April 16, 2014

SHADOWPLAY.


As of last week, I have been studying some 'fine arts' photography and attempted my own take at it when I went for a stroll through my neighborhood. The idea is to capture detailed moments that often go unnoticed in the everyday routine. Images of symmetry, texture, form, color, and life. I've noticed that shadows play a huge part in these stories, and not having a "professional" camera, I am quite proud of what I captured. I will continue to post my city views in the future,  because I had so much fun doing this and seeing things in a different perspective.








Later that day, Jose and I went to the 99 cent store which I always manage to leave spending at least $20 on who knows what. But it is always a lot of fun. 



The point of this post was to see my own life from a different direction. When I challenged myself to see the world around me in a different life, it really helped me notice the details I often miss. I look at the photos and am instantly transported back to that beautiful day. Don't limit yourself to seeing the world one way. Try different things. Approach life with new questions, find hidden meanings and create your own answers. 

Discover what lurks behind the shadows.

April 15, 2014

WORKSPACE


I have been meaning to write a post like this for quite a while now. I wanted to share my workspace and some of the things I make. Flowers are a must for my workspace and my home in general. They always make me feel so inspired. Inspired to appreciate the beauty in all the tiny details of this giant world. Ranunculus happen to my favourite flowers, and they are in season!


I have this small pinboard right above my desk. I love the shape of it, and I love the color and pattern. I found it at target for under $5 on clearance! I add it to the list of my many great finds. On it I have pinned my number one idol, Mr. Andy Warhol. And alongside him is a quote that changed the way we see art and culture in the modern century. A polaroid photo of my favourite dog friend, Pippin. And one of my favourite "inspirational" quotes by Oprah Winfrey: "Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down."


These are some art frames that I salvaged when my old workplace was going to throw them out. They were intended for a specific calendar. I added a colored piece of paper to frame some photo booth shots taken over the years of my relationship with Jose. 


A side view of my desk. A vintage lamp we picked up at a yard sale for $3 sits at the corner for my late night work sessions. In front of it are two small frames. And of course, my coveted kitten mug that holds the tools I use most. Somehow the colors correlate between my seating arrangement and the flowers! The chair was brought home from Jose when it was going to be thrown away. I love my desk and it always inspires me to make something new.


The succulents Jose enjoys planting adorn the windowsill. 


I can't seem to get myself used to using an agenda so I use this calendar instead. It is just a 99 cent kittens calendar. I use it to write my work schedule, art exhibit openings & closings, events in L.A., free museum dates, and birthdays. It also gives me a chance to look at the adorable cats on every page!


This is one of the many organized messes I use for my projects. This little glass box was given to me by my friend Miranda. I put all of the words and quotations I cut out of publications. I use the scraps for my scrapbook, letters I send, the 'zines' I make, and just for inspiration. I have other boxes filled with pages and scraps I find interesting, visually appealing or inspiring in some way. I have a giant scrap jungle! Beside the box are some lists I made. I function best by making lists. Lists of events, chores, errands, projects, people and things to research, book to read, movies to watch - you name it, I have a list!


I enjoy playing around with lettering. I am really into typography and try to create my own banners. Some are good, some really suck. This one sucks. But i practice in my journal. 


This contraption is actually a wonderful paperweight brought to me from Japan from my friend Phillip. It is traditionally used for calligraphy writing. I use it to keep the paper from curling when I am writing or photographing a close up. And above all, it is a gorgeous hand crafted piece of work.


Above is my latest project. A 'zine' I created after being so inspired by the ones I saw at the L.A. Book Festival. I get insecure in my ideas because I don't necessarily have the skills to translate a lot of my work into polished computer generated documents. But creating a zine was one way to express what I wanted to say by doing what I love. I love making things with my hands in analog. This project keeps me away from my computer. I water coloured all of the cover pages by hand. I then cut the silhouette of the words with my die-cutting machine.


On the very first page is a blackout poem. Something I was introduced to by one of my favourite authors, Austin Kleon. He took a marker and blacked out pages of newspapers, leaving selected words to create a poem. This formed the short introduction to what each individual zine is about. They all share a common story of struggle in the beginning, to hope at the end. 



Beneath the blackout poem is a short "editor's note" on the issue series and "theme". Each series is a limited number of 20. All handmade, all different.



Some pages have pockets to place an secret poem into. This is a poem written by me.


I added a small banner to the middle page along with a Sylvia Plath quote.


This page leads up to the climax of emotions. 


It folds out to reveal lyrics handwritten by me. These are lyrics I love from a song by Natalia Kills, called "Daddy's Girl".


This page folds out to reveal another quote that plays off the image it frames.


And last but not least, the light at the end, the clarity in the short visual diary. I sent this copy to my wonderful pen pal and friend, Yvonne in Liverpool who runs a well-written blog called Oh My Lola

I will be sharing more inside looks of my projects, in hopes that inspires at least one person to do the same! Most of what I make and do is for my own expression and peace of mind, not for the world to see. Although, I often feel too self-conscious to share any of the things I make anyway. A lot of what I do feels amateur, but I want to keep it that way. I don't want anything I do to become to methodical. I always want to maintain some sort of realistic, vulnerable feeling in what I create. Creation is power, and power is something only found within ourselves. Power is a concept left for the individual to determine. 

Once you find your power, you can create worlds. Even if you are the only one living in it.

APRIL DETAILS.


