Thursday, September 30, 2010

On the Road Again.....

The journey begins tonight!

Joey, Emily, Darin and I leave for our big Southwest jaunt at 3 a.m.

Right now I am dusty, dirty, tired, and shaky. I have made 5 mixed tapes (yes, cassette tapes) and cleaned and decorated and repaired our van Isis, and cleaned our house, and listed new items on Etsy, and talked on the phone and made plans and packed every fun item we could think of, and watered my plants and baked tofu and waltzed with my cats around my house because I will sorely miss them.

And now the crucial moment is here...go to sleep (be still my anxious heart) for a few hours before TAKE OFF! Tomorrow we will be driving the old Highway 50 all the way to a ghost town in southern Utah where we plan to film a short horror movie in an abandoned building. That's the plan at least.

I am not able to upload photos because I ran out of space. Did you guys know that could happen?!! I bought more space so that should kick in soon. I'll show you guys our ragtag group if I have a chance before we leave.

We have soooo many adventures in store. I wish I could blog every day from the road but I that is not gonna happen. I will try my best to check in though, and to read all of yours because I will miss that cozy feeling of sitting with my morning coffee and checking all "my sites" as I call them. My "friends" I call them too.

With love, soaring optimism, and unchecked enthusiasm...we begin!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesdays in my Town - Smith Flat House...and Filming an Old West Barroom Scene

The Smith Flat House has a long and wonderfully rich history.
It was built in 1853 over a canyon where gold was discovered known as the Deep Blue Channel.
Back then it was called the "3 Mile House" due to its distance from downtown Placerville.

A blogging buddy of mine, Tina from Gold Country Girls, has written an eloquent and extensive history here.
She tells all about how it was a general store and a stage stop, over the years also housing a post office, saloon, dancehall and brothel!

My own sister used to live up at the end of Smith Flat Road in a tiny apartment next to the Copper Rail Bar. She was only 19 and I was 18 and we would hang out there all the time and invite all our friends over. Then I'd walk home the three miles along the pretty little creek full of falling white blossoms, exploring the old cemetery and ruined buildings along the way.

I have always been intrigued by the Smith Flat House. For years (in my lifetime) it was a hotel and then a restaurant. Now it has a brand new incarnation; it has been lovingly restored by Mister John Conforti, who knows the lively history backwards and forwards, into a beautiful Healing Arts Center!

He incorporated this 150 year old barn into the outdoor courtyard. It just makes me want to cry, it's so lovely.
And also, he is now serving wonderful brick oven pizza in the courtyard in the evenings, where they have preserved a lot of the original materials like the cobblestone and rock walls.

But we had the honor of being there for a different reason.
First night of filming for Darin's project, Epic Dust!
I know I talk about this a lot lately, but I could not be more excited, especially now that things are really underway.

And especially when we have locations as cool as this for film sets!

We were way down, not just in the basement where they used to run a bar, and which John Conforti is now remodeling to again house a bar and tea room, but even further in the depths...
in the old cave adjoining the bar.

Okay, not all the way in there...but we were right next to this!

Here is Jacob Mingle, playing the drunken Mexican singer. He invoked this wise eccentric old poet soul perfectly.

I had fun helping everyone get dirty and sweaty.

Sweet Lupe played the dangerous gunslinger.

Emily is not very fond of sipping whiskey. As brothel gal, she maybe needs to work on this skill.

Darin, directing, in deep concentration. He worked incredibly hard all day long.

Darin's brother, Sinjin, as guitar player in the corner.

Stan does a beautiful job of helping Darin stay on track and keeping things fun and positive.
They really are a good filmmaking team.

The beautiful Monique, who stayed from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. with NO DINNER! This is why we needed a budget. From here on out, we will be able to offer actors sustenance! Luckily, she is amazing and her energy stayed high and cheerful all night.

And the star of the show over there...Darin with the illustrious Billy the Kid, played by Nick Savino.

Jamie Van Camp as the cigar-chewing barkeep.

I find this look quite becoming on Phil.

And so the story begins.....
At a spot where so many real old stories happened.
The ghosts may rest their weary bones tonight.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Vintage Aprons and Birthday Cake

Hello all! I have so much news but this terrible nasty cold had the audacity to try and tackle me so I've been sort of under the weather. But I'm back! Incidentally, now that my nose is suddenly and resolutely clear I can smell things so well it stings.

Meanwhile two exciting things happened:

1. We met our goal and Darin's film project, Epic Dust, is officially kickstarted!
2. I made my 100th sale in my Etsy shop!

Okay three really, because also my mama had a birthday.

