April 30, 2007

The Little Bridesmaid Dress That Could

Even when I think my friends have selected a nice bridesmaid dress that I can/will wear again, somehow it never happens. What is it about this genre of dress? There is the obvious bad rap they have of being hideous most of the time, but even the pretty ones inherit the curse of being a one hit wonder, it seems.

I vowed not to force my loved ones & friends to don a dress that would gather dust in their closets for years (because you know you can't get rid of them for at least 5-10), but like a good bride I think that's exactly what I did. I couldn't help it. I just saw this dress and it was perfect and went with the colors and a few days later I was ordering 8 of them to be sent to my house.

Leave it to my mom though to resurrect one of these dresses and make it Senior prom-worthy
for Little (my little sis Sarah, we call her Little because, well - she is). While Forest and I were working on the house this weekend, Sarah was off riding in limos and dancing in a new-but -old cute gold dress. You don't know how happy it made me that my mom was able to do something with that dress. I've said it before and I'll say it again - She is amazing! She even fashioned a clutch out of a bed skirt that matched the shoes.

Here are photos of the original dress from our wedding:



The new dress:

The dress was shortened and taken in to be more fitted at the bottom, back cut out and straps lengthened to criss-cross in the back. Pretty neat huh?

And here is the clutch + shoes...my mom has a cool collection of old costume jewelry that I'm sure that brooch is from.

Sarah you looked beautiful as always! Can't believe you're graduating from high school in less than two months. Our little girl's all grown up...tear sniffle tear.

April 27, 2007

Workin' for the Weekend

"Work on the house weekends" have been on a long hiatus around here due to our "have a lot of fun weekends" taking much precedence. We have loved all the fun of course, but I have been staring at the unpainted spackle holes on the wall, unpainted dining chairs, un-framed & un-hung art work long enough. That kind of thing starts to drive me crazy after awhile and Forest has kindly agreed to make this weekend all about improvement of the home.

It's always enjoyable to work on projects together, and this will be one of the first weekends we've been home in awhile. Hope your weekend is lovely whatever you have planned. You know we'll save room for some fun somewhere in there - we always do : )

April 26, 2007

Do you think?

Do you think it would be hard to vacuum in these?

Because that's what I need to do this weekend, among other chores around the house..But really I just want to wear these.

Another product of my impulsive buying streak I went on two weeks ago at Nordstrom Rack. Bought them at the same time as the yellow ones, and have no remorse whatsoever.

April 24, 2007

Everybody Needs It Sometimes

Inspiration. Did you know that it also means "to draw air into the lungs"? That was interesting to me, and fitting. I think you could compare the feeling of being "inspired" to that feeling you get when you take a deep breath..full, clear, relaxed.

Days like these I am SO glad to have all my magazines. I love having them stacked neatly like this (a built-in shelf in the office/garage was another huge selling point for this house) and refer to them often. My favorites are my Communication Arts Magazines...they are full of work by the most creative people in the world and every time I read one I feel really energized to create and really untalented at the same time. But they push me, and I love their color predictions and "Annuals" where they publish the winners of their design, photography, illustration & interactive contests.

Inspiration is one of my favorite words these days. I am constantly inspired, and looking for inspiration. Today I'm looking for something that sparks ideas for a few design projects I'm working on. I don't often do paid "design work", but I have a hard time saying no to it because it's so fun and a nice break from photography.

April 23, 2007

A Kid Again

I spent half my day today photographing a group of kids for a new promotional campaign their school is launching. I have the great fortune to work with a very talented marketing/sales executive (Jane Gibbons of Santa Barbara & C Magazines) and we're doing a new logo, identity, brochure, poster, everything...It has been really fun to work with the kids at the school - kids are one of my favorite subjects for their interaction with the camera and general good spirits, but today the group I had was especially sweet.

