2nd Anniversary: Fat Possum Records Giveaway and Mississippi

23 04 2010

We are headed down to Mississippi and up to no good.  Actually, we are doing a lot of good as today’s giveaway is really exciting.  Fat Possum Records, in Oxford, Mississippi, boasts several Mississippi blues artists, as well as, more independent sounds such as, Band of Horses.  If you ask me, that is quite the spectrum of artists to sign. 

Visit the Fat Possum Record website and check out all of their artists.  Select 2 records of your choice, and leave them in a comment for this post by Sunday, April 25, 2010. You might select someone like Al Green, Band of Horses, Andrew Bird, Cecil Barfield, Furry Lewis, Jimmy Lee Harris, or Heartless Bastards. The fun part is that the decision is entirely up to you! Don’t forget that by entering you also enter to win a southern gardening and/or style book. 

The past few days of prizes have been nothing to scoff at either, Monday’s Mitford Series books, Tuesday’s Corky’s BBQ, Wednesday’s Phickles Pickles (you really want these), and Thursday’s Kentucky Bourbon balls.  Whew! That is a lot of great stuff you don’t want to miss. 

Continuing with the excitement for our second anniversary, here are a few of the favorite posts from the beloved Mississippi.  She is such a pretty state, she will chase your blues away!

Erin Austen Abbott


William Eggleston

Oxford, Mississippi

The Grove

Cornbread Nation

Road Trip Feature: Erin Austen Abbott

13 11 2009

Fall Trip 2009 104

Over the past few years my family began the most interesting process of beekeeping.  Since this time, there have been stings, harvests, and the most delicious honey.  On our fall trip around the south we met Erin Austen Abbott in her store, Amelia in Oxford, Mississippi.  To my amazement, Erin had these beautiful shots of beehives on the walls of her store.  With a simple inquiry and even further excitement, we found out that Erin herself was indeed the photographer. 

Below is the last segment of our interview with Erin.  I know you will enjoy these photos and appreciate the sheer simplicity, and creativity and also be reminded that bees are amazing insects! All of the pictures below are from Erin and she can be reached at erinaustenabbott@gmail.com for details.

Q:While shopping in your store I was overwhelmed by the beautiful beehive photographs, which as it turns out, you took yourself.  How did you decide to start a portfolio of beehives photos?  Is there anywhere you are hoping to take pictures of other beehives?

Well, thank you first off for your kind words with regards to my photography. When I start a new body of work, I sort-of become engrossed in the project. It becomes like the hunt in a thrift store for the perfect Pyrex bowl, just for example. I seek out a subject matter that leaves me searching. My last body of work was tornado shelters throughout Mississippi. I began a search and found dozens and dozens.

Erin's Bees 3

With that said, I once heard about how in New York City, local honey was sold and that each batch tasted different depending on which borough it came from. I was hooked. I had to know more. I began getting these images in my mind of a hive on a rooftop with the whole city behind them. I found some beekeepers and flew up to take their pictures. I am proud to say, I shot that image that I saw in my mind while starting this series. I say starting because I do have plans to shoot more. On my honeymoon in Paris this spring, I’m hoping to take some there, and in San Francisco and Chicago.  I have plans to take some rooftop beekeeper photos there as well. It’s definitely an ongoing project.

Erin's Bees 1

Erin's Bees 2

Thank you Erin for sharing your amazing photograhps, Amelia and your home with us!

Road Trip Feature: Amelia and Erin Austen Abbott, part 2

12 11 2009

Amelia 1

In continuation with our  feature of Amelia and Erin Austen Abbott, today we talk to Erin about the shop and the carryover from home to work and work to home.

Q: Your store, Amelia, was full of an assortment of items, from handmade cards to home decor and even soda.  How did you/do you decide what type of image you want to project at your store? And, if applicable, do the items available in your store reflect your personal style?

