Thursday, May 29, 2008

Take a summer 'Staycation'

I am a daily subscriber to Urban Dictionary's, Word of the Day, ever since I got punked by my boss over 'coming correct' to work (You can read all about it in my May 1st blog posting.) I dare NOT know the latest 'uber cool' word, lest I be ridiculed by those in power who keep up on such things. Yes, you know who you are! Anyway, May 23's word of the day was 'Staycation.' The definition is: A vacation that is spent at one's home enjoying all that home and one's home environs have to offer. Good play on words. I get it. I'll think about it. After all, I love hanging out in my backyard, playing with my husband, two boys and our dogs, making stuff in my art studio....whew, I am relaxing just thinking about it. Yesterday I am reading and there is an article about taking a home-based vacation, a 'staycation', to avoid paying high gas prices by staying closer to home. Hey, this is a concept that people should pay attention to - you're saving on gas, you're not spending as much money and your curbing your carbon output. Some of the tricks listed for having a successful 'staycation' are: Check out local travel guides featuring local attractions you've forgotten or never knew about; make plans for your activities like you would if you were out-of-town; get everyone in the family involved in your 'staycation'; and, craft like crazy, making cool stuff! (Now that last part, I just made up. But doesn't that sound like fun! I love to make stuff when I have free time at home.) The best part of taking a 'staycation'? Unplugging from work AND spending family time together.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Being relatively new to blogging, I find myself continually checking out other peoples blogs to see what they are talking about, what they're into, what they are reading, listening to, learning about. Of course, I have a number of favorite bloggers whom I visit on a regular basis, like Ornamental, Nina Bagley's blog. She is inspired by nature - sea glass, rocks, found objects - an artist of jewelry and mixed media pieces, yet it is her eloquent writing style that brings me back to her time and time again, to find out about the life she has carved out for herself and her dog, Aspen, on Firefly Road. (OK, I do have a life, for those of you who think I am far too knowledgeable about perfect strangers! But you see, when you read their blogs you start to know them, befriend them, wonder about them. And, it is part of my job to keep my finger on the pulse of artisans and crafters for new and wonderful ideas.) A new favorite blog is Stephanie Lee's. I took a class from her at Art & Soul, which inspired me to get into metalsmithing. (I still haven't actually made anything yet - lack of personal artistic time - but I did send my husband to the hardware store to buy me a torch.) She lives in the mountains in Oregon and is a mixed media and metalsmithing artist as well. I love how she tells you what music she is listening to at any given moment and then gives you the link so you can hear it, too. Reading blogs can be as soothing and escape-laden as reading a good book that you never have to finish. I actually start missing these women when they don't blog for a few days. Usually they are traveling toward a new adventure, holding out the promise of a good story when they return.

Another favorite blog is Jennifer Perkin's, Naughty Secretary Club. Now that girl is a faithful blogger. She is connected to everyone, everywhere, and has her finger in every artistic pie that appeals to her indie leanings. She is as real as it gets ...and I never pine for her because she is a blogging maniac! Me? I write this blog for my company. It is obviously about trends, but sometimes I like to use it as an online diary of my personal experiences. It keeps it real. I try to blog at least once a week, sometimes more, depends on my workload. I love blogging - it's therapeutic. Maybe someday someone will pine for my writings..........

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Native American

I first spotted this trend, or at least had the Indian headdress motif on my radar, at the 2008 Sourcing At MAGIC show in Las Vegas. I only saw 3 or 4 Native American images on men's tee shirts. But it was so different from the norm that I actually pointed it out to my companion. I came back from the show and waited to see if I was right about my hunch. In March I received my Free People catalog. Wow! The Indian headdress. Inside were many garments and accessories inspired by this trend. My excitement was building. About three weeks ago I put together a whole trend piece on the Native American vibe that is happening in fashion - the leather fringe, the exotic prints, the beaded jewelry, feathers - then I got really excited when I spied Elijah Wood in BUST Magazine wearing a tee shirt like I saw at MAGIC. Very cool! Men can get into this trend, too.

Just the other day I am perusing one of my favorite catalogs - Sundance - and they are featuring women's tee shirts with Cherokee words on them. The catalog describes their Cherokee Word Tees "As lyrical as the sentiments they express, ancient Cherokee characters spell out messages that will inspire power, grace and philosophical conversations." Hmmm............

