"The Past Is Never Dead. It Isn't Even Past"

(This William Faulkner quote has run around in my mind constantly since I first read it sometime last year.) A few days ago Sarah and I scurried down to the Miner's Foundry (home of the Nevada City Bizarre and the place I saw the secret Red Hot Chili Peppers show) to bust out a quick photo shoot in front of a gorgeous stone & ivy wall.

The Foundry is less than half a block away from us, but we drove my van anyway so that we'd have a semi-private place to change ;-)

All of these items are already listed in the shop.

I realized that our booth at the most recent Bizarre was on the other side of that window on the right. Heather's was behind the window on the left!

This car is somewhat infamous around town, and I cracked up when I looked to my right while snapping shots of Sarah and saw this little scene. Curious cat!

Crazy story about this dress- I found a similar one in black last month, and Kerry bought it at the Bizarre as a secret xmas gift for Nicole before I ever had a chance to list it in the shop...

(Here's the other side of that window!) I can't believe I found a slightly different sequined Egyptian dress by the same maker only a few weeks later.

I oughtta make a folder just for shots of behind-the-scenes laughter at photo shoots. Flared nostrils and all.

I almost hope this dress doesn't sell, it would be sort of perfect for my upcoming trip to Big Sur(!!!)...

AMAZING red suede corset boots. Size 7.5.

Forgive me for being such a tease all the time, but I am, as usual, having a Keep Or Sell crisis with the following two pieces:

Royal blue is kind of my color, and I've been looking for vintage overalls like these for years. But I am much more likely to wear the dress than the overalls. Hmm...

Later that day Mycelia and I decided to go on a walk. Someone had told me about a trail down behind the Miner's Foundry, so I set off down that-a-ways for the second time that day.

The trail wasn't really there, but there was an abandoned house with Deer Creek running behind it. We decided to go for it, the sound of the creek was so sweet and inviting...

Green moss, green cedars, green sprouts, green irises...

I'm always trying to capture the beautiful colors in her eyes when we are out in the sunshine.

Sitting there, eating seaweed snacks, I noticed this very rusted horseshoe hanging on the little tree in front of us.

I swear, everywhere you turn in this town you are surrounded by what once was.

We had to climb up a treacherous, dry-leaves-and-pine-needles-covered hillside to make our way back up to the street. When we got there we were greeted by this beautiful hawthorne tree. I wish I could make a career out of photographing hawthornes at different times of the year.

The little white flowers that blossom in May are delightful in a fresh and hopeful way, but there is something so compelling about these overripe, bordering-on-decay winter berries.

We walked back by the Foundry...

And Mycie decided she wanted to play (and SING) around the 19th century equipment before heading home. This is an old wine press at the Nevada City Winery, mere feet away from the Foundry.

You may have noticed I've been adding a lot of videos to my posts lately. That's because my new camera has that option on it, while my previous one didn't. It's so fun being able to capture little moments like this on the fly, moments that I will treasure forever even though they'll break my heart. I recently watched this adorable video of Mycie when she was 3, and I cried my eyes out with sweet sadness over the fact that that little girl is gone, that that moment in history, when she had her little curls and she called her dad "papa" and she pronounced her words that way, is irretrievable.

I have always been lucky enough to live within walking distance of some sort of historical landmark, from Empire Mine to the Foundry to St. Joseph's Hall (which, like the Foundry, is a building from the Gold Rush days that now bills itself as a "Cultural Center" and always has cool events going on).

I really do appreciate living in a place where there is such a palpable sense of the past. There was no such feeling where I grew up in South Lake Tahoe, CA (despite its entanglements with such historical giants as Kit Carson, Mark Twain, and John Steinbeck). And I have been to places (like where my cousin lives in Prescott Valley, AZ) that literally didn't exist 20 years ago and that are made up of nothing but strip malls and housing developments. I suppose one can always find a sense of history out in nature, but I have a feeling that people who live in such places prefer to spend their time at Kohl's and Cost Plus instead.

