Week in Pictures: Picking Apples a.k.a. Ice Cream & Hiking

We went up to Hiram, ME today as part of a yearly sojourn involving apples and a great view of the Saco River without too much huffing and puffing.  The apples this year are really scary looking, we managed to find almost a full bag of okay ones after about forty five minutes of looking… very strange.  They will all go in to pies and sauce, I guess… life is so hard.  😉  Maybe it was the hot summer.  In any case, we rewarded our search with two enormous ‘turtle sundaes’ from the gift shop at Apple Acres.  It was a lesson in patience, mostly because there is no line and the ladies behind the counter are simultaneously making fudge, cider donuts, milkshakes and ringing people up.  It was also a lesson in patience because I’ve found I’m a very busy and impatient city lady… so maybe it was just normal and I’m obnoxiously efficient.

After spooning my weight in fudge, caramel and ice cream in to my foodhole we headed to Mt. Cutler to climb it.  Good idea!!  A short hike, but the ice cream weight really did me in.  I threw my camera, water and car keys in to my old Bean bag and headed up with J.R.  I didn’t complain out loud nearly as much as I was on the inside, but it was well worth the familiar view.

-a.e.h.

Wedding Snapshots

After months and months of contemplation, and future plans for an actually, really real wedding photography website, I’ve updated my wedding photography portfolio.  I’m strictly against flash movies, vomit-inducing midi files and hard-to-navigate web galleries so the portfolio is a scroll-down what-you-see-is-probably-what-you’ll-get type portfolio.  I’d love it if you had the chance to scroll through, and of course comments are always, always appreciated.

Potential clients can rely on a few things:  I’m goofy, but I’ll keep it under control on your special day.  I’ve been told about once per wedding by a family member or client that I’m super discreet (“I barely noticed you during the reception!”)  I’m a sucker for details, and you’ll probably have just as many pictures of your centerpieces and floral arrangements as you Aunt Trudy.  I shoot in film and, ta-da, as of December 2010, with a digital Nikon camera, too.  I can offer as little as a couple hours of service or as much as an entire weekend, and I’m also keen on striking deals with other talented people if they have goods or services they can offer in return for my wedding photography time.

If’n you have any questions about getting Little Eye for when you get hitched, you can contact me by commenting on the blog or emailing littleeyedesigns {at} gmail {dot} com.

Love!

A Week in Pictures – 5/1/12

gift wrap, smith street style

Gift-wrap.  It’s usually best if you use things that you have lying around the house, which in our case clearly is some kraft paper, sharpees, a leftover Christmas bow and a patriotic gingham ribbon used to dress up one of the presents we brought to the birthday girl’s Minnie Mouse themed party on Sunday.  Presents are about three things:  anticipation, surprise and usefulness.  Nothing like a sweet wrapping job to get ’em excited!!

party favors for little mickeys

H. did an amazing job at decorating the house with Minnie decorations.  There was also one little boy at the party and his gift bag looked like Mickey’s characteristic red underpants.  So awesome!

and for little minnies

And these, for all the little girls (sooooo many little girls!) little Minnie favor bags.  Cute little presents inside, too!  My niece wouldn’t put her Minnie stickers down until the coloring book, coffee table and two cats were covered in them.  It certainly brightens up the place.

making Portland beautiful, one flyer at a time

Also, J. and I spent Saturday walking around downtown Portland and flyering for The Big Thaw (May 12) and the Pussy Riot benefit show (tonight, at SPACE Gallery 538 Congress St., Portland) he and his band are playing.  You should go – oppression stinks, and seeing Metal Feathers for the first time in a few months in order to fight it is a pretty win-win situation.

time to start practicing

Lastly, Bath Salts (that’s me, Tara and Jason) have a show on May 12 at Bayside Bowl.  That’s the same day as the Big Thaw.  May 13 is gonna be awesome and relaxing.  Also cause it’s Mother’s Day, and mine is lovely.  Wait – focus.  Bath Salts has a show, and that means we need to start practicin’ big time!  I wrote a song about the summertime and we have a bunch of other new songs, but if you want to listen to the ones we already recorded you can do it at our Bandcamp page by clicking here.

A Week in Pictures

Cash and Jason surveying our seedlings, mostly salad stuff like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and mesclun mix. But we've got some summer squash and basil in there for good measure. Yum.