To get more of the Native fix, check out this page from the May issue of Marie Claire magazine for some fashionable ways to "go native."

For Fall 2008, Anna Sui designed some tribal-inspired couture for the runway; exotic mixed prints, embroidery and all things fringed. Read and see more on the Teen Vogue Intern blog. I love the ombre dyed tees...You could be wearing that look tonight with the help of Tulip One-Step Fashion Dyes. So go Native.....Anna's got nothin' on you!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

As if the car show were not enough excitement for one weekend, there was more! We all got up early and got dressed up to go out to breakfast at 8am at the Fresno Breakfast House. Mmmm, good food! Never been there before. We don't usually treat ourselves to breakfast out so this was especially nice. Then we headed over to church like we do every Sunday. After church we hurried home to get ready to head up to Bass Lake for the day. We had a blast! We hiked around a little and took the boys down to the lake to play by the shore. The water was a little cold but kids don't care. I didn't realize it at the time but it seemed like our lake outing was all about rocks: gathering rocks. . . skipping rocks. . . climbing on rocks. . .We ended up eating the best burgers at The Forks. We worked up an appetite collecting all those rocks! We decided we must spend a weekend here soon.

Mother's Day Weekend

First thing Saturday morning we got up and headed to Costco to pick out some beautiful flowers for my parents headstone. They share a headstone so they always get to share flowers, no matter whose occasion we are celebrating. I like visiting with them, bringing them seasonal flowers and checking in on them. I know they are really in Heaven, but I like having a place to go when I need to talk, tell them I am better. . . Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

Well I had quite the interesting time this past Mother's Day weekend. My husband loves hot rods and rat rods and going to car shows around the valley to see them. He loves when the boys and I go with him, and so we go. . . On Saturday we went to The Wanderers 2nd Annual Car Show on Olive Avenue. It was fun to hang out with my guys and check out cool cars. I am a 'ghost flames' girl. I want some flames on my PT Cruiser. . . A girl can dream!I took my camera with me, intending to snap pics of the rods and my boys. Which I did. My husband's name is Lucky so he had to pose by this truck with a crate of 'Lucky Lager' in the back. My sons chose to pose with 'Mater' from "Cars."But I also really got into the genre of the people who were there. It was like 'indie meets 1940's-1950's pin-ups and street toughs.' Of course, the whole vintage look - from tattoos to fashion - is totally trendy right now. I had a great time wandering around, asking people if they minded that I take their picture. Everyone was really cool. The girls were all waiting to strut their stuff for the "Miss Pin-Up" contest, but didn't mind taking a moment to pose for me.
Across the street from the rods were parked some very sweet vintage Cadillacs. My husband is a Cadillac man and these babies were calling to him. He was bummed that he didn't drive his to the car show, opting to be gas-wise and take my Cruiser. He missed out on having others admire his Caddy, originally my mother's baby. Oh well, enough for one day. Gotta get ready for Mother's Day tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

On Wings Of Music

Last night, after watching American Idol and putting my two boys to bed, I decided that I just had to work on some jewelry. I was just in the mood to do it and so I did - until midnight. Mind you, there are many nights when I am in bed by 9pm because I get up around 5:45am to spend some quality paper-reading, coffee-sipping time with my husband. Even getting up that early often only buys me a short window of time. Usually within 5-30 minutes of sitting cozily in my recliner I have both the dog, Gabby, and my 6-year-old, Noah, in my lap - at the same time. I'll have you know that I have become quite adept at reading the paper and drinking my coffee with only my left hand. My right arm is always tucked around Noah, always. He makes sure of it. Anyway, all this to say that I must really have been in need of a creative fix to stay up late at my kitchen table making jewelry. (I think the coffee ice cream I had for dessert had something to do with it!) I decided I wanted to make a necklace from the pendant I made at Art & Soul Asilomar. I loved making the pendant while I was on retreat. I rolled out some Precious Metal Clay onto an oiled stamp so that the back of my pendant would have a pattern. That way it is as beautiful from the back as it is from the front. The shape of the pendant is very organic and free-form. I liked that about it. Next, I created a curvy bezel by using PMC in a syringe to dispense a fine line. I dried the clay, cleaned it up and fired it. When I was ready to work on the center image, I cut out tiny pictures and words and glued them in place. I dropped in some tiny little beads and then applied resin for a smooth, glassy finish. I love resin. It is my new favorite thing. The hard part was letting it cure for 24 hours. When it was safe to handle it I packed it up and brought it home, knowing I would make something fabulous (at least to me) with it. So last night was the night to finally finish my necklace. I added beautiful gemstones to it and put it on a simple sterling silver chain. I laid it on my dresser at midnight and picked out a top I could wear to work today that would properly showcase my necklace. It makes me happy!