Geez, I was just saying that I feel like I've been gushing lately on this blog about how cool my town is, and I want to try to tone that down a bit. And here I am doing it again! But I just can't extricate my life and my daily experience from this place, it's all around me. And the feeling and personality of Nevada City/Grass Valley really do infuse each moment in a way unlike any other place I've ever lived. Every house I've lived in here in the foothills has been over 100 years old and has felt very much like it. Aside from the odd layouts and scrappy single pane windows and antique keyholes and doors that hardly fit in their frames anymore, they were/are all on a slight tilt. This is due both to settling over the century and to the fact that there's hardly a lick of level ground in these parts. Most every step you take is either up or down an incline. When I cook eggs in the morning in bacon grease or butter, all of the liquid fat pools to one side of the pan, and I have to nudge it over before I crack the eggs in. When you sit on our toilet, your whole body slides slightly to the left and you can't help but just rest your head against the wall right there and be grateful for a moment of rest. Having lived in the level bowl carved out by an alpine lake in the High Sierras (Tahoe) and in the great central valley of California where there isn't an incline for hundreds of miles around (Sacramento), I must say I prefer the charming quirks that askew foothill living (right in between the other two) has to offer. And I have come to believe that it has something to do with the profuse creativity that has poured out of here and given this area such a distinct personality. (In fact it was just listed in Lonely Planet's list of top ten travel destinations for 2012).

It's sort of like how everyone says they "have the best friends ever!", and how we all (if we're lucky enough, or are good friends ourselves) feel that way. We all have the best friends ever, and that's such a good thing! People are awesome. And I hope that everyone loves where they live as much as I do just like they love their friends as much as I do. Only I'm more self-indulgently and long-windedly vocal about it all.

Okay and seriously, if you haven't read Faulkner, you haven't lived...

“Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders.”

“Wonder. Go on and wonder.”

Camera, Banjo, Fiddle- Beverage Of Choice

How do you make any photo shoot more fun that it would otherwise be?

How do you convince the musicians to play all afternoon and into the evening?

How do you warm up your models so that they can loosen up and take more natural photos?

How do you trick folks into thinking that they enjoy each other's company more than they actually do?

And how do you endanger the life of one of your best friends, the one with the most core strength and best sense of balance?

With (lots of) wine, of course!

Camera, Banjo, Fiddle- The Clothes

This will be the first in a series of posts I am calling "Camera, Banjo, Fiddle" in which I will share the incredible images captured on a perfect Sunday afternoon in an utterly magical creek side backyard in Nevada City, CA.

This is my favorite shot of the day (from what I've seen so far)- John Lee plays the banjo, I wear white lace, Ari wears red velvet, and Artemas Rex plays the fiddle.

Camera, banjo, fiddle.

This shoot was born from a number of little eddies of inspiration- my new friendship with photographer Simon Weller (who shot film as well as digital and whose images I have yet to see- these were all taken with my camera, which was passed around between everyone throughout the day- but Simon's shots are sure to be better!), my desire to document more of this town's well dressed- and vintage loving- men (among which John Lee and Artemas rank near or at the very top), my girl Amanda's amazing yoga abilities needing to be captured on camera, and my hope to share the musical talents of Ari (Ariella Daly) and Artemas (Artemas Rex). Oh, and my wish to bring the loveliest vintage pieces into the homes of folks who will love and enjoy them as I do!

It was one of the sweetest afternoons of my life- filled with some of my favorite people on earth, gorgeous vintage garments that I've been saving up for this very day, a location that I had seen from afar and dreamed of visiting close up, two bottles of good wine, and to top it all off two of my favorite men playing my two favorite musical instruments almost the entire afternoon. It was the perfect soundtrack for this setting, and put us three ladies in a playful, posing mood.

There are so many beautiful images that I simply must break it down into a number of posts, and I decided to focus this first one on the clothes (that will be for sale in the shop this week):

And more- so, so much more!- to come...