Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Grand Love

I was named after my two amazing grandmothers: Mary Harriet Foley ("Mima Foley"), and Mina Margaret Waltemath ("Mima Waltemath") 

On this mother's day, I wanted to share a beautiful poem that "Mima Foley" wrote for me this Christmas. Mima has been writing poetry since before I can remember, and she and my sister Beth have always shared a great love for creative writing. 

Every time I read this poem it transports me back to my childhood and the countless days I would spend at Mima's house coloring, picking Queen Anne's lace from her garden and dying it with food coloring, finger painting, making banana pudding, playing marbles on her antique Oushak rug, and stroking her buttery soft arms as she would read to me on her yellow damask silk camel back sofa. 

I wish I could be in Nashville to celebrate Mother's Day with my mother, stepmother, and Mima Foley today. As do I wish I could be there to celebrate Mima's 90th birthday this year, but I am living my life and my dream far far away from them on the West Coast, so I am not able to travel to see these special women in my life as mush as I would like to. They have supported me every single day of my childhood, adolescent, and adulthood. They are all my biggest fans, as I am theirs. 

Happy Mother's Day, I love you!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Recently, I was introduced through mutual friends to a local photographer Robert Christian Malmberg when I joined them for the opening of his show at the White Walls, Shooting Gallery  in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco.

[self portrait]

  At the show I learned Rob was setting up a "pop-up" photography studio in the White Wall Shooting Gallery for a few weeks. I toyed with the idea of getting my photo taken, but I hate the idea of "posing" for a photos  let alone an established photographer. I tabled the idea, and decided to just follow him on Instagram instead. As Rob [@rcmalmberg] would post new portraits each day on his Instagram, I became captivated  by his work and more specifically about the individual stories of each person he photographed.

Below are some the portraits or "mug shots" that Rob created using the Wet Plate Collodian Era Process 

images from RCM's InstagramFacebook , and website

Here are some more portraits Rob has done using the same process...

Rob was able to fit me in on the very last day of his "pop up" studio. As I sat awkwardly on a wooden bench, Rob began to set up the shot. When he realized the beloved vintage dress I had my mother overnight to me from Nashville was not in the shot as a result of it being a size 00 and wouldn't zip up all the way, he was quick on his feet to find industrial metal clamps and squeeze me into the dress so it could make the shot. 

My need to anxiously fidget was thwarted by the fact that I could not move or breath in my now corseted dress. I sit "patiently" in front of his vintage camera--Imagine a box on stilts with the cape that the acts like a tent over the photographer, when Rob instructs me not to blink while he focused the shot. This last bit of instruction ended up working in the photograph's favor because by the time the flash finally went off, I had real tears building up in my eyes. 

After my session, Rob lead me to the darkroom and showed me the process and chemicals he uses to create these original wet plate photographs....


And the final product...

Rob will be setting up his latest "pop-up" shooting gallery in NYC 
from April 13, 2013 until May 10, 2013. 

The NYC "pop-up" shooting gallery is located between Union Square and the Flatiron Building on the historical "Ladies Mile" between 14th Street and 23rd Street, as it was the location of all the custom dress making ateliers before there was "ready-to-wear" women's fashion. The "Ladies Mile" was also the site for the earliest portrait studios in NYC. 

How cool would it be to see his process used to photograph some of my favorite people: Taylor Kitsch, Jake Gyllenhall, Michelle Williams, Gwyneth Paltrow, etc? I can also see his work being used for some very cool CD cover art for The Lumineers, Lissie, Band of Horses, Rolling Stones, Mumford & Sons, you name it.  

To learn more about Rob's process or to book an appointment, email him at


@vibranceandchaos #vibranceandchaos
@maggiewaltemath @rcmalmberg @gwynethpaltrow @taylorkitschBR @gyllenhaaljake @michwilliams @lissiemusic @thelumineers @rollingstones @MumfordAndSons @bandofhorses #bohmusic @bohmusic #lissiemusic 
#maggiewaltemath #taylorkitschbr #taylorkitsch #jakegyllenhall  #gyllenhaaljake #michwilliams #rcmalmberg #lissie #robmalmberg @robmalmberg 
#lissiemusic #thelumineers #therollingstones #rollingstones #MumfordAndSons #bandofhorses

Monday, March 25, 2013

"Supermarket Sweep" in San Francisco

I had the most bizarre dream this weekend. I was given a challenge similar to the 1960's TV game show called "Supermarket Sweep". Somehow I had won a contest for the bedroom of my dreams! Easy enough right? The upside was that there was no budget limit, the only limit was that all items had to be purchased that day off the floor from San Francisco stores.

Seeing as I am new to San Francisco and only know a fraction of the antique stores in comparison to NYC, this "grand prize" felt impossible. I woke up the next morning at 7:00 am on the dot like I do every day and was completely anxious about the dream I had just had. An hour or so later, after finishing breakfast with a friend, I was still unable to shake the dream, so I decided that the only way to ease my anxiety would be to face the challenge head on!

The inspiration piece for my bedroom scheme started with the actual burlwood desk that I found and purchased for myself in Petaluma a few weeks ago, because it just so happens to be scheduled for delivery this Tuesday night at my new apartment!

