11.24.2018

{personal} on continuing a new hobby


It's been a little over two years now since I picked up needle and thread and started cross stitching again. I honestly didn't think it was something I would continue for very long, but here I am, stitching away! These are just a few of the creations I've completed over the past year. I'm trying hard to come up with my own original creations rather than just taking inspiration from cross stitch books and such. I'm also working on building my inventory of finished pieces so that I can start selling at craft fairs, though that seems so far away...

1. Tiny pineapples from Pinterest
2. Pluto Loves You by StellarSpaceCraft (inscribed with my godson's birth date)
3. Cute and colorful flowers by andwabisabi
4. Patterns from Japanese cross stitch patterns
5. Rainbow inspired by The Apricot Memoirs
6. Moon and stars by myself
7. Flower by Threadwork Primitives

11.14.2018

{personal} sarasota, florida

A Virginia native, but current California transplant, Florida plays a part in my family's history. Both of my parents grew up in Ohio and, sharing a mutual disdain for the suppressing winters of the north, hightailed it to southern Florida as soon as they were married (my father had previously spent some time in Florida prior to their marriage). They only ended up staying a few years before moving north again to be a little closer to family (this time to North Carolina where the winters were a little more forgiving), but during their stay they invested in a time share condo in Sarasota, Florida.

And so they've continued to stay in the same condo during the same week in October each year since the early eighties. The resort is on a quiet stretch of Lido Key off the mainland of Sarasota, Florida. The warm water and calm waves are incomparable to any place I've experienced since (especially on the west coast). A protected state park to the east and the Gulf of Mexico stretching to the southwest, it has provided my family years of fond memories. It's where my brother and I took our first steps. It's where my parents took some of our best family videos of him, myself and our sister. It's where we spent all day outside, alternating between the beach and the pool, the pool and the beach. It's where we slowly waded out to the sandbar until the water was almost over our heads. It's where we watched thunderstorms roll in from miles away. It's where we attempted to play shuffleboard. It's where we watched the play of heat lightning in the huge Floridian clouds. It's where we collected seashells and sand dollars and built sand castles. It's where our bodies became a deep bronze and grew exhausted after long days in the sun. It's where we watched a myriad of beautiful sunsets each and every night.

We went each year for the first eight years of my life until we became too old for my parents to pull us out of school for a week each October. After that we exchanged it for a different week during the summer in different locations mostly along the east coast. Because of it we had a week of family vacation somewhere different every summer. It's easily one of the best decisions they've ever made! We went once more during the summer I was thirteen years old, but we haven't been back as a family of five since. My siblings and I are now grown and living our own lives, doing our own things, making our own plans, but my parents continue to go each year on their own. It's something they look forward to immensely. They literally start counting the days until they return as soon as their stay ends!

I was finally able to return this October for the first time in eighteen years. It was exactly as I remembered it, as if those long years of absence never happened. It was such a pleasure to see my parents and my sister, to show my husband a place that holds so much of me, and to have a truly relaxing vacation with nothing to do but swim, tan, read, eat, sleep... swim, tan, read, eat, sleep.

And so I'm determined to return each year from here on out. It's a "lifetime" deal that my parents invested in, so it will be there as long as we are willing to continue it. It's something that will be there for us and for our children, something that will always bring us together.

1. Sunrise over Siesta Key
2. Palm trees
3. Sunset our first night
4. White sand
5. A dramatic sunset (I took three versions of this - one for myself, one for my parents, and one for my sister)
6. Those clouds!
7. Clouds
8. Palm trees
9. That deep, deep blue...

11.01.2018

{personal} hello

Hello, beautiful world.

Roses, Burbank, California, 3/29/2018

5.14.2018

{personal} instax mini

I'm really loving my Fujifilm Instax Mini camera! It's like Polaroid but tiny (about the size of a business card). It's been so nice to have something "real" that I can hold in my hand. And the quality is so beautiful! It has that soft magical quality that I love so much about film that digital just can't capture.

1. Museum of Neon Art, Glendale, California
2. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant, Van Nuys, California
3. Burbank, California
4. Burbank, California

4.10.2018

{personal} safari inn

I love photographing this sign...

1. Holga, 120mm film
2. Holga, 120mm film
3. Instax Mini 90
4. Instax Mini 90
5. iPhone
6. iPhone

10.31.2017

{personal} sugar skulls

These sugar skull truffles were too pretty not to photograph and almost too pretty to eat! Happy Day of the Dead!

10.30.2017

{personal} skulls

In addition to our Halloween collections, we've slowly formed quite a collection of skulls. Drug store skulls, party store skulls, candle skulls, brass skulls, crystal skulls, alcohol bottle skulls, skull dice... We don't know what it is about them, but skulls are cool, and we actually keep a few of them out all year round!

10.28.2017

{personal} halloween collection

As stated in my last post, I love Halloween decorations that are spooky and eclectic. Bell jars, apothecary jars, laboratory jars, spiders, hands, bones, eyeballs, a heart that actually beats... This creepy collection has grown a lot since two years ago!

10.27.2017

{personal} black magic

My husband is a huge fan of Halloween and his immense enjoyment of the holiday has rubbed off on me since our first Halloween together eleven years ago. We love to decorate and our collection has steadily grown over the years. While he leans towards all things colorful and silly and fun, I gravitate towards all things spooky and eclectic and darkly beautiful (this was our setup two years ago). I slowly built the above collection on our dining table over the past few weeks and I love how it turned out!

9.26.2017

{personal} cross stitching

I know it's been awhile since my last blog entry (five months!) but I promise I'm still around. I may not be taking as many pictures as I used to, but I've been more active on Instagram than I thought I would be since joining seven months ago. I also rediscovered an old hobby from my childhood: cross stitching! In a way it's very meditative and I'm really enjoying the repetition of counted cross stitch. I've come across so many fun designs, while also trying to create some of my own, that it's taken up a big part of my home life. So between visiting family, watching movies, voraciously reading, cross stitching and exploring Los Angeles, I've been keeping fairly busy this year.

1. Lucky cat by Lucky Star Stitches
2. Piranha plant by Super Mario Bros
3. Flower by Threadwork Primitives
4. Cats by myself, tacos by Cute Cosy Crafts via Pinterest
5. 8-bit Batman 
6. Space invaders and Pacman ghosts from Designer Cross Stitch Projects

PS. If you're interested in purchasing a finished piece or requesting a custom order, I'm open to creating something for you! Several of my friends have pleasantly surprised me with commissions, though I started this as just something fun for myself.

4.16.2017

{personal} happy easter

Happy Easter!

3.25.2017

{personal} vasquez rocks

Last summer we visited Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, known for its dramatic rock formations and popular filming locations (Star Trek, Blazing Saddles, The Flintsones and Westworld to name a few). These sedimentary rocks layers were first formed around 8-15 million years ago and the most impressive peak points at a sharp 45-degree angle. No, we were not one of the brave few to climb to the very top... Such a cool place to visit and photograph!

PS. This is one of the places we visited as part of our Toys in Hollywoodland collaboration.