February 28, 2007

At Least It's A Start

Okay, so I didn't get as far on the apron as I wanted to. But, I did pull out the pattern and get it ready to be cut. Also picked out the fabric and trim. For those who read yesterday, I decided to go with the vintage pattern, difficult pockets and all. 'Cause I like to make things harder than they need to be : ) I will get further on it today. I will I will I will.

Sidenote: Has blogging this much made anyone else feel like they need to go back to 7th grade and learn basic grammar all over again? Seriously, I haven't written this much in years (especially because I went to photo college where I didn't write anything longer than 2 paragraphs) and it makes me feel like I've forgotten all the knowledge that put me in honors English in highschool. I mean, I was in 9th grade spelling in 5th grade and now I rely soley on a computer to make sure my sentence structure is correct. I need a copy editor STAT.

February 27, 2007

Getting Up Early

It rained early this morning (about 3:30) so when we woke up at 6:30 the sky was all dark, but as the sun came up these peachy/gold tones sprinkled through the clouds. It's skies like this that make me want to get up early. I know 6:30 isn't early for most people, but lately it is for me. I like to think I'm a morning person because I really do like getting up early, but it doesn't mean I do. In reality we are night people and rarely go to bed before midnight. It's hard to be both.

I have lots to do today, but after I get my work done I would like to start on the apron that's been on the back burner for weeks now. I think I'm kind of afraid to start another sewing project. The blanket I made went well, but there's part of me that says that was beginner's luck. However, I have promised aprons to a few friends and a promise is a promise.

I'm either going to use this vintage pattern I have (love those pockets) or...

This one from Amy Butler's book In Stitches. The pattern is a little more simple, which might be good for the first try. Hopefully I'll have something to show tomorrow : )

February 26, 2007

Forever 21 is for nice girls, too

There are mixed opinions about the store Forever 21. I for one happen to love it. Especially for trendy items that I want right now, but might not want in a few months. If I spend 15 bucks on a shirt and it only lasts one season I'm not going to feel too badly about it.

On the other hand, I've found some pretty classic pieces there that look way more expensive than they are and have lasted me for years. My favorite is when someone asks where I got my jacket and I say Forever 21. The next response is a look of confusion/slight disgust. Yep : )

And recently I've found even more good stuff on their website. I especially like shopping on their site because:

• You can look at everything in a neatly design web page, rather than having to trudge through the often over-crowded racks at the store.

• Online purchases can be returned for a full refund, where at the store you can only exchange items for store credit (except jewelry. I think that's always final sale).

• Rarely do the retail locations have sales, or if they have a sale rack its small and never very good. Online you can see what's on sale right away and there is more of it.

For instance, this sweater is on sale for 5.99. Now even if it is 55% acrylic that is not a bad deal.

The draw back to shopping online is that you can't try anything on. But you deal with that everywhere, and as I say - You can always return it.

Here's a jacket I found today on the site. It's so dang cute and comes in three colors. This kind of thing is less risky to purchase online because it's a jacket and most likely it will fit nicely if you get the right size. Price: $24.80. Not too shabby.

So there ya go. Eye candy for your Monday morning, and a new site to waste minutes on while we procrastinate actually doing some work today. I love the Internet.

Click on any of the images see that item on the website.

February 24, 2007

A Good Mail Day

I love good mail days. I often check the mail before leaving the house, that way if there's something good I can look at it in the car. I know it's not safe, but I do it anyway. Today was an especially good mail day because I received a mix tape (well CD, really) from the BFF and the new GQ mag with Christian Bale on the cover.

Remember him in Newsies? That is where this 15 year old crush originated. So for over 1/2 my life I have adored Christian - don't worry, Forest knows. As for my CD, I drove the long way to the grocery store just so I could listen to more of it. Thank you Faith and thank you Christian Bale.

February 23, 2007

A MOO Point

"It's like a cow's opinion...It's moo."
- Joey, from Friends

Oh how I love Friends. Anyway, I know everyone is talking about their Moo cards from flickr, but I have some too and I wanna be in the club.

I ordered a batch of cards from our wedding photos and they are just good old fashion fun. With the panoramic crop its like a whole new set of images. People ask me what I plan to do with them. Um, I don't know...I haven't thought that far ahead. I just knew I had to have some.

February 22, 2007

What's Cuter

Than 1 Golden Retriever, 1 Yellow Lab, 1 Blue Lacy and 1 Pug in the back of a classic Land Cruiser?

Not much.

Now only one of these is ours (the dark one). The other three belong to our friends Kasey and Tarah, and this is from our wine tasting trip last weekend. Santa Barbara has some amazing wines, and it was a treat to make a day of tasting a few of them. If you ever make it to this area, you must visit the tasting rooms in Los Olivos and Solvang. Call me up, I'll give you some recommendations.

February 21, 2007

Detail Oriented

diamond chair I look at home magazines often and sometimes wonder if our home will ever be pretty enough to be photographed.

Before we moved, I had this vision of accomplishing everything on our list in the first week of ownership. People laughed, and quickly I learned that no - that is not going to happen. And here were are over a year later with baseboards uncaulked, crown molding unfinished, and a list of "to dos" longer than when we started. However, this is all to say that I've acquired some new inspiration for photographing my home despite its "unfinished" state.

After looking at this blog, I've realized that the smaller pieces of your home can make really interesting images. I had some fun with this yesterday, and I if you are so inclined I encourage you to try this yourself. Even if you have a point-and-shoot camera, find some good light (usually early morning or afternoon. Indirect light from a window makes for very nice photos) and an interesting composition. I now have my camera out all day and if something catches my eye around the house I take a picture of it.

guest room


I'm looking forward to creating this series of vignettes around our home, and if you try this I'd love to see what you come up with as well : )

February 20, 2007

Paper, Canvas, Birds & Skulls

I flickr'd these not too long ago, but thought I would show you another little piece of my home. These are paper collage on canvas that I made to fill this area of empty wall in our kitchen.

I used all types of paper - vintage wrapping paper, tissue, vellum, magazine cutouts...I love making art, especially when inspiration comes quickly and the thing turns out exactly as I imagined - which was the case with these. The skull in the bottom one is probably my favorite part - I found that in a design magazine and the cross bones are actually Exacto knives. awesome.

February 19, 2007

Impromptu Photo Session

Photos from a quick photo session with up-and-coming music artist Brett Young. He just finished his first EP, produced by our friend Jim, and while they were up here at the studio we did these new promotional shots. These are just a few of my favorites, but click on Brett's name to see more photos and hear his new songs.

February 16, 2007

Show and Tell

I have been having fun at the antique and thrift stores in my town lately, and thought I would show you a few of my favorite finds - a little Friday Show and Tell:

Painted Horses

These paint-by-number horses caught my eye out of a stack of other paintings. I love the colors and the quality about them.

sound of music

Only like my favorite movie ever!! I was so excited to find this record for only .99 at a thrift store in Burbank. Faith was jealous, until she found another one at different store - for only .50.
Faith:1 Raya:0

plate from england

Serving plate from England. Love the colors.

pewter heart closed pewter heart open

This pewter heart was at one of the many antique shops on Main St. in Ventura. I have a few pieces of jewelry that I wear daily (wedding rings, a necklace) that I don't like to wear while I'm sleeping, so this is a perfect bedside table jewelry box.

It is safe to say that I'm all thrifted/antiqued out for this month...It's kind of become an addiction. Last night I dreamt that I was in a thrift store that was pretty much empty, save for an entire shelf of vintage wallpaper books. I was in heaven!!! Seriously, I did not want to wake up it was that good. I often have dreams that are so good, I don't want to wake up because somehow in my dream I know that I'm dreaming and if I wake up it will all go away. On the other hand, if its a bad dream I can make myself wake up and get out of whatever horrible situation I've dreamt myself into. Anyone else do that?

Oh well, we'll save the dream analysis for later. Have a wonderful weekend!

February 15, 2007

It was a good weekend

Last weekend we were very fortunate to have some of the coolest people at our house for the weekend: Our good friends Dan & Megan with their sweet boys, and Faith & Ryan. Here's a glimpse of what we did:

nordin boys

Taped pennies to the train tracks and waited for the trains to smash them.
Out of 11 we found 2. Not bad.

maisy & bennet

Gave Maisy A LOT of love. A lot a lot a lot.

Walked on the windy beach:

dan & megan

Dan & Megan

faith & ryan

Faith & Ryan

Us girls also snuck away to shop in Santa Barbara, and hit the antique stores in downtown Ventura. Meg also gave me the cutest apron from Anthropologie, then when we were shopping on Saturday I found the mini version - It was too perfect, I had to have it. So hopefully I'll have a little girl someday and we can bake in our matching aprons. Aw........

blue apron

We also barbecued delicious carne asada (thanks Ryan) and ate really yummy food the entire weekend. I wanted to take more photos, but I'm quickly learning that it's difficult to be full time hostess and full time photographer simultaneously. I have this thing where I want every event in my life to look like it belongs in House & Garden or Martha Stewart. Makes things a little stressful, but I just need to let go and enjoy the time more. And someday I'll hire a photographer to follow us around all weekend for our magazine spread : )

February 14, 2007

Be My Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day!