Today is a special day. It is May 7th, my Dad's birthday. This is the second birthday we are celebrating without him. He passed away seventeen months ago. I miss him. Happy Birthday, Dad!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tie-dye: Crossing All Boundaries

If you are not aware of the tie-dye trend, you must be living in a very dark closet! It is such an obvious trend that I wasn't even going to blog about it. But I decided I just must because tie-dye is crossing all boundaries and playing a role in various trend styles. First of all, there's the whole 60's, Summer of Love, traditional tie-dye look that came back in style a few of years ago. Since that time tie-dye has morphed into the very chic, celebrity-fav "ombre" look - you know, the dip-dyed fabrics often in a monochromatic or a complimentary color palette.Examples of the ombre look are found at Victoria's Secret, Go Jane, Bloomingdale's, even Martha Stewart Living magazine (below) had a spread about the use of ombre as a DIY project for home decor. And don't think that ombre is just found on clothing. There are designer shoes, bags (below, Nordstrom's), and fashion accessories done in ombre. ICIO created a thin ombre-tinted flask to hold its trendy peppermint-flavored water. Cool flavor, cool look.Remember I said that tie-dye was crossing boundaries into other trends? Here's another example. Yesterday I was working on my weekly trend 'snapshot' for my company - it's a look at what is hot now - and my topic is the Native American look in fashion. It's all about earth tones, beads, fringe, and tribal patterns. I found some examples of tie-dyed garments that are beautiful in browns, greens and yellows in this month's Marie Claire magazine. It's probably not the color palette that pops into your head when you think tie-dye. But that's OK. The point is you can create the tie-dye look that best suits your trend style. It's the perfect summer project! Got a favorite old tee shirt or sun dress that has faded or is stained? Refashion it (another trend), giving it new life with dyes, crystals, and appliques for a stylish summer look. Wow, where can I get dye to update my wardrobe and add ombre chicness to my home, you ask? Check out all the wonderful Tulip One-Step Fashion Dye colors from Duncan. Or, visit your local Michael's, Jo Ann's or Wal-Mart to find our dye, paint and embellishment products. I promise you, dyeing will become addictive!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

"Come correct"

Ok, so this morning I come into work and start my day, as I do everyday, by checking my calendar and my emails. I'm feeling good, I am on top of things....Then I open a message from V, my big boss - the boss my boss reports to - with this message: Jen... The next time we have an important visitor at Duncan, you'd better come correct. I was talking to Allee and she definitely agrees. Sorry Jen, it is what it is! See you tomorrow. V

I stared at the screen. 'Come correct'....what is she talking about??? Yes, we had important guests yesterday. Yes I was standing in someone else's cube when I was introduced. Hmmm, I did wear jeans yesterday, but so did others in the building. Obviously, V is joking. Of course! I must reply with an equally prankish response. As I begin typing my response I decide it is best not to assume anything. I will say something witty and then I will apologize, just in case. Brilliant! So I wrote: OK, I am lost. What are you talking about 'come correct'? Because I was wearing jeans? I have two explanations:
1) Allee is jealous of me and wants to be as fabulous as me. Obviously she is trying to take me down. (This is my response to you if this email is intended to be a prank.)
2) So sorry, it will never happen again. (This is my response if you are serious about my attire being inappropriate.) J

Within a few minutes this email came through from V: It was a joke... Allee told me about the *word for the day* from the Urban Dictionary... The other day, it was *come correct*..."to come out rightly... to speak or approach someone with respect, and not with undeniable ignorance... to do something the right way the first time to avoid being bitched by another..." I just thought it was a cool saying and Allee said you were aware of it so I told her I was going to use it on you last night!

Whew! Close call....So Allee and the Urban Dictionary are to blame for this little misunderstanding. I immediately realized that I need to be a daily subscriber to the 'word of the day' from the Urban Dictionary, even if it is rated-R at times. I also realized I better wear my jeans on casual Friday only - just in case. And lastly, when dealing with your boss, always 'come correct.'


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...