My 32nd year manifesto.

A Birthday wishlist of sorts, for the year ahead.

This year I want to go on more adventures.
I want to go hiking outside of the Peninsula Bay Area, or anywhere that I have never hiked before.
I so want to spend time in the snow, preferably skiing or snowboarding.
I want to try paddle boarding and surfing, and I also just want to play in the ocean and jump through some waves!
I want to do cartwheels on grass fields, and ride my bike for miles with the music turned up loud in my headphones.

I want to take pictures.
Oh boy, I want to take so many pictures.
And then I want to make photographs.

I want to create a HOME.
I want to build a place that is full of love and comfort.
I want to build a place that feels peaceful, happy, and also inspiring.

I want to learn.
I want to keep taking classes that are rewarding and fulfilling in the long term.
I want to build my knowledge base both academically and in various crafts.

I want to work.
I want to build a brand.
I want to design and execute beautiful ideas.

I want to reconnect with friends that I have grown distant with over the years.
There are so many dear people that I miss who are nearby. I have simply turned into a poor and lazy friend, a person that I never thought I would be and it is something that troubles me each day.

I want to ensure that my family really feels how much I truly love them, by being better at showing my affection for the people that mean the most to me.

I want to inspire others to be happy. To accept the crap that happens, and to find the good in everything.

I know there is more that I want to do and see and be, but I think this is a decent start. Here’s to 32!

A not so recent Wyoming adventure.

Back in October of last year (2013), I had the opportunity to Travel to Wyoming with Mario to see his Mother, meet his Grandmother and much of his family that lives out there. It was such a great trip to such a beautiful place. And, I got to meet some really great people, and spend valuable time with his Grandmother.

I had never been to Wyoming and had no idea what to expect. I didn’t pack either of my SLR cameras, not knowing the insane amount of photo opportunities there would be (at least, I know for next time…) So, I only took photos using my iPhone and then edited them lightly in Photoshop.

We had a rental car, and the second day we were there, we packed it up and headed out on a road trip to Thermopolis to stay over night.

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This was taken at a spot on the way, called Hell’s Half Acre. It is a canyon type area with all these crazy rock formations. It looks like dinosaurs should be roaming or something. I was told that there used to be a motel and restaurant at the location. But, they both have since closed and the area is fenced off. It would be great to get back there with my real camera.

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Up next are photos from our stay in Thermopolis. We spent some time exploring caves that Mario’s grandfather used to hang out in. Thermopolis has natural hot springs and the cave we went into was warm and steamy, like a small spa. But, I was too scared to get too far in or spend very much time inside.

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final1Back in Casper, we got to spend some time on Gothberg Ranch, owned by Mario’s Uncle. It is one the most incredible properties I’ve seen. Mario’s Uncle took us on a tour of the land in a Kawasaki 4×4 jeep type thing. We busted up the hill towards Casper Mountain and it was beautiful. We ran into some of the cows that graze on the land ans well as his horses that are allowed to roam free on his huge property.

As we were cruising around on all this sprawling gorgeous land, I kept singing to myself “Give me land lots of land, under starry skies above, don’t fence me in…”

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IMG_3139 copyOn my last day there (I had to head home early for school) Mario’s Mother took us to her mountain land. And to a nearby park with a waterfall. Most of the photos below were taken on her land, expect for the waterfall photo. This was another beautiful property. Only this time, we were in the mountains, surrounded by tall trees. It was such a pretty spot to hang out and explore in.

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Fin.

Music Moods.

This Playlist is getting me through this long week and the rest of this Friday! (I am so glad it’s Friday. I always am.)

For today, I made a playlist that includes just a few of my favorite females in music, right now. I have always been a fan of female artists, bands with a heavy female presence and female bassists in particular. I Love chick bassists. I wanted to be one, until I realized, I am just not very musical. At all. Or, maybe just didn’t have the patience to learn. But, there was always that desire to be in band or be on stage singing. I’m sure I’m not alone. I’m sure my love for girl bands and what not has something to do with that. When I sing along in my car, I can live vicariously through them and pretend I’m on stage. Don’t tell me it’s abnormal. Singing alone in the car is one of my most favorite things in the world.

