I Love Lucy

 
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I remember my first visit to the Lucille Ball Memorabilia store at Universal Studios as a kid. I was SO excited to be surrounded by all things Lucy. Upon taking a closer look at the merchandise is when I realized she had been dead... for many years. And then I cried.

I know she's an icon who impacted many. However, I don't know of anyone who gravitated towards her the way I did as a kid. I Love Lucy gave me warm fuzzies. I felt the Ricardo's home was my home. I saw a comedic version of my own parents in Lucy and Ricky- my parents in an alternate universe or as they used to say, in TV Land. When I figured out the show's schedule, I made sure be tuned in whenever it aired- never missed an episode.

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Then I discovered that Lucille Ball had gone on to create other shows such as the Lucy Show and the Lucy-Desi comedy hour so I made it a point to watch those too. I admired her tenacity and talent. It was apparent to me that she was more than just a star but a messenger to her audience as well. I dreamt of meeting her. And then of course, I visited her memorabilia shop.

It hit me hard that I would never get to meet Lucille or see her churn out anything new for the rest of my lifetime. I watched the documentary about her life. It highlighted her career beginnings, her meeting Ricky in Cuba during political unrest that almost got him killed, their persistence in creating a show featuring them (a bi-racial couple, apparently unwatchable to some), and being savvy enough to create a studio so that they could execute their vision their way.

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Then there were the less glamorous trials: Ricky's affairs, the divorce, their battles with cancer, their continued love for each other. Lucille Ball was absolutely my favorite icon and maybe it's for the best then, that I'll never meet her. But if I could, I would thank her and Desi for somehow helping me better understand my parent's relationship. And of course, I would thank her for providing me with a reliable dose of laughter each night I tuned in to watch her perform. 

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Temporary Tattoos for Life

 
 Helen Dealtry creates vibrant painterly florals, available at tattly.com. Click to see her Tattly page.

Helen Dealtry creates vibrant painterly florals, available at tattly.com. Click to see her Tattly page.

Sometime after I had my first and only tattoo done, I noted to myself that I don’t want to go down that “wanting just to want” spiral that’s so easy to get caught up in. So I backed away from hurried instincts to get a second and gave any concept the same challenges that my first tattoo had to meet: a) I need to immediately feel at ease with it and b) I need to wait six months to see if I am still just as eager to get it. Welp, not only was that criteria never met again but I also just kind of… got over it. My first tattoo, I still love. I forget it’s even there sometimes but I'm still happy when reminded of it. Its natural tones and photo realistic portrayal of feathers and a pink rose are hard to hate but more importantly, it commemorates my mom. Obviously, that sentiment won’t ever fade.

I love the look of tattoos though and I don’t have too much of a poser complex so I’m really digging the temporary ones now. Actually, I think they’re a great way to pay homage to an artist or designer whose work you admire without turning it into a lifetime commitment. Also, they can be beautifully decorative and with the temporary factor mixed in, they’re more like mani/pedis for your skin.

 "Safari." Click for more designs by  Vogue  on Tattly.

"Safari." Click for more designs by Vogue on Tattly.

 Part of the Natural Curiosities Set by Jacob Hoefnagel. Click to see the rest!

Part of the Natural Curiosities Set by Jacob Hoefnagel. Click to see the rest!

 "Red Fox" by Berkley Illustration. Click to see all of this duo's Tattly designs.

"Red Fox" by Berkley Illustration. Click to see all of this duo's Tattly designs.

Pre-Birthday Jitters

It's nearing another birthday in my third decade on Earth. I'm casually perusing the interwebs per usual when I run across this caption on a TedTalk....for a 14 year-old.

Ashton Cofer and his FIRST Robotics team won the Google Science Fair for developing a process to convert Styrofoam waste into activated carbon for purifying water.

...Um, what exactly am I DOING with my life?? :sigh: Goodnight. 

Happenings In My Insta-Bubble

These are currently trending in my self-curated insta-bubble. Of course, I feel both excited to take part in the experiences and resentful that I wasn't an earlier adopter/discoverer. 

Fish Cones

There's no way I would be able to resist documenting Japanese soft serve ice-cream served in fish-shaped waffle cones! There is however, a shortage of photos featuring people actually eating these (you know, displays of eating from the fish's mouth, nibbling its face etc...) which I think is a missed comedic opportunity.

 Taiyaki NYC

Taiyaki NYC

Daniel Wellington Watches

I do really love the sleek design of these watches.

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Jason Rhoades Exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, L.A.

Words by the late Jason Rhoades in trying to come up with various terms for a female's privates. Disney meets Urbandictionary?

 Happening until May 21, 2017

Happening until May 21, 2017

California Super Bloom

California is experiencing a rare "Super Bloom" as a reward for alllll the rain received this year. 

Legos Fight Crime on a Sunday Morning

 

It was 8am on a Sunday and I was up because I had set my alarm for very important plans. No, not brunch. Oh yeah, and other people were not involved. I made a date with myself to see the Lego Batman movie, showing at 9:45am. I decided to walk there for an added sense of "me time." 

Also... my friends were not excited about this movie. There are some things that hurt my brain trying to comprehend and this is one of them. I don't fight it anymore. I just embrace the opportunity to sit alone in a theater with my kid's pack (smaller than "small" popcorn, candy, and soft drink in a cute box) and take in the animated visuals, clever storytelling, and laughter of kids with their supervising parental units all around me. 

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Color EndeavorS

 

It’s almost 1am but I feel a second wind rushing in, possibly from the cup of coffee I chugged a few hours ago. Whoops...

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to post about my latest creative endeavor for a few weeks now- one that I began almost as soon as 2017 did: digital illustration. This is a pretty different direction from hand painting dinnerware as I do for my shop. While I love working with my hands, mixing colors, and creating textures onto tangible, functional objects, much of running my shop is primarily about this very phase of production. Therefore, much of what I do feels embedded into muscle memory. After all, I’m usually painting designs I’ve made dozens (maybe hundreds) of times before.

In need of something fresh, versatile, and colorful with infinite design and product possibilities, I started honing an illustrative style that I’ve been tinkering with for years. Influenced by mosaic art and mixed media arts, the aesthetic finally feels true to my expressive intentions. To keep me accountable for continuing with it, I developed a creative project with challenge guidelines for Instagram: derive color palettes from interesting photos, then use those color palettes for illustrations. Alternating photography featuring color palettes with my illustrations creates a fun look on my IG gallery page while allowing me to incorporate my life and inspirations with my art. Hopefully, it can also be helpful to other artists, presenting them with color palettes to reference for their own projects.

Here's a glimpse of that project as seen in my Instagram feed. 

India

 

Yoohooo, I went to India! This marked my fourth ever visit there. For some, this probably sounds frequent. However, when you take into consideration that the entirety of my dad’s family lives there and has never been able to visit us in the U.S., four visits to India now sounds seldom.


You know, I always felt that my family in India is comprised of the best human beings on the planet but also tried to keep in mind that I might be using some bias. On this visit though, one of my best friends accompanied me and she completely vouched for their amazingness. I do hope another fiver years doesn’t go by before my next trip.  

Inspired By These Phone Cases!

Earlier this week, I dropped my phone and cracked the case. I jumped onto Society6 to find something unique and man, was I re-inspired by what the imagination can come up with. I love that such fascinating artwork can be part of our most essential accessory as a personality accent. Below are some of my favorites that I found with the artists' names listed. If you're especially into an image, click on it for the artist's Society6 page and view more of their art along with other various products featuring them (Aside from iPhone cases, there are tote bags, beach towels, shower curtains, throw pillows, t-shirts, even comforters and more!)

