Sunday, March 29, 2009

.a life in lists::childhood.

I realize that it's been a little while since my last post about "a life in lists."  So, today, I thought it would be fun to put up another.  Today, we shed some light onto our childhood memories.

  • "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl.
  • Punky Brewster.
  • An Ewok Adventure.  
  • Sanrio merchandise, like "Hello Kitty."
  • Ricky Martin when he was in the group "Menudo."
  • Watching "Garfield" and the "Smurfs" during Saturday morning cartoons.
  • Peeps, BubbleYum, Tootsie Pops, and Big Hunk candy.  
  • Dr. Pepper and A&W Root Beer.
  • The color pink (of course).
  • Tear for Fears and Duran Duran.
  • Strawberry Shortcake and Rainbow Brite.
What were some of your favorite things growing up?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

.tim walker::photographer.

When I think of the word whimsical, I envision fairies with their pixie lights dancing across an open field at dusk, woodland creatures civilly sitting down to a cup of tea, and perhaps even a mast ship floating across the tops of cotton-like clouds. . . We all grew up with these fantastical images running about giggling in our heads when we were children.  I guess some of us never grow up. . . thank god!
The other day, my hubby shared with me a site he came across featuring the photography of Tim Walker, a London based fashion photographer whose works have been seen in magazines such as British Vogue and Vogue Italia.  Walker's whimsical images pulls its viewer into playful worlds where it seems imagination has no limits.  The soft lighting and muted colors that make up the tone of many of his images, is a soothing treat to the eyes.  He has brought together a collection of his works in a book simply entitled, Pictures.  If you enjoy photos that look as if they've been pulled right out of a storybook, then you need to take a visit to his website and prepare to be completely amazed!

Friday, March 20, 2009

.characters welcome::david eustace.

Before I leave this blog for the day, I did want to share one more thing.  During my visit to the Character Project site, I visited some of the actual websites of the photographers who participated.  It was through this that I found a new name to add to the list of brilliant photographers who leave me speechless.  His name is David Eustace.  The Scottish photographer, whose earlier careers included that of a prison officer, draws out the essence of his subjects and wonderfully captures them on film.  As I searched further through the internet, I was delighted, and not at all surprised, when I found out that he has also been one of the photographers responsible for the much loved Anthropologie photos, as was mentioned by Sophie in her wonderful blog.  To view more of his work, visit him here and here.  Below is a clip of David Eustace from his contribution to the Character Project.  You've gotta love that accent!!  

.usa::characters welcome.

During the last several evenings, as Alex gets his "fix" of Hugh Laurie's HOUSE episodes, I have noticed many commercials for USA's "Character Project." Curious, and of course, intrigued by the idea of a photography collaboration, I had to see what this was all about. Below is the actual advertisement for the project. Take a look.
The project consists of 11 of some of the world's most talented photographers. Each one, with their own photo documentary, capture the faces that represent the diversity of our country. Launched by NBC's USA channel, in the spirit of its trademark "Characters Welcome," the images from the venture are brought together in a book entitled, American Character. To know more about the Character Project, as well as the photographers that bring it to life, visit it here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


The last couple of days, I've been feeling rather moody and a little melancholy.  Can't really put my finger on why, but needless to say, I've been trying to pull myself out of it.  With Spring officially only one day away, I have been on the search for some "happy-go-lucky" music and I think I have found it in a tune or two by Australian artist, Lenka Kripac.  You can't help the fact that your feet are tapping, and your head is bouncing from side to side, rolling a cheerful tune within it!  You can check out her cutesie website here and hear some of her music here.  I've plopped in a video for you too!  Just enjoy the show!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

.french inspired jewelry...ooh la la!.

When it comes to purchasing craft books, I've REALLY had to pull the reigns back.  There have been so many new additions to the wonderful array of books out on the market that it's a little overwhelming.  I spend more time flipping through books than I do actually making the craft!  Sound familiar?  So when I do come across one that intrigues me, it goes through a little test before it ever makes it to the checkout:
  1. Does this book inspire me visually and creatively?
  2. Are the materials needed for the projects available in my area?  (improvising if needed, of course)
  3. Are the materials more than I can afford?
  4. Are the instructions understandable?
  5. Are the creations from these projects practical for my life?  
  6. Can I truly see myself creating any of the projects in this book within the next month?
  7. Does this book give information about the subject beyond just instructions? ie. history, tips & advice, etc.
Once a book has met the criteria, it makes a cheery trip home with me!  My most recent addition to the craft library is this book by Kaari Meng.  
Her splendid creations are wonderfully displayed beside a mix of illustrations, photos, ribbons, feathers, bits & baubles adding a vintage charm to each page in her book.  
What I found most wonderful about French-Inspired Jewelry, is that the projects are actually quite simple to create.  Kaari has brought these designs together for us, providing the information needed to create them.  Anyone with even minimal jewelry making skill (okay, it'll have to be a little bit more than just knowing how to string beads though) will find that they too can create such pieces as those shown here.  I think the hardest part is going to be finding the materials!  Although, many craft stores have now started carrying vintage-inspired jewelry making supplies.  You may also want to check out some of the specialty bead shops in your area as they usually have a great selection of better quality pieces.  
Check out Kaari Meng at her shop, the French General, as well as on her blog site, and be inspired!!  French-inspired!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

.a robin at my window.

While washing some dishes earlier today, I heard a bird *twittering* away joyously outside my kitchen window.  Totally dense, I am sometimes, I kept on cleaning the plates from breakfast, amazed at just how loud this bird was.  Then I realized, as I looked up through the steam rising from the sink, that he was sitting on my window sill.  It was as if he was trying to get my attention, as he was looking directly at me.  "Hey lady!  Spring's just a few days away!"  I laughed out loud, and I think that may have frightened the poor fellow as he flew away into a tree further from the window.  His little visit made my day.  I love robins, these messengers of spring! 

In an attempt to find a good image of an American robin to post onto this blog, I came across an article here which featured the above piece,  created by artist, Paul Brigham.  His work has an Oriental touch to it that reminds me of classic Ming Dynasty silk paintings like these featured here.  This robin painting is such a beautiful piece, I just had to share it with you!  

Friday, March 13, 2009

.from french country cuisine to French Ruffenach.

I love food.  There's no question about it.  There isn't anything that I won't try at least once.  Well. . . unless it's still alive and squirming.  Ha!  My favorite choices of international cuisine usually comprises that of Thai, Japanese, and Italian.  Occasionally, the Southern deep fried chicken and green beans gets tossed into the list.  Oh! and seafood.  I LOVE seafood!  While watching my favorite Disney-Pixar movie, Ratatouille, with my daughter for what seems to be the millionth time, I couldn't help but want to head back into the kitchen to retrieve this lovely cookbook by Anne Willan.  As I imagine what pleasant flavors and aromas the recipes in this book contain, I can hear the French t.v. announcer from the movie say these opening lines. . . 
"Although many of the world's countries
would like to dispute this fact, 
we French know the truth.
The best food in the world
is made in France. . . "
I have never had a French meal before.  And for any smart aleck who may be reading this, you and I both know that "toast" and "fries" do NOT count.  There was an adventurous energy flowing through me that day when I opened up the pages to this cookbook for the first time.  "One day," I told myself, "I will be brave enough to gather up the ingredients and create one of these wonderful dishes.  One day."  Well, that day has not yet come, but it WILL!   
As the saying goes, "Never judge a book by its cover."  This one, however, was an exception to that rule.  Flipping through the book, you find yourself drawn to the artful photography of French Ruffenach.  Her images capture the faces, the life and landscape, the colors and textures, and of course, the cuisine, that collectively paints the beautiful portrait of French country life.  True, the book itself is made in such a way that you'd rather have it on your coffee table as opposed the the kitchen countertop.  Either way, it is a must have for anyone who loves photography, and better yet, who also loves to cook!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

.a wedding to shoot.