Look at these beautiful girls : )

I miss being a kid. I want to read Curious George and play on the swings. I want to turn the whole living room into a fort using cushions and blankets. Truth be told, I have total baby fever...Ask my husband. Being around these cute kids today did not help one bit : )

April 20, 2007

Gloomy for now, but hope for Sunshine

I feel I've been a little disconnected with what's going on around me, for whatever reason. But some certain thoughts have been peeking in and out of my head all week as I went about my daily tasks. Today we woke up early to heavy rain and it just put me in kind of a thinking mood, mostly about these things:

Virgina Tech - We don't have TV, and I rarely read the news on the Internet so I knew what happened, but just the bare details. Yesterday I went online to read about each of the victims. So, so sad and praying for all the families and loved ones who were touched by this.

Don H0 - He passed away on Saturday...We know his two daughters Kaimana and Hoku who live here in California so this is a little closer to home for us. Missing them and praying for the whole family in Hawaii.

Forest's Grandma Genevieve - She had pneumonia, then suffered what we think is a minor stroke, then had some problems with her intestines and had to go in for surgery. She is a strong little lady and is recovering quite well. Grandma Gen is very special and we are optimistic she'll be back to normal soon.

I'm heading out of town for the weekend, but it will be a relaxing time, I hope, and a good opportunity to have some more thinking time. Wishing you a relaxing weekend as well : )

April 19, 2007

Fresh Out the Box

Yesterday after four long years of faithful service, my 20 in. Apple Cinema Display died. It was a slow death, I must admit. It started a few weeks ago with a half-dim screen, and an incessant blinking power light. I researched ways to fix this problem, and even bought a part I could replace myself. I procrastinated though..because have you ever had to dismantle a piece of electronics? It is scary and I didn't want to do it. Too many screws, metal parts, and circuit boards, etc...a lot of things to break.

And break it is exactly what I did : ( Not on purpose, but we finally tried to fix it last night and now the screen won't go on at all. We kind of knew this would happen and figured it was worth a shot before we went out and bought a new one. But in the end, that is what I had to do and today I'm writing from an extremely bright brand new Apple 20 in. flat screen cinema display.

It is beautiful, and nice to have some new equipment. I took a few photos for this blog post, but computer monitors are really boring subjects. Not interesting at all. Instead I am sharing this photo, one that I took and edited on my old monitor (RIP). I don't remember what assignment this was for in school, but I remember I really liked this shot. I love lens flare when its intentional - adds a bit of dimension and freshness. I don't think my teacher liked it that much, but that was typical. Anyway, its prettier than computer parts : )

April 18, 2007


My very first apron is finally finished. Took me long enough. Like I said, I'm not always the best at finishing projects - at least not in a timely manner. Overall this was really fun to make, but it turned out more like an apron skirt, rather than just an apron. It's from the 1940's so I guess that makes sense.

I had the hardest time with gathering the ties and sewing them into the waist band (imperfections strategically hidden in these photos) so I need to fix them by hand, I think. Next time I will stick to a simpler pattern, though its always fun to try something difficult just to know that you can do it : )

It just saw that Amy Karol's Tie One On theme this month is rick rack and though I didn't make this for that specifically, I think I'll submit it just for fun. I hand sewed the rick rack, which is great because it looks nice, but not great because it took me FOREVER. I had planned on adding another strip across the bottom of the skirt but after the pockets I was kind of over it. Always gotta do things the hard way.

Anyway, sewing project #1 finished. Now I think I will try some pillows for my new yellow chairs, or something else wonderful from Amy Butler's In Stitches. I want to make everything in that book.

April 17, 2007

Happy Feet

Added some spring time cheeriness to my wardrobe this weekend with the purchase of these sunny yellow flats. I've been craving yellow shoes for months...Steven by Steve Madden purchased at Nordstrom Rack.

And these chairs are also making me happy. I bought a pair of these on craigslist.com for $60. They belonged to a sweet Grandma & Grandpa who no longer needed them..My first thought was to have them re-upholstered in leather, but the general consensus from visitors thus far is that we like the golden-rod color if we incorporate it into artwork and other textiles in the room. Any thoughts? I am definitely taking off the wheels, though (hard to see in this photo..but completely office-chair cheesy).

