Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Along the way

In my wonderful and exciting time since beginning The Loaded Trunk I have met some extraordinary  people along the way who also share an appreciation for unique and beautiful things.
One of those people is my good friend Kelly Ludwig, AKA 'Queen of Design'. She’s on another road trip doing what she loves most — discovering talented, self-taught artists.  She has a huge collection of their work and has already published a book called Detour Art.
 Photo taken by Becky 
Her trip reminded me of the people, places and objects I’ve encountered along my journeys. Dao Anh Khanh, painter and performance artist, was one of these people.  It was one of those daring moments in Hanoi- I met someone who suggested I just show up at his home and ask to see his work. I jumped on the back of a motor bike and spent the rest of the day graciously being entertained by this eccentric and memorable man.  It is exactly this freedom and sense of adventure that I share with Kelly. 
 Dao Anh Khanh at home
Wall around his home
Sculpture on grounds
Photos by roni jaco
When I think of how I’ve changed and what I’ve learned over the last year or so, I think of Kelly and a quote she once shared with me:
"I get up every morning determined both to change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult." 
- E. B. White 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

First year mark!

Sometimes I pinch myself to make sure this is really my life. Yes, I made a huge life change and left a career in the wine business of 17 years, steady paychecks, benefits, great wine, eating and entertaining at terrific restaurants. Like so many people I craved change. I dreamed of being my own boss and to choose like-minded people to work among. I wanted to make a difference in the world I live in and most of all I yearned to travel. A large portion of my childhood was spent living in Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong. I gravitate so naturally to the art, food, crafts and culture in this part of the world so it seemed fitting that this is where I would begin my new journey; and what a trip it has been.

Beginning next week and for the entire month of July, I will be giving away something from the loaded trunk each week. A little exotic gift from me to you. I am starting with art from Hanoi. It was a place that really caught me by surprise. The burgeoning art scene, amazing food, the warmth of the people in spite of their tumultuous history.

Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi
A lake that has inspired writers, painters and philosophers with its beauty. This small lake between the Old Quarter and the French Quarter is central to Hanoian folklore.
image taken in Hanoi-by me
The Turtle Pagoda
A ghostly shrine standing on an islet, at its center pays homage to a golden turtle. In the 15th century, this heroic reptile is said to have returned a magic sword to its home in the lake after it had been taken. These days, you will find postcard sellers, hawkers, old men playing chess, freelance money changers, lone photographers looking for a lucrative shot and, at about 5 am every day, locals practicing tai chi.
image taken in Hanoi-by me

"Cha ca" is a favorite dish of Hanoi. Located on Cha Ca street (in the old quarter), Cha Ca La Vong ("cha ca" means grilled fish) is a restaurant known to many Hanoians as well as tourists from around the world. The food is supposed to have been created by the Doan family. According to Mrs. Ngo Thi Tinh (a 4th generation descendant of the family), the family started the business of selling "cha ca" to earn money to support family members and to have a meeting place for the Vietnamese people who wanted to fight against French colonialism. Overpriced, very touristy, but I am a sucker for history!
image taken in Hanoi-by me
The role of the poster has been historically connected with Nationalistic struggle in many countries and has played an important role in provoking political action.

So thanks to everyone who helped make it possible to get through my first year at  the loaded trunk. This poster will be the first giveaway, just leave a comment below to enter.  The winner will be chosen at random and announced on each Saturday through July.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Birds of a Feather

Yesterday I found a picture of pillows from John Robshaw who is an artist and amazing designer. He inspires me. When he travels he immerses himself in the cultures of wherever goes. I get that. When I travel I must breathe in the people, food and art where ever I am. He designed the pillows below a few seasons ago, I don't know if they are even available now, but his work is timeless and always appears to be inspired by a sense of place.

While recently in India I met Kani Swami, a painter of miniatures. He paints gorgeous miniatures, but his birds were my favorites. In fact, one of India's numerous surprises to me was that there were so many birds, everywhere. In the hustle bustle of cities where the cacophony of sound, motion and pollution was sometimes so overwhelming, there were beautiful birds.
Picture from John Robshaw Blog

Monday, June 21, 2010

Shades of Bali

Summer has blanketed us with heat already in Kansas City!  Umbrellas for the pool, umbrellas for the rain and umbrellas to delight any table. 
 photo by vision bali
Photo from Stanley Korshak $76.00
An ornament for any table
Photo by the loaded trunk
photo by the loaded trunk

Sunday, June 20, 2010

To Market

Saturday seems to be the day most of us head to whatever farmers' market is nearby. I never have a list. Whatever looks good, local and fresh is what I buy.

Today, while cruising on facebook, I noticed a beautiful picture that a friend took of her bounty. The bowl, filled with yummy fruit and veggies from The City Market, rests on an Ikat runner from the loaded trunk.
Photo by Kelly Austin

Father's Day

I honor my father Marvin on this day. I began by looking up inspirational quotes. Instead I realize he was my inspiration. Every time I read a book, listen to an Opera, eat marvelous food, drink a glass of wine, travel the world fearlessly, I honor my father. He was a principled man (to a fault), a grandfather, loving husband, father and brother. He was a West Point graduate, an executive and mentor and last but not least an amazing golfer. He lived a full life. He was loving and tough and I miss him. He showed me the world and would have honored my new venture.
 the boy
Father knows best??
The Officer
Dad, me and Mom in Miami in the 70's
New York Times Sunday Magazine crossword puzzle master, pencil only
My family saying goodbye to a true renaissance man at West Point

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Outfit

Today, I'm planning an outfit around a couple of pieces from The Loaded Trunk. I absolutely love dresses and how easy it makes my day. Add a couple of accessories and you're done!

Romantic Ruffle Dress, Madewell » $88
Oaxacan Graphite w/ Buddhist Amulet, The Loaded Trunk » $190
Blue Jeans Belt, Anthropologie » $118
Juti Indian Shoes, The Loaded Trunk » $30

Posted by Linh Trieu / Bristow Fresh

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer Coverlets

Styled by Susanna Vento. Photograph by Kristiina Kurronen.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

I love the clean, refreshing look of this bedroom, but it's not quite the style of The Loaded Trunk, is it? Think again. The sparse, modern quality of Swedish and Finnish design is a great jumping off point for those of you who are more comfortable with a splash of color rather than whole rooms of pattern and embellishment.

Look 1 » White on White
If you're looking to replicate this look with its shades of white, then I suggest the Indian Applique Coverlets. These handmade beauties (which can take up to a month to make) add subtle texture and pattern without going over-the-top crazy with color. My bedroom is a pale shade of pink. Over the winter, I've gone with black accents and striped bedding for a feminine French boudoir feel. But with summer in full swing, I want to lighten it all up and this crisp coverlet would be just the thing to give my bedroom a whole new look and feel.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Look 2 » Single Pattern
For those of you looking to add a punch of color, check out these Mexican bedspreads. I love the graphic detail and the repeating pattern. Insider tip: Roni tells me these are almost sold out! And my ears perked right up because I've been yearning for one ever since I've visited her site for the first time. Going with my own bedroom theme, I could go with a pink on pink tonal OR be bold with orange, another one of my favorite colors. 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Look 3 » Vibrant Color + Pattern
Pattern, color, texture all roll into one for this Tropical Coverlet, currently the featured product on The Loaded Trunk. Let me tell you, I've seen these gorgeous blankets in person and I want one in every color. Florals are a trending big time right now, but the beauty of this coverlet is that you can flip it over for a blank, but colorful canvas. The stitching that runs across the whole piece creates a great pattern too. I have a feeling I'm going with this look, but since it comes in six really great colors and patterns, I'm going to have a hard time making up my mind!
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Check the site often as Roni is always traveling and bringing back lots of cool, new stuff. I have a box of Hmong blankets ready to be photographed and can we say wishlist? I love bedding and I would die of happiness if my own personal "trunk" was full of all these goodies.

Thanks for letting me share with you guys! {Linh Trieu / Bristow Fresh}

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Guest Blogger

While I am off enjoying a week of much-needed vacation, Linh Trieu of Bristow Fresh will be a guest blogger here on The Loaded Trunk. Ryan, my daughter, who wrote most of our travels to India on The Trunk Travelers may also add a piece. See you when I get back!

India on my mind

India seems to be on everyone's mind, on websites (one of my favorites), blogs (another personal favorite recommending books on Indian textiles), jewelry, clothing, you name it. You know when you buy something that you thought was so unique and then you start seeing it everywhere? Well that's India to me, it is everywhere and I love its influence.

After a two-month journey this winter, it is a thrilling confirmation that at least I went, hunted and purchased for The Loaded Trunk alongside many of my peers.

Here are some of my favorite moments:
Lucknow India Craft Mela
The ultimate embellishment
  Just traveling along with the camels
  Kite Festival in Kutch Mandvi Beach
photos by Ryan Jaco

First Year Mark

This July marks The Loaded Trunk's first full year online! What a thrill.
Goreme, Turkey

I have been to several continents, met incredible people and learned more about myself then I ever wanted to at times.
Gaziantep, Turkey where we found incredible tinned copper.

Filled and unfilled and filled the Trunk 

Trekked through India to find these Rajasthani Robes
soon to be on the loaded trunk
Beginning in June and ending in July The Loaded Trunk will share in celebration with weekly giveaways that will show up on this blog.  
Dao Anh Khanh's studio, Hanoi

Help us Share in celebration and watch for some beautiful giveaways beginning June 29th.
Thanks for helping us get this far.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Road Tripping

Kelly Ludwig – queen of the road, queen of design, queen of the apps. Check out this local Kansas City "gal."

Hark, All art lovers! A not-to-be missed road show by extreme collector Kelly Ludwig, author and curator of Detour Art is finally happening. Three years in the planning and the art is on the road. The City of Lake Charles will host a new traveling exhibition entitled Detour Art–Outsider, Folk Art, and Visionary Environments Coast to Coast. The public is invited to the opening reception. Kelly will be on hand to meet and share her stories. This collection is a feast for the eyes and the soul. I saw part of this show at the Belger Arts Center, it was mesmerizing.

Friday, June 18, 2010
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center
1001 Ryan Street  • Lake Charles, LA
Kelly riding her favorite moose?
 • • • • • • • • • •

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Crossroads Carnival

I rarely wander down on First Friday anymore because of its carnival like atmosphere and crowds. Last night my very dear friend and amazing painter, Mark Westervelt had a show at Take2.  It did not disappoint, nor did the carnival-like atmosphere.
 Mark Westervelt, Imparis Puella
from his new works
• • • • • • • • • •
exhibit at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center Kansas City 
• • • • • • • • • •
 Mohawk kind of evening at Black Bamboo
Arf Arf.