Inspiration/Obsession

June 29, 2010

Garden & Gun Magazine

Garden & Gun is by far the sleeper hit of printed magazines these days.  This past weekend, as I was laid up recovering, I flipped through many of my mother’s old issues.  I don’t know how they do it but issue after issue the photography just amazes and inspires me.  Their covers alone are magical.  They are so clean and simple yet always dramatic.  This bi-monthly, Charleston based magazine published it’s debut issue in Spring of 2007, and survived tough times when many magazines were shutting down.  My mother has been a subscriber from the get go and it is the one magazine I have seen everyone in my family enjoy; from my mother and father in Atlanta, to my sister and her husband in Maine, to my brother and his wife in Colorado (and the other one in Washington D.C).  I even gave my in-laws in Maynard, MA a subscription for Christmas and they love it!  The articles run the gamut from equestrian style and interior design to how train your bird dog and best road trip barbeque stops.

I have been saving each issue for fear they might go all Domino Magazine and shut their doors.  With so few GOOD printed magazines left this one is a gem.  They just seem so creative and fun.  Talk about a dream photo gig.

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Here are some of my favorite covers.

images from Garden & Gun website and their facebook page.

Many of them were shot by Peter Frank Edwards who is just a wonderful photographer and has a great blog.

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Aside from the incredible photography the articles are creative, interesting and even sometimes just fun for fun’s sake

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You can even purchase some of the photography found in the magazine as prints on with website store.

That car shot is fabulous, but too bad they don’t have that Bahamas one.  I think that is my favorite.

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So if you are looking for some magazine candy and a reason to get excited about the mail again I highly recommend subscribing to this magazine.  In a world where magazines often play is safe and offer the same handful of celebrities on their covers, I am truly always excited to see what Garden & Gun has chosen, and what stories they choose to feature.

Rock Stars

June 28, 2010

Will be back blogging tomorrow, I had lots of ideas and silly dreams under my post surgery, vicodin induced slumber, and flipped through a ton of magazines.  I can’t wait to share, but for now I have to thank the world’s best husband, mom and dad for taking such good care of me this weekend.  Thank you all so much. Love and kisses galore.

A personal aside

June 23, 2010

I don’t normally get too terribly deep about my personal life on this blog, but as I sit here tonight in my parents’ house, I just have to blah blah blah, type.

About 4 and half years ago, I was thrown from a horse and broke my right wrist quite badly (a significant fracture the doctor called it).  Two surgeries, 4 months of physical therapy later and with the help of a metal plate and 7 screws, I was able to use my right hand and wrist again.  Well, tomorrow the plate and the screws must some out.  My hand and wrist have been bothering me for a few months now and I finally visited the orthopedic surgeon.  Diagnosis: out they must come.  So tomorrow morning I’ll have my third and hopefully final surgery on this wrist.  I am not looking forward to not being able to use my right hand for a few weeks (yes I am right handed), but I am looking forward to hopefully a pain free arm and lots of ice cream and Mexican queso dip, which I hear are quite the homeopathic remedies. Oh and these Georgia peaches my in which my mother bought an entire basket.  I had two today and plan on eating the rest over the next few days of my recovery.

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Millions of peaches; peaches for free.  Millions of peaches; peaches for me

So if my posts are a little shorter and my photos tri-pod based over the next few weeks, please bare with me while my arm heals or until I teach Magnolia how to type.  Which ever comes first.  Also, if I post something in the next 24-48 hours…don’t hold me accountable.  Its the drugs and anesthesia talking :)

Thanks for letting me vent.

-Sarah

Last week I popped over to the new Element Interiors and Elements of Style studio to shoot a few quick head shots of the beautiful and talented Erin Gates.  I am sure most of you probably read Erin’s wildly popular blog.  It is a daily click of mine, usually first thing in the morning with my coffee.  In fact her blog provided me with tons of inspiration for my current Boston digs. (Erin also did a very blush worth post about it on her blog.)  Anyway, here are few from the shoot with more to come as her studio evolves.

I loved her inspiration wall and headed straight for it to start the shoot.

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Erin is so photogenic, the shoot was a breeze, except for my desire to steal her gorgeous bracelet.  Love it!

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Her two little Havanese pups were the perfect gentlemen and even posed for a few shots themselves.

I wish all my shoots were this easy.

Guide to Napa Valley

June 21, 2010

My Napa Valley friend (the one I have been posting about for a week now) was kind enough to let me post her “Visiting the Napa Valley” list.  There are so many wonderful places in Napa that it can be overwhelming, so it is nice to have a little starting point.  I have been to most of the places with her over the years and they are all wonderful.  Thank you so much Boo.

