Stuff i ❤




Worthy Causes



Our Miss Brooks

I have recently adopted a new rescue kitty, a little ginger tabby just 3 years old I've dubbed Miss Louise Brooks. Lulu for short. It has been a while since I've had a female cat and she has the sweetest demeanor. Her big quirk (and my cats always seem to have at least one) is she is extremely shy. To the point that I had to do some research and seek much advice. I am following this plan by creating a safe little space in my office so she can get use to me and her new environment. I also let her burrow under my sheets where she seems happy and content for hours on end. She is very affectionate and loves to cuddle but flinches at every sound. I am patient though and all and all she has been very easy and a welcomed distraction as I morn Mr. Finch. Which begs the question... who is really "rescued" by a rescue animal?


all photos & content © Lara Rossignol


Pie Archive: Love is Strange & Inspiring

Resurrecting this post, part of a blogging mash up started by sfgirlbybay who asked what "what inspires you?". Many many things do, so you might think it hard to choose. It wasn't. Without hesitation the single biggest influence for me are Films and the first one that always comes to my mind is the haunting masterpiece Badlands. It was written and directed by Terrence Malick and released in 1973.

Based loosely on the Charles Starkweather and Caril Fugate case, who are considered the first American spree killers. It is a compelling story told with careful restraint by Malick and rich imagery from cinematographer Tak Fujimoto. So beautiful is the photography in this film, I have shown it in full to some of my classes.

This is one of my favorite sequences in the film, the imagery combined with Sissy's narration and the incredible score by George Aliceson Tipton. Below an interesting British promotion for its release, notice the "X" rating.

A few years ago in NYC, I got the opportunity to photograph Sissy Spacek for a magazine. I can honestly say, despite all the famous people I have shot, I have never really been in awe of anyone, till this assignment. She put me quickly at ease though, her own nervousness about being photographed apparent. Then she asked if we had any beer, even though it was a rental studio there just happened to be single can of Budweiser in the fridge. She just had a few sips but it helped her relax. A  true Texas girl, she grew up twirling a baton and it was featured in the movie in a scene where she first meets Sheen's character. I brought a baton and she actually twirled it for me, fun images but is the ethereal image below that remains my favorite.

To see what inspires Victoria the creator of the amazing blog sfgirlbybay, pre-order her new book! See San Francisco due out April 28th!




all photos & content © Lara Rossignol


The Junkin' Life

Pickin', Junkin', hunting... whatever you want to call it... the search for unique treasures has become a bit more than a hobby for me. It is now a second job! As I mention in my newly posted shop's "About" page, instead of just selling stuff from own collections, I am now seeking out items just to sell. I guess I have become what some in the estate sale biz call "a dealer", all a part of making my etsy store more than just a little hobby.


Rising often before the sun and following the wise, patient voice of my GPS, I often arrive hours before a sale to sign up on "the list". Not once have I been the first, I am lucky if I am in the top ten. I pack a kind of estate sale survival kit, with a small bag to hold my wallet, phone and keys (a lot of sale organizers will not allow you to bring in large purses), a snack, coffee, my reading glasses at the ready on a leash and a shopping bag or more recently a basket, ala Little Red! If I am driving some distance, I might search out ahead for a nearby Starbucks for a pit stop after I get my name on the list.


I have already spent much time researching on this site which sales I want to go to, based on photos they post and location. I also check out Craig's list and am on the mailing lists for a few companies whose sales I like. I see a lot of the same faces and really enjoy chatting with some of them as we line up. Like many things, it has its own culture and attracts a very mixed bag of peeps. As mentioned above you can now follow my junkin life on Instagram and post your own via #estatesalejunkie. If you see something you like on there, just make a comment or email me! Selling directly through Instagram is a big trend right now and I'm nothing if not trendy! 



all photos & content © Lara Rossignol


Pie Archive: Lust Worthy

A look back at two posts I did on this fun shoot I did on this Lustron house for Readymade Magazine while in Atlanta. Here is my take on Sarah Kathryn Smith's metal diamond in the rough. I just loved shooting this project and capturing Sarah's fun, funky style. She hunted down the curtain fabric above after seeing it used on an episode of Madmen.

Sarah was actually shown her Lustron home as a "tear down" but she saw the potential and was fascinated by it's history. A former Scarlett O'Hara impersonator and owner of her own booming match making company, she is not afraid of a challenge. Above she wears a 50's tea dress from Witty Vintage.

She fashioned these curtains from two different sets she found at Target. The glass beads add a little sparkle with the afternoon light.

Working on a tight budget while trying to maintain the retro integrity was not easy. Especially in the kitchen which had suffered the most damage over the years. Here she opened up the kitchen by replacing the large built in with this cool industrial island. She used salvaged granite for the counters, IKEA metal cabinets and found her working vintage stove on the side of the road.

One of our many "cover tries"... I fell in love with this original built in shelve. Local Altanta bakery Sweet Pockets provided these very tasty props, red velvet cupcakes.

Sarah rocked this retro perfect dress by Lesley Evers which almost made the cover! 

This is the rough mock up (before retouching) I was sent, so kawaii! They decided to go with another shoot that illustrated the getaway theme of the issue. I have to admit it is pretty cute too. I love this mag, can't wait till they come out with an iPad version!

How do you hang a picture on a metal wall? Magnets of course! This lampshade makeover was a fun, easy, no sew project that I took to Whipstitch and they whipped together. I paid $3 for the lamp at a thrift store and only used about $3 in fabric so it is both cute and cheap, my two favorite things. You can get the low down on the "how to" here.


I had never heard of Lustron Homes till about a week ago when I was contacted to do the shoot. Introduced in 1947 they were a modern marvel at the time, a pre-fab house made completely of enamel coated steel. Both inside and out!

The company was based in Columbus, Ohio and shipped the homes, designed by Morris Beckman, all over the country. The houses originally sold for between 8,000-9,500 and were then assembled on site. Of the over 50,000 homes sold in the companies short 3 year existence, only about 2000 still remain standing.

Easy maintenance was a big selling feature but hold on...doesn't water + metal= rust?

They have now developed almost a cult like following with several sites devoted to the history and documenting of these little gems. I found both Lustron Connection and Lustron Preservation very informative. There has even been a film and books on the subject. 

Well at least one of those homes made it to the Atlanta.

Sadly, Readymade Magazine has not survived as well, it ceased publication in 2011.



top photos & content © Lara Rossignol

styled by Christa Leveto ~ hair & make up by Faith Brooks


Spring Y'all

I do miss the South in the spring, there is just nothing else like the it. I tried to relish the delight of driving through my old historic Grant Park neighborhood while I could. 

Most of all I miss the dogwood. You just don't see it out here! Even though it only last a few weeks at most, it is almost worth the price of admission. It is also the national flower of Vancouver BC as I discovered with this great find, now available in my etsy shop. I am also making available limited editions of this image above in either 8.5 x 11 or 11 X14 archival prints. Plus today is the last day to get 20% off when you spend $50 or more by using promo code: ILOVEFRESHPIE at check out. 

For more Dogwood goodness check out my full Etsy Treasury



all photos & content © Lara Rossignol


It's Happening

I am happy to annouce I am teaming up with photographer Stephanie Wiley to do a series of workshops starting in May. They will be held over 3 weekends, one a month at Stephanie's studio in Montrose, California and limited to 12 students a session. So excited! Lots more details to come very soon so stay tuned.


all photos & content © Lara Rossignol


Pie Archive: Porch Party

How I love my new porch and this pretty patio set I scored at the Rosebowl Flea. It was a "worse for the wear" white but I had it made over by the amazing guys at Sundial Powder Coating who you may remember also transformed this iKea cart. Now I have the perfect place to entertain on a lovely spring  or summer day.

A salad is a great choice for a small or large group. Easy to make ahead (just do not add dressing till right before serving) and you don't have the worry of timing a complicated entree.

For my "cobb-ish" I started with a mix of baby spinach and butter lettuce, then added red onion, avocado, bacon, chicken and goat cheese instead of blue. Then dressing was made with aioli mustard (from Trader Joe's, love this stuff), red wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, a dash of Worcestershire Sauce and salt & pepper.

I've mentioned fried green tomatoes before, they are a southern favorite and easy to make. Green tomatoes are just red tomatoes that have not yet ripened. I was able to find  some at my local Sprouts.

I mix corn meal and flour, some bay seasoning and garlic powder and then dip the sliced tomatoes into a mixture of egg and low fat buttermilk, then dredge in your dry mix, then put into a hot pan. I used the left over bacon fat (from the salad) to fry them. This is really the key for a true southern style taste. On top, a cilantro dressing with a touch of sriracha mixed in.

I made my life easy by picking up a ready made "mini" cherry pie, also from Sprouts. Everything else I picked up at Trader Joe's, naturally. 

