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between these sleeping trees

Amy and I were contacted back in December to style a shoot with photographer Micaela Hoo of The Drifter and The Gypsy, to go alongside Papercut Magazine’s March 2011 vintage issue. Quite the fun shoot. Tromping through cow pastures, quick wardrobe changes in early morning fog, and getting lost in the serene backlands East of San Francisco, all while working with an incredibly professional and talented team. Check out the entire editorial here.

Photography: Micaela HooStyling: Alex Keenum and Amy SoderlindHair/Makeup: Joshua Conover for Look ArtistsModels: Leanna (JE Model) and Jason (City)Since returning from Panama life has consisted mostly of work, while stalking the newspaper for estate sales, yardsales and anyplace where I might find vintage treasures, and plenty of rainy day lounging with the boy have become my new favorite past times. C’mon April up your speed, festivals, Hawaian mini-vacations, and new creative ventures await.

I’ve received a handful of emails from Amy since she’s been off on her African adventure, and I’ll let her describe her time (if that’s even possible) spent in Ghana and Tanzania when she returns. But until then an insert from one of her emails sent a few weeks back….We left West Africa to awake in the East… completely different in every way possible. People, smells, Greenery, Energy, Arts…. to the left of me sits a women in very traditional Islamic garb… only her eyes I can (barely) see…. to my right sits a traditional Massaii…. Huge plates in the ears, lips stretched out with smaller plates, and more beads than Maya’s favorite bead store. The beauty! There is still a large population of Christians living among the Islamic and Tribal… dressed in colorful batik; always matching, always ready to praise God (and then ask for money…). West Africa was incredible, I am still settling with what lessons and knowledge it gave… we met family there, homes away from home… caring people that you have known for lifetimes and experiences that will forever be embedded in my heart.”The perfect note to end this post.xx Alex

Panama on my mind

It’s been a week…really? Only a week since I’ve been home from my month long journey through Panama and already it seems like a distant memory. A fond one, but distant nonetheless. A month spent island hopping in the Carribean on bicycle, scooter, foot and the occasional surf board, touring coffee plantations in the highlands, soaking in natural hot springs, testing out my so-so Spanish, consuming incredible food and drink and perusing local craft markets, trying to restrain from buying everything in sight. All I have now is a library full of photos, several bags of organic Panamanian coffee, a few hand made crafts, and my little memory; all things will have to keep me going until….it’s like that last drop of water, have to savor it. Here’s a little photo diary of my past month spent in Panama. Outfit shots are seemingly non-existent….a few pairs of trusty sandals, bathing suit and a couple dresses to throw over were all that was needed. I packed poorly and at times wished for more variety in my tiny backpack but in the end, simplicity is key….although it is nice to come home to a closet full of options and loads of Fashion Week photos to catch up on. 

Traditional Molas (layered and embroidered fabric)made by the Kuna Indians

Kuna woman wrapping her legs in a continuous strand of beads

Casco Viejo (oldtown Panama City)

Ngobe children, Boquete, Panama

  Bocas Del Toro, PanamaThe past two days have been gloriously sunny, early signs of Spring? I’m hoping…xx Alex

winds of change.

It’s 2am. I’ve had late night coffee… late night beer… late night water too. I sit now and listen to my lovely love write a song and strum the guitar. He’ll pause. Think. Whisper. Pounce on the perfect word. Tones are up, down, side to side. His voice never teetering from the perfection of depth and expression.

I tap my toes under the sheets.

We leave in the morning for our departure to Africa. It’s been a long month of needles, medications and trippy Malaria medicine that unfortunately will be joining us for the entirety of our trip. I just packed (very meticulously) ONE backpack for 8 weeks in 3 different countries. What takes the majority of space? Herbs, tonics, oils, and emergency natural remedies for anything and everything (that’s what I’m telling myself.)  I brought 8 headscarves.

Tomorrow I embark on a dream I have had since the tender age of 10.  

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These beautiful earrings are made by an equally beautiful friend Grace… she’ll have a sweet shop up for purchases and custom orders soon. I promise, these are no ordinary feather earrings… I plan to live in these for all of Africa and the entirety of this Summer’s festival circuit. I’ll shout out her site when its up and ready. Ta Ta for now my lovelies. Alex will be headed home this week (missing each other by a few short days) and will certainly keep you posted on all things wonderful, including her recent epic trip to Panama.  Love to you all. See you in Spring!

Xx Amy 

The sky was the color of Edgar Allan Poe’s pajamas.

Road trips are my favorite kind of trip.Good music. Full tank of gas ($60 later) in the road-dog-mobile. Cappuccino. Favorite shades. A fitting hat. No particular route. Time to stop as I see fit… and… the last ingredient…ahhem… iphone. Must say, it’s a worthy little bugger in times of snapshot glee. Damn the man, damned be the man.Really though… from country studio to San Francisco haven, the road I call mine is nothing short of exquisite. My yesterday in a nutshell… 

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Currently re-reading (for the 3rd time) Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. I now pick it up, flip to a page, read for ten minutes… walk away more satisfied than before. Love him dearly, next to Hunter S. Thompson… each of them deliver that uncanny ability of making me think, smirk, and internally applaud with unabashed appreciation… “that’s it”. “Equality is not in regarding different things similarly, equality is in regarding different things differently.” “True stability results when presumed order and presumed disorder are balanced. A truly stable system expects the unexpected, is prepared to be disrupted, waits to be transformed.” -Tom Robbins“For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.” I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours. “-Hunter S. Thompson

Xx Amy 

Ain’t that a lot of love for one heart to hold.

