Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pretty Natural

I was asked a couple of weeks ago, by editor Jo of Pretty Nostalgic magazine, if I'd like to be involved in a photo shoot for issue 2. As a fan of the magazine, a lover of faffing about with old things(!), and always keen to satisfy the window dresser in me, I obviously jumped at the chance.
The theme to the article was loosely outlined as adventure/natural history. Jo asked if I could make a few items to be included as hand crafted props within the piece. I lined several old wooden boxes and drawers with vintage maps and pages from an old and tatty book about flora. I also covered a tiny suitcase that had seen better days, with a lovely linen map of Cornwall. The blue stripped ticking above was placed within an ornate antique frame as a padded bulletin board for displaying postcards etc. 
The final items that I made were some lavender filled pillows. Taking the antique label from an Edwardian trunk as my inspiration, I photographed and transferred it onto fabric. I added strips of  vintage fabrics around the edge to create the small pillow. It would be ideal for displaying souvenir pin badges and other small keepsakes such as tickets as a nostalgic memento from a holiday or day trip.
Here are other variations using vintage posters as the centre panel.
And a cutsie one with a selection of retro pin badges to complete it. (These will be for sale at the Vintage & Handmade Fair in Chipping Sodbury when I attend on the 26th.) 
I was also asked if I'd be able to supply some other items I felt would be relevant to the theme...Which I was able to do by raiding my shop and home.
 A sympathetic backdrop was also required for the shoot to take place, so I immediately thought of my friend Anne's lovely old stone cottage. Lucky for us, Anne was happy to provide the location, so yesterday, it was all systems go...
We arrived at Anne's around mid-morning and it seemed, thankfully, that Jo and I were on the same wavelength, with the assorted menagerie of items that we had both brought with us, all looking great together. We then had a tour of Anne's property to find the right places to photograph each project. It was soon apparent that a large stone wall in Anne's grandson's bedsit would be the perfect a lot of furniture moving then ensued! Its not all glamour you know! (Incidentally, Jo and photographer Jen were so impressed with Anne's home and lifestyle, that they decided to take some interior photos and conduct a short interview with Anne, which will possibly be included in issue 2 too!)
 I worked together with Jo on the first large display to kick-start the adventure article. 
We worked with old some old apple crates that Anne had for sale in her shop, using them as display shelves for all the interesting bits and bobs we wanted to include in the feature. 
It was then over to the capable hands of photographer Jen to take some great shots. 
With the first page under our belts, we decided to work separately on some more ideas. Jo asked me to make three small vignettes within the boxes and drawers that I had brought along...
Whilst she and Jen worked on a large collage of interesting ephemera which they taped onto a painted wall.  

Work in progress. 
Three quick snaps of the box displays I came up with.   

A good time was had by all!
It has been an eye-opener though, into the world of the magazine stylist; we worked until 6pm just to get enough material to fill the 5 pages that Jo was looking for. (And to get Sam's bedsit back to how we found it!)
Whilst we were chatting, Jo suggested I join Twitter, in order to keep in touch more easily, so I've joined again and am dipping my toe and will see how it goes...(Link on my blog's sidebar.)
A few more shots were taken elsewhere within Anne's home and shop - All will be revealed in issue 2 of Pretty Nostalgic - available on July 1st. I think it will be a great feature, proving that souvenirs and keepsakes don't have to cost the earth. Interesting natural treasures can look a million dollars when displayed creatively and they'll add a personal touch to your home to trigger happy memories. 
Niki x


  1. What fabulous pictures Niki, and I adore your lavender filled cushions. I love creating little vignettes and taking photos of them. Looking forward to catching up with you at the V&H.
    Jo xx

  2. What an exciting but tiring day it must have been for you. I love all your makes and props especially the covered suitcase. It's great that your friend is also to be featured - how lovely for her too.

  3. Niki, I know you'll be their go-to person from now on!! You always have such wonderful ideas and creative genius for putting things together to make lovely vignettes!
    I'm so proud of you!

  4. Oh my GOONDESS Niki! What a beautiful photo shoot! I do hope I can procure one of those magazines over here this summer... that is one issue I don't want to miss! (Love that Boston to Europe pillow!) Looks like you had a most fabulous time.

  5. That's so clever! Your things look wonderful Niki! Jane xx

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  7. A super post Niki!

    Can't wait for issue 2 of the magazine. I must do a blog post on it too!

    Love your little pillows and your suitcase!

    Happy weekend my dear.
    Take care. x

  8. I love those little cushions and suitcases they're so romantic, hope all went well with the photo shoot and look forward to reading about it, Lucey x


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx