One of my favorite things to do in Los Angeles is visit Paris Photo LA when it arrives.

This year I noticed that I am really enthralled by the little areas/nooks the gallery makes for themselves in the makeshift set up, where they keep personal and admin items.  Probably sounds odd, but in the midst of everything being so pristine in it's presentation, I love seeing these more 'real' moments.  Sharing a sampling above.  Paris Photo LA fun below.




Love of the simple things continues...

A few personal totems here.  The Kathy Rose snake bracelets never come off (they kind of mold to your body and become part of you).  The trio are a family.  Each one symbolic for their own reason.  Together they are my constant companions, guardians and reminders of change and growth.  The fact that they were my beautiful friend's first design brings forth another meaningful dimension - and that one was her gift to me adds to the beauty of the whole.

The rosebud necklace, the Yakira Rona (moxie) necklace and gold band are my other totems that signify something special to me.  They hold their own beautiful meanings... Again, beautiful friends involved, happy spirits and special times.

The double ring a token of love from my love.  The oldest of of the bunch is a set of irregular golden bands I treated myself to one day long ago.  

These totems hardly ever are separated from me.  Even just taking them off for this photo felt weird.  They are imbued with a quiet significance that only I really know. There is that magical quality about personal totems, they are signifiers of deeper ideas. 

It makes me happy to be in the deep with these ♡


Bag, shirt and lipstick also part of my daily.




Happy Earth Day 2015!

Since it's Earth Day I am talking some nature love...

Although Palm Springs is often thought of as the home base for Coachella fun, neighbor to Joshua Tree, editorial photo shoot destination or a desert mecca of mid-century history/architecture, I fell in love with it for its' wide open landscape.  It is unfettered by tall buildings, home to big sky, a steady stream of sunshine and beautiful flora. Pretty much everywhere you look there is some natural world beauty going on, even broken dried palm leaves look pretty there.  Especially, the majestic San Jacinto mountains at dusk, I must have sketched them a hundred times.

Right now spring wildflowers are dotting the city.  Specks of white, yellow, purple, orange and pink have shown up in celebration of summer's soon return.  The main flora attraction to me is the happy bougainvillea you seem to find everywhere - peeking out from behind a wall or just dominating it's way over a fence.  It always makes me smile.

This post is just a few of my nature photos from our last visit.  I want to take more, I want to go back each season and photograph the seasonal natural elements.  Sounds like a fun personal project.  But for now, this is where I start.

PS.  I am asked often of what to do, where to stay and where to eat in Palm Springs and I promise to make a city guide and share it.  I have found fun things. xo


I have also talked about Palm Springs here and here.



LOVE: Palm Trees

Palm Tree collage by Naomi Yamada

We just returned from the desert, where after dinner one night on our walk back I found a beautiful dried palm leaf (photo coming later).  It was just there waiting for me all alone under a bright street light - I couldn't believe no one snatched it up before me.  I picked it up, hid it in the hotel room and eventually shoved it in the car for the drive home. Some un-wrinkling is in order (how do I do that?), but it's pretty lovely.  I love the shape.  

My new totem sparked me to research a little the historic symbolism of palm leafs (victory, peace, fertility). l also keep thinking that beyond the grand tall iconic palm tree there are 2600 species of palms.  I started drawing some of the ones most commonly used in interior decor in my sketchbook along with their botanical names.  Now on the lookout for one that will fit nicely at home.


Illustration by me.  Photos found on tumblr, origin unknown.

A Fashion Month Fave - F/W 15-16

Lemaire dress illustration by Naomi Yamada

I do enjoy a good fashion month.  The bebopping around from city to city, the distinct street style culture that ensues, along with a few good live streams makes for inspiration and solid idea generating.  It's always mind blowing to me the amount of dedication and work that is involved to create collections season after season - that thought alone inspires me.

Although most things sent down the runway would never work on my petite frame, I do gather some ideas I can tweak and apply.  This past fashion month I was especially into what is going on over at Lemaire (always into what they are up to, just a little more so this season - cool backstory of the name change, the devotion to his line that he left Hermès and the less androgynous overall tone of the collection).  I will be adapting the delicate neck scarf (which I have been wanting to do since Prada RTW FW 2014)  and the idea of a deep V for fall/winter. Voila!

There were a few looks I wanted to illustrate from the collection but I picked this one because of the distinct muted color and the belt that looks like wood, but is probably leather.  Not sure, want to find out. A possible adaptation as well ♡



Illustration by me


Naomi Yamada March Essentials


Life has been a bit more busy and not necessarily in the brightest way.  Many things going on, and one very tough.

In the midst of all the happenings.  Keeping things simple and easy in as many life areas as possible has been my approach, which includes a nearly daily outfit so I can avoid that whole morning conundrum.  There are variations of sweaters, but this has become my base. Simple is key lately.  Realizing that simple is key always.

& realizing that carrying an evening clutch during the day can be an instant pick-me-up.  It can be the little things that make you smile ♡ .  I'll take that always, especially now.


A super soft cashmere mock turtleneck, vintage high waisted Levis, a vintage metallic clutch  and a few jewelry favorites.   In addition to the few rings and cuffs that never come off, because they are personal totems, but that's a whole other post. 




Photo by me

San Francisco - A Quick Visit


Ever since I was a kid, I have loved San Francisco. Something about the bridges, the beautiful bay and the cooler climate really spoke to me immediately.  It has such a distinct vibe - arty, techy, chalk full of history and it's a melange of cultures.  I am always happy to return.  Like any place you return to - it's fun to visit new places, but returning to a handful of solid favorites is also fun. This time we drove up, so we had a car with us and took advantage of being able to explore and scope out new ground - which really meant outer sunset and drives through Golden Gate Park.  So fun.

Until I get around to actually making my version of a  San Francisco City Guide.  Here are a few highlights from this visit.... If you want to see more on my San Francisco faves, I have an earlier post here.

Outerlands - The perfect brunch in a beautiful rustic space.  Eat and stroll the cool neighborhood block on your way to check out the waves right down the street.

Samovar Tea - I was instantly addicted.  Chai Marsala Tea.  I loved their vegan version with almond milk, although the non-vegan version was good too.  It's brewed for I forget how long with lots of yummy things like ginger, cardamon, cinnamon.....  I returned daily for a cup.  Then literally, purchased two teacups to bring home.  Beautiful handmade teacups from Oregon, each with it's own slight individuality that makes them both beautiful and endearing.  It symbolizes how everything is done there, with thoughtful beautiful design execution. I wish I could have brought this whole tea lounge home with me.

Coit Tower - I have always avoided this place (even though one of my besties was proposed to there), as the touristy element is such a turn off..... BUT... I have to say the views are unlike any other in the city and make any drama getting there all worth it.

Sutro Bath Ruins - Who knew this was here? The ruins of a late 19th century swimming pool complex, you can wander all the way down into the baths or just enjoy the view.  The Cliff House is right there if you get hungry or want to have a drink and watch the sunset.

MARCH - Exquisiteness. Elegance. Everything in this store is #nextlevel.  


Photos and illo by me