Monday, November 30, 2009

Purple & new favorite colors?

Based on the current trend in my closet, I think purple and grey have outshined blues and browns as my new go-to colors.  I've seen lots of posts about how grey is the new black, which is funny because I painted 2 rooms of my house a beautiful light grey before I picked up on this trend.  It's pretty true though - grey is a wonderful background and can really help make other colors pop.  In addition, there are so many shades of grey to choose from, as opposed to black.

Some items I'd put on my wishlist include:

reclaimed wool sweater brooch from Etsy seller thejunebride

funky purple belt from Anthropologie

The "Carrie" necklace from Etsy seller erinkeys

Elizabeth & James dress from Shopbop

funky vintage-style candle from Etsy seller Madhatterspottery

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy post-Thanksgiving!

I hope you had a wonderful and festive Thanksgiving!  We had a joint family lunch yesterday and I seriously think I gained about 5 lbs. from eating nonstop for 6 hours.  There are some terrific cooks in our family, and everyone brought a couple of dishes to complement the turkey and glazed ham...yummm!

gotta have kimchee at every meal in a korean family!

To help burn off some of the food above, I'm comtemplating whether or not to bother trying to do some shopping later today.  Maybe I'll  make up my mind after I polish off some leftovers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fun with the Nikon D90

This past week, I've spent my spare time learning as much as possible about the Nikon D90 and the tricks to using an SLR in general.  Currently, just trying to get used to all the different functionalities of the camera is a big learning curve, but the vast improvement in the quality of phots I can take is really gratifying to see!  Some examples are below:

Went to the Montrose farmer's market and took some pictures of scrumptious produce and pretty flowers:

I love strolling down the flea market section and perusing the housewares displayed:

Our family dogs are my favorite subjects to shoot, and I never get tired of their funny poses that guarantee to crack me up:

my dog Sophie, always looking so serious

gazing pensively off into the distance (or looking maybe scanning the trees for possums to kill)

My sister's always hilarious dog Bender is full of personality and mischief, as you can see:

Hopefully, my photography skills will continue to improve over the next few months.  I must admit that this camera is so user friendly, especially for SLR beginners like me, that getting some great shots didn't take a whole lot of effort.  Note that all pics above were taken using the 50mm 1.8f lens - a lens I HIGHLY recommend!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Moustache reference guide on your desktop

This is going to be my new desktop wallpaper at work. 

For some reason, it makes me smile everytime I see it.  :)

(from the Moustache blog)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kids clothes, cameras, parties...yes this is random

So this post is really a bunch of miscellaneous items thrown together...

-Anthro kids
I wrote a previous post about how I wished Anthropologie had kids clothes, and it seems like my wish came true! Originally stumbled across a limited selection of items at the store in Newport Beach when I was down there for work event, but now you can find them on their website and in the latest catalog. Super cute stuff (just super expensive too!)

how adorable is this little apron!
(all photos above from Anthropologie's website)

-the long-awaited camera
It finally arrived in the mail on Wednesday and I've been happily clicking away at the most banal and uninteresting subjects to practice (with the exception of my dog Sophie, who's been patiently acting as my primary live model).  I'm still trying to figure how to use the darn thing - there's so much more to SLRs than a regular point-and-shoot - but I'm at least shooting in "P" mode right now, having skipped the Auto functions altogether.  So far, the pictures, even with my nonexistent skills, are looking pretty good!

-party party
Our housewarming a few weeks back was a hit, despite a couple of glitches (namely a few drunk guests and me buying way too much food).  I was so busy with about 40+ guests in our small home at one point that I didn't have time to take any photos.  With the holidays approaching, I can't wait to host more soirees, though this time, they'll definitely be a much smaller and more manageable group.  Hosting duties are fun but can be quite stressful!  I can see why some people call it an art.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

DIY letterpress? Sweet!

Who doesn't love letterpress anything?  I'd letterpress napkins, business cards, toilet paper (ok maybe not that far), if the price was right.  My wedding invitations were letterpressed, even though it meant going over budget a little and entailed a ton of work (only because I tried to design them myself and didn't know what the heck I was doing).

Lifestyle Crafts has debuted a new DIY letterpress machine which actually looks pretty simple to use.  Though you're currently limited to using their customized printing plates at this time, the range of different projects you can do so far is fairly cool.

Something else to put on my christmas wish list...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Engagement photos - a trip around Los Angeles

Our engagement photo shoot took us all throughout Los Angeles, and lasted almost 9 hours.  I have to hand it to my husband, he was a real trooper throughout the entire process, and our photographer Paul (also a good friend from college), worked tirelessly to capture our personalities in some wonderful moments. 

We drove from the westside to start the morning in Old Town Pasadena...

@ the corner of Fair Oaks & Green

in the alley behind Colorado Blvd

Then moved on to the Gamble House, a beautiful craftsmen-style home that's now a museum:

the house is more stunning in real life

Next, we grabbed a quick lunch and headed over to the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art):

@ the vintage lamppost exhibit

It's now late afternoon, and monstrous LA traffic is starting to creep into the freeways.  Despite this, we head to our final destination: Manhattan Beach...