Jason and I finally learned how to use the Yudu. It's definitely a machine meant for soccer moms, but to burn a screen and make a decent print for beginners is pretty sweet. Next task is to learn how to mix our own emulsion so we don't have to pay for those ridiculous sheets. Still! Bath Salts t-shirts are on their way!

Little K turned 3 last week, but we celebrated tonight. She is so interesting at this age - learning how to be shy (finally) but also regaling everyone with her sense of humor.

Ice Cream Cone Shaped Cake. Deliciously sweet, I think we all crashed about 10 minutes after each having just one teeny bit of it!

My favorite photograph this week: Cash blisses out on tissue paper under the coffee table and the excellent dinosaur print 'tablecloth.' She's a crowd pleaser while the other darn cat runs away and hides, which is fine because he smells a little funny most of the time, so it's probably better that way.

Spending unusually large amounts of money on unusual tchotchkes at the Prides Corner Flea Market

Perfect little objects, like this 4 inch tall kerosene lamp, perfectly usable and perfectly in tact, are definitely worth $10, even for a cheapskate.

We've been eating remarkably well, and almost entirely from the international market, Mittapheap, on Washington Ave. in Portland, ME. Neighborhoods need to support their international markets, frozen crickets and all, because where else will you find plantains, rice noodles, nag champa, sriracha, Vietnamese coffee supplies and pocky under one roof? Nowhere else.

Photograph 10/08/2011

Casco Bay Shores

Spent the morning working at sunrise, doing a portrait session at Spring Point, near SMCC, in South Portland.  I should have stopped at 158 for a bagel.  But I had bought breakfast last night (a Clif bar) for $.99 and am being consciously frugal this week.  Saving for a house is expensive.  Watching the sun rise on a peninsula is the best.  I wish ‘work’ could be like this more often.  I put those quotation marks there because meeting new people, using my eyes and making pretty pictures doesn’t feel at all like work.

What does feel like work?  Today, I will be fastening little bits of cardboard to about 600 bottle caps so that I can make a shipment early next week.  Once I’ve sealed all the bottle caps then I will hunch over a table for an hour filling the bottle caps with epoxy.  But it’s alright, because I can do it in my pajamas!  It’s going to be beautiful out — I hope to carve out at least four hours for outside time.

Happy long weekend, even if Monday is the weirdest. holiday. ever.

New to my Etsy Shop: Beachy Photographs. Also I ate at a fancy restaurant.

Sometimes, covered in bottle caps, I forget that I’m actually a photographer.  It’s refreshing to dive in to the archives and see what might look nice in my shop display:

Mussels and Seaweed - Click to View Listing

Washing Ashore - Click to View Listing

Lighthouse. Dirty (Negative). Click to View Listing

All these were taken about a year ago at Preble Light in South Portland, ME.  My friend, Kendyll and I went driving around looking for a place to shoot pretty photographs of her.  There was a rainstorm during our drive and we were like “Aw, crap,” because no one particularly wanted to get wet (although in retrospect:  good photo op).  But then the skies parted, the sun shone through the mist and all the photographs came out with this vintage-y light and soft, smooth lines.  Too bad my negatives were so dirty… but I think it adds to them.  Some more will be going up tomorrow, along with some fireworks pictures from Boston and some other random ones I found.

Click on this picture to vote for the Maine Team 4th of July Challenge

In other news:  the Maine Team 4th of July Challenge is officially up and voting goes through July 3rd.  Visit the Facebook album here and “like” your favorite listing.  I’d implore you to vote for Mollie and my’s aluminum star earring and necklace set, but in the spirit of the birthday of democracy I just urge you to vote whichever one you like the best.

~~~

Also — tonight we ate at the Salt Exchange, because our LivingSocial deal was up.  Hmm.  The food is so freaking good that it’s a shame the front of house isn’t as well trained as the back of the house.  I’m not in to trashing restaurants that I eat at because I’m generally a ‘glass half full’ kind of girl so I will start off by saying that the 4 dishes we split were just about the most well constructed flavor parties I’ve tasted ’round these parts, and this girl’s even been to Fore Street.  The proportions are perfect and you really don’t need to eat that much to feel satisfied (we were fine splitting four dishes).

Only problem is I’ve got handfuls of years of front of house restaurant experience under my belt, and I have a problem not projecting ‘what I would do’ when I see someone making service mistakes.  We kept on hearing the hostess tell people that she would seat them as soon as she can, that she was just waiting for menus to come back.  Now, I get this — because sometimes that is what it is but it doesn’t make sense to your average diner.  They think to themselves “Oh, well we can just sit down and get our menus after,” or, worse — she suggests you sit at the open seats at the bar and there are two menus right on the counter when you get there … just too much information.  Less is more.  “Your reservation was for 6:15, I will seat you as soon as I can.”  (We were there early).  Serious lag between our ‘1st course’ (first 2 dishes we ordered) and ‘2nd course’ kind of truncated the delicious mouth and tummy experience.  Because the portions aren’t huge it’s really easy to move from course to course pretty quickly, so when you’re caught waiting 20+ minutes between salad/mussels and pork/seafood the stomach starts to grumble again.  Same thing when we were finished with 2nd course – the check came right away but we waited for a good while (at least 5 passes of the server by our table) with the check hanging off the table with my card right in sight.  We opted to switch it out for cash and took off after we decided we just couldn’t wait any longer.

So about the food!  So excellent.  J. and I decided that Salt Exchange is probably best if you’re going out for drinks and want ‘a snack’ because the $8 Mussels is pretty excellent.  9 mussels plus some bread, pork and onion was really flavorful and totally worth our money.  I didn’t see the dessert menu (if they have one) but it’d also be really nice to sit at the bar, split a dessert and have some coffees.  The caesar salad was great, and pretty good portions considering they ‘warn you’ ahead of time about ‘small plates’ and how that means you should order ‘3-4 per guest.’  Uhh… they must be making that recommendation based on the average American’s consumption at meal time, cause we were totally find with the 4 total that we picked.

Mmm pork tenderloin was our main course and we had a crab crostini to pair with it.  It had the best damn lime reduction…sauce…uhh… ever to dip the crab in.  And here we are, hours later at 10pm and I am still content.

So, there it is – trying something new.  Not that I’m snitty about my food at all – generally speaking we are most frequently diners at Rosie’s, Ruski’s, Hi Bombay!, Sengthai and Marcy’s.  But it’s nice to dress it up a little every now and again…

Les Antiquités Nouveaus

Gross, I think my cat just farted.  She’ll be forgiven because of her cuteness, but I’ll wait a bit given her waiting until she was six inches away from me to do it, then leaving right after the deed.  Devious!

Back on track…

There’s been a movement in popular culture towards marketing the vintage aesthetic.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining!  Painted illustrations on seed packets of yore, adorable patterns of polka dots and gingham, it’s all good.  I’m happy to be at the South Portland Hannaford on my lunch break and catch a glimpse of this vision from the West Coast:

Don't they just LOOK like they'd taste better? I've never had canned grapes before, but maybe now I will.

Jeez – these look awesome!  The thought of canned grapes would give me the heebeejeebies if they were packaged any other way.  Kudos to bringin’ back old school in style.

On gripe I do have, though, is the ‘my iPhone makes things look like they do in my family’s photo album from the 70’s’ aesthetic.  And I have good friends who use the apps and I’m not knocking that they’re nifty and a cool trick but when someone’s entire Facebook wall ends up looking the space behind the register at the Thrift Shop that’s been open since the 50’s I’m gonna be all like “Hey, 2011 called, it’s wondering when you’re going to get here.”

Dear iPhone old-photograph-app user:  You’re not fooling anyone.  I know you didn’t magically get your hands on old Diana or Rollei, take a bunch of pictures of your sailboating trip, develop the film, scan the negs and post them to your Facebook wall.  And even if you did, Kodachrome was way better color balanced than this.  Your overly red or overly yellow photograph has not changed color because it’s been sitting in a well-loved photo album for years.  I don’t care what you do, and it really doesn’t bother me that you think your telephone is a camera, but just don’t pretend like your world is more romantic now that it’s all grainy and oversaturated.  Love, Bee-in-her-Bonnet Audrey.

Phew!  I’ve been meaning to get that off my chest.  At the end of the day, I don’t really care — but what’s the point of using new technology if what we’re trying to recreate is that of 50 years ago?  Y’all know that I love film, and my camera was manufactured somewhere between 1960 and 1980 and it chugs through expensive film like it’s its job.  I LOVE shooting with it.  But I’ve also recently been introduced to the world of the DSLR and am growing fond of all the things it can do for me.

by Julia Margaret Cameron

Here.  When photography was beginning to be used as an artistic medium in the late 1800s photographers mainly sprang from two traditions:  the scientist and the painter.  Some adapted their unwieldy cameras to ‘paint’ tableaus with light and models who stood very, very, very still.  From the scientific side photographers shot cityscapes and panoramas, eager to introduce photography as a way of creating more and more realistic lithographs for book publications.

So is it any wonder that with the advent of a very revolutionized form of photography (digital) that its users are seeking to create something they know?  Not strange, no, but remember…

Edward Weston may or may not have ever said "Hey, look how sharp I can make things!"

It wasn’t until the f64 group (read:  Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Ansel Adams, etc. etc.) began saying: “God damn!  This camera is awesome but why are we not using it to its full potential?  Look at how sharp I can make things!” and then applied it to their own artistic expression, did the medium of photography really start coming in to its own as an art form.

Let’s stop pretending our shiny, new picture-takers are relics of the past.  Let’s agree not to abuse color shifts and saturation.  Let’s agree that a good photograph should be just that whether it’s grainy or crisp, fuzzy or dialed-in, vignetting or no.

Rant over!

Racy Photo Shoot and Storm Watch Skies

Hi, hi.

Let’s start off with the really fun bits first.  I’ve always been an advocate of self-portraiture.  Photography, painting, drawing, songwriting, what the hell, whatever — internal introspection can sometimes lead to growth and development but actually having a physical image, product, sound as a result of the process is really motivating.

This month I’m going to restart shooting myself which has gone undone for wayyyyy too long.  Sure, there have been a plethora of PhotoBooth captures but those aren’t much work at all, are they?

3/4 Portrait

A good place to start is photographing just your face.  I like to see all the angles of what I look like and I like to see what the expressions I make look like to others and not just how they feel showing up on my mug!

Go adventuring to outside locations and set up a tripod, focus on the ground near where you think you’d like to stand, and set the timer on the camera to 10 seconds or so, however long it takes you to get over there.  Be sure to turn auto-focus off if you have a DSLR.  What locations move you?  What places reflect your personality?

Photograph yourself in your home doing something normal, but style it like you see yourself in your imagination.  Are you doing the dishes?  No one says you can’t do ’em in high heels and a cocktail dress.  This is your fantasy.

Now comes my favorite… which I can’t actually share any images of because I have a strict no-showing-my-ta-tas-on-the-internet rule.  But really — photograph yourself completely naked.  The advent of digital photography makes it so that you can shoot and print your very own boudoir photos without involving the creepy guy with the ratstache at the Photo Center in Walgreens.  You don’t have to show them to anyone, and they might be COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS but why live this life without trying every ding dong thing there is to do in this world?  Trust me, it’s fun.

~~~

Now on to the skies…

Yesterday the sunset cast a gorgeous hue on East Bayside.  It’s doing it again now, too.  I’m very afraid of tornadoes, but the one thing I live for in this world is gorgeous light.  Why can’t the skies be like sunset all the time?  It’d get old, you say?  No, no it wouldn’t.

Here are a few captures:

Looking up Oxford St (Up Munjoy Hill)

Out the Attic Window towards Bayside

Write Words Every Day

Fire Portrait I made Kristina take of me. Stay tuned for more Fire Portraits, one day.

Just recently my good friend and co-worker, Anna, helped me figure out that I don’t really feel the need to do anything unless I am accountable to other people for it.  That’s kind of extreme – there are certainly days when I treat myself to cleaning my closet or painting my toenails, but for the most part my truly fabulous accomplishments happen when there are brick and mortar stores, craft fairs, or others that are relying on my elbow grease.

Same is true for keeping a journal.  The only reason I would write anything (that wasn’t a children’s book or a novel… one-day-dream that I hope I can accomplish before kicking it) is to have others read it.  Thus begins my efforts to post something here every day, art-related or not, a little link or an epic tome, just to get the fingers moving.

Let’s recap this utterly insane weekend.

On Friday, Kate of A Sweet Disorder and general awesome-lady-ness announced she was going to get married on Tuesday.  Yeah, like yesterday!  Being that she’s the light of Portland it was imperative to put together something weird, fun, quirky, and kinda expensive (but not too expensive).  And swanky.  Definitely swanky.

Brain-Shatteringly Amazing Women in front of a pretty cool vehicle

Enter:  white limo.  Kate came over on Monday night and we surprised her (well, kinda, of course I spilled the beans 20 minutes before it got there, what an asshole) while drinking frozen white russians and talking about weiners.  Yeah, bachelorette party!  Sierra brought a sweet-30 rack of High Life that we poured in to the champagne-of-beers flutes in the limo and cruised around, stopping momentarily for pees around Portland and french fries at Wendy’s in Saco.  Mmm.  Also, p.s., props to Bayside Limo for being the bestest, cheapest limo service off the peninsula!  Definitely recommend.

See: Jerk Chicken at top left of grill

Saturday (going back here) was nice and quiet with errands and a Goodwill trip ruling the day.  We also picked up $15 worth of chicken and started marinating for a party at 6pm on Sunday.  When it comes to jerk you want that shit to be dredged, marinated, and SPICY.  P.S. it worked and peoples’ mouths were burning up.  Kate even said the inside of her ear was tingling!

Sunday we went to Tara and Brian’s house after I met with Elise of eden. and Kate of Kate Sullivan-Jones to finish our space at The Merchant Co. which is having its grand opening First Friday on Congress St., across from Bang! and the cryptozoology museum.  It’s freaking awesome in there.  The Merchant Co. will have a swanky space for classes and crafting in addition to housing goods for your purchase of nearly 50 Maine (and mostly Portland) artists, designers and vintage resellers!

Summer is Here

Tara and Brian’s house on Sunday, per usual, was great.  A manicured backyard, delicious chips and dips, a smorgasbord of meats and veggie options and oodles of people who mostly make things out of instruments, art and fabric when they’re not slaving away at their 9 to 5 jobs.  I helped Tara put up Christmas lights just before everyone arrived and Brian lit a fire when the sun went down and aren’t night time parties freaking gorgeous?  I want a house, mostly so I can have a back yard.  Le sigh… one day…

Yeah, yeah, and Monday I didn’t have to go to work but I did go to Michael’s and buy a Yudu with Jason which I’m pretty sure is super cheesy but the results look pretty good and it’s a good start to learning screen printing.  It’ll come in handy for a number of reasons, but the one I’m most excited about is helping Mom get away from the clutches of Cafepress and start selling on Etsy.  Step away from the dark side, Momma!

The Daisy Buchanan Dress. Click the image to go to the listing.

I’m also psyched because I just started listing some of the dresses that I buy at Goodwill going ‘this is cool, I can probably sell it on Etsy’ that have been piling up in my closet but either don’t fit me, aren’t exactly my style, or are so far out there (but still excellent) that I couldn’t help but purchasing.  The newer ones (I have lots of Banana Republic for some reason) will go on Ebay and the vintage items get a nice, little corner in my Etsy shop.  Hoo-rah.

Kate & Mike's 'Ceremony' officiated by the lovely Kristina Balbo

Then on Tuesday night we kind of impromptu went over to Mike and Kate’s, not realizing they were going to get married in their apartment, and witnessed them tie that knot real tight!  Above is my favorite pictures from what I took.  More to come soon!

How was your long weekend?  As nutso as mine or did you get to relax with a mojito and wiggle your toes in a kiddie pool for three days?

SWAP Maine Shoot – Clothes, clothes, clothes!

The jury has reached a verdict and just as all the pundits were expecting:  citywide clothing swaps are indeed GUILTY of being totally awesome.  A room full of clothes and women may not be everyone’s picnic, but I had a ball spending 4 hours shooting at SWAPMaine last Saturday, May 21st, 2011.

For the full album, please check out my Picasa album here or my Facebook album here.  But for those of you with lazy clicking fingers, here are some of my favorites:

Earrings (I snagged the green and yellow pair in the middle!)

Freaking 40+ People waiting to be let in!

Hanger Helper - this little boy went under the racks and retrieved all the fallen hangers for us!

Mandy and Kate in the sunlight

Excitement!

Heyyyy, do you need someone to prance around and casually photograph your event?  I accept all forms of payment, including money, a huge sack of clothes and snacks.  Check back if you’re interested in the next SWAP because you better believe I’ll be getting super excited about it when it’s comin’ up!