The Gypsy

4e6d0266b6509d472958bbab1943b98f

 

Muse: a woman, or a force personified as a woman, who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist. Every creative artist needs a muse. Someone that captivates them and inspires them to create. Muses have been the fuel to artists’ engines for centuries.

If you’ve read previous posts from my blog, you’ve become acquainted with the fact I’m delving into photography. Taking classes, soaking up all the knowledge I can and practicing, practicing, practicing! I LOVE learning every piece of it.

It also tremendously helps that I have one of the most creative people on the planet on my team. My muse happens to be my BFF from the high school days, Lashon. I’ve pretty much christened her my Creative Director. 🙂

Our last portrait session was inspired by some vintage photos we’ve collected and had a bit of a darker vibe. All it took was just a spark of inspiration and we took it and ran with it. I recruited our friend, Rachel, for hair and makeup and she turned Lashon into a beautiful vamp. Rachel also assisted during the photo shoot by keeping an eagle eye out for any flaws and also keeping us in stitches from her wise cracks!

Ladies & gentlemen, I’m pleased to introduce to you the recent photo shoot with Lashon, The Gypsy.

IMG_7951 resized IMG_7953 resized

 

In a quaint caravan, there’s a lady they call The Gypsy.
She can look in the future and drive away all your fears.

IMG_7959 resized IMG_7954 resized

Everything will come right, if you only believe The Gypsy.

IMG_7858 resized IMG_7854 resized

She could tell at a glance, that my heart was so full of tears.

IMG_7904 resized IMG_7812 resized

She looked at my hand and told me, my lover was always true.
And yet in my heart I knew, dear, somebody else was kissing you.

IMG_7765 resized IMG_7765 b+w2 resized

But I’ll go there again, ’cause I want to believe The Gypsy.

IMG_7942 resized IMG_7941 resized

IMG_7940 resized IMG_7937 resized

That my lover is true and will come back to me some day.

IMG_7908 resized

Advertisements

Myrna Loy: A True Silverscreen Siren

0f3290c3294ff6fd705b437aa0f9bdba

Allow me to introduce to you Myrna Loy.  The first time I saw a picture of Myrna Loy I didn’t know who the person was in the photograph. There wasn’t a name, it was just the picture, and I was captivated by the photograph. It was the one you see above. The hair, her face, and eyes made me stop and notice. Even the way her shoulder is peeking out from the bottom of the picture just made me stop in my tracks and stare. It was later on that I found the same picture but then it was identified as Myrna Loy.

Myrna Loy        tumblr_lk6wyioFdH1qb8ugro1_500

While scouring the interwebs for Jazz Age photos, I came across many other pictures of Ms. Loy. She’s even more captivating seeing a front faced photo. So naturally, I took it upon myself to learn about her and her career.

tumblr_kqedz6YmgE1qzdvhio1_r1_500

Myrna Loy was born August 2, 1905 in Helena, Montana. Her mother moved her and her brother permanently to California after their father died from the Spanish influenza in 1917. Myrna had already been dabbling in the fine arts by this time which was the catalyst to her career during the 1920s. I read that during her silent film career she often played vamps or femme fatales. She most often played characters of Asian or Eurasion background. She worked to shake this stereotype. She continued her career through the 1930s up until the start of World War II when she put her career on the back burner and focused more on the war effort. I read that she was very outspoken about being against Adolf Hitler (go Myrna!) and because of this, her name was on his blacklist. She picked up her acting career after the second World War, although the acting train slowed down again during the 1950s.

Myrna-and-Fu-Manchu1     00246     9yuf6kvspi1auy61

 

Throughout her career she worked to ensure black actors had rights in the film industry. She seemed ahead of her time which makes this silent film star actress even more cooler. She made a few other films during the span of the 1960s and 1970s but stopped acting after 1982. She married four times and had no children of her own. She didn’t stop rallying for human rights as she was Co-Chairman of the Advisory Council of the National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing. She was a big fan of Franklin D. Roosevelt and became a personal friend to his wife, Eleanor. She was a member of UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and was the first celebrity to do so. Her last public appearance was in 1991 when she accepted the Academy Honorary Award for her career achievement. Throughout her life, she was destined to make a mark in history either on film or her work outside film.

myrna-loy_7    Myrna Loy 042732    myrna loy circa 1934 by ted allan

 

Myrna Loy passed away on December 14, 1993. She was cremated in New York but her ashes lay in Helena, Montana. She published an autobiography in 1987 called, Myrna Loy: Being and Becoming. I’m planning to pick up a copy so I can hear from her words her transcendence through the 20th century. I noticed she even had a “shout-out” in the 1991 film, The Rocketeer, when the main character told his budding actress sweetheart, “You got a big part. You stood behind Myrna Loy with a bowl of grapes.”

In the majority of the pictures I’ve seen of her she doesn’t smile. The one I did find, she seemed just as charming and alluring as when she doesn’t smile. However, not smiling never seemed to deter her look because her eyes spoke volumes. I can only imagine how many hearts were stopped when they met her. Her eyes are just mesmerizing. She is truly the definition of the phrase, “the cat’s meow,” and then some. Now for some Myrna Loy eye-candy.

