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The Blog

The daily, and somewhat random, musings of the FOLK editorial team. From the journeys, to the vlogs, to the behind-the-scenes-into-the-office moments of the team that brings FOLK to life. 

A Citrus Obsession

Ben Ashby

Every time I go to LA I say I'm going to go go the Hollywood Farmers Market, yet I'd never actually found the time to go. Last week that finally changed.  Being from Kentucky I wasn't super sure what variety they would have at a market at the end of March...I was pleasantly surprised the market was filled with all of my favorites and countless things I could never find in Kentucky. The citrus brought down from a farm near Fresno was especially fascinating to me. I may have gotten a little over eager shooting photos of the various varieties they had. 

I strongly recommend sampling all of the fruit! The ones labeled ugly but sweet were by far the best tangerines I've ever had. 


10 Must Follow Rules for Texas Antiques Week

Ben Ashby


Roundtop or Texas Antiques Week is officially here. Whether you're making your first trip, a seasoned veteran, or just discovering the acres of vintage and antique goodness in the heart of Texas we have a few tips for you. We asked a few Roundtop veterans their must follow rules and tips for making the most of your time and money.  


In no particular order:  

1) Don't plan to see the entire seven miles. Grab a Show Daily magazine and map out which fields you want to shop. It may take a few trips to see everything! -- Shannon Vance, owner Stash Style. (Check out Stash's vintage filled booth at Zapp Hall) 


2) For the real deals skip the big name fields and head for the lesser known shows. Get extra good deals by buying in bulk. -- Samuel Melton, owner Lonesome Pine Mercantile. 


3) Before you go, realize you'll never see it all. Research three or four of the markets and pick your favorites based on the vibe you're going for. -- Jen O'Connor, owner Earth Angels Studios



4) Start from the middle in Warrenton. Work your way out. Pick a specific area to focus on each day. -- Kim Leggett, author City Farmhouse Style


5) Bring lots of cash, a big canvas bag, and a hat. -- Jo Packham, editor Where Women Create



6) If you're hunting for luxury finds head to Marburger. Celebrate your finds with pie at Royers. -- Jo 


7) Don't barter. Ask the dealer for their best deal, if you don't buy it go back on the last day to see if it's still there. -- Jo


8) Educate yourself on how to spot an authentic antique from a reproduction. -- Laurie Messeroll, painter

9) For true deals skip the highly styled shows and hit the ones around Warrenton and dig. -- Lindsey Shiflett Smith, editor Makers Workshop  

10) Take friends with you and just enjoy it. Strive to create a style that is your own using pieces that really speak to you.  


Friday Favorite's White Marble Everything

Ben Ashby

I blame this countdown on Paige. I blame her for taking me to all the perfect marble covered coffee shops of New York. I blame her for covering her phone in marble and making it look so good. This countdown is for you. 

1) WHITE MARBLE PILLOW COVER: I want a room full of these. Marble floors. Marble walls. Marble pillows. Thank you. 

2) SWELL STAINLESS STEEL WATER BOTTLE: It just looks refreshing. 

3) BOUND PERSONAL JOURNAL: Lord God this is so much lighter than carrying around a marble tablet....but way cuter. 

4) MARBLE + ROSE EARBUDS: Let me repeat...marble and rose gold... in one product. 

5) MARBLE BEDDING: Okay, but this is a bit over the top. I'm not sure I can stand behind this one. 

6) MARBLE PHONE CASE: I have been wanting one of these for months. I don't know why I haven't gotten one yet. 

7) MARBLE KEY BOARD STICKERS: You 100% do not need these...but they look so damn good. Go ahead and get you some. 

8) MARBLE MORTAR AND PESTLE: I am not here to question what you're going to use this for...but I can assure you that you will never look trendier. 

9) MARBLE CONTACT PAPER: I remember being so excited when my 2nd grade teacher covered our desks in this contact paper. We were so beyond cool. 

10) MARBLE TABLECLOTH: This one is so simple and so perfect. 

Thursday Favorite's: Pretty Aesthetic Part One

Ben Ashby

Good morning! We're starting something new today. The goal is to share a few of my favorite items a few days a week. Today I am really obsessed with... pretty things!

I honestly don't have a theme for this one....likely cause its the first. I do reckon that all of these would look delightful near white marble. 

