Steeped in old timey
Ever seen the Coen brothers’ film ‘O Brother Where Art Thou’? One of my all time favorites. The period, the cinematography, the dialogue, the costumes, the 1930′s art direction, the bluegrass soundtrack…all so damn brilliant. Oh yea, almost forgot to add to that list – good ‘ol George Clooney himself as Ulysses Everett McGill. A whole lot of character lanquered up in Dapper Dan hair jelly…not too hard on the eyes either. The film recreates a dusty and desperate rural Mississippi, hung up in the heat of the great Depression - no pretention here. I imagine when folks had humble gatherings their efforts were communal and heartfelt. Sharing gifts from the farm, the land and the garden, all with the finest of intentions of bringing good people together to escape the woes of a wounded economy. I can almost smell the peach pie cooling on a window sill, faded gingham curtains dancing about on a warm breeze – mmmm.
When Ceremony Magazine nudged me to design a table top decor shoot for their 2012 issue, all I could think was…it must be “steeped in old timey”! On the fly I contacted Melissa from Pow Wow Vintage, she has an impressive array of delicious things! I gathered up a van full of inspirations from her including a fabulous farm table, eclectic wooden chairs, mixed styles of Depression glassware, a wheeled bar cart, old green pitchers, green bottles and quaint birdie patterned China. To these nifties, I added wire-mesh wrapped linen tea towels, zinc hanging tags, fire logs and pine cones on branches, old fence pickets to be used as a table runner, weathered silver plate candle accessories and found wooden palettes. Flowery touches to make the scene were local blooming pierris japonica, gigantic white dahlias, Queen Anne’s lace, sitaria and hydrangea.
The place for my southern California version of 1930′s Mississippi was the Olivenhain Meeting Hall, down right perfect. And, yay – that clever Jennifer Dery was the eyes behind the lens once again, leaving no detail overlooked. When the photo shoot was complete, the best part of the day was sitting down at our old timey table for an early afternoon picnic, this never happens. Typically we pack it all up and roll on out! My design associate, the 2 magazine reps, Jennifer and I all munched on sandwiches we made from fat daddy homemade biscuits (BTW from Encinitas Cafe), fresh figs, juicy grapes and from the vintage stemware we swilled chilled Prosecco…or was it really Prohibition hooch cooked up in grandpappy’s tin shed? Anyone hear a banjo?