  Brilliant Disguise  by Vin Zzep

Brilliant Disguise by Vin Zzep

 Magic Potion by Giulio Rossi

Magic Potion by Giulio Rossi

 Ananas (Pineapple) Party by Kiki Castel

Ananas (Pineapple) Party by Kiki Castel

 Portrait of a Highland Cow by Dorit Fuhg

Portrait of a Highland Cow by Dorit Fuhg

 Natural History Museum by Eugenia Loli

Natural History Museum by Eugenia Loli

 Sea by Vickn

Sea by Vickn

 We Used to Live Here by Frank Moth

We Used to Live Here by Frank Moth

 Maker by Eugenia Loli

Maker by Eugenia Loli

 The Floral Awakens by Josh Ln

The Floral Awakens by Josh Ln

 Rising Mountain by Eugenia Loli 

Rising Mountain by Eugenia Loli 

 Azul by Patricia Vargas

Azul by Patricia Vargas

 Map by Mark Ashkenazi

Map by Mark Ashkenazi

San Francisco

 

Being that I grew up in the Midwest, and most people I mingled with all the while are still there, it baffles me to realize that my closest friends from that time are the ones who also moved to coastal cities: New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Maybe it was our known desire to venture elsewhere later in life that kept us bonded from the start.

This past week, I visited one of my closest friends, or rather “non-biological sister,” in her new place in San Francisco’s Mission District. Let me tell you, her home is unusual in the most delightful ways. It’s a two story house with a huge communal kitchen and a couple bedrooms for the tenants on each floor. The first floor has quite an exciting shared recreational space. To get to the point- it has a SWING! And a ballet bar, a stage with band instruments, a huge dining table, and a cat. These are all amazing things to come home to, am I right?

The entire trip was one of my best trips to SF to date. I spent quality time with my cousin and a close friend I’ve known since high school. I realized just how unique and colorful the houses are and loved that it’s totally normal to see a luxurious home with a decadent mural painted along one of its sides. There’s graffiti decked walls and buildings worth photographing throughout the city. We hung out in Dolores Park, ate breakfast in the Tenderloin (people warn you about this area but really, it’s not so bad. Plus I’ll go anywhere for a good breakfast). Ocean beach is a whole other type of serenity. I love feeling cool misty air amidst vacant shores and the trees there make you feel like you’ve escaped into a fairytale forest.

Visiting her is always refreshing. We connect the way we had in college over 10 years ago when we were both baristas on campus, discussing our love lives and families over lattes during non-busy hours. Except this time, we made ample use of Snapchat filters too.

Must-See/Do:

  • Bi-Rite Creamery: Amazing ice-cream, creme fraiche is my fave.
  • Tartine Bakery: Delicious sandwiches
  • Dosa on Valencia: South Indian cuisine with a few modern twists
  • Ritual Coffee
  • Rainbow Grocery 
  • Ocean Beach: beautiful beaches
  • Dolores Park: Picnic here!
  • The Mission
  • Russian Hill

Texts From NYC

I get homesick for New York City on the regular so I feel fortunate to have some of my closest girlfriends living there to visit. We talk often and it's pretty interesting to me how the urban lifestyles and happenings of NYC and L.A. can either be so similar or in such stark contrast. I thought it would be fun to start a series where I post bits from our text conversations. Enjoy!

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Hawaii Was Epic.

 

Hawaii was epic. Literally everything in Hawaii is epic though, just ask the locals. Epic is their word for “cool,” “awesome,” “fun,” "beautiful," and “delicious.” My recent trip there fulfilled everything I had been yearning for in a getaway. What's more is that it came together almost spontaneously. 

I was itching for a cultural, outdoorsy trip that could fit within a 5 to 7 day time span on a lower-end budget. (Check, check, check, and check). Also, the food was tasty, abundant, and affordable (poké and pork all day). Even the two hurricanes heading towards the islands were accommodating with our plans. Thank you, Madeline and Lester.

What prompted the trip was a snapchat story. I happen to follow a photographer friend on the app and one day found myself enamoured by his videos of desolate tropical forests, waterfalls, and oceans with lush mountainous backdrops.

“Where ARE you!?” I asked.

“Hawaii!” he responded.

Immediately after, I texted my girlfriend Ly. “Didn’t you say you wanted to go to Hawaii? How about this summer?” She was onboard as soon as I mentioned it and we purchased our flights and AirBnB’s within days of that text.

We were both in agreement when it came to our outdoorsy to urban attraction wishes. The ratio was something like 3:1. So many incredibly scenic hikes. Such friendly locals. Chickens running everywhere. And did I mention the food was delicious?