artsy fartsy,  spilling my guts,  travel

Undercover Photo-stylist

my aunt's old blanket

When we were camping at the end of summer I got this crazy idea that I wanted to take pictures of my Aunt’s old granny square afghan down at the dock near the lake. I brought the afghan with us in the first place because it looked like a cabin blanket to me. It’s old, it’s a little worn, it’s sort of campy in coloring… it just fit.


When we got to the cabin, my old tattered blanket fit even better than I imagined. Since the cabin is just an old broken-down mobile home that is going to be moved off the property someday and replaced with a real wood-sided cabin, everything in it is broken down too. The couches and chairs are cast-offs from the family just used as a stop-gap to make things comfortable until the real cabin is built. No use hauling nice furniture up there if it’s just going to have to get moved etc.. etc..

pretending to be a LL Bean catalogue

Anyway the big blue couch in the living room area was pretty ugly… it sort of reminded me of an old college apartment where guys sit around drinking beer and playing video games…which isn’t far from what it is used for at the cabin. But once I spread my old granny square blanket over the top it sort of felt like home. A little.

All week long I looked at that afghan and day dreamed up a photo-shoot I could do with it. Maybe I look at too many Anthropologie catalogues but something about the lake and the rustic coloring of the old blanket inspired me.

best boots ever

On the last day I told Toby about my day dream and how I was really bummed that all week I had not taken a single photo of my old blanket down at the lake. You know what I love about Toby? He totally got it.

He didn’t make fun of me wanting to do something for the photos alone. He didn’t make fun of me taking pictures of myself (which frankly is only because I didn’t have a willing model other than myself). He didn’t volunteer to go with me and take photos of me modeling the blanket (bahumbug) but he did watch Bug so I could. And I’m glad I did. I guess it’s silly just to go stage pictures of yourself… but it was fun. It was like playing for me.

icy dock

You do what you love, right? There’s always time to do what you love. Maybe someday I’ll get a decent camera (not a point-and-shoot underwater camera that I stash in my purse) and be a photo stylist with real models who don’t have to get their heads chopped off because they have weird profiles and/or double chins.


  • the chatty housewife

    I love these! If you think your profile or chin will ruin the shots, you are crazy but next time you can try having your whole body in the photo, just turn your back to the camera and show it the back of your head! Or look away from the camera so it pulls the skin on the neck flatter and only shows 1/3 of your face, not a full profile.

  • Tamara

    What a wonderful idea! And done to perfection, too! You will have these memories and photos of this special hand-crafted afghan long after it has totally given up the ghost. Sweet! Thanks for sharing….

  • Sarah

    I especially like the first photo of the blanket on the fence – and just as much I like that Toby “got” you. It’s so nice when friends and family do that.

  • a chris

    I’ve been thinking about the point-and-shoot vs DSLR question for a while now. I’m not willing to spend a bucketload on a DSLR right now, (partly) because I’d never take it with me — I’m either going to or from work or taking care of a baby (gasp — is she now a toddler? I guess as soon as she lets go of my hands she will be. Wow, that sounds poignant.).

    Obviously there are characteristics you can’t get with a point-and-shoot, but just think about how far superior our little cameras are to what even the best photographer had, (oh I don’t know; I need a photography history lesson) say, 75 years ago. In fact, since I’ve been looking at your blog, your pictures have been one of the things that keep me convinced that with the right eye, you can do a lot with a little consumer cam.

    That’s not to say that someday I wouldn’t like some serious photo gear. Haha, I do love gear.

  • klcdh

    Love the shots! There’s nothing better than some free time, a camera and a vague vision to equal bliss – at least for a little while!

  • Molly

    That’s great that Toby understands you. I feel the same way about my boyfriend. We fight like cats and dogs over just regular stuff, but when it comes to creativity, we totally get each other.

  • Clownfish

    Look, my wife will never do a 50 mile bike ride with me and I will never sit and sew a baby quilt with her. But, as you said, we get it. And it’s great that Toby gets it! Thank you for the wonderful afghan photos. – You had a dream, a very do-able dream and did it. Bravo!

    A friend of a dreamer is never an anchor but instead: pushes, fosters and supports the quest of their friend.

  • Jennifer

    I love that Toby got it and watched Bug so you could make it happen. I love the pictures and I love that afghan. I’ve been wanting to make and afghan in retro colors for quite a while now.

  • Brooke

    Especially like the pic of the blanket on the ground by the lake with the tin coffee cup sitting on it. Makes me really want to step into that space and place in time!

  • BeachMama

    So glad Toby understood, he seems pretty great that way. You are a great stylist. And that blanket just matches all the natural surroundings. One day we can hook up for a shoot, you style and I will photograph, it would be so much fun.