April 16, 2007

My Heart Melts

We are only 7 mos. into dog ownership and already I want another - I guess it's like children in that way - once you have one, you just want more. When I went through phase 1 of dog-wanting, I looked at adoptable dogs on the Internet for HOURS a day. Forest would roll his eyes and laugh every time I called him over to see what I was squealing about this time. There are worse things to look at on the Internet, you know. I kid you not, if I didn't have my sensible other half to bring me back to reality I'd have a backyard full of puppies. I have no self control when it comes to cute anything, and lately dogs have been my weakness.

Especially this one. How precious is this little guy? His name is Chachi and he's a Jack Russell/Toy Fox Terrier mix - about 3 mos. old and up for adoption along with his three siblings (who are all named after Happy Days characters I might add).

Have you ever seen anything cuter? Except for our dog Maisy, of course (she's watching me type right now and giving me the eye..she's like um, who is that). If you live in Southern California and want a puppy...I'm just sayin'. If I can't have him I would at least want someone who reads my blog to : )

I don't plan on turning this blog into one about homeless dogs, but with this one I could not resist. Plus, its 7:02 pm and I have not posted yet today : )

April 13, 2007

This Month in Bazaar

There are some beautiful pieces in Harper's Bazaar this month. For your admiration:

Denim, flats, $25 rings from Nine West....

(click on the images to get a closer look)

And Kimora Lee Simmons is not normally my reference for style and grace, but I do like this coat from Target and the fact that she wears a Louis Vuitton hair tie...Only Kimora.

Ahem, and onto couture. I love love love this yellow Valentino. and the Giorgio Armani. So Fabulous.

During my last year of school I interviewed for an internship in their New York office. Only my dream come true! It was a nice thought, but I was just married and when we really thought about me moving to NY for three months and finding a place to live, and most importantly being away from Forest - it just wasn't what I wanted. Instead I took a job in LA which was much closer to home and really was life changing for me and my career as a photographer.

In the end it all worked out as it should, as it always does. Now if only I could figure out a way to get/wear some couture. Who's with me? Have a lovely weekend, everyone : )

April 12, 2007

Bangles & Baubles

Plastic bangles are where it's at. I wandered into my favorite store the other day looking for a present for a friend, and could not resist their piles and piles of bracelets. I had to buy some, even just for the pure fun of shooting them.

I have been coveting a few vintage Bakelite bracelets at a local antique store, but the prices are quite depressing. I think I would have to be a true collector to justify those, but these - these are easy. Like, don't even have to have the argument in my head between the practical me and the impulsive me easy. The practical one's like "oh yeah, those are a steal. It would be impractical not to buy them."

I'm not the best at accessorizing. Some of my friends are very very good at it - I'm trying to get better, more intent because the accessories really do make an outfit. Something Coco Chanel said once though really stuck with me. She said, "before you leave the house take off one piece of jewelry". I like that rule, and it keeps me from, you know, wearing all of these at once.

April 11, 2007

More Pin Cushion Prettiness

I wish I could say I made this, but truth be told I did not. But my mom did! And I want to show it off because I think it's so darn cute. She is way more crafty than I'll ever be and somehow between all her professional sewing she finds time to create precious pieces like this. Maybe someday I'll be that good at time management...or not.

April 10, 2007


A Stranger via the
Post office

I attended a birthday party this weekend where everyone (well, almost everyone) wrote a poem/song for the birthday girl. Forest and I did not, and I felt bad. Happy 18th Birthday Abby - Alas, this is not for you, but here is my poetic contribution to the world for 2007. Never was too good at poetry..

Anyway, I took part in Jenny Holiday's Vintage Kitchen Swap and boy was it fun! There is so much good kitchen stuff out there, and of course everything I bought I wanted to keep for myself. But I was a good girl and sent it off to Michelle in Chandler, AZ.

Thanks Michelle for my goodies and hope you liked yours!