A: Well, when I walk into store, I am drawn to the items that I can’t get anywhere else. I look for individuality. I also look for clean lines of the store. Good design. A “busy” store loses me and I can’t decide where to focus. Aesthetics are so important. I also wanted you to feel like you were walking into a vintage apothecary but for cupcakes, with tiny cupcake toppers and cookie cutters in jars, lining a shelf.

As for my personal style, I’ve been told by many that Amelia feels like another room of my house. So, yes the store reflects my personal style for sure. I love vintage everything, mostly the 50’s.

Erin was gracious enough to share pictures of her beautiful home with us.  What a treat! All pictures below are from Erin. 

erin's house 3

erin's house 1

erin's house 2

Tomorrow will feature Erin’s most amazing photographs which consists of a project that is near and dear to my heart.

Road Trip Feature: Amelia and Erin Austen Abbott

12 11 2009


In the heart of The Square, an Oxford, Mississippi must see spot, Ginger and I happened upon the cutest of cute stores, Amelia.  I was first enticed by the opportunity for a cool drink and walked in to find that owner, Erin Austen Abbott had much more to offer us. 

Almost as if we had walked into the set of an Anthropologie photo shoot (but better), Erin’s eye for detail, did not go unnoticed.  Each of her unique items were perfectly cascaded around the no more than 40 X 20 space.  Striking up conversation about one of her products, we quickly found Erin to be both friendly and creative.  Via email Erin agreed to answer a few questions about her store and creative pursuits.  Today and tomorrow, we will feature Erin’s store, work and home. We know you will enjoy her perspective and we are thrilled to introduce her and Amelia (her store) to you.

Q: It seems that you are connected to the Oxford art scene. Are there any projects that you assist with throughout the year, and/or any events that you like in particular?

A: Yes, actually, I started a series called, The One Night Stand Motel Art Show Series. The name changes with each place, but so far it has been “The One Night Stand at The Ole Miss Motel” three times, and I did one in Los Angeles as well, which was called, “The One Night Stand at The Beverly Laurel Motel.”

I rent ten rooms at the motel and then have ten artists. Each artist gets a room to use as their gallery space for the evening. It’s been getting bigger and bigger each year. The Oxford events have brought out around 500 (people) while the LA event had 1500 (people). The next event will be next fall in Oxford. I’m hoping to take this to Philly, Portland, and Brooklyn in the next couple of years.

I am also starting an event in Oxford called The Little Lyric, which is a monthly concert for kids at The Lyric Theatre. This is still in the works.

I also really like the Maker’s Market. I am not involved with this, but I think it’s a great event. It falls on the 1st and 3rd of every month. It’s Oxford’s version of the Renegade Craft Fair.

Q: Does the south in any way influence your artistic point of view?

A: It does in the way I look at lighting. Nowhere else in the country has the lighting we have in the South. I have lived all over this country and in every corner of it as well. Nothing comes close. I’m always drawn to natural light and try to work it into everything I do behind the camera.

Q: What is your favorite southern food and can you find it in Oxford? If so, where?

A: My favorite southern food is fried catfish. Hands down. In Oxford, the best place to find it is actually in a town right outside called Taylor. Taylor Grocery is the best. Believe me, I love it so much that they are catering my wedding this March.

Taylor Grocery

Picture from http://culturebubble.blogspot.com/

Q: Now to my personal favorite question, if there was a soundtrack to your life, what would be your title track?

A: Well, my mom likes to tell this story. When I was around four or five, I woke her up really early one morning, tugging on her sleeve, “Mama, wake up. Wake up.” I said to her. “Yes?” she responded. “Mama, where do your dreams go when you wake up?” I asked. She didn’t have an answer for me at 5AM. I’m still wondering the answer. Yet trying to make sure that they don’t slip away. So the title track would be, “Where Do Your Dreams Go When You Wake Up?”

A big thanks to Erin and I cannot wait to share with you the remainder of our interview and pictures of her home and photographs.