1) A NEW WAY TO COOK: The best place to start baking is with a good recipe. Thankfully the team over at Martha Stewart has you covered. These recipes look delicious, easy, and perfect for the modern millennial. 

2) KITCHENAID STAND MIXER IN BAY LEAF: I am officially obsessed with this mixer. The color has me screaming for spring. My KitchenAid is sadly a very boring white. You and I both need this color! 

3) ENAMELED CAST IRON DUTCH OVEN IN TEAL: Okay I realize this is just turning into a list of things I find pretty. I am totally okay with that. I hope you'll grab them all!

4) PEG + AWL: THE BAKERS DOZEN: Basically everything by Peg + Awl is perfect and visually perfect. We've known them for years and love everything we see. If you're especially looking to splurge buy yourself one of their swings!

5) PENTAX Q-S1 MIRRORLESS CAMERA: Okay, I'll be the first to admit I don't know a lot about this camera...but its mirrorless and its gold...and I love both. 

6) COTTON MUSLIN BAGS: I have dozens of these little bags. They are perfect for wrapping gifts, packing toiletries, organizing drawers, or really whatever. They're crazy cheap too!

7) PADDYWAX SEASALT CANDLE: This is clearly my color. Thats all!

8) WOOLKRAFTS MERINO WOOL BLANKET: I'd love to think the warm months will soon be here, but it seems we can't shake this cold! I love these fresh designs on classic wool blankets. 

9) BODUM COPPER FRENCH PRESS: It is rare that I make coffee, but when I do I only want this copper french press around. The aesthetic is en pointe AF. 

10) MARBLE THROW PILLOW COVER: Yes, I found the marble. Yes you need it. Yes buy it now. Yes a future list will be totally marble things! 

A Late Summer Gentleman Farmer Photo Shoot

Christophe Chaisson

Jennie Love, of Love 'n Fresh Flowers, fills us in on this richly-hued, earthy wedding inspiration shoot:

As someone who works the land every day, I feel deeply connected to the seasons and to the heritage of farming.  When I started brainstorming with the talented ladies at Love Me Do Photography on a photo shoot, we were all immediately drawn to the idea of celebrating the richness of a full harvest in an intimate setting ripe with agrarian history.  We wanted to highlight the natural beauty of the late summer season's flowers, fruits, and vegetables.  Everything in the shoot was locally sourced, including the flowers grown at our own flower farm, just a few miles away.   Wyck, the venue, was the absolute perfect fit for our vision, and it inspired so much of this shoot.  

Located in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Wyck is the ancestral home of the Wistar-Haines family, colonists who helped build Philadelphia when they settled here in 1690.  The home and property remained in the same family until 1973 when it went into a trust and became a National Historical Landmark.  Today, it's beautiful garden, house, and small urban farm are open to the public for exploring, including the original glass greenhouse that was likely one of the very first to ever be built in colonial America and the oldest rose garden in America still growing in its original foot-print.  Wyck is a truly remarkable place.  When it was first built, it was in wide-open rolling hills, the country estate for its Quaker owners who traveled to and from the city of Philadelphia by horse and carriage.  Today, swallowed up by Philadelphia as it expanded over the centuries, Wyck is now a petite 2.5 acre green oasis in a tattered urban neighborhood.  Step inside its gates and one immediately escapes the dull roar of buses to hear bees from the farm's hives buzzing around instead.  

Our models for the shoot are a real-life couple deeply in love, and it was a pleasure to watch them giggle and blush together throughout the summer afternoon. We had them "marry" under the 250 year old Concord grape arbor beside the house, which was heady with the fragrance of ripening grapes.  The foodie-inspired bridal bouquet was quirky and fun with a mix of dahlias, zinnias, air plants, blackberries, raspberries, mint, sage, and garlic.  Yes, garlic!  The boutonniere included succulents, blackberries, gomphrena and celosia.  The celebratory farm feast that followed was set-up in the rose garden.  The handmade rustic farm table and antique chairs were provided by Maggpie Vintage Rentals.


Birchtree Catering designed a scrumptious rustic late summer menu that was inspired by the colors and tastes of heirloom tomatoes.  The table was decked out with a lush sprawling centerpiece of zinnias, dahlias, kale, sage, hydrangea, peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes.  More heirloom tomatoes were placed down the center of the table and each place setting got its own garnish of either an adorable baby eggplant or string of green baby tomatoes.