Monday at it’s finest. Days like these need happy thoughts. Mine come by way of my favorite kicks and satchel. I got these boots at a favorite SF vintage shop… GOLD I tell ya. Whenever you find that piece, you know…. the one… all else dissipates as you float out the exit of that stinky warehouse shop. I’ve just witnessed a true miracle. How these boots and this bag survived until I could find them… bless their determined hearts. Meet two of my soulmates: Men’s 70’s boots (perfectly fit for ladies) and a leather+suede+native printed book bag.  

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My love and I are off this morning to get the rest of our vaccines for Africa. Yellow Fever and Meningitis served in small doses via needle? A perfect ingredient for a Monday…. shit. Wish us luck. 

Xx Amy 

please, rock my gypsy soul.

I woke up. Everything was still… ready for me to fill the space with anything I wish. Silence. You can see it in the air… a distinct look, unlike either of it’s peers, Peace or Quiet. I’m relishing in being all alone today with Silence. First moment in quite a while; no obligations, nothing pressing, no one to tend to.  Car is dead, and I’m stuck at home alone. Alex is gone to Panama, and I have less than 3 weeks before leaving for Africa. I’m taking this time to myself.Just be. Read. Write. Relax the senses. It took a good week of recovery after NYE mayhem… no words, just intense. This year has already brought incredibly clear revelations both of myself and others. Conclusion? Everything feels so damn right. Exhaling with ease is rich. No feeling like sitting in bed while the sun rises.

Spent my early morning in bed reading and watching our family of deer demolish my gardening efforts. Can’t be mad though… can’t be angered.  Always happy to feed the family. 

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Ok… Van Morrison has already broken the partnership of Silence and I… Welcomed with open arms from both of us. Peace and Love to you all. Hope 2011 is bringing in all that is meant to be…

Xx Amy 

apple beet ginger

 I’ve traded my local coffee shop for a juicer….not quite willingly by the way. My body has forced me to take a step back, re-evaluate it’s intake, energy levels etc. This past holiday season I found myself in a flurry of ugly sweater parties, white elephant gift giving and massive amounts of alcohol and sweets. The  New Year, and my poor battered body tell me it’s time. “So fresh ‘n so clean” I sing, as I throw fresh fruit and veggies into my new stainless steel masterpiece.

Most of new years day was spent by the fire watching movies and then cooking a big pot of soup for a friend who has been very ill as of late. As I sat with this couple (in their late 60’s), listening to stories of their youth spent on Haight St. in the 60’s, making custom jewelry for people based on “their energy,” and hanging with the likes of Janis Joplin, I couldn’t help but be distracted by their home. The tell-tale signs of a life lived….old photos, family heirlooms, beautiful antiques, found objects and incredible crafts picked up through travel. Inspiration pouring from not only them but every corner of this magnificent little house in the woods. Yes, clothing can say heaps about a person but a home tells stories.

 All photos via The Selby Countdown is on. Leaving in less than a week for a six week adventure in Panama. Looking forward to the treasures that await. Who wants to pack for me?

Happy New Year!!

Xx Alex

Birkin, My Love

What I wouldn’t give to be frolicking about barefoot, camera in tow, with just enough belongings to stuff in my wicker basket…

 photos: rdujour.com, last.fmJane Birkin does it right every time. Whether it’s a simple white tee and the perfect pair of loose blue jeans, a fluffy fur, or classic khaki hot shorts and prepster stockings, this classic 60’s Beauty proved that less was certainly more. I wouldn’t be too out of the ordinary walking around SF barefoot with my basket…hmmmmmm. Happy Tuesday Lovelys! 

Xx Alex

“I Am Weary.”

It never gets old. Every placement, every move, every image. Brilliant collaborations make my world go round. Off to play my imaginary guitar now… lots to learn. Stéphanie Di Giusto/Lou/ Vanessa Bruno… effortless.NUDITY…. and absolutely beautiful. Lou in Givenchy directed by Karim Sadli.lamagnifiquemode… a random youtube find. After a three day trip to L.

A (consisting of no shut eye), I’ll be doing just this… sitting around watching short films and listening to Etta James. Prepping the tummy for tomorrows feast. Good Day.

Xx Amy 

That Tree is Older Than Jesus…”

Rain parts – Sun comes to give tidings. Ahhh… hello. My friend Ponch and I had quite a time, clamoring about this grand daddy of a tree. Been livin’ in Ponch lately… poor thing hasn’t even had a chance to bathe. This weekend it shall have time off… maybe. I didn’t include the shots of me getting up there… ass crack shots? We’re close, but still… just felt inappropriate.

These particular shots were taken by my love on his phone… needless to say, not the quality of big number mega pixels BUT I still enjoy the fuzzzzz.

Wearing vintage head to toe.

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Xx Amy