December 21, 2007

December 20, 2007

Where I Want To Be Today

Lying in my bed looking at these beautiful roses on our dresser. Our friend Kasey works for the Cut Flower Growers Association in California and often is gifted beautiful bouquets by the growers he visits. He shared these amazing roses with us - the stems were each about 3 feet long (no joke) and the buds are as big as my fist. Not a bad job perk, especially for his wife Tarah : )

Our floors are done and they look amazing. What a difference. I will post a photo tomorrow when we get all our furniture moved in. For now its still all crammed into the office and guest room. I'd much rather be in my cozy bedroom than in the office full of furniture, so I may just bring the laptop in there and work from my bed today. It just feels like the right thing to do.

December 19, 2007

See Jane Work

I'm sure quite a few of you have heard of seejanework.com - the office supply loving girl's fantasy land. But did you know they have a retail store in Thousand Oaks? I've been wanting to check it out so today I drove down there to do some Christmas shopping (it's only about 20 min. South of where I live and 45 min. north of LA)
[photos via seejanework.com]

I can't show you what I bought because that would spoil some surprises, but wow...I spent about an hour in a store that probably isn't larger than 400 square feet. Just looking and looking and wanting and looking.

I get excited in Office Max so this was like total sensory overload. Everything is candy colored and flowery and I just know that working would be twice as fun if my desk was covered in products from this store, I just know it. Regular old manila file folders are just not cutting it anymore now that I've seen the possibilities.

If you find yourself driving through Thousand Oaks I highly recommend stopping by - it's so much more fun to see their wares in person and pretty much any girl you know would love something from this store. And pick something up for yourself while you're at it. It will make you more productive, I promise.

December 18, 2007

Christmas Wrapping

Last year I went with a gold/snowflake doily theme for our gifts. You can see photos here on our family blog (this was pre-paper pony and I was just starting to post fun stuff like this). Sadly that blog has been much neglected since, oh July. I'm sure when the baby comes we'll start posting again - I will spare you all the posts with 10 photos of Baker doing something only the grandparents will care about.

Sorry, I'm off topic. Back to wrapping. This year I'm in more of a "use what you got" mindset. So this is what I've got:

Random papers from years past and some baker's twine.
It's going to be a mixy-matchy Christmas : )

One Last Look

At our carpet and tile before it gets ripped up and replaced with beautiful hardwood!

As I write this they've already taken everything out and leveled out the floor. Our house looks really small without any furniture. Usually it's the opposite, but for some reason with our house having stuff in it actually makes it feel more roomy.

We decided to go ahead and have the floors put in this week. We weren't expecting to, but the crew had time and we just went for it. The saddest part was taking the Christmas tree down on December 16th - so much for that. And so much for the baking and handmade gifting I was going to do this week.

I don't know how it got to be a week before Christmas so suddenly. On Nov. 30th I was feeling so prepared and geared up to get everything done. And now I'm looking at the pile of unwritten Christmas cards on my desk and the list of gifts I still need to buy (pretty much all of them). At least I have no choice but to go shop today - can't do much here at the house. It's rainy here too and feels all Wintery and Christmasy. The perfect day to be out enjoying the season.

December 14, 2007

Frivolous Wants

or my Christmas Wish List...

Clockwise from top left: Diana Camera from Lomography - a remake of the popular 1960's camera, Cropped cardigan from Anthropologie, Lovely by Jessica Parker, LAMB by Gwen Stefani, Ipod Shuffle, Brother Sewing Machine.

December 13, 2007

More Gocco

I decided to try and make our personal holiday cards with the Gocco this year. They turned out okay...I learn more each time I use this machine and definitely would have done a few things differently. My designs always seem to go very close to the edge (I just like things like that), but these cards are slightly larger than my Gocco printing surface so the design doesn't get burned in well at the edges and that causes problems.

From now on I will know that I just can't do that on every side - one or two sides would be okay, or I could use smaller cards. Anyway, I'm still so happy with how quick and easy the Gocco is. I have an idea for gifts involving the Gocco and just ordered a bunch of recycled paper & envelopes from here.

Somehow I think I'll get that project done plus the rest of my Christmas shopping all while potentially having a ripped apart house all next week. We might have our floors put in before Christmas because it's either now, or in May. Aaahhh! We're crazy, I know.

December 10, 2007

Baby Shower

Saturday we had a co-ed shower at our house given by our dear friends Amy & Lindsay (who both have good blogs btw, they just need to post more. Maybe if they weren't spending all their time planning parties for us they could - sheesh).

