Sunday, November 30, 2008

Interview With Artist Kelly Thompson






"Siannon 1"

The above art was created by the incredibly talented New Zealand Illustrator and photographer Kelly Thompson.   Since completing her degree 4 years ago Kelly has gained exposure in several New Zealand galleries and fashion magazines.  I came across her Myspace page a while back and became completely engrossed in her gorgeous illustrations.  I recently asked Kelly a few questions about her art...

Dana:  Well Kelly, it's almost 2009.  What are your plans for your art in the next year?  Will you be focusing more on photography or illustration?

Kelly:  2009 is going to be a year that I really get stuck in and push myself.  I feel like I have achieved most of my smaller goals for 2008 and I feel like I need to step up and make bigger better ones!  I'm excited to be taking my work over for three Australian shows throughout the year which is a first for me,  eek exciting! I'd love to get some over to America...but where to start??  I usually end up focusing on photography and illustration quite equally.  My photography pays my bills and my drawing is not quite at that point yet, but trying! I have a few ideas bouncing around in my head and think I need to shake it out and push my illustration further/experiment.

D:  Your art has such a remarkable style and edge to it. I see both Gustav Klimt and Patrick Nagel in your work.  Who are some artists that you find inspiring?

K:  Everyone always says Klimt and I never really see it but I'm grateful for the compliment as his work is fantastic!  I try not to look too much at the work of others as I draw as I don't want to be influenced by them too much. I love the work of kitsch artist J.H Lynch.  Apparently there is a Lynch in Aus too but I mean the one from the 50s!  I don't know if you guys know of him in The States? I have a few of his works.  He always painted these fantastic curvy brown skinned babes who stare at you from across the room.  I also love the work of fashion illustrator Richard Gray and this amazing artist called Aya Kato whom I know nothing about but she just amazes me with the amount of detail... makes me feel lazy!

D:  Your illustrations are so full of life.  Do you prefer working with live models or photographs when you are creating these images?

K:  I'm way too slow to draw from a live model! I like to do my washing then draw then make a sandwich and draw some more.  A model would hate me. Luckily, because I work as a photographer I have access to some super hot models so when I do a shoot I always take some extra snaps to draw from as well. 

D:  Your work had been featured in several publications over there in New Zealand: Pulp magazine, Karen magazine, Fluro magazine, and Lucire magazine.  What other magazines would you love to get a chance to work with?  Any over here in The States?

K:  I would love to one day be a grown up artist featured in the art page of Vogue, but you guys have such amazing magazines over there how could i choose! Eek, any would make me squeal with excitement... At the mo I'm reading V magazine, Pop, Wonderland... but seriously, over here I wait for the mags from the states and Europe to come and spend all my cash on them.   You have to wait about three months and then they get here so late you can't even read your horoscope :)

D:  You have gained exposure so quickly since finishing school.  For all those budding artists out there what career moves would you attribute this great success to?

K:  Ooh, I dunno if I have!  Hehe.  I finished uni about 4 years ago now and I still feel like nobody knows my stuff apart from my pals! I guess I've had some good exposure but I'm still poor as f*** and have prints to sell ... I think most of the exposure I've had has come from pure harassment! Sometimes at night time I'm sitting at home and get a surge of motivation and just email EVERYBODY and occasionally someone emails back saying "we like your stuff do you want to do a page for our mag?".  That's fun, hopefully soon I wont have to harass and that will just happen!


Check out Kelly's Website at .  Her site has images of her fashion photography, illustrations and even prints available for purchase.   And if you are looking for an incredible Christmas gift idea Kelly can even create a one of a kind illustration from a photograph.  

Thanks Kelly!  Good luck with the Australia shows.  Looking forward to seeing what you have up your sleeve for us in the upcoming year!


Saturday, November 29, 2008

61 Trees For You

According to NPR a professor at Evergreen State College in Washington has recently determined that there are about 61 trees per person on our planet. I can't decide how I feel about this number. In one sense the thought of having that many trees to myself seems huge but then when I consider the endless amount of tree based products that we use it maybe doesn't seem like so much...

My fabulous friend Amenee playing in one of her trees.


A song for you and your trees: Sufjan Stevens "Amazing Grace"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Whichgoose Crowns

The Marilyn: Vintage flowers, dark leaves, and some bling

Gretel: Vintage pearl and netting with a Pine cone flower... brilliant!

Poppy:  Flower fascinator/headband with sticks and black vintage buttons.

These headpieces by Whichgoose were created by hand from natural items such as dried leaves, pine cones and sticks, as well as vintage jewelry and netting.  Her pieces are so perfectly put together.   Whichgooses' creations beg to be worn by either an adventurous bride or anyone with a bold sense of fashion. 


Singing along to: Tapes and Tapes "Say Back Something"


Monday, November 24, 2008

Fall Soup

Roasted butternut squash and apple soup... Because the squash and apple are roasted with garlic and onion this soup is a great mix of sweet and savory.

