with! Their studio is, of course, beautiful and dreamy just like their work. As I snooped around with my camera, it was cool to see how two artists working in different areas, that don't really make the same work aesthetically, can also play off each other in small ways. I hope this comes through in the images.