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RESTAURANTS

Bouchon Bakery – THE best place for coffee and pastries in the morning.  Or if you’re ‘fooded out’ they have a nice light lunch too.

Bouchon – The most fun and lively restaurant in the Valley. Part of the Thomas Keller (of The French Laundry) collection.  The pomme frites are all-world.  Try the the steak, or  Croque Madame.

Auberge du Soleil –It has the best view in the Valley.  Perfect for a drink on the deck

Ad Hoc – This Thomas Keller restaurant is a test kitchen.  It is prix fixe with one set menu each night, so call ahead to find out what they’re serving.

Press – Owned by Leslie Rudd of the Dean & Deluca food group, this spot serves a fantastic cocktail and their bar menu is terrific.

Mustard’s Grill – Nothing fancy, but always delicious.

Gott’s Roadside (formerly Taylor’s) – beat burger and fries around.  I talked about it at length in the Napa Style post, so I won’t go all into it again.

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HOTEL/RESTAURANTS

Calistoga Ranch – It’s casual, elegant, has a wonderful sense of place, and the service is extraordinary. (If you’re staying at Auberge you’ll be able to eat here since it’s an Auberge property.)

Solage – Located in Calistoga, this new resort is owned by Auberge and is young, fun and hip.  Each room has bicycles so you can bike into town, the pool is a total scene (think L.A. meets Napa), and the food at the restaurant is quite good.  Oh, and if you have kids they are GRRRREAT about accommodating them.

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WINERIES

Frog’s Leap – Always a favorite – A wonderful spot with a new tasting facility that is unpretentious and fun.

Roud Pond – Located right in Rutherford, their view of the Valley is exquisite.  The winery is beautiful, the wines are great and the staff is knowledgeable.  Round Pond offers many different tastings, even an olive oil tasting with lunch, and all are fun and beautifully done.

Cliff Lede –  The space is beautiful and if you’re in that neck of the woods (Yountville) it would be worth a stop.

Boeschen – A small, family owned winery that recently opened.

Quintessa – Another Rutherford  favorite, but this winery has extensive caves and is a real architectural treat.

Revana - A selection of wines are made at this relatively new winery. . .and each wine is made by an outstanding wine-maker.  They feature big (pricey) Cabernets.

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WINES TO LOOK FOR AT NAPA VALLEY RESTAUARNTS – That You Might Not See Elsewhere:

The Prisoner/Papillon – The wine is sumptuous.

75/ The Sum –of course, my friend’s wine

Acme Fine Wines – If you’re serious about wine, this is the place for serious fun.  A wine store in St. Helena that specializes in small production wines

Wine Labels

June 18, 2010

I mentioned in my previous post my friend and her husband run an amazing wine business with multiple different brands ranging from the high high end to more reasonably priced wines.  The crazy thing is even the reasonable prices wines are out of this world delicious.  Her husband, Tuck, is truly an expert at this stuff and it shows in every aspect of their work.  Being a designer and photographer I was absolutely taken aback by the wine labels themselves.  They are each so unique and beautiful and the design truly correlates to each particular wine.  He let me take a few home to put up on my inspiration board.

They are must more impressive in person.  With all the embossing, foil leafing and detail, you just want to touch them.

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The Sun – Seventy Five Wine Co.

The Sum label is a thermography print and the design comes from a charcoal drawing inspired by the cork of their 75 label.  This one is so affordable and probably my favorite.

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Hogwash - such simple label….such great name!

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Semper

The Semper label is inspired by traditional Bordeaux label.  There is so much detail in this design and I love the history behind it.  Between the gold leaf, thermography and letterpressing this label is quite sophisticated.  Perfect for this high end Pinot Nior

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Mockingbird

Another beautiful, but simple label, Mockingbird may be my favsies.  The way the leaves form the bird is just beautiful and the numerous different printing processes that go into this label are just astounding.  The green elements are foil leafing and the black are letterpressed.  I just love it.

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Amulet

The Amulet label is a thermography print with a little gold leafing (again, the photograph does not do this justice).  Is is just too cool.  Tuck’s, coffee table made from wine bottle holders also ups the cool factor by about a million.  Wait, this one is may favorite…

Napa Style

June 16, 2010

While I was out in California a few weeks ago for my friend Alexandra’s wedding, I also made a point to swing up to St. Helena in the Napa Valley where another one of my close friends now lives.  She and her darling family pretty much live the bucolic, Napa, country lifestyle complete with Montessori school spring musicals (we got to see a stirring performance of 3-5 year olds sing songs to the theme of “Down on the Farm”)  raising their own chickens (we had fresh eggs for breakfast each morning), and running a successful wine business that now includes about 7 different wine labels (We served the 75 Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon at our wedding).  If I didn’t love her so much I would hate her. :)

Here is a brief photo journal of our two day trip.

