Five questions we forgot to answer...

As I was scouting around online trying to update photos this afternoon I discovered a long lost e-mail from our local New Orleans Scout Guide editor, Taylor Morgan.  It was aptly titled "How to make the most out of your TSG membership".  Well, embarrassing. I've pestered Taylor several times about how I don't understand the parameters of using social media most effectively.  Perhaps her first suggestion should have been "READ YOUR E-MAILS MORE CAREFULLY, KRISTIN."

 

Here are five questions Taylor asked us in October.

One fun fact about the business owner:

Amanda was a hotly recruited basketball player out of high school.  She played forward at University High School in Baton Rouge.  Go Cubs!

One fun fact about the business:

There are more dogs than people at Studio Amanda Talley.  Four out of our five canine employees are rescues, a passion project for both Amanda and her mother, who runs the Sabine Rescue operation.

Ginger, one of our five canine team members at Studio Amanda Talley

Ginger, one of our five canine team members at Studio Amanda Talley

 

One favorite item in your store or on the menu at your restaurant:

Houston's Restaurant + an epic veggie burger

Houston's Restaurant + an epic veggie burger

Well,  initially Amanda misunderstood me, and said that she loves the veggie burger at Houston's, which is good information.  Once I rephrased the question she said her favorite offering at the gallery is the drawing files.  I agree!  We have a giant flat file containing hundreds of drawings of all sizes and prices, and it is largely overlooked because everything else in the gallery is out and demanding immediate attention.  I recommend making time to sift through the drawing files the next time you visit!

Some treasures found in the drawings cabinet

Some treasures found in the drawings cabinet

 

 

One tip about your business or industry that not everyone knows:

If you love a piece out of your price range when shopping for art, open a conversation with the gallery staff.  You'll oftentimes find that they can direct you to something similar in a different size, and sometimes even split a diptych or find another way for you to have what you love.  Below are two drawings, one of which is $7500 and the second $1400.  Although the second is smaller, and may not have the massive visual impact of the first, you may find that choosing a dramatic frame and mounting {we recommend Framebridge} help give your smaller piece more authority while staying in your price range.

Borrowed, 51" x 60" on archival paper, $7500

Borrowed, 51" x 60" on archival paper, $7500

Forever, 18" x 24" on archival paper, $1400

Forever, 18" x 24" on archival paper, $1400

 

Are you celebrating a 5, 10 or 20 year anniversary?

Amanda quit her beloved "day job" at Gerrie Bremermann in 2008 to open the first location of Studio Amanda Talley, so we're looking forward to a big 10 year celebration next year.  We are already planning many special events and editions to commemorate the milestone!

A surprise from Traditional Home and Courtney Giles!

As anyone in the design industry will tell you, having your work published is a major key to growth and exposure.  It can take a hometown hero, and launch their aesthetic to faraway audiences, and also allows everyone involved in a project to enjoy the finished product in the glossy pages of tangible completion.  As a bibliophile-by-way-of-periodicals ( magazine nut ) I devour nearly every interiors magazine on the market, and am always excited to see the lovely work of our friends in the design community.

When I hear that Amanda's work is going to be featured in an upcoming publication, I am excited to the point of obsession.  This past Fall I loitered excessively at Whole Foods daily, waiting for the holiday issue of Garden and Gun, as we were generously included in a piece about Fig + Dove's beautiful holiday decor.  I have stacks of old magazines with bookmarks hanging out of them marking features and photos, and I never get tired of looking at them.

Imagine my surprise, then, when a feature popped up on Instagram without our even knowing it existed!  After seeing some shared images on social media, Amanda and I made a sprint trip to Walgreen's to buy the newest issue of Traditional Home.  And it was so very rewarding!

 

Courtney Giles' beautiful nursery

Courtney Giles' beautiful nursery

Courtney Giles' inspiring renovation of her own property in Atlanta was stunning from start to finish, but we were especially excited to see two pieces of Amanda's featured in the photos.  This was an unexpected treat, and only serves to fuel my quest to purchase, read and save every shelter publication known to man.

Another image from Traditional Home's twelve page spread on the Giles renovation.

Another image from Traditional Home's twelve page spread on the Giles renovation.

I loved the chance to have a peek inside Courtney's personal space, and now I'm visualizing a project where we might see an Amanda Talley nursery complete with art, bedding and wallpaper. Any takers?

King Cake Season

Because we live in New Orleans, any post-holiday downtime is impossible because Mardi Gras comes right on the heels of the New Year.  The traditional start of the Mardi Gras season is on Epiphany, the 6th of January.  

In some Catholic countries, Epiphany is the major gift-giving holiday -- children receive their presents not from Santa Claus, but from the wisemen, which makes sense given they brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Messiah.

