Sunday, 28 October 2012

Autumn colors

When you live in a city like New York especially in Midtown where we are, autumn simply means grey days and even grey-er (yep it's not a word) tall buildings. So Hipster Dufus insisted that we get out of the city in search of the famous fall colours of upstate. A day off in the UN provided the perfect opportunity, and off we went. After a hellish drive through the badly laid New York highways into the even worse multiple lanes of New Jersey we arrived at Storm King Art Centre. This beautiful 500 acres sculpture park includes works by artists such as Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Anish Kapoor.

Fall is definitely the time to visit, the changes in season add depth and texture to the already breathtaking beauty of the park. It looked magical and otherworldly. I took no less than three camera's and am glad that I did. I was completely obsessed with everything I saw. Hipster Dufus hogged the Canon AE-1 while I used the Olympus EPM-1. I then used the VSCO Cam on my iPhone to edit the pictures being as it is the perfect tool for creating light and breezy looking images. And yes I used the one on my phone as I am too poor to afford the editing software for my computer. I just can't justify it yet. Shame... what do you think of these images?

Monday, 22 October 2012

Lobster & Brooklyn

Yesterday we ventured out to Red Hook in Brooklyn. Hipster Dufus had a burst of inspiration and hogged the Canon AE-1 all afternoon so I was left with only my iPhone. It was such a wonderfully visual place that I didn't want to not take any photos however the iPhone camera made it look so stark and harsh. I decided that I needed to edit my photos to reflect the feel of the area. First I tried my trusty Camera+ app but I wanted a more natural effect so I used the VSCO Cam app instead. Here is an example of how I edited this photo.
Here is the original and the VSCO Cam version side by side. As you can see the VSCO Cam has a warm dreamy quality. It adds depth and a graininess to the photos that completely belies their smartphone origin. I haven't used this app very much so I'm sure I haven't done it very well but its features allow you to add qualities like grain, saturation and enhancing colors. I love it! Check out their website and get some inspiration for other worldliness iPhone photos. 

As for my opinion of Red Hook? Well it was an interesting place. Little bursts of creativity nestled far between each other linked with abandoned buildings and derelict streets. Which made for a beautiful photography setting, with inspiration everywhere. We walked around and went into little jewelry stores and little coffee shops, however pride place in my stomach was reserved for the Red Hook Lobster Pound. For dessert we had some Key Lime Pie from Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pie. I'm telling you, when you come to New York do venture out and have some as it is totally worth it. There wasn't enough to keep us entertained for an entire day, but I definitely think a lovely Saturday morning or afternoon can be had and then added on to other plans.  

Friday, 19 October 2012

Pippin Accessories

Another New York vintage find was the wonderful Pippin Vintage Jewelry on 17th Street. A vintage store with a difference, and that's really a hard concept. But this store only has vintage accessories, jewelry/bags/hats lovely little trinkets and statement pieces. I was there for ages as there's so much to see and I was convinced I'd missed things. In the end I came away with a gold chain mail cigarette purse which I am of course using as a coin purse.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

One man's rubbish...

I have always wanted one of those french style love seats. It's one of those pieces of furniture that always looks exquisite, and makes any living room look dreamy, romantic and vintage. Unfortunately they are also incredibly expensive. The reason they look so good is that they are so often unattainable, you just can't justify the expense.

Imagine my utter joy then when one of my neighbors was simply throwing his out! I immediately asked the super to bring it to our apartment. It's a little dirty but the material is completely intact, no rips or damage at all. So the question now is do we get it industrially cleaned, or reupholster it? Maybe clean it for now and then take our time to find new material that will suit our house in a few years time!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Come out to play-ay

Yesterday we ventured out to Coney Island before the end of the season, the park closes for the summer at the end of October. I knew EXACTLY what I needed to do. Grab my vintage SX-70 folding camera and test out their new colour protection film. This is the film that finally behaves like the old polaroid films. No need for careful planning of how to immediately cover the film so it's not exposed to light. Simply take the picture, place it inside a pocket/bag and let it develop. Then 30 minutes later see what you've created.

I didn't even need to try very hard, every corner was another great potential shot. The camera really captures the vintage essence of the rides too. From the Wonder Wheel with it's swinging carts (very scary actually) to the rickety wooden Cyclone roller coaster. Only the second highest wooden roller coaster in the world I was told. Hipster Dufus somehow managed to convince me to give it a try and...
Well, let's just say that after the third surprisingly steep dip I was so scared I stopped screaming. My mouth remained opened but nothing came out.

So much inspiration to be had that even the iPhone was a usful tool, these pictures were all taken with the phone's native camera and have not been edited at all.

Friday, 12 October 2012

I'm Loving Angels...

In London we're absolutely spoilt for vintage shopping. One of my favorite things to do was knowing exactly where I needed to go depending on what I wanted to buy. At least 50% of my wardrobe is vintage. Now I have a whole new city to discover vintage shopping in, and my first discovery was Angel Street Thrift shop in Chelsea. I literally just found this place while on my way to somewhere else. This is not the type of vintage that I myself like but I was impressed by their vast array of designer labels. It also has a large selection of furniture and trinkets for the home.

What really attracted me and made it post worthy is their amazing collection of vinyls. At first glance it consists of only operatic performances and classical music. But on both trips I found some great albums including the wonderful soundtrack to Funny Face, Louis Armstrong and my personal favorite The Beatles Abbey Road album for $1!!!! Nothing like lying around and listening to original vinyls that crackle all the way through the album.

Monday, 8 October 2012


Flying the Flag: I've had a great idea for a new feature. I loose some of my favorite shots on Instagram and always have to alter them to fit the site's format. So I'll start showcasing them here, while explaining how I created them. First up this amazing shot of the Flatiron building taken on the iPhone's native camera and edited using Instagram with the Rise filter.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Why Ambassador...

Hello everyone, I survived my Ferrero Rocher lunch. Thank you all so much for your input on the dress dilemma, I'm such a big girl! In the end the burnt peach and lace dress had equal nominations so Hipster Dufus had the deciding vote. He decided on the lace. As for the lunch, it was lovely and just really confirmed that my analysis of the diplomatic life is accurate. It's basically networking at a government level. I was sat at the same table as the Ambassadors wife who was lovely and told us many stories about meetings with the PM and the Ambassador's upcoming meeting with none other than our Majesty the Queen.

Their house was gorgeous, priceless art hanging on all the walls, the furniture was spotless with not so much as a crease on anything. At one point Hipster Dufus put his coffee cup on their spotless white window sill and my heart literally stopped. I found myself uttering the most alien words to come out of my mouth "darling perhaps let's not be the ones responsible for staining the Ambassador's house..." That was it, my transition into fully fledged diplomats wife is well and truly underway. All I need is to host an dinner/afternoon tea while wearing some floral concoction and I'm there. And I swear I feel it coming. Now I would have loved to have taken some photos inside their amazing apartment with its sweeping views across the river, but it would have been highly unacceptable to have whipped out a camera and start snapping away. The only memento I brought back was my place name which included this lovely gold embossed crest.