April 9, 2007

Easter Weekend

Easter weekend at my parent's house in Santa Cruz was wonderful. My whole family was there including our Grandma, which was a treat. My mom went over the top (as usual) with our Easter baskets and made a delicious meal, complete with our traditional bird rolls. We've had them every Easter since I can remember.

It was a lot of relaxing, spending time with family, and playing with my Lensbaby around the house. There are a lot of cool little things in her house, but you have to get close up sometimes to see them. Rather than write more about it, here's my little Easter photo essay:

baking the bird rolls

aw, they're so cute, all puffy and golden brown.

pillow from the wonderful Saffron & Genevieve

little mini-couch will little mini things sitting on it

pin cushions and vintage tins

in my mom's bedroom

Easter bunny softies that my mom made for us

Me, digging into my Easter goods (photo by Sarah)

Martha Stewart inspired eggs that I made last year, but didn't get around to using until this year. They are real egg shells, painted and decorated. Fun, but time consuming. I think after all the work last year I didn't have the energy to actually make baskets to put them in.

I love to go home for visits and they're never long enough. Forest asked me in the car on the way home if I ever want to move back. I do sometimes, because of my friends and family. I don't often miss "Santa Cruz" the city, but I do miss the people all the time. I would love to be closer to my mom & dad when we have kids, and all my friend's kids are growing up so quickly I feel like I miss out on getting to know them. Can't you all just move down here? It's like Santa Cruz, but warmer and doesn't rain as much...I'm just sayin'....

April 6, 2007

Happy Easter

I found this photo last weekend when I was organizing my art/craft supplies - the Baker kids (pre-Sarah) surveying their finds from the recent Easter egg hunt. I remember this back door from our house on 16th Avenue, which would make me about 7 or 8 here, I think. Mom?

I am over there on the far left - obviously excited about what I found. I think I still make that face.

April 5, 2007

Let's Make Art

The photographer I worked for in LA used to say that - as he was about to make history photographing some frozen food packaging or whatever exciting product we were shooting that day. He is an extremely, extremely creative person, but you know...you gotta have your bread and butter.

Yesterday "Let's Make Art" was the theme of the day, but I was serious. I hadn't slept very well at all thanks to my neighbors holding a skate expo on their half pipe at 2 am, and I was so frustrated I needed to do something relaxing and not involving a computer. So, I made collages.

I love to make these - and since my bird collages for the kitchen I haven't really done that many. These are all made using my collection of vintage papers, wrapping papers, tissue, and anything else I find interesting - old music books, crossword puzzles, etc...I wish I could freehand something for the main element, but I'm afraid to try. I haven't drawn in a long time...For now I've figured out other ways to do it. These are rubber stamps that I've scanned into Photoshop and manipulated, then printed on a watercolor-like paper.

I Mod Podge everything onto the canvas, then add some paint for more dimension, seal with a varnish....and voila!

I've named them all after ladies I know, and was thinking of them as I was making them.




April 4, 2007

Pink is the New Black

Pink is the New Black

I used to wear so much pink. It was like, my signature color. But then, I started to feel like it was too "12 yr. old girl". This was when I was trying to look at least close to my age and figured I should shed any color that made me look in the least bit juvenile ( I am 28 and still get asked if I'm in high school sometimes, so you can imagine what it was like when I was 20.) So I purged the closet of pink....

But all of the sudden it's been creeping back into my life, especially in my house. A pink chair here, some pink boxes there, ooh I have to have those pretty pink glasses. And now I can't get enough of it. I hadn't really thought about this, but Grace at Design Sponge said the same thing today and I realized..pink is officially back.

Not that I'm complaining. Forest might be, but I promised him I would keep it under control.

Pink is the new black and above is proof from some of my pink-loving flickr friends.

April 3, 2007

On the Bias

In my mailbox yesterday was an envelope with some lovely vintage bias tape from my friend Sara in Santa Cruz - Thanks Sara! Now that I know what bias tape is and how to use it, this may come in handy...the packaging is so pretty though, I don't want to open it!

A nice addition to my little stash.

Pretty little tin I picked up at a yard sale down the road. Reminds me of Marie Antoinette.