14 fanpix.net tumblr_mccvf9IO4O1qcopwwo1_500 tumblr_lii78lndfM1qazanuo1_500 myrna-loy-halloween_opt myrna loy 4 MYRNA LOY 02 Wallpaper__yvt2 images annex20-20loy20myrna_10-71144423_large 968full-myrna-loy 4ace7b162146f9aa6da972b54270b0fe

 

Art Deco Weekend in Virginia: Day One, Part 2

artdeco1

 

So here we are, at the Jazz Age Preservation Ball hosted by the Art Deco Society of Virginia. The event was at the historic Bolling Haxall House. Talk about a grand place to put on such an elegant event. The historic building is an 1858 Italianate Mansion. If you read my recent post about Second Empire style, you can figure I was about to have a heart attack when I entered the place.

The event was to benefit the historic Byrd Theatre in Richmond, Virginia. The Art Deco Society of Virginia aims to raise funds through the Jazz Age Preservation Ball for one of Virginia’s  selected Art Deco preservation projects. The Byrd Theatre definitely had the classiest-looking benefactors to raise awareness about it’s preservation. The night kicked off with some dance lessons by two of the Art Deco Society of Virginia’s board members. Guests grabbed their partners and learned the Charleston to get them ready for dancing the night away.

jazzball4

 

Everyone danced to the sounds of the Blue Crescent Syncopators, a jazz and swing band that brings back the music from the 1920s to 1930s. There was a silent auction that had a bevy of jazz age items for guests to bid on. Guests could sign up to get their photo taken by photographer Lynn Redmile so they could capture their twenties look. There was plenty of food and drinks for everyone to enjoy while mingling among each other.

jazzball3 jazzball1 jazzball2

 

Towards the end of the evening there was a burlesque performance by The Garter Snaps. The Garter Snaps are burlesque-duo that treated the Jazz Age Preservation Ball guests to a hot little number to the music of  1933’s “We’re in the Money.”

We were so glad we got to experience such an extravagant event. It was such a sight to see everyone dressed up to celebrate their love for this era and help raise money for Art Deco preservation. It truly was the cherry on top to our weekend and we look forward to next year!

artdeco3 jazzball8 artdeco2jazzball5 jazzball6 jazzball7

 

Saying ‘I do’ Roaring Twenties Style

This article is near and dear to me because it’s about the day my husband and I said “I do!”  But the primary focus on this article is to go over the theme of our wedding which was in 1920s-style. Also, I’ll be providing tips on how to create the theme if you’re planning a wedding or an event to celebrate the jazz era.

First, I’ll start off on how we came to the decision to have a 1920s-styled wedding. It started when our photographer, Stephanie of La Photographie, suggested I use Pinterest to gather ideas for our wedding. This suggestion was pretty much the tiny snowflake that ended up a huge snowball at the bottom of the hill. Pinterest gave us a plethora of ideas for the occasion. We knew we wanted a vintage wedding and knew it had to be 1950s or older. As I was scouring the interwebs for images, I came across wedding photos that showcased the Prohibition Era. The 1920s has always been an interest of mine but it wasn’t until I started planning an event around it that I realized it was actually a passion that was slumbering in my self-conscious.  I turned to my husband and asked, “What about a 1920s-style wedding?” He looked at me like a light bulb had gone off and said, “I like it!” We had been watching Boardwalk Empire so it was almost like, “Duh, why haven’t we thought of this sooner!” But it wasn’t too late because we were in the beginning stages of our wedding planning. (Note: we planned everything ourselves.)

To begin, I can’t say there is a recommended or specific order when it comes to getting things accomplished when self-wedding planning. And I’m not a professional so I’ll leave it up to them. However, we did think that booking the venue and photographer would come first because it seems those two areas will book up fast, even a year out in advance. We picked La Photographie of Nashville because, well first of all, she’s amazing (you’ll see her work sprinkled throughout my site). She has done photo shoots of all kinds of themes and knew she could capture this era well. We stumbled upon a relatively new venue located in Nashville, Tenn called Marathon Music Works. Originally built in the early 1900’s, the building served as a car factory for the Marathon vehicle. It’s tucked away in the Marathon Village neighborhood. Just a few doors down from Antique Archaeology, which is the store owned by the American Pickers gentlemen, Popcorn Sutton Distillery, Lightning 100, Corsair Distillery and Bang Candy Company. We definitely felt this venue could give off the speakeasy feel.

Since we had crossed off the two biggest to-do items off our list, it was on to two important parts of the wedding: the bride and groom’s attire. I went to one bridal boutique to try on dresses and I’m glad I did this because it made me realize it’s not where I wanted to get my dress. I wanted something unique, whether it was vintage or not. I just knew I didn’t want to spend $1,000+ on a dress I would not be totally in love in and would wear for only a few hours. So I started Googling. I came across a dress on Ebay and the designer was Sue Wong. I researched Sue Wong and discovered she had a flair for the flapper style. Her designs are not particularly flapper replicas but are definitely capable of pulling off for any 1920s event. Plus, the biggest surprise about this find…..*drumroll please*…the price was $130! Not knowing if the dress would fit, I decided to go out on a limb and purchase the dress. I figured if it didn’t fit, I could turn around and re-sell. P.S. the dress fit perfectly! For the groom, we were introduced to a local men’s sophisticated consignment shop, Flip, located in Nashville, Tenn. My husband and I went in and asked if they had any three-piece suits. The friendly staff helped my husband find a classic three-piece navy blue suit. Their professionalism didn’t stop there; they helped my husband fill in with the accessories by picking out a bow-tie and shoes.

