Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's in the Fiber

Believe it or not these are photos of students taking an exam. The objective was to identify how the fabrics were woven (identifying the weave). It looks a little silly but I'm sure it is probably really important to know these things if one were to be a designer.

The Goldstein research lab (above) is a hands-on resource for students at the U of M at the College of Design. I think it's great that these students have this resource and are able to take an exam that is so physical and tactile and way more informative that seeing these weaves in a book. The only thing is we need more giant magnifying glasses.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Passage

Here is part 2 of the 2010 family vacation posts. The first half of our trip we stayed with Moose and Addie. The second half we were lucky enough to stay with Lark. Lark’s place is a combination of the Secret Garden and Wonderland. I keep waiting for Martha Stewart Living to do a photo shoot here.

Lark’s house has a long history. It was a duplex when she originally purchased it in the late 70’s but before that it was a farm house complete with a pig barn in the yard. The pig barn is now Lark’s pottery studio. Over the past few years she has worked diligently to convert her duplex back to a single family dwelling. Being the conscientious consumer that she is, Lark searched reuse centers, Craigslist and various other outlets to find salvaged materials for this major remodeling project. The result is gorgeous. It was a true labor of love. The living room flooring is a combination of the original wood and new floorboards that were hand painted by Lark to match the grain and patina of the old ones. The construction guys laughed at her proposal to hand paint them. They ate their words later. It is flawless. I dare you to find where the old ends and the new begins. That’s probably a good way to describe her house and style in general. Vintage is the new “new” and in Lark’s house it’s hard to tell what is genuinely vintage and what’s a new vintage-style furnishing.

Anyway, Lark treated me like a princess during my stay and I loved every day of it.

Gunning Court

I am consciously making an effort to post more, mainly for ego reasons. It makes me sad to look through my posts and see the big gaps in time. There are a few things that I have intended to post but have not gotten around to doing so. One of them being our 2010 family vacation back home to Rhode Island and Massachusetts. On that short trip I shot 1500 images and other than a light edit I have not touched the files. So a blog post is a good motivator to start processing them.

While in Rhode Island we stayed with Moose and Addie for the first half of our visit. They live in a cute 2-story house on a dead end road. There are huge beach roses in the front yard and the always beautiful blue hydrangeas in the backyard. Although both yards are really small there are little nuggets of beauty tucked in. Now we move into the inside. Moose and Addie share their home with Harriet and Karl. Harriet has a gorgeous under bite and loves to greet you at the door. Karl is always dressed to impress in his furry tuxedo but prefers not to be seen.

To the point. I love to look at stuff. Old stuff, other people’s stuff, tag sales, yard sales, estate sales, Savers, the Salvation Army, etc. Your stuff tells your story. I am intrigued by what items people choose to have in their homes. These things give your house it’s character and charm. On our trip to Rhode Island I took note of the things in the houses we visited and stayed at.
Here are a few pics from the lovely little cottage on Gunning Court.

What are the things you choose to keep, display or save?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Hardisty Art Center

I bet you didn't know I have an art gallery in my house. Here it is. It's kind of unconventional with one green wall and one off-white wall and none of the hanging materials are archival. Our gallery specializes in displaying collage artists (pronounced coe-lodge). Our current artist-in-residence is Ms. Patience Hardisty. An emerging artist that has been working in the mediums of collage and mixed media since the beginning of November of 2011. I am excited to see her art transform as she matures as an artist.

Age 2 is the best and I have been trying to take advantage of all the new big leaps in motor skills and language development. For Halloween we made leaves and pumpkin faces out of construction paper. Patience didn't quite get it but she colored the leaves and loved using the glue stick. For Thanksgiving we made hand turkeys and for a few days afterward she kept asking us to trace her hand. Now for Christmas we have made a red and green paper chain. Patience applied glue and I assembled. Later we will make evergreen trees and stars to complete our holiday look.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Room with a View

My kitchen window is a constantly evolving snapshot of the changing seasons. Here it is in fall mode. The vines are turning brown and woody. The fruit is still there but dry, shriveling and falling off. When winter finally arrives the remaining fruit will be gone, eaten by the birds as the last memories of summer. In the spring this scene will turn to green spirals reaching in and around the small squares of the mesh screen with small reddish green buds on the newly vibrant vines. In the summer an explosion of leaves cover the window acting as a natural curtain blocking out the view of the neighbor's house.

There is not much I like about this small crumbling house we rent but this window is one of it's saving graces.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend 2011

It's been a full Thanksgiving weekend and we still have two days left. Thanksgiving was filled with play and cooking. Patience, Zoey and I were exhausted by 5 pm. Patience fell asleep right as dinner was being served.

Today we finally got to rake the leaves. We lucked out that it has been so warm lately, 60˙ on Thanksgiving day, and melted the light snow cover. We even had time to make a red and green chain link to decorate the kitchen entrance way. Patience glued and I cut and assembled. Later after the raking Patience and Namdev put the final touches on our mini-christmas tree.