Seeing as it was a Sunday, and most antique stores are closed, I had to open my trusty bookmarks bar on my internet browser and start shopping the web. Keeping in the constraints of the 24hr challenge, I limited myself to only sourcing items items in stock and currently for sale in San Francisco.

....and Tah-dah!

Here is my gorgeous dream bedroom that could feasibly be bought all in one day! (with the help of an American Express card and a moving van!)

DESK CHAIR, $7,500












If you are interested in learning more about this scheme or where to purchase any items you see above, you can email me at

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

In My City...Artist Profile: MARY STENGEL

"I can feel my dreams when I’m in my city" and developing my artistry by submersing myself if the rich art culture of San Francisco, is just one of the many ways I can feel my dreams coming true in my new city. 
When I moved to San Francisco, I was thrilled that one of my favorite artists allowed me to visit her studio and conduct my very first one-on-one interview for my blog.
I wish I knew how to upload the audio from my interview, because when I listened to the recording on my iPhone of the interview I did with Mary Stengel, I was pleasantly surprised that both of our curiosities for the unknown and evolution as artists was simply and definitely defined in our conversation. 

Inspiration is a process, it is like unconditional love. Both processes need constant devotion, loyalty, respect, and commitment, but require change, modifications, struggles, and a faith in the entire process. 

Mary's process started like many high school painters, painting portraits and a focus on realism and recreating a feasible scene in  human reality. Mary explained to me how in college she would have these large paintings; her intent was to make them realistic; but without fail she found herself abstracting them in one way or another. Instead of focusing on what she wasn't achieving, a teacher encouraged her to try drawing instead of just painting. Mary had never used pens and pencils as a medium before, but her commitment and unconditional love of her process as an artist allowed her to accept unfamiliar change and make necessary modifications, that lead her to the creation of her latest series. 

When she started drawing, the pen, as well as what she consciously decided to put on paper, was the intended subject matter. Her designs were mostly abstract drawings of lines, and even at one point developed into a series of body parts, which she terms her "dark emo stage". Her work evolved into more abstract patterns as well as collages of shapes and lines. It wasn't until she switched back to the using paint, a medium she would always be committed to, did she discover her preferred method of creating a body of work. 

When she returned to using paint as her preferred medium, she looked at it in a brand new light. No longer was the paint to become a subject matter preconceived in her head; achieved by repetition with a known outcome; but instead the paint became the driver of the piece. How the paint fell, splashed, dripped, or was stroked across the canvas became the subject matter. At which point the paint became the focal point and determined the patterns that Mary was able to decipher from, and develop on the canvas. 

By learning about her journey as an artist, I am now able to see how her abstract modernism method allows her to create graphic yet organic pieces of work that seamlessly combine art with graphics.  

I had such a blast talking to Mary about her process and the path that lead her to finding her own niche in the expansive art world. I hope you will join me this weekend at Mary's art show. Information below:

Art Explosion Spring Open Studios March 22-24

Opening Reception: 3/22 Fri. 7-11pm

Open Studios: Sat & Sun 12-5pm

2425 17th St & 744 Alabama St, SF, CA

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Get ya some tongue today!

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope ya'll can enjoy a little tongue today....

The tongue has many functions....the best being the least practical ;)

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Trash or Treasure?

Goodbye to the Big Apple. You opened my eyes to a world I never knew. You made life more vibrant and exposed me to chaos that has made me a stronger designer, determined achiever, self-aware soul, and loyal lover and friend.

After I packed and shipped all of my stuff in boxes and suitcases, there were a few items I decided I would have to leave behind in NYC. Yesterday morning, I stuffed my bulky bedding (down duvet filler, pillows, sheet set, and tempur-pedic mattress pad) into one of those trusty blue Ikea bags and took it to the three young adults who have been sleeping under the scaffolding outside of my apartment building. I do not doubt that they will find love and appreciation for the bedding that gave me consistent warmth and comfort for the past 6 years in my 550sq.ft west village apartment.

Along with my bedding the one remaining item that would not fit in my three luggage bags was a lovely milk glass table lamp, which I gave to my dear friend Meredith who just moved back to NYC after a stint in DC. The lamp has given me light during the most exciting moments of being a New Yorker. Instead of becoming just another piece of trash in a landfill, Meredith sees its value and potential just as Lady Manhattan has seen in every wide-eyed student and professional that embarks on pursuing their dreams in the concrete jungle.

As the novelty of NYC has worn off for me, Meredith is hopeful, determined, and inspired since her return to the Big Apple. Seeing her once more in such a blissful state that I once knew, gives me hope for my next chapter in San Francisco. It gives me the hope that a change in scenery is just what the doctor ordered, both professionally and personally. New York showed me who I am and what I am made of and the immense capabilities I possess. For that I will unconditionally love The Big Apple

My resolution as I reflect on my past in NYC and embark on my future in San Francisco is to love unconditionally, by accepting the path others choose to take, wherever that may lead them, and loving myself unconditionally along with all the choices I make.

This week I have come to acknowledge the truth in the saying, "one man's trash is another man's treasure," but I also believe this can only be true when its value and purpose is recognized, its past and future path are honored, and it is loved unconditionally regardless of the length of time it was treasured by all parties.

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad