Here is a recent photo of my coffee table.
This past weekend it rained the entire time. An unexpected (& much needed) luxury in Los Angeles. It was all the reason I needed to stay in and stay cozy. I gathered up some books (some old, some brand new), a few notebooks, magazines and indulged in some quality time with ideas, history and pictures. The odd thing is this felt invigorating even though all I did was loaf around with books (and my new favorite hot beverage: chai marsala tea with almond milk - that is a whole other post, it is super delicious). Since there is something that feels healing to me about long awaited rain, I also burned some palo santo to add dimension to my indulgent and refreshing weekend.
I read and looked, looked and flipped, jotted and drew.... and did some shopping (that is an Everlane page on the bottom right - who doesn't want to get a cozy sweater on a drizzly day?). I did this for two days while looking out the window and watching the garden drink up the rain and turn the happiest shade of green - it was refreshing to the earth and to my spirit. I love the rain.
I think I am a "pluviophile".
Pluviophile (noun). A lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.
Happy Happy New Year !
This is the time of year when we think and dream about our days ahead. What we will create, what we want to change, what we would like more of....etc. Starting my posts this year with an something I have been wanting to explore more: night photography. When the sun sets I shy away from taking any more photos. Golden hour is over and I'm pretty much done.
I realize this is primarily because I am not sure on how to deal with the lack of light - it is a bit of a mystery to me. I enjoy figuring out those types of things (I think of them as puzzles) once I commit to taking it on and getting to the bottom of it. It is kind of fun to fumble and make mistake after mistake (you should see my last roll of film I developed). So, I will in 2015 make more night imagery somehow. This undertaking is definitely inspired by Brassai and Atget - it is their nocturnes that pushed me to want to try ♡
Wishing you a bright year full of fun new things, interesting puzzles you enjoy piecing together and plenty of smiles + love!
Photo by me : Bi Rite market / San Francisco, California
It is never a good time to catch a cold, but it's especially no fun during holiday prep time. Instead of gathering gifts, working to tie up projects, baking and socializing .... I was down with a cold. Nothing too crazy, but enough to zap my energy and make me sofa bound for a week.
While I was healing, I read a few of the books on the coffee table. My favorite of this round was Drawn from Nature The plant lithographs of Ellsworth Kelly. Kelly used broad strokes, full range of his right arm and let the plant dictate the number of strokes for his lyrical lithographs. It inspired me to sketch the delicious satsumas I make sure are always around during this season. As I was sketching, I realized yet again that simple is not so simple to create. Simple and lyrical even trickier. I loved sketching though, there is that meditative quality that surfaces when your draw a shape again and again....and again.
I also took some time to finally figure out a coffee alternative and this is working out pretty well. Some days though, you just need a yummy cup of coffee.
All in all, slowing down was refreshing. I pared down my closet even more, I reignited my love of drawing plants and fruit and I have a new warm morning beverage that I love ♡
December is about editing for me. I let go of stacks of papers, clothes, make-up, notes, things I have accumulated over the year but never did anything with, etc.... I will edit my painting supplies, I will organize my photography library and tidy up my growing-too-fast-too keep-up Evernote (that will take the longest). I look forward to doing this "letting go" exercise because I will feel fresh and lighter when it is complete. Which exactly what I felt when I saw this Russh Magazine editorial.
You can see the full story "Temptation" here. I love the beautiful light and the overall stylish simplicity. In place of fuss and adornment is soothing light, beautiful neutral palette clothing against glowing skin, a great haircut and just the right touch of make-up. It set me on the right path as I gather new essentials for 2015.
Credits: As seen in Russh Magazine/Jan 15. Photographs by Ward Ivan Rafik
A sunny afternoon in Santa Barbara calls for a stroll in one of their beautiful historic sites...The old mission or even just City Hall (pictured here). It's worth the time to go to the top of the clock tower for the view of this Spanish style influenced town. Then you can head down the the beach for a refreshing sunset/moonrise walk, then up to the San Ysidro Ranch for a cozy dinner (fireside at Plow & Angel) or just have a lovely cocktail. That trio is a winner.
Click on arrow for a few more photos.
Over the weekend I took some time to watch the beautiful Fall/Winter California sunsets - they really are magical. Also, strolled on the pier, had an outstanding meal at Nikita (everything was delicious and the view could not be beat - and the interior design was stellar too). Also, watched Bruce Weber mentor some young photographers and took care of my houseplants. All special and ordinary at the same time.