The Story of ROSE & IVY: A Glimpse behind the scenes

Seasonally Inspired Florals  from the Autumn 2014 Issue

Seasonally Inspired Florals from the Autumn 2014 Issue

How does one come to launch a journal you might ask? Well first I will say that this has been a very long time coming - I am talking about since high school (more than 17 years ago), when I first started stock-piling Vogue and InStyle Magazines.  I always knew that I had a sensitivity to beautiful things and print magazines were one of those great mediums to get lost in whether it be a fashion image, a home, a garden or in an exotic destination.  This idea has really helped inspire me with the creation of the Journal.  

Along the way these are a few (funny) things that happened:

1 ) Layout out an editorial is nothing like laying out a blog. There are many things to consider when planning a layout.  I learned about hierarchy, gutters and how one photograph can make a huge impact.  Unlike a blog post you have a lot more room to play around, you have two facing pages and can really space-out the content.  

2) Finding canned pumpkin in June is nearly impossible! I began working on the first issue at the end of May, when thoughts of pumpkin and spice were something of a distant memory.  I photographed The Golden Hour feature in the beginning of June and canned pumpkin was no where to be found. Luckily, a random store in Manhattan had a few fresh cans or organic pumpkin that worked perfectly. 

3) It is okay to ask neighbors that you have never met before for pieces of their fruit straight from the tree.  I live in Brooklyn and there are remarkably a plethora of fruit trees from figs, pears and apples.  Not too far from my house I noticed a tree bursting with ripe pears. I circled this apartment every time I walked our dog.  Luckily one day they were harvesting them and I asked it if would be possible to have a few with leaves so that I could photograph them. I think they thought I was crazy but the pears featured in A Fall Harvest are some of my favorite photographs to date.  

3b) Having a semi-panic attack when you think the guy at the farmer's market removes the leaf from your plums.  I love fruit in its pure form, which is why I prefer to pluck it from a tree.  That being said when that is not an option going to the farmer's market is second best.  For the Plum and Rose tart I really wanted plums with leaves on them, that being said, i went through the entire crate at the Union Square Market to find only three plums that matched this description.  So when the man cashing me out started to pluck the leaves I shrieked 'NO' like a crazy person, I need those leaves! He thought I was a little nuts, but I managed to have two plums with leaves.  

4) You can learn anything.  In the process of six months I taught myself InDesign, yes there were a few calls to their help center but the majority I figured out myself.  It has now become one of my favorite software systems to use.  

5) You might bake the same thing four times but that is okay.  I made the Spiced Apple Cake in The Day at the Orchard piece four times.  The first time I had plans on making mini bundt cakes, but after a disastrous pan incident (they stuck to it horribly) I had to throw it away. The second time I dropped it by accident and the third time I didn't like how I photographed it.  Not willing to give up on an amazing recipe, (I hope that you make it) I made it for a fourth time and it turned out perfectly.  Lesson to self, never give up!

So there you have it, a glimpse behind some amusing things that happened while I was creating the journal.  I had a wonderful time creating it though, I have never felt so creatively satisfied on any other project.  I had a vision and I am so happy that I brought it to life. Stay tuned in February for the Winter 2015 issue! Until then, blog posts will be plenty.  Have a great rest of the week and I will be back here Monday posting full-time!





Alison Engstrom4 Comments