Tuesday, March 25, 2008

While cooking...

Tonight I am making roast chicken covered in a fresh rosemary and garlic paste, and a rice salad with kalamata olives, feta, and a lemon vinigarette. It's going to be delicious. Sometimes I really outdo myself.

While waiting for things to cook themselves up, I uncovered these super depressing stats that I was compelled to share.

Work by the numbers:

3% - Although worker productivity rose by nearly 20 percent since 2000, the real median hourly wage rose by just 3 percent.

3 - Census data shows that earnings of full-time, year-round workers in 2006 dropped for the third year in a row.

21% - Nationally, jobs in industries that are growing pay 21 percent less than those in industries that are declining.

+3% - Since 2000, the Consumer Price Index rose by nearly 3 percent a year, leaving workers with considerably less buying power.

-8% - For America's younger workers, the picture is even worse. From 2001 to 2004, median income fell 8 percent for householders under 35.

-4.2% - As of 2006, the median income of working-age families was down 4.2 percent since 2000, a loss of $2,375 in 2006 dollars.

50% - Only about half the workforce is offered and participates in health or retirement plans through their employer.

Our generation is effed. I should probably make a decision right here right now to not think about slash seek out this kind of information anymore.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Trunk show slash fundraiser next week

I'm pretty excited about this trunk show coming up next Thursday! I will be showing my jewelry at Frank James, a really cute boutique in Bellingham. It's actually a small fundraiser for LAM Treatment Alliance, a nonprofit organization that's working hard and fast to find a cure for the rare disease that my mom suffers from (LAM). 10% of all clothing and jewelry sales for the evening will go to LTA. Alison, the owner of Frank James, is apparently painting the town with flyers and press releases... so may your thoughts be with me as I operate as my own personal sweat shop for the 2nd weekend in a row.

Since the crowd will most likely consist many of my mom's friends -- classy, stylie mommies -- I have been expanding my horizons and integrating more gemstones and semi precious stones. I think I feel more at home slapping together fun colors, shapes, and motifs from vintage materials, however, this has been rewarding in a new way. Every material that I have been working with lately has inspired a very reverent reaction...sounds kinda lame, but it's amazing what our earth can produce.

Here are a couple newbies that will be debuting next week:

Light green amethyst (prasiolite), tri-colored quartz, amethyst quartz, & sterling silver:

Chalcedony, tri-colored quartz, and 14K gold filled wire/chain:

Lemon topaz, labradorite, and sterling silver:

If any of you are interested in supporting this really important cause, visit my Etsy site and make a purchase OR, even better, go directly to LTA's website to donate. We are so grateful for everyone's generosity in helping to fund research to find a cure for LAM!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Learning the ropes of gardening

Spring is officially here. There are a few plants in our yard making a colorful appearance. It's really fun because I've never seen our house in the spring or summer, so everything is a big surprise.

So, gardeners out there... I'd like to learn the name of the plants in my yard. Please help.

What kind of plant are these? The blooms look bigger in this photo than they really are in person. They are really tiny, almost lavenderish.

Daffodils, right?

The first bloom on this tree appeared this past week. The entire tree is FILLED with buds so I'm super excited to see how this completely changes the look of our house. (The tree is right in front of our house.)

Also, this weekend we debuted the lawn mower! (I watched and pissed Brian off by snapping photos of the momentous occasion.)

More photos to come as the yard fully embraces spring.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The world's most beautiful handbag

I think we all should have a moment of silence for this handbag.

Ok, that's over.

THIS IS MY PERFECT PERFECT HANDBAG. (And it's on sale right here at Bluefly for only $1328! What a deal!)

Oh, fashion. So silly.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The decision to get a dog

Sometimes decision making is an interesting process.

A few weeks ago, Brian and I started talking about getting a dog. This idea has always been in the back of our minds but hasn't really been even a feasible scenario until the home purchase a few months ago.

OK, slight topic transition. So, I'm not really sure why the government feels it needs to get its nose in the business of the market, but it sure does. From slashing interest rates to printing more money, the Feds are really trying to stave off a recession aren't they. We kind of know it's coming though. It's just a matter of when. I'm sorry I'm so DOOM AND GLOOM... but who was it?...One of my friends recently mentioned that our generation is the first generation who won't do as well as our parents did. Why is this? I don't really know, I don't have a macro-enough perspective, but my scary Republican background slash Claremont McKenna ridiculously difficult (for my week left brain) Econ 101 class sort of makes me think that it's mostly the government's fault. I still believe that if free markets took precedence, our country would do better, and therefore more people would benefit. Now before you go calling me an uncompassionate right-wing lunatic.... well, just know that I really care deeply about issues facing low-income people. But having worked in/for essentially a city-backed nonprofit venture for 4 years, I'm just not sure that our government - at least not alone - is the best way to solve those issues either.

ANYWAY, back to decision-making. Brian and I have been on the fence about adding a dog to our burgeoning family (that's not really burgeoning). But all this doom and gloom is really making a case for it. Call it escapism if you want, but for some reason, I just feel like if we had the opportunity to do THIS with our dog, somehow I might forget about the bleak future of America and the fact that if we were truly selfless people, we wouldn't even think about pro-creation.

So, when Brian sent me this video this morning, after WEEKS OF DELIBERATION (I know), it was decided, welcome home future Shiloh Shepherd!

Monday, March 10, 2008


I'm actually extremely over all things bird, HOWEVER, I'm making jewelry for a wedding and swallows are part of her theme, so right now I have millions of these little brass swallows laying around my jewelry room. So, I thought I'd design a pair of bird earrings for spring. I like the vintage rhinestone connectors a lot...they are really pretty and sparkly in person.

This got me to thinking about bird jewelry and how ubiquitous it is. Birds and owls and fawns and stuff like that. It can cute -- but way way over done.

Anyway, here's some bird inspired jewelry that I actually like -- or at least find interesting. Maybe I'm not really into wearing these things personally, but I think they're sweet, unique...or something.

The material is what makes these next two stand out. Who makes porcelain jewelry!?!? That's just crazy. These pieces are made by Lladro, a Spanish porcelain company that's been around since the 50's.

This next necklace is interesting because of the way it's constructed. She hand-formed the bird shape out of wire and then wire wrapped the entire thing with fine gauge gold wire.

Bird and flower necklace by Orange Poppy, $46.00.

This next necklace, by Seattle designer Amy Bengston, drives me nuts actually -- it's the epitome of overdone bird jewelry, to me -- but I am so interested in how you can carve so delicately. It MUST be stamped out. There's no way in hell she could mass produce these with such accuracy. I'm very interested in how designers make things that look handmade that really aren't.

Ok, and I have to say, I secretly really enjoy admiring Amy Ruppel prints, so this collab is interesting.

New Amy Bengston/Amy Ruppel jewelry:

I don't really have a lot to say about this next bird piece, except for that I've never really seen anything like it, and it sort of proves that you really don't have to have good ideas to be a jewelry designer. It's all marketing, folks.

Bling rings by Blanc & Reed, $30.

Ok and last but not least, these are sweet little earrings made by somebody on Etsy, and the thing that I most like about them is the romantic vintage pearl component, and also the fact that she alternated the green flower from top to bottom. These I can swallow. (Get it?! aaaaaaaaaaaaahhaa.)

Pearl Swallow Earring, Etsy, $49.00

Enough sweetness! My next post will have to be about huge, tough studded cuff bracelets. Bye for now.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Measuring lights

I'm really into these measuring lights by Chrissy Angliker made out of coiled measuring tape. They'd be great in a sewing room, but since the last time I used a sewing machine was when I manufactured hideously disgusting flannel pig-printed pajamas in the 9th grade (the elastic waist band was suffocating even for my then-14" waist, proving I had no talent even for the simplest of all sewing projects), I think I'd have to create a different use for this light. I think they'd be cute in Brian's studio. It's really our office, but it sounds way cooler to say studio, and you can actually casually and honestly say that word when you're a designer. ANYWAYyyy, they'd look good in there.

Speaking of our office, Brian painted it last weekend. A muted green with a charcoal gray chalkboard paint wall. It looks really really great...will post photos later!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Krista Faye flat

Thanks to Etsy, the glory of modern mass production, and of course, ME, the fashion world will delight in a new peep-toe flat by Jeffrey Campbell this fall.

I found these on the homepage of Etsy a couple nights ago, forwarded to my friend Ty who's repping JC shoes in NYC, and WHAM BAM! Jeffrey purchased and sent to Spain for production. Hopefully my strict terms of contract will be met: that a size 5 gets sent to me in Seattle, immediamente por favor.

I love the lines from the side.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Little Finley

Yesterday the most adorable baby ever came to our house!

Little Finley came into the world about 7 weeks ago. Her mom is my childhood friend Justyn. And her dad is Ian, who I met when we were all living in NYC.

Babies don't normally inspire me but Finley is exceptionally adorable. Huge eyes, perfect little features, super tiny. To quote Lindsay, "she makes the Gerber baby look like a mongrol." Yeah... something like that.

Check it out!

Congrats to Ian and Justyn!