The decorations were so fun - grays, oranges & blues & dots. Very chic and a good balance of masculine/feminine. Lindsay and Amy thought of everything - even matching the desserts to the theme - mochi balls in shades matching the rest of the decor.

I think some of Forest's friends were freaked out about attending their first baby shower, but when I told them there would be beer they seemed okay. And we did crafts - who doesn't like crafts? I am not huge on shower games, so instead the girls set up tables with paint, stamps and brushes to decorate onesies.

They are all hanging around the house and I need to take some photos. We have quite a creative group of friends I will say. Some inappropriate, but creative nonetheless : ) On top of everyone coming over to celebrate and hang out with us for the afternoon we received so many generous gifts. Our baby is going to have the biggest shoe collection! Which is just fine with me.

December 7, 2007

Christmas Tree

This year we drove down the road a bit to Santa Paula Christmas Tree Farm and got our tree the old fashioned way. Well, it wasn't quite hiking up into the woods in the snow and carrying our tree all the way home, but it's as close as we could get here in So Cal.

It only looks like we're carrying it. In about 3 minutes a flat bed truck is going to drive by and we are going to let them take our tree the rest of the way. I am 6 mos. pregnant. No need to strain myself.


And here it is at home, all pretty.

December 6, 2007

30 Weeks

December 5, 2007

Handmade is the Best

I received these handmade burp cloths from Sara and just had to share. The colors, fabric, everything...perfect. Somehow she finds time to sew beautiful thoughtful gifts while taking care of her two sons and being pregnant. They just had a little girl - check out the third photo down, what a doll.

Thank you Sara! I will have to think up something extra special for little Gigi : )

December 3, 2007

New Blog Header

I wanted to shoot something Christmas-y for the blog header, but haven't had time yet. This will do for now - our paper balloon lights from last year. Its been months since I've updated the header, so we were due for a change.

That's all I have to report for now - we had a fun weekend. My brother and his fiance were visiting - we took them wine tasting in Santa Ynez and did engagement photos (wine tasting while you're pregnant is pretty boring, by the way...but they had fun which is all that matters).

We also got our Christmas tree! We went and cut it down ourselves this year...photos to come.

Monday always start off slowly for me. Hope yours is moving along faster than mine.

edit: Faith reminded me about a very fun hour on Saturday night which I forgot to mention: Faith and Ryan sending us links to 90's music videos on YouTube. Bell Biv Devoe, Coolio, Skee-Lo, Color Me Badd, Vanilla Ice, NKOTB (don't pretend you don't know what that stands for). p-p-p-p-poison.

November 29, 2007

Gocco Holiday


Well, I finally came up with a design and printed cards for our pink penny clients. I really wanted to create a card that kept with our branding and was holiday, but also representative of us.

Inspired by our home page, I used the design element in our logo to create a snowflake. I started with some really elaborate snowflake patterns, but it was getting to complicated so in the end I decided simple was better. I think people will get it - yes?

Here's my original Photoshop design:

Then, in order to print with the Gocco in two different colors I had to create "plates" from which to create my light pink and dark pink screens.

I did this by separating the layers into two different files, converting to gray scale and using Levels to get good contrast. I don't have a laser printer so I printed these out and made photocopies to use with the Gocco.

This was my second time using the Gocco and here are a few things I learned:

- Full bleeds (as the dots are designed) are pretty hard to do, at least with my PG-11. These cards were a bit bigger than my Gocco print surface so when I tried to make a screen of the dots it did not expose correctly near one edge.
Solution: Print the dots on the cards first with my ink jet printer, then Gocco over that. Not ideal, but it was the best thing I could think of without sacrificing my design.

- Trying to print anything close to the edge is not a good idea unless your card is very small. I had the same problem with the snowflakes - the small ones up top didn't burn perfectly on my Gocco screen so the print kind of fades up there.
Solution: Use cards that fit on the print surface well so there is even pressure when you expose your screen. Or create a design that fits well within the "safe" area to create a clean screen to print from.

So Gocco is just fun, I've decided. Since I have two businesses (pink penny and rayaphotography) my project this week is to design one for my photography business and print those. I am so excited about my client gifts: it is probably my favorite part about owning a business and this year I got on top of it early. To personalize it more with a hand made card pretty much makes me giddy. Paper, ink, packaging - these are the things that excite me ; )

November 21, 2007

Tori Higa

I've been so excited to share these beautiful invitations Tori did for us. I met Tori through Flickr when she happened upon my photos of Abbot Kinney in LA and through that I discovered her wonderful line of stationery.