Weddings.  You can't help but love them or loathe them.  I'm kinda in the middle.  Especially if I'm the one behind the camera lens.  I have been asked by my friends, Megan and James, if I'd be willing to shoot their wedding.  No set date as of yet.  I was so flattered by their request, I quickly said "Heck yeah!"  My excitement for their news of engagement was slowly overshadowed by fear.  You know the kind of fear that gets your mind going to the point you make yourself sick.  Where does this horrific anxiety come from? you ask of me.  Well, let me explain.  I have been given the opportunity and honor of shooting a few weddings.  FEW.  The first wedding was a blast!  Shot all in film, it was simply the best time ever!  The photos were fantastic, especially for a rookie.  The whole event was just so fun and carefree.  It gave my hubby and I the boost of confidence we needed to consider pursuing photography more seriously.  We shot a couple more nuptials, learning more and more with each one.  However, for the last one, I wished it had gone so much smoother.  The stress level for me skyrocketed as it seemed whatever could go wrong, did.  That experience taught me valuable lessons, but it also crushed any and all desires to do weddings again.  I know we all can't be Bambi Cantrell on our first experiences as a "wedding photographer."  Just like anything else, it takes time and discipline.  With that having been said, I swore off shooting weddings, turning down several requests simply because of this fear.  Reading this, I realize how hard I am on myself.  But when it comes to a couple's most cherished day of their life together, how can I NOT be?  Having Megan and James ask me to do this for them really sparked a desire in me to prove to myself that I CAN do this and do it well.  I guess it's time that I pick myself up and dust myself off.  

Since we're on this topic of weddings, I wanted to share some things with you.  My favorite style of photography, both in general but especially for weddings, is the photojournalistic approach.  You see more of this style presented in wedding magazines these days.  A great example of such a magazine is Martha Stewart's Weddings publication.  The photos make you feel as if you are right there, as the images captured are more "candid" in nature.  Personally, I think a good balance of both traditional and photojournalistic photography help record the day wonderfully.  It takes lots of keen observation and quick reflexes to do well.  That's probably why I have such a deep respect for wedding photographers.  And speaking of photographers. . . 

Before I go, as I have rambled on much too long already, here are just a few links of some fantastic photographers whose wedding work leaves me truly in awe.  Take a look!

.listography::a life in lists.

Okay, so I couldn't help but pick up this journal book thingy today to see what it was all about.  Listography.  Cute.  Catchy.  You can see more of these books by Lisa Nola and Nathaniel Russell here and the website here.  The idea of the journal is to record bits of your life by creating a list for different things.  For example, "List your favorite TV shows of All -Time."  My answer would be:  Kids in the Hall, The Vacant Lot, Absolutely Fabulous, Northern Exposure, Golden Girls, Punky Brewster, Mr. Bean, Saturday Night Live, to name a few.  Many of us have a "soft spot for nostalgia," but we may not have the time to bring out the glue sticks and patterned paper to create a scrapbook about our lives.  At least, not yet.  This is where I think creating a list is actually a pretty nifty way to catalog aspects of our lives that others can look over and say, "Well, that definitely explains why she's got a funky sense of humor."  So I've decided that I would start sharing some of MY lists here.  Today, I will start with:

  • Pilot
  • Anthropologist
  • Elementary School Art Teacher
  • Tour Guide (not sure where yet!)
  • Jockey
  • Dressmaker
  • Baker
  • Marine Biologist
  • Chocolatier
  • Photojournalist
  • Actress 
  • Elevator Operator
How about you?  What professions would YOU like to try out, if only for a day?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

.homesick for tradewinds and blue waters.

It never fails.  Early spring on the Mainland is ALWAYS the time I get really homesick for Hawai'i.  I know, I already hear you.  "Why did you leave Hawai'i?!"  Very simple.  It's expensive.  Mostly though, it was because I wanted to start a new life in a place different from where I grew up.  I left the Islands when I was 18, right after high school, moving first to Los Angeles.  Talk about culture shock!  From there, I traveled to many other parts of our country.  I love that.  Being able to drive and be in a completely different place than you were just a few hours previous.  However, this time of the year, the winds seem to be calling, reminding me that there is a beach with nice, thick coral sand waiting for me to chill out on.  I miss the ocean.  SO much!  And the food!  Oh, don't get me started on the food.  Manapuas.  Huli huli chicken.  Li hing mui.  Opihis.  Tako poki.  Ahi poki.  Guavas.  Passion fruit juice.  Laulau.  I could go on but I am already salivating to the point of forming a puddle on my kitchen floor.  ha!  [sigh]  Thankfully, I have some friends who are photographers back home so I can easily check out their websites to see what beautiful images I am missing out on.  [deep sigh]  Check them out here and here.  

