Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Made You Look

In the world of fashion a lookbook is published to give consumers and editors an idea of a current line's offerings. I have come to enjoy lookbooks as they are magazines in it of themselves. They are more artistic than a catalogue but the content is not the equivalent to an editorial feature. Lookbooks are great styling opportunities, giving readers inspiration for how to pair and wear pieces. Editorial-wise I appreciate how things are layered, accessorized, and the boldness of how a look is chosen. This lookbook from Haute Hippie is on and I love it. So inspiring for fall and winter! The beauty of Shopbop is that the site itself is half magazine half online store. Does it get any better than that? Hope you fall in love with and can take something away from these photographs too. Here's lookin' at you!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Scenes From a Home

You can tell a lot about a person from the look of their home. When people are kind enough to invite me into their homes and share a part of their lives I take special interest in the details that make up their dwelling, and in fact, their life story.
I was fortunate enough to be a guest at Paulette Adams's ( beyond gorgeous home on Laguna Beach. Although I live very close by, nothing could have prepared me for this amazing house and guest home. Like a true artist/designer, all of Paulette's arrangements seemed to come alive. She had an easel, drawings, and several of her own designs including dishes and furniture she had restored sitting about the house inviting you to touch, to look at, to pick up, to linger over.
My favorite part of going into other people's houses is looking at their book collections. I love being able to get an idea of a person by the books they own. Paulette had many old editions that made me quite jealous (when I grow up I want to be a book collector). Among my favorite titles in her home: "By Myself and Then Some" by Lauren Bacall and The Trouble With Poetry by Billy Collins. Another great collection is this wall of hats Paulette has.
The staircase is amazing! The drawers pull out and the steps open for storage. Another staircase actually pulls out so that you can climb the stairs to the top bedroom. Her studio is unlike anything I've ever seen, and it overlooks the ocean.
Paulette's house is like a museum. She calls herself and her house, eccentric, but that's actually what I really like about it. I like old things that don't go together stacked on more old things; I like a sense of history; I like it when staircases appear out of nowhere and lead to bedrooms with windows right above your head as you sleep; I like rows and cabinets filled with books, and coffee poured from a vintage coffee maker; I like places where you go outside to never know who you'll find walking the beach, where you constantly hear the sea and feel its breeze. But mostly I like people who open up their homes because they know that they and their house are nothing conventional, where life is truly "What you make it."
It's fun sometimes to imagine people as they are in their homes with no one there watching. And in truth, I see Paulette just as she was on Saturday; painting in the sunlight outside, drinking coffee with cocoa, sugar, and cream mixed in. I see Paulette happy in the home she has made, so alive, so consumed entirely by all of her art, her life's work. I hope that one day my home is eccentric, that people can see me within the book cases and coffee cups kept about. That one day I am surrounded by my art and that of others; that I can say I made the life I imagined.
My deepest thanks and admiration to Paulette for letting me in and letting me learn; for saying so many wise things that I needed to hear. Make sure and visit Paulette's blog to win a chance to actully stay in her guest house. The experience is well worth it!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Painting on the Beach

This past Saturday was possibly the best morning I've ever had spent living at Laguna Beach. It's interesting when you live somewhere for a while and think you know it, only to find out that you have never really seen it before. When you can re-imagine yourself, your surroundings, and where you are at, not only do you realize what you have been missing, but where you need to go and do in order to feel complete. And of course, those occasions can't be planned. So when I was invited to the home of Paulette Adams ( I thought it would be a fun time to meet artists and do some fun work with Julie Nutting ( But the morning exceeded all of my expectiations.
I discovered the following: adding a dash of cocoa to coffee before you brew it makes it sooo much better; Laguna Beach was a good 25 degrees cooler than the rest of southern California on Saturday; that the morning is the best time to make art, and that outside is the best place; that I enjoy painting; and that when women come together to learn from each other, anything can happen.
So check out the mermaid painting I did. Unfortunately she is a work in progress becuase I completely overbooked myself on Saturday. But honestly, I could have sat in Paulette's yard, painting all day. I will be finishing my girl up and posting pictures soon. So the most important lesson learned: I seem to be overworking myself. I am saying yes to many things and no not enough. Because when days like this come along I would have loved to have relaxed, to keep painting, to keep talking and sharing with these women. I felt safe. I felt like I was finally doing something for msyelf where I could gather my thoughts, and at the same time, forget all of my nerve-wrecking, anxious thoughts. I got lost in the absolute best way, and at the same time, found so much. When I told the group I wasn't an artist, Paulette said she knew I was. She said she could tell from what I do here on this blog. Definitely a huge compliment coming from her. While I still wouldnt call myself an artist ( I prefer writer) it's nice to know that I am willing to learn, that there are people willing to teach me, and that I enjoy learning it.
Paulette made the jar of bath salts pictured above (from an old Patron bottle). And the macaroons are courtesy of Julie, who made sure we got excellent food from the Cheese Cave in Claremont ( Thanks again Julie and Paulette! This experience was so important to me, and to share it with you made it even better. More on this topic to come...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Treasures from le Chateau

A glimpse at some of the beauties I took home with me from Chateau. The lace is from Italy and is sold by Rita ( I can see many jewelry projects coming from these. Or perhaps some altered couture?
Above the lace is the wall hanging I purchased for my office by Julie Nutting ( It's hanging in front of me right now as I type this. Julie also made the cute notebook and embroidered dish towel above. I love how she's branching out. I'd love her drawings on pretty much anything!
The rest of the pieces above that are not items I purchased (yet) but they are a sampling of some of the new things she is doing that were for sale at Chateau. To get a complete idea of her current offerings, visit Aren't the trick or treaters utterly adorable?? Perfect for this time of year now that it is officially autumn (my favorite season!). I'll be seeing Julie tomorrow ... can't wait for the weekend!
Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The New Shoe Obsession

When we see something we like we tend to mull it over and over in our minds. I definitely have a tendancy towards obsessing over things I really like. In fact, I am afraid I might come off too obsessive when meeting artists I am genuinely a huge fan of. When I see something I like in a store or magazine I think about it often enough to keep a still frame in my mind; you know, for the shopping hunt. I spied these Miu Miu shoes in Elle magazine and was struck. They are satin clog style, with flower, swallow print, or plain with jewels encrusted galore. They come in a few colors and run about $1495. Yikes! For now, they will have to remain in my head. I found some knock-offs on ebay, but they are overseas which makes me nervous to buy. I hope one day to find these shoes at an outlet, on consignment, ebay, somewhere, but until then it is fun to just stand back and admire them. A good obsession is one that refreshes your creative juices, gives you something left wanting, something to aspire to. These are definitely a fun pair to fantasize about; candy for the feet, mind, and eye. I included the pictures of the shoes in yellow as they ran in Elle. While the shoes are my main focus, the spread really is beautiful and has given me lots of ideas for how to wear these goodies when and if I get my hands on them; and how to make due with my current shoe wardrobe until that glamorous day. Enjoy : )

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Once You POP You Can't Stop

It's definitely a blessing to know what you are good at and what you are not so good at. One of the things I always struggle with is art. Visual, fine art, whatever you want to call it, I never took a class on art history or theory or criticism. So when it comes to pieces in museums or on display I don't really know what to say about it. Good thing I have friends who know what they are talking about.

Case in point: This past Saturday I went down to the Lab in Costa Mesa for a very cool art exhibit at the ARTery ( that everyone should check out, titled Apopcalypse. The theme of the show? You guessed it, apocolyptic pop art and writing (by way of a very smart zine called Brunch). The event was put on by some friendly folks who sure know their art, wearable and otherwise (
I love the atmosphere at The Lab. Even the parking spaces speak to you. What a philosophy for standing back and looking at life as well as art: simplify, pause, listen. Repeat.