Check out this book, it had the best reviews of the many TJ's cookbooks I discovered.





all photos & content © Lara Rossignol


Sweet Pie Finds

If you follow me on Instagram then you may have noticed I have been on quite the estate sale tangent lately. Partly to build up the inventory in my Etsy shop and partly because I'm a bit addicted to the thrill of the hunt. A wise woman once told me for every thing that comes into her home something else must go out. This way you can avoid that hole hoarding issue. Very smart. I find Etsy a really good, user friendly venue for both the casual seller and the serious collector. So here are some recent scores now available in my shop, starting with this early rare Nippon Kogaku Tokyo lens made for first series of Nikon Range Finder gear.


Probably one of my best finds ever is this beautiful original piece by Harris G. Strong, a popular mid century modern artist who started out with painted tiles and then later experimented with mixed medias. This is an embossed and then hand painted bird on an unusual treated paper with a beautiful glittery gold finish. Professionally matted and framed, signed and marked on the back with his studio sticker.


I am also featuring both some of my own original prints from my archive, like this 11x14  fiber print of Patrick Swayze original commissioned for the magazine I shot him for but never published. I am always on the look out for unique photos and this one really struck me. Dated 1928, this stylish lass with her Louise Brooks bob really caught my eye. 

Another fun Mid Century Modern find was this California pottery Mardi Gras covered dish by Marc Bellaire whose pieces are highly collectable but on the rare side. Especially this style of covered dish, which by nature are a bit delicate. This one is in almost mint condition, it does have a chip on the inside of the lid but luckily it does not effect it cosmetically and the rest of it is pristine.


 I now take all major credit cards and etsy gift cards along with Paypal. I also created this promo code good through the month of March! Just use the code: ILOVEFRESHPIE at checkout and get 15% off when you spend $50 or more. Enjoy and check back often as I contiune to add new items.


all photos & content © Lara Rossignol



I've been re-organizing a lot of my archives and when I have a chance, posting some of my finds on Instagram. Like this favorite image of Kendall Conrad, then a favorite model now an amazing designer. The original image was shot with Polapan and then reshot with my iphone on a light box with th ehipstamtic app. Below more of my recent posts, both old and new images.

Above you might spot a very young Milla Jovovich, Mairah O'Brien, James Spader, Jana Rajlich, photographer/director Dewey Nicks and the parents of a certain muse of mine riding a motorcylce. 



all photos & content © Lara Rossignol


Fly Me to the Moon!

My most favorite series from a recent shoot with my twin niece and nephew, just over 4 months old at the time. Done mostly in-camera, using photoshop mainly for compositing the best elements. I made the rocket myself with construction paper and the vintage flyer's cap actually belonged to wee Daniel's Great Grandfather who was a fighter pilot in World War II. If you are in or coming to the L.A. area feel free to inquire about a session for your child(ren)! Just click the handy email button on the left.



all photos & content © Lara Rossignol


Color Me Vintage

This coveted mid century modern cook ware is called Kobenstyle Dansk and the earliest pieces were manufactured in Denmark from 1959 to 1965. After that some pieces were also made in Belgium. The earlier pieces are the most desirable (like these) and are marked on the bottom with a disctinctive logo featuring 4 ducks. You can check out two of the above that are now available in my Etsy store. The middle saute pan being the most rare and I am keeping the little casserole pan for myself. The lids on these also acts as a trivit, so smart.


Also newly listed in my shop is this fantastic vintage Royal Typewriter, are rare find in this Bubblegum Pink. I have enjoyed this great find but recently found a very cool yellow Remington model and decided to swap it out and sell this one. I believe these were released in 1955 and it still works!


While on the hunt for things to sell I have begun expanding on my little collection of Kokeshi figures. A type of wooden doll made in Japan. This little kawaii guy is also a set of bowls.


Another recent find I hate to give up, these Bronze Deer Bookends.Beatuiful pair! These I'm selling excluisvly via Etsy while the others are also available with either an auction or best offer option on eBay. Hence the different pricing. Covering all my bases! You can also e-mail me directly if you are interested in an item but don't use these sites. I can also arrange for local pick up if you are in the Los Angeles/Pasadena area to save on shipping costs for heavier items. 


 I was able to get my hands on a few of these vintage style tote bags designed by Orla Kiely exclusivly for Tesco, a Target type store based in the UK. I am lucky to have a good friend there and she was able to send me a bunch. I have just a few extra available for $25 each including FREE U.S. shipping, to purchase just click the image above to go straight to the paypal check out. They are 16x13 and will be folded for shipping, only 3 available so don't wait! 



all photos & content © Lara Rossignol


Goodbye Mr. Finch

Last week Atticus lost his long battle with cancer, he no longer wanted to eat. Finally after struggling to find a solution with his wonderful Doctor we knew he was just too weak and it was time to let him go. If you have read my blog at all over the last few years then you know something of this amazing little creature. My heart is truly broken. I have loved and lost many wonderful pets but I have never had a bond quite like this one. He was a very special little guy.




all photos & content © Lara Rossignol


Old With Tags

I loved this $1 estate sale find because of the fab retro Alex Coleman fabric. The style... not so much. When it's this cheap, you can worry about what you'll do with it later. After considering selling it in my Etsy shop, I came up with a better ideal.