Definitely check out her site - torihiga.com. My current favorites are her Vintage Map Travel cards and of course this...


We are having a co-ed shower with our friends here in town and thought it would be fun to include both of us on the invitation. Tori's drawings are so modern, simple and fun - and doesn't it look like us?

Anyway, this was such a delight to receive in the mail and a fun way to start off the celebration of this little baby about to be.

We are about to leave for Thanksgiving - we have about a 6 hour drive to join Forest's family up at the cabin so I need to get off the computer and get packing, but just wanted to share these with you before I left. Happy Thanksgiving to all and be back next week : )

November 19, 2007

First Gocco Print Run

I think it was a success. After watching a super cool instructional video from what I'm guessing was the early 80's and reading my instructions over a few times, it actually was pretty easy. I was just doing something simple, but the whole process from making my master to printing was about 30 minutes.


With the amount of ink I put on my screen I probably could have made 100 prints, but I stopped at 25 because I really don't know what I'll do with these. They are on postcard sized cards - maybe just write notes on them or give them away. In the future I'll have to figure out how to use less ink, or save the leftover for future use. One person on flickr bought small glass jars to store unused ink in, which seems like a smart idea. I know you can also save the screens, but cleaning it seemed daunting..so I tossed it. I can always make a new one if I want.

So here it is - this is the chair I photographed in Yosemite. I made a path in Photoshop to extract it, then adjusted Levels and Curves to make it high contrast. Because I don't have a laser printer at home I made a few copies at Kinko's to make my master from.

I'm pretty excited to do my holiday cards now. I want to try doing more than one color using multiple screens. I'll let you know what I come up with : )

More photos of the process on flickr!

November 18, 2007

Baby Bassinet

Rumor has it my mother-in-law found this Pottery Barn bassinet used for $75 (normally $369!). We've been trying to purchase as many used items as we can for the baby (to cut down on spending and consumption). I'll admit I am REALLY picky about baby stuff and how it looks, etc..and any affordable bassinets I've found are usually covered in frilly lace or are just...not acceptable for my decor and tastes.

This is pretty clean and simple. Yes, it's pink, but my sister-in-law will use it for her new baby girl until we have our boy, then we'll recover the pads in another fabric or order the blue set.

Thanks Teresa!

28 Weeks

Two trimesters down...one to go.

November 17, 2007

Holiday Gocco

My first inspiration for getting a Gocco printing press was to make cards, specifically holiday cards for my clients (and maybe friends too if all goes well).

I've been racking my brain for an awesome idea, but haven't come up with something brilliant yet. Nevermind that I haven't even opened my Gocco to see if I can actually do it. That would probably be the first logical step to take : )

Anyway, I jumped on flickr today to see what others are doing and are a few of my favorites:


Things are better with a Parrot especially caught my eye (a few of these are hers). She has an Etsy shop and all her Gocco prints are lovely. Makes me think I should just order from her instead of trying to make my own. We'll see how it goes first...

November 13, 2007

Let the Gocco Fun Begin


I have all my supplies, now I just have to try it.

Corkboard DIY via Design Sponge

Check out this fun project Grace posted today:

http://www.designspongeonline.com/2007/11/diy-project-custom-corkboards.html

I love corkboards and have only ever thought to put a pretty frame around the cork, but this is so much cooler and would make a lovely gift for a friend. Plus, it helps that I have left over cork from our office wall still.

November 10, 2007

New Couch & Computer Dorks

It's 9:45 PM on a Saturday: And what are my husband and I doing? Dorking out on our computers...

Him:
Working on translating ShowIT Effects & Borders into French...if that makes no sense to you check out those two pieces of awesome software here. They are great for professional and just-for-fun photographers.

Me:
Updating our baby registries

Researching Combi International strollers and car seats. I think we may have found the ideal infant car seat/lightweight compact stroller combination. After spending 30 minutes at Babies R' Us tonight pretend strolling around the store, I am thrilled.

Looking at designsponge and realizing I've hit a wall and need to get re-inspired. Took another look at Grace's sofa guide - we've been thinking about the Crate & Barrel Petrie, but I've been indecisive about the color. But then every time I see it in Cocoa I say, ooh that's pretty. I have the actual sample and it seems darker than it looks on the web, but maybe it won't be that way once it's covering an entire couch.

Anyway, it is pretty isn't it. And it's reasonably priced for a sofa it's size. This seems like a color that will be pretty dog/baby resistant as well. Which is of course now my concern about everything - how times have changed.