Sunday, March 8, 2009

.sit and relax on a sunday afternoon.

Ahh, my cozy papasan.  It's been awhile since I've actually sat in this favorite chair of mine, simply to relax.  That changed today.  After running to the airport with my sister, to see our mother off to Miami Beach, Florida (in the middle of Spring Break at that. . . I laugh a little inside), I came back home to find the hubby and child away.  Off to Gran's they went.  It's always a little weird, at first, to not hear tiny feet trampling about the place, or to hear her voice, her tantrums, her shrieks of delight.  Everything is okay.  They're okay.  Once my mind realizes this, I open up all the windows, allowing the "western breeze" to flow freely into every room of our home.  I love the wind.  For a moment, I close my eyes and allow the currents of air to sweep through my very cluttered mind, pushing its way through until every obstruction is cleared away.  To be honest, I don't think I ever realized how important quiet time for myself was until today.  Is it selfish to want just a few hours of peace and quiet?  Just a little time to reorganize the thoughts in my head and maybe get a little time in to, oh I don't know, read or something?  I now see just how meditation, prayer, a little solace can play a such a vital role in one's life.  It was made evident to me that I definitely need it, and more often.  How do you relax?  

.the dot.

Have you ever noticed that some of the best words of advice and inspiration come from off the pages of a children's book?  Yes, I happen to LOVE children's picture books for that simple reason.  Amongst the titles I have collected for my little one's library, this particular book sits on my bookshelf.  A wonderfully written and illustrated book by Peter Reynolds entitled, The Dot
What I adored about this book, was the way Reynolds conveyed a powerful message though simple means.  His line drawings, accented by subtle hints of color.  You watch as the young, frustrated art student, Vashti, learns that if you take a simple concept, an idea, a DOT, and work with it, you open yourself up to a world of endless possibilities.  This is a book every budding, and established, artist needs to have on their bookshelf!

Just make a mark
and see
where it takes you.
~The Dot

Saturday, March 7, 2009

.thirteen days and counting.

She's almost here. . . 

Spring hangs her infant blossoms on the trees,
rock'd in the cradle of the western breeze.
~William Cowper

P.S.  Don't forget to "spring forward" an hour tonight!  Bye-bye one hour of sleep.  

Friday, March 6, 2009

.poppy totes.

It is Friday, and just as I said in my previous blog, I come with new projects. . . finished at that!  I had planned on posting this earlier today, however we were having technical difficulties with our internet.  Always seems like something.  Geez.  Anyway, here are two bags to show off.  Poppies seem to be dancing in my head lately (no opium involved).  The above photo shows a simple design on a natural canvas tote, and below, a felt bag I created for my little girl (sorry for the lousy photo quality).   
It was nice being able to rev up the ol' sewing machine.  I'm a little rusty with my sewing abilities, which are limited to begin with.  There will be a few days coming up when I will be free to create more.  Not sure what I'm gonna do, but I'm going to do something!  Maybe even paint something!  Ha!  Like my basement.  [blech!]
Alright folks, I wish you a warmer and spring-like weekend!  Go fly a kite!  

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

.making stuff.

Howdy!  As you've probably noticed, it's been a rough blog week for me.  I am so embarassed that it's been well over a week since my last post!  [hiding behind my laptop]  With that being said, I am pleased to say that I have been "making stuff."  Between my hours at the bookstore and all the fun domesticated things that go along with being a wife and mommy, I've been limited on time to post.  I will have some new projects that I've been working on, nothing huge, to show here on Friday.  With just a few more days left until the official day of Spring, I am totally feeling some groovy vibes. . . you know, the kinda vibes that make you want to do something productive, fun, creative, silly even!  I think they call it "Spring Fever."  Hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far!