@ an old-fashioned ice cream parlor...yummy pistachio ice cream!

we moved over to the beach...

and ended our day as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.

We promptly passed out at 9pm that night.  I don't know if I'll be able to convince the hubby if we can do a grueling photo shoot ever again, so it was worth it! 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fake moustache craze

There's this weird fad going on. 


Fake ones, that is, in all kinds of photos online and in places you wouldn't normally see them. 

Even Paper Source has a campy set of fake moustaches that they sell in their store:

(my sister bought these)

I'm starting to see them pop up in wedding photos:

And on pets...?

The Moustache Blog is actually pretty awesome, haha.  Wonder what my husband will say if I decided to try to grow some facial hair...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My first dSLR!

I'm SO excited.  Our faithful Canon Powershot broke on Halloween, which finally gave me an excuse to retire it and purchase a new camera.  Since I've been coveting an SLR after seeing too many amazing photos from other bloggers, I promptly started my research on different cameras.  With so many choices out on the market, I quickly became a bit overwhelmed.  For an indecisive person, too many options can actually be a bad thing.  I rethought my strategy and began going through a more systematic process:

1.  Entry level, prosumer, or professional?  Immediately ruled out the professional models, which had a ton of features that I probably wouldn't use.  Plus they're super expensive!

2.  Price point?  Somewhere in the under $1000 range. 

3.  Brand?  Based on tons of reviews and my own experience with point-and-shoot digital cameras, I knew I wanted either a Nikon or Canon.  I've owned many Canon cameras (both film and digital) so my initial loyalty leaned that way, but Nikon SLRs have an esteemed reputation.  I was torn until...

4.  Lenses?  I had no clue as to how to choose these.  However, I learned that a good lens can be even more important than the camera body. A good lens consistently delivers quality photos and can be used for many years, even as you upgrade or change the camera body (assuming  you stay with the same brand, I think).  Nikon lenses have an awesome reputation for sharpness, color, clarity, and all-around reliability.  Ok, now I'm sold.

5.  Where to buy?  Fortunately, my brother-in-law happened to purchase a dSLR a few months back.  He sent me a great spreadsheet organized with information on cameras and accessories with their prices broken down by online stores.  I initially planned to purchase everything from Amazon, but ended up with a better deal at Buydig

After this exhausting but fruitful search, I chose (drumroll)....

The Nikon D90!  It comes with an 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S VR DX Nikkor Zoom Lens, which I learned was a fairly good all-around lens for everyday photos and portraits. 

However, I was also told that a 50mm lens takes the coolest, funnest photos, so I bought this too:

Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras  - only $124 on Amazon!

Orders have been placed, and now I have to wait 5-9 business days to start playing with them. 

Did I mention I'm SO excited?

Monday, November 9, 2009

DIY tweed leaves headband

My second DIY post is a headband to complement fall colors and fabric textures.  The material comes from an old tweed skirt I that couldn't part with since I was so attached to it.  What  better way to keep it a part of my wardrobe than to turn part of it into a headband!  So here we go:

tweed fabric (or any fabric with a similiar texture)
thin headband
glue gun


Step 1: Cut out a piece of fabric for your leaves from a heavier fabric with a nice texture.  I really liked the green tweed of this skirt (will be using it for future projects for sure) and ended up using a piece about 6"x12".

Step 2:  Cut leaf-shaped pieces from your fabric.  I didn't bother drawing them on the fabric or anything, just cut free-form shapetoids.  Each were approximately 1.5-2" in length.  I didn't want to wrap the entire headband with them, so I only ended up cutting around 15 pieces.

Step 3:  Arrange them by size, and get your trusty headband purchased for under $4.00 for 2 at Forever 21.

Step 5: Start gluing pieces onto the headband.  I started with the largest leaves and worked my way up, overlapping the bottom ends as I made my way around the headband. 

I started on one side of the headband a few inches up, and went around until just past the halfway mark, using smaller leaves as I got toward the end.

Here's the final result:

The picture quality totally sucks in these photos, which I apologize for.  I'm currently shopping around for a dSLR to replace my old point-and-shoot, which is frustrating to use indoors, to say the least.  I think I'll try making another one of these headbands, using smaller leaves on my next try!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I give in to the Twilight fad...

I blame my sister.  We had a mini-sister day planned, so while I was waiting for her to come home, I picked up the book and started reading.  While the writing isn't exactly Nobel Prize-worthy, I found the book to me strangely addicting.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Back to my happy place

Where's that, you ask? Depends on my current mood, but the place I usually find something to cheer me up is Etsy. I'm constantly amazed by how many creative souls are out there and I'm happy to support entrepreneurs and independent artisans as much as possible. I have many of them to thank for various items purchased for my May wedding.

Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away, and here are some special finds that would be great for the holiday season:

Happy Friday!