1 medium butternut squash (skin and cut into 1 inch cubes)
1 granny smith apple (skin and chop)
1 fuji/braeburn apple (skin and chop)
2 cups of chopped onion 
2 tablespoons garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cups vegetable broth (depending on how thick you want the soup)

Toss together all ingredients but the vegetable broth and roast in a deep pan until squash is soft.  Let cool down for a bit then blend in a food processor or blender while gradually adding the vegetable broth.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Great Clip Ons

I keep finding fantastic clip-ons but I can't stand wearing them on my ears.  They hurt!  So here is my solution.

Thakoon for Target

Thakoon is the next Target Go! International designer.  The line looks great from the images that have been released so far.  Even though this line is due to hit stores this Christmas there is a definite resort feel to the designs.   Looks like I am going to have to set it all aside until next summer... or take a mid-winter trip to somewhere warm.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Souvenir Seattle Ballard

Souvenir Seattle Ballard

If it weren't for the enchanting window displays, you might just walk past this tiny storefront in Ballard.  Souvenir has no sign -- purposely, to weed out the noncurious. It's an insider, word-of-mouth find, like a mysterious little shop down a Parisian street in the Latin Quarter.
Once inside, you'll find handmade greeting cards with ethereal images of hearts, flowers and birthday cake; delicate jewelry with precious and semiprecious stones; and an eclectic collection of objets d'art as well as vintage and antique finds. One gets the impression that this is owner Curtis Steiner's personal stash of secret treasures and obsessions, which he's chosen to share with the public.

Check out Curtis Steiner's website:
Curtis Steiner

To Market!

Dear Ballard Farmer's Market, 

Thank you for being there for me when so many of the other neighborhood markets have closed for winter.  Every Sunday, there you are with your colorful produce, fresh baked treats, and local art.  With all of your samples and tempting snacks I always leave feeling like I have eaten a feast... a feast consisting mostly of cookies.   With my bag filled with the weeks latest treasures and a belly full of delicious whole foods it is time to leave your quiet sleepy neighborhood and hop on that bus to downtown to arrive home feeling so very content.  

Ah, it's a beautiful thing.

Love, Dana

Check out this song:  Blitzen Trapper "Fur"... Perfect for the bus ride

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hudson Furniture

Hudson Furniture has such incredible one of a kind pieces. I think that if I had this chandelier I would remove all other items from the room because I would want to focus all of my attention on it (unless the other items happened to be the bench and mirror also pictured... then they would all stay). Check out Hudson's company information. The story behind the wood that they use is pretty impressive.

Song I love today: The Walkmen "Wake Up"


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Getting Ready

I live in Seattle but our wedding was in New York because most of my family and many of my friends live on the east coast.  Today I was looking through pictures that my brother's girlfriend sent me from the morning of the wedding.  The wedding was very small.  Our wedding party included only my brother as the "Man of Honor" and my husband's closest friend as his best man.  Not having a bridal party made for a very memorable morning with just my mom, my aunt and my brother's girlfriend.  I am so glad that she had her camera with her.  

While flipping through this month's Domino Magazine I became completely engrossed with a spread featuring the Brooklyn brownstone of J.Crew creative Director Jenna Lyons.  From the colors of paint she chose for her walls to the clawfoot tub in the bedroom this home is decorated with the perfect amount of edge mixed with classic sheek elements.  In the last couple of months I have noticed an unexpected new interest in the window displays of the downtown Seattle J.Crew as well as the catalogs they often mail me (which I normally considered just a good source for basics).  After seeing Jenna Lyons NY home my recent attraction to J.Crew is making so much sense.  Has J.Crew's look always been so fun??


Can't Stop Eating Squash

I have been cooking with butternut squash all week.  On Monday I made Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup and had it again with dinner the following night.  Last night I recreated a dish I recently had from the deli at PCC Natural Market; my favorite Seattle grocery store!  I didn't use any exact measurements but this fall salad included roasted butternut squash, kidney beans, corn, shredded purple cabbage, fresh chopped basil, minced garlic, sea salt, fresh ground pepper, savory, and champagne vinegar.  I combined all of these ingredients and chilled the mixture prior to serving.  


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Poppi Petals

Beautiful jewelery from my dear friends at Poppipetals! These girls have a great eye.
Song I can't stop listening to: Antony and the Johnsons "Cripple and and Starfish"


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The start of a blog

Whether I'm on a walk, wandering around online, or spending time with friends I am constantly finding inspiration in the things I see around me. For so long I have told myself I would start archiving these things for myself and to share with others. There are already so many amazing blogs that focus on this same concept but I enjoy them all so much that I figured it was time to join in. I got married in September and in the months leading up to that day I found such a wealth of ideas and information in the blogs of other soon to be brides. One can spend countless hours exploring these sites and getting lost in the images, the links, and the words of experience shared by others. Prior to planning my wedding I didn't think I was a wedding kind of gal. It turned out that it was just a great excuse to spend time each day searching for inspiration. Now that my wedding day has passed I want to continue searching for ways to inspire and improve. So much goes into the planning of your wedding day. I want to bring that same thirst I had for planning a beautiful wedding to now go towards living well each day.
Song I love right now: Beach House "Master of None"
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