November 8, 2007

Sweet Lips

Our new little niece and her pretty heart shaped lips.

We attended our first birth class last night. It is taught at the birth center where we're having the baby and is pretty small - just three other couples. This class was a lot of introductions and basic info, but I liked it. At the end of each class we watch a birth on DVD. I haven't seen a birth since I was 11, and I remember more of the excitement & jumping when my sister Sarah was actually born, not so much the contractions & pushing & bodily fluids.

The one we watched last night did not freak me out as much as I thought it would - although they do edit 2 hours down to like 5 minutes so it seems like all this girl has to do is push a couple times and voila, baby. All the pushing is the thing that I have the most anxiety about - not the pain, but just the actual pushing that 8 lb. thing out of me.

And how frustrating is it that every time you push the baby comes out a little, but then goes back in again? I know it's for a reason - if it came out all at once super quick - ouch and...stitches please. But that seems like the most frustrating part to me. Actually, I give the girl the most props for having her mom, her mother-in-law and her step-mom all present at the birth. Wow, that is bravery.

I wonder which one we'll watch next week. Our instructor said there is one where the girl yells and screams a lot. That will be fun to watch!

November 6, 2007

Valerie and Gabe

I met this sweet couple at Jessica & Jason's wedding in August. Valerie was a bridesmaid and is also getting married in May of '08. I'm so excited to now shoot her wedding and reunite with Jessica and some other girls from the wedding - it will be a fun day I'm sure.

I met up with Valerie and Gabe in Malibu to do some engagement photos - just in time, as all the fires erupted the next day and closed the Pacific Coast Highway.

We traipsed all over Point Dume, and the couple even hiked to the top of the cliff for me - which was nice considering exercise was probably not in their plan when they got dressed. But they were totally up for it and we got some beautiful shots with the setting sun and ocean in the background.

Here's a slide show of my favorites or you can click through the gallery one by one. Thanks Valerie & Gabe - looking forward to seeing you again in May!

November 5, 2007

Emily and Brian's Wedding




(Click on any image to see it larger)

I'm so happy to finally show these off! Emily & Brian's wedding was amazing and they both looked gorgeous, as usual. After a few days of heavy rain Saturday October 13th was a beautiful day up on the hill in Corralitos at Emily's parent's. I think just about every friend they have was there to help with set up, catering, planning, organizing, flowers, etc..It was a real team effort and it's obvious how much these two are loved.

Faith made her photography debut with me as my assistant/second shooter. She did awesome and it was so fun to have a friend to collaborate with all day - and shake it with on the dance floor later.

Brian & Emily - I love you two so much! Congratulations : )

To see more click here to watch the slide show.

November 2, 2007

The Nordin Family

My first photo shoot during my visit to Santa Cruz was with one of my favorite families in the whole world - the Nordins. My conversations with Meg are responsible for many many cell phone minutes and overcharges. Somehow we always end up talking for over an hour no matter what - and the boys are just precious, all of them. Yes, you too Dan! You're precious : )

Here's a slide show of my favorites from our day at Roaring Camp in Felton, CA or you can just click through the gallery one by one.

October 31, 2007

Baby Shoes

I might like them more than grown up shoes. These were at a kid's consignment sale in Ventura this weekend. They are pretty much brand new and Forest is a big soccer player, so he'll be just like his daddy. Aw...

October 26, 2007

I can't wait

for the holidays so I can hang these in our windows again. I was looking through our flickr acct and found this photo from our Christmas party last year. I love this season.

Presently:

I am still feeling really behind on editing and designing. I feel like I should just spend this entire weekend powering through everything so I can get caught up, but we just have too many fun things planned to do that. Bummer right? On the agenda:

- Preview Party tonight in downtown LA for Apolis. The Parton boys Raan, Shea, and Stenn are showing their 2008 Spring collection. Very excited to see their new stuff.

- Birthday part for our friend's girlfriend tomorrow night AND it's a costume party. We are going to be Shaggy & Daphne from Scooby Doo. In Forest's longer hair days I always thought he looked like Shaggy. It is shorter now, but will still be fun. And how/by whom Daphne got pregnant - people will just have to wonder. I'm guessing the Mystery Machine was involved...

- Hopefully seeing our friends Jim & Amy on Sunday while they're in town for a wedding. Happy 30th birthday Jim! These two are some of our closest friends and I love any chance we get to spend a few hours with them.

