I am so thrilled to Introduce Bianca D’Amico of Chaparral Studio. This is now the third studio tour here on Emmadime & I can’t tell you guys how happy they make me. There is nothing more inspiring than diving into someone’s process, where they came from, how they work….. Especially with someone who has such a grand personality, like Bianca! I met her for the first time last year when I was living in Los Angeles. I had the chance to see all of her pretty creations in person at a small holiday pop-up sale. I remember wanting to buy everything – especially these sparkly Lady Caves. Needless to say, I knew she would be perfect for this and that Wade, the videographer, would have a hay-day filming her. I was right. I’ll let the video do the rest of the talking – take a gander & enjoy!
Here is a list of the jewelry that she has on! I couldn’t fit this into the little white boxes, ha! …Odette, vintage from my ma, vintage from Pergolina, Renee Garvey, Rebeccca Lankford Designs, Margaret Solow, Jane Hollinger, M.E. Moore, Alkemie, Kathleen Whitaker, Ila & I, My own designs and so much more… my favorite piece in these photos might be my vintage switch blade that my boyfriend gave me. I wear it close to my heart. It’s a perfect combo of tough and beautiful – and it makes me think of him.
…a few words from Bianca about her biz:
“The Chaparral is the plant community found primarily in California and in the northern portion of the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. I’m native to this landscape and grew up climbing its oak trees. I have been equally inspired by its fragrant sage bushes found on a trail as I have been by the eclectic culture and resources of our urban communities. Chaparral Studio is a creative studio that bridges the gap between nature, sustainability, art, humor, politics, and everything in between by inventing objects and reinventing spaces with our plant designs, handmade goods and various other concoctions. The team is made up of myself, my loyal dog Hannah, and is very often a collaborative effort with my mother – a creative woman that has a bright green thumb, a healthy sense of humor and is my best friend.”
…and now her favorite piece & why:
“My dog. she is not only my companion but she pairs well with my entire wardrobe. 2nd to my dog is all my jewelry. I can’t pick a favorite piece. I love making jewelry but receiving jewelry as a gift is even better. Every piece holds different memories and associations. Combined, I am littered in lovely thoughts. By the way, hannah, my dog also wears jewelry. I swear it’s under her furry collar. Together we are two gypsies. And last but not least my truck. It is always a pleasure to surprise men folk with my bad ass bungee cord strapping skills while working some boho lady attire. I always imagined that the dream was to have a truck and a dog and wear whatever I want whenever I want. Heres to dreaming!”
Check out her –> Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram
Note – I would advise full-screening this or watching it bigger on Vimeo! It’s so tiny here in my post – it doesn’t do it justice. Also, a massive thanks to Wade! for shooting this tour. The dedication that he has for his work never fails to inspire me! I’m lucky to have him as a friend and a creative-collaborating buddy! …and thank you Kate Miss for the pretty pictures of Bianca!
Bianca let Wade and I each come up with a little scenario for our own personal terrariums! I definitely spent way too much time thinking about this, ha. I couldn’t decide if I wanted it to be funny, make it personal, or more random…?? As soon as I thought about knitting and it’s large roll in my life right now, I knew it HAD to be related to that. I planted the seed in Bianca’s head and she took it from there! The result = ME knitting with oversized needles, while sitting on a huge sheep that is wrapped in yarn!! Could that be more perfect?
Wade! decided to make his terrarium a tribute & gift to his father John, aka ‘The Cosmic Cowboy’. He flew all the way out to Texas to give it to him! John loves western aesthetics – bulls, guns, boots and mustaches – but he also has a spiritual side and loves 70′s rock n roll. Bianca made a little John sitting on a crystal in the middle of a dream catcher with a bucking bull, hanging out with his beloved chihuahua, Hoss and listening to pink floyd!! You can see the final versions below. So tiny!
So I am a little bit late on this news but I figured it was still exciting enough to share. Last week, I was featured on Refinery29 – blush!! They asked me to pick out four complete looks that we could photograph around town – so I dove into my highly neglected closet and picked out my favs!! We started the day at my studio in Jack London Square and departed from there. I am still very new to the area so it was a lot of fun exploring my hood. Overall, I’m happy with how everything turned out. The feature was flattering and the interview challenged me to think a little bit more than I usually do about my personal style!
Here a few of my favorite images from the shoot – Thanks to Eva Kolenko for the photos! and to Angela Tafoya for inviting me to be apart of the feature!
( …yes, there are palm tress in the bay area )
This dress above is my new absolute favorite! It’s from the vintage inspired shop, Ruche. Sadly, it’s not available anymore but they have a plethora of pretty dresses so don’t fret! The shoes are from BC Footwear and are also a new go-to! They pair well with just about everything and who doesn’t love a good platform? …and last but not least, I decided to indulge in my bandana obsession with the red one from Madewell. I have a black bandana with the classic print that I’ve owned since high school – it’s been everywhere with me! I rode with it on my scooter in Oklahoma and tied my hair back with it on my bike in France. It’s my special “thing” that I think I will always have – until it disintegrates or flies off unexpectedly mid-bike ride!
Below is a romper from Anthropologie that feels like a fancy set of PJ’s. It’s baggy legs and cinched waist are so comfortable. I paired it with my Warby Parker glasses, thrifted clutch, and new studio flats from Need Supply Co. This was the last look so we ended the afternoon with water and beers from this shack looking bar. We found out it’s actually the oldest bar in Oakland – it’s all sunken into the ground and super dark! Welp. that’s about it. Cheers to playing dress up!
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TAGS : Fashion
, My Life
01. Emilie Ristevski – an Australian based designer who loves pastel colors
02. Shini Park – A london based graphic designer & fashion blogger
03. Trish Papadakos – a beautiful maker of things!
04. Tekla Evelina Severin – A Stockholm based Interior Architect
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TAGS : Inspiration
I play pretend dress up all the time, today – Steven Alan is really on deck! A lot of the time, I put together looks I most likely couldn’t pull off or aren’t very me – just for the fun of it. But this outfit…. I would 100% rock every day if possible. Maybe I need to consider splurging?
01. Steven Alan | 02. La Garconne | 03. Lip & Nail | 04. Another Feather | 05. Steven Alan
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TAGS : Fashion
Happy Friday! This was such a weird and long week for me – I am ready to step back & recalibrate! I am headed to this amazing old theatre in Oakland tonight to see The Great Gatsby. The reviews have started to roll in but I have not read a single one – I want to make my own opinion of Baz Luhrmann’s new film. I have to admit, I am sort of freaking out about this movie. I have admired Baz as a director for a while now and this story is one of my favorites – so the combo is a bit exciting for me. I have read the book so many times that I’ve started to loose count. I’m not sure what it is about it that draws me back in…
This little vid is a great preview of the film – it also has an interview with Baz & some of the musicians that collaborated with him for the soundtrack. NPR had a great First Listen up but it’s been taken down… Find someway to listen to it because it’s great! Anywhoo, I got this tee like 2 years ago & definitely plan to wear it today at some point, ha!! …EVERYONE go see the film & fall in love with Fitzgerald’s story.
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TAGS : My Life
Hey Everyone. So it’s been a while since Simply Wholesome has shown it’s yummy face around these parts. Good news, it’s back & in full force. I teamed up with my talented roommate, Kyle Frischkorn, and came up three different recipes that all use the same ingredient, honey!! ( the other two recipes will follow soon) He was actually the mastermind behind these recipes – I just took the pictures, learned a lot about honey, and of coarse – tasted everything. Lucky lucky me huh? Note: Kyle is working on something special involving his cooking skills & lots more recipe-sharing so…. stay tuned for that if you enjoy what you see & eat here!
…a couple thoughts from Kyle about this recipe:
“Honey pairs effortlessly with manouri, feta’s milder, less salty cousin. As for roasting fruit… it might seem strange, especially in spring when fruit is finally fresh and jarringly in season, but I love how roasting concentrates and matures the flavors. Roasted fruit comes out similar to jam, but with less effort (and about a pound less sugar).”
MANOURI, ROASTED FRUIT and HONEY TOAST
4 Cups sliced fruit
4 Tbsp honey (separated)
4 Tbsp olive oil (separated)
Crusty bread (walnut is especially good)
Roasting the Fruit ( do this first ):
Preheat the oven to 350F. Chop everything into similarly sized pieces. I made two separate batches: one with strawberries & red grapes and one with only apricots. Whisk together 2 tbsp honey and 2 tbsp olive oil in a small bowl and pour over the fruit, tossing to coat. Spread evenly over baking sheets lined with parchment paper and roast 4o minutes or until the fruit is soft, juicy and the sugars are just beginning to caramelize. Remove from the oven and add a hefty squeeze of lemon juice. Set aside for later.
