Day 2 of Giving. Photographs and Small Drawings.

It’s day two of “25 Ways to Give Without Really Trying” and I’ve been thinking all day about what to write about.  After some deliberation, a drink and some fudge at Angela Adams‘ jewelry collaboration opening and an evening of clipping coupons (such a dork) I’ve finally decided:

Give photographs and/or small drawings to people.  Real ones.

little eye loves photography!

It’s no secret that I love photography.  If I didn’t, it wouldn’t make very much sense to come home from nine hours working in a photo studio to clip out 1″ diameter circles of photographs and found images to put in to jewelry.  That’d be psychotic if I really, really loved, say, football.  Then I’d spend my days coaching and my evenings at Sports Bars.  But that is someone else’s path, not mine.  So I’m sure you’re not shocked that I think it’s a nice way to give!

guaranteed sunshine when you send pictures of cute kids

The no-brainer is to send updated kid photos to family members who haven’t seen them in awhile.  Easy enough to do over email or Facebook, but why not go the extra mile and order a print, stuff it in an envelope and mail it out?  That way Aunt Emmie can put it on the bulletin board by her desk, on the fridge, or anywhere she might need a little brightening up throughout the course of the day.

What about the single and/or childless?  Seasonal pictures or just genuinely good photographs are always nice, too.

You'd be so pumped right now if this was yours.

When I was a bartender in Boston I worked with probably one of my favorite people in the world, Maryanne.  In addition to being just about the most sensible, forgiving and compassionate person I’ve ever met she’s also freaking hilarious.  She would draw ‘greeting cards’ made out of folded receipt tape with animals and slogans drawn on them.  I know I have some in boxes somewhere, and one day when I find them I will come back and post them here.  But how sweet to open up an envelope or folded piece of paper someone hands to you to find a drawing, personally scribed for you?  So good.

For prints, I’d suggest Photo Market’s really easy-to-use online ordering at

look out, little stick figure girl!

I Spy With My Little Eye: November

It’s been awhile since I’ve had time to troll the internet for excellent things, but luckily I’m stuck in bed right now, unable to move left or right for fear of upsetting what little food I could eat, all because my adorable niece, Kiley, wanted to share her stomach flu with me.  Thanks, sweet potato!  Now I’m looking for beautiful things, handmade or not, that remind me of November.

#5.  Angela Adams, “Emma” wallet in Earth

How could I not? $110 at Angela Adams

Let’s be honest, really.  When a neighbor like Angela Adams has such an acute sense of style and a clear vision from inspiration you can’t help but try and justify spending a third of your paycheck (wait, that’s just me?  damn it!) on a beautiful leather wallet.  I chose the longer version because I think in November it’s the perfect time to carry a long, skinny purse with a long, skinny wallet in it.  You should probably also be wearing a long, camel’s hair peacoat and some kind of felt or wool cloche.

Speaking of cloche…

#4.  Queen of Hats – Ivana Cloche by Diva

Ivana Cloche by Diva. $100 at Queen of Hats.

Have you seen Boardwalk Empire, the new HBO series with Steve Buscemi?  If not you should do everything in your power to sweet talk a friend with cable so you can.  It will single-handedly bring back the good parts of 1920s style like cloches and rich fabrics falling off-the-shoulder while leaving things like tan stockings behind.  Thanks again, HBO.  All I want in this world is a cloche, which must be French for ‘the most perfect head adornment that makes everyone look flirtatious.‘  Queen of Hats is one of my favorite stores on Congress St. with probably my most favorite shop owner in town.  She drinks her coffee black and always has a remarkable hat on her head.  I oh-so-badly want to shoot their product sometime, someday, it is so unique and inspiring.

#3.  Ivory-Colored Pearl Necklace from Dutch Pearl on Etsy

Simple. $75 at Dutch Pearl on Etsy.

Whenever I’m staring down the barrel of the winter months in Maine I have a tendency to simplify.  Where I might have combined hot pink tights with a navy blue tunic a couple months ago, it’s now time conserve energy and go with what’s always been right.  Pearls are just one of these things.  Dutch Pearl is consistently one of the most prolific posters of items in the Portland area on Etsy.  Her pieces are simple and striking.  And, luckily, at $75 this means I may be able to pay my electric bill and look wonderful all in the same week.

#2.  Straight Curves Mug by Agru on Etsy

Straight Curves Mug, $22 at Agru's Shop.

You can be head-to-toe together in November but without a place to put your coffee, you’ll be lost.  I like this mug because it’s simple and it doesn’t look like it would be too heavy.  Mugs really are the best branch of the cup family tree.  Their sole purpose is to carry beverages that usually have caffeine in them or, for a change, soup.  These are two great things to put in your feed hole.  Now I have this picture in my head of a lady, clad in camel hair coat and cloche, a strand of pearls around her neck with a sweet little wallet.  She’s having a cup of coffee at a local cafe…but oh, what is she missing?

#1.  OBVIOUSLY, a vintage Mamiya C330

The perfect camera. Click to visit blog for photo source.

The perfect accessory.  All 1.7kgs dangling from your neck, passers-by can not help but stare, trip over their feet or ask plenty of questions.  It seems everyone I meet has a father who ‘had one of these when I was a kid!’ so it’s heartwarming every time someone stops to talk.  But more importantly, it takes images that look like this:

Bradbury Mountain, 2008.

Everything looks older and wiser.  You have to use your noggin to use this camera and I like that very much.  You have to be an enterprising risk-taker to pop a roll of film in a medium format FILM camera these days.  I like that, too.  I suggest searches on Etsy, Ebay and a visit to B&H (either in Manhattan or online) to try and find your own.