Archive for January, 2011

Discovering Vivian

I just love flea markets, yardsales, antique auctions and the like. Pondering through mounds of items…

… someone’s trash now another’s treasure.

There is such an air of mystery. You never know what you might stumble upon.

Can you imagine finding a box filled with more than a thousand rolls of undeveloped film and negatives? {Ok, that might happen, if you are super lucky.} Now, imagine that you develop that film only to unveil the work of a fabulous, previously undiscovered Chicago street photographer. {That’s some kind of luck, folks.}

Simply put, that’s how the world came to discover the work of Vivian Maier

All photos courtesy of the John Maloof Collection
This box, filled with more than 100,000 negatives, was put up for auction after being reclaimed from a storage unit due to deliquent payments. John Maloof won the auction and has since spent hours upon countless hours scouring the photos. He naturally wants to learn more about the lady behind the lens.
“I found her name written in pencil on a photo-lab envelope. I decided to ‘Google’ her about a year after I purchased these only to find her obituary placed the day before my search. She passed only a couple of days before that inquiry on her.” – John Maloof
Self Portrait courtesy of the John Maloof Collection

After learning that Vivian had passed away, John continued to search for more information about this fabulous photographer. He has been able to track down a few people that have little by little provided more insight into her mysterious life. He is currently compiling all of that information into a book and a feature length documentary. Click here to watch John’s video about the project.

“Vivian came here from France in the early 1930’s and worked in a sweat shop in New York when she was about 11 or 12. She was not Jewish but a Catholic, or as they said, an anti-Catholic. She was a Socialist, a Feminist, a movie critic, and a tell-it-like-it-is type of person. She learned English by going to theaters, which she loved. She wore a men’s jacket, men’s shoes and a large hat most of the time. She was constantly taking pictures, which she didn’t show anyone.” – John Maloof

Self Portrait courtesy of the John Maloof Collection

I am completely enthralled by John’s discovery and the teeny bits of information we have about Vivian’s life. Her photos seem to just capture that human element, I visit his blog often to see what new pictures he has posted. I think that all “junkers” dream of a find like this one. It makes me want to jump in the car and hit up a few of my favorite “fleas” this weekend.

If you have some time, visit John’s blog, Vivian Maier – Her Discovered Work. Browse through Vivian’s photos, I’d love to hear which one really grabs your attention. 

Posted 1/28/11, Topic: Blog

light of my life

Browsing through tons of precious Valentine’s Day project inspiration, I can’t help but to think of Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder’s Valentine’s Day present from last year. He still keeps it sitting on top of his dresser. I pass by it every day. It remains one of my favorite projects. 
Do you guys have any Valentine’s projects in the works? I’d love to hear about them or others you’ve stumbled upon recently. Let the creativity flow!

Posted 1/27/11, Topic: DIY

You’ve Got Mail

What is it about surprise mail that just totally makes your day? I opened the mailbox and found this little beauty:
An adorable, sweet gift from BEY reader, Heather. She even hand-stamped the paper, precious! I love that I coincidentally had my whole red “Frenchie” nails going on. {The polish is even chipped, love that too. Adds character, right?}

This sweet gal stumbled upon a vintage French Reader and thought of my recent quest to learn French. It doesn’t get much sweeter than that.
{If you are wondering… yep, that’s my hand too. I took these final pictures after a weekend of cleaning the house and my cute chipped nails turned into oh-gawd-you-gotta-do-something nails. So here you go, my normal nail state – a la naturale.}

Photos by: KHJ
Heather, you have a heart of pure gold! I wish you could have seen the smile on my face when I opened your package. I am a huge book lover, and a French book? I think my heart shall burst! Many, many thanks sweet lady.

Posted 1/26/11, Topic: DIY

Now that’s the Ticket

So Valentine’s day will be here before you know it, and I’m proud to say (for once) I am on the ball. I have followed AmberLee at the giverslog for a while, and was so ecstatic to hear she had decided to take her love of chocolate to the next level. That’s right, her very own store! AmberLee and her friend Andrea have joined forces to open The Ticket Kitchen, located in San Francisco. (Aren’t almost all great things base out of that dern creative city?)
As soon as she announced her online store was open for business, I hoped on over to buy my very own French Dark Chocolate on a Stick. A “sweet” little surprise for Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder on Valentine’s day. (Here’s hoping he keeps his promise of not peeking at the blog today.)

All photos by Stephanie Faye
Just swirl this lump of goodness in a mug of steamed milk and you’ve got yourself a tasty treat. It’s recently been so cold in Atlanta, I’m wishing I had some hot chocolate on a stick right now!

If you visit their site, check out the “Suggest A Flavor” tab. I just love it when companies ask for suggestions. What chocolate flavor would you suggest?

Posted 1/25/11, Topic: Blog

Ruins of Detroit

The Etsy Blog recently featured the work of Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, authors of The Ruins of Detroit. I was immediately captivated by the haunting beauty of their work. I’m always drawn to things that are worn, distressed, abandoned. The peeling paint, the broken glass, the memories of days gone by. Looking into these images, it’s almost as if the rooms have a story to tell. A story of better times. 

“In 1913, up-and-coming car manufacturer Henry Ford perfected the first large-scale assembly line. Within few years, Detroit was about to become the world capital of automobile and the cradle of modern mass-production. For the first time of history, affluence was within the reach of the mass of people. Monumental skyscapers and fancy neighborhoods put the city’s wealth on display. Detroit became the dazzling beacon of the American Dream. Thousands of migrants came to find a job. By the 50’s, its population rose to almost 2 million people. Detroit became the 4th largest city in the United States.”

“The automobile moved people faster and farther. Roads, freeways and parking lots forever reshaped the landscape. At the beginning of the 50’s, plants were relocated in Detroit’s periphery. The white middle-class began to leave the inner city and settled in new mass-produced suburban towns. Highways frayed the urban fabric. Deindustrialization and segregation increased. In 1967, social tensions exploded into one of the most violent urban riots in American history. The population exodus accelerated and whole neighbourhoods began to vanish. Outdated downtown buildings emptied. Within fifty years Detroit lost more than half of its population.”

“Its splendid decaying monuments are, no less than the Pyramids of Egypt, the Coliseum of Rome, or the Acropolis in Athens, remnants of the passing of a great Empire.” – Marchand & Meffre

All photos via MarchandMeffre

I’m in love with so many of these images. Hop on over to their site and tell me which one speaks to you.

Posted 1/24/11, Topic: Blog

oncewed-sq-badge-featured-vendor-20162nd Annual Pick With A Pro Retreat, www.campworkshops.com

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