I'd been wanting to re-cover these chairs for a few months. It was kismet!


I love the whimsy and Scandinavian influence of this print, so perfect for my mid-century esthetic. You can see these chair's previous incarnation here. Changing out the fabric is such an easy DYI (this is the 3rd time for these!) that can really freshen up a room.



all photos & content © Lara Rossignol


Four Score...

Lincoln in Pasadena: 1992 Lincoln Ave. Pasadena CA 91103

Highlights: Olive Oil Cake!

Chef/Owner: Christine Moore

Known for: Little Flower Candy Co.






top photos & content © Lara Rossignol


New Year ~ New Work

I have been in edit mode since the new year with new work for Lesley Evers, Homespun Vintage & Getty who I just recently signed with. Fun stuff but lots of work. Next on the to do list, new portfolios!


Love this little face, Miss Scarlett for the retro kids clothing line Homespun Vintage


Over the holidays I did this super fun shoot for Getty with my nephew and his new born twins. A former minor league baseball player he is now an excellent personal trainer in the Santa Cruz area. 


See more of my newest work by clicking here!



Model :Ari for Scout Hair & Make Up Tahni Smith all photos & content © Lara Rossignol


Hip to Be Square

I recently invested in a few new Hipstamatic filter sets after becoming a bit bored with what I already had. They give you different "films" and "lenes" all with different looks that can be combined in many ways for different results. Burke with Maximux LXIX


Adler 9009 with C-Type Plate then put through the Swankolab


 I found this cute vintage Kokeshi bobble head doll at an estate sale! She was photographed with the Sergio lens and Dylan film, then I did a little more tweaking in photoshop.


Nothing like a good dive pool hall with some seriously good tables and players. Jerry's in Pasadena has become my favorite place to practice and this photo captures the feel of this place pretty well. I used Sergio and the D-Type Plate.


Another photo app I am liking is Tadaa which has some unique filters. Above I used Berlin and U-Ban for these variations on an image taken with the built iPhone camera app.


Here I used Tadaa again on a photo I took for a retro beauty story I shot way back when. This was a scan of the original tear sheet, the martini part of the original story. I just sent it to my phone then used the "Souvenir" filter. It also has a nice feature that lets you dial back the filter so you can just use a little or a lot.





all photos & content © Lara Rossignol


Tis the Season



all photos & content © Lara Rossignol


Prime Time


Pie's Last Minute Gift Guide 2014!

If you're an Amazon Prime member then the fact that Christmas is just a week away is no biggie! Here are some extra groovy ideas that are all prime 2 day shipping eligible!

1. I am always looking for good point & shoots and the Luimex has great reviews and a whopping 16 megapixels! 2. I just discovered this Sagaform POP stoneware teapot and I want it! 3. I love these newly released classic books designed by Rifle Paper Company's Anna Bond. 4. I am in LOVE with these new Skechers Go shoes! I just got a pair and they are the most comfotable shoes ever... I mean it, ever! They are suppose to feel like wearing a sock and they do come close. I also think they are pretty sporty and come in a lot of diffent styles. 5. Whats not to love about this adorable satchel purse by Fossil? 6. There is nothing like receiving a real hand written thank you. This lovely set from Note Card Cafe is a great gift for teens, teach them young! 7. A little kawaii is always a good choice and you don't get more kawaii than this Aristo Katt Pillow. 8. I am sucker for all things Cavallini and this retro sticker set is no exception. 9. Finally, most of you know I am a Kindle fan and if you really love to read then I highly reccomend the basic Kindle which is on sale right now for $59. That price is for the one with speical offers and I actually really like that part. It's mostly books and I have discovered some good new authors via those offers. A great deal and a great, simple reader. 



 content © Lara Rossignol


On the Hunt

Inspired by the show Thrift Hunters, I have been looking for new finds to both covet and sell. I fear I may covet a bit too much! So as a new item comes in I find another I can now part with (for the right price) to keep the circle going and the clutter from accumulating.

I found this little gem at an estate sale last weekend. A lot of the good stuff goes quick but it pays to wait for the final day when they often slash the prices 50%. I got a good deal on this Figgio Milk Jug from Norway. Though I was not too familiar with them, it was cheap enough to take a chance and after a little research I think I made a great find. It is now listed here

I am also combing through some of my own treasures and listing some select pieces, like this Atlanta made Bauer flower pot. Because Bauer was only in Atlanta a short time these pieces are much more rare and hence valuable. I lucked out getting it at a good price without really knowing the history. I have been selling on eBay off and on for over 12 years and have learned a thing or two. So I put together a list to help those who are thinking of diving in.


Pie's Ebay Selling Tips!  

  1. Get organized! Create an area (or room if possible) to set out and photograph your items. Have a measuring tape, pad of paper and pen ready to jot down important info and stats as you photograph them. 
  2. I photograph my items in area with good but indirect light. Clean simple backgrounds work best, you can even just hang up a white sheet. Never, ever use flash! Good photographs really help sell your items. A good point & shoot would be a better choice if you don't have a DSLR. If you must use a smart phone be sure to have it set for High Res images.
  3. I edit ALL my photos first and then put them in to one file for easy access. I keep the editing minimal; cropping, basic exposure corrections and sharpening. If there is a flaw in the item, make sure to highlight it with a close-up and refer to it in your description.
  4. Do your research! I do some before I decide to list it and more as I list it. This research ranges from looking at similar items that have already sold (check completed auctions in your search options) and google-ing for more history on the item. 
  5. Promote your items with your social networks and make sure you are using key words in your titles and descriptions. Also make sure everything is spelled correctly, I have picked up some good deals from people misspelling a key word.
  6. Shipping items is where a lot of people jump ship when it comes to selling. I actually like the packaging up of items (a little weird I know). Paypal now offers help with the process and you can do your mailing labels & pay online so you can just drop them up or hand them to your carrier!
  7. Print out a packing slip (again easy via Paypal) and I always write a little thank-you note on it. 
  8. I leave feedback after a buyer leaves it for me and if I am the buyer, after I get my item. Ebay is a lot about your rep!
  9. If something doesn't sell, trying RAISING the price when you re-list it. I have done this with a few pieces and suddenly there is interest when before there was none. 
  10. I start my auctions at the lowest price I am willing to take for the item, Ebay sometimes prompts you to lower the opening bid price "to cause interest" while listing. Bah humbug! 


This lady might look familiar to some of you. A vintage hand colored photo from Spain, which I re-photographed and then retouched and had made into a large canvas print for my office. Well the original can be yours! You can check out all my current listings and follow me by clicking here. I also cross list some items in my Etsy store at the "buy it now" price, if I get a bid I just deactivate it. Both platforms have their advantages so why not? One day I would love to have a little shop... but till then these will have to do!


all photos & content © Lara Rossignol


Pie Archive: Living Large

If I had a dollar for every inquiry I get about my equipment, I could have bought another one of these babies by now. In my former life, shooting film, I used Nikons and Hasselblads but chose Canon when I made the switch to digital 8 years ago. It was not a hard decision, I didn't have a huge investment in equipment, often renting what I needed and Canon seemed to have made the most strides in pro digital gear. 


I am in love with my Canon 5D Mark II which I bought back in February, upgrading from a 5D, which I had simply out-grown. You can now get pretty good deals on both of these excellent SLR's since Canon recently released a Mark III. Unless you are a full time Pro, I highly recommend saving your pennies and buying used or getting a slightly older camera body, or opt for one of the lower level models such as a 7D, Rebel or 60D, all of which perform well. It is the lenses that you want to invest your money in. This is what will really determine the quality of your images, well that and an understanding of light, composition and some innate talent & technical ability.


Canon's best lenses are their "L" series and part of what makes a good lens is the maximum aperture, the lower the number, the better the lens. My favorite, used on both images above is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L the "1.2L" being key in knowing this is a quality lens by the letter L and 1.2 is what allows me to open up the lens and get a beautiful shallow depth of field.


On the top of my wish list is their 85mm 1.2L lens. Fixed lenses (rather than zooms with multiple focal lengths) also tend to produce less distortion and are my personal preference. Though I do have a good 24-70, I often use. It really is all about the "glass".


I am also always on the hunt for a good camera bag that is also, dare I say, stylish! I just discovered some fantastic options by Kelly Moore. I especially love this one called the Libby with a built in memory card wallet and space enough for your gear and a laptop. If you travel a lot with your gear as I do, you might also like this excellent option by Think Tank.


If you're not quite ready for an SLR then I highly recommend Leica's d-Lux 6 a super compact point & shoot with the heart of an SLR. I was able to test out the 5 (above) and they have now just released the newest version to stellar reviews. Or you might be able to now pick up the previous model at a good price!



all photos & content © Lara Rossignol