We made one of my favorites, a Blackberry Shrub, for cocktails.  A shrub is a tart drinking vinegar that was popular in Wyck’s heyday as a way to preserve fruit for consumption throughout the year.  Today shrubs are an excellent mixer for cocktails and super easy to make. We served a "cheese cake", literally a stack of locally-sourced cheese rounds in lieu of traditional cake and a great idea for less traditional couples who love savory more than sweet.   


All in all, this shoot felt so natural and joyous, especially when we all sat down at the end to enjoy a delicious meal together in the late summer twilight.  A last hurrah for summer! And the perfect inspiration for an intimate farm or backyard wedding.  

Wyck is available to rent for weddings and other special events.  

Vendor Credits: photography: Love Me Do Photography //venue: Wyck House in Philadelphia, Pa //  florals & styling: Love 'n Fresh Flowers //  food: Birchtree Catering // dress: Free People // bow tie: Forage// rentals: Maggpie Vintage//  paper goods: Loveleigh Invitations //  hairpiece:  Lovely Bridal 


SpiritHoods X FOLK — Banff Nat'l Park series

Ben Ashby

When we decided to conquer the Great White North and explore Banff National Park we realized we might not be completely equipped for our adventure. Knowing this, we decided to partner with brands that we love to capture the beauty of their products in the beauty of the Canadian landscape. One of the brands we immediately fell for was SpiritHoods, owned and operated out of Los Angeles, they produce amazing faux fur coats and hoods with spirit animal inspiration. We sat down with owners Markey and Latif to talk about how they came up with SpiritHoods, read their interview and see our shots with them below.

• How did you get started creating SH?
Over a bottle of tequila. The way all good things start.
• Did you know you would start your own brand, if not what spurred it?

We've always been surrounded by creativity, and branding a company had always interested both of us. hen the opportunity came along it seemed like life was handing us something we were meant to be doing. So the answer is yes, but life met us halfway.
It's still pretty hilarious to have old friends ask you what you do and to respond with, "I make furry animal hats".

• How do you get ideas for new products & photo shoots?
We love to travel and draw a lot inspiration from the cultures of the world, past and present. You can find inspiration everywhere, in the littlest details.  There are so many creative people showcasing their art and it’s always exciting to see how one idea leads into the next.

• What are your inspirations?

The natural world and the animal kingdom they are the heroes here. They are where we pull all our inspiration from. When I grow up I want to be a Lion and my brother would like to be a wolf.
• How do your hobbies influence what you make?
My brother and I have both been playing music together since we were young. This affinity for music has had a big impact on us, and musicians and festival culture were the early adopters for SpiritHoods. Ultimately our hobbies are centered around getting back to our roots and you can see that message in the brand.

• What has been your biggest challenge?  
Partnership...It's like a marriage, you have to work at it constantly and it takes communication and compromising to find your stride. We always say that if you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.

• What's been your best advice you've been given?
earn to communicate and speak to people in a way they can understand. Everybody defines even the simplest words based on they're history and relationship with that particular word and it may have a different meaning to you than it does someone else.

Also, we’d both be remiss if we didn’t mention one of our favorite books here, "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. The advice we both received from the book is pure gold!


• What's your favorite thing about sharing your art with others?
The sense of community and the inspiring stories created through this product are something we never could have expected and that amazes us still to this day.  

Maker Made Valentines Favorites

Ben Ashby

I'll be the first to admit that I do not like Valentine's Day...but I realize many of y'all love it. So this list if for you. All of the items are American made and all but the notebook are handmade. Each of these ladies are the most delightful artisans and I do hope you will support them all year long. 

Life in a Chicago Winter

Ben Ashby

Sometimes you need something bright, colorful, and cheery. Today is one of those days. I went into my archives and found photos I shot at the Lincoln Park Zoo and Conservatory in Chicago. I shot these in February of 2015. 

Did You Know...

The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in North America

It was founded in 1868.

It is one of the only FREE zoos in the world.

The zoo is home to over 1000 animals in 200 different species.

The zoo started with a pair of swans. A gift from the Central Park Zoo.