photobooth nerdery

house of hipsters

ok, so you are really going to see my photobooth nerdery come out in this post…i apologize in advance.

this past weekend i got to to totally geek out at the international photobooth convention hosted by and  a&a studios in chicago, il. it was open to the public to celebrate the wonderment that is the photobooth, and man o man was it cool! i met so many booth nerds like myself! however, i think the proper term is “like-minded booth lovers” but i digress.

hidden face

artists, collectors, photobooth enthusiasts, and other owners flew into chicago to attend this great event…i was so lucky i was local and it only took me 36 minutes to drive into the city…and i found free parking…which is practically unheard of! the entire day was such a great experience…swapping tips and tricks, attending workshops, and just soaking in so much information from experts on the machines.

photobooth art

so first and foremost, where was it held? at a&a studios…owned by anthony vizarri (and his adorable wife andrea), together they have dedicated their lives basically to preserving the vintage beauty of photobooths and analog photography. they are also the guys that built my model 20 booth. anthony had 8 working booths…color, black and white, sepia and digital available to use all day long for free plus admission. each booth is vintage and has been restored by anthony and his crew. his attention to detail is incredible and what a unique experience to see these booths up close and together in one room! seriously, i’ve visited the studio a few times, but nothing like this…truly a once in a lifetime experience that i’m so thankful i was a part of.

classic model 11

rob's digital booth

the boy was ever so sweet to let me attend by myself, sans babies…i was able to spend the day really focused on learning. i sat in on a couple saturday workshops — photobooth art techniques taught by meags fitzgerald and photobooth anatomy & diagnosing problems taught by todd erickson.

Photobooth Convention 2014 - Chicago

the first of the two workshops, photobooth art techniques, was awesome and so creatively inspiring…i was unfamiliar with meags’ work until saturday. she is an artist out of canada (with an adorable top knot btw) and just published a book, “photobooth: a biography” that i purchased before leaving and have not put down since…chocked full of valuable information…her workshop also introduced me to the work of jan wenzel and his book fotofix (for which i’m on a mission to purchase under $200)

meags gave the class ideas and insight on the many ways to experiment with booth photography…how to magnify your image without using a computer and keeping it in focus, creating gradients and tints with gels, filters, photo collage, rearrangement, using masks and backgrounds, and even ideas for creating short stop motion animation.

photobooth love

my big question was how on earth do you create a full body image in four frames…she taught me that by griding out the cabinet with string just outside of the camera’s view and lots of patience and trial and error, it can totally be done. however, to add your feet you really must be ok with a bit of cut and paste. upon my return home and after the babes went to bed that night, i spent some time trying to perfect it…after an hour, came close and called it a night…i think i need a box instead of my stool…and possibly a bit of contortionism…and a tight shirt helps. i was wearing a denim shirt over my tank and when i bent down, the shirt shifted making an uneven transition between the 2nd and 3rd frame

vintage photomatic photobooth

i also met tim garrett who cofounded the studio had a small gallery showcasing some choice pieces created by tim and other artists. he was kind enough to teach me the magic of how he created the image below, and also invited me to view an amazing mosaic of his wife that still is rocking my brains…it was such an honor to be in the presence of these artists. they were so kind and each one really took the time to listen and answer questions. what they create is pure magic that makes my heart sing.

artist tim garrett

during photobooth anatomy & diagnosing problems, todd erickson taught me so much i couldn’t write fast enough! todd owns photo booth memories out of st paul, mn…and he is a genius! one thing he really emphasized was his booth photos with take your breath away, and if you maintain your machine and follow his tips, you can have the same results. and his wife leslie is a super sweet 2nd grade teacher. they were such wonderful and nice people to meet.

some of his tips were to swap tanks 6A and 6B to make your clearing chemistry last longer…sooooo smart! add more bleach to the tank when you start to have dark streaks instead of changing out the entire tank. check your chemistry first in troubleshooting…developer should be all black, bleach should be orange, clearing should be white and toner should show your image. change the oil in your transmission every year…must ask anthony and rob when they think that needs to be done in my booth that is only used occasionally. use synthetic oil in the tranny…it needs a fresh quart. check the little things first before you diagnose a bigger problem. to remove the metal shavings out of the transmission, place a magnet in the drain hole. to get more contrast, use a booster in the second tank of the developer…sorry folks, i’m typing all this in here because i never want to forget the wealth of knowledge this man gave me.

hipster familyhipster family

hipster vintage camerahipster photography and vintage camera

before i left, anthony gave me a couple a&a t-shirts and sold me a couple batches of chemistry. i left with a new found love for my booth and a desire to rekindle my passion for analog selfies. i can’t wait to try out a few of meats techniques and will be making a trip to paper source soon for a few new backdrops. i can’t wait to share more with you soon!

pretty little things

pretty decor for a house of hipsters

i’m addicted to shopping, i can’t help myself. just when i think i couldn’t possibly want or need another lamp, shirt, necklace, or chair, boom…i see it, and i need it more than life itself. a bit dramatic, sure, but there’s no judging here at house of hipsters

lately i’ve been trying to control my urges, so i’ve been making lists of links or pictures of pretty little things that call my name…the boy would be so proud of me. today i share one with you and will try to make this a weekly thing…although it may make me shop more…again, no judging

i hope you enjoy this happy little list of come hither…links are at the bottom.


lamp and eather poster from jayson home and gardenbright pillow from jayson home and garden and black and white striped traylet's all go to mexico shirt by rebecca minkoff and yellow skirtcashmere heart blanket from j.crew and tom ford lipstick in nude colorimogene + willy tote bag micheal kors aviator sunglasses gypsy water perfume from barneys and a white eames shell chairdwell studio brass side table and cowshed handsoaphouse of harlow shirt available at shopbop and pierre cardin brass lamp

1 – a pendent lamp for the mud room…love the gold inside

2 – a secret personal love of all things feathers

3 – normally I’m all black, navy, or gray but these colors…oh man, i can’t get enough of this pillow!

4 – a sweet little tray to keep all of your precious jewels and trinkets

5 –  rebecca minkoff wants us all to hop on a plane to mexico…seriously, this whole outfit! get in my closet already!

6 – this cashmere blanket would be great for cuddling with the little lady

7 – super serious now, no judging…i have a secret love for most things kardashian…not something i’m particularly proud of but it is a guilty pleasure…i love kim’s choice of a nude lip and this tom ford lipstick is just the ticket! buy it here…now

8 – imogene + willie have a great vintage look…can’t go wrong slinging this little guy over a shoulder. just add magazines, sunscreen, and headphones…instantly beach ready

9 – love the color, love the gold…seriously, enough said. classic ray bans style with a twist

10 – gypsy water is such an amazing scent…sometimes i go to barney’s just to smell it…yes, i am that person

11 – thinking this eames chair would go oh so well with the campaign desk on the catwalk i’ve been trying to style…more to come on this project

12 – this table! gaw! it’s brass, it’s white, it’s elegant and beautiful…put once, twice, three times a lady together and you have perfection in the form of coffee table

13 – i first smelled this hand soap at au cheval…they have it in their bathrooms…i couldn’t stop smelling my hands all day long. this has been on my list for almost a year

14 – this shirt would be perfect for this year’s lollapalooza festival but i’m a bit unsure about the bra situation…note to self, look at the u-plunge bra

15 – and last but not least, my holy grail…the lamp of all lamps…and i want two!!!!

a precious glimpse

boy superhero

boy superhero


man this little guy has my heart…it seems like yesterday i was holding his tiny body in my arms, spending my evenings rocking him to sleep. these days he pretends to be spider-man and fights darth vader in ominous battles filled with explosions and chase scenes.

today was one of his last days of preschool. he performed in the end of year recital and of course was the class ham…singing the loudest, clapping the loudest. i sometimes wonder where he inherited his extrovert personality…certainly not from his parents. last night we went to the welcome reception at the school he will be attending full-time come august. jamming his face full of cookies and gazing in wonderment at the art projects his future classmates hung on the walls. i watch him in these new settings, settings that for me as a child would have frightened me…he thrives in them…embraces them.

he explains to me how brave he is. not because he is conceited or arrogant, , he has no understanding of those traits. he has been told this by someone he loves and he truly believes it. sometimes it scares me…how brave he is.

roaming the new hallways, looking at the art projects, he was full of questions last night. “is that a pirate ship mommy?” “what is that guy doing?” “why is his mouth drawn like that?” “where are his eyes?” “can we go to the classroom?” it went on and on…his mind in full exploration.

lately he has been singing along to the songs we play in the car and yesterday he requested i play only german songs. der kuckuck und der esel, die hatten einen streit, wer wohl am besten sänge…and there were more questions in the car “mommy, do you have both hands on the steering wheel?” “are we going too fast?” “is that water tower moving?” “why did that guy honk at you?” “why is this road so bumpy?” “what did that sign say?” “can we listen to the hamster dance song now?” boy do i regret adding that song to his iPod playlist.

my love, every day i see small glimpses into your world. a world that is growing bigger, for a bigger boy.  i look forward to the time i get to spend with you. to listen to you. to play with you. to share with you. i love you my dear. you make me feel like a sweepstakes winner.

T.H.T.K. found

longman & eagle room 55

for our new year’s celebration sans kidlets, the boy and i decided to staycation in logan square. we rented a small room above longman & eagle…which i have to say, this might have been the most hipster hotel i’ve rested my pretty little head at. we stayed in room 55 which happens to be the largest of the 6 rooms available for rent above the one-star michelin restaurant and bar. let me tell you, this place was oozing cool…even the soap was cool! but i guess with a slogan like eat, sleep, whiskey, you kinda have to be too school for school.

interesting details at every glance, i soon found what i thought to be one of their best offerings (besides the chilled split of champagne in the frig) to be a mixtape created by jason lazarus. available for a mere $20, i had to take it home with me. but who was this man who made the mix of christopher cross, rod stewart, carole king and little river band that made my heart sing? taking me back to the days of orthodontia and elementary school.

mixtape created by jason lazarus

after a bit of google stalking (that we shall call research to make myself feel better), i found out he was a chicago-based artist, curator, writer, and educator. he has many interesting projects, but one in particular really stood out to me. stalking more, i also stumbled upon this video showcasing one of his installations.

Jason Lazarus: Too Hard to Keep (Syracuse) from Light Work on Vimeo.

in a nutshell, he initiated a growing archive of photos deemed “too hard to keep.” the project is a place for photographs and objects to exist when they are too difficult to hold on to, yet too meaningful to destroy. upon submission, participants may dictate whether the photographs may be displayed face up or face down to preserve privacy.

after watching the trailer, i couldn’t help but think of all the photos in boxes that i also could submitted to this project; not to mention the many photos i have thrown in the trash because they too were too hard to keep or a memory i chose to no longer want to revisit.


neither the blog or the video say just how many photos mr lazarus has received, but i can only imagine it to be enough to fill an airstream trailer. i find each image fascinating while my imagination runs wild with the many possibilities as to why these certain photos were deemed “hard”. my fingers and toes are crossed with the hopes that i might view this curated installation in person one day.

meet you at the barre

mary hellen bowers - ballet beautiful

since little maus was born, i’ve been struggling with my weight…well, i’ve been struggling with it for almost the last 6 years really; let’s get real here. after baby number 1, i was really getting myself back in shape, but that all changed after this last pregnancy. your body is just NOT the same. your arms, your hips, your butt, your boobs…and being over 35, forget about it. i mean, i’m not looking for a thigh gap or anything, i just don’t want to feel like i have to sausage myself into every pair of jeans i own on a daily basis.

i know cardio has to be part of my weekly exercise routine, but man do i hate running. last april, i tried so hard to embrace it by training for a 5K, but my ankles and knees didn’t agree with my mindset. i knew getting my body back in shape would require some pain, but limping and unable to pick up a baby was not going to suffice in this household.

a new plan of attack had to be set in motion. if you remember my om zone post, i really did have great intentions of becoming this fitness guru in 2013. and don’t get me wrong, i still go to om zone every monday night at tribalance and also attend their hot yoga and gentle flow classes, but i needed more cardio in my life. cardio, my arch nemesis…grrr.

i’ve been really interested in attending a barre class at the bar method studio near my work. but since the class itself would take up 1-1/2 hours of my 1 hour lunch, it was not going to work in my schedule. enter a morning email from daily candy featuring mary helen bowers and her company ballet beautiful to save the day. her videos are amazing! since this is something i had been wanting to incorporate into my existing workout plan, i chose to purchase a few streaming videos over the monthly subscription. and seriously, how cool is it that i can stream them from any device anywhere!

after viewing the previews, i chose the skyline workout (cardio), the swan arms cardio and the hip & thigh blast. the videos are about 10 mins long each, so for the first time this morning, i kicked and plié’d like an awkward pterodactyl, loving every minute of it. do not let her sweet face fool you, this lady is a true ass kicker. i do tracy anderson, so i figured how much more difficult could this be, am i right? i cursed at her loudly, my butt writhing in pain and my legs and arms felt like lucifer’s flames were burning inside my skin…but that is what cardio is about right? and hey, it’s better than running.

so if you are looking for a low-impact cardio workout you can do from home that doesn’t break the bank, ballet beautiful might just be the ticket.