To celebrate, and I don't really know why this counts as a celebration but it just sounded fun to me, I decided to show you my vintage apron collection.

 But first I have to show you this pretty ruffled concoction that I wore to bake my mom a very special birthday cake that she requested. This apron is thrifted but not vintage. It brings out the girliest of my girliness, and I love it. Layers upon layers of frilly pink patterned floral ruffles!

 And here is the cake that I worked on for hours. I give you....

 I have never cooked with Scotch before. Maybe soaking raisins for four hours in scotch whiskey and then smelling them may have helped clear my nasal passages. WOOOO!

And now, some of my vintage aprons. It is appropriate that I would post these along with my mama's birthday, because she definitely instilled in me a love of aprons.

I will point out that none of these are just for collecting's sake. I actually wear them, all the time, and sometimes out in public for a quick jaunt to the store or whatever. I think most outfits look cuter with an apron.  But anyway, you'll probably notice the stains...some are mine, some are much older. I think they add character and show love.

This one is made in Austria. The little folk people on it are just adorable, and I like the nice sturdy linen fabric and the fact that the entire bottom is a pocket.

I love the bright orange retro print and diagonal pockets on this one.

Calico fabric like this looks so classic and heartfelt. I wear this one A LOT.

This one hung in our van on all of our long road trips, as a little decoration over the front of the fridge door.
I love the tree-animal scene, plus it's terry cloth so it works like a towel.

I am completely head over heels for patchwork. I even like the faux patchwork fabric from the 70s, but mostly I love real beautiful careful lovingly rendered patchwork of true vintage quality and fabric.
 Here is a close up of my two favorite patches.
Chipper lil dudes...
see what i mean. this was my dream as a kid, to run away with a sack on a pole.
 here is a lovely turquoise one with beautiful trim.
 And of course, the classic pink gingham with sweet cross-stitch embroidery detail.
 Here's a new one, probably from the 80s, that Emily gifted me. I practically want to wear this one as a skirt. It oozes love.
 This next one is such a unique and striking fabric and also, I'm a sucker for rickrack.
This pretty sheer lavender one was a gift from my grandma Cherie.
Check out the cute details on this red one's pocket. Perfect for harvest time!

 And last but not least, another cutie that Emily gifted me, this one covered in sweet 1970's strawberries.

Thanks for looking! And happy Monday.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

aaaannnnnddd it's here!

first official Dark River music video!

featuring darin, joey, emily, jorden and jamie...and some camera work by yours truly.
enjoy. i am loving it on this first autumn eve.

Fancy Ghost by DARK RIVER from Cinema Caldera on Vimeo.

happy full moon and equinox to you all!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

8 more days!!!

darin's kickstarter project has only eight days left! if you have $5 or 10 to donate, oh how happy we'd be!
at this point we are thrilled with the generosity the project has already received, but if we don't meet the $1500 goal, we don't get any of the pledged donations.
if at all possible, please help us meet our goal!
we are excited to be researching and telling stories through film based on the complex mythology and dreamscape of the Old West. read more about the whole project here.
i am proud to say i am currently writing episode 4 based on the true story of gambler Charles Cora and his mistress Madame Belle Cora. i will be directing that episode as well.
if you have questions about any of that junk please email me at

incidentally, there are also just 8 days left until we take off on our big southwest journey!
i will definitely keep you posted on those plans.

and here is a wee little video darin and i made of a certain vaudevillian master...mister Sourdough Slim who performed at Poor Red's last week.

Sourdough Slim at Poor Red's from Cinema Caldera on Vimeo.

Monday, September 20, 2010

the making of a music video...

the other day we went out to a field in the woods at becky's dad's property to make a good old-fashioned music video.

darin directs.

i run around being a dork.
it's a tough job but someone's gotta do it.

and the musicians are as follows:
joey, songwriter, guitar, vocs.
emily, vocs:
darin, bass (didn't get a pic of him playing though)
jamie, trumpet.
and jorden, drums.

darin is working on editing the video and i hope to be able to post it tomorrow, cross my fingers! it is so beautiful and cool, the previews i've seen are KILLING me! my hub is a talented director and the song, called "fancy ghost" is so haunting.

it was fun being out in the country with the dogs.
jorden and becky's dogs, tilly and dakota.
good pals.

it was also the day we got to see the first ultrasound pics of baby mingle!
proud parents jorden and becky share a sweet moment:

my legs got all covered with some sticky substance from the sweet smelling drying grasses of this land.
i have no idea what it was, but i liked the dirty nature-girl feel of it and i smelled like sage all eve.

it's a regular hootenanny round these parts!