Here is one of the Valentine Postcards I made for a swap on flickr. These are 1960's - candy conversation heart - Warhol - inspired. The banners are love song titles from the 50's, 60's and 70's. Check out this group on flickr to see what everyone else made!

Maisy & Me

Ever read the book Marley & Me? Well lately our puppy Maisy is giving Marley a run for his money. Today she chewed up her second pen this week. Just picture a PILOT Precise V5 Rolling Ball Extra Fine in BLACK all over your living room carpet. It actually hurts.

On my way to throw out the roll of paper towels I used to clean up this mess I found a package from Amazon on my doorstep. Those are always fun. At least now I have something pretty to look at while the carpets are being cleaned tomorrow.


Happy Valentine's Day everyone. I made some cards for a swap that I will post later
today...until then think happy thoughts : )

February 13, 2007

Baby Cael

Two weeks ago I got to meet the newest addition to Sture and Amanda's family (my good friends and Faith's brother and sister-in-law). We visited them in Phoenix, AZ and as a photographer it is hard to leave the camera at home when I know I'm going to be spending time with babies. Here is one of my favorite photos from the day - such a beautiful boy at only 8 days old.

Baby Cael

click here to see the slide show

February 12, 2007

Calico Madam

Calico fabricsThere is something about calico I have always loved. I think it goes back to Little House on the Prairie, my most favorite books when I was a little girl. The Ingalls girls were ALWAYS wearing calico, and I know that my 1980's everyday wear seemed much less romantic than Laura's bonnets and prairie dresses.

While in Phoenix last weekend with Faith I picked up all these fun prints - some are from a great remnant store and a few are old sheets purchased at a thrift store. I can't wait to make things from them, and looking at all the colors together just makes me happy : )

February 9, 2007

Everyone, Meet my Mom

My mom has been sewing since I can remember. And at some point, she started her own slipcover business that she ran out of the garage. She had 4 kids, homeschooled a few of us at different times AND worked in the garage whenever she wasn't cleaning, schooling, driving, homework helping, cooking, etc... She would pay for private school with her income, or buy us new school clothes or just helped out with the overall household expenses.

The point of me telling you all this is to say how AWESOME she is, and to show you a few pics she sent me from her new sewing room, which is now in the house since we've recently had a few more children fly the coop. Now its just the Little One and Max, the dog.

She sent me these and I just thought I would share:

Mom’s Sewing Room Doll Dresser Detail

One of her sewing machines, and a chair that she covered, of course. A little doll dresser (my mom likes little things) that she keeps something in. Mom,what are those?

And finally, here is a photo I found the other day:

Raya’s baby photo

and here is the white kitty today (sans dress)..still on my bed after 28 years : )
My mom made me this before I was born.

white cat

I love you mom!

February 8, 2007

Kiss the Cook

Well, not quite. But look how cute she is in her sweet little apron!

Aprons 02I've got a thing for aprons. I'm pretty sure I always have. Here are some pics of my current collection, which hang from this wall hook I bought at anthropologie. I have to stop myself from buying more, but I don't have much room for new additions to this collection.

So instead of adding to my own collection, I plan to add to others by making aprons for my friends. I just bought a bunch of new fabric, which I will show you later and am getting reacquainted with my sewing machine..see previous post.

Aprons 01

A First For Everything

Cael’s Blanket 01 Cael’s Blanket 03 Cael’s Blanket 05

Cael’s Blanket 06 Cael’s Blanket 07 Cael’s Blanket 09

Cael’s Blanket 10 Cael’s Blanket 12 Cael’s Blanket 13

This baby quilt has been 7 years in the making. Yes, 7 years. I found these old men's shirts one day and thought they would make a great baby quilt. So I promptly shoved them in a bag and stored them away. I even moved them with me to Santa Barbara in '02, thinking I might want to make that quilt someday.

Well, finally the day came. Our good friends Sture & Amanda welcomed baby Cael to the family on Friday, Jan. 26. Knowing that I was going to see them last Saturday, I finally decided to make something of all these squares. Nothing like pressure to get me going. This was my first attempt at a quilt and no, its not perfect...but it was extremely fun and well worth the work.

While I was in Phoenix to deliver the quilt and meet the little boy I got to capture his 8th day of life on film...or, compact flash card...slideshow coming soon!!!!