Feelers and Light

 

My passing thru St. Helena and the open hours of this store finally aligned last month. The window display marked with a mysterious "M" always caught my eye but it was always closed, which probably only fanned the flames of my wanting heart. This time I walked up to the door and pulled the handle, and instead of resisting against me as usual, it opened easily, and so too did my heart crack wide open. 

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I took the photo above as I was leaving. I remember feeling complete and utter awe of what I'd just seen and taking a photo was all I could do. Complete and utter amazement, wonder, and incredulity. The curator of this store had taste that was out of this world. Each piece of furniture, jewelry, light, or object make a statement. Either it was a bold statement made with delicate materials, or it was simply bold and unassuming. Nothing was purely beautiful without also being a little large, slightly weird, kind of funny, which gave it a kind of honesty. Every object was novel. I couldn't get over how I felt, like I just witnessed something. Have you ever felt that? The kind of open ended clarity that opens your eyes to a great, glorious possibility? I knew that I had seen a light. I knew that I'd met my desire. And now I have to do something about it.

I came across this photo in my phone and decided to post it. Then I decided to write a caption. Then I decided what I was going to write. Then I looked up the store online to see if "M" was short for something. I discovered that I'd heard about this showroom before; that it belongs to a local interior designer named Erin Martin that I'd researched in the past because she was the designer who staged a home that I'd been in and found so perfect that my husband and I decided to get married there. I had no idea of this connection to Erin Martin all those times I'd driven past the showroom, drawn to it, finally pulled in and impressed upon. It may not be the strongest connection, but I know enough to trust that it only takes a millisecond to make another. 

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So I'm here putting a feeler out there in the universe, a grand gesture in its own right, and may it help me find my way. And a feeler to Erin Martin, if she would ever entertain a conversation with me about her work, I am ready to listen.

PDX Day 1

Portland has moved to my Top 5 Cities in the US.

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Canoe 

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Heart Coffee

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Marine Layer, San Francisco

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Will Leather Goods, Oregon 

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Blue Star Donuts

I wasn't sure what Jason would like so I got two donuts on a spectrum: the Blueberry Bourbon with Basil one was the employee's favorite and the Sugar and Spice Cake donut was recommended as the least sweet donut.  Jimney Crickets, the Sugar and Spice one is worth writing home, your boss, AND the President about. It's a perfect combination of texture, depth and aftertaste -- aftertaste being something I don't know many chefs consider. I'm laying here in bed still thinking about it. I've decided to get another half dozen before we fly home.

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Boys' Fort / Solabee Flowers

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I got to spend a whole day doing something that I love in a new city that I love with someone that I love. Just me and my kid, who by the way turns 5 months tomorrow! He learned how to shake his toys and how to turn 45 degrees while on his tummy -- which might be the first sign of crawling! No more laying him on the bed unsupervised, I guess. Growing boy...

Bernal Heights Home

I jumped at a chance to shoot a beautiful San Francisco home for a work project. I've always had this dream of being an interiors photographer and it was so satisfying to get a little taste of what it might be like. I could get used to it, furry surey.

Here are some of my favorite interior shots of the day. 

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Kamakura home

To preface: Jas and I are going to Japan and Korea in a month (eee! still have to book hotels!) and I am so looking forward to being completely inundated with inspiration. And perspiration. It'll be the beginning of the hot summer months, the only time I've ever visited Japan so I don't know any better. It's also my first time to Korea and Jason's first time to Japan, so we'll take turns playing tour guide!

I could go on about how big of a fan I am of The Selby and his work, but the primary reason for this post is to share one of his features, the bright seaside home of Hitoshi Uchida-san and his family in Kamakura, Japan.

Been thinking about where to go and I wish we could tour this home while we're there. As I study to be a stylist, I realize that this kind of personality and life history is one-of-a-kind. Lifestyle is a genuine existence that can't—and shouldn't— be reproduced. The best I can do is absorb and enjoy the experience, and draw from it for inspiration. What I see in these photos is my dream: A beach house in a small town of Japan. That, or to be Todd Selby himself.

all photos by The Selby

Aside from daydreaming about stalking people in their homes, this weekend we enjoyed the warmest weather in the bay so far. To offset the cost of eating out Friday and Saturday, I rushed around the kitchen for three hours, prepping two meals from What Katie Ate to enjoy throughout the week. 

A rich, slow roasted pork and red wine ragu, and a pork, pumpkin (butternut squash) and sage canneloni (lasagna). Three things about the canneloni: 1) I used butternut squash because I couldn't find a pumpkin and I used lasagna noodles because I didn't want to use too much ricotta for a stuffing; 2) this recipe is waaaay too much for two people, and I tried to invite people over but no luck! Guess it's lasagna week, and 3) I'm determined to learn how to photograph lasagna as appetizing as Katie does. It's got to be the hardest thing to food style!

I shredded the pork this morning before work and I am so excited to get home and make worth out of the fifteen thousand steps of the recipe.

Happy Monday!

Pizzaiolo in Temescal, Oakland

First, a quick housekeeping discussion: What do we think about watermarks on images? I've added a tiny watermark to the photos in this post and am considering adding them to my photos from here on out. Is it distracting? In my experience, I've found such watermarks to be a little tacky, especially when they're directly on the photograph itself. But, Pinterest and Tumblr and all the other wannabes have made distribution and sharing of images so easy that accreditation is practically ignored. I say all this without negative frustrations or guilt (as a Pinterester and Tumblr-er myself), but with a determination to "put myself out there" as a photo stylist in a fair, appealing, and peaceful manner. Where do you stand?

Jason and I were cruising around town, holding hands and wondering where to eat, and we showed up at Pizzaiolo with no reservation and high hopes. Had only heard  good things about this place. We had a strong bourbon and a tequila cocktail while we waited on the sidewalk in the lowering dusk light. We'd just made up after a huge fight about I-don't-remember-what... but you can imagine the romantic slow down was especially needed and nice.

We passed through the heavy curtains and were seated. I'll get right to it. We shared a lot of bread and butter, a clam appetizer and a marinated beet salad, and Jason had a huge fluffy arugula and prosciutto pizza, while I had a homemade tagliolini with sand dabs and lots of parsley. Chardonnay for me. Merlot for Jason. We skipped dessert, like we almost always do, but they had a great selection of chocolatey delights and apertifs and Blue Bottle Coffee. Service was friendly and casual, and timing was perfect.

I used my eavesdropping skills to assess that the older couple next to us are regulars who make weekly reservations to dine at this establishment. We talked about how we'd like to be regulars at some place when we grow up, looked the paintings on the wall,  and marveled at how menus suggest that there are people out there who order a cocktail, and appetizer, a second course, wine, a main course, dessert AND coffee or apertif in one sitting.  Who does that?!

When a restaurant says "No electronic devices at the table", I know they're really doing me a favor. I am a travel-through-the-lens kind of person, and it's a horrible habit that I can't seem to break, thank you Instagram. These are the photos I snapped with my iPhone while we were waiting for our table, but to enjoy the nuances of the meal itself I encourage you to visit Pizzaiolo yourself.