Switch the oven over to broil and move the oven rack to the second highest position. Slice the bread, line on a baking sheet and brush with remaining olive oil. Broil (or alternatively use a toaster oven) until evenly brown. I’ve walked away and let toast burn too many times, so now I crouch in front of the oven and monitor for the duration of the toasting process.
Once toasted, spread bread with manouri, roasted fruit, and a drizzle of honey or balsamic. We served this alongside an arugula salad with honey mustard dressing—equal parts Dijon mustard and honey, thinned with lemon juice and seasoned with black pepper. Save unused fruit in mason jars, they’ll last a week or two and are great on pancakes, biscuits, toast etc.
Side note from Emma: These were so fun to cut up, taste test, and chat about the different flavors. We have a large house with lots of roomates so it was a great Saturday morning treat to share with everyone. If you’re hosting a brunch, this is a great recipe to make. My favorite was the strawberry/grape combo AND also just the cheese + honey combo with no fruit was wonderful. If you guys try this, I’d love to hear about what fruits you use or which one of these was your favorite!
Introducing Rebekka Seale. I found her a while back through her beautiful shop and have been in love with her & her work ever since! She creates the most gorgeous hand-painted desktop calendars for her blog readers, as well as keeping up with a few regular themes – food, flowers, portraits… It’s all great!!
“I am an artist and illustrator living in East Nashville, Tennessee. All of my work is hand-painted, reflecting my love for all things imperfect and homespun. Currently, I am working on a few book illustration projects, some original paintings, and lots of custom house portraits! When I’m not painting, I love to read, knit, sail, cook supper for my friends, and engage in general tomfoolery.”
…and now her favorite piece and why:
“My favorite piece is my harmonica bracelet! It’s so goofy and sentimental. My husband and I love New Orleans and ride the train down there for a week every summer. On our last visit, I met this street vendor who sold engraved jewelry made of antique forks. He was a character. My bracelet is made out of a fork and a baby harmonica (which works perfectly) and is engraved with my name and little sayings like, “You are your own fork-tune cookie”. It’s ridiculous, but it’s precious to me.”
Last week, Chelsea kicked off our PAPER topic by showing us how beautiful embossing can be. This week, I personally wanted to explore creating a custom design on a massive piece of yummy paper! When it was my turn to decide what to make, my mind instantly went to a few pieces of watercolor paper I have been saving since college. They are thick, textured, heavy, & screaming to be turned into something special. This seemed to be the perfect occasion.
I used to be really into carving my own rubber stamps so I decided to resurrect my tools & dive back in. I was inspired by Yellow Owl Workshop, a wonderful San Francisco based co. that is all about hand-carving! They actually have a great how-to video right here if you plan to try this and need more visual help.
So where to start? Well since our current topic is about paper, lets start there! I used a paper called Arches – you can easily find this at stores like Blicks or Michaels. It is deemed watercolor paper but is also known to be used for drawing, calligraphy, gouache, printmaking, acrylics, and even digital printing! You have a few choices if you plan to work with this specific paper – you can go with hot press, cold press, or rough! Hot is smooth, Cold is moderately textured, and rough is extra well, rough. I went with cold press, pictured below.
The next step was to draw out my pattern and start carving. This is super simple. All you have to do is draw your design on a piece of paper with a pencil. Then transfer it over to the carving block by rubbing it with your hand. I used the Speedball Linoleum Cutters & Carve Block. Or you can just buy it all in one kit. Once you’re done carving, its time to start stamping. I’m telling you – this project couldn’t be more fun and easy.
The obvious choice would be to use an ink pad for your impressions – mine was running low so the marks were extra faint. I had invisioned this piece being very black so I decided to experiment with using acrylic paint. I just brushed a light layer of paint and voila, it looked great. I obviously did a ton of tests before I started the real deal. Note – always do a test run, always.
The rest was smooth sailing – paint, stamp, repeat! It takes a while but hey, it was totally worth it. I experimented with leaving areas blank and turning the triangle different directions – this allowed the lines to play off each other and create interesting effects. Once I was done, I framed it in a simple silver ikea frame. I was going to hang it up in my new office but it ended up coming home with me. I hope you guys give this a go – there is nothing like a new piece of artwork to freshen things up. If you do make one, Chelsea & I would love to see & hear from you! Happy stamping + paper loving! Also, thank you Loren Crosier for taking some of the photographs.