Every so often (more often than not), I accumilate a set of photos of my daily life details that don't necessarily need a blog post all to themselves individually, but together create a short story. Here are some of my April details, so far. Above is a delicious salad & sandwich I made myself for lunch. I just adore my matte black bowls and plates!


I recently canceled my Netflix subscription because I wasn't utilizing it as often as I should have. I decided that, as a treat to myself or an "exchange" if you will, I would get a different kind of monthly subscription. I opted for the "Dollar Shave Club" - something I have wanted to try for quite a while now. Every month, they send you a razor of your choice for a steal! I for one, have always hated shaving. I have been shaving since I was in the 5th grade! But I kid you not, these razors, "The Executive" as this 6-blade is called, has made such a difference in my morning routine. They also sent a sample of their Face Butter, which made shaving such a pleasant experience! I will elaborate on my skincare routine in a later post!


I made this personalized stationery for a good friend of mine who's birthday party we were attended earlier this month. Stationery is my go-to gift. I choose the card color and size, font style, envelope color and size, printing color, and lining for the envelope. I print it all myself and hand cut all the envelope liners and assemble them together. I love making it, and there are so many ways to personalize it! Our friend Jenice loves peacocks, so this worked beautifully!


Some detailed shots of the cards and envelopes.


One of the most exciting things I have done this year has to be my 30 letters in 30 days challenge. The challenge was presented by Egg Press & HelloLucky, both letterpress stationers who wanted to promote National Letter Writing Month! The challenge is called #write_on. I already do a large share of letter-writing on a regular basis, but this challenge only got me more excited about writing! I love sending things in the mail; handwritten cards and notes, photos, stickers, postcards, inspirational & interesting articles and cut-outs. I like to believe that it can brighten someone's day to receive this sentiment instead of another bill. We forget to connect with people outside of our phones and computers and this is how I try to keep the communication alive. A tangible object that represents my love for using pretty things to do nice things.


I also had the pleasure of seeing special Scion car designed exclusively for Poketo by artists Will Bryant and Eric Trine. It is parked outside of the Line Hotel in Koreatown for all to enjoy.


This little guy proves how art can make a huge statement regardless of the medium!


I try to express myself, my creativity, my love for aesthetics, appreciation for design by carefully curating my everyday life. How you choose to live should reflect your personal style. Everyone has a style. I choose to incorporate mine into every aspect of my life. How I dress, how and what I photograph, what I do, what I research, where I visit, what I listen to, what I eat... The list goes on and on. I enjoy these things and am always finding new ways to make my life more inspiring. I find that the best way to do so is to be grateful for what I already have. Gratitude opens your eyes to what you have and what you can give.

The possibilities are infinite. The possibilities are mine.

BESO.


Sometimes Jose and I get dressed up. Like blazer and dress-shoe style. My friend Jillian kindly invited us to celebrate her friend coming to town. It also happened to be the week before Jillian's birthday, so our meeting was quite appropriate. I put on a wool sweater and blazer, and I got Jose dressed up in a tie because we were going to a fairly nice restaurant that warranted more than my slinky T-shirts and white sneakers.


We went for dinner at Beso in Hollywood. The food was superb. We ate it all so quickly that I didn't get a chance to photograph it! I guess that serves as a great reason for me to head back!


My friend An came along as well. Her hair and her makeup were on point! And she looked super cute in her chambray and statement necklace.



The girls posing for me at the W Hotel in Hollywood.


A great photo!


The dinner was unforgettable, as were the very strong drinks. But I had the chance to "girl talk" and laugh about everything. Sometimes, we must not take ourselves so seriously that we can't just enjoy witty banter with each other! I was happy to see my friend Jillian, as it had been a while since we last met. I got to put on a blazer, have a cocktail, and enjoy a night on the town. It was simple, it was fab and I look forward to doing it again soon.

April 12, 2014

MOM.


Last week, I celebrated my mom's birthday on April first. My favourite part of birthdays is wrapping the gifts, of course!


I chose red glitter with red paper, because red is her favourite colour. I also got some red Gerbera Daisies and arranged them in a PalmTreePunk mason jar to match!


We went to a spot my grandfather picked. It is a place he frequents, and has been going to for over 25 years! He knows the owners and all of the employees. They were all very attentive to us. It's sort of in a funny part of town and we were there on the night the live Spanish Banda played. It was intense but fun to watch.


My cousin Jessica was there taking a selfie with me!



My sister and Jose were also there taking selfies.


We got a few of these sizzling meals that come oome served on a small grill. It was a delicious combination of shrimp, marinated chicken breast, carne asada-style steak, green onions, and queso fundido.



The servers came over and sang my mother happy birthday song. Complete with a shot of tequila and a sombrero head shake!




They then brought a slice of cake out and put it in my moms face! It was all in good fun.


My mom then opened the gifts from me and Jose and she loved them.



We went to spot down the street for a nightcap. I had a delicious Midori Sour that is pictured here in front of my grandfather. We all talked about past memories and future plans. Celebrating birthdays are my favourite thing to do. I have said this before. I am fortunate to have my mother for another year. I am happy to spend this day celebrating her with other people who love her.

I am very grateful for the new chapter I have entered with my family. Things have been different over the years, but it is never too late to make things right. Love will always get us through. I forgot what it felt like to have a family to laugh with. We need to extend ourselves to the people we want in our lives. Sometimes we must put our pride aside and let go. In letting go, we find peace. With each other, with our past, and with ourselves. Love what you have while you have it. I love my mom more than she will ever know. But I don't mind trying to show her just how much.