Posts filed under ‘life’

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

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

Halloween costume! (I know, it’s about damn time…)

Last year was the first year since childhood that my younger sister Miranda and I dressed in identical Halloween costumes. I have to admit that we looked pretty awesome playing twin Madonna Like A Virgin characters at the West Hollywood Halloween Parade.

Halloween 2008

halloween, madonna like a virgin

But this year, we decided to amp it up a little bit. I still can’t remember who had the idea or why we would have ever thought of it, but months ago, we decided that we would be a Push Me Pull You–the two-headed llama from the 1967 film Dr. Dolittle. And so my mind began to wander…

Come October, I had a few ideas about how to make the costume, but they all just seemed unrealistic. The only real clothing item I had ever made was my first shirt project for sewing class. But, for whatever reason, I felt confident.

The confidence was what got me through. I confidently decided that the first thing that I needed was fabric. So my lovely friends Scott, Laura, and I trekked down to the Fashion District to seek out the best possible llama fur (and to have a little photo shoot). You can see some more pictures of the excursion on Laura’s blog. We found the Land of Faux Fur…

fur fabricfur fabric

…then I became the proud owner of three yards of “llama fur.” I should note now that this stuff sheds like crazy! I still find llama fur all over my room!

After pulling the three yards out multiple times over the next couple of weeks, staring at it, folding it, and then putting it bag in its trash bag, I finally came up with a semi-plan. I roughly (and somewhat confidently) used this basic shirt pattern from BurdaStyle to make the top sans sleeves. I used a basic pajama bottom pattern to make the shorts. The head was the hard part. I started with two of my dad’s old baseball caps. I covered them with cotton stuffing and used masking tape to shape the hats into a more llama-head-y look (this was by no means an exact science). Then, with a lot of pinning, hot gluing, confidence, and sewing, I shaped the fur around the hat molds. This took a very long time, but it finally worked out! Miranda created the ears out of fur and cardboard and eyes out of felt scraps. I then attached the head to the shirt with a small strip of fabric (also not an easy task, but great for during the night so we could throw the head back like a hood). What resulted was none other than the two most beautiful llama costumes…(yes, I realize they look slightly like decedents of the Rat King from the Nutcracker, but just think llama and then you’ll see it)…=)…

Halloween 2009

llama push me pull you costume

We unfortunately didn’t take many pictures on Halloween night, so I had Ting Ting try on the costume recently so that I could get some better pics. Really, she’s the cutest llama ever.

llama costume push me pull you halloweenllama costume push me pull you halloween

llama costume push me pull you halloween

And then in some crazy photographer moment, I was like Yah, blow-dry your hair in the mirror! I do love this image though. Looks like some trippy dream.

llama costume push me pull you halloween

Whew. Long post for a long project. In short, I love my llama costumes. It was pretty great that one of us had to walk backwards while we were attached. I don’t know if anyone else has ever been a Push Me Pull You and I don’t know if anyone else ever will. But I loved this costume. I loved that it made me be creative and made me create and I couldn’t be happier with how it came out.

And to end on a different note, I didn’t want to wear the llama suit to work on Halloween so I opted for a tamer costume instead. Meet Mr. C.

mr. man

I love Halloween.

Currently listening to everything Zee Avi.

December 16, 2009 at 8:31 am 7 comments

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