DSC_6894a DSC_7259a

Photography by: La Photographie

Next up on our list: Décor. Nashville Event Lighting was suggested to us by a friend. We like to support local as much as we can and their recommendation came with a positive review. We met with their staff and they welcomed our ideas to help our theme. Their company had the option of chandeliers and we knew this type of décor would help the theme. The staff really listened to our recommendations and visions and we knew we wouldn’t have to worry about them recreating it. For tabletop decorations, we did not want to go with the traditional flowers. During my search, I noticed feathers, especially ostrich feathers, were all the rage during this time. My husband Googled until he found a company Texas that carries these. And the upside, we could rent the feathers instead of purchasing (what would we have done with all those feathers??). Score! Then came to the decision of how we showcase the feathers. Somewhere I came along with the idea of using wine bottles. I didn’t want to spend money on vases and then be left over with them. Wine bottles serve as perfect vases! Luckily I came up with this idea a few months out from the wedding date so I had time to *ahem* collect them. 🙂

Now on to the wedding cake. My mom worked with a woman that baked on the side. I will tell you, when planning an event, word of mouth goes a long way. It’s scary to go out on a limb to use a person or company that you have no idea on their reputation. My mom raved about this woman’s baking and my mom being a trustworthy source, we made our decision to meet with her. Her company is called Sweet Serenades. When we met with her she listened to our theme and came up with some great ideas. The final outcome was stunning! We had a small cake for us to cut into and cupcakes for our guests. See below to see what I’m taking about.

DSC_7003a     cake  feathers

Photography to the left by: La Photographie. Cake by: Sweet Serenades. Photography to the right by: my husband

Our save-the-dates and wedding invites were created by my husband. He owns a screen-printing company and music promotion company and does a ton of graphic design for his customers and promotion of events. I love what he creates and I’m not just saying that either! We wanted to create something ourselves so it would be exactly what we want and would be special to us as well. So again, Pinterest and Google came in handy. It helped us shape our designs and create some awesome save-the-dates and invites. He bought a quality cardstock from a local art store in Nashville, Tenn named Plaza Art Supply and printed them himself and took them to Kinkos to cut them to size for free with their papercutters.

invitation

Photo by: my husband

The accessories and bouquet were areas that came together quite well. I knew I wanted a headpiece and not a veil, since headpieces ruled the head fashion of the 1920s. My headpiece was simple and inexpensive: a necklace I bought at Charming Charlie. My pearl necklace was also bought from Charming Charlie. My shoes were bought at Macy’s and I got really lucky when I found them. I wanted a shoe that was t-strap. And I’m not the type of person that likes to spend hours mall shopping. My mom and I went on the hunt and I scored some beautiful silver t-strap shoes! My bouquet was made by my husband’s sister and her friend. She asked me what type of flowers I wanted to use so as I searched I fell in love with calla lilies. I knew I wanted a color that would contrast with my white dress and discovered black calla lilies. Bingo! They found a wholesale flower warehouse that they were able to save by buying the flowers in bulk. They put a beautiful lace piece wrapping the flowers and accentuated it with a crystal brooch. They also designed the groom and best man’s boutonnière and maid of honor’s bouquet.

DSC_6957ashoes

Photography by: La Photographie                               Photo by: me

Music was provided via iPod and this was one area that we couldn’t go all out and pay for a twenties-style band. However, we compiled the perfect playlist and it worked just as well for the evening. We did ask guests to dress up 1920s style and we’re happy to say, we had the best looking group of people that could be in attendance. It was so much fun to peek behind the curtain before the ceremony and see everyone dressed up to celebrate with us.

This concludes this article and I hope you were either entertained or given ideas for your wedding or event you are planning. My purpose was to show how we pulled it together to give the self-planner a few ideas on what to do. Wedding planning has its moments of stress, however, planning this entire wedding definitely was the bees knees!

DSC_7377s DSC_7086bw DSC_6923bw DSC_7365bw DSC_7395a

Photography by: La Photographie

Acknowledgements:
La Photographie: http://www.laphotographienashville.com/
Marathon Music Works: http://www.marathonmusicworks.com/
Sweet Serenades: https://www.facebook.com/sweet.serenades.bakery
Invitations and save-the-dates created by: Jason Galaz of Ad Specialities by Color My Shirt  http://colormyshirt.espwebsite.com/
Wedding officiate: Stephen Seymour http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/unforgettable-ceremonies-nashville/e6090de20fc921a9.html
Bride and Groom’s wedding attire: Sue Wong http://www.suewong.com/public/index.htm and Flip http://hip2flip.com/
Nashville Event Lighting: http://www.nashvilleeventlighting.com/