In New Orleans, Epiphany begins Carnival, or Mardi Gras. Instead of just one day for "Fat Tuesday," a New Orleans Mardi Gras lasts from Three Kings all the way to Ash Wednesday. It's a big "farewell to the flesh" blowout that counts down to the austerity of the Lenten season.  Most folks around here kick the season off with their first bite of King Cake on the 6th, and don't stop until they've eaten their last on Mardi Gras day.

In a city renowned for food, you can find as many different styles of king cakes as there are cuisines.  Most locals have "their" favorite king cake, and it's often a loyalty bred from the formative years.  I'm always interested to hear which type of cake a friend prefers, and why. 

 I prefer the "traditional" style of king cake popularized by McKenzie's, a local bakery that is no longer.  McKenzie's king cake was heavy on the bread, light on the frosting, and honestly...not all that exciting compared to all the choices available today.  What it represented to me, though, was Mardi Gras with my New Orleans cousins, which is one of my best childhood memories.  Being a Baton Rouge cousin, eating king cake for breakfast before a day of parade-watching was an unbelievable occurrence to me, and McKenzie's king cake was on the menu.  

My oldest daughter is a January baby, and has had every form of king cake imaginable for her birthday over the years.  She's never declared a favorite, but did request we send cream cheese filled king cake to her college address this year. 

My other daughter "hates" King Cake.  We don't know where she came from, but I'm glad that District Donuts finally came up with something purple, green and gold that I can feed her during Mardi Gras.  Otherwise she might only eat Popeye's fried chicken, and we all know how dangerous that is.

District Donut's delicious "king cake" donut

District Donut's delicious "king cake" donut

I asked around the gallery for other King Cake preferences, and this is what I came up with.

Collin:

My favorite type of king cake is almond.  It's not easy to find, but so good!  It's like an almond croissant but amped up for Mardi Gras.  Yum.  (we recommend trying La Boulangerie's version)

Almond King Cake at La Boulangerie, New Orleans

Almond King Cake at La Boulangerie, New Orleans

Jason:

I don't have a favorite flavor, but I'd say I like Sucre the best!  (Sucre king cakes are known for being culinary works of art, so it's fitting that an artist would choose it as a favorite)

Sucre king cakes at their bedazzled best

Sucre king cakes at their bedazzled best

Amanda:

I like plain.  I don't need fillings or stuffings or extra icing.  I also don't want my king cake to be dry.  (True to form, when I got to work this morning there was a plain traditional king cake from Breaux Mart in the kitchen.)

Breaux Mart's traditional king cake.

Breaux Mart's traditional king cake.

Happy New Year!

2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New Year is always a time for reflection and resolution -- the staff at Studio Amanda Talley is not exempt from this tradition.

Here are our work and personal resolutions for 2017 -- What are yours?

Collin:

Collin and Zephyr, 2016

Collin and Zephyr, 2016

My work resolution is to double down on my organizational efforts.  In all honesty, it's not my strong suit, but I'm not bad at it either.  It just takes focus and constant attention.  My aim is to have the gallery running like a very finely tuned machine - one that's powered by a whirlwind of color, action, creativity and dogs.  I've had so much fun since joining this crew this past fall, and I'm psyched for what the new year has in store!

My personal resolution is to write more!  For pleasure, that is.  It will be so easy to accomplish since I write so little now.  I've always gotten such satisfaction fro writing for school and work, but I've rarely directed my efforts towards writing for my own enjoyment.  There's a great quote to the effect that "words are clothing for our thoughts," and I love the idea of an impeccably dressed thought.  So in 2017, I'm digging deeper into my lifelong love affair with ideas and their linguistic attire.

Kristin:  

Outside in Iceland, 2016

Outside in Iceland, 2016

My work resolution is to give greater focus to a smaller number of studio projects.  2016 was exciting and wild due to the number of products and ideas we were pursuing all at once.  In the race to figure out how to make different things work, some really great ideas fell to the side.  Now that I know what our workroom and collaborators are interested in and excel at, I can zero in on specific styles and products, and let other ideas exist as special order or custom items.  I wouldn't trade this past year for the world, but there was a period of time when we were throwing bow ties, golf pants, kaftans, stationery, purses and stockings all into the air at once, while trying to keep up with phone cases and Apple's new iPhone introductions along with eight separate pop-ups at once.  That's a lot!  

My personal resolution is to find balance.  I spent the last ten years of my life as a mama, a cross country coach, and a manager of a running store.  Running and being outside is a very big part of who I am, and in the excitement of all the awesome happening at the studio, I forgot to be outside as much as I usually am.  And I miss it, and definitely feel the difference in my body and mind.  I also need to stop eating so many gummy worms and drinking Red Bull and Kool Aid.  Because, gross; but also so very unhealthy!  So, yes.  Balance in the form of more outdoors and less gummy worms!

Do you Voodoo?

