transition shoes

“Who are you?” said the Caterpillar…
“I–I hardly know, Sir, just at present,” Alice replied rather shyly, “at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”
–Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


These are two pairs of my shoes.

Yes, they are both the same shoe. Steve Madden, gray suede, cute Mary Jane buckle and the perfect height heel for my liking. But their differences define them from there.

Pair #1 is worn and comfortable. The shoes have lost their original constitution and could now be used to make perfect molds of my feet (should anyone ever be in need of that). At the bottom of the wedge of the right shoe, the suede has been worn down to nonexistence from being rubbed against the floormat while my foot pressed the pedal on my 13.8 mile drive to and from work every day for the past three years. The cute Mary Jane buckle has been reinforced three times now with glue and thread. They are a much lighter gray than when I bought them three years ago. They have, well…a smell.

Pair #2 is fresh out of the box (or NIB as eBay would say). They look good but are a bit tight on my feet. Their buckles are intact and their gray is a perfect slate color. Not having been worn while driving, the right wedge heel is perfectly covered in suede. We are unfamiliar.

This past Friday, I ended my job at a museum that has come to be such a part of me that it is hard to remember myself pre-Skirball. Tomorrow, I begin my journey at at a new, unfamiliar but exciting museum–LACMA.

These past few weeks have been some of the most confusing of my life. Deciding to apply and then interview and then accept a new position and resign from my old position was not an easy process for me. I freaked out. I cheered. I walked a lot. I cried. I got sick. But, with the help of my friend Zach, I came to realize the importance of recognizing and coming to terms with big life transitions. I decided to say proper goodbyes and hellos and to be present in recognizing this big transition in my life. It is, after all, an ending that makes a beginning possible. (William Bridges)

For some reason, the shoes tell the story best.

I purchased Pair #1 on eBay a little over three years ago when I was getting “work clothing” together before I started my internship at the Skirball. I still remember opening the box and seeing them, not realizing that the internship I bought them for would blossom into the beginning of my nonprofit museum marketing career. My Skirball colleagues know these shoes well. Like the Skirball, it took a while and some blisters before they began to feel comfortable and right. We fit together. The strange thing was, when I finally decided that this pair of shoes had given all they could, but had come to their wearable end, I also decided that the end had come for me at the Skirball. I received Pair #2 in the mail the night before my last day at the museum. When I took them out of their box, I just stared. They were my future staring back at me. They don’t quite fit right yet. We don’t know each other, but I like them.

Tomorrow morning, I will strap on my new shoes and walk them the two blocks (!) down the street to my new job. Like the strains of a new position, I am sure it will take a while for me and Pair #2 to get to know each other, but I sense an exciting future ahead.

alice in wonderland

**And yes, like an old man or something, I buy the same pair of shoes over and over…I can’t help it. I love these shoes! Looks like Alice does too…=)


September 20, 2010 at 5:30 am 10 comments

In awe…360 days of The Uniform Project

must. watch. now.

Uniform Project Picture Book from The Uniform Project on Vimeo.

360 days of Sheena’s adventure with The Uniform Project. So inspiring. Please watch!

April 26, 2010 at 4:51 am Leave a comment

sunday links

Hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was relaxing and pretty great. I have been enjoying the rain in LA, but it was nice that it let up for a bit so that we could go to Runyon Canyon a couple of times. I’ve been online way too much lately, so here are some links:

I would love to run a franchise of this store in Los Angeles.

Ever wonder how to reuse old toilet paper rolls and other items?

Weirdest sculpture of Lincoln ever.

Read to help Haiti.

Gorgeous wedding dress.

Long vehicle? =) Love it.

iPhone, making everything in life easier–including taxes. (thanks Ting’s mom!)

Very excited for the blank Kokeshi doll I received in the mail this weekend.

Good gift idea.

A random guy I met in the Kaiser biolab was laid off from LAUSD and started this company. Awesome.

Really, H & M?

Probably the best Save the Date ever.

The Spice Station in Silverlake is wonderful. I bought truffle salt.

Dan and I hit up a wine tasting at Silverlake Wine. Highly recommended.

Finally made it out to Reform School. I love that store and the website is pretty great too.