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After driving in from San Francisco we headed straight for Gott’s Roadside (formerly Taylor’s).  Perhaps it is the California sun or the fresh Napa air that makes their food so delicious, but I always make a point to grab a burger there each time I visit my friend.  On top of that they will wrap your burger in lettuce instead of a bun upon request, something this wheat and gluten intolerant girl much appreciates. I washed is all down with a vanilla milkshake of course.

Their slogan is “Tray Gourmet.”  Isn’t that just beyond great?



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Cliff Lede Vineyards

My friend also surprised Steve and I with a few prearranged winery visits!  The girl is a rock star.  Not only does she have two little ones, she is pregnant with her third and still manages to win hostess of the year award.

Our first stop was a private tour and tasting at Cliff Lede Vineyards.  The vineyard Vice President and General Manager, Jack Bittner, is a close friend of my friend and also happens have grown up in Stow, MA just minuets from my husband’s home town of Mayanrd, MA.  The two Massachusetts boys loved catching up about all things New England.  What a small world and fun surprise!  Jack was wonderful and gave us a tour of their impecable facilities and then had a beautiful wine tasting prepared for us.  Talk about VIP treatment.  I was overwhelmed.


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This is where the wine gets to live after being pressed, complete with a gorgeous oil painting and barrel cave for storing and aging.  They must have little elves that live here and clean every night.  The place was spotless.  I want to live here.

Can’t you just picture the villain in a James Bond movie, running across the catwalk?  I can almost hear the clink, clink, clink of his shoes as he tries to escape.

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The tasting and mixing table laid out for us to sample three different wines.



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Beautifully printed cards explained the history and mix of each wine.  My favorite was the 2006 Poetry – Stags Leap District.  It was absolutely amazing…and of course, the most expensive (oh well).

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More fabulous art around the property.

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Round Pond Estate

We then made a visit to Round Pond Estate for more wine tasting and vineyard relaxation.  The tasting room and and patio area had amazing views of the entire valley.

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It is easy to see why the Napa Valley is such a perfect climate and location for growing grapes.  The sun drenched days and cool nights are perfect for growing just about anything.

Baby grapes

Rows and rows


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And flowers galore!  The whole valley was just blooming.

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Down on the Farm

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Peak-a-boo



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Of course no farm would be complete without horses.


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And on top of all that fun and beauty we got to enjoy some fabulous wine!  Our 48 hours there felt like a mini honeymoon.  It was wonderful.  I will leave you with a few photos I snapped from our San Fransisco hotel room.  The bright lights and buildings are such a contrast to the Napa countryside.




A little lift

June 16, 2010

As you may have noticed I gave the blog a little face lift today, with help from Jessica Sutton and her knowledge of CSS programing.  A bigger redesign is in the works, but for now things are just a little whiter and brighter.  Much more me.


hodge·podge

June 14, 2010

I am getting back on the ball, after a long sad week and weekend as we celebrated the life of my husband’s dear uncle, who passed away last Tuesday night.  Wonderful man and a wonderful, wonderful family.  So as I get back into work mode, here is a hodgepodge of things I have shot over the last week or so.

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Walking around SOWA Market


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Sea fans


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Respect my authoritah! Steve trying on sunglasses at SOWA.


You can see me in the reflection of the last one.

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Newburyport


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Maritime Museum, Newburyport – love the old black and white marble

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Happy, happy Magnolia in the sun

Happy Monday.


Beach Bums

June 8, 2010

My brief trip to Sea Island in April left me craving more for sunshine and salty air, so upon returning from that weekend, I immediately books flights for another, slightly longer getaway for the Memorial Day weekend.  Friends of ours from Washington, DC and their 15 month old little man joined my husband and I, and made for a wonderful little party of 5. We spent our days playing in the pool, walking on the beach, exploring marine life and even enjoyed a full moon over the ocean one night.  I now like to refer to the trip as our first annual family Memorial Day beach trip, hoping to have many more to come with our friends.


The only schedule in which to adhere were mandatory 3pm piña coladas by the pool.



(photo of my hubby and I by Jackie Donovan)

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Fountian fun - The Sea Island Beach Club is child’s dream play land…and well actually a grown-up dream play land as well.  The place is perfection.

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Beach time

and lots of exploring

Horseshoe crab - amazing and prehistoric looking


The dunes at the end of the island are more than 4 ft tall.


Father and son



Hermit crab

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Family photo - Believe it or not I took these on the beach at 1o o’clock at night with only the full moon reflecting off the ocean and a long shutter speed for light.  If you look closely you can see the stars even.





Same photos with a little photoshop auto color.  I love that it looks like a painting.

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Happiness is the beach with family and friends.  I am such a lucky girl. :)


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