Friday, December 31, 2010

positive energy for the new year

my family are an eclectic bunch, religiously at least. on just one side of the family, we've got some orthodox jews, buddhists, and christian scientists. i, myself, am a recovering catholic school girl - plaid uniform, religion class textbook, and all. but i don't care what you're background or religion is, i want to wish you a happy new year and send out some thoughtful phrases i've recently picked up thanks to a very generous, insightful, and caring pal of mine via her gift of don miguel ruiz's "the four agreements".
i'm going to paraphrase here, and keep it short:
- be true to your word
- don't take anything personally
- never assume, ask questions
- be your best
though it sounds ridiculously simple, it's actually kind of hard to practice all 4 at the same time. well, nobody's perfect...and of course, the book breaks it down for you to easily digest. what i got out of it is to live a less cluttered, truthful, and aware life. cheers.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

rings i fancy

i once interviewed an artist for an open position at the company i worked at who handed me her portfolio, a bound look book as i recall. as i opened it to the first page, i saw the unexpected: herself as her own model in different poses for her t-shirt designs. "oh look, it's you," i said, in passing small talk. and because of this experience (which was not off-putting, simply unexpected as i've stated), i will always remember her as "the girl who modeled her own portfolio." so although i have nice hands and nail beds, i chose not to have them pictured for this exact reason. here are some of my favorite rings.
i just picked this up. it's gold with a "diamond cut" garnet. its finish makes it look like it was crafted by robin hood, which i mean: looks aged and medieval. 
 i lost a beloved silver signet pinky ring last month that i've had since i was a teenager. sad face. i really wanted to find this in gold, but alas, it was not meant to be. just as well...i'm still working on my relationship with gold.
plain silver cross. you can take the girl outta catholic school, but you can't take the catholic school outta the girl.
black leather ring.
i have a fondness for anchor items. not all, but some.
this is fashioned out of horn. really light and has an interesting grain.
 this is my treasure. it belonged to my grandmother whom i loved more than anything. she was a slight, slim woman with elegant taste and sophistication; a true beauty. my like for fashion came from her influence. i feel lucky to have it, and was surprised that it actually fit me. yeah, i should try to wear gold more often.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

i love you: the gingers edition

i have a fascination with redheads. not male redheads, good god, nope. i imagine most of their body parts to be in a constant shade of sunburned. i prefer to dwell on pretty girls with red hair and alabaster skin dusted gently with freckles. here are my favorites.
tilda swinton. i'm not really into androgyny, but i get her. she's played men more than once. remember "orlando" or "constantine"? what i like about the roles she plays is that often her character is not very likable nor necessarily good. yet, you keep watching because you must know how the story ends. better than turning it off completely when someone like, oh say, katherine heigl is on.
julianne moore. she's so fearless in the roles she plays. "boogie nights", "chloe"? come on. good stuffs.
kristen mcmenamy. ok, i'm not certain that she's a natural redhead or not, but she has been one at one time or another. she's gone through an andro/goth stage with black hair, blond with no eyebrows - just plain severity to the extreme. and i'm into it.
bryce dallas howard. i don't even care that she was in a "twilight" movie. i'm a fan.
florence welch. no surprise here. i heart everything about her. even her crazy, old maid/librarian style (which is not shown here.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

really? when little people take over...

our youth obsessed culture has been insulting our intelligence for quite some time now. the fact that "celebrated preteen news" previously found only in tiger beat and BOP 8-10 years ago is now common fodder found covered on every crap tabloidal entertainment show makes me feel the same way as when i hear the same story of a friend's sister's friend's boyfriend (whom i don't know) word for word for the 5th time. which is to say: bored and annoyed, cubed.
i saw this today in bazaar magazine. really, bazaar? i would expect this in US or INSTYLE, but you're supposed to expose me to stellar handmade gold monkey bone pendants by a vegan brooklynite jeweler who moonlights as an ozark fiddle player when not collaborating with chloe sevigny on children's puppet shows.
the caption reads: "the new it girls. here's a cheat sheet of the latest crop of pop culture's It girls: ten year old hollywood royalty willow smith is rocking her way to the top, while up and coming french starlet lea seydoux is winning the hearts of audiences everywhere. a-list arrivistes!" "rocking"? just this word alone gets a disappointed tsk tsk to the writer. i mean, hoorah, she has a pop song out. but these are kids; they should be drinking capri suns and downloading pony screen savers. if kids are growing up too fast, it's this type of coverage and want that is to blame (as well as the parents.)
10 year olds are "it girls" now...right, because a one digit age was maybe "going too far". somewhere at barney's, suri cruise (aged 4) is really pissed off she missed out on this.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