New Orleans' annual Voodoo music festival has become a fan favorite for people from all over the world.  In the festival promoter's own words:

"Voodoo is a musical gumbo stirring together music, art, community, cuisine and all the mystery and adventure that Halloween weekend in New Orleans conjures up. With more than 65 bands over three days, Voodoo is more than just a Festival – it is an experience."

Below you'll find this weekend's schedule -- it's got something for everyone for sure.

We've put together a couple of looks that build on some of our favorite fashion pieces.  Enjoy!

Collin is rocking a hand painted leather jacket (price upon request), fitted khakis he scored at Buffalo Exchange, a hat from Meyer the Hatter and his favorite Cole Haan loafers with woven detail and cross strap.  He's hefting a custom Veuve magnum, which can be had for $650.

Collin is rocking a hand painted leather jacket (price upon request), fitted khakis he scored at Buffalo Exchange, a hat from Meyer the Hatter and his favorite Cole Haan loafers with woven detail and cross strap.  He's hefting a custom Veuve magnum, which can be had for $650.

Amanda is wearing a custom sundress in Moroccan Garden (price upon request), styled with her own jewelry and flat sandals.

Amanda is wearing a custom sundress in Moroccan Garden (price upon request), styled with her own jewelry and flat sandals.

Morgan is wearing the "Amanda" kaftan in the Moonbeam pattern ($380, XS-XL), shades by Krewe D'Optic and shoes scouted by Westerly Vintage

Morgan is wearing the "Amanda" kaftan in the Moonbeam pattern ($380, XS-XL), shades by Krewe D'Optic and shoes scouted by Westerly Vintage

Every festival deserves a tent...or a tipi in this case.  Small tipi available in any pattern, $450. Custom lounge furniture and lightbox, price upon request.

Every festival deserves a tent...or a tipi in this case.  Small tipi available in any pattern, $450. Custom lounge furniture and lightbox, price upon request.

How a fabric is born: Studio Amanda Talley

Every one of our signature Amanda Talley fabrics is created using Amanda's original artwork.  The process begins with a high resolution digital image of one of her paintings or drawings.  The image is "snipped", and a portion is removed to begin creating the fabric pattern.  After the "snip" is removed, we use a computer program to arrange the snip in different ways, including tiled, scrolled, or mirrored images.  We spend a lot of time arranging and re-arranging until we come up with a scale and design that works for the particular project we're aiming for.  Once the pattern and scale are determined, we have a sample printed on several different fabrics and chat with the tailors in our workroom as to whether they will work well for interiors, bedding, clothing, or whatever other ideas we're experimenting with.  Once everyone gives it the green light we give the pattern a name and start production!  Enjoy our mini-movie and detailed photos of the process!

Amanda's Original work on paper entitled "Olivia"

Amanda's Original work on paper entitled "Olivia"

Former Gallery Director Morgan Hanson snips and clips

Former Gallery Director Morgan Hanson snips and clips

Pattern idea no. 1

Pattern idea no. 1

Pattern idea no. 2

Pattern idea no. 2

Pattern idea no. 3

Pattern idea no. 3

So many patterns, and we printed them all...

So many patterns, and we printed them all...

Head tailor Paty Alfaro checks for scale and color

Head tailor Paty Alfaro checks for scale and color

"Sugar Magnolia" dress, XS-XL $198

"Sugar Magnolia" dress, XS-XL $198

Scalloped standard sham, $196

Scalloped standard sham, $196

"Sally" sundress, available size 2T-10, $135

"Sally" sundress, available size 2T-10, $135

Louis is very spoiled and loves his Amanda Talley bedding...

Louis is very spoiled and loves his Amanda Talley bedding...

Oh, baby!

Possibly the greatest irony of my work here at Studio Amanda Talley is that I am now nurturing the production of children's clothing.  I LOVE CHILDREN'S CLOTHING!  My mother was a partner in a children's boutique when I was young, but because I wore a school uniform for practically all of my own childhood, the only clothes I really remember choosing is the party dresses and sundresses we wore in the summertime.

As the mother of two girls, I did get to play dress up again, and my kids got to wear all of my dresses (carefully preserved by my mother) and their own...until they also started school and began wearing a uniform daily.

Now that they are in their teens, I suddenly have access to a workroom and pattern makers and as much fabric in Amanda's beautiful patterns as I could ever want, and I no longer have kids to dress.  

The good news is that I'm still obsessed with kids clothing and now it's part of my job.  Here are some of my current favorites from our 2016 collection!

 

The "Lucy" dress, available sizes 12-18 months - 8T, $135  

The "Lucy" dress, available sizes 12-18 months - 8T, $135

 

The "Hannah" dress, available in sizes 12-18 months - 8T, $165

The "Hannah" dress, available in sizes 12-18 months - 8T, $165

The "Sally" dress, available in sizes 2T- 10.  $135

The "Sally" dress, available in sizes 2T- 10.  $135