Art & Fashion in an Old Catholic Convent

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A few nights ago I finally got myself and some of my friends together enough to pull off an indoor photo shoot. We did it at St. Joseph's Hall and Cultural Center- built in the 1860s, St. Joe's originally served as a convent and orphanage for the early Catholic, mostly Irish, Gold Rush 49ers. There is a beautiful old cemetery across the street, a grand church across the other street, and a Catholic school right next door. Today the great hall serves as a stage for performers, meeting place for traveling Tibetan monks, and hopefully from now on regular Violet Folklore photo shoot space.

Graham made a delicious enchilada casserole, we had free flowing beer, wine, and chocolate, and random friend folks stopped by and ambled through as we did our best to make a go of this brand new photo shootin' experience. (Next time: better lighting!).

The art backdrops were all hand cut out of paper by Nevada City artist Tahiti Pehrson. (<- Website designed by Graham- jack of all trades. For more on Tahiti see my blog from last year Epicly Layered). His work is beautiful, intricate, and one of a kind- check this blog for a giveaway featuring one of his (smaller) pieces next week! That's him top left in the above shots. Top right is photographer Samantha's very cool, obviously very stylish nine year old son Julian, bottom left is my new friend and stellar new model Ariella, and bottom right is my older but still pretty new friend and also stellar new model Jasbir, being primped by her husband, musician Spencer Seim.

If you click over on the above gallery you will see me in My So Called Dress (having a Sell or Keep? crisis with this piece!) on the top left and Ari in a red corduroy skirt and a Bling's Links chain necklace on the top right. These beautiful, hand crafted silver and other metal necklaces are made by Graham's childhood best friend Seth and are available by emailing him at hearseesmell[at]

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These above images are some of my favorite pieces from the shoot- the Milk Maid Skirt, London Fog jacket, Embroidered Peasant Top, and Purple Dirndl Dream Dress. Many of these pieces are already for sale and some of these (and many more!) will all be added to the shop over the next week or two. In fact, some already have sold!

If you click over to the next gallery you will see on the top left Jasbir in a 1970s dress from the oldest couture house in Paris- Lanvin, top right is Jasbir in a gorgeous Honduran embroidered dress that came from her own closet, and bottom left is Ari in a precious little red & white dolly dress.

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Now these are just some random favorite shots from the evening. I very much look forward to doing this again and am working on scheduling it for early February. It was a great excuse to hang out with some crazy, creative, funny people and to make some images and memories that we can all take pride in and perhaps even make money from :-)

Oh and speaking of crazy... here are my real favorites from the evening. Me, Cody Feiler in star spangled suspenders, and a 1970s Penthouse. (I recently acquired boxes and boxes of vintage Playboys and Penthouses, if you or anyone you know is interested). Don't ask me how this happened. I honestly don't know. It was late. I was somewhat drunk. Don't judge me.

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