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I am pretty excited because I will get to see The Knife in April at the Fox Theatre Oakland. I have been listening to The Knife and Fever Ray for some years now and have never had the chance to see them live. And, to say that I am excited would be a huge understatement.  I remember the first time I heard Heartbeats while working at Urban Outfitters in 2005 or 2006. I was hooked. It was so refreshing and new. Karin Dreijer’s voice has the most beautiful, smooth, eerie quality. And, I love all her projects

Black and White doodles.

Somewhat, I recently, I have been interested in the idea of getting into textile design.

I love hunting for fabrics to use in my sewing projects. For my bags, I was always really picky about the fabric I chose. I love prints, but many of what I had access to were not so much in line with the aesthetic that I was hoping to achieve.

I started to create designs and patterns by organizing solid colored fabrics in various ways. As you can see in some older posts; here and here. It was always fun and challenging work, and still is. However, it is quite limiting. You are limited to certain shapes and colors.

Since discovering Spoonflower, I have tried my hand at painting and rather amateur graphic design to come up with some patterns to print onto fabric. I have had a few successful patterns. Two of which are currently available on Spoonflower.

So, the point of all of this is just to start introducing some random paintings and doodles I have done over few months. In practicing my artistry and just getting ideas and things out on paper, here are some Black and White paintings that I paired together to post today.

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Antiquing.

This past Sunday, we took our regular monthly trip out to Alameda for the Antique fair. I snapped some photos, which I am not always great about remembering to do. I get so caught up looking at all the lovely things and the hunt for goodies to take home. I always forget to capture things.

The thing is, there are some vendors that are very thoughtful about their merchandising. And, with the collections of so many old and  interesting items, it makes for killer displays and you guessed it… photos. I hope to get better about remembering to snap more photos each time we go.

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There was some really great stuff this month. We got rained out at February’s fair. But, we did walk away with about 1 item each, before we noticed that vendors were packing up and the rain was starting to come down hard. But, we made up for it this month. Or, at least, I did.

Sunday, we got a little sprinkling and a good downpour on our way out, but for the most part it was a win. I walked away with some serious loot. See below:

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I found some really great decapitated doll heads for my current collection, which is rounding out quite nicely. They are my favorite photo props for class right now. But, I have about 7 now and could probably take a break in collecting them, for now. Unless I find something that I can’t live without, of course. I also found this lovely non decapitated doll, with a perfectly cracked face. She is going to be another fine model for photos. I’m quite excited. I also scored the sweet little porcelain kewpie lookin’ doll, some $1 glass medicine bottles, a lovely black glass tray, a perfect old (but never used) photo album, and that rad purple trunk! It was a good day.

Emily and I have discussed opening an online shop, likely through Etsy, to sell some pieces in. We plan to sell items from our own collections so we can cycle though a bit and keep collecting without becoming hoarders. It’s always fun to purge and refresh, and it should help to keep our most recent habit a bit less dangerous. We already have some pieces set aside ready to sell off. So, keep an eye out!

 

Into the Woods. V2. Color edition.

More from an early morning session with Stephanie and Sarah, this time some color shots. I edited a good amount in black and white, but I loved the fire-y orange of the sunlight and some of the cool color tones in these that I wanted to share some in color also. I’m still practicing and learning, so this was a lot of fun. Mostly, just a nice relaxed morning with my people. Thank you Stephanie and Sarah for getting up at 6am to catch this light!

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reserve (5) reserve (6) reserve (7) reserve (12)See some Black and White shots here.

Into the Woods. V1. Black and White.

I was fortunate to get my Sister and girlfriend Stephanie up early one morning last weekend to try to take some photos in the morning sunshine. My first assignment in Photography class this semester is Light, and after going to this spot for the hiip Winter photo shoot, I wanted to go back and play some more. Here is just a little bit of what came about with some black and white editing. Please, be kind, as I am not traditionally trained in photo editing digital photos. I just play around. I do plan to take a digital class next. Film is just so darn romantic, though. I wasn’t ready to take a break quite yet.

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reserve (9)See the color shots here.

Double exposure trial.

Back in the day, about 10 years ago. My girlfriends and I used to love doing fun photo sessions. When my girlfriend Laura lived with us, there was always a photo experiment of some sort. We’d set up a back drop and go to town experimenting. It was one of the funnest things ever. Since, starting my photography class in the fall, I have longed for those days. I have so many ideas and things I want to try.