how to fight off a cold if you're 21 and over

this sounds crazy. no, wait. this isn't crazy. crazy was the time my next door neighbor hunted me down on my front porch at 10 pm and said,"i heard you. i heard you and your friend talking about me this morning as i passed by your window, and i don't appreciate it." at this precise "crazy" moment, i a) had no idea what this person was talking about, b) could only reply with a genuinely bewildered,"what?" while c) simultaneously juggling a deep fear that she was going to key the fuck out of my car before dawn and d) realizing i was wearing footwear not suitable for defending myself whatsoever.
"um, i was by myself so i don't know who you think i was talking to; and my windows are closed so you probably heard another apartment's conversation," i replied.
"no, it was you," she insisted, as she slowly inched her way closer to my being.
"i don't know you, so why would i talk about you?" this was the down right truth, and yet she still wanted to hear her own voice and argue with me further.
"what did you hear exactly?" i asked.
"oh, it was awful. i can't repeat it," she said, shaking her head. ok lady, case closed. "if you don't stop this, i'm going to tell your landlord," she threatened. really? why don't you also write my first grade teacher, sister rose mary, while you're at it? i told her i was done talking to her and went inside my apartment. yeesh, some people = crazy.
so, ANYWAYS, my original point of sounding "crazy": i started to feel like i was coming down with something the other night. not having any o.j., i mixed a package of emergen-c and water and topped it off with a shot of whiskey. surprisingly refreshing and it has helped ward off the cooties, thus far. i have single handedly created for colds and weaklings what vodka and red bull did for energy depleted d-bags. so, yeah, happy kwanzaa all.
yes, this bottle of jack is REALLY big
water + emergen-c + shot o'whiskey = a powerful elixir, my friend
everything tastes better with a straw

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

the watch whisperer

it delights me that my neighbor just adopted a huge black pitbull with a white chest and named it "oreo" (because that's what you do in long beach.) it similarly delights me to collect watches because it's what i started doing as a teen when i graduated from sticker albums. here are a few of the ugliest ones i have.
this is one of the first ones. i found it at the jewelry mart in san francisco at one of the novelty watch shops. the band is made of bullets! i never went thru a goth/trenchcoat phase though...
to view the time, you turn the bullet chamber. genius.
my friend said to me,"i found the ugliest watch on the bus today." this was it. thank you shannon, where ever you are.
the best part is that when you read the time, another motorcycle is on the face and the other end is a mirror.
who says alpine village is full of crappy $1 socks. i found joan jett for $10 about 8 years ago.
another well designed, clever consumer good from japan.
this watch makes me nervous. it doesn't just simply tell you the time. it engineers charts and graphs that you have to decipher. it takes about 30 seconds before you can answer,"it's 3:46...i think."
yes, this watch really is just THAT gold. i love this watch, but i've already replaced its batteries twice in the few years i've owned it. dear seiko, please make this solar powered in the future.

Friday, December 10, 2010

this happened: part 2: the time i worked with the asian sarah palin

i've worked with several designers over the years. one of them i was somewhat surprised to see more recently on a reality tv show. but this is not about him, he was actually great to work with; no story, except that he looks like a popular wrestler. well, a vegan, manorexic version, at least. no no, this is about an all together different "personality" and i shall call her M. 
in one of our weekly design meetings, the task at hand was to come up with different words or phrases we could use on tees for the line. (we call that "verbage" in the industry, wink wink.) for you to get a mental picture, M can easily be described as an asian sarah palin physically: hair swept back, nice cheek bones, smart glasses. for you to get a feeling for her personality, M was a nationality that amongst asians is known to be far right, religious zealots (but not enough to protest), and tough as nails. so, yes, a small packaged force to be reckoned with.
so there we were, designers and artists taking turns reading aloud the phrases we had come up with. when it was her turn, these were a few examples of what she wanted to use: "miracle baby", "trinity", "the power", and so on and so forth. you get the picture. oh, you don't? well, let me show you in the forms of the ones i got to design.
 "miracle baby" or what i like to call "the baby we didn't abort".
"trinity cycles". yeah, we ride for god.

her stint at the company was brief. not because of her religious inputs or the strength of her design skills, but because like so many cases, not everyone gets along in such a fast paced, money driven, rhinestudded environment. it was only after she left that her quiet, subdued and shy assistant came to my office to finally exhale and spill the beans. "M used to close the door to our room and tell me my boyfriend and i were living in sin because we aren't married and live together. she said i'm going to hell." well, yeah, of course she did.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

good tees

i can admit it: i have 4 drawers cram packed with tees in all different shades of solid colors, cuts, and fits. but how i feel about graphic tees in particular is equivalent to how i feel about facial piercings: they're ok, i just don't want one on me. 
ok, wait, that's generalizing. i DO have a few graphic tees. what i mean is that i don't have any that you can pick up at an urban outfitters that says "paris, je t'aime" distressed just so, nor "trust me, i'm a doctor". those are just...AWFUL. i have a small collection of vintage graphic tees that i fancy because of the way they're worn in, the particular imagery, and the fact that it's probably the last of 2 in existence (your grandpa has the other one.)
here are a few of my favorites:
"the love is not smooching in parked car." the poor translation captures my heart.
this one sadly has completely shredded in the arm pits and after all the washings, you can actually tell that the manufacturer spaced on this and used blacks from 2 different dye lots: both sleeves are a different tone of black from the body.
oddly, the top of the white patch is not sewn to the garment making the front of the tee a pocket bib. genius.
this represents my catholic school upbringing.
surely another poorly translated tee.
this one isn't vintage, but i threw it in for the obvious. "fingerbang". uh huh. marc jacobs is cheeky. thank you michelle and natalie for this. i love it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


you can't leaf through a magazine these last couple of months without coming across the likes of die antwoord. to be honest, i'm more fascinated by them visually than audibly (you must view their videos for "enter the ninja" and "evil boy". the art direction and set design are fantastical.) they look like what would exist if jeremy scott and jamie hewlett worked on comic characters that came to life. 

it's hard not to read all the badly scrawled tattoos that cover ninja's body. the cherries:
"a woman is more dangerous than a loaded pistol."
"if you don't like funerals don't kick sand in ninja's face." (4 stars.)
"how can a angel break my heart." that's not my typo. it indeed says "a angel". 

Monday, December 6, 2010

i felt that: how to turn a doodle into a card

ever want to give up on the crappy selection of cards the drugstore has? why do they carry snuggies for yorkies and off-off name brand peppermints but only 3 or 4 blank cards with such awful black and white photos as a garden of daisies, or 2 naked babies sleeping but holding hands? here's how to make your own blank card with some felt and pizzaz. you'll need:
- a doodle
- felt in your preferred colors (it's 29 cents per sheet at michael's)
- an 8.5 X 11 sheet of white cardstock
- hot glue
- colored thread (optional)
- colored pens (optional)
- an envelope

i had a friend in mind for this card. she likes octopi.
refine your idea.
cut out portions you wish to be felt. i used orange felt for the body, white for the eyes, black for the pupils and mustache.
this is how the felt looks when you buy it.

the envelope measured 4X6 so i cut the cardstock just short of 4X12. i folded it in half as a proper card would open. to add some character, i stitched white thread along the side of the orange felt. i used hot glue to piece it all together on the cardstock. to give it further life, i drew in some waves and bubbles. 
ta-da. octostachin' it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

a hop, skip, and a pump

if you're ever hanging out with me at my place while i'm getting ready, you'll probably be sitting on my bed, curled up on one of the many decorative (but totally otherwise useless) pillows. but i won't be the one distracting you from flipping through a vintage issue of the face or pop. your line of vision will be focused on the wide double closets opposite my bed; and your natural sense of curiosity will peak and politeness will go out the blinded windows. i can see it on your face. i'll catch you looking, and i'll read your mind. this is where i indulge you and draw the sliding door open - twice - and your expression, mind you, is a good one. 
you hear about it, maybe you even saw it on cribs. my closets are filled with a sea of mates; racks filled with pairs in all colors, textures, and shapes. yes, i'm talkin' bout shoes. 
though i have all kinds shoes, here are a few of my favorite sneaker high tops. i don't wear them as much as i'd like to. this sounds ridiculous - i know - but i feel short in them, and at 5'10" barefoot, that's impossible. i think it's more that a few of them have a clunky proportion, actually. but i should use that and channel an 80's motley crue groupie and wear it with leggings, an oversized cut up tank with the arm holes low at the waist, a giant slinky scarf, and gold. lots and lots of gold.
i love these from creative recreation. the color combo is one of my favorites: black, red, grey. i switched out the laces for red ones. so much better than white.
 these are a partnership between goodyear and adidas. AND they're satin. a dichotomy of a shoe.
 classy lacoste. i feel like i should go to the mac counter when i wear these. i know. it makes absolutely no sense.
 i love these. so much ankle security. cute, too.

 no, your vision doesn't deceive you. these are indeed "pumps". i'd say there's a common theme in color scheme here...
yeah, i have white sneakers. and you're totally right. they DO get dirty easy and quickly.
had to throw in chucks. the natural rubber detail is a nice touch.