January 25, 2010 at 7:24 am 1 comment

Nick Cave’s Soundsuits at the Fowler

I am still obsessing over an exhibition Dan and I saw last weekend. A colleague of mine at KCRW invited us to the opening of the exhibition Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth at the Fowler Museum at UCLA. The exhibition is absolutely fantastic. Chicago-based artist Nick Cave has been creating wearable sculptures that he calls Soundsuits since 1992. The pieces can stand alone in a gallery and look stunning but are also meant to be worn and danced in. The Fowler’s exhibit showcases 35 of Cave’s Soundsuits and shows a rolling video of the works in action.

nick cave, soundsuits

nick cave, soundsuits

nick cave, soundsuit

The Soundsuits are multimedia pieces made from items Cave has scavenged from flea markets, thrift stores, and garage sales over the past two decades (no wonder I like them!). I was blown away by all of the bead work, textiles, and crochet work included in the pieces. One of Cave’s philosophies is that his creations have been works in progress for centuries since all of the materials have been made by other people from other times and other places. He wants to showcase all of the craftsmanship of these unknown people together in a new, artistic, and fuctional garment. I love that. Click here and here to view a couple of videos of the dancing Soundsuits.

nick cave, soundsuit

nick cave, soundsuit

nick cave, soundsuit

nick cave, soundsuit

This exhibition is really a must-see. Or, if you don’t have time to swing by the Fowler, a small selection of Soundsuits are on display in the Neiman Marcus windows in Beverly Hills. Or, see both!

Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth
Fowler Museum at UCLA
Through May 30, 2010

January 17, 2010 at 3:22 am 12 comments

a handmade christmas

I really do love the Christmas presents that I made for friends and family this year. I knew that I wanted to make something as my gift, but wasn’t sure what. I came home after work in early December to my lovely roommate Sara crafting at the coffee table. She was making these beautiful Christmas cards with a strange colored dust, stamps, and what looked to be a souped-up blow dryer. The process she was using is called heat embossing.

I loved the craft and decided to make personalized embossed note cards.

elephants, embossing

There are a few steps to creating the cards.

Materials needed (I purchased all of my material from Paper Source)
-clear or colored stamp pad
-stamps of your choice
embossing powder
embossing powder heat tool
note cards (I bought these ones from Target)


How to
-Stamp the stamp onto the ink pad and then onto the paper (I used a clear stamp pad, but you can also use a colored ink. It will depend on how you want the final product to look. I used clear ink and then put metallic embossing powder on top of it so only the powder color  shows. If you use a colored ink, you can put some of the more opaque powders for a different effect).
-Sprinkle the embossing powder onto the ink.
-Shake off the ink so that all of the stamp outline is covered.
-Use the heat tool to melt the powder. This only takes a few seconds.




A couple of notes.
-I did not have success with the “twinkle” embossing powder. The metallic powder looks much nicer.
-The letter stamps that I bought were hard to work with because they are all individual letters. Especially with the clear ink, it was very hard to get the letters to line up straight. If I tried to do words again, I would opt for a slightly tinted ink or a better letter stamping system.
-Stamps are expensive! Look out for them at thrift stores or buy them on sale. Ebay always has them available too.

I love wrapping in twine.

January 6, 2010 at 7:49 am 2 comments

vintage christmas ornaments

A couple of years ago, my Noni gave me boxes of her old Christmas decorations. When I was packing up my tree today, I realized how much I love all of the vintage ornaments I have inherited from her.

christmas ornament

christmas ornament

christmas ornament

christmas ornament

christmas ornament

christmas ornament

christmas ornament

christmas ornament

christmas ornament

christmas ornament

christmas ornament

christmas ornament

christmas ornament

christmas ornament

And some of my recent ornament additions that I love…

christmas ornament

christmas ornament

christmas ornament

christmas ornament

I do love holiday time, but I am very excited to get this new year started. Til next year my ornament friends!

christmas ornament

January 4, 2010 at 8:07 am Leave a comment

i just made this…persimmon rice pudding

I have had two Hachiya persimmons waiting for me in my fridge for a little while. They are a new fruit to me, but so delicious. My roommate Kelly emailed me this amazing looking recipe from her friends at Farm & a Frying Pan and I decided to test it out tonight. I highly recommend making it. So easy, fresh, and delicious!

persimmon rice pudding

image courtesy of Farm & A Frying Pan

Farm & A Frying Pan’s Persimmon-Rice Pudding Recipe

2 Hachiya persimmons
3 1/2 cups reduced-fat milk
2/3 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup honey
2-3 tablespoons sugar*
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons of pistachios, toasted and chopped

Serves 4.

Heat milk, rice, honey and sugar in a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If you aren’t using a good quality sauce pan, stir more frequently to prevent scorching). In the meantime, prepare puree by slicing the persimmons in half, scooping out the flesh and processing it in a blender or food processor for 1-2 minutes.

Stir in cinnamon and persimmon puree and heat through, about 1 minute. Pour rice pudding into individual serving cups and sprinkle with pistachios.

Also check out this amazing blog’s recipes for homemade marshmallows and brussel sprouts with pecorino romano. Mmmmm!

December 17, 2009 at 5:57 am Leave a comment

Older Posts