A couple weeks ago while preparing for my portrait assignment for class, I got the urge to go play. I dragged Stephanie and Sarah along. Stephanie picked a nice spot up off 280 to watch the sunset and shoot some photos. I wanted to try some double exposure stuff. Here is what came out. Pretty amateur. I have a lot to research and learn still to get them just right. But, this was so fun and I can’t wait to try again!

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Antique fair Sundays are officially the best.

This is my new favorite weekend activity.

On the first Sunday of each Month, there is a very large Antique fair held in Alameda, CA. I went for the first time last month (May). It was amazing. Actually amazing. The amount of vendors at this event is insane, and all the goodies they bring along, well, you can imagine. There is so much to look at. Even when you don’t buy anything, just to see some of the old treasures and hear some of the stories behind where they came from are incredible.

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 Samsonite Fashionaire luggage set.

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 Kaj Franck enamelware bowl.

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Super collection of copper cookware.

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Kotex wall dispenser (I regret not snagging this)

The fair starts at 6am. So my sister in law and I woke up at about 6 and were on the road by 630 am and in Alameda just after 7am. Happy Sunday, right? Well, it was totally worth it.

During my first trip, I was mostly just enthralled with all the lovely things. I had set a budget (it HAS to be done) and brought my cash. However,  I could not pull the trigger on anything. I think in the back of my mind I kept thinking I might find something BETTER. I ended up leaving the first fair with a some mineral rocks and gems, that I purchased from a legit Paleontologist who was AWESOME.

I went again last weekend for the June fair. This time Lisa joined Emily and I! It’s good to have buddies that share in the joy of waking up at 5am on a Sunday (this time we went earlier!)  I had less restraint when it came to making a few purchases. I was immediately finding great beautiful treasures that I felt I could not leave behind.

Here are my treasures in their new home (my home!)

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Some random yard sticks.  I love the colors. Seemed like a random little collection to start. I need some rulers now though… this could get fun.

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Singer 185J. I have been wanting to add a green machine to my collection. I got this greenie for $35 and she works! Now, all I need is White Singer Featherweight. Someday…

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Last, but most definitely not least, my globes. Yes, multiple. I had to. I had been looking for a black globe for a little while. At the last antique fair I kept my eye out for one but only saw a neat Navy one. But, of course I held out (pat on the back). Soon after we entered the fair last weekend, we stumbled on the Moon globe. And then later on I saw the Black globe, which is in amazing condition.  Now, I need a smaller globe of some sort.

Do you like how each new thing I got, seems to require more? I do. I LOVE collecting :)

Planting a seed.

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A few random updates.

I gave up Diet Coke for the Month of March, and surprisingly I haven’t looked back. I thought I’d NEVER be able to give it up. But, I did and I am quite proud of myself. I was extremely dependent on my Diet Cokes. Lately, I’ve been really enjoying water and different fizzy and mineral waters.  The Crystal Geyser Mineral waters are my favorite.

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I’ve started an art journal, somewhat loosely. I don’t keep all the pages in a journal so much. But, I am trying to draw something everyday. Even if just a doodle. I have been playing with watercolors a bit as well.

I have been wanting to do some textile design and after my first successful repeat pattern or graphic print done in Gimp, I thought to take to paper to work on some more natural looking stuff. I have been having quite a lot of fun with it. I bought some $8 watercolors at Ikea, and the colors are awesome. I have an itch to take a trip to the craft store for some other paints and pastels too!

You can check out the couple design (legitimately, only 2)I have uploaded so far to Spoonflower and Society 6. the mountains should be available on Spoonflower soon as well. I just ordered the proof!

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I planted some flower seeds in the backyard a couple weekends ago. I was so pleased to walk out an water them last Sunday to see some sweet little sprouts coming through! I planted some Bachelors Buttons seeds that my sister gave me. I have always loved Purple flowers! Mario bought me seeds for BLACK pansy’s that I am waiting to get in the mail now too and I am super excited. I’ve never been much of a gardener. I don’t really love getting dirty. But, I’m loosening up  about it. And my Mother always had the most amazing gardens, so I feel like I’ve got to have it in me somewhere. Watching my little seeds sprout makes me happy. I love new hobbies.

Well, that’s it for now. I really just wanted to blog something. And I realize this is mostly an extended version of what I’ve shared on instagram, but while I am getting back into the swing of things on this here blog, there may be a bit of that.