Monday, March 8, 2010

My Stolen Moment

I've been running on a treadmill of ceaseless errands and carpool runs and playdates and appointments and writing and blogging and trying to fit in six hours of sewing a day since January. On Monday, I reached a point where my brain craved a breather.

I wanted silence and pretty pictures. Luckily, I found both.

My stolen moment is brought to you by Hipstamatic, the iPhone app I had absolutely no business uploading yesterday. It was the best $1.99 vacation I've ever had.

You can choose between different lenses, film types and flashes to create ambient, otherworldly images of the most commonplace of objects.

A fake styrofoam bird plopped into a vase of flowering branches becomes imbued with the moodiness of a modern Old Master painting.

A wallet and pair of sunglasses carelessly tossed onto a counter are given a beautiful sepia wash that make it look a bit like a postcard for a sale at Paul Smith.

Hipstamatic gives the most conventional of events a profundity that far outweighs the situation. Here, Twiglet exudes a trenchant intelligence which belies the fact that he's merely waiting for me to feed him.

A trio of containers over the stove reminds me that we're almost out of sea salt, and so I snap a reminder.

A cheese dome from Fortnum and Mason reminds me Luca needs more Jarlsberg for his lunch tomorrow.

Changing the lens to one called "Kaimal", my dining room takes on the aspect of a salvaged photo from a distant time. Very Retronaut-ish, actually.

Going outside, the magnolia tree appears to have blanketed the entire back garden with its glorious pink hues.

Changing the lens again (to the "John S.") gives the same scene a more stark, Wuthering Heights feel.

My pale silvery-gray tree looks as though it's cocooned in moss, a dream I've long harbored but know is unsuitable for a Hollywood climate. Through Hipstamatic, my fantasy comes to life.

I pick up my current book, V. S. Pritchett's "Complete Collected Essays." I've only recently discovered him and can't stop dipping into his short, incisive book reviews. He appears to have written about practically every English author under the sun (Evelyn Waugh, E. F. Benson, George Gissing, Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope and about a thousand others) and his essays provide a wonderful launch pad for further reading.

I have an hour before carpool duty beckons, so I sink into a wooden rocking chair and flip to a page at random (it's that kind of book). I land on an essay about "The Remembrance of Things Past"...
...which is entirely appropriate given the fact that tomorrow my brief idyll into indolence will be but a distant memory and I will be hard at work again.

But I'll have the pictures.


littlebyrd said...

uh-oh. This looks like too much fun :) Thinking I need this.

gésbi said...

These are wonderful - looks like you've crossed over to the other side of the looking glass!

Jane said...

What a brilliant app. Technology meets imagination, giving you images from daydreams and nightmares.. Apparently there are millions of apps now available. True, I am guessing about 99.9% of them are games of some sort, but it is nice to see there is also some creativity out there.

Emily said...

Jarlesberg cheese in Luca's lunch? Well, of course! YUM, save some for me. Once again, thanks for the recommendation of an interesting book. And I am so behind on iphone apps.....I need to get with the times!

Lisa said...

I just knew there was a reason for me being such a Luddite. An iphone would be my undoing. I’m doing well with the basic phone and I can text, take photos and send them so I’m not a complete lost cause. However, given your immediate task at hand, I’m glad the iphone app gave you the respite your brain/body required. Your photos are just perfect. The one of your dining room looked so Bloomsbury/Virginia Woolf that I had to really look at it and make sure it was of the 21st century. It had just the right amount of patina to pass it off as decades old. I’m also coveting the cheese dome from Fortnum and Mason and have added it to my shopping list.

I was also VERY pleased to see Twiglet. I was a little concerned about his/her well being as one of your “W” columns talked about a dog bed and that the ‘cat’ would have to get used to it (dog, if you got one). I, being the servant to two cats, was concerned about the singular cat reference, but was afraid to ask. So glad the ‘skittish vicar’ – I believe that was your description - is alive and purring and that you’ve been rejuvenated and shared your idle moments with your readers. Can’t wait to see the fruits of your labor.

PS What's your gnomes name?

Maison Luxe said...


I just found your blog (via Habitually Chic) and I can't stop reading! I love it, and everything in it. Absolutely LOVE your point of view.

Also was thrilled to see that you were in Marrakech exactly the same week I was this last Christmas/New Years - what a small world. I loved your photos, and recognized so many places that I adored. Can you believe the La Mamounia renovation? Incredible (minus YSL, etc...)

I'm downloading that iPhone app right now, so fantastic. Have a great day :)

Best, Kelie

Anonymous said...

i am inspired! i did not even take the time to read on until after jumping to my iphone to give it a try! my daughter waking from her nap became my muse for a reminiscent shot. thank you.

Helen James said...

incredible .... I am off to download . this is just what I needed today thank you AGAIN Lisa x x

Helen James said...

Lisa I downloaded that App..... took a few different pictures, tried different films and lenses but for some reason they were all bleached out and white.....changed the lighting the settings, looked at instructions....? couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong??? my results were awful, couldn't see a thing!! It was only when I went to take a picture with the regular camera feature hours later that I realised what the technical difficulty was.... my one yr old had smeared yogurt on my phone which was covering the lense! LOL have now cleaned it and will be experimenting this afternoon! sometimes the PROBLEMS with digital are analog too !

Unknown said...

fun and lovely!

Chrissy said...

I love this! I have the Camera Bag app which makes photos look as if they were shot with a helga (and other cameras), but this Hipstamatic app has a whole different look. I am getting it asap!

Susan's Snippets said...

Lisa -

You, my dear, are very, very busy!!

makes me dizzy


How lovely and a wonderful respite from straining your eyes and back!

pve design said...

reminds me of some of my childhood hip photos which I must now request from my Mom.
love your little escape-

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Wow. They look like dreams.

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

OK, now I want an i phone! Reading your blog is my silent moment and an escape into Wonderland all in one go.

Anonymous said...


Anzu said...

I haven't left a comment on your blog for a while but always read it. Your posts have been brilliant lately and your writing gets even better!
I am definitely going to get this app for my phone - surprisingly great effects.

Angie Muresan said...

Too cool! I love the image of your cat the most.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Lisa: Yes, Twiglet, aka the Anxious Vicar, is still a heap of twitches and darting looks and we love him for it.

Maison Luxe: Thank you so much for the kind words! And crazy that we were both in Marrakech at the same you think we passed each other in the souks? :) xx

Helen James: That is SOO funny. I probably shouldn't be laughing since yogurt on an iPhone sounds quite alarming, but... :) xx

Chrissy: I have Camera Bag too, but this is MUCH better!

Pamela Terry and Edward: Brilliant analogy. They DO look like dreams!

vicki archer said...

I want that too...Have a very happy weekend, xv.

Sildenafil said...

those are beautiful images and I really like the shoots, and of course the color effect you added, thanks for sharing them with us, hugs!

Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

I was googling a HUNT for a Fortnum and Mason Cheese dome I "REALLY would LIKE"! and your blog POPPED UP... We have the same interest and I saw the cheese dome, NOT THE ONE I'm looking for BUT at least I'm getting warm, hehe!
I also LOVE Old World, and please take a peek into my World when you get a chance. AND I would LOVE a new FOLLOWER if you choose...
You can see my home @
Happy New Year to you and yours,

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