Writing about style, design and all things that catch my eye!

Perfectly imperfect and casually luxe; these are a few of my favorite things.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Lovely Venture, Creating Your Charmed Business (@ Olivine's Charm School)

Olivine's creator Julie Wray is a pro at creating businesses women will love. Do YOU ever dream of taking the plunge on your own business or blog? Julie has lined up an amazing on-line course: so look no further-- here is your class! O.M.-Goodness, it's great!

Back before Ballard Avenue turned into one of the most popular, old-town hot spots in Seattle, there was Olivine-- my favorite boutique in town. Nowadays, Olivine is run entirely online-- of course, it's still a delightful place to shop. But ladies, have you checked out the blog Olivine's Charm School? It's superb, and it's always nice to read "hello gorgeous" at the top. Charm School doesn't care if you just tumbled out of bed, or had a late night-- and I'd guess the curator would say that you were all the lovelier for it!

Also, don't you just LOVE her blog banner? I think it's the best!  If you're at all thinking about running your work world, go ahead and sign up for this course-- I think you will learn SO much. I'm planning on it for the 'monetizing my blog portion'. That's something I've never done...

CLICK to LEARN ALL ABOUT IT, & have a great weekend, friends! 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Moroccan Doorways

Morocco takes the prize for the prettiest doorways and entryways in the world. I don't believe that I've ever been anywhere else where they were more elaborate or intricate. Walk with me through the streets of Fez and Meknes for a few shots of some true stunners...

Inside Dar Al Andalous
Massive doors into the medina of Meknes

Doorway into a home in the historical Jewish Quarter of Meknes.

Door in the Medina of Fez

Leaving the Bab Berdieyinne Mosque

As the old saying goes, details matter, don't they? I wish I had taken more snapshots when I travelled there in May 2009 with my dear friend Sue and her brother who joined us from Germany. This was a (pre-planned) three night detour while on our trip to visit a friend living in Paris. During this long weekend, another friend who'd come with us from Seattle to Paris went to the South of France--- yet we all reconvened for a few more days in Paris. Living it up, I'd say! A rare, and delightful treat as I'd never left my husband and children for 10 nights; nor had I even left the North American continent for over 17 years.

Photo of an ancient, arched stone lookout onto Fez, by Brad M. 

Tell me what your entryway looks like! My own front door was replaced a few years ago, yet we took the antique peephole out of the original door and reused it. It looks solid and aged; like a small maritime window even. The tiniest detail, yet one that works in my Ballard home. To carry off a door like those in Fez, would I have to live in an ancient, walled-off city? Probably not, yet certainly a house that's got more mystery outside.

My eye on the world.
  Since I've been picturing doorways as the entryway to possibility, these Moroccan beauties kept coming to mind. 
Have a great end to your weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My own Miss M

Ta-Da! This is my 50th Blog Post. I can hardly believe it. As such, at the suggestion of my dear friend Jules, I am featuring my daughter, a 15 year old teen artist-- including some of her older works dispersed throughout. It's possible she was born with a paintbrush in her hand, yet I only remember the depth of her eyes (in which I was sunk). This girl is Tactile (with a capitol 'T'). She was born to create, and create she does. She sketches, paints, woodblocks, bakes, needlepoints, sews, makes puppets, wands, videos, and all manner of clever things. If she merely thinks of something that interests her, at her hands it becomes real; it becomes art.

The bottom line best part of all this talent is that she simply does it for herself and doesn't see that it's anything special, really. It's clearly a drive-- and the gift part is lost upon her since she feels it's only natural.  I am forever amazed by it (and will even admit to sometimes being frustrated by the mess of it all!).  Also, while I wish I had access to her current sketchbook, I simply don't at the moment!

Anyhow, Welcome to our world...

Lost * charcoal, 26.4" x 40" * final project for Gage Academy Intensive Drawing 2011 Summer course taught by Ryan Finnerty & Spyder Peterka. Find Ryan on this post I wrote.
Molasses Cupcakes w/ lavender frosting.
A few years ago, she'd frequently whip herself up her own bento box lunch .

Self Portrait in 2009- scanned in b&w 

Halloween Costume 2009, skirt sewn solely by her-- blouse and corset with the help of grandma. These days, she is sewing up costumes all on her own.
2011, sewn for Sakura Con. This is Miku from Moonlit Bear. The detailed needlepoint
 on the apron is shown below:

A birds nest hairpin and two rings.
How to properly wrap a friend's present:
newspaper comics made into flowers;
use a little wire, and create a bird name tag.

Sound & Vision * needlepoint * 2010 Assemble Gallery & Studio
entry for their 'Not For All The Tea In China'
themed contest (the #2 is the tag number is all).

Painting from a live model at the Gage 2010
Another live model at the Gage.
Woodblock print made at Angielena Chamberlain's
Georgetown Arts and Cultural Center 2009
Real life photo on the left, 4 ft tall spray paint art on the right.
Self portrait print carved from looking at a baby photo
in 2010.
An old favorite of mine...

Sketchbook (an old one, from an anime I think).

Testostrotoes sketch 2011
(specializing in Male Pointe Shoes)

OK, multiple pages of the sketchbook during this period. It's a miracle the painted pages didn't stick together.
Live model 2011

Live model sketch night, Gage Teen Art Studio

Puppets made (at home) with a copper wire armature, and a
polymer clay overlay (Summer 2011). the cotton ball midriff
is there to give them shape for the clothing.
Hand sewn clothes for the puppets.
More of her cast. She had planned a stop-motion film, yet that's on hold.
She even whittled a few wands this past Spring. This one is Driftwood
with a heart of gold (maybe). 
The End Will Come * The End Is Near * Now It Has Come
triptych (you can't see the row of nails at the bottom of
the first panel). Summer 2006, age 10

At the rate she's going, I'd say it's really just the beginning... Lucky for us all, I'd say. I 'll be sure and remember that myself the next time my home is covered in paint or materials. 

Here's a big THANK YOU to all my readers. You're the best! 

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Imagine traipsing down the well worn steps in an ancient town when you stumble upon a jeweler's dimly lit shop. Entering into this candlelit wonderland, you are instantly drawn to her long necklaces featuring heavy charms, and to the snake bracelet wrapped around a tree branch. An antique porcelain baby doll is watching as you try on the stacked ring which goes perfectly with all of the jewelry you're wearing since it's silver and gold tones reflect your love of mixing things up.

REWIND! This not-so-old town is in Seattle's neighborhood of Fremont, yet the shop is just as enchanting and it is in the middle of a block that is on a slight hill. The jeweler is the self taught Kimberly Baker whose inspirations come from the alter of her mother's jewelry table and from her own travels. Find your own talisman amongst her wares. Be it a double unicorn charm, or part of a minx jaw dipped in gold vermeil, you will find yourself transported.

Kimberly's work gives me brief flashbacks to dark hallways in Morocco, hours spent as a child in at Catholic mass, or even in days spent engulfed in a fairy tale. It looks like the clash between good and evil is frequently portrayed through her beautiful metals--  yet don't you, too, feel as though these pieces are meant to both empower and protect us? 

New arrivals, Ladies of the Lake earrings and Prydwen shield necklace.

Both edgy and gorgeous, I'm drawn to it all. 

Photos courtesy of Kimberly Baker. Thanks!
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