Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Day at the Beach

All photographs are self portraits taken by myself using a tripod
Styling:  Esther Boller

It's currently a storming morning in NYC.  I can feel the rainy breeze, and soft echo of thunder coming in through the open window as I'm sitting in the living room writing this post.  It's quite the opposite wheather than these photos that I took last summer while in Michigan, but still non the less lovely.  I've always loved rainy days, and it's a nice change since it's been so hot and humid the past few weeks.  

I realized while editing these photos that I have not been swimming since I took them, and it's my quest to try to go this summer while I'm in NYC.  I've been researching free outdoor pools and I found one called The Floating Pool which looks like the most incredible experience!  I've been working 7 days a week for the past month, but the next moment I have a day off I'm making it happen.  





Outfit:  Swimsuit:  Asos, Swimming cap: Vintage, Sunglasses: Target
Also, while I was researching pools I found these cool photos of NYC swimming pools in the 1930s.  Aren't they spectacular looking?!




 Also, I wanted to thank everyone who said such sweet words about my cat Bobbie!  It was so kind, and he lived a long good life.  

Xx
Esther 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer Sewing: Vintage 1950s Beach Shorts

All photographs are self portraits taken by myself using a tripod.
Styling:  Esther Boller

Last summer was a very productive time of sewing, photography, and playing around creating.  In fact it was was a little too productive. I'm just now finding the time to edit some of the photos/projects from last summer (40 gigabytes of photos and I vow never again to let it get that bad stocked up again.  Maybe).

I started making these shorts that I'm wearing years ago.  Probably sometime in high school, but I just finished sewing them last summer.  That's the thing with textile creatives - we always have 10 projects going on at once!

I'm currently working a part-time job at a yarn/fabric shop in NYC called Purl Soho and it's heaven for the textile lover!  If you're in NYC stop by and say hi.  They also have a great project blog called The Purl Bee.  Anyway, the most common conversation that I have with other makers is about how we always have a bazillion projects going on at once.   It's just so easy to get excited about a new project and leave the old one behind for a while.  That is, until I realize that I have 10 left-behind projects that need finished.  I find this especially easy to do with knitting.

Well these shorts were one of the 15 projects that took a little longer to finish.  But I finished them just in time for when I went on vacation in Michigan last June.  They were perfect for the beach, and so comfortable.  I made them from a vintage Annie Adams pattern and I've been making new variation of these same shorts for years.  The fit is just so comfy.

I always get in a 1950s inspiration kick whenever I know I'm going to the beach.  So naturally the styling and editing of the photos were done to reflect that era.  

Head Scarf, sunglasses, tank top, and belt:  Thrifted,  Necklace:  Red Clover Boutique,  Shorts:  Handmade by me

Also, Leon Bridges has been the soundtrack to my life so far this summer.  Check out his tunes if you haven't already!


Xx
Esther 

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Girl and Her Cat

My oldest and dearest friend of 19-years left earth today. There's something special and sweet about a pet's soul.  They have so much love to give and they share it in the simplest ways.  They're light little puffs of light to each day.  

Bobbie was my first pet that I ever had.  I got him when I was 18-months-old and we had a thick bond from the beginning.  He was one of those rare gems of a cat with the loyalty and tendencies of a dog.  He lived outside, and since we were in the country I spent most of my childhood days outdoors playing.  


He'd follow me on all my adventures.  I'd go fishing in our pond - well he'd be sitting right beside me to see what I'd catch (or more likely didn't).  I'd go walking in our woods, and 10 feet behind me there he was coming to join.  He came with me on all my photo shoots, and I've had to Photo Shop his tail out of a lot of the final images.  
There was a tree in my front yard that on the 2nd large branch up to the left there was a nook against the trunk that fit the spine of my back perfectly.  This made for a fantastical knitting escape, and I would climb up and knit for hours in elementary school.  It was deemed the title “The Knitting Tree” by everyone in my family.  No one bothered me when I was there, and I was able to focus on what I was doing: needle in through the front, yarn over, pull through, slip the stitch off, repeat all afternoon long.  

Of course, 5 minutes into knitting, I hear this scratching noise and of course it's Bobbie climbing up the tree to see what I'm working on.  He'd sit to the branch next to mine and keep me company as I knit, purl, knit, till someone called me inside. Then we'd both hop down from our spots and walk back to the house together, 
The Knitting Tree
Bobbie also had the appetite of a dog.  I had a routine of swinging in a tree in my backyard at least once a day.  One time I was swinging and snacking on some Saltine crackers when Bobbie hopped up on my lap and nudged me with such a fervor that I just had to give him a part of a cracker.  He LOVED it.  From there I tested other foods on his palette and found that he enjoyed peanuts, mini marshmallows, and completely flipped for raisins.  Again the loyalty and appetite of a dog.  

He was also the best listener.  Whenever my brother Daniel was in the hospital I'd go outside and talk to Bobbie about it.  He was always there to lend a listening whisker as I rubbed his sweet spot between his ears.  
Losing a pet is, of course, not as severe as many other sad things that happen in life, but I decided to share these memories, because it's still worth taking a moment to remember a dear sweet soul that is no longer on earth today.


Bobbie, you were the best cat, dog, knitting/saltine eating companion a girl could ask for.  All the peace in the world little friend <3>

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Green Gables

 All photographs are self portraits taken by myself using a tripod.
Styling:  Esther Boller

I remember the first time that I felt homesick for Indiana after moving to school in Savannah.  It was about half way trough fall quarter and I was helping a friend with a photo shoot.  We drove past the marshes just outside of the city, and it was my first time out of the downtown area.  As I looked out over the marshes I realized, "It's - So - Open."  There was so much space for my eyes to breathe.

