arts, newest addition to the family

tuning in

Last week I enjoyed a relaxing visit at home for 4th of July celebrations, and in the midst of scheduling a haircut, camping out for fireworks, and whipping up delicious (instant) vanilla pudding, I picked up an assortment of vintage vinyl. An afternoon stroll around town turned into a hunt for gold as I discovered and subsequently sifted through dusty records in one of Calistoga’s consignment stores. I was in heaven as I pored over boxes and squinted at shelves full of rock classics. My favorite finds were Elton John‘s “Greatest Hits,” the Eagles‘ “Hotel California,” and Hall & Oates‘ “Rock ‘n Soul Part 1,” though the haul also included albums from David Bowie, Lou Reed, Paul Simon, and the Rolling Stones.

I started a record collection a couple of years ago when I bought my boyfriend a turntable for Valentine’s Day. Though we don’t usually use it on a day to day basis (how would I accumulate last.fm plays?) it’s always fun to break out some tunes the old-fashioned way. There’s nothing quite like the hissing, crackling, and popping of vinyl on a turntable, and sometimes I leave the needle circling around for awhile just to listen to the sounds.

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life etc.

vibrant visions

It almost goes without saying that amidst preparing for finals, I’m anxiously awaiting the summer months. I’m ready for lime greens, warm yellows, and pops of orange. I’m ready for barbecues and swimming pools and fiery sunsets and evening drives. I’m ready for denim shorts and sandy flip-flops. I’m ready for a break!

Until that time, however, I’m forced to make do and only dream about warm weather and freedom while I’m stuck inside doing homework. Though bright beach towel hues seem oh so distant, I was recently inspired by a box of pistachio and vanilla-almond macarons that my mom gave to me; in love with their sugary sweetness as much as their colors, I couldn’t resist preserving the moment before I gobbled them all up.

In other color-related news, you may remember my ceramic pumpkin-potted succulent from October which has blossomed beautifully thanks to a sabbatical in Calistoga. When I retrieved the plant from my parents’ house, it was thrilling to see that my little plant (a.k.a. Planty) had grown. I’m so glad that Napa Valley was good to him, and I can’t wait to transfer Planty to a bigger pot as he continues to flourish.

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botanical metropolis

For my final Fashion Design class project, we were instructed to produce inspiration books using photographs we’d taken ourselves. The central idea of the project is to study shape, form, silhouette, and proportion. I decided to use photos of the botanical garden from my last Hawaii trip and of plants around my home in Calistoga for my book, and combine them with my own drawings and collected decorative papers. We’re only a few weeks into the project, so I will definitely post more examples of my collage and art work in the future, but I wanted to give a sneak peek of what I’ve been working on lately.

I’ve been ruminating on the theme of my collection, and though it is subject to change, I’m envisioning a Botanical Metropolis: a futuristic approach to organic shapes in an urban setting; a dystopian society masquerading as a utopian one; a demolished city reconstructed in the heart of a jungle and overrun with flora. Suppressed idealism, perhaps.

In the weeks to come I’ll share more of the project as it develops, including fashion sketches, fabrics, finishes, details, and renderings. I will also be posting photos of my last project—six designs inspired by a country—in its entirety, from sketchbook to finished fashion collection. But for now, enjoy four original compositions of my own creation.

(Above, “Future Burnout”)

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personal style

gimme some gotts

On Friday I had the urge to go out and do something, so my boyfriend and I headed down to the Ferry Building for dinner at one of our favorite eating establishments, Gotts.  Since I’m from the Napa Valley, I’m used to calling it Taylor’s Refresher (its original name from the original location in St. Helena) yet now I begrudgingly call it by its new title.

I remember taking swimming lessons nearby and visiting the roadside stop when I was little, in addition to unexpected rendez-vous with friends (it’s a small world).  In St. Helena, the parking lot is always full and the line is always long, but it’s worth the wait.  The San Francisco location has optimized the casual, contemporary feel with industrial, utilitarian touches and neon red letters.  It’s always nice to have a taste of home in the bustling city.

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newest addition to the family



I’ve slowly but surely been reading through all my September issues (consisting of Elle, InStyle, Vogue, Teen Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, 7×7, and W, shown above).  Surprisingly I’ve tackled most of the magazines and am down to Vanity Fair, 7×7, and W, with which I’m more than half way through.  In addition to the stunning shoot above (I love the shirt, and the hair!!), I thought I’d share a few photos of things that I’m excited about.  This includes the golden Zina Kao necklace that I recently purchased resting comfortably on the page up top.  I bought it in a Calistoga boutique called Zenobia; I used to work there, and visit frequently because it has a gorgeous assortment of jewelry, cute clothes and shoes, and other goods.  If you’re ever in Napa Valley, I suggest you check it out; there’s also a great little café next door called the San Marco Espresso and Bake Shop, with ice cream, pastries, and (obviously) coffee.

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