Up next the Holidazzle, if Miss P can stay awake.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Made for Walking

With the new shelving being installed, the shoes had to be taken out of their old shelving. This means 800 pairs of shoes are filling up every bit of extra space in the research lab. Putting the shoes back in the shelving will be a slow process because each pair is going to have it's own archival carrying case. For each pair the carrying cases need to be assembled and then the shoes need to be secured with a wide linen string.

Since the shoes are out we decided to photograph them. So until the end of December I will be getting an education in the history of women’s footwear. Maybe this is why I have become obsessed with trying to find a pair of boots. I got shoe fever.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


One of the challenges of the Goldstein Museum of Design literally being inside of the College of Design are the small rooms and low ceilings. Photographing can be a struggle especially if I need a light overhead. The movers installing the new shelves for our shoe collection could really sympathize with me. Luckily the shelves did fit in the elevator and didn’t require dismantling. With about an inch or two to spare and the assistance of knee pads the shelves slid through the doorway.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I am thinking about starting a new project. I'm just not sure what it might be yet. Either way I thought I should start by going out and shooting to get the creating energy flowing.

It was indeed cold out at Lake Nokomis at 8:30 this morning. I think I need to purchase some fingerless gloves if I decide to continue shooting outside this fall/winter. Brrrrr.

The first image is my favorite. I think it sums up the Nokomis experience.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Back to Basics

Apparently I photographed this dress backwards. It looks right but when I uploaded the image to the archiving system the metadata said it has a cowle neck front. Hmm. I went and showed it to Eunice and we stared at it. Then I said, "look for the tag?" Yes, indeed there is a tag on the inside of the v-neck. I have to go back to basics here and remember what my mother taught me growing up, tag goes in the back.

If I am having trouble with a simple garment like this, I fear how many times I will have to photograph the more complicated historic pieces. Good thing we are taking a break from dresses soon and moving on to shoes. 800 pairs to be exact!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tip of the Iceberg

Strawberry Suit

Hand Bags

I photographed this sweet strawberry suit on Wednesday. It reminded me of my dear friend Lark. This job makes me want to shop.

The ladies (Eunice, Jean, Rebekah, Jenny & Caitlin) have been very busy getting everything together for next week's opening that there have been some oversights in my induction to the Goldstein. One of the major oversights was showing me where the storage rooms for the archives are located (and the security codes!).

Thursday was a wash for Rebekah and I, so Rebekah decided to give me a tour of the various storage archives for the Goldstein which are located throughout the 2nd and 3rd floor of McNeal Hall. Most of the storage is similar to your home closet, not an inch of space left, boxes crammed everywhere. The 2nd floor also has new archival storage closets that are on hydraulics to move the units back and forth. The room is all white and felt a little like THX 1138. When Rebekah opened up the first metal storage unit to show me the hand bags, the "thrift store" smell punched me in the face. Once I got over that and began looking at everything contained in these closets, I thought to myself,"This is the best thrift store ever!" I think the alarm system caught on to my thoughts because next you know we tripped the burglar alarm and the police were called. We ran downstairs to the gallery and our handy dandy intern Caitlin punched in the overriding code. Phew!

ps Please forgive the camera phone images. They are trying their best.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Digs




October 5th was my first day at the Goldstein Museum of Design as their senior photographer.
This job has been challenging for me on many levels.

Over past 7 years I have been working at the General Mills photography studios. In that time I became accustomed to working with a large crew of people, the newest equipment and all the resources I could ever need. The crew at the Goldstein is just me and the bare bones equipment I inherited from the last photographer. This week I learned to adapt to photographing in small spaces and to make due with the equipment I have. The first day was very hard for me; hauling all my own gear and setting-up without help or a cart to transport my stuff. Since we do not have a dedicated shoot space, everyday I must set-up and breakdown which can be tiring. I think a cart to move equipment with and weight lifting may be required in the future.

I was given the goal of photographing 15% of their collection in one year. That is 4,350 pieces to shoot in 96 days (it's a part-time job). It works out to be 45 pieces a day. Wow. My first day I did 12 pieces. Each piece is photographed at 4 views plus details shots. The image count at the end of the day totaled to 112 final shots. Yes I have a lot of Photoshop in my future.

I have my own office but unfortunately it is on a different floor away from the rest of my department. I do like having my own office though. I have one of the only windows that opens too. No one is in on Fridays so it's just me and Pandora working on files. It's kind of nice.

The Goldstein is trying to raise it's visibility within the school and community which will hopefully bring more money to the department. My job was made possible by a grant to help digitize their collection. The museum exists as a tool for design students so they can inspect and reference how certain objects are constructed. It is a also a good archive of the history of manufactured design.

ps Please forgive the camera photo images. They are trying their best.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Keenley Collaborative

Caitlin and Zack have been collaborating on projects since art school. Now they come together to create one of their most important pieces, the Keenley baby. I can't wait to see this little boy grow up. He no doubt will have a great sense of style coming from parents that are not only talented artists but snappy dressers and connoisseurs of taste.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Afternoon in Mattocks Park, St. Paul

Today the ladies and babies (toddlers) met up in Mattocks Park in St. Paul for an afternoon of fun. The girls had fun swinging, sliding and playing in the sand. We attempted a group photo. At least they are all in the picture together.