COMMENTS ( 21
TAGS : Design Guide
I don’t even know how to begin this post – I have been looking forward to writing it for so long that I am drawing a bit of an anxious blank! I’ve had to keep this experience a secret through all of it’s up and downs and now I finally get to share what it is! I know I have been teasing and talking about this “secret” for way too long so thanks for sticking with me as I am sure your patience has run pretty thin, ha! I leaked a few photos a while back about it here but wasn’t able to tell you much. I mentioned that it had to do with knitting but that was about it – Some of you guessed that I was re-opening my old online shop and some thought I was starting a line of clothing! Close, but no cigar! Well, I guess i’ll just spit it out… Okay… Cough… Drumroll… 1,2,3… I… wrote a knitting book!!
Chronicle Books reached out to me a little over a year ago about working together. I was very familiar with their books and was incredibly flattered about being contacted. My editor, Lisa Tauber, had come across this look-book ( that I had made for fun with a few of my friends ) and proposed that we take the same feel & style but turn it into something bigger – a how-to knitting book! …and that we did!
Chronicle describes the finished product as this:
“Fashion-forward knitters who crave more than a project book will delight in this visually rich collection. Emma Robertson presents a unique and creative approach to knitting as she walks readers through her process from the kernel of inspiration to its rewarding execution. For each of the 15 stylish projects, Robertson presents hand-drawn sketches, eye candy–laden mood boards, and Polaroids of the objects that inspired her—and encourages knitters to think outside of the yarn box by incorporating other materials into their wares, from a knitted vest with a leather pocket to a breezy tank with a dip-dyed finish. With page after page of stunning photography, this book will motivate knitters to look around them, cull inspiration, and design their own fabulous looks.”
…I couldn’t have described it better myself!
I was able to work with such an incredible group of people on this project and 100% admit that the book would not be as beautiful as it is if it weren’t for them. To get you excited about seeing everything, let me fill you in on who was involved – because it’s a pretty killer team. Max Wanger was the photographer | The models were: Melanie Ayer, Kate Miss, Jen Coleman, Beth Poploskie, and Kristine Claghorn | The styling was done by Ali Brislin | and Hair & Makeup was done by Kelly Shew. There were many other people involved in the overall project but this was the direct group of people who made the photo-shoot come to life!
So what now? I anxiously await to get the first copy on my front door step. I am going to rip that box open like there is no tomorrow. I am incredibly excited to see how it translates into print because… everything is better in print! By the way, the book is currently up on Amazon and available for pre-order. The official release date is October 22, right around the time that you all will be craving warm & cozy accessories!
**All of the above photos were captured by the lovely Marissa Maharaj | Polaroids taken by: Max Wanger | The photos below are from my iphone
COMMENTS ( 57
TAGS : Fashion
, My Life
Introducing Eva Goicochea -
Eva reached out to me a while back about a wonderful company that she works for ( Everlane: check out a studio tour here ) & we’ve kept in touch ever since. I have also fallen in love with a series on her blog called “Thinking Drink” – it’s about yummy libations created in honor of thinkers, scientists and other brilliant eccentrics. You guys, have to check it out!!
“At the moment, I’m one part Head of Culture and Talent at Everlane, one part co-captain (with my husband Ian) of a Mt. Washington menagerie of rescue pets (this is Colette), and a small part creative—be it blogging on Mister Boffin, taking on simple design projects or freelance writing. In short, I have plenty to keep my right and left brain happy. But the real common thread of this concoction? My constant wonderment and appreciation of the good company I’m surrounded by. Life is good.”
…and now her favorite piece and why:
“This copper bracelet from New Mexico, my home state, because it was a gift and because of its symmetrical geometric shapes. With my relaxed style—this French Terry is an Everlane sample for pete’s sake—it’s the small details that matter to me most. Plus, if I didn’t live in Los Angeles, I’d be savoring the quiet life in Santa Fe finding that green thumb I apparently lost 30 years ago.”
…and now, Eva has made it possible for you to win a $50 Everlane credit – you lucky luck ducks! I wish I could enter my own giveaway, ha! To enter, leave a comment below about what you’d buy if you went on an Everlane shopping spree. Good luck!! ( This giveaway has ended 05/08/13 )