Growing up in Indiana I was always surrounded by flat corn and soy bean fields, so my eyes grew up with the privilege to look out for miles at a time.  In that moment in the marshes, there was so much space again, and I didn't even realize how much I had been craving that till I had it again. 

Well the other day, I walked the Chelsea High line (my favorite place to walk in NYC so far) and I was soaking up every chance I got to see out past 100 feet.    I'm very happy that I found a place for my eyes to "breathe" in NYC.   I figure that no matter where I move, as long as I'm able to get a place to look out, I'll be ok.   




Hat:  H&m, tank top: forever 21, Skirt: muslin tulle skirt I found in the throw-away bins at school.  Belt:  Goodwill.  
Photos taken last summer while on a camping trip in Michigan with my family.  More photos from that trip are on the way.

Xx
Esther 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Good Morning Moon


All photographs are self portraits taken by myself using a tripod.
Styling and set design:  Esther Boller

The Great Gatsby will always be one of my favorite books.  Fitzgerald's books are so clearly written and there's such a high level of beauty in his words.  I've always been inspired by characters in books/movies, and as I've written before, Gatsby is an inspiration I always go back to.  There's something so whimsical and soft about the of the clothing in that era.  It feels more theatrical and special and I swoon over it all.   I've slowly been collecting pieces here and there that nod back to that era, though I can't afford the real deal.

While this dress isn't a true 1920s piece, it's a vintage Guess dress that I scored at Goodwill on 50% off day.  That was a triumphant thrift day.  I made my headband to complete my look which was very simple.  I just cut out a piece of applique from a beaded dress that I also bought at goodwill.  I always buy beaded items when I can to cut up for the beads. It's a lot cheaper and better quality of beads than buying from craft stores (always wait for the 50% off days though).  Once my shape was cut, I then ironed a piece of heavy fusible interfacing onto the back.  This makes the applique super firm.  Then I stitched a piece of ribbon onto the back and magic - we're in the 20s.  



Headband:  DIY,  Dress:  Vintage Guess,  Shoes:  JC Penny,  Necklace:  H&M sale.  
Stay magical.  

Xx
Esther 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Stars and Feeling Small

"I want Mom.  When is she going to be back?" my younger brother asks, his voice cracking with emotion.

"I don't know buddy - but everything is going to be ok."

I feel so bad that I can't give him what he's wanting - his mom.  I sing him a song till after awhile he falls asleep.

I was 12-years-old, and it was late at night.  I had just finished tucking my younger brother Daivd in bed.  Both of my parents were gone over at the hospital taking care of my older brother, and I was alone with David.  It had been like that for the past couple of days.  I walk out of his room and with all the lights still on, I stop in place - the house is so empty.  In that moment I realize there's no one to sing me to sleep and tell me that everything is going to be ok.

I put my snow clothes on and go outside. It's cold and a foot of white is covering the ground.  I make an angel in the snow and look up at the stars that glimmer so clearly in the country sky.  I was overwhelmed with how small I felt compared to them.  I thought with all of these stars and the universe so big, there has to be at least one person out there who feels just as alone as I do.  I imagine someone else looking up at the stars from some other place, in that same moment, and thinking the same thing. And somehow, we were connected and I was no longer alone.  That thought gave me the comfort that I needed to make me feel like I was a part of something larger.

I was thinking about that night of star gazing the other evening, as I was watching the philharmonic play a free concert on the Great Lawn in Central Park.  I looked up from the grass and past the dark silhouette of tree tops to see a sky that was so blank and so strange looking without stars.

There's a similar feeling of small-ness, and feeling like you're a part of something bigger in the city.  Maybe that's because the buildings are so much taller, and there are crowds of people walking at all hours going somewhere to do something. When I see all of the people around me and the building so large, I get the same feeling that I use to get while star gazing.  The business and the grandness makes me feel like I'm a part of something bigger here.  Even though I'm a very small part of it, we're all small parts making up something bigger.



I've been in NYC for a summer internship for almost 3 weeks now.  Each day I feel more at home.  I'll be updating more often again over the next summer months!
    

Friday, March 20, 2015

Life on Two Wheels

All photographs are self-portraits taken by myself using a tri-pod.   

Ahhh it's biking weather again, finally!  I remember the first time that I was allowed to bike on the open road by myself without my parents.  As a kid that was the ultimate dream - open road and total freedom!  My favorite place to bike back then was a fairly secluded road that was surrounded by soybean/corn fields on each side.  It would stretch for about a mile and was always the smoothest road around.  It's a little hard to find a road that open in Savannah, but I have my favorite spots here too!  One of them is further away from downtown and during the weekday it's pretty quiet from traffic.  There are palm trees that line the street, and it's where I like to go when I need to clear my head from school projects.





Outfit:
Blazer:  Red Clover Boutique 
Watch:  JORD - I love these guys! Their craftsmanship, packaging, and customer service is spot on.
Shoes:  LeBunny Bleu

School starts again this coming Monday and I'm so excited for this quarter!  I'm taking a Knitwear Design class with my favorite professor which I'm really looking forward to learning under her again.  I just came back from a week long internship with the incredibly fun and talented team over at Handmade Charlotte!  I interned with them over Christmas break as well, and it's was such a fantastic time!  I'll share some of my work that I did with them hopefully soon.  Below is an instagram photo that I took as I was driving back to Savannah.
Happy Friday!