So as you can see, not a lot of time for sitting at the computer in there. But all this sounds way more fun - Monday will be here soon enough.

October 24, 2007

Rollei

Photos from our weekend in Yosemite. Taken with our very old Rollei flex medium format camera.




October 23, 2007

Baby Penelope

We have a niece!

Penelope Abigail Courtney

Born Saturday October 20, 2007
8 lbs 6 oz. 19.7 in.

This is Forest's sister's second baby and the first girl grandchild in the family. Those little lips are the sweetest.

October 20, 2007

October 19, 2007

Stitch

This came in our mail yesterday. The paper is different than the normal Anthropologie catalog so I thought it was some new company..then I saw the tiny "Anthropologie" written on the cover. Sneaky.


All of these knitted tops are so lovely. Yum yum yum. This white top looks especially cozy for the approaching winter. I wish I could knit beautiful clothes like this. Instead I just have that scarf I started last DECEMBER that is still not finished.

On the home front, we have not done a single thing to the baby's room yet. I've been ignoring it and just shoving everything that doesn't have a place into that room for the last few months. But now that we're only 4 mos. away with three holidays in between, I'm feeling the urge to get going. Currently this page out of Found Style by Amy Butler is inspiring me. I love the robot made out of an old toy refrigerator.

That's all I could muster today - photos of other photos. I have an engagement photo session in Malibu tomorrow - fun! And hopefully next week I'll have my own work from the wedding and three family sessions I did last week to show. I really really hope so.

October 17, 2007

Oh! And I can't forget...

...this little princess. It's her 18th birthday!

The little girl's all grown up. She went from our baby sister to "suddenly independent Sarah" (as my dad calls her) in about a week. All the sudden she's in college, working two jobs, driving her own car and training for the football team (no she doesn't play - she wraps ankles).

Happy birthday Little! We love you.


Three Years

Today we celebrate three years...though the celebration part is pretty lame this year. We looked at each other yesterday and said "can you believe tomorrow is our anniversary?" No we cannot. Neither of us got gifts, I have not put on make up yet today or brushed my hair. Nor have I shopped for the dinner I am supposed to make tonight.

Every year is different - for our one year we went fancy and spent a week in New York. I can't even remember last year and this year will be a quiet night at home with Cornish hens and cornbread stuffing. And maybe some Internet shopping. He wants Patagonia and I want Banana Republic. Maybe we can strike a deal.

I can't say enough how happy I am that Forest married me on October 17, 2004. I don't know what I'd do without him and life with the two of us together is so good.


October 16, 2007

Crazy Week

I am still recovering from last week and so posting might be light this week. Even though I was working up in Santa Cruz I still have a bunch of stuff to catch up on and about 4 albums to finish in the next two days. Yikes.

I shot Emily & Brian's wedding on Saturday - it was GORGEOUS, as was to be expected. If I can get to the images this week I'll show you some of my favorites. I must say that shooting with a 5 mo. belly is a lot harder than I imagined. I woke up the next morning feeling like I just ran a half marathon. I know some women shoot right up until their due date, but I must be a wuss. Glad this is my last wedding until next season.

I got to see so many people I haven't seen in ages - I wish I would have chatted with more of you, but I'm all over the place when I'm shooting - trying not to miss any photo worthy moments. I did get out on the dance floor for a few songs though. Teaching Baker how to get down - it's never too early.

This is unrelated, but here's a photo my dear friend Meris sent me of shelves in her house. I love the colors and the collage I made her looks great up there. And the family photos are all ones I did in August. It makes me happy to see what people do with the photos I take.

October 12, 2007

Saffron & Genevieve

One of my ritual stops when I'm at home is this lovely store, Saffron & Genevieve. My mom works with the owner Colleen and from the first time I stepped through the doors I was entranced. What I love most about this store is that it is constantly changing as she brings in new items from her travels (and it's name - Genevieve is a family name for both Colleen and me. It's Forest's grandmother's name and will be our little girl's name if we have one).

Most of her objects are unique finds, but she also carries some great lines like Jonathan Adler ceramics, an assortment of beauty products, candles, cards, etc...



And now she has a whole new area of the store for me to love - her baby corner. Artist Cayce Ellison shows her original art work plus baby clothes and these precious knit mobiles.

I took SO many photos and could have taken twice as many so be sure to check them all out on Flickr here - these few are just a teaser. If you are ever in Santa Cruz be sure to stop by. You may find a treasure and you will definitely find some inspiration.

Colleen